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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 21, 1913, Image 6

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-02-21/ed-1/seq-6/

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porch. Airs. McFall's cheerful
telephone messages, meant to de
ter, her husband from risking his
life to reach her side, had been
sent in the face of the fact that
the upper stories of her house
were riddled with bullets and bat
tered by exploding shells aimed
at the group of federals who had
seized it as a fighting position.
Mrs. McFall took refuge in the
basement. There she remained
with her children, coming up
stairs during lulls in the fighting
to prepare scanty meals and an
swer cheerfully her husband's
eager inquiries over the tele
phone. Many newspaper correspond
ents owe the fact they were able
to id dtyi news of the battle to
the bravery and daring of Vic
toria Hastings, an English girl.
Speaking six languages fluent
ly, she was fitted to get the news
from the foreign quarters,
through w"hich she circulated,
chatting with Mexicans, French,
Italians, Germans and half-breed
Indians. Alert and resourceful,
she penetrated the most danger
ous sections of the shell-swept
district.
She passed through the lines
when the battle was raging its
fiercest, seeking news whese no
man Miould go.--. Diplomats and
pilado deputies, beggars, gen
erals and privates, were all the
sarfce to her. She gathered her
news and ran risks enough to
make a novel of adventure. And
throughout it all she called it
"jolly gpod sport."
There were countless instances
of feminine heroism of the kind
that is not spectacular, but the
homely, solid sort, shown by the
women who cared for the wound
ed, who visited the homes of the
poor to aid and cheer. These
women, the majority of them
Americans, were as brave as any
soldiers who fought in this bloody
battle.
Newspapermen and officials
alone realized how grave was the
danger of a massacre. Jingo pol
iticians spread the report that the
U. S. had started troops against
Mexico, and the half-crazed ppp
ulace stirred with hatred against
the "gringoes."
One old Mexican senator drove
about in a carriage harranguing
the people, telling them American
troops had actually been landed
at Vera Cruz. An American cor
respondent throttled the senator,
and told him intervention would
come only if Americans were at
tacked, and that the senator by
his orations was inciting such an
act. He advised the senator to
go home and keep his mouth shut.
The senator followed the advice.
This was typical of the manner
in which Americans tried to
minimize the danger of interven
tion when talking to Mexicans.
The Americans assumed a cool
ness they did not feel, and assur
ed the natives talk Of intervention
was nonsense. '
The calmness and courage in
these last troublous days by the
Americans has changed the anti-gringo
feeling. They have won
the regard and admiration of the
entire native population When

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