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BRINGING IN THE TREE
A Story of Christmas Time Back Home BY GEORGE ADE. LOOKING back at the evenf, after all these yearn, one is forced to the conclusion that the tree was an everyday evergreen. Not overly large, or it could not have been taken through the front doors of the church. TT>e church still stands, and the double doorway is there?diminished, shrunk en. attenuated. Where is the wide and lofty portal of long ago? It has shriveled, even is the town of Antioch has shriveled. And yet the Business Men's Improvement Asaoclation in sists that the town has grown at an amazing clip, and points to the new hub and spuke factory as backing up the claim. When the tree was brought in Anti och was geographical center of the universe. The sun rose out of AMI-' derzen's corn field and set about a mile beyond Hutton's hay press. Hie first faint rumblings of Christmas joy were heard almost as soon as the community had recovered from the gorge practiced under the name of Thanksgiving. To arouse a prelimi nary excitement the druggists began to exhibit in their windows silver bound combs and brushes. New stock, supposedly, but we remembered some of the old favorites of the year be fore?beautiful. but too expensive for Antioch even at the most reckless season. Another early symptom was the in flainmatory development of religious sentiment among tl.e. very young. < n the first Sunday in December the in fant class had spread beyond the usual limit of four long benches and filled not less than six. The other, classes, except Brother Sliarpley s mature Bible class, over in the corner, showed the same growth of interest in lessons to be derived from the Scriptures. Carrie Purvis, who was secretary, read in her report that the attendance had incTeased in two weeks from 110 to 133. The McCabe children, four in number, had been reclaimed after many months of ab sence. and were on hand, scrubbed to a soapy pallor and strangled with ribbons. No less than a dozen boys from the sawmill settlement (border land of civilization) had enrolled themselves and were simulating an Interest in the Red sea episode. In stead of hunting rabbits both morn ing and afternoon, they were doing all their hunting in the morning, and In the afternoon were ranged along the front row of Miss Gunnings Class, the first one north of the stove. * * * * JAMES BCZWKU, was superintend ent of the Sunday school and had been for many years. Before each an- | nual election of officers he declared himself not a candidate. After being maited on by a representative com w#ited upon by a representative com could manage the school, he reconsid ered and promised to serve for just one more term. Mr. Buzwell was a product of Antioch. The supreme test of worth is to attain eminence in a town where one was known as a boy. James Buzwell had done this. When he was about eighteen years of age he had a full growth of beard and was bookkeeper in Dalton's general store. When he was twenty-two the nomina tion for town clerk came to him un sought. It was James Buzwell who. at funerals, walked ahead of the pall bearers. and ordered up the livery rigs for the mourners. By the process of natural selection he became secre tary of every republican convention j held in the township of Antioch. j About this time every man of pious disposition who wore whiskers was an ardent republican. Mrs. Buzwell had been a Humphrey. 1 The Humphrey tribe went west just In time to meet the grasshoppers in Kansas, but Mrs. Buzwell remained ; to teach a class of girls in the Sun day school. Some people used to hint around that the Buzwells had alto gether too much '.'say in the run ning of the Sunday school. It was?it must have been?the first Sunday in December. After the | infant class had trooped back from the L. in which the prayer meetings were held on Wednesday evenings, and the assemblage had sung "Shall ? We Gather at the River?" Mr. Buz well, moving over the ingrain carpet j ?with a cat-like tread, came to the | front of th# platform and beamed j upon the restless company. He car ried a lesson-leaf, which he continued j to roll and unroll as he spoke. "Can any of you littul boys or girls I tell me what day is coming soon?" j he asked. "No, don't say it yet, just I hold up your hands." Immediately the air seemed to j coagulate with wriggling fingers. , Superintendent Buzwell smiled be nignly. "Now. then, what is the day? Grand chorus?"Christmas. "That's right, childurn, Christmas is coming and?that will do. (This to the eight or ten who still had their hands up.) Christmas is coming and in accordance with our usual cus tom we are to have a Christmas tree. (Profound sensation as If all of them had not known! A growing murmer j of excitement and saw-mill boys arising, only to be pulled back into their places.) Yes. we are going to have a tree and mebbe old Santy will be with us. if the sleighing is good. (General laughter, alTecting even the Bible class.) We have h^ld a teach ers' meeting and appointed commit tees to look after the work. I want to say that Squire Sharpley has promised us a tree. That's right. Squire, ain't it?" Squire Sharpley (rising): "You can have the biggest tree on the place." , During the spasm of laughter which greeted this speech the squire | grimly settled back into his corner nest, feeling that he had missed it In not being a platform entertainer. I Superintendent Buzwell: "I will | now call on the secretary to read the committees." Carrie Purvis, in a voice quavering ?rith emotion, read as follows: Committee to get the tree?Ezra Bliss. Committee on putting the tree in plaoe?Sherman. Williams, Gil Thorn ton. Commit toe on decorating tree? James Buzwell, Mrs. Arthur BewldSk Carrie Purvis, Clara and Min il? Hutton, Schuyler Colfax BuchJey ?a clement Hawkins. Committee on putting presents on tree?Oliver Dodson, Chad Graves, raseph Hoffenberger, Maude William US Mrs. Ephriam Chisolm. Committee on. program?Superln MwA BustroU. Hol B. F. Buckley. y> j ?? |flER*Epr (? MURRA\> ? / /?#> f. AXD MAVBE "IS BOYS," HALF FROZEN, BIT STILL HANGING ON, DIDVT SHK1EK ALL THE WAV FROM t THE ELEVATOR TO THE M1LL1XERY STORE! Mrs. Ella Wilson,' Serepta Nebeker and Elmer Crane. Committee on distributing presents ?Capt. G. W. Halsey, Wilson Batchel der, Frank Bow Ids. Juanita Simison and Emma Thornton. Executive committee?Superinten dent Buzwell. Gideon Welborn, Capt. G. W. Halsey and the Rev. Ernest Kiddle. * * * * UVEUV year these ponderous com mittees were named and yet their publication deceived no none, for it was known that Ezra Bliss would Bet the tree and put it where it be longed, while the Buzwells would ab solutely boss aji the subsequent cere monies. Or course, no one but "Cap" Halsey could call off the presents. He liad a deep cavalry voice with a sand paper rasp to it?the kind of voice, every boy imagined, that General Phil Sheridan brought with him cn the > day that ho rode down from Win | ehester, twenty miles away. "Cap" i Halsey had been in the legislature; also in the Army?a lieutenant. Soon after the suspension of hostilities he was made a captain, by general con sent. Although be never went to Sunday school and was, in fact, a wordly man. being an auctioneer of wide repute and profane accomplish ments. he was so public-spirited and vocally impressive that the public ^overlooked his shining faults. For instance, usually he returned from a soldiers' reunion with, his sword hanging from the small of his back. It was likewise known, weeks in advance, that Ezra Bliss would bring in the tree. At least ten days before Christ mas the committee on decorating the tree met at Mrs. Buzwell's to string popcorn and make the candy sacks. Each sack was made of a wiry mos quito-bar or netting?fashioned rude ly into the shape of a stocking?and when ready to be put on the tree contained some four ounces of mixed candy of the most deadly colors. Every child who had been enrolled for three weeks preceding Christ mas was entilted to one sack of this koury sweetness and one medium sized orange. The popcorn strung on threads was meant to be merely dec orative, although it was told, one year, that the^ saw-mill boys had pulled down about a hundred yards of it and eaten it. threads and alL These preliminaries relating to candy sacks, popcorn and cornucopias did not hoid any burning interest for "us boys" because we were barred from the semi-social doings at the Buzwell house. But when Ez Bliss brought in the tree, that was when we began active co-operation. No doubt every town of the Antioch description has an Ezra Bliss. He was the luminous figure in every un dertaking of a quasi-public character that called for physical exertion. Buzwell commanded the realms of in tellect and spirituality. Bliss did-the heavy lifting, and asked for no re ward except the word of approval. * * * * T7OUR days before Christmas came i ? a lazy snowfall?big, cottony ! flakes?that blotted out the black ' roadways and pine sidewalks and made the lane out to Squire Sharp ley's an unbroken trail of the very whitest kind of white. When the snow came we knew that Ezra would get out his sled. It really is a good deal more Christmaslike to have the tree brought in by sled. Ezra had a long-waisted "jumper" that he had made all by himself, using two sap lings .for the runners. On winter evenings he would take the young people over to Marvin Junction for an oyster supper and keep them out un til nearly midnight. No one ever heard of his charging for this service. That was the trouble with Ezra. He had no business gumption. Busy the year round?could turn his hand to anything and never appeared to ba extravagant?and yet it was common talk that even his team of bay horses was mortgaged to Old Man Rand of the State Bank. They couldn't have a barn-raising, hog-killing or sheep shearing within five miles of town unless Ezra Bliss was there to super intend and brighten the occasion with rays of expert knowledge. He was a famous hand at locating "veins" of water, far underground, by means of a forked twig of hazel?did it for the mere fun of the thing and to prove that he knew how. lie could feed a threshing machine, do rough carpen tering, paint a little, was considered an excellent nurse, and they always sent for him to sit up with the dead, j Clearly there was but one man in Antioch qualified to bring in the tree, and that man was Ezra Bliss. It being reported that he would go after the tree on Tuesday morning, a few of us strolled up the alley to ward his "barn" on Monday afternoon and found him oiling a set of har ness. "Are you goin* after the tree to morrow, Mr. Bliss?" asked Grant Wil liams. The "Mr. Bliss" was an unusual honor, but he knew what ulterior mo tive prompted this politeness. "May?and then ag'n may not," he replied, without looking up from his work. "We're goin' with you." said Philip Sheridan Billings, timidly. It was more of a feeler than an out-and-out confident declaration. "Mebbe Squire Sharpley don't want a pack of boys tearin* around his place," said Ezra as he poured some of the black oil into the bowl of his hand. "Aw, he don't care," said every one of us. "Well, I'll jes* think it over." And all the time he knew what his reward would be?the triumph of coming down Main street with the boys yelping behind his "jumper." * * * * rpHE winters we have nowadays do ? not bring mornings such as that | on which Ezra and the boys started j out to Squire Sharpley's place. After j the snowfall came a crystal and j freezing sunshine. Every hedge and bush lay sagged and sidewise Under ! a lumpy hood. The town, seemed ; deathly quiet, with a shroud tucked | in about it, and all the wood smoke j stood straight up the chimneys in gray columns. Ezra had filled the wagon-bed with straw. One condition he imposed when the alley scouts caught him in the apt of harnessing Frank and I Dolly?he said the boys would have to help him hitch up. "Don't know as you can ride back," : he said, not hoping to discourage! them, but merely testing their zeal for the enterprise. "It's liable to be a big tree." / As if anything could change our purpose! In we tumbled, kicking up the straw. Ezra squatted against the dashboard and simulated a calm in difference to the glorious excitement of the expedition. He nodded calmly to the men on Walton's corner, while the boys cheered. Apparently he did not take cognizance of the fact that many boys dashed .madly frQm side streets and "hooked on," so that when he passed the flouring mill at least a dozen were hysterically "wailering" in the straw. And all twelve of them assisted in opening the red gates that led to the avenue of maples that led to the white house where Sauire Sharpley lived. The squire came out of the back door?the front door had not been opened for years?and was leaning over the fence when Ezra brought his puffing horses to a long-drawn "Whoa!" alongside of the wind-pump. uAU them your boys, Ezra?" "No, I've just took 'em to raise. Got anything' for 'em to do?" "I reckon I could ?efc^en*to cutttn* chop-feed. S'pose you're after that tree?" "Like as not." "Well. I'll show you." The Sharpley place was one of the oldest in the township. When the squire settled there in the 50 he put out four acres of evergreens which had grown into high, matted jungle, above the furry tops of which two gable windows looked toward Anti och. The Sharpley place, protected by these gloomy depths, was an unex plored region to most of the boys. They were willing to go there in the daytime, with Ezra Bliss, but at night they went past it on a dog trot. Ezra found an ax in the woodshed and then, followed by the squire, he brushed in among the Interlocking trees. The boys trailed. Indianfash ion. giving loud advice which was ig nored with a majesty that only Ezra Bliss could assume. We voted for a tree that was almost as tall as the courthouse and openly spoke our dis approval when Ezra and the squire selected one hardly fourteen feet high. But it was symmetrical, with stout branches and the squire assured us that It would be more "sizable" when set up in the "poolpit." Ezra knelt down under the tree and hacked at the gummy trunk. It was slow work, but at last the [ snowy plume wavered and then came toward us. We scattered, but there was no danger. The tree settled into the close embrace of other green branches and then we attacked It and lugged it forth and put it on the sled. Clinging to the bed and whooping in the excess of undefined but un oontrollable joy, we went gliding back to Antioch. "Are you goin' up Main street, Ezra?" In the growing hilarity the for mality of "mister" was now neglected. "No, I guess not. It's a shorter cut down past the schoolhouse. Be sides, I've got to put on a rack be fore noon so's I can get an early start to Denny's for a load of wood." Unanimous appi;ai, "Aw, Ez, go up Main street." As if all the court injunctions in Jefferson county could have kept him away from Main street! How the bells jingled and didn't the people come running from the stores! And maybe "us boys," half frozen, but .still hanging on, didnt shriek all the way from the elevator to the millinery store! And Ezra Bliss trying to let on to be grimly unconscious of his greatness. At the real festivities we were crowded into the background, but none could rob us of the annual glory of bringing in the tree. (Copyright, 1921. Alt rights reserved.) Artificial Silk. COME time ago it was discovered that incandescent gas mantles made of ramie fiber were much more efficient than those made of cotton. Ramie fiber possesses a wider mesh, and so affords a larger radiating sur face. Since then it has been found that woven artificial silk is rougher than ramie fiber, and consequently more luminous. Mantles made from con tinuous fibers of artificial silk are now on sale In many parts of the world, and are said to be elastic, supple and durable. The continuous fibers re main distinct and unbroken during use, whereas the short fibers in man tles made of cotton or ramie untwist more or less from the original struc ture of the spun yarn. An artificial silk mantle fitted to a high-pressure burner gives good light for seven weeks, whereas a ramie mantle at tached to the same burner lasts only six nights. | Seventy years ago Christmas cards were unknown In the United States. MEXICO'S RECOVERY IS AN AMAZING EXAMPLE OF UNEXPECTED ACHIEVEMENT BY HOWARD MARSHAM.. New York, December 24, 1921. WE don't know what'B going on In Mexico. We actually know better what In hap pening In Europe. This ar ticle will autonlxh you. Mexico haH just performed a financial feat Buld to be unparalleled In the history of na tions, paying ofT lier entire Internal debt In a few weeks. She will soon I ?start upon her foreign obligations j and, according to U. K. FankhauBer, . will clean them up almost as quickly. ] thus transforming herself, as if by j magic, from a pauper nation Into one on as solid a financial basis as any in the world. Mr. Fankhauser Is an American banker and general business expert j of distinction, and has Just returned ' from a long tour of inspection of the republic to the southward, during which he saw all vital points and talked with every man of real im-1 portance. His associations with Pres ident Obregon were close and friend ly. but he represented American, not Mexican. Interests. The Interview which follows is ex clusive and is the first statement of the amazing facts to be given to the American public. In discussing the United States with Mexico Mr. Kank hauser minced no words, being quite frank in describing to the Mexicans tlie error* they have made and the j things they must do if they would i | take their proper place among the I nations of the world. In discussing Mexico with the United Statees. as will appear, he Is as frankly critical of our own procedure. * * * * ((UtISd'oM in her own capital and *' ours is bringing belter things to pass in Mexico. They will continue to Improve," said he. 'Today the Mexican people have escaped the feel i ing of discouragement, are resolved to triumph over difficulties and are wholly sane. "No revolution or disturbance of any kind threatens. Mexico is rebuilding that which was destroyed, building new on every hand, working hard and thinking hard. She has paid her whole Internal debt and will pay every penny of her foreign debt. En mity toward the United States has vanished. American citizens are treated now with full consideration. "A very recent effort made to con vince Mexico that if l>atin America could solidify herself from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn it would be possible to make connections over seas which would enable all concerned to get 011 without this country has failed. "The better minds of Mexico, in cluding that of President Obregon. were not misled by this extremely clever plot against the United Stales. Spanish influence in Mexico is large. I first, because Mexicans speak the Spanish language, and, second, be cause there is in Mexico a large and important Spanish colony. In Mexico City the Spaniards have one of the finest clubs In the world and un doubtedly it is a center of great in fluence and of political activity. Spanish influence is not favorable to Mexican-American friendship. "German influence, strongly anti American also, works while we sleep. | and very powerfully, through those trade channels which the Germans had so fully organized before the war began and which we had so utterly neglected. Many of these have real political significance. The Spaniards and the Germans both understand Mexico and we do not?nor do we try to. "The English, also, understand the Mexicans. Undoubtedly the British are doing what they can in a quiet, diplomatic way to secure all they can of the tremendous opportunities in oil. timber and other business. In such matters England's vast Invest ments and concessions make her very strong, indeed. "And there is still another influence in one way or another not favorable to the United States?that of the Japanese. The United States should not Ignore this. "Japan's interest in Mexico is nat ural. We will assume that the con ference will not entirely settle the Pacific question. Japan's desires are well known. She feels that the United States is her only rival. And every year, through the developments of communications and transportation, the shores of Mexico come hundreds of miles nearer to. those of Japan. The Japanese are developing aircraft. They have great wireless stations. _ "Their foothold in Mexico already Is very grpat. They are encouraging the development of several ports of the Mexican Pacific coast. These are Manzanillo, in Sinaloa. just below the tip of Lower California, and Acupulco. I have not visited that coast." * * * * WJTR. FANKHAUSER disclaimed any knowledge of a Japanese railway project to span Mexico from one of these ports to the gulf. I have heard of it, however. "No real student of the situation can conceive any reason for America's indifference to Mexico other than sheer Inertia. We have the richest country In the world lying just to south of us. It easily could be built into a great bulwark against every enemy and a source of splendid wealth, honestly gained, and carrying with it, as its best part, a fine friend ship; but instead of making it such a bulwark we have kept it as a grow ing menace ever since the day of Diaz's flight. "Kindly interest is that which Mex ico would wonderfully appreciate and quickly respond to. That would be quite different from Interference and very different from domination. "We talk about Mexico illiteracy. What have we, who are so proud of our achievements and our helpfulness, ever done to help her In educational methods? It is astonishing! We helped Japan; we have helped India and Africa. We spend millions every year In China to help education; we have spent millions on the famine sufferers of Russia and of China. Dur ing the years wfhlch followed the revo lution dreadful famine spread In Mexico. There were times when dead refugees were taken out of every rail way train arriving at Vera Cruz. Men. women and children, dead of starva tion, would be seen upon the station platforms as these trains passed with their dead and dying. Not one penny that I ever heard of was contributed Iby Americans to help this suffering. Nor has Mexico ever made an appeal tp urn. When the European nations? A N American Banker s Surprising Report of Financial Condition of the Country?In a ! Few Months the Republic Has Redeemed All Paper Money and Is Now on a Gold Basis. The New Government's Ingenious Plan? Will Begin Now to Clear Off All Foreign Obliga tions. . G. K. FRANKHAL'SER, AMERICAN BANKER, WHO HAS Jl ST RETI'H.NED FROM A LONG TOIR OF INSPECTION IN MEXICO. even those who fought our soldiers, j filling distant graves with fine Ameri can lads?found themselves hungry | after the war ended, they organize appeals to us with an earnestness and ingenuity unparalleled in the histor> I of scientific begging. The Mexicans, as sorely suffering, made no appeal j whatever. These are good things for Americans to think about. "Personally. I believe it hurts a Mexican to starve to death as much as it hurts an Austrian. Personally. I am as sorry for a dying Mexican baby as I am for one who gasps and Struggles for its fleeting breath in Russia. There has been something fundamentally wrong about our a tude toward Mexico. "We go to Eu rope. to the. near east and.the far east, pouring out our money and our ef fort among crude and uncouth peo pie, with the thought that we are building for the future, helping to create new nations. We yearn to help When it comes to Mexico, foi no reason I can believe is *ound^ we sav 'Oh that is Mexico, and always wi? be Mexico-a hopeless undertak e-There is material for development in Mexico, human and otherw ise. of a worth to be found, perhaps in no Cher country in the ?ld_Jhe blame is not entirely ours. Mex co is unfortunate in the possession of in credible wealth which may be ex tracted. and may forthwith, without manufacture, be carried off by those who'seize or buy at lowest market price the right of exploitation. It is the sort of wealth which most at tracts the predatory, ruthless busi ness man who at one time possessed enormous strength in the United States. * * * * ?.TtifEXICO gets no benefit whatever, IVI other than the employment of labor and some .slight taxation, from the 1 oil and gold and other minerals which (foreign business men extract from her I treasure chambers and carry away. If the little tax which Mexico im poses seems high, these foreign busi ness men complain to their own gov ernments about it. and those govern ments?this has been particularly true of ours-frown fiercely upon Mexico, .endeavoring to decrease even her| I small revenue. | "It seems a little sad. almost pa-, thctic. when one thinks of it in this way. After all, these . natural re-j sources are the richest things that Mexico possesses*, and the tax is all that she can ask for them. ?Mexico is helpless in more ways I than one. These resources are of a 'nature which requires 'big business j effort, which Mexico cannot supply Only in the last decade, under the I leadership of such men as Judge I Gary. Charles Schwab and others, has I big business been willing to give any I share to those who have been lb chief sources of wealth even w.th.n our own borders. _ "Some 'big business men now real ize that it is not their function mere v to make money for themselves and their Shareholders, but that they are I on earth particularly to do big, con "trucUve work. A little of this spirit has got into American bi^usiness #nwn in Mexico, but it has reacnea fh^re late and time will be required ere it can overcome the nettles o suspicion and' distrust which have been grown from the seeds sown by the ruthless exploiters of bygone American oA interests In Mexico ?hav^been short-sighted beyond any which I can find, even if the matter be -s.trrrndjrdthe'.tin teXnT^rausTreveale4 the great achievement which .Mexico has placed to her credit w.thln recent i8 Mexico incompetent, un -U to loo* after herself., without business ability, devoid of r/ally ma ture sense of responsibility?" lie asked, apparently amused that fool ish Americans should have been mis- ; led into such a wrong conception 01* | the facts. "Let me tell you tlie short story of the one superb, incomparable piece of governmental finance which has come to light during all these recent years, when the governments of near ly all the world have been trying by new methods and by old to meet bi zarre, fantastic, dreadful financial sit uations. It is Mexico's. | "Mexico has developed and has j benefited by financial genius such as is not on the,records for any other country on the surface of the earth during recent years. She has gone through as many years of war as any country in the world. She has had famine, pestilence, stagnation and destruction to combat with, j Through these disasters she resorted to a paper currency which became all I but worthless. Where is her currency now? Almost at par. for it is gold and only gold! Accomplished in a year! While even the British pound lias been down. Show me a record which is com parable with this. * * * * a A XI> lias this been brought about through the assistance of Amer ica or anybody else? It has not. Xo one has helped Mexico. She has done this wonder by herself. Mexican money fluctuates but little. It is practically as stable as our own. "Everything considered, Mexico is paying off her debts with an amazing speed, although she is naturally criti cised for not paying off the coupons on her external bonds. Let us ex amine, very briefly, the whole situa tion. "It is true that her bond interest has been in default since 1914. She was not in the world war, but on ac count of internal disturbances and the position of neutrality which she sought to maintain she suffered dire conse quences from, it, unlike some other neutrals. "There, again, was tragic evidence of our American neglect of leader ship which was easily within our grasp. We had let it go to the Ger mans. In Mexico, while the war waged overseas, there was always a powerful, alert German group ready for action at any time. Mexico wa3 continually threatened by this group and the American government offi cials were aware of it. For some strange reason there was not the slightest invocation of the Monroe doctrine in this matter, although it might well have been justified. The present administration in Mexico is just a year old. It has been a strange year the world over, especially in financial matters. As it has dragged its unique length along, Europe has issued paper money by the ton. "The Mexicans already had been at it. The present administration, the government of Obregon, inherited over $250,000,000 of almost worthless scrip from the government which went be fore. It will seem like a fairy tale or worse when I tell you that the gov ernments of Europe, old and trained and thought to be the cleverest on earth, might well turn to Mexico to study her procedure In this matter. Those 250 millions of depreciated scrip today have been redeemed and utterly destroyed. And Mexico is on a gold basis. "Probably not one per cent of all the people who should know, in all the outside world, h^ve heard of this unparalleled achievement. "Toward the last days of the Car ranza administration paper money had been issued in literally carload lots, which were added to other carload lots already issued by him and by others. The retirement of this vast amount of paper jnoney while the balance of the world was keeping every printing press that it could seize at work in printing more was one of the great financial achieve ments of the human race. It was done very quietly and with the impo si 11 on of no burden upon Mexican citizens or Mexico's creditors. "I won't go into details, but today \hat money has been all redeemed and wiped from the surface of the map It was a stroke of genius, and put Mexico upon her feet as if by magic Today the Mexican peso quotes ai 48.25. its normal value being SO cent*. "While this tremendous thing ha bfeen in progress, Mexico has mad' no new debts. She has paid cash?ii: coin?for everything which slje ha bought, either outside or at home. All bills in Mexico of every sort, larg and small, must be paid in actual gold or silver, with the amount of silver to be tendered limited. "Today Mexican business is more definitely and completely on a gold basis than that of the United States has ever been at any moment in our history. * * * * top of this achievement is an other?the / accumulation of a considerable gold fund to be used in any plan of refinancing which may be decided on or for the taking up of coupons. "During the various revolutions which for so long a period kept Mex ico in turmoil the banks were looted almost to a single institution of every dollar of their currency. I'nder the plan which now is working out. which is indeed in process of accomplish ment. every cent ??f this will be re turned to them. They are being paid ha< k these losses at the rate of 10 per cent per month. I cannot say ex actly where this process is at pres ent. but it soon will be completed. There are not many more monthly payments to be made. "Mexican money was as sad a year ago as Russian money is today. Mex ican money is today as good as that of the United States. Yet we call the Mexicans incompetent! With the world all shot to pieces. Mexico has been doing these things, and in a single year has gone a long way to ward working out of the woods. "The present government is con stantly at work on larger plans which without much delay will accomplish tin entire financing of the nation's budgets, external and interna!, and which wi?l care for any and every claim of indi viduals or nations for all damages arising out of ten years of revolu tion. Mexico's credit, when these things are done, will be among th? gilt-edged credits of the world. "Thr* only man who eventually will suffer will be the Mexican. If he has lost through revolution, he must grin and bear it. He has no claim against his government for devastated crops, cattle driven off. burned buildings any damage whatsoever. One of the contentions of the present American administration was that there must be a 'mixed claims commission.' on which all the creditor nations should be represented. | "Several months ago President i Otoregon created such a commission and invited all the nations involved to send their representatives. All : except the United States. England and France did as he susgested. England and France are holding off. waiting i for the United States. We hold off because we require other things of Mexico. * * * * ?t\ spite of the fact that we ha\? not co-operated. Mexico has gone I ahead and made her pl..ns. As soon I as we will intimate our willingness to give her recognition, she will plunge ! at once into the task. Indeed, she will do this as soon as we will indi cate that we will co-operate in any reasonable way. The debts are large in aggregate, though not large enough to sound impressive, now that ears have be come accustomed to the mighty fig ures mentioned in connection with the European debts which have been less adroitly handled. "In all. the claims amount to some where between J65.000.000 and $S'\ 000.000. Mexico is anxious to dis charge all this indebtedness, and is | quite able to do so. She only waits I our word. Prominent bankers of the I United States are now at work upon 'a plan for financing a bank of issue, i which materially will aid Mexico In i deed, it will solve the problem of her j internal finances, for she probably could not continue indefinitely on a cash gold standard, which is a nui sance to every' one concerned. To carry coin about for large transaction! is most inconvenient. "Plans also are being worked out ("for the funding of all Mexican exter nal loans. Nothing but the handicap of the American refusal to accord her i recognition prevents the instant exe cution of these plans. 'Hvhen recognition shall be granted, Mexico, with her immense resources, will have no difficulty in securing at a reasonable rate and on favorable terms all the financial aid which she may need "Some morning we shall wake out of our sleep on this side of the inter national boundary and find that Mex ico is one of the soundest nations in the world financially (Copyright, lttti. by Edward M?r?ii?ll.> The Unstable Moon. 'p'HE celebrated observatory at Greenwich, the place from which we reckon longitude, was foundoa ay Charles II in 1675, mainlv for the purpose of investigating the move ments of the moon in the interest* at navigation. Although in the inter vening two and a half centuries as tronomers have worked at the prob lem, the moon has not yet become en tirely amenable to their mathematics. In a recent report of the observa tory at Greenwich attention is invited to the increasing deviation between the calculated position of the moon in the sky and its real position as shown by the Greenwich observations. The deviation Is said lately to have been growing in a serious manner. The error last year was more than twelve ttmes as large as tlic error twenty years ago. and the average annual increase during the two dec ides has amounted to half a second of arc in longitude. The reason that astronomers have failed In getting ixact results from calculations based on the dynamical laws of gravitation is possibly the existence of some at tractive force that they have not dis ?overed, although the result may also >e afTected by the true shape of the earth, which still awaits accurals determination.