« PreviousContinue »
slaughtering going on at that time the roads leading to these cities were kept clear and signs marked the way to them. As an easy means of building up depopulated cities, this plan has been used with success in modern times. Louis XI made Paris a sanctuary in 1467, and some have been unkind enough to say that the growth of the city in population dates from that year.
The rules of the game have changed considerably since that time, but the results are accomplished in much the same way. Cities which control manufacturing interests collect taxes from their rivals with much more certainty than was ever accomplished by royal warrant. When a city secures concessions in railway rates it already has its rivals crying for mercy. A city which possesses mill
twenty years ago, with almost autocratic authority over rates. It immediately adopted a policy of building up man); centers of city population instead of allowing one or two cities to take all the business in sight. With the co-operation of the railroads a system of "scaling rates" was worked out. Surrounding each town is a zone in which the rates increase in proportion to the distance. This means that wherever two railroads cross, a jobbing center has sprung up, able to compete with its rivals no matter how large they may be.
In one sense the most serious rivals of any town are those located far away. Key West, with its large production of cigars, is the rival of every town which could support a local cigar factory. Battle Creek, Michigan, is the rival of every town to the extent that its breakfast foods have replaced home grown pork sausage or home grown ham and eggs. Every time a town buys from another anything it could make at home, it is encouraging and supporting a rival, even though the place be a thousand miles distant. Any town which starts in tomorrow to make its own flour, cigars, brooms, wagons, and do all of its own printing will immediately begin winning in the fight for population. This is not always possible but some cities have profited over their rivals by consistently patronizing home industry.
A few years ago a Home Industry League was formed in a Southern town by a few business men, mostly retail merchants. The city had a population of barely a hundred thousand, but members of the league found more than two hundred manufacturing establishments located there. Many of them consisted only of cigar factories employing one or two men. Other establishments employed several hundred. Members of the League called these manufacturers together and outlined a campaign to in
crease the home production of homemanufactured articles, thereby adding names to the local payrolls. Thousands of cards were printed bearing a pledge whereby the signer promised to give the preference to articles made at home, and, so far as possible, to buy them to the exclusion of others. The newspapers printed a good deal about the organization and nearly everyone in town signed the cards. As a climax to the cumulative campaign, a big street parade was given in which everyone of the home factories was represented by a float. The campaign attracted a good deal of attention and helped to increase the sales from local factories and encourage the establishment of others. Now the city observes a home industry week each fall. The merchants loan their show windows to the local factories and goods made at home are displayed in them. The town is decorated, carnival attractions are brought in and the week made a combination of pleasure and business united. It is a kind of annual revival for city pride backsliders.
UNCLE SAM'S PROTECTED PIRATE
EDWARD B. CLARK
SHALL it not astonish the gentle minded people of the United States to know that the pro| tecting arm of the Federal government has been thrown about a robber and a despoiler, a freebooter and a pirate to whom theft is pleasant and murder joyous?
Shall it not astonish the keepers of the commandments unto the last letter of the tenth of them to know that the winter home of the brigand and cut-throat is the Capital City of the United States; that man is forbidden by statute to molest him, and that his quarters are watched with jealous official eye lest his goings and comings be hindered, his peace of mind disturbed, and mayhap his life threatened?
"The subject of this' sketch," as the biographer wearied with repetition puts it, has been called within the space of two short paragraphs robber, despoiler, freebooter, pirate, cut-throat and brigand. The names are all taken from the dictionary -of invection drawn on by Washington men for free and expressive use when they have found the forces of the government between them and him whom they would kill. The list could be made longer and perhaps more dignified by the inclusion of Rob Roy and Captain Kidd, for by use of the names of the Highlander and Sea Rover the milder tempered enemies of the villian have sought to epitomize the evil of his life.
The robber, despoiler, freebooter and the rest is a bird, and when any one of several names are given him the ornithologist will know him thereby —Duck Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Wandering Falcon — the Falco peregrinus anatum of the scientist. Wandering falcon is the name which suits the bird best, for it is a wanderer on the face of the earth. It knows Africa and Asia and Europe and America and the Isles of the Sea. Its flight is typical of the freedom of the fields and in its eye there is the wildness of remote woods.
It was eleven years ago that the falcon chose the gray tower of Uncle Sam's Post Office Department building for his winter aerie. His life has been demanded many times and denial has always come. One President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, made the bird his special charge and gave orders that if anyone were found in an attempt to molest it, "let me be notified at once." Four Doctors of Science of the Biological Survey have kept watchful eyes on the tower through the years lest some scorner of Federal law should seek the falcon's life. Twice the Police Department of the District of Columbia has interfered to save the bird from the multitude (word used advisedly) clamoring for his life. Twice the Postmaster General of the United States has interposed to prevent the waylaying and the killing of the hawk as it made its way back to its tower home. For eleven years the populace now and again has sought the falcon's life, and for eleven years it has been safeguarded by Uncle Sam.
This winter the falcon is once more at home in the City of Washington. It goes forth daily on marauding and murder intent, and before the day is ended it has known desire's fulfillment. The Government is solicitous for the welfare of the falcon for several reasons. Uncle Sam as represented in Washington, in two departments at least, is both a scientist and a sentimentalist. The Duck Hawk is a rare bird and a true falcon. Its courage is as the courage of ten. There is no fear in it. Its habit of life arouses a keen interest which is only equaled by the bird's own keenness of sense and flight when in pursuit of its quarry. The harm that it does is held as nothing when weighed in the balance with sentiment and interest. To exterminate the tribe of falcons the bird lover holds would be like cutting down a forest of great oaks because their shade interfered with the growing of one row of corn.
Every morning in winter from his gray tower overlooking the life of Pennsylvania Avenue the falcon puts forth to find its breakfast in the marshes of the Potomac. It is the epicure of the bird kind. It disdains mice and barnyard fowls and lives almost wholly upon game. Its delight is in the chase and it easily overtakes the teal in its "mile a minute" flight and seizing it, bears it away for a feast.
Once in a while extreme cold drives
the water fowl of the Potomac marshes far away to-- the South, and then the falcon unwilling to leave its stone tower which it doubtless believes is a crag raised by nature for its special use, is compelled to turn for food to the hitherto disdained domestic pigeons of the city.
One day two years ago the wanderer, perhaps because it was not particularly hungry and perhaps in the sheer wantonness of a wild humor, dropped the body of a blue rock pigeon fairly on the head of a passerby on Pennsylvania Avenue. Then trouble for the freebooting baron of the gray tower began.
Complaint was lodged with an underling of the Post Office Department who knew hawks only as hawks, and knew them all as bad. A man with a shot gun went to the roof of the department building and took station just below the entrance to the tower. The falcon was seen returning, but it spied its enemy afar off and betook itself to sailing in magnificent circles about the tower, always just beyond range. Inviting pieces of raw meat was secured to tempt the bird down. The man with the shot gun did not know the daintiness of appetite of the wandering falcon. While the designing, but rapidly getting hopeless gunner was lying in wait on the roof an immense crowd collected on Pennsylvania Avenue and every man in it called for the life of the pigeon killer.
While the threats of the years had been many the wandering falcon for the first time was hovering near death. Then into the crowd on the streets came one of the bird's friends who knew its history and that its life was of more value than the lives of many pigeons. Call for help messages were sent to the White House, to the Biological Survey and to the Post Office Department. The Post Master General of the United States it happens is an ornithologist. It took about one minute to drive the gunner from the roof and another minute to nail up the door leading to the tower stairway. The falcon came down unmolested to its retreat.
The mere official act of throwing a gunner down a flight of stairs and of nailing up a tower door did not serve to cool the indignation, nor to curb the desires, of several Washington residents to make Rob Roy pay the penalty of his pigeon appetite. The bird' of the tower had one day's rest from persecution and then his life was sought again from points of vantage other than the department roof, by dead-shots who had secured permission from the Police Department to kill "within the District a murderous bird bent on killing all the Washington pigeons."
Once more the hawk's friends rallied from White House, Post Office Department and Biological Survey. The attention of the Police Department was called to the fact that under the laws of the District of Columbia it is illegal to shoot any birds of prey "except the two species known as the Cooper and the
Sharp Shinned hawks." The shooting license issued the day before were revoked and several disappointed dead shots put their guns back into their cases. The Federal law had saved the life of the "feathered pirate."
One year later "excitement came again" on Pennsylvania Avenue under the shadow of the tower. Word had been passed that "Baron Rob Roy, freebooter and murderer" as the daily press put it.