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GODSOL-AD VENTURER IN FINANCE
Extradition Demanded on Charge of Receiving
$1,500,000 Excess Commissions on Motor
Trucks Bought in U. S. for French Army
By Athos O'Brien
5 >RANK J. GODSOL, American bon
French citizen, who was charg?e
by the French government with
wrongfully obtaining about $1,500,000
in commissions on motor trucks bought
here by the government, and who has
'oren fighting extradition since March 6,
v as released from prison this week by
Justice Gould, of the Supreme Court of
the District of Columbia.
Godsol, who will remain at. Washing
'en to ine.et any new steps taken m the
i ?se, has had a very sensational career.
His extraordinary business ability was
shown early in life.
If Father Goldsoll had not. been
h believer in intensive cultivation of
intellect; if he had not tried to
prove his theory that it is possible
to manufacture a mental prodigy by
cramming the brain of a first-year high
school boy with higher mathematics,
music, the dead languages, Russian
philosophy and Talmudic lore, the ca?
reer of his elder son, Frank Joseph,
might have been different.
Frank Joseph might not have lei
Cleveland without a goodby to becom
famous in Butte, Mont., R3 the ho
breaker of faro banks. Instead h
might have remained to develop th
goat cart express into a competitor o
Wells-Fargo, or "The Scholars' Weekly
into a vast publishing business.
Also he might not have gone t
France or been mobilized into th.
army of Papa Joffre as a naturalize
citizen of the French Republic. r?
that case his selling of motor truck:
to the French government on commis
??ion probably would not have given tin
Paris Chamber of Deputies the "Affaii
Godsol," which is now agitating it. No
would he in consequence have evei
become a prisoner of the district jai
i.t Washington, battling to frustrate
an effort to take him back to France.
But no power on earth could hav
prevented him from becoming a mill?
ionaire. He was born with the Midas
At. fifteen he was making $200 a
At twenty-live he was living at the
rate of $100,000 a year.
At thirty he had belted the world
with a close knit organization of young
Americans, Englishmen and Frenchmen
who, with the help of human vanities,
transmuted various "little ideas" into
And now at forty-four his total
"gatherings" amount to between $15,
000,000 and $20,000,000, a large part of
which he has spent with the disdain of
one to whom money comes without
effort or coaxing and means only
something to spend.
With Only $1,200
Godsol, as he has been known since
1915, has been "broke" on occasion.
He invaded Europe twenty years ago
with leas than $1,200. He had never
crossed the ocean before. He knew no
one abroad. Nevertheless, in six
months . . . but that comes later.
Until his enforced rest in the Wash?
ington prison began last March, pend?
ing the outcome of the extradition pro?
ceedings instituted by the French Am?
bassador, he slept an average of four
hours a day, preferably in daylight. Yet
his tall, carefully tailored figure is still
slim, and he looks years younger than
his age. His pray eyes are not the
keen sort usually associated with the
maker of big money. They look tired.
His close cut, curling blond hair is get?
ting rather thin.
Godsol, after making millions in imi- !
tation pearls and diamonds, motion j
picture and theatrical enterprises
throughout the world, was called to the,
colors when France wrnt to war in :
IT'14. He was a private assigned to!
drive the automobile of General Faurie,]
an inspector general of the French ;
forces.. Hut through his bubiness or?
ganization in Paris he obtained from I
various American automobile manufact?
urer? contracts to sell on a commission
basis motor trucks te the French gov- j
Said to Have
From these comminnionK he ha?, made!
approximately $4,500,000 pince the war |
began. Thin is the fact, although the
New York .State Attorney General, who
has been investigating hirn, has tit
<"rt?d that hi? commission! amounted
to twice that.
The charge i? tbet he mlnrepreaented
to the manufacturer^ tbat. they could
sell only through bin', and that he
- bbcd F ranee in one instance of $!,
503,103, by causing a manufacturer to
add his commissions to the price
charged the French government. To
this Godsol answers that the trucks
he sold to France cost less after he
had obtained his commission contract
than before. He assert.3 that the whole
matter is the r.?sii!t of one of the
perennial political battles in Paris.
And he is frankly worried by this
political phase. How seriously it has
I'fon regarded is indicated by the fact
that William ,1. Bryan and other men
will known m the political life of this
country have been interested in the
case seeking interviews with ?Seen
tary Lansing of the State Departmen
who will have final say as to the h?noi
?ng of France's requisition while foi
mer Senator Joseph Weldon Bailey, a
chief counsel, looks after the court ent
On the other side of the water ther
have been violent debates in the Cham
her of Deputies, where M. Thomas, foi
mer Minister of Munitions, has bee
vigorously attacked as Godsol's sponsoi
although the latter declares he has see
Thomas but twice in his life.
The debate was on a proposed res
olution requesting the French govern
ment "to make known the accomplice
of the adventurer Godsol" and who wa
responsible for having permitted bin
to avoid bis military duties.
In the debate it was brought out tha
Godsol was made courier to a genera
in August, 1014; was arrested at tin
front as an espionage suspect and late:
as an automobilist attached to Genera
Faurie. He obtained a permit to go t'
Turin, although Italy was not then a
war. From Turin he telegraphed ever?
day to his agents in Berlin, where he
had a cinematograph business, an?
later was sent as interpreter to the
French purchasing mission in tht
With Hfe Troubles
But serious though Godsol's present
predicament may be, it is really onlj
an interlude, an incident, in a carec?
that was amazing long before the be?
ginning of the world war made him
think of army trucks as a means o?
Godsol was born July 11, 1874, the
elder of two sons of Schulman Goldsoll.
a manufacturing jeweller, who left the
Russian Pale in the late sixties and
settled in Cleveland.
And feverishly athirst for knowledge
himself, he determined when his sons
were born that they should be highly
educated. For the elder, Frank, whom
Broadway knows as "Joe" and the
Paris boulevards as "('here Joe," he
laid out a regimen designed to give
him all the education there was.
"I never had a playmate," said God?
sol in the Washington jail the other
day, while he and his wife, whom he
married in Newark last December,
worked over the volumes of docu?
ments and data which be had as?
sembled to refute the French chnrpos.
"I am not an angel. Had tilings been
otherwise I might not have been more
angelic than I am. But my lite prob?
ably would have been different, more
orthodox, more conventional.
"Mind, I am not excusing myself.
That is not to say that I have wronged
France, or done anything for which 1
could bo prosecuted criminally. 1
haven't. But there are thin pa I've
done that I am ashamed of. That is
true of every man. But you know
you get started a certain way and you
just go on."
And then he explained:
"I went to school almost from the
time I could walk. After the day in
school I carne home to more classes
Latin, Greek, special tutors in modern
languages and science, violin lessons.
But what good did they do me? I
cannot play a note. And when I whs
naturalized in France one of the offi?
cials said: 'Ha, a Frenchman who can?
not speak Frenen ! '
"When the other boys were on the
greens or hark lots playing I was at
work on special lessons. Then, after
finishing with the special tutor... I had
to upend part of the night getting up
the regular lessons for school next
The "Scholars' Weekly"
Godsol attribut?1!? his extraordinary
success ?M n money maker to his ap?
preciation of the little ideas which
other mm pax;-, over and to hi* abil?
ity H- rm organizer. I?'- early dis
played both faculties, Mis original
"little idea" was the goat-cart express.
That was in the early '80s.
In those days there were cent?!
markets fn Cleveland. Neither men
nor women were ashamed to be seen
with market baskets. Louis Goldsoll,
Frank's younger brother, had a goat
and wagon, and Frank conceived the
notion that if they went with thfl
wagon to market they could get a lomi
of baskets to deliver before school.
Soon loads and receipts grew suffi?
ciently to justify the employment of
a number of goal wagons, which they
got other boya to handle for the pleas?
ure of driving a goat.
But as soon as Father Goldsoll
learned what hi? boys were doing he
suppressed the budding express busi?
And then came the adventure of "The
Scholars' Weekly," which had a line
start, and might have been going yet
had not the elder Goldsoll been un?
alterably opposed to any activity not
connected with the acquiring of edu?
cation. Frank, then about fourteei
years old, started the paper. He or
ganized every school. For each he ap
pointed an editor, who in turn namer
editors and reporters for every room
They got up all the copy and then soli
the papers all free of charge, their re
num?ration being the pleasure of see
ing their names in print. In a fev
months Frank had his own printinj
With no overhead and a large staff
but no payroll, he was coining monej
But again Father Goldsoll interf?rer.
T?ie weekly was taking up time tha
might better be spent in studying Gree
and Latin and learning the violin.
"The Weekly" thereupon expirer
The printing plant was sold, and, detei
mined to have done once for all wit
dead languages, fiddle lessons and tli
harassments of special tutors, Fran
took part of the money and left horn
Butte was his magnet. The rich co]
per veins of Montana were just begii
ning to yield up their treasures t
Paly, Heinze and former Senator Ciar
The name of Montana seemed olwai
to have a fascination for him, One <
his greatest successes yeurs later 1
named "Montana Diamond."
"I got a job in a jewelry shop," 1
sairl. "It paid irre $9 & week. I wi
fifteen then, and I was everything
the place janitor, clerk, window wns
er and mediator between two warrii
"I was ambitious, and it was n
long before I knew more about tl
business than those two hostile ai
lazy men did. In a short time th
dissolved partnership. Each want
me. I was looking out for myself, a
e,ot them to bidding against each oth
for my services. Finally I agreed
stay with the one who offered $200
Here was a hoy just turned fiftei
with $00 a week in a town where ga
blirig was the chief recreation of t
population, which spent its days d
ging wealth out, of the ground,
course 'he gambled.
"Who could help it?" he doman
"Over here a business man loses ere
if he is known to gamble. Over th<
in those days a man had no credit \
less he did gamble. Everybody play
The man who introduced me to fi
was the cashier of the bank. 'Co
on, boy,' he said to me, 'let's win d
"That was the way it was play
for dinner money or anything e
staking a week's income, a prospect
fortune, or honor and life itself, on
turn of a card or the fall of the rl
Soon I could play with any of th
And. fortuniately, I won."
In two years he had accumula
$25.000 or $30,000 dollars. He ow
a jewelry store. His father died
Ih'.i!. At his mother's solicitation
came back Fast and with Louis t
charge of the jewelry manufactur
business in Cleveland.
Gambled in Butte
And Won $30,000
And in a little while he got anot
little idea which originated the i
cialty game in the jewelry trade,
was in fact the leading string to
imitation gem business with whirl
literally belted the world.
Hut that did not come until, yieli
to the gaming ,-pirit bred in the ?.
tana mining fields, he took a fiiei
the race courses of the Fast, it
been reported in print and other
that he "welched" once for n 1
amount while running a book. Tin
not true. It was a sore spot with
last summer when he had five cott
at Saratoga filled with guests and
betting $5,000 to $10,000 on a ra
and winning. The fact is that a ca!
decamped with his "bankroll," amc
ing to about $25,000, but he paid e
dollar of it, leaving himself with
$1,200 with which he invaded Eu
That, however, ?s a little in adv;
To get back to his specialty idei
was simply a forerunner of the
adopted generally since in all lini
trade of inducing customers to
more for goods by doing them v
fancy packages. He tells how it g<
"My father's line included i
everything in jewelry. On the
?if travelling salesman ! had to i
a couple of trunks,
"I didn't want to he loaded
with trunk! I wanted something
ihnt t could talk enthusiastically ?
U occurred to me that, if I could
FRANK J. GODSOL.
In Ins uniform .is .1 French soldier
out some one thing I could make u win?
ner of it. So I began to thinK.
"Watch chains! It came to me all of
a sudden. We had a line of chains,
ordinary plated ware, but lasting. I
had a large quantity of them numbered.
Then I hud warranty certificates en?
graved and numbered, one for each
chain, guaranteeing each purchaser a
refund for any chain that, did not last
five or ten years, I forget which. I had
them arranged on black velvet in lot?
of twenty-four, in attractive cases of
wood and glass. Then I raised the
price and went out selling. My entire
sample line consisted of one case, i
never sold less than one case of twen?
ty-four. Every jeweler bought, and
every one sold guaranteed chains like
'hot dogs' at a Coney Island picnic."
But the watch chain bonanza did not
last long for the Goldsoll brothers. A
resurgence of the fever caught at tin
Butte faro tables and roulette wheels
afilicted Frank. "Louie" also became
infected. "He was born with the desin
to take a chance," says Frank. Betweer
the two the Goldsoll partnership was
With ?100, the sum total of hi:
available assets, Frank thereupon re
rowed his quest of fortune alone. The:
was born his imitation diamond idea
Tait, Montana, Saretecora, Brazilian
Take your choice. They are nil th
names o? the same "diamond." Xex
to his Tecia pearl, the invention wnic
lias enabled women of wealth all ovo
the world i" appear collared, core
noted and tiaraed as usual while t'nei
real pearls repose in safety vault
this vas undoubtedly Godsol's be*
"little idea." But in discussing it th
other day he remarked regretfully th;
it was the thing that convinced hii
Barnum was right. "There is one bot
"Part of that $100 bought a barn
of them," he said. "I really didn't ii
tend to seil them for a dollar eue
Honest I didn't. I priced them at
dollar so I could truthfully advertise
'Were ?1 now 80 cents,' 'Were $1, now
TO cents,' and so on down to a dime.
But the first day I took in $60, In a
week the line-up was blocking the
sidewalk. My clerks were robbing me
blind, but in spite of that, before the
month was ended, I was taking in $600
a day. What could I do then? Cut
down to a dime ?"
?Si?:!ewalks to Buy
Xo sane business man would and
Godsol didn't, but he says that he had
so little understanding of human nat?
ure at that time that he hired a store
in Cincinnati for only a month. He
figured that he would sell a few quarts
df tin- "diamonds" in thirty days,
which would be about the limit, and
then lie would move on. Ile did move
on, to St. Louis, to Detroit, to Roches?
ter and to various other small citie-;
because he did not believe a sophisti?
cated city like New York would statu
for i:. Hut when he finally did arriva
here he remained for months -on Four?
teenth Streirt?and Brother Louie, wlu
cribbed the idea and followed him, re
mained several years.
The Montana diamond scheme de
pended entirely upon window dressing
It still does, though helped immense
ly by extensive advertising. Witnes:
the great mirror-lined, light-festoonet
"diamond palaces" which Godsol's us
sociates conducted in Europe befor*
the war. and are still conducting ii
the Far East.
When he arrived in Cincinnati God
so! found that there was only one va
cant store place on a busy cornet* to b
had and a dime museum man hud beat
en him t.. it. He had to sub-lease th
store from the museum man, at an at:
vanee rental, for one month, ar.d at th
end of the period he was forced to giv
ir. up and forego the run of ?6o0 day
because the showman had his freaks i
town and no other place to put then
Lent, took most of what was left c
ii. $100 after he had bought a barn
or two of "diamonds." The slendt
American Born Adventurer Started With Noth?
ing and Made $20,000,000 on Imitation Jewels
in World Encircling Enterprise
balance he expended for richly purple
crT'p paper, mirrors to line his she'
window and ? cylinder made of mil
rors and a motor to turn it. Ile ai
ranged with the electric company t
supply scores cf incandescent bulbs t
flood-light the window. The paper h
laid billowing over packing cases an
shoe boxes scattered about in the wir
c]rt'\ to break its four-square austerit;
Then he studded the mirrored cyl
inder with "diamonds" and set it i
the centre of the window. He spnr
kied more of the gems among the fold
and billow., of the purple crepe papei
It. was a night's work, Hut by dayligh
he had a display that was dazzling un
der the rays of the cleverly conceale
"As I said, 1 did not believe anybod
would buy at PI. t named tint (igur
<=o that when I cut the price they woul
look like real bargains. You know
'Were $1, now 60 cents.' But on m
word l' hadn't been open ten m mule
before I had ? customer. And ther
wer? fifty-nino others, before I close
"Next day there were a hundred, th
next two hundred. Before the wee'
was ended f was averaging five or r-i
hundred dollars a day. The aidewall
was blocked, especially at night whei
the lights made the window literal!
He Packed the
House in New York
He next hired a place on Olive Stree
at. $1,500 a month and bought rich pur
pie and black velvet instead .?r crep
paper, and bevelled mirrors instead o
plain silvered glass for his windov
He engaged the piare for ninet'
days. He could have remained si;
months or a year, but be was still un
convinced of the staying qualities o
the imitation diamond business. Am
here a curious little quirk of Godsol'i
business character cropped up. He de
cided it was wrong to take dollars fo
stuff that cost only a few cents, and hi
stocked up with a better grade 01
which the prolit was only 100 per cent
"I also put in a line of real goods,'
he says, "but that was a mistake.
found that people would rather pa;
$10 for an imitation gem set in platel
ware than $100 for a real stone mount
ed in gold.
"If I hadn't been a fool," he lamented
"I would have struck out at once foi
New York. Ultimately I made mon
money '-.ere than anywhere else il
America. Hut at that time I we.s afraii
of the big town."
In Detroit he evolved the "Diamom
Palace," with mahogany furnishings
tapestries, heavy velvet hangings an<
crystal electroliers. He adopted thi
policy of big space advertising, am
again tried to use the imitation gem:
as leaders to the real jewelry counters
but once more found that cheapness
was preferred to genuineness.
Thence he went to Rochester, and ;
few months later began his New Yorl
career, llis "Diamond Palace" here was
established in Fourteenth Street, neai
Fifth Avenue, next to an art gallery
Again he "packed the house." Fot
months he coined money. Then he
yielded to the call of the green baize
tables, and barkened to the hoofbeat:
of the racers on the met repolirai:
New York then -vas a "wide open
town." A man could find anything ht
looked for. Canfield was in his heydaj
then. Young millionaires from Pitts?
burgh were beirig trimmed nightly in
gilded palaces of chance. Farmers from
New Jersey and New England were in?
vesting daily in Brooklyn Bridge shares,
Engaging confidence men were doing a
land office business in polished bras?
cubes stamped "100 per cent gold."
Godsol, forever seeking the hectic ex?
citements he had known in Butte, soon
found Caniield's, He found other
In London Store ?
Soon he became acquainted with hid
Harrigan, a bookmaker temporarily out
of business. He bought for Harrigan
a membership in the Metropolitan Tur:
Association. That entitled Harrigan to
make books in the betting rings. Bad
selections as a bettor had already de
pleted his roil. The operations of the
Harrigan book were riot as successful
as anticipated. The roll steadily
lost weight, and finally Godsol went to
That was along in die summer of
1898. The season had just begun at
Saratoga. That ?s a period Godsol does
not like to talk about. A trusted rela?
tive was his cashier. One day, when
he '.vas widely extended on a long shot
that won, the cashier disappeared, tak?
ing with him about $'?'5,000, practically
every dollar he had left after a rather
disast rous camnai1;!!.
From one friend, a judge in Cleve?
land. Godsol. by telegraph, obtained s
loan of $12,000; He went South to
raise more money and wound up in
New Orleans, where he again went into
business as a "Montana diamond" mer?
chant to make the balance he needed to
pay off his obligations.
By the spring of 1S99 he had nil he
needed. Through "Ike" Blumenthal,
now one of his organization in Europe,
he j,aid out $25,000, and with the $1,200
remaining he went, to England.
Frank Godsol had nothing t" do w?th
his brother's business. Me played n
lone hand after the break m Cleveland
until he went to Europe. He. lunded in
Londkm with bpt little money and ab
solutely unacquainted. Yet within three!
months, after spending most of his
funds for living expenses at the high?
est priced hotel of the British capita!,
he had established a big business there, j
How be did it would be n mystery
unless one has talked with him. Then ,
it becomes clear. Godsol is quiet.
There is nothing "cocky" shout him.,
'tis eyes are level, and be talks frank?
ly, While you understand that he will
try his best to trim you if you show
a desire to match wits, he gives the
impression that be is perfectly willing
to lay his cards on the table if you
turn up yours. Briefly, lie inspires con?
fidence: be radiates a feeling of secur?
ity and strength. A number of wealthy
Englishmen- Lord Tenterdon is now
one of th." directors of the Tecla Com?
pany simply caught tins feeling and
A number of people have been badly
mistaken in God-so! recently. That
quiet manner of his and his reputation
as a spender have put upon his trail a
flock of human birds of prey since the
French government filed its charges
"You see, it's this way with me," he
explained a little later. "FU pay $100
for something that's worth only a dime
if I want to. Friends can have any?
thing I've got, but friends are the very
ones I find that I can give nothing to.
I'll tip a taxi pilot ten times the
amount of his bill, but let him over?
charge me a dime and he'll have to
fight for it. These birds make me
laugh. . . . T r?m never trimmed
unless I want, to be."
Godsol's venture in England was not
attended by the street blocking interest
he had aroused in America. His Lon
don establishment was more ?labor?t*'
than any he or his brother had had
over here. He spent n ?re than $25,00C
on interior decorations alone, and laic1
out vast sums in advertising campaigns
Yet the business he did was smallei
than that he had enjoyed in the Fnitor
?States. "The English are too conserva
tive," lie explains.
He made money, but not fast enough
and he sold out. but not before severa
Germans had become interested in hi:
methods, and offered him 50 per eon'
of the gross if he would establish simi
lar businesses, on their capital ii
Munich, Berlin, Stuttj art and othe
cities of Germany.
"They seemed to think 1 had) invent
ed something and held a patent on it,
he sail!. "Naturally, I ee-.epted." Am
from that day to the outbreak of th
war, when nearly $1,000,000 worth 0
his property, represented by theatre
and motion picture houses in German?,
were sequestrated or confiscated be
cause he was a naturalized citizen o
France, he drew large dividends froi
these paste gem emporiums.
Gathered a Good
Before going to Germany to estai
lish these places, however, he ha
gathered around him in England
coterie of keen, young Americans, Bri
ishers and Frenchmen, to whom }
afterward gave interests in his varioi
enterprises, based on the amount <
business they produced. These inclu?
ed F. S. Higgins and Cyril Devere
the latter his wife's brother who coi
ducted the motor truck transactioi
with the French army adrainistratio
which later became the h asis of tl
charges laid against their chief, ar
Ike and Ben Blumentha!. of New Yor
The Blumenthals specialized in the
trica! and motion picture venture
They also operated the various branch
of the imitation gem business esta
lished throughout the world.
In Paris, in 1905, he staged his Tec
pearl performance, a really astinis
ing achievement. Godsol himself sa
the motor truck affair was a fortuito
accident of business, whereas Tocia a
forded a full display of his p'culi
genius and the daring quality of h
Shortly after he had reached Pai
and quartered himself at the most e
pensive hotel, there appeared in t
Paris edition of "The New York Ht
aid" a special article dea'.'.?tg with mo
em methods of producing synthe
A day or two later "'-he iieral
printed a letter over the signature
tii" "Count ib.' Y - ," in which t
count took issue with the statemer
made in the article with reference
pearls. The count declared that he h
the honor of knowing a renown
scientist who had produced a perfi
pear! by chemical processes, The sei?
tist was not named, and a day or t
later "The Herald" carried another !
ter under another signature asking
the "Count de V " would be so gc
as to name the pearlmaker, and sti
whether his product wag being ms
in commercial quantities. Thereup
tiie count replied that the produi
was nor." other than the "world-fan
American scientist, Professor Maur
de tecla." who because of bis abso
tion in the pursuit of knowledge 1
rev.r before consideied eommerc
possibilities. Now, however, that ph
of his wonderful disco?*ery had! b<
brought to his attention, and UpOT
certain day in the near future it 1
been arranged to have,? public exh
I ecla Pearl
Goes on Exhibition
Then followed notices of the e\h
tion. The display ?us tn?He by th"
nowneil professor, and shortly tin
after a vigorous advertising campa
launched the Tecla Pearl suecess?U". I
in the jewelry trade. He was the bjtJ I
of the Tecla business when it start?/ ?
and still is the managing director ?'
the $1.500,000 stock company organic.
with Lord Tenterclon and othen b
England more than five years ag? ?.
exploit the pearl.
Branches in the interim were eauv
lish?d all over the world, the on? ?'?
New York be^ng on Fifth Avenue, ir.
from them Godsol and Ins asiocut?,
are said to have been drawing seven'
hundred thousand dollars a year.
Godsol visited this country seven
times prior to the war and bought b
terests in the theatrical enterprise! e' '
Al. H. Wood Hiid the Shuberts, g,
now- holds, among other stage interest
h 60 per cent share of the Astor Thei
Abroad he became the commercial di?
rector of the Ambrosio Film rompant
of Turin, Italy, and distributed through
out. the world the big picture, "Ou.
For r rench Army
In 1911 be' became a citizen c'
France, intending, be says, to remain
there for the rest of his life. Just be?
fore the war began he was in Germany,
establishing picture houses and vaiieY
ville theatres. When hostilities opened,
however, he was mobilized in the
French army, and having had no mili
tary training, but being an expert
motorist, he was assigned as driver for
Inspector General Faurie.
In the meantime his holdings in Ger
many had been seized. Business ir
France was paralyzed. Then follow??
the train of incidents that led up te h:i
entrance into the business of selling
army motor trucks. Of this phaae o!
his career Godsol gives a summary
"Nobody seemed to realize when th?
war began what a pressing need motor
transport would be. Our organization
had been busy trying to sell blanketf.
uniform cloth and barbed wire without
success. When I looked over the auto
mobile field I found that the Frer.cs
factories were engaged exclusively en
"So Higgins was sent to Turin
where Ambrosio introduced him to t':i
Fiat people, and we got a contract ti
sell live hundred trucks. That was tin
largest single order ever before placei
in Europe. Then, believing that thi
Fiat factory could not produce truck:
in the quantities that probably wouli
be needed, we proceeded to obtain rep
resentations in Amer:..'."
In America the (iodsol organization
made a number of contracts, amoni
others with the Jeffery company, ?'
Kcnosha, nr.d the Pierce Arrow at Be'
falo. Then he proceeded to have th*
French army administration inform?
in writing of h:s business connection;
and the curious part of tire entire at
fair is that while he has been in j?:
in Washington, Higgins, Devers ir?<
his other associates, who conducted i
transactions for him. have continued ti
do business with the French govern
ment in his behalf, and are still op?rai
ing the Godsol workshops in Paris wit':
working staffs composed entirely '
French soldiers released fiom the firin]
lines especially for that purpose.
Godsol points to that in refutstio'
of the allegation that he worked und?
cover. To th< change that he operate
through the collusion of M. Thorn?
and of certain officers in the War P<
partment, he answers that the rel
sonnel of the government has bet
constantly changing, and that, eonfi
quently, if he had been in the habit?
bribing he would have had to corru]
not two or three men, as alleged, bi
In rebuttal of the f irther acens
tion that hi claimed, when makii
commission contracts, to have the 0:
per hand in the Paris V\ ir 1
?ie points our that m i er Americ?
motor companies, workii g ride] enden
ly, have been selling machines
France, and that one in particular h:
sold as many machines as he has.
"If I had the monopoly they 687
have," he says, "do you think ind
pendents would have had a chance.
As a matter of fact. Go isol, who h
been in this country off and on sir.
1915, return, d to Franc ? ?n
the identical charge's now pend?
against him. and was exonerated.
For that reason he i- coi
their revival at this time is only P'
of a political manoeuvre to stri
through him at M. Thomas, the forn
Minister of Munitions, who sent h
here first, after a physic;.' hrcakdo
incapacitated him for military serv
of any sort.
His purpose at that time, he declsi
was to obtain price reductioi
trucks for France, which, he clan
has been and stilt is paying too niU
But the purchasing cotnm?M?<?n
which he was assigned refused to V
mit him to act. This i; another th'
which Godsol thinks tends to show 1
political character of th'" case ag?'
"And knowing," he says, "in?1
would be sacrificed to the political *
bitions of M. Thomas's foes. I ??
termined to beat these charges OB !
side of the water if 1 can. ' ?'
Frunce. 1 am not a sentimental m
I cannot put tesrs either in my v?
or eyes and Ulk of D^riotUm.
patrie or love of country. But ? "*
?to anything for mj adopted !*!,4.
I won*'? go back, if I can prevent it,
eve ?s the meats at somebody1!