Bill W. 'Original' Story

Prior to 1939 Bill produced this story, often referred to as the 1938 manuscript.

[PDF Format Transcription]   [Scan of Original Document]   [Two Column Presentation]

Archivist's note:
  • All pages are 8.5" by 14";
  • marked text means more than one letter was typed over another, or text was crossed out with x though still readable;
  • marked text in red accurately reflects typos in the manuscript or strange language,
  • marked text in brown accurately reflects hard to read areas in the manuscript
  • [handwriting: Wilson's original story]


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    1. When I was about ten years old my Father and mother

    2. agreed to disagree and I went to live with my Grandfather,

    3. and Grandmother. He was a retired farmer and lumberman. As I

    4. see him in retrospect, he was a very remarkable man After he

    5. returned from Civil War he settled in the small Vermont

    6. town where I was later to grow up. His original capital con-

    7. sisted of a small, unimproved hillside farm, as sweet and

    8. willing helpmeet, and enormous determination to succeed in

    9. whatever he attempted. He was a man of high native intelli-

    10. gence, a voracious reader, though little educated in the

    11. school sense of the word. There was plenty of financial

    12. sense in his make-up and he was a man of real vision. Under

    13. other conditions he might well have become master of an in-

    14. dustry or railroad empire.

    15.        My Grandmother brought into the world three children,

    16. one of whom was my Mother. I can still seem to hear her tell-

    17. ing of the struggle of those early days. Such matters as

    18. cooking for twenty woodchoppers, looking after the diary,

    19. making most of the clothes for the family, long winter rides

    20. at twenty below zero to fetch my Grandfather home over snow-

    21. bound roads, seeing him of long before daylight that he and

    22. the choppers might have their access thawed out so that work

    23. might begin on the mountaintop at daylight- this is the thought

    24. of tradition upon which they nourished me. They finally

    25. achieved their competence and retired late in life to enjoy

    26. a well earned rest and the respect and affection of their  

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    27. neighbors. They were the sort of people,I see now, who

    28. really made America.

    29.         But I had other ideas - much bigger and better ones

    30. so I thought. I was to be of the war generation which dis-

    31. ipated the homely virtues, the hard earned savings, the

    32. pioneering tradition, and the incredible stamina of your
    33. Grandfather and mine.

    34.          I too was ambitious - very ambitious, but very un-

    35. disciplined. Inspite of everyone's effort to correct that con-

    36. dition. I had a genius for evading, postponing or shirking

    37. those things which I did not like to do, but when thoroughly

    38. interested, everything I had was thrown into the persuit of

    39. my objective. My will to succeed at special undertakings on

    40. which my heart were set was very great. There was a persis-

    41. tence, a patience, and a dogged obstinacy, that drove me on.

    42. My Grandfather used to love to argue with me with the object

    43. of convincing me of the impossibility of some venture or

    44. another in order to enjoy watching me'tilt at the windmill'

    45. he had erected. One day he said to me - I have just been

    46. reading that no one in the world byt an Australian can make

    47. and throw a boomerang. This spark struck tinder and every-

    48. thing and every activity was instantly laid aside until it

    49. could be demonstrated that he was mistaken. The woodbox was

    50. not filled, no school work was done, nor could I hardly be

    51. persuaded to eat or to go to bed. After a month or more of

    52. this thing a boomerang was constructed which I threw around  

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    53. the church steeple. On its return trip it went into trans-

    54. ports of joy because it all but decapitated my Grandfather

    55. who stood near me.

    56.          I presently left the country school and fared forth

    57. into the great world I had read about in books. My first

    58. journey took me only five miles to an adjoining town where I

    59. commenced to attend a seminary well known in our section of

    60. the state. Here competition was much more severe and I was

    61. challenged on all sides to do the seemingly impossible. There

    62. was the matter of athletics and I was soon burning with the

    63. ambition to become a great baseball player. This was pretty

    64. discouraging to begin with, as I was tall for my age, quite

    65. awkward, and not very fast on my feed, but I literally worked

    66. at it while others slept or otherwise amused themselves and

    67. in my second year became captain of the team, whereupon my

    68. interest began to languish, for by that time someone had told

    69. me I had no ear for music, which I have since discovered is

    70. almost true. Despite obstacles I managed to appear in a few

    71. song recitals whereupon my interest in singing disappeared

    72. and I got terribly serious about learning to play the violin.

    73. This grew into a real obsession and to the consternation of

    74. my teachers, grew in the last year and everyone else it be-

    75. came the immediate cause of my failing to graduate. This was

    76. my first great catastrophe. By this time I had become Presi-

    77. dent of the class which only made matters worse. As in every

    78. thing else I had even very good in certain courses of study

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    79. which took my fancy, and with others just the opposite,

    80. indolence and indifference, being the rule, So it was that

    81. the legend of infallibility I had built up around myself

    82. collapsed.

    83.          In the ensuing summer I was obliged for the first

    84. time to really address myself to the distasteful task of re-

    85. pairing my failure. Although my diploma was now in hand, it

    86. was by no means clear to my grandparents and parents what

    87. theyhad better next try to do with me. Because of my interest

    88. in scientific matters and the liking I had to fussing with

    89. gadgets and chemicals, it had been assumed that I was to be

    90. an engineer, and my own learnings were towards the electrical

    91. branch of the profession. So I went to Boston and took the

    92. entrance examination to one of the leading technical schools

    93. in this country. For obvious reasons I failed utterly. It

    94. was a rather heartbreaking matter for those interested in me

    95. and it gave my self-sufficiency another severe deflation.

    96.          Finally an entrance was effected at an excellent

    97. military college where it was hoped I would really be disci-

    98. plined. I attended the University for almost three years

    99. and would have certainly failed to graduate or come anywhere

    100. near qualifying as an engineer, because of my laziness and

    101. weakness mathematics. Particularly Calculus, in this

    102. subject a great number of formulas have to be learned and

    103. the application practiced. I remembered that I absolutely

    104. refused to learn any of them or do any of the work whatever  

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    105. until the general principles underlying the subject had

    106. been made clear to me. The instructor was very patient,

    107. but finally through up his hands in disgust as I began to

    108. argue with him and to hint pretty strongly that perhaps he

    109. didn't quite understand them himself. So I commenced an in-

    110. vestigation of the principles underlying Calculus in the

    111. school library and learned something of the conceptions of

    112. the great minds of Leibneitz and Newton whose genius had

    113. made possible this useful and novel mathematical device.

    114. Thus armed I mastered the first problem in the textbook and

    115. commenced a fresh controversy with my teacher, who angrily,

    116. but quite properly, gave me a zero for the course. Fortunate-

    117. ly for my future at the University, I soon enabled to

    118. leave the place gracefully, even heroically, for the

    119. United States of America had gone to war.

    120.            Being students of a military academy school

    121. the student boy almost to a man bolted for the first

    122. officers training camp at Plattsburgh. Though a bit under

    123. age, I received a commission a second lieutenant and got

    124. myself assigned to the heavy artillery. Of this I was

    125. secretly ashamed, for when the excitement of the day had

    126. subsided and I lay in my bunk, I had to confess I did not

    127. want to be killed. This bothered me terribly this suspicion

    128. that I might be coward after all. I could not reconcile

    129. it with the truly exalted mood of patriotism and idealism

    130. which possessed me when I hadn't time t o think. It was  

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    131. very very damaging to my pride, though most of this damage

    132. was repaired later on when I got under fire and discovered

    133. I was just like other people, scared to death, but willing

    134. to face the music.

    135.           After graduating from an army artillery school,

    136. I was sent to a post which was situated near a famous old

    137. town on the New England coast ones famous for its deepxsea

    138. whaling, trading and Yankee seagoing tradition. Here I made

    139. two decisions. The first one, and the best, to marry. Th

    140. second decision was most emphatically the worst I ever mad
                  took up with
    141. I made the acquaintance of John Barleycorn and decided that

    142. I liked it him.

    143.           My wife to be

    144.       Here I set  out upon two paths and little did I realize

    145. how much they were diverge. In short I got married

    146. and at about the same time, took my first drink and decided

    147. that I liked it. But for undying loyalty of my wife

    148. and her faith through the years, I should not be alive today.

    149. She was a city bred person and represented a background and

    150. way of life for which I had secretly longed. Her family

    151. spent long summers in our little town. All of them were

    152. highly regarded by the natives. This was most complimentary

    153. for among the countrymen there existed strong and often un-

    154. reasonable prejudices against city folks. For the most

    155. part, I felt differently. Most city people I knew had money,

    156. assurance, and what then seemed to me great sophistication.  

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    157. and Most of them had family trees. There were servants,

    158. fine houses, gay dinners,and all of the other things with

    159. which I was wont to associate power and distinction. All

    160. of them, quite unconsciously I am sure, could make me feel

    161. very inadequate and ill at ease. I began to feel woefully

    162. lacking in the matter of poise and polish and worldly know-

    163. ledge. Though very proud of the traditions of my own people,

    164. I sometimes indulged in the envious wish that I had been

    165. born under other circumstances and with some of these advan-

    166. tages. Since then immemorial I suppose the country boyshav

    167. thought and felt as I did have thought and felt as I did.

    168. These feelings of inferiority are I suspect responsible for

    169. the enormous determination many of them have felt to go out

    170. to the cities in quest of what seemed to them like true

    171. success. Though seldom revealed, these were the sentiments

    172. that drove me on from this point.

    173.              The war fever ran high in the city near my

    174. post and I soon discovered  that young officers were in

    175. great demand at the dinner tables of the first citizens of

    176. the place.  Social differences were layed aside  and every-

    177. thing was done to make us feel comfortable, happy, and heroic.

    178. A great many things conspired to make me feel that I was im-

    179. portant.  I discovered that I had a somewhat unusual power

    180. over men on the drill field and in the barracks.  I was about

    181. to fight to save the world for democracy.  People whose

    182. station In life I had envied were receiving me as an equal.  

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    183.   My marriage with a girl who represented all of the best

    184. things the city had to offer,was close at hand, and last,

    185. but not least, I had discovered John Barleycorn, Love, ad-

    186. venture, war, applause of the crowd, moments sublime and

    187. hilarious with intervals hilarious - I was a part of life

    188. at last, and very happy.

    189.                 The warnings of my people, the contempt

    190. which I had felt for those who drank, were put aside with

    191. surprising alacrity as I discovered what the Bronx cocktail

    192. could really do for a fellow. My imagination soared - my

    193. tongue loosened at last - wonderful vistas opened on all

    194. sides, but best of all my self consciousness - my gaucheries

    195. and my ineptitudes disappeared into thin air.   I seemed to

    196. the life of the party.  To the dismay of my bride I used to

    197. get pretty drunk when I tried to compete with more ex-

    198. perienced drinkers, but I argued, what did it matter, for

    199. so did everyone else at sometime  before daylight.  Then

    200. came the day of parting,of a fond leave taking of my brave
    201. wife. Amid that strange atmosphere which was the mixture

    202. of sadness, high purpose, the feeling of elation that pre-

    203. cedes an adventure of the first magnitude. Thus many of us

    204. sailed for'over there' and none of us knew if we shouldre-

    205. turn. For a time, loneliness possessed me, but my new

    206. friend Barleycorn always took care of that.  I had, I thought

    207. discovered a missing link in the chain of things that make

    208. life worth while.  

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    209.            Then w were in dear old England, soon to cross

    210. the channel to the great unknown.  I stood in Winchester

    211. Cathedral the day before crossing hand in hand with head

    212. bowed, for something had touched me then I had never felt

    213. before.  I had been wondering, in a rare moment of sober

    214. reflection, what sense there could be to killing and

    215. carnage of which I was soon to become an enthusiastic part.

    216. Where could the Deity be - could there be such a thing -

    217. Where now was the God of the preachers, the thought of which

    218. used to make me so uncomfortable when they talked about him.

    219. Here I stood on the abyss edge of the abyss into which

    220. thousands were falling that very day.  A feeling of despair

    221. settled down on me - where was He - why did he not come-

    222. and suddenly in that moment of darkness, He was there.  I

    223. felt an all enveloping, comforting , powerful presence.

    224. Tears stood in my eyes, and as I looked about, I saw on the

    225. faces of others nearby, that they too had glimpsed the great

    226. reality.  Much moved, I walked out into the  Cathedral yard,

    227. where I read the following inscription on a tombstone. 'Here

    228. lies a Hampshire Grenadier, Who caught his death drinking

    229. small good beer - A good soldier is ne'er forgot, whether
    230. he dieth by musket or by pot.' The squadron of bombers

    231. swept overhead in the bright sunlight,and I cried to myself

    232. 'Here's to adventure' and the feeling of being in the great

    233. presence disappeared, never to return for many years.

    234.   --

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    235. I was twenty two, and a grisled veteran of foreign wars.

    236. I felt a tremendous assurance about my future, for was not

    237. I the only officer of my regiment save one, who had re-

    238. ceived a token of appreciation from the men.  This quality

    239. of leadership, I fancyed, would soon pllce me at the head

    240. of some great commercial organization which I would manage

    241. with the same constant skill that the pipe organist does

    242. his stops and keys.

    243.           The triumphant home coming was short lived. The

    244. best that could be done was to secure a bookkeeping job in

    245. the insurance department of the one of the large railroads.

    246. I proved to be a wretched and rebellious bookkeeper and could

    247. not stand criticism, nor was I much reconciled to my salary,

    248. which was only half the pay I had received in the army. When

    249. I started to work the railroads were under control of the

    250. government.  As soon as they were returned my road was re-

    251. turned to its stockholders, I was promptly let out because I

    252. could not compete with the other clerks in my office. I was

    253. so angry and humiliated at this reverse that  I nearly became

    254. a socialist to register my defiance of the powers that be,

    255. which was going pretty far for a Vermonter.

    256.            To my mortification, my wife went out and got a

    257. position which brought in much more than mine had. Being ab-

    258. surdly sensitive, I imagined that herrelatives  an my newly

    259. made city acquaintances were snickering a bit at my predica-

    260. ment.  

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    261.                 Unwillingly, I had to admit, that I was not

    262. really trained to hold even a mediocre position. Though

    263. I said little, the old driving, obstinate determination to

    264. show my mettle asserted itself.  Somehow, I would show these

    265. scoffers.  To complete my engineering seemed out of the ques-
    266. tion, partly because/my distaste for mathematics,  My only

    267. other assets were my war experiences and a huge amount of

    268. ill-assorted reading.  The study of law suggested itself,and

    269. I commenced a three year night course with enthusiasm. Mean-

    270. while, employment showed up and I became a criminal investi-

    271. gator for a Surety Company, earning almost as much money as

    272. my wife, who spiritedly backed the new undertaking. My day-

    273. time employment took me about Wall Street and little by

    274. little, I became interested in what I saw going on there.

    275. I began to wonder why a few seemed to be rich and famous

    276. while the rank and file apparently lost money.  I began to

    277. study economics and business.

    278.             Somewhat to the dismay of our friends, we moved

    279. to very modest quarters where we could save money.  When we

    280. had accumulated $1,000.00, most of it was placed in utility

    281. stocks, which were then cheap and unpopular.  In a small way,

    282. I began to be successful in speculation.  I was intrigued by

    283. the romance of business, industrial and financial leaders be-

    284. came my heroes.  I read every scrap of financial history I

    285. could lay hold of.  Here I thought  was the road to power.

    286. Like the boomerang,episode, I could think of nothing else.

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    287. How little did I see that I was fashioning a weapon that

    288. would one day return and cut me to ribbons.

    289.              As so many of my heroes commenced as lawyers,

    290. I persisted in the course, thinking it would prove useful.

    291. I also read many success books and did a lot of things that

    292. Horatio Algers's boy heroes were supposed to have done.

    293.               Characteristically enough I nearly failed my

    294. law course  as I appeared at one of the final examinations

    295. too drunk to think or write.  My drinking had not become

    296. continuous at this time, though occasional embarrassing in-

    297. cidents might have suggested that it was getting real hold.

    298. Neither my wife or I had much time for social engagements

    299. and in any event we soon became unpopular as I always got

    300. tight and boasted disagreeably of my plans and my future.

    301.              She was becoming very much concerned and fre-

    302. quently we had long talks about the matter.  I waived her ob-

    303. jections aside by pointing out that red blooded men almost

    304. always drank and that men of genius frequently conceived

    305. their vast projects while pleasantly intoxicated, adding for

    306. good measure, that the best and most majestic contructions of

    307. philosophical thought were probably so derived.

    308.                   By the time my law studies were finished,

    309. I was quite sure I did not want to become a lawyer.  I know

    310. that somehow  I was going to be a part of that then alluring

    311. maelstrom which people call Wall Street.  How to get into

    312. business there was the question.  When I proposed going out  

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    313. on the road to investigate properties, my broker friends

    314. laughed at me.  They did not need such a service and pointed

    315. out that I had no experience.  I reasoned that I was partly
    316. /as an engineer and as a lawyer, and that practically speaking

    317. I had acquired very valuable experience as a criminal investi-

    318. gator.  I felt certain that these assets could not be capita-

    319. lized.  I was sure that people lost money in securities be-

    320. cause they did not know enough about managements, properties,

    321. markets, and ideas at work in a given situation.

    322.              Since no one would hire me and remembering that

    323. we now had a few thousand dollars, my wife and I conceived

    324. the hare-brained scheme of going out and doing some of this

    325. work at our own expense, so we each gave up our employment

    326. and set off in a motorcycle and side car, which was loaded

    327. down with a tent, blankets, change of clothes and three

    328. huge volumes of a well known financial reference service.

    329. Some of our friends thought a lunacy commission should be ap-

    330. pointed and I sometimes think they were right.  Our first ex-

    331. ploit was fantastic.  Among other things, we owned two shares

    332. of General Electric, then selling at about $300.00 a share.

    333. Everyone thought it was too high, but I stoutly maintained

    334. that it would someday sell for five or ten times that figure.

    335. So what could be more logical than to proceed to the main of-

    336. fice of the company in New York and investigate it. Naive

    337. wasn't it?  The plan was to interview ohe officials and get

    338. employment there if possible.  We drew seventy five dollars  

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    339. from our savings as working capital, vowing never to draw

    340. another cent.  We arrived at Schenectady, I did talk with

    341. some of the people of the to company and became wildly en-

    342. thusiastic over GE.  My attention was drawn to the radio end

    343. of the business and by a strange piece of luck, I learned

    344. much of what the company thought about its future.  I was

    345. then able to put a fairly intelligent projection of the

    346. coming radio boom on paper, which I sent to one of my brokers

    347. in town.  To replenish our working capital, my wife and I

    348. worked on a farm nearby for two months, she in the kitchen,

    349. and I in the haystack.  It was the last honest manual work

    350. that I did for many years.

    351.               The cement industry then caught my fancy and we

    352. soon found ourselves looking at a property in the Lehigh

    353. district of Eastern Pennsylvania.  An unusual speculative

    354. situation existed which I went to New York and described to

    355. one of my broker friend .  This time I drew blood in the

    356. shape of an option on hundred shares of stock which

    357. promptly commenced to soar.  Securing a few hundred dollars

    358. advance on this deal, we were freed of the necessity of work,

    359. and during the coming year following year, we travelled all

    360. over the southeast part of the United States, taking in power

    361. projects, an aluminum plant, the Florida boom, the Birmingham

    362. steel district, Muscle Shoals, and what not.  By this time

    363. my friends in New York thought it would pay them to really

    364. hire me.  At last I had a job in Wall Street.  Moreover, I  

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    365. had the use of twenty thousand dollars of their money.

    366. For some years the fates tossed horseshoes and golden bricks

    367. into my lap and I made much more money than was good for me.

    368. It was too easy.
    369.              By this time drinking had gotten to be a very

    370. important  and exhilirating place in my life.  What was a

    371. few hundred dollars when you considered  it in terms of ex-

    372. citement and important talk in the gilded palaces of jazz up-

    373. town.  My natural conservativeness was swept away and I began

    374. to play for heavy stakes.  Another legend of infallability

    375. commenced to grow up around me and I began to have what is

    376. called in Wall Street a following which amounted to many

    377. paper millions of dollars.  I had arrived, so let the scoffers

    378. scoff and be damned, but of course, they didn't, and I made

    379. a host of fair weather friends.  I began to reach for more

    380. power attempting to force myself onto the directorates of

    381. corporations in which I controlled blocks of stock.

    382.                  By this time, my drinking hsd assumed

    383. serious proportions.  The remonstrances of my associates ter-

    384. minated in a bitter row, and I became a lone wolf.  Though I

    385. managed to avoid serious scrapes and partly out of loyalty,

    386. extreme drunkenness, I had not become involved with the fair
    387. sex, there were many unhappy scenes in my apartment, which

    388. was a large one, as I had hired two, and had gotten the real

    389. estate people to knock out the walls between them.  

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    390. In the spring of 1929    caught the golf fever. This

    391. illness was about the worst yet. I had thought golf was

    392. pretty tepid sport, but I noticed some of my pretty

    393. important friends thought it was a real game and it

    394. presented an excuse for drinking by day as well as by

    395. night. Moreover some one had casually said, they didn't think

    396. I would ver play a good game. This was a spark in a

    397. powder magazine, so my wife and I were instantly off to the

    398. country she to watch while I caught up with Walter Hagen.

    399. Then too it was a fine chance to flaunt my money around

    400. the old home town. And to carom lightly around the exclusive

    401. course, whose selct city membership had inspired so much

    402. awe in me as a boy. So Wall Street was lightly tossed

    403. aside while I acquired drank vast quantities of gin and

    404. acquired the impeccable coat of tan, one sees on the faces

    405. of the well to do. The local banker watched me with an

    406. amused skepticism as I whirled good fat checks in and out

    407. of his bank.

    408.      IN October 1929 the whirling movement in my bank

    409. account ceased abruptly, and I commenced to whirl myself.

    410. Then I felt like Stephen Leacock's horseman, it seemed as
    411. though I were galloping/in all directions at once, for the

    412. great panic was on.  First to Montreal, then to New York, to

    413. rally my following in stocks sorely needing support. A few

    414. bold spirits rushed into the breach, but it was of no use.  I

    415. shed my own wings as the moth who gets to near to the candle

    416. flame.  After one of those days of shrieking inferno on the

    417. stock exchange floor with no information available, I lurched
    418. drunkenly anthe hotel bar to an adjoining brokerage office

    419. there at about 8 oclock in the evening I feverishly searched

    420. a huge pile of ticker tape and tore of about an inch of it.

    421. It bore the inscription P.F.K.32.. The stock had opened at

    422. 52 that morning.  I had controlled over one hundred thousand

    423. shares of it, and had a sizable block myself.  I knew that I

    424. was finished, and so were a lot of my friends.

    425.                 I went back into the bar and after a few

    426. drinks, my composure returned.  People were beginning to jump

    427. from every story of that great Tower of Babel. That was high


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    429. that I was not so weak.  I realized that I had been care-

    430. less, especially with other peoples money.  I had not paid

    431. attention to business and I deserved to be hurt.  After a few

    432. some more whiskey, my confidence returned again, and with it

    433. an almost terrifying determination to somehow capitalize this

    434. mess and pay everybody off.  I reflected that it was just

    435. another worthwhile lesson and that there were a lot of

    436. reasons why people lost money in Wall Street that I had not

    437. thought of before.

    438.            My wife took it all like the great person she is.

    439. I think she rather welcomed it the situation thinking it

    440. might bring me to my senses.  Next morning, I woke early,

    441. shaking badly from excitement and a terrific hangover.  A

    442. half bottle of Gin quickly took care of that momentary weak-
    443. ness and I soon as business places were open  I called a

    444. friend in Montreal and said -"Well Dick, they have nailed my

    445. hide to the barn door" - said he "The hell they have, come
    446. on up".  That is all he said and up W went.

    447.               I shall never forget the kindness and generosity

    448. of this friend.  Moreover I must still have carried one

    449. horseshoe with me, for by the spring of 1930, we were living

    450. in our accustomed style and I had a very comfortable credit

    451. balance on the very security  in which I had taken the

    452. heaviest licking, with plenty of champaigne and sound

    453. canadian whiskey, I began to feel like Napolean returning

    454. Melba.  Infallible again. No St Helena for me. Accustomed

    455. as they were to the ravages of fire water in Canada in those

    456. days, I soon began to outdistance most of my countrymen both

    457. as a serious and a frivolous drinker.

    458.               Then the depression bore down in earnest.and

    459.I, having become worse than useless, had to be reluctantly

    459. Though I had become manager of one of the departments of my

    460. friend's business, my drinking and nonchalant cocksureness,

    461. had rendered me worse than useless, so he reluctantly let me

    462. go.   We were stony broke again, and even our furniture

    463. looked like it was gone, for I could not even pay next months

    464. rent on our swank apartment.

    465.            We wonder to this day how we ever got out of

    466. Montreal. But we did, and then I had to eat humble pie. We  

                                                      Page 18.

    467. went to live with my Father and Mother-in-law where we

    468. happily found never failing help and sympathy.  I got a

    469. job at what seemed to be a mere pittance of one hundred

    470. dollars a week, but a brawl with a taxi driver , who got

    471. very badly hurt, put an end to that .  Mercifully, no one

    472. knew it, but I was not to have steady employment for five

    473. years, nor was I to draw a sober breath if I could help it.

    474.              Great was my humiliation when my poor wife was

    475. obliged to go to work in a department store, coming home ex-

    476. hausted night after night to find me drunk again.  I became

    477. a hanger-on at brokerage shops, but was less and less wel-

    478. come as my drinking increased.  Even then opportunities to

    479. make money pursued me, but I passed up the best of them by

    480. getting drunk at exactly the wrong time.  Liquor had ceased

    481. to be a luxury;  It had become a necessity.  What few

    482. dollars I did make were devoted to keeping my credit good at

    483. the bars.  To keep out of the hands of the police and for

    484. reasons of economy, I began to buy bathtub gin, usually two

    485. bottles a day, and sometimes three if I did a real workman-

    486. like job.  This went on endlessly and I presently began to

    487. awake real early in the morning shaking violently.  Nothing

    488. would seem to stop it but a water tumbler full of raw liquor.

    489. If I could steal out of the house and get five or six

    490. glasses of beer, I could sometimes eat a little breakfast.

    491. Curiously enough I still thought I could control the situation
    492. and there were periods of sobriety which would revive a flag-

    493. ging hope of my wife and her parents.   But as time wore on

    494. matters got worse.  My mother-inlaw died and my wife's health

    495. became poor, as did that of my Father-in-law.  The house in

    496. which we lived was taken over by the mortgage holder.  Still

    497. I persisted and still I fancied that fortune would again shine

    498. upon me.  As late 1932 I engaged the confidence of a man

    499. who had friends with money.  In the spring and summer of that

    500. year we raised one hundred thousand dollars to buy securities

    501. at what proved to be an all time low point in the New York

    502. stock exchange.  I was to participate generously in the

    503. profits, and sensed that a great opportunitywas at hand. So

    504. ????

                                                        Page 19.

    505. prodigous bender a few days before the deal was to be

    506. closed.

    507.               In a measure thsi did bring me to senses.

    508. Many times before I had promised my wife that I had stopped

    509. forever.  I had written her  sweet notes and had inscribed

    510. the fly leaves of all the bibles in the house with to that

    511. effect.   Not that the bible meant so much, but after all

    512. it was the book you put your hand on when you were sworn in

    513. at court.  I now see, however, that I had no sustained de-

    514. sire to stop drinking until this last debacle.  It was only

    515. then that I realized it must stop and forever.  I had come

    516. to fully appreciate that once the first drink was taken,

    517. there was no control  Why then take this one? That was it-

    518. never was alcohol to cross my lips again in any form.  There

    519. was, I thought, absolute finality in this decision.  I had

    520. been very wrong, I was utterly miserable and almost ruined.

    521. This decision brought a great sense of relief, for I knew

    522. that I really wanted to stop.  It would not be easy, I was

    523. sure of that, for I had begun to sense the power and cunning

    524. of my master - John Barleycorn.  The old fierce determination

    525. to win out settled down on me - nothing, I still thought,

    526. could overcome that aroused as it was.  Again I dreamed

    527. of my wife smiling happily, as I went out to slay the dragon.

    528. I would resume my place in the business world and recapture

    529. the lost regard of my fiends and associates.  It would take

    530. a long time, but I could be patient.  The picture of myself

    531. as a reformed drunkard rising to fresh heights of achive-

    532. ment, quite carried me away with happy enthusiasm.  My wife

    533. caught the spirit for she saw at last that I really meant

    534. business.

    535.              But in a short while I came in drunk.  I could

    536. give no real explanation for it.  The thought of my new re-

    537. solve had scarcely occurred to me as I began.  There had

    538. been no fight - someone had offered me a drink, and I had

    539. taken it, casually, remarking to myself that one or two

    540. would not harm a man of my capacity.  What had become of my

    541. giant determination? How about all of that self searching I

    542. had done?  Why had not the thought of my past failures and

    543. my new ambitions come into my mind?  What of the intense de-  

                                                        Page 20-

    544. sire to make my wife happy?  Why hadn't these things - these

    545. powerful incentives arisen in my mind to stay my hand as I

    546. reached out to take that first drink?  Was I crazy?  I hated

    547. to think so, but I had to admit that a condition of mind re-

    548. sulting in such an appalling lack of perspective came pretty

    549. near to being just that.

    550.                 Then things were better for a time.  I was

    551. constantly on guard.  After two or three weeks of sobriety

    552. I began to think I was alright.  Presently this quiet con-

    553. fidence was replaced by cocksureness.  I would walk past my

    554. old haunts with a feeling of elation - I now fully realized

    555. the danger that lurked there.  The tide had turned at last -

    556. and now I was really through.  One afternoon on my way home

    557. I walked into a bar room to make a telephone call, suddenly

    558. I turned to the bartender and said "Four isrish whiskies -

    559. water on the side" - As he poured them out with a surprised

    560. look, I can only remember thinking to myself - "I shouldn't

    561. be doing this, but here's how to the last time". As I

    562. gulped down the fourth one, I beat on the bar with my fist

    563. and said for"God's sake, why have I done this again?" Where

    564. had been my realization of only this morning as I had

    565. passed this very place, that I was never going to drink again

    566. I could give no answer, mortification and the feeling of

    567. utter defeat swept over me.  The thought that perhaps I

    568. could never stop crushed me.  Then as the cheering warmth

    569. of these first drinks spread over me, I said - "Next time

    570. I shall  manage better, butwhile I am about it, I may as

    571. well get good and drunk".  And I did exactly that.

    572.                I shall never forget the remorse, the horror

    573. the utter hopelessness of the next morning.  The courage to

    574. rise and do battle was simply not there .  Before daylight

    575. I had stolen out of the house, my brain raced uncontrollably.

    576. There was a terrible feeling of impending calamity.

    577. feared even to cross a street, less I collapse and be run

    578. over by an early morning truck.  Was there no bar open? Ah,

    579. yes, there was the all night place which sold beer - though

    580. it was before the legal opening hour, I persuaded the man be-

    581. hind the food counter that I must have a drink or perhaps die  

                                                     Page 21.

    582. on the spot.  Cold as the morning was,  I must have drunk

    583. a dozen bottles of ale in rapid succession.  My writhing

    584. nerves were stilled at last and I walked to the next corner

    585. and bought a paper.  It told me that the stock market had

    586. gone to hell again - "What difference did it make anyway,

    587. the market would get better, it always did, but I'm in hell

    588. to stay - no more rising markets for me. Down for the count-

    589. what a blow to one so proud.  I might kill myself, but no -

    590. not now,"  These were some of my thoughts - then I felt

    591. dazed - I groped in a mental fog  - mere liquor would fix

    592. that - then two more bottles of cheap gin. Oblivion.

    593.                         The human mind and body is a marvelous

    594. mechanism, for mine withstood this sort of thing for yet

    595. another two years.  There was little money, but I could al-

    596. ways drink.  Sometimes I stole from my wife's slender purse

    597. when the early morning terror of madness was upon me. There

    598. were terrible scenes and though not often violent, I would

    599. sometimes do such things as to throw a sewing machine, or

    600. kick the panels out of every door in the house.  There were

    601. moments when I swayed weakly before an open window or the

    602. medicine chest in which there was poison - and cursed my-

    603. self for a weakling.  There were flights from the city to

    604. the country  when my wife could bear with me no longer at

    605. home  Sometimes there would be several weeks and hope would

    606. return, especially for her, as I had not let her know how

    607. defeated I really was, but there was always the return to
    608. conditions still worse.  Then came a night I when the physi-

    609. cal and mental torture was so hellish that I feared I would

    610. take a flying leap through my bedroom window sash and all

    611. and somehow managed to drag my mattress down to the kitchen

    612. floor which was at the ground level.  I had stopped drinking

    613. a few hours before and hung grimly to my determination that

    614. I could have no more that night if it killed me. That very

    615. nearly happened, but I was finally rescued by a doctor  who

    616. prescribed chloral hydrate, a powerful sedative.  This reliev-

    617. ed me so much that next day found me drinking apparently

    618. without the usual penalty, if I took some sedative occasion-

    619. ally.  In the early spring of 1934 it became evident to  

                                                      Page 22.

    620. everyone concerned that something had to be done and

    621. that very quickly.  I was thirty pounds underweight, as I

    622. could eat nothing when drinking, which was most of the

    623. time.  People had begun to fear for my sanity and I fre-

    624. quently had the feeling myself that I was becoming deranged.

    625.              With the help of my brother-in-law, who is a

    626. physician I was placed in a well known institution for the

    627. bodily and mental rehabilitation of alcoholics.  It was

    628. thought that if I were thoroughly cleared of alcohol and

    629. the brain irritation which accompanies it were reduced, I

    630. might have a chance.  I went to the place desperatly hoping

    631. and expecting to be cured.  The so-called bella donna

    632. treatment given in that place helped a great deal.  My mind

    633. cleared and my appetite returned.  Alternate periods of

    634. hydro-therapy, mild exercise and relaxation did wonders for

    635. me.  Best of all I found a great friend in the doctor who

    636. was head of the staff.  He went far beyond his routine duty

    637. and I shall always be grateful for those long talks in which

    638. explained that when I drank I became physically ill and that

    639. this bodily condition was usually accompanied by a mental

    640. state  such that the defense one should have against alcohol

    641. became greatly weakened, though in no way mitigating my

    642. early foolishness and selfishness about drink, I was greatly

    643. relieved to discover that I had really been ill perhaps for

    644. several years.  Moreover I felt that the understanding and

    645. fine physical start I was getting would assure my recovery,

    646. Though some of the inmates of the place who had been there

    647. many times seemed to smile at that idea.  I noticed however

    648. that most of them had no intention of quitting; they merely

    649. came there to get reconditioned so that they could start in

    650. again.  I, on the contrary, desperately wanted to stop and

    651. strange to say I still felt that I was a person of much more

    652. determination and substance than they, so I left there in

    653. high hope and for three or four months the goose hung high.

    654. In a small way I began to make some progress in business.

    655.                Then came the terrible day when I drank again

    656. and could not explain why I started.  The curve of my de-

    657. clining moral and bodily health fell of like a ski jump.

    658. After a hectic period of drinking, I found myself again in

     [archivist's note: the typewritten manuscript text continues correctly with page 23, but line numbers 659 - 679 remain unknown ]

                                                  Page 23.

    680. Everyone became resigned to the certainty that I

    681. would have to be confined somewhere ore else stumble

    682. along to a miserable end, but there was soon to be

    683. proof that indeed it is often darkest before dawn,

    684. for this proved to be my last drinking bout, and I am

    685. supremely confident that my present happy state is to be

    686. for all time.

    687.                Late one afternoon near the end of that

    688. month of November I sat alone in the kitchen of my home.

    689. As usual, I was half drunk and enough so that the keen

    690. edge of my remorse was blunted.  With a certain satis-

    691. faction I was thinking that there was enough gin se-

    692. creted about the house to keep me fairly comfortable

    693. that night and the next day.  My wife was at work and I

    694. resolved not to be in too bad shape when she got home.

    695. My mind reverted to the hidden bottles and at I carefully

    696. considered where each one was hidden.  These things must

    697. be firmly in my mind to escape the early morning tragedy

    698. of not being able to find at least a water tumbler full

    699. of liquor. Just as I was trying to decide whether to risk

    700. concealing one of the full ones within easy reach of my

    701. side of the bed, the phone rang.

    702.                 At the other end of the line Over the

    703. wire came the voice of an old school friend and drinking

    704. companion of boom times.  By the time we had exchanged

    705. greetings, I sensed that he was sober.  This seemed

    706. strange, for it was years since anyone could remember his

    707. coming to New York in that condition.  I had come to think

    708. of him as another hopeless devoteeof Bacchus.  Current

    709. rumor had it that he had been committedto a state institu-

    710. tion for alcoholic insanity.  I wondered if perhaps he had

    711. not just escaped.  Of course he would come over right away

    712. and take dinner with us.  A fine idea that, for I then

    713. would have an excuse to drink openly with him.  Yes,we

    714. would try to recapture the spirit of other days and per-

    715. haps my wife could be persuaded to join in, which in self

    716. defense she sometimes would.  I did not even think of the

    717. harm I might do him.  There was to be a pleasant, and I  

                                                  Page 24.

    718. hoped an exciting  interlude in what had become a
    719. dreary waste of loneliness.  Another drink stirred my

    720. fancy; this would be an oasis  in the dreary waste. That

    721. was it - an oasis.  Drinkers are like that.

    722.                 The door opened and there he stood, very

    723. erect and glowing.  His deep voice boomed out cheerily -

    724. the cast of his features - his eyes  - the freshness of

    725. his complexion - this was my friend of schooldays. There

    726. was a subtle something or other instantly apparent even to

    727. my befuddled perception.  Yes - there was certainly some-

    728. thing more - he was inexplicably different  - what had

    729. happened to him?

    730.                      We sat at the table and I pushed  a

    731. lusty glass of gin flavored with pineapple juice in his

    732. direction.  I thought if my wife came in, she would be re-

    733. lieved to find that we were not taking it straight -

    734.                    "Not now", he said.  I was a little crest

    735. fallen at this, though I was glad to know that someone

    736. could refuse a drink at that moment - I knew I couldn't.

    737. "On the wagon?" - I asked.  He shook his head and looked

    738. at me with an impish grin .

    739.                    "Aren't you going to have anything?"-

    740. I ventured presently.

    741.                    "Just as much obliged, but not tonight"

    742. I was disappointed, but curious.  What had got into the

    743. fellow - he wasn't himself.

    744.                    "No, he's not himself - he's somebody
    745. else - not just that either - he was his old self, plus

    746. something more, and maybe minus something". I couldn't put

    747. my finger on it - his whole bearing almost shouted that

    748. something of great import had taken place.

    749.                    "Come now, what's this all about", I

    750. asked.  Smilingly, yet seriously, he looked straight at me

    751. and said "I've got religion".

    752.                    So that was it.  Last summer an alco

    753. alcoholic crackpot - this fall, washed in the blood of the

    754. Lamb.  heavens, that might be even worse. I was thunder-

    755. struck, and he, of all people.  What on earth could one  

                                                 Page 25.

    756. say to the poor fellow.

    757.                    So I finally blurted out "That's

    758. fine", and sat back waiting for a sizzling blast on sal-

    759. vation and the relation of the Cross, the Holy Ghost, and

    760. the Devil thereto.  Yes, he did have that starry edy

    761. eyed look, the old boy was on fire all right.  Well, bless

    762. his heart, let him rant .  It was nice that he was sober

    763. after all.  I could stand it anyway,  for there was plenty

    764. of gin and I took a little comfort that tomorrow's ration

    765. wouldn't have to be used up right then.

    766.                  Old memories of Sunday School - the profit

    767. temperance pledge, which I never signed - the sound of the

    768. preacher's voice which could be heard on still Sunday

    769. mornings way over on the hillside beyond the railroad

    770. tracks,- My grandfather's quite scorn of things some

    771. church people did to him - his fair minded attitude that

    772. I should make up my mind about these things myself - his
    773. convictions that the fears really had their mooxx  music -

    774. but his denial of the right of preachers to tell him how

    775. he should listen - his perfect lack of fear when he men-

    776. tioned these things just before his death - these memories

    777. surged up out of my childhood as I listened to my friend.

    778. My own gorge rose for a moment to an all time high as my

    779. anti-preacher - anti-church folk sentiment welled up in-

    780. side me.  These feelings soon gave way to respectful at-

    781. tention  as my former drinking companion rattled on.

    782. Without knowing it, I stood at the great turning point of

    783. my life - I was on the threshold  of a fourth dimension

    784. of existence that I had doubtfully heard some people des

    785. describe and others pretend to have.  

    786.   He went on to lay before me a simple

    787. proposal.  It was so simple and so little

    788. complicated with the theology and dogma

    789. I had associated with religion that by

    790. degrees I became astonished and delighted.

    791. I was astonished because a thing so simple

    792. could accomplish the profound result  I now

    793. beheld in the person of my friend.  To say that

    794. I was delighted is putting it mildly , for I

    795. relized that I could go for his program also.

    796. Like all but a few u human beings I had truele

    797. believed in the existence of a power greater

    798. than myself true athiests are really very scarce.

    799. It always seemed to me more difficult and ilogical

    800. to be an athiest than to believe there is a

    801. certain amount of law and order and purpose

    802. underlying the universe.  The faith of an athiest

    803. in his convictions is far more blind then that

    804. of the religionist for it leads inevitably to

    805. the absurd conclusion that the vast and ever

    806. changing cosmos originally grew out of a cipher,

    807. and now has arrived at its present state thru

    808. a series  of haphazard accidents, one of which

    809. is man himself.  My liking for things scientific

    810. had encouraged to look into such matters as

    811. a theory of evolutionthe nature of matter itself

    812. as seen thru the eyes of the great chemists

    813. physicists  and astronomers and  I had pondered

    814. much on the question of the meaning of life itself.

    815. The chemist had shown me that material matter

    816. is not all what it appears to be.  His studies

    817. point to the conclusion that the eliments and there

    818. meriad  combinations are but in the last last

    819. analysis nothing but different arrangements

    820. of that universal something which they are pleased

    821. to call the electron.  The physist and the

    822. astronomer had shown me that our universe .

    823. moves and evolves according to many precise

    824. and well understood laws.  They tell me to the  

    825. last second when the sun will be next eclipsed

    826. at the place I am now standing, or the very day

    827. several decades from now  When Hallyes comet

    828. will make its turn about the sun.  Much to my

    829. x interest I learned from these men that great

    830. cosmic accidents occur bringing about conditions

    831. which are not exceptions to the law so much

    832. as they result in new and unexpected developements

    833. which arise logically enough once the so called

    834. accident  has occured.  It is highly probable for

    835. example-that our earth is the only planet in the

    836. solar system upon which man could evolve - and it

    837. is claimed by some astronomers that the chance

    838. that similar planets exist elsewhere in the universe

    839. is rather small.  There would have to be a vast

    840. number of coincidences to bring about the exact

    841. conditions of light,warmth, food supply, etc.

    842. to support life as we know it here.  But I used to

    843. ask myself8why regard the earth as an accident

    844. in a system which evidences in so many respects the

    845. greatest law and order'  If If all of this law

    846. existed then could there be so much law and no

    847. intelligence?  And if there was an intelligence

    848. great enough to materialize and keep a universe in

    849. order it must necessarily have the power to create

    850. accidents and make exceptions.

    851.      The evolutionist brought great logic to bear

    852. on the proposition that life on this planet began

    853. with the lowly omebia , which was a simple cell

    854. residing in the oceons of Eons past. Thru countless

    855. & strange combinations of logic and accident  man

    856. and all other kinds of life evolved but man possessed

    857. a consciousness of self, a power to reason and to

    858. choose , and a small still voice which told him the

    859. difference between right and wrongand man became

    860. increasingly able to fashion with his hands and

    861. with his tools the creations of his own brain .

    862. He could give direction and purpose to natural laws
    863. and so he,created new things for himself and of  

    864. [line number skipped in the typewritten manuscript]

    865. and do he apparently created new things for himself an

    866. [line number skipped in the typewritten manuscript]

    867. out of a tissue composed of his past experience

    868. and his new ideas.  Therefore man tho' resembling

    869. other forms of life in many ways seems to me

    870. very different.  It was obvious that in a limited

    871. fashion he could play at being a God himself .

    872.      Such was the picture I had of myself and the

    873. world in which I lived, that there was a mighty

    874. rythm, intelligence and purpose behind it all

    875. despite inconsistencies. I had rather strongly

    876. believed.

    877.      But this was as far as I had ever got toward

    878. the realization of God and my personal relationship

    879. to Him.  My thoughts of God were academic and

    880. speculative when I had them, which for some years

    881. past had not been often.  That God was an inteligence

    882. power and love  upon which I could absolutely rely

    883. as an individual had not seriously occured to me.

    884. Of course I knew in a general way what theologians

    885. claimed but I could not see that religous persons

    886. as a class demonstrated any more power, love and

    887. intelligence than those who claimed no special

    888. dispensation from God   tho' I grant de that

    889. christianity ought to be a wonderful influence

    890. I was annoyed,irked and confused by the attitudes

    891. they took, the beliefs they held and the things

    892. they had done in the name of Christ,. People like

    893. myself had been burned and whole population put

    894. to fire and sword on the pretext they did not

    895. believe as christians did. History taught that

    896. christians were not the only offenders in this

    897. respect.  It seemed to me that on the whole

    898. it made little difference whether you were  

    899. Mohamadem, Catholic, Jew, Protesant or Hotentot.

    900. You were supposed to look askance at the other

    901. fellews approach to God.  Nobody could be saved

    902. unless they fell in with your ideas.  I had a

    903. great admiration for Christ as a man, He  practised

    904. what he preached and set a marvelous example.

    905. It was not hard to agree in Principle with

    906. His moral teachings bit like most people, I perfered

    907. to live up to some moral standard but not to others.

    908. At any rate I thought I understood as well as any

    909. one what good morals were and with the exceptions

    910. of my drinking I felt superior to most christians

    911. I knew.  I might be week in some respects but at

    912. least I was not hypocritical,  So my interest in

    913. christianity other than its teaching of moral

    914. principles and the good I hoped it did on

    915. balance was slight.

    916.      Sometimes I wished that I had been religiously

    917. trained from early childhood that I might have the

    918. comfortable assurance about so many things I found

    919. it impossible to have any definate convictions

    920. upon.  The question of the hereafter, the many

    921. theological abstractions and seeming contradictions

    922. - these things were puzzling and finally annoying

    923. for religious piople told me  I must believe

    924. a great many seemingly impossible things to be one

    925. [line number skipped]

    926. of them.  This insistance on their part plus a

    927. powerful desire to posess the things of this life

    928. while there was yet time had crowded the idea of

    929. the personal God more and more out of my mind as the

    930. years went by.  Neither were my convictions strengthea

    931. by my own misfortunes. The great war and its

    932. aftermath seemed to more certainly demonstrate the

    933. omnipotence of the devil than the loving care of

    934. an all powerful God

    935.       Nevertheless here I was sitting opposite a

    936. man who talked about a personal God who told me

    937. how hw had found Him, who described to me how I

    938. might do the same thing and who convinced me

    939. utterly that something had come into his life

    940. which had accomplished a miracle.  The man was

    941. trasformed ; there was no denying he had been re-

    942. born.  He was radiant of something which soothed

    943. my troubled spirit as tho the fresh clean wind of

    944. mountain top  blowing thru and thru me    I saw and

    945. felt and in a great surge of joy I realized

    946. that the great presence which had made itself felt

    947. to me that war time day in Winchester Cathedral

    948. had again returned.

    949.       As he continued I com menced to see myself as in

    950. as in an unearthly mirror. I saw how ridiculous and

    951. futile the whole basis of my life had been. Standing in

    952. the middle of the stage of my lifes setting I had been

    953. feverishly trying to arrange ideas and things and people

    954. and even God, to my own liking, to my own ends and to

    955. promote what I had thought to be true happiness. It was

    956. truly a sudden and breath taking illumination. Then the

    957. idea came - " The tragic thing about you is, that you

    958. have been playing God." That was it. Playing God. Then

    959. the humor of the situation burst upon me, here was I a

    960. tiny grain of sand of the infinite shores of Gods great

    961. universe and the little grain of sand, had been trying

    962. to play God. He really thought he could arrange all of

    963. the other little grains about him just to suit himself.

    964. And when his little  hour was run out, people would

    965. weep and say in awed tones-' How wonderful'.

    966.         So then came the question - If I were no

    967. longer to be God than was I to find and perfect

    968. the new relationship with my creator - with the Father

    969. of Lights who presides over all ? My friend laid down

    970. to me the terms and conditions which were simple but

    971. not easy, drastic yet broad and acceptable to honest  

    972. men everywhere, of whatever faith or lack thereof. He did not

    973. tell me that these were the only t erms - he merely said that

    974. they were terms that had worked in his case. They were spiritual

    975. principles and rules of practice he thought common to all of the

    976. worthwhile religions and philosophies of mankind. He regarded them

    977. as stepping stones to a better understanding of our relation to the

    978. spirit of the universe and as a practical set of directions setting

    979. forth how the spirit could work in and through us that we might

    980. become spearheads and more effective agents for the promotion

    981. of Gods Will for our lives and for our fellows. The great thing

    982. about it all was its simplicity and scope, no really religious

    983. persons belief would be interferred with no matter what his training ,

    984. For the man on the street who just wondered about such things, it ws

    985. Was a providential approach, for with a small beginning of faith

    986. and a very large dose of action along spiritual lines he could be

    987. sure to demonstrate the Power and Love of God as a practical

    988. workable twenty four hour a day design for living.

    989.         This is what my friend  suggested I do. One: Turn my face

    990. to God as I understand Him and say to Him with earnestness - complete

    991. honesty and abandon-  that I henceforth place my life  at His

    992. disposal and direction forever. TWO: that I do this in the presence

    993. of another person, who should be one in whom I have confidence and if

    994. I be a member of a religious organization, then with an appropiate

    995. member of that body. TWO: Having taken this first step, I should

    996. next prepare myself for Gods Company by taking a thorough and ruth-
    997. less inventory of my moral defects and derelictions. This I should

    998. do without any reference to other people and their real or fancied

    999. part in my shortcomings should be rigorously excluded-" Where have I

    1000. failed-is the prime question. I was to go over my life from the

    1001. beginning and ascertain in the light of my own present understanding

    1002. where I had failed as a completely moral person. Above all things in

    1003. making this appraisal I must be entirely honest with myself. As an

    1004. aid to thoroughness and as something to look at when I got through

    1005. I might use pencil and paper.First take the question of honesty.

    1006. Where, how and with whom had I ever been dishonest? With respect to

    1007. anything. What attitudes and actions did I still have which were not

    1008. completely honest with God with myself or with the other fellow. I ws

    1009. was warned that no one can say that he is a completely honest   

    1010. person. That would be superhjman and peiple aren't that way.

    1011. Nor should I be misled by the thought of how honest I am in

    1012. some particulars. I was too ruthlessly tear out of the past all

    1013. of my dishonesty and list them in writing. Next I was to explore

    1014. another area somewhat related to the first and commonly a very

    1015. defective one in most people. I was to examine my sex conduct

    1016. since infancy and rigorously compare it with what I thought that

    1017. conduct should have been. My friend explained to me that peoples

    1018. ideas throughout the world on what constitutes perfect sex conduct

    1019. vary greatly Consequently, I was not to measure my defects in this

    1020. particular by adopting any standard of easy virtue as a measuring

    1021. stick, I was merely to ask God to show me the difference between

    1022. right and wrong in this regard and ask for help and strength and

    1023. honesty in cataloguing my defects according to the true dictates

    1024. of my own conscience. Then I might take up the related questions

    1025. of greed and selfishness and thoughtlessness. How far and in what

    1026. connection had I strayed and was I straying in these particulars?

    1027. I was assured I could make a good long list if I got honest enough

    1028. and vigorous enough. Then there was the question of real love for

    1029. all of my fellows including my family, my friends and my enemies

    1030. Had I been completely loving toward all of these at all times

    1031. and places. If not, down in the book it must go and of course

    1032. everyone could put plenty down along that line.

               (Resntments, self pity,fear,pride.)  

    1033. my friend pointed out that resentment, self-pity, fear, in-

    1034. feriority, pride and egotism, were thingsx attitudes which

    1035. distorted ones perspective suc and usefulness to entertain such

    1036. sentiments and attitudes was to shut oneself off from God and

    1037. people about us.  Therefor it would be necessary for me to

    1038. examine myself critically in this respect and write down my

    1039. conclusions.

    1040.      Step number three required that I carefully go over my

    1041. personal inventory and definatly arrive at the conclusion that

    1042. I was now willing to rid myself of all these defects moreover

    1043. I was to understand that this would not be accomplished by

    1044. [line number skipped]

    1045. myself alone, therefore I was to humbly ask God that he take

    1046. these handicaps away.  To make sure that I had become really

    1047. honest in this desire, I should sit down with whatever person

    1048. I chose and reveal to him without any reservations whatever

    1049. the result of my self appraisel.  From this point out I was

    1050. to stop living alone in every particular.  Thus was I to ridx  keep

    1051. myself free in the future of those things which shut out

    1052. God's power, It was explained that I had been standing in my

    1053. own light, my spiritual interior had been like a room  darkened

    1054. by very dirty windows and this was an undertaking to wipe them

    1055. off and keep them kleen. Thus was my housekeeping to be ac-

    1056. complished, it would be difficult to be really honest with my-

    1057. self and God  and perhaps to be completely honest with another

    1058. person by telling an other the truth, I could however be ab-

    1059. solutely sure that my self searching had been honest and effective.

    1060. Moreover I would be taking my first spiritual step towards my

    1061. fellows for something I might say could be helpful in leading

    1062. the person to whom I talked a better understanding of himself.

    1063. In this fashion I would commence to break down the barriers

    1064. which my many forms of self will had erected.  Warning was

    1065. given me that I should select a person who would be in ho way

    1066. injured or offended by what I had to say, for I could not expect

    1067. to commence my spiritual growth at the w expense of another.

    1068. My friend told me that this step was complete, I would surely

    1069. feel a tremendous sense of relieve accompaning by the absolute  

    1070. conviction that  I was on the right t road at last.

    1071.l0   Step number four demanded that I frankly admit  that my

    1072.deviations from right thought and action had injured other people

    1073.therefore I must set about undoing the damage to the best of my

    1074.ability.  It would be advisable to make a list of all the

    1075.persons I had hurt or with whom I had bad relations.  People I

    1076.disliked and those who had injured me should have perfered

    1077.attention, provided I had done them injury or still entertained

    1078.any feeling of resentment towards them .  Under no sircumstances

    1079.was I to consider their defects or wrong doing , then I was to

    1080.approach these people telling them I had commenced a way of life

    1081.which required that I be on friendly and helpful terms with every

    1082.body;  that I recognized I had been at fault in this particular

    1083.that I was sorry for what I had done or said and had come to set

    1084.matters right insofar as I possibly could.  Under no circumstances

    1085.was I to engage in argument or controversy.  My own wrong doing

    1086.was to be admitted and set right and that was all.  Assurance was be given that I was prepared to go to any length to do the

    1088.right thing.  Again I was warned that obviously I could not

    1089.make amends at the expense of other people, that judgement and

    1090.discretion should be used lest others should be hurt. This sort

    1091.of situation could be postponed until such conditions became such

    1092.that the job could be done without harm to anyone.  One could contented in the meanwhile by discussing such a matter frankly

    1094.with a third party who would not be involved and of course ona a

    1095.strictly confidential basis. Great was to be taken that one

    1096.did not avoid situations dificult or dangerous to oneself on
                                                                as possible
    1097.such a pretext .  The willingness to go the limit a s fast had be at all times present.  This principle of making ammends

    1099.was to be continued in the future for only by keeping myself free

    2100.of bad relationships with others could I expect to receive the

    1101.Power and direction so indespensable to my new and larger useful-

    1102.ness . This sort of discipline would hilp me to see others as

    1103.they really are; to recognize that every one is plagued by various

    1104.of self will;  that every one is in a sense actually sick with

    1105.some form of self; that when men behave badly they are only dis-

    1106.playing symptoms of spiritual ill health .   

    1107. one is not usually angry or critical of another when he

    1108. suffers from some grave bodily illness and I would
    1109. presently see senseless and futile it is to be disturbed

    1110. by those burdened by their own wrong thinking .  I was to

    1111. entertain towards everyone a quite new feeling of tolerance

    1112. patience and helpfulness I would recognize more and more

    1113. that when I became critical or resentful I must at all

    1114. costs realize that such things were very wrong in me

    1115. and that in some form otro or other I still had the very

    1116. defects of which I complained in others.  Much emphasis

    1117. was placed on the development of this of mind toward others.

    1118. No stone should be left unturned to acheive this end.

    1119.  The constant practice of this principle frequently ask-

    1120. ing God for His help in making it work under trying

    112l. circumstances was absolutely imperative . The drunkard

    1122. espicially had to be most rigorous on this point for one

    1125. burst of anger or self pity might so shut him out from his

    1124. new found strength that he would drink again and with us

    1125. that always means calamity and sometimes death.

    1126.      This was indeed a program, the thought of some of the
    1127. things I would have admit about myself to other people

    1128. was most distasteful - even appalling.  It was only to o

    1129. plain that I had been ruined by my own colosal egotism

    1130. and selfishness, not only in respect to drinking but with

    1131. regard to everything else.  Drinking had been a simptom

    1132. of these things.  Alcohol had submerged my inferiorities

    1135. and puffed up my self esteem, body had finally rebelled

    1134. and I had some fatally affeated , my thinking and action

    1135. was woefully distorted thru infection frim the mire of

    1136. self pity, resentment, fear and remorse in which I now

    1137. wallowed . The motive behing a certain amount of generosity,

    1138. kindness and the meticulous honesty in some directions

    1139. upon which I had prided myseld was not perhaps not so

    1140. good after all.  The motive had been to get personal

    1141. satisfaction for myself, perhaps not intirely but on the

    1142. whole this was true.  I had sought the glow which comes
    1143. with thexflaws and Praise rendered me by others.  

    1144. I began to see how actions good in themselves might avail

    1145. little because of wrong motive , I had been like the man

    1146. who feels that all is well after he has condesendingly

    1147. taken turkeys to the poor at Xmas time . How clear it

    1148. suddenly became that all of my thought and action, both

    1149. good and bad, had arisen out of a desire to make myself

    1150. happy and satisfied.  I had been self centered instead of

    1151. God centered. It was now easy to understand why the taking
    1152. of a simple childlike attitude toward God plus axdrastic

    1153. program of action which would place himx  would bring

    1154. results.  How evident et became that mere faith in God

    1155. was not enough.  Faith had to be demonstrated by works

    1156. and there could be no works or any worth while demonstrations

    1157. until I had fitted myself for the undertaking and had be-

    1158. come a suitable table agent thru which God might express Himself.

    1159. There had to be a tremendous personal housecleaning, a

    1160. sweeping away of the debris of past wilfullness , a restoring

    1161. of broken relationships and a firm resolve to make God's

    1162. will my will . I must stop forcing things , Imust stop

    1163. trying to mold people and situations to my own liking.

    1164. Nearly every one is taught that human willpower and ambition

    1165. if good ends are sought are desirable attributes.  I too

    1166. had clung to that conception but I saw that it was not good

    1167. enough,nor big enough , nor powerful enough .  My own will had

    1168. failed in many areas of my live.  With respect to

    1169. alcohol it had become absolutely inopperative . My ambitions,

    1170. which had seemed worthy at some time,had been frustrated.

    1171. Even had I been successful , the persuit of my desires

    1172. would have perhaps harmed others add their relizationw

    1173. would have added little or nothing to anyones  peace,

    1174. happiness or usefulness.  I began to see that the clashing

    1175. ambitions  and designs of even those who sought what to them

    1176. seemed worthy ends , have filled the world with discord and

    1177. misery .  Perhaps people of this sort created more havouqx

    1178. havoc than those confessedly imoral and krucked croocked

    1179. I saw even the most useful people die unhappy and defeated.

    1180. All because some one else had behaved badly or they had

                                      [archivist's note: the rest of this manuscript is currently missing]