Edgar Wallace--Journalist (2024)

Table of Contents
COMPILED BY ROY GLASHAN First published by Roy Glashan's Library, 2020Version Date: 2021-10-27 BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE TABLE OF CONTENTS CORONATION NOTES As published in The Thames Star, New Zealand, 19November 1902 THE HABITANT A PICTURESQUE FIGURE A STORY AN ATOMIC SURVIVAL M'SIEUR CHAMB'LAN PATRIOTISM. CANADA'S SENTIMENTS As published in The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand, 15 December 1903 MONTREAL—THE LONDON OF THE WEST As published in The Ashburton Guardian, New Zealand) January 9, 1904 IN NEW CANADA As published in The Evening Post, New Zealand, 23 January 1904 IN HIAWATHA'S LAND THE BOOK OF NATURE THE CHICAGO OF CANADA THE PRIDE OF THE DOMINION MOULAI THE FOOLISH A WELL-INTENTIONED SULTANHAS SACRIFICED HIS COUNTRY As published in The Narromine News and Trangie Advocate, NSW, Australia, 9 September 1904 MOULAI THE FOOLISH THE DISRESPECTFUL TRUTH SEVENTY-SIX WATCHES PALACE LUMBER THE CHANGE THAT IS COMING RAISULI'S PRISONER As published in The Cobar Herald, NSW, Australia, 10September 1904 THE STEALING OF A MAN AND THE COMING OF A FLEET THE UNIVERSAL EAST "AMERICO" STEALING AN AMERICAN COMIC OPERA WARFARE BRIDAL TRAGEDY COLONEL'S SEARCH FOR A WIFEBRIDEGROOM'S DEATH As published in The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser, NSW, Australia, 18 November 1904 TROUBLESOME MOROCCO TANGIER: THE TOWN WHERE HISTORY IS BRING MADE As published in The World's News, Sydney, Australia, 13 May 1905 THE REALITIES OF WAR As published in The Star, New Zealand, 27 May1905 THE MEN WHO RAN THE PATIENT VULTURES GEORGE As published in The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, 26 October 1905 THE PEACEMAKERS CONFERENCE AT ALGECIRAS As published in The Daily Mail, London, 13 March 1906 THE DIPLOMATS PASS BY FROM THE SENTIMENTAL SIDE WAR AMONG THE ROSES THE NEW SPAIN—THE KING WHO SMILES As published in The Star, New Zealand, 16 June 1906 ALFONSO'S SALUTE THE SWEETEST OR ALL ALFONSO AND VELASQUEZ IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION A DAY IN LISBON As published in The Colac Herald, Victoria, 31 August 1906 BEWILDERING ELEVATIONS A SPORT THAT IS NOT ADVERTISED FROM LISBON'S WINDOW-SILLS HOAXES, BRITISH AND PORTUGUESE THE NEW SPAIN—THE MADRID BOMB OUTRAGE As published in The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand, 12 July 1906 A BRILLIANT WEDDING—FROM JOY TO TEARS PRINCESS ENA'S OVATION IN THE CHURCH AFTER THE CEREMONY THE BOMB THROWN THE KING AND HIS BRIDE IN TEARS THE ASSASSIN'S ESCAPE THE NEW SPAIN—SOME STORIES OF KING ALFONSO As published in The Star, New Zealand, 11 August1906 A LITTLE MAD THE IRON HAND BENEATH ALL THE TO-MORROWS SHALL BE AS TO-DAY THE NEW SPAIN—THE FASCINATION OF THE BULL-FIGHT As published in The Star, New Zealand, 18 August 1906 ALL EYES ON THE ENGLISH QUEEN FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVISED FOREDOOMED SEEKING A REVOLUTION: THE MISSING ELEMENTS As published in The Daily News, Perth, West Australia, 15 September 1906 WITH MILITARY HONOURS As published in The Star, New Zealand, 9 February 1907 WHAT KILLED "POOR OLD MICK"? "STOP THAT TALKING!" THE CALM CHAUFFEUR First published in The Daily Mail, London, 17 May 1907 WILLING BUT WORKLESS WITH THE STARVING DOCKERS As published in The Grenfell Record and Lachlan DistrictAdvertiser,NSW, Australia, 24 January 1913 TOO OLD AT SEVENTY SLOW STARVATION UNDER FIRE WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE ROYAL MAGAZINE As published in:The Royal Magazine, C. Arthur Pearson, London, December 1914 THE RAID As published in The Daily Advertiser, Wagga Wagga,NSW, Australia, 20 November 1915 SOMEWHERE IN THE LONDON DISTRICT WOMAN THE WARRIOR As published in The Royal Magazine, London, August 1916 A DEARTH OF MEN WOMEN AFTER THE WAR THE TWO ESSENTIALS WANTED! A MANUFACTURING ARMY THE PROBLEM BEFORE EMPLOYEES THE FEMININE POINT OF VIEW. THE MAN WHO SAVED THE EMPIRE As published in The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express,NSW, Australia, 22 March 1918 TO SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BREAST MUSIC AS A CURE FOR INDUSTRIAL UNREST As published in The Wanganui Chronicle, New Zealand,November 3, 1919 THE BUG OF BOLSHEVISM MUSICAL WALES AN EMERGENCY BAND A MINISTRY OF MUSIC THE SECRET OF THE MOAT FARM As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 2, George Newnes Ltd., London, 28 March 1924 I II III IV V THE MURDER ON YARMOUTH SANDS As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 4, George Newnes Ltd., London, 24 April 1924 I II III IV V VI HERBERT ARMSTRONG, POISONER As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 5, George Newnes Ltd., London, 9 May 1924 I II III IV V THE TRIAL OF THE SEDDONS As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 6, George Newnes Ltd., London, 23 May 1924 I II III TRUTH ABOUT SEX MURDERS Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 24 May 1924 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ARE MURDER TRIALS FAIR? Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 9 August 1924 THE DANGER OF PUBLICITY. SECRECY WITH THE LID OFF. CONDEMNED BEFORE THEIR TRIAL. OVERSTEPPING BOUNDS OF DECENCY. OUR MEDIAEVAL PROCEDURE. WHEN FAIRNESS IS IMPOSSIBLE. THE MIND OF THE RACE-HORSE As published in The Strand Magazine, 1 November 1924 THE SUBURBAN LOTHARIO A TRUE-CRIME CLASSIC First published, without a title, as an introduction to the bookThe Trial of Patrick Herbert Mahon,Charles Scribner's Sons, London, 1928 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * OUR CRIMINALS AND THEIR WAYS OF THOUGHT FIRST-CLASS CARD-SHARPERS AND CONFIDENCE MEN Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 10 September 1928 1. The Educated Criminals. Lawless Man, a Phenomenon. Living Beyond Income. Criminals Classified. "Respectable" Card-Sharpers. An Interesting Type "Too Late for Bridge." A Question of Stakes. Confidence Men. Ingenious Fraud. Still Being Worked. THE MAKING OF BURGLARS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 11 September 1928 Why Young People Go Wrong. Preliminary "Training." Metal Button Clue An Ingenious Defence. Wilful Slackers. Finding a "Receiver." The Real fa*gin. Inside Knowledge. The Burglar's Choice. WOMEN BLACKMAILERS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 12 September 1928 How Wealthy Provincials are Trapped in London. Her Specialities "Hush Money" Trick. A Similar Type. Women Assistants. Systematic Gangs. Excellent References. Telephone Talks Few Women Burglars. MORE BLACKMAILERS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 13 September 1928 Vanity in Men that Means Danger. Without Scruples. Created by the Victim. The Fruit of Alarm. A Staggering Discovery. Man's Vanity. THE RARE DESPERADO Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 14 September 1928 A New Light on Some of Our Gangsters. The Normal Burglar Not Violent. Living Near the Border Line. A Violent Feud. Deterring Punishments. COMING OUT OF GAOL Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 15 September1928 The Difficulty of Going Straight Without a Job. The Half-Hearted Betting. Boys' Clubs Shame Novices Impressed FOREIGN CROOKS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 17 September1928 Dangerous Men in the Trains. A Sense of Humour. A Mass of Cruel Spikes The Hotel Thieves Train Robbers Careless Women. The Confidence Business. An Ugly Underworld. CRIMINAL GANGS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 18 September1928 Terrorising the States Murderers Protected Powerless Police An Election Fraud Fighting Among Police Mob Rule HORRORS OF GANG WAR IN THE U.S. Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 19 September1928 What "Taking a Car Ride" Means. Ferocious Desperadoes Police Involved Murder Upon Murder New Methods at Work Grisly Sequels CONVICTS WHO THINK THEY ARE HEROES Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 20 September1928 OUR MERCIFUL POLICE Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 21 September1928 How they Help Men in Trouble. The Big Man. Tales of Police Plots Alibis Informers THE NEW CRIME Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Leeds Mercury, 22 September1928 A Very Dangerous Type. A Pathetic Letter. Dominated. Unbalanced. Worth Investigation. Haphazard Professions. HIGH CLASS CROOKS AT WORK Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 28 October 1928 No Completely Lawless Man Criminals are Individualistic Men of Substance Speaking from Experience In No Hurry to Begin Confidence Men are Also of the Élite An Ingenious Method Criminals by Necessity CAUSES THAT LEAD MENTO LOWER FORMS OF CRIME Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 4 November 1928 Work in Combinations An Incident to the Point How he Proved His "Innocence" How a Thief was Made Determining the Field of Operations Another Incident WHEN WOMEN GO IN FOR CRIME SOME OF METHODS OF FEMININE CROOKS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 11 November 1928 The Old Gag Used as Decoys Shoplifting Almost a Vice The Domestic Thief Women Excel as Thieves BLACKMAILER PREYS ON HIS VICTIM'S VANITY Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 18 November 1928 An Aid to the Profession Cases in Point Seldom a Direct Threat Men Victims of Own Vanity The Oldest Profession A Personal Experience PRISONS ARE OFTEN NURSERIES FOR CRIMINALS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 2 December 1928 Hard Task to Find Work Few Second Offenders Reform Drinking Not Cause of Crime Gangs Formed in Prison EACH NATION HAS OWN CROOKS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 9 December 1928 German Crook Has Humor Three Types of Thieves French Train Thieves High-Class Confidence Man Apaches in Paris Only HOW GANGS TERRORIZED NEW YORK Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 16 December 1928 Handicaps of the Gang Leaders Origin of the American Gangs Dominated New York MORE ABOUT NEW YORK GANGS Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 23 December 1928 The Gang Leader's End The Rosenthal Murder New Method of Murder HABITUAL CROOKS CANNOT REFORM Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 30 December 1928 As a Prisoner Sees It Not Heroes Honesty Best Recommendation Not Dogged by Detectives POLICE AND HOW THEY DO IT Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 6 January 1929 It's the Plain Clothes Man The Classic Alibi SUPERIOR MENTAL POWER Contributed by Francis Golding As published in The Boston Globe, 13 January 1929 "Superior Mental Power" Sort of Crime Increases What New Crime Means A "Telepathic" Detective? Criminals Chiefly Stupid People HOW I DISCOVERED A MURDER Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 2 February 1929 MY HEART-TO-HEART TALK ON THE "TALKIES" Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 18 May 1929 MYSTERIES OF ASCOT Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 22 June 1929 YANKEE SHIPLOADS LEAST IMPORTANT WE WANT MORE ASCOTS! THOMAS ATKINS As Published in The Legion Book (ed. Capt. H. Cotton Minchin), Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1 September 1929 DEFEATING CRIME True Detective Mysteries, 1 April 1930 THE PLAGUE OF MURDERS Contributed by Francis Golding First published in John Bull, 21 June 1930 TUTANKHAMEN AND THE CURSE (aka THE CURSE OF AMEN-RA) Published in McCall's, 1930 THE END

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COMPILED BY ROY GLASHAN

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (1)

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Edgar Wallace--Journalist (2)

First published by Roy Glashan's Library, 2020
Version Date: 2021-10-27

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BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE

EDGAR WALLACE made his name as a journalist with a series of reports from the Second Boer War written for the London Daily Mail in 1900-1902.

In 1901 Hutchinson & Co., London, published 41 of these reports under the title Unofficial Dispatches of the Anglo-Boer War. In 2012 RGL published an expanded version of this collection containing 65 articles, some of which were written after the war. (See Reports from the Boer War).

After the Second Boer War, Wallace continued to write for the Daily Mail while he pursued his career as an author of sensational detective fiction. Throughout most of his subsequent life he contributed articles, essays and sketches to this and other periodicals.

With Edgar Wallace—Journalist RGL offers a collection of these articles from the sources indicated after each title. They are presented in chronological order. They do not include the articles from Reports from the Boer War, or from Red Pages from Tsardom and This England: Studies of To-day, which RGL has published separately.

This collection will be revised and expanded as further newspaper and magazine articles by Edgar Wallace become available.

—Roy Glashan, 4 October 2020.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 1902-11-19. Coronation Notes
  • 1903-11-28. The Habitant
  • 1903-12-15. Canada's Sentiments
  • 1904-01-09. Montreal—The London of the West
  • 1904-01-23. In New Canada
  • 1904-09-09. Moulai the Foolish
  • 1904-09-10. Raisuli's Prisoner
  • 1904-11-18. Bridal Tragedy
  • 1905-05-15. Troublesome Morocco
  • 1905-05-27. The Realities of War
  • 1905-10-26. George
  • 1906-03-13. The Peacemakers
  • 1906-06-16. The New Spain—The King Who Smiles
  • 1906-07-03. In Search of a Revolution: A Day in Lisbon
  • 1906-07-12. The New Spain—The Madrid Bomb Outrage
  • 1906-08-11. The New Spain—Some Stories of King Alfonso
  • 1906-08-18. The New Spain—The Fascination of the Bull-fight
  • 1906-09-15. In Search of a Revolution: The Missing Elements
  • 1907-02-08. With Miliary Honours
  • 1907-05-12. The Calm Chauffeur
  • 1913-01-21. Willing but Workless
  • 1914-12-01. Under Fire
  • 1915-11-20. The Raid
  • 1916-08-01. Woman the Warrior
  • 1918-03-22. The Man Who Saved the Empire
  • 1919-11-03. To Soothe the Savage Breast
  • 1924-03-28. The Secret of the Moat Farm
  • 1924-04-25. The Murder on Yarmouth Sands
  • 1924-05-09. Herbert Armstrong—Poisoner
  • 1924-05-23. The Trial of the Seddons
  • 1924-05-24. Truth About Sex Murders
  • 1924-08-09. Are Murder Trials Fair?
  • 1924-11-01. The Mind of the Race-Horse
  • 1928-01-01. The Suburban Lothario
  • 1928-09-10. Our Criminals and Their Ways of Thought
  • 1928-09-11. The Making of Burglars
  • 1928-09-12. Women Blackmailers
  • 1928-09-13. More Blackmailers
  • 1928-09-14. The Rare Desperado
  • 1928-09-15. Coming Out of Gaol
  • 1928-09-17. Foreign Crooks
  • 1928-09-18. Criminal Gangs
  • 1928-09-19. Horrors of Gang War in the U.S.
  • 1928-09-20. Convicts Who Think They Are Heroes
  • 1928-09-21. Our Merciful Police
  • 1928-09-22. The New Crime
  • 1928-10-28. High Class Crooks at Work
  • 1928-11-04. Causes That Lead Men to Lower Forms of Crime
  • 1928-11-11. When Women Go In for Crime
  • 1928-11-18. Blackmailer Preys on His Victim's Vanity
  • 1928-12-02. Prisons Are Often Nurseries for Criminals
  • 1928-12-09. Each Nation Has Own Crooks
  • 1928-12-16. How Gangs Terrorized New York
  • 1928-12-23. More About New York Gangs
  • 1928-12-30. Habitual Crooks Cannot Reform
  • 1929-01-06. Police and How They Do It
  • 1929-01-13. Superior Mental Power
  • 1929-02-02.How I Discovered a Murder
  • 1929-05-18. My Heart-to-Heart Talk on the "Talkies"
  • 1929-06-22. Mysteries of Ascot
  • 1929-09-01. Thomas Atkins
  • 1930-04-01. Defeating Crime
  • 1930-06-21. The Plague of Murders
  • 1930-07-15. Tutankhamen and the Curse

CORONATION NOTES

As published in The Thames Star, New Zealand, 19November 1902

NOTHING outside the equipages of Royalty createdso much sensation and called for greater admiration than thewonderful state coaches in which, some of the members of thepeerage drove to and from the Abbey. The Duke of Marlborough andhis duch*ess rode through admiring crowds in a deep-crimson coachwith real silver fittings, which evoked, loud cheers. Consuelo,duch*ess of Manchester, appeared in a coach simply dazzling, witha gorgeous hammer-cloth, which was only equalled by that of theDuke of Somerset's new coach, whose hammmer-cloth cost him over£800. The Northumberland state carriage was a magnificentaffair in white and silver, carrying ten people altogether, fiveof the family inside, and an equal number of the most elaboratelyand gorgeously appointed servants clinging to the outside. One ofthe most moving moments on Constitution Hill was when a strangelittle company of white-haired men with medals on their coatscame marching—slow and stiff, but very proud anderect—to one of the stand's. They were the survivors of thecharge of Balaclava. The Green Park was alive with flutteringhandkerchiefs, and cheers went up from the stands.

Never before in the history of England have grandchildren ofthe Sovereign in direct line of succession been present in theAbbey at the Coronation. The Coronation, it is estimated, cost£125,000. When Queen Victoria was crowned the cost was£69,401, at the crowning of William IV, £43,159, andthe Coronation of George IV, £243,388.

Two ladies with a bag of provisions took up a position on therising ground in Picadilly before midnight. They whiled away thenight reading by the light of a bicycle lamp tied to the parkrailings. After waiting nearly fifteen hours they only saw theprocession through the kindness of a policeman. When the routewas cleared the crowd got in front of them, but the constable,knowing how long they had waited, considerately passed themthrough to the front.


Mr Edgar Wallace inthe Daily Mail thus describes the return of theKing:—


"AND now the Horse Guards, and in their rear aglimpse of a golden panoply. No need to consult your programme,the hurricane of cheers, the tossing hats, the shrillacclamations of the women proclaiming unmistakably—theKing!

Nearer... the escort passes, and the finicking cream poniespick their way daintily. Crane forward... The King issmiling—bowing and smiling. How well he looks. Left andright he bows, the great crown glittering on bis head. You onlysee him for a second. It is a glimpse of a very happy man—aproud, contented man. A man, who has gripped death by the throatand of his unconquerable will triumphed.

It is only a glimpse, for hardly does your eye rest on himthan you attention, your cheers, your love, is claimed by thebeautiful woman who sits by his side. Not smiling—but theface of a woman whol is silently praying. Silent, and lovely, wedo her homage for the moment, and then she passes, and somethinglike a sigh runs through the crowd, and they forget to watch forthe Prince of Wales, but follow the great swaying coach with ahappy man and the pale woman with wistful eyes. The Duke ofConnaught and his soldier son you forget to notice. The Duke ofPortland, the Duke of Buccleuch pass—the King's processionends.

The interest dies momentarily, the passing gorgeous uniformmight be so much drab for all the effect it has upon thespectator. Heads craned forward to see the last of the King'scarriage. Then the band crashes "God! save the King"again—it is the Prince of Wales's coach passing."Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful," says an old lady, touching anarm, and tears stand in her eyes. "What?—the procession?""No, sir; the Queen. Wasn't she lovely."

There was no lack of comic relief in the various incidents inthe vicinity of the Abbey. One of the peeresses, exhausted bylong waiting for her carriage, sat down in despair on the groundin the courtyard with her velvet robes folded under her as acushion, while her husband sought the erring coachman attired inhis velvet and miniver. Another peer rushed, coronet in hand,down the streets calling for a hansom, receiving an impromptuovation from the crowd, which disconcerted him a little.

One of the most beautiful moments was the crowning of theQueen, which was performed with her Majesty kneeling. As herMajesty passed to her footstool the four duch*esses advanced tohold the canopy. Their crimson trains were spread fan-wise, andwhen her Majesty rose their trains were readjusted by fourgentlemen. The duch*ess of Buccleuch's page did the same to herGrace's train. The King and Queen were evidently quite aufait with the whole ceremony, and on more than one occasion,when hesitation occurred, guided the procedure. The Queen wasassisted by the Bishop of Oxford, who took her hand wheneverthere was a step to mount.

The crowning of the Queen was a much shorter function, but itgave rise to one of the most extraordianry effects possible. Atthe moment that the crown was placed on her head each peeress puton her coronet, and, as seen from the peers' stand, the wholebank of fluttering down opposite was in a flash converted intoone great white trellis work, in every opening of which a facewas framed. This singular illusion was produced by the hundredsof pairs of white-gloved arms all simultaneously being raised toan angle over the head.

The Maharajah of Scindia's jewels were brought to the Abbeythe evening before the Coronation. Previous to the ceremony hisKeeper of the Jewel's attended, and in one of the robing roomsthe jewels were put on. An eyewitness describes the Indian Princeas being "swathed in diamonds."

The value of the actual contents of Westminster Abbey duringthe ceremony is perhaps such as no human brain could estimate.Apart from the regalia, the worth of one single diadem, theQueen's crown, is computed at £100,000. The solid goldplate belonging to the Abbey and the Chapels Royal, if melteddown, would buy several warships. An increased value is added byhistory, each piece having been the property of some Englishsovereign.

Everybody admired the Queen's crown. It was specially made forthe, occasion, and was composed entirely of diamonds, each ofwhich is mounted in a silver setting. This is the only preciousmetal which comlpletely shows the brilliance of fine stones. Goldis only used on the inner and hidden portions of the mounting,for the sake of lightness and strength. The circlet, unsurpassedin effect by that of any existing crown, is 1½ inches inwidth, and is entirely encrusted with brilliants of the finestwater. These diamonds, varying in size from one specially fine incolor weighing, nearly 17 carats, down for the smallest necessaryto carry out the design, are of the most perfect cutting, and areplaced as closely together as possible throughout. This method isadopted so that no metal is visible, and renders the entirecirclet one blaze of light. This rich band supports four largecross-patées, and thee largest of these displays the Koh-i-Noor,the grand and unique feature of the orown. Three very largediamonds of extraordinary lustre occupy the centres of the othercross-patées. The total number of stones used is 3,688.

By her Majesty's special command the crown was constructed aslightly as possible—an immense advantage when in use. Everyeffort experience and skill could dictate resulted in keeping theentire weight down to only 22oz 15dwt, a result never beforeattained.

THE HABITANT

A PICTURESQUE FIGURE

HE was seventy years old, was thisHabitant, and his name was Du Bois. As a matter of fact,it is still.

His face is lined and seamed with the joys and sorrows of hisyears. A large, generous mouth, grey twinkling eyes, a chin whitewith the stubble of three unshaven days, and a hand heavy andbig. He smokes—and smoked—a tobacco which smells likenothing so much as a conflagration in a soap factory. Often asnot he grows it himself, and its aroma reminds you of the factthat tobacco is sometimes called a weed. His French is the Frenchof Louis Quinze, his English is broken and charming. His pietyand devotion to Holy Church are beautiful in their simplicity,and his sentiments are Canadian. If he is more than usuallyprogressive they are Canadian-French.

He appeals to me, this Habitant, as a mostunregenerate, lovable, treasonable rogue. A big-hearted,gentlemanly Anglophobe. I think I rather like him for his nativeantipathies. I do not know whether this speck of grit in thenational bearings is not almost as healthy as over-muchlubricant. Nor do I think I am doing him an injustice when Ipoint out this—from a British point of view—weaknessof his. He sees things out of proportion, does thisHabitant. There is a story told which illustratesthis.

A STORY

THE French lumberman who came down from thebackwoods, where news is scarce, found Quebec in mourning.

"De Queen ees dead," explained an acquaintance.

"Mon Dieu!" said our lumberman, and then, thoughtfully, "Whohave got de job?"

"Edouard," was the reply.

"Ba gosh," and the lumberman grew more thoughtful, "'e mus'have good pull wit' Laurier!"


It is a little world of its own, French Canada. Outsideits limits there is nought worthy of consideration. And it is abeautiful world. A world of forests, dark and sweet-scented; ofbroad-bosomed rivers and flashing mountain streams. A world ofsnug homes and kindly curés, of little fenced gardens andbig fenced fields. A world that wakes with white dawns, and worksfrom the moment the red sun gilds the village spire till thespire's cracked bell tinkles the Angelus. Horny-handed, bowed-backed, hard-faced, and simple-minded are the people of thisworld, earning their living by the sweat of their brow year inand year out without question or complaint. Content to till andharvest as their fathers did before them: happy to live the life,hopeful to die the death, of their class and kind, such is theway of les Habitants.

AN ATOMIC SURVIVAL

WHETHER they love England little or much;whether or not they look askance at an Imperialism unifying theaspirations of—to them—an alien race; wherever andhowever their ideals be grounded, or their conscious effortsdirected, they are none the less excellent citizens of Canada,and helpful, however unwillingly or unconsciously, in thebuilding up of Greater Britain. They are an atomic survival ofmediaevalism; their laws, their customs, their very speech arerelics of another age. The Grand Seigneur, with his HighRights, passed not more swiftly in France than did the Reds ofthe Midi—that hungry, heroic crowd—in their marchnorthward. Untouched by the bloody shear that worked a frenziedpeople's will, intimidated by no loaded tumbril jolting a pallidaristocracy to destruction, the Grand Seigneur is to-day aperson—in Quebec. Perhaps he profited by example, andperchance his right of pillory, pit and gallows, and others moreunspeakable, are as so many shadows; perhaps he has grownbourgeois, and instead of exercising his lordly will to removethe popular grievance, he writes to the newspapers—butthere is sufficient of the old sieur left to beremarkable. "Quaint old Quebec," they call the town of that name.Quaint is the term that describes all French Canada. And as toloyalty to Great Britain—bear with me while I sound theHabitant, and piece together from his broken English thesentiments of Habitant Canada.

M'SIEUR CHAMB'LAN

"PLAINTEE Englishman come to Canada now: on Ste.Rose dey come also—et ees mos'ly politique-fiscalité, yas?"

Crudely enough I put the fiscal problem before him in a fewwords.

"I s'pose mese'f dat beeg beezness on Englan'—Yas?Milor' Chamb'lan—pardon, M'sleur Chamb'lan—mak'plenty troub' wit' de fisc. De Canayen-Français, you compren',not de Englishman-Canayen—hees not worry wit' fisc or w'atEnglishman t'ink. You tink dat cur'is? Mais!"

It is just lovely to listen to him, this seared old man withthe patient smile. He is so artless in the confession of hispolitical faith, he is so confident in the honesty of his views.Sometimes, abandoning the rugged, home-made reasoning, bejewelledwith metaphor of forest, field, and river, he drops into thestilted dogmatics of his favourite newspaper. You recognise asyou listen, and welcome almost as a friend, the trickyphraseology of the partisan leader-writer. Then he breaks back tothe lake and the rapid as texts for his little sermon.

"Englan' she lak man dat tak' canoe d'écorce on beeg rapide.One tam she float firs' rate, ev'ryt'ing smoot' lak glass. Datw'en you mak' beeg beezness wit' all worl', eh? Bimeby n'oddercontree cam' long, an' dey tak' leetle bit your beezness, an' denn'odder she tak' leetle bit, an' den n'odder. Som' lak you tak'canoe up rapide, she mak's dam' hard. So Chamb'lan 'e say, 'Decurran she run too fas' as we can pull—we mus' mak' degrande portage—yas?'"

Briefly, I sketched to the Habitant the possibilitiesof preferential tariffs, and the closer union of the Empire. Thatportion of the scheme which deals with the question of acontribution to Imperial defence met with his emphlatlcdisapproval.

PATRIOTISM.

"W'AT use mak' de foolishness lak dat?" heinquired—for him— impatiently. "S'pose you mak'trouble wit' La Russ; you 'ave beeg war wit' her—you hollerout, 'Come, Jean Du Bois, I mak' beeg fight wit' La Russ, youcom' right 'long an' bring wit' you all de frien's you can fin.'I say, 'La R:uss don' mak' troub' w't' me, w'y shall I mak' worrywit' de Englishman, her beezness?'"

All of which, as I sternly explain ed to the Habitant,is most dreadfully unpatriotic. And what is patriotism? asked myHabitant.

"Love for your country," answered I, unthinkingly, "and areadiness to sacrifice, if needs be, your life at her need."

The Habitant looked a little puzzled. This, said he ineffect, is my country. Here was I horn as was my father beforeme. Here are my children and my grandchildren. I know theselakes, these woods, these fields, as I know my own garden. Mygrandfather fought for this land, driving out the Yankees in1812, while I carried my rifle in the Fenian invasion. I speakFrench, but France is not my home. I live under the British flag,but England is nothing to me. I am a Canadian first and last, andif he who loves his country best is the finest patriot, thenthere is no greater patriot than I.

Briefly this is the attitude of French Canada. It is activelyloyal to Canada; it is not actively disloyal to Great Britain."Canada first," this is its motto. Only there is really nosecond—absolutely none. If you can understand a passion forQuebec, with an apathy for the rest of Canada, and an attitude ofsupreme indifference toward the remainder of the British Empire,not to say the civilised world, you can understand the French-Canadian and place him at his value. He is not an Imperialist, heis not a "Rule Britannia" loyalist: he represents IsolatedParochialism at its best and worst; he is an anachronism, a bitof the seventeenth century living on the fringe of the twentieth.And, withal, he is rather lovable: if his outlook is narrow, hishumanity is broad: if his ideas are small, his heart is large. Ilike the Habitant—Toronto, forgive me—on firstacquaintance he is pleasing, Perhaps if I had to live alongsidehim all my life— But then, I have not.

CANADA'S SENTIMENTS

As published in The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand, 15 December 1903

THE cable messages have given some slightindication of the deep feeling of resentment felt by Canada atthe recent judgment of the Alaska Arbitration Tribunal, butthough the newspapers raged and gave "scare-head" captions totheir articles upon the subject it would appear that the eldercolony of the Empire maintained a very dignified and sensiblemoderation over the judicial reverse which her people so keenlyfelt. The utterances of her leading statesmen have shown that thetie with the Motherland will survive the strain of many Alaskanawards. It is interesting, however, to learn how Canadiansentiment was affected by the decree of the Commission, and thisis graphically told by Mr Edgar Wallace, the able warcorrespondent of the Daily Mail, who happened to be in theDominion at the time. Mr Wallace writes:


"TO deny that Canada is at the present momentboiling over with honest wrath would be to deny that shepossesses any sense of rectitude, and that the spirit which shehas inherited from the Motherland, that abhorrence of injusticewhich made a teapot of Boston Harbor, is still existent. How itstrikes you at Home I cannot gauge, but here in the heart of theDominion, where every man's first thought is of his country andwhere patriotism swamps the personal equation, to one catchingthe spirit of the people, and in one's sympathy unconsciouslyexpatriating oneself from Britain, there comes a momentaryglimpse of that inbred distrust of Englishmen and English methodsthat is characteristic of the colonial attitude toward the MotherCountry.

"Rightly or wrongly—I am too near Hades to take adispassionate view of the Higher Criticism—the decision ofthe Commission has widened the cracks and fissures in theImperial fabric to such an extent that one holds one's breathlest a little extra strain should rend the structure from crownto base, and split this great Empire as easily as lightning mightcleave an oak. You have only to think how near we have been tolosing South Africa when it was the toss of a penny whether ornot the Vierkleur should float from Capetown to theZambesi; you have only to remember how we lost the great countrythat lies to the south of Canada and to realise that the hundredyears that have brought the steam engine and the electrictelegraph have not changed emotional mankind—since emotionsare not a matter of education, and the feelings of the man whoslips on the sidewalk are identical with those of William ofNormandy who tripped on the English foreshore—to know thatBritish injustice—as we see it here—has again set acolony aflame with impotent rage, and the work of the last fewyears of sane Downing street administration has been undone, inas few minutes.

"You may talk to the Canadian until your breath fails, and youwill never convince him that Great Britain is not prepared at alltimes to sacrifice Canadian interests to gain the goodwill of theUnited States. Despite your Anglo-American societies, your flag-wagging, musical-hall outbursts of foolish sentimentality, theeternal clap-trap of the destinies of the Anglo-Saxonraces—meaning the Anglo-American races—the Canadianknows what you in England do not know: that commercially andnaturally the Yankee is the worst enemy Great Britain has in theworld; that nowhere is England more hated, that nowhere in theworld was news of British disasters in the late war received withgreater glee and more joyous celebration than in the Union.

"Here stories of unspeakable atrocities were given the freestcirculation, cartoons depicting John Bull in humiliatingcirc*mstances were without exception the only kind published.Tariffs designed to strike at Britain and Canada were erected,and Canada being close at hand has felt the full lash of 'ourcousin's' venom. And all this time, the English statesmen havebeen preaching the doctrine of closer relations with the UnitedStates, Canada has been standing with her back to the wall,fighting for "dear life against the attacks of this cousin ofours. Do not think I am extravagant or intemperate. It would beimpossible for me to attempt to convey, except in the slightestdegree, the strength of the feeling between these two countries,a feeling which is accentuated to bitterness by the finding ofthe Alaska Commission.

"Canada has an excellent memory. There is not a child fromschool who could not tell you the story of the Ashburton treaty,by which Canada lost her free seaport on the east and a greatwedge of country which now constitutes the State of Maine. Thereis a legend, too, of that same treaty by which, in addition tothe country on the east, Canada lost the States of Washington andOregon on the west; that these two States were lost because theCommissioner, a great fisherman, could not catch salmon with flyin one of the rivers and consequently handed over a countrycontaining so worthless a stream to the Union! It is only alegend, and there is probably nothing in it, but it is one thatis half believed in Canada, and who shall say, with a knowledgeof the eccentricities of English statesmanship before them, thatCanadians do wrong to credit the seeming absurd?"


HAVING thus pictured Canadian sentiment as itis, the correspondent proceeds to outline the possibleconsequences. He does not believe for one moment that as a resultthe preference granted to the Mother Country will be withdrawn.Canada is too large-minded, too broad-visioned, to play the tit-for-tat game. But she may well reconsider the question of tariffsif. the unmistakeable voice, of England rejects Mr Chamberlain'sproposals, calculated to encourage her agricultural industries.Canada, Mr Wallace declares, will never join the Union.Washington's dream of a united American from the Tropic to theArctic can never be realised. American as they are in habit, inmethod, in literature, and—to the Britisher inexperiencedin the niceties of accent—in tongue, yet they are asdistinct from the Yankee in thought, sentiment, and morality asis New Orleans from Dawson. Canada's natural way is the way ofindependence. Unhampered and untrammelled by overmuchinterference from Downing street she is steadily following theinevitable course of her great destiuy. If she is turned aside itwill be towards England. If England does not invite her beforeshe passes out of reach or earshot she will make for nationality.At present Great Britain's hold on the colonies is purelynominal—there may come a time when the assumption of"possessing" such a colony as Canada will be farcical. There may,too, come a time when if England's invitation is not too tardy,and Canada, harkening, inclines her steps toward the MotherCountry when the Canadian and the British interests will so blendand be so indispensable one to the other that the question ofseparation will be as remote as the days when Anglia andNorthumbria stood for distinct national ideals.

MONTREAL—THE LONDON OF THE WEST

As published in The Ashburton Guardian, New Zealand) January 9, 1904


Montreal, Canada, November 7, 1903

I WAS asleep when I tumbled out of a Pullman onto an almost deserted platform. I dreamt still of the morningglories of the Hudson river, the sheer, green-dappled banks, andthe broad, lordly stream; the blue Katskill Mountains rising foldon fold, the hidden heights of the Adironacks, the wondrousbeauty of the autumnal foliage, and the grey lakes in thetwilight of the forests. It was one long, confused dream.

I dozed as I handed my keys to the Custom-house officer, andwhat time he was laying bare the mysteries of my wardrobe I wasmentally surveying the bleak baggage-room for somethingcomfortable to sit on. In a haze I walked to my cab and sankblissfully into its snuggest corner. It was the driver who rousedme to wakefulness "Où vous descendrai-je, m'sieu?" heasked.

Then it was that I knew my journey from New York was indeedcompleted, and I was in Canada. It is one of the annoyances thatbeset the path of the travelling Imperialistic Britisher thatthere is something in the language or custom of nearly everyBritish dependency calculated to impress him with his own crassignorance. It is so much simpler and easier to be a stay-at-homeLittle Englander, to ignore the Colonies as factors in ournational life, to dismiss their importance with a wave of thehand, and settle their complex problems—convenientlytranslated into English by obliging partisans—with a strokeof the pen.

Because if you want to get down to bedrock principles, toinvestigate conditions and grievances at first hand, you must,before you start off on your quest, take a thorough course inlanguages, which will include French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian,Portuguese, Hindustani, Tamil, Chinese, Asiatic, Greek, and aboutthree hundred separate and distinct native dialects. Thus willyou be able to hold converse with your fellow-subjects the Empireover from Canada to Cyprus, and from Hong-Kong to Gibraltar.

Here in Montreal a somewhat fragmentary knowledge of the"taal" helps me not at all. For two-thirds of the citizens areFrench, the policemen, the postmen, the very elevator boys inyour hotel speak but broken English, and the more influentialportion of the city's Press is printed in the language that theunintelligent Englishman associates with menus. This is a factforcibly brought home to the unlettered stranger, for whom theoft-repeated warning in park and square, "Ne passez pas sur legazon," has no especial terrors, so that he will transgresswith a blissful tranquility of mind until a kindly policemanbrings hian back to what are literally the paths ofrighteousness.

And this is Montreal: Imagine a beautifully-dressed woman, indown-at-heel slippers, or a city of noble buildings—andprimitive roadways; imagine a city with cathedrals built on theplan of St. Peter's at Rome and Nôtre Dame of Paris—withwooden side-walks. Electric cars whiz over corded roads, andbroughams and motor-cars jolt unevenly along the tree-fringedavenues. Montreal is the worst-paved city in the world,considering its pretensions, considering, too, that here we havethe New York of Canada, the London of the West.

Perhaps the former title better suits this mother of cities.French-American she is essentially. Forget, the fact thatorchestras play "God Save The King" at the end of performances:that that population's loyalty to the Throne, isunquestionable—forget these, and there will be no singlething to remind you that you are on British soil. The stamp ofAmerica is on the town and on one-third of the people, and HolyRome looks down from a dozen emulating spires and turrets with abenign eye upon the faithful majority.

American in commerce, American in habit—we drink ice-water for breakfast and in driving keep to theright—American in speech, in thought, and—except forthe reverence it has for the Throne and Person—insentiment, it promises, if it be the microcosm of a compositeDominion, to render the student's path by no means one ofroses.

For here in Montreal you have every evidence of a dominantRoman Catholicism, a religious dictatorship, a power which,scornful of dissemblance and fearless of criticism, might wellstand behind a Government or a people indicating its requirementsand urging its demands, strong within the unassailablebattlements of its sanctity.

For good or for ill the power of the priesthood stands as avery real and tangible factor in the future of this Colony. Forgood one cannot but think, since the traditions of Canada aremade glorious by the memory of her brave priests' deeds, andsince foremost among her pioneers went these pale-faced, dark-eyed priests, carrying with that fearlessness which is equallyshared by fanatic and fatalist the elements of Christianity tothe wigwams of the Iroquois. And since Montreal owes its veryexistence to the attempt made a century ago to form a veritablekingdom of God on American soil, the manifestation of this idealcannot fail to be gratifying to those who believe—as somedo—that the progress of a country is naturally coincidentwith the prosperity of the Roman Church.

I have spoken of Montreal as being the New York of Canada, andit does seem, from ite very position, that not only will it be toCanada what New York is to the States—as indeed it alreadyis—but in course of time, remembering the enormousresources of Canada, it will be equal in wealth, population, andimportance. Like New York, practically an island town, it hasgreater opportunities for expansion, and if it has thedisadvantage of being closed to river traffic for certain monthsin the year owing to its frozen waters, it is far nearer to afree seaboard—free in a purely climatic sense—than isthat other great lake town, Chicago.

The French-Canadian of Montreal cares little enough for thefuture; lives very much for to-day. See him, clean-shaven,sharpfeatured, somewhat sallow, and wearing his hair in a sleek,rigidly-trimmed bunch at the back of his head. Slightly below themedium height, yet a man of some brawn; lithe and alert in hismovements, voluble and buoyant in his speech, remarkablyexpressive in his gesticulations—a Frenchman who can ride,shoot, swim, or row—that is the French-Canadian. He is muchmore of an athlete than his brother across the Channel. He isless emotional, cooler-headed, and has such a fund of commonsense as to almost denationalise him. Essentially be is aFrenchman, and yet—

Perhaps it is that he has absorbed something of the qualitiesof his English neighbor; perhaps its is only that he is Frenchand not Parisian—we sometimes confuse the types. At anyrate, he is an excellent companion this Frenchman. When he getsover the natural suspicion with which all Continental racesregard the Englishman he will become expansive.

IN NEW CANADA

As published in The Evening Post, New Zealand, 23 January 1904


QUEBEC is a bit of old France transplantedacross the ocean; Montreal is twentieth-century American in themiddle of the street tapering off to Louis Quinze sidewalks;Toronto is openly, unblushingly American in a hustling,unwearying fashion—this you will find if you do business inthis queen of cities. Toronto is also aggressively British, andOrange at that.

Exactly whether the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne isobserved I cannot say, but this I know—Toronto isOrange.

Ottawa is the cleanest of little towns. Here England andFrance hold equal sway, and here every man you meet who is not aCivil servant is a Yankee drummer.

Leave behind you Montreal and Quebec, Ottawa, and Toronto, andthe lesser towns about. Go north from Toronto, straight up themap to where the Canadian Pacific Railway bustling westward formsthe never-ending top line of a capital "T."

IN HIAWATHA'S LAND

GO to bed on the couch that has, at a porter'smagic touch, sprung into existence from nowhere in particular,and sleep. You will run so easily that you will doubt the man whotells you the number of miles per hour you are travelling.

In the morning you will awake and find yourself in Canada. Notthe Canada, you have been visiting this past three weeks; not theCanada of tall smokestacks belching bellowing blackness; ofbroad, straight streets and ten-storied stores—but theCanada you have read about, dreamt about; the Canada that youryouthful imaginings people with hooked-nosed red men in thewholesale scalp business. Straight young trees all crimson andgold trembling in their gaudiness; lush grasslands sloping tolittle white-frothed torrents. Great rugged kopjes with firs atopand a hundred varieties of vegetation softening the harshoutlines of their bases. Hollows and hills and thick, clusteringcopses. Here a rushing rapid and there a big placid stretch oflake with little wooded isles and tree-grown shores.

Your fancy will people the waste as the train flasheswestward. Here, by the side of this dancing, darting, whirling,rock-fretted current might well have lived and loved the duskyMinnehaha. Stealing through this little wood,into which the trainplunges for a minute and then throws backward might easily havecome Hiawatha, himself. You get a momentary glimpse of asquirrel, a comical furry streak that flies at the train'sapproach.

THE BOOK OF NATURE

"DO not shoot me, Hiawatha," you murmurunconsciously. All day long you will travel with your unopenedbook on your knees reading the great story of nature in the ever-changing pictures of Manitou Himself. 0 the joy of it! that firstday's ride westward.

Stand on the observation platform and watch the track drawnfrom under you; watch trees and stones and hills and lakes flybackward and disappear at each fresh turn of the road. Watch thehorizon of the greak lake, watch the purple-blue islands, and thedaintily scalloped bays, and the rivers splashing over tinyNiagaras in their haste to join this fresh-water sea. Feel thekeen autumn air and catch the glorious scent of the pines and youwill not nave lived in vain.

Day will follow day. Portage, lake, river, road, hill, river,township, lake, portage, wood, lake—so they will follow endon end. No two rivers quite the same. Some choked with a thousandjumbled logs, some clear and still, and black with the shadows ofoverhanging trees. Some racing and roariag between rocks thatshow up like the blackened fangs of some submerged leviathan. Notwo towns; no two hills, or woods, or clearings; eachcharacteristic of its peculiar self. Nature broke the mould ofeach wild thing she shaped. The eye does not weary nor the mentalpalate clog of this over-loveliness.

THE CHICAGO OF CANADA

THE country is one great flat expanse, patchilywooded and decorously watered—how sedately the streams rollhereabouts! Then, before the flatness becomes monotonous or thewheat-bearing qualities of the black-turned earth can be fullyexplained by the Yankee drummer in the smoking room, the trainruns through the outskirts of a township, which proves to be atown, which, as solid stone buildings spring across the line ofvision, and electric tramway-cars pause in their wild flight tolet us pass, proves to be the city of Winnipeg, the Chicago ofCanada.

Canada is proud of Winnipeg—although not quite so proudas Winnipeg is of itself. There is a mild jealousy between townsin the East. When they wish to be very nasty they speakslightingly of the hustling qualities of each other.

"But," says Toronto—"But," says Quebec—"But," sayMontreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, and Windsor—"if youwant to see a Real Live Typical Canadian city, a city that willOpen your Eyes and make you Marvel, go to Winnipeg!"

And that is just what Winnipeg is. It is very real. It is verymuch alive—except on Sundays, when it atones in tiptoeingsilence for its youthful indiscretions—and it is verytypical of this young nation of Canada. It is the new Canada, theCanada of to-morrow.

THE PRIDE OF THE DOMINION

MONTCALM and Wolfe, Quebec and the Heights ofAbraham, the historical richness of the East are things apart.Tbe East stood for civilisation; now it stands for settledorderliness. Not that the West is any the less law-abiding thanthe East. But it is so boundless, so vast, so illimitable, sowondrously potential that the older provinces of the Dominion,cramped by routine, narrowed by invariable system, and made smallin Western eyes by the knowledge of their limitations, areregarded as but appendants to the West. And Winnipeg is the keyof the West, the heart of it, the barometer of itsprosperity.

In Winnipeg you get no chance of showering encomiums on thecity. The baggage man who takes your traps from the depot givesyou a précis of the history of Winnipeg, the elevator-boycontrives between the first and the fourth floors to inculcate aknowledge of the relative importance of Winnipeg and the rest ofCanada, The chambermaid, depositing clean towels in your room,lingers at the door to deliver a disquisition on the Rise andGrowth of Winnipeg, with some Remarks on Its Remarkable Future.The polite clerk who registers you, the imposing barber whor*moves the three-day stubble from your chin, the bell-boy whobrings you distressing cablegrams from headquarters, allcontribute their quota to your education, and the head waiter, ashe arranges your serviette before you, leans over the back ofyour chair and asks in a respectful whisper. "What do you thinkof Winnipeg?"

MOULAI THE FOOLISH

A WELL-INTENTIONED SULTAN
HAS SACRIFICED HIS COUNTRY

As published in The Narromine News and Trangie Advocate, NSW, Australia, 9 September 1904

MOULAI THE FOOLISH

Mr. Edgar Wallace, special correspondent of theLondon Daily Mail, wrote from Tangier on June 20thlast:—


THAT excellent and amiable young man, Moulai elAziz, is probably at this very moment opening packing-cases athis palace in Fez quite unconscious of the steel wedge ofcivilisation that has been thrust into the hitherto impenetrablecasing of his Empire—a wedge that, so far, has notmisplaced or strained in the slightest degree the fabric that itwill one day splinter and tear and destroy.

I sometimes wonder whether Moulai cares overmuch; whether hewould not welcome, even at the risk of his throne and life, theEuropeanising of Morocco, and would not exchange his precariousmagnificence for a guaranteed security and a more modeststate.

Imagine, if you can, the Czar of All the Russias castingenvious eyes on the Principality of Monaco, and you may gauge thestate of mind of Sultan Moulai at the moment.

There are two views of the Sultan of Morocco, and both arecorrect. There is one which sees a prodigal, a vain spendthrift,an, irresponsible dilettante, and the wrecker of his country,There is another which shows a modest, good-hearted, sympatheticsoul, with European tendencies. As I say, both views are aboutcorrect.

THE DISRESPECTFUL TRUTH

IT is difficult to hit upon an expression thatexactly describes him. The brutal Anglo-Saxon phrase that conveysthe best expression of his Majesty, is, to my mind ratherdisrespectful.

The Sultan is "a young fool."

Every father in the world who has to put his hand into hispocket to pay his son's bills; every man who has had a youngerbrother constantly getting into a row; every head of every schoolin the world will recognise the type, and will oblige me bypassing on to people who are not so well-informed the exact shadeof significance my description has.

The Sultan has no great vices: indeed, for an Oriental be issingularly healthy-minded. The stable has a greater attractionfor him than the seraglio—that is one of the grievancesMorocco has against him—and he is not bloodthirsty; indeed,I do not think that even in his folly he is a weak man.

The greatest of his sins from the European standpoint is hisreckless extravagance. He is a sort of Jubilee Juggins. He hasgot the spending habit in its most acute and worst form. Hethrows away money on the most paltry excuses, and will cheerfullyspend a thousand pounds, when to spend a shilling would be rankfolly.

SEVENTY-SIX WATCHES

AN English catalogue came to his hand one day.Idly turning the leaves, he came upon the illustration of a goldwatch. Beneath the cut was a detailed jewelled-in-seven-holes-and-lever-escapement description, which showed, as it wasintended to show, that the man who had gone through life withoutpossessing watch No. XZ 98, had lived in vain, and that withoutthat watch life was a dreary, sorrowful vale of colorless daysand breathless nights.

"I want this watch," said the Sultan, almost ashamed for themoment that he had been so long unpossessed of thismasterpiece.

The Grand Vizier bowed. "How many shall I order for yourMajesty?" he asked.

The Sultan thought for a moment.

"Seventy-six," he said. It was the first number that came Intohis head.

Mouths afterwards a great packing-case arrived at thepalace.

"Your Majesty's watches have arrived," explained anofficial.

"Watches? What watches?" asked Moulai in astonishment.

"Your Majesty ordered seventy six."

The Sultan yawned. "Did I?" he asked carelessly. "Well, Isuppose you would like two?"

The obsequious official prostrated himself in ecstasies ofdelight.

"And you, and you," said the Sultan, indicating variousmembers of his court.

Of course they would, and so the watches passed round thecourt, and never one of these marvellous time pieces did theSultan retain for himself.

He has a garage, in which stand twenty automobiles. Exceptwithin tho limited area of his palace there exists no road inMorocco fit even for a cycle.

He possesses scores of aluminium cycles, which the slightestobstacle crumbles like paper. He has a gold- and diamond-studdedcamera which cost him £2000. He takes four snapshots a month, andhas a store of photographic paper valued at £400.

PALACE LUMBER

HE has lumbered up his palace with tawdrinessand drained his exchequer to buy a hundred specimens of the onething in the world he does not require. He has outworn thepatience of his European friends by a hundred childish whimseys,and has alienated the sympathy and loyalty of his subjects byaping those English qualities which Englishmen least admire.Think of him riding out in public in the pink coat and whitestock of the hunt. Think of his looking-glass bedstead, hismusical boxes, his mechanical toys, his cameras and gramophones,and the never-ceasing procession of packing.cases arriving fromEurope brimming with trumpery gew-gaws, the contents of which maykeep his interest aroused for ten minutes, but certainly nolonger.

What of his army and what of his people?

His army is an untrained, undrilled, lawless rabble. And he isto a great extent responsible. He might, now, have had a force athis. back that would have kept him secure upon his throne.Regiments have been raised, equipped, and drilled by English-officers. Then, without warning, they have been disbanded, thehorses sold, the equipment disposed of below cost. Why? TheGovernment needed money. Moulai el Aziz needed money—moneyfor air-guns, and ping-pong tables, and motor cars and mechanicaltoys.

His people despise him, as why should they not? He hasoutraged all conventions—and Mussulman convention isMussulman law—by introducing into Morocco customs and modesof living utterly at variance with the Eastern idea. Had he beena stronger man, had he been better advised, he might have earnedthe hatred of the Moors of to-day and the gratitude of posterity.He might have outraged convention by initiating reforms thatwould have been of lasting benefit to his country.

THE CHANGE THAT IS COMING

HE might have made both Europe and Morocco hisdebtors, and held off for another hundred years the danger offoreign occupation. But as it is, he has no friends. His follieshave isolated him. It way be politic to save him his throne. Itmay be necessary—it will be necessary—to protect him,not less against himself than against his people, but outside thehelp that policy dictates there is nothing for the young Sultanof Morocco and his unwise counsellors but that variety of mildcontempt that one reserves for wilful children.

The change that is coming to his fortunes is coming quicklyenough. The revolution that is to set Morocco ablaze from end toend is all but kindled. This time it will not be a case of anambitious pretender seeking adherents to a personal cause. Itwill be the people against Moulai. The Sultan alone seemsunconscious of the impending disaster. He does not know—heof all people — hat Morocco is unanimous in its intentionto strip him of his authority.

That Morocco will succeed in its designs upon the Sultan isonly possible should Moulai remain in Fez. It is urged thatwhatever happens he must remain in that city, for to surrenderFez is to surrender the throne.

Sentimentally this is, of course, true, but for the youngmonarch to remain in his present position is for him to courtcalamity. "Who holds Fez holds Morocco," the saying goes, but alive Sultan under the guns of the Powers in Tangier is betterthan a very dead Sultan in Fez.

Moulai has now one chance. He may come to Tangier and placehimself under the protection of the French Minister, a course,that he will, I have not doubt, adopt. He will lose Fez; thewhole of the interior of Morocco will take up arms against him,and the country will have to be systematically and vigorouslysubdued, one might even say reconquered—but all this isinevitable under any circ*mstances. He will save his throne,which is a consideration for Europe, and he will save his head,which is a greater consideration—for him.

RAISULI'S PRISONER

As published in The Cobar Herald, NSW, Australia, 10September 1904

THE STEALING OF A MAN AND THE COMING OF A FLEET

On June 17th, Mr Edgar Wallace wrote to thoLondon Daily Mall from Tanglers as follows:—


IF you look out of your bedroom window to theleft, you will see the hills of Andulusia, quite close at hand.And Andalusia is Spain, and Spain is quite European, and almostcivilised.

If you turn your head ever so slightly to the right, you willsee at your feet, Tangier, which is Darkest Africa and theMysterious East all rolled into one. Also, it is the first orsecond century—or, rather. It is before the Christianera.

Mohammedanism is almost a modernity. Tho electric lightflickering feebly at the corners of dark passages may pass for amiracle. The hotels are improved caravanseries, and need notcount.

Perhaps it is the food, or the methods, or the rooms, butwhatever it is, there is nothing in the average Tangier hotelthat clashes with that prevailing spirit of antiquity which isTangier's very own.

Low hills, all olive-green, circle the blue bay. A thin goldenribbon of beach separates the blue and olive of land and water,and, perched uncomfortably at an angle of 30 degrees, Tangier,all of a jumble, sits with her feet in the sea.

Tier on tier, flat roof of flaring orange overlooking flatroof of washed-out blue, a white, bright, yellowy Jerusalem of atown, it rises—Tangier ancient, unchangeable,insanitary.

THE UNIVERSAL EAST

IT is Eastern; the East one reads about in one'scallow youth; the turbancd East; the East in jellab and fez; theEast that carries spears and quaint, long-barrelled, queer-stocked guns; the East that says its prayers on Liberty carpets,and goes to the mosque at all sorts ot inconvenient hours.

Laden donkeys stagger through the cobble-paved passages thatserve for streets. Coal-black negroes, all thews and perspirationjog past you with tinkling bell and bulging, dripping woter-bagGrave Jews in black, shavon-headed hillsmen all in rags, curiousvisitors from Fez—you know the curiosity that is expressedby a scowl—and slovenly soldiery in soiled tunics pass andrepass you every second. Blanketted ghosts of women, their facesmuffled, shuffle awkwardly from street to street.

A bored little boy leads a hideously blinded old man to agroup of idlers in the thronged marketplace. The old man whineshis formula, and the little boy, with his eyes fixed on a troupeof acrobats, repeats the appeal mechanically.

"In the name of God, who will buy me a little oil for mysupper?"

"... for my supper?" pipes the boy abstractedly.

But the bogging bowl goes unfilled.

A lisping objurgation in Spanish from one. "Go away can#tyou?" in English from anothe; only a Moor stops in his stiide tosearch a capacious leather bag at his side, and throws fivecentimes into the outstretched hands. "In the name of God"

"AMERICO"

A BABEL of voices around you, In this same marketplace. Arabic mostly, then Spanish, then French, and somotimes English.

"Say!"

An American "jacky," as bright as a baby's smile and asincongruous a vision in this out-of-the-world spot as anautomobile in heaven.

"Say! Where'ss this English post-office?

He has a little group of Arab boys about him. Open-mouthed,abashed little boys filled with the wonder and awe of youth formankind in uniform.

Little Raisuli riding fiery Arab sticks and armed with deadlyaccurate bamboo canes, slung at their backs with strings ofcotton, cease their maraudings, and the blubbering infantlePerdicaris seizes the opportunity of making his escape.

Debonair and happy-go-lucky, with a a smile on his wind-bittenface, the man who has come to stop Raisuli's greater game passes,down the ill-paved streets, followed, by the awe-stricken youthof Tangier.

"Ingles?" asks, villager from Fahs of the seller ofcharcoal.

"Americo," answers that wise gossip, and spitsreflectively.

I think that this is the only dark spot on—Raisuli'sotherwise irreproachable reputation; the only point on whichTangier—the real Tangier that lives on fried fish in rancidoil—is not prepared to see eye to eye with the popular heroof the moment.

Tangier is beginning to think that perhaps Raisuli was alittle indiscreet in his selection of a victim. It was, saysTangier, sitting cross-legged on a greasy divan, with its shoesleft at the door, it was very foolish to take the Americans. Hadit been only an Englishman....

STEALING AN AMERICAN

IF the truth bo told, there was a time whenTangier did not hold this doubt of Raisuli's wisdom, when itchuckled mightily over the brigand's exploit, and voted thatgentleman what is Arabic for 'the limit.' But the joke of thething had scarcely taken definite shape before all the warshipsin the world came chasing into the bay.

And all the warships in the world flew a flag that hasabsolutely no right to be within 3000 miles of Tangier.

These lean white ships came to anchor and sent menashore— ships postmen and chief petty officersmostly—who spoke the English language with a White Staraccent. Then news filtered through to the bazaars and to thestuffy cafés. It came from various sources. From Moors thatwaited at table at the hotels; from outdoor servants at theLegations; from Moors who knew Spaniards who know everything;from donkoy-boys and boatmen, and even beggars.

And the news was to this effect Perdicarls, who was stolonfrom Tangier, was an American; the ships that were crowding upthe bay were American also—except the one stove-polishedvessel that had suddenly appeared from nowhere, and that wasEnglish—and it seemed that the taking away of Perdicarishad annoyed and agitated the United. States of America to alamentable and quite unjustifiable degree. America has no senseof humor, said Tangier, only, of course, in more Oriental andstately language. Raisuli's joke was not appreciated, and thewarships had come fully prepared to work all kinds of mischief tothe archltectural glories of Tangier.

COMIC OPERA WARFARE

AT first Tangier was astonished; then she waspained; then the blind, unreasoning passions of theEast—the true East— were aroused. The frantic fearof weak men at the mercy of the strong lay on the souls ofMahomet Ali ben Absolom el Hassen.

The fierce pride of this strange people that has resisted theadvance of civilisation for a thousand years, was inflamed, andfor a time it looked as though the presence of the Americanwarships was likely to have an effect other than thatanticipated.

Chrlstians were stoned—furtively, if you can imagine afurtive stoning. The infidel was insulted in the streets, and oneunimportant holy man, a sort of Eastern Dowle, was all forpreaching a holy war against. Christianity generally. He ragedalong the beach half-naked and called us horrible names, but hisfriends got him away and put him to bed, and in the morning heapologised like a little gentleman. One man—it was on aMohammedan feast day, and therefore pardonable—dischargedhis ancient musket at the Baltimore and sat down on thesands waiting for the ship to sink. In fact, in the language oflocal journalism, "Excitement was running high in Tangier, andall the best people of the town regarded the situation asserious.

But serious situations in Morocco come and go like Aprilrains. The Affaire Perdicaris is quite serious enough; howserious will not be realised until after his release. For thenit will be that the Powers will talk with painful plainness toMorocco, and the ships that are lying idle in Tangier Bay willserve a most useful purpose.

BRIDAL TRAGEDY

COLONEL'S SEARCH FOR A WIFE
BRIDEGROOM'S DEATH

As published in
The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong
and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser
,
NSW, Australia, 18 November 1904


Mr. Edgar Wallace's search for a wife for aBritish Columbian colonist has had a tragic sequel.

It will be remembered that some months ago, when Mr Wallacewas engaged on a series of articles on "The Homeless Poor ofLondon," a description of the life of poor, destitute girlsinspired Mr. Cochrane, a young colonial farmer, to apply to MrWallace for his offices in choosing a wife from among thesehomeless ones.

Having secured satisfactory references from the young man,with a certificate as to his good character from the Rev. MrDuncan, of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Mr Wallace set aboutchoosing the girl.

The letters of the colonist were published and his needs madeknown through the columns of the "Daily Mail," and the result wasthat over six hundred girls expressed their willingness to goout.

"It will be a Robinson Crusoe sort of life," wrote the youngcolonist, "amid the silence of the tall firs and the everlastingsnows of the mountains." Yet, in spite of the lonely lifepromised, the applicants were numerous; not even the prospect ofa log hut for a house and the isolation of their new homedeterred them.

From among many applicants one was chosen. Three hundred mighthave been chosen just as well, so excellent were thequalifications of the girls. A cablegram was sent to the Rev. MrDuncan asking him whether he would offer a home for the girluntil she was married, and to this he Immediately agreed.

A telegram was sent to the girl telling her that the choicehad fallen upon her, and in response to Mr. Edgar Wallace'srequest she called upon him the same night, and was given themoney necessary to purchase a few articles for the journey.

By arrangement with the Canadian Pacific Railway, the girl wasto have left London to embark on the Lake Manitoba forCanada.

Early the next morning a cable arrived at this office.


COCHRANE DIED SUDDENLY. — DUNCAN.


In this laconic message from the kindly pastor of Salmon Armis the shattering of the poor girl's hopes. With her scantytrousseau all ready for embarkation within a few days of herromantic wedding, the lover she had never seen, tbe husband shehad never met; dies suddenly in all the loneliness of theRockies, and the silence of the tall firs, as he himselfdescribed it.

Dally Mail.

TROUBLESOME MOROCCO

TANGIER: THE TOWN WHERE HISTORY IS BRING MADE

As published in The World's News, Sydney, Australia, 13 May 1905

OF late the cables have had a good deal to sayabout Morocco and the trouble brewing there. Particular interestattaches to Tangier, since the German Emperor visited it, and inview of the future possibilities a description of the place'atthe time of the Kaiser's visit will interest all our readers.

There, is a great stretch of bay, dotted by in numerable boats(writes Edgar Wallace in the "Daily Mail"), a jumble of gleamingwhite houses rising tier on tier, distant stretches of ruggedblue hills, tall minarets of green-tiled mosques, and a longribbon of yellow beach to mark where land and water meet.

Months ago, before ever the name of Germany was connected inany way with Morocco, the people who gathered in Moorish cafés,drinking mint tea and smoking vile hasheesh, speculated on thecoming of someone who would "free" Morocco.

These people spoke the name of Moulal Aziz and spat, calledhim openly Moulal the foolish, Moulai the Christian, Moulal theunprintable; and they burnt fires on the hills about and gatheredin their hundreds, by tribes, to hear the story of how Moulai hadsold Morocco to France.

There is little wonder, therefore, in their enthusiasm at theKaiser's advent, remembering always the sedulous efforts of theGerman agents to implant in the Oriental mind a picture ofWilhelm the Liberator.

It is not difficult to understand why the unofficial Spaniardhas accorded such hearty welcome to the German War Lord. TheSpaniard easily predominates in Tangier, outnumbering English andFrench combined by 12 to 1.

Spanish is the language of Tangier, next to Arabic, and thereis scarcely a Moor who does not speak the dialect ofAndalusia.

The Spaniards regard Tangier as theirs by right,of commercialconquest; a French occupation would necessarily be moredistasteful than English.

The ex-War Minister lives in a little palace that stands highon the sea-front, looking towards the blue mountains ofSpain.

I went to see him once (says Mr. Wallace). A pleasant, refinedMoorish gentleman with laughing eyes and hands that were moreexpressive than speech. It was a pleasant experience to find aWar Minister who treated me with considerable deferencnce. A verydiscreet man, Menhembi, and a brother Briton, being, in fact,Sir "Somebody" Meuhembi, 'K.C.M.Q. He is never tired of tellingabout that investiture.

"I am a British subject," he smiles quietly, as thoughenjoying the recollection. "I admire British methods ofcolonising; how can I do otherwise? I have seen Egypt. One day Ihope to see India; they tell me that is more wonderful still."

The Sultan made Menhembi a British subject in reward for hisservices! Later the Sultan desired to confiscate his properly andarrest Menhembi, and found, to his cost, that while having a WarMinister who is a British subject had many .advantages, it hadits compensating drawbacks, for no sooner did the Sultan's Mahalasurrouud the palace of Menhembi than a British cruiser camestreaking across from Gibraltar, and wanted to know what all thetrouble was about. That is why Menhembi smiles when he says he isa British subject.

He must have been a curious, sort ot War Minister, for he, iscovered with battle scars.

Though Tangier threw itself open to receive the Kaiser, thoughcannons boomed and drums beat, and all Morocco bowed down to thegreat War Lord, yet one place was closed to him. Perhaps theMoors are the strictest of all Mahommedan sects; no Christiandog, be he king or peasant, can profane the sanctuaries of Islamin Morocco. The mosques of Tangier are closed to all but thefaithful.

In the light of the opinions expressed in this article, it isnot difficult to understand why the inhabitants of Morocco objectto the proposal of the French Government to open a highwaybetween Tangier and Fez. The landing of the French engineers toconstruct a harbor at Tangier may lead to serious trouble.

THE REALITIES OF WAR

As published in The Star, New Zealand, 27 May1905


(By Edgar Wallace, inthe London Evening News)

TAKE one dead man. One man done to deathviolently. One man whose soul has been wrenched from his bodywithout a second of grace.

Outstretched on the frozen ground, with a bitter wind whirlingthe show-dust over the tense, still face, he lies, that once wasa breathing, thinking man. Hands half-clenched, defy the flyingclouds, and the eyes that stare, but do not see, look wonderinglyupwards.

Take this one man, this fragment, this smallest and leastconsiderable pawn in the great game, multiply him by fiftythousand, twist him, as the grotesqueness of your fancy dictates,into ten thousand horrid shapes; embellish your awful picturewith the unprintable details of battles—remembering alwaysthat the bullet does not always kill cleanly, and that burstingshrapnel and one-pound automatic guns create a havoc that canonly be imagined by people who have served on coroner'sjuries—and you have formed in your mind something like thebattlefield of Mukden.

THE MEN WHO RAN

WHERE the victorious army has passed, where theretreating army has retired, panicky and demoralised, withducking of heads and affrightened glances over shoulders, whenmen have whimpered arnd sobbed in their rage and rear, thedormant fears of childhood responding to the knowledge of thedeath behind; where men running for cover have suddenly squealedlike frightened horses, and tumbled over and over like rabbits,on this deserted battlefield there lies the silence of thegrave.

The Things that lie so still seem part of the white earth onwhich they lie, be closely cuddled to the earth they are.

There is fighting yet, for the horizon is ablaze, and theguhr-r-r-r-r of rifle fire comes borne on the cold northwind.

It will be hours yet before the will-o'-the-wisp lanterns ofthe search parties come flickering over the plain, separating thequick from the dead, composing these poor limbs, digging great,trenches, and clearing away in the darkness of the night theawful work of day.

THE PATIENT VULTURES

BEFORE they come, the lantern men with theirbamboo stretchers, the birds will have arrived. For the birdswill drop out of the sky, and stand in a contemplative circle,waiting.

Great, beastly birds, with sleek, black coats and beady eyes.They will wait, for they are patient, till quivering limbs arestill, till every sign of life has departed, before they do theirwork.

They will wait days, if needs be, but their wait will bealmost fruitless, for long before carrion can take on courage theburying regiments will have cleared the ground, leaving only thehorses and the dumb beasts who have fallen victims to thedisputes of men.

GEORGE

As published in The Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, 26 October 1905

I WAS at home to receive George. I was in thegarden wandering somewhat abstractedly up and down when they cameto me and told me that George had arrived.

Soon after, I was invited in to meet him. He was tremendouslyagitated, and was shouting his orders at the top of hisvoice.

It struck me that he was making himself very much athome—after all, it was my house; not that he cared: hescarcely noticed me; in fact, I don't think he even nodded.

There is something radically wrong with England; the fine oldcourteous manners, the stately bows, the artistic salute of otherdays are forgotten, and so, far from giving me any of hissociety, George seemed to sleep all the time during the firstfour days of his visit. This sounds very much like exaggeration,but I can produce witnesses.

All that I heard of him was his grumbling, indignant, what-the-dickens-next voice raised at meal-times—he took hisfood in his own room—a practice of which I most certainlydo not usually approve.

George—his name is really Bryan something-or-other, butI call him George after a favourite cabman—is rather areticent chap and his manners are not particularly good. But forcertain expectations that we have, I do not know that I shouldtolerate his presence in my house.

For instance, when I met him a few ?days after he came I didmy best to be polite and make him feel at home. "How do you do?"I asked, with grave courtesy. But George favoured me with aprolonged stare as though he had never met me before in his life,and yawned undisguisedly.

"Are you enjoying your stay?" I asked desperately; for howeverrude one's guests may be, there is really no reason why oneshould imitate their vices—even hospitality has itslimits.

George turned his head abruptly away and pretended to beengrossed in the landscape.


HE has been under my roof now for over a month, and I havescarcely got a civil word out of him. It is very hard to besnubbed unmercifully in one's own house, and by one who ispractically a perfect stranger. I find his visit all the moretrying because we have so few tastes in common. George has apractice of turning night into day, and the noise of hisBacchanalian revels at 2 a.m. rouse me to something akin tofury.

For I am helpless. He neither cares for what I threaten norpays the slightest attention to my entreaties. He treats me withmarked coolness, and once—the indignity of it!—putout his hand and touched me as if to satisfy his mind upon thequestion whether I was really alive or if I went bymachinery.


ANOTHER two months has passed: George is still here. I wonderwhether he expects us to support him permanently? I havediscovered one or two quite human traits in him. He is possessed,I find, of an inordinate vanity. He will, if he be encouraged,spend hours before his looking-glass, murmuring appreciativelythe while.

It is, as I once pointed out to him, an extremely primitiveform of amusem*nt, and I offered to take him out on to the linksto see Charles Hands play golf, which is, I should imagine,something particularly funny and entertaining. My advance metwith so little response that it has not been repeated.

I am becoming almost reconciled to his stay, the more so sincehe is evincing of late a desire to be on good terms with myself,and has thrown out one or two tentative smiles in my direction,which have been remarkably gratifying.

After all, it is much more pleasant to be on good terms withone's relatives—and especially relatives from whom one hasgreat expectations—than to hear them constantly grumblingand finding fault.


I SUPPOSE he will stay the year now. I must confess heimproves on acquaintance, and for some remarkable reason he istremendously popular with the womenfolk of the house. He hasdropped a good many of his mannerisms: that affected you-have-the-advantage-of-me stare of his has given place to a more humanand more kindly expression. Then, again, he is much moretractable, and will listen without interrupting.

"If I may be permitted to say so," I said to him the otherday, "you're improving, George."

George accepted the familiarity with a suggestion of his oldhauteur, but said nothing.

"Of course, I couldn't very well be rude to a chap who waspractically my guest—even though he was a relation,and—"

I looked around to find George going through his dailygymnastic course. He had not asked me whether I objected—Ido not know anybody more off-handed than George—but hadstarted off on Exercise I.

Exercise I.—Lie flat on the back, raise both arms andtwirl them in eccentric circles, at the same time shooting outthe legs as though swimming.


GEORGE has decided to stay the year—in fact, the year ismore than up, and he has arranged to have the room next to mine.This would have been, impossible a year ago owing to the latehours he kept and to his extraordinary leaning to rowdiness. Now,however, thanks to the country air, early hours, and the goodclean moral atmosphere of my home, he has become almost areformed character. We have long conversations, rather one-sided,since George is only just picking up the English language. In hisown tongue he is remarkably fluent, and makes himself understoodto everybody except me. He has got a remarkably sweet smile, andwhen I see that smile I look around to see what he has broken—for he is still very eccentric.

He is of a literary turn of mind, and simply devours thenewspapers if he can get hold of them. He is shrewd, too, withjust that touch of low cunning that marks the successfulfinancier.

The other day he pulled my watch from my pocket, and bit it tosee if it was good. Of course, it was quite an unconventional wayof testing a timepiece, and several jewellers to whom I relatedthe instance say that they have never heard of such a methodbeing employed, but, after all, one bites sovereigns.

He is annoyed less frequently than he used to be; he does notraise his voice so often, and sometimes when he is detected goingback to his former evil practices he gives an embarrassed laughwhich indicates very clearly that he is by no means proud of hisuproarious past.


I HAVE asked George to stay on and make his homewith me. We have agreed to let bygones be bygones, and to saynothing of his somewhat cavalier treatment of the master of thehouse. After all, we all have our failings, and although Georgehas not shod all his weaknesses—yet he is becoming moresociable, and is not above taking a word of advice from his well-wishers. I for one have got so used to meeting him, so used tohis peculiar ways, that I should miss him if he left us—soI am content to go on sitting by his cot, whistling absurd music-hall tunes and watching with a certain pleasure his franticattempts to stand "all alone."

THE PEACEMAKERS

CONFERENCE AT ALGECIRAS

As published in The Daily Mail, London, 13 March 1906

BEFORE the door of a frowsy café that opens onto the Plaza—that plaza that has seen no change for ahundred years—I sit in the sunshine and drink coffee.

Partly because coffee is a more natural drink for a Britisherthan Amontillado—at ten in the morning.

To-day is Conference day. If you did not know this, theshoeblack who haunts the café would tell you, and the politeporter of the Algeciras Club would give confirmation.

Cobble-paved streets rattle as the first carriage passesunevenly. A grave old man with a snowy flowing board and black-rimmed glasses is talking earnestly to his vis-à-vis. Probablythey are discussing the weather or the latest accident to theRussian Minister's dog. At the street corner half-a-dozen Frenchjournalists raise their hats politely, and . the old gentleman aspolitely acknowledges:

THE DIPLOMATS PASS BY

HERE comes carriage number two. Filled withwhite-robed Moors, who do not talk to one another, but take stockof the houses, the people, and the -life of the street.

Then following on come carriages three and four. In the firstof these sits a man by himself. A dapper, good-natured, keen-eyedgentleman with curly hair and that indescribable suggestion oftolerant surprise that distinguishes the Englishman whether he bediplomat or tourist. Sir Arthur Nicolson goes to the Conferenceunsupported by any technical adviser—he knows all that isto be known about Morocco. Then the Americans. White, grey-hairedand soldierly; Gummere, a strong, simple man hiding his kindlynature behind a cynical smile.

And so they come, diplomat after diplomat, and the wheels oftheir hired carriages beat an endless tattoo.

For some we have a respectful bow—even the Englishmanwho never lifts his hat short of the National Anthem will givethe most ornate of flourishes to the two Frenchmen as they pass.One is sad with the sadness of over-much learning—that isReveil: the other looks like a happy father, and is ever ready tosmile—that is Regnault.

Of some as they pass we exchange a flippant word. Such andsuch is a hopeless muddler, such and such does not care a snap ofhis fingers whether the Conference succeeds or fails, so long ashe can get back to the capital he graces so well. This man iswithout finesse: that without discretion; and it is whisperedthat that one—no, not the man on the right, but theother—you will see him as the carriage turns thecorner—is altogether too impossible for words.

So you perceive as I perceive sitting here in the sun andsipping coffee, that the Conference is a very human assembly, byno means to be regarded with awe. A number of people you couldpat on the back and call "old chap" without inviting thethunderbolts of heaven.

Let them pass. In an hour they will be back with theirportefeuilles tucked under their arms. They will go backto lunch at the Reina Cristina, and we shall see them sitting atlittle round tables—each nation at its own table, eachtable solemnly flying a tiny national ensign.

FROM THE SENTIMENTAL SIDE

AND sitting here in the sun, with an importunatebut unavailing beggar whining monotonously at my elbow, I wonderwhat Jean Prideaux, the tinsmith at Bayonne, is doing just now,and Pierre Riaut, who makes shoes in, Arreau, in the valley ofthe Pyrenees, and young René Imatz, of Bigorre, and that goodJules Pourtet. who is carpenter, tailor, and wheelwright inArgelès. René was to have been married in March; Pierre is doingrather well, and is contemplating a change to Bordeaux.

I think of these as the pleasant old gentlemen rumble past; Iam still thinking of them as Tattenbach, hard-faced, Bismarckianof head, and, to my sentimental eyes, remorseless, goes on hisway; and suddenly there comes an uneasiness to my mind thatalmost amounts to terror. Do our well-dressed, well-fed friendsgive a thought to Pierre and Jules and René?

It would be terrible to believe that they do not. For thefirst time I wish they were less human and possessed ofomniscient qualities and preternatural reason.

For suppose the Conference fails?

Suppose those noble gentlemen decide that there is nopossibility of reconciling those two nations—what then?

They will—our friends of the Conference—go back totheir homes with something like a sigh of relief. They willscatter across Europe like schoolboys released from irksometasks. Back they go to their little embassies, their littlevillas, to their clubs and departments andchancelleries—and Algeciras will go back to its sloth andits dirt and its dullness.

Et après?

WAR AMONG THE ROSES

PERHAPS a war—only perhaps; but still,perhaps. Not a war, my military friends, in a country speciallycreated by God for war.

Not a war in n waste, with league-long hills to hold anddongas to hide in, and fronts a mile apart.

But war in a civilised country. War in little villagestreets, war that means blue smoke curling over trim flowergardens, and dead men lying limply among crushed roses.

War that will call Pierre from his last, and Jean Prideauxfrom his shop, and young René from poor little Suzanne, and willhurry, them, and thousands such as them, to a quick death and ahastily-dug trench of a grave.

War in a country through which you have motored, dead men atthe inn whereat you drank, and the wreckage of war strewn aboutthose same white roads on which the car ran so smoothly.....

They are coming back now, those ambassadors, smiling andtalking, and bowing to you and me....

The Conference is adjourned for four days.... The Presidentmust go to Madrid on Saturday to meet the King of Portugal.... Anattaché has just told me that he will be glad when the rottenthing is over....

But I think—I must break off here, for a man has comedown to tell me the latest funny story about the Russianminister's dog.

THE NEW SPAIN—THE KING WHO SMILES

As published in The Star, New Zealand, 16 June 1906


Madrid, March 29, 1906

THERE is in Spain a tall, slim, sallow youthwith a perpetual smile. It is the frank smile of undisguiseddelight at the joy of living and finding things out. For him lifeis a birthday, with thousands of presents still unopened. Hissmile—were I less respectful I might call it a delightedgrin, for such it is in very truth—is for the joy ofdiscovery.

ALFONSO'S SALUTE

I SAW him standing up in his carriage once atBurgos, responding to the hoarse "vivas" of the country folk. Hemight have saluted gravely, taken his seat solemnly, and drivenaway in the pomp and circ*mstance of his rank—that wouldhave been kingly. But he kept to his feet with that amused smilewhich is chuckle suppressed, and waved his hand cheerily. Hewaved it to the ladies crowding the balconies, to the childrenperilously perched on unsuitable elevations, to the swart-facedpeasants wrapped in their shawls.

And the love of his people, the people who had watched thefatherless boy grow towards manhood, was his first discovery.Then he discovered other good things, riding and the joy of thehunt, and the delight of travel; and he went on smiling.

Then he discovered that, given the nerve, a man might drive acar over a straight road at 100 kilometres an hour and that wasnearly the greatest discovery of all. Coincidentally with this,the Spanish people, who did not share his enthusiasm for roundingdangerous corners at full speed, remarked mildly, but with thatmordant humour which is characteristic of the race, that therewas no heir to the throne.

They say of Alfonso XIII. that he was the best-ruled child inthe world, and if this be so, to-day he vindicates the Latinproverb, which may be found in the appendices of most oheapdictionaries, and which is to the effect that the best-ruled isthe best ruler. So that when it came to choosing a wife, and whenbefore him were arrayed the dozen or so of uninteresting buteligible princesses of royal blood, Alfonso, who, as an amateurphotographer, realises the fallibility of re-touched photographs,started forth on a tour of inspection.

THE SWEETEST OR ALL

THE eligibles of Europe were mostly concentratedin Berlin, but the young man—we may suppose that he carriedit off with that smile of his—was politely indefinite, andwent outside the list, and chose a lady of England, who hadcertainly never been included.

Therefore the King has made yet another discovery, and that isthe sweetest of all.

All Royal matches are love matches. It is part of our eternalhypocrisy to hail them as such, but here is a match which comesto the hardened cynic as rain following a drought. Here is a reallove match, an infatuation that is eminently boyish in itsintensity, an eager love-making that would satisfy the mostexacting of sentimentalists—notice the King's smile in thephotographs—and a match-making so much at first hand that,if the truth be told, it almost estranged the boy King from hismother.

Spain is the home of Catholic majestv. In these days ofa*gnosticism the wave of free thought has passed over Spain andleft it untouched; indeed, if anything, it has closed the ranksof Roman Catholicism against the heretical intruder.

The news of the match was received with genuine enthusiasm bythe people of Spain. One hears of little else throughout thecountry; one sees their portraits exhibited in every other shop.Ena of Battenberg entered the hearts of the common people, of thebourgeois, and of the thinking classes—and I say thiswithout gush and without cant.

If the truth be pursued, the match found no favour in theultra-Catholic circle of the Court. Queen Maria Cristina hadhoped that the choice would have fallen upon a princess ofAustria of her faith; and the great officers of State, who havefor years stood next to the throne and who through the King haveruled Spain, were at one in that opinion.

"A Catholic by birth, the urged, and though they were in theminority yet they formed the minority that rules and has governedSpain for years.

We may, without stretching our imagination, imagine the Kingsmiling this opposition. For this King from the first has had hisway in things that count.

ALFONSO AND VELASQUEZ

THEY tell a story about him, a story of a smallboy standing before the portrait of Philip IV., by Velasquez, inthe gallery here. He looked long and earnestly at the picture.Then...

"I also will have a chin like that, he said, and set himselfto work from dav to day, despite many smacking, to pinch andmould his face to the shape of his ancestor's.

That it was an ugly chin does not matter—it was the chinof Philip, and to-day when I saw the picture by Velasquez I wasalmost startled by the remarkable likeness between the twomonarchs.

So that having altered the face to suit his pleasure—Ican see him smiling as he did it—it was not to be expectedthat he should alter his life to please others. If this soundsinconsequential it is because I am dealing with a boy whose lifeis made up of inconsequences.

The weightiest opinions were gossamer before this smilingyouth, who could not spare one eye for logic when both were forlove. He wore down opposition gradually but surely, and todavfinds Spain enthusiastic and the Spanish Court more thantolerant. A few days ago I went from Algeciras to Cadiz to seehim leave for the Canaries. It was his last bachelor holidy, andall Cadiz was there to wish him "Godspeed." As the launch wentthrobbing from the shore he stood in the stern, waving his handand smiling as though a trip to the Canaries were really the jokeof all jokes.

IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION

A DAY IN LISBON

As published in The Colac Herald, Victoria, 31 August 1906

MR. EDGAR WALLACE writes in the London Daily Mail of 3rd July:—


SENHOR Dom Finto de Silva Et Cetera (you will forgive me if I have forgotten the trailing skirt of ancestral nomenclature that adorns your rotund person), I salute you.

You will remember that we called you "Bill" in those far-off days, and, remembering, will the more readily absolve me of intentional rudeness in allowing your title to slip from my memory.

Does your mind go back six years to the day when you and I, clad in pyjamas, sat in a small boat on the Pungwe River, under a canvas awning, with the thermometer at par, and mosquitoes taking their mid-day meal? We had gone out to shoot hippo, lion, quagga, and giraffe, and our ambitious undertaking ended ignominiously with shooting at empty whisky-bottles. I call to your mind the fact that our total bag was sixty-three mosquitoes (killed) and one war correspondent (severely bitten), but more particularly do I direct your memory to the dinner at the Beira Club that followed. where under the genial influence of Manhattan co*cktails, you grew poetical on the subject of Glorious Portugal.

BEWILDERING ELEVATIONS

WELL, here I am in Portugal—yea, in Lisbon, that Lisbon whereon the guide-book gentleman grows positively ecstatic—so justifying your perfervid periods. Here is the book, listen: "... Magnificent scene... glorious views burst upon the gaze... Bay of Naples... the most wonderful sight..." and so on.

I came upon Lisbon at the end of a long, long, smelly tunnel. I alighted at a station, descended four flights of stairs, and found myself on a level with the street. Being curious, I re-ascended the stairs—four flights, with the temperature at 80 degrees—found another exit—on a level with the street: There was a spiral staircase that led to the roof. "Where does that go to?" I asked an official. "To the street," he replied, and then our conversation came to my mind, and I remembered you had told me that Lisbon, like a beautiful something-or-other. was perched or enthroned, as the case may be, upon seven (say 7) hills.

And Lisbon is all that you claim. It is beautiful, but most beautiful of all when viewed from the sea, or from the broad bosom of the bronze Tagus. This same Tagus flows before my window, a giant of a river, with co*ckle-boat liners and toy destroyers, and make-believe shipyards, and an old, old hulk of a guardship fitted with fighting tops, and a scarlet torpedo-boat lying at a buoy.

But for me the joy of life in Lisbon has nothing to do with the natural beauty of its surroundings, of its poetry, of white villas that speckle the green hills. For me the ultimate point of pleasurable excitement is reached in moving from one part of Lisbon to another—the experience is unique, intoxicating incomparable.

A SPORT THAT IS NOT ADVERTISED

MOTORING is fine sport; ballooning provides a sensation unlike any other; a tramway-car ride through Lisbon is an extraordinary experience which combines the joys of both. You quoted to me "Quem não tem visto Lisboa, não tem visto coisa boa," which I understand is the Portuguese variant for, "See Naples and die," but it shall be my proud boast that I have spent thousands of reis on car journeys in Lisbon, and that I still live to tell the tale. I have dived down, down, down declivities with a gradient of one in six; I have gone up precipitous streets where the car was a buzzing insect climbing a wall; I have swooped down goat-paths at forty miles an hour; I have tasted that sensation of joyous peril which has hitherto been reserved for Alpine climbers and bill-posters, and all for a penny a mile. Lisbon is one huge switchback (get to the door in case the blessed thing breaks down), and as such is the most delightful capital in the world.

And the pity is that you find this out by accident. Not one guide-book tells you of Lisbon's chief attraction. For myself, I was seeking the Pantheon, where you may see a king in his coffin, when I made the discovery. I boarded a car and gave the conductor s pennY. The nonchalant gentleman controlling the electricity on the front platform stopped a moment to light a cigarette, then gave his handle a shake. The car jumped twenty feet into a bottomless pit. While I was wondering what was Portuguese for "Save the women and children first" we pulled up in the bowels of the earth, and a priest with a bowler hat came on board. Then we climbed up the side of a house, went across some roofs, encircled a church spire, dropped seven stories into another hole, ran under a house, up a cliff, over more roofs, down into the basem*nt again—then the conductor came and, assisted by the rest of the passengers, explained to me that I had had my pennyworth.

FROM LISBON'S WINDOW-SILLS

WHILE I was agreeing with him and making my way to the exit the car started for another hill-climbing competition, and I found myself deposited on a ledge—a broad ledge on which fountains played and green palms grew and unshaven attendants sold lemonade. It was one of Lisbon!s window-sills, and beneath was a panorama which has no equal in the world. Lisbon is believed to be built on seven hills. I say "believed" because I personally have counted sixty-three, and from the summit of each you may look upon the; others. Picture these hills in the full light of an afternoon sun. Great green mounds sprinkled with dolls' houses, houses red and yellow, and white and pink, and ochre; over all, on the crest of the highest hill a battered grey fort, gaunt, ugly, domineering.

But it is not for sensations, for the joy of the eye, or the refrigerating thrill of car rides that I have come to Lisbon, and you, my dear Pinto, would be the last person in the world to guess why I have come. It is to see at first hand a revolution—no less.

To witness the evolution of a limited monarchy into the newest kind of national system, a Republic based on English principles. You who lived so far away—if, indeed, you still be alive and have not died of sunstroke or from the fever that rises out of the great swamp land—you, I say, will not readily understand this sudden passion for British methods. In the days we knew, Lord Salisbury's ultimatum was a rankling memory, and the battle of Massikassi an event not to be referred to. But there have been alliances and things, "communities of interests," treaties and what-not, and we have discovered that King Carlos is a good sportsman, though, if the truth be told, rather given to exaggeration, and Portugal has behaved towards us very handsomely indeed.

HOAXES, BRITISH AND PORTUGUESE

BUT, despite the alliance, and the meeting of monarchs, and the banging of cymbals, despite the genuine friendship that exists between Portugal and Great Britain, and the popularity we are enjoying, Portugal has its little internal troubles just as we in England have. We call ours Chinese slavery; you and your countrymen refer to yours as the Republican movement. Oursis a hoax, and yours is a hoax, and if I had known as much about the genuineness of the Republican movement as I do about yellow slavery, I should not have come here.

But in the capitals of Europe they whisper of the coming trouble in Portugal, of an autocratic Sovereign and a bureaucratic Government, of disloyal sailors and regiments in revolt, of soldiers hurried in the dead of night to noisome dungeons, of a seething, suffering people waiting for a signal, of a condition of things very similar to that described by Mr Carlyle in the first volume of that interesting literary firework which described yet another revolution.

So I have come to Portugal, and here am I in tho thick of the fray, so to speak, and I want to tell you of my search for a revolution, of how I discovered it in a Cow Shed, of the great Smoke Question and the Pipe of Discord, and of the numerous and diverting incidents that befell me while in Portugal.

THE NEW SPAIN—THE MADRID BOMB OUTRAGE

As published in The Poverty Bay Herald, New Zealand, 12 July 1906

A BRILLIANT WEDDING—FROM JOY TO TEARS

MR. EDGAR WALLACE, in the Daily Mail,gives a brilliant account of the Royal wedding at Madrid and ofthe tragedy that followed. In the course of the report hesays:—


A DISTANT burst of cheering and the blare ofbugles announced at half-past 9 that the Royal procession hadstarted. Prince after prince with fitting escort passed, and thencame princes and princesses of the blood royal of Spain, with allthe attentions due to their rank and exact order of precedence.Recognised instantly by the people and cheered rapturously wasthe Infanta Isabel, a motherly lady with silver hair, who wasweeping as she passed.

But the greatest reception, apart to that accorded to theprincipals, was reserved for the Prince and Princess of Wales.The difficulty of distinguishing personages in the Royal carriagewas overcome by the fact that the Prince's photograph had beenpublished in all the papers.

When the British National Anthem sounded in the distance theenthusiasm of the crowd was unbounded, and the approach of theirRoyal Highnesses' coach was the occasion for a singularly warmdemonstration. Both the Prince and Princess bowed, smiled, andsaluted the cheering people with that wave of the hand which ischaracteristically Spanish, and the use of which pleases theSpaniard more than the most stately bows.

A quaint feature of the Prince's retinue was the "coach ofrespect," an empty State coach following behind with exactly thesame escort as that occupied by the Prince. The Princess wasdressed in white.

The procession seemed unending, and there were frequent stops,but at last appeared the plume-crested heads of the eight whitehorses drawing the Royal carriage. King Alfonso's welcome wasunique. They "vivaed," they called him by name, and they showedin a dozen ways their affection for him. With him were Don Carlosand a pretty little boy of four, the Infante Alfonso, the King'scousin and heir. The child was a feature of theprocession—he was so obviously enjoying the ride andsaluted so gravely.

PRINCESS ENA'S OVATION

BUT whatever had been the acclamations thatgreeted King Alfonso, the ovation of the day was reserved forPrincess Ena. For her Madrid displayed its most beautifuldecorations; for her they hung from countless windows tapestriesof enormous value (an authority pointed out to me a house fromthe windows of which were hung fabrics of the value of£40,000); in her honor family ohests were ransacked andtreasures which had not seen the light for 100 years, and whichare practically priceless, were hung side by side with moremodern specimens of the decorator's art.

All brides look beautiful, but Princess Ena looked divine, andit is no exaggeration to say that Madrid went mad with enthusiasmas she passed, half an hour after the King, through thestreets.

For the last time she listened to "God Save the King" playedin her honor. Her progress was a triumph over the Spain thatloves beauty and courtships, and the youths paid her homage suchas few women are fated to receive. The people pressed forwardwith outstretched hands, and only a strong force of militaryprevented them from reaching the carriage.

Here was a color feast such as Paul Veronese alone could havedone justice to—a scene beside which the most magnificentefforts of pageant-makers were insignificant. The tiny Gothicchurch is perched on a slight eminence, its wonderful proportionsalone preventing it from appearing mean. It stood, a splash ofcinnamon, with delicate finials rising to the blue Spanishsky.

As Princess Ena's carriage turned into the broad drive thatleads past the church, to the frenzied, shrill cries of thepeople, to the waving of thousands of handkerchiefs, to the softtones of Spanish music, one was transported back to the day ofbarbaric gorgeousness when kings moved through a golden haze.

Everything helped the illusion. There had been passing up thesweep of grey granite steps that lead to the silvered portals aprocession of grandees—not in their military uniforms, aswould be the case in other countries, but in the garb of theirreligious orders—not as soldiers, but as "brothers ofChrist." In their spotless white cloaks, emblazoned with theensignia of their order, with their mediaeval plumed hats, theywere part of the great and wonderful picture.

Now, as Princess Ena's golden coach stopped before the steps,the picture was complete. For at the head of the stairs under thegreat sweep of the canopy—a huge patch of crimson andgold—stood a glittering throng waiting to receive her. Leftand right of the entrance, supported by slender silver halberds,were the canopies over the Ambassadors, and from the terrace ofthe church hung priceless tapestries.

IN THE CHURCH

AT the church door an official helped the brideto alight, and then, slightly ahead of the two mothers, shewalked up with a light step, standing out from the coloredsplendor of her surroundings.

The King, who wore the plain uniform of a captain-general withthe Orders of the Garter and Golden Fleece, awaited her arrivalat the end of the dim aisle, which was almost dark after theglare of the sunshine, despite the subdued light of thechandeliers and the lights on the beautiful altar.

In almost every detail the service was identical with everyCatholic marriage service, but it was sufficiently trying for theyoung pair, as the crowded church was suffocatingly hot. TheArchbishop of Toledo, crozier in hand, advanced and performed thesimple service:

"Señora Princesa Victoria Eugenia de Battenberg, I requireYour Highness and Your Majesty Señor Don Alfonso XIII., King ofSpain and Castile, to affirm if there be any impediment by whichthis marriage cannot be contracted."

The Princess made the responses in Spanish, speakingdistinctly and making the three affirmutions required in a clearvoice. Then in a voice rendered almost indistinct by emotion theArchbishop said, "And I, on behalf of God Almighty and theblessed Apostles, Peter, Paul, and of Holy Mother Church, marryyou, illustrious Princess, and you, most exalted King. Thissacrament of matrimony I confirm in the name of the Father and ofthe Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

It was a quarter to one when the booming of cannon announcedthe mass that followed the wedding ceremony was finished.

AFTER THE CEREMONY

OUT from the dark church into the glaringsunshine the Royal couple passed. The young Queen looked pale,but smiled and waved her hand to the people. The King himselflooked a little fatigued, but there was happiness in his smile,and he looked eagerly into his Queen's face and pressed her armin frank delight. As they stood together under the noble canopy,a young couple side by side waving hands here and there, as theyrecognised friends among the privileged circle, there wassomething in the scene unlike anything one has witnessed. Withoutlosing a particle of the dignity of a splendid function it tookon a character of happiness so evident, so undisguised, as to bealmost plebeian. Even Spanish dignity melted in joy at seeing thetwo whose lovemaking has been the talk of Spain broughttogether.

The scene that followed as they moved off was remarkable, andthe return journey to the palace was marked by demonstrations ofaffection unequalled in the history of Spain. From the packedstands, windows, and balconies, and from the roof-tops, rose onelong, continued roll of cheering. One cry shouted by a spectator,and caught up by the crowd, I shall always hear. It was,"Beautiful, beautiful!" Even the guarding soldiers lining theroute caught the enthusiasm, and raised their swords in irregularsalute with the same cry of "Bonito!"

THE BOMB THROWN

A DASTARDLY attempt to assassinate King Alfonsoand Queen Victoria was made in the Calle Mayor at twenty minutespast two, as the royal couple were returning from the church tothe palace after the wedding.

I had just left the street, after seeing the royal carriagepass. Queen Victoria was leaning forward, radiantly happy, andwaving her hand to the cheering people. King Alfonso was leaningback, lazily waving his hand, but not taking his eyes from hiswife's face.

I was writing the last words of a despatch when from a distantstreet came what sounded like a solitary explosion.

Some ten minutes later a courier came galloping past andbrought the terrible news, that a diabolical attempt had beenmade on the lives of the King and Queen.

The royal procession had passed through the Calle Alcala,where the crowd pressed densely, had crossed the Puerto del Sol,and had entered the Calle Mayor. This street runs almost to thethreshold of the palace. It is one of the most beautifullydecorated thoroughfares, its narrowness allowing it to be spannedwith garlands and suspended arches. At the palace end the streetslopes steeply, and opposite the Civil Governor's house grows yetnarrower.

The assassin had posted himself on a balcony overlooking theroad and facing the Governor's house. As the royal pair passed hehurled a bomb.

By God's providence he missed his mark. Had the weapon fallena foot further nothing could have prevented the transformation ofthe most famous wedding of modern days into a dreadfultragedy.

As it was the bomb exploded, killing a number of spectatorsand wounding others. At the moment of telegraphing the excitementis so intense that it is impossible to obtain accurateparticulars. But I am credibly informed that eight persons werekilled and twenty-five injured.

The whole royal procession was panic-stricken, but KingAlfonso, recovering himself immediately, spoke through the brokenwindows of the royal carriage and inquired what damage had beendone. Immediately he sent an orderly to reassure Princess Henryof Battenberg and the Queen-Mother.

His Majesty, raising his voice, commanded the procession toresume its course. Queen Victoria was deathly pale, but smiledcourageously.

At that moment all the King's thoughts were evidently for her.He patted her arm and spoke to her continuously all the way tothe palace.

A rumor had already reached the palace that the King waskilled, and utter consternation prevailed until the royalcarriage came into view. Then arose an hysterical shout ofjoy.

A few minutes later King Alfonso and Queen Victoria appearedhand in hand on the palace balcony, smiling and bowing in answerto the frantic cheering of their subjects.

THE KING AND HIS BRIDE IN TEARS

THE missile fell to the right of the royalcarriage, between the hindmost pair of horses and the front pairof wheels. The explosion killed two horses and a groom.

The Marquis de Sotomayor, the equerry who was riding at theright side of the carriage, was slightly wounded. Four soldierslining the route were killed on the spot, and a lieutenant whowas standing at the salute was fatally injured.

A police-bugler had his head severed from his body, and twowomen among the spectators were also killed. The injured werevery numerous, and included two or three persons on the second-storey balcony of the house from which the bomb was thrown.Immediately after the explosion the Duke of Cornachuelos rushedforward, opened the carriage door, and taking hold of the Kingdragged him out of the vehicle, and then the Queen, who showedsigns of great emotion. On their arrival at the palace it wasnoticed that both the King and his bride were in tears.

THE ASSASSIN'S ESCAPE

THE assassin, whose name is Mateo Moral, escapedin the confusion, but left evidence of being wounded.

Immediately before the outrage the Queen had remarked to theKing that she would be glad to reach home, the explosionfollowing on her words. The bleeding and wounded officers threwthemselves round the royal carriage, and the Queen, alighting,gazed with horror on the dead and dying men and officers.

One officer lay dead, with his hand raised to the salute. TheQueen was composed, but on reaching the palace broke downcompletely.

As she alighted gentlemen pressed forward, but the King wavedthem back and tenderly supported his weeping wife.

The bomb was thrown concealed in a bunch of flowers. A panicensued among the occupants of the stands, who threw themselves tothe ground. The postillion of the Municipal Guard and a Moorishofficer were killed instantly.

Bodies, horribly mutilated, lay along the street. Men removedtheir hats before the dead, and there followed a solemn scene. Apriest from a neighboring church arrived to give the lastsacraments to the wounded and his blessing to the dead. KingAlfonso stood up when the explosion occurred, and cried to thepeople, "Don't be afraid; we are not hurt."


[It will be remembered that Moral some daysafterwards was challenged in a village inn by a constable, thathe afterwards shot the constable and fled, but was followed bythe villagers and committed suicide when cornered by them.]

THE NEW SPAIN—SOME STORIES OF KING ALFONSO

As published in The Star, New Zealand, 11 August1906

THERE came to meet me at the North Station atMadrid a cheerful boy—a boy who had obviously come straightfrom a tennis court, who was dressed "slack" as only the Englishcan dress "slack" and remain respectable. In the carriage thatdrove us through the uneven streets of Madrid he told me about a"rotter" of our acquaintance, used twelve different school-slangphrases in as many minutes.

That night he came to the Fornos to dinner, and I asked himwhy his friends called him by a Spanish name.

"Because I am Spanish," was the reply, and the answerstaggered me.

"But you are unique?"

"Not a bit of it. Dozens of fellows in Madrid like myself havebeen educated in England."

And this boy, I discovered, was the son of a noble house thatgoes back to the year 1, and that he was by no means alone in hisAnglicisation I soon discovered.

The royal marriage and the enthusiasm it has aroused throughSpain are only symptomatic of the extraordinary respect in whichGreat Britain is held throughout Spain. The word "Inglesi" has ameaning outside the narrow limits of appellation, and the youngSpain that is growing up with the boy-King has possibilitieswhich the boldest may speculate upon and fall short of themark.

A LITTLE MAD

REMEMBER that old Spain does not quiteunderstand Alfonso. It loves him; he is the darling of thepeople, and your ultra-Republicans, exceedingly voluble on allpertaining to kingship, have a pleasant word for the slim youthwith the everlasting smile.

But none the less old Spain does not quite take him in. To beperfectly frank, old Spain, watching in wonderment as the youngman sweeps away the cobwebs that hamper his administration,confesses sadly that the King is a little mad. This same oldSpain, be it noted, has for generations regarded the "Inglesi" asa nation of amiable lunatics, and for very much the same reasonas England has deserved the stigma, King Alfonso bears it.

People who know Spain from books will tell you with batedbreath of the cast-iron etiquette that surrounds the royalpersonagee of Spain, of dreadful dinners eaten in solemn silence,of bows to the left and curtsies to the right, of mace-bearersand cup-bearere and sword-bearers, of orders of precedence; suchas that between the Infanta who was born at 7.25 and the Infantawho entered this wicked world at 7.29.

There have been customs handed down from the days of thegloomy builder of the Escurial. They have been handed down fromking to king—even Joseph Bonaparte "carried on"—andthey were handed over, heirlooms of procedure, to the patientlittle boy whose unceasing education earned for him the sympathyof all the little boys in the world.

Where are those customs now?

If we are to believe the aged masters of ceremonies,who—so it is said—go moaning about the Corridors ofthe Palacio Real, weeping for glories gone, they have vanished.Pruned here and omitted there, remodelled, improved, renovated,the irreverent youth (he has just streaked past my window in amotor-car) has, in the language of the soap advertiser, "madehome comfortable."

THE IRON HAND BENEATH

AND his influence is felt throughout Spain. Notbecause he has led the Spanish gentry to wearing English clothes,English collars, and English cravats (I saw a "smo-king jakket"ticketed in the window of a cheap tailor to-day), nor because hehas infused into a languid people something of that restlessenergy which is peculiarly his, but because you see his hand inthe great acts of administration.

There was a Minister in Spain who had a friend. The friend'spast was not exactly blameless: there was a sort, of "war storesscandal" in the background, but the Minister was anxious to puthis friend into the Cabinet. And the Minister, who wassufficiently powerful to he blind to his own weakness had not theslightest doubt that his nomination would be accepted. It isunfortunately true that corruption in the public service has beenby no means rare in Spain, and is not regarded in a very seriouslight, and the Minister was perhaps justified in his belief thatthe unfortunate affair bad been conveniently forgotten.

But the King's memory, like the King's digestion, isremarkably good, and without a word he struck his pen through hisname. The Minister was thunderstruck.

"I shall place my resignation in your Majesty's hands," hesaid stiffly; but the awful threat did not alarm the youngman.

"That is my wish," he said gravely.

Again. The present marriage is by no means regarded withapproval in Germany. You are aware that there are divers greatGerman Princes whose "military duties" will prevent theirattending the ceremony.

It is an unfortunate fact that one cannot show preferencewithout offending the unpreferred. The attachment of the King hasdrawn him closer to Great Britain; but King Alfonso is a shrewdyouth, and he has certainly no desire to antagonise a powerfulState like Germany. The spirit of "manana," which is at once thejoy and curse of Spain, extends to every class ofSpaniard—even to the Spaniard ambassadorial—and thereare to be celebrations this year in Germany at which the crownedheads of Europe are to be represented. Somehow the SpanishAmbassador at Berlin failed to notify the King of thesecelebrations, with the result that there was no time for thefitting representation of Spain. Alfonso's hand fell on theAmbassador. A prompt Gazette announced his recall and thereason.

ALL THE TO-MORROWS SHALL BE AS TO-DAY

THIS is how Alfonso XIII. is creating a newSpain. By substituting promptitude for procrastination; byreplacing "manana" by "to-day"; by refusing to recognise the pleaof custom; and lastly, and most important of all, by doinghimself the things that he asks his people to do.

The story that best illustrates the sane, practical spiritthat underlies most of his acts is the story of the reservoirdisaster. In the course of constructing a reservoir near Madrid,part of the works collapsed, and hundreds of workmen were buriedbeneath tons of earth. The boy King was at the royal palace whenthe news was telephoned through, and he ordered his car and drovethrough to the scene of the catastrophe. Crowds had gathered inthe vicinity, and the King was recognised as he drove up.Accident or royal procession, all's one to the Spaniard, so longas it be in the nature of sight-seeing, and "Viva el Rey!"was roared by a thousand throats. It was an indignant youngmonarch who stood up in his car and harangued the crowd. "If youwere helping to dig these poor fellows out, instead of shouting'Viva,' you would be doing a far better thing." hesaid—and the orowd took the hint.

It is customary at such a time as this for the writer to saythe nicest things he can remember about his royal subject. Kings,with two notable exceptions, are very uninteresting people, whodo a great deal of work and listen patiently to a great number ofnational anthems. But one requires very little stimulating to"enthuse" over the ruler of Spain. Partly because he is the sortof youth that an ordinary citizen—were he, too, an ordinarycitizen—would be very friendly with, and would speak aboutbehind his back as a very decent fellow indeed, and partlybecause he is a monarch, isolated from the contact of common men,surrounded by what seemed insurmountable walls of etiquette andtradition, and apparently at the mercy of wire-pullers andcourtiers, and yet has broken through the steel girdle and provedhimself a wise ruler and a very human being.

THE NEW SPAIN—THE FASCINATION OF THE BULL-FIGHT

As published in The Star, New Zealand, 18 August 1906

Madrid, Friday, May 25,1906

Yesterday I watched Madrid at play. In the great Plaza delTorres I saw a huge circle of banked faces rising tier on tier,and heard the hum of fourteen thousand voices, and saw the sunglitter on thousands of fluttering fans.

There was a stir, and fourteen thousand heads turned towardthe high-perched royal box. A young man in the scarlet coat ofthe dragoons entered, raised his hand stiffly to the buzzingcrowd, and took his seat. There was no cheer, no"Viva"—the King's German brother-in-law has notgripped the popular fancy.

An unshaven photographer, operating a blundering camera and abig cigar at one and the same time, spoke through the unoccupiedcorner of his mouth. "Ah! it will be different when the Queencomes!" And the pathetic thing was that he spoke in tones ofjoyful anticipation, as though, in the new Queen Victoria, bull-fighting was to receive a fillip which would establish it forever as the premier sport of Europe.

ALL EYES ON THE ENGLISH QUEEN

NEXT week the young Queen will preside at herfirst fight. She will sit high up in the flower-decked tribune,the focussing point of thousands of curious eyes, all knowing theEnglishwoman's detestation of such sport, and watching for thepallor that oomes to the face of even the "nerviest" of untriedspectators. She will see the Spanish bull—the bravest andmost ferocious of God's creatures—in all his wild rage; shewill see wretched hacks driven to their death, and lithe, catlikemen with nerves of ice playing with destruction.

And not alone on the day she makes her bow to the clamouringring, but day after day at intervals her figure will be seen inthe royal box, her head, draped in a white mantilla, bent to theplaudits, of the Madrileno, till the play and the horror and thefascination of bull-fighting will become a matter of habit, andher heart will no longer beat furious tattoos wheen the trumpetwails, and a nimble official throws open a thick door of thebullpen, and there steps into the light, warily, inquiringly, ananimal all aquiver with fierce wrath.

Best for her, since the bull-ring must become part of herlife, if she shuts her eyes to the picador urging forward theambling, scraggy brute of a horse he rides, and acceptsphilosophically the quick plunge of the bull and the toss of itshead beneath the breast of the horse, and the tumbling picadorsprawling within a yard of the needle-pointed horns. For she mayreflect that this same bony horse, did he not meet swift death inthe sanded arena, might die less comfortably and morelingeringly—even of starvation—in Spain, a countrywhere horseflesh is lightly regarded, and where the "friend ofman" is an idiom untranslatable.

Best for her, too, if she watches the sight of sights,concentrating her thoughts, her emotions, and her philosophiesupon the supreme moment of the trial when the matador takes thesword from his attendant, raises his hand in salute to theoccupants of the tribunal—quaint survival of thegladiator's farewell—throws his cap across the barrier withthat peculiar swing of his that is inimitable, and walks slowlytowards the beast that awaits him in the centre of the arena.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS REVISED

TRAVELLERS who visit Spain write luridimpressions of their first bull-fight. They denounce it asinhuman, barbaric, and beyond defence. Then they go again to thebull-ring to see if their first impression wasjustified—and finding that it was, go a third time to makesure. By the time they have seen their sixth fight they are morebloodthirsty than the Spaniards, and shout for more horses and"fire" for the cowardly bull.

I have always enjoyed bull-fighting, because it throws me backto the days when my ancestors lived in caves and beat oneanother's heads off in the settlement of all disputes. If youlove a horse the sight is sickening; if your fondness embracesall animal life, it is hopelessly cruel; if you are a vegetarian,it is sacrilegious.

For me, and for thousands of Britishers who know the story ofbull-fighting and have studied its art, and can tell instantlythe blundering kill from the clean, straight stroke of the masterbull-fighling has fascinations which all its horrors cannotdestroy.

And it is the last scene of all that draws you back and backagain to the Plaza.

The bandilleros have played the bull, and the blarct of thetrumpet calls them off. The bull stands trembling with rage inthe circle of the gaily-coloured fighters. Then from the barrier,from his salute, comes a slight figure of a man, hatless, in hisleft hand a blood-red flag, in his right a thin, red-hiltedsword.

"Machiquito! Machiquito!"

A roar of greeting comes to him from the packed barreras, buthe scarcely acknowledges it.

FOREDOOMED

His thin, aesthetic face, the thick blackeyebrows, the firm, delicately-shaped mouth are known from oneend of Spain to the other. Now, the face is tense and white. Notwith fear, for Machiquito does not know it, and some day thisdaring little man will end his days in the bull-ring.

He nears the group, and the play of cloaks begins. Flick! Thebull turns as swift as lightning, and springs at the cloak. Hemisses by a hand's-breadth, and the flutter of another cloaksends him spinning in another direction. Now comes the delicatepart of the day's work. Machiquito raises his red flag, and thebull jumps with a curious sidelong thrust of his head. A warningyell goes up from ten thousand throats, for the trained observershave seen that the bull is aiming at the man and not at the flag.Again the flicking of cloaks and the sharp, mad rushes and thehand's-breadth escapes. This is not for the fighter's amusem*nt;it has a purpose. You may not kill a bull by the laws of the ringexcept he stand with feet in such a position and head at such apoise. So back and forward goes Machiquito's flag, till suddenlythe bull stands still, and fighter and victim face eachother.

The silence of death comes on the banked crowds, for the feetof the bull are in the right position, and the head is at theangle. Slowly the right hand of the matador rises and the swordlies level with his eye. In a moment the bull jumps, andMachiquito springs towards him—straight forward to whatlooks like certain death, so that his breast is between the hornsof the bull, and his glittering coat scrapes the bull's forehead.There is a flash of steel...

You cannot from a humanitarian point of view defend bull-fights any more than you can prize-fighting or kicking the soulout of two-year-old horses for the sake of a 6 to 4 starting-price coup. It is brutal, it is often disgusting—it is, ifyou wish, the indication of national decadence—but it isthe greatest "thrill" in the world.

SEEKING A REVOLUTION: THE MISSING ELEMENTS

As published in The Daily News, Perth, West Australia, 15 September 1906

(By Edgar Wallace, in the London Daily Mail)

THERE came to my bedside this morning a gaunt-faced waiter. He brought me a cup of coffee and a Portuguese newspaper. I cannot read Portuguese very well, but the trumpeting headline that ran across the page was easily translatable:—

HURRAH FOR THE FENIANS!


TEN minutes later I was in the street, driving as fast as two self-conscious horses of uncertain age could draw me to the house of a friend. My breathless message brought him from his bath, and I placed the paper in his damp hands.

"What about the revolution now?" I demanded. He read the article aloud. He read it in Portuguese, and Portuguese sounds like Spanish spoken with a German accent. Then he explained—:

"My dear man, this all about a harmless club that is making an excursion from Oporto to Lisbon in order to participate in one of our festivals."

"But Fenians?"

"Lord! You mustn't take notice of what these chaps call themselves!"

And you must know that what he said was true.

This delightful land is a land of make-believe. It is a land where people say a great deal more than they mean; where language is given to encourage thought.

And it is a country, too, of poetic exaggeration.

"My house and all that I have is at your disposition," says the acquaintance of an hour, and the stranger, unused to such generosity, gasps at the magnificence of Portuguese hospitality. But, bless you, all that the Portuguese gentleman meant was, "If you happen to be passing my house, I hope you will pass!"

And the secret of this extravagance of speech and the simple explanation of it all is this: The Portuguese are a nation of lovers. They spend their lives in what Froissart calls "the admiration and service of dames." They call themselves idealists—but that is only part of their extravagance. They lisp compliments from babyhood, they traffic in superlatives from their youth up; they live for love, and side by side with the impassioned sonnets that fill their newspapers are the indescribable advertisem*nts of quack nostrums.

So remember always that between the dreadful threat and the creamy compliment there lies a balancing point; quieta non movere.

There was a Portugal once that neither threatened nor promised—but acted swiftly, remorselessly, unswervingly.

Do you remember the story of Inez Castro—the fair Spaniard who secretly married a Portuguese Prince?

The nobles put Inez to death when her husband was away, because they feared her influence. But Pedro returned and carried fire and sword through the land, ravaged and ravished and tortured and slew like a wild fury. And a dead Queen, hastily exhumed, sat propped on a throne, and a chastened nobility did homage to the Thing that sat an the robes of Majesty. Inez was the tobacco question of her day—and was summarily settled. So was the revolution that followed; but the elements that were present in the year of grace 1355, and made a revolution possible, are no longer existent in Portugal.

I tell this story because my search for a revolution took me outside of Lisbon a few days ago, and I was reminded at Coimbra of the tragedy of at least one revolution that failed. For the town having proved unprofitable, I sought symptoms of the upheaval of Portugal in the country.

The peasants of the Tyrol stand on one leg and yodel, the peasants of Italy sell ice-cream in Fleet-street, the peasants of Russia groan under an oppressive Autocracy—this much I gather from popular literature devoted to these subjects. Here in rural Portugal the lower classes, who work for their living by raising vegetables for the upper classes, affect ridiculous bushy side-whiskers and find relaxation in tame bull-fights—for the Portuguese bull-fight is sadly unsanguinary.

Did I tell you that I went to the ring—that same ring where a month ago the naughty Republicans hissed the Queen—and witnessed the practice of the national sport? When it was all over an attendant woks me up and asked me if I would not like to go home bow, and I thought I would.

Later in the day I met an American tourist lady who wore the badge of the Philadelphia League of Animal Worshippers, and she enlarged on the decadent tastes of the Portuguese.

"Say, now, don't you think that Portuguese bull-fighting is real wicked?"

"I think it is dreadful," I replied, but I did not mean what she meant. A bull-fight in Portugal Is almost as exciting as Patience, but not quite so thrilling as "Ping-pong." But the people enjoyed it. They rose to a man, and cheered when things nearly happened, and in the end, when the bull, alive and well, was led from the arena by tame cows, especially trained for the service, their enthusiasm was boundless.

If out of pure contrariness, and to prove that I am no prophet, a revolution is started in Portugal; if, by reason of insubordination in the army and acts of mutiny in the navy, the stability of the throne is threatened, I shall be comforted by the remembrance of that bull-fight and confidently wait to see, at the worst, the padded flanks of monarchy prodded by the ball-pointed horns of Republicanism.

"And yet," mused my patient friend the journalist, "the greatest revolutionaries of all are we Portuguese and Spanish Latins. Look at South America! A hundred revolutions a minute. What was possible in Mexico and is possible in every South American republic, must be possible here. We have the same material, the same——" He shook his head despairingly. It was the nearest he had ever got to admitting the decadence of Portuguese character.

WITH MILITARY HONOURS

As published in The Star, New Zealand, 9 February 1907

"PRESENT arms!"

With a rattle the rifles came down together to the salute, andBoy Smith blew a flourish on his bugle.

Not very good order was kept, for the ground was naturallyuneven and slippery with new-dug clay.

"Shoulder arms!"

The junior lieutenant pulled his moustache nervously with awhite gloved hand and consulted the sergeant, for this was thefirst job of its kind that he had ever been engaged in.

"What do we do now, sergeant?"

"March off, sir."

The subaltern nodded.

"Let's get out of this beastly place, for Heaven's sake; I'mcaked with clay from head to foot."

He adjusted his brass helmet chain and ran his fingers overhis buttons. A whispered suggestion from the sergeant, a falsettoorder from the officer, and the party straggled off, regainingsome kind of formation on the gravellbd roadway that led to thegate of the cemetery. Clear of the gate, the band crashed into alively march, and the firing-party and the company behind got itsstep.

"There—is—a—tavern—in—the—town," roared the band, and the men stepped briskly.

"Take me a week to get this mud off," grumbled the right-handman of the leading four.

"Same here," agreed his supporter.

WHAT KILLED "POOR OLD MICK"?

CURIOUS pedestrians stopped to view the military pageant, and people on the tops of tramway-cars leant over.

"Poor old Mick," said one of the firing party. "Picture of'ealth, wasn't 'e?"

"He'd have bin all right if 'e 'adn't gone to the hospital,"said the party addressed, and the remark was passed along andapproved with a gloomy nodding of heads.

"I remember one night me an' him was down at the Phoenix, an'a feller said—"

Here the sergeant spoke.

"Stop that talking, Brown."

A long, long pause, with only the tramping of feet and thejoyous song of the band.


Adieu, adieu, adieu, adieu,
I can. no longer stay with you,
Stay with you.


The sergeant dropped back a little, until he was level withthe colour-sergeant of the mourning company.

"I told him there was another way—if we'd come along themain road and turned off by the Clarendon."

"Coach and Horses," corrected the colour-sergeant.

"My mistake; if we'd turned off by the Coach and Horses we'dhave saved about a mile."

"Why didn't he?" asked the despairing colour-sergeant.

"He said we'd better keep to the main road, and then wecouldn't go wrong."

The colour-sergeant shook his head helplessly.

"I wonder they let a young chap like that take charge of athing like this."

The officer under discussion was plodding along with ananxious eye for stealthy electric cars that whizzed pastmomentarily.

"I took him in a bit of tobacco," said the anecdotal man ofthe firing party relieved from the attentions of thesergeant.

"'How are you, Mick?' I sez.

"'Pretty bad, George. I don't think I shall ever get overthis.'

"'Dry up,' I sez. 'You'll be out in a day or two, as right asninepence.'

"'Straordinary thing," confessed the speaker, "'ow you say thewrong thing at the right time. I sez to him, 'Don't be down-hearted,' an' then I remembered 'e had heart disease. But 'edidn't see the joke in a manner of speakin'. 'I don't thinkthey're givin' me the proper kind of medicine,' 'e sez."

The firing party marched and listen, and the youngest of themall offered a suggestion.

"Somebody ought to write to the papers about it."

"I can't say," said Fatty Johnson, the adjutant's groom, "thatI exactly remember 'im—was he a little feller with a bignose?"

A chorus of corrections.

"No—a tall chap with red 'air—you knew 'im,Fatty—the chap that ueed to sing 'The Young 'Ero.'"

Fatty shook his head doubtingly.

"There was a little feller with a big nose," he insisted;"used to 'ang around the canteen a lot. Wasn't that him?"

"STOP THAT TALKING!"

THE sergeant was back again, and the firing party looked ahead, each man taking on the look of innocence which best suited him.

"Not much use speakin' to some of you men," added the sergeantby way of comment. "If you're not very careful a few of you willfind yourselves in the guard-room before you're many daysolder."

The music stopped with a final crash, in which everyinstrument did its best to outshine the others.

"Have you ever noticed," asked the euphonium of the Frenchhorn, "'ow, when there's a garden party on, and you're engaged toplay away, somebody always goes an' dies?"

French horn gave an impatient and sympathetic jerk of hishead.

"Always the way," he admitted, and hastened to ask, "Who washe? I only came off leave just before we marched out."

"A chap in 'B' Company. Nice feller by all accounts; justjoined from the second battalion."

"What was it?"

"Aneurism of the something aorta." The alto drummer, with ahospital course behind him, took advantage of the pause.

The band agreed that it was a very dangerous complaint, andwere reasonably sympathetic. The subaltern had called thesergeant to him, and the firing party were again in aconversational mood.

"I cannot understand, sergeant, why we play lively musiccoming back from—er—an occasion like this."

The sergeant was deferential, and said he had often thought itwas rather funny himself.

"Do you think that the idea is to cheer up the men?" asked thesubaltern.

The sergeant smiled respectfully, and thought that there mightbe something in that.

"About this man, sergeant," the subaltern, went on; "this manwe've—er—buried, don't you know. I suppose he's gotfriends and—er—relations—and next of kin, andall that sort of thing, what?"

"No relations at all, sir," said the sergeant.

The subaltern breathed a sigh of relief, for he was veryyoung, very sentimental, and very tender-hearted.

"Pretty good thing," he said, and the sergeant agreed.

They were nearing barracks now, and the band-sergeant, lookingover his shoulder, caught the eye of his men.

"Lincolnshire Poacher," he commanded. "Now, are you ready?One, two, three——"


For it's my delight,
On a starry night,
At this season of the year.


Through the barrack gate with a guard presenting arms.

"Eyes left!"

Silence in the rank now, for they are turning on to thebarrack square.

"Halt—front."

Two minutes later, as the dismissed company was melting away,the sergeant remarked to the colour-sergeant:

"The worst of funerals is that it breaks into the afternoon.There isn't time for a sleep, and it isn't time for tea."

"Come and have a drink," said the colour-sergeant wisely.

THE CALM CHAUFFEUR

First published in The Daily Mail, London, 17 May 1907

Reprinted in
The Richmond River Express & Casino Kyogle Advertiser,
NSW, Australia, 3 August 1906 (this version)


"DO you do much motoring?"

I made a flippant reference to the Arrow and Vanguardservices.

"But have you done much motoring—have you owned acar?"

Once upon a time, as I related, I bought a German car withFrench engines. I also acquired a serious chauffeur and twoacetylene lamps.

The car suffered from many ailments, most of which the seriouschauffeur—he is a policeman now, poor fellow—was ableto diagnose with accuracy, but none of which he was able to cure.

It was a nice-looking car, with a beautiful leather hood, andran easily with two persons, or, without the hood three.

When I drove down-hill I got up terrible speed, especially ifthe hood was on ; but when it came to climbing hills I used toget out and walk ahead, pretending that the labouring machinebehind and the red-faced chauffeur—more serious thanever—had nothing to do with me.

It was a nice car for the winter, because the works were underthe seat, and they kept one's feet warm. Also in the summer thescent of petrol banished the moths from one's clothes.

I used to drive about in motor-goggles, and as people alwaysassociate goggles with speed I deceived a man into making me anoffer for the car.

The letter containing this offer came by the night post, and Itook a cab and drove to his house to accept. I did not take thecar, because I wanted to reach him before he changed hismind.

As to motoring....

"But," persisted the inquiring enthusiast, "have you any ideaof speed—have you ever travelled in a racing car, in a carthat doesn't stop to think...?"

I cited the cars I had known—the 24-h.p. Coliseum, the12-h.p. Little Wanderer, the 6- or 8- (as the case may be) h.p.Runaway....

"Very good," said the enthusiast, "I will call for you at tento-morrow morning."

So he came.

He brought a machine. None of your rough-finished, soap-boxseated racing cars painted like a dirty war-ship, but a sleekgreen Mercedes "60" touring car, all varnish and polished brassand silver fittings, with a fur-coated chauffeur lolling back inthe armchair seat, and taking no interest in the proceedings.

"Are we going to a wedding?" I asked, and regretted that I hadnot put on a tie to match the car.

Then we started.


THE car was purring, like a tame cat, as we played musicalchairs with the traffic of Ealing; it made no protest when askedto spring between a brewers' dray and a tramway car in BrentfordHigh Street; it stopped dead before a nervous lady pedestrian,who was standing in the middle of the street debating whether toscream or faint, and reached Hounslow before we—theenthusiast and I—had finished saying what we had to sayabout nervous pedestrians.

Outside Hounslow we met the Blue Car, and the young man whodrove the Blue Car sat without cap or goggles, his hair streamingout behind and a black smut on his nose. His expression was theexpression common to all hardened chauffeurs—a reflective,thinking-of-mother expression.

The Blue Car was just ahead of us when we saw it. We did notknow it was blue because it trailed a skirt off dust behind itthat obscured the landscape. Later we leapt up to it, and gotahead. I think our dust must have annoyed the Blue Car very much,for between Hounslow and Basingstoke it sneaked past us at alevel crossing.

Then we came to a great stretch of country inhabited by furzebushes and telegraph poles, and the fur-coated young man who satby my side pulled down his goggles and slowly shifted a smalllever on the steering wheel. Then for the first time I wasconscious that a high wind blew. A wind that hammered my face andfilled my lungs, a wind that roared about my ears till I wasdeafened. The Blue Car was ahead. Surely it had stopped. As wepassed it I got one fleeting glimpse of the smutty-faced youngman—supremely indifferent and still thinking of his mother.At the same time I noticed to my amazement that the Blue Carreally was in motion, and that the telegraph poles that lined theroad were passing with remarkable rapidity. Tho enthusiast leantover. "Sixty-five miles an hour," said his lips....


THERE was a village ahead, and we slowed down. Three littleboys standing on the sidewalk displayed an inclination to "runacross," and the chauffeur lifted an admonitory finger. Thelittle boys stopped abashed, and we passed. The little boys whowere the pioneers of the "running across" game are no longer withus to encourage the present generation.

We passed the outskirts of Basingstoke before we realised thatwe had left London. On the side-path an innocent old gentlemanlifted a stick.... We stopped in twenty yards, and the chauffeurdescended and made an inspection of his oil-gauges—anearnest inspection that took him several minutes. Not so thechauffeur of the Blue Car, who streaked pasttriumphantly—and was stopped twenty yards further on by apoliceman.

The innocent old gentleman with the stick was one end of a"trap"—the waiting policeman the other. Alas! for thevanity of Blue Cars; we passed the group at a funeralpace—a policeman, a note-book, and a chauffeur with a smuton his nose.

In the open country again. Long, long stretches of white road,a wild; deserted world, and a slender spire on the sky-line.

Again the high wind, and the buffeting and the breathlessnessand the whizzing telegraph poles and the throb, throb ofthe engine as the car flew across Salisbury Plain. A solitarycyclist ahead waved a hand, and we slowed.

He came up to us in a tremendous pace, and the tiny engine ofhis cycle working pipity-pipity-pipity-pip.

He passed like flash, but the waving hand said "trap" quiteplainly, so we crawled. This time it was an innocent-lookingagricultural labourer—with a walking-stick—and hispal was lying on the grass a mile further on—a measuredmile.

And so the day passed, a procession of long roads, of freshgreen hedges, quaint cottages, gardens ablaze with blossoms,rivers and wet meadows, gloomy stretches of plain, crooked,narrow streets of country towns, till night came.

By then we were moving towards London, two white beams oflight thrown ahead showing the road. Ghostly figures rose fromthe road and passed; invisible cyclists came into the circle oflight and vanished. Lumbering waggons filling up theroad—with no light to show their presence—appeared,and were circumvented.

The blasé chauffeur, touching a handle here and a leverthere, working with both hands and both feet, sends us alongthrough the darkness—accurately, unswervingly. Isn't it alittle dangerous perhaps for the cyclist, for the pedestrian?

A nervous young man wheeling ahead lost his presence of mind,wobbled, slipped, and fell in our track... but the car stoppedalmost in its own length, and the young man, dazed but voluble,called himself all kinds of a fool, and explained that he was anervous idiot—hoped he hadn't alarmed us. We expressed ourthankfulness that we had been able to pull up in time.

The chauffeur yawned.

WILLING BUT WORKLESS

WITH THE STARVING DOCKERS

As published in The Grenfell Record and Lachlan DistrictAdvertiser,
NSW, Australia, 24 January 1913

IT is a grey, raw morning, and above the highblank wall the masts of the docked shipping show like astraggling copse of tall pines dimly through the river fog.

There is a distant clank and roar and tinkle, as great cranesswing monotonously from to chute, or from deck to quay, and withthe impatient toots of invisible tug boats, fussily busy in theyellow mist, mingles the deep-throated bellow of the slow-movingliner, making cautious progress to its moorings.

Outside the dock-gate, a swaying, shouting mass of men; agreat, twisting, writhing mob, fighting for some incomprehensiblegoal. How they fight! Like savage beasts, pitiless in theireagerness to attain their desire. Old men, grey of beard andwhite of face, stagger out of the scrum and fall back to watchtheir more robust fellows. Old men, with knotted hands and lean,stringy necks, who shake hopeless heads wearily.

"I've known the time," says one, "when I could have held myown with the best of 'em."

There is no resentment in the tone, only a helplessness, aninfinite regret.

Then the weaklings who have hovered round the fringe of themass fall away. Young weaklings, some of them, coughing harshly,and drawing tattered neck-cloths across their throats with thinhands.

"They ain't used to the game," says the old mancontemptuously; "clerks they are. out of work clerks. They'llnever get a chance with that lot. Now, when I was younger I couldhave held my own...."

TOO OLD AT SEVENTY

THERE is a sharp word from the dockwardedge of the crowd and the fighting ceases instantly. The mobmelts into little streams that slowly meander in every direction.One burly man passes, wiping his forehead with a redhandkerchief. To him the old man addresses a question.

"Only seven," is the answer good-naturedly given. "I thoughtI'd 'a' got on to-day. Whew! It's 'ot: Got a penny aboutyer?"

The old man shakes his head.

"Only had one day's work this week, Jim," he says, and theburly man with a curt nod passes on.

"How much have you earned this week?" I ask.

"Six and six," he replies. "I might 'a' got a day yesterday ifI could 'a' pushed my way to the front. I've known the time...."he adds wistfully.

"What do you do for food?"

He regards me with some suspicion.

"Haven't had any to-day," he says.

"How old are you?"

"Seventy-two," he answers simply.

A little man saunters by, pinched of face and heavy-eyed. Henods to the old man and stops, and they talk of docks and ships,and times gone by.

"Been up since four," says the little man: "I thought I wasgoing to be strangled over there"—he jerks his thumb in thedirection of the dock gates—"haven't done a stroke for sixweeks."

Then he made a statement which is so peculiar to the cheaperform of melodrama that I hesitate to repeat it. The reader willunderstand my feelings, and the curate who warned me the otherday against retailing lurid stories will accept my apologies, forwhat the man said with all simplicity was:

"My wife and children are starving, and I haven't eaten foodfor two days."

Frankly, I did not believe the latter part of his statementtill I saw him eat. I did not credit the story of the wife andchildren till I had walked home with him. He is an "upstairs"lodger. He lives in the front room, and so does his wife, apleasantly-spoken woman, who prior to her marriage was a domesticservant.

SLOW STARVATION

IN the same room live seven children, two ofwhom have measles, and one, a baby of seven months, is, unless Iam at fault, sickening rapidly for croup. You might not thinkthere was space in a small room for nine, but, by a fortunatedispensation of providence, very little of the available space isoccupied by furniture.

From a purely hygienic point of view the conditions, if notperfect, are favorable, for the walls and the floors are bare.The cheap chromographs and engravings of the "Black Brunswicker"order are gone. They fetched as much as a shilling a piece. Thelittle glass ornaments and the distorting mirror have been turnedinto bread and coal, so have the sound chairs, and the smalltable and the strip of carpet. There is still a bedstead left. Imentally valued that at threepence.

The children had had bread, collected from house to house: thesick children had had milk, a quart being allowed by therelieving-officer. The mother and the father had had nothing. Andthe man was a teetotaller. Drink, which the glib-tongued ;specialists of the West End adduce as the essence of allpoverty—it is more often the effect—was in no wayresponsible for this misery.

It was a whimsical conceit of mine, but I could not resist thetemptation. As I turned to go down the stairs I asked the man:"Are you a believer in the 'big loaf of free trade?'"

He was no politician, for he was somewhat mystified by thequestion.

"I don't know what you mean," he said awkwardly: "I believe inany loaf I've got the money to buy—if you haven't got workyou can't buy bread, can you?"

He said this quite innocently, and I do not for one momentimagine that he knew the significance of .his simpleconclusions.

—Edgar Wallace, in the Daily Mail.

UNDER FIRE

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS FROM THE ROYAL MAGAZINE

As published in:
The Royal Magazine, C. Arthur Pearson, London, December 1914


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (3)

THE man on the extreme right of the linefidgeted uneasily. He looked round with a frown to the corporal alittle behind and saw me. I wore the red cross brassard over mycivilian jacket. This he saw, and wriggled uncomfortably.

"There ought to be somebody on the right here," he grumbled."Bit too conspicuous bein' on the extreme right...."

He had never been under fire before, so his perturbation wasnatural. It is much easier to fight shoulder to shoulder than inextended order; it is even easier to fight in extended order, ifyou have a man on either side of you.

I told him to sit down—the other men of the line weresprawling at ease, waiting for the word to advance.

"How does it feel?" he asked.

"Rotten," said I truthfully, "but only for a minute orso."

"When are they going to begin?" he demanded, and scowled atthe blue line of hills ahead bathed in a white hot flood ofsunshine.

Far away to the right the cavalry was moving forward. Theywent ahead very slowly, as though uncertain of theirdirection.

They moved to the right, and halted—then they went onagain, still slowly, reluctantly, and finally disappeared in afold of the yellow ground.

"Waiting for the guns," I said, and looked behind.

Yes, there they were, four batteries in four straight linesstretching backward. Now they were moving left and right, andpresently, when they touched suitable ground, they woulddeploy.

Out of the blue hills ahead, as though from some rent of acrater, drifted a long wisp of white smoke.

"Ladies and gentlemen." The voice, strident and clear, was thevoice of a soldier squatting on the ground, his elbows on hisknees, his chin in his hands. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are justabout to begin. Come-and-see-the-big-guns-of-the-enemy—"

"Fall in!" The line came to its feet.

"Whoom—m—m—!"

Like a growl of thunder came the report of the gun on thehill. Over to the right, where the cavalry had disappeared, a bigfountain of earth leapt straight into the air, another wisp ofsmoke from the hill, another and another, and even in thesunlight you saw the quick lick of flame.

"Duck, ye devils!"

A man on the left gives the warning, and as the new men obeyhim a roar of laughter sweeps along the line. A great joke to seethe new men duck their heads as, with a roar like that of a trainpassing through a station, something flies overhead and buriesitself in the soft earth to the rear of the line.

"Phew!"

The man on the right wipes his forehead with the back of hishand, and looks back curiously at the place where the shellstruck.

"Nice thing—ain't it?" he asks in a tone of complaintand despair, "bein' hit by a thing likethat—phew."

"Pang!"

Our guns are in action behind us—and there go thecavalry—far, far to the right—slow no longer, butsweeping swiftly forward to their invisible goal. All the sidesof the blue hills are hazy with smoke now.

"Pang! Pang! Pang!"

Our guns are going furiously. Little puffs of white smoke hangover the hill ahead; you hear the echo—like the sound ofexploding shrapnel.

"'S'awful, ain't it"

The man on the right is changing his attitude. His voice haslost the note of terror, and there has come a hint of admiringinterest. Even in his "'S'awful," he would not have it less awfulfor worlds. The shock has passed, he has experienced his worstsensation, and is now blooded to war.

"How long are they going to keep us here?" he asks, and youknow that if he wants to move it is forward.

The whine of shells overhead is incessant, but presently youdetect a difference of sound.

"Crash!"

The shrapnel now, high-pitched, perfectly timed, andscattering as well-behaved shrapnel should do. It patters on theground like rain, and men edge to the left and rightinstinctively.

"Line will advance—keep your distance —plenty oftime, my lads."

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (4)


A red-faced lieutenant, obviously ablaze with excitement,nurses his platoon, walking ahead of them, now walking backwardlike a Salvation Army captain, now throwing his words across hisshoulder. He is young and without experience, but he is obsessedwith the sense of his responsibilities.

"Keep your lines—nothing to worry about—march onthe centre—"

A piping voice from the ranks arrests him.

"Beg pardon, sir your bootlace is untied."

A ripple of quiet laughter, a broad grin on the face of themajor commanding the company, and the red-faced officer stoops,fumbling at his lace, and the line passes him. He is back soon,running to overtake them.

The shrapnel is bursting behind them.Six—seven—eight shells; then the enemy get the range.A man slips forward and goes sprawling to the earth withoutstretched hands. The man at his right hesitates, and looksdown at the silent, bleeding figure.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (5)

"Leave that man!"

The major swings round and roars the order:

"Leave him, confound you—leave him!"

So they leave him on the ground for the Royal Army MedicalCorps, which will be working up from the rear.

Onward, onward, slowly, slowly, but always onward. Over gentlerises of ground where men crouch low as they walk, down deephollows, and up the slope on the other side.

The skirmishing line is under rifle fire now. It whistles andwhiffles about them; it sends the dust spurting up at theirfeet.

"Take cover in that donga—double!"

Now they are running swiftly to the first line of cover. Mengo down here and there, but the man on the right doesn't seem tocare. He is full of eager excitement, swings ahead of the line,and is gruffly checked by his officer.

They make the cover and crouch, panting and chuckling.

"Six hundred yards—commence firing! "

Up till now they haven't fired a shot. But now the well-oiledbolts are clicking all along the line, and the yellow cartridgesare tinkling to the chamber.

"Bang—bang!"

At first lazily, and then in a fury of rattling sound, therifles are going off.

"Aim steadily! That streak of yellow ahead is the trench!Steady, now—don't waste ammunition! What the devil are youfiring at, Jackson—the moon?"

The shrapnel has the range again, and is bursting accuratelyover the cover.

"Line will advance—double!"

Out of the donga they scramble, a thousand yellow coats, andfly as fast as legs can carry across the bare patch of groundwhich separates them from the enemy. A whistle shrills, andobediently the thousand sink to earth, taking what cover theycan. More whistles—the extended line is closing stealthilyon the centre. Another rush forward—again the whistle,then—

"Fix bayonets!"

How they rattle, those bayonets, how they "snick" down togroove and catch!

You can see the trenches plainly, you can feel the men inthem. The air is all shrill sound, and the bursting shrapneloverhead is a ceaseless clatter.

"Winchesters!"

It is the wild, exultant cry of the colonel—the only manwho may address the regiment by its title.

"Winchesters, follow me—charge!"

Up they leap, a savage, glittering line.

With one wild yell—a throaty and roaring yell like aharsh and sustained "Ahr-r-r!"—the line breaks into ajogtrot run. Men spin round and fall, men sink limply like tiredchildren, men swear at their comrades who get in the way, but theline, as a coherent, terrible force, drives forward to the end ofthe trenches, and the bayonets rise and fall....

"Signalman!"

The colonel shakes his bleeding hand and blinks round for hisman, and the corporal, with his swung tripod, fixes its threelegs into the earth and adjusts his mirror.

"Heliograph to the general: 'Taken first line of the trenches.Enemy is now retiring on second line.'"

The man on the right, balancing his rifle, turns andsmiles.

"I hope we're going to take the second line," he says. "Howdid I feel under fire? Fine! I forgot all about everything, butwhat I forgot first was—that I was under fire"

That is always the way.

THE RAID

As published in The Daily Advertiser, Wagga Wagga,NSW, Australia, 20 November 1915

"... visited the London district last night anddropped incendiary and explosive bombs." —OfficialReport.

SOMEWHERE IN THE LONDON DISTRICT

It is curious, thought I, that the cinema filmof the French trenches, showing the danger in which men stand inwar, evoked so little applause from a crowded house. They tookeverything for granted, this audience—the danger, thewreckage of buildings, the everlasting vigilance of the men atthe loop-holes.

I wondered what would happen if a prowling Zeppelin dropped abomb slap through the gilded roof of this luxurious little hall.Would the audience sit as stolidly, and would the listless youngman behind me turn to his bored companion and drawl, "Oh," I'veseen that sort of thing before."

"But what would you do, Edgar Wallace?" demanded the innerpart of me.

I should have a big spasm of funk, I confessed. I have beenunder fire many times. I should not like to say how many. I havebeen industriously sniped by the finest marksmen in the world, Ihave felt my horse quiver and cough beneath me before he wentdown on his Knees and rolled over, kicking away what was left ofhis life: I have been shelled by big gun and little in a score ofsmall and big actions. And every new experience—and it wasnew if a day or two of immunity intervened—brought to methe same spasm of cold fear, the same bone-dryness of mouth, thesame little tremble of hand. It doesn't last very long—thethird or fourth shell restores you to your normal phlegm, but,whilst it lasts, it is humiliating.

So what right have I to sit in judgment of these callous folkwho have heard nothing more shocking than the pop of a ginger-beer cork?

The streets in this particular portion of the London Districtwere crowded, and I walked slowly in the direction of myhome.

I stood for a moment at the corner of one of the principalstreets, watching the people, and glanced, as has become a habit,at the sky. One star shone with remarkable brilliance in thesouth-western heavens. A fine, unblinking spot of light. Now ifZeppelins carried searchlights, that might be.... But Zeppelins,though popularly supposed to carry this picturesque equipment, donot show it. And as I watched, noting the fineness of the night,a momentary glance, as swift and vivid as summer lightning litthe sky, throwing into relief the nearby roofs and chimneypots....

That twinge of panic which I had not experienced for thirteenyears came to me, for I knew all that that flicker of hot lightportended.

"Bom-m-m!"

There was no mistaking that.

The leisurely throng checked in its walk and half turned. Aman and girl in front of me stood stock still, the man with afrown, the girl O-mouthed.

"Zep'lins!" said the man breathlessly.

It was the nearest approach to panic that I saw. Into the darksky leapt two white beams of light. They wavered for what seemedan eternity as they searched not hurriedly, but systematically,for the offender.

Up leapt another beam and another, and yet another, and then,as if acting in unison, they concentrated on one spot.

There it was!

Something for all the world like a torpedo-shaped cigar. Itmoved serenely in a halo of light unperturbed by the suddenexposure. There was a certain majesty in the spectacle, a certainawfulness which was more than a little impressive.

There it sailed ten thousand feet above man's earth, itsinvisible gondola crowded with men, its unseen propellerswhirling—an atom in space charged with the task ofterrifying six millions of people.

Serene it might be, for just so long as it takes to open abreech-block and slip in a cartridge. Already in half-a-dozen gunpositions keen-eyed men were glancing along the sights.

"Bang!"

There was a crash, and another, and another.

Something whined through the darkness, three splashes of lightburst about the cigar—three points of soft light, such asyou may see from any headland when the incoming liner spells hernumber in fire.

Again came the muffled roar of a bomb, but now the guns werebanging furiously. Above, below, to the right and left of theshape; the stars of light were flickering and fading. Movingthrough a mist of smoke the machine nose-dived a full thousandfeet earthward.

But it recovered and sped upward, pointing its blue nose tothe sky.

It turned first to the westward as though it contemplatedreturning, then to the northward, then to the westwardagain....

It seemed like a thing baffled and cornered and seeking a wayof escape. For now every searchlight in the district was onit—whichever way it moved, the inexorable lightfollowed.

I stood amidst a wholly-curious crowd—a crowd whichshowed no sign of panic, not even, when the ghost shape appearedas though he would return; a crowd which cheered the marksmanshipof the unknown gunners, that cheered the clanging fire-engines asthey raced through the street towards the glare from the sky, aglare which grew from copper to crimson as the momentspassed.

One lady alone did I meet who showed any sign of terror. Shewas a flower-seller who watched the disappearing ambassador ofKultur with her nose wrinkled apprehensively.

"My Gawd!" she said, "I'm glad my boy's safe in the army!"

WOMAN THE WARRIOR

As published in The Royal Magazine, London, August 1916


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (6)



WOMAN the warrior has taken her place in theranks of the great industrial army which, at the moment ofwriting, is helping to win the war for England and herAllies.

Her arrival on the scene is a cause for misgiving. Men she hasreplaced are speculating upon the possibilities of the future,not realising that Britain is in the position of a great factorywhich has always been understaffed, and that there are notsufficient men in the country for the adequate development of herindustries.

A DEARTH OF MEN

THE after-the-war difficulty will not be, howshall we find work for men, but, how shall we get the men werequire?

Woman has already supplied half the answer to that question.She has made it abundantly clear that she can take certain jobsand release men not only for fighting with rifle and bayonet, butwith lathe and machine in the war which is to follow the war.

If modern man is puzzled as to woman's future place inindustry, how much more would be the ancient philosophers, if youcould transport them from the spaces of immortality and engagetheir minds in the problem which is presented by the war womanand her future. Euripides saw his ideal in one who "remainedquiet within the home." Socrates would have set his face mostresolutelv against the modern war-worker, believing that herintroduction into man's spheres would react to hisdisadvantage.

"Woman, once equal to man, becomes his superior," he said, andin the terms of equality he must have included her equality ofopportunity.

WOMEN AFTER THE WAR

ENGLAND asks, and asks in all seriousness, whatis to be the position of woman when the war is ended? Will sheretire gracefully into the oblivion from whence she came? Willthe neat 'bus-conductresses, the messenger-girls, the womenticket-collectors and inspectors, the lift-girls, and thelike—will these go back to whatever was their task beforethe exigencies of war brought them to fill man's place?

The answer is "No."

The returned men will come against Woman theWarrior—woman, who, obeying the unerring instinct whichevery mother-heart holds, the instinct, not of self-preservation,but race-preservation, will oppose the return of men to jobswhich women can fill. Not necessarily the women who are atpresent employed in work which the majority regard as temporary,but the army of women who will march along the path which thesepioneers have cut.

Let this be remembered: that nothing so rouses the scorn ofwomankind as the spectacle of men filling women's jobs. Therenever was a woman who respected a shop-walker or counter-clerk.There never was a woman who did not regard a male domestic withcontempt. The only domestic servants of a household that theeducated woman ever met on anything like human terms were thegroom or the chauffeur—because they were doing men's work,and work which was too heavy for a woman to perform.

THE TWO ESSENTIALS

WOMEN require manliness in men. They demand theexhibition of strength or exceptional ingenuity. They haveimplanted in them the consciousness that life is a mentalprogression, and that mentality is, or should be, one of the mostimportant weapons in man's equipment.

The woman comes to replace men who are either physicallyunfitted for manual labour, or were occupying positions whichrendered it unnecessary for the job holders to employ theirsuperior physical gifts. Those men, replaced by women, went intothe Army or, in other words, went into physical training.

There is no reason why, at the end of the war, such men shouldrevert to boy-jobs. There is no reason in the world why theyshould not be absorbed by the factories, which should beincreased in number, and should be fully occupied in meeting theheavy demands consequent upon trade recovery after the war.

WANTED! A MANUFACTURING ARMY

WE need more than an army to fight—weshall need a great manufacturing army.

Germany exported to England alone enormous quantities ofmanufactured goods which will have to be made at home. She alsoexported these to Russia and to France —and we shall securea portion of that trade.

A million pounds worth of motor chassis came fromGermany—that million (or a greater part) will be spent inEngland. £300,000 extra will be paid in wages— 2000 or 3000men must be found additional to those who were being employedbefore the war in motor-car manufacture. Women will largelyreplace the men who go into the factories. £3,000,000 worth ofchemicals ; £700,000 worth of earthenware (the raw material camefrom Cornwall and Devon!); nearly £7,000,000 worth of soft goods,gloves, hosiery, lace, etc., came from Germany (here isemployment for 20,000 or 30,000, mostly women); boots and shoesto the amount of £1,500,000; iron, steel, electrical goods,machinery, etc., £10,000,000 (20,000 to 30,000 extra workmenrequired).

How are we to obtain the skilled man labour to cope with thedemand upon our industries which must inevitably follow the endof the war?

It must be drawn from those departments of industry which havehitherto attracted the unskilled labour.

New armies of mechanics mean new armies of clerks, messengers,and carriers. Our greatest problem will not be to oust woman,since woman, the warrior, is not to be ousted, but to persuadeher to continue in the work which she is now performing.

THE PROBLEM BEFORE EMPLOYEES

I HAVE been at some pains to discover thefeelings of the women themselves upon this very importantsubject, and I append a few typical cases, showing theconsiderable difficulties which employers of labour willexperience when the war is over.

Let it be remembered that there are few skilled machinists orengineers at the Front. They are included in the two million nowengaged, in munition work. Let it be remembered, too, that theirnumbers must be considerably augmented, and that thousands of menwho left boy-jobs will come back to men's work.

That is a point which I would very strongly emphasise. Thelift-men, the messengers, the ticket-inspectors—who areamongst the poorest paid of workers—will find morelucrative employment elsewhere. The employer may be faced withthe alternative of women or nothing. The present great army ofwomen employed are merely the pioneers of woman labour in unusualoccupations. From what I have been able to gather, theythemselves regard their work as purely temporary and for theduration of the war only, and the majority do not seriouslyconsider the possibility of continuing in their presentoccupations.


H.B., before the war was a waitress in atea shop. She is now a conductress. After the war she will marryher "boy," who is now serving in France with a heavy gundetachment. She is not greatly enamoured of her present job, savethat it gives her a certain authority which is pleasing.


H.M., before the war was a"bookkeeper"—a vague description which when worked outproved to be a cash-girl at a stationery shop. She is now workinga Tube lift, and prefers the work. She likes the authority shepossesses, which is in contrast to her previous position. Afterthe war she hopes to marry and "settle down." She has no youngman in France, but harbours the faith that "Mr. Right" will oneday float into her orbit.


K.V., before the war was a shorthandtypist (not a particularly good one, and probably only in thenovice stage). She is now engaged in a munition shop, and "likesthe life"—and the wages. She is married, and (during thewar) her husband is in France. When he returns, she will not goout to business as her husband objects.


K.C., before the war a domestic servant(there are very few domestic servants to be met with, but this isprobably due to the fact that the girls will not admit thatoccupation), now employed as conductress. Likes the work, but"too hard for a woman." Regards her profession as essentially awar-time product. After or during the war will marry a man nowengaged in munition work.


S.J., before the war of no occupation,lived with her parents, now a conductress. Educated atCheltenham. Advanced views on woman's place in the world. Young,and has no desire to continue working after the war. Gives herwages to a benevolent fund (for 'busmen).


M.A.O., before the war of no occupation.Soldier's widow. Has two children. Now employed as messenger.Likes the work, and especially cycling. Says she wishes tocontinue, "as it is only boys' work." Very intelligent girl, andholds the view that all boys should be compelled to serve anapprenticeship at some trade or other, but only for three years.After that, apprenticeship should be voluntary. This would givewomen such work as messengers, lift-boys, bell-boys, and booking-clerks do.


R.C., before the war a shorthand-typistand secretary, now in a railway ticket-office. She likes thework, but finds it very exacting. After the war she willmarry.


I HAVE conducted inquiries into some 150 cases, and theseare the facts that stand out:

  1. The majority of women questioned have as the goal oftheir ambitions, marriage and a home. Very few, indeed, seriouslyconsider their future in relation to independent employment.
  2. Those who like their jobs are most pleased by the authoritywhich the uniform or their position gives to them. They havenever before had the right to address such peremptoryinstructions as "Step lively!" or "Show your ticket!" to meremen—indeed, the majority are meeting man in his oppressedstate for the first time, and find the experience both novel anddelightful.
  3. They mostly agree that the men with whom they work aresuspicious and resentful of this intrusion. They all agree thatthe great public, whom they are meeting for the first time, areconsiderate and polite.


IT will be seen that few of these women regard their positionsin the light of a permanency, and that is as it should be. Thetype of mind that looks upon a job which requires little skilland practically no strength as enjoying any permanence, is asingularly weak one, and is a source of weakness to the nation.The unskilled labour market should be stirred up at frequentintervals, and if women supplied the majority of workers in thatmarket the stirring up would be more or less automatic.

THE FEMININE POINT OF VIEW.

THE minds of the majority of women are fixedupon marriage, settlement, and domestic duties. Not two per cent,of the young women who go to work regard their career aspermanent. It is rather the interregnum between school andmarriage, an awkward interregnum, where their boundless energy,their youth, and their natural desire for a certain financialindependence urge them to energetic action.

Roughly speaking, the average working life of awoman—and by working life I mean that period in which sheis employed outside of her home—is about eight years. Theaverage working life of a man is about thirty. For this reasonalone there will always be a considerable shortage of womanlabour, if employers decide, as they must decide, in retainingwomen in those posts for which the war has proved they are bestfitted.

The decision, as it happens, does not rest entirely withemployers. Woman herself has marked down the billets she can holdas creditably and as adequately as her male competitor. It is allto the good that she has arrived at such a decision, for withouther we might find ourselves faced with the alternative ofimporting labour or restricting our output of manufactures.

THE MAN WHO SAVED THE EMPIRE

As published in The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express,
NSW, Australia, 22 March 1918

IT is given to very few men to bear in historythe proud title of "Saviour of his Country." We might perhaps saythis of Sir Francis Drake, who, in the critical hour of hiscountry's fortune, aided by extraordinary climatic conditions,destroyed the Armada and freed England from the ; greatest menacewhich had ever confronted her. We might perhaps say the same ofNelson in different circ*mstances, and by a degree of Wellington.Yet we know behind the deeds of those great commanders, andoverlain with the story of the complete accomplishment, werevalorous acts of men unknown to history whose initiative andgenius made these national victories possible.

We sometimes ask wonderingly why the German did not win thefirst year of the war, when he had all advantages of numbers andequipment, when he had superior masses of artillery, and his armywas organised more perfectly than any army had been that evertook the field. And even if we can find some explanation as towhy he failed on the Marne, it is yet difficult to understand whyhe did not, with the powerful forces under his control, sweepthrough Ypres and establish himself on the coast.

The explanation of his failure is to be found in the genius ofone man and the valour and splendid discipline of one battalion.Many regiments of extraordinary bravery contributed to hisdefeat. The old Army, and particularly the 1st and the 7thDivisions, accomplished miracles; but there was one battalion ofMidlanders who struck at the crucial moment and whose successturned what might have been a rout, and would have certainly beena disaster, into a German defeat.

Who, then, was the man who saved England?

Some readers will remember an incident in the Boer War, which,because it occurred at the outbreak of hostilities, will berecalled when other and more significant actions have faded fromthe memory. I was on my way to the Front in South Africa, when Iwas handed at De Aar a newspaper telegraphic despatch describingthis singularly gallant little act. An armoured train operatingfrom Mafeking had gone out against the Boers and had got intodifficulties. I believe there was a derailment and things weregoing badly for the devoted crew of the train, when a gallantlittle party made a sortie from Mafeking under the leadership ofan officer named FitzClarence.

FitzClarence and his party of fifty men extricated the trainfrom its position, fought off the attacks of the enemy, andbrought the train in triumph to the beleaguered town.

It was this same FitzClarence who on October 31st, 1914,commanded a battalion which was not in his brigade, not even inhis division, and employed it to such purpose that the German'sirresistible advance was checked and held.

On that date we were falling back under the superior pressureof the enemy toward Ypres. On the very ground where Sir DouglasHaig's gallant soldiers are now repaying the German with terribleinterest for all they suffered in 1914 the battered 1st and 7thDivisions were holding up the attack of 80,000 picked troops ofthe German army. They were astride of the Menin road.

The juncture of the 1st Division and the 7th was to the northof that road and a little to the north of the village ofGheluvelt, whilst on the right of the 7th Division was the 3rdCavalry Brigade. Against the latter, whose centre was the ridgeof Zandvoorde. the enemy directed the fiercest of his attacks,and under a hail of fire which decimated the splendid Cavalryregiments of the British Army our men were pressed back.

This retirement left the right of the 7th Division "in theair." That is to say, there was a big gap of more than a milebetween the left of the broken cavalry and the right of the 7th,and in consequence the 7th Division was compelled to bring backand seek a junction with the cavalry. This left a very sharpsalient about Gheluvelt, and the enemy lost no time in takingadvantage of the situation which was created. Naturally he pushedhis heaviest attacks against the unsupported right of the 7thDivision, which was pressed back to the Klein Zillebeke ridge,the 2nd Scots Fusiliers, which formed the left of the line, beingannihilated.

At the same time he sent a furious attack against Gheluvelt.Reckless of death, the Germans units came wave after wave,supported by an unprecedented artillery bombardment, and the linebefore Gheluvelt was crushed. It was a case of "Save who can,"and the remnants of the 1st Division began to straggle back,leaving only the South Wales Borderers to hold the enemy incheck. It was a moment for a supreme decision, and the man whocould have made that decision was naturally the general officercommanding the 1st Division, General Lomax.

By one of those terrible coincidences which occur in allbattles, and come even to human beings when luck is against them,the disaster of the broken line was followed by yet another.Lomax and his staff, standing at their headquarters and viewingthe distant battle, were destroyed by the bursting of a Germanshell. Not only the general and his six staff officers werekilled, but General Munro, who commanded the 2nd Division, wasstruck down, and remained unconscious for an hour.

So here we had this remarkably situation. We had been drivenout of Gheluvelt, our line was broken, a victorious enemy wasadvancing with perilous rapidity in such a direction that hecould not fail to smash in between the armies of the north andthe armies of the south, and of the two men who could havedirected the operations one was dead and the other wasunconscious.

Let there be no mistaking this fact, that the loss ofGheluvelt meant the loss of the French coast. The German wouldhave been established at Calais, and the raids which we are nowexperiencing would have been of daily occurrence throughout 1915and 1916. The whole of the Belgian army would have been cut offand captured. The 1st Corps and the 2nd Corps could not possiblyhave extricated themselves and if the German had gone anothermile the British Expeditionary Force would have been practicallywiped out of existence.

And then a miracle happened. Marshal French and Sir DouglasHaig, hurrying to the scene of the battle, knowing no more thanthat the worst that could possibly happen was a fact and thatGheluvelt, "an extremely important strategic point, had beentaken by the enemy," prepared, as I say, for the most momentous,the most terrible disaster that had ever overtaken a BritishArmy, were thunderstruck by the receipt of the news that theGerman rush had been stopped, and that Gheluvelt had been retakenby the British. One does not doubt that Field Marshal ViscountFrench could not believe the good news; and yet it was true,

FitzClarence was the Brigadier-General commanding the lstGuards' Brigade. He had watched the disaster near at hand, andhad seen his splendid forces ovewhelmed, and then he had sent inhis last reserves, though he must have thought that it washumanly impossible to save the day. And when his last reserveshad gone he mounted his horse and rode calmly up toward Gheluveltto share the fate of his brigade.

He was a man who knew no fear. He wore the Victoria Cross,which he had earned three times over in South Africa; but withhis fearlessness he had the intuition of a great commander.

He discovered before he had gone far that there was anotherbattalion waiting in reserve to the south of Polygon Wood. Thiswas the 2nd Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. It was notin his brigade, and technically he had no right to issue anyorders without consulting the Brigadier.

He sent for the commanding officer, Colonel Hankey, and toldhim what he intended doing. Colonel Hankey was naturallyreluctant. He was at the disposal of his own Brigadier, and itmight be that the division to which he was attached would requirethe reserves which his battalion represented.

But he saluted and turned back to his battalion, and in a fewminutes the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment was marching forwardunder a terrific cannonade and deploying so close to the enemy'sposition that they left over a hundred men between theirdeployment and their occupation of the first trench.

With a dash which had never been surpassed, with asteadfastness beyond all praise, the Worcestershires went forwardin the face of death, and carried with their bayonets thedefences of the village, fighting from house to house in one ofthe most bloody engagements of the war, and establishedthemselves on the ground whence the British Army had beendriven.

It was the most fateful counter-attack in the war, and it wascarried out by about 6OO men; but mark the consequence! The gapwas filled. The left of the 7th division came back to itsoriginal position, and the breach which had existed between the7th and the 1st was made good.

By ten o'clock that night we had recovered all the ground wehad lost in the morning, and the Kaiser, who himself was on thebattlefield and had come down in the firm belief that a roadwould be made for him to Calais itself, went back to headquartersa sick and disappointed man.

It is perhaps difficult to make the non-military readerappreciate the significance of individual actions. There isapparently no difference between the taking of one village andthe taking of another, and the consequence of our failure to holdone seems fraught with no greater danger than our failure to holda village at some other part of the line. But because the Britishare more of a military people than the German, I do not thinkthat you at home can fail to recognise what you owe to this manand this battalion.

FitzClarence is dead. He fell like the hero he was and as hewould have himself desired, at the head of the 1st Irish Guardsdays after he had saved the line and long days before a confusedpublic opinion could apportion him the praise which was hisdue.

His name should be enshrined in every heart and in every home.He should take his place with the greatest figures of the war:with Smith-Dorrien, whose wonderful action at Le Cateau preservedthe British Expeditionary Force; with Haig, who saved us fromdisaster at Festubert; with the great men of all ranks who havecheerfully made the supreme sacrifice for Britain and herpeople.

By Edgar Wallace in Tit Bits.

TO SOOTHE THE SAVAGE BREAST

MUSIC AS A CURE FOR INDUSTRIAL UNREST

As published in The Wanganui Chronicle, New Zealand,November 3, 1919

DO not think that because the German failed tounderstand British psychology that he is a bad psychologist.Nobody has ever understood the British, or ever will. The truthis that the German is a greater psychologist than any other racein Europe, and he was certainly the first man to discover theantidote to Bolshevism.

He knows better than any that the Spartacist derived hisstrength, not from the millions which Lenin supplied, but fromthe falling off in the supply of music, especially brass music.To-day Berlin is infinitely more peaceful than Luton. Its beatenpeople are calmer than the folks on the Clyde or the workers ofCoventry. The Berliner goes about his business, takes a shrewd,clear view of the situation, and is working rapidly to rebuildthe shattered finances of the country, and he has come to sanitybecause some genius suggested that Bolshevism was a disease whichwas as effectively destroyed by music as most other diseases aredestroyed by sunshine.

THE BUG OF BOLSHEVISM

THE bug of Bolshevism withers and dies under thebeneficent action of Tannhäuser, even if Tannhäuser be played inragtime. To-day Berlin simply blares. Every beer-garden, everycafé has its band. There are bands at the street corners, andbands in the park. The German trombone is blowing Bolshevismacross the Dwina, and if she can only keep pace with the demand,and can train her bandsmen as quickly as we trained our soldiers,she should have Europe at her feet before the end of theyear.

A month ago one of those precious Bolshie commissioners ofMoscow, who spend their time alternately in signing deathwarrants and remitting their perquisites to relatives in Sweden,announced with great pride that bourgeoisie bands were forbidden,and that music was not the least hateful attribute of thearistocracy.

Russia is well nigh bandless. Only the Cossacks retain theirjingling bells—and only the Cossacks have any kind of goodgovernment. In Britain we are suffering from a brass band famine.Yorkshire, which is one of the most truculent of the labourcentres, was once a model of industrial virtue, but those werethe days when Besses o' th' Barn was Yorkshire's pride, and whenbrass band contests brought hundreds of thousands of raptvisitors to the centres where these contests were held.

MUSICAL WALES

WALES before the war was one of the most musicalcountries in the world, and although an Eisteddfod of sorts isstill held, and bards are crowned, Wales is practicallymusicless, with the result that it is even more discontented thanYorkshire. All this may read fantastic, but there are the factsbeyond question or doubt. Where the band flourishes Bolshevismdies; in the citadels of Bolshevism the B-flat cornet is notheard.

It is, therefore, the imperative duty of the Government tosummon not the Labour leaders, but the band conductors toconference. All our resources must be pressed into use and theSalvation Army must play a real part in nationalreconstruction.

A start might be made by engaging Sir Henry Wood's orchestrato play in the House of Commons Gallery—their very harmonywould qualify them for a place in the Distinguished Strangers'Gallery—and it should be the penalty of dullness that theaddresses of any honourable member lacking in the power oforatory should coincide with a selection from one of the lightoperas.

And what a triumphant finish to a premier's speech if it couldend on a chord or be followed by "Land Of Our Fathers"!.

AN EMERGENCY BAND

THERE should be a band kept in readiness inWhitehall, ready to dash away in motor-lorries to the scene ofany local agitation. If before the stone-throwing and the window-smashing began a syncopated orchestra could be rushed to thespot, if only on the pretext of playing the mayor out of ihe backdoor, what expense might be saved!

I am not mad when I suggest that every police station shouldbe equipped with a cornet or that no inspector should beappointed to his rank until he had taken a course at KnellerHall.

The Germans have always known the political value of music;Luther himself has described it as "the art of the prophets" and"the only art that can calm the agitations of the soul." And didnot Shakespeare, that amazing seer, foresee exactly the presentcondition of the British mind when he said:

The man that hath no music in himself...
Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.


Congreve, yet another prophet, advocated the anti-Bolsheviktreatment when he told us that music had charms to soothe thesavage breast.

A MINISTRY OF MUSIC

LET us have bands of music at every corner ifnecessary. Let us even have a Ministry of Music with under-secretaries and armies of typists—but let us havemusic.

In Hungary, where the fiddlers come from, there is such ascarcity of violins that the instruments are practicallyunprocurable. Do you wonder that Bela Kun usurped authority andremained in control until a few weeks ago? That his hurrieddepartures coincided with the arrival of large consignments offiddles from Austria is more than likely.

THE SECRET OF THE MOAT FARM

As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 2, George Newnes Ltd., London, 28 March 1924

The plausible and sinister adventurer who,for the love of gain and of an easy life, preys upon women, is afamiliar figure in the history of crime. Camille Holland wasfifty-six when Dougal captured her affections, and the unhappyromance of a rich old maid led to her murder at this infamousscoundrel's hands. The crime might have gone unpunished but forone damning clue. It was a pair of shoes which brought Dougal tothe scaffold after the lapse of years.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (7)

Herbert Samuel Dougal.


AT the age of fifty-six a spinster may well beresigned to an old maid's life. Into the life of Camille CecilleHolland romance had not come, though it was inevitable that sheshould possess her dreams. For she was a woman of imagination.She scribbled sentimental little stories, and painted in water-colours sentimental little landscapes—mills and ponds andgreen woodlands—pleasant, pretty scenes.

Camille Holland did not look her years: most people thoughtshe was forty. A certain refinement of face and trimness offigure, an exquisite smallness of foot (her chief pride) lent toher an attractiveness which is unusual in women who have passedthrough many loveless years, "living in boxes," having no homebut the boarding-house and cheap hotels which she frequented, andno human recreation but the vicarious acquaintanceships sheformed in her uneventful journeyings.

She could afford an occasional trip to the Continent; shecould afford, too, other occasional luxuries, for her aunt, withwhom she had lived many years at Highbury, had left her thesubstantial fortune of £7,000, invested in stocks and shares,which brought her from £300 to £400 a year. Amongst herinvestments was £400 invested in George Newnes, Limited, whichshares were to play an important part in the detection of one ofthe cruellest crimes of the century.

Living as she did, it was natural that she had few friends.There was a nephew in Dulwich, who saw his aunt occasionally;there was a broker to whom she was known, and a banker on whomshe sometimes called. Very few tradesmen knew her, because sheran no accounts, buying in whatever town she happened to be, andpaying cash.

I

IT was in the early days of the Boer War, whenmilitary men had acquired the importance which war invariablygives to them, that a smart-looking, bearded man called at theboarding-house in Elgin Crescent, Bayswatcr, where Miss Hollandwas in residence. He had evidently met Miss Holland, for he sentup a card inscribed "Captain Dougal," and was immediatelyreceived by the lady in her hostess's drawing-room. He appeared agreat friend; he came again and again, took the lady out for longstrolls in Hyde Park, and once they went to dinner and to atheatre together.

The devotion of Captain Dougal must have brought torealisation one of the romantic dreams of this spinster whom lovehad passed by, and she warmed to his subtle flattery, hiscourtesy and his obvious admiration. When, in his manly way, heconfessed to her that he was unhappily married and there could beno legal culmination to their love, she was shocked, but did notdismiss him. Life was passing swiftly for her, and she wasconfronted with the alternatives of going down to oblivionstarved of love, or accepting from him the ugly substitute formarriage.

There was undoubtedly a great struggle, sleepless nights ofheart-searching, before she surrendered the principles to whichshe had held, and let go her most cherished faiths. But in theend the surrender was complete. One afternoon she met him atVictoria Station, and together they went to a little house atHassocks, near Brighton, the house having been rented for twomonths by her imperious lover.

Dougal's earlier marriage, he said, had been a very unhappyone.

"I need not have told you I was married at all," he said. "Youwould never have discovered the fact. But I cannot and will notdeceive you, or treat you so badly as to marry youbigamously."

His scruples, his fairness, his very misfortune, weresufficient to endear him further to this infatuated woman offifty-six, who for the first time in her life was experiencingthe passion about which she had read and heard, and about which,in her mild and ineffective way, she had written. And those firstmonths at Hassocks brought her a joy that fully compensated herfor the illegality of the union.

The adventure was at least no novelty to Samuel HerbertDougal, sometime quartermaster-sergeant of the Royal Engineers.Nor was it the first time that he had described, in his softIrish tongue and in the most glowing colours, the happiness instore for his victim. His very brogue, so attractive to the earsof women, was an acquisition, for he had been born in the EastEnd of London, a neighbourhood which had grown a little too hotfor him at a very early age, and had made him accept the Army asan alternative to prison.

In a very short time he had gained promotion, for he was aremarkable draughtsman, and so clever with his pen that he earnedfor himself amongst his comrades the name of Jim the Penman. Fromhis earliest days he had preyed on women, for he had been one ofthose parasitical creatures to whom a sweetheart meant a sourceof income.

At twenty-four he married, taking his wife with him when hisregiment was moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. She died there, withsuspicious suddenness. Pleading that her death had upset him, hewas allowed a short furlough in England, and returned with asecond wife, a tall, young and good-looking woman, who tended hischildren and seemed to be possessed of some means of her own, forshe had a quantity of jewellery. Nine weeks after arrival, shealso was seized with a sudden illness, and, like his first wife,died and was buried within twenty-four hours, the death beingdue, according to Dougal, to her having eaten poisonous oysters.Under military regulations it was not necessary to register thedeath in the town of Halifax, and beyond the fact that Dougalseemed to be very unfortunate in the matter of his wives, nonotice was taken.

There was in Halifax at the time a girl who had been a friendof both the Mrs. Dougals. Though no marriage ceremony occurred,Dougal, by his very audacity, succeeded in imposing upon hiscomrades to the extent of their accepting her as his wife, goingto the length of forging a marriage certificate, which, however,did not deceive the officer commanding, whose signature wasnecessary to secure her a free passage to England. This union wasa short one, and the man's brutality and callousness were suchthat she decided to return to Canada.

"What excuse shall I offer my friends?" she asked tearfully.To which he replied, with that cynicism which was part of theman:

"Buy yourself a set of widows' weeds, and tell them that yourhusband is dead."

Dougal left the Army with twenty-one years' service, thepossessor of that good conduct medal which is the scorn of mostmilitary men, and some three shillings a day pension—anamazing end to his military career, remembering that during hisperiod of service he served twelve months' imprisonment with hardlabour for forging a cheque in the name of Lord Wolseley,Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland.

Scarcely had the Canadian woman left than another girl wasinstalled in his home, only to flee in the middle of the nightfrom his violence.

He was successively steward of a Conservative club at StroudGreen, manager of a smaller club at the seaside, and heldnumberless other positions for a short length of time; invariablyhis terms of employment ended abruptly, and as invariably thecause had to do with his treatment of the women with whom he wasbrought into contact.

First and foremost Dougal was a forger. He could imitatehandwriting with such remarkable fidelity that even those hevictimised hesitated to swear to the forgery.

When he met Miss Holland he had lost his youthful slimness;the fair, curling moustache was touched with grey, and he hadadded the pointed beard which lent him a certain sobriety ofappearance that so ill accorded with his character. He was a manversed in the arts and wiles of wooing. The life at Hassocks wasa dream of happiness to his dupe, and her own nature andpredilections assisted him to the fulfilment of his plans.

There can be little doubt that Dougal was a poisoner; thecirc*mstances attending the deaths of his first and second wife,the callous conduct he displayed in those events, almost provehis responsibility. But many years had elapsed since thosetragedies; at least two great poisoning cases had been tried inthe courts; and he must have learnt how dangerous it was, in solaw-abiding a country as England, to repeat the crimes ofHalifax.

Moreover, the death of Miss Holland could not in any waybenefit him, since he had no legal claim upon her. There is someslight evidence that he tried to induce her to make a will in hisfavour, but Miss Holland, despite her infatuation, displayed anunusual acumen when the question of placing her signature to adocument arose.

II

THE life at Hassocks, delightful as it was, wasnot exactly the kind of life that the woman desired. She did notwant to rent a house; she wanted to settle down, to have apermanent home of her own; and Dougal, to whom she expressed herwishes, agreed with her. When she told him that she would like tobuy a farm, he instantly became an authority on farming. Nothingwould please him better than to live the simple, rustic life; andaccordingly they began a search for a suitable habitation, andthe columns of the newspapers were carefully perused.

Eventually a suitable property was found. This was ColdhamFarm, in the parish of Clavering in Essex, and negotiations werebegun with Messrs. Rutter, of Norfolk Street, Strand, for theacquisition of the house and acreage. If the property had adisadvantage, it was that it was remote and lonely, the nearestvillage being Saffron Walden, and the equivalent to "town" thetown of Newport, a quaint and ancient place which all people whom*otor from London to Newmarket pass through without giving it afurther thought.

The price of Coldham Farm was £1,550, and Dougal, who hadcharge of all the arrangements, settled with Messrs. Rutter thata conveyance should be made in his name. Miss Holland selling offsome of her stock in order to secure the money for the purchase.One day she called with Dougal at Norfolk Street, and thenecessary documents were placed before her for her signature.Instead of being perfectly satisfied with the arrangements as hehad made them, she read through the conveyance with a frown, andshook her head.

"The property is conveyed to you," she said. "I don't likethat. It must be conveyed to me."

"It doesn't make any difference; it is only a matter of form,"pleaded Dougal, who seemed to have made no secret of theirrelationship, even to Rutter's clerk.

"If we are to be known as Mr. and Mrs. Dougal, how can youhave the conveyance in your maiden name? Everybody will know oursecret."

Apparently Miss Holland was superior to the malignant tonguesof gossip.

"It must be conveyed in my name," she said stubbornly, and,despite all Dougal's protests, despite his private interview withher, when he must have urged more intimate considerations, shehad her way. The conveyance was torn up, a fresh document wasprepared, and Coldham Farm was transferred to her.

The pair left Hassocks at the end of January, 1899, and tooklodgings at the house of a Mrs. Wiskens in Saffron Walden, wherethey remained until April 22nd. Mrs. Wiskens, in addition toletting lodgings, was a dressmaker, who had a small clientele,and she added to the income she derived from "lets" by doing odddressmaking jobs, repairs, etc., incidentally serving MissHolland in this capacity.

Their life at Saffron Walden seems to have been a pleasanttime for Miss Holland. Dougal was still the attentive and devoted"husband," and nobody in that respectable little town dreamt thatthe formality of a marriage ceremony had been overlooked.

From time to time they drove over to their new home, thepurchase of which had not yet been completed, and Dougalsimulated a knowledge of farming which must have been verycomforting to the woman, who undoubtedly had her suspicions ofhis ability to conduct even this small establishment.

It was a smallish house, surrounded by a moat, and, to theromantic eye of the aged spinster, possessed many attractions. Itwas she who decided to rename Coldham Farm, which became the"Moat House Farm," the Post Office being notified of thischange.

They moved into Moat House Farm in April, soon after thepurchase was completed. The former owner of the farm left behindhim a small staff of labourers, cowmen, etc., which Dougal re-engaged for the work of the farm.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (8)

Front view of the lonely Moat House Farm.


Dougal purchased a horse and trap, threw himself with vigourinto his new work, devised changes, including the filling in ofcertain parts of the moat; whilst Miss Holland, who did notdisguise her pride in her new possession, set about thefurnishing of the house, and brought from London a grand piano tobeguile the tedium of the long evenings. She was something of amusician, just as she was something of an artist, and she maywell have looked forward to a life of serene happiness with theman who had come so strangely into her life, and whose love hadchanged every aspect of existence. It would have been remarkableif Dougal, after his adventurous career, could be satisfied withthe humdrum of farming.

He might be amused and interested for a month or two, butafter that the restrictions, which the woman imposed, thenecessity for keeping up the pretence of devotion, and thevarious petty annoyances which her shrewdness produced, must haveits effect. Change was vital to him—not necessarily changeof scene, but change of interest. No one woman could satisfy him,and he took an unusual interest in the choice of the girl servantthat Miss Holland engaged.

This proved to be Florence Havies, who look up her situationthree weeks after the Dougals had gone into their new home. Onthe very morning of her arrival Dougal came into the kitchen,looked at the girl, and, finding her attractive, put his armaround her waist and kissed her. The girl, to whom suchattentions were only alarming, complained immediately to hermistress.

It was the first hint that Miss Holland had received of theman's character, and when, trembling with hurt vanity, shedemanded an explanation, Dougal tried to laugh the matteraway.

"She is only a kid," he smiled; "you surely don't think I wasserious?"

Whether he succeeded in allaying the woman's suspicions is notknown, but he did not give her time to forget the incident. Thatnight, when Miss Holland was in bed and Dougal was supposed to bein the kitchen downstairs, a terrified scream broke the silence,and Miss Holland, jumping out of bed, made her way to theservant's room, to find her in a condition bordering uponhysteria. After a while the girl was calmed, and told her story.She had been awakened by hearing Dougal at the door demandingadmission in an undertone. The door was bolted, but the man hadflung his weight against it and was on the point of bursting inwhen the girl had screamed.

Bewildered, horrified by her discovery, Miss Holland went backto her room, to find Dougal in bed and apparently asleep. She wasnot deceived however. She charged him with his offence andordered him from the room, the girl sleeping with her thatnight.

The scene that followed in the morning, when the man and theoutraged woman met, was one of intense bitterness. Throughoutbreakfast she reproached him—reproaches which he bore withextraordinary meekness. Either he had intended making a breach byhis act, or else he had utterly misjudged her complacence. At anyrate, he seemed startled by her vehemence and impressed by hersincerity.

It is possible he had never met a woman of her type before,and certainly he was a terrible experience to her. The discoveryshocked her, threw her for the moment off her balance and left nodefinite view but one that the man must go. There was no questionof her taking her departure and leaving her property in hishands; she had made it very clear to him, when the conveyance wassigned, that she was entirely devoid of that form ofquixoticism.

Dougal himself did nothing during that morning except wanderdisconsolately about the farm. He was seen, with his hands in hispockets, looking thoughtfully at the moat, at one of the half-filled trenches which served to drain the farmyard proper. Hisattempt to make up the quarrel was the signal for a freshoutburst, until she was so exhausted by the violence of her angerthat she sat down on the stairs and, covering her face with herhands, gave herself up to a fit of passionate weeping. ThusFlorrie Havies saw Miss Holland and tried to comfort her.

The girl had not been idle. Realising that she could no longerstay in the house with Dougal, she had written to her mother,asking her to come and fetch her the next day; and, as she toldher mistress, she was looking forward anxiously to her parent'sarrival.

To the girl Miss Holland confided her sorrows and hercontrition for the folly which she had been led into committing.At the moment she had no definite plan, except that Dougal mustleave the farm and that their relationship must be broken.

Dougal had no illusions on the subject, and throughout the daywas facing the prospect of returning to his precarious method ofliving. All his plans had come undone; the prospect of an easylife had vanished; his scheme for getting the farm into his ownhands had failed. He had no hold whatever on the woman except hergoodwill, which he had exhausted by his folly.

To a man of his avaricious nature the prospect of losing allhope of handling his "wife's" money was maddening. It is certainthat he had already tried to induce her to make a will in hisfavour, but his failure in this respect would not greatly havetroubled him, for an opportunity would arise, if he were givensufficient time, either to forge such a will, or by some trick toinduce her to sign a document which would give him control of herwealth after her death. His precipitate action and her resentmentdestroyed his chance in this respect.

Camille Holland was not a young and inexperienced girl, to becajoled. She might be ignorant of lovers and their ways, but shehad a remarkably good idea of her rights, as she had alreadyshown him, and a reconciliation seemed beyond hope.

What passed between them in secret will never be known, butfrom subsequent happenings it is certain that she agreed to allowa period of grace, possibly a day or so, to find other quarters.That she gave, or intended to give him, any monetary assistanceis doubtful; she neither communicated with her bankers, nor wasany cheque drawn in his favour.

Possibly his retention on the farm was a matter of expediencyso far as she was concerned. She had to go into Newport thatnight to do some shopping, and she may have needed him to driveher there. The fact that they subsequently left the farm togetherdoes not prove that there was any reconciliation, but rather thatshe was making use of him, as she herself was not able todrive.

People living in the country did most of their shopping onFridays, and undoubtedly it was to visit Newport for that purposethat Miss Holland dressed herself about half-past six on thenight of Friday, May 19th, and, going into the kitchen, asked herservant if there was anything she required.

One of the theories offered was that she was taking Dougal tothe railway station and intended returning alone, but as she madeno statement to the girl, who would be mostly affected by thisaction, the probability is that the more simple explanation isthe true one.

The girl went out and saw that Dougal had harnessed the horseand was awaiting the arrival of his wife. She saw Miss Hollandget up by the man's side, and as he flicked his whip and the trapdrove over the moat bridge, she heard Miss Holland say:

"Good-bye, Florrie. I shall not be long."

III

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (9)

Camille Holland


NOBODY else saw them depart. It was quite light,and very unlikely that Dougal offered the woman any violence atthat moment. It is certain that the trap did not go into Newport,and that Miss Holland did no shopping whatever. What is morelikely is that Dougal employed the drive, following unfrequentedroads, to secure from his mistress her forgiveness for his act,and that his efforts were unsuccessful. It is probable that thetime occupied by his vain attempt to bring about a reconciliationwas such that it was too late to go into Newport, and that, ather request, he drove her back to the farm.

At half-past eight Florrie Havies heard the sound of cart-wheels crossing the bridge, and a few minutes later Dougal cameinto the kitchen. At half-past eight in the middle of May, beforethe introduction of summertime, it would be almost dark. The girllooked up apprehensively and, seeing him arrive alone, asked:

"Has Mrs. Dougal gone upstairs?"

"No," replied Dougal; "she has gone up to London by train. Shewill be back to-night. I am going to fetch her."

On the face of it the story was palpably false, for there wasno train from Newport to London until one that left at eleveno'clock in the evening, the previous one having departed a fewminutes after the pair left the farm together. This, however,Florence Havies did not know, and she accepted the story, whichin all probability confirmed some statement Miss Holland had madein the course of the day to the effect that she would consult hersolicitors or her nephew, or somebody whom she could trust, aboutthe terrible position in which she found herself.

What happened was that Dougal had returned to the farm half anhour before he came into the kitchen, and, having induced MissHolland to descend, had shot her dead by means of a revolverwhich he had placed just below the right ear, and had dropped thebody into one of the half-filled trenches he had made in his workon the moat. It is certain that he did not bury her at once, andthat when he made his excuse for going out to meet her by a latertrain, in reality he carried a spade to the spot and occupied thetime in filling in the ditch so that the remains of theunfortunate woman were hidden from view.

Again he came back, to say that Mrs. Dougal had not arrived,and probably would not be back until the midnight train, goingout again and continuing his dreadful work, before he returned,at a quarter to one, with the news that she would not come thatnight.

"You had better go to bed," he said, and the frightened girlwent up to her room, locked, bolted and barricaded the door aswell as she could with a few articles of furniture in the room,and spent the night standing at the window, fully dressed,starting at every sound.

She did not hear Dougal come upstairs, and, so far as shecould tell, he did not go to bed that night. As soon as the dulldawn light appeared in the sky, Dougal had returned to the sceneof his crime, and by the light of day had searched for andremoved all suspicious traces of his deed, throwing more earthinto the trench and levelling it down so that the notice of thefarm labourers should not be attracted. "When the girl came downearly in the morning she was surprised to find that Dougal was inthe kitchen, and had already prepared his breakfast. He greetedher with a cheerful smile.

"I have just had a letter from Mrs. Dougal," he said (asurprising statement to make, considering the earliness of thehour and the known fact that the post was not delivered untileight o'clock). "She says she is going away for a short holiday,and she will send another lady down."

The curious fact was that Dougal had indeed arranged for alady to come to the farm, for, some days previous to theoccurrence, he had written to his third wife, telling her to cometo Stanstead, a village in the neighbourhood, and had rented asmall cottage for her, where she took up her residence on the daybefore the murder. This, however, is no proof that the murder waslong premeditated.

Dougal was now a landed proprietor, and thought he couldafford the luxury of another establishment, especially since therent of that establishment was no more than six shillings andsixpence a week.

The knowledge that his wife was there added to the fact thathe knew the girl was leaving that same day, was seized upon byhim as a heaven-sent coincidence, for he guessed the girl wouldtalk, and the appearance of another woman at the farm would thusbe accounted for.

That same day Florence Havies' mother arrived and took herdaughter away, not without expressions of regret on the part ofDougal that the girl should have so misrepresented his action,his contention being that he had knocked at the door intending towind up a clock that was in the room!

The mentality of Dougal is not impressive. The crude lies hetold about the letter having arrived before it could possiblyhave been delivered, the lie he told the girl's mother, no lessthan the stupidity of making advances to a girl who was a perfectstranger to him and who had previously repulsed him, speak verylittle for his intelligence, though they point to the queeregotism which is the peculiar possession of the professionalmurderer.

Scarcely had the servant disappeared than a new Mrs. Dougal,and this time the real Mrs. Dougal, arrived. He must have writtenon the morning following the murder, telling her to come. In thenext four years the Moat Farm saw many mistresses. The real Mrs.Dougal came and went; new and attractive servants arrived, andbecame victims to the man's unscrupulous desire for novelty.Amongst these were two sisters, one of whom became the mother ofhis child.

His financial position was now assured; he had gained fromMiss Holland a very complete knowledge of her possessions; heknew the name of her broker, and copies of their letters and ofall previous stock and share transactions were available.

Ten days after the murder the Piccadilly branch of theNational and Provincial Bank received a letter, written in thethird person, asking for a cheque-book. One was sent, addressedto Miss Camille Holland, The Moat House, and on June 6th a letterwas received by the bank, enclosing a £25 cheque and asking forpayment in £5 notes. The bank sent the money on in the usual way,but the manager, noticing some slight discrepancy in thesignature, asked that this demand should be confirmed. In replycame a letter:

"The cheque for £25 to Dougal is quite correct. Owing to asprained hand there may have been some discrepancies in some ofmy cheques lately signed."

IV

DOUGAL now set himself the task of convertingMiss Holland's securities into cash, and her brokers, Messrs.William Hart, received instructions to sell. It is probable thatshe had sufficient money on her person or in the house at time ofher death to carry him on for a month or two, for it was notuntil September that he instructed the brokers to sell stock tothe value of £940, which was duly paid into Miss Holland'saccount. This was followed a month later by a smaller cashpayment, and a year later by a payment of £546. In addition tothese, on September 18th a letter purporting to be signed byCamille C. Holland instructed the bank to forward certificates of£500-worth of United Alkali shares and £400 of George Newnes'Preference.

Dougal went about his work with extraordinary care. All themonies that were paid on account of Miss Holland went into herbank and remained in the current account until he withdrew it bycheque in her name.

A year later, at the same time as he was instructing Hart, heforwarded a request that the bank should send to Hart a number ofother shares for sale.

The skill with which the forgeries were executed may beillustrated by the fact that when, three years later. MissHolland's nephew denounced a certain cheque as a forgery, he wasequally emphatic that other documents bearing her signature wereforgeries, though they were proved by the bank to have beensigned by Miss Holland herself on the bank premises.

Nor did Dougal stop short at forging cheques; whole letters inher handwriting were sent to the brokers and bankers, the writingso cleverly imitated that both the banker and the brokerconcerned were satisfied that they were genuine. In all, Dougalsecured in this way nearly £6,000.

During the three years that followed the death of CamilleHolland nobody seemed to have had the slightest suspicion thatshe had come to a violent end. Nor is this remarkable, for theonly person who knew of their relationship, the servant, FlorenceHavies, had long since left the neighbourhood and had married,whilst Miss Holland's only living relative, the nephew, was notin the habit of receiving letters or any kind of communicationfrom his aunt. The house agent who had heard the little breezewhich followed Dougal's attempt to get the property transferredto himself, had ceased to take any interest in Moat Farm after ithad been removed from his books as a saleable proposition.

Dougal's path was by no means a smooth one. He had to facepolice-court proceedings brought by Kate Cranwell, the servant,in regard to her child. In the early part of 1902 one of Dougal'svictims, who had been admitted into closer confidence than herpredecessors, was spurred by jealousy, and a desire to get evenwith the man who had wronged her, to make a statement to thepolice regarding Miss Holland's disappearance. She could not haveknown the facts, and it is probable that Dougal, in an unguardedmoment, had boasted that he was enjoying the income of the deadwoman, and imagination had supplied the informer with a garbledversion of what had really happened.

It was at first believed that Miss Holland was alive, lockedup somewhere by Dougal, and forced from time to time to signcheques on his behalf. This at least was the theory ofSuperintendent Pryke, in charge of the district, who called atthe farm and had a talk with Dougal. The latter, as usual, wasfrankness itself.

"I know nothing about her, and have not seen or heard from hersince I took her and left her at Stanstead Station three yearsago. I drove her there with her luggage, consisting of twoboxes."

"But don't you know her relations or friends?" asked thesuperintendent.

Dougal shook his head.

"She left nothing behind her in the house. We had a tiff, inconsequence of the servant telling her that I wanted to go intothe girl's room."

"Have you seen any papers bearing the name of Miss Holland, orany letters addressed to her?" asked the superintendent.

"None," replied Dougal—a somewhat rash statement tomake, in view of the fact that letters had been continuouslydelivered at the house addressed to Miss Camille Holland.

"It is said she is shut up in the house," said thesuperintendent. "Will you let me have a look round?"

Dougal laughed and said:

"Certainly; go where you like."

V

THE superintendent made a very carefulinspection of the house, but found nothing, and returned to askif it was true that Dougal had given away some of Miss Holland'sclothes to his own wife and servant, and that they had had themaltered. He replied:

"I couldn't do that, because she left nothing behind her."

Dougal had an account at the Birkbeck Bank, and the day thatSuperintendent Pryke saw him he drew out practically the whole ofhis balance, £305. This fact was known through a shrewd inspector(Marsden), who did not share the superintendent's complete faithin Dougal's bona fides. Undoubtedly Superintendent Prykewas gulled by the seeming frankness of the master of Moat Farm,and his report was creditable to the man whom he had cross-examined.

Marsden began searching round for a relative, and presentlyfound the nephew, who was taken to see certain The cheques whichhad been drawn and had been apparently signed by Miss Holland. Hedeclared them, without too close an inspection, to be forgeries.This was all that Marsden required. He was satisfied that CamilleHolland had been done to death, but it was absolutely necessarythat he should have Dougal in safe keeping whilst he made aleisurely examination of the property; and though the grounds forthe warrant were very slight, and, indeed, the evidence of thenephew would have been absolutely worthless to secure aconviction for forgery, the warrant was granted.

A cheque had been drawn by Dougal in Miss Holland's name, andthe bank had paid him the sum in £10 notes. These notes wereimmediately stopped, and, as though he were knowingly playinginto the hands of the police, Dougal went to the Bank of Englandto change the £10 notes into £5 notes, signed a false name on theback of one, and was immediately arrested on a charge offorgery.

Had no further charge followed, it is certain that Dougalwould not have been convicted, for the evidence against him wasof the flimsiest kind, and the fact that both the broker and thebanker were satisfied that the signatures were genuine would havedisposed of the prosecution's case.

But the arrest served its purpose: no sooner was Dougal in thehands of the police than Scotland Yard descended upon the MoatFarm and took possession.

Thereafter followed days and weeks of search which will notreadily be forgotten, either by the police or by thosejournalists, like myself, whose duty held them to this bleak andugly spot. Week after week, Dougal, handcuffed and betweenwarders, was marched from the railway station to the littlecourthouse at Saffron Walden to hear the scraps of evidence andthe invariable request for a remand. Week after week the policeprobed and pried, dug up floors and examined outhouses, in thevain hope of finding something which would solve the mystery ofMiss Holland's disappearance.

What complicated the search was the discovery in the first dayor two of a skull in one of the sheds. It had the appearance ofhaving been burnt, and at first it was thought that this was aportion of the remains of the woman. But it afterwards transpiredthat the skull had been at the farm when Miss Holland was stillalive.

It is a curious fact that, though the general opinion amongstthe reporters present was that the body of the woman was in themoat, and although it was also known that in the early days ofDougal's occupation there were open trenches leading to the moat,no attempt was made to investigate these "leaders" until everyother channel had been explored and every possible hiding-placeexamined. The police were giving up the search in despair whenone of the journalists present said to the detective incharge:

"Why don't you open one of these trenches that Dougal filledup?"


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (10)

A corner of the moat at the Moat Farm.


The idea occurred simultaneously to Detective InspectorMarsden, and a labourer was sent for with instructions to digsteadily. His work had not proceeded far when his spade turned upa boot. Very soon afterwards the body of Miss Holland wasexposed, and Dougal's secret was a secret no more.

With some difficulty the body was brought to ground level andtaken to a summerhouse. A jury was hastily summoned, and thefirst sitting of the inquest was held in a great, stark barn onthe property.

Hither, heavily guarded, Dougal was brought, and the scene wasone which will long linger in the memory of the witnesses. Theold barn with its thatched roof was crumbling away with age andneglect. The only light was that admitted by the door, which hadbeen swung back. Here, under the twisted beams and crookedrafters, the court arranged itself as best it could, and Dougal,led past the open grave of his victim, came into the gloom ofthis queer coroner's court.

The work of the police, however, was not finished with theirterrible discovery. Was the body that of Camille Holland? Theface was unrecognisable; there were no peculiar marks by whichshe could be identified. The rotten remnants of a dress might besworn to by Mrs. Wiskens of Saffron Walden, who had stitched somebraid upon it, but it was not sufficient evidence to convictDougal.

The dress was like thousands of other dresses; the hair shape,the bustle, the various other wisps of clothing which were foundmight have been worn by any other woman. All that was known wasthat she had been a woman and that she was murdered, for therewas a bullet-hole in the skull, and the bullet itself wasdiscovered at the post-mortem examination.

Still, there was sufficient evidence to commit Dougal fortrial on the capital charge, and there was one witness, and onewitness alone, who could hang him. This was Mold, a bootmaker ofEdgware Road.

Miss Holland had patronised Mold regularly. Her feet were sosmall (and they had been her great pride) that her boots had tobe specially made for her, and Mr. Mold had built a last and madea number of pairs of boots of one pattern. They were half a sizesmaller than she required, and were lined with lamb's-wool. Moldinvariably made these himself, working his initials with brasstacks in the heels of each pair.

There might be in the world thousands of women with smallfeet, thousands who wore tiny boots; there might be many who woretiny boots lined with lamb's-wool, as these were lined; but the"M" in brass tacks found in the dead woman's heel was undoubtedlyMold's work, and he only had one customer who wore shoes of thiskind, and that customer was Camille Holland.

Dougal's trial ran an extraordinary course. He stood up in thequaint assize court at Chelmsford and received sentence of deathfrom the lips of Mr. Justice Wright, and on a bright July morninghe stood up again, this time to meet the executioner. For asecond he flinched, until somebody handed him a glass of brandyand water, and he drank it down. Then, without a word, hesubmitted to the strapping and paced the short distance to thescaffold. There was a tense and deathly silence, broken by theagitated voice of the chaplain.

"Dougal, are you guilty?"

There was no reply.

Billington fingered the lever nervously and looked almostimploringly at the pastor as though he were asking him not toprolong the agony of the man on the drop.

"Dougal, are you guilty or not guilty?" asked the clergymanagain, and in a low but clear voice came the muffied reply:

"Guilty."

As he spoke the word Billington pulled the lever.

THE MURDER ON YARMOUTH SANDS

As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 4, George Newnes Ltd., London, 24 April 1924

Towards the end of the Boer War the bcdy of awoman was discovered on Yarmouth Sands. She had been strangled bya mohair bootlace. A laundry mark, a silver chain, and a tintypephotograph provided the clues which eventually brought HerbertBennett, the woman's husband, to justice for a mean and cruelmurder.



Edgar Wallace--Journalist (11)

Herbert Bennett


THE murders committed by criminals who have beenclassified by criminologists as "Class D. Larcenists" make up avery large percentage. It is possible, if one sits in amagistrate's court throughout the year, to collect a list ofnames which will be almost certain to produce at least onemurderer in the course of a generation.

A criminal of this type, however, now and then escapesconviction. He may be wanted by the police, but the chasteningexperience of prison life, which might possibly bring about areformation, has been denied to him. He has behind him anembezzlement or two of a petty kind; he has probably beenassociated with two or three shady methods of obtaining money byfalse pretences; and to these offences may often be added affairsof gallantry, and, if not a bigamous marriage, at least onemarriage and wife desertion.

There is no more dangerous criminal than a small larcenist whohas escaped the consequence of his offences, through, as hebelieves, his own dexterity and skill. Having this good opinionof himself, he progresses from crime to crime, until there comesa moment when he finds no other escape from the consequences ofhis meanness and folly than the destruction of a human lifewhich, as he believes, stands between himself and freedom. And soconfident is he in his own genius for evasion that he will planthe most diabolical of crimes, perfectly satisfied in his mindthat the success which has attended the commission of minoroffences will not desert his efforts to evade the penalty of hissupreme villainy.

And the meaner the larcenist, the meaner the criminal, themeaner the murder. The greater criminals, the Deemings and theChapmans, killed on the grand scale. The crimes of such small menas Herbert John Bennett, some time a labourer at WoolwichArsenal, are attended by those evidences of low cunning whichenabled them to twist a way of escape out of their minor crimes,but which were utterly inadequate to protect them when the morecomplicated machinery of the law was set in movement, and thebrightest brains of Scotland Yard were concentrated againstthem.

I

BENNETT was a man possessed of a smattering ofeducation he received at one of the elementary schools, and hehad, moreover, even as a boy, an ambition to shine in a higherstratum of society than that in which circ*mstances had placedhim. Such an ambition is commendable enough, and has brought manya man from the gutter to the highest positions in theland—always providing that the climber has less regard forappearance than for the solid substance of his advancement.

Bennett, by no means intellectual, wished to appear ratherthan to be; and at the age of sixteen he set himself the task ofsupplying the deficiencies of his education. He had a mind fordancing, and considered the possibility of being able to play thepiano with such skill that he might gain for himself an entry todoors that were now closed to him.

His gropings toward gentility brought him into contact with ayoung girl, whom he must have regarded as his social superior,since she had many of the attainments which he lacked, and wasnot only something of a musician, but sufficiently proficient togive lessons on the piano. He was seventeen, she was two yearsolder, and he displayed toward her a devotion which was aspassionate as it was ephemeral. Young as he was, he could talkimpressively. He left her head reeling with magnificentprospects; the scope of his ambition left her breathless; andwhen he proposed, as eventually he did, she accepted him.Bennett, despite his youth, was a tempestuous lover.

"He had very big ideas for one of his station. Sometimes hewould talk so grandly that even the people who knew him bestbelieved that he was on the point of receiving some exceptionallygood appointment, or was about to inherit enormous sums ofmoney." He had had his smaller adventures, and fate and anexcursion ticket had once carried him to his first view of thesea—at Yarmouth.

At his then impressionable age, Yarmouth became the first andonly seaside place where happiness was to be found. The co*ckney'sdevotion to his first love in this respect is proverbial, andthere is little doubt that Yarmouth was, for Bennett, anenchanted beach ever after, just as Hastings is to the writer,and Brighton to so many hundreds.

The marriage to the music teacher was a hurried affair. Theyappeared one morning before a London registrar, and were made manand wife.

With marriage came dispointed illusionment for the girl. Thegreat schemes began to dissipate into thin air. The fineappointment, which would have secured them "a detached house andgarden, and possibly some poultry at the back," did not happen.Bennett made his living by a succession of little jobs, none ofwhich he retained for any time. He was a grocer's assistant, asort of shop-walker; odds and ends of jobs came his way; hisleaving was more or less hurried, and where there was money to behandled, was accompanied by a suspicion, amounting in one or twocases to a certainty, that, in his yearnings for gentility,Bennett had cast overboard the principle that holds a man tohonesty.

He became a canvasser, selling sewing-machines, and hisplausibility and qualities of salesmanship earned him goodcommission. There was some suggestion that not all the orderswere genuine, and a possibility that he sold some machinesoutright and collected the money for them without accounting tohis employers.

Mrs. Bennett had an aged grandmother, with whom the couplewere living. She had a small allowance, sufficient to keep her,if not in comfort, at least beyond the fear of want. Herpossessions were few, but amongst them was a long silver chainand a very old-fashioned watch, in which she took great pride,and to which she attached such importance, though it was in trutha very clumsy piece of jewellery, that she made one of thoseinformal, word-of-mouth wills, so common to people of her class,by saying, "When I am gone, this is yours, my dear."

Eventually she died, and the chain passed to the girl. By thattime she was not greatly interested in chains or watches, andeven the death of her grandmother brought no very great increaseto a burden which was already more than she could bear.

The passionate youth she had married had developed into abullying, hectoring young man, who never ceased to find fault,who cursed her openly and privately for ruining his life, and whodid not hesitate to beat her. A child had been born of themarriage, and while it was coming she had been subjected to everykind of indignity and ill-treatment.

So Bennett moved from job to job. His limited educationrestricted his opportunities, and there was the additionalhandicap that he had often to rely upon characters and referenceswhich were obviously forged.

Of much that would be interesting about this period to thecriminologist, there is no trace. It is certain that Bennett wasengaged in some nefarious business, for he was changing chequesfor large sums, and had suddenly changed his name and became Mr.Hood. In this name, he and his wife and baby left, somewhathurriedly, for South Africa; and it is certain that at the timeBennett had sufficient money, not only to pay the fare out andmaintain himself in Cape Town, but also to pay the return farewhen, after a very short stay in Cape Town, he decided that SouthAfrica offered no opportunities to a man of his ability, andreturned.

Relationships between the Bennetts were now strained. The manhad grown tired of his early love, told her she was a millstoneabout his neck, and attributed the passing of his dreams, thenon-fulfilment of the bright promises of his youth, to thehandicap of having to provide for her.

Their stay in Cape Town was a matter of days. The newness ofthe life, or, as he described it, the exclusiveness of Colonialsociety, irritated and frightened him, and they had scarcelysettled down in their lodgings before he was back in the AdderleyStreet shipping office, arranging his passage back toEngland.

Their return to London was followed by a separation. He hadmanaged to secure work in Woolwich, and, on the plea that thelodgings they had taken at Bexley Heath were too far from hiswork, he left his wife and came to live at Woolwich, where heposed as a single man, visiting his wife very occasionally, anddoling out to her sufficient money to make both ends meet.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (12)


They had taken the lodgings at Bexley Heath in his own name,but it was as Hood that he was best known in Woolwich; and here,free from the encumbrance of his wife, he began to pay attentionsto an attractive young girl, Alice Meadows.

II

ONCE more he assumed the role of ambitious youngman, with immense prospects, and behind him a fascinatingexperience, for he could now talk of his foreign travels, couldspeak almost with authority upon South Africa (at that moment acentre of interest, for the Boer War was in progress), and fromhis imagination could evolve stories of adventure, veryfascinating to a young girl who had spent most of her life withinthe confines of London.

It is clear that Bennett was not depending entirely upon thewages he earned at the Arsenal. He had some other source ofrevenue, and the probability is that he ran one of his get-rich-quick schemes as a side-line.

In the summer of 1900, soon after Miss Meadows and he hadbecome acquainted, and he had met the Meadows family (impressingthem as a young man of singular attainments), the question of asummer holiday was mooted, and what was more natural than thatthe first place which occurred to him as a likely spot wasYarmouth? At any rate, he wrote to a landlady in the place,asking her if she could reserve rooms for himself and hisfiancée. The landlady, if she remembered him at all, was notaware that he was married.

In any case, she had no accommodation at the moment, andaccordingly he reserved rooms at a little hotel, and went downwith his fiancée, travelling first class, and spent a week inthat delightful pleasure resort. They occupied separate rooms; hewas a model of decorum; and those who noticed the ratherundistinguished couple observed him as an attentive, considerateyoung man, who could not do enough for his companion.

The holiday seems to have been of a fairly innocent character.It gave them, however, an opportunity of discussing their futureand of fixing the date of their wedding. Bennett, as usual, hadgreat schemes which were on the verge of fruition, and theprospect must indeed have been a very brilliant one to AliceMeadows, who listened, open-mouthed, to the many inventions ofher lover, learnt that he was well connected and expected in avery short time to inherit a fine property. Dazzled by hisconvincing lies, she made preparations to leave the place whereshe was employed as a domestic servant, and, with the assistanceof her family, began to get together the clothes and daintyfripperies which are the especial possessions of a bride.

"A nicely behaved couple—I often saw them strollingalong the South Beach," said an observer. "They were a model ofwhat engaged people should be."

But alas for poor Alice Meadows! Her dreams were soon todissipate into thin air; the growing treasures of clothing shewas collecting were never to be worn for his pleasure; and thegrand future, so far as he was concerned, was to end dismally ona gallows in Norwich Jail.

III

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (13)


IT is the failing of all men who worship theirown reputations, that they must be thought well of at any costsby the person who, for the moment, fills their eye. You may turnthe leaves of criminal history and find this queer, pervertedvanity showing in every other line. It of was the same withDeeming, with Chapman, with Dougal, with Crippen; it is difficultto find a case of murder where this distorted ego does not standout in the criminal's psychology.

I can recall only three cases, a notable example of which wasSmith, the brides-in-the-bath murderer, where this bloated senseof self-importance did not permeate the story of his supremeoffence. There is no reason in the world why Bennett should nothave married the girl, committing bigamy and risking theconsequence of his misdemeanour. There was no reason why Crippenshould not have run away with Miss Le Neve, or why Deeming shouldnot have left his wife and children to the charity of hisrelations. But this passion for making a new start, for wipingout, as they believe, all that is past in one terrible act ofsavagery, as expressed in sixty percent of murder cases, was toostrong for Herbert Bennett. In his muddled brain there was onlyone way of establishing himself as a single man and justifyingall the lies he had told, and that was by removing the woman whostood between him and a new life.

Probably he also found, at this stage, that the drag upon hisfinancial resources which this double life of his involved wasreaching the breaking point. He had spent money on holidays, hehad given Alice Meadows an engagement ring, and there came fromhis wife at Bexley Heath a request for a seaside holiday, whichgave him the idea which was subsequently carried into effect.

He very seldom met his wife nowadays. His visits to BexleyHeath were few and far between. Nevertheless, his allowance toher enabled her to live without working too hard. She couldafford, for example, to send out a small quantity of her linen toa neighbouring laundry.

Bennett does not seem to have been in any dire straits, or tohave called upon his wife for assistance to meet his bills. Inthe course of their married life he had given her four or fiverings, and at no time had she been asked to part with these, sothe supposition that he had another source of income than hiswages at the Arsenal is strengthened; for obviously it would havebeen impossible for him to have maintained two homes, and carriedon an expensive courtship, on his salary as a labourer.

But the end was in sight, and he determined to rid himself ofat least one expense; and when his wife mentioned in her letter awish for a holiday, he replied promptly, suggesting Yarmouth, andgiving her the address of the house where, only a month before,he had applied for lodgings for his fiancée.

On this occasion Mrs. Rudrum (this was the landlady's name)had a vacancy, and in the beginning of September Mrs. Bennettwent down to Yarmouth with her child and took up her residence inMrs. Rudrum's house. At her husband's request, however, shechanged her name, and it was as Mrs. Hood that she was known toher landlady and the very few people who knew her by sight.

A reserved woman, who did not readily make friends, she seemedto be completely satisfied with the companionship of her child.The landlady observed: "The only thing that I noticed about herwas that she wore a long silver chain around her neck, and had anold-fashioned watch. She was not the kind of woman that you wouldnotice very much. She was very fond of her little girl and had noother thought than to keep her amused and happy."

One day, when she was strolling along the beach, a beachphotographer came to her, and by his professional blandishmentsinduced her to pose for a little tintype picture of herself andthe child, and she was all the more ready to agree to hisproposition because she had no picture of the little one. And sothe photograph was taken, and thereafter occupied a place ofhonour in her tiny bedroom.

Who she was, and where she came from, nobody knew. Apparentlyno preliminary letter had been written to the landlady, and untilshe appeared at Mrs. Rudrum's, that lady had no idea she wascoming. She was uncommunicative, not inclined to gossip, wastypical perhaps of a large number of weekly trippers who visitseaside places, in that she had no identity except as a summerboarder.

Mrs. Rudrum was incurious. She did notice, however, that therearrived one morning a letter contained in a bluish-grey envelopeand bearing the postmark of Woolwich. The contents of that letterare unknown: the instructions it contained she carried to hergrave. But reconstructing the crime in the light of subsequentknowledge, it may be supposed that Bennett wrote to his wife,telling her that he would meet her on the Saturday night, givingher a rendezvous, and in all probability telling her that therewas particular reason why he should not be seen in Yarmouth, andalso why she should not divulge the fact that he was arriving atall. It is probable, too, that he told her to burn the letter, orelse to bring it with her and give it to him when they met; forit is hardly likely that he would take the risk of soincriminating a document being left about for the landlady tosee.

She was used to these furtive methods of his. A decent woman,with a respectable life behind her, would not acquiesce in theseconstant changes of name unless she knew, or believed, that herman's safety depended upon the deception. It is certain,moreover, that she must have been acquainted with his manycurious methods of making money, and that she might therefore bedangerous to him if he deserted her.

Something of her complacence and her confidence is traceableto this knowledge. The landlady did not see the letter again, nordid she notice that it had been destroyed, so it is more likelythat Bennett insisted upon his wife bringing the letter with her,in order that he could be sure it would fall into no otherhands.

IV

ON the Saturday night she put the child to bed,dressed herself with unusual care, putting on the silver chainand watch, and went out toward the front. She was seen by herlandlady walking up and down outside the Town Hall, a buildingwhich is very near to the railway station, and it is certain thatthis was the rendezvous and that she was waiting for the arrivalof the train which would bring Bennett from London.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (14)

Coming down, as he did, with murder in his heart, and themeans of encompassing his wife's death in his pocket, and havingtaken such extraordinary precautions against being associatedwith the woman, it is almost staggering, yet typical of thecareless workings of the criminal mind, that he should not onlyhave met her before the Town Hall, in one of the busiest parts ofYarmouth, but that he should have taken her to a small inn nearthe quay, where they drank together, afterwards disappearing inthe direction of South Beach.

South Beach at that time was a wild, untended stretch of sandand marram grass, to which courting couples instinctively benttheir way. There were innumerable hollows where the swains couldbe sure of freedom from observation. One such hollow was occupiedthat night by a man and a girl, who saw two figures come out ofthe darkness and go into another depression near by. That theywere lovers the two observers, very much more interested inthemselves than their surroundings, accepted withoutquestion.

Bennett, unaware that he had been seen, settled himself down,with his wife at his side, his arm about her, words of love onhis lips, and in his hand a mohair boot-lace about nine incheslong, with which he intended to commit his hideous crime.

That the deed was done at the very moment when the woman, whostill loved him, might expect from him nothing but tenderness,was proved when her body was found. The lovers near by heard awoman's voice pleading for mercy, but thought that they wereskylarking and took no further notice. While he kissed his wife,Bennett had twisted the lace about her neck, drawn it tight andfastened it with a reef knot. She must have died within a fewminutes, whilst he pressed the struggling figure deeper into thesand.

At midnight he appeared at the hotel, where he had stayed onlya week or so before with Alice Meadows.

His manner was nervous and excited. He told the hotel porterthat he had come down by the last train, and that he must leaveby the first train out of Yarmouth in the morning. There was noappearance of a struggle; beyond a little agitation and histrembling hands when he took a drink, there was little remarkablein his appearance, and the porter very promptly forgot theincident of the unexpected visitor, called him in the morning intime to catch the seven o'clock train, and thereafter the matterwent out of his mind, the more so, as he thought of Bennett as ayoung man newly-engaged and who was, as Bennett had told him onhis visit, about to be married to a very charming girl.

V

SO far, we know the story of the murder. We areacquainted not only with the identity but the character of themurderer. We know the circ*mstances which led Mrs. Bennett toadopt the name of Hood, and why she came to Yarmouth. We have toconsider now the problem which confronted the police force when,on the Sunday morning, it was reported by an early morning batherthat the dead body of a woman was lying in the sands of SouthBeach, a mohair lace tied tightly about her neck. Yarmouth wasstill full of visitors, strangers to the town. It had its quotaof undesirables, male and female. The police knew that the SouthBeach was infested, at certain hours of the night, with queerpeople, also strangers to the town. When the body was removed tothe mortuary, and a brief examination had been made by local andcounty detectives, there was nothing to reveal who she was, whereshe had come from, what were the circ*mstances attending herdeath.

Their first view was that she was some unfortunate creaturewho had been maltreated by a chance acquaintance, one of thosehalf-mad murderers who skulk all the time, unsuspected, in ourmidst. That was the view persisted in for a long time after thejury had returned a verdict.

The first rift in the cloud of anonymity came when Mrs.Rudrum, who had learnt of the murder from a neighbour, and whoknew that her lodger had not returned all night, came down to thepolice station and made her report. She was shown the body, andinstantly identified her as Mrs. Hood. Could the landlady tellthe police whether any of her jewellery was missing? The ringswere still upon the woman's hands, but the silver chain and thewatch had gone.

"What silver chain was that?" asked the chief detective.

Mrs. Rudrum tried inadequately to describe the trinket, andthen remembered that in the dead woman's room was the littlephotograph that had been taken on the beach. Accompanied bypolice officers, she went back to the house, and a very thoroughsearch was made of the room. The photograph was taken away, andevery drawer ransacked, for by now the police had learnt of thebluish-grey letter with the Woolwich postmark. But of this therewas no trace. Nor was there any other document or writing whichcould throw the least light upon Mrs. Hood's identity, herfriends or her place of origin. The landlady knew nothing; herlodger had "kept herself to herself, and told me none of herbusiness."

On some of the linen was a laundry mark—just a number,599. And with these two most slender clues, a small tintypepicture showing, in microscopic proportions, a blurred chain, andthe 599 laundry mark, the police began their search. But at everyturn they were baffled. That Mrs. Hood had met a man outside theTown Hall, and that she had been seen in a public-house with him,only established the suspicion that the murderer was not achance-found acquaintance, that the woman had met him byappointment, and that he came from somewhere outside ofYarmouth.

The Woolwich postmark narrowed down the search only in so farthat every laundry in Woolwich was visited, the marks booksinspected, still without bringing the authorities any nearer totheir quarry. From time to time the inquest was adjourned, until,after six weeks, it seemed that the case was at an end, and thejury returned a verdict of "murder against some person or personsunknown."

The photographs were circulated far and wide, but withoutresult for some time. Then, when the search seemed at an end(though such searches are never at an end where the Metropolitanpolice are concerned), a laundry manageress at Bexley Heathrecognised, from the photograph of the laundry mark, thehandiwork of her own establishment and, turning up the books, itwas discovered that Number 599 had been given to a Mrs.Bennett.

The police were at that time systematically exploring everychannel that would identify the laundry mark with the murderedwoman, and detectives were instantly on the spot. The house inwhich Mrs. Bennett had lived was visited and, without hesitation,a woman who knew her identified, not only the photograph, but thechain which she had been wearing.

At Yarmouth she had told Mrs. Rudrum that she was a widow. AtBexley Heath she was known as a married woman, living apart fromher husband, and people who lived in the same house rememberedthat she had frequently received letters which were enclosed inthe bluish-grey envelopes that had been described atYarmouth.

This was only the beginning of the new search. The policemight find the sender of the letter, might even discover, as theysuspected, that it was the husband of Mrs. Hood, and yet unearthno more than a bereaved man, ignorant of his wife's whereaboutsand her fate. The investigations in Woolwich began all overagain, and finally Herbert Bennett was discovered at theArsenal.

Bennett had returned to town, and his first act was to meetAlice Meadows in Hyde Park, and subsequently he gave her a numberof things belonging to his wife. These, however, did not includethe chain and the watch, which he took from his wife's dead body,or, as is more probable, which she handed to him as they werewalking along the beach, or when they sat down in the hollow,being afraid of losing something for which she had a personalaffection.

Long before any arrest was made, the detectives conducted aninquiry into Bennett's movements. Having established beyond doubtthe fact that he was a married man, the further discovery that hewas courting another girl and that she was on the threshold ofmarriage, strengthened the suspicion that Bennett was responsiblefor the death of his wife.

The extraordinary rapidity with which the police work on suchoccasions as these was facilitated by the fact that Bennett hadno idea he was under suspicion, although interrogations had beenmade of Alice Meadows, his friends had been visited andquestioned, and Mrs. Bennett's relations had been seen by thepolice.

During this period Bennett displayed a mild interest in theYarmouth murder. He had discussed the crime with his wife-to-beand her sister, and had expressed his surprise that the policehad not been able to run the murderer to earth. He had evenadvanced theories as to how the crime was committed and themurderer escaped!

VI

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (15)


THEN, one day, when he might have thought thatthe crime had blown over, and that the police were now interestedin something more promising, two detectives appeared and askedhim to accompany them to the police station, and here, to hisamazement and horror, he was charged with the murder of hiswife.

Bennett then did what so many men have done to tighten thenoose about their necks.

"Yarmouth?" he said indignantly. "Why, I have never been toYarmouth in my life!"

There are so many parallel instances of similar acts ofreckless stupidity that we can pass over his extraordinary follywithout comment. Not only had he been at Yarmouth, but the policeknew that he had been there with Alice Meadows. She herself madeno secret of her innocent holiday; and there was the staff at thehotel at which he had stayed to prove the fact beyond anyquestion of doubt.

How slender are the clues on which a murderer's detectionhangs! A chance-taken picture made by a beach photographer; theaccidental decision of Mrs. Bennett to wear her chain on thatday—she did not wear it every day—was a link sostrong that the cleverest advocate of the day, Mr. Marshall Hall,was not able to break it.

Even complete frankness could not have saved Bennett from thescaffold. Had he admitted that he came secretly to see his wifeon the night of the murder, and that he left her the next day; ifhe had admitted his duplicity and the projected act of bigamy; ifhe had taken the police partly into his confidence; even thenthat chain which was found in his portmanteau was the mostdamning proof of his guilt. Without that silver trinket, Bennettcould not have been convicted, much less hanged. If, when hefound it in his pocket, he had thrown it into the fire, ordropped it into the river, not even his suspicious conduct, hisdenial of ever having been at Yarmouth, could have brought him tothe condemned cell.

But there were the two unchallengeable facts: the silverchain, photographed on the woman two or three days before themurder; the evidence of her landlady that, on the night she wentout to meet her husband, she was wearing that chain, and when shewas seen outside the Town Hall later in the evening she was stillwearing that chain; the absence of the chain from the body whenit was discovered; and its finding in his possession—thesewere the unbreakable chains of proof which he could never shakeoff. There is an old Spanish saying that every murderer carriesin his right hand the proof of his guilt, and never was thisproverb so exemplified as in the case of the Yarmouth murder.What malignant imp induced him to take the chain at all, whatperversity allowed him to keep it in his possession after themurder was discovered, and long after the description of thistrinket had been circulated throughout the kingdom, we cannottell.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (16)


"If the chain had not been found in Bennett's possession,"said the greatest criminal authority of the day, "not only wouldthe most striking piece of evidence have been removed from theprosecutor's brief, but there would have actually appeared apoint in favour of the prisoner! The disappearance of the chainwould have been adduced as a reasonable supposition that Mrs.Bennett had been killed by an unknown lover for the sake of itsvalue."

So strong was popular feeling that, instead of being tried atthe Norwich Assizes, Bennett was removed to the Old Bailey, andhere, before the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Alverstone, he made hisacquaintance with a London jury. Thirty witnesses werecalled—witnesses who spoke of Bennett's early married life,of his visit to South Africa, of his ill-treatment of his youngwife, and his trip to Yarmouth. There was, of course, no evidenceas to any act of felony or misdemeanour which procured him largesums of money from time to time, for the English law does notallow such evidence to be taken when a man is on trial for hislife.

There were the hotel porter and the manager, who knew him andhad looked after him when he was at Yarmouth with his fiancée.There were the people who saw him in the bar of the little innnear the quay. There was the landlady, and, most distressing ofall, the girl to whom he was engaged.

To a man of Bennett's temperament, this was the mostuncomfortable witness of all. "It was not the murder he hadcommitted but the lies he had told which upset him," said anobserver.

Time and time again we have seen a murderer display the mostpoignant emotion, not at the recital of his crime, but at theappearance in the witness-box of some person whose opinion hevalued, and before whom he must now appear in the light of aboaster and liar.

If it is possible for such a man to possess affection whichcould be truthfully described as genuine, Bennett had found, inthis newest of friends, the love of his life. He had beenintroduced to her family and had impressed them with his geniusand his extraordinary knowledge of affairs. A man of perfectmanners, he had impressed that least impressionable of persons,his future wife's sister.

When Alice Meadows stepped into the box, Bennett's eyesdropped; it was the only period during the trial that he gaveevidence of his discomfort. Lower and lower sank his head as sherelated, in that unimpassioned atmosphere, the foolish stories hehad told of his career, his prospects, his travels.

Bennett's imagination ran riot when his audience was a woman:his gifts of invention were never so marked as in thosecirc*mstances. He could listen without flinching to the record ofhis horrible deed—more horrible than can be related in coldprint; he could watch with a detached interest the display of thetrinket which he had taken from his wife a few minutes before herdeath, and could give his complete attention to the doctor'sevidence. To Bennett, that was the least of his embarrassment.The real ordeal for him came when Alice Meadows exposed him as abraggart and a liar.

In this Bennett was not exceptional: all who have attended thetrials of great criminals have witnessed a similar phenomenon.Armstrong's averted gaze and discomfort when the evidence ofMadame X. was being taken, Crippen's agitation when reference wasmade to his relationship with Miss Le Neve, Seddon's flushed facewhen the purity of his freemasonry was called intoquestion—one could multiply such instances by ahundred.

Throughout the trial Bennett's behaviour was exemplary.

The trial lasted six days, and at the end the jury requiredonly thirty-five minutes to make up their minds, and, returningto the court, declared Bennett to be guilty of wilful murder. Tothe very last the man protested his innocence. Even when thejudge assumed the black cap he showed neither fear nor anydeparture from his attitude of a misjudged man.

The sentence of the court was that he should be taken hence,and from thence to Norwich Jail, and that there he should behanged; and under a strong guard he returned over the familiarroute to Norwich—the route he had travelled with AliceMeadow's on the way to their holiday; the route he had followedwhen he was bound for Yarmouth with a cruel murder plan; now toexpiate his crime within a few miles of the cemetery where hismurdered wife was lying.

Here, on a chill day in March, he met his fate at the hands ofthe common hangman. But the memory of Bennett will be perpetuatedfor many years. His conviction will stand as a model of theefficacy of circ*mstantial evidence. Here was a case where a mancommitted a murder, and no weapon of any kind was traceable tohim—for the mohair lace with which this unfortunate womanwas strangled was not identified with one that had been in hispossession at any time. There was undoubtedly a motive, though itmight be urged that there was no immediate necessity for doingaway with his wife, and that he gained very little by his crime.Even the laundry mark was only useful to the police in locatingthe woman's ordinary place of residence. It was on the flimsylinks of an old-fashioned silver chain that the Crown depended toprove that Bennett was the murderer. And most effectively didthey succeed.

HERBERT ARMSTRONG, POISONER

As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 5, George Newnes Ltd., London, 9 May 1924

THE crime of Herbert Armstrong, M.A., theWelsh solicitor, who murdered his wife by administering arsenic,was especially mean and contemptible. Love affairs entangled hislife and flattered his vanity, and it is probable that a hatredof his dull and respectable existence in a tiny village was oneof the motives for his terrible deed. This story of Armstrong istold by Mr. Edgar Wallace, who attended the trial, and on behalfof a newspaper syndicate offered the convicted man £5,000 for hisconfession—an offer which was refused.



Edgar Wallace--Journalist (17)

Herbert Armstrong.


THE little village of Cusop, on the borders ofHerefordshire and Wales, is not graced by any very distinguishedor beautiful buildings, nor hereabouts is the stately lodgeentrance of any great country house. Indeed, one of the best ofthe houses in the village (and this would have been pointed outto you in the year 1920) is a somewhat plain dwelling known as"Mayfield." It is such a residence as you might expect a countrygentleman of very limited income would occupy. It had its garden,its pleasant approaches, and, within the somewhat cramped spaceof "Mayfield," the apartments were more or less ordinary. Therewas a drawing-room and a boudoir for the lady of the house, asmall room designated "the study," where the master might bringhis work home in the evening and pursue his investigations intothe troubles of his neighbours, without too great an interferenceby the noise of the piano which his wife loved to strum.

Herbert Rowse Armstrong was a solicitor, and the war, whichhad drawn this quiet, inoffensive-looking Little man into theservice of the Army, at the Armistice delivered him back to theadmiring village, and to his colleagues of Hay, a fully-fledgedMajor, a rank he was loth to renounce. There are photographsextant, and they were at the moment highly prized by theirgrateful recipients, showing the Major mounted on a horse, a finefigure of a soldier, and finer since his equestrian exercises didnot betray his lack of inches.

Major Armstrong had come to the village of Hay fromDevonshire, where, at Newton Abbot, he had practised hisprofession, without securing for himself that success for whichhis many qualifications seemed to fit him; for he was a Master ofArts of the University of Cambridge, something of an authorityupon land tenure. And when, having married a wife, he transferredhimself to a new sphere of operations, it did not appear likelythat the little village of Hay, off the main track, away fromrailway and arterial roads, would give him greater opportunitiesof achieving success than he had enjoyed in the more populousdistrict of Newton Abbot.

There was in Hay at the time an elderly solicitor, whosepartner Armstrong became. The elderly solicitor had an elderlywife, and it is a curious fact that, as soon as Armstrong hadsettled himself down and learnt the ropes of the business, andhad become acquainted with the country gentry, his elderlypartner should have died with strange suddenness, to be followedin a few days by his wife. The prosecution did not, at the trialwhich followed, attempt to establish Armstrong's responsibilityfor the death of his partner. There were very many reasons whythe Crown should concentrate upon the charges which wereeventually made against him, without risking the negative resultwhich might follow an attempt to prove further crimes againstthis remarkable man.

Armstrong became a personage of some local importance when hewas appointed Clerk to the Justices of Hay, and in this capacityhe sat beneath the bench, advising them on points of law, akindly yet efficient man, somewhat severe on poachers and onthose who broke the law in a minor degree. As a solicitor, heappeared from time to time at the various assize courts. Thequeer little court-house at Hereford knew him; he had sat at thehorseshoe-shaped table before judges and had instructed counsel,and, generally speaking, performed the duties peculiar to hisprofession with judgment and skill.

In appearance he was a short but perfectly proportioned man.He had a small, round head, covered with close-cropped, mouse-coloured hair, was small of hand and foot, and had a countenancewhich was at once benignant and shrewd. His eyes were blue, setdeeply in his head and rather close together. The overhangingbrows were shaggy, and his prognathic jaw was hidden by a heavymoustache.

I

HERBERT ARMSTRONG was well-liked and trusted byeverybody with whom he was brought into contact. CambridgeUniversity had given him a finish which made him an acceptableguest at the country houses in the neighbourhood, and although,by reason of his being a stranger, he had the administration ofno great family fortune, he nevertheless built up with somerapidity a practice which put him in a position of trust. Onbehalf of his clients he bought, sold and negotiated for land,had a finger in many sales and local flotations, and was lookedupon, not only as a safe man, but as a lawyer with a certainsocial distinction.

His wife, Kathleen Mary, seems to have been of a somewhatfinicking disposition. She had rigid views on social behaviour,exacted from her husband's friends the attention and courtesywhich were her right, and exercised, if the truth be told, a mildform of domestic despotism which prohibited her husband smokingin the house except in his own room.

She had her "afternoons," her select dinner parties, and theetiquette which governs a small village was rigorously enforced.A somewhat difficult woman, all the more so because she had alittle money of her own, some £2,500, and in all probabilityrefused to her husband those loans which, to men of hischaracter, come so easy to negotiate.

Nevertheless, they were a happy family from the outsiders'point of view. There were three children of the marriage, andneighbours regarded the Armstrongs as united and good-livingpeople. They were regular attendants at the village church; Mr.Armstrong, as he was in the early days, was seldom away from homeuntil the call of war took him to a South Coast town andsubsequently to France.

Mrs. Armstrong was a little inclined to melancholia. She was amusician of exceptional ability, and would spend hours at herpiano, but there was no suggestion that her despondency wascaused by any act of her husband or by her knowledge of hismisconduct.

To Armstrong the war may have come in the nature of a pleasantrelief. It took him from his restricted activities to a largerand wider world, pregnant with opportunity, to new faces, newinterests, and, incidentally, to new ambitions.

It was whilst he was quartered on the South Coast that he meta lady who was subsequently to play a sensational part in hislife. Her name, well-known to the Press, has never been divulgedpublicly, and I do not purpose deviating from the very charitableattitude which the Press of the day adopted. It is no secret,however, that Madame X was a middle-aged lady possessed of muchproperty, and with whom Armstrong became acquainted some time in1918. He was an attentive friend, and there grew up between thesetwo people a friendship, which seems to have been wholly innocentas far as the lady was concerned. She knew he had a wife "indelicate health," and she formed the impression that his marriagewas an unhappy one.

Armstrong's behaviour seems to have been perfectly proper, andthe friendship, stimulated by exchanges of letters, developedinto a tacit understanding that, if the "delicate health" ofArmstrong's wife took a serious turn, the Major, after a decentinterval, would appear to claim the fulfilment of a promise whichwas never actually asked and never given.

Doubtless this little, middle-aged man, with his iron-greymoustache, was a dapper figure in uniform, well likely to raise aflutter in the heart of a lady who had passed her fortieth year.In course of time Armstrong was demobilised, came back to Hay,and plunged into arrears of work, taking up the threads from hisassistant, and being welcomed on his first appearance as clerk tothe Hay Justices, with many encomiums on his public spirit andcourage.

Whatever appearance he might make to those who did not probetoo deeply beneath the surface, there is little doubt thatArmstrong was something of a profligate in a mean and sordid way.It is not permissible to tell, at this early stage, the evidencewhich the police unearthed of his amours; but undoubtedly, in theargot of the village, he "carried on," though of this Mrs.Armstrong was ignorant, as also was an elderly lady who livedwith the family, a Miss Emily Pearce, who was devoted equally tothe husband and the wife, and kept a maternal eye upon thechildren.

Miss Pearce seems to have been everything from housekeeper tonursery governess. She was the kind of family friend which isalmost indistinguishable from an upper servant.

Outside of his work, Armstrong had only one hobby, and thatwas gardening. Though he employed an odd gardener, he himselfsupervised the work, and helped mow the lawn, trim the rosebushes, and generally assisted in beautifying his limited estate.He made several purchases of weed-killer, and on two occasionshad bought a quantity of arsenic, both in its commercial and itschemical form, for the purpose, as was claimed and as undoubtedlywas the fact, of destroying the weeds which flourishedexceedingly and had taken a new lease of life since his personalsupervision had been removed by the war. There is no suggestionthat the weed-killer was employed for any other purpose than thatfor which it was purchased. Armstrong attacked the enemies of hislawn with great vigour, and gradually brought his garden back tothe state in which he had left it.

He found something else on his return from the war. A newsolicitor had established himself in Hay, and was taking a fairshare of the work which country disputes and land conveyanceprovide. This Mr. Martin was married to a lady who was thedaughter of the local chemist, and Armstrong must have known ofhis existence before he put his uniform on, but at any rate, whenhe did know, there was nothing unfriendly in his attitude.Indeed, he seemed anxious to do all that lay in his power to makethe path of the new man as smooth as possible, and even went tothe trouble of securing for him a commissionership of oaths. Inthis he was probably not altogether unselfish, for there was nocommissioner of oaths nearer than Hereford, and it frequentlyhappened that the remoteness of this official was anembarrassment to Armstrong himself.

Whatever may have been his object (and it is notinconceivable, even in an innocent man, that he should havecombined courtesy with profit), the Major was on the mostfriendly terms with his younger rival, and assisted him to thebest of his ability whenever such assistance was needed. Incourse of time, as was natural, they represented opposinginterests, one of which demanded from Armstrong the return ofcertain monies which had been paid to him on account of propertyin the sale of which he was interested.

Long before this happened, Armstrong was faced with a domesticcrisis. His wife had grown steadily more and more morose. Herinterests had become more self-centred. She was infinitely harderto please than she had been, and exaggerated the most pettyirritations into events of tremendous importance. Amongst othervictims of her rigid code had been the unfortunate Mr. Martin,who had been guilty of the unpardonable solecism of appearing atone of her afternoon parties—in flannels! To call on Mrs.Armstrong in flannels was an offence beyond forgiveness. Martinwas blacklisted, and became, from the poipt of view of thiswoman, whose mind was obviously a little deranged, a socialoutcast.

II

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (18)


SO acute was the form her malady took thatArmstrong consulted the family doctor, Dr. Hinks, and it wasdecided, after taking a second opinion, that this unfortunatelady should be transferred to a lunatic asylum in theneighbourhood "for observation." She was admitted and examined bythe medical superintendent, who found her suffering from a mildform of peripheral neuritis. Since it was not a case of mania,and the symptoms were of a more or less elusive kind, she wasgiven a certain measure of freedom, though the doctor at BarnwoodAsylum, on the strength of certain delusions and incoherence ofspeech, had accepted her as insane.

It was on September 22nd, 1920, that Mrs. Armstrong wasadmitted to this institution, where she remained for four months.During the period of her detention she wrote a number of verysane and clearly expressed letters to her husband, in which shebegged him to bring her home for the sake of her children. Thereis little question that to Mrs. Armstrong the children were afirst consideration.

Armstrong paid several visits to Barnwood, and, finding herhealth had improved visibly, after Christmas he took steps tohave her removed to his house. She returned on January 25th,1921, so much improved in health that both Armstrong and thefamily doctor were delighted—at least, Armstrong "displayeda great deal of satisfaction."

Evidently this development was not at all in accordance withArmstrong's expectations. Whether the sharp attack of illnesswhich had left her with these delusions, that had subsequentlybrought her to Barnwood, was the result of poison, is a matterwhich can never be known with any certitude. In all probabilitythe man had already begun his "experimenting." He had in hisstudy a quarter of a pound of white arsenic, and one may assumethat the first illness of Mrs. Armstrong was due to theadministration of this deadly poison.

With her return to "Mayfield," his plans underwent a change.She had made a will, leaving practically everything to himself,and revoking an earlier will which made such a distribution ofher property that he would benefit to a very small extent. He wasin some financial difficulty, but the determining factor in hisaction was Mrs. Armstrong's "difficulty." He was weary of her,her primness, her rigid sense of propriety, her faculty formaking enemies.

Herbert Armstrong, in short, had grown sick and tired ofexcessive respectability—and in his hatred of his crampedand too well-ordered life you may well find the primary motivefor his terrible crime. It is extremely doubtful that the smallsum of money, some £2,000, which would pass into his keeping onhis wife's death, had anything to do with his determination toget rid of her. This is a view which may be contested; but, asone who followed the case very carefully from its beginning toits tragic finish, that is the conclusion I formed, and that, Ibelieve, is also the view of eminent counsel engaged in the caseon either side. His wife had become an incubus, a daily trial tohim. He decided upon taking the step which was to lead him to thegallows.

A week or so after her return from Barnwood, Mrs. Armstrongwas taken violently ill following a meal. The family doctor wascalled in, and prescribed certain medicine. Mrs. Armstrong wasput to bed, a nurse was engaged, and she made a fairly goodrecovery. There was no suspicion in the mind of the doctor thathis patient was suffering from arsenical poisoning. He thoughtthat it was a return of her old trouble, and treated her forperipheral neuritis, being strengthened in his diagnosis by therecovery which she made.

She was hardly well before a second attack followed. Armstrongreceived from his magisterial colleagues the sympathy to which hewas entitled, and one of his friends sent him up some bottles ofchampagne. This fact did not emerge at the trial, but it ispossible that the agent through which Mrs. Armstrong received thedose of arsenic which ended fatally was champagne. ProbablyArmstrong himself opened the bottle and gave his wife a glass.Unfortunately, at the trial this point was never cleared up, byreason of the fact that there was not one of the principalwitnesses for the Crown who could clearly remember who opened thebottle and who gave its contents to this wretched woman. And sothere was no reference to champagne at all in the evidence whichwas taken at the Hereford Assize Court.

This is a curious fact: that Armstrong was convicted withoutany proof being put in that he administered with his own hands,food or drink of any description whatsoever; and there were many,cognisant of all the facts, who believed that this would be afatal bar to a conviction, and the foundation of the optimismwhich was shown by the defence is also to be found in thiscurious circ*mstance. Armstrong was eventually convicted, notbecause he was proved to have given his wife poison, but becausehe had accessibility and the opportunity for so administering it.But for the haziness of witness's memories, on this point, theconviction of the Major would have been a foregoneconclusion.

On the night before her death, when she was weak and exhaustedas the result of arsenic administered to her a day or two dayspreviously, Armstrong gave to his wife a glass of champagne inwhich he had dropped five or six grains of this tasteless andcolourless alkaloid. She drank the wine, being refreshed by thedraught, and although she was weak, talked sanely and rationallyof her illness and of the house and its management. In the middleof the night Dr. Hinks was sent for, and arrived to find herin extremis. She died on the morning of February 22nd,1921, and the doctor certified that she had succumbed to naturalcauses.

The sympathy of the village and the countryside went out tothis lonely man, left with three small children; the funeral wasattended by every local notability, and the distress of thebereaved widower at the graveside was commented upon.

Armstrong, in his quiet, self-repressive way, bore himselfmanfully.

"In many ways I am glad that her sufferings are over," he tolda friend. "The best and truest wife has gone to the Great Beyond,and I am left without a partner and without a friend."

III

HE caused a large tomb-stone to be erected overthe grave, properly and tenderly inscribed, and it was placed insuch a position that every Sunday morning, when he and hismotherless children went up to the church, they passed the whitestone. Through the summer and the autumn that followed, a tributeof flowers lay upon the sepulchre of the murdered woman. Hehimself took the choicest roses to adorn the grave.

He was, he said, so run down by the tragedy that he soughtleave of absence and went abroad, having communicatcd with MadameX that the trials of his sick wife were at a merciful end.

Armstrong's itinerary was a curious one, for he not onlyvisited Italy, but took a trip to Malta, for no especial reasonexcept that he had always been interested in that romanticisland.

On his return to "Mayfield," Madame X was invited to stay withhim, and there is a possibility that the advent of the lady whowas a potential Mrs. Armstrong caused a little heartburning incertain quarters. Others may have considered that they had aprior right to the fascinating Herbert Armstrong.

Armstrong docs not appear to have wasted very much of themoney which came to him from his wife's estate. That money waspractically intact at the moment of his arrest. But he does seemto have drawn very heavily upon funds which were entrusted to himto complete certain purchases of land. There arose a triangularcorrespondence between himself, Martin the solicitor, and a landagent living in Hereford. Perhaps "triangular" is hardly theword, in so far as it implies that Martin was concerned with theHereford land agent. But certainly the negotiations which shouldhave been completed hung fire, and there came from Martin aperemptory demand, on behalf of his client, that the moneydeposited should be returned. What was the cause of disputebetween Martin and the land agent at Hereford has not transpired.After a visit to Hay and on his return to Hereford, the landagent died very suddenly.

One day Martin met Major Armstrong in the village, andreminded him that he had not received a satisfactory reply to aletter he had sent concerning the money and the property whichwas the cause of the dispute concerning them. Armstrong smiled;he had a quick, inscrutable smile that lit his face for a secondand died as instantly, leaving him expressionless.

"I think," he said, "there is a great deal too much letter-writing between us, and the best thing you can do is to come upto tea with me and we will talk the matter over."

Mr. Martin, probably remembering the coldness of his receptionwhen first he put his foot across the threshold of "Mayfield,"demurred to this suggestion, but eventually agreed. Thatafternoon he went up to "Mayfield," was most graciously receivedby Armstrong, who led him to the drawing-room, where a tea-tablehad been laid. There was a cake-basket, one of those wickeraffairs which carry three tiers of cakes and bread and butter,and, in this particular case, a plate of buttered scones. The teawas poured out, Armstrong handed a cup to his visitor, andchatted pleasantly, and a little ruefully, of his failure to meetthe demands of his legal friend, and then:

"Excuse fingers," said Armstrong, and handed a wedge of hotbuttered scone to his guest.

That scone had been sprinkled with the tasteless white powderwhich had removed Mrs. Armstrong from the world.

Martin ate it to the last crumb, drank his tea, and, after amore or less satisfactory talk, walked back to Hay, where helived with his wife.

It was not until he was taking his dinner that night that hebegan to feel ill, and then so alarming were the symptoms that hewas put immediately to bed and Dr. Hinks was summoned.

Whatever Dr. Hinks's views were about this sickness, sostrangely resembling that which had preceded Mrs. Armstrong'sdeath, Martin's father-in-law, Davis the chemist, held a verydecided opinion. It was part of his duty as a pharmaceuticalchemist to understand, not only the properties, but the actionsof various poisons, and to know also something about theirantidotes. His son-in-law's sickness was obviously caused byarsenic. He immediately conveyed his suspicions to Dr. Hinks, andthat practitioner accepted that possibility, an attitude whichundoubtedly saved Martin's life.

It is impossible for a leading man in a tiny village like Hayto be taken seriously ill without the news becoming publicproperty; and when, a few days after Martin, very white andshaky, had made a public appearance, he met Armstrong, the Majorwas intensely sympathetic.

"You must have eaten something which disagreed with you," hesaid (very truly), "and I have a feeling that you will haveanother illness very similar."

Martin probably registered a silent vow that if he could helpit that second illness should not occur. He, with Dr. Hinks, hadsent a certain fluid to London for analysis, and when theanalyst's report came, showing a considerable trace of arsenic,Scotland Yard was notified.

In the meantime there was another curious happening. Mr. andMrs. Martin received one day a box of chocolates, and, uponeating one, Mrs. Martin was taken ill. The fact that thesechocolates, which contained arsenic, could not be traced toArmstrong, resulted in that aspect of the man's villainousactivities being dropped at the trial.

IV

ARMSTRONG was growing desperate. He made anotherfutile attempt to induce Martin to pay a further visit, and, whenthat failed, asked him up to his office for tea, an invitationwhich was declined.

The mentality of such people as Major Armstrong is puzzling,even to the expert psychologist. One supposes that they are mad,that they are paranoiac in the sense that they have to anexcessive degree the delusion of their own infallibility.Certainly Armstrong must have realised, from the repeatedrefusals of Martin to deal with him, that he was under suspicion;and a normally minded man, even though he were not a Master ofArts and a clever lawyer, even if he had not the assistance of alarge experience in criminal cases, would have taken immediatesteps to remove every trace of his guilt and to cover himselfa*gainst the contingency of exposure. Armstrong went about hiswork in the usual way; he was to be found in his place when thelocal court assembled, exchanging smiles with the presidingjustices, who knew nothing whatever of the suspicion under whichtheir clerk lay, and assisting them to deal with the peccadilloesof local wrongdoers. He was corresponding with Madame X, and atthe same time was conducting an illicit love affair, of whichevidence was plentiful in the village of Cusop.

Scotland Yard, having all the facts in its possession,including the statement made by Dr. Hinks as to the symptoms ofMrs. Armstrong, was necessarily compelled to act with thegreatest circ*mspection and caution. The man under suspicion wasnot only a lawyer, who would be conversant with every move in thecriminal game, but he held a high position. It was impossible, inthis tiny village, to conduct such an inquiry as would have beenset on foot supposing the suspected man were living in London.Even the advent of two strange men in the village would have settongues wagging, and Armstrong would have been warned that allwas not well; whilst, if those strangers were reported to beinquiring about his movements, then the task of bringing him tojustice was rendered all the more difficult.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (19)


The officer in charge of the case was favoured by the factthat the nights were long and dark. He and his assistant were inthe habit of arriving at Hay by motor-car long after the shopshad closed and the people had dispersed to their several homes,pursuing their inquiries in secrecy and returning towardsmidnight to their headquarters at Hereford. Martin was seen andcross-examined, a statement taken of his visit to "Mayfield" andthe subsequent attempts of Armstrong to induce him to make afurther call: the chemist who supplied the arsenic displayed hisbooks; Dr. Hinks showed his case-book and gave particulars ofMrs. Armstrong's illness; whilst one of the nurses who had lookedafter that unfortunate lady up to her death was also interviewed,under a pledge of secrecy.

On New Year's Eve, 1921, the police were in possession ofsufficient evidence to justify an arrest, not on a charge ofmurder, but for the attempted murder of Martin. The Home Officehad been consulted, and permission to exhume the body of Mrs.Armstrong had been tentatively given, to be followed later by theactual order which only the Home Office authorities can issue,and which was, in fact, issued once Armstrong was under lock andkey.

When he reached his office, that morning, he was followed intothe room by the two detectives in charge of the case. He musthave realised, as the cross-examination grew closer and closerto Martin's illness, that he was more than under suspicion, buthe did not by any sign betray either his guilt or hisapprehension. He did, however, volunteer to make a writtenstatement, and was left alone to prepare this, an opportunitywhich he could have put to good use if he had remembered that inhis pocket, amongst a number of old papers, was a small packagecontaining three grains of arsenic—a fatal dose!

But he was so confident in his own ability to hoodwink thepolice, so satisfied that, occupying the position he did, nocharge could be brought against him without his receivingsufficient warning, that he never dreamt that the open arrestwould be followed by a closer one. The normal course that wouldhave been taken, had he been under suspicion, was for anapplication to be made to the local justices for his arrest, andit is certain that he banked upon receiving this warning, neverdreaming that Scotland Yard would move independently of thejustices, and that the first intimation he would receive would bethe arrival of the detectives with a warrant granted by superiorauthority.

He was dumbfounded to learn from the inspector in charge(Crutchley) that he must consider himself in custody on a chargeof attempting to murder Martin by the administration ofarsenic.

"But you cannot do that," he protested. "The charge ispreposterous. Where is your warrant?"

The warrant was shown to him, and the discovery that it hadbeen issued some days previously must have come to him like theknell of doom.

He was conducted to the local lock-up, which he had so oftenvisited and to which he had been instrumental in consigning somany petty breakers of the law, and there he was searched, andthe tell-tale packet of arsenic found in his pocket. This act ofindiscretion on his part had been little short of madness. Hemust have carried the arsenic in the hope of Martin accepting oneof those invitations which he had so frequently issued, neverdreaming that this damning proof of his villainy would go far tohang him.

"What is this. Major Armstrong?" asked the inspectorsternly.

"That is arsenic." Armstrong's voice was cool, his nerveunshaken.

"Why do you carry this arsenic in your pocket?"

"I use it to kill the dandelions on my lawn," he said, andelaborated this story later.

From the little cell he heard the church bells of Hay ring inthe dawn of a New Year through which it was fated that he shouldnot live. In the morning he again appeared in the court he knewso well, but this time a stranger sat at the clerk's place, andthe bewildered justices, in sorrow and consternation, gazed upontheir friend standing in the dock, wearing his British-warmovercoat and smiling affably at the friends whom he recognised inthe court.

The position was an incredible one. The first few moments inthat tiny court-house were poignant in their tragedy. Armstrongwas committed on remand to Gloucester Prison. Again he wasbrought up, formal evidence given, and again he was remanded. Inthe meantime the police and the Home Office authorities hadexhumed the body of Mrs. Armstrong, and in a near-by cottage SirBernard Spilsbury, the Home Office authority, performed hisgruesome task, removing the portions of the body which were to besent to the Government analyst.

Armstrong came up before the court one morning to learn thatthere was a second charge against him, namely, that he didfeloniously murder Kathleen Mary Armstrong by administeringarsenic on or about the 21st day of February, 1921.

V


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (20)


THE court proceedings, and those at thecoroner's inquest which followed, will always be remembered bythe journalists who were present. The court was so tiny, and theincursion of reporters so great, that the most extraordinarymethods were employed to cope with the situation. Tables wereextemporised from coffin-boards, and upon these therepresentatives of the great London dailies wrote their accountsof the proceedings.

It so happened that at the time of the preliminary inquiry,the Assize Court was in session, and it seemed that the man wouldbe compelled to wait for six months before he was brought to thebar of justice. But Mr. Justice Darling announced that he wouldhold a special assize for the trial of Armstrong, and this wasformally opened on April 3rd, after the man had been committed onboth charges: that of the attempted murder of Martin, and ofkilling his wife.

Armstrong's attitude throughout the preliminary inquiries hadbeen taciturn and confident. He had followed every scrap of theevidence with the keenest interest, but had said little ornothing, and I think was the most confident man in the court whenhe was finally committed for trial, and knew that he was leavingthe neighbourhood in which he had lorded it so long, and where hehad lived for so many years in the odour of sanctity and theapproval of his fellows.

His vanity supported him, as it has done with so manypoisoners—for men who destroy life in this dreadful mannerare so satisfied that no evidence other than that which theymight offer themselves can be of value in securing a conviction,that they are certain up to the very last that they can escapethe consequences of their ill-doing. There has never been, in thehistory of poisoners, a single instance of a man confessing hisguilt.

Such was the public interest in the trial, and so serious aview did the law authorities take of this case, that theAttorney-General, Sir Ernest Pollock, now Master of the Rolls,was sent down to conduct the prosecution, the defence being inthe hands of Sir Edward Curtis Bennett, a brilliant advocate whohad conducted the prosecution of all the spies caught in Englandduring the war.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (21)


On a cold day, with snow blowing through the open windows ofthe court, Herbert Rowse Armstrong stepped lightly into the dockand bowed to the thin-faced man in the judge's box. He was asneatly dressed as ever—brown shoes, with fawn-colouredspats, brown suit and brown tie perfectly harmonised. He had beenbrought over by motor-car from Gloucester Gaol that morning, hadinterviewed his counsel, and now, with an assurance which allowedhim to glance round the crowded court-house and nod to hisfriends, he listened to the cold, dispassionate statement of hiscrimes.

He was in a familiar setting: he knew most of the courtattendants by sight or name; in happier circ*mstances he hadexchanged views and words with the Clerk of the Assizes; theUnder-Sheriff was known to him personally; he had even appearedto instruct counsel before the judge who was now to conduct thetrial. He sat back in his chair, his arms folded, a motionlessand intent figure, following the evidence of every witness, theblue eyes seldom leaving their faces. Even at that hour he wassatisfied that the evidence which could be produced would beinsufficient to secure a conviction, either for murder orattempted murder, and he expressed to the warders, who had tobring him every day the long journey from Gloucester, his faiththat the case for the Crown was so ill-constructed that the trialcould not but end in his acquittal.

"If this case were tried in Scotland," he told them, "therecould be no question that 'Not proven' would be the verdict." SirErnest Pollock put the case fairly and humanely against him, andit was not until Armstrong himself went into the box that thefull weight of the law's remorseless effort began to tell againsthim. In the witness-box Armstrong was a suave, easily smiling andcourteous gentleman. His soft, drawling voice, his easy manner,his very frankness, told in his favour; nor did the cross-examination of the Attorney-General greatly shake the goodimpression he made. But there was a man on the bench wise in theways of murderers, who saw the flaws in Armstrong's defence. WhenMr. Justice Darling folded his arms, and, leaning forward overhis desk, asked questions in that soft voice of his, the doom ofHerbert Rowse Armstrong was sealed. They were mercilessquestions, not to be evaded nor to be answered obliquely.

Firm to the very last, Armstrong met the dread sentence ofthe. court without any evidence of the emotion which must havepossessed him, and when the clerk of the court asked, in haltingtones:

"What have you to say that the court should not now give youjudgment to die according to law?"

Armstrong almost rapped out the word:

"Nothing!"

Though his guilt had been established on evidence which wasgood and sufficient for the twelve men who tried him, he was notwithout hope that, on certain misdirections, he would secure areversal of the verdict at the Court of Appeal. But this court,which exercises its powers of revision very jealously, saw noreason to interfere with the course of the law, and on May 31st,on Derby Day, Armstrong met his fate.

During his period of incarceration in Gloucester Gaol he hadoccupied the condemned cell, adjoining the execution shed, whichis, in fact, a converted cell opening into the apartment wherecondemned men spend their last weeks of life. The disadvantage ofthis arrangement is that almost every sound in the death chambercan be heard in the condemned cell, and Armstrong, who knewGloucester Gaol—knew too the proximity of his cell to theplace of his dread end—must have been keyed up to theslightest sound. It was necessary that the executioner should trythe trap, whilst Armstrong was at exercise. He arrived, however,too late for this to be done overnight, and it was not till thefollowing morning that the drop was tested.

At seven o'clock Armstrong, who had been up an hour, wasinvited by the warders to take a final walk in the exercise yard,an experience unique for a man under sentence of death. The skywas blue and cloudless, the morning warm and balmy, and hestrolled about in the limited space allotted to him, showing noevidence of the terrible agony which must have been in his soul.After nearly an hour's walk he was conducted back to thecondemned cell, where the minister of religion was alreadywaiting, and within a very short time he had paid the penalty forhis crime.

The Armstrong murder may become historic from the point ofview of the lawyer, since he was condemned on evidence which wasentirely and completely circ*mstantial. But, as Sir ErnestPollock pointed out at the trial, in a poison trial directevidence is practically impossible.

"In this case," said Sir Ernest, "we know that Mrs. Armstrongdied from arsenical poisoning. This body of evidence which willbe called before you will be directed piece by piece,circ*mstance by circ*mstance, pointing to a conclusion that itwas the prisoner at the bar who killed his wife.

"She died from arsenical poisoning. Who had the means, who hadthe opportunity in August and in February, who had the motive toadminister the poison?

"You find the means with the prisoner. You find theopportunity—the one man who was at 'Mayfield' both inAugust and in February. You find the motive in the will referredto."

Though there was no proof of the administration of poison, andthe evidence of motive, as far as Mrs. Armstrong's fortune wasconcerned, was perhaps the weakest that has ever been put againstany man on the capital charge, nevertheless, nobody who knew him,and who was brought into close touch with his life, will doubtthat Armstrong was guilty.

Before Ellis pulled the bolt, the slight figure standing onthe drop said something that was indistinguishable. One presentthought that it was a confession of guilt—more likely itwas a last protest of innocence.

Armstrong had refused an offer of £5,000 which I had made tohim a few days before for a complete confession of his crime.

THE TRIAL OF THE SEDDONS

As published in The Great Stories of Real Life, Part 6,
George Newnes Ltd., London, 23 May 1924


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (22)

Frederick Henry Seddon.


IN the long record of sinister and evil menwho make up the world's murderers, there are many duplications.In a dozen cases one sees the same motive, the same dominant ego,the same half-crazy reasoning, which induces otherwise sanepeople to commit the acts which bring them to the gallows. Theunique criminal, unique in his method or in his circ*mstances,occurs at long intervals. Murders induced by jealousy are many;crimes based on vanity occur in considerable numbers. But seldomdo we find a case resembling, and never a case parallel with,that of Frederick Henry Seddon, who, together with his wife, wastried in March, 1912, for the murder of Eliza MaryBarrow.


SEDDON was essentially a business-man, shrewd,near, a little unimaginative. He was the type sometimes met within the train on the way to the City: a man of dogmatic opinions,a little over-bearing, wholly intolerant of other people'sopinions. You could imagine Seddon holding rigid political views,and regarding all who did not share them as being outside thepale.

Generally he was accounted, by those who knew him best, as avery excellent manager; a man who gave nothing away, and who wascredited with considerable possessions, which his thrift and hisgift for driving a hard bargain had accumulated for him.

Seddon lived in a good-sized house at Tollington Park, NorthLondon, with his wife and five children. It was a fairly largehouse and his own property (as he often boasted), and here hecarried on his profession of insurance agent, beingsuperintendent of that district and having under his charge anumber of collectors, who were kept very busy by their energetictaskmaster. Seddon was certainly a man bound to get on. In theinterests of his business he worked day and night; he wasindefatigable in his search for new "lives," yet found time toindulge in certain social amenities, and was an officer of a veryhonourable society, where he was considerably respected.

That Seddon was a true Freemason in the real sense of the wordcan be doubted. Men of his intelligence too often adopt Masonryas a means to an end, believing that fellowship with so many ofthe best intellects in a district gives them advantages inbusiness. Nevertheless, it was his ambition to rise to thesupreme heights of Masonry, and all his spare time was given tothe assiduous study of the craft and to fitting himself forhigher office than that which he at present held.

A mean, hectoring man, bombastic of speech, loud of voice,that crushed all opposition, his business grew rapidly, but notso fast as he could wish. The dominant passion of Seddon's lifewas money. Not every miser is a recluse, who hides his bags ofgold in inaccessible places and shrinks from the society of hisfellow-men. There are some, who are to be met with in everysphere of commercial activity, well-groomed misers who are not tobe suspected of their vice, and Seddon was one of these. Heworshipped money for money's sake. He never spent a farthing thathe could avoid. His household accounts were most minutelyexamined day by day, and the money he doled out for householdexpenses was the smallest sum he could in decency offer to hisunfortunate wife.

Seddon's dreams had a golden hue. The rich were very wonderfulin his eyes, and he would find his recreation in relating to hisfriends his surprising knowledge of the wealth which waspossessed by the great figures of the financial world.

He had saved penny by penny, pound by pound, gradually pilingup his assets painfully and slowly. Never once had a large amountcome to him in one sum, and one of his bitterest complaints wasthat he had no rich relations who were likely to die and leavehim a fortune. Not the least interesting item of the newspaperswas the paragraph which appears every day under the heading"Latest Wills," and he would pore over this in the evenings.Sometimes he would learn of a rich man or woman who had diedintestate, the money going to the Crown, and this would throw himinto a fury.

"All that money wasted! Thrown into the gutter! It iscriminal!"

I

THERE was in London, though of her existenceSeddon was ignorant for some time, a middle-aged woman who sharedSeddon's peculiar passion for money. She, however, had never hadto scrape and strive. She had been left a small fortune in theshape of house property—at least it was a small fortune toher—which brought her in £5 or £6 a week. She was as meanas Seddon, parting with every penny with the greatest reluctance,and worshipping money, even as he did, for money's sake.

It follows that she was a difficult tenant to any landlady whogave her accommodation, and she shifted her lodgings veryfrequently, taking with her the small boy whom she had adopted,Ernie Grant.

In his restless search for people whom he could persuade totake out insurance policies, Seddon came into contact with thismiddle-aged spinster, Miss Eliza Barrow, and these two sharp-minded beings recognised in one another kindred souls. Seddon'simmediate interest in the woman was a purely business one, but hehad ever an eye to the main chance, and it had been his practiceto leave no avenue to fortune unexplored.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (23)


"Friends should pay dividends," was one of his mottoes; andthere is little doubt, after he had discovered that Miss Barrowwas not a likely subject for insurance, that he turned over inhis mind a way by which this new acquaintance should "paydividends." Miss Barrow's complaint against landladies wasperennial. Her interest in life was confined by the walls of thelodgings she had, and it may be imagined that they had not longmet before she was telling him of her various landladies'enormities, the high cost of living, the peculations of lodging-house servants, and the difficulty of finding a home where thesecauses for distress would be more or less non-existent.

Seddon was a quick thinker. He had a big house in TollingtonPark, and several of the upper rooms were unoccupied. This womancould pay dividends in the shape of rent, and in many other wayswas a desirable tenant, for he had learnt of her house propertyand her steady income, and there was no fear that she would cometo him on a Monday morning and bring excuses instead of money. SoSeddon patted the little boy on the head with easy benevolence,and remembered his empty rooms.

"I think my rooms would suit you very well," he said. "We livevery quietly; you will be in the house of a successful businessman who may be able to help you from time to time in the matterof advice, and I'll arrange it so that you live more cheaply withme than you have been living heretofore."

The arrangement was most welcome to the woman, who was in thethroes of one of her periodical fits of resentment against herlandlady.

She had lived in many homes. Once she had stayed with hercousin, Mr. Frank Ernest Vonderahe, but that arrangement had notbeen satisfactory, and she had wandered off with her boy to yetanother lodging.

Life at Tollington Park was entirely to Miss Barrow'ssatisfaction. She had the opportunity of talking business withSeddon; he admitted her to his confidence, allowed her to bepresent when he was handling the large sums of money which camein from the collectors—a sight very precious to MissBarrow, who, in spite of her possessions, had probably not seenso much gold before. And the knowledge that he was trusted withsuch huge sums increased her confidence in him; so that shebrought her own financial difficulties to him (the cost ofrepairs, tenants' demands and the like), and accepted his adviceon all matters concerning her estate.

The friendship grew to a stage probably beyond heranticipations. Her confidence came to be a blind trust in hisintegrity and prescience. It developed, as was subsequentlydiscovered, in her taking the rash step of purchasing an annuityupon his advice.

It is certain that Frederick Henry Seddon saw in Eliza Barrowa greater profit than the meagre sums he obtained by giving herlodging. There was about him the additional flavour of deepreligious principles. Seddon had a reputation as a lay preacherand public orator. He was fluent of speech, better educated thanmost men of his class, and he could be, in his lighter moments, amost entertaining and charming man. He charmed Eliza Barrow tothis end, that one day he induced her to sell her Indian stockfor £1,600, to get rid of her house property and to trust himwith the money. She was obviously confident, from his manner toher adopted child, that the boy would lose nothing from beingleft in Seddon's charge, for she made no provision whatever forhis future until a few days before her death.

Seddon had gone to work deliberately, with a set plan, and thefirst part of his scheme having been brought to a successfulissue, nothing remained but to perpetrate the dreadful deed whichhe may have contemplated from the very moment he had obtainedMiss Barrow's confidence.

Since no poisoner has ever confessed his method, it is onlypossible to reconstruct the story of such a murder by anunderstanding of the murderer's mentality, and by piecingtogether such scraps of evidence as are available.

Seddon probably purchased a small quantity of arsenic in somepart of London in which he was unknown. But he was shrewd enoughto prepare, at the same time, a defence for himself. He purchaseda number of fly-papers—paper impregnated with arsenic,which, when placed in a wet saucer, destroys any fly which lightsupon it—and several of these he placed in Miss Barrow'sbedroom.

He knew, for he had made a study of poison trials, that one ofthe questions which decides the guilt or innocence of any personaccused of poisoning, is the accessibility of the poison: inother words, whether it is possible, through accident or design,for poison to be self-administered.

The only way that arsenic could be self-administered by ademented or careless woman was to have strong solutions ofarsenic in her bedroom. He did not apparently realise that, inninety-nine cases out of a hundred where a person is foundpoisoned, the police look for a motive, and find one in a casewhere a person who had the opportunity of administering thepoison directly benefits by the death.

"Seddon always thinks of everything," said an admiringcolleague. "That is why he has been so successful."

Undoubtedly Seddon thought of most of the possibilities, butnever dreamt that his cunning plan would be exposed.

In many ways Miss Barrow was most favourably placed from hispoint of view. She had quarrelled with her relations, and thosevery distant relations. She had no personal friends, and beyondthe Vonderahes, who came occasionally to see her, and werereceived with marked coldness, no interfering individual whowould inquire too closely into her sudden demise.

II

THE Seddon's family were on very good terms withtheir lodger. Maggie Seddon and her mother did the cooking forher. Seddon himself was seldom in her room. When she became ill,only on one occasion did Seddon give Miss Barrow her medicine. Adoctor was called in, saw nothing suspicious, identified MissBarrow's symptoms with a natural derangement; and if he wassurprised when one day he was summoned to find the unfortunatelady in extremis, it was one of those surprises which arethe normal experience of every medical practitioner, and he didnot hesitate to give a certificate stating that her death was dueto natural causes.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (24)

Three days before her death, Seddon persuaded Miss Barrow tomake a will leaving all that she possessed to Ernest and HildaGrant, appointing Seddon the sole executor. Again we see thecleverness oi the move; for now Seddon had so arranged mattersthat suspicion would be even more remote from himself. He had nopossible interest in her death (unless the secretly-arranged saleof the annuity came to light), and such sums of money andproperty which had been Miss Barrow's as would be left he mightuse until the children came of age.

Miss Barrow died on the Thursday, and no sooner was the breathout of her body than Seddon bustled off to interview anundertaker, and arranged for the cheapest possible funeral. Notonly did he do this, but he made a gruesome bargain with the manwhich gives us an interesting insight into his mastering desireto save money at every opportunity. Seddon told the undertakerthat an old lady had died in his house, and it would have to bean inexpensive funeral. He had found four pounds ten in the room,he said, and that would not only have to defray the funeralexpenses, but find the fees due to the doctor. Thereupon theundertaker bargained to carry out the funeral at an inclusiveprice of three pounds seven and sixpence and allowed Seddon asmall commission on the transaction. Seddon had memorial cardsprinted, with an appropriate verse of sorrow; he bought aquantity of black-edged envelopes and paper, and wrote a numberof letters, which, however, were never delivered or posted.

No man could have taken greater precautions than did Seddon toclear himself of any suspicion that he was implicated in thedeath of this wretched lady. Miss Barrow died on the Thursday,and on the Saturday was buried in a common grave, although therewas a family vault, about which Seddon could not have beenignorant. He was, however, anxious to get the body undergroundwith the least possible delay, for, once buried, he knew thatthere would be considerable difficulty in getting anexhumation.

Although not on specially good terms, Miss Barrow had been inthe habit of calling on the Vonderahes, and the fact that she hadnot appeared, and that they had seen nothing either of her or theboy, was remarked upon by Mrs. Vonderahe.

"I can't understand why we have not seen Miss Barrow for solong," she said to her husband. "Why don't you walk round toTollington Park and see how she is getting on?"

Ernest Vonderahe, who was not particularly interested in hiscousin, was nevertheless a dutiful relative, and on the Wednesdayevening strolled over to Tollington Park. The door was opened bySeddon's general servant, Mary Chater, who stared at himblankly.

"I've come to see how Miss Barrow is getting on. Is shewell?"

The girl gasped.

"Haven't you heard?" she demanded in amazement. "Miss Barrowis dead and buried—didn't you know?"

Vonderahe could only stare at her.

"Dead and buried?" he said incredulously. "When did shedie?"

"Last Thursday."

"But this is only Wednesday!"

"She was buried on Saturday," said the maid.

"Can I see Mr. Seddon?"

The girl shook her head.

"He's out, and won't be back for an hour," she said.

Staggered by this startling news, Vonderahe went back and sawhis wife. At his suggestion, she dressed, and they went backagain to Tollington Park, arriving about nine o'clock in theevening. This time they saw Maggie Seddon, the daughter, butSeddon was not visible.

"Father has gone to the Finsbury Park Empire and won't be backtill very late," she said, and could give them little or noinformation about Miss Barrow's illness, nor did they think itworth while to question the child.

The Vonderahes went home and a family council was summoned,consisting of Vonderahe and his brother, with their wives, andthey discussed the mysterious suddenness of Miss Barrow's illnessuntil far into the night, arriving at the decision that the twowomen should interview Seddon the next morning and discover moreabout the circ*mstances of the woman's death.

Accordingly, the next morning the two wives went to TollingtonPark, and the door was again opened by Maggie Seddon. Apparentlythey were expected, for they were shown immediately into thedining-room. The visitors were kept for some time before theinsurance superintendent and his wife made their appearance. Hewas his usual self, calm, confident, neatly dressed and in everyrespect self-possessed. But his wife displayed the greatestnervousness, and, throughout the interview which followed, was onthe point of breaking down.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (25)

Seddon strode into the apartment, pulled out a watch (whichproved to be the property of the late Miss Barrow), looked at itsignificantly, and remarked in a loud tone that he hadn't muchtime to spare and he hoped that they would be brief. And then,when his wife began to speak, he silenced her firmly butkindly.

"Now, my dear, you're too much upset to be able to tellanything," he said, and explained that his wife had been greatlyshocked by the death of the lodger and had not yet recovered."You sit there and don't upset yourself. I can tell these ladiesall they wish to know."

Mrs. Seddon may have had a suspicion that all was not well.The manner of Miss Barrow's death, the haste of the funeral, mayhave seemed to her suspicious things.

"Now," said Seddon briskly, "just tell me who you are, andwhat relation you are to the deceased Miss Barrow" And, when hewas told, he handed them a copy of a letter written to Vonderahe,which the latter had not received.

The letter was brief and to the effect that Miss Barrow wasdead. It invited them to the funeral which had taken place on theprevious Saturday. It added that, a few days before her death.Miss Barrow had left a will in which she gave "what she diedpossessed of" to Hilda and Ernest Grant, and appointed Seddon assole executor.

Apparently Seddon had everything prepared: the copy of theletter, a funeral card, a copy of the will, and a large blankenvelope into which he put these documents and handed them to oneof the ladies present.

So far, in spite of the brusqueness of the man—hiscallous indifference to the feelings of Miss Barrow's relativesand the scarcely veiled antagonism he showed to theseinquirers—there was nothing suspicious beyond his manner;and it is probable that, had Seddon been more conciliatory,expressed a little more sorrow, and stage-managed that interviewa little more deftly, he might have escaped the consequence ofhis villainy.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (26)

As it was, he again looked at his watch pointedly, and whenone of the ladies asked if he would see Mr. Ernest Vonderahe heshrugged his shoulders.

"I am a business man, and I think I've wasted quite enoughtime on this matter," he said. "I really can't be botheredanswering questions put by inquisitive people."

These two ladies had gone to Tollington Park with themisguided idea that, because of their relationship, they would beasked to take possession of Miss Barrow's effects. If the willwere genuine, and her death had occurred under normalcirc*mstances, they could not, of course, touch a single articlewithout permission from the executor; and legally, Seddon'sposition was unassailable.

But in their ignorance of the law, they expected to be givencertain of Miss Barrow's goods. Their real suspicions began whenthey found that, justifiably, Seddon meant to retain in hispossession all the property the administration of which had beenspecifically left to him. It was only when they found that theywere being sent empty-handed away from Tollington Park that theybegan to regard Seddon's behaviour as suspicious; and hisignorance of their psychology was responsible for hisundoing.

It was not till some weeks later, on October 0th, after manyfamily councils, that Mr. Ernest Vonderahe saw Seddon. Theinsurance agent had gone to Southend for a holiday, feeling, hesaid "a little under the weather." And that period gave ErnestVonderahe an opportunity of making closer inquiries into thepossessions of Miss Barrow when she died. He discovered somethingabout her investments; she was the landlady of a public-housecalled the "Buck's Head," and the proprietress of a barber's shopadjoining the public-house; had a considerable sum of money inthe bank, and at the time of her death had quite a large sum inready cash.

Whether the relatives of Miss Barrow were chiefly concernedwith the manner of her death, or whether they suffered under anindignant sense of being robbed of that which was rightfullytheirs, we need not inquire. All the investigations which went onwere in the direction of ascertaining the exact amount of benefitSeddon might have received from the woman's disappearance. It wasa very proper and natural line of investigation, to which noexception could be taken. It is perfectly certain that, supposingthe will to be genuine—and this was notdisputed—whatever might be the result of their inquiries,they themselves could not be benefited by a single penny throughthe exposure of Seddon as a murderer.

The Vonderahes saw something of one of the "beneficiaries"under the will. Little Ernie Grant came to see them, but wasinvariably accompanied by one of Seddon's children, either thegirl or the boy, and the suspicions of the Vonderahes weredeepened, because they saw, in this chaperonage, an attempt toprevent them questioning the child as to the manner of MissBarrow's death.

On Seddon's return from Southend, Vonderahe decided to callupon him, and sent him a message to that effect. And the visitorwas accompanied by a friend "as witness." Seddon had no illusionsas to the antagonism of the deceased woman's cousin. He had heardsomething more than the subterranean rumbling which was toprecede the cataclysm, and his line of preparation—to meetthe unspoken charges which he knew Vonderahe would have inmind—took the shape of adopting towards his inquisitor alofty and high-handed manner, which had served him sosuccessfully in dealing with other disagreeable people in hisbusiness.

Like all poisoners, Seddon was completely satisfied of his owninvincibility. He was as confident as Armstrong had been up tothe day of his death. He could even challenge still greaterantagonism by attempting to cow his inquisitive visitors intosubmission to his point of view. Vonderahe and his friend were inthe parlour, cooling their heels, for twenty minutes beforeSeddon and his wife came into the room.

III

"MR. Frank Ernest Vonderahe?" asked Seddon, and,when the relative had answered in the affirmative, Seddon spoketo the second of the men, under the impression that Vonderahe'scompanion was his brother.

Seddon was smoking a large cigar, and motioned his visitors tochairs with a lordly air.

"Now what is all this about?" he asked. "You are under theimpression that some money is due to you from the estate of MissBarrow? The will is perfectly clear, and I don't see why I shouldgive you any further information. If your solicitor cares to seemy solicitor, all very well and good."

In spite of this high-handed proceeding, Ernest Vonderahebegan to question the man.

"Who is now the owner of the 'Buck's Head'?" he asked,referring to one of the properties which had been MissBarrow's.

"I am," said Seddon quickly, "and the barber's shop next dooris also mine. I've bought the property—in fact, I am alwaysopen to buy property if it shows any chance of a reasonablereturn. This house is mine, and I have a number of otherproperties. That is my private business: I buy and sell whenevera bargain is offered."

The propriety of Seddon's purchasing properties of which hewas the executor for his own benefit, did not seem to haveoccurred to either of the two men, and Ernest Vonderahe shiftedhis inquiries to a complaint that his relative had been buried ina common grave, when there was a handsome family vault atHighgate available.

Seddon replied that he thought the vault was full up, thoughthis excuse might have been invented on the spur of the moment.The "Buck's Head" and the barber's shop had, he declared, beenbought in the open market. It was his business to dispose of theproperty, and as his bids were higher than any others, there wasnothing remarkable about it being knocked down to him. When theypressed their inquiries, Seddon said (I am quoting the statementof Ernest Vonderahe):

"That is for the proper authorities to find out. I amperfectly willing to meet any solicitor. I am prepared to spend athousand pounds to prove that all I have done in regard to MissBarrow is perfectly in order."

Until this interview, according to the evidence which wassubsequently offered at the trial of Seddon, the inquiries andthe suspicions had been confined to the narrow circle of theVonderahes and their intimate friends. But after this point-blankrefusal of Seddon to discuss the affairs of the dead woman, andwhen it seemed that no useful purpose would be served by furtherinterviews, the Vonderahes did what they should have done in thefirst place—communicated their suspicions to thepolice.

Such communications are not rare at Scotland Yard, and thepolice authorities act with the greatest circ*mspection beforethey take any drastic action to confirm the suspicions ofrelatives. There are probably twenty complaints to everyexhumation; possibly the number is much larger. But the police,in this case, had something else to work upon than the baldsuspicions of the Vonderahes. There was, in the first place, thehasty burial, and, in the second, the fact that, as executor ordirect beneficiary, Seddon had obtained a number of effects whichwere the property of the deceased woman and which were now underhis control. The doctor was interviewed by the police and,strengthened by his evidence, the Home Office made an order forthe exhumation of the body.

These forces were at work all unknown to Seddon, who wentabout his daily business, satisfied in his mind that, if he hadnot allayed the doubts in the mind of Ernest Vonderahe, he had atleast so baffled him, by his bold challenge to put the matterinto his solicitor's hands, that no further trouble need beanticipated.

Removed to the cemetery mortuary, the body was examined byDrs. Wilcox and Spilsbury, now Sir William Wilcox and Sir BernardSpilsbury, the Home Office pathologists. Certain organs wereremoved and forwarded for analysis, and the body wasreinterred.

It was a grim coincidence that Seddon's business took him toSt. Mary's Hospital at the time when Miss Barrow's remains wereundergoing chemical examination, and that he was shown over aportion of the laboratory whilst that examination was inprogress!

The chemist's report to the Home Office was emphatic: a verylarge quantity of arsenic had been found in the remains, and onthis report the Home Office ordered an inquest.

Seddon was working at his accounts one night, when hisdaughter came to tell him that a policeman wanted to see him.

"A policeman?" said Seddon. "What does he want? Ask him tocome in."

The officer walked into the room, helmet in hand, and handedhim a paper.

"I am the coroner's officer," he said, "and this is a summonsfor you to attend an inquest on the body of Eliza Barrow, whichwill be held to-morrow."

Not a muscle of Seddon's face moved. Eliza Barrow! Until thatmoment he had not known that an exhumation order had been made.This was his first intimation that the net was closing roundhim.

When the officer had departed, Seddon swept aside the work onwhich he had been engaged, and sat down, coolly and calmly, towork throughout the night, packing his wife and children off tobed, whilst he prepared answers to such questions as might be putto him.

The grey dawn of a November day found him haggard and drawn,his table littered with papers covered with his clerkly writing.He had prepared for every possible contingency; had an answer forevery question which might possibly be put to him; had checkedand compared answer with answer, so that his story should belogical and convincing.

The inquest lasted for the greater part of a fortnight. Andnow suspicion became certainty. Seddon's conduct, tested andprobed, did not react, as he had hoped, to his advantage. OnDecember 4th he was arrested on the charge of murdering ElizaBarrow.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (27)

Facsimile: Letter written by Seddon in the
luncheon interval just before the dismissal of his appeal.


For more than a month, while he was nder arrest, his wife wasallowed her freedom. But as the law officers examined moreclosely the evidence available, it was obvious that Scddon's wifewas also under suspicion; and, to the amazement and idignation ofthe murderer, she was arrested on January 15th, 1912.

Seddon plied the detectives with questions as to the nature ofthe poison, and as to whether it might not have been self-dministered. "It was not carbolic acid, was it?" he asked. "Therewas some in her room. Have you found arsenic in the body?"

All Seddon's transactions with the deceased woman now cameinto the light of day, and, incidentally, the motive for themurder. Miss Barrow had converted a considerable amount of hershares, of which she possessed some £1,600 worth, into cash, andpurchased from Seddon an annuity of some £155 per annum. Whilstshe lived, he had to pay her £3 5s. a week, and it was to savethis paltry sum, in the belief that she would live many years,that Seddon had murdered her. The transaction in itself was notunusual. Seddon, as an insurance superintendent, dealt inannuities, but this time the transaction was carried out for hisown benefit. The will, therefore, leaving everything shepossessed to Ernie and Hilda Grant, was a hollow document whichmeant nothing, since her only possessions at the time of herdeath were the cash she had at her bank and her own personalpossessions.

The trial, which began at the Old Bailey in March, 1912,before Mr. Justice Bucknill, excited general interest. TheAttorney-General, Sir Rufus Isaacs, now Viceroy of India,appeared for the prosecution; Sir Marshall Hall, then Mr.Marshall Hall, defended the man; whilst Mr. Rentoul, now JudgeRentoul, defended Mrs. Seddon.

Throughout the trial, Seddon kept up that unemotional detachedattitude which he had shown from the very moment of his arrest.Mrs. Seddon, on the other hand, was a sad and dejected figure.She could indulge in none of the breezy exchanges which Seddonhad with his counsel, nor could she regard with equanimity avisit to the witness-box, which Seddon welcomed rather thanotherwise.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (28)

Seddon depended upon the fact that no person had seen himadminister poison to the deceased woman. And this, as has alreadybeen pointed out, is the basis of confidence in the case of everyman or woman charged with murder by poison. It was as though heput into words the attitude of such men:

"I am willing to admit that the woman died of poison. I admitthat I benefited considerably by her death, but you cannot provethat I gave her the poison. I may have brought food to her, andunless the prosecution can, beyond all possible doubt, prove thatpoison was in that food, and placed there by me, you must returna verdict of Not Guilty."

Never in the history of criminal jurisprudence has there beena case where a convicted poisoner has been detected in the act ofadministering poison, either in food or otherwise. The poisonerbanks upon suspicion being equally attached to other persons thanhimself, and thus securing the benefit of the doubt. Seddon'sconfidence was fated to receive a terrible shock. After an hour'sdeliberation the jury returned with a verdict of "Guilty" againstSeddon, and "Not Guilty" against Mrs. Seddon. Seddon bent overand kissed his wife; in another minute they were separated, neverto see one another again except through the intervening bars.

The Clerk of Arraigns put the usual question: "What have youto say that the Court should not give you judgment to dieaccording to law?" And then occurred the most dramatic and, tomany people in the court, the most painful incident of the trial.Seddon stood stifily erect and began a long speech which declaredhis innocence. He ended by making a Masonic sign which wasunmistakable to Mr. Justice Bucknill, himself a Freemason: "Ideclare before the Great Architect of the Universe that I am notguilty, my lord." The judge was visibly distressed, but,recovering himself instantly, passed sentence of death, andSeddon paid the penalty for his crime at Pentonville Gaol onApril 18th, 1912.

TRUTH ABOUT SEX MURDERS

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 24 May 1924


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (29)


MAN'S fear of looking ridiculous in the eyes of women is the most potent motive for murder, says the writer, advancing one of the most original theories of crime that has yet been printed.


THE public is alarmed, and justly alarmed, by the growth in recent years of what are popularly but erroneously known as sex murders. They point to case after case where men have murdered women, and women have been parties to murdering men, in order to cover up some illicit love affair which, if it were divulged in public, would cover the murderer with shame.

There has been a succession of these crimes, all having "sex features," and the public may be pardoned if it confuses such rare types of murder as that of poor little Vera Hoad, where the motive was probably the lust of some demented man, or such brutal crimes as the murder of the little typist, Irene Munro, on the Crumbles, with that type of offence which is being so constantly investigated in our criminal courts.


ONLY one of these two instances was a sex crime in the truest sense of the word; the typist was in all probability murdered because she refused to hand over the money in her possession, and the criminals in this case were brutal, animal men, without one vestige of humanity in their spiritual and moral make-up.

The crimes which we have to consider, and which at the moment are exciting public concern, are the crimes which are not incited by an overwhelming sex emotion, but, curiously enough, by an intense desire on the part of the murderers to appear before their fellow-citizens in a good light!

"What will people say?" In these four words is discoverable the secret of the hideous sex murders which have been an almost regular feature of our lives during the past twenty years. In that question is to be found the motive of almost every beastly crime that has figured on the calendar.

It may even be discovered that the obloquy which might attach to the murderer for being seen with some disreputable woman, was the cause of that most awful of crimes, the murder of little Vera Hoad.


PUBLICISTS and preachers are telling us that the cause of these sex murders is traceable to the Great War, and to the deadening of the moral sense.

They can trace such crimes to the growth of paganism, to the breaking down of family ties, to a thousand and one fantastic causes; but the truth is that the sex murder is immediately connected with the wave of Puritanism, the blatant hypocrisy and the stupid gentility of the mid-Victorian period.

Until seventy years ago, the crimes which are constantly appearing nowadays in the newspapers were practically unknown. The motive of 70 per cent, of murders was robbery or revenge.

I am excluding such cases as the Vera Hoad murder, which have occurred persistently throughout the ages.


IT is not permissible to discuss the Byfleet tragedy, or deal with the crime of the Crumbles, at this stage. But one need not be guilty of an act of contempt to find scores of cases where the desire of man for woman, or woman for man, was accompanied by such an overwhelming terror of public opinion as resulted in the committal of the most hideous murders.

* * *

THE Armstrong case will be fresh in the reader's mind. Here was a man, holding an eminent position in the county of Hereford, or just beyond its borders, who was married to a woman for whom he no longer cared, and who in truth had made his life a little bleak and narrowed his outlook to an intolerable extent.

He meets and falls in love with another woman, and his affection is returned. She would not dream of running away with him, and he is too respectable to suggest such a course. He must maintain his dignity at all costs; and so that everything shall be in order, and that convention shall not be outraged, he administers arsenic to his wife, and is free to marry again.

* * *

CRIPPEN is a mild and inoffensive little man, who is married to a woman with whom he has very little in common. He falls in love with his secretary and assistant—what is easier than for them to run away together and start life in a new and a strange land?

But Crippen has a horror of scandal. He shrinks from incurring the sneers and censure of people who know and respect him. "What will they say?" is for ever present in his mind; and, sooner than incur the criticism which must necessarily follow his flight, he poisons his wife, cuts up her body into small pieces and buries it beneath the cellar floor.

* * *

THE Southend murderer carries on with two sisters, the liaison being unknown to each other; and, as the result of this association, one of the girls gets into trouble. He himself is married, and the possibility of the scandal becoming public property weighs on him day and night. In order to hide his infamy, he kills the girl and leaves her in a ditch.

* * *

DEEMING, one of the most brutal of murderers, was also one of the most vain. A married man with five children, he appears in a little Cheshire village as a single man, describes himself as an inspector of armies, and immediately becomes the centre of a throng of admirers, including a girl, to whom he proposes marriage.

And then his wife and five children appear upon the scene, and the exposure of his swank is imminent. The fear of what they would say, and the terror of ridicule, are so strong within him that he murders his wife and five children, and buries them beneath a cement flooring.

* * *

MAN'S fear of looking ridiculous in the eyes of women is the most potent motive for murder. Bennett, the Yarmouth murderer, cuts a dash with a girl whom he has promised to marry. He impresses her family, and is regarded by all his associates as a travelled gentleman with a great future. He puts off his marriage from time to time, and at last, in desperation lest his new-found friends should look down upon him, he strangles his wife in the most brutal circ*mstances, and the way is now clear for him to be respectable and respected.

* * *

DOUGAL hesitates to commit bigamy with the middle-aged Miss Holland, "acts honourably" towards her, and experiences a glow of pride attendant upon his virtue. Yet, when he is threatened with exposure over a sordid and commonplace intrigue, murders his wife and buries her in a moat.

* * *

BUT perhaps the most striking of these sex crimes was that which sent Mrs. Thompson and Bywaters to the scaffold. Here is an extraordinary instance of the horror which a certain type of mind holds for publicity.

This wretched young woman forms an attachment for a ship's steward, who is admitted to her house on terms of friendship with her husband. She is practically independent; she owns a little property, is a clever milliner and earns a good wage. Apparently she holds her husband in abhorrence, and looks forward to the day when she can be free of him.

And yet the gate is wide open for her. Unlike other women, who are dependent upon their husbands' allowance for their sustenance, she is free to come and go when she likes, in the assurance that the worst that can happen is an undefended divorce suit, which would not deserve one line in the local newspapers.

But the fear of "what they will say" lay heavily upon Mrs. Thompson. She could break her marriage vows, she could carry on a remarkable correspondence with this ship's steward, she could take every risk that a woman can take; and yet the possibility of being "shown up" filled her with dread. Mrs. Grundy must be propitiated—and the scaffold must receive its victims!


YOU will find this perverted vanity behind every sex murder, indeed, behind the larger proportion of such crimes as have been committed in the past decade. The instances can be multiplied indefinitely; they will occur and recur, just so long as young people are taught that the supreme social penalty is the stricture of their fellows.


ONE of the most alarming features of murderous crime—and I do not remember that attention has before been drawn to the fact—is that some five women are murdered to every man.

Nowadays we have almost taken it for granted that it is inevitable that, if a person is murdered, that person is a woman. The old crude chivalry which protected the women from murderous hands seems to be a thing of the past.

I take up a reference book at random—it covers the year 1923, a typical year. We had the murder of Irene Wilkins by Allaway, the murder of Mrs. Black by her husband, the murder of Mrs. Armstrong, the murder by Ronald True, the murder of Lady White by Jacoby, the murder of a woman in a lonely inn by Jack Hewitt, a farm boy, the murder of Mrs. Halliday by her husband, the murder of Ada Field by her lover, the murder of his wife by the blind ex-soldier, the destruction of his wife and child by the city metal-merchant, Harry Kaye, the murder of the bride at Market Deeping by a former admirer.

And against these we have the killing of a moneylender, the Thompson murder, and the killing of a man by another.

* * *

"WHAT will people say" is the last thought in the crazy mind of almost every suicide. It is to escape the consequences of minor offences that most of the supreme crimes are committed. The desire to be thought well of can be more immoral than the most flagrant departure from the straight course.

ARE MURDER TRIALS FAIR?

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 9 August 1924


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (30)

Mr. Edgar Wallace, the well-known novelist and criminologist.


In this article Mr. Edgar Wallace, the brilliant writer on criminology, points to what he regards as a grave flaw in our criminal procedure. The State attaches the highest importance to fair play in murder trials. It should take the argument presented here with skill into careful consideration.


IT is impossible that any murderer, or man or woman charged with murder in this country can enjoy a fair trial. That statement is one that I feel sure will receive the endorsem*nt of every judge and every eminent counsel engaged in the defence of people charged with the capital offence.

Our judges are the fairest and the most humane in the world, and although from time to time there are appeals based on "misdirection" this ground is more or less technical, and men like Sir Henry Curtis Bennett and Sir Edward Marshall Hall, who raise such points in the Court of Criminal Appeal, which is the place to which most murderers go to learn the date of their execution, do not believe for one moment that their clients have been maliciously or unfairly treated by the judge.

These great lawyers are usually handling last straws which they can scarcely hope will float their clients to safety or rescue them from the hangman's rope.

THE DANGER OF PUBLICITY.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (31)

Lord Hewart, Lord Chief Justice.

THE unfairness of the murder trial is neither determined by the judges nor approved by them. They are as much victims of a system as are the unfortunate wretches who stand in the dock.

The theory of trial by jury is one about which much could be written both favourably and unfavourably. I can sum up my own view by saying that if I were a guilty man, I should prefer a jury, and if I were innocent I should wish to be tried by a judge without a jury. The law is, however, that guilty or innocent, a man charged with an indictable offence must face a jury. If his offence is a comparatively minor one, the jury come into the case ignorant of the charge, and the evidence which will be brought against him.

The case of an insignificant burglar or swindler does not excite very much attention in the police court. His commital for trial is dismissed in a line, even if it is mentioned at all in the newspapers and the jury go into the box with a perfectly open mind on the subject, and in a percentage of cases the man so charged is found "not guilty" and acquitted. The state of mind in which the jury present themselves for such a trial is a ideal psychological condition of mentality.

SECRECY WITH THE LID OFF.

WHEN murder is the charge, this condition is assumed by the law, and every precaution is taken to prevent the minds of jurymen being influenced, or their views prejudiced. They are kept under the care of an officer of the court; they are not allowed to mingle with their fellows; they may not even receive private letters save by permission of the judge, lest the poison of "influence" be conveyed wittingly or unwittingly. They may not read newspapers for the same reason. They sleep under the jealous eye of the law, and when they take their recreation, it must be in some lonely spot beyond all danger of meeting the informed public.

What a farce and pretence! The judge knows, the counsel on both sides know, the very prisoner knows, that all these elaborate precautions that keep the mind of the jury untainted by prejudice is so much humbug. Under our present system the jury goes into the court so completely acquainted with every fact in the case that they can learn nothing new!

CONDEMNED BEFORE THEIR TRIAL.

THE jury that tried Armstrong had discussed the case before they were even called for jury service. In the extraordinary interview which was published with a juryman after the verdict, that fact was very clearly established.

The fate of Bywaters and Mrs. Thompson was decided before the jury was empanelled—the woman was condemned at every tea-table, and, to say that the jury did not go into court already convinced of the woman's guilt, is to say that they had no knowledge of all the circ*mstances.

I quote the Thompson and Armstrong murders because they illustrate my contention in the most illuminating fashion. The jury went into court in both cases with a very complete knowledge of all the details of the crime, and with their minds biased against the prisoner at the bar by reason of their knowledge.

How came they to know? The answer is that in all cases that come before the supreme criminal tribunals the evidence of witnesses in the lower court is public property.

OVERSTEPPING BOUNDS OF DECENCY.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (32)

Mr. Justice Avery, who tried Mahon.

IN the case of a murder, and particularly a sensational murder, there has been a full report of the inquest, and full reports of the police court proceedings. Every particular of the crime has been discussed. Newspapers that enjoy circulations that reach every home have devoted their columns to the crime, and by the time the last act of the sordid drama is staged, public opinion is "set."

And the damnable thing is that in the lower courts evidence is admitted, which, if it is barred in the higher court, does its part in laying up against the accused a mass of suspicion and hate which cannot fail to produce its reactions on the minds of the jury. The Hay bench allowed evidence that so far from being a respectable member of society, Armstrong suffered from syphilis!

I think Sir Henry Curtis Bennett will agree with me when I say that that phase of the Armstrong enquiry was a disgrace to the bench. More than this, we know that there are certain coroners —I have one London coroner particularly in my mind—who ply witnesses with questions which have nothing whatever to do with the cause of death, and are either designed to show what a smart fellow this coroner is, or else are due to his own morbid curiosity. The more sensational the evidence thus elicited, the more publicity the case secures the more surely bias runs against the accused man.

OUR MEDIAEVAL PROCEDURE.

IN the interest of justice, when a man is In custody on a murder charge, all the proceedings in the lower courts (coroners and magistrates) should be held in camera. That is the only possible way by which the present method of trial for murder can be obviated.

Our present system of legal procedure was intended, or at any rate, took its present shape before the coming of popular education, and before modern newspaper organisations and news services ensured that every man and woman in this island were able to read at breakfast the fullest accounts of yesterday's happenings the night before.

And I believe that these same newspapers which benefit through increased circulation by the reports of preliminary hearings, would offer no objection, and, indeed, would support an amendment to the law which had the effect of suppressing published accounts of preliminary proceedings where a man's or a woman's life was at stake.

WHEN FAIRNESS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

MRS. THOMPSON was condemned before she went into the dock at the Old Bailey—condemned by the letters she wrote, and which were used against her in the magistrate's court, and broadcast throughout the country, long before she ever came to trial.

I repeat that unless the evidence given in the coroner's and the magistrate's courts is given in camera, and that they are enquiries from which the public and the Press are excluded, no murderer can possibly expect to be fairly tried. He goes before twelve men who, with the best intentions in the world, have subconsciously decided his guilt or innocence.

THE MIND OF THE RACE-HORSE


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (33)


As published in The Strand Magazine, 1 November 1924


THE thoroughbred racer represents the highestdevelopment in the process of the horse's evolution. He standsfor something superior to his humble fellows in point of speedand quality, and it is popularly believed that, having achievedthis physical superiority, he has acquired also an intelligencewhich places him in a sphere apart from his species.

Racing is at once the greatest national sport, and, in pointof turnover, the second greatest industry in England. It hasproduced both a press and a literature, and yet, for someunaccountable reason, though thousands of books have been writtenon the race-horse, no writer, scientific or biographical, hasdevoted more than a chapter to the psychology of this fascinatinganimal, and in consequence there has grown up about the race-horse a whole series of legends which are now accepted as provedfacts.

And not the least important of these is that the horse is anintelligent animal with the power of reasoning.

That a dog thinks, we know. The proof that he turns eventsover in his mind has been tested by every dog-lover. A dogdreams. In his sleep he lives over his fights, his joys, and hismiseries. We have all at some time or other been compelled tostir some gruffly barking little slumberer to wakefulness, orhave listened to his whimperings as he lay dead to the worldbefore the fire.

But the sleep of the horse is practically dreamless. Does hethink?


Mr. Alfred Day,

the Arundel trainer, says "No." Mr. Day, an oldSherborne boy, was brought up amongst horses, and is something ofa physiologist, for he was trained for a doctor. His father,William Day, was the author of several books on the horse, andwas one of the most famous trainers of his time.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (34)

"The horse does not think—he is one of the most stupidof the domestic animals, and the more perfectly bred they are,the less evidence is there of intelligence. Possibly thecart-horse is the cleverer of the two varieties. Horses getcredit for intelligence because they can associate consequenceswith causes. If a horse finds a gap in a fence that leads him tomore desirable pasture, he goes to that gap the next day, thoughthere may be half-a-dozen other openings. If he has been stoppedat an inn for his master to take refreshments, he will alwaysstop at that inn, even though it has been converted into atemperance hotel. A horse will recognize the boy who looks afterhim because he associates the boy with certain attentions hereceives. A dog may show suspicion towards a stranger who triesto feed it, but a horse will take oats from Tom as well as fromJim—only the next time he sees Jim he will expect to befed."

People talk glibly about "rogues"—that is to say, horsesthat, having reasoned out the why and wherefore of racing, decidein their minds that they will not do their best. The term "rogue"presupposes that the animals have the gift of thinking, and thattheir erratic behaviour on a racecourse is the outcome of reason.In effect, that a horse says to himself:—

"I don't like racing—it is a very distressingoccupation. One runs until one is exhausted and then there isevery chance of getting a good licking in the last furlong. Iwon't try to run fast—I'll take it comfortably, andalthough I shall probably get the licking I sha'n't run myself toa standstill."

The rogue and the cunning horse, according to Mr. Day, aremore or less of a myth.

"There is usually something constitutionally wrong when ahorse will not give you his best." said Mr. Day. "I have onlyseen two so-called rogues, and there was probably some obscurephysical cause for their failure."

My own experience bears this out. Last year I leased a goodyoung horse, that had won a thousand-pound race as a two-yearold. I ran him at Lewes, and it seemed to me that he ran like onethat could an' be would. For half the journey he was gallopinglike a lion, and then suddenly seemed to decide that racing was afool's game. He finished last but one. The jockey told me that hewouldn't have it—several knowledgeable people commiseratedwith me upon my keeping a rogue in training.

My trainer called in a great veterinary surgeon, whodiscovered that the horse had heart disease and divers othercomplaints. He was destroyed a week later.

Horses have natural antipathies. Pharos, one of Lord Derby'sgood horses and second in last year's Derby, has a rootedobjection to rain. So much so that when he paraded for thisyear's City and Suburban Handicap his quarters were covered witha rug to keep him dry.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (35)


Sansovino, on the other hand, treats rain as a joke, and amuddy course is an ideal condition. There are scores of horseswho seemingly refuse to do their best on a left-handed course(that is, where the turn into the straight is round a left-handedbend, as at Epsom, Newbury, Lingfield, etc.), and scores ofothers who show an appreciable improvement on a right-handedcourse.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (36)


Here again there is no question of "thinking." I traced thehistory of four horses that go best on a right-handed course, andfound that their first efforts on a round course were at Kempton,Gatwick, and Hurst Park, which are right-handed. Their gallops athome were also right-handed. When they found themselves bearingto the left in subsequent races they became unbalanced andmuddled.

It is a question of use and temperament. There is a certaintype of horse that dislikes to be alone, and when this sense ofloneliness comes to a horse he makes some queer friends. TownGuard needed the companionship of a goat.. Papyrus was soattached to a plater in Basil Jarvis's stable that the commoneraccompanied him to America when the Derby winner made hisremarkable journey. I had a horse who would kick his box topieces unless he had a favourite hen roosting on the edge of hismanger. Do these instances prove reasoning power on the part ofthe horse?

One would hesitate to deny him such a faculty. If you rejectthe possibility of a mental equipment, then you may find somedifficulty in defining that illusive and much-abused word"class." For it is the fact that this imponderable quantity issomething distinct from breeding and conformation. It is thesomething in a racehorse which cannot be handicapped to a fewpounds. In a tight finish it is represented by "the will to win,"which brings a horse's nose in front at the winning-post. If hecannot be a rogue, he cannot be honest without conscious thought.He cannot be generous or cowardly.

I am perfectly sure that Tishy thought. This very good fillyran stoutly in all her races except those she ran on theCesarewitch course. The big autumn handicap starts out of sightof the stands, and there is a gallop of a mile along a coursewhich is chiefly remarkable by reason of the fact that there isan entire absence of spectators. In both her races Tishy refusedto gallop after going half a mile, and the generally acceptedtheory is that at some time or other she had been badly treatedor flogged at the particular point where she dropped out. Nothingis further from the truth. Being a filly, and one likely to bevaluable for breeding purposes, she was never asked to do toomuch, and Reginald Day, her then trainer, is a particularlyhumane man. Besides which, horses at Newmarket are not trained onthe courses—there are so many, good gallops that it is notnecessary, even if it were permissible, to train on the actualcourse over which they will run.

My theory is that Tishy had the temperamental failing of thepublic performer. She wanted an audience. The only time she wonat Newmarket was when she ran on the Summer course, and adescription of that race published at the time says that "therewere an unusually large number of spectators down the course towatch the Summer Handicap Plate." She did well at Leicester andSandown, and probably her best race was at Ascot, where the railsare lined with people almost from start to finish. Tishy, one maysuppose, had a passion for the approval of humanity. Alas! poorTishy. It was unnecessary to take the opinion of Lord Derby. Tothe man from whose name the greatest of all races takes its name,a horse is almost human in its intelligence.

Another case of a too hasty classification was that of BlackArrow, who was expected to win the Derby and refused to start,though he was flogged by his trainer—sincedead—unmercifully. Poor Black Arrow dropped dead soonafter, and was found to be suffering from an enlarged liver.


Mr. John Watson,

the well-known racehorse trainer, is equally emphatic on the question of roguery in horses.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (37)

"There are very few rogues," he told me, "though there aretimes when I suspect that horses think a lot. Horses get to knowpeople and places, and of course they remember, though I doubtwhether they think consecutively. It is certain that some horseslove racing and some hate it. But, then. I think it is naturalfor a horse bred for racing to love it, just as it is natural fora kitten to play with a ball of wool. My own experience of therace-horse leads me to believe that he is a most intelligentanimal."

It seems almost sacrilege to fly in the face of popular faithand hold up the legendary genius of the horse as a myth; the moreso when we recall some extraordinary instances of what, if it isnot conclusive proof of thought, is clear evidence of"intelligent association."

There is no more painstaking student of the horse than


Mr. William Allison,

the Special Commissioner of theSportsman, and incidentally a great breeder. He managesthe Cobham Stud, and was instrumental in getting that great sireTracery brought back to this country.

"There is no doubt that horses think—but the less theythink the better, so far as winning races goes Diamond jubileethought a lot, and disliked Morny Cannon and Jack Watts. On theother hand, he liked Herbert Jones. The worst genuine rogue Iever saw was Pan, a very good 'chaser, who simply would not gofirst past the post. I once saw him land over the last fence atHandown about fifty lengths in front, and it seemed impossiblethat he could avoid winning, but he switched his tail and swervedall over the course until something else caught him up. He thencantered in second.

"Horses certainly know people who have to do with them, andthey also know places—there are many who will pull up atpubs where their former owners used to stop for a drink. Horsescertainly object to monotony in their gallops, and this isrelieved by such changes as they find at Epsom and Brighton."

It is a fact, as Mr. Allison says, that Diamond Jubilee, thelate King Edward's horse, had a rooted objection to Morny Cannon,and as violent an antipathy to Watts. With either of these humanejockeys on his back he alternated mulishness with savagery. Butthere was a little stable boy who could do anything with him.

"Let the boy ride," said King Edward (who was then Prince ofWales).

"But he has had no experience, your Royal Highness."

"He understands Jones, and Jones understands him," said theKing. So Herbert Jones, an unknown boy, was put up on DiamondJubilee—and won the Derby.

"He went like a lamb for me," said Jones, when I was talkingto him two years ago at Goodwood, "but that was because he knewme."

And in this respect Diamond Jubilee resembled another horsethat ran at Ascot before the war. There was a jockey he did notlike, and he was so suspicious of some trick being played on himthat he never left the paddock without screwing his head roundand taking a good look at the lad on his back!


Bernard Carslake

is one of the finest judges of horses in thiscountry. A fearless rider, an exceptionally strong finisher, hehas also trained and owned race-horses since his childhood.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (38)

There is, by the way, a stupid legend that "Brownie" isnervous of riding on downhill courses such as Epsom, probably dueto the fact that he did not win the Derby on Tetratema—ahorse that only stayed about seven furlongs in a true run race.Tetratema ran his races in one breath—that is to say, hedid not draw a second breath from start to finish. Carslake inpoint of fact is the most unnervous jockey riding.

He does not agree with Mr. Day's view.

"You have only to watch a steeplechase and note how carefulhorses are not to step upon a fallen rider to realize that theythink. A horse will throw himself over to prevent himselftouching a man on the ground. Moreover, a horse recognizes andremembers. When I was in Austria-Hungary before the war, I usedto ride an animal which for some extraordinary reason took aviolent dislike to me. I never punish any horse I ride, and thisfellow in particular was always treated well by me. But heloathed me. Whenever I appeared in the saddling ring he went mad.Any other jockey he would tolerate, but for some mysterious causehe would play Old Harry just as soon as he saw my face or heardmy voice. It is impossible that he did not think. There are otherhorses I call to mind who are calm and collected just solong as their riders are in their ordinary clothes. But themoment they see them in racing colours they are in a blue funk.Other horses can stand the colours but break into a perspirationas soon as they see the crowd."


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (39)


Carslake's view is, however, not inconsistent with Mr. Day'stheory. The memory of the great jockey's face and voice mightconceivably be associated with a day when the animal was notfeeling his best, and when the last thing in the world he wantedto do was to race. It is not so easy to explain the extraordinarycare which, as he rightly says, horses display when meeting afallen rider. One has seen this happen a hundred times, but inall probability this reluctance to step on a man is traceable tothe instinctive caution found in all animals. The horse isreacting to the first law of nature. He "knows" that to touch anobstacle may bring him down, and it is certain that he would asassiduously avoid a small bump on the ground or a fallen horse.In the case of a jumper the association of ideas connectstouching an obstacle with a fall, and we know that where thislesson has not been learnt horses have stepped upon fallenriders. A brilliant young jockey was killed at Chester in Mayfrom this cause.

I have seen a horse being brought out of his box to bedestroyed stop dead and, planting his two feet squarely on theground, refuse to move, his trembling frame telling clearly thathe knew the fate that was in store for him. In this particularcase the old fellow was given a reprieve, and, from being anincorrigibly slow animal, improved so well that he won a five-hundred-pound hurdle race.

One could multiply instances of horses that were sent to runtheir last race with a sentence of death hanging over them, whohave either won or so improved in their running that a respitehas been granted.


Mr. Stanley Wootton,

a famous rider in his time and now the most successful of the younger school of trainers, is equally emphatic that horses reason.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (40)

"Although his thinking is not confined to feeding time," hesaid, "the one fact which convinces me that he gives certainmatters a weighty consideration is his fastidiousness in thematter of feed and water.

"Horses undoubtedly have marked likes and dislikes forindividuals, and their antipathies are more or less mysterious. Ihave known horses that could not bear certain stable boys nearthem."

A year ago there was a horse in Wootton's stable who hated theinoffensive boy and made several attempts to kill him. Onemorning he dragged the boy from a horse he was riding and knelton him. When the boy was rescued and sent home on a hack, thehorse broke loose and, chasing the injured youth, dragged him offa*gain!

Stanley Wootton is one of those thorough trainers who keeptheir eyes on every horse in their stable, and it is impossiblethat the boy could have hurt the horse in any way without hisknowing. One thing is certain, that horses never get over theirdislike of those humans who incur their displeasure, and not eventhe elephant, whose memory is proverbially long, can retain ananimosity for a greater length of time.

In racing circles they call Alec Taylor of Manton "theWizard," and in so far as he can get to the very inside of ahorse's mind this nickname is justified.

"Bought one of Taylor's horses, have you?" said a well-knownsportsman to another. "I wish you luck. Personally, I never wantto buy horses that Taylor is finished with—he speaks theirlanguage, and they tell him when they're no good!"


Mr. Alec Taylor,

like his father before him, has an extraordinaryknowledge of the thoroughbred and studies his peculiarities withthe patience of a scientist. His view is that the horse has amind. No man pays less attention to the popular view, and he haskept horses in training which, according to every authority onracing, have been incorrigible rogues. A recent case in point wasStratford, a wilful, unreliable animal, whom, after costlyfailures, he coaxed into winning.

If at any race meeting you see a well-dressed young man withan umbrella hooked to his arm, leading a horse out of thepaddock, you have seen a man to whom every horse is a thinkingwonder.


Mr. Jack Jarvis

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (41)

trained the One Thousand Guineas winner and the second in the Oaks.

"Of course horses think! Put a nervous rider up on a horse andsee how quickly the animal knows! If he didn't think, it wouldmake no difference to him whether he was nervous or as bold as alion. The straight-thinking horse is a joy to deal with. He isequable in temper, honest in running, and he likes his bit of funjust the same as a human."


Mr. P.P. Gilpin,

who trained Pretty Polly, and who had Town Guardin his stable and many other fine horses, writes sardonically,hinting what he thinks of the horses in his stable, for this isone of the lean years that come to every trainer.

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (42)

Yet Mr. Gilpin has had quite a number of "thinkers"—fromthe placid Pretty Polly to the mud-larking St. Louis.

There is a story that there was a horse in his stable which onone occasion was narrowly beaten by a very good horse in a race,and thereafter, when he found himself in a race with the sameanimal, took one look at him at the "gate" and refused tostart!

I once owned a race-horse that on the morning of a race wasfound to be lame and was sent home again. The trouble was a minorone—it yielded to treatment in a few days, and a fortnightlater he was sent over to a neighbouring racecourse to run in asmall plate. That morning he was galloped on the course and wentlike a lion, but when the trainer brought him out before the racehe was dead lame. An examination was made, but no injury could bediscovered. Again he was sent home, and this time, without anytreatment at all, the trouble disappeared. For a third time hewas sent to a course, and for a third time, just before the race,the lameness came on. His number was in the frame, and thestewards were approached to allow him to be withdrawn. But one ofthem said that he had seen the horse walking about withouttrouble and permission was refused. I thought the steward hadbeen mistaken, but on interviewing the boy in charge of theequine scoundrel I learnt that the moment the trainer and I hadleft him he had frisked about like a two-year-old. On theappearance of the trainer, however, the lameness came on. Heliterally limped to the post—and won the race by threelengths!


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (43)


This might have been due to stiffness, but a few weeks laterhe fell shin-sore. You test a horse for this complaint by runningyour hand down the cannon-bone. If the horse flinches he is shin-sore. He flinched. What is more, for months after, whenever ahand touched his leg, he flinched. On the second occasion I'llswear that he was no more shin-sore than I was, but he knew thatby flinching he avoided a hard race.

Shin-sore or not, we ran him and he was beaten two heads; thenext time out lie tried both the lame stunt and the shin-soreflinch. Subsequently we took no notice cf his malingering unlesshe went short in his gallop. Happily he never learnt thisdodge.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (44)


There is at the moment a horse in training who can leap like adeer; no fence is too high for him. But for some extraordinaryreason he refuses most resolutely to jump the lastfence—preferring to take the short cut to the winning-post,which disqualifies him—for every fence must be jumped. Ihave seen him ten lengths in front with the winning-post insight. He is not distressed, he is galloping comfortably; he hascleared water jump and rail fence without an effort, andthen—

"Watch this horse run out," says the man on the Pressstand.

It is the last fence. He is coming straight for it full ofrunning—a violent swerve and he has come triumphantlythrough the gap, despite the agonized efforts of his jockey.

He knows, of course, that if this performance were not variedwith a very occasional win he would most surely find himself inthe hands of a veterinary surgeon, and that a humane killer wouldbe fixed to his head, there would be a "plop!" and he would kickhimself through the gap that leads to the horses' heaven. Andwhen he is given his last chance, and his trainer tells himsolemnly that this is his final appearance on a steeplechasecourse, he wins!

Is this instinct or thought? Is there some thing in thetrainer's tone which reaches his brain and causes him to readjusthis plans? If you believe this, you must believe that he reasons,and I think you would be right in so believing.

The deeper one probes into the mystery of a horse's mentality,the more convinced one grows that the horse is a thinking animal.There are many physical reasons why a horse cannot demonstratehis intelligence as readily as a dog—it is impossible toimagine, for instance, a horse leaping up and pawing a humanfriend or licking his face; but that he has his moments ofrumination and that he can give physical expression to mentalconditions is, I think, proved beyond doubt.

THE SUBURBAN LOTHARIO

A TRUE-CRIME CLASSIC

First published, without a title, as an introduction to the book
The Trial of Patrick Herbert Mahon,
Charles Scribner's Sons, London, 1928

Reprinted as "The Suburban Lothario" in
The Edgar Wallace Mystery Magazine, May 1965


IT is a natural thing for the humanitarian tosay, of any man convicted of wilful murder, that he could nothave been sane when he performed the act; and when murder is donein such circ*mstances and in such an atmosphere as that whichmarked the destruction of Emily Beilby Kaye, more profoundly doesthe mind of a balanced man grow bewildered.

Yet all things were possible with Patrick Herbert Mahon, whoseform of insanity took the shape of a colossal vanity. Mahon was aman of pleasing address, popular with women and with his fellowmen. For all his anti-social acts, he was in the way of being asocial success in certain circ*mstances in those circles to whichhe had the entrée.

He was born in Liverpool; one of a large family of strugglingmiddle-class folk—a boy of some small talent and anassiduous attendant at Sunday school. So he became an office boy,ultimately a junior clerk. He continued to go regularly to churchand took a vivid interest in its social affairs. He displayedsome prowess in athletics and was particularly fond of football,becoming indeed a prominent member of one of the local churchteams. His early mode of life is described as having been a modelfor all young men.

At school he first met the pretty, dark-haired girl to whomhis life was to become so tragically linked. She was two yearsyounger than he, and their school friendship developed intosomething warmer at a later stage. Indeed, they were both intheir teens when he first proposed marriage. There was strongopposition by both families and it was two years afterthis—in 1910—that they were married. He was thentwenty and the girl eighteen.

Perhaps it was a reckless marriage. But this at least shouldbe said. If any woman could have deflected Mahon from the paththat was to lead to the scaffold, it was Mrs. Mahon. Withsingular devotion she held to him through the black and anxiousyears to the end. Hers is the real tragedy of this story.

Within a year of their marriage he had forged and utteredcheques for £123 on the firm which employed him. With this moneyhe took a girl to the Isle of Man. He was traced, brought back,and bound over. Mrs. Mahon forgave him and they left Liverpool tostart life anew.

Ultimately he obtained a position with a dairy firm inWiltshire. There is no doubt that he had a fund of businessability, and this, with an apparent genial vivacity of manner,served him well for a time. He was still a "sportsman", andplayed football for a local team.

About this time a little girl was born. Hard upon this Mahonwas arrested for embezzling £60 from his employers and wassentenced at Dorchester Assizes to twelve months'imprisonment.

Upon his release he is known to have lived for a while in theneighbourhood of Caine, Wiltshire. There was a mysteriousepidemic of burglaries in this neighbourhood, and it may or maynot have been a coincidence that Mahon suddenly decided to seekother quarters.

He is next heard of at Sunningdale, where he was employed by adairy. This time there were some love affairs which provoked alittle scandal. Again Mahon was thrown out of work. There is agap here which the imagination may easily fill in. Mahon hadbecome interested in racing, and, when opportunity offered,attended race meetings in many capacities—preferably as abookmaker's clerk.

However that may be, it fell on a day in the early part of1916 that a branch of the National Provincial Bank at Sunningdalewas entered at night. A maid-servant who interrupted the intruderwas ferociously attacked with a hammer. When she regainedconsciousness she found herself in the arms of Mahon, who waskissing her. Later Mahon, who had dodged to Wallasey, wasarrested and tried at Guildford Assizes for the offence. It wasbrought plainly home, and after he had been found guilty he madea whining appeal to the judge to be allowed to join the Army.Lord Darling sternly retorted that he was a thorough-pacedhypocrite whom the Army could do without, and sentenced him tofive years' penal servitude.

That term he served. A boy was born in 1916, but died a yearor two later without having seen his father. Mrs. Mahon, left toher own resources, with indomitable courage sought a living forher little girl and herself. She obtained a post with ConsolsAutomatic Aerators Ltd., which had a factory at Sunbury. Herefficiency and energy soon attracted the attention of the headsof the firm, and she was promoted to a responsible position.

* * * * *

MAHON came back from prison—full ofpromises of reform, anxious to be again with his wife. Observethat he always came back—that Mrs. Mahon always took himback. Superintendent Carlin of Scotland Yard made a shrewdobservation on this trait: "He was keenly disposed to'philandering' or having 'affairs' with this or that womancasually as they attracted him. But he never, I am convinced,wished to sever his connection with his domestic hearth. He feltin his his own mind that the woman he had married was his sheetanchor; that, if he cast off from her, he would be adrift."

They settled down in a flat in Pagoda Avenue, Richmond, andMrs. Mahon used her influence to procure him a berth as a soda-fountain salesman with her firm. Mahon did well—so wellthat when in May, 1922, the business was put in the hands of aReceiver he was appointed sales manager.

Now it chanced that the Receiver of the Company, a member of afirm of chartered accountants, in the beginning of 1923 engagedas a typist a woman— she can scarcely be described as agirl, since she was then thirty-seven years old, Miss EmilyBeilby Kaye.

Miss Kaye had maintained herself by her own efforts for manyyears. She was a competent, experienced woman, not uncomely, wholived at a bachelor girls' club, and had managed to put by a sumof money, considerable for one in her position. She was not inthe least averse from a flirtation with the handsome salesmanager, this suburban Lothario, with whom business circ*mstancesnow brought her in contact.

The affair developed rapidly. She at least fell violently inlove. Mahon may have thought that it would end as other episodesof this kind had before ended for him. But Emily Kaye was noteasily discarded, I think we may accept Mahon's own words on thispoint:

"Just before Christmas, Miss Kaye was dismissed from theoffice where she was employed, and, as a result, had a lot oftime on her hands, and she wished me to see her more frequentlywhich I was unwilling to do for several reasons. She reproachedme on several occasions as being cold, and told me quite plainlythat she wished my affection and was determined to win it ifpossible. I felt sorry for the fact that she had been dismissedand did, as a result, meet her a bit more frequently. Itemporized in the hope of gaining time, but from that moment Ifelt more or less at the mercy of a strong-minded woman, whom,though I liked her in many ways, I did not tremendously carefor."

Mahon was embarrassed—perhaps a little scared. But hewent on, and there were certain dabblings with francs in which hewas proved to have had some concern, with Miss Kaye's money. Heasserted that some of his own money had been used in thesetransactions, but there can be no question that the funds wereprovided by the woman. Miss Kaye was for a short while inemployment, but again fell out of work and some time in February,1924, she probably became aware that she was pregnant. SaidMahon:

"She became thoroughly unsettled and begged me to give upeverything and go abroad with her. I plainly told her that Icould not agree to such a course. I agreed to consider thematter, however, in the hope of gaining some time, but shesuggested I should take a holiday and go away with her for a weekor two, and take a bungalow, where we would be alone together,and where she would convince me with her love that I should beperfectly happy with her."

This was the immediate prologue to the tragedy. Miss Kaye wasnot as some of the other women Mahon had made his playthings. Shecould not be easily thrown aside.

Apart from this episode, Mahon felt the ground solid beneathhis feet. His income was more considerable than it had ever beenand, added to that of his wife, allowed a very comfortableexistence. He was happy in his work; he was popular among hissocial acquaintances in Richmond and the neighbourhood. He hadbecome secretary of a local bowling club. Save to his wife, hispast was utterly unknown. The future looked full of promise. Allthis would have to be jettisoned, his career, his friends, hishome—and he had a sort of attachment to his wife and littlegirl—if he yielded to Miss Kaye and took to flight withher.

He fought weakly to save himself. Even so, he might havesucceeded, had not fate put into the hands of Emily Kayesomewhere about this time a weapon against which he feltimpotent. It was the first of a number of strange coincidenceswith which the case was marked. No reference was made to it atthe trial, nor did it leak out in the newspapers.

* * * * *

EMILY KAYE was clearing a drawer of some of herbelongings. At the bottom of the drawer someone had placed asheet of newspaper. And as she took it out her eye lightedcasually on the name of Patrick Mahon. Thus she read of his trialat Guildford Assizes.

It may be assumed that she used this knowledge in herinterviews with Mahon. She pressed the idea of "a loveexperiment," and he gave way. He engaged a bungalow on thestretch of lonely beach between Eastbourne and Pevensey Bay fortwo months, using the assumed name of Waller. This bungalow,known indifferently as "Officer's House" and "Langney Bungalow,"had formerly been the official residence of the officer incommand of a coastguard station.

This was at the beginning of April, 1924. Miss Kaye receivedthe news with some coldness. She had not intended the"experiment" to last longer than a few days. However, she soldout her remaining shares, and went down to stay at Eastbourne byherself while she looked over the place. Mahon was to join herlater.

He was very worried: "I felt in myself very depressed andmiserable, and did not wish to spend the three or four daystogether as she desired, but as I had given my word, and as Ifelt that I could definitely prove how foolish the hope was onher part to expect to keep my affection, even could she gain it,I thought I had better go through with it."

Yet the ruling passion was still strong in him. Two daysbefore he was to take possession of the bungalow with Miss Kayehe met Miss Duncan—a stranger— in the street atRichmond, and although it was a wet night walked with her most ofthe way to her home at Richmond. He remarked that his marriedlife was a tragedy, and invited her to dine with him on thefollowing Wednesday. The episode gives a clue to the psychologyof the man. Murder must have been very close to his mind at thattime, and yet he could philander with still another woman.

On April 12 he purchased a saw and knife at a shop in VictoriaStreet, and travelling down to Eastbourne met Miss Kaye at thestation. They took a cab to the bungalow, and so the "loveexperiment" started. So far as his home and his firm wasconcerned Mahon was supposed to be travelling "on business.".

Miss Kaye had set her heart on eloping to South Africa. Shehad informed her friends that she was engaged—she had shownsome of them a ring-and that her fiancé had a good post atthe Cape. In a letter written to a friend on April 14 she saidthat she and "Pat" intended to spend a little time in Parisbefore going out. This was the last communication that any of herfriends or relatives had from her.

On Tuesday, April 15, the two travelled to London together.Mahon had agreed to apply for a passport, but when they met inthe evening to return to Eastbourne he told her that he had notdone so, and did not intend to do so. A quarrel broke out in thetrain.

If Mahon's story is to be credited the woman presented himwith an ultimatum when they reached the bungalow. She insistedthat he should write to friends that he intended going to Parisand thence to South Africa. Mahon refused, and Miss Kaye, in anaccess of ungovernable fury first threw a coal axe at him, andthen attacked him with her bare hands. In the struggle—thisis Mahon's version—they fell, and she struck her head on acoal cauldron. A little later he realized that she was dead.

I mention Mahon's explanation, but few people will be found tobelieve that it was other than a cold-blooded and premeditatedmurder. Clearly he knew that he would be free the followingevening, for he had during the day wired to Miss Duncan making anappointment.

His story of consternation and horror has a genuine ring.Mahon was a man of temperament and he felt the reaction. He wasface to face with the problem that has confronted manymurderers—the disposal of the body. And although he seemsto have formed his plans beforehand—witness the purchase ofthe saw and the knife—he had not the nerve to put them intoimmediate execution. He carried the body to a spare bedroom andcovered it with a fur coat.

That night he spent in Eastbourne, and on the next evening hedined in London with Miss Duncan. He remarked that he was stayingat a charming bungalow and induced her to agree to pay him avisit two days later—on Good Friday. He confirmed this thefollowing day by a wire from Eastbourne, "Meet train as arranged,Waller," and sent a telegraphic money order for four pounds.

This was on the face of it the act of a lunatic. The body wasstill at the bungalow. The man was taking a grotesquechance—for what? He himself gave the answer: "The damnedplace was haunted; I wanted human companionship."

Unquestionably Mahon's nerve was badly shaken and yet to alloutward appearance he gave no sign. Miss Duncan does not appearto have had any suspicion and she went down to Eastbourne on GoodFriday afternoon and was met by Mahon and taken to the bungalow.That day before her arrival he had commenced a sinister work, andthere was one room that was barred to his visitor. He told herthat it contained valuable books.

The next day he left her at Eastbourne and went by himself toPlumpton Races. Here he was noticed by an acquaintance whoattached no special significance to the meeting, although itproved to be of vital importance in the chain of circ*mstancethat was to betray the murderer.

Mahon realized by now that the presence of Miss Duncan wasgoing to embarrass him. So he concocted a telegram in afictitious name and despatched it to himself as Waller at thebungalow, making an appointment in London for an early hour onTuesday morning. Thus he was afforded an excuse for cutting shortMiss Duncan's stay. They returned to town on Easter Monday, andsomewhere about midnight Mahon arrived back at his home atKew.

He was back at the bungalow on Tuesday. Here I may tell acurious story which did not come out in evidence. He had alreadypartly dismembered the body, and he now set to work with theintention of disposing of the remains piecemeal. The day was darkand heavy. He built a huge fire in the room and upon this placedthe head. At that moment the storm broke with an appalling crashof thunder and a violent flash of lightning. As the head lay uponthe coals the dead eyes opened, and Mahon, in his shirtsleeves ashe was, fled blindly out to the rain-swept shingle of thedeserted shore. When he nerved himself to return the fire haddone its work.

It was an extraordinary coincidence that whilst he was givingevidence at his trial a thunderstorm was also raging. He gavecalm denial when he was asked if he had desired the death of MissKaye. Almost on his words the court was illumined by lightningand re-echoed with the crash of thunder. Those who saw his faceand knew the truth will never forget that moment when the soundof the storm brought back to his mind that fearful midnightscene. He was a broken man when he faced the deadlycrossexamination of Sir Henry Curtis Bennett.

* * * * *

MAHON discovered that with every method hisingenuity could suggest the disposal of the body was likely to bea long job. Meanwhile he had to show himself at his office andhis home. He returned to his home on the Tuesday night, andduring the rest of the week he had to be at his work. On Saturdayand Sunday he renewed his labours. On Sunday he conceived theidea of distributing some pieces of the dismembered body from arailway carriage window.

He spent some time over the gruesome business of packing aGladstone bag. No chance seems to have offered itself on thejourney to London that evening but he did succeed in getting ridof some portions between Waterloo Station and Richmond. But hewas unable completely to empty the bag, and he decided to go onto Reading. The night he spent at an hotel in that town.

The next day—Monday—he returned to London. The bagwas now empty save for the wrappings he had used and a cook'sknife. These he probably intended to destroy later. He was acuteenough to realize that if he had thrown them away they might havebeen identified.

The bag he left at one of the cloakrooms at Waterloo Stationand went home. Now, although Mrs. Mahon had forgiven more thanmost women would have done, she was a person of intelligence.Mahon's strange comings and goings of late, his messages bytelegram, his stories of business out of town, did not altogetherimpose on her. She knew him too well. Still, although she couldnot fail to be suspicious, no glimmer of the real truth waspresent in her mind. Someone had mentioned casually that he hadmet Mahon at Plumpton Races and she feared that this was anexplanation. Her husband had been previously mixed up withbookmaking and, in spite of his promise to her, it was possiblethat he had gone back.

She found the cloakroom ticket in one of his suits. She took afriend into her confidence—he had been formerly connectedwith the railway police—and asked him to discover what itreferred to. She had a belief that it might be some of theparaphernalia used by bookmakers. Thus it came about that the bagwas closely examined. It was locked, but by pulling at the oneend some indication of its grim secret was revealed.

Scotland Yard was immediately informed, and Chief Detective-Inspector Savage had men posted to watch the cloakroom. Mrs.Mahon was informed that there was nothing to suggest that herhusband was bookmaking.

Mahon returned for the bag on the Friday evening (May 2). Asit was handed to him a detective stopped him.

"Rubbish," he exclaimed when told that he would be taken toa police station. This little touch of bravado did not help him.He was taken to the station and later to Scotland Yard. The bagwas opened and was found to contain a cook's knife which had beenrecently used, two pieces of silk, a towel, a silk scarf, a pairof torn knickers, and a brown canvas racquet case marked EBK.Most of these things were blood-stained, and the whole contentsof the bag had been heavily sprinkled with a disinfectant.

Savage confronted his prisoner with these things and asked foran explanation. Mahon explained, lamely, that he had carried meatfor the dogs in the bag.

"That will not do," said the Inspector. "These stains are ofhuman blood."

"You seem to know all about it," retorted Mahon.

For a quarter of an hour or more there was silence. Then Mahonspoke. "I wonder," he said, "if you can realize how terrible athing it is for one's body to be active and one's mind to fail toact."

Apart from one other muttered remark there was again silencefor three-quarters of an hour. Mahon came to a resolve. "Isuppose you know everything," he said. "I will tell you thetruth."

He was cautioned, and then he told for the first time hisversion of the tragedy. I have drawn upon this and his subsequentstatements in this account of the affair.

The Scotland Yard experts and the East Sussex Constabulary atonce got to work. A search of the bungalow revealed many tracesof the crime. There were portions of the body, and evidence ofthe attempt to get rid of it. But two very important parts of thebody were missing. No trace of the head could be found. This, inall probability would have shown exactly how the murder wascommitted. There was no trace of the uterus.

* * * * *

THE trial opened at Lewes Assizes during July,1924, before Mr. Justice Avory, an experienced and strongcriminal judge. Sir Henry Curtis Bennett led for the Crown, andMr. J. D. Cassels, K.C., for the defence.

The point taken by the defence was that the death of Miss Kayewas an accident, that either during a struggle between Mahon andMiss Kaye she had died from striking her head against a coal-scuttle, or that in fighting her off he had unintentionallystrangled her. Mr. Cassels handled the case with notable skill,but he had to fight some deadly and almost irresistibleinferences.

Although Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the pathologist, refused tocommit himself to an opinion on the precise manner of death hewas definite in his assertion that it could not have been causedby the woman striking her head against the coal-scuttle, whichwas of fragile construction. He was able to say that Miss Kaye,had she lived, would have become a mother.

All the shifts and deceits of Mahon during his intrigue withMiss Kaye were exposed to the jury. It was shown that over £500of Miss Kaye's savings had disappeared. Three one-hundred poundnotes, which had been in her possession, were shown to have beenchanged by Mahon in false names at various places. Overwhelmingmotives were shown by which he might have been actuated tomurder.

The judge's charge to the jury was a lucid, perfectly fair,but damning summary of the case. Within half an hour the jury hadfound Mahon guilty.

You may say, as has been said, that none but a lunatic couldhave acted as he did; but apart from the deed, Mahon acted like asane, calculating man.

I have referred to Mahon's vanity: it is a peculiar trait inall the "great" murderers that they desire to be thought well of.He cannot bear the thought of leaving a stunned servant maid witha bad opinion (not unnatural) of the man who assaulted her. He isat all times anxious to be considered by his respectablecompanions as a man of substance and a prince of good fellows, aself-described "Broth of a bhoy."

There was never a more cold-blooded murderer except perhapsGeorge Joseph Smith, than this unspeakable villain. Even at theend, when he confessed his guilt to the prison officials, hebegged that they would not make public his confession for fear ofthe "bad impression it might make."

OUR CRIMINALS AND THEIR WAYS OF THOUGHT

FIRST-CLASS CARD-SHARPERS AND CONFIDENCE MEN

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 10 September 1928

1. The Educated Criminals.

ALL men are born criminals. The baby in itscradle knows no law. Its tiny hands would kill and maim to thelimit of its strength: it takes whatsoever its hands can reach,irrespective of lawful ownership. Remove the baby from the careand tuition of its civilized mother and nurse, cut out all the"don'ts" and "mustn'ts" which stand in the rough for the laws bywhich society is governed and it remains an active criminal untilthe end of its days. That is to say,it takes what it wishes, itslays that which it hates, it is entirely self-indulgent. Allwild things are "criminal," in that they obey only the laws ofnature.

The criminal, as we understand the phrase, is a man or womanwho ignores a few of the rules of which society has agreed shallgovern human activities. He understands and approves of thoselaws, and is all for the enforcement of those which protect himequally with the innocent citizen.

He requires that the police shall so regulate the traffic thathe may drive his stolen motor car with a minimum of risk tohimself; that his landlord shall not dispossess him of hishabitation, that his food shall not be adulterated, and that hisprivate enemies shall not assassinate him.

Lawless Man, a Phenomenon.

THE entirely lawless man is a phenomenon—evenUlianov Lenin was not a completely lawless man, since he railedagainst the unpunctuality of Russian trains.

I do not intend in these articles to go very deeply into thepsychology of the criminal. His mentality has been fantasticallytabulated by such biased scientists as Lombroso, his facial andphysical peculiarities have formed the basis of theses forwriters who, during the past hundred years, have devoted theirstudies to him and his ways; nor is it necessary that I shouldtake a microscope to examine the seeds of his proliferation.

Here he is, a fact to be faced by the prosocial forces ofevery country, a hateful fact to some, a fearful fact to others,an interesting fact to all who count nothing that is humanwithout interest.

The statistician does not help one very much to understandhim, for statistics can prove just what you wish them to prove:Statistics have proved to one party that crime has fallen off 50percent in an American city since the introduction ofprohibition, and has proved with equal force to another that thepolice were only half as efficient since the city went "dry."

Living Beyond Income.

IT may be stated broadly that the cause ofcriminality in an individual is his desire to live beyond theincome that he believes he could obtain by the legitimateexploitation of his abilities.

There is no underworld in the sense that there is no criminalcommunity dwelling and conspiring together to break the law.Criminals are individualists. Two or three may gather together tocarry out some "job" but there is no fixity in theirassociations. Harry C. and Tommy B. together with Johnny H. mayarrange to burgle a house or two houses; may, indeed, for aperiod work together at their nefarious occupations, but thechances are that they will be split up into units either throughdetection or through suspicion, one of the other, and Tommy B.will be working with Frederick K. on the next "job" he does.

Criminals Classified.

WHEN attempting to classify the habitualcriminals it is possible to divide them into two main divisions:the educated and the uneducated. There are grades of educatedcriminals-so-called--and in the highest of these you will findthe "aristocracy," which travels first-class in the liners plyingbetween Britain and foreign ports. They are men of somesubstances, they have reserves of money, and they alone of thecriminal classes can be fairly described as working ingangs.

Card-sharpers rarely change their partners. They mayoccasionally find a new assistant who is not skilled in the useof cards but has a plausible tongue and an attractive appearance,but the actual operators work together year in, year out. Thereis one confederacy consisting of three separate gangs, and itdoes happen in this case that changes are made for every voyage,so that the same three men are rarely seen together.

"Respectable" Card-Sharpers.

THE first-class card-sharper lives a veryrespectable life. He usually has his home in the United Statesand will cross the ocean from six to ten times a year. Arrivingin London, he puts up at a good hotel, and it may be that, havingfound a "sucker" on the boat who showed some reluctance to beinveigled in a game of cards, a coup is arranged on land, and thefriendship which began at sea exploited disastrously for thevictim.

At least twice a year the shipboard card-sharpers make a tourof the European cities. You will find them on the Riviera in theseason and quite recently they have been discovered in wintersports areas. They are very careful to avoid Monte Carlo, whichhas a system of espionage more perfect than is to be found in anyother city in the Continent. When I was in Berlin the other day Iwas told by a police official that card-sharp gangs had beenlocated in some of the big German cities, and particularly in thespas of Czechoslovakia.

An Interesting Type

THE card-sharp is the most interesting of allthe criminals. He has a knowledge of human psychology which ispositively staggering. For example it is very rare that a sea-going "crowd" will attempt to fleece their dupes before at leastthree days of the voyage are over. The passenger who comes onboard a steamer is naturally suspicious of chance acquaintances,and would probably regard an invitation to play cards made by aperfect stranger as a sinister circ*mstance.

I will give my own experience the only time that I was evercaught. We were due in Southampton on Wednesday morning, and onthe Saturday night a venerable old gentleman with whom I talkedabout everything in the world except cards, suggested we shouldplay a game of bridge before going to bed. His confederate (and Ihadn't the slightest idea that they were connected, and lookedupon them as on people who had casually drifted to the tablewhere I was drinking a nightcap) demurred.

"Too Late for Bridge."

"IT is much too late to start bridge tonight,"one said.

"What about tomorrow?" asked my venerable friend.

Here the cleverness of these crooks was revealed. A sturdy,white-haired man, who was the second member of the gang, shookhis head.

"No, not on Sunday," he said, "I am not a Puritan, and I haveno objection to other people playing cards, but I never playcards on Sunday, and I don't want to start now. You may think Iam old-fashioned, but there it is."

I respected the man for his scruples. I was impressed. Herewas an honest gentleman, a little old-fashioned, as he said, buta man of principle.

On Monday morning I met them in the smoke room. "It was muchtoo early for bridge," protested the venerable one. It looked asif we were not going to get our game. Eventually it was decidedto play between lunch and tea in the Parisian Cafe, and here weplayed. I made a grand slam in the first hand—I had lost £80 at the finish.

A Question of Stakes.

"WHY play at such high stakes?" you ask.

Again you have to admire their cleverness.

"We will play for a shilling," said one of them.

Naturally, I thought it was a shilling a hundred. It was afterI had been dealt my first hand, which was blazing with aces andkings, that somebody said:

"Isn't a shilling a point too high?"

I suppose if I had been inhumanly honest I should havesaid:

"No, I am playing for a shilling a hundred."

I could afford a shilling and did not say no.

I realised that I had been caught before the game was over. Ipaid my losses. I did not regret my playing because Isubsequently made quite a lot of money out of writing storiesabout the ocean-going crook.

I give this instance of the mentality of the higher gradecriminal as an illustration.

Confidence Men.

IN the same class are the confidence men. Notthe gentlemen who are to be found in the London parks looking fora man whose name is Smith in order to hand over to him hundredsof thousands of pounds left by a mythological millionaire, butthe big men who wander around Europe looking for the big money.They may make a killing once a year, but they land a tremendousbooty.

These criminals are generally blackmailers as well asconfidence men, and they utilize every scrap of information theycan secure in order to hook their fish. Very rarely is there asqueal, and they enjoy a greater immunity than any other type ofcriminal.

A perfect specimen of an educated lawbreaker operated in theMidlands. He had been a priest and had been unfrocked for certainmalpractices. He went to a Midland city and opened a bookshop,and people who saw a few shelves covered with heavy anduninteresting tomes on ecclesiastical and religious matterswondered how he gained a living. Then, one day, two Scotland Yardmen arrived and took him away with them.

I think his form of graft was the most ingenious I have evermet with. He used to search diligently in all the newspapers—he subscribed to some fifty local and country weeklies—to discover the names of clergymen of the Church of England who had died.

Ingenious Fraud.

WHEN he had secured the information about theirdeath, he looked them up in Croker to get some idea of theirstipends, and a few days later the executors of the deceasedclergyman received a bill for books supplied.

Sometimes the bill was paid without demur, but occasionallythe executor would ask for a statement of accounts, and wouldreceive at once a long list of obscene works, such as certainobscure booksellers supply. In order to save any kind of scandal,and probably believing the worst of their poor dead friend, theexecutors sent a check in settlement.

His undoing came in a remarkable way—he sent a bill to the executors of a West of England clergyman, a man he supposed to have plenty of money, and the executors asked for particulars.Back came an appalling list designed to show that the dead priesthad a depraved taste. A few days afterward the swindler wasarrested. He had made a mistake. The deceased clergyman had beenstone blind for twenty years, a fact with which he had notacquainted himself.

Still Being Worked.

THIS, I believe, is a practice that is stillbeing worked. If executors and relations will take my advice theywill immediately hand to the police any communication framed onthe lines of this crook's demands. Here is a man who deliberatelysets out to swindle—unlike many others equally fortunate in the matter of education, who drifted "to the left."

As a rule, this kind of thief, more than his uneducatedfellow, is driven to crime by immediate necessity. He starts byforging an acceptance on a bill of exchange, or, in somedesperate need, he orders goods for which he cannot pay, disposesof them; or, being in some position of trust, employs money whichis not his own, but which he hopes to make good in time to avoiddetection. In this category you may find the fallen bank clerk,the agent, the embezzling solicitor and the postal official. Veryfew of these, however, reach what could be truthfully describedas the underworld. They are saved by their relations and friendsand never appear in the records of Scotland Yard. Only a minuteproportion use their first conviction as a jumping-off place fora life of crime.

Note: A very similararticle called "High Class Crooks at Work" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 28 October 1928.

THE MAKING OF BURGLARS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 11 September 1928

Why Young People Go Wrong.

THERE is no criminal state, as I have saidbefore, nor could there be, since lawbreakers are intenselyuninterested in their kind. Take the average criminal and talkwith him for a quarter of an hour on general subjects and thensuddenly switch the conversation over to some nine-day wonder ofcrime which is filling the public eye. Instantly he is bored. Heneither praises the ingenuity of the gang which has broken into aHatton Garden store and removed jewellery of a fabulous value,nor does he express the slightest curiosity as to the meansadopted.

He is self-centred, and some little adventure of his own inthe past is an ever so much more interesting topic fordiscussion. He is, however, ready and willing to discuss pastcontemporaries in his own line of business. He has a queerperverted pride in his own particular graft. If he is apickpocket, the exploit of a confidence man may arouse a slightflicker of enthusiasm, because there is a certain associationbetween pickpockets and the small fry in the confidenceworld.

Preliminary "Training."

IT is very often the case that the various sortsof specialists, burglars, cheap card sharps—the type youmeet in race trains—and little thieves have served at sometime or other as temporary "whizzers" (pickpockets). Pickpocketswho "work" the buses in rush hours usually operate in gangs ofthree and four. One of them might be an expert "dipper," theothers cover his movements or act as minders to facilitate hisescape. The minders are, as a rule, men of brute intelligence andbrute in every other respect. The unskilled laborer in the fieldof crime is certain sooner or later to gravitate to one of thesegangs. Pickpocketing is also regarded as the last resort of anaged criminal.

This type of lawbreaker has a certain wit which does the dutyof intelligence. It is hardly fair to describe it as lowcunning.

Metal Button Clue

ONE of the most important police officers inLondon was once called to the scene of a burglary. An entrancehad been effected in an upper window and some goods were stolen.The only clue—and it was an important one—was thediscovery on the window sill of a metal button. The detectiveremembered seeing a man, an old acquaintance of his, wearing afancy waistcoat with buttons of that particular character, and heimmediately went in search of his man. He had not gone far beforehe encountered the subject. A quick glance at him showed him thatone button of the waistcoat was missing, and it was a case of"come round to the station with me."

The man was interrogated, told the usual lies, and, as he wasan old offender, when he was charged at the Police Court, wascommitted for trial. In those days the police procedure was alittle different from what it is today. When the case came up atthe Old Bailey (or the Sessions, I am not sure which) thedetective went into the witness box, gave his evidence, otherwitnesses were put in, and the prisoner raised no objection. Thecase was proved to the hilt until the moment the prisoner wasasked if he had anything to say in his defense. He was stillwearing the waistcoat he had on when he was arrested, and this heindicated to the jury.

An Ingenious Defence.

"YOU have seen the button that the detectiveshowed you. I would like you to have a look at it again."

The jury examined the button.

"Now," said the prisoner, removing his waistcoat, "look atthis. It is true I have lost a button, but you will find theshank is still sewn on! The button you have in your hand has ashank on it. Did you ever hear of any button with twoshanks?"

There was no answer to this and the man was acquitted. Whathad happened was that while he was awaiting trial somebody hadsmuggled in a shank of a button, a needle and thread, and he hadsewn it on!

There are hundreds of instances of similar ingenuity, and yetthat ingenuity would have been unnecessary if the prisoner hadhad the sense to realise that he had lost a button of hiswaistcoat in the course of his escapade, and had sewn on another.He was so clever that he was back again at the Old Bailey onanother charge in a few months, and was set down to a term ofpenal servitude.

Wilful Slackers.

IT is hardly true that unemployment drives anhonest man to crime, and it was not true even before the days ofthe dole. The recruit for the underworld is drawn, and always hasbeen drawn, from the wilfully unemployed, the young man whoprefers to lie snug in bed to obeying the factory hooter in thedull, dark hours of the morning, who desires independence, ratherthan face the deadly monotony of a regular job.

The first steps from rectitude are so remote that it is verydifficult to find a criminal who can remember where he began hisfirst acts of lawlessness.

As a child I was daily brought into contact with otherchildren who were regular and systematic thieves, yet who stolefor no profit. They were boys who were employed at printer'sworks and would bring home handfuls of new type and display it totheir admiring friends: boys employed in boot warehouses, whowould steal the cheaper kind of ladies' shoes without having theslightest use for them. There were other boys who worked at thedocks, and scarcely a day passed that they did not come home withtheir pockets bulging with contraband of a more negotiablecharacter.

Finding a "Receiver."

THESE young people definitely go over to a lifeof lawlessness just as soon as they can discover a receiver whowould give them cash for their "finds." In some districts and incertain circles the receiver is very easy to find. In others thethief does not come in contact with this poisonous individual anddrifts back to honesty and decency under the influence of homeand respectable associates. Once the receiver is found and stolengoods can be converted into spendable money, a new outlook onlife is established. The youth gets so much money from hisillicit games that he forgets that it is necessary for him tomaintain himself in regular employment.

He is either found out or dismissed and he finds himself onthe world without money and no desire for regular work and apressing need for cash. It requires a certain amount of characterto go back to regular employment, however great may be theopportunities for pilfering and so he drifts to a life ofpilfering alone, and is definitely criminalised. To him there isno underworld. He is an individualist, as I have said before: hiscomrades may have a loose value as assistants, confederates,directors of new operations or organisers. fa*gins there may be,but they do not play a considerable part.

The Real fa*gin.

THE real fa*gin is the receiver, and if thesegentry received automatically twice the normal sentences usuallypassed upon them for all offences where they have purchased fromthieves under the age of 21, the heavy work of the police mightbe considerably lightened.

What does frequently happen is that the kind of honestemployment that a young man followed before he went crookdetermines the character of his subsequent depredations. Forexample, most of the stealers of material, such as silk, cloth,furs, are men who have been honestly employed either in thewarehousing or handling of these commodities.

A type of crime frequently met with is the stealing of vanscontaining goods ready for delivery. The carman has gone into acoffee house for breakfast accompanied by his van boy. Whilst heis absent somebody gets into the van and drives off to anunfrequented spot, where the goods contained in the wagon arelooted.

It is pretty certain that one or other of the thievesconcerned in this robbery has been at some time carman engaged inthe delivery of goods, and not only so, but in the particularvariety of goods that are found in the van,

Inside Knowledge.

IT is the same with warehouse robberies. One orother of the thieves has become acquainted with the routine ofsome particular warehouse or shop, has got to know the habits ofthe staff and has a very intimate acquaintance with the kind ofgoods that are to be found on the premises. To some extent thisfacilitates the work of the police in their business ofdetection. They are able to classify the various varieties oflarcenists and burglars, and they know that when new houses incourse of erection have been entered by night and lead pipes andbrass taps stolen, the job has been done by a specialist in thiskind of theft.

This fact was brought home to me some years ago when I waspresent during the hearing of a charge against a man who hadbroken into a rectory and had stolen some silver. When the juryreturned a verdict of guilty and his previous convictions wereread out, three out of four were concerned with the breaking intoclergymen's houses. The man before he adopted a life of crime,had been a handy man at a rectory and probably his idea of wealthand luxury was circ*mscribed in the mental picture of a well-furnished house of a priest.

The Burglar's Choice.

I ALWAYS thought the everyday burglar whodevotes himself to the "busting" of dwelling houses hasparticular predilections and yet I was told by a police officerof a very wide acquaintance that burglars as a rule specialise ina certain type of house. Some, for example, never "operated" onhouses that hadn't a basem*nt, others would burgle nothing butnon-basem*nt houses. It is not an infrequent experience when newvillas are put up in the suburbs—especially the villas of asubstantial type—for the "professionals" to go over theempty houses to make themselves acquainted with the generallayout of the rooms.

It is an extraordinary fact that although burglars are verytimid and nervous (those who have had the unpleasant experienceof having burglars in the house will testify to the fact, forthey live ball the time in terror of a burly householder with agun in his hand), they very rarely desert this form of robberyfor any other.

Burglary, of course, is the easiest of crime; requires lessingenuity than any other. I do not know the exact figures, but itis the fact that more empty houses are burgles than "live"ones—a live one being a house that is occupied.

The ideal venue is the house or flat from which the owner isabsent on a holiday. It is only the younger and more recklessmembers of the craft who will dare to break into a house knowingsomebody is sleeping on the premises.


Note: A very similararticle called "Causes That Lead Men to Lower Forms Of Crime"appeared in The Boston Globe on 4 November 1928.

WOMEN BLACKMAILERS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 12 September 1928

How Wealthy Provincials are Trapped in London.

THE West End of London is the haunt of criminalsof a peculiar type. They are the luxury traders and live onfolly, not of the rich, but the "flush." The "flush" are peoplewho, without having any definite source of wealth, have for themoment an unusual accumulation of money.

People on holidays, visitors from foreign lands, men cutting adash on money they have saved or accumulated by legal or illicitmeans, well-to-do folk from the provincial centres—allthese are material for the "con-men," the card sharps andblackmailers who gather in considerable numbers when London is"full." All these have in reserve, or in active co-operation,women of a certain class. One of the most dangerous gangs thatever operated in the Metropolis was that governed by a veryattractive woman, who had an intelligence department deserving ofa better end.

Her Specialities

SHE specialised in middle-aged men of substance,town Councilors from Midland towns, aldermen, J.P.s. She had adetailed list of all the wealthy public men in the country. Shecould afford to wait, living in a first-class hotel until alikely victim came along. Once the "subject" was found, her workwas fairly simple. She chose her men very wisely, becameacquainted with them, and after a succession of hectic littlesupper parties, allowed her prey to go back to his respectablehome and his public duties with no apprehension in his mind thatthere was coming another day of reckoning.

Then, one afternoon when Mr. Mayor or Mr. Alderman wasspeaking sedately on the subject of town lighting at Councilmeeting, an angry voice would be heard in the corridor outside, alady demanding stridently that Mr. X should be informedimmediately that she was waiting. When, in terror, he hurried outto her it was with the greatest difficulty he stilled her shrillvoice and brought her to the privacy of his room.

"Hush Money" Trick.

She had a husband (she said) who had discovered "everything,"she must go to Mr. Alderman's wife and ask her to help her. . ..

Mr. Alderman paid hush money—not once, but many times.One Mr. Alderman, in despair, hanged himself in his wine cellar.

The police knew of this, but could get no evidence; no victimwould testify against her. Deportation was not so easy to securein those days—she was an alien—and she might havegone on with impunity if she had not committed the fatal error ofgetting herself mixed up in a shooting affray. That little affaircost her fifteen years of liberty, for once the police got her intheir hands, they worked up such a case against her that she hadno chance of escaping with a light sentence.

A Similar Type.

THERE was another woman, more attractive who,until a year ago, was working the same trick with greatersuccess. She is young and pretty, beautifully gowned, rides in amost expensive car, and has, or has had, a suite at one of thebest hotels. She chooses the young man about town—thewealthy do-nothing, whose income and circ*mstances are veryeasily ascertainable.

She is difficult to get acquainted with, knows to the Nthdegree the value of suspense, has given a commercial value toreluctance and hesitation. Her graft is to lure her man to ahopeless compromising situation and then demand money on thethreat of charging her victim with an offense.

I would not dare, even if there were no law of libel, to giveyou a list of the people who have been caught and have paid.

Women Assistants.

LESSER women assistants attach themselves toevery coterie of blackmailers and town sharps; they need verylittle description, and that not of the politest kind. Theirvalue both as principals and helpers is obvious. It is they whoact as hostesses at the little supper parties, which arefollowed by cards. There are scores of furnished houses and flatstaken for the season, and I remember one case where a house inthe street in which I am living was rented at £100 a week. Thelordly owner did not know that his beautiful home was being usedas a gambling club until he read, to his horror, that it had beenraided by the police! In this case women were used as decoys.

A "chance" meeting (usually maneuvered) between a very prettygirl and the "right" man on the river at an open-air clubsomewhere round London should be followed by the inevitable"Where can I see you again?"

What was easier than to arrange a dinner and, after a call atthe gaming house on the pretext that she had to see somebody toput off a supper engagement?

The beginning of the women criminals are drably and sadlyalike. I have never met with nor heard of a woman crook whocommitted any illegal act in the days of her innocency. In a verylarge number of cases there is a treacherous man and an unwantedchild in the background. Prostitution is not a consequence, but acause of crime. I do not, of course refer to that peculiar typeof offense which is entirely and absolutely distinct, except inisolated cases, from the general practice ofcriminality—shoplifting. The majority of shoplifters areamateurs in the sense that they live respectable lives, have veryoften husbands in good employment and, in some cases, well to do.The practice is almost a vice, since there is practically nothingat all to be gained. The exception is the class of shop thieveswho operate in gangs. As a rule they choose a suburb of Londonor some nearby town, and go off in a party from six to ten,dividing when they reach the town, and each taking somepredetermined area of operation. In suburbs like, for example,Kingston, Wimbledon and, farther afield, Watford, Southend-on-Sea,and in other seaside towns, they are certain to find shopswhich do not employ any of those pestilential detectives who areon duty in London stores and whose duty it is to keep suspectsunder observation.

Systematic Gangs.

THESE little gangs work most systematically,expenses are divided amongst them and certain allowances made forrefreshments and when the haul has been made and disposed of theprofits are equally divided.

There is, or was, quite a number of these gangs having theirbase in the East End of London, and only very recently the policearrested one such crowd in a watering place on the East Coast.Almost every one of them had a shoplifting history and one or twowere wanted for petty pilfering.

This set more nearly approximates to a "gang" than any otherwithin my knowledge.

From the area where these women are to be found emanates theprofessional servant thief. The police have records of scores ofwomen who do nothing but take situations as domestic servants.Their imposing credentials are forged and they usually take theprecaution of entering their names at a first-class registryoffice. Naturally the agent takes up their references and findsthat they are all they claim to be, and more.

Excellent References.

ABOUT twenty years ago there used to be a placein Essex which bore the imposing name of Manor Hall (this is notthe name, but I don't give the real title, in case there is amore pretentious dwelling with that name). Mr. Jones, who desireda butler and a cook-housekeeper, was referred to Manor Hall andheard of the excellent service which the couple had renderedduring "the past ten years." The letter was invariably written inlady-like hand in the third person. The paper bore a crest andwas embossed with the gratuitous information that the nearestrailway station was Snelborough. But the Manor Hall was a smallcottage owned by a lady who had long ceased to follow herprofession and earned a very good livelihood as a late employerof undesirable people. I am relying on my memory, but I have animpression that the Manor Hall was not the only name this cottagebore.

Telephone Talks

THE telephone has been of great use to thedishonest servant. A lady in a hurry to hire a cook very oftendoes not trouble to write, but if a telephone number is givenwill call up the "late employer" and accept an ecstatic estimateof the new servant's virtues.

The crook servant is not long in the house before sheunderstands exactly the possibilities of her new job. Only thecheaper kind steal articles of jewelry. The more experienced typewill wait until she has the opportunity of securing a returnworth while. There are cases on record where the patient thiefhas waited for months until the family had gone on a holiday andthen has cleared every piece of valuable furniture from thehouse.

The woman thief is always more dangerous because she is leastsuspected. Somehow, you never think of a woman as a trainedthief. She invariably dresses infinitely better than the man ofher class. She takes trouble with her voice and, if she isattractive, uses what charms she possesses to still furtherdisarm her dupe.

Few Women Burglars.

THE woman burglar is practically nonexistent.Burglary is a manual work. There are roofs to be climbed, windowsto be forced. Moreover, a woman in a deserted street late atnight attracts more attention than a man.

Another peculiar fact is that the woman forger is practicallyunknown although one would imagine that with their delicate touchthey would be able to make a better job of the work than aman.

On the other hand, women counterfeiters are numerous. Theybelong to a lower strata of society. Perhaps it is that there issome latent chivalry—although I have never met withit—which makes them reluctant to involve a woman in a crimefor which there is such a very heavy sentence.

In one branch of criminality, however, women play a veryignoble part—they are expert blackmailers. I would like togive a separate chapter to these pests, the most deadly ofall.

Note: A very similararticle called "When Women go in for Crime" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 11 November 1928.

MORE BLACKMAILERS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 13 September 1928

Vanity in Men that Means Danger.

ORGANIZED blackmail is not a "trade" in thesense that there is a class of persons which deliberately setsitself to gain a livelihood by extracting money under threats. Wehear of "blackmail gangs" and occasionally see the conviction ofseveral people who, acting together have extracted money fromsome unfortunate person, but as a general rule, blackmail is anaccidental crime which may be repeated should opportunity offer,and may in certain cases, become a system.

I am thinking more of male offenders; the women are in a classby themselves.

There is a type of systematic criminal who falls under thedescription and who is familiar to the police and to thepublic.

These are the men who dog the footsteps of country couples andappear at an embarrassing moment, representing themselves aspolice officers and demanding money as an alternative to arrest.These cases are frequently met with in the Court.

Without Scruples.

BUT the average blackmailer is an unscrupulousperson, who uses knowledge acquired by accident to extract money.In the United States systematic blackmail is much more frequentlymet with, for the laws of America and the free and easy method bywhich private detectives are given power which in this countryare restricted to the police, offers the blackmailer greaterscope. One of the greatest of American detectives calculated thata million dollars a year was taken by blackmailers in the city ofNew York alone.

The Mann act was, and probably still is, a prolific source ofincome to these gentry. Under this act it is a felony to take anywoman from one State to another for immoral purposes. Working incollaboration with an attractive member of the oldest profession,the blackmailers reaped, and still reap a rich harvest. It waseasy enough to induce a dupe to cross from New York to JerseyCity—which is equivalent to a journey from Fleet Street toBlackfriars. Here the pair would be discovered by a spuriousdetective, with the result that the man paid, and paid heavily,to keep himself out of the Courts.

The blackmailer whom we know has his beginning in the chancediscovery of his victim's failings, follies or delinquencies.

Here are a few cases I can recall without consulting mybooks:

Created by the Victim.

A. was a married lady who had an affair with aCanadian officer. Her maid, under notice to leave, found a numberof letters from the lover, and taking these away with her, she,on the advice of a married sister, and smarting under the refusalof her late employer to give her a "character," wrote hinting atthe possession of information and the effect this might have onthe lady's husband. The lady very foolishly sent money andthereafter paid regular tribute. The blackmailer in this case wascreated by the victim.

B. was a professional man who had assisted agirl in bringing about an illegal operation. The girl's sisterdemanded money ostensibly to send her sister ion continuousholiday, necessitated by the state of her health.

C. was a man who had embezzled the money of hisemployers. His relations found the money to pay the employers,but the correspondence between the firm and the culprit fell ontothe hands of a young man who was walking with C's maid.

Blackmailers seldom demand money on a direct threat ofexposure. He or she invariably asks for a loan either to leavethe country, to pay the cost of an illness, or to pay billsincurred through the supposed fault of the victim, and the threatis as invariably oblique.

Here is a typical peroration to such a letter:


"...I feel I must go abroad. I am desperate. Iwill come up to your house to-morrow night. I am sure your wifewould have pity on me and lend me money...."

The Fruit of Alarm.

THERE is a tremendous amount of this kind ofblackmail going on. The victim knows that if he informs hissolicitor a prosecution will follow. Of late it has been thepractice of all decent newspapers to suppress the name andaddress of a man or woman who prosecutes a charge of extractingmoney, but very often it is not public exposure that the victimfears, but the enlightenment of his or her own family circle onthe subject of past stupidities.

Men are more particularly susceptible to the operations of theblackmailer, because of their extraordinary vanity.

The conceit of the male is past belief. Many years ago I wasmaking inquiries in a celebrated murder case, and, as is theusual experience in the investigations of a reporter, myquestions were addressed to many unsavory people and in manypeculiar quarters.

A Staggering Discovery.

THE criminal was well known to a certain type ofwoman, and we limited our inquiries to three of these, two ofwhom lived in Bloomsbury and one in Fulham. Their homes were inno sense houses of a dubious character. Two of them had flats andone had a furnished suite of rooms in a seemingly respectablehouse, though of this I had my doubts.

What was to me a staggering discovery was that in each ofthese women's rooms I found scores of photographs of decent men,some obviously in a good position, and not only theirphotographs, but also their cards displayed upon the mantelpiece.Every photograph was affectionately inscribed, and I have neverseen such a perfect jumping-off place for a blackmailer in all mylife. The photographs were mostly taken by recognised West Endphotographers, and some of the cards had the men's clubinscribed. I asked the girls whether this was the usualpractice.

"O, yes," said one. "A man likes to think that he isparticularly favored by a girl, and he usually manages to work upa little sentimental interest in her."

Man's Vanity.

THE display of these photographs, of course, wasmerely an expression of the woman's desire for respectability.She wished to show those of her intimate acquaintances who calledthe kind of friendS she had. That is easily explained. There isno other explanation of the folly of those men who deliver theircharacters and their careers into the hands of a prostitute,except this overweening vanity which is almost beyondanalysis.

There is among those women a certain code of honour whichcovers the majority. There are others, however, who are not thusbound, and it occasionally happens that men had had to pay verydearly for their lapse from righteousness. A police officer whowould have been a member of the Morality Squad if there had beena Morality Squad at Scotland Yard, told me that it is very rare,indeed, that professional women engage in the trade of blackmail,and there are others for whom blackmail is the firstconsideration, and their mode of life merely a means to live.

Note: A very similararticle called "Blackmailer Preys on His Victim's Vanity"appeared in The Boston Globe on 18 November 1928.

THE RARE DESPERADO

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 14 September 1928

A New Light on Some of Our Gangsters.

GREAT BRITAIN differs from all other countriesin that offences against the person are comparatively small. InAmerica the hold-up man is a familiar phenomenon, and that someunfortunate pedestrian has been "beaten up" and robbed, or a bankmanager has been shot down and the money in his charge stolen,are common items of news. In Germany there are quite a number ofcrimes every year where people have been murdered for theirmoney, and whilst I was in Berlin a month ago I was shown aphotograph of a woman who had her throat cut by another woman fora few marks.

This type of crime in Britain is rare. Going back over thecriminals who have been executed in this country during the pastfew years, I can only recall three outstanding figures, two ofwhom were concerned inn the same crime—Kennedy andBrowne—and a few years ago—Seddon.

It is a peculiar fact that whenever criminals have stolen andmurdered violently, as distinct from poisoning their victims, twomen have invariably been concerned. To Browne and Kennedy we addDonovan and Wade, the brothers Stratton and the two Muswell Hillmurderers. The habitual criminal never seems to take life whenengaged in his nefarious occupation unless he has the co-operation of another, which is remarkable, since criminals arevery suspicious of each other, and are always guarding themselvesagainst betrayal even by their best friends.

The Normal Burglar Not Violent.

IT is difficult to understand this mentality,but possibly when a criminal is accompanied by another andcommits an act of violence, he has the illusion that hisresponsibilities is halved. The normal burglar—if this isnot a contradiction of term—has a terror of violence, andas I have said before, some men have flatly refused to go on a"job" if a member of the gang had firearms in his possession.

If he carries a jemmy—it is for what he regards as alegitimate purpose, but very seldom do the police in searchingan arrested burglar discover so much as a life preserver in hispocket. There are exceptions, but these amongst the youngamateurs, who do not realise the terrible danger they run and thesentence which will come their way if they are found inpossession of a loaded revolver

It is not amongst the higher grades of criminals that you findviolent propensities. The murder which led to the siege of SidneyStreet was carried out by Russian aliens, and men like Browne andKennedy are rare. Kennedy by the way, was the man who is believedto have shot Gutteridge through the eye when he was lying in theground, and not Browne, and that is why Kennedy did not go intothe box.

It is amongst the lower strata—the pickpockets and sneakthieves, the pests that haunt places where the public gather inany number, who come either to steal or to assist in the three-card trick—that crimes of violence are very common.

Living Near the Border Line.

IT is always very amusing to me to read innewspapers of "racecourse gangs" abiding in the East End ofLondon. It is true that these rival sections are frequenters ofracecourses. They are also to be found at football matches, inthe crowds that gather to see Royalty pass and even on ArmisticeDay in the neighbourhood of the Cenotaph. They live on greatcongregations and depend upon confusion occasioned by publicgatherings to cover their escape. It is not true that they haveany special association with racing.

My experience has been that a racecourse, especially since theenergetic action of the Stewards, and, I think, Sir Samuel Scott,is a very safe place. Fights between factions occur from time totime and earn a little undesirable publicity. There are in Londona number of small clubs frequented by the least desirableelements of our population.

I do not suggest that all the members are dishonest, but avery large proportion of them live on what passes for theirwits—very near to the border-line that separates the lawfulfrom the unlawful. These places are more or less gaming clubs andthe frequenters include the smaller fry amongst bookmakers, acertain type of thief and that odd collection of people who seemto live without any visible means of support.

One writer said such a place as the Leopard Club, which I haveput into my play, "The Squeaker," was purest imagination, but Ihave known a several such clubs, which smart people havepatronised for the thrill of it. There was one, a little betterthan the others, existing for a long time within a hundred pacesof Piccadilly Circus. It had its premises underground, and thereonce I saw a most ghastly fight between two men, the spectatorsbeing "ladies and gentlemen," if one may judge their quality bythe fashion and richness of their attire.

The new generation scoffs at the existence of such places, butwho does not remember that little hotel in Lower Regent Street,the forerunner of all disreputable night clubs, and the amazingscenes which could be witnessed between one and two in themorning? But who does not know the bar where every thief andconfidence man in London was wont to gather, and that other barsituated within a stone's throw of Piccadilly and Bond Street, ina very fashionable thoroughfare, where at five o'clock in theafternoon you could find a crowd of three hundred people, mainlyconsisting of swindlers of all varieties, and the demi-mondaine?Police action has done no more than drive these people into newhaunts and new meeting places, and the process has beenfacilitated by the coming of the motor-car.

A Violent Feud.

LIKE the gangster of Chicago, the criminal whoindulges in violent acts usually confines his fences to membersof his own profession. A few months ago one of these men starteda "spieling" club in the neighbourhood of Edgware Road. A"spieling" club is a gambling house where baccarat and similargames are played not for the enticement of the possible "mug"though he is always welcome, but for the amusem*nt of the "boys"themselves. One night, when business was slack, three men cameand were properly introduced. They had not been there for aquarter of an hour when one of them picked up a bottle andknocked out the proprietor of the club, took his winnings anddisappeared. Here was the beginning of a bloody feud which lastedfor a long time, and which,is still going on, but in the courseof this no innocent person outside the coteries concerned hasbeen injured.

In one respect there is honour amongst thieves: the man,picked up battered almost beyond recognition will never divulgethe name of his assailant, possibly because he thinks that he canvisit the offender with a far greater punishment than the lawwould inflict, and because he does not wish to draw suspicionupon himself when that vengeance is accomplished.

Deterring Punishments.

GREAT BRITAIN stands almost alone in thesecurity of the law-abiding citizens against physical violence onthe part of the members of the criminal classes. They enjoyalmost what is tantamount to immunity and this is traceabledirectly to the operations of the law. Garotters and other kindsof criminals who have used violence for gain, were practicallystamped out when Mr. Justice Day ordered flogging. Strangelyenough the majority of the underworld offers a complete approvalnot only to flogging as a punishment, but also to capitalpunishment. It will be an unfortunate day when misguidedhumanitarians abolish either punishment which is very sparinglyawarded, but which has an amazingly deterrent effect.

The humanitarian points to the fact that when the deathpenalty was exacted for theft, highway robbery, sheep stealing,etc., the spectacle of the criminal on his way to Tyburn was farfrom discouraging. The crime for which he suffered brought newrecruits to the underworld. Unconsciously they offer anexplanation why this should be. The real value of capitalpunishment lies in the secrecy of its operation and thepsychological effect it has upon the people it is meant tointimidate.

Public executions were spectacles, the malefactor being thecentre of interest and, for a number of dreadful moments the heroof the situation. The horror of capital punishment from thecriminal's point of view is its mystery.

COMING OUT OF GAOL

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 15 September1928

The Difficulty of Going Straight Without a Job.

A VERY large proportion of humanity isfundamentally dishonest, but does not live by cheating, but onlya small section of the fundamentally dishonest gain their livingby breaking either the written or the moral law. As I have saidbefore, they are individualists, unless they are working incoteries.

It may be convenient for the purpose of description todescribe these as "gangs," but they are not gangs in the sense ofthe old gangs our fathers knew; in fact, the gangster spirit(that is to say, the community of lawlessness) is neverestablished except in prison, which moulds all men into acriminal type.

It is loosely said that burglaries and fences against the laware very often planned in prison, and I have no doubt thatconvicts, when they meet, especially with the end of theirsentence in sight, do discuss the illicit possibilities of thefuture.

But as far as convict prisons are concerned, the men who goout to liberty intending at the earliest opportunity to commit aparticular crime, are very few indeed. Their desire is verynaturally to avoid further imprisonment, and the large majorityof them, assisted by various societies, do make an effort tosecure work.

The Half-Hearted

IN the majority of cases they are unskilledlabourers, they have no Trade Union ticket, even as generallabourers, and they are quite unfitted to begin a battle of lifeagainst the severe competition which they find in a freeworld.

One meets these half-hearted people wandering aimlessly andpathetically around London, looking for suitable employment,knowing in their heart of hearts that, unless a miracle happens,that employment can never be obtained. It is difficult enough forhonest men, who have never seen the inside of a prison gate, tofind employment—it is almost impossible for the ex-criminal. The jobs they ask for are within the scope of theirtalents. They wish to be messengers, caretakers or watchmen;which may, at first sight, seem a remarkable desire, and to coversome sinister plans for the future—for the messenger willcarry, the caretaker will protect and the watchman will obviouslyobserve property of some value, and in all three occupations thevery highest credentials are required by employers.

They may get work on the roads, but here again, unless roadwork is provided by benevolent municipalities for out-of-works,there is no opening even in this field of labour. The SalvationArmy and similar missions do a certain amount of work, in thatthey collect the indigent and give them employment, which,however, is too reminiscent of casual ward and prison labour tohave much attraction.

Betting.

BETTING is a prolific cause of first offence,but very rarely the cause of second and third offence. Thepilferer of stamps and tills, the secretary of small clubs whofinds it convenient to vanish before the Christmas share-out, thecashier, the barman, who rings a "no sale" on a cash register andtakes out from the till the amount he should have put in, theseare what I would describe the "opportunity thieves" who do notproperly belong to the underworld, and will never reach thatdingy region unless they are entirely devoid of character.

Drunkenness is no longer a remarkable cause of crime. A safe-breaker told me that he had only once "operated" with a "boozer,"and that he preferred men like himself who were total abstainers.Drink may be, and probably is, the explanation for a great dealof petty fences such as fighting, embezzlement, wounding etc, butone does not meet, nowadays, any authentic cases of young men whohave been brought to a criminal career through this form of self-indulgence. If one does, it is usually found that they hadalready contracted criminal associations.

Boys' Clubs

WHAT is badly needed, and particularly in largeindustrial areas, are boys' clubs and compulsory evening classes.Something more than this is desirable—that the eveningclasses shall conform to the real requirements of the poor. Vanboys would not waste their nights learning bookkeeping, Frenchand three varieties of art; they want to be taught something thatwill be of use, something that will open new vistas and will be acounter-attraction to the alluring picture of wealth withoutwork, which the underworld draws for them.

Shame

THE gang-formers are, as I have said before, theprisons. It is only here that lawless men meet on communityterms, having nothing else to unite their interests but theirpast misdemeanors. The real curse of the prison is that it mayremove from the young delinquent all sense of shame for his pastiniquities. In China, where "soldier" was once a term ofreproach, there was a saying: "In the army no man feels ashamed."Prison familiarises the novice with a new habit of thought. Rightand wrong are substituted by expediency and inexpediency.

There is a system by which the young offender is kept fromcontact with the older criminal. In theory this system is quiteworkable—in reality, of course, many things happen in prisonswhich are contrary to the spirit and letter of law. The youngoffender may not actually meet a man with many convictions, butthere is a sort of oblique contact.

Novices Impressed

THE idea that the old lag instructs the novicein the art and practice of crime has little foundation in fact,though he is very often an inspiration; you can imagine theeffect on the first offender who, day after day and week afterweek, has pointed out to him the notabilities of the underworldand their exploits described to him in tones of awe. A man has tohave many convictions against his name before he actually usesthe friendships which are established in prison for thedevelopment of crimes when he is released. That was why Browne,in the Gutteridge case, was so remarkable a character.

The segregation of first offenders does not, of course, applyto convict establishments, and at Dartmoor special privilege mustbe earned. I still believe that the adoption in this country ofthe system of suspended sentences would go a long way towardsrelieving the calendar of second fences. If the postal official,the defaulted clerk, the embezzler, instead of being sent toassociation with the criminal classes, was released immediatelythe sentence was passed, the taxpayer would be saved considerableexpense and the society would benefit. The suspended sentence istantamount to the system of ordering a man to come up forjudgment when called upon.

Note: A very similar article called "Prisons Are OftenNurseries for Criminals" appeared in The Boston Globe on 2December 1928.

FOREIGN CROOKS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 17 September1928

Dangerous Men in the Trains.

LONDON is the meeting place, but not theheadquarters of certain groups of crooks. Paris has the dubiousdistinction of being their more or less permanent home. Thenationality of the international crowd is overwhelminglyAmerican; this enterprising race has even ousted the shady racinghanger-on from his once unassailable position. You could almostcount the British international criminal on the fingers of twohands.

The British are not good linguists, or, what is more nearlytrue, they have not the same nerve to speak bad French and Germanas Americans do.

Though France and Germany can produce some very interestinghomicides, they do not produce in the bulk such skilled offendersagainst the laws of property as America and Britain. The geniusof the German burglar, swindler and shoplifter, however,transcends similar criminals of other nations. He does notoperate on the scale of the big "bank smasher," and he has feweropportunities of making big hauls than has his prototype ofLondon and New York. But what he does he does well andthoroughly.

In the Berlin Kriminalmuseum I saw a most amazing collectionof tools and gadgets used by burglars. One was a thick batten ofwood, at the top of which was a steel spike tapering from a finepoint to a broad base. The burglars, working from below, put thespike under the floor of a room they were "opening"; the otherend of the batten was put upon a big motor-car "jack," and withthis simple instrument the floor was forced.

A Sense of Humour.

IN some respects the German criminal resemblesthe British crook in that he possesses a very keen sense ofhumour. Behind the museum where these implements are displayed isa prison. One night a prisoner escaped, climbed up into themuseum, made a collection of tools likely to be of use to himand, getting out of the building, burgled a jeweler's shop.

I saw here one or two interesting pieces of equipment used byprofessional shop thieves. One was a cardboard dress box. It wasneatly wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. On theparcel was the label of a well-known firm in Berlin. The thiefcarried this (there were two exhibits of different sizes) into astore, laid it on the counter and proceeded to examine variousarticles which he or she wished to purchase. In the course ofthis examination various goods disappeared. Once or twice thesuspicious attendant called for the store detective, but nothingwas found, and the thief was allowed to go.

A Mass of Cruel Spikes

UNFORTUNATELY for him, the criminal police wereconsulted, and they very quickly got to the bottom (or the side)of the mystery. The side of the parcel was a trap-door with aspring to keep it closed. It was cleverly camouflaged and even aclose observer would have imagined that the neatly folded paperrepresenting the end of the parcel was the real thing. The thiefhad only to push any article he wished to conceal through theside of the parcel and it vanished, and even the most suspiciousof shop assistants would not imagine that, tucked away in thatsealed package, was the missing stock.

Though crimes of a certain unpleasant type are very common inGermany, most of the instruments I saw used by thieves for theirdefence were of French make. An innocent looking walking-stickthat, on a touch of the spring, became a mass of cruel spikes,was quite a rarity in the gallery.

The Hotel Thieves

YOU may roughly classify the Continental crookinto three categories: First, the big burglar gangs which makefleeting visits from capital to capital; second, the swindlers,which include the cardsharps, confidence men, cheque passers andspecialists in fraud generally; thirdly, the luggage thieves,which include hotel and jewel thieves.

The police make bigger hauls of the third category than of anyother. They are to be found in Berlin, in Prague, Vienna andother great centres, and I believe there are at this moment inthe German prisons quite a number of English confidence men. Withthese latter, of course, the language presents no difficulty,since they travel as British on British passports, and nobodyexpects a true born Britain to understand any other than hismother tongue.

Train Robbers

THE French are, perhaps, the most expert trainthieves, and it is these, rather than the imported article, thatpassengers to the Riviera in the season have most to fear. Anofficial of the Wagons-Lits told me once, that in the periodbetween when the conductor went into his cabin to sign somenecessary document and came out, an expert thief had enteredthree compartments and escaped without detection. It is veryrare, however, that the Wagons-Lits coaches are robbed; astranger appearing in the middle of the night is instantlydetected, and the real danger comes from an apparently genuinepassenger who is travelling in the coaches.

Their dexterity is amazing. There have been instances of boxesand money being removed from under a pillow without disturbingthe sleeper. There is one historic case where the whole of a bedwas searched without awakening the victim.

The train thieves have a very intimate knowledge of thepsychology of travellers, and they know exactly the places wherevaluables may be hidden.

Careless Women.

IT is remarkable that much more is not stolen,remembering the haphazard method of passengers. I know a case ofa woman who invariably carries £6,000 in jewellery whenever shegoes abroad, and as invariably leaves her property in a smalldressing-bag, which could be stolen and thrown out of the windowto a confederate almost with the minimum chance of detection. Herjustification is that the jewel case is locked!

Enormous sums of money go across the Channel daily in the formof jewels and actual cash. Not so very long ago I travelled fromParis with a man who had £100,000 worth of pearls in his insidebreast pocket. He didn't tell me this till just before we got toLondon, and I was relieved, because on the boat I spotted atleast two gentlemen who could have taken the coat off his backwithout his knowing it. Happily, they were as ignorant as I.

The Confidence Business.

THE dangerous body of crooks passing from Londonto Paris are not out for immediate gain. They are in theconfidence business, and their job is to get acquainted with theright kind of people. The journey, however is so short that onlythe most expert of these generally ever succeed in establishingconfidence. It used to be the practice for one of these men toengage a compartment from Calais to Paris, especially on dayslike Saturdays, when the traffic was heavy.

There would always be a fair sprinkling of passengers who hadnot made reservations, and these would be compelled to stand upfor the whole journey. As is usual, they pass along the coaches,looking for accommodation, and he would wait until he had seen aman whom he had marked down for treatment before he invited himto share his luxurious solitude.

He invariably travelled with a valet and a beautiful luncheonbasket and offered hospitality to his guest. By the time theyreached Paris he and his victim were firm friends and the restwas easy. Sometimes he would make the trip without a bite, butmore often than not he brought down his bird.

In this case the swindler was a perfect French scholar, spoketwo or three languages and had a flat in the most fashionablepart of Paris.

An Ugly Underworld.

IN France, as distinct from Great Britain, thereis a very ugly underworld which has its roots in the basest soil,and which is glorified and romanticised by the name of Apache.These criminals have no especial interest except for theirbrutality. They are thieves and the associates of thieves,bullies, coiners and rather bungling burglars. The Apache classis chiefly remarkable for its inefficiency in criminalpractices.

One expected to find the same type in Germany and Austria, butcuriously enough, though very naturally there are section ofsociety which live all the time in a state of war with thepolice, and though the German criminal can outvie the worst inbrutality, the relationships between the police and the habitualcriminal classes are very much the same as between Scotland Yardand their prey. The wicked attacks on isolated policemen, whichwas once a feature of Parisian criminal life, have few parallelsin Germany. The nation is too well disciplined to permit thegrowth of that spirit of organised lawlessness which animates theunderworld of France.

Note: A very similararticle called "Each Nation Has Own Crooks" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 9 December 1928.

CRIMINAL GANGS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 18 September1928

Terrorising the States

JUST now the United States, and especiallycities like Chicago and New York, but more especially Chicago,are embarrassed by the presence of rival firms in the bootleggingbusiness—a rivalry which has been responsible for a terriblenumber of murders, and which has produced a new type of criminaland a new kind of crime.

Perhaps a brief history of the old gangs would not be amiss atthis point.

The earliest of these grew around the Speakeasies, wherepeople could buy illicit liquor, and which were established inthe region of the famous or infamous, Five Points. The first,according to Mr. Herbert Asbury, who is an authority on thesubject was called the Forty Thieves, and it operated under oneColeman. From this organization, which had its recognizedheadquarters and routine, grew the Plug Uglies and the DeadRabbits, the latter being one of the most formidable and one ofthe most dangerous gangs that existed in New York in the'thirties. They were a ferocious and merciless crowd, and perhapsthe women members of the gang were the more formidable.

The Dead Rabbits owed their peculiar name to a deceased bunnywhich was thrown into the room at one of the meetings of theearlier gangsters. But these and a rival gang confined themselvesto fighting one another, and it was not until a much later periodthat the gangster for profit came into existence.

Murderers Protected

TAMMANY HALL recognized the value of theseexisting gangs and there began that strange association betweenthis political institution and the riffraff of the city which wasto last for many years. The gangs became factors in politics;they dragooned voters, terrorized political enemies and were notabove acting as "repeaters" at the polls.

The large majority of these gangs were entirely Irish—whichare unquestionably the easiest people in the world to tempt intoanything that has the appearance of hard fighting. They certainlydid much to establish Tammany in 1834, and in the great fire,which destroyed thirteen acres of the financial district in thefollowing year, they turned looters and had a marvelous time.

It is not too much to say that the gangs dominated the life ofNew York for many years. Almost a hundred years ago Tammany waskeeping faith with the ruffians it employed. Murderers were keptout of prison, thieves could steal with impunity, with theassurance that if, by bad luck, they were arrested, the politicalbosses would secure them freedom.

Again and again the military were called out to keep thesegangsters in check. It is interesting to remember that the actorMacready barely escaped from the Bowery with his life. He leftNew York never to return.

The life which the lower strata of the gangs lived can only bedescribed as terrible. The squalor, the lack of sanitation, theghastly condition of their "homes" are indescribable. Human lifemeant nothing. Strangers who strayed into the neighbourhood weredragged into a cellar, killed and stripped and their naked bodiesthrown out.

Powerless Police

THE police were almost powerless and seldom madean arrest except after a terrible fight. In the infamous FourthWard the law ceased to operate. Even in the earliest days theprominent gangster was accorded royal honours at his funeral, andit is told of Bill, a butcher, who lived a fortnight after he hadbeen shot through the heart by a rival gangster (his last wordswere: "Goodbye, boys! I die a true American.") that he had afuneral at which more than five thousand men attended and sixbands played dirges. The murderers it may be noted in passing,were not convicted, and one of them became the leader of TammanyHall in the early seventies.

It was during the Civil War that the gangs showed their mostpowerful activities. Strengthened by the scum of other cities,they were powerful enough to defy not only the city authorities,but the authorities of the Federal Government. This was duringthe draft riots of '56. In that year a man named Wood was electedas Mayor. He was a crook of crooks, a most dishonest official,the type of man who, if there were a law in the land, would havespent the remainder of his years in gaol. The keepers of thegambling houses and saloon-keepers, however, gave him theircomplete support, as also did the Dead Rabbits, which was by nowthe dominating gang in New York city.

An Election Fraud

THE method of election was a simple one. On thenight before the poll, Wood, who was already Mayor and was comingup for his second term of election, gave all the police in thecity a furlough, with strict orders not to go near any of thebooths. Rioting immediately started between the Bowery gang andthe Dead Rabbits. No decent citizen could venture abroad. Mr Woodsecured the election, and, as was subsequently proved, at leastten thousand of his votes were entirely fraudulent.

It was an amazing fact that the police force was at theservice of the criminal element, inasmuch as it was run by menwho had the nomination of the Dead Rabbits.

The really big trouble started when, by an act of legislation,a Metropolitan Police Force was formed, with a board ofcommissioners, who called upon Mayor Wood to disband theMunicipal Force. The Mayor instantly refused, and naturally hadthe support of the men who were to be disbanded. A StreetCommissioner appointed by the Metropolitan Police Board, on goingto assume office, was most incontinently thrown into the street.Warrants were issued for the Mayor's arrest and one of them wasgiven to an officer and executed, but the Mayor was instantlyrescued by the Municipal Police and the officer was thrown intothe street. Then followed a terrific fight between theMetropolitan and the Municipals up and down the steps andcorridors of City Hall.

Fighting Among Police

THE next move was to call in the 7th Regiment,and the Mayor was finally arrested—and was immediatelyreleased. For three or four months Municipal and MetropolitanPolice paraded the city, fighting each other whenever opportunityoffered. The gangs went on their sanguinary way without even thesemblance of control.

In 1863 the Conscription Act came into operation as the resultof the northward march of General Robert E. Lee, and with thepassing of that Act, the gangs assumed a new and a sinisterimportance. At that period the population of Manhattan Island wasabout 800,000 people, half of whom were alien born. Of these some200,000 were Irish and about half that number German, and it isinteresting to note that, whilst the Irish were almostoverwhelmingly on the side of the rioters, the Germans gaveassistance to legal authority.

Of the whole population of Manhattan Island 10 percent hadpassed through the hands of the police in the year preceding theDraft Riots. Of these, 80 percent had been born in Europe.

The agitation against the Draft Act was natural, for New Yorkwas full of ruffians who had fled thither to avoid militaryservice, and since agitation could only take one form there weresanguinary riots in which the police were outnumbered by fivehundred to one. The situation became so serious that 10,000infantry and twelve batteries of artillery were called intoaction, and pitched battles were fought in the streets. Armourieswere burned, negro asylums were destroyed and in some cases wholeregiments were defeated and disarmed and the soldiersmurdered.

Mob Rule

IT was for a long time touch and go whether ornot New York would be surrendered to the mob. It was not untilthe rioters were fired at point blank by artillery that the townwas relieved. Yet for this supreme crime only twenty men wereeventually arrested and sentenced to imprisonment, the realleaders of the mobs being saved by the politicians.

It was after the Civil War that from the gangs emerged theindividual princes of the underworld, one of the most notoriousof whom was Leslie, the bank robber. Thereafter such famous gangleaders as Monk Eastman, Humpty Jackson, Louie the Lump, JohnnySpanish and Big Josh Hines ruled the little Kingdoms of theDark.

Note: A very similararticle called "How Gangs Terrorized New York" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 16 December 1928.

HORRORS OF GANG WAR IN THE U.S.

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 19 September1928

What "Taking a Car Ride" Means.

THE last of the big gang leaders of New York wasBig Jack Zeilig, originally a member of Monk Eastman's gang,whose henchman included names familiar to the present-day reader--Gyp the Blood, Whitey Lewis, Lefty Louis and Dago Frank, whowere concerned with Police Captain Becker in the murder ofRosenthal.

After the undisputed sway of the Irish gangsters, a newelement had arisen. The Russian Jew and the Italian dominated thegangster world. Lefty Louis' name was Rosenberg, Dago Frank'sname was Cirofici, Whitey Lewis was born Jacob Siedenschner andGyp the Blood bore the less patronymic of Harry Horrowitz.

They were four ferocious men. It is said of Gyp the Blood thaton one occasion, to win a bet of a few dollars, he had seized aperfectly inoffensive man and cracked his spine in three placesover his knee.

Ferocious Desperadoes

THEY were all four killers. Lewis and LeftyLouis were gunmen, and Dago Frank had many murders to his credit.For hundred dollars or less any one of the four would and didcommit murder, Zeilig, the gang leader, taking the biggest shareof the blood money.

Zeilig was arrested on a charge of carrying concealed weapons.He sent two of his henchmen to intimidate the real prosecutor,who was a woman from whom he had demanded money. They failed topersuade her, but a third intimate induced her to go back on herevidence. Zeilig came out of custody full of wrath against thetwo men who had failed in their duty, and one by one hethreatened them that within a week they would be dead.

Such a threat was not to be taken lightly; the two men hiredan independent killer. Zeilig had warning, and when the assassinarrived in a big dance hall, where the king of the underworld wasseated, the lights suddenly went out. In the dark a gun boomed,and when the lights came on again the hired assassin wasdead.

Though there was no question at all who killed him, he escapedfrom prosecution. The two threatened men now knew that it was warto the death. For a week after a guerilla warfare was maintainedbetween the two sections of the gang. Again Zeilig was arrestedand bailed out. It would have been better for him if he had notleft the security which his confinement offered, for as he walkedout of the courthouse he was shot down.

Police Involved

ZEILIG had an interest in a number of gamblinghouses, and there is little doubt whatever that certain membersof the police force draw a very considerable interest not onlyfrom the Zeilig group, but also from that controlled by oneHermann Rosenthal, who had as a partner Lieutenant CharlesBecker, head of the Gambling Squad of the New York Police. Thepartners quarreled over a question of money, and Becker raidedRosenthal's house. In retort, Rosenthal threatened to inform theDistrict Attorney of his association with Becker and the systemby which the gambling houses were run. Had that threat been putinto execution, it would have been the end of a vast incomeenjoyed by the police and gangster alike.

At that moment Big Jack Zeilig was under arrest, but he wasapproached in prison and promised freedom if he would furnish thenecessary gunmen to stop Rosenthal's mouth. He was given 2,000dollars, and handed the work to Gyp the Blood, Left Louis, DagoFrank and Whitey Lewis. Rosenthal must have known that he was adoomed man, and adopted a drastic method to save his life. Hemade an affidavit, which was published in the "World," in whichhe swore that Lieutenant Becker was his partner and had received20 percent of the profits of one of his gambling houses.Rosenthal was immediately called into conference with theDistrict Attorney.

Murder Upon Murder

IT was on the evening of July 15, 1912. Atmidnight he was at supper in the dining room of the HotelMetropole, when a man came in from the street and told him thathe was wanted. As he stepped outside he was shot down. The fourmurderers were subsequently arrested and Lieutenant Becker alsowas taken into custody a week later. Obviously, Big Jack Zeiligwas in a position to give the most important evidence. Thatevidence was never given. He was shot dead in 13th st before thetrial.

The gunmen and Becker went to the chair, and with their deaththe gangs of New York ceased to exist in their old shape.

It is not my business to discuss the merits or demerits ofwhat is known in Europe as the Prohibition Law. It is commonknowledge, however, that since that law has been in operation anew type of gangster has appeared in the United States, and theold tale of bloody warfare has been resumed in an intensifiedform, especially in the State of Illinois. Bootleggers andhighjackers have waged an unceasing warfare. Men have amassedhuge fortunes and a powerful organization has come into existencenot only for the distribution of smuggled liquor, but for therestriction of the areas in which the liquor sellers operate.

New Methods at Work

FROM the criminologist's point of view the maininterest is the new type of crime, or rather the new method ofmurder, which these internecine wars have produced. It wasperfectly illustrated in one of the most striking stories I haveread for a very long time, by Robert Hughes, the great AmericanNovelist.

From time to time were discovered in lonely spots the bodiesof well-dressed young men. They were laid out, their coats werebuttoned, their hats were placed over their faces, as thoughthere were some ritual attached to the crime. Though it wasobvious they had been shot dead, there were no bullet holesthrough their coats or vests, and it almost seemed as though theyhad been stripped of their undershirts before they weremurdered.

Grisly Sequels

These were grisly sequels to the method of dispatch known as"taking a car ride." An individual who had incurred the enmity ofa faction, perhaps by participating in some such orgy of murderas that to which he eventually becomes a victim, would bestanding on the edge of the sidewalk when two men close roundhim. He feels the muzzle of a pistol pressed against his side,and a low voice informs him just what will happen if he makestrouble. He is shepherded to a closed car waiting near by, and,his captors accompanying him, he is driven sometimes for twentyor thirty miles before a favorable spot is found.

In the course of the journey he is told just what is going tohappen to him, and apparently it is a code of the gang that heshould make no attempt to escape. Arrived at the scene of theassassination he is invited to get out, unbuttons his vest andsometimes his shirt; he is then shot dead. His murderers performthe "last rite," which is to lay him out decently, rebutton hisvest and coat, and pull his hat over his face. Not always is theappearance of the dead man so orderly, but generally this is themethod adopted.

Note: A very similar article called "More About New YorkGangs" appeared in The Boston Globe on 23 December1928.

CONVICTS WHO THINK THEY ARE HEROES

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 20 September1928

THE underworld is a drab, miserable habitation.It is without any of those picturesque qualities which belongrather to occasional than to habitual crime.

Your regular thief can never escape from the atmosphere ofwrong doing. In prison he is brought into close contact with menof his own kidney, and when he is released drifts naturallytoward people who think as he thinks. Christian missions touchonly the fringe of the criminal population, and for this reasonthe machinery of reformation has its fundamental basis in adisapproval of criminals and criminal methods—and thedenizens of the underworld are human enough to resentdisapproval.Since these articles started in "The Leeds Mercury," I have hadany number of letters from authorities whose opinion Irespect—clergymen, missioners and prison governors. They donot see eye to eye with me, naturally, because they approach thesubject of my articles from an entirely different angle. They arebrought into contact with the penitent—or, at any rate, aman either undergoing or who has recently undergone a term ofimprisonment, and who has no immediate desire to return to alocked cell. I have seen them in their more impertinent moment,when they find life rather amusing and their past misfortunessomething to jest about.

A man who has been in prison three or four times can only bekept out of mischief if some benevolent citizen will give him asubsidy to keep him for the rest of his life.

Amongst the many interesting letters which have come to me isone from a man who has had the misfortune to be "inside." Hesays, very properly, that I have only touched upon the fringe ofthe matter in expressing my views on the reformation of thecriminal.


The various aid societies are practicallyuseless—a man's ability to become a decent member ofsociety is gauged by his aptitude for chopping wood. The ex-bankclerk or compositor is invariably a poor worker in a woodshed,and, as such, is considered an unwilling worker whose reformationis extremely doubtful. A discharged prisoner without a trade inhis hands stands a very poor chance in the labour market; if heis an artisan, his position is almost equally parlous. He mayhold a Trade Union ticket, but his past career is known thereby,whether he works in Croydon or Carlisle, and he is invariablycold-shouldered out of the job. He may go 'non-Union' at lesswages—causing him to grouch at society who deny him hisopportunity, and the man is half-way back to prison again.

No man leaves the prison gates with theintention of going inside again. He has had plenty of time forconsideration during his sentence, and has built up castles inthe air—dreams of a nice little business, with plenty ofprofit. Out of fourteen men in the prison laundry at X- last yearonly one expressed his intention of going on the crook again. Theremainder had plans for making honestlivings—wonderful—and in some cases quite feasibleplans. The only difficulty was the absence of capital, which theydeclared, the Discharged Prisoners' Association ought to provide.Failing that, they would have to do a job to get the capital andthen settle down to a prosperous life. Their castles in the airhave been exchanged once more for a castle of another sort.

I'm afraid that you have omitted reference tothat unusually successful crook, the 'mixer,' who mixes hisoperations with honest work. He is in a position to select onlythe best opportunities, and to vary the nature of his operations,thereby making detection doubly difficult, for the police usuallyidentify a certain class of crime with a certain class of rogue.He may act as a receiver one day, a smuggler the next and asecret printer of filth another time. He is an opportunist and assuch successful. If caught, his period of honest work is in hisfavour and he gets a light sentence.


With this view there can be no disagreement, except thatthe mixer is the type that one does not get acquainted with forvarious obvious reasons. But when the dreams of convicted personsare revealed, of these nice little businesses which can bestarted with a little capital, is not the whole psychology of thecriminal world exposed? Why should a man because he has beenarrested and convicted of a crime, consider that he is entitledto start a business on capital either borrowed or stolen? Arethere not a large proportion of the population working for theirliving and saving their money to the same end?

That is the trouble with the majority of criminals; theyconsider that their very offence and its consequent punishmentshould place them in a favourable position. So many of thesepeople come back from gaol obsessed with a sense ofheroism—they might be soldiers returning from a battlefieldto a land which, according to their views, should be fit forheroes to live in.

There is no virtue in theft or its consequences. Yet everyworker who has had to deal with ex-convicts knows that attitudeof mind which demands as a right, the maximum of reward for theminimum of labour.

My sympathies, however, are entirely with the writer of theletter, who so cynically comments upon the efforts at reformingfirst offenders by giving them wood to chop, or, as in somecases, waste paper to sort. The efforts of these societies shouldbe concentrated upon the first and second offenders. The old lagshould be left to that very large class of philanthropists whosupply money for such hopeless and stupid propositions asconverting Jews to Christianity.

It is very difficult to convince an ex-prisoner that if thereis a good job going the first offer should be given to a man whohas lived an honest and decent life and who has shown himself inall his opportunities to be a wholly trustworthy person. Only thegrossest of sentimentalists would give preference to a man whosesole recommendation was that he had served a term in one of HisMajesty's prisons.

There is, of course, a proportion, and, in the case of thefirst offender, a very large proportion of criminals can beturned into honest citizens, but the habitual offender desiresnothing but a chance of making money easily, and he will driftfrom prison to prison and eventually to the workhouse infirmary,where he will die.

One of the cleverest burglars I have met and also one of themost honest, came to my office for a job. He was so earnest thatI really began to think he had reformed. But he was the sort ofman who would not sail under false colours, one of the fewthieves for whom I have a profound respect.

"No, I'm not going straight," he said, "but I don't want to becaught again as an habitual, and if I got employment between theconvictions they can't charge me with being an habitual criminal.I want a job for about four months, and you needn't have any fearabout recommending me because I'll go as straight as aruler!"

I did not want the responsibility of recommending him, but Iheard afterwards that somebody did and that he was a modelworkman in every respect during the period he was establishinghis respectability.

There is a legend, fostered by a certain type of criminal,that they cannot get work because they are persistently dogged byScotland Yard, who inform their employers of their previousrecord. This is not only a lie, but a wicked lie. The detectivesemployed to watch ex-convicts are most careful never to betraythem. About a year ago a detective sergeant came to me to makeinquiries about a man with whom I had a casual acquaintance.

"O, yes," I said, "I know all about him. He's a convict onlicense, isn't he?"

The officer smiled.

"If you hadn't told me that," he said, "I shouldn't have toldyou."

And this is perfectly true. The police are most punctilious inkeeping the record of ex-prisoners within the four walls ofScotland Yard, and there is no better friend to the criminal thatthe men whose task it is to counter their activities.

Note: A very similararticle called "Habitual Crooks Cannot Reform" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 30 December 1928.

OUR MERCIFUL POLICE

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 21 September1928

How they Help Men in Trouble.

I REFERRED in my last article to the attitude ofthe police toward the underworld. Between these two conflictingforces there is a sort of camaraderie which is difficult for theoutsider to understand. They know one another by their Christiannames, they meet on the friendliest terms, there is no realenmity between them—I am referring of course to theregulars of the underworld.

At this moment, when the police are being blackguarded andevery effort is being made to undermine our faith in them, it maybe as well to state the attitude of the criminal toward the twobranches of the service.

A uniformed policeman (or, as he is called, a "flattie") hasno more significance to the criminal than a 'bus conductor or apostman. He is a man who can arrest him; he is an inconvenientfigure who may appear by accident on the scene of a burglary, andhe is a tough nut to tackle in a fight. For the uniformedpoliceman, the criminal has an odd sort of half-pitying respect.He is not afraid of him except when he is called by an outragedhouseholder to receive the vile body of a burglar caught in theact.

The Big Man.

WHEN the underworld talks of the police herefers to the plainclothes man, the member if the C.I.D. Oddlyenough, he never connects his enemies with Scotland Yard. The bigman is not Mr. Wensley or Mr. Brown or the central detectiveinspectors of Scotland Yard, but the divisional inspector of thedistrict in which the lawbreaker is living or operating. It isthe big man who pulls him in to divisional headquarters andquestions him on his movements "on the night in question." It isthe big fellow who has his eye on him when, as a convict onlicense, he reports to the local police station. The divisionalinspector is the terrifying father of a large and apprehensivefamily.

As I have said before, no thief cares to operate in his owndistrict, or, as he calls it "manor." That is "taking a liberty,"and a liberty which will be very much resented by the lord ofthat manor.

Tales of Police Plots

THERE are very few criminals who are not onperfectly good terms with the men who know them best. There arescores of cases where old offenders who get into some other kindof trouble than that which calls for the attention of the policewill go to headquarters to seek the advice and help of the manwho, sooner or later, will order their arrest. I have knownhighly placed detectives to be called up at night to secure theadmission of some member of a criminal family into ahospital.

It is not, of course, all love and harmony. Ninety-ninepercent of the underworld, when Nemesis overtakes them, protestwith the utmost vehemence that they are victims of a police plot,that the evidence given against them is entirely false and thatthey have been "shopped" innocently. That is because a criminalbelieves that if some portion of the evidence against him is notexact he is entitled to have the rest of the evidence dismissedas perjury.

Alibis

UNLESS a man is actually caught red-handed, thealibi is his inevitable defence, and a great deal of thedetective's days and nights are spent in sifting these.

The fairness of the police in dealing with the criminalclasses is more than half their strength. If there is anything tobe said for a man on charge it is the detective officer incontrol of the case who says it. The fact that they do not trumpup charges or evidence and that they will go out of their way toexamine some aspect of the case which tells in the prisoner'sfavour actually simplifies the work of the detectingdepartment.

Almost the first request that a man makes of the detective whoarrests him is: "Make it as light for me as you can," and I haveknown prisoners debate all the way to the police station as tothe section under which they should be charged. Most of the oldoffenders have a horror of being charged "under the Act" (thePrevention of Crimes Act), and they know that it is up to theircaptor to determine to a very large extent the length of theirsentence.

The police are very patient and very merciful; they display anuncanny knowledge of the punitive requirements of every case;and, whilst they cannot actually arrange the punishment to fitthe crime, they can, and very often do, "say the good word" atthe crucial moment of the trial—which is after the juryhave found their verdict.

Informers

THE uniformed police are the staple danger tothe underworld. They are, as it were, the entrenched infantry,and the extent of the peril they represent is known anddiscounted. The C.I.D. are the bombing aeroplanes that come fromnowhere and work disaster in all sorts of unexpectedquarters.

The C.I.D. depends to a certain extent, but not so large asmost people imagine, upon the informer. But, as Chief ConstableWensley once stated to me: "Most thieves are their owninformers." It is the running away habit which betrays so manycriminals. A burglary is committed; the police, examining thescene of the crime and the method adopted, decide that this manybe the work of one of a dozen men.

Immediately they begin to search for the dozen, to discoverwhere they were on the night the robbery was committed. In thecourse of their search they discover that John X, one of thesuspected twelve, has disappeared. He had been seen about theneighbourhood where he lives a few days before the robbery, butnow he has vanished. His wife informs the visiting detective thathe has gone away into the country to get a job, or some otherequally romantic story. John X., who lives in Walworth iseventually discovered in Camden Town, and with him justsufficient to connect him with the crime.

It is not always so simple as this, but very nearly so. IfBrowne and Kennedy had disappeared from their garage after themurder of Gutteridge they would have been arrested within a week.They stood their ground, and that saved them for a long time fromdetection.

Note: A very similararticle called "Police and How They Do It" appeared in TheBoston Globe on 6 January 1929.

THE NEW CRIME

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Leeds Mercury, 22 September1928

A Very Dangerous Type.

I HAVE called this article "The New Crime" and Ihave hesitated for a long time about writing it at all.

The easiest way to dismiss a fantastic accusation is todescribe the accuser as mad. It is not only easy, but devilishlyeasy, to discount any story with this contemptuous dismissal.

The other day I showed a letter I had received to a doctorfriend of mine. He read it through and shook his head.

"Poor fellow! This is a mental case," he said.

And then I invited him to look at the writing, and that putrather a different complexion on the matter, for the writings ofmental cases are typical. I have quite a number of letters fromlunatics in the course of a month, and one has only to read threelines to discover the state of mind of the writer.

A Pathetic Letter.

I AM going to quote extracts from a letter,which I am disguising so that the identity of the writer shouldnot be made known.


"... There is the criminal about which you havenot written--he or she who exults in the undoing of his fellow...A friend of mine, a woman with some property, fell under theinfluence of a certain occult group. She became fascinated, andeventually a devotee, and submitted to a form of hypnotism. It isvery difficult to describe this without raising the suspicionsthat I am mad. It is sufficient to say that the woman who did thehypnotising began to exercise an extraordinary influencetelepathically--that is to say, when they were not together. Thetreatment so worked upon the woman that she became hysterical andwas in danger of being "certified," and was only stopped bytimely interference from conveying all her property by deed ofgift. I know that this same woman, the hypnotist, willed anotherout of her house, which the "operator" eventually had for herown. Here again the case was certified as menial. In both theseinstances the mischief was wrought by a superior mental powerupon a weaker."

Dominated.

SO much for the letter, and, reading it as asolitary experience one would shrug one's shoulders and say"Mental," and forget the poor creature who had written it. Weknow that symptoms of persecution mania, and we know all aboutthe poor creatures who imagine that wireless is running throughthem or that they are being hypnotised. But we also know thatthe mind of a mental patient is without stability or coherence,and that he or she embroiders its main theme with all sorts ofimpossible and fantastic side issues.

Now here is the fact that has interested me. During the lasttwo years I must have received more than a dozen letters, writtenby people who are obviously sane, if handwriting goes foranything, telling me exactly the same story, without any floridet ceteras!

In other words, one may assume that there is a new type of"mental criminal"; that is to say, a criminal who can by theexercise of his or her personality and mental gifts, dominate aweaker mentality and make a profit therefrom.

Unbalanced.

IN every case (so far as I can remember; I havenot kept the letters, and, indeed, dismissed them as mental)there was a history of occultism at the beginning, and in everycase it was a practiser of this "magic" who gained dominion overthe mind of the novice. There is support for the theory that sucha form of criminality is on the increase, by reported cases, veryoften cases of disputed wills; but there must be hundreds thatare not reported, and I have the feeling that in these isolatedinstances we are seeing the beginning of a new phase of criminalactivity. I admit that it is possible that every one of thesecomplaints might, on a close investigation, be susceptible to theobvious explanation; but in no instance have I had letters whichwere obviously written by mentally unbalanced people. Thedomination of a strong mind over a weaker is no unusualphenomenon, but there is more than a suspicion that this mentaltyranny is becoming systematised and that it may easily representa real danger, especially to women of the moneyed class.

Here is a type of criminal we do not know, and a dangeroustype. Reduced to the simplest terms. A being a dishonest personand B a possessor or wealth, it is an offence in law for A toremove the wealth from B's possession without B's consent. Thenew crime is to make B surrender his or her possessions withoutthreat or violence, and apparently of his or her free will. Thelaw does not recognise any such human power, but only the moststupid amongst us will deny that it exists.

Worth Investigation.

THE experienced confidence man has it to anextraordinary degree;swindlers of all types are nearly as wellequipped. There is no doubt whatever that the psycho-analystreduced it almost to a formula, and that quite a number ofscientific and unscrupulous people must have improved upon thatformula. It is at any rate a matter which is well worthinvestigation, for the practisers of this new "art" are amongstthe most dangerous members of the underworld.

They are more dangerous because, in the strictest sense of theword, they are not members of the criminal classes. We areprobably in the verge of making very important discoveries in thepsychic field, and when the new truths (whatever they are) areestablished, when the realities of, let us say, telepathy arerevealed, quite a new department may come into existence atScotland Yard. A telepathic section at police headquarters mightprove an embarrassment to certain friends of mine!

Haphazard Professions.

It is a fact worth noting that, despite the extraordinarystrides which science has made to enlarge the utilities ofmachinery, so little use has been made by criminals of moderndiscoveries. There is a type of confidence man which uses thewireless, but only to listen in to messages which are arrivingfrom incoming ships. The acetylene blow lamp and the electricdrill for the opening of safes, and the lavish use of the motorcar (usually somebody else's motor car) alone distinguish themethod of the modern thief from his confrere of thirty yearsago.

Larceny and housebreaking are still haphazard professions inwhich are employed such casual tools as may come to the thief'shand. There are not a dozen burglars in England who possess acomplete equipment.

We owe the detection of crime not only to a perfectlyorganised Criminal Investigation Department, but also to thestupidity of the lawbreakers. Now and again at rare intervals wediscover a master mind, but even here it is not a type that wouldwin success in any ordinary business. The majority of criminalsare men and woman of a lower order of intelligence than theaverage artisan, and this explains not only why they are soeasily caught, but also why it is so difficult to give them afresh start after they come out of prison.

The population of the underworld is stupid; it has a cunningwhich passes for cleverness and an insensibility whichmasquerades as courage. It is almost entirely without romance. Adrab, ugly, frowsy place is this underworld.

Note: A very similararticle called "Superior Mental Power" appeared in The BostonGlobe on 13 January 1929.

HIGH CLASS CROOKS AT WORK

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 28 October 1928


In this series of which this is the firstarticle, Mr. Wallace, one of the most widely known students ofcrime and criminals, will set forth his observations of howcriminals work and why. In this first article he discusses thehabits of aristocrats of the business.



An Explanation of Some of the Means Used bySkillful and Well-Dressed Card Sharps to Fleece TheirVictims—Separate the Man And His Money by PainlessMethods.



ALL men are born criminals. The baby in itscradle knows no law. Its tiny hands would kill and maim to thelimit of its strength: it takes whatsoever its hands can reach,irrespective of lawful ownership. Remove the baby from the careand tuition of its civilized mother and nurse, cut out all the"don'ts" and "mustn'ts" which stand in the rough for the laws bywhich society is governed and it remains an active criminal untilthe end of its days. That is to say, it takes what it wishes, itslays that which it hates, it is entirely self-indulgent. Allwild things are "criminal," in that they obey only the laws ofnature.

The criminal, as we understand the phrase, is a man or womanwho ignores a few of the rules of which society has agreed shallgovern human activities. He understands and approves of thoselaws, and is all for the enforcement of those which protect himequally with the innocent citizen. He requires that the policeshall so regulate the traffic that he may drive his stolen motorcar with a minimum of risk to himself; that his landlord shallnot dispossess him of his habitation, that his food shall not beadulterated, and that his private enemies shall not assassinatehim.

No Completely Lawless Man

THE entirely lawless man is aphenomenon—even Ulianov Lenin was not a completely lawlessman, since he railed against the unpunctuality of Russiantrains.

The criminal's mentality has been fantastically tabulated bysuch biased scientists as Lombroso, his facial and physicalpeculiarities have formed the basis of theses for writers who,during the past 100 years, have devoted their studies to him andhis ways; nor is it necessary that I should take a microscope toexamine the seeds of his proliferation.

Here he is, a fact to be faced by the prosocial forces ofevery country, a hateful fact to some, a fearful fact to others,an interesting fact to all who count nothing about such a manwithout interest.

The statistician does not help one very much to understandhim, for statistics can prove just what you wish them to prove.Statistics have proved to one party that crime has fallen off 50percent in an American city since the introduction ofprohibition, and has proved with equal force to another that thepolice were only half as efficient since the city went "dry."

It may be stated broadly that the cause of criminality in anindividual is his desire to live beyond the income that hebelieves he could obtain by the legitimate exploitation of theabilities.

Criminals are Individualistic

THERE is no underworld in the sense that thereis no criminal community dwelling and conspiring together tobreak the law. Criminals are individualistic. Two or three maygather together to carry out some "job" but there is no fixity intheir associations. Harry C. and Tommy B. together with Johnny H.may arrange to burgle a house or two houses; may, indeed, for aperiod work together at their nefarious occupations, but thechances are that they will be split up into units either throughdetection or through suspicion, one of the other, and Tommy B.will be working with Frederick K. on the next "job" he does.

When attempting to classify the habitual criminals it ispossible to divide them into two main divisions: the educated andthe uneducated. There are grades of educated criminals-so-calledand in the highest of these you will find the "aristocracy,"which travels first-class in the liners plying between Britainand foreign ports. They are men of some substances, they havereserves of money, and they alone of the criminal classes can befairly described as working in gangs. Card-sharpers rarelychange their partners.

Men of Substance

THE first-class card-sharper lives a veryrespectable life. He usually has his home in the United Statesand will cross the ocean from six to ten times a year. Arrivingin London, he puts up at a good hotel, and it may be that, havingfound a "sucker" on the boat who showed some reluctance to beinveigled in a game of cards, a coup is arranged on land, and thefriendship which began at sea exploited disastrously for thevictim.

At least twice a year the shipboard card-sharpers make a tourof the European cities. You will find them on the Riviera in theseason and quite recently they have been discovered in wintersports areas.

They are very careful to avoid Monte Carlo, which has a systemof espionage more perfect than is to be found in any other cityin the Continent. When I was in Berlin the other day I was toldby a police official that card-sharp gangs had been located insome of the German cities, and particularly in the spas ofCzechoslovakia.

The card-sharp is the most interesting of all the criminals.He has a knowledge of human psychology which is positivelystaggering. For example it is very rare that a sea-going "crowd"will attempt to fleece their dupes before at least three days ofthe voyage are over. The passenger who comes on board a steameris naturally suspicious of chance acquaintances, and wouldprobably regard an invitation to play as a sinistercirc*mstance.

Speaking from Experience

I WILL give my own experience the only time thatI was ever caught. We were due in Southampton on Wednesdaymorning, and on the Saturday night a venerable old gentleman withwhom I talked about everything in the world except cards,suggested we should play a game of bridge before going to bed.His confederate (and I hadn't the slightest idea that they wereconnected, and looked upon them as on people who has casuallydrifted to the table where I was drinking a nightcap)demurred.

"It is much too late to start bridge tonight," one said.

"What about tomorrow?" asked my venerable friend.

Here the cleverness of these crooks was revealed. A sturdy,white-haired man, who was the second member of the gang, shookhis head.

"No, not on Sunday," he said, "I am not a Puritan, and I haveno objection to other people playing cards, but I never playcards on a Sunday, and I don't want to start now. You may think Iam old-fashioned, but there it is."

I respected the man for his scruples. I was impressed. Herewas an honest gentleman, a little old-fashioned, as he said, buta man of principle.

In No Hurry to Begin

ON Monday morning I met them in the smoke room."It was much too early for bridge," protested the venerable one.It looked as if we were not going to get our game. Eventually itwas decided to play between lunch and tea in the Parisian Café,and here we played. I made a grand slam in the first hand—Ihad lost £80 at the finish.

"Why play at such high stakes?" you ask.

Again you have to admire their cleverness.

"We will play for a shilling," said one of them.

Naturally, I thought it was a shilling a hundred. It was afterI had been dealt my first hand, which was blazing with aces andkings, that somebody said:

"Isn't a shilling a point too high?"

I suppose if I had been inhumanly honest I should havesaid:

"No, I am playing for a shilling a hundred."

I could afford a shilling and did not say no.

I realized that I had been caught before the game was over. Ipaid my losses. I did not regret my playing because Isubsequently made quite a lot of money out of writing storiesabout the ocean-going crook.

I give this instance of the mentality of the higher gradecriminal as an illustration.

Confidence Men are Also of the Élite

IN the same class are the confidence men. Notthe gentlemen who are to be found in the London parks looking fora man whose name is Smith in order to hand over to him hundredsof thousands of pounds left by a mythological millionaire, butthe big men who wander around Europe looking for the big money.They may make a killing once a year, but they land a tremendousbooty.

These criminals are generally blackmailers as well asconfidence men, and they utilize every scrap of information theycan secure in order to hook their fish. Very rarely is there asqueal, and they enjoy a greater immunity than any other type ofcriminal.

An Ingenious Method

A PERFECT specimen of an educated lawbreakeroperated in the Midlands. He had been a priest and had beenunfrocked for certain malpractices. He went to a Midland city andopened a bookshop, and people who saw a few shelves covered withheavy and interesting tomes on ecclesiastical and religiousmatters wondered how he gained a living. Then, one day, twoScotland Yard men arrived and took him away with them.

I think his form of graft was the most ingenious I have evermet with. He used to search diligently in all thenewspapers—he subscribed to some 50 local and countryweeklies—to discover the names of clergymen of the Churchof England who had died.

When he had secured the information about their death, helooked them up in Croker to get some idea of theirstipends, and a few days later the executors of the deceasedclergyman received a bill for books supplied.

Sometimes the bill was paid without demur, but occasionallythe executor would ask for a statement of accounts, and wouldreceive at once a long list of obscene works, such as certainobscure booksellers supply. In order to save any kind of scandal,and probably believing the worst of their poor dead friend, theexecutors sent a check in settlement.

His undoing came in a remarkable way—he sent a bill tothe executors of a west-of-England clergyman, a man he supposedto have plenty of money, and the executors asked for particulars.Back came an appalling list designed to show that the dead priesthad a depraved taste. A few days afterward the swindler wasarrested. He had made a mistake. The deceased clergyman had beenstone blind for 20 years, a fact with which he had not acquaintedhimself.

Criminals by Necessity

AS a rule, this kind of thief, more than hisuneducated fellow, is driven to crime by immediate necessity. Hestarts by forging an acceptance on a bill of exchange, or, insome desperate need, he orders goods for which he cannot pay,disposes of them; or, being in some position of trust, employsmoney which is not his own, but which he hopes to make good intime to avoid detection. In this category you may find the fallenbank clerk, the agent, the embezzling solicitor and the postalofficial. Very few of these, however, reach what could betruthfully described as the underworld. They are saved by theirrelations and friends and never appear in the records of ScotlandYard. Only a minute proportion use their first conviction as ajumping-off place for a life of crime.

Note: A verysimilar article called "Our Criminals and Their Ways of Thought"appeared The Leeds Mercury on 10 September 1928.

CAUSES THAT LEAD MEN
TO LOWER FORMS OF CRIME

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 4 November 1928


One of the most famous students of crime andcriminals, Mr. Wallace, is setting forth his observations in aseries of articles. Today he writes of the unskilled criminal andhis ways. In the next article he will tell something about thestrange ways of feminine crooks.



Some of the Ways by Which Criminals AreDeveloped, the Less Skillful Types Particularly



THERE is no criminal state, as I have saidbefore, nor could there be, since lawbreakers are intenselyuninterested in their kind. Take the average criminal and talkwith him for a quarter of an hour on general subjects and thensuddenly switch the conversation over to some nine-day wonder ofcrime which is filling the public eye. Instantly he is bored.

He neither praises the ingenuity of the gang which has brokeninto a Hatton Garden store and removed jewelry of a fabulousvalue, nor does he express the slightest curiosity as to themeans adopted. He is self-centered, and some little adventure ofhis own in the past is an ever so much more interesting topic fordiscussion.

He is, however, ready and willing to discuss pastcontemporaries in his own line of business. He has a queerperverted pride in his own particular graft. If he is apickpocket, the exploit of a confidence man may arouse a slightflicker of enthusiasm, because there is a certain associationbetween pickpockets and the small fry in the confidenceworld.

Work in Combinations

IT is very often the case that the various sortsof specialists, burglars, cheap card sharps—the type youmeet in race trains—and little thieves have served at sometime or other as temporary "whizzers" (pickpockets). Pickpocketswho "work" the buses in rush hours usually operate in gangs ofthree and four.

One of them might be an expert "dipper," the others cover hismovements or act as minders to facilitate his escape. The mindersare, as a rule, men of brute intelligence and brute in everyother respect. The unskilled laborer in the field of crime iscertain sooner or later to gravitate to one of these gangs.Pickpocketing is also regarded as the last resort of an agedcriminal.

This type of lawbreaker has a certain wit which does the dutyof intelligence. It is hardly fair to describe it as lowcunning.

An Incident to the Point

ONE of the most important police officers inLondon was once called to the scene of burglary. An entrance hadbeen effected in an upper window and some goods were stolen. Theonly clue—and it was an important one—was thediscovery on the window sill of a metal button.

The detective remembered seeing a man, an old acquaintance ofhis, wearing a fancy waistcoat with buttons of that particularcharacter, and he immediately went in search of his man. He hadnot gone far before he encountered the subject. A quick glance athim showed that one button of the waistcoat was missing, and itwas a case of "come round to the station with me."

The man was interrogated, told the usual lies, and, as he wasan old offender, when he was charged at the Police Court, wascommitted for trial. In those days the police procedure was alittle different from what it is today. When the case came up atthe City Bailey (or the Sessions, I am not sure which) thedetective went into the witness box, gave his evidence: otherwitnesses were put in, and the prisoner raised no objection. Thecase was proved to the hilt until the moment the prisoner wasasked if he had anything to say in his defense. He was stillwearing the waistcoat he had on when he was arrested, and this heindicated to the jury.

How he Proved His "Innocence"

"YOU have seen the button that the detectiveshowed you. I would like you to have a look at it again."

The jury examined the button.

"Now," said the prisoner, removing his waistcoat, "look atthis. It is true I have lost a button, but you will find theshank is still sewn on! The button you have in your hand has ashank on it. Did you ever hear of any button with twoshanks?"

There was no answer to this and the man was acquitted. Whathad happened was that while he was awaiting trial somebody hadsmuggled in a shank of a button, a needle and thread, and he hadsewn it on!

How a Thief was Made

AS a child I was daily brought into contact withother children who were regular and systematic thieves, yet whostole for no profit. They were boys who were employed atprinter's works and would bring home handfuls of new type anddisplay it to their admiring friends: boys employed in bootwarehouses, who would steal the cheaper kind of ladies shoeswithout having the slightest use for them.

There were other boys who worked at the docks, and scarcely aday passed that they did not come home with their pockets bulgingwith contraband of a more negotiable character.

These young people definitely go over to a life of lawlessnessjust as soon as they can discover a receiver who would give themcash for their "finds." In some districts and in certain circlesthe receiver is very easy to find. In others the thief does notcome in contact with this poisonous individual and drifts back tohonesty and decency under the influence of home and respectableassociates.

Once the receiver is found and stolen goods can be convertedinto spendable money, a new outlook on life is established. Theyouth gets so much money from his illicit games that he forgetsthat it is necessary for him to maintain himself in regularemployment.

He is either found out or dismissed and he finds himself onthe world without money and no desire for regular work and apressing need for cash. It requires a certain amount of characterto go back to regular employment, however great may be theopportunities for pilfering and so he drifts to a life ofpilfering alone, and is definitely criminalized. To him there isno underworld. He is an individualist, as I have said before: hiscomrades may have a loose value as assistants, confederates,directors of new operations or organizers.

fa*gins there may be, but they do not play a considerable part.The real fa*gin is the receiver, and if these gentry receivedautomatically twice the normal sentences usually passed upon themfor all offenses where they have purchased from thieves under theage of 21, the heavy work of the police might be considerablylightened.

Determining the Field of Operations

WHAT does frequently happen is that the kind ofhonest employment that a young man followed before he wentcrooked determines the character of his subsequent depredations.For example, most of the stealers of material, such as silk,cloth, furs, are men who have been honestly employed either inthe warehouses or handling of these commodities.

A type of crime frequently met with is the stealing of vanscontaining goods ready for delivery. The carman has gone into acoffee house for breakfast accompanied by his van boy. While heis absent somebody gets into the van and drives off to anunfrequented spot, where the goods contained in the wagon arelooted.

It is the same with warehouse robberies. One or other of thethieves has become acquainted with the routine of some particularwarehouse or shop, has got to know the habits of the staff andhas a very intimate acquaintance with the kind of goods that areto be found on the premises.

To some extent this facilitates the work of the police intheir business of detection. They are able to classify thevarious varieties of larcenists and burglars, and they know thatwhen new houses in course of erection have been entered by nightand lead pipes and brass taps stolen, the job has been done by aspecialist in this kind of theft.

Another Incident

THIS fact was brought home to me some years agowhen I was present during a hearing of a charge against a man whohad broken into a rectory and had stolen some silver. When thejury returned a verdict of guilty and his previous convictionswere read out three of four were concerned with the breaking intoclergymen's houses. The man before he adopted a life of crime,had been a handyman at a rectory and probably his idea of wealthand luxury was circ*mscribed in the mental picture of a well-furnished house of a priest.

I always thought the everyday burglar who devotes himself tothe "business" of dwelling houses has particular predilectionsand yet I was told by a police officer of a very wideacquaintance that burglars as a rule specialize in a certain typeof house. Some, for example, never "operated" on houses thathadn't a basem*nt, others would burgle nothing but non-basem*nthouses. It is not an infrequent experience when new villas areput up in the suburbs—especially the villas of asubstantial type—for the "professionals" to go over theempty houses to make themselves acquainted with the generallayout of the rooms.

It is an extraordinary fact that although burglars are verytimid and nervous (those who have had the unpleasant experienceof having burglars in the house will testify to the fact, forthey live all the time in terror of a burly householder with agun in his hand), they very rarely desert this form of robberyfor any other.

Burglary, of course, is the easiest of crime; requires lessingenuity than any other. I do not know the exact figures, but itis the fact that more empty houses are burgled than "live"ones—a live one being a house that is occupied.

The ideal venue is the house or flat from which the owner isabsent on a holiday. It is only the younger and more recklessmembers of the craft who will dare to break into a house knowingsomebody is sleeping on the premises.

Note: A similararticle called "Women Blackmailers" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 11 September 1928

WHEN WOMEN GO IN FOR CRIME

SOME OF METHODS OF FEMININE CROOKS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 11 November 1928


THE West End of London is the haunt of criminalsof a peculiar type. They are the luxury traders and live onfolly, not of the rich, but the "flush." The "flush" are peoplewho, without having any definite source of wealth, have for themoment an unusual accumulation of money.

People on holidays, visitors from foreign lands, men cutting adash on money they have saved or accumulated by legal or illicitmeans, well-to-do folk from the Provincial centers—allthese are material for the "con men," the cardsharps andblackmailers who gather in considerable numbers when London is"full."

All these have in reserve, or in active cooperation, women ofa certain class. One of the most dangerous gangs that everoperated in the metropolis was that governed by a very attractivewoman, who had an intelligence department deserving of a betterend.

She specialized in middle-aged men of substance. TownCouncilors from Midland towns, Aldermen, J.P.s. She had adetailed list of all the wealthy public men in the country. Shecould afford to wait, living in a first-class hotel until alikely victim came along. Once the "subject" was found, the workwas fairly simple.

She chose her men very wisely, became acquainted with them,and after a succession of hectic little supper parties, allowedher prey to go back to his respectable home and his public dutieswith no apprehension in his mind that there was coming anotherday of reckoning.

The Old Gag

THEN, one afternoon when Mr. Mayor or Aldermanwas speaking sedately on the subject of town lighting at aCouncil meeting, an angry voice would be heard in the corridoroutside, a lady demanding stridently that Mr. X should beinformed that she was waiting. When, in terror, he hurried out toher it was with the greatest difficulty he stilled her shrillvoice and brought her to the privacy of his room.

She had a husband (she said) who had discovered "everything,"she must go to Mr. Alderman's wife and ask her to helpher....

Mr. Alderman paid hush-money—not once, but many times.One Mr. Alderman, in despair, hanged himself in his winecellar.

The police knew of this, but could get no evidence; no victimwould testify against her. Deportation was not so easy to securein those days—she was an alien—and she might havegone on with impunity if she had not commmi8tted the fatal errorof getting herself mixed up in a shooting affray. That littleaffair cost her 15 years of liberty, for, once the police got herin their hands, they worked up such a case against her that shehad no chance of escaping with a light sentence.

There was another woman, more attractive, who, until a yearago was working the same trick with greater success. She is youngand pretty, beautifully gowned, rides in a most expensive car andhas, or has had, a suite at one of the best hotels.

She chooses the young man about town—the wealthy do-nothing, whose income and circ*mstances are very easilyascertainable. She is difficult to get acquainted with, knows tothe nth degree the value of suspense, has given a commercialvalue to reluctance and hesitation. Her graft is to lure her maninto a hopeless compromising situation and then demand money onthe threat of charging her victim with an offense.

I would not dare, even if there were no law of libel, to giveyou a list of the people who have been caught and have paid.

Used as Decoys

LESSER women assistants attach themselves toevery côterie of blackmailers and town sharps; they need verylittle description, and that not of the politest kind. Theirvalue both as principals and helpers is obvious. It is they whoact as hostesses at the little supper parties, which arefollowed by cards.

There are scores of furnished houses and flats taken for theseason, and I remember one case where a house in the street inwhich I am living was rented at £100 a week. The lordly owner didnot know that his beautiful home was being used as a gamblingclub until he read, to his horror, that it had been raided by thepolice! In this case women were used as decoys.

A "chance" meeting (usually maneuvered) between a very prettygirl and the "right" man on the river at an open-air clubsomewhere around London should be followed by the inevitable"Where can I see you again?"

What was easier than to arrange a dinner and, later, a call atthe gaming house on the pretext that she had to see somebody toput off a supper engagement?

The beginnings of the women criminals are drably and sadlyalike. I have never met with nor heard of a woman crook whocommitted any illegal act in the days of her innocency. In a verylarge number of cases there is a treacherous man and an unwantedchild in the background.

Shoplifting Almost a Vice

PROSTITUTION is not a consequence, but a causeof crime. I do not, of course refer to that peculiar type ofoffense which is entirely and absolutely distinct, except inisolated cases, from the general practice ofcriminality—shoplifting. The majority of shoplifters areamateurs in the sense that they live respectable lives, have veryoften husbands in good employment and, in some cases, are well todo.

The practice is almost a vice, since there is practicallynothing at all to be gained. The exception is the class of shopthieves who operate in gangs. As a rule they choose a suburb ofLondon or some nearby town, and go off in a party from six toten, dividing when they reached the town, and each taking somepredetermined area of operation.

In suburbs like, for example, Kingston, Wimbledon and, fartherafield, Watford, Southend-on-Sea,and in other seaside towns, theyare certain to find shops which do not employ any of thosepestilential detectives who are on duty in London stores andwhose duty it is to keep suspects under observation.

These little gangs work most systematically, expenses aredivided among them and certain allowances made for refreshments,and when the haul has been made and disposed of the profits areequally divided.

There is, or was, quite a number of these gangs having theirbase in the East End of London, and only very recently the policearrested one such crowd in a watering place on the East Coast.Almost every one of them had a shoplifting history and one or twowere wanted for petty pilfering.

This set more nearly approximates to a "gang" than any otherwithin my knowledge.

The Domestic Thief

FROM the area where these women are to be foundemanates the professional servant thief. The police have recordsof scores of women who do nothing but take situations as domesticservants. Their imposing credentials are forged and they usuallytake the precaution of entering their names at a first-classregistry office. Naturally the agent takes up their referencesand finds that they are all they claim to be, and more.

About 20 years ago there used to be a place in Essex whichbore the imposing name of Manor Hall (this is not the name, but Idon't give the real title, in case there is a more pretentiousdwelling with that name).

Mr. Jones, who desired a butler and a cook-housekeeper, wasreferred to Manor Hall and heard of the excellent service whichthe couple had rendered during "the past 10 years." The letterwas invariably written in ladylike hand in the third person. Thepaper bore a crest and was embossed with the gratuitousinformation that the nearest railway station wasSnellborough.

But the Manor Hall was a small cottage owned by a lady who hadlong ceased to follow her profession and earned a very goodlivelihood as a late employer of undesirable people. I am relyingon my memory, but I have an impression that the Manor Hall wasnot the only name this cottage bore.

The telephone has been of great use to the dishonest servant.A lady in a hurry to hire a cook very often does not trouble towrite, but if a telephone number is given will call up the "lateemployer" and accept an ecstatic estimate of the new servant'svirtues.

The crook servant is not long in the house before sheunderstands exactly the possibilities of her new job. Only thecheaper kind steal articles of jewelry. The more experienced typewill wait until she has an opportunity of securing a return worthwhile. There are cases on record where the patient thief haswaited for months until the family had gone on a holiday and thencleared every piece of valuable furniture from the house.

Women Excel as Thieves

THE woman thief is always more dangerous becauseshe is least suspected. Somehow, you never think of a woman as atrained thief. She invariably dresses infinitely better than theman of her class. She takes trouble with her voice and, if she isattractive, uses what charms she possesses to still furtherdisarm her dupe.

The woman burglar is practically nonexistent. Burglary is amanual work. There are roofs to be climbed, windows to be forced.Moreover, a woman in a deserted street late at night attractsmore attention than a man.

Another peculiar fact is that the woman forger is practicallyunknown although one would imagine that with their delicate touchthey would be able to make a better job of the work than aman.

On the other hand, women counterfeiters are numerous. Theybelong to a lower stratum of society. Perhaps it is that there issome latent chivalry—although I have never met withit—which makes them reluctant to involve a woman in a crimewhich there is such a very heavy sentence.

In one branch of criminality, however, women play a veryignoble part—they are expert blackmailers. I would like togive a separate chapter to these pests, the most deadly ofall.


Note: A very similararticle called "Women Blackmailers" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 12 September 1928

BLACKMAILER PREYS ON HIS VICTIM'S VANITY

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 18 November 1928


In Many Cases the Foolish Conceit of theVictim—Sometimes the Blackmailer Is an Amateur Who Takes aChance.


ORGANIZED blackmail is not a "trade" in thesense that there is a clan of persons which deliberately setsitself to gain a livelihood by extracting money under threats. Wehear of "blackmail gangs" and occasionally see the conviction ofseveral people who, acting together, have extracted money fromsome unfortunate person, but as a general rule, blackmail is anaccidental crime which may be repeated should opportunity offer,and may, in certain cases, become a system.

I am thinking more of male offenders; the women are in a classby themselves.

There is a type of systematic criminal who falls under thedescription and who is familiar to the police and to thepublic.

These are the men who dog the footsteps of country couples andappear at an embarrassing moment, representing themselves aspolice officers and demanding money as an alternative to arrest.These cases are frequently met with in the courts.

But the average blackmailer is an unscrupulous person, whouses knowledge acquired by accident to extract money. In theUnited States systematic blackmail is much more frequently metwith, for the laws of America and the free and easy method bywhich private detectives are given power which in England arerestricted to the police offer the blackmailer greater scope.One of the greatest of American detectives calculated that$1,000,000 a year was taken by blackmailers in the city of NewYork alone.

An Aid to the Profession

THE Mann act was, and probably still is aprolific source of income to these gentry. Under this act it is afelony to take any woman from one State to another for immoralpurposes. Working in collaboration with an attractive member ofthe oldest profession, the blackmailers reaped, and still reap arich harvest. It was easy enough to induce a dupe to cross forinstance from New York to Jersey City. Here the pair would bediscovered by a spurious detective, with the result that the manpaid, and paid heavily, to keep himself out of the courts.

And the detective was not always counterfeit—there arecases known where members of the city detective force haveconspired to help the blackmailers. In Germany blackmail is not avery common crime, nor is it in France.

There are certain offenses the revelation of which (or thethreat of revelation) would fill the English offender withhorror, and would earn for him a term of imprisonment, but whichdo not so greatly confuse the authorities in France orGermany.

It is not that they are more tolerant so much as the fact thatthey recognize and accept unpleasant happenings in the light of adeeper psycho-pathological understanding. Certain crimes areclassed as diseases.

The blackmailer whom we know has his beginning in the chancediscovery of his victim's failings, follies or delinquencies.

Cases in Point

HERE are a few cases I can recall withoutconsulting my books:

(A) was a married lady who had an affair with aCanadian officer. Her maid, under notice to leave, found a numberof letters from the lover, and taking these away with her, she,on the advice of a married sister, and smarting under the refusalof her late employer to give her a "character," wrote hinting atthe possession of information and the effect this might have onthe lady's husband. The lady very foolishly sent money andthereafter paid regular tribute. The blackmailer in this case wascreated by the victim.

(B) was a professional man who had assisted agirl in bringing about an illegal operation. The girl's sisterdemanded money ostensibly to send her sister on continuousholiday, necessitated by the state of her health.

(C) was a man who had embezzled the money of hisemployers. His relations found the money to pay the employers,but the correspondence between the firm and the culprit fell ontothe hands of a young man who was walking with C's maid.

Seldom a Direct Threat

BLACKMAILERS seldom demand money on a direct threat ofexposure. He or she invariably asks for a loan either to leavethe country, to pay the cost of an illness, to pay bills incurredthrough the supposed fault of the victim, and the threat is asinvariably oblique.

Here is a typical peroration to such a letter:


"... I feel I must go abroad. I amdesperate. I will come up to your house tomorrow night. I am sureyour wife would have pity on me and lend me money...."


There is a tremendous amount of this kind of blackmail goingon. The victim knows that if he informs his solicitor aprosecution will follow. Of late it has been the practice of alldecent newspapers to suppress the name and address of a man orwoman who prosecutes a charge of extracting money, but very oftenit is not public exposure that the victim fears, but theenlightenment of his or her own family circle on the subject ofpast stupidities.

I once had a wild idea of starting an agency with a few ex-Scotland Yard men to deal with this type of crime. A blackmaileris the easiest kind of criminal to suppress—givenresolution and a certain amount of courage—nor is itnecessary that the damning facts that the victim is trying tohide should be made known to his friends and relations.

Men Victims of Own Vanity

MEN are more particularly susceptible to theoperations of the blackmailer, because of their extraordinaryvanity.

The conceit of the male is past belief. Many years ago I wasmaking inquiries in a celebrated murder case, and, as is theusual experience in the investigations of a reporter, myquestions were addressed to many unsavory people and in manypeculiar quarters.

The criminal was well known to a certain type of woman, andwe limited our inquiries to three of these, two of whom lived inBloomsbury and one in Fulham. Their homes were in no sense housesof a dubious character. Two of them had flats and one had afurnished suite of rooms in a seemingly respectable house, thoughof this I had my doubts.

What was to me a staggering discovery was that in each ofthese women's rooms I found scores of photographs of decent men,some obviously in a good position, and not only theirphotographs, but also their cards displayed upon the mantelpiece.Every photograph was affectionately inscribed, and I have neverseen such a perfect jumping-off place for a blackmailer in all mylife. The photographs were mostly taken by recognized West Endphotographers, and some of the cards had the men's clubinscribed. I asked the girls whether this was the usualpractice.

"O, yes," said one. "A man likes to think that he isparticularly favored by a girl, and he usually manages to work upa little sentimental interest in her."

The Oldest Profession

THE display of these photographs, of course, wasmerely an expression of the woman's desire for respectability.She wished to show those of her intimate acquaintances who calledthe kind of friend she had. That is easily explained. There is noother explanation of the folly of those men who deliver theircharacters and their careers into the hands of a prostitute,except this overweening vanity which is almost beyondanalysis.

In England there is among those women a certain code of honorwhich covers the majority. There are others, however, who are notthus bound, and it occasionally happens that men had had to paydearly for their lapse from righteousness. A police officer whowould have been a member of the Morality Squad if there had beena Morality Squad at Scotland Yard, told me that it is very rare,indeed, that professional women engage in the trade of blackmail,and there are others for whom blackmail is the firstconsideration, and their mode of life merely a means to live.

I think it is true to say that the habitual criminal regards amild form of blackmail as part of the normal machinery of thecraft. Whilst I have never had any very unpleasant experiences ithas often happened with a criminal I have helped that a point wasreached when I refused to give him further assistance, whereuponhe had endeavored to extract money on the ground that I have usedhis experiences to write a book, and one gentleman publiclysuggested that all my books and plays were founded on hislife.

A Personal Experience

TO show how little these fellows miss, I mightquote an experience of mine this year. I was talking to a verywell-known jewel thief in my study, when an Australian journalistwas announced. As the newspaperman came into the room my othervisitor left. I remarked casually to my friend of the press:

"This is X, the jewel thief."

It happened that he was writing an interview with me in anAustralian paper, and in the course of that interview hementioned the fact that as he had come in, so-an-so, the jewelthief, had gone out. About four months later, my discreditableacquaintance arrived with a world-worn press cutting from anAustralian newspaper.

"I see you mentioned me," he said. "Don't you think I am entitled to a quid?"

This, of course, is hardly "putting the black," to use thethieves' expression, but it shows how these men seize everylittle advantage that may come their way.

I know only one case where in the course of a burglary acompromising letter had been stolen and subsequently turned overto the press. As a rule, the burglar gets away very quickly andtakes with him only solid valuables.

Blackmail is purposely visited with the heaviest punishment.It is the most cowardly and cruel crime. One of these days, whenI have a little more time, I shall serious;y consider organizingmy counter-blackmail bureau.

Note: A similararticle called "More Blackmailers" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 13 September 1928.

PRISONS ARE OFTEN NURSERIES FOR CRIMINALS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 2 December 1928


First Offenders Often Reform After PrisonTerm, But Old-Timer Almost Never Does.



A VERY large proportion of humanity isfundamentally dishonest, but does not live by cheating, but onlya small section of the fundamentally dishonest gain their livingby breaking either the written or the moral law. As I have saidbefore, they are individualists, unless they are working incôteries

.

It may be convenient for the purpose of description todescribe these as "gangs," but they are not gangs in the sense ofthe old gangs our fathers knew; in fact, the gangster spirit(that is to say, the community of lawlessness) is neverestablished except in prison, which molds all men into a criminaltype.

It is loosely said that burglaries and offenses against thelaw are very often planned in prison, and I have no doubt thatconvicts, when they meet, especially with the end of theirsentence in sight, do discuss the illicit possibilities of thefuture.

But as far as convict prisons are concerned, the men who goout to liberty intending at the earliest opportunity to commit aparticular crime, are very few indeed. Their desire is verynaturally to avoid further imprisonment, and the large majorityof them, assisted by various societies, do make an effort tosecure work.

In the majority of cases they are unskilled laborers, theyhave no trade union ticket, even as general laborers, and theyare quite unfitted to begin a battle of life against the severecompetition which they find in a free world.

Hard Task to Find Work

ONE meets these half-hearted people wanderingaimlessly and pathetically around London, looking for suitableemployment, knowing in their heart of hearts that, unless amiracle happens, employment can never be obtained. It isdifficult enough for honest men, who have never seen the insideof a prison gate, to find employment—it is almost impossible forthe ex-criminal. The jobs they ask for are within the scope oftheir talents.

They wish to be messengers, caretakers or watchmen; which may,at first sight, seem a remarkable desire, and to cover somesinister plans for the future—for the messenger will carry, thecaretaker will protect and the watchman will obviously observeproperty of some value, and in all three occupations the veryhighest credentials are required by employers.

They may get work on the roads, but here again, unless roadwork is provided by benevolent municipalities for out-of-works,there is no opening even in this field of labor. The SalvationArmy and similar missions do a certain amount of work, in thatthey collect the indigent and give them employment, which,however, is too reminiscent of casual ward and prison labor tohave much attraction.

I am aware of the fact that a number of these missions claimto "reform" the ex-convict. Penitents there are in plenty andthousands may be assisted to live in a new land in which they areno more fitted to sustain life than in England. The man who hadthree or four convictions is incorrigible.

Unless he has the best of luck and can fall into a soft job hewould drift down the road to vagabondage, which ends in theworkhouse or in one of H.M. prisons. Nobody but a lunatic wouldtake a man who has been four times convicted for theft and placehim in a position which gave him an opportunity of a fifthconviction.

In dealing with the underworld one must abandon allsentimentality. We know that they have all had mothers, they wereall at one time or other innocent babies and we may go evenfarther and say that they are all God's creatures.

Few Second Offenders Reform

WHATEVER is immortal in them, however, runs sideby side with gross appetites, and is not accompanied by any senseof difference between meum and tuum. If the logicalcourse was pursued, the habitual criminal would be placed in alethal chamber, and if humanity is staggered by this suggestionit is because it does not study the prison statistics.

There are, of course, cases where men and women have reformedand have become good citizens, but they are exceptional, and ifyou will examine these particular examples of reformation youwill find behind it cases which are not always creditable to thereformed character.

I am aware that in saying this I shall be confronted withindignant people with innumerable statistics showing the numberof men and women who, thanks to the effect of this or thatsociety, have been turned into the straight path. But thesefigures are more or less valueless unless they show the age ofthe rescued people and the number if their convictions.

Drinking Not Cause of Crime

BETTING is a prolific cause of first offense,but very rarely the cause of second and third offense. Thepilferer of stamps and tills, the secretary of small clubs whofinds it convenient to vanish before the Christmas shareout, thecashier, the barman, who rings a "no sale" on a cash register andtakes out from the till the amount he should have put in, theseare what I would describe the "opportunity thieves" who do notproperly belong to the underworld, and will never reach thatdingy region unless they are entirely devoid of character.

Drunkenness is no longer a remarkable cause of crime. A safe-breaker told me that he had only once "operated" with a "boozer," and that he preferred men like himself who were totalabstainers.

I am talking specially about criminals who had four and moreconvictions. The proportion of the "one conviction" men who gostraight thereafter is a very large one, because they includepeople who have fallen through an extraordinaryopportunity— milkmen who have embezzled their employers'money, postal officials who have acted stupidly when in controlof the mails, bank clerks, forgers and other good examples of"black coat" crime.

By "black coat" crime I mean that committed by men with anelementary education who have occupied some minor position oftrust. It is these in a much larger proportion than the artisanclass who find their way into the police courts and sessionhouses.

Drink may be, and probably is, the explanation for a greatdeal of petty offenses such as fighting, embezzlement, woundingetc., but one does not meet, nowadays, any authentic cases ofyoung men who have been brought to a criminal career through thisform of self-indulgence. If one does, it is usually found thatthey had already contracted criminal associations.

What is badly needed, and particularly in large industrialareas, are boys' clubs and compulsory evening classes. Somethingmore than this is desirable—that the evening classes shallconform to the real requirements of the poor. Van boys would notwaste their nights learning bookkeeping, French and threevarieties of art; they want to be taught something that will beof use, something that will open new vistas and will be acounter-attraction to the alluring picture of wealth withoutwork, which the underworld draws for them.

Gangs Formed in Prison

THE gang formers are, as I have said before, theprisons. It is only here that lawless men meet on communityterms, having nothing else to unite their interests but theirpast misdemeanors. The real curse of the prison is that it mayremove from the young delinquent all sense of shame for his pastiniquities. In China, where "soldier" was once a term ofreproach, there was a saying: "In the army no man feelsashamed."

Prison familiarizes the novice with a new habit of thought.Right and wrong are substituted by expediency and inexpediency.There is a system by which the young offender is kept fromcontact with the older criminal. In theory this system is quiteworkable—in reality, of course, many things happen inprisons which are contrary to the spirit and letter of law.

The young offender may not actually meet a man with manyconvictions, but there is a sort of oblique contact. The ideathat the old lag instructs the novice in the art and practice ofcrime has little foundation in fact, though he is very often aninspiration; you can imagine the effect on the first offenderwho, day after day and week after week, has pointed out to himthe notabilities of the underworld and their exploits describedto him in tones of awe.

A man has to have many convictions against his name before heactually uses the friendship which are established in prison forthe development of crimes when he is released. That was whyBrowne, in the Gutteridge case, was so remarkable acharacter.

The suggestion of first offenders does not, of course, applyto convict establishments, and at Dartmoor special privilege mustbe earned. I still believe that the adoption in this country ofthe system of suspended sentences would go a long way towardsrelieving the calendar of second offenses.

If the postal official, the defaulted clerk, the embezzler,instead of being sent to association with the criminal classes,was released immediately the sentence was passed, the taxpayerwould be saved considerable expense and the society wouldbenefit. The suspended sentence is tantamount to the system ofordering a man to come up for judgment when called upon.

Note: A similararticle called "Coming out of Gaol" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 15 September 1928.

EACH NATION HAS OWN CROOKS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 9 December 1928


The United States Leads in High-Class Criminals.



LONDON is the meeting place, but not theheadquarters of certain groups of crooks. Paris has the dubiousdistinction of being their more or less permanent home. Thenationality of the international crowd is overwhelminglyAmerican. This enterprising race has even ousted the shady racinghanger-on from his once unassailable position. You could almostcount the British international criminal on the fingers of twohands.

The British are not good linguists, or, what is more nearlytrue, they do not have the same nerve to speak bad French andGerman as Americans do.

Though France and Germany can produce some very interestinghomicides, they do not produce in bulk such skilled offendersagainst the laws of property as America and Britain. The geniusof the German burglar, swindler and shoplifter, however,transcends similar criminals of other Nations. He does notoperate on the scale of the big "bank smasher," and he has feweropportunities of making big hauls than has his prototype ofLondon and New York, but what he does he does well andthoroughly.

In the Berlin Kriminal-Museum I saw a most amazing collectionof tools and gadgets used by burglars. One was a thick batten ofwood, at the top of which was a steel spike tapering from a finepoint to broad base. The burglars, working from below, put thespike under the floor of a room they were "opening"; the otherend of the batten was put upon a big motor jack, and with thissimple instrument the floor was forced.

German Crook Has Humor

IN some respects the German criminal resemblesthe British crook in that he possesses a very keen sense ofhumor. Behind the museum where these implements are displayed isa prison. One night a prisoner escaped, climbed up into themuseum, made a collection of tools likely to be of use to himand, getting out of the building, burgled a jeweler's shop.

I saw here one or two interesting pieces of equipment used byprofessional shop thieves. One was a cardboard dress-box. It wasneatly wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. On theparcel was the label of a well-known firm in Berlin. The thiefcarried this (there were two exhibits of different sizes) into astore, laid it on the counter and proceeded to examine variousarticles which he or she wished to purchase. In the course ofthis examination various goods disappeared. Once or twice thesuspicious attendant called for the store detective, but nothingwas found, and the thief was allowed to go.

Unfortunately for him, the criminal police were consulted, andthey very quickly got to the bottom (or the side) of the mystery.The side of the parcel was a trap door with a spring to keep itclosed. It was cleverly camouflaged and even a close observerwould have imagined that the neatly folded paper representing theend of the parcel was the real thing. The thief had only to pushany article he wished to conceal through the side of the parceland it vanished, and even the most suspicious of shop assistantswould not imagine that, tucked away in that sealed package, wasthe missing stock.

Though crimes of a certain unpleasant type are very common inGermany most of the instruments I saw used by thieves for theirdefense were of French make. An innocent looking walking stickthat on a touch of the spring became a mass of cruel spikes wasquite a rarity in the gallery.

Three Types of Thieves

YOU may roughly classify the Continental crookinto three categories: First, the big burglar gangs which makefleeting visits from capital to capital; second, the swindlers,which include the card sharps, confidence men, check passers andspecialists in fraud generally; third, the luggage thieves, whichinclude hotel and jewel thieves.

The police make bigger hauls of the third category than of anyother. They are to be found in Berlin, in Prague, Vienna andother great centers, and I believe there are at this moment inthe German prisons quite a number of English confidence men. Withthese latter, of course, the language presents no difficulty,since they travel as British on British passports, and nobodyexpects a true born Britain to understand any other than hismother tongue.

French Train Thieves

THE French are, perhaps, the most expert trainthieves, and it is these, rather than the imported article, thatpassengers to the Riviera in the season have most to fear. Anofficial of the Wagons-Lits told me once that in the periodbetween when the conductor went into his cabin to sign somenecessary document and came out, an expert thief had enteredthree compartments and escaped without detection.

It is very rare, however, that the Wagons-Lits coaches arerobbed; a stranger appearing in the middle of the night isinstantly detected, and the real danger comes from an apparentlygenuine passenger who is traveling in the coaches.

Their dexterity is amazing. There have been instances of boxesand money being removed from under a pillow without disturbingthe sleeper. There is one historic case where the whole bed wassearched without awakening the victim.

The train thieves have a very intimate knowledge of thepsychology of travelers, and they know exactly the places wherevaluables may be hidden.

It is remarkable that much more is not stolen, remembering thehaphazard method of passengers. I know a case of a woman whoinvariably carries $30,000 in jewelry whenever she goes abroad,and as invariably leaves her property in a small dressing bag,which could be stolen and thrown out of the window to aconfederate almost with the minimum chance of detection. Herjustification is that the jewel case is locked!

Enormous sums of money go across the Channel daily in the formof jewels and actual cash. Not so very long ago I traveled fromParis with a man who had $500,000 worth of pearls in his insidepocket. He didn't tell me this till just before we got to London,and I was relieved, because on the boat I spotted at least twogentlemen who could have taken the coat off his back without hisknowing it. Happily, they were as ignorant as I.

High-Class Confidence Man

THE dangerous body of crooks passing from Londonto Paris are not out for immediate gain. They are in theconfidence business, and their job is to get acquainted with theright kind of people. The journey, however is so short that onlythe most expert of these generally ever succeed in establishingconfidence.

It used to be the practice for one of these men to engage acompartment from Calais to Paris, especially on days likeSaturdays, when the traffic was heavy. There would always be afair sprinkling of passengers who had not made reservations, andthese would be compelled to stand up for the whole journey.

As is usual, they pass along the coaches, looking foraccommodation, and he would wait until he had seen a man whom hehad marked down for treatment before he invited him to share hisluxurious solitude. He invariably traveled with a valet and abeautiful luncheon basket and offered hospitality to his guest.By the time they reached Paris he and his victim were firmfriends and the rest was easy. Sometimes he would make the tripwithout a bite, but more often than not he brought down hisbird.

In this case the swindler was a perfect French scholar, spoketwo or three languages and had a flat in the most fashionablepart of Paris.

Apaches in Paris Only

In France, as distinct from Great Britain, thereis a very ugly underworld which has its roots in the basest soil,and which is glorified and romanticized by the name of Apache.These criminals have no especial interest except for theirbrutality. They are thieves and the associates of thieves,bullies, coiners and rather bungling burglars. The Apache classis chiefly remarkable for its inefficiency in criminalpractices.

One expected to find the same type in Germany and Austria, butcuriously enough, though very naturally there are section ofsociety which live all the time in a state of war with thepolice, and though the German criminal can outvie the worst inbrutality, the relationships between the police and the habitualcriminal classes are very much the same as between Scotland Yardand their prey.

The wicked attacks on isolated policemen, which was once afeature of Parisian criminal life, have few parallels in Germany.The English Nation is too well disciplined to permit the growthof that spirit of organized lawlessness which animates theunderworld of France.

Note: A similararticle called "Foreign Crooks" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 17 September 1928.

HOW GANGS TERRORIZED NEW YORK

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 16 December 1928


For a Time the Mob Ruled the City



I HAVE touched upon the question of "gangs," andI have said that gangs organized for lawless practices are non-existent in Great Britain. There still remain numbers of fightinggangs, generally composed of young men between the ages of 16 and22, who are banded together under a leader, and who expend theirenergies in fighting rivals organized on the same lines. They areto be found in almost every big city, but especially were theyconspicuous a few years ago in London.

These consisted of a number of men who were intimatelyassociated with the sport of racing. One had its headquarters inLondon and another in Birmingham, and they fought for theprivilege of blackmailing bookmakers and retaining certain racemeetings as their own preserves.

Handicaps of the Gang Leaders

AT the head of one of these was an alien, a verycharming fellow, who showed something of the qualities of ageneral. But alien leadership is fatal; it gives the policeextraordinary powers. An alien may be deported and may lose theright of asylum. It was thanks to the energetic action of SirSamuel Scott and the stewards of the Jockey Club that theactivities of these turbulent gentlemen were curtailed.

Here again, they did not interfere with the general public.Their enemies were certain bookmakers who refused their rapaciousdemands, and one another. Because their graft was blackmail, theywere the nearest approach to a gang we have had for many years.The Birmingham crowd were perhaps the legitimate successors tothe Peaky Blinders and in London the Hooligans.

A gang, like a chain, is as strong as its weakest link, andagainst the high efficiency of modern police methods they cannotpossibly exist. That is true also of America, which was the homeof the gangster, but which is his home no longer.

Just now the United States, and especially cities like Chicagoand New York, but more especially Chicago, are embarrassed by thepresence of rival firms in the bootlegging business—arivalry which has been responsible for a terrible number ofmurders, and which has produced a new type of criminal and a newkind of crime.

Origin of the American Gangs

PERHAPS a brief history of the old gangs wouldnot be amiss at this point. The earliest of these grew around thespeakeasies, where people could buy illicit liquor, and whichwere established in the region of the famous, or infamous, FivePoints. The first, according to Mr. Herbert Asbury, who is anauthority on the subject was called the Forty Thieves, and itoperated under one Coleman. From this organization, which had itsrecognized headquarters and routine, grew the Plug Uglies and theDead Rabbits, the latter being one of the most formidable and oneof the most dangerous gangs that existed in New York in the '30s.They were a ferocious and merciless crowd, and perhaps the womenmembers of the gang were the more formidable.

The Dead Rabbits owed their peculiar name to a deceased bunnywhich was thrown into the room at one of the meetings of theearlier gangsters. But these and a rival gang confined themselvesto fighting one another, and it was not until a much later periodthat the gangster for profit came into existence.

Tammany Hall recognized the value of these existing gangs andthere began that strange association between this politicalinstitution and the riff-raff of the city which was to last formany years. The gangs became factors in politics; they dragoonedvoters, terrorized political enemies and were not above acting as"repeaters" at the polls.

These gangs certainly did much to establish Tammany in 1834,and in the great fire, which destroyed 13 acres of the financialdistrict in the following year, they turned looters and had amarvelous time.

Dominated New York

IT is not too much to say that the gangsdominated the life of New York for many years. Almost 100 yearsago Tammany was keeping faith with the ruffians it employed.Murderers were kept out of prison, thieves could steal withimpunity, with the assurance that if, by bad luck, they werearrested, the political bosses would secure them freedom.

Again and again the military were called out to keep thesegangsters in check. It is interesting to remember that the actorMacready barely escaped from the Bowery with his life. He leftNew York never to return.

The life which the lower strata of the gangs lived can only bedescribed as terrible. The squalor, the lack of sanitation, theghastly condition of their "homes" are indescribable. Human lifemeant nothing. Strangers who strayed into the neighborhood weredragged into a cellar, killed and stripped and their naked bodiesthrown out.

The police were almost powerless and seldom made an arrestexcept after a terrible fight. In the infamous 4th Ward the lawceased to operate. Even in the earliest days the prominentgangster was accorded royal honors at his funeral, and it is toldof Bill, a butcher, who lived a fortnight after he had been shotthrough the heart by a rival gangster (his last words were:"Goodbye, boys! I die a true American.") that he had a funeral atwhich more than 5,000 men attended and six bands playeddirges.

The murderers it may be noted in passing, were not convicted,and one of them became the leader of Tammany Hall in the early'70s.

It was during the Civil War that the gangs showed their mostpowerful activities. Strengthened by the scum of other cities,they were powerful enough to defy not only the city authorities,but the authorities of the Federal Government. This was duringthe draft riots of '56. In that year a man named Wood was electedas Mayor. He was a crook of crooks, a most dishonest official,the type of man who, if there were a law in the land, would havespent the remainder of his years in jail. The keepers of thegambling houses and saloon-keepers, however, gave him theircomplete support, as also did the Dead Rabbits, which was by nowthe dominating gang in New York city.

The method of election was a simple one. On the night beforethe poll, Wood, who was already Mayor and was coming up for hissecond term of election, gave all the police in the city afurlough, with strict orders not to go near any of the booths.Rioting immediately started between the Bowery gang and the DeadRabbits. No decent citizen could venture abroad. Mr Wood securedthe election, and, as was subsequently proved, at least 10,000 ofhis votes were entirely fraudulent.

It was an amazing fact that the police force was at theservice of the criminal element, inasmuch as it was run by menwho had the nomination of the Dead Rabbits.

The really big trouble started when, by an act of legislation,a metropolitan police force was formed, with a Board ofCommissioners, who called upon Mayor Wood to disband themunicipal force. The Mayor instantly refused, and naturally hadthe support of the men who were to be disbanded. A StreetCommissioner appointed by the Metropolitan Police Board, on goingto assume office, was most incontinently thrown into the street.Warrants were issued for the Mayor's arrest and one of them wasgiven to an officer and executed, but the Mayor was instantlyrescued by the municipal police and the officer was thrown intothe street. Then followed a terrific fight between themetropolitan and the municipals up and down the steps andcorridors of City Hall.

The next move was to call in the 7th Regiment, and the Mayorwas finally arrested—and was immediately released. For three orfour months municipal and metropolitan police paraded the city,fighting each other whenever opportunity offered. The gangs wenton their sanguinary way without even the semblance ofcontrol.

In 1863 the Conscription Act came into operation as the resultof the northward march of Gen Robert E. Lee, and with the passingof that act, the gangs assumed a new and a sinister importance.At that time the population of Manhattan Island was about 800,000persons, half of whom were alien born. Of these some 200,000 wereIrish and about half that number German, and it is interesting tonote that, while the Irish were almost overwhelmingly on the sideof the rioters, the Germans gave assistance to legalauthority.

Of the whole population of Manhattan Island 10 percent hadpassed through the hands of the police in the year preceding thedraft riots. Of these, 80 percent had been born in Europe.

The agitation against the Draft Act was natural, for New Yorkwas full of ruffians who had fled thither to avoid militaryservice, and since agitation could take only one form there weresanguinary riots in which the police were outnumbered by 500 to1. The situation became so serious that 10,000 infantry and 12batteries of artillery were called into action, and pitchedbattles were fought in the streets. Armories were burned, negroasylums were destroyed and in some cases whole regiments weredefeated and disarmed and the soldiers murdered.

It was for a long time touch and go whether or not New Yorkwould be surrendered to the mob.

It was not until the rioters were fired at pointblank byartillery that the town was relieved. Yet for this supreme crimeonly 20 men were eventually arrested and sentenced toimprisonment, the real leaders of the mobs being saved by thepoliticians.

It was after the Civil War that from the gangs emerged theindividual princes of the underworld, one of the most notoriousof whom was Leslie, the bank robber. Thereafter such famous gangleaders as Monk Eastman, Humpty Jackson, Louie the Lump, JohnnySpanish and Big Josh Hines ruled the little Kingdoms of theDark.

Note: A similararticle called "Criminal Gangs" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 18 September 1928

MORE ABOUT NEW YORK GANGS

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 23 December 1928


How the Modern Gangs Operate and Carry on Deadly Feuds



THE last of the big gang leaders of New York wasBig Jack Zeilig, originally a member of Monk Eastman's gang,whose henchman included names familiar to the present-dayreader—Gyp the Blood, Whitey Lewis, Lefty Louis and DagoFrank, who were concerned with Police Capt Becker in the murderof Rosenthal.

After the undisputed sway of the Irish gangsters, a newelement had arisen. The Russian Jew and the Italian dominated thegangster world. Lefty Louis' name was Rosenberg, Dago Frank'sname was Cirofici, Whitey Lewis was born Jacob Siedenschner andGyp the Blood bore the less patronymic of Harry Horrowitz.

They were four ferocious men. It is said of Gyp the Blood thaton one occasion, to win a bet of a few dollars, he had seized aperfectly inoffensive man and cracked his spine in three placesover his knee.

They were all four killers. Lewis and Lefty Louis were gunmen,and Dago Frank had many murders to his credit. For $100 or lessany one of the four would and did commit murder, Zeilig, the gangleader, taking the biggest share of the blood money.

The Gang Leader's End

ZEILIG was arrested on a charge of carryingconcealed weapons. He sent two of his henchmen to intimidate thereal prosecutor, who was a woman from whom he had demanded money.They failed to persuade her, but a third intimate induced her togo back on her evidence. Zeilig came out of custody full of wrathagainst the two men who had failed in their duty, and one by onehe threatened them that within a week they would be dead.

Such a threat was not to be taken lightly; the two men hiredan independent killer. Zeilig had warning, and when the assassinarrived in a big dance hall, where the king of the underworld wasseated, the lights suddenly went out. In the dark a gun boomed,and when the lights came on again the hired assassin wasdead.

Though there was no question at all who killed him, he escapedfrom prosecution. The two threatened men now knew that it was warto the death. For a week after a guerilla warfare was maintainedbetween the two sections of the gang. Again Zeilig was arrestedand bailed out. It would have been better for him if he had notleft the security which his confinement offered, for as he walkedout of the courthouse he was shot down.

Zeilig had an interest in a number of gambling houses, andthere is little doubt whatever that certain members of the policeforce draw a very considerable interest not only from the Zeiliggroup, but also from that controlled by one Hermann Rosenthal,who had as a partner Lieut. Charles Becker, head of the GamblingSquad of the New York Police.

The partners quarreled over a question of money, and Beckerraided Rosenthal's house. In retort, Rosenthal threatened toinform the district attorney of his association with Becker andthe system by which the gambling houses were run. Had that threatbeen put into execution it would have been the end of a vastincome enjoyed by the police and gangster alike.

The Rosenthal Murder

AT that moment Big Jack Zeilig was under arrest,but he was approached in prison and promised freedom if he wouldfurnish the necessary gunmen to stop Rosenthal's mouth. He wasgiven $2000, and handed the work to Gyp the Blood, Left Louis,Dago Frank and Whitey Lewis.

Rosenthal must have known that he was a doomed man, andadopted a drastic method to save his life. He made an affidavitin which he swore that Lieut. Becker was his partner and hadreceived 20 percent of the profits of one of his gambling houses.Rosenthal was immediately called into conference with thedistrict attorney.

It was on the evening of July 15, 1912. At midnight he was atsupper in the dining room of the Hotel Metropole, when a man camein from the street and told him that he was wanted. As he steppedoutside he was shot down. The four murderers were subsequentlyarrested and Lieut,. Becker also was taken into custody a weeklater. Obviously, Big Jack Zeilig was in a position to give themost important evidence. That evidence was never given. He wasshot dead in 13th Street before the trial.

The gunmen and Becker went to the chair, and with their deaththe gangs of New York ceased to exist in their old shape.

It is not my business to discuss the merits or demerits ofwhat is known in Europe as the prohibition law. It is commonknowledge, however, that since that law has been in operation anew type of gangster has appeared in the United States, and theold tale of bloody warfare has been resumed in an intensifiedform, especially in the State of Illinois. Bootleggers andhijackers have waged an unceasing warfare. Men have amassed hugefortunes and a powerful organization has come into existence notonly for the distribution of smuggled liquor, but for thedestruction of the areas in which the liquor sellers operate.

New Method of Murder

FROM the criminologist's point of view the maininterest is the new type of crime, or rather the new method ofmurder, which these internecine wars have produced. It wasperfectly illustrated in one of the most striking stories I haveread for a very long time, by Robert Hughes, the great Americannovelist.

From time to time were discovered in lonely spots the bodiesof well-dressed young men. They were laid out, their coats werebuttoned, their hats were placed over their faces, as thoughthere were some ritual attached to the crime. Though it wasobvious they had been shot dead, there were no bullet holesthrough their coats or vests, and it almost seemed as though theyhad been stripped of their undershirts before they weremurdered.

These were grisly sequels to the method of dispatch known as"taking a car ride." An individual who had incurred the enmity ofa faction, perhaps by participating in some such orgy of murderas that to which he eventually becomes a victim, would bestanding on the edge of the sidewalk when two men close roundhim. He feels the muzzle of a pistol pressed against his side,and a low voice informs him just what will happen if he makestrouble.

He is shepherded to a closed car waiting near by, and, hiscaptors accompanying him, he is driven sometimes for 20 or 30miles before a favorable spot is found. In the course of thejourney he is told just what is going to happen to him andapparently it is a code of the gang that he should make noattempt to escape.

Arrived at the scene of the assassination he is invited to getout, unbuttons his vest and coat and pull his hat over his face.Not always is the appearance of the dead man so orderly, butgenerally this is the method adopted.

A great deal is written about American lawlessness and a greatdeal that is unjust and unfair to the American Nation. The realtrouble is due to the higher administration of the law, to thepolitical cogs in the machinery of justice.

In England a bench, independent of politics and superior toany pulls, political or otherwise, and a police force whoseoperations and workings are most jealously watched, and thecentralization represented by the Home Office and its subsidiarydepartments, make it impossible that crime should go unpunished,however important may be the criminal and whatever his wealth orposition. With judges above suspicion and a police force entirelydissociated from political influence, it is inevitable that theadministration of criminal justice in this country should bealmost above reproach.

In America every State has its own system of law, its ownmethod of administration, and although there is a Federalauthority, which in theory is superior to the State authority,there is no real cohesion between the two.

We have in some degree the same disadvantages obtaining inGreat Britain. We have, for example, municipal police and countypolice, and a third force, the Criminal Investigation Department,used as a consultative body. Nevertheless, there is a uniformityof method, and Scotland Yard is the thread (a very thin thread)which connects all three. It seems, therefor, that it is not thequestion of the central police organizations, but the fact thatwe have a uniformity of administration, represented by theSessions system, which makes England so free from seriouscrime.

Note: A similar article called "Horrors of Gang Warin the U.S." appeared in The Leeds Mercury on 19-September-1928.

HABITUAL CROOKS CANNOT REFORM

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 30 December 1928


THE underworld is a drab, miserable habitation.It is without any of those picturesque qualities which belongrather to occasional than to habitual crime.

Your regular thief can never escape from the atmosphere ofwrongdoing. In prison he is brought into close contact with menof his own kidney, and when he is released drifts naturallytoward people who think as he thinks. Christian missions touchonly the fringe of the criminal population, and for this reasonthe machinery of reformation has its fundamental basis in adisapproval of criminals and criminal methods—and thedenizens of the underworld are human enough to resentdisapproval.

Since the publication of these articles I have had any numberof letters from authorities whose opinion Irespect—clergymen, missioners and prison governors. They donot see eye to eye with me, naturally, because they approach thesubject of my articles from an entirely different angle. They arebrought into contact with the penitent—or, at any rate, aman either undergoing or who has recently undergone a term ofimprisonment, and who has no immediate desire to return to alocked cell. I have seen them in their more impertinent moment,when they find life rather amusing and their past misfortunesomething to jest about.

A man who has been in prison three or four times can only bekept out of mischief if some benevolent citizen will give him asubsidy to keep him for the rest of his life.

As a Prisoner Sees It

AMONG the many interesting letters which havecome to me is one from a man who has had the misfortune to be"inside." He says, very properly, that I have only touched uponthe fringe of the matter in expressing my views on thereformation of the criminal.


The various aid societies are practicallyuseless—a man's ability to become a decent member ofsociety is gaged by his aptitude for chopping wood. The ex-bankclerk or compositor is invariably a poor worker in a woodshed,and, as such, is considered an unwilling worker whose reformationis extremely doubtful. A discharged prisoner without a trade inhis hands stands a very poor chance in the labor market; if he isan artisan, his position is almost equally parlous. He may hold atrade union card, but his past career is known thereby, whetherhe works in Croydon or Carlisle, and he is invariably cold-shouldered out of the job.

He may be 'non-union' at lesswages—causing him to grouch at a society which denies himhis opportunity, and the man is half-way back to prison again. Noman leaves the prison gates with the intention of going insideagain. He has had plenty of time for consideration during hissentence, and has built up castles in the air—dreams of anice little business, with plenty of profit.

Out of 14 men in the prison laundry atX—— last year only one expressed his intention ofgoing on the crook again. The remainder had plans for makinghonest livings—wonderful—and in some cases quitefeasible plans. The only difficulty was the absence of capital,which they declared, the Discharged Prisoners' association oughtto provide. Failing that, they would have to do a job to get thecapital and then settle down to a prosperous life.

Their castles in the air have been exchangedonce more for a castle of another sort. I'm afraid that you haveomitted reference to that unusually successful crook, the'mixer,' who mixes his operations with honest work. He is in aposition to select only the best opportunities, thereby makingdetection doubly difficult, for the police usually identify acertain class of crime with a certain class of rogue.

He may act as a receiver one day, a smugglerthe next and a secret printer of filth another time. He is anopportunist and as such successful. If caught, his period ofhonest work is in his favor and he gets a light sentence.

Not Heroes

WITH this view there can be no disagreement,except that the mixer is the type that one does not getacquainted with for various obvious reasons. But when the dreamsof convicted persons are revealed, of these nice littlebusinesses which can be started with a little capital, is not thewhole psychology of the criminal world exposed? Why should a manbecause he has been arrested and convicted of a crime, considerthat he is entitled to start a business on capital eitherborrowed or stolen? Are there not a large proportion of thepopulation working for their living and saving their money to thesame end?

That is the trouble with the majority of criminals—theyconsider that their very offense and its consequent punishmentshould place them in a favorable position. So many of thesepeople come back from jail obsessed with a sense ofheroism—they might be soldiers returning from a battlefieldto a land which, according to their views, should be fit forheroes to live in.

My sympathies, however, are entirely with the writer of theletter, who so cynically comments upon the efforts at reformingfirst offenders by giving them wood to chop, or, as in somecases, waste paper to sort. The efforts of these societies shouldbe concentrated upon the first and second offenders. The old lagshould be left to that very large class of philanthropists whosupply money for such hopeless and stupid propositions asconverting Jews to Christianity.

Honesty Best Recommendation

IT is very difficult to convince an ex-prisonerthat if there is a good job going the first offer should be givento a man who has lived an honest and decent life and who hasshown himself in all his opportunities to be a wholly trustworthyperson. Only the grossest of sentimentalists would givepreference to a man whose sole recommendation was that he hadserved a term in prison.

There is, of course, a proportion, and, in the case of thefirst offender, a very large proportion of criminals can beturned into honest citizens, but the habitual offender desiresnothing but a chance of making money easy, and he will drift fromprison to prison and eventually to the workhouse infirmary, wherehe will die.

Not Dogged by Detectives

THERE is a legend, fostered by a certain type ofcriminal, that they cannot get work because they are persistentlydogged by Scotland Yard, who inform their employers of theirprevious record. This is not only a lie, but a wicked lie. Thedetectives employed to watch ex-convicts are most careful neverto betray them. About a year ago a detective sergeant came to meto make inquiries about a man with whom I had a casualacquaintance.

"O, yes," I said, "I know all about him. He's a convict onlicense, isn't he?"

The officer smiled.

"If you hadn't told me that," he said, "I shouldn't have toldyou."

And this is perfectly true. The police are most punctilious inkeeping the record of ex-prisoners within the four walls ofScotland Yard, and there is no better friend to the criminal thatthe men whose task it is to counter their activities.

Note: A similararticle called "Convicts Who Think They Are Heroes" appeared inThe Leeds Mercury on 20 September 1928.

POLICE AND HOW THEY DO IT

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 6 January 1929


I REFERRED in my last article to the attitude ofthe police toward the underworld. Between these two conflictingforces there is a sort of camaraderie which is difficult for theoutsider to understand. They know one another by their Christiannames, they meet in the friendliest terms, there is no realenmity between them—I am referring of course to theregulars of the underworld.

At this moment, when London police are being blackguarded andevery effort is being made to undermine our faith in them, it maybe well to state the attitude of the criminal towards the twobranches of the service.

A uniformed policeman (or, as he is called, a "flattie") hasno more significance to the criminal than a bus conductor or apostman. He is a man who can arrest him; he is an inconvenientfigure who may appear by accident on the scene of a burglary, andhe is a tough nut to tackle in a fight. For the uniformedpoliceman, the criminal has an odd sort of half-pitying respect.He is not afraid of him except when he is called by an outragedhouseholder to receive the vile body of a burglar caught in theact.

It's the Plain Clothes Man

WHEN the underworld talks of the police herefers to the plainclothesman, the member if the C.I.D. Oddlyenough, he never connects his enemies with Scotland Yard. The bigman is not Mr. Wensley or Mr. Brown or the central detectiveinspectors of Scotland Yard, but the divisional inspector of thedistrict in which the law-breaker is living or operating.

It is the big man who pulls him into divisional headquartersand questions him on his movements "on the night in question." Itis the big fellow who has his eye on him when, as a convict onlicense, he reports to the local police station. The divisionalinspector is the terrifying father of a large and apprehensivefamily.

As I have said before, no thief cares to operate in his owndistrict—or, as he calls it "manor." That is "taking aliberty," and a liberty which will be very much resented by thelord of that manor.

There are very few criminals who are not on perfectly goodterms with the men who know them best. There are scores of caseswhere old offenders who get into some other kind of trouble thanthat which calls for the attention of the police will go toheadquarters to seek the advice and help of the man who, sooneror later, will order their arrest. I have known highly placeddetectives to be called up at night to secure the admission ofsome member of a criminal family into a hospital.

It is not, of course, all love and harmony. Ninety-ninepercent of the underworld, when Nemesis overtakes them, protestwith the utmost vehemence that they are victims of a police plot,that the evidence given against them is entirely false and thatthey have been shopping innocently. That is because a criminalbelieves that if some portion of the evidence against him is notexact he is entitled to have the rest of the evidence dismissedas perjury. I will give an example.

About four years ago a housebreaker was arrested whenentering a mansion flat, the owners of which were away at theseaside. The evidence of the two detectives who arrested him wasthat they had seen him behaving suspiciously in the region ofShepherd's Bush and had followed him to Bayswater, keeping himunder observation, had seen him enter a back garden and hadcaught him in the act of forcing a window.

The man protested his innocence with the utmost violence andin the dock of the Old Bailey ha made a passionate attack uponthe police and their veracity. He was removed from the dockfoaming at the mouth and to the ordinary observer it almostseemed that this was a case of mistaken identity and that the manwas innocent.

The truth was this: The detectives had seen a man in theneighborhood of Shepherd's Bush who was trying to get into anempty house. They missed him and later picked him up, as theythought, and followed him to the scene of the housebreaking. Butby an odd coincidence which would be unbelievable if it were putinto a work of fiction, the man they followed and subsequentlyarrested was not the man who had been behaving suspiciously inShepherd's Bush.

The prisoner knew they were mistaken, and it was this littlebit of their evidence which roused him to frenzy. The fact thathe had been taken red-handed was quite beside the point. Herewere two men standing in the witness box, swearing on aprayerbook to what was obviously a lie, for he was conscious ofthe fact that he had not been near Shepherd's Bush that day.

The Classic Alibi

THIS is not an extreme instance, nor is it veryunusual, and juries, who are often impressed by the extraordinaryeagerness of a prisoner in denying the evidence of the police,will probably find the reason in an oft-repeated protest againstsome section of the evidence.

That blessed word "alibi" leads many a prisoner astray and 90percent of men on trial are under the impression that if they candisturb even a minute and unimportant piece of testimony by thepolice they can emerge from the court free men and with flyingcolors.

Unless a man is actually caught redhanded, the alibi is hisinevitable defense, and a great deal of the detective's days andnights are spent in sifting these.

The fairness of the police in dealing with the criminalclasses is more than half their strength. If there is anything tobe said for a man on charge it is the detective officer incontrol of the case who says it. The fact that they do not trumpup charges or evidence and that they will go out of their way toexamine some aspect of the case which tells in the prisoner'sfavor actually simplifies the work of the detectingdepartment.

Almost the first request that a man makes of the detective whoarrests him is: "Make it as light for me as you can," and I haveknown prisoners to debate all the way to the police station as tothe section under which they should be charged. Most of the oldoffenders have a horror of being charged "under the act" (thePrevention of Crimes act), and they know that it is up to theircaptor to determine to a very large extent the length of theirsentence.

The police are very patient and very merciful; they display anuncanny knowledge of the punitive requirements of every case, andwhile they cannot actually arrange the punishment to fit thecrime they can, and very often do "say the good word" at thecrucial moment of the trial—which is after the jury havefound their verdict.

The uniformed police are the staple danger to the underworld.They are, as it were, the entrenched infantry, and the extent ofthe peril they represent is known and discounted. The C.I.D. arethe bombing airplanes that come from nowhere and work disaster inall sorts of unexpected quarters.

The C.I.D. depends to a certain extent, but not so large asmost people imagine, upon the informer. But, as Chief ConstableWensley once stated to me, "most thieves are their owninformers." It is the running away habit which betrays so manycriminals.

A burglary is committed; the police examining the scene of thecrime and the method adopted, decide that this many be the workof one of a dozen men. Immediately they begin to search for thedozen to discover where they were on the night the robbery wascommitted. In the course of their search they discover that JohnX, one of the suspected twelve, has disappeared.

He had been seen about the neighborhood where he lives a fewdays before the robbery, but now he has vanished. His wifeinforms the visiting detective that he has gone away into thecountry to get a job, or some other equally romantic story. JohnX., who lives in Walworth, is eventually discovered in CamdenTown, and with him just sufficient to connect him with thecrime.

It is not always so simple as this, but very nearly so. IfBrowne and Kennedy had disappeared from their garage after themurder of Gutteridge they would have been arrested within a week.They stood their ground, and that saved them for a long time fromdetection.



Note: A similararticle called "Our Merciful Police" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 21 September 1928.

SUPERIOR MENTAL POWER

Contributed by Francis Golding

As published in The Boston Globe, 13 January 1929


A New Type of Crime by Strong Dominating Weak



I HAVE called this article "The New Crime" [*]and I have hesitated for a long time about writing it at all.

[* Sic. This is actually the titlethat Wallace gave to the version of this article published inThe Leeds Mercury on 22 September 1928. —R.G.]

The easiest way to dismiss a fantastic accusation is todescribe the accuser as mad. It is not only easy, but devilishlyeasy, to discount any story with this contemptuous dismissal.

The other day I showed a letter I had received to a doctorfriend of mine. He read it through and shook his head.

"Poor fellow! This is a mental case," he said.

"And then I invited him to look at the writing, and that putrather a different complexion on the matter, for the writings ofmental cases are typical. I have quite a number of letters fromlunatics in the course of a month, and one has only to read threelines to discover the state of mind of the writer.

I am going to quote extracts from a letter, which I amdisguising so that the identity of the writer should not be madeknown.

"Superior Mental Power"

"...There is the criminal about which youhave not written—he or she who exults in the undoing of hisfellow.... A friend of mine, a woman with some property, fellunder the influence of a certain occult group. She becamefascinated, and eventually a devotee, and submitted to a form ofhypnotism. It is very difficult to describe this without raisingthe suspicions that I am mad. It is sufficient to say that thewoman who did the hypnotizing began to exercise an extraordinaryinfluence telepathically; that is to say, when they were nottogether. The treatment so worked upon the woman that she becamehysterical and was in danger of being 'certified,' and was onlystopped by timely interference from conveying all her property bydeed of gift. I know that this same woman, the hypnotist, willedanother out of her house, which the 'operator' eventually had forher own. Here again the case was certified as menial. In boththese instances the mischief was wrought by a superior mentalpower upon a worker."


So much for the letter, and, reading it as a solitaryexperience one would shrug one's shoulders and say "mental," andforget the poor creature who had written it. We know thatsymptoms of persecution mania, and we know all about the poorcreatures who imagine that a wireless is running through them orthat they are being hypnotized.

But we also know that the mind of a mental patient is withoutstability or coherence, and that he or she embroiders its maintheme with all sorts of impossible and fantastic side issues.

Sort of Crime Increases

NOW here is the fact that has interested me.During the last two years I must have received more than a dozenletters, written by people who are obviously sane, if handwritinggoes for anything, telling me exactly the same story, without anyflorid et ceteras!

In other words, one may assume that there is a new type of"mental criminal;" that is to say, a criminal who can by theexercise of his or her personality and mental gifts, dominate aweaker mentality and make a profit therefrom.

In every case (so far as I can remember; I have not kept theletters, and, indeed, dismissed them as mental) there was ahistory of occultism at the beginning, and in every case it was apracticer of this "magic" who gained dominion over the mind ofthe novice.

There is support for the theory that such a form ofcriminality is on the increase, by reported cases, very oftencases of disputed wills; but there must be hundreds that are notreported, and I have the feeling that in these isolated instanceswe are seeing the beginning of a new phase of criminal activity.I admit that it is possible that every one of these complaintsmight, on a close investigation, be susceptible to the obviousexplanation; but in no instance have I had letters which wereobviously written by mentally unbalanced people.

What New Crime Means

HERE is a type of criminal we do not know, and adangerous type. Reduced to the simplest terms. A being adishonest person and B a possessor or wealth, it is an offense inlaw for A to remove the wealth from B's possession without B'sconsent. The new crime is to make B's surrender his or herpossessions without threat or violence, and apparently of his orher free will. The law does not recognize any such human power,but only the most stupid among us will deny that it exists.

The experienced confidence man has it to an extraordinarydegree; swindlers of all types are nearly as well equipped. Thereis no doubt whatever that the psychoanalyst reduced it almost toa formula, and that quite a number of scientific and unscrupulouspeople must have improved upon that formula. It is at any rate amatter which is well worth investigating, for the practisers ofthis new "art" are among the most dangerous members of theunderworld.

A "Telepathic" Detective?

THEY are more dangerous because in the strictestsense of the word they are not members of the criminal classes.We are probably in the verge of making very important discoveriesin the psychic field, and when the new truths (whatever they are)are established, when the realities of, let us say, telepathy arerevealed, quite a new department may come into existence atScotland Yard. A telepathic section at Police Headquarters mightprove an embarrassment to certain friends of mine.

It is a fact worth noting that, despite the extraordinarystrides which science has made to enlarge the utilities ofmachinery, so little use has been made by criminals of moderndiscoveries.

There is a type of confidence man which uses the wireless, butonly to listen in to messages which are arriving from incomingships. The acetylene blow-lamp and the electric drill for theopening of safes, and the lavish use of the motor car (usuallysomebody else's motor car) alone distinguish the method of themodern thief from his confrere of 30 years ago.

Criminals Chiefly Stupid People

LARCENY and housebreaking are still haphazardprofessions in which are employed such casual tools as may cometo the thief's hand. There are not a dozen burglars in Englandwho possess a complete equipment.

We owe the detection of crime not only to a perfectlyorganized Criminal Investigation Department, but also to thestupidity of the lawbreakers. Now and again at rare intervals wediscover a master mind, but even here it is not a type that wouldwin success in any ordinary business.

The majority of criminals are men and woman of a lower orderof intelligence than the average artisan, and this explains notonly why they are so easily caught, but also why it is sodifficult to give them a fresh start after they come out ofprison.

The population of the underworld is stupid; it has a cunningwhich passes for cleverness and an insensibility whichmasquerades as courage. It is almost entirely without romance. Adrab, ugly, frowsy place is this underworld.

Note: A similararticle called "The New Crime" appeared in The LeedsMercury on 22 September 1928.

HOW I DISCOVERED A MURDER

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 2 February 1929


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (45)

I saw his face and nearly dropped the book: the face
of this ruddy-complexioned man was as white as chalk.


THERE are scores of problems facing the writer of a true story which do not confront the author of an imaginary romance.

The greatest difficulty of all is to disguise the identity of the characters if the story is not especially flattering to them, or if by too faithful a description of the dead one reveals the living, to avoid libel, and, above all, to so word your story that innocent people are not hurt thereby.

Mainly, from the professional story-writer's point of view, the real difficulty is to have a story to tell which has not necessarily a happy but any kind of finish.

Real life stories have a trick of dispersing. As a river that runs into the desert, so does the most concentrated narrative of life spread itself thinly at the end and vanish.

To the story I have to tell there was an end—definite, dramatic, poetically just.

* * * * *

I HAD an acquaintance who lived on the verge of friendship. We wrote to each other on various matters; occasionally, when he was in town, we lunched together—very occasionally, because I ration my mid-day outings: I find that they interfere more with my work than any other form of social recreation,

I always believed him to be a prosperous man. He was connected with an established business, and though he had no partnership, he gave me to understand that he had a generous percentage of the profits.

I never thought of him in any other way than as one very comfortably circ*mstanced. Moreover, I happened to know his wife was very well off.

I had met her on two occasions—a rather pretty, commonplace woman, a trifle artificial and hiding, I suspected, behind the geniality, which belonged to her "party manners," a somewhat acid temper.

This was not an exactly baseless analysis for once, or twice in my presence she had flamed out at her husband and she had even been guilty of the unpardonable offence of reminding him that he owed her money.

This was the first intimation I had that he was not as wealthy as I thought.

He was something of a scientist, dabbling a little in the occult. He may have been a spiritualist for all I know, though I rather fancy that his mysticism was of a more esoteric nature.

He apologised for her exhibition afterwards. "She is a little difficult at times," he told me, "and has an ungovernable temper. Life is not as pleasant at home as it might be, though you are the only person in the world who knows this."

Whether I was the only person, or whether this was one of these broadcast confidences which men and women make, which are so flattering to the person who believes be is the sole recipient, I don't know.

They bought a house In one of the home counties where they lived for a few months in the year. In the winter the wife went to Monte Carlo alone.

By a coincidence, and coincidences of this kind are not rare, I met some people who had been staying at the same hotel as the lady.

She was not very popular with the family, for the had been "carrying on" with a man much younger than herself and made no secret of her infatuation.

They said he was her dancing partner, but from what I subsequently heard, this was not exactly the truth. He was not a professional dancer—one of those young wasters who seem to have nothing better to do than spend somebody else's money.

EITHER some rumour of the lady's behaviour abroad had reached my friend, or else this conduct of hers was not unusual, but every time I met him he seemed more and more depressed. Then he told me that his wife was talking of divorcing him. She had, of course, good grounds, for he was not better than the generality of men.

In those days, if I remember rightly, divorce could not be obtained by a wife from her husband for infidelity, so there must have been another reason into which I have not enquired. At any rate nothing came of the divorce proceedings, and things went on normally.

I heard from him very rarely. Although I have called him a friend, he was not more than an interesting acquaintance. We had very little in common, except his passion for horse-racing, which, I suspect, cost him a lot of money, and this was probably the cause of his occasional embarrassments.

One day I had a letter from him on black-edged paper, telling me that his wife had died suddenly whilst she was staying with some friends.

It was the sort of incoherent letter one would have expected, and I wrote a letter of condolence, and thought that he now had an opportunity of making a new start and of finding some happiness in life, which I am perfectly sure he had never got before.

As I expected, he married again. I never met his second wife. I was told by somebody who knew her that she was very pretty and that he was a new man.

THE next time I saw him was in Hereford during the Armstrong trial.

I was in the market-place during the lunch interval talking to Sir Henry Curtis Bennett, who was on his way to his hotel for lunch, and we were discussing the possible result of the trial and the effect of certain evidence upon the Jury.

A car passed. The man waved his hand to me and pulled up the machine a few yards farther along. I thought it was an acquaintance of Sir Henry's and did not realise that it was I who had been signalled. He stepped out of the car and I saw it was the man whom I knew.

He was on his way to Swansea, to motor back his wife who bad been staying with some friends.

He expressed no surprise at finding me in this, what was for me, out-of-the-way spot, and after a few minutes' conversation he got into his car and drove off.

He was a very voluble man, the sort or person who would say: "What dickens are you doing here?" and would not wait for my reply, and would go on with something he had to tell me.

Before he went I asked him to come over on the Sunday to dinner. The Press were giving a dinner to the members of the Bar. Though he half promised he was staying at Swansea for a day or two, he did not turn up, and. In fact, I had forgotten I had invited him till half way through the meal.

THE Armstrong case, as will be remembered, dragged on an interminable time—to my annoyance, for I had accepted a fee to "cover" the trial for a news agency on the assumption that It would be all over in two or three days.

The only good I got out of my stay was that I was persuaded to back Captain Cuttle for the Derby, and that is my only pleasant recollection of the trial.

Two or three months after I returned to London I was commissioned to write a series of articles on famous or infamous murders, and I took amongst these the Neill Cream and Seddon cases. They were both very interesting from the point of view of the psychologist.

I went to a lot of trouble to collect data and became so enthusiastic a student of these two grisly "mysteries" that I thoroughly depressed my household, for I talked of nothing but murderers through every meal.

ONE evening in the late summer, when I was working in my study, a caller was announced. I do not welcome callers at any time, but when I am engrossed in work, they are not only unwelcome, but a positive bore.

"Who is it?" I asked.

"Mr. Z.," was the reply.

You know what on itch a writer has to communicate any new fact to a third person and what stimulus he receives from a fresh, unwearied audience.

I had exhausted the patience of my family so that when I mentioned Neill Cream a groan of anguish rose from the table.

"Show him in," I said.

My writing-desk was covered with books and documents, cuttings and photographs dealing with the Seddon murder, and after we had exchanged the conventional greetings and the usual insincere enquiries had been made about our mutual health, he asked what work I was doing. I thus had an opportunity of enlarging on the subject of Seddon, his cunning and rapacity, and brought in some reference to Armstrong.

"Oh, that is why you were at Hereford!" he said, suddenly interested. "You were at the trial?"

I told him I was not only at the trial, but should have been at Armstrong's execution, but for the fact that he was hanged on the day Captain Cuttle won the Derby, and I had chosen the more pleasant function.

And then I began to hold forth on the peculiar qualities and especially the stupidity of poisoners, how they, of all criminals, denied any confession, hoping to the last that the lack of direct evidence that they administered the poison would save them from the scaffold.

"But surely such evidence is necessary?" he asked.

I cited him case after case to prove that the administration of poison was very rarely witnessed.

In the Neill Cream case there was a girl who had been given strychnine by the man, but in the majority of these crimes the act of administration of poison had not been witnessed. All the evidence was circ*mstantial.

"There are two kinds of murders I cannot understand," I said. "One is the trunk murder, that is to say cutting up the murdered man or woman, and the disposal of the remains in a trunk, which is one of the easiest things in the world to identify, and the other is arsenical poisoning, or the administration of any poison which has a metallic basis."

He asked me why, and I told him what is the obvious fact: that poisons like arsenic are indestructible. They can be found in the body years after the death of the person and the evidence of guilt is buried with them, and is there awaiting a scientific investigation.

The doctor may give a certificate that a man or a woman had died of pernicious anaemia, but that does not mean that the body will not be disinterred at an inconvenient moment and the cause of death diagnosed as arsenical poisoning.

HE was sitting with his back to the light as I spoke, but going over to a bookcase to get an authority on the subject, I saw his face and nearly dropped the book: the face of this ruddy-complexioned man was as white as chalk.

There were black shadows under his eyes, and the hand that come up to his mouth was shaking like a leaf.

He went out rather hurriedly, mumbling something about having remembered an appointment, and he left me in a condition of mind which can only be described as chaotic.

I did nothing that night, and in the morning I called up a man whom I knew, and who was much more friendly with the family than I.

"What had Z.'s wire died of?" I asked.

The reply that came was a very shocking one.

"Pernicious anaemia!"

What was I to do? All the evidence I had was that he was terribly upset when I had spoken of the indestructibility of arsenic. But the very horror of the subject may have been sufficient to sicken him.

He may not have been of the strongest kind, and I have known people to feel physically ill when they have heard a story which revolted them.

I salved my conscience in the meantime by pursuing a very leisurely enquiry. It was true that she had died when she was staying with friends, but she been very ill for a month before.

It sounds a very simple plan have gone to the place of her death and made enquiries of her doctor. That is not so simple if you arc not a detective.

YOU cannot barge into a medical man's consulting-room and say: "Please give me all the symptoms attending the illness of Mrs. Z." He would probably throw you out or, at least, return a very cold reply, the more so as he was the man who certified her death from natural causes.

I didn't know any of the people who lived in the house where she died. We had very few mutual acquaintances. I thought once of consulting my solicitor, but that in itself was attended with a certain amount of danger.

A solicitor may-be a very good friend, but he is also an officer of the Court, and, strictly speaking, it would be his duty to pass on to the police my suspicions if he thought they were in any way justified. I did at last obtain scraps of information concerning the woman's last illness. To my mind there was no doubt upon the subject.

As a reporter I have been concerned with several poisoning cases, and the peculiar incidence of the illness which preceded death was very familiar to me.

By every psychological test that I could apply, this woman had died of arsenical poisoning, and the assumption was that it had been administered by her husband, who had inherited a portion of his wife's fortune, though not a very large portion, and a certain number of her jewels, which his present wife was wearing.

I had even thought of making an appointment with Sir Henry Curtis Bennett, one of the shrewdest and most knowledgeable of men. I was uncertain as to the propriety of approaching him direct.

The tantalising thing was that just about that time I was constantly dining with eminent lawyers, and it was on the tip of my tongue on every such occasion to narrate my experience.

I suppose I had the natural feat making a fool of myself—a fear which dominates humanity to an extent not generally realised.


AND then came relief: looking through the newspaper one morning, I saw a short paragraph:

"The body of an unknown man who had been decapitated on the rail line between X and Y bus been identified as Mr. Z. How he came to be on this section of the line is not known. There is no evidence of financial worry, etc., etc., etc."

For two days I lived in dread of receiving a letter from him posted before his death, but happily for my peace of mind that letter has never been received to this day.

I am not certain whether it was suicide or accident. He had either fallen or jumped from an express train and, since his affairs were in order and be had sufficient worldly goods, the suicide theory was not accepted.

Nobody has ever questioned whether he died through his own act or through a mischance. If he died by his own hand, then the conversation in my little study in Clarence Gate Gardens undoubtedly drove him to the act.

MY HEART-TO-HEART TALK ON THE "TALKIES"

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 18 May 1929


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (46)


THE talkies are the landlady's cat to the theatrical profession; heaven knows what they are going to be to the company promoters. You know the old joke so popular in the Victorian age about the lodger who, when he complained to his landlady that his food was missing, was told that the cat had eaten it.

To-day the cat has come to life again.

Any producer who takes an extravagant view of the merits of a play and discovers that the public does not agree with him, any actor who cannot draw an audience (because of a bad play), any theatrical speculator who loses his money in trying to foist upon the West End an entertainment that would be hooted In Wigan, come to a unanimous conclusion that talkies are killing the theatre.

A couple of years ago sporting writers were screaming at the top of their voices that dog-racing was killing the Turf. In three years' time, say the present-day prophets, racecourses in England will be sold for building-land.

In three years' time, say the present-day prophets there will be only half-a-dozen theatres in London. the rest will be talkie palaces.

And so everybody is preparing feverishly for a talkie boom, and the dud producing companies will be banding themselves together in a new talkie concern, and we shall read sensational announcements of new British talkie companies which are going tolick the world.

It is not an easy business running a British producing company, as I can testify.

If you allowed yourself to be stampeded by the sensational happenings of the past six months, it would be a disastrous business.


BRITISH production companies in any case cannot possibly make a profit on their first year of trading, because a film takes a long time to make, a long time to book, and it is a long time before money can come in, and the difficulties that face the production companies are greater than most people imagine.

This has been a bad year for exhibitors. The King's illness and the cold weather of the winter have played havoc with the exhibitors' profit. An enquiry at the old-established cinema houses in the West End will confirm this fact.

Happy are those production companies which have not sunk the whole of their capital in enormous super-productions, but have felt their way forward cautiously and have fluid capital to apply themselves to the new craze.

I call it a craze without suggesting that the talkie is a thing of the moment, or that in a year of so's time the desire to see English peers talking with an American accent will be sated.

The talkie has come to stay, and the producer who is banking upon the silent film of the future should see a Harley Street specialist.

Exactly what form the talkie will take, whether it will be noisy from start to finish, or whether it will consist in bringing out the high spots of the story, remains to be seen.

If the talking film is a permanent form of entertainment, as I believe it to be. then certainly the English producing companies should have nothing to fear, because talkies are cheaper to make, English voices are pre-eminently the beat for reproduction, and we have other advantages in England which neither America nor any other country possesses.


I DON'T know how many excuses have been offered for the failure of the British-made film.

We are told that we have not the types of beauty, we are told that Great Britain to unsuitable for film-making because of the horrible climate and especially of its light (I personally shot an outdoor scene last February which is as good, from the point of view of photography and light, as anything you would get in Hollywood), and we have very good reasons advanced for scrapping our studios and surrendering the British film Industry into American hands

One of the reasons most persistently advanced is that our films are barred in America and our own personal market to so small that it is hardly worth while attempting to compete with Hollywood.

There to a Quota Act which compels exhibitors to show a certain number of British films a year.

That Quota Act may not have done us a tremendous amount of good; it may have tempted us to spend a tremendous lot of money subscribed by British shareholders, but it has certainly cost America considerably over a million pounds.

I don't know the exact figure, but let us put it at a million. Does anybody in his senses imagine that the shrewd men associated with the American film Industry are going to take the loss of even a million without a battle?

It is an open secret that great American companies are prepared to spend enormous sums in propaganda to destroy the Quota Act. They are being assisted very considerably by the British producing companies themselves.

There is, as it happens, no need for the foreigner to spend a penny, for the talkies themselves look like nullifying the Quota Act.

British studios are empty, and only in two or three is any attempt being made to produce sound films, or indeed any kind of films. This will mean that there will not be sufficient pictures produced to make up the quota.


WHY the British film industry is in this position heaven only knows. The talkies did not come out of the blue.

Old-established production companies, as distinct from the new concerns which were getting their studios into working order, had opportunities to meet the competition when it arrived.

One bad film succeeds another.

There are times when I feel that the poverty of our own productions is a justification for the Quota Act being thrown on to the scrap-heap.

From an inside knowledge one tries to reduce to first causes the comparative failure of British films, and in order to get a practical understanding of the reasons, I undertook, to the consternation of my directors, the task of making a film myself.

I can well understand their agitation, because I had never spent more than half an hour in a film studio, but the technique was no mystery to me.

In twenty-eight working days I made a picture, the artistic value of which will be decided by the long-suffering exhibitor—the man whom the Quota Act has really hurt.

I made the picture because I had reached the conclusion that what is wrong with the British film is the director.

There are only about three competent film directors in England; the greater proportion of the others are fakes. Any property man who comes from Hollywood with an American accent and a big cigar can persuade a production company to give him a picture to make.

If he talks long enough and puts a big enough price upon his services, his offer is accepted. He may have been an electrician, or a third cameraman, or a fourth assistant producer, but if he whispers that blessed word "Hollywood" all the English producing companies open their doors to him

He proceeds to impress the child-like directors of a film company by demanding that the equipment of the studio should be changed.

If the lighting is incandescent, he will have arcs; if there are arcs and Incandescent lights, he will have mercuries.

He will bring with him half-a-dozen needy compatriots who, under certain grand titles, constitute his staff.

To show that he is a real producer, he will be dissatisfied with every set that is put up. every "property" that is made.


FOR months he will dawdle through his picture, spending money like water, keeping artistes hanging about the studio from morning till night, and in the end he will produce a picture on which he will stick the label "Super"—and the producing company will find itself face to face with another deficit.

I am not so sure that he is any worse than his English confrère—the type of Britisher who works a similar gigantic confidence-trick and who hasn't even the technical knowledge which will enable him to hide up his ignorance.

None of these gigantic hoaxes could be worked if the administration of the film industry was in capable hands. Promoters are, as a rule, more interested in names than in brains.

The average director of a producing company is entirely in the hands of his managing director, and he is more concerned with the finances of the company than with its artistic creations.

I do not speak feelingly, because I have had an experience which is an exception to the rule.

The trouble is that the best brains have not been attracted to this industry. We not only haven't the best, but we havent even the next best. The industry has been treated as a joke, and the immediate consequence of directorial incompetence has been profitable to the bad producer, and has resulted in a flood of unshowable pictures.

We have been badly left in the race, and only the most revolutionary and drastic changes in our methods can bring us the benefit which our great advantages in human material deserve.

MYSTERIES OF ASCOT

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 22 June 1929


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (47)


HORSE-RACING is one of the greatest of our industries. It has a bEtter cash turnover than the steel and iron trade and the coal trade combined.

The popularity of racing becomes an enthusiasm on Derby Day and a comfortable ecstacy during Ascot Week.

Consider this: in the whole year of racing only four consecutive days are devoted to the Ascot meeting. To serve the public on those four days an immense area of buildings is maintained, decorated, embellished and beautified, vast lawns keep the attention of gardeners for 361 days, hothouses are filled and emptied, hundreds of painters and cleaners are kept busy the whole year round, builders and glaziers are kept in constant work—for four days' racing!

And towards the prizes on those four days of racing £40,000 is contributed, so that the best horses in the world shall be attracted to Berkshire; and because the best horses are attracted to Berkshire and all the world and his wife flock to this little Berkshire village, every kind of luxury trade is kept busy for months, and some £2,000,000 worth of dresses, hats and shoes are planned and made for this special occasion.

Even motor-coaches that bring the humbler pleasure-seeker to this venue are designed primarily for the Ascot traffic.

YANKEE SHIPLOADS

AMERICA will send shiploads of tourists to see Reigh Count make his bold bid for the Gold Cup.

Special trains will be run from France full of sportsmen and sportswomen.

By the way, Reigh Count, the American champion, is a long-distance performer before anything else, and the Yankees' chance of grabbing the Cup has not been so bright since the day four American crooks took it by the simple expedient of opening the glass case that contained it and smuggling it away.

What is the attraction of Ascot? Why is it supreme among the race-meetings of the world?

First and foremost, it owes its popularity to British efficiency. The Mussolini of Ascot is a slim, straight-backed lieutenant-colonel of the Household Cavalry, Gordon Carter, whose genius has been rewarded by a knighthood in the King's birthday honours.

Sir Oordon Carter is the genial autocrat who has made Ascot what it is. It has always been something more than a race-meeting—it is a social function.

Here society from all the world gathers, not to see the racing, but to inspect one another's dresses. The Royal Enclosure is the most exclusive enclosure of the season.

One of the stewards of Ascot is the Viscount Churchill. He is, I believe, steward of no othet meeting. He is intimately associated with the Court and every application for a place in this holy of holies must go through his hands.

It is his business to separate the sheep from the goats—and many are the goats!

He lives Ascot and thinks Ascot, and no sooner is one meeting over than his department at St. James's Palace is organising for the nest.

He and Sir Gordon Carter are always planning for Ascot, and, strangely enough, it is not the lordly and ladily "privilegees," the holders of Royal Enclosure vouchers, for whom they are planning.

The secret of the Ascot success is that Sir Gordon Carter and his illustrious stewards think democratically. It is for the cheap public they plan, for those in charabancs rather than those who come in Rolls-Royces, and for those who can afford to pay 6s. for a place on the lawn rather than for those who pay £40 for a box over Tattersalls.

This year the 6s. ring is a marvel of comfort and service.

Brand-new buildings have gone up, great lawns have been opened, new stands have been established, tea-rooms and dining-rooms have been erected.

A band of the Life Guards has a stand in this ring, and hard-working gardeners have been busy since Christmas getting ready to delight thé eyes of the charabanc parties.

That is the secret of Ascot, that all the time somebody is planning and thinking for the general public, and it is amazing that Ascot— which is the aristocrat of all race-meetings—should depend, and does depend, for its financial success upon catering to the proletariat.

There is no magic formula here which cannot be applied by other racecourse executives. Some of our racecourses have three times as many days' racing as Ascot, three times as many opportunities to cater for the public. They are content to let Ascot "get away with it."

"How absurd," they tell you when you suggest that they should copy Ascot; "we haven't the revenue. Why. the money that is paid for the Royal Enclosure vouchers is as much as we take on any three days' racing!"

LEAST IMPORTANT

BUT the money taken at Ascot for the Royal Enclosure is very nearly the least important item. What keeps Ascot going is the revenue from the public stands, and because the accommodation at Ascot is well-nigh perfect (you can get a shave and a hair-cut if you need either) the meeting attracts its thousands of "paying guests."

And because it attracts its thousands of racegoers the executive is able to offer these enormous prizes, and because these prizes are offered, the best horses in the world are entered and the public comes in increasing numbers to see the racing.

It is a benevolent circle.

Three out of every five racecourses in England possess accommodation which is no less than disgraceful.

The refreshment-rooms are hovels, the stands are so inadequate that on a big-race day only a quarter of the people can see the racing. The number-boards are invisible from a short distance, the sanitary arrangements are so primitive that they would not pass a London County Council inspector.

And yet the public have to pay three times as much as they are called upon to pay for the spacious and efficient services in the 6s. ring at the royal meeting.

Certain racecourses are living from hand to mouth. The prizes are ludicrous. It is humanly impossible for an owner to keep horses in training unless he gambles on them, which means that the only people who can benefit are the bookmakers.

Some of the courses are almost inaccessible. Most of them depend entirely upon local patronage, and yet in most cases their shares stand at a big premium. And if you suggest that the company should be reconstructed, that new shares should be offered to the public and money brought in for the improvement of the buildings and the enhancement of the prizes you are met either by a stony silence or by a good-humoured contempt.

And yet it has been proved beyond any question that where the public have been considered, where racecourse executives have gone out of their way to do something for the "silver people." success has followed automatically.

WE WANT MORE ASCOTS!

THIS has been discovered at York, at Doncaster, at Ayr, at Hamilton Park, a Scotch meeting, which really deserves the title of the Ascot of the North, and which is one of the most go-ahead racecourses in the United Kingdom.

We want more Ascots.

Racing thrives on efficient and businesslike management. Until a few years ago, when the Jockey Club interfered, some of our courses were terrible.

Do you remember Epsom in the old days, with the uneven track littered with papers and broken glass, with stands that were literally death-traps if a fire had occurred?

See what an energetic management has done with that popular course, which is now one of the best in England. The old building was scrapped and a new and imposing stand was constructed, and within a few years Epsom will offer prizes which will rival the mammoth stakes at Ascot.

If I had my way. I should create, under the direction of the Jockey Club, a new office—Director of Racing Accommodation—and would put Sir Oordon Carter in complete control.

If he did not give us more Ascots I should be very much surprised. We need them badly.

THOMAS ATKINS

As Published in The Legion Book (ed. Capt. H. Cotton Minchin),
Cassell & Co. Ltd., London, 1 September 1929


OLD soldiers may die, but their traditions are eternal. I doubt very much, if any soldier of the Crimea walked into a modern barrack-room, that he would feel in the slightest degree embarrassed by the spirit of modernity; and, beyond the change of arms and equipment, he would discover nothing novel in the language of the 1920 soldier.

Still would he find the desperate expedients that kit inspections bring into operation; still would he hear bitter complaints about the quality of the canteen beer; and to his ears would come the familiar groan of the old sweat with twenty years' service telling the youngsters how soldiering was soldiering in the good old days.

The barrack-room is insular. The great events of the world pass on and leave no trace of their interest. New words come into the barrack-room vocabulary—strange foreign words with queer English sounds; for it is a fact that every war in which the British Army is engaged brings a few odd words and expressions into the everyday language of the barrack-room. I wonder how many people realize that 'bosh', as indicating rubbish, is an Army word which the soldiers brought back from Turkey. They acquired one or two from South Africa; another couple remain from the Great War.

In one respect there must have been a drastic change. In my day—I first made my acquaintance with barrack-room life at the age of seventeen—the Army was packed stiff with singers. They weren't good singers, but they sang. You heard them every night in the canteen; you heard them every day in the barrack-rooms and passages, warbling sentimentally. But the character of the songs has probably changed, for in the early 'nineties, and for twenty or thirty years before, the supreme favourites were Irish revolutionary songs!

Songs about Ireland have had an irresistible fascination for Tommy, and it is an historical fact that it was to the strains of 'Tipperary' that the Old Contemptibles performed their most heroic deeds. But 'Tipperary' was a lively tune compared with the more favoured ditties which held the attention of a soldier audience. It was a vital ingredient of most of the songs that we sang in the early days that they should be sentimental, and should deal with poor Irish heroes who had been done to death by the brutal English soldiery. A typical example was 'The Young Hero', the refrain of which ran, if my memory serves me:


To the old British square they marched our young hero.
'Aim straight at my heart' were the last words he said.
Exposing his breast to the points of their rifles,
When the smoke cleared away our young hero lay dead.

So they laid him away on the hillside,
Along with the brave and the bold.
Inscribed his name on the scroll of fame
In letters of purest gold.

'My conscience will never convict me',
He said with his last dying breath.
'May Gawd plead the cause of freedom
For which I am sentenced to death!'


I have heard this same song sung by request four times in one evening! And it was not amongst Irish troops that these songs were popular. Their most enthusiastic singers were the men of the county regiments, and especially the 'London' regiments (the West Kent, Middlesex, 7th Fusiliers, East Surrey, etc.).

I haven't been in a barrack-room for twenty years, but I am almost tempted to go forth on a visit of discovery to learn what has supplanted the sentimentalism of Erin.

The woes and wrongs of Ireland in lyrical form have charmed and thrilled generations of soldiers, and I do not remember one native song that has ever been brought back from any other part of the world.

India has contributed in a very great measure to the vocabulary of the British soldier. Certain Indian words like 'rutee'* are traditional, and will persist long after our association with India has terminated—as some clever people tell us it will terminate.

[* rutee: Hindi word for bread.]

I was privileged the other day to read a letter written by an officer to his wife. He was serving under Marlborough, and one passage in the letter rather amused me:


The soldiers complain, and continue to complain. They complain about the food, about the length of the marches—which, as you may well imagine, are long and tedious—about their billets and their duties, and this was spoken of to my lord (the Colonel) whilst we were at dinner this afternoon. My lord said: 'When you have had my experience with English soldiers, Captain Wright, you will know that they will grumble on all occasions, and fight all the better for it.'


A grouseless British Army would be a monstrosity. Tommy grouses, not because he is a soldier, but because he is British and because it is part and parcel of the national character to grumble when things are going well and to be uncannily cheerful when things are going badly. There is a song, 'Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag'. This did not inspire the soldier—the soldier inspired the song. For in adversity there is no more buoyant creature than he. I remember during the South African War that if one were under a roof for the night it was always possible to tell when rain was falling upon the roofless bivouac. From out of the darkness came the melancholy strains of the latest music-hall song—invariably when it started raining on the men who had no shelter but their blankets the troops sat up and sang.

I am curious to know whether certain little practices in the Army have persisted through the years. Is the square-pushing uniform as popular as ever? I rather doubt it, because the square-pusher depended very much upon the smartness of the pre-war uniform. Khaki is not an incentive to smartness and clothes-pride; and, moreover, the privilege recently granted to soldiers of appearing in public wearing the mufti of civilians must have done away with the master-tailor's perks.

In the days when soldiers wore red coats and blue trousers, the dandy had many opportunities of beautifying himself and enhancing his personal attractions. Square-pushing boots, square-pushing caps, silver cap-badges, and a few etceteras which were distinctly non-regimental, lent him some of the fascination of the male peaco*ck.

When Kipling wrote 'Tommy This and Tommy That' he was putting into concrete form the one conviction which never dies in the Army, and it is that the soldier is despised by the civilian population and that his honourable trade is regarded by respectable people as something to be ashamed of.

It is a curious fact that the Army is very unpopular among the lower middle classes as a profession for their sons and brothers. Why that should be so has been a mystery, but here again the tradition continues. If only the lower middle classes realized the fact, the Army is the real poor man's university. It is to the Army that every young man without a definite profession should be sent to complete his education, to engraft in him a wider knowledge of men and things, and to supply him with a much-needed stimulus to a profession. It would be all to the good of the country if every young man who attained the age of from eighteen to twenty-four, and had not settled down to productive work, should by law be compelled to take the Army 'course'. This modified form of conscription would bring about a radical change, not only in the attitude of certain sections of the population towards soldiering, but in the physique of the nation.

My own impression is that the attitude of the civilian has undergone a very considerable change since the war. That a soldier should not be served in certain bars and public-houses is unheard of in this year of grace, but, strangely enough, the barrack-room view remains that this is still a practice. When, the other day, I invited a man of twenty-one years' service to come to lunch with me at a restaurant (I think he was passing through London on duty), he was aghast at the idea.

'You will get chucked out if you take me there,' he said. 'Everybody knows that they won't have soldiers in West End restaurants.'

While I confess I expected all the old ideas and notions, in fact the very character of the soldier, to have been burned up in the war, and a new type to have emerged, a visit to a military centre finds the Army just as I left it, and I can pick up the same old soldier that I knew and loved in the days of my service. He has the same dodges for evading work, the same bubbling humour, not less funny because of its dourness, the same simplicity of nature and generosity of soul. The words you might not use in a barrack-room are still tabooed; the man who whistles the 'Dead March' is 'for it'; still persists the idea, which dies very hard indeed, that the quartermaster-sergeants buy rows of houses on their illicit gains.

One aspect of the modern Army life I find very curious. In the old days one was not allowed, and certainly nobody seemed to have a desire, to discuss politics in the barrack-room. Giving the soldier the vote was one of the most revolutionary steps ever taken in the history of the Army, and for my own part I believed that it would have a most demoralizing effect. There were neither Liberals, Conservatives, nor Socialists in the barrack-room, and politics came into the same category as religion. It was one of the forbidden subjects of controversy. The curious thing is that, even though the soldier is given the vote, politics are still more or less tabooed. Very wisely the Army authorities do not allow canvassing of military voters, nor encourage candidates to address meetings for soldiers only; and the consequence is that, although the vote has come, it has had practically no effect upon the amenities of barrack-room life.

There is a mystery about the British soldier, a mystery which no man has solved. It is the mystery of the mould in which he was cast, and in which every new recruit is hammered. Why is there no variation? Why is this type eternal? What is there in the Army which broadens and quickens a man's sense of humour and creates the corps spirit which is nine-tenths of efficiency?

For the solution, I suppose, one must go back to the national character, and compare the phenomenon of the soldier's spiritual and mental development with the same process which is going on in the public schools, and which licks the biggest lout into the semblance of a gentleman. Certainly, the soldier does not change for the worse. He could not change for the better.

DEFEATING CRIME

True Detective Mysteries, 1 April 1930

NOTE: Mr. Wallace's more than 140 detectivenovels, plays and other works are well-known the world over andare very popular. More than five million copies of them are soldevery year. Being in this country on a flying visit he consentedto tell America, through this magazine, what he thinks of ourcrime problem, and his opinion follows below. —Ed.


A NEW form of punishment must be devised if theworld is to defeat crime. I am convinced the present penalsystems are all wrong. Prisons have become so luxurious todaythat they are no longer corrective institutions. They havebecome a form of social club. Here the criminal is allowed toassociate with others of his kind. He is served with much betterfood than he usually gets on the outside. He is allowed to attendconcert parties, wireless parties, sees the latest cinema and inmany places is allowed to smoke. The punitive value of thesentence is unfelt. Though the time passes none too quickly, theprisoner emerges from jail morally unchanged.

Reformers who really desire to better corrective conditionsshould study the psychology of the criminal. To understandcriminals and their motives, one must affect to have a certainsympathy with criminal classes. Otherwise criminals will eitherlie, or boast of their ill-doings, and surveys will have noinformative value.

Prisons should be made so as to put the fear of God into thehearts of those who view them from the inside behind barreddoors. A long sentence holds no real fear for the criminal whileconditions are as they are. There is only one way to cut down ourever-growing jail population—institute such drastic reformsthat a prison will be made into a place of punishment. Make it sohard that even continuous criminals will hesitate before theycommit any crime that is likely to send them back to a place witha reputation worse than hell.

I do not advocate cruelty but I do advocate discipline and Ithink such measures could be taken during a short, sharp sentencethat would make life almost unbearable within sane, humanelimits.

A prisoner should never be allowed to get used to jail.

Except for the few years spent in the army, my life hasbrought me more or less in touch with criminals and has gainedfor me an intimate knowledge of the underworld. In some way, alegend has grown up that I am in sympathy with professionalcriminals and am very generous with them. That is not so. I haveno use for a criminal; the more I see of them, the less I likethem. There is no romance to a crook and I have never yet met onewho could be called clever. Most of them are too lazy to earn anhonest living. Those of them who have sufficient intelligence toknow the difference between right and wrong have other viceswhich usually render them most unpleasant members of society.

I admit I am interested in helping the man or woman who is notan habitual offender, I, too, have had to struggle and I, too,have known how cold and harsh the world can be upon occasion, butfor criminals in general, I have no sympathy and no respect.

The most formidable weapon that the forces of law and ordercan use against the criminal world is the weapon of terrorizationand it should be used without mercy. Strange as it should seem toAmericans, there are few crimes of violence in England.

That is because Scotland Yard has well learned how toterrorize the underworld.

THE PLAGUE OF MURDERS

Contributed by Francis Golding

First published in John Bull, 21 June 1930


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (48)


THE Chief Constables are holding their annual conference in Cardiff, and They are discussing the question of a better co-ordination between the various police forces with the object of preventing and detecting crime.

Let boll this bald statement down to the fact that there is in London one super-efficient Investigation Department, that department is at Scotland Yard.

The Chief Constables of England have the and the right and the privilege of calling upon the London C.I.D. to assist them in dealing with homicide investigation, and to their credit it may be said that they generally avail themselves of the opportunity.

The snag, however, is that the C.I.D. of Scotland Yard is sometimes called upon when the scent is so cold that it is impossible to run the quarry to earth.

Local police forces arc properly proud of their own efficiency. They are naturally a little jealous about calling in outsiders.

Generally the crime seems to be susceptible to a fairly easy solution. All that is necessary is that a few enquiries should be made, a few suspected persons questioned, and a search or two conducted, and apparently the motive for and the perpetrator of the deed will be brought to light.


UNFORTUNATELY, by the time the local police forces discover that their earlier theories are wrong two or three days may have passed, and they are usually two or three valuable days.

Then Scotland Yard is called in and expected to perform miracles.

What is needed very badly is that there should be one central Criminal Investigation Department for the whole of England, and that it should be separate and distinct from uniformed branch, and should have its posts in every great town throughout the length and breadth of the country.

It should be staffed with men trained at Scotland Yard. If this were done there would overlapping of authority. The Chief Constables of various counties would have just as much authority over the C.I.D. operating in their area as would make for efficiency and discipline.

If fact, more or less the same system should prevail in the country as exists in London, where the C.I.D. is attached to various police-stations which have their own divisional inspector who works with, but not under, the superintendent in control of the division, except in so far as they are under him for disciplinary purposes.


Edgar Wallace--Journalist (49)


It would be only natural if the Chief Constables should discuss what has the appearance of being a crime wave, or rather a homicide wave, which has swept though the country during the past few weeks.

What is the cause of this wave?

There are many reasons assigned. One of them—the most fantastical—is the possibility that capital punishment will be abolished.

I think one can dismiss that "cause" even without consideration. Murderers never imagine they will be caught and punished. They are firm in the faith that they will escape the consequences of their villainy.


OTHERWISE it is impossible to imagine a man standing over a woman with a knife in his hand and saying: "If I cut her throat I shall not be hanged I shall only go to prison for life."

The idea that potential murderers should weigh the possibilities of light punishment in a period when three men have gone to the gallows is grotesque.

Another view Is that the summer brings certain mysterious influences which make for murder. One often sees it stated that the period of the South-Easter in the Cape Province and the Sirocco in Spain and South Europe coincides with the wave of murder.

Very likely it is true, because both the South-Easter and the Sirocco only come in the hot months, and it is in the hot months that murder is most prevalent.

When you think of crimes you visualise them in the surroundings which are proper to every form of anti-social activity. You picture dark streets and thick alleys, cold and sunless cities.

But the fact is that in the dark days of winter crimes of violence, offences against the person and homicides are much rarer than in the hot, blistering sunlight of the summer.

We have seen in the last month a succession of horrible crimes. Mainly they have been committed in the open, and in that sentence is explained why murder crimes are more prevalent—especially murder crimes in which women are concerned—in the warm days than in the cold.

Men and women are creatures of convention. They are tied and bound by certain rules and regulations which they obey without knowing why or even that they are obeying them.

We are tied to houses: we live and sleep in them, or have our work and recreation in them.

If something happens in a room, if we are tempted to commit an assault or behave unusually in a room, the consciousness that we identify ourselves with the room, and that we are, so to speak, exposed to public gaze is quite sufficient to act as a deterrent.

The places where we live and with which we are identified impose upon us certain rules of conduct and certain responsibilities.

The instinct to murder is a common and natural instinct.

There is hardly one of us who has not at some period of his life experienced a desire to sweep some enemy out of existence, but normal men and women exercise the necessary control to check that impulse at its birth

In the open spaces of the country we lose this sense of responsibility. We may not commit murder, but it is much easier to break the law in the open than it is within tho enclosure of walls.


WE are not overlooked; the nearest human being may be miles away and certainly is invisible: there is nobody sleeping upstairs or living downstairs, no neighbour behind the wall.

We are alone under the sky and the sense of our solitude and the sense of our separation from authority is so intense that I have known even the most law-abiding citizens commit acts of wanton damage without any reason whatever.

It is a very delicate matter to discuss relationships of men and women.

Lovers—good, bad and indifferent— have been since the world began, and the warm evenings and the natural desire for solitude take them away from the observation of their fellows and generally produce nothing more criminal than what one might expect in the circ*mstances.

To the brute the dark, warm night offers opportunities and temptations which, if he is a man without scruples and without remorse he will take.

He may not go to the length of murder, but there are scores of cases where he has not stopped far short. Most of the Düsseldorf murders were committed on warm nights.

It is not the beneficent rays of the sun that have an evil effect upon human nature or that men's nerves are jagged and their reason unbalanced which turns men into beasts and women into gibbering fools.


IF you have any doubt on this subject, go the rounds of the assizes and hear the amazing crimes that are brought against men who live apart from their fellows in the loneliness of moor and heath and cottage.

There Is nothing evilly dynamic in the warmth and crystal-clear sunlight, in the flowering gardens and the spreading trees.

The murder season is the summer season because it is the out-of-doors season, because it lures people away from the habitations of men and the moral forces which are exercised by congregations of humanity.

The lure of murder is the lure of the great out-of-doors.

TUTANKHAMEN AND THE CURSE
(aka THE CURSE OF AMEN-RA)

Published in McCall's, 1930

Reprinted in
Maclean's, Toronto, 15 Jul 1930 (this version)
Great true Stories of Crime, Mystery and Detection,
The Readers Digest, 1965 as "The Curse of Amen-Ra"

Edgar Wallace--Journalist (50)

Macleans, 15 Jul 1930, with "Tutankhamen and the Curse"


A PORTLY dragoman watched the little group of helmeted Europeans who were directing the excavations of Tutankhamen's tomb. He turned to his employer, the special correspondent of a London newspaper, and said: "They will find gold and death."

The startled newspaper man asked why, writes Edgar Wallace, the novelist, in McCall's.

"Because," said the dragoman, the old gods live. This man"—he waved his hand contemptuously toward the tomb—"was an unbeliever. He found the old gods too late; and he offended the god of all gods, Amen-Ra."

Somebody told Lord Carnarvon this story. He did not laugh at it. He was a very sane, unemotional man. In all seriousness, he immediately said: "I recognize that possibility."

And this is the fact that is curious, that every mummy which is supposed by popular tradition to be "unlucky" is the mummy of one who has defied the great gods.

Tutankhamen was buried with elaborate ceremonial, but they made no image of Ra in yellow and set it at the bow of the boat which carried his swathed body; nor did they paint on suitable plaques the figures of the gods Tern, Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Mut, Osiris, Isis, Suti, and Nephthys and anoint them with cedar oil. And the Spell of Peace did not go into the closed cavern where they laid the body of the young king. Only a great unrest. For although Tutankhamen was hastily recalling the exiled divinities, and had changed his very name to propitiate them, the Old Ones who sit on the Parapets of Hell were not with him, and their wrath dwelt in the pitch-dark chamber where they laid the embalmed shell of the unbeliever.

Some day we shall discover that thought has substance and that love and hate are as material as the rays of the sun; then we shall know that the stories we dismiss as myths and the frantic imaginings of half-demented priests are terribly well-founded in sober fact. Hate may not lie like a cloud over the Valley of the Kings, nor stand, an invisible and vengeful shape, to bar intrusion into the mysteries of the dead; but hate is there, a tangible and everlasting factor.

Very clear-headed scientists viewed the excavations with uneasiness. Such men do not believe in ghosts; but they do not preclude the possibilities of psychic phenomena.

There are hoodoo men and women who doubts this? There are ordinary people who carry with them into house and office an aura of disaster or fortune. The X which produces such phenomena is a mystery as yet unsolved.

In Tutankhamen's tomb was the supreme x, which was death.

With Lord Carnarvon were Howard Carter and his secretary, Dick Bethell, M. Benedite, the French archaeologist, who was in charge of the Department of Antiquities at Cairo, and M. Pasanova. Of those men only one remains alive.

When the tomb was opened two other notables entered. One was Colonel Aubrey Herbert, Carnarvon's half brother; the other was Evelyn-White. When Aubrey Herbert entered the cavern he shivered and stopped, reluctant to go on. "I wish to God Carnarvon hadn't found this tomb. Something dreadful is going to happen to our family."

Before the year was out he was dead.

When the door was forced Carnarvon walked into the tomb with a smile and a jest. "I wish he hadn't laughed—he will be dead in six weeks," said Arthur Weigall, the writer. Something stung Lord Carnarvon on the cheek. He was a dead man before the wonders of the tomb were fully revealed.

Evelyn-White, Egyptologist and scholar, became a changed man after the tomb was opened. It was as though he were haunted by some unseen and dreadful presence. Within a year he had committed suicide. "There was a curse upon me," he wrote in the letter he left behind him.

The Egyptian authorities brought Sir Archibald Douglas Reed, a great radiologist, to X-ray the mummy. Within a year he was a dead man.

Professor Laffleur, of McGill University, was the first American scientist to examine the chamber of death. He did not leave Luxor alive.

Young men, old men, men in the prime of life, men for whose lives any insurance office would have exacted the minimum premium, died, mysteriously, tragically. Only Howard Carter remains of the principals. Almost every workman who entered the tomb has passed into the shadows.

Seven French authors and journalists visited the tomb; six were dead within two years. When they unveiled Tutankhamen they found a mark upon his face—the mark left on Lord Carnarvon's face was in exactly the same position.

On the day the tomb was opened a cobra, which was the sacred snake of Egypt, went into Howard Carter's house and destroyed his favorite pet, a canary that the explorer took with him wherever he went; the cobra is the rarest snake in Egypt.

Woolf Joel visited the tomb, and was dead within a year. Jay Gould was taken ill in the tomb and died. To every man without exception who has visited the tomb, misfortune has come.

The most sceptical admit that there is something more than coincidence in the fatalities which have followed association even with minor articles that have been taken from the tomb. Pieces which have been placed in the Cairo Museum have been "working." Attendants whose duty it is to look after these exhibits have sickened and died for no known reason.

The famous Dr. Mardus was convinced that the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb would bring death. "The Egyptians for 7,000 years possessed the secret of surrounding their mummies with some dynamic force of which we have only the faintest idea," he said.

THE END

Roy Glashan's Library.
Non sibi sed omnibus
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