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If everybody is going to play on the other side, it’s too much to expect anyone to be enthusiastic about being "It" rypody is going to play - p y §
A Place Where “Reform” Can Begin
EWSPAPER headlines, and not all of them in New York or Chicago, talk about a condition in which the mild words “crime wave” scarcely fill the bill. Cartoonists in the press show Jesse James and Billy the Kid lamenting that they were born too soon. Meanwhile, Collier's repeats its old statement that there is hope for all of us, and for all our institutions, so long as spectacular crime is uncommon enough to hold the front page. We are waking up, however, to the fact that our system of punishing offenders against laws and morals is almost completely inefficient. Prisons, even the best of them, are still converting plants in which the chance offender is frequently turned into a permanent and professional criminal. Perhaps this is because common sense has been driven out by civilization's fear and wrath against the criminal. What do you mean by “prison reform”? Do you mean some kind of unjustified mercy or sentimental petting of those who strike at our safety? Prison reform means no such thing. The only safe way to approach the question is from the point of view of the welfare of society—not of the welfare of the criminal. For purposes of discussion, we are quite willing to stand upon society's interest in itself alone. Our own security tells us not to make a professional thief, gun fighter, or bandit out of any man who could instead be made a useful member of society. This is a consideration that has nothing to do with mercy, or tenderness, or sympathy, or benevolence to the offender himself. Would you like to know what men who run our prisons have to say on the subject? A few months ago there was held in Columbus, Ohio, a convention of the American Prison Association. This is not primarily an association for prison reform. It attracts many so-called hard-boiled wardens, sheriffs, and others who deal with criminals
day by day. Resolutions passed by the Committee on Probation and Parole embody, in part, the following: The American Prison Association, in its congress at Indianapolis in 1913, passed the following resolution: . The practical value of wise probation, parole, and indeterminate sentence laws as means of rescue, reformation, and rehabilitation has been established by their successful operation in several States, and the American Prison Association commits itself to earnest efforts to extend these laws by proper legislation so that they shall be general and harmonious in every jurisdiction.
The report goes on to say:
The employment of probation in lieu of imprisonment has passed beyond the experimental stage and has justified its right to a place in the correctional system.
The congress favors the clothing by statute of all criminal courts, both Federal and State, with the power to place offenders on probation.
The committee, recognizing that the success of parole depends on preparing the individual for it, wants a minimum standard of preparation to be based on these principles:
A physical examination, so that any bodily handicaps can be cured or alleviated. Cure of disease, in so far as possible. A mental examination, to determine the individual's accountability. Educational training for illiterates, to teach foreigners English and prepare for citizenship. Religious training. Industrial training, to prepare the individual to earn his own living. Provision of suitable work.
The most interesting reflection you can make upon these suggestions is that all of them could be applied by society to the training of its members before the criminal question had arisen at all. Special training in the relationship of the individual to society ought to come before prison gates close behind any man. Physical examinations, mental examinations, Americanization, religious training, vocational training—let's not put them off until they come into play in preparing a man to get out of jail.
Men or women interested in “reform”—here is a subject made to your hand.
Fear by the Throat
By Albert Sidney Gregg
Illustrated by Edward Ryan
T was President Roosevell, I believe, who said that the best soldiers and the best men in any dangerous' work are those who know they are afraid and have nevertheless taught themselves, day after day, to master this fear. Here is a personal story told me in Ohio by great salesman, now vice president in charge of sales for one of the best known manufacturing companies in America:
HE principal thing I have had to overcome in my business life is fear. Nobody else knew I had a yellow streak, but I knew it, and the realization caused me untold shame. It did not come out in games and sports; I was not afraid of getting hurt in football, nor afraid to make a high dive from the bridge over the river, nor to walk by myself in the woods at night. But fear showed itself in me in another way. I could not meet people. Whenever it was necessary for the boys to approach the school authorities, or the big men in the town for anything, I always managed to get out by suggesting some luckless fellow, who could not, or would not, dodge the ordeal. My father got me a job in a big paint-supply house after I had been graduated from high school. I was eighteen. The shipping department was where I was supposed to earn my salary of ten dollars a week. My horizon, then, was bounded by quitting time at night, and pay day twice a month. Mother boarded me for three dollars a week, which left me with seven dollars a week, or fourteen dollars on each pay day to use as I pleased. In two years I had advanced to a better position, and was getting fifteen dollars a week. At twentyfour I was head shipper at twenty a week, and still boarding at home. Then I fell in love with the “best girl on earth” and after a desperate struggle with myself asked her to marry me. She was willing all right, but she wanted to know what she was getting. This girl of mine worked in an office downtown— sort of a bookkeeper and stenographer, and she had an eye to business. So after she had accepted me as her future husband she began to ask questions. It fairly took my breath away to hear her talk. She wound o by declaring that I was too smart to be wasting myself packing goods that other men sold—that I ought to be a salesman myself, and make four times as much as I was getting. The moment she said salesman I had a spasm. A salesman had to approach all kinds of men— rich, proud, and arrogant fellows, who loved to swear and call names—and my yellow streak put me out of that class entirely. I argued that men were needed to handle the goods as well as sell. Then she told me I was on the wrong side of the ledger. Not being educated in bookkeeping. I asked her to explain. goods and ship them, but that it took a “producer” to sel; them, and that without salesmen the business would go to smash. At length I understood that I was on the wrong side of the ledger because my job came ander the general head of expense which had to be met before there could be a profit. But in all her talk she did not get right down to ** seat of my trouble The idea of a man being afraid to approach another man never seemed to oe, her pretty head. After she had jolted me a ** about taking up salesmanship. I promised §. 1 would have a talk with our sales manager. o I made up my mind not to go near him. * ran along and the girl kept on asking ques
She told me any bonehead could pack the
tions and prodding me into action. I raised my head, opened my eyes, and began to look around me. As I looked along up the ladder of promotion I could not see anything ahead. My predecessors had escaped the packing and shipping room by becoming salesmen, or had transferred to another department with more of an outlet to it in the way of advancement and started all over again.
Master Yourself First HEN I examined the careers of the fellows who
had worked with me as packers, and who were now making big pay selling the goods. They
had attracted the attention of the sales manager,
and were not afraid to venture, so out they went, and made good. At least six of my comrades had become salesmen within three years, two had bought automobiles, and the rest were working their heads off for a big bonus at the end of the year so they too could get into the automobile brigade. And I was still carrying my lunch and riding on the street car ! I was beginning to get hot under the collar. I knew as much as any one of the six. In fact, I knew more, for none of them had been graduated from high school. I knew more about the various paints and accessories we sold, for those duffers came to me to get information they could use on the road. Even the sales manager called me in to help him prepare letters to ginger up the sales force, and more than once I supplied dope to the advertising manager. Why? Because it was my pride to know everything about the goods. I picked up my facts from men working in other departments and by reading advertising matter issued by other concerns, as well as our own house. I knew as much as any man on the road, but when I thought about the courage it took to approach the customers and tell them about the goods, I groaned and went on my plodding way. My weakness had become a sort of nightmare. I tried to get up courage and boldly ask for a place as salesman, but my heart would sink when I thought of saying anything to the sales manager. There was a library of books on salesmanship and business practice which the company had purchased for the use of the men, and I began borrowing and reading those books in hopes of finding some cure for my weakness. While I did not find just what I wanted at first, I found a great deal that helped me.
The books enabled me to systematize what I already knew and helped me to analyze myself. They showed me clearly that without courage to get out and battle with the world I would not achieve any marked success. I must learn to master myself before I could hope to master others. But how?
At length I came across a chapter in one of the books, in which the author affirmed that a man could strengthen any weakness of mind or disposition by invoking the aid of the subconscious mind through autosuggestion. I laughed at the very idea of a man working himself into a state of courage merely by the exercise of his mental powers, but I thought I would give it a trial. Of course I am not preaching that others should use this plan. I am merely telling what I did. I was so eager really to be master of myself that I would have accepted any kind of superstitious teaching to accomplish my purpose. ,
It took me a long time to get hold of the nature of suggestion, and when I at last saw it I was startled. It promised too much. In exercising suggestion you insist to yourself that you already possess the quality you want, making the assertion very specific, holding the thought steadily before the mind for a while and then letting it drop. It sounded positively silly for me to say deliberately to myself, “I am fearless when I approach other men,” and keep on repeating that formula. The teaching was that the affirmation set in motion certain forces which would create the very quality I had claimed. The affirmation should be very positive, and be repeated many times each day. I noted that the book said the development of the desired quality by autosuggestion would not be sudden—it would be a gradual growth, and that I must exercise my courage as much as possible while practicing autosuggestion.
On the Road to Courage
AM uncertain even to this day whether autosuggestion helped me a great deal or not, but I know this: Soon after I began using it I reached a point where I was able to make up my mind to call on a neighbor and try to sell him some paint for interior decorating. I made the sale. It was a small order, but it gave me a start. But the big thing was the thrill of courage and confidence that stirred my heart. Calling on my neighbors and friends gave me the practice I needed. But presently my list ran out, and I had to think (Continued on page 26) the light reached its walls not more than fifty yards away; and they were gloomy, depressing walls, built up of a dark stone to a height of three stories, with closely shuttered windows, and a door within a deep-columned portico. Garth climbed the steps, found the bell handle, and rang. Without delay he heard, muffled by the heavy door, approaching footsteps. The door was swung wide. It was as if to the occupants of this remote house no terror could possibly come from the outside. The detective had a glimpse of a vast hall which borrowed a sort of radiance from a lighted inner room. He could see, therefore, only that a slender woman stood beyond the threshold. “What is it?” this woman said in a hurried, nervous voice. “You are,” Garth asked, “Mr. Simon Allen's sister?” “Yes.” “He was to have telephoned you about me. I am the detective he brought up from the city.” She stared. “My brother hasn't telephoned. When he left early yesterday he said nothing about a detective.” From the lighted room a frayed thread of a masculine voice issued. “Dora! Is that the doctor? Shut the door. There's a draft.” Immediately after a telephone bell tinkled. “I daresay that’s your brother now,” Garth said. She nodded, and, after he had entered, closed the door and entered the lighted room. Garth took off his coat and hat and followed her. The room was square, with an abnormally high ceiling. Before a log fire, huddled in a great chair, was the figure of a man, aged and shrunken. Out of the wrinkled, yellow face, weak eyes blinked at the detective while Allen's sister talked at the telephone. She hung up. She turned. For the first time Garth saw her face, and he drew back, experiencing a great pity, at a loss for words. Suffering and fear, rather greater than Allen's, were stamped across the woman's features; and her hair, although she was probably younger than Allen, was streaked with gray. Her gestures, moreover, were uneven. She seemed perpetually to reach for objects which she never quite touched. She tried to smile, but Garth saw that she was on the point of tears. “It's all right,” she said. “He had some trouble getting me. I am glad you have come.” She walked closer. She clasped her hands, looking up at him. “Thank God you have come!” She was a trifle hysterical. The words poured from her as water tears through the abruptly broken sluice of a dam. “Company. A man! A detective, who isn't afraid! If I could only get away from this house! But I can't. You see that I can't.” The old man's voice quavered across the room. “Don’t see why everybody wants to get away from this house. I shan’t go, at least. Helen means no harm. I was born here, and here I'll die.” She whispered to Garth: “I’ll have to leave just the same, or I shall go mad.” “Why?” he asked softly. “Because,” she answered with a desperate earnestness, “although no one will come to us here, we are never alone.”
ET she could tell him no more than Allen had already done. It was only later, in fact, that he had an opportunity to question her; for the fact that Allen had, in his man's fashion, neglected to mention became evident—the house was without servants. In addition to caring for a helpless, exigent invalid, this worn and mentally harassed woman accomplished with her own hands what housework was done. No. She couldn't tell him anything beyond queer sounds, such as soft foot: falls, rappings, plaintive, scarcely heard cries; and twice the incredible vision her brother had described. “The house is full of her,” she whispered. “Probably because while she lived in it she suffered so. According to that I should come back too. Only I don't want to die here. I shan’t, either, if I can
The Haunted House
Continued from page 6
And Garth sensed an imprisonment, a frustation of hope, traceable to the old man who had lingered beyond anyone's imagining. He saw, too, later that evening, how great her sacrifice was. The doorbell rang, and she came back with a somber-faced man, about her own age, whom she introduced as the physician Allen had spoken of. His daily visits to care for the invalid, and to see the fading woman he so dearly loved, had impressed something of the house's atmosphere on his personality. “I hope you will succeed where I have failed, Mr. Garth,” he said. “I am a man of science, and I have actually seen nothing here; but I have felt and I have heard; and I declare without reservation that there is something wrong with this house that I can neither understand nor cure.” It depressed Garth to find a man as intelligent as the doctor convinced by the fancies of neurotic people. “Oh, I’ll discover a cure somehow,” he boasted. Yet, as the evening advanced, particularly after the doctor's departure, he found himself-unconsciously listening for the broad, lonely, and dark places of the crumbling mansion to make themselves audible. At ten o'clock Allen's sister went to a side table and lighted two candles. “I will show you your room,” she said. “You will naturally want to sleep in their room.” The old man stirred. All evening he had scarcely said anything. Now his voice came with a whine of reproof. “I don’t think Helen will like strangers sleeping in her room.” The unquestioning faith of the voice made Garth, for a moment, go cold. “He doesn't know what he's saying,” the woman muttered in a hard voice. “Come!” Garth followed her through the hall; up a flight of broad stairs, peopled with grotesque shadows; down a bare and echoing corridor; and at last into a room. square like the one downstairs, and as broad and as high. Opposite the door a four-posted bedstead stood between two windows. The rest of the furniture was massive and old-fashioned, but, in this light, without much form. “I hope you will sleep well,” the haggard woman said, and left him.
OR a long time, while he held aloft his candle, Garth stared at the bed where Allen's wife had died, if he was to believe Allen, of a passionate hatred of her surroundings. And just there, beyond the footboard, Allen declared she had materialized as if to im
press on its author the fact that such
mental dissatisfaction is immortal. Did one ever hear of such a thing? Allen was mad. He was impressing his madness on his sister. Those visions in the green moonlight could have existed only in Allen's morbid and guilty fancy, from which they had been projected to the frightened woman. Such logic was not convincing. It became less so when he had blown out the candle and had climbed into the huge, cold, and damp bed. Only enough light escaped from the strangled moon to make the heavy, ill-defined shadows restless. Garth grew restless in harmony. His task here was to wait; and, as the laggard minutes drifted on, that task became more difficult than any he had ever undertaken. After a long time he found himself listening with a strange acuteness. He was sure he had not heard anything, and yet he had reacted exactly as if he had. No, of course he had heard nothing— But that was something now. What was that? He sat upright, straining his ears.
He heard the persistent wind, but there
was something beyond that, something very far away, whose direction he could not determine, as if it came from space itself, actually from beyond the wind and the night. Now he began to understand. Some
one strayed with strange footfalls. But did this wayward pacing come from the house or outside? The sounds were so faint, so soft, so irregular, he couldn't be sure. He wanted to be sure. He lighted his candle. The shadows drew sullenly away. He sat for a long time, listening, while the footfalls continued; seemed, without increasing in physical pressure, to stray nearer; glided, at last, he was convinced, along the corridor toward his door. He slipped out of the bed, picked up his flashlight, and silently crossed the room. Abruptly he flung open the door and flashed his lamp. He stared. The corridor was empty, yet for a time he would have sworn that surreptitious feet glided through that emptiness. He caught his breath. He bent over, listening with a vast unbelief. A thin, desperate voice gathered itself in a cry, not loud, but more arresting than the shrillest scream. It wavered through the house. It fell away, as the groping feet ceased their seeking, into the smothering silence; and the silence became like a great weight on his soul.
FTER a moment a door nearly opposite opened. She stood there, holding a candle, a dressing gown drawn about her thin and shaking shoulders. The haggard fear in her eyes was as hard to face as that which he had just heard. “If only,” she whispered, “you might have told me that you were awake, yet had noticed nothing.” She paused, and bent forward, listening. He too grew rigid. Again the unseen feet strayed, close at hand, then far away, always seeking, at last drifting again into the night. Miss Allen set her candle on the floor, leaned against the door jamb, covered her face with her hands, and sobbed unevenly. “We are helpless,” she said after a time. “It serves us right. We were not kind to her. I did not love her enough. I was jealous of my brother.” To Garth her words suggested too much mental tragedy. He crossed the corridor, and put his hand on her shoulder. “We’re not going to give way to anything like that,” he said. “Get your clothes on. You'll guide me about this house. I'll search every rat hole until I find whoever or whatever made those sounds.” His confidence, nevertheless, waned when he had dressed and had explored with her the decaying intricacies of the house. Great, empty, echoing rooms; endless attics, odorous with rotting lumber and the contents of ancient boxes and trunks—he searched them all and found nothing; and always in these gloomy places he had a feeling that Allen's sister and he did not walk alone. More than once he failed to conquer the impulse to glance back over his shoulder. - Each time she whispered: “You feel as if there were some one else!” Such sensations were new to him. He faced her in the lower hall at last, having found nothing, yet determined not to surrender. ... He put on his hat and coat. “I shall look for footprints outside.” She got a cloak and accompanied him. “You will find nothing,” she said. A light, wet snow fell. It wasn’t deep enough to have obliterated any marks made at the time they had heard the footsteps. It offered, however, no record. Garth flashed his light here and there, at a loss. He saw a rough path which wandered from the side of the house between stripped underbrush, rattling in the wind. With a swift
nounced. She replied through chattering teeth: “Be—because Helen is there.” - E realized there was no use questioning her further. He started down the path. After he had gone a few paces he understood, and he drew back, too, although momentarily, from this sanctuary in the heart of the underbrush. His light gleamed on strained, wet walls and a curved roof. Facing him was an iron door with a small grating. There were slight marks in the snow here, not, apparently, made by shoes, but light and incomplete depressions, as if something had passed this way with less than normal pressure. They urged him ahead. “It is locked,” she whispered when they were at the black door. “The key is in the house.” But he had placed his hand on the knob, and he turned it as a matter of course. The door swung open. The woman cried out. “I tell you it was locked,” she whispered. “I tell you it is always locked, except when some one is taken in.” “And after you had imagined this vision " he said. “Did you find it locked then 2’’ Slowly she shook her head. “But it was not opened with the key,” she whispered. “It is a large key. It is always kept on the shelf by my father's chair.” He took a deep breath and stepped in. He felt himself bathed in a repellent and abhorrent atmosphere—bitter cold, damp to the point of moisture, redolent of earth and decayed vegetation. The room which he searched with his light was not large. One wall was given over to the entrance. In each of the three others were two deep, oblong niches. In each niche rested a stained metal coffin. From the roof, water gleamed in the rays of his lamp, dripping with a throbbing—rhythmical and persistent. “Which is hers?” he asked softly. She indicated the upper niche to the left. With a sense of intrusion he tiptoed closer and turned his light on the casket. The plate was tarnished and partly covered with mold. With difficulty he deciphered: “Helen Addison Allen, beloved wife of Simon Allen.” Then the dates, and, ironically, it occurred to him, “Requiescat in Pace.” “She was very young to die,” he said wonderingly. “Too young,” she whispered. “She might not have died if we hadn't kept her here. I wish to God I had been kinder to her.” For the first time in this place he spoke aloud, boasting: “You can put it down, Miss Allen, that, no matter how she suffered, she has never come back. She has never left that box.” The echoes from the vaulted roof jibed at him. She gasped out defensively: “Don’t say such things in here. What is that? Let us go. Quick! Oh, my God! What is that?” At first he did not realize what had startled her; had made her go weak and white; had filled her with a far greater terror than she had yet confessed. There it was again. A series of dull raps, as nearly as he could analyze it, as if one struck metal with a muffled hammer. “Who’s that?” he cried. Miss Allen cowered against the wall. The rapping ceased. For the first time Garth noticed a trapdoor in the center of the floor. “Where does that go?” he asked. (Continued on page 22)