Baltimore Evening Sun (23 February 1912): 6.
Proposed costume for banquet guests and other persons compelled to listen to the Hon. Mahoni Amicus’ sad tale of the unspeakable Sunpaper’s conspiracy against him and to suffer the inundation of his tears:
A pair of cigars for the name and address of a first-class spiritualist medium—not a retired apple-woman in greasy bombazine, but an operator of high-grade, able to produce plausible messages from Benedict Arnold, Andrew Jackson and Robert G. Ingersoll.
Only 36 days more of flapdoodle and balderdash at Annapolis! Then the baseball season—and cleaner sport!
From an article by the Hon. Mahoni Amicus in his official newspaper, written in the discreet third person:
When Mr. Preston was elected to the office of Mayor the people entered into a contract with him to keep him at the head of the city government for four years. He was elected on that understanding and ran for office on that condition.
A dognified statement of an indubitable fact. Nothing could be more vicious than the present effort to turn the honorable gentleman out in 1913. If, as it is argued, the existing City Charter needs revision, then the time to put that revision into effect will be at the end of his term. He should be permitted to serve out his term unhampered—not part of his term, but the whole of it. To curtail it in the slightest, or to handcuff him with restrictions unheard of when he outlined his policies, would be to play against him unfairly and indecently. Who would yell loudest if it were proposed that his term be lengthened, by legislative act, to 1917? The very same men who now propose that it be chopped off in 1913!
The Vice Crusade, which is now just getting under way, promises refined entertainment during the ensuing year. The object of the crusade, as I understand it, is to break up the system of regulating the so-called social evil now in vogue in Baltimore—a system whereby the Supreme Bench, with the advice of the higher police officials, issues licenses to disorderly houses and is thus able to limit their number and regulate their operation. That system has worked very well for many years. It is not perfect, of course, but it has at least had the effect of stamping out robberies in disorderly houses, of closing the more vicious of them and of restricting them to a few neighborhoods. But inasmuch as it gives official recognition to the social evil—i. e., admits the existence of something which all of us know actually does exist—it is opposed and denounced by all virtuosi of virtue. Before the crusade goes any further it would be interesting to hear what the crusaders propose to substitute for this system.
Let all good friends of honest liquor keep their eagle eyes open. The Sacred College of Prominent Baltimoreans has solemnly denounced local option. According to the estimate of the Hon. E. Stanley Gary, dean of the college, the vote Wednesday stood 629 to 21. Thus it appears that the obeah is in full and powerful operation. If, now, the Prominent Baltimoreans launch into an old-time campaign of wind-jamming and resolution-passing, the local option bill is practically certain to be passed. It therefore behooves every wide-awake drinking man to get busy. To be routed by the professional moralists themselves would be bad enough, but to be beaten by the support of the Prominent Baltimoreans would be awful.
Meanwhile it is interesting to note that the Hon. William H. Anderson, chief bombardier of the Anti-Saloon League, trains his heavy ordnance upon the City Hall and prepares to shell the Right Hon. the super-Mahon. Theoretically, of course, that great statesman has nothing to do with the fight against the local option bill, but actually he is in the thick of it, for he is the author of the Hon. James McC. Trippe, whose late effort to assassinate local option behind a screen came to such grief. At the moment of writing, the super-Mahon is still radiating silence, but the betting is 10 to 1 in the kaifs that he will be lured into riotous utterance. All of which, as Pepys would say, will be pretty to see. The honorable gentleman is never more diverting that when he is indignant.
That, of course, is not a personal peculiarity, but a characteristic common to all men. Rile your enemy—and you have him. The Hon. Mr. Anderson knows it well. It was thus that he achieved the goat of the lamented Trippe. Trippe’s game was to be dignified, to play the part of an impartial judge, to carry on the high traditions of the office honored by Wilkinson, Benson and Mudd. But the slapstick of the Hon. Mr. Anderson quickly raised him to such a heat that he bounced out into the arena and began dancing a mad fandango. All his dignity and impartiality vanished. And while he performed, the Hon. Mr. Anderson took good care that a crowd was there to marvel and cry “Booh!”
My spies tell me that the local option bill will be defeated at this session, but by a very close margin. At the next session, no doubt, it will be carried. Then will ensue a period of boot-legging and blind-pigging—after which there will probably be a reaction to license. Meanwhile, it is interesting to note how beautifully the liquor men have mismanaged their campaign. Instead of appealing to the people at the start, and so making a square and stand-up fight, they appealed to the politicians. With what result? Simply with the result that they disgusted and alienated the people. Now they are paying for it.