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sational or yellow, and some other silence, I called on Thomas W. reputable people may grieve with Lawson, the vaunted champion of them, but let all these persons re- all reforms, to help me and was told member that the thing which they on his behalf by an attache of regard with mere disfavor, the ras- Everybody's Magazine that he was cals of the country, high and low, too deeply immersed in "The Story regard with terror. And it will be of Amalgamated" to give life insurwell for them to remember also that ance any attention at that time; but as the magazine and newspapers he might later if conditions warare in a high sense the guardians of ranted his intervention. Several the people's interests, the editor or months afterward, when the whole writer who for any reason shrinks country had become intensely exfrom assailing wrong with all his cited by the monstrous disclosures weapons, at the people's command.

I had persistently made, Mr. Lawis gravely derelict in his duty. son announced in the newspapers

There is a story of dramatic in- that he was about to take up the terest in the struggles and perplexi- misdoings of the big life insurance ties, the temptations and entice- companies and this is in part what ments of the man who has the cour- he said: age to assail powerful men and in terests. There is nothing that hu

"You are loaning hundreds of millions of

your deposits to stock gamblers upon stocks man ingenuity can devise, short of

and bonds at prices which in a panic can assassination, that these interests decline seventy to eighty per cent.

than those at which you have taken them. will not attempt to shut the mouth

I am urged by thousands of policyholders of criticism or prevent the search- of each of these companies (New York light of public scrutiny from being Life, Equitable and Mutual) to act for

them and will. Policyholders should bear turned upon their dark schemes.

in mind that the deeds which have been Eighteen months ago when I be- committed by some of the larger insurance gan, alone and unsupported, the

companies are now so clearly proved that

it is not a question of civil action and restisystematic and unyielding expos- tution alone but of criminal action and ure of life insurance mismanage- punishment." ment that marked an era of reform

About the same time, on March in the administration of all fiduciary 6, 1905, Mr. Lawson addressed me trusts, there was not an editor or

from Boston as follows: publisher in the country who could be induced to endorse or even admit My dear Sir:- The life insurance articles

are valuable and I congratulate you upon the facts of my arraignment. Those

them. Rest assured it will give me great who were solicited to aid me treated

pleasure to see that The Era is given full the matter lightly and there was credit should I make use of any of the im

portant figures you have collected. Indeed, wide-spread complaint of the harsh

I am ready at any time to go out of my ness of imputations made againsi

way to assist your excellent work. men who had enjoyed the highest

Yours very truly,

THOMAS W. LAWSON. public esteem and confidence.

Early in the fight when there was Appeals to prominent newspapers danger of "The Big Three" snuffing were in vain until after the third me out as they had threatened to do article of the series had appeared. when it was found that they could I then addressed a personal comneither bribe nor frighten me into munication to Mr. Joseph Pulitzer,


publisher of the “New York World,” panies by men who had posed as calling his attention to the deluge of being higher and better than their facts in my possession that proved fellows was unfolded and public flagrant malversation and ingen- confidence in them was shattered, I iously hidden criminality on the called upon the state to act in the part of officers of the big insurance interest of policyholders and decompanies, and as no attention was manded legislative investigation of given to the subject I embodied the the charges made, stating that nothletter in a subsequent article in ing short of a searching inquiry and order to show my efforts to secure ventilation by a committee of the the widest publicity. It was not legislature would satisfy the public until the Hyde-Alexander episode and I further said: which was precipitated after my third article appeared and threat

"It should be the pleasure, as it is the

manifest duty of every state insurance offiened disruption of the Equitable, cial to use his utmost authority to put a that “The World” engaged in the

stop to the monstrous abuses which an

tagonize and endanger the interests of milcampaign with its customary vigor,

lions of policyholders. If there is not suffibecause of the local news import- cient authority, let the law-making power of that event. What that

be invoked for the protection of policy.

holders, for nothing is more certain than great newspaper has since done is

that the iniquitous practices which we have worthy of the highest commenda- described, unless summarily arrested by

law will lead to the most calamitous retion. At the same time a number

sults. It may be premature to discuss the of leading newspapers and the press ways and means of punishment but the associations began to feature the men whose duty it is to guard the people

against these dangers should not delay anscandals and there was started a other hour." continuous performance of startling melodrama in which equity and From the beginning and during right were to triumph finally over all the time the campaign was in rapacity and injustice. In March, progress, until the appointment of 1905, prefacing one of the most im- the Armstrong Committee, I was pressive and stunning of the narra- beset in a way that left no doubt of tions, I said:

the existence of a criminal

spiracy to destroy “The Era Maga“The disruption of the giant “Big Three"

zine.” News-agents were threatcombine has begun. The conflict for control between the policyholders and the ened, printers were intimidated, cusfinancial buccaneers is irrepressible; the tomers were warned of the withfight must go on; great reforms must come.

drawal of valuable patronage, adNot only must Mr. Hyde relinquish his disproportionate control of the Equitable vertisers and advertising agencies and submit to mutualization but Mr. Mc

were menaced with impending boyCurdy and Mr. McCall must be dislodged from their iniquitous disregard of sacred

cott, our employees were watched, trust obligations in the Mutual and New our telephone service tampered with, York Life. This uprising of nearly six

bribes were boldly offered, statemillion policyholders whose equities have been outraged by private greed is like the ments were widely ciculated that bursting of a reservoir; it is irresistible, the magazine had suspended, the uncontrollable, overpowering-nothing can

whole vast secret service and army

of instruments of the powerful life As the amazing demoralization insurance combine were brought and pollution of the great com- into active and desperate play to


stop it."


stop an agitation that was working vania

vania vanished mysteriously, the havoc with their atrocious defiance foreign edition was extracted in toto of law and disregard of sacred obli- and not a copy got as far as the gations.

postoffice, a crate containing several In February, 1905, to get away

hundred copies consigned to the from what I believed to be hurtful Albany news company vanished in influences, instigated by the agents the same way and in many places, and instruments of the companies, I where the magazine appeared on changed printers upon advice in news stands, they were bought up which I had entire confidence. I en block. The sleuths of the comselected a printer thought to be far panies were every where on enough removed from intimidation, trail. For many months I withbut the outcome made more plain stood the most determined efforts than before I had walked boldly, to prevent the stunning facts of my with my eyes wide open, into the arraignment from reaching the pubcamp of the enemy.

lic, but at last the enemy succeeded After six weeks of exasperating in crippling and making necessary delays and wilful, stubborn neglect a transfer of my magazine. There we were able to get a partial edition is however, ample reward and keen of a most execrably printed April satisfaction in the knowledge of number. It was such a jumble of having done a good work. I fought crazy mistakes and defects that it a winning fight against the malevwould have been laughable had it olence and hateful reprisals of the not been so serious.

The errors
people's worst enemies.

I propose were plainly intentional but that to continue the work which has alwas not all: a large portion of the ready borne such gratifying results manuscript of the insurance article until the gamblers of Wall street, was stolen from the printing office, the trust plunderers and free booters some of it containing very valuable are driven within the pale of the statistics that could not be dupli- law and the whole life insurance cated. What was still more strange business shall have undergone such was that bundles containing thou- a clarifying process that hereafter sands of subscribers' copies were the “sacred hoard of the widows taken bodily from wagons between and orphans" shall be honestly, ecothe printery and the postoffice, the nomically and scrupulously manedition for the state of Pennsyl- aged and protected.

A Disappointing Magic



The fairy fern seed hidden

ed in her power might wonderfully Within her tripping shoon Will hide from sight,

blot herself from prying authoritaOr morn, or night,

tive eyes. The morning of the picOr glorious golden noon,

nic she had listened awestruck to The mortal maid Who, unafraid,

the magic news. And now she reTrusts in its subtle boon.

membered! With mystery the dimOld Song

pled fingers labored. Again the HE had left the familiar behind; small shoe was pulled into place; and a new world vividly for- to rebutton it would have proved eign, --so alluringly, poignantly too severe

a task.

Rosy as any extraneous as to daze and almost

naiad the hidden child emerged. confound her baby senses,

The daisies! oh the daisies! like stretched away and away, defying constellations they bespangled the vision, to the very borderlands of readow in distant scattered patches far impossibility. Above, laughed of fair bloom with nodding butterthe morning sky; below, dreamed cups between, and splashes of blood the meadows, freshly verdurous, red sorrel here and there to emphaflower decked, bedewed. Her little size their snowy tints. Often since legs in sudden helplessness gave her inexplicable arrival in the springway beneath the magnitude of the time at the country home of her adventure. Unexpectedly she sat, aunt the child had stood in pleasant and the fernbrake trembling, swayed, contemplation watching from the and met above her head.

high windows of her nursery the dip The walls of her palace were green. and sway of the tall grasses, wonThe sunlight filtering through the dering at the little birds that tremulous arched branches flickered skimmed and flurried with beating and played in bright elusive patches wings the undulating stretches of upon her white pinafore. Ecstatic- the plain. Often she had walked ally she laughed; then solemnly, the highways with Jane, the tyrant, almost painfully, button by button, primly by her side.. But this she unloosed her little shoe. She morning she was free-strangely remembered! Fortunately she re- emancipate! Stealthily she had remembered, and all should be well! crept down the long dark stair.

Had not Cousin Grace, who was Unable to analyze, her little heart grown up, quite a young lady in- responded the more confidently to deed, confided to her the secret of the adventure. She might wander the tiny dark seeds glued closely to inviolate. The daisies nodded gay the undersides of the delicate plume- invitation, and the breezes like fronds?-how a child instruct- mured songfully of joy.



A beautiful gay winged butterfly spread themselves over forehead and had lighted on a clover blossom nose, two tear bright eyes peeped close to where she stood, and hung cautiously through the rosy lattice. there quivering in the sunshine. A wonderful bird, brown, and With rapturous eyes

the child soft, and dainty, hovered fascinated brooded, then sprang forward glee- above the nest; while the monsters fully to grasp the treasure in covet- with fierce cries and horrid devourous little hands. But the butterflying jaws reared menacingly. was up and away! Far over the "Go away! Oh, go away!" meadow it wafted its flight, and shouted the child. “That's not your only the clover blossom squeezed house !” And she sobbed with retight in the dimpled fist remained lief as the bird darted upward and to be wondered and pondered over, sped skimming across the meadow. when, unlocking her fingers one by Then the child rose too. She one, the little girl peeped within.

could bear no longer to remain near "I wanted her," she argued loqua- the haunted spot; though it pleased ciously, “that butterfly ;—and she her to know that she had been able couldn't have seed me. I have fern

to warn the pretty brown bird of seeds in my shoe. She couldn't its peril. have seed me at all. Then why did

“They'd have eated her up, if ! she fly away?" The problem opened hadn't,"

hadn't," she

she communed she strange avenues for speculation from which her infantile philosophy birdy!

trotted soberly along. "Poor little She couldn't

have turned, instinctively distrustful.

flewed any more at all.” But, oh! what was this? The in

But here her attention was vividly visible baby gasped. Her little fat

attracted by

curious mottled legs gave way, and again under the

stone that lay directly in her path. stress of a too keenly appreciative


smooth and beautifully emotion she sat helpless.

moulded; yet what was still more A bird's nest hidden here amid remarkable was the charmingly the grass! A little nest, a charm- decorative plaid with which its suring nest! And yet, how could it

face was embossed. be?-for birds builded their homes

Captivated, yet doubtful, the child high in the branches of trees, and

stared down upon it; when, to her and—the creatures that were in it!

amazement, the stone becoming Never had there been such birds !

suddenly instinct with life thrust They squirmed, they writhed,

out a queer inquiring face, and, they twisted about. They lifted

after blinking at her for a moment flat hideous heads, and glared from with an air of supercilious indifferyellow-lidded eyes! They opened ence, began to shuffle stupidly away great gaping mouths! They were on flabby wide spread feet. grimacing at her! The frightened

Gravely the baby followed, her child covered her face with her

mind lost in a fog of dazed enchanthands and wept aloud.

ment, till a bumblebee bumping A soft whir of wings—a gentle rudely against her cheek and passfanning of the air above her! Dared ing onward with loud complainings she look up? Ten dimpled fingers caused her to raise her eyes for an



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