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The looking glass. (Atlanta, Ga.) 1894-????, December 25, 1897, Page 8, Image 8

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8 ‘Told i/n w, ■J I yr. y..* "i' =kT ? THE scenes attendant on the closing of the General Assembly dis counted anything which ever took place in the legislative halls of the Capi tol. Many closing nights, characterized by drunkenness and disgraceful conduct, have passed into history, but they all pale into insignificance when compared to the wind-up of the recent session. On previ ous occasions the libations of the distin guished senators and representatives have been confined to small portable packages carried in their pistol pockets. This time honored custom was done away with on Thursday night in question, and the lobby rooms were converted into improvised bars. Cases of whisky and beer were piled several feet high, and cigars were to be had by the hundred. A few minutes be fore twelve the clock was turned back, and pandemonium reigned supreme. Idi otic motions were made and carried amid shouts and boozy laughter. Senators, representatives, secretaries, judges and high officials of all descriptions and politi cal persuasions divested themselves of coats, vests and collars and romped over the house like a lot of colts. All hands were hilariously drunk, and business was dismissed by acclamation. This is only one of the mild orgies in which our dis tinguished law-makers have engaged. A week or two ago the Fulton Club invited the House and Senate to attend a lecture by Mr. Lucien Knight at the Columbia Theatre. After the lecture it was pro posed to adjourn to the club-rooms and spend an hour or so in impromptu speech-making. The first part of the program was carried out, but the speeches failed to materialize. No sooner had the club-rooms been reached than a mad dash was made for the bar. Decorum or the courtesy due the officers of the Fulton Club was throwm to the winds, and a mad carouse ensued. It is pretty safe to say that not more than a dozen of the guests were entirely sober, and when the merry makers finally reeled home in the early hours of the morning, the rooms looked as if a small-size tornado had been in active operation. It is always interesting to learn the pri vate business methods of our rich men. The meagre beginnings and numerous vicissitudes of Jay Gould, the Vander bilts, the Astors, and scores of other wealthy families, have been described in countless columns, but the subject never grows tiresome to an inquisitive public. Apropos of which I was told a rather amusing story which relates to one of our most prominent financiers. The gentle man in question commenced life, at the close of the war, practically penniless, but his frugality and good horse-sense soon DON’T LET WHISKY GET THE BEST OF YOU. GET THE BEST OF WHISKY, WHICH IS ROSE’S “PURITY.” ’ wP- enabled him to accum- ulate enough money to embark in business A £■' in a modest way. That was before the t days of cash registers, and the budding young merchant often had no little trouble in making his cash balance at the close of the day.” Finally he discovered that his clerk, who was his only assistant, was walking off with a large share of the profits of the business, and he was summarily fired and a new man installed. The new clerk also proved dishonest, and he was also dismissed. The merchant had placed unlimited confi dence in both of the young fellows, and their ingratitude was a serious blow to him —his faith in mankind was sadly shaken —and he swore that he would never trust mortal man again. He was in a quandary for seme weeks, until a bright idea finally suggested itself. A third clerk and a small boy about thirteen years of age were employed. The duties of the boy were known only to himself and his employer, and his apparent idleness was the source of a good deal of specula tion among the customers of the establish ment. He was continually hanging around the store, but was never known to run an errand or lend the slightest assistance. The truth of the matter was that he was keeping a close watch on Ihe clerk and carefully noted every sale that he made. Each morning he was furnished a certain number of grains of corn, w hich were placed in his side coat pocket. For every sale made by the unsuspecting clerk, grains of corn, corresponding to the amount of money involved, were trans ferred from one pocket to the other. At night the boy turned his corn over to the merchant who carefully balanced it with the cash entries made by his assistant. If the corn and cash tallied, all went well, but, if they did not, an immediate expla nation was demanded. The scheme worked like a charm, and from that day to this the merchant has prospered and grown rich. He often refers to the human cash register system, and declares that it was far superior to the new-fangled methods of to-day. jt 1 had the pleasure, the other day, of meeting Mr. W. H. Ward, formerly busi ness manager of Iconoclast and at present Mr. Brann’s representative in the lecture field. Mr. Ward made arrangements for the famous Texan’s appearance at the Grand, on January 10th, when he will deliver his new lecture, entitled “Rainbow Chasers.” I am confident that he will draw a very large audience. In the course of conversation Mr. Ward told me some interesting things about the pyrotechnic editor. “Mr. Brann,” he said, “is a man about six feet, one inch high, and he weighs not over 140 pounds. He has a smooth-shaven, clear-cut face and all the appearance of a student, which he most certainly is. He knocked about in jour nalism for perhaps ten years before he The IqjKing Giass. started a paper of his own, and 1 first knew him as my associate in the manage ment of the Waco Herald. We two had charge of the sheet, and naturally we became quite intimate. The Herald was a (NCE draw on the same day and thus bankrupt the paper. Finally Brann quit and started, or rather revived, the Iconoclast. You see he had launched the paper in 1891 in Houston, but some how it didn’t catch on and Brann sold out to his partner. Os course the publica tion died soon after he left it. The first two issues of the new journal were ground out on a worn-out old newspaper press, and they were certainly the most horrible monstrosities in appearance that ever emanated from a print-shop. To this day it makes Brann ill to lay eyes on one of them. However, we got in enough money in advance on subscriptions to pay all ex penses of getting out several issues, and the Iconoclast gradually struggled to its feet. The first issue was 2,000 and the last is 112,000. We think that is a pretty healthy gain for less than three years.” Continuing as to Mr. Brann’s personality, Mr. Ward said: “He is about forty-two, but he holds his age so well that he looks much younger. Although he is a little reserved with those he doesn’t know well, he has charming manners under the sur face and is one of the mostdelightful com panions alive. As a public speaker he is captivating—in fact, he won fame on the rostrum before he did as a writer. By the way, its an odd little circumstance, that he has addressed more gatherings of la dies than any other man in Texas. He is very happily married, has an exceedingly interesting family and a beautiful home on which he recently spent si2,cco for im provements. It is his intention to make the premises the finest heme place in Texas.” jc > The most interesting thing told me by Mr. Ward, however, was the story of the tragedy which followed the attack by Mr. Brann on the Baylor University. Most of the details were omitted by the papers, and the actual facts strike me as constitut ing the most astonishing narrative of desperate courage that 1 ever heard in my life. As will be remembered, the partici pants in the affray were Colonel Gerald and the Harris brothers. Colonel Gerald was an old resident of Waco, and a man over sixty years of age. He had been a gallant Confederate soldier and his left arm was crippled with wounds received in the war. For twelve years he had been county judge at Waco, and for two con secutive terms he served as postmaster. The elder Harris was the editor and proprietor of the morning paper of the town. He was a young man and an ath lete. His brother was an insurance agent and also a powerful man. So much for the personnel of those concerned. When Mr. Brann made his last attack on the Baylor University, Colonel Gerald recog nized the entire truth of what he said and publicly indorsed him. Harris, on the contrary, thought to curry favor with the rabble and bitterly assailed him in his paper. Thereupon Gerald wrote a card, which Harris refused to print, and the two men came to blows in the office. Gerald, being old and lame, was naturally worsted. Three weeks then elapsed before the men met, when, finally, one morning, the Harris brothers posted them selves on opposite corners of the principal street in Waco. The editor stood just inside a drug-store. Presently Colonel Gerald came down the street and, as he approached, the elder brother stepped out small concern and we use to hold con ferences before drawing our salaries so as not to both of the store and fired on him with a heavy revolver. The shot shattered his left arm and, at almost the same moment, the other brother rushed across the street and fired at him from behind. The bullet struck a metallic button on the back of Colonel Gerald’s coat, which deflected it, and, instead of going through him, it passed around the body and made a terrible but not a mortal flesh wound. With almost incredible nerve the old man walked straight at his first assail ant without even turning his head when he received the second wound. The elder Harris made a desperate effort to dis charge his weapon a second time, but for some reason it failed to work. He then thrust it back into his belt and drew a second revolver. Before he could use it Gerald fired, his bullet entering the throat of his antagonist and inflicting a mortal wound. Meanwhile the younger Harris had continued to fire on Gerald from be hind, but his bullets flew wide of their mark, and, having disposed of the first man, the Colonel turned coolly to engage with the other. Harris retreated, but the old war-horse rushed straight at him, pushing aside all interference, and killed him then and there with two well-directed shots. Gerald then fell himself, com pletely exhausted from loss of blood, and next day his arm was amputated. He is now rapidly recovering, so Mr. Ward as sured me, and he will be out in a few weeks. Such a battle, waged by a man of his age, when he had received two frightful wounds before he even drew his weapon, is the most remarkable instance of clear grit I ever heard of in my life. Mr. Ward describes Gerald as a man who has heard about fear but doesn’t know what it is through personal experi ence. £ Decidedly the most spectacular jag that has been accumulated in the corporate limits of Atlanta in many days was that acquired by a well-known young man from Augusta a week or so ago. He is the son of a prominent minister, and occu pies a conspicuous place in Augusta society, despite the fact that his habits of dissipation have become the talk of the town. He arrived in Atlanta with several hundred dollars in his pocket and pro ceeded to whoop things up the moment he stepped off the train. In less than twenty four hours he was without the price of a drink, and his overcoat was “hung up” at the Kimball House bar as security for a S WE SINCERELY WISH YOU J f fl I | merry Christmas | •J . ... and ... . i s n » f E 2 1 „ f s Sappy Dew year, * I i and may you live long ” T. to trade with us, and -y £ become prosperous by £ ?, doing so -V J** * s t We assure you that we $ $ shall always appreci- J £ ate your patronage and fl? strive to be deserving ♦ £ of it 13. m. Sigh s Co. 5 9