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Title: Pleiades Club—Telegraphers' Paradise on Planet Mars
Author: Hayes, Jeff W.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



[Illustration: _Yours Very truly_

  _J. W. Hayes_]



  PLEIADES CLUB

  Telegraphers’ Paradise on
  Planet Mars

  _By_ JEFF. W. HAYES

  AUTHOR OF

  Tales of the Sierras, Looking Backward at Portland, Paradise on
  Earth, Portland A. D. 1999, Autographs and Memoirs
  of the Telegraph, etc.

  [Illustration]

  PUBLISHED BY
  MULTNOMAH PRINTING COMPANY
  PORTLAND, OREGON
  MCMXVII



DEDICATORY


  _To Edgar W. Collins,
  Poet-Laureate of the Telegraph; noble, high-minded gentleman;
  a true friend; this little volume is
  inscribed with a loving heart._



Contents.


                                                                   Page

  Chapter I--On the Planet Mars                                       7
             Eternity Illustrated                                     7
             Lincoln’s Birthday on Planet Mars                        7
             Aaron Hilliker Sings Old Song                            8
             Biff Cook Makes a Speech                                 9

  Chapter II--Fourth of July on Planet Mars                          11
              Colonel Crain Delivers Address                         12

  Chapter III--Dixie Day on Planet Mars                              16

  Chapter IV--Chicago Takes a Hand                                   21
              Al Baker’s Speech                                      21

  Chapter V--Peter Rowe’s Prohibition Speech                         25

  Chapter VI--California Elects a President                          29

  Chapter VII--Echoes From Gotham                                    33

  Chapter VIII--The Planet Mars Enjoys a Telegraphers’
                  Tournament                                         37

  Chapter IX--Washington’s Birthday Celebration on Planet Mars       41

  Chapter X--Some Splendid Telegraphing                              45

  Chapter XI--Cleveland Day on Planet Mars                           48

  Chapter XII--Planet Mars Entertains Railroad Telegraph
                 Superintendents                                     52

  Chapter XIII--Charles A. Tinker Arrives on Planet Mars             55

  Chapter XIV--Tom Edison’s Inventions Applauded on Planet Mars      59

  Chapter XV--Debut of Henry Ward Beecher on Planet Mars             62
              Ernest Emery Heard From                                63
              P. V. De Graw Speaks                                   65

  Chapter XVI--The Magnetic and Morse Clubs Entertain                66

  Chapter XVII--Our Canadian Brothers on Planet Mars                 69

  Chapter XVIII--Relief Expedition From Planet Mars                  71

  Chapter XIX--Pennsylvania Day on Planet Mars                       75

  Chapter XX--The Journey to Jupiter                                 78
              Adam Sends “73” to His Posterity                       79



PREFACE


In offering the “Pleiades Club” to the public, I have no apologies to
make. Some may object to the declarations contained herein, but they
are all consistent with intelligent beliefs, and not contrary to fixed
or orthodox faith. “There is no death,” and my thought is to strengthen
and impress this health-giving idea upon all of my readers. I have
undertaken to describe a reign of harmony that exists after “Life’s
fitful fever” which is more worthy of credence than the hell afire and
damnation espoused by some creeds and religions; and I hope that my
telegraph friends will feel better on this score from a perusal of the
“Pleiades Club.”

                                                             THE AUTHOR.



CHAPTER I.

ON THE PLANET MARS


_Eternity Illustrated._

Eternity is an awe-inspiring theme and one which our little finite
minds are unable to comprehend. It is a subject, however, which should
never worry or distress us, when we stop to realize that we are all
living in the eternal now.

Once upon a time, an evangelist, in following up his line of business,
rendered a discourse on “Eternity” which would have given one an
opportunity for endless mathematics.

“Supposing this earth was a huge ball of steel,” he began, “25,000
miles in circumference and a little bird would pass over it once every
thousand years, lightly touching this immense steel body with the tip
of its wing. Were you to tell the souls in hades that they would be
released by the time the bird had cut a hole through and divided the
sphere, there would be great rejoicing among the condemned.”

Knowing that there is nothing lost in God’s creation this little
allegory should never make one nervous, for we also know that, like
John Brown, our “soul goes marching on,” onward and upward.

Having delivered my text, I will proceed with my story.


_Lincoln’s Birthday on Planet Mars._

It was a delightful gathering which assembled at a dinner on the
planet Mars given in honor of Abraham Lincoln, on the occasion of his
birthday, by the Pleiades Club, composed mostly of old-time telegraph
men and their admirers, A. D. 1916.

Numerically, the gathering was greater than that which assembled on any
previous occasion on Mother Earth, and viewing the happy, smiling faces
of those present, one felt that it was good to be here.

Sounders clicked on every side; all were readable, and harmony
prevailed, nobody ever sending six dots for the letter “p” or the
figure 4 for a “v.”

President Lincoln presided and much attention was paid to his remarks.
The President’s face possessed that wonderfully kind and loving
appearance so apparent during life and his voice bespoke his gentle
spirit. Earnestly he chatted with some late arrivals on Mars, asking
particularly for his old telegraph associates on earth. He enquired
about the “Sacred three” and Billy Dealy and many of the boys in the
field in the stirring days of the war.

The President was a busy soul, looking out for “his Father’s business,”
as he expressed it, and he was the recipient of much reverence from all
assembled.


_Aaron Hilliker Sings Olden Song._

Music was called for, when to the astonishment of all, the form of A.
B. Hilliker appeared at the threshold. Aaron was as full of bonhomme
as of yore and responded to many requests by singing “The Old Oaken
Bucket,” which evoked an enthusiastic encore.

“What did you sine in the spring of ’73?” queried Jim Largay.

“You should have asked me what I sined in ’53,” replied Hilliker, as he
smiled at Professor Morse, who pleasantly returned the recognition.

“The question before the Club tonight is ‘Preparedness,’” remarked
General Thomas T. Eckert, “and I would like to see this subject fully
discussed,” continued that gallant gentleman.


_Biff Cook Makes a Speech._

“Never mind,” interposed “Biff” Cook, “that is all provided for and
should our beloved country ever get into a war, it will be one of short
duration. It will be a one man’s war against a congress of nations.
Why, my friends, the ‘Wizard of Menlo Park’ has all that studied out,
but he is not talking about it or giving the idea away.”

“Why,” continued Cook, emphasizing his words, “Tom Edison has it
all figured out that in twelve hours’ time he can weave a cobweb
of wires on our ocean’s shore to completely annihilate immediately
any threatening craft fifty miles out at sea. I wish that I could
communicate this information to the timid people down there on earth,
for I believe it would do them a world of good.

“I know all about this, for Tom told me about the scheme back there in
’74, when I used to ‘dot on his quadruplex’ along with Eddie Fullum and
Billy Landy, at 145 Broadway.

“No, boys,” went on “Biff,” “let’s talk of the wireless. We are all so
much interested in that. Why, it was only last week that we all heard
New York talking to Honolulu and I tried to break in, but that ‘ham’ in
New York would not adjust and we lost our opportunity of being heard.
Just think, if he had pulled up his relay just half an inch we would
have been in direct communication. If that fellow had ever worked in
Cheyenne alongside of Comb Green, when I worked the overland at Omaha,
he would have known something about keeping adjusted and the dear old
Earth would have received startling news which would have thrown the
feat of Commander Peary into the shade.

“Don’t you know, cull,” continued Cook, “that I really believe that
our planet Mars may be called upon to perform her good offices in case
any hostile nation should attempt to invade the United States, and I
believe that Tom Edison has solved that intricate problem.”

With these remarks, “Biff” sat down amid thundering applause.

       *       *       *       *       *

The St. Louis band, composed of W. W. Cummings, Sidney B. Fairchild,
James Nelson and James Murray, then rendered “The Star-Spangled
Banner,” after which the audience was addressed on the subject of
wireless telegraph.

Professor Zingalli, of Milan, whose name would indicate that he was
“flagging” while on earth, gave the assemblage a graphic account of the
possibilities of the wireless.

“Why, my friends,” he said, “this science is still in its infancy. Were
I to tell you of all its possibilities, you would not believe me. The
day is sure to come when all you gentlemen will have an opportunity of
talking to your loved ones on earth by means of the wireless telephone.
There will be a million circuits running into Chicago, none of them
interfering with the other. Every hamlet in the country will have a
wireless telephone and telegraph instrument. Trains will be run by
wireless, ships will use wireless as a motive power and city car lines’
power will be usurped by the ever present wireless.”

“Then I would not have to walk any more from San Francisco to Chicago,
would I?” ejaculated the irrepressible “Bogy.”

“Cold day when you ever walked,” laughed Hank Cowan, who sat opposite
his former colleague. “That ‘con’ told me a different story; yes, you
walked all the way, of course you did, but only from one end of the car
to the other.”

This sally caused much merriment among the members of the Club, which
gave way to a speech entitled “The Future of the Telegraph,” specially
prepared for the occasion by Col. Mark D. Crain.

The meeting then adjourned subject to the call of the secretary, who
was none else than that prince of good fellows, Jim P. Doody.



CHAPTER II.

FOURTH OF JULY ON PLANET MARS


There was much commotion on the planet Mars.

As closely as the most patriotic mathematician could reckon time and
compare it with a corresponding period on the Earth, it was Fourth of
July and the dwellers on Mars decided to celebrate in a “sane” manner.

Everybody to their own liking and the American members of the Pleiades
Club determined that this should be the occasion when Colonel Marquis
Delafayette Crain should address them on “The Future of the Telegraph.”

The club members began gathering at an early hour, forming into little
knots in a semi-circle around the speaker’s stand. It was a “get
acquainted” meeting, too, and the committee of arrangements was kept
very busy.

“Yes, I have known Bert Ayres for many years and copied press from him
many a night,” said O. A. Gurley, as Mr. Ayres was introduced. Merry
sallies passed between the two gentlemen, when the gavel sounded with
a loud rap and the master of ceremonies introduced Col. Mark D. Crain,
the speaker.

Loud and enthusiastic greetings followed this introduction and the
Colonel smilingly acknowledged the welcome.


_Colonel Crain Delivers Address._

“I am to speak today upon the future of the telegraph,” he began, but
he was interrupted by Ed. Parmalee, who asked him to change his topic
to the “past” history of the telegraph.

“Cannot do it just now, as I am all primed with my topic, and some
other time will do; besides, you know, we are now in Eternity and we
have all the time there is.”

The Colonel then took up his manuscript, which he began to read:

“The telegraph has made astounding progress during the past five
years,” he began, “but there are much better things in store for the
employes than ever before.

“For instance, a device has been invented which practically annihilates
time when it comes to taking messages off the wires.

“A typewriter with the standard keyboard is used, but the combinations
are numerous. To an expert, ten words are written with one touch of the
key and a fifty-word night letter will be written by simply touching
five different keys on the typewriter. It all depends upon knowing how,
and you know,” remarked the Colonel merrily, “we get paid for what we
know, and not for what we do.

“You can now see that it will take but ten seconds to receive a
fifty-word night letter, but the toll to the public is just the same.
The companies, however, are willing to divide the earnings with the
operators and a new schedule of salaries has been made as follows:

“Operators will receive ten mills for each message handled, but they
are required to handle at least 500 messages every hour, their work
being confined to five hours a day.

“You see their wages will therefore be $5 per hour, or $25 per day for
five hours’ work. The company will not permit an operator to work more
than twenty days a month, so the maximum salary for each operator will
be $500.

“The company will furnish three meals a day--”

“Did I understand you to say ‘free meals a day?’” broke in Jake Tubman,
who sat near the speaker.

“I should have said three free meals a day,” laughingly replied the
speaker, and, continuing, “and automobiles will call for and return
each employe home.

“The chief will meet each operator at the door when he quits for the
day and ask him the state of his health, how he enjoyed his work,
and if he has any grievance to relate. The manager, too, will greet
operators all at the landing of the elevator and ask them if they care
to ‘draw’ today.”

“Oh, my, that strikes me about right,” cried out Fred Loomis, and many
others showed their appreciation of the innovation.

“All operators will be treated with much consideration and distinction,
especial attention being given to pacifying all recalcitrants and
smoothing out all kicks and complaints which may arise, but it is
thought the programme outlined will wipe out all differences.”

Colonel Crain’s speech was followed with wild applause and a big
demonstration. The band played “Happy Days” on the harps.

After order had been restored, Colonel Crain was asked to speak on the
“old timers,” it being remarked that he should be quite at home on that
topic.

“Yes, I know a few of them,” began Mark. “They came and went when I was
in Kansas City, and we always had a delightful time.

“Let’s see, there was Jim Delong--”

“Present,” interrupted the voice of Mr. Delong, amid applause.

The speaker continued:

“Yes, there was Billy Spink, too--”

“Here also,” broke in the familiar voice of Mr. Spink, who received an
encore.

“Then there was Frank Farley, Dan Martin, Billy Foy, Jim Cook, Milton
Geowey, Harry Smith, John Topliff--”

“Don’t forget me,” broke in Fred Swain, as he swung into sight on the
arm of Bob Rankin.

“I’m not going to overlook you,” continued Crain; “I remember the time
you wanted to take a trip with me from the window of the tenth floor of
the Chicago office, without an aeroplane.”

This remark evoked much merriment among the old timers of Chicago.

“Well, gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to meet and greet you all here
today and to realize that we do not have to put a sub. on and that all
the wires are always working O. K.”

“That is because you have the pick of the construction department,”
smilingly remarked M. C. Bristol, and the assemblage acquiesced.

“Let’s get back to the original text,” said Billy West, who had been
deeply interested in Mr. Crain’s address. “I would like to hear more of
the future of the telegraph and I greatly enjoy hearing Colonel Crain’s
remarks.”

“Yes, here are a few pages that the Colonel overlooked,” said secretary
Jim Doody, handing the same to Mr. Crain.

“Ah, yes, I have something else to say and a little story to relate
which, I think, you will all be pleased to listen to.”

Silence once more reigned as the speaker began:

“The telegraph stock is away up, Western Union selling for $495 and
Postal $415. The companies are studying the advisability of segregating
a portion of their stock for charitable purposes, which idea is under
consideration by the executive committee.

“An operator will be retired when he has reached the age of thirty with
a pension of five years’ salary in advance to enable him to go into
some profitable business.”

“I’m glad I am not on Earth to witness such dreadful extravagances,”
interrupted Russell Sage, who had been an attentive listener.

“Those are my sentiments also,” cried Jay Gould, who had arrived in
time to hear the last part of Colonel Crain’s address.

“My remarks will close with a little story about one of our most
distinguished members. The story may not be a new one to you who are
here present, but it is a good one,” and Colonel Crain paused.

“Oh, go ahead,” shouted the audience; “let’s have the story.”

“It was about a quarter of a century ago on the planet Mars and a great
commotion was going on at the gates. There had been an unusual exodus
from Earth, the accommodation train bringing with it many millionaires,
all ready to become citizens.

“One man hurriedly left the train and began elbowing his way through
the surging crowd.

“Addressing the doorkeeper, the newcomer asked to be admitted
instantly, but was told that he must take his turn.

“Indignation filled the newly arrived, who exclaimed, ‘My name is Jay
Gould and while on earth I could buy my way in at any place. I did not
bring any money with me, but I can give you a check for any amount you
say. I want to get in quickly, so just say how much money you want.’

“The doorkeeper paused for a moment and replied: ‘A million up here
counts for one cent and a second of time is the same as a thousand
years.’

“‘All right,’ exclaimed Gould, ‘just tell me how much money you want to
let me in.’

“Again did the doorkeeper stop to think, finally ejaculating, ‘One
hundred millions.’

“‘Here is a check for it,’ said Gould.

“‘Wait a minute,’ replied the doorkeeper.

“This conversation occurred about twenty-five years ago and it is
evident that Mr. Gould did not ‘wait a minute’ as suggested by the
doorkeeper.”

This story was received with a tumult of applause by the entire
assemblage, after which the meeting adjourned.

It was understood that the next meeting would be addressed by a number
of southern operators, who will relate their telegraphic experience
while on Earth.



CHAPTER III.

DIXIE DAY ON PLANET MARS


It was certainly a choice gathering of spirits who flocked together at
Telegraphers’ Tabernacle to listen to the doings of the boys from Dixie
who were members of this honorable body.

Fred B. Moxon, courtly and affable as of old, called the meeting to
order.

Mr. Moxon explained that the meeting was called for the purpose of
having a pleasant time and everyone was cordially invited to say
something.

“Is Bob Irwin, ‘Canada’s fastest man,’ present?” came an inquiry from
Dave Ryan.

“No, Bob and Aleck Sinnot went a-fishing this morning down to Hesperian
canal, but we expect to see them back very soon.”

“I say, Dave,” queried Kentucky George Ellsworth, “how about that story
that Brother Topping tells about you when you were on General Bragg’s
staff? Did the General really cease hostilities on a certain occasion
till you could be located?”

“Just you read United States history and get better acquainted with
me,” testily replied Ryan. But a smile speedily lit up the old war
horse’s face when he recognized the president of the meeting.

“Well, if there isn’t Fred Moxon, whom I left in St. Louis in 1875.
Glad to see you, old boy; do you remember how you used to paste me when
I was down there in Galveston? I tell you what, to take you and fight
those native mosquitoes was a bigger job than fighting under General
Bragg.”

“Yes, Dave, you remember how that old Long Horn wire used to work and
how those repeaters at Denison would rattle? The man in charge of the
Denison repeaters went to sleep one night and I could not hear you
break.”

“I never broke in my life,” interrupted Ryan.

“That’s right, too,” agreed Moxon, “and the only way I knew you were
getting me was to ask New Orleans.”

“Same old stunt,” broke in Cy Whitaker, who just arrived and took a
seat in front.

“Why, here is Ed Whitford, is he in our class?” asked “Fid” Powers.

“Yes, he is eligible, for he worked two winters in New Orleans. Let him
sit down, as I have one on him,” suggested Dick Babbitt.

“Sit down, Ed, you are welcome at our festive board. I want to tell the
boys of the joke you played on me once upon a time.

“I dropped into the Chicago office to get acquainted with the boys and
see what new things had been introduced. Whitford was always the master
of ceremonies in the Chicago office, doubtless because he could always
see a funny side to everything.

“‘Look at this big ground wire,’ said Whitford, pointing to the iron
pillar, which ran from floor to ceiling, the only obstruction in the
big room. ‘Yes, this is the ground wire which grounds every wire
in Chicago and ofttimes holds millions of volts. There is enough
electricity in the ground wire at this minute to completely annihilate
an entire army if applied in the proper way; yes, this ground wire is
one of the institutions of Chicago.

“‘Want to see some good receiving? Well, come here and witness the
finest operator in the world. He can copy 100 words behind, as I will
show you.’”

“Going up to Jack Carroll, who was receiving a special from Luke
Fisher, at Omaha, Whitford grabbed Carroll’s hand, which he shook for
two minutes, Fisher sending at top notch speed.

“Releasing his hand, Carroll took up a new sheet and began to copy just
as if he had not been interrupted.

“‘Wonderful, wonderful,’ ejaculated the spectators, but we did not know
that Jack had a time in squaring himself with Luke Fisher to get him to
repeat the missing portion.”

“Yes, Ed, you were always on hand like warts when it came to going
to the annual reunion of the Old Timers, too,” said Billy West, who
arrived at this juncture, high hat and gold-headed cane.

“Glad to see you again, Bill,” shouted many voices.

“Gentlemen, let us quit shop talk for a few minutes and see what the
latest is from the seat of the great European battle ground.

“I say, Mr. Chairman, can you tell me if Ethiopia has joined the
allies,” questioned Jim Taylor, a recently arrived colored employe from
Minneapolis.

“Yes, you bet; I could make out a battalion marching north and they
were carrying the national flag of Ethiopia,” remarked Charlie Newton,
as he sauntered in.

“What am the flag of Ethiopia?” asked Taylor.

“Why, it is a picture of a watermelon cut in halves on one side of the
flag and a ham bone on the other side,” laughingly replied Newton, and
a burst of merriment ensued.

“I have been practicing with mirrors,” began Moxon, “and I find that I
can bottle up and concentrate enough of the sun’s rays to completely
vaporize any intruding battleship 100 miles at sea. We turn on our
searchlight, which is equal to a billion candle power and signal for
her to turn back. Upon her refusal to do so, the bottled up energy of
the sun is turned on and presently a smoke arises which in five minutes
is lifted and nothing can be seen of the unfriendly man o’ war.

“I am in telepathic communication with my old partner, Jeff Hayes,
who is still a resident of the terrestrial sphere, and we are able to
convey much intelligence in this way to each other. I have already
given him the dope on this new idea and you will find that the matter
will be given the widest publicity on earth.

“I notice we have with us Col. Tally Mann, once of Sherman, Jack Taylor
of Galveston, Ed Davis, David Flannery, Charlie Patch, Jim Stacey, Jack
McDonald, Jimmie Rust, Jack Sinclair, Jack Graham and Phil Fall.”

At the mention of each name a cheer went up, each gentleman arising and
making a graceful bow.

Bob Irwin, “Canada’s fastest,” put in an appearance now with a string
of Dollie Varden trout which he stated he had caught over in the
Hesperian canal.

“No, I did not subsidize any small boy, either,” warmly remarked Irwin,
“for I am a fisherman from way back.”

“Yes, you used to catch catfish on the Mississippi below St. Louis,”
said John Topliff as he bobbed to the front.

“I never contradict my chief operator; you taught me that stunt,”
retorted Irwin, and all the St. Louis contingent laughed to the echo.

“I never liked that story Dick Babbitt propagated about David Flannery.
You remember that one about ‘Jobs and Positions.’ I never liked it and
I am going to tell Dick so.”

“I plead guilty,” said Babbitt, adding “and I throw myself upon the
mercy of the Court.” This remark was made with mock solemnity, which
evoked an “Aw, forgit it” from Davis.

The band, of which Ed Leloup was the leader, discoursed some stirring
Southern melodies, after which the meeting took the form of a general
social feast, many introductions being made.

There was no bickering, no quarreling, no riotousness on the planet
Mars. Surely everyone was supposed to forget all these ere they could
remain in peace in this delightful haven of rest.

Everything was so harmonious here that few cared to leave its
delightful precincts until lapse of time urged him for a higher climb.

To the lover of music, music was everywhere; to the student of
literature, the universe was an open book, always ready to instruct
an earnest student; to the inquirer after the arts and sciences, Mars
gives ample opportunity for study and advancement, but to the person
who makes inquiry after the pleasures of a flesh, a big and emphatic
“No” is given. Mars and its inhabitants are built on different lines.

Pardon being asked for and granted for this diversion, Chairman Moxon
announced that the next meeting would be held under the auspices of the
old Chicago office, which announcement created a whirlwind of applause.

Lara Boone and Hank Spencer then sang, “Oh Where Is My Wandering Boy
Tonight” and the meeting passed into history.



CHAPTER IV.

CHICAGO TAKES A HAND


It was Chicago day on the planet Mars and from every quarter of our
nearest starry neighbor came flitting the individuals who at one time
or another worked in the Chicago telegraph offices.

It did not matter what company was the employer, railroad or telegraph;
all were as welcome as the flowers in May and all felt at home.

There were many familiar faces and it will be our privilege to mention
many of the dear denizens of this happy stopping place, where all is
peace and harmony and where our telegraph and railroad friends obtain
their first taste of heavenly happiness.

Al Baker presided over the meeting and announced that James E. Pettit
would be temporary secretary for the Society of the United States
Military Telegraph Corps.

“Why not make John Brant secretary for the Old Timers’ association
also; it would look so much like olden times,” said Col. John J.
Dickey, and the suggestion evoked much applause and presently both
gentlemen were at their desks wielding their pens just as they used to
do on earth.


_Al Baker’s Speech._

“They used to call me the ‘old preacher’ when I was night chief
operator of the Chicago office,” began the president, Mr. Baker.

He was interrupted by Fred Swain, who remarked that they had often
heard A. B. Cowan relate incidents showing his tendency toward Biblical
lore.

“Yes, I have heard the story,” replied Baker. “It occurred on the
occasion of a big storm in Chicago, but we are here today to talk
‘shop’ and I hope we will hear from many of our friends present, for we
can tell something interesting, each one of us.

“I have a few preliminary remarks to make and I hope our beloved
secretary, Mr. Brant, will report me as correctly as possible.

“I want to convey to the telegraph people on old Mother Earth that it
is a psychological fact that if they would only make their profession
a life-long business, similar to that of a doctor, dentist, lawyer or
minister, their condition while on earth would vastly improve. They
should take advantage of all the education obtainable in their line,
through reading and studying text books on electrical matters and
endeavor to qualify themselves for higher positions which are bound to
come.

“It will not be long ere the prevailing company will build into Mexico,
and, in fact, cover South America. Those fellows down there need
somebody to show them how to telegraph and I guess there would be a
great number of good tutors in New York, Chicago and St. Louis, and
just fancy the revenue that would be derived.

“The opening of this southern country would give every ambitious
and capable man in the service an opportunity of shining as a
superintendent or in some other official capacity.

“You remember, boys, how they used to sing after the war of the
rebellion a ditty about ‘Uncle Sam is rich enough to buy us all a farm.’

“Well, the telegraph company is rich enough to make all capable men a
superintendent in South America.

“Of course you understand, boys,” he continued, “that the subject we
are discussing will not interest us personally, for we are all now
‘about our Father’s business,’ but it is a happy thought to know that
our loved ones on earth are going to be provided for.”

Mr. Baker’s remarks were greeted with much delighted applause and
Secretary Brant stated that he had made a stenographic copy of the
same, which he would hand to Fred Moxon, who in turn would transmit it
by telepathy to his friend on the terrestrial planet.

“We will now listen to the Chicago Glee Club,” remarked President
Baker, and vociferous cheers went up as the forms of Sam Bracken, Al
Babb, Jim Delong and Harry Smith appeared, each bearing a harp of a
thousand strings.

Some of these gentlemen could not warble a note while on earth, but
were now students of music and harmony, and well did they acquit
themselves, even indulging their audience in a little rag time.

Al Babb was particularly happy in his illustrative Indian war dances,
scalp dances and the like.

Applications for membership into the Chicago branch of the Pleiades
Club brought out many hundreds of new and old faces, and as time was
no object to them it was decided to hold this as a continuous meeting
until everyone was ready to acquiesce in adjournment.

“Boys, I am interested to visit the next ‘mile-post’ in our eternal
flight,” remarked “Dad” Armstrong as he came on the platform to shake
hands with President Baker.

“I would like to go up to Jupiter for a month or so,” continued
Armstrong, but he was interrupted by Ed Whitford, who exclaimed,
“Better go a little slow, Dad; you know if you climb upwards you cannot
come back, for it is just like the butterfly and caterpillar. You have
to keep a-going if you start,” and here Whitford paused and presently
sang that good old hymn, “I’m a pilgrim, I can tarry but a while.”

Armstrong, to the delight of the club, concluded to tarry a while
longer.

“I notice we have Henry C. Maynard with us today,” said the president.
“Will he kindly step to the front?” Cheers rent the air as Mr.
Maynard’s familiar figure mounted to the platform.

“I say, Brother Maynard, do you remember the night you told me,
along about eleven o’clock, that you could now dispense ‘without’ my
services?”

The speaker was Billy Wallace, and his remark occasioned much merriment.

“Oh, yes, I remember very well,” returned Mr. Maynard, “but you know
that I did not care so much for the queen’s English as I did to see the
‘C U B’ was promptly handled on the overland.

“I am very glad to see this happy throng,” continued Mr. Maynard, “and
I am perfectly willing to have ‘Chicago day’ last for an entire year,
for I believe there would not be one dull moment during this period.

“I will have occasion to address you quite often during the meeting.”

“Can you tell me, please, who it was that got ‘and a city’ for
‘audacity’?” questioned J. DeWitt Congdon.

“I am the ‘guilty’ man, for I got that the same night that the young
fellow in Galveston reported that Tom Brown, a negro, was found
‘quilty’ of murder,” exclaimed Charley Hazelton, who sat near “c g.”

“We will be glad to hear from Pete Rowe and listen to some of his wild
and woolly experiences in Elko, Nev.,” said the president, “but we will
hearken first to a song by Les Bradley, who will favor us with ‘Pat
Clancey’s Shovel.’” The song was rendered in the most inimitable style
by Bradley.



CHAPTER V.

PETER ROWE’S PROHIBITION SPEECH


The audience at the meeting of the telegraph people assembled in
session at the Pleiades Club on the planet Mars to listen to remarks
from Peter A. Rowe and others, were quite on the _qui vive_ in
anticipation of something out of the ordinary and they were certainly
well rewarded for their patient waiting.

Mr. Al Baker, who was presiding, introduced the speaker of the day, for
“there is no night” on the planet Mars, and Mr. Rowe was well received.

“I have been asked to relate my experience out in the West, but I think
that I would prefer to say something upon a subject nearer my heart,”
Mr. Rowe began.

“I did go it some while on earth and were I inclined to be remorseful,
I would be very unhappy indeed, but up here in the second heaven we
have all learned that remorse is as much to be dreaded as is hate,
malice, envy, revenge and a hundred more kindred vices.

“Every sin is forgiven as we turn from it and now I have nothing to
regret for any shortcomings that I may have had while on Earth.

“To get back to my topic. I notice on the bulletin board that there
is a connection between this mile post on our heavenly flight and my
former friends on Earth and I would like to have your secretary quote
my remarks for the benefit of those who are still tempted in the manner
I was, while on Earth.

“I am rejoiced to know that the South has gone dry, and I am thankful,
too, that the West is following in the same line, and were I again a
legislator from Cook County, Ill., I would preach from the house-top
and from the hill-top, the great good of national prohibition and I
would not cease a moment till I made Chicago a ‘dry’ city. I feel that
I would have the hearty thanks of the telegraph and railroad companies
and also of all the telegraph employes once the bill became a law and
all were inured to it.

“Our people on Mars are true blue and there is no insincerity to be
found in our ranks. We have all been purged of that and we all feel the
better for it.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Rowe continued in his happy vein to relate his experiences while he
was manager at Elko, Nev., when that office was a repeating point, his
remarks evoking many merry rounds of applause.

He was very much in earnest in his statements on prohibition and his
listeners were greatly interested, Mr. Fred Moxon taking the notes down
in shorthand for the benefit of his earthly friends.

The band played, “Father, dear father, coom heim with me now,” and a
bright little star was placed in Mr. Rowe’s crown, Mike Burke all the
time whistling enquiringly, “Will there be any stars in my crown?”

“While you are on the subject of ‘lifting’ the craft, I wish some one
of our gifted speakers would say a few words upon the ‘Telegraph and
Telephone Life Insurance Association.’

“I notice the sentiment on the subject is general,” said Chairman
Baker, “and that it is highly approved of by all of our friends
assembled. Much good work along these lines is at present being done
in the Chicago office, which I am proud to say never takes a back seat
from any place when it comes to doing things right. The present Chicago
agent for the Telegraph and Telephone Life Insurance Association, Mr.
Edward F. Hatch, has many applications to his ‘wampum belt,’ as Hawkeye
Bill would put it, and this same spirit should be more manifest all
over the country. Just see what immeasurable good the association does.”

“All these remarks are well timed and I agree with the speakers, but
let us have a little fun now. Can’t Sam Bracken get out his stalwart
nine from the Chicago 1883 bunch and play W. H. Cummings of St. Louis a
game of base ball?” Thus spoke Fred Catlin and many left the club room
to witness the game, which was played with much spirit, Chicago, of
course, winning with a decisive score.

It was pleasant to note the absolute democracy of feeling pervading the
denizens of Mars; there was no feeling of seeming superiority displayed
by any one person over another; all were equal and on the same level
and plane. Former superintendents were pleased to hob-nob with their
linemen and chiefs and operators linked arms like brothers and all
differences and distinctions were wiped out forever.

Is it not too bad that such a feeling is impossible, or seems to be so,
on Earth at the present time?

Conversation, visiting and “get acquainted” knots of telegraph men and
women now ensued and it was good to notice the many familiar faces of
those who came loitering along to take part in the happy meeting.

There was Emil Shape, so well known a few years ago in Milwaukee;
George Brigham, from Toledo; John W. Moreland, from San Francisco;
Commodore Haines, from Los Angeles; John Henderson, from Portland; John
and William Grier, from Salt Lake; ex-manager Snider, from Cheyenne;
Frank B. Knight, from Omaha; James Swan, from Minneapolis, and many
others.

John Henderson, who was acquainted while on Earth with all of these
gentlemen, was kept busy in introducing one to the other, his
introduction being accompanied by a humorous sally. Mr. Henderson
was in a very pleasant spirit and greeted the Grier brothers most
affectionately, calling upon Tom Kehoe, Joe Hurley, Mike Burke, Mike
Conway and W. B. Hibbard to come and take a seat close by where they
could all talk uninterruptedly.

Oh yes, here is Joe Sears; the last time I saw him he was in Pioche,
Nev., and here is George Millar from Austin, and James Farrell, from
Carson, and Tom Booth and “Graphy” from Virginia City.

And now that we are all gathered together and have all the time that
there is and we have no work to do at the office, we will enjoy
ourselves to the utmost by relating our experiences for the benefit
of those who are left behind, knowing that all of our remarks will be
carefully chronicled in the Telegraph and Telephone Age through its
special correspondent on the planet Mars, Fred B. Moxon.

Then followed a series of story telling, of experiences, humorous and
pathetic.

The news had been received of the generous Christmas present given
to all employes by the Western Union Telegraph Company, which fact
occasioned many pleasant remarks from its former operators, accompanied
also by a doleful remonstrance from the former stockholders of the
company, who could not understand the occasion of this uncalled for
extravagance.

A committee composed of Frank Jaynes, William B. Hibbard, Colonel J.
J. Dickey and E. P. Wright, framed resolutions of appreciation to be
transmitted to the president of the Western Union Telegraph Company,
Newcomb Carlton, indicating the feeling existing among the former
co-laborers now on the planet Mars toward that company.

The meeting is still in session.



CHAPTER VI.

CALIFORNIA ELECTS A PRESIDENT


While the telegraph boys of Chicago were enjoying themselves and making
merry, a great noise was heard up the line, and a cloud of dust was
discernible, acting as a precursor of the California contingent, who
had just learned of the recent election on Earth and desired to share
their honors with their brothers there.

“You’ve got to come to California if you want to elect a president,”
exclaimed Commodore R. R. Haines, so long known to the fraternity
during his life at Los Angeles.

“California creates wonders and now it is going into competition with
Ohio and is developing presidents,” sang out James Gamble, and at the
mention of his name, there came a mighty applause from all in the grand
stand and bleachers.

“I am glad that California is diversifying its products, for if we are
to give to the world only our product of native sons we will be having
too much competition from among our oriental neighbors,” quoth Frank
Jaynes, handsome and blithe as ever.

“Well, we have come to celebrate California’s part in the election of
1916 and let us do it up right,” interrupted Geo. Senf, “and I believe
the Chicago club will excuse us for butting in.”

“Welcome, Gentlemen,” said President A. L. Baker, “and we invite
you cordially to sit at our merry round table and partake of the
intellectual feast which we always have to offer a brother telegrapher.”

Among the California contingent came a number who had visited San
Francisco, tarried awhile and returned to the effete East. Some
flippantly remarked that they “beat” it East.

Among this number were the following gentlemen: Jeff Prentice, John
Moreland, Harry Converse, David Crawford, John Yontz, William Skinner,
George Millar, James Farrell, William Cohen, W. J. Wallis and many
other bright lights in the telegraph sky.

Dr. O. P. S. Plummer, the first telegraph superintendent in Oregon and
dear old James H. Guild, were there hob-nobbing and both bright and
happy.

“I am figuring on getting up a telegrapher’s tournament up here on the
planet Mars,” said Johnnie Henderson.

“Are you figuring upon giving your audience an exhibition of ‘slow’
sending?” asked Billy Dumars, but John denied the soft impeachment and
declared that he believed the talent up in Mars would put the earthly
inhabitants to the blush, and the idea was taken up and talked over
until everyone was enthused. The day of the tournament was fixed for
Washington’s birthday.

“I will show them how I used to send in the spring of ’73,” said Marsh
Greene.

“Yes, and I will give them an illustration of fast work, right off the
reel, as I took it from C. F. Stumm for the edification of Professor
Morse,” exclaimed Louis A. Somers, as he carelessly toyed with a
very noticeable medal pinned to his coat lapel, bearing some mystic
telegraphic symbols.

It being all settled about the tournament, its date and place, the club
resolved itself into its original form and several hours were devoted
to getting acquainted with the president-makers and welcoming them to
this haven of rest.

“Bug” sending versus hand sending was taken up and discussed, the
old-timer advocating the old style and giving his reasons therefor, but
this was all dissipated when a coterie of “bug” men rallied to the
support of their favorite weapon, giving some startling illustrations
of the efficacy of their machine.

“It puts you on your mettle,” cried one. “You never know till you make
the sense if it is going to be ‘pome,’ ‘home’ or ‘some.’ It keeps
your brain active and working and does not allow you to get mentally
lazy with your work, which, unhappily, is too much the case with all
telegraph operators.”

“You have your nerve to make such a statement, but I really believe you
are more than half right after all,” said George Baxter, “for I know
myself that it is easier to sleep than to think.”

“Yes, and it is more blessed to send than to receive,” broke in Al
Stoner, who had been an interested listener to the discussion.

“Yes, the ‘bug’ has come to stay until I have improved my flash light
key, which will send and do its own receiving at the rate of 1,000
messages an hour,” interposed Nick Burke, and his audience smiled a
little bit unbelievingly.

“We will have a song from H. C. Maynard,” but he asked to be excused,
as he believed he was getting signals from the Earth.

“Oh, nothing but echoes from Verdun, you ought to know that,” said
Albert J. Desson as he came in arm and arm with Dan C. Schull, both of
Cleveland.

Some unthinking people may wrongfully accuse the writer of a seeming
levity in dealing with the people who have gone before, but they are
certainly in error, for that is furthest from his intentions.

Our once earthly friends dwell in a different thought, with different
aspirations and desires, none of which is of the Earth, earthy. They
retain only their happy state of consciousness, and have no remorse or
nuts to crack, on this side of Jordan.

Much favorable comment was heard about the Christmas present given
the employes by the prevailing earthly telegraph company and many
complimentary remarks were made concerning the present organization and
its management

“The telegraph is in its infancy,” remarked Gen. Anson Stager, “and
I have been taught many things I never dreamed of in my philosophy,
Horatio, and I am willing to admit we were all asleep to the business
end of the telegraph in 1876, but it is coming now and the only rival
of the telegraph will be Uncle Sam and his fast mail.

“New usages will constantly be made of the telegraph, new innovations
instituted, a more modern system of delivery will be found and speed
will be added to efficiency and accuracy.

“I remember when we thought gross earnings of seven millions were
startling and it is hard to realize that the present figures show
nearly ten times that amount. Well, good luck go with it,” and Gen.
Stager took William Orton’s arm for a stroll down to nature’s canal,
hard by.

The San Francisco boys sang, “It is a long way to California,” and it
seemed evident that they wanted to talk more about California’s share
in electing a president than ordinary shop talk.

“Do you think the company will further increase the boys’ salaries
in California because that state elected the president?” asked Bob
Hamilton.

“Well, they certainly should, because there is nothing too good for
California,” replied Ed. Fleming, who was on hand with Thomas Reynolds,
taking in the sights.

“Sure thing,” said Johnny Lowrey, who strolled in at this time. “You
are right, there is nothing too good for a native son.”

“Gentlemen,” said President Baker, “there is only one thing that we cut
out up here on the planet Mars, and that is all mention of politics.
Religion we will discuss at any time, because we know that religion is
nothing more than getting acquainted with your Maker.”

“Those are my sentiments, Mr. President,” said D. W. Knapp, who had
just arrived on a late California express and who proceeded to shake
hands with the old San Francisco friends.

“I have much to tell you of an interesting character,” said President
Baker, “but I find that the California boys have taken away most of our
audience to go down to the canal to see the sights, so we will call
this meeting temporarily adjourned.”



CHAPTER VII.

ECHOES FROM GOTHAM


The Pleiades Club, of which so much has been written lately, seems
to possess some value based upon the fact that it brings to the
attention of the old and new-timers the names of former prominent
telegraph people, those who excelled in the art of telegraphy and
those who possessed qualities that made them shining marks in the eyes
of their contemporaries. It is the intention of the author to cover
those sections of the country where there were well-known members of
the profession. Of course it must be remembered that the exceptional
operators of ye olden days sooner or later gravitated to the large
telegraph centers, such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis,
Boston, San Francisco and a dozen other cities which have housed at
one time or another the brilliant operators of the past, those who
have left their impress on the fraternity that will not be effaced for
many generations to come. These old-timers have left their record in
printers’ ink. The younger-timers, as they advance in years, become the
old-timers of tomorrow. Thus history repeats itself.

The eastern coterie of members of the Pleiades Club without hesitation
called upon Alfred S. Downer to preside over the gathering of the New
York contingent. Manager Downer, who wielded the scepter of authority
in the general operating room at 195 Broadway, New York, for so many
years, was now on a level with those who worked the way wires in his
office. His brother, David R. Downer, who was never known to utter
a stronger swear word than “My stars,” was the assistant manager.
He related that he had reprimanded hundreds of operators for making
errors, then he himself was found guilty of putting down “Admiral
Jones, Commander Nasty Yard, Brooklyn, N. Y.” He admitted that to
the day of his retirement from the service this “Nasty” Navy error
had haunted him. The incident was remembered by the old New Yorkers
present, among them being Morris Brick, James H. Largay, David B.
Mitchell, Leslie Bradley, J. H. Dwight, A. S. Brown, Thomas Kennedy,
Thomas Dolan, Fred. W. Baldwin and many others. This last-named
gentleman had fastened to his belt many practical jokes he had “pulled
off” while on Earth. In fact, it was a dull day or busy one at the
wires, whatever the case might be, when Fred. Baldwin failed to
disturb the serenity of the otherwise calm atmosphere of the operating
department with his mirth-exciting pranks.

Sometimes he was known as “Old Man Kav,” and it is to the credit of
the latter that he coaxed every new arrival in the office to work
extra the first day or night as the case might be for “Old Man Kav”
without compensation. “Old Man Kav” may have been a myth but he was an
expensive one to the new arrivals. There never was so much sickness or
dire distress attached to anyone compared with the excuses advanced by
“Old Man Kav” to work the new comers or rather introduce them to the
New York fraternity, persuading them by carefully worded notes to work
for him.

The New York force was large and it necessarily had its quota of
cranks. When they became generally known as such their lives were made,
to say the least, unhappy at times. John Lenhart frequently found
the desk at which he worked fumigated with limburger cheese, but who
performed the ceremony no one could ever find out.

Every new man on the force was instructed by note signed “Old Man Kav”
to hand his worn-out pens and penholders to irritable Tom Kennedy, the
wire chief, but to discover who issued such instructions was more than
the office detective could find out.

No married operator in the New York force thirty or forty years ago was
considered first-class until he had purchased in one of the suburban
New Jersey or Long Island towns a home of his own. It was not a
difficult task to him to figure how six good laying hens could yield a
sufficient number of eggs, the profit on which would pay for his home
in five years. One of these lightning calculating operators had drummed
up quite a few customers for his fresh-laid eggs. He brought them to
the office each morning, hid them away until noon, when he delivered
them to his customers. It did not take long, “Old Man Kav” said, for
him to size up the hen merchant’s tricks. He speedily made arrangements
with a local egg dealer to furnish him with a few dozen eggs that had
seen better days and some previous years. As the fresh eggs arrived
each morning and the unsuspecting owner was busy at his wire, the
old-time product was substituted for the strictly fresh variety. The
reader can imagine the nature of the language that was exchanged during
the following week between the embryo egg merchant and his customers,
some of whom were officials of the company, more vividly than anything
we can say. The office detective again failed to locate the guilty
party and the egg merchant speedily went out of business.

Tom Finnigan, who barricaded the entrance to the operating department
with his portly form, was a character different from anyone else that
ever graced the New York telegraph ranks. His utterances were dry and
crispy and served to keep the “good fellows” on the force supplied
with ample material as a basis for their jokes. It was Tom’s duty to
announce to the manager those at the door who wished to see him. One
day a Texas operator was an applicant for a position. Tom reported his
arrival to Manager Downer, who asked Finnigan if the fellow looked as
though he was a good, fast telegrapher. Finnigan quickly responded
“I think he is. He tells me he came up from Texas on a cyclone.” The
manager, turning to Finnigan, said, “You have my authority to hire him.”

Chairman Downer was an attentive listener to all that had been said
concerning his management and he nodded affirmatively as the old
stories were retold.

It will be interesting to relate how the improvident telegraphers in
the olden days spent their money. They were paid every Friday. With the
extra work that was forced upon them they earned from $20 to $50 per
week. On Friday night their suppers cost them two to three dollars;
on Saturday night one and a half to two dollars and a half; on Sunday
night a dollar to a dollar and a half; on Monday night from fifty cents
to a dollar; on Tuesday night from twenty-five cents to fifty cents,
and on Wednesday and Thursday nights, ten to fifteen cents. Frequently
money had to be borrowed to pay for Thursday’s meal, but as the office
boys could be depended upon for a “touch” the old-timers never went
hungry.

The formalities were brought to a close to give the former New Yorkers
an opportunity to greet their old employer.



CHAPTER VIII.

THE PLANET MARS ENJOYS A TELEGRAPHERS’ TOURNAMENT


As the planet Mars has more than 600 days to its year, and as time is
of no moment in that delightful abode, Washington’s birthday could be
celebrated anytime convenient to the members of the Pleiades Club, and
accordingly the telegraph tournament was scheduled to come off when all
preparations were completed.

Such bustling, hurrying and skurrying was seldom witnessed on Earth and
the telegraph man was in evidence everywhere. Visitors were apprised of
what was in store and even the laity took a great interest in what was
about to transpire. In addition to talent from the United States and
Canada, there were applications from foreign countries of operators who
had been noted in their profession in their respective lands.

The unanimous choice of a president was Fred Catlin, of New York,
who demurred a little, as he hoped to be a participant or judge, but
finally acquiesced, and was duly installed as president.

The committee of arrangements was composed of the following well known
gentlemen:

R. H. Rochester, A. S. Brown, Dave McAneeny, J. H. Dwight, John Brant,
Court Cunningham, Marion H. Kerner and D. Harmon.

The judges were composed of the following:

Madison Buell, G. W. Gardanier, W. B. Somerville, Belvidere Brooks, C.
H. Summers, E. C. Cockey and J. C. Hinchman.

The usual exponents of “bug” and hand sending were present to
demonstrate the advantages of their respective methods, but there were
many present who had never heard of or seen the “bug” and were anxious
to see its merits tested.

“I will be on hand with my first typewriter, constructed in 1868, and
will undertake to show how I copied the president’s message that year,”
said E. Payson Porter, and the Chicago members of the club applauded
loudly.

“Yes, and I will bring my old register with me, that I used for so long
when I was manager at Akron, Ohio, and show you how I copied so much
which never came,” remarked ex-manager Allen, formerly of Akron.

“And I will give you an illustration how to read by the ‘back stroke,’”
said W. H. Kelsey.

“All right, gentlemen,” interrupted Fred Catlin, “we will be glad to
hear from all, but we have to get down to business and appoint several
important committees to carry out this good work.

“In addition to the usual programme in such cases, there is also going
to be an illustration of ‘ham’ sending, also a demonstration of a
beginner at the key.”

At this juncture, two young men entered the room, each carrying a
typewriter and a Martin vibroplex, similar to those used upon the
terrestrial planet.

“We are going to give a preliminary exhibition of what the youngsters
can do with a ‘bug’ and ‘mill.’

“To be sure, it does not require as much activity or muscle to
telegraph nowadays as it did formerly, when we were compelled to make
twelve to eighteen copies with a stylus.

“We are now in an entirely different class than we were formerly and
the results are greater than they used to be.

“The operator of twenty-five years ago was necessarily, in some
respects, the superior of the present generation, but he could not
possibly turn out the work that is being performed daily and hourly by
his latter-day brother with such ease and speed.

“While our younger brothers are getting their instruments in order, we
will rig up a Morse set and have W. L. Waugh give us an illustration
of his beautiful sending while William T. Loper will demonstrate how
he used to take fourteen copies of manifold with a stylus in the olden
days in St. Louis.”

“Yes, I used to see Billy Loper do this when I was night chief in
St. Louis and he certainly did it well,” said Charles J. Lawson, who
sauntered in from the rear, when he heard Mr. Loper’s name mentioned.

While the audience applauded the expected treat, Messrs. Loper and
Waugh squared themselves for the fray.

Like shot poured into a funnel, clicked the dots and dashes, Mr. Loper
methodically and with the greatest ease copying the perfect Morse with
his favorite stylus on fourteen manifold sheets, in his own beautiful
characteristic writing.

For one hour and without a break, the twain worked fast but gracefully,
much Phillips’ code being used and after counting the hour’s work,
it was ascertained that two thousand eight hundred words had been
transmitted.

Specimens of the work were distributed among the admiring audience, who
were loud in their praise of Mr. Loper’s copper-plate chirography and
the sheets were given out as souvenirs of the occasion.

It was noticeable that after this exhibition, few of the operators
from foreign countries enrolled themselves as competitors at the coming
tournament.

“Let’s give the young fellows a show now,” said Fred Catlin, and the
two young men previously mentioned, one named Smith, from Birmingham,
Postal, and one Brown, from Atlanta, Western Union, came to the front.

The quick, jerky, “bug” sending seemed marvelous to some of the very
old-timers and it seemed a little bit difficult for them at first to
so adjust their brains to keep up with the merry jingle. The receiving
operator, also, was doing some marvelous stunts.

While the sender was transmitting at top-notch speed, the Birmingham
boy took out a cigarette, which he lighted and began to puff with as
much _sang froid_ as though he were in a down-town cafe, never missing
a word or even a punctuation mark.

For one hour this great exhibition kept up, at the end of which time
one hundred and thirty messages had been transmitted and copied without
an error.

“This is splendid work,” said the president, “and shows clearly how the
‘bug’ and ‘mill’ have it on even the most famous old-timers. It shows
plainly how mechanical devices supplant brain material, and after all
these are god-sends to the latter day generation of operators.”

Everybody interested in the doings of the telegraph were talking of
the day’s proceedings, commending the great work of the old-timers
and marvelling at the speed and accuracy of the “up-to-the-minute”
telegrapher.

Many new applications were received from those anxious to partake in
the coming tournament, and files of back copies of the Telegraph and
Telephone Age were looked over and read with the idea to conform with
the usual modus of procedure on such occasions.

Everybody was on the _qui vive_, but all was harmony and a feeling of
brotherly love pervaded the inhabitants of this joyous planet.



CHAPTER IX.

WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION ON THE PLANET MARS


All of the telegraph people residing on the planet Mars had gathered
around in the grand stand to get a front view in the tournament which
was scheduled to come off February 22, Washington’s birthday. There was
no crowding or elbowing or pushing, as there was a place for everyone,
and everybody was in his place.

A gigantic sounder was in the middle of the arena specially arranged
so all could hear, and many good-natured jokes were told on this
instrument while waiting for the big event to take place.

All ex-members of the profession were there and there were no goats or
black sheep, and only joy and happiness prevailed. It did one’s soul
good to see the forms and faces of the old linemen and battery men
who were in the assemblage, all of whom were on the alert for line or
battery trouble, just as they were erstwhile on Earth, and all seemed
anxious to do something to make the tournament an affair never to be
forgotten. They included such old-time linemen as George Melton, Harry
Collins, Joe Keenan, Tom Dushane, John Crouch, Tommy Calahan, Delos
Rich, Jimmy Brush and many others well known in their day.

At this juncture a great noise was heard across the river Styxx--the
name is spelled with a double “x” on Mars. Shots from fowling pieces,
small pistols, hurrahing and cheering of all kinds were distinguished
behind a column of dust which, presently clearing away, disclosed to
view an immense army of regulars and irregulars, some clad in uniform,
bearing rifles, but mostly composed of a uniformed delegation bearing
weapons of a more ancient date.

Fifes and drums were playing, adding inspiration to the scene. A
herald appeared before the grand stand and announced that this being
Washington’s birthday it was only immensely proper to pay the respects
to that great personage, inasmuch as he was coming with his Continental
troops to celebrate the day and participate in the tournament.

Just then the first column of General Washington’s army swung into
line, bivouacking on the green sward fronting the grand stand. A long
list of generals and presidents arrived in carriages, but Thomas
Jefferson, with true Jeffersonian simplicity, appeared mounted on a
milk white steed.

“First in war, first in peace,” began Abraham Lincoln, addressing the
“Father” of his country, but he was interrupted by General Washington,
who extended his hand, remarking “And I will shake hands with him who
is first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Mr. Lincoln agreed to share
that honor with his illustrious patron and friend, and the cannons
belched forth the regulation presidential salute.

A little hatchet with a cherry handle was suspended from General
Washington’s belt, a little after the style in which the Scotchman
wears his paint brush.

Many old British generals were present but not in line. Marquis De
Lafayette, smiling and full of bonhomme, went up and down the line,
shaking hands with the presidents and soldiers alike.

The bulletin board on the planet Mars is on the azure sky and an
electric pen propelled by wireless telegraph copies off in red ink, not
unlike tongues of fire, indelibly all items of news.

George Washington and his heroes were reading the latest bulletins
from the big war, and as they read a look of deep concern covered the
faces of all. “I don’t like this late news,” said the general, “but
I know my country is in safe hands and that President Wilson will be
backed by congress in everything he may want to undertake. But this is
not war, it is barbarism.”

“We fought like gentlemen,” ejaculated Lord Cornwall, and General
Washington doffed his hat to acknowledge the compliment.

“It will be all right to delay giving any advice to President Wilson
until he really needs it,” continued Gen. Washington, “but I wish to
inform him that he has a mighty army up here in Mars who will appear at
the proper time to lend aid and assistance to his efforts.”

“Come, my illustrious predecessor, come with me and after a little
speech-making we will partake of the hospitality of the Pleiades Club.”
Thus spoke Abraham Lincoln as he took the arm of George Washington for
a stroll around the grand stand.

“I was very much interested in telegraphy and telegraph operators
during my career at the White House,” Mr. Lincoln continued, “and I
wish to introduce you to some of those I met and who will, no doubt,
take part in this tournament, now about to take place.”

“We had nothing but ‘wig-wagging’ from the tops of high hills and some
signal fires during my time,” said General Washington, “and this new
invention by my dear friend, Professor Morse, came to serve his country
in good stead, and I will be delighted to meet all your old telegraph
friends.”

The two presidents then met the following old-timers who were in the
United States’ service during the Civil War: H. A. Bogardus, W. K.
Applebaugh, S. M. Brown, Madison Buell, W. W. Burhans, M. J. Childs,
Eli Cole, C. D. Hammond, J. D. Truax, Isaac McMichael, J. La Bonte, G.
H. Peck, W. B. Somerville, L. B. Spellman, O. K. Newton, F. A. Nash,
Geo. Purdon, and many others.

President Fred Catlin of the telegraphers’ tournament decided it
would be more patriotic to devote the day to entertaining the great
presidents and generals in a different way and let the harder part of
the programme come along later, and his views were accepted.

The members of the United States Military Corps were everywhere
introducing and being introduced, Fred Loomis, George Baxter and Marion
H. Kerner being particularly happy.

General Grant was surrounded by a throng of admirers. He proved himself
not very strong on the “send,” but a most cheerful listener.

“When I was with Grant,” began Fred Loomis.

“When were you with Grant?” queried George Baxter.

“Oh, that is just in the song,” was the laughing reply, and even
General Grant smiled as he remembered about the tramp “who was with
Grant” just ten years before the war.

No attempt was made to give an exhibition of fast sending or receiving,
as the United States Military Corps were too busy in showing attention
to former officers, with whom now, however, they hob-nobbed like
college chums.

It was a glorious day, filled with enthusiasm, glowing speeches and
patriotic sentiment.

General Washington’s old body-guard, “Sam,” was on hand and he took
much delight in relating the oft-repeated story how he approached Mr.
Washington one day, doffing his hat at the same time.

To everyone’s surprise, General Washington immediately took off his own
head-gear.

“How is it that you take off your hat to a colored man?” was asked by
the English ambassador.

“Because he took off his hat to me, and I will not permit even a
negro to outdo me in politeness,” replied the general, and the little
incident became historical.



CHAPTER X.

SOME SPLENDID TELEGRAPHING


“Are you gwine to be a member of the Pleiades Club?”

“Yes, I is; indeed, I is.”

This refrain was sung with much gusto by the members of the telegraph
club in session at the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, on
the afternoon of the day set apart for the telegraphers’ tournament.
The song was set to the music of the “Old Lime Kiln Club” and was
enthusiastically received.

From all points of the compass were arriving in balloons, dirigibles,
aeroplanes, members of the craft anxious to be present at the big
blow-out. Submarines, only on pleasure bent, however, came up the
Hesperian canal, filled with the operators of the olden days; across
the River “Styxx” arrived colony after colony of ex-telegraph
officials, operators and linemen, but there was no elbowing to obtain a
front seat.

President Fred Catlin looked magnificent as he called the vast
assemblage to order. This took some little time, as there were many
new arrivals and much interest manifested by those already in the
Tabernacle to see who the newcomers were; there was also much visiting,
good humor and hilarity, and everybody was happy.

“As a preliminary,” said Mr. Catlin, “I will take pleasure in giving
our friends an illustration of how the Western Associated Press was
worked in 1875. We will have Albert S. Ayres, whom you all knew
as ‘Patsey’ Ayres, do the sending at Cincinnati and the following
gentlemen will do the receiving: at Indianapolis, Milton Goewey; St.
Louis, John W. McDonald of Texas; Louisville, Charles Newton; Memphis,
Ed. Foote; Nashville, James U. Rust; Chattanooga, Jack St. Clair; New
Orleans, Taylor Adams, and at Galveston, Alex. Sinnott.”

At the mention of each of these names, a shout of approval shook the
audience, which indicated that all were well and favorably known.

“Patsey” Ayres had been fumbling with the key for several minutes,
screwing it up until there was less than a thousandth part of an inch
play, and then began a series of dots and dashes, fast and furious,
but beautiful to listen to and like the music of a grand opera to the
trained ears of the telegraphers present.

For an hour or more Mr. Ayers continued his tireless and musical
performance on the key, but never once was it necessary for any of the
receivers to break him. All of these operators were wizards with the
stylus and many in the audience took back with them a manifold sheet as
a souvenir of the occasion.

This was a particularly happy event and recalled to mind to many the
great receiving of forty years ago.

“I find that you are so much pleased with this event that I shall take
pleasure in giving you an illustration of how ‘C. U. B.’ was sent over
the Overland in early days from Chicago,” said the president, “and I
have called for the following gentlemen to officiate:

“J. De Witt Congdon will do the pitching in Chicago and the following
will do the receiving at their respective offices: ‘Dad’ Armstrong at
Omaha, John Wilkie at Cheyenne, George Merrifield at Denver, Edward
C. Keeler at Ogden, Jack Wolfenden at Salt Lake, P. A. Rowe at Elko,
Davey Crawford at Virginia City, Joe Wood of Boston and E. H. Beardsley
at Sacramento, George Bowker and John Lowrey at San Francisco, John
Donnelly at Los Angeles, Billy Leigh and G. W. Thurman at Portland, Sam
McIntosh at New Westminster, B. C., and John Henderson at Victoria, B.
C.

“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Catlin, “this is a long circuit and you see you
can have any kind of weather you desire, from extreme cold to the
torrid zone, almost, but this never interferes with a good operator,
and now the performance will begin.”

While Mr. Congdon’s sending was not as beautiful as was that of Mr.
Ayres, it reached each point from the extreme northwest down to the
region of Catalina Island, each dot and dash arriving at its terminal
in perfect shape.

This was certainly a great feat and it was much talked about by the
happy visitors.

There was some delay in making the preparations and before the main
event was reached it was suggested by Hank Bogardus that the business
be suspended for the time being, so that all could witness a game of
base ball about to open on the Elysian Fields, at the rear of the
tournament hall. “Those base ball enthusiasts,” said Bogy, “will make
such a noise that it will be impossible to hear our instruments in the
hall, and I for one do not want to have the beautiful Morse that will
be in evidence drowned out.”

All agreed to the suggestion and forthwith there was a parade from
the hall to the ball grounds of famous telegraphers that shone in the
earthly telegraph firmament in years gone by.

It was interesting to hear the remarks made by these former “knights of
the key” as the different plays were made, showing plainly that they
had not lost any of their former enthusiasm for the national game.

“Who is the manager of the office on the grounds?” inquired Billy
Blanchard. “Bring him up here so he can enjoy the game with us,” but
before that official could be found and Billy’s request carried out the
game had finished and the telegraph crowd returned to the hall to take
up their work where they left off. When they got back and seated it was
evident that they were hardly in the right frame of mind, after the
excitement over the base ball game, to resume the details of their own
work, so President Catlin said that as there was no hurry to finish the
work in hand he suggested that the tournament be adjourned until the
next day. This would give all hands a chance to get over the effects of
their base ball experience and be able to concentrate their thoughts
upon the more important work in hand.

This suggestion was gladly accepted and all filed out and boarded
a canal craft for a ride down one of the Martian waterways in the
beautiful moonlight.



CHAPTER XI.

CLEVELAND DAY ON THE PLANET MARS


The bulletin board, which was the azure blue sky of Mars, contained the
names of many new arrivals by fast express train from the terrestrial
planet. These bulletins were seared into the bright sky by an electric
pen wielded by wireless telegraph, which left an impression plainly
visible and legible to all on the planet, and as there is no slumber
or tired feeling on the planet Mars, all of its sojourners were on the
_qui vive_ in anticipation of meeting old friends.

“Ah! There’s Nelson A. Buell, of Cleveland, Ohio,” cried out A. H.
Vanduzer, and instantly the Cleveland fraternity marshalled into line,
as one great body, to welcome the arrival of one of its loved members
while on Earth.

It was easy to recognize the face and form of the former manager of the
Cleveland office, with his Napoleonic face, from which radiated love
and kindness for his brother man.

There was a long list of friends and former associates to greet Mr.
Buell, operators, linemen, clerks and messengers being in the gathering.

Among those assembled to greet the newly arrived were the following:

E. P. Wright, A. H. Vanduzer, Chas. H. Lapp, L. A. Somers, A. J.
Desson, Nick Kerver, C. F. Stumm, Geo. T. Lowe, George Phillips, S. B.
Roberts, G. H. Wadsworth, E. T. Tindall, O. A. Gurley, E. C. Stockwell,
W. R. Williams, Richard Babbitt, D. C. Shull, J. N. McNamara, Marshall
S. Green, Thomas Callahan, John J. McCart, George E. Hinman and his
brother Walter, W. H. Eckman, Jas. P. McKinstry, George W. Baxter, Dan
R. Francis, Harry Collins, George Melton, George Winston Patteson,
Frank G. Beach, W. H. Spencer, Ed Schemerhorn, Hank Cowan, Charlie
Phillips, Ed. C. Jenney, Ed. B. Beecher, J. H. Wade, Anson Stager, Wm.
Hunter, Charlie Gorham, Hank W. Stager, Tom Miles, Thos. H. Gould and
others.

Many telegraph people from adjacent cities were also in evidence and
such dear old faces as Zeke Butman, of Fremont, Ohio; Dewitt C. Hill,
of Painesville, Ohio; William Bryant, of Erie, Pa.; Ed Burke and P. F.
McCarthy, of Sandusky; John A. Townsend, of Dunkirk, N. Y.; Frank Ross
and John Owens, of Columbus, Ohio; Henry W. Wynkoop, of Crestline; Wm.
Kline, Jr., Charles O. and George M. Brigham, of Toledo, and Mark Luce,
of Titusville, Pa.

Mr. Buell’s arrival was hailed with much delight and when he announced
that the next meeting of the Old Time Telegraphers was to be held
in Cleveland, the enthusiasm became greater, for all remembered the
previous meeting of that Association in the Forest City in 1886 and the
good time everyone had upon that occasion.

“I will never forget the ride to Rocky River,” said Mr. Stumm.

“And I will always remembers the trip to Put-in-Bay and Kelly’s
Island,” remarked O. A. Gurley.

All of the members had something pleasant to relate and all gave out
the hope that their wishes in the matter could reach their former
earthly colleagues.

“That matter will be attended to in the highest style of the art, as I
will write the subject up and hand it to Fred Moxon for transmission to
his earthly partner,” said George Hinman, as he proceeded to sharpen
his pencil.

Late copies of Telegraph and Telephone Age, brought to the planet Mars
by Nelson A. Buell were passed around and eagerly scanned and the
doings of the Pleiades Club were favorably commented upon.

“While the secretary of the Old Timers, John Brant, is reading
felicitous telegrams at the Cleveland meeting from terrestrial friends,
I hope it will not be amiss for us to extend our congratulations to
that honorable body and I suggest that a committee of the Cleveland Old
Timers now here assembled be appointed to draft a suitable and loving
message for our friends to be read on the occasion of the 1917 reunion.”

Thus spoke E. P. Wright, and cheer after cheer greeted his suggestion
and Gen. Anson Stager, Jeptha H. Wade, Frank G. Beach and Thomas
Callahan were appointed such committee, which showed the democratic
spirit of the assemblage.

“I believe that I will send a private wireless message to my old
friend, Allen A. Briggs, and tell him what a nice place it is up here,”
said Hank Stager, and many others fell into line to do the same stunt.

Presidents Garfield and McKinley, both members of the Ohio Society,
stopped to read the bulletins and to shake hands with Nelson Buell,
whom the late presidents remembered particularly well for his
ever-gentle courtesy when they met in the telegraph office.

“We will watch with keen interest the occurrences at the next Old
Timers’ meeting, and while not regretting being present, we will extend
our hearty congratulations to our worthy brothers in session.” This
seemed to be the consensus of opinion, heartily expressed, which was
handed to Mr. Moxon, with the remark, “More to come.”

And so it appears that the doings of our earthly brothers are being
solicitously watched over by those engaged in the same line of business
and who have gone before us, and we are never for a moment left alone,
even to our innermost thoughts and desires.

The railroad superintendents of telegraph as well as the commercial
superintendents are forming an association on the planet Mars and a
report of the meeting and the names of those present will be the topic
of a future chapter in the Pleiades Club series.



CHAPTER XII.

PLANET MARS ENTERTAINS RAILROAD TELEGRAPH SUPERINTENDENTS


There was a large number of sailing craft on the Hesperian canal, on
the planet Mars, all headed in the same direction and all evidently
bound on the same mission. There were also some small steamers which
kept up a fusillade of whistles extending “73” in Morse signals to the
other craft. On board these vessels there was a lively lot of men, with
a fair sprinkling of ladies, all beaming with smiles and good nature.
This gay crowd was en route to attend the gathering of the railroad and
commercial superintendents of telegraph which was booked to occur April
22.

The meeting was to take place in the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle and
everybody was asked to join, for as I mentioned before, there is no
class distinction on the planet Mars. There was a long list of names
and a long array of forms and faces very familiar to the denizens of
Earth.

The first one to alight from the steamer was Chas. W. Hammond, whose
once serious face was now wreathed with smiles and good humor. He
stopped to shake hands with his many friends who gathered around him
and to crack some of his old jokes with them, for he is as dearly loved
on the planet Mars as he was on Mother Earth.

“Hello, there, Charlie,” exclaimed James W. Stacey, extending his
hand to Hammond. “I have not seen you since you came down to Houston
to visit,” and the first superintendent of the Atchison, Topeka and
Santa Fe telegraph system smiled at his former colleague. Merry sallies
passed between these gentlemen and the crowd proceeded up the little
hillock to the Tabernacle.

“Well, if there is not my old friend and patron, Henry W. Wynkoop, all
the way from Crestline, Ohio, and O. H. Booth from Mansfield, Ohio,”
and both gentlemen, arm in arm, bowed their acknowledgments to a host
of their former co-workers.

And here we have still another Ohio railroad superintendent as the form
of Wm. Kline, Jr., came down the line accompanied by George A. Beach.
Mr. Kline was for many years with the Lake Shore at Toledo, Ohio, and
has graduated more first class operators from his road than any other
superintendent in the country, all of whom esteemed and loved their
chief.

George A. Beach, also from Toledo, where he spent so many years with
the Wabash Railroad, accompanied by Joseph Keenan was surrounded by a
number of old friends and colleagues.

Frank Vandenburg, from the Southern Pacific, San Francisco, and Col.
John J. Dickey, of the Union Pacific, were recounting the happy days
spent on the Pacific Coast.

“Yes, I remember how you favored big batteries, big relays and big
operators,” ejaculated Col. Dickey, addressing Vandenburg.

“Yes, and I recollect how you used to like to attend the yearly
gatherings of the old-timers,” returned Vandenburg, with a broad smile.

“Right you are, and you can see that I am doing business at the old
stand,” came from Col. Dickey as he halted to shake hands with W. B.
Hibbard and J. C. Sheldon, who were passing along in an automobile.

It was a great pleasure to witness the meeting between Harry C. Hope
and U. J. Fry, the former of St. Paul and the latter of the Chicago,
Milwaukee and St. Paul road at Milwaukee. Mr. Hope was never a
speechmaker but he is certainly a most delightful and entertaining
single-handed talker.

Mr. Fry was in his usual kind and gentle mood and made inquiries for
the many gone before whom he was anxious to meet.

E. J. Little, from St. Paul, a recent arrival, accompanied Messrs.
Hope and Fry around the Tabernacle, shaking hands with old friends.
Mr. Little brought the latest telegraph news from the Earth, which was
listened to attentively.

Many old commercial superintendents whose names are historical with the
telegraph now came along in automobiles to take part in the meeting.

Of course there was the revered S. F. B. Morse, father of the
telegraph, who received a great ovation. There was C. H. Haskins, so
well known to the old Chicagoan, Col. J. J. S. Wilson, so long with the
Western Union at Chicago; I. McMichael and James Swan of Minneapolis,
C. O. Rowe of Pittsburgh, E. P. Wright of Cleveland, L. C. Baker of St.
Louis, Frank G. Beach of the Atlantic and Pacific, Cleveland; David
Flanery of New Orleans, George H. Usher of Atlanta, Ga.; C. A. Darlton
of Washington, Asa R. Swift of Chicago, S. A. D. Forristall of Boston,
Sam S. Bogart, Jesse H. Bunnell and E. G. Cochrane of New York, and
George M. Dugan of Tip Top, Ky.

The smiling face of James H. Guild, who was superintendent for the
Oregon Railway and Navigation Company’s telegraphs for so long during
the pioneer days of Oregon and Washington, was much in evidence. He was
surrounded by a happy throng of his old boys, who were relating all the
latest news which came up from the Earth. Mr. Guild had always been a
great exponent of total abstinence and he expressed much pleasure to
know that both Oregon and Washington had gone dry. Many of the other
superintendents readily gave their “ok” to Mr. Guild’s views.

Frank Jaynes, James Gamble, George Ladd, R. R. Haines, Peter Lovell
and others of the Pacific Coast were busily engaged in making the day
pleasant for all those in attendance and in this they were cheerfully
assisted by their brothers from the East.

A committee composed of Henry C. Hope, U. J. Fry and Wm. Kline, Jr.,
was appointed to draft a telegram of congratulations to be extended the
president of the Association of Railway Telegraph Superintendents, soon
to convene in Washington, D. C.

Copies of Telegraph and Telephone Age containing the news of the
passing of Charles A. Tinker were read with much interest and a
committee was appointed to watch the Cannon Ball Express train to
welcome that gentleman’s arrival on the planet Mars.

The meeting is still in session and it will continue to be for a day
or two, after which there will be the usual excursion over the little
planet, all to be wound up by a magnificent banquet.

We hope to receive more particulars of the doings of the meeting for
future publication.



CHAPTER XIII.

CHARLES A. TINKER ARRIVES ON THE PLANET MARS


The bright azure sky on the planet Mars, which serves as a bulletin
board for its whilom dwellers, was covered with news from Mother Earth
and the wireless electric pen was busy at work transcribing more items
of interest to the sojourners.

News from Washington announcing the declaration of war excited some
anxiety and apprehension and each article was read and debated upon by
everyone. Secretary Fred Moxon was kept busily engaged in deciphering
the telepathic messages from his earthly friend and arranging them for
the bulletin board.

“What, ho!” he cried, “here is something new,” as he copied off the
announcement of the passing of Charles Almerin Tinker.

“I dare say Mr. Tinker will not delay in climbing the Horeb Heights and
he is most likely to arrive on the Thunderbolt Express, which is due
tomorrow,” ejaculated Moxon, “and I believe that I will immediately
bulletin the event, knowing that there will be many who will want to be
among the first to welcome him to our Elysian home. President Lincoln
and Secretary Edwin M. Stanton will want to meet their old friend and
comrade; besides, there is a long list of members of the old United
States Military Corps who will be on hand when the express train
arrives.”

A bulletin was accordingly indited chronicling the passing of Mr.
Tinker and announcing his expected arrival on the morrow, which
attracted much attention.

A regiment, bearing banners with the legends, “Spirit of 1865,” “The
United States Military Telegraph Corps,” etc., accompanied by several
bands of music playing stirring airs, came down the line under the
leadership of Col. Marquis D. Crain. The regiment was composed of
admirers of Mr. Tinker and were mostly members of the United States
Military Telegraph Corps, and all were eager to greet their former
colleague.

Among those who were formed in line were the following: James E.
Pettit, C. Fred Loomis, Hamilton Young, Ed P. Whitford, Thomas T.
Eckert, Samuel Bruch, Jesse H. Bunnell, W. K. Applebaugh, C. D.
Hammond, J. C. Van Duzer, Dennis Doren, Anson Stager, G. M. Brush, Eli
Cole, H. W. Cowan, J. E. Gamble, Patrick Mullarkey, Douglass Kent, G.
D. Sheldon and many others.

“I would like to be among those to escort my young friend to our
Tabernacle,” remarked President Lincoln, who could not think of Mr.
Tinker in any other light than being “young,” forgetting for the time
being that he had not seen the gentleman for more than a half century.
But time does not count in eternity. “I remember him so well, and I
used to be greatly pleased to call him and his immediate colleagues
‘The Sacred Three.’”

“See, what is that in the sky that looks like a comet?” was asked on
all sides. “If this is the Thunderbolt Express it is twelve hours ahead
of its record,” and everybody hastened down to the spacious plaza where
the big air machine from Earth made her landing.

There was no screeching of whistles or ringing of bells, or cries from
the omnipresent hack and cabmen. Instead of such distracting noises
came the sound of many voices in patriotic melody, and in the midst of
tuneful airs of “Hail Columbia” Charles A. Tinker was welcomed to a
temporary abiding place on the planet Mars.

The meeting between President Lincoln and his former confidential
operator was joyous, but not affecting, for there is only joy in this
haven.

Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Tinker locked arms for a stroll, for both had much
to talk about concerning past events. Mr. Tinker verified many of the
reports already inscribed on the bulletin board and his patriotic words
and spirit evoked a tumult of applause.

The evening was given over to a social demonstration, many of Mr.
Tinker’s contemporaries and former employes being in line to say some
welcoming words to their old friend.

A committee of Confederate telegraphers during the Civil War, composed
of George Ellsworth, David S. Ryan, J. C. Hueston, C. C. Chute, Barney
Hughes, David Flanery, J. B. Tree, M. W. Barr, J. W. Kates and others,
came around to pay their respects to Mr. Tinker and all distinctions
and differences were forgotten.

General Grant, minus his once ever-present cigar, and the noted Sherman
brothers, William Tecumseh and John, and many others of note, made an
informal call on Mr. Tinker and bid him welcome.

Fred B. Moxon, whom Mr. Tinker recognized as having once been a page in
the White House, shook hands with the great cipher operator, Mr. Moxon
presenting Mr. Tinker with a deadhead pass over his telepathic wires to
Earth.

“This looks good to me,” said Mr. Tinker. “I only hope, in using
it, I will not be getting into trouble with the Interstate Commerce
Commission.”

“Never fear for that,” said Charlie Hammond, who called to greet his
old chieftain. “When you get rested I will take you down the Mow Pack
from St. Louis to Houston, Tex., in my private car ‘Telegraph,’ and I
will give you a life-long pass over the route, and lifetime here means
eternity, if you want to remain here.”

Mr. Tinker remarked, like St. Peter, that “It is good to be here,” and
the whole assemblage replied by a fervent “Amen.”

These little spheres are peopled by ex-inhabitants of the Earth, who
got tired of their long journey and desired to tarry on the way.

Mr. Tinker recognized some faces in passing, but as he was on a
thorough express train he could not stop to exchange greetings.

The day was spent in a patriotic manner, many eloquent addresses being
made by former statesmen and warriors, and soul-inspiring melodies
filled the air from all sides.

Truly, it was a never-to-be-forgotten day and even the oldest
inhabitant of this delightful place, Methusaleh by name, voted it to be
a red letter day in the history of the planet Mars.



CHAPTER XIV.

TOM EDISON’S INVENTIONS APPLAUDED ON PLANET MARS


There is no way in which material things can be smuggled into the
sacred precincts of the planet Mars. There is no gold, silver or paper
money, and nothing to buy, even if one possessed the money, for there
are no material pleasures or enjoyments in this delightful spot.

Everyone is on a higher and more ennobling plane and it is only the few
who still thirst after the lusts of the flesh who are rendered unhappy,
but these are not quite purged of their earthly desires.

It was announced upon the ever-ready bulletin board, viz., the bright
firmament of Mars, by the usual magic touch of the wireless wand, that
there would be an entertainment given at the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle,
the chief feature of which would be a phonographic concert, to be
followed by an exhibition of perfect Morse sending. There would also
be an exhibition of “ham” sending and a rendition of a scene supposed
to have taken place on “Old No. 4 East” upon Mother Earth in the early
’70s.

The records were made by George W. Conkling, the past master of rapid
transmission, who very recently joined the Pleiades Club, and Secretary
Moxon did not inform his audience how he acquired the records,
believing his duties did not extend to giving out state secrets.

Many thousands gathered around to hear the music, and it was certainly
worthy to note that the clamor was for the patriotic national anthems.
When the “Star-Spangled Banner” was rendered, everyone arose to his
feet, many so-called foreigners also, thus showing their respect and
admiration for the flag.

This preliminary was the beginning of the real event of the
entertainment, and when the dots and dashes came humming over the
talking machine much enthusiasm ensued.

“Puts me in mind of the time when I worked the Kansas City duplex
alongside of Ed. Foote, with Paul Bossert and Jim Delong at the other
end,” said James B. Coulter.

“Yes, it sounds like the way Adam Beidler used to try and paste Emil
Shape, on the first Milwaukee wire,” ejaculated Harry McGill, who was
an interested spectator and listener.

“I really believe that this talking machine is the same as the one we
see illustrated in Telegraph and Telephone Age, and which I was going
to purchase just shortly before I took my long flight,” remarked Wm. H.
Magehan, of St. Louis, a late arrival.

Selections from the talking machine were again in order, and each
individual stated his preference of pieces to be played, and they were
courteously taken care of.

Mike Tully asked to have “My Wild Irish Boy” played; Charlie Newton
designated “My Old Kentucky Home” as his choice, and Lara C. Boone gave
“St. Louis-Louis-Louis” as his favorite, all of which were rendered in
the highest style of the art.

Joe Anderson, of Buffalo, would not be content until he had listened to
“John Anderson, My Jo-John,” and Billy Thurman laughingly remarked that
the occasion put him in mind of the summer evenings in Oregon along in
1883.

Everybody voted the entertainment a big success and all expressed a
desire to have a repetition of the programme very soon.

Timothy Collins, who was one of the “Great 8” in Omaha, and who later
became a guardian of the peace in Buffalo, passed up the sun-kissed
walk, whistling “A Policeman’s Life is Not a Happy One,” and Court
Cunningham suggested that record should be procured so Tim could get
the right swing to the air, which suggestion was acceded to.

“These talking machines and the telegraph records beat those old harps
we used to hear talked of in the Bible,” whispered Dick Tubman to his
friend, Sam Cassidy, but the latter scouted the remark, declaring
that the music of a jewsharp could not be excelled, and to verify his
statement Sam gave a demonstration of an artist playing the jewsharp,
which was received with applause.

“I don’t feel like criticizing your choice of music,” said John Leatch,
recently of San Francisco, “but you really should turn back to the
stirring melodies of California when they sang ‘Empty is the Cradle,
Baby’s Gone.’”

“What a chestnut John Leatch has plucked,” echoed Captain James R.
Dennis, as he smiled complacently at his old-time colleague.

“Get your partners for Lancer’s quadrille,” came in stentorian tones
from the master of ceremonies pro tem, A. R. Pippitt, and many ladies,
once familiarly known to the fraternity in Chicago, New York, St.
Louis, Omaha, San Francisco and other places throughout the United
States, joined hands with their brother operators and were presently
whirling on the green sward to the sweet strains of Strauss’ Blue
Danube waltz, which followed the more formal square dance.

The music was rendered by the miniature talking machine which had
been entertaining the company all evening with songs, band melodies,
telegraph records and now came in to be used for dance music.

It was surely a lovely scene and everyone in the vast assemblage had
something nice to say about the great wizard of modern times, who
has added so much, not only to the comfort of all mankind, but has
found it practicable to have every household possess an instrument of
joy forever, which will make life on the farm, the shepherd’s hovel,
the Indian camp fire, in fact, every place in this vast world, more
delightful by the music and delineations reproduced by the modern
talking machine.

It was ascertained from Secretary Moxon that the latest advices from
Mr. Edison showed he had retired to the top of Pike’s Peak, to be alone
with nature and to solve some abstruse problems, and, understanding
the vigils of the great inventor, Hankus Cowanus, a knight errant of
the key, was detailed to signal the peak in hope of receiving some
intelligence from him.

“You can’t do it,” said Fred Moxon. “Your sending never did carry from
Chicago to Cincinnati, even in your palmy days. Just leave it to me and
you will have an ‘extra’ out next week which will tell you Mr. Edison
knows every desire of your little heart and he is going about his
Father’s business.”

The matter was allowed to rest there and we will get more reports from
these wonderful people later.



CHAPTER XV.

DEBUT OF HENRY WARD BEECHER ON PLANET MARS


It was a bright, intelligent lot of men and women who called upon
Secretary Fred B. Moxon, on the planet Mars, quite recently.

The spokesman, Ernest W. Emery, who had in his possession half a year’s
files of Telegraph and Telephone Age, addressed Mr. Moxon.


_Ernest Emery Heard From_

“We are no kickers,” he began, “but Charles A. Tinker just gave us all
these late copies of the Age, and we notice that among the records of
the club, of which you are secretary, you never vouchsafe a kind word
for any of the eastern boys or girls. There is nothing right about
this, and you must admit it. Our friends down there on the Earth are as
interested to hear from us, as are the survivors in the Windy City or
the dwellers on the Nebraska prairies.”

“Right you are,” replied Mr. Moxon, “and I do not think anyone is to
be blamed for it. Washington is the city where I was born and bred and
it fills a deep place in my heart, but the club is still young and
my correspondent is covering the ground systematically, and you will
all be heard from. Indeed, you will all have a chapter in the very
near future, and if you will give me a little ‘dope’ on some of our
present members who are bashful, I will get you all in excepting your
photographs, very soon.”

Peter DeGraw, Ham. Young and Ernest Emery then locked arms for a walk
down the Rue for the purpose of interviewing other old members of the
guard from Washington and procuring additional data.

“Hello, there’s Bob Bender, newly arrived and looking as fresh as a
clam. He was an attendant at the recent reunion of the Old Timers’
Association in New York and ought to be full of good information. Let’s
stop him and get the news.”

Bob Bender was delighted to greet his old friends again and listened
with much interest to the experiences of his companions and, in turn,
gave them the latest news from Washington.

“Yes, George C. Maynard is there, looking as noble as ever, and Judd
Thompson, C. F. Thompson, H. McKeldin, John H. Miller and Dennis Brown
are still in the harness. Washington has gone dry.”

Mr. Bender went on to say that he had been over to New York recently,
but as there was going to be a New York chapter in the Pleiades Club
very soon, and also a Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore number, he did
not care to spoil a good story by anticipating the future.

Mr. Bender locked arms with his comrades in their interesting walk, and
as they passed Aeolianville they stopped to shake hands with William T.
Loper, who was being entertained by that most wonderful orator, Henry
Ward Beecher.

The quartette, composed of Messrs. Emery, DeGraw, Bender and Young,
stopped for a minute. They had overheard some “shop talk.”

“Yes,” Loper was saying, “you are the only fellow who ever rushed me.
Don’t you remember your sermon on ‘Agreeing with your enemy,’ and none
of us could keep up with you? I came nearly throwing up my job on
that very occasion.” It was stated for the benefit of those who were
not acquainted with the facts that each Sunday Mr. Loper went from
Washington to New York to copy Henry Ward Beecher’s sermon. He then
went to the telegraph office at 195 Broadway, New York, and the sermons
were telegraphed from his note book to the principal papers in the
United States by Mr. Loper himself, who was one of the finest operators
as well as stenographers of his day, and one of the few shorthand men
who could copy Henry Ward Beecher.

“Hi, hi, 73,” came from the merry four and Loper smiled all over, while
Beecher asked what was meant by “73.”

Later in the day Fred Moxon interviewed his morning visitor and made
inquiries about the Cassidy boys, James P. and John S., and many other
of his boyhood friends still on Earth.

“We will have a Washington day very soon and we will invite all of
our old friends from near-by and I hope that each city will get up a
similar demonstration, as these meetings are all for the good, and as
the records of the same will be printed in Telegraph and Telephone Age,
it will be a great comfort for our surviving friends to read of the
good times we are having up here.”

“When I was in the Washington office,” said Ham. Young, “it gave me
great pleasure to assist our boys through their difficulties, and make
their lives less burdensome, and it now makes my heart feel good to see
those who have passed from Earth to Mars enjoying their well-earned
rest. The Washington boys all partake of the nature of the ‘Father of
his Country,’ whom we have all met in this ethereal mansion on various
occasions, and are proud to be identified with so distinguished a
gentleman, though we are all on a level here.”


_P. V. DeGraw Speaks_

“Washington is very different now to what it was years ago when I used
to rattle off the Associated Press news,” chimed in Vory DeGraw. “We
had no multiplexes and page printers those days and each man was an
artist at the key. I have nothing but the happiest recollections of
my old telegraph friends in Washington, several of whom have recently
joined the throng in this abode of rest and happiness.”

Ernest Emery’s eyes sparkled with greater brilliancy than ever as he
heard the names of his old-time Washington friends mentioned. “I hope
that ‘Washington Day’ will be an event worthy of the great city and its
associations,” he said. “Being the capital of the nation the best men
in the telegraph profession exist there, and those now here will enter
into the festivities of the occasion with the greatest of pleasure,
when their lives in that city are recalled and rehearsed. All will have
something pleasant to relate.”



CHAPTER XVI.

THE MAGNETIC AND MORSE CLUBS ENTERTAIN


Much activity was being displayed by the New York members of the
Pleiades Club on the fields surrounding the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle,
and the air reverberated with the sound of the hammer.

This activity was being manifest in the construction of old-fashioned
balloons, shambling dirigibles and the more graceful aeroplane.

Of course it was really not necessary for the spirits on the planet
Mars to have any such slow means of locomotion but the idea seemed to
keep busy and active and be entertaining to their friends.

The air craft was unique in appearance and novel in design, and would
have been considered marvelous on Mother Earth.

Many hundreds of ex-New York telegraphers were on the plaza, engaged in
more serious conversation than was generally their wont. The interest
centered on the war and the devastation being created by the U-boats.

“I have the greatest confidence and hope in the ability of Tom Edison
to cope successfully with this menace,” said Biff Cook, “just as he
has mastered many another difficult problem. I have no doubt that even
now his keen brain has invented a device to offset the machinations of
the submarine. I don’t like to see our American boys engaged in this
strife and hope that Uncle Sam’s entrance into the arena will have the
moral effect of bringing on the hoped-for peace,” and “Biff” sat down
after prolonged applause.

The New York Aeroplane Club invited their friends for a whirl through
space, their object being to try and meet the “Thunderbolt Express,”
which was expected hourly bearing George W. Conkling.

Some hundred miles down the line, the “Thunderbolt Express” was stopped
and Mr. Conkling stepped aboard the dirigible “Gotham” (Tom Ragen,
commander), where he was saluted by whistles laden with “73,” etc.

Mr. Conkling was pleased with his reception and the evening was spent
in listening to the latest news from Mother Earth as delivered by
America’s fastest telegrapher.

“There is going to be a meeting of the Magnetic Club tonight in the
Telegraphers’ Tabernacle and you are all invited to come and have a
good time.”

The speaker was John W. Mackay, and as his voice rang out in hospitable
notes, a tumult of applause broke out on every side, which assured a
full house.

The irrepressible John W. Kelly promised to be on hand to entertain the
gathering as “only Kelly can.”

Former telegraph presidents, general superintendents, construction
superintendents, linemen, managers, operators, chiefs and wiremen
all promised to take part in the banquet which was destined to be a
never-forgotten affair.

Music was the feature of the banquet and all the patriotic pieces were
played and encored to the echo.

J. W. Kelly was more than usually at home and his songs and jokes kept
the audience in a roar.

Addresses were made by the following gentlemen: Belvidere Brooks,
Alfred S. Brown, “Biff” Cook, Charlie Parr, Tom Dolan, A. E. Sink,
Jimmy Hennessey, Ed. Delaney and others.

“We have had such a nice time this evening and we have all been very
much entertained,” said Belvidere Brooks, “and as none of us are tired,
supposing we take an air flight in our machines by way of recreation,
and when we return the members of the Morse Club will be very glad
to have you tarry at our big round table and partake of the Club’s
hospitality.”

Events were occurring rather fast, but there was nobody disinclined to
have all the enjoyment there was in sight, and after a joyful aerial
ride, the Morse Club rooms began filling up.

A diversion of programme was made and many ladies, known to the
profession, were present.

The speakers were: Alfred S. Downer and his brother David, Gillie
Olmstead, Henry A. Bogardus, Gib Merrill, George Fagan, Hank Cowan and
others.

Those present besides those mentioned were: William Orton, Norvin
Green, C. A. Tinker, E. D. L. Sweet, R. H. Rochester, D. Rich, Stephen
D. Field and his uncle Cyrus W. Field, Moses G. Farmer, S. F. B. Morse,
Alfred Vail, Ed. Leslie, Fred N. Bassett, P. V. DeGraw, Ham. Young, L.
B. McCarthy, Dennis Doran, H. H. Ward, W. D. Schram, J. W. Morlan, W.
L. Waugh, Thomas T. Eckert, Maurice Brick, D. B. Mitchell, Thomas P.
Scully, J. A. Henneberry, E. E. Stewart, James McParlan, H. V. Shelley,
M. H. Redding, Lant Jones, H. P. Dwight, J. C. Hinchman, William J.
Holmes and many others well known on earth several years ago.



CHAPTER XVII.

OUR CANADIAN BROTHERS ON PLANET MARS


The following list of Canadian operators who lived, flourished and
passed away, either in this country or in Canada, has been furnished by
John Fletcher, superintendent Canadian Pacific Railroad Telegraph, with
the suggestion that they be admitted into the sacred precincts of the
Pleiades Club. The list embraces some well known and revered names:

Sam Garvey, Manager Dominion Telegraph Company, Montreal, in the
seventies; S. E. Gibbs, chief operator at Toronto, Dominion Telegraph
Company, in the seventies; Jim Ingram, of Ogdensburg, N. Y., manager
for a number of years of the Montreal Telegraph Company there,
succeeding John Henderson in the early seventies; John Murray, manager
of the Montreal Telegraph Company at Brockville, Ont., in the seventies
and later in charge of the District Telegraph Company at Montreal;
Alexander McNaughton, of the old Montreal Telegraph force in the
seventies and eighties; Larry Longmore of the same company and of the
same time; James Dakers, secretary of the old Montreal Company, whose
presence in the operating room was a constant lesson in the virtue
of economy; Alexander Grant, superintendent of the Montreal Company,
a fine man and greatly respected; Thomas Elwood, superintendent of
the Dominion Telegraph Company at Toronto, a fine operator and a man
beloved by all who knew him; P. Snyder, an old Dominion star and in
later life superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s
Telegraph at St. John, N. B.; Hiram Pingle, who made his reputation at
the House of Commons in the seventies as a very fast sender, later
superintendent of the Canadian Pacific Railroad at Toronto; A. W.
Barber succeeded Pingle as superintendent at Toronto and he, too, some
years ago, went over to the silent majority; Jonas Oliver, well known
in western Canada around 1890 to 1905, a self-educated Icelander, fine
operator (“Little Skratti Icelandic” was his nickname); David J. Duff,
one of the best known of the younger generation of Canadian operators,
died 1905, at Winnipeg, aged twenty-eight; was a great favorite, not
only in his native city of Winnipeg, but in Chicago, where he had
worked for several years, in Philadelphia, New York and at Palm Beach,
Fla.; Cleo C. Young, home town, McAlester, Okla., died in Winnipeg,
1913, a first class operator, aged thirty-one; Charles L. Hallett,
died in Winnipeg recently, had been in the insurance business for the
past twelve years, formerly circuit manager at Fort William, aged
fifty-four years; Winnipeg is such a healthy place there are not many
applicants for membership in the Pleiades Club; Orville A. Glenn, one
of Winnipeg’s best known stars, died 1911, aged thirty-seven years. At
time of his death he was a member of the grain exchange and doing a
lucrative brokerage business; Joseph Quelch, a first class telegrapher
and at one time manager of the Dominion Telegraph Company at Montreal
in the seventies. He was one of the finest boys one could wish to see;
Samuel Ritchie was another of the old Dominion Telegraph boys and was
strictly first class; William Duchesmeau, at one time manager for the
Canadian Pacific Railroad at Quebec, a fine operator and a good man;
John McKenzie, a chief operator for the old Montreal Telegraph Company
about the same time, well liked by all; James Poustie, superintendent
of construction and maintenance for the old Montreal Telegraph Company;
Edward Flanagan, of Prescott, Ont., who died in Utah in the eighties, a
fine operator; Robert Empey and Jack Wolfenden, two Canucks, who died
in the Far West, both stars; the former would be employed as a comic
sketch artist on some metropolitan journal if he were alive today; A.
Laurie, a Montreal boy, a fine operator who died in Vancouver in the
nineties; Samuel MacIntosh, manager for the Canadian Pacific Railroad
at New Westminster in 1887 and later in the insurance business, died
there in the nineties; William Fraser, night chief at Vancouver for
a number of years, has been in British Honduras and in the Southern
States prior to 1890; George Scott, of the Pacific Cable Board,
Vancouver, gilt edged, all around, first class man, was in the South
African war; J. H. Giffen, lately chief operator at Moose Jaw for the
Canadian Pacific Railroad, died in 1915.



CHAPTER XVIII.

RELIEF EXPEDITION FROM PLANET MARS


It had been decided by the members of the Pleiades Club to send out a
special train with attendants to gather in any and all stray members
found loitering, so to speak, at the different wayside stopping places
between the Earth and Mars and bring them all into the fold under the
shadow of the Telegraphers’ Tabernacle. There were a number who did not
respond to the roll call, and while not believing that anything could
be lost in God’s great economic universe, still it was thought only
right to gather everybody in and have all in their respective places.

Commodore R. R. Haines, who was a leader during his sojourn on Earth,
was appointed Captain of the expedition and a delegation selected
from every section of the country and Canada were invited to accompany
the craft to identify all telegraph people eligible for membership who
were idling their time away among the many stopping places on this long
journey.

It had been resolved to begin at the moon and work the way back, so
Luna was the first satellite to be visited and, lo and behold, Edward
C. Cockey came to greet the searching party.

Mr. Cockey was astonished to see his visitors and was not at all
loath to join them, the only regret he expressed being that now the
sentimental young ladies would have no one to watch over them from the
moon. He asked if the “Man in the Moon” was still talked about on Earth
and was assured that he was. Aaron Hilliker sang:

  “I’m in love with the man in the moon,
  And I’m going to marry him soon,
  And behind some dark cloud, where there’s no one allowed,
  I’ll make love to the man in the moon.”

“That settles it and I’m with you even if I must desert my kingdom
forever,” cried “Happy” Cockey, as he took passage in Electric No. 1,
bound for the outer regions.

The next stopping place will be “500,000-mile station,” said Captain
Haines, “and I believe we will find some notable personage there.”

It took but one hour for Electric No. 1 to make the journey to
Skippityvous, as the retreat was named by Tom Dushane, the only
Frenchman aboard.

“What do you know about that?” cried Ed. C. Keeler, “I’ll be jiggered
if there isn’t Col. L. D. Parker, Charles Thomas, Frank Kingsbury and
Arthur W. Copp sitting out there under a big oak tree playing a series
of delightful games.”


_Colonel L. D. Parker Remembers Friends_

Col. Parker expressed his satisfaction with his present surroundings,
but did not object to joining the merry party, as he remembered the
many happy days spent with his comrades on Earth. Charlie Thomas,
Arthur Copp and Frank Kingsbury were ready to say goodbye to
500,000-mile station when told of the doings on the planet Mars.

“We will stop off at Angel’s Camp and pick up Samuel J. Kelley, who was
with me in Los Angeles once upon a time,” remarked Captain Haines, as
they started out into space.

It did not take many hours to reach Angel’s Camp, where the whistles of
their aeroplane tooted “73” to Sam Kelley, which brought that brother
to the front, accompanied by Charles Stone.

The loiterers were taken aboard the car without much ceremony, neither
having to undergo that irksome task of shaving and changing his clothes
and both were delighted to be in such excellent company, with the
prospect of meeting still more friends.

At Salt Creek, a surprise met the voyagers when it was ascertained that
Frank P. Medina would be on hand to join the party. Medina had stopped
off at Salt Creek with his friend, Jack O’Brien, of San Francisco, and
had been having an enjoyable time, but was now ready to climb higher
toward the goal.

And so it kept up all day, the passengers regaling themselves by merry
songs and stories, in which Col. L. D. Parker took a leading part.

The Colonel was anxious to hear the latest news from Mother Earth
and affectionately inquired after Edward J. Nally, Edgar W. Collins,
A. B. Richards, A. A. Briggs, Thomas P. Wheeler, Harry A. Tuttle and
many others, all old co-workers, and he listened with much interest to
Arthur Copp’s history of each of these individuals.

Many more stops were made en route back to the planet Mars and many
noted telegraph men were gathered into the van, notably James Bell, of
Nevada; John Henderson, of Chicago; Ed. Sholes, Fred Benson, George and
Joe Harris, of St. Paul; Ruby Sheldon, of Cleveland; Charles Catlin,
Robert W. Chapman, George B. Simpson and Charles D. Burke, of Chicago.

Many songs were sung, everyone joining in singing “Where Is My
Wandering Boy Tonight?” and “Hail! the Conquering Hero Comes,” until
the long journey was at an end and they landed safely upon the planet
Mars.

A big program of entertainment had been prepared to welcome the
loiterers to their new resting place and a special bulletin of the
two days’ proceedings was prepared by Secretary Fred B. Moxon to be
transmitted to his terrestrial partner, who would then disseminate the
same through the columns of Telegraph and Telephone Age to all parts of
the earthly globe.


_Exodus to Jupiter Contemplated_

A movement was now on foot to have an exodus from Mars to Jupiter, and
this proposition was being much canvassed, particularly by the real old
timers on Mars.

General George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Wellington, William
Shakespeare, Christopher Columbus, Americus Vespucius, Abraham Lincoln
and many other leaders while on Earth had manifested their disposition
in favor of making the trip, all realizing, however, that there was no
comeback.

“We understand,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson, “that we are in God’s
kingdom, and that we will be as safe up there in Jupiter as we are
right here on Mars, and the thought of God’s omnipresence should remove
doubt and fear from every heart.”

Much interest but no anxiety was felt for the members who were
determined to proceed, yet there were many who desired to await the
arrival of some particular dear one from Earth and those decided they
had “better bide-a-wee.”

Preparations for this hegira are now going on.



CHAPTER XIX.

PENNSYLVANIA DAY ON PLANET MARS


In most every western city in the United States there exists a
Pennsylvanian Society to which any genteel person is eligible provided
he or she hails from the classic precincts of the Keystone State, the
members of the society evidently being of the opinion that “Once a
Pennsylvanian, always a gentleman.”

The love of state is strong and it is beautiful to observe the
consideration shown to the denizens of the Smoky City by the dwellers
of the City of Brotherly Love, and also to see how freely the former
citizens of the oil region will hob-nob with the residents of the more
favored Harrisburg, Stroudsburg and Erie.

Such is the condition of affairs on the terrestrial planet during life
and it is not to be wondered at that the feeling would exist after the
inhabitants of Pennsylvania had taken a long flight to the planet Mars.

It was the latter part of the month of June, 1917, that Jim McKinstry,
Dan Francis and George W. Baxter, all formerly of Erie; Mark Luce,
Ed. M. Boynton, recently from the oil section; Peter McKeever, from
Pittsburgh, and some of the former Philadelphia boys met and talked
over the proposition of having a good old-fashioned Fourth of July
celebration on the occasion of the next Independence Day.

A number of gentlemen dropped in on the meeting from Pennsylvania, many
of whom had acquired national fame and whose names are household words
still on earth.

Telegraphers’ Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, was to be the place where
the happy event was to take place and the usual bulletin written by a
wireless wand on heaven’s bright empyrean gave notice to all of the
coming event.

“I wonder how these Pennsylvanians would like to have a visit from
the Chicago delegation,” ejaculated Ed. Whitford, “we have quite a
formidable crowd to introduce.”

A cordial invitation was extended the Chicago delegation and any other
members of the craft who wanted to come, and preparations for the
entertainment were immediately begun.

Wednesday, July 4, 1917, arrived and the grounds around Telegraphers’
Tabernacle, on the planet Mars, were the scene of much merriment, the
badges of the Keystone State being in evidence everywhere.

It was not what the people on Mother Earth would term a “sane”
Fourth, as there was a big display of firecrackers and the like,
the wish having been expressed that the occasion would be one of
the “old-fashioned” kind. Conditions were changed from those on
the terrestrial planet, there being nothing of a combustible or
inflammatory character on Mars which might invite a conflagration.

A brass band was heard in the distance playing that old song, “We are
Coming, Father Abraham, Six Hundred Thousand More,” and immediately
automobiles containing the Chicago delegation began to arrive.

Among them were the following: Frank M. and Newt Crittendon, Wm. Foley,
N. L. Boydston, C. H. Kelly, J. E. Zeublin, A. C. Thomas, John Boughan,
P. A. Rowe, Fred Swain, W. W. Wells, J. C. Delong, A. J. Long, John D.
Walker, T. P. Dudley, F. S. Kent, S. O. Bracken, Wm. Wallace, Jr., Al
Baker, W. C. Ramsdell, Col. J. J. S. Wilson, W. Chapman, S. C. Mason,
J. C. Springer, M. C. Bristol, C. H. Summers, G. W. Fulton, Francis W.
Jones, H. C. Maynard, E. S. Patton, W. A. Leary, John A. Strong, Luke
Fisher, H. G. McGill, Billy McMillen, C. M. Roebuck, Henry Tatge, J.
DeWitt Congdon, Harry S. Converse, Frank W. Farley, Jeff Prentice, Earl
Rudd, C. H. Haskins, C. W. Gearhart and many others, including a large
sprinkling of ladies.

Good natured chaffing was carried on, Charlie Roebuck being asked what
was done with that undistributed $300,000,000 his firm had in reserve.

“Oh, we bought Liberty Bonds with that money,” came the immediate and
patriotic reply.

Among other pieces played by the bands were, “We’ll Rally Round the
Flag, Boys, We’ll Rally Once Again”; “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are
Marching”; “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”; “America”; “Dixie Land,”
and such darky songs as “Darkies, Have You Seen the Massa, with the
Moustache on His Face, Walking Down the Road this Morning, Like He’s
Gwine to Leeb the Place?”

The Tabernacle was visited during the day by Generals Grant, Sherman,
McClellan, Sheridan, Franz Siegel, G. H. Thomas, Robert E. Lee,
Stonewall Jackson and many others, including all the Presidents back to
George Washington’s time.

Songs were sung, speeches made, music indulged in and a most enjoyable
and entertaining program was given.

The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh committees were unremitting in their
efforts and the Fourth of July, 1917, passed into history on the planet
Mars with pleasant memories and a strong feeling of meeting again and
often.



CHAPTER XX.

THE JOURNEY TO JUPITER


There was no great preparation among the whilom dwellers on the planet
Mars for their exodus to the planet Jupiter, and the long journey was
to be taken without any formality.

Professor Samuel F. B. Morse early indicated his willingness to
join the moving multitude and his decision was hailed with delight.
Professor Morse was in close conversation with Fred Moxon for several
hours prior to the departure.

Mr. Moxon had disclosed to Professor Morse his _modus operandi_ of
communication with Mother Earth and similar methods were arranged to
obtain signals from Jupiter after the arrival of the newcomers on the
planet.

It was an unknown and untried field which they were to invade, but,
realizing that God was present everywhere, there was no fear in the
spirit of the vast throng.

Goodbyes were heard on every side, but there was no sorrow expressed
and nothing occurred to mar the serenity and tranquillity of either
the travelers or those who remained. It was akin to the experience of
passing through the belief of death on earth, for there was no coming
back, but onward, upward to God’s immortal realm.

The firmament of the planet Mars was interestedly but not anxiously
scanned all day for some intelligence from the exodus party, and toward
evening of the same day they were rewarded by a flash on the sky,
written by wireless pen in the unmistakable chirography of Fred B.
Moxon. The message read as follows:

    “Greetings from New Providence, Jupiter. God hath wrought wonders
    and wonderful are His works. We arrived in high spirits, happy,
    and will give more particulars later.

                                               “Signed, S. F. B. Morse.”

The message occasioned much joy and satisfaction and further news was
looked for.

A few hours later the wireless wand began moving again, inditing a long
message from Professor Morse as follows:

“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! We have just had a visit from Adam
and Eve. We have also met Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon,
and this evening we are to have a gathering of the entire family now
residing on the planet Jupiter.

“I find the Bible is historically correct as regards the names and
doings of the incidents recorded, and everything is very interesting
and absorbing to us. We have learned much already, but there is still a
great deal more to learn and to prove.”

A cry of joy went up from the readers of the message from Professor
Morse, many remembering how his first message, “What hath God wrought?”
had broken the fetters of time and annihilated space, and now comes a
second message to break the shackles of human belief.

All day and evening messages were exchanged between the planets Mars
and Jupiter, nothing undergoing censorship.

“Bogy” got in the first deadhead message to the Earth. It was addressed
to John B. Taltavall, publisher Telegraph and Telephone Age, and
announced his safe arrival on the planet Jupiter. He did not neglect
sending “73” to all of his friends on Earth.


_Adam Sends “73” to His Posterity_

Adam sent a message to his children, grandchildren _ad infinitum_. He
was at a loss what to say to the posterity on Earth, as his legacy to
them was a chapter of misery, but “Bogy,” with his usual effrontery and
nonchalance, remarked, “Why Grandpa Adam, just do as I did--send them
all your ‘73’”--which was done amid wild applause.

Noah, who was the first shipbuilder we know anything about, was
greatly interested in listening to Homer Hallock relate of the era of
shipbuilding on Earth.

Methusaleh smiled a trifle loftily when Jerry Newton told about the
Texas woman who still lives at 130 years. “She is not my class at all,”
ejaculated Methusaleh; “she belongs to Esau and Jacob and the younger
generation.”

Intense interest was manifested when Adam took the floor during the
evening for a little talk.

The newcomers are objects of much interest to the old sojourners on
Jupiter, there having been no accessions from the Earth or Mars for as
much as a thousand years, as nearly as anyone could reckon time, there
being no established manner of computing the years.

Mark Twain, America’s great humorist, was with the new arrivals from
Mars and, true to his colors, facetiously asked Nero if he would not
play the Sailors’ Hornpipe on his fiddle, so all could have a dance,
and wonderful to relate, Nero produced the instrument and graciously
played the piece.

The last seen of Twain was down at the levee, where he found Samson,
the strong man, to whom he related the doings of the latter day
gladiators.

Later in the day Professor Morse read a communication from Mother Earth
filled with good news from the great war, and there was much rejoicing,
even Nebuchadnezzar and Confucius, China’s greatest philosopher,
showing their interest.

Franklin L. Pope discovered that the telephone was known and worked by
the denizens of Jupiter in prehistoric days and it was developed by
Charles A. Tinker that the quadruplex was worked more than ten thousand
years ago. These facts, however, should not take any lustre from the
endearing names of Morse, Edison, Vail and others, who rediscovered
both of these wonderful accessories to human convenience and gave them
to the world.

More of these wonderful doings will be told in subsequent editions of
this book.


Finis.



TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES:


  Text in italics is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

  Archaic spelling which may have been in use at the time of publication
    has been retained.





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