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Last Letters From The Living Dead Man
(Mr. "X" is David Patterson Hatch 1846-1912, a former judge)

 
INTRODUCTION PART 1
INTRODUCTION PART 2

LETTER

 I.

THE GENIUS OF AMERICA
II. FEAR NOT
III. THE PROMISE OF SPRING
IV. THE DIET OF GOLD
V. CONTINGENT FEES
VI. THE THREE APPEALS
VII. THE BUILDERS
VIII. THE WORLD OF MIND
IX. AMERICA'S GOOD FRIDAY
X. THE CRUCIBLE
XI. MAKE CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
XII. LEVEL HEADS
XIII. TREES AND BRICK WALLS
XIV. INVISIBLE ARMIES
XV. THE WEAKEST LINK
XVI. A COUNCIL IN THE FOREST
XVII. THE IDEAL OF SUCCESS
XVIII. ORDER AND PROGRESS
XIX. THE FEDERATION OF NATIONS
XX. THE NEW IDEAL
XXI. A RAMBLING TALK
XXII. THE LEVER OF WORLD UNITY
XXIII. THE STARS OF MAN'S DESTINY
XXIV. MELANCHOLY
XXV. COMPENSATORY PLAY
XXVI. THE AQUARIAN AGE
XXVII. THE WATCHERS
XXVIII. THE RITUAL OF FELLOWSHIP
XXIX. RECRUITING AGENTS
XXX. THE VIRUS OF DISRUPTION
XXXI. THE ALTAR FIRE
 

LETTER XXIX

 

RECRUITING AGENTS

February 1918.

            For a day or two after America declared that a state of war existed, I spent most of my time in going about this country, studying conditions in both worlds. Even before that survey I had a general idea of how matters stood in those worlds; but I wanted to freshen my memory, for I had a great idea. Many times during my life on earth I had told myself that I had a great idea, and sometimes I put it into execution, and sometimes I failed in doing so. But this time I was determined there should be no failure.

            When I had seen from my survey that the materials were all at hand, I sought out a great man, spirit, or whatever you choose to call him.
            Then together we mapped out our campaign. Here are the main points of it:
            Conservation—where the negative forces should be applied.
            Construction—with our positive forces.
            Coordination—with the synthetic forces.
            We marshaled a group of those strong-minded, strong-willed men and women who had been out here long enough to know not only their way about, but how to impress their thoughts upon material-bodied men and women. These were dispatched here and there, to think, think, think, in the neighborhood of senators and congressmen, chiefs of industry and members of the general public. The burden of their impressed thought was conservation of food, conservation of expenditure, conservation of all material that would be needed for the activities of the war.

            Others who were filled with a great love for the land of their latest birth, America, went about in bands instilling their patriotic enthusiasm into the hearts and minds of those millions who had too long taken America as a matter of course. They sang patriotic songs, and though they could not be heard by the ears of earth, the spirit of their singing could be felt, and they accomplished much.
            Then others, the wisest among old leaders of men, were busy in quelling disorder, in suppressing discontent with the war. Whenever a group of wild-eyed, peace-prating “idealists” got together to talk twaddle, there was one or more of these unseen auditors to put the brakes on responsive enthusiasm to the dangerous principles enunciated.

            I will not bore you by giving all the details of this plan of help which we labored to make effective. But there were enrolled more than one million beings out here who have pledged themselves to serve until their services are no longer required. That may not seem to you a great number to help invisibly a nation of more than one hundred millions; but one to every hundred is enough among the active workers, for each is free to choose assistants among those younger in earth experience.
            To the one who acted as our commander-in-chief, the generals of this auxiliary army made reports, and many were the strange orders he gave them. But no one questioned his wisdom, and the results have proved it over and over.

            One time when I wanted to go North, he sent me to the South, and in Mobile I learned why my course was changed.
            It is a wonder that the legislators at the various capitols have not “seen ghosts” during the last months. Perhaps they have. But men are becoming accustomed to the idea of us now. That is one of the good results of the war. In looking across the border for their loved ones, they may encounter the Teachers, even the angels of their loved ones, and be enlarged in mind.
            I had an amusing experience in the city of----. There is a “pacifist” there who has a considerable influence among the members of a certain set, and I found that when he began one of his “philosophic” talks to one or more persons, for he has not lectured publicly, I could bewilder him by speaking in his ear and answering his questions in a way that made him wonder. For, strange to say perhaps, he could hear me. But not believing in the possibility of communication between the worlds, he thought he was having “clairaudient hallucinations,” and consulted a doctor who told him that he had been brooding too much about the war. The doctor, who was not a pacifist, advised our friend to take up ornithology.

            Yes, he is young—and will be young for many incarnations.
            We have also done our share of recruiting. Those who were later called by the draft were merely encouraged; but there were others who needed only the dream we sent, or the thought we whispered, to move them in the right direction; and when a young man’s country is at war, the right direction is generally towards the nearest recruiting station.

            There was a boy in----who had been reading about France and the fighting in France with a tightening at the heart, a tightening of horror. He feared the draft. He was not a husky fellow. His labors as bookkeeper in a bank had not developed his leg muscles, and he had a capricious digestion. So he told himself that he would be a failure as a soldier.
            But one time when in sleep he came out into our world, I met him and invited him to take a stroll with me. Do you think I took him to a battlefield? Oh, no! I took him to an exercise ground. You may wonder how I could do that at night; but it chanced that he had fallen asleep in the daytime. And I think I made it easy for him to see down in the world he had temporarily left—to see the exercise ground. It interested him.

            And next day the labor over the ledger seemed duller and more monotonous than usual. And he overheard a girl say to a friend at the paying teller’s window, that a sallow faced clerk was not her ideal of a man, that she liked the soldier boys.
            When he went for a walk after banking hours, I went along with him, and drew his attention to some marching soldiers who had a good band. The boy went home and looked at himself in the mirror and found that he was sallow, and he reminded himself that he was a clerk.
            So he enlisted.
            You may wonder why I took so much trouble to gather one uninteresting young man into the fold of Uncle Sam’s army, when we had so many subordinate workers at that business. But I had known the boy’s father twenty years before, and something he had said influenced me towards a decision that enlightened my whole after life.

            When that boy returns he will no longer be sallow-faced, and he will be a hero—not a clerk.
            I like to pay my debts.

.

 

LETTER XXX

 

LETTER XXVIII