Newspaper Page Text
POTASH AND PERLMUTTER
V AT THE PEACE CONFERENCE (COPTRIGHT, l?l?, IT THE MiCLCRC NEWSPAPER SYNDICATED BY MONTAGUE GLASS Illustrated by ALBERT LEVERING The New Hungarian Rhapsody i "I see where a feller by the name Rubin or Robid or something like that, which was working as a traveling salesman for th? Red Cross in Russia. *got examined by Ccngress the other day." Abe Pot ash said one morning in March, "and in the course of explaining how he come to spend all that money for traveling expenses or something, he says that the Bolshe ?iki in Russia is a very much mis understood people.. "Sure I know." Morris said, "it is always the case. Abe. that when somebody does something whlcn could only be explained on the grounds that he would sooner be in Mil than out. he goes to work and claims that nobody under stands him." "But Rubin claims that the reason Bolshevism sprung In the first place was that the Bolshevik! was tired of the war," Abe con tinued. "whereas the allies thought they was quitters." "What do you mean?whereas?" Morris asked. "Wait, that ain't the only 'where aa."* Abe said. "Rubin also said that the allies thinks the Bolshevik! is a bunch of organised murderers, where as the allies don't understand that the ?nly people murdered by them Bolshe Tiki wu the property owners which objects to their property being taken, end that as a matter of fact them poor Bolshevik! are fcimply obliged to take the property, there being no oth er alternative except working for a living." "Nebich!" Morris exclaimed, "and did he say anything else about them Bolsheviki that we should ought to 1 break our hearts over, Abe?" "Rubin didn't. But there is some of these here liberal-minded papers which seems to think that what this here Rubin says is not only a big boost for the Bolsheviki. but that it should ouftht to be a lesson to us not to pass laws in this country tc prevent Bolshe viki from operating over here." "But we already got laws over here , to take care of people which would sooner commit murder than work. Abe." Morris said, "and as for being liberal-minded about the Bolsheviki. Abe. I am content that after they are sentenced they should have all the privilege that the other convicts have, and that's as far as I would go." "Well, you couldn't claim credit for beins: very funny that way. Mawruss. You've got practically all the unliber al-minded people In the United States siding with you," Abe declared, "be cause being liberal minded is a mat ter of being able' to see only the un-| popular aid* of every question. It Is the liberal-minded people which thinks there la something to be said In favor of the Oermans and says It, 'under stand. It Is the liberal-minded people which Is always willing to try any thing that don't seem reasonable to practically everybody." "And I suppose them liberal-minded people would even approve of Ger many trying to get out of pay.ng an Indemnity toy pulling oft one of them street fairs with shooting which passes for Bolshevik revolution," Morr.s said, "but the backing of such liberal minded Americans wouldn't help the Oermans none because there would be a whole lot of husky parties in khaki Coins Into Germany and acting in such an unliberal-minded way that the Oermans would wish they would have paid the indemnity voluntarily on the instalment plan rather as have It collected all in one sum by levy and sale under an execution." "Well. I'll tell you," Abe said, "li is always the case that when the creditors begin to scrap among themselves, y'understand, the fraud ulent bankrupt stands a good chance to get away with the con cealed assets, ain't It. and in par ticular In this case where there Is so many liberal minded people | around which don't want to be too hard on Germany anyway." "I bet yer." Morris aald fervently, "and while thla hare Peace Confer ence u killing a whola lot of time deliberating how to make thla the laat war. y'understand. they will wake up tome fine moraine to find out that they hava really made it the laat war but one. Furthermore. Abe. thla next-to-the-last war wouldn't be a marker to the war we are going to have In collecting Indemnities from Bolahavtkl. be cause when it cornea to atroeltiaa, Abe. a Bolalievik government oould make the old German government look like the Boelety for the Preven tion of Cruelty to Children, y'under atand." "Might the Peace Conference would hurry up, maybe," Abe aug geated. "They've got to hurry up If they don't want to be shifted from a Peace Conference to a council of war." Marrla said. "Look what haa already happened In Hungary." "And yet, Mawruas, you would think that with a nation like the Hungarians which Is uaed to eating In Hungarian restaurants, y'under stand, a little thing like starvation wouldn't worry them at all." Abe tiescR. ALL tS L**n *&? In particular vWri Uitn it ?o ni*t\x liberal minded pecple vfcick doit waul to be tw bird an Gernu^ anr*u*y " Mid, "so therefore I couldn't un derstand why the Hanitrltu should hav* cone BoUhevtk from want of food a* the papers says they did." "My paper didn't say It." Morris commented "and If It did, I wouldn't believe It anyway, because the moat you could claim for Bolshevism 4s a cure for starvation Is that it k<V?' the patient so busy worrying about his other troubles that he forgets how hungry he is; furthermore. Atoe. the way It looks to me this here Bolshevik revolution in Hungary ain't even wHat the poor food law would call a Bolshevik type revolu tion, because It Is my idea that Lie nine and Trotsky could read the papers the same like anybody else. Bo therefore when they seen it that all th American newspaper corre spondents was sending out word that the Peace Conference should ought to hurry up its work because of the spread of Bolshevism, y'un derstand, and that the delegates should ought to go easy on Germany because If they didn't Germany would probably go Bolshevik, y'un derstand. this here Trotsky which once used to work on a New York newspaper but lived it down by changing his name from Bronstein to Trotsky, understand me. at onoe gets up a line of snappy advertise , ments headed: "Why Bolshevism?" to the effect that a revolution a day drives indemnities away and for particulars to write to Trotsky anil L>enine, Department M. Petrograd Land Title and Trust Building. Pet rograd. And. of course, Hungary fell for It." "So you think that this here Hun garian revolution is a fake?" Abe asked. "It ain't a fake. It's business," Mor ris replied, "which 1 bet yer that right now Messrs. Ebert. Scheidemann & Co., is writing Trotsky * Lenlne they should please quote prices on Bolshevist uprisings as per Hunga rian sample. F. O. B. Berlin, and also that It wouldn't be only a matter of a few days when knocking Germany would be a capital offence in Petro grad upon the grounds that the cus tomer is always right." "But I understand that in Buda pest the working men is seising the factories and running them them selves." Abe said. "There's always bound to be a cer tain number of people which couldn't tske a Joke." Morris commented. "There's no Joke about It." Abe de clared. "which I see in the paper this morning that the new Hungarian So viet government has directed the presidents of banks to put their busi ness in the hands of the clerks and that the landlords has got to let the janitors manage the apartment houses." "The landlords has got to do that In America whether the government tells .'era to or not. Abe." Morris said, "and as for the bank presidents. Abe. they might Just so well go out and look for another Job today as to wait till next week when them committees of factory workers will start In to make over-drafts at the point of a re volver." "Things must be terribly mixed up In 'Hungary, according to the papers." Abe observed. "Well. Ill tell you." Morris said, "in some countries a Bolshevik government could be quite disturb ing, but take Hungarian cookins; for instance and It wouldn't reallv make a whole lot of difference if gulyas or paprika chicken was I cooked by one chef or a commit tea of aculllons. Aba It would be I just so miscellaneous and nobody could tell from eating It what and been . put Into It, y'understand. Alao, Abe. take these hare rvpey Hungarian bands, and' while tbere I would probably be a terrible con glomeration of nolaea If a com mittee of players was to start In to conduct the Boaton Symphonies or the New Tork Philharmonics, y'understand, a committee of gypsy musicians couldn't make a Csardas sound worser than It doea no mat ter how they dlaagreed as to the "which a ntwiptpir feller by the name ?( Begbie called on the kalaer In Holland and the eaya the kalaer couldn't Me It at all." -liee vhatr* Morn, asked "Why. he couldn't eee what people la melting euch a fuaa about," Abe said- 'He ear* that ee far aa start ing thia here war la concerned, he didn't ?ay nothing, he dtdn't do noth ing. and all he knows about It te that he lays the whole thing to the Free "You mean the F. A. M.V Morris aalced. /^OTU'' way It should ought to be played." "For that matter there's a lot of things produced in Germany whtch a soviet government couldn't spoil neither. Mawruss." Abe said, "like music by this here Nathan Strauss, the composer, or Koenigs burger Klops. now called Liberty Roast, which I see by last Sunday's paper that the kaiser has been talking again." "And what's that got to do with Germany going Bolshevik T* Mor I rls asked. "Nothing, except that it partially ' accounts for it." Abe replied, j V * he did'nt s<nr mLkmg. h*dU-nl7,*Mdn}Sl "What other Free Masons Is there?" Abe said. "You're sure he didn't say the Knights of Pythias or the L O. O. F.. because while I don't belong to the Mssons myself. Abe. Rosie's sister's husband's brother by the name Har ris November has been a thirty-sixth decree Mason for years already," Morris declared, "and I'll swear that if a gabby feller like him would have known that the Masons had anything to do with bringing on the war, Abe, he would of spilled it already long since ago." I "Well, of course. I don't know noth Il( about what Harm November mM or what ha didn't aay, Mawruaa. bat that*a vtat tb? lutoai aaid." he con tinued, "and bo alao had a rood daai to aar about Qkoi Victorlne of Eng land. what a wonderful woman aha waa. otav haabolom and how ah* MM him many timoa he abould look out for that lowltfe of a aoa of hcra by th? nam* Edwin " -Bat I alwaya thoucht thla hcra Edwin waa aueh a doocnt reapectable fallar." Morria Interrupted That'* what everybody *l*a thoucht." Abe went on. "but th* ka? aar aaya that many tlmaa the old lady aaya to him he ahouldn't hare noth ing to do with Edwin. 'Believe me.' ahc aaid aeeordla* to the kalaer. -he wouldn't do you no sood Intellecta ally. morally, or aoeially.' and ao for that reaaon the kalaer wouldn't loin th* *nt*nte with England. Franc* and Ruulk " "Becauee thla here Edwin waa at the bottom of It?" Morria Inquired That a what the Kalaer aaid." Abe replied. "Maybe be alao caught the poor Caar aellc eating with hi* knife or eomeUiina." Morrta auggeated "TVat h* didn't aay neither." Ab* * answered, "but he might Juat ao well have aaid It for all It would go down with me. Mawruaa. becauae w* all know bow kinjra aow their rolled oata. Mawruaa. and any kinir wh.ch wouldn't associate with any other kin* on the grounds of running around the street" til! all hours of the night or gsmbling > understand, tf that ain't a case of a pot calling a kettle, I don't know what la" "And I suppose he tapped off them lies by getting religious, ain't Mr Morris remarked "Naturally.** Abo aaid. "And in particular he got very sore at the Free Masons on account of them be ing atheists.** "That's the first time I hear that about the Free Masons" Morris obserred. "I think myself that h* Is getting them mixed up with the Elka" "The Elks ain't atheists." Abe said. "I know they ain't, but at the same time they ain't religious fan atics exactly." Morris said "which to a particular feller% like the kaiser would be quite enough. Abe." "Also, Mawruaa." Abe went on. "he claims that the Free Mason* - Is all Bolshevista. and in fact from the way he carried on about the Free Masons, you would think he was eraxy on the subject." "Maybe they once turned him down or something." Morris com mented. "which when I was treas urer of Friendship Lodge 1?S I. O. M. A. before we quit giving sick benefit*. Abe. we turned 4??wn a feller by the name Turke y ib on account of varicose veins. ~.id the way he went around calling us all kinds of highwaymen you wouldn't believe at all." "Bat the newspaper feller that Interviewed him says that tha lmiser aeems to be in pretty good health. Mawruaa" Abe declared. "That don't make him a good risk, neither." Morris retorted. "I suppose the Interviewer didn't say how his appetite was." "What's his appetite got to do with Itr* Abe asked "Because in speaking of murder ers juat before they go to the chair, Abe." Morris concluded, "tha newspapers always say: The coa i demned man ate hearty.'" LOOKING BACKWARD ?y capt. j. walter mikhell Could the ghosts of the old-time baseball players return from skull and boneland to witness a twentieth century game, they would be amazed by its strenuosity. Back in the late '6o's when I wit nessed my first ball "match," as they were termed then, it was a tame affair as compared with the big league games of today. And the baseball "write-ups" on the sports pages of the newspapers now with their nifty vernacular and catchy phrases would be as Choctaw to the old-timers. Heavy batting was the desideratum in the old days, and big. weighty players were given supreme preference when a team was selected. Home runs were the rule and the player who could score the greatest number of long hits was considered the king bee of the aggregation. When the first rules were written** It was permissible for a batter to make as many home runs as possible before the ball was returned to the home plate. It is recorded that R&b :ock. the catapult of the ordinal Na tionals. knocked the bail so far on one occasion that he made three home runs In succession. This home run rule was dropped after it had tried out at several games. The I ?cores of forty to fifty years ago would run up to the 100 mark. The toore of the Nationals when the team played the Confederates of Richmond. Va. in 1666. was 102 runs. Their op ponents scored S7 runs and home runs. Players of Long Ago. I recall two of the players of the ott Nationals who were the Ideals of the younger element. Babcock. a former iceman, was a veritable giant, (fa welshed at least 'JSO pounds and was a Samson in strength. Babcock was known as the "champion home run knocker." With him on the orig inal team was Fox. tall, agile and mttscuiar. a good "knocker." and re- j puted tQ be the best left-fielder in the game. I recall these two players oeoause they were the favorites of the ancient "fans." Fox also was a great base runner and an expert In chas ing long hits. Babcock was the pitch the Nationals and It was not awess&ry then to hare relief or r? lajr pitchers. He ?u the whole thins in the pitcher'* box mt every name. It was an unpar double offense to pitch a swift ball whek the game was rounf. Th? regulations called for a ?tew drop ball pitched underhand, and this fact accounts for the many home runs. It was a saying that the fielders in those days were stationed a mile from the home plate in order to intel ligently account for some of the long driven "sky balls" which soared up into the empyrean regions after com ing into sudden contact with the bats of Babcock and his fellow players. The first uniform worn by ths Na tionals was made of navy blue cloth and comprised shirt and trousers, with j cap of the same material. The trous era were long, reaching to the shoe | tops, where they were gathered to fit tighty about them. I believe the word "National" was worked In white across the front of the shirt. The Con federates of Richmond wore suits of | Southern gray, and appeared more like cadets of some military Institute than baseball players. In fact many of them were former soldiers of the Confederacy. Beeaate Noted Professionals. The popular baseball grounds for amadhir aggregations following the ending of the civil war was the old Washington monument grounds, now arranged as a picturesque park. Fifty years ago the manorial shaft waa only about one-third constructed, and work on It had been stopped for a number of years. The surrounding grounds were overgrown with rank weeds and high grass, except in places whore boys and young men had made clear ings to play baseball. All about were plies of white marble Intended for the completion of the monument. Up to the time operationa were suspended funds for the abaft ware obtained by popular subscription. I When this plan died of senility the j work was abandoned for the time being. Later Congress came to the i rescue of the society having charge of the tall memorial and it was completed. One of the most conspicuous of the amateur baseball nines that played on the Monument Grounds was known as the "Creightons." This club of youths from about 16 to 20 years of age later furnished several noted players to the pro fessional teams. Two of them, that I recall, were Joe Gerhardt and Will Snyder. These former "sand lotter^' afterward became success ful players on some of the big league teams. Another team of boys from 12 to 16, that furnished some profession als was the Olympics. It was made up of lads who lived on Missouri and Pennsylvania avenues between Third and Sixth streets northwest. The roster of the Olympics con tained the names of "Buck" Kele her, "Nelse" Levy, John Eshleman, Thomas A. Mitchell. my eldest brother, and others who afterward entered the business and profes sional life of the District. Wken Qaeer Thlan Happened. After the government took over the labor of love in completing the Monument the place became a bee hive of activity and seriously in terfered with' ball playing there abouts. The Olympics and several of the nines comprised of the younger boys selected the old cir cus grounds, now part of the Mall, between Four-and-a-half and 81xth streets, Missouri and Maine av enues. through which a branch of Tiber Creek flowed placidly. In the meantime queer things were happening on the partly completed monument, which has been described as "the index finger of memory point ing to the skies.'* A stray cat had adopted the interior of the shaft as its hunting grounds, and feasted upon the many bats and rats that sought safety in the deserted shaft. There was no elevator at that time and the workmen ascended to the top and de scended on rickety wooden stair*. Un aware of the presence of the monu ment cat, when the first detail of workmen ascended the stairs to ar range for resuming the work of con structing the shaft to its finish, they were greeted In the darkness of the Interior by a growling noise followed by a sort of fluttering sound as some light body ascended rapidly ahead of them. "Ghosts," one of the workers ex claimed. "The darned place Is haunted." As the first two men emerged from the dark shaft and stepped into the sunlight on the platform, to which point the monument had been built, they were confronted by a badly frightened big gray cat. The animal I was startled by the appearance of the ! men and Its transition from darkness to bright daylight. Ma4e Its Pan*u Leap. "Pretty pussy; come here." one of the men said, coaxlngly. His voice only added to the cat's terror, and It leaped wildly outward and descended to terra firma with the speed of a cannon ball. Those who witnessed pussy's flying leap from the dixsy height declared that the oat was only stunned by the fall. As It sought to crawl away a strange dog caught the cat and killed It before the workkngmen could prevent the tragedy. During the administration of Presi cent Harrison another cat was at tracted to the Monument. It. too. was of a gray color, and seemingly half starred. The shaft had been completed then, and the feline was quietly proceeding up the M steps that lead to the top when It was cap tured by a watchman. The prisoner was turned over to Chief Engineer Frederick M. Stromberger, who. In stead of banishing the cat, adopted It as his office pet. and until the ani mal's death It was known as "The Washington Monument cat." When the work *of continuing the erection of the partly-oompieUd abaft wa* resumed, there was a wooden platform at the top surrounded by Rifely netting. Hundreds of pigeons had taken possession of the platfrom and reared many families there. Sev eral swarms of bees also had adopted covered portions of the platform, and the first workmen to reach the top secured a goodly supply of honey. WsaM-Be Saleldes Few. The iron-barred windows In the observation room at the top of the monument are a sufficient peventa | tlve to those who contemplate self | destruction In a spectacular mah I ner at this time. But before the window* were thua protected only* two cases oC attempted suicide are known of. The Brit of these was clearly a crank. He declared he had received an inspiration that he could fly like a bird and demanded that he be permitted to try the fly ing atunt from the Monument, Just before the platinum apex had been placed at the tip-top. / "I will have to fly when I be come an angel." the big, bewhls kered fellow said, "and I have a message that I am an angel now." "You don't look the part," one of the monument attendant* declared with a broad grin as he contem 1 plated the crank's ragged clothing, his frowsy hair and long bedraggled whiskers. "I reckon he wanta to begin his flyln' practice here on earth before be leachea the throne," a country visitor remarked. The frowsy "angel" waa escorted to the bottom of the shaft and firm ly, but politely, told to depart, and | if he must try out his flying atunt to select a tree or a high hill. "He didn't want to fly," a monu ment man said. He's disgusted with himself and wanted to com mit suicide!** i*a(kt a SpeetaeaUr Bad. About twenty-five years ago when I was police reporter on one of the Washington dallies, a tall and very nervous man brought the "makings" of a hot exclusive story into the city news room. The late Emery Poster waa managing editor, and Whitman Osgood, bow president of the Washington Printing Company. was city editor. Approaching the two editors, who were in conference, and in a voice that quaked with emotion and rattled because of over indulgence in the red liquid that is now prohibited in the District, he said: "Gentlemen, excuse my Interrup tion. but my mission here is a seri ous one Indeed. I have decided to end all." The Wo editors with their wide experience in matters amazing did not quake or shudder, but coolly re quested the nervous stranger to pro ceed with his story. "In more brutal English." be con tinued. "I am going to commit sui cide. I am through with the world and I believe the world's about through with me. I have been thinking over the best means of bringing my earthy game to a quick conclusion. Why should I be com monplace as I make my exit and employ such plebian means as a pistol, rasor. poison or the dark, dank depths of the rivers. No, gen tlemen, with the inborn instincts of ? gentleman. I am gdlng off in a dignified manner, and I have come to you to request that you give my ending respectful publicity, provided It furnishes your pa|ier with a good story. To make short a long story, gentlemen, I am going to spring into space from the dlny top of the Washington Monument." The man was evidently desperate and determined following a long debauch, and the editors assigned me to the task of accompanying the stranger to the monument to write up the strange tragedy. As we passed along Pennsylvania avenue en route to' the suicide ground. I asked the man for his name and address. "Tou'll find all needed Informa tion in the Inside pocket of my coat when they pick up my mangled and crushed remains," he remarked with the utmost coolness, "la the mean time here Is a saloon and I will I I take a final bracer before my wild leap Into eternity." He entered De Atley's place and emptied a four-Sneer doae of red rum. and we proceeded to the mon ument. He cautioned me to refrain from discussing the purpose of onr mission so the authorities would not Interfere. We entered the elvator and proceeded to the observation room with its barred windows. "S-h-h, I have provided for the bars." he whispered. "You keep the watchman busy while I work." His actions attracted the atten-1 tion of the fiiarl The big drink of j whisky he had taken made him glib of tongue, and in a burst of con-! fldence he told the watchman of his j purpose. The result was that the would-be auiclde was escorted down the shaft and to the office of the superintendent. There all the em ployes of the monument were re quired to give the nervous stranger "the once over." cautioned to drive him off If he ever came near the shaft again. That night while I was writing the atory of the attempt at spectacular suicide at the Monument I received a telephonic "Oash" from police head quarters that a stranger had attempt ed suicide by Jumping from the old Ung Bridge, now only a wartime memory. I hastened to No. 4 police station to get the particulars, with the premonition that the fellow was the one I had been with In the after noon. WmUmh Instead af Heaven. It was 'my Monument man. The police had fished him out of the Po tomac. and when they learned about his attempt at the Monument he was sent to the psychopathic ward of Washington Asylum for observation as to his mental condition. After his mind cleared-he was sent te the work house for a short term to restore his physical condition, aa Judge Kim ball express**) It In the old days before the Wash ington Monument was completed a pretty allegory of nature could be seen from the workmen's platform at top. One day. accompanied by the late Ma J. J. H. MUne. historian of the Army of the Potomac, who was an afdent lover of the beautiful la na ture, I had the pleasure of witness startling sight. We had waited until a foggy forenoon, because It waa only ta a heavy fog that the wonderful picture could be seen The top of tha foe bank, which hung over the city Uke a pall, was about Ave feet below tha platform on the Monu inent'a top. It waa spread out In every direction a* far as the eye could reach. It appeared aa if we were standing on a wee Island in the middle of a sea. the top of the fog bank appear ing realistically aa the aurface of a mystic sea Occasionally the move ment of the atmoaphere would cause fog wavea to spread over the aurface and produce In the obeerver a sort of dlsslness such aa usually precede* seasickness Nothing waa visible but the blue aky above and the rolling mist below, with the occasional fog billows rolling hither and thither. The startling effect of the picture was produced at p>:nta where the heavier smoke frori the high stacks of sawmill* and foundries in the lo cality north of the Monument would rise grandly in Mack columns above the surface of the sea of fog. Theee dark columns of amoke punc turing the fog bank on Its upper aur face appeared like great waterspouts or the spouting of whale far out on the ocean. "The grandest picture of nature I have ever witnessed.' was MaJ. Stlne's comment. Ghost of the iMsatsi. Many years ago there was S story currant among the superstitious that the interior. of the old shaft was haunted by the ghost sr a workman who had bean killed during the early construction of the Monument Aa a boy I visited the unfinished shsft In the quiet hours of the twilight with my chums, and we distinctly heard uncaiiny sounds proceeding from the Interior. The night watchman also heard the weird noises In the stilly watches of the night and. being of a superstitious torn himself, he con firmed the story The sounds combined s peculisr "whirring" noise and feeble shrieks as If uttered by some soul Imprisoned in the greet memorlel stones. One stormy night, when a thunderbolt crashed down the shaft, with a great glare of etectricltar and a stunning re port the mystery of the ghost of the Washington Monument waa solved The lightning killed a colony of Eng lish sparrows that had built their nests in the Interior of the shaft. As the night watch?an gazed at the dead birds la the rdt at the bottom of the shaft, he remarked: "Aha. them to the d-d ghosts that have been keeping as* awaks s'