Philip Dru: Administrator
Edward Mandell House
Part 1 out of 4
Curtis A. Weyant, David Maddock, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed
PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR
A STORY OF TOMORROW
"No war of classes, no hostility to existing wealth, no wanton or unjust
violation of the rights of property, but a constant disposition to
ameliorate the condition of the classes least favored by fortune."
This book is dedicated to the unhappy many who have lived and died
lacking opportunity, because, in the starting, the world-wide social
structure was wrongly begun.
I GRADUATION DAY
II THE VISION OF PHILIP DRU
III LOST IN THE DESERT
IV THE SUPREMACY OF MIND
V THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURNERS
VI THE PROPHET OF A NEW DAY
VII THE WINNING OF A MEDAL
VIII THE STORY OF THE LEVINSKYS
IX PHILIP BEGINS A NEW CAREER
X GLORIA DECIDES TO PROSELYTE THE RICH
XI SELWYN PLOTS WITH THOR
XII SELWYN SEEKS A CANDIDATE
XIII DRU AND SELWYN MEET
XIV THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT
XV THE EXULTANT CONSPIRATORS
XVI THE EXPOSURE
XVII SELWYN AND THOR DEFEND THEMSELVES
XVIII GLORIA'S WORK BEARS FRUIT
XIX WAR CLOUDS HOVER
XX CIVIL WAR BEGINS
XXI UPON THE EVE OF BATTLE
XXII THE BATTLE OF ELMA
XXIII ELMA'S AFTERMATH
XXIV UNCROWNED HEROES
XXV THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE REPUBLIC
XXVI DRU OUTLINES HIS INTENTIONS
XXVII A NEW ERA AT WASHINGTON
XXVIII AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
XXIX THE REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY
XXX A NEW CODE OF LAWS
XXXI THE QUESTION OF TAXATION
XXXII A FEDERAL INCORPORATION ACT
XXXIII THE RAILROAD PROBLEM
XXXIV SELWYN'S STORY
XXXV SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
XXXVI SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
XXXVII THE COTTON CORNER
XXXVIII UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
XXXIX A NEGATIVE GOVERNMENT
XL A DEPARTURE IN BATTLESHIPS
XLI THE NEW NATIONAL CONSTITUTION
XLII NEW STATE CONSTITUTIONS
XLIII THE RULE OF THE BOSSES
XLIV ONE CAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
XLV BURIAL REFORM
XLVI THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE
XLVII THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE, CONTINUED
XLVIII AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION
XLIX UNEVEN ODDS
L THE BROADENING OF THE MONROE DOCTRINE
LI THE BATTLE OF LA TUNA
LII THE UNITY OF THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE UNDER THE NEW REPUBLIC
LIII THE EFFACEMENT OF PHILIP DRU
WHAT CO-PARTNERSHIP CAN DO
PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR
In the year 1920, the student and the statesman saw many indications
that the social, financial and industrial troubles that had vexed the
United States of America for so long a time were about to culminate in
Wealth had grown so strong, that the few were about to strangle the
many, and among the great masses of the people, there was sullen and
The laborer in the cities, the producer on the farm, the merchant, the
professional man and all save organized capital and its satellites, saw
a gloomy and hopeless future.
With these conditions prevailing, the graduation exercises of the class
of 1920 of the National Military Academy at West Point, held for many a
foreboding promise of momentous changes, but the l2th of June found the
usual gay scene at the great institution overlooking the Hudson. The
President of the Republic, his Secretary of War and many other
distinguished guests were there to do honor to the occasion, together
with friends, relatives and admirers of the young men who were being
sent out to the ultimate leadership of the Nation's Army. The scene had
all the usual charm of West Point graduations, and the usual
intoxicating atmosphere of military display.
There was among the young graduating soldiers one who seemed depressed
and out of touch with the triumphant blare of militarism, for he alone
of his fellow classmen had there no kith nor kin to bid him God-speed in
his new career.
Standing apart under the broad shadow of an oak, he looked out over long
stretches of forest and river, but what he saw was his home in distant
Kentucky--the old farmhouse that the sun and the rain and the lichens
had softened into a mottled gray. He saw the gleaming brook that wound
its way through the tangle of orchard and garden, and parted the distant
He saw his aged mother sitting under the honeysuckle trellis, book in
hand, but thinking, he knew, of him. And then there was the perfume of
the flowers, the droning of the bees in the warm sweet air and the
drowsy hound at his father's feet.
But this was not all the young man saw, for Philip Dru, in spite of his
military training, was a close student of the affairs of his country,
and he saw that which raised grave doubts in his mind as to the outcome
of his career. He saw many of the civil institutions of his country
debased by the power of wealth under the thin guise of the
constitutional protection of property. He saw the Army which he had
sworn to serve faithfully becoming prostituted by this same power, and
used at times for purposes of intimidation and petty conquests where the
interests of wealth were at stake. He saw the great city where luxury,
dominant and defiant, existed largely by grace of exploitation--
exploitation of men, women and children.
The young man's eyes had become bright and hard, when his day-dream was
interrupted, and he was looking into the gray-blue eyes of Gloria
Strawn--the one whose lot he had been comparing to that of her sisters
in the city, in the mills, the sweatshops, the big stores, and the
streets. He had met her for the first time a few hours before, when his
friend and classmate, Jack Strawn, had presented him to his sister. No
comrade knew Dru better than Strawn, and no one admired him so much.
Therefore, Gloria, ever seeking a closer contact with life, had come to
West Point eager to meet the lithe young Kentuckian, and to measure him
by the other men of her acquaintance.
She was disappointed in his appearance, for she had fancied him almost
god-like in both size and beauty, and she saw a man of medium height,
slender but toughly knit, and with a strong, but homely face. When he
smiled and spoke she forgot her disappointment, and her interest
revived, for her sharp city sense caught the trail of a new experience.
To Philip Dru, whose thought of and experience with women was almost
nothing, so engrossed had he been in his studies, military and economic,
Gloria seemed little more than a child. And yet her frank glance of
appraisal when he had been introduced to her, and her easy though
somewhat languid conversation on the affairs of the commencement,
perplexed and slightly annoyed him. He even felt some embarrassment in
Child though he knew her to be, he hesitated whether he should call her
by her given name, and was taken aback when she smilingly thanked him
for doing so, with the assurance that she was often bored with the
eternal conventionality of people in her social circle.
Suddenly turning from the commonplaces of the day, Gloria looked
directly at Philip, and with easy self-possession turned the
conversation to himself.
"I am wondering, Mr. Dru, why you came to West Point and why it is you
like the thought of being a soldier?" she asked. "An American soldier
has to fight so seldom that I have heard that the insurance companies
regard them as the best of risks, so what attraction, Mr. Dru, can a
military career have for you?"
Never before had Philip been asked such a question, and it surprised
him that it should come from this slip of a girl, but he answered her in
the serious strain of his thoughts.
"As far back as I can remember," he said, "I have wanted to be a
soldier. I have no desire to destroy and kill, and yet there is within
me the lust for action and battle. It is the primitive man in me, I
suppose, but sobered and enlightened by civilization. I would do
everything in my power to avert war and the suffering it entails. Fate,
inclination, or what not has brought me here, and I hope my life may not
be wasted, but that in God's own way, I may be a humble instrument for
good. Oftentimes our inclinations lead us in certain directions, and it
is only afterwards that it seems as if fate may from the first have so
The mischievous twinkle left the girl's eyes, and the languid tone of
her voice changed to one a little more like sincerity.
"But suppose there is no war," she demanded, "suppose you go on living
at barracks here and there, and with no broader outlook than such a life
entails, will you be satisfied? Is that all you have in mind to do in
He looked at her more perplexed than ever. Such an observation of life,
his life, seemed beyond her years, for he knew but little of the women
of his own generation. He wondered, too, if she would understand if he
told her all that was in his mind.
"Gloria, we are entering a new era. The past is no longer to be a guide
to the future. A century and a half ago there arose in France a giant
that had slumbered for untold centuries. He knew he had suffered
grievous wrongs, but he did not know how to right them. He therefore
struck out blindly and cruelly, and the innocent went down with the
guilty. He was almost wholly ignorant for in the scheme of society as
then constructed, the ruling few felt that he must be kept ignorant,
otherwise they could not continue to hold him in bondage. For him the
door of opportunity was closed, and he struggled from the cradle to the
grave for the minimum of food and clothing necessary to keep breath
within the body. His labor and his very life itself was subject to the
greed, the passion and the caprice of his over-lord.
"So when he awoke he could only destroy. Unfortunately for him, there
was not one of the governing class who was big enough and humane enough
to lend a guiding and a friendly hand, so he was led by weak, and
selfish men who could only incite him to further wanton murder and
"But out of that revelry of blood there dawned upon mankind the hope of
a more splendid day. The divinity of kings, the God-given right to rule,
was shattered for all time. The giant at last knew his strength, and
with head erect, and the light of freedom in his eyes, he dared to
assert the liberty, equality and fraternity of man. Then throughout the
Western world one stratum of society after another demanded and
obtained the right to acquire wealth and to share in the government.
Here and there one bolder and more forceful than the rest acquired great
wealth and with it great power. Not satisfied with reasonable gain, they
sought to multiply it beyond all bounds of need. They who had sprung
from the people a short life span ago were now throttling individual
effort and shackling the great movement for equal rights and equal
Dru's voice became tense and vibrant, and he talked in quick sharp
"Nowhere in the world is wealth more defiant, and monopoly more
insistent than in this mighty republic," he said, "and it is here that
the next great battle for human emancipation will be fought and won. And
from the blood and travail of an enlightened people, there will be born
a spirit of love and brotherhood which will transform the world; and
the Star of Bethlehem, seen but darkly for two thousand years, will
shine again with a steady and effulgent glow."
THE VISION OF PHILIP DRU
Long before Philip had finished speaking, Gloria saw that he had
forgotten her presence. With glistening eyes and face aflame he had
talked on and on with such compelling force that she beheld in him the
prophet of a new day.
She sat very still for a while, and then she reached out to touch his
"I think I understand how you feel now," she said in a tone different
from any she had yet used. "I have been reared in a different atmosphere
from you, and at home have heard only the other side, while at school
they mostly evade the question. My father is one of the 'bold and
forceful few' as perhaps you know, but he does not seem to me to want
to harm anyone. He is kind to us, and charitable too, as that word is
commonly used, and I am sure he has done much good with his money."
"I am sorry, Gloria, if I have hurt you by what I said," answered Dru.
"Oh! never mind, for I am sure you are right," answered the girl, but
"Your father, I think, is not to blame. It is the system that is at
fault. His struggle and his environment from childhood have blinded him
to the truth. To those with whom he has come in contact, it has been the
dollar and not the man that counted. He has been schooled to think that
capital can buy labor as it would machinery, the human equation not
entering into it. He believes that it would be equivalent to
confiscation for the State to say 'in regard to a corporation, labor,
the State and capital are important in the order named.' Good man that
he means to be, he does not know, perhaps he can never know, that it is
labor, labor of the mind and of the body, that creates, and not
"You would have a hard time making Father see that," put in Gloria, with
"Yes!" continued Philip, "from the dawn of the world until now, it has
been the strong against the weak. At the first, in the Stone Age, it was
brute strength that counted and controlled. Then those that ruled had
leisure to grow intellectually, and it gradually came about that the
many, by long centuries of oppression, thought that the intellectual
few had God-given powers to rule, and to exact tribute from them to the
extent of commanding every ounce of exertion of which their bodies were
capable. It was here, Gloria, that society began to form itself wrongly,
and the result is the miserable travesty of to-day. Selfishness became
the keynote, and to physical and mental strength was conceded everything
that is desirable in life. Later, this mockery of justice, was partly
recognized, and it was acknowledged to be wrong for the physically
strong to despoil and destroy the physically weak. Even so, the time
is now measurably near when it will be just as reprehensible for the
mentally strong to hold in subjection the mentally weak, and to force
them to bear the grievous burdens which a misconceived civilization has
imposed upon them."
Gloria was now thoroughly interested, but smilingly belied it by saying,
"A history professor I had once lost his position for talking like
The young man barely recognized the interruption.
"The first gleam of hope came with the advent of Christ," he continued.
"So warped and tangled had become the minds of men that the meaning of
Christ's teaching failed utterly to reach human comprehension. They
accepted him as a religious teacher only so far as their selfish desires
led them. They were willing to deny other gods and admit one Creator of
all things, but they split into fragments regarding the creeds and forms
necessary to salvation. In the name of Christ they committed atrocities
that would put to blush the most benighted savages. Their very excesses
in cruelty finally caused a revolution in feeling, and there was
evolved the Christian religion of to-day, a religion almost wholly
selfish and concerned almost entirely in the betterment of life after
The girl regarded Philip for a second in silence, and then quietly
asked, "For the betterment of whose life after death?"
"I was speaking of those who have carried on only the forms of religion.
Wrapped in the sanctity of their own small circle, they feel that their
tiny souls are safe, and that they are following the example and
precepts of Christ.
"The full splendor of Christ's love, the grandeur of His life and
doctrine is to them a thing unknown. The infinite love, the sweet
humility, the gentle charity, the subordination of self that the Master
came to give a cruel, selfish and ignorant world, mean but little more
to us to-day than it did to those to whom He gave it."
"And you who have chosen a military career say this," said the girl as
her brother joined the pair.
To Philip her comment came as something of a shock, for he was
unprepared for these words spoken with such a depth of feeling.
Gloria and Philip Dru spent most of graduation day together. He did not
want to intrude amongst the relatives and friends of his classmates, and
he was eager to continue his acquaintance with Gloria. To the girl, this
serious-minded youth who seemed so strangely out of tune with the
blatant military fanfare, was a distinct novelty. At the final ball she
almost ignored the gallantries of the young officers, in order that she
might have opportunity to lead Dru on to further self-revelation.
The next day in the hurry of packing and departure he saw her only for
an instant, but from her brother he learned that she planned a visit to
the new Post on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass where Jack Strawn and
Philip were to be stationed after their vacation.
Philip spent his leave, before he went to the new Post, at his Kentucky
home. He wanted to be with his father and mother, and he wanted to read
and think, so he declined the many invitations to visit.
His father was a sturdy farmer of fine natural sense, and with him
Philip never tired of talking when both had leisure.
Old William Dru had inherited nothing save a rundown, badly managed,
heavily mortgaged farm that had been in the family for several
generations. By hard work and strict economy, he had first built it up
into a productive property and had then liquidated the indebtedness. So
successful had he been that he was able to buy small farms for four of
his sons, and give professional education to the other three. He had
accumulated nothing, for he had given as fast as he had made, but his
was a serene and contented old age because of it. What was the hoarding
of money or land in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing each son
happy in the possession of a home and family? The ancestral farm he
intended for Philip, youngest and best beloved, soldier though he was to
All during that hot summer, Philip and his father discussed the ever-
growing unrest of the country, and speculated when the crisis would
come, and how it would end.
Finally, he left his home, and all the associations clustered around it,
and turned his face towards imperial Texas, the field of his new
He reached Fort Magruder at the close of an Autumn day. He thought he
had never known such dry sweet air. Just as the sun was sinking, he
strolled to the bluff around which flowed the turbid waters of the Rio
Grande, and looked across at the gray hills of old Mexico.
LOST IN THE DESERT
Autumn drifted into winter, and then with the blossoms of an early
spring, came Gloria.
The Fort was several miles from the station, and Jack and Philip were
there to meet her. As they paced the little board platform, Jack was
nervously happy over the thought of his sister's arrival, and talked of
his plans for entertaining her. Philip on the other hand held himself
well in reserve and gave no outward indication of the deep emotion which
stirred within him. At last the train came and from one of the long
string of Pullmans, Gloria alighted. She kissed her brother and greeted
Philip cordially, and asked him in a tone of banter how he enjoyed army
life. Dru smiled and said, "Much better, Gloria, than you predicted I
would." The baggage was stored away in the buck-board, and Gloria got in
front with Philip and they were off. It was early morning and the dew
was still on the soft mesquite grass, and as the mustang ponies swiftly
drew them over the prairie, it seemed to Gloria that she had awakened in
At the crest of a hill, Philip held the horses for a moment, and Gloria
caught her breath as she saw the valley below. It looked as if some
translucent lake had mirrored the sky. It was the countless blossoms of
the Texas blue-bonnet that lifted their slender stems towards the
morning sun, and hid the earth.
Down into the valley they drove upon the most wonderfully woven carpet
in all the world. Aladdin and his magic looms could never have woven a
fabric such as this. A heavy, delicious perfume permeated the air, and
with glistening eyes and parted lips, Gloria sat dumb in happy
They dipped into the rocky bed of a wet weather stream, climbed out of
the canyon and found themselves within the shadow of Fort Magruder.
Gloria soon saw that the social distractions of the place had little
call for Philip. She learned, too, that he had already won the profound
respect and liking of his brother officers. Jack spoke of him in terms
even more superlative than ever. "He is a born leader of men," he
declared, "and he knows more about engineering and tactics than the
Colonel and all the rest of us put together." Hard student though he
was, Gloria found him ever ready to devote himself to her, and their
rides together over the boundless, flower studded prairies, were a
never ending joy. "Isn't it beautiful--Isn't it wonderful," she would
exclaim. And once she said, "But, Philip, happy as I am, I oftentimes
think of the reeking poverty in the great cities, and wish, in some way,
they could share this with me." Philip looked at her questioningly, but
made no reply.
A visit that was meant for weeks transgressed upon the months, and still
she lingered. One hot June morning found Gloria and Philip far in the
hills on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. They had started at dawn
with the intention of breakfasting with the courtly old haciendado, who
frequently visited at the Post.
After the ceremonious Mexican breakfast, Gloria wanted to see beyond the
rim of the little world that enclosed the hacienda, so they rode to the
end of the valley, tied their horses and climbed to the crest of the
ridge. She was eager to go still further. They went down the hill on the
other side, through a draw and into another valley beyond.
Soldier though he was, Philip was no plainsman, and in retracing their
steps, they missed the draw.
Philip knew that they were not going as they came, but with his months
of experience in the hills, felt sure he could find his way back with
less trouble by continuing as they were. The grass and the shrubs
gradually disappeared as they walked, and soon he realized that they
were on the edge of an alkali desert. Still he thought he could swing
around into the valley from which they started, and they plunged
steadily on, only to see in a few minutes that they were lost.
"What's the matter, Philip?" asked Gloria. "Are we lost?"
"I hope not, we only have to find that draw."
The girl said no more, but walked on side by side with the young
soldier. Both pulled their hats far down over their eyes to shield them
from the glare of the fierce rays of the sun, and did what they could to
keep out the choking clouds of alkali dust that swirled around them at
Philip, hardened by months of Southwestern service, stood the heat
well, except that his eyes ached, but he saw that Gloria was giving out.
"Are you tired?" he asked.
"Yes, I am very tired," she answered, "but I can go on if you will let
me rest a moment." Her voice was weak and uncertain and indicated
approaching collapse. And then she said more faintly, "I am afraid,
Philip, we are hopelessly lost."
"Do not be frightened, Gloria, we will soon be out of this if you will
let me carry you."
Just then, the girl staggered and would have fallen had he not caught
He was familiar with heat prostration, and saw that her condition was
not serious, but he knew he must carry her, for to lay her in the
blazing sun would be fatal.
His eyes, already overworked by long hours of study, were swollen and
bloodshot. Sharp pains shot through his head. To stop he feared would be
to court death, so taking Gloria in his arms, he staggered on.
In that vast world of alkali and adobe there was no living thing but
these two. No air was astir, and a pitiless sun beat upon them
unmercifully. Philip's lips were cracked, his tongue was swollen, and
the burning dust almost choked him. He began to see less clearly, and
visions of things he knew to be unreal came to him. With Spartan courage
and indomitable will, he never faltered, but went on. Mirages came and
went, and he could not know whether he saw true or not. Then here and
there he thought he began to see tufts of curly mesquite grass, and in
the distance surely there were cacti. He knew that if he could hold out
a little longer, he could lay his burden in some sort of shade.
With halting steps, with eyes inflamed and strength all but gone, he
finally laid Gloria in the shadow of a giant prickly pear bush, and fell
beside her. He fumbled for his knife and clumsily scraped the needles
from a leaf of the cactus and sliced it in two. The heavy sticky liquid
ran over his hand as he placed the cut side of the leaf to Gloria's
lips. The juice of the plant together with the shade, partially revived
her. Philip, too, sucked the leaf until his parched tongue and throat
became a little more pliable.
"What happened?" demanded Gloria. "Oh! yes, now I remember. I am sorry I
gave out, Philip. I am not acclimated yet. What time is it?"
After pillowing her head more comfortably upon his riding coat, Philip
looked at his watch. "I--I can't just make it out, Gloria," he said. "My
eyes seem blurred. This awful glare seems to have affected them. They'll
be all right in a little while."
Gloria looked at the dial and found that the hands pointed to four
o'clock. They had been lost for six hours, but after their experiences,
it seemed more like as many days. They rested a little while longer
talking but little.
"You carried me," said Gloria once. "I'm ashamed of myself for letting
the heat get the best of me. You shouldn't have carried me, Philip, but
you know I understand and appreciate. How are your eyes now?"
"Oh, they'll be all right," he reiterated, but when he took his hand
from them to look at her, and the light beat upon the inflamed lids, he
After eating some of the fruit of the prickly pear, which they found too
hot and sweet to be palatable, Philip suggested at half after five that
they should move on. They arose, and the young officer started to lead
the way, peeping from beneath his hand. First he stumbled over a
mesquite bush directly in his path, and next he collided with a giant
cactus standing full in front of him.
"It's no use, Gloria," he said at last. "I can't see the way. You must
"All right, Philip, I will do the best I can."
For answer, he merely took her hand, and together they started to
retrace their steps. Over the trackless waste of alkali and sagebrush
they trudged. They spoke but little but when they did, their husky,
dust-parched voices made a mockery of their hopeful words.
Though the horizon seemed bounded by a low range of hills, the girl
instinctively turned her steps westward, and entered a draw. She
rounded one of the hills, and just as the sun was sinking, came upon the
valley in which their horses were peacefully grazing.
They mounted and followed the dim trail along which they had ridden that
morning, reaching the hacienda about dark. With many shakings of the
hand, voluble protestations of joy at their delivery from the desert,
and callings on God to witness that the girl had performed a miracle,
the haciendado gave them food and cooling drinks, and with gentle
insistence, had his servants, wife and daughters show them to their
rooms. A poultice of Mexican herbs was laid across Philip's eyes, but
exhausted as he was he could not sleep because of the pain they caused
In the morning, Gloria was almost her usual self, but Philip could see
but faintly. As early as was possible they started for Fort Magruder.
His eyes were bandaged, and Gloria held the bridle of his horse and led
him along the dusty trail. A vaquero from the ranch went with them to
show the way.
Then came days of anxiety, for the surgeon at the Post saw serious
trouble ahead for Philip. He would make no definite statement, but
admitted that the brilliant young officer's eyesight was seriously
Gloria read to him and wrote for him, and in many ways was his hands and
eyes. He in turn talked to her of the things that filled his mind. The
betterment of man was an ever-present theme with them. It pleased him to
trace for her the world's history from its early beginning when all was
misty tradition, down through the uncertain centuries of early
civilization to the present time.
He talked with her of the untrustworthiness of the so-called history of
to-day, although we had every facility for recording facts, and he
pointed out how utterly unreliable it was when tradition was the only
means of transmission. Mediocrity, he felt sure, had oftentimes been
exalted into genius, and brilliant and patriotic exclamations attributed
to great men, were never uttered by them, neither was it easy he
thought, to get a true historic picture of the human intellectual giant.
As a rule they were quite human, but people insisted upon idealizing
them, consequently they became not themselves but what the popular mind
wanted them to be.
He also dwelt on the part the demagogue and the incompetents play in
retarding the advancement of the human race. Some leaders were honest,
some were wise and some were selfish, but it was seldom that the people
would be led by wise, honest and unselfish men.
"There is always the demagogue to poison the mind of the people against
such a man," he said, "and it is easily done because wisdom means
moderation and honesty means truth. To be moderate and to tell the truth
at all times and about all matters seldom pleases the masses."
Many a long day was spent thus in purely impersonal discussions of
affairs, and though he himself did not realize it, Gloria saw that
Philip was ever at his best when viewing the large questions of State,
rather than the narrower ones within the scope of the military power.
The weeks passed swiftly, for the girl knew well how to ease the young
Officer's chafing at uncertainty and inaction. At times, as they droned
away the long hot summer afternoons under the heavily leafed fig trees
in the little garden of the Strawn bungalow, he would become impatient
at his enforced idleness. Finally one day, after making a pitiful
attempt to read, Philip broke out, "I have been patient under this as
long as I can. The restraint is too much. Something must be done."
Somewhat to his surprise, Gloria did not try to take his mind off the
situation this time, but suggested asking the surgeon for a definite
report on his condition.
The interview with the surgeon was unsatisfactory, but his report to his
superior officers bore fruit, for in a short time Philip was told that
he should apply for an indefinite leave of absence, as it would be
months, perhaps years, before his eyes would allow him to carry on his
He seemed dazed at the news, and for a long time would not talk of it
even with Gloria. After a long silence one afternoon she softly asked,
"What are you going to do, Philip?"
Jack Strawn, who was sitting near by, broke out--"Do! why there's no
question about what he is going to do. Once an Army man always an Army
man. He's going to live on the best the U.S.A. provides until his eyes
are right. In the meantime Philip is going to take indefinite sick
The girl only smiled at her brother's military point of view, and asked
another question. "How will you occupy your time, Philip?"
Philip sat as if he had not heard them.
"Occupy his time!" exclaimed Jack, "getting well of course. Without
having to obey orders or do anything but draw his checks, he can have
the time of his life, there will be nothing to worry about."
"That's just it," slowly said Philip. "No work, nothing to think about."
"Exactly," said Gloria.
"What are you driving at, Sister. You talk as if it was something to be
deplored. I call it a lark. Cheer the fellow up a bit, can't you?"
"No, never mind," replied Philip. "There's nothing to cheer me up about.
The question is simply this: Can I stand a period of several years'
enforced inactivity as a mere pensioner?"
"Yes!" quickly said Gloria, "as a pensioner, and then, if all goes well,
you return to this." "What do you mean, Gloria? Don't you like Army Post
life?" asked Jack.
"I like it as well as you do, Jack. You just haven't come to realize
that Philip is cut out for a bigger sphere than--that." She pointed out
across the parade ground where a drill was going on. "You know as well
as I do that this is not the age for a military career."
Jack was so disgusted with this, that with an exclamation of impatience,
he abruptly strode off to the parade ground.
"You are right, Gloria," said Philip. "I cannot live on a pension
indefinitely. I cannot bring myself to believe that it is honest to
become a mendicant upon the bounty of the country. If I had been injured
in the performance of duty, I would have no scruples in accepting
support during an enforced idleness, but this disability arose from no
fault of the Government, and the thought of accepting aid under such
circumstances is too repugnant."
"Of course," said Gloria.
"The Government means no more to me than an individual," continued
Philip, "and it is to be as fairly dealt with. I never could understand
how men with self-respect could accept undeserving pensions from the
Nation. To do so is not alone dishonest, but is unfair to those who need
help and have a righteous claim to support. If the unworthy were
refused, the deserving would be able to obtain that to which they are
Their talk went on thus for hours, the girl ever trying more
particularly to make him see a military career as she did, and he more
concerned with the ethical side of the situation.
"Do not worry over it, Philip," cried Gloria, "I feel sure that your
place is in the larger world of affairs, and you will some day be glad
that this misfortune came to you, and that you were forced to go into
another field of endeavor.
"With my ignorance and idle curiosity, I led you on and on, over first
one hill and then another, until you lost your way in that awful desert
over there, but yet perhaps there was a destiny in that. When I was
leading you out of the desert, a blind man, it may be that I was leading
you out of the barrenness of military life, into the fruitful field of
labor for humanity."
After a long silence, Philip Dru arose and took Gloria's hand.
"Yes! I will resign. You have already reconciled me to my fate."
THE SUPREMACY OF MIND
Officers and friends urged Philip to reconsider his determination of
resigning, but once decided, he could not be swerved from his purpose.
Gloria persuaded him to go to New York with her in order to consult one
of the leading oculists, and arrangements were made immediately. On the
last day but one, as they sat under their favorite fig tree, they talked
much of Philip's future. Gloria had also been reading aloud Sir Oliver
Lodge's "Science and Immortality," and closing the book upon the final
chapter, asked Philip what he thought of it.
"Although the book was written many years ago, even then the truth had
begun to dawn upon the poets, seers and scientific dreamers. The
dominion of mind, but faintly seen at that time, but more clearly now,
will finally come into full vision. The materialists under the
leadership of Darwin, Huxley and Wallace, went far in the right
direction, but in trying to go to the very fountainhead of life, they
came to a door which they could not open and which no materialistic key
will ever open."
"So, Mr. Preacher, you're at it again," laughed Gloria. "You belong to
the pulpit of real life, not the Army. Go on, I am interested."
"Well," went on Dru, "then came a reaction, and the best thought of the
scientific world swung back to the theory of mind or spirit, and the
truth began to unfold itself. Now, man is at last about to enter into
that splendid kingdom, the promise of which Christ gave us when he said,
'My Father and I are one,' and again, 'When you have seen me you have
seen the Father.' He was but telling them that all life was a part of
the One Life--individualized, but yet of and a part of the whole.
"We are just learning our power and dominion over ourselves. When in the
future children are trained from infancy that they can measurably
conquer their troubles by the force of mind, a new era will have come
"There," said Gloria, with an earnestness that Philip had rarely heard
in her, "is perhaps the source of the true redemption of the world."
She checked herself quickly, "But you were preaching to me, not I to
you. Go on."
"No, but I want to hear what you were going to say."
"You see I am greatly interested in this movement which is seeking to
find how far mind controls matter, and to what extent our lives are
spiritual rather than material," she answered, "but it's hard to talk
about it to most people, so I have kept it to myself. Go on, Philip, I
will not interrupt again."
"When fear, hate, greed and the purely material conception of Life
passes out," said Philip, "as it some day may, and only wholesome
thoughts will have a place in human minds, mental ills will take flight
along with most of our bodily ills, and the miracle of the world's
redemption will have been largely wrought."
"Mental ills will take flight along with bodily ills. We should be
trained, too, not to dwell upon anticipated troubles, but to use our
minds and bodies in an earnest, honest endeavor to avert threatened
disaster. We should not brood over possible failure, for in the great
realm of the supremacy of mind or spirit the thought of failure should
"Yes, I know, Philip."
"Fear, causes perhaps more unhappiness than any one thing that we have
let take possession of us. Some are never free from it. They awake in
the morning with a vague, indefinite sense of it, and at night a
foreboding of disaster hands over the to-morrow. Life would have for us
a different meaning if we would resolve, and keep the resolution, to do
the best we could under all conditions, and never fear the result. Then,
too, we should be trained not to have such an unreasonable fear of
death. The Eastern peoples are far wiser in this respect than we. They
have learned to look upon death as a happy transition to something
better. And they are right, for that is the true philosophy of it. At
the very worst, can it mean more than a long and dreamless sleep? Does
not the soul either go back to the one source from which it sprung, and
become a part of the whole, or does it not throw off its material
environment and continue with individual consciousness to work out its
"If that be true, there is no death as we have conceived it. It would
mean to us merely the beginning of a more splendid day, and we should be
taught that every emotion, every effort here that is unselfish and soul
uplifting, will better fit us for that spiritual existence that is to
THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURNERS
The trip north from Fort Magruder was a most trying experience for
Philip Dru, for although he had as traveling companions Gloria and Jack
Strawn, who was taking a leave of absence, the young Kentuckian felt his
departure from Texas and the Army as a portentous turning point in his
career. In spite of Gloria's philosophy, and in spite of Jack's
reassurances, Philip was assailed by doubts as to the ultimate
improvement of his eyesight, and at the same time with the feeling that
perhaps after all, he was playing the part of a deserter.
"It's all nonsense to feel cut up over it, you know, Philip," insisted
Jack. "You can take my word for it that you have the wrong idea in
wanting to quit when you can be taken care of by the Government. You
have every right to it."
"No, Jack, I have no right to it," answered Dru, "but certain as I am
that I am doing the only thing I could do, under the circumstances, it's
a hard wrench to leave the Army, even though I had come to think that I
can find my place in the world out of the service."
The depression was not shaken off until after they had reached New York,
and Philip had been told by the great specialist that his eyesight
probably never again would pass the Army tests. Once convinced that an
Army career was impossible, he resigned, and began to reconstruct his
life with new hope and with a new enthusiasm. While he was ordered to
give his eyes complete rest for at least six months and remain a part
of every day in a darkened room, he was promised that after several
months, he probably would be able to read and write a little.
As he had no relatives in New York, Philip, after some hesitation,
accepted Jack Strawn's insistent invitation to visit him for a time, at
least. Through the long days and weeks that followed, the former young
officer and Gloria were thrown much together.
One afternoon as they were sitting in a park, a pallid child of ten
asked to "shine" their shoes. In sympathy they allowed him to do it. The
little fellow had a gaunt and hungry look and his movements were very
sluggish. He said his name was Peter Turner and he gave some squalid
east side tenement district as his home. He said that his father was
dead, his mother was bedridden, and he, the oldest of three children,
was the only support of the family. He got up at five and prepared their
simple meal, and did what he could towards making his mother comfortable
for the day. By six he left the one room that sheltered them, and
walked more than two miles to where he now was. Midday meal he had none,
and in the late afternoon he walked home and arranged their supper of
bread, potatoes, or whatever else he considered he could afford to buy.
Philip questioned him as to his earnings and was told that they varied
with the weather and other conditions, the maximum had been a dollar and
fifteen cents for one day, the minimum twenty cents. The average seemed
around fifty cents, and this was to shelter, clothe and feed a family of
Already Gloria's eyes were dimmed with tears. Philip asked if they might
go home with him then. The child consented and led the way.
They had not gone far, when Philip, noticing how frail Peter was, hailed
a car, and they rode to Grand Street, changed there and went east.
Midway between the Bowery and the river, they got out and walked south
for a few blocks, turned into a side street that was hardly more than an
alley, and came to the tenement where Peter lived.
It had been a hot day even in the wide, clean portions of the city.
Here the heat was almost unbearable, and the stench, incident to a
congested population, made matters worse.
Ragged and dirty children were playing in the street. Lack of food and
pure air, together with unsanitary surroundings, had set its mark upon
them. The deathly pallor that was in Peter's face was characteristic of
most of the faces around them.
The visitors climbed four flights of stairs, and went down a long, dark,
narrow hall reeking with disagreeable odors, and finally entered ten-
year-old Peter Turner's "home."
"What a travesty on the word 'home,'" murmured Dru, as he saw for the
first time the interior of an East Side tenement. Mrs. Turner lay
propped in bed, a ghost of what was once a comely woman. She was barely
thirty, yet poverty, disease and the city had drawn their cruel lines
across her face. Gloria went to her bedside and gently pressed the
fragile hand. She dared not trust herself to speak. And this, she
thought, is within the shadow of my home, and I never knew. "Oh, God,"
she silently prayed, "forgive us for our neglect of such as these."
Gloria and Philip did all that was possible for the Turners, but their
helping hands came too late to do more than to give the mother a measure
of peace during the last days of her life. The promise of help for the
children lifted a heavy load from her heart. Poor stricken soul, Zelda
Turner deserved a better fate. When she married Len Turner, life seemed
full of joy. He was employed in the office of a large manufacturing
concern, at what seemed to them a munificent salary, seventy-five
dollars a month.
Those were happy days. How they saved and planned for the future! The
castle that they built in Spain was a little home on a small farm near a
city large enough to be a profitable market for their produce. Some
place where the children could get fresh air, wholesome food and a place
in which to grow up. Two thousand dollars saved, would, they thought, be
enough to make the start. With this, a farm costing four thousand
dollars could be bought by mortgaging it for half. Twenty-five dollars a
month saved for six years, would, with interest, bring them to their
Already more than half the sum was theirs. Then came disaster. One
Sunday they were out for their usual walk. It had been sleeting and the
pavements here and there were still icy. In front of them some children
were playing, and a little girl of eight darted into the street to avoid
being caught by a companion. She slipped and fell. A heavy motor was
almost upon her, when Len rushed to snatch her from the on-rushing car.
He caught the child, but slipped himself, succeeding however in pushing
her beyond danger before the cruel wheels crushed out his life. The
dreary days and nights that followed need not be recited here. The cost
of the funeral and other expenses incident thereto bit deep into their
savings, therefore as soon as she could pull herself together, Mrs.
Turner sought employment and got it in a large dressmaking establishment
at the inadequate wage of seven dollars a week. She was skillful with
her needle but had no aptitude for design, therefore she was ever to be
among the plodders. One night in the busy season of overwork before the
Christmas holidays, she started to walk the ten blocks to her little
home, for car-fare was a tax beyond her purse, and losing her weary
footing, she fell heavily to the ground. By the aid of a kindly
policeman she was able to reach home, in great suffering, only to faint
when she finally reached her room. Peter, who was then about seven years
old, was badly frightened. He ran for their next door neighbor, a kindly
German woman. She lifted Zelda into bed and sent for a physician, and
although he could find no other injury than a badly bruised spine, she
never left her bed until she was borne to her grave.
The pitiful little sum that was saved soon went, and Peter with his
blacking box became the sole support of the family.
When they had buried Zelda, and Gloria was kneeling by her grave softly
weeping, Philip touched her shoulder and said, "Let us go, she needs us
no longer, but there are those who do. This experience has been my
lesson, and from now it is my purpose to consecrate my life towards the
betterment of such as these. Our thoughts, our habits, our morals, our
civilization itself is wrong, else it would not be possible for just
this sort of suffering to exist."
"But you will let me help you, Philip?" said Gloria.
"It will mean much to me, Gloria, if you will. In this instance Len
Turner died a hero's death, and when Mrs. Turner became incapacitated,
society, the state, call it what you will, should have stepped in and
thrown its protecting arms around her. It was never intended that she
should lie there day after day month after month, suffering, starving,
and in an agony of soul for her children's future. She had the right to
expect succor from the rich and the strong."
"Yes," said Gloria, "I have heard successful men and women say that they
cannot help the poor, that if you gave them all you had, they would soon
be poor again, and that your giving would never cease." "I know," Philip
replied, "that is ever the cry of the selfish. They believe that they
merit all the blessings of health, distinction and wealth that may come
to them, and they condemn their less fortunate brother as one deserving
his fate. The poor, the weak and the impractical did not themselves
bring about their condition. Who knows how large a part the mystery of
birth and heredity play in one's life and what environment and
opportunity, or lack of it, means to us? Health, ability, energy,
favorable environment and opportunity are the ingredients of success.
Success is graduated by the lack of one or all of these. If the powerful
use their strength merely to further their own selfish desires, in what
way save in degree do they differ from the lower animals of creation?
And how can man under such a moral code justify his dominion over land
"Until recently this question has never squarely faced the human race,
but it does face it now and to its glory and honor it is going to be
answered right. The strong will help the weak, the rich will share with
the poor, and it will not be called charity, but it will be known as
justice. And the man or woman who fails to do his duty, not as he sees
it, but as society at large sees it, will be held up to the contempt of
mankind. A generation or two ago, Gloria, this mad unreasoning scramble
for wealth began. Men have fought, struggled and died, lured by the
gleam of gold, and to what end? The so-called fortunate few that succeed
in obtaining it, use it in divers ways. To some, lavish expenditure and
display pleases their swollen vanity. Others, more serious minded,
gratify their selfishness by giving largess to schools of learning and
research, and to the advancement of the sciences and arts. But here and
there was found a man gifted beyond his fellows, one with vision clear
enough to distinguish things worth while. And these, scorning to acquire
either wealth or power, labored diligently in their separate fields of
endeavor. One such became a great educator, the greatest of his day and
generation, and by his long life of rectitude set an example to the
youth of America that has done more good than all the gold that all the
millionaires have given for educational purposes. Another brought to
success a prodigious physical undertaking. For no further reason than
that he might serve his country where best he could, he went into a
fever-laden land and dug a mighty ditch, bringing together two great
oceans and changing the commerce of the world."
THE PROPHET OF A NEW DAY
Philip and Mr. Strawn oftentimes discussed the mental and moral upheaval
that was now generally in evidence.
"What is to be the outcome, Philip?" said Mr. Strawn. "I know that
things are not as they should be, but how can there be a more even
distribution of wealth without lessening the efficiency of the strong,
able and energetic men and without making mendicants of the indolent and
improvident? If we had pure socialism, we could never get the highest
endeavor out of anyone, for it would seem not worth while to do more
than the average. The race would then go backward instead of lifting
itself higher by the insistent desire to excel and to reap the rich
reward that comes with success."
"In the past, Mr. Strawn, your contention would be unanswerable, but the
moral tone and thought of the world is changing. You take it for granted
that man must have in sight some material reward in order to bring forth
the best there is within him. I believe that mankind is awakening to the
fact that material compensation is far less to be desired than spiritual
compensation. This feeling will grow, it is growing, and when it comes
to full fruition, the world will find but little difficulty in attaining
a certain measure of altruism. I agree with you that this much-to-be
desired state of society cannot be altogether reached by laws, however
drastic. Socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx cannot be entirely brought
about by a comprehensive system of state ownership and by the leveling
of wealth. If that were done without a spiritual leavening, the result
would be largely as you suggest."
And so the discussion ran, Strawn the embodiment of the old order of
thought and habit, and Philip the apostle of the new. And Gloria
listened and felt that in Philip a new force had arisen. She likened him
to a young eagle who, soaring high above a slumbering world, sees first
the gleaming rays of that onrushing sun that is soon to make another
THE WINNING OF A MEDAL
It had become the practice of the War Department to present to the army
every five years a comprehensive military problem involving an imaginary
attack upon this country by a powerful foreign foe, and the proper line
of defense. The competition was open to both officers and men. A medal
was given to the successful contestant, and much distinction came with
There had been as yet but one contest; five years before the medal had
been won by a Major General who by wide acclaim was considered the
greatest military authority in the Army. That he should win seemed to
accord with the fitness of things, and it was thought that he would
again be successful.
The problem had been given to the Army on the first of November, and six
months were allowed to study it and hand in a written dissertation
thereon. It was arranged that the general military staff that considered
the papers should not know the names of the contestants.
Philip had worked upon the matter assiduously while he was at Fort
Magruder, and had sent in his paper early in March. Great was his
surprise upon receiving a telegram from the Secretary of War announcing
that he had won the medal. For a few days he was a national sensation.
The distinction of the first winner, who was again a contestant, and
Philip's youth and obscurity, made such a striking contrast that the
whole situation appealed enormously to the imagination of the people.
Then, too, the problem was one of unusual interest, and it, as well as
Philip's masterly treatment of it, was published far and wide.
The Nation was clearly treating itself to a sensation, and upon Philip
were focused the eyes of all. From now he was a marked man. The
President, stirred by the wishes of a large part of the people,
expressed by them in divers ways, offered him reinstatement in the Army
with the rank of Major, and indicated, through the Secretary of War,
that he would be assigned as Secretary to the General Staff. It was a
gracious thing to do, even though it was prompted by that political
instinct for which the President had become justly famous.
In an appreciative note of thanks, Philip declined. Again he became the
talk of the hour. Poor, and until now obscure, it was assumed that he
would gladly seize such an opportunity for a brilliant career within his
profession. His friends were amazed and urged him to reconsider the
matter, but his determination was fixed.
Only Gloria understood and approved.
"Philip," said Mr. Strawn, "do not turn this offer down lightly. Such an
opportunity seldom comes twice in any man's life."
"I am deeply impressed with the truth of what you say, Mr. Strawn, and I
am not putting aside a military career without much regret. However, I
am now committed to a life work of a different character, one in which
glory and success as the world knows it can never enter, but which
appeals to every instinct that I possess. I have turned my face in the
one direction, and come what may, I shall never change."
"I am afraid, Philip, that in the enthusiasm of youth and inexperience
you are doing a foolish thing, one that will bring you many hours of
bitter regret. This is the parting of the ways with you. Take the advice
of one who loves you well and turn into the road leading to honor and
success. The path which you are about to choose is obscure and difficult,
and none may say just where it leads."
"What you say is true, Mr. Strawn, only we are measuring results by
different standards. If I could journey your road with a blythe heart,
free from regret, when glory and honor came, I should revel in it and
die, perhaps, happy and contented. But constituted as I am, when I began
to travel along that road, from its dust there would arise to haunt me
the ghosts of those of my fellowmen who had lived and died without
opportunity. The cold and hungry, the sick and suffering poor, would
seem to cry to me that I had abandoned them in order that I might
achieve distinction and success, and there would be for me no peace."
And here Gloria touched his hand with hers, that he might know her
thoughts and sympathy were at one with his.
Philip was human enough to feel a glow of satisfaction at having
achieved so much reputation. A large part of it, he felt, was undeserved
and rather hysterical, but that he had been able to do a big thing made
him surer of his ground in his new field of endeavor. He believed, too,
that it would aid him largely in obtaining the confidence of those with
whom he expected to work and of those he expected to work for.
THE STORY OF THE LEVINSKYS
As soon as public attention was brought to Philip in such a generous
way, he received many offers to write for the press and magazines, and
also to lecture.
He did not wish to draw upon his father's slender resources, and yet he
must needs do something to meet his living expenses, for during the
months of his inactivity, he had drawn largely upon the small sum which
he had saved from his salary.
The Strawns were insistent that he should continue to make their home
his own, but this he was unwilling to do. So he rented an inexpensive
room over a small hardware store in the East Side tenement district. He
thought of getting in one of the big, evil-smelling tenement houses so
that he might live as those he came to help lived, but he abandoned this
because he feared he might become too absorbed in those immediately
What he wanted was a broader view. His purpose was not so much to give
individual help as to formulate some general plan and to work upon those
And yet he wished an intimate view of the things he meant to devote his
life to bettering. So the clean little room over the quiet hardware
store seemed to suit his wants.
The thin, sharp-featured Jew and his fat, homely wife who kept it had
lived in that neighborhood for many years, and Philip found them a mine
of useful information regarding the things he wished to know.
The building was narrow and but three stories high, and his landlord
occupied all of the second story save the one room which was let to
He arranged with Mrs. Levinsky to have his breakfast with them. He soon
learned to like the Jew and his wife. While they were kind-hearted and
sympathetic, they seldom permitted their sympathy to encroach upon their
purse, but this Philip knew was a matter of environment and early
influence. He drew from them one day the story of their lives, and it
ran like this:
Ben Levinsky's forebears had long lived in Warsaw. From father to son,
from one generation to another, they had handed down a bookshop, which
included bookbinding in a small way. They were self-educated and widely
read. Their customers were largely among the gentiles and for a long
time the anti-semitic waves passed over them, leaving them untouched.
They were law-abiding, inoffensive, peaceable citizens, and had been for
One bleak December day, at a market place in Warsaw, a young Jew, baited
beyond endurance, struck out madly at his aggressors, and in the general
mêlée that followed, the son of a high official was killed. No one knew
how he became involved in the brawl, for he was a sober, high-minded
youngster, and very popular. Just how he was killed and by whom was
never known. But the Jew had struck the first blow and that was all
sufficient for the blood of hate to surge in the eyes of the race-mad
Then began a blind, unreasoning massacre. It all happened within an
hour. It was as if after nightfall a tornado had come out of the west,
and without warning had torn and twisted itself through the city,
leaving ruin and death in its wake. No Jew that could be found was
spared. Saul Levinsky was sitting in his shop looking over some books
that had just come from the binder. He heard shots in the distance and
the dull, angry roar of the hoarse-voiced mob. He closed his door and
bolted it, and went up the little stairs leading to his family quarters.
His wife and six-year-old daughter were there. Ben, a boy of ten, had
gone to a nobleman's home to deliver some books, and had not returned.
Levinsky expected the mob to pass his place and leave it unmolested. It
stopped, hesitated and then rammed in the door. It was all over in a
moment. Father, mother and child lay dead and torn almost limb from
limb. The rooms were wrecked, and the mob moved on.
The tempest passed as quickly as it came, and when little Ben reached
his home, the street was as silent as the grave.
With quivering lip and uncertain feet he picked his way from room to
room until he came to what were once his father, mother and baby sister,
and then he swooned away. When he awoke he was shivering with cold. For
a moment he did not realize what had happened, then with a heartbreaking
cry he fled the place, nor did he stop until he was a league away.
He crept under the sheltering eaves of a half-burned house, and cold
and miserable he sobbed himself to sleep. In the morning an itinerant
tinker came by and touched by the child's distress, drew from him his
unhappy story. He was a lonely old man, and offered to take Ben with
him, an offer which was gladly accepted.
We will not chronicle the wanderings of these two in pursuit of food and
shelter, for it would take too long to tell in sequence how they finally
reached America, of the tinker's death, and of the evolution of the
tinker's pack to the well ordered hardware shop over which Philip lived.
PHILIP BEGINS A NEW CAREER
After sifting the offers made him, Philip finally accepted two, one from
a large New York daily that syndicated throughout the country, and one
from a widely read magazine, to contribute a series of twelve articles.
Both the newspaper and the magazine wished to dictate the subject matter
about which he was to write, but he insisted upon the widest latitude.
The sum paid, and to be paid, seemed to him out of proportion to the
service rendered, but he failed to take into account the value of the
advertising to those who had secured the use of his pen.
He accepted the offers not alone because he must needs do something for
a livelihood, but largely for the good he thought he might do the cause
to which he was enlisted. He determined to write upon social subjects
only, though he knew that this would be a disappointment to his
publishers. He wanted to write an article or two before he began his
permanent work, for if he wrote successfully, he thought it would add to
his influence. So he began immediately, and finished his first
contribution to the syndicate newspapers in time for them to use it the
He told in a simple way, the story of the Turners. In conclusion he said
the rich and the well-to-do were as a rule charitable enough when
distress came to their doors, but the trouble was that they were
unwilling to seek it out. They knew that it existed but they wanted to
come in touch with it as little as possible.
They smothered their consciences with the thought that there were
organized societies and other mediums through which all poverty was
reached, and to these they gave. They knew that this was not literally
true, but it served to make them think less badly of themselves.
In a direct and forceful manner, he pointed out that our civilization
was fundamentally--wrong inasmuch as among other things, it restricted
efficiency; that if society were properly organized, there would be none
who were not sufficiently clothed and fed; that the laws, habits and
ethical training in vogue were alike responsible for the inequalities in
opportunity and the consequent wide difference between the few and the
many; that the result of such conditions was to render inefficient a
large part of the population, the percentage differing in each country
in the ratio that education and enlightened and unselfish laws bore to
ignorance, bigotry and selfish laws. But little progress, he said,
had been made in the early centuries for the reason that opportunity
had been confined to a few, and it was only recently that any
considerable part of the world's population had been in a position to
become efficient; and mark the result. Therefore, he argued, as an
economical proposition, divorced from the realm of ethics, the far-
sighted statesmen of to-morrow, if not of to-day, will labor to the end
that every child born of woman may have an opportunity to accomplish
that for which it is best fitted. Their bodies will be properly clothed
and fed at the minimum amount of exertion, so that life may mean
something more than a mere struggle for existence. Humanity as a whole
will then be able to do its share towards the conquest of the complex
forces of nature, and there will be brought about an intellectual and
spiritual quickening that will make our civilization of to-day seem as
crude, as selfish and illogical as that of the dark ages seem now to us.
Philip's article was widely read and was the subject of much comment,
favorable and otherwise. There were the ever-ready few, who want to re-
make the world in a day, that objected to its moderation, and there were
his more numerous critics who hold that to those that have, more should
be given. These considered his doctrine dangerous to the general
welfare, meaning their own welfare. But upon the greater number it made
a profound impression, and it awakened many a sleeping conscience as was
shown by the hundreds of letters which he received from all parts of the
country. All this was a tremendous encouragement to the young social
worker, for the letters he received showed him that he had a definite
public to address, whom he might lead if he could keep his medium for a
time at least. Naturally, the publishers of the newspaper and magazine
for which he wrote understood this, but they also understood that it was
usually possible to control intractable writers after they had acquired
a taste for publicity, and their attitude was for the time being one of
general enthusiasm and liberality tempered by such trivial attempts at
control as had already been made.
No sooner had he seen the first story in print than he began formulating
his ideas for a second. This, he planned, would be a companion piece to
that of the Turners which was typical of the native American family
driven to the East Side by the inevitable workings of the social order,
and would take up the problem of the foreigner immigrating to this
country, and its effect upon our national life. In this second article
he incorporated the story of the Levinskys as being fairly
representative of the problem he wished to treat.
In preparing these articles, Philip had used his eyes for the first time
in such work, and he was pleased to find no harm came of it. The oculist
still cautioned moderation, but otherwise dismissed him as fully
GLORIA DECIDES TO PROSELYTE THE RICH
While Philip was establishing himself in New York, as a social worker
and writer, Gloria was spending more and more of her time in settlement
work, in spite of the opposition of her family. Naturally, their work
brought them much into each other's society, and drew them even closer
together than in Philip's dark days when Gloria was trying to aid him in
the readjustment of his life. They were to all appearances simply
comrades in complete understanding, working together for a common cause.
However, Strawn's opposition to Gloria's settlement work was not all
impersonal, for he made no secret of his worry over Gloria's evident
admiration for Dru. Strawn saw in Philip a masterly man with a
prodigious intellect, bent upon accomplishing a revolutionary adjustment
of society, and he knew that nothing would deter him from his purpose.
The magnitude of the task and the uncertainties of success made him fear
that Gloria might become one of the many unhappy women who suffer
martyrdom through the greatness of their love.
Gloria's mother felt the same way about her daughter's companion in
settlement work. Mrs. Strawn was a placid, colorless woman, content to
go the conventional way, without definite purpose, further than to avoid
the rougher places in life.
She was convinced that men were placed here for the sole purpose of
shielding and caring for women, and she had a contempt for any man who
refused or was unable to do so.
Gloria's extreme advanced views of life alarmed her and seemed
unnatural. She protested as strongly as she could, without upsetting her
equanimity, for to go beyond that she felt was unladylike and bad for
both nerves and digestion. It was a grief for her to see Gloria actually
working with anyone, much less Philip, whose theories were quite
upsetting, and who, after all, was beyond the pale of their social
sphere and was impossible as a son-in-law.
Consequently, Philip was not surprised when one day in the fall, he
received a disconsolate note from Gloria who was spending a few weeks
with her parents at their camp in the hills beyond Tuxedo, saying that
her father had flatly refused to allow her to take a regular position
with one of the New York settlements, which would require her living on
the East Side instead of at home. The note concluded:
"Now, Philip, do come up for Sunday and let's talk it over, for I am
sadly at variance with my family, and I need your assistance and advice.
"Your very sincere,
The letter left Dru in a strangely disturbed state of mind, and all
during the trip up from New York his thoughts were on Gloria and what
the future would bring forth to them both.
On the afternoon following his arrival at the camp, as he and the young
woman walked over the hills aflame with autumnal splendor, Gloria told
of her bitter disappointment. The young man listened in sympathy, but
after a long pause in which she saw him weighing the whole question in
his mind, he said: "Well, Gloria, so far as your work alone is
concerned, there is something better that you can do if you will. The
most important things to be done now are not amongst the poor but
amongst the rich. There is where you may become a forceful missionary
for good. All of us can reach the poor, for they welcome us, but there
are only a few who think like you, who can reach the rich and powerful.
"Let that be your field of endeavor. Do your work gently and with
moderation, so that some at least may listen. If we would convince and
convert, we must veil our thoughts and curb our enthusiasm, so that
those we would influence will think us reasonable."
"Well, Philip," answered Gloria, "if you really think I can help the
cause, of course--"
"I'm sure you can help the cause. A lack of understanding is the chief
obstacle, but, Gloria, you know that this is not an easy thing for me to
say, for I realize that it will largely take you out of my life, for my
path leads in the other direction.
"It will mean that I will no longer have you as a daily inspiration, and
the sordidness and loneliness will press all the harder, but we have
seen the true path, and now have a clearer understanding of the meaning
and importance of our work."
"And so, Philip, it is decided that you will go back to the East Side to
your destiny, and I will remain here, there and everywhere, Newport,
New York, Palm Beach, London, carrying on my work as I see it."
They had wandered long and far by now, and had come again to the edge of
the lofty forest that was a part of her father's estate. They stood for
a moment in that vast silence looking into each other's eyes, and then
they clasped hands over their tacit, compact, and without a word, walked
back to the bungalow.
SELWYN PLOTS WITH THOR
For five years Gloria and Philip worked in their separate fields, but,
nevertheless, coming in frequent touch with one another. Gloria
proselyting the rich by showing them their selfishness, and turning
them to a larger purpose in life, and Philip leading the forces of those
who had consecrated themselves to the uplifting of the unfortunate. It
did not take Philip long to discern that in the last analysis it would
be necessary for himself and co-workers to reach the results aimed at
through politics. Masterful and arrogant wealth, created largely by
Government protection of its profits, not content with its domination
and influence within a single party, had sought to corrupt them both,
and to that end had insinuated itself into the primaries, in order that
no candidates might be nominated whose views were not in accord with
By the use of all the money that could be spent, by a complete and
compact organization and by the most infamous sort of deception
regarding his real opinions and intentions, plutocracy had succeeded in
electing its creature to the Presidency. There had been formed a league,
the membership of which was composed of one thousand multi-millionaires,
each one contributing ten thousand dollars. This gave a fund of ten
million dollars with which to mislead those that could be misled, and to
debauch the weak and uncertain.
This nefarious plan was conceived by a senator whose swollen fortune had
been augmented year after year through the tributes paid him by the
interests he represented. He had a marvelous aptitude for political
manipulation and organization, and he forged a subtle chain with which
to hold in subjection the natural impulses of the people. His plan was
simple, but behind it was the cunning of a mind that had never known
defeat. There was no man in either of the great political parties that
was big enough to cope with him or to unmask his methods.
Up to the advent of Senator Selwyn, the interests
had not successfully concealed their hands. Sometimes
the public had been mistaken as to the true
character of their officials, but sooner or later the truth had
developed, for in most instances, wealth was openly for or against
certain men and measures. But the adroit Selwyn moved differently.
His first move was to confer with John Thor, the high priest of finance,
and unfold his plan to him, explaining how essential was secrecy. It was
agreed between them that it should be known to the two of them only.
Thor's influence throughout commercial America was absolute. His wealth,
his ability and even more the sum of the capital he could control
through the banks, trust companies and industrial organizations, which
he dominated, made his word as potent as that of a monarch.
He and Selwyn together went over the roll and selected the thousand that
were to give each ten thousand dollars. Some they omitted for one
reason or another, but when they had finished they had named those who
could make or break within a day any man or corporation within their
sphere of influence. Thor was to send for each of the thousand and
compliment him by telling him that there was a matter, appertaining to
the general welfare of the business fraternity, which needed twenty
thousand dollars, that he, Thor, would put up ten, and wanted him to put
up as much, that sometime in the future, or never, as the circumstances
might require, would he make a report as to the expenditure and purpose
There were but few men of business between the Atlantic and Pacific, or
between Canada and Mexico, who did not consider themselves fortunate in
being called to New York by Thor, and in being asked to join him in a
blind pool looking to the safe-guarding of wealth. Consequently, the
amassing of this great corruption fund in secret was simple. If
necessity had demanded it twice the sum could have been raised. The
money when collected was placed in Thor's name in different banks
controlled by him, and Thor, from time to time, as requested by Selwyn,
placed in banks designated by him whatever sums were needed. Selwyn then
transferred these amounts to the private bank of his son-in-law, who
became final paymaster. The result was that the public had no chance of
obtaining any knowledge of the fund or how it was spent.
The plan was simple, the result effective. Selwyn had no one to
interfere with him. The members of the pool had contributed blindly to
Thor, and Thor preferred not to know what Selwyn was doing nor how he
did it. It was a one man power which in the hands of one possessing
ability of the first class, is always potent for good or evil.
Not only did Selwyn plan to win the Presidency, but he also planned to
bring under his control both the Senate and the Supreme Court. He
selected one man in each of thirty of the States, some of them belonging
to his party and some to the opposition, whom he intended to have run
for the Senate.
If he succeeded in getting twenty of them elected, he counted upon
having a good majority of the Senate, because there were already
thirty-eight Senators upon whom he could rely in any serious attack upon
As to the Supreme Court, of the nine justices there were three that were
what he termed "safe and sane," and another that could be counted upon
in a serious crisis.
Three of them, upon whom he could not rely, were of advanced age, and it
was practically certain that the next President would have that many
vacancies to fill. Then there would be an easy working majority.
His plan contemplated nothing further than this. His intention was to
block all legislation adverse to the interests. He would have no new
laws to fear, and of the old, the Supreme Court would properly interpret
He did not intend that his Senators should all vote alike, speak alike,
or act from apparently similar motives. Where they came from States
dominated by corporate wealth, he would have them frankly vote in the
open, and according to their conviction.
When they came from agricultural States, where the sentiment was known
as "progressive," they could cover their intentions in many ways. One
method was by urging an amendment so radical that no honest progressive
would consent to it, and then refusing to support the more moderate
measure because it did not go far enough. Another was to inject some
clause that was clearly unconstitutional, and insist upon its adoption,
and refusing to vote for the bill without its insertion.
Selwyn had no intention of letting any one Senator know that he
controlled any other senator. There were to be no caucuses, no
conferences of his making, or anything that looked like an organization.
He was the center, and from him radiated everything appertaining to
measures affecting "the interests."
SELWYN SEEKS A CANDIDATE
Selwyn then began carefully scrutinizing such public men in the States
known as Presidential cradles, as seemed to him eligible. By a process
of elimination he centered upon two that appeared desirable.
One was James R. Rockland, recently elected Governor of a State of the
Middle West. The man had many of the earmarks of a demagogue, which
Selwyn readily recognized, and he therefore concluded to try him first.
Accordingly he went to the capital of the State ostensibly upon private
business, and dropped in upon the Governor in the most casual way.
Rockland was distinctly flattered by the attention, for Selwyn was,
perhaps, the best known figure in American politics, while he, himself,
had only begun to attract attention. They had met at conventions and
elsewhere, but they were practically unacquainted, for Rockland had
never been permitted to enter the charmed circle which gathered around
"Good morning, Governor," said Selwyn, when he had been admitted to
Rockland's private room. "I was passing through the capital and I
thought I would look in on you and see how your official cares were
"I am glad to see you, Senator," said Rockland effusively, "very glad,
for there are some party questions coming up at the next session of the
Legislature about which I particularly desire your advice."
"I have but a moment now, Rockland," answered the Senator, "but if you
will dine with me in my rooms at the Mandell House to-night it will be a
pleasure to talk over such matters with you."
"Thank you, Senator, at what hour?"
"You had better come at seven for if I finish my business here to-day, I
shall leave on the 10 o'clock for Washington," said Selwyn.
Thus in the most casual way the meeting was arranged. As a matter of
fact, Rockland had no party matters to discuss, and Selwyn knew it. He
also knew that Rockland was ambitious to become a leader, and to get
within the little group that controlled the party and the Nation.
Rockland was a man of much ability, but he fell far short of measuring
up with Selwyn, who was in a class by himself. The Governor was a good
orator, at times even brilliant, and while not a forceful man, yet he
had magnetism which served him still better in furthering his political
fortunes. He was not one that could be grossly corrupted, yet he was
willing to play to the galleries in order to serve his ambition, and he
was willing to forecast his political acts in order to obtain potential
When he reached the Mandell House, he was at once shown to the Senator's
rooms. Selwyn received him cordially enough to be polite, and asked him
if he would not look over the afternoon paper for a moment while he
finished a note he was writing. He wrote leisurely, then rang for a boy
and ordered dinner to be served.
Selwyn merely tasted the wine (he seldom did more) but Rockland drank
freely though not to excess. After they had talked over the local
matters which were supposed to be the purpose of the conference, much
to Rockland's delight, the Senator began to discuss national politics.
"Rockland," began Selwyn, "can you hold this state in line at next
"I feel sure that I can, Senator, why do you ask?"
"Since we have been talking here," he replied, "it has occurred to me
that if you could be nominated and elected again, the party might do
worse than to consider you for the presidential nomination the year
"No, my dear fellow, don't interrupt me," continued Selwyn
"It is strange how fate or chance enters into the life of man and even
of nations. A business matter calls me here, I pass your office and
think to pay my respects to the Governor of the State. Some political
questions are perplexing you, and my presence suggests that I may aid
in their solution. This dinner follows, your personality appeals to me,
and the thought flits through my mind, why should not Rockland, rather
than some other man, lead the party two years from now?
"And the result, my dear Rockland, may be, probably will be, your
becoming chief magistrate of the greatest republic the sun has ever
Rockland by this time was fairly hypnotized by Selwyn's words, and by
their tremendous import. For a moment he dared not trust himself to
"Senator Selwyn," he said at last, "it would be idle for me to deny that
you have excited within me an ambition that a moment ago would have
seemed worse than folly. Your influence within the party and your
ability to conduct a campaign, gives to your suggestion almost the
tender of the presidency. To tell you that I am deeply moved does scant
justice to my feelings. If, after further consideration, you think me
worthy of the honor, I shall feel under lasting obligations to you which
I shall endeavor to repay in every way consistent with honor and with a
sacred regard for my oath of office."
"I want to tell you frankly, Rockland," answered Selwyn, "that up to now
I have had someone else in mind, but I am in no sense committed, and we
might as well discuss the matter to as near a conclusion as is possible
at this time."
Selwyn's voice hardened a little as he went on. "You would not want a
nomination that could not carry with a reasonable certainty of election,
therefore I would like to go over with you your record, both public and
private, in the most open yet confidential way. It is better that you
and I, in the privacy of these rooms, should lay bare your past than
that it should be done in a bitter campaign and by your enemies. What we
say to one another here is to be as if never spoken, and the grave
itself must not be more silent. Your private life not only needs to be
clean, but there must be no public act at which any one can point an
"Of course, of course," said Rockland, with a gesture meant to convey
the complete openness of his record.
"Then comes the question of party regularity," continued Selwyn, without
noticing. "Be candid with me, for, if you are not, the recoil will be
upon your own head."
"I am sure that I can satisfy you on every point, Senator. I have never
scratched a party ticket nor have I ever voted against any measure
endorsed by a party caucus," said Governor Rockland.
"That is well," smiled the Senator. "I assume that in making your
important appointments you will consult those of us who have stood
sponsor for you, not only to the party but to the country. It would be
very humiliating to me if I should insist upon your nomination and
election and then should for four years have to apologize for what I had
Musingly, as if contemplating the divine presence in the works of man,
Selwyn went on, while he closely watched Rockland from behind his half-
"Our scheme of Government contemplates, I think, a diffuse
responsibility, my dear Rockland. While a president has a constitutional
right to act alone, he has no moral right to act contrary to the tenets
and traditions of his party, or to the advice of the party leaders, for
the country accepts the candidate, the party and the party advisers as a
whole and not severally.
"It is a natural check, which by custom the country has endorsed as
wise, and which must be followed in order to obtain a proper
organization. Do you follow me, Governor, and do you endorse this
If Rockland had heard this at second hand, if he had read it, or if it
had related to someone other than himself, he would have detected the
sophistry of it. But, exhilarated by wine and intoxicated by ambition,
he saw nothing but a pledge to deal squarely by the organization.
"Senator," he replied fulsomely, "gratitude is one of the tenets of my
religion, and therefore inversely ingratitude is unknown to me. You and
the organization can count on my loyalty from the beginning to the end,
for I shall never fail you.
"I know you will not ask me to do anything at which my conscience will
rebel, nor to make an appointment that is not entirely fit."
"That, Rockland, goes without saying," answered the Senator with
dignity. "I have all the wealth and all the position that I desire. I
want nothing now except to do my share towards making my native land
grow in prosperity, and to make the individual citizen more contented.
To do this we must cease this eternal agitation, this constant proposal
of half-baked measures, which the demagogues are offering as a panacea
to all the ills that flesh is heir to.
"We need peace, legislative and political peace, so that our people may
turn to their industries and work them to success, in the wholesome
knowledge that the laws governing commerce and trade conditions will
not be disturbed over night."
"I agree with you there, Senator," said Rockland eagerly.
"We have more new laws now than we can digest in a decade," continued
Selwyn, "so let us have rest until we do digest them. In Europe the
business world works under stable conditions. There we find no proposal
to change the money system between moons, there we find no uncertainty
from month to month regarding the laws under which manufacturers are to
make their products, but with us, it is a wise man who knows when he can
afford to enlarge his output.
"A high tariff threatens to-day, a low one to-morrow, and a large part
of the time the business world lies in helpless perplexity.
"I take it, Rockland, that you are in favor of stability, that you will
join me in my endeavors to give the country a chance to develop itself
and its marvelous natural resources."
As a matter of fact, Rockland's career had given no evidence of such
views. He had practically committed his political fortunes on the side
of the progressives, but the world had turned around since then, and he
viewed things differently.
"Senator," he said, his voice tense in his anxiety to prove his
reliability, "I find that in the past I have taken only a cursory view
of conditions. I see clearly that what you have outlined is a high order
of statesmanship. You are constructive: I have been on the side of those
who would tear down. I will gladly join hands with you and build up, so
that the wealth and power of this country shall come to equal that of
any two nations in existence."
Selwyn settled back in his chair, nodding his approval and telling
himself that he would not need to seek further for his candidate.
At Rockland's earnest solicitation he remained over another day. The
Governor gave him copies of his speeches and messages, so that he could
assure himself that there was no serious flaw in his public record.
Selwyn cautioned him about changing his attitude too suddenly. "Go on,
Rockland, as you have done in the past. It will not do to see the light
too quickly. You have the progressives with you now, keep them, and I
will let the conservatives know that you think straight and may be
"We must consult frequently together," he continued, "but cautiously.
There is no need for any one to know that we are working together
harmoniously. I may even get some of the conservative papers to attack
you judiciously. It will not harm you. But, above all, do nothing of
importance without consulting me.
"I am committing the party and the Nation to you, and my responsibility
is a heavy one, and I owe it to them that no mistakes are made."
"You may trust me, Senator," said Rockland. "I understand perfectly."
DRU AND SELWYN MEET
The roads of destiny oftentimes lead us in strange and unlocked for
directions and bring together those whose thoughts and purposes are as
wide as space itself. When Gloria Strawn first entered boarding school,
the roommate given her was Janet Selwyn, the youngest daughter of the
Senator. They were alike in nothing, except, perhaps, in their fine
perception of truth and honor. But they became devoted friends and had
carried their attachment for one another beyond their schoolgirl days.
Gloria was a frequent visitor at the Selwyn household both in
Washington and Philadelphia, and was a favorite with the Senator. He
often bantered her concerning her "socialistic views," and she in turn
would declare that he would some day see the light. Now and then she let
fall a hint of Philip, and one day Senator Selwyn suggested that she
invite him over to Philadelphia to spend the week end with them.
"Gloria, I would like to meet this paragon of the ages," said he
jestingly, "although I am somewhat fearful that he may persuade me to
'sell all that I have and give it to the poor.'"
"I will promise to protect you during this one visit, Senator," said
Gloria, "but after that I shall leave you to your fate."
"Dear Philip," wrote Gloria, "the great Senator Selwyn has expressed a
wish to know you, and at his suggestion, I am writing to ask you here to
spend with us the coming week end. I have promised that you will not
denude him of all his possessions at your first meeting, but beyond that
I have refused to go. Seriously, though, I think you should come, for if
you would know something of politics, then why not get your lessons from
the fountain head?
"Your very sincere,
In reply Philip wrote:
"Dear Gloria: You are ever anticipating my wishes. In the crusade we are
making I find it essential to know politics, if we are to reach the
final goal that we have in mind, and you have prepared the way for the
first lesson. I will be over to-morrow on the four o'clock. Please do
not bother to meet me.
Gloria and Janet Strawn were at the station to meet him. "Janet, this is
Mr. Dru," said Gloria. "It makes me very happy to have my two best
friends meet." As they got in her electric runabout, Janet Strawn said,
"Since dinner will not be served for two hours or more, let us drive in
the park for a while." Gloria was pleased to see that Philip was
interested in the bright, vivacious chatter of her friend, and she was
glad to hear him respond in the same light strain. However, she was
confessedly nervous when Senator Selwyn and Philip met. Though in
different ways, she admired them both profoundly. Selwyn had a
delightful personality, and Gloria felt sure that Philip would come
measureably under the influence of it, even though their views were so
widely divergent. And in this she was right. Here, she felt, were two
great antagonists, and she was eager for the intellectual battle to
begin. But she was to be disappointed, for Philip became the listener,
and did but little of the talking. He led Senator Selwyn into a
dissertation upon the present conditions of the country, and the bearing
of the political questions upon them. Selwyn said nothing indiscreet,
yet he unfolded to Philip's view a new and potential world. Later in the
evening, the Senator was unsuccessful in his efforts to draw from his
young guest his point of view. Philip saw the futility of such a
discussion, and contented Selwyn by expressing an earnest appreciation
of his patience in making clear so many things about which he had been
ignorant. Next morning, Senator Selwyn was strolling with Gloria in the
rose garden, when he said, "Gloria, I like your friend Dru. I do not
recall ever having met any one like him." "Then you got him to talk
after we left last night. I am so glad. I was afraid he had on one of
his quiet spells."
"No, he said but little, but the questions he asked gave me glimpses of
his mind that sometimes startled me. He was polite, modest but elusive,
nevertheless, I like him, and shall see more of him." Far sighted as
Selwyn was, he did not know the full extent of this prophecy.
THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT
Selwyn now devoted himself to the making of enough conservative senators
to control comfortably that body. The task was not difficult to a man
of his sagacity with all the money he could spend.
Newspapers were subsidized in ways they scarcely recognized themselves.
Honest officials who were in the way were removed by offering them
places vastly more remunerative, and in this manner he built up a
strong, intelligent and well constructed machine. It was done so sanely
and so quietly that no one suspected the master mind behind it all.
Selwyn was responsible to no one, took no one into his confidence, and
was therefore in no danger of betrayal.
It was a fascinating game to Selwyn. It appealed to his intellectual
side far more than it did to his avarice. He wanted to govern the Nation
with an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power. He
arranged to have his name appear less frequently in the press and he
never submitted to interviews, laughingly ridding himself of reporters
by asserting that he knew nothing of importance. He had a supreme
contempt for the blatant self-advertised politician, and he removed
himself as far as possible from that type.
In the meantime his senators were being elected, the Rockland sentiment
was steadily growing and his nomination was finally brought about by the
progressives fighting vigorously for him and the conservatives
yielding a reluctant consent. It was done so adroitly that Rockland
would have been fooled himself, had not Selwyn informed him in advance
of each move as it was made.
After the nomination, Selwyn had trusted men put in charge of the
campaign, which he organized himself, though largely under cover. The
opposition party had every reason to believe that they would be
successful, and it was a great intellectual treat to Selwyn to overcome
their natural advantages by the sheer force of ability, plus what money
he needed to carry out his plans. He put out the cry of lack of funds,
and indeed it seemed to be true, for he was too wise to make a display
of his resources. To ward heelers, to the daily press, and to
professional stump speakers, he gave scant comfort. It was not to such
sources that he looked for success.
He began by eliminating all states he knew the opposition party would
certainly carry, but he told the party leaders there to claim that a
revolution was brewing, and that a landslide would follow at the
election. This would keep his antagonists busy and make them less
He also ignored the states where his side was sure to win. In this way
he was free to give his entire thoughts to the twelve states that were
debatable, and upon whose votes the election would turn. He divided
each of these states into units containing five thousand voters, and, at
the national headquarters, he placed one man in charge of each unit. Of
the five thousand, he roughly calculated there would be two thousand
voters that no kind of persuasion could turn from his party and two
thousand that could not be changed from the opposition. This would
leave one thousand doubtful ones to win over. So he had a careful poll
made in each unit, and eliminated the strictly unpersuadable party men,
and got down to a complete analysis of the debatable one thousand.
Information was obtained as to their race, religion, occupation and
former political predilection. It was easy then to know how to reach
each individual by literature, by persuasion or perhaps by some more
subtle argument. No mistake was made by sending the wrong letter or the
wrong man to any of the desired one thousand.
In the states so divided, there was, at the local headquarters, one man
for each unit just as at the national headquarters. So these two had
only each other to consider, and their duty was to bring to Rockland a
majority of the one thousand votes within their charge. The local men
gave the conditions, the national men gave the proper literature and
advice, and the local man then applied it. The money that it cost to
maintain such an organization was more than saved from the waste that
would have occurred under the old method.
The opposition management was sending out tons of printed matter, but
they sent it to state headquarters that, in turn, distributed it to the
county organizations, where it was dumped into a corner and given to
visitors when asked for. Selwyn's committee used one-fourth as much
printed matter, but it went in a sealed envelope, along with a cordial
letter, direct to a voter that had as yet not decided how he would vote.
The opposition was sending speakers at great expense from one end of
the country to the other, and the sound of their voices rarely fell on
any but friendly and sympathetic ears. Selwyn sent men into his units to
personally persuade each of the one thousand hesitating voters to
support the Rockland ticket.
The opposition was spending large sums upon the daily press. Selwyn used
the weekly press so that he could reach the fireside of every farmer and
the dweller in the small country towns. These were the ones that would
read every line in their local papers and ponder over it.
The opposition had its candidates going by special train to every part
of the Union, making many speeches every day, and mostly to voters that
could not be driven from him either by force or persuasion. The leaders
in cities, both large and small, would secure a date and, having in mind
for themselves a postmastership or collectorship, would tell their
followers to turn out in great force and give the candidate a big
ovation. They wanted the candidate to remember the enthusiasm of these
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