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BY ARTHUR TRAIN

THE EARTHQUAKE

THE WORLD AND THOMAS KELLY

THE GOLDFISH

THE PRISONER AT THE BAR

COURTS, CRIMINALS AND THE CAMORRA

TRUE STORIES OP CRIME

MCALLISTER AND HIS DOUBLE

THE CONFESSIONS OF ARTEMAS QUIBBLE

C. Q., OR IN THE WIRELESS HOUSE

THE BUTLER'S STORY

THE MAN WHO ROCKED THE EARTH

MORTMAIN



THE EARTHQUAKE



THE EARTHQUAKE



BY

ARTHUR TRAIN



"The End of worldly life awaits us all:
Let him who may, gain honor ere death."



CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
NEW YORK :: :: :: 1918



COPTHIGHT, 1918, BY

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS



Published March, 1918
COPYRIGHT, 1917, 1918, BY THE CURTIS PUBLISHING CO.




TO
ARTHUR WOODS

A PATRIOTIC CITIZEN WHO AS
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE OF NEW YORK CITY

1914-1917
REALIZED THE HIGHEST IDEALS OF

PUBLIC SERVICE

THIS BOOK IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED



r ;

I ,



CONTENTS

CHAPTEB AGB

I. MYSELF JOHN STANTON 3

II. MY HOUSEHOLD 46

III. MY FRIENDS 81

IV. MY WIFE AND OTHERS 121

V. MY DAUGHTER 162

VI. MY SOLDIER SON 175

VII. WHY JACK HAS GONE 214

VIII. "OF SHOES OF SHIPS OF SEALING-
WAX" 236

IX. WHAT THE WAR HAS DONE FOR Us 276



THE EARTHQUAKE



"And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong
wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before
the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the
wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not hi the earthquake:
and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the
fire: and after the fire a still small voice."

"And the Lord said unto him: '. . . And it shall come
to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu
slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall
Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all
the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth
which hath not kissed him.' "I Kings xix, 11-19.



THE EARTHQUAKE

i

MYSELF JOHN STANTON

Rip Van Winkle was no less in touch with affairs hi
the valley of the Hudson on his return home after his
twenty years' sleep among the Catskills than my
wife, my daughter, and myself were with those of
these United States when we descended from our
sleeper to the upper platform of the Grand Central
Station upon OUT return to New York City in the
autumn of 1917. In many respects, allowing for
the greater velocity of life in the twentieth century,
our cases were not dissimilar. For ten months, under
a doctor's orders, we had wandered in the Orient, and
returned home to find ourselves in what was presently
to prove a new world.

I had been a fairly prosperous bond merchant, the
junior partner in a well-connected and reputable Wall
Street house; not one of the Grecian-temple variety,
with pillars of Carrara and floors of onyx and jasper,
but a modest establishment up one flight, where we
did a legitimate business in strictly investment secur-

3



' : THE EARTHQUAKE

ities, dividing among the three of us a yearly net
profit of approximately forty thousand dollars. Morris,
Lord & Stanton is our firm name, and I was and still
am the Stanton John Stanton, A.B., Harvard '86.

If you care, now or later, to take the trouble to look
me up in "Who's Who" you will learn that the author
of these memoirs was born in Worcester, Massa-
chusetts, December 23, 1865; the son of John Adams
Stanton, a banker of that place, and Mary Stuart
Thayer, his wife; that he attended the schools of his
native city and afterward St. Paul's, at Concord, New
Hampshire; graduated in due course from Harvard as
above; went into business in New York City; married
Helen Morris the sister of his present partner on
April 30, 1887; is the father of two children and the
author of "Bonds Versus Stocks a Handbook for
Investors," a "History of American Stock Exchanges,"
and "American Railroad Securities." In my capacity
as my own biographer I also included in the personal
sketch with which I furnished the editors of that
interesting publication the valuable information that
I was a Republican, an Episcopalian, and had "never
as yet held public office."

That was the history of the John Stanton who shook
the dust of Wall Street from his feet toward the end
of the year 1916 to seek health in regions beyond the
reach of the telephone and the daily newspaper.
Sometimes I am inclined to feel that the life of that

4



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

particular John Stanton ended there and then. At any
rate, if he still lives he is, in fact, another and different
man. The first followed a soft, ease-loving, thought-
less sort of life, content to go with the crowd, spending
his money as freely as he made it, running to seed
spiritually and intellectually, his only ambition being
to build up so extensive a business that he could re-
tire at the earliest possible moment and amuse him-
self presumably as much as possible at the watering-
places of continental Europe.

To-day Well, it is the other and I trust the
better John Stanton who writes these pages. Indeed,
I not only view my ten months in the Pacific as a long
sleep, but I account the whole fifty-two previous years
of my life as no less spent in dreaming the dreaming
of the materialistic, essentially selfish, if good-natured,
American business man, the dreamer of full-fed dreams.
It was only when I stepped out of that transconti-
nental train that I began to wake up. It was only
then that I felt the first faint anticipatory quiver of
the shock I was soon to get the shock of the earth-
quake that in the next thirty days was to set my brain
to reeling, to turn my domestic existence topsyturvy,
and to leave me clutching at my heart with weak and
trembling hands.

The year 1915 had seen munition and industrial
stocks generally rocketing starward; bonds had been
strong and trade brisk. We at the office gave the

5



THE EARTHQUAKE

war, at most, two years to run and capitalized our
profits with the rest of the Street.

The demand for ships of wood and iron, for copper,
steel, dyes, and machinery was beyond anything
hitherto known or imagined. To own a steamboat or
a foundry was to be a millionaire. One of our clients
had a steel-rolling mill out in Ohio and another in New
Jersey. He wanted to get hold of half a dozen more
and have a merger. Nothing loath, I undertook the
job. For five months I slaved day and night, sleeping
most of the tune on trains, paying no attention to
what I ate, my mind concentrated upon a single ob-
ject to float the Phoenicia Steel Company. The pa-
pers were just ready to be signed when the "peace
leak" nearly wrecked the whole enterprise. For two
days it looked as though my merger would never
merge, as though my eggs would never scramble; and
then, the excitement having subsided, the respective
treasurers affixed then: signatures to the necessary
documents, shook hands with one another, and it was
done.

That afternoon I sat limp in a leather armchair in
Frank Brewer's office and heard my doom from the
stern lips of New York's leading nerve specialist.

"Stanton," he exclaimed impatiently, "you've just
missed a complete breakdown! Twenty-four hours
more and I'd have had to order you to a sanatorium.
You've got to quit right here and now, give up your

6



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

business entirely and go away for a year. No; don't
call up your office ! You'll do exactly what I tell you
or I won't be responsible for consequences. I'll see
both your partners they're old friends of mine.
Now go up to the club and take a Turkish bath and a
rub. Then drink a pint of champagne and go to
sleep. I don't want you to go home. I'll call to see
you during the evening."

I did as I was told, including the champagne.
Strange to say, I slept. At nine o'clock I woke to
find Dr. Brewer and my two partners at my side.

"It's all fixed!" said Morris gently. "I've told
Helen she must get ready to leave New York on
Saturday."

"But" I protested dizzily. "There's Margery."

"Ought to be glad to get her out of New York!"
snapped Brewer. "No eighteen-year-old girl has any
business here ! "

"And she says she's crazy to go to Japan!" added
Lord with a grin.

"Japan!"

"And, by the way," continued my brother-in-law,
"Tom Blanchard happened to be in the office when
Brewer telephoned this afternoon, and he said he
wasn't going back to his place in Hawaii again this
year, and that he'd be glad to have you go there and
stay all of you as long as you want. It's a sugar-
plantation, you know smiling, brown-skinned na-

7



THE EARTHQUAKE

lives, hammocks, hula-hula girls, and all that sort of
thing!"

"Yes," I nodded. " 'On the Beach at Waikiki' I
know! You fellows seem to have mapped out my
whole future life for me. Well, if you've squared it
with Helen and got her to agree to separate her sub-
debutante daughter from the follies of 1916, I'll go
you to Japan or Java or Jerusalem, for as long as
you say, and a day longer !"

And so I went.

My wife, Helen, my daughter, Margery, and I
sailed on the Canadian Pacific Steamship Empressjtf
China on December 19, 1916, for the Far East, where
OUT travels, our impressions, and our adventures have
nothing whatever to do with the purposes of this nar-
rative.

On the steamer the Canadians and English aboard
would have nothing to do with us. Even in the usu-
ally friendly atmosphere of the smoking-room I was
left to myself, except for a couple of compatriots who
agreed with me that American stock with the Allies
had gone down badly. Indeed, certain passengers,
especially the Canadians, took pains to air their un-
complimentary views of the people of the United
States in tones obviously intended to be over-
heard.

Altogether, I was glad when we got to Yokohama,
8



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

and so far as Japan was concerned, I observed per-
sonally none of the popular hostility to things Ameri-
can I had been led to believe existed there from my
reading of newspapers and magazines in the United
States.

After two delightful weeks we took ship from
Nagasaki for Manila, where I chartered a government
revenue steamer and cruised for six weeks more in
the archipelago, visiting some islands where the na-
tives had never before seen an American or even a
white man, though owing allegiance to the United
States. It was the trip of my life, and, in addition to
the small arsenal of head-axes and war-knives lying at
the other end of the table upon which I am writing, I
carried away with me the emblem of the Sacred Turtle
tattooed upon my tummy which proves, to those
who know, that I am blood brother of Jose Aguinaldo
Pejaros and a subchieftain of a tribe with an unpro-
nounceable name, whose members for ugliness leave
nothing to be desired.

During this period we received no mail and saw no
newspapers, these last, before we left, having been
pronounced anathema by Brewer.

"Whatever you do, don't look at a paper for three
months!" he had ordered; and I had humbly prom-
ised to obey. Indeed, it was no burden to carry out
his injunction. I could not have done otherwise
there were no papers to read. In Manila, of course, we

9



THE EARTHQUAKE

had been in touch for about forty-eight hours with
our native land, long enough to bring our war news
roughly up to date and to glance over President
Wilson's Message of January 22d. As for our going
into the war, the idea seemed to me at that time ut-
terly preposterous. I hadn't believed that anything
could drive us in, or that, even if we went in, anything
would come of it. In Japan, Manila, and Honolulu
it seemed to .be assumed that there was no real in-
tention on the part of our government to do more
than make enough of a demonstration to save the na-
tional face.

I confess that, so far as I was concerned, there
wasn't any national face left. To my mind, the Presi-
dent had been stalling from the outset. The "Peace
Without Victory" speech, which we got, as I have
said, at Manila, finished it for me. It was all very
noble, very magnanimous, very benign, and very high-
falutin, I thought. We were just fixing things up so as
to be on the right side of everybody after the war was
over. Mr. Wilson had said: "Victory would mean
peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms imposed
upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humil-
iation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and
would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory,
upon which terms of peace would rest not perma-
nently, but only as upon quicksand."

Fine, I said, if we were dealing with a government
10



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

that didn't countenance, if not order, the cutting off
of women's breasts, the poisoning of wells, the drown-
ing of babes in arms with their mothers, the violation
of young and innocent girls ! But you might as well
consider the feelings of a ruffian who had debauched
your daughter and refrain from locking him up be-
cause his confinement in jail "would be accepted
in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice,
and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter mem-
ory" after he finally got out. That was how I felt
about it.

The President's speech of February 3, 1917, de-
livered upon the severance of relations with Germany
which we picked up in Mindanao had cheered me
somewhat. That, I admitted, looked more like busi-
ness. But I felt by no means sure that it was not put
forth with a belief almost approaching certainty that
the German Government would back down; and if it
backed down I knew we should never go to war. The
sentence "We are the sincere friends of the German
people and earnestly desire to remain at peace with
the government which speaks for them" bore an olive-
branch that I expected would herald the return of
Bernstorff.

Of course I know better to-day; for we all are aware
now of what Mr. Wilson knew then what Germany
had been doing here in the way of distributing blood-
money and hiring criminals, and of what the Kaiser

11



THE EARTHQUAKE

and his ministers had planned and even threatened
against the United States.

Even if finally we actually declared war, I did not
believe that that act would have any concrete result.
We were entirely unprepared, and the war would be
over long before we could send a properly trained and
adequately armed body of troops to Europe. I fig-
ured the thing out in about the same way the German
General Staff had figured it out. Nobody wanted war
except a few jingoes hi the East; free Americans would
never stand for conscription, and our entry would have
no effect except to divert back into the United States
the tide of munitions flowing steadily to England and
France. To that extent Germany would actually
profit by our action.

We were visiting a native village, I remember, In
one of the coral islands the first week in April when
the captain of our revenue cutter picked up the news
by wireless from Manila that the President had pro-
claimed a state of war between the United States and
the Imperial German Government. Naturally, the
news occasioned a good deal of excitement on the
steamer and the captain dressed ship and fired a
salute, which sent the natives scurrying to the woods.
Helen's first thought, of course, was of our son, a
junior at Harvard. Looking at me a little anxiously,
she said:

"Jack's not old enough to go, is he?"
12



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

"Oh, no!" I answered resolutely. "Jack's only a
boy at college. Besides, the war will be over long be-
fore we can send any troops across. They'd send the
regular army first, anyhow."

I told her that quite sincerely. It never dawned
upon me to think otherwise. Jack was a kid. He
didn't have sense enough to change his shoes after he
had been out in the rain. Only a year or so ago I had
had to stand over him with a club to make him brush
his teeth, and he had hated a bath just as much as
the devil is supposed to hate consecrated water.

"Oh, no!" I reassured her. "You don't need to
worry a single minute about Jack. He might go to
the next war, but he'll get no chance at this."

And so we steamed on among the islands, under
cloudless skies, reading novels and playing bridge,
until, six weeks later, we again reached Manila and
regretfully bade farewell to our captain.

From Manila we took a steamer for Honolulu, and
a week later arrived by coasting vessel at Ilao, where
Tom Blanchard's sugar-factory is situated, and began
our lotos-eating life on the plantation. There for
several months we led the existence commonly re-
ferred to as idyllic, keeping no hours, sleeping fourteen
out of the twenty-four when we chose, swimming in
crystalline water inside the reefs, fishing for rainbow-
hued pauu and hilu outside the islands, and waited
upon hand and foot by impassive Chinese servants,

13



THE EARTHQUAKE

who anticipated every thought we either had or should
have had.

The bungalow was half a mile from the sugar-fac-
tory, on the other side of a point, and had its own dock.
There was no telegraph; we bad no neighbors; and
there was no one to speak to except a taciturn super-
intendent, who looked like an ex-convict and who lived
with a half-caste wife named Mo-a. Once a week a
small steamer dropped a bag of mail at our landing,
including a bundle of morning, evening, and Sunday
New York papers about as big as a hogshead.

At first we used to rush down to the jetty and tear
off the wrappers before the Chink could bring them up
to the veranda just couldn't wait! We wanted to
know exactly what the government was doing; how
many hundred yards the French and English had
gained from the boches since the week before; how
much nearer Cadorna was to Triest; and whether the
Czar had been put at peeling potatoes or wheeling a
barrow. Gradually, however, we lost interest. It
took all the joy out of life to spend whole days waist-
high in newspapers all alike and full of vain repeti-
tions trying to arrange the stuff in its proper se-
quence. When you get about forty newspapers at
once there is a striking monotony, even about war
news.

Finally we reached the point when we couldn't
look at them except for the head-lines. To see my

14



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

namesake, John Head or Number One Boy come
staggering up the beach with that huge load of brown-
wrapped rolls of printed matter on his back filled us
with gloom. In the first place, it was all weeks old
when it got to us; and then there was so much of it!
Stale tons of it! Usually after lying unopened for
days, those papers found their way down to Mo-a,
who liked to cut out the pictures in the supplements
and paste them on the wall of her house with fish-
glue that she boiled herself.

I would occasionally find her gazing rapturously at
some rotogravure print* of George M. Cohan, William
Jennings Bryan, or Colonel House, and murmuring
"Beau'fu' man!" In ladies she took no interest, and
she would look contemptuously at the reproductions
of our most brilliant Broadway stars at Jane Cowl,
Billie Burke, or our own Maxine, and shake her head
and mutter "No-a-good!"

You see, the atmosphere was somehow antipathetic
to intellectual exertion. Our previous New York
ideas seemed how shall I say ? " irrelevant, incom-
petent, and immaterial." We lived like princes and
it cost us only a few cents a day; we couldn't have
bought anything even if we had needed it which we
didn't; there was nothing in the world of Ilao to
spend a single cent on, and I don't believe that liter-
ally there was more than six dollars Mex. in the place.

There was nothing to worry us, no duties to per-
15



THE EARTHQUAKE

form, "nowhere to go but out" and "out" was as
near heaven as anything I have ever known. We
talked of New York as if it might have been Calcutta.
We read of the war, but it did not seem real. We
knew that men were suffering and dying, but it was
like reading about it years afterward. It was our own
daily life there at Ilao that was real to us the other
thing was literary, like our books; so we sat round
and read frayed copies out of Blanchard's library
Marion Crawford, Whyte-Melville, William Dean
HowellsC and others of a bygone literary age. I men-
tion this because now it seems so extraordinary that,
with our country at war, we should have been dream-
ing over "Saracinesca," or "Mr. Isaacs," or "The
Rise of Silas Lapham," while the bodies of thousands
of our fellow human beings lay rotting out in No
Man's Land.

A Wall Street bond broker has no time for dreaming
and he has no visions at all; but there at Ilao we
dreamed that we were young again, and we had time
to wonder why we no longer had any visions. And
sometimes, though I missed, in a way, the activity of
New York, the complex interests of work and amuse-
ment, our hundreds of friends and the excitement of
the game, I told myself that now, for the first time,
in this distant place, with none of my own kind about
except my wife and daughter, I was in a position to
estimate the real value of the sort of life I had worked
so hard to live. Was it, I asked myself, worth the



T



MYSELF-JOHN STANTON

candle? After all, did I get anything out of it at a
thousand times the cost better than I got out of life
atllao?

A bombshell fell among us one day, however, which
shattered our dreaming. It had been arranged that
after his spring examinations Jack should join us; and,
now that July had come, we were daily expecting a
letter containing the news that he had started West
and giving us the approximate date of his arrival. I
had been out with one of the Chinamen fishing for
hilu when I saw the steamer rounding the headland.
As she was several hours ahead of time and there was
no one at the landing, we rowed over to meet her.
The captain, a red-faced sea-dog, with watery eyes,
was standing on the bridge.

" Hello ! " I shouted. " What's the news ? "

He mopped his forehead with a yellow madras
handkerchief and regarded me thoughtfully. I was a
perennial object of curiosity to him.

"They've put through conscription," he answered
hoarsely, "and sold a couple of billion dollars' bond
issue. Looks like Uncle Sam meant business after
all," he added.

Sitting in my pongee suit in that flimsy fishing-boat,
rising and falling with my Chinaman in the wash of
that stinking coasting steamer, the significance of what
he said did not get across to me. Ilao would be just
the same, no matter how many conscripts might be
drafted or how many billions were raised through

17



THE EARTHQUAKE

bond issues or otherwise. That same wilting sun
would blaze down on that same sagging old jetty,
covered with its loose ends of hemp and its empty
hogsheads; the same stoical Chinaman would plod
down to meet the weekly steamer; and from the set-
tlement behind the point the same softly crooned
songs would rise under the moonlight to the sad wail
of the ukulele.

" Sure ! " I retorted. " What'd you expect ? "

The captain did not answer my question. He prob-
ably had had no expectations in the matter.

"Here's a letter for you!" he called down, taking
it from inside his cap. He passed it to a deck-hand,
who relayed it over the side to me. " Look out there ! "
he warned us, as he gave the jingle, and the steamer,
which had not made fast, began to back out.

The Chink pulled a few strokes away, while I lit a
cigarette and watched the old tub back nearly into
the coral reef, swing her nose round, and head for the
open sea. Then the jingle rang again, her propeller
thrashed the water like a hippo taking a mud-bath,
and she spurted ahead into the rollers.

"An' a hundred million for the Red Cross!" bel-
lowed the captain across the intervening waves. "I
forgot that!"

"Red Cross!" that was pretty fine, I thought.
Then I looked at the handwriting on the envelope,
saw that it was from Jack, and tore it open.

18



MYSELF JOHN STANTON

"Dear Dad," it ran, in a childish scrawl. "Most
of the fellows are going to Plattsburg, so I thought
you wouldn't mind if I went along, too. You will be
coming home soon, anyhow. If I should be lucky
enough to grab off a commission, there wouldn't be
any chance of my going abroad for a long time yet.
Lots of love to mother and Margery. The weather is
ripping ! Aff'ly, JACK."

The boy's letter gave me a mixed feeling of pride
and disappointment. I was crazy to see him, of course;
but it was quite natural and very creditable that he
should want to get some military training. That he
would ever actually be an officer in command of men
was absurd. He hadn't the remotest idea of discipline.

Well, Plattsburg was a good thing for the health,
anyhow, and I didn't blame him for wanting to go
along with the rest of his friends. Nevertheless, the


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