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JOHN BUFF IN OFFICE HOURS.
By Horace Townsehd "If -I only had the value of all the time that is wasted in London in a week, I* should retire from busi ness." 5O SAID Charles M. Schwab to me once in the Carlton Hotel, after he had fumed and fretted away ten minutes In a futile attempt to "get" somebody over the telephone, snd In a sentence embodied a very general conception on the part of the average American concerning English ways and English business methods. Yet the increasing number of Ameri cans who have actually been brought Into contact with English business men in their own country know that Mr. Schwab's hasty summary, though con taining part of the truth, does not con tain the whole of It. Now a partial truth !s sometimes more erroneous than a direct misstatement. Thus the In itial mistakes that are often made by those who have enlisted In that Ameri can army of commercial occupation which Is Invading the whole world are generally due to similar hasty general izations. During a ten years' residence in Lon don, as representative of one or another big American newspaper. It was my lot to be brought Into contact with a con stant succession of these scouts of American Industry and to talk with them, oftentimes confidentially, of their plans and schemes for Introducing American methods or American manu factures. I sympathized with them In their difficulties and . in time came to see with their eyes the obstacles they had overcome. These may be summed up In a phrase — racial differences. The newly arrived American, too, often for sreta that the English, though they speak the same language as the Ameri cans, are to all Intents and purposes as much foreigners as are the French and Germans. Ho expects to find in yogue the system and methods of his own country and it takes him no little time and occasion! him no little 01s appointment to find out his mistake. It was. If I remember aright. Colonel Hunslcker, who for many years acted as Andrew Carnegie's personal repre sentative In London, who first put Into concrete form a thought which must have occurred to many visiting Ameri cans. "Business negotiations," said he, "between representatives of the two nations are generally initially ham pered by the falsity of the precon ceived notions on either side. And. these are the notions: The' American is convinced . that the Englishman does not know the meaning of the word business; the Englishman, that the American has not a thought for any thing but money making and literally worships the almighty dollar." \ " As I have said, both of these gen erally believed in ideas are erroneous. In the first place the average English man Is an excellent man of business. I am not talking, of course, of the very email fry— the petty tradesman, for Instance— but Of the leading men in the financial and industrial world. My experience with these teaches me. that the majority; of them hare elevated business methods into a positive sci ence and that It is difficult to find men more ready of apprehension of difficult business problems. They are men of the world, too, and quick to read and estimate correctly their fellowmen. Now, as to . the common English mis take In dealing with Americans. Con trary to the opinion held by some of our own countrymen, . we ' Americans are, as a rule, not money-lovers. Money to an American Is merely a symbol, the chips in his game of life, as it were, and so long as he wins the game he is really, indifferent as to whether, the chips stand for cents, for dollars or for millions. But he Is not .fond of money in the same way. that the men of some other nationalities are. Nowf the\ English reverence for money, as money, is a very observable national trait. Mark Twain has some where commented on "that mixture of awe and reverence and heat which burns In a Frenchman's eye when It fall* on another man's centime." I may say In passing that this succinct phrase displays Mark's insight into national characteristics marvelous ly welU but I may add that the Englishman stops short at this, though, aa a rule; he 1b prone to take off his hat somewhat reverently at the sight of a ten pound note. It is this. probably that leads to the exaggerated Importance bestowed on capital in . negotiations ,witn : Eng ilshmen. On this : subject, I can quote the remarks of a well known American Inventor of textile machinery, who came to London some years ago in or der to place one of his most note worthy patents on the English market. "I cannot help being struck," sdid he; "by the difference between the point of view of English and Amorican cap italists. If an American man of means is asked to exploit a new machine or even a new xaea ,with hifl . money, n« recognizes very, frankly that without the new machine or; the ; hoxv Idea: his money, would earn him but the lowest market rate of .- Interest" \Ho ;\u25a0 is, there fore, cheerfully content to allow a fair division of the profits, so fritich per cent for the capitalist, so much per cent for the inventor, -and not a vast difference between the two .; percentages/' either. The Englishman, oh the contrary, shuts his eyes tightly -to every View of tho situation but one. , ."Ydui" invention is extremely clever," lie says' in effect, "or your idea is as excellent as it is novel, but what good is; either^ hiachinor or idea to. you without myj nibhey? Not the slightest In the "world;.my dear. sir, and therefore, my7 money/; wants 7 per cent of the profits and : if machine or idea gets a clear. s per cent you may think yourself extremely . lucky." Speaking generally of the business rec titude :of , the \u25a0 average Englishman, my . American acquaintance's with very few exceptions maintain that he Is no bet te?:: but no worse than the average American. In one particular only does his commercial morality differ. He :1s not- wont to consider himself bound morally, es he certainly is not legally, by a mere verbal contract, unsupported by corroborative evidence. "Let's have it flown in black and white." is his favorite phrase at the conclusion; of -a bargain; When, too, he has; it In his beloved black and white, he is not happy until, he h&s taken the letter or memorandum of agreement, or .what not, to Sbmerset House to be stamped. This is always, apt to puwleih© new ly- arrlyed- American. Ho soon learns, however,- that no agreement can be come evidence In a court of l&W (except upon the payment of a heavy fine) un less within a few days of its execution it has been taken to the Inland Rev enue Office at Somerset Houso In the Strand, and there on payment of a fee of twelve cents stamped with the' Gov ernment stamp. . y ' v V\u0084; To t-eturn to Mr. Schwab's comment on'-the -time that is dally, wasted in! London. He meant,' of course, the tlmei that Is squandered by business men in the transaction Of business deals,' and' was thinking doubtless, of the fact that; a "deal' 1 which would in New ;Ybrk be ! closed inside of twenty- four hours 1 tnay< ihiLOnflon take three weeks ot> more 1 to carty through to its conclusion. This' arises,. however; not as In Latin coun tries from sheer jndolencobut, from the] national caution and instinctive dislike < to those i."shap" judgments which are c aaj the very/ breath \u25a0 of : life to the hust- ' : liuif. /pushing American. ;• Nevertheless ! the EngHßh are accomplished masters, 6f>the arCJof time-wasting. As a ris-'* ,ti6n',they /do'not seem to have realized' the" truth jof the adage, that ''Time .is 1 niioney," Jand so in every rank of the' •community; time is wasted unf emitting- [ ly and consistently from daylight until , 'dark on every working day. of the year.' ; The. very first '\u25a0 lesson, according to 1 sharpiwltted American visitors, which 1 England- must learn unless she; wants! to fall hopelessly in thatrear, ,Is how to appraise correctly the value of time. Let ;me % make a concrete \ instance. When tha. underground railroad,^ fani^ -iliarly known as "the tube,"; was put! Into operation in London its' manage-, mint, : which included several '-<\u25a0 Can* i adlan s • and one American, determined ' to introduce the "one-fare-any-dis- ' tahce" ; system, : at that time > unknown ! In London. I was' discussing the' novel, move ;. -with James Dredge, editor' 6f; J Engineering, who as English com 'mlssloner at the, Chicago Exhibition is not .unacquainted' with American methr ! ods.' "I: am afraid It won't do,": said • he, "our people will pay ; twopence (four, cents) to" go the entire distance, but they will: leave tho line alorio" for [ short Journeys. Whj*, they will reason,! pay f twopence to ride from the" Bank of , England to Chancery Lane 'when an' omnibus will .take you the same joiir-' ney for one penny?" "Because," said I, \ "the omnibus takes V fourteen minutes ] to make the journey and- the under-, \u25a0 ground will ; d 0... it . in ; six," "My dear < sir," , answered Mr. \u25a0 Dredge, f "do you 1 • imagine '.that any ordinary "English man will pay.l'.ajpehny.tto/isavQ eight] minutes?" ; ; It never occurs ,to tho clerk . that he can put more than the' value i of ; a penny Into the employer's pocket by; utilizing the ' eight minutes 'to ad vantage. CONVERSATIONS WITH CASEY HE TELLS ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO TO-DAY. By Ben Blow i^/i*\^ East street it , was," he said, *. I I "} h r 9*ti*t day ."wh iri I saw a V^ face coinin' tobrds me that I - . . knew an* the man wearin' th' face kemup an' looked hard at nie. *I know' y' i',,' he says, 'an' I don't- know y*. Y'f face Is fmliiar,' he says, 'but I can't place ut.' " "(Veli, y* ' know ut,' I sayi to him. •Manny's the; time y* lookt down at ut from th' poop \u25a0> deck ay wan lv Jini Hardy's shlop wagglns In St. Loos.' ".'Sorrow th' day I ' left there,' he says. .'But who are y'?' . " 'V' rcm»tnbef,' I says/ 'wan day whin iy'thrled.to'vot* under.; a Dootch name lin th' twihty-flff ward against Garge i Welnbrlnnerr [^ ," 'I do,', he says. .'lt .wuz a swift i chase y' v give me that day, Casey, fr [i^mind y! now.' v \u25a0::'. . . , : " 'Gaxge^wiiz me frind,'. i says; 'arid **»'; b'longed Elsewhere whin th. rayfofjhers wui thryin' to make a knighf lv th* can iv him.',: • \u25a0;' '\u25a0<:'"; '.; .. v-'VTwas so,' he says, "but .what brings y'' here'? 1 \u25a0.'•'• " 'Harrlman,' • I says, /ah* a rat-tan sleeping car wit a cookstove in wan md \u25a0 an", no shirnokih room in th* other.' ,;'V An> d^iy\ like in?* he says.. \u25a0"1 do,'. I fiays. ; • "But th'/towri's . down an* out," he says. "Ain't It?" , -. .V.- .'; .j'/First y1:y 1 : say It. is," I says to him. VAn'Jtlien'y' asks ain't; it. Phwat kind oVtalk lß'that^Which ? d i /y*:mto«?| i i '.?'Bbf .•'..lt thim," he says. "Kin ' yV answer?'.' \\u25a0 . \u25a0 ;,"\u25a0' ' . _ :;;; 'T' talk ? like a cuttl m\ fish." I says. '•y,; ieut. Wit' hbdcafrlers gettln 1 slvin dollari \ an" six bits a mlnhlt an' brick layerg; goin' f work ; at tin twlntyHn th' mirnin' in tootle waggihsi howj kin y' ask sich redicklus quischunar 1 /•But,whi;it buildup agirirrhe says. "Doe* a "little dog : run down 'the street I anY holler whin r' somebody pins a can ; on him V. I\u25a0, says. ~_ .-, . '"\u25a0 " * . iJ;it^will,'Vl;Bays.; ; >AnV^d'- y'; il^e th' : town?;' he /says, \ "an*/ are; y*. stayin" here?" [' "an* lam. Rome sat f on "'. iivlri hills % : ay y' b'lave .ih' dlck i shinaries.^but San Franchisky sets on I slyintyr-slvln: ; : Her " right ; f ut.'i •I \ sayi, > [ "la 'oii \ th'l: neck . ; of ! th'^ Japanese^ : Her.' I left f lit is" oniecidedibetwane Abie an' , th' Ma^f. . Wit* her left hand i she picks [thy nuggets outj'av -th* teeth Ivth*- I masthodbns ly> Alaaky. : Wit* • her : right 1 hand ; B^^ howjds : th* latchstring ?lv I th' > Pan Imy o'naL ;r She^ winks at",Thayd6re ; Roosevelt with r good- humored /iriduU < BTence, to say ; nawthin* 5 jyi terror, 'ah' I her s ; lap ?is full < iv^ concrete * an', : bricks »an' mortherian*' steels an'.-*in her sock she has a roll that' d chokejt bull ili pharit befoor he cd gag wanst." "V* like, th' town?" he *ays "l do," I says. "Have y* been out f the bache?" , "I have not/ he say*. M I Just kera -in from Alamiddy on a \u25a0cow." -.. "Cfout there," I says. "Y'll find the Sutro baths, the biggest in th* wurld.* Y'll find the Pacific Oceati* th' biggest in th' world. Go in to some atin* place an*'ate somethlh"; y'll find the prices th' biggest in th' world fr what y' get. Beyond' the land are th' sale rocks. Whin th' sales see a Japan ea boat comln' in they shin up on th* rocks, an' bark diflanco at it. Whin army friridly nation sails by they bark, too, but they bark f r SanFranchlsky like th* rest ay th' inhabitants ay th' town. Whin y* want a change an* go back f the town y* find y' have no . change left.* Th' United Railroads packs y' Into th' cars *o tight that If a dip don't frisk y* y'r money melts from the heat Qlfr off a Sutter-street car at Flilmbre. -Walk iii th' middle ,_of the street, th*. St. Loos waddle is too slow; f r th' town. Se« what y* see. ,rFine fat girls with paches In-' their _cheeks ah 1 tail feathers ay ostriches^h their hats pafadin* iip.an* «low>i wit' men that has more money in The San Francisco Sunday Call their clothes than y* lver heard of. Y» see miners an* mlllinalres. y* &cc cow punchers and counter hoppers, y* sea stinnygraphers out wit* th* boss, y* sea Jonnnies wif hopeful cmiles googlin' at the girlies, and ivery wan iv them is at pace wit' the wurld. An* why is It? Kin y* tell? T* can't. 'Tls becua th* town i» sloppy wit' money. Strate car e'nductors get ninety-two dollar* an* sixty-wan clnts a mont, besides what sticks to the bell cord. Motormen git more, becu* they have no bell cord to sift nickels wit' an* th* United Rail roads don't need more, fr they have It all. V* go down Markfit street an' th' hammer an' th' saw holler at y* from ivery, side. .T* go down Sansome street an' y* git mired in th* mud. T tak» th' ferry 1 fur* Alamlddy an' y* think y'r in Philadelphy an* don't git off th* boat, havin* gone asleep. Comln' back y» see a Chines* lady wif green glass ear rings, howldin* the back ay her throusies off to wan slda an* playin* that she's all the samee 'like Melikin gurL Iv-ry wan Is happy, lvry wan has money exdpt them that plays th' wan-best-bet-a-day dope books fen' J'y is unc'nflned." "T* like th* town, thin," he say*. "Well may y* say that," I says. "At there's bin wan minnit lr th' day or night whin I ain't had a good time I'm unconscious of it. V* go into a resthy raht fra thirty-five' cint dinner an* y* get a bottle lv Dago red thrun in. Th' man next y* la a Ylddlaher eatin* fried ham. Across is a German man eatin' chili-con-carne. Beyant him is a Harp eatin* ' sourkrout an' the waiter is a Frog Eater which wants to know will y* condisclnd ' t' have a p'tit y sooson o* pig wif y'r'eggs ur will y* hay« thim straight, up. But Harp, Tiddlahor. Dootch' ur Frog Eater, wan an* all they're fur San Franclsky first, la3t an' all th* time/ from th", calf V th' tanyard an' thin "back on to th* fut an' that's why th* town is buildin* up." "Isut bulldin* upr* he says. \u0084 "Have y* eyes." I says, "or did th« Jarrln' ay th thrucks y* rod* here on separata y'r lntellicta from th' plao* y' thinkr ' "I have eyes," ha says, "an* I have • Impty stomick an* a tired body. Have y* the price ay a beer an' a bed?" "Wanst only," I says -to him. Th' mornin' finds y* gettln' work." 'I'll do ut," he says."an* ay I git work I'll hang to It Ilka a Justice ay th' Pact* does to his job. But wan thing." ha says "kin I get. a Job?" "Y'r a plate glass setter," I say 3. "an* plate glass is beln' ate np by the acre. answer- it y'rself.y go out t* Fill, more strata as' tak« & Fillraor 9 car souf. T* get off at Waller an* y* go tf this, number where there's a hopeful widdy lady lives an' takes boorders. T* \u25a0 slape there decint an' sober th* night, rise early an' hunt work, an' thin y* come back t' me \u25a0 some time wit* corns on y'r hands an' I'll tell y* more about th' town that wuz shuck up wan year ago." >jfflßßa!S