Page images
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small]

Proved in Sweeping Court Decision Vital to American Automobile Industry

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

LEVINE, J.
Nov. 30, 1920.

The action alleges, in substance, fraud, deceit and mismanagement of the affairs of The Templar Motors Corporation, and, upon these grounds mentioned, the plaintiff asks that a receiver be appointed to take over the business of the defendant corporation, its control and management. The answer of the defendant corporation is a general denial, by force of which every material allegation contained in the plaintiff's petition is denied. This is a recent case, filed on Nov. 24th, this year. The Court's attention was directed to the case by motion filed in behalf of defendants, asking that this case be advanced for immediate hearing. This motion was heard, yesterday. An attorney appeared on behalf of J. W. Wilson, plaintiff, to oppose this motion to advance. The Court, after some inquiry, directed that this matter be heard upon its merits, immediately, and set the same down for trial, for this morning. The ground for the Court's action was, that it should not be possible for any person to make such serious allegations, contained in the plaintiff's petition, and let the same rest, without action, until the matter is heard upon its merits. If it be true that in a given case, there is fraud,

deceit and mismanagement, and that the same
is, in good faith, made part of the petition
filed in Court, then it is the duty of counsel to
accompany the petition by an application for
the appointment of a Receiver at once. It is
a matter of general knowledge by attorneys
and others, that if cases filed in this Court
take their natural course, in numerical order,
it would be at least one year before the matter
could be heard upon its merits. It is entirely
within the power of unscrupulous men, for
purposes of their own, to make allegations of
fraud, deceit and mismanagement, and let the
same rest for a period of one year or more, in
the meanwhile scatter the information and
news broadcast that such a petition has been
filed, and bring the most solvent business or-
ganization to actual ruination, or on the verge
of it. Counsel for the plaintiff in this case
was given thc opportunity to present such an
application to the Court, asking for the ap-
pointment of a Receiver, at once. He failed
to avail himself of that. The Court thereupon

. advanced the case for immediate trial, for this

morning. Neither the plaintiff nor his counsel
are here, but, instead, we have a telegram
from the counsel, stating, “Unable to appear,
as I am unprepared for trial. Please see that
the same is dismissed without prejudice.” It
was not necessary for counsel to proceed to trial.
He could file his application for the immediate
appointment of a Receiver. The Court would
then be satisfied, because both sides would
have an opportunity to get into the facts, and
let the truth be known. This action, forcing
an immediate trial upon the merits, is brought
about by the failure of the plaintiff to avail
himself of the customary application for the
appointment of a Receiver, at once. To say
the least, from my inquiry, I am led to believe

that somebody is guilty of sharp practice in this case. I do not wish to hastily accuse any individual. Lawyers are often misled by the information received from clients. It would be, therefore, with some hesitation that I would accuse the attorneys for the plaintiff of any impropriety or misconduct. Ohio has sought, and brought about, the enactment of legislation in similar matters. When it was found that scheming and designing men were causing what is popularly known as a run on banks, the legislature took action, and made the same a crime under the laws of Ohio. I hold that to file a petition, alleging the grossest kind of accusations against a perfectly solvent firm, for the purpose of creating suspicion in the minds of the public concerning its affairs, and without any actual ground for the same, is morally just as much of a crime as causing a run on a bank. There is no law on our criminal code to cover this case, and I would say that the Court would firmly discipline any attorney who would lend himself to any such design or scheme. If the Bar Association, through its proper agencies, will see fit to look into this matter, and it is brought to my attention, that any attorney at this bar had, without proper cause, but merely to carry out the design of a scheming client, prepared a petition containing these allegations of fraud, deceit and mismanagement, well knowing that the same is not true, I would then, promptly and without hesitation, say that the severest sort of discipline shall be applied to such attorney.

I have said all I care to, in this case, and
the case stands dismissed.
(Signed) MANUEL LEVINE,
Judge of Common Pleas Court.

The Templar Motors Company, Cleveland, Ohio

Collier'

THE NATION 4-1. CWEEKLY

J an. 8, 1921 2 * - q. a copy Vol. 67 No. 2 2. 10° in Canada

[merged small][ocr errors]

- * --- - - *

* - In this Issue: Wadsworth Camp—John Hays Hammond–Berthe K. Mellett—Allen D. Albert Sax Rohmer—Heywood Broun—Albert Sidney Gregg

[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic]

THE NATIONAL WEEKLY

January 8, 1921

New York: 416 West 13th Street. London:

Copyright, 1921, by P. F. Collier & Son Conn pany. 5 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, W. C.

in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ARTH entered the case of the haunted house at Ardell an avowed skeptic. Nora, who seemed to have a special prescience in such matters, was, on the other hand, uneasy from Simon Allen's first appearance. Garth had called on her at the inspector's flat that night. Quite unexpectedly, about ten o'clock, the inspector strolled in, bringing Allen with him. “That comes of being famous, Garth,” the inspector rumbled, letting himself down in his favorite chair. “Mr. Allen's here from the northern part of the State with a story I can't make anything out of. He wants to tell it to you.” Garth studied the stranger—a man between thirty and forty years old, good-looking enough, and with the appearance and manners of one who lives more vividly within his own imagination than is the humdrum routine of average existence; but the detective had never seen a face more haggard, or one which expressed more relentlessly grief and fear. He saw that Nora stared too; that some of Allen's fear was already in her eyes. Allen's voice shared the unhappy emotions of his features. “I’m not so sure you can do anything for me," he began eagerly, “but I want you to try, for my own reason is in the balance. I want you to prove

By Wadsworth Camp

Illustrated by M. Leone Bracker

that I am not the victim of self-hallucination. Your cases must have taught you something of the tricks and the truths of spiritualism. Since my wife's death three years ago she has appeared to me several times—at dangerous or threatening moments. It happened finally last night. I caught the morning train and hurried to you.” “A case for a doctor,” Garth thought. He saw, however, that Nora bent forward, actively

... impressed; so he lighted a cigar, lay back in his chair, and bade the man tell his story, carefully,

from the beginning. “T WAS married five years ago,” Allen said, “to an orphan, a very beautiful girl a good deal younger than myself. She had a lot of money. I had little. We lived in an old stone house, a mile or so from Ardell, a small and lonely village near the border. Besides myself she had only my sister and my invalid father for company. It was horri

bly depressing for her. I realize that now. But I imagined myself a poet in those days. The city was impossible for me. The loneliness, the aspects of untouched nature, were my stock in trade. And she revolted. In desperation at last she threatened

to leave me, and that meant, of course, that she

would take her money. My sister, who has always been exceptionally devoted, gave me plenty of warming; but I, in my selfishness, made light of the whole situation. I didn’t see my wife sicken, just as she was on the point, I am sure now, of carrying out her threat. I didn't realize, indeed, that she was going to die until she lay, still and white, before my eyes, forever beyond the benefit of my remorse. For it was only when I had lost her that I realized how much I loved her. I broke down myself—was unable to go to the funeral. As soon as I could I fled from the house. I traveled. My sister’s letters, without reciting anything definite, gave me an increasing impression that she was living under some odd strain, unconnected with the care of my old , father. I went back a little over a year ago, planning to spend a few nights. I remained just ...] He moistened his lips. He continued more slowly: “The house has always had the reputation of be. ing—unpleasant. I mean, people have talked of footsteps, sighs; the more ignorant, even of visions. I had never seen anything, nor heard anything, I wasn't willing to explain by old timbers or the weather; nor had my sister until Helen's death. As soon as I entered the house that night I noticed the change. My sister looked older. Her eyes seemed continually to be seeking. Her movements were abrupt and neurasthenic. She said it was my imagination. My father, however, when I was alone with him for the first time, spoke in his unnatural way—you see, his mind isn't quite normal now. “‘Helen,” he said, “makes her act that way. Ever since she died the house has been full of Helen.” “Although I had never thought seriously of spirits, this situation, combined with my guilty memories, and the night, and the moldy house, made me restless and—afraid. I expected something which filled me with a great hope. I received a shivering impression that Helen was near. I longed to see her and tell her that I understood now and was sorry. But, you can understand, I shrank also from seeing her in any such fashion. “I slept in the room we had shared during two years. A dim moonlight got through the trees and in at the window, so that I could see the frame of the doorway opposite my bed. I suppose I got to sleep at last. Then I was wide-awake, sitting up in bed, my heart choking me. “The door had been opened. Just beyond the threshold, staring at me, stood my wife. The moonlight seemed green about her face, blurring the features, as if the face itself were a little phosphorescent. The whole vision was as removed from life as it is possible to imagine a thing to be. Yet I never doubted it was Helen. I gave a great cry, and started to rise to go to her. The door closed noiselessly. I lighted my candle and ran out, but the hall was quite empty. "I was helpless. I could see, but I could not communicate. It seemed like a punishment, bitterly cruel. Then the next day I received my first intimation of the warning quality of these visions. My sister came down with a nervous collapse. A country doctor, a good one who had looked after Helen and cared for my father, pulled her through. I couldn’t stay at the house. I lived in the village and drove over each day. But even so I understood what my father had meant. The house was full of Helen. Always turning a corner I started, feeling she was there, just beyond my reach, just beyond my sight.

[graphic]
[graphic]

ee HEN my sister was well enough I fled back to the city. The doctor, I am sure, loves her. I knew she was in good hands. “The memory of what I had felt and seen haunted me. Four months ago I yielded to that unbearable, abominable temptation to see my wife again, to try again to talk to her. My father and sister, without saying anything, made it clear that she was still there. And one night, the last night, I think, I shall ever spend in that house, she appeared. This time she was actually in my room, between my bed and the closed door, outlined by the green moonlight, and I could see her face quite clearly. I fought to get to her, but some thing solid and -- transparent seemed to stand 3 * between us. While I struggled she faded. I tell you she melted into nothing within a few feet of my eyes, of my helpless hands, as if she had been of the substance of . . the fading, nocturnal light. “That time the warning was for me. I came back to the city and went to the hospital with as vicious a case of typhoid as you could wish. For weeks they expected me to die. I tried to persuade my father and sister to leave the unhealthy house. My father wouldn't be moved. You see, he is very old, and he was born and has always lived in that house. To die there has become a religion with him. Besides, Helen's proximity does not frighten him. Old people are not very fearful of that which they so nearly approach themselves. So my sister is chained by him. “As soon as I was well I experienced again that ireadful temptation. You can't fancy, Mr. Garth, what it is to desire an experience the thought of which takes your breath; to feel an irresistible ne...essity to yield yourself to a blind terror.”

He paused, and looked around. He seemed startled by Nora's intent expression. After a moment he continued:

“I yielded yesterday, and reached the house last evening. I started up the stairs with my bag in one hand and a candle in the other. I tell you Helen stood at the head of the stairs, glaring down at me, as if her suffering had urged her to come

“You feel as if there were some --- one else here!” o: she whispered *92-e

and forbid my passage. For the first time I received the impression of a malevolent spirit, and I knew I must not try to see her again. My candle dropped, and I cried out. The next thing I remember I was lying on a sofa, my sister hysterically demanding what I had seen. And when I pressed her she admitted having seen a number of times a similar vision, but since my first experience. Before that she had only suffered from a mental alertness for the unhealthy and unnatural. My father, who had never actually experienced the the apparition, said: “‘Poor Helen' You wouldn't let her go when she was alive, Simon; you can’t be cross with her for staying now that she's dead.’”

“It seems to me,” Garth commented when Allen had finished, “you need a spiritualist rather than a detective.”

Nora smiled at Garth. “He needs a hard-headed scoffer like you. If you felt anything, saw anything, he would know his mind was right enough.”

Allen nodded. “Yes, because I realize I may have suggested these things to my sister. I don’t think Mr. Garth's type of mind would be influenced by unconscious hypnotism. Or, if he could find some physical explanation, some light effect; if he could prove to me that my house is healthy. Frankly, I see little hope of that, but I have come to him as a last resort, because I feel danger to one of us must follow this third vision.” Nora touched Garth's arm. “You have to help him, Jim,” she whispered.

The inspector agreed. “I can get along without you at Headquarters for a couple of days.”

“All right,” Garth agreed. “But let's start square, Mr. Allen. I’ve no manner of belief in spirits.”

“That's right,” Allen cried. “That's just what I want. But I wonder if you’ll be able to tell me that after you have spent one night in my house.”

HROUGH the gathering dusk the next evening Garth looked from the train at a hilly landscape of a peculiarly depressing outline and color. There were practically no houses. Patches of woodland and underbrush were se p a rated by rocky stretches, or hilltops that the wind had swept clean. When Allen and he left the train at Ardell the night was complete. Garth fancied the station master looked at him suspiciously. Without saying anything the man locked the station and set off for a cluster of lights that marked the village. “Give me your bag,” Allen said. His voice held a new, authoritative note. “I will send it out from the village.” “But we are going together to your house,” Garth cried. “No. I want you to be free from any possible mental suggestion of mine. I will come in the morning for your report.” “Your sister expects me?” Garth asked. “I will telephone her from the village.” He pointed directly away from the lights. “There's your road. About a mile from here you will come to two large stone gate posts. You're not likely to miss them even on such a night. Turn in there and walk along the driveway to the house.” The road, as far as Garth could tell, skirted thick woodland. Almost at once it turned, and the lights of the village were blotted out. A wan patch in the east showed where the moon struggled unsuccessfully to project its light through heavy snow clouds. Nowhere else did a gleam of light escape from the sable pall. He received an impression that some one followed him, but he could see nothing, hear nothing. A sense of bleak withdrawal from the experienced, the comprehensible, world increased upon him. He stumbled on against an unreasonable reluctance. He came at last to the gate posts, found really only because his feet told him that a driveway swung in there. Once through, the world appeared blacker. The wind suggested that trees crowded close on either side. The driveway curved a great deal, as if to avoid them. He peered eagerly ahead for light. There was no light. He hadn't dreamed the house was so deep in the woods. Allen shouldn't have sent him off to feel his way about in the night, at the risk of losing the path, of stumbling on some pitfall. He snatched out his pocket lamp and pressed the control. He stared, surprised, at the end of the sudden, brilliant vista. The house, then, was quite blind, for (Continued on page 20)

[graphic][graphic][graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« PreviousContinue »