« PředchozíPokračovat »
I tried to explain, and at the same time of them, did not come. I waited five, make it clear that Slimmy was not coming ten minutes. Then they came straggling back. The interview began to take a in from the woods. Some of them looked rather serious turn. I am glad that I sheepish, some looked as though they were never found out what the result would not well pleased with themselves. But have been if Melvin Robins, the president Chuck puffed and slammed the books of the board, had not arrived just then. about his desk in a self-gratified way. 1
Robins had heard from his children did not say anything but looked them about the “Slimmy” affair, had guessed over carefully to see that they were all in. there would be trouble, and had ridden They were all there but Luke, my prize over. He jumped off his horse and began scholar. to talk; the gist of it was that Slimmy I called the first class and, while it was would do exactly what the teacher said, at the board, sauntered back to Jim or stay out. And moreover Slimmy's Coggins's desk. father would stay off the school premises. “Jim," I said in an undertone, “where Slimmy's father left, and Slimmy spent is Luke Elton?" the rest of the winter hunting rabbits and Jim squirmed a little uneasily in his telling the boys what he was going to do seat — “I dunno went home I reckon.” to me.
"Why?” The question went quick and Expelling Slimmy checked the stream straight. of disorder a little but did not stop it. “Oh, I dunno - | think he said he Trouble accumulated at compound in- wasn't feeling very well.” terest. I was working feverishly trying to I was distinctly uneasy. I skipped the help the school, trying until my eyes ached next three recitations and dismissed at to get the classes ahead, and encourage three o'clock. I would interview the boys the backward ones. Yet every day things about being late, Monday morning. happened that sent me home in a torment I closed the school house hastily and of failure.
started off down the ridge road toward I worried over all these things, individu- Elton's. The farther I went the more ually and collectively. Each offered a uneasy I became, and the faster I walked. problem for settlement, each added to the I had not gone a mile when I saw Luke miserable uncertain feeling that something ahead of me. He was walking very had to be done about it - and that it slowly. I ran forward. was not nearly all right with the world. His lip was cut and blood was over his But the worst of it was my ideals had face and clothes; his face was bruised and toppled, and the vision was gone.
already his eyes were swollen shut, and The unruly spirit had been gaining a there was an ugly mark on his neck at the little all the time. Chuck, who knew and base of the skull. I took him to the cared less about books than a rat does creek and washed his face and then took about roses, had given me constant trouble. him home. Outwardly conforming to my directions, I went for a doctor, who said on examihis impudence and sullenness in the school nation that the boy's weakened system room, his bullying on the playground, gave and nervousness were likely to make his me constant trouble. Since Slimmy was hurts serious. expelled, he was the leader. Though there As I went home I turned to the right were older boys, he was chunky, very and stopped at Coggins's. Jim was out muscular, and weighed a hundred and in the field shucking corn from the shock. thirty pounds.
I headed straight toward him and Jim Friday all day I felt a vague uneasiness. saw something in the way I came that I had seen looks between Chuck and some made his feet restless to run. of the other big boys that I did not like. Jim," I was in easy reach before I After the evening recess, when I rang spoke, "what happened to Luke Elton?” the bell, the girls and some small boys Jim made just one halting evasion and came trooping in. The big boys, fifteen then he told it eagerly.
Oh, it was a horrid story. It made my and see it done, I'll beat you until you blood boil — as it would yours, and I'll have to be carried home in a wagon. And save you the boiling by not telling it. go home and tell your dads all about it.
"I didn't have nothing to do with it,” And also tell them if they don't like it whimpered Jim, "none of us did but to come here as quick as they can get here Chuck.”
and I'll settle with them in a hurry." “No," I said, "you great, cowardly That was foolish but I was mad. It brute, you infamous gang of brutes! was dangerous. I fully expected it to be - you stood by and saw him do that.” the finish of me as well as of my career.
Sunday evening I went out into the But they didn't come. And the order thicket, and selected ten young hickory that I had in that school the rest of the sprouts of last year's growth, nearly an week scared me. It was so still that someinch in diameter at the big end, four feet times I listened to my watch tick to see if I long, smooth and straight.
was not deaf. Then I went to bed and slept better There was trouble and annoyance at than I had in months.
Bean Ridge during the rest of school; but I was at the school house early next my order was good. I had quite as plentimorning, and smuggled the gads in without ful complaints of too much strictness as any of the pupils seeing. I hid them on I had had the other way. But I fought the floor behind my desk.
it through When school was called there was a Lots of times I examined myself and felt slight sense of uneasiness, but Chuck was in what a fearful failure I had been. I could his seat, impudent and self-assured as ever. scarcely see a thing of importance that I I saw him wink at several of the boys. had accomplished. And yet I discovered,
Without any preliminaries I said: afterward, that I had taught a great many "Chuck, come up here."
things that I had not tried to teach. I Chuck did not budge. Instead, I saw found that a teacher teaches most unconhim bracing his feet under the desk. I sciously; that he is more valuable, or waited about ten seconds and then went invaluable, than any of his teachings. I after him.
discovered that what was in me of amWhen I had landed him on the platform bition, of high ideals, of standards of by my desk, I laid him face downward conduct, somehow impressed itself on the and took off his coat. He was thoroughly school. I found that my ambition got scared by that time. This was a new sort into the brains of many of the pupils; and of moral suasion.
of that school, primitive and tempestuous “Stand up!" I ordered. He stood. as it was, seven at least are now holding
I brought out that bundle of hickory positions of high honor and trust; five are gads, and two of them were shredded like happy in useful professional work — and hemp strings when I was done.
many others are doing good honest living. "Now," I said, when I had deposited the After all, it is the teacher who is the doorlimp and lacerated, moaning, whimpering and through his spirit the pupils are to young brute in his seat, “Tom Murphy, walk to higher fields of hope and endeavor. I want you next.”
I still felt at the close of school that I I called three others — big boys that was an utter failure, that my hopes were I had learned were implicated. I used one blasted, the vision gone. I would never gad apiece on them.
get another school. I had not had one When it was finished the school was compliment, not one word of encouragescarcely breathing. There was not a ment - nothing but complaint during the sound but the suppressed moans of whole six months. Chuck.
But when the school was dismissed, "Now," I said, with very effective Melvin Robins to my surprise came up affection in my tones, “if ever one of you and shook hands with me. vulgar, bulldozing brutes is guilty of any- “You ain't done near as bad as some thing like that again - or even stand by beginners,” he said, encouragingly.
THE PROGRESS OF SIMPLER MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
HE simplification of muni- any other local man who could have been cipal government that began chosen for the post. He is honest, insistent twelve years ago with the
upon efficiency, ambitious, and impartial — "Galveston plan” and the
and he has never dabbled in politics. His “Des Moines plan” of govern
salary was fixed at $3,000 — an unheard-of ment by commission has found hearty people, but there was comparatively little
sum for a municipal officer in a city of 9,000 acceptance among the smaller cities of the
"knocking." United States. Two hundred and fifty
Mr. Stockly's first act -or, more properly, such cities are now managing their affairs his first attempt to act was to enforce the under the commission form of govern- collection of water rentals, which had fallen ment. Larger communities are adopting several thousand dollars in arrears. He saw the plan as its success is repeatedly demon- no reason why patrons of the public should strated. Jersey City, with a population
not pay their bills as promptly and as willof 267,779, accepted the new system at the ingly as patrons of private corporations. With
a monkey-wrench as his emblem of authority, municipal election last April, and is now
he set out, after due notice, upon his task of one of the largest municipalities under shutting off the water from the premises of commission government.
those who had refused to pay up. Certain A still newer type of management, that influential men objected, and they began is perhaps especially adapted to the needs immediately a series of bitter attacks upon the of smaller communities, is beginning to be city manager that are still continued. Mr. copied. This is the “city manager plan,” Stockly went his way, however, performing which was first successfully operated in to the very best of his ability the duties which Staunton, Va., beginning five years ago. had been entrusted to him. He established a This experiment was described in the systematic collection of garbage which had World's Work for December, 1911. tofore garbage had been permitted to accumu
never before been known in Hancock. ThereProbably the ideal man for city manager late during the fall and winter, to be hauled is a practical engineer, for the problems of
away when it got too noisome in the spring. municipal efficiency are largely engineering If people wanted to be clean and to avoid and business problems. The success of the breeding germs upon their premises, they were plan in Staunton is credited principally to compelled to engage a dray at exorbitant cost the selection of an engineer for the task, to remove their garbage. A contract for the and most of the cities that have elected collection of garbage was let to the owner of a to try the method have also chosen an
number of teams; every resident was compelled engineer for the job.
to provide a suitable utensil for the storage of Thus, when Hancock, Mich., a year
the garbage, and Hancock saved in doctors'
bills last summer many times the cost of the ago, accepted the city manager plan, the innovation. mayor chose Mr. William W. Stockly to
Mr. Stockly placed the ban on surface carry out its purposes. The following closets; insisted that foreign residents refrain account of his administration is condensed from making cattlepens and pigsties of their from a letter from a correspondent in basements; rooted insanitary bakeries out Michigan:
of basements; compelled citizens to make use
of the sewers in preference to open ditches; Mr. William W. Stockly is a shrewd Yankee saw that the streets were swept and sprinkled, of mature years and experience; a civil en- and that the germ-laden dust should have as gineer who has run railroads through the little opportunity as possible to circulate. rockiest portions of the upper peninsula of In the spring, when the winter's mass of snow Michigan, and a man whose knowledge of and ice departed, leaving its usual deposit of municipal engineering, gleaned from many filth, he had men out with hose and scrub years' service, is more extensive than that of brushes, scouring the pavements. The alleys
- that for long had been storage places for abrupt angles. The leading citizen objected undisturbed dèbris from stores and from meat, and went over to the “antis.” Mr. Stockly fruit, and grocery houses were made passable went ahead with the work. When it is comand presentable.
pleted, Hancock will have a wide, straight He found that the water department had avenue, gradually leading up from the bridge been made a haven for political favorites. He which connects the city with Houghton, and discharged the chief engineer, imported an en- which will be a "gateway” worthy of the gineer from a neighboring village, and dismissed three other men whose chief duty had Mr. Stockly never was and never can be a been to draw their pay. All the men had politician; a hundred men in Hancock might "friends”; most of them had supported the have been chosen who would have held the administration. Of course, someone went to job, satisfied the public in general, and not the mayor, but he gave them little satisfac- made a single enemy. Stockly, handicapped tion. "Stockly was running things."
as he has been by his rough-hewn personality, Mr. Stockly did not fill the places of the de- lost public support at the election on April posed men — he did not need to. He estab- ist. But his work has not been a failure from lished the unit system in the boiler room, and the standpoint of the physical Hancock. It insisted that every pound of coal be forced to is a better place, a cleaner place, a healthier produce its proper amount of steam. The old- place. Five playgrounds, among other monutimers laughed at the idea of weighing coal and ments, will remain as a tribute to the general measuring steam and making out reports. manager who “failed.” and all the other “flub-dubbery." But
Hickory, a busy little furniture manuHancock had annually bought an entire cargo facturing town in North Carolina, is the of coal, as much as one of the smaller freight
latest city to adopt the Staunton plan. boats could bring up from down the lakes. Mr. Stockly proved that there was plenty of
The population of Hickory is about coal to last over a season, and Hancock did
four thousand. A correspondent there not expend seven or eight thousand dollars for writes that coal last spring. He also invested fifty dollars Our new commission charter was enacted as in new valves for a "worthless” pump, and the
law on the 17th of March and our first primary engine is now lifting as much water as it did
election will be held on April 21st, to be folwhen new, and the principal pump, after being lowed by the regular municipal election on thoroughly overhauled, is now being used only April 28th. part time.
Our new form of government is similar to Hancock had had a smoke ordinance for a
that of Sumter, S. C., in that the business of number of years. It was a dead-letter. The the city will be in the hands of a city manager, most flagrant violator was the city hall itself. subject to the supervision of four city councilMr. Stockly endeavored to enforce the smoke men and a mayor, all elected at large. The ordinance, until he found the mayor and clerk city manager will be employed by the city had neglected to sign it.
council, and must give all his time to the Many merchants in Hancock used the city's business. His term of office will be at sidewalks as display grounds for their wares. the pleasure of the city council. The mayor Pedestrians, when there was not room on the and city council must meet once a week and sidewalks, took to the gutter. Mr. Stockly will receive only a nominal salary. banished the sidewalk obstructions; moved
Our plan embraces the initiative and referendisplay cases back of their owners' property dum and the recall both as to elective offices line, and restored to the people their own. and legislation; publicity in all public affairs;
Hancock occupies a beautiful site midway monthly itemized statements of receipts and up the slope of a rugged hill that towers seven expenditures; control of public schools; subhundred feet from the level of Portage Lake. stitution of school visitors for school directors; Angling up the hill to the portals of the city is abolition of fee system; and automatic colFront Street. Formerly it twisted and turned, lection of taxes. narrowed and widened, slanted and bulged. When a freshet came along huge slabs of the
These experiments in simpler and more old plank sidewalk which lined it on one side
business-like administration of municipal would be washed over the brink of the precipice business are encouragingly successful. The to the flats fifty to a hundred feet below. Mr. rapid acceptance of them by other cities Stockly condemned a corner of a leading is a hopeful sign of the new demand for citizen's property which caused one of the most efficiency in government.
OT long ago a man came into in nothing else. That is constructive this office in search of informa- speculation, and the chief risk of the tion about land. He wanted speculation will be that the person who to leave the city for the soil. tries it may not be able to carry it through.
He had spent six months look- Almost always the land will do its part. ing for a place to settle. He had looked in The land shown in black on the map is many districts, among others in that part $125 land. Except in the irrigated West, of Central Illinois shown in black on the land that sells for $100 an acre is part of map, and in a part of Alabama shown in a developed farm in a region where the white. He had wasted much in railroad markets, schools, roads, etc., or at least fare because he had not decided whethe some of them, are well developed. The
he wanted to go forward to the land or risk and effort on such a farm are less forward to the farm — whether he wanted than on the other kind.
than on the other kind. The speculative to engage in speculation, or to acquire return is more limited, also. The two and maintain an established business. kinds of investments call for different
The land shown in white on the map sells types of men. Different roads lead forfor less than $10 an acre, and that usually ward to the land and forward to the farm. means land and little else; in other words, One who wishes to go to the country should few schools, roads, telephones, markets, etc. look well and see which road he wishes to To buy such land, to build it up, and to help take, particularly since there is another build up a community with it will yield road which leads to the "estates” where great profits in increasing land values if men spend their city-made money.