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A Contribution To The

ERBzine Library Project

The Beau Ideal Trilogy Of

P.C. Wren

Beau Geste~Beau Sabreur~Beau Ideal

Part II

Review Of Beau Geste

by

R.E. Prindle

Contents:

Part I:  Introduction

Part II:  Beau Geste

Part III: Beau Sabreur

Part IV:  Beau Ideal

At the present time our actions are largely influenced by our theories.  We have abandoned the simple and instinctive mode of life of the earlier civilizations for one regulated by the assumptions of our knowledge and supplemented by all the devices of intelligence.

-Charles Howard Hinton, Scientific Romances

     Nothing presents a greater contrast between the ‘simple and instinctive life of the earlier civilizations; than that of the scientific European civilization.  The contrast in the Beau Ideal trilogy will be between the science of Europe and the simple instinctive beliefs of Islam.

     P.C. Wren, the author of this marvelous trilogy was a contemporary of Edgar Rice Burroughs born in the same year of 1875 although dying  in 1941.  He too was one of that favored generation that saw the end of the horse and buggy era and the development of the machine age.  One marvels that Burroughs witnessed the disappearance of the white spots on the maps of the world  while experiencing jet propelled fighter planes shattering his windows with sonic booms at the end of his life.

     Wren was born in England becoming a school teacher in the Raj of India.  He left India in 1917 when it was claimed that he did a five year stint in the Legion which means he would have been discharged in 1922.  There seems to be some doubt of any service in the Legion, heightened  I should think by the fact that he published two books during that period.  He had published some 14 titles between 1910 and 1924 when he hit the jackpot with Beau Geste.

     It seems much more likely that he acquired his FFL ideas from a 1910 volume, In The Foreign Legion, by a German writer named Erwin Rosen.  The Rosen book can be downloaded from the internet which copy is the one I read.  One can easily pick out the passages that form the whole of the FFL content of the Beau Ideal trilogy.  Wren may have spent some time touring the bulge of Africa but even then there is no scenery described that couldn’t have been written by Edgar Rice Burroughs who never left his own sunny shores.

     As Wren is supposed to have spent the rest of his life in England one wonders where he picked up his amazing knowledge of American and Hobo slang.  His two American characters, Hank and Buddy, seemed true to life to me.  Their home in Texas was probably also borrowed from Erwin Rosen’s early days as recounted in In The Legion.

     Wren, somewhere along the line read some Burroughs while it seems clear that Burroughs read the Beau Ideal trilogy being influenced by it.  This is fairly clear, for instance, in Tarzan Triumphant.  In that book Tarzan battles some desert nomads while one compares this passage from Beau Geste with the lost ribes inside Burroughs’ volcano.  Beau Geste, Lippincott, First Edition, 39th Impression:

     After riding for some three or four hours towards some low rocky mountains, we reached and approached a narrow and lofty pass.  This we threaded in single file, and coming to the top, saw an endless plain out of which rose a gara, an abrupt and isoalted plateau, looking like a giant cheese, cliff sided, with a flat top; the whole, I suppose, about a square mile in area.

     Apparently it was quite inaccesible and untrodden by the foot of man, or even of mountain sheep or goats.  Only an eagle, I imagined, had ever looked upon the top of that isolated square mile of rock.

     I was wrong, however, the place proving to be a gigantic fort- a fort of the most perfect kind, but which owed nothing to the hand of man.

     Circling the cliff-like precipitous base of the mountain, we came to a crack in the thousand foot wall, a crack that was invisible at a hundred yards.

     Into this narrow fissure the sheikh led us in single file, and squeezing our way between gigantic cactus, we rode along the upward-sloping bottom of a winding chasm that was not six feet wide.

     Suddenly our path was cut by a deep ravine, some three yards wide, a great crack across the crack in which we were entombed…

     So, adapted for Burroughs’ purposes one has a major portion of Tarzan Triumphant.  As we will see Wren borrowed prfusely from other writers including Rosen.

     Wren does an interesting thing.  While the time frame is rather loose, the time frame seems to be from, say, 1888 to 1910.  There is no mention of the recent Great War although the Bolshevik Revolution is hinted at.  The first volume, Beau Geste, which means Good Deed, is written in the style of the mid-nineteenth century.  The story is divided in two parts with a framing tale, the prehistory of the Geste Brothers in England and the events in the Legion Etrangere.  Beau Geste could have been written by Trollope or Ouida.  It does bear some resemblance to Ouida’s Under Two Flags.  The second title, Beau Sabreur shades into the pulp style while the third, Beau Ideal is full blown pulp and then some.  Thus while contrasting scientific and mythopoeic civilization Wren literally transits from mid-Victorian to pulp writing styles.  The banter of the characters also changes from the English style of the young Gestes to the hobo slang of Hank and Buddy.  Very nicely done.  You have to read the trilogy in sequence though to get the full effect.

     Wren has been influenced by Conan Doyle as he specifically says that Beau Geste is a mystery story a la Sherlock Holmes.  He might as well have added, based on Wilkie Collins’ Moonstone.

     But, in many ways, his story is overridden by his obsession of the Beau Ideal.  His point in the opening chapters is to establish the high moral character of the Gestes.   In this  he is relentless almost to the point of being dogmatic.

     While the novel is set, perhaps, in the late eighties or early nineties it was published in 1924 after the Bolshevik Revolution and the Red challange not only to high ideals but ideals of any kind.  With the Communists it was the ends justify the mean, with Wren it was a code of honor, a sense of fair play, of Marquis of Queensbury rules, of chivalry, in two words, of a Beau Ideal- a beatiful ideal.  A utopian hope equal to that of any H. G. Wells and the Communist myrmidons.

     Wren, along with most English and Americans would have been brought up in that great compendium of Western values- the stories of King Arthur and high chivalry.  Few people other than specialists would have read more than Mallory’s Morte D’ Arthur although a steady stream of contemporary interpretations was produced in the nineteenth century including Tennyson’s Idyls Of The King and Howard Pyles’s four volume rendering  published from 1903 to 1910.

     Pyle’s work was very likely read by Edgar Rice Burroughs but likely not until after he began writing  or perhaps the 1903 first volume earlier.  Traces show in some settings but more especially in his reversion to Pyle’s Arthuring phraseology, especially ERB’s clumsy and bothersome use of the word an for if.  Much of his stilted dialogue can probably be traced back to Pyle.

     Pyle’s Arthur is part of a neo-Romantic movement that contrasted highly with the scientific views of both ERB and Wren.

     The Arthurian stories are quite frankly the longest fairy tale in the English language expecially in the Pyle verson.  His books are all magic and enchantment in a land of Faerie.  I’m sure Burroughs would have been drawn to the work because of Pyle’s work as an artist and very famous book illustrator.  His version is very beautifully and charmingly illustrated by himself.  One can compare Pyle’s Arthur with L. Frank Baum’s Oz series as an influence on Burroughs.

     So, Wren, I believe, viewed the desert tribes in the light of the earlier Faerie world view that was embedded in the English and American mind, through the lens of science that made a sharp distinction between the West and the primitive desert tribes.

     Wren introduces the main protagonists in their English Arthurian setting.  The three Gestes, Isobel, Henri de Beaujolais and Otis Vanbrugh.  Otis, the American, is visiting relatives when he meets the Gestes, Isobel and Claudia.  He falls in love with Isobel worshipping the ground she walks on in high chivalric manner.  Wren spends pages on banter before getting to the crux of the matter, the theft of the jewel, the Sapphire called the Blue Water.

     Michael, or Beau Geste, is the personification of the Beau Ideal.  Thus when the jewel is stolen by Claudia, which only he knows, he chivalrously assumes the guilt leaving for the Legion Etrangere.  His brother Digby confesses to throw doubt on Beau’s guilt also heading for the sands of Africa.  John Geste who has just discovered his love for Isobel and become engaged also leaves it all behind disappearing into the night.  Otis goes back home.

     John assumes his brothers have joined the Legion so acting on that assumption alone he goes to Paris and does so also.  From his joining in Paris to Fort Zinderneuf the account of the Legion closely follows Rosen’s account of his adventure in his book, In The Foreign Legion.

     John Geste joins in exactly the same manner, has exactly the same adventures en route to Africa and aboard ship across the Mediterranean.  If  Wren had actually been in the Legion there would have been no reason for him to hue so close to other’s experiences so I think it’s clear that he himself was never in the FFL.

     By luck John finds Beau and Digby in Oran where all three are assigned to the same company posted to the Legion city, Sidi Bel Abbes.  This company is then marched to Fort Zinderneuf somewhere in the South either in the actual Sahara or in the Sahel but toward Nigeria.

     The rumor of what is referred to as the diamond gains currency and the brothers are thought to be jewel theives.  A number of people are conspiring to obtain the jewel.  In fact Beau does have the Blue Water.  I’m not going to get into the story of the stone, it has nothing to do with the Beau Ideal.  If you’ve seen the movie, Beau Geste, you may remember, if not, if you wish to know you’ll have to see the movie or read the book yourself.

     Once on station disaster strikes, the troops mutiny just as the Arabs attack and the entire contingent save John is killed.  As the men die the Sergeant sets each one at his post to give the appearance that the fort is fully manned as the survivors race from port to port firing at the Arabs.

     The mystery, of course, is that when the relief column arrives under the command of de Beaujolais, the Arabs have fled leaving a fort manned by dead men.  Wren here introduces the Communist villain Rastignac.  Hank and Buddy who were in the Geste’s company had been assigned to other duty which was with de Beaujolais.  They arrive in his column.  All three of these characters, four with de Beaujolais will figure largely in the two sequels.

     For now Rastignac refuses an order to enter the fort whose eeriness is unsettling.  Doing his duty de Beaujolais fires point blank with his pistol which misfires saving the traitor’s life.  The bugler who is Digby Geste volunteers to enter the fort promptly doing so.

     He discovers the dead Beau and the Sergeant who has Beau’s bayonet in his torso.  Digby also disappears so the mystery of the fort intensifies as de Beaujolais enters to find the mysterious sight of Beau and the Sergeant with the walls lined with dead soldiers.

     Skipping to the essentials, Rastignac rouses the men to mutiny while they are about to do when a fire breaks out in the fort saving de Beaujalais’ face.

     So the main story ends.

      Wren then has to set up the sequels.  These involve de Beaujolais, John Geste, Hank and Buddy and Rastignac.  Otis Van Brugh is temporarily not in the picture.  Wren also wants to set up his notion of the Beau Ideal.

     John Geste has already slipped over the back wall.  Digby now follows him.  Buddy and Hank are selected to slip through the imagined Arab lines to bring help.  All four meet behind the fort.  Wren had read Rosen, who he follows closely, so he knows it is certain and gruesome death at the hands of the Arab women to be on foot in the desert.  Hank and Buddy already have camels so two more are procured.  The band then sets out for the desert.

     They disguise themselves as Arabs experiencing various adventures like errant knights of Arthur.  Here Wren displays his seeming near total lack of experience on the burning sands.  His mountaintop encampment appears to be a combination of Burroughs and Verne’s City In The Desert.  Digby is killed in a battle with Arabs while John Geste comes down with fever being taken back to Nigeria by Hank and Buddy from whence he returns to England.

     Buddy had been lost on the burning sands so as part of the loyalty of the Beau Ideal Hank goes back in search of him.  And so Beau Geste ends.

     The mystery of Fort Zinderneuf will be explained in the sequel.  John feeling guilty for failing his friends in the tradition of the Beau Ideal will return to look for them.  Otis Van Brugh shows up in Africa with his sister Mary.  De Beaujolais becomes an agent of the secret police of France a la Tarzan but as an officer of the Spahis, a different force than the Foreign Legion.

     Wren then cleverly and amusingly builds on Beau Geste in the two remaining novels but in a different story.  Overall, nicely done.

     The review of Beau Sabreur follows.

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A Novel

Our Lady Of The Blues

Part VII

The Heart Of The Matter

Back In The USSA

 

     At any rate Tyrone broke a few handy double edged Gillette razor blades in two fixing them so they projected an eighth inch beyond the toe of each shoe.

     ‘Hey man, whatcha doin’ with those blades in you shoes?’

     ‘We bein’ transferred now, we don’t be havin’ nothin’ mo’ to do with this ship.  This where that motherfuckerin’ peckerwood who insulted the Black race pays his debt to our society.’

     ‘Tyrone, Tyrone, let it pass, man.  It ain’t no nevermind what no dumb Honky says ’bout nothin’.  Man, they goin’ lock you up and throw away the key.  That’s one Honky you goin’ to have to listen to. Forget it, man.’

     ‘How they gon’ do that?  We be transferred.  We don’t have nothin’ to do with this motherfuckin’ ship no mo’.’

     Other Black voices joined in:  ‘Hey man, you right but Distell right too.  Let it pass, no peckerwood worth goin’ to jail for.’

     ‘I tol’ we bein’ transferred.  We beyond their jurisdiction.  Can’t be nothin’ done to me now.’

     So saying Tyrone checked the security of the razor blades once again then making sure his clothes were squared away so he looked sharp, and all the Blacks wore their clothes more squared away than the Whites, he began the walk back to First where he expected to find Trueman.  He intended to cut him down before all the other Whites.

     The foregoing discussion had been conducted in tones well above the confidential level usually employed by Blacks so the whole of Supply heard it.  Standing with the Supply sailors at the time had been Teal Kanary.  Never one to lose an opportunity he said he would go back and warn Trueman by which he meant to say that he intended to enjoy watching the slaughter.

page 1331.

     News travels like a tsuname aboard ship.  Before the word had gotten out of Tyrone’s mouth everyone aboard ship with the exception of Trueman knew what was about to go down.  the decks were cleared in anticipation.

     Kanary went back to speak to Trueman.

     ‘Hey Trueman, Chief Dieter wants to see you on the fo’c’sle.’  Kanary had correctly divined that Jackson would take the port side to avoid possible detection by the Quarterdeck.

     Tyrone was a little disconcerted to find Trueman approaching him midships.  As he had expected the encounter to take place in First where Trueman would be humiliated before the White Race his resolve was not quite at the right pitch as he was still in process of working himself up to it.  Nevertheless, he got down.

     ‘Alright, you motherfucker, you goin’ hafta fight me now.  You can’t insult theBlack Race and get away with it.’

     Kanary emerged from the toilet to stand on Trueman’s right to egg him on.

     ‘I don’t have to fight you for any reason.’  Trueman said stoutly unwilling to get inv0lved in a fight he might lose.  Even though taller than Tyrone with a longer reach Trueman had never had a fight in his life.  Tyrone’s razor blades would have made short work of Trueman’s Marquis of Queensberry offense.

page 1332.

    ‘Don’t be chicken, Trueman.’  Kanary drilled into Dewey’s right ear.  ‘Let him have it.’

     Fearful for the safety of his friend who he knew would be prison bound, Distell Washington left right behind Jackson in search of either Pardon or Dieter.  He found Pardon first.

     ‘Man, Tyrone done flipped out.  He’s got some razor blades in his shoe and he’s gon’ cut up that Dewey Trueman guy pretty bad, maybe kill him if you don’t stop it.’

     ‘Where is he?’  Pardon asked in alarm.

     ‘He goin’ down the port side to First.  Stop my fren’ but don’t tell him I said it.’

     Pardon had come down from the fo’c’sle just behind Jackson.  By the time he walked up, Trueman who had no choice but to fight or lose status forever, was squaring away.

     Two intellects were in collision.  Trueman had been raised on Arthurian rules of a fair fight.  He followed Marquis of Queensberry rules naively thinking those rules were the norm.  He didn’t even look at Jackson’s feet because kicking was illegal.

     Tyrone, raised in the Chicago Stockade had only ghetto rules:  anyway fair or foul.

     He was stepping back to take a kick when Pardon standing well back and leaning forward grabbed Tyrone’s right arm.  It wasn’t the safest or smoothest move but Tyrone had at least learned to respect authority.

     ‘Let me give you some good advice, Sailor, don’t do this or you will go to the brig.’

page 1333.

     ‘Shit, man, I been transferred.  you can’t do nothin’ to me now.’

     Trueman had gotten into the classic stance as seen in every boxing ring although his boxing skills were squat.  Even though he had his long thin dangerous looking Japanese stileto in his pocket it never occurred to him to brandish it.

     ‘OK, let’s go man.’  He said to Kanary’s joy.

     ‘Trueman, for Christ’s sake look at his shoes; he’s got razor blades in his toes.’

      ‘Razor blades!’ Trueman said astounded at such foul play looking down at the gleaming Gillette steel protruding beyond the toe of the sole.  He stepped back.

     ‘Just because you’re being transferred to another duty doesn’t mean you can get away with cutting a man up.  If use those blades on him you’re going to cut him up pretty badly, maybe kill him.  If you do the only place you’ll be transferred to will be the brig while all your friends go to other duty stations.’

     ‘Bullshit, man.  Once I’m gone the Captain can’t do nothin’ to me.’

     ‘But you aren’t gone.  If you cut him we aren’t going to let you leave this ship except to go to the brig.  Your transfer will be canceled.  You are under Captain Ratches jurisdiction until you cross that gangway.  Then you are still under the Navy’s jurisdiction and the Navy will send you to the brig.’

     Doubt having been cast on his invulnerability Tyrone’s mind slowly grasped that there might be consequences he hadn’t counted on.

page 1334.

     ‘You one lucky motherfucker, peckerwood.’  Tyrone said jabbing his forefinger in Trueman’s direction as he turned to walk back to supply.

     ‘Oh no, man, you did the right thing.  Nobody thinks bad of you, man.  You just saved yourself a heap of trouble.’  Tyrone’s friends reassured him as they trooped up to the Quarterdeck to leave ship.

     Trueman and a number of other sailors were assembled to watch them go.

     Tyrone gave him a toss of the head and a derogatory snort as he passed across the gangway.

     Trueman was only too happy to see him go.

Does Anyone Know The Way To Long Beach?

     Dewey had had no idea why Tyrone was so antagonistic toward him.  He could only attribute Tyrone’s statement that he had insulted the Black race to what others may have told him.  He had by no means referred the statement to the incident in the laundry room.  Suffice it to say that his little Black nemesis was gone.

     With Tyrone Jackson gone Trueman’s attention was taken by Tory Torbrick.  Trueman had been doing his best to avoid Torbrick since his singular introduction.  But the ship was small, Torbrick was a Seaman who bunked in the same compartment.  He wouldn’t be repelled; he couldn’t be avoided.  Torbrick simply forced himself on Trueman; he would not take no for an answer.  Unable to get away from him Trueman had to accept his presence.

page 1335.

     Despite the coolness shown him by Trueman Torbrick asked Trueman to spend a weekend at his parent’s home.  Torbrick lived in Long Beach which was eighty miles up the coast on the seashore in that little bulge of land jutting into the Pacific.

     When he asked Dewey gave him a long cool look.  Unable to understand the man’s intentions Dewey declined.  Besides his mind was set on Oakland.  He had already committed himself to Roque Da Costa who, Dewey felt, might take offence at an apparent shift or splitting in loyalty.  Dewey was very reluctant to jeopardize that relationship by seeming to spurn Da Costa for a ‘better’ deal with Torbrick.

     As Torbric importuned him unashamedly Trueman finally gave in.  He agreed to see Long Beach which, after all, he had never seen before.  He couldn’t imagine what harm could come to him.

     Half the ship was Californian.  Lucky they were because they had the security of escaping the Navy on weekends.  Many, including Torbrick could go home at night if they desired.

     Torbrick had his own car so how much more perfect could it be?  Once on the road North Torbrick’s attitude quickly changed.  No longer begging Trueman he assumed the role of handler dealing with a very unusual specimen.  Although Torbrick was no homosexual the conversation took on a sex laden air.

     Torbrick believed the stories his father had passed on to him from Our Lady Of The Blues.  Thus he had to conceal his real purpose from Trueman but to hopefully get him to speak of the stories Torbrick had been told.  Hopefully Trueman would confess to murdering Michael Hirsh.  So the minds of these people went.

page 1336.

     As the car sped along 101 by the mouthof the bay across from North Island Naval  Air Torbrick began a discussion of a girl he knew.

     ‘Yeah.  We have this girl in town, sad case, no one knows why she does it, some say an unhappy home life but my pop and me think it’s just the way she naturally is.  Kind of genetic you know, she was just born that way, you know.’

     ‘You mean inherited and unavoidable, like, right?’  Trueman became uneasy and suspicious at the notion of heredity.  He had long been plagued by the notion of hereditary insanity because of the injustice done his father by, among others, Yisraeli.

     ‘Well, yeah, I…we…I mean me and pop, think it’s just the way she is and has to be.’

     ‘Hmm.  Well, I don’t believe personality or mental traits are genetically transmitted.  I believe they are the results of training and environment.  How does she have to be?’  quizzed Dewey, who felt that somehow this girl’s story would apply to him.

     ‘Well, when she was about fourteen she just started screwing everybody.  I mean everybody in sight.  Super loose.  Drove her mother crazy.  It got to the point where no one respectable would screw her anymore so she just sat out by the side of the road and offered herself to anyone who would pick her up.’

     ‘Wow!  So did you ever screw her?’

     ‘Me?  Gosh, no.  We’re too high class for that.  She’s real low.’

page 1337.

     There was the crux of the thing that Dewey thought appertained to himself although he couldn’t figure out how.  He sensed Torbrick’s manner toward him that he was considered as low as this girl hence beneath Torbrick’s dignity.  This reflection only made Torbrick’s interest in him less explicable.

     ‘So what happened to her?’

     ‘Nothing.  She’s still there.  Her mom tried to help her.  She sent her to psychiatrists for over a year.  Cost a lot, too.  We  know one, Beverly Warnack, so we got the whole scoop.  For a while it seemed like it was doing her good but then they thought they had her cured so she didn’t have to go anymore.  But once the heredity comes out, me and pop think, it’s a form of insanity, you have to go on being your natural self.  You can’t really fight it, it’s your destiny, your fate, you can’t avoid it so you might just as well lie back and enjoy it.  Ha. Ha.  You’ll be happier that way.’

     The mention of insanity brought the story home to Trueman.  He didn’t know where Torbrick got his stories but the hereditary insanity was a familiar refrain.

     ‘Well, Torbrick, let’s see if I’ve got this straight.  What you’re saying is that you inherit all your proclivities, upbringing has nothing to do with it.  For instance, a criminal is a criminal, a sneak is a sneak and cheat is so because it’s in his genes.  He has inherited his disposition from his parents who must therefore also be criminals, or sneaks and cheats.  Given that criminality is his natural disposition he will be much happier spending his life in prison, which is the natural consequence of crime, rather than fighting his inclinations and living unhappily on the outside.  Do I have it?’

page 1338.

     ‘Well, yes.  No matter how hard you try to suppress your real nature…’  Torbrick gave Trueman’s face a searching glance. ‘…sooner or later the real you will emerge.  Even as bad as it sounds, yes, you will find more satisfaction with your kind in prison than with us decent folks.’

     The way Torbrick said ‘us decent folks’ had the chilling effect on Trueman of being excluded.  He had no idea why Torbrick had so assiduously cultivated his friendship since he appreared to think Trueman was insane, criminal, or both but he put his finger to his lips in a moment of thoughtful silence.

     Torbrick broke the silence.  ‘By the way, Dewey, why do you always call me Torbrick?  Call me by my first name, Tory.’

     ‘It’s just that in the Navy we all go by last names.  It’s just natural to call you Torbrick.  I mean, you know, it’s the name stenciled on all your clothes.’

     ‘Speaking of that.  You sure have your name big enough.  TRUEMAN goes from shoulder to shoulder on your shirt.  In white too.  Everyone else’s is small and black.  People wonder about that.  I do too although, you know, I don’t care if it’s weird because we’re friends.’

     Most of the crew who’d been aboard when Dewey arrived were gone now.  The new men had no knowledge of how things had evolved.  So whereas Trueman’s eccentricities had been accepted the new men saw his lettering as standout peculiar.  That and bad mouthing by his enemies edged Trueman increasingly out of the ruck.

page 1339.

     ‘Yes, well, it’s genetic.  No, that’s a joke Torbrick.  When I first went aboard the ship had just come back from Westpac and all those guys had old gear or, rather no gear at all.  For some reason both ship and crew were real rundown.  It wasn’t neat and orderly like when you came aboard.  We had to spend weeks to make it ship shape.

     Rather than buy gear a lot of them stole it from us new guys.  Everyone of them was walking around with blacked out blotches and their name re-inked.  I lost a pair of pants which were returned because they were too small for anybody else and a couple shirts.’

     ‘How’d you lose them?’

     ‘Whadya mean how did I lose them?  They just don’t make it back from the laundry.  How else?  So, if you ink over black the name can’t be seen.  Black over white can be detected if you hold it to the light in reverse.  It’s easier to ink over a small area than a large one.  So, if anybody steals anything of mine I’ve got ’em dead to rights.’

     ‘Still seems pretty eccentric.’

     ‘Have you ever noticed there’s about four guys who don’t have anything that isn’t inked over?’

     ‘Oh well, at least one of those guys bought gear from guys on the way out.  That’s how they got their stuff.’

page 1340.

     ‘Oh yeah?  Have you ever had anybody offer you clothes because they were being discharged?’

     ‘No.’

     ‘Me neither.  anyway I haven’t had anything stolen since then no matter how eccentric it looks and you have.’

     ‘No, I haven’t.’

     ‘Didn’t you till me that a pair of your pants was missing?’

     ‘Sure, but nobody stole them.  They just didn’t come back from the laundry.  They got lost somehow.’

     ‘Oh, say, did you ever notice that you and Laddybuck Ifrit are the same size and he’s one of those guys whose clothes are all inked over?  Not to change the subject but what’s Tory short for, Torbrick?’

     ‘No. It’s short for Torrance.’

     ‘Torrance?’

     ‘Yes.’

     ‘You mean like the town of Torrance up by LA where Ifrit’s from?’

     ‘Uh huh.  My father named me after it.’

     ‘No kidding?  Good thing he didn’t name you Gardenia.  ‘Course, Gar’s not too bad.’

     ‘No.  I could call myself Gary, too.’  Torbrick chuckled as he guided the car off the freeway onto the overpass leading over to the coast and Long Beach.

     ‘Wow, this is a lot further from 101 than it looks on the map.’  Dewey remarked after an hour of driving.

     ‘California’s a big state.’  Torbrick replied as they passed through a picturesque quarry with a quaint loading tower for gravel.

page 1341.

     Trueman was disappointed with Long Beach. It was a dreary little town without the life and exuberance of LA or the golden climate of San Diego.  There was even less there there than in Oakland.  That was only the aspect Dewey saw because Long Beach was and is a good sized city.  Built on oil and shipping including the Naval Station along with Terminal Island prison it seemed to be a prosperous city.

     Dewey was further disappointed when Torbrick drove down a dreary street of little houses the residents called bungalows.  From Torbrick’s conversation Dewey had expected something a little more grand.  They entered the little thousand square foot house to be greeted by Torbrick’s whole family, father, mother, brother and sister.

     Dewey gave them his warm and fuzzy best only to be greeted by a cold studied curiosity not hostile but not friendly either.

     Bert Trobric was two inches taller than his six-two son.  He was much bigger and more heavily built than his son.  Given the task before him he could hardly be friendly to Trueman.  It is a rare individual who befriends his victim.  Bert had to have contempt for him.  Indeed, given the stories of Our Lady there would have been little to like about Trueman.

     What Trueman saw in his turn was one of that legion of losers who curse life for slighting their genius rather than exerting themselves to solve life’s problems and succeed.  He projected an aura of failure that required Trueman to conceal the revulsion he felt.

page 1342.

     Torbrick’s mother was a mousy beaten down woman who had never had any merit to her.  The house showed no understanding of homemaking, no taste, nothing that proclaimed a superior genetic makeup.

     Bert began by belittling and criticizing Dewey in a direct manner that couldn’t help but offend.  Still, brought up to a semblance of manners, Dewey tried to turn Bert aside with no success.  Finally Dewey looked about him and in an obvious manner asked Bert what he did for a living.

     Bert, perpetually on the make but seldom employed, evaded the question by telling what he used to do.

     ‘I used to a musician.  I was with a couple local California bands you probably never heard of.’

     Dewey prided himself on at least knowing names.  He had heard of Ernie Hecksher before he’d gotten to San Francisco so he was confident Bert couldn’t stump him:  ‘Oh yeah, which ones.’

     ‘Well, I was with Harry James for a while.’  Bert said in an offhand manner as though he thought Dewey would not have heard of this ‘California’ band.

     ‘Oh wow!  Harry James!  Gee, he’s a pretty famous trumpet player.  What did you play?’

     ‘I didn’t say I was in the band, I said I was with it.’  Bert had been a roadie with the band.

     ‘Oh.  What did you do?’

     Bert changed directions again rather than admit he had been the band boy.

page 1343.

     ‘I’ve done some composing.’

     Dewey, beginning to see through his man, noted that Bert didn’t say he had composed for Harry James nor that he had been successful at composing, only that he had done some composing.

     ‘Oh yeah?  Did you write anything I’ve ever heard of?’

     ‘Umm.  I had a hand in ‘Melancholy Baby.’

     ‘Sure.  Good song.’  Dewey said figuring that if Bert could write ‘Melancholy Baby’ he must  have written other songs too.  If so, where was the money?

     ‘Well, if you’ve made all that money what are you doing living in a place like this?’  He said, with seeming ingenuousness.  Dewey had heard of royalties.  In legend those ‘pennies from heaven’ added up.

     Bert flinched giving him a sharp look.  ‘I was only oneof the three who got rights so I had to share it.  I still get a royalty check every now and then.’

     ‘How much?’  Dewey kept burrowing.

     ‘Ten or fifteen dollars maybe a couple times a year.’

     Ten or fifteen dollars was much more than Bert deserved.  He had actually no hand in the composition of ‘Melancholy Baby’ or any other published song; he had merely chanced to be there when the song was written.  The composers hadn’t been able to get rid of him but rather than lose the idea while it was fresh they went ahead anyway.

page 1344.

     Having suggested a slightly more felicitous turn of phrase, he suggested ‘cuddle up’ rather than ‘snuggle up’, he had demanded from the real composers a third of the copyright.  In the circumstances it had been difficult to refuse him.

     That was more or less how Bert made it through life.  Now, as he looked contemptuously at Dewey, as a man must look at one he hopes to vicitmize, he saw only twelve hundred-fifty dollars on the hoof.

     He never did answer Trueman’s question of what he did for a living.

     After a dinner of undercooked hotdogs, Torbrick’s mother was a gourmet chef, Trueman was given a blanket and a dusty pillow from the couch and a spot on the kitchen floor to pass the night.  He was offered no breakfast in the morning.  Torbrick didn’t offer to introduceTrueman to his friends because he had none.  The genetically superior Torbricks were not well thought of.

     Part of the charm of bringing Trueman home with him was that plans were made to make Trueman seem less popular than Torbrick himself.  Our Lady had been mystified because there was no indication that Trueman was following the homosexual practices which had been attributed to him.  He thought that by replicating the original conditions Trueman could be invoked to return to his reputed ways.  It never occurred to Our Lady that his informants could be wrong.

     Thus he had set up a situation that he thought came close to replicating what he had heard.  After sitting around all morning Torbrick suggested they drive down to a teen hangout on the beachfront road.  Trueman geared his manners to meet a polite crowd rather than the tough guys of Da Costa’s acquaintance.

page 1345.

     There was a mile and a half drive to the long beach that gave the city its name.  The aspect of the city improved somewhat.  There was a certain glee of anticipation on Torbrick’s face which gave Dewey pause to reflect but he had no choice but to trust in Tory’s good will.

     Leaving the car parked across the street they began the walk to the entrance.  When they were halfway across the street twenty teens or older erupted from the hangout shaking their fists and yelling and screaming at Dewey:  ‘Get out of here, Trueman, go away.  We don’t want your kind around here.’

     Dewey stopped in his tracks his mouth open.  Torbrick hung back a couple steps to conceal a pleased smile.  There was no need to go on so amidst the hoots and catcalls, Dewey turned around to head back to the car.  A snickering Torbrick followed him.

     The scene did replicate almost exactly the situation at the skating rink in the Valley.  Torbrick took the place of the guy who had driven him out to the rink.  As he had stepped out of the car in the Valley the crowd awaiting his arrival had behaved in the exact same way.

     Our Lady hoped that the replication woud compel Trueman to begin fellatio behavior, as he thought, again.  Our Lady never questioned his assumptions.  No matter how many times he was disappointed by results he merely thought that Trueman was repressing his true nature.

page 1346.

     And on the other hand using defamation skills that only Judaism knows how to so artfully employ Trueman was now forever defamed in Long Beach as Our Lady would defame him throughout the Southland.  The Anti-Defamation League should rightfully call itself the Defamation League.

     Driving back to Torbrick’s  house Dewey asked:  ‘What was that all about, Torbrick?’

     ‘It looks like they don’t like you at all.’  Torbrick said with smug satisfaction.

     ‘They don’t even know me, Torbrick.  How did they get my name in the first place.  You’re the only one who knows I’m here?’

     ‘They didn’t use your name.’  Torbrick lied straight faced.

     ‘They certainly did.  They said:  Get out of here, Trueman.’

     ‘I didn’t hear that.  They didn’t say that.  You’re just projecting your guilt, that’s all.’

     ‘Guilt for what?’

     Another maxim of the ADL is always deny and countercharge.  No matter how clear the facts, have the chutzpah to deny them.  Thus when Franklin Roosevelt told the people of Pittsburgh one year that he would never send their sons to war he had to appear before them a year later to say he was sending their boys to war, his Jewish advisor, Samuel Rosenman, told him with a straight face, no irony intended:  ‘Just tell them you’ve never been in Pittsburgh in your life.’

     Tory had been tutored by Bert who had been tutored by Yehouda; Tory stoutly denied hearing Trueman mentioned by the crowd or any previous knowledge of what happened.  Trueman was not satisfied to have Tory deny what was in fact true.

     ‘You’ll notice they didn’t boo me.’  Torbrick said with smug satisfaction.  ‘They liked me.’

     ‘They didn’t even acknowledge your presence.’  Trueman said in derision.  ‘Let’s go back to the ship now.’

     ‘We’ve got till tomorrow.’

     ‘I want to go back now, Torbrick.’

     ‘Well, if you’re going to be a spoil sport and insist.  OK.  But my mother’s making macaroni and cheese tonight and her’s is really good.’

     ‘I can live without macaroni and cheese.  I want to go back.’

     Dewey was fuming as Tory’s car raced down the access lane to 101.  He had repressed his anger all the way from Long Beach.

     He decided to try again:  ‘What the hell was going on back there, Torbrick?’

     ‘I don’t know what you mean.’  Tory continued in his ridiculous dissimulation.

     ‘What?  You take me downtown to some back door dive and before we even enter the hoodlum punks come out on the sidewalk shaking their fists at me and you don’t even know who they were, who put them up to it?  They’d never seen me before.’

     ‘Did you notice that?’  Torbrick stonewalled innocently.  ‘They seemed to like me OK.  Did you notice that?’

      Trueman shut up.  He could see he was going to get nowhere.  He thought back to Torbrick’s arrival on ship unable to reconcile his self-introduction to this.  Tory pulled the car into the parking space at their arrival back at the Naval Station.  Dewey jumped out before the car stopped.  He left Tory in the car threading his way through the traveling derricks back to the Teufelsdreck alone.

page 1348.

     He was finished with Torbrick, but Torbrick wasn’t finished with him or, rather, Bert wasn’t.  There was the small matter of twelve hundred-fifty dollars still on the table.

Second Verse, Same As The First

      I guess we won’t be seeing you around anymore, Trueman.’  Laddybuck Ifrit sneered.

     ‘Yeah?  Your transfer come through, I hope, Ifrit?’

     ‘No.  Yours did.’

     ‘Mine?  How’s that?’

     ‘You haven’t heard?’

     ‘Obviously not.’

     ‘The Navy’s decided  to get rid of no good bums like you.’

     ‘I’m for it.  How does it work?’

     ‘There’s a new program.  Anybody with a GI quotient of 30 or less can apply for a medical discharge.’

     ‘Really, Ifrit?  They’re going to let everybody out with scores from 25 to 30?’  A score of at least twenty-five was necessary for enlistment.  The General Intelligence test was designed so that no one could fail.  If you marked box A on each of the multiple choice question test you achieved a 25.  If you lacked confidence the recruiters would tell you how to do it too.

page 1349.

     ‘I guess it’s back to Torrance for you, hey Ifrit?’

      ‘Hardly Trueman.  I scored a lot higher than that, but you’re what a 26-27.’

     ‘Hate to disappoint you Ifrit but my score is probably twice that of your kind.’

     ‘Hah.  They don’t go as high as seventy-eight.’

     ‘Oh.  I see you’ve got a thirty-nine, Ifrit.  Well over the line but a heck of a lot less than my sixty-two.

     Ifrit was stung by having tricked himself into revealing his score.  He was equally astonished at Trueman’s score.

     ‘Bullshit, Trueman.  You ain’t got no sixty-two.

     ‘Really?  Check up with your very close buddy, I mean very close buddy, Kanary.  He’ll tell you.’

     ‘What’s very close buddy supposed to mean?’

     Trueman crossed his two first fingers.  ‘Just like that, Ifrit, Kanary’s on top.  Ha, ha.’

     ‘If that means what I think it means, if I get up your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower.’

     ‘If you find the energy to get up Ifrit you sure as hell won’t find the energy to push that mower.  Use that mighty thirty-nine GI score and see if you can figure out what I mean.  Let’s see, thirty-nine?  Thirty-nine?  Is that above the level of moron?’

     ‘Hey, Dewey.  It seems like you’ve been avoiding me.  My parents want me to invite you back for another visit.  I want you to come too.’

     ‘I’m goin’ up to San Francisco, Torbric.  Thanks for the offer.’

page 1350.

     Torbrick would not take no for an answer but harrassed Trueman continually until he gave in.

     You could ask for early liberty on Fridays to give you a few extra hours on the weekend.  Torbrick wanted to do that but Trueman declined hoping Tory would leave without him.  He had disappointed hopes.  At five-thirty they were leaving the parking lot for 101.

     On the drive Torbrick once again related the story of the girl who was screwing everybody adding new details and elaborating the old.  It was difficult for Trueman not to think that he was being compared to her in some inexplicable manner.

     The sailors arrived late enough so there was only time for a bit to eat, small talk and bed.

     Our Lady and Bert believed that the episode on the beach had been enough to jog Trueman’s memory.  Their scheme was thus to abandon Trueman to his own devices on Saturday.  They believed he would find his way to a skating rink or perhaps sit on a streetcorner to resume what they thought was his former habit.

     Consequently at noon Tory informed Trueman that his family was going to a gathering to which Trueman was not invited.

     ‘Well, what am I supposed to do, Torbrick?’

     ‘I don’t know.  You’ll just have to amuse yourself until tonight when we’ll be back.  There’s a roller skating rink down on the beach.  Maybe you can pass the time there.’

     Yah, maybe.  Thanks for nothing, Torbrick.’

     ‘I’m sorry but that’s just the way it is.  The house is locked up so you can’t stay here.’

page 1351.

     ‘What’s the matter?  ‘Fraid I’ll steal the copyright to ‘Melancholy Baby’?  Dewey said sarcastically.

     Trueman was stunned and infuriated at being abandoned.  Had he been closer to 101 he would have caught a bus back to San Diego but Long Beach is fairly out of the way to the main stem of California so Dewey thought he would be just as far ahead to wait it out.

     Among the many conversations he had had with Southlanders aboard ship he had heard the Redcars mentioned.  Dewey was intrigued by the name.  Even though LA was fully committed to cars and freeways there still existed at that time an interurban trolley system known as the Redcars.  Today it would be known as a mass transit system.  Same function but I guess the latter name sounds more scientific.  The rails were soon to be torn up only to be relaid thirty years later.

     Dewey decided to spend the day riding the Redcars much to the disappointment of Yehouda Yisraeli, who you may be sure, was watching.

     The day would stir deep memories and trauma from Dewey’s youth but not as Our Lady expected.  Dewey had left the Valley in what can only be described as the deepest of depressions.  In its own way the Navy had been Trueman’s salvation.  Back in the Valley after graduation he had been reduced to a non functioning capacity unable even to get up in the morning.  The Navy provided a framework within which Trueman could function with minimal effort.   The Navy was the crutch of crutches for the walking wounded of the nation.  Had Dewey remained at home he would probably have been unable to function at all sinking slowly into an inert mass.

page 1352.

     Even now Dewey was very discouraged.  While he would have objected to a description of a feeling of inadequacy every attitude, every movement of his body was shaped to cover up just such a feeling.  His high voice and deferential, reticent manner betrayed just such a feeling.  Under stress he invariably fell back on a defensive clownish manner that removed him from any conflict while being contemptuously dismissed by his opponents.  Such contempt was immediately transformed in his subconscious into an acceptable correction so that he never showed any irritation at being so treated.  Still, he fought manfully to overcome his feeling of inadequacy.  Such a feat is not a matter of will but of the rearrangement of the intellect to expel the causes and replace them with positive motivations.  Dewey did not yet understand this but believed he could will himself into character.

     Mental images are always an important indication of where we are if we pay attention to them and are willing to understand their meaning.  Dewey, who did not understand the following image except in the obvious sense, compared his life to a tiny compressed bubble rising from the bottom of a very deep sea.  As the bubble wobbled upward the pressure decreased allowing the bubble to expand realizing its potential as it rose.

     Dewey’s fear for this bubble, he would never have been able to explaine why he feared for the bubble, was that it might become trapped beneath some sort of overhang or projection of a shipwreck and be forever arrested in its ascent.

page 1353.

     The psychological implications should be clear to all.  In another image Dewey dreamed that he stood beside an empty manhole with the cover still quivering.  It was not clear but it was still obvious that he had just emerged from the sewer.  Both images aptly described his psychological interpretation of his origins.

     Since it is axiomatic that one can never learn what one does not already know it is clear that Dewey knew what he did not yet comprehend.  As these images accompanied him constantly it may be assumed that his subconscious was unceasingly worrying him and prodding him forward and upward.  He had only to grasp the meaning and the symptom would disappear.

     He had made tremendous progress in the year and a half since he left the Valley and under the most adverse of circumstances.  A ship full of strangers in the Navy is no place to dwell on your psychology.  Fortunately for Dewey most of the damage had already been done.  The fodder for his dreams and nightmares for the rest of his life until he succeeded in integrating his personality had already been received.  Some fine mental line had been crossed on the return from the Pacific.  Prior to the return his psyche had been unable to handle its input.  His mind had been overwhelmed by the data.  From now on no matter how devastating his experiences he would be able to incorporate then into his experience and understand them to deal with them on a rational basis.  His very difficult task would be to clear his mental landscape of its trash heaps.

page 1344.

     With the elimination of the roar of the Niagara in his ears the foundation of his depression, so great was the distance on his road to recovery, had been passed.  In the journey of a thousand miles only the first step had been taken.  While the bubble would rise it would only rise slowly because of the intense pressure from above.  Dodging projections like Our Lady Of The Blues aggravated Dewey’s anxiety.

     Such was his mental state as he waited for the mass transit system.

     Now, it’s a good long way from Long Beach to LA.  The Redcar was a trolley but in any other state in America it would have been a trainride.  In Michigan the ride would have the equivalent of from the Valley to Detroit.

     An engine with three or four cars would not have been inappropriate.  Thus when a single Redcar showed up at the stop, not station, but stop, Dewey was not prepared for a most surrealistic experience.  Such a simple thing as a trolley ride would be a major life changing experience.  Why life changing?  As the author I don’t really know.  Perhaps the reader will be more perceptive.  Dewey was certainly not aware of it.

     As the trolley moved through the Long Beach stops there was no difference than being on a bus with steel wheels.  But then the Redcar burst through the city limits and began rolling through open countryside.  I do not report the actual scenes but only as they appeared through Dewey’s subjective reality on his road to psychic transformation.

     It seemed to him as though he was physically in the car but psychically perched on one of the long thin strands of coulds that streaked the immense gray-blue sky.  At that time the area was not completely built up but was open land.  Oil was the business of Long Beach.  Strewn across this near desert landscape of bare soil interspersed with hardy tufts of grass innumerable oil pumps slowly rotated rising and falling in slow motion now in unison now to the beat of an unseen solitary drummer.  Silently working, now the shiny piston fully exposed now plunged back into the sheath, working, pumping laboriously but effortlessly drawing up to the surface its p0ison that once released on the land must lay it waste unless genius turn it into something useful.

page 1355.

     Even so there was no splash of oil upon the ground or even into visible storage tanks.  the unseen subterranean bile was drawn from hidden recesses in the subconscious memory of the earth where without seeing the light of day it was mysteriously transported to processing refineries where the useless evil smelling bile was transformed into a myriad of useful products some of which were capable of transforming the Stygian dooms of night into the bright warming light like sunshine.  It could be done in Dewey’s mind; it must be done.

     The thick steel connecting rods, like drivers on a locomotive drew the heavy balance at the other end of the traveling beam to earh while the still heavier counter balance reared it back into the sky.  Over and over and over, silently, with no visible source of power.  The bile flowed and flowed and flowed ceaselessly in an endless unseen stream from the sewer of the earth like a bubble rising to be recreated into light.

1356.

     Care was necessary.  Planning.  There was a price for the release of pressure.  So much oil had been pumped from beneath the warm California sun that a greater depression occurred.  The earth sank into the created abyss.  The great concrete seawall at Terminal Island had cracked and broken as the earth sank beneath the foundations.  In places the bay washed over the sunken seawall.  Care must be taken lest one drown in one’s own tears.  Genius had learned its lesson.  Other pumps silently filled the depleted subterranean spaces with sea water to shore up the sinking surface.  All the while pumps rose and fell and Dewey’s bubble struggled upward to his seat in the clouds.

     For the first time in California he noticed that the grass was green.  True, this was after the spring rainy season so the grass was still growing; it wasn’t the dull straw color that characterizes California nine months of the year.  Still Dewey’s mental state had been such that all he had ever seen was sere desert.  What greens he had acknowledged were dull and lifeless.  The green grass came as a revelation like a flicker of light in inspissating gloom.

     His astral being high on its cloud watched himself rolling through the green desert of black oil in the little Redcar.  He could see the stops strung out along the line; stops out in the middle of the desert from the dwellings.  and yet people got on and off.  The lone tiny Redcar trundling through this strange delusive immensity slowed to a stop.

     As Dewey watched breathlessly, tense and anxious for unknown reasons, a girl, perhaps a woman in years, but with all the dazzling freshness of a young girl, mounted the steps to enter the car.

page 1357.

     Dewey gave an audible gasp.  He was entranced by the vision.  The gasp had been so loud that everyone in the Redcar had turned to look at him.  The girl herself, lonely as a poppy on the green hills of earth, fixed a steady inquiring glance on him.  Someone considerately changed seats so that when the girl sat down there was a space beside her for Dewey.  A space for Dewey?  Yes, a space for Dewey.

     Dewey was transfixed but he was also immobilized.  Like the stationary pumps outside the windows the black bile of his past was distributed from one point to another for processing purification.  Dewey’s mind was as crude oil.  The beauties it contained were enclosed in the thick viscosity of an undifferentiated past.  Old memories of Ange collided with his recent desires to render him incapable of action.

     He sat breathlessly clutching the steel bar atop the seat in front of him.  The tiny Redcar rolled through the immensity until the girl’s destination had been reached.  The girl got up.  People looked to see Dewey’s reaction.  Perhaps he would make his move now.  The girl fixed a receptive look on Dewey.  Perhaps on this enchanted evening the stranger who would redeem her life had arrived.  She got off but not hurrying away she stood on the dock looking at Dewey waiting and hoping for his move.

     The Redcar driver who had been watching the little drama had seen and approved.  All the world loves a lover.  He held the door open an extra moment longer, two, to give Dewey time to go to her.

page 1358.

     The pumps in Dewey’s mind moved resolutely up and down; the heavy counter weight falling with emphasis.  The black bile of Dewey’s past was drawn up and shunted away.  He sat frozen, humiliated by his own inaction.

     A myriad of thoughts passed through his mind.  There was only one type of woman he responded to.  She was a replica of the girl, the only girl, who had fixated him oh so long ago when he was fifteen.  Fifteen to nineteen.  What do you think?  Is it only a matter of four years?  No, no my friends, out across the Betelgeuse Bridge time is an irrelevant concept, in space time is frozen.  ‘The’ girl had lived in his heart forever.  The second that it took to put her there had never passed away.

     And here ‘she’ was again.  And she would accept him.  Dewey thought that to go to her would provide a balm for his remaining time in the Navy.  He could see himself taking up with her.  He would go to her every weekend to refresh his soul.  She would renew his life after a weekend of tortures.  Ah, but, Dewey reflected, he was in the Navy.  His desires were but the desires of desperation.  He had only the need to take; he had nothing to give.  His intentions were not honorable.  When his time was up he would lose interest in her and have led her astray for nothing.  The Navy was no place for two people in love.  And so he eased back in his seat while the driver moved out of the stop shaking his head in wonder.

page 1359.

     The spell of the journey was broken.  Whatever adventure was to have been achieved had been achieved.  Dewey got off at the next stop to take the desolate ride back to Long Beach.  He no longer noticed that the grass was green.  He was down from the cloud, body and soul being within the Redcar.

     He had nothing to say to Tory Torbric on the ride back to the Naval Station.

Waiting For Lefty Or Someone Just Like Him

     When McCarthy had been destroyed the pressure on the Reds had been  completely removed.  The counterrevolution had been completely emasculated.   The next counter offensive came from the ineffectual John Birch Society.  Conservatives were now known as lunatic warhawks.  The movie Dr. Strangelove released in the mid-sixties caught perfectly the Red vision of the conservatives of the period.  The effect was so complete that Dewey believed he had seen Dr. Strangelove in 1958.

     The Reds themselves were in the ascendant but disorganized by the McCarthy onslaught.  The Reds were still a threat to anyone who incurred their displeasure.  The threat, When the Revolution comes, watch out. was frequently heard.  Dewey in his simplicity thought it was a joke but it wasn’t; it was an actual threat from covert Reds.

     Yisraeli had been active consolidating his sources and means throughout the San Diego fleet.  He had a very substantial homosexual network.  He knew of ship movements almost before the Navy knew them itself.  Homosexuals were standard bearers of the Revolution.  They expected that the New Order would put them on top.

page 1360

     A key factor in the success of the Bolshevik Revolution had been the revolt of the sailors of the great Kronstadt shipyards near St. Petersburg.  They had actually been a Soviet all by themselves.  The Space Cadets of the Revolution in America believed that if the sailors of San Diego revolted seizing the fleet that the Revolution would succeed in America.  This was openly discussed.

     Disregarding the fact that there was no groundswell of support for Redism in the fleet the Red segment walked around in a quiver of anticipation.

     Teal Kanary had high hopes tempered with a growing sense of internal desperation.  Going back to the Th. Crapper warehouse escapade in Brisbane his sense of purity had all but been destroyed.  His Captain’s Masts and Court Martial had worked their way into his subconscious.  He had worked out conscious defenses but the mind is controlled from the subconscious.  Just as Dewey’s dreamwork for the next thirty years was formed so the basis of Kanary’s dreamwork and character had been irrevocably formed.

     Now lacking the confidence that had characterized his pre-Brisbane days he was called upon by Captain Ratches to betray the foundation of his existence.  Ratches, who understood the wellsprings of power was capable of taking direct action but only when direct action might appear inculpable.  While Erect had paid the price for his criminal activity on the equator the instigator, Paul Duber, had not.

page 1361.

     Ratches’ informers had kept him well appraised of the obvious characters of men aboard ship.  Thus he knew of the gatherings in After Steering while overseas, what they did and who attended.  He knew that both Duber and Kanary were queers.  Thus he proposed to set one to expose the other in a rather diabolical move.

     Jim Kanary, Teal’s father, while talking to Ratches on the dock when the ship returned had extolled his son’s virtues.  Foremost among Teal’s supposed virtues was a highly developed sense of loyalty.  The Captain had been informed that he could always count on Teal’s honesty and support.

     Ratches had taken it wryly at the time but now he thought to turn the Yeoman to good use.

     If anything, Duber, counting on the imminent arrival of the Revolution, had been more flagrant than ever.  He was very close to being queenly.  With a sly smile Ratches proposed through Bifrons Morford, although Ratches was present at the interview, that Kanary invite Duber up to the Yeoman’s shack to entrap him in an amorous vice.

     Kanary was shocked and dismayed at the clash of his values but as Morford let the word ‘loyalty’ drop a few times Jim Kanary had entrapped his son into a position where he could not say no.  His errors overseas had been unthinking errors which, though their effect was profound, could still be treated consciously as genuine mistakes.  Kanary was now called to premeditate the betrayal of his innermost secret character.

page 1362.

     He had some very painful moments of deliberation after Bifrons and Ratches left him alone.  That evening he called his pop.  Jim Kanary listened patiently as his son explained things in terms that included his own homosexuality.  Teal placed it more in the context of a McCartyite naming of names.  The American Communists had elevated the crime of naming names into the ne plus ultra of criminality.  They somehow managed to overlook the fact that they approved of Stalin’s forcing the naming of associates and accomplices during the Great Purge Trials of the mid-thirties.  They would also be able to overlook the same fault in Mao during the Cultural Revolution.  But then, for Reds integrity is a matter of whose foot the shoe is on.

     Jim Kanary pointed out that a good Communist must always be willing to seem to betray his convictions for the good of the Party but that a temporal betrayal without spiritual implications had no mundane effect on the purity of one’s intentions.  It was the same with the Stalin-Hitler pact.  One day you were an anti-Fascist the next day you were in bed with them and then the next day you weren’t.  It all worked out in the wash.  Right?

     That was easy enough for Teal to comprehend so he said:  ‘Sure, Dad.’  and hung up.  Temporal rationalization was an easy matter.  Teal’s conscious mind, his intelligence, had no difficulty with that but the heart, the subconscious, is a different matter.  Already drowning in a sea of doubts about himself Teal Kanary now went down for the third time.  He passed through the plane of existence into a different entity.  He was now a double agent and acquired a doppelganger.

page 1363.

     The entrapment of Duber went off without a hitch.  A kick on the door at the right moment had exposed Duber’s dual nature for Ratches and Morford to see.

     Then the problem arose as to who would press charges.  The homosexual community was a secret society, a fifth  column.  Retribution against the prosecutor could come from any direction in any number of clandestine ways.  Ratches was no fool, he quailed before the prospect.  While Duber had been exposed before all, that is, his proclivities were made incontestable, manifest and obvious there was no one to denounce him.

     Ratches, who thought Trueman had sufficient reason to hate Duber, made it clear to him that he could take vengeance on the Store Keeper.  But Trueman was less a fool than he used to be.  Time had been teaching him that it was unnecessary to be vocal about his feelings about homosexuality.  Neither Ratches nor Trueman would have admitted fear of the homosexual community but both chose discretion as the better part of valor.

     However as Duber had been exposed no practicing homosexual could be tolerated in an all male community.  Not even other queers wanted to be seen with him.  Duber became isolated.  He could no longer stand at the head of the shower line ogling the sailors and smacking his gravid lips.

     The Revolution was too slow in coming for Paul Duber.  Unable to endure isolation he turned inward alone and confused.  When his enlistment was up he chucked in his twelve years to return to civilian life.  A few years later he could be found on the streets of LA hanging around the bus station.

page 1364.

Three Strikes And Out

     Tory Torbrick had enough sense not to push Trueman too hard for the next few days.  Nevertheless when he had informed his father that Trueman had told Tory that he no longer wished to go to Long Beach Bert realized that the time to move was now, or he could kiss twelve hundred-fifty smackers goodbye.  He instructed Tory on what to say and not to take no for an answer.

      Thus Trobrick approached Trueman:  ‘Got any plans for the weekend?’

     ‘Yes.’

     ‘You could probably change them though.  Yu won’t get a chance like this for a while.’

     ‘Chance for what?’

     ‘Well, you know how you like to always see new things, go new places, well, my pop’s going up to Atascadero to visit an old school chum.  We thought you might enjoy going along.’

     ‘Where’s Atascadero?’

     ‘Oh, it’s up in the Bay Area around San Jose.’  Tory lied as he had been instructed.  Atascadero is above San Luis Obispo and below Paso Robles on 101 a long way from San Jose.  But, as Bert had no doubt his friend, Doctor Godwin, would admit Trueman it was thought best to keep his location as secret as possible from him so that if he did get word out he would direct his people to the wrong area.

page 1365.

      Little did they know that Trueman’s mother was of the mind to say:  Like father like son and let her son rot as his father was.

     ‘Oh yeah?  What do you do, just go up ninety-nine?

     ‘Uh, well, you can but it’s a lot easier to go up one o one.’

     ‘One o one?  Really?  All the way?’

     ‘Yeah.  Straight shot.’

      Well, Dewey thought,  What could happen?  He did like to go to new places.  True, he didn’t like or trust the Torbricks but this was the Navy.  He didn’t really like any of the people he had to associate with so it wasn’t so much a choice between good and evil as the lesser evil.  Besides it would be a weekend when he wouldn’t have to spend much money.  He could conserve his resources.

     ‘Yeah, Torbrick, alright.’

     Saturday moring found the entire Torbrick family and Trueman out on fabled Highway 101.  The highway was much less traveled than 99 and much more picturesque.  Up through the bizarrely named town of Oxnard to Santa Barbara and out through San Luis Obispo into the wild and gorgeous canyons that go all the way to San Jose.

     As they approached the town of Atascadero Dewey asked where the Bay was as Tory had told him that Atascadero was just above San Jose on the Bay.  There was nothing too subtle about Bert Torbrick.  He didn’t yet know what chutzpah was but he had it in spades.  He merely waved a hand and said:  ‘Just up ahead there.’  He rolled past the long green hedges of the Atascadero State Hospital For The Criminally Insane and up to the gate.

page 1366.

     Because of his father Dewey had often been taunted about being placed in an insane asylum.  He was familiar with numerous stories about persons being unjustly  committed by family, friends or even strangers who then had to plead to be let out.  It was a fate that haunted him from the depths of his mind.

     ‘Atascadero State Hospital For The Criminally Insane?  What are we doing here?’

     Tory who was riding in the back with Trueman made an involuntary move to restrain Trueman lest he leap from the car.  As it appeared that his worst fears might be realized Trueman was too paralyzed to even think such a thought.

     The guard telephoned Dr. Godwin to clear Torbrick then opened the gate to allow him in.  An immense expanse of the most vivid green, almost chartreuse, lawn spread away like the ocean.  The huge forbidding asylum lay far back across the lawn.  Dewey looked at it and swallowed hard.  He was already in, the gate had closed behind him.  Even though he’d heard of this sort of thing he had never believed it could be done.  You never do until it happens to you but, my friends, whatever you have heard has happened somewhere, sometime to someone.

     Dewey relaxed his apprehension somewhat when they didn’t drive up to the big house but turned into a semi-circular driveway before a neat little white house that glistened like a little island in the sea of chartreuse.  Dr. Godwin opened the door with the air of one braving danger which was in no way misplaced.

page 1367.

     ‘Hello, Bert.’  He said in as affable a manner as his jittery nerves would allow motioning them to hurry.

     ‘You’ve met my wife Isadora?’  Bert said.

     ‘No, I don’t believe I have.’  Dr. Godwin replied quickly introducing his wife, Anne.  ‘Hurry now, hurry.’  Doctor Godwin insisted as the others straggled out of the car.

     ‘This is my daughter Margaret, my son Hawthorne and my eldest boy Torrance that I told you about.’  Bert introduced once inside.

     Dr. Godwin motioned Dewey to a seat on the bench of an upright piano that sat against the wall as the rest sat around him in a semi-circle staring at him anxiously but quietly.

     ‘And this is the…this is the…uh, young man I told you about.’  Bert stammered searching for the least offensive, least reviling term.

     Dr. Godwin turned his eyes on Dewey and studied him attentively.

     Dewey put it all together in an instant.  He was there to be committed.  Tory was staring at him with starting eyes as the excitement of his perfidy overwhelmed him but in the sincere conviction that Dewey was ‘criminally’ insane.

     Bert stared at him as though he were twelve hundred-fifty dollars under the middle shell of a shell game.  He didn’t want to lose that money.  Bert’s wife and daughter and other son sat tensely awed by such a legendary place.  Mrs. Godwin stood to Dewey’s right looking at him fearfully lest he explode in a murderous paroxysm.

page 1368.

     Dewey aware of his danger went limp, relaxing more than he would have done in ordinary circumstances to as to preclude any gestures that could be construed as ‘wild.’  He knew that any animation could be construed as proof of violence.  He looked deep into the jittery eyes of Dr. Godwin.  That man had been dealing with dangerous types far too long.

     ‘Yes.’  Dewey said to himself, looking into him.  ‘You’ve been on the job too long.’

     Godwin’s mental agitation showed in his extreme nervousness, ever alert to jump out of the way or restrain yet attempting to look calm and in control.  He was never in as much danger as one might think; a simple touch to a pressure point in the neck would lay out the most ferocious man.  Of course, you did have to find the pressure point first.

     Looking past Godwin out the window to the left Trueman could see the two guards at the gate watching for signs of danger.  To the right Dewey saw an inmate standing on a small ladder in the bright California sun above the bright chartreuse lawn with a pair of hedge clippers furiously hacking into the dark green hedge.  There was no doubt by the man’s attitude that he was insane.  In his hands as he hacked violently at the hedge the shears seemed a lethal weapon.

     Dewey looked at the tense apprehensive wife of the doctor to ask:  ‘Do you really live in this house?’

     ‘Oh, yes.  Why?’

     ‘How can you stand it?  Aren’t you terrified?’

     ‘No.’  The woman lied.  ‘Why should I be?’

     ‘Well, there’s one reason right there.’  Dewey said motioning casually at the lunatic just outside the neat little house in the middle of the chartreuse lawn with his eyes.  ‘Don’t you worry he might try to kill you?  Look how he’s handling those shears.’

     The lunatic slashed at the hedge his lenses meeting Dewey’s eyes as he assumed they were talking about him.  In his wild delusions he thought since Dewey was talking about him it must be love.

     ‘Oh, there’s nothing to worry about.  We keep the doors and windows locked at all times, all I would have to do is call the guards.  The State gives us air conditioning so we’re comfortable.  Unlike many we don’t have to mind the heat.’

     ‘Well, yeah, but those are glass windows and he has steel shears in his hands.  Put those through a window and he’d have plenty of time before the guards got here.  Has he ever killed anyone?’

     ‘Him?  He eviscerated his mother and father but that only makes him dangerous to them.  That doesn’t make him dangeous to anyone else.  Anyone he doesn’t love for instance.  He just looks wild.’  Dr. Godwin said.  ‘How about you?’

     ‘How about me what?  Both my parents are living and I don’t look violent.’

     ‘Have you ever hurt anybody?’

     ‘No.’  Dewey said truthfully and quietly.  Then he said perhaps imprudently:  ‘Don’t you think you’ve been on this job too long, Doctor?  Don’t you feel like you should take a long vacation.’

page 1370.

      ‘Why do you say that?’  Godwin asked.

     ‘Well.’  Dewey said still looking deep inside Godwin.  ‘You’re real nervous, jittery even, tension all over your face and body.  ‘I mean.’  Dewey said shifting his gaze to the lunatic just outside without moving his eyes, even then the lunatic, perhaps a paranoid delusive, sensing Dewey was talking about him, gnashed his teeth while shearing the same spot in the hedge wildly.  ‘If you look at that guy’s eyes out there you can see that his brain is disconnected from them, I mean, he can see things so he doesn’t trip over them but he’s entirely disconnected from reality.  The objective world means nothing to him because he projects his subjective delusion on it.  When the world doesn’t respond as he thinks it should he blames the world; doesn’t even examine his own understanding.  I mean, like, he’s been trimming that exact same spot since I’ve been sitting here.  I bet if you accuse him of mutilating the hedge he’d turn the shears on you.

     I mean, his mind is so tangled up that it’s not connected to his eyes.  It’s kind of like if he were a deckhand on a ship trying to dock he had his lead line connected to the hawser and had the monkey fist in his hand but his lead line was so tangled that there was no slack between the hawser and the monkey fist.  Every time he tried to throw the monkey fist at the dock to connect with the dock, or in another word, reality, his tangled line would just fall to the deck.  He would have to stand out to sea forever because it will never occur to him to untangle his lead line.  If he ever did he would be sane but still guilty of murder.

page 1371

     But, you, you’re different.’  Dewey was dangerously naive.  ‘I mean, your face looks just as distracted as his but by your eyes I can see that you are still connected to your brain.’  A gasp went up from everyone but Dewey didn’t notice as he was staring acutely into Godwin’s soul.  ‘So you can deal with real things in a real way.  I mean, you know, you’ve got some idea of where it’s at but you’ve been dealing with lunatics so long that the connection is stretching thin.  And you don’t have to be sane to know where that’s at.  Do you dig me, Daddyo?’

     ‘Yes, Dewey, yes.  I think I do dig you.  But you?  Where are you at?’

     It might be construed that Godwin was mocking Dewey by his repetition of the hip jargon but he wasn’t.  He was in the habit of adapting his speech patterns to those of his patients.  Dewey just assumed that Godwin knew his brain was connected to his eyes, so to speak, as indeed Godwin was looking deep into his eyes and making connection.

     ‘Me?  Where am I at?  Well, you know, I’m waiting for ships that never come in.  I’m kind of standing at the end of a long pier looking lonely out to sea.  A long pier, way out over the water.  I’m way out at the end with the toes of my shoes over the edge, standing, looking, standing, stretching, looking, looking out to sea.  Staring way out at the horizon watching for sails or the trail of smoke from a stack.  I’m watching and waiting for ships, for ships that never come in.  I wonder where they can be?’

page 1372

     ‘Maybe your ships will never come in, Dewey.  What then?’

     ‘What then?  I don’t know but I know they’re out there and I know I will at least get my chance.  If I get hungry I can just walk back up the pier and get a hamburg at a hamburg shop…with mustard and onions, fries, lots of salt, no catsup.  If I leave even for a second though I might miss my ship.  Even though I’m surrounded by water I’m still connected to land.  In a way I’ve not only got the water but the land.  I’ve got my bucket and it doesn’t have a hole in it.  God bless the child that’s got his own.  Can you dig where that’s at, Doc?’

     Godwin broke ocular contact starting back in his seat at the question.  He could dig where that it was at.  He thought it was quite normal; he didn’t think it was too dissimilar from his own situation.  Seldom had he heard such an understanding articulated so well.

     Shrugging his shoulders at Bert he said quietly with a well controlled sense of revulsion:  ‘You can go now.’

     ‘Dr. Godwin, aren’t you going to…going to…keep him?’

     ‘Bert.  This is an asylum for the criminally, the violently insane.  As you can plainly see.’  He said, indicating Trueman.  ‘This man isn’t violent.  We can’t take up our valuable beds with harmless types like this.  Besides he criticized me and no insane person criticizes a doctor.  He tries to manipulate him.’

     Sensing that Trueman was to be dismissed the lunatic just outside the window threw his shears down violently driving the points six inches into the ground.   He stomped about wildly in a tight circle for a few seconds then snatching up his shears he violently stalked away shaking his shears at Dewey through the panes of glass.

page 1373.

     Paranoid delusive?  Or just tuned to a different wavelength.  How could he have possible known that Dewey had just escaped confinement?  Did Dewey imperceptively relax his features?  Change his posture thus telegraphing Godwin’s decision?  Did the others make some barely perceptible motion of disappointment or was he so attuned to Godwin that he read him like a book?  Paranoid or hyper-sensitive?  Or did he just distort the implications of what he did see?  After all that is what insanity is.

     Dewey in his turn had seen the lunatic’s fierce clipping as hostility to himself; some sort of jealousy perhaps because Godwin was giving attention to someone else.  This was not the case.  The lunatic had fallen in love with Dewey at first sight.  As a murderer of those he did love, he was quite obviously incapable of expressing affection in a normal manner.  Dewey conversely had been ill-treated so long that he interpreted interest in him as hostility as that was the only kind of interest he had ever known.  Truly there would have been a tremendous clash of personalities had Godwin accepted Trueman.

     The lunatic stomped off as Dewey saw but then either reconsidering or attempting to outfox the guards who were watching he doubled back around the little white house in the sward of chartreuse to get closer to Trueman.  As the party filed out of the door of this fantastic setting the lunatic slipped out from beside the house appearing to be brandishing his shears.

     There was a slight hitch in the fabric of space-time as all members present oriented themselves to the situation.  The Torbricks hurriedly got into their car while Dewey coldly studied the lunatic as though standing at the end of his pier he watched the man trying desperately to reach him with his tangled line.  He was just some poor desperate seaman who could not be rescued, who could not be saved.  Dr. Godwin for as jittery as he appeared had the quiet confidence of a circus lion tamer in the cage with his beasts.

     ‘Albert.  They’re leaving, Albert.  This has nothing to do with you.  We weren’t talking about you.  This is something else completely.  Go back to your room now.  Go back, Albert.  Go.’

     Then turning to Bert he said coldly:  ‘And Bert, you won’t ever have a reason to contact me again.’

     Albert cocked his head at Dr. Godwin as if he was spoken to like a cat looking at his owner but otherwise immobile holding his shears up before him.  Godwin was now between Albert and Dewey so Dewey quickly slipped around the car gettin in on the far side as Tory gave no indication of letting him in on the near.

     Once Trueman was in the car Bert threw out a hasty goodbye quickly swinging the car around in the drive heading toward the gate.  ‘I wonder why he said please don’t contact him again?’  Bert mused to his wife.  Dewey looked back to see hurt and disappointment in Albert’s eyes.  The iron gate swung open as they approached.  Passing through they entered the street as the massive steel gate swung slowly shut behind them.

     Dewey remained immobile for a couple hundred yards not daring  to look back until he felt safely delivered.  He knew how his father must have felt, deserted and betrayed by his loved ones as they led him into the labyrinth without his Aridane’s thread for a safe return.

page 1375.

     Then he swung around to cast a last look at the Atascadero State Hospital For The Criminally Insane.  The enormity of the attempt on his life and happiness hit him.  He realized that had Dr. Godwin had had less integrity he would never have seen the light of day again.  The Navy would never have been able to locate him if they tried.  Nor would they have tried.  In AWOL cases they just figured you’d turn up sooner or later.

     Decades later if he survived the massive doses of drugs and electric shock therapy and other brutal so-called therapies applied by people nuttier than the inmates he would still be listed as AWOL.

     Trueman heaved a sigh of relief.

     Tory Torbric who had been turned toward him silently watching him said with a suppressed giggle:  ‘That was a real close one, wasn’t it?’

     ‘Maybe you’re right Torbric; maybe criminality is hereditary.  Can be passed from father to son.’

     Tory’s comment hit Dewey like a taunt.  Dewey’s subconscious desires assumed the ascendance for a moment.  It is possible he might have done what his subconscious desire directed.  He drew the the knife with the pearl handle and thin six inch blade he had bought in Japan from his pocket.   The pin of the cheap knife was already so worn that Dewey just flipped the blade from its scabbard.  The effect was electrifying.

     Tory’s eyes went  as wide as they ever would as he shrank guiltily back against the side of the car.  Bert who had been keeping a guilt ridden eye on him through the rear view mirror emitted a fearful gasp.

page 1366.

     ‘That would be a silly thing to do, Dewey.  If you cut my throat you’d be killed too when the car crashes into those trees.’  He said pointing to a row of closely set eucalyptus.

     ‘Naw.  We aren’t going fast enough and besides God protects the insane.  You know that, don’t you Mr. Torbrick?’

     Bert involuntarily drove the pedal into the floor so that they would be going fast enough if they hit the trees.

     ‘Oh now, Dewey…’

     ‘Bert, you heard what your ex-friend in there said.  You can see I’m not violent.  I’m not crazy either and I’m not a sneaky criminal like you and Tory either.’

     Neither Bert nor Tory had any inclination to muddy the waters by denying the accusation so they said nothing more.  Dewey sat and pondered who could be behind the Torbricks as he corrected figured they weren’t acting on their own initiative.  The true reason was beyond his knowledge so he could only assume it was someone aboard ship.  He couldn’t imagine that Kanary had the influence nor did he think Morford had the power.  He was therefore at a loss to explain it.  He was now aware that he had more than a direct frontal assault like that of Tyrone to fear.  His apprehension would estrange him even further from the crew.

     Once in Long Beach Dewey ordered Tory to take him back to the Naval Station immediately.  Guilt caused Torbrick to comply without demur.  Nothing more was said on the way back to the Naval Station.

page 1377

Un Homme Declasse

     Just as Kanary’s betrayal of his leader, Paul Duber, had combined with his past transgressions to darken his mind altering his personality for good so the fear of incarceration in an insane asylum intensified all the anxieties afflicting Trueman.  He too became darker and more wary.  With slightly over a year before discharge the duration actually became a race to retain his sanity.  He began to undergo subtle changes of behavior of which while conscious of them they yet seemed to make sense.  Fortunately for Dewey they were reactions to these specific events.  They would disappear when the causes did unlike Kanary’s psychic situation.  Still, Dewey would always be amazed that he had done without reflection that which was in fact the product of a distressed and distracted mind.

     He was now thoroughly disgusted with Torbrick.  He meant to have nothing to do with him.  He now realized the foolishness of succumbing to Torbrick’s request to visit him in Long Beach as his relationship with Roque Da Costa was irreparably damaged.  Da Costa quite rightly believed his friendship had been betrayed or compromised.

     It now appeared that Trueman would have to shift for himself if he wished to return to Oakland so Our Lady had accomplished something.  As he knew no one in Oakland but Da Costa a cloud was cast over his future plans.  But as he intended to enroll in the Thought Management System called Oakland City College he had to resolve his dilemma.

page 1378.

     Kerry Maclen or Joe McLean, as he was now known, had developed a vengeful hatred for Trueman after Dewey had refused to share his guilt in Guam when McLean stupidly tried to smuggle beer on board.

     McLean was of a devious criminal disposition.  Had he been Trueman he would simply have had nothing more to do with him but as a criminal he meant to make Dewey pay.  He knew he would have more opportunities as a friend than as an enemy.  If he could he would implicate Trueman in criminal activities and then see that he was caught.  If not he would sponge off Dewey sabotaging the man and his efforts.  Thus he readily fell in with Dewey’s palaver about attending Oakland City College.

     When Dewey made his Long Beach trips Joe seeing his opportunity stepped into his shoes with Da Costa.  While Dewey was occupied in Long Beach McLean had been traveling to Oakland with Da Costa.  Being of an opportunistic nature he had no qualms about dating Da Costa’s sister Terry.  Through her he fell into a circle of Juniors and Seniors from Castlemont High School.  As he was of a congenial manner he quickly made other friends abandoning Terry for dates with various girls in the Castlemont circle.

     Naturally he boasted of his success to Trueman.  This was the break Trueman needed.  McLean as his ostensible buddy had no choice but to acquiesce.  McLean had also ran into his old confederate in crime, Jim Chance, in Oakland.  Chance was working daytime as a warehouseman on Airport Way, which is a great job for a thief, and burgling warehouses at night using the information obtained on the job.  When he and McLean and Kreskin got together again the basis of the East Bay distribution network for Kayo and Soter Kreskin’s dope smuggling business came into existence.

page 1379

     Dewey had crossed Tory off.  Bert however still had his eyes on that twelve-fifty which Our Lady had refused to pay because of his failure to place Dewey in Atascadero.  Secure in his h0me and recovered from guilt he had the chutzpah to have Tory ask Dewey back for another weekend.

     Dewey was preparing for the trip to Oakland.  He was trying to get a good spit shine.  Just as Torbrick was approaching him a cry of holloa went up from the Deck hands.  Cracker Jack Driscoll stepped through the hatch back from the hospital.

     The doctors had saved his finger.  They’d stitched it back in place.  Now holding his bandage swathed hand against his chest middle finger sticking straight up a shy smile wreathed the sailor’s handsome face.

     ‘My god.’  Thought Dewey.  ‘He’s actually glad to be back.’

     ‘Good news.’  Cracker Jack said almost timidly.  ‘I can stay in the Navy; they’re not going to discharge me.’

     ‘Congratulations, great, yowsah’, came from all sides including Dewey.

     ‘Isn’t that great, Dewey?’  Cracker Jack asked.

     ‘If that’s what you want, Driscoll.  Personally I would have taken the discharge but then we all have different tastes.  Welcome back aboard.’

page 1180.

   

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

A Novel

Far Gresham

Vol. I

by

R.E. Prindle

Clip 8

     When the Nazis assumed power in Germany in 1933 the struggle between Nazis and Semitists was already in progress within the constext of Judaism and Communism.  On the eve of the Nazi ascension the Semitists were already crying for the isolation and boycott of Germany.  The Semitists were distributed throughout all the nations and states.  They now tried to erect an international cordon around Germany.

     The Germans fought back.  Germans, too, were distributed throughout the countries of the world.  Just as the United States had the largest Jewish population outside Europe, perhaps in the world, so it also had the largest German population outside Europe.  The Nazis hoped that German solidarity was not entirely dissolved; they therefore sent agents into the United States to arouse the German population to the sacred collective cause of Germandom.

     Thus the two national religious groups of Jews and Germans joined battle on American soil.  But that doesn’t mean there were any American Nazis.

page 351.

     Ben had heard of the international Jewish conspiracy but as usual he was ill-informed; it was something that he vaguely thought might exist and something which he vaguely feared if it did.  He just didn’t know.

     In Arthurian terms the international situation might be explained thusly:  The knights of all nations wore mantles on which were their national symbols, they carried a matching shield.  They were also confined to a geographical locality wherein their lord was sovereign.

     Mixed among all the knights of all the nations were a group of knights who wore mantles that were white with a blue Mogen David on the breast.  They however carried a contrasting shield that bore the symbols of the knights of the various other nations.  Thus no matter which shield they bore, and they exchanged them with each other as the need arose, they appeared to represent a different ideal than the other knights, which did not further the interests of the other knights lords but seemed to further their own interest at the expense of the other knights and their lords.

     Indeed they did, for they knew what they believed and salvation lay with them as their prophet, Jesus of Nazareth, said.  When the other knights challenged them, saying that no man could serve two masters, that they must choose between the nation on their shields or the Mogen David on their mantles, they put on the magic ring that made their shields and mantles match and cried:  ‘Ah, but this is only our religion; just as you have yours we have ours and every man is entitled to believe as he chooses concerning God.’  Then they took off their ring and their shields took national forms.  Thus they appeared to be working at cross purposes with the nations.  Indeed, it has been wisely said in the Bible:  No man can serve two masters.  Thus the Semitists were accused of conspiring against all the nations in the furtherance of their own belief system.  Yea, verily, and it was so.

page 352.

     Immediately as the Nazis tried to arouse Germans in the United States to their international destiny, the Semitists, in 1934, began to agitate for a congressional investigation of un-American activities.

     This was couched in language to seek out and expose anti-Semitists.  Semitism was to be made the official belief system intolerant of all others.  Four years the Semitists toiled.  In 1938 the House Un-American Activities Committee was established using almost the identical language that the Semitists proposed in 1934.

     The Semitists feared Fascism as their mortal enemy.  They interpreted the term broadly to include all those whose beliefs put them in opposition to Semitist beliefs no matter how innocently and legitimately those beliefs were held.  It was not in the interests of the United States to become embroiled in the European War.  Because of the Nazis’ attitude toward the Semitists it was in the interests of the Semitists to embroil the United States in the European war for their sakes.  Now this is where Ben became confused.  If the International Jewish Conspiracy didn’t exist then why should Americans who just happened to be Jews care about what happened to Jews who just happened to be Germans or French in Europe?  The Big Fella scratched his head.  Thus American nationalists who sought to keep America out of the European war were defamed as Fascists and anti-Semitists.  Many of these people had formed the America First Committee to agitate against American entry; their careers and reputations were sacrificed to Semitist goals.  They were defamed and ridiculed, discredited as mere cranks.  The United States did become embroiled in the ‘just’ European war.

page 353.

     The purpose of the House Un-American Activities Committee had been intended solely to expose the enemies of the Semitists not their allies.  When the Americanists were given control of the committee they lashed out at all enemies attempting to destroy American tranquility, Fascists and Communists alike.

     Now the Communists who, like the Semitists themselves, were an organization of international, rather than national solidarity, found it impossible to affiliate honestly with national organizations.  Communist interests were similar to Semitist interests.  Hence the membership of the Communist party was composed predominantly of Semitists; which is not to say that the Semitists were predominantly Communists, only that the majority of Communists bore the mantle of Semitism while carrying the Communist shield.

     Thus, while the Semitists were death on Fascism they were benevolently inclined toward Communism.  They made the enemies of Communism their own enemies.  So when the Radio Priest condemned Communism he was baited into anti-Semitism.  Secure as an anti-Communist he was vulnerable as an anti-Semitist.  Semitism was socially, if not legally, protected.  So the Semitists pursued all the anti-Communists, defaming and belittling them.

page 354.

     After the War it became apparent that Communists had been much too coddled.  While no Fascist had ever been a threat to Ameica, Communists were now found tohave infliltrated every aspect of governmental service, education and, it was feared, religion.

     Americans became hysterical about Communism.  In the wake of the war the Committee hauled up gobs of Communists.  Needless to say the overwhelming majority of these Communists were also Semitists.  But the Semitists successfully hid behind their American shields, claiming the benefits of the United States Constitution which they despised as human while still pursuing their own ‘God given’ Law.  This time, learning from the Radio Priest the Committee refrained from mentioning Jews.

     The battle raged through 1954 when a tacit agreement was reached that the Semitists would abandon Communism while Americanists would abandon ‘Fascism.’  As there was no Fascism the Semitists got the better of the deal.  Thus Semitism became the backbone of Americanism.  The nation’s ribs hung from the spine of Semitist desires.

     For Ben this was all a whirl that spun his head around and around.  Politics had nothing to do with coal.  All he wanted to do, his entire system consisted of selling coal.  In his way Ben knew what he believed as well or better than any Semitist.

     As simple minded as Ben’s hope was it was as good a belief system and certainly less destructive than that of the Semitists.  For Semitism is based on a false prophet.  Just as Nazism was based on the false premise of innate Aryan racial supremacy so Semistism is actually based on a belief in the innate racial superiority of Semitists.  This belief has been converted into religious terms but those religious tenets contradict objective truth.  Hence Semitists say that they prefer God over Truth, which indeed they must.  So also they must be the most intolerant of people; they must viciously suppress all other belief systems and objective inquiry, lest the fallacy of their beliefs be exposed.  Just as the Pope relying on the revealed word of God compelled Gallileo to deny the reality that the earth revolved around the sun.  History itself must be revised and falsified to allow only Semitist beliefs.

page 355.

     While they decried the Committee for suppressing intellectual beliefs it was only because their ox was being gored.  They raised their American shields to their breasts to conceal their Mogen David and demanded American rights that the Mogan David would never grant in a like situation.  As soon as they vanquished the competing belief system in 1954 they began to practice the very methods they had condemned.  All independent thought was condemned as anti-Semitism.  Men, women and careers were destroyed by the simple whisper- ‘anti-Semite.’  Actors and actresses found it difficult or impossible to find work if they took an independent view.  It had been only  yesterday when the Jews had cried: ‘Fie, fie, for shame on the blacklist.’

page 356.

     Ben didn’t care.  His digestion was bothering him.  As the post-war years passed he knew his coal business was in trouble.  Trouble after trouble piled atop him.  Communism at home, Communist triumphs rolled up in Asia.  Even what religion he had rose up to trouble him.  Millennarians were proclaiming the imment second coming of Christ.

     In about 1650 the Jews who had been expelled from England three hundred fifty years before were seeking legal readmission, the argument had been used that when Jews were dispersed throughout the world then Christ would return.  Rumor had it that the American Indians were descendants of the lost ten tribes of Israel giving proof that Jews were everywhere else but England.  If Jews were readmitted to England then conditions would be satisfied for the Savior’s return.

     The Bible, which is capable of many wondrous  conflicting interpretations now prophesied, or so it was said, that when the Jews were gathered in Israel once again, then would Christ return.  In 1948 the State of Israel had been established so now good Christians were singing hymns down by the riverside awaiting his return.  Ben quaked.  He didn’t believe it but he couldn’t be sure.  When Jesus didn’t appear the reason given was that Israel had indeed been reestablished but all the Jews hadn’t returned yet.  There were still some in the United States.  The great day was put off to some future generation or, perhaps, eon.  As the gas lines passed Warden’s house that fall costing Ben another couple dozen customers the result became clear to Ben.  There wasn’t going to be any coal business.  Ben got down on his knees beside his bed to pray to the Lord of Hosts, the God of the Jews, the God of the Christians, the god of Coal.  He had devised an elaborate plea but he just broke down sobbing:  “Please God, let me sell coal until I die;  Please, God, let me sell coal until I die.’  The pleas would have been perfectly answered if Ben had died then, but he didn’t.

page 357.

      Now, if one believes such things, God happened to be sitting idly on the edge of his bed at this exact moment clipping his toenails to perfection, listening to the odd prayer as his capacious mind was able to see all and hear all at one time, when Ben’s plea reached his ear. Yeah!  God couldn’t believe his ears.  His lips twisted into a smile at the ridiculous plea.  He suppressed a giggle. The giggle burst into a laugh.  The laugh became a bout of hilarity.  God rolled on the floor in merriment clutching his sides.  ‘Please God, let me sell coal as long as I live.’  Was anything as ridiculous heard since Sir Gareth asked Arthur to sleep in the kitchen?

     Barely able to stand from laughter, God scooped up his beard so as not to put his knee on it and tear it out, rose to his feet and went to his liquor cabinet for three fingers of manna.  On earth manna is called usquebaugh, although some style it Irish tea.  God strolled out amongst the gathered angels chuckling sipping his drink and guffawing:  ‘Please God, let me sell coal until I die.’

     Ben’s God didn’t answer his prayer.  Ben’s troubles were only beginning.  Solomon and David Hirsh’s were already well developed.  As 1950 was about to dawn Sears had cut deeply into Hershey’s business.  The fat part, the part that develops after you’ve met your expenses- the profit- had subsided beneath the paper thin level.

page 358.

    Solomon and David were fighting back as best they could.  They resorted to all the standard retail sales tricks, some which they had said that they would never use, but the post-war retail rules had shifted, at least temporarily, beyond the Hirhes ken.  Intense, even insane, competition  from massive over-expansion was only beginning.  Rather than being a grand seigneur dispensing  the right to shop to patrons, retailers would have to learn to be suppliants begging for their customers custom; in the years to come retailers would actually have to debase themselves before their customers.  Some called it a retailing revolution.

     Stores would now have to adapt their operations to the customers needs and wishes.  Hershey’s, and they were definitely not alone, had always pleased themselves.  They had closed Monday through Saturday at 5:30; they had closed on Sundays, some both Sundays and Mondays.  Like downtown merchants everywhere they resented extended hours.  Sears aggressively stayed open till nine weekdays while they were open after church, twelve to five, on Sundays.  The response was instantaneous; people who worked till 5:30 found the hours advantageous.

     Hershey’s made the weak counter of being open till nine on the ‘busy’ days:  Monday and Friday.  Shoppers interpreted the new rules against them.  Business continued to decline.  Cost cutting measures had reduced the staff, eliminated departments, even closed a floor.  In desperation about a year after that last load of coal had been delivered to the Wardens, David made a fatal move.  The Hirsh women were asked to help out at the store in yet another economy move.  Beverly Webster Hirsh took her place behind a counter.  A shop girl.

page 359.

     An electric thrill tingled the nerves of certain of Ben Webster’s friends who delighted in giving him bad news under the guise of informing him of what he should know.  Even though Big Ben was a common man with what he called the common touch, he didn’t want the Webster women associating with the common people.  He hadn’t approved even of Beverly’s having been present at the Christmas party at Fortress.  He had been molified, and only surlily at that, because it was ‘charity’, in Biblical parlance, ‘a good work.’  Beverly’s marriage had been serious and stressful business for him.  He would have preferred that she marry Christian, but of the choices available David Hirsh had seemed the one with the most inviolable future.  The Hirshes were bidding fair to become a Valley dynasty.

     Ben reacted to the news by catching his breath, his face went blind, his posture stiffened.  Ben couldn’t see his informant taking the greatest pleasure in his discomfiture.  The informant, his arms akimbo, the two fingers of his left hand resting on his chin, gave a little bow, a barely perceptible leaning forward of the torso and cooed:  ‘Just thought you should know, Ben Webster.’

     In his agitation the little insult or gibe flew through his conscious mind into his subconcious.  He wouldn’t ever remember it but it served to increase his agitation against David.  Ben felt betrayed, betrayed by everyone.

page 360.

     His country was in the grip of the Commies and the last days of the world might be imminent.  Everything seemed to be going wrong at once.  Gas mains were interlacing the city; convenience of use and hatred of Big Ben Webster found everyone accepting metered service.  Ben didn’t feel so big anymore, he felt superannuated.  Ben had already shut down the subsidiary yards distributed throughout the city.  At the main yard he was only using half his bins, the ones closest to where his rail spur left the line.  Ben still maintained the yards in super repair and excellent condition but he was only marginally profitable.  He could see the deficits coming.  Now his precious baby, Beverly, stood behind a counter like a common shopgirl.  How much should one common man be forced to stand?

     Ben didn’t bother to check up on the rumor, he knew it was true.  He went home and worried about it.  He had a couple drinks to help him worry.  Now, Ben should have taken his wife and gone up to his cabin in the woods at Tawas Bay.  He should have sat around for a week or two and sorted things out.  He should have, but he didn’t.  His frustrations descended on him hard, with a crash; he worked himself into a towering rage.

     Ben phoned to have his son-in-law and daughter visit him that very night.  Michael answered the phone to say they were at a dinner engagement but that he would leave the message to call.  Ben should have stopped drinking but he kept a head on all through the next day.

page 361.

     In his rage Ben cursed David Hirsh for having failed in his manhood; how could he put Ben’s baby girl to work waiting on her social inferiors.  Ben huffed and puffed, he roared in anguish.  All his anxieties came together to dance on the head of the pin of his fears.

     Now, believe me, what follows is painful for me to relate, for I too am a 100% American, but two generations later than Ben, so we have different reactions to the same situations; besides I know what I believe; Ben didn’t.  As little as I owe to people like Ben Webster and David Hirsh, my grudge is personal not genetic.  So was Ben’s actually.  I don’t want to defend Ben before you but what he said would never have been said in different circumstances.  Besides their dissimilarities had been accentuated by David himself.  He had called attention to their religious differences.

     David had responded to the shock of the Nazi extermination camps by reaffirming his Jewish beliefs.  This act necessarily entailed his withdrawal from the Christian community.  He ceased attendance at Fortress Of God.  Beverly followed him into the synagogue.  Whereas David had straddled the Jewish and Christian belief systems he now wholeheartedly embraced the Jewish belief system.  Just as the fear of Communism was making Americanists hysterical with fear, so the Nazis drove the Jews into hysteria.  David and his fellow Jews began to suspect that Americans were plotting to destroy them.  Whereas before the War they had fantasized a huge Fascist conspiracy in American they now created a huge Nazi organization waiting in the shadows for the moment to arise and devour them in ovens.  The anti-Communist activities of Americans were seen in this light.  Americanist anti-Communist fears reached such a fever pitch that in 1953 concentration camps had actually been constructed in an anticipated roundup of Communists.  To round up Communists was in essence to round up Jews.  Once the Communists were rounded up it was a short step for David and his fellows to imagine that an extension to round up Jews as Jews would be next.

page 362.

     Thus a certain coolness developed between the Hirshes and the Websters in the post-War years.  They began to distance themselves from each other.  A little picket fence arose between them.  Dave and Mike, as they had been affectionately known to the Websters, became David and Michael of a more sombre religion.  The two families had begun to find fault with each other.

     David and Beverly had responded to Ben’s request for attendance.  Beverly who had called her father back had heard the quavering urgency in his voice.  As both families were battling serious and grave economic problems Beverly was quite naturally apprehensive that some disaster had befallen her father; she had communicated that apprehension to David.  David’s mind was then occupied with the possible economic problems that might have befallen Ben.  Neither associated Beverly’s clerking at Hershey’s as the problem, but both had highly strung nerves as they drove over to Ben’s.

     Ben was half-stewed as he stood at the window watching for their arrival.  He saw the car turn into his driveway and stop.  He had intended to get them into the house where he could confront David with the accusation; or rather begin to berate him as a failure as a man; Ben was going to start in the middle where it hurt the most.  He hadn’t planned to take it further than that; he didn’t know what he would have answered to David’s objections, nor probably would he have given David an opportunity to object.

page 363.

     The two were halfway across the lawn when Ben impetuously burst the front door open, standing with one foot in the house, one foot on the porch.  His pride was shattered.  He assumed his most imperative posture.

     Internally Beverly said:  ‘Oh, jeez.’  Ben was wound tight.  His voice was incredible at any time but now his capacious diaphragm pushed the air over his thick wide vocal cords with typhonic force.  Glowering at David madly, his emotions rushing through his mind like Niagara over its falls, Ben bellowed:  ‘Get into this goddamned house, you Jew.’  But David, in his state of heightened anxiety had heard:  ‘Get into this house you goddamned Jew.’  He would swear forever that that was what Ben said, but Ben didn’t.

     Ben had always been peremptory so his manner didn’t offend David, but Ben’s words as he heard them did.  David stopped in mid-step as Ben’s blast reached him,  his foot hung suspended on a step of air.  His mouth dropped open, his breathing stopped and he went blind while his blood surged through his brain obliterating the universe.  Perspiration immediately soaked his clothes.  Memories of every event he considered anti-Semitic that had ever happened to him or to the Jews in general; every anti-Semitic thought that he believed anyone had ever harbored against him flashed through his mind.  Through this traumatic melange of memories and fears exploding in his mind wound the thread that his own father-in-law was an anti-Semite; the anti-Semitic conspiracy had reached into his own home.

page 364.

     It wasn’t true.  Ben had meant the term merely as a mild form of disapprobation, temporary at that; an ejaculation made in the choler of the moment.  Ben had meant it only as he would have called one of his own a brat.  Ben was perhaps a trifle insensitive, but David had been his son-in-law for fourteen years.  He thought he had a right to be familiar, besides, of late, David had constantly reminded Ben that he was a Jew.

     David had never been able to consider his own responsibility nor did he now.  For David it was a shattering realization that ‘anti-Semitism’ was every where.  It was even in the bosom of his family of which his hopes and fears had nourished the notion that it was the one place he was secure.

     To David’s stricken mind the universe could have begun and ended in the time he had been standing with his foot in mid-air.  Without putting his foot down he spun around and retraced his steps to his car.  Beverly who understood the seriousness of the situation nevertheless waved to her father that it would be all right.  She slid into her seat barely in time not to be knocked down by her door as David shot out into the street in a blind panic.  His feeling of revulsion was intense, he had to get away from there.

page 365.

     It wouldn’t be all right.  It wouldn’t ever be all right again.  David, who had been plunged into the abyss of despair, bobbed to the surface rather quickly under the concerned ministrations of his wife Beverly and her mother.  David visited his father-in-law’s house within a year.  There was no cordiality between he and Ben.  Ben had been hurt very deeply by his opinion of David’s conduct as regarded Beverly.  In his heart he could no longer regard David as a man and this consideration overrode all others.  This was quite as serious to him as David’s reaction to his being called a Jew.  He never had another opportunity to discuss Beverly’s clerking.  He knew that she still worked at Hershey’s.  His shame and degradation were complete but he bore them stoically, however he wanted to hurt David.  He didn’t know that he had given David a wound that would always stay fresh and raw, a wound that would never heal.  David wanted to hurt Ben also.

     Big Ben was soon forced to close down the coalyard.  Something went out of Ben’s life when he did.  He always retained the property in the hope that someday the past would return.  He always maintained the property in readiness to receive the shipments of coal.  The fences were maintained and painted every year.  The signing was fresh; Ben’s little white shack glowed whitely at night like a ghost.  Grass grew over the rail spur; the tracks quietly rusted away.  The future had consumed the past.

page 366.

9.

      I was having a big banana split at Trinkow’s drug store next to the Court Street theatre on Court St. and Caterina.  Trinkow’s apparently couldn’t conceive the notion of ‘banana split’ on their own so they had bought into a banana split franchise called the Pig Trough.  The split was served in a little wooden trough which was supposed to be of brabdingnagian proportions.  It was actually, according to my notions, conceived along more lilliputian lines.  As a reward for eating this supposedly mammoth Pig’s Trough one received a button that said:  ‘I made a pig of myself at Trinkow’s Drug.’  I don’t know if Trinkow thought I would wear such an absurd button but I was given one anyway.  The thing was a heck of a good banana split; its creator understood the finer nuances of ‘banana split.’  I don’t know if I would have paid him money for the information as Trinkow’s did, I could have done just as well with my own unaided faculties.  I guess Trinkow’s couldn’t.

page 367.

     I had had several over the last few weeks.  I had a button each to prove it.  I was now in a dispute with the clerk who was refusing to give me another on the specious grounds that I already had several.  As I paused in the discussion to scoop up some chocolate, which I had carefully segregated from the strawberry and pineaple, saving the best for last, I overheard two men behind me talking.

     One was saying:  ‘Whatever happened to Webster anyhow?’

     ‘Oh, he’s still around.’  The other said.  ‘He’s in the oil business over on Transit St.  Didn’t you know that?  He stands out in front of his shack watching the world go by.  You ought to go over and take a look at him.’

     ‘Hmm.  Maybe I will.’  Was the reply.

     N0 maybe about it.  I would.

     I was allowed to use Skippy’s old bike, an ancient Columbia, so I hopped on and found my way over to Transit St.  The street was on the North side of the Valley, not too far from the coalyard.

     There was Big Ben.  He was a far cry from the Big Ben of old.  He no longer felt important, so that, as he stood there, he seemed contracted into himself; he no longer stood tall like the Big Ben of old.  Instead of the wonderful bustle and noise of the coalyard there was just a big oil tank standing silently in weeds on its four tubular steel legs.  It was like a spent war machine from the War of the Worlds.  He had a couple of greasy trucks for delivery, bought second hand.  Very functional compared to the big clean rigs that delivered coal.  Even the drivers looked foul and sinister compared to the proud way the coal drivers carried themselves.  There was no rail spur or puffing blowing steam engine.  His wholesaler came by in the dead of night to fill his tank.  There was no magic.

page 368.

     Ben was a monopolist at heart.  Dominance was his game.  Cordiality was foreign to him.  They had had to buy coal from him.  He could treat them as he liked; show them who was boss.  He could be Big Ben.

     Now he was only one of a dozen retailers.  He competed not only with the other retailers but the gas main.  He had bought into a small pie of even smaller pieces.  So that was his problem:  Oil was competitive; he wasn’t.  Oil customers didn’t like to be talked to the way Ben was used to talking to his coal customers.  They could go somewhere else where they were treated better.  They did.  Ben was stagnating, running downhill, nearing the bottom.

     When the man in the drugstore said that you should go take a look at Ben a lot of people were.  There was a steady stream of cars turning the corner, then taking a slow driveby as they passed Ben standing on the weedlined sidewalk in front of his little shack.  They still feared him.  They didn’t turn their heads to gawk at him, but eyed him furtively from the corner of their eyes, the drivers leaning foward slightly, inconspicuously , as they hoped, to see round their wives.  The eyes of the little ones stared just above the level of the back windows not knowing what they were looking at but aware that he was a legend.

page 369.

     I rode up turning off the main walk to stop Skippy’s blue bike in the walkway leading up to the shack.  It was one of those temporary looking pre-fab jobbies sitting up on cinder blocks rather than a real foundation.  The thing was a non-descript brownish color with a door in the middle and a large picture window on the right.

     Ben probably thought I was impertinent as I leaned my elbows and forearms on the handlebars and stared up at him.  He looked at the old beat up Columbia, than at my shoes and ill fitting worn clothes.  His lower right lip drooped into a sneer as his upper lip curled to say something when his eyes met mine.  It was one of those rare instances when one’s vision penetrates the plane of individuality and reaches into the brain through the inner eye.  We saw each others contempt for the other.

     A couple of years had passed since I had last seen Ben.  My youthful innocence was vanishing.  I understood the implications of his curling sneer better.  As Ben’s prospects deteriorated he, like some convicted criminal, had turned to Jesus.  The religion of the Book.  The Book that preaches that unfortunates must exist, the poor will always be with us.  As a self-fulfilling prophecy, if the poor don’t exist naturally people must be pushed down to fill the ranks.  Ben’s religion insisted that rather than raising people up it is far better that the will of God be expressed by letting them seek the lower level.

     I was conscious by now of having been and being pushed down.  Ben had long been guilty of the attitude even before he got religion.  The notion was endemic to the belief system with which he had been brought up.  Finance capitalists believed that laborers were the poor.  They had no rights because they were failures in the pursuit of wealth.  God had divined that they must live by the sweat of their brows.  God had written it down himself, with his own hand, as they thought, in his Holy Book.

page 370.

     A young man had grown up in the generation preceding Ben’s who had watched these Biblical devotees with disgust.  The first forty years of his life had coincided with the evolution of finance capitalism, a period roughly from 1865 to 1900.  The period was one of the extension of the railroad networks throughout the United States.  America was a wild untamed country, its people severed from the civilizing influence of Europe were a wild and woolly bunch of boys.  They were uneducated, unrestrained and undisciplined.  Honesty was a concept to be found in a book somewhere.  Law was whatever you could put over.

     The finance captitalists created their own law which was paramount to federal, state and municipal law.  Governments adjusted themselves to the finance capitalists, the capitalists did as they pleased.  A fundamental law of theirs was that labor was a commodity.  The price of labor was the least amount that a man would accept to perform a service.  If only one man could do the job then he could set his own price; if anyone could do the job the finance capitalist set the price.  This was in inviolable article of faith.  The Bible backs up the whole program.

page 371.

     During the exploration of the United States all the great natural resources fell into relatively few hands.  The great mines belonged to them, huge forests, which a few years before had belonged to no one, became the private property of the few who grabbed them.  God’s bounty was taken from the many.  The few dug and cut the wealth of the land forcing labor to work for less than a living wage under execrable conditions.  Any rebellion was treated as a violation of the sacred word of God.

     When asked by what right they claimed the assets that until recently had been the property of all, the finance capitalists looked out and said with a straight face: ‘God gave them to us.’  Must have.  When laborers went on strike a judge screamed with a straight face: ‘Don’t you know you’re tampering with God’s divine order.’  He was right too.  For God, in his own voice, had said that laborers must win their bread, and bread only- no luxuries- by the sweat of their brow.  Luxuries were to be no part of their lives.

     Dissenters to this creed were clubbed and shot down.  They were put on a black list and found it very difficult to find a job.  At the least they had to adopt several aliases.  Then they lived in fear of being exposed and moving on to yet another job.

     In the West, in Colorado, during this man’s middle manhood, a bloody war raged between the hard rock miners and the mine owners.  This man shook his head in shame.  He thought that if he ever had a chance he would change all that.  There was slim possibility of his getting a chance for he was merely an unschooled skilled laborer.

page 372.

     Then too, he saw the stranglehold the finance capitalists had on the money of the nation.  The gold standard created a money monopoly which these finance capitalists enjoyed.  Like all populists he knew that the value of the country, the manufactures, the land, the crops in the ground far exceeded the value of all the gold in the world.  But the gold standard gave them control of the country; they fought furiously to maintain the gold standard.

     As the nineteenth century drew to a close the finance capitalists consolidated their position.  All the industrial resources of the country were under their dominion.  They had a corner on the United States.  Not very many families controlled the resources of the nation.  Companies in the various industries were organized into great trusts or cartels which set prices for their own benefit, not by supply and demand, not by the cost of the article, but for their own benefit.  You didn’t need a college education to see that it was wrong.

     This man tinkered away at building an automobile, thinking all the time that if he had a chance he would show them how to do it right.  He was probably simple enough to think that they would appreciate the instruction.  He was brilliant but untutored and not a little naive.

     He just didn’t think that things had to be the way they were.  For him history was bunk.  It was matter of of human will not divine destiny.  That man’s actions would speak louder than words in a musty book.  That man was Henry Ford.

     Beginning in 1903 when his efforts to form an automobile company began to bear fruit, Henry Ford was more than a manufacturer.  He was a visionary.  His system was not devoid of religious aspects.  In many ways Ford was a prophet.  He threw such a challenge to the system of the Bible Thumpers, Jew and Gentile alike, that they rose as one in their attempt to destroy him.  Ford had been watching them, analyzing their methods, criticizing them and preparing his own positive plan as he matured into a man.

page 373.

     It was clear to him that he had to stay out of their hands.  He had watched the bankers manipulate the railroads, ignoring the public weal, milking the value out of them by a succession of bankruptcies and reorganizations.  The value went into their pockets; the refuse remained with the public.

     It was clear to him that sole ownership was absolutely necessary, for if once he atomized his value by issuing stock to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, his company would fall within the realm of speculation.  Ownership and control would pass from his hands into the hands of men who created nothing but turned the fruits of everyone elses labor to themselves.  Ford’s revulsion to bankers was founded on reality.  It was not a cranky quirk as bankers have always portrayed it.

     It has been aptly stated:  Change is now.  As the auto industry came into existence it marked a change in American business.  The railroads and exploitation industries had reached maturity.  The methods of the international bankers, the finance capitalists, had been appropriate to the great industries of the nineteenth century; they were not appropriate for the emerging industries of the twentieth century.  Success in automobile manufacturing would depend on more intangibles than railroading, mining or lumbering.

page 374.

     They would try the same tactics in the auto industry but would have to adapt themselves to running an ongoing profit making company.  The auto companies were profitable.  They were also self-financing.  Even though bankers intially adopted a hands off attitude in fear of the new product the auto manufacturers devised ways to get along without them.  Cars were in such demand that there were at first more buyers than cars.  Ford and others had sixty day terms with their suppliers while receiving deposits from the dealers with immediate payment on delivery.  Ford learned to turn a car out in days, delivering it to the retailers and having payment in the bank long before his sixty day credit terms came due.  Ford was more careful than most, he never had a public stock offering and never borrowed.  Unlike other manufacturers he was totally independent; he was not subject to the influences of the financial community.

     W. C. Durant, who formed General Motors, was.  In 1910 he was forced to go to the bankers who plundered the company and took control away from him for five years.  In 1910 Durant’s Buick and the Ford were equal sellers; in 1915 Ford’s management had pushed his company so far beyond General Motors under banker management that it wasn’t funny.

     Ford was lucky; he had realized his dream.  In the gestation of the auto industry his vision triumphed.  Ford had envisioned selling a low priced car to millions of buyers when cars were a rich man’s toy selling in the hundreds.  Ford perfected his production methods to the point where he could make tens of thousands of them and then just made them without prospective buyers in sight.

page 375.

     His backers were frantic.  They called him crazy and meant it.  They tried to have him ejected from the company, but the cars sold as fast as Ford could turn them out.  Henry Ford had been right, the buyers were there waiting.  For Ford to have persisted in the face of such opposition took great courage.  Ford had been right, everyone else had been wrong.  Henry Ford thus became inured to criticism.

     The Ford Motor Co.  prospered mightily.  Its value grew astronomically.  It was real value.  Henry Ford called his system service production as opposed to finance capitalism.  Rather than price his car at what the market would bear, regardless of cost, Ford took advantage of economies of scale and actually reduced the price of his car as his sales increased.  Ford was a wild card and a threat to the system.  The finance capitalists shook their heads and eyed him warily.

     By 1915 Ford had succeeded to the point where he could begin to implement his whole plan.  He had watched the manner in which the international bankers had treated labor with disgust.  He had foreseen a day when everyone had enough for necessities with more left over for luxuries besides.  He was creating a day when machines took the heavy work from the backs of men.  Men no longer had to live from the sweat of their brows.  Ford wanted to raise men up, to improve their condition, to make them healthier and happier; he didn’t want to push them down.

     In 1914 Ford violated the most sacred tenet of the finance capitalists’ code.  He refused to treat labor as a commodity receiving the lowest wage that they would accept.  They already couldn’t understand Ford.  He had perplexed them by increasing his profits while lowering his prices.  He had already made all of them look bad through the comparative management of GM and Ford.  Now he voluntarily raised wages to better than twice the going rate for unskilled labor.  The man was a class traitor, he had to be stopped.

page 366.

     But how?  His five dollar day had made him such a national hero that he was untouchable by slander and defamation.  He was financially beyond their reach.  He didn’t need their money; he had cash reserves of over one hundred million dollars.  He eyed them warily too; he knew what it took to stay out of their clutches.  He didn’t intend to be a W.C. Durant.

      He couldn’t be touched competitively; he had over fifty percent of the market.  But there was a joker in the deck that could take the trick.  He could be made to defame himself.  Ford was impetuous.  He was a loner, he hadn’t learned to discipline himself in social situations.  He was something of a wild man in the social sense.  He would say things; perhaps do things.  Ford plans had been visionary.  His notion of making millions of cars that everyone could afford had been so far ahead of the times that he had been told History showed  it was impossible.  Ford had replied:  ‘If that’s so, then History is Bunk.’  They fastened on the phrase: History is Bunk to depict Ford as an illiterate boob who had merely stumbled onto a good thing.  It was a beginning but his reputation was sound.  It would take more.

page 377.

     In the first decade of the twentieth century a General Bingham had been made a reform commissioner of police in New York City.  New York City had always been a great factory  turning out criminals.  Reformers wished to change the situation.  As police commissioner General Bingham published a magazine article in an honest attempt to analyze the situation.  In this article he made the remark that half the crime in New York City was committed by Jews.  This remark was not vindictive or fallacious as time has proven.  It was ill considered, true or not, for the Jews of New York City rose up in wrath.  They denied the facts, of course, but more importantly they got General Bingham fired.  They defamed him as an ignorant bigot.  Bingham was chastened but he wanted his job back.  He still had plans to clean up New York City.  In an effort to show that he had reformed or, at least, gotten the message, a few years later he published a short book on the white slave trade.  The White Slave trade was inappropriately chosen as the Jews were dominant in the trade and very sensitive to criticism on the issue.  Even though they dominated the trade they refused to acknowledge it on the basis that Judaism  had always insisted on purity of morals and the sanctity of the family.  Whenever truth and dogma collides, truth has to give.  In his book, General Bingham showed his intent by never once mentioning Jews.  They were conspicuous by their absence.  None of the names of criminals mentioned even had names that could be construed as Jewish.  All the names had been Anglicized.  The leading criminals were still Jews but it was not to be mentioned.  Oh now, there was power.  Bingham still didn’t get the job back.  He was finished.

page 378.

     Just as the Radio Priest would be lured into attacking Jews at a later date and court destruction, if now Ford could be led into attacking the Jews there would be no way that he could avoid destruction.  Getting someone into a fight is easy.  Anybody who has ever prowled a schoolyard knows how easy it is to involve someone in a fight while putting the onus on the other fellow.  For it was necessary to strike but to conceal the hand that struck.

     All you have to do is get a bunch of guys to surround the victim and tip his hat off from behind.  If that doesn’t get a rise do it again while punching him in the back.  When the guy turns around jump back defensively while shouting to draw public attention:  ‘What’s wrong with you, buddy, I didn’t do anything to you.’  It’s pretty easy.  It wasn’t hard with Ford either.

     Henry Ford had attained the position he had always sought.  By 1914 when he changed the wage structure of American industry Ford Motor Co. had attained a position of industrial security.  Ford’s daring predictions of the industry’s viability had been proven; the future of the industry was clear to Ford.  How own self-confidence in his thinking and abilities was powerfully validated.  He therefore felt confident to express himself in all his beliefs.  Ford, while not a pacifist, was opposed to war.  The Great War had begun in 1914.  Much of the Old Guard was pressing to enter on the side of the allies.  Ford took out full page ads in leading newspapers against US involvement.  It was commonly thought at the time that peace could be negotiated between the combatants.  Thus in 1916 a Hungarian Jew, showed up on Ford’s doorstep with the proposal that he sponsor a peace mission.  Ford was but too enthusiastic; by December he and an entourage were on the way to Europe with the slogan that they would have the boys out of the trenches by Christmas.  His mission was met by general ridicule.  so much so that it looked like it might have been planned.  Aboard the ship, in addition to the Hungarian Jews was another Jew by the name of Herman Bernstein.  Bernstein had connections with the AJC and other Jewish ‘defense’ groups and may be contrued to have been there as their representative and privy to much inside information of Jewish intentions.

     While at sea, as Ford told it, they told him that he was wasting his time as only the Jews could bring about peace.  Bernstein later denied the statement so one is left with the choice of believing either Ford or Bernstein.  Bernstein has a rather shaky record for veracity; I choose Ford.

     Ford returned home immediately on arrival, his faith unshaken, although he was subjected to devastating ridicule in the press.  Now, I don’t think there’s a real argument to this: the press was and is controlled by the Jews.  Ford still made no comment about the Jews.  After America’s entry into the war Ford observed and was troubled by the very close association of the Wilson administration and the Jews.  A casual review of history of the period will easily demonstrate the veracity of his view.  He had serious disagreements with the Jewish administrator of the powerful War Industries Board, yet Ford made no comments about the Jews.

page 380.

     After the war, as the twenties dawned, the dominant position of the auto industry in the economy became apparent to everyone.  Even the bankers recognized that the financial future would be dominated by the industry.  The international bankers, the finance capitalists, thus made moves to bring the industry under its control just as the industries of the nineteenth century had been.  The difference was that the auto companies couldn’t be repeatedly bankrupted and reorganized without destroying them.  They had be operated as profitable ongoing businesses.

     W.E. Durant was ejected from control of General Motors in 1920 as renewed pressure was placed on Ford.  Horace and John Dodge, third in importance after Ford and GM, both died in 1920 placing their company in limbo to be devoured at monstrous profit to the finance capitalists five years later.  A board of bankers and Duponts replaced Durant at GM.

     Ford had borrowed money, even the wise do foolish things, to buy out his backers.  He was given a very short time to come up with the money else a multi-billion dollar company had fallen into the hands of the bankers for sixty million.  Ford did pay the debt on time.  But his information indicated that the pressure had come from Jewish investment bankers.  There may have been little or nothing sinister in this fact.  International bankers were international bankers.  The House of Morgan, which was not Jewish, was installed at General Motors.  Perhaps a just division of the industry among the international bankers required Ford to go to the Jewish houses.

page 381.

     But in examining the events from the time of the Peace Ship to the present Ford came to the conclusion that he was under attack by the the Jews, which to all appearances, he certainly was.  The attacks would not have ceased in any event; the bankers wanted Ford Motors.  Ford had no alternative but to counter-attack.  He chose the method of expose.

     This post-Great War period was one of even more intense anxiety than the post-1945 period.  The Bolshevik triumph in Russia had completely unnerved the Western world.  A series of Bolshevik revolutions outside Russia had been suppressed or overturned by counter-revolutionaries.  Hundreds of Reds had been expelled from the United States while thousands had returned to Russia of their own accord.

     It was widely believed that the Jews were behind the Bolsheviks and that the Bolsheviks were part of a Jewish plot to realize an ambition of world domination.  There was intense world wide antipathy toward the Jews.  A large number of books were written exposing Jewish influence in the world revolution.  Thus the Jews were occupied in defusing world wide antagonism to themselves.

     Ford bought a newspaper, the Dearborn Independent, which he used as a vehicle to propagate his beliefs and expose what the called the International Jew.  He divided Jewry into two groups.  Good Jews who weren’t aware of what the others were doing in their name and International Jews who were the problem makers.  A series of articles demonstrating Jewish involvement in various aspects of American life were printed and later collected into four volumes known by the collective title of The International Jew.  While less scholarly in format than the other expose books, Ford’s articles are nevertheless well researched, accurate and well written.  The books are not vile, indeed, none of the exposes were vile- what the ordinary person means by ‘anti-Semitic.’  All merely present a viewpoint differing from that of the Jews.

page 382.

     Well, Ford had stepped into the maelstrom.  Both Jews and those of the ‘better classes’ reviled him.  Those of the better classes abandoned him.  His reputation had suffered irreparable and degenerative damage.  It was the considered opinion that he was an eccentric addle pate, a manufacturing genius but hopelessly at sea in intellectual matters.  It was suggested that perhaps his egregious opinions were caused by a lack of formal education.

     The notion was that if he had been to college he could never have formed these opinions.  It was said that such opinions could only be held by uncultured, unlettered, ignorant persons.  Well, untrue at any time in history, unless of course one thinks that history is bunk.  Actually Ford was in the best of company in his antipathy to the beliefs of the Jews.  The Roman historian, Tacitus, who has a magnificent reputation as an intellectual, was much more personal in his rejection of Jewish claims to universal dominion.  Even in the time of Christ, considered opinion opined that the Jews were seeking world dominion.  Voltaire, the father of the Enlightenment was much more coarse in the expression of his opinion of Biblical religion, both Christian and Jewish.  He really knew how to express himself too.  The two greatest historians of all times have rejected Jewish claims.  Arnold Toynbee, the lesser of the two is haughtily disdainful of Judaic claims while the greater, Edward Gibbon, dismisses their claims with his usual disdainful bemusement.  Von Treitschke the great…but why go on; lack of a formal education had nothing to do with Ford’s  opinion; he was facing the facts as he and countless others before him had done.

page 383.

      It might be more easily argued that only the most ignorant and illiterate accept the Bible at face value.  In this decade of the twenties the famous Scopes Monkey Trial would be conducted in Tennessee in which the Biblical theory of creation was upheld.  The religious colony of New Zion, North of Chicago was in full flower.  The New Zionists like the Old Zionists made it dogmatic that God had indeed made a flat earth; and flat they maintained it was, even in the twenties.  Bishop Ussher of Ireland using biblical data computed the age of the earth at 4004 years and so publicly announced.  This age was at variance with the Jewish calendar which proclaimed that, in fact, (fact being here understood as their belief) the earth had been created by their tribal god some 5700 years ago.  The Jews hold Bishop Ussher in error by nearly two thousand years.

     How did the Jews account for dinosaur bones and other evidences of greater antiquity?  This ancient Biblical folk assert that God placed them their to test man’s faith.  How crazy was Ford?  Well, in this inane quarrel, it is insane to ask.

page 384.

     Still, a man has a right to defend himself.

     Ahhh, but does he?

     In defending himself against an ism, Judaism is this case, is defense legitimate or is it heresy punishable by law or the ism?  The issue shows that Ford was guilty of heresy, that he practiced ‘anti-Semitism.’  From the point of Judaism this is true.  But according to universalist standards is it in fact a crime?  Remember Ford had developed his own belief system which may be summarized in his term- service production.  His ideology directly contradicted the Biblical ideology of finance capitalism practiced by Jews and goys alike.  Thus the actual battle was between two exclusive systems with Ford and the Jews as point men.  Anti-Semitism has absolutely nothing to do with it except as a red herring.  When in doubt shout:  ‘Anti-Semitism.’  Ford was not obliged to accept the point of view of the Jews.

     Now, all the leading industries of the nineteenth century had been run along the established methods of Biblical attitudes.  The attitude toward labor and its wage policy highlighted the differences between the two systems but Ford had carried the exposure of the fallacy of the finance capitalist system further.  Rather than buying his needed supplies from their plants Ford had built his own system of suppliers.  Each plant showed the bankers how their evil ways could be exchanged for better.  This was in itself a mortal insult.

     The key to Ford’s activities was to improve working conditions.  Primarily he invented machines to take the heaviest and hardest work from the men.  He was a fanatic for cleanliness and order.  He stepped back and looked at each industry to see how its methods of production could be improved.

     He showed them how to better run a steel factory.  Circumstances dictated that he had to buy a railroad whose right of way crossed the Ford River Rouge plant.  The road had been repeatedly bankrupted and was in reorganization when he bought it.  The road had never made a profit.  Ford reconditioned the dilapidated equipment, cleaned up the line, raised wages and made it so profitable that he applied to the authorities for a rate reduction.  The regulators were in the hands of the finance capitalists; needless to say his request was denied.

     When he was compelled to buy coal mines in self defense, he showed how they might be cleaned up and run properly.  The coal miners had been most scandalously used by the famous capitalists.  Ford raised their wages but more importantly he raised the miners up.  He built decent housing for them and painted the houses white.  This was unheard of on the line.  He did the same with the hard rock miners of the Upper Peninsula.  He repeated the efforts for the Timber Beasts in the forests he bought.

     The conditions of seamen were vastly improved on his ore boats that brought the materials down from the North.  Glass manufacturers using antiquated methods were unable to supply the vast quantities of plate glass Ford Motor needed.  Ford bought a glass company and revolutionized glass production. His men had plate glass flowing endlessly down the line.  Do you know who introduced the soy bean crop to America?

page 386.

     In other words, he thought he was demonstrating by example.  The finance capitalists took his efforts as a repudiation of their methods, not that they didn’t adopt his methods.  They didn’t want him to defend himself, they just wanted him to go away.  In 1925 international bankers offered him one billion dollars for his company.  They had learned from General Motors how to run an auto company without an entrepreneur.

     According to Biblical prescriptions an antagonist is not allowed to defend himself.  Indeed he has no possible defense.  Once charged you are considered guilty.  The Biblical peoples are in possession of God’s own truth, all else must be false, hence heretical.  A non-believer has no defense.

     Prohibition which had just been enacted at this time simply outlawed the views of drinkers and made them criminals if they persisted.  A vocal minority had imposed its will on a passive majority.  In America the self-righteous always seek to limit the rights of those they have made antagonists.  In the war against the tobacco industry every attempt has been made to restrict the offensive powers of the smokers.  Certain forms of advertising have been outlawed; had they the strength I am sure the anti-tobacco forces would outlaw the cultivation of tobacco in the United States.

     The anti-abortionists violate all laws in their attempt to outlaw abortion.  It makes no matter what the majority believes; these biblically oriented bigots believe that their views are paramount and are derived from God himself.  Heck they’ve got it in His own writing.

     Thus in Ford’s efforts to present his views his Jewish antagonists believed that Ford should be outlawed, that he should be compelled to silence, murdered.  The American Constitution must give way to Biblical Law.  Their views and their views alone were sacrosanct.  To oppose them was criminal; the crime was anti-Semitism.  They would observe no morality in their opposition to Ford.  The Jewish attitude to opposition and their methods were never more succinctly demonstrated than by the founder of the first Jewish defense organization, the French Alliance Israelite Universelle, Adophe Cremieux.

     At the beginning of the nineteenth century Cremieux characterized his opponents as an insane fraction who appealed to the masses with daring and to the authorities with treachery.  The insane faction wanted to bury freedom of conscience under the weight of a single religion, freedom of the press under censorship.  HIs opponents, so he said, should be tracked down relentlessly, its hypocrisy undermined, it must be attacked in its hopes, its acts, its projects.  The Jews must wage a daily, even a moment to moment war against it.

     Jewish methods have not changed in the two hundred years since Cremieux made his statement.  Ford was depicted as insane.  He may have disagreed as to who wanted to bury freedom of  conscience under the weight of which single religion or who wished to end freedom of the press under censorship but he was subjected to a relentless attack in his hopes, acts and projects.  He was depicted in the most unfavorable light as a bigot.

     Henry Ford was a good, decent, honorable man.  His wish had been only to make his tormentors stop.  The writing collected into the volumes of  The International Jew were immediately disparaged as anti-Semitic, by which is meant irresponsible, violent and mean attacks.  But they were not.  The articles were well researched dealing with viable and realistic criticism of his tormentors.  But there is no such thing in Semitist minds as honest criticism of their beliefs; all criticism is heresy, or in secular terms, defamation of their belief system.

page 388.

     The Jews responded by considering  but then withdrawing a lawsuit against Ford for defamation of their belief system while continuing to defame him.  They invaded the libraries and stole copies of his books to be incinerated.  Of the hundreds of thousands printed the books are virtually unobtainable in libraries today.  As Catholicism had its index of forbidden knowledge so a Jewish index of forbidden knowledge was created.  Ford’s books led the list, followed by books of Dickens and Shakespeare.  The period was one of high emotions.  A few years later the Nazis would institute an index of forbidden knowledge.  They would build a bonfire in the middle of the street into which they threw all the books by Jewish authors.  The Communists too, had their index of forbidden knowledge.  Heading their list was the most Holy Bible.  What did all these books endanger?  Why, simply the foundation of the particular ism.  For in truth, the Truth is anti-Semitic; the Truth is anti-Catholic, the Truth is anti-Nazi and anti-Communist.  All these isms stand as the Pope with a repentant Gallileo before him.  The world isn’t what they would have it.  The earth does revolve around the sun; it isn’t flat.  Dogma cannot change reality.  Heresy is nothing more than the Truth, or the pursuit of it.  What was Ford’s offense?  He pointed out the false basis of Judaism.

     Like all hypocrites and bigots, Ford’s enemies sought to discredit him by his own hand while concealing theirs.  That’s what undermining one’s enemy’s pride, disclosing his false humility and unmasking his hypocrisy means.  When you have driven him to the point of distraction, you point and calmly say:  ‘See, I told you so.’  The amazing thing is that mankind still hasn’t learned to see through the sham.

     Strike! But conceal the hand that strikes.  Ford demanded that the Jews come forth to defend their pants.  He issued his challenge and laid his charges before them.  The Jews would not come forth to defend their pants.  The God of the Flat Earth acted in the stead of the finance capitalists; or at least that is what the sons of Moses and servants of Jesus would have the world believe.

     Strike! But conceal the hand.  Obtain victory but in the name of God, for God moves in mysterious ways and uses strange vessels to obtain his ends.  Avoid responsibility for your actions; put them at God’s door instead.  Plans were set afoot to destroy Henry Ford as though by act of God for Henry Ford’s own guilt.

     Strikes were concocted at the coal mines that fed Ford’s furnaces.  Ford’s coal reserves were consumed as the strike dragged on.  Ford’s mighty empire ground to a complete halt as his coal supply failed.  Tens of thousands of workers lay idle and destitute as the Children of God waged His war against one man.  All must suffer because of their anger at one.  The finance capitalists were so intent on one victim that they would destroy the world in their attempt to subdue him.

page 390.

     The strike was such that it probably could not have been engineered by the Jews alone.  It must have involved the goi faction.  Ford was allowed to see only the Jews.  A counter-attack on his own kind would be dismissed as rivalry.  The strike would be seen only as a dirty trick.  Only the Jews could bring Ford down.

     Ford was a leader, if not the initiator, in the creation of the international business empire.  His plants were in Ireland, England, France, Germany, Italy…Palestine, Japan; Ford blanketed the world.  No one was in a better position to know what was happening financially in the world.  His sources of information rivaled those of the Jews.  Where there were Jews there was Ford; where there was Ford there were Jews.  His interests were opposed to those of the international bankers of whatever stripe of nationality.  He was not part of the money cartel.  When he blamed international bankers for certain things who was in a better position to know?  Yet he was derided by his enemies as a mere crank, a crackpot, a simple minded man.  Could a simple minded man devise a complex innovative international manufacturing firm where none had existed before?

     The truth was quite different.  Ford, once again, showed whoever would see what his enemies were.  Ford was now completely armed against financial attack.  His company was almost totally vertically integrated.  He owned his company lock, stock and barrel.  He once again had a reserve of a hundred million.  Profits in the tens of millions continued to roll in.  Once again Ford was secure.  He had made himself well nigh invulnerable to attack from above, attack by financial methods.

page 391.

     Ford’s enemies were rich in resources and persistent to the point of fanaticism.  Ford had shown himself to them as an unrepetant heretic.  If he had desired it of them, it would have been impossible to obtain release.  Not only would he, as an arch-heretic be pursued to the grave but the goal was to blacken his name for all eternity.  The 614th rule for all Jews is to allow Hitler no posthumous victories.  The same may be said of Ford and all their enemies.

     Jewish resources exist both within and without the nation.  Gois consider it anathema to be accused of anti-Semitism.  They are more than willing to persecute their own on Jewish behalf on no more evidence than a whisper.  Ford apparently did not understand this aspect of his problem.  If he had, one might question whether he might have attempted another avenue of defense, or, perhaps accommodation with the finance capitalists, both Jew and goi. But then to surrender an iota is to surrender the whole.

     One of the resources the Jews tapped was the goodwill of the newspaper and magazine publisher, William Randolph Hearst.  Hearst had been a longtime friend of immigrants in general and Jews in particular.  In the latter half of 1922 the Jews used the pages of Hearst’s International Magazine to publish a series of lurid, shameless articles on Ford titled:  The Inside Story Of Henry Fords Jew-mania.  A prominent goi journalist of the time, Norman Hapgood, lent the use of his name as a by-line; the articles were almost certainly written by a Jewish defense agency as it is improbable that an Anglo would have been aware of much of the information contained in the articles, or have shared the sentiments expressed.  The articles are merely slanderous and defamatory.  They are a confused melange of Jewish fears and hatreds, most of which had nothing to do with Henry Ford, but which were intentionally confused with him.  The content ranges from a fear of the restoration of the Romanov Dynasty in Russia, a ritual murder case in the Ukraine, the killing of a Jewish-German diplomat and the persecution of Albert Einstein in Europe.  Ford’s connection with these events was never explained, indeed, they were non-existent.

     Further Hearst’s International endorsed the articles as policy and offered to lend its pages to the denenciation of any other Jewish opponents.  For all his evidences of good will, Hearst would fall foul of Jewish heresy and like Ford be pursued to and beyond the grave.  No man can serve two masters as the Bible says; Hearst was forced to choose between his Judaistic sympathies and his Americanism.

     Now, the Jews invariably deny any sympathy for or connection with Communism, yet, when Hearst evidenced his disapprobation of Communism he became as marked a target as Ford regardless of his contributions to the Jewish cause.  Heresy is punishable by oblivion.

     Judaism is a collectivist nation.  Jewish values and attitudes are inculcated in the individual from birth to death.  Like carnys in the carnival when the cry of ‘Hey Rube’ goes up, all the carnys flock to the defense of their own.  When the cry was raised against Ford there was no lack of volunteers to punish him in whatever way was available to them.

     The movies were a Jewish business.  By 1920 all the studios, with the possible exception of Mack Sennett, were Jewish houses.  At this time the dominant figure in the movies was William Fox.  The finance capitalists consumed him and his empire a few years later.  He is noted, if not remembered, as the Fox at the end of Twentieth Century-Fox.  There’s a joke in there too.

     At that time Fox had an actual legal monopoly on the right to produce newsreels.  Fox Movietone News was the sole producer of newsreels.  When Fox heard the cry against Ford he set about to find a way to injure Ford.  Defamation.  He attacked him in his pride.  Fox instituted a conscious policy of photographing every Ford car involved in an accident with the intent to demonstrate that Fords were unsafe.

     At the same time the other movie producers banned the use of Ford cars in their movies.  Movie historians may wonder why the number one selling car is never used in the films of the twenties and thirties.

     In terms of a conspiracy there was no actual meeting in a cemetery where a decision was made and directions given to Fox and the other producers.  The movie people were not knowing members of a conspiracy in the accepted meaning of the word.   They were like piranas who, smelling the blood of a stricken victim, move in the direction of the scent to contribute their bit of destruction.  No one had asked them for their bit, but the Volk had been attacked.  Ford had violated the Law; not the law, but the Law, the Law of the God of Moses.  He had been induced to attack the sacred people of God.  He had condemned himself out of his own mouth, by his own actions.  The hand that had provoked him had been concealed.  No one had seen the first offence given to him; they saw only his retaliation.  Ford appeared to be the aggressor.

page 394.

     Every Jew would move in to do his bit.  There were no ‘good’ Jews and International Jews, there were only Jews.  Reversing the procedure of ants bringing their little bit to the anthill, each would take a little of Ford’s anthill and carry it away thus realizing God’s will on Earth.  Ford had been excommunicated, he was now legitimate prey for theft, slander, cheating, even murder.  He was outside the protection of the Law.  It was the duty of every communicant to interfere with him in whatever way possible.

     Oh, the big organizations would be hard at work on the observable side; now that Ford had showed what kind of guy he really was their actions were now justified.  The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Committee would make the big plays, the obvious moves, the visible ‘defensive’ acts, the hard hits to bring Ford to his knees.

     The cry had gone out:  ‘Is there no one to help the sons of the widow?’  The education of centuries began to express itself.  The mother had been struck.  The collective body moved into action.

page 395.

     They stood beneath the blue and white of their flag.  Blue to represent their most high god; white to represent the supposed purity of the chosen people.  There was no color to represent the Truth, nor was their need for any; for God was more important than the Truth.  Truth must conform to God and not he to it.  Which was more important?  Truth is irrelevant, reality is immaterial, God is all.

     Like Hearst, Fox did yeoman work for his Jews.  His activities were of no value to spare himself when the finance capitalists stole his company and dumped him in the trash can of history at ten cents on the dollar a few years later.  The remnants of Fox’s empire went to loyalists like Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Twentieth Century-Fox.

     Jews led boycotts against the purchase of Fords.  Ford’s reputation carried him over their attempts although he was being increasingly seen as an eccentric crank.  No man’s reputation can withstand such relentless defamation.  His innovations began to be turned against him.  Ford was actually the first promoter of what has since become one of the largest cash crops in America: Soybeans.  Soybeans are a versatile crop; Ford used the product to make plastic door handles; others have used the beans to fabricate steak or crab.  At any rate his effort to establish the crop was now ridiculed rather than approved.

     More importantly, as secure as he was financially, he was just as vulnerable in his work force.  Legions of troublemakers entered his plants to sabotage production.  He was forced to discontinue much of his benevolent policy.  He had to take more of a protective stance.

     His son, Edsel, proved incapable of understanding the nature of the battle.  Ford therefore turned to a man named Harry Bennett who was tough, ready and able to defend Ford’s interests.  As Ford turned to Bennett, his enemies had turned the tide of the battle.  Ford had lost the offensive, the rest of his life would be spent on the defensive.  Confusion and consternation ruled Ford’s workplace.

     Then followed the Great Depression.  On the eve of the Depression Ford had been paying eight dollars a day which was a source of great pride to him.  The Depression forced him to halve it in the struggle to survive.  Tension in the plants increased.  It was aided and abetted by the Communists.  The Communists had survived the reaction of 1920.  They were now a legal party.  they had regrouped and were becoming a powerful subversive force.  Stalin had consolidated his position in Russian by 1928.  He was now directing the world revolution.  Part of the plan was to disrupt American industry.  In 1932 in the dead of winter Communists led a march on Ford’s River Rouge plant.  Had the march succeeded the Communists would have occupied the plant and sabotaged and destroyed the machinery.  The resultant unemployment would presumably have aggravated social unrest to bring about the Bolshevik revolution in America.

     The marchers were met by the police who turned fire hoses on them:  shots were fired; Communists died.  Ford was blamed.  Ford was completely defamed as a wrong headed man, a contemptible crank.  In America there is only one side to any story; the newspapers were not controlled by Ford; his side of the story was never told.

page 397.

     Ford’s great brave dream of a world in which men were bettered rather than battered was all but lost, buried in the realms of darkness.  Ford could see the light but he didn’t have the prophetic skills to transmit it.  He could see a glorious future but he couldn’t reveal it enough to others to make them want it.  As always they were victims of Communist charlatans.

     Oddly enough the most serious blow to his reputation came from a most unexpected quarter.  There was one man who saw what Ford had actually accomplished.  In the peculiar way of futurists he was extremely conservative.  He disapproved of Ford’s dream, or at least his method.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was released in the early thirties, just about this time.  Huxley perceived the religious underpinnings of Ford’s activities.  In his novel, Huxley dated time B.F. and A.F., Before and After Ford.  He referred to Ford’s contribution to the advancement of civilization as only a conservative, perhaps even a reactionary, can.  In gentle and pernicious satire he belittled and ridiculed Ford.  Even Huxley’s human beings were turned out on a Fordian production line.

     Oh, I suppose if Ford had followed the Jewish method he might have sued Huxley for defaming his belief system.  He might have sought an injuction against the publication of the book.  He might have looted libraries of their copies as the Jews had done him.  He might have, but Henry Ford was an intelligent man; he was decent; he was good.

     Henry Ford was growing old.  The Wars came; his son died; Henry Ford retired.  He left behind the Ford Foundation.

     Henry Ford had never been big on charity.  Charity was the way finance capitalists did business.  First they ground the working man down, then they gave the excess profits taken from the workingman’s hide as charity for their own greater aggrandizement: put their names on streets and buildings.  It worked too.  People forgot how the money was acquired while lauding these fellows as benefactors of mankind.  Rockefeller and Carnegie on the goi side left hundreds of millions.  Jacob Schiff, Julius Rosenwald of Sears, the Guggenheims and others on the Jewish side of finance capitalism gave and left millions for the benefit of the Jews.

page 398.

     Had Ford embraced finance capitalism or even classic supply and demand capitalism he might have made billions more than he did which he could have distributed as ‘charity.’  For those of you who have never received charity, you may believe me when I say that it is indeed better to give than receive charity.  Charity elevates the given while depressing the receiver.  But then, you see, that’s the way God planned it.  The poor shall always be with us.

     Instead Ford devised his system so that he doubled prevailing wages, giving men pride rather than despair.  He lowered the cost of his automobiles to the point where everyone benefited.  His largesse was as a matter of course, accepted, but ultimately unappreciated.  Ford still left more behind than Rockefeller and Carnegie combined.

     But now on the eve of death Ford’s companies were beset by many enemies.  Ford was struggling to survive.  The finance capitalists thought they had victory in their grasp.  Truly the Lord moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform,  Man proposes; God disposes.  One might say that the God of the Bible gently removed Ford Motors from the grasping fingers of Ford’s enemies and placed the company in the hands of the very capable and appropriately named Henry Ford II, Edsel’s son.  One might say that God willed that Ford Motors should survive.  Why did not his putative adherents accept his apparent will?

page 399.

     According to Biblical methods one’s fate is determined by adding up one’s good works and balancing them against one’s sins.  Surely Henry Ford’s virtues far exceed his faults.  Surely there was a place in Biblical heaven for Henry Ford.  If flights of angels be, may they have carried the man who wanted to raise mankind from poverty to a juster reward to that great auto plant in the sky.  There is surely a place in bliss for God’s Own Manufacturer.

     Big Ben had been opposed to Ford along with the rest of his ilk.  Why pay bums more than they were willing to accept?  Push ’em down.  Push ’em down.

     Our gazes were interlocked as we saw into each other’s mind.  My feeling of contempt for Ben and what he stood for welled up from my mind and found outlet through my eyes.  Ben and I dueled it out in the beam of light between our eyes.  My contempt waxed stronger as I realized the brutality of Ben’s outlook.  The strength of my contempt dashed against his, driving him steadily back until he gave up.  He broke eye contact, viewing my person with fear.  The big belly rotated to the left as Big Ben turned to flee to the security of his shack.

     He ripped open the door, slamming it behind him as he plumped into his seat in front of his picture window.  He didn’t look at me again.  He clasped his hands before him as if in prayer, staring as though into the future; or perhaps he was seeking a vision of a past that could never return.

     Of course I had not backed down Big Ben Webster of the Immaculate Coalyard; I had only backed down his shadow, Big Ben of the Weedgrown Oil Tank, who was sunk in despair.  I studied him through the window for a moment while he studiously avoided further eye contact; then I slipped my foot up onto the pedal, turning in a wobbling arc through Ben’s weeds and off down the street.

pages 400-401.