JULY, 1901. BI-CENTENARY NUMBER.
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Mich. Yacht & Power Co. I F«xnofB*ywinArr.. Sint- Gas Engine Co. i DETROIT.
By Pkrk Paul.
Not one of the twenty-five or thirty young Frenchmen who were being drilled by Cape. Fred Ebcrts noticcd the make-up of the little groups of spectators along the side of the street and had they done so it is not at all likely they would have discovered anything of especial interest.
And so it came about that on several drill nights, Cadillac.. Tonty, du Lhut and others watched the youngsters as "deux par deux," they obeyed the orders given and, full of enthusiasm, gave great promise of proving a most prominent feature of the bicentennary parade.
"The French spirit is irrcpressableobserved du Lhut, as with Cadillac and Tonty they walked down the street; at which, Cadillac, not directing his remark to either companion, said: "And this is one of the oldest French towns in America/'
It was plain that the founder of the city was moody, so that not another word was spoken until, agreeable to an appointment with Landlord Beyer, the trio reached the Hotel Ste. Claire and were shown to the parlor.
"Have none of my men reported?" asked Sieur Cadillac upon reaching the seclusion of the pleasant room, and Mr. Byer explained that Joe Bedorc had called, earlier in the evening, with news that "Peter Roy and his squad had been overhauled, just as they reached the head of Belle Isle, by an old French explorer named Baron La Hontan and—"
"Well, that settles it V9 exclaimed Tonty as he began excitedly to pace back and forth across the room; "now the bicentennary committee'!! have something tangible ~nd reliable to work upon/'
Just what Cadiliac might have said in reproof may never be known, for at this junction Dr. Belille, Claude Rivard and Joseph Senecal put in appearancc and it was plain, from the discreet silence they maintained, that they had news of importance. With the quick wit of the successful bonifacc Mr. Beyer cxcused himself and promptly withdrew, whereupon Sieur Cadillac asked: "What is it, gentlemen?"
"Most embarrassing conditions/' replied Dr. Belille, "which can be best presented by M. Rivard. I haven't the heart to do it."
Thereupon M. Rivard explained that Joseph Senecal, Joseph Parent and Jean Baptiste Casse had in some manner obtained access to the official records of the bicentennary committee by means of which they had learned, beyond prc-adventure, that not a single memorial structure had been erected in honor of the founders of the city.
"What 1 no column and colonade, no memorial arch, library building or auditorium?" asked Cadillac fairly aghast with disappointment.
"Not a thing, M. le Commandant" said Seneca!.
"Wouldn't that obliterate you," said du Lhut in an undertone to Tonty.
"And the most disagreeable feature," resumed M. Rivard, "of the whole fiasco is that the enterprise from the beginning has been a petty, peevish exhibition of self-conceit and pretense."
"Well, I'll be—petrified!" exclaimed Cadillac, as, fairly wild with chagrin and anger he stepped to and looked blankly out of a front window.
"The old man is up against it," remarked Tonty as Dr. Belille stepped toward him and du Lhut, addressing Senecal, said: "This beats the record. The worst fake ever I experienced."
Senecal was about to make reply when Sietir Cadillac thundered: "Who is responsible for this outrage? Tell me, that I may demand an apology."
"The truth of the matter," said Dr. Belille, "as we find upon analysis of what our comradcs have seen, is that no single individual is at fault. Mr. Mayburry, the mayor, is a Democrat and so, in whatever proposition he has made, he has been opposed by the cheaper sort of politicians from all parties. Mr. Someone-else. a very wealthy man, offered to donate $25,000, at which Messrs. Others, also very wealthy, realizing that they had been forestalled—were not first to offer— belittled the twenty-five thousand dollar proposition, sneered at the sincerity of the donor and refrained from subscribing. The Madames One, Two and Three were selected and consented to take charge of the women's effort to aid the cause, at which Madames Four, Five and Six resolved they would have nothing to do with the affair because of class distinctions."
"Cease! Stop these nonsensical enigmas!" shouted Cadillac. "Give me facts, names, specific instances."
"Generally speaking," mildly replied Dr. Belille, "we find that, so far as the men are concerned, we would, to comply with your request, be obliged to give you the details of the political, social, financial and industrial conditions in Detroit. We find the Union Trust Co., the State Savings Bank and the American Car & Foundry Co. on one side, as against certain banks and industries on the other."
"Still indefinite! Why will you not play fair with me?" said Cadillac appealingly.
"You tell him," said Dr. Belille, as he gently forced M. Rivard to the front.
"And give it to him straight," put in Senecal.
"Well, said M. Rivard, "we find that Police Commissioner Andrews, angered because Mayor Mayburry put ex-Police Commissioner Fowle on the bicentennary finance committee, and that, too, after Mr. Andrews had made a really generous subscription to the bicentennary fund, lost all interest in the affair and—"
"Putting on his skates, went after Mr. Maybury and Mr. Fowie, politically," interrupted M. Senecal.
"Another interesting episode was that which was precipitated by Mr. Scripps of the Evening News, when he subscribed $25,000," continued M. Rivard. "That figure was, in no sense, given by Mr. Scripps as a pattern for other newspaper proprietors. But from the up-to-date business standpoint, it was accepted as such by the Free Press, and being, as everybody knew, away beyond the sum that paper was able to give or should have thought of giving, the heroic policy of making no subscription at all was adopted. And so the whole thing has been. Some would not subscribe because others had subscribed more than they could
afford; some would not lift a finger in support of the project because their husband or wife, brother or sister, as the case happened to be, had been overlooked in distributing committee honors/'
<kI sec, I see it al! now/' sadly mused Sieur Cadillac as he walked back and forth.
"Yes. and there was the laughable predicament/1 observed Dr. Belille. hoping to brighten the situation, "which might properly be termed the architectural hubbub. We find that Detroit is a community tremendously well informed and self-satisfied upon all details of the science of architecture and possessing perfectly exquisite taste as to the fine arts/'
"It is not indicated by the facade, plan or location of their Museum of Art/' gruffly observed Cadillac.
14Neither does their new county building confirm any such estimate/' added Rivard.
Here it was that a new and more agreeable turn was given to the conference by the appearance of Joe Bedore with Peter Roy, Jacques Campo, Pierre Chesne, Quilenchive, Baron La Hontan and a distinguished looking stranger who, seemingly quite diffident, remained in the background.
"Well, Messicu le Baron," said Cadillac as, stepping forward eagerly, hd gTasped l^a Hontan's outstretched hand, "I had given up all hope of seeing you here. Did you get my invitation ?"
"Yes, indeed," replied Hontan, "but I was so busy and have been for the past year that for a rime it looked as though I would be obliged to forego tnis pleasure."
"Busy?" queried Cadillac.
"Yes/1 answered Tonty. "You see I went down to Texas about a year ago to look up I,a Salle's record. I wanted to prove that he was not a mere adventurer; that lie was seeking to advance the interests of his King rather than his own private gain; that he actually found the mouth of the Mississippi; that—"
"ITe was all right and a yard wide," put in du Lhut.
"Yes," said Hontan. with a pleasant nod to his old companion.
"But surely/' said Cadillac, "under present conditions, you should have accomplished such a mission easily in a month or two."
"Q, I did. I had ample proof of all I sought within a month after T reached New Orleans: but while I was over in Texas poking around in the vicinity of Beaumont, I discovered the most wonderful oil country—"
"Still the same old romancer/' observed Tonty. >
Turning quickly to loeate the one who had, more loudly than he intended, given utterance to the comment, the Baron discovered his modest companion, and his mind at oncc diverted, he began: "My dear friend," going over to the gentleman, "I beg your pardon a thousand times." Then, addressing Cadillac and the others, he continued: "Really, gentlemen, I beg the pardon of all of you for so neglecting my friend and so solicit the honor of presenting to you Mr. Joseph ; Labadie."
4lI^abadie?" inquired Sieur Cadillac, as he took the hand of Detroit's gentlest philosopher. "I am delighted to meet you, sir. Are you descended from old Jean Labatier, who was here in Detroit with me in 1711 ?"
Before Mr. Labadie could could answer, the Baron interrupted with: "My friend is a Frenchman and a cosmopolitan. He stands absolutely upon his mdi* vidua! merit and—"
"'Han' he'll wrote some verr fine poetry," broke in Joe Bedore, '"bout dat wreck h-of the Jule La Plant."
Instantly the entire assembly broke into a loud and derisive chorus of laughter, which was presently accounted for, when Sieur Cadillac explained that the rhyme in question was written in 1709 by Etienue Veron de Graudmeutl, who, at the time, was attorney in fact and amanuensis for Cadillac.
Mr. Labadie graceftilly acknowledged that his friend Bedore had been misinformed. 4'I am not a poet, neither am I a cosmopolitan. I am simply a citizen of Detroit, with deep reverence for the deeds of the early FYcnch pioneers in this region, and great admiration for the pioneer anarchist who visited Detroit in 1687.M
"He means me. He calls me an anarchist/' said La Hontan.
"However/1 resumed Mr. Labadie. "I am here to-night, through the good offices of my friends, Peter Roy and Messieu' le Baron, to assure you. Si cur Cadillac, and all your companions, that the bicenteunary day of the founding of Detroit will he observed. Your memory will be honored and the demonstration will be sincere and as elaborate as our time and resources will permit/'
"Yes. An" fell him 00 dat peepiI is w'c.t do dose Tings/' urged Joe Bedore excitedly.
"The French people of Detroit, Mt. Clemens. Petite Cote. The Flats/1 continued Mr. Labadie. "the French people all along l>oth shores of the river, from Whitcfish Bay to Celeron Island, have loyally come to the rescue and the Detroit bicenteunary festival will be a glorious function with yourself and your comrades as guests most distinguished/'
Just then Landlord Beyer appeared at the door and beckoned to Cadillac, who answered the call and disappeared. As he did so. Lieut. Tonty stepped tip to Mr. Labadie and, in a whisper, asked: "Why do you call La Hontan an anarchist ?"
"Have you never read his 'Dialogue with Adario'?" asked Labadie.
Before Tonty could reply Cadillac reappeared and in a low hut distinct voice ordered: "Follow me everybody and make no noise. Reporters for the morning papers are downstairs and we must get away unobserved."
A few minutes later Joe Labadie stood in the hotel office holding the reporters spell-bound as he told them of the evils of a majority of modern conventionalities.
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II. i. C
AN INTERNATIONAL EPISODE.
By John Benjamin Archer.
I had been knocking? around the continent with three good fellows for the summer, doing the various sights that must be done on every respectable European tour, and by virtue of our bikes, taking many side trips that have seemed to escape the ubiquitous Baedeker. We pedaled over the easiest of the Swiss passes, devoted considerable time to Germany-land so dear to the imaginative heart of every thirsty college man, and after loading up with Moulin Rouge signs and Parisian posters of the same ilk, which make a Senior's den so irresistibly attractive, had taken the ride, or rather walk—for the roads were very bad—through the Riviera into Italy. In short, we were at the close of a splendid trip and as jolly a time as four absolutely congenial Yale juniors could have.
There were just enough foibles in the party to make it amusing. Billy Farns-worth was our conscientious traveler. Every bit of his reading and study for the last six months had been directed toward this trip—his head had been crammed with medieval history, archaeology, a mass of architectural detail which refused to toe the mark when put to the test, and he had even dabbled in hearaldry, and talked feelingly of gules, bars sinister and griffins rampant, the very day after we had decided to go. As a result, "Old Bill," as we generally called him, never let go of an object of interest til! the last gun was fired; he spent hours in exploring musty old dungeons while the rest of us were out in the air enjoying life; he wandered carefully through miles of galleries and museums, and I firmly believe the historic beds he inspected would alone have filled half the moving vans of the United States. Bill was a veritable find for the guides, and by some mystical tie of the brotherhood, they seemed to know when to expect him, and girded their loins for the slaughter accordingly. He got hold of an amazing amount of material for his note-book, and wrote it up religiously every nighL Nothing interfered with that journal, and we soon gave up trying to entice him from it, and smoked our cigars after dinner in quiet resignation till Rill had put down the day's events. Some one would ca!l out from the porch, "Oh, Bill, come on; we're going over to the Kursaal—there's a fete on to-night," and a voicc would come out of the-gloom: "Do any of you Indians remember how high that Dutchman said the Cologne spire was?"
We used to chaff him unmercifully on his German, too, and there was ample opportunity, for Bill was doing his best to convert his reading knowledge of the modern languages into fluent speech on the spot, and would insist on talking all the time—he said it was the only way to learn it Usually in the morning he would fire some question at us in irreproachable German, relative to our plans for the day, and invariably Dick Brewster, alias "Crafty Richard, the Wag,M would reply with the same careful regard for the gutturals and umlauts of the Fatherland: "No, I have not seen your sister%s cat in the garden, but the slippers of my father are in the closet." It was the one German sentence that he knew, and that had been drilled into him in class room.
Richard was one of those slow, easy-going fellows who had vegetated in the dark for two years in college, but when discovered by our gang, had blossomed forth as the green bay tree. He always smoked his pipe in a kind of lethargic somnolence, and to those who knew him only slightly, was not even a good listener. When, however, his slow drawl was heard, the spontaneous burst of laughter which followed, demonstrated that he had scored a bull's eye. He only roused himself to tease, and when once fastened upon a fellow's idiosyncracy, his grip was as insatiable as that of a bull pup. Full many a mother's boy, nurtured in the small high school work, had shed his various bumps of conceit and queerness under the merciless, though not unkindly ministrations of Dick.
Of course, as an offset, Bobbie Dunn, the third member of our party, was his antithesis—a happy-go-lucky, curly-headed youth, who had always jollied and flirted his way through the world, and saw no reason why he should ever stop. Bobbie was invariably ready to make one of a party, large or small, around a table, and do more than his share of the entertainment. One of the most popular fellows in his class, he was much sought as toastmaster, and his yarns were never twice told. On the trip he made himself indispensable through his familiarity with French and German, and his headlong tumble into things furnished most of the funny bulls. lie jollied the pudgy German officials out of their stolidity and never lost an opportunity to flirt with all the girls flirtable, and some, alas! otherwise, that he met throughout the summer. He was always "picking up little things" for his mother and sisters that his lovable heart fancied they would like—in short, Bobbie's smiling, whole-souled cameraderie carried us into and out of many a scrape, and made him a favorite wherever we went.
And what shall I say of myself? Only, that I was a grain older than the others, and therefore dimly supposed to act as the balance wheel. I had always possessed the keenest capacity for enjoying the best things of life, and suppose at the time, was a type of the average healthy-minded and bodied college youth. The boys would never let me off with this brief mention; aside from certain personalities, absurd and irrelevant, which need not, for dignity's sake, be here indited, they would most certainly have alluded to the picture of the little American girl which seemed to necessitate a frequent consultation of my time piece; this would no doubt be followed by a volley of information going to show that I was very fond of her; that my eagerness to receive the mail packet at the various places en route, partook of rather more fervor than should be attributed to the reception of one's family correspondence; that no one of the beauties whom Bobbie & Co. had met, raved over and forgotten, had disturbed the even tenor of my way, etc., etc., ad lib.
They would never have been indiscreet enough to say that I wac actually engaged, but I fancy that Richard might have summed up the situation in the terse observation that "where there's smoke, viz., three or four solitary pipes just after the distribution of the mail, there is sure to be fire." And, in truth I could not consistently deny the soft impeachment, for had they not been parties to the affair from the very beginning, even to the point of openly aiding and abetting the same? Was not Bess own cousin to Bobbie, whom I loved as my life; and was he not responsible for her delightful presence as my partner at the junior prom, and therefore for it all ? Most certainly he was, and I may say that all three took the deepest and withal, the most delicate interest in the affair that fellows of fine sensibilities
could do. Of course they chaffed me at all times, but 1 could not fail to notice that they were very careful to keep me in the narrow path, and did not permit mc to stray as each after his own bent was accustomed to do.
Yes, it was true that when Bess bade mc bon voyage and gave me a very fat steamer letter with sundry instructions as to the total annihilation of mat dc mcr, there was something in her deep brown eyes that followed mc through every strange scene and made life worth the living; if not a promise, still at least a healthy interest in my welfare that was good to think about. But no more of this, and on with the dance!
We had fairly closed our tour, and the boys had stopped over at London about ten days before the Majestic sailed, to meet a party of their home friends, who were going through to do southern France, and winter up the Nile. I, not knowing the people, and full of that delicious longing for the dear home land which comes so strong and inevitable to every true American at the close of a trip abroad, endeavored to persuade them to let mc run down to Liverpool and browse around by myself, until they should join mc for the return trip across the big puddle. Perhaps they were conscious that the sight of our country's flag was not the only sentiment I cherished; perhaps they may have thought that a little solitude could not harm me under the circumstances, but at all events, they assented magnanimously. and "Old Jawn," as I was dubbed, took the flyer at Euston Station and bowled away to Liverpool all by his lonesome.
It was a pleasure to see Liverpool again despite its dirt and the uninteresting John BulJness of its solid commercial architecture, for it was the last stage in the journey—it now seemed like a suburb of New York. It was also good to find my swagger new clothes ordered in London at a West End shop and sent down by parcel post.
Not intending to destroy my spirits by remaining in the dingy city, I had made one trip over to Wales' most famous summer resort of Llandudno, and was seeking other time beguiling excursions, when it suddenly occurred to mc to ride out to Chester. Chester, by all means! With its old Roman ruins and fine cathedral—a place we had missed by going north to the lake district. Doubtless, T could find an attractive hostelry, and there in the sleepy atmosnhere of a typical English town, manage to put in the remaining days almost ideally till the boys came.
And so at the end of a charming spin over faultless roads, I was gathered into the hospitable gables of "The King and the Stork/' and found immediately that I had made no mistake. On the morning after my arrival, I made for the cathedral and in its cool interior, surrendered myseif unreservedly to the peace and quiet both of body and mind, that is ever vouchsafed to all who enter those splendid structures. Then, full of a confusion of sentiment in which there was mingled the hoary antiquity of the mother country I was leaving, and the fresh, pulsing joy of the new which I should so soon feel, I went out into the sunlight, wandering aimlessly through the streets and farther into the lanes between the hedges. At length I came to a rather formidable wall and entered some attractive looking grounds by a gate which hung open invitingly, I knew instinctively that I was a tresspasser, but mindful that most of the aristocracy was away on its vacation, I determined to indulge my longing to penetrate the sacred precincts of an English country place.
The park was not large, and five minutes' walk brought mc within a distant view of the house itself—that inner court of the sacred city. Between me and it was the garden, with its sun-steeped walls, its closely trimmed yews and mathematically proportioned beds of flowers—all as I had seen it pictured so often. In my immediate foreground, and just back of the garden, lay a small pond with lilies growing near the edges., and a light canoe floating idly on its surface moored to a tree.
This was indeed a joy—to have peered under the canvas, as it were, of British exclusiveness, was more than I had anticipated, and I was content to rest there and make the most of it. Seated near the water, I was thinking what a yarn I should spin to the boys about it all, when I saw a figure in white approach along the walk of the garden. This was unexpected, and somewhat disquieting—I was trespassing indeed, and hastened to move behind the friendly shelter of a thick growth of shrubbery. As the figure came nearer, I, by dint of much ingenious peeking, discovered that it was a young girl, and she was headed directly for me, the pond, providentially, intervening. In my dark clothes there was little danger of my being seen, and I continued to apply my eye to the leafy aperture with all the eagerness befitting the occasion.
I suppose the novelists would have called her svelte (Dick used to say svelte always made him think of a soft, smoothly dressed glove—he doubtless confused the word with suede—but this is nonsense). Even my restricted vision showed her to be tall—with the typical rosy English complexion—light hair, and all the bewitching grace of a maiden of nineteen. She approached leisurely—her shade hat fallen back upon her shoulders, giving the breeze full play in her curling hair, and I saw that she held a book under her arm and a paddle in her hand. Evidently, the young lady was about to indulge in the laziest of pleasures, and my heart gave a sympathetic bound, as I recalled Omar's lines for such cases made and provided. I saw the book of verses underneath the bough—the jug of wine had not yet appeared, but who knew what the canoe held? Of course the element necessary to complete the idea of old Omar, brought up to date, was esconced behind a large bush—in brief, / was "thou," and while not exactly sitting beside her in the wilderness, I was in closer proximity than she imagined. Nearly overcome by the weight of this unaccustomed dual personality so suddenly thrust upon me, I must have stirred slightly, for she looked up and concentrated her gaze full upon my vicinity, and for an instant I could have sworn her clear blue eyes met mine. This, however, could not have been, for most innocent of all disturbing elements she unfastened the canoe and made ready the cushions for embarking upon her sentimental journey.
My healthy Yankee verlooked.