Baltimore Evening Sun (21 December 1912): 6.


The case against the stuffers has now been exalted to the dignity of a wrangle over a technicality. The question whether the accused stuffed or didn’t stuff is no longer before the house. Thus jurisprudence gains its inevitable victory and the courts of Maryland are once more emancipated from the chains of fact. Let the orchestra behind the potted pseudo-palms play “Narrheit, Narrheit, ueber alles!”

Captain Santry, of the Northwestern district, in explanation of the current burglaries:

In this district we are short 15 men every night--that is, men of the regular uniformed force who are assigned to other than patrol work. Five are in plain clothes, and there are * * * any number of dance halls which have to be watched.

Fie, fie, dear capting! Don’t you know that it is more important to punish “turkey- trotting” than to nab burglars? Where is your virtue? What has become of your little book of baltimorality?

Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! Hear the snickers of the ex-sheriffs!

My spies rush in with the news that Der Deutsche Correspondent joined the Crusade Against Crusaders on Thursday, at the same time referring to me as an “intellectual Baltimore journalist.” I hasten to reply to the salute with a salvo from my whole battery of speckartillerie. The Correspondent is one of the few newspapers that a civilized white man may read without blushing. It gathers the authentic news from all parts of of the world and presents it in a dignified manner. Its reportorial staff is made up entirely of doctors of philosophy and most of them are also barons. Its editorials reveal the acuteness of Maximilian Harden and the literary grace of Friedrich von Schlegel. Its staff poet is a happy blend of Detlov von Lilienkron, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Otto Julius Bierbaum. It is the greatest newspaper south of New York and the greatest newspaper north of New York. No man who reads the Correspondent is ever sorry that he spent 30 years mastering the awful Gernian language.

And so, the mood of greasing being on me and Christmas being but four days off, I turn to my old friend, the Hon. Satan Anderson, and praise him without restraint. Can you imagine a more wily, a more resourceful, a more devilishly ingenious and pertinacious fellow? He has been murdered at least 40 times, and yet, he always bobs up serene and smiling, and with all his lacerations healed overnight. I have myself, on 75 separate occasions, blown up his alleged facts, shot his statistics in the foot, and heaved dead cats through his pathos--and yet he always comes back, he is always ready with fresh sophistries, he never lets go the tail of Demon Rum. Going further, I have sought to seduce him from his madness by tempting him with genuine Muenchener. I have sent barrels of it to his lair in the Towel Building, and have led him past thousands of kaifs when the wind was offshore, and have hidden bottles and seidels and steins of the best brews in every nook and corner of Annapolis, hoping that he would stumble upon them and fall. But no: he keeps the faith. He is bulletproof and factproof, Hofbraeuproof and Pschorrbraeuproof, Spatenbraeuproof and Franziskanerbraeuproof, Salvatorproof and bockproof.

Especially factproof. Consider, for example, this extract from a letter he contributed to yesterday’s Evening Sunpaper:

Will the Free Lance answer why it is that the police * * * always search the saloons first for men who are wanted for holdup or some similar offense, if there is no relation between liquor drinking and these things?

Here we have (a) a false statement of fact, and (b) an erroneous deduction. The truth is, of course, that the police do not search the saloons first. What they actually do first is to go to the suspected felon’s boarding house and inquire of his landlady if he is in. If she answers yes, they enter at once and proceed to manacle him. If she answers no, they enter anyhow and search all the cupboards. And if they do not find him by this process they go to the houses of his friends, his relatives and his best girl, perhaps in distant cities, and there keep watch. Meanwhile, some other crook, eager to curry favor, usually comes forward with pianissimo news of the fugtive’s whereabouts, and so, by the exercise of their characteristic sapience, the cops collar him. If that doesn’t happen, how do they get him? Well, if that doesn’t happen, they seldom get him at all.

But even supposing it were true, as the Hon. Mr. Anderson alleges, that every crook proceeds at haste from the scene of crime to the nearest kaif, what would it prove? So far as I can make out, nothing. A crook naturally desires some refreshment after a successful felony, just as a surgeon desires refreshment after cutting off a leg, or a judge after handing down a long and unintelligible opinion, or a newspaper editor after composing a racy editorial. The surgeon, the judge and the editor go home and drink out of their private jugs, but the poor crook, being, as a rule, a stranger in the city, is forced to use a. public kaif. Is this misfortune of his to be held against him? I think not.

But I wander from the point, which is this: that what a man does after a given act is obviously not the cause of that act. If I get up in the morning and shave myself, it is certainly no proof that shaving makes me sleepy. And if a bridegroom, at the wedding feast, lets his rejoicing augment to the point of inebriety (as so often happens, alas, alas!), is it fair to charge that drunkenness brought him to the altar? I hope not--and even the Hon. Mr. Anderson must agree. Time and time again, fugitive bank cashiers have been found in the bosoms of their Sunday school classes, eloquently expounding Ephesians iv, 28, but would my learned friend argue thereby that the International Sunday-School Lessons promote embezzlement?

No, my dear sir; you will have a deuce of a time proving that alcohol, that slandered boon, is the cause of crime. The truth is, and every policeman knows it, that crooks as a class are very sober men. When they drink at all it is periodically and as a pleasing recreation; in the heat of professional endeavor they eschew the wine cup. In brief, they are intelligent men. They know when to go to alcohol for its comforts and they know when to avoid its snares. And that knowledge they share with 99 per cent. of all truly civilized white men, including Congresamen, musical composers, City Councilmen, the Judiciary and the vast majority of the clergy.

Boil your drinking water! Cover your garbage can! So live that the embalmer will be proud of you!