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horses toward this crack. The horses, But he was taking no chances, and as quite as well acquainted with the the rope pulled up he leaned forward, range and the crack, swerved away slapped his horse on the side of his from it, while the boy, riding well out head with his hat, thus forcing him to at one side, forced them over toward swing sharply to the left and away it, for horses will invariably swing in from the gray, and tightened the rope the opposite direction from a rider on with a sudden jerk which rasped some their flank; it seems to be an inborn hair from the pony's neck and jaws trait.
but brought the captured one up Eventually the band reached the sharply. , edge of the crack, hesitated a moment, Recalling that fateful day in the then swung to the left with the boy on corral, with the keen-cutting whip the outside. There was a great curve making long welts on his satin sides, in the crack at this point and the boy Steeldust swung quickly round and realized that his one chance was to cut came straight up to the other horse across this curve, crowd the horse he with a look of inquiry on his face, as if wanted as closely as he could, and take to ask what on earth all this fuss was a chance of getting within roping dis about. As the boy slipped from the tance. As he rode, he had slipped the back of his horse the gray went strong rope from his horse's nose, leaving the to the end of the rope again, but the end tied in a hard knot about the neck other horse stood stock-still, receiving close to the horse's head. His pony, a fearful wrench on his neck. Carecrazy with excitement, needed no guid- fully the boy worked his way along the ing rein; he knew what was expected rope to the now fairly docile animal, of him. Then, when he had crowded stroked him gently on the soft white his quarry to the last inch his pony nose, slipped his hand up along the could gain, the boy launched his rope side of his head and along his neck; in the air. The loop dropped straight meantime, in a voice that could be over Steeldust's outstretched head and poured over a waffle, calling him all with a quick jerk he pulled it tight the flattering names in his boyish before it slipped back to the animals vocabulary. shoulders.
Two hours later he rode into the The boy knew that the instant the freighter's camp, the proudest boy gray felt the pull of the rope about in northern Arizona, with Steeldust, his neck, if he had not forgotten his the noted outlaw, at one end of his early training, he would in all proba- rope, his own saddle pony at the bility swing round, face his pursuer, other, and fifty dollars in hard cash and become once more a broken horse. in plain sight.
THE EXPERIMENT OF A CHRISTIAN DAILY
BY CHARLES M. SHELDON
At the close of the year 1899, the earnest, and went on to state the terms Twentieth Kansas Regiment, after its under which the Topeka Daily Capital famous record in the Philippines during might be turned over to me for one the Spanish War, was being reviewed week in order that I might carry out on the Topeka State House grounds, my idea of what a Christian daily and the whole city was out to see it. ought to be. With a number of friends I happened These terms as finally discussed into be watching the event from the cluded the following general agreehome of the owner of the Topeka Daily ments, which were carried out almost Capital.
without change: After the review was over and people had begun to go away, the con- The entire paper for one week to be versation turned, I do not remember under my direction with the underhow or why, to that part of the standing that nothing would be done to story, In His Steps, in which there is jeopardize the property or the future of a description of the attempt of a the paper. newspaper man to do everything as The entire working force of the paper he believed Jesus would do it in the to remain intact, including the mechanmanagement of a daily paper.
ical, editorial, reportorial, and office It was the general opinion expressed force. by the friends who were discussing the Advertising rates to be on the basis subject that any such attempt was so of circulation, but weekly subscriptionvisionary that it could not be carried rates to be twenty-five cents instead of out in actual practice. One or two ten cents, which was the regular city thought it might be possible up to a and local rate, in order to cover outcertain point, but all believed that side expenses and foreign postage. people were not ready for it, and that The editor's rulings to be accepted whoever tried it would not be able to in every department, including advermake it pay financially.
tising matter, all editorial and subAs the discussion went on, everyone mitted articles; and also in matters of present grew more and more interested, personal conduct which involved such until the proprietor of the Capital practices as the use of tobacco, drink, said to me, in jest, as I supposed, 'How and profanity. would you like to try the experiment, 'News' was defined as any event for one week?'
worth knowing or telling, always pubI answered him in the same vein, lished in the right proportion to its saying that it would be interesting. real importance. And in reply he said that he was in All prize fights, scandals, crime, vice, or human depravity, if published at all, office had been increased by more to be defined as evil, and an attempt than forty persons, and the clerks at made in each case to discover the cause, the general post office had been inand, if possible, the remedy.
creased by the addition of six new carAll editorials to be signed by the riers and office men. On Monday writers, and all reporters' items to be morning, one week before the experisigned by the reporters in order to en- ment on the paper began, the Capital sure reliability, to reward good report received, in the first mail delivered, ing, and to fix responsibility.
100,000 subscriptions which came from The editor to receive no financial all over the United States and Canada. compensation.
The total number of subscriptions was The rule to govern all the manage 367,000, and that number of copies of ment of the paper, including the politi- the paper was published every day for cal, social, and financial interests, was six days, in addition to a Saturday to be determined as nearly as possible afternoon edition which took the place by the standard of what Jesus would of the regular Sunday morning paper. probably do if He were publishing the The size of the paper had to be depaper as the owner of it.
termined by the mechanical conditions in the Capital office and also by the fact that one man could not possibly
pass on every item, including advertisThe time set for the beginning of ing and articles, in a paper exceeding the experiment was the second week in eight pages. March, 1900. Before that time, and The normal circulation of the Capfollowing the published announcement ital up to that week had been 15,000 of the plan, clubs were formed all over copies daily. The reserve capacity of the country by churches, young peo- the plant made it possible to handle ple's societies, and various religious 25,000 copies a day. As the suband social organizations, and subscrip scriptions came pouring in, newstions were sent in by the thousand. paper men all over the country were One church in Ohio sent in a list of curious to know how the mechanical nine hundred and twenty names. Sub- difficulties could be met in printing scriptions came from all over Great 367,000 copies on a press that had Britain, from almost every South never turned out more than 25,000 a American republic, from Australia, day. Innumerable inquiries came in New Zealand, and Canada. A per- asking about the plan. sonal subscription came from Paul The Staats-Zeitung of New York Kruger, President of the Boer Repub- printed 120,000 copies from sets of lic. The Boer War was going on at the matrices sent on each day from Totime, but Oom Paul seemed interested peka. A like number was printed by in the plan, at least enough to send on the Chicago Journal. The remainder twenty-five cents in stamps for the of the issue was actually printed on the paper. In one day's mail I received straight-line Goss press in the Topeka subscriptions sent to me personally in pressroom by running the machine over twelve hundred letters and I day and night. It was kept swimming soon discovered that I needed secre- in oil and the press foreman, who was tarial help.
and still is one of the finest pressmen Before the month of January, 1900, in America, overcame apparently inwas over, the force in the Capital surmountable difficulties, including one VOL. 134 — NO. 6
unexpected overflow of a sewer which backed up into the pressroom one night and submerged the press above In relating my experiences during the rollers.
this week of experiment I am going to The paper was sold on Broadway mention some things which have never and Wall Street two days after it had been reported, not even by the crowd appeared in Topeka, and in Chicago of uninvited newspaper correspondone day after. A fourth set of matrices ents, about forty in all, who came on was sent to London to the Westminster that week to get a story for their Review and there reproduced and issued papers. So far as they themselves were as soon as received.
concerned, they came largely out of The presswork of the Capital that curiosity, but of course they all felt week was a problem, but it was child's obliged to get something startling and play compared with the mailing out. new for their papers. I may as well Twenty-four years ago the mailing confess that I did not welcome them, system of a daily newspaper was per- and that I shall always consider that haps one of the least efficient of its their presence was undesirable and activities. The only apparatus the unfair. I was constantly hampered in Capital had for its 15,000 list of sub- my attempts to carry out my original scribers was the modest hand-machine plans, since each correspondent wanted known as a 'Dick' mailer. It was, of special interviews, and each one was course, out of the question to use this sending on to his paper every day some machine for mailing over 360,000 per- story that contained more imagination sonal subscriptions.
and less fact than the most brilliant The only way out was the method writer of fiction ever dreamed. For a that we used. A large force of typists, period of six days, during which I over thirty, made lists of the names averaged less than three hours' sleep in column form, six copies of each, in each twenty-four, there was not an one for each day's paper. These lists hour of the day that the newspaper were all arranged by states and sec- correspondents did not try to interfere tions and were expressed to Chicago with my engagements; I was not even and New York for the use of the Jour- allowed to eat and write uninterrupted. nal and the Staats-Zeitung in mailing Therefore I may as well say frankly the papers which they printed in their that the Press, as represented by the respective plants. All the copies of men and women who were sent on to the paper for subscribers east of Pitts- get a story, did not give me a fair burg in a line running north and chance to illustrate in my own way south, and in foreign lands, were dis- the thing I was trying to do; and in patched from New York. All copies looking over the press reports which for subscribers between the Alleghenies were made during that week I might be and the Missouri River were sent out indignant, even after the lapse of a from Chicago. Topeka took care of all quarter of a century, if they were not local subscriptions west of the Missouri so tremendously untrue as to be huas far as the Pacific Coast. To facili- morous. One of the commonest retate the mailing out, the Santa Fe ports published by nearly every paper loaned a mailing car from which, as was to the effect that the whole affair headquarters, the papers were dis was a piece of the most astounding patched with comparatively little delay hypocrisy, because I was receiving beor confusion.
tween $10,000 and $25,000 as my
respective which they pring in mailing
share of the week's profits! This story experience in suppression that cost and hundreds of others as preposterous them much sweat and anguish of were published, and I suppose thou- spirit. sands of readers believed them. 'It The reporters and telegraph men, was in the paper,' they said. “It must the city editor who sat up with me all be true.'
night to see the thing through, the It is true that toward the end of the business manager who turned down week the proprietor of the Capital sent thousands of dollars' worth of questionto my house by messenger a roll of able advertisements without an audible bills amounting to $1000; but that murmur, all entered into the week's same messenger took them back to the trial with a whole-hearted and unoffice at once.
questioning faith which was in marked Having spoken my mind concerning contrast to the attitude of the press the embarrassment and handicap aris representatives, most of whom ridiing from the presence of the newspaper culed and criticized and sent garbled men, I now want to testify to the reports of the week to their papers wonderful helpfulness and loyalty of down East. every person connected with the Capi- I do not wish to seem unfair to the tal, from the business manager to the Press as it was at that time, but I have Negro janitors and the youngest cub in not mentioned any of these things for the pressroom. They were the most more than twenty-four years, and I enthusiastic and responsive group of mention them now, not in any spirit human beings I have ever seen. They of malice, but to state some facts were not individuals whom I had which have never been published about trained and taught to carry out my that week. I could have carried out my ideas, but they could not have been plans with far greater freedom and more eager to make them a success if happiness if the Press had let me alone. they had been in training for years. The reports sent out were so misleadThey obeyed every rule posted up, to ing that the public never had an optheir own discomfort and even against portunity to know what had really their own judgment. Every smoker been done or what results were finally went without his pipe or cigarette while obtained. on duty. There were countless occa
IV sions for profanity as the men faced unusual and unknown problems, but I According to the definition of the do not remember hearing a single word 'news' which we had made, the swear-word during the entire week, most important news item that came even from the men in the composing in on the night of March 12, 1900, was and mailing rooms where the tasks a brief notice of the India famine. were stupendous and involved. In No paper in the United States had the pressroom, where a press that had given this great calamity any prominever turned off more than 25,000 nence. It seemed to me to be the most copies a day was being driven day and important world-news; therefore, supnight to print 127,000, the foreman and plementing the meagre Associated his assistants lived a life of continual Press item with letters which I had anxiety and were under a strain that received from missionaries, I featured was nerve-stretching every moment, the India famine in the first issue of but if they swore, it was silently; and the Capital, printing it on the first leftto some of them it must have been an hand column on the front page, the