Puslapio vaizdai

some daring thing, making the boys yell with pure delight. He studied the back. of his mittens, and seemed to draw inspiration from the crude colors in the elastic; then he looked up, and for some reason the boys crowded close to him.

"Boys," he said, "all of you go and ask your mothers if they will let you have dinner with me. We will buy some things, and cook them in the woods. Bring all your dogs, and some one bring

an ax."

The boys scurried away, after a rapt scrutiny, a subtle look. He turned to me, and the grin on his face was wonderful, as young as that of the toddling boy chasing a hornet, as old as that of the gray man who had landed a thirty-pound salmon in Newfoundland.

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About ten of the boys will come back," he said; "the parents of the rest won't understand; they will think I am a modern Pied Piper of Sykesville. Those who don't come will be woeful tragedies - for an hour or two."

We loaded a sled with food while country storekeepers grinned as their systems were built and their temperaments worked. Three country dogs capered in joy and dared one another to fight. The boys coaxed for the honor of pulling the sled, so we moved away into the wilderness, a babbling, bubbling crowd, down a lane to the unbroken, white landscape, toward a fire in the open, burning incense to the something in the hearts of us that bids us do it this way instead of behind stained-glass windows. There is a mood, a wonderful mood, or an awakened instinct for every time we go forth into the country under all conditions. It simmers always, sometimes it boils, and never comes quite the same; but always you toss your head delighted. Sometimes it takes you back to a stone bruise on a small bare foot, and sometimes it leads you a conquering hero, and again, when you can't go, it calls to you outside of your office window over the roofs until the tears come to your eyes, and out of the blur of chimney-pots and towers you see again wonderful little bits of intimate landscapes, piles of ice, perhaps, or palmtrees threshing in the trade-winds, or only one little leaf in the trillions glimpsed through an opening in the tent-flap that wriggled and wriggled in the joy of the

breeze, and tried its very best to tell you a secret full of delight.

Nine country boys in an interested row, three country dogs quivering in suppressed excitement at the unusual proceedings. I was cooky. Up the sheltering hill the woods were piles upon piles of white Irish laces; out over the swamp in front of us the weeds bowed low with their burdens, or stood up gaunt and dead and grim, like dead men hanging in gallows, against a cold November sunset, gentlemen of the road who had emptied their last pistol in defiance of the proclamation issued by the king.

The crows held an indignation meeting far enough away to be out of any chance of danger, and despatched scouts at intervals to reconnoiter, aëroplane scouts, high in the air, that evidently reported unfavorably when they returned, judging from the noise.

There were nine different kinds of boys, with freckles and warts and patches, cowlicks and humorous eyes, unreadable, defiant eyes, wondering, expectant, and delighted eyes. There was interest in the front row, with the boy who was keen to help, and the boy who started to tell us about the bear he saw here in blackberrying time. But the doctor's quizzical eyes and the jeers of the other boys made his story lose itself in embarrassed "dids."

The smell of cooking went up in the air exactly as it had done before, and from cave-man down the line-the long line to us. We sniffed and drew closer. There was not a clatter of knives and forks; it was mostly fingers. It was an ideal banquet; nobody talked except to say "Thank you" or "Yes, sir," or nodded a head with the mouth too full to speak. dogs licked their chops, and enviously watched each mouthful disappear, and they were very busy at that.


The first sigh of contentment arose, and the knowing dogs drew closer. The doctor produced a cigarette-case. Nine boys showed their emotions in nine different ways; most of them so subtly their mothers would not have understood. The doctor and I each took one, and he closed the case. Nine boys looked at one another out of the tails of their eyes. Certainly there are people who hold out expectations that are never fulfilled.

The doctor heaped on dead wood for a

rousing fire, and I plowed through the Irish lace to the top of the hill to meet the wind as fresh and as pure as on the morning the world was born. It blew a bigness into my heart, and I was guilty of sending up a poor foolish, stuttering benediction for the world. Mummied oak-leaves rustled a dead-bone tune, erratic and dismal, on the second growth and scrub; off in the clear distance, here and there and away over there, white roofs and church spires said how do you do to the sky. Bare branches waved and moaned and groaned against a clear blue sky, and my mood was too intimate to tell even her. Perhaps I saw an alluring, slippered foot that I longed to kiss, with the lights dimmed and the music coming soft and low, like brier rosebuds opening in the morning mists. I will own up that I did see a little girl in pigtails, with knitted hood, and stripes on her stockings that ran around. She looked at me with robin's-egg-blue eyes as deep and as wise as the mysterious first springtime of long ago, unfolding wonderful things to the animals in pairs, and I turned with a sigh to the fire. About the camp-fire are worn places that take on a homy look as one cooks; after the meal one sees they are priceless silk rugs that came from Persia in clumsy wooden ships. Out of the smoke a palace grows, and a wonderful girl dances on those rugs. The dead hands that weaved them are honored, for their art would bow to her art; but the quiet boys would not tell me what they saw when I asked them.

It was not a retreat in disorder; it was a gentle amble from the cold toward the village. Boys put their arms across one another's shoulders in the fullness of their hearts; three chose the doctor, and two came to me, to give us intimate advice about the country we were passing through-their country by the inheritance of boyhood. The dogs chased imaginary wild animals, sniffed with a show of bravery in all the clumps of underbrush, and never once dared one another to fight.

And so in delighted disorder we came to a wild jangle of modern sleigh-bells. and the hoarse shouts of the village speedway. We paused only long enough to smile on the enthusiasm, and to look admiringly on the steaming, slender-legged horses.

Back to the coasting-hill, and the girls were there; but not the ones we used to know, with the knitted hoods and tippets and the stockings with the stripes that ran around; but we coasted with all the joy and abandon of the wonderful age-the age when you climb to the top of a tree and out on a springing limb, to get close to the sky, to get your feet off the earth, not in a daredevil, adventurous spirit, but that dreams may come to you—your bashful dreams that won't come if people are


We coasted down the hill, almost sliding under a gorgeous sunset; we climbed the hill, and a glorious moon coquetted over our heads with a gold-lined cloud whose profile looked a beautiful woman, with sun-kissed, waving hair.

The north wind died down; a train puffed noisily in and out of our town; lights twinkled coaxingly from the windows.

The doctor and I frankly told each other we wished for a big old-fashioned country kitchen to sit in and nod at steaming mittens.

After supper the squire called to see the doctor, and I went out in the crisp, wine air for a walk. The coasting-hill belonged to the grown-ups now. Some were released by the factory whistle, some were too dignified to use it by daylight, some saw a chance for a sly hug in the mystery of the shadows at the bottom. I came back to find the doctor half undressed, curled up on the foot of his bed, asleep, with his thumb in his mouth. He flopped once or twice like a fish out of water, and said thickly: "Don't take the early train. Let's wait and hear the church bells over the snow in the morning."




ANY years ago, according to a story which remains vividly in my memory by reason of its grim suggestiveness, two small boys were one day sauntering along a country road. The sight of an orchard, resplendent in its autumn glory of red and green and gold, tempted them with irresistible appeal, as it has tempted thousands of other boys before and since. Over the rail-fence they scrambled, up a well-laden tree they climbed, and soon were merrily at work filling their pockets. But now from a near-by cottage came the man who owned the orchard, and his coming was the signal for a hasty descent. One of the boys made good his escape; the other, less quick-footed, was dragged, a loudly protesting captive, to the home of the local magistrate.

"More apple-stealing!" this stern functionary exclaimed. "Something must be done to stop it. Let us make an example of this bad boy." And to prison forthwith. he consigned the luckless youth.

His companion, thankful for his happier fate, returned to his home, his school, and his books. From school he went to college, and afterward took up the study of law, beginning his professional career with a reputation for great intellectual ability and strength of character. course of time he was made a judge.


As judge he was called on to preside at the trial of a man accused of murder. The evidence of guilt was conclusive, conviction speedy. It became his duty to don the black cap and pronounce sentence of death. But before he did this, he was struck with something familiar in the prisoner's sodden, passion-marked features, made inquiry concerning his early history, and, to his mingled horror and amazement, learned that the wretched man was none other than the happy, buoyant lad who had first felt the heavy hand of the law on account of the orchard-robbing episode in which the judge, now about to doom him to the scaffold, had gone scotfree.

I can at the moment recall nothing that more strikingly suggests and illustrates the dominant dominant theory in modern scientific thought regarding the offender against society than this strange chapter in human experience. The implication that the contrasting careers of the two boys were largely determined by circumstances over which they had no control, and that it was the brutalizing jail experience of the one and the more fortunate upbringing of the other that chiefly accounted for their diverse fates, unquestionably represents the views held by the great majority of present-day students of delinquency and crime.

Even the facts emphasized by the eugenists themselves sometimes tend, on close examination, to bear out the belief that it is in the surroundings and training of a child rather than in his parentage that the sources of his ultimate goodness or badness are mainly to be found. The history of the notorious Juke family, featured in almost every modern treatise on heredity, is a case in point.

The first Jukes of whom anything is known were five sisters of obscure parentage who lived in Ulster County, New York, in the second half of the eighteenth century. At least four of the five took early to a life of vice, and eventually all married and had children. Many years afterward, a visitor to an Ulster County jail noticed that among its inmates were six members of one family, including two boys accused of assault with intent to kill. Inquiry developed that the six were directly descended from the oldest Juke girl, and this suggested a genealogical research. into the life histories of as many of the descendants of the five Juke sisters as could be traced. Altogether it was found possible to secure pretty complete data concerning seven hundred and nine of these, with the following astounding results:

Of the entire seven hundred and nine, not twenty had been skilled workers, and ten of these had learned their trade in

prison; only twenty-two had been persons of property, and of this number eight had lost the little they acquired; sixty-four had been in the county almshouse; one hundred and forty-two had received outdoor relief; one hundred and twenty-eight had been prostitutes, and eighteen keepers of houses of ill-fame; finally, seventy-six were reported as criminals, with one hundred and fifteen more or less serious crimes to their discredit. All this in seven generations of a family sprung from one ne'erdo-well country vagabond and his wife.

Surely one might well be tempted to find here "the most striking proof of the heredity of crime," as Cesare Lombroso did not hesitate to pronounce this sad history of the Jukes. But there is something to be added of which the exponents of the "fatal heredity" doctrine seem never to have heard.

Following the publication of the familyrecord, there came under the care of a charitable organization an eighth-generation descendant of the Juke sisters, a foundling baby boy, cast upon the tender mercies of the world with all the burden of "innate depravity" transmitted from his vicious ancestors. But instead of taking it for granted that he would inevitably come to an evil end, the charity-workers decided to give him the benefit of a refined environment and good family care. Accordingly a home was found for him with a kind-hearted widow, whose own sons had grown to a worthy manhood, and from her for ten years he received the loving and intelligent training which is the birthright of every child.

At the end of that time he had developed into a fine, manly boy, with, however, a somewhat superabundant fund of animal spirits and a tendency to unruliness. It was evident that, owing to her advanced age, his foster-mother could not give him the stricter disciplining he now seemed to need, and arrangements were made for his adoption by a farmer and his wife living in a Western State. By them he was again treated with the utmost affection, coupled with more firmness than he had hitherto known. Little by little his unruliness disappeared; he became eager to excel both at school and in the work of the farm, and soon became known as one of the best boys of the neighborhood. The older he grew the more evi

dence he gave of possessing a strong moral foundation on which to build his future career. When last heard from by the charitable organization to which he owed so much, he had struck out for himself, an alert, vigorous, forceful young man, of sterling character, and full of the selfconfidence which wins success.

Many similar instances might be cited. "One of the most useful men I know of to-day," testifies Mr. Ernest K. Coulter, clerk of the New York Children's Court, "saw his father murder his mother in cold blood. There was a bad record on her side of the house, too. But a good man saw something in that boy while he was being detained as a witness against his father. As a result of that man's interest, that boy to-day is serving his fellow-men and his country in a most important field."

In Pennsylvania an eight-year-old orphan girl of poor parentage, drudge in a city boarding-house, with no companionship except that of ignorant servants, was heralded in the newspapers as a "prodigy of crime" because she had been caught setting fire to a house. When asked in court why she had done this, she made the frank reply, "To see the fire burn and the engines run." There being at that time no probation system in Pennsylvania, she was promptly sentenced to the House of Refuge, where, like the boy sent to jail for stealing apples, she would be sure to come under the influence of vile associates.

But, more fortunate than the boy of the orchard, this child had an unknown friend at court, Mrs. Hannah K. Schoff, who interceded with the judge and gained his permission to place the little incendiarist in a good home instead of the House of Refuge. Five years afterward, reporting to the International Prison Commission the result of her experiment, Mrs. Schoff was able to declare that this dangerous juvenile criminal had developed into "as sweet, attractive, and good a child as can be found anywhere."


An Italian Camorrist had two sons. The younger, at the age of three, was separated from his father, taken to a distant city, and given a good education. the Juke child of the eighth generation, he grew to be an exemplary young man. His brother, who remained with the father, became, like him, a man of vice and crime, hated, feared, and despised.

But far more impressive than isolated instances like these are the data now available regarding the outcome of similar experimentation on a large scale. a large scale. Three years ago the Children's Aid Society of New York-the organization which took the Juke foundling under its wing-published a report detailing the results of its "placing out" system for a period of more than half a century. The officials of this society have always been imbued with the idea that every child, no matter how bad his heredity, is entitled to the benefit of a good home upbringing, and in accordance with this idea they have, during the period covered by the report, placed twenty-eight thousand children in carefully selected homes, besides finding situations in the country for about three times as many older boys and girls. Most of their wards have been slum children, having back of them a family history of crime, vice, insanity, or pauperism. Nevertheless, the society's officials inform us:

A careful investigation of the records. gives the following results: 87 per cent. have done well, 8 per cent. were returned to New York, 2 per cent. died, one quarter of I per cent. committed petty crimes and were arrested, and 24 per cent. left their homes and disappeared. These last were larger boys of restless disposition, unaccustomed to country life or any sort of restraint. Some of them struck out for themselves, obtaining work at higher wages, and were temporarily lost sight of, but years afterward we hear of them as having grown up good and respected citizens. . . . The younger children placed out by the society always show a very large average of success. The great proportion have grown up respectable men and women, creditable members of society. Many of them have been legally adopted by their foster-parents. The majority have become successful farmers or farmers' wives, mechanics, and business men. Many have acquired property, and no inconsiderable number of them have attained positions of honor and trust.

More specifically, the records show that one ward of the Children's Aid Society rose to be a justice of the Supreme Court, another to be the governor of a State, a third the governor of a Territory. One became a state auditor-general, one the

mayor of a city, two were elected to Congress, nine to state legislatures, and about a score to various public offices of less importance. Twenty-four became clergymen; thirty-five, lawyers; nineteen, physicians; sixteen, journalists; twenty-nine, bankers; eighty-six, teachers; seven, highschool principals; two, school superintendents; and two, college professors. Farming, the army and navy, and various mercantile pursuits gave occupation to most of the rest.

Is it to be wondered, in view of such a showing, that most authorities are inclining more and more to find in a faulty environment rather than in a bad heredity the explanation of the boy who goes wrong? Not that it is as yet possible, and perhaps it never will be possible, to rule out entirely the idea of the "born criminal." A small proportion of delinquents unquestionably do show almost from infancy an irresistible and seemingly instinctive impulse to evil; but to just what extent this is actually due to inherited and irremediable conditions remains to be ascertained. Medical progress, in fact, is constantly making it clearer that many supposed instances of "innate depravity" are in reality the result of curable physical defects, and sometimes of defects that are comparatively slight.

Thus, to give a typical example, the attention of a Philadelphia school-teacher was once called to a small boy of eight who persistently disturbed her in her work by drumming on a trolley-pole in front of the school. Her inquiries as to why he was not at school brought from his mother the information that no school would take him because of his disorderliness and in

tractability. The mother herself confessed that she could do nothing with him.

"He is stubborn and naughty," said she. "He has no natural feeling, and is forever quarreling and fighting with the other children. Also, he has a mania for lighting matches and setting fire to paper in the house. And he is so sullen it is hard to get a word out of him.”

This sounded like congenital feeblemindedness and moral imbècility, and the school authorities whom the teacher consulted informed her frankly that they regarded the boy as not far removed from idiocy. But, her sympathies roused, and desiring to do all she could for the little

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