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Edward Mandell House.

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PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR

A STORY OF TOMORROW

1920-1935


"No war of classes, no hostility to existing wealth, no wanton or unjust
violation of the rights of property, but a constant disposition to
ameliorate the condition of the classes least favored by fortune."
- MAZZINI.

This book is dedicated to the unhappy many who have lived and died
lacking opportunity, because, in the starting, the world-wide social
structure was wrongly begun.




CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I GRADUATION DAY
II THE VISION OF PHILIP DRU
III LOST IN THE DESERT
IV THE SUPREMACY OF MIND
V THE TRAGEDY OF THE TURNERS
VI THE PROPHET OF A NEW DAY
VII THE WINNING OF A MEDAL
VIII THE STORY OF THE LEVINSKYS
IX PHILIP BEGINS A NEW CAREER
X GLORIA DECIDES TO PROSELYTE THE RICH
XI SELWYN PLOTS WITH THOR
XII SELWYN SEEKS A CANDIDATE
XIII DRU AND SELWYN MEET
XIV THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT
XV THE EXULTANT CONSPIRATORS
XVI THE EXPOSURE
XVII SELWYN AND THOR DEFEND THEMSELVES
XVIII GLORIA'S WORK BEARS FRUIT
XIX WAR CLOUDS HOVER
XX CIVIL WAR BEGINS
XXI UPON THE EVE OF BATTLE
XXII THE BATTLE OF ELMA
XXIII ELMA'S AFTERMATH
XXIV UNCROWNED HEROES
XXV THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE REPUBLIC
XXVI DRU OUTLINES HIS INTENTIONS
XXVII A NEW ERA AT WASHINGTON
XXVIII AN INTERNATIONAL CRISIS
XXIX THE REFORM OF THE JUDICIARY
XXX A NEW CODE OF LAWS
XXXI THE QUESTION OF TAXATION
XXXII A FEDERAL INCORPORATION ACT
XXXIII THE RAILROAD PROBLEM
XXXIV SELWYN'S STORY
XXXV SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
XXXVI SELWYN'S STORY, CONTINUED
XXXVII THE COTTON CORNER
XXXVIII UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE
XXXIX A NEGATIVE GOVERNMENT
XL A DEPARTURE IN BATTLESHIPS
XLI THE NEW NATIONAL CONSTITUTION
XLII NEW STATE CONSTITUTIONS
XLIII THE RULE OF THE BOSSES
XLIV ONE CAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF LIVING
XLV BURIAL REFORM
XLVI THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE
XLVII THE WISE DISPOSITION OF A FORTUNE, CONTINUED
XLVIII AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION
XLIX UNEVEN ODDS
L THE BROADENING OF THE MONROE DOCTRINE
LI THE BATTLE OF LA TUNA
LII THE UNITY OF THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE WESTERN
HEMISPHERE UNDER THE NEW REPUBLIC
LIII THE EFFACEMENT OF PHILIP DRU

WHAT CO-PARTNERSHIP CAN DO




PHILIP DRU: ADMINISTRATOR



CHAPTER I

GRADUATION DAY


In the year 1920, the student and the statesman saw many indications
that the social, financial and industrial troubles that had vexed the
United States of America for so long a time were about to culminate in
civil war.

Wealth had grown so strong, that the few were about to strangle the
many, and among the great masses of the people, there was sullen and
rebellious discontent.

The laborer in the cities, the producer on the farm, the merchant, the
professional man and all save organized capital and its satellites, saw
a gloomy and hopeless future.

With these conditions prevailing, the graduation exercises of the class
of 1920 of the National Military Academy at West Point, held for many a
foreboding promise of momentous changes, but the 12th of June found the
usual gay scene at the great institution overlooking the Hudson. The
President of the Republic, his Secretary of War and many other
distinguished guests were there to do honor to the occasion, together
with friends, relatives and admirers of the young men who were being
sent out to the ultimate leadership of the Nation's Army. The scene had
all the usual charm of West Point graduations, and the usual
intoxicating atmosphere of military display.

There was among the young graduating soldiers one who seemed depressed
and out of touch with the triumphant blare of militarism, for he alone
of his fellow classmen had there no kith nor kin to bid him God-speed in
his new career.

Standing apart under the broad shadow of an oak, he looked out over long
stretches of forest and river, but what he saw was his home in distant
Kentucky - the old farmhouse that the sun and the rain and the lichens
had softened into a mottled gray. He saw the gleaming brook that wound
its way through the tangle of orchard and garden, and parted the distant
blue-grass meadow.

He saw his aged mother sitting under the honeysuckle trellis, book in
hand, but thinking, he knew, of him. And then there was the perfume of
the flowers, the droning of the bees in the warm sweet air and the
drowsy hound at his father's feet.

But this was not all the young man saw, for Philip Dru, in spite of his
military training, was a close student of the affairs of his country,
and he saw that which raised grave doubts in his mind as to the outcome
of his career. He saw many of the civil institutions of his country
debased by the power of wealth under the thin guise of the
constitutional protection of property. He saw the Army which he had
sworn to serve faithfully becoming prostituted by this same power, and
used at times for purposes of intimidation and petty conquests where the
interests of wealth were at stake. He saw the great city where luxury,
dominant and defiant, existed largely by grace of
exploitation - exploitation of men, women and children.

The young man's eyes had become bright and hard, when his day-dream was
interrupted, and he was looking into the gray-blue eyes of Gloria
Strawn - the one whose lot he had been comparing to that of her sisters
in the city, in the mills, the sweatshops, the big stores, and the
streets. He had met her for the first time a few hours before, when his
friend and classmate, Jack Strawn, had presented him to his sister. No
comrade knew Dru better than Strawn, and no one admired him so much.
Therefore, Gloria, ever seeking a closer contact with life, had come to
West Point eager to meet the lithe young Kentuckian, and to measure him
by the other men of her acquaintance.

She was disappointed in his appearance, for she had fancied him almost
god-like in both size and beauty, and she saw a man of medium height,
slender but toughly knit, and with a strong, but homely face. When he
smiled and spoke she forgot her disappointment, and her interest
revived, for her sharp city sense caught the trail of a new experience.

To Philip Dru, whose thought of and experience with women was almost
nothing, so engrossed had he been in his studies, military and economic,
Gloria seemed little more than a child. And yet her frank glance of
appraisal when he had been introduced to her, and her easy though
somewhat languid conversation on the affairs of the commencement,
perplexed and slightly annoyed him. He even felt some embarrassment in
her presence.

Child though he knew her to be, he hesitated whether he should call her
by her given name, and was taken aback when she smilingly thanked him
for doing so, with the assurance that she was often bored with the
eternal conventionality of people in her social circle.

Suddenly turning from the commonplaces of the day, Gloria looked
directly at Philip, and with easy self-possession turned the
conversation to himself.

"I am wondering, Mr. Dru, why you came to West Point and why it is you
like the thought of being a soldier?" she asked. "An American soldier
has to fight so seldom that I have heard that the insurance companies
regard them as the best of risks, so what attraction, Mr. Dru, can a
military career have for you?"

Never before had Philip been asked such a question, and it surprised
him that it should come from this slip of a girl, but he answered her in
the serious strain of his thoughts.

"As far back as I can remember," he said, "I have wanted to be a
soldier. I have no desire to destroy and kill, and yet there is within
me the lust for action and battle. It is the primitive man in me, I
suppose, but sobered and enlightened by civilization. I would do
everything in my power to avert war and the suffering it entails. Fate,
inclination, or what not has brought me here, and I hope my life may not
be wasted, but that in God's own way, I may be a humble instrument for
good. Oftentimes our inclinations lead us in certain directions, and it
is only afterwards that it seems as if fate may from the first have so
determined it."

The mischievous twinkle left the girl's eyes, and the languid tone of
her voice changed to one a little more like sincerity.

"But suppose there is no war," she demanded, "suppose you go on living
at barracks here and there, and with no broader outlook than such a life
entails, will you be satisfied? Is that all you have in mind to do in
the world?"

He looked at her more perplexed than ever. Such an observation of life,
his life, seemed beyond her years, for he knew but little of the women
of his own generation. He wondered, too, if she would understand if he
told her all that was in his mind.

"Gloria, we are entering a new era. The past is no longer to be a guide
to the future. A century and a half ago there arose in France a giant
that had slumbered for untold centuries. He knew he had suffered
grievous wrongs, but he did not know how to right them. He therefore
struck out blindly and cruelly, and the innocent went down with the
guilty. He was almost wholly ignorant for in the scheme of society as
then constructed, the ruling few felt that he must be kept ignorant,
otherwise they could not continue to hold him in bondage. For him the
door of opportunity was closed, and he struggled from the cradle to the
grave for the minimum of food and clothing necessary to keep breath
within the body. His labor and his very life itself was subject to the
greed, the passion and the caprice of his over-lord.

"So when he awoke he could only destroy. Unfortunately for him, there
was not one of the governing class who was big enough and humane enough
to lend a guiding and a friendly hand, so he was led by weak, and
selfish men who could only incite him to further wanton murder and
demolition.

"But out of that revelry of blood there dawned upon mankind the hope of
a more splendid day. The divinity of kings, the God-given right to rule,
was shattered for all time. The giant at last knew his strength, and
with head erect, and the light of freedom in his eyes, he dared to
assert the liberty, equality and fraternity of man. Then throughout the
Western world one stratum of society after another demanded and
obtained the right to acquire wealth and to share in the government.
Here and there one bolder and more forceful than the rest acquired great
wealth and with it great power. Not satisfied with reasonable gain, they
sought to multiply it beyond all bounds of need. They who had sprung
from the people a short life span ago were now throttling individual
effort and shackling the great movement for equal rights and equal
opportunity."

Dru's voice became tense and vibrant, and he talked in quick sharp
jerks.

"Nowhere in the world is wealth more defiant, and monopoly more
insistent than in this mighty republic," he said, "and it is here that
the next great battle for human emancipation will be fought and won. And
from the blood and travail of an enlightened people, there will be born
a spirit of love and brotherhood which will transform the world; and
the Star of Bethlehem, seen but darkly for two thousand years, will
shine again with a steady and effulgent glow."



CHAPTER II

THE VISION OF PHILIP DRU


Long before Philip had finished speaking, Gloria saw that he had
forgotten her presence. With glistening eyes and face aflame he had
talked on and on with such compelling force that she beheld in him the
prophet of a new day.

She sat very still for a while, and then she reached out to touch his
sleeve.

"I think I understand how you feel now," she said in a tone different
from any she had yet used. "I have been reared in a different atmosphere
from you, and at home have heard only the other side, while at school
they mostly evade the question. My father is one of the 'bold and
forceful few' as perhaps you know, but he does not seem to me to want
to harm anyone. He is kind to us, and charitable too, as that word is
commonly used, and I am sure he has done much good with his money."

"I am sorry, Gloria, if I have hurt you by what I said," answered Dru.

"Oh! never mind, for I am sure you are right," answered the girl, but
Philip continued -

"Your father, I think, is not to blame. It is the system that is at
fault. His struggle and his environment from childhood have blinded him
to the truth. To those with whom he has come in contact, it has been the
dollar and not the man that counted. He has been schooled to think that
capital can buy labor as it would machinery, the human equation not
entering into it. He believes that it would be equivalent to
confiscation for the State to say 'in regard to a corporation, labor,
the State and capital are important in the order named.' Good man that
he means to be, he does not know, perhaps he can never know, that it is
labor, labor of the mind and of the body, that creates, and not
capital."

"You would have a hard time making Father see that," put in Gloria, with
a smile.

"Yes!" continued Philip, "from the dawn of the world until now, it has
been the strong against the weak. At the first, in the Stone Age, it was
brute strength that counted and controlled. Then those that ruled had
leisure to grow intellectually, and it gradually came about that the
many, by long centuries of oppression, thought that the intellectual
few had God-given powers to rule, and to exact tribute from them to the
extent of commanding every ounce of exertion of which their bodies were
capable. It was here, Gloria, that society began to form itself wrongly,
and the result is the miserable travesty of to-day. Selfishness became
the keynote, and to physical and mental strength was conceded everything
that is desirable in life. Later, this mockery of justice, was partly
recognized, and it was acknowledged to be wrong for the physically
strong to despoil and destroy the physically weak. _Even so, the time
is now measurably near when it will be just as reprehensible for the
mentally strong to hold in subjection the mentally weak, and to force
them to bear the grievous burdens which a misconceived civilization has
imposed upon them."_

Gloria was now thoroughly interested, but smilingly belied it by saying,
"A history professor I had once lost his position for talking like
that."

The young man barely recognized the interruption.

"The first gleam of hope came with the advent of Christ," he continued.
"So warped and tangled had become the minds of men that the meaning of
Christ's teaching failed utterly to reach human comprehension. They
accepted him as a religious teacher only so far as their selfish desires
led them. They were willing to deny other gods and admit one Creator of
all things, but they split into fragments regarding the creeds and forms
necessary to salvation. In the name of Christ they committed atrocities
that would put to blush the most benighted savages. Their very excesses
in cruelty finally caused a revolution in feeling, and there was
evolved the Christian religion of to-day, a religion almost wholly
selfish and concerned almost entirely in the betterment of life after
death."

The girl regarded Philip for a second in silence, and then quietly
asked, "For the betterment of whose life after death?"

"I was speaking of those who have carried on only the forms of religion.
Wrapped in the sanctity of their own small circle, they feel that their
tiny souls are safe, and that they are following the example and
precepts of Christ.

"The full splendor of Christ's love, the grandeur of His life and
doctrine is to them a thing unknown. The infinite love, the sweet
humility, the gentle charity, the subordination of self that the Master
came to give a cruel, selfish and ignorant world, mean but little more
to us to-day than it did to those to whom He gave it."

"And you who have chosen a military career say this," said the girl as
her brother joined the pair.

To Philip her comment came as something of a shock, for he was
unprepared for these words spoken with such a depth of feeling.

Gloria and Philip Dru spent most of graduation day together. He did not
want to intrude amongst the relatives and friends of his classmates, and
he was eager to continue his acquaintance with Gloria. To the girl, this
serious-minded youth who seemed so strangely out of tune with the
blatant military fanfare, was a distinct novelty. At the final ball she
almost ignored the gallantries of the young officers, in order that she
might have opportunity to lead Dru on to further self-revelation.

The next day in the hurry of packing and departure he saw her only for
an instant, but from her brother he learned that she planned a visit to
the new Post on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass where Jack Strawn and
Philip were to be stationed after their vacation.

Philip spent his leave, before he went to the new Post, at his Kentucky
home. He wanted to be with his father and mother, and he wanted to read
and think, so he declined the many invitations to visit.

His father was a sturdy farmer of fine natural sense, and with him
Philip never tired of talking when both had leisure.

Old William Dru had inherited nothing save a rundown, badly managed,
heavily mortgaged farm that had been in the family for several
generations. By hard work and strict economy, he had first built it up
into a productive property and had then liquidated the indebtedness. So
successful had he been that he was able to buy small farms for four of
his sons, and give professional education to the other three. He had
accumulated nothing, for he had given as fast as he had made, but his
was a serene and contented old age because of it. What was the hoarding
of money or land in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing each son
happy in the possession of a home and family? The ancestral farm he
intended for Philip, youngest and best beloved, soldier though he was to
be.

All during that hot summer, Philip and his father discussed the
ever-growing unrest of the country, and speculated when the crisis would
come, and how it would end.

Finally, he left his home, and all the associations clustered around it,
and turned his face towards imperial Texas, the field of his new
endeavor.

He reached Fort Magruder at the close of an Autumn day. He thought he
had never known such dry sweet air. Just as the sun was sinking, he
strolled to the bluff around which flowed the turbid waters of the Rio
Grande, and looked across at the gray hills of old Mexico.



CHAPTER III

LOST IN THE DESERT


Autumn drifted into winter, and then with the blossoms of an early
spring, came Gloria.

The Fort was several miles from the station, and Jack and Philip were
there to meet her. As they paced the little board platform, Jack was
nervously happy over the thought of his sister's arrival, and talked of
his plans for entertaining her. Philip on the other hand held himself
well in reserve and gave no outward indication of the deep emotion which
stirred within him. At last the train came and from one of the long
string of Pullmans, Gloria alighted. She kissed her brother and greeted
Philip cordially, and asked him in a tone of banter how he enjoyed army
life. Dru smiled and said, "Much better, Gloria, than you predicted I
would." The baggage was stored away in the buck-board, and Gloria got in
front with Philip and they were off. It was early morning and the dew
was still on the soft mesquite grass, and as the mustang ponies swiftly
drew them over the prairie, it seemed to Gloria that she had awakened in
fairyland.

At the crest of a hill, Philip held the horses for a moment, and Gloria
caught her breath as she saw the valley below. It looked as if some
translucent lake had mirrored the sky. It was the countless blossoms of
the Texas blue-bonnet that lifted their slender stems towards the
morning sun, and hid the earth.

Down into the valley they drove upon the most wonderfully woven carpet
in all the world. Aladdin and his magic looms could never have woven a
fabric such as this. A heavy, delicious perfume permeated the air, and
with glistening eyes and parted lips, Gloria sat dumb in happy
astonishment.

They dipped into the rocky bed of a wet weather stream, climbed out of
the canyon and found themselves within the shadow of Fort Magruder.

Gloria soon saw that the social distractions of the place had little
call for Philip. She learned, too, that he had already won the profound
respect and liking of his brother officers. Jack spoke of him in terms
even more superlative than ever. "He is a born leader of men," he
declared, "and he knows more about engineering and tactics than the
Colonel and all the rest of us put together." Hard student though he
was, Gloria found him ever ready to devote himself to her, and their
rides together over the boundless, flower studded prairies, were a
never ending joy. "Isn't it beautiful - Isn't it wonderful," she would
exclaim. And once she said, "But, Philip, happy as I am, I oftentimes
think of the reeking poverty in the great cities, and wish, in some way,
they could share this with me." Philip looked at her questioningly, but
made no reply.

A visit that was meant for weeks transgressed upon the months, and still
she lingered. One hot June morning found Gloria and Philip far in the
hills on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. They had started at dawn
with the intention of breakfasting with the courtly old haciendado, who
frequently visited at the Post.

After the ceremonious Mexican breakfast, Gloria wanted to see beyond the
rim of the little world that enclosed the hacienda, so they rode to the
end of the valley, tied their horses and climbed to the crest of the
ridge. She was eager to go still further. They went down the hill on the
other side, through a draw and into another valley beyond.

Soldier though he was, Philip was no plainsman, and in retracing their
steps, they missed the draw.

Philip knew that they were not going as they came, but with his months
of experience in the hills, felt sure he could find his way back with
less trouble by continuing as they were. The grass and the shrubs
gradually disappeared as they walked, and soon he realized that they
were on the edge of an alkali desert. Still he thought he could swing
around into the valley from which they started, and they plunged
steadily on, only to see in a few minutes that they were lost.

"What's the matter, Philip?" asked Gloria. "Are we lost?"

"I hope not, we only have to find that draw."

The girl said no more, but walked on side by side with the young
soldier. Both pulled their hats far down over their eyes to shield them
from the glare of the fierce rays of the sun, and did what they could to
keep out the choking clouds of alkali dust that swirled around them at
every step.

Philip, hardened by months of Southwestern service, stood the heat
well, except that his eyes ached, but he saw that Gloria was giving out.

"Are you tired?" he asked.

"Yes, I am very tired," she answered, "but I can go on if you will let
me rest a moment." Her voice was weak and uncertain and indicated
approaching collapse. And then she said more faintly, "I am afraid,
Philip, we are hopelessly lost."

"Do not be frightened, Gloria, we will soon be out of this if you will
let me carry you."

Just then, the girl staggered and would have fallen had he not caught
her.

He was familiar with heat prostration, and saw that her condition was
not serious, but he knew he must carry her, for to lay her in the
blazing sun would be fatal.

His eyes, already overworked by long hours of study, were swollen and
bloodshot. Sharp pains shot through his head. To stop he feared would be
to court death, so taking Gloria in his arms, he staggered on.

In that vast world of alkali and adobe there was no living thing but
these two. No air was astir, and a pitiless sun beat upon them
unmercifully. Philip's lips were cracked, his tongue was swollen, and
the burning dust almost choked him. He began to see less clearly, and
visions of things he knew to be unreal came to him. With Spartan courage
and indomitable will, he never faltered, but went on. Mirages came and
went, and he could not know whether he saw true or not. Then here and
there he thought he began to see tufts of curly mesquite grass, and in


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Online LibraryEdward Mandell HousePhilip Dru Administrator : a Story of Tomorrow 1920 - 1935 → online text (page 1 of 14)