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investigation aimed to adjust all matters of complaint for either representatives of employers and workmen in conference of side against the other from their very beginning.
questions such as the adjustment of wages, the limitation o
Vastly important for the promotion of sound sentiment in all away with them. The plan involves leaving in each productions
. I subjects and can lend its support to adjustments and accommo certain respects it resembles the British plan, which centralized dations which may be urged.
control in the labor supply department of the Ministry of Mani One of the most vital parts of the new programme is the tions. At the same time the difference between conditions in employment agency service, which will attempt to set up, for the the two countries made many features of the British programme first time, a central distributing agency for labor which can impracticable here. The general aim has been to adopt as far place the needed man quickly and effectively in the place where as possible the features of the British plan which seemed to he is most needed. One of the greatest difficulties which the apply to this country, while making such changes and innora. Government has met up to the present time in its attempt to tions as American experience already acquired made apparently solve the labor problem has been the tendency of employers and advisable. The plan is not a theoretical one; and one of its Government departments alike to bid against each other for chief claims for support lies in the fact that it has grown out of labor which they all need, with the inevitable result that labor actual experience, and has not been simply framed along new has migrated to the place where wages were the highest without and arbitrary or blindly imitative lines. regard to the importance of the work involved. The new dis Necessarily, no programme will be successful without the best tributing agency, it is hoped, will furnish a means for deciding possible men in charge of it, and every effort is being made to the relative importance of different forms of war work and for secure for the new divisions the men best fitted by training and securing and placing workmen at the points where they can be experience to handle the work. The Government realizes that of the most value. Necessarily, the success of this task will the problem of man power is one of prime magnitude, and it is depend in large measure on the terms agreed upon between the laying its plans accordingly.
THE PERIL OF THINKING IN BILLIONS
A LETTER WHICH EXPLAINS ITSELF
N an article headed “20,000,000 Subscribers to the Third or the proof-readers, and apparently has not been noticed by
any one else.
admit, I find myself wondering whether the necessity for think Writing of the amount that would be obtained if a $50 bond ing in billions, which is one consequence of the war, were bought by each one of the 55,000,000 persons in the United making us all careless of the smaller sums that we earn and States who had passed their twenty-first year, I said that the disburse. We read that the belligerents are spending resulting subscription would be $27,500,000,000.
dred or one hundred and twenty-five million dollars a day. The It is, of course, perfectly obvious that I used an extra cipher which should have been omitted, and that the correct figure comprehension; but I am nevertheless inclined to think that it
statement means absolutely nothing to us, for it is beyond our would be $2,750,000,000. Later on in the article I repeated the mistake in writing that if 12,500,000 persons invested $2 a week, largely responsible for the advance in prices that is causing
makes us less careful in the expenditure of one dollar and is and an additional 12,500,000 persons invested $1 a week for
much hardship and is mistakenly attributed to inflation. fifty weeks, the sum secured would be $18,750,000,000. The
Perhaps we can counteract the tendency toward extravagance correct amount would be $1,875,000,000.
that is thus induced by reckoning the cost of the war in terms All of which shows how important it is that we should be careful in dealing with the nothings or ciphers of life, and how 1918,
the total expenses of our Government will have been about
that we can understand. For the fiscal year ending June 30, dit the sums involved had been thousands instead of billions, these This means an average of $260 each for every adult in this mistakes would have been selfevident to me as I wrote, but country. This money must be saved and paid in taxes or in because I have not and can never have a conception of what a vested in bonds. The question is, Are we all doing our share? billion dollars really means the error did not reveal itself to me
THEODORE H. PRICE
GLIMPSES OF OUR
OUR SOLDIERS IN FRANCE
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE OUTLOOK
The two following letters throw an interesting light upon the conditions and circumstances in which, outside of his fighting duties, the American soldier is living in France. Francis Rogers, the author of the first letter, is a graduate of Harvard and an accomplished musical authority and singer of New York. He and his wife have volunteered their services in the important work of entertaining the soldiers which is carried on systematically by the Y. M. C. A. and other organizations at the front. Mrs. Lee, a daughter of the late E. P. Roe, the popular American novelist, has for two winters been officially engaged in hospital relief work in France.—THE EDITORS.
I-THE AMERICAN PRIVATE AND THE FRENCH POILU \HE Rogers Concert Party” completed its third month in affairs to hazard a judgment on matters of organization or equip..
France with a record of some sixty concerts, given to as ment, but I have seen thousands of poilus, both at work and at
many different audiences. Nearly all of these concerts play, and my respect for them increases every day. were given for the American soldiers ; but a few of them took A typical poilu is five feet seven inches in height and place in French Foyers du Soldat and hospitals. Occasionally weighs one hundred and fifty pounds. His hair is dark, as are our audiences have been made up of soldiers from both armies. his sparkling eyes. His mustache turns up cheerfully at the In a previous letter (The Outlook, December 12, 1917) I de- ends, his fresh-shaven cheeks glow with health. His shoulders scribed our camp concerts as they were during the first weeks are not broad, but his back is flat and muscular. His large, of our tour. Since then we have not altered their general char- bony hands require no covering even in the coldest weather. acter, though no two programmes are exactly alike, and experi- His hips are rather large ; his legs, slightly bowed, are notice. ence has suggested changes in minor details. Formerly the boys ably sturdy. His uniform may be faded, but it is not ragged, were eager to sing in chorus, but now that they are hard at and his shoes are in good repair. To my eye he looks the perwork in their daily military routine they prefer to sit back and fectly fit fighting man. In conversation one finds him full of listen to the voice of somebody else. Consequently, nowadays I courage and purpose, fatalistic in his personal philosophy, frankly do all the singing, except in “ America,” with which we always tired of the war, but grimly resolved to free his country forever conclude our entertainment. (As for “ The Star-Spangled Ban from the German invader. To achieve this end he counts largely ner," it is beyond the capacity of anything except a trained upon the help of us Americans. Just what he thinks of us as chorus or a brass band.)
individuals now that his country is swarming with us I cannot The American soldier is, and is likely to remain, homesick. make out. Our methods and manners bear little resemblance to Home news filters to him all too slowly through the American his, and there is much in our bearing that must be objectionable papers printed in France and through the Army Post Office. to him, but if, when the war is won, we shall have performed a My wife and I have ourselves been away from home too long to fair share in winning it, we shall have done all that he really have any fresh news to offer him, but we talk with him about requires of us. his home, sing him the home songs, and tell him home jokes and I have never met a Frenchman who spoke well of his own stories as industriously as ever. The evil temptations that sur Government, and yet this same Government has been remarkround a camp can best be met by the soldier who feels himself ably successful in keeping the machinery of life running in close touch with the standards of his bringing up,
smoothly. When I came to France three months ago, I was prespondents in America will do well to keep the tone of their pared to find disorganization and discomfort, but in the course letters on a plane that will invigorate the morale of their boys of my constant travels over a large section of the country I have in France. The fatigues and difficulties of military service in a found very little of either. far country must be resisted by a healthy inner life. Boys Trains are few and slow both on the main lines and across who do not hear often from home or who get depressing or country, but they are quite as faithful to the time-table as Americommonplace letters are much more likely to slip or fall than can trains in time of peace. Though they are few, they usually those whose families supply them with constant mental and are adequate to the traffic requirements. Their dining-car servmoral refreshment. This advice applies not only to parents and ice remains far superior to ours. Whatever the problems of the wives, but also to girl friends, who should remember that as private householder may have been in supplying his family with our soldiers come closer to the stern realities of life they mature food, for the traveler who, like us, has lived in hotels, the problem quickly and judge things more and more by their intrinsic has been simple enough. For a price less than those prevalent in value. When they finally come home, they will not be satisfied America six months ago he has had no difficulty in obtaining a with the trivialities that may have contented them before the sufficient and well-proportioned meal. We have frequented pre war; they will be disappointed if they do not find a serious tentious hostelries in the large cities, as well as tiny inns in mental attitude to correspond with their own increased maturity remote villages where before the war no American was ever seen, of thought.
and nowhere have we found a shortage of any essentials of diet. Our opportunities to meet French audiences have been infre White bread and cream disappeared long ago, but war bread is quent, but our few experiences have been such as to make us re- palatable, and there is always milk enough (albeit somewhat gret that they could not be numerous. The entry of America into watery) for one's morning coffee. Sugar is always at hand. the war was a great encouragement to the French soldier, and he Meat is abundant. I saw recently in a little village some farm. likes to hear from American lips how glad we are to be in France ers who were sustaining life on three consecutive courses of and how anxious we are to do everything we can to reinforce meat at one sitting! Clothing (especially shoes) is more expenthe gallant French army in its struggle for the right. Knowing sive than before the war, but is still below. the prices prevalent this, we have made a point of expressing from the platform our in New York. Indeed, I doubt if the cost of living is higher in admiration for their mighty achievements and our high hopes France to-day than it was in America a year ago. for the future. These words of ours, as well as our French
songs Gasoline is scarce and hard to get at any price. In Paris and recitations, the poilus have received with many marks of private automobiles have all but disappeared, but taxis are nuapproval. The contrast between the French private soldier merous between dawn and sunset, and still much cheaper than and the American is striking. The American, who has not yet taxis in New York. But transportation by taxi is fraught with been under fire, takes his military duties more or less in a spirit trials, seldom without a humorous aspect. The drivers are allowed of adventure. He is, I am sure, potentially a good soldier, but so much gasoline per diem, and they consume it in such fashion he has not yet won his spurs; he has not received his bap as seems good to them. Most of the through trains leave Paris tism of fire. The French soldier, on the contrary, is a finished before eight o'clock in the morning, but, as few taxis emerge from product. Three years and a half of discipline, danger, and suf their nightly repose as early as that, walking to the station, fering have developed him into a first-class fighting man. An bags and rugs in hand, is often the weary lot of the traveler. English major said to me the other day that he considered the From noon till two o'clock Mr. Taxi Driver is apt to be at present French army to be the best army ever assembled any. luncheon, and even the great thoroughfares are as empty as where, and I believe he is right. I am too ignorant of military Coney Island in January. As the day wears on the supply of
gasoline sinks to the point where the driver bas only enough to parted to the stone a singularly lovely muddy tinge. As we were get him home for the night. If you are going his way, he will passing the eastern end we heard a series of crashes within. consent to drop you en route ; otherwise, if the subway does Later we learned that a long-expected collapse of a considerable not serve your needs, you will have to supply your own locomo
section of the stone roof over the choir had just taken place. tion. Those who go to the theater, and they are legion, have Everything inside the Cathedral has been removed ; the grandito go in the subway or on foot, for after nightfalì a taxi is ose interior is now a mere shell. In the south aisle of the nave usually unobtainable.
stands a huge unexploded German obus which some montlis The theaters, which seem always to be full, have lost all their ago passed through the roof of the south transept and buried gayety of appearance, for no one wears evening dress, which in itself in the pavement beneath. The sacristan told us he was the theaters aided by government subsidy is officially forbidden. within ten feet of where it struck, but suffered no injury. A prominent men's tailor told me the other day that he had not I said the other day to a Frenchman that if the Cathedral made a dress suit since the war began,
were allowed to stand as it now is, without restoration, it would Automobiling over the French roads is, as it always was, a be the most touching monument in all Christendom. He delight. In one respect it is more delightful than ever; nowa- replied: "No Frenchman could have said that. The Cathedral days you usually have the roads all to yourself! In some mys at Rheims, where Clovis was crowned, and still fragrant from terious way the French, despite the shortage of labor, have kept the presence of Jeanne d'Arc, is the heart of France, the
very their roads in excellent repair. Hour after hour one may roll symbol of its life. We shall never permit it to remain a ruin, a at high speed, just as of yore, without a jar, almost without a mere relic of the past.” In front of the Cathedral the small turn of the steering-wheel, between two endless lines of trees, equestrian statue of Jeanne d'Arc, which was placed there a punctuated every few yards by neat piles of small stones left there dozen years ago, stands unscathed. Twenty feet away is a large for the repairs that always seem just to have been completed. shell hole, but the gallant little figure rides on, gay and unAlong these roads one meets occasional groups of marching sol daunted, her sword high in air, her face turned skyward, the diers, sometimes artillery, sometimes a train of great cannons. perfect symbol of the France of 1918. More frequently one encounters one of the high two-wheeled France goes about the business of war soberly, courageously; horse vehicles in which the peasants go to market. But of pleas- the abnormal has become the normal, Superficially, the signs ure vehicles one sees none.
of suffering are few ; beneath the surface every fiber is tingling The little roadside villages which are so familiar to all tourists with unspeakable pain and grief. A few weeks ago a man went are still there, but they are deserted except by the very old, the to call on some Parisian friends whom he had not seen for very young, and the middle-aged women. Sometimes one may eral years. Formerly they lived in the splendor that befitted whirl through one of them without seeing even a cat or a hen. their great wealth. This time the door was opened, not by One day we motored through a score of little villages in the funky, but by a simply dressed maid, who said, “ Please, mondevastated district where there remained not a house with a roof sieur, to keep your coat on; the house is not heated." His and all its walls in place. Nor was there a sign of life of any hostess
gave him his usual cordial welcome, and told him how sort in them. The atmosphere of desolation and loneliness in her husband and she felt that they themselves now had no right these once living communities is indescribable to those who have to the use of their wealth. " France," she said, “needs it never breathed it.
more than we do. We buy just food enough for our needs
. That same day we spent an hour in and about the Cathedral We do not heat our house, for our hearts beat strong and at Rheims. As it stood there in the noonday glow it was at once warm for France, and is not that enough to keep our bodies the saddest and the loveliest of all great edifices. From the warm?" esthetic point of view, the facade, the towers, and the north So speaks the spirit of France. Its body is maimed, its soul side of the nave have not suffered greatly. The sculpture on is in pain, but its heart still beats with an unquenchable patrithe north tower was injured by the burning of the scaffoldings otic fervor.
FRANCIS ROGERS. which incased it at the beginning of the war, but the heat im Paris, February 6, 1918.
II—“THE YANKS ARE COMING” OOD luck found us in this old Savoy town, Chambéry, members of the American Fund for French Wounded. We have when it was decided that it was to be the headquarters of made friends among the people and we feel that we have the
the first recreation «enter of United States troops in confidence of the local authorities. We have had the delightful France. The three neighboring towns of Chambéry, Aix-les- privilege of being behind the scenes, of receiving the unofficial Bains, and Challes have been selected as the general territory visits of the people and elucidating the problems of United States of the first recreation center in France for United States soldiers customs and manners; of seeing the rough drafts of speeches on leave. The United States Provost Marshal has his head of welcome ; of being the willing dogs upon whom all suggestions quarters at Aix-les-Bains, and military authority is administered were tried before they blossomed forth into accepted plans of from there. But Chambéry is the old capital of Savoy and the entertainment. official seat of local government, so, by courtesy at least, it is the On February 16 the first contingent of United States soldiers focus of this recreation center.
arrived at Aix-les-Bains. On the 18th the boys began arriving The Y. M.C. A. has had the responsibility of making arrange at Chambéry, and from now on to the end of the war our troops ments for the actual care of our troops, such as finding sleeping will continue to come to this neighborhood to spend their first rooms, installing clubs, and preparing entertainments, sports, leave of seven days from camp and trenches. etc., but great preparations have also been made by the people It had been announced that we would have two days' notice of Chambéry themselves. The Sindicat Initiative, an organiza before the advent of the troops. In the hotel where we are tion of long standing in Savoy, has formed committees of every staying a hundred soldiers are to be quartered, and we were kind to make the visit of the Americans both pleasant and leisurely making preparations for their reception. profitable. People who speak English bave volunteered to act Early in the morning of February 18 there was a hurry ca as interpreters. Hostesses have offered the hospitality of their from the railway station, a rush down the corridor of the hotel
. homes for afternoon tea. Walking parties have been organized and a bang on the door. - The Americans will arrive in twenty by the boys of the high school. There is a committee for greet minutes!" was the notification. In twenty minutes we were at ing the soldiers at the railway station ; a committee to mend the station to welcome them. The Mayor and all the dignitaries their clothes ; a committee to steer them away from any lurking of Chambéry had already assembled. The Y. M. C. A.'s were evil at Chambéry. And if the kind intentions of the inhabitants waiting as United States delegates, to receive the soldiers
. All can be realized, no possible harm and every conceivable joy has
were waving flags and tiptoeing in excitement when the stationbeen arranged for by the affectionate forethought of our allies master announced that the train was two hours late. We solemuls in Savoy
withdrew to wait. For some time past we have been working in Chambéry as As if by magic the flags of the Allies, dominated by the
Stars and Stripes, nau appeared m the windows of the houses. Chambéry has become galvanized. The quiet old town has Up and down the street we could see the inhabitants hurriedly been awakened by the laughter of American soldiers. In every putting the last touches on the decorations they had planned direction one sees them, riding bicycles, making friends with for the reception of our troops.
the little children, fraternizing with the poilus, invading the An hour passed, and we began wondering if a certain amount candy shops on the days when sweets are sold, making themof United States hustle might not get into that special. We selves thoroughly at home, but never abusing hospitality. They returned to the railway station, and there we found the officials are winning the affection of France as much by their genuine
ness as men as by their efficiency as soldiers. TO THE INHABITANTS OF CHAMBÉRY AND
In the course of their leave the Mayor of Chambéry tendered
them a reception. The old Town Hall had been decorated in CHALLES-LES-EAUX
their honor. The stone stairway leading to the state apartment DEAR FELLOW-CITIZENS :
was banked with palms and flowers and ablaze with lights and You have already learned of the approaching arrival in our fags. All the dignitaries and celebrities of the neighborhood community of the first contingent of American soldiers on leave. had been invited to meet our soldiers. Churchmen in their Before long we shall have with us in our homes, our shops and robes, officers in their full-dress uniforms wearing the medals stores, in our meadows and on our hillsides, these sons of an
they had won in their years of service, citizens of Chambéry ardent and generous people. For Savoy it is surely an honor who had earned respect in their various callings in life, officers and a privilege to be called upon to receive them. In welcoming
of the Allies and officers of the United States Army, members them we shall remember the welcome they gave to the representatives of France (the Joffre-Viviani Mission, which visited
of the Young Men's Christian Association and of the American
Fund for French Wounded, and the wives and daughters of the United States in the spring of 1917]. When in a day or two we see them wandering through our streets, with their big soft Chambéry's most honored residents, were assembled at the hats, a little homesick, a little shy, perhaps, trying to adjust reception when our soldiers filed by to receive the greeting of themselves to their strange and novel surroundings, seeking to the Mayor in the name of Savoy and of France. orient themselves, so to speak, we shall not stare at them as if Then from some hidden corner a band poured forth the they were a kind of curious and interesting novelty. We shall strains of The Star-Spangled Banner," while every American see in them the living representatives of that splendid Nation
soldier present stood attention to the music of his National which has freely offered us the support of its moral power,
anthem. wealth, and its fighting men, because it is convinced that the
The Mayor's message was repeated in English for the better cause of the Allies is the cause of righteousness, justice, and liberty.
understanding of our boys, and to the tones of the “Marseillaise" We shall think of them, moreover, as having come to us from
our soldiers saluted the French. far away in order to share with our own poilus a life of heroic
An officer of the United States Army made a speech of endurance and to stand side by side with them against the thanks and appreciation that was interpreted into French by a enemy, determined to suffer, to die, but also to triumph.
member of the Y. M. C. A. Finally, we shall remember one fact to which no French The old Mayor, with charming dignity and hospitality, then woman can be indifferent. It is that among these boys, these invited us all to drink a toast to the United States and her husbands, these soldiers, there are many who have forever said
soldiers, and a member of the American Fund for French farewell to their homes and firesides and to the land that gave them birth, for their tombs will be somewhere yonder in the
Wounded responded, “ To France.” And so the reception ended. soil of our beloved France which they have come to defend and
This old Savoy town in particular and France entire have offered to deliver.
the hand of friendship to the children of Uncle Sam. The These thoughts need only to be suggested to us in order to grip will never be loosened as long as there are a Frenchman excite in our hearts a current of intense sympathy for these our and an American to stand together for liberty, equality, and visitors ; every selfish consideration will be blotted out; no one fraternity. will think for a moment of calculating whether their presence After the Mayor's reception the boys settled down to three or will increase our discomforts in food and lodgings; nor will four days of solid enjoyment. The fine Army band of American any one dream of“ profiteering ” from their necessities. Domi
Negro musicians came over from Aix-les-Bains and put Chamnated by a single purpose, that of treating them as guests and allies, we shall be their warm-hearted guides and protectors.
béry in a whirl of excitement. A concert was given in the In these times of national suffering and sorrow for our dead
theater under the auspices of the Y. M. C. A., and the house
was crowded to the doors and every seat in the orchestra occnwe do not propose to you, fellow-citizens, to celebrate the visit of these American comrades on leave with brilliant festivities pied by American soldiers. A minstrel show was part of the or echoing cheers. What we ask of you is simply to make your programme, and the two end men, in traditional minstrel togs, selves known to these noble-hearted allies by a word, a gesture, cracked jokes, danced, and sang songs, with a chorus and band a helpful attention, an unselfish action. A frank, cordial, friendly to support them. The wild applause of the audience worked the smile, even, will go far towards expressing the gratitude of actors into a perfect frenzy of cake walks, hand-springs, and Savoy and of France.
grotesque gestures, and the curtain dropped on a roar of exciteCITIZENS OF THE GREAT AMERICAN REPUBLIC, SOLDIERS OF
ment from soldiers and actors alike. LIBERTY!
From the concert we adjourned to the club rooms of the As it has pleased you to come to us for your seven days of
Y. M. C. A., where a reception was given to the people of leave which you cannot enjoy at home in your own far-distant Chambéry in acknowledgment of their charming hospitality to and beloved country, believe us when we tell you that we
our American boys. The large club, with its open fires and comreceive you as comrades-in-arms and as if you were our own fortable chairs, has tried to take the place of a home to the soldiers, sons. To
our hearts and offer our hands. We bid and here, with the ladies of the Y. M. C. A., they received their you welcome!
guests, who a few days before had maile them welcome to Savoy. President of the Committee.
The happy week is over. The boys have again strapped
their packs on their backs and they are going back to the war. This address, the charming sentiment of which is so characteristically As the train was about to draw out of the station, on French and can be only inadequately expressed in an English translation, was issued broadcast in printed form at Chambéry in February last with
impulse that was irresistible, we decided to go with them, so we the following title : “ Appel du Comité de Patronage des Permissionaires rode away with the troops. But it was only a postponement. Américains.' It may be described in English as the “* Appeal of the Committee on Welcome and Welfare for American Soldiers on Leave
and at the next stopping-place we saw them go on without us.
From the platform we touched each boy's hand there as he again running about distractedly. S. O. S. calls were being reached out from his window, and then the long train gradually sent in every direction that the train was about to enter the disappeared. If good-by means God be with you, then goodl-by station. Again we assembled, and in a few minutes the cars it was. An American soldier is very lovable, but it was more rolled up to the platform and the boys began climbing out. than love they took with them to-day when they left us to go They were tired, mnd-stained warriors, each one carrying his to the front. It was reverence and thankfulness that our soldiers pack, but they marched by as fine and cheerful a lot of men as one are the men they are.
PAULINE SANDS LEE. can well imagine. Unrle Sam can be prond of his sons in France.
Chambéry, France, February 24, 1918.
hold me. Then, as soon as I could, I grabbed
SOLDIERS OF LAW AND ORDER
BY KATHERINE MAYO
Three stories by Miss Mayo relating to adventures of the Pennylvania State Police have been pullished in The Outlook (March 20, March 27, April 3) under the general title “Soldiers of Law and Order.” Miss Mayo’s narrative “ The Murder of Sam Howell” in the The Outlook of April 10 tells of the crime which aroused her interest in the State Police and helped to bring about the establishing of
the New York State Troopers.—THE EDITORS. FTER it was all over-as quick as he'd gone-I began "Maybe not, ma'am. Are you in trouble?" to feel queer and sick. My knees shook so they wouldn't In another moment the narrative had swung into full foul.
shawl When it finished, the same clear voice asked a question or two, and ran over here to you. Emma, if ever I saw a bad, danger- then ceased with the words, “ A State trooper will call on you ous man, he was it. And I know he's not gone far. He's not shortly. done with us yet. Oh, what shall we do?”
“From Batavia, a couple of counties away! Likely story" The other woman looked out across the farm-yard to her visi scoffed Emma. tor's little house on the bleak hillside beyond. Her face was But her guest had caught a sort of lift from that confident somber.
voice at the other end of the wire. “We do seem awful alone sometimes—we country folks," “Ain't it wonderful? Good-by, Em. I must hurry home to she said, “and especially now there's so many foreigners coming meet him.” And she scurried away so fast that she did not up the pike. Sometimes I think I'll have to sell out the old hear the other's in credulous laugh. place and move to town." Her eyes filled with tears.
“Em ”stood long at the windows, watching the little shawl. But the visitor's attention had strayed. She was staring at a wrapped figure speed across the winter fields and strike
mp little placard standing on the mantel-shelf against the clock. toward the lonely house on the hill.
“New York State Troopers,'” she read aloud, slowly. “ Poor thing! I guess the fright unsettled her,” she muryou need police protection in the rural districts, call up Central. mured. “To run off with that looney idea !" Troopers may be nearer than you think !' What on earth is this?"
But suddenly a new phenomenon caught the watcher's eye "Oh, just something the doctor left the other day. He two men on horseback, in uniform like soldiers, riding toward thought it meant that somebody's remembered us at last. He the high-perched dwelling from its other side. Who could they said: 'If you have a horse stolen, or your hay fired, or tramps be? She could not guess. Nothing like them had ever been seti bother you, or anything wrong, all you have to do now is just in those parts. They drew steadily nearer
, evidently headed for to call up Central and say, “ I want the State Troopers, the house. Yes, and now they and the woman were meeting at and help 'Il come along.'
the door. “For the land sake! Do you believe there's anything in it ?" The way of the thing in very truth had been this : A
“I don't know. No. But we might try: Heaven knows we Troop headquarters, two counties distant, receiving the tele have need enough of help to-day! Let's test it.” And the speaker phoned complaint, had turned to the daily schedule of its farwalked over to the telephone.
flung mounted patrols. There it had seen that two troopers “I want the State Troopers," she hazarded.
should reach a point near the complainant's home at about this “ Central says it's long distance--it'll cost sixty cents.” With current hour. Telephoning that point, A Troop actually haul a dubious face she reported the response.
the patrol on the wire just four minutes, by the clock, from the “ Ask her if it's worth it."
moment of the receipt of the complaint. And the patrol, instead “Say, Central! D’you think it's worth it?”
of continuing on its intended course, at once switched off across With the curious metallic blare that the instrument some
country at a trot, reaching the anxious woman's gate just as she times gives, Central's answer shot into the room : “You bet !” herself attained it. “Oh, go ahead! Tell her to go ahead! I'll pay.” Only des
For the present this story may not be more precisely tohal. peration could have inspired the words. Sixty cents meant no
nor its sequel given. Its local features were immediately su light matter there.
right by vigorous action of the patrol. But from that phase For a moment the two women waited, too excited to talk.
led on into fields of Federal significance not yet laid open i Then the bell rang.
the general eye. “ You take the wire,” urged the hostess.“ It's your story.” Meantime it has taught the people of all that countryside * “ Here's your party,” called Central, rare interest in her tone. welcome lesson. When trouble now shows its ugly head, nobody The visitor's hand shook as she held the receiver to her ear.
stops to ask, “ Is it worth while to call the State police ?" · State Troopers !” said a man's clear voice.
Before the creation of
the force some people honestly thought “ For the land sake!” exclaimed the visitor
more. that New York did not need a State police. Why, where are you ?"
no crime in the country districts," they said. And even the * A Troop headquarters, Batavia.”
country folk themselves were so inured to their way of living “ Batavia! But that's an awful long way off!"
that many of them saw in it nothing amiss.
There is little or