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"Three American humorists whom I had the good fortune to meet and be with for some time were Irvin Cobb, Don Marquis, and Oliver Herford, each authentic
little ; to spend a little less; to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence; to renounce when that shall be necessary and not to be embittered; to keep a few friends, but these without capitulation; above all, on the same grim condition, to keep friends with himselfhere is a task for all that a man has of fortitude and delicacy." It is a far cry from San Francisco to Saranac, yet Stevenson is their connecting chain, with Harry Widener's amazing collection of Stevensoniana, in his memorial library at Harvard, as a link. The Saranac cottage, which on the day of my visit was surrounded by the sweetest lilac blooms that ever perfumed the air, is still a place of pilgrimage, and one by one new articles of interest are being added to the collection. It was pleasant indeed to find an English author thus honored, and I wish that we had a similar monument to Nathaniel Hawthorne in Liverpool, as we should have.
It was, oddly enough, in the Adiron"/dacks that I came upon, my, only expe rience of simplified spelling in the land of its birth. It was in that pleasant home from home, the Lake Placid Club, where one is adjured to close the door " tyt" as one leaves a room, where one drinks cofi," and where that most august and mysterious of the functionaries of life, the physician, is able to watch his divinity dwindle and his dignity disappear under the style "fizisn."
I heard many stories in America, where every one is a raconteur, but none was better than this which my San Francisco host narrated, from his own experience, as the most perfect example of an honest answer ever given. When a boy, he said, he was much in the company of an old trapper in the Californian mountains. During
and each so different"
one of their expeditions the boy noticed that a camp-meeting was to be held, and out of curiosity he persuaded Reuben to attend it with him. Perched on a back seat, they were watching the scene when an elderly Evangelical sister placed her self beside the old hunter, laid her hand on his arm, and asked him if he loved Jesus. He pondered for some moments, and then replied thus: Waal, ma'am, I can't go so far as to say that I love him. I can't go so far as that. But, by gosh, I'll say this-I ain't got nuthin' agin' him.
In a manner of speaking, all Americans are humorists. Just as all French people are wits by reason of the epigrammatic structure of their language, so are all Americans humorists by reason of the national stores of picturesque slang and analogy to which they have access. I think that this tendency to resort to a common stock instead of striving after individual exactitude and color is to be deplored. It dis courages thought where thought should be encouraged. Adults are of course beyond redemption, but parents might at least do something about it with their children. One of the cleverest American writers whom I met made no effort whatever to get beyond these accepted phrases as he narrated one racy incident after another. With the pen in his hand (or, more probably, the typewriter under his fingers) his sense of epithet is precise; but in his conversational stories men were as mad "as Sam Hill," injuries hurt "like Hell," and a knapsack was as heavy as the Devil." We all laughed; but he should have had more of the artist's pride.
The funniest prepared thing I heard in America was the answer of the lachrymose petitioner in the play "Lightnin' to the judge trying her divorce case.
When," he asked, "did you first become conscious that your husband was cooling towards you?" "About a year," she replied, "before we were married." That was so sudden that the audience gasped before it settled down to laugh. Lightnin'," by the way, would do well, I think, in England; but Mr. Bacon must modify his make-up to look less like Mr. Asquith.
The funniest spontaneous thing I heard said was the remark of a farmer in the Adirondacks in reply to my question had they recovered, up there, from the war. Yes, he said, they had; adding brightly: "Quite a war, wasn't it?"
Three American humorists whom I had the good fortune to meet and be with for some time were Irvin Cobb, Don Marquis, and Oliver Herford, each authentic and each so different. Beneath Mr. Cobb's fun is a mass of ripe experience and sagacity. However playful he may be on the surface, one is aware of an almost Johnsonian universality beneath. It would not be extravagant to call his humor the bloom on the fruit of the trec of knowledge. (I am talking now only of the three as I found them in conversation.) Don Marquis, while equally serious (and all the best humorists are serious at heart), has a more grotesque fancy and is more of a reformer, or at any rate a rebel. His dissatisfaction with hypocrisy provokes a scorn that Mr. Cobb is too elemental to entertain. Some day, perhaps, Don Marquis will induce an editor to print the exercises in unorthodoxy which he has been writing, and which, in extract, he repeated to us with such unction; but I doubt it. They are too searching. But that so busy a man should turn aside from his work to dabble in religious satire seemed to me a very interesting thing; for nothing is so
unprofitable except to the honest soul of him who conceives it. As for Oliver Herford, he is an elf, a sprite, a creature of fantasy, who may be and, I rejoice to ay, is in this world, but certainly is hot of it. This Oliver is in the line of Puck and Mercutio and Lamb and Hood and other lovers and makers of nonsense, and it is we who ask for more.
In Chicago the weather was wet and cold, and it was not until after I had left that I learned of the presence there of certain literary collections which I may now perhaps never see. But I spent much time in the Museum, where there is one of the finest Hobbemas in the world; and where two such different creative artists as Claude Monet and Josiah Wedgwood are especially honored. But the special discovery for me was the sincere and masterly work in landscape of George Inness, my first impression of whom was to be fortified when I passed on to Boston, and still reinforced in the Hearn collection in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
It was in Chicago, in the Marshall Field Book Department-which is to ordinary English book-shops like a liner Eo a houseboat-that I first realized how intense is. the interest which America takes in foreign contemporary literature. In England the translation has a certain vogue Mrs. Garnett's supple and faithful renderings of Turgenev, Tolstoi, Dostoievski, and Tchekov have, for example, a great following-but we do not adventure much beyond the Russians; whereas I learn that English versions of hundreds of other foreign books are eagerly bought over here. Such curiosity seems to me to be very sensible. I was surprised also to find tables packed high with the modern drama. In England the printed play is not to the general taste.
The spirited equestrian statue of Grant in a waste space by Michigan Avenue, which I could see from my bedroom window, was my first and by no means the least admirable experience of American Sculpture on its native soil-to be face to face with St. Gaudens's figure of " Grief" in Rock Creek Cemetery at Washington having long been a desire. In time I came to see that beautiful conception; and I saw also the fine Shaw monument in Boston-fine both in idea and in execution; and the Sherman by the Plaza Hotel in New York; and the Farragut n Madison Square; and the "Pilgrim " n Philadelphia-all the work of the same irm, sensitive hand.
The statue seems almost as natural a part of American civic ornament as it is n France and is not in England. And he standard as a rule is high. In particlar, I like the many horsemen-Anthony Vayne dominating the landscape at Valley Forge; and George Washington gain and again, and not least in Fairount Park in Philadelphia (where there s also a bronze rough-rider realistically et on a cliff as though from Ambrose Bierce's famous story-by Frederic Rem
Wide World Photos "DURING THOSE FEW WEEKS: BABE RUTH WAS THE NATIONAL HERO"
ington). American painters can too often suggest predecessors, usually French, but the sculptors have a strength and directness of their own, and it would not surprise me if some of the best statues of the future came from this country. No one would say that all American civic sculpture is good. There is a gigantic bust of Washington Irving behind New York's Public Library which would be better away; nor are the lions that guard that splendid institution superabundantly leonine; but the traveler is more charmed than depressed by the marble and bronze effigies that meet his eye-and few witnesses have been able to say that of England. Among the more satisfying public works I might name the symbolical figures on the steps of the Boston Free Library and the frieze in deep relief on the Romanesque church on Park Avenue in New York; and I found something big and elemental in the Barnard groups at Harrisburg. Many of the bronzes in the Metropolitan Museumat the other extreme-are exquisite.
Perhaps it is merely a traveler's illusion (and we are very susceptible to them), but I have the impression that American men are more alike than the English are. It may be because there are fewer idiosyncrasies in male attire, for in America every one wears the same kind of hat; but I think not. In spite of the mixed origin of most Americans, a national type of face has been evolved to which they seem satisfied almost universally to pay allegiance. Again and again in the streets I have been about to accost strangers whom I felt sure I had recently been introduced to, discovering just in time that they were merely doubles. In England I fancy there is more individuality in appearance.
And what about the science of physiognomy? I have been wondering if Lavater is to be trusted outside Europe.
In China and Japan I was continually perplexed, for I saw so many men who obviously were successful-leaders and controllers-but who were without more than the rudiment of a nose on which to support their glasses; and yet I had been brought up to believe that without a nose of some dimensions it was idle to hope for worldly eminence. Again, in America, is it possible that all these massive chins and firm aquiline noses. are ruling the roost and reaching whatever goal they set out for? I doubt it.
The average American face is, I think, keener than ours and healthier. One sees fewer ruined faces than in English cities, fewer men and women who have lost selfrespect and self-control. The American people as a whole strike the observer as being more prosperous, more alert or ambitious, than the English. Where I found mean streets they were always in the occupation of aliens.
To revert to the matter of clothes, the American does as little as possible to make things easy for the conjectural observer. In England one can base guesses of some accuracy on attire. In a railway carriage one can hazard without any great risk of error the theory that this man is in a trade and that in a profession, that another is a stockbroker and a fourth a country squire. But America is full of surprises due to the uniformity of clothing and a certain carelessness which elevates comfort to a ritual. The man you think of as a millionaire may be a drummer, the drummer a millionaire. Again, in England people are known to a certain extent by the hotels they stay at, the restaurants they eat at, and the class in which they travel. Such superficial guides fail one in America. Democracy again.
This alikeness is not confined to the features and clothing of Americans, but it is noticeable in their thought and conversation. The whole tendency is towards leveling, and yet one feels that the knots in the board might be more frequent. One would like to meet more idiosyncrasies, more "characters." And we should do so if the Americans were not so unwilling to be bothered, not so eager to be moving on. One result of this ease and urgency is that too many of them make use of the same phrases, bringing as little as possible of any personal vocabulary to their assistance and taking for granted much more than their intellects ought to permit them to. In England we have our current coin of speech-our constantly changing slang terms but in England some people talk slang and others don't, whereas in America every one asks you if you can beat it, and wonders what you know about that, and meets surprising remarks with "Is that so?" and suggests reflectively that it is a good life if you don't weaken.
Possibly another cause for a certain similarity in mind, or at any rate in mental attitude, is the similarity of the newspapers. These are for the most part so much alike that they might, except in so far as they deal with Presidential
candidates, exchange titles without any reader being the wiser. Indeed, so similar are they that, owing to the ramifications of the press syndicate system, a traveler across the continent may find himself continually reading the same thing in different sheets. I am not asserting that it is better for newspapers each to have their own character, as in England and France; but it is certainly more provocative of individual thought.
I can best indicate, without the mechanical assistance of dates, the time of my sojourn in New York by saying that during those few weeks President Wilson's successor was being sought, the possibility of the repeal of the Prohibition Act was a matter of excited interest, and Babe Ruth was the national hero. During this period I saw the President sitting on the veranda of the White House; I had opportunities of honoring Prohibition in the breach as well as in the observance; and these eyes were everlastingly cheered and enriched by the spectacle of the Babe lifting a bail over the Polo Ground pavilion into Manhattan Field. I hold, then, that I cannot be said to have been unlucky or to have wasted my time.
I found Prohibition the universal topic: could it last and should it last? In England we are accused of talking always of the weather. In America, where there is no weather, nothing but climate, that theme probably was never popular. Even if it once were, however, it had given
WOOLWORTH BUILDING DOES NOT SCRAPE THE SKY; IT GREETS IT, SALUTES IT
way to Prohibition. At every lunch or dinner table at which I was present, Prohibition was the first subject and the last, whatever may have intervened. And have intervened. And how could it be otherwise? For if my host was a "dry" man, he had to begin by apologizing for having nothing cheering to offer; and if he possessed a cellar it was impossible not to open the ball by congratulating him on his luck or his generosity. Meanwhile the guests were comparing notes as to the best substitutes for alcoholic beverages, exchanging recipes, or describing their adventures with private stills. For every one seemed to be experimenting. Not a house, however pure and honorable its façade, that did not conceal an illicit vat or crucible; not a man who was not a potential smuggler. I visited a young couple in a charming little cottage in one of the Garden Cities little cottage in one of the Garden Cities near New York, and found them equally divided in their solicitude over a baby on the top floor and a huge jar in the basement which needed constant skimming if the beer was to be worth drinking.
If my own friends and acquaintances may be taken as representative, the opinion of Americans is that they were torpedoed into total abstinence and that some abatement of the privation is necessary.
Perhaps if I had reached New York from the sea the sky-scrapers would have struck me more violently. But I had already seen a few in San Francisco (and wondered at and admired the courage which could build so high after the earth
quake of 1906), and more in Chicago, all ugly; so that when I came to New York and found that the latest architects were not only building high but imposing beauty on these mammoth structures surprise was mingled with delight. No matter how many more millions of dol lars are expended on that strange med ley of ancient forms which go to make up New York's new Cathedral, where Romanesque and Gothic seem already to be ready for their divorce, the Wool worth Building will be New York's true fane. Whoever designed that graceful immensity not only gave Commerce its most notable monument (to date) but removed forever the slur upon sky-scrapers. The Woolworth Building does not scrape the sky; it greets it, salutes it with a beau geste. And I should say something similar of the Bush Building, with its alabaster chapel in the air that becomes translucent at night; and the Madison Square tower (whose clock-face, I notice, has the amazing diameter of three floors); and the Burroughs-Welcome Building an Forty-first Street, with its lovely perpendicular lines; and that very solid cube of masonry on Park Avenue which bursts into flower, so to speak, at the top in the shape of a very beautiful loggia. But even if these adornments become, as I hope, the rule, one could not resent this structural elephantiasis a moment after realizing the physical conditions of New York. A growing city built on a narrow peninsula is unable to expand laterally and must therefore soar. The problem was how to make it soar with dignity, and the problem has been solved.
In the old days, when brown stone was the only builders' medium, New York must have been a drab city indeed; or so I gather from the few ancient typical residences that remain. There are a few that are new, too, but for the most part the modern house is of white stone. Gayest of all is, I suppose, that vermilionroofed florist's on Fifth Avenue.
It used to be said that good Americans when they died went to Paris. The Parisian lure no doubt is still powerful; but every day I should guess that more of Paris comes to America. The upper parts of New York have boulevards and apartment houses very like the real thing, and I noticed that the architecture of France exerts a special attraction for the rich man decreeing himself a pleasure dome. There are millionaires' residences in New York that might have been trans planted not only from the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne but from Touraine itself; while when I made my pilgrimage to Mr. Widener's, just outside Phila delphia, I found Rembrandt's "Mill," and Manet's dead bull-fighter, and a Vermeer, and a little meadow painted divinely by Corot, and El Greco's family group, and Donatello's St. George, and one of the most lovely scenes that ever was created by Turner's enchanted brush, all enshrined in a palace which Louis Seize might have built.
But America is still more French than
bis. Her women can be not less soignée han those of France, although they sugest a cooler blood and less dependence In male society; her shops can be as istinguished as those of the Rue de la Paix and far more costly; and her bread 3 better than France's best. Moreover, vhen it comes to night, and the Broadvay constellations challenge the darkness, New York leaves Paris far behind. For every cabaret and supper, resort that Paris can provide New York has three; and for every dancing floor in Paris New York has thirty. Good Americans, however, will still remain faithful to their Fold posthumous love, if only for her wine.
Among the peculiarly beautiful effects that America produces the sky signs must be counted high. I had seen some when in San Francisco against the deep Californian sky, and they captivated the startled vision; but the reckless profusion and movement of the great white way, as I turned out of Forty-second
(C) H. M. Bennett
"THE MADISON SQUARE [METROPOLITAN] TOWER (WHOSE CLOCK FACE, I NOTICE, HAS THE AMAZING DIAMETER OF THREE FLOORS)"
Street, on my first night in New York, came as something more than a surprisea revelation of willful gayety. We have normally nothing in England to compare with it. Nor can we have even our summer exhibition imitations of it so long as coal is so rare and costly. But though we had the driving power for the electricity we could never get such brilliance, for the clear American atmosphere is an essential ally. In our humid airs all the diamond glints would be blurred. For the purest beauty of traceries of white light against a blue background one must go, however, not to Broadway, which is too bizarre, but to Luna Park on Coney Island. Odd that it should be there, in that bewildering medley of sound and restlessness, that one extreme of loveliness should be found; but I maintain that it is so, that nothing more strangely and voluptuously beautiful could be seen than all those minarets and domes, those lines and curves formed of myriad lamps, turning the night into an ocean of velvet blue mysterious and soft and profound.
VISITORS TO THE GRACCHI
WHEN Tiberius Sempronius Grac chus telephoned, "Cornelia, my dear, I am bringing Claudius Appius and a couple of Senators home to luncheon," one wonders whether Cornelia's first thought was for the menu or her jewels. Did she long for a safety deposit box in which to place the latter temporarily ?
Without irreverence one pictures the meal that followed. Tiberius, Jr., in his high chair, Gaius at his mother's elbow, and the constant undertow of gastronomic injunctions running beneath the surface flow of conversation-not to mention Tiberius's fixed intention to share the indigestible dessert prepared for the Senators, and Gaius's unseemly interruptions during the discussion of the new aqueduct. But no! To fancy these difficulties in a ménage such as Cornelia's must have
been is folly.
When the honorable Senators finally rowed away in their Rolls-Royce galley, one feels sure that there were no ejacula tions such as, "How can Tiberius and Cornelia allow their children to behave so?" and that Cornelia did not cast herself into the husbandly embrace, crying, "Oh, Tiberius Sempronius, let's never have company again !"
Had Cornelia been subject to such human weakness, I could find it in my heart to love her. I, too, have a feminine Gaius and a turbulent Tiberius; and when their father announces that we are threatened with company, my soul knows tribulation.
Cleopatra, motoring out for the weekend, looks with ill-concealed disfavor upon Tiberius's home-made hair-cut and the pump-handle salutation of Gaius, who
BY MARGARET STEEL HARD
has not learned the little trick of ducking when introduced. "So pretty, my dear,' admonishes Cleopatra ; American children are so lacking in manner." And it is during her visit that I am suddenly aware of the misdemeanor of my best gown, handed down from trousseau days, and still flaunting its unblushing length and breadth.
Next comes Hypatia-a flying glimpse. She carries the last copy of the "Dial" under her arm, and wears the insignia of half a dozen radical groups upon her coat lapel. "My dear," she enjoins, after a half-hour's analysis of the children and me, "you must avoid complexes and inhibitions in the children. And, above all things, Cornelia, don't become a parent with a fat mind." After she has gone, leaving me a book on "Suggestion," it is indeed a blow to have Tiberius Sempronius produce a letter heralding a visit from Aunt Flavia.
Aunt Flavia's visits are long at best. She accounts for all the shortcomings of the children by lopping off first one and then another limb from Tiberius Sempronius's or my family tree. When evening comes, and I bring out my darning or finish belated ironing, her conversational candle burns its brightest. "Cornelia," she says, eying the holes in Gaius's stockings, "I rejoice that you are nearly out of the woods." Involuntarily my mind's eye searches the horizon for some dense foliage, but finding none I come back to what Aunt Flavia is saying. "Gaius and Tiberius are now past the most troublesome stage. They will soon be comparatively independent. I do hope, Cornelia, that you are going to--" Aunt Flavia hesitates delicately. "Really,
Cornelia, you need some broadening influences in your life."
"But, Aunt Flavia," I urge ineffectually, "Tiberius Sempronius and I feel that the largest influence is " It is no use. Aunt Flavia is deaf to my defense. "Really, Cornelia," she continues, "I am surprised to find how little reading you do. No intelligent woman can afford to let these serious matters drift. The League of Nations, for example. You should at least know the substance of the different Articles; and I was truly mortified the other day, at the meeting of the Customary Wash-Day Club, to find how ignorant you are in matters of parliamentary procedure. As the wife of Tiberius Sempronius, Cornelia, it is your duty to study these things."
"But Aunt Flavia, Tiberius Sempronius didn't ask me if I understood parliamentary procedure when he sought me in marriage." Aunt Flavia is impervious to such flippancy.
After she has retired with a copy of the "Survey"-a sort of bedtime toddy for Aunt Flavia-I put away the darning basket and wait for Tiberius Sempronius. He comes in quietly, and after brushing up the coals on the hearth and glancing amusedly at the pile of freshly mended stockings, he blows out the candles on the mantle. But first he looks at me a bit thoughtfully, with just the suspicion of a twinkle in his eye. Then he says, "Cornelia, I met Claudius Appius in the Forum to-day; he and Mrs. Appius are going to Messina for the winter. He offered us the use of their safety deposit box for your jewels. But I told him that you had only an unfinished necklace. Was I right, Cornelia ?"
JUSTICE AND THE COURT MARTIAL SYSTEM
HE court martial needs no defense. Military law, wisely administered, is beneficent. Its maladministration or misadministration by thousands of inexperienced men clothed suddenly with great responsibility has been the cause of endless misunderstanding and abuse. As a summary court officer I tried more than wo hundred cases. Not a single defender ever left my trial-room without realizing che need for military law, without a better understanding of its operation than he had before, and few, if any, with the slightest feeling of resentment toward the Governnent, the accusing officer, or myself.
A SOLDIER IS A HUMAN BEING
The detail as summary court officer is an unpleasant one, but in the Army we do not pick our details. Given a job to lo, we do it the best we know how. While I was not originally of the Regular Army, I came in for our entertainment of Kaiser Wilhelm the Second. When I was appointed summary court, I realized that in justice to myself it was my duty to go thoroughly and earnestly into each case brought before me, putting myself in the shoes of the offender, and to fix his mental condition at the time of the commission of the act for which he was to be tried. I was conscientious in this. I would not take thousands of dollars for my experience as a summary court, nor would I voluntarily go through it again for more thousands of dollars. I can look back on my duties with the feeling that every man I tried was a better soldier for the incident, and that I myself got something good out of it. I may have failed to be just in the exact sense of the word. That I was humanly merciful I honestly believe. A few cases in point:
STEALS HORSE TO FEED STARVING
Sergeant X, thirty-eight years old, above the draft age as first fixed, anxious co serve, enlisted voluntarily. Had a thorough knowledge of horses and mules; was made stable sergeant in an important organization. Had a dependent mother, co whom he allotted the greater part of is pay. Each pay day he remitted to ner, in addition to his allotment, a porcion of the small stipend he received. One day there came to me for investigaion charges against Sergeant X. He was accused of the minor offense of being absent without leave, and the more serious offense of having sold a Government orse, saddle, and bridle. Sergeant X had been arrested by the military police. He vas drunk when taken into custody, and vhen I received the charges he was in confinement. I investigated the case. As result I felt that charges should not lie against Sergeant X, but against some person employed in the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, because my investigation
BY A REGULAR
developed that the aged mother of Sergeant X had for months not received a penny of her son's wages, and was practically dying of slow starvation, her life kept in her by the charity of the community in which she lived. When Sergeant X discovered this, he was so distressed as to be mentally irresponsible. In this frame of mind he "licked up a lot of " moonshine liquor" and sold the horse, saddle, and bridle with the idea of sending the money to his mother. The horse, saddle; and bridle were recovered without cost to the Government, and, on my recommendation, the serious charges against Sergeant X were withdrawn and he was disciplined solely for being absent with out leave.
Sergeant K, charged with being absent without leave for nine days. He entered a plea of guilty, and then I had him tell me his story. He was engaged to marry a young widow who lived within a hundred miles of camp. He had received a letter from her, saying that she was ill with influenza and would like to have him visit her. He had obtained from his company commander promise of a tenday pass to begin on a certain Saturday. In the interval between the promise of the pass and the time it was to begin he had received another letter from his sweetheart saying that her little boy also had influenza. Friday night his company commander announced at the Retreat Formation that because of a suspected case of measles in the company there would be no passes, and that everybody would stay in camp until further orders. Sergeant K waited until noon Saturday, and then quietly slipped out of camp, went to see his sweetheart, was with her through the crisis in her illness, buried her little son, who died while he was there, and then came back to camp. Did I find him guilty? I did not. His company commander was deficient in knowledge of men. The company was quartered in six buildings. If there were measles in one of them, occupants of that particular building might have been quarantined. If it were necessary to restrict passes or to impose restrictions
those promised, then the company commander should have had applicants see him again, that he might reconsider and pass upon the desirability of living up to his promise or revoking the privilege. I found Sergeant K not guilty.
ACCUSED FIXES OWN PENALTY
Sergeant A, of the old-time Regular Army, absent without leave nine days and twenty-three hours. Before me for trial, no excuse, pleaded guilty. He wanted to see his sweetheart; she was not sick, neither was he. He did not even ask permission of his company commander. I talked the case over with him, and asked him to sit momentarily as summary court and fix the penalty. He
thought that a non-commissioned officer of the Regular Army who could so far forget regulations and orders and his training as to commit an offense like that ought to be "busted" and "stung" about $10 a month for three months. I agreed with him, thus enabling the sergeant to fix his own penalty.
Private G, accused by an officer of the military police of being drunk and dis orderly in uniform, to the discredit of the military service, and of the grave offense of willful disobedience of the lawful order of a commissioned officer." This last charge being one which should go before a general court because of its gravity, the papers came to me for inves tigation. I knew Private G well. He was a tall, lean, quiet piece of human efficiency, always alert, courteous and punctilious in the performance of every duty. I could not imagine him willfully refusing to obey any order. In my investigation I sent for the accusing officer and got his story. Then I talked with others who saw the incident related. This is the foundation on which those charges were made: Private G had gone to a near-by town and fallen from grace. The bootlegger whisky which was sold to soldiers was of such high potentiality that unless one stood on an insulated base when drinking it the kick would knock him down. Two or three drinks of this would crumple up any man. Private G boarded a street car to return to camp, and promptly went to sleep in the corner of his seat. Three other joyous soldiers, but more wakeful than Ğ, came in and sat with him. The three later comers engaged in loud, coarse talk. The officer of military police was a passenger on the car. He walked to where the three wakening soldiers and one sleeping soldier were seated and ordered all four of them to get up and find seats apart and to quit talking. The three wakening ones did as he bid, but Private G stood, or rather sat, fast. He was beyond waking at that time, and because he was beyond waking the officer accused him of “willful disobedience of a lawful order." That young officer who had not sufficient knowledge of our language to know the meaning of the word" willful" had the effrontery to accuse a man of a capital offense. Private G was not tried. He was disciplined, but his record was not marred by any summary court conviction.