OCR Interpretation


The Rio Grande rattler. ([McAllen], Hidalgo County, Tex.) 1916-1917, April 27, 1918, Image 5

Image and text provided by New York State Military History Museum

Persistent link: http://www.nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn87030234/1918-04-27/ed-1/seq-5/


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GAS ATTACK 3 HIGH HOPES AND HIGH FINANCE On the Last Lap of the Officers’ Train­ ing School. During the course of this w ar we may participate in a battle th a t will, for the tim e being, crowd aside the mem ory of those two final weeks in the O. T. S. It will be considerable fray as battles go. It will have to be. W e returned from the rifle range to set­ tle down more or less sanguine th a t it was all over except the ringing of the dear old welkin, the sounding of the well-known toc­ sin and the hallelujah shouting. Every fel­ low had Ms own private source of inform a ­ tion and there w ere as m any rum o rs afloat as there w ere students in the school. Everybody im p a rted his rum o r to every­ body else in strictest confidence. Thus ev­ erybody knew w h a t everybody else had heard and nobody passed his particular se­ cret along inasm u ch as he knew th a t every­ body else knew i t , AH Wrong! AH Wrong!! F ir s t of all, it was generally agreed, every m an who lived to get back from the range was virtually certain of his commission. Nobody was ever so wrong as we were. Somebody heard th a t the com m issions w ere already signed and th a t the absence of P resident W ilson, Secretary Baker, Lloyd George and a few other incidental person­ ages was the only circum stance th a t pre­ vented our im m ediate graduation. Somehow or other the rum o rs could not quite agree upon our assignm ents. They combined to attach us to every branch and camp of the service. But nobody lost sleep on this account. W h a t was a post or an as­ signm e n t betw e e n a lieutenant. Come w h a t m ay or go w h a t must, a lieutenant was a lieutenant in Flanders or Finland, S p a rtan­ burg or Pasadena. From every city east of Denver came pam p h lets and catalogues proclaim ing in print and photogravure the superior excel­ lence of the uniform s m anufactured by M essrs. Cohen, Gushberg, Spivak, Mandel- stein, G reenblatt, M eyerstein and Blumen- thal. Could their representatives call upon us for our m e a surem e n ts? Could not they be so vastly honored as to send us their special catalogues and m e a s u rem e n t blanks. M ight not they be so overwhelm ingly flatter­ ed as to have us listed w ith the m u ltitudes of Generals, M ajors, Captains and L ieuten­ ants already on their books? Such literature could not but have its ef­ fect. T h e reafter and immediately, there started an era of frenzied finance th a t some­ how suggested the early days of Pittsburg fortunes and W all S treet prodigies. Of course, the vast m a jority of us couldn’t, by the fiercest w rench at the fam ily fortune, m u s ter more than seven dollars at the out­ side. Several m alefactors of great wealth and a few of the sons of the predatory in­ terests produced rolls of sundry sizes th a t am o u n ted to as much as ten and fifteen dol­ lars. But it is safe to announce that, save for a really infinitesim al few, the Forty Thieves couldn’t have shaken down the school for more than the price of one good uniform. The Panic Starts. Inasm u c h as experienced officers agreed th a t uniform s, hats, boots, belts and so on w ere necessary appendages to a lieutenant, we all realized w ith more or less concern th a t w e’d have to purchase sam e; and to purchase sam e necessitated the possession of money. I m e n tion no nam es but in the succeeding days I heard otherw ise sane and efficient non-coms indulge in some of the w ildest schem es to possess them selves of money th a t w ere ever hatched at a m e e ting of a wild-cat m ining or real estate board of di­ rectors. It is but fair to state, now, th a t nobody hinted blackm ail and nobody owned to thoughts of burglary, banditry or forgery. But the things th a t w ere done dr were thought of being done to life insurance pol­ icies, L iberty Loan Bonds and like assets would have made Broadway ticket specula­ tors look like the inhabitants of a day nur­ sery. To add to the furore, came the not-quite- official news th a t each successful student was to be granted a fifteen-day furlough. Visions of a trip back to New York, Buf­ falo, Rochester, Syracuse, Hornell, Elm ira, Pulaski, Lyons, Arkport, Penn Yan and other hustling villages w h erein m o thers and other favorite girls resided loomed up like oases. , The B irth of Genius. W ith these prospects cam e the stern con­ viction th a t additional funds would be pain­ fully necessary. Brains that, hitherto, had evinced nothing suggestive of more than norm a l powers, becam e power houses of brilliance. F’ellows who had never schem ed for more than three square m eals a day and a bit of excitem e n t now and then began evolving propositions th a t would have made the late Mr. Gates appear am a teurish. V irtually every needy w a rrior bethought him self of the days of his enlistm e n t. He dug about his mem ory for a list of those en­ thusiasts back home who w rung his hand at the arm o ry or the railw a y station and said, \George if there is ever anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate. Get me right, George, I’m there like the sun if you ever need a friend. Call upon me at any time. Any­ thing! ANYTHING! Ju s t drop me a line and the fam ily jewels are yours. So long, George.” Well, nobody hesitated. George and Jim and Bill and John all had it right. The longest letters in the history of finance w ere w ritten. Sufficient money to fit out a Field M arshal and his staff was spent for stam p s and telegram s. Men who had never HIGH PRAISE FOR 102D M. P. ! o Major Shantou's Command Com-1 o mended By Maj. Gen. O'Ryan. I ” The 102d M ilitary Police, comm anded f 7 by M ajor T. H a rry Shantou, have been | o h ighly commended for their efficiency by | \ Major-General O’Ryan in a letter, printed f <> below: \ !; April 16, 1918. | Acting A d jutant, | 7 Commanding Officer, 102d M ilitary Police, 4 11 Commendation. | 1. The Division Comm ander directs f 11 f \ me to acknowledge receipt of your report f .. of operations of the M ilitary Police from | ’’ the day of their arrival at this Station ? \ to A p ril 1, 1918, and to say th a t upon the f m facts therein set forth and as a result of | ? his personal observation of the w o rk of J 7 the M ilitary Police of this Division, he f 7 commends the officers and enlisted men \ for their zealous attention to duty, ex- | ° em p lary record of good conduct and effi- f <> ciency. I 2. It should be recorded th a t one of | ’’ the m o st im p o rtant accom p lishm e n ts of f <• the M ilitary Police has been the respect f 11 for and confidence in the organization J m anifested at all tim es by the soldiers ? <> of the Division. The M ilitary Police have 4 been able to perform th e ir duties efficient- f j’ ly and im p a rtially and at the sam e tim e f <> win and m a intain the regard of our men. 4 ]' The Division Comm ander congratulates | <’ the officers and enlisted men of the Mili- f tary Police upon the excellence of their 4 \ record. | By command of M ajor-General O’Ryan. f o ’ H. B. BATTENBERG, I A d jutant-G eneral J w ritten anything more vivid than a letter th a t ended \hoping you are the sam e ” pro­ duced epistles th a t would have added fam e to the nam e of Prosper M erimee. Aunts, uncles and grandparents who had never before seen so much as a Y. M. C. A. post card from Camp W a d sw o rth received thousand-word gems of descriptive w riting th a t did the camp and its picturesque envi­ rons proud. Cousins of suspected w ealth received letters so cordial th a t they decided to run for Governor or som ething. Of course all these letters ended sim ilarly. There would be a vivid paragraph pertain­ ing to the Goliathic task of winning the comm ission; another about the im p o ssibili­ ty of providing against the coming expenses w ith a private’s or a corporal’s or a ser­ geant’s pay and then the final point-blank appeal for cash—im m ediate and genuine cash th a t could be traded in for railw a y (Continued on page 32)

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