[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
         parents
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
            In
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
                                     A
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-
                         of
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
     qualified
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.
                                                     take
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
                                                           it
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
                          rapidly
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
               from
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

428.  

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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-
             as
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
                                         we
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 

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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
                                                          the
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
                                       the
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
            round
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
                                   is
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
                          spheres
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
           apparently
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
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

1087.to 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

1093.be 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

1098.to 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
                  how
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
                         to
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
               applause
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
                                                    this
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

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