the moment you have watched for. You shroud yourself in profound indifference.

“ Sacré!” shrieks Billy.
You do not even turn your head.
"Jumping jiraffes ! why, it's a whale!” cries Dick.

You roll a blasé eye in their direction, as though such puerile enthusiasm wearies you.

“Yes, it's quite a little fish,” you concede.

They swarm down upon you demanding particulars. These you accord laconically, a word at a time, in answer to direct questions, between puffs of smoke.

“At the Narrows. Royal Coachmarı. Just before I came in. Pretty fair fight. Just at the edge of the eddy,” and so on. But your soul glories.

The tape-line is brought out. Twenty-nine inches it records. Holy smoke, what a fish! Your air implies that you will probably catch three more just like him on the morrow. Dick and Billy make tracings of him on the birch bark. You retain your lofty calm; but inside you are little quivers of rapture. And when you awake, late in the night, you are conscious first of all that you are happy, happy, happy, all through; and only when the drowse drains away do you remember why.- The Outlook.


HITE, WILLIAM ALLEN, an American jour

nalist and essayist; born at Emporia, Kan.,

in 1868. He was educated at the University of Kansas, and in 1890 became editor of the Eldorado Republican. In 1894 he purchased the Emporia Gazette, in which journal he published in 1896, an editorial “What is the Matter with Kansas," which was reprinted and read throughout the country. His books include The Real Issue (1896); The Court of Boyville

i (1899); Stratagems and Spoils (1901).


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Kansas was marked out on the desert about a generation ago. The word “aid” appeared on the first page of her history, in connection with the “Emigrant Aid Society.” The people of the State have received aid ever since. For a while it came in boxes, during the early battles with grasshoppers and drouths: later it arrived in the shape of loan companies, mortgage companies, trust companies. Growth has been forced in the State. A great commonwealth — and it is indeed truly marvelous has been builded on these prairies by the Kansas people with other people's money. The trouble with Kansas is not that she has forgotten what a great community she has established, but that it has been established with other people's money. Hence the popularity of the slogan, " the rights of the user are paramount to the rights of the owner.” That, by the way, is no new theory. It is as old as debt; and the proposition has appealed to the man in debt ever since the first borrower. Seldom, however, has the theorem found an entire community in debt, as it found Kansas. The wonder is not that Kansas was won by the guileful paradox,— for weakness is a very human attribute, — but that so many people should have been found in one community, whose condition was such that the philosophy of the dishonest debtor would move them all alike. In other communities there were debtors. They voted just as the Kansas debtor voted. But Kansas is a young State. She has found little time to pay her debts. She has been busily engaged in making them. The difference between Ohio and Kansas, for instance, does not lie in the kinds of men that inhabit each State, but in the fact that Ohio has had fifty years' start of Kansas in increasing the number of creditors,— the savers, the men on the right side of the ledger. Ohio had as many gentlemen who voted for the rights of the user as Kansas had. When Kansas thrift has been working and saving as many years as Ohio thrift, Kansas may have as virtuous a point of view as Ohio has to-day.

However, there is neither sense nor charity in palliating

the transgression of the debtor who refuses to pay his debt by pointing out the fact that the offence is common. It may benefit the Kansas Populist to remember that the guillotine was established in France by people who desired a release from the eternal payment of moneys for which they received no return; while the Kansas man — who flaunted the legend “Hang the Plutocrats! "- was seeking a release from the payment of money which he had received, which he had enjoyed, and which he had spent. The Kansas man is not unique. A considerable minority of the people of every State in he Union voted with the majority in Kansas. And because that minority is still rather uncomfortably in evidence all through the States it may be worth while to try to get a glimpse of the world from the standpoint of -- to denominate him plainly - the American socialist.

And nowhere else is the American socialist so earnest, so outspoken, and so unhampered by scruples as in Kansas. That is because the Kansas man is an American, with no guilding motive, save his desire to kick. When the American does get off the track, he goes farther than anyone. His good sense, however, always brings him back; but while he is away from the reservation, he is a very bad Indian. There are indications that the ghost-dancing in Kansas is done; yet the State remains an excellent field wherein to study existing conditions of American socialism. For in this State men - average men, plain everyday Americans — are living in a social and economic atmosphere rarely to be met with.

Kansas was settled by men who went there for two reasons: First, to maintain a principle. This indicated that they were men of ideals. Second, to make their everlasting fortunes. The people of this generation who live in the Middle, Eastern, and Southern States were born where they live. They were satisfied to let well enough alone. But the men and women who went West, who now populate Kansas and the Western States, were men and women of marked force of character. They had ambition and will-power enough to pick up and leave their former environments. Now it is impossible in any community that everyone can be rich. Some must fall by the way-side; and when many are debtors, as the Kansas people, by force of circumstances, were, the percentage that fail must necessarily be large. In Kansas, and in the West, the man whose life's ambition was thwarted, who, by the edict of nature, was doomed to failure, still had force enough left to complain; to seek some way out of the inevitable misfortune that had overtaken him. A child of the tenement, an hereditary coward, a beggar by association, a menial by education, may be ground lower and lower by the great machine of commerce; but here was a man who had grit and ambition and character enough to cross a continent, who had sufficient intelligence to appreciate the comforts and to long for the luxuries that American civilization uses as rewards of merit. When this man gets tangled up in the machine, the inexorable play of its cogs maddens him. In his anger he has not tried so seriously to get out of the grinding burrs as to break the machine.

The Kansan, in this struggle, has attracted general attention. The world, knowing that the nature of things will not be changed for the Kansas man, any more than for the man who wraps his talent in a napkin, has marvelled at the fantastic fight, and has said, “What a very peculiar man!” He is not a peculiar man. He has merely lost his temper; and he is strong. He is an American off on the wrong tack. Wherever this American is found battling against the natural order, — the order which makes every man responsible for his own success and blamable for his own failure; wherever a man is found seeking aid, other than that of his own two hands and the devices of his own brain, to escape destruction in the industrial mill; wherever a man is found asking his fellow-men to make him, by legislation, the mental or the financial equal of another man, — there is the exponent of the new socialism. The contention with the new socialism is the chief political affair before the American people to-day. And it is a question as vital in Massachusetts as it is in Kansas.

The term new socialism” may be misleading; for it is the old socialism, - old as the envy of Cain, whose gift was not acceptable. But it is the old socialism under


new conditions - conditions exemplified with unusual brilliancy in Kansas. There the average man is the product of the school-house and the printing-press. Indeed it is the very universality of education and enlightenment — which we in Kansas brag of — that brings all this picturesque discontent. For generations the socialist dreamers have said the race would be entirely happy, if men only had equality of opportunity; if every man started out in the world with the same mental equipment that another man enjoyed. In Kansas this condition virtually exists. Yet the mental habit of a considerable number of the people is but a garment of sackcloth. Viewed casually this seems to be a hopeless situation. To the outsider Kansas seems to be a great commonwealth, peopled with strong, ambitious, intelligent men and women, a majority of whom are sitting among the potsherds, and throwing ashes into the air, that is vibrant with lamentations because there are no truffles for dinner. When this description appears as a fairly truthful picture of Kansas, it is natural that the home-seeker and the investor should avoid the State.

The most unfortunate phase of the situation is that the average Eastern observer does not see how conditions in Kansas may be changed. Nevertheless, they may be changed, and are changing.

In extreme Western Kansas, crops are uncertain, and the man on the farm, like Uncle Remus's rabbit, is “ done bleedged to climb." There the farmer must work ten days in the week and sleep only on holidays. Life is a serious business with the farmer on the highlands; and because he has a hard, rough time of it, the casual observer in the East thinks the Western Kansas man is a Populist. The truth is that Western Kansas is more surely a Republican stronghold than any other portion of the State. That is Jerry Simpson's district. Mr. Simpson's vote in the FarWestern counties was smaller this time than it had ever been before. He was elected through Republican defection in the fertile valley of the Arkansas, and in the city of Witchita -- the second city in population in the State. Take the Populist vote of this city from Mr. Simpson, and he would still be marshal of Medicine Lodge. And


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