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Newspaper Page Text
BOALT EXPLAINS THAT ENSIGN RICHARDSON
HIMSELF TOLD "LEY DE FUGA" STORY
BY FRED L. BOALT.
Vera Cruz, Mex., July 23. I heard
from that "ley de fuga" story, sure
enough, and in th& way I had antici
pated. - The first hint I had that I was "in
P bad" with General Funston came last
Monday, when a note was delivered to
me from Captain Burnside, formerly
military attache to the American em
bassy in Mexico City.
The note said that General Funston
wished to speak with me for a few
minutes at headquarters.
General Funston's first words were:
"Mr. Boalt, you seem to have been
dipping your pen in vermillion ink,"
and he flashed a clipping of the "ley
de fuga" story under my eyes.
"Did you write that?" he asked.
"Your name is over it."
"I wrote it," I said.
"I am instructed by the war de
partment," General Funston went on,
"to tell you that you must either
prove the allegations in this story or
be deported by the next transport."
"Less than 48 hours is not much
time," I objected.
"I am sorry," the general replied,
"but I am given no option in the mat
ter. The war department's instruc
tions are very explicit You must
prove the story or go day after to
morrow." "General Funston," I said, "I got
that story from the officer himself,
He cut me short. "I do not wish to
know'his name," he said quickly.
M Later in the day 1 handed the gen
eral a statement in writing, in which
I set forth how I came to get the "ley
de fuga" story and my motive in writ
ing it. And in that letter I named En
sign Richardson-My purpose in doing
so was to remove from Funston's
mind any suspicion he might have
that I had invented the story about
an unnamed and imaginary naval officer.
A cable of mine to the" states, ex
plaining my threatened deportation,
was held up over night, but finally got
through. On Tuesday I again saw
Funston, and he told me "to forget
about sailing on the next transport."
He said he had referred the matter '
to Admiral Fletcher for investigation,
Ensign Richardson being a naval
I had a talk with the general, who
said: "My personal impression is that
the officer you talked with is a foolish
young cub who, to use the vernacu
lar, 'talked through his hat' to get
in the limelight."
Shortly atterward Captain Burn
side waylaid me in the corridor lead
ing to the general's office and led me
into a room for an "unofficial" talk.
He said: "Do you know what is
going to happen? Either you are go
ing to be tried for lying or Ensign
Richardson is going to be tried for
f I thought he was trying to frighten
me, so I laughed.
Then Burnside said, somewhat ir
revelently : "Perhaps you didn't know
it, but Richardson had a sunstroke
the first day of the fighting." v
I did not ask Burnside why he told
me of this, but I inferred that he
meant to give me the impression that
Richardson may have been a trifle out
of his head, as a result of the sun
stroke, when he told me the "ley de
I quoted both Funston and Burn
side in my testimony before the naval
court of inquiry that followed.
Funston having "passed the buck"
to the navy, I received a polite note
from Colonel Alvord, Funston's chief
of staff, saying that Rear Admiral
Badger, commander-in-chief of the
Atlantic fleet, had requested him to
inform me that he (the admiral) de
sired my presence as a witness, in
the case of Ensign Richardson, and
adding that -a launch would be wait-
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