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The mirror. (Stillwater, Minn.) 1894-1925, December 23, 1909, Image 1

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6/>e MIRRORs
A PuMishedWeekly | A Lis!ii-J
rinesct ft. fft&te j *==^Q' —
Vol. XXIII.—No. 24.
J\ J4essage
To (jarcia
Which Has Been Printed Many
Millions of Times a n d is
Worth Reading Often.
Printed by Request.
In all this Cuban business there is
one man who stands out on the horizon
ot my memory like Mars at perihelion
When war broke out between Spain and
the United States, it was very necessary
t n communicate quickly with the lead
er of the Insurgents. Garcia was some
where in the mountain fastnesses of
Cuba —no one knew where. No mail
nor telegraph message could reach him.
The President must secure his co-oper
ation, and quickly.
What to do!
Some one 6aid to the President*
a fellow by the name of Rowan
will find Garcia for you, if anjbody
Rowan was sent for and given a let'
ter to be delivered to Garcia.
How “the fellow by the name of Row
an” took the letter, sealed it up in an
oilskin pouch,strapped it over his heart,
in four days landed by night on the
coast of Cuba from an open boat, dis-
appeared into the jungle, and in three
weeks came out on the other side of the
Island, having traversed a hostile coun
try on foot, and delivered his letter to
Garcia, are things I have no special
desire now to tell in detail. The point
I wish to make is this: McKinley gave
Rowan a letter to be delivered to Gar
cia; Rowan took the letter and did not
ask, “where Is he at?”
By the Eternal! there is a man whose
form should be cast in deathless bronze
and the statue placed in every college
of the land. It is not booklearning
young men need, nor instruction about
this and that, but a stiffening of the
vertebrae which will cause them to be
loyal to a trust, to act prompsly, con
centrate their energies; do the thing—
“ Carry a message to Garcia.”
Gei eral Garcia is dead now , but there
are other Garcias. No man ever en-
deavored to carry o u t an enterprise
where many hands were needed, but
has been well-nigh appalled at times by
the imbecility of the average man—the
inability or unwillingness to concen
tia e on a thing and do it.
Slipshop assistance, foolish inatten
tion, dowdy indifference,and halfheart
ed work seem the rule; and no man
succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or
threat, he forces or bribes other men to
assist him; or mayhap, God in his good
ness performs a miracle for an assist
You, reader, put this matter to a test:
You are sitting now in your office—six
•clerks are within call. Summon any
one and make this request: “Please
look in the encyclopedia and make a
brief memorandum for me concerning
the life of Correggio.”
Will the clerk say, “yes, sir,” and go
to the task?
On your life he will not. He will
look at you out of a fishy eye and ask
one or more of the following questions:
“Who was he?
“Which encyclopedia?
“Was £ hired for that?
“Don’t you mean Bismarck?
“What’s the matter with Charlie do
ing it?
“Is he dead?
“Is there any hurry ?
“Shan’t I bring you the book and let
you look It up yourself?
“What do you want to know for?”
ADd I will lay you ten to one that
after you have answered the questions,
and explained how to And the informa
tion, and why you want it, the clerk
will go off and get one of the other
clerks to help him try to find Garcia—
and then come back and tell you there
is no such man. Of course I may lose
my bet, but according to the Law of
Average I will not.
Now if you are wise you will not
bother to explain to your “assistant”
that Correggio is indexed under the C’s,
not In the K’s, but you will Bmile sweet*
ly and say, “never mind,” and go look
it up yourself.
And tals incapacity for independent
action, this moral stupidity,this infirm
ity of the will, this unwillingness to
cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the
things that put pure Socialism 60 far
Into the future. If men will not act for
themselves, what wUI they do when the
benefit of their effort is for all ?
A firstmate with knotted club seems
necessary; and the dread of getting “the
bounce” Saturday night, holds many a
worker to his place. Advertise for a
stenographer, and nine out of ten who
apply can neither spell nor punctuate—
and do not think it necessary to.
Can such a oi.e write a letter to Gar
“You see that bookkeeper,” said the
foieman to me in a large factory.
“Yes, what about him?”
“Well, he’s a tine accountant, but if
I’d Eend him up town on au errand, he
might accomplish the errand all right,
and on the other hand, might stop at
four saloons on the way, and when he
got to Main street, would forget what
he had been sent for.”
Can such a man be entrusted to carry
a message to Garcia ?
We have rectntly been hearing much
maudlin sympathy expressed for the
“down-trodden denizen o f the sweat-
shop” and the “homeless wanderer
searching for honest employment,”and
with it all often go many hard words
for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer
who grows old before his time in a vain
attempt to get frowsy neVrdowells to do
intelligent work; and his long, patient
striving with “help” that does nothing
but loaf when his back is turned. In
e\ery store and factory there is a con
stant weedingout process going on.
The employer is constantly rendin g
away “help” that have showu their in
capacity to f urther the interests of the
business, and others aie bein' taken
on. No matter how good times are,
this sorting continues, only if times are
hard and work is scarce, the sorting is
done finer —but out and forever out,
the incompetent and unworthy go. It
is the survival of the fittest. Selfinter
est prompts every employer to keep the
best—those who carry a message t o
I know one man of really brilliant
parts who has not the ability to manage
a business of his own, and yet who is
absolute’y worthless to any one else,
because with him constantly there is
always the insane suspicion that his
employer is oppressing, or intending
to oppress .him. He cannot give or
ders; and he will not receive them.
Should a message be given him to take
to Garcia, his answer would probably
be, “take it yourself!”
Tonight this man walks the streets
looking for work, the wind whistling
through his threadbare coat. No one
who knows him dares employ him, for
he is a regular firebrand of discontent.!
He is impervious to reason, and the
only thing that can impress him is the
toe of a thicksoled No. 9 boot.
Of course I know thatone so morally
deformed is no less to be pitied than a
physical cripple; but in our p.tying, let
us drop a tear, too, for the men who
are striving to carry on a great enter
prise; whose working hours are not
limited by the whistle, and whose hair
is fast turning white through struggle
to hold in line dowdy indifference,slip
shod imbecility, and the "heartless in
gratitude, which, but for their enter
prise, would be both hungry and home
Have I put the matter too strongly ?
Posßibly I have; but when all the world
has gone a-slumming 1 wish to speak a
word of sympathy for the man who
succeeds—the man who, against great
‘odds, has directed the efforts of others,
and having succeeded, finds there’s no
thing in it; nothing but bare board and
clothes. 1 carried a dinner pail and
{ Continued, in' column 5 this page.)
Abser\t Minded
Queer Capers and Story of a Chap
Who Says His Soul Once
Left His Body.
George Simpson andl had been
chums for years and I am indebted to
him to this day for some of my happiest
hours. Now that he has passed into
the Great Beyond it is probable that he
will take no offense, even if he does
read with his “spiritual eyes” the fol
lowing incidi nts, which this season of
the year brings to my mind, in his ca
reer. I say “spiritual eyes” because
George was always “seeingthings” and
it may be that as he was a firm believer
in all that is mystic he may even now
be looking over my shoulder and if so
I trust what I write about him will
meet with his approval. Anyway, I
know he cannot contradict me and even
then I would still insist upon putting
on record the story which he recounted
to us on Christmas night in the year
1901. Little did any of those present
believe the circumstances he then relat-
ed and yet, strange to say, he foretold
to a day the manner and time of his
Before recounting, in Simpson’s own
words, the wierd and uncanny visita
tions with which he claimed himself to
be subject, let it here be slated injus
tice to the reader and tn those who are
delving for the truth in ghostly mat
ters, that my triend. was a type of a man
seldom met, genial to a degree,but with
al the most unmitigated, absent mind
ed customer it has ever been my pleas
ure to know. It had always been my
custom to attribute all his experiences
to a freak of memory in the recounting
of the details connected with each, but
who shall say after realing tMis that
the things which were at one time the
cause of mirth to his companions, were
not a stern rea’ity to him? To those
who do not believe in the manifestation
of the deid to the living I will recoun
a few instances o f George’s absent'
mindeineßß so that they—like I origin
ally had—may have an explanation for
Simpson’s own story.
The memory of a convivial supper
party in college days recur 3 as the first
occasion on which I actually witnessed
one of his mental lapses. On thatnight
I returned to his quarters and remain
ed some half an hour or more reading
and smoking after he had retired. Go
ing to his room, which we had agreed
to share, 1 found that he had put his
umbrella in bed and was sleeping, ap
parently oblivious o f everything, in
quiet content in the corner. On an
other occasion when camping, I watch
ed him boil his watch, with the egg In
his band to see that the usual prescrib
ed three miDutes were not exceeded.
His wife tells a good story also of find
ing him in a bathroom reading the towel
and wiping himself with a newspaper.
Such absent-mindedness may appear
to us ridiculous, but as a characteristic
it evidences a mind that was always
pondering deeply some abstruse sub
ject. Simpson’s answer to all questions
regarding the cause of such forgetful
ness was, “I was communing with my
mother and forgot all else.”
The Christmas of 1901 was spent as
every one would wish it to be, that is.
among true friends, and every one de
termined to outdo the other in the giv
ing of pleasure and the making of gaie
ty. As the evening lengthened into
night the subject of conversation had
turned to ghosts and each guest had
recounted one or more experience, cred
ited or not, according to the listener’s
own views on the subject. The whole
of these stories were more or less dis
counted in value because they lacked
“personal” experience. It was at this
point our host, Simpson, recorded the
following and the words are so well re
called they may be taken literally as
his own
“You will all remember what a phys
ical wreck I was when I returned from
the West African Expedition. We lost
more men from swamps and forest fe
vers than were killed by bullet or spear.
It is a fact that at one time or another
Beventyflve percent of the men went
under in the forsaken country which is
justly called the While Man’s Grave.
An experience happened to me which
I have never recounted to any one save
my wife —during the time I was laid
low—and I will now tell it to you, pre-
mising my remarks with an assurance
that every word is true and after I have
told my story I will theu show evidence
to prove its veracity.
“The first and only illness I can ever
remember was this jungle fever. For
days, 1 am told, I lay in a stupor and
then came a time when my mind was
perfectly clear. And yet I was too
weak to raise an eyelid. From this
state I passed into another and I real
ized that I must be on the confines of
death. Whether I slept or not Ido not
know, but I do remember that I feared
to make the effort to rouse myself lest
I should wake up and find mysel* deal.
Paradoxical as it may appear je, I
knew I was somewhere outside of my
body and could even see myself lying,
to all outward appearances, dead. It,
was then my mother first appeared and
spoke with me and this, as l would re
mind you all, happened after she had
been dead for seven years. The word
‘dead’is a misnomer for if all those
who pass Beyond are as beautiful and
happy as she—then indeed Paradise is
a city of the ‘living dead.’ She then
told me with what happiness she an
ticipated my joining her, but as there
was happiness to spare in her existing
condition she would patiently await
my joining her on New Year’s Day of
the year 1903. It was then she also
told me that if at any time I was tempt
ed to do wrong she would upon each
and every occasion let me know, by
some manifestation that she was at
hand and watching over my welfaie
“While communing thus together 11
had also been a witness to the Doctor
passing along the sick lines until he
approached the place where my cot
should have t een but which was sub
stituted b y mother earth, a blanket
and pillow.
“1 saw him examine me closely, shake
his head and then turn to his orderly
with these words: ‘lt is all over with
George. It is a pity, for he was a de
cent sort of a cuss, but then it is also
a pity he drank.’
“It was while listening to these words
that something happened. I know not
what, but I do know that the next mo
ment 1 was back where I belonged, that
is, my spirit had returned to my body
and so incensed was I at the Doctors’
uncomplimentary an 1 premature obit
uary notice t that I opened my eyes and
exclaimed to the amazement of all that
the Doctor w a s a liar, 1 was not
dead and had many a kick left in me
, yet.
“From that day to this I frequently
find myself hovering between time and
eternity and it is in the silent watches
of the night that I am enabled to an
nihilate space and hold ser ret commun
ion with the dearest and best of moth
“I told you when I began this narra
tive 1 would show you evidence of such
visitations and I will now do so, after
stating that some two years ago I was
sorely tempted in an hour of great po
litical 6trife,to commit an injustice and
it was premeditating this wr< ng and
when actually on the doorsteps of my
bitterest enemy, that my mother ap
proached and seized my left arm while
reasoning with me to abandon my pro
ject. To this hour her finger prints are
manifest and that you skeptics may no
longer doubt that there is a hereafter
and intercommunication with kin
dred souls I will now show the marks
which no one but my wife has previous
ly seen.”
* With the concluding words Simpson
bared his arras and distinctly manifest
were the imprints of fingers.
The wag of the party said: “Vac
cination MARKS 1“
A. R.
_ l si.oo a year, In advance
Terms: j Six Months, 60 cents.
BeWare of
False Frier\da»
Look Out for those Who Are Cyni
cal and Sarcastic and De
nounce those Absent.
It is the appetency of the majority
of us, when judging our fellow beings,
to attribute to them all the reprehensi
ble qualities of which we know our
selves to be possessed without making
the same allowance for the virtues we
believe to be ours. The hypocrite and
the liar detect in every man fail ngs of
a similar kind whilst to the egotist
everybody is striving for personal gain
but himself. Few of us appreciate the
value of a friend until our repulsive
conduct has alienated his affection. In
spite of the accumulated experience of
centuries and misery resulting from con
lidence betrayed, to which we are daily
witnesses, we still permit our judgment
to be overthrown by a smile and word
of flattery.
The n an who loves us for ourt elves,
who sees our numerous failings and
condones them, sees the very small stock
of virtues that the best of us possess
and appreciates them, does not delude
us by smiles and soft words into a be
lief of our own superiority. *
Words are often nothing more than
wind, as stirring perhaps as the beat
of a drum and like the drum as empty.
Deep affection finds difficulty in ex
pressing itself. The language it speaks
is of the heart, ungarnished and with
out pretence, more valuabe than gold
to him whom experiencehaß taught the
art of assessment, but a goad, a lash to
him who prefers the slough of his own
Not tili our fickle, purring associates
have spurned us do we turn to the
deeper and more serious friend for suc
cor. When hunting certa n kinds of
game the hunter digs a pit which he
conceals beneath the most attractive
foilage that can be gathered. Lured by
bait the innocent victim plunge* head
long to its doom. This is precis* ly the
method adopted by many socalled
[riends who with smiles and soft words
ead us to destruction, whilst we, blind-
ed by conceit, are unable to detect the
difference between a smile and a sneer,
but turn snapping and snarling at the
truer and more candid friend who
warns us of our danger. Beware of the
man who regales you with sarcastic or
cynical comments on an absent friend
for it is not improbable that you will
become his victim the moment your
back is turned.
D. M.
JK Message To Qarcia.
worked for day’s wages, and I have also
been an employer of labor, and 1 know
there is something to be said on both
sides. There is no excellence, per se, in
poverty; rags a r e no recommendation;
and all ( employers are not rapacious
and high handed, any more than all
poor men are virtuous. My heart goes
out to the man who does his work when
the “boss” is away, as well as when he
is at home. And the man, who, when
given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes
the missive, without asking any idiotic
questions, and with no lurking inten
tion of chucking it into the nearest
sewer, or of doing aught else but de
liver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has
to go on a strike for higher wages. Civ
ilization is one longvanxious rearch for
just such individuals. Anything such
a man asks -shall be granted. He is
wanted in every city, town and village
—m every office, shop, store and factory.
The world cries out for such: he is
needed, and needed badly—the man who
can carry a message to Garcia.—Elbert
Be joyful. It you cau’t be joyful, b
not grouchy.

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