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ming could hear the unmistakable clink of kitchen utensils. Without speaking, he stepped into the doorway, expecting to see an industrious housewife pottering over her Thanksgiving dinner.

Instead, there stood a tall, gaunt man of perhaps fifty-five, perhaps a little less. He wore corduroy trousers and a soft shirt, and his face had the weathered bronze of one who works constantly in the open air. Standing over a stove, he was all absorbed in the delicate task of cooking-not a turkey, but a piece of beefsteak. As the wayfarer's shadow fell athwart the floor the man turned and surveyed the stranger. It was a look neither surprised nor appraising, but of kindly interest.


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Every man his own cook," he remarked. And then he continued: "If you know how to fry onions, get busy, and we'll have dinner all the sooner as if it were the most natural thing in the world for a young man in a blueflannel shirt to appear from nowhere.

Flemming found the onions, already cut, in a frying-pan on the table. He took them to the stove and stood over them, dabbing at them with a fork as they sizzled.

"My name's Webb, and I like 'em fried crisp," announced the tall man, whipping over the steak just as it blazed

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"Do, don't I?" said Webb. "Maybe the fact that I never had a wife has something to do with it."

"What? You live alone?" "Yes, just that.


Good-night!" exclaimed the young man in a tone which left no doubt of his verdict on such a life. "And I get along with myself very well, too," went on Webb. "That isspeakin' in general, To tell the truth, I didn't feel that I was up to doing a turkey to-day. 'Course I know steak ain't the dish for Thanksgiving Day, but corralled by a bunch o' young onions it's about the best thing I know how to knock together. So I have it when there's any excuse."

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That Flemming approved was shown by the way he abandoned talk for action. The two men sat there eating

even their silence cordial-but occa-
sionally dropping into random talk.
During the meal they avoided the per-
sonalities that are almost certain to
come sooner or later when two strangers
get together. But after dinner Webb
went down cellar and came back with
a pitcher of foaming golden sweet cider
which he had somehow pressed himself.
With this in easy reach and their pipes
drawing smoothly, the young man and
the middle-aged settled down comfort-
ably near the stove.

"You know, I'd like all-fired much
to thank you for " began Flemming.
"Never mind that. It's been a pleas-
ure to me to fix somebody up with a
Thanksgiving dinner. And now what
about yourself? You dropped off the
down freight, of course?"


"Yes," said Flemming.
"Where were you going?"
"Dunno where I was going. I was
just on my way."

"Plain tramp, eh?"


kind of thing you say you like. But I
couldn't stand it."
"And now ?"


"Now? Just what you say you can't stomach. A little rut of my own. A little acre and a half of land that I can live off of. And a little house of my own. The same garden truck to raise year after year. The same cow to milk morning after morning, night after night. The same quiet evenings, the same stars, the same chance to be alone with myself. That's what I call living." "That's beyond me. I'd go clean crazy with that sort of life.”

"And I'd go crazy if I bumped about from place to place as you do," said Webb, as he refilled his pipe.

So they talked on and on, these two strangers-friends of an afternoonsometimes about themselves, sometimes about the world outside, which the one was galled by and the other craved. The golden sunshine slanted farther and farther across the floor, and up

'Well, no; I don't call myself that," the wall, and at last was gone. And the answered Flemming.

"What then?"

"I don't know as I can make myself
clear exactly. Part of the time I work
-in an office. And then, just when I
think I'm nicely settled down to that,
something sorter gets loose inside me,
and I say to myself: You fool! Why
do you stay here like this, plodding
along like an old plug in a treadmill-
just for the sake of a little cash?
There's strange new places waiting to
be seen. There's new people to be
known. Come, wake up! Go find 'em!'
And so I There's no staying. I
have to go."

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"Sounds to me like a pretty wretched sort of life."

"Wretched! I should say not. I'm never so happy as when I'm on the

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"But where to?"

shadows came, and then the twilight.

"This has been the best Thanksgiving Day I've spent for a good many years-thanks to you," declared Flemming. "I guess I was a bit lonely this morning. But you've fixed that. And now I must be off."

"Aren't you going to stay the night with me?" asked Webb, surprised.


"I guess not. But thanks, just the same. Is there another freight out of here to-night?"

"One due before this. She stops for water same as the one you left."

"Then that's mine," said Flemming. They went to the door together, and even as they shook hands the train down the valley whistled. Soon they could hear the puffing, and as the busy fireman fed a yawning fire-box the smoke cloud flared into a shaft of rosy glory against the purple dark.

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"Anywhere. There's always a new place waiting for you. And there's always new friends to be made—hundreds, thousands, millions of 'em. People-that's what I need. And so long as they're on earth I've something to be grateful for. That's what I call living.' "A queer kind of happiness, I figger Α "Well, what's your idea of happi-Handa continued his remark: HE fat man on the club-house

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"Just what I've got," returned Webb. "Not money. Not people swarming round you and getting you all upset. Not new things that have to be seen. But just the same familiar things day after day. The same duties, the same pleasures, the same chance to be alone and have time to think."

"But what do you do?"

"I've got plenty to do. But not the kind of things you mean. I used to have those. You wouldn't believe it, but I used to be a traveling man, going on and on everlastingly from place to place, and everlastingly seeing folks. The very

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ARK TWAIN was an ideal Ambassador if Europe's opinion is worth anything. He was habitually worth millions to America. Though never accredited, he was much considered. Hundreds of men with less felicitous phrases than Samuel Clemens have spurned the President's request to serve abroad. Here is his answer, with a thread of extreme seriousness running through it all. It be prophetic of some answers Mr. Harding will receive:


"P. S. Vienna, January 10.-I see by this morning's telegraphic news that I am not to be the new Ambassador here, after all. This-well, I hardly know what to say. I-well, of course I do not care anything about it; but it is at least a surprise. I have for many months been using my influence at Washington to get this diplomatic see expanded into an ambassadorship, with the idea, of course, th- But never mind. Let it go. It is of no consequence. I say it calmly; for I am calm. But now, while I am calm, I would like to say this -that, so long as I shall continue to possess an American's proper pride in the honor and dignity of his country, I will not take any ambassadorship in the gift of the flag at a salary short of $75,000 a year. If I shall be charged with want ing to live beyond my country's means, I cannot help it. A country which cannot afford ambassador's wages should be ashamed to have ambassadors.

"Think of a seventeen-thousand-fivehundred-dollar ambassador! Particularly for America. Why, it is the most ludicrous spectacle, the most inconsistent and incongruous spectacle contrivable by even the most diseased imagination. It is a billionaire in a paper collar, a king in a breech-clout, an archangel in a tin halo." (Mark Twain in "The Forum," March, 1899.)

HE impression prevails abroad that THE Per had a consistent foreign policy. It is said freely in all the embassies of Europe that we intrust our foreign affairs to men who are the creatures of political parties, and likely, therefore, to disappear from diplomatic life as quickly as they entered. The charge is frequently made that the President generally awards high appointments to men whose chief asset is the amount of money or influence they have contributed to the last political campaign. A high British official made this charge against the United States in my hearing the other day when I

"So long as I shall continue to possess an American's proper pride in the honor and dignity of his country," said Mark Twain, "I will not take 'any ambassadorship in the gift of the flag at a salary short of $75,000 a year'

asked him about the sale of peerages in England. "Oh, yes," said he; "that, England. "Oh, yes," said he; "that, too, is done, but a baron or earl, assuming that he secured his title through his check-book, has no real power in determining the destiny of England." That, probably, is the distinction. So far as I have been able to learn, no nation save ours has so openly rewarded gentlemen who may personally have great distinction but who have been chosen for political reasons and not for their distinction and talent.

Few people will criticise the men we have sent to the Court of St. James's. John W. Davis, the present incumbent, John W. Davis, the present incumbent, is considered the peer of any in the diplomatic world, but Mr. Davis is an exception and has had a long experience in public life. I met Ambassador Davis for weekly conference for a period of six months. He instituted the custom of meeting the London correspondents on Wednesdays at one o'clock for a half-hour. We could never quote him directly, but these conferences were mutually valuable. It was a friendly, confidential exchange of information. He lit his pipe and talked as one of us.

Through this association it was revealed what a lack of co-ordination there is in our foreign service. There is, for instance, in London a wholly independinstance, in London a wholly independent bureau for the Shipping Board and the Treasury Department. Maritime and financial questions this year have been important in our relations

with England. But Mr. Davis, ou highest diplomat in England, has been obliged to refer maritime questions to the under officials of the United States Shipping Board and financial problems concerning chiefly interallied loans to representatives of the United States Treasury Department in London. Re cently there has been organized a regu lar period for conference between ambassadors and consuls in the surrounding cities. This work has made for better co-ordination throughout the service, for in a variety of matters, such as commercial treaties, the work of the embassies and the consulates merges. Most Americans abroad, as well as Europeans, believe that our Ambassador or Minister should control all relations with the foreign state to which he is accredited. It is freely charged abroad that Mr. Colby's note on Russia this fall was based on information furnished him by so-called experts in the State Department who did not recognize the change of the status in Russia since the Kerensky régime. I happen to know that Mr. Davis's information and judg ments, based on the recognitions of the disruption of Russia into the border states, the Soviet state, and the Wra gel state in the south of Russia, woul have suggested quite another policy not because of different judgment, but because of facts concerning which there could be no dispute; facts in his posses sion and which evidently Washington did not know. In this connection it has been pointed out that our ministers, as are the ministers of other govern ments, should be called for a few weeks' service at home each year. The French Ambassador, M. Jusserand, did this very thing last summer, and was sent to Poland as head of the French mission there before returning to America. Congress does not seem to be very liberal with our diplomats in the matter of their cable tolls. I know that Mr. Davis would often ask us if we had cabled a certain speech in report of some important event in order to save the Government the cost of cabling.

Europeans never understood our use of the word plenipotentiary. It is ac curately descriptive of the powers of the European diplomat, but not the American. We have no one man who can speak for the Government of the United States, and never can have under our divided system of handling foreign affairs. On the other hand, the British Ambassador at Washington speaks the voice of his Government so long as

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he is on this end of the cable and Lloyd George is on the other end.

Our powerless ambassadors have been the subjects of many jests in the chancelleries abroad. Though the deadlock between the Senate and the President has been reflected in a prejudicial light towards the very workings of a republican form of government, I think the so-called Ambassador with a "listening brief" to attend the interallied conferences marks the beginning of a gloomy opinion of us. At the San Remo Conference, in the late spring, Robert Underwood Johnson was assigned by the State Department at Washington, at the request of the Allied Powers, to attend the Conference and listen." He attended, and when asked by Lloyd George his view on a certain question, it is said, so literally construed his powers as neither to explain his status nor to answer the inquiry. The story has been repeated with great pathos as to Dr. Johnson's predicament, and caused many foreigners to have a real anxiety as to a republic's ability to "carry on in foreign affairs. After San Remo the "listening brief" was abandoned.

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It is no exaggeration to say that the places to which we send our envoys are to-day as much interested in the new men who will be accredited to

Wide World Photos



them as they are in the promised formu-
lation of a new world relationship in
which we can participate. In the bring-

ing of our new world policy out of the
best minds as promised by Mr. Har-
ding, Europe
ding, Europe is to-day pertinently

asking whether we are going to use the best hands to carry it on.

MR. TAFT's indictment is discouraging. He says: "We have an arrangement which makes it absolutely

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American Minister to that country. By an act passed this year $130,000 will be used in building an embassy in Santiago, Chile.

Of the twelve countries to which the United States has accredited fullfledged ambassadors not one has an official residence completely owned by the United States. The nearest ap proach to ownership is Tokyo, where the building but not the land is owned. Two other ambassadorships, those in Mexico and in Chile, have appropria tions; and Mr. J. P. Morgan has offered his residence in London, but as yet the gift has not been accepted. So the situation is that eight ambassadors together with twenty-eight envoys who represent the American Government abroad are forced to lease, each accord ing to his ability to pay, the home which shelters him. The late Joseph Choate, when caught on the street late one night in London and asked by a bobby why he did not go home, said: "I am the American Ambassador. I have no home." This is pertinent to the general situation of our representatives abroad.

The reason why we have diplomatic residences in Bangkok, Peking, and Morocco, and not in London, Paris, and Rome, is not altogether creditable to the American Government. The Legation in Peking, for instance, is nicely located in the heart of the city, but was never bought by the United States. In the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 United States Marines occupied that particular piece of territory and have held it ever since.

Ambassador Davis told me at the time he transmitted Mr. Morgan's offer of his London house to Congress that he be lieved Government-owned embassies to be the most urgent need of the American diplomatic service. Mr. Davis said that we should take advantage of the high value of the dollar in foreign exchange and buy immediately. He pointed out to

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Period from Nov. 8 to Mar. 4.

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1 year 9 months 28 days.....


Henry Morgenthau....


.Dec. 11, 1913...

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.4 months

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William G. Sharp........

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8 months 24 days.. year 7 months 26 days......... 4 months.........24 months

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me as precedent the fact that Great Britain at the close of the Napoleonic wars made purchases on a large scale of her foreign chancelleries. Mr. Davis believes that we could find suitable houses needing few alterations in most European countries, and therefore we would not have to build embassies. It is an act of economy for America to buy legations now.

Though the main reason in favor of owned residences for ambassadors and ministers is to save such gentlemen the expenses of maintaining homes themselves, it is by no means the only reason. David Jayne Hill, ex-Ambassador to Germany, relates an anecdote of always knowing where to find embassies of Europe in foreign countries as a contrast to the difficulty of finding ours in foreign countries. He says the visitor cannot even depend on the latest city directory, but has to go to the taxi stand and ask to be driven about from embassy to embassy until some one is found who knows where the American Embassy is located. This is a fact which I have experienced myself.

Finally, owned embassies would remove the disparity between different ambassadors and between the present incumbent of a post and his predecessor, for it is a patent fact that a rich man now rents a "palace" and a poor man struggles to find a humble "lodging" within the Government's salary. It is puzzling to foreigners just why "rich" America should be represented among them first by a "palace" and a year or two later by a "lodging."

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The absurdity of our present system is shown by a comparison with the French and British. In Berlin both France and England own splendid Government buildings and pay their representatives $33,938 and $40,932 respectively, while we own nothing and pay our representative $17,500 a year. In London France owns a splendid manBion and the French Ambassador receives a salary of $45,000 a year. We give our Ambassador no residence, and pay him the usual $17,500. John W. Davis, generally considered the ablest liplomat we have had in recent years in our service and a poor man, borrowed $70,000 to accept the post. I have heard men of every shade of political belief testify to his exceptional ability and prestige in diplomatic circles. Mr. Root, among others, gave me this view; but how can a diplomat be expected to mortgage his future, even at the Presilent's repeated request?

Underpay does not characterize the post at the top alone; it honeycombs he whole surface. One starts in the foreign service at $1,500. If he makes success for ten years, he may expect $3,000. During the war Congress appropriated for the secretaries of embassy a so-called post allowance to meet the increased cost of living, but this is of a temporary nature. This situation


depresses the whole service. I have yet to talk with a man in the lower ranks of our service who is intending to remain in it. In other words, the merit system of promotion is wholly lacking. These men after a year or two seek other jobs.

We stand out in contrast to other nations in not applying the merit rule


our diplomatic service. A contrary impression seems to prevail in the minds of most Americans, who allege that the custom of Great Britain is to appoint distinguished citizens outside the service. But, as a matter of fact, there are few such instances. Lord Reading was a special war envoy, with a term of service of short duration, and had been in public life. Ambassador Bryce was one of those rare men born for the job. The present British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Auckland Geddes, is another exception, but even he had previously held public office as head of the Board of Trade. An examination of the diplomatic experience of the representatives of France, Great Britain, and the United States at the important European posts when the war broke out shows that in ten of the world capitals we appointed only one man with previous experience, whereas the previous experience of ambassadors of other countries ranged from ten to thirty-nine years.

It is hard to dispute the charge which Europeans have against our system by mentioning the Choates, Hawthornes, Howellses, and Hays who have occasionally held foreign posts. To offset such men we have our Camerons of Pennsylvania and Sullivans, as the

Minister to Santo Domingo, and a whole list of men who have obtained their office, by the size of their campaign contributions rather than by their ability. The failure of America to send continuously men of caliber equal to those of other countries not only prejudices our country in the eyes of other nations, but reflects on our foreign policy as well. Mark Twain's famous dictum, "A country which cannot afford ambassador's wages should be ashamed to have ambassadors," is an oft-repeated comment on our service in Europe.

Our present system of appointment is criticised in Europe for its wasted effort. A compilation of statistics shows that intervening between the date on which President Wilson's diplomatic representatives received their credentials in 1913 and the date on which they took over their posts there was a delay varying from seven twenty-six months.


Second only to a definite formulation of America's new world relationship is the interest of Europe in the best minds we have to handle it. I write no secrets of the Foreign Offices of two countries I had occasion to visit regularly for different periods during the last few months when I state this as the question uppermost in the minds of these Offices. Give us men who can sit down and talk and decide, men with power and the ability to use it. Mr. Harding has a big job just beyond the promised formulation and negotiation of America's new world policy in finding the best men to " carry on" in our embassies throughout the civilized world.

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