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RANGER CANDIDATE PRACTICING MARKSMANSHIP.
the candidates varied somewhat, but all succeeded in making good-looking packs, that would stand the test of a rough trip.
A few minor field tests completed the examination, and the candidates swung into the saddle and rode away, the successful ones to be notified of their eligibility to the first vacancies occurring in the forest-ranger ranks.
SOLITUDE OF THE LIFE.
Once he has entered upon his duties, the young forest ranger finds himself in an employment that offers endless possibilities, to the man of the right temperament. For it must be understood that few men are constituted with the forest-ranger temperament. A forest ranger's berth would never do for a man who cannot be alone for days, or even weeks or months, at a time. Some rangers, in the reserves farthest removed from civilization, see few faces from one year's end to the other. One ranger in Idaho lives almost altogether in a canoe. It is his duty to patrol a great lake, abounding with giant trout. About the shores of this lake he paddles his silent way during the long months of summer and fall. When he wants a meal, all
he has to do is to drop a spoon hook from the stern of his canoe, and a huge trout leaps at the lure. Or, with his rifle, he can shoot a bear as it comes to the brink of the lake to drink. At night he camps alone, in the silence of the vast wilderness, and daybreak finds him afloat in his canoe once more.
Such absolute solitude is hardly the part of the average forest ranger, but even loneliness has its compensations, no matter if a man may be assigned to patrol one of the great reserves of Alaska. A ranger always has his horses, and what does the absence of mere man count when one has plenty to eat and a new camp each night in some delightful nook in the wilderness, beside a brawling trout stream or on the shore of some great lake, in the hollow of a mountain valley?
FIGHTING FIRE ON THE RESERVES.
The life of the ranger is not all "beer and skittles," however. There is work to do in plenty. One must always be on his guard against forest fires. The tenderfeet who are always coming into the reservations on camping and hunting trips are forever starting fires where they will spread to the pines. Signs are posted along all trails through the danger of forest fires, and telling them to forest reserves warning people against the be sure to extinguish all campfires when through with them. But campers are proverbially careless, and are always going away leaving their fires burning merrily behind them. A spark flies up into a dead pine and instantly there is a tower of flame shooting into the sky. If the wind happens to be blowing strong, a roaring wall of flame is soon rushing through the forest.
At the first sign of smoke in the sky the for aid to the nearest forest supervisor, and ranger is busy. If it is a great fire he gallops all the available men are pressed into service. The Government provides for such impressment, allowing wages to those who aid the rangers in fighting fires. Trees are felled in the path of the flames, and the side lines of flame are beaten in, thus constantly narrowing the front of the fire wall. Sometimes fires are fought for days before they are overcome. Then it will be just the luck of the tired, blistered ranger if another fire breaks out in another part of the reserve, and he has to spend more days and nights in the killing work.
Campers do not start all the forest fires, however. Lightning starts many of the most destructive fires. A bolt of lightning in a
THE REVOLUTION IN CHICAGO'S JUDICIAL
BY STANLEY WATERLOO.
WHAT might be called an operation for cancer has been performed upon the city of Chicago, and has proved successful. The growth, of the most malignant sort, has been cut out to its uttermost vicious fiber, and the patient has not only recovered from the shock, but is in excellent spirits,an admirable symptom in a convalescent. In other words, Chicago, as the result of sternly radical legislation, is rid of the most infamous petty judicial system ever existing in the United States.
This travesty on
the administration of justice has had its being through what have been known as the "justice shops." They have been the centers from which have issued daily a group of brigands preying upon all classes of the helpless. They have afforded the machinery by aid of which
the office of justice of the peace was created by a series of statutes in the reign of Edward III., with the idea of ending the brigandage which flourished in England at that time. Robbers then seized travelers and held them for ransom; and, as a reversal, to put a
justices and constables, notorious collection agencies, shyster lawyers, and usurers, and pawnbrokers have fattened upon the weak, and by aid of which shrewd malice has been gratified a thousand times.
The city of Chicago, in the matter of its judicial machinery, has been governed by the system applied to the rural districts of the State from the beginning of its history. In Illinois, from its earliest settlement, there were two systems of government, the town system of New England and the county system of Virginia. Two important officers of these systems were the justice of the peace and the county constable. The latter office is of the same antiquity as that of king, while
stop to brigandage in Chicago, where, under the forms of law, property had been seized as boldly, the offices of justice of the peace and constable were recently abolished.
The justices of the peace were recommended by the judges of the Circuit Court and appointed by the Governor. The constables were elected by the people. There were fifty justices within the city limits and 125 constables. Of the conditions under which they worked it may be said simply that, while many of the justices of the peace were men of ability and character, they
were on a fee basis, and hence the more litigation and continuances the more fees, the result being that judgments were often given for no other reason than that the plaintiff patronized the particular court. The constables were likewise on a fee basis, and these men became legalized bandits. Abundant opportunity was offered for plunder and oppression. The justices had jurisdiction in civil cases in suits involving sums up to $200 and in the minor quasi-criminal and criminal cases involving breaches of the peace, and had the right also to sit as examining magistrates in preliminary hearings of charges of felony or State misdemeanors, with power to bind over to the grand jury.
INCREASE OF LITIGATION AND CRIME.
pecially in the downtown wards. The partiality of the court was necessary to keep under absolute control the under-world, the so-called "Levee" characters, the more ignorant of the foreign population, and disreputables generally, that their votes might be commanded at election time. The objectlessons given almost daily and nightly had the merit of a grim simplicity.
THE BAIL-BOND ABuse.
Chicago has been the focal point of immigration into the interior of the United States. According to the last census, over half a million of its people are foreign-born, and over a million more are of foreign descent. In area the city is the third in the world, and, necessarily, a vast amount of litigation has been engendered in the contact of this great number of people of different nationalities in such a mighty industrial and Should it become necessary to place the commercial center. In the justice-of-the-peace proprietors of a disorderly house under obcourts about 100,000 civil cases were brought ligations the police would make a raid,—for last year, and about 60,000 criminal cases the police were an enforced part of the mawere disposed of. Last year 190 persons chine, and patrol-wagon loads of prisoners were arrested for State felonies and misde- would be brought in under the general charge meanors, whose cases, in the form of a pre- of violation of the city ordinances. Then liminary hearing to determine whether or not the mill would begin to grind with a sinister the individual should be held to the grand intelligence. First were utilized the bailjury, were heard in the justice courts. Of bond privileges.
this number, only about 3000 were bound These privileges went first to some trusted over to the grand jury; the other 16,000 lieutenant of the alderman. He owned were released, gave straw bail and fled, or otherwise and for other reasons avoided punishment. Either thousands of people who should have been bound over escaped or thousands of innocent people were wrongfully arrested. Both conditions prevailed. In short, under the justice-of-the-peace system the criminal statistics of the city became so startling that its criminal court, in volume of convictions for felonies and misdemeanors, had become one of the greatest criminal tribunals in the world.
JUSTICES OWNED BY THE ORGANIZATION."
The methods of the legalized robbers of the justice courts were daring beyond all precedent. The courts were, firstly, political organizations, then but machines existing for purposes of plunder. Here is the account, practically a recent confession,-of the inner system, the detailed workings of these mills to which all forms of weak human nature was grist:
The justices designated as police magistrates, selected by the Mayor and confirmed by the city council, must, in the first place, have the recommendation and approval of the dominant alderman of the ward in which their courts were located, there are two aldermen from each ward in Chicago,-and it followed, as a matter of course, that this approval could be obtained only when the justice became a creature ready to obey every order or suggestion of his master. This for the alderman was a vast political asset, es
them; he or his agent would be at hand when the loaded patrol-wagons came in, frequently carrying in his pockets bonds already signed and which would later be approved by the justice whenever he appeared, merely for the convenience of the alderman's representative. Then as a condition of temporary release there would be collected from the prisoners whatever might be, according to their condition. Some could "make good," some could not. No pretense existed that the arrests were made for the purpose of eradicating an evil; the victims were simply captives, held for ransom, and when the ransom was forthcoming those released were plying their vocation again within an hour. Dismissal "on payment of costs" would be the decision the next morning, unless there chanced to be among the prisoners some whom the alderman wished disciplined.
The whole quality of the courts was vicious. The bailiffs were trusted agents of the aldermen, and were appointed by the Mayor on their recommendation. They owed their obedience first to the aldermen, second to the court. They kept a systematic account of all the arrests within their wards and of the disposals, and were active agents of the professional bailsman. In the event of a jury trial they secured the kind of a jury required, and would be counted derelict should they fail to notify the professional bailsman or alderman of matters in that court wherein they were interested.
The clerks, appointed in the same way,
and confirmed by the council, were not less home to seize upon anything of value, in the venial. Their principal duty, not provided guise of making a legal levy. Men have been by law, and to which they gave more particu- shot by these brigands, and women robbed lar attention than they did to their legal of their jewelry and personally assaulted. duties, was to receive a list each morning Probably never anywhere in the system of with numbers which indicated and corre- the judiciary of any country have such outsponded with the numbers of certain defend- rages been committed. No citizen, unless ants on the sheet of the police magistrate his case was of such magnitude that it was when appearing before him for trial. These heard in the higher courts, was certain of numbers were in the nature of absolute or- obtaining justice or redress for wrongs. ders from the alderman, either to liberate, REVOLUTIONIZING THE JUDICIARY SYSTEM. regardless of facts, or assess a heavy fine. Such fines were in the way of political disci- And so the evil grew,-a cancer is the only pline. A rebellious precinct leader or any simile,-until its scope became alarming. of the political hangers-on whom it was thus Why it was tolerated so long in a civilized sought to bring to his senses would be offered and strens community is beyond all unthe alternative of going to the Bridewell or derstanding, save on the theory that only the of paying the fine. If he recognized his con- comparatively helpless were the victims of dition in due time, a quiet suggestion would the tyranny. But when the climax came, as be made by the clerk that he had better see it did, it came with a vengeance. The people Alderman Dor Alderman J—; and, of Chicago demanded the complete extirpashould he make his peace, the clerk would pation of the justice-of-the-peace and conbe complaisant and, without an order, re- stable system. The very names had become move from the magistrate's sheet by his knife offensive. Through the activity of what is or rubber eraser the amount of the fine, and known as the New Charter Convention a substitute therefor the order of dismissal. bill was introduced for the obliteration of Pickpockets and other criminals were the courts which had become infamous, and treated with equal consideration when they substituting in their place a court of a kind had money. The whole system was a farce, practically unknown before. Of course, applied to enrich a favored few and for the there was desperate opposition by the gangacquirement of absolute political power in a sters, but the measure became a law. ward, and the attitude of the justice's courts in civil cases was not less vicious.
TRICKS EMPLOYED IN CIVIL ACTIONS.
The constables were in league with fradulent collection agencies, pawnbrokers, and shyster attorneys. Any sort of claim would do for them, provided the defendant had no influence. The tricks adopted were as numer ous as infamous. Citizens were often sued and summoned before a justice in some distant part of the county, thirty miles or more from their homes, and the cases set ten minutes before the arrival of the early morning train. If the defendant came to court by that train he came too late; a judgment had been entered against him. If he came the night before and camped on the prairie to be ready for the case in the morning, the watchful constable would ask a continuance for the plaintiff for another day, and get it. The constables frequently failed to get personal service, but that did not matter. The writ when returned showed service, and judgment was entered, all unknown to the defendant, who received his first warning when armed men, constables, came to his
Here was the Municipal Court, as it is called, a new court of a new kind to be tested amid surroundings municipally inimical, and, if not oppressive, by no means favorable. With those lately controlling politically the machinery of the justice courts the attitude toward this new force is much like that of the natives toward the American occupation of Cuba. It is recognized by the majority as a good thing, but is endured, if not sullenly, at least without enthusiasm. This interloping and powerful body assuming the administration of justice on so wide and sweeping a scale has been, necessarily, the dealer of swift blows to an army of professional politicians and the horde who subsisted, as has been told, upon the weaklings.
The make-up and scope of power of the Municipal Court indicate a new departure, absolutely, in the administration of the law, especially in cities. Not a jurist, not any one interested in the welfare of any municipality, but must be interested in its nature. The new court consists of a chief justice and twenty-seven associate judges, a clerk, a bailiff, and nearly 100 deputy clerks and 100 deputy bailiffs. The bailiff and his