Philip Dru: Administrator

by Quinton on April 3rd, 2017

Philip Dru: Administrator
House, Edward Mandell
Published: 1912
Type(s): Novels, Science Fiction, Politics
Source: http://gutenberg.net
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About House:
Edward Mandell House (July 26, 1858 – March 28, 1938) was an American
diplomat, politician, and presidential advisor. Commonly known by
the purely honorific title of Colonel House, although he had no military
experience, he had enormous personal influence with President Woodrow
Wilson as his foreign policy advisor until Wilson removed him in
1919. Colonel Edward Mandell House (originally “Huis” which became
“House”) was born July 26, 1858 in Houston, Texas. House was educated
in New England prep schools and went on to study at Cornell University
in 1877, but was forced to drop out when his father died. Returning to
Texas, House ran his family's business. He eventually sold the cotton
plantations, and invested in banking. House moved to New York City
about 1902. In 1912, House published anonymously a novel called Philip
Dru: Administrator, in which the title character, Dru, leads the democratic
western U.S. in a civil war against the plutocratic East, becoming the
dictator of America. Dru as dictator imposes a series of reforms which resemble
the Bull Moose platform of 1912 and then vanishes. [Lash pp
230-35] He became active in Texas politics and served as an advisor to
President Woodrow Wilson, particularly in the area of foreign affairs.
House functioned as Wilson's chief negotiator in Europe during the negotiations
for peace (1917-1919), and as chief deputy for Wilson at the
Paris Peace Conference. House helped to make four men governor of
Texas: James S. Hogg (1892), Charles A. Culberson (1894), Joseph D. Sayers
(1898), and S. W. T. Lanham (1902). After the election House acted as
unofficial advisor to each governor. Hogg gave House the title "Colonel"
by promoting House to his staff. House became a close friend and supporter
of New Jersey governor Woodrow Wilson in 1911, and helped
him win the Democratic presidential nomination in 1912. He became an
intimate of Wilson and helped set up his administration. House was
offered the cabinet position of his choice (except for Secretary of State
which was already pledged to William Jennings Bryan) but declined,
choosing instead "to serve wherever and whenever possible." House was
even provided living quarters within the White House. After Wilson's
first wife died in 1914 the President was even closer to House. However,
Wilson's second wife, Edith, disliked House, and his position weakened.
House threw himself into world affairs, promoting Wilson's goal of
brokering a peace to end World War I. He was enthusiastic but lacked
deep insight into European affairs and was misled by British diplomats.
After the sinking of the Lusitania on 7 May 1915, tension escalated with
Germany and U.S. neutrality was precarious. House decided the war
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was an epic battle between democracy and autocracy; he argued the United
States ought to help Britain and France win a limited Allied victory.
However, Wilson still insisted on neutrality. House played a major role
in shaping wartime diplomacy. Wilson had House assemble the
"Inquiry" — a team of academic experts to devise efficient postwar solutions
to all the world's problems. In September 1918, Wilson gave House
the responsibility for preparing a constitution for a League of Nations. In
October 1918, when Germany petitioned for peace based on the Fourteen
Points, Wilson charged House with working out details of an armistice
with the Allies. House served on the League of Nations Commission on
Mandates with Lord Milner and Lord Robert Cecil of Great Britain, M.
Simon of France, Viscount Chinda of Japan, Guglielmo Marconi for Italy,
and George Louis Beer as adviser. Throughout 1919, House urged
Wilson to work with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge to achieve ratification
of the Versailles Treaty. However, the conference revealed serious policy
disagreements between Wilson and House. Even worse were personality
conflicts. Wilson had become much more intolerant and systematically
broke with one after another of his closest advisors. When Wilson returned
home in February 1919, House took his place on the Council of
Ten where he negotiated compromises unacceptable to Wilson. In midMarch
1919, Wilson returned to Paris and lost confidence in House, relegating
him to the sidelines. In the 1920s, House strongly supported
U.S. membership in the League of Nations and the World Court, the Permanent
Court of International Justice. In 1932, House supported Franklin
D. Roosevelt without joining the inner circle. Although he became disillusioned
with the New Deal, he did not express his reservations in public.
House died on March 28, 1938 in New York City. Source: Wikipedia
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Chapter 1
GRADUATION DAY
In the year 1920, the student and the statesman saw many indications
that the social, financial and industrial troubles that had vexed the United
States of America for so long a time were about to culminate in civil
war.
Wealth had grown so strong, that the few were about to strangle the
many, and among the great masses of the people, there was sullen and
rebellious discontent.
The laborer in the cities, the producer on the farm, the merchant, the
professional man and all save organized capital and its satellites, saw a
gloomy and hopeless future.
With these conditions prevailing, the graduation exercises of the class
of 1920 of the National Military Academy at West Point, held for many a
foreboding promise of momentous changes, but the 12th of June found
the usual gay scene at the great institution overlooking the Hudson. The
President of the Republic, his Secretary of War and many other distinguished
guests were there to do honor to the occasion, together with
friends, relatives and admirers of the young men who were being sent
out to the ultimate leadership of the Nation's Army. The scene had all
the usual charm of West Point graduations, and the usual intoxicating atmosphere
of military display.
There was among the young graduating soldiers one who seemed depressed
and out of touch with the triumphant blare of militarism, for he
alone of his fellow classmen had there no kith nor kin to bid him Godspeed
in his new career.
Standing apart under the broad shadow of an oak, he looked out over
long stretches of forest and river, but what he saw was his home in distant
Kentucky—the old farmhouse that the sun and the rain and the
lichens had softened into a mottled gray. He saw the gleaming brook
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that wound its way through the tangle of orchard and garden, and parted
the distant blue-grass meadow.
He saw his aged mother sitting under the honeysuckle trellis, book in
hand, but thinking, he knew, of him. And then there was the perfume of
the flowers, the droning of the bees in the warm sweet air and the
drowsy hound at his father's feet.
But this was not all the young man saw, for Philip Dru, in spite of his
military training, was a close student of the affairs of his country, and he
saw that which raised grave doubts in his mind as to the outcome of his
career. He saw many of the civil institutions of his country debased by
the power of wealth under the thin guise of the constitutional protection
of property. He saw the Army which he had sworn to serve faithfully becoming
prostituted by this same power, and used at times for purposes
of intimidation and petty conquests where the interests of wealth were at
stake. He saw the great city where luxury, dominant and defiant, existed
largely by grace of exploitation— exploitation of men, women and
children.
The young man's eyes had become bright and hard, when his daydream
was interrupted, and he was looking into the gray-blue eyes of
Gloria Strawn—the one whose lot he had been comparing to that of her
sisters in the city, in the mills, the sweatshops, the big stores, and the
streets. He had met her for the first time a few hours before, when his
friend and classmate, Jack Strawn, had presented him to his sister. No
comrade knew Dru better than Strawn, and no one admired him so
much. Therefore, Gloria, ever seeking a closer contact with life, had come
to West Point eager to meet the lithe young Kentuckian, and to measure
him by the other men of her acquaintance.
She was disappointed in his appearance, for she had fancied him
almost god-like in both size and beauty, and she saw a man of medium
height, slender but toughly knit, and with a strong, but homely face.
When he smiled and spoke she forgot her disappointment, and her interest
revived, for her sharp city sense caught the trail of a new
experience.
To Philip Dru, whose thought of and experience with women was almost
nothing, so engrossed had he been in his studies, military and economic,
Gloria seemed little more than a child. And yet her frank glance
of appraisal when he had been introduced to her, and her easy though
somewhat languid conversation on the affairs of the commencement,
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perplexed and slightly annoyed him. He even felt some embarrassment
in her presence.
Child though he knew her to be, he hesitated whether he should call
her by her given name, and was taken aback when she smilingly
thanked him for doing so, with the assurance that she was often bored
with the eternal conventionality of people in her social circle.
Suddenly turning from the commonplaces of the day, Gloria looked
directly at Philip, and with easy self-possession turned the conversation
to himself.
"I am wondering, Mr. Dru, why you came to West Point and why it is
you like the thought of being a soldier?" she asked. "An American soldier
has to fight so seldom that I have heard that the insurance companies regard
them as the best of risks, so what attraction, Mr. Dru, can a military
career have for you?"
Never before had Philip been asked such a question, and it surprised
him that it should come from this slip of a girl, but he answered her in
the serious strain of his thoughts.
"As far back as I can remember," he said, "I have wanted to be a soldier.
I have no desire to destroy and kill, and yet there is within me the
lust for action and battle. It is the primitive man in me, I suppose, but
sobered and enlightened by civilization. I would do everything in my
power to avert war and the suffering it entails. Fate, inclination, or what
not has brought me here, and I hope my life may not be wasted, but that
in God's own way, I may be a humble instrument for good. Oftentimes
our inclinations lead us in certain directions, and it is only afterwards
that it seems as if fate may from the first have so determined it."
The mischievous twinkle left the girl's eyes, and the languid tone of
her voice changed to one a little more like sincerity.
"But suppose there is no war," she demanded, "suppose you go on living
at barracks here and there, and with no broader outlook than such a
life entails, will you be satisfied? Is that all you have in mind to do in the
world?"
He looked at her more perplexed than ever. Such an observation of
life, his life, seemed beyond her years, for he knew but little of the women
of his own generation. He wondered, too, if she would understand
if he told her all that was in his mind.
"Gloria, we are entering a new era. The past is no longer to be a guide
to the future. A century and a half ago there arose in France a giant that
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had slumbered for untold centuries. He knew he had suffered grievous
wrongs, but he did not know how to right them. He therefore struck out
blindly and cruelly, and the innocent went down with the guilty. He was
almost wholly ignorant for in the scheme of society as then constructed,
the ruling few felt that he must be kept ignorant, otherwise they could
not continue to hold him in bondage. For him the door of opportunity
was closed, and he struggled from the cradle to the grave for the minimum
of food and clothing necessary to keep breath within the body. His
labor and his very life itself was subject to the greed, the passion and the
caprice of his over-lord.
"So when he awoke he could only destroy. Unfortunately for him,
there was not one of the governing class who was big enough and humane
enough to lend a guiding and a friendly hand, so he was led by
weak, and selfish men who could only incite him to further wanton
murder and demolition.
"But out of that revelry of blood there dawned upon mankind the hope
of a more splendid day. The divinity of kings, the God-given right to
rule, was shattered for all time. The giant at last knew his strength, and
with head erect, and the light of freedom in his eyes, he dared to assert
the liberty, equality and fraternity of man. Then throughout the Western
world one stratum of society after another demanded and obtained the
right to acquire wealth and to share in the government. Here and there
one bolder and more forceful than the rest acquired great wealth and
with it great power. Not satisfied with reasonable gain, they sought to
multiply it beyond all bounds of need. They who had sprung from the
people a short life span ago were now throttling individual effort and
shackling the great movement for equal rights and equal opportunity."
Dru's voice became tense and vibrant, and he talked in quick sharp
jerks.
"Nowhere in the world is wealth more defiant, and monopoly more insistent
than in this mighty republic," he said, "and it is here that the next
great battle for human emancipation will be fought and won. And from
the blood and travail of an enlightened people, there will be born a spirit
of love and brotherhood which will transform the world; and the Star of
Bethlehem, seen but darkly for two thousand years, will shine again with
a steady and effulgent glow."
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Chapter 2
THE VISION OF PHILIP DRU
Long before Philip had finished speaking, Gloria saw that he had forgotten
her presence. With glistening eyes and face aflame he had talked on
and on with such compelling force that she beheld in him the prophet of
a new day.
She sat very still for a while, and then she reached out to touch his
sleeve.
"I think I understand how you feel now," she said in a tone different
from any she had yet used. "I have been reared in a different atmosphere
from you, and at home have heard only the other side, while at school
they mostly evade the question. My father is one of the 'bold and forceful
few' as perhaps you know, but he does not seem to me to want to harm
anyone. He is kind to us, and charitable too, as that word is commonly
used, and I am sure he has done much good with his money."
"I am sorry, Gloria, if I have hurt you by what I said," answered Dru.
"Oh! never mind, for I am sure you are right," answered the girl, but
Philip continued—
"Your father, I think, is not to blame. It is the system that is at fault. His
struggle and his environment from childhood have blinded him to the
truth. To those with whom he has come in contact, it has been the dollar
and not the man that counted. He has been schooled to think that capital
can buy labor as it would machinery, the human equation not entering
into it. He believes that it would be equivalent to confiscation for the
State to say 'in regard to a corporation, labor, the State and capital are
important in the order named.' Good man that he means to be, he does
not know, perhaps he can never know, that it is labor, labor of the mind
and of the body, that creates, and not capital."
"You would have a hard time making Father see that," put in Gloria,
with a smile.
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"Yes!" continued Philip, "from the dawn of the world until now, it has
been the strong against the weak. At the first, in the Stone Age, it was
brute strength that counted and controlled. Then those that ruled had
leisure to grow intellectually, and it gradually came about that the many,
by long centuries of oppression, thought that the intellectual few had
God-given powers to rule, and to exact tribute from them to the extent of
commanding every ounce of exertion of which their bodies were capable.
It was here, Gloria, that society began to form itself wrongly, and the result
is the miserable travesty of to-day. Selfishness became the keynote,
and to physical and mental strength was conceded everything that is desirable
in life. Later, this mockery of justice, was partly recognized, and it
was acknowledged to be wrong for the physically strong to despoil and
destroy the physically weak. Even so, the time is now measurably near when
it will be just as reprehensible for the mentally strong to hold in subjection the
mentally weak, and to force them to bear the grievous burdens which a misconceived
civilization has imposed upon them."
Gloria was now thoroughly interested, but smilingly belied it by saying,
"A history professor I had once lost his position for talking like that."
The young man barely recognized the interruption.
"The first gleam of hope came with the advent of Christ," he continued.
"So warped and tangled had become the minds of men that the
meaning of Christ's teaching failed utterly to reach human comprehension.
They accepted him as a religious teacher only so far as their selfish
desires led them. They were willing to deny other gods and admit one
Creator of all things, but they split into fragments regarding the creeds
and forms necessary to salvation. In the name of Christ they committed
atrocities that would put to blush the most benighted savages. Their very
excesses in cruelty finally caused a revolution in feeling, and there was
evolved the Christian religion of to-day, a religion almost wholly selfish
and concerned almost entirely in the betterment of life after death."
The girl regarded Philip for a second in silence, and then quietly
asked, "For the betterment of whose life after death?"
"I was speaking of those who have carried on only the forms of religion.
Wrapped in the sanctity of their own small circle, they feel that
their tiny souls are safe, and that they are following the example and precepts
of Christ.
"The full splendor of Christ's love, the grandeur of His life and doctrine
is to them a thing unknown. The infinite love, the sweet humility,
the gentle charity, the subordination of self that the Master came to give
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a cruel, selfish and ignorant world, mean but little more to us to-day
than it did to those to whom He gave it."
"And you who have chosen a military career say this," said the girl as
her brother joined the pair.
To Philip her comment came as something of a shock, for he was unprepared
for these words spoken with such a depth of feeling.
Gloria and Philip Dru spent most of graduation day together. He did
not want to intrude amongst the relatives and friends of his classmates,
and he was eager to continue his acquaintance with Gloria. To the girl,
this serious-minded youth who seemed so strangely out of tune with the
blatant military fanfare, was a distinct novelty. At the final ball she almost
ignored the gallantries of the young officers, in order that she
might have opportunity to lead Dru on to further self-revelation.
The next day in the hurry of packing and departure he saw her only
for an instant, but from her brother he learned that she planned a visit to
the new Post on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass where Jack Strawn and
Philip were to be stationed after their vacation.
Philip spent his leave, before he went to the new Post, at his Kentucky
home. He wanted to be with his father and mother, and he wanted to
read and think, so he declined the many invitations to visit.
His father was a sturdy farmer of fine natural sense, and with him
Philip never tired of talking when both had leisure.
Old William Dru had inherited nothing save a rundown, badly managed,
heavily mortgaged farm that had been in the family for several
generations. By hard work and strict economy, he had first built it up into
a productive property and had then liquidated the indebtedness. So
successful had he been that he was able to buy small farms for four of his
sons, and give professional education to the other three. He had accumulated
nothing, for he had given as fast as he had made, but his was a serene
and contented old age because of it. What was the hoarding of
money or land in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing each son happy
in the possession of a home and family? The ancestral farm he intended
for Philip, youngest and best beloved, soldier though he was to be.
All during that hot summer, Philip and his father discussed the evergrowing
unrest of the country, and speculated when the crisis would
come, and how it would end.
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Finally, he left his home, and all the associations clustered around it,
and turned his face towards imperial Texas, the field of his new
endeavor.
He reached Fort Magruder at the close of an Autumn day. He thought
he had never known such dry sweet air. Just as the sun was sinking, he
strolled to the bluff around which flowed the turbid waters of the Rio
Grande, and looked across at the gray hills of old Mexico.
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Chapter 3
LOST IN THE DESERT
Autumn drifted into winter, and then with the blossoms of an early
spring, came Gloria.
The Fort was several miles from the station, and Jack and Philip were
there to meet her. As they paced the little board platform, Jack was
nervously happy over the thought of his sister's arrival, and talked of his
plans for entertaining her. Philip on the other hand held himself well in
reserve and gave no outward indication of the deep emotion which
stirred within him. At last the train came and from one of the long string
of Pullmans, Gloria alighted. She kissed her brother and greeted Philip
cordially, and asked him in a tone of banter how he enjoyed army life.
Dru smiled and said, "Much better, Gloria, than you predicted I would."
The baggage was stored away in the buck-board, and Gloria got in front
with Philip and they were off. It was early morning and the dew was still
on the soft mesquite grass, and as the mustang ponies swiftly drew them
over the prairie, it seemed to Gloria that she had awakened in fairyland.
At the crest of a hill, Philip held the horses for a moment, and Gloria
caught her breath as she saw the valley below. It looked as if some translucent
lake had mirrored the sky. It was the countless blossoms of the
Texas blue-bonnet that lifted their slender stems towards the morning
sun, and hid the earth.
Down into the valley they drove upon the most wonderfully woven
carpet in all the world. Aladdin and his magic looms could never have
woven a fabric such as this. A heavy, delicious perfume permeated the
air, and with glistening eyes and parted lips, Gloria sat dumb in happy
astonishment.
They dipped into the rocky bed of a wet weather stream, climbed out
of the canyon and found themselves within the shadow of Fort
Magruder.
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Gloria soon saw that the social distractions of the place had little call
for Philip. She learned, too, that he had already won the profound respect
and liking of his brother officers. Jack spoke of him in terms even
more superlative than ever. "He is a born leader of men," he declared,
"and he knows more about engineering and tactics than the Colonel and
all the rest of us put together." Hard student though he was, Gloria
found him ever ready to devote himself to her, and their rides together
over the boundless, flower studded prairies, were a never ending joy.
"Isn't it beautiful—Isn't it wonderful," she would exclaim. And once she
said, "But, Philip, happy as I am, I oftentimes think of the reeking
poverty in the great cities, and wish, in some way, they could share this
with me." Philip looked at her questioningly, but made no reply.
A visit that was meant for weeks transgressed upon the months, and
still she lingered. One hot June morning found Gloria and Philip far in
the hills on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. They had started at
dawn with the intention of breakfasting with the courtly old haciendado,
who frequently visited at the Post.
After the ceremonious Mexican breakfast, Gloria wanted to see beyond
the rim of the little world that enclosed the hacienda, so they rode to the
end of the valley, tied their horses and climbed to the crest of the ridge.
She was eager to go still further. They went down the hill on the other
side, through a draw and into another valley beyond.
Soldier though he was, Philip was no plainsman, and in retracing their
steps, they missed the draw.
Philip knew that they were not going as they came, but with his
months of experience in the hills, felt sure he could find his way back
with less trouble by continuing as they were. The grass and the shrubs
gradually disappeared as they walked, and soon he realized that they
were on the edge of an alkali desert. Still he thought he could swing
around into the valley from which they started, and they plunged steadily
on, only to see in a few minutes that they were lost.
"What's the matter, Philip?" asked Gloria. "Are we lost?"
"I hope not, we only have to find that draw."
The girl said no more, but walked on side by side with the young soldier.
Both pulled their hats far down over their eyes to shield them from
the glare of the fierce rays of the sun, and did what they could to keep
out the choking clouds of alkali dust that swirled around them at every
step.
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Philip, hardened by months of Southwestern service, stood the heat
well, except that his eyes ached, but he saw that Gloria was giving out.
"Are you tired?" he asked.
"Yes, I am very tired," she answered, "but I can go on if you will let me
rest a moment." Her voice was weak and uncertain and indicated approaching
collapse. And then she said more faintly, "I am afraid, Philip,
we are hopelessly lost."
"Do not be frightened, Gloria, we will soon be out of this if you will let
me carry you."
Just then, the girl staggered and would have fallen had he not caught
her.
He was familiar with heat prostration, and saw that her condition was
not serious, but he knew he must carry her, for to lay her in the blazing
sun would be fatal.
His eyes, already overworked by long hours of study, were swollen
and bloodshot. Sharp pains shot through his head. To stop he feared
would be to court death, so taking Gloria in his arms, he staggered on.
In that vast world of alkali and adobe there was no living thing but
these two. No air was astir, and a pitiless sun beat upon them unmercifully.
Philip's lips were cracked, his tongue was swollen, and the burning
dust almost choked him. He began to see less clearly, and visions of
things he knew to be unreal came to him. With Spartan courage and indomitable
will, he never faltered, but went on. Mirages came and went,
and he could not know whether he saw true or not. Then here and there
he thought he began to see tufts of curly mesquite grass, and in the distance
surely there were cacti. He knew that if he could hold out a little
longer, he could lay his burden in some sort of shade.
With halting steps, with eyes inflamed and strength all but gone, he finally
laid Gloria in the shadow of a giant prickly pear bush, and fell beside
her. He fumbled for his knife and clumsily scraped the needles from
a leaf of the cactus and sliced it in two. The heavy sticky liquid ran over
his hand as he placed the cut side of the leaf to Gloria's lips. The juice of
the plant together with the shade, partially revived her. Philip, too,
sucked the leaf until his parched tongue and throat became a little more
pliable.
"What happened?" demanded Gloria. "Oh! yes, now I remember. I am
sorry I gave out, Philip. I am not acclimated yet. What time is it?"
14
After pillowing her head more comfortably upon his riding coat,
Philip looked at his watch. "I—I can't just make it out, Gloria," he said.
"My eyes seem blurred. This awful glare seems to have affected them.
They'll be all right in a little while."
Gloria looked at the dial and found that the hands pointed to four
o'clock. They had been lost for six hours, but after their experiences, it
seemed more like as many days. They rested a little while longer talking
but little.
"You carried me," said Gloria once. "I'm ashamed of myself for letting
the heat get the best of me. You shouldn't have carried me, Philip, but
you know I understand and appreciate. How are your eyes now?"
"Oh, they'll be all right," he reiterated, but when he took his hand from
them to look at her, and the light beat upon the inflamed lids, he winced.
After eating some of the fruit of the prickly pear, which they found too
hot and sweet to be palatable, Philip suggested at half after five that they
should move on. They arose, and the young officer started to lead the
way, peeping from beneath his hand. First he stumbled over a mesquite
bush directly in his path, and next he collided with a giant cactus standing
full in front of him.
"It's no use, Gloria," he said at last. "I can't see the way. You must
lead."
"All right, Philip, I will do the best I can."
For answer, he merely took her hand, and together they started to retrace
their steps. Over the trackless waste of alkali and sagebrush they
trudged. They spoke but little but when they did, their husky, dustparched
voices made a mockery of their hopeful words.
Though the horizon seemed bounded by a low range of hills, the girl
instinctively turned her steps westward, and entered a draw. She rounded
one of the hills, and just as the sun was sinking, came upon the valley
in which their horses were peacefully grazing.
They mounted and followed the dim trail along which they had ridden
that morning, reaching the hacienda about dark. With many shakings
of the hand, voluble protestations of joy at their delivery from the
desert, and callings on God to witness that the girl had performed a miracle,
the haciendado gave them food and cooling drinks, and with gentle
insistence, had his servants, wife and daughters show them to their
rooms. A poultice of Mexican herbs was laid across Philip's eyes, but
15
exhausted as he was he could not sleep because of the pain they caused
him.
In the morning, Gloria was almost her usual self, but Philip could see
but faintly. As early as was possible they started for Fort Magruder. His
eyes were bandaged, and Gloria held the bridle of his horse and led him
along the dusty trail. A vaquero from the ranch went with them to show
the way.
Then came days of anxiety, for the surgeon at the Post saw serious
trouble ahead for Philip. He would make no definite statement, but admitted
that the brilliant young officer's eyesight was seriously menaced.
Gloria read to him and wrote for him, and in many ways was his
hands and eyes. He in turn talked to her of the things that filled his
mind. The betterment of man was an ever-present theme with them. It
pleased him to trace for her the world's history from its early beginning
when all was misty tradition, down through the uncertain centuries of
early civilization to the present time.
He talked with her of the untrustworthiness of the so-called history of
to-day, although we had every facility for recording facts, and he pointed
out how utterly unreliable it was when tradition was the only means
of transmission. Mediocrity, he felt sure, had oftentimes been exalted into
genius, and brilliant and patriotic exclamations attributed to great
men, were never uttered by them, neither was it easy he thought, to get a
true historic picture of the human intellectual giant. As a rule they were
quite human, but people insisted upon idealizing them, consequently
they became not themselves but what the popular mind wanted them to
be.
He also dwelt on the part the demagogue and the incompetents play
in retarding the advancement of the human race. Some leaders were
honest, some were wise and some were selfish, but it was seldom that
the people would be led by wise, honest and unselfish men.
"There is always the demagogue to poison the mind of the people
against such a man," he said, "and it is easily done because wisdom
means moderation and honesty means truth. To be moderate and to tell
the truth at all times and about all matters seldom pleases the masses."
Many a long day was spent thus in purely impersonal discussions of
affairs, and though he himself did not realize it, Gloria saw that Philip
was ever at his best when viewing the large questions of State, rather
than the narrower ones within the scope of the military power.
16
The weeks passed swiftly, for the girl knew well how to ease the
young Officer's chafing at uncertainty and inaction. At times, as they
droned away the long hot summer afternoons under the heavily leafed
fig trees in the little garden of the Strawn bungalow, he would become
impatient at his enforced idleness. Finally one day, after making a pitiful
attempt to read, Philip broke out, "I have been patient under this as long
as I can. The restraint is too much. Something must be done."
Somewhat to his surprise, Gloria did not try to take his mind off the
situation this time, but suggested asking the surgeon for a definite report
on his condition.
The interview with the surgeon was unsatisfactory, but his report to
his superior officers bore fruit, for in a short time Philip was told that he
should apply for an indefinite leave of absence, as it would be months,
perhaps years, before his eyes would allow him to carry on his duties.
He seemed dazed at the news, and for a long time would not talk of it
even with Gloria. After a long silence one afternoon she softly asked,
"What are you going to do, Philip?"
Jack Strawn, who was sitting near by, broke out—"Do! why there's no
question about what he is going to do. Once an Army man always an
Army man. He's going to live on the best the U.S.A. provides until his
eyes are right. In the meantime Philip is going to take indefinite sick
leave."
The girl only smiled at her brother's military point of view, and asked
another question. "How will you occupy your time, Philip?"
Philip sat as if he had not heard them.
"Occupy his time!" exclaimed Jack, "getting well of course. Without
having to obey orders or do anything but draw his checks, he can have
the time of his life, there will be nothing to worry about."
"That's just it," slowly said Philip. "No work, nothing to think about."
"Exactly," said Gloria.
"What are you driving at, Sister. You talk as if it was something to be
deplored. I call it a lark. Cheer the fellow up a bit, can't you?"
"No, never mind," replied Philip. "There's nothing to cheer me up
about. The question is simply this: Can I stand a period of several years'
enforced inactivity as a mere pensioner?"
17
"Yes!" quickly said Gloria, "as a pensioner, and then, if all goes well,
you return to this." "What do you mean, Gloria? Don't you like Army
Post life?" asked Jack.
"I like it as well as you do, Jack. You just haven't come to realize that
Philip is cut out for a bigger sphere than—that." She pointed out across
the parade ground where a drill was going on. "You know as well as I do
that this is not the age for a military career."
Jack was so disgusted with this, that with an exclamation of impatience,
he abruptly strode off to the parade ground.
"You are right, Gloria," said Philip. "I cannot live on a pension indefinitely.
I cannot bring myself to believe that it is honest to become a mendicant
upon the bounty of the country. If I had been injured in the performance
of duty, I would have no scruples in accepting support during
an enforced idleness, but this disability arose from no fault of the
Government, and the thought of accepting aid under such circumstances
is too repugnant."
"Of course," said Gloria.
"The Government means no more to me than an individual," continued
Philip, "and it is to be as fairly dealt with. I never could understand
how men with self-respect could accept undeserving pensions from the
Nation. To do so is not alone dishonest, but is unfair to those who need
help and have a righteous claim to support. If the unworthy were refused,
the deserving would be able to obtain that to which they are
entitled."
Their talk went on thus for hours, the girl ever trying more particularly
to make him see a military career as she did, and he more concerned
with the ethical side of the situation.
"Do not worry over it, Philip," cried Gloria, "I feel sure that your place
is in the larger world of affairs, and you will some day be glad that this
misfortune came to you, and that you were forced to go into another
field of endeavor.
"With my ignorance and idle curiosity, I led you on and on, over first
one hill and then another, until you lost your way in that awful desert
over there, but yet perhaps there was a destiny in that. When I was leading
you out of the desert, a blind man, it may be that I was leading you
out of the barrenness of military life, into the fruitful field of labor for
humanity."
After a long silence, Philip Dru arose and took Gloria's hand.
18
"Yes! I will resign. You have already reconciled me to my fate."
19
Chapter 4
THE SUPREMACY OF MIND
Officers and friends urged Philip to reconsider his determination of
resigning, but once decided, he could not be swerved from his purpose.
Gloria persuaded him to go to New York with her in order to consult one
of the leading oculists, and arrangements were made immediately. On
the last day but one, as they sat under their favorite fig tree, they talked
much of Philip's future. Gloria had also been reading aloud Sir Oliver
Lodge's "Science and Immortality," and closing the book upon the final
chapter, asked Philip what he thought of it.
"Although the book was written many years ago, even then the truth
had begun to dawn upon the poets, seers and scientific dreamers. The
dominion of mind, but faintly seen at that time, but more clearly now,
will finally come into full vision. The materialists under the leadership of
Darwin, Huxley and Wallace, went far in the right direction, but in trying
to go to the very fountainhead of life, they came to a door which they
could not open and which no materialistic key will ever open."
"So, Mr. Preacher, you're at it again," laughed Gloria. "You belong to
the pulpit of real life, not the Army. Go on, I am interested."
"Well," went on Dru, "then came a reaction, and the best thought of the
scientific world swung back to the theory of mind or spirit, and the truth
began to unfold itself. Now, man is at last about to enter into that splendid
kingdom, the promise of which Christ gave us when he said, 'My
Father and I are one,' and again, 'When you have seen me you have seen
the Father.' He was but telling them that all life was a part of the One
Life—individualized, but yet of and a part of the whole.
"We are just learning our power and dominion over ourselves. When
in the future children are trained from infancy that they can measurably
conquer their troubles by the force of mind, a new era will have come to
man."
20
"There," said Gloria, with an earnestness that Philip had rarely heard
in her, "is perhaps the source of the true redemption of the world."
She checked herself quickly, "But you were preaching to me, not I to
you. Go on."
"No, but I want to hear what you were going to say."
"You see I am greatly interested in this movement which is seeking to
find how far mind controls matter, and to what extent our lives are spiritual
rather than material," she answered, "but it's hard to talk about it to
most people, so I have kept it to myself. Go on, Philip, I will not interrupt
again."
"When fear, hate, greed and the purely material conception of Life
passes out," said Philip, "as it some day may, and only wholesome
thoughts will have a place in human minds, mental ills will take flight
along with most of our bodily ills, and the miracle of the world's redemption
will have been largely wrought."
"Mental ills will take flight along with bodily ills. We should be
trained, too, not to dwell upon anticipated troubles, but to use our minds
and bodies in an earnest, honest endeavor to avert threatened disaster.
We should not brood over possible failure, for in the great realm of the
supremacy of mind or spirit the thought of failure should not enter."
"Yes, I know, Philip."
"Fear, causes perhaps more unhappiness than any one thing that we
have let take possession of us. Some are never free from it. They awake
in the morning with a vague, indefinite sense of it, and at night a foreboding
of disaster hands over the to-morrow. Life would have for us a
different meaning if we would resolve, and keep the resolution, to do the
best we could under all conditions, and never fear the result. Then, too,
we should be trained not to have such an unreasonable fear of death. The
Eastern peoples are far wiser in this respect than we. They have learned
to look upon death as a happy transition to something better. And they
are right, for that is the true philosophy of it. At the very worst, can it
mean more than a long and dreamless sleep? Does not the soul either go
back to the one source from which it sprung, and become a part of the
whole, or does it not throw off its material environment and continue
with individual consciousness to work out its final destiny?
"If that be true, there is no death as we have conceived it. It would
mean to us merely the beginning of a more splendid day, and we should
21
be taught that every emotion, every effort here that is unselfish and soul
uplifting, will better fit us for that spiritual existence that is to come."
22
Chapter 5
THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURNERS
The trip north from Fort Magruder was a most trying experience for
Philip Dru, for although he had as traveling companions Gloria and Jack
Strawn, who was taking a leave of absence, the young Kentuckian felt his
departure from Texas and the Army as a portentous turning point in his
career. In spite of Gloria's philosophy, and in spite of Jack's reassurances,
Philip was assailed by doubts as to the ultimate improvement of his eyesight,
and at the same time with the feeling that perhaps after all, he was
playing the part of a deserter.
"It's all nonsense to feel cut up over it, you know, Philip," insisted Jack.
"You can take my word for it that you have the wrong idea in wanting to
quit when you can be taken care of by the Government. You have every
right to it."
"No, Jack, I have no right to it," answered Dru, "but certain as I am that
I am doing the only thing I could do, under the circumstances, it's a hard
wrench to leave the Army, even though I had come to think that I can
find my place in the world out of the service."
The depression was not shaken off until after they had reached New
York, and Philip had been told by the great specialist that his eyesight
probably never again would pass the Army tests. Once convinced that an
Army career was impossible, he resigned, and began to reconstruct his
life with new hope and with a new enthusiasm. While he was ordered to
give his eyes complete rest for at least six months and remain a part of
every day in a darkened room, he was promised that after several
months, he probably would be able to read and write a little.
As he had no relatives in New York, Philip, after some hesitation, accepted
Jack Strawn's insistent invitation to visit him for a time, at least.
Through the long days and weeks that followed, the former young officer
and Gloria were thrown much together.
23
One afternoon as they were sitting in a park, a pallid child of ten asked
to "shine" their shoes. In sympathy they allowed him to do it. The little
fellow had a gaunt and hungry look and his movements were very sluggish.
He said his name was Peter Turner and he gave some squalid east
side tenement district as his home. He said that his father was dead, his
mother was bedridden, and he, the oldest of three children, was the only
support of the family. He got up at five and prepared their simple meal,
and did what he could towards making his mother comfortable for the
day. By six he left the one room that sheltered them, and walked more
than two miles to where he now was. Midday meal he had none, and in
the late afternoon he walked home and arranged their supper of bread,
potatoes, or whatever else he considered he could afford to buy. Philip
questioned him as to his earnings and was told that they varied with the
weather and other conditions, the maximum had been a dollar and fifteen
cents for one day, the minimum twenty cents. The average seemed
around fifty cents, and this was to shelter, clothe and feed a family of
four.
Already Gloria's eyes were dimmed with tears. Philip asked if they
might go home with him then. The child consented and led the way.
They had not gone far, when Philip, noticing how frail Peter was,
hailed a car, and they rode to Grand Street, changed there and went east.
Midway between the Bowery and the river, they got out and walked
south for a few blocks, turned into a side street that was hardly more
than an alley, and came to the tenement where Peter lived.
It had been a hot day even in the wide, clean portions of the city. Here
the heat was almost unbearable, and the stench, incident to a congested
population, made matters worse.
Ragged and dirty children were playing in the street. Lack of food and
pure air, together with unsanitary surroundings, had set its mark upon
them. The deathly pallor that was in Peter's face was characteristic of
most of the faces around them.
The visitors climbed four flights of stairs, and went down a long, dark,
narrow hall reeking with disagreeable odors, and finally entered tenyear-old
Peter Turner's "home."
"What a travesty on the word 'home,'" murmured Dru, as he saw for
the first time the interior of an East Side tenement. Mrs. Turner lay
propped in bed, a ghost of what was once a comely woman. She was
barely thirty, yet poverty, disease and the city had drawn their cruel
lines across her face. Gloria went to her bedside and gently pressed the
24
fragile hand. She dared not trust herself to speak. And this, she thought,
is within the shadow of my home, and I never knew. "Oh, God," she silently
prayed, "forgive us for our neglect of such as these."
Gloria and Philip did all that was possible for the Turners, but their
helping hands came too late to do more than to give the mother a measure
of peace during the last days of her life. The promise of help for the
children lifted a heavy load from her heart. Poor stricken soul, Zelda
Turner deserved a better fate. When she married Len Turner, life seemed
full of joy. He was employed in the office of a large manufacturing concern,
at what seemed to them a munificent salary, seventy-five dollars a
month.
Those were happy days. How they saved and planned for the future!
The castle that they built in Spain was a little home on a small farm near
a city large enough to be a profitable market for their produce. Some
place where the children could get fresh air, wholesome food and a place
in which to grow up. Two thousand dollars saved, would, they thought,
be enough to make the start. With this, a farm costing four thousand dollars
could be bought by mortgaging it for half. Twenty-five dollars a
month saved for six years, would, with interest, bring them to their goal.
Already more than half the sum was theirs. Then came disaster. One
Sunday they were out for their usual walk. It had been sleeting and the
pavements here and there were still icy. In front of them some children
were playing, and a little girl of eight darted into the street to avoid being
caught by a companion. She slipped and fell. A heavy motor was almost
upon her, when Len rushed to snatch her from the on-rushing car.
He caught the child, but slipped himself, succeeding however in pushing
her beyond danger before the cruel wheels crushed out his life. The
dreary days and nights that followed need not be recited here. The cost
of the funeral and other expenses incident thereto bit deep into their savings,
therefore as soon as she could pull herself together, Mrs. Turner
sought employment and got it in a large dressmaking establishment at
the inadequate wage of seven dollars a week. She was skillful with her
needle but had no aptitude for design, therefore she was ever to be
among the plodders. One night in the busy season of overwork before
the Christmas holidays, she started to walk the ten blocks to her little
home, for car-fare was a tax beyond her purse, and losing her weary
footing, she fell heavily to the ground. By the aid of a kindly policeman
she was able to reach home, in great suffering, only to faint when she finally
reached her room. Peter, who was then about seven years old, was
badly frightened. He ran for their next door neighbor, a kindly German
25
woman. She lifted Zelda into bed and sent for a physician, and although
he could find no other injury than a badly bruised spine, she never left
her bed until she was borne to her grave.
The pitiful little sum that was saved soon went, and Peter with his
blacking box became the sole support of the family.
When they had buried Zelda, and Gloria was kneeling by her grave
softly weeping, Philip touched her shoulder and said, "Let us go, she
needs us no longer, but there are those who do. This experience has been
my lesson, and from now it is my purpose to consecrate my life towards
the betterment of such as these. Our thoughts, our habits, our morals,
our civilization itself is wrong, else it would not be possible for just this
sort of suffering to exist."
"But you will let me help you, Philip?" said Gloria.
"It will mean much to me, Gloria, if you will. In this instance Len Turner
died a hero's death, and when Mrs. Turner became incapacitated, society,
the state, call it what you will, should have stepped in and thrown
its protecting arms around her. It was never intended that she should lie
there day after day month after month, suffering, starving, and in an
agony of soul for her children's future. She had the right to expect succor
from the rich and the strong."
"Yes," said Gloria, "I have heard successful men and women say that
they cannot help the poor, that if you gave them all you had, they would
soon be poor again, and that your giving would never cease." "I know,"
Philip replied, "that is ever the cry of the selfish. They believe that they
merit all the blessings of health, distinction and wealth that may come to
them, and they condemn their less fortunate brother as one deserving his
fate. The poor, the weak and the impractical did not themselves bring
about their condition. Who knows how large a part the mystery of birth
and heredity play in one's life and what environment and opportunity,
or lack of it, means to us? Health, ability, energy, favorable environment
and opportunity are the ingredients of success. Success is graduated by
the lack of one or all of these. If the powerful use their strength merely to
further their own selfish desires, in what way save in degree do they differ
from the lower animals of creation? And how can man under such a
moral code justify his dominion over land and sea?
"Until recently this question has never squarely faced the human race,
but it does face it now and to its glory and honor it is going to be
answered right. The strong will help the weak, the rich will share with
the poor, and it will not be called charity, but it will be known as justice.
26
And the man or woman who fails to do his duty, not as he sees it, but as
society at large sees it, will be held up to the contempt of mankind. A
generation or two ago, Gloria, this mad unreasoning scramble for wealth
began. Men have fought, struggled and died, lured by the gleam of gold,
and to what end? The so-called fortunate few that succeed in obtaining
it, use it in divers ways. To some, lavish expenditure and display pleases
their swollen vanity. Others, more serious minded, gratify their selfishness
by giving largess to schools of learning and research, and to the advancement
of the sciences and arts. But here and there was found a man
gifted beyond his fellows, one with vision clear enough to distinguish
things worth while. And these, scorning to acquire either wealth or
power, labored diligently in their separate fields of endeavor. One such
became a great educator, the greatest of his day and generation, and by
his long life of rectitude set an example to the youth of America that has
done more good than all the gold that all the millionaires have given for
educational purposes. Another brought to success a prodigious physical
undertaking. For no further reason than that he might serve his country
where best he could, he went into a fever-laden land and dug a mighty
ditch, bringing together two great oceans and changing the commerce of
the world."
27
Chapter 6
THE PROPHET OF A NEW DAY
Philip and Mr. Strawn oftentimes discussed the mental and moral upheaval
that was now generally in evidence.
"What is to be the outcome, Philip?" said Mr. Strawn. "I know that
things are not as they should be, but how can there be a more even distribution
of wealth without lessening the efficiency of the strong, able and
energetic men and without making mendicants of the indolent and improvident?
If we had pure socialism, we could never get the highest endeavor
out of anyone, for it would seem not worth while to do more
than the average. The race would then go backward instead of lifting itself
higher by the insistent desire to excel and to reap the rich reward
that comes with success."
"In the past, Mr. Strawn, your contention would be unanswerable, but
the moral tone and thought of the world is changing. You take it for
granted that man must have in sight some material reward in order to
bring forth the best there is within him. I believe that mankind is
awakening to the fact that material compensation is far less to be desired
than spiritual compensation. This feeling will grow, it is growing, and
when it comes to full fruition, the world will find but little difficulty in
attaining a certain measure of altruism. I agree with you that this muchto-be
desired state of society cannot be altogether reached by laws,
however drastic. Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx cannot be entirely
brought about by a comprehensive system of state ownership and
by the leveling of wealth. If that were done without a spiritual leavening,
the result would be largely as you suggest."
And so the discussion ran, Strawn the embodiment of the old order of
thought and habit, and Philip the apostle of the new. And Gloria listened
and felt that in Philip a new force had arisen. She likened him to a young
eagle who, soaring high above a slumbering world, sees first the gleaming
rays of that onrushing sun that is soon to make another day.
28
Chapter 7
THE WINNING OF A MEDAL
It had become the practice of the War Department to present to the army
every five years a comprehensive military problem involving an imaginary
attack upon this country by a powerful foreign foe, and the proper
line of defense. The competition was open to both officers and men. A
medal was given to the successful contestant, and much distinction came
with it.
There had been as yet but one contest; five years before the medal had
been won by a Major General who by wide acclaim was considered the
greatest military authority in the Army. That he should win seemed to
accord with the fitness of things, and it was thought that he would again
be successful.
The problem had been given to the Army on the first of November,
and six months were allowed to study it and hand in a written dissertation
thereon. It was arranged that the general military staff that considered
the papers should not know the names of the contestants.
Philip had worked upon the matter assiduously while he was at Fort
Magruder, and had sent in his paper early in March. Great was his surprise
upon receiving a telegram from the Secretary of War announcing
that he had won the medal. For a few days he was a national sensation.
The distinction of the first winner, who was again a contestant, and
Philip's youth and obscurity, made such a striking contrast that the
whole situation appealed enormously to the imagination of the people.
Then, too, the problem was one of unusual interest, and it, as well as
Philip's masterly treatment of it, was published far and wide.
The Nation was clearly treating itself to a sensation, and upon Philip
were focused the eyes of all. From now he was a marked man. The President,
stirred by the wishes of a large part of the people, expressed by
them in divers ways, offered him reinstatement in the Army with the
rank of Major, and indicated, through the Secretary of War, that he
29
would be assigned as Secretary to the General Staff. It was a gracious
thing to do, even though it was prompted by that political instinct for
which the President had become justly famous.
In an appreciative note of thanks, Philip declined. Again he became
the talk of the hour. Poor, and until now obscure, it was assumed that he
would gladly seize such an opportunity for a brilliant career within his
profession. His friends were amazed and urged him to reconsider the
matter, but his determination was fixed.
Only Gloria understood and approved.
"Philip," said Mr. Strawn, "do not turn this offer down lightly. Such an
opportunity seldom comes twice in any man's life."
"I am deeply impressed with the truth of what you say, Mr. Strawn,
and I am not putting aside a military career without much regret.
However, I am now committed to a life work of a different character, one
in which glory and success as the world knows it can never enter, but
which appeals to every instinct that I possess. I have turned my face in
the one direction, and come what may, I shall never change."
"I am afraid, Philip, that in the enthusiasm of youth and inexperience
you are doing a foolish thing, one that will bring you many hours of bitter
regret. This is the parting of the ways with you. Take the advice of
one who loves you well and turn into the road leading to honor and success.
The path which you are about to choose is obscure and difficult,
and none may say just where it leads."
"What you say is true, Mr. Strawn, only we are measuring results by
different standards. If I could journey your road with a blythe heart, free
from regret, when glory and honor came, I should revel in it and die,
perhaps, happy and contented. But constituted as I am, when I began to
travel along that road, from its dust there would arise to haunt me the
ghosts of those of my fellowmen who had lived and died without opportunity.
The cold and hungry, the sick and suffering poor, would seem to
cry to me that I had abandoned them in order that I might achieve distinction
and success, and there would be for me no peace."
And here Gloria touched his hand with hers, that he might know her
thoughts and sympathy were at one with his.
Philip was human enough to feel a glow of satisfaction at having
achieved so much reputation. A large part of it, he felt, was undeserved
and rather hysterical, but that he had been able to do a big thing made
him surer of his ground in his new field of endeavor. He believed, too,
30
that it would aid him largely in obtaining the confidence of those with
whom he expected to work and of those he expected to work for.
31
Chapter 8
THE STORY OF THE LEVINSKYS
As soon as public attention was brought to Philip in such a generous
way, he received many offers to write for the press and magazines, and
also to lecture.
He did not wish to draw upon his father's slender resources, and yet
he must needs do something to meet his living expenses, for during the
months of his inactivity, he had drawn largely upon the small sum
which he had saved from his salary.
The Strawns were insistent that he should continue to make their
home his own, but this he was unwilling to do. So he rented an inexpensive
room over a small hardware store in the East Side tenement district.
He thought of getting in one of the big, evil-smelling tenement
houses so that he might live as those he came to help lived, but he abandoned
this because he feared he might become too absorbed in those immediately
around him.
What he wanted was a broader view. His purpose was not so much to
give individual help as to formulate some general plan and to work
upon those lines.
And yet he wished an intimate view of the things he meant to devote
his life to bettering. So the clean little room over the quiet hardware store
seemed to suit his wants.
The thin, sharp-featured Jew and his fat, homely wife who kept it had
lived in that neighborhood for many years, and Philip found them a
mine of useful information regarding the things he wished to know.
The building was narrow and but three stories high, and his landlord
occupied all of the second story save the one room which was let to
Philip.
He arranged with Mrs. Levinsky to have his breakfast with them. He
soon learned to like the Jew and his wife. While they were kind-hearted
and sympathetic, they seldom permitted their sympathy to encroach
32
upon their purse, but this Philip knew was a matter of environment and
early influence. He drew from them one day the story of their lives, and
it ran like this:
Ben Levinsky's forebears had long lived in Warsaw. From father to
son, from one generation to another, they had handed down a bookshop,
which included bookbinding in a small way. They were self-educated
and widely read. Their customers were largely among the gentiles and
for a long time the anti-semitic waves passed over them, leaving them
untouched. They were law-abiding, inoffensive, peaceable citizens, and
had been for generations.
One bleak December day, at a market place in Warsaw, a young Jew,
baited beyond endurance, struck out madly at his aggressors, and in the
general mêlée that followed, the son of a high official was killed. No one
knew how he became involved in the brawl, for he was a sober, highminded
youngster, and very popular. Just how he was killed and by
whom was never known. But the Jew had struck the first blow and that
was all sufficient for the blood of hate to surge in the eyes of the racemad
mob.
Then began a blind, unreasoning massacre. It all happened within an
hour. It was as if after nightfall a tornado had come out of the west, and
without warning had torn and twisted itself through the city, leaving ruin
and death in its wake. No Jew that could be found was spared. Saul
Levinsky was sitting in his shop looking over some books that had just
come from the binder. He heard shots in the distance and the dull, angry
roar of the hoarse-voiced mob. He closed his door and bolted it, and
went up the little stairs leading to his family quarters. His wife and sixyear-old
daughter were there. Ben, a boy of ten, had gone to a
nobleman's home to deliver some books, and had not returned.
Levinsky expected the mob to pass his place and leave it unmolested.
It stopped, hesitated and then rammed in the door. It was all over in a
moment. Father, mother and child lay dead and torn almost limb from
limb. The rooms were wrecked, and the mob moved on.
The tempest passed as quickly as it came, and when little Ben reached
his home, the street was as silent as the grave.
With quivering lip and uncertain feet he picked his way from room to
room until he came to what were once his father, mother and baby sister,
and then he swooned away. When he awoke he was shivering with cold.
For a moment he did not realize what had happened, then with a
33
heartbreaking cry he fled the place, nor did he stop until he was a league
away.
He crept under the sheltering eaves of a half-burned house, and cold
and miserable he sobbed himself to sleep. In the morning an itinerant
tinker came by and touched by the child's distress, drew from him his
unhappy story. He was a lonely old man, and offered to take Ben with
him, an offer which was gladly accepted.
We will not chronicle the wanderings of these two in pursuit of food
and shelter, for it would take too long to tell in sequence how they finally
reached America, of the tinker's death, and of the evolution of the
tinker's pack to the well ordered hardware shop over which Philip lived.
34
Chapter 9
PHILIP BEGINS A NEW CAREER
After sifting the offers made him, Philip finally accepted two, one from a
large New York daily that syndicated throughout the country, and one
from a widely read magazine, to contribute a series of twelve articles.
Both the newspaper and the magazine wished to dictate the subject matter
about which he was to write, but he insisted upon the widest latitude.
The sum paid, and to be paid, seemed to him out of proportion to the
service rendered, but he failed to take into account the value of the advertising
to those who had secured the use of his pen.
He accepted the offers not alone because he must needs do something
for a livelihood, but largely for the good he thought he might do the
cause to which he was enlisted. He determined to write upon social subjects
only, though he knew that this would be a disappointment to his
publishers. He wanted to write an article or two before he began his permanent
work, for if he wrote successfully, he thought it would add to his
influence. So he began immediately, and finished his first contribution to
the syndicate newspapers in time for them to use it the following
Sunday.
He told in a simple way, the story of the Turners. In conclusion he said
the rich and the well-to-do were as a rule charitable enough when distress
came to their doors, but the trouble was that they were unwilling to
seek it out. They knew that it existed but they wanted to come in touch
with it as little as possible.
They smothered their consciences with the thought that there were organized
societies and other mediums through which all poverty was
reached, and to these they gave. They knew that this was not literally
true, but it served to make them think less badly of themselves.
In a direct and forceful manner, he pointed out that our civilization was fundamentally
wrong inasmuch as among other things, it restricted efficiency; that
if society were properly organized, there would be none who were not
35
sufficiently clothed and fed; that the laws, habits and ethical training in vogue
were alike responsible for the inequalities in opportunity and the consequent
wide difference between the few and the many; that the result of such conditions
was to render inefficient a large part of the population, the percentage differing
in each country in the ratio that education and enlightened and unselfish laws
bore to ignorance, bigotry and selfish laws. But little progress, he said, had
been made in the early centuries for the reason that opportunity had
been confined to a few, and it was only recently that any considerable
part of the world's population had been in a position to become efficient;
and mark the result. Therefore, he argued, as an economical proposition,
divorced from the realm of ethics, the far- sighted statesmen of to-morrow,
if not of to-day, will labor to the end that every child born of woman
may have an opportunity to accomplish that for which it is best fitted.
Their bodies will be properly clothed and fed at the minimum
amount of exertion, so that life may mean something more than a mere
struggle for existence. Humanity as a whole will then be able to do its
share towards the conquest of the complex forces of nature, and there
will be brought about an intellectual and spiritual quickening that will
make our civilization of to-day seem as crude, as selfish and illogical as
that of the dark ages seem now to us.
Philip's article was widely read and was the subject of much comment,
favorable and otherwise. There were the ever-ready few, who want to remake
the world in a day, that objected to its moderation, and there were
his more numerous critics who hold that to those that have, more should
be given. These considered his doctrine dangerous to the general welfare,
meaning their own welfare. But upon the greater number it made a
profound impression, and it awakened many a sleeping conscience as
was shown by the hundreds of letters which he received from all parts of
the country. All this was a tremendous encouragement to the young social
worker, for the letters he received showed him that he had a definite
public to address, whom he might lead if he could keep his medium for a
time at least. Naturally, the publishers of the newspaper and magazine
for which he wrote understood this, but they also understood that it was
usually possible to control intractable writers after they had acquired a
taste for publicity, and their attitude was for the time being one of general
enthusiasm and liberality tempered by such trivial attempts at control
as had already been made.
No sooner had he seen the first story in print than he began formulating
his ideas for a second. This, he planned, would be a companion piece
to that of the Turners which was typical of the native American family
36
driven to the East Side by the inevitable workings of the social order, and
would take up the problem of the foreigner immigrating to this country,
and its effect upon our national life. In this second article he incorporated
the story of the Levinskys as being fairly representative of the problem
he wished to treat.
In preparing these articles, Philip had used his eyes for the first time in
such work, and he was pleased to find no harm came of it. The oculist
still cautioned moderation, but otherwise dismissed him as fully
recovered.
37
Chapter 10
GLORIA DECIDES TO PROSELYTE THE RICH
While Philip was establishing himself in New York, as a social worker
and writer, Gloria was spending more and more of her time in settlement
work, in spite of the opposition of her family. Naturally, their work
brought them much into each other's society, and drew them even closer
together than in Philip's dark days when Gloria was trying to aid him in
the readjustment of his life. They were to all appearances simply comrades
in complete understanding, working together for a common cause.
However, Strawn's opposition to Gloria's settlement work was not all
impersonal, for he made no secret of his worry over Gloria's evident admiration
for Dru. Strawn saw in Philip a masterly man with a prodigious
intellect, bent upon accomplishing a revolutionary adjustment of society,
and he knew that nothing would deter him from his purpose. The magnitude
of the task and the uncertainties of success made him fear that
Gloria might become one of the many unhappy women who suffer martyrdom
through the greatness of their love.
Gloria's mother felt the same way about her daughter's companion in
settlement work. Mrs. Strawn was a placid, colorless woman, content to
go the conventional way, without definite purpose, further than to avoid
the rougher places in life.
She was convinced that men were placed here for the sole purpose of
shielding and caring for women, and she had a contempt for any man
who refused or was unable to do so.
Gloria's extreme advanced views of life alarmed her and seemed unnatural.
She protested as strongly as she could, without upsetting her
equanimity, for to go beyond that she felt was unladylike and bad for
both nerves and digestion. It was a grief for her to see Gloria actually
working with anyone, much less Philip, whose theories were quite upsetting,
and who, after all, was beyond the pale of their social sphere and
was impossible as a son-in-law.
38
Consequently, Philip was not surprised when one day in the fall, he
received a disconsolate note from Gloria who was spending a few weeks
with her parents at their camp in the hills beyond Tuxedo, saying that
her father had flatly refused to allow her to take a regular position with
one of the New York settlements, which would require her living on the
East Side instead of at home. The note concluded:
"Now, Philip, do come up for Sunday and let's talk it over, for I am
sadly at variance with my family, and I need your assistance and advice.
"Your very sincere,
"GLORIA."
The letter left Dru in a strangely disturbed state of mind, and all during
the trip up from New York his thoughts were on Gloria and what the
future would bring forth to them both.
On the afternoon following his arrival at the camp, as he and the
young woman walked over the hills aflame with autumnal splendor,
Gloria told of her bitter disappointment. The young man listened in sympathy,
but after a long pause in which she saw him weighing the whole
question in his mind, he said: "Well, Gloria, so far as your work alone is
concerned, there is something better that you can do if you will. The
most important things to be done now are not amongst the poor but
amongst the rich. There is where you may become a forceful missionary
for good. All of us can reach the poor, for they welcome us, but there are
only a few who think like you, who can reach the rich and powerful.
"Let that be your field of endeavor. Do your work gently and with
moderation, so that some at least may listen. If we would convince and
convert, we must veil our thoughts and curb our enthusiasm, so that
those we would influence will think us reasonable."
"Well, Philip," answered Gloria, "if you really think I can help the
cause, of course—"
"I'm sure you can help the cause. A lack of understanding is the chief
obstacle, but, Gloria, you know that this is not an easy thing for me to
say, for I realize that it will largely take you out of my life, for my path
leads in the other direction.
"It will mean that I will no longer have you as a daily inspiration, and
the sordidness and loneliness will press all the harder, but we have seen
the true path, and now have a clearer understanding of the meaning and
importance of our work."
39
"And so, Philip, it is decided that you will go back to the East Side to
your destiny, and I will remain here, there and everywhere, Newport,
New York, Palm Beach, London, carrying on my work as I see it."
They had wandered long and far by now, and had come again to the
edge of the lofty forest that was a part of her father's estate. They stood
for a moment in that vast silence looking into each other's eyes, and then
they clasped hands over their tacit compact, and without a word, walked
back to the bungalow.
40
Chapter 11
SELWYN PLOTS WITH THOR
For five years Gloria and Philip worked in their separate fields, but, nevertheless,
coming in frequent touch with one another. Gloria proselyting
the rich by showing them their selfishness, and turning them to a larger
purpose in life, and Philip leading the forces of those who had consecrated
themselves to the uplifting of the unfortunate. It did not take Philip
long to discern that in the last analysis it would be necessary for himself
and co-workers to reach the results aimed at through politics. Masterful
and arrogant wealth, created largely by Government protection of its
profits, not content with its domination and influence within a single
party, had sought to corrupt them both, and to that end had insinuated
itself into the primaries, in order that no candidates might be nominated
whose views were not in accord with theirs.
By the use of all the money that could be spent, by a complete and
compact organization and by the most infamous sort of deception regarding
his real opinions and intentions, plutocracy had succeeded in
electing its creature to the Presidency. There had been formed a league,
the membership of which was composed of one thousand multi-millionaires,
each one contributing ten thousand dollars. This gave a fund of ten
million dollars with which to mislead those that could be misled, and to
debauch the weak and uncertain.
This nefarious plan was conceived by a senator whose swollen fortune
had been augmented year after year through the tributes paid him by the
interests he represented. He had a marvelous aptitude for political manipulation
and organization, and he forged a subtle chain with which to
hold in subjection the natural impulses of the people. His plan was
simple, but behind it was the cunning of a mind that had never known
defeat. There was no man in either of the great political parties that was
big enough to cope with him or to unmask his methods.
Up to the advent of Senator Selwyn, the interests had not successfully
concealed their hands. Sometimes the public had been mistaken as to the
41
true character of their officials, but sooner or later the truth had developed,
for in most instances, wealth was openly for or against certain
men and measures. But the adroit Selwyn moved differently.
His first move was to confer with John Thor, the high priest of finance,
and unfold his plan to him, explaining how essential was secrecy. It was
agreed between them that it should be known to the two of them only.
Thor's influence throughout commercial America was absolute. His
wealth, his ability and even more the sum of the capital he could control
through the banks, trust companies and industrial organizations, which
he dominated, made his word as potent as that of a monarch.
He and Selwyn together went over the roll and selected the thousand
that were to give each ten thousand dollars. Some they omitted for one
reason or another, but when they had finished they had named those
who could make or break within a day any man or corporation within
their sphere of influence. Thor was to send for each of the thousand and
compliment him by telling him that there was a matter, appertaining to
the general welfare of the business fraternity, which needed twenty
thousand dollars, that he, Thor, would put up ten, and wanted him to
put up as much, that sometime in the future, or never, as the circumstances
might require, would he make a report as to the expenditure and
purpose therefor.
There were but few men of business between the Atlantic and Pacific,
or between Canada and Mexico, who did not consider themselves fortunate
in being called to New York by Thor, and in being asked to join him
in a blind pool looking to the safe-guarding of wealth. Consequently, the
amassing of this great corruption fund in secret was simple. If necessity
had demanded it twice the sum could have been raised. The money
when collected was placed in Thor's name in different banks controlled
by him, and Thor, from time to time, as requested by Selwyn, placed in
banks designated by him whatever sums were needed. Selwyn then
transferred these amounts to the private bank of his son-in-law, who became
final paymaster. The result was that the public had no chance of
obtaining any knowledge of the fund or how it was spent.
The plan was simple, the result effective. Selwyn had no one to interfere
with him. The members of the pool had contributed blindly to Thor,
and Thor preferred not to know what Selwyn was doing nor how he did
it. It was a one man power which in the hands of one possessing ability
of the first class, is always potent for good or evil.
42
Not only did Selwyn plan to win the Presidency, but he also planned
to bring under his control both the Senate and the Supreme Court. He selected
one man in each of thirty of the States, some of them belonging to
his party and some to the opposition, whom he intended to have run for
the Senate.
If he succeeded in getting twenty of them elected, he counted upon
having a good majority of the Senate, because there were already thirtyeight
Senators upon whom he could rely in any serious attack upon corporate
wealth.
As to the Supreme Court, of the nine justices there were three that
were what he termed "safe and sane," and another that could be counted
upon in a serious crisis.
Three of them, upon whom he could not rely, were of advanced age,
and it was practically certain that the next President would have that
many vacancies to fill. Then there would be an easy working majority.
His plan contemplated nothing further than this. His intention was to
block all legislation adverse to the interests. He would have no new laws
to fear, and of the old, the Supreme Court would properly interpret
them.
He did not intend that his Senators should all vote alike, speak alike,
or act from apparently similar motives. Where they came from States
dominated by corporate wealth, he would have them frankly vote in the
open, and according to their conviction.
When they came from agricultural States, where the sentiment was
known as "progressive," they could cover their intentions in many ways.
One method was by urging an amendment so radical that no honest progressive
would consent to it, and then refusing to support the more moderate
measure because it did not go far enough. Another was to inject
some clause that was clearly unconstitutional, and insist upon its adoption,
and refusing to vote for the bill without its insertion.
Selwyn had no intention of letting any one Senator know that he controlled
any other senator. There were to be no caucuses, no conferences
of his making, or anything that looked like an organization. He was the
center, and from him radiated everything appertaining to measures affecting
"the interests."
43
Chapter 12
SELWYN SEEKS A CANDIDATE
Selwyn then began carefully scrutinizing such public men in the States
known as Presidential cradles, as seemed to him eligible. By a process of
elimination he centered upon two that appeared desirable.
One was James R. Rockland, recently elected Governor of a State of the
Middle West. The man had many of the earmarks of a demagogue,
which Selwyn readily recognized, and he therefore concluded to try him
first.
Accordingly he went to the capital of the State ostensibly upon private
business, and dropped in upon the Governor in the most casual way.
Rockland was distinctly flattered by the attention, for Selwyn was, perhaps,
the best known figure in American politics, while he, himself, had
only begun to attract attention. They had met at conventions and elsewhere,
but they were practically unacquainted, for Rockland had never
been permitted to enter the charmed circle which gathered around
Selwyn.
"Good morning, Governor," said Selwyn, when he had been admitted
to Rockland's private room. "I was passing through the capital and I
thought I would look in on you and see how your official cares were using
you."
"I am glad to see you, Senator," said Rockland effusively, "very glad,
for there are some party questions coming up at the next session of the
Legislature about which I particularly desire your advice."
"I have but a moment now, Rockland," answered the Senator, "but if
you will dine with me in my rooms at the Mandell House to-night it will
be a pleasure to talk over such matters with you."
"Thank you, Senator, at what hour?"
"You had better come at seven for if I finish my business here to-day, I
shall leave on the 10 o'clock for Washington," said Selwyn.
44
Thus in the most casual way the meeting was arranged. As a matter of
fact, Rockland had no party matters to discuss, and Selwyn knew it. He
also knew that Rockland was ambitious to become a leader, and to get
within the little group that controlled the party and the Nation.
Rockland was a man of much ability, but he fell far short of measuring
up with Selwyn, who was in a class by himself. The Governor was a
good orator, at times even brilliant, and while not a forceful man, yet he
had magnetism which served him still better in furthering his political
fortunes. He was not one that could be grossly corrupted, yet he was
willing to play to the galleries in order to serve his ambition, and he was
willing to forecast his political acts in order to obtain potential support.
When he reached the Mandell House, he was at once shown to the
Senator's rooms. Selwyn received him cordially enough to be polite, and
asked him if he would not look over the afternoon paper for a moment
while he finished a note he was writing. He wrote leisurely, then rang for
a boy and ordered dinner to be served.
Selwyn merely tasted the wine (he seldom did more) but Rockland
drank freely though not to excess. After they had talked over the local
matters which were supposed to be the purpose of the conference, much
to Rockland's delight, the Senator began to discuss national politics.
"Rockland," began Selwyn, "can you hold this state in line at next
year's election?"
"I feel sure that I can, Senator, why do you ask?"
"Since we have been talking here," he replied, "it has occurred to me
that if you could be nominated and elected again, the party might do
worse than to consider you for the presidential nomination the year
following.
"No, my dear fellow, don't interrupt me," continued Selwyn
mellifluously.
"It is strange how fate or chance enters into the life of man and even of
nations. A business matter calls me here, I pass your office and think to
pay my respects to the Governor of the State. Some political questions
are perplexing you, and my presence suggests that I may aid in their
solution. This dinner follows, your personality appeals to me, and the
thought flits through my mind, why should not Rockland, rather than
some other man, lead the party two years from now?
45
"And the result, my dear Rockland, may be, probably will be, your becoming
chief magistrate of the greatest republic the sun has ever shone
on."
Rockland by this time was fairly hypnotized by Selwyn's words, and
by their tremendous import. For a moment he dared not trust himself to
speak.
"Senator Selwyn," he said at last, "it would be idle for me to deny that
you have excited within me an ambition that a moment ago would have
seemed worse than folly. Your influence within the party and your ability
to conduct a campaign, gives to your suggestion almost the tender of
the presidency. To tell you that I am deeply moved does scant justice to
my feelings. If, after further consideration, you think me worthy of the
honor, I shall feel under lasting obligations to you which I shall endeavor
to repay in every way consistent with honor and with a sacred regard for
my oath of office."
"I want to tell you frankly, Rockland," answered Selwyn, "that up to
now I have had someone else in mind, but I am in no sense committed,
and we might as well discuss the matter to as near a conclusion as is possible
at this time."
Selwyn's voice hardened a little as he went on. "You would not want a
nomination that could not carry with a reasonable certainty of election,
therefore I would like to go over with you your record, both public and
private, in the most open yet confidential way. It is better that you and I,
in the privacy of these rooms, should lay bare your past than that it
should be done in a bitter campaign and by your enemies. What we say
to one another here is to be as if never spoken, and the grave itself must
not be more silent. Your private life not only needs to be clean, but there
must be no public act at which any one can point an accusing finger."
"Of course, of course," said Rockland, with a gesture meant to convey
the complete openness of his record.
"Then comes the question of party regularity," continued Selwyn,
without noticing. "Be candid with me, for, if you are not, the recoil will
be upon your own head."
"I am sure that I can satisfy you on every point, Senator. I have never
scratched a party ticket nor have I ever voted against any measure endorsed
by a party caucus," said Governor Rockland.
"That is well," smiled the Senator. "I assume that in making your important
appointments you will consult those of us who have stood
46
sponsor for you, not only to the party but to the country. It would be
very humiliating to me if I should insist upon your nomination and election
and then should for four years have to apologize for what I had
done."
Musingly, as if contemplating the divine presence in the works of
man, Selwyn went on, while he closely watched Rockland from behind
his half- closed eyelids.
"Our scheme of Government contemplates, I think, a diffuse responsibility,
my dear Rockland. While a president has a constitutional right to
act alone, he has no moral right to act contrary to the tenets and traditions
of his party, or to the advice of the party leaders, for the country accepts
the candidate, the party and the party advisers as a whole and not
severally.
"It is a natural check, which by custom the country has endorsed as
wise, and which must be followed in order to obtain a proper organization.
Do you follow me, Governor, and do you endorse this unwritten
law?"
If Rockland had heard this at second hand, if he had read it, or if it had
related to someone other than himself, he would have detected the sophistry
of it. But, exhilarated by wine and intoxicated by ambition, he saw
nothing but a pledge to deal squarely by the organization.
"Senator," he replied fulsomely, "gratitude is one of the tenets of my
religion, and therefore inversely ingratitude is unknown to me. You and
the organization can count on my loyalty from the beginning to the end,
for I shall never fail you.
"I know you will not ask me to do anything at which my conscience
will rebel, nor to make an appointment that is not entirely fit."
"That, Rockland, goes without saying," answered the Senator with dignity.
"I have all the wealth and all the position that I desire. I want nothing
now except to do my share towards making my native land grow in
prosperity, and to make the individual citizen more contented. To do
this we must cease this eternal agitation, this constant proposal of halfbaked
measures, which the demagogues are offering as a panacea to all
the ills that flesh is heir to.
"We need peace, legislative and political peace, so that our people may
turn to their industries and work them to success, in the wholesome
knowledge that the laws governing commerce and trade conditions will
not be disturbed over night."
47
"I agree with you there, Senator," said Rockland eagerly.
"We have more new laws now than we can digest in a decade," continued
Selwyn, "so let us have rest until we do digest them. In Europe the
business world works under stable conditions. There we find no proposal
to change the money system between moons, there we find no uncertainty
from month to month regarding the laws under which manufacturers
are to make their products, but with us, it is a wise man who
knows when he can afford to enlarge his output.
"A high tariff threatens to-day, a low one to-morrow, and a large part
of the time the business world lies in helpless perplexity.
"I take it, Rockland, that you are in favor of stability, that you will join
me in my endeavors to give the country a chance to develop itself and its
marvelous natural resources."
As a matter of fact, Rockland's career had given no evidence of such
views. He had practically committed his political fortunes on the side of
the progressives, but the world had turned around since then, and he
viewed things differently.
"Senator," he said, his voice tense in his anxiety to prove his reliability,
"I find that in the past I have taken only a cursory view of conditions. I
see clearly that what you have outlined is a high order of statesmanship.
You are constructive: I have been on the side of those who would tear
down. I will gladly join hands with you and build up, so that the wealth
and power of this country shall come to equal that of any two nations in
existence."
Selwyn settled back in his chair, nodding his approval and telling himself
that he would not need to seek further for his candidate.
At Rockland's earnest solicitation he remained over another day. The
Governor gave him copies of his speeches and messages, so that he could
assure himself that there was no serious flaw in his public record.
Selwyn cautioned him about changing his attitude too suddenly. "Go
on, Rockland, as you have done in the past. It will not do to see the light
too quickly. You have the progressives with you now, keep them, and I
will let the conservatives know that you think straight and may be
trusted.
"We must consult frequently together," he continued, "but cautiously.
There is no need for any one to know that we are working together harmoniously.
I may even get some of the conservative papers to attack you
48
judiciously. It will not harm you. But, above all, do nothing of importance
without consulting me.
"I am committing the party and the Nation to you, and my responsibility
is a heavy one, and I owe it to them that no mistakes are made."
"You may trust me, Senator," said Rockland. "I understand perfectly."
49
Chapter 13
DRU AND SELWYN MEET
The roads of destiny oftentimes lead us in strange and unlooked for directions
and bring together those whose thoughts and purposes are as
wide as space itself. When Gloria Strawn first entered boarding school,
the roommate given her was Janet Selwyn, the youngest daughter of the
Senator. They were alike in nothing, except, perhaps, in their fine perception
of truth and honor. But they became devoted friends and had carried
their attachment for one another beyond their schoolgirl days. Gloria
was a frequent visitor at the Selwyn household both in Washington
and Philadelphia, and was a favorite with the Senator. He often bantered
her concerning her "socialistic views," and she in turn would declare that
he would some day see the light. Now and then she let fall a hint of
Philip, and one day Senator Selwyn suggested that she invite him over to
Philadelphia to spend the week end with them. "Gloria, I would like to
meet this paragon of the ages," said he jestingly, "although I am somewhat
fearful that he may persuade me to 'sell all that I have and give it to
the poor.'"
"I will promise to protect you during this one visit, Senator," said Gloria,
"but after that I shall leave you to your fate."
"Dear Philip," wrote Gloria, "the great Senator Selwyn has expressed a
wish to know you, and at his suggestion, I am writing to ask you here to
spend with us the coming week end. I have promised that you will not
denude him of all his possessions at your first meeting, but beyond that I
have refused to go. Seriously, though, I think you should come, for if you
would know something of politics, then why not get your lessons from
the fountain head?
"Your very sincere,
"GLORIA."
In reply Philip wrote:
50
"Dear Gloria: You are ever anticipating my wishes. In the crusade we
are making I find it essential to know politics, if we are to reach the final
goal that we have in mind, and you have prepared the way for the first
lesson. I will be over to-morrow on the four o'clock. Please do not bother
to meet me.
"Faithfully yours,
"PHILIP."
Gloria and Janet Strawn were at the station to meet him. "Janet, this is
Mr. Dru," said Gloria. "It makes me very happy to have my two best
friends meet." As they got in her electric runabout, Janet Strawn said,
"Since dinner will not be served for two hours or more, let us drive in the
park for a while." Gloria was pleased to see that Philip was interested in
the bright, vivacious chatter of her friend, and she was glad to hear him
respond in the same light strain. However, she was confessedly nervous
when Senator Selwyn and Philip met. Though in different ways, she admired
them both profoundly. Selwyn had a delightful personality, and
Gloria felt sure that Philip would come measurably under the influence
of it, even though their views were so widely divergent. And in this she
was right. Here, she felt, were two great antagonists, and she was eager
for the intellectual battle to begin. But she was to be disappointed, for
Philip became the listener, and did but little of the talking. He led Senator
Selwyn into a dissertation upon the present conditions of the country,
and the bearing of the political questions upon them. Selwyn said nothing
indiscreet, yet he unfolded to Philip's view a new and potential
world. Later in the evening, the Senator was unsuccessful in his efforts to
draw from his young guest his point of view. Philip saw the futility of
such a discussion, and contented Selwyn by expressing an earnest appreciation
of his patience in making clear so many things about which he
had been ignorant. Next morning, Senator Selwyn was strolling with
Gloria in the rose garden, when he said, "Gloria, I like your friend Dru. I
do not recall ever having met any one like him." "Then you got him to
talk after we left last night. I am so glad. I was afraid he had on one of his
quiet spells."
"No, he said but little, but the questions he asked gave me glimpses of
his mind that sometimes startled me. He was polite, modest but elusive,
nevertheless, I like him, and shall see more of him." Far sighted as Selwyn
was, he did not know the full extent of this prophecy.
51
Chapter 14
THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT
Selwyn now devoted himself to the making of enough conservative senators
to control comfortably that body. The task was not difficult to a
man of his sagacity with all the money he could spend.
Newspapers were subsidized in ways they scarcely recognized themselves.
Honest officials who were in the way were removed by offering
them places vastly more remunerative, and in this manner he built up a
strong, intelligent and well constructed machine. It was done so sanely
and so quietly that no one suspected the master mind behind it all. Selwyn
was responsible to no one, took no one into his confidence, and was
therefore in no danger of betrayal.
It was a fascinating game to Selwyn. It appealed to his intellectual side
far more than it did to his avarice. He wanted to govern the Nation with
an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power. He arranged
to have his name appear less frequently in the press and he never
submitted to interviews, laughingly ridding himself of reporters by asserting
that he knew nothing of importance. He had a supreme contempt
for the blatant self-advertised politician, and he removed himself as far
as possible from that type.
In the meantime his senators were being elected, the Rockland sentiment
was steadily growing and his nomination was finally brought
about by the progressives fighting vigorously for him and the conservatives
yielding a reluctant consent. It was done so adroitly that Rockland
would have been fooled himself, had not Selwyn informed him in advance
of each move as it was made.
After the nomination, Selwyn had trusted men put in charge of the
campaign, which he organized himself, though largely under cover. The
opposition party had every reason to believe that they would be successful,
and it was a great intellectual treat to Selwyn to overcome their natural
advantages by the sheer force of ability, plus what money he needed
52
to carry out his plans. He put out the cry of lack of funds, and indeed it
seemed to be true, for he was too wise to make a display of his resources.
To ward heelers, to the daily press, and to professional stump speakers,
he gave scant comfort. It was not to such sources that he looked for
success.
He began by eliminating all states he knew the opposition party would
certainly carry, but he told the party leaders there to claim that a revolution
was brewing, and that a landslide would follow at the election. This
would keep his antagonists busy and make them less effective
elsewhere.
He also ignored the states where his side was sure to win. In this way
he was free to give his entire thoughts to the twelve states that were debatable,
and upon whose votes the election would turn. He divided each
of these states into units containing five thousand voters, and, at the national
headquarters, he placed one man in charge of each unit. Of the five
thousand, he roughly calculated there would be two thousand voters
that no kind of persuasion could turn from his party and two thousand
that could not be changed from the opposition. This would leave one
thousand doubtful ones to win over. So he had a careful poll made in
each unit, and eliminated the strictly unpersuadable party men, and got
down to a complete analysis of the debatable one thousand. Information
was obtained as to their race, religion, occupation and former political
predilection. It was easy then to know how to reach each individual by
literature, by persuasion or perhaps by some more subtle argument. No
mistake was made by sending the wrong letter or the wrong man to any
of the desired one thousand.
In the states so divided, there was, at the local headquarters, one man
for each unit just as at the national headquarters. So these two had only
each other to consider, and their duty was to bring to Rockland a majority
of the one thousand votes within their charge. The local men gave the
conditions, the national men gave the proper literature and advice, and
the local man then applied it. The money that it cost to maintain such an
organization was more than saved from the waste that would have occurred
under the old method.
The opposition management was sending out tons of printed matter,
but they sent it to state headquarters that, in turn, distributed it to the
county organizations, where it was dumped into a corner and given to
visitors when asked for. Selwyn's committee used one-fourth as much
53
printed matter, but it went in a sealed envelope, along with a cordial letter,
direct to a voter that had as yet not decided how he would vote.
The opposition was sending speakers at great expense from one end of
the country to the other, and the sound of their voices rarely fell on any
but friendly and sympathetic ears. Selwyn sent men into his units to personally
persuade each of the one thousand hesitating voters to support
the Rockland ticket.
The opposition was spending large sums upon the daily press. Selwyn
used the weekly press so that he could reach the fireside of every farmer
and the dweller in the small country towns. These were the ones that
would read every line in their local papers and ponder over it.
The opposition had its candidates going by special train to every part
of the Union, making many speeches every day, and mostly to voters
that could not be driven from him either by force or persuasion. The
leaders in cities, both large and small, would secure a date and, having in
mind for themselves a postmastership or collectorship, would tell their
followers to turn out in great force and give the candidate a big ovation.
They wanted the candidate to remember the enthusiasm of these places,
and to leave greatly pleased and under the belief that he was making untold
converts. As a matter of fact his voice would seldom reach any but a
staunch partisan.
Selwyn kept Rockland at home, and arranged to have him meet by
special appointment the important citizens of the twelve uncertain states.
He would have the most prominent party leader, in a particular state, go
to a rich brewer or large manufacturer, whose views had not yet been
crystallized, and say, "Governor Rockland has expressed a desire to
know you, and I would like to arrange a meeting." The man approached
would be flattered to think he was of such importance that a candidate
for the presidency had expressed a desire to meet him. He would know
it was his influence that was wanted but, even so, there was a subtle flattery
in that. An appointment would be arranged. Just before he came into
Rockland's presence, his name and a short epitome of his career
would be handed to Rockland to read. When he reached Rockland's
home he would at first be denied admittance. His sponsor would
say,—"this is Mr. Munting of Muntingville." "Oh, pardon me, Mr. Munting,
Governor Rockland expects you."
And in this way he is ushered into the presence of the great. His fame,
up to a moment ago, was unknown to Rockland, but he now grasps his
hand cordially and says,—"I am delighted to know you, Mr. Munting. I
54
recall the address you made a few years ago when you gave a library to
Muntingville. It is men of your type that have made America what it is
to-day, and, whether you support me or not, if I am elected President it
is such as you that I hope will help sustain my hands in my effort to give
to our people a clean, sane and conservative government."
When Munting leaves he is stepping on air. He sees visions of visits to
Washington to consult the President upon matters of state, and perhaps
he sees an ambassadorship in the misty future. He becomes Rockland's
ardent supporter, and his purse is open and his influence is used to the
fullest extent.
And this was Selwyn's way. It was all so simple. The opposition was
groaning under the thought of having one hundred millions of people to
reach, and of having to persuade a majority of twenty millions of voters
to take their view.
Selwyn had only one thousand doubtful voters in each of a few units
on his mind, and he knew the very day when a majority of them had decided
to vote for Rockland, and that his fight was won. The pay-roll of
the opposition was filled with incompetent political hacks, that had been
fastened upon the management by men of influence. Selwyn's force,
from end to end, was composed of able men who did a full day's work
under the eye of their watchful taskmaster.
And Selwyn won and Rockland became the keystone of the arch he
had set out to build.
There followed in orderly succession the inauguration, the selection of
cabinet officers and the new administration was launched.
Drunk with power and the adulation of sycophants, once or twice
Rockland asserted himself, and acted upon important matters without
having first conferred with Selwyn. But, after he had been bitterly assailed
by Selwyn's papers and by his senators, he made no further attempts
at independence. He felt that he was utterly helpless in that
strong man's hands, and so, indeed, he was.
One of the Supreme Court justices died, two retired because of age,
and all were replaced by men suggested by Selwyn.
He now had the Senate, the Executive and a majority of the Court of
last resort. The government was in his hands. He had reached the summit
of his ambition, and the joy of it made all his work seem worth
while.
55
But Selwyn, great man that he was, did not know, could not know,
that when his power was greatest it was most insecure. He did not
know, could not know, what force was working to his ruin and to the ruin
of his system.
Take heart, therefore, you who had lost faith in the ultimate destiny of
the Republic, for a greater than Selwyn is here to espouse your cause. He
comes panoplied in justice and with the light of reason in his eyes. He
comes as the advocate of equal opportunity and he comes with the
power to enforce his will.
56
Chapter 15
THE EXULTANT CONSPIRATORS
It was a strange happening, the way the disclosure was made and the
Nation came to know of the Selwyn-Thor conspiracy to control the
government.
Thor, being without any delicate sense of honor, was in the habit of using
a dictagraph to record what was intended to be confidential conversations.
He would take these confidential records, clearly mark them,
and place them in his private safe within the vault. When the transaction
to which they related was closed he destroyed them.
The character of the instrument was carefully concealed. It was a part
of a massive piece of office furniture, which answered for a table as well.
In order to facilitate his correspondence, he often used it for dictating,
and no one but Thor knew that it was ever put into commission for other
purposes.
He had never, but once, had occasion to use a record that related to a
private conversation or agreement. Then it concerned a matter involving
a large sum, a demand having been made upon him that smacked of
blackmail. He arranged a meeting, which his opponent regarded as an
indication that he was willing to yield. There were present the contestant,
his lawyer, Thor's counsel and Thor himself.
"Before discussing the business that is before us," said Thor, "I think
you would all enjoy, more or less, a record which I have in my dictagraph,
and which I have just listened to with a great deal of pleasure."
He handed a tube to each and started the machine. It is a pity that
Hogarth could not have been present to have painted the several expressions
that came upon the faces of those four. A quiet but amused satisfaction
beamed from Thor, and his counsel could not conceal a broad
smile, but the wretched victim was fairly sick from mortification and defeated
avarice. He finally could stand no more and took the tube from his
ear, reached for his hat and was gone.
57
Thor had not seen Selwyn for a long time, but one morning, when he
was expecting another for whom he had his dictagraph set, Selwyn was
announced. He asked him in and gave orders that they were not to be
disturbed. When Selwyn had assured himself that they were absolutely
alone he told Thor his whole story.
It was of absorbing interest, and Thor listened fairly hypnotized by the
recital, which at times approached the dramatic. It was the first time that
Selwyn had been able to unbosom himself, and he enjoyed the impression
he was making upon the great financier. When he told how Rockland
had made an effort for freedom and how he brought him back,
squirming under his defeat, they laughed joyously.
Rich though he was beyond the dreams of avarice, rich as no man had
ever before been, Thor could not refrain from a mental calculation of
how enormously such a situation advanced his fortune. There was to be
no restriction now, he could annihilate and absorb at will. He had grown
so powerful that his mental equilibrium was unbalanced upon the question
of accretion. He wanted more, he must have more, and now, by the
aid of Selwyn, he would have more. He was so exultant that he gave
some expression to his thoughts, and Selwyn, cynical as he was, was
shocked and began to fear the consequences of his handiwork.
He insisted upon Selwyn's lunching with him in order to celebrate the
triumph of "their" plan. Selwyn was amused at the plural. They went to a
near-by club and remained for several hours talking of things of general
interest, for Selwyn refused to discuss his victory after they had left the
protecting walls of Thor's office.
Thor had forgotten his other engagement, and along with it he forgot
the dictagraph that he had set. When he returned to his office he could
not recall whether or not he had set the dictagraph. He looked at it, saw
that it was not set, but that there was an unused record in it and dismissed
it from his mind. He wanted no more business for the day. He
desired to get out and walk and think and enjoy the situation. And so he
went, a certain unholy joy within his warped and money-soddened
heart.
58
Chapter 16
THE EXPOSURE
Long after Thor had gone, long after the day had dwindled into twilight
and the twilight had shaded into dusk, Thomas Spears, his secretary, sat
and pondered. After Thor and Selwyn had left the office for luncheon he
had gone to the dictagraph to see whether there was anything for him to
take. He found the record, saw it had been used, removed it to his machine
and got ready to transmit. He was surprised to find that it was
Selwyn's voice that came to him, then Thor's, and again Selwyn's. He
knew then that it was not intended for dictation, that there was some
mistake and yet he held it until he had gotten the whole of the mighty
conspiracy. Pale and greatly agitated he remained motionless for a long
time. Then he returned to Thor's office, placed a new record in the machine
and closed it.
Spears came from sturdy New England stock and was at heart a patriot.
He had come to New York largely by accident of circumstances.
Spears had a friend named Harry Tracy, with whom he had grown up
in the little Connecticut village they called home, and who was distantly
related to Thor, whose forebears also came from that vicinity. They had
gone to the same commercial school, and were trained particularly in stenography
and typing. Tracy sought and obtained a place in Thor's office.
He was attentive to his duties, very accurate, and because of his kinship
and trustworthiness, Thor made him his confidential secretary. The work
became so heavy that Tracy got permission to employ an assistant. He
had Spears in mind for the place, and, after conferring with Thor, offered
it to him.
Thor consented largely because he preferred some one who had not
lived in New York, and was in no way entangled with the life and sentiment
of the city. Being from New England himself, he trusted the people
of that section as he did no others.
59
So Thomas Spears was offered the place and gladly accepted it. He
had not been there long before he found himself doing all the stenographic
work and typing.
Spears was a man of few words. He did his work promptly and well.
Thor had him closely shadowed for a long while, and the report came
that he had no bad habits and but few companions and those of the best.
But Thor could get no confidential report upon the workings of his mind.
He did not know that his conscience sickened at what he learned
through the correspondence and from his fellow clerks. He did not know
that his every heart beat was for the unfortunates that came within the
reach of Thor's avarice, and were left the merest derelicts upon the financial
seas.
All the clerks were gone, the lights were out and Spears sat by the window
looking out over the great modern Babylon, still fighting with his
conscience. His sense of loyalty to the man who gave him his livelihood
rebelled at the thought of treachery. It was not unlike accepting food and
shelter and murdering your benefactor, for Spears well knew that in the
present state of the public mind if once the truth were known, it would
mean death to such as Thor. For with a fatuous ignorance of public feeling
the interests had gone blindly on, conceding nothing, stifling competition
and absorbing the wealth and energies of the people.
Spears knew that the whole social and industrial fabric of the nation
was at high tension, and that it needed but a spark to explode. He held
within his hand that spark. Should he plunge the country, his country,
into a bloody internecine war, or should he let the Selwyns and the Thors
trample the hopes, the fortunes and the lives of the people under foot for
still another season. If he held his peace it did but postpone the conflict.
The thought flashed through his mind of the bigness of the sum any
one of the several great dailies would give to have the story. And then
there followed a sense of shame that he could think of such a thing.
He felt that he was God's instrument for good and that he should act
accordingly. He was aroused now, he would no longer parley with his
conscience. What was best to do? That was the only question left to
debate.
He looked at an illuminated clock upon a large white shaft that lifted
its marble shoulders towards the stars. It was nine o'clock. He turned on
the lights, ran over the telephone book until he reached the name of what
he considered the most important daily. He said: "Mr. John Thor's office
60
desires to speak with the Managing Editor." This at once gave him the
connection he desired.
"This is Mr. John Thor's secretary, and I would like to see you immediately
upon a matter of enormous public importance. May I come to your
office at once?"
There was something in the voice that startled the newspaper man,
and he wondered what Thor's office could possibly want with him concerning
any matter, public or private. However, he readily consented to
an interview and waited with some impatience for the quarter of an hour
to go by that was necessary to cover the distance. He gave orders to have
Spears brought in as soon as he arrived.
When Spears came he told the story with hesitation and embarrassment.
The Managing Editor thought at first that he was in the presence
of a lunatic, but after a few questions he began to believe. He had a dictagraph
in his office and asked for the record. He was visibly agitated
when the full import of the news became known to him. Spears insisted
that the story be given to all the city papers and to the Associated Press,
which the Managing Editor promised to do.
When the story was read the next morning by America's millions, it
was clear to every far-sighted person that a crisis had come and that revolution
was imminent. Men at once divided themselves into groups.
Now, as it has ever been, the very poor largely went with the rich and
powerful. The reason for this may be partly from fear and partly from
habit. They had seen the struggle going on for centuries and with but
one result.
A mass meeting was called to take place the day following at New
York's largest public hall. The call was not inflammatory, but asked "all
good citizens to lend their counsel and influence to the rectification of
those abuses that had crept into the Government," and it was signed by
many of the best known men in the Nation.
The hall was packed to its limits an hour before the time named. A distinguished
college president from a nearby town was given the chair,
and in a few words he voiced the indignation and the humiliation which
they all felt. Then one speaker after another bitterly denounced the administration,
and advocated the overthrow of the Government. One,
more intemperate than the rest, urged an immediate attack on Thor and
all his kind. This was met by a roar of approval.
Philip had come early and was seated well in front. In the pandemonium
that now prevailed no speaker could be heard. Finally Philip fought
61
his way to the stage, gave his name to the chairman, and asked to be
heard.
When the white-haired college president arose there was a measure of
quiet, and when he mentioned Philip's name and they saw his splendid,
homely face there was a curious hush. He waited for nearly a minute
after perfect quiet prevailed, and then, in a voice like a deep-toned bell,
he spoke with such fervor and eloquence that one who was present said
afterwards that he knew the hour and the man had come. Philip explained
that hasty and ill-considered action had ruined other causes as
just as theirs, and advised moderation. He suggested that a committee be
named by the chairman to draw up a plan of procedure, to be presented
at another meeting to be held the following night. This was agreed to,
and the chairman received tremendous applause when he named Philip
first.
This meeting had been called so quickly, and the names attached to
the call were so favorably known, that the country at large seemed ready
to wait upon its conclusions.
It was apparent from the size and earnestness of the second gathering
that the interest was growing rather than abating.
Philip read the plan which his committee had formulated, and then explained
more at length their reasons for offering it. Briefly, it advised no
resort to violence, but urged immediate organization and cooperation
with citizens throughout the United States who were in sympathy with
the movement. He told them that the conscience of the people was now
aroused, and that there would be no halting until the Government was
again within their hands to be administered for the good of the many instead
of for the good of a rapacious few.
The resolutions were sustained, and once more Philip was placed at
the head of a committee to perfect not only a state, but a national organization
as well. Calls for funds to cover preliminary expenses brought
immediate and generous response, and the contest was on.
62
Chapter 17
SELWYN AND THOR DEFEND THEMSELVES
In the meantime Selwyn and Thor had issued an address, defending
their course as warranted by both the facts and the law.
They said that the Government had been honeycombed by irresponsible
demagogues, that were fattening upon the credulity of the people to
the great injury of our commerce and prosperity, that no laws unfriendly
to the best interests had been planned, and no act had been contemplated
inconsistent with the dignity and honor of the Nation. They contended
that in protecting capital against vicious assaults, they were serving the
cause of labor and advancing the welfare of all.
Thor's whereabouts was a mystery, but Selwyn, brave and defiant,
pursued his usual way.
President Rockland also made a statement defending his appointments
of Justices of the Supreme Court, and challenged anyone to prove
them unfit. He said that, from the foundation of the Government, it had
become customary for a President to make such appointments from
amongst those whose views were in harmony with his own, that in this
case he had selected men of well known integrity, and of profound legal
ability, and, because they were such, they were brave enough to stand
for the right without regard to the clamor of ill-advised and ignorant
people. He stated that he would continue to do his duty, and that he
would uphold the constitutional rights of all the people without distinction
to race, color or previous condition.
Acting under Selwyn's advice, Rockland began to concentrate quietly
troops in the large centers of population. He also ordered the fleets into
home waters. A careful inquiry was made regarding the views of the
several Governors within easy reach of Washington, and, finding most of
them favorable to the Government, he told them that in case of disorder
he would honor their requisition for federal troops. He advised a thorough
overlooking of the militia, and the weeding out of those likely to
63
sympathize with the "mob." If trouble came, he promised to act promptly
and forcefully, and not to let mawkish sentiment encourage further
violence.
He recalled to them that the French Revolution was caused, and continued,
by the weakness and inertia of Louis Fifteenth and his ministers
and that the moment the Directorate placed Bonaparte in command of a
handful of troops, and gave him power to act, by the use of grape and
ball he brought order in a day. It only needed a quick and decisive use of
force, he thought, and untold suffering and bloodshed would be averted.
President Rockland believed what he said. He seemed not to know
that Bonaparte dealt with a ragged, ignorant mob, and had back of him a
nation that had been in a drunken and bloody orgy for a period of years
and wanted to sober up. He seemed not to know that in this contest, the
clear-brained, sturdy American patriot was enlisted against him and
what he represented, and had determined to come once more into his
own.
64
Chapter 18
GLORIA'S WORK BEARS FRUIT
In her efforts towards proselyting the rich, Gloria had not neglected her
immediate family. By arguments and by bringing to the fore concrete examples
to illustrate them, she had succeeded in awakening within her
father a curious and unhappy frame of mind. That shifting and illusive
thing we call conscience was beginning to assert itself in divers ways.
The first glimpse that Gloria had of his change of heart was at a dinner
party. The discussion began by a dyspeptic old banker declaring that before
the business world could bring the laboring classes to their senses it
would be necessary to shut down the factories for a time and discontinue
new enterprises in order that their dinner buckets and stomachs might
become empty.
Before Gloria could take up the cudgels in behalf of those seeking a
larger share of the profits of their labor, Mr. Strawn had done so. The debate
between the two did not last long and was not unduly heated, but
Gloria knew that the Rubicon had been crossed and that in the future she
would have a powerful ally in her father.
Neither had she been without success in other directions, and she was,
therefore, able to report to Philip very satisfactory progress. In one of
their many conferences she was glad to be able to tell him that in the future
abundant financial backing was assured for any cause recommended
by either of them as being worthy. This was a long step forward,
and Philip congratulated Gloria upon her efficient work.
"Do you remember, Gloria," he said, "how unhappy you were over the
thought of laboring among the rich instead of the poor? And yet, contemplate
the result. You have not only given some part of your social
world an insight into real happiness, but you are enabling the balance of
us to move forward at a pace that would have been impossible without
your aid." Gloria flushed with pleasure at his generous praise and
replied: "It is good of you, Philip, to give me so large a credit, and I will
65
not deny that I am very happy over the outcome of my endeavors, unimportant
though they be. I am so glad, Philip, that you have been given
the leadership of our side in the coming struggle, for I shall now feel confident
of success."
"Do not be too sure, Gloria. We have the right and a majority of the
American people with us; yet, on the other hand, we have opposed to us
not only resourceful men but the machinery of a great Government buttressed
by unlimited wealth and credit."
"Why could not I 'try out' the sincerity of my rich converts and get
them to help finance your campaign?"
"Happy thought! If you succeed in doing that, Gloria, you will become
the Joan d'Arc of our cause, and unborn generations will hold you in
grateful remembrance."
"How you do enthuse one, Philip. I feel already as if my name were
written high upon the walls of my country's Valhalla. Tell me how great
a fund you will require, and I will proceed at once to build the golden
ladder upon which I am to climb to fame."
"You need not make light of your suggestion in this matter, Gloria, for
the lack of funds with which to organize is essentially our weakest point.
With money we can overthrow the opposition, without it I am afraid
they may defeat us. As to the amount needed, I can set no limit. The
more you get the more perfectly can we organize. Do what you can and
do it quickly, and be assured that if the sum is considerable and if our
cause triumphs, you will have been the most potent factor of us all."
And then they parted; Gloria full of enthusiasm over her self-appointed
task, and Philip with a silent prayer for her success.
66
Chapter 19
WAR CLOUDS HOVER
Gloria was splendidly successful in her undertaking and within two
weeks she was ready to place at Philip's disposal an amount far in excess
of anything he had anticipated.
"It was so easy that I have a feeling akin to disappointment that I did
not have to work harder," she wrote in her note to Philip announcing the
result. "When I explained the purpose and the importance of the outcome,
almost everyone approached seemed eager to have a share in the
undertaking."
In his reply of thanks, Philip said, "The sum you have realized is far
beyond any figure I had in mind. With what we have collected
throughout the country, it is entirely sufficient, I think, to effect a preliminary
organization, both political and military. If the final result is to be
civil war, then the states that cast their fortunes with ours, will, of necessity,
undertake the further financing of the struggle."
Philip worked assiduously upon his organization. It was first intended
to make it political and educational, but when the defiant tone of Selwyn,
Thor and Rockland was struck, and their evident intention of using
force became apparent, he almost wholly changed it into a military organization.
His central bureau was now in touch with every state, and he
found in the West a grim determination to bring matters to a conclusion
as speedily as possible.
On the other hand, he was sparring for time. He knew his various
groups were in no condition to be pitted against any considerable number
of trained regulars. He hoped, too, that actual conflict would be
avoided, and that a solution could be arrived at when the forthcoming
election for representatives occurred.
It was evident that a large majority of the people were with them: the
problem was to get a fair and legal expression of opinion. As yet, there
was no indication that this would not be granted.
67
The preparations on both sides became so open, that there was no
longer any effort to work under cover. Philip cautioned his adherents
against committing any overt act. He was sure that the administration
forces would seize the slightest pretext to precipitate action, and that, at
this time, would give them an enormous advantage.
He himself trained the men in his immediate locality, and he also had
the organization throughout the country trained, but without guns. The
use of guns would not have been permitted except to regular authorized
militia. The drilling was done with wooden guns, each man hewing out a
stick to the size and shape of a modern rifle. At his home, carefully concealed,
each man had his rifle.
And then came the election. Troops were at the polls and a free ballot
was denied. It was the last straw. Citizens gathering after nightfall in order
to protest were told to disperse immediately, and upon refusal, were
fired upon. The next morning showed a death roll in the large centers of
population that was appalling.
Wisconsin was the state in which there was the largest percentage of
the citizenship unfavorable to the administration and to the interests.
Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska were closely following.
Philip concluded to make his stand in the West, and he therefore
ordered the men in every organization east of the Mississippi to foregather
at once at Madison, and to report to him there. He was in constant
touch with those Governors who were in sympathy with the progressive
or insurgent cause, and he wired the Governor of Wisconsin, in cipher,
informing him of his intentions.
As yet travel had not been seriously interrupted, though business was
largely at a standstill, and there was an ominous quiet over the land. The
opposition misinterpreted this, and thought that the people had been
frightened by the unexpected show of force. Philip knew differently, and
he also knew that civil war had begun. He communicated his plans to no
one, but he had the campaign well laid out. It was his intention to concentrate
in Wisconsin as large a force as could be gotten from his followers
east and south of that state, and to concentrate again near Des Moines
every man west of Illinois whom he could enlist. It was his purpose then
to advance simultaneously both bodies of troops upon Chicago.
In the south there had developed a singular inertia. Neither side counted
upon material help or opposition there.
The great conflict covering the years from 1860 to 1865 was still more
than a memory, though but few living had taken part in it. The victors in
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that mighty struggle thought they had been magnanimous to the defeated
but the well-informed Southerner knew that they had been made
to pay the most stupendous penalty ever exacted in modern times. At
one stroke of the pen, two thousand millions of their property was taken
from them. A pension system was then inaugurated that taxed the resources
of the Nation to pay. By the year 1927 more than five thousand
millions had gone to those who were of the winning side. Of this the
South was taxed her part, receiving nothing in return.
Cynical Europe said that the North would have it appear that a war
had been fought for human freedom, whereas it seemed that it was
fought for money. It forgot the many brave and patriotic men who enlisted
because they held the Union to be one and indissoluble, and were
willing to sacrifice their lives to make it so, and around whom a willing
and grateful government threw its protecting arms. And it confused
those deserving citizens with the unworthy many, whom pension agents
and office seekers had debauched at the expense of the Nation. Then,
too, the South remembered that one of the immediate results of emancipation
was that millions of ignorant and indigent people were thrown
upon the charity and protection of the Southern people, to care for and to
educate. In some states sixty per cent. of the population were negroes,
and they were as helpless as children and proved a heavy burden upon
the forty per cent. of whites.
In rural populations more schoolhouses had to be maintained, and
more teachers employed for the number taught, and the percentage of
children per capita was larger than in cities. Then, of necessity, separate
schools had to be maintained. So, altogether, the load was a heavy one
for an impoverished people to carry.
The humane, the wise, the patriotic thing to have done, was for the
Nation to have assumed the responsibility of the education of the
negroes for at least one generation.
What a contrast we see in England's treatment of the Boers. After a
long and bloody war, which drew heavily upon the lives and treasures
of the Nation, England's first act was to make an enormous grant to the
conquered Boers, that they might have every facility to regain their
shattered fortunes, and bring order and prosperity to their distracted
land.
We see the contrast again in that for nearly a half century after the
Civil War was over, no Southerner was considered eligible for the
Presidency.
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On the other hand, within a few years after the African Revolution
ended, a Boer General, who had fought throughout the war with vigor
and distinction, was proposed and elected Premier of the United
Colonies.
Consequently, while sympathizing with the effort to overthrow
Selwyn's government, the South moved slowly and with circumspection.
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Chapter 20
CIVIL WAR BEGINS
General Dru brought together an army of fifty thousand men at Madison
and about forty thousand near Des Moines, and recruits were coming in
rapidly.
President Rockland had concentrated twenty thousand regulars and
thirty thousand militia at Chicago, and had given command to Major
General Newton, he who, several years previously, won the first medal
given by the War Department for the best solution of the military
problem.
The President also made a call for two hundred thousand volunteers.
The response was in no way satisfactory, so he issued a formal demand
upon each state to furnish its quota.
The states that were in sympathy with his administration responded,
the others ignored the call.
General Dru learned that large reinforcements had been ordered to
Chicago, and he therefore at once moved upon that place. He had a fair
equipment of artillery, considering he was wholly dependent upon that
belonging to the militia of those states that had ranged themselves upon
his side, and at several points in the West, he had seized factories and
plants making powder, guns, clothing and camp equipment. He ordered
the Iowa division to advance at the same time, and the two forces were
joined at a point about fifty miles south of Chicago.
General Newton was daily expecting reënforcements, but they failed
to reach him before Dru made it impossible for them to pass through.
Newton at first thought to attack the Iowa division and defeat it, and
then meet the Wisconsin division, but he hesitated to leave Chicago lest
Dru should take the place during his absence.
With both divisions united, and with recruits constantly arriving, Dru
had an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men.
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Failing to obtain the looked-for reënforcements and seeing the hopelessness
of opposing so large a force, Newton began secretly to evacuate
Chicago by way of the Lakes, Dru having completely cut him off by land.
He succeeded in removing his army to Buffalo, where President Rockland
had concentrated more than one hundred thousand troops.
When Dru found General Newton had evacuated Chicago, he occupied
it, and then moved further east, in order to hold the states of
Michigan, Indiana and Western Ohio.
This gave him the control of the West, and he endeavored as nearly as
possible to cut off the food supply of the East. In order to tighten further
the difficulty of obtaining supplies, he occupied Duluth and all the Lake
ports as far east as Cleveland, which city the Government held, and
which was their furthest western line.
Canada was still open as a means of food supply to the East, as were
all the ports of the Atlantic seaboard as far south as Charleston.
So the sum of the situation was that the East, so far west as the middle
of Ohio, and as far south as West Virginia, inclusive of that state, was in
the hands of the Government.
Western Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, while occupied by General
Dru, were divided in their sympathies. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and
every state west of the Mississippi, were strongly against the
Government.
The South, as a whole, was negligible, though Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee
and Missouri were largely divided in sentiment. That part of the
South lying below the border states was in sympathy with the
insurgents.
The contest had come to be thought of as a conflict between Senator
Selwyn on the one hand, and what he represented, and Philip Dru on the
other, and what he stood for. These two were known to be the dominating
forces on either side.
The contestants, on the face of things, seemed not unevenly matched,
but, as a matter of fact, the conscience of the great mass of the people,
East and West, was on Dru's side, for it was known that he was contending
for those things which would permit the Nation to become again a
land of freedom in its truest and highest sense, a land where the rule of
law prevailed, a land of equal opportunity, a land where justice would
be meted out alike to the high and low with a steady and impartial hand.
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Chapter 21
UPON THE EVE OF BATTLE
Neither side seemed anxious to bring matters to a conclusion, for both
Newton and Dru required time to put their respective armies in fit condition
before risking a conflict. By the middle of July, Dru had more than
four hundred thousand men under his command, but his greatest difficulty
was to properly officer and equip them. The bulk of the regular
army officers had remained with the Government forces, though there
were some notable exceptions. Among those offering their services to
Dru was Jack Strawn. He resigned from the regular army with many regrets
and misgivings, but his devotion to Philip made it impossible for
him to do otherwise. And then there was Gloria whom he loved dearly,
and who made him feel that there was a higher duty than mere professional
regularity.
None of Dru's generals had been tried out in battle and, indeed, he
himself had not. It was much the same with the Government forces, for
there had been no war since that with Spain in the nineties, and that was
an affair so small that it afforded but little training for either officers or
men.
Dru had it in mind to make the one battle decisive, if that were possible
of accomplishment, for he did not want to weaken and distract the
country by such a conflict as that of 1861 to 1865.
The Government forces numbered six hundred thousand men under
arms, but one hundred thousand of these were widely scattered in order
to hold certain sections of the country in line.
On the first of September General Dru began to move towards the enemy.
He wanted to get nearer Washington and the northern seaboard cities,
so that if successful he would be within striking distance of them before
the enemy could recover.
He had in mind the places he preferred the battle to occur, and he used
all his skill in bringing about the desired result. As he moved slowly but
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steadily towards General Newton, he was careful not to tax the strength
of his troops, but he desired to give them the experience in marching
they needed, and also to harden them.
The civilized nations of the world had agreed not to use in war aeroplanes
or any sort of air craft either as engines of destruction or for scouting
purposes. This decision had been brought about by the International
Peace Societies and by the self-evident impossibility of using them
without enormous loss of life. Therefore none were being used by either
the Government or insurgent forces.
General Newton thought that Dru was planning to attack him at a
point about twenty miles west of Buffalo, where he had his army
stretched from the Lake eastward, and where he had thrown up entrenchments
and otherwise prepared for battle.
But Dru had no thought of attacking then or there, but moved slowly
and orderly on until the two armies were less than twenty miles apart
due north and south from one another.
When he continued marching eastward and began to draw away from
General Newton, the latter for the first time realized that he himself
would be compelled to pursue and attack, for the reason that he could
not let Dru march upon New York and the other unprotected seaboard
cities. He saw, too, that he had been outgeneraled, and that he should
have thrown his line across Dru's path and given battle at a point of his
own choosing.
The situation was a most unusual one even in the complex history of
warfare, because in case of defeat the loser would be forced to retreat into
the enemies' country. It all the more surely emphasized the fact that
one great battle would determine the war. General Dru knew from the
first what must follow his movement in marching by General Newton,
and since he had now reached the ground that he had long chosen as the
place where he wished the battle to occur, he halted and arranged his
troops in formation for the expected attack.
There was a curious feeling of exultation and confidence throughout
the insurgent army, for Dru had conducted every move in the great
game with masterly skill, and no man was ever more the idol of his
troops, or of the people whose cause he was the champion.
It was told at every camp fire in his army how he had won the last
medal that had been given by the War Department and for which General
Newton had been a contestant, and not one of his men doubted that as
a military genius, Newton in no way measured up to Dru. It was plain
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that Newton had been outmaneuvered and that the advantage lay with
the insurgent forces.
The day before the expected battle, General Dru issued a stirring address,
which was placed in the hands of each soldier, and which concluded
as follows:—"It is now certain that there will be but one battle,
and its result lies with you. If you fight as I know you will fight, you
surely will be successful, and you soon will be able to return to your
homes and to your families, carrying with you the assurance that you
have won what will be perhaps the most important victory that has ever
been achieved. It is my belief that human liberty has never more surely
hung upon the outcome of any conflict than it does upon this, and I have
faith that when you are once ordered to advance, you will never turn
back. If you will each make a resolution to conquer or die, you will not
only conquer, but our death list will not be nearly so heavy as if you at
any time falter."
This address was received with enthusiasm, and comrade declared to
comrade that there would be no turning back when once called upon to
advance, and it was a compact that in honor could not be broken. This,
then, was the situation upon the eve of the mighty conflict.
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Chapter 22
THE BATTLE OF ELMA
General Dru had many spies in the enemies' camp, and some of these
succeeded in crossing the lines each night in order to give him what information
they had been able to gather.
Some of these spies passed through the lines as late as eleven o'clock
the night before the battle, and from them he learned that a general attack
was to be made upon him the next day at six o'clock in the morning.
As far as he could gather, and from his own knowledge of the situation,
it was General Newton's purpose to break his center. The reason
Newton had this in mind was that he thought Dru's line was far flung,
and he believed that if he could drive through the center, he could then
throw each wing into confusion and bring about a crushing defeat.
As a matter of fact, Dru's line was not far flung, but he had a few
troops strung out for many miles in order to deceive Newton, because he
wanted him to try and break his center.
Up to this time, he had taken no one into his confidence, but at midnight,
he called his division commanders to his headquarters and told
them his plan of battle.
They were instructed not to impart any information to the commanders
of brigades until two o'clock. The men were then to be aroused and
given a hasty breakfast, after which they were to be ready to march by
three o'clock.
Recent arrivals had augmented his army to approximately five hundred
thousand men. General Newton had, as far as he could learn, approximately
six hundred thousand, so there were more than a million of
men facing one another.
Dru had a two-fold purpose in preparing at three in the morning. First,
he wanted to take no chances upon General Newton's time of attack. His
information as to six o'clock he thought reliable, but it might have been
76
given out to deceive him and a much earlier engagement might be
contemplated.
His other reason was that he intended to flank Newton on both wings.
It was his purpose to send, under cover of night, one hundred and
twenty-five thousand men to the right of Newton and one hundred and
twenty-five thousand to his left, and have them conceal themselves behind
wooded hills until noon, and then to drive in on him from both
sides.
He was confident that with two hundred and fifty thousand determined
men, protected by the fortifications he had been able to erect, and
with the ground of his own choosing, which had a considerable elevation
over the valley through which Newton would have to march, he
could hold his position until noon. He did not count upon actual fighting
before eight o'clock, or perhaps not before nine.
Dru did not attempt to rest, but continued through the night to instruct
his staff officers, and to arrange, as far as he could, for each contingency.
Before two o'clock, he was satisfied with the situation and felt assured
of victory.
He was pleased to see the early morning hours develop a fog, for this
would cover the march of his left and right wings, and they would not
have to make so wide a detour in order that their movements might be
concealed. It would also delay, he thought, Newton's attack.
His army was up and alert at three, and by four o'clock those that were
to hold the center were in position, though he had them lie down again
on their arms, so that they might get every moment of rest. Three o'clock
saw the troops that were to flank the enemy already on the march.
At six-thirty his outposts reported Newton's army moving, but it was
nine o'clock before they came within touch of his troops.
In the meantime, his men were resting, and he had food served them
again as late as seven o'clock.
Newton attacked the center viciously at first, but making no headway
and seeing that his men were being terribly decimated, he made a detour
to the right, and, with cavalry, infantry and artillery, he drove Dru's
troops in from the position which they were holding.
Dru recognized the threatened danger and sent heliograph messages
to his right and left wings to begin their attack, though it was now only
eleven o'clock. He then rode in person to the point of danger, and rallied
his men to a firmer stand, upon which Newton could make no headway.
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In that hell storm of lead and steel Dru sat upon his horse unmoved.
With bared head and eyes aflame, with face flushed and exultant, he
looked the embodiment of the terrible God of War. His presence and his
disregard of danger incited his soldiers to deeds of valor that would
forever be an "inspiration and a benediction" to the race from which they
sprung.
Newton, seeing that his efforts were costing him too dearly, decided to
withdraw his troops and rest until the next day, when he thought to attack
Dru from the rear.
The ground was more advantageous there, and he felt confident he
could dislodge him. When he gave the command to retreat, he was surprised
to find Dru massing his troops outside his entrenchments and
preparing to follow him. He slowly retreated and Dru as slowly followed.
Newton wanted to get him well away from his stronghold and in
the open plain, and then wheel and crush him. Dru was merely keeping
within striking distance, so that when his two divisions got in touch with
Newton they would be able to attack him on three sides.
Just as Newton was about to turn, Dru's two divisions poured down
the slopes of the hills on both sides and began to charge. And when
Dru's center began to charge, it was only a matter of moments before
Newton's army was in a panic.
He tried to rally them and to face the on-coming enemy, but his efforts
were in vain. His men threw down their guns, some surrendering, but
most of them fleeing in the only way open, that towards the rear and the
Lake.
Dru's soldiers saw that victory was theirs, and, maddened by the lust
of war, they drove the Government forces back, killing and crushing the
seething and helpless mass that was now in hopeless confusion.
Orders were given by General Dru to push on and follow the enemy
until nightfall, or until the Lake was reached, where they must surrender
or drown.
By six o'clock of that fateful day, the splendid army of Newton was a
thing for pity, for Dru had determined to exhaust the last drop of
strength of his men to make the victory complete, and the battle
conclusive.
At the same time, as far as he was able, he restrained his men from
killing, for he saw that the enemy were without arms, and thinking only
of escape. His order was only partially obeyed, for when man is in
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conflict with either beast or fellowman, the primitive lust for blood
comes to the fore, and the gentlest and most humane are oftentimes the
most bloodthirsty.
Of the enemy forty thousand were dead and two hundred and ten
thousand were wounded with seventy-five thousand missing. Of prisoners
Dru had captured three hundred and seventy-five thousand.
General Newton was killed in the early afternoon, soon after the rout
began.
Philip's casualties were twenty-three thousand dead and one hundred
and ten thousand wounded.
It was a holocaust, but the war was indeed ended.
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Chapter 23
ELMA'S AFTERMATH
After General Dru had given orders for the care of the wounded and the
disposition of the prisoners, he dismissed his staff and went quietly out
into the starlight. He walked among the dead and wounded and saw
that everything possible was being done to alleviate suffering. Feeling
weary he sat for a moment upon a dismembered gun.
As he looked over the field of carnage and saw what havoc the day
had made, he thought of the Selwyns and the Thors, whose selfishness
and greed were responsible for it all, and he knew that they and their
kind would have to meet an awful charge before the judgment seat of
God. Within touch of him lay a boy of not more than seventeen, with his
white face turned towards the stars. One arm was shattered and a piece
of shell had torn a great red wound in the side of his chest. Dru thought
him dead, but he saw him move and open his eyes. He removed a coat
from a soldier that lay dead beside him and pillowed the boy's head
upon it, and gave him some water and a little brandy.
"I am all in, Captain," said he, "but I would like a message sent home."
He saw that Dru was an officer but he had no idea who he was. "I only
enlisted last week. I live in Pennsylvania—not far from here." Then more
faintly—"My mother tried to persuade me to remain at home, but I
wanted to do my share, so here I am—as you find me. Tell her—tell her,"
but the message never came—for he was dead.
After he had covered the pain-racked, ghastly face, Dru sat in silent
meditation, and thought of the shame of it, the pity of it all. Somewhere
amongst that human wreckage he knew Gloria was doing what she
could to comfort the wounded and those that were in the agony of death.
She had joined the Red Cross Corps of the insurgent army at the beginning
of hostilities, but Dru had had only occasional glimpses of her.
He was wondering now, in what part of that black and bloody field she
was. His was the strong hand that had torn into fragments these helpless
80
creatures; hers was the gentle hand that was softening the horror, the
misery of it all. Dru knew there were those who felt that the result would
never be worth the cost and that he, too, would come in for a measurable
share of their censure. But deep and lasting as his sympathy was for
those who had been brought into this maelstrom of war, yet, pessimism
found no lodgment within him, rather was his great soul illuminated
with the thought that with splendid heroism they had died in order that
others might live the better. Twice before had the great republic been
baptized in blood and each time the result had changed the thought and
destiny of man. And so would it be now, only to greater purpose. Never
again would the Selwyns and the Thors be able to fetter the people.
Free and unrestrained by barriers erected by the powerful, for selfish
purposes, there would now lie open to them a glorious and contented future.
He had it in his thoughts to do the work well now that it had been
begun, and to permit no misplaced sentiment to deter him. He knew that
in order to do what he had in mind, he would have to reckon with the
habits and traditions of centuries, but, seeing clearly the task before him
he must needs become an iconoclast and accept the consequences. For
two days and nights he had been without sleep and under a physical and
mental strain that would have meant disaster to any, save Philip Dru.
But now he began to feel the need of rest and sleep, so he walked slowly
back to his tent.
After giving orders that he was not to be disturbed, he threw himself
as he was upon his camp bed, and, oblivious of the fact that the news of
his momentous victory had circled the globe and that his name was
upon the lips of half the world, he fell into a dreamless, restful sleep.
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Chapter 24
UNCROWNED HEROES
When Dru wakened in the morning after a long and refreshing sleep, his
first thoughts were of Gloria Strawn. Before leaving his tent he wrote her
an invitation to dine with him that evening in company with some of his
generals and their wives. All through that busy day Dru found himself
looking forward to the coming evening. When Gloria came Dru was
standing at the door of his tent to meet her. As he helped her from the
army conveyance she said:
"Oh, Philip, how glad I am! How glad I am!"
Dru knew that she had no reference to his brilliant victory, but that it
was his personal welfare that she had in mind.
During the dinner many stories of heroism were told, men who were
least suspected of great personal bravery had surprised their comrades
by deeds that would follow the coming centuries in both song and story.
Dru, who had been a silent listener until now, said:
"Whenever my brother soldier rises above self and gives or offers his
life for that of his comrade, no one rejoices more than I. But, my friends,
the highest courage is not displayed upon the battlefield. The soldier's
heroism is done under stress of great excitement, and his field of action is
one that appeals to the imagination. It usually also touches our patriotism
and self-esteem. The real heroes of the world are oftentimes never
known. I once knew a man of culture and wealth who owned a plantation
in some hot and inaccessible region. Smallpox in its most virulent
form became prevalent among the negroes. Everyone fled the place save
this man, and those that were stricken. Single-handed and alone, he
nursed them while they lived and buried them when they died. And yet
during all the years I knew him, never once did he refer to it. An old
negro told me the story and others afterwards confirmed it. This same
man jumped into a swollen river and rescued a poor old negro who
could not swim. There was no one to applaud him as he battled with the
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deadly eddies and currents and brought to safety one of the least of
God's creatures. To my mind the flag of no nation ever waved above a
braver, nobler heart."
There was a moment's silence, and then Gloria said:
"Philip, the man you mention is doubtless the most splendid product
of our civilization, for he was perhaps as gentle as he was brave, but
there is still another type of hero to whom I would call attention. I shall
tell you of a man named Sutton, whom I came to know in my settlement
work and who seemed to those who knew him wholly bad. He was
cruel, selfish, and without any sense of honor, and even his personality
was repulsive, and yet this is what he did.
"One day, soon after dark, the ten story tenement building in which he
lived caught fire. Smoke was pouring from the windows, at which many
frightened faces were seen.
"But what was holding the crowd's breathless attention, was the daring
attempt of a man on the eighth floor to save a child of some five or
six years.
"He had gotten from his room to a small iron balcony, and there he
took his handkerchief and blindfolded the little boy. He lifted the child
over the railing, and let him down to a stone ledge some twelve inches
wide, and which seemed to be five or six feet below the balcony.
"The man had evidently told the child to flatten himself against the
wall, for the little fellow had spread out his arms and pressed his body
close to it.
"When the man reached him, he edged him along in front of him. It
was a perilous journey, and to what end?
"No one could see that he was bettering his condition by moving further
along the building, though it was evident he had a well-defined purpose
from the beginning.
"When he reached the corner, he stopped in front of a large flagpole
that projected out from the building some twenty or more feet.
"He shouted to the firemen in the street below, but his voice was lost
in the noise and distance. He then scribbled something on an envelope
and after wrapping his knife inside, dropped it down. He lost no time by
seeing whether he was understood, but he took the child and put his
arms and legs about the pole in front of him and together they slid along
to the golden ball at the end.
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"What splendid courage! What perfect self-possession! He then took
the boy's arm above the hand and swung him clear. He held him for a
moment to see that all was ready below, and turned him loose.
"The child dropped as straight as a plummet into the canvas net that
was being held for him.
"The excitement had been so tense up to now, that in all that vast
crowd no one said a word or moved a muscle, but when they saw the
little fellow unhurt, and perched high on the shoulders of a burly fireman,
such cheers were given as were never before heard in that part of
New York.
"The man, it seemed, knew as well as those below, that his weight
made impossible his escape in a like manner, for he had slid back to the
building and was sitting upon the ledge smoking a cigarette.
"At first it was the child in which the crowd was interested, but now it
was the man. He must be saved; but could he be? The heat was evidently
becoming unbearable and from time to time a smother of smoke hid him
from view. Once when it cleared away he was no longer there, it had suffocated
him and he had fallen, a mangled heap, into the street below.
"That man was Sutton, and the child was not his own. He could have
saved himself had he not stayed to break in a door behind which the
screams of the child were heard."
There was a long silence when Gloria had ended her story, and then
the conversation ran along more cheerful lines.
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Chapter 25
THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE REPUBLIC
General Dru began at once the reorganization of his army. The Nation
knew that the war was over, and it was in a quiver of excitement.
They recognized the fact that Dru dominated the situation and that a
master mind had at last arisen in the Republic. He had a large and devoted
army to do his bidding, and the future seemed to lie wholly in his
hands.
The great metropolitan dailies were in keen rivalry to obtain some
statement from him, but they could not get within speaking distance.
The best they could do was to fill their columns with speculations and
opinions from those near, or at least pretending to be near him. He had
too much to do to waste a moment, but he had it in mind to make some
statement of a general nature within a few days.
The wounded were cared for, the dead disposed of and all prisoners
disarmed and permitted to go to their homes under parole. Of his own
men he relieved those who had sickness in their families, or pressing duties
to perform. Many of the prisoners, at their urgent solicitation, he enlisted.
The final result was a compact and fairly well organized army of
some four hundred thousand men who were willing to serve as long as
they were needed.
During the days that Dru was reorganizing, he now and then saw
Gloria. She often wondered why Philip did not tell her something of his
plans, and at times she felt hurt at his reticence. She did not know that he
would have trusted her with his life without hesitation, but that his sense
of duty sealed his lips when it came to matters of public policy.
He knew she would not willingly betray him, but he never took
chances upon the judgment she, or any friend, might exercise as to what
was or what was not important. When a thought or plan had once gone
from him to another it was at the mercy of the other's discretion, and
good intention did not avail if discretion and judgment were lacking. He
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consulted freely with those from whom he thought he could obtain help,
but about important matters no one ever knew but himself his
conclusions.
Dru was now ready to march upon Washington, and he issued an address
to his soldiers which was intended, in fact, for the general public.
He did not want, at this time, to assume unusual powers, and if he had
spoken to the Nation he might be criticised as assuming a dictatorial
attitude.
He complimented his army upon their patriotism and upon their
bravery, and told them that they had won what was, perhaps, the most
important victory in the history of warfare. He deplored the fact that, of
necessity, it was a victory over their fellow countrymen, but he promised
that the breach would soon be healed, for it was his purpose to treat
them as brothers. He announced that no one, neither the highest nor the
lowest, would be arrested, tried, or in any way disturbed provided they
accepted the result of the battle as final, and as determining a change in
the policy of government in accordance with the views held by those
whom he represented. Failure to acquiesce in this, or any attempt to
foster the policies of the late government, would be considered seditious,
and would be punished by death. He was determined upon immediate
peace and quietude, and any individual, newspaper or corporation violating
this order would be summarily dealt with.
The words "late government" caused a sensation.
It pointed very surely to the fact that as soon as Dru reached Washington,
he would assume charge of affairs. But in what way? That was the
momentous question.
President Rockwell, the Vice-President and the Cabinet, fearful of the
result of Dru's complete domination, fled the country. Selwyn urged,
threatened, and did all he could to have them stand their ground, and
take the consequences of defeat, but to no avail. Finally, he had the Secretary
of State resign, so that the President might appoint him to that office.
This being done, he became acting President.
There were some fifty thousand troops at Washington and vicinity,
and Dru wired Selwyn asking whether any defense of that city was contemplated.
Upon receiving a negative answer, he sent one of his staff officers
directly to Washington to demand a formal surrender. Selwyn acquiesced
in this, and while the troops were not disbanded, they were
placed under the command of Dru's emissary.
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After further negotiations it was arranged for such of the volunteers as
desired to do so, to return to their homes. This left a force of thirty thousand
men at Washington who accepted the new conditions, and declared
fealty to Dru and the cause he represented. There was now requisitioned
all the cars that were necessary to convey the army from Buffalo to New
York, Philadelphia and Washington. A day was named when all other
traffic was to be stopped, until the troops, equipment and supplies had
been conveyed to their destinations. One hundred thousand men were
sent to New York and one hundred thousand to Philadelphia, and held
on the outskirts of those cities. Two hundred thousand were sent to
Washington and there Dru went himself.
Selwyn made a formal surrender to him and was placed under arrest,
but it was hardly more than a formality, for Selwyn was placed under no
further restraint than that he should not leave Washington. His arrest
was made for its effect upon the Nation; in order to make it clear that the
former government no longer existed.
General Dru now called a conference of his officers and announced his
purpose of assuming the powers of a dictator, distasteful as it was to
him, and, as he felt it might also be, to the people. He explained that such
a radical step was necessary, in order to quickly purge the Government
of those abuses that had arisen, and give to it the form and purpose for
which they had fought. They were assured that he was free from any
personal ambition, and he pledged his honor to retire after the contemplated
reforms had been made, so that the country could again have a
constitutional government. Not one of them doubted his word, and they
pledged themselves and the men under them, to sustain him loyally. He
then issued an address to his army proclaiming himself "Administrator of
the Republic."
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Chapter 26
DRU OUTLINES HIS INTENTIONS
The day after this address was issued, General Dru reviewed his army
and received such an ovation that it stilled criticism, for it was plain that
the new order of things had to be accepted, and there was a thrill of fear
among those who would have liked to raise their voices in protest.
It was felt that the property and lives of all were now in the keeping of
one man.
Dru's first official act was to call a conference of those, throughout the
Union, who had been leaders in the movement to overthrow the
Government.
The gathering was large and representative, but he found no such unanimity
as amongst the army. A large part, perhaps a majority, were outspoken
for an immediate return to representative government.
They were willing that unusual powers should be assumed long
enough to declare the old Government illegal, and to issue an immediate
call for a general election, state and national, to be held as usual in
November. The advocates of this plan were willing that Dru should remain
in authority until the duly constituted officials could be legally
installed.
Dru presided over the meeting, therefore he took no part in the early
discussion, further than to ask for the fullest expression of opinion. After
hearing the plan for a limited dictatorship proposed, he arose, and, in a
voice vibrant with emotion, addressed the meeting as follows:
"My fellow countrymen:—I feel sure that however much we may differ
as to methods, there is no one within the sound of my voice that does
not wish me well, and none, I believe, mistrusts either my honesty of
purpose, my patriotism, or my ultimate desire to restore as soon as possible
to our distracted land a constitutional government.
"We all agreed that a change had to be brought about even though it
meant revolution, for otherwise the cruel hand of avarice would have
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crushed out from us, and from our children, every semblance of freedom.
If our late masters had been more moderate in their greed we
would have been content to struggle for yet another period, hoping that
in time we might again have justice and equality before the law. But
even so we would have had a defective Government, defective in machinery
and defective in its constitution and laws. To have righted it, a
century of public education would have been necessary. The present opportunity
has been bought at fearful cost. If we use it lightly, those who
fell upon the field of Elma will have died in vain, and the anguish of
mothers, and the tears of widows and orphans will mock us because we
failed in our duty to their beloved dead.
"For a long time I have known that this hour would come, and that
there would be those of you who would stand affrighted at the momentous
change from constitutional government to despotism, no matter how
pure and exalted you might believe my intentions to be.
"But in the long watches of the night, in the solitude of my tent, I conceived
a plan of government which, by the grace of God, I hope to be
able to give to the American people. My life is consecrated to our cause,
and, hateful as is the thought of assuming supreme power, I can see no
other way clearly, and I would be recreant to my trust if I faltered in my
duty. Therefore, with the aid I know each one of you will give me, there
shall, in God's good time, be wrought 'a government of the people, by
the people and for the people.'"
When Dru had finished there was generous applause. At first here and
there a dissenting voice was heard, but the chorus of approval drowned
it. It was a splendid tribute to his popularity and integrity. When quiet
was restored, he named twelve men whom he wanted to take charge of
the departments and to act as his advisors.
They were all able men, each distinguished in his own field of endeavor,
and when their names were announced there was an outburst of
satisfaction.
The meeting adjourned, and each member went home a believer in
Dru and the policy he had adopted. They, in turn, converted the people
to their view of the situation, so that Dru was able to go forward with his
great work, conscious of the support and approval of an overwhelming
majority of his fellow countrymen.
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Chapter 27
A NEW ERA AT WASHINGTON
When General Dru assumed the responsibilities of Government he saw
that, unless he arranged it otherwise, social duties would prove a tax
upon his time and would deter him from working with that celerity for
which he had already become famous. He had placed Mr. Strawn at the
head of the Treasury Department and he offered him the use of the
White House as a place of residence. His purpose was to have Mrs.
Strawn and Gloria relieve him of those social functions that are imposed
upon the heads of all Governments. Mrs. Strawn was delighted with
such an arrangement, and it almost compensated her for having been
forced by her husband and Gloria into the ranks of the popular or insurgent
party. Dru continued to use the barracks as his home, though he occupied
the offices in the White House for public business. It soon became
a familiar sight in Washington to see him ride swiftly through the streets
on his seal-brown gelding, Twilight, as he went to and from the barracks
and the White House. Dru gave and attended dinners to foreign ambassadors
and special envoys, but at the usual entertainments given to the
public or to the official family he was seldom seen. He and Gloria were
in accord, regarding the character of entertainments to be given, and all
unnecessary display was to be avoided. This struck a cruel blow at Mrs.
Strawn, who desired to have everything in as sumptuous a way as under
the old régime, but both Dru and Gloria were as adamant, and she had
to be content with the new order of things.
"Gloria," said Dru, "it pleases me beyond measure to find ourselves so
nearly in accord concerning the essential things, and I am glad to believe
that you express your convictions candidly and are not merely trying to
please me."
"That, Philip, is because we are largely striving for the same purposes.
We both want, I think, to take the selfish equation out of our social fabric.
We want to take away the sting from poverty, and we want envy to have
no place in the world of our making. Is it not so?"
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"That seems to me, Gloria, to be the crux of our endeavors. But when
we speak of unselfishness, as we now have it in mind, we are entering a
hitherto unknown realm. The definition of selfishness yesterday or today
is quite another thing from the unselfishness that we have in view,
and which we hope and expect will soon leaven society. I think, perhaps,
we may reach the result quicker if we call it mankind's new and higher
pleasure or happiness, for that is what it will mean."
"Philip, it all seems too altruistic ever to come in our lifetime; but, do
you know, I am awfully optimistic about it. I really believe it will come
so quickly, after it once gets a good start, that it will astound us. The proverbial
snowball coming down the mountain side will be as nothing to it.
Everyone will want to join the procession at once. No one will want to be
left out for the finger of Scorn to accuse. And, strangely enough, I believe
it will be the educated and rich, in fact the ones that are now the most
selfish, that will be in the vanguard of the procession. They will be the
first to realize the joy of it all, and in this way will they redeem the sins
of their ancestors."
"Your enthusiasm, Gloria, readily imparts itself to me, and my heart
quickens with hope that what you say may be prophetic. But, to return to
the immediate work in hand, let us simplify our habits and customs to as
great a degree as is possible under existing circumstances. One of the
causes for the mad rush for money is the desire to excel our friends and
neighbors in our manner of living, our entertainments and the like.
Everyone has been trying to keep up with the most extravagant of his
set: the result must, in the end, be unhappiness for all and disaster for
many. What a pitiful ambition it is! How soul-lowering! How it narrows
the horizon! We cannot help the poor, we cannot aid our neighbor, for, if
we do, we cannot keep our places in the unholy struggle for social equality
within our little sphere. Let us go, Gloria, into the fresh air, for it
stifles me to think of this phase of our civilization. I wish I had let our
discussion remain upon the high peak where you placed it and from
which we gazed into the promised land."
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Chapter 28
AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
The Administrator did nothing towards reducing the army which, including
those in the Philippines and elsewhere, totalled five hundred
thousand. He thought this hardly sufficient considering international
conditions, and one of his first acts was to increase the number of men to
six hundred thousand and to arm and equip them thoroughly.
For a long period of years England had maintained relations with the
United States that amounted to an active alliance, but there was evidence
that she had under discussion, with her old-time enemy, Germany, a
treaty by which that nation was to be allowed a free hand in South
America.
In return for this England was to be conceded all German territory in
Africa, and was to be allowed to absorb, eventually, that entire continent
excepting that part belonging to France.
Japan, it seemed, was to be taken into the agreement and was to be
given her will in the East. If she desired the Philippines, she might take
them as far as European interference went. Her navy was more powerful
than any the United States could readily muster in the far Pacific, and
England would, if necessary, serve notice upon us that her gunboats
were at Japan's disposal in case of war.
In return, Japan was to help in maintaining British supremacy in India,
which was now threatened by the vigorous young Republic of China.
The latter nation did not wish to absorb India herself, but she was
committed to the policy of "Asia for the Asiatics," and it did not take
much discernment to see that some day soon this would come about.
China and Japan had already reached an agreement concerning certain
matters of interest between them, the most important being that Japan
should maintain a navy twice as powerful as that of China, and that the
latter should have an army one-third more powerful than that of Japan.
The latter was to confine her sphere of influence to the Islands of the Sea
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and to Korea, and, in the event of a combined attack on Russia, which
was contemplated, they were to acquire Siberia as far west as practicable,
and divide that territory. China had already by purchase, concessions
and covert threats, regained that part of her territory once held by England,
Germany and France. She had a powerful array and a navy of some
consequence, therefore she must needs to be reckoned with.
England's hold upon Canada was merely nominal, therefore, further
than as a matter of pride, it was of slight importance to her whether she
lost it or not. Up to the time of the revolution, Canada had been a hostage,
and England felt that she could at no time afford a rupture with us.
But the alluring vision that Germany held out to her was dazzling her
statesmen. Africa all red from the Cape to the Mediterranean and from
Madagascar to the Atlantic was most alluring. And it seemed so easy of
accomplishment. Germany maintained her military superiority, as England,
even then, held a navy equal to any two powers.
Germany was to exploit South America without reference to the Monroe
Doctrine, and England was to give her moral support, and the support
of her navy, if necessary. If the United States objected to the extent
of declaring war, they were prepared to meet that issue. Together, they
could put into commission a navy three times as strong as that of the United
States, and with Canada as a base, and with a merchant marine fifty
times as large as that of the United States, they could convey half a million
men to North America as quickly as Dru could send a like number
to San Francisco. If Japan joined the movement, she could occupy the Pacific
Slope as long as England and Germany were her allies.
The situation which had sprung up while the United States was putting
her own house in order, was full of peril and General Dru gave it his
careful and immediate attention.
None of the powers at interest knew that Dru's Government had the
slightest intimation of what was being discussed. The information had
leaked through one of the leading international banking houses, that had
been approached concerning a possible loan for a very large amount,
and the secret had reached Selwyn through Thor.
Selwyn not only gave General Dru this information, but much else that
was of extreme value. Dru soon came to know that at heart Selwyn was
not without patriotism, and that it was only from environment and an
overweening desire for power that had led him into the paths he had
heretofore followed. Selwyn would have preferred ruling through the
people rather than through the interests and the machinations of corrupt
93
politics, but he had little confidence that the people would take enough
interest in public affairs to make this possible, and to deviate from the
path he had chosen, meant, he thought, disaster to his ambitions.
Dru's career proved him wrong, and no one was quicker to see it than
Selwyn. Dru's remarkable insight into character fathomed the real man,
and, in a cautious and limited way, he counseled with him as the need
arose.
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Chapter 29
THE REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY
Of his Council of Twelve, the Administrator placed one member in
charge of each of the nine departments, and gave to the other three special
work that was constantly arising.
One of his advisers was a man of distinguished lineage, but who, in
his early youth, had been compelled to struggle against those unhappy
conditions that followed reconstruction in the South. His intellect and
force of character had brought him success in his early manhood, and he
was the masterful head of a university that, under his guidance, was
soon to become one of the foremost in the world. He was a trained political
economist, and had rare discernment in public affairs, therefore Dru
leaned heavily upon him when he began to rehabilitate the Government.
Dru used Selwyn's unusual talents for organization and administration,
in thoroughly overhauling the actual machinery of both Federal and
State Governments. There was no doubt but that there was an enormous
waste going on, and this he undertook to stop, for he felt sure that as
much efficiency could be obtained at two-thirds the cost. One of his first
acts as Administrator was to call together five great lawyers, who had no
objectionable corporate or private practice, and give to them the task of
defining the powers of all courts, both State and Federal.
They were not only to remodel court procedure, but to eliminate such
courts as were unnecessary. To this board he gave the further task of reconstructing
the rules governing lawyers, their practice before the courts,
their relations to their clients and the amount and character of their fees
under given conditions.
Under Dru's instruction the commission was to limit the power of the
courts to the extent that they could no longer pass upon the constitutionality
of laws, their function being merely to decide, as between litigants,
what the law was, as was the practice of all other civilized nations.
95
Judges, both Federal and State, were to be appointed for life, subject to
compulsory retirement at seventy, and to forced retirement at any time
by a two-thirds vote of the House and a majority vote of the Senate.
Their appointment was to be suggested by the President or Governor, as
the case might be, and a majority vote of the House and a two-third vote
of the Senate were necessary for confirmation.
High salaries were to be paid, but the number of judges was to be
largely decreased, perhaps by two-thirds. This would be possible, because
the simplification of procedure and the curtailment of their powers
would enormously lessen the amount of work to be done. Dru called the
Board's attention to the fact that England had about two hundred judges
of all kinds, while there were some thirty-six hundred in the United
States, and that the reversals by the English Courts were only about three
per cent. of the reversals by the American Courts.
The United States had, therefore, the most complicated, expensive and
inadequate legal machinery of any civilized nation. Lawyers were no
longer to be permitted to bring suits of doubtful character, and without
facts and merit to sustain them. Hereafter it would be necessary for the
attorney, and the client himself, to swear to the truth of the allegations
submitted in their petitions of suits and briefs.
If they could not show that they had good reason to believe that their
cause was just, they would be subject to fines and imprisonment, besides
being subject to damages by the defendant. Dru desired the Board on
Legal Procedure and Judiciary to work out a fair and comprehensive system,
based along the fundamental lines he had laid down, so that the
people might be no longer ridden by either the law or the lawyer. It was
his intention that no man was to be suggested for a judgeship or confirmed
who was known to drink to excess, either regularly or periodically,
or one who was known not to pay his personal debts, or had acted
in a reprehensible manner either in private or in his public capacity as a
lawyer.
Any of these habits or actions occurring after appointment was to subject
him to impeachment. Moreover, any judge who used his position to
favor any individual or corporation, or who deviated from the path of
even and exact justice for all, or who heckled a litigant, witness or attorney,
or who treated them in an unnecessarily harsh or insulting manner,
was to be, upon complaint duly attested to by reliable witnesses, tried for
impeachment.
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The Administrator was positive in his determination to have the judiciary
a most efficient bureau of the people, and to have it sufficiently
well paid to obtain the best talent. He wanted it held in the highest esteem,
and to have an appointment thereon considered one of the greatest
honors of the Republic. To do this he knew it was necessary for its members
to be able, honest, temperate and considerate.
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Chapter 30
A NEW CODE OF LAWS
Dru selected another board of five lawyers, and to them he gave the task
of reforming legal procedure and of pruning down the existing laws,
both State and National, cutting out the obsolete and useless ones and rewriting
those recommended to be retained, in plain and direct language
free from useless legal verbiage and understandable to the ordinary lay
citizen.
He then created another board, of even greater ability, to read, digest
and criticise the work of the other two boards and report their findings
directly to him, giving a brief summary of their reasons and recommendations.
To assist in this work he engaged in an advisory capacity three
eminent lawyers from England, Germany and France respectively.
The three boards were urged to proceed with as much despatch as
possible, for Dru knew that it would take at least several years to do it
properly, and afterwards he would want to place the new code of laws in
working order under the reformed judiciary before he would be content
to retire. The other changes he had in mind he thought could be accomplished
much more quickly.
Among other things, Dru directed that the States should have a simplification
of land titles, so that transfers of real estate could be made as
easy as the transfer of stocks, and with as little expense, no attorneys'
fees for examination of titles, and no recording fees being necessary. The
title could not be contested after being once registered in a name, therefore
no litigation over real property could be possible. It was estimated
by Dru's statisticians that in some States this would save the people annually
a sum equal to the cost of running their governments.
A uniform divorce law was also to be drawn and put into operation,
so that the scandals arising from the old conditions might no longer be
possible.
98
It was arranged that when laws affecting the States had been written,
before they went into effect they were to be submitted to a body of lawyers
made up of one representative from each State. This body could
make suggestions for such additions or eliminations as might seem to
them pertinent, and conforming with conditions existing in their respective
commonwealths, but the board was to use its judgment in the matter
of incorporating the suggestions in the final draft of the law. It was not
the Administrator's purpose to rewrite at that time the Federal and State
Constitutions, but to do so at a later date when the laws had been rewritten
and decided upon; he wished to first satisfy himself as to them and
their adaptability to the existing conditions, and then make a constitution
conforming with them. This would seem to be going at things backward,
but it recommended itself to Dru as the sane and practical way to
have the constitutions and laws in complete harmony.
The formation of the three boards created much disturbance among
judges, lawyers and corporations, but when the murmur began to assume
the proportions of a loud-voiced protest, General Dru took the
matter in hand. He let it be known that it would be well for them to cease
to foment trouble. He pointed out that heretofore the laws had been
made for the judges, for the lawyers and for those whose financial or
political influence enabled them to obtain special privileges, but that
hereafter the whole legal machinery was to be run absolutely in the interest
of the people. The decisive and courageous manner in which he
handled this situation, brought him the warm and generous approval of
the people and they felt that at last their day had come.
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Chapter 31
THE QUESTION OF TAXATION
The question of taxation was one of the most complex problems with
which the Administrator had to deal. As with the legal machinery he
formed a board of five to advise with him, and to carry out his very welldefined
ideas. Upon this board was a political economist, a banker, who
was thought to be the ablest man of his profession, a farmer who was a
very successful and practical man, a manufacturer and a Congressman,
who for many years had been the consequential member of the Ways
and Means Committee. All these men were known for their breadth of
view and their interest in public affairs.
Again, Dru went to England, France and Germany for the best men he
could get as advisers to the board. He offered such a price for their services
that, eminent as they were, they did not feel that they could refuse.
He knew the best were the cheapest.
At the first sitting of the Committee, Dru told them to consider every
existing tax law obliterated, to begin anew and to construct a revenue
system along the lines he indicated for municipalities, counties, states
and the Nation. He did not contemplate, he said, that the new law
should embrace all the taxes which the three first-named civil divisions
could levy, but that it should apply only where taxes related to the general
government. Nevertheless, Dru was hopeful that such a system
would be devised as would render it unnecessary for either municipalities,
counties or states to require any further revenue. Dru directed the
board to divide each state into districts for the purpose of taxation, not
making them large enough to be cumbersome, and yet not small enough
to prohibit the employment of able men to form the assessment and collecting
boards. He suggested that these boards be composed of four local
men and one representative of the Nation.
He further directed that the tax on realty both in the country and the
city should be upon the following basis:—Improvements on city property
were to be taxed at one-fifth of their value, and the naked property
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either in town or country at two-thirds of its value. The fact that country
property used for agricultural purposes was improved, should not be
reckoned. In other words, if A had one hundred acres with eighty acres
of it in cultivation and otherwise improved, and B had one hundred
acres beside him of just as good land, but not in cultivation or improved,
B's land should be taxed as much as A's.
In cities and towns taxation was to be upon a similar basis. For instance,
when there was a lot, say, one hundred feet by one hundred feet
with improvements upon it worth three hundred thousand dollars, and
there was another lot of the same size and value, the improved lot
should be taxed only sixty thousand more than the unimproved lot; that
is, both lots should be taxed alike, and the improvement on the one
should be assessed at sixty thousand dollars or one-fifth of its actual
value.
This, Dru pointed out, would deter owners from holding unimproved
realty, for the purpose of getting the unearned increment made possible
by the thrift of their neighbors. In the country it would open up land for
cultivation now lying idle, provide homes for more people, cheapen the
cost of living to all, and make possible better schools, better roads and a
better opportunity for the successful cooperative marketing of products.
In the cities and towns, it would mean a more homogeneous population,
with better streets, better sidewalks, better sewerage, more convenient
churches and cheaper rents and homes. As it was at that time, a poor
man could not buy a home nor rent one near his work, but must needs
go to the outskirts of his town, necessitating loss of time and cost of
transportation, besides sacrificing the obvious comforts and conveniences
of a more compact population.
The Administrator further directed the tax board to work out a graduated
income tax exempting no income whatsoever. Incomes up to one
thousand dollars a year, Dru thought, should bear a merely nominal tax
of one- half of one per cent.; those of from one to two thousand, one per
cent.; those of from two to five thousand, two per cent.; those of from
five to ten thousand, three per cent.; those of from ten to twenty thousand,
six per cent. The tax on incomes of more than twenty thousand
dollars a year, Dru directed, was to be rapidly increased, until a maximum
of seventy per cent. was to be reached on those incomes that were
ten million dollars, or above.
False returns, false swearing, or any subterfuge to defraud the Government,
was to be punished by not less than six months or more than two
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years in prison. The board was further instructed to incorporate in their
tax measure, an inheritance tax clause, graduated at the same rate as in
the income tax, and to safeguard the defrauding of the Government by
gifts before death and other devices.
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Chapter 32
A FEDERAL INCORPORATION ACT
Along with the first board on tax laws, Administrator Dru appointed yet
another commission to deal with another phase of this subject. The
second board was composed of economists and others well versed in
matters relating to the tariff and Internal Revenue, who, broadly speaking,
were instructed to work out a tariff law which would contemplate
the abolishment of the theory of protection as a governmental policy. A
tariff was to be imposed mainly as a supplement to the other taxes, the
revenue from which, it was thought, would be almost sufficient for the
needs of the Government, considering the economies that were being
made.
Dru's father had been an ardent advocate of State rights, and the Administrator
had been reared in that atmosphere; but when he began to
think out such questions for himself, he realized that density of population
and rapid inter-communication afforded by electric and steam railroads,
motors, aeroplanes, telegraphs and telephones were, to all practical
purposes, obliterating State lines and molding the country into a homogeneous
nation.
Therefore, after the Revolution, Dru saw that the time had come for
this trend to assume more definite form, and for the National Government
to take upon itself some of the functions heretofore exclusively
within the jurisdiction of the States. Up to the time of the Revolution a
state of chaos had existed. For instance, laws relating to divorces, franchises,
interstate commerce, sanitation and many other things were different
in each State, and nearly all were inefficient and not conducive to
the general welfare. Administrator Dru therefore concluded that the time
had come when a measure of control of such things should be vested in
the Central Government. He therefore proposed enacting into the general
laws a Federal Incorporation Act, and into his scheme of taxation a
franchise tax that would not be more burdensome than that now imposed
by the States. He also proposed making corporations share with
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the Government and States a certain part of their net earnings, public
service corporations to a greater extent than others. Dru's plan contemplated
that either the Government or the State in which the home or
headquarters of any corporation was located was to have representation
upon the boards of such corporation, in order that the interests of the
National, State, or City Government could be protected, and so as to insure
publicity in the event it was needful to correct abuses.
He had incorporated in the Franchise Law the right of Labor to have
one representative upon the boards of corporations and to share a certain
percentage of the earnings above their wages, after a reasonable per cent,
upon the capital had been earned. 1
In turn, it was to be obligatory upon
them not to strike, but to submit all grievances to arbitration. The law
was to stipulate that if the business prospered, wages should be high; if
times were dull, they should be reduced.
The people were asked to curb their prejudice against corporations. It
was promised that in the future corporations should be honestly run,
and in the interest of the stockholders and the public. Dru expressed the
hope that their formation would be welcomed rather than discouraged,
for he was sure that under the new law it would be more to the public
advantage to have business conducted by corporations than by individuals
in a private capacity. In the taxation of real estate, the unfair practice
of taxing it at full value when mortgaged and then taxing the holder of
the mortgage, was to be abolished. The same was to be true of bonded
indebtedness on any kind of property. The easy way to do this was to tax
property and not tax the evidence of debt, but Dru preferred the other
method, that of taxing the property, less the debt, and then taxing the
debt wherever found.
His reason for this was that, if bonds or other forms of debt paid no
taxes, it would have a tendency to make investors put money into that
kind of security, even though the interest was correspondingly low, in
order to avoid the trouble of rendering and paying taxes on them. This,
he thought, might keep capital out of other needful enterprises, and give
a glut of money in one direction and a paucity in another. Money itself
was not to be taxed as was then done in so many States.
1.See WHAT CO-PARTNERSHIP CAN DO below.
104
Chapter 33
THE RAILROAD PROBLEM
While the boards and commissions appointed by Administrator Dru
were working out new tax, tariff and revenue laws, establishing the judiciary
and legal machinery on a new basis and revising the general law, it
was necessary that the financial system of the country also should be reformed.
Dru and his advisers saw the difficulties of attacking this most
intricate question, but with the advice and assistance of a commission
appointed for that purpose, they began the formulation of a new banking
law, affording a flexible currency, bottomed largely upon commercial assets,
the real wealth of the nation, instead of upon debt, as formerly.
This measure was based upon the English, French and German plans,
its authors taking the best from each and making the whole conform to
American needs and conditions. Dru regarded this as one of his most
pressing reforms, for he hoped that it would not only prevent panics, as
formerly, but that its final construction would completely destroy the
credit trust, the greatest, the most far reaching and, under evil direction,
the most pernicious trust of all.
While in this connection, as well as all others, he was insistent that
business should be honestly conducted, yet it was his purpose to throw
all possible safeguards around it. In the past it had been not only harassed
by a monetary system that was a mere patchwork affair and entirely
inadequate to the needs of the times, but it had been constantly
threatened by tariff, railroad and other legislation calculated to cause
continued disturbance. The ever-present demagogue had added to the
confusion, and, altogether, legitimate business had suffered more during
the long season of unrest than had the law-defying monopolies.
Dru wanted to see the nation prosper, as he knew it could never have
done under the old order, where the few reaped a disproportionate reward
and to this end he spared no pains in perfecting the new financial
system. In the past the railroads and a few industrial monopolies had
come in for the greatest amount of abuse and prejudice. This feeling
105
while largely just, in his opinion, had done much harm. The railroads
were the offenders in the first instance, he knew, and then the people retaliated,
and in the end both the capitalists who actually furnished the
money to build the roads and the people suffered.
"In the first place," said Administrator Dru to his counsel during the
discussion of the new financial system, "the roads were built dishonestly.
Money was made out of their construction by the promoters in the most
open and shameless way, and afterwards bonds and stocks were issued
far in excess of the fraudulent so-called cost. Nor did the iniquity end
there. Enterprises were started, some of a public nature such as grain elevators
and cotton compresses, in which the officials of the railroads
were financially interested. These favored concerns received rebates and
better shipping facilities than their competitors and competition was
stifled.
"Iron mines and mills, lumber mills and yards, coal mines and yards,
etc., etc., went into their rapacious maw, and the managers considered
the railroads a private snap and 'the public be damned.'
"These things," continued Dru, "did not constitute their sole offense,
for, as you all know, they lobbied through legislatures the most unconscionable
bills, giving them land, money and rights to further exploit the
public.
"But the thing that, perhaps, aroused resentment most was their failure
to pay just claims. The idea in the old days, as you remember, was to pay
nothing, and make it so expensive to litigate that one would prefer to
suffer an injustice rather than go to court. From this policy was born the
claim lawyer, who financed and fought through the courts personal injury
claims, until it finally came to pass that in loss or damage suits the
average jury would decide against the railroad on general principles. In
such cases the litigant generally got all he claimed and the railroad was
mulcted. There is no estimating how much this unfortunate policy cost
the railroads of America up to the time of the Revolution. The trouble
was that the ultimate loss fell, not on those who inaugurated it but upon
the innocent stock and bondholder of the roads.
"While the problem is complicated," he continued, "its solution lies in
the new financial system, together with the new system of control of
public utilities."
To this end, Dru laid down his plans by which public service corporations
should be honestly, openly and efficiently run, so that the people
should have good service at a minimum cost.
106
Primarily the general Government, the state or the city, as the case
might be, were to have representation on the directorate, as previously
indicated. They were to have full access to the books, and semi-annually
each corporation was to be compelled to make public a full and a clear
report, giving the receipts and expenditures, including salaries paid to
high officials. These corporations were also to be under the control of national
and state commissions.
While the Nation and State were to share in the earnings, Dru demanded
that the investor in such corporate securities should have reasonable
profits, and the fullest protection, in the event states or municipalities attempted
to deal unfairly with them, as had heretofore been the case in
many instances.
The Administrator insisted upon the prohibition of franchise to
"holding companies" of whatsoever character. In the past, he declared,
they had been prolific trust breeders, and those existing at that time, he
asserted, should be dissolved.
Under the new law, as Dru outlined it, one company might control another,
but it would have to be with the consent of both the state and federal
officials having jurisdiction in the premises, and it would have to be
clear that the public would be benefited thereby. There was to be in the
future no hiding under cover, for everything was to be done in the open,
and in a way entirely understandable to the ordinary layman.
Certain of the public service corporations, Dru insisted, should be
taken over bodily by the National Government and accordingly the Postmaster
General was instructed to negotiate with the telegraph and telephone
companies for their properties at a fair valuation. They were to be
under the absolute control of the Postoffice Department, and the people
were to have the transmission of all messages at cost, just as they had
their written ones. A parcel post was also inaugurated, so that as much
as twelve pounds could be sent at cost.
107
Chapter 34
SELWYN'S STORY
The further Administrator Dru carried his progress of reform, the more
helpful he found Selwyn. Dru's generous treatment of him had brought
in return a grateful loyalty.
One stormy night, after Selwyn had dined with Dru, he sat contentedly
smoking by a great log fire in the library of the small cottage which
Dru occupied in the barracks.
"This reminds me," he said, "of my early boyhood, and of the fireplace
in the old tavern where I was born."
General Dru had long wanted to know of Selwyn, and, though they
had arranged to discuss some important business, Dru urged the former
Senator to tell him something of his early life.
Selwyn consented, but asked that the lights be turned off so that there
would be only the glow from the fire, in order that it might seem more
like the old days at home when his father's political cronies gathered
about the hearth for their confidential talks.
And this was Selwyn's story:—
My father was a man of small education and kept a tavern on the outer
edge of Philadelphia. I was his only child, my mother dying in my infancy.
There was a bar connected with the house, and it was a rendezvous
for the politicians of our ward. I became interested in politics so
early that I cannot remember the time when I was not. My father was a
temperate man, strong-willed and able, and I have often wondered since
that he was content to end his days without trying to get beyond the environments
of a small tavern.
He was sensitive, and perhaps his lack of education caused him to hesitate
to enter a larger and more conspicuous field.
However, he was resolved that I should not be hampered as he was,
and I was, therefore, given a good common school education first, and
108
afterwards sent to Girard College, where I graduated, the youngest of
my class.
Much to my father's delight, I expressed a desire to study law, for it
seemed to us both that this profession held the best opportunity open to
me. My real purpose in becoming a lawyer was to aid me in politics, for
it was clear to both my father and me that I had an unusual aptitude
therefor.
My study of law was rather cursory than real, and did not lead to a
profound knowledge of the subject, but it was sufficient for me to obtain
admittance to the bar, and it was not long, young as I was, before my
father's influence brought me a practice that was lucrative and which required
but little legal lore.
At that time the ward boss was a man by the name of Marx. While his
father was a German, he was almost wholly Irish, for his father died
when he was young, and he was reared by a masculine, masterful,
though ignorant Irish mother.
He was my father's best friend, and there were no secrets between
them. They seldom paid attention to me, and I was rarely dismissed even
when they had their most confidential talks. In this way, I early learned
how our great American cities are looted, not so much by those actually
in power, for they are of less consequence than the more powerful men
behind them.
If any contract of importance was to be let, be it either public or
private, Marx and his satellites took their toll. He, in his turn, had to account
to the man above, the city boss.
If a large private undertaking was contemplated, the ward boss had to
be seen and consulted as to the best contractors, and it was understood
that at least five per cent. more than the work was worth had to be paid,
otherwise, there would be endless trouble and delay. The inspector of
buildings would make trouble; complaints would be made of obstructing
the streets and sidewalks, and injunctions would be issued. So it was
either to pay, or not construct. Marx provided work for the needy,
loaned money to the poor, sick and disabled, gave excursions and picnics
in the summer: for all of this others paid, but it enabled him to hold the
political control of the ward in the hollow of his hand. The boss above
him demanded that the councilmen from his ward should be men who
would do his bidding without question.
109
The city boss, in turn, trafficked with the larger public contracts, and
with the granting and extensions of franchises. It was a fruitful field, for
there was none above him with whom he was compelled to divide.
The State boss treated the city bosses with much consideration, for he
was more or less dependent upon them, his power consisting largely of
the sum of their power.
The State boss dealt in larger things, and became a national figure. He
was more circumspect in his methods, for he had a wider constituency
and a more intelligent opposition.
The local bosses were required to send to the legislature "loyal" party
men who did not question the leadership of the State boss.
The big interests preferred having only one man to deal with, which
simplified matters; consequently they were strong aids in helping him
retain his power. Any measure they desired passed by the legislature
was first submitted to him, and he would prune it until he felt he could
put it through without doing too great violence to public sentiment. The
citizens at large do not scrutinize measures closely; they are too busy in
their own vineyards to bother greatly about things which only remotely
or indirectly concern them.
This selfish attitude and indifference of our people has made the boss
and his methods possible. The "big interests" reciprocate in many and
devious ways, ways subtle enough to seem not dishonest even if exposed
to public view.
So that by early education I was taught to think that the despoliation
of the public, in certain ways, was a legitimate industry.
Later, I knew better, but I had already started my plow in the furrow,
and it was hard to turn back. I wanted money and I wanted power, and I
could see both in the career before me.
It was not long, of course, before I had discernment enough to see that
I was not being employed for my legal ability. My income was practically
made from retainers, and I was seldom called upon to do more than
to use my influence so that my client should remain undisturbed in the
pursuit of his business, be it legitimate or otherwise. Young as I was,
Marx soon offered me a seat in the Council. It was my first proffer of office,
but I declined it. I did not want to be identified with a body for
which I had such a supreme contempt. My aim was higher. Marx,
though, was sincere in his desire to further my fortunes, for he had no
son, and his affection for my father and me was genuine.
110
I frankly told him the direction in which my ambition lay, and he
promised me his cordial assistance. I wanted to get beyond ward politics,
and in touch with the city boss.
It was my idea that, if I could maintain myself with him, I would in
time ask him to place me within the influence of the State boss, where
my field of endeavor would be as wide as my abilities would justify.
I did not lose my identity with my ward, but now my work covered all
Philadelphia, and my retainers became larger and more numerous, for I
was within the local sphere of the "big interests."
At that time the boss was a man by the name of Hardy. He was born in
the western part of the State, but came to Philadelphia when a boy, his
mother having married the second time a man named Metz, who was
then City Treasurer and who afterwards became Mayor.
Hardy was a singular man for a boss; small of frame, with features almost
effeminate, and with anything but a robust constitution, he did a
prodigious amount of work.
He was not only taciturn to an unusual degree, but he seldom wrote,
or replied to letters. Yet he held an iron grip upon the organization.
His personal appearance and quiet manners inspired many ambitious
underlings to try to dislodge him, but their failure was signal and
complete.
He had what was, perhaps, the most perfectly organized machine
against which any municipality had ever had the misfortune to contend.
Hardy made few promises and none of them rash, but no man could
truthfully say that he ever broke one. I feel certain that he would have
made good his spoken word even at the expense of his fortune or political
power.
Then, too, he played fair, and his henchmen knew it. He had no favorites
whom he unduly rewarded at the expense of the more efficient. He
had likes and dislikes as other men, but his judgment was never warped
by that. Success meant advancement, failure meant retirement.
And he made his followers play fair. There were certain rules of the
game that had to be observed, and any infraction thereof meant
punishment.
The big, burly fellows he had under him felt pride in his physical insignificance,
and in the big brain that had never known defeat.
111
When I became close to him, I asked him why he had never expanded;
that he must have felt sure that he could have spread his jurisdiction
throughout the State, and that the labor in the broader position must be
less than in the one he occupied. His reply was characteristic of the man.
He said he was not where he was from choice, that environment and opportunity
had forced him into the position he occupied, but that once
there, he owed it to his followers to hold it against all comers. He said
that he would have given it up long ago, if it had not been for this feeling
of obligation to those who loved and trusted him. To desert them, and to
make new responsibilities, was unthinkable from his viewpoint.
That which I most wondered at in Hardy was, his failure to comprehend
that the work he was engaged in was dishonest. I led cautiously up
to this one day, and this was his explanation:
"The average American citizen refuses to pay attention to civic affairs,
contenting himself with a general growl at the tax rate, and the character
and inefficiency of public officials. He seldom takes the trouble necessary
to form the Government to suit his views.
"The truth is, he has no cohesive or well-digested views, it being too
much trouble to form them. Therefore, some such organization as ours is
essential. Being essential, then it must have funds with which to proceed,
and the men devoting their lives to it must be recompensed, so the system
we use is the best that can be devised under the circumstances.
"It is like the tariff and internal revenue taxes by which the National
Government is run, that is, indirect. The citizen pays, but he does not
know when he pays, nor how much he is paying.
"A better system could, perhaps, be devised in both instances, but this
cannot be done until the people take a keener interest in their public
affairs."
Hardy was not a rich man, though he had every opportunity of being
so. He was not avaricious, and his tastes and habits were simple, and he
had no family to demand the extravagances that are undermining our
national life. He was a vegetarian, and he thought, and perhaps rightly,
that in a few centuries from now the killing of animals and the eating of
their corpses would be regarded in the same way as we now think of
cannibalism.
He divided the money that came to him amongst his followers, and
this was one of the mainsprings of his power.
112
All things considered, it is not certain but that he gave Philadelphia as
good government as her indifferent citizens deserved.
113
Chapter 35
SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
By the time I was thirty-six I had accumulated what seemed to me then,
a considerable fortune, and I had furthermore become Hardy's righthand
man.
He had his forces divided in several classes, of choice I was ranged
among those whose duties were general and not local. I therefore had a
survey of the city as a whole, and was not infrequently in touch with the
masters of the State at large. Hardy concerned himself about my financial
welfare to the extent of now and then inquiring whether my income
was satisfactory, and the nature of it. I assured him that it was and that
he need have no further thought of me in that connection. I told him that
I was more ambitious to advance politically than financially, and, while
expressing my gratitude for all he had done for me and my keen regret
at the thought of leaving him, I spoke again of my desire to enter State
politics.
Some six years before I had married the daughter of a State Senator, a
man who was then seeking the gubernatorial nomination.
On my account, Hardy gave him cordial support, but the State boss
had other plans, and my father-in-law was shelved "for the moment," as
the boss expressed it, for one who suited his purposes better.
Both Hardy, my father-in-law, and their friends resented this action,
because the man selected was not in line for the place and the boss was
not conforming to the rules of the game.
They wanted to break openly and immediately, but I advised delay
until we were strong enough to overthrow him.
The task of quietly organizing an effective opposition to the State boss
was left to me, and although I lost no time, it was a year before I was
ready to make the fight.
114
In the meanwhile, the boss had no intimation of the revolt. My fatherin-law
and Hardy had, by my direction, complied with all the requests
that he made upon them, and he thought himself never more secure.
I went to the legislature that year in accordance with our plans, and
announced myself a candidate for speaker. I did this without consulting
the boss and purposely. He had already selected another man, and had
publicly committed himself to his candidacy, which was generally considered
equivalent to an election.
The candidate was a weak man, and if the boss had known the extent
of the opposition that had developed, he would have made a stronger selection.
As it was, he threw not only the weight of his own influence for
his man and again irrevocably committed himself, but he had his
creature, the Governor, do likewise.
My strength was still not apparent, for I had my forces well in hand,
and while I had a few declare themselves for me, the major part were
non-committal, and spoke in cautious terms of general approval of the
boss's candidate.
The result was a sensation. I was elected by a safe, though small, majority,
and, as a natural result, the boss was deposed and I was proclaimed
his successor.
I had found in organizing the revolt that there were many who had
grievances which, from fear, they had kept hidden but when they were
shown that they could safely be revenged, they eagerly took advantage
of the opportunity.
So, in one campaign, I burst upon the public as the party leader, and
the question was now, how would I use it and could I hold it.
115
Chapter 36
SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
Flushed though I was with victory, and with the flattery of friends, time
servers and sycophants in my ears, I felt a deep sympathy for the boss.
He was as a sinking ship and as such deserted. Yesterday a thing for
envy, to-day an object of pity.
I wondered how long it would be before I, too, would be stranded.
The interests, were, of course, among the first to congratulate me and
to assure me of their support. During that session of the legislature, I did
not change the character of the legislation, or do anything very different
from the usual. I wanted to feel my seat more firmly under me before attempting
the many things I had in mind.
I took over into my camp all those that I could reasonably trust, and
strengthened my forces everywhere as expeditiously as possible. I
weeded out the incompetents, of whom there were many, and replaced
them by big-hearted, loyal and energetic men, who had easy consciences
when it came to dealing with the public affairs of either municipalities,
counties or the State.
Of necessity, I had to use some who were vicious and dishonest, and
who would betray me in a moment if their interests led that way. But of
these there were few in my personal organization, though from experience,
I knew their kind permeated the municipal machines to a large
degree.
The lessons learned from Hardy were of value to me now. I was liberal
to my following at the expense of myself, and I played the game fair as
they knew it.
I declined re-election to the next legislature, because the office was not
commensurate with the dignity of the position I held as party leader, and
again, because the holding of state office was now a perilous
undertaking.
116
In taking over the machine from the late boss, and in molding it into
an almost personal following I found it not only loosely put together, but
inefficient for my more ambitious purposes.
After giving it four or five years of close attention, I was satisfied with
it, and I had no fear of dislodgment.
I had found that the interests were not paying anything like a commensurate
amount for the special privileges they were getting, and I
more than doubled the revenue obtained by the deposed boss.
This, of course, delighted my henchmen, and bound them more
closely to me.
I also demanded and received information in advance of any extensions
of railroads, standard or interurban, of contemplated improvements
of whatsoever character, and I doled out this information to those
of my followers in whose jurisdiction lay such territory.
My own fortune I augmented by advance information regarding the
appreciation of stocks. If an amalgamation of two important institutions
was to occur, or if they were to be put upon a dividend basis, or if the dividend
rate was to be increased, I was told, not only in advance of the
public, but in advance of the stockholders themselves.
All such information I held in confidence even from my own followers,
for it was given me with such understanding.
My next move was to get into national politics. I became something of
a factor at the national convention, by swinging Pennsylvania's vote at a
critical time; the result being the nomination of the now President, consequently
my relations with him were most cordial.
The term of the senior Senator from our State was about to expire, and,
although he was well advanced in years, he desired re-election.
I decided to take his seat for myself, so I asked the President to offer
him an ambassadorship. He did not wish to make the change, but when
he understood that it was that or nothing, he gracefully acquiesced in order
that he might be saved the humiliation of defeat.
When he resigned, the Governor offered me the appointment for the
unexpired term. It had only three months to run before the legislature
met to elect his successor.
I told him that I could not accept until I had conferred with my
friends. I had no intention of refusing, but I wanted to seem to defer to
the judgment of my lieutenants.
117
I called them to the capital singly, and explained that I could be of
vastly more service to the organization were I at Washington, and I arranged
with them to convert the rank and file to this view.
Each felt that the weight of my decision rested upon himself, and their
vanity was greatly pleased. I was begged not to renounce the leadership,
and after persuasion, this I promised not to do.
As a matter of fact, it was never my intention to release my hold upon
the State, thus placing myself in another's power.
So I accepted the tender of the Senatorship, and soon after, when the
legislature met, I was elected for the full term.
I was in as close touch with my State at Washington as I was before,
for I spent a large part of my time there.
I was not in Washington long before I found that the Government was
run by a few men; that outside of this little circle no one was of much
importance.
It was my intention to break into it if possible, and my ambition now
leaped so far as to want, not only to be of it, but later, to be IT.
I began my crusade by getting upon confidential terms with the
President.
One night, when we were alone in his private study, I told him of the
manner and completeness of my organization in Pennsylvania. I could
see he was deeply impressed. He had been elected by an uncomfortably
small vote, and he was, I knew, looking for someone to manage the next
campaign, provided he again received the nomination.
The man who had done this work in the last election was broken in
health, and had gone to Europe for an indefinite stay.
The President questioned me closely, and ended by asking me to undertake
the direction of his campaign for re-nomination, and later to
manage the campaign for his election in the event he was again the
party's candidate.
I was flattered by the proffer, and told him so, but I was guarded in its
acceptance. I wanted him to see more of me, hear more of my methods
and to become, as it were, the suppliant.
This condition was soon brought about, and I entered into my new relations
with him under the most favorable circumstances.
If I had readily acquiesced he would have assumed the air of favoring
me, as it was, the rule was reversed.
118
He was overwhelmingly nominated and re-elected, and for the result
he generously gave me full credit.
I was now well within the charmed circle, and within easy reach of my
further desire to have no rivals. This came about naturally and without
friction.
The interests, of course, were soon groveling at my feet, and, heavy as
my demands were, I sometimes wondered like Clive at my own
moderation.
The rest of my story is known to you. I had tightened a nearly invisible
coil around the people, which held them fast, while the interests despoiled
them. We overdid it, and you came with the conscience of the
great majority of the American people back of you, and swung the Nation
again into the moorings intended by the Fathers of the Republic.
When Selwyn had finished, the fire had burned low, and it was only
now and then that his face was lighted by the flickering flames revealing
a sadness that few had ever seen there before.
Perhaps he saw in the dying embers something typical of his life as it
now was. Perhaps he longed to recall his youth and with it the strength,
the nervous force and the tireless thought that he had used to make himself
what he was.
When life is so nearly spilled as his, things are measured differently,
and what looms large in the beginning becomes but the merest shadow
when the race has been run.
As he contemplated the silent figure, Philip Dru felt something of regret
himself, for he now knew the groundwork of the man, and he was
sure that under other conditions, a career could have been wrought more
splendid than that of any of his fellows.
119
Chapter 37
THE COTTON CORNER
In modeling the laws, Dru called to the attention of those boards that
were doing that work, the so-called "loan sharks," and told them to deal
with them with a heavy hand. By no sort of subterfuge were they to be
permitted to be usurious. By their nefarious methods of charging the
maximum legal rate of interest and then exacting a commission for
monthly renewals of loans, the poor and the dependent were oftentimes
made to pay several hundred per cent. interest per annum. The criminal
code was to be invoked and protracted terms in prison, in addition to
fines, were to be used against them.
He also called attention to a lesser, though serious, evil, of the practice
of farmers, mine-owners, lumbermen and other employers of ignorant
labor, of making advances of food, clothing and similar necessities to
their tenants or workmen, and charging them extortionate prices therefor,
thus securing the use of their labor at a cost entirely incommensurate
with its value.
Stock, cotton and produce exchanges as then conducted came under
the ban of the Administrator's displeasure, and he indicated his intention
of reforming them to the extent of prohibiting, under penalty of fine and
imprisonment, the selling either short or long, stocks, bonds, commodities
of whatsoever character, or anything of value. Banks, corporations or
individuals lending money to any corporation or individual whose purpose
it was known to be to violate this law, should be deemed as guilty
as the actual offender and should be as heavily punished.
An immediate enforcement of this law was made because, just before
the Revolution, there was carried to a successful conclusion a gigantic
but iniquitous cotton corner. Some twenty or more adventurous millionaires,
led by one of the boldest speculators of those times, named
Hawkins, planned and succeeded in cornering cotton.
120
It seemed that the world needed a crop of 16,000,000 bales, and while
the yield for the year was uncertain it appeared that the crop would run
to that figure and perhaps over. Therefore, prices were low and spot- cotton
was selling around eight cents, and futures for the distant months
were not much higher.
By using all the markets and exchanges and by exercising much skill
and secrecy, Hawkins succeeded in buying two million bales of actual
cotton, and ten million bales of futures at an approximate average of
nine and a half cents. He had the actual cotton stored in relatively small
quantities throughout the South, much of it being on the farms and at the
gins where it was bought. Then, in order to hide his identity, he had incorporated
a company called "The Farmers' Protective Association."
Through one of his agents he succeeded in officering it with wellknown
Southerners, who knew only that part of the plan which contemplated
an increase in prices, and were in sympathy with it. He transferred
his spot-cotton to this company, the stock of which he himself
held through his dummies, and then had his agents burn the entire two million
bales. The burning was done quickly and with spectacular effect, and
the entire commercial world, both in America and abroad, were astounded
by the act.
Once before in isolated instances the cotton planter had done this, and
once the farmers of the West, discouraged by low prices, had used corn
for fuel. That, however, was done on a small scale. But to deliberately
burn one hundred million dollars worth of property was almost beyond
the scope of the imagination.
The result was a cotton panic, and Hawkins succeeded in closing out
his futures at an average price of fifteen cents, thereby netting twentyfive
dollars a bale, and making for himself and fellow buccaneers one
hundred and fifty million dollars.
After amazement came indignation at such frightful abuse of concentrated
wealth. Those of Wall Street that were not caught, were open in
their expressions of admiration for Hawkins, for of such material are
their heroes made.
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Chapter 38
UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
At the end of the first quarter of the present century, twenty of the fortyeight
States had Woman Suffrage, and Administrator Dru decided to
give it to the Nation. In those twenty States, as far as he had observed,
there had been no change for the better in the general laws, nor did the
officials seem to have higher standards of efficiency than in those States
that still denied to women the right to vote, but he noticed that there
were more special laws bearing on the moral and social side of life, and
that police regulation was better. Upon the whole, Dru thought the result
warranted universal franchise without distinction of race, color or sex.
He believed that, up to the present time, a general franchise had been a
mistake and that there should have been restrictions and qualifications,
but education had become so general, and the condition of the people
had advanced to such an extent, that it was now warranted.
It had long seemed to Dru absurd that the ignorant, and, as a rule,
more immoral male, should have such an advantage over the educated,
refined and intelligent female. Where laws discriminated at all, it was almost
always against rather than in favor of women; and this was true to
a much greater extent in Europe and elsewhere than in the United States.
Dru had a profound sympathy for the effort women were making to get
upon an equality with men in the race for life: and he believed that with
the franchise would come equal opportunity and equal pay for the same
work.
America, he hoped, might again lead in the uplift of the sex, and the
example would be a distinct gain to women in those less forward countries
where they were still largely considered as inferior to and somewhat
as chattels to man.
Then, too, Dru had an infinite pity for the dependent and submerged
life of the generality of women. Man could ask woman to mate, but
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women were denied this privilege, and, even when mated, oftentimes a
life of never ending drudgery followed.
Dru believed that if women could ever become economically independent
of man, it would, to a large degree, mitigate the social evil.
They would then no longer be compelled to marry, or be a charge
upon unwilling relatives or, as in desperation they sometimes did, lead
abandoned lives.
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Chapter 39
A NEGATIVE GOVERNMENT
Upon assuming charge of the affairs of the Republic, the Administrator
had largely retained the judiciary as it was then constituted, and he also
made but few changes in the personnel of State and Federal officials,
therefore there had, as yet, been no confusion in the public's business.
Everything seemed about as usual, further than there were no legislative
bodies sitting, and the function of law making was confined to one individual,
the Administrator himself.
Before putting the proposed laws into force, he wished them thoroughly
worked out and digested. In the meantime, however, he was constantly
placing before his Cabinet and Commissioners suggestions looking
to the betterment of conditions, and he directed that these suggestions
should be molded into law. In order that the people might know
what further measures he had in mind for their welfare, other than those
already announced, he issued the following address:
"It is my purpose," said he, "not to give to you any radical or ill- digested
laws. I wish rather to cull that which is best from the other nations of
the earth, and let you have the benefit of their thought and experience.
One of the most enlightened foreign students of our Government has
rightly said that 'America is the most undemocratic of democratic countries.'
We have been living under a Government of negation, a Government
with an executive with more power than any monarch, a Government
having a Supreme Court, clothed with greater authority than any similar
body on earth; therefore, we have lagged behind other nations in democracy.
Our Government is, perhaps, less responsive to the will of the
people than that of almost any of the civilized nations. Our Constitution
and our laws served us well for the first hundred years of our existence,
but under the conditions of to-day they are not only obsolete, but even
grotesque. It is nearly impossible for the desires of our people to find expression
into law. In the latter part of the last century many will remember
that an income tax was wanted. After many vicissitudes, a measure
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embodying that idea was passed by both Houses of Congress and was
signed by the Executive. But that did not give to us an income tax. The
Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional, and we have been vainly
struggling since to obtain relief.
"If a well-defined majority of the people of England, of France, of Italy
or of Germany had wanted such a law they could have gotten it with
reasonable celerity. Our House of Representatives is supposed to be our
popular law-making body, and yet its members do not convene until a
year and one month from the time they are elected. No matter how
pressing the issue upon which a majority of them are chosen, more than
a year must elapse before they may begin their endeavors to carry out
the will of the people. When a bill covering the question at issue is finally
introduced in the House, it is referred to a committee, and that body may
hold it at its pleasure.
"If, in the end, the House should pass the bill, that probably becomes
the end of it, for the Senate may kill it.
"If the measure passes the Senate it is only after it has again been referred
to a committee and then back to a conference committee of both
Senate and House, and returned to each for final passage.
"When all this is accomplished at a single session, it is unusually expeditious,
for measures, no matter how important, are often carried over
for another year.
"If it should at last pass both House and Senate there is the Executive
veto to be considered. If, however, the President signs the bill and it becomes
a law, it is perhaps but short-lived, for the Supreme Court is ever
present with its Damoclean sword.
"These barriers and interminable delays have caused the demand for
the initiative, referendum and recall. That clumsy weapon was devised
in some States largely because the people were becoming restless and
wanted a more responsive Government.
"I am sure that I shall be able to meet your wishes in a much simpler
way, and yet throw sufficient safeguards around the new system to keep
it from proving hurtful, should an attack of political hysteria overtake
you.
"However, there has never been a time in our history when a majority
of our people have not thought right on the public questions that came
before them, and there is no reason to believe that they will think wrong
now.
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"The interests want a Government hedged with restrictions, such as
we have been living under, and it is easy to know why, with the example
of the last administration fresh in the minds of all.
"A very distinguished lawyer, once Ambassador to Great Britain, is reported
as saying on Lincoln's birthday: 'The Constitution is an instrument
designedly drawn by the founders of this Government providing
safeguards to prevent any inroads by popular excitement or frenzy of the
moment.' And later in the speech he says: 'But I have faith in the sober
judgment of the American people, that they will reject these radical
changes, etc.'
"If he had faith in the sober judgment of the American people, why not
trust them to a measurable extent with the conduct of their own affairs?
"The English people, for a century or more, have had such direction as
I now propose that you shall have, and for more than half a century the
French people have had like power. They have in no way abused it, and
yet the English and French Electorate surely are not more intelligent, or
have better self-control, or more sober judgment than the American
citizenship.
"Another thing to which I desire your attention called is the dangerous
power possessed by the President in the past, but of which the new Constitution
will rob him.
"The framers of the old Constitution lived in an atmosphere of autocracy
and they could not know, as we do now, the danger of placing in
one man's hands such enormous power, and have him so far from the
reach of the people, that before they could dispossess him he might, if
conditions were favorable, establish a dynasty.
"It is astounding that we have allowed a century and a half go by
without limiting both his term and his power.
"In addition to giving you a new Constitution and laws that will meet
existing needs, there are many other things to be done, some of which I
shall briefly outline. I have arranged to have a survey made of the
swamp lands throughout the United States. From reliable data which I
have gathered, I am confident that an area as large as the State of Ohio
can be reclaimed, and at a cost that will enable the Government to sell it
to home-seekers for less than one-fourth what they would have to pay
elsewhere for similar land.
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"Under my personal direction, I am having prepared an old-age pension
law and also a laborers' insurance law, covering loss in cases of illness,
incapacity and death.
"I have a commission working on an efficient cooperative system of
marketing the products of small farms and factories. The small producers
throughout America are not getting a sufficient return for their
products, largely because they lack the facilities for marketing them
properly. By cooperation they will be placed upon an equal footing with
the large producers and small investments that heretofore have given
but a meager return will become profitable.
"I am also planning to inaugurate cooperative loan societies in every
part of the Union, and I have appointed a commissioner to instruct the
people as to their formation and conduct and to explain their beneficent
results.
"In many parts of Europe such societies have reached very high proficiency,
and have been the means of bringing prosperity to communities
that before their establishment had gone into decay.
"Many hundred millions of dollars have been loaned through these societies
and, while only a fractional part of their members would be considered
good for even the smallest amount at a bank, the losses to the societies
on loans to their members have been almost negligible; less indeed
than regular bankers could show on loans to their clients. And yet
it enables those that are almost totally without capital to make a fair living
for themselves and families.
"It is my purpose to establish bureaus through the congested portions
of the United States where men and women in search of employment can
register and be supplied with information as to where and what kind of
work is obtainable. And if no work is to be had, I shall arrange that every
indigent person that is honest and industrious shall be given employment
by the Federal, State, County or Municipal Government as the case may be.
Furthermore, it shall in the future be unlawful for any employer of labor
to require more than eight hours work a day, and then only for six days a
week. Conditions as are now found in the great manufacturing centers
where employés are worked twelve hours a day, seven days in the week,
and receive wages inadequate for even an eight hour day shall be no
longer possible.
"If an attempt is made to reduce wages because of shorter hours or for
any other cause, the employé shall have the right to go before a
127
magistrate and demand that the amount of wage be adjusted there,
either by the magistrate himself or by a jury if demanded by either party.
"Where there are a large number of employés affected, they can act
through their unions or societies, if needs be, and each party at issue may
select an arbitrator and the two so chosen may agree upon a third, or
they may use the courts and juries, as may be preferred.
"This law shall be applicable to women as well as to men, and to every
kind of labor. I desire to make it clear that the policy of this Government
is that every man or woman who desires work shall have it, even if the
Government has to give it, and I wish it also understood that an adequate
wage must be paid for labor.
"Labor is no longer to be classed as an inert commodity to be bought
and sold by the law of supply and demand, but the human equation shall
hereafter be the commanding force in all agreements between man and capital.
"There is another matter to which I shall give my earnest attention and
that is the reformation of the study and practice of medicine. It is well
known that we are far behind England, Germany and France in the protection
of our people from incompetent physicians and quackery. There
is no more competent, no more intelligent or advanced men in the world
than our American physicians and surgeons of the first class.
"But the incompetent men measurably drag down the high standing of
the profession. A large part of our medical schools and colleges are entirely
unfit for the purposes intended, and each year they grant diplomas
to hundreds of ignorant young men and women and license them to
prey upon a more or less helpless people.
"The number of physicians per inhabitant is already ridiculously large,
many times more than is needful, or than other countries where the average
of the professions ranks higher, deem necessary.
"I feel sure that the death list in the United States from the mistakes of
these incompetents is simply appalling.
"I shall create a board of five eminent men, two of whom shall be
physicians, one shall be a surgeon, one a scientist and the other shall be a
great educator, and to this board I shall give the task of formulating a
plan by which the spurious medical colleges and medical men can be
eradicated from our midst.
"I shall call the board's attention to the fact that it is of as much importance
to have men of fine natural ability as it is to give them good
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training, and, if it is practicable, I shall ask them to require some sort of
adequate mental examination that will measurably determine this.
"I have a profound admiration for the courage, the nobility and philanthropy
of the profession as a whole, and I do not want its honor tarnished
by those who are mercenary and unworthy.
"In conclusion I want to announce that pensions will be given to those
who fought on either side in the late war without distinction or reservation.
However, it is henceforth to be the policy of this Government, so far
as I may be able to shape it, that only those in actual need of financial aid
shall receive pensions and to them it shall be given, whether they have or
have not been disabled in consequence of their services to the nation. But
to offer financial aid to the rich and well to do, is to offer an insult, for it
questions their patriotism. Although the first civil war was ended over
sixty years ago, yet that pension roll still draws heavily upon the revenue
of the Nation. Its history has been a rank injustice to the noble armies of
Grant and his lieutenants, the glory of whose achievements is now the
common heritage of a United Country."
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Chapter 40
A DEPARTURE IN BATTLESHIPS
Dru invited the Strawns to accompany him to Newport News to witness
the launching of a new type of battleship. It was said to be, and probably
was, impenetrable. Experts who had tested a model built on a large scale
had declared that this invention would render obsolete every battleship
in existence. The principle was this: Running back from the bow for a
distance of 60 feet only about 4 feet of the hull showed above the water
line, and this part of the deck was concaved and of the smoothest, hardest
steel. Then came several turreted sections upon which guns were
mounted. Around these turrets ran rims of polished steel, two feet in
width and six inches thick. These rims began four feet from the water
line and ran four feet above the level of the turret decks. The rims were
so nicely adjusted with ball bearings that the smallest blow would send
them spinning around, therefore a shell could not penetrate because it
would glance off.
Although the trip to the Newport News Dock yards was made in a
Navy hydroaeroplane it took several hours, and Gloria used the occasion
to urge upon Dru the rectification of some abuses of which she had special
knowledge.
"Philip," she said, "when I was proselytizing among the rich, it came to
me to include the employer of women labor. I found but few who dissented
from my statement of facts, but the answer was that trade conditions,
the demand of customers for cheaper garments and articles, made relief
impracticable. Perhaps their profits are on a narrow basis, Philip; but the
volume of their business is the touchstone of their success, for how otherwise
could so many become millionaires? Just what the remedy is I do
not know, but I want to give you the facts so that in recasting the laws
you may plan something to alleviate a grievous wrong."
"It is strange, Gloria, how often your mind and mine are caught by the
same current, and how they drift in the same direction. It was only a few
days ago that I picked up one of O. Henry's books. In his 'Unfinished
130
Story' he tells of a man who dreamed that he died and was standing with
a crowd of prosperous looking angels before Saint Peter, when a policeman
came up and taking him by the wing asked: 'Are you with that
bunch?'
"'Who are they?' asked the man.
"'Why,' said the policeman, 'they are the men who hired working girls
and paid 'em five or six dollars a week to live on. Are you one of the
bunch?'
"'Not on your immortality,' answered the man. 'I'm only the fellow
who set fire to an orphan asylum, and murdered a blind man for his
pennies.'
"Some years ago when I first read that story, I thought it was humor,
now I know it to be pathos. Nothing, Gloria, will give me greater pleasure
than to try to think out a solution to this problem, and undertake its
application."
Gloria then gave more fully the conditions governing female labor.
The unsanitary surroundings, the long hours and the inadequate wage,
the statistics of refuge societies showed, drove an appalling number of
women and girls to the streets.—No matter how hard they worked they
could not earn sufficient to clothe and feed themselves properly. After a
deadly day's work, many of them found stimulants of various kinds the
cheapest means of bringing comfort to their weary bodies and hope-lost
souls, and then the next step was the beginning of the end.
By now they had come to Newport News and the launching of the
battleship was made as Gloria christened her Columbia. After the ceremonies
were over it became necessary at once to return to Washington,
for at noon of the next day there was to be dedicated the Colossal Arch
of Peace. Ten years before, the Government had undertaken this work
and had slowly executed it, carrying out the joint conception of the foremost
architect in America and the greatest sculptor in the world.
Strangely enough, the architect was a son of New England, and the
Sculptor was from and of the South.
Upon one face of the arch were three heroic figures. Lee on the one
side, Grant on the other, with Fame in the center, holding out a laurel
wreath with either hand to both Grant and Lee. Among the figures
clustered around and below that of Grant, were those of Sherman,
Sheridan, Thomas and Hancock, and among those around and below
that of Lee, were Stonewall Jackson, the two Johnstons, Forrest, Pickett
and Beauregard. Upon the other face of the arch there was in the center a
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heroic figure of Lincoln and gathered around him on either side were
those Statesmen of the North and South who took part in that titanic civil
conflict that came so near to dividing our Republic.
Below Lincoln's figure was written: "With malice towards none, with
charity for all." Below Grant, was his dying injunction to his fellow countrymen:
"Let us have peace." But the silent and courtly Lee left no message
that would fit his gigantic mold.
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Chapter 41
THE NEW NATIONAL CONSTITUTION
Besides the laws and reforms already enumerated, the following is in
brief the plan for the General Government that Philip Dru outlined and
carried through as Administrator of the Republic, and which, in effect,
was made a part of the new constitution.
I.
1. Every adult citizen of the United States, male or female, shall have
the right to vote, and no state, county or municipality shall pass a law or
laws infringing upon this right.
2. Any alien, male or female, who can read, write and speak English,
and who has resided in the United States for ten years, may take out naturalization
papers and become a citizen. 2
3. No one shall be eligible for election as Executive, President, Senator,
Representative or Judge of any court under the age of twenty-five years,
and who is not a citizen of the United States. 3
4. No one shall be eligible for any other office, National or State, who is
at the time, or who has been within a period of five years preceding, a
member of any Senate or Court. 4
II.
2.The former qualification was five years' residence in the United States and in
many States there were no restrictions placed upon education, nor was an understanding
of the English language necessary.
3.Dru saw no good reason for limiting the time when an exceptionally endowed
man could begin to serve the public.
4.The Senate under Dru's plan of Government becomes a quasi-judicial body, and it
was his purpose to prevent any member of it or of the regular judiciary from making
decisions with a view of furthering their political fortunes. Dru believed that it
would be of enormous advantage to the Nation if Judges and Senators were placed in
a position where their motives could not be questioned and where their only incentive
was the general welfare.
133
1. The several states shall be divided into districts of three hundred
thousand inhabitants each, and each district so divided shall have one
representative, and in order to give the widest latitude as to choice, there
shall be no restrictions as to residence. 5
2. The members of the House of Representatives shall be elected on the
first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and shall serve for a
term of six years, subject to a recall at the end of each two years by a
signed petition embracing one-third of the electorate of the district from
which they were chosen. 6
3. The House shall convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday
in January and shall never have more than five hundred members. 7
4. The House of Representatives shall elect a Speaker whose term of office
may be continuous at the pleasure of the majority. He shall preside
over the House, but otherwise his functions shall be purely formal.
5. The House shall also choose an Executive, whose duties it shall be,
under the direction of the House, to administer the Government. He may
or may not be at the time of his election a member of the House, but he
becomes an ex-officio member by virtue thereof.
6.(a) The Executive shall have authority to select his Cabinet Officers
from members of the House or elsewhere, other than from the Courts or
Senates, and such Cabinet Officers shall by reason thereof, be ex-officio
members of the House.
(b) Such officials are to hold their positions at the pleasure of the Executive
and the Executive is to hold his at the pleasure of the majority of
the House.
(c) In an address to the House, the Executive shall, within a reasonable
time after his selection, outline his policy of Government, both domestic
and foreign.
5.Why deprive the Republic of the services of a useful man because his particular
district has more good congressional timber than can be used and another district has
none? Or again, why relegate to private life a man of National importance merely because
his residence happens to be in a district not entirely in harmony with his
views?
6.The recall is here used for the reason that the term has been extended to six years,
though the electorate retains the privilege of dismissing an undesirable member at
the end of every two years.
7.The purpose here was to convene the House within two months instead of thirteen
months after its election, and to limit its size in order to promote efficiency.
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(d) He and his Cabinet may frame bills covering the suggestions made
in his address, or any subsequent address that he may think proper to
make, and introduce and defend them in the House. Measures introduced
by the Executive or members of his Cabinet are not to be referred
to committees, but are to be considered by the House as a whole, and
their consideration shall have preference over measures introduced by
other members.
7. All legislation shall originate in the House.
III.
1. The Senate shall consist of one member from each State, and shall be
elected for life, by direct vote of the people, and shall be subject to recall
by a majority vote of the electors of his State at the end of any five-year
period of his term. 8
2. (a) Every measure passed by the House, other than those relating
solely to the raising of revenue for the current needs of the Government
and the expenditure thereof, shall go to the Senate for approval.
(b) The Senate may approve a measure by a majority vote and it then
becomes a law, or they may make such suggestions regarding the
amendment as may seem to them pertinent, and return it to the House to
accept or reject as they may see fit.
(c) The Senate may reject a measure by a majority vote. If the Senate reject
a measure, the House shall have the right to dissolve and go before
the people for their decision.
(d) If the country approves the measure by returning a House favorable
to it, then, upon its passage by the House in the same form as when rejected
by the Senate, it shall become a law.
3. (a) A Senator may be impeached by a majority vote of the Supreme
Court, upon an action approved by the House and brought by the Executive
or any member of his Cabinet.
(b) A Senator must retire at the age of seventy years, and he shall be
suitably pensioned.
IV.
1. The President shall be chosen by a majority vote of all the electors.
His term shall be for ten years and he shall be ineligible for re-election,
but after retirement he shall receive a pension.
8.The reason for using the recall here is that the term is lengthened to life and it
seemed best to give the people a right to pass upon their Senators at stated periods.
135
2. His duties shall be almost entirely formal and ceremonial.
3. In the event of a hiatus in the Government from any source whatsoever,
it shall be his duty immediately to call an election, and in the meantime
act as Executive until the regularly elected authorities can again assume
charge of the Government.
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Chapter 42
NEW STATE CONSTITUTIONS
I.
To the States, Administrator Dru gave governments in all essentials
like that of the nation. In brief the State instruments held the following
provisions:
1. The House of Representatives shall consist of one member for every
fifty thousand inhabitants, and never shall exceed a membership of two
hundred in any State.
2. Representatives shall be elected for a term of two years, but not
more than one session shall be held during their tenure of office unless
called in special session by the Speaker of the House with the approval
of the Governor.
3. Representatives shall be elected in November, and the House shall
convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January to sit during
its own pleasure.
4. Representatives shall make rules for their self-government and shall
be the general state law making body.
II.
1. The Senate shall be composed of one member from each congressional
district, but there shall never be less than five nor more than fifty
in any State Senate.
2. Senators shall be elected for a term of ten years subject to recall at
the end of each two years, by petition signed by a majority of the electorate
of their district.
3. (a) No legislation shall originate in the Senate. Its function is to advise
as to measures sent there by the House, to make suggestions and
such amendments as might seem pertinent, and return the measure to
the House, for its final action.
137
(b) When a bill is sent to the Senate by the House, if approved, it shall
become a law, if disapproved, it shall be returned to the House with the
objections stated.
(c) If the House considers a measure of sufficient importance, it may
dissolve immediately and let the people pass upon it, or they may wait
until a regular election for popular action.
(d) If the people approve the measure, the House must enact it in the
same form as when disapproved by the Senate, and it shall then become a
law.
III.
1. (a) The Governor shall be elected by a direct vote of all the people.
(b) His term of office shall be six years, and he shall be ineligible for reelection.
He shall be subject to recall at the end of every two years by a
majority vote of the State. 9
2. (a) He shall have no veto power or other control over legislation,
and shall not make any suggestions or recommendations in regard
thereto.
(b) His function shall be purely executive. He may select his own
council or fellow commissioners for the different governmental departments,
and they shall hold their positions at his pleasure.
(c) All the Governor's appointees shall be confirmed by the Senate before
they may assume office.
(d) The Governor may be held strictly accountable by the people for
the honest, efficient and economical conduct of the government, due allowance
being made for the fact that he is in no way responsible for the
laws under which he must work.
(e) It shall be his duty also to report to the legislature at each session,
giving an account of his stewardship regarding the enforcement of the
laws, the conduct of the different departments, etc., etc., and making an
estimate for the financial budget required for the two years following.
3.(a) There shall be a Pardon Board of three members who shall pass
upon all matters relating to the Penal Service.
9.The recall is used here, as in other instances, because of the lengthened term and
the desirability of permitting the people to pass upon a Governor's usefulness at
shorter periods.
138
(b) This Board shall be nominated by the Governor and confirmed by
the Senate. After their confirmation, the Governor shall have no further
jurisdiction over them.
(c) They shall hold office for six years and shall be ineligible for
reappointment.
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Chapter 43
THE RULE OF THE BOSSES
General Dru was ever fond of talking to Senator Selwyn. He found his
virile mind a never-failing source of information. Busy as they both were
they often met and exchanged opinions. In answer to a question from
Dru, Selwyn said that while Pennsylvania and a few other States had
been more completely under the domination of bosses than others, still
the system permeated everywhere.
In some States a railroad held the power, but exercised it through an
individual or individuals.
In another State, a single corporation held it, and yet again, it was often
held by a corporate group acting together. In many States one individual
dominated public affairs and more often for good than for evil.
The people simply would not take enough interest in their Government
to exercise the right of control.
Those who took an active interest were used as a part of the boss'
tools, be he a benevolent one or otherwise.
"The delegates go to the conventions," said Selwyn, "and think they
have something to do with the naming of the nominees, and the making
of the platforms. But the astute boss has planned all that far in advance,
the candidates are selected and the platform written and both are 'forced'
upon the unsuspecting delegate, much as the card shark forced his cards
upon his victim. It is all seemingly in the open and above the boards, but
as a matter of fact quite the reverse is true.
"At conventions it is usual to select some man who has always been
honored and respected, and elect him chairman of the platform committee.
He is pleased with the honor and is ready to do the bidding of the
man to whom he owes it.
"The platform has been read to him and he has been committed to it
before his appointment as chairman. Then a careful selection is made of
delegates from the different senatorial districts and a good working
140
majority of trusted followers is obtained for places on the committee.
Someone nominates for chairman the 'honored and respected' and he is
promptly elected.
"Another member suggests that the committee, as it stands, is too unwieldy
to draft a platform, and makes a motion that the chairman be empowered
to appoint a sub-committee of five to outline one and submit it
to the committee as a whole.
"The motion is carried and the chairman appoints five of the 'tried and
true.' There is then an adjournment until the sub-committee is ready to
report.
"The five betake themselves to a room in some hotel and smoke, drink
and swap stories until enough time has elapsed for a proper platform to
be written.
"They then report to the committee as a whole and, after some
wrangling by the uninitiated, the platform is passed as the boss has written
it without the addition of a single word.
"Sometimes it is necessary to place upon the sub-committee a recalcitrant
or two. Then the method is somewhat different. The boss' platform
is cut into separate planks and first one and then another of the faithful
offers a plank, and after some discussion a majority of the committee adopt
it. So when the sub-committee reports back there stands the boss'
handiwork just as he has constructed it.
"Oftentimes there is no subterfuge, but the convention, as a whole, recognizes
the pre-eminent ability of one man amongst them, and by common
consent he is assigned the task."
Selwyn also told Dru that it was often the practice among corporations
not to bother themselves about state politics further than to control the
Senate.
This smaller body was seldom more than one-fourth as large as the
House, and usually contained not more than twenty-five or thirty
members.
Their method was to control a majority of the Senate and let the House
pass such measures as it pleased, and the Governor recommend such
laws as he thought proper. Then the Senate would promptly kill all legislation
that in any way touched corporate interests.
Still another method which was used to advantage by the interests
where they had not been vigilant in the protection of their "rights," and
when they had no sure majority either in the House or Senate and no
141
influence with the Governor, was to throw what strength they had to the
stronger side in the factional fights that were always going on in every
State and in every legislature.
Actual money, Selwyn said, was now seldom given in the relentless
warfare which the selfish interests were ever waging against the people,
but it was intrigue, the promise of place and power, and the ever effectual
appeal to human vanity.
That part of the press which was under corporate control was often
able to make or destroy a man's legislative and political career, and the
weak and the vain and the men with shifty consciences, that the people
in their fatuous indifference elect to make their laws, seldom fail to succumb
to this subtle influence.
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Chapter 44
ONE CAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
In one of their fireside talks, Selwyn told Dru that a potential weapon in
the hands of those who had selfish purposes to subserve, was the long
and confusing ballot.
"Whenever a change is suggested by which it can be shortened, and
the candidates brought within easy review of the electorate, the objection
is always raised," said Selwyn, "that the rights of the people are being
invaded.
"'Let the people rule,' is the cry," he said, "and the unthinking many
believing that democratic government is being threatened, demand that
they be permitted to vote for every petty officer.
"Of course quite the reverse is true," continued Selwyn, "for when the
ballot is filled with names of candidates running for general and local offices,
there is, besides the confusion, the usual trading. As a rule, interest
centers on the local man, and there is less scrutiny of those candidates
seeking the more important offices."
"While I had already made up my mind," said Dru, "as to the short ballot
and a direct accountability to the people, I am glad to have you confirm
the correctness of my views."
"You may take my word for it, General Dru, that the interests also desire
large bodies of law makers instead of few. You may perhaps recall
how vigorously they opposed the commission form of government for
cities.
"Under the old system when there was a large council, no one was responsible.
If a citizen had a grievance, and complained to his councilman,
he was perhaps truthfully told that he was not to blame. He was
sent from one member of the city government to the other, and unable to
obtain relief, in sheer desperation, he gave up hope and abandoned his
effort for justice. But under the commission form of government, none of
the officials can shirk responsibility. Each is in charge of a department,
143
and if there is inefficiency, it is easy to place the blame where it properly
belongs.
"Under such a system the administration of public affairs becomes at
once, simple, direct and business-like. If any outside corrupt influences
seek to creep in, they are easy of detection and the punishment can be
made swift and certain."
"I want to thank you again, Senator Selwyn, for the help you have
been to me in giving me the benefit of your ripe experience in public affairs,"
said Dru, "and there is another phase of the subject that I would
like to discuss with you. I have thought long and seriously how to overcome
the fixing of prices by individuals and corporations, and how the
people may be protected from that form of robbery.
"When there is a monopoly or trust, it is easy to locate the offense, but
it is a different proposition when one must needs deal with a large number
of corporations and individuals, who, under the guise of competition,
have an understanding, both as to prices and territory to be served.
"For instance, the coal dealers, at the beginning of winter, announce a
fixed price for coal. If there are fifty of them and all are approached, not
one of them will vary his quotation from the other forty-nine. If he
should do so, the coal operators would be informed and the offending
dealer would find, by some pretext or another, his supply cut off.
"We see the same condition regarding large supply and manufacturing
concerns which cover the country with their very essential products. A
keen rivalry is apparent, and competitive bids in sealed envelopes are
made when requested, but as a matter of fact, we know that there is no
competition. Can you give me any information upon this matter?"
"There are many and devious ways by which the law can be evaded
and by which the despoliation of the public may be accomplished," said
Selwyn. "The representatives of those large business concerns meet and a
map of the United States is spread out before them. This map is regarded
by them very much as if it were a huge pie that is to be divided according
to the capacity of each to absorb and digest his share. The territory is
not squared off, that is, taking in whole sections of contiguous country,
but in a much more subtle way, so that the delusion of competition may
be undisturbed. When several of these concerns are requested to make
prices, they readily comply and seem eager for the order. The delusion
extends even to their agents, who are as innocent as the would-be purchaser
of the real conditions, and are doing their utmost to obtain the
business. The concern in whose assigned territory the business
144
originates, makes the price and informs its supposed rivals of its bid, so
that they may each make one slightly higher."
"Which goes to show," said Dru, "how easy it is to exploit the public
when there is harmony among the exploiters. There seems to me to be
two evils involved in this problem, Senator Selwyn, one is the undue cost
to the people, and the other, but lesser, evil, is the protection of
incompetency.
"It is not the survival of the fittest, but an excess of profits, that enables
the incompetent to live and thrive."
After a long and exhaustive study of this problem, the Administrator
directed his legal advisers to incorporate his views into law.
No individual as such, was to be permitted to deal in what might be
termed products of the natural resources of the country, unless he subjected
himself to all the publicity and penalties that would accrue to a
corporation, under the new corporate regulations.
Corporations, argued Dru, could be dealt with under the new laws in
a way that, while fair to them, would protect the public. In the future, he
reminded his commission, there would be upon the directorates a representative
of either the National, State, or Municipal governments, and
the books, and every transaction, would be open to the public. This
would apply to both the owner of the raw material, be it mine, forest, or
what not, as well as to the corporation or individual who distributed the
marketable product.
It was Dru's idea that public opinion was to be invoked to aid in the
task, and district attorneys and grand juries, throughout the country,
were to be admonished to do their duty. If there was a fixity of prices in
any commodity or product, or even approximately so, he declared, it
would be prima facie evidence of a combination.
In this way, the Administrator thought the evil of pools and trust
agreements could be eradicated, and a healthful competition, content
with reasonable profits, established. If a single corporation, by its extreme
efficiency, or from unusual conditions, should constitute a monopoly
so that there was practically no competition, then it would be necessary,
he thought, for the Government to fix a price reasonable to all interests
involved.
Therefore it was not intended to put a limit on the size or the comprehensiveness
of any corporation, further than that it should not stifle competition,
except by greater efficiency in production and distribution. If
145
this should happen, then the people and the Government would be protected
by publicity, by their representative on the board of directors and
by the fixing of prices, if necessary.
It had been shown by the career of one of the greatest industrial combinations
that the world has yet known, that there was a limit where size
and inefficiency met. The only way that this corporation could maintain
its lead was through the devious paths of relentless monopoly.
Dru wanted America to contend for its share of the world's trade, and
to enable it to accomplish this, he favored giving business the widest latitude
consistent with protection of the people.
When he assumed control of the Government, one of the many absurdities
of the American economic system was the practical inhibition
of a merchant marine. While the country was second to none in the value
and quantity of production, yet its laws were so framed that it was dependent
upon other nations for its transportation by sea; and its carrying
trade was in no way commensurate with the dignity of the coast line and
with the power and wealth of the Nation.
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Chapter 45
BURIAL REFORM
At about this time the wife of one of the Cabinet officers died, and Administrator
Dru attended the funeral. There was an unusually large gathering,
but it was plain that most of those who came did so from morbid
curiosity. The poignant grief of the bereaved husband and children
wrung the heartstrings of their many sympathetic friends. The lowering
of the coffin, the fall of the dirt upon its cover, and the sobs of those
around the grave, was typical of such occasions.
Dru was deeply impressed and shocked, and he thought to use his influence
towards a reformation of such a cruel and unnecessary form of
burial. When the opportunity presented itself, he directed attention to
the objections to this method of disposing of the dead, and he suggested
the formation in every community of societies whose purpose should be
to use their influence towards making interments private, and towards
the substitution of cremation for the unsanitary custom of burial in
cemeteries. These societies were urged to point out the almost prohibitive
expense the present method entailed upon the poor and those of
moderate means. The buying of the lot and casket, the cost of the funeral
itself, and the discarding of useful clothing in order to robe in black,
were alike unnecessary. Some less dismal insignia of grief should be adopted,
he said, that need not include the entire garb. Grief, he pointed
out, and respect for the dead, were in no way better evidenced by such
barbarous customs.
Rumor had it that scandal's cruel tongue was responsible for this good
woman's death. She was one of the many victims that go to unhappy
graves in order that the monstrous appetite for gossip may be appeased.
If there be punishment after death, surely, the creator and disseminator
of scandal will come to know the anger and contempt of a righteous
God. The good and the bad are all of a kind to them. Their putrid minds
see something vile in every action, and they leave the drippings of their
evil tongues wherever they go. Some scandalmongers are merely stupid
147
and vulgar, while others have a biting wit that cause them to be feared
and hated. Rumors they repeat as facts, and to speculations they add
what corroborative evidence is needed. The dropping of the eyelids, the
smirk that is so full of insinuation is used to advantage where it is more
effective than the downright lie. The burglar and the highwayman go
frankly abroad to gather in the substance of others, and they stand ready
to forfeit both life and liberty while in pursuit of nefarious gain. Yet it is
a noble profession compared with that of the scandalmonger, and the
murderer himself is hardly a more objectionable member of society than
the character assassin.
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Chapter 46
THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE
In one of their confidential talks, Selwyn told Dru that he had a fortune
in excess of two hundred million dollars, and that while it was his intention
to amply provide for his immediate family, and for those of his
friends who were in need, he desired to use the balance of his money in
the best way he could devise to help his fellowmen.
He could give for this purpose, he said, two hundred million dollars or
more, for he did not want to provide for his children further than to ensure
their entire comfort, and to permit them to live on a scale not measurably
different from what they had been accustomed.
He had never lived in the extravagant manner that was usual in men
of his wealth, and his children had been taught to expect only a moderate
fortune at his death. He was too wise a man not to know that one of
the greatest burdens that wealth imposed, was the saving of one's children
from its contaminations. He taught his sons that they were seriously
handicapped by their expectations of even moderate wealth, and
that unless they were alert and vigilant and of good habits, the boy who
was working his own way upward would soon outstrip them. They were
taught that they themselves, were the natural objects of pity and parental
concern, and not their seemingly less fortunate brothers.
"Look among those whose parents have wealth and have given of it
lavishly to their children," he said, "and count how few are valuable
members of society or hold the respect of their fellows.
"On the other hand, look at the successful in every vocation of life, and
note how many have literally dug their way to success."
The more Dru saw of Selwyn, the better he liked him, and knowing
the inner man, as he then did, the more did he marvel at his career. He
and Selwyn talked long and earnestly over the proper disposition of his
fortune. They both knew that it was hard to give wisely and without doing
more harm than good. Even in providing for his friends, Selwyn was
149
none too sure that he was conferring benefits upon them. Most of them
were useful though struggling members of society, but should competency
come to them, he wondered how many would continue as such.
There was one, the learned head of a comparatively new educational institution,
with great resources ultimately behind it. This man was building
it on a sure and splendid foundation, in the hope that countless generations
of youth would have cause to be grateful for the sagacious energy
he was expending in their behalf.
He had, Selwyn knew, the wanderlust to a large degree, and the millionaire
wondered whether, when this useful educator's slender income
was augmented by the generous annuity he had planned to give him, he
would continue his beneficent work or become a dweller in arabs' tents.
In the plenitude of his wealth and generosity, he had another in mind
to share his largess. He was the orphaned son of an old and valued
friend. He had helped the lad over some rough places, but had been
careful not to do enough to slacken the boy's own endeavor. The young
man had graduated from one of the best universities, and afterwards at a
medical school that was worthy the name. He was, at the time Selwyn
was planning the disposition of his wealth, about thirty years old, and
was doing valuable laboratory work in one of the great research institutions.
Gifted with superb health, and a keen analytical mind, he seemed
to have it in him to go far in his profession, and perhaps be of untold benefit
to mankind.
But Selwyn had noticed an indolent streak in the young scientist, and
he wondered whether here again he was doing the fair and right thing
by placing it within his power to lead a life of comparative ease and uselessness.
Consequently, Selwyn moved cautiously in the matter of the
distribution of his great wealth, and invoked Dru's aid. It was Dru's supernormal
intellect, tireless energy, and splendid constructive ability that
appealed to him, and he not only admired the Administrator above all
men, but he had come to love him as a son. Dru was the only person
with whom Selwyn had ever been in touch whose advice he valued
above his own judgment. Therefore when the young Administrator suggested
a definite plan of scientific giving, Selwyn gave it respectful attention
at first, and afterwards his enthusiastic approval.
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Chapter 47
THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE,
CONTINUED
"If your fortune were mine, Senator Selwyn," said Philip Dru, "I would
devote it to the uplift of women. Their full rights will be accorded them
in time, but their cause could be accelerated by you, and meanwhile untold
misery and unhappiness averted. Man, who is so dependent upon
woman, has largely failed in his duty to her, not alone as an individual
but as a sex. Laws are enacted, unions formed, and what not done for
man's protection, but the working woman is generally ignored. With
your money, and even more with your ability, you could change for the
better the condition of girlhood and womanhood in every city and in
every factory throughout the land. Largely because they are unorganized,
women are overworked and underpaid to such an extent that other
evils, which we deplore, follow as a natural sequence. By proper organization,
by exciting public interest and enlisting the sympathy and active
support of the humane element, which is to be found in every community
you will be able to bring about better conditions.
"If I were you, I would start my crusade in New York and work out a
model organization there, so that you could educate your coadjutors as
to the best methods, and then send them elsewhere to inaugurate the
movement. Moreover, I would not confine my energies entirely to America,
but Europe and other parts of the world should share its benefits, for
human misery knows no sheltering land.
"In conjunction with this plan, I would carry along still another. Workingmen
have their clubs, their societies and many places for social gathering,
but the women in most cities have none. As you know, the great
majority of working girls live in tenements, crowded with their families
in a room or two, or they live in cheap and lonely boarding houses. They
have no chance for recreation after working hours or on holidays, unless
they go to places it would be better to keep away from. If men wish to
151
visit them, it must needs be in their bedrooms, on the street, or in some
questionable resort."
"How am I to change this condition?" said Selwyn.
"In many ways," said Dru. "Have clubs for them, where they may sing,
dance, read, exercise and have their friends visit them. Have good women
in charge so that the influence will be of the best. Have occasional
plays and entertainments for them, to which they may each invite a
friend, and make such places pleasanter than others where they might
go. And all the time protect them, and preferably in a way they are not
conscious of. By careful attention to the reading matter, interesting stories
should be selected each of which would bear its own moral. Quiet
and informal talks by the matron and others at opportune times, would
give them an insight into the pitfalls around them, and make it more difficult
for the human vultures to accomplish their undoing. There is no
greater stain upon our vaunted civilization," continued Dru, "than our
failure to protect the weak, the unhappy and the abjectly poor of
womankind.
"Philosophers still treat of it in the abstract, moralists speak of it now
and then in an academic way, but it is a subject generally shunned and
thought hopelessly impossible.
"It is only here and there that a big noble-hearted woman can be found
to approach it, and then a Hull House is started, and under its sheltering
roof unreckoned numbers of innocent hearted girls are saved to bless, at
a later day, its patron saint.
"Start Hull Houses, Senator Selwyn, along with your other plan, for it
is all of a kind, and works to the betterment of woman. The vicious, the
evil minded and the mature sensualist, we will always have with us, but
stretch out your mighty arm, buttressed as it is by fabulous wealth, and
save from the lair of the libertines, the innocent, whose only crime is
poverty and a hopeless despair.
"In your propaganda for good," continued Dru, "do not overlook the
education of mothers to the importance of sex hygiene, so that they may
impart to their daughters the truth, and not let them gather their knowledge
from the streets.
"You may go into this great work, Senator Selwyn, with the consciousness
that you are reaching a condition fraught with more consequence to
society than any other that confronts it, for its ramifications for evil are
beyond belief of any but the sociologist who has gone to its foundations."
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Chapter 48
AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION
Busy as General Dru had been rehabilitating domestic affairs, he never
for a moment neglected the foreign situation. He felt that it was almost
providential that he was in a position to handle it unhampered, for at no
time in our history were we in such peril of powerful foreign coalition.
Immediately after receiving from Selwyn the information concerning the
British-German alliance, he had begun to build, as it were, a fire behind
the British Ministry, and the result was its overthrow. When the English
nation began to realize that a tentative agreement was being arrived at
between their country on the one hand, and Germany and Japan on the
other, with America as its object of attack, there was a storm of indignation;
and when the new Ministry was installed the diplomatic machinery
was set to work to undo, as nearly as could be, what their predecessors
had accomplished.
In the meantime, Dru negotiated with them to the end that England
and America were to join hands in a world wide policy of peace and
commercial freedom. According to Dru's plan, disarmaments were to be
made to an appreciable degree, custom barriers were to be torn down,
zones of influence clearly defined, and an era of friendly commercial
rivalry established.
It was agreed that America should approach Germany and Japan in
furtherance of this plan, and when their consent was obtained, the rest
would follow.
Dru worked along these lines with both nations, using consummate
tact and skill. Both Germany and Japan were offended at the English
change of front, and were ready to listen to other proposals. To them, he
opened up a wide vista of commercial and territorial expansion, or at
least its equivalent. Germany was to have the freest commercial access to
South America, and she was invited to develop those countries both with
German colonists and German capital.
153
There was to be no coercion of the governments, or political control in
that territory, but on the other hand, the United States undertook that
there should be no laws enacted by them to restrain trade, and that the
rights of foreigners should have the fullest protection. Dru also undertook
the responsibility of promising that there should be no favoritism
shown by the South and Central American governments, but that native
and alien should stand alike before the law so far as property rights were
concerned.
Germany was to have a freer hand in the countries lying southeast of
her and in Asia Minor. It was not intended that she should absorb them
or infringe upon the rights as nations, but her sphere of influence was to
be extended over them much the same as ours was over South America.
While England was not to be restricted in her trade relations with
those countries, still she was neither to encourage emigration there nor
induce capital to exploit their resources.
Africa and her own colonies were to be her special fields of endeavor.
In consideration of the United States lifting practically all custom barriers,
and agreeing to keep out of the Eastern Hemisphere, upholding
with her the peace and commercial freedom of the world, and of the United
States recognizing the necessity of her supremacy on the seas, England,
after having obtained the consent of Canada, agreed to relinquish
her own sphere of political influence over the Dominion, and let her
come under that of the United States. Canada was willing that this situation
should be brought about, for her trade conditions had become interwoven
with those of the United States, and the people of the two
countries freely intermingled. Besides, since Dru had reconstructed the
laws and constitution of the big republic, they were more in harmony
with the Canadian institutions than before.
Except that the United States were not to appoint a Governor General,
the republic's relations with Canada were to be much the same as those
between herself and the Mother Country. The American flag, the American
destiny and hers were to be interwoven through the coming ages.
In relinquishing this most perfect jewel in her Imperial crown, England
suffered no financial loss, for Canada had long ceased to be a source
of revenue, and under the new order of things, the trade relations
between the two would be increased rather than diminished. The only
wrench was the parting with so splendid a province, throughout which,
that noble insignia of British supremacy, the cross of St. George, would
be forever furled.
154
Administrator Dru's negotiations with Japan were no less successful
than those with England. He first established cordial relations with her
by announcing the intention of the United States to give the Philippines
their independence under the protection of Japan, reserving for America
and the rest of the world the freest of trade relations with the Islands.
Japan and China were to have all Eastern Asia as their sphere of influence,
and if it pleased them to drive Russia back into Europe, no one
would interfere.
That great giant had not yet discarded the ways and habits of medievalism.
Her people were not being educated, and she indicated no intention
of preparing them for the responsibilities of self government, to
which they were entitled. Sometimes in his day dreams, Dru thought of
Russia in its vastness, of the ignorance and hopeless outlook of the
people, and wondered when her deliverance would come. There was, he
knew, great work for someone to do in that despotic land.
Thus Dru had formulated and put in motion an international policy,
which, if adhered to in good faith, would bring about the comity of nations,
a lasting and beneficent peace, and the acceptance of the principle
of the brotherhood of man.
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Chapter 49
UNEVEN ODDS
Gloria and Janet Selwyn saw much of one another in Washington, and
Dru was with them both during those hours he felt necessary for recreation.
Janet was ever bubbling over with fun and unrestrained humor,
and was a constant delight to both Gloria and Dru. Somewhere deep in
her soul there was a serious stratum, but it never came to the surface.
Neither Gloria nor Dru knew what was passing in those turbulent
depths, and neither knew the silent heartaches when she was alone and
began to take an inventory of her innermost self. She had loved Dru from
the moment she first saw him at her home in Philadelphia, but with that
her prescience in such matters as only women have, she knew that nothing
more than his friendship would ever be hers. She sometimes felt the
bitterness of woman's position in such situations. If Dru had loved her,
he would have been free to pay her court, and to do those things which
oftentimes awaken a kindred feeling in another. But she was helpless.
An advancement from her would but lessen his regard, and make impossible
that which she most desired. She often wondered what there
was between Gloria and Dru. Was there an attachment, an understanding,
or was it one of those platonic friendships created by common interests
and a common purpose? She wished she knew. She was reasonably
sure of Gloria. That she loved Dru seemed to admit of little doubt.
But what of him? Did he love Gloria, or did his love encompass the
earth, and was mankind ever to be his wife and mistress? She wished she
knew. How imperturbable he was! Was he to live and die a fathomless
mystery? If he could not be hers, her generous heart plead for Gloria. She
and Gloria often talked of Dru. There was no fencing between these two.
Open and enthusiastic admiration of Philip each expressed, but there
were no confidences which revealed their hearts. Realizing that her love
would never be reciprocated, Janet misled Philip as to her real feelings.
One day when the three were together, she said, "Mr. Administrator,
why don't you marry? It would add enormously to your popularity and
156
it would keep a lot of us girls from being old maids." "How would it prevent
your being an old maid, Janet?" said Dru. "Please explain." "Why,
there are a lot of us that hope to have you call some afternoon, and ask
us to be Mrs. Dru, and it begins to look to me as if some of us would be
disappointed." Dru laughed and told her not to give up hope. And then
he said more seriously—"Some day when my work here is done, I shall
take your advice if I can find someone who will marry me." "If you wait
too long, Philip, you will be so old, no one will want you," said Janet. "I
have a feeling, Janet, that somewhere there is a woman who knows and
will wait. If I am wrong, then the future holds for me many bitter and
unhappy hours." Dru said this with such deep feeling that both Gloria
and Janet were surprised. And Janet wondered whether this was a message
to some unknown woman, or was it meant for Gloria? She wished
she knew.
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Chapter 50
THE BROADENING OF THE MONROE DOCTRINE
In spite of repeated warnings from the United States, Mexico and the
Central American Republics had obstinately continued their old time
habit of revolutions without just cause, with the result that they neither
had stable governments within themselves, nor any hope of peace with
each other. One revolution followed another in quick succession, until
neither life nor property was safe. England, Germany and other nations
who had citizens and investments there had long protested to the American
Government, and Dru knew that one of the purposes of the proposed
coalition against the United States had been the assumption of
control themselves. Consequently, he took active and drastic steps to
bring order out of chaos. He had threatened many times to police these
countries, and he finally prepared to do so.
Other affairs of the Dru administration were running smoothly. The
Army was at a high standard of efficiency, and the country was fully
ready for the step when Dru sent one hundred thousand men to the Rio
Grande, and demanded that the American troops be permitted to cross
over and subdue the revolutionists and marauding bandits.
The answer was a coalition of all the opposing factions and the massing
of a large army of defense. The Central American Republics also
joined Mexico, and hurriedly sent troops north.
General Dru took personal command of the American forces, crossed
the Rio Grande at Laredo, and war was declared. There were a large
number of Mexican soldiers at Monterey, but they fell back in order to
get in touch with the main army below Saltillo.
General Dru marched steadily on, but before he came to Saltillo, President
Benevides, who commanded his own army, moved southward, in
order to give the Central American troops time to reach him. This was
accomplished about fifty miles north of the City of Mexico. The allies
had one hundred thousand men, and the American force numbered sixty
158
thousand, Dru having left forty thousand at Laredo, Monterey and
Saltillo.
The two armies confronted one another for five days, General
Benevides waiting for the Americans to attack, while General Dru was
merely resting his troops and preparing them for battle. In the meantime,
he requested a conference with the Mexican Commander, and the two
met with their staffs midway between the opposing armies.
General Dru urged an immediate surrender, and fully explained his
plans for occupation, so that it might be known that there was to be no
oppression. He pointed out that it had become no longer possible for the
United States to ignore the disorder that prevailed in Mexico and those
countries south of it, for if the United States had not taken action, Europe
would have done so. He expressed regret that a country so favored by
God should be so abused by man, for with peace, order and a just administration
of the government, Mexico and her sister republics, he felt
sure, would take a high place in the esteem of the world. He also said
that he had carefully investigated conditions, knew where the trouble
lay, and felt sure that the mass of people would welcome a change from
the unbearable existing conditions. The country was then, and had been
for centuries, wrongfully governed by a bureaucracy, and he declared
his belief that the Mexican people as a whole believed that the Americans
would give them a greater measure of freedom and protection than
they had ever known before.
Dru further told General Benevides that his army represented about all
there was of opposition to America's offer of order and liberty, and he
asked him to accept the inevitable, and not sacrifice the lives of the brave
men in both commands.
Benevides heard him with cold but polite silence.
"You do not understand us, Senor Dru, nor that which we represent.
We would rather die or be driven into exile than permit you to arrange
our internal affairs as you suggest. There are a few families who have
ruled Mexico since the first Spanish occupation, and we will not relinquish
our hold until compelled to do so. At times a Juarez or a Diaz has
attained to the Presidency, but we, the great families, have been the
power behind each administration. The peons and canaille that you
would educate and make our political equals, are now where they rightfully
belong, and your endeavors in their behalf are misplaced and can
have no result except disaster to them. Your great Lincoln emancipated
many millions of blacks, and they were afterwards given the franchise
159
and equal rights. But can they exercise that franchise, and have they
equal rights? You know they have not. You have placed them in a worse
position than they were before. You have opened a door of hope that the
laws of nature forbid them to enter. So it would be here. Your theories
and your high flown sentiment do you great credit, but, illustrious Senor,
read the pages of your own history, and do not try to make the same
mistake again. Many centuries ago the all knowing Christ advised the
plucking of the mote from thine own eye before attempting to remove it
from that of thy brother."
To this Dru replied: "Your criticism of us is only partly just. We lifted
the yoke from the black man's neck, but we went too fast in our zeal for
his welfare. However, we have taken him out of a boundless swamp
where under the old conditions he must have wandered for all time
without hope, and we have placed his feet upon firm ground, and are
leading him with helping hands along the road of opportunity.
"That, though, Mr. President, is only a part of our mission to you. Our
citizens and those of other countries have placed in your Republic vast
sums for its development, trusting to your treaty guarantees, and they
feel much concern over their inability to operate their properties, not
only to the advantage of your people, but to those to whom they belong.
We of Western Europe and the United States have our own theories as to
the functions of government, theories that perhaps you fail to appreciate,
but we feel we must not only observe them ourselves, but try and persuade
others to do likewise.
"One of these ideas is the maintenance of order, so that when our hospitable
neighbors visit us, they may feel as to their persons and property,
as safe as if they were at home.
"I am afraid our views are wide apart," concluded Dru, "and I say it
with deep regret, for I wish we might arrive at an understanding without
a clash at arms. I assure you that my visit to you is not selfish; it is not to
acquire territory or for the aggrandizement of either myself or my country,
but it is to do the work that we feel must be done, and which you refuse
to do."
"Senor Dru," answered Benevides, "it has been a pleasure to meet you
and discuss the ethics of government, but even were I willing to listen to
your proposals, my army and adherents would not, so there is nothing
we can do except to finish our argument upon the field of battle."
The interview was therefore fruitless, but Dru felt that he had done his
duty, and he prepared for the morrow's conflict with a less heavy heart.
160
Chapter 51
THE BATTLE OF LA TUNA
In the numbers engaged, in the duration and in the loss of life, the battle
of La Tuna was not important, but its effect upon Mexico and the Central
American Republics was epoch making.
The manner of attack was characteristic of Dru's methods. His interview
with General Benevides had ended at noon, and word soon ran
through the camp that peace negotiations had failed with the result that
the army was immediately on the alert and eager for action. Dru did not
attempt to stop the rumor that the engagement would occur at dawn the
next day. By dusk every man was in readiness, but they did not have to
wait until morning, for as soon as supper was eaten, to the surprise of
everyone, word came to make ready for action and march upon the enemy.
Of Dru's sixty thousand men, twenty thousand were cavalry, and
these he sent to attack the Mexican rear. They were ordered to move
quietly so as to get as near to the enemy as possible before being
discovered.
It was not long before the Mexican outposts heard the marching of
men and the rumble of gun carriages. This was reported to General
Benevides and he rode rapidly to his front. A general engagement at
nightfall was so unusual that he could not believe the movement meant
anything more than General Dru's intention to draw nearer, so that he
could attack in the morning at closer range.
It was a clear starlight night, and with the aid of his glasses he could
see the dark line coming steadily on. He was almost in a state of panic
when he realized that a general attack was intended. He rode back
through his lines giving orders in an excited and irregular way. There
was hurry and confusion everywhere, and he found it difficult to get his
soldiers to understand that a battle was imminent. Those in front were
looking with a feeling akin to awe at that solid dark line that was ever
coming nearer. The Mexicans soon began to fire from behind the breastworks
that had been hastily erected during the few days the armies had
161
been facing one another, but the shots went wild, doing but slight damage
in the American ranks. Then came the order from Dru to charge, and
with it came the Yankee yell. It was indeed no battle at all. By the time
the Americans reached the earthworks, the Mexicans were in flight, and
when the cavalry began charging the rear, the rout was completed.
In the battle of La Tuna, General Benevides proved himself worthy of
his lineage. No general could have done more to rally his troops, or have
been more indifferent to danger. He scorned to turn his back upon an enemy,
and while trying to rally his scattered forces, he was captured,
badly wounded.
Every attention worthy his position was shown the wounded man.
Proud and chivalrous as any of his race, he was deeply humiliated at the
miserable failure that had been made to repell the invaders of his country,
though keenly touched by the consideration and courtesy shown
him by the American General.
Dru made no spectacular entrance into the city, but remained outside
and sent one of his staff with a sufficient force to maintain order. In an
address announcing his intentions towards Mexico and her allies, Dru
said—"It is not our purpose to annex your country or any part of it, nor
shall we demand any indemnity as the result of victory further than the
payment of the actual cost of the war and the maintenance of the American
troops while order is being restored. But in the future, our flag is to
be your flag, and you are to be directly under the protection of the United
States. It is our purpose to give to your people the benefits of the
most enlightened educational system, so that they may become fitted for
the responsibilities of self-government. There will also be an equitable
plan worked out by which the land now owned by a few will be owned
by the many. In another generation, this beautiful land will be teeming
with an educated, prosperous and contented people, who will regard the
battlefield of La Tuna as the birthplace of their redemption.
"Above all things, there shall not be thrust upon the Mexican people a
carpet-bag government. Citizens of Mexico are to enforce the reconstructed
constitution and laws, and maintain order with native troops, although
under the protecting arm of the United States.
"All custom duties are to be abolished excepting those uniform tariffs
that the nations of the world have agreed upon for revenue purposes,
and which in no way restrict the freedom of trade. It is our further purpose
to have a constitution prepared under the direction and advice of
162
your most patriotic and wisest men, and which, while modern to the last
degree, will conform to your habits and customs.
"However," he said in conclusion, "it is our purpose to take the most
drastic measures against revolutionists, bandits and other disturbers of
the peace."
While Dru did not then indicate it, he had in mind the amalgamation
of Mexico and the Central American Republics into one government,
even though separate states were maintained.
163
Chapter 52
THE UNITY OF THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE
WESTERN HEMISPHERE UNDER THE NEW
REPUBLIC
Seven years had passed since Philip Dru had assumed the administration
of the Republic. Seven years of serious work and heavy responsibility.
His tenure of power was about to close, to close amidst the plaudits
of a triumphant democracy. A Congress and a President had just been
elected, and they were soon to assume the functions of government. For
four years the States had been running along smoothly and happily under
their new constitutions and laws. The courts as modified and adjusted
were meeting every expectation, and had justified the change. The
revenues, under the new system of taxation, were ample, the taxes were
not oppressive, and the people had quickly learned the value of knowing
how much and for what they were paying. This, perhaps, more than any
other thing, had awakened their interest in public affairs.
The governments, both state and national, were being administered by
able, well-paid men who were spurred by the sense of responsibility,
and by the knowledge that their constituents were alert and keenly interested
in the result of their endeavors.
Some of the recommendations of the many commissions had been
modified and others adjusted to suit local conditions, but as a whole
there was a general uniformity of statutes throughout the Union, and
there was no conflict of laws between the states and the general
government.
By negotiations, by purchase and by allowing other powers ample
coaling stations along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, the Bahamas, Bermuda
and the British, French and Danish West Indies were under American
protection, and "Old Glory" was the undisputed emblem of authority
in the northern half of the Western Hemisphere.
164
Foreign and domestic affairs were in so satisfactory a condition that
the army had been reduced to two hundred thousand men, and these
were broadly scattered from the Arctic Sea to the Canal at Panama. Since
the flag was so widely flung, that number was fixed as the minimum to
be maintained. In reducing the army, Dru had shown his confidence in
the loyalty of the people to him and their satisfaction with the government
given them.
Quickened by non-restrictive laws, the Merchant Marine of the United
States had increased by leaps and bounds, until its tonnage was sufficient
for its own carrying trade and a part of that of other countries.
The American Navy at the close of Philip Dru's wise administration
was second only to that of England, and together the two great English
speaking nations held in their keeping the peace and commercial freedom
of the Seven Seas.
165
Chapter 53
THE EFFACEMENT OF PHILIP DRU
In the years since he had graduated from West Point General Dru had
learned to speak German, French and Spanish fluently, and he was
learning with Gloria the language of the Slavs at odd moments during
the closing months of his administration. Gloria wondered why he was
so intent upon learning this language, and why he wanted her also to
know it, but she no longer questioned him, for experience had taught her
that he would tell her when he was ready for her to know.
His labors were materially lightened in these closing months, and as
the time for his retirement drew near, he saw more and more of Gloria.
Discarding the conventions, they took long rides together, and more frequently
they took a few camp utensils, and cooked their mid-day meal in
the woods. How glad Gloria was to see the pleasure these excursions
gave him! No man of his age, perhaps of any age, she thought, had ever
been under the strain of so heavy a responsibility, or had acquitted himself
so well. She, who knew him best, had never seen him shirk his duty,
nor try to lay his own responsibilities upon another's shoulders. In the
hours of peril to himself and to his cause he had never faltered. When
there was a miscarriage of his orders or his plans, no word of blame
came from him if the effort was loyal and the unhappy agent had given
all of his energy and ability.
He had met every situation with the fortitude that knows no fear, and
with a wisdom that would cause him to be remembered as long as history
lasts.
And now his life's work was done. How happy she was! If he did not
love her, she knew he loved no one else, for never had she known him to
be more than politely pleasant to other women.
One golden autumn day, they motored far into the hills to the west of
Washington. They camped upon a mighty cliff towering high above the
Potomac. What pleasure they had preparing their simple meal! It was
166
hard for Gloria to realize that this lighthearted boy was the serious
statesman and soldier of yesterday. When they had finished they sat in
the warm sunshine on the cliff's edge. The gleaming river followed its
devious course far below them, parting the wooded hills in the distance.
The evening of the year had come, and forest and field had been touched
by the Master's hand. For a long time they sat silent under the spell that
nature had thrown around them.
"I find it essential for the country's good to leave it for awhile, perhaps
forever," said Philip Dru. "Already a large majority of the newly elected
House have asked me to become the Executive. If I accepted, there
would be those who would believe that in a little while, I would again
assume autocratic control. I would be a constant menace to my country if
I remained within it.
"I have given to the people the best service of which I was capable, and
they know and appreciate it. Now I can serve them again by freeing
them from the shadow of my presence and my name. I shall go to some
obscure portion of the world where I cannot be found and importuned to
return.
"There is at San Francisco a queenly sailing craft, manned and provisioned
for a long voyage. She is waiting to carry me to the world's end if
needs be."
Then Philip took Gloria's unresisting hand, and said, "My beloved,
will you come with me in my exile? I have loved you since the day that
you came into my life, and you can never know how I have longed for
the hour to come when I would be able to tell you so. Come with me,
dear heart, into this unknown land and make it glad for me. Come because
I am drunken with love of you and cannot go alone. Come so that
the days may be flooded with joy and at night the stars may sing to me
because you are there. Come, sweet Gloria, come with me."
Happy Gloria! Happy Philip! She did not answer him. What need was
there? How long they sat neither knew, but the sun was far in the west
and was sending its crimson tide over an enchanted land when the lovers
came back to earth.
Far out upon the waters of San Francisco Bay lay the graceful yet
sturdy Eaglet. The wind had freshened, the sails were filled, and she was
going swift as a gull through the Golden Gate into a shimmering sea.
167
A multitude of friends, and those that wished them well, had gathered
on the water front and upon the surrounding hills to bid farewell to
Philip Dru and his bride Gloria.
They watched in silent sadness as long as they could see the ship's silhouette
against the western sky, and until it faded into the splendid
waste of the Pacific.
Where were they bound? Would they return? These were the questions
asked by all, but to which none could give answer.
168
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