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er and miner's helper, I started West: became a prospector, miner and special correspondent for the Omaha Bee from the Black Hills; was made Chief of Scouts for the Black Hills Rangers in 1875 and later appointed Chief of Scouts by General Wesley Merritt in the Sitting Bull campaign of 1876 and after acting as courier and correspondent for the New York Herald at the close of the campaign I joined the man known as "Buffalo Bill" and played the leading part in one of those nightmare, blood and thunder monstrosities that has caused so many wild, reckless, impulsive boys to run away from good homes to become fit subjects for the penitentiary or reformatory.
Five months of this was enough for me, especially when I realized that I was not only ruining boys but obtaining money under false pretense.
land of ours. How well I have succeeded singly and alone, few know, for outside of my old friend and companion of the Black Hills, Thomas F. Walsh, who fought Indians with me in. 1875 and 1876, and who, unfortunately for the boys, died about a year ago, leaving over sixty millions, no man has put up a dollar towards my expenses even in reaching the boys, and Tom Walsh gave me one thousand dollars, every dollar of which went into prisons and reformatories, and because he especially charged me not to mention it, I have never until now.
Then came mother's death. I saw my sweet, Christian, tired mother dying a martyr's death after a long, hard struggle for her children. This was the first great sorrow that came to me.
Before she died she asked me to make her a promise, and I said I would; she said: "Then promise me that as long as you live you will never taste intoxicants and then it won't be so hard to leave this world and to leave these two little sisters in your keeping." And then and there, I promised God and mother, and when ordered as a boy tenderfoot to drink, I have looked into the muzzle of a gun and in the face of a "bad man," and said: "You can shoot, and you can kill me, but you can't make me break a promise I gave to my dying mother."
The intemperance of my father had deprived all my brothers, sisters and myself of an education, and had caused my mother's heart to break, and here you have my principal and special reason for trying to reach the boys for over thirty years and more, especially the unfortunate behind prison bars and in our reformatories all over this great
If we had fought a manly fight
If we had kept the promise made
We know a MAN, when we see one,
And would shake hands with you, Who, 'gainst all odds, fought bravely on, And to YOURSELF were true!
And this extract from a three page write-up of my talk in the same paper: "Comes "Jack,' however Capt. Jack, if you please, (and if you don't, he
doesn't continental)-comes 'Jack,' I say, and makes the red corpuscles tingle and riot in our anatomy! Capt. Jack is one of 'them fellows that puts ye on yer mettle,' and he hits (and hit US) straight from the shoulder, and yet, and yet-instead of closing our eyes a la Jeffries, he opens 'em!
"Did you catch it?" Verbatim it
sounded like this: 'You've played the coward's part, boys!' And Capt. Jack's voice wasn't purring and 'soft-like' when he said it, was it? In fact, there was a quality of quasi-harshness in that big, broad voice of his, otherwise so warm, that ran up and down your spine and tickled the marrow in your bones in a peculiar way-even today we would feel it. And who of us would hesitate to choose those clean, clear, open, frank and heart vowels of his, rather than lisping, soothing liquids?
"Notice his eyes-the fire in them, not the smouldering fire of a half extinct volcano, but the leaping flames of the eyes of a prophet of old, as he bellows forth his accusation! And each burning word accentuated, as it were, and driven home, with broad hammer broad hammer strokes, gestures of hands and arms, and that leonine mane of his nodding approval the whole suggesting Jupiter flinging thunder and lightning from Olympian heights: 'You've played the coward's part!'-but say, where was the sting? or hurt feelings?
"Behold, the gentlemanly looking bunch of outlaws' didn't gasp for breath nor mercy, nor get 'huffed,' nor fidgety; nor cuss, nor swear, at the boldness of Capt. Jack. Not a bit of it! But the 'gentlemanly looking bunch of outlaws' understood and took those words as gospel truth; took them at their full meaning and purport, fully convinced, beyond the faintest doubt or attempt at cavail, that 'Jack' was right;
and besides being right, he had the right of saying what he did say in that way, inasmuch as he, of all men, never played the coward's part. So his words went home, and Capt. Jack commanded the absolute clearsightedness of every soul here; the psychological moment, when our hearts were receptive to the unvarnished truth, without wincing, without hurt, without sting."
And now to get back to the boys in the Reformatory and to fully illustrate do in my poor humble way. Read the what I mean and what I am trying to following from "The News, Hamilton, O.," where I talked to the "Boy Scouts" last April:
At the Rahway, N. J., State Reformatory five hundred boys fifteen to twenty-five years of age, after listening to him the second time, did what never was done on earth before. "Boys," said Superintendent Frank Moore, as Capt. Jack concluded, "while you are wiping the tears from your eyes I want to see how many real heroes there are among you. Liquor has put most of you here, and I want every Boy Hero before me to raise his hand with me and swear, 'God helping me,' never to touch intoxicants from this day on forever;" and practically five and practically five hundred hands went up. Capt. Jack jumped to his feet and said; "Boys, I want every mother's son of you who held up your hands, to write me a letter or even a postal card. Tell me you mean it, and will keep your pledges, and to every boy who writes, I will send my picture, an original poem and my autograph. And to the boy writing the best letetr, a copy of my New Book and Poems with an original poem."
And in one week there came over four hundred letters. four hundred letters. Capt. Jack read a few and had to stop, so overcome was he with the heartfult and soulful recitals of these unfortunate but big-hearted boys.
Then starting South to fill his chau
tauqua dates, he sent the letters to a friend and asked him to take them home and have his wife, who is interested in this line of work, go over them and select the winner of the book. Here is a portion of the friend's letter to Capt. Jack:
"Dear Captain Jack:
I have never felt so unprepared to do a task in my life as I now feel about writing you concerning these letters. Mrs. Robinson read aloud to us a half dozen of these letters, when I begged her not to read any more, for I was completely overcome.
The following night she read some more, having in the meantime read them all, between four and five hundred, and was so stirred by the situation that I had to use a great deal of effort to keep her from taking them and starting for New York with a determination that she was going to find someone who would finance you in a way to enable you to spend the rest of your energy in work of this kind. We are all a unit in feeling that if there was a chosen messenger to any particular class, that you are the one in such work as you did at Rahway, and certainly there never was in the history of the world, a man whose record and personality combined, can compare with you in reaching this class. I took the letters to her to select the prize winner, but she absolutely refuses to consider the letters from that view-point. She feels, and we all feel that the future. of a number of these boys has been largely placed in your keeping, and that something must be done to enable you to give these boys further consideration by letter or otherwise. C. W. R."
"Hallelujuh!" said Capt. Jack to a news reporter. "Supt. Frank Moore has named my boys The Boy Heroes. I will add of the World, and I shall, as soon as I return to New York, go out to Rahway and start the greatest boy
organization ever heard of. Boy Heroes they will be in reality, for they will pledge themselves against intoxicants, cigareets and yellow literature, and the boy who is true to these pledges will be a real hero indeed. Some boy organizations have been afraid of me because I insist on telling my temperance story on all occasions when I am talking to boys, and if I can get four hundred out of five hundred boys-most of whom are looked upon as criminals-to make such a pledge, it is my business and God's business that I keep on, and so I shall as long as I live."
I shall also have Boy Heroes organized on the outside, who will pledge themselves to the same and more. They will be pledged to take these boys by the hand as they come out of the Reformatory and prisons and help them to keep their pledges, to secure for them employment, and not be ashamed to associate with them. And while I live and have a say in this boy organization, there will be no selfish grafters connected with it, and absolutely no salaries outside of those who work as employees. In the mean-time, I want the opportuuniuty to earn sufficient money to keep my family pot boiling while I am helping the boys, and everyone who contributes any sum of money for my work among the boys, will be given an accounting of every date filled to his or her credit, and in this way I see the realization of my happiest and oldest dream. For
"I'd rather find a wayward stray and help him to his own,
Than entertain the angles at picnic' round the throne."
And now for the "Boy Scouts of America."
The first thing a real soldier thinks of when he gets up in the morning is: what duties am I to perform to-day? And the first thing a real "Boy Scout" thinks of when he gets up is "What good act can I perform to-day? I
wonder if I can help somebody's mother across a dangerous crossing, find a lost child and take it to its mother, slap some little newsboy on the back who may be stuck with his papers and who is helping to support an aged mother, report to the humane society or the police, some brute who is abusing some more intelligent animal?"
Wear a smile that's worth the while,
To win, and beat the devil.
Now these are the first duties of a real "Boy Scout" and the criticisms of the movement on the ground of its being too military are made by people who are opposed to this great movement, or who do not take the trouble to investigate, nor does it stand for war, and men who prepare men boys for war, are men like Grant who said "Let us have peace." Mr. Carnegie is only assisting us, the real warriors as peacemakers. And if war should come in spite of us, and Mr. Carnegie and The Hague and arbitration, it is we, the old fighters and the "Boy Scouts" who will be prepared for war, and ready, as were our warrior daddies since the Revolution, to go out and die for our country if need be, while the great majority of the Peace Congressmen would stay at home, as they did during the war, amassing fortunes and clipping coupons.
Strict discipline and obedience to orders are essential in all boy organizations, but there is no drilling except for the development of mind and muscle and the practical use of fire-arms: Every boy and girl should be trained in the use of fire-arms. My two daughters could shoot almost as accurately as I could before they were ten years of age and one day my daughter Eva, who rode six miles alone every day when fifteen to school, was held up on her way home by a tramp, and while he held her horse by the bit demanded her
pocket-book, for she had got a check cashed in town that day for $50. She said cooly, "All right,” reached on the right side of her saddle, pulled her six shooter out of the holster, levelled it at the fellow's head and fired. He let go the bridle and ran, leaving his hat on the road, while Eva put her spurs to Dandy, her horse, and galloped to the Fort. I was away on a scout, for Victoria was on the war path then, but my Mexican man, Jose Baca, rode back three miles, found the hat and took it to San Marciel and the deputy sheriff soon located the tramp and arrested him; but when Eva came into court and heard the fellow's story and read a letter from his wife, who was sick and hungry, she refused to prosecute. However, this is an illustration that it is best to be prepared for war on tramps who want to rob you. God bless the "Boy Scouts" and the "Boy Heroes" of the world, and in closing I don't think that anything I could say will so appropriately illustrate my sentiments than the following verses written on the fly leaf of a book I sent to a very dear friend who wrote me saying that if I had less poetry, and more business horse sense, I would be better off in "this world's goods,' and he is an editor, too.
Then trust and wait, and work while you wait;
Ah, work and just work and keep struggling on,
For the darkness will scatter, and soon 'twill be morn;
And thank God for each battle and struggle you've had.
For life's deepest meaning lies hidden so deep
We scarcely can know till we struggle and weep,