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GAPTURE VILLA? STOP TALKING NONSENSE!
"The Chances Is," Says Zapp, ((That Right Now He Is Running a Cuban Hand-made Cigar Store Somewheres Around the Corner from Thirty-fourth Street and Broadway and Laughing Himself Sick"?Mr. Wilson Is So Busy Playing the Game A ccord ing to Hoy/e He Doesn't Notice It When Germany and Mexico Deal Themselves Aces from the Bottom of the Deck! By MONTAGUE GLASS Authof of "Fotash il- Perlmuttcr." "Abe and Mawrnaa," et< Illustrations by Briggs r "And laughing t < -ar T*S a funny thing about Vilna I and the Crown Prince of Ger *?? many," Barnett Zapp the waist manufacturer said. "They don't get no sympathy when they die. Take a feller which if he hears of the death of a com parative stranger eighty-five years old carrics on .so that you'd think that ho was a rckition not mentioned in the will, y'understand. and tell such a feller that Vilna is cut off in his prime with blood poisoning, under.stand me, and he re ceives the news like he would be man aging the death-claim department of a:. industrial life insurance eompany." "Well, what do you want President Wilson to do?" Louis Bir.sky the real estater aaked. "Write letters of condo lence to the feller's widders and consent to act as honorary pall-bearcr. Zapp shrugged his shoulders. "For my part he could celebrato it arith a supper at Luchow's," he said. "All I ask is that he should believe it." "Believe it !** Birsky exclaimcd. "Why, the feller ain't n<> deader as Mr. Roose? velt." "Suppose ho ain't?" Zapp replied. "Nobody claims the feller is atonc dead exactly, but for the purpose of getting our soldiers back from Mexico, Birsky, I am content if he is just so-to-speak constructively dead?non pro trunk as of tlanuary 1st, l!b50." "What do you mean?get our soldiers out of Mexico?" Birsky cried. "Why, we would be laughing stocks from the whole world if we left Mexico without capturing Vilna." "Liston. Birsky," Zapp said. "You and me are business men. ain't it? So what ta the u.se talking nonsense?eapture Vilna? With the experience that feller has got mit aliases and alibis the chances is that right now he is running a Cuban hand-madc eigar store somewheres around the corner from Thirty-fourth .Street and Broadway and laughing him aclf sick over the way the New York newspapers spells the names of the Mexican towna where them poor sol? diers ptbich think he is hiding." "Well, it'a inyhow a whole lot morr iotereatinf to read that on Saturday, Apnl (deleted), General Pershing haa reached a point nearly (deleted) miles beyond Namiquiquiquipa, as that in the himself sick." position between Hill 688 and Hill 8923B in the Camembert sector deter mincd attemptfl was made to pierce the i nemies' lines," Binky retorted. "Did I -ay it wasn't?" Zapp con ? d. "As a matter of fact, Birsky, I have always claimed that what thc Germana and the French should ought to do ifl to hire a parlor car namer from the Pullman Company and put him to work on them numbered hills near Ver? dun To my mind. Binky, thc reason why the Germans ain't made more prog rer-'s there i.-' because when the Crown Prino up from long distance and tells Falkcnhayn he should attack Hill Xo. 729, you couldn't blame the feller if with all the guns shooting ofT around him he makes it 725; and when he in his turn iclephones to an assistant gen? eral who is sitting in a bomb-proof shel ter, whieh he knows is bomb-proof only if a bomb don't hit it, y'understand, it ain't surprising that the assistant gen? eral should understand Falkenhayn to say IIill 77.". The consequences is when the asaietanl general orders the Kaiser'.^ Own Brandenburg Artillery to fire $181, 322 worth of shella at Hill 775, and a couple of weeks later he is court-mar tialled for practically wiping out the Kaiser's Own T.ippe-Detmold Infantry. whieh has been holding Hill 775 ever since February. y'understand. it don't do him no good to Pay that he thought it was very funny at the time, but orders is orders. And yet. Birsky, if instead of Numbers 729, 725 and 775, they would of got the parlor car namer to call them hills -Elkwood,' 'Danora' and 'Wing hurst.' we would say. for example, such a mistake would never of happened at all." ' If that'fl the best excuse the German could give for not capturing Verdun,'* Birsky commented, "'they've got noth? ing on us for not capturing Vilna."' "The cases ain't exaetly anonymous. Birsky." Zapp said. "Vou see, Birsky. the (.ermans ain't trying to eapture Verdun. because they claim that this Verdun Geschichte has got to stop, and if the person whose business it is to eapture Verdun couldn't or wouldn't do so. y'understand, that they. (..ermany, would?and just watch their smoke." "Does anyonc claim that about cap? turing Vilna?" Birsky asked. "Well," Zapp replied, "as I under? stand the matter, our soldiers are only in Mexieo because the .Mexican govern? ment ain't able to eapture Vilna." "What do you mean, the Mexican government?" Birsky demanded. "Do you call it a government that they got it over in Mexieo?" "I don't," Zapp said. "but President Wilson does. He elaims that because this here Elkan M. Carranza has made such an impression on the Mexican peo? ple and things are so orderly over there that we would formally recognize him as head of the Mexican government. and that as Elkan M. Carranza don't seem to got a nickel'fl worth of influence over the Mexican people and things is so mixed up and at sixes and sevens over there in Mexieo, we must got to send our soldiers to eapture Vilna, and that after our soldiers has captured Vilna they would return to the United States and leave Mexieo to itself because Elkan M. Carranza has made such a good rec? ord in Mexieo and things is so settled down over there that it wouldn't be ed," Zapp continued. "On Mondays. Wedneadaya and Pridaya he wired President Wilson hc should plca.se call ofT his soldiers or would positively take such steps as he thinks proper to pro? teet his and Mexico's interests in the matter. and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Satordaya he writee we should keep up the good work and hopes this letter Anda Mr. Wilson well as it leaVes him and oblige." ".Seemingly the feller don't know his own mind at all." Birsky commented. "It ain't that exactly." Zapp said. "He's in a way up against the same proposition like .Mr. Wilson; he couldn't rely on the backing of his own party at all. For instance, if he makes a speech in which he says that if America keeps the 5,000 American soldiers in Mexico there is 100,000 Mexicans stands ready to die for their country, and it wouldn't make no difTcrcnce if there was 6,500 American soldiers, the 100,000 Mexi? cans .stands ready anyhow, /under? stand. then the next day General Diego Aogorman .says the Americans is the beat friends .Mexico has got and that eome one come all. every loyal Mexican should give 'em a good, okl-fashioned Ai. jcican welcome. On the other hand, if Carranza makes a speech in which he that. spoaking for the Mexican peo "He receives a salute necessary to keep our soldiers there any longer." "You may know what you arc talking about, Zapp," Birsky admitted, "but this sounds like Kabala to me." "I am only telling you what my idce of the matter is." Zapp explained. "Well, what is Elkan M. Carranza's idee of the matter?" Birsky inquired. "He don't know whether he should ought to feel complimented or insult af twenty-one guns." ple. he extends the long arm of co fellowship to tho President of the United States, y'understand, General Geofredo Maclemorez says: 'Yoiu, he speaks for the Mexican people!' If he would speak what the Mexican people thinks about President Wilson it would make what the German-American Truth Society thinks sound like engrossed res olutions bound in watered silk-lined Morocco leather with President Wil son's name stamped on it in gold let? ters." "Then after all you couldn't blame the feller," Birsky said, "nor President Wilson neither. No doubt if they was allowed to play their own hands with? out remarks from the Kibbitzers* they would of done pretty good." "Well, I'll tell yer," Zapp said: "Politics is a very similar game like ptaying pinochle oder skat in a cofFee house. A feller who plays such a game must got to expect there would be Kib bitzers and if he lets their remarks rattle him, y'understand, he's got no business to sit in at all. President Wil? son is like a whole lot of fellers. He Btarta in with good cards and in.stead of playing them like a Mensch, y'under? stand, he considers first should he come trump. y'understand, and he's got his thumb and finger on the acc of trump, when he thinks why should he give his hand away like that. He then gets an idee it would be a good thing to lead a small diamond, and he's ju.st nbout to play it when he remembers that he read somcwheres in Hoyle where Hoyle says you should never lead a small diamond when you've got a big club in your hand. So he skins over his hand again and Mr Roosevelt who is looking over his shoul? der yells: 'Nu! A card oder a stuck holz!' This makes Victor Ridder sore. He is kibbitzing behind von BernstorfT, and he says: 'Let the poor Xcbich play his own game, can't you?' And Mr. Wilson gets so rattled by this that he drops face up on thc table two diamonds which von BernstorfT thought was lay ing in Lansing's hand all the time, and Lansing. who is a pretty good mttured feller at that, gets also sore. He throws his hand down and says: 'What IS this? Tiddledy winks oder cards? Um Gottes Willcn, Wil.son, spiel!' And Wil.son says: 'Say! If you've got to catch a train oder something, don't let me de tain you.' Then he considers five minutes more, and ends up by leading a small trump, and from that time on von BernstorfT walks away with 'em." "Well. Mr. Wilson done the same thing before with Mexico," Birsky said. "That time there at Vera Cruz, you would think the way he rushes in with battleahipa and soldiers that he had a two color hand, when as a matter of fad he played his cards so rotten that he might just so well have schencked it to 'em from the start, and I bet yer he would act the same way again in Mexico." "At that I think Mr. WMLson is trying to do the right thing in .Mexico," Zapp interrupted. "Sure I know." Birsky agreed, "but the trouble with Mr. Wilson is he is so busy remembering to play the game ac? eording to Hoyle that he don't notice it when Germany and Mexico deals themselves aces from the bottom of the the deck. If you're a president oder a king, Zapp. the thing to do is to see that the other feller plays aceording to the rules, whether you yourself stick to them or not." "I don't know where you read that, Birsky," Zapp said, "but a president or a king who tried to do business on that basis couldn't expect to get a better rat ing as M. to P. third credit. But what (a the use of talking so poetical, Birsky? When yju are dealing with a proposi tion like Mexico, rules don't figure at all. As a rule, Birsky, presidents are eleeted for a term of years, aber in .Mexico th -y go out of office at unequal intervall, feet first and looking very natural if the bullets happen to hit 'em ?K-|_bl*-ir ? An ot-oo-ir lt I f?mi tt (tr*.* Not mentioned in the will. below the neck. As a rule, Birsky, gen erals in an army used to was coloncls. and before that, majors. and before that. captains, aber in Mexieo most of the generals used to was hone thieves. and before that sneak thieves. and be? fore that nobody knows what they wa.". As a rule, Birsky, a dollar ll worth a hundred cents or ten dimes, aber in Mexieo the currency ifl so rotten that if you owe a feller a dollar and -pay him a dollar. he practically got a new claim against you for a dollar and a nuarter. And if you want to hear any more rule. that don't apply to Mexieo. Birsky, you would got to call the waiter yourself. as we couldn't lit here all afternoon on a cup coffee apiece." "Aber tell me one thing," BirAy said. "If tUl this is the case. why did Mr. Wilson recognize Elkan M. Car ranza as the president?" "I don't know." Zapp replied, "but I see in the papers that every few day? Mr Wils.-n goes from Washington to Philadelphia and conaultl an oculist. Birsky, so I COOClude that sinee he recognized Carranza he haa found out that there's something the matter with his eye.'ight, and that maybe C-_HM__I ain't the man hfl took him to b? at all, but a feller with whilken and spec taclflf by thfl flame name. However, Birsky, for the present Wfl ar. giving Carranza the bflneftt of the doubt, and if he contin;: I :'; WCh Pi may go on rceognizing him as provisional president." "What do you mean ? provisiona! president?" Birsky asked. "A provisional president," Zapp ex plained, "is a president that get*. hi? job through a revolution. He acts a? president until an election Is held, pro? vided he lives that long. There's % whole lot of honor attached to it in Mexieo. Every time a provisional president starts to go out of his houie, Birsky, he recoives a salute of twenty one guns?sometimes flfty-one guns. de pending on the number of people lay ing for him?so you can imagine what thc front of a provisional president^ house looks like, Birsky. If they don't get him with the first salute. it mujt cost him a fortune for windo.v jrlass alone." "Then if you would ask me as a real estate and insurance broker. Zapp. Birsky said, "I should say that a pro? visional president was, taking it all m all. an extra hazardous occupation.' "He ain't a sprinkled risk exaetly,' Zapp agreed. "Then what does he want the Job for?" Birsky asked. "Well," Zapp said, "there's big money in it if he can get it deposited outside the country." "I should think he would considerhi* health before money," Birsky said. "Maybe he does," Zapp said, "but you take one of these provisional president* Birsky, and as a general thinv.. he'." ? good family man and believes in lea\ ing his wives and families well providet. for." "So a provisional president l? "*' that, is hc''" Birsky said. "I don't say they all are." Zapp a\> clared, "but when you recognize a pro? visional president. it don't do no hartf to have bad 4-yesigh'. Birskv, bfltl.*1 in that case what you don't like abou him, Birsky, you could wink at." (Copyriajht, 1916?Tha Tribuno Attn.)