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HE RED TAPE trust ought to be rich. Its mills are kept run ning overtime to supply the Washington demand. The com mittees on claims are tied up In red tape and any claimant Bets his legs tangled up in it before ho has progressed a foot. The tape is of the right color; it turns to anarchy the thoughts of the claimant who tries through the disappointing years to thread the devious course of Its windings. The house of representatives once had submitted to It by the members of the committee on claims a report recommending that Major Lawson M. Fuller °f the army he paid for some articles—many ‘ afllcT&s In fact—which the government lost for him nine years ago. An army officer's pay is small at the best, and ten years ago, when Major Fuller’s be longings were lost, his pay was somewhat smaller than it is to-day. Nevertheless, he had to expend 11,325.35, as he could save it from time to time, to replace the absolutely neces sary articles which were lost “without fault or neglect on his part and with equitable re sponsibility by the United States," as the find ing of one of the investigating officials had it. Major Fuller’s belongings comprised pretty nearly everything that he had in the world, from "one pair of Romeo slippers” to a civilian dress suit, “evening, satin-lined," “one sack suit from New York” and "one sack suit from Baltimore.” The major made affidavit that ev ery article enumerated in the list of his losses "was necessary and would have been used had tne consignment ever reached its destination." The consignment went to the bottom of the sea with the wreckage of the transport Mor gan. The major added to his affidavit the statement that every article would be replaced as soon as he w'as financially able to replace it. The goods were lost 10 years ago. A glance at the army pay table makes it appear that by the practice of rigid economy Major Fuller by this time may have succeeded in duplicating his wardrobe of the late nineties. The end is not yet. The committee on claims, after many years, reported Major Ful ler’s case favorably to the house. The house was busy with other things. It Is not hard for the representatives to overlook claims. They are used to It and hardened to It. Then the senate must act and finally the president Ma Jor Fuller may get his money at a time coinci dent with his retirement at the ago limit, and he Js yet a young man. There Is no means at this present moment of finding out whether Casper H. Conrad, of the Third United States cavalry, has succeeded In finally wresting from Uncle Sam's grasp $32.85, which the usually amiable uncle took from the officer’s pay practically by force of arms some 10 years ago. At last accounts the cavalryman was still pegging away trying to get his money back, for it bolonged to him and no one has ever Intimated that it did not be long to him, but claims proceedings are greater laggards in their pace than were the Jarndyce „ proceedings In chancery. If Capt. Conrad has not recovered his 132.85 he Is still hopeful, for the most hopeful people -on earth are those who have claims, and the deferring of hope seemingly never makes their hearts sick. This Is one of the compensations which nature grants to ofTset the iniquities of claims proceedings In congress. Capt.. Conrad, as an acting quartermaster, paid $32.83 extra duty money to certain en listed men. A government regulation which has existed for years-authorized, in fact or dered, the captain to pay the money. After he had paid it he found that the government had revoked the extra-pay regulation, but no one had seen fit to notify the quartermasters of the change. Uncle Sam immediately stopped $32.85 out of Capt. Conrad’s pay and practically told him that he should have known in some mysterious way that the government had an order stowed away in a vault somewhere to ths effect that extraduty pay had been cut out. Conrad comes of an army family and he stuck to his task of getting his money back from the government like a good fighter, and he is sticking at it to-day, unless within a very abort time the almost impossible has hap pened and his money has been returned to him. It took him five years to get permission from the secretary of war, the lleutenant-gen eral of the army and the quartermaster - general to make the attempt to Ret a bill passed by congress to reimburse him for the pocket-picking outrage per petrated by Undo Sam. He had to do a lot of work be fore he succeeded in reach ing the action permission stage of the proceedings. To be sure there was only $32.85 in money involved, but the principle was worth something, nnd the soldier who won’t fight for a prin ciple won’t fight well for anything else. Of course only a part, very likely a small part, of the claims entered against the government have justice as a basis. In order to find out the truth of things the government occasionally is obliged to spend many times the amount of money in volved. One of the most curious claim cases ever known to congress was that of Senora Feliciana Mendiola, who lived at Angeles. Pampanga, Philippine islands. The Se nora rented a house to Un de Sam for the use of some of his teamsters. When the mule-driving contingent moved out of the house after a Bhort occupancy the se nora declared under oath that some of the siding boards were missing from the kitchen wall, and she asked for $200 in gold to re pay her for the damage to her property. This case of Senora Felici ana Mendiola fills M pages of a house of representatives document. It contains a long letter from the secre tary of war on the question of the value of kitchen sid ings. another letter from the quartermaster-general of the United States and 53 com munications from army offi cers and civilians of various ranks and conditions. a noard of officers was convened to pass on the va lidity of the senora's claim. The board was In session for days many of its members coming from a on* distance to attend. One tearaster^VH llani'Langworthy by name, swore that the se nora s kitchen sidings were chewed up and ^ jo”*" T«kraater Summerville nZ h, ,nKh,sv°P,n‘°n *be boards dropped pf* ?f Sff* .5?Kthe w OWn wo,«ht- Teamster fickle said. Them hoards was punk" #K ThK. ^rmy b°ard Wh,ch Bat on the case hought It was very doubtful In strict Justice If Senora Feliciana should he allowed any money, but finally the members granted her the sum of $30 in gold. This action, of course was not final, but the committees on war claims in house and senate approved the find ings. The senora received $30 and doubtless it gave her some satisfaction to know that Uncle Ham had spent about $1,000 to get authority to pay for a kitchen siding which went to de struction either by way of a teamster's foot or a red ant’s stomach. The Inventor’s Rocky Road. There comes to Washington occasionally a man who perfected an invention, an engine of war. which Is now in use by nearly every civi lized government on the face of the earth, in cluding the government of the United States. This man recently talked reminiscently. He said some things in the course of his conver sation which may be Interesting to inventors present and prospective/, and which may also dishearten those of thefn who have not wills, physiques and courage* of iron. It must be remembered, of course, that this Inventor Is a man who finally made good and who to-day talks from the hilltop of success. He said: "Let tion In every man know If he has which hfc believes and in V an inven which he trusts that the government will find merit that he must prepnre himself at the outset to be treated In turn like an Imbecile, a lunatic and a criminal by the department officials to whom he tries to present his Ideas. “Every Inventor who enters a department of the United States government with a view to Interesting the officials In something which may be and often proves to be of service to the government is set down as a matter of course as an Idiot. This is at the outset. There Is In most of the departments, and cer tainly in the one with which I had to do busi ness, a set of officials whose business it Is to get rid of Inventors and to get rid of them without loss of politeness and without loss of time. “The regular plan Is to pass the Inventor from one to another, each one having an In creased chilliness of manner, but yet wearlrg the semi-indulgent smile with which one listens to the prattle of a child known to be mentally deficient. May Never Return. “The last official get* rid of the inventor, who, if he ha* not an indomitable persever ance and a mental poise which enable* him be cauae of an inner consciousness of right to overlook insult, goes away probably never to return, and the chances are that because of the sensitiveness of some men this govern ment has lost to its use many inventions which would have r.ddod to Its power. “The second stage of the inventor's pro gress, for I am speakitg only of those who make progress, is that of the lunatic, for so he comes to he viewed. The idiot is practi cally harmless and may be treated as a child; the lunatic is apt to be dangerous, and so when the inventor, conscious of the worth of his la vention, perseveres In Attempting to nee the officials, ho Is looked upon as the man with ‘a glitter In his eye.’ and the blue-coated officials with police au thority nre given warning thnt he la not to bo admitted to the presence of official greatness. "Occasionally Influence, which the real Inventor hates to bring to benr, en ables him to get an audience with the highest official In the department. He hns reached the criminal stage by this time, for he hns taken to the chief that which courtesy and custom require should have been taken to tho under ling. "The three stages of suspicion are gone through again by tho persistent Inventor—Imbecile, lunatic and crimi nal—and occasionally bis persistence wins out, for In passing through the degrees ho may happen to hit upon ! some official, also regarded aB a lunatic by his colleagues, who takes In that which other lunatics produce. "Such was my case, and I won out. The officials to-day who treated me with something worse than scorn are taking credit to themselves for discov ering the merit In that which I had to offer. 55* Different In Europe. l| "On tho continent of Europe thing* Jl are different. There the Inventor 1* Jm not treated ns If he were fresh from an wm asylum for the feeble-minded, but 1* turned over at once to the official whose duty It Is to examine Buch things ns he lias to offer, and the exam* Ination proceeds forthwith. Tho conti nental governments take Interest In ev erything that Is new, especially If it pertains to warfare, and the Inventor la treated llko whnt he Is In most cases— a gentleman. The United States gov ernment when It gets a thing gets It by accident after having exhausted ev ery means likely to disaournge a roan whose brain has produced that which finally is found worthy by thoso who had met It at the outset a 1th a sneer.” It may bo after all that truth Is stranger than fiction, though people are given to a doubt of the old saying. After hearing of what this inventor had said, a character In one of Charles ) Dickens’ novels came to mind and I looked him up to refresh the memory. Tho American said that the continental European governments were interested in all the schemes of inventors. H* laid nothing about Great Hrltaln. It ♦nay be that Edward's government has reformed, but In "Little Dorrlt,” as anyone way find who chooses to look, Daniel Doyce, Mr. Meagle's friend, had an experience with officialdom much like that of the yankc* Of Doyce Mr. Meagle said: "This Doyce Is a smith and engineer. . . , A dozen years ago ho perfected an invention (Involving a very curious secret procoss) of great importance to his country and hi* fellow creatures. I won’t say how much It cost him, or how many years of his life he had bden about it, but he brought it to perfection a dozen years ago. . . . Becomes a Culprit. "He addresses himself to the government. The moment he addresses himself to the gov ernment, he becomes a public offender! . . . He ceases to be an Innocent citizen nnd be comes a culprit. He is treated from that Instant as a rnan who has done some infernal action. He is a man to be shirked, put off, brow-beaten, sneered at, handed oter by this highly connected young or old gentianrian to that highly connected young or old gentleman, and dodged back again; he Is a man with no rights In his own time, or his own property; u mere outlaw, whom It is Justifiable to get rid of anyhow; a man to be worn out by any possible means.” me inventor wno nan some tnings to say < about the manner 1n which he was treated by ; the American department officials when he ! asked them humbly to look at hla Invention ! stated also that once upon a time ho had an appointment, with a cabinet ofTlcer and that he salted beyond the tlm» net for two hours before he had his Interview, which last«d Jess than ope minute. It muat be borne In mind that, this was some years ago and no present cabinet official la Implicated. It might also be borne in mind by present officials that at least six governments of the world are each spending millions of dollars annually In adding to their store of weapons of offense ano defense the invention which this n^n had perfected years before he could get t <e officials of the government of his own country to look upon it with anything that « smacked of Intareet. m Honsuotui P- H- NAPIEb, Attorney-at-Law WAVn*, w. VA. «!««■. a-. gikske, *«MOO, W. WA. OW«, «| H—rj Brick. J‘ C pGei«rer, M. D > EycJa£!^^ ton* JIuntin^V^ Robert Wright, Jr., nSlntingPaint«« ****** T«E BARBER, W^gJiWTfc oo hl. f*t,,,«c*,on* J^grtT T- T- McDougal, nre and Life Insurance agent. CEREDO, W. VA. Contp«nj.. *•«•«. Fir. *•"» that „v>, . d‘ '”• Uf* Com. -plcndid p^.7* *»d PATENTS i Caveat*, and Trade-Marks obtained, and all !*at rent buameaaconducted for Mooes ATI Fees. Joua Orricc is Opposite U. •. Paten-? Orricc and wo can aertire patent In leas lime tiiau tiioas remote from Washington. 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