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Title: Fighting Germany's Spies
Author: Strother, French
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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© Harris & Ewing


Who directed the nation-wide work of arresting and prosecuting
German plotters and of interning dangerous enemy aliens]



  [Illustration: (Publisher colophon)]





_“Fighting Germany’s Spies” is published to bring home to the
public in a detailed and convincing manner the character of the
German activities in the United States. By courtesy of the Bureau
of Investigation of the Department of Justice the facts and
documents of this narrative have been verified._



  Foreword                                                            v

  Introduction                                                       xi


  I.     The inside story of the passport frauds and the first
           glimpse of Werner Horn                                     3

  II.    The inside story of Werner Horn and the first glimpse
           of the ship bombs                                         37

  III.   Robert Fay and the ship bombs                               60

  IV.    The inside story of the Captain of the _Eitel Friedrich_    83

  V.     James J. F. Archibald and his pro-German activities         92

  VI.    A tale told in telegrams                                   109

  VII.   German codes and ciphers                                   134

  VIII.  The Tiger of Berlin meets the Wolf of Wall Street          158

  IX.    The American Protective League                             192

  X.     The German-Hindu conspiracy                                223

  XI.    Dr. Scheele, chemical spy                                  258


  Attorney-General Thomas W. Gregory                     _Frontispiece_

                                                            FACING PAGE

  German agents who dealt in fraudulent passports                    16

  The official German plotters at Washington                         32

  Captain Thierichens and scenes on the _Eitel Friedrich_            88

  “When the water gets to the boilers”                              112

  Mr. A. Bruce Bielaski                                             152

  Rintelen and his confederates                                     184

  Officers of the American Protective League                        200



  A German attaché reminds Bernstorff of Wedell                       6

  The successful use of a fraudulent passport                        18

  Von Papen and Albert appear as unneutral plotters              28, 29

  The card “of the guileless stranger from Tokyo”                    31

  Von Papen becomes accessory to a crime                             33

  Two of Ruroede’s visitors’ credentials                             34

  Horn’s application for a furlough                                  39

  Werner Horn’s plan of escape                                       41

  Werner Horn’s commission in the German army                    48, 49

  Werner Horn’s confession                                       56, 57

  The _Lusitania_ warning                                        94, 95

  Code message transmitting money to Sir Roger Casement             137

  A letter from John Devoy, an Irish-American, exposing his
    hand in a plot with the Germans                                 140

  Extracts from a German code expert’s blotter                      147

  Bolo’s handwriting                                                148

  A tale told in cablegrams                                    150, 151

  The Cohalan-Irish Revolution message                         154, 155


Espionage has always been to Americans one of the hateful relics
of an outworn political system of Europe from which America was
fortunately free. We lived in an atmosphere not tainted with
dynastic ambitions or internal oppression. We had no secret agents
spying and plotting in other countries and were slow to suspect
other countries of doing such things here.

The war, however, disillusioned us. We found our soil to be
infested with representatives of an unscrupulous Power which did
not hesitate to violate our hospitality and break its most sacred
pledges in using this country as a base for unneutral plots against
France and Great Britain. We soon learned that these plots were
directed against us as well. They were only another manifestation
of the spirit which led to the open hostility of Germany which
forced us into war.

For a time we were at a great disadvantage in meeting the
situation. We had no secret police; we had no laws adequate to deal
with these novel offenses.

The Department of Justice met the situation, so far as it could
under existing law, by a great enlargement of its Bureau of
Investigation, and by the creation of a legal division devoted
entirely to problems arising out of the war. Congress substantially
supplied the deficiency in the laws by the passage of appropriate
statutes. Under the powers obtained in these two directions the
Department proceeded vigorously to the suppression of sedition, the
internment of enemy aliens, and the prosecution of German agents.
Its success is, I feel, attested by the absence of disorder in
this country under war-time conditions. Open German activities
have long since ceased here and the more subtle operations have
been driven so far under cover as to be ineffective. In this work
the Department of Justice has had the efficient and loyal aid of
private citizens, who have responded generously to a patriotic
impulse, through the agency of the American Protective League and
similar organizations.

Mr. Strother’s narrative covers some of the more outstanding cases
of the period when German plotting was at its height. The failure
of these plots and the retribution visited upon the evil-doers are
evidences, not merely of governmental efficiency, but of that of
old, age-old, substantive laws of morality, which Germany as a
nation has undertaken to flout--as we now know, in vain--both here
and elsewhere.


  Washington, D. C.
  August 14, 1918.





When Carl Ruroede, the “genius” of the German passport frauds,
came suddenly to earth in the hands of agents of the Department
of Justice and unbosomed himself to the United States Assistant
District Attorney in New York, he said sadly:

“I thought I was going to get an Iron Cross; but what they ought to
do is to pin a little tin stove on me.”

The cold, strong hand of American justice wrung that very human cry
from Ruroede, who was the central figure (though far from the most
sinister or the most powerful) in this earliest drama of Germany’s
bad faith with neutral America--a drama that dealt in forgery,
blackmail, and lies that revealed in action the motives of greed
and jealousy and ambition, and that ended with three diplomats
disgraced, one plotter in the penitentiary, and another sent to a
watery grave in the Atlantic by a torpedo from a U-boat of the very
country he had tried to serve. This is the story:

Twenty-five days after the Kaiser touched the button which publicly
notified the world that Germany at last had decided that “The Day”
had come--to be exact, on August 25, 1914--Ambassador Bernstorff
wrote a letter effusively addressed to “My very honoured Mr. Von
Wedell.” (Ruroede had not yet appeared on the scene.) The letter
itself was more restrained than the address, but in it Bernstorff
condescended to accept tentatively an offer of Wedell’s to make
a nameless voyage. The voyage was soon made, for on September
24th Wedell left Rotterdam, bearing a letter from the German
Consul-General there, asking all German authorities to speed him
on his way to Berlin, because he was bearing dispatches to the
Foreign Office. Arrived in Berlin, Wedell executed his commission
and then called upon his uncle, Count Botho von Wedell, a high
functionary of the Foreign Office. He was aflame with a great idea,
which he unfolded to his uncle. The idea was approved, and right
after the elections in November he was back in New York to put it
into execution, incidentally bearing with him some letters handed
him by order of Mr. Ballin, head of the Hamburg-American Steamship
Company, and another letter “for a young lady who goes to America
in the interest of Germany.” If unhappy Wedell had let this be his
last voyage--but that belongs later in the story.

Wedell’s scheme was this: He learned in Berlin that Germany had at
home all the common soldiers she expected to need, but that more
officers were wanted. He was told that Germany cared not at all
whether the 100,000 reservists in America got home or not, but
that she cared very much indeed to get the 800 or 1,000 officers
in North and South America back to the Fatherland. Nothing but the
ocean and the British fleet stood in their way. The ocean might be
overcome. But the British fleet----? Wedell proposed the answer: He
would buy passports from longshoremen in New York--careless Swedes
or Swiss or Spaniards to whom $20 was of infinitely more concern
than a mere lie--and send the officers to Europe, armed with these
documents, as neutrals travelling on business. Once in Norway or
Spain or Italy, to get on into Germany would be easy.

For a few weeks Wedell got along famously. He bought passports and
papers showing nativity from Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Swiss
longshoremen and sailors. Meantime, he got in touch with German
reserve officers and passed them on to Europe on these passports.


This telegram is from Haniel von Haimhausen, the counsellor of
the German Embassy in Washington, and was sent in response to an
inquiry from Bernstorff for the name of the man who had offered to
act as a messenger to Germany for him. The message reads:

  Count Bernstorff, care Ritz Carlton. Hans Adam von Wedell
  attorney fifteen William Street, New York he has been introduced
  by consul Hossenfelder, Haniel.]

But he was not content with these foreign passports. In the case
of a few exceptionally valuable German officers he wished to have
credentials that would be above all suspicion. Consequently, he set
about to gather a few American passports. Here his troubles began,
and here he added the gravest burden to his already great load of
culpabilities. For Von Wedell was an American citizen, and proud
of it. But he was prouder still of his German origin and his high
German connections, and in his eagerness to serve them he threw
overboard his loyalty to the land of his adoption.

Von Wedell applied to a friend of his, a certain Tammany lawyer of
pro-German sympathies, who had supplied him with a room belonging
to a well-known fraternal organization as a safe base from which
to handle his work in passports. What he wanted was an agent who
was an American and who had political acquaintanceship that would
enable him to work with less suspicion and with wider organization
in gathering American passports. Through the lawyer he came in
contact with an American, who for the purposes of this story may be
called Mr. Carrots, because that is not his name but is remotely
like it. Carrots seemed willing to go into the enterprise and at
a meeting in Von Wedell’s room Von Wedell carefully unfolded the
scheme, taking papers from a steel cabinet in the corner to show
a further reason why the American passports he already had would
soon be useless. This reason was that the Government was about to
issue an order requiring that a photograph of the bearer should be
affixed to the passport and that on this photograph should appear
half of the embossing raised by the impression of the seal of the
Department of State. He agreed to pay Carrots $20 apiece for all
genuine passports he would supply to him. Carrots accepted his
proposal and departed.

Instead of going out to buy passports, he went at once to the
Surveyor of the Port of New York, Mr. Thomas E. Rush, and told
him what Wedell was doing. Mr. Rush promptly got in touch with
his chief in the Treasury Department at Washington, who referred
the matter to the State Department, and they, in turn, to the
Department of Justice. The result was that Carrots went back to
Wedell about a week later and told him he would not be able to go
on with the work but would supply someone to take his place. This
was satisfactory to Wedell.

In the meantime, Wedell had introduced Carrots to a
fellow-conspirator, Carl Ruroede, a clerk in the ship forwarding
department of Oelrichs & Company--a man of little position, but
fired by the war with the ambition to make a name in German circles
that would put him in a position to succeed Oelrichs & Company as
the general agent of the North German Lloyd in New York.

About this time Wedell lost his nerve. He was a lawyer and
realized some of the possible consequences of certain of his acts.
He had had occasion to forge names to two passports; and also
he found out that he had reasons to suspect that he was under
surveillance. These reasons were very good: he had arranged for the
transportation to Italy of a German named Doctor Stark, using the
passport of a friend of his in the newspaper business named Charles
Raoul Chatillon. Wedell got wind of the fact that Stark had been
taken off the steamer _Duca de Aosta_ at Gibraltar, and was being
detained while the British looked up his credentials.

Wedell by this time was in a most unhappy plight. Bernstorff and
Von Papen had no use for him because he had been bragging about
the great impression he was going to make upon the Foreign Office
in Berlin by his work. If any impressions were to be made upon the
Foreign Office in Berlin by anybody in America, Bernstorff and
Von Papen wanted to make them. Wedell was so dangerously under
suspicion that Von Papen, Von Igel, and his Tammany lawyer friend
had all warned him he had better get out of the country. Wedell
took their advice and fled to Cuba.

The substitute whom Carrots had promised now entered the case, in
the person of a man who called himself Aucher, but who was in
reality a special agent of the Department of Justice. Aucher was
not introduced to Ruroede, the now active German, and so, when he
began his operations, he confronted the very difficult task of
making his own connections with a naturally suspicious person.

Carrots had been dealing with Ruroede after Wedell’s disappearance;
and, by the time he was ready to quit, Ruroede had told him that
“everything was off for the present,” but that if he would drop
around again to his office about January 7, 1915, he might make use
of him. Aucher, now on the case, did not wait for that date, but on
December 18th called on Ruroede at his office at room 204 of the
Maritime Building, at No. 8 Bridge Street, across the way from the
Customs House.

In this plainly furnished office Aucher appeared in the guise of a
Bowery tough. He succeeded admirably in this rôle--so well, indeed,
that Ruroede afterward declared that he “succeeded wonderfully in
impressing upon my mind that he was a gangman, and I had visions
of slung shots, pistol shots, and holdups” when he saw him. Aucher
opened the conversation by announcing:

“I’m a friend of Carrots.”

“That’s interesting,” was Ruroede’s only acknowledgment.

“He’s the guy that’s getting them passports for you,” went on
Aucher, “and all I wants to know is, did you give him any cush?”

“What do you mean?” asked Ruroede.

“Nix on that!” Aucher exclaimed. “You know what I mean. Did you
give that fellow any money?”

To which Ruroede replied: “I don’t see why I should tell you if I

“Well,” retorted Aucher, “I’ll tell you why. I’m the guy that
delivers the goods, and he swears he never got a penny from you.
Now did he?”

It was at this point that Ruroede had his visions of slung shots,
so he admitted he had paid Carrots $100 only a few days before.

“Well,” demanded Aucher, “ain’t there going to be any more?”

“Nope. Not now,” Ruroede replied. “Maybe next month.”

“Now see here,” said Aucher. “Let’s cut this guy out. He’s just
nothing but a booze fighter, and he’s been kidding you for money
without delivering the goods. What’s the matter with just fixing it
up between ourselves?”

Ruroede now tried to put Aucher off till Christmas, having recalled
meanwhile that the steamer _Bergensfjord_ was to sail on January
2d, and that he might need passports for officers travelling on
that ship. But Aucher protested that he was “broke,” and further
impressed on Ruroede that he had gotten no money from Carrots or
Wedell for his work for them. He also produced six letters written
by the State Department in answer to applicants for passports,
and finally convinced Ruroede of his good faith and that he ought
to start him to work right away. They haggled over the price,
and finally agreed on $20 apiece for passports for native-born
Americans and $30 apiece for passports of naturalized citizens--the
higher price for getting the latter because they involved more
red-tape and hence more risk. Aucher was to come back on December
24th and bring the passports and get some money on account.

On that day Aucher called at Ruroede’s office, and after further
quarrelling about Carrots and his honesty, Ruroede declared that
he was ready to do business. Aucher objected to the presence of a
young man in the room with them, and Ruroede replied:

“Oh, he’s all right. He’s my son, and you needn’t be afraid to talk
with him around.”

Aucher then produced an American passport, No. 45,573, made out in
the name of Howard Paul Wright, for use in Holland and Germany. It
was a perfectly good passport, too, as it had been especially made
out for the purpose by the Department of State at the request of
the Department of Justice. It bore Mr. Bryan’s genuine signature,
and a photograph of “Wright,” who was another agent of the Bureau
of Investigation. Aucher also declared he was on the way toward
getting the other five passports. Ruroede threw the Wright passport
on his desk and said:

“I’ll keep this. Go ahead and get the others.”

“What about money?” demanded Aucher.

“I’ll pay you $25 for it--no, I’ll do better than that. To show you
I mean business, take that,” and he threw a $100 bill on the table.
Ruroede also gave Aucher photographs of four German officers, and
begged him to get passports right away to fit their descriptions,
because he wanted to get these men off on the Norwegian Line
steamer _Bergensfjord_, sailing January 2d. He added that the
officers of the Norwegian Line had all been “smeared” (otherwise
“fixed”) and that they would “stand for anything.” He also said
that he would take at least forty more passports from Aucher, and
that he would want them right along for six months or a year,
depending on the length of the war.

Aucher delivered two more passports to Ruroede in his office on
the morning of December 30th. Ruroede was rather indifferent about
getting them, because--alas for the glory of the “invincible”
Prussian arms!--two of his German officers had gotten “cold feet”
and had refused to go. Ruroede told Aucher to come back at two
o’clock and he would give him $100. Aucher invited Ruroede to have
luncheon with him, and as they left the building Ruroede explained
with much pride that he had chosen his office here because the
building had several entrances on different sides of the block, and
he used one entrance only a few days at a time and then changed to
another to avoid suspicion.

The Government’s special agent complimented him highly on this bit
of cleverness in the art of evasion. Five minutes later the two
were sitting at a lunch counter with another special agent casually
lounging in and taking the seat next to his fellow operative,
where he could overhear and corroborate the account of Ruroede’s

After a discussion of Wedell’s forgeries and present whereabouts,
and a further discussion of the buying of passports (in which
Ruroede confided to Aucher that “there is a German fund that was
sent over here for that purpose”) the pair walked back toward
Ruroede’s office. At the Whitehall Street entrance Ruroede told
Aucher to come around to the Bridge Street entrance in about
fifteen minutes to get the money, and that in the meantime he would
send his son out to cash a check so that he could deliver it in
bills. Aucher spent part of the fifteen minutes signalling to four
other special agents who had reinforced him, and then went around
to the Bridge Street entrance, with one of his confederates in

In a few moments, Ruroede’s son rushed out with a bank book in his
hand. Aucher stopped him and told him he ought to have a coat on,
a device to let Aucher’s fellow operative see him talking to the
boy so he could identify him. The boy then went on to the bank,
followed by Aucher’s confederate, who saw him cash the check and
followed him back to the building.

When the boy returned, Aucher again spoke to him and said: “Tell
your father I will be in the café at Whitehall and Bridge streets
and that he is to meet me there. I don’t think it is a good thing
for anybody to see me hanging around the front entrance.”

Aucher then went on into the café and signalled to the other three
operatives to follow him. He took a seat in a bootblack’s chair
near the entrance and proceeded to have his shoes blacked. In about
ten minutes Ruroede’s son came out and was about to pass by him
when Aucher hailed him. Ruroede’s son then took a sealed envelope
from his inside pocket and handed it to Aucher.

“Where is your father?” Aucher asked.

“Oh, he’s got a man upstairs with him,” said young Ruroede, “and he
couldn’t come down.”

“Wait a minute,” said Aucher, and tore open the envelope in the
presence of Ruroede’s son, and, so that the other special agents
could see him do it, counted out ten $10 bills, $100 in all. As
he was counting them, the operative who had followed Ruroede’s
son to the bank came in and shouldered the boy to one side and
then stood right by him while the money was being counted. Aucher
went on to impress on Ruroede’s son that business was business and
that the best of friends sometimes fell out over money matters;
that his father might have unintentionally counted out $80 or $90
instead of the full $100 and it was safer to take some precautions
than to take a chance of creating bad blood between them. He then
invited Ruroede’s son to have a drink with him, which he did, both
of them taking the strongest Prussian drink--milk. When they were
about to part on Whitehall Street Aucher told Ruroede’s son to
tell his father he would be down the next morning with the other
two passports he had mentioned to him, and again impressed on
the boy the importance of accuracy in money matters. Aucher then
returned to headquarters with the other special agents and listed
the distinguishing marks on the bills and marked them for future


  H. A. Von Wedell      Carl Ruroede]


  C. C. Crowley      Lewis J. Smith]

The next morning Aucher telephoned to Ruroede and told him he had
been able to get only one of the two passports he wanted, giving
as the excuse for his failure to get the other the story that it
had been promised to him by a man working on a job in Long Island
and that this man had met with an accident and was in the hospital;
that it would take a day or two to go out there to get a written
order from him to a brother who would turn the passport over to
Aucher. Ruroede accepted an invitation to take luncheon with Aucher
at Davidson’s restaurant at the corner of Broad and Bridge streets.


An English translation of the letter, the first and last pages of
which are shown above, follows:

  _S. S. Kristianiafjord_, _Bordjen_, Nov. 20, 1914. Most honoured
  Mr. Ruroede: As you see, my voyage across succeeded magnificently
  with your kind help. The weather until Sunday was fine--then
  three days’ storm. The beginning was not of a nature to inspire
  confidence, for five hours after we had left New York we were
  stopped by a cruiser and for two hours the ship’s papers were
  searched for contraband. We had also some copper on board, but
  that was for Norway, whereupon they let us go. Our Captain then
  ran straight North to the 63 latitude. We nearly touched Iceland
  in order to get out of the way of other cruisers. It was only
  while we were making for Bergen from a northerly direction
  yesterday that a cruiser overtook and stopped us, and for a short
  while six of your men were feeling pretty shaky, especially I,
  for among the 18 first-class passengers, more than half were
  Germans, also a former vice-consul from Japan (now captain of
  cavalry) of the Bonn Hussars, Naval Officer from China, and
  others. The incident lasted only a half hour. After searching for
  ship’s papers, the gentlemen disappeared, and we breathed more
  freely, and drank a cocktail to the ---- and your prosperity.
  Once more many thanks for your assistance. May you help many
  others as well. With best wishes, Yours, Edward Eaton, in Japan
  named Eichelbert.]

Shortly after noon they met on the street and went into the
restaurant together. A few minutes after they were seated two of
the special agents came in and took a table about fifteen feet
away. After Aucher had ordered lunch for himself and Ruroede, he
took out of his pocket another of the series of genuine passports
supplied by the State Department, to which he had attached one of
the photographs Ruroede had given him for this purpose. He handed
the passport to Ruroede, who opened only one end of it, just enough
to glance at the photograph and seal.

“That’s fine,” said Ruroede, and was about to slip it into his
pocket when Aucher seized it and exclaimed:

“Fine? I should say,” and opened the passport wide so that one of
the other special agents could see the red seal on it. “Just look
at that description. Eh? He is the fellow with the military bearing
and I gave him a description I figured a man like him should answer

At this point, the special agent who had seen the seal left his
seat at the table and walked to the cashier’s desk. As he passed,
Ruroede was holding the passport in his hands and Aucher was
pointing out the description. Ruroede then put the passport into
his pocket and said again: “That’s fine.”

Aucher then opened a discussion of Von Wedell’s career and
disappearance. Ruroede was very contemptuous of the missing man.
“He was a plain fool,” he said. “He paid $3,500 altogether and got
very little in return. A fellow came to him one day and told him he
could get him American passports and Von Wedell said: ‘All right;
go ahead.’ The fellow returned later and said he would have to have
some expense money and he gave him $10. A little while later a
friend of the first man came to Von Wedell wanting expense money.
When Von Wedell decided to put him off, he became threatening and
Von Wedell, fearing he might tell the Government authorities, gave
_him_ some money. A few days later about twenty fellows came
looking for Von Wedell. But quite aside from that sort of business
Von Wedell’s foolishness in forging names on two American passports
is the thing that made him get away.”

“Did I understand you to say,” asked Aucher, “that he had gone to
join his wife?”

“No,” replied Ruroede, “she will be in Germany before him. She
sailed last Tuesday. He went to Cuba first and there got a Mexican
passport of some sort that will take him to Spain. He ought to be
in Barcelona to-day and from there go to Italy, and then from there
work his way into Germany.”

“You say Von Wedell spent $3,500 of his own money?” Aucher asked.

“No, no,” exclaimed Ruroede, “he got it from the fund.”

“Well, who puts up this money--who’s back of it?”

“The Government.”

“The German Government?”

“Yes,” said Ruroede. “You see it is this way: There is a captain
here who is attached to the German Embassy at Washington. He has
a list of German reservists in this country and is in touch with
the German consulates all through the country and in Peru, Mexico,
Chile, etc. He gets in touch with them, and the consuls send
reservists, who want to go to the front, on to New York. When they
get here, this captain tells them: ‘Well, I can’t do anything for
you, but you go down to see Ruroede.’ Sometimes he gives them his
personal card.”

“Is this captain in reserve?” Aucher interrupted.

“Oh, no, he is active,” Ruroede replied. “You see,” he continued,
“he draws on this fund for $200 or $300 or $1,000, whatever he may
need, and the checks are made to read ‘on account of reservists.’
You see, they have to have food and clothing, also, so there is
nothing to show that this money is paid out for passports or
anything like that. I meet this captain once a week or so, and tell
him what I am doing and he gives me whatever money I need. You see,
there must be no connection between him and me; no letters, no
accounts, nothing in writing. If I were caught and were to say what
I have told you, this captain would swear that he never met me in
his life before.”

Who this captain was became perfectly clear through an odd
happening two days later. On that day, January 2, 1915, Aucher
telephoned to Ruroede at his office and made an appointment to
meet him at a quarter of one. This meeting will doubtless remain
forever memorable in Ruroede’s experience.

At twelve-thirty a whole flock of special agents left the office
of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice in
the Park Row Building. There were nine representatives of the
Department in the group. When they got near Ruroede’s office they
were joined by two others who had been shadowing Ruroede. They had
located him at the Eastern Hotel, several blocks away, where he was
at the moment with one of the German officers who planned to sail
that day on the Norwegian Line steamer _Bergensfjord_ with one of
the false passports.

Shortly after one o’clock one of the special agents notified
the group that Ruroede had returned to his office and then this
operative, and one other, went to the Customs House and stationed
themselves at a window opposite Ruroede’s office to wait for a
signal which Aucher was to give when he had delivered the passport
to Ruroede.

When Aucher met Ruroede in the latter’s office Ruroede’s son was
present, but in a few moments the younger man took his leave, and
his departure was noted by one of the agents outside. After a few
minutes’ conversation Aucher handed Ruroede the missing passport
and made his signal to the two men inside the Customs House window.
These men reported to the main group on the street and thereupon
the whole flock descended on Ruroede’s office and placed both
Ruroede and Aucher under arrest.

They seized all of Ruroede’s papers before they took him away,
including the passport which Aucher had just delivered to him.
Aucher put up a fight against his brother officers, so as to make
Ruroede believe that his arrest was genuine, but was quickly
subdued and taken away. A few minutes later Ruroede also was taken
from his office over to the offices of the Bureau of Investigation,
but to another room than Aucher. Operatives were left behind in
Ruroede’s office, and in a little while Ruroede’s son came in. He,
too, was arrested and taken to still another part of the office of
the Bureau.

Now there entered Ruroede’s office a stranger, who to this day does
not know that he unwittingly gave the officers of the United States
Government the information that Captain Von Papen was directly
responsible for the passport frauds. This man entered while one
of the operatives was busily gathering up the papers on Ruroede’s
desk. He said he wanted to see Mr. Ruroede. The operative asked
him what his business was, and he replied that he had a letter to
give him; and answering an inquiry, he said this letter was given
him by Captain Von Papen, to be delivered to Ruroede.

The operative calmly informed the caller that he was Mr. Ruroede’s
son and that he could give the letter to him. The stranger refused,
so the operative told him that his “father,” Ruroede, would be in
in a few minutes. After the few minutes were up, he told the caller
that he was sure that his “father” would not return after all,
and that he had better go with him to where his “father” was. The
stranger agreed and they left the office together, the operative
taking him directly to the office of the Bureau of Investigation.

On the way, the stranger decided to give him the letter from
Captain Von Papen, and also told him that he had come from Tokyo
by way of San Francisco; that he was very anxious to get back to
Germany; and that he was sorry he was not sailing on the boat
leaving that day. He knew, he said, that Ruroede had a great many
officers sailing on the ship that day, and asked if he thought the
operative’s “father” could make an arrangement to start him to
Germany, too. He gave as a reason for his urgency the fact that he
had with him eight trunks which contained very important papers in
connection with the war that should be delivered in Berlin without

Upon arriving at the office of the Bureau of Investigation the
operative excused himself for a moment and went into another room,
where he concocted a plan with a fellow agent to pose as the senior
Ruroede. The operative then brought the stranger in and introduced
his confederate as his father. The stranger gave this agent of
the Department his card which was printed in German and, which
translated into English, read, “Wolfram von Knorr, Captain of
Cruiser, Naval Attaché, Imperial German Embassy, Tokyo.”

But let us leave the guileless caller in the hands of the guileful
agent of Justice for a few moments, returning to him a little later.

Meanwhile, four of the agents from the Department--the minute they
received the signal that Ruroede was under arrest--hastened to the
Barge Office dock and boarded the revenue cutter _Manhattan_, on
which they overtook the Norwegian Line steamship _Bergensfjord_
at four o’clock, about one half hour after it had set sail. They
were accompanied by several customs inspectors and ordered the
_Bergensfjord_ to heave to. All the male passengers on board were
lined up. Strange as it may seem, they discovered four Germans,
of such unmistakable names as Sachse, Meyer, Wegener, and Muller,
travelling under such palpably English and Norwegian names as
Wright, Hansen, Martin, and Wilson. Stranger still, they all turned
out to be reserve officers in the German army. Sache proved to be
travelling as none other than our friend “Howard Paul Wright,” for
whom Aucher had supplied Ruroede with the passport--as, indeed, he
had for the three others.

Meanwhile, Ruroede was the centre of another little drama that
lasted until well toward midnight. He was being urged by the United
States Assistant District Attorney to “come across” with the facts
about his activities in the passport frauds, and he had stood up
pretty well against the persuasions and hints of the attorney and
the doubts and fears of his own mind. About eleven o’clock at
night, as he was for the many’th time protesting his ignorance and
his innocence, another agent of the Bureau of Investigation walked
across the far end of the dimly lit room--in one door and out
another--accompanied by a fair-haired lad of nineteen.

“My God!” exclaimed Ruroede, “have they got my son, too? The boy
knows nothing at all about this.”

This little ghost-walking scene, borrowed from “Hamlet,” broke down
Ruroede’s reserve, and he came out with pretty much all the story,
ending the melancholy exclamation with which this story began: “I
thought I was going to get an Iron Cross; but what they ought to do
is to pin a little tin stove on me.”

Ruroede admitted that he had met Captain Von Papen in New York
frequently and that Von Papen had given him money at different
times, but he denied that this money was given him for use in
furnishing passports. On this point he stood fast, and to this day
he has not directly implicated Von Papen in these frauds, though it
cost him a sentence of three years in the Federal penitentiary at
Atlanta, imposed just two months later.

One thing Ruroede did confess, however, and in doing so he was the
Hand of Fate for the timorous Von Wedell. Ruroede confessed that
his assertion to Aucher, that Wedell was then in Barcelona, was a
lie, and that the truth was that Wedell had recently returned from
Cuba and was aboard the _Bergensfjord_! This confession came too
late to serve that day, for the agents of the Bureau had by that
time left the ship with their four prisoners and the _Bergensfjord_
was out to sea. But Fate had nevertheless played Wedell a harsh
trick, for the processes of extradition were instantly put in
motion with what strange results will in a few moments be made


[Illustration: This letter [of which the facsimiles are of the
first and last pages] was written by Wedell to Bernstorff to
justify his action in abandoning the work of gathering passports
for fraudulent use. The full text follows, in English. It is an
interesting document, not only because it reveals a lot of weak
human nature in the agents of “German efficiency” but also because
it definitely revealed Von Papen and Albert as principals in the
German plots as early as three months after the war started:

  HOTEL ST. GEORGE Felix Fieger, Proprietor, Nyack-on-Hudson,
  December 26, 1914. His Excellency The Imperial German Ambassador,
  Count Von Bernstorff, Washington, D. C. Your Excellency: Allow me
  most obediently to put before you the following facts: It seems
  that an attempt has been made to produce the impression upon you
  that I prematurely abandoned my post in New York. That is not

  I. My work was done. At my departure I left the service well
  organized and worked out to its minutest details, in the hands
  of my successor, Mr. Carl Ruroede, picked out by myself, and,
  despite many warnings, still tarried for several days in New
  York in order to give him the necessary final directions and in
  order to hold in check the blackmailers thrown on my hands by the
  German officers until after the passage of my travellers through
  Gibraltar; in which I succeeded. Mr. Ruroede will testify to you
  that without my suitable preliminary labors, in which I left no
  conceivable means untried and in which I took not the slightest
  consideration of my personal weal or woe, it would be impossible
  for him, as well as for Mr. Von Papen, to forward officers and
  “aspirants” in any number whatever, to Europe. This merit I lay
  claim to and the occurrences of the last days have unfortunately
  compelled me, out of sheer self-respect, to emphasize this to
  your Excellency.

  II. The motives which induced me to leave New York and which, to
  my astonishment, were not communicated to you, are the following:

  1. I knew that the State Department had, for three weeks,
  withheld a passport application forged by me. Why?

  2. Ten days before my departure I learnt from a telegram sent
  me by Mr. Von Papen, which stirred me up very much, and further
  through the omission of a cable, that Dr. Stark had fallen into
  the hands of the English. That gentleman’s forged papers were
  liable to come back any day and could, owing chiefly to his lack
  of caution, easily be traced back to me.

  3. Officers and aspirants of the class which I had to forward
  over, namely the people, saddled me with a lot of criminals and
  blackmailers, whose eventual revelations were liable to bring
  about any day the explosion of the bomb.

  4. Mr. Von Papen had repeatedly urgently ordered me to hide

  5. Mr. Igel had told me I was taking the matter altogether too
  lightly and ought to--for God’s sake--disappear.

  6. My counsel, ... had advised me to hastily quit New York,
  inasmuch as a local detective agency was ordered to go after the
  passport forgeries.

  7. It had become clear to me that eventual arrest might yet
  injure the worthy undertakings and that my disappearance would
  probably put a stop to all investigation in this direction.

  How urgent it was for me to go away is shown by the fact that,
  two days after my departure, detectives, who had followed up my
  telephone calls, hunted up my wife’s harmless and unsuspecting
  cousin in Brooklyn, and subjected her to an interrogatory.

  Mr. Von Papen and Mr. Albert have told my wife that I forced
  myself forward to do this work. That is not true. When I, in
  Berlin, for the first time heard of this commission, I objected
  to going and represented to the gentleman that my entire
  livelihood which I had created for myself in America by six
  years of labor was at stake therein. I have no other means,
  and although Mr. Albert told my wife my practice was not worth
  talking about, it sufficed, nevertheless, to decently support
  myself and wife and to build my future on. I have finally, at the
  suasion of Count Wedell, undertaken it, ready to sacrifice my
  future and that of my wife. I have, in order to reach my goal,
  despite infinite difficulties, destroyed everything that I built
  up here for myself and my wife. I have perhaps sometimes been
  awkward, but always full of good will and I now travel back to
  Germany with the consciousness of having done my duty as well as
  I understood it, and of having accomplished my task.

  With expressions of the most exquisite consideration, I am, your

  Very respectfully,


Now we may appropriately return to the conference between the
guileless stranger from Tokyo and the guileful agent of the Bureau
of Investigation, in another room. The guileless stranger from
Tokyo revealed what Ruroede would not disclose--and revealed it all
unconsciously. He talked so frankly with “young Ruroede’s father”
that he told several most important things. For one, Captain Von
Knorr declared that Captain Von Papen had sent him. Whereupon the
pretended Ruroede asked him whether the fact that he was expected
to assist Von Knorr back to Europe was known to the German Embassy
at Washington. To this Von Knorr replied:


“Of course. I just had a talk with Captain Von Papen right here in
New York.”

“Ruroede” still insisted on having better proof that Von Knorr came
directly from the Embassy, to which Von Knorr retorted that “Von
Papen has had sufficient dealings with you for you to know that any
one sent by him to you is all right.”

Finding himself dealing with a somewhat reluctant saviour, Von
Knorr adopted a conciliatory mood and slapped his broad hand
several times on “Ruroede’s” left breast, saying: “That chest ought
to have something”--meaning a decoration from Berlin.

After some verbal sparring, Von Knorr was allowed to drift off
the scene as innocently as he had entered it, and he has yet to
learn that his visit was in an office of American law and that his
dealings were with the officers of Justice.

But he left behind a legacy quite as valuable as his carefully
remembered spoken words. This legacy was the paper which he had
brought from Franz von Papen. This paper proved to be not a letter,
but rather a typewritten memorandum--though all doubt as to its
origin was removed by the innocent insistence of Von Knorr that he
had come with it from Von Papen’s hand.


Above, Ambassador Count Johann von Bernstorff; left, Capt. Franz
von Papen, Military Attaché; right, Capt. Karl Boy-Ed, Naval


Though this check was made out in favor of G. Amsinck & Co., the
German-American bankers of New York, the counterfoil bears the
notation “Traveling expense v W,” that is, “von Wedell.” This check
was sent him by Von Papen to enable him to escape after he had
forged signatures to two fraudulent passports and realized that he
was under surveillance--Von Papen thus becoming accessory after the
fact to a crime against American laws]

Two most important facts emerged ultimately from a study of this
innocent bit of paper. When Ruroede was arrested, among other
papers taken from his desk by the officers of the law were numerous
typewritten sheets containing lists of names of German officers,
their rank, and other facts about them. Ruroede never would admit
that these were from Von Papen, but that admission was made for him
by a far more trustworthy testimony than his own. This testimony
was an expert comparison, under a powerful magnifying glass of the
typewriting on these sheets and the typewriting on the Von Knorr
memorandum which had undoubtedly come from Von Papen. They were
beyond all questioning identical. The same typewriter had written
all. By this little microscopic test Von Papen and the other
ruthless underlings of Germany were first brought tangibly within
sight of their ultimate expulsion from this country, for crimes of
which the passport frauds were the least odious.


These cards were presented by two German officers in search of
fraudulent passports. They were sent by Von Papen and Mudra (German
Consul at Philadelphia), who both frequently directed such officers
to Ruroede for this purpose]

The other pregnant fact about the Von Knorr memorandum was that the
eyes of Justice rested on the name of _Werner Horn_ and lingered
long enough to fix that name in memory. Here first swam into its
ken the man who tried to destroy the international bridge at
Vanceboro, Maine, and whose story is one of the most romantic and
adventurous of all the German plotters!

One last touch in this drama: A few moments ago we left Von
Wedell--ambitious, timorous Von Wedell--on the high seas bound for
Norway. But Fate was after him. Ruroede’s moment of weakness--his
moment of pique, when he swore he would not shoulder all this
bitterness alone--had set her on his trail. A cable message to
London, a wireless from the Admiralty, and then--this entry in the
logbook of the _Bergensfjord_ for Monday, January 11, 1915:

  All male first and second class passengers were gathered in the
  first-class dining saloon and their nationality inquired into.

  About noon, the boarding officer of the Cruiser ---- (English)
  went back and reported to his ship. About 0:45 P. M. he came
  over with orders again to take off six German stowaways and two
  suspected passengers. These passengers were according to ship’s
  berth list as follows:

  1. Rosato Sprio, Mexican, Destination Bergen, Cabin 71,

  Rosato Sprio admitted after close examination to be H. A. Wedell.
  Claimed to be a citizen of the United States....

  Dr. Rasmus Bjornstad claimed to be a Norwegian....

  As both passengers apparently were travelling under false
  pretense, the Captain did not feel justified to protest against
  the detention of the two passengers. These were accordingly ...
  taken off and put on board the Auxiliary Cruiser ----.

Unhappy Wedell! “The Cruiser ----” was a ship that never made port.
Wedell’s high connections in the German Foreign Office could not
save him from the activities of the high officials of the German
Admiralty. A U-boat fired a torpedo into “the Cruiser ----” and
sent her to the bottom with Rosato Sprio, _alias_ H. A. Wedell,

Exeunt Wedell and Ruroede.

Enter Werner Horn.



The real mystery in the case of Werner Horn is this: Who was the
man in Lower 3? (If he had only known----!) Because, except for
this one missing fact, the story of Werner Horn is as clear as day.
It is the story of a brave man, too honest to lie with a straight
face, who was used by the villainous Von Bernstorff and Von Papen
only after they had lied without a quiver, on at least three vital
points, to him. He meant to fight the enemy of his country as a
soldier fights, and they cynically sent him on an errand which
they meant should be an errand of miscellaneous crime, including
murder. He was to go to a felon’s death for this one of the many
devilish plots they were concocting against American lives, while
they lived in luxury in Washington and lied with smiling faces
to the representatives of the people whose hospitality they were
betraying. There have been few more despicably outrageous, more
cold-blooded crimes than this--except that other one (also of their
devising) in the ship bombs case; but that is another story, to be
told later.

The story of Werner Horn begins in Guatemala. Horn was the manager
of a coffee plantation at Moka. He had seen ten years of service
in the German Army when, in 1909, he got a furlough from the
authorities in Cologne permitting him to go to Central America
for two years. This furlough writes him down as an “Oberleutnant
on inactive service.” That means, roughly, that he was a first
lieutenant of the German Army, out of uniform but subject to call
ahead of all other classes of men liable for military duty. Then
came the war.

Two hours after word of “The Day” reached Moka, Werner Horn
was packed and on his way to Germany. From Belize he sailed to
Galveston, where he spent two weeks looking in vain for passage.
Then on to New York, where he tried for a month to sail. Finding
that impossible, he went to Mexico City and there learned that
another man in Guatemala had his job. He had just found another
one, on an American coffee plantation at Salto de Aguas, in
Chiapas, and was about to go there by launch from Frontera, when
he got a card telling him to try again to get to Germany. By
December 26th he was back in New Orleans, and a few days later he
was lodging in the Arietta Hotel on Staten Island.


Issued by the military authorities of Cologne, on the Rhine near
the Dutch border, permitting him to leave Germany for two years.
The furlough was later extended, as Horn was gone nearly five years
before the war broke out]

Now began a series of conferences with Von Papen. Horn was afire
with honest zeal to serve the Fatherland, and Von Papen was
unscrupulous as to how he did it. When he could not get passage for
him back to Germany, Von Papen determined to use this blond giant
(Horn is six feet two) for another purpose. He then unpacked his
kit of lies.

A little after the midnight of Saturday, December 29, 1914, a big
German in rough clothes and cloth cap entered the Grand Central
Station carrying a cheap brown suitcase. A porter seized it from
him with an expansive smile. The smile faded long before they
reached Car 34 of the one o’clock New Haven train to Boston. “Boss,
yoh sho’ has got a load o’ lead in theah,” was his puffing comment
as he got his tip. The German grinned, and a few minutes later
swung the suitcase carelessly against the steam-pipes under Lower
3, and clambered to the upper. A suitcase full of dynamite--and the
man in Lower 3 slept on.

Several people on the Maine Central train that left North Station,
Boston, at eight o’clock the next morning, afterward identified
the big blond German who left it at Vanceboro, Maine, at six
forty-five that evening. None of them recalled his baggage.


The pencilled line left from Vanceboro and down to Princeton was
Horn’s own mark upon the map of the route by which he hoped to
escape after he had blown up the international bridge. He did not
know the country and hence did not calculate upon the wilderness he
was planning to traverse, unguided, in the dead of a New England
winter. The pencilled ring around St. John, N. B., gives the cue
to his purpose in blowing up the bridge--St. John was a port from
which the war supplies from America to Great Britain could be
shipped for use against the Germans]

But trust the people in a country town to catalogue a stranger.
Horn went directly from the train about his errand; which was
reckoning without the Misses Hunter and the twelve-year-old
Armstrong boy. They saw him toiling through the snow, marked the
unusual weight of his suitcase from the way he carried it, saw him
hide it in the woodpile by the siding--and then they talked. Soon
Mr. Hunter hurried to the Immigration Station and told an inspector
there about the suspicious stranger. The inspector hurried down the
railroad track and met Horn returning from the international bridge
that spans the St. Croix River a few hundred feet away. He asked
where the stranger was going. Horn’s reply was to ask the way to a
hotel. When his name was next demanded he gave it as Olaf Hoorn,
and said he was a Dane. The inspector then asked what he was in
town for, and Horn said he was going to buy a farm. And, finally,
the inspector asked him where he came from. When Horn explained in
detail that he had come from New York via Boston the inspector,
with a true legal mind, decided that he “had no jurisdiction,” and
let it go at that. His concern in life was with “immigrants” from
Canada--and this man had proved that he had come from “an interior
point.” Hence he could do nothing officially, for the moment.

But the Misses Hunter’s sharp eyes saw the stranger, after this
interview, recover the suitcase from the woodpile before going
on to Tague’s Vanceboro Exchange Hotel for the night. The host at
the hotel was not on duty when Horn registered, and never saw his
baggage, but his mother, who happened to have occasion to enter
Horn’s room in his absence on the following Monday, noticed the
suitcase, tried to lift it, and wondered how any one could carry
it. Horn was a marked man from the moment he arrived in the town.

Evidently he sensed the suspicions he aroused, for he made no
effort to proceed about his business that night, or the next. But
shortly before eight o’clock on Monday night Horn gave up his room
and said he was going to Boston on the eight o’clock train. He took
his suitcase and disappeared. Instead of going to the station, he
hid out in the woods until the last train for the night should go
by. At eleven he was encountered in the railroad cut above the
bridge by an employee of the Maine Central Railroad, who got such
unsatisfactory answers to his questions that he talked the matter
over with a fellow workman in the roundhouse, though without
results. So Werner Horn marched out alone upon the bridge--alone
except for his cigar and his suitcase, the spirit of the Fatherland
upon him and the lying words of Von Papen in his ears.

He had need of the fire of patriotism to warm his blood and to
steel his courageous spirit. It was a black winter night. The
mercury was at thirty degrees below zero, the wind was blowing at
eighty miles an hour, the ice was thick upon the cross-ties beneath
his stumbling feet. The fine snow, like grains of flying sand, cut
his skin in the gale.

But Werner Horn was a patriot and a brave man. Von Papen had told
him that over these rails flowed a tide of death to Germans--not
only guns and shells, but dum-dum bullets that added agony to
death. He must do his bit to save his fellow soldiers; must help
to stop the tide. Destroy this bridge, and for a time at least
the cargoes would be kept from St. John and Halifax. It was a
short bridge, but a strategic one, and the most accessible. So
Horn stumbled on. He must get beyond the middle. Von Papen had
not urged it, but Werner Horn had balked about this business from
the first--not through lack of courage (he would go as a soldier
upon the enemy’s territory and there fire his single shot at any
risk against their millions), but he would not commit a crime for
anybody, not even for the Kaiser; nor would he trespass on the soil
of hospitable America. Hence on each sleeve he wore the colours
of his country: three bands, of red and white and black. Von
Papen had beguiled him into thinking these transformed him from a
civilian to a soldier. Twice as he struggled through the darkness
he slipped and fell, barely saving himself from death on the ice
below. Each time he clung doggedly to his suitcase full of dynamite.

Suddenly a whistle shrieked behind him, and in a moment the glaring
eyes of an express train’s locomotive shone upon him. Horn clutched
with one hand at a steel rod of the bridge and swung out over black
nothingness, holding the suitcase safe behind him with the other.
The train thundered by, and left him painfully to recover his
uncertain footing on the bridge. The second of Von Papen’s lies had
been disproven.

He had promised Horn that the last train for the night would have
been gone at this hour, for Horn had said he would do nothing that
would put human lives in peril. But Horn thought only that Von
Papen had misunderstood the schedules.

A few moments after he had got this shock, another whistle screamed
at him from the Canadian shore, and again he made his quick,
precarious escape by hanging out above the river by one hand and
one foot. He now decided that all schedules had been put awry, and
that he must change his plans to be sure of not endangering human
beings. To accomplish this, he cut off and threw away most of the
fifty-minute fuse that he had brought along, and left only enough
to burn three minutes. No train would come sooner than this, and
then the explosion would warn everybody of the danger.

In doing this, Horn deliberately cut himself off from hope of
escaping capture. He had planned such an escape--an ingenious plan,
too, except that it was traced on a railroad time-table map of the
Maine woods in winter by a strange German fresh from the tropics.
He had meant to walk back one station westward, then cut across the
open country to the end of a branch line railroad, and then ride
back to Boston on another line than that on which he had come east
to Vanceboro. It was a clever scheme, except that it missed all the
essentials, such as the thirty miles of trackless woods, the snow
feet-deep upon the level, the darkness of winter nights, and the
deadly cold. Still, Horn childishly believed it feasible, and he
did a brave and honourable thing to throw it overboard rather than
to cause the death of innocent people.

He fixed the dynamite against a girder of the bridge above the
Canadian bank of the river, adjusted the explosive cap, and
touched his cigar to the end of the three-minute fuse. Then he
stumbled back across the gale-swept, icy bridge, made no effort
to escape, and walked back into the hotel in Vanceboro, with both
hands frozen, as well as his ears, his feet, and his nose. A moment
after he entered the hotel the dynamite exploded with a report that
broke the windows in half the houses in the town and twisted rods
and girders on the bridge sufficiently to make it unsafe but not
enough to ruin it.

Everybody in Vanceboro was aroused. Host Tague, of the Exchange
Hotel, leaped from his bed and looked out of the window. Seeing
nothing, he struck a light and looked at his watch, which said
1:10, and then he hurried into the hall, headed for the cellar, to
see if his boiler had exploded. In the hall he faced the bathroom.
There stood Werner Horn, who mildly said “Good morning” to his
astonished host. Tague returned the greeting and went back to get
his clothes on. He had surmised the truth, and Horn’s connection
with it. When he came back out into the hall, Horn was still in
the bathroom, and said: “I freeze my hands.” Small wonder, after
five hours in that bitter gale. Tague opened the bathroom window
and gave him some snow to rub on his frozen fingers, and then
hurried to the bridge to see the damage. He found enough to make
him press on to the station on the Canadian side, and then come
back to Vanceboro, so that trains would be held from attempting to
cross it.


[Illustration: (back) Found in an ironbound trunk in his room in
the Arietta Hotel on Staten Island. His position was approximately
that of a first lieutenant, returned to civil life, but of the
class first subject to duty in the event of war]

When he got back to his hotel, Horn asked to have again the room he
had given up that evening. Tague had let it to another guest, but
gave Horn a room on the third floor. There the German turned in and
went to sleep.

Meanwhile, human nature as artless as Werner Horn’s was at work in
Vanceboro. The chief officer of law thereabouts was “John Doe,” a
deputy sheriff, chief fish and game warden, and licensed detective
for the state of Maine. His later testimony doubtless would have
had a sympathetic reader in the Man in Lower 3 (if only he had
known): “I was asleep at my home, which is about three or four
hundred feet from the bridge; heard a noise about 1:10 A. M., which
I thought was an earthquake, a collision of engines, or a boiler
explosion in the heating plant. The noise disturbed me so that I
could not get to sleep. (And the Man in Lower 3 slept on!) I got up
in the morning at about half-past five; met a man who said they had
blown up the bridge.”

But while Mr. Doe was about his disturbed slumbers, the
superintendent of the Maine Central Railroad was making a
Sheridan’s Ride through the night by special train from
Mattawamkeag, fifty miles away. He, at least, was on the job--he
had brought along a claim agent of the road, to take care of
damage suits. When they reached the Vanceboro station, they sent
for Mr. Doe, and when he arrived at seven o’clock, Canada also was
represented by two constables in uniform. This being a case for Law
and not for Commerce, Mr. Doe took charge. He told the others that
the first thing to do was to cover all the stations by telegraph
and arrest all suspicious parties. Then he led his posse to the

There Mr. Tague told them about the German peacefully asleep
upstairs. He led them to the upper floor and pointed out the room,
but went no farther, as he thought there might be shooting. His
sister, being of the same mind, sought the cellar. Doe knocked upon
the door.

“What do you want?” called Werner Horn.

“Open the door,” commanded Doe.

The door swung open, and the big German sat back on his bed. Then
he saw the Canadian uniforms and jumped for his coat. Doe shoved
him back, and one of the constables got the coat, and the revolver
in it. When Doe told Horn he was an American officer, Horn stopped
resisting and said:

“That’s all right, then. I thought you were all Canadians. I
wouldn’t harm any one from here.”

Doe handcuffed Horn to his own arm and took him to the Immigration
Station to make an inquiry. Here Horn told a straightforward story,
but with one embellishment that caused more excitement than all
the rest, and that ultimately revealed his own character in its
clearest light. This story was that he had not brought the dynamite
in his suitcase, but that, by prearrangement, he had carried the
empty suitcase to the bridge and there met an Irishman from Canada,
to whom he gave the password “Tommy,” and that this Irishman had
given him the explosive and then disappeared.

“Tommy” immediately became a sensation who overshadowed Horn
himself. Canadian officers scoured the Canadian shore for days,
looking for this dangerous renegade, and Americans were as zealous
on our side of the river.

But Horn himself was in a dangerous position. Lynching bees were
discussed on both sides of the river, and probably only prompt
action by the local authorities prevented one. Both to hold Horn
for more serious prosecution and to get him out of peril, he
was charged in the local police court with malicious mischief in
breaking the window glass in one of the houses in Vanceboro; he
pleaded guilty and was at once removed to Machias, the county seat,
to serve thirty days in jail. Five days after the explosion, the
Department of Justice had Horn’s signed confession, taken in person
by the Chief of the Bureau of Investigation.

It was in the giving of this confession that Werner Horn revealed
himself most fully as a patriot and a gentleman, and, all
unconsciously, revealed that the cynical Von Papen was a liar, a
cold-blooded criminal, and, for the second time in the first months
of the war, the secret hand behind the violations of American
neutrality instigated through him and Bernstorff at the behest of
the Imperial German Government.

When the government agent saw Horn in jail at Machias, and warned
him that what he said would be used against him in proceedings
for his extradition into Canada, or prosecution here, Horn told
the same straightforward story, with the same embellishment
about “Tommy.” “I met a white man,” so Horn said, “whom I had
never seen before, but who was about 35 or 40 years of age clean
shaven--‘Tommy’--I was told to say ‘Tommy’ when I met him--I
cannot say anything that would involve the consulate or the
embassy--Germany is at war--I received, however, an order which was
from one who had a right to give it, a verbal order only--received
it two or three days before leaving New York for Vanceboro.”

Later he said: “I cannot speak of the rank of the man who gave
the orders--I cannot even say that he was an officer. No one was
present when the orders were given me in New York City. I cannot
tell more because it was a matter for the Fatherland. I would
rather go to Canada [where he knew they wanted to lynch him] than
to tell more about my orders--this would be impossible--at least
until after the war is over.”

Horn admitted he had met Von Papen several times at the German Club
in New York City, but no art could compel him to admit that he had
got his orders from him. But, as the agent noticed, his manner gave
his words the lie; and whenever he tried to tell anything that
was inaccurate he did so with great difficulty and embarrassment.
But finding him determined, at whatever risk, to withhold this
information, and determined, too, to stick to the absurd story
about “Tommy,” the agent wrote out by typewriter a statement of
the facts as he had given them for Horn to sign.

Horn read the statement over and said that he would sign it. Then
the agent took out his pen, added a few items of new information,
and wrote these words:

“I certify on my honour as a German officer that the foregoing
statements are true,” and handed Horn the pen to sign it. Horn read
the last sentence and seemed nonplussed. He turned back through the
pages of the statement, blushed, scratched his head, and finally
grinned up at the agent with the one word:


The agent grinned in turn:

“You mean it’s all right except for Tommy?”


Horn would not sign a lie and pledge his honour it was truth. A
close scrutiny of the cut on page 57 will show where the period
after the word “true” has been erased, so that the sentence could
go on to say, before he signed it, “except as to ‘Tommy’--that I
did not buy the nitro-glycerine but received it in New York and
took it with me in the suitcase. I cannot say from whom I received
it. Werner Horn.”

[Illustration: WERNER HORN’S CONFESSION (first page)]

[Illustration: (last page) In which he unintentionally revealed
the guilty purposes of Von Papen to violate American neutrality
and commit a crime against human life, and which Horn refused to
sign upon his “honour as a German officer” until it was altered to
remove the fantastic tale about a confederate in Canada. By looking
closely the erasure of the period after the word “true” can be
seen, made to permit this correction to be added]

If Werner Horn had been less honest, less humane, the black
wickedness of his Imperial masters would have been less clearly
visible. He was the one who was punctilious to respect American
neutrality--while they flouted it. He was the one who risked
his own life rather than imperil others--while they sat snug in
Washington devising means to place on the rudders of American ships
the bombs that would add another horrid chapter to their crimes.
A mere criminal at Vanceboro might have been accused of exceeding
their criminal instructions--Werner Horn refused to carry out the
instructions they had given.

One cannot forbear to publish here a humorous incident in this
case, in no way related to its immediate currents, but so
characteristic of the American attitude in general at that time.
Here was a drama of international politics, fertilizing the germs
of war--the seeds of our own entrance into the conflict, with its
present expenditures of billions in treasure and its prospective
expenditure of human blood and tears. Into this epic picture walks
a Yankee trader with a bottle of liniment for frost bite in his
hand, and asks for a “testimonial.” It is significant, because
it was a faithful miniature of America at large in February,
1915--asleep to the perils of its “isolation,” but wide awake to
the main chance in war-begotten trade. Well could Von Papen and
Von Bernstorff, well could the Kaiser in Berlin, afford to smile a
little longer, and marvel again at a people still “so stupid.”

But the American Government was on still other German plotters’
trails. They were not asleep, nor stupid. Even while they went
through the long, legal processes in which German intrigue tried
in vain to save Werner Horn from delivery to Canadian justice (and
Horn was supplied with good counsel and every facility for making
his defence), among the Yankee traders there was alert activity
as well as dormant patriotism. The way in which the Department of
Justice, through these merchants, lawyers, doctors, men of the
“main chance,” soon had a network of special agents in every city,
town, and hamlet in the country, is one of the cleverest pieces of
American Government detective work born of the war.



Robert Fay landed in New York on April 23, 1915. He landed in jail
just six months and one day later--on October 24th. In those six
months he slowly perfected one of the most infernal devices that
ever emerged from the mind of man. He painfully had it manufactured
piece by piece. With true German thoroughness he covered his
trail at every point--excepting one. And five days after he had
aroused suspicion at that point, he and his entire group of fellow
conspirators were in jail. The agents of American justice who
put him there had unravelled his whole ingenious scheme and had
evidence enough to have sent him to the penitentiary for life if
laws since passed had then been in effect.

Only the mind that conceived the sinking of the _Lusitania_ could
have improved upon the devilish device which Robert Fay invented
and had ready for use when he was arrested. It was a box containing
forty pounds of trinitrotoluol, to be fastened to the rudder
post of a vessel, and so geared to the rudder itself that its
oscillations would slowly release the catch of a spring, which
would then drive home the firing pin and cause an explosion that
would instantly tear off the whole stern of the ship, sinking it
in mid-ocean in a few minutes. Experts in mechanics and experts in
explosives and experts in shipbuilding all tested the machine, and
all agreed that it was perfect for the work which Fay had planned
that it should do.

Fay had three of these machines completed, he had others in course
of construction, he had bought and tested the explosive to go into
them, he had cruised New York harbour in a motor boat and proved by
experience that he could attach them undetected where he wished,
and he had the names and sailing dates of the vessels that he meant
to sink without a trace. Only one little link that broke--and the
quick and thorough work of American justice--robbed him of another
Iron Cross besides the one he wore. That link--but that comes later
in the story.

Fay and his device came straight from the heart of the German Army,
with the approval and the money of his government behind him. He,
like Werner Horn, came originally from Cologne; but they were very
different men. Where Horn was almost childishly simple, Fay’s mind
was subtle and quick to an extraordinary degree. Where Horn had
been humane to the point of risking his life to save others, Fay
had spent months in a cold-blooded solution of a complex problem
in destruction that he knew certainly involved a horrible death
for dozens, and more likely hundreds, of helpless human beings.
Horn refused to swear to a lie even where the lie was a matter of
no great moment. Fay told at his trial a story so ingenious that
it would have done credit to a novelist and would have been wholly
convincing if other evidence had not disproved the substance of it.
The truth of the case runs like this:

Fay was in Germany when the war broke out and was sent to the
Vosges Mountains in the early days of the conflict. Soon men were
needed in the Champagne sector, and Fay was transferred to that
front. Here he saw some of the bitterest fighting of the war, and
here he led a detachment of Germans in a surprise attack on a
trench full of Frenchmen in superior force. His success in this
dangerous business won him an Iron Cross of the second class.
During these days the superiority of the Allied artillery over the
German caused the Germans great distress, and they became very
bitter when they realized, from a study of the shells that exploded
around them, how much of this superiority was due to the material
that came from the United States for use by the French and British
guns. Fay’s ingenious mind formed a scheme to stop this supply,
and he put his plan before his superior officers. The result was
that, in a few weeks, he left the army and left Germany, armed with
passports and $3,500 in American money, bound for the United States
on the steamer _Rotterdam_. He reached New York on April 23, 1915.

One of Fay’s qualifications for the task he had set for himself
was his familiarity with the English language and with the United
States. He had come to America in 1902, spending a few months on a
farm in Manitoba and then going on to Chicago, where he had worked
for several years for the J. I. Case Machinery Company, makers
of agricultural implements. During these years, Fay was taking
an extended correspondence school course in electrical and steam
engineering, so that altogether he had good technical background
for the events of 1915. In 1906, he went back to Germany.

What he may have lacked in technical equipment, Fay made up by the
first connection he made when he reached New York in 1915. The
first man he looked up was Walter Scholz, his brother-in-law,
who had been in this country for four years and who was a civil
engineer who had worked here chiefly as a draftsman--part of the
time for the Lackawanna Railroad--and who had studied mechanical
engineering on the side. When Fay arrived, Scholz had been out of a
job in his own profession and was working on a rich man’s estate in
Connecticut. Fay, armed with plenty of money and his big idea, got
Scholz to go into the scheme with him, and the two were soon living
together in a boarding house at 28 Fourth Street, Weehawken, across
the river from uptown New York.

To conceal the true nature of their operations they hired a small
building on Main Street and put a sign over the door announcing
themselves in business as “The Riverside Garage.” They added
verisimilitude to this scheme by buying a second-hand car in bad
condition and dismantling it, scattering the parts around the room
so that it would look as if they were engaged in making repairs.
Every once in a while they would shift these parts about so as to
alter the appearance of the place. However, they did not accept
any business--whenever a man took the sign at its face value and
came in asking to have work done, Fay or Scholz would take him to
a near-by saloon and buy him a few drinks and pass him along,
referring him to some other garage.

The most of their time they spent about the real business in hand.
They took care to have the windows of their room in the boarding
house heavily curtained to keep out prying eyes, and here, under
a student lamp, they spent hours over mechanical drawings which
were afterward produced in evidence at the trial of their case.
The mechanism that Fay had conceived was carefully perfected on
paper, and then they confronted the task of getting the machinery
assembled. Some of the parts were standard--that is, they could be
bought at any big hardware store. Others, however, were peculiar to
this device and had to be made to order from the drawings. They had
the tanks made by a sheet-metal worker named Ignatz Schiering, at
344 West 42nd Street, New York. Scholz went to him with a drawing,
telling him that it was for a gasolene tank for a motor boat.
Scholz made several trips to the shop to supervise some of the
details of the construction and once to order more tanks of a new
size and shape.

At the same time Scholz went to Bernard McMillan, doing business
under the name of McMillan & Werner, 81 Centre Street, New York, to
have him make special kinds of wheels and gears for the internal
mechanism of the bomb, from sketches which Scholz supplied. At odd
times between June 10th and October 20th McMillan was working on
these things and delivered the last of them to Scholz just a few
days before he was arrested.

In the meanwhile, Fay was taking care of the other necessary
elements of his scheme. Besides the mechanism of the bomb, he had
to become familiar with the shipping in the port of New York, and
he had to get the explosive with which to charge the bomb. For the
former purpose he and Scholz bought a motor boat--a 28-footer--and
in this they cruised about New York harbour at odd times, studying
the docks at which ships were being loaded with supplies for the
Allies and calculating the best means and time for placing the
bombs on the rudder posts of these ships. Fay finally determined by
experience that between two and three o’clock in the morning was
the best time. The watchmen on board the ships were at that hour
most likely to be asleep or the night dark enough so that he could
work in safety. He made some actual experiments in fastening the
empty tanks to the rudder posts, and found that it was perfectly
easy to do so. His scheme was to fasten them just above the water
line on a ship while it was light, so that when it was loaded they
were submerged and all possibility of detection was removed.

The getting of explosives was, however, the most difficult part of
Fay’s undertaking. This was true not only because he was here most
likely to arouse suspicion, but also because of his relative lack
of knowledge of the thing he was dealing with. He did know enough,
however, to begin his search for explosives in the least suspicious
field, and it was only as he became ambitious to produce a more
powerful effect that he came to grief.

The material he decided to use at first was chlorate of potash.
This substance in itself is so harmless that it is an ingredient
of tooth powders and is used commonly in other ways. When,
however, it is mixed with any substance high in carbons, such as
sugar, sulphur, charcoal, or kerosene, it becomes an explosive of
considerable power. Fay set about to get some of the chlorate.

But it is now time to get acquainted with Fay’s fellow
conspirators, and to follow them through the drama of human
relationships that led to Fay’s undoing. All these men were
Germans--some of them German-Americans--and each in his own way
was doing the work of the Kaiser in this country. Herbert Kienzle
was a dealer in clocks with a store on Park Place, in New York. He
had learned the business in his father’s clock factory deep in the
Black Forest in Germany and had come to this country years ago to
go into the same business, getting his start by acting as agent
for his father’s factory over here. After the war broke out he had
become obsessed with the wild tales which German propaganda had
spread in this country about dum-dum bullets being shipped back for
use against the soldiers of the Fatherland. He had brooded on the
subject, had written very feelingly about it to the folks at home,
and had prepared for distribution in the United States a pamphlet
denouncing this traffic. Fay had heard of Kienzle before leaving
Germany, and soon after he reached New York he got in touch with
him as a man with a fellow feeling for the kind of work he was
undertaking to do.

One of the first things in Fay’s carefully worked-out plan was
to locate a place to which he could quietly retire when his work
of destruction should be done--a place where he felt he could be
safe from suspicion. After a talk with Kienzle he decided that
Lush’s Sanatorium, at Butler, N. J., would serve the purpose. This
sanatorium was run by Germans and Kienzle was well known there.
Acting on a prearranged plan with Kienzle, Fay went to Butler and
was met at the station by a man named Bronkhorst, who was in charge
of the grounds at the sanatorium. They identified each other by
prearranged signals and Fay made various arrangements, some of
which are of importance later in the story.

Another friend of Kienzle’s was Max Brietung, a young German
employed by his uncle, E. N. Brietung, who was in the shipping
business in New York. Young Brietung was consequently in a position
to know at first hand about the movements of ships out of New York
harbour. Brietung supplied Fay with the information he needed
regarding which ships Fay should elect to destroy. But first
Brietung made himself useful in another way.

Fay asked Kienzle how he could get some chlorate of potash, and
Kienzle asked his young friend Brietung if he could help him out.
Brietung said he could, and went at once to another German who was
operating in New York ostensibly as a broker in copper under the
name of Carl L. Oppegaard.

It is just as well to get better acquainted with Oppegaard because
he was a vital link in Fay’s undoing. His real name was Paul Siebs
and for the purpose of this story he might as well be known by
that name. Siebs had also been in this country in earlier days
and during his residence in Chicago, from 1910 to 1913, he had
gotten acquainted with young Brietung. He, too, had gone back to
Germany before the war, but soon after it began he had come back
to the United States under his false name, ostensibly as an agent
of an electrical concern in Gothenburg, Sweden, for the purpose
of buying copper. He frankly admitted later that this copper was
intended for re-export to Germany to be used in the manufacture of
munitions of war. He did not have much success in his enterprise
and he was finally forced to make a living from hand to mouth by
small business transactions of almost any kind. He could not afford
a separate office, so he rented desk room in the office of the
Whitehall Trading Company, a small subsidiary of the Raymond-Hadley
Corporation. His desk was in the same room with the manager of the
company, Carl L. Wettig.

When Brietung asked Siebs to buy him some chlorate of potash Siebs
was delighted at the opportunity to make some money and immediately
undertook the commission. He had been instructed to get a small
amount, perhaps 200 pounds. He needed money so badly, however, that
he was very glad to find that the smallest kegs of the chlorate
of potash were 112 pounds each, and he ordered three kegs. He paid
for them with money supplied by Brietung and took a delivery slip.
Ultimately this delivery slip was presented by Scholz who appeared
one day with a truck and driver and took the chemical away.

Fay and Scholz made some experiments with the chlorate of potash
and Fay decided it was not strong enough to serve his purpose. He
then determined to try dynamite. Again he wished to avoid suspicion
and this time, after consultation with Kienzle, he recalled
Bronkhorst down at the Lush Sanatorium in New Jersey. Bronkhorst,
in his work as superintendent of the grounds at the sanatorium, was
occasionally engaged in laying water mains in the rocky soil there,
and for this purpose kept dynamite on hand. Fay got a quantity of
dynamite from him. Later, however, he decided that he wanted a
still more powerful explosive.

Again he applied to Kienzle, and this time Kienzle got in touch
with Siebs direct. By prearrangement, Kienzle and Siebs met Fay
underneath the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge, and there
Siebs was introduced to Fay. They walked around City Hall Park
together discussing the subject; and Fay, not knowing the name of
what he was after, tried to make Siebs understand what explosive he
wanted by describing its properties. Siebs finally realized that
what Fay had in mind was trinitrotoluol, one of the three highest
explosives known. Siebs finally undertook to get some of it for
him, but pointed out to him the obvious difficulties of buying it
in as small quantities as he wanted. It was easy enough to buy
chlorate of potash because that was in common commercial use for
many purposes. It was also easy to buy dynamite because that also
is used in all quantities and for many purposes. But trinitrotoluol
is too powerful for any but military use, and it is consequently
handled only in large lots and practically invariably is made
to the order of some government. However, Siebs had an idea and
proceeded to act on it.

He went back to the Whitehall Trading Company, where he had desk
room, and saw his fellow occupant, Carl Wettig. Wettig had been
engaged in a small way in a brokerage business in war supplies, and
had even taken a few small turns in the handling of explosives.
Siebs had overheard him discussing with a customer the market price
of trinitrotoluol some weeks before, and on this account thought
possibly Wettig might help him out. When he put the proposition up
to Wettig the latter agreed to do what he could to fill the order.

In the meanwhile Fay had sent another friend of Brietung’s to
Bridgeport to see if he could get trinitrotoluol in that great city
of munitions. There he called upon another German who was running
an employment agency--finding jobs for Austro-Hungarians who were
working in the munitions plants, so that he could take them out of
the plants and divert their labour from the making of war supplies
for use against the Teutons. The only result of this visit was that
Brietung’s friend brought back some loaded rifle cartridges which
ultimately were used in the bombs as caps to fire the charge. But
otherwise his trip was of no use to Fay.

Carl Wettig was the weak link in Fay’s chain of fortune. He did
indeed secure the high explosive that Fay wanted, and was in
other ways obliging. But he got the explosive from a source that
would have given Fay heart failure if he had known of it, and he
was obliging for reasons that Fay lived to regret. Siebs made
his inquiry of Wettig on the 19th of October. The small quantity
of explosives that he asked for aroused Wettig’s suspicions and
as soon as he promised to get it he went to the French Chamber
of Commerce, near by, told them what he suspected, and asked to
be put in touch with responsible police authorities under whose
direction he wished to act in supplying the trinitrotoluol.

From that moment Fay, Siebs, and Kienzle were “waked up in the
morning and put to bed at night” by detectives from the police
department of New York City and operatives of the Secret Service
of the United States. By arrangement with them Wettig obtained a
keg containing 25 pounds of trinitrotoluol, and in the absence of
Fay and Scholz from their boarding house in Weehawken, he delivered
it personally to their room and left it on their dresser. He told
Siebs he had delivered it and Siebs promptly set about collecting
his commission from Fay.

Siebs had some difficulty in doing this, because Fay and Scholz,
being unfamiliar with the use of the explosive, were unable to
explode a sample of it and decided that it was no good. They had
come home in the evening and found the keg on their dresser and had
opened it. Inside they found the explosive in the form of loose
white flakes. To keep it more safely, they poured it out into
several small cloth bags. They then took a sample of it and tried
by every means they could think of to explode it. They even laid
some of it on an anvil and broke two or three hammers pounding on
it, but could get no result. They then told Siebs that the stuff
he had delivered was useless. Wettig volunteered to show them how
it should be handled. Accordingly, he joined them the following
day at their room in Weehawken and went with them out into the
woods behind Fort Lee, taking along a small sample of the powder
in a paper bag. In the woods the men picked up the top of a small
tin can, built a fire in the stump of a tree, and melted some of
the flake “T. N. T.” in it. Before it cooled, Wettig embedded in
it a mercury cap. When cooled after being melted, T. N. T. forms a
solid mass resembling resin in appearance, and is now more powerful
because more compact.

However, before the experiment could be concluded, one of the swarm
of detectives who had followed them into the woods stepped on a dry
twig, and when the men started at its crackling, the detectives
concluded they had better make their arrests before the men might
get away; and so all were taken into custody. A quick search of
their boarding house, the garage, a storage warehouse in which Fay
had stored some trunks, and the boathouse where the motor boat was
stored, resulted in rounding up the entire paraphernalia that had
been used in working out the whole plot. All the people connected
with every phase of it were soon arrested.

Out of the stories these men told upon examination emerged not
only the hideous perfection of the bomb itself, but the direct
hand that the German Government and its agents in this country had
in the scheme of putting it to its fiendish purpose. First of all
appeared Fay’s admission that he had left Germany with money and
a passport supplied by a man in the German Secret Service. Later,
on the witness stand, when Fay had had time enough carefully to
think out the most plausible story, he attempted to get away from
this admission by claiming to have deserted from the German Army.
He said that he had been financed in his exit from the German
Empire by a group of business men who had put up a lot of money to
back an automobile invention of his, which he had worked on before
the war began. These men, so he claimed, were afraid they would
lose all their money if he should happen to be killed before the
invention was perfected. This tale, ingenious though it was, was
too fantastic to be swallowed when taken in connection with all
the things found in Fay’s possession when he was arrested. Beyond
all doubt his scheme to destroy ships was studied and approved by
his military superiors in Germany before he left, and that scheme
alone was his errand to this country.

Far less ingenious but equally damning was his attempt to explain
away his relations with Von Papen. The sinister figure of the
military attaché of the German Embassy at Washington leers from the
background of all the German plots; and this case was no exception.
It was known that Fay had had dealings with Von Papen in New York,
and on the witness stand he felt called upon to explain them in a
way that would clear the diplomatic service of participation in his
evil doings. He declared that he had taken his invention to Von
Papen and that Von Papen had resolutely refused to have anything to
do with it. This would have been well enough if Fay’s explanation
had stopped here.

But Fay’s evil genius prompted him to make his explanation more
convincing by an elaboration of the story, so he gave Von Papen’s
reasons for refusal. These were not at all that the device was
calculated to do murder upon hundreds of helpless men, nor at all
that to have any part in the business was to play the unneutral
villain under the cloak of diplomatic privilege. Not at all. At the
first interview, seeing only a rough sketch and hearing only Fay’s
description of preliminary experiments, Von Papen’s sole objection

“Well, you might obtain an explosion once and the next ten
apparatuses might fail.”

To continue Fay’s explanation:

“He casually asked me what the cost of it would be and I told him
in my estimation the cost would not be more than $20 apiece. [$20
apiece for the destruction of thirty lives and a million-dollar
ship and cargo!] As a matter of fact, in Germany I will be able to
get these things made for half that price. ‘If it is not more than
that,’ Von Papen said, ‘you might go ahead, but I cannot promise
you anything whatever.’”

Fay then went back to his experiments and when he felt that he had
practically perfected his device he called upon Von Papen for the
second time. This time Von Papen’s reply was:

“Well, this thing has been placed before our experts and also we
have gone into the political condition of the whole suggestion. Now
in the first place our experts say this apparatus is not at all
seaworthy; but as regards political conditions I am sorry to say
we cannot consider it and, therefore, we cannot consider the whole

In other words, with no thought of the moral turpitude of the
scheme, with no thought of the abuse of diplomatic freedom, but
only with thoughts of the practicability of this device and of the
effect upon political conditions of its use, Von Papen had put the
question before technical men and before Von Bernstorff, and their
decision had been adverse solely on those considerations--first,
that it would not work, and second, that it would arouse hostility
in the United States. At no stage, according to Fay’s best face
upon the matter, was any thought given to its character as a
hideous crime.

The device itself was studied independently by two sets of military
experts of the United States Government with these results:

First, that it was mechanically perfect; second, that it was
practical under the conditions of adjustment to a ship’s
rudder which Fay had devised; and third, that the charge of
trinitrotoluol, for which the container was designed, was nearly
half the quantity which is used on our own floating mines and which
is calculated upon explosion twenty feet from a battleship to put
it out of action, and upon explosion in direct contact, absolutely
to destroy and sink the heaviest superdreadnaught. In other words,
beyond all question the bomb would have shattered the entire stern
of any ship to which it was attached, and would have caused it to
sink in a few minutes.

A brief description of the contrivance reveals the mechanical
ingenuity and practical efficiency of Fay’s bomb. A rod attached
to the rudder, at every swing the rudder gave, turned up, by one
notch, the first of the bevelled wheels within the bomb. After a
certain number of revolutions of that wheel, it in turn gave one
revolution to the next; and so on through the series. The last
wheel was connected with the threaded cap around the upper end of
the square bolt, and made this cap slowly unscrew, until at length
the bolt dropped clear of it and yielded to the waiting pressure
of the strong steel spring above. This pressure drove it downward
and brought the sharp points at its lower end down on the caps of
the two rifle cartridges fixed below it--like the blow of a rifle’s
hammer. The detonation from the explosion of these cartridges would
set off a small charge of impregnated chlorate of potash, which in
turn would fire the small charge of the more sluggish but stronger
dynamite, and that in turn would explode the still more sluggish
but tremendously more powerful trinitrotoluol.

The whole operation, once the spring was free, would take place in
a flash; and instantly its deadly work would be accomplished.

Picture the scene that Fay had in his mind as he toiled his six
laborious months upon this dark invention. He saw himself, in
imagination, fixing his infernal box upon the rudder post of a ship
loading at a dock in New York harbour. As the cargo weighed the
ship down, the box would disappear beneath the water. At length
the ship starts on its voyage, and, as the rudder swings her into
the stream, the first beat in the slow, sure knell of death for
ship and crew is clicked out by its very turning. Out upon the sea
the shift of wind and blow of wave require a constant correction
with the rudder to hold the true course forward. At every swing
the helmsman unconsciously taps out another of the lurking beats
of death. Somewhere in mid-ocean, perhaps at black midnight, in a
driving storm, the patient mechanism hid below has turned the last
of its calculated revolutions. The neckpiece from the bolt slips
loose, the spring drives downward, there is a flash, a deafening
explosion, and five minutes later a few mangled bodies and a chaos
of floating wreckage are all that is left above the water’s surface.

This is the hideous dream Fay dreamed in the methodical 180 days
of his planning and experimenting in New York. This is the dream
to realize which he was able to enlist the coöperation of half a
dozen other Germans. This is the dream his superiors in Germany
viewed with favour, and financed. This is the dream the sinister
Von Papen encouraged and which he finally dismissed only because
he believed it too good to be true. This is the dream Fay himself
on the witness stand said he had thought of as “a good joke on the

In this picture of infernal imaginings the true character of German
plottings in this country stands revealed. Ingenuity of conception
characterized them, method and patience and painstaking made them
perfect. Flawless logic, flawless mechanism. But on the human
side, only the blackest passions and an utter disregard of human
life; no thought of honour, no trace of human pity. It happened in
the case of Fay that the agent himself was ruthless and deserved
far more than what the limit of existing law was able to give him
when he was convicted of his crimes. But through all the plots Von
Papen, Von Bernstorff, and the Imperial German Government in Berlin
were consistent. Their hand was at the helm of all, and the same
ruthless grasping after domination of the world at any price led to
the same barbarous code of conduct in them all.



Out of the black picture of the German depravity in fighting this
war have emerged four or five dramatic episodes that have stirred
the imagination of the world and appealed to the romantic and
chivalric instincts even of Germany’s enemies. The cruise of the
_Emden_ will always remain one of the glorious traditions of the
sea. The knightly spirit of those German aviators who flew low
over the bier of their fallen foe of the French cavalry of the
clouds, and strewed flowers upon it, was in the spirit of the best
that war produces. America was the scene of two such episodes. The
first unexpected appearance of the _U-53_ upon our shores, rising
unheralded from the unsuspected waters, thrilled the sporting
instinct of our people. But perhaps the most dramatic incident was
the arrival of the _Prinz Eitel Friedrich_.

During the night of March 9-10, 1915, this gallant cruiser of the
Kaiserliche Marine, slipped into the harbour at Norfolk, having
run the British blockade of cruisers outside the three-mile limit,
ending a career of six months as a commerce raider, recalling the
feats of the _Alabama_ in the Civil War. The _Eitel Friedrich_ was
soon interned for the period of the war and her officers and crew
put under formal arrest. Even the British, whose fleet had been
outwitted, gave their tribute of praise to the men who had taken
their fair chance and had got away. Captain Max Thierichens and his
crew became objects of admiration to the world. They were showered
with felicitations, most of all, as was natural enough, from
Germans and German-Americans.

That is the bright side of the picture--and no one, even now, would
care to dim its lustre.

But even at his best the German of the ruling class seems tainted
with the ineradicable nature of the beast. The world has long
accepted the Latin affinity of Mars and Venus--perhaps too
complacently, though not without reason--so it would not have been
surprised if the gallant Thierichens had not measured up to the
standards of a Galahad. Nevertheless, it had a right to expect that
he would not descend to the level of a Caliban; and Thierichens
fell below even that low standard.

Among the great quantities of letters of congratulation which
Captain Thierichens received were many from German-American women.
They were stirred by the brilliancy of his exploit: it was a
ray of light in the gloom that had fallen on the Teuton peoples
after the Battle of the Marne, when the rosy vision of quick
victory had turned to the gray fog of a long, defensive war. These
letters breathed the passionate loyalty of the German spirit to
the Fatherland. To these women, Thierichens was the embodiment of
the martial spirit of their race--the spirit of the sons they saw
themselves in imagination sending forth to war. Some phrases from
their letters strike the key:

  It is a pleasure for us to help our German brothers, but I also
  understand that you, my dear brother, are waiting to come out
  from your predicament. How grand it is that you are receiving
  letters from the Fatherland. We don’t hear anything. Can’t write
  anything, as the letters are not being delivered. So far good
  news. It is wonderful. My heart is jumping with joy. I look with
  confidence in the future. I have to please so many; have so many
  times to defend my Germany, but I have an unlimited confidence in
  God and in the truth.

  Again: Hold your head high and do not forget: “starlight itself
  is in the night and God does not forsake his own.”

Their attitude was one of high patriotism and maternal solicitude.
They sent him books and delicacies, scraps of news from Germany,
and in every way sought to comfort and inspirit their hero.

Thierichens was indifferent to the lofty purpose of these letters.
His mind was depraved by the social custom of military Germany by
which men of the officer class are in youth taught to consider
themselves above the moral law. He was quite aware of the kinship
of all emotions, and he promptly undertook to change the direction
of these currents of passion into a channel more pleasing to his
tastes. It was not long until he had narrowed his correspondence
chiefly to three women and of these more particularly to two. Of
these latter one was a German servant girl of rather better than
average understanding, and the other a kindergarten teacher in the
Middle West, one twenty-five and the other forty-five years of age.
Their correspondence in both cases started on an exalted plane.
It ended in depravity unprintable. Only a reading of the complete
series of Thierichens’s letters to these women could give a full
understanding of the heartlessness, the baseness, and the ingenuity
with which this man, always playing upon their patriotic fervour,
transmuted their finer feelings into the most degrading travesty
of romantic love. He and the kindergarten teacher never met. But by
the time their correspondence came under Government censorship it
had become a blend of exalted patriotism and of passion perverted
to the obscenities pictured on the walls of ruined Pompeii.

Terrible as was the plight to which the teacher had descended,
the case in which the German servant found herself was infinitely
worse. Thierichens and she had met after their first interchange
of letters and they had entered on a liaison of a character that
became so base it cannot even be suggested.

All this while Thierichens was in correspondence with at least
eight other misguided women. Fortunately for them the strong hand
of the law intervened and Thierichens to-day is safely behind
prison bars for his crimes. In the midst of this promiscuous
correspondence he was receiving letters of affection and devotion
from his wife and children, two of which may well be reproduced to
make clearer the depth to which he fell. One is from his little
daughter Christel, the other from his wife. They are as follows:

  Kiel, November 26, 1916.


  My darling, to-day the day of my 6th birthday, I will thank you
  all alone for the pretty things, lovely kisses for same. I hope
  my next birthday you will be with us again. I am praying every
  evening and morning to the dear God that he will protect my dear
  father, and that the war will soon be ended, and you come again
  to the dear Fatherland.

  Many hundred thousand kisses sent you,

  Your thankful daughter,

  Kiel, Germany, 23rd March, 1917.


  I want to chat with you again a little to-day; had very little
  time yesterday; did some shopping morning, and some stocking
  mending in the afternoon; some linen work in the evening; went
  early to bed; had love pains; had a little cold. This morning I
  went with Christel to Karestadt, bought some stockings, a school
  hat and gloves for her; also a leather hat for Elly; very neat.
  I am dressing Elly still like a child; she also is still wearing
  her hair down her back; she is any way a child yet. To-morrow I
  will get some bones from the war kitchen for Fritz, and then I
  shall ride together with the children to Aunt Niemann. To-day
  is a sunny day, but still a little cold. And now I shall answer
  No. 50. From Christmas Eve, 24-12-16. No, darling, we want to
  hope that we shall enjoy the 6th Christmas evening together;
  a description of our Christmas evening you probably received.
  You darling, you’re writing so as if we were hungry, no, my
  darling, we have not had any hunger here in Germany yet. We are
  having our butter, eggs, meat, bread, and potatoes every day;
  only not so much of it as in times of peace. Well, of course,
  then everything was extravagantly used. So now everybody has to
  learn to be economical which is a good lesson for days to
  come, so please don’t listen to the talk of our enemies,--we
  are all right; nobody will conquer us; God, the Lord, won’t
  leave us alone,--we are all brave. What did Russia gain by the
  revolution? Something of that kind is impossible in Germany. The
  responsibility for same rests with England again. We shall wait
  to see how everything turns out. England will be punished surely.
  Now, my darling, enough for to-day. Please remain healthy, and
  retain your humor. Be thankful and bravely greeted from your
  three sprouts and THIERE.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN THIERICHENS (top)

And scenes on the _Eitel Friedrich_, which escaped from Tsing-tau
and interned at Norfolk]

To make complete the picture of this hero of the Prussian officer
class, it may be well to quote also the round robin of the crew of
the _Prinz Eitel Friedrich_. To them even the air of an American
internment camp was the breath of freedom compared to their service
on a ship of his Imperial Majesty’s Marine. Here is their opinion
of life in it and of their gallant captain:

  Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.,
  July 8.

  Philadelphia, Pa.


  We of the crew of the _Prince Eitel Friedrich_, beg to inform
  you about the conditions as there had been existing on board
  said vessel, and of the character of Captain Max Thierichens.
  He is one of the most cruel and dishonest men who ever had
  been in charge of a vessel. He is a disgrace to any military
  organization, and we feel ashamed that he brought disgrace
  to our vessel. He is one of the worst egoists in existence,
  without any feeling for his fellowmen. He is guilty of using the
  United States mails for fraudulent purposes, advertising in the
  papers that he would receive _liebesgaben_ (love packages) for
  the soldiers in order to benefit himself, and later selling the
  same in the cantine after an inspection and rifling; he kept
  everything of value. He has received 1,000 of packages and money
  from very near every German society and countless private people,
  but his men never saw a penny of the same. The money he has spent
  for himself and some of his officers in his orgies.

  As we had been out on the high seas, he only had an eye for
  his personal welfare. If we met a vessel, after stopping the
  same, the first thing he always did was to secure as much wine
  and other good things for himself, and officers, so that they
  always had plenty. He would not allow his sailors to bring enough
  potatoes and common food on board to satisfy their hunger.
  There had been cases where men had been severe punished just
  for taking a piece of meat from the table of one of the sunken
  vessels. The men did not even have drinking water but he and his
  officers used the same for bathing. He had been afraid that the
  U. S. Government would find out about his various misdeeds, so
  in order to make the Government think that he was all he should
  have represented he pulled off the biggest bluff ever thought of.
  He told ten men that they could run off, supplied the same with
  money, and after a few moments sent some other boys over the side
  to make as much noise as possible to call the attention of the
  guards. He had his men maltreated wherever there was a chance
  to do so. He even did this after we had been brought to Fort
  Oglethorpe. We have to thank the U. S. Officers for putting a
  stop to it. The captain had been mad that he lost the power over
  the men. He swore he would bring the men to a military prison
  for years to come, simply because they refused to be treated like
  dogs after being informed by the U. S. Officers that they don’t
  have to stand for anything like that. If it was not for the iron
  discipline maintained by the Germans, there would have been a
  mutiny on board the ship. Even a common man hates to see good
  supplies going to waste just because the captain could not get
  quick enough to his wine, and the men feed on hardtack that was
  full of worms. Some of the men are willing to appear in court
  against the captain to bear out because they are not protected
  by the U. S. Government, and may have to face a court martial
  law if they are returned to Germany. We do hope that there will
  be an investigation of the evil doings of said Captain. If found
  guilty, we do hope that he may find out what it does mean to do
  wrong to his fellowmen.



The case of James J. F. Archibald, war correspondent, is another
sample of the Germans’ fatal gift for trusting a weak link in an
otherwise ingenious and complete chain. Their “cleverness” was the
cleverness of the cocky boy who thinks he can outwit any one. The
sad ending of Archibald’s career, the ignominious exposure of his
character as a messenger for the Germans, was simplicity itself.
And the revelations contained in the messages he carried were most
discreditable to the honour and the wisdom of the plotters in the
Teutonic embassies.

The story begins on July 29, 1914, six days after Austria’s
ultimatum to Serbia and three days before the formal historical
date of the opening of the war. On that day an enterprising
American newspaper syndicate telegraphed Mr. Archibald as follows:

  Please telegraph us your terms for going to the European war, so
  that we can size up the syndicate field. As soon as received will
  try for quick action.

Archibald soon had his arrangements made, though his employers
were ignorant of the reason for the surprising ease with which he
obtained the highest possible _entrée_ to the best possible points
of observation within the German lines. It should be said at once
that their attitude was perfectly correct and that the moment they
discovered the true nature of his errand they discharged him by
cable, on October 27th. But that comes later in the story.

Archibald was a man of true grandiose German style. Writing to the
syndicate on September 4th he said:

  You should not confound my efforts with more than five hundred
  correspondents of every description who have attempted to get to
  the English, French, and Belgian fronts, none of them with any
  official recognition and most of them without even a passport.
  At the hysterical beginning of the war, correspondents are very
  much in the way but every cartoonist, humorist, and amateur
  millionaire who wanted a little private excitement rushed to
  the front and embarrassed the armies in their mobilization and
  naturally they were not gladly received. I have been working
  quietly, just as I did in the Russian War when I was the first,
  and only, foreign correspondent to be accepted after four months’

  There is no necessity of coming into conflict with any censors
  if one knows military censorship as I do, for all they require
  is that you will not embarrass their present actual movements.
  There is not one single foreign correspondent with either the
  German or Austrian armies, and it will be a great achievement to
  get dispatches out from there and I am positive, with the papers
  that I now hold, that there will be no difficulty whatever. The
  difficulty is merely in establishing one’s responsibility with
  these armies, and my residence in Washington for the last ten
  years has been for that purpose alone.


This letter, signed by Haniel, the Councillor of the German Embassy
in Washington, clears up the mystery of the advertisement printed
in leading newspapers in all parts of the country on May 1, 1915,
five days before the _Lusitania_ was sunk.]

[Illustration: The date on Haniel’s letter and the repetition of
it on the copy of the advertisement as supplied by him, clears
up the hitherto unexplained discrepancy between the date on the
advertisement and the date of its publication.]

Archibald was soon in Germany and began sending back cable
dispatches to a syndicate of papers, the principal ones of
which were the New York _Times_, _Tribune_, and _World_. His
dispatches, however, were so blatantly pro-German and had so
much more propaganda than news in them that these papers quickly
became dissatisfied. For example, the _Times_ cut out of one of
his dispatches a large section of fulsome eulogy of the German
Government. Imagine their astonishment the next morning to receive
a telephone call from Captain Boy-Ed, the Naval Attaché of the
German Embassy with offices in New York. Captain Boy-Ed demanded
the reason for the omission of these paragraphs. The _Times_
naturally demanded Captain Boy-Ed’s source of information that such
paragraphs existed. It soon developed that Boy-Ed was receiving
direct from Germany duplicates of all the material that Archibald
was cabling for publication. As soon as the American newspapers
understood this situation they declined to proceed further. In the
same spirit and simultaneously the Wheeler Syndicate “fired” Mr.
Archibald by cable and wrote him a stinging letter from which the
following two paragraphs may be quoted:

  Perhaps because of the nature of your stuff, at any rate, we have
  to face the veiled insinuation that you are in the pay of the
  German and Austrian Governments. In this connection, we have been
  told that the German and Austrian Ambassadors to this country
  have received in skeleton form the several wireless dispatches
  you sent to us addressed care the _Times_. We think you should
  know this, and also know that, with the nature of your dispatches
  such as they were, we dared not allow ourselves, by continuing
  the service, to be laid open to the charge that we were in the
  employ of the German and Austrian Governments. So we had to
  terminate the service.

  We have instructed the _Times_ not to accept any more wireless
  dispatches from you, and the wireless company has been notified
  that no dispatches will be accepted. We regret exceedingly the
  situation, but it is one that has arisen solely from the fact
  that you have sent over your personal pro-German opinions instead
  of the battlefront news you assured us that you would furnish us.

Nothing daunted by these rebuffs, Archibald continued his exploits
as “war correspondent,” interspersing his labours at the front with
voyages back to the United States, ostensibly to deliver lectures.
The true character of his movements stands revealed in a letter
Archibald received from Bernstorff, the German Ambassador, a few
days before he embarked on the voyage from New York which was to be
his last. This letter was written from Bernstorff’s summer home at
Cedarhurst, Long Island, on the 19th of August, 1915, and reads as


  I send you herewith the two letters of recommendation asked for
  and hope that they will be useful to you. I learn with pleasure
  that you wish once again to return to Germany and Austria _as
  you have interceded for our concerns here so courageously and

  With best compliments,

  Yours very sincerely,

One of these letters was as follows:

  The German Frontier Custom Authorities are requested to kindly
  give to the bearer of this letter, Mr James J. F. Archibald, from
  New York, who is going to Germany with photographic apparatus,
  etc., in order to collect material for lectures in the United
  States _in the interests of Germany_, all possible facilities
  compatible with regulations in the dispatching of his luggage.

  Imperial Ambassador

The familiar story of what happened next is that Archibald carried
some secret documents for Bernstorff and Dumba in a hollow cane.
This could scarcely be, for the documents he carried were so
numerous and some of them so bulky that the cane would need to
have been a giant’s walking stick. In any event, the documents
themselves are of more interest than their vehicle. They were taken
from Archibald by the British authorities at Falmouth. The series
can be best introduced by a letter from Ambassador Dumba to his
chief, Baron Burian, Minister for Foreign Affairs in Vienna, which


  Yesterday evening Consul General von Nuber received the inclosed
  _aide mémoire_ from the chief editor of the locally known
  paper, _Szabodsog_, after a previous conference with him and
  in pursuance of his proposals to arrange for strikes in the
  Bethlehem Schwab steel and munitions war factory, and also in the
  Middle West.

  Dr. Archibald, who is well known to your lordship, leaves to-day
  at 12 o’clock on board the _Rotterdam_, for Berlin and Vienna.
  I take this rare and safe opportunity to warmly recommend the
  proposal to your lordship’s favourable consideration.

  It is my impression that we can disorganize and hold up for
  months, if not entirely prevent, the manufacture of munitions
  in Bethlehem and the Middle West, which, in the opinion of
  the German military attaché, is of great importance and amply
  outweighs the expenditure of money involved.

  But even if strikes do not come off, it is probable that
  we should extort, under the pressure of the crisis, more
  favourable conditions of labour for our poor, down-trodden fellow
  countrymen. In Bethlehem these white slaves are now working
  for twelve hours a day and seven days a week. All weak persons
  succumb and become consumptives.

  So far as German workmen are found among the skilled hands, a
  means of leaving will be provided for them.

  Besides this a private German registry office has been
  established, which provided employment for persons who have
  voluntarily given up their places, and is already working well.
  They will also join, and the widest support is assured me.

  I beg your excellency to be so good as to inform me with
  reference to this letter by wireless telegraphy, replying whether
  you agree.


The consideration which “Doctor” Archibald received for his
complacency in giving his friends Dumba and Bernstorff “this rare
and safe opportunity” is indicated by his receipt of April 24,
1915, to the German Embassy in Washington for $5,000 for propaganda

Further light upon “the enclosed _aide mémoire_ ... in pursuance of
his proposals to arrange for strikes in the Bethlehem Schwab steel
and munitions war factory,” is gained by the following quotations
from the enclosure mentioned by Dumba in his letter to Burian.
The enclosure was an outline of a scheme for fomenting strikes,
submitted to Dumba by William Warm, the Editor of _Szabodsog_ [in
English, _Freedom_.]

  In my opinion we must start a very strong agitation on this
  question in the _Freedom_ (_Szabodsog_) a leading organ, with
  respect to the Bethlehem works and the conditions there. This
  can be done in two ways, and both must be utilized. In the first
  place, a regular daily section must be devoted to the conditions
  obtaining there and a campaign must be regularly conducted
  against those indescribably degrading conditions. The _Freedom_
  has already done something similar in the recent past, when the
  strike movement began at Bridgeport. It must naturally take the
  form of strong, deliberate, decided, and courageous action.
  Secondly, the writer of these lines would begin a labour novel in
  that newspaper much on the lines of Upton Sinclair’s celebrated
  story, and this might be published in other local Hungarian,
  Slovak, and German newspapers also. Here we arrive at the point
  that naturally we shall also require other newspapers. The
  American _Magyar Nepszava_ (Word of the People) will undoubtedly
  be compelled willingly or unwillingly to follow the movement
  initiated by the _Freedom_ (_Szabodsog_), for it will be pleasing
  to the entire Hungarian element in America, and an absolute
  patriotic act to which that open journal (the _Nepszava_) could
  not adopt a hostile attitude....

  In the interest of successful action at Bethlehem and the
  Middle West, besides the _Szabodsog_, the _Nepszava_, the new
  daily paper of Pittsburg must be set in motion, and those of
  Bridgeport, Youngtown District, etc., also two Slovak papers.
  Under these circumstances, the first necessity is money. To
  Bethlehem must be sent as many reliable Hungarian and German
  workmen as I can lay my hands on who will join the factories
  and begin their work in secret among their fellow workmen. For
  this purpose, I have my men Turners in Steelwork. We must send
  an organizer, who in the interests of the Union will begin the
  business in his own way. We must also send so-called “soap-box”
  orators who will know, and so to start a useful agitation. We
  shall want money for popular meetings and possibly for organizing
  picnics. In general, the same applies to the Middle West. I am
  thinking of Pittsburg and Cleveland in the first instance, as to
  which I could give details only if I were to return and spend at
  least a few days there.

  It is my opinion that for the special object of starting the
  Bethlehem business and for the Bethlehem and Western newspaper
  campaign, $15,000 to $20,000 must be able to be disposed of,
  but it is not possible to reckon how much will ultimately be
  required; when a beginning has been made it will be possible to
  see how things develop, and where and how much it is worth while
  to spend. The above-mentioned preliminary sum would suffice to
  partially satisfy the demands of the necessary newspapers and to
  a considerable extent those of the Bethlehem campaign.

These documents should be read in the light of their date, August
20, 1915, and of the fact that the United States was a neutral
nation, still harbouring the representatives of the “friendly”
German and Austro-Hungarian empires. They are conclusive enough,
in themselves, of the pernicious activities of these Embassies,
but they wall become doubly significant in a later article in
this series when they are read in the light of the activities of
“Labour’s National Peace Council.”

Another document which Dumba entrusted to Archibald was his report
to Burian on the then recent publication in the New York _World_ of
the papers taken from a satchel left in an elevated train by Dr.
Heinrich Albert, the financial adviser of the German Embassy in
America and the paymaster for a great deal of its work in plots and
propaganda. This dispatch of Dumba’s is worthy of reproduction in
full. It is:

  A map and a number of documents--typed but unfinished copies or
  statements of petitioners--were stolen from the financial adviser
  of the German Embassy here, obviously by the English Secret
  Service. These documents are now published in the current issue
  of the _World_, which has gone over to the English “Yingolager”
  (Jingo camp) as a great sensation, with cheap advertisement.
  The paper makes the most violent accusations against the German
  Embassy, mainly against Count Von Bernstorff, Military Attaché
  Captain Von Papen, and Geheimrat Albert, who are said to have
  conspired secretly against the safety of the United States, in
  that they have bought arms and munition factories, have concluded
  bogus contracts for delivery with France and Russia, have
  purchased large quantities of explosive materials, have incited
  strikes in the munition factories, have sought to corrupt the
  press, and have spread far-reaching agitation for the effecting
  of an embargo in the different American circles. The other
  important New York papers second the _World_, although with less
  violence, for, in their leading articles, by misrepresentation
  of the facts, they accuse Germany of all possible and impossible
  machinations--for instance, they, like the _World_, bring forward
  the assertion that the German Government wished to stop the
  supply of ammunition to the Allies, while itself secretly sending
  quantities over.

  Count Von Bernstorff took the view that these calumnies
  were beneath reply, and by a happy inspiration, refused any
  explanation. He is in no way compromised. On the contrary, it
  appears from the published correspondence of various press agents
  that he vetoed the purchase of a press agency.

  On the other hand, Geheimrat Albert published in the newspapers
  a very cleverly worded explanation, the tenor of which I venture
  to submit to Your Excellency in an enclosure. It is especially
  to the credit of the German Embassy that on July 15th last it
  informed the State Department officially that it found itself
  compelled to buy as many materials of war in this country as
  it possibly could, and to control their production, with the
  intention of preventing their being supplied to the enemy. These
  materials, it stated, were at any time at the disposal of the
  American Government at favourable prices, either as a whole or in
  parts, and of course this could only further the readiness of the
  United States for taking the field in war.

  Here the absurd accusations of the conspiracy collapse. Also,
  with regard to the accusations as to the incitement of strikes,
  there is no proof of the empty statements made. Nevertheless,
  everything German here is slandered and run down with emphasis
  and consistency. An impartial individual can hardly escape the
  feeling of appreciation with which the far-reaching activity
  of Geheimrat Albert must inspire him. But there are very few
  impartial persons in New York.

  The torpedoing of the _Arabic_, in the event of its having been
  done without warning, or its having caused American passengers to
  lose their lives, will do more than any newspaper accusations to
  prejudice Germany in the public opinion of the United States.

  The Imperial and Royal Ambassador,
  (Signed) C. DUMBA.

Archibald carried numerous other papers--for the Germans as well
as for the Austrians. The most interesting of these was a report
from Franz von Papen, military attaché of the German Embassy upon
the same _World_ exposure. The following are extracts from this

  Military Report

  The “Sensational Revelations” of the New York _World_

  On July 31 important papers were abstracted from Herr Geheimrat
  Dr. Albert in the elevated railway, apparently by an individual
  in the employ of the English Secret Service. These papers were
  sold to the _World_ and formed the basis of the revelations
  (Enclosure 1) which gave to the New York press, friendly to the
  Allies, a welcome opportunity to make a fresh outburst against
  the Imperial Government and the Imperial representatives in this

  Apart from political results the consequences of the publications
  for us show themselves in connection with business.

  _Bridgeport Projectile Co._

  The report of June 30 of the Treasurer of this Company which I
  forwarded to the Royal Ministry of War on July 13, J. No. 1888,
  was among the stolen papers.

  The declaration, published in the papers, of the President of the
  Ætna Explosive Co. that he intended to throw up powder contracts
  with the Bridgeport Projectile Co. is of course only newspaper
  gossip and was already much weakened yesterday through a fresh
  explanation by the firm (Enclosure V).

  In connection also with the delivery of presses, I do not believe
  that the manufacturers will place difficulties in our way because
  the careful drawing up of the contract excludes all attack on the
  Projectile Co. under the well-known Sherman Law, and the claim
  that the manufacturers had supposed the deliveries to be intended
  for the Allies--in other words, that the contracts had been
  obtained by us under false representations--offers a legal basis
  too weak to enable the persons who undertake delivery to risk the
  expense and results of a lawsuit.

  The only actual damage consists in that the Russian and English
  committee have at once broken off their negotiations with the
  Bridgeport Projectile Co. and that thus our plans to cut off,
  by the acceptance and nondelivery of a shrapnel contract, other
  firms here from the possibility of beginning the furnishing of
  war material have come to nothing.

  The purchase of phenol by Dr. Schweitzer of the Edison Co.,
  which has at the same time been disclosed, is disposed of by the
  explanation published to the effect that this phenol is only to
  be worked up into medicine.

  Most of all have our efforts for the purchase of liquid chlorine
  been interfered with, since the tying up through middlemen of the
  Castner Chemical Company, which is friendly to England, appears
  now to be out of the question.

  I shall use the means placed at my disposal (information of Herr
  Grothen) for the purpose of arriving at an agreement with the
  Electro Bleaching Company. The published negotiations for the
  acquisition of the Wright’s patent is without importance, since
  on our behalf a judicial decision against the Curtiss Company so
  far as one can see, would not have been obtained.

Part of the significance of Von Papen’s dispatch is his reference
to the Bridgeport Projectile Company. Other documents in the
possession of the United States Government demonstrate completely
the ownership of this corporation by the Teutonic Allies. Hans
Tauscher, the agent of Krupps and other German munition factories
in this country, was in the habit of reporting direct to the
War Ministry in Berlin as if he were its representative in this
country--as indeed he was though not ostensibly so. Among other
papers in the hands of the Government is a letter from the
President of the Bridgeport Projectile Company, informing him that
the company is being reorganized and that hereafter Mr. Tauscher
will hold as trustee _only 60 per cent._ of the capital stock.
Naturally Tauscher was not acting as trustee for anybody but his

Another document, of little importance, is a letter Von Papen
wrote to his wife and sent by Archibald. But two parts of it are
interesting. After speaking again of the _World_, exposure he, says:

  The answer of Albert I am sending you herewith so you can see how
  we defend ourselves. The document we drew up together yesterday.

But the bright spot for the Americans whose hospitality he was
abusing lies in this:

  How splendid in the East! I always say to these idiotic Yankees
  that they should shut their mouths and better still be full of
  admiration for all that heroism. My friends from the Army are in
  this respect quite different.

Papen’s “friends from the Army” have, with a good many of
“these idiotic Yankees,” organized an army and are looking for
Captain Franz again, this time over the top in France, with the
determination to settle the question with his government on the



One day in October, 1915, a good-looking young fellow wandered into
the office of the United States Attorney at Detroit and inquired
if the office was making any investigations into dynamite cases.
His inquiry was odd enough of itself, but coupled with his personal
appearance and his entirely unexpected arrival on the scene, it
was doubly mysterious. Lewis J. Smith, as his name turned out
to be, looked like a handsome, big, farmer’s boy who had come
to town and made a little money. He was well dressed in what he
considered the style, and in conversation developed a winning smile
and a very engaging and convincing personality. There was the
fresh wholesomeness of country breeding about him that comported
strangely with his guarded and mysterious talk of dynamite. The
United States Attorney thought he must be a “little off,” but
referred him to the local agent of the Department of Justice.

To this agent Smith told at first an incoherent story. But the
agent was tactful and sympathetic and by asking a question now
and then and even more by refraining from asking questions at
embarrassing moments, he drew out from Smith most of the details of
one of the most dangerous German plots, incidentally exposing the
organization of the German spy system west of the Mississippi River.

The story revealed by Smith and by the corroborative testimony
in the subsequent investigation was this: Consul-General Bopp
discovered that the California Powder Mills at Pinole, across the
bay from San Francisco, was manufacturing powder for the use of
the Russians on the Eastern Front in Europe, and that this powder
was being shipped from Tacoma and Seattle to Vladivostok. One
particularly large shipment was under way and he wanted to stop
it. He employed C. C. Crowley, who had been for many years head
detective for the Southern Pacific Railroad but lately discharged
for grafting, to undertake this job along with several others.
Crowley lived in the Hotel Gartland in San Francisco, and bought
his cigars at a little German stand across the street. Through this
German, who was also patronized by Smith, Crowley learned that
Smith had been employed recently in the California Powder Mills
but was out of a job. Crowley introduced himself to Smith and
first gave him the task of going back to the mill and finding out
exactly how the powder for Russia was being routed. He gave Smith
several hundred dollars, and the next day Smith’s former fellow
employees were astonished to see him ride up to the works in an
automobile, completely outfitted in new clothes and flourishing a
roll of bills big enough to make them gasp. Smith soon found how
the powder was packed and marked and also that it was being loaded
on a big scow and would be towed by sea to Tacoma for loading there
on ships for Vladivostok.

A few days later Crowley told Smith to go to Tacoma and register
at the Donnelly Hotel, and that he would join him there, going by
another train. There they would manufacture bombs of a type which
Smith had devised, and Smith was to place these bombs on the ships
that would carry the powder to Russia.

Smith took his wife to Tacoma. They registered at the Donnelly
Hotel, but as they soon discovered they would have to spend some
time in the city, they took an apartment. Smith and Crowley were
constantly meeting and between them surveyed all the shipping in
the harbour and found out when the boats would sail and what they
were carrying. The barge load of powder from California was towed
into the harbour while they were there, and anchored in midstream
to await the lightering of its cargo to the trans-Pacific ships.
These ships proved to be the _Kifuku Maru_ and the _Shinsei Maru_
(Japanese), the _Hazel Dollar_, an American boat flying the British
flag, and the _Talthybius_, a British ship. Smith undertook to
place bombs on all of them.

What Smith actually did was to visit small stores in Tacoma and
near Seattle and buy regular commercial 40 per cent. dynamite in
sticks, telling the storekeepers that he was clearing a farm and
wanted the dynamite for use in blowing up stumps. He loaded a lot
of it into an old suitcase and left Crowley one afternoon, telling
him he was going to place this on one of the ships that night.
Instead, he went out into the woods with it, cached it under a
log, the position of which he fixed in memory by a big stump and a
tree that had a big rock in its fork, then walked on down to the
railroad track, carrying his suitcase, and later threw the suitcase
away down an embankment. He reported to Crowley that he had not
been able to get anything on the _Kifuku Maru_, which was the first
to sail, but that he had “fixed” the _Hazel Dollar_, the _Shinsei
Maru_, and the _Talthybius_.


The explosion of the boilers of one of the neutral merchant
steamers sunk by the _Eitel Friedrich_]

Crowley, in the meantime, had been keeping in touch with the
Germans in San Francisco. It had been arranged that all dealings
with them were to be through Von Brincken. Crowley, on his part,
kept in touch with his secretary, Mrs. Cornell, she communicating
in person, or by telephone, with Von Brincken, and Von Brincken
reporting to Bopp and getting further orders.

A great deal of the story from this point on is A Tale Told in
Telegrams. The first of these telegrams, which figured in the
subsequent trial, was dated Tacoma, May 13, 1915. It was addressed
to Crowley who had not yet joined Smith. The message was:

  Fine weather Kaifuku Box 244 five days.

This message was, of course, from Smith and was in the crude code
that had been agreed upon. “Fine weather” meant that everything was
O. K. “Kaifuku” gave the name of the ship on which the powder would
probably be carried. “Box 244” was the post-office address through
which Smith could be reached, and “five days” was the probable
sailing date of the _Kifuku_.

It so happened, however, that a few hours after Smith had sent this
telegram Crowley arrived in Tacoma. Crowley was always full of
fear that he would be detected, and he was afraid of the message
that Smith had sent. He, therefore, immediately telegraphed to Mrs.
Cornell to go to the Gartland Hotel in San Francisco and get this
telegram, and telegraphed also to the hotel to give it to her when
she called.

Between one and two o’clock in the morning of Sunday, May 30th
(Decoration Day), everybody in Tacoma and Seattle was jarred from
his slumbers by a terrific explosion in the harbour. The scow load
of powder had disappeared in one grand flash, crash, and cloud of
smoke, carrying with it the night watchman who had been living on
it. One hundred thousand dollars’ worth of plate glass in Tacoma
and Seattle was destroyed and news of the explosion was telegraphed
to the papers all over the country. Crowley had got the main part
of his job done in one quick stroke.

Here was good news for the Germans. Crowley could not wait for the
mails to carry it, so the next day he sent the following telegram
to Mrs. Cornell:

  Work has been good. And all fixed. No connection with the big
  Circus it was an accident to the Elephant.

This cryptic message meant:

“Work has been good and all fixed,” that he and Smith had had
good luck in their plots against the ships and that bombs had been
placed on all of them. “No connection with the big Circus it was an
accident to the Elephant,” the “big Circus” was the four ships for
Vladivostok and the “Elephant” was the scow--in other words, the
explosion had not interfered with their work against the ships.

Before Crowley got his message off, however, Mrs. Crowley had
sent one to him. The Germans were in a panic. Von Brincken had
telephoned her that Bopp had word that Smith had been arrested and
had given the game away, so she telegraphed:

  Von learned your friend told all before leaving. Anxious. Answer.
      M. W. C.

To this Crowley replied:

  Show that telegram to him also say I do not credit report on S.
  he made good.

“That telegram” meant his message about the circus. To this Mrs.
Cornell replied:

  Don’t understand your message. Get letter Portland Post-office on
      M. W. C.

Crowley, she knew, was leaving immediately for San Francisco.

There were some grounds for the Germans apprehension. Smith was
arrested and charged with having caused the explosion on the scow.
But after a little manœuvring he managed to get free of the charge
and, with money wired to him at Tacoma by Crowley, went back to
San Francisco where Crowley paid him first $300 and then $600 in

The Germans, however, had been pretty well frightened and they
thought it was about time to get both Smith and Crowley away. Smith
and his wife were hustled off to Sacramento where they lived at a
hotel for a little while and then Mrs. Smith was sent on ahead to
New York, while Crowley and Smith arranged to meet in Chicago to
carry out a new plan that the Germans had devised.

This plot was to use Detroit as headquarters for operations in
Canada and there to blow up the stockyards at St. Thomas, Ontario,
and trains carrying horses for shipment to Europe. Crowley and
Smith got together in Chicago and visited the stockyards to spot
the shipments of horses toward the Atlantic seaboard. They learned
that a good many of these shipments were being routed through
Canada by way of Detroit. In the meantime, however, the Germans in
San Francisco were getting restless. They had expected almost every
day that the ships for Vladivostok would be reported blown up or
missing. They had heard neither, and they were beginning to suspect
that they had been deceived. They had been deceived, but so had
Crowley--and this explains the tenor of his replies in the Second
Tale Told in Telegrams. The first intimation of trouble he received
was a telegram from Mrs. Cornell on June 21st, to which she signed
her middle initial:

  Saw him noon gave message. He was astonished. Said we’ll suspend
  judgment for a few days. Queer news this morning. He suspects you
  were interested in the failure.

Meantime, Crowley had gone on to Detroit and this message was
wired to him at the Hotel Statler there. His reply is missing, but
he evidently expressed astonishment at the message, giving some
instructions for his office and asking for more particulars. To
this message Mrs. Cornell replied:

  Your instructions will be acted upon. Wired you first arrived.

The second sentence of the message meant that the first boat,
the _Shinsei Maru_, had arrived safely at Vladivostok, despite
Crowley’s previous assurances that it had been “fixed.” This was
what the Germans could not understand, and what had aroused their
suspicions that Crowley had been deceiving them, and that he had
possibly even been in somebody else’s pay to “double cross” them.
Their suspicions were redoubled, as seems natural enough in the
light of Mrs. Cornell’s message of June 29th to Crowley:

  All three arrived. I am waiting your advice. Something queer.

In other words, the other two boats, the _Hazel Dollar_ and the
_Talthybius_, had safely made Vladivostok.

Meanwhile, Crowley had been having other troubles with Smith. One
day he called for him at the Briggs Hotel in Chicago and found
that he had disappeared. He learned that he had gone on to New
York, leaving as his forwarding address simply “Station L, General
Delivery, New York.” Smith had two causes for anxiety. In the first
place, he had not heard from his wife and did not know whether she
had arrived safely. Consequently, on June 18th he had telegraphed
to a friend in New York:

  Can you give my wife’s address. Important. Answer paid,

and received a reply the same day giving the address. He left
Chicago at once and telegraphed her from Buffalo the following

  On train 36 Grand Central Depot 703 Sunday morning.

On Sunday afternoon Crowley telegraphed him from Chicago:

  What is the matter? Was surprised when found you had gone. Send
  me some word to Stratford Hotel.
      C. C. C.

Smith did not reply until four days later, after he had learned
that Crowley had gone on from Chicago to Detroit. He then
telegraphed him:

  From Tacoma at Chicago. Address 308 East Fiftieth St., New York

To Crowley the second sentence was plain enough, but the first one
was unintelligible, so he wired Smith:

  Do not understand message. Let me know if you are coming here.

Smith did not dare to explain by telegraph what the matter was, but
he had become convinced that detectives were on his trail and that
he had been followed all the way from Tacoma to Chicago. He had
suddenly decided to give them the slip and temporarily to break his
connection with Crowley until Crowley should be at a safer place
for him to get in touch with him again. Also he wanted to “work”
Crowley for some more money, consequently his reply on June 25th

  Cannot explain by wire. Would come but finances don’t permit.
  Can’t find wife. Answer.

The latter part of this message was another lie because he was
with his wife at the time, but it served to excuse his absence and
baited the hook for more money. Crowley promptly bit and replied:

  I wired you fifty dollars. Come W. U.

Corroborating this message was a service message of the Western
Union operator to their New York Office at 24 Walker Street:

  Send notice to L. J. Smith, 308 East 50 St. Report delay of
  transfer payable at Grand Central Terminal.
      M. T. A.

This telegram authorized the payment of $50.

At the same time Crowley undertook to satisfy his German employers
and to divert their minds from their previous disappointment by
promising them some results on the new venture. He telegraphed Mrs.
Cornell on June 25th:

  Tell him I expect S. by Sunday then action.

The “him” was Von Brincken and the “S” was, of course, Smith. The
promised “action” was action in the plot to dynamite the cattle
trains at St. Thomas, Ontario. The next day Smith was on his way to
Detroit, sending a message on the train to his wife to let her know
he was all right:

  Arrived at Toledo O. K.

Smith met Crowley in Detroit the following day and Crowley
immediately telegraphed Mrs. Cornell further reassuring news for
his German friends:

  He arrived and will be in action in day or two. Weather cool.
  All O. K. Give all clippings to him let me know if any word from
  Hazel and friend. Let him know of S.

This message meant that Smith had arrived and would dynamite the
stockyards in a day or two, that there was nothing exciting to
report, and everything was going well. The “action” referred to was
the blowing up of the cattle trains and the St. Clair Tunnel at
Port Huron. The “clippings” were newspaper reports of the explosion
on the scow at Tacoma which he wanted Mrs. Cornell to give to “him”
that is to Von Brincken. “Let him know of S” meant: “Tell Von
Brincken that Smith is here.” “Let me know if any word from Hazel
and friend,” meant that Crowley had not given up hope that there
was a mistake about the ships having made Vladivostok in safety
and that he expected still to hear that Hazel (that is the _Hazel
Dollar_) and “friend” (_Talthybius_) had been destroyed.

The promised “action” was now, so Crowley thought, about to be
produced. He was going to take Smith into Canada and cause some
explosions. Consequently he telegraphed Mrs. Cornell on June 29th:

  Night letter follows. Go to Toronto few days. Don’t wire until

This announced the approaching trip for action.

Crowley’s scheme for “action” was this: Smith was to carry a
suitcase full of dynamite and buy a ticket to St. Thomas, Ontario.
Crowley was to carry a suitcase very similar in appearance,
containing his travelling things, and was to buy a through ticket
to Buffalo which would take him over the same route through Canada
that Smith was to travel. This plan was actually worked out with
one exception. Smith had a perfectly good imagination and a
perfectly developed yellow streak in his courage. He still wanted
the $300 monthly he was making and was determined to continue
getting it, but he had no relish at all for the pictures conjured
in his mind of what would happen to him if he were discovered in
Canada with a suitcase full of dynamite. He showed the dynamite
packed in the case to Crowley. Then he went out into the suburbs
of Detroit, got rid of the dynamite and, from a night watchman on
a brick building in course of construction, bought a half-dozen
bricks with which he filled the suitcase. This Irishman was
afterward discovered and readily recalled both Smith and the
circumstances, as he had been both puzzled and amused at the idea
of anybody buying bricks when he could easily have stolen them.

As they had arranged, Smith boarded the Michigan Central train at
Detroit late Sunday afternoon on July the 4th, and took a seat in
the day coach. Crowley, who did not walk with him but followed
close behind, took the seat behind Smith. Each, of course, stowed
his suitcase at his feet. In a few minutes Smith walked to the
front end of the car for a drink of water, whereupon Crowley
stepped out on the platform at the rear. Smith came back and took
Crowley’s seat. Crowley returned and took Smith’s seat. Shortly
after, the customs inspector came through the train with the
conductor. His presence was the reason for this exchange of seats.
As Crowley had a through ticket to Buffalo and would not leave
the train, the customs inspector did not open his suitcase but
simply pasted on it the through ticket label by which it would be
identified by the other customs inspector who would board the train
at Niagara Falls, when the train was about to reënter the United
States at Buffalo. Hence the suitcase containing the supposed
dynamite was not opened, and this was Crowley’s plan. Crowley’s
own suitcase, now in the seat with Smith, was, of course, opened
and examined. But it contained nothing but Crowley’s personal
belongings. An hour or so later the stratagem was repeated and
Smith and Crowley resumed their original seats and got possession
of their original baggage. Smith dropped off the train at St.
Thomas at about eleven o’clock that night and Crowley went on
through to Buffalo.

Smith’s nerve was no better this time than it had been before.
In St. Thomas he emptied the bricks out of his suitcase, bought
some travelling things to replace them, and took the train on to
New York. In the meantime, Crowley had been having his troubles
with the anxious and irritated Germans in San Francisco. There
was an interchange of messages based on his need for money and on
a break in the chain of communication between him and Bopp. Von
Brincken had been made very unhappy by Bopp, as the latter was in
a furious rage over the failure of the earlier plot at Tacoma,
and had accused Von Brincken of everything from embezzlement to
treachery and had made his life so miserable that he was glad of
an excuse to get out of San Francisco. The immediate occasion he
made for his leaving was an opportunity he had to go to Tia Juana,
Mexico, just across the border from California. As both Crowley
and his representative Mrs. Cornell had been positively forbidden
to communicate with Bopp, Crowley was at the moment considerably
embarrassed by his inability to get in touch with headquarters.
This explains the meaning of Mrs. Cornell’s message of July 2d,
addressed to Crowley at Detroit:

  Am trying to find him. Waited to hear from you.

She did manage to reach Von Brincken just before he left for Mexico
late the same day, again telegraphing Crowley:

  He said: If you have plans go ahead with them. State amount
  required. Have been looking for results.

Crowley replied the next morning:

  Tell him have planned action for within a week. No doubt able to
  make showing. Ans.

His reply, however, was too late. Von Brincken had gone to Mexico,
hence Mrs. Cornell telegraphed:

  Cannot get in touch with him. Have tried everything. Wired you
  last night state amount required. Advise me.

To this message Crowley replied:

  Don’t worry. Did he get night letter thirtyth? Go to Buffalo
  to-morrow night. Statler. If you find him wire me. Don’t send
  money until decided.

The following day was the Sunday on which Crowley and Smith left
Detroit together. Smith dropped off at St. Thomas and Crowley
proceeded to Buffalo. The following evening Crowley again
telegraphed Mrs. Cornell from Buffalo:

  Nothing from you. Send me long letter to-night.

Her reply was:

  Nothing from him since last Wednesday except one phone telling
  you state amount. Believe he is fighting for time. Don’t commit
  yourself he has no authority. Told me he expected to take another
  position in a month as the atmosphere was intolerable. I gave up
  apartment Saturday morning. Will wire.

Mrs. Cornell had been unable to reach Von Brincken for the very
good reason that he was out of town. Her quotation of his remark
that he “expected to take another position within a month” referred
to Von Brincken’s untenable position in the Consulate in San
Francisco, and to his manœuvres to get himself transferred to the
New York end of the German spy system with his friend Von Papen,
with whom he had become quite chummy on a recent visit of Von
Papen’s to the Pacific Coast.

Two days later, however, Von Brincken had come back to San
Francisco and Mrs. Cornell had a talk with him. Following this talk
she telegraphed to Crowley, who was now in New York, stopping at
the Wallick Hotel:

  Manager informed Bradford that experiences made were discouraging
  that outlook of lawsuit was too poor to justify advances for
  appeal. He is willing to offer lawyer contingent fee depending
  upon success only. Bradford privately advises see his friend in
  New York at once. Will send night letter.

In this message Mrs. Cornell dropped into the code they had agreed
to use before Crowley left San Francisco. “Manager” was Bopp, the
head German in San Francisco. “Bradford” was Von Brincken. The
“lawsuit” was the plot. The “lawyer” was Smith. “Bradford’s friend
in New York” was Von Papen.

In her promised night letter Mrs. Cornell said:

  I asked for a hundred. They refused let him have it. He was
  indignant at refusal but decided it would be best in the end as
  it would justify your seeing other party who had plenty. He hopes
  to work with you soon. Don’t forget to boost him. He looks to you
  for help. I have not selected a home yet.

The latter part of this message urges Crowley to recommend Von
Brincken very strongly to Von Papen when he sees him in New York so
that Von Papen will be sure to transfer Von Brincken to the eastern
territory so he can get away from Bopp. The next day Crowley
telegraphed Mrs. Cornell from New York:

  Appointment for to-morrow. Outlook not good. Will wire. Tell
  him I expect them to settle for all up to time of return or
  commencement here.

The appointment, of course, was with Von Papen, but Crowley was not
very happy about it as he seemed to have been failing right along
to get anywhere, and he had now been so much criticized from San
Francisco that he became fearful that Bopp would shut down on his
money. Mrs. Cornell now gave up hope of getting action. On July
10th she telegraphed him:

  Wasting time trying get them through me. Communicate direct. He
  knows I want him but won’t see me. Moved 305 A Steiner with Alice
  few days.
      M. W. C.

Crowley in desperation telegraphed for money from his personal
bank account and got back a telegraphic order from Mrs. Cornell
for $125. He divided with Smith and then bought a ticket for San
Francisco so that he could deal direct with Bopp. Following Von
Brincken’s suggestion he told Smith when he left to go and see Von
Papen, and get the rest of his money from him. Smith went to the
German Club, on Central Park South, and sent up a message to Von
Papen to which he got the curt reply that Von Papen did not want to
see anybody from San Francisco. He had not yet been informed by Von
Brincken that Smith was a man he could use.

Smith was now very angry, and casting all discretion to the winds,
telegraphed openly and directly to the German Consulate in San
Francisco, addressing the message to Von Shack on the theory that
having exhausted all approaches to Bopp and Von Brincken he would
go after the one man who still might be reached:

  Why dont you answer?

Three days later Smith telegraphed to Crowley who, he knew, would
now be in San Francisco:

  Please advise office that I request immediate reply also
  transportation back to Frisco. I resist (resent) the treatment I
  have lately received for my faithful service. Answer.
      L. J. SMITH.

A few days later, telegraphing from an office on the Exposition
Grounds, in San Francisco, Crowley sent a message to Smith in New

  Two hundred to-morrow one hundred Tuesday both Postal. Come.

Crowley had now managed to restore some degree of confidence in
his work and Smith’s, and had adopted his favourite method of
diverting attention from past failures by setting forth a glowing
prospectus of a new scheme. For a third time the Germans “bit.” In
his eagerness Crowley thereupon sent a rush message to Smith:

  Come to San Francisco at once.

Smith promptly replied:

  Enroute to-night.

He arrived in San Francisco six days later, telephoned to Crowley
at the Gartland Hotel, and Crowley in turn telephoned to Bopp that
Smith was on hand. That evening Crowley and Smith got together
in Crowley’s room and made out a statement of Smith’s expenses.
This statement was a work of art. At Crowley’s suggestion Smith
carefully “padded” the account so that they both made a handsome
profit on that besides their salaries. They met Bopp in the Palace
Hotel the following morning and he there paid the amount of the
expense account, $845, in bills.

Bopp and Crowley told Smith that they would probably have more work
for him to do and for him to go back East. He left San Francisco on
July 28th, telegraphing when he started to his wife at Cedarhurst,
L. I.:

  Remain one more week then meet me at Detroit. Answer at once.

She replied that she would meet him as directed. Smith went on to
Detroit and stopped first at the Normandie Hotel and then moved out
to a boarding house.

In a couple of weeks Crowley had got further orders from Bopp and
wrote a letter to Smith in Detroit, saying that Bopp would give
$500 apiece for blowing up the powder works outside Gary, Ind., and
Ishpeming, Mich., besides paying his salary of $300 a month and
expenses. Before Smith had time to get the letter he got another
telegram from Crowley:

  The matter in my letter is off. Write me letter

What had happened was: Bopp had decided that Smith could get better
results by working in California where he was more familiar with
the powder plants and where he would be more closely under his
direction and not under Von Papen’s direction. After a discussion
with Crowley, Bopp had agreed to a plan to have Smith return to
California and get a job again in the California Powder Mills at
Pinole, now owned by the Hercules Powder Company, and cause an
explosion there. Following this agreement Crowley telegraphed Smith
on August 30th:

  Delay in information you want also in getting Consent on other
  matter will know in few days and will advise you. Will recommend
  if you can get good title to place here and the one north you be
  given an amount. Round trip transportation be furnished no other
  expense allowed.

Crowley had used the name of Garrett several times and often
received mail under this name at his hotel in San Francisco. The
meat of this message was: “if you can, get good title to the one
here” and “the one north.” The “place here” was the California
Powder Mills, and “the one north” was a powder mill of the Ætna
Explosive Company outside Tacoma with which Smith was familiar as a
result of his trip there at the time of the explosion on the scow.

On September 7th Crowley telegraphed Smith:

  They cannot decide on matter.

Smith waited a week for a decision and then wired Von Shack again:

  I expect immediate and satisfactory answer from you. Crowley has
  my letter.
      L. J. SMITH.

The satisfactory answer did not come. The Germans in San Francisco
had spent all they were willing to spend without getting any
result. Smith got a job in an automobile factory in Detroit, and
his wife returned to her vocation as a _masseuse_ in a Turkish
bath. Pretty soon they both began to “see things”--Mrs. Smith in
particular. First she thought she saw Crowley following her in
disguise on the street one night. Smith began to suspect also that
they were being trailed by detectives in the employ of the Germans,
and finally he feared both bodily harm and violence, and the
possibility of the American Government having gotten wind of some
of his activities and dogging his steps to arrest him. He finally
decided that the safe thing to do was to turn State’s evidence, and
hence he wandered into the office of the United States Attorney and
started various trains of investigation that ultimately sent Bopp,
Crowley, Von Brincken, and Von Shack to two years in prison, and
Mrs. Cornell to one year. Smith and his wife were given immunity
for turning State’s evidence.



Secrecy is, of course, the most important consideration in the
German plots in this country. When Bernstorff wished to arrange
with Berlin to give Bolo Pasha ten million francs to betray his
country, he naturally did not write out his messages in plain
English for every wireless station on both sides of the Atlantic to
read them as they went through the air. He did, to be sure, write
the messages in English, and they looked plain enough--and innocent
enough--but they meant something very different from what they
seemed to mean. And when it got down to the actual transfer of the
money, another German agent in New York signed the messages, which
likewise were not what they seemed.

Those messages were in _code_. (They are reproduced and explained
in this chapter.)

Now _code_ should not be confused with _cipher_. When some Hindus
in New York, subsidized by Berlin, wished to write their plans
to some other Hindus in San Francisco, concerning their common
purpose of fomenting revolution against British rule in India, they
wrote out messages that consisted entirely of groups of Arabic

Those messages were in _cipher_.

To any one but an expert, many code messages look simple and
harmless, and cipher messages usually look unintelligible and
suspicious. Yet, oddly enough, the cipher messages are by far the
easier to make out. Indeed, unless you have a copy of the code,
code messages can almost never be translated, whereas a straight
cipher message can almost invariably be unraveled by an expert,
if you give him enough time and material. Hence, by people who
know the subject (and nobody had mastered it so thoroughly as the
Germans), codes are used for secrecy, and ciphers are used simply
as an added precaution and to _delay_ the unraveling of a message
if, by any chance, the enemy has gotten possession of a copy of the

German plot messages, therefore, are usually written out first in
plain German, then coded, and the code then put into cipher. Such
messages are called _enciphered code_.

For an enemy to get them to make sense, he has first to decipher
them, and then decode them. Any expert can decipher them--in time.
Decoding them is a very different matter.

Before taking up some of the German code and cipher messages that
have been translated, with dramatic results, it will be well to
discuss codes and ciphers in general.

A _code_ is an arrangement by which two people agree, when
exchanging messages, always to substitute certain words or symbols
for the real words of the message. Thus, they might agree on these

                     a = the
           French ship = market
  sailed from New York = price
    sailed from Boston = quotation
                to-day = is
        for Marseilles = any even number
          for Bordeaux = any number with a fraction

With such a code, a German spy in New York could cable a seemingly
harmless message to a friend in Holland, such as:

  “The market price is 110.”

That would mean, of course:

  “A French ship sailed from New York to-day for Marseilles.”

Whereas a very slight change in wording:

  “The market quotation is 110¾.”

would mean:

  “A French ship sailed from Boston to-day for Bordeaux.”


In English it reads: “Embassy. 307-16, New York, April 10, 1916.
Mr. John Devoy has paid in $500 here with the request that they
be transmitted telegraphically to Sir Roger Casement. You are
respectfully requested to proceed accordingly and to charge the
amount to the Military Information Bureau. Receipt enclosed.”]

Messages of that sort could be exchanged daily between a broker
in Wall Street and a broker in Amsterdam, and, by the addition
of a few more words, could be infinitely varied and would look
like perfectly legitimate commercial correspondence. In fact, most
international business before the war (the Government now requires
that all messages appear in plain English) was carried on by coded
cables which turned long messages into short groups of words that
of themselves made gibberish. Several code books for business use
were on the market, containing hundreds of pages of these arbitrary
substitutions, which were useful, not for secrecy but for economy.
A dozen words could be made to say what normally would require five
hundred words.

Ciphers, however, have almost always been resorted to when secrecy
was desired. This sounds like a contradiction. But people who are
not experts use them because they think they are more secret,
since they look so. And experts use them when they are concerned
only with _temporary_ secrecy. They use them, then, because cipher
messages can be written and translated (by one’s correspondent)
without any equipment, like a code book, and much more rapidly than
code. Thus, if a general in the field wishes to send a message
ordering a colonel to advance in two hours, he sends it in cipher,
because it would take the enemy more than two hours to decipher the
message even if he intercepted it immediately, and because after
the two hours have elapsed the information in the message would be
of no value to him.

A _cipher_ is the substitution of some symbol for a letter of the
alphabet. The substituted symbol may be another letter--as writing
_e_ when you mean _a_. Or it may be a figure--as using 42 when you
mean _m_. Or it may be an arbitrary sign--as * to mean _c_. In
cipher, then, every word is spelled out, but the word _Washington_
might be spelled x=‖½?!^:°B if you had agreed that

  w = x
  a = =
  s = ‖
  h = ½
  i = ?
  n = !
  g = ^
  t = :
  o = °
  n = B

That is called a _substitution_ cipher, because some other letter
or symbol is arbitrarily substituted for every letter.

But another kind is called a _transposition_ cipher, because
in this the letters of the alphabet are simply transposed by
agreement--the simplest and most obvious example being to reverse
the alphabet, so that _z_ stands for _a_ and _y_ for _b_, etc. Such
a transposition cipher would read:

  Alphabet of plain text  abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
  Alphabet of cipher      zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba

and _Washington_ would be spelled _dzhsrmtglm_.

[Illustration: A letter from John Devoy, an Irish-American,
exposing his hand in a plot with the Germans to foment revolution
in Ireland]

Perhaps the cleverest transposition cipher ever devised--it is so
good that the British Army uses it in the field and, moreover,
has published text books about it--is the very simple “Playfair”
cipher. First a square is drawn, divided into fifths each way. This
arrangement gives twenty-five spaces, to contain the letters of the
alphabet--_I_ and _J_ being put in one square because there would
never be any plain sentence in which it would not be quite obvious
which one of them is needed to complete a word of which the other
letters are known.


Next a “key word” is chosen--and herein lie the cleverness and
the simplicity of this cipher, because every time the key word is
changed, the whole pattern of the alphabet is changed. Suppose the
key word is _Gardenia_. It is now spelled out in the squares:

The second A is left out, as there must not, of course, be
duplicates on the keyboard. Now the rest of the alphabet is written
into the squares in their regular sequence:


That is the complete keyboard. The method for using it is this:

The message is written out in plain text; for example:


(Only capital letters are commonly used in cipher work.) This
message is now divided into groups of two letters, in the same
order, so that it reads:


(The X is added to complete the group and is called a _null_.)
These groups of twos are now ciphered from the keyboard into other
groups of twos, by the following method:

Where two joined letters of the original message appear in the same
_horizontal_ row on the keyboard, the next letter to the right is
substituted for each. Thus, the first two letters of our message
are DE. They occur in the same horizontal row on our keyboard.
Consequently, for D we write E, and for E we go “on around the
world” to the right, or back to the other end of the row, and write
G for E. This gives us DE enciphered as EG.

Where two joined letters of the original message appear in the
same _vertical_ row on the keyboard, the next letter below is
substituted for each.

Where two joined letters of the original message appear neither in
the same horizontal nor the same vertical row on the keyboard, we
imagine a rectangle with the two letters at the opposite corners,
and in each case substitute the letter found on the keyboard at the
other corner of the same horizontal row. This looks complicated,
but in reality is very simple. For example, take the third
two-letter group of our message--RO. The rectangle in this case is

  R D E
  B C F
  L M O

and for R we substitute E, and for O we substitute L.

Substituting our whole message by this system, it reads:


As telegraph operators are accustomed to send these gibberish
messages in groups of five letters (so that they can check errors,
knowing that when only four appear in a group, for example,
something has been left out) these enciphered groups of twos are
now combined into groups of fives, so that the finished cipher


The foregoing looks extremely complicated, but the truth is that
anybody, after half an hour’s practice, can put a message into
this kind of cipher (“Playfair” cipher) almost as fast as he can
print the straight English of it in capital letters. And unless
the person who reads it knows the key word which determined the
pattern on his keyboard, he would have to be an expert to decipher
it, and even he could do it only after a good deal of work.

Another ingenious cipher is called the “Chess Board.” First,
a sheet of paper is ruled into squares exactly like a chess
board--that is, a square divided into eighths each way. This
arrangement gives, of course, sixty-four small squares. Then, by
agreement between the people who intend to use this cipher, sixteen
of these squares are agreed upon and are cut out of the sheet with
a knife. Suppose, for example, this pattern is chosen:


and the squares showing in white are cut out.

Next, another sheet of paper is ruled into a chess board, of
exactly the same size as the first. The perforated sheet is now
laid on top of the second sheet, so that the squares on the one
exactly cover the squares on the other. Now, with a pen or pencil,
the plain text of the secret message is printed on the under sheet
by writing through the perforations of the upper sheet, only one
letter being written in each square. This, of course, permits the
writing of sixteen letters of the message.

Suppose the complete message is to be:

“Authorize payment ten million dollars to buy copper for shipment
to Germany.” Then the lower sheet, after we have written through
the perforations, will look like this:


The perforated sheet is now turned to the right through one fourth
of a complete revolution, so that the top of it is at the right
side of the lower sheet and so that the two chess boards again
“match up.” This operation exposes, through the perforations, a
new set of sixteen open squares on the lower sheet. The writing of
the message is continued, and the lower sheet now looks like this


Again the perforated sheet is turned to the right, and sixteen
more letters are written. Once more, and the whole sixty-four
squares are utilized, looking like the last cut on the previous

These letters are now put upright, like this.


They are now read from left to right and from the first line down,
like ordinary reading matter. They are then grouped into fives for
telegraphic transmission, and an _X_ added at the end to make an
even five-group there. Thus the message, as transmitted, reads:


When this message is received, it can, of course, be quickly
deciphered by printing it out on a chess board and placing over it
a sheet perforated according to the prearranged pattern.

This survey of codes and ciphers does not more than scratch the
surface of the subject, nor more than suggest the almost infinite
variations that are possible--in ciphers especially. It simply
gives a groundwork for an understanding of the German secret
messages now to be described.


Showing the use of capital letters in the actual work of
enciphering a message, and the combined use of cipher and code]

Among the most interesting of these secret messages is the series
of wireless telegrams by means of which the German money was paid
to Bolo Pasha for the purchase of the Paris _Journal_--one of the
principal episodes in the treasonable intrigue for which Bolo was
recently executed by a French firing squad. These messages were in
English, and meant exactly what they said, except for the proper
names and the figures, which were _code_. To decode them, it was
necessary only to make the following substitutions:

  William Foxley = Foreign Office
  Charles Gledhill = Count Bernstorff
  Fred Hooven = Guaranty Trust Company (New York)
  $500 = $500,000

and to all other figures add three ciphers to arrive at the real
amount. For example, one of these messages read: “Paid Charles
Gledhill five hundred dollars through Fred Hooven.” This meant:
“Paid Count Bernstorff five hundred _thousand_ dollars through
Guaranty Trust Company.”


A letter written in New York to his bankers in transactions for the
purchase of the Paris _Journal_, with German money, the crime for
which he was shot]

The story of these messages is briefly this: Marie Paul Bolo
started life as a barber, became an adventurer and, in the
service of the Khedive of Egypt, received the title of Pasha for
a financial service which he rendered him. Returning to France
as Bolo Pasha, he married two wealthy women and lived in grand
style on their money. He became an intimate of Charles Humbert,
another adventurer, who achieved political power by questionable
methods and became a member of the French Senate. In the meantime,
the Khedive had been deposed by the British on account of his
pro-Turkish (and hence pro-German) activities after the Great War
began. Abbas Hilmi joined the colony of ex-rulers in Switzerland,
and there became a part of the German system of intrigue. He
received money from the Germans and, after he had deducted his
“squeeze” (which sometimes amounted to half the total), he paid
over the rest to Bolo, to be used by Bolo, Humbert, and ex-Premier
Caillaux in an effort to restore Caillaux to power and then to
further the propaganda for an early and hence inconclusive peace.


Code messages in the Bolo Pasha case, explained in the accompanying


Either this method of supplying the French traitors with funds
became too dangerous, or the Germans preferred to keep their gold
and wished to use their credit in the United States to get American
gold for this purpose. In any event, Bolo Pasha appeared in
New York early in March, 1916. Strangely enough, this French
citizen bore letters of introduction to several Germans. The most
important was addressed to Adolf Pavenstedt, who was senior partner
in G. Amsinck & Company and for many years a chief paymaster of
the German spy system in this country. Through Pavenstedt, Bolo
met Hugo Schmidt, a director of the Deutsche Bank of Berlin, a
government institution, who had been sent to this country soon
after the war broke out to provide complete coöperation between the
older representatives of the Deutsche Bank here and the management
in Berlin.

Through Pavenstedt, as messenger, Bolo also got in touch with
Bernstorff, and arranged the details of the plan by which Bolo was
to receive 10 million francs from the German Government. He was
to use this money to buy the Paris _Journal_, which would then
be edited by Senator Humbert, who agreed to change its editorial
policy to favour an immediate peace. As the _Journal_ is one of the
most powerful dailies in France, with a circulation among more than
a million and a half readers, the sinister possibilities of this
scheme are readily seen.

[Illustration: MR. A. BRUCE BIELASKI

Who, as Chief of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of
Justice, organized and managed the Government agents who unraveled
the German plots and captured the plotters]

Bernstorff committed the financial details to Hugo Schmidt. He, in
turn, asked Berlin by wireless for suitable credits in American
banking houses. These were arranged with the Guaranty Trust
Company and the National Park Bank--for many years American
correspondents of the Deutsche Bank. The amounts were then credited
to G. Amsinck & Company, of which Pavenstedt had long been senior
partner. He, in turn, placed them, with the New York branch of the
Royal Bank of Canada, to the account of Bolo Pasha. As the exchange
rate at the time ran in favour of American dollars and against
French francs, the 10 million francs (normally equal to about
2 million dollars) which Bolo got, required only $1,683,500 of
American money--which is just the sum of the amounts named in the
wireless messages.

The _Journal_ was actually bought by Bolo and Humbert, but before
they could do much damage with it, they were arrested, and Bolo has
already been executed.


[Illustration: Above is the code message from Von Papen’s office
in New York to Bernstorff, transmitting a message from Justice
Cohalan, of the Supreme Court of New York, advising the Germans
upon the best means to make Sir Roger Casement’s revolution in
Ireland a success. On page 155 is the message written out and coded
for transmission. In English it reads as follows: “No. 335--16
_very secret_ New York, April 17, 1916. Judge Cohalan requests the
transmission the following remarks: ‘The Revolution in Ireland
can only be successful if supported from Germany. Otherwise,
England will be able to suppress it, even though it be only after
hard struggles. Therefore, help is necessary. This should consist
primarily of aërial attacks in England and a diversion of the
fleet simultaneously with Irish revolution. Then, if possible, a
landing of troops, arms, and ammunition in Ireland, and possibly
some officers from Zeppelins. This would enable the Irish ports to
be closed against England and the establishment of stations for
submarines on the Irish coast, and the cutting off of the supply
of food for England. The success of the revolution may therefore
decide the war.’ He asks that a telegram to this effect be sent to
Berlin. 5132 8167 0230 _To His Excellency Count von Bernstorff,
Imperial Ambassador, Washington, D. C._”]

The Hindus in this country, who were plotting with the Germans the
revolution that should destroy the British rule in India, used two
systems for their secret messages. The first was this _substitution

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  1 A B C D E F G
  2 H I J K L M N
  3 O P Q R S T U
  4 V W X Y Z

The message, “Leave San Francisco” would be written, in this
cipher, as follows:

  25 15 11 41 15 35 11 27 16 34 11 27 13 22 35 13 31

by giving each letter of the message the number to the left of it,
combined with the number above it.

The other system used by the Hindus was a _book code_. They agreed
upon a small English dictionary of a certain edition, and wrote
from it messages that were also groups of numbers, after this
fashion: 625-2-11 27-1-36 45-2-20 and so on. The first figure in
each group was the number of the page on which the word would be
found, the second figure gave the column, and the third figure was
the number of the word in the column, counting from the top of the

But perhaps the most dramatic of all the intercepted messages
(except the Luxburg and Zimmerman notes, of which the story
cannot yet be told) were those which revealed the part played
by well-known Irish-American leaders in the ill-fated Casement
revolution in Ireland. The story of the Casement expedition is
too familiar to need to be retold. And comment upon the political
morals of Justice Cohalan and John Devoy becomes superfluous in the
light of these messages. American citizens (one of them signally
honoured with public office in New York), both held their Irish
blood superior, in their duty of loyalty, to the United States,
using their citizenship as a cloak under which to strike at Great
Britain, which has been for a quarter century the chief bulwark of
this country against Germany’s plan to conquer us and to impose
upon our country the most hateful tyranny in the history of the



Franz Von Rintelen was the German tiger who missed his spring. He
was the most powerful, the most dangerous, agent of the Kaiser
in the United States: and to-day he nurses his hatred of us
behind prison bars. But he did not retire to confinement until
after our Government completed an extremely difficult and tedious
investigation that was made necessary by his care in concealing
the insidious work of propaganda and destruction in which he had

Rintelen was a tiger in the implacable hatred he bore this country
and in the ferocity with which he carried that hatred into action.
Sent to America in 1915 to hinder the shipment of munitions to
the Allies, he sought first to poison the press, then to corrupt
labour, and, not content with these things, he finally tried
to hire thugs to burn, to dynamite, and to assassinate, where
other persuasions failed; and he did succeed in setting fire to
thirty-six ships at sea, causing millions of dollars of loss, and
imperiling hundreds of human lives.

Rintelen had, however, the other side of the tiger’s character--its
graces. When the ---- made port at New York on April 3, 1915, it
bore as passenger one Émil Gasché, a Swiss. The moment Gasché
passed the customs officers Gasché ceased to exist, and in
his place appeared handsome young Von Rintelen, unexpectedly
arrived in America for his fourth visit and renewing pleasant
acquaintanceships in society and in Wall Street. He was “the same
old chap,” to quote his own description of himself in one of his
letters--rich, of a family long accustomed to riches; well-bred,
of a family long proud of its aristocratic connection with the
Imperial Court at Berlin (his father had long been the equivalent
of our Secretary of the Treasury); young, the youngest of the
chief bankers of Germany; handsome, with the good looks that come
of regular features and of a slender frame hardened by athletics
and made distinguished by the bearing of an officer; a sportsman,
who raced his yacht in the Emperor’s regattas at Kiel--an affable,
cultivated, witty, accomplished man of the world. No wonder he had
been popular on his former visits. On one of them he had opened
in New York a branch of the Deutsche Bank, one of the greatest of
the government-controlled banks of Germany, and on another he had
widened these financial relationships with Wall Street. He had
travelled the country over and knew people everywhere; and he knew
about hundreds more, even to their private affairs in money and
politics and those intimate weaknesses that pass into the gossip
of the smoking-room. He spoke the language with only the slightest
accent but in its purest form, and was adept in our peculiar kind
of humour--altogether, a fine and likable fellow, who liked us.

Until the war. And until the Germans, stung by the lost illusions
of a quick and glorious victory, facing the gray outlook of a long
and bitter struggle, looking about for some one to blame for their
plight, and wearied of “strafing” England, found a new narcotic
in a hatred of America. America, that made the cartridges and
shells that patched up the unpreparedness of France and Britain
and Russia, which Germany had calculated as one of the factors
in the equation of victory. America, that--as their rising rage
made their voices shriller--“is murdering our sons and brothers
on every battlefield from Switzerland to the sea for the sake of
blood-bought gold.”

This cry became an article of fanatical faith to the German people.
It became likewise a very practical problem to the hard-headed
leaders in Berlin. If they could cut off this supply of munitions,
the Allies could be beaten. There was no hope of cutting it off at
sea--the British Navy would attend to that. It must be stopped at
its source: stopped in America, by a made-to-order public opinion,
or by corruption, or by violence--but stopped.

“Whom shall we send to America?” was their problem. Rintelen was
chosen. He could be trusted--he was a director of the Deutsche
Bank, he knew America. He was given credit at the Hamburg-American
Line office in New York for $547,000, authority for as many
millions more as he wanted, independent powers as great as the
German Ambassador’s at Washington, the instructions of the German
Government, and the blessing of the Fatherland.

An American traitor in Berlin gave Rintelen his cue for operations
in America. This man’s name is known, and will one day be written
alongside Benedict Arnold’s, but to disclose it now would interfere
with more practical efforts for his mortal punishment. Part of that
punishment he is already enduring--he is still in Germany. This
traitor told Rintelen that the most useful man in America for his
purpose was David Lamar, of New York. Rintelen fixed that name in
his memory, and left Berlin.

His first barrier was the old, old barrier to German conquest,
the British blockade. Rintelen ran that under cover of the Swiss
passport, under the name of Gasché.

Arrived in New York on April 3d, Rintelen lost no time in getting
acquainted with Lamar. He disclosed to him his mission to this
country and the money he had to execute it. The Tiger of Berlin met
the Wolf of Wall Street.

And how the Wolf’s eyes must have glistened, for he was at the
leanest of the hungry days which regularly followed seasons of
opulence in the ups and downs which varied the career of this
extraordinary man. For Lamar was, and is, an extraordinary man.
Endowed by nature with a fascinating personality and with a
brilliant mind, which he had enriched by study, a man capable of
great things, he was possessed by that strange perversity which
often afflicts men of exceptional cleverness--he would rather make
one dollar by adroit crookedness than a million by unexciting
honesty. Perhaps his origin affected his character--he declined,
on the witness stand, to give his true name and parentage on the
ground that to do so would bring disgrace upon persons still
living. He entered Wall Street as a young man from nowhere, and
at first gave promise of a brilliant and honourable career. He
early made his mark in finance. He was employed by J. P. Morgan
& Company and other great banking concerns, and in those days
of his legitimate activities amassed a large fortune. But this
was dissipated in gambling on the stock market, and then Lamar
gravitated to the gutter. For years it was a by-word on the Street
that if you wanted a clever man to do a crooked job, David Lamar
was the man you were looking for. He had the brains to do it right,
he had the presence to “get away with it,” and he would do anything
for money.

These traits had got him into trouble shortly before Rintelen met
him. When the Pujo Committee of Congress was investigating the
“money trust” several years ago, some crooked brokers in Wall
Street wanted some inside information that was going to affect
the price of certain stocks in which they were interested. They
could not get this information by legitimate means, and so they
adopted Lamarian means. Lamar knew that a member of Congress was
entitled to ask for this information. Mr. Mitchell Palmer was a
Member of Congress. Lamar had one of his devious inspirations. He
called up a banker’s office, got the man there who knew what Lamar
wanted to know, declared that he was Mr. Palmer, and demanded the
information--and got it. Lamar repeated the exploit several times.
But once too often. He was detected, arrested and tried, convicted,
and on December 3, 1914, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment
for the crime of impersonating an officer of the Government. He
appealed the case on the ground that a Representative in Congress
was not “an officer of the Government.” When Rintelen met him the
following April, Lamar was out on bail pending the decision on this

Lamar was then in desperate straits. Bad luck had followed him in
the Street for two years, and had crowned his misfortunes with
this expensive trial and threatened imprisonment. He owed money
everywhere for personal expenses; the merchants with whom he
traded had stopped his credit; he had descended to borrowing from
his friends in sums as small as two dollars at a time. Then he
met Rintelen, who was on fire with a passion that blinded him to
consequences and who flourished before the eyes of the famished
Wolf a half million dollars of real money. Here was manna fallen
from heaven.

“Could Lamar help Rintelen!” With his most convincing eloquence,
Lamar assured him that he could. Never had Rintelen been better
advised, so Lamar declared to him, than when his friend in Berlin
had given him his name. For he had friends in Washington, he
whispered, men powerful in the Government. And friends among the
labouring people, the men whose hands made those munitions Rintelen
had come to stop, and whose hands might be paralyzed by the clever
use of brains and money. Lamar would supply the brains: Rintelen
would supply the money. The Wolf saw good hunting ahead.

Lamar laid before Rintelen a scheme. They would capitalize the
American passion for peace: they would capitalize in particular
the labouring man’s aversion to war. A section of opinion among
labouring men held that wars were instigated by capitalists for
gain, and were fought by labouring men who gave their lives to make
good the selfish ambitions of the rich. And one of the American
people’s deepest convictions was that war was an odious moral
crime; and that universal peace was attainable by the pursuit of
moral ideals.

Lamar declared, then, that by working through his friends in
labour, he could organize the workers of America so that they would
refuse to work on the implements of destruction of “capitalistic”
war. And that, by working through his friends in the Government,
he could create a national sentiment that would force Congress to
place an embargo on munitions. But these things would cost money.
Lamar never forgot money.

Now we see a sudden transformation in Lamar’s circumstances.
The frayed debtor appeared in his old haunts garbed in the most
fastidious selections of the tailor; the accumulated debts of
years were paid; the subway and the street car gave way to
automobiles--and Lamar was particular that the garage should supply
only the fine car that was father to the Liberty motor. He moved
his family from a cheap apartment in New York to a fine house
at Pittsfield, Mass. His own quarters were the hotels Astor and
Belmont in New York, the Willard in Washington, the La Salle in
Chicago, the Claypool in Indianapolis. Things were looking up.

Lamar carried other men with him on his rising tide of fortune.
Frank Buchanan, labour Representative in Congress from the
Seventh District of Illinois (North Chicago), likewise became a
traveller and the patron of exclusive hotels. Henry B. Martin,
who eked out a precarious living in the lobbies of Congress,
after a dubious career as an officer of the Knights of Labour in
the ’nineties, framed his wizened figure in a new and luxurious
setting. H. Robert Fowler, the splendid high light of whose
gray life as a half-lawyer, half-farmer, in a country town in
Illinois, was expiring in the last days of a term in Congress, was
suddenly revived, before his final extinguishment, by the light
glittering from anonymous gold. Herman J. Schulteis, whose talents,
insufficient for success in the law, had been more profitably
employed in the defunct Anti-Trust League (of which more later),
rose rapidly in the monetary scale.

These men were the instruments Lamar used in his scheme to stop the
munitions industry and to get Rintelen’s money. That scheme was
to build up a great political organization of labouring men and
farmers. This organization would oppose the making and shipment of
munitions; it would exert pressure to compel workers to abandon
the factories, and it would exert pressure to compel Congress to
declare an embargo on the shipment of arms. This organization was
labelled “Labour’s National Peace Council.”

Lamar, fortified with Rintelen’s money, launched his scheme in
Washington. This scheme was an inspiration of genius. Able lawyers
have declared that no cleverer conspiracy has ever come to their
attention. Its beauty was its simplicity. Rintelen dealt with
no one but Lamar--the other leaders never saw him, and most of
them never heard of him until after the scheme was exposed by
the Government. In his turn, Lamar operated entirely through
Martin. To Martin he gave his instructions to see labour leaders,
to organize the fake Peace Council, to hold its camouflage
“convention,” to flood the country with lecturers and printed
matter urging an embargo on munitions. And through Martin he paid
the bills.

Lamar and Martin were old associates. They had worked together
in the Anti-Trust League, another of the creations of Lamar’s
restless mind. The Anti-Trust League originated in the feverish
’nineties, when the country had its fears that the growth of great
corporations spelled the control of the Government by monopolies.
The League had its days of prominence when it was financed by big
interests that used it to fight other big interests to get the
things they both wanted. But in 1915 the League was a skeleton,
consisting of Lamar, Martin, Schulteis, and a few others, held
together by the bond of small salaries drawn from some source that
preferred to remain unknown.

When Martin undertook to organize Labour’s National Peace Council,
under the direction of Lamar, the first man he approached was Frank
Buchanan. Buchanan was labour’s leading champion on the floor of
Congress. He had been president of the international union of
the structural iron workers, and he had earned the confidence
of organized labour, and the friendship of Samuel Gompers, the
patriarch of organized labour.

Lamar, Buchanan, and Martin, assisted by Fowler and Schulteis,
engineered a mass meeting of workingmen in Chicago in June, 1915,
at which resolutions were adopted calling for a convention of
labourers and farmers at Washington to protest against the traffic
in munitions. The same men, with this “mandate” behind them, met
in Washington on June 22d, and organized Labour’s National Peace
Council. They prepared printed appeals, in the high language of
humanitarianism, addressed to the labour unions and the granges,
and mailed them by the ton to all parts of the country. They
offered to pay all travelling expenses and for lost time to
delegates which these bodies should send to a convention to be held
in Washington on July 31st and August 1st.

As a preliminary to this convention, Martin paid labour leaders
and other speakers to go into all sections of the United States
and address labour unions and granges. Probably all these speakers
acted in good faith. They were pacifists, and when they got an
opportunity to preach their doctrine, they accepted it. The
opportunity seemed legitimate enough--the name of Frank Buchanan
as a sponsor of the movement was sufficient. Their audiences,
too, were sincere. Workmen and farmers had before their eyes the
contrast of their own peaceful land with a Europe drenched in
blood. The blessings of peace were never more apparent. They sent
delegates gladly to a meeting that seemed designed to perpetuate
those blessings.

But Samuel Gompers opposed the convention of Labour’s National
Peace Council. He, too, was a pacifist--had for years taken a
leading part in the movement for international peace. But Gompers
was a thoughtful man as well. And experienced. And wise. He told
Buchanan some things Buchanan should have told himself. Buchanan
came from Chicago to Atlantic City to meet Mr. Gompers and upbraid
him for his opposition to the Council. Mr. Gompers gave him some
fatherly advice. In effect, he said:

“Frank, you have earned a good name in labour. We are proud of you,
and we trust you. You are at life’s meridian, with years of useful
service ahead. But listen to an old man, who sees the shadows
growing very long, and who has watched many movements come and go.
You are in wrong. This scheme is bad. There is too much easy money
being passed around in it. Labour hasn’t got money to spend like
this. Somebody who has not labour’s interests at heart is putting
up that money.

“And take the Council’s aims themselves. Suppose you succeed in
stopping the manufacture of munitions--what will happen to labour?
Two years ago, our boys were walking the streets, begging for a
job. To-day, every man of them has work, and wages are going up.
War work has done that. Do you want to stop the opportunity of
labour to make a living?”

But Gompers’s eloquence left Buchanan cold. In the face of his
pleadings and advice, Buchanan accepted $2,700 from Martin in
the following six weeks. He saved his face at the last minute by
resigning the presidency of Labour’s National Peace Council the day
before the convention met.

The convention met in Washington on July 31st, at the New Willard
Hotel. Its members were impressed, as it was intended that they
and the country in general should be impressed, by the sonorous
voice and important presence of Hannis Taylor, former American
Minister to Spain and author of text books on constitutional
and international law, such as “The Origin and Growth of the
English Constitution” and “International Public Law.” He made
an opening address in which, from his heights of knowledge, he
solemnly declared that munitions shipments were in violation of
international law. His address was largely devoted to assurances
to his hearers that he was an authority on such matters and that
they could take his opinion as disposing of the legal aspect of
this question. Mr. Taylor was there to lend distinction to the
gathering, and he left no doubts in their minds that he thought he
was doing it.

But when the delegates got down to business, there was trouble. The
farmer delegates became suspicious--they had vague fears of the
source of the money that was paying the bills; they did not like
the company they found themselves in. They first declined to bind
their constituents to the resolutions that were offered: then they
left the convention.

On the second day, the labour delegates became equally restless.
Buchanan had withdrawn. The delegates who used the opportunity
of being in Washington to call on Mr. Gompers came away from his
office with heavy hearts. Returning to the Willard, they saw
the machinery being manipulated by the discredited Martin and
Schulteis. “What have these fellows got to do with us?” they asked
one another. And then they asked “these fellows” quite bluntly,
“Who’s putting up the money for this show?” Martin, backed to the
wall of the Willard bar by their insistent demand for an answer,
replied with an evasive, “What difference does it make?” And when
they shouted that it made a profane lot of difference, he answered
defiantly that it was all right “even if it’s German money.”

That finished the labour delegates. They, too, went home.

But the ringleaders had put out a resounding resolution calling for
an embargo on munitions. And though the convention had fizzed out,
it had done an enormous lot of harm. Thousands of labouring men and
farmers had been indoctrinated with a specious pacifism that was
reflected later in the attempts to evade the Conscription Act when
we entered the war. The Government to-day is contending with the
moral antagonisms aroused in certain sections of the country by the
orators and writers of Labour’s National Peace Council.

In this moral infection, the work of Hannis Taylor played an
important part. He wrote legal opinions for the Council, declaring
that the traffic in munitions was unconstitutional. He received
$700 for this work. These opinions were printed and distributed
broadcast, and did much harm. More recently, Taylor was counsel
for Robert Cox, the Missouri draft registrant who sued to restrain
General Leonard Wood from sending him with his regiment to France.
On his behalf, Hannis Taylor contended that the Conscription
Act was unconstitutional, asserting that the only power of
Congress to call out troops was under the militia clause of the
Constitution which reads: “To execute the laws of the Union,
suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” This meant, so Taylor
contended, that no citizen could be sent, against his will, outside
the United States to fight its battles.

This absurd doctrine, which would force us to fight this war on
our own soil instead of allowing us to defend ourselves in Europe
against German aggression, was promptly punctured by the Supreme
Court of the United States. In his brief before that Court Hannis
Taylor used language so violent that the counsel for the Government
asked that it be expunged from the record. Taylor in his brief
accused the President of being a “dictator,” of seizing powers
“in open defiance of the judgments” of the Supreme Court, and of
demanding “such an aggregation of powers as no monarch ever wielded
in any constitutional government that ever existed.”

The decision of the Supreme Court, affirming the Government’s right
to draft its citizens for service overseas, was delivered by Chief
Justice White. That stern old veteran of the Lost Cause in our
Civil War, speaking with the aloofness and dignity of that august
Court, in measured terms expressed an opinion of Mr. Hannis Taylor
that is worth repeating. He said:

  ... we must notice a suggestion made by the Government that
  because of impertinent and scandalous passages contained in the
  brief of the appellant the brief should be stricken from the
  files. Considering the passages referred to and making every
  allowance for intensity of zeal and an extreme of earnestness
  on the part of counsel, we are nevertheless constrained to
  the conclusion that the passages justify the terms of censure
  by which they are characterized in the suggestion made by the
  Government. But despite this conclusion which we regretfully
  reach, we see no useful purpose to be subserved by granting the
  motion to strike. On the contrary, we think the passages on their
  face are so obviously intemperate and so patently unwarranted
  that if as a result of permitting the passages to remain on the
  files they should come under future observation, they would but
  serve to indicate to what intemperance of statement an absence
  of self-restraint or forgetfulness of decorum will lead and
  therefore admonish of the duty to be sedulous to obey and respect
  the limitations which an adhesion to them must exact.

In all the operations of Labour’s National Peace Council, including
its convention, Lamar kept in the background, as he knew labour
had no reason to own him or to love him. Buchanan and the rest
supplied the proper colour of propriety. From his retreat in the
Willard Hotel in Washington, Lamar was sending ecstatic telegrams,
reporting progress, signing the name of David H. Lewis, and
receiving in reply approving messages from Rintelen, who used
Jones, Miller, and Muller as aliases. The convention seemed a great
success. And its preparation and operation had got the German’s
money. Of the $547,000 that Rintelen brought, Lamar got more than
$300,000. It looked so good to Rintelen that he was ready to get
more--from Germany or from his limitless sources of credit here.

But all was not well with Rintelen. He had other lines out besides
Lamar’s, and he caught some disquieting fish--some of which he
did not identify until later. First, he was playing the social
game not wisely but too well. He gave dinner parties; was a guest
at others. He should have been more politic than he was. The
_Lusitania_ was sunk on May 7th. Instead of adopting the manner of
a man deep enough in intrigue to know that he should speak of this
crime as a lamentable blunder of his country’s, he justified it.
His words gave the gravest offense to his guests. He went further,
and threw out hinted threats of other perils that would confront
ships carrying munitions--hints that he himself had had a hand in
the mysterious fires on ships that were almost a daily occurrence.
Some dinner guests in New York took him seriously and reported him
to the Government, which had been suspicious of him almost from the
day of his arrival in this country.

Also, Rintelen undertook to get newspaper publicity favourable to
an embargo on the shipment of munitions. He got himself introduced
to “Jack” Hammond, an old newspaper man in New York, and closed
with him a contract for syndicate articles in a chain of papers
across the country. He met Hammond as one Fred Hansen, a ship
captain. (Hammond later testified that Rintelen told him that he
“killed” Hansen the day after the _Lusitania_ was sunk.) After
sizing Hammond up as worthy of trust, he re-introduced himself as
E. V. Gibbons, a purchasing agent, with offices in the building
occupied in part by the Transatlantic Trust Company. And at length
he confided to Hammond his real importance in the scheme of things

Early in this relationship Hammond became sure that this man was
planning to violate the laws of the United States, and he reported
the matter to the Department of Justice. The Department, already
suspicious, asked Hammond to keep up his connection with Rintelen,
and through this means it learned a great deal about him. Not
enough to cause his arrest--Rintelen never confided that much in
any American but Lamar, who had his own reasons for silence.

Out of Rintelen’s multifarious activities arose many of the
mysterious fires and explosions in munitions plants, the burning of
ships at sea, the attempts on the Welland Canal in Canada, strikes
in war industries, and the like. The discovery of Dr. Walter A.
Scheele’s part in the incendiary bombs matter, and his connection
with Rintelen, began to make the ground fairly warm under
Rintelen’s feet. And the Government was taking an uncomfortable
interest in Labour’s National Peace Council. Rintelen became uneasy.

His fears were now fed from a new quarter. Andrew D. Meloy became a
confidant of his, and Meloy had his own axe to grind. Rintelen had
taken an interest in the German activities in Mexico, and almost
from the day of his arrival had been intimate in this work with
Federico Stallforth, a German banker of Mexico City who joined
Rintelen in New York. Stallforth had offices with Meloy at 55
Liberty Street, and when the Transatlantic Trust Company became
embarrassed by Rintelen’s presence, Stallforth persuaded Meloy to
rent Rintelen desk room. Their acquaintance started there, about
July 1st.

Meloy was a well-known engineer and promoter. He had exploited
concessions in Mexico--railroad rights of way and gold mines--and
in his home state of New Jersey had floated some real-estate
“developments.” Meloy saw in Rintelen exactly what Lamar had
seen--a lot of real money and an eagerness too great for caution.
He began to belittle Lamar’s scheme. Labour’s National Peace
Council would never do. It looked good on paper, but it would never
stop the shipment of munitions. He even hinted that Lamar had
been “playing” Rintelen. Now, if Rintelen wanted a real scheme,
certain to succeed, he knew the very thing. Direct action--stop
the bluffing and the dangerous intrigues. Buy the whole munitions
output of the country. Bid high enough to get it, pay for it
outright, and store it. That would cost money, lots of it: but what
was money in comparison with the certainty of German victory which
this plan would insure?

Rintelen was dazzled. Here was the authentic voice of American
big business speaking. A magnificent scheme. He would take it to
Germany, take Meloy with him, and get his Government to O. K. it.

But how get back to Germany? He had grave doubts about the Gasché
passport being good again. He put the question to Meloy, and Meloy
advised against it. There was a better way: get a new passport
under a new name. So for a few days Rintelen became “Edward V.
Gates, wine merchant, of Millersburg, Pa.” In this guise Meloy
introduced him to one of his own real-estate salesmen, and Rintelen
took this man to dinner once or twice to work up the illusion.
Then, one day, he asked the salesman to go with him to the passport
bureau in New York and be his witness to an application for a
passport. The salesman went, and in good faith swore that Rintelen
was Edward V. Gates. His faith was not so good when he swore he
had known him for three years. The application was transmitted
telegraphically to Washington. Much to Rintelen’s astonishment and
alarm, it was denied.

Meanwhile, Meloy had been working on a devious scheme to protect
himself in his mission to Berlin. He must be cloaked in eminent
respectability on this errand, for it would be an unpopular one
with the British if they knew its real purpose, and he must hide
that. First of all, he would take his wife, who did not know what
his mission was. She had taken an active interest before the war
in the peace movements centring at The Hague, and nothing was more
natural than that she should wish now, during the war, to renew her
friendships in Holland with an eye to furthering a cause now more
than ever vital to the world.

But Meloy was not content with only one companion. He must have
others who would expand the picture of innocence abroad. One of
his neighbours in the suburb on the Jersey Coast where he made his
country home was a wealthy woman known widely in America for her
interest both in the peace and suffrage movements. Meloy telephoned
to her and asked her to see him at his home. This lady drove over
one summer evening in her motor car, accompanied by two women
friends. The friends sat in the open car while she sat on the porch
talking to Meloy. Meloy is very deaf; the lady had to talk loudly
to make him hear. Meloy differed from most deaf people, who usually
speak in a lower tone than those who hear well--he went rather to
the other extreme, and spoke louder than most folks do. The women
in the car heard the conversation, and they heard it a second time
when their friend repeated it to them on the way home. And the
Government heard it also, from the lips of all three.

The burden of the conversation was this: Meloy was taking his wife
to Europe for a vacation; they were going to Holland, where so
many forward-looking movements for the good of mankind made their
international headquarters; he would be drawn aside a great deal by
business affairs and Mrs. Meloy would be lonesome; he was anxious
to provide companionship for her, if the lady would accompany them,
he would pay all her expenses, he would assure her that her journey
would be made _de luxe_, he would (he put it more delicately) even
add a money consideration, he would see that the journey included
a visit to war-bound Germany, now so difficult of access, that in
Germany she should have _entrée_ to social circles so exclusive
that they were inaccessible even to the American Ambassador, and
that, to crown all, she should be presented to the Kaiser.

The lady said she would think it over. It was an attractive
invitation, but she did not just like it--perhaps it was too
attractive. She talked it over with her friends: they advised
against it. She telephoned Meloy next day and declined.

Meloy repeated the invitation to several women. All declined. Then,
as the _Noordam_ was to sail on August 3d, and he had no more time,
he decided to take his secretary, a Miss Brophy.

Rintelen was now thoroughly alarmed. The Government’s refusal to
grant his fraudulent application for a passport indicated that
it knew about him. The Government was getting “warm” in its
investigation of the incendiary bombs. The Government was taking an
unpleasant interest in Labour’s National Peace Council. Rintelen
felt irresistibly the pangs of _Heimweh_, the longing for home. He
must go, at any risk. He would chance it as Gasché again.

So he sailed on the _Noordam_, with Meloy and party. He bore with
him Lamar’s urgent appeals for more funds for Labour’s National
Peace Council, now at the high tide of its success. And he was in
the hands of Meloy, who was at the first of his own rainbow of
hope of millions with which to buy America’s munition output--on

At Falmouth the _Noordam_ was detained for fourteen hours. The
British took a great interest in the Gasché-Meloy party. Gasché’s
baggage revealed nothing suspicious, but Gasché was removed to
a long residence in an internment camp near London. Meloy was
detained for several days. Mrs. Meloy soon appeared to be beyond
suspicion. Miss Brophy declared that her baggage contained only
personal effects. But at the bottom of her last trunk was found
a wallet containing Gasché’s papers. These were seized, and Miss
Brophy and Mrs. Meloy were allowed to proceed to Holland, where
they were later rejoined by Meloy.

The Gasché papers were most interesting. They contained some
of Rintelen’s letters showing his intimacy with well-known New
Yorkers, and letters in which he referred to his “official mission”
to the United States that were very important, for they proved
what Rintelen steadfastly denied, namely, that he was in this
country by orders of the German Government. In one of them to a
man in Germany, whom he addressed as “Most Honourable Counsellor,”
he wrote: “Your letter of the 25th March [1915] was sent after me
when I was _on an official journey_, and I request you to excuse
the delaying in replying.” And another letter, from the National
Bank Für Deutschland, dated Berlin, 25th May, 1915, and addressed
“To the Landed Proprietor, Von Preskow,” contained this sentence:
“Director Rintelen, who looked after Major Von Katte’s account,
entered the navy on the outbreak of hostilities, and as he is at
present _on an official journey_ is not available at the moment.”

With Rintelen’s internment ended Lamar’s golden fortune and Meloy’s
golden vision and Rintelen’s dream of destruction. And now began
one of the most difficult and one of the longest tasks of the
Department of Justice. For, out of the fragments of evidence at
its command, and out of the seemingly innocent public acts
of Labour’s National Peace Council, and out of the obscure and
isolated outrages to ships and factories in the United States, the
Department of Justice had to construct a pattern that should prove,
by tangible legal evidence, the guilt of Rintelen and Lamar in a
plot to violate the laws of the United States.


Above, Rintelen’s photograph on a false passport with which he
tried to escape from the United States; left, Andrew D. Meloy;
right, David Lamar, “the Wolf of Wall Street”]

This long investigation was a fascinating study in human nature.
If only Lamar had been a little different in his manners, he might
have escaped the clutches of the law. If Rintelen had been as wise
as he was clever, he might still be in an internment camp instead
of a prison.

Lamar, it may be recalled, had a weakness for automobiles. He hired
them on all occasions. They were especially useful to him for
conferences with Rintelen. They did not wish to be seen together,
so Lamar would drive to an unfrequented spot in Central Park.
Rintelen would drive up in another car and get into Lamar’s, and
then they would go for a long ride while they discussed their
plans. Sometimes they would go for hours on the North Shore of
Long Island; sometimes for long excursions in the Pelham region of
Westchester County, stopping perhaps at a wayside inn and taking a
room for greater privacy in their conferences.

An agent of the Department of Justice spent six weeks making the
rounds of the garages in New York. He carried Lamar’s picture in
his pocket. He showed it to every chauffeur in every garage. And
every chauffeur who had driven a car for Lamar during that summer
of 1915 recognized the picture, and every one of them applied the
same epithet to its original that Trampas applied to the Virginian
in Owen Wister’s book when the Virginian, in response, drew his gun
and demanded that “when you call me that, smile!” For Lamar, who
was the suave, the gracious, the ultra-polite and charming man to
people whom he wished to cajole, was overbearing, fault-finding,
and peremptory toward those who served him. His movements in the
hotels about the country were several times traced by a rough
description completed by a remark about his manner toward servants.
No waiter or bell-boy ever forgot him. He was forever “kicking
about the service.”

This vivid impression that he made on the chauffeurs contributed
greatly to his undoing. They remembered him perfectly, and recalled
his companions. They recognized Rintelen’s photograph. And several
of them had overheard parts of the conversations that were useful
to the Government. Through these men, Lamar’s connection with
Rintelen in a conspiracy to violate the Sherman Act by restraining
our foreign trade in munitions was established.

One’s laundry, too, may be a dangerous thing. Lamar denied that he
had stopped at hotels in Chicago and Indianapolis and elsewhere at
the same time that Martin and others were there. But handwriting
experts proved that the names “David Lenaur,” “David Lewis,”
and the like, on hotel registers on those days were in Lamar’s
handwriting. And the conclusive proof of their evidence was that
the laundry lists of the hotels on those days showed that the
laundry mark on the linen of “Lenaur” and of “Lewis” was the
laundry mark of Lamar.

Charge accounts at stores may also prove troublesome. It became
necessary to find out where Lamar banked his money. That was
discovered through Lamar’s stomach trouble. He was a patron of
a druggist in New York who had his pet prescription for his pet
ailment. Lamar sometimes wrote, and sometimes telegraphed, for
another bottle of this medicine. A telegram of this kind sent
the Government agent to the druggist. Did Lamar ever pay by
check? On what banks? The answers led to those banks and thence
to others and thence to Lamar’s brokers, from one of whom alone
evidence was obtained that the whilom bankrupt had lost, in one
series of speculations that summer, $38,000 in cash. Whose cash?
The Government was able to prove that Lamar had got thousands
of dollars from Rintelen, because they produced the men who saw
Rintelen pay it, and Lamar was not able to prove that he had got
any such sums from anybody else, so the jury took the Government’s
theory as fact that Lamar was Rintelen’s man.

The story of this proof is worth telling. On the witness stand at
the trial, George Plockman, the treasurer of the Transatlantic
Trust Company (the Austrian bank in New York with which Rintelen
kept his funds) described the arrangement Rintelen had made to
conceal the passage of money for illegal acts. He had instructed
the Transatlantic Trust Company, when it received checks drawn
by him in a certain form, to cash them without questioning the
identity of the bearer and without requiring him to endorse them.

One check of this kind was presented at the bank one day, and the
paying teller brought it to Plockman to ask if he should pay it.

“Who presented it?” asked Plockman.

“That dark man over there,” replied the paying teller.

“I thought,” said Plockman on the witness stand, “that this man was
a Mexican, but while I was looking at him our vice-president came
up and when he understood the situation and saw the man he said:
‘Mein Gott! Dot is de Volf of Vall Street! I hope Rintelen has not
got into _his_ clutches!’”

One other incident of the trial should be told. Testimony was
brought in that showed how the money for the Peace Council was
spent. One item was for funds to pay the expenses of a German
preacher from St. Louis to attend the convention at Washington and
open the proceedings with prayer. Lamar had never heard of this
until he heard it in the courtroom. It was too much for him. When
this evidence came out, of the lengths to which his own pupils
had out-distanced even their teacher in the art of political
camouflage, he burst into roars of uncontrollable laughter which
literally stopped all proceedings in court, the tears rolling down
his cheeks as he struggled to subdue his mirth.

Out of all the investigations of the Government arose a card index
of every man that Rintelen and Lamar had seen during the four
months from April 3 to August 3, 1915, of every hotel they had
visited, of practically every telephone call they had made and
every telegram sent or received, of nearly every dollar they had
had and spent. Thousands upon thousands of these cards were made
and filed. They convicted both men.

The Government indicted Rintelen, Lamar, Buchanan, Fowler, Martin,
Schulteis, and a man named Monnett, for conspiracy to violate
the Sherman Act in the operations of Labour’s National Peace
Council to restrain our foreign trade. Rintelen, Lamar, and Martin
were convicted. The rest got the benefit of a very slim doubt,
except Frank B. Monnett, the farmer attorney-general of Ohio,
whose reputation in the early suit of Ohio to oust the Standard
Oil Company from the state had been used as “stage setting” by
Martin. He was freed by the Court before the jury was sent out to
deliberate. The convicted men got the limit of the law--one year in
jail. Rintelen was likewise indicted for perjury in his application
for a passport as Edward V. Gates, and again for another crime
against our laws. He was convicted on both charges, and sentenced
to several months’ imprisonment on each.

No one realized better than the judges who sentenced him how
inadequate these punishments to expiate his crimes. But the laws
under which Rintelen was convicted--and they were the only laws
under which his acts (all committed before our entry into the war)
could be questioned--were enacted in times of peace, when no one
dreamed of the world conflict or could have imagined how it would
affect us when it came.

Rintelen has completed serving time on the first of his three
sentences, and has the other two still to serve. The Tiger of
Berlin is securely caged, and not likely soon to be again at large.



On going to war with the great masters of spy craft last year, the
United States had only a handful of secret service men to guard its
internal frontier. Within our borders were a million and a half
men and youths who were enemy aliens. Not all of them hostile,
it is true; but all potentially dangerous because great national
organizations existed--even shooting societies--through which
German influences might reach in a few hours or days. And in every
centre of population there were captains and field marshals of
German intrigue, supplied with unlimited money, to appeal to their
feelings and to lead them should a chance come to strike.

Yet America, during the first year of war, has been singularly
peaceful. No serious disturbance has hampered war preparations
conducted on a gigantic scale. Even the Selective Service Act,
inconsistent with all our volunteer traditions and pride, was
accepted almost without opposition. Instead of a red reign of
conflagration and civil strife, there have been no outbreaks
worthy of the name; and, according to the Underwriters’
Association, not a single fire in our munitions plants of a clearly
established incendiary character.

Attorney-General Thomas W. Gregory, in fact, had solid grounds
for declaring to the executive committee of the American Bar
Association recently: “I do not believe that there is to-day any
country which is being more capably policed than is the United
States.” _He added that for every man engaged in detecting and
investigating violations of federal laws in April, 1917, there
are at least one thousand to-day_; while reports on new cases are
coming in at the rate of fifteen hundred a day!

That sounds like a miracle of organization, doesn’t it? Even the
army, with its pride-compelling record of expansion, is a slow
coach beside these legions of “plain-clothes” soldiers who hold our
inner lines. Let’s see how it happened.

When the war broke, the only secret service work done by
the Government was handled by five small organizations. The
Department of Justice had its Bureau of Investigation, charged
with the discovery of offenses against the federal statutes--not
a large force, but quite adequate to its peace-time job. The
Treasury Department maintained a secret service with two definite
functions--to protect the President’s life and person, and to
prevent counterfeiting. The Army and Navy had each a few officers
detailed to its intelligence service--the gathering of military
and naval information and the protection of our own plans and
operations. And finally the State Department possessed a small
intelligence section of its own. But by comparison with the
territory to be covered and the number of active German and
Austrian agents in the country, there were few experienced men
available for counter-espionage. And there in the background were
that million and a half enemy aliens who would bear a lot of

The declaration of war, then, instantly brought an emergency. Part
of it the Department of Justice met by striking swift and hard
at all who were unquestionably enemy agents. Because of their
propaganda and other activities against the Entente Allies, these
agents had been under observation for some time. Within forty-eight
hours the more dangerous had been rounded up--under the hoary old
act of 1798, which gave the President power to intern enemy aliens
when their being at liberty might constitute a menace to the public

There remained the urgent need of an immense increase in the
Government’s counter-espionage forces. It would take thousands of
trained and intelligent operatives to keep watch of the German
agents and German sympathizers who swarmed throughout the country.
As a class, such operatives did not exist: to draft the right
kind of raw material from civil life would involve delays, great
personal sacrifices on the part of the men drafted, and an enormous
yearly budget. Thousands of business and professional careers would
be interrupted at critical stages. Most of the men who accepted
the call would be risking after-the-war failure in their chosen
callings. The work simply couldn’t be done that way.

Then it was that the American Protective League found a way to do

The League is a volunteer body of 250,000 patriotic Americans,
organized with the approval and operating under the direction of
the Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigation. It cross-cuts
every commercial, industrial, professional, social, and economic
level in American life. Bank presidents and bell hops, judges
and janitors, managers and mechanics--all ranks meet on its
common platform of loyalty and service. It has woven a net of
discreet surveillance across more than a thousand American cities
and towns; and the meshes are so small that few active German
agents slip through. It reaches out into the country as well.
More than 52,000,000 people--about half the population of the
United States--live in communities where the League has active
and effective organizations; where too, propaganda, or sedition,
sabotage or plain slacking are neither popular nor healthy.

The League was born in March, last year, two weeks before we
declared war. The idea originated with Mr. A. M. Briggs of Chicago.
Mr. Briggs is now Chairman of the National Board of Directors of
the American Protective League. He secured authority to establish
it as a volunteer auxiliary of the Department of Justice on March
22, 1917. Within a month he had the League in operation with
several thousand members. With him, Captain Charles Daniel Frey
and Mr. Victor Elting were responsible for its development and
the organization of the work. Mr. Frey is organizer and First
Chief of the Chicago District, the original working unit of the
American Protective League. The plan, the policies, and the methods
developed in the Chicago District, which includes 280 cities and
towns, were approved by the Department of Justice, and have been
generally followed throughout the country as the model and standard
for subsequent organizations. Mr. Elting, as Assistant Chief at
Chicago, has from the inception of the League been active in the
development of its policy. These three, now national directors with
headquarters at Washington, are modest about taking any credit for
the amazing extension of the League and its extraordinary present
usefulness. They insist that the first great response was due to
the general recognition of a national crisis, the impulse to do
something to meet it, and the patriotic and unselfish coöperation
of every local chief and individual operative in the country.

At all events, it was knowledge of how widespread and unscrupulous
was the German spy system, and how seriously it was affecting
the temper and loyalty of aliens and naturalized citizens, that
launched the League. Proposal was made to the Department of Justice
that a volunteer auxiliary of simon-pure Americans be formed to
keep watch for the Government in every neighbourhood and to make
most of the Department’s investigations for it. The service would
be without pay. No inquiries would be undertaken without reference
of the case to the Department first. And no expense accounts would
be presented for money spent. Doubts may have existed regarding
the feasibility of the plan. Such men as were needed would be hard
to interest in the drudgery of police investigation. But Mr.
Briggs was confident that there were thousands of business and
professional men past service age and necessary to their families
and communities who still were fired with patriotism and filled
with wrath at the progress of German propaganda and plotting in
this country. They were successful men of affairs--men of proved
judgment, intelligence, initiative, and energy. The Department
could not buy their full time at any price, but it could command
their spare time, plus as many work-hours, on occasions, as were
necessary to complete any task. There were also men of service age,
eager to fight but held at home by obligations or other causes, who
would not stint either time or energy in the League’s service.

Given authority to go ahead March 22, 1917, the League was
organized on military lines. The plan was that each city and its
tributary country should be broken up into divisions, in charge of
inspectors. Divisions were cut up into districts, with captains in
command. And each captain recruited as many working squads, under
lieutenants, as the size and character of his district demanded.
Reinforcing this territorial organization was another which
treated every important industry, trade, and profession, and even
large business establishments and office buildings as individual
organization units. The territorial organization was known as the
Bureau of Investigation; the classified trade, professional, and
industrial force as the Bureau of Information. As a matter of fact,
they were just the right and left arms of the League. Each had its
specialized work to do, but the big jobs in each case were the same.

From the start, the two main functions of the League stood out
boldly. The first was “to make prompt and reliable report of all
disloyal or enemy activities and of all infractions or evasions of
the war code of the United States.” The second followed naturally:
“to make prompt and thorough investigation of all matters of
similar nature referred to it by the Department of Justice.” Close
coöperation with the local agent of the Department was essential in
both instances.

Because the plan had been carefully worked out, the League made
a flying start in a great Western city. Inspectors, captains,
lieutenants were commissioned and assigned to their units.
“Operatives,” picked with equal caution, were sworn in and given
their credentials. By May first, there were a thousand men engaged
in the absorbing new game.

Thousands of investigations taxed the young ardour and endurance of
the League--suspected spy activities, seditious speeches, lying
reports about the Red Cross, Y. M. C. A., and Knights of Columbus,
pro-German propaganda, suspected treasonable conspiracies, sabotage
cases and, later, organized and individual efforts to evade the
draft. But every member was under pledge to run down to the end any
case assigned to him, whether it took a day or a week, and results
came speedily.

Though lacking in experience, most of the members had unusual
equipment as investigators. Nearly all had imagination and logical,
work-trained minds. Many of them were men of means and could devote
all of their time to urgent cases. Instead of waiting for an O. K.
on a requisition for a motor car, they had machines of their own
to use. Without considering how an item would strike a government
auditor, they could and did spend their own money to get the facts
they sought. Without having to finesse approaches to necessary
sources of information, they could usually draw on a wide circle
of friends for inside facts which a professional detective might
require days to secure.

[Illustration: Officers of the American Protective League, an
organization of 250,000 patriotic American business men who
coöperate effectively with the Department of Justice in its
operations against spies, slackers, and seditionists. Above, Mr. A.
M. Briggs, founder; left, Capt. Daniel Frey, and right, Mr. Victor
Elting, National Directors]

The League’s rule in assigning cases, indeed, is to choose as
investigator the man whose social, professional, or business
connections are such that he can “clean up” with the least
effort and in the shortest space of time. When there are many
places to visit, the case goes to a man owning a motor car. If
it is complex in character, with lines extending into various
industries, clubs, trades, and so on, the work may be divided and
several members assigned to it. The main idea is to get the work
done, and done quickly--the secondary purpose to make it as easy as
may be for the members.

League members knew little about methods of investigation. But
they had that priceless gift, intelligence, and they learned
by doing. There was such a mass of complaints, tips, and wild
guesses concerning enemy activities waiting to be handled, that no
extensive schooling could be attempted. The cleverest government
operatives available and experienced city and private detectives
talked to groups of captains and lieutenants, and these passed
along the information to their men. A. Bruce Bielaski, Chief of
the Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, was quick
to recognize the possibilities of the League. Everywhere his
organization gave invaluable aid and coöperation in training League

Able lawyers made brief but comprehensive digests of the laws
involved and the rules of evidence to be observed. Methods of work
and problems of authority and conduct were explained at length
in a handbook. Supplementing the handbook and the law digest,
bulletins were published at intervals to suggest better methods,
to report fresh evidence of German plans and propaganda, or to sum
up and interpret the new laws which Congress was enacting for the
punishment of espionage and sedition.

Close touch was kept at every step with the Department of Justice.
Forms for reports and records were adopted, conforming to the
system in use by the Department. Carbons of all reports and records
were made for the files of the Bureau of Investigation. Eventually
a complete record of each case found its way to the master file in
Washington. In this way duplication of effort was avoided, complete
coöperation assured, and the exact status of any inquiry could be
learned in a moment by any one needing the information.

Far from running wild in its enthusiasm to corral all enemy agents,
the League tried to give every alien it investigated an American
square deal. Perhaps the finest paragraph in the handbook is this
one urging the right of aliens to considerate treatment until their
unfriendly attitude is revealed:

“Many aliens resident in this country are absolutely loyal to
its institutions and its laws, and many individuals having the
legal status of alien enemies are not only conducting themselves
with due respect to our laws, but are of great value in industry
and business. Great care must be exercised by members to avoid
unnecessary alarm to aliens and to avoid causing apprehension upon
their part as to the fairness and justice of the attitude of the
Government toward them. In this regard members will be called upon
for the exercise of judgment and discretion of a high order. They
should protect citizens and aliens from unjust suspicion, but must
fearlessly ascertain and report treason and disloyalty wherever

All this has to do with the investigation of specific cases after
they have been brought to the League’s attention by the report of
a member, an outside complaint, or a request from the Department
of Justice for an inquiry into the facts. Quite as important in
discouraging disloyalty or pro-German activities is the service of
League members as eyes and ears for the Government in detecting and
making first reports on offenses or intended offenses against the
war code of the United States.

This means that every League member is always on the lookout
for any word or act that smacks of sedition or espionage. It is
here that the classified organization by industries, trades,
professions, and individual business establishments develops its
full value. When a factory making munitions, clothing, motor
trucks, or any other war necessity has been organized as a League
unit, the members are on the alert for signs of disturbance. They
can quickly report to their supervisor what they have seen or
heard, and, after comparing notes, can take precautions against
the threatened trouble. If they need outside help in checking up
a suspect after working hours, the territorial organization is
ready to coöperate. The suspect need never know that he is under
suspicion until his guilt or innocence is pretty well established.

Such a factory unit is typical of the League organization in the
larger cities. Besides the strictly industrial group, there are
usually eight broad divisions, any one of which may be important
enough to have an assistant bureau chief, and several captains,
lieutenants, and individual units. These divisions take in the
real estate, financial, insurance, and professional groups,
the hotels, transportation companies, public utilities, and
merchandising interests--wholesale, retail, and mail-order. And the
industries alone may be numerous and powerful enough to call for
separate divisions--munitions, packers’ products, food stuffs, war
equipment, metal trades, lumber, motor cars, electrical machinery
and supplies, chemicals and paints, and so on. It all depends on
how numerous and how large are the establishments in each line.
Outside the larger cities territorial organization is the rule.
When the district is identified with some industry of special value
in war, like mining, lumbering, or cattle raising, protection of
that industry may be the chief function of the League.

Not only does the classified method of organization help each
trade and profession to police itself; it greatly facilitates
important inquiries. For example, suppose that the Government
wants to find and learn the local errand of a visiting electrical
engineer with a German name and considerable cash whom it has had
under surveillance elsewhere. On being asked for a report, the
League’s local Chief assigns the case to one of his deputies. The
latter notifies the supervisors of the various hotel units to watch
out for the stranger, report his arrival, and keep watch of his
letters and telephone calls. He also communicates with the head of
the professional division and asks that an electrical engineer be
detailed on the case.

When the suspect has been located and the hotel supervisor has
transmitted any other information he has been able to get, the
engineer member begins work. Going to the hotel he finds or makes
a way to become acquainted with the stranger, offers him the usual
professional courtesies, and gives him a chance to suggest why he
is in town or whom he wants to see. Direct questions are not asked,
of course, since they would put the stranger on his guard. After
he has carried the inquiry as far as he can, the engineer member
quietly and casually goes his way, unless the stranger has accepted
his offers of help or hospitality.

If the suspect has “covered up” more than an honest engineer
should, he is systematically shadowed by other League operatives
during the remainder of his stay. Walking out or staying in his
room, travelling in taxicabs or in street cars, making business
calls or social calls, one or more of his two “shadows” would
probably keep him in sight and make memoranda regarding every
person he met and spoke with and every significant circumstance
that took place. Only when in a private house or in his hotel room
would he escape observation--and even then a fairly close tab would
be kept on what he was doing.

A record would be made of every telephone call, every telegram,
every letter received, with particular reference to the postmark,
dates, and the return cards on the envelopes. His baggage would
be inventoried and described, even to its hotel labels, its
character, and its probable price and origin. When he finally
departed, if the porter bought his tickets for him or whether he
purchased them himself at the station, his route, and his first
destination--all would be matters of history. One of his “shadows”
would even see him safely past the last suburban stop from which he
might double back to the city or to a waiting confederate.

This seems a mighty pother to make about an apparently innocent
traveller. But the League prefers to work overtime and play safe.
The narratives of some of the “tailings” would make marvellous
reading if they only led up to the proper dramatic climax. Many
of them do--but those are not to be talked about yet awhile. And
the others are significant only because they are the records of
uninteresting tasks as faithfully executed as though the sheltering
doorway or hotel lobby chair were a listening post in France.

Remember that these tasks were made both complex and difficult
by the lack of laws defining espionage, disloyalty, and sedition
as punishable crimes. That ancient act of 1798 could be invoked
for the internment of dangerous enemy aliens. But an American
citizen, native or naturalized, could spit treason and plot trouble
unchecked so long as he did not run foul of the civil or the
criminal code. That is all changed now; the amended Espionage and
Sedition Law, signed by the President in June, 1917, is so broad
and has such a fine set of serviceable teeth that no disloyal
citizen or unfriendly alien can escape the penalty if his guilt can
be proved.

For more than a year, however, the League was compelled not only to
prove a citizen’s pro-German activities; it had also to find a way
to punish them, or at least to discourage them. Every inquiry into
such a case, therefore, had to be supplemented by an effort to find
evidence of an offense against the civil or criminal statutes. And
where this failed, a good old-fashioned “talking to” often had the
desired effect.

Hatred of “Prussian militarism” and pretended allegiance to the
United States were the favourite pose of many propagandists whom
the League rounded up and secured billets for in various internment
camps. Most of these had taken out their first naturalization
papers; except in a few middle and western states like Nebraska,
where “first papers” and six months of residence confer the right
to vote, this was no protection when evidence of disloyalty or
pro-German activity was adduced against them.

Typical of this class was the case of an Austrian officer of
reserves who was six months under investigation before he was
arrested. Like so many other interned Teutons, his entry into
the United States had been by way of the Argentine. Traced back,
it was discovered that he had reported to the Austrian Consul in
Buenos Aires as an officer of reserves at the first mobilization
call, July 27, 1914; and again when he sailed for the United
States with a false Swedish passport in 1915. Then, in succession,
he had registered at the San Francisco, St. Louis, and Chicago
consulates--at the last on September 30, 1915.

In less than six months, however, he had applied for naturalization
papers and was arranging to return to Buenos Aires as selling agent
for several American houses. When the State Department denied him
a passport, he devised another means of keeping watch of American
efforts to supplant German houses in the South American markets.
This was an export information bureau, but his information was
not live enough to hold his clients long. Next he projected a
$2,000,000 corporation to take over and operate the German interned
steamships at New York. By turns also he was advertising solicitor
and automobile salesman.

The occupation he followed always allowed him maximum freedom in
moving about and a plausible excuse for approaching almost any one
he wanted to reach. Very early in the inquiry, his defenselessness
appeared; he had entered the country under a false passport and
could be arrested whenever the Department of Justice chose to move.
Because he had arrived in San Francisco eighteen months before our
declaration of war, he was given the benefit of the doubt. Not
until his character as a dangerous enemy alien had been established
was he interned. He will be deported at the end of the war.

Different in detail, but similar in character and outcome, was the
Odyssey of a missionary of German culture, whose earnings were as
nominal as his expenditures were excessive. Arriving in New York in
1912, also by way of the Argentine, he had spent the intervening
time travelling about the country in various rôles which would
bring him in contact with rich Americans of German birth or blood.
At various times he was a dealer in pictures, in stocks and bonds,
and in subscription editions of the German classics.

As a side line, he seems to have been checking up American efforts
to develop sources of potash, Germany’s one great monopoly in
minerals. He even engaged himself as stock salesman for an Eastern
company organized to extract potash from the Pacific kelp fields
and made at least one trip to the coast to study that new industry.
Always his scale of living was far in excess of his earnings from
such sources of income as could be traced. After a long and patient
inquiry--covering nearly eight months from the time the man’s
pro-German utterances were first reported--he was finally interned
for the duration of the war.

Enemy aliens have not been alone in keeping League members up at
night. Far more numerous have been the investigations bearing
upon the character and loyalty of American citizens, particularly
candidates for commissions in the Army and Navy and applicants for
civilian service in positions of trust. Still a third class of
inquiries which have lacked the thrill of espionage cases have been
the thousands of investigations made of claims for exemption or
deferred classification under the selective service law.

Anything like a divided allegiance, of course, would destroy the
usefulness of an army or naval officer--if, indeed, it did not make
him a positive menace to his country. Every character and loyalty
inquiry, therefore, has this background of danger, especially when
the subject is of German or of Austrian ancestry. And sometimes
the League operative must have a keen scent for significant minor
details to detect the danger signal.

For instance, one of the candidates for a recent special officers’
training camp was a young Cincinnati man with a German name. He
was a citizen, of draft age, of such intelligence, experience,
and physique that his acceptance was a foregone conclusion if
his loyalty were assured. Investigation showed him to have been
pro-German in his sympathies before our declaration of war,
and practically silent on war subjects since. His attitude was
correct; and his application for training was a positive count
in his favour. But the League investigator, digging around for
information, learned that his man had been a contributor to a fund
raised by a Gaelic newspaper for the defence of Sir Roger Casement,
when that famous Irish rebel was on trial in London.

If the man had been of Irish blood, such a contribution would
have had little significance; natural sympathy for a compatriot
in trouble might have prompted it. Such an act by a German or an
American, however, suggested more than a passing interest in the
violent pro-German, anti-English propaganda which this particular
weekly exploited. Verifying the story by reference to the files of
the newspaper, the investigator called attention to the fact in
his report, and gave it as his opinion that the candidate wanted a
commission to escape the draft and that he lacked the whole-hearted
loyalty and enthusiasm an Army officer must have to be successful.
And, as the final decision coincided with the investigator’s, the
application was refused.

Another incident--double-barrelled in its effect--has also its
humorous side. One of the Chicago League officials picked up two
deserters on Michigan Avenue early one evening last December.
Neither had an overcoat, one had evidently “hocked” his blouse
to provide food or drink. The League man knew he must turn them
over to the police, but the boys were so cold and wretched that he
determined to give them a good dinner before surrendering them.

At his club, his “guests” created a certain amount of stir--and
seemed to enjoy it. They “didn’t miss a station from soup to
cigarettes,” as one of them expressed it. They were finishing up
when a young man in a captain’s uniform came over and interjected
himself into the feast.

“Excuse me,” he began as the host arose, “may I ask what your
interest in these men is?”

His tone was a shade too crisp, even for so young a captain.

“May I ask yours?” the League man countered.

“I’m in command of the provost guard in Chicago,” the other
declared. “It’s my business to look after deserters.”

It was a fatal bit of brag. The League man knew the provost
marshal--knew this fellow was an imposter. But one job at a time.

“I know these chaps and I’m looking after them,” he answered.
“Come along, boys.” And they departed in the olive splendour of a
taxicab. Then it pulled up a little later before a red light, and a
policeman opened the door. The lads were crestfallen but game.

“It was bully while it lasted,” they declared. “Anyway, they’d have
got us sooner or later.”

Before noon next day the youthful pseudo-captain was wiping his
tears away and explaining why he had been impersonating an officer.
There was a group of musical comedy girls in the foreground and
a trail of forged checks and unpaid club and hotel bills in the
background. He is learning in Leavenworth prison, now, that the
lion’s skin is dangerous apparel and that discretion is the better
part of a masquerade.

The League files are crammed with reports which have blacker
themes--or the scarlet motive which stands for constructive
treason. There are folders that deal with reported graft in the
purchase of materials for Army camps and subsequent fires which
covered up the scanting of buildings. There are others on cases of
undue influence brought to bear on members of exemption boards; and
sickening instances of “quacks” who have ruined strong but cowardly
young bodies for blood money. There are tales of extortion by
shyster lawyers for filling out questionnaires--and other tales of
money paid by enemy aliens to disreputable “fixers” for pretended
protection against the draft.

The mere classified index of the master file at Washington
intrigues the imagination. Just a glance at the main “guides” will
indicate the range:

  Enemy aliens
  Unfriendly neutrals
  “First-paper” aliens
  Disloyal citizens
  Pro-German “radicals”
  Disloyal Government employees
  Possible spies or German agents
  Pro-German applicants for Government positions
  Citizens or aliens living in luxury without visible sources of income
  Suspicious foreigners
  Enemy propaganda
    (Twenty sub-heads here)
  Enemy alien funds
  Alien extortion cases
  I. W. W. agitators
  Check of jury panels to keep out pro-Germans
  Incendiary fires in war-material plants
  Wireless stations
  Bomb and dynamite cases
  Passport applicants
  Seditious utterances
  Seditious publications
  Seditious meetings
  Anti-military activities
  Organizations to resist draft
  Attempted draft evasions
  False exemption claims
    Physical disability
    Dependent relatives
  Desertion of wife to enlist in Army
  Fraudulent claims of marriage
  Army deserters
  Impersonation of officers
  Sale of liquor to soldiers and sailors
  Sale of narcotics to men in service
  Hotel surveillance of doubtful transients
  Liberty Bond and Red Cross slackers
  Theft of Red Cross supplies
  Hoarding of foods
  Destruction of foods
  Character and loyalty of applicants for commissions

In making these investigations the League has coöperated, not only
with the Department of Justice, but also with Army Intelligence,
Navy Intelligence, the Alien Property Custodian, the Food
Administration, the Shipping Board, the Red Cross, the Y. M. C.
A., and with various other offices at Washington.

The number and variety of cases handled have not constituted the
major service of the League, however. Rather, it has been the
character and intelligence of the membership--the ability to
enter and comb any social, professional, or business circle for
information without betraying that an inquiry was afoot. From this
angle alone the original idea was pretty close to an inspiration,
since it improvised in the hour of need such an organization as not
even a generation of effort and many million dollars could have
built up.

Just because it was improvised and its personnel kept secret,
the League could meet the most dangerous German agents on their
own ground and paralyze their efforts by keeping them guessing.
Propaganda dies on the lips of the man who can’t be certain that
his listener is not making mental notes for an official report of
the conversation. And the most subtle scheme of spying or sabotage
is bound to drag when the plot master is harassed by doubts of
the native-born or naturalized accomplices he must enlist for its

One instance to show how much a local organization must depend
upon its specialists. Last summer it became necessary to know
beyond question whether or not a prominent young German-American
in a seaboard city was supplying the funds for the local agitation
against the draft. Suspicion attached to him because he spent
many evenings aboard his fast-racing schooner in the yacht club
harbour, and could not be induced, in any polite and casual way, to
invite any of the League’s yachting members aboard. His crew, two
Scandinavians, were as voluble as oysters.

The schooner was being tuned up for the annual club cruise late in
July. Two extra sailors would be needed for the race. The League
provided one of them. An upstanding young American, too young for
the first officers’ training camp but in line for the second, was
taken into the League, carefully coached, and turned loose in the
harbour with a loaned cat-boat to impress the German-American
skipper with his sailing skill. The boy finessed his approach
successfully and was asked to train with the crew. But he found
nothing material to report until the schooner had actually won the
big race.

That night after the victory had been celebrated in a flood of
champagne, which he alone avoided, he quietly went through all the
private papers in the owner’s cabin, made notes, or copied all that
referred in any way to pro-German activities and returned by rail
to the home port next morning. It turned out that the owner had
been guilty of no real disloyalty, though he had skirted the edge
more than once; but his papers pointed straight to the real source
of the propaganda and the latter was speedily apprehended.

Another interesting case was that of a noted pro-German “pacifist”
who for months was kept under surveillance without evidence being
secured which would bring a conviction under the existing law. He
had declared again and again that nine out of ten Americans were
opposed to the war; that thousands of armed men in Arizona, New
Mexico, and western Texas were only waiting for the signal to rise
against the Government; that another thousand in New York City
were watching for the same signal and a leader. He even intimated
that he had been asked to be that leader. And though the League
could account for every hour of his time, knew every citizen and
Congressman he had conferred with and most of the folk he had
written to, it was December before an indictment could be secured
against him.

That this man is still at liberty, on bail, until the courts reach
the hearing of his case is only a detail. The compensating facts
are that he served the League for some time as a stalking horse
for other citizens and aliens of doubtful loyalty--that ultimately
the close watch on him cut down his activities--and that under the
amended espionage law any one of a hundred things he did or said
would land him quickly in a Federal prison.

In the application of the Selective Service Act the League has
taken off the shoulders of the Government one of its heaviest
and most important tasks. The draft was and is a favoured field
of German agents, who have played upon ignorance and prejudice,
religious and union labour fears, racial antipathies, and the baser
emotions of cupidity and cowardice. They have utilized every device
to persuade men to avoid their military obligations to the country.
To the League is assigned the task of checking up all claims for
exemptions and all failures to appear before exemption boards. This
work, especially in the cities, has entailed enormous labour.

Space forbids a complete review of the League, but at least a
paragraph may be inserted about its organization, which is a
model of simplicity and flexibility. The League creates and is
responsible for its own organization in all of its branches.
Executive control of the organization is centred in a Board of
National Directors operating from National Headquarters at
Washington, D. C., in coöperation with the Attorney-General and
the officials of the Bureau of Investigation of the Department of
Justice, and through the latter with other departments and agencies
of the Government.

In each local office the chief is supreme. He investigates his
own men, invites them to join, and directs their work. As already
stated, there is a double organization of the local field--a
classified organization of trades, professions, industries, hotels,
large individual establishments, and office buildings; and a Bureau
of Investigation whose organization is territorial. Uniform blanks
for reports and records are made up after models supplied by
national headquarters, and uniform methods of making investigations
are adopted. This simple plan allows each local organization to
select the types of men that best suit its needs and to adapt
itself entirely to local conditions, while maintaining at the same
time complete touch and coöperation with other communities, with
the national organization, and with the Government.

The success of the League is attested by Attorney-General Thomas W.
Gregory himself. In his annual report to the Congress of the United
States he said of the League: “It has proved to be invaluable and
constitutes a most important auxiliary and reserve force for the
Bureau of Investigation.... This organization has been of the
greatest possible aid in thousands of cases.... Its work has been
performed in a thoroughly commendable manner with a minimum of
friction and complaint and with motives of the highest patriotism.
It is a self-supporting organization, and it would be difficult to
exaggerate the value of its service to the United States Department
of Justice.”



The German-Hindu plot to foment revolution in India is an
international drama with touches of “Treasure Island” adventure
in the South Seas. The characters include Zimmermann, many German
agents in the United States (among them Bernstorff), some venal
Americans, and a horde of Hindus--some of them ardent fanatics
and some plain grafters. The climax produced several executions,
one suicide, two cases of insanity, and a murder. The production
cost the Germans more than a million dollars, and the net receipts
were a deficit. The scenes were laid in Berlin, Constantinople,
Switzerland, New York, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Socorro
Island, Honolulu, Manila, Java, Japan, China, Siam, and India. The
last act was laid in a Federal penitentiary.

Writing from San Francisco, on November 4, 1916, Wilhelm von
Brincken, the military attaché of the German Consulate, addressed
a letter to his father to be “transmitted through the submarine
_Deutschland_ on its second voyage from the United States.” The
letter was never delivered; its boastful first paragraph and its
later candid text were read only by agents of the United States
Government. Von Brincken began:

  MY DEAR FATHER: At last an opportunity presents itself to send
  an uncensored letter to all of you. May the carrier, Germany’s
  pride, have a happy voyage and reach the home shore unscathed.

He then launched into bitter criticism of his treatment at the
Consulate, complaining especially of its niggardly support of his
work. Then he wrote (the italics are mine):

  As you know, _I am the head and organizer of the Hindu
  Nationalists on the Pacific_. Revolutionary and propaganda
  work costs money--much money. Berlin knows that and does not
  economize. _The Consul General_ [Franz Bopp] _also is under
  instructions to support the movement to the best of his
  ability and to further it financially_. However, there is a
  shortcoming in this respect. Whenever money is urgently needed
  and I report to that effect, I invariably meet with the same
  opposition. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the required
  amount is refused. As a result, the work suffers, is delayed,
  good opportunities are missed, and my people--the Hindus--are
  frequently exposed to danger of their lives. Just how many fell
  into the hands of the English and were hung, owing to unnecessary
  lack of funds, is, of course, wholly beyond our calculation. The
  “old man” evidently dislikes this type of work and, therefore,
  has no understanding for it. The other day a Hindu was here,
  who came directly from Switzerland, as messenger from _Mr. Von
  Wesendonck, of the Foreign Office (who has charge of Hindu
  matters there)_. This Hindu wondered why work in San Francisco
  dragged in such a manner and I told him quite frankly that if
  the Hindu work were not reorganized from the ground up, and made
  independent of the Consulate, the work would not only suffer but
  half of it would be harmful.

Later in the letter he says:

  My Hindu described Wesendonck as a particularly pleasing and fine

These extracts were written in November of 1916. They illuminate
an earlier cable from Von Wesendonck’s chief, Zimmermann (the
German Foreign Minister in Berlin) written in February of 1916 to
Bernstorff at Washington, which was “transmitted respectfully for
your information” to Von Papen in New York, and which reads as

  Berlin, Feb. 4, 1916.


  _In future_ all Indian affairs are to be exclusively handled by
  the Committee to be formed by Dr. Chakravarty. Dhriendra Sarkar
  and Heramba Lal Gupta, which latter person has meantime been
  expelled from Japan, thus cease to be independent representatives
  of _the Indian Independence Committee existing here_.


In other words, before February, 1916, the German Government had
been plotting with Hindus in the United States for the national
independence of India. Indeed, they had begun the work before 1914,
and they had become active in it in July of that year--before they
started the World War, but after they had decided to start it.
By December, they were directing Indian plots from Berlin with
ramifications in nearly every neutral country in the world. Two of
these plots were hatched in the United States--one in San Francisco
and one in Chicago. They were conspiracies to organize military
expeditions to India. Our Government spoiled both of them, and the
day after we went into the war, or on April 7, 1917, the United
States’ authorities arrested thirty-four German-Hindu plotters in
half a dozen cities and subsequently convicted them all but one of

The story begins in San Francisco. In 1911, a fanatical Indian
agitator named Har Dayal came to this country. He worked among the
large colonies of turbaned Hindu labourers on the Pacific Coast
who had succeeded the Chinese and Japanese coolies in the orchards
and gardens and on the railroad tracks in that region of abundant
climate and scarce labour. Dayal organized the Hindu Pacific Coast
Association and established its headquarters in San Francisco, to
which these men came looking for a job or a night’s lodging, and
where they were fed on rice and revolution. Dayal next established
a printing plant and began to publish a paper called _Ghadr_, which
means _The Revolution_. The _Ghadr_ was out for blood. It preached
Hindu uprising in terms of assassination and dynamite.

The first number of the _Ghadr_ was published in November, 1913. At
once it disclosed a German influence. In the issue of November 15,
1913, it printed these sentences: “The Germans have great sympathy
with our movement, because they and ourselves have a common enemy
(the English). In the future Germany can draw assistance from us,
and they can render us great assistance also.”

As the World War approached, this German influence became more
manifest. On July 21, 1914, two days before Austria’s ultimatum to
Serbia, the _Ghadr_ said:

“All intelligent people know that Germany is an enemy of England.
We also are mortal enemies of England. So the enemy of our enemy is
our friend.”

A week later, the _Ghadr_ welcomed the approach of war:

“If this war does not start to-day, it will to-morrow. So welcome!
India has got her chance.... Hasten preparations for meeting with
the speed of wind and storm, and no sooner the war starts in
Europe, you start a mutiny in India.”

And on August 4th it declared:

“O Warriors! The opportunity that you have been searching for years
has come ... there is hope that Germany will help you.”

In all this the United States had no interest. We were neutral, and
what Germany did to England was (we thought) England’s lookout.
Also, we were “the asylum of the oppressed” and “the home of free
speech”--and if the Hindus thought they ought to talk revolution
we were not concerned. It was not until the Hindus and the Germans
started “gun running” from our West Coast that we took a hand.

Har Dayal, nevertheless, was too ferocious even for the home of
free speech. Early in 1914, he made speeches so villainously
offensive to common decency and order that he was arrested and held
for deportation on the ground of being an undesirable alien. He
jumped bail in March and fled--to Berlin. He arrived there about
the time the war clouds began to darken the skies of Europe, and
found a sympathetic haven in the German Foreign Office. In company
with other Hindu revolutionists, and under the fostering care of
Von Wesendonck, he organized that “Indian Independence Committee
existing here” of which Zimmermann spoke affectionately in his
cable to Bernstorff, already quoted.

In Har Dayal’s place in San Francisco arose another Hindu
revolutionary leader, one Ram Chandra. He succeeded to the
management of the Hindu Pacific Coast Association, to the
editorship of the _Ghadr_, and to the sympathetic understanding
with the German agents in San Francisco. These German agents were
Bopp, the consul-general, and his staff, of whom Von Brincken, the
military attaché, was the agent with whom all personal dealings
were carried on. Of the scores of Hindus with unpronounceable names
and of their noisy speeches and noisome writings, there is no need
to make record. But the warlike activities of the Hindus and their
German friends were important, dangerous, and interesting.

On January 9, 1915, W. C. Hughes, of 103 Duane Street, New York,
shipped ten carloads of freight to San Diego, Cal. The freight
bill was heavy--$11,783.74--and it was prepaid by a check on the
Guaranty Trust Company, signed by a German named Hans Tauscher.
This German was the well-known American agent of Krupps, and
it later developed that the ten carloads of freight were eight
thousand rifles and four million cartridges. They were sent to
“Juan Bernardo Bowen,” in care of M. Martinez & Company, ship
brokers of San Diego.

This same “Bowen,” whose home address was given as Topolobampo,
Mexico, acting through the same Martinez & Company, on January
19th, chartered a sailing vessel for a round trip from San Diego
to Topolobampo. This vessel was the _Annie Larsen_. The charter
price was $19,000, and this money was paid by J. Clyde Hizar, of
San Diego, “Bowen’s” attorney. Hizar got the money by wire from a
bank in San Francisco, which in turn got it from a woman depositor,
who in turn got it from Von Brincken, who in turn got it from the
German Consulate’s funds. This roundabout method was, of course,
designed to conceal the German source of the money.

At about the same time, a company was organized in San Francisco to
buy the oil tanker _Maverick_ from the Standard Oil Company. Fred
Jebsen, former lieutenant in the German Navy, put up the money. The
_Maverick_ was commanded by Captain H. C. Nelson, and her movements
were directed by a young American adventurer, J. B. Starr-Hunt,
whom Jebson put aboard as super-cargo (“super-cargo” is an agent
put aboard ship by the owner of the merchandise to have charge
of the cargo). Parts of a statement subsequently made by young
Starr-Hunt tell the rest of the story of the _Maverick_ and the
_Annie Larsen_:

“I was born in San Antonio, Texas, in November, 1892. I went
to a German school in Mexico for nine years. Then I was at Dr.
Holbrook’s school for four years at Ossining-on-Hudson, New York.
I was then for a year at the University of Virginia; three months
at the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia. Besides this I
always had private tutors. After leaving the last-named college
I joined my father’s law office in Mexico City. This was in the
latter part of 1912. My father is one of the leading foreign
lawyers in Mexico. In December, 1912, I started for San Francisco
to join F. Jebsen & Co., a German firm of shipping agents. I worked
in Jebsen’s office from February, 1913, to April, 1915; that is, up
to the time I joined the _Maverick_. I was not actually in Jebsen’s
office all this time; I made several trips to various parts of the
U. S. A. and Mexico.

“About 1st April, 1915, while I was at Chihuahua, I got a telegram
from Jebsen asking me to proceed at once to Los Angeles. I met
Jebsen there. He asked me if I cared to proceed to San José del
Cabo on the _Maverick_ and then transfer to another ship, the
_Annie Larsen_, either at San José del Cabo or at any other point
on the Mexican coast. He told me that the _Annie Larsen’s_ cargo
consisted of war material, which was to be transhipped to the
_Maverick_ at whatever point they should meet in Mexican or Central
American waters; that a man named Page (I do not remember his
initials, but perhaps they were A. W.) who would be on the _Annie
Larsen_, was to take charge of the _Maverick_, and that I myself
was to take over the _Annie Larsen_ and proceed to trade with her
in whatever manner I might wish to, for six months, between Mexican
or Central American ports, but I was not to return to any American
port until after the expiration of six months. He did not tell
me why the _Annie Larsen_ was not to return to an American port
for six months, but the reason was quite clear to me. As a matter
of fact, I had heard while I was in Chihuahua that the _Annie
Larsen_ had departed from San Diego with a cargo of war material,
presumably for some belligerent faction in Mexico. She had cleared
from San Diego for Topolobampo. This fact had given rise to
considerable comment and notoriety. American papers had taken the
matter up, and the several arrests of Americans and Mexicans made
by the Government in San Diego at the time were popularly believed
to have been in connection with the _Annie Larsen_ and her cargo.
Evidently Jebsen, therefore, thought that, if the _Annie Larsen_
returned immediately to an American port, complications might
arise. Jebsen was not explicit as to either the destination, or the
purpose, of the cargo. One thing I was, however, sure of was that
it was not intended for the Mexican rebels. All that Jebsen told me
was that the cargo was intended for the Orient, and in the course
of conversation he once mentioned Borneo.

“On the (?) of April, the _Maverick_ finally sailed from Los
Angeles. On the morning of that day Jebsen gave me a sealed letter,
addressed to nobody, with verbal instructions to hand it over to
Page on the _Annie Larsen_ immediately after I met him. Jebsen
seemed to be anxious regarding this letter, and warned me to be
careful and to see that it fell into no other hands. He also handed
me another unaddressed letter to be given to the same man. This
was an open letter which I read soon after leaving Los Angeles.
There were two enclosures which were printed. One was a circular
or memorandum of instructions as to how to work the machine gun or
a small Hotchkiss, the diagram of which was given on the second
enclosure. I am not quite certain of the type of weapon drawn on
that second enclosure, but I think it was one of the two I have
mentioned. The printed circular was evidently from the makers of
that arm, but the manufacturer’s name was carefully cut out from
it. Jebsen also handed me a third letter, without address, for
Page, and open. It contained typewritten instructions as to how
to stow the cargo to be transhipped from the _Annie Larsen_. It
was just a short note, more in the nature of a suggestion than
instructions. It said that the cases containing rifles were to be
stowed in one of the two empty tanks of the _Maverick_ and flooded
with oil. The ammunition cases were to be stowed in the other empty
tank, which was not to be flooded except as a last resort. This
note, too, was intended for Page. There was a fourth open note for
myself which contained suggestions as to what I should do in future
with the _Annie Larsen_. Jebsen, at the same time, made over to me
a bundle, consisting of about ten letters, with instructions to
hand it over to Page. All these letters were addressed to Captain
Othmann. Although Jebsen did not tell me so, I concluded that
‘Page’ and ‘Othmann’ were one and the same man, and that ‘Page’ was
an assumed name.

“The day before sailing Jebsen introduced me to a man named B.
Miller, who, he said, was a Swedish mining engineer, and who was
going on the _Maverick_ as far as San José del Cabo, to proceed
thence to the mines near La Paz. Jebsen asked me to assist Miller
in taking five ‘Persians’ from Los Angeles to San Pedro, and in
finding quarters for them there for the night as they were to go
on board the _Maverick_ the following day. Jebsen told me nothing
about these five Persians except that they were going with the
_Maverick_ as passengers right through to her destination, and were
to be signed on the articles as anything. Accordingly I met Miller
again the same evening at the Los Angeles railway station. I found
five black men with him. On seeing me, he said: ‘Here are my men.’
He purchased tickets for them, and we all left by train for San
Pedro, where I found lodgings for them in a cheap boarding-house
for the night.

“The next morning I went on board the _Maverick_ at San Pedro,
where I met the Port Commissioner and the crew, who were already on
board signed on. Captain Nelson was present. Miller signed on as
‘store-keeper’ and the five Persians as ‘waiters.’

“One of the five Persian waiters, named Jehangir, was evidently
the leader and generally kept himself away from the rest. As far
as I remember, the names of the others were Khan, Dutt, Deen, and
Sham Sher. Later on I discovered that all these were false names.
Jehangir’s real name, I believe, was Hari Singh; he signed his
accounts and receipts as Hari Singh. I have no idea of the real
names of the others.

“Five days after leaving Los Angeles we arrived at San José del
Cabo, 27th April, I think. There Miller left us, and there, at
Nelson’s instance, I applied for and got fresh clearance for
‘Anjer, Java, via Pacific Islands.’ This is the first time that any
definite port was mentioned to me as the _Maverick’s_ destination.
There were evidently two reasons for not obtaining this clearance
from the original port of departure; first, they did not want
the American authorities to know the precise destination of the
_Maverick_, which already had roused a certain amount of suspicion;
and, secondly, because, I am sure, such a clearance as we desired
would not be granted by any American port. According to it the
_Maverick_ could have touched at every island in the Pacific before
arriving at Anjer. Jebsen had given me to understand that we might
meet the _Annie Larsen_ at San José del Cabo, but she was not
there; so we left that port on the 28th of April and proceeded to
Socorro Island where we arrived at 9 P. M. on the 29th and anchored
in a bay some thirty yards off the shore. As we anchored, Nelson
informed the crew that he was expecting to meet at that place the
schooner _Annie Larsen_ and asked them to be on the lookout for
her. Altogether we were twenty-nine days at that island waiting for
the schooner, which did not turn up after all. By the time we had
anchored it was very dark and the first sign of life on the island
was as camp fire close to the shore. Shortly after, a small boat
pulled alongside with two American sailors in it. One of them came
on the bridge and saw the captain, and after putting the question
‘Are you the people who are looking for the _Annie Larsen_?’ and
getting a reply in the affirmative, he said that the _Annie Larsen_
had been at the island, and being short of water, had left some
thirteen days before. He delivered a note to Nelson stating that
it was left by the _Annie Larsen’s_ super-cargo, Page. Nelson
passed the note over to me to read. It was a short note in English,
saying: ‘This will be delivered to you by a member of the crew of
the schooner _Emma_, who will explain his own position. I have been
waiting for you a month, and am now going to the Mexican West Coast
for supplies and water. I will return as soon as possible. Please
await my return.’ (Signed) ‘Page.’

“The sailor man then told the following story: that he and his
companion in the boat and two Mexican customs-house officials, who
were in camp ashore, had left San José del Cabo some time before
on the small American schooner _Emma_, with a cargo of bark for
the Mexican port of Loreto; that the captain had proven himself
incompetent, and they had lost their bearings, and after sailing
for many days had eventually arrived at this island, which the
master declared was a point close to Manzanillo, but which they
discovered to be an island. The mate had died at sea; the master’s
name was Clarke. These four men declined to go any farther with
the captain of that ship and preferred to be left on the island on
the off chance of being picked up by a passing vessel. The captain
and the cook, the only other members of the crew, had left some
days earlier for the Mexican coast. At the same time the _Emma_
touched the island the _Annie Larsen_ was there, and she provided
the castaways with three empty water tanks, a rifle, and a few
provisions. Since the departure of the _Annie Larsen_ they were
hoping for assistance being sent to them from the Mexican coast. We
subsequently discovered that these castaways had rigged up a sort
of condenser with the aid of their tanks and some old piping.

“The castaway who came on the _Maverick_ at Socorro further told
us that Page had told him that he had left another letter buried
somewhere on the island close to the shore by the bay, which could
be easily found if we would make a search for it. Assisted by
some of the castaways I made a search for the second note left
by Page and found it buried in a bottle under a sign which read:
‘Look Here.’ The second note was a lengthy repetition of the first.
Page asked us to help the castaways but cautioned us not to take
them aboard our ship. He said he would return as soon as he could
get water and that we were to wait for him. I returned to the
ship with the note and read it out to Nelson. Disregarding Page’s
warning not to take the castaways aboard, he immediately asked
them to come aboard, if they cared, which they did. They remained
on the _Maverick_ till the 6th of May when the American collier
(Government ship) _Nanshan_ arrived and took them off.

“The following Thursday, 13th May, H. M. S. _Kent_ arrived; two
officers boarded us immediately and examined our papers. They
returned and came on again the next morning accompanied by several
marines. They made a thorough search of the vessel this time and
returned to their ship. Nelson returned the call. On his return
Nelson told me that the _Kent’s_ commander had questioned him
rather closely as to what the _Maverick_ was doing there and that
in reply he had told him that he could not disclose his real
purpose but in a roundabout sort of way hinted that she was there
in connection with the Mexican troubles. The _Kent_ remained there
for about forty hours, during which I struck up an acquaintance
with several of the officers. I directed them where good fishing
and shooting were to be had and provided them with a few supplies.
Although there was no water to be had on that island there were
plenty of wild sheep. I am unable to say how they existed without
water outside the rainy season.

“The _Annie Larsen_ not turning up, we left about the 26th of
May. Just before we left I went ashore and left there two notes
in bottles for the _Annie Larsen_ addressed to Page in case the
ship should turn up after we had left. I put one of the bottles
in a conspicuous place in the castaways’ camp. This note read as
follows: ‘Consult our Post Office.’ by ‘our Post Office’ I meant
the place where Page himself had buried his note for us. The other
bottle I buried where I had found Page’s, and put up another
signboard saying ‘Look again.’ This note told Page all that had
occurred during our stay at the island and that we were going
somewhere where we could get further instructions.

“Immediately after the first boarding party from H. M. S. _Kent_
had left the _Maverick_ after going through our papers, I was
sent for by Captain Nelson on the bridge. When I got up there I
found him in conversation with Jehangir. I gathered from Nelson
that Jehangir had aboard two sacks and six suitcases full of
literature which he was very anxious to hide from the _Kent_.
We were expecting another visit from the _Kent_ for the purpose
of searching the ship, and Jehangir said he would not like the
literature to fall into the hands of the _Kent_ party. Jehangir did
not like the idea of destroying the literature and suggested that
it should be quietly taken ashore and buried there, pending the
departure of the _Kent_. Neither Nelson nor myself fell in with the
suggestion and were of opinion that it should be destroyed straight
away, if it were dangerous to retain it. Jehangir eventually agreed
to this and said he would just keep a sample of the various papers
and pamphlets he had. Nelson grumbled even at that. I am not sure
whether Jehangir did really preserve any specimens, but I think he
did. The two sacks with their contents and the contents of the six
suitcases were immediately burnt in the engine room. I personally
saw some of this literature. It was all printed matter in a
character unknown to me. Some of it was in newspaper form, some in
leaflets, but most of it was in the form of pamphlets; the outside
cover being mostly pink. The six empty suitcases were appropriated
by various members of the crew, I took one of them myself, and it
is with me at the present moment. Later I learned from Jehangir
that the literature was printed in San Francisco and copies of it
‘existed’ in Constantinople and Berlin.

“After depositing the two notes on the shore, we weighed anchor.
Nelson informed me that he intended proceeding to San Diego....

“After about thirty hours’ absence ashore at San Diego the party
returned to the _Maverick_, bringing with them a few supplies.
Nelson informed me that he was now going to Hilo, Hawaii, and when
we were well under way he told me that from the Brewster Hotel, San
Diego, he had rung up Jebsen at San Francisco on the long distance
telephone and was told in reply to wait at the hotel until he heard
from him (Jebsen) further. The following morning he got a wire
from Jebsen instructing Nelson to proceed to Hilo, Hawaii, where
he would receive further orders. Nelson said he had no word of the
_Annie Larsen_.

“We left for Coronados Island on or about the 2d of June and
arrived at Hilo on or about the 14th. Port officials came alongside
and demanded who we were and what our business was. The captain
told them what sort of clearance we had and that we had entered
Hilo to communicate with his owners. At about 8 P. M., when it was
dark, Captain Elbo, of the war-bound German merchantman _Ahlers_,
came alongside in a small dinghy rowed by one German sailor and
asked to be allowed aboard to speak to the captain. Nelson spoke to
him over the rail, declining to take the German captain aboard as
the health officer had not cleared the ship, but offered to see him
the following morning. Before Elbo left, however, he passed a note
up to Nelson, who showed it to me later on in his cabin. It read
as follows: ‘_Maverick_ is to proceed to Johnson Island and then
await the arrival of the schooner _Annie Larsen_ and the rest of
the ship’s programme is to be just as settled before,’ namely, that
after transferring the cargo to the _Maverick_, the _Maverick_ was
to proceed on her original voyage.

“Later Captain Elbo took us to the office of Hackfield & Company.
There we met a young German named Schroeder who, Elbo gave us to
understand, was the chief representative of the Maverick Company at
Honolulu and had specially come down to Hilo to meet Nelson about
_Maverick’s_ future plans. It appeared that while we were still at
the Collector’s office a war-telegrams slip had been out, and among
other items of interest was mentioned the arrival in Hilo of the
mysterious ship _Maverick_, whose captain had made a statement
that he had been trading in the South Sea Islands and he intended
leaving for Anjer, Java, stopping at Johnson Island on the way.
Schroeder had seen this slip just before we called on him and was
apparently highly indignant that Nelson should have disclosed the
future movements of the _Maverick_ to the press representative.
Schroeder told Nelson that it would be impossible for him to permit
him, Nelson, to go on to Johnson Island after the news had been
made public and that he, Schroeder, would have now to recast his
plans. He asked Nelson to wait at Hilo till he should hear from
him from Honolulu, where he, Schroeder, must return to arrange for
fresh plans. At Nelson’s request Schroeder authorized Hackfield to
pay all bills ‘O. K.’d’ by Nelson and to give him such money as he
might require.

“Thus we were at Hilo close on two weeks, during which time I
personally attended to all the ship’s needs. I was assisted by
Captain Elbo.

“A couple of days before we sailed from Hilo, Nelson and I met
Elbo and another captain of a war-bound German merchantman in
Honolulu, who, we were told, had specially come down to give Nelson
final instructions. The Honolulu captain told us that the original
plans of the _Maverick_ were now finally abandoned, as it was
impossible to use the _Maverick_ any more for the purpose she
was intended for, in view of the notoriety she had obtained. The
_Maverick_ was now to proceed to Anjer, Java, calling at Johnson
Island; that on arrival at Anjer she was to clear for Batavia and
report herself to Behn Meyers, the Maverick Company’s agents. Elbo
and the Honolulu captain came aboard the _Maverick_. The Honolulu
captain had a private talk with me alone in my cabin. He handed
me a sealed packet which evidently contained a plate of something
heavy. The letter was unaddressed. I was instructed to hand this
over to Helfferich at Behn Meyers upon arrival in Batavia. I did
not know then who this Helfferich was, nor did I ask who he was. I
was merely told that he was the manager of Behn Meyers. I was asked
to be careful of that letter, and I was not to give it to anybody
else. Shortly after, the Honolulu captain and Elbo left, and we put
to sea.

“When we were a couple or three days out of Hilo, Hari Singh,
during a conversation, referred once more to the literature we had
destroyed at Socorro, and said that it was the product of many
of his countrymen who were in America and that he himself had
contributed to it. He claimed to have the whole of it by heart and
could repeat it without mistake. He was evidently an exile, for
he said that ‘during the many years of his exile from India’ he
had at various times written a good deal against the British rule
in India. He gave me to understand that formerly he belonged to
the Indian Army. He said his home was in the far interior of the
country inhabited by ignorant classes, and that if he could only
succeed in getting to them, he would easily incite them to revolt
against the British Government by promising to provide them with
arms and ammunition. He was still under the impression that we were
on our way to India, and said that he knew the place we were bound
for very well, and so did the other four, and that he could be of
great assistance after we got there.

“We got to Johnson Island five days after our departure from Hilo.
There was no _Annie Larsen_ there. I went ashore together with the
mate and left a bottle with a message as follows: ‘The American
steamer _Maverick_ entered and cleared here to-day.’ We left there
the same afternoon and made for Anjer, Java. After over three
weeks’ voyage we arrived at Anjer about the 20th of July. After
examination we asked for and obtained permission to proceed to
Batavia, and we set sail the same afternoon accompanied by a Dutch
torpedo boat. Early next morning we arrived outside Batavia, and
later we were taken into port by the harbour master.

“Two or three days outside Anjer I read the letter made over to me
by Jebsen at Los Angeles for Page. Owing to Jebsen’s warning to be
careful about it, I had always carried this letter on my person
so as not to lose it. The result was that the envelope had almost
fallen to bits; now and again I put the letter, together with the
old cover, into a new envelope, but toward the end they, too, got
broken up. So I had not to open it to read it. The contents were
type-written in German, and were a sheet and a half of the ordinary
square business paper. As far as I am able to recollect, the letter
read as follows: ‘Upon the meeting of the _Annie Larsen_ with the
_Maverick_ at ... (blank) the transhipment of the cargo must be
commenced at once. The official reason to be given out was that
the _Maverick_ is going to Batavia or some other Oriental port to
be sold or chartered. It may be suggested that she is good for oil
trade on the China Coast. The cases containing rifles should be
stowed in one of the two empty tanks and flooded, and the cases of
ammunition should be placed in the other, but need not be flooded
unless as a last resort. _Maverick_ should then proceed to Anjer,
Java. No attempt is to be made to escape from British warships,
if encountered at sea, nor should she try to avoid meeting
merchantmen or warships of other nationalities. In case of her
meeting a warship she should act in a manner absolutely open and
above suspicion. In case of her being boarded by enemy officers all
cordiality should be shown to them, and, in fact, an inspection
should actually be offered, to put them off their suspicion. Under
no condition is the steamer or the cargo to be permitted to fall
into their hands. Should the cargo be discovered, and should there
be no escape from capture, the Captain is ordered not to hesitate
to have recourse to the last resort, namely, to sink the ship. Upon
arriving at Anjer the _Maverick_ will be met in the Sunda Strait
by a small friendly boat which will instruct you regarding further
details. Should you not be met at Anjer you are to proceed to
Bangkok, where you are to arrive toward dusk. Here you will be met
by a German pilot who will give you further instructions; should
you not be met here, also, you are to proceed to Karachi. Outside
Karachi the _Maverick_ is to be met by numerous small friendly
fishing craft. The fishing craft, together with the five blacks
aboard, will attend to the unloading and landing of the cargo. Two
of the blacks should go ashore immediately on arrival and proceed
inland to notify your arrival to “the people”. The remaining three
blacks and the friendly natives will assist in burying the cargo.
Should no friendly fishing boats meet you, two of the blacks should
go ashore and do the notifying of the people.’

“After the mission was over, that is whether the _Maverick_ was
successful or not, she was to go to Batavia and report to Behn
Meyers & Company. The last instruction in the letter was that
all undelivered papers were to be handed over to Behn Meyers. In
accordance with this I made over the letter to Helfferich on our

“After we had been in the harbour (Batavia) for about an hour
or so a German came aboard and introduced himself as Kolbe, 2d
Officer of the war-bound merchantman _Silesia_. Nelson signed me to
leave them alone, which I did. After they had conversed for about
twenty minutes, Kolbe, Nelson, and myself went ashore together
and motored down to Helfferich’s residence at Konigsplein W. 8.
On the way we stopped at the American Consulate; Nelson went in
alone. While waiting for him outside in the car I had a talk with
Kolbe. He knew all about the _Maverick_ and her mission. When
I told him that I should like to interview the manager of Behn
Meyers to deliver the letter given to me by Dinart at Hilo, Kolbe
replied that Helfferich, the man we were on our way to, was the
manager and I could make the letter over to him. Dinart had not
mentioned Helfferich by name at the time of handing the letter to
me. He asked me just to deliver it to Behn Meyers. When Nelson
joined us again we proceeded to Helfferich’s place where I met for
the first time the brothers Theodore and Emile Helfferich. Kolbe
and I retired to another part of the house while Nelson and the
brothers held a conversation for half an hour or so. After Nelson
had done, he left with Kolbe, leaving me with the brothers. I
spent about an hour with them. I gave Theodore Helfferich Dinart’s
letter which he opened in my presence. It was a typewritten sheet
in code. Helfferich said it would take him some time to decode it.
The ‘weight’ inside the letter I have spoken of was what looked
like a thin slab of lead enclosed in another cover. Helfferich
opened this cover and on seeing that it was a thin slab, threw it
aside without taking the trouble of examining it closely. I have
no idea what it was for, but I imagine that in case it had to be
suddenly thrown overboard the weight inside the cover would sink
the letter at once. I told them all about our trip, and showed them
the letters I had brought with me. Helfferich read the letter
intended for Page, and remarked that the arrangements made at this
end were substantially the same as those indicated in the letter.
He said the signals were the same, and password was the same, and
the code was the same. Emile spoke up and said that he had waited
for the _Maverick_ for three weeks in the Sunda Strait. They deeply
regretted the failure of the _Maverick_ in not bringing the arms
and said that their arrangements on this side were excellent and
they were only waiting the arrival of the cargo when they could
have easily put their whole scheme through. They observed that
‘the people’ in India were all ready and prepared and had only
been waiting for the arms to turn up. They did not discuss their
own scheme with me. Theodore Helfferich expressed his disgust at
the _Maverick_ being thrust upon him and could not understand the
object of her being sent to Batavia when she was not carrying the
cargo, and when she could have as easily returned to America. It
was then arranged that I should take up my lodging in a hotel
ashore and in the meantime Helfferich would decipher the code
letter. Things were to be left alone until he had read that.

“A couple of days after, I was rung up by Helfferich and I went and
saw him at his place in the evening. He had deciphered the letter
which had ‘originated’ from San Francisco. Helfferich said that the
letter directed the abandonment of the _Maverick_, which was either
to be sold or chartered to anybody or that she could be used for
any regular purpose if Helfferich so desired. She was, if not sold,
to be retained in this part of the world and on no account to be
returned to America.”

So fizzled the German-Hindu gun-running expedition to India. The
_Maverick_ had arrived, with five “Persians” and no guns, at a
Dutch port in the Indies--not India. The Hindus and the crew
scattered to the winds; Starr-Hunt started to return to Los Angeles
but was detained by the British authorities at Singapore, and
ultimately appeared in the Federal court-room at San Francisco as
the chief witness for the Government in its case against the German
consul and his staff, the complacent Americans, and the Hindu
conspirators. The _Annie Larsen_ wandered up and down the Pacific
Coast, and finally put in at Hoquiam, Wash., where she was promptly
seized and her cargo of arms and ammunition locked up by the United
States Government.

Von Brincken bore bitter testimony to the failure of the _Maverick_
expedition, in the course of a “Report Concerning My Activities at
the Imperial Consulate in San Francisco, California”--a report
written November 10, 1916, and intended for the eyes of the German
Foreign Office. He said:

“I complied with that instruction and met Ram Chandra and other
leaders of the Hindu Nationalists, and there laid the foundation
for the entire Hindu work which has since then been carried out
here on the Pacific.... Up to the present date, I have fulfilled
this assignment absolutely alone.... Mr. Von Schack has seen
Ram Chandra only a few times during the entire period--while
Consul-General Bopp saw the man only once. I had nothing to do with
the ship-matters in connection with the Hindu affair. Therefore, I
am not responsible for the failure of the ‘_Maverick_ Expedition.’
I had only planned the point of landing at Karachi. Besides,
through messengers, I had prepared the populace of the Punjab for
the arrival of the _Maverick_.”

At the time of the _Maverick_ enterprise, and after its failure,
the Germans engineered a half dozen plots with the Hindus, looking
toward revolution in India. Von Papen in New York directed a scheme
for an incursion into north-western India through Afghanistan.
The German Consul-General in Chicago shipped two German officers
and two Hindu agitators to the Orient to train Hindu soldiers in
upper Siam for an invasion of Burma. Wesendonck sent Har Dayal
from Berlin to Constantinople to act as chairman of a committee of
Mohammedans who were to incite the Mussulman population of India to
revolt. Ram Chandra, at the instigation of Von Brincken, sent Hindu
emissaries from San Francisco to organize revolutionary movements
among the Indians in Manila, Tokyo, Shanghai--even in Seoul and
Peking. Other emissaries, gathering men and money or transmitting
messages, worked in Panama, in Switzerland, in the Sinai Peninsula,
in Sweden--scarcely a country in the world but was touched by a
filament of this spider’s web of German intrigue.

And, like gossamer, it all came to airy nothingness. A few
dacoities [robberies accompanied by violence], a few vain attempts
to suborn loyal native troops in India, were the net results of
enormous labours, lengthy journeys, and huge expenditures of money.

By December, 1915, the German Government became impatient of this
much ado about nothing. But it did not abandon hope. Zimmermann
summoned a little, nervous, excitable Hindu from New York to
Berlin. Dr. Chakravarty left America on a false passport, and
in February, 1916, was appointed in Berlin to head the Indian
intrigues in America. Zimmermann’s cable to Bernstorff, quoted in
the first part of this article, notified the German authorities
here of his appointment. By August, Dr. Chakravarty was in San
Francisco, consulting with Ram Chandra and the Germans there.

Chakravarty and Ram Chandra had one thing in common--both knew
the value of real-estate. Out of their joint operations in the
insubstantial pursuit of Indian liberty, each emerged with some
perfectly sound investments in mundane property, paid for with
money subtracted from the German gold that passed through their
hands for the “freeing of the oppressed.” Chakravarty put about
forty thousand dollars into New York apartments, and Ram Chandra
several thousands into residence and business property in San

Ram Chandra’s real-estate ventures got him into trouble. They
gave the needed opportunity to his rival for control of the Hindu
organization in California. This rival was Bhagwan Singh, the poet
and orator of the “Movement.” Late in 1916, he accused Ram Chandra
of stealing Hindu funds. The directors of the Hindu Pacific Coast
Association investigated the charge, and threw Ram Chandra out.
Bhagwan Singh became president of the association and editor of
the _Ghadr_. A few months later, when the United States entered
the war, the whole crew was arrested, along with the German
agents in San Francisco and Honolulu and with the Americans and
German-Americans implicated in the _Maverick_ enterprise.

The trial of these men was one of the most picturesque scenes ever
enacted in an American court. In the prisoner’s dock aggressive
blond German officers sat beside anaemic, swarthy, turbaned Hindus
and plain American business men. To make the evidence intelligible
to the jury, a map of half the world was painted on one wall of
the court-room, showing America and Asia and the Pacific Ocean,
splotched with red dots and routes of travel. Beside the map were
printed the names of the defendants, so that their strangeness
might be somewhat simplified. Among the polyglot evidence were
Hindu publications in six Oriental languages, including Persian;
cipher messages which, when deciphered, proved to be an Indian
revolutionist’s letters which had to be translated by reference
to page and line of an American’s book about “Germany and the
Germans”; enciphered code, written in Berlin by the German
Foreign Minister, transmitted to Stockholm and thence by the
Swedish Government to Buenos Aires and thence by Count Luxburg to
Bernstorff in Washington, telling him to pay an East Indian in New
York money for use in San Francisco to send arms to revolutionists
near Calcutta--besides other oddities of men and places and
documents too numerous to mention.

The episode of the _Maverick_ and the _Annie Larsen_ occupied a
large place in the trial. One of the humours of that fiasco was the
proof that “Juan Bernardo Bowen,” of Topolobampo, Mexico, was a
romantic imagining to conceal plain Bernard Manning of San Diego.
There was no Juan Bernardo. The man who got Tauscher’s shipment of
arms for the _Annie Larsen_ was Manning.

The prosecution proved that the funds for the purchase of the
_Maverick_ and for the charter of the _Annie Larsen_ were got from
the German Consulate’s bank accounts in San Francisco, and were
concealed by an elaborate jugglery through a chain of American
lawyers and shipping agents in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San

The end of the story is briefly told in the following despatch to
the New York _Sun_, dated San Francisco, April 24, 1918:

  Twenty-nine men, charged with conspiring on American soil to
  start a revolution against British rule in India, were found
  guilty by a jury in Federal Court early to-day.

  Just as court adjourned for the noon recess yesterday, the last
  day of the trial, Ram Singh, a defendant, shot and killed Ram
  Chandra, another defendant. United States Marshal James Holohan
  shot Ram Singh dead in his tracks.



One day the Department of Justice in Washington received a brief
code message, dated from Havana, saying that “Dr. Scheele” was
coming home. The War Department also had received a code message;
these started a little hum of activity. The messages gave a key
to the possession of certain papers. Hurriedly a special agent of
the Department of Justice was provided with a letter written in
the cipher designated. The agent spoke German, looked German, and
hastened to the home of an unsuspecting custodian of some of the
Fatherland’s most damaging records, and there arranged with the
guardian for a safer place for such papers. But the duly-accredited
messenger wasn’t German at all, and the papers handed over widened
out the trail of one big German plot.

Who was this Dr. Scheele? He was a quiet German chemist who
sometimes aided the police in detecting traces of crime. Didn’t
his neighbours know him? Of course; he was that genial and
entertaining German-American who owned a drug store in Brooklyn,
one of the desirable kind of citizens, the law-abiding kind of
foreigner whom we welcomed in our midst. Did the business world
know him? Yes; he was president of the New Jersey Agricultural
Chemical Company, a concern which kept its contracts and paid its
debts. America was satisfied with this president, the adopted son,
who had married an American wife and resided peacefully among us
for twenty-four years. Why not?

When the French liner _La Lorraine_ caught fire at sea with
hospital nurses and supplies of mercy on board, what could this
have to do with an inconspicuous druggist in Brooklyn?--or when
numerous ships sailed loaded with sugar or supplies for the needy
neutrals abroad, and never after were heard of?

Finally a British cruiser with an inquisitive captain overhauled
the steamship _Rize_ which was carrying a cargo of fertilizer badly
needed for the fields in Denmark. There was nothing particularly
suspicious about a cargo packed in sacks, just ordinary brown
powdered fertilizer of the most common variety and shipped by the
New Jersey Agricultural Chemical Co. But for some reason the papers
didn’t entirely satisfy. The cargo was confiscated, analyzed,
and an astonished chemist reported that the “fertilizer” was
composed of highest grade lubricating oil, mixed with a certain
chemical which had reduced the oil to a solid but when the mixture
was treated with a little acid the sacks yielded oil fit for the
Kaiser’s best _Unterseeboten_.

The Department of Justice paid an official call on the New Jersey
company--the “President” was away; he remained away during
two years of very painstaking search by the officials of the
Department’s secret service, which had an ever-increasing desire to
make the acquaintance of the inconspicuous chemist who seemed to
possess some of the mythical powers of the ancient alchemists.

There seemed also to be an unusual bank account connected with this
gentleman, engaged in such magnificent business enterprises, that
yielded such meagre profits, as were evidenced by the President’s
home life and general circumstances. Who is he, and where is he?
were questions that vexed the bureau in Washington. Two years
rolled by; numbers of Germans connected with “the Doctor” were sent
to jail, but only rumours were got of trails of the chemist.

Fate, however, transferred our story to the shadowy neighbourhood
of Morro Castle; there, an excited and still unidentified German
who was trying to board a vessel at Matanzas, Cuba, for a port
in Mexico, was brought into Havana in front of the bayonets of a
not-too-careful Rural Guard. Then a newly arrived representative
of the Department of Justice undertook some negotiations with the
Cuban Government for a safe passage back for a certain Dr. Walter
T. Scheele and his paymaster.

An ancient fort, which is the military prison in Havana and a
part of the old fortified wall which follows the water front of
the picturesque harbour, was shrouded in darkness when the hour
of departure arrived. Between the old fort and the grim outline
of “the Morro” lay a Cuban gunboat with black smoke pouring out
of her funnels; a tropical storm blowing in over the Gulf Stream
alternately darkened the sky a deeper tone and lit it up with
vivid lightning flashes. Presently a little group appeared on the
sea walls and a flash of lightning showed an American in plain
clothes, the regalia of the agents of Justice and a colonel of the
regular army who were signing a receipt for two quiet figures in
alpine hats. A courteous Cuban officer saluted and shook hands with
the departing guests, handcuffs were silently slipped on to thick
German wrists, and the little steam pinnace of the warship sped
off through the darkness alongside its gangway.

An interview none the less sombre and creepy occurred on the
other side of the Gulf Stream within the walls of Fort Taylor.
Two automobiles had driven up in the darkness to an emplacement
beneath the shadow of a heavy gun. The party which had left
Havana descended in a dimly lighted courtyard where a squad of
non-commissioned officers was waiting. One figure in an alpine hat
had to be lifted from the automobile while the other stood erect.

Here is the story of Dr. Scheele, the more important of these two
agents of the Kaiser:

Twenty-five years ago a German youth (one of the favourite pupils
of the great chemist, Professor Keukle) graduated at Bonn. He came
of an illustrious family; his grandfather, the Swedish professor,
Scheele, discovered chlorine gas. His father, born in Germany, died
in the discovery of “prussic acid,” the most quickly fatal drug
known. The youth, with sixteen deep scars on his head and face from
duelling under the vicious German code, was a man of proved valour.
Who was better to send to the great developing home of liberty and
freedom and study its industry, and prepare for a day which was
already dazzling the newly enthroned Kaiser?

Dr. Hugo Schweitzer was chosen to go with him and collaborate. He,
as the head of the Bayer Chemical Company--a German concern that
practically monopolized the trade in synthetic drugs in the United
States--was to report on, to model, or undermine our development
of industrial chemistry. Dr. Scheele was to report on and develop
the plan and chemistry of warfare, explosives, incendiaries, poison
gas, and the products Germany should import and accumulate to make
her sure and independent on the day she should strike the world.
Did these young men faithfully accomplish their tasks?

Dye making was almost an unknown art in America when the war
broke out; chlorine gas was a laboratory curiosity; potash was a
German salt--we had been led to believe our millions of tons of
the mineral were insoluble. Where necessary, those of our chemists
who had learned the secrets were retained and paid. The list of
our chemical houses reads like the telephone directory of Unter
den Linden, and the Alien Property Custodian has since spent many
nights over their affairs.

While the German plenipotentiaries were busy at The Hague agreeing
to the elimination of poison gas and incendiaries from warfare,
their chemists in the United States, paid regularly but meagerly
through the Embassy at Washington, exchanged views in writing and
by cable with the chemists of the Fatherland over the most fatal
methods for the use of the gas which had just been developed for
the purpose.

Mustard gas was used against the Allies in 1917, a new and
atrocious device, “only discovered and recently used by the Germans
because of the brutality of their enemies.” A few formulæ for this
product were in Dr. Scheele’s laboratory in New York about five
years before the war, and tactics of the uses discussed in the
trips which he made home every two years “to keep up to date.”

Two methods of stifling American production have not yet been
mentioned. The first was this: When a man began to make a
reputation as a chemist in an American-owned concern, he was
hired away to work for a German-owned factory. Salary was no
consideration; they simply bid the price required to get him. The
second method was: when an American chemist invented a new product
or a new process, and patented it, it was bought from him before it
could be commercially developed. Again price was no consideration.
The only instructions were: “Pay as little as you can, but get it.”

The operation of this system was the duty of Dr. Scheele and
Dr. Schweitzer. Reporting to them was at least one loyal
German chemist in every chemical factory in the United States;
dozens of them in the larger ones. At their disposal were the
resources of the Imperial German Government. These, too, were
made accessible through Dr. Heinrich Albert in German-American
banking and brokerage concerns, chiefly G. Amsinck & Company, the
Trans-Atlantic Trust Company, and Knauth, Nochode & Kuhne, of New
York, every one of them in reality a local American agency of
one or another of the imperially controlled banks of Germany and
Austria--such as the Reichsbank, the Disconto Gesellschaft, or the
Deutsche Bank.

The chief of these American branches was G. Amsinck & Company,
operating as commission merchants and private bankers. The head
of this concern was Adolf Pavenstedt, an accomplished man of the
world, a shrewd banker, and under the iron discipline of the
Kaiser’s military organization. Pavenstedt lived at the German Club
in Central Park South, in New York, took his vacations in Cuba in
the winter and the Berkshires in the summer, was received in the
best society in New York, passed easily in Wall Street as a man of
large personal fortune and of sound business judgment--altogether
a characteristic German hypocrite and government agent acting
under Dr. Albert and Bernstorff. He was a paymaster of Germany’s
nation-wide organization to control our industrial life, to spy
out our military plans, and to keep us powerless against the day
when Prussia should be ready to sweep the world. He was also the
financial go-between in the Bolo Pasha case. Fortunately, he has
now long been a resident of an Army internment camp.

Two years ago the Government indicted Dr. Scheele for his part in
the incendiary bomb plot. The details of this fiendish device will
be given later in the story. Dr. Scheele was forewarned of probable
detection on the 31st of March, 1916, by a special-delivery letter
telling him to see Wolf von Igel immediately at 60 Wall Street in
New York. Von Igel told him to start for Cuba by the next train.
Dr. Scheele feared that such a precipitate flight would expose
him to certain arrest. Hence, he violated his instruction and
went south to Jacksonville by easy stages. There he called upon
one Sperber, the editor of the Florida _Deutsche Staatszeitung_,
who warned him not to sail from Key West, as that port was being
watched both by our officers and by the British cruisers outside
the three-mile limit. Sperber gave Dr. Scheele letters of
introduction and credentials under the name of W. T. Rheinfelder,
to act as a correspondent for his paper. He supplied him also with
fake calling cards and other forged documents, establishing him in
his rôle. Still fearing to leave for Cuba, he waited.

His superiors again instructed him to go to Cuba. He landed in Cuba
on April 16th. There he reported to the German Minister, Count
Verdy du Vernois, who passed him on to an attaché of the Legation
with this strange result: that Dr. Scheele next found himself
installed as a “guest” in the house of one Juan Pozas, under the
name of James G. Williams, and in the character of a visiting

His strange and unexpected host appeared at first to be simply
a wealthy Cuban merchant. His manner of life strengthened this
impression. Dr. Scheele found himself comfortably installed in
a large room in a magnificent house, surrounded by grounds of
a city block square, in the suburb Guana Bacca of Havana. In
reality, Pozas was the king of the Cuban smugglers. His splendid
establishment and his social prestige rested upon a picturesque
foundation of the work of silent men in little boats working in the
dark of the moon along the tropical Cuban shore.

To Dr. Scheele, Pozas soon appeared to be not only host but jailer.
Though he was treated with every courtesy and as a member of the
family, he was not allowed outside the house for six months after
his arrival. The confinement so told upon his health that he was
finally permitted the freedom of the garden, and, to while away the
time, he worked among the flowers, making at length a beauty spot
of the whole place. At the same time, he was devoting other spare
hours to covering the walls of the Pozas mansion with beautiful
mural paintings. Again it may be noted that Dr. Scheele is a
remarkable man.

In this strange retreat the doctor spent two years. Then suddenly,
without warning, he was hurried hither and yon about the island,
travelling under guard by automobile by night, and lying hidden
by day in the houses of trusted German agents. He finally arrived
at Mantanzas. Here, the man in whose house he was to stay hidden
became fearful that he would be discovered there and the man
himself get into desperate trouble. He, therefore, directed Dr.
Scheele to a neighbouring hotel, but the doctor was unable to
obtain accommodation, so that he spent the night sitting in a
railroad station.

Simultaneously another German of Havana was taken into custody. He
was implicated in the Scheele affair by reason of his payments to
the doctor, besides being involved in numerous violations of the
neutrality of Cuba, for which the Cuban Government meant to hold
him responsible.

The close investigation of this man revealed much valuable data. A
collection of papers had been buried by Dr. Scheele in the tropical
garden he had built about the Pozas mansion. There they were
unearthed by the agent of the Department of Justice of the United
States who had gone to Cuba to bring him back. Taking a pick and
shovel and digging among the flowers cherished by the doctor, he
found these damning documents from Potsdam, containing their secret
instructions for the working out of the industrial conquest of
_Vereinigten Staaten_--These United States.

Another set of documents was obtained by a very clever piece of
work by agents of the Department of Justice. These were papers left
behind by Wolf von Igel when he left the United States--papers that
he dared not risk having seized and read by the British authorities
on his way to Germany. They were packed in a suitcase and were
committed to the care of a German in Englewood, New Jersey. On
instructions from the head office of the Department of Justice in
Washington, agents in the New York office of the Department wrote
out in German, on a typewriter, the letter telling this German to
deliver the suitcase to the bearer and including in its message the
magic password. This letter was entrusted to an agent who spoke
German perfectly.

He executed the commission without a hitch. He called upon the
German and introduced himself in low tones as a loyal subject of
the Kaiser and asked to be taken into the house. There he presented
his letter. When the German read it, he broke into a hearty laugh
and said the password no longer really applied, because it referred
to the coal pile. He had found, on account of the coal shortage,
that at times he could not keep enough coal in the cellar to keep
the suitcase covered, and that consequently he had had to conceal
it elsewhere in the house. The caller joined him in laughter at
this piece of humour, and the German excused himself and soon
returned with the suitcase. It was not till several days later that
he had the slightest inkling that the man he had entertained was an
operative of the American Government.

The plot for which Dr. Scheele was brought to earth was only a
detail in the vast scheme of Germany’s treachery, but it was one
of the most dastardly and most dramatic of those details, and its
detection and unravelling revealed the men at the head of the
German system in this country and their mutual relationships. In a
previous chapter I have told something of the career of Franz von
Rintelen. At this point he appears as an agent of Germany seeking
to destroy the ships bearing American supplies to the Allies. One
day Dr. Scheele received a caller, Eno Bode, a captain in the
service of the North German Lloyd Steamship Company. Bode bore a
card from Von Papen, ordering Scheele to execute any orders which
Bode gave. Von Papen’s orders, in their turn, had come through

Bode now disclosed to Dr. Scheele a most infernal plan. He was
instructed to invent a bomb of simple mechanism, which could be
placed in a ship’s cargo or its coal and which would not explode,
but set fire to anything inflammable with which it came in contact.
It must be devised to operate at any predetermined time after it
was placed on board.

To Dr. Scheele, a great chemist himself and possessed of every
secret of the greatest nation of chemists in the world, this was
a simple order. In his instructions he was forbidden to apply
for his materials to any American concern through which the
purchase might ever be traced. Consequently, he asked for technical
assistance and was referred to Captain Carl Schmidt, the chief
engineer of the _Friedrich der Grosse_, one of the great German
liners interned at Hoboken. Schmidt placed at his disposal Charles
Becker, the electrician of the _Friedrich der Grosse_. From him he
obtained sections of lead pipe and thin sheets of lead and tin. The
chemicals were easily obtained from strictly German sources.

Dr. Scheele now made a few experiments and quickly evolved a bomb
that was as simple as it was efficient. It consisted merely of a
section of lead pipe, about two and a half inches in diameter and
three or four inches long. This cylinder was separated into two
water-tight compartments by a thin disk of the sheet tin. In one
of the two compartments was placed a chemical, and in the other
a corrosive acid. The ends were then sealed and the bomb was
complete. The acid slowly ate its way through the tin partition,
and when at length a tiny hole was made, the acid and the chemical
mingled and their action was to produce, without noise, a heat so
intense that it melted the lead in the cylinder and the whole bomb
flowed down into a molten mass so fervent that it would ignite any
ordinary substance, such as coal or wood. No timing mechanism was
necessary. The thickness of the tin partition determined the time
at which the bomb would act. By careful experiment, Dr. Scheele was
able to manufacture bombs that would become effective in two days,
four days, six days, eight days--at will. For example, if the tin
partition was made one sixtieth of an inch in thickness, the bomb
would operate in forty-eight hours. The thickness necessary for the
longer periods was established by actual test.

As soon as the bomb was perfected, its manufacture was undertaken
on a big scale. Soon the workroom aboard the _Friedrich der Grosse_
was turning out thirty-five of these “cigars,” as the Germans
called them, every day. Altogether, before the game became too
dangerous and Dr. Scheele was forced to flee, nearly five hundred
bombs were manufactured.

Next came the necessity for an organization to place these bombs
upon the ships. First, the ships themselves must be known--their
sailing dates, their names, their berths and cargoes. Through
German sources of information, the data about merchant ships were
gathered and by Dr. Carl Schimmel, another German agent in New York
City, were listed and classified. These records were placed at the
disposal of the bomb-placing squad.

Captain Carl Wolpert was in charge of this work. He was
the superintendent of the Atlas Line, a subsidiary of the
Hamburg-American Steamship Company, and an officer of the German
Naval Reserve. Armed by Scheele with the “cigars,” by Schimmel
with the list of ships, and by Von Rintelen with unlimited money,
Wolpert chose a group of trusted lieutenants from among the
Germans in New York. These men frequented the water-front and the
neighbouring saloons, where they sought out stevedores, who could
be bribed to place the bombs where they were directed. Fortunately
for the lives of seamen and for the property of the Allies, many of
these men took the German money but threw the bombs into the bay.
Enough, however, earned their blood money so that many ships were
set afire on their voyage across the Atlantic, some of them burning
to the water’s edge, most of them being greatly damaged, the total
loss figuring well up in the millions of dollars. Many a captain in
mid-ocean fought the flames on his vessel, from the second or third
day of his voyage, all the way into port. A fire would break out
in his bunker coal; it might be quenched, only to break out in the
cargo two days later, and perhaps a day after that start up again
in the coal.

This fiendish work was done in cold blood, do not forget, at
the command of the Imperial German Government, at its expense,
under the direction of one of its most highly placed aristocrats,
by one of Germany’s greatest chemists, with the coöperation of
officers of the German Navy and with the cognizance of the German
Ambassador to our friendly Government. Here was no passion of
battle, no extemporized savagery of revenge. It was a calculated
atrocity, perpetrated by the highest authorities of one of the most
“civilized” of the “Christian” nations, using the most technical
processes of one of the most complex arts of modern life. The magic
by which the slimy refuse of burning coal is transmuted into dyes
which give to paints and fabrics the splendour of the dawn and
the beauty of the rose, was here debased to the infamous uses of
treachery and murder.






  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example,
  courtroom, court-room; boarding-house, boarding house; disproven;
  gasolene; whilom; plottings; cantine; extinguishment.

  Pg 107: ‘judical decision’ replaced by ‘judicial decision’.
  Pg 160: ‘wearied of “strafeing”’ replaced by ‘wearied of “strafing”’.
  Pg 172: ‘descredited Martin’ replaced by ‘discredited Martin’.
  Pg 184: ‘Fuer Deutschland’ replaced by ‘Für Deutschland’.
  Pg 202: ‘their uufriendly’ replaced by ‘their unfriendly’.
  Pg 242: ‘what out business’ replaced by ‘what our business’.
  Pg 245: ‘Anjer-Java, calling’ replaced by ‘Anjer, Java, calling’.
  Pg 264: ‘meagrely through’ replaced by ‘meagerly through’.

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