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a lesser man would probably not have made it. Not long after the closing of war-days, Admiral Wilson was placed in command of the Atlantic fleet, and just recently has been made commandant of the Naval Academy at Annapolis. So it is seen that he has not suffered in consequence of his courageous protection of Howard, whose journalistic fate, without that protection, would unquestionably have been a severe one.
As it is, it will be remembered that the American press railed against the alleged hoax and called loudly for those responsible to be brought to book. Branded as "either one of the most colossal fakes in history or an inconceivably bad blunder," the newspapers throughout the country dwelt principally on the cruel disappointment to the American people and "especially those having husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers in the bitter fighting at the front." Much emphasis was laid editorially on the fabulous cost of the "fake" to the country, a total running into uncomputable millions and resulting primarily from the fact that work was "knocked off" at noon in virtually every office and plant from coast to coast and not resumed until the following day. The bill for street-cleaning after the celebration in the larger cities presented in itself a staggering total. One New York paper declared that New York's own bill of eightyfive thousand dollars should be presented to Howard for payment!
American newspapers who printed his cable as absolute truth despite other conflicting despatches they were in receipt of at the time, who was to blame? It is said that the wire signed by Commander Jackson was based on information telephoned to the American embassy by a person who purported to be speaking officially from the French Ministry of War. Thus in a way we find ourselves face to face with an object of ultimate blame that is as mysterious as it is unknown, for subsequent investigation showed that no one at the ministry had called the embassy that day. There is a possibility, of course, that the embassy's anonymous informant was nothing else than a practical joker. This, however, is scarcely credible. Some other motivating force may very properly be looked for than the mere desire to jest.
I realize that I may regard the matter through spectacles somewhat tinted by many months of service in the counter-espionage section of the army, but, for reasons which I shall expound, it is my belief that the naval office in Paris, Admiral Wilson, Roy Howard, and the entire United States of America were the victims of one or more secret agents of the German Espionage Corps.
It will be recalled that, on the morning of November 7, enemy plenipotentiaries were reported to be coming through the lines to sue for an armistice. It being a principle of the German intelligence system that "fixed operators”—namely, spies on permanent duty at one point-work actively on their own initiative and without orders, taking into consideration the news and needs of the day, it is reasonable to suppose that an intelligent enemy agent in Paris would set
about doing his utmost on November 7 to create popular desire and demand among the Allied people for the German-sought armistice.
The existence of such an attitude on the part of the people would make for a more certain and swifter cessation of hostilities and an avoidance of the terrible smashing blows that German arms and Germany itself seemed doomed to receive. From a psychological and somewhat typically German point of view the best possible way of making the public want an armistice would be to tell them that there was an armistice, and let them taste of the joy that would naturally await upon the
Had the American people not been rewarded with a real termination of the struggle a short time after their wild celebration of the supposed, it must be believed that the reaction of their disappointment would have been both severe and dangerous to home morale. The "Globe" quotes a prominent citizen as saying on November 7, "It will be a tragedy if this report proves untrue."
A similar effort to stampede the French press into announcing an armistice appears also to have been made. It was impossible, of course, to fool Paris, but St. Nazaire received the rumor, as did Bordeaux, Marseilles, Nice, Lorient, and other French points. It was present in Brest before Admiral Wilson's receipt of the message from Paris. London had it, but its press was highly conservative in passing judgment on its credibility, and, with one unimportant exception, did not announce it to the people. Holland and parts of Belgium had it. Possibly,
too, many other localities; but I have named all that I know about save Mexico and parts of South America, where the celebration was hilarious, but more probably on the strength of the United Press report. Holland's having the "news" is strongly suggestive of enemy espionage effort.
Thus it would appear that an organized attempt was made to make the Allied nations cherish an armistice which, though not yet existent, was within easy reach if the people wanted it and showed clearly that they wanted it. I should greatly like to see the intelligence reports of our late enemy for November 7, 1918. The scheme is worthy of the German service in both ingenuity and execution, and does credit to the one or more persons who conceived it.
Who knows but what it may have had something to do with accomplishing their purpose? President Wilson cast his important decision for an armistice after he had witnessed the demonstrations of November 7, reliable proof of the country's sentiment, and it is said that Wilsonian pressure was largely, if not entirely, accountable for the granting of an armistice at a time when French and Allied military leaders were preparing to administer to Germany the terrific smashing for which they had built up and to which they were looking forward eagerly, exultantly.
Who knows but what a still fighthearted American people might not have cried loudly for "On to Berlin!" had not the sweet branch of the olivetree been placed prematurely in their hands and found to be much, very much, to their liking?
BY CHARLES ASHLEIGH
There is a jeweled, glancing throng to-night
The torches lift their hungry, praying arms
The cloth bleeds color at the merchant's door,
Eyes that glance and pass; lips carrying a song;
Lost in a glamoured hunger for this impassioned life.
From this high roof I see the desert wait;
The night has shawled its miles of staring brown—
Clawing with deathless talons at the town.
Whispering marvel of roofs washed in the light;
Beauty ineffable! Too strong is your will
Of pregnant stillness. I shall seek the stream
Eyes that glance and pass. My vision must not live;
T first Ben Cohen had been wont to read music as other boys read their penny-dreadfuls, avidly, with the imagined sound like great waves forever a-rush through his soul. In the very beginning it was any music; then for a while Wagner held him. Any Wagnerian concert, any mixed entertainment that included Wagner, and he would tramp for miles, wait for hours, biting cold, sleet, snow, mud, rain, all alike disregarded by that persistence which the very poor must bring to the pursuit of pleasure, the capture of cheap seats. By the time he first met Jenny Bligh he was clear of Wagner, had glanced a little patronizingly at Beethoven, turned aside and enwrapped himself in the somber splendor of Bach; then harking back with a fresh vision, a sudden sense of the inevitable, had anchored himself in the solemn, widestretching harborage of Beethoven.
It was like a return from a long voyage. There was a sense of eternity, a harmony which drew everything to itself, smoothing out the pattern of life. All at once everything was immensely right, with Jenny as an essential and inevitable part of the rightness.
Apart from all this, he was bound by the inarticulateness of his class. His Jewish blood lent him a wider and more picturesque vocabulary than most, and yet it stopped at any discussion of his feelings. We have an idea that what we call the "common people" are more communicative on such sub
jects than we are; but this is not so. They talk of their physical ailments and sensations, but they are deeply shy upon the subject of their feelings.
Ben himself put none of his feeling for Beethoven into words. He said nothing of Jenny to his mother, either, save as a girl he 'd met, a girl he was going to bring home to tea; but she understood that without any words: that was courting, part of the business of human nature, much like the preparation of meals.
It was odd that his determination to devote his whole musical life to Beethoven, to interpret him as no Englishman had ever done before, should have been synonymous with his scared, heady, and yet absolute determination to marry Jenny Bligh.
Jenny worked in a jam-factory, and there was something of the aroma of ripe fruit about her. She was plumpish and fresh, with very red lips and very bright eyes, reddish-brown, the color of blackberry leaves in autumn, and with hair to match. Her little figure was neat; her small hands, with their square-tipped fingers, were deft and quick in their movements.
Ben saw her like that for the first time, crossing the Lee just below the timber-yard, with its cranes like black notes zigzagging out over the river, which had for once discarded its fog. It was a day of bright blue sky, with immense, rounded, silvery clouds, fresh and clean; with a wind that