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The mirror. (Stillwater, Minn.) 1894-1925, November 16, 1905, Image 1

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A I Uubllihed Weekly | A
Vol. XIX.—No. 18
* Shorthand and Hts
> . Study-
IT IS gratifying to note the interest 1
that is manifested in this subject, 8
for since the publication of a pre- H
vious article on shorthand there 1
have come to me u great many requests r
for more information. This being so, r
it is a genuine pleasure to assist those
who are inclined to make the most out c
jof a very unfortunate situation, and £
whose ambitions do not end with their
present capabilities. 1
There have been some “Doubting £
Thomases” with reference to the earn- (
ing capacities of first-class stenogra- 1
phers and reporters. If, in stating that 1
the salaries of first-class men reach the <
almost unbelievable sum of thirty )
thousand dollars per year, I have mis- i
stated the facts, the error has been on i
the right side. 1 do not in the least I
doubt that there are reporters earning *
twice that sum. 1 think too that there
is much reason for such belief. A case
not a month old will serve as a fair
and average example.
The school-teachers of Brooklyn, i
have combined in engaging counsel in
New York to present to - the city their
claims for back pay amounting to
nearly $2,500,000.00. In the event of
success the attorney will receive a fee
of $400,000.00. The preparation of these
claims, numbering 3,418 separate ac
tions, has consumed a month of time
aud makes two printed volumes of
3,414 pages, weighing twenty-one
pounds. The first suit has been tried
with the decision in favor of the
Now, th? law of New York—as well
as nearly all states —defines very clear
ly what shall be a reporter’s charges
for transcripts, attendance, mileage
fees, etc. Beporters in courts that have
no regular paid reporter, are paid a
certain amount per diem for attend
ance and a stated amount for each
folio (100 words) taken down and tran
scribed, with an additional allowance
for extra copies of the record. As
every figure, punctuation mark or
other character is counted as one word,
it will readily be seen that a typewrit
ten sheet, legal size, contains more
words than one would imagine or ex
pect. A page averages about two hun
dred words. In actual court reporting,
however, the pages are never averaged.
Each word is counted, every hun
dredth word being underscored and the
number put in the margin. The laws
further prescribe that the reporter may
collect his charges on delivery of the
trauscript, the same being considered
a lien upon the work. This w r as made
to prevent shyster lawyers from secur
ing valuable documents without
payment therefor. The stenographer’s
bill for the transcribing of the claims
in the case of the Brooklyn school
teachers would be about as follows:
30 days attendance @ 10 00 $ 300.00
3414 pages, transcript “ .50 1707 00
2 extra copies, per page “ .05 341.40
Notarial fee,3418 cases “ .25 854.50
Total $3202.90
Cost of paper, etc., $ 50.00
“ “ extra help 200.00
Net cost of transcripts - - $2952.90
This represents the earnings of the
reporter and I believe will not vary
S2OO one way or the other. Multiplied
by twelve gives an annual income of
$35,434.80. This is neither an excep
tional case nor are the facts overdrawn.
The figures show just what the law
says shall be paid and what the re
porter demands.
The stenographer’s bill for reporting
the proceedings of the Modern Wood
men convention, held at Milwaukee
last season, would put him on “easy
street” for quite a while, provided he
kept away from his enemies—whisky,
gambling and bad company.
Intricate, long-drawn-out lawsuits
are gold-mines to the reporter, and
yield a handsome income. Goverri-
ment positions are the poorest paid of
all, even in the large international
affairs where the “honor” of nations
is at stake and where absolute accu
racy and trustworthiness are the vital
The study of shorthand requires first
and foremost diligence aud step-by
step thoroughness. This spells success.
Without an impelling desire and de
termination to overcome all obstacles
and to master each detail to the point
of perfection, one might just as well
never begin. Don’t trust to luck,
thinking that you will review this or
that “knotty” problem later on, for
you never will. Do it now. The chances
are that later on you will run up
against a problem requiring intelli
gence on the very one you slighted,
and in despair you throw aside your
book with “Oh, I’ll never learn that.”
And you’re right. You will not; not
by that method.
The beginner should provide him
self with“ Benn Pitman’s Phonographic
Manual” which can be purchased for
a dollar from the Phonographic In-*
stitute Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The “Phonographic Amanuensis,”
($1.00) by the same publishers, teaches
the same system in a different way.
For self-mastery the former is to be
recommended. The two should not be
used, as there will be much confusion
and consequent hardship which is un
necessary and without profit to the
student. Supply yourself with paper,
preferably ruled, pen and ink. Never
use a pencil. At least not until you
are a full-fledged stenographer, and
then never use anything but a good
pencil. The reason for this is made
apparent in the mauual of instruc
Study each page and paragraph of
the manual thoroughly, slighting not a
word or mark. It must ever be borne in
mind that phonography is a system of
sound-writing; that words are written
as they sound , irrespective of spelling.
Take for example the word “alphabet.”
This would be written in shorthand
“alfabet” for the reason that this is the
sound of the word. Again, take the
word “tax.” In shorthand characters
the representation would be “take,’’for
this is the true sound. It may be nec
essary to state that shorthand has no
equivalent for the letters “x” and “c”.
The “x” is represented by its sound
“ks” and “c” by either “k” or “s” ac
cording to its sound. In the manual
above mentioned the student is first
given the consonants of the alphabet
which are to be mastered. These are
divided into classes called “explodents,”
“fricatives,” “liquids,” “nasals,” “coales
cents” and “aspirates” for reasons
stated clearly in the manual. The next
step, and a very important one, is the
joining of the various strokes into the
great number of combinations. There
are rules why certain signs or strokes
should always be joined a certain way,
and more rules why other strokes
should never be joined in other ways,
and all are important. In fact, every
step should be considered as the most
important, for in reality, they are all
equally important. There is an inter
dependency that exists in no other
study I know of. Every detail is a
keystone, the leaving out of which pre
cipitates the whole structure into a
meaningless rum. The vowel signs
for a, e, i, o, u and y are perhaps the
most difficult of all for the beginner.
Thoroughly mastered and properly un-
derstood, however, they form little
hinderance later on as they are by de
grees discovered as the student ad
vances until finally they are omitted
From the very beginning the student
should master every detail, continually
asking himself why this stroke is made
so and the other one so and then find
his answer by close observation and
by an intelligent reading of the text.
Finally, don’t refer to the lessons
further on in the book and endeavor
to “study out” the outlines given. It
serves no good purpose and only leads j
to confusion. No man ever became a
doctor by cutting the liver out of a
corpseduringhis first day at school; no
man ever became an engineer by get
ting into the cab of “The Limited” the
same day his name went on the
company’s payroll. The doctor had to
submit to a long, uninteresting study
of physiology, chemistry and what-not
before he was allowed to wield the
scalpel, and the engineer spent many a
cold and stormy night on a jerky way
freight before he was allowed to touch
the throttle. The stenographer likewise
must not expect to “take down”
speeches in a few weeks or months.
The chance will come all too soon. If
uninteresting at times, which it will be,
let it be remembered that the greatest
efforts will be crowned by the greatest
gains. As in all things in life, the
things worth having are worth striving
for, aud because some things are bard,
because some lessons are uninteresting
and because some tasks, difficult even
to the point of severity, makes their
mastery all the more glorious, and
when mastered give one that sweet
satisfaction of knowing that the effort
was worth the achievement many
times over. E. W. M.
Perkins’ Agricultural
PERKINS was down, but he j I
wasn’t out. His friend and,
partner, Blackler, was in a very s
despondent mood, for the 1
future did not seem to hold out any
alluring promises, as it had in the '
past. True, the promises had not been
fulfilled, but they had served to keep *
hope from being entirely extinguished. <
Perkins felt pretty blue himself, but <
he had great faith in his own genius, 1
and his star of hope was still in the '
ascendant. Their latest entei prise had
just proven a failure, and the excheq
uer was perilously low. In a month it 1
would be cleaned out, provided it was 1
not replenished in some manner which
had yet to be devised. So they sat
brooding on the balcony of their hotel, 1
consuming many cigarettes and say
ing little. Suddenly Perkins spoke.
“Say, Blackler, what did you tell me
once about a farm up in Canada?”
“Why, an old uncle of mine has one,
somewhere up there, and he told me
1 could have it if I’d work it. But 1
haven’t come down to farming yet,
altho l may have to before long.”
“Well, old man, that’s what we’re
going to do now.”
“What, you? I think I see you wear
ing blue jeans and hobnails, and hand
ling a pitchfork. You don’t mean it?”
“Don’t 1 tho? I’ll show you.
Let’s go to the room, and-I’ll outline
my scheme.”
They rose, and passed through the
hall, finally entering a small room, that
served them for bedroom, dressing
room and parlor. Here Perkins talked
and wrote rapidly, and when he was
through Blackler exclaimed admiringly:
“By thunder! 1 believe you are right.
Perkins you’re a wonder!”
“Not at all, old man; not at all.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Now we’ll pack up and hike for
Two days later saw them installed in
an inexpensive hotel in Winnipeg,
which was to be their headquarters for
! the present. Two weeks later the fol
lowing advertisement appeared in sev
. eraL leading English weeklies:
i “Young men, who wish to learn
. practical farming, on a large scale.
We have room for eight or ten men, on
‘ our extensive farm and ranch in Mani
-1 toba, and will instruct them in all
branches of farming and stock raising.
. Two years tuition by experienced men,
' for a fee of five hundred pounds.
r Write immediately to
> Perkins & Blackler,
l Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I Their finances feere in a serious con
dition. They waited and waited, and
began to fear that their grand scheme
was about to prove a failure. The
landlord of the hotel had agreed to
chalk up their bill for a week, but he
was beginning to show a very fatherly
interest in them, which was rather
significant. In the meantime, however,
they had succeeded in securing the
services of a practical farmer, and he
was even now engaged putting the
farm in shape. Blackler’s good old
uncle was so pleased that his nephew
had decided to settle down to a life of
honest toil, that he shipped a couple of
carloads of horses and cattle to the
farm, just as a matter of encourage
ment. Of course he knew nothing of
his nephew’s intended methods.
Perkins had almost made up his
mind, that they would have to take
French leave of their friend, the hotel
keeper, and depart for more healthy
climes, when he received a letter with
an English post mark. His heart stood
| still, but without any waste of time he
opened it, and read:
“Perkins & Blackler,
i Dear Sirs:—l saw your advertis
| ment in the Times, and as it impressed
me favorably, I am sending my son
i William out to Canada, in the hopes
that you can help him to start in life.
He will probably reach you as soon as
, this letter, and will pay you your tui-
I tion fee on arrival. Hoping you will
! report to me my son’s progress, I am
Yours truly,
John Smith.”
Perkins read the letter in the hotel
office. When he finished, he rushed up
stairs to the room where Blackler was
sitting, and with a whoop, like a wild
Indian, handed him the letter, and.
proceeded to dance around the room.
“It’s come, old boy; ’tis come,” he
shouted. “And there will be more to
follow, you’ll see.”
Blackler was delighted. “What will
we do now?” he added.
“Do? We’ll just wait till William
arrives and hands over that five hun
dred pounds—twenty-five hundred
dollars old man—and then I’ll gently
lead him out to the farm and put him
to work.”
“And what will Ido?”
“You will remain here, in my ab
sence, and send any 1 esh arrivals
out to me. There will be lots of them.”
“But we will have to limit it. The
farm won’t provide work for more
than fifteen or twenty.”
“We’ll take everyone that comes and
puts up his dough, Blackler, old boy.
For, if I’m net mistakeu, they will not
stay long, when they see the work they
have to do. And if they leave, they
forfeit their fees. Their work on the
farm will pay for their board, and we
can make enough in a couple of years
to retire, and do nothing but clip cou
j “All right, old man; just as you say.”
The scheme was working famously.
After the first man had been started
in his studies, Perkins had his hands
full receiving new arrivals. The bank
account in Winnipeg was growing
beautifully. The farm prospered un
der the capable management of Wal
ters, the overseer. For a time it looked
as if Perkins had found a veritable
gold mine. He and Blackler were
talking of a trip to Europe, to spend
some of their hard-earned wealth.
And then the blow fell.
One evening, when Perkins was in
Winnipeg, about twenty young En
glishmen, students in his Agricultural
College, met out in the open behind the
barn. W alters was in the house and
would not disturb them. One husky
son of John Bull stood on a barrel, and
addressed the others.
“Fellows,” he said, “I have an idea
that we are being made game of out
here. I came out here to learn farm
ing, and 1 paid five hundred pounds as
a fee. But I didn’t come out here to
make a slave of myself and pay for the
privilege of doing it. This man Per
kins and his partner Black ler never do
a hand’s turn. They take our money,
and do nothing for it. The men who
work on other farms hereabouts, are
paid to do it, whether they are experts
or not. Now lam not going to stand
for it, and I think we should get our
Tcoue.j $1 .ooper year, In advance
i a , x nl onths6o centg
tuition fee back, or else be paid wages.
What do you fellows say?”
A general discussion ensued, and
when the meeting broke up a little
later they wore a look of determina
tion, which boded ill for Perkins.
He came back to the farm next day,
and, at dinner hour he was approached
by the spokesman of the previous
“Mr. Perkins, we would like a few
moment’s conversation with you.”
“Certainly. is it about?”
“We have come to the conclusion
that your little plan to enrich yourself,
through us, will not work.”
“What do you mean ?”
“You know perfectly well what we
mean. You calculated to receive our
money and labor free, in return for
an imaginary tuition, in the science of
farming. We did not see through it at
first, but we do now. We want our
money back.”
“Well, you have your nerve,” blus
tered Perkins. “You’ll get no money
out of me. You came here to learn
farming, and you can’t learn it better
than by doing it. You can either
work or get out, but don’t talk about
money back. That’s not ”
“Mr. Perkins, we are going to have
our money back,” said the Englishman
calmly. “We want to get it peaceably,
but we are going to get it.”
There was something in the English
man’s tone which sent a chill down
| Perkins’ back. It seemed a very de
cided tone. He blustered some more,
but the Englishman interrupted and
called his fellows over to him. They
surrounded Perkins and he felt very
“Mr. Perkins,” went on the spokes
man, “you will kindly write to your
partner in Winnipeg, instructing him
to draw all the money out of the bank,
and bring it here.”
“I’ll do nothing of the sort.”
“You’ll do just that or take the con
sequences of your refusal. We mean
Perkins saw that it was useless to
argue. He was in the power of these
men, and saw no way out of it. He
tried to compromise, but it was no use.
It ended in his doing as they requested.
When affairs were settled up, and
the farm abandoned, as it had to be,
the firm of Perkins & Blackler found
itself stranded in Winnipeg, with only
a few weeks’ board money in the treas
Their next venture will be related
at some future date. A. D. Anac.
ShoWs Folly of Worry.
Never climb a hill until you get to
it, advises a writer in Medical Talk
for the Home. We remember as chil
dren that in riding through the coun
try we had a dread of high bills. How
often we saw far ahead of us, on the
road, a formidable looking hill. How
high and rough and steep it looked,
and how we feared it. How hard it
would be for the horse to carry us up
such a hill. We were sure he would
slip and fall and maybe upset the car
riage and so, with the greatest appre
hension, we would approach the
dreadful hill. But how surprised we
were as we came nearer to find the
hill receding, growing flatter, and real
ly no hill at all when we reached the
point that seemed so high and craggy
and dangerous.
So it is with many of life’s preplexi
ties. How darkly they loom up before
us, what a black pall they spread
around us. But when we get close up
to them they have vanished entirely.
We spoil so much of life in fear and
foreboding. We let slip the beautiful
moments that are ours and spoil them
by dreading the moments of the future
with which we have nothing to do.
We ride over the nice, level country,
forgetting its beauty, unmindful of
delight, dreading the hill that never
No matter how worthless a man
may be, his wife thinks he will develop
into a genius sooner or later.—Ex.

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