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efforts, his education is a failure.
Self-activity is more than a milestone
in education. It is a stout hickory
stick by which the traveller assists
and steadies himself over the obsta-
cles of the entire road of life.

All this sounds indeed discourag-
ing. To leave the subject here would
be to deny optimism and welcome
pessimism, but if the teacher
should possess any crowning vir-
tue, it is optimism. There is no in-
tention to imply that the conditions
above stated exist in wholesale quan-
tity, for this would be magnifying
matters. What is meant is that even
if a small number of our pupils suffer
because of these faults, the number
is just 100",, too large. It is the fail-
ure for whom we are concerned; the
the others need not our concern.

But there is the other side. Ac-
cording to Emerson, we eventually
must get for what we give, and
give for what we get. The law
of supply and demand under ordi-
nary circumstances determines the
price of labor as well as of materials.
But how often does the employer with
his competent mind prevail upon the
anxious beginners, of immature di-
plomacy, to come to work for a
meagre salary because theyoung per-
son "has to start somewhere?" The
boy or girl in school looks forward to
his or her first job as the beginning
of making a living. How sadly is
this dream shattered when he or she
has snapped up the first chance to
work for four dollars a week "to
start!" Even then hopes would re-
turn with a couple of quick raises,
but too often this does not occur, or
if stoutly asked for is grudgingly giv-
en. There is nocriticism forthe firm
which starts its clerks low provided
the increases come soon. The be-
ginner at three or four dollars a week
is worth twice as much the second
year and from two to five dollars
more the third. If he is not, then
he should be invited to enter some
other line of business.

If any girl or boy has successfully
completed a prescribed high school



commercial course in good standing,
she or he is worth eight dollars a
week at the outset. The student
does not know this, and it is doubt-
' ful that the employer will enlighten
him. In the desire to see a large per-
centage of graduates placed, princi-
pals hesitate to interfere in the ques-
tion of salaries, but it is only just for
those who have brought the youth
up to the eight dollar standard to at-
tempt to see that he gets that much.

Competition of other schools wor-
ries some principals, but surely put-
ting a low appraisal upon our prod-
uct will not command respect for it.
Concerns should be carefully avoided
which have schedules of yearly in-
creases. This destroys the worth of
the individual. For example, consid-
er a firm which offers the boy six dol-
lars a week to start with an annual
raise "if he is worth it" of sixty dol-
lars. Beginning with an annual $300
it will take him eleven years to "be
worth" $900, above which figure the
pulse of increase generally retards.
Some banks start employes at three
dollars a week, $150 a year adding to
to this $100 yearly until about $800 is
reached by bookkeepers, or a little
more by tellers. There are offices
which limit the maxim for any em-
ploye to fifteen dollars a week. They
all want high school graduates "with
a knowledge of this or that." A
prominent lawyer requested of a
principal that "the best stenogra-
pher in your graduating class" be
sent him. Upon application he con-
vinced her to work for three dollars
a week! These are common averages,
and with such firms only the excep-
tional person will do better.

Of course there are openings at the
top and the top is ever widening to
admit the fit and the willing, but
there are thousands of young people
today capable and willing, who are
getting into a rut. They would get
out if they realized it, but hope and
the dislike of starting over in a new
place causes them to trust that
"something will turn up."

Give a boy an old pair of skates and
he will keep them in the cellar. Give
him a shiny pair, and he will useup a
can of his mother's Dutch Cleanser
a week to keep them scoured. Give
him a good job and he will respect it;
the other kind hurts his pride and
ambition, makes him sour and stub-
born. No amount of pay ever made
a better man, but at the outset a boy
must have a taste of fair gain in that
he may realize his worth and recog-
nize his possibilities.



"A Little Journey through the Spokane Ex-
pert School" is the title of catalogue 6xs inches
in size, bound in board covers, and printed on
rag-like paper. The text is in the form of a
conversation between a prospective student
and the manager, Mr. Raymond P. Kelly,
widely known in the commercial teaching pro
fession. It is one of the most modern pieo s of
advertising literature received at this office.
It was printed by the students of the school
who are taught typesetting and printing in
connection with multigraphing, etc. The lat-
est office appliances are illustrated and targht,
giving the school a realistic atmosphere,



jtoe-J&ua&uM&tu&t&r $b



26




TALES OF A \
MELTING POT

CHAS. T. CRAGIN,

Holyoke, Mass.,

Thompson's Business

School.



METAL FROM OLD SPAIN



The United States probably contains more
iron ore than all the rest of the world put to-
gether. There are solid mountains of iron in
Missouri. Iron Mountain is a well known fea-
ture of that great state.

Pennsylvania is underlaid wilh rich and
splendid iron and the great North Peninsula of
Michigan is nothing but a gigantic iron and
copper bed overlaid with earth and timber, and
yet with all its wealth of magnificent supply, the
United States brings much of foreign iron ore
to the melting pots of the great furnaces
throughout the land.

From Sweden, Norway and Northern Europe,
there comes iron ore, which blended with our
own. will draw out better into steel wire than our
own alone. From it is made the piano wire
strings and the wire from which needles are
made and the barb wire. But the country from
which we irrport most of the foreign iron i re is
the ancient kingdom of Spain, Spain whit h 600
years ago was the greatest power of all Europe,
first in war, first in the arts, now a somewhat de-
cayed kiogdom, but showing signs of renewed
life since it got rid of its troublesome pro\ inces,
Cuba and the Philippines.

I don't know what there is about Spanish iron
ore that makes it so valuable, probably it is its
extreme flexibility, for if you have read the
romances of Old Spain, and everybody that
knows how to read literature ought to read"The
Alhambra," of our Washington Irving and
"Don Quixote" of Cervantes. In Ihese fine ro-
mances you will read about the Toledo blades.
These were the sword bladesof Spanish knights
and gallant crusaders.

In the days of Richard Couer de Lion and of
the Cid when "The spears of Spain, came shiv-
ering in, and drove away the Moor." Those
Toledo Blades were so flexible thatthey could
be bent until the sword point and the hilt came
together and would spring back into their orig-
inal straightness when the pressure was releas-
ed. At any rate we get a lot of iron ore from
Spain.

SPAIN IN THE HUMAN MELTING POT

Now we get very limited quantity of immi-
gration from old Spain and I don't really see
why. A great flood of immigration comes
from Italy, the neighboring Latin nation. They
come, because Italy is so poor, but Spain is
even poorer, yet few Spanish people land at
Castle Garden and are absorbed into the Melt-
ing Pot of American citizenship. Possibly, it
is because the Spaniard does not understand the
art of agriculture so well as the Italian, or per-
haps he is lazier. It must be remembered that
the Spanish explorers who were the first to come
here after Christopher Columbus, the Italian
discovered the new world, were none of those
people who meant to improve the country.
They were all treasure seekers, after gold and
jewels and so they made South America with its
silver mines and diamonds, their abiding place
and Mexico too, with its rich mineral wealth of
gold and silver. At any rate, very few come
here. But occasionally one does drift in and it
is the story of Pedro Arragon, a Spanish boy of
Cadiz, that I am going to tell you in this num-
ber of The Business Educator.

IN OLD SPAIN

Pedro Arragon was one of the two children of
Don Luis Arragon, a professor of music in the
ancient university of Cadiz. The other child
was a girl, four years older than Pedro. Their
life in the old university, until Pedro was



twelve years old was pleasant enough until the
father, Don Luis, got mixed up in a revolution-
ary plot to bring back the Carlists and dethrone
Alfonso, the present king. The plot was dis-
covered aDd while Don Luis was not actively
engaged in it. it was strongly believed that he
knew all about it and it was intimated to him
thattheairof Spain was decidedly unhealthy
for anybody connected with that Carlist con-
spiracy and so as hastily as possible, Don Luis
closed up his affairs at Cadiz and set sail to the
old city of Havana in the Isle of Cuba.

The father, Don Luis, was well advanced in
years and a man of feeble health, and before he
had established any business in Havana, he fell
a victim of "Yellow Jack", who had not at that
time, been driven out of his occupation by a
Col. Gorgas, of the U.S. A. medical staff. This
was several years before the Spanish war gave
the'United States a chance to clean up the isl-
and and drive out Yellow Jack and his deadly
ally, Asiatic Cholera.

THE TWO ORPHANS

Tue two children were left nearly, destitute for
Don Luis had but little property to bring with
him to the New World, but the girl was a beau-
tiful singer, possessed of a fine mezzo soprano
voice. She became one of the chorus of the
Italian Opera Company which gave frequent
performances at the (irand Opera House of
Havana. It was a good company, too, and Nina
Arragon was soon playing small parts in the
Italian, French and Spanish operas that were
very popular with the inhabitants .of Havana.
Her earnings were sufficient to keep her and
her young brother who was a student in the
University of Havana. The boy was a natural
student. He already spoke Spanish and
Italian fluently and had a smattering of French
and English. But the Spanish Warwas coming
on and the native Cubans were in insurrection
against the Spanish Government and Maxixmo
Gomez, Calixto Garcio, and the negro rebel,
Antonio Maceo, pressed so close upon the
Spanish garrison of old Havana that it badly in-
terfered with business and the Opera Company
setsail for Vera Cruz in old Mexico, land of the
Incas. The Company gave successful perform-
ances at Vera Cruz and played a long and pros-
perous engagement at the city of Mexico where
Porfirio Diaz, in the height of his power, was
making the city a splendid and prosperous cap-
ital very different from the blood-stained
starved and typhus ridden city of today.
BAD LUCK

But in an evil moment the manager of the
Company decided to take the troupe to New
Orleans in the L T nited States ot America, New
Orleans contains a considerable Spanish popu-
lation, for you know that old state was original-
ly a Spanish settlement before it came under
Louis XLV of France, and afterwards was sold
by the great Napoleon to our Mr. Jefferson.
The Creoles are of Spanish descent and the
manager was sure he would have a highly pros-
perous season in New Orleans. And so he
might but Yellow Jack was just making his
farewell round of performances in the Gulf
States and New Orleans was his headquarters.
Ghastly Yellow Jack, who came out of the Mos-
quito infested swamps and water tanks of New
Orleans, and stabbed, swift and fatal, everybody
that got in his path. I remember that year
well, for I had some friends in Florida and they
had the time of their lives to get out of the Gulf
States inio the northland, for they held up
trains and wouldn't let the passengers go
through if they came from the fever states.
The Opera Company played to very losing bus-
iness. They did do something for even in the
midst of death people go to the theatre, and
well they may for it lifts the burden and gaiety
and death ofttimes go hand in hand. You have
read how in cholera stricken India the British
officers used to meet every night at the mess
table, and with goblets filled to the brim with
wine chant thesong at closing :

"Three cheers for the dead already.
Hurrah for the next to die."

Nina Arragon was now singing pretty good
parts in the Company, and she was a beautiful
dancer, and every night gave an exhibition of
the Mexican Bolero and the stately Spanish
dances that Otero was making famous in New
York. But there was no money, salaries were



unpaid, the ghost refused to walk, and the com-
pany disbanded but the girl had been seen by
a New York vaudeville manager, and he
brought Nina and her brother East and gave her
an engagement at Proctor's or Keith's, one of
the big vaudeville houses of New Y'ork where
she won a more or less emphatic success, for she
was young, beautiful and graceful, and possess-
ed a sweet and attractive singing voice. The
two had rooms on the East side and the boy
pursued his 6tudies in one of the New York
High Schools, though it fretted him sorely to
live upon his sister's rather scanty earnings.

IT NEVER RAINS BUT IT POURS

When one has hard luck it is likely to keep
coming thicker and faster and that was the case
with the Arragons. One day Nina while going
to her evening performance was run down by a
careless cab driver. She was not seriously in-
jured, although badly enough to put her out of
business for a week or two, but she got a bad
cold, pneumonia set in and she was taken to
Bellevue, where she lay for weeks in the pneu-
monia ward of the great hospital. 'I he children
had made no acquaintances in the city. The
girl was just a single number on the vaudeville
program and was lost sight of in the shuffle and
the boy was left without money to shift for him-
self. S"ou can imagine his condition, alone in
New Y'ork, and I can tell you from personalex-
perience, that New York is the most lonesome
place in the world to a young fellow, who has
no acquaintances, no friends and no money. I
tried it once when I was a youth and I was
mighty glad to get back in the country where 1
knew somebody and somebody knew me.
Pedro drifted from pillar to post. It was warm
weather, fortunately, and after the money gave
our and he had sold what things he could, he
slept on the benches in the paik, when the po-
lice would let him, or sometimes, if he got a
little money doing odd jobs, he got a bunk in a
10c lodging house. He tried to sell newspapers
but he did not know the language and besides
the tough little newsboys drove him off the
corners and beat him' if he showed fight. He
was half starved, for most of the time he did not
have money enough to buy food and he
was too proud to beg, for there was good blood
in this Spanish outcast. Oftentimes, at mid-
night, he did fall into the long line of derelicts
which every night, lines up in front of the Bow-
ery Mission to get the half loaf of bread and big
tin dipper full of that blackish mixture that
passes for coffee. It is hot and bitter, anyway.
It almost killed the boy to fall into line, but
there are good men in that line, that forms in
front of the old mission. There are college
graduates in that line, there are men who have
been successful lawyers and doctors in that
line, there are even men, who from the pulpit
told other people how to live in that line. John
Barleycorn put most of them there. In winter
you see them with bare feet in their shabby
boots, frayed trousers open to the breeze, thin
jackets with newspapers wrapped around their
bodies to keep out the night wind, when the
weather is cold. Pedro did not have half
enough to eat and hunger will make a man or
boy go anywhere when it gets sharp enough.

AT THE FOOT BALL GAME

It was in November that I took 40 boys from
the old military academy, 40 miles up the river
to the Polo grounds in New Y'ork to see the
Yale bulldog and the Princeton tiger come to-
gether for the college championship in football.
There were 40,000 people in the great enclos-
ure and it was indeed, a splendid sight. That
was before the days of automobiles, but the
Tally. ho coach, a far more picturesque affair,
was every where, loaded with beautifully dressed
girls waving the orange and black of Princeton
or the Yale blue and everywhere, through the
great mass of people, flashed the colors of the
rival colleges. The sharp barking, rah*rah-rah
Y'ale! mingled with the Hray-hray-hrayhray-
sis-boom-ah-tiger ! of Princeton, the powerful
athletes rolled and tumbled and kicked about
the great gridiron and the Yale bulldog, decked
in blue ribbons, was led around the field of
strife.

We could not get reserved seats together, so
we separated and I told the officers to muster
the boys and meet meat Mott Haven, for the
5:30 train after the game was over. I stayed



26



y/u>jbiAH/i*4jedu*xiler %



till the last man was oat of the enclosure to wait
for stragglers, for when he went to New York,
our boys always tried to miss the train and if
they had friends in the city, of course, that was a
good excuse for staying over and going to the
theater in the evening. 1 got along well with
the boys. I had put them on their honor, told
them I was not going to watch them and the
result was that I found the whole 40 lined up at
Mott Haven, somewhat to my surprise and
greatly to my gratification, for it was a trick
that had never been done before, to get the
whole crowd back, on an excursion of that kind,
and in their midst I found a queer look-
ing waif. Pedro Arragon, whose clothes were
thin and tattered, but still there were signs that
he had tried to keep them neat. His eyes were
hollow and sunken and the bones of his cheeks
fairly stood out, with just thin skin drawn over
them. He was almost starved and was so weak
that he could hardly stand and his hands trem-
bled like the leaves of the trees. Lieutenant
Hinajosa told me his story. Hinajosa was a
wealthy Mexican, son of the minister of war
under President Diaz. They had run across the
boy, he and several Cubans, who spokeSpanish,
and finding out that he spoke that language
and hearing some of his story, with the quick
sympathy of boys, had given him some sand-
wiches and coffee and brought him along to
await my coming, for said Hinajosa, "We will,
to the academy take him and to the doctor we
will his story tell, and the doctor is a man of
heart and of sympathy and perhaps he will let
Pedro Arragon stay at the academy." 1 knew
very well that no harm would come from the
venture and so I got the boy a ticket and we
took him to the old academy, 40 miles up the
river.

A MEXICAN OF HIGH DEGREE

The boy was really a piteous spectacle, and I
knew the doctor, who was a warm-hearted but
hot-headed man, would most likely find shelter
for the friendless waif, so I let Hinajosa take
him in charge. Hinajosa was indeed a Mexican
of high degree, for this mind you was in the
days of Porfirio Diaz, greatest of the Mexican
presidents. It was only in his old age, when
the hand of time had fallen heavily upon him
that the great dictator, for his presidency was in
only a name, he was Czar of Mexico, lost sight
of the fact, that if you are going to rule by force,
you must keep a force in working order. The
father of Hinajosa was minister of war in Mex-
ico and the boy had an abundance of money,
wore fine clothes when in citizen's dress, and
the ornaments, shoulder straps, belt buckles,
etc., on his uniform, as lieutenant of cadets,
were pure gold. Last year when that good old
Indian Huerta had to get out of Mexico, the
beginning of the end, was caused by the arrest
of a half dozen American sailors, who had gone
on shore at a Mexican port and the officer who
put them under arrest and marched them
through the street, trailing the American fiag
was Col. Hinajosa of Gen. Huerta's army, and I
have a very strong suspicion that it was my
same lieutenant of 25 years ago, for he was a
flamboyant youth and fully capable of showing
off in some such manner He gave us a speech
once at Friday rhetoricals in the flowery Span-
ish of Mexico, which rattled the slates on the
roof and made the gilt American eagle on our
flag staff almost moult his feathers. But he was
a good fellow and all the boys liked him and he
brought poor Pedro Arragon before the doctor
and with tears in his eyes pleaded that he find
him a place-

A REFUGE AT LAST

Boys are queer. Ever notice how they will
treat a stray dog? If the leader of the boys
happens to be a heartless little devil, as a good
many boy gang leaders are, that luckless cur is
likely to have a tin kettle hitched to his tail
with a bunch of fire crackers in it, if they can
be obtained, and urged on a mad career by a
shower of stones. On the other hand, if the
gang leader happens to be a fellow that likes
dogs, that dog will become the favorite mascot
of the whole gang. It was so with our boys at
the Academy, Hinajosa had adopted the
waif and they could not do too much for
him, after the doctor had said that if he
would make himself useful as messenger
and general a trie de ramp about the battalion.



he might sleep in a small dis-used room up-
stairs and have his meals at the table with the
rest and come into the classes. He had no
clothes, but the entire battalion from Grover
Cleveland so called, who was six feet high and
weighed about 80 lbs. up to big Fatty Simpson
who kicked the beam at 200, contributed.
There were shirts and socks and underwear and
overwear and all kinds of wear, enough to have
tit out a second hand clothing shop on the
bowery, and there was no difficulty in rigging
up Pedro Arragon with a uniform that would
pass muster well enough ami with plenty of the
accessories necessary to dress a boy, as boys
need to be dressed. The boy was half starved
and it took a week to fill out his sunken face
and haggard eyes and get his form so he could
stand without trembling, but it did not take
him that time to get into his books. He was a
"wolf" for books and while he could not speak
Knglish very well he soon led the class in
mathematics and as he gained more knowledge
tn English he became one of the best in the
class of Professor Dunton. who had charge of
that department.

A NEW LIFE

And now began a new and very happy life
for Pedro Arragon. Dr. Tilden.the principal of
the military academy, was a warm-hearted, hot-
tempered man. His sympathies were easily
excited, and his generosity was boundless.
The story of this half-starved Spanish waif
brought tears to his eyes, and he instantly made
provision for him and Pedro Arragon was given
the task of keeping the blackboards clear, look-
ing out for waste paper, and acting is a sort of
general assistant and messenger for the office,
and a very useful boy he made himself. His
sharp eyes detected anything that was out of
place, and he was a most orderly soul,
and put things in their place, with neatness
and dispatch, and when it come to study, he
was a "bear" for books, and long after all the
lights were out, along the corridors I could
catch the glimmer of the electric bulb in the
little corner room, for he had permission from
the doctor and the commandant to study as late
as he pleased. He was far ahead of most of our
boys in language and in mathematics, but his
knowledge of English was slight, and the
English that he had was the English of the
streets, and the theaters rather than the English
of the grammar and the text-book.

He came into my commercial classes, and was
a wonderfully, patient and painstaking mem-
ber. He wrote the beautiful round hand that
most Spanish people write. The same kind of
script that Mr. Baird gives you in The Busi-
ness Educator, slow stuff but very beautiful.
He soon got out of that for in our penmanship
classes we taught muscular movement. It was
a pleasure to teach the lad, his mind was so re-
ceptive, his intelligence so keen, and his grati-
tude for favors shown him was boundless. 1
came to think a great deal of this Spanish boy.
His sister, in the months that followed, had met
her fate in the hospital at New York. One of
the visiting physicians, a fine young fellow
with growing practice in the big city, had fallen
a victim to the dark eyes and winning ways of
the Spanish Senorita, and had taken her home
with him when she was discharged from the
hospital, and made her his wife, so she was well



Online LibraryAuguste LutaudThe Business Educator (Volume 21) → online text (page 63 of 92)