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MRS. SANTA CLADS.
UNCLE SAM’S DEAD LETTER EX PERT GUIDES STRAY MAS GREETINGS. Sends out Many Presents to Children -Has a Remarkable Memory and Kno wledge.and Deciphers the most Puzzling Addresses. Tucked away in a little corner of the Postoffice Department at Washing ton behind a desk which has held a thousand interesting stories sits a charming white haired woman who is known the length and breadth of the land as “Mrs. Santa Claus.” 1 he woman to whom this suggestive ly dear name has been given is Mrs. ; f ' J" ,' **"■■■ 1 f - Js%>y . '^' f i’ ? v • * MRS. “SANTA CLAUS” Patti Lyle Collins, head of the “Open lag ana Unmailable Division” of the Postoffice Department. Each holiday season brings to her desk thousands and thousands of •'Santa Claus” letters and were she of the ordinary type of clerk, thinking only of the salary she draws twice a month, these letters might go into Uncle Sam’s waste basket without so much as a thought for the writers. Not so with Mrs. Colins. Through ler generous heart, her love for chil dren and, possibly, with a memory or |wo of her own when she, too, believed in the real existence of the children’s patron saint, this lovable woman at tends first to her duties of returning the letters to their writers if this is possible and then she plays “Mrs. Santa Claus” to her army of little friends. Christmas Presents to the Children When such a thing is possible Mrs. Collins finds out the addresses of these children, sends them some little thin 6 they have asked for and gets her friends interested in them until she has now earned the title which came to her so long ago merely through her associations with this part of Uncle Barn’s postoffice. This is rather the sentimental side of Mrs. Collins’ work, but there is an other and scientific phase of it which has made her invaluable to the Gov ernment. She is the official chiro praphical expert of the Department and through her efforts each year ninety per cent, of mail matter bear ing manifestly indecipherable ad dresses finds its way to the person to whom it is addressed. Mrs. Collins is a linguist and a deep student. Added to this she has stored away in her brain a fund of general - ~ - J XcJv tcmfij/ja, fy f 006 1 \ aaMaaMi ( e \ Vs. -oy x^tisz knowledge which enables her to solve problems which would puzzle a hun dred other heads. Her knowledge of streets in various cities of Europe led to her compilation of a street directory of its countries. The value of Mrs. Collins’ work m ferreting out addresses is all the more notable when it is considered that each postoffice in all the large cities has a division especially set apart for de ciphering illegible and otherwise puz zling addresses. So after this has been done letters which are still unclaimed are sent to the postoffice at Washing ton. Knows All Languages. Mrs. Collins has made such a study of this rather psychological work that she knows just what section of the country, even to the cities, in which various nationalties have settled. She can put her finger on the Japanese, the Chinese, Greeks, Spaniards, Italians and all the rest of them. This particular talent has enabled Mrs. Collins to decipher many a letter which would have been otherwise un- Second Lyceum Number: Prof Chas. Lane, Humorist, at Convent Hall, Wednesday, December 27, 1905. MAGAZINE SECTION OF VOL, 14. intelligible. Among the hundreds of such which she received the other day was one addressed to “Ygnac Lech, Combryja Cos, brot stryt no 903, Szanony Pan.” How many, or rather how few, peo ple would have known how to go about locating this person. The letter w r as postmarked Florence. Mrs. Collins’ own store of information told her that the Cambria Iron Works of Johns town, Pa., was employing a large num ber of Italians and she sent the letter on. Sure enough Mr. “Yanac Lech” was there and received the letter w r hich, without Mrs. Collins’ assist ance would never have fallen into his hands. A facetious student at the University of Virginia wrote to a young society girl in Washington and addressed the envelope entirely in Greek. It takes greater obstacles than that to balk Mrs. Collins and the young woman re reived her letter as promptly as if it had been addressed in the most legible English hand. The list of such letters is almost unlimited in length. A Spaniard sent a letter to “Sr. Fer nado Maya, Fuerte galen Colo” and it ■was promptly forwarded to Mr. Maya at “Fort Garland, Colorado.” Mrs. Collins is a charming woman and occupies a tiny apartment in one of Washington’s fashionable apartment houses. Senator Harris Balked, Henry Clay Evans, late consul gen eral at London, was once in Congress ' > < ■ IV gators gtost (Christmas. long, long ago the Wise Men, we arc told. And now both young and old, with shining eyes Laden with Myrrh and frankincense and gold. Gather to watch their Baby’s glad surprise, journeyed afar, and found the Shepherd’s fold His ecstasies, his joy, bis gleeful cries , On the first Christmas Day. On his first Christmas day. Ob Baby, Baby, may thy life be sweet; May God-sent angels guide thy little feet; May every day to come be as complete As thy first Christmas day. *' from Tennessee and knows all the emi nent men of that State. He was tell ing a good story the other night of Col. Sandford and Major Saunders, prom inent business men of the Knoxville re ion. They were once on a Pullman com ing this way. It was hot and they sat in pajamas far into the night. An old man came in, lighted a cigar, smoked and said nothing. They did not recog nize him, and kept on talking about the miserably poor representation, their State had in Congress. “It is a pity,” said one of them “that a State like ours should have such poor worthless men at Washington. Our senators are no good, old Harris is played out and Josiah Patterson is the only man in the House that amounts to anything.” At this remark the stranger arose and in a tone of thunder began to hurl invective and abuse at the two men. “It is about time I was taking part in this conversation,” he yelled and went on to tell a few warm things to the astonished party of two. When he had subsided a bit one of them asked, “But who are you to get so mad about it?” “Who am I? Well, I- am Senator Harris, ding you, and I have much more to say to scoundrels Jike you.” Both men were amazed and they has tened to apologize. They all became friendly, and the old man often told the story on himself. BAY ST. LOUIS, MISS., DECEMBER 23, 1905. POLITICAL TAXATION. LEGIST A TION LIKEL T REQUIRING PUBLICATION Of ALL LARGE CONTRIBUTIONS. Such a Bill, Introduced Last Year, was Looked upon as a Crank Meas ure-Will be on a Different Basis This Session, Exposure of the practice of the great life insurance companies and other corporations, of making contri butions to political campaign funds and of devoting large amounts of money to influence legislation will bring before the next session of congress the question of the passage of a biil similar to that introduced at the last session by Representative Rourke Coekran, of New York, and familiarly known as the “Corrupt Practice” bill. It may not be that this biil will be taken up and given the serious consideration which it was denied at the lust session, but that a bill containing provisions of the same general description as those of the Coekran bill will be introduced and pressed to a vote is a moral cer tainty. The Coekran bill provided that every contribution of more than SSO to a national campaign fund should be reported to the clerk of the dis trict court of the United States, Criminal penalties were provided for violations of the law. Looked Upon as a Cockran Oddity. The bill was treated with derision last winter, both by the daily press and by gentlemen of the House of Representatives, the Senate and Third House. It was worth a laugh, people said. There was very little corruption, they averred. The idea that corporations employed legisla tive agents and disbursed huge sums of money for or against certain bills was moonshine doled out by sensa tionalists to gratify the morbid fancy and the appetite for scandal of a pe culiar class of peop'ie. The legislative inquiry into the af fairs and conduct of the Equitable Life and Mutual insurance companies at New York seems to have placed the matter of campaign contributions and legislative disbursements in other than a humorous light. It mat ters not whether the corporations come forward voluntarily with their contributions to campaiim funds or whether they are solicited and hound ed by campaign collectors until they contribute —the result Is the same. Vice-president Gillette of the Mu tual Life Insurance Company testi fied that his company contributed $92,500 of the policy holders’ money to tbe republican committees in the last three presidential campaigns, and John A. McCall, president of the New York Life Insurance Company admitted that he had contributed $150,000 of the company’s funds to the same committees. In fact the big companies have frequently been contributors to both political parties. Public May Demand Legislation. There are two questions involved in any fair consideration of these dis closures. The first is the desirability of corporations taking such an active and influential part in political cam paigns and the second Is the moral ity of corporation officers making contributions on their own initiative out of funds that are really trust funds. Of course a law can be made pro hibiting campaign contributions by insurance companies or other corpo rations. This may correct the abuse or it may not. Laws are not always obeyed or enforced. There, for exam ple are the laws of Moses. The world has been violating them for thou sands of years. It might be consid ered fair if the directors of every in surance company, savings bank, trust company or other corporation hand ling the people’s money, would adopt a rule forbidding absolutely all such contributions and holding every offi cer financially and morally respon sible for its observance. Second, po litical candidates and committees could announce that they would neither solicit nor receive contribu tions. Public sentiment is rapidly crystal- izing into the conviction that corpo rate contributions should either be made impossible or else required to be made in such public fashion that they would be robbed of their bane ful effect Foote’s Farrago, Foote, the comedian, when a young person of either sex applied for a po sition, seldom refused outright, but gravely handed them the following lines, and asked them to commit and repeat them to him correctly in ten minutes. If repeated ■with no error, he promptly took them for trial. That there could he no collusion with those who applied later, he fre quently changed the order of the lines and the proper names; So she went into the garden to .cut a cabbage leaf to make an apple pie and at that time a great she-bear coming up the street pops its head into the shop. What no soap? So he died and she verj impudently married the barber: and there were present the Picnmnies. and the Job lilies and the Garyulies and the great Panjandrum himself with the little round button at the top, and they fell to play ing the game of “catch as catch can till the gunpowder ran out the heels of their boots. The popularity of “Trilby” for a time exceeded that of any novel pub lished. with the possible exception or “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” NE W PONTOON BRIDGES. Collapsible Boats of Canvas Which Can Carried by One Man. The soldiers of the United States En gineers’ Corps seem to have solved one of the greatest problems which has confronted generals in command of an army when on the march. Small un fordable streams are often encountered by the army and these must be crossed in the shortest time possible. In fact large rivers often confront an army when about to giv e battle to the enemy, and it would take weeks, if not months, to construct even temporary bridges to allow the men with their heavy armaments to cross. The pontoon boat, of course, is well kndVn to every reader of history, for this most useful auxiliary came into great use during the war of the Rebellion. The pon toon train, however, is a very cum bersome affair when the ordinary fiat bottom boat with the necessary tim bers and accessories are packed on to what is known as the “pontoon train.” The German army recently adopted a sort of sectional pontoon boat which allowed of greater mobility to the train. However, the soldiers of the United States Engineer Battalion have been drilling in the use of pontoon boats made of heavy canvass stretched over a wooden frame. These boats are wa ter-tight and when assembled are cap able of supporting six or more men, A boat may be taken apart and packed into a small bundle light enough to be carried by one man. Upon arrival at a small stream all that is necessary is for each man to unstrap his bundle, quickly put the boat into shape, and launch it into the water. The wagons which must necessarily carry the tim bering and flooring of the bridge to be, can be sent forward with a much smaller guard than is necessary when the cumbersome pontoon train wagons, each carrying a boat or section, are in motion. One Good Use for Millionaires, Regret has been often expressed re garding the threatened extinction of many species of wild animals. Of late, however, some of the world’s millionaires have begun to devote their attention to the task or preserving them, and numbers of wcaitny men have established or endowed parks and private zoological gardens, in which buffaloes, antelopes, giraffes, gnus, and other dwindling species are carefully cherished. In some cases herds of bison are kept, after the fash ion of deer, on the estates of great landowners. Nor are Europe and Asia behind hand. Large preserves of big game are to be found in France and Ger many, and in England the Duke of Bedford has made a wonderful collec tion of wild animals at Woburn Park. It comprises many rare animals, in cluding waterbuck, gnus, sable ante lopes, and some almost extinct species of deer. Strong on Details. “ ’Rastus, where’s that rake?” “De rake’s wid de hoe, Marster. “Well, then, where’s the hoe?” “Marster, de hoe’s wid de rake.” “Well, ’Rastus, confound it, where are they both?” “Dey’s boll togedder, Marster. ’Pears like youse pow’ful tickler ’bout details dis mawnin’. You leave de regulatin of all dat to me, Marster, and I’ll look out fo’ yo’ interests.” Time to Move, Oh that I were where I would be. Then would I be where I am not, For where I am, I would not be. And where I could be, I cannot. NO. 48. WHITE HOUSE XMAS DINNER. THE ROOSEVELT FAMILY CELE ER A TES IS THE GOOD OLD FASHIONED WAV. Always Have Huge Rhode Island Tur* key Which is not Spoiled by French Cooks. President Himself Does the Carving. Old fashioned cooks and old fash ioned cookery hold the fort in the White House kitchen at Christmas tide. When the President and Mrs. Roosevelt give one of their great state dinners to eighty or one hundred guests, they usually entrust all the preparations to professional caterers, out when it comes to the dinner which is pre-eminently the home meal of the year the French chefs have to give way to women who know just how to prepare the generous wholesome dishes that an American citizen looks forward to finding on his dinner table on the joyous holiday. President Roosevelt also shows a fondness for carving the turkey himself. A good old fashioned Christmas din ner, moreover, with all the essentials from turkey to plum pudding is a reg ular institution at the White House during the present administration. Perhaps President Roosevelt, with his assertive good health and his fam ily of lively young folks, are particu ly well qualified to appreciate a rous ing yule-tide feast, but whatever be the reason certain it is that during the Roosevelt regime the Christmas re past has become one of the most im portant as well as one of the jolliest meals of the year. To Be Family Reunion. President Roosevelt and his family follow the general policy of all pre vious occupants of the White House in. observing Christmas as a family fes tival. ’’"his year it will have especial significance as a reunion, since of late months the junior members of the Roosevelt household have been scat tered as never before, by reason of their attendance at different schools and colleges. The Roosevelt Christ mas, while a family affair, is by no means confined to the immediate household. The Roosevelt children have long been allowed to entertain their numerous cousins on Christmas and other relatives are likewise in at tendance, while the President and Mrs. Roosevelt usually ask a few per sonal friends to also join the party. Christmas dinner at the White House is served in the evening and the President arouses an appetite for it by (Continued on next page,) pi Do You Use Acetyieire ? §if so, We Want to Send You A SAMPLE BURNER We believe we have the very best and the cheat**st line of Acetylene Burners. Our sample will show better than we can explain here why it would pay you to use our burners. Write us to-day, mention kind of Gene rator used, enclose 8 cents in stamps to cover postage, and we will send you A Sample Burner W. M. CRANE COMPANY 1131-33 BROADWAY Hoorn 10 ew York, N. Y.