Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

and pain! No matter. Neither justifies excitement. Both are with us always. No child arrives without them. Whoever sets out, as I am doing in this old, misused orchard, to repair the neglects of the past, will escape neither.

Two catégories of opponents confront me. Suckers on bole and limb. Viciousness is not in them; they are merely in the way and wasting sap needed for fruitful purposes. In these respects they resemble many persons

Nellner.

out whose virile contribution it would have perished. Valuable quality, wildness — in its place, below ground, fighting for life against clod and stone and worm. But a cruel, expensive quality out here in the open. It is as if some elder Adam should rise from the grave and run amuck in the sunlight, never again to be put decently out of sight save by slaughter. Hack, hack, hack — and mind you grasp warily the fallen foe; even in defeat the wild

so dound hitheless, his

deal firmly but gently. I have a sports- Once upon a time a primitive proman's axe – a tiny thing of goodly gressive ate a small, bitter pear, and steel that takes almost a razor edge. had visions of better, fatter, sweeter A quick blow from beneath with this pears, of plucking noble pears from sends many a light stick to the ground. thornless trees. No doubt his neighWhere there is no room for that decisive bors laughed at him and his family stroke, or when the offending wood is thought him queer. Nevertheless he too robust, the saw's the thing! And started the pear civilization. But his for the upper limbs there is the pruning descendants overdid it, as they dishook — symbol of peace, into which covered when their thornless pear trees Micah and Isaiah agree the spear shall began to degenerate. Whereupon anbe beaten at last.

other unsung genius grafted the tame Not so deftly does one deal with the pear shoot on the wild root, thereby suckers springing from the base. Light providing strength where needed and tools are useless against those tough quality where wanted. Tend well this

will serve; but that kills time. Besides, gather; but relax your guard against the stubbornness of the things rouses this virile, indispensable thing at its the fighting spirit. I fall to with a root, and presently you must march broad-blade hatchet, built more for against chaos in your orchard. weight than edge. The sweat drips Is n't that life? The dual nature of from the forehead; this is real work, these trees has its counterpart in the close to the ground. After a trial of it, dual nature of individuals and societies. few would disagree with Charles Dud- At bottom there is the will to live, to ley Warner that the crying need of possess, to dominate; at top the power agriculture is a cast-iron backbone with to die, to give, to serve — tame, a hinge in it. Mere twists of the wrists orderly, fruitful processes depending no longer serve; put your back and upon the victory of primitive forces shoulder in it or you might as well quit. below stairs. Eliminate the wild root;

For this is no scientific surgery among throttle too closely the instincts which the tame, but a battle royal against the drive men, families, and states to comwild. These thorny thickets are no pete — civilization falls through decay. lush degenerate shoots of domesticity Neglect to keep the primitive in its but tough volunteers from the wild root place and a thorny tangle takes the through which, all these years, the tree place of orderly fruitfulness. A dilemhas been drawing nutriment and with- ma here: must intelligent beings, or

ul.

chardists and statesmen alike, hang ordinary string. To my untutored vithemselves on either horn? Not so; let sion it was not unlike some string that the statesmen follow the husbandman's I had at that very moment in the example.

pantry cabinet. But the string of my The time came when men thought title was not in my pantry cabinet at the blessings of civilization would be the crucial minute. It had remained ever with us. Safe to let lusts for in a plumbing shop five blocks away. wealth and empire flourish; safe to give Five blocks! In most cases not a Old Adam, unseen for long, an oppor. formidable distance, but if it happens tunity to get loose if he could. Gazing to stretch between your lavatory at our wealth, conveniences, glories, which needs repairing and the shop few noted the wild growths springing where the journeyman plumber has above ground. At length the latter inevitably left something vital to the had to be attended to, gorily. This mending, it is at once an impressive holy day is one result.

space. The struggle between life and civili- You have an uncanny presentiment zation, instinct and order, individual of the unbelievable length of time it appetites and social needs, proceeds will take for the mender to get that without end. The day never comes particular piece of string which he when an orchardist can look upon his declares is necessary, and you hasten trees and truly say, “There is nothing to offer him every substitute in your more to be done here.' And the time ménage — from dental floss to the shall never come when those who heed clothesline. Candlewick! How about the common weal can say the social that? You ’ve heard somewhere that adjustment is perfect.

it was wont to figure in plumbing. At Here and now it is the industrial once, and in accents of slithering scorn, orchard that bears the golden apples. you are set right. Candlewick is used Its roots are tremendously strong; that in fitting a slip joint, but what has that is well. But be on your guard, husband- to do with setting a bowl? Nothing. men, that this power shall minister See? only to improving fruitage aloft. Easy Um! There is the hard wiry string for such roots to send up their mur- that came around the new dishpan. derous thorns. There is an orchard What? Not limber enough? Then worth the watching in all truth. what about this fuzzy hemp that se

cured the lately laundered curtains ? The sun has dipped beyond the Too linty! Well, maybe it is. But here Helderberg as I turn away toward the is a limber one, without lint, which house. Time for chores. Nevertheless I bound the last purchase of sheets. pause a moment by the gate to watch Not just hardly it! W-well! The the changing tints on cloud and hill, clothesline is too thick, the grocery and to note the order brought this cord too thin. La la! day to one tiny corner of this great After all, what did he need with country for which so many of my string? The journeyman plumber generation died.

stiffens with hauteur. You would n't understand if he told you. This is a

pertic'lar job, and to go on with it he A PIECE OF STRING

must have a string, the nearest speciIt was an indifferent length of string, men of which reposes in the boss's scarcely more than a yard. Rather shop. And now, with things tore up

send

string happronfidence. pride and "erhaps

and all, why, you'd want the job fin- what on earth he is going to do with ished, would n't you? Anyways, he'd that string. had to loosen that bowl a lot worse 'n But you never know. The telephone it was so 's to make it tight later. See? rings and, during the two minutes you Left like this, it 'd always be leaking, are silencing it, the string does its part, and mebbe run through to the ceiling if ever. For on your return to the scene of the apartment below and stir up a of damage, there it lies — just an row with the folks down there. It'd ordinary piece of string; as like that be too bad to have all that happen piece that came around the laundered when all that was needed was a piece curtains as one pea is like his brother. of string.

There it lies in the litter of plaster of He talks fervently. On your time. Paris where the master-mender flung Two dollars and a quarter an hour. it, feebly coiled, trying to look imHeavens! Fifteen minutes gone in talk! portant and expensive. One quarter of two-twenty-five is — I may be accounted bitter about let's see. But even as you calculate that string. (For I have been using the the minutes tick off at the rate of 334 more intimate 'you' to indicate the cents apiece. (You compute that universality of the episode.) Perhaps later when the plumber-meter is n't I am. It hurt my pride and swept counting against you.)

away my confidence. For, before that : 'I know!' You beam with inspira- string happened to me, I thought I had tion born of desperation. 'I'll send acquired, by experience with the same William on his bicycle for it so you slight mishap to the same lavatory, won't have to stop work.

sufficient data anent the eccentricities The journeyman treats you to a of plumbing supplies in being 'left at startled glance, but at once regains his the shop' to forestall any possible poise. “Now, lady, I gotta go for that hitch by any such phenomena. string myself. See? The boss might To begin with, the bowl was only send the wrong kind and hold up the slightly loose at one side, a screw havjob longer ’n ever. Anyways, I can't ing fallen out underneath, carrying do nothin' till I get it.'

with it a lump of hard white substance. He goes. You look at the clock and A laboratory test, consisting of scrapfatuously hope his car will not suffering the white substance over the any untoward accident at your ex- kitchen sink with a knife, analyzed the pense. He ought to be back in ten lump as plaster of Paris. There! I'd minutes, but your psychic antenne do one plumber the unheard-of good gather that he will not.

turn of apprising him of just exactly And he is not. But how 'd he know what he would need to bring, saving he was goin' to have a blow-out and him that invariable trip back to the the spare tire back at the shop? (What shop which I had heard my friends tenaciously home-staying creatures deplore. How expensive the poor plumbers' possessions are!) It took him plumbers must find these trips! only twenty-five minutes to fix that tire So, on generosity bent, I called one O.K., while anybody but a plumber 'd of the first names in the part of the had to spend three quarters of an hour. telephone directory devoted to the

One dollar and eight cents' worth of plumber persuasion. Later I came to alleged puncture and seventy-five cents' choose plumbers by their proximity to worth of trip. You calculate it while the job in question. This first one held you sort of hang around to find out sway thirty-seven blocks away. I told

anyse. He out your per

him the nature and material of the He brought it. But failed to bring bowl, and the extent of the accident; a certain highly specialized tool. I that I had the screw, but he would offered him everything from the screwhave to bring the plaster of Paris. driver to the meat-grinder, but he had

'I'll be right out, madam,' came to go back to the shop. Our adieus promptly over the wire.

were final, and it was here that the He came, but he brought no plaster five-blocks man and the string came of Paris.

into my life. ‘And you 'll have to go all the way I sat up late that night. Taking the back for it? That will be expensive for number of go-back-and-getters shown you,' I sympathized with reservations. in the directory and dividing them into

'For me! We don't do nothin' on the town's population, I was able to our own time onst we leave the shop. estimate the plumber census of the Our pay begins when we start to go on whole country. a job and it keeps right up till the I computed that the number of work 's finished.'

highly remarkable tools left behind · 'At what rate?' I managed weakly. at the shop in a single year would

'Two dollars and a quarter an hour,' equip every Ford turned out at the grimly.

Detroit factory since 1921, includ'I asked you to bring that plaster of ing trucks. And that pieces of string Paris with you.'

fetched by special trip, if laid end to 'I had to come look at the job first.' end, would reach from Bangor, Maine,

‘Did n't you know exactly what had to Bozeman, Montana. to be done?'

I took these figures to a neighbor 'Yes 'm, but I hadda come look who declared the tool estimate confirst,' doggedly.

servative enough, but the string comDo you ever fasten marble bowls putation somewhat high. It was only up without plaster of Paris?'

in extreme cases that it factored. But 'No'm, but I hadda come look at take wire, he said. Why, the wire it,' more doggedly.

which had to be used to open stopped 'Well, go on back to the shop and — drains, and which was always left in stay!' I flipped cattishly. And he did. the shop, in a single year would bale

The next plumber held court twelve the nation's hay crop from Syracuse blocks distant — the five-blocks one to Sacramento. could not be roused. He would fly at As for my case, it was just a piece of once to my aid, but I held him dangling string. But it has tripped my optimism until I minutely described to him my about democracy and disturbed my needs. Sternly I declared that if he did faith in liberty, equality, and fraternot bring plaster of Paris we could nity. America harbors at least one not deal.

highly favored class.

THE CONTRIBUTORS' COLUMN

story when onerington de

Samuel Strauss, long editor of the New nity of realizing the theory of his famous York Globe, now publishes and writes a story. For these days of marital difficullittle paper of personal philosophy veryties, when one wife is often too few or too stimulating to those who follow it. Recall- many, E. Barrington describes that happy ing Emerson's phrase, he observes how in solution which was enjoyed by a witty America things have climbed into the sad- bachelor of another century. dle and with a flaunting standard of living are now riding mankind at breakneck speed.

* * * Qin the din of accusative campaigning, we One hundred years ago Samuel and accept with pleasure the opportunity of Nancy Ruggles were teaching missionaries printing something really agreeable on the in the Sandwich Islands. Mr. Ruggles, one oil question. John H. Thacher is an oil of the scholars whose work was to form a producer in Oklahoma who won his Major- written language of the Hawaiian tongue, ity in the war. Charles Magee Adams

so won the favor of the royal convert, Queen lost his sight completely at the age of Kapiolani, that he was adopted as her son eleven. Continuing, however, at the public and was presented with her feather cape schools, he graduated and entered Ohio and wash towel. Fullerton Waldo, for sixState University, where he prepared for teen years an editor of the Philadelphia his successful career in journalism. From Public Ledger, recounts the happiest hour his sensitive experience Mr. Adams writes of his life. gWith clear and incisive judgto clarify and freshen our appreciation of ment, Clifford H. Farr, Professor of Botany the senses. JReturning from the Mediter- at the University of Iowa, separates two ranean, Lyman Bryson makes his first ap- different but exceedingly tangled lines of pearance in the Atlantic with a dramatic thought. Gof remarkable influence in account of his meeting with Aphrodite on Anglo-Indian missions, C. F. Andrews is her beloved isle.

now in Bengal studying the opium and labor problems on the rubber estates. His

friendship with Gandhi is old and intimate. Wilfrid Gibson's Northumbrian verse

* * * has all the tang and pucker of a local fruit. GWriting from long experience as President In his dubious estimate of the politicoof the Board of the Detroit House of Cor- naval developments since the winter of rection, E. S. Hitchcock discusses the folly 1921–22, Hector C. Bywater takes occasion of our penal theories and the inadequacy of to correct the Japanese criticism directed the institutions which embody them. Will C. against his Atlantic paper of last February. Barnes is in charge of all livestock — some Mr. Bywater is regarded by progressive 9,776,000 head — grazing in our national opinion in England as the best of the naval forests. A ranger for twenty-six years, Mr. critics. Ambrose Paré Winston is AssociateBarnes served as an Indian fighter in Ari- Professor of Economics at the University of zona and was awarded the Congressional Texas. GWe regard the anonymous author medal for breaking through the Apache of the paper on the Lausanne Treaty as lines and bringing help to a besieged army- both impartial and informed. Robert Glass post. Charles M. Sheldon is editor of the Cleland, Professor of Hispanic-American Christian Herald and author of In His Relations in Occidental College, Los AnSteps, one of the few books to have sold geles, is editor of the Mexican Year Book, over a hundred million copies. Years after and the author of a standard history of publication, Mr. Sheldon had an opportu- California.

« ElőzőTovább »