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their immediate circle of acquaintances
among the church dignitaries of those
countries. The result was that Mr. Cortesi,
the chief of our Roman office, was per-



fectly familiar with the local surroundings
and was on intimate terms with Drs. Lap-
poni and Mazzoni of the Vatican, as well
as with the other resident officials of the
church, and was always able to conmiand
attention from them. Besides, he had not
only the advantage of the assistance of
trained men from our other European of-
fices, but he had also the advantage of
their acquaintance. We were enabled day
by day to present an extraordinary picture
of the scenes at the Vatican, and day by
day the bulletins upon the condition of
the Holy Father were transmitted with
amazing rapidity. The death-bed scenes
at Buffalo, when President McKinley was
lying ill at the Milbum house, were re-
ported with no greater degree of prompt-
ness and no greater detail. The funeral
scenes were also covered in a remarkably
ample way, and with astounding rapidity.
Then came the conclave for the election
of a new pope. It was to be secret, and
every effort was mad<! to prevent its pro-
ceedings from becoming public. A brick
wall was constructed about the hall to
prevent any one having access to it. But,
to the amazement of every one, the Asso-
ciated Press had a daily report of all that
happened. One of the members of the
Noble Guard was an Associated Press
man. Knowing the devotion of the aver-
age Italian for the dove, he took with him
into the conclave chamber his pet dove,
which was a homing pigeon trained to go
to our office. But Cardinal Rampolla could
not be deceived: he ordered the pigeon
killed. Other plans, however, were more
successful. Laundry lists sent out with the
soiled linen of a cardinal, and a physician's
prescriptions sent to a pharmacy, proved
to be code messages which were deciphered
in oiu- office. We were enabled not only
to give a complete and accurate story of
the happenings within the conclave cham-
ber, but we announced the election of the
new Pope, which occurred about 11 a.m.
in Rome, so promptly that, owing to the
difference in time, it was printed in the
morning papers of San Francisco of that
day. We were also enabled to send the
announcement back to Europe before it
was received from Rome direct, and it
was our message that was printed in all
the European capitals. The Italian au-
thorities did not interfere with these mes-
sages.



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384



THE CENTURY MAGAZINE



THE USE OF WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

Of late years the international yacht races
off Sandy Hook have, as a rule, been
reported by wireless telegraphy. Stations
have been erected on Long Island and on
the coast of New Jersey, and a fast-going
yacht, equipped with Marconi apparatus,
has followed the racers. A running story,
transmitted through the air to the coast,
has been instantly relayed by land wires
to the main office of the association in
New York, and thence distributed over
the country. Such a report of the contest
costs over $25,000.

HOW NATIONAL CONVENTIONS ARE
REPORTED

" Presidential years " are always trying
ones for the management. In 1896 the
friends of Speaker Reed were incensed
because we were unable to see that a
majority of the delegates to the Republi-
can National Convention were Reed men.
Not that I think they really believed this ;
but everything is accounted fair in the
game of politics, and they thought it would
help their cause if the Associated Press
would announce each delegation, on its
selection, as for Reed. They appealed to
me ; but of course I could not misstate the
facts, and they took great umbrage. The
St. Louis Convention, when it assembled,
verified our declarations, for Mr. Reed's
vote was insignificant.

The national conventions are our first
care. Preparations begin months before
they assemble. Rooms are engaged at all
the leading hotels, so that Associated
Press men may be in touch with every
delegation. The plans of the convention
hall are examined, and arrangements are
made for operating-room and seats. The
wires of the association are carried into
the building, and a work-room is usually
located beneath the platform of the pre-
siding officer. A private passage is cut,
connecting this work-room with the re-
porters* chairs, which are placed directly
in front of the stand occupied by speakers,
and inclosed by a rail to prevent inter-
ference from the surging masses certain to
congregate in the neighborhood.

A week before the convention opens, a
number of Associated Press men are on
the ground to report the assembling of the



delegates, to sound them as to their plans
and preferences, and to indicate the trend
of the gathering in their despatches as
well as they may. The National Com-
mittee holds its meeting in advance of
the convention, decides upon a roll of
members, and names a presiding officer.
All this is significant, and is often equiv-
alent to a determination of the party can-
didates.

Of the convention itself, the Associated
Press makes three distinct reports. A re-
porter sits in the hall and dictates to an
operator who sends out bulletins. These
follow the events instantly, are necessarily
very brief, and are often used by the news-
papers to post on bulletin-boards. There
is also a graphic running story of the pro-
ceedings. This is written by three men,
seated together, each writing for ten min-
utes and then resting twenty. The copy is
hastily edited by a fourth man, so that it
may harmonize. This report is usually
printed by afternoon papers. Finally,
there is a verbatim report, which is printed
by the large metropolitan dailies. A corps
of expert stenographers, who take turns in
the work, is employed. As a delegate rises
in any part of the hall, one of these stenog-
raphers dashes to his side and reports his
utterances. He then rushes to the work-
room and dictates his notes to a rapid
type-writer, while another stenographer
replaces him upon the convention floor.
The nominating speeches are usually fur-
nished by their authors weeks in advance,
and are in type in the newspaper offices
awaiting their delivery and release.

The men who report these conventions
are drawn from all the principal offices of
the Associated Press. Coming from differ-
ent parts of the country, they are person-
ally acquainted with a large majority of
the delegates. There is a close division of
labor: certain men are assigned to write
bulletins; others to do descriptive work;
still others to prepare introductory sum-
maries ; a number to watch and report the
proceedings of secret committees; and a
force of " scouts " to keep in close touch
with the party leaders, and learn of proj-
ects the instant that they begin to mature.
Out of it all comes a service which puts
the newspaper reader of the country in
instant and constant possession of every
developing fact and gives him a pen-pic-
ture of every scene. I ndeed, he has a better



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I'roiii a i>hutu|;raph by Kuchiie

FRANK B. NOYES
President of the Associated Press

grasp of the situation than if he were pres-
ent in the convention hall.

When the candidates are named and
the platforms adopted the campaign
opens, and for several months the Asso-
ciated Press faces steadily increasing re-
sponsibilities. The greatest care is observed
to maintain an attitude of strict impar-
tiality, and yet to miss no fact of interest.
If a candidate, or one of the great party
leaders, makes a " stumping journey," ste-
nographers and descriptive writers must
accompany him. While Mr. Bryan was
" on tour/' it was his practice to speak
hurriedly from the rear platform of his
train, and instantly to leave for the next
appointment. While he was speaking, the
Associated Press stenographer was taking
notes. When the train started, these notes
were dictated to a type-writer, and at the
next stopping-point were handed over to
a waiting local Associated Press man, who
put the speech on the telegraph wires.
In the general offices records are kept of
the number of words sent out, so that at
the end of the campaign the volume of
Republican and Democratic speeches re-
ported is expected to balance.

Finally, the work of Election Day is
mapped out in advance with scrupulous
care, and each correspondent in the coun-
try has definite instructions as to the part



l-roiii a phuto^raph l»y Aliiiaii & Co.

VICTOR F. LAWSON
Former President of the Associated Press

he is to play. On Election Day brief bul-
letins on the condition of the weather in
every part of the nation, and on the charac-
ter of the voting, are furnished to the after-
noon papers. The moment the polls close,
the counting begins. Associated Press
men everywhere are gathering precinct
returns and hurrying them to county head-
quarters, where they are hastily added, and
the totals for the county on Presidential
electors are wired to the State headquar-
ters of the association. The forces of men
at these general offices are augmented by
the employment of expert accountants and
adding-machines from the local banks, and
the labor is so subdivided that last year the
result of the contest was announced by
eight o'clock in the evening, and at mid-
night a return, virtually accurate, of the
majority in every State was presented to
the newspapers. It was the first occasion
on which the result of an American gen-
eral election was transmitted to Europe in
time to appear in the London morning
papers of the day succeeding the election.

GUARANTY OF IMPARTIALITY

If I were not what Mr. Gladstone once
called "an old parliamentary hand," if I
had not given and taken the buffets of
aggressive American journalism for many



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386



THE CENTURY MAGAZINE



years, and if Heaven had not blessed me
with a certain measure of the saving grace
of humor, 1 think I should have been sent
to an early grave by the unreasonable and
unfair attacks made upon my administra-
tion of the Associated Press news service.
In the exciting Presidential campaign of
1896, Senator Jones, the Democratic na-
tional chairman, openly charged me with
favoring the Republicans; while Mr.
Hanna, his opponent, was at the point of
breaking a long-time personal friendship
because he regarded me as distinctly " pro-
Bryan.'* The truth is, both men had lost
their balance; neither was capable of a
judicial view ; each wanted, not an impar-
tial service, but one which would help his
side. Fortunately, the candidates preserved
a better poise than their lieutenants. At
the close of the campaign both Bryan and
McKinley wrote me that they were im-
pressed with the impartiality which we had
observed.

A former senator of New York con-
trolled a paper at Albany and named one
of his secretaries as its editor. Then trouble
began to brew. Day after day I was plied
with letters charging me with unfairness.
Every time we reported a speech of Presi-
dent Roosevelt's I was accused of favor-
ing the Republicans, while the failure to
chronicle the result of an insignificant ward
caucus in New Jersey was clear evidence
that I was inimical to the Democrats. I
patiently investigated each complaint, and
explained that there were limitations upon
the volume of our service ; that the utter-
ances of any incumbent of the Presidential
office must properly be reported, while the
result of a ward caucus must be ignored,
if we were to give any heed to their relative
news values. Still the young man was not
happy, and, when I had done all that reason
or courtesy required, I notified the senator,
who had been inspiring the criticisms, that
" I must decline to walk the floor with his
infant any longer." That ended the matter.

During a congressional inquiry, a num-
ber of trade-unionists appeared and tes-
tified for days in denunciation of the
Associated Press, because they conceived
it to be unfriendly to their cause. More
recently, but with equal injustice, the
secretary of the Citizens* Industrial Asso-
ciation has been pelting me with letters
charging our association with favoring or-
ganized labor.



When we reported the death of the late
Pope in a manner befitting his exalted
station, a number of Methodist newspapers
gravely asserted that I was a Catholic, or
controlled by Vatican influences, although,
as a matter of fact, my father was a Metho-
dist clergyman and my mother the grand-
niece of a coadjutor of John Wesley. On
the other hand, not long since, when the
Associated Press reported the Marquise
des Monstiers's renunciation of the Catho-
lic faith, certain Catholic newspapers flew
into a rage and asserted that I was an
anti-Cathohc bigot.

The more frequent criticisms, however,
result from want of knowledge of the true
mission of the organization. Many per-
sons, unfamiliar with newspaper methods,
mistake special telegrams for Associated
Press service, and hold us to an unde-
served responsibility. Many others, having
" axes to grind," and quite willing to pay
for the grinding, find it difficult to believe
that not only does the association do no
grinding, but by the very nature of its
methods such grinding is made impossible.
The man who would pay the Associated
Press for " booming " his project would be
throwing his money away. Any man in
the service of the association, from the
general manager to the humblest employee,
who should attempt to " boom ' ' a project
would be instantly discovered, disgraced,
and dismissed.

The four years' struggle with the United
Press was waged over this principle. Vic-
tor F. Lawson of the Chicago " Daily
News," Charles W. Knapp of the St.
Louis " Republic," Frederick Driscoll of
the St. Paul " Pioneer Press," and those
associated with them in that contest, de-
serve the lasting gratitude of the American
people for having established, at a vast cost
of time, labor, and money, a method of
news-gathering and distribution free from
a chance of contamination. Seven hundred
newspapers, representing every conceivable
view of every public question, sit in judg-
ment upon the Associated Press de-
spatches. A representative of each of these
papers has a vote in the election of the
management. P2very editor is jealously
watching every line of the report. It must
be obvious that any serious departure from
an honest and impartial service would
arouse a storm of indignation which would
overwhelm any administration.



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JOHN THE BAPTIST

BY JOHN FINLEY

WITH DKCORATIONS PA' LKSTKR RALPH



S some lone anchoritish cloud
That leaves the tent of night,

And, looking down the depths of day
Beyond our narrow sight,

Catches upon its swarthy face
The first gold gleam of light ;



So stood he forth in our gray morn

Upon the desert's rim,
The eager prodrome of the day,

Glowing, that late was grim ; —
The light of the unrisen Sun

Was manifest in him.




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A HARD WORKER



BY GEORGE S. CHAPPELL



WITH PICTURES BY CHARLES EWING



5 a far cry from
Cansas City to No.
16 in the Rue de
Seine, and the in-
fluences of two gen-
erations of furni-
ture-builders plus
three impression-
able years spent in
"The Quarter "are
bound to result in
something extraor-
dinary. Gilbert's
friends agreed that
he looked the part. He used to write out
his full name, William Gillespie Gilbert,
Jr., and add, "of Kansas City and Paris,"
with a sort of gloating appreciation of the
contrast. Yet the two natures of the boy
were not so dissimilar as their origins im-
plied. Out of the Middle West had come
a half-formed character, which, while it was
not "woolly," was still somewhat wild,
with something of the untamed bronco
in its make-up, and was apt to break loose
at odd moments and kick over the traces
of convention. An abnormal sense of
humor veiled the sensitive side which
showed so clearly in every sketch that
hung on the old studio wall. Gilbert once
told me with much gravity that his father
had given him the choice between going
to college and a cape-overcoat, and that
he had chosen the cape-overcoat. I swal-
lowed the story, and was not disillusioned
until several months later, when he spoke
of the course in higher mathematics at his
Western alma mater, saying," We used to
sit on the back fence near the railroad
track and take down the numbers of the
engines that passed. If No. 10 happened
to be late, the class was adjourned."



The first two years of Paris were some-
what in the nature of a modern Arabian
N ight's Entertainment. The colt was turned
out to pasture free from hold or halter,
and, as any normal colt would do, he
kicked up his heels. For the first time in
his life he was free. He had found an
atmosphere which suited him. People
seemed to understand him. The men at
Julian's called him " Ce sacr6 Gilbert,"
and M. Paul at the " Deux Magots "—who
does not know the Deux Magots under the
shadow of St. Germain-des-Pres.^— kept a
place for him on the "banquette" from
five o'clock until six every afternoon, and
his appearance at the rendezvous raised the
general cry of " Ah ! le voil^ ! "

All who knew him loved him, except
one— the concierge of No. 36 rue de Seine.

Is it to be wondered at? Night after
night the poor man Would be roused at
two, three, or four o'clock in the morning,
not alone by furious ringing, but by a
club rattled between the window-bars of
his tiny lodge, or by a mixed cry and very
badly mixed chorus-singing in a strong
Franco-American accent.

"Jean Br-rown's b^b6 haz a peemple on
'is nose." Gilbert had taught it patiently,
word by word, to the atelier at Julian's,
explaining that it was the American na-
tional anthem, and was sung only at the
funerals of great men ; and it was voted
" tr^s chic " by the entire quarter, always
excepting the concierge. The nightly
home-coming, and the manner of announ-
cing it, always resulted in parley, brief or
long, as the mode of summons or char-
acter and number of companions varied.
But the result was always the same. Tht
guardian was finally subdued by honeyed
words cooed through the bars of the boite,



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Half-tune plate engraved by R. C. CoUiii!>

"NORTH AND SOUTH STRUGGLED FOR THE WRESTLING SUPREMACY OF ALL FRANCE*



or by threats of appeal to the proprietor,
the sole terror of concierges; the lock
clicked ; the door swung in ; and, promises
or threats alike forgotten, the mob surged
down the dark hallway crying, " A has la
Liberte ! " across the court, not failing to
knock over one or two of M. le Concierge's
potted palms, and up the winding stairs to
the studios, stamping in unison to the sol-
emn slogan of " Jean Br-rown's Bebe." M.
Guerinet, on the fourth floor (above the
entresol), rolled over in bed, groaning
philosophically, "Oh! la jeunesse! la
jeunesse ! " and prepared to endure as best
he might the thumps and thuds which were
bound to fall above his head while M.
Gilbert taught his friends the cake-walk,
"oiu" national dance," or representatives
of the North and South struggled for the
wrestling supremacy of all France.

The gray of a June dawn had just ended
one of these invasions. The last " type "
had gone thundering down the stairs after
impressive farewells and a parting "until
this evening/' and the host sat gazing at



the ruins of what had once been a plaster
cast of the " Wrestlers."

It had been purchased by subscription
as a most suitable prize for the final bout
between Brisson of Beauvais and Vallette
of Nimes, whom the self-appointed orator
of the evening had announced dramati-
cally as the terrible " Beef of Normandy "
and the " Boy Butcher with wire arms."
The fury of the contest had been unpar-
alleled, and the spectators were kept hop-
ping from the divan to the model-throne
to avoid being drawn into the writhing
knot of arms and legs which represented
the opposing regions of France. Alas I Ca-
nova's athletes were too deeply absorbed
in their own unending struggle to heed
their living prototypes, and both matches
were brought to an untimely end when the
Boy Butcher thrust the Beef of Normandy's
head through the rounds of the tabouret,
and the men of clay fell with a crash on
the wire arms and bull front of the moderns.

A pile of papers, sketches, and letters
had toppled over in the confusion, and



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390



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Gilbert, seated on the righted tabouret,
gazed absently at a missive which hap-
pened to lie uppermost. " What a mess ! "
he thought.

Then he looked out at the growing
dawn, then back to the letter. " Hello ! it
is n't even opened ! *' he said to himself.
" I wonder if I can reach it without get-
ting off the stool."

It was a long stretch even for his attenu-
ated form, and the difficulty of keeping
his balance without
unhooking his legs
from the rounds of
the tabouret made
the feat doubly in-
teresting ; but he
finally succeeded,
and lifted the letter
from the tiled floor
between the tips of
two long fingers.
Then he looked
at the postmarks :
" Kansas City, May
19." "Paris, 30
Mai." It was now
the 5th of June.

" Great Scott !
It 's three weeks
old ! " thought Gil-
bert. Then he re-
membered that the
letter had come just
as he and the massier
of the atelier were

discussing whether HaU-tonc plate c.^ra

it would be advisa- ™e way to

ble to have the an-
nual spring banquet of the atelier at
the " Black's Head " of St. Cloud or at
the " Cat-who-fishes " of Meudon. The
" Cat-who-fishes " offered by far the most
sumptuous repast furnished for two francs
by any restaurant along the river-front;
but the atelier had descended upon its
larder some two springs gone, and the
blight of locusts was mild in comparison.
The landlord had wept; Carrie, the mas-
sier, distinctly remembered that. Would
it, therefore, be wise to return ? Would
not the landlord put poison in the wine ?
Or had he forgotten? While they were
discussing the average length of the aver-
age landlord's memory, the letter had
come, and of course it had been set aside.
Besides, this letter was addressed in the



well-known handwriting of William G.
Gilbert, Sr., and this was another rea-
son for letting it lie awhile. " Delibera-
tion," Gilbert would say, holding the letter
at arm's-length — " de-lib-e-ra-tion. Father
may not have got his sea-legs off yet, and
to a native of Kansas City the ocean is
mighty upsetting. Let us wait a day or
two." And so the letter had waited not
two days, but six.

The young man was hardly to be blamed
for his lack of en-
thusiasm regarding
his father's letters.
They were, for the
most part, short,
businesslike com-
munications, written
from the office in
abbreviated Eng-
lish ; a curt acknow-
ledgment such as
" Yrs of 12 inst. re-
c'd," as if he had
been writing to a
Carolina lumber-
man instead of to
his own son, and
usually ending with
the phrase, **Your
mother wishes to be
remembered."

That sentence al-
ways rankled in Gil-
bert's mind. Some-
how it sounded as if

ved by CM. Lewis j^-g ^^^^^^ ^J^ ^^^

THE STUDIO quite approve of his

mother's solicitude,
and it hurt him and made him feel lonely.
So, as he twisted the letter between his
long fingers, his face wore the woebe-
gone expression of a child who is about
to take a dose of bitter medicine. But
the expression changed when he slid the
letter from the envelop and saw a green
slip of paper inclosed. These green slips
of paper were rare things. They were
drafts on the Credit Lyonnais drawn by
the Bee Savings Bank of Kansas City and
payable to William G. Gilbert, Jr. ; and that
meant money, and money meant a feeling
of crazy delight, of perfect freedom and
wild exhilaration, and difew bills paid. But
Gilbert had experienced all these sensations
only ten days ago, and had already begun
to count the days when the next instal-



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A HARD WORKER



391



ment should fall due. lliis was manna
from heaven. With mystified joy he turned
to the letter, and read the type- written page.

Kansas City^ Sl^Q-
To Wm. G. Gilbert, Jr.,
36 rue de Seine,
Paris,

France.
My dear Son : Your mother and I have
decided to visit Paris for a few weeks this
spring, and will take the S. S. Hohenstaufen
from N. Y., sailing May 26, one week from
date. We should arrive ten days later at
Cherbourg. Kindly meet us at the steamer,
as we do not speak French. I inclose draft
for two hundred francs to cover possible extra
expenses. Your mother wishes to be remem-



Online LibraryA. B. (Alfred Barton) RendleThe Century → online text (page 48 of 120)