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comrade if he doesn't give you what you need, even when you don't think vant it? They do really want it, though, at bottom. The very men who have been no end offended with me someimes because I wouldn't take their part when they were in the wrong got p a feast with that good-by tamasha a real feast. There was no sense in The money they spent. I tried to stop. hem, told them the address was enough, but they said, 'We must give you somehing that costs, so that others will know hat is in our hearts.' It wasn't I, you nderstand. I just had the time there. Can't expect an officer to know a depot nless he has time."

The eternal schoolboy that is in every Englishman had wakened to self-conciousness; the Major looked like a ice Eton lad who had been caught jawing," and hastily changed the subect. "Sports-let me tell you about the ports. Of course sport is purely an imorted idea; an Indian has no more, otion of it than he has of justice, but e takes to it jolly well. Cricket, footall, hockey-all that. And fill in with .J.-that's physical jerks. You call nem setting-up exercises, don't you? lay with them? Surely we do. The adre was a nailer at hockey till he got smack on the shin."

I too thought back along the length

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HE automobile was no longer lovely to look at. It was an ancient and battered ruin on the tside, but it had a sweet-running enne concealed under the mud-splashed od. Strapped along its sides were -inch tubes of tin, and the rear of e car was built into a boxlike comrtment. The car skidded drunkenly om one side of the muddy road to e other. The driver leaned over the heel, tense and alert, piloting the eeding car with as great care as posple. Other machines gave the old one wide path. And once the mudlashed car was passed, the drivers of her cars opened their throttles wide d departed thence with an affrighted ckward glance.

The reason was evident. Painted in ight and flaming red on the side of e car were the words "Nitroglycere." The car was loaded with two ndred quarts of one of the highest plosives known to man. The tense d nerveless individual driving the r over the miserable roads was an -well shooter-a man who faced ath every second of his working day. The car left the road and wallowed rough the field to where a tall oil rrick stood black against the skye. The oil well had been drilled


down through the earth's surface to a depth of nine hundred feet. The oilbearing sand had been drilled and had been found to be a closely compacted sand formation, that did not permit of a free seepage of oil into the drilled hole. So it had been decided to follow the usual oil field practice of shooting the. well with nitroglycerine to increase the production of petroleum.

The oil-well shooter-a rather ordinary-looking chap-stepped from the car and consulted with the oil-well drillers. Following the consultation, he became efficiently busy. The long tin tubes-shells, he informed me they were called-were unstrapped from the car and carried into the derrick. The back end of the battered car was opened, showing fifty gallon cans, each placed in a felt-lined cell. Half of these canswhich are simply maple syrup cans-he carried into the derrick and placed carefully on the floor. One of the shells the tin tubes closed at one end and with a wire bail at the other-was lowered until one end was down the well-hole, and then he fastened the other end to a hook on the end of a wire line, fastened in turn to a strong reel. He tested the strength of the line and reel by putting the whole weight of his body on the line.

Then he bent over the cans and. pulled the corks from one of them. Holding it firmly in his hands, he started to pour it into the tin tube. The liquid, heavy and in appearance very much like a light-yellow table syrup, gurgled from the can and down into the shell, striking the bottom with a splash that sent shivers up my spine. As the shooter worked, filling the shell, he told me a lot about nitroglycerine. It was, so he said, the invention of a patient French chemist who had struck upon a combination of nitric acid, sulphuric acid, and sweet or commercial glycerine, and made the most dangerous explosive ever known to man. For years it had been known to the medical profession as a heart stimulant. In 1866 a small consignment of it was shippedto New York City to be used as a medicine, and a careless wagon driver dropped the box on the pavement, causing an explosion that killed seven people and broke windows in surrounding blocks. Nitroglycerine was thus introduced in this country as a high explosive.

The first shell was now filled. The shooter walked over to the reel and began to lower the charge down to the oil-bearing sand. While lowering it he told me, in his quiet and unemo


most of us are afraid of. I've worked at the business now for six years."

Six years of riding over and handling sudden death! No wonder the man had tense nerve wrinkles around his eyes!

The shell had reached bottom, and the shooter leaned over, raising and low. ering the wire line until the hook on the other end became unfastened. The line was then drawn up and the process repeated until one hundred quarts of the explosive were placed.

The shooter then drove the car to a safe place and returned to the derrick. By this time the drillers and tool dressers had come back from where they had viewed the business from a safe distance. They began to pour bar rel after barrel of water down the hole. I asked the shooter why this was done. He explained that this water was to act as tamping, and would drive the force of the explosion downward and side ward before it would follow the lines of least resistance and shoot the whole fluid contents out of the hole. This was the basis of the famous Roberts patent, which was filed in the early days in Pennsylvania, following the drilling of the first artesian oil well by Edwin L Drake in 1859. The Roberts patent was the only practical one ever granted for the shooting of oil wells, and the Roberts people charged oil men a very high price for the use of the patent, and the oil men did not care to pay the price, so they hired men who made their own nitro and shot oil wells at night. In this way the oil men escaped paying a high tribute to the Roberts organization. The men who did this dangerous work were forced to work at night to escape the attention of hundreds of detectives hired by Roberts to secure information of patent violations. These men were called, for obvious reasons, "moonlighters." They operated for over twenty years while a great law war was staged between oil operators and the Roberts organization, during which over four thousand lawsuits were fought to a determined finish. Roberts, however, won most of these suits. The patent has now expired, and the right to its use belongs to any one who cares to use it.

The force of the explosion opens fissures in the oil-bearing sand, permitting of a free flow of petroleum, and digs a pocket or a reservoir into which the oil seeps. The instant of terrific heat generated melts any clogging material that obstructs the flow of the oil. In fact, the shooting of the oil well constitutes one of the valuable but generally unknown processes in use in any great industry.

Sufficient water had now been placed in the well. I watched the shooter prepare the "go-devil." This is a small tin tube containing a stick of dynamite, with a fuse and an explosive cap. The fuse was lighted and dropped down the hole. The lot of us turned and ran to a

place of safety-a distance of about one hundred yards. I listened breathlessly. Nothing happened. Suddenly there came a light explosion, no louder than the explosion of a small firecracker. It was, in fact, disappointingly small. But I did not stop to realize that the explosion occurred nine hundred feet down in the bowels of the earth and beneath the smothering weight of tons of water.

The earth trembled and shook. From the well there came a whistling sigh and a rush of air from the top of the casing. Then a roar drawing nearer and nearer. A six-inch volume of water came in sight, rose to the height of a man, and dwindled. The roar was deafening now, and it reached its climax as a volume of oil, water, and sand rushed from the casing head and up and over the top of the seventy-foot derrick. The flow and the roar gradually 'subsided until the volume of oil barely reached a height of ten feet. Golden brown and splashing in the sunlight, the stream of golden wealth continued to flow. The never-to-beforgotten smell of fresh oil was in the air. A fortune was flowing there where there had been only a hole in the ground. The pale-yellow nitro had worked magic some place nine hundred feet down under the earth's surface. The drillers and tool-dressers skylarked toward the derrick, and the owner followed, grinning cheerfully.

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Magic had been wrought that day. A man-a common and a rather greasy man-had been responsible for the magic. A man who flirted with death every working day and a man who knew that "th' stuff was liable to let go any minute had performed the Aladdin stunt. He was not a highly paid man, I knew. Insurance was not for him; assurance that he would return from the daily trip was never his. But he was a real soldier-an ace of industry, if you please!-in the ranks of a great and vital industry.

Our heat, light, power, and lubrica tion depend so much on the oil-well shooter-that calm, nerveless, and efficient gentleman who works, day after

U. S. Bureau of Mines


day, at a trade that has the highest But he was gone.
death rate in the world.

I turned to look for the man- -this
oil-well shooter in his greasy overalls
and with his everlasting chew of tobacco.

Down the road a battered car careened through the mud toward the web of a distant derrick. He was doing his daily work. There was another well to be shot.


The exotic eyes of Maria Moravsky have beheld
her first American circus. The bizarre sights filled.
her with a singular melancholy. She states her
impressions in an article soon to appear in The
Outlook. It is entitled "Uplifting the Clown."

A circus flavor likewise pervades "The Golden
Day of Orpheus," a story by William S. Walkley.
It is the story of a boy temperamentally of the
same breed as Penrod. Coming soon.

If you have never been down in a coal mine, you
will enjoy making the descent with John A. Wetzel,
who contributes "The Game of Mining Coal" to
an early issue.

"Fighting Forest Fires from the Air" is a fastmoving narrative by Laurence La Tourette Driggs.

It tells how gas bombs quenched a conflagration.
Arnold Adair's war experiences are familiar to
Outlook readers. The news will be welcomed that
he is now to figure in the adventures of peace.
Mr. Driggs also contributes a more serious flying
article, "What's the Matter with American Avia-
tion?" to an early issue. In it he takes a timely
shot at public indifference to aviation in Amer-

"Knud, Son of Knud," exposes the sensitive soul
of an immigrant boy. It is sub-entitled "A Story
of Lincoln's Land." Lincoln would have read this
poignant chronicle with relish. It is a noteworthy
example of Outlook fiction, and will soon appear.
It is by Emma Mauritz Larson.


Underwood & Underwood


General Obregon visited the State Fair at Dallas, Texas, to pick out live stock and farm machinery for use in Mexico, as a step toward bettering commercial relations between the United States and Mexico. The party was welcomed by the Governor of Texas and the Mayor of Dallas


(C) Underwood & Underwood

George L. Hossfield (left) and Margaret B. Owen (right) at the National Business Show in New York City. In the center is the cup won by Mr. Hossfield for writing 131 correct words a minute


This French team recently defeated the hitherto invincible United States team, which had won the Olympic championship in September

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This memorial, unveiled recently on the Thames Embankment in London, was presented by the Belgian Government as a token of gratitude to Great Britain for her hospitality to Belgian refugees during the war

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Photograph by D. C. Ward

The group symbolizes the continuity of life, in the figures of the Weaver, Life with the thread, and Time. It was unveiled on
October 23, at Peacedale, Rhode Island, as a part of the Hazard Memorial erected at her birthplace by Miss Caroline Hazard,
former President of Wellesley College

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