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Sow-Bui Locked Up forMonh With Lunatic?
The Poet John Boyle O'Reilly's Daughter, Authoress and Traveler, Tells of the Sights and Scenes in the Mad House* and How She Escaped -jp>?t f\jt ?tjT AM CODTlncea th?t tole *om?n '? I perfectly sane and I therefore di ?*' rect that she be discharged from custody and allowed her freedom " Judge Hubert F. Wagner, sitting In the Supreme Court of New York City, deliv ered this decision the other day, and Miss Elisabeth Boyle O'Reilly, daughter of th? famous Irish poet and patriot of Boston, the late John Boyle O'Reilly, stepped forth a free woman. Miss O'Reilly had endured a year aad a half of confinement in a private fhadhouse In Massachusetts. Finally she was able to make her escape and made her way to New York City. She was piir/ued. ar? rested and an effort made to lock her up again in an asylum. After due considera? tien Jud?.? Wagner decided Uuit Mitt O'Reilly was sane and should not be restrained of her liberty. Elisabeth Boyle O'Reilly le a woman of Intellectual achieve ment, a graduate of Radcllffe . College and an authoress -of es? ' tabllshed standing. She wrote "Heroic Spain'' and is now en- ? gaged In writing a book on "The Cathedrals ot Europe" soon to he published. Miss O'Reilly Is a sister-in-law of Professor Ernest Hocking, who holds a chair of pilllosophy In Harvard University, and she also has a sister, Mary Boyle O'Reilly, who lives in New York. Anybody who has ever visltad an insane asylum or has seen the faces at the window of a madhouse or has read Charles ? Read'* powerful novel "Hard Cash," deal ing with the Insane, will wonder how a sane person can be locked up for a year and a half with lunatics and still retain her balance of mind. But Elisabeth Boyle O'Reilly has endured the ordeal and la ?till sane. Miss O'Reilly nan a ted her dis tressing experiences In an interview as follows: "I had done war work abroad, and some of my experiences seemed beyond belief a? I told them to my friends In Boston, who hid never heard the sound of shot and shell nor seen Che miseries of a field hotnltal. Particularly, I think, some of AT experiences with German spies aroused their incredulity?fend the first thing ! knew I was In an automobile and on my way to a private asylum In a Mas sachusetts town near Boston. "For eighteen long, miserable months I was confined In that private madhouse. "Fortunately. I bad read Charles Read's stirring novel of madhouse life, and as I drove up to the square gray house I re called bis words, 'Chained sane among the Insane! Who can palat the agonised soul in a mental situation so ghastly? Think ot it, men and women. It may be your turn to-morrow.' "I knew that I was sane, but that no hedy would believe it. Tbe rery fa?\that T ?ira? entering an asylum for diseased minds was proof enough to doctors, nurses, attendants, patients, visitors, to ev#*?ybody, of course, ray mind was dis eased. ? realised that tbe slightest un usual gesture, peculiarity of voice, inclina tion of the head, glance of the eye, eccen tricity of word or action would be balled as (be stigma of Insanity. "I determined that whatever befell me I would never lose my self-control. I knew that if I did I would givo my Jailers tbe opportunity fo register me as violently ?raty. I made a vow as I entered that awful building that I would be eoel, coo trolled. watchful. By kijaplng this tow 1 saved my sanity and perhaps saved my life. "I was led into a large hall where ? big. ferocious-looking woman met me, not as a gentlewoman should be mot, but as a keeper of a dog kennel would meet a hew dog. Qlandng at the memorandum con cerning my supposed delusion she looks?! at me sharply and said, 'You thought yon were being shadowed In Paris.* and tien. with a sneer, added, ? am as crasy against Roche spies as you are.* "A loud guffaw greeted this cruel Joke from a grodp of. ooarse-looklng, 111 man nered men and women. They wen tbe at tendante. "But while I realised what a contempti ble thing tt wa? for tbe matron to take ad vantage of a kelpie?? and supposedly '?>4fblemlnded new arrival to make a Joke t>n tho patlent'e supposed delusion, yet I realised that here waa ray first test of my I own sanity and self-control. I did not stare at her. I did not resent the brutal jest. I mads no comment I smiled very faintly and bowed slightly with dignity, realizing the wicked irony of the situation. "For the first two months I lived tn a small room almost like tho life of one of the Siam ese twine. Not tor a moment was I permitted to be alone. I am a small woman, weighing scarcely 130 pounds, and they picked out for me as my keeper a bilge nurse who weighed more then 200. if t ventured to move an inch from her sida she roared at me with the voice of a bull, lb? made my day? miserable by this close and coarse ?association. "And th? night? were won?. The encr?. moue nurse slept in a amali bed that touched mina And she snored horribly. The rasping sound from her open mouth kept me awake. Twenty times a night I would waken ber. nut she would shake off my hand, fall off to sleep again and the n.ucous sound? continued. "Imagine a woman accustomed to tbe refinement? of a good American home and of a quiet scholar's life in Paris doomed to thla constant companionship of a coarse creature who could not be shaken off. With her I must abare my meal?, my room and even my scant allotment of oxygon to breath, ?for tbe windows were never al lowed to bo widely opened. If, wearied of her perspiring balk, I moved further away from her on the veranda or on tbe narrow .tath where we walked, she would scream at me, 'Come back here beside me or ?: make you sorry for it ' ? "The arrival of a new patient waa al ways attended by silent mystery or som?? dreadful outbreak. For instance, there was tbe impressive looking elderly man who Bteppod majostloally from the auto mobile ami walked beside a keeper ?p the steps to the veranda. He even paused to admire the view. " '!? the gentleman In the gray suit a physicianV I asked the nurse who brought lay dinner. " 'No,' she answered. 'He is a New York millionaire who has come up here tor a lit tie Tmmt: "Yet the second night after his arrival frightful sounds issued from his room tie had a baok room aero*? the hall from mine. Tbe eeund? waro as ef ? struggle of two powerful persons There were several hoarse shouts. A sound a? though someone bad been foiled to the floor. Then sllen? ? 1 covered my head with the bed clothes and lay there trembling. "She ?prang u? t? the car and Sang her thin arms a bore her head. 'Unel?.' sh? ?hrtakad. 'I must have my uncle 1 O my God 1 Call any usila' "Th? ear spun swiftly around the drive and hack again to the? ?atranca. Still take girl steed up in the ?tar and ?creamed. "'Tho?? pattale 1* she cried. 'Tho.? fmamm at the window*!, O ?aaleI Und.! Und.? Twehr? times the ear drove around the building? before the girl's fear ?ul??id?d ??nough to permit her to be taken ?atto the villa at ih? bach of the bava?? ia which I ?layed." "Toward dawn the sounds were repeat?*?!? but this time a man's voice was raited in feat* dad entreaty. And again there was the im pact of e failing body. And again an awesome silence. There was a week of this. Tly?ee sounds wcurred by da*/ and by night from the room In which the New York' millionaire slept. Then I heard It no more. "? dan't hear the millionaire ?any more,' I said to th? nurse who carried in my tray one morning. "'No,' she answered with a grin, 'he's gone to a quieter place.' "'You don't mean he la dead?' I asked. "She ?hook her head. Tho Worcester Insane Asylum. I thought, snd shuddered. "Daring my confinement tho automobil?? that brought patients from the Newtown station swung down the drive on? after noon. A alight young girl,' fair-haired ami with etqslsltely regular features, na? wedged between a doctor apd a nurse. I shall never forget the look In hor great brown ere? as she lifted them to the Win dows. I was staring from the window. Kvery other pstlsat must have been look ing from hla or hot window st sound of the approaohlng ear. It vu our habit? The girl must have had a flash of under standing. Bbe sprang Op in the oar and flung her thin arms above her head. "'ITncIe!' ?h? shrieked. ? must have my unc??! Oh. my Ood, call my uncle?' "The ear spun swiftly around the drive und hack again to the entrance. Still tho Misa O'Reilly's Boyle ??? ?? lni?ra?ttasa?! ?Oalar? Hrnnir*. lar. / Misa Eli r. bet h Boyle 0'Re.Uy; Who Wan Shut Up in a Pri vi? ta? Inaane Asylum. girl stood up in the car and Statar, M?a? Mary screamed. O'Reilly "Thtyse people 1 ' she cried. Those tac?? at the windows! Oh, uncle, uncle'' "Twelve time? the car drove around the buildings before the tzlrl's fear subsided enough to permit her to be taken Into tho villa at the back of the house In which I stayed. I never knew what became of her, but I hoard that she had died in a torturing paroxysm. "The nurse? wore, for the most part, coarse, unimpressionable creatures. If one came to us who was not Insensible to the horrors about her she was soon eliminated. Steel-nerved, hard-hearted, cold-eyed women were the type that chiefly survived the frequent changes in the Institution. In the year and a half that I was there 14" nurse? passed through the funnel-like Institution The gentler, kinder ones, who listened to our stories ?.real Britain Righi, Iwrre?. i vanished after a week or two. Some of those who remained had nothing to recom mend them save the fact that they were willing to work In that purgatorial place for M a week. I am describing these Jail ers of ours that you may understand it was an unusual ajase that caused one of them to turn pale. Yet one of them did when she told me whose sobbing it was that came to cae if rom the room that was separat ed from mine by a bathrooan. "'Poor little thing!' said this tende r ? hearted nurse. 'She Is a little, old. white fa al red mother. Her son brought ber down here from New Hamr> Jshlre In his car. She ara? heavily drugged, and the effect of the drug is beginning to wear off ' 'That neighbor, invisible, was like a lost soul pro testing against b er Luciferean tate. Though lit tle and weak her, voice seemed ab normal; and It bad marvelous endurance She screamed almost con tin untisi y "'What can J doT Help me ont of here! Help me out of her? I' "When she had exhausted herself and everyone else within bearing her voice would trail away Into a piteous little series of moans. Then would come a brief quiet "For five months I had to endure this screaming neighbor. ft ? r voice grew faint er at tbe last. One night after ?he had sobbed herself into quiet hnd t sat quiver lng with terror and sympathy I beard heavy foot step? in tbe ball. Voice? of several men. muffled thouih they were. reached my ears. I heard doors open and close and feet descending the stairs. 1 heard a door downstairs slam snd heard feet moving slowly across the veranda. 1 stared from my window. The night was inky-black, 1?a? through the darkness t saw something moving slowly and heard the faint crunching of ?ravel as by wheels. " "The little mother was quiet last night,' I remarked to the women who brought my breskfnst next morning ? 'She Is gone,' she answered. "'Where has she goneT* I Inquired "'Never you mind. Bee thet torn dont go where ah? has, that's all.' I never got an? further information about my nn ha-rpy neighbor. "At the back on the same floor with me they placed a woman who literally howled all night. She wore out a nursi s week. No nurse could stand mors than ?even dar? of her, but wa, who ware so unfortunate aa to be Imprisoned on tho same floor had to endbrc the s lee p?br eas ing howls for live months. "The Crazy Girl," by Jeanniot. "She would howl for a time and then there would be a short pause From a man across the hall would come oaths that seemed to be flung at heaven. Fror ? the larger houae at the rear came s shri". air-piercing treble. Then the voices Wi Joined in a fearful sym'phony. ? ?? heard three voices, four, five unittd ? fearful all-night din. I have never !?*. anything thet could be compared with It The sounds were unnatural, eniui I sounds, but pervading them waa soin? thing like devilish Intent. "Another of the patients, a younger ? used to delight in mimicking me. P< of light figure and nervous temperan ? ? I walk lightly Sad briskly. When ? starte ? on my walks I would hear shrieke uf laughter from the attendants on the ver anda and the patients on the grounds. Looking behind me I would see this wo man tormentor hurrying up the path after me, walking with my gait, lifting her head as I lift mine. "Trivial means were resorted to appar ently to exasperate me. I was only per mitted one napkin a week. If this were soiled the first dar of the week I had to use it the remaining six day?, t? one in whom neatness ts Inbred this is an offense. The nurses discovered this. One ?oi the coarser kind contrived to spill cocoa on it the first morning ot the week. I asked her to be careful. After that she Would fling the door open, swagger into my room, drop the tray on the table with a bang that Jostled the -dish?? and spilled m?re Cocoa and slam the door as she went oat. I, "I real I ted there was no hope for me from my friend? nor relatives. The let ters I wrote were never shswered. How could I escape ? I planned a long Urna. ' burled a cloak under the Antumn leaves and weighted it down by branches. I hid a muff in the same way, and a pair'of orarahoes and a hat. Then one afternoon I wandered out, gothered them all up, and slipped into them In the gathering dusk. I mad? my war ? not to the nearest sta tion, but the farthest one, knowing that was the last st which they would look for me. Five minute? after I reached the sta tion I boarded a train to Boston. At the station I passed the superintendent. He was doing police duty there as a volunteer while the police were on strike. Wrapped In my two cloak? Ida wearing a heavy veil I passed htm unrecognised. I took s train te Providence and thence to New York. "I had been in New York but ? short while and wa? putting the flnlahlng touches on my hook. 'The Cathedral? of Rvrop?.' which Harpers have accepted, when my sister, Mary Doyle O'Reilly, had ma arrested es s lost person My rela ? res assembled In court and asked my mmltmsnt to the psychopathic weird of Dellevue. My attorney, Mr. Foster, senior member of the firm of Foster ?ft Cutler, put his foot on the rail and said: ? protest. Your Honor. If you will release her Into our custody we will take her to our own horn?.' "Judge Robert F. Wagner permitted mc to go on perol?- In my lawyer's custody Two months later he released? me finally, eouvlncfad that I was sane. 1 am finish.?r my book which I wrote while la durance as a mad woman snd am preparing for other literary work. "Before closing thia awful chapter of my life, let mc ssy that I have relsted the nhlef Incidents of my relatives' horrtbl? mlsteke for? the benefit of others who may be threatened by e similar fste. "Th? greatest peril Is the reiterai? statement, You are Insana.' The brain mar reel before this sngceetton. The rea son may fell st last before It. I ballere there ?should be legislation which would require a public hearing of otery perso? charged with insanity"