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The Omaha Sunday Bee. Magazine Page ' '' 1 -'-"- Copyright, Mil. toy the Star Company- Great Britain Rights Reserves. What Death HaxBrou l5 It D OPOHT am e s Si Hi s i If sr S I 5 i i ft. ToTheTwoMrxAstoix To Mrs. Astor No. 1 , Everything She Lost by Divorce, Even Social Leadershipand Not a Single Reminder of Her Late Husband To Mrs. Astor No. 2, Social Ostracism in a Lonely Fifth Avenue Palace, Harassed by Fears for the Safety of Her Tragic Babe Mr. Astor, Who Regains All Her Wealth and Social Prestige by tke Grim Turn of Fate Which Cost Her Divorced Husband His Life. WHEN Colonel John Jacob Astor died heroically on the Titanic, that tragedy brought change y in the lives ot tbo two Mrs. AstorB wonderful as the transformations effected by an Arabian Nights magician. Mrs. Astor No. 1 (Ava Willing) Voluntarily accepted social obscurity whon she dlvorcod Colonol Astor throe years ago. The tragedy gavo her back everything sho had lost, except the husband whom sho did not want It gave her, too, much ot value besides. Mrs. Astor No. 2 (Madelolno Force) stopped Into the full glow of fortune's sunshine when she married Colonel Astor two years ago, after protracted efforts tp find a minister. The tragedy thrust her back Into tho social obscurity she had enjoyed before the wed ding, with doubtless a certain added asperity among those who strongly championed Mrs. Astor No. 1. Strangest ot all, Mrs. Astor No. 1 became once, mora, through death, tho mother of her own son. While his father lived he was mostly in his Bocloty, and to that extent separated from his mother. Now ho lives with hla mother entirely, to whom ho Is naturally devoted. Mrs. Astor No. 2 is leading her rotired life in her lonely Fifth Avenue palace. It Is the one conspicuous Astor possession sho retains; but the severely restrict' ' ed income sho enjoys 1b scarcely proportioned to it She has a son named John Jacob Astor, born after tho Titanic disaster. Ho was a child ot tragedy In many senses. Obviously, he will miss tho many ben eflts that would havo como to him as tho dear little Benjamin of tho family, had his father lived. Gossips even profess to sea an 111 omen In tho tact that an automobile ran wild and leaped on the sidewalk ot his mother's bouso on tho day ot his birth. Tbey predict that ho will suffer from tho attitude of the very powerful families such as the Vanderbllts, who have always championed Mrs. Astor No. 1, but that is probably attributing too much malevolence to social leaders. Then, too, the bravo young mother, Mrs. Astor No. 2, has been greatly troubled by the fear that an attempt might bp made to kidnap her young son. Death gave back to Mrs. Astor No. 1 the virtual control of one ot tho greatest fortunes In the world, It took that control from Mrs. Astor No. 2. As the beloved mother ot Vincent Aetor, the richest unmarried young man in America, Mrs. Astor No. 1 became tie director of his palaces, his possessions and his expenditures. She regained possession of t(he great Astor yacht the Noma; ot the splendid Astor jewels, ot the great Astor Hudson River estate. Fern ditto, of tho charming old Newport Astor villa Beech wood, of the motor cars, horses, carriages, plate and other treasures ot the family. By the same tragedy, Mrs. Astor No. 2 lost all these things. Most strangely, too, Mrs. Astor No, 1 regained by death her title as the woman head of the family. After the Titanic tragedy It was announced that she would be called "Mrs. John Astor" and not "Mrs, Ava Willing Astor." On the other hand, Mrs. Astor No. 2 Is always spoken ot as "Mrs. Madeleine Force Astor" and not as "Mrs. John Jacob Astor." Mrs. Astor No. 1 became by death most decorously a Widow, whereas before that she had only been a divorced woman. Practically everybody In society now refers to her as the widow of CoL Astor, and avoids giving that ttUe to Mrs. Astor No. 2. In London, whero Mrs. Astor No. 1 has kept a fino house, she enjoys the friendship of the King and Queen, the Duchess of Marlborough and all the greatest social magnates of the United Kingdom. They always speak 9f her as Colonel Aster's widow, and overlook the eecoad widow. The British are very expert at over looking, little things like that .In short, Mrs. Astor No. 1, the beautiful, stately, high-bred matron, has trlumohed beyond the dreams of romance. Mrs. Astor No, 2, the beautiful, long-limbed young Hebe, remains In tragic obscurity, a pathetic yet a dignified figure. Society is about to witness a new demonstration of Mrs. John Actor's triumph. Tho next scone of her lifo will be laid In Newport whero for the first tlmo In her life she will rule at Beechwood as mistress. In the early years of her mar riage she spent every Summer there, but always as a daughter-in-law, never as head of the house. After tho death of Mrs. Astor, senior, when she might have reigned there, sho refused, and shortly afterward she began suit for divorce. Therefore Beechwood, the old fashioned mansion where royaltlos have been enter tained and whero magnlficont dinners and balls were given year after year, will be the pivot around which Mrs. Astor's futuro career will rovolve. Could woman ask more of Fortune? Last Winter Mrs. Astor returned to New York and occupied the Fifth Avenue house, leased for her by her son. Sho also went to Forncllffe, whero numerous house parties woro entortalned. Sho occupied the Astor box at the opera, the Astor tiara shone on her head and the Astor pearls encircled her shapely neck. None of those things would she have had had tho -Colonel lived. Tho second Mrs. Astor would havo sat In that box wear ing those pearls and that tiara. Tho second bride would havo boon hostess at Fcrncllffo; would have dispensed hospitality In tho famous town house. But the Titanic and Dame Fortune gave all those things back to the woman who had thrown them Into tho discard, to tho woman who never expected to havo them again. Mrs. Astor was content in her life In England. She lived more simply than sho had ever lived in this country, but she claimed that sho did not regret having given these things- up; that she would over again sit In her old opera box never entered her hoad. But tho greatest of all these changes Is the one that brings her to Newport as tho head of Newport's most Important family. She will not have to make any effort to establish horBelf as social leader, she will sim ply assume tho rolna ot leadership and hold them as she pleases. But Mrs. Astor returns to Newport not without a struggle, not without demanding some changes. Her those being made in the gardens. Colonel Astor was very fond of American beauty roses. He had numerous hothouses filled with them, and the gardens were filled with roses of every description. All these have been taken away. The Amorlcan beauties have been sent to Ferncllffo and tho gardens are now planted with old fashioned flowers of various kinds, and there are plans now under way to make a formal garden overlooking the cliffs, something that no other member of the fam ily has ever cared to have done. When Mrs. Astor arrives In Newport next month the wedding, which took place In the ball room of Beechwood, part of the honeymoon was spent cruising on the Noma. And now tho first Mrs. Astor returns to this yacht! Returns to play hostess on board the yacht that her husband bought to replace the yacht which she had lived on. Naturally enough, Mrs. Astor would like to see the Noma sold, but steam yachts are not easily disposed of, and so tho vessel will bo kept and will be one ot the features of Newport Harbor this season. Tho color scheme of the Interior has all been changed and the owner's cabin has been made into two guest rooms. On the day that the Astor Cup Race is run off shore, In August, Mrs. ABtor and her son will take a largo party to follow the course, and It will be Just like old times, only death will have removed the man who loomed so large In the life of both only a few years ago. Could anything be stranger, more seemingly impossi ble In our prosaic American life, more like the bizarre imagination of a surpassingly ingenious novelist in such a romance as "Burlqd Alive," or "Vice Versa," or "The MaBqueraders," or "Called Back"? Beechwood, the Magnificent New port EUte, Which Mrs. Attor I Stripping of Every Memory of Her Divorced Husband (Copjrisbt. Hit. b- Uu CuepUn StoUo, Mrt. Madeleine Force As lor, the Beau tiful Tragic Young Widow Who Lot All the Aitor Pollution by Death Except the Loi ely Fifth Avenue PrJ&ce. son Vincent who is the most notable young man In the public oyo at this moment, urged her to come so that there would be a hoad to his household, and, it the truth -be told, so that be might be relieved from tbo attentions ot many of the fond mothers in the colony, .mothers whose daughters are of marriageable age. Before saying yes, Mrs. Astor domanded that cer tain changes be made in Beechwood. She felt that Bho could not live In the houso as It had been arranged for tho now menago. Sho wanted every vestige of her late husband's presence removed from it, and, more than all, the ball room in which tho marriage of Made lolno Forco and Mr. Astor took place must be changed entirely. This ballroom Is a very atatoly room overlooking the gardens and ocean. There were golden walls and golden furniture and an air of elegance about the apart ment Hero took place the wonderful Astor balls wheu ladles wore their most gorgeous gownB and most sump tuous jewels. Here also took place tho pathetic mar riage that made many enemies for tho late Colonel Astor. This room to-day bears no resemblance to the apartment of old. Gone aro the golden walls. In their place are lovoly rose-tinted panels and soft gray carv ings. Gone also aro the golden furnishings. Every thing hero la now rose and gray and not one thing re mains to remind Mrs. Astor of the past Beechwood is not a large mansion; there are few guest rooms. Tho rooms on the second floor have always been used by members of the family. There was one sitting room facing the gardens. This waa furnished in ebony. It was very sombre and oppressive. This room had been done over in old rose and gold for the new wife. Tho room next that had been the bed room ot Mrs. William Astor, senior, had been transformed Into a bower of beauty for the bride, and tho other room, on the same floor had gone through similar changes. Theso rooms had to be completely transformed be fore Mrs, John ABtor would return. The work Is just now being completed. The rose and gold room -will soon be a green and blue one. The bower fitted up for the bride is being made into a charmingly girlish blue and white room tor Muriel. Colonel Astor's room, with Its serviceable wal nut furniture, its neat but not gaudy rugs, and plain gray walls has been changed to look like a typical col lege room. Vincent has had all the furnishings -brought from his rooms on the Harvard Gold Coast and In stalled in this room that once belonged to his father. Every article of tho old furnishings has been removed, even the gymnastic apparatus that was attached to tho door and which the late Colonel Astor used every morning. These chsnges within doors are no greater than llllllllltan iiiiitiiiiiiiiiiiiMiiiiiiinnuuiiin.iinniiiiiiiiiHiiiiiiiMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiH Pmoto sv she will find no real evidences of her former husband's occupancy in his former home, and absolutely nothing to remind her of the fact that Beechwood had been transformed only eighteen months ago for the new wife. There is not a picture of the late owner or his second wife in all tho house. This is all very strange, but there is something still more strange, something that shows Dame Fortune's Bardonlo humor to the last degree. When Mrs. Astor divorced her husband she also divorced his yacht the splendid Nourmahal, the pride of the New York Yacht Club. On this yacht the Col onel and his first wife had made many cruises. They had in the first years of their married life spent some happy hours on board. There were memories In It for both ot them. The Colonel could not keep the craft after the divorce, He sold it and bought tho Noma, an equally expensive and handsome vessel, but naturally It had no memories. On this yacht as time passed the Colonel enter tained the girl he afterward married. His courtship" was carried on on -board and for a tlmo it looked as though he would have to be married on board. After "The first Mrs. Astor gained all worldly things through marriage, lost them willing ly through divorce and now has re gained them all through Colonel Astor's death." Truth stranger than fiction? Who can now deny this? Hero is the story ot a woman who got all worldly things through marriage, lost them through divorce, but lost them willingly, and now gets them all baok through too effort of her own, but through death. Death turning the wheel of fortune throwB every thing In her lap, but by the same turn, takes from another woman all the rich gifts ehe had gained by marriage. To Make the French Duel More Serious AVERY serious movement has been started among the fash ionable clubs of Paris to make the French duel move serious than it has hitherto been. "A gentleman does not fight un der the eye of the moving picture machine," la a great principle which was laid down by the Chevalier Andre do Fouquieres In hla Interest ing articles on Parisian subjects for this newspaper. "A duel is with one exception the most glorious occasion ot a man's life," was another expression ot the same high authority. These are the two principal rules which will guide the social leaders ot Paris In their efforts to reform the duel. They declare that neither reporters nor photographers must be Invited to attend a duel or per mitted to be present under any pre text. Furthermore, the combatants must behave with gravity and dig nity, not indulging in violent in sults, unseemly mirth or wild gesticulations. The practice of holding a banquet after the combat, attended by the combatants and all their seconds and. assistants must be abolished. It has frequently happend that af ter a duel had passed oft quite harm lessly, the antagonists have had a serious quarrel at the banquet as n result of the free consumption of generous wines and Jlquors. The fashionable club known as the "Cercle Hoche" took the lead In this movement and was followed by those other smart organizations, the "Cercle Idttsralre et Arttstique," ot the rue Volney; the Jockey Club and the "Union Artistlque." In commenting upon the move ment the secretary of the Jockey Club said: "It is unhappily certain that we too frequently convert the duel into an affair of publicity instead ot an affair ot honor. "A duel should always be an event ot an exceptionally grave character and this fact should impose on all who take part In it a solemn duty ot alien and discretion. "It Is not necessary that a duel should have fatal or dangerous con sequences. The unfortunate thing is that two men should meet with deadly -weapons and behavo as If they were performing an act ot vaudeville. This gives occasion for much mirth among foreigners and the vulgar of our own country. Frenchmen who cherish the glorious traditions of the duel of prerevolu tlonary diys are cruelly hurt by theBe references. If the duel took place In absolute secrecy and the result only was reported in the most formal language, there would be no opportunity for the comic writes and artist "We must, by our correct be havior restore to the duel the gravity and the prestige it has lost in re cent years. Let us remember that the duel is one of tho most memor ablo occasions of a man's lifo, as M. de Fouquieres has so well said. "Those who persist In conducting duels with publicity will be per suaded to resign from this and other clubs." I I 1 x