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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 31, 1910, Image 12

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Arthur M. Allen
J »»»•-.
WHEN' Is a man drunk? Is it
\u25a0when he struggles to open his
street door with a pencil, or
when, with feet crossed and
head wagjring. ho embraces one of the
lamp posts floating around and stodgtly
waits for help? Is it when the sidewalk
Is too ?iarrow for his tortuous prail, or
when, regardless of speed limits and
heedless of motorcycle policemen, he
urges the tiiauffcui of the "joy ride" to
"turn 'er loosh, ol' foiler"?
\u25a0 Is It — is it — wli^n?
Those best qualified from personal
experience decline to open the volume
of the past. They look on the question
as too impertinent and a menace against
their freedom of aotinn — an invasion of
th^ir personal rights.
The laws of California and the or
din&ncc* of the city agd county of San
Francisco are busy dividing the ine
briates — in common parlance, the
drunks — into three classes: First, the
"fommon drunks," who under a literal
translation of the law are drunk all of
the ti^e and are classed' as vagrants:
second, those who are "drunk in a pub
lic place," meaning, literally, when they
are around tinder foot, and. third, "sim
ple drunk." a term applied to a "lady
or Rent" who has had a flirtation with
BnceJius vifhout any "serious inten
tions."
Either one of the three classes Is, un
der the law. a misdemeanor, and may
b»> punished by Imprisonment in the
county jaii for a period not exceeding
cix months. As a matter of fact, the
police judges, as agents of the blind
goddess and acting under a code of
eorunon t-fnse handed down from past
generations of police judges, even be
fore the days of Judge Campbell, let
the simple drunks go tree as soon as
their condition is normal, administer a
light fine or a heavy moral lecture to
those who admit having been drunk in
a public pluce, and, in the .event that
the charge is proved true beyond the
shadow of a doubt, sentence the com
mon drunk to a term in the county jail.
if. on the other hand, the defendant
denies that he or she was drunk in a
pus>lic place, or that he or she is a
"common drunk," the experience and
\risdoni of the woolsack must decide
the ca:*e, for, alas! the law docs not
define, the word "drunk." It docs not
cay in plain words or in any words at
ell "when is a man drunk."
So, when the law is silent, how can
the Inquiry be answered? Control of
the tongue is foraetimes taken as a
Btandard, and a London "bobby" Is
credited with requiring doubtful cases
to pronounce the words, "The police of
Leith' seize the thief," before locking
them up. If tbey did, he didn't; if they
didn't, he did.
Yet there was a mining reporter in
Goldlield who quaffed martinis while
his check was being cashed Saturday
nights ar.d sought to put himself at
ease at the dinner table afterward by
telling his wife of a club, one of the
rules of which was that a member
should turn his glass down when he
couldn't say "sarsaparilla." He was
disgusted with woman's poor apprecia
tion of wit, for his wife never smiled
In response. The next Saturday night
at dinner — after his check had been
cashed — his opinion changed. He had
taken the weather as a safe subject,
vlicn his wife interrupted with,, "Char
ley, cay sarsaparilla!"
In face of, this evidence he went back
to the ofnee ar.d wrote such a cold
bloodedly accurate report of a wildcat
inine that Its stock was swept off the
b*bard Monday morning. His tongue
alone had suffered, and this amplifies
the original question to: ?--« v
"When is a man all drunk?"
Here we get a lesson from the meas
ured speech of the Scotch. Among the
heather a man may have "had his
jnornin*." "Ye cud see he had been
tastin"," but drunk — "na. na." Still
that would be a still further amplifica
tion of the question to:
"When is a Scotchman all drunk?"
Which is going too far afield. That
no canny Scot may take offense at this
suggestion he is reminded of the Hie
land minister who reproached one of
his flock for a perennial thirst, after
this fashion:
"It's noo canny th f reckless way ye
lop up th" liquor," shaking a warning
finger at the offender. "Drink in
modeeration as I do. When you get up
in th' morn' a wee nippy or twa — na
more — to clear th' cobwebs o' sleep
fra yeer brain. Juist before ye sit
down to yeer parraitch am gude horn
o' speerits to gi' ye an apertit an' pre
pare yeer in'ards for th* brakin* o' th'
fast. Then, when ye ha' feenishit an'
pushit back fra tli' table, take, without
fail, a quid dram to aid degeestion.
'Tween then an' th' nuinday meal four
or five dreenks ta help on wi' th' work
an' maybe ta hearten ye if th* day is
chill. Take twa steef drams before th'
nuin meal, it bein' th' heaviest of th'
day needs be there must be mair pree
peration for it. Likewise take twa
mair dreenks afterwards ta aid th'
stomach.
"As th' day goes on yell be In need
o' enuich ta keep level wi" th' tasks an'
ta keep th' seestem up ta them.
"Before th' supper I allow a -wee re
laxeetion an' take maybe four nips
while th' bannock is cookin'. After
supper th' work o' th' day is done an'
it's na harm ta dreenk in neeborly
fashion till it's 9 by th' clock, when ye
should be in yeer bed. Of coorse, If
th' deescussion should be clos«, an'
yeer heedful, it's reeght ta taste later,
.but na after sunup.
"That's th' way I dreenk, Sandy, in
modeeretion, an' if yell doth' same
yersel' it'll turn ye fra th' 'thowless
fashion ye've followed lang syne."
After this it is easy to see why the
Scotchman is in a class by himself.
But to return to the primary ques
tion, still unanswered. Drunk Is a
term of reproach indicating a variance
from the requirements of society or
the laws of the land, or both. .
Society exacts that a man shall not
be a nuisance to his fellows dnd as
serts Just as emphatically that when
he Is drunk-he is at the same time a
nuisance; asserts that maudlin affection
is bad form, and that tuneless songs
disturbing the atmosphere at unusual,
hours is not art, but alcohol. Society,
however, is a fickle — shall we call her
"jade"? — and makes rules for one in
dividual which she promptly breaks
for another. "What is sauce for the
goose is sauce for the gander" is an
axiom which society heeds not, hence
we will seek knowledge elsewhere in
our anxiety to have something exact. -
Further light is thrown on the sub
ject by an anonymous verse. It was
apparently written by One Who Knows,
knowledge sticking out like a five karat
diamond from the soulful earnestness
of the lines. As originally written
they were trimmed with more forceful
expression, but this has been diluted
somewhat for the taste of the general
reader:
••When your heels bit hard
And rour head feel" queer, .
And jour thought* rise up like the foam on
beer
And your knees get weak
.*nd your voice gets strODj.
A> ;"" laugli all night at some darned fool
song:
You're drunk, by •^ks! You're; DRUNK!" -'
Unfortunately,' the political scheme
of this country does not. delegate the
interpretation of the coimtry's, laws, to
verse makers, no matter how soulful
and earnest . they may be. • When^the.
statute books are silent the poets "may
well- follow their example, out of-re
spect, if for, no other reason— unless,
indeed,, their Pegasus has been drinking
deep from wi«ker covered bottles.
To enforce the 'law; to interpret- it
after a • "first -aid," ""man; on the job"
fashion; to care for the welfare of a
man who is "overtook /with liquor"\(as
Kipling's -MulvaneyphraseaMt), - are
among the duties of the San Francisco
police department,"; Here it is, .well to '\u25a0\u25a0
go . when other sources of * lnf ormation .
fail. -Taking the advice of ; Horace
.Greeley, or, some other sage, we will
"tell • our troubles J.toT a policeman.", - -
.Chief. Johnjß.? Martin has'^had ex
perience*, f rom- patrolman clear (up rto
the I top of 'the j department.. As^a -, ser- t
geant the Barbary; coast, .with its rocks'
. and . whirlpools,'. -' was .inn his C district, f
He patrolled i it at all hours of day.* and •
night.- and ! blew/ his :. merry whistle a la ,
Robin Hood , for. the ample girthed pa- _
i trolmen.' He v saw. c many,? things..;-;
"Chief.i when' is a'man;drunk?" V
"When heCis a menace .to* '- himself
or a nuisance to ;the v public,-or. both,
on account of- the; alcoholic liquor., he
has; imbibed. .That is' our. viewpoint:"
Ifs the 'only, one that .could appeal f to'
\u25a0>\u25a0 \u25a0 •
a policeman. If a man is unable, to
walk with safety to himself; if he en
dangers his, life or limb in crossing
the street, for instance, he is a menace
to himself. If he is careless with his
money in doubtful places, or is, so be
fogged that he appears; an easy prey for
the pickpocket, the, thug, or the class
of criminals which makes its living
f roru the pockets -of unconscious men,
he is a menace to himself. If his con
duct is so rude ,or boisterous, pug
nacious or demonstratively affectionate
as to annoy those around him, he is a
nuisance to the public. In either case
the. policeman interferes.- .' .\u25a0
- "TTle man is arrested — detained Is
perhaps a better word— and not re
leased until his condition is nUrmal,
after say five or- six hours. In such
arrests thr- policeman's discretion and
judgment, or lack of them, is shown.
If the mail is in, the company^ of
friends who «re taking him home the
policeman does not interfere unless his
assistance is asked for. If the man
can tell where he lives and .it is. on
the policeman's beat he probably takes
him there. If he is a . man whose;
friends are known to the policeman
he may telephone to them to come to
the rescue. y
'.'Again, if the. man is misconducting
himself the policeman probably remon
strates and seeks to quiet him rather
than take him 'to the station. 'The'
man has committed no crime -in point
of fact, even though his condition war-^
rants a misdemeanor charge, but on the
theory that an ounce of , prevention is
worth a pound of cure -he is, detained.
His- money and valuables are. cared for'
and* returned to him when he Is re
leased. Even this release is effected
without formality of ;; court proceed
ings. '\u25a0: All this applies .to the condition
known as 'simple . dru.ik.'- :
"Itiholds true up to.the-polnt of the
charge of 'common drunk' where ar-,
rests are usually made' on a warrant
issued on complaint of .some interested
party; even the policeman himself who :
may. see j the man 'continuously^ on* his ;
beat under the influence of liquor may
procure such a warrant, f Then,' too,
there is the charge 'drunk mi a public
pla,ce'.^where arrests are .usually made
without a warrant, and jlm cases .where
the offender is so "unruly ' ; that even k a
policeman's patience becomes exhausted
and the 1 charge ;is -booked .for '.the
court's investigation.' , ." ! - : '\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0'.',
.• "If the man is{ unconscious "when the
policeman ' finds'l him --'the ! ; : ? only," ".safe
course ,is to * send 7 him ;,> to -the :' hospita 1
for^examination^and'diagnosis.vlt-may
be a~ case; of 'knockout drops,'. of a. frac
tured skill 1; instead ''of too; much' liqUor.
The surgeon' must- decide iwhether jit's
a case; for ; the cell 'or i foritho \u25a0 hospital
cot,' and ; answer lthe question, 'When ils
a man drunk ?*^'. '- - '.'\u25a0',;\u25a0 '\u25a0',''. '\u25a0'\u25a0.['\u25a0 :i'U)'' :
"I; have , known' policemen ; tot nndi»a
long" string f; % of : f offenses "to ) -'charge
against .-a", prisoner— pile, 'em \upy like
a child's] tower.; of
knock *it ; alljover^wlthi just^that ,word.
For,insta.nce,M'rememberja^man^when
i * was a^Bergeantr* who \ booked \ a jpris
oner,i one-, night ! ':;forS'disturbirig-the
peace/ ('using I'vulgar^language^; in ?a
public^ place,' ;Vrefus!ngc.to^mo,ve v ion > >
•battery ,'l'resisting ah' officer in -the dis
charge of .* hisjduty,':; arid; capped; it \ all
by, adding : the: charge u'drunk.V'Helwas
disgusted, when \t he "judge ; ordered': the
prisoner « : discharged ' in | • the -.; morning.
You see, while.-" a^ man \ ordinarily/* de-
WHEN IS A MAN
DRUNK?
•\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-\u25a0" -^ : - • -V ' ' ' \u25a0 \u25a0'\u25a0 . jfa o o
nies being drunk, it's a 'mighty con
venient defense when a more serious
offense" is charged. Considering that
fact, I ,don't.believe, after all, I: would
care to answcr-your questions.' Perhaps
when ,1 would' say that he was, drunk,
you would say he wasn't." • " •,•".- : \u25a0
Now that is all that the chief would
say; 'After he had apparently settled ;
the matter for good and .-all, he
straightway hedged and diplomatically
passed, it up to the head -of his
"sleuthing" bureau.
,\u25a0"\u25a0 The -question must be answered. "It
is an order.'.' Captain Eugene It; ..Wall,
head of the detectives, is ; run down in
his lair. .His greeting, is hospitable.
Cigars second his, welcome, ; but .he
grins quizzically, and twists his brown
mustache when he is asked. .
"When is a man drunk?" .
. "Why— I 1 - can't sayi when a man is
drunk.- It' never struck me just.that
way before, but: there doesn't seem -to
be any fit definition for it. I might' say
a man' Is : dfunk when he isn't able to
take care of himself, but inthis bureau
we- have come, to the conclusion" that
the average man never is able to take
care of himself, whether he has been
drinking or not. '
"Now here are' two illustrations that
just, come to me and may explain why
1 can't find any definition for the word
or : the condition. Some policemen had
a late dinner at a Broadway restaurant!
One man had to report for duty at the
North End station at midnight. The
others were not on "duty until the next
day. , . The wine was good and « it was
plentiful. They thought it would be a
great' joke to fill the North' End man up
to the eyes— and. they did. The next
thing he" knew was finding himself in
bed at home 24 hours later. V
"He had, reported on duty; patrolled
his beat; , been right on hand to answer
the sergeant's whistles; reported off
duty,"" gone home and to bed, without
any one suspecting that he had even
one drink. Yet:he didn't know a thing
he had done or said.: Was he drunk?
: "There" was a busy politician ; in ; San
Francisco years ago who would drink
himself literally into the" gutter.;' yet,
if |6ne of the boys would pick ;him .up
and seat him in a chair, that act alone
would straighten him out. - Without
further preliminary he would ; lay; out
\u25a0and direct one of the old time election
day campaigns to a victory— keep atif
for 24 hours until the vote was counted
his way.; Was he drunk? '; " .
: "An old policeman arrestsa man as
drunk more -from instinct than -on ac
count of any physical : signs :of.'in
ebriety that ' he can^'see. I would say
just as our, mothers knew .when a loaf
of bread was" baked 7 just right, "or .: when
one of j us kids /was coming down "with ;
.the^croup.v' He may^ go.along his beat
;and pay no attention to" a "man who is
'unsteadyion his'jegs or who thinks": he
is'singing^and in .the next block he'll
pick up a, man. who walks and looks all
right,' but .•> who, V lt" proves/ can't tell;
whether ;h"e * lives in Oshkosh ; ob '• San \u25a0
Francisco - and ; . who , doesn't '.know
he has 5 cent's or $5,000 in his
"T.xj '\u25a0'. . :'.'.'.'.';\u25a0'...'\u25a0
ofwhat a drunk has in
his clothes i and what he thinks 'he; has
there, ' it seems \, to )\u25a0_ me isorae; one. ; .who^
has : served" years :as booking; sergeant
at>the .'city prison; niighti-helpj answer
your: question- byV telling 'of.; the;, notions.;
'drunks' : have of their valuables. 'Any
how, take your conundrum away from
me,\l- can't answer it." ; - : \
:Backih* the old;.days::Sergeant"Fred•<
T. Brown,' whose; dearest, 4 boast, is the
fact that he was once "devil, in the"
office of -i. the 'Boston - Transcript iand'
that he-h as , one of | the rare J'Frankli n
medals" . issued Ub: pupils of the gram
' mar '" school: named after Ben 'I and lo
cated-- in .that g hub , of the > universe.* sat
behind the bookingdeskJand'.wrote un-'
kind- things^ about '-people, in the big^
book! v the "police -depart-:
{ me'nt have; handled' 1 P'red (with due ap- ;
preciatiori, but that is *no ? reason why
he snouldribt be asked: ..
1 "When ls-a' man drunk?" .'.',
/Sergeant Fred's ? mustache • bristled. : :
fe"Wheh;'his^kneesVarevSo :weakcthat;
it takes two. policemen" arid- the; 'Keys' i.
: to ; hold^ him {up. to : the. booking! desk," -^
;he;retorted.£ t ' "When, he ; can't ' talk iand,
'has? to ibe" :\u25a0 booked • as 'John' Doe,' ; then
I'd; say ;he was : drunk. ; Still * he .; might;
—-say, as' a matter' of fact,! I Adon't^
know when I'd -be'; safe in swearing
that a'man was drunk— tie might be
sick,: you -know.' - f , * .',».-'." "•;\u25a0./
-_ , ''Perhaps h it's .i easier '»\u25a0 to > say -when a
man \u25a0 I was .; drunk f \u25a0 than ; .when •:!: he~; c is a
drunk. \u25a0 > Now Vwhenfa '* gold t watch^ and
chain, 1 " $500 in and a ;dia-fl
fmond .ring I are s taken - from Ia : man, 'and
'after lie »; has ;beeny locked!. up i for?;six
ihours^he^qlaims^that.-every thing;', he
' had ; in. his pockets .was ) a } jackknife, \u25a0' « I<
' would 'say he* had; beerilvery/drunk.iNb,l
-, I* wouldn'tJVOnf second. thought^llwbuldJ
: say :.heVwa8 r jstill;; drunk Sandi needed -to;
;'stay'Unithefcell , at few ; hours rlonger. Jv
; ;,^"But 4 if Jnothing >,but*a^Jackknife' had "
;beent found 1 on- himi and 'when* he" came
for his property, he ; demanded ,a gold
watch and chain; a diamond ring and
$500 In currency I should say. that he
had been .drunk and that some one
else , got ;.wise to" the fact before the
arresting' officer. That test, . though,
would be like /confirming a physician's
diagnosis by an" autopsy.
:\ ; "I,' remember a • big cavalryman
brought in here one night from the
Barbary coast. He^ was weak in the
legs and thick ofTtongue and . there
wasn't a thing in; his pockets, not even
a .button. I had just gone on watch,
so- whon the drunks" were released in
the morning I was still at the desk.
".'Couldn't find a. thing on you, my
man,' I said. 'They must have skinned
you close. : How. much did you go in
with?" '
"He gave=a foolish sort of grin and
said, 'I had $I,SOO in big bills, sergeant.*
Then, while I was •roaring about the
way they robbed drunken soldiers in
the dives* and was making ready to
turn him over ito the detective, buieau,
he stood on one leg and stripped the
puttee and'shoe off the other fooL.He
dived Into the shoe, lifted out an inner
sole and pulled out at wad of bills.
;".'Yes,, and. I've got" it yet.' he con
cluded, and slipped things back ..into
place again. Idon'f think thai
alryman had been very drunk."'
And here Sergeant Fred dropped the
question -like a hot potato. He had
not answered it. By his own admission
he couldn't ariswer.it. ;
'Lieutenant ; -Shadrick Campbell— he
\u25a0was ,known ;-for -years as "Sergeant
Scotty" Campbell, but recently got his
promotion—^has been long on the foye
and ,has patrolled from fog to ferry.
/'Lieutenant, when is a man drunk?"
V'Well, that admits of argument. A
man is drunk from our standpoint when
he (needs ; taking r.uve of. \u25a0. Understand
me-no*w,:a-»hian- who needs: taking care
of is not'always drunk. v Such a mantis
taken care" of for a longer .time Ahan
when;he Js drunk. Then another way.
you.; can rwhen a { mariVis." drurik-^—
isHhe way'he 'feels 'afterward. :.-Don't
a|Sk?meniowJhe feels if jyou, don't: know ",
yourself.f; He feels^-he^f cels-^-he's *-;ilke
the -southern tcongressrnan^who-stcpped "
to^the i -Willard . bar> InLWashinston^for
hVs; eye joperier. ; The jbarkeep ; tried ' to \u25a0
be \u25a0]:. affable -and .l said.' , as he gaveT; tl\e
spoonla Ifinal; twirl: ~ . .
'itJ'vtWell;! howj do' you feel this ' moi n
lng;\colonel?V; "" ; : ' -/ , ' .
J??.^.THow<do I feel. this^morning?" reared;
the southerner, r> 'Is feel ras i^a-
Kentucky,; gentleman '\u25a0, should .' feel ' in! the \u25a0
;m6rnirig,;sir. l -.;i;feel likd'h-T— l.sir.' 1 J . . •\u25a0
i;,"That's i; the ;way '.; a ("man '\u25a0 f eelsV-when :
he;has: been; drunk." he is drunk
he'ifeelSr-he;, feels— say T did,; you t really;
think Jeff "would'be able'to'comeback.' >
anyway?"^;;;;:;/, \u25a0''\u25a0." \u25a0'•'\u25a0V '\u25a0' \u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-••\u25a0\u25a0'
loTlien, I ? as \ ah i afterthought and ; allow- v
ing ;,the: burr, of^the thistle to rough his'
tongue,; he added: ;-'\u25a0' , : \u25a0 \u25a0'\u25a0. i;^;*v : . .'•"*
f^"rilt;no say ; ,thotimony a. ; mon" is,na.
niuckle sick; the; day - after tho; Cale
donlans* annual picnic, but it's a veery
seerious -matter to say they had been
drunk. Many of them would be news
papermen themselves."
From bonnie Scotland the elusive
answer is chased to the sunny Mediter
ranean and "testimony" is sought from
that linguistic policeman. Virgil tf.
Bakulich. whose giant form has been
familiar to San Franciscans for years,
and. whose fame as a Latin and Greek
scholar is as secure as it Is surprising.
Of bloo'J as merry as the ruby chl
anti of his native land, and with
knowledge and wit to express it. he
surely can settle the question. - "Bisr
Nick" is at the North End station, and
after the overpowering handshake had
been recovered from he was brought
face to face with the specter.
All along the "coast." the Latin
quarter, among those who drink wine
in \ preference to water, which they
consider only suitable to float boats in.
"Big Nick" Bakulich has done patrol
duty/ detective duty, acted as interpre
ter In every variety of court proceed
ings when French, Italian, Spanish.
Greek or any of the dialects of these
languages has been the medium of
expression. But true to his beloved
classics his answer dates too far back
for' practical purposes. When he was
asked: .
"When .is a man drunk? 11 he came
back with: .
"When he is under;, the complete
control of Bacchus."
' Now wasn't that an enlightening
thought for a policeman?- What Is a
police judge to know of mythology.
How old is Ann!
"I know when a man is drunk, but
I can't tell you how I- know it. I
know when it Is time to get a man out
of the way of harm to himself and to
others. It's something that comes with
experience In this work; When I left
my home in Dalmatla I was on friend
ly terms with Horace and Virgil, but
though I could not think their thoughts
in their language I j had ' no idea of
what their ideas were of 'when is a
man-drunk.' Those old poets didn't
disturb themselves because a, man
poured out libations -to Bacchus with
unstinting hand. If he fell by the
wayside I suppose they stepped ( over
him ior walked around * him and went
on composing epics.
Sophocles was, just as indifferent ap
parently, or perhap3 he felt that such
references would; have a personal tone.
Withsuch advisers you couldn't expect
practical knowledge in a raw
emigrant ; boy from the Mediterranean.
It:has /taken" some years ; on the San
Francisco police force to learn when
a>mari is drunk, and even now I have
not'reached the point where I can tell
how I know, 'except to call on the gods
of Olympus to aid my stumbling speech.
You;will have to ask some one else to
definevthe condition. No, thanks, my
boy, I never touch it on duty." '
George M. Blum, police photograph
er. - has " taken " thousands of pictures,
official and,, unofficial. He has posed
subjects i.who; were" free from alcohol,
and he has posed subjects who were
reeking with*' it. '
'George, for the love of Mike. I'm
getting- desperate; .when is a -man
drunk?, You;: are dealing with .some
thing as near exact 'as anything In .this
department You.- at least, will be able
to"; give -me a'; plain answer- to; a- plain
question without any flubdub."
,\"Well, > there ; it; Is -again, ; you see. I
don't talk. - My: camera stalks for : me.
If you will | get the .chiefs permission
to inspect; my -negatives or\ my .prints
you can Judge f or ; yourself. Or course,
It have; my -{own ideas ? on* tho subject.
but;lJwouldn*t:feel like voicing ,*hem
whenUhereis. so much better testimony
at hand. \ I f you are .a close student of
physiognomy-;" ; \u25a0
'-'Oh, hush, you are as bad as the rest
and : worse.*.'— r ' :,;-•;- -. : - :- . ' / :
• ;It, all; simmers : down to the fact that
whenlthepollceTare In doubt they'take
the staggering subject; to. the hospital.
.There is jnojofflcial standard in the po
lice rules and 'regulations. It is left
toUhe personal -judgment of the police
man himself. ..The' law; furnishes no aid."
no font 4 of "knowledge '* in '^ such* cases!
\u25a0>W_hen" in doubt the ; policeman takes , the
question to the .hospital. - ,This appar
The San Francisco Sunday. Call
ently being the court of last resort w«
will follow the policeman's example.
\u25a0Under the trees at Jefferson square
is the central emergency hospUai
Within, its walls are many surgeons,
stewards, nurses, internes and a pro
nounced odor of anesthetics. If it 1»
the court last resort, while any
member might be prepared, nay, un
doubtedly would be prepared, to settle
the question offhand, it is best to so
to the chief justice at once and th»
presence of Chief Surgeon E. S. Howard
ls;sought~withi
"When is a man drunk?"
"Do you know, my boy, that is a
question that has Toften occurred to
me," was the disconcerting response.
"A man isn't drunk when he Is drunk,
nnd he Is drunk when he Isn't drunk.
It all depends on your point of view;
on your bump of charity; and on your
knowledge of human nature. A man's
tongue Is drunk while his leg* are nor
mal; his legs are 'half seas over' and
his tongue is so eloquent that Demos
thenes would have cause to sit up and
take notice; his fingers refuse to writs
his own name, but his hand controls the
steering wheel of a racing car with a
grip of steel and a touch fine enough to
shave the paint off every vehicle h?
meets. A man's brain may be locked
in an alcoholic stupor and yet the prac
ticed muscles perform unerringly tho
accustomed tasks of hi 3 dally vocation.
That may not, all be In books, but
It is the result of long observation,
young man.
**Oh. you want from me what is in
the books, eh? You say the polico
can't answer the question, and as they
come to the surgeon for enlightenment
you come also. Well, alcoholism shows
itself in a dilation of the pupils of tho
eye; products of opium show their
presence in a contraction of the pupils
to pin points. When a. man 13 brought
here unconscious the surgeon on duty
first notes the condition of the pupils
of the eye and governs himself Accord
ingly. Of course. » there are other
symptoms, for • the condition of tho
pupils might in either case be due to
something else. There are plenty of
things to look for, but it is an estab
lished rule" in the hospitals under my
charge that a man brought In uncon
scious, even if every symptom points to
alcoholism, is kept under observation
until he recovers consciousness. That
Is for his own protection as well as for
our own. iVriy further symptoms aro
noted and acted upon as they appear.
"If he is drunk, the hospital is th»
best place for him, anyway. He needs
protection. How much he need 3it the
hospital records often show. One night,
a number of years ago, before I was
connected with the institution, there
was a Frenchman in a Stockton street
rooming house who had taken a lot
more absinthe than was good for him.
He thought the duke of Wellington or
some one else was after him. and, re
gardless of the fact that his room was
two floors up from the street, he dived
head first out through the window. The
top of his head hit the sidewalk first
and he was stunned. They hurried him .
to the emergency hospital. His head
had given up raisins: hair years before,
and right on the crown of that bald
dome was a slight abrasion and a few
drops of blood. There was no depres
sion of the skull' and a minute after
he had been laid on the operating table
he was sitting up with Just as much
appetite for 'the green' as ever. He was
kept under observation for two days,
much against his will, and finally dis
charged, for tha most enthusiastic in
terne could find no more symptom of &
'fractured skull than the most experi-
enced surgeon — for tlfe reason that
there was none'
"Half an hour after the Frenchman
was first brought into the hospital the
patrol wagon from the southern dis
trict drove to the hospital door with a
case from Third and Mission streets. ,
A laborer In a foundry ox something"
of the sort had spent enough of hts
weekly pay check to make his legs un
certain. He was bumping into every
one he met, and just about the time a
policeman was going to take him in
some one bumped'back and Mister Man
falls on the sidewalk. He was uncon
scious. Alcoholism, you would say.
Nothing of the sort. Thd southern dis
trict policeman had learned police 'duty
under Captain John Spillane and- knew
that it was better to be sure than
sorry. Sure enough, symptoms oC a
fractured skull were becoming distinct,
and though everything was done for
him that could be done he died inside
two hours.
"He hadn't been half as drunk as th«
Frenchman, but the Frenchman was
lucky and he wasn't, or vice versa.
Perhaps neither was drunk. I wasn't
connected .with the hospital then,
said. The moral is that a man w^l^
the skull of a gorilla has a licensed*
drink three times as much as the man
with a paper skull.
" 'When is a man Vlrunk?' Why are
< you so 'persistent? For Instance, you
are not drunk at the present time- — or
at least not very drunk. No. I'll not
write you a prescription to be filled In
prohibition Berkeley. How would I Ilka
to. have an outside physician do such a
thing if I was practicing medicine in
Berkeley?"

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