Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Ticket," called the conductor. The man was reading.

"Ticket," and he touched the man's shoulder, and the man looked up.

"Why-hel-lo, Tom. What you doing?" "I'm trying to run this train," said Tom, passing the punch to his left hand in order to shake the hand the passenger held out.

When the conductor had worked the train, he came back to the passenger with the book.

"Say, Gene," said the ticket-taker, "I was so elated over this unexpected pleasure that I forgot to get your ticket. You ought to be ashamed to make me ask the third time for it."

"Well, you can keep right on, for I've got no ticket. I had barely time to throw myself aboard as the train pulled out."


Well, you've got money, haven't you? 'Cause if you haven't, I know where you can borrow."

Gene smiled and gave up, and then the two ex-captains of cavalry sat and talked of the old days, when there were no railroads there.

"Well, Tom, you've made a great success of this railroad business, and I'm proud of you," said Gene, glancing at the bright blue uniform the Captain wore. Tom smiled.

What are you driving at,

Gene?" "Readin' law." "Well," said Tom, "I guess that'll beat brakin' on freight."

And so the two men talked on to the end of the run, the conductor dropped off, and the law student went on to Chicago.

In the jam and crowd about the gates of the Burlington station at Chicago men often bump up against old comrades unexpectedly, and so it fell out that as Gene was sweeping through a narrow gate he ran bang into a


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Tom smiled. My dear Gene, don't you know this train would not pull out without you?"

"That's all very funny," Gene replied; "but I've got no place to sleep."

[ocr errors]

Well, you won't sleep much to-night, for you are going to sit up and visit with me.

By this time Tom had been met by a smart black porter, who, at a faint signal from his master, took the hand baggage from the over-anxious traveler and ran up the rear steps of the rear-most car.

Is this my car?" asked Gene, stopping and glancing along the platform.

"No, it's mine; but you can ride. Come, hand yourself aboard; I shan't make you put up this trip."

The train conductor, ever alert, saw the two men enter the car, lifted his white light, and the big engine breathed softly, and moved out of the station shed.

Gene, following the trail of the black boy, stood upon the platform of a car that seemed to be all plate glass, and stepped hesitatingly into a luxurious drawing-room.

"Now what's all this folderol, Tom? asked Gene, for he had been abroad and had lost track of his old "pal" of the plains.

Tom was a modest man, and so told his friend in a modest way that he was the General Manager and that this was the private car that the company had given over for his comfort and convenience. We may suppose it was a pleasant evening that the two captains passed as the train carried them away to the West.

A few years later Tom left the Burlington and went over to take charge of the Union Pacific. He had an agreement that gave him a fabulous salary, and the written promise of the owners of the property that the road should be run by him from Omaha and not by anyone else, and, above all, that he should not be compelled to take signals from

the seaboard, given by men who were in the habit of putting a day coach in the shops to have the stove changed to "the front end," instead of turning the car on the table or running it round a "Y."

This good and useful man had been at his new post but one short year when he was called in by the Great Manager of the Universe, and when the news of his death went over the wire it made heavy the hearts of thousands of railway employees all over this Continent, for he was, without question, one of the most humane managers that has ever lived.

All night long, from North to South, from East to West, as the conductor swung down from a coach or a way car the operator would meet him and say in a low tone, "Tom Potter's dead." In most cases the conductor would make no reply, but when he handed the order up to the engineer he

would say, as the operator had said to him, "Tom Potter's dead."

"No!" the engineman would say, turning to watch the conductor, who was already taking his way sadly back to the caboose to break the news to the brakemen.

"What's that?" asks the fireman.

"Tom Potter's dead." And then the engineer would open the throttle slowly, and if she slipped, he gave her sand and humored her, and he didn't swear.

The other captain, who has also made a name and a place for himself, is still with us. He is the "split-trick" in the prosperous law firm of Gleed, Ware, and Gleed, of Topeka. He is the wholesome, happy, twohundred-pound poet of the Kansas capital whose nom-de-plume is "Ironquill"; and if you doubt this story, it is probably because you have been reading romances and have lost confidence in the simple true tales that from time to time appear in print.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ing influences the wealth and resources of condition. It may easily be seen that here the richest nation in the world. Millions was a loss which simply passes all underwere required in order that the instruments standing.

of warfare might be placed in their hands, and untold millions still in reserve gave them assurance that if they fell others would be pushed forward until their mission was accomplished. The war power of a people, as represented by their wealth, must therefore be held to share in the glories of their suc



The cost of war is not merely to be reckoned by the loss of men and the expenditure of money. We must consider also the less apparent but greater loss which is represented by the destruction of capital. It is comparatively easy, when the strife is over and the accounts are rendered, to determine with some degree of accuracy the loss of life and the outlay of treasure. The English statistician Mulhall tells us that the wars of ninety years, down to 1880, involved an expenditure of $14,778,000,000, besides the loss of 4,470,000 lives. The cost of our Civil War is given at $3,589,000,000. This evidently does not include expenditures since the close of that war for property destroyed, nor the pension roll of thirty-three years-all the direct result of the war. The Treasury accounts for these items even so long ago as June 30, 1879, amounted to $2,500,000,000. No separate accounts of such expenditures have been kept since that date, except for pension payments, which alone aggregate, for that period, $1,800,000,000, making a grand known total of nearly $8,000,000,000 to the present year, while pension payments will not cease for many years to come.

The Franco-German War, which began July 15, 1870, and ended February 26, 1871, and is destined to bear some analogy to the Spanish-American War, at least in the matter of duration, cost both nations, in round numbers, $1,537,814,000.

In any war conducted for the purpose of mere conquest or revenge there is a cost which is beyond estimate. Influences are propagated which affect the state and individual and which must be reckoned as a part of the gain or expenditure. As an illustration, it is said that after the Hundred Years' War in France and the Thirty Years' War in Germany there was a very perceptible decline in the civilization of each of these countries, and that it required decades (some say several centuries in the case of the Hundred Years' War) for them to be restored to their former


Concerning the inquiry as to the cost in dollars of our war with Spain, we may properly begin with the first appropriation looking to the national defense. It will be recalled that while active preparations were being made, both by the army and by the navy, so far as regular appropriations would permit, prior to March 9th nothing in the way of money especially intended for war purposes had been provided. The suggestion, however, of the Spanish government looking to the recall of Consul-General Lee from Havana was so menacing that President McKinley consulted with the leaders in both the Senate and the House, and Congress unanimously and without debate appropriated $50,000,000 at once for the national defense. All the world knows how prompt was the action of Congress and how well prepared was the Treasury, which, on that day, held as an available cash balance the sum of $224,541,637, of which $168,863,179 was in gold. Fifty millions more could have been as easily spared, and there was a question whether for the moral effect it would not have been better to have appropriated that amount. However, fifty millions set apart at one time for war preparation was sufficient to draw attention abroad to the fact that the United States was, so far as money resources were concerned, ready to enter into conflict. The money thus appropriated by Congress was to be expended under the direction of the President, and he was hampered by not a single restriction. The President proceeded to distribute to the several Executive Departments such portions of the appropriation as he deemed were required by the necessities of their services. The allotments thus made were as follows: Navy Department, $29,973,274.22; War Department, $19,811,647.95; Treasury Department, $55,000; and State Department, $53,860.89; a total of $49,893,783.06, leaving $106,216.94 unallotted.


All are familiar with the extraordinary energies which were set on foot by the money thus devoted to preparation for the national defense. Harbors long defense

less were mined; work on coast defenses sum-another $500,000-expended in dewas rushed; supplies and equipments for the army were hastily ordered; the markets of the world were drawn upon for these to the full extent, and for ammunition and guns; and the work of strengthening the navy was pushed with remarkable vigor. The number of vessels in the navy was more than doubled, the list of new vessels including 27 converted yachts, 26 tugs, 8 colliers, 8 cruisers, and 9 torpedo boats, ferry boats, lighters, and supply ships.


This fleet was purchased at a total cost of $17,748,385. Many vessels were also leased for use as transports, ice boats, lighters, and water barges. The auxiliary cruiser "Harvard," formerly the steamship "New York," and the "Yale," formerly the Paris," each cost the Government $2,000 a day. They were appraised at $1,900,000 each, and in case either had been lost the Government would have been responsible for that amount. The St. Louis" and the St. Paul' were hired to the Government at $2,500 a day each, and their appraised value was $3,175,000 each.



The guns of the navy are expensive arms. The cost of a 13-inch gun is $63,000, and its mount, $18,500. An 8-inch gun costs $12,000, and its mount, $5,500. To fire one of the 13-inch armor-piercing shells costs $560, and the 8-inch shells, which have proved so effective in this war, are fired at a cost of $134 (sums materially less than imaginative war correspondents have put them). These expensive charges have been fired many times since the war began, and no doubt the ammunition supplies have been heavily drawn upon, to be immediately replenished. Some idea of the cost of ammunition may be had from a statement of the Secretary of the Navy.


"The cost of materials for a complete supply of ammunition," says Secretary Long, 'to once refill all the vessels of the navy, including the five unfinished battleships, would be $6,521,985; not including them, $1,836,482 less." The cost of ammunition for one battleship of the "Kearsarge" class is $383,197. Admiral Dewey probably carried into Manila Harbor powder, shot, and shell to the value of $1,000,000. Each of the five times his squadron passed the firing arc before the doomed Spanish fleet, it expended a round $100,000 for overthrowing the cruelties of Spanish rule. An equal

stroying Cervera's fleet, cost Spain more than thirty times that sum, since the Spanish vessels were valued at $16,500,000. The collier" Merrimac," sunk by Lieutenant Hobson in the attempt to blockade Santiago Harbor, cost $342,000, a comfortable fortune even in the United States, and yet of small significance placed alongside the important motive and splendid daring of its crew.

Each battleship and armored cruiser of the navy represents a very large outlay of money. The "Oregon" cost $3,791,777; and the average cost of such vessels in recent years has been three and a quarter million. Besides this, the vessels of our new navy have earned premiums for exceeding speed limits ranging from $414,600, by the "Minneapolis,' Minneapolis," to $36,857, by the "Newark," and aggregating almost $3,250,000 for the whole twenty-four speed earners.

An illustration of what it costs to move war vessels may be found in the expense of the trial trips. The average cost to the Government for each such trip is about $25,000. Therefore, to move a whole fleet hundreds of miles, repeating the experience at frequent intervals, soon runs into large figures. To illustrate: Admiral Dewey's coal bill alone for the month of April last was $81,872.91. It was, however, with this coal that he steamed from Hong Kong to Manila, and there won his memorable victory.


The expense of carrying on a war necessitates either the raising of funds by borrowing or by increased taxation. The excuse for a loan, instead of at once raising the whole amount required by taxation, is found in the fact that it is inconvenient and often impossible to raise by taxation the amount needed within the time required. The experience of the United States at the present moment demonstrates such a condition. Congress has taken the middle ground on this question by giving authority for raising a portion of the amount required by a loan, and at the same time by levying additional taxes. The act to provide ways and means to meet war expenditures, approved June 13th, in addition to the increased taxation provided, carries with it the authority for an issue of bonds, and in pursuance of that authority, $200,000,000 of twenty-year threeper-cent. bonds have been issued. At the

present time the money raised by this loan appropriations made in ordinary times with

is in the national Treasury, and available, as declared by the act, only for the expenses of the war. If it should be the pleasure of the Government to redeem these bonds, in accordance with their terms, at the expiration of ten years, the interest to be paid thereon will have amounted to $60,000,000; or, if it should be more convenient to permit them to run for the full period, the interest paid will have amounted to $120,000,000. Either of these amounts, as the case may be, must be taken as a part of the cost of the war. To this must be added the expense of floating the loan, which amounted to something less than $200,000, or one-tenth of one per cent. In passing, it may not be amiss to say that the bonds of the war loan of 1898 have been placed in the hands of the people without any intermediate expense for commission. It is the most successful loan the Government ever has floated. Expenses, including commissions paid during the refunding of the Civil War loans, when $1,395,000,000 of bonds were issued, amounted to one-half of one per cent., or $6,976,729.

those which Congress has provided for the present emergency. Since 1890 the annual expenditure for the army and navy has averaged not quite $250,000 a day, while the present expenditure is five times that sum. A few examples will give a clearer appreciation of this increased expenditure. For the whole of the last fiscal year Congress appropriated for army subsistence $1,650,000; for only six months up to December 31, 1898, Congress has already appropriated more than $23,000,000 to cover the extraordinary expenses of the war. The corresponding items for transportation are: $2,400,000 and $89,000,000; for clothing, $1,050,000 and $36,000,000; for horses, $130,000 and $5,000,000.

The most significant item relative to the cost of the war is the total of appropriations made by the Fifty-fifth Congress between March 9 and July 1, 1898, amounting in all to $361,788,095. This vast sum may be taken as the entire direct treasury cost of the war, since it is the opinion among high officials of the Government that no other appropriations will be necessary during the current year.


As a matter of fact, only $98,000,000 was paid out by the Treasury Department on account of the army and navy during the actual continuance of the war, from March until August 12th, when the protocol was signed. The following statement will show these expenditures in detail, and will give a graphic idea of the immensely greater expenditure for the army than for the navy, although in the present war the navy accomplished the greater results:

There is still another source of war revenue. Many patriotic gifts have been made to the Government by individuals in aid of the present war. These have come from rich and poor alike, and are entered in a separate new Treasury account opened for this purpose. An old soldier of Indiana, who did not give his name, sent a twenty-dollar national bank note, to which was pinned a slip of paper reading: "An old soldier divides his pension with the Government to assist in the prosecution of the war." Miss Helen Gould of New York gave $100,000 in cash, and another wealthy resident of New York presented a vessel to the navy. A Polish Jew of Nebraska sent his check for $200, and in transmitting it he said that he was beyond military age, but that he was now a naturalized citizen of the United States, March... and he knew of no other way to show his appreciation of the boon of liberty than by asking the Government to accept his donation. President McKinley himself acknowledged this gift. Greater still than the money value of these unsolicited gifts is the spirit they reveal of a love of country and of humanity which makes us all one people.


Perhaps a better idea may be obtained as to the cost of the war by contrasting the



August 12......

[blocks in formation]

This total of $98,000,000, however, does not by any means represent the expenses incurred for this period, for in the rush and hurry of warfare men have not had the time to present their accounts for settlement with the promptness required by the Department in times of peace. The accounting officers

« AnteriorContinuar »