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“That's all right!” he said eagerly. “It’s different if New York's your home. You don’t feel the rush and bustle of it, anyway, as I do. It holds things for you it doesn't give me at all. It's just—why, I suppose I feel about Maytown just as you do about all this—” “New York's comfortable,” she said. “It’s got things I like. Music and pictures and—oh, the Ritz for lunch, and that absurd, crowded scrap of a floor at the Plaza where you dance, and the jam in Fifth Avenue at night when you're so fascinated with the crowd that you don't mind its making you late—” “But it squeezes you!” he said. “It hurries you all the time. You can't rest. At least—I can't. I never do half the things I want to do. I feel—I feel as if I were staying at a hotel for a fow days.” But she wouldn't take him seriously —about that. She made him talk about. his business; her eyes were wide as the heard about the turmoil and the struggle of the first years. “There was one time,” he said, “when it was a question of another twenty thousand dollars—and they all swore they wouldn’t put in another penny. I knew we were on the verge of coming through—and for twenty-four hours I saw the whole thing going to smash because they wouldn't believe me. But I made them." He sat and glowed in the memory of his triumph. And then he was abashed. “I oughtn't to talk shop this way—” “I made you!” she said. “I love it. Really. I’ve always wanted to write advertising !” “You have?” “Always! I read the advertising pages every month, and think of how I could improve some of the things I see: There's your copy—oh, I know some of the patter! I think you're overlooking your very best selling point—” He was disposed to be tolerant—and that she didn't resent that proves that she liked him. But perhaps she simply knew that she was going to bring him to her feet. She did just that. “Why –you're right!” he said—and admired her more than ever. “I wish—look here—if you’d really like to do it, why don’t you do some pages along that line?” “I’d love to " she said. “But—I don’t really know anything about advertising, technically.” “That's easy. I can work over the layouts with you—” “Will you? Oh, I think it would be great fun—” So that was that. Warren went to see Helen Forster that afternoon as a man greatly interested, highly speculative, a little uncertain, still, as to his own mind. He walked out into the dusk definitely, irrevocably, in love with her. He had imagined himself in love —of course!—before. There had been Nellie Lester, the most vivid figure of all those that moved through his Maytown memories. He had cherished the thought of going back to ask her to marry him for a time. They wrote daily at first. Then they wrote often. Finally they stopped writing; and after a few years Warren heard that Nellie was giving up her job at the post office to marry a farmer. No use in thinking about Nellie now. That page was wiped clean. . . .
AY followed day, week rushed upon the heels of week. One morning he was too busy to do more than glance through half a dozen selected letters; he was having lunch with Helon, and going to a symphony con
The Mud of Maytown
Coritinued front page 11
MPORTANT business engagements, typical of the hold which New York, despite his struggles, had upon him, filled its pages. The initials “H. F.” appeared on every page. Conferences. Meetings. Opera on Mondays and Wednesdays. A luncheon he couldn't very well miss. “You see!” he said, feeling virtuous, “I can't call my soul my own in this town, Miss Starr! Write to Ledbetter—tell him I’m trying to break away. Take care of that chap he's sending if he turns up—turn him over to some one. I probably shan't have time to see him.” “Very good, Mr. Warren. Mr. Bland telephoned from Philadelphia again. He hopes you will be able to see him and Mrs. Bland while they are here. They will be at the Waldorf to-morrow -- and until Saturday.” “Have to try to do that. By gum-old Bland gave me my first job! See if you can't squeeze in half an hour—” “I’m afraid it can't be done, Mr. Warren—” “Well—” “It is curious, isn't it? But, it does seem that you're always busiest when you're trying to see people from Maytown. It was so when Mr. Ledbetter was here last year and about that delegation that came on—” He said he did the best he could, and
that it wasn’t his fault he was so busy.'
And all day he glowed at the thought of Maytown. It was the best town he knew; it sheltered the finest people. He wished he could do something for them. ... Well, he would make up for lost time when he went home to live! He'd show them that all the shoe polishers in New York had never been able to rub the Maytown mud clear away! He’d show them what civic spirit was build a community theatre, maybe, or a concert hall—fine thing for a town, that. He'd never appreciated, until this winter, what music meant. Helen had astonished him about the advertising—and not only him, but the agency that handled the Warren account. The agency had been skeptical about her work at first, but that was a memory now—so much so that it had offered her a job! She didn't take it. “I’m flattered to death !” she said. “But I’m awfully ashamed too. You see —I’ve gone about for ages wishing that I could do something like that, and wailing because I was condemned to be a butterfly and a social parasite by cruel parents who refused to turn me out to make a living as soon as the child-labor laws would let them. And now—well, I just won’t give up all thq, things that go with being a butterfly and a parasite—if you can be both !” “You’ve turned them course?” “Of course I have—more's the pity! Because I’ve got to be honest, now, and give up an awfully effective pose. I can’t pretend any longer that I’m the victim of circumstances when I’ve thrown away a chance to escape them because I love them!” He probably didn't quite understand that; certainly he didn't penetrate the meaning of the amused keen glances she bent upon him while she was speaking. He asked her to marry him one night when they had been at the opera. Nothing he had ever done in his whole life had astonished him so much; two min
... I mean.
utes before he heard his voice, hoarse with emotion, pleading with her, he had not the faintest idea of doing anything of the sort. But the music still had them both in its grip; something about a faint, accidental touch of her hand loosed the bonds that had checked him. “Oh—Jack—” He had never heard that tone in her voice. She stood in the hall of the old house near Washington Square; his hand had been on the door, to open it, just before he spoke. “Jack—I—I don't know what to say! I wish—I wish I could say yes, my dear —this minute—” “You can't?” he said stupidly. “No-and I won't say no! Jack— why don't you ever go back to Maytown ‘’” He stared at her. “I—why—I never get time—I’m too busy. I’m planning to break away when I can—” She stamped her foot. “Oh, don't tell me that all over again Don't say the Maytown mud still sticks to your shoes! Why don't you go if you want to so much?” He looked at her in blank amazement. Understand? He was a million miles from understanding. Suddenly she laughed, rather helplessly. “Poor dear—really, I'm not mad!” she said. “Jack—you'll see what And—I like you better than any man—I like you better than I ever dreamed I could like anyone—and-–and —I hope I’m going to marry you—and --good night—” She kissed him—almost kissed him – touched his cheek with her lips. “Good night!” she said again. “Tomorrow—maybe I'll be able to make you see—good night—” He displayed signs of life. The situation, you will admit, was confusing. He hadn’t been accepted—neither, certainly, had he been rejected. He had been scolded. Mad things, things without a vestige of sense in them, had been said to him. But –she had kissed him. He decided to cling to that—tried to cling to her too. But she elusied him. From the stairs she laughed down at him. And, after all, he couldn't pursue her up the stairs, at nearly one o'clock in the morning. He-went home. He walked all the way up Fifth Avenue to Fifty-ninth Street. He, was probably the possessor of the most’ completely mixed and jumbled set of emotions in America. It may be unromantic to say this, but he slept like a top all that night. He had walked and thought himself, on the way home, into a state of complete exhaustion.
ISS STARR didn't approve of him at all on the morrow. He wasn't efficient. She had all she could do to pull him through a not very difficult schedule. He turned sulky when she tried to make him concentrate on his letters; he evaded everything he could. And he dashed out, to keep his engagement with Helen at the Plaza, with two men, who had appointments, waiting to see him. Helen was five minutes late, and he nearly went mad. But the very sight of her soothed him, and when he met her she didn't shake hands—she patted his arm, for a moment, instead. They went in to the big room that looks out on the fountain and its statue. Warren couldn't talk at all, and, of course, there was no use in trying to say anything until lunch was ordered. And then, when both of them were trying to find words, they were interrupted. A man came to their table. He was a good deal older than Warren; a keen-eyed, shrewd old chap, whose clothes were eloquent, somehow, of the Middle West. “Well, Johnny!” he said. “I’ve run you down at last, eh?” He looked at Helen in frank admiration. “Guess I understand why you’ve been too busy to see us—” Helen laughed. was on his feet. “Miss Forster—Mr.
Bland gave me my first job, in Maytown, years ago, Helen. He's president of the bank and—oh, he's our big man—” “I’ve done middling well, Johnny,” said Mr. Bland. His eyes were twin“Johnny, seeing's you're so hard to get hold of, I'm going to ask this young lady if she'll excuse me just a minute while I tell you what I came to New York for.” “Of course!” said Helen. down, Mr. Bland!” “Thank you, ma'am,” he said. “Well, Johnny—it's just this way. We're pretty proud of you in Maytown. We've always remembered you, even if you haven't been home in a long while. It's easy to get out of touch with a little town when you've done as well as you
have here. But we've kept our eyes on you, in a way of speaking.” He laughed. “You’d never believe, ma'am,
how hard it is for us Maytown folk to find him when we're here!” “I’m driven so!” Warren protested defensively. “I’ve always wanted to see Maytown people. My doormat's always out, with Welcome on it for them : They've never been able to rub the Maytown mud off my—” “Jack'." Helen's voice was onlinous, although her eyes were laughing. “Well, they rush me to death !” said Warren sulkily. “I know it, Johnny," said Bland. “Well, here's what I've got to say. We've studied you and your business, like I said. We've got a proposition to put up to you. We know you've got to just about double your plant. And– well, we want you to make the Warren Washer at home, in Maytown. You can have a free factory site. There's all the water power you can use, all the year round. The new K. & C. line is in operation—that means you'll have three trunk roads for shipments. Taxes —costs—everything—we'll show you how you can make a big saving. Labor conditions are fine. It would be a big thing for the town—and we think it would be attractive to you.”
ARREN stared at him. For the moment he didn't see the way Helen's eyes were dancing. “I’m afraid—I’ll have to consult—I don't know what my associates would think. But-I don’t see how we could move from New York.” He was stumbling, and he knew it. “It’s mighty flattering of you—” “How wonderful, Jack!” said Helen. “You can go hone to Maytown to live, as you've always hoped you could !” Her eyes were shining. And now he met her gaze—and began to understand. His whole manner changed. “Look here—I’m sorry, Mr. Bland." he said, “but—I'm afraid I’ll have to say no. New York—well, New York's the place for big enterprises. It-it has advantages that offset the things you speak about—” “Well, you think it over, Johnny.” said Mr. Bland. “I can see myself it would be pretty hard to pull up here. 1 told the boys that when this was first suggested. But you think it over—and run out to see us, if you can find time. Good-by, Johnny. Good-by, ma'am.” “He’s a dear,” said Helen. “Jack— why did you decline? Why?”
He looked at her sheepishly. “Be. cause—because I won't leave New York'" he said at last, defiantly. “I–
- continued from page 21
“Miss Perfumia, dis is Spider,’ the youth, dismounting and starting in her direction. Miss Perfumia met him halfway. “Is it rilly you?” she asked with a glad note in her voice. “It rilly is 1” She threw her magnificent arms about Spider and pressed him to her ample bosom, while from her lips came honeyed words which transported the slender youth to elysiums of bliss. “Oh, my sweet Spider! You is cotch me in yo' little web!” With merry laughter Miss Perfumia permitted Spider to assist her to the side car of the motorcycle, which fitted her with something more than the snugness of a kid glove. The Darktown Lochinvar mounted to his place, the engine whirred, and the motorcycle, careening at a tremendous angle, chugged away in the darkness. “Gosh!” said Mannie, consuming his cigarette in three swift inhalations. “Po” li'l me!” chortled Hosea. The familiar exclamation relieved the strained situation. Joyous whoops burst
- - - - - -
from the discarded bridegrooms. the chasm which had yawned between the friends was obliterated in an avalanehe of laughter. . . “Shut up, Mannie,” finally counseled Hosea weakly. “We ain’ ackin’ proppeh atall fo' two bridegrooms what's been dissumpointed in love.” Orestes snorted at the word. “What's de matteh wid you, Rest Ease?” demanded Mannie. “Hit wuzn't love!” he exclaimed contemptuously. “What wuz it den?” asked Hosea. “Hit's dis away,” began Orestes judiciously. “When two guys falls fo' a stranger, who is a large fat lady, you know what dat is?” “No, what is it, Rest Ease?” urged Hosea impatiently. “Dat's in-fat-uation!” “Whoo-ee!” yelled Mannie and Hosea in chorus. “Come on, you fool mens!” yawned Nannette from the truck. She was weary from the night's excitement. “Wake up Parson Pat-his-foot, an’ les go home.”
Continued from page 15
Paul Harley held outstretched was cov
ered all over with dark purple spots. . . . .
A quarter of an hour later Harley rose from a writing table in the library, crossed to the mantelpiece, and stared long and hungrily at a photograph in a silver frame. So closely did he concentrate upon it that he ind:ced a sort of autohypnosis, so that Phil Abingdon seemed to smile at him sadly. Then a shadow appeared to obscure the piquant face. The soft outline changed, subtly; the fips grew more full, became voluptuous; the eyes lengthened, and grew languorous. He found himself looking into the face of Ormuz Khan."
“Damn it!” he muttered, awakened from his trance.
He turned aside, conscious of a sudden, unaccountable chill. . It might have
been caused by the mental picture which . .
he had conjured up, or it might be another of those mysterious warnings of which latterly he had had so many without encountering any positive danger. He stood quite still, listening. Afterward he sometimes recalled that moment, and often enough asked himself what he had expected to hear. It was from this room, on an earlier occasion, that he had heard the ominous movements in the apartment above. To-day he heard nothing. “Benson,” he called, opening the library door. As the man came along the hall: “I have written a note to Mr. Innes, my secretary,” he explained. “There it is, on the table. When the district messenger, for whom you telephoned, arrives, give him the parcel and the note. He is to accept no other receipt than that of Mr. Innes.” “Very good, sir.” Harley took his hat and cane, and Benson opened the front door. “Good day, sir,” said the butler. “Good day, Benson,” called Harley, hurrying out to the waiting cab. “Number 236 South Lambeth Road,” he directed the man.
FF moved the taxi, and Harley lay back upon the cushions heaving a long sigh. The irksome period of inaction was ended. The cloud which for a time, had dulled his usually keen wits was lifted. He was by no means sure that enlightenment had come in time, but at least he was in hot pursuit of a tangible clue, and he must hope that it would lead him, though tardily, to the heart of this labyrinth which concealed—what? hich conceal-ed something, or some one, known and feared as Fire-Tongue. For the moment he must focus upon establishing, beyond query or doubt, the fact that Sir Charles Abingdon had not died from natural causes. This first point achieved, the motive of the crime
must be sought; and then—the criminal. “One thing at a time,” Harley finally murmured. Turning his head, he glanced back at the traffic in the street behind him. The action was sheerly automatic. He had ceased to expect to detect the presence of any pursuer... Yet he was convinced that his every movement was closely watched. It was uncanny, unnerving, this consciousness of invisible surveillance. Now, as he looked, he started. . The invisible had become the visible. His cab was just on the point of turning on to the slope of Vauxhall Bridge. And fifty yards behind, speeding along the Embankment, was a small closed car. The features of the driver he had no time closely to observe. But, peering eagerly through the window, was the dark face of the passenger. The man's nationality it was impossible to determine, but the keen, almost savage interest betrayed by the glittering black eyes it was equally impossible to mistake. . - If the following car had turned on to the bridge, Harley, even yet, might have entertained a certain doubt. But, mentally putting himself in the pursuer's place, he imagined himself detected and knew at once exactly what he should do. Since this hypothetical course was actually pursued by the other, Harley's belief was confirmed.
S a result, immediately he was afforded the necessary cover, Harley jumped from the cab. He stepped on to the footpath, quietly joined the stream of pedestrians, and strolled slowly along. He presently passed the stationary cab without giving any sign of recognition to the dismounted driver. Then, a minute later, the cab overtook him and was soon lost in the traffic ahead. Even as it disappeared another cab went by rapidly. Leaning forward in order to peer through the front window was the darkfaced man whom he had detected on the Embankment! “Quite correct,” murmured Harley
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dryly. “Exactly what I should have done.” The spy, knowing himself discovered, had abandoned his own car in favor of a passing taxicab, and in the latter had taken up the pursuit. The contest had developed into open warfare. Harley's accurate knowledge of London enabled him to locate No. 236 South Lambeth Road without recourse to a guide. That the house was being watched he did not doubt. In fact, he no longer believed subterfuge to be of any avail. He was dealing with dangerously accomplished criminals. He walked quite openly up the dilapidated steps to the door of No. 236, and was about to seize the dirty iron knocker when the door opened suddenly and a girl came out. She was dressed neatly and wore a pseudo fashionable hat from which a heavy, figured veil depended so as almost to hide her features. Seeing Harley on the step, she paused for a moment, then, recovering herself: “Ellen '" she shouted down the dim passageway revealed by the opening of the door. “Somebody to see you.”
EAVING the door open, she hurried past the visitor with averted face. It was well done, and, thus disguised by the thick veil, another than Paul Harley might have failed to recognize one of whom he had never had more than an imperfect glimpse. But if Paul Harley's memory did not avail him greatly, his unerring instinct never failed. He grasped the girl's arm. “One moment, Miss Jones,” he said quietly, “it is you I am here to see!” The girl turned angrily, snatching her arm from his grasp. “You’ve made a mistake, haven't you?” she cried furiously. “I don't know you and I don't want to ''' “Be good enough to step inside again. Don't make a scene. If you behave yourself, you have nothing to fear. But I want to talk to you.” He extended his arm to detain her. But she thrust it aside. “My boy's waiting round the corner!” she said viciously. “Just see what he'll do when I tell him 1" “Step inside,” repeated Harley quietly. “Or accompany me to Kennington Lane Police Station — whichever you think would be the more amusing.” “What d'you mean " blustered the girl. “You can't kid me. I haven’t done anything.” “Then do as I tell you. You have got to answer my questions—either here or at the police station. Which shall it be?” The girl, banging open a door, entered a shabby little sitting room, followed by Harley. Dropping on to a ragged couch, she stared obstinately out of the dirty window. “Now, young woman,” Harley said sternly, adopting the official manner of his friend, Inspector Wessex, “you have got mixed up with a gang of crooks. Play the game with me, and I’ll stand by you. Try any funny business and you'll go to jail.” The official manner had its effect. Miss Jones looked sharply across at the speaker. “I haven’t done anything,” she said sullenly. Paul Harley advanced and stood over her. “What about the trick with the serviettes at Sir Charles Abingdon's?” he asked, speaking the words in slow and deliberate fashion. The shaft went home, but the girl possessed a stock of obstinate courage. “What about it?” she inquired, but her voice had changed. “Who made you do it?” “What's that to you?” Paul Harley drew out his watch, glanced at the face, and returned the timepiece to his pocket. “I have warned you,” he said. “In exactly three minutes' time I shall put you under arrest.” The girl suddenly lifted her veil and, raising her face, looked up at him. At last he had broken down her obstinate resistance. “Don’t arrest me,’ “I’ll tell you.” “Good. In the first place, then, lo, were you going when I came ere.
“To meet my boy at Vauxhall Station.” “What is his name?” “I’m not going to tell you. he done?” “He has done murder. What is his name?” “My God!” whispered the girl, and her face blanched swiftly. “Murder! I—I can't tell you his name—” “You mean you won't.” She did not answer. “He is a very dark man,' Harley, “with black eyes. Hindu.” The girl stared straight before her, dumbly. “Answer me!” shouted Harley. “Yes—yes! He is a foreigner.” “Where did you meet him?” “In the Green Park.” “When?” “About a month ago.” “Was he going to marry you?” “Yes.” “What did you do to the serviettes on the night Sir Charles died?” “Oh, my God! I didn't do anything to hurt him—I didn't do anything to hurt him ''' “Answer me.” “Sidney—” “Oh, he called himself Sidney did he? It isn't his name. But go on.” “He asked ne to get one of the serviettes, with the ring, and to lend it to him.” “You did this?” “Yes. But he brought it back.” “When?" “The afternoon—” “Before Sir Charles's death? Yes. Go on. What did he tell you to do with this serviette‘’” “It-was in a box. He said I was not to open the box until I put the serviette on the table, and that it had to be put by Sir Charles's plate. It had to be put there just before the meal began.” “What else?” “I had to burn the box.” “Well?” “That night I couldn't see how it was to be done. Benson had laid the dinner table and Mrs. Howett was pottering about. Then, when I thought I had my chance, Sir Charles sat down in the dining room and began to read. He was still there and I had the box hidden in the hall stand, all ready, when— Sidney—rang up. We had arranged it. He said he was my brother. I had to tell him I couldn't do it. He said: “You must.’ I told him Sir Charles was in the dining room, and he said: “I’ll get him away. Directly he goes, don't fail to do what I told you.’” “And then?” “Another phone call came—for Sir Charles. I knew who it was, because I had told Sidney about the case Sir Charles was attending in the Square. When Sir Charles went out I changed the serviettes. Mrs. Howett found me in the dining room and played hell. But afterward I managed to burn the box in the kitchen. That’s all I know. What harm was there?”
continued He is a
er ARM enough '" said Harley grimly. “And now—what was it that ‘Sidney' stole from Sir Charles's bureau in the study?” “It wasn’t Sidney who took it. I took it.” “You took what?” “A paper.” “You mean that you stole Sir Charles's keys and opened his bureau?” “There was no stealing. He was out and they were lying on his dressing table. Sidney had told me to do it the first time I got a chance.” “What had he told you to do?” “To search through Sir Charles's papers and see if there was anything with the word “Fire-Tongue’ in it!” “Ah!” exclaimed Harley, a note of suppressed triumph in his voice. “Go n >
“There was only one paper about it,” continued the girl, now speaking rapidly, “or only one that I could find. I put
the bureau straight again and took this paper to Sidney.” “But you must have read the paper?” “Only a bit of it. When I came to the word “Fire-Tongue,' I didn't read any more.” “What was it about—the part you did read?” “The beginning was all about India. I couldn't understand it. I jumped a whole lot. I hadn't much time and I was afraid Mrs. Howett would find me. Then, further on, I came to “FireTongue.’” “But what did it say about “FireTongue’?” “I couldn't make it out, sir. Oh, indeed I’m telling you the truth! It seemed to me that Fire-Tongue was some sort of mark.” “Mark?” “Yes—a mark Sir Charles had seen in India, and then again in London—” “In London | Where in London?” “On some one's arm.” “What! Tell me the name of this person'" “I can't remember, sir! I can't.” “Was the name mentioned?” “Yes.” “Was it Armand?” “No.” Qrmond?" “Anything like Ormond?" The girl shook her head. “It was not Ormuz Khan?" “No, I am sure it wasn't." Paul Harley's expression underwent a stidden change. “Was it Brown?” he asked. She hesitated. “I believe it did begin with a B,” she admitted. “Was it Brunn?” “No! I remember, sir. It was Brimn!" “Good God!” muttered Harley. “Are you sure?” “Quite sure.” “Do you know anyone of that name?” “No, sir.” “And is this positively all you remember?" “On my oath, it is.' “How often have you seen since your dismissal?” “I saw him on the morning I left.” ..A.! then not again until to-day?" -- o.” “Does he live in London?” “No. He is valet to a gentleman who lives in the country.” “How do you know?” “He told me.” “What is the name of the place?” “I don't know.” “Once again—what is the name of the place?” The girl bit her lip. “Answer!” shouted Harley. “I swear, sir,” cried the girl, beginning suddenly to sob, “that I don't know! Oh, please let me go! I swear I have told you all I know!” “Good I' Paul Harley glanced at his watch, crossed the room, and opened the door. He turned. “You can go now,” he said. “But I don't think you will find Sidney waiting !” . . .
T wanted only three minutes to midnight, and Innes, rather haggard and anxious-eyed, was pacing Paul Harley's private office when the phone bell rang. Eagerly he took up the receiver. “Hullo!” came a voice. Innes?” “Mr. Harley!” cried Innes. God you are safe! perately anxious!” “I am by no means safe, Innes! I am in one of the tightest corners of my life! Listen! Get Wessex' If he's off duty, get Burton. Tell him to bring—” The voice ceased. “Hullo!—Mr. Harley!” called Innes. “Mr. Harley!” A faint cry answered him. He distinctly heard the sound of a fall. Then the other receiver was replaced on the hook.” “Merciful heavens!” whispered Innes. “What has happened? Where was he speaking from? What can I do?” (To be continued)
“Thank I was growing des
Drives and the Driven Business Man
Continued from page 9
of the men who work for me in my office. Drives may come and drives may go, but I have been put into the harness and driven for the last time. This is the final swing around the track for me! I’m through: never again!” | And every man around the table echoed his words. “We’re through,” they said. “Never again!”
One Man's Mail
HAT does that declaration mean to that city? Does it mean that the hospitals are to be allowed to languish? That the Red Cross can hope for no more support there? That the Near East Relief and the Boy | Scouts and the Y. M. C. A. and the | Travelers' Aid Society and the National Tuberculosis Association and all the other organizations of service and self-sacrifice must diminish their work? It would mean that if those men, and a hundred others, really held to their | word; for without those hundred no movement in that city succeeds. They will mot hold to their word, of course; their consciences will not allow them to refuse, when the demand comes. Good works in their city will not cease. But the conversation that I have reported represents a perfectly normal and long overdue revolt on the part of American business men—and the same is true of the wage earner and man of modest circumstances—against the unceasing procession of demands upon their energy and time. It means that unless some measures of relief are provided many worthy good causes in this country are going to experience serious difficălty in continuing their existence. | Because I am in a position to see the | facts very clearly, both from the stand| point of the successful business man and from the standpoint of the poor man and of the organizations that are dependent upon them for help, I have responded to the invitation to write this article. There is one possible and very sensible solution of the problem in my judgment; I present it to the American men and women in full confidence that somehow they will find a way to work it out; and in doing so to save the service organizations of America and themselves also. Civilization has not produced a finer type than the American business man; and if he is revolting now at the demands of organizations upon him, he is revolting because he has reached the limit of his endurance, and not because of any unwillingness to shoulder his share of the world's suffering and need. I can say this of the rich, although I am of the poor, by the poor, and for the poor. The other day I sat in the office of a man who is equally famous as a business leader and as a philanthropist. “Would you like to see my morning's mail, commander?” he asked. I said I would like very much to see it. He took me into an office in the rear of his own room, and there at a long table two men sat busily opening letters. “It keeps two men busy all day long every day just opening and answering the appeals for help,” he explained. “The letters come from every State and even from foreign countries. They are from college presidents and paupers, from doctors who are struggling to raise the debts of hospitals, and from country preachers who must find some way to shingle their churches. “Of course I cannot begin to reply personally to all the demands. And I often wonder what the effect is on a man or woman who waits for a reply from me, and receives none. Is he or she added then to the company of those who denounce the rich? I wish that every one of my correspondents could sit here and read my mail for a single day: how many of them, I wonder, would think that I am happier than they?” A few days later I heard of another man whose name every organization writes at the top of the list of pros
pects when it plans a campaign in his city. His income was tremendous during the war, and what the Government did not take in taxes he gave away to charity, for he has no desire to augment his fortune. Then the war ended, and the properties from which his money is derived went through a serious period of readjustment. The result is that his total income is less than the amount of the income tax he must pay. So, like the poor, the rich and the nearrich appear also to have their troubles. The war had one effect which was wholesome. It very greatly enlarged the giving constituency in America. Campaigns like those of the Red Cross, the Y. M. C. A., the Knights of Columbus, etc., reached many thousands of men and women who had previously given little or nothing to charity. And yet those of us who are at the heart of such organizations know that even these great popular campaigns were absolutely dependent for their success pon a handful of men and women of realth. In any community 60 per cent of the fund would come from less than 10 per cent of the population; sometimes from less than 2 per cent. The names of that favored 2 per cent are known by the directors of every charitable organization, the trustees of every college, and the organizers of every campaign. They are the first written on every list of givers—names like Cleveland Dodge, Arthur Curtiss James, Julius Rosenwald, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Mrs. Finley J. Shepard, John Wanamaker, and others which have equal significance in their own communities. It was this comparatively small group of people whose gifts largely made possible the great campaign funds of the war. But the war is over, and Federal taxes and the process of deflation have hit this group hard. They, as well as the business man mentioned earlier in the article, must have their period of rest and relief.
Think This Over
O much for the problem from the standpoint of the large giver. Let me say a word from the other side, from the standpoint of those organizations to whom the gifts are made. I can speak the more frankly, I think, because the organization I have the honor to represent is perhaps better able to take care of itself than most of the others. For years it existed and expanded with comparatively little support except the pennies, nickels, and dimes tossed on to the bass drum or into the tambourine. While we have hoped that the street collection is a thing of the past, and that we can meet our simple needs by better methods in the future, yet the tambourine is still with us and can, if necessary, be drafted into heavy service again. I write, therefore, not primarily on behalf of the Salvation Army, but to voice the needs of a score of organizations whose problems I know so well. In Albany recently, as I waited in the depot, I saw a pretty young girl come in, obviously straight from a country home. The station was full of people, among them some men of rude character and appearance, who also saw the girl. She looked here and there in some bewilderment, as if expecting that she would be met; and finally, having convinced herself that there was no familiar face in the crowd, she started uncertainly toward the door leading on to the street. At that moment a sweetfaced woman in a Travelers' Aid uniform stepped up and engaged her in conversation. In five minutes the girl was on the way to the home of friends, who would see to it that her entrance into the city was the beginning of a career, not the first step in a tragedy. Would any man in the United States who has a daughter or a younger sister be willing to see the magnificent work of this organization lost or seriously contracted? Yet work of this kind cannot go on without funds; and
without a campaign or a drive, how is it to secure its funds? I never see a group of boys in scout. uniforms without feeling a new sense of gratitude to the Boy Scout organization for what it has meant to the youth of America. Hundreds of thousands of arents whose boys are healthier, manier, more thoughtful and courteous than they might otherwise have been, feel the same way. Most of the expenses of the Boy Scout troops are borne locally, of course; but, every such organization must have national direction, nationally financed. Shall the work of the Boy Scouts be allowed to languish? Not a single American parent would be willing to see it suffer; and yet it, too, must be financed; and if not by a campaign, then how? So with the Girl Scouts, the National Tuberculosis Association, and a dozen other organizations, to say nothing of the unselfish groups of our fellow citizens who are working for the relief of distress in Europe, in the Near East, and in the starving provinces of China. All are worthy; all must go on. But how? And with whose money and strength? What, then, is the solution? Does it lie with Congress, or the State governments, or with the various relief and charitable organizations themselves? I do not think so. It is primarily a problem of the giver—of the business man and public-spirited woman of America. My suggestion, made to the giving public of which the business man is the main factor, and to those upon whose shoulders, like my own, rests the responsibility for properly financing the worthy causes so vital to the public weal, is offered through the business man's own organization, the United States Chamber of Commerce. The officers of that great body of substantial citizens, in cooperation with the chambers of commerce, boards of trade, and merchants' associations of the various cities and towns, are in a position to command national confidence in their judgments and decisions. Let them call us all together, and let us frankly, and without suspicion or prejudice, report our needs and the troubles that are besetting us in these days of readjustment. Let them realize that the rising tide has lifted all boats, and that enlarged responsibilities have come to us, with vastly increased opportunities for service, at the same instant that we discover the giving public is wearied because of our manner of approach and our frequency of appeal. Let these big brothers of the commonwealth, weighing the case of the rich and the poor alike, give us the benefit of their advice and counsel. Let them study with us the programs and the needs of each movement, and let them investigate. with sympathy and understanding, just what our objectives are and how we propose to reach them. Then let them name a great American committee of representative men and women, known for their genuine interest in welfare and relief work, and for their integrity and broadness of spirit, and let that committee bring us all together in a great united effort that shall justly and fairly serve the interests of all, and minimize and defeat the aims of none once those aims are acknowledged to be sound and warranted.
Do It in a Week
R membership on such a committee, names will readily suggest themselves to all. I, for one, visualize a group that shall know no geographical lines, no race, creed, or partisanship, and such names as these flash across my mind: Charles W. Eliot, William Howard Taft, Julius Rosenwald, John J. Agar, Frank A. Vanderlip, Samuel Gompers, Mortimer Schiff, Jane Addams, Mrs. Finley J. Shepard, Herbert Hoover, Mrs. Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, John Wanamaker, George Gordon Battle, Franklin K. Lane, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. They are not all rich. All of them have vision and their fealty to God and country are well known. Such a committee would call us together in a united campaign with a united budget, and I, for my part, would welcome the call. To a combined budget in each city
could be added the local claims of charitable organizations of purely local character. For example, if Buffalo's share were to be a quarter of a million dollars, the local Chamber of Commerce might add an equal or larger sum to be raised and retained for its own hos. pitals, its United Charities, or whatever other activity, in the judgment of the chamber, needed special support that year. Thus we should have the inspiring spectacle of the whole nation engaged for one week in a splendid outpouring of unselfishness. The week might well come at the very threshold of the year—in the latter part of January perhaps. Could any influence be more welcome for America than such an annual period of reconsecration to high ideals? That there would be difficulties in applying such a remedy to our present situation I recognize quite clearly. But the advantages to be gained seem to me to outweigh very much any possible objection. Let me outline three advantages briefly as they appear to me:
Three Cents for the Church
IRST of all, we should be establishing universal training in the wholesome practice of giving money away. The surveys made for the Interchurch World Movement indicated that the average church members’ contribution to his church is less than three cents a day. Less than he spends for daily papers, less than the cost of a telephone call, a third of a day's car fare. The habit of giving demands regular exercise if it is not to become atrophied. Thousands now have the excuse: “There are so many appeals,” or “I would give something if o could be sure that it was going where it would do the most good; but how can I be sure?” A united campaign would remove those obstacles; it would rededicate the whole nation to a new interest in and sympathy for the things that are actually worth while. The second advantage—the value of having the appeal concentrated in one week, instead of spread through the year as at present—needs no extended comment. No man can afford to neglect his business every week in the year, as many men would have to do if they responded to every appeal that comes to them now. But any man can afford a single week for unselfish service in behalf of humanity; and the influence of that one week of self-sacrifice would make itself felt in keener sympathies and a larger tolerance and understanding throughout the other fifty-one. And the third great benefit, as I see it, is this—that a united campaign would bring together all Americans, of whatever name, or creed or interest, on a great common platform of cooperation in service. During the United War Work campaign this story was used with great effect by some of the speakers: A kindly old lady, so the story goes, was asked by a visiting pastor how her church was progressing. “Not very well,” she answered sadly, and then, brightening, added: “But, thank Heaven, the Baptists aren't doing any better.” That spirit, if it ever existed in any large number of Christian A'. is rapidly becoming a thing of memory. The war brought Presbyterians and Catholics, Jews and Baptists, Christian Scientists and Salvationists shoulder to shoulder on the fields of France and in splendid welfare campaigns at home. The spirit of unity that the war promoted ought not to be allowed to die because the war is done: it did great things for America and can do far greater things in the years to come. I can anticipate the objections that will be made: I know that it will be said that I am proposing a “Charity Trust,” a sort of “League of Charities” that will deprive the individual organization of its autonomy, and attempt to dictate its policies. But if such a commission as I have suggested cannot be trusted, then whom can we trust? And the problem, remember, is not an academic one; it is a condition, not a theory, that confronts us.