Skip to main content

Full text of "My adventures as a German secret service agent"

See other formats



Then Major in the Mexican Constitutionalist Army, from a photo taken at Juarez. 
(On the left Lieutenant Leiva.) 






Formerly Major in the Mexican Constitution-list Army, sometime 

Confidential Aide to Captain von Papen, Recalled Military Attach^ 

to the Imperial German Embassy at Washington, 

German Secret Service Agent 

With Sixteen Plates 


London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne 



I HAVE not striven to write an autobiography. 
This book is merely a summary a sort of 
galloping summary of the last ten years of 
my existence. As such, I venture to write it 
because my life has been bound up in enter- 
prises in which the world is interested. It has 
been my fortune to be a witness and sometimes 
an actor in that drama of secret diplomacy which 
has been going on for so long and which in 
such a large way has been responsible for this 
World War. 

There are many scenes in that drama which 
have no place in this book many events with 
which I am familiar that I have not touched 
upon. My aim has been to describe only those 
things with which I was personally concerned 
and which I know to be true. For a full history 
of the last ten years my readers must go else- 
where; but it is my hope that these adventures 
of mine will bring them to a better understand- 
ing of the forces that have for so long been 
undermining the peace of the world. 




Inevitably there will be some who read this 
book who will doubt the truth of many of the 
statements in it. I cannot, unfortunately, prove 
all that I tell here. Wherever possible I have 
offered corroborative evidence of the truth of 
my statements ; at other times I have tried to 
indicate their credibility by citing well recognised 
facts which have a direct bearing upon my con- 
tentions. But for the rest, I can only hope that 
this book will be accepted as a true record of 
facts which by their very nature are insusceptible 
of proof. 

So far as my connection with the German 
Government is concerned, I may refer the 
curious to the British Parliamentary White 
Papers, Miscellaneous, Nos. 6 and 13, w r hich con- 
tain respectively my confession and a record of 
the papers found in the possession of Captain 
von Papen, former Military Attache to the Ger- 
man Embassy at Washington, and seized by the 
British authorities on January 2 and 8, 1916. 
There are also, in addition to the documents 
reproduced in this book, various court records of 
the trial of Captain Hans Tauscher and others 
in the spring of the same year. To German 
activities in the United States, the newspapers 
bear eloquent testimony. I have been concerned 



rather with the motives of the German Govern- 
ment than with a statement of what has been 
done. These motives, I believe, you will not 

But there is one point which I must ask my 
readers not to overlook. I have told that I be- 
came a secret agent through the discovery of a 
certain letter which contained very serious re- 
flections upon one of the most important person- 
ages in the world. I have told, also, how the 
possession of that letter had an important bear- 
ing upon the course of my life how it led me 
to America, and how in the struggle for its pos- 
session I very nearly lost my life. This, I know, 
will be severely questioned by many. Before 
rejecting this part of my story, I ask merely that 
you consider the fate that overtook Koglmeier, 
the saddler of El Paso, whose only crime was 
that he had been partially in my confidence. I 
ask you to recall that another German, Lesser, 
who had been associated with me at the same 
time, mysteriously disappeared in 1915, shortly 
before von Papen left for Europe. No one has 
been able to prove why these men were treated 
as they were. And if I did not have in my pos- 
session something which the German Government 
regarded as highly important, why the surprising 



actions of that Government, actions none the 
less astonishing because they are well known and 
authenticated? Consider these things before you 

Finally, let me say that I have taken the 
liberty of changing or omitting the names of 
various people who are mentioned in these adven- 
tures, merely because I have had no wish to 
compromise them by disclosing their identity. 

NEW YORK, July 8, 1917. 





I find an old letter containing a strange bit of scandal 
Its contents draw me into the service of the 


I impersonate a Russian Prince and steal a Treaty What 
the Treaty contained and how Germany made use of 
the knowledge. 


Of what comes of leaving important papers exposed I 
look and talk indiscreetly, and a man dies. 

4. " CHERCHEZ LA FEMME ! " . . . .55 

I am sent to Geneva and learn of a plot How there are 
more ways of getting rid of a King than by blowing 
him up with dynamite. 


Germany displays an interest in Mexico, and aids the 
United States for her own purposes The Japanese- 
Mexican Treaty and its share in the downfall of Diaz. 


My letter again I go to America and become a United 
States soldier Sent to Mexico and sentenced to 
death there I join Villa's army and gain an un- 
deserved reputation. 


War I re-enter the German service and am appointed 
aide to Captain von Papen The German conception 
of neutrality and how to make use of it The plot 
against the Welland Canal. 





I go to Germany on a false passport Italy in the early 
days of the war I meet the Kaiser and talk to him 
about Mexico and the United States. 


In England, and how I reached there I am arrested and 
imprisoned for fifteen months What von Papen's 
baggage contained I make a sworn statement. 


The German intrigue against the United States Von 
Papen, Boy-Ed and von Rintelen, and the work they 
j did How the German-Americans were used and how 
they were betrayed. 

11. MISCHIEF IN MEXICO , . . . 224 

More about the German intrigue against the United States 
German aims in Latin America Japan and Germany 
in Mexico What happened in Cuba ? 


* The last stand of German intrigue Germany's spy system 
in America What is coming ? 


CAPTAIN VON DER GOLTZ . . . Frontispiece 








Herald 80 


RAUL MADERO ...... 96 





GOLTZ 144 



CAPT. TAUSCHER . . . . . .176 


List of Illustrations 


CHANDISE "....... 192 













I find an old letter containing a strange bit of scandal, 
and its contents draw me into the service of the Kaiser. 

ON March 29, 1916, the steamer Finland was 
warped into its Hudson River dock and I hur- 
ried down the gangway. I was not alone. 
Agents of the United States Department of 
Justice had met me at Quarantine; and a man 
from Scotland Yard was there also a man who 
had attended me sedulously since, barely two 
weeks before, I had been released in rather un- 
usual circumstances from Lewes prison in Eng- 
land; the last of four English prisons in which 
I had spent fifteen months in solitary confine- 
ment waiting for the day of my execution. 

My friend from Scotland Yard left me very 
shortly ; soon afterwards I was testifying for the 
United States Government against Capt. Hans 

A Momentous Document 

Taiischer,- husband of. Mine. Johanna Gadski, the 
diva. Tauscher, American agent of the Krupps 
and of the German Government, was charged 
with complicity in a plot to blow up the Welland 
Canal in Canada during the first month of the 
Great War. During the course of the trial it 
was shown that von Papen and others (including 
myself) had entered into a conspiracy to violate 
the neutrality of the United States. I had led 
the expedition against the Welland Canal, and I 
was telling everything I knew about it. Doubt- 
less you remember the newspapers of the day. 

You will remember how, at that time, the 
magnitude of the German plot against the 
neutrality of the United States became finally 
apparent. You will remember how, in connec- 
tion with my exposure, came the exposure of von 
Igel, of Rintelen, of the German Consul-General 
at San Francisco, Bopp, and many others. 
With all these men I was familiar. In the 
activities of some of them I was implicated. It 
was I, as I have said, who planned the details 
of the Welland Canal plot. I shall tell the true 
story of these activities later. 

But first let me tell the story of how I 
came to be concerned in these plots and to do 
that I must go back over many years ; I must 

A Momentous Document 

tell how I first became a member of the Kaiser's 
Secret Diplomatic Force (to give it a name) and 
incidentally I shall describe for the first time the 
real workings of that force. 

I have been in and out of the Kaiser's web 
for ten years. I have served him faithfully in 
many capacities and in many places all over 
Europe, in Mexico, even in the United States. 
I served the German Government as long as I 
believed it to be representing the interests of my 
countrymen. But from the moment that I be- 
came convinced that the men who made up the ' 
Government the Hohenzollerns, the Junkers 
and the bureaucrats were anxious merely to 
preserve their own power, even at the expense of 
.Germany itself, my attitude towards them changed. 
That is why I write this book and why I shall 
tell what I know of the aims and ambitions of 
these men enemies of Germany as well as of the 
rest of the world. 

I was not a spy ; nor was I a secret service 
agent. I was, rather, a secret diplomatic agent. 
Let me add that there is a nice distinction be- 
tween the three. A secret diplomatic agent is 
a man who directs spies, who studies their reports, 
who pieces together various bits of information, 


A Momentous Document 

and who, when he has the fabric complete, per- 
sonally makes his report to the highest authority 
or carries that particular plan to its desired con- 
clusion. His work and his status are of various 
sorts. Unlike the spy, he is a user, not a getter, 
of information. He is a freelance, responsible 
only to the Foreign Office; a plotter; an un- 
official intermediaiy in many negotiations; and 
frequently he differs from an accredited diplo- 
matic representative only in that his activities 
and his office are essentially secret. Obviously 
men of this type must be highly trained and trust- 
worthy; and their constant association with men 
of authority makes it necessary that they, them- 
selves, should be men of breeding and education. 
But above all, they must possess the courage that 
shrinks at no danger, and a devotion, a patriotism 
that know no scruples. 

This, then, was the calling into which I found 
myself plunged, while still a boy, by one of the 
strangest chances that ever befell me, whose life 
has been full of strange happenings. 

As I recall my adolescence I realise that I 
was a normal boy, vigorous,^wilful, fond of sport, 
of horses, dogs and guns, and I know that but 
for the chance I speak of, I should have grown 
up in the traditions of our family Cadet School 


A Momentous Document 

the University later a lieutenancy in the 
German Army and to-day, perhaps, death 
"somewhere in France." 

And yet, in that boyhood that I am recall- 
ing, I can remember that there were other 
interests which were far greater than the games 
that I loved, as did all lads of my age. Mental 
adventure, the matching of wits against wits for 
stakes of reputation and fortune, always exer- 
cised an uncanny fascination over my mind. 
That delight in intrigue was shown by the 
books I read as a boy. In the library of my 
father's house there were many novels, books of 
poems, of biography, travel, philosophy and 
history; but I passed them by unread. His few 
volumes of Court gossip and so-called "secret 
history " I seized with avidity. I used to bear 
off the memoirs of Marechal Richelieu, the 
Cardinal's nephew, and read them in my room 
when the rest of the household was asleep. 

I recall, too, that there was another tendency 
already developed in me. I see it in my deal- 
ings with other boys of that day. It was the 
impulse to make other people my instruments, 
not by direct command or appeal, but by leading 
them to do, apparently for themselves, what I 
needed of them. 


A Momentous Document 

Such was I, when my aunt, who had cared 
for me since the death of my parents some years 
before, fell ill and later died. I was disconso- 
late for a time and wandered about through the 
halls and chambers of the house, seeking amuse- 
ment. And it was thus that one day I came 
upon an old chest in the room that had been 
hers. I remembered that chest. There were 
letters in it letters that had been written to her 
by friends made in the old days when she was at 
Court. Often she had read me passages from 
them bits of gossip about this or that personage 
whom she had once known occasionally, even, 
mention of the Kaiser. 

Doubtless, too, I thought, there were pas- 
sages which she had not seen fit to read to me : 
some more intimate bits of gossip about those 
brilliant men and women in Berlin whom I then 
knew only as names. With the eager curiosity 
of a boy I sought the key, and in a moment 
had unlocked the chest. 

There they lay, those neat, faded bundles, 
slightly yellow, addressed in a variety of hands. 
Idly I selected a packet and glanced over the 
envelopes it contained, lingering, in anticipation 
of the revelations that might be in them. I 

must have read a dozen letters before my eye 


A Momentous Document 

fell upon the envelope that so completely changed 
my life. 

It lay in a corner of the chest, as if hidden 
from too curious eyes a yellow square of paper, 
distinguished from its fellows by the quality of 
the stationery alone, and by its appearance of 
greater age. But I knew, before I had read 
fifty words of it, that I was holding in my 
hands a document that was more explosive than 
dynamite ! 

For this letter, written to my aunt years 
before, by one of the most exalted personages 
in all Germany, contained statements which, had 
they been made by anyone else, would have been 
treason to utter. 

Those of you whose memories go back tc the 
last twenty years of the nineteenth century, will 
readily recall the notorious ill-feeling that existed 
between Wilhelm II. and his mother, Victoria, 
the Dowager Empress Friedrich. Stories have 
so often been told of this enmity, culminating 
in the virtual banishment from Berlin of the 
Queen Mother, that I need not do more than 
mention them. But what is not so generally 
known is the small esteem in which Victoria was 
held by the entire German people. During the 
twenty years of her married life as the wife of the 


A Momentous Document 

then Crown Prince Friedrich, she was treated by 
Berlin Society with the most thinly veiled hos- 
tility. Even Bismarck made no attempt to 
conceal his dislike for her, and accused her to 
quote his own words of having " poisoned the 
fountain of Hohenzollern blood at its source." 

Victoria, for her part, although she seems to 
have had no animosity towards the German 
people, certainly possessed little love for her 
eldest son, and did her best to delay his acces- 
sion to the Imperial throne as long as she could. 
When in 1888 Wilhelm I. was dying, she tried 
her utmost to secure the succession to her hus- 
band, who was then lying dangerously ill at San 
Remo. " Cancer," the physicians pronounced 
the trouble, and even the great German specialist, 
Bergmann, agreed with their diagnosis. There 
is a law that prevents anyone with an incurable 
disease, such as cancer, from ascending the 
Prussian throne; but Victoria knew too well the 
attitude of her son, Wilhelm, towards herself, 
not to wish to do everything in her power to 
prevent him from becoming Emperor so long as 
she could. In her extremity she appealed to her 
mother, Queen Victoria of England, who sent 
Sir Morell Mackenzie, the great English surgeon, 

to San Remo to report on Friedrich 's condition. 


A Momentous Document 

Mackenzie opposed Bergmann and said the disease 
was not cancer; and the physicians inserted a 
silver tube in the patient's throat, and in due 
course he became Emperor Friedrich III. 

But in spite of Mackenzie and the silver tube, 
Friedrich III. died after a reign of ninety-eight 
days and he died of cancer. 

Now what was the reason for this hostility 
between mother and son and between Empress 
and subjects? There have been many answers 
given Victoria's love for England, her colossal 
lack of tact, her impatient unconventionality. 
Berlin whispered of a dinner in Holland years 
before, when Victoria had entertained some Eng- 
lish people she met there people she had never 
seen before and had finished her repast by 
smoking a cigar. That in the days when the 
sight of a woman smoking horrified the German 
soul! And Berlin hinted at worse unconvention- 
alities than this. 

As for the animosity of the Kaiser, this was 
attributed to the fact that he held her respon- 
sible for his withered left arm. 

Plausible reasons, all of these, and possibly 
true. But consider, if you will, the rumours that 
followed Victoria all her life the story of an 
early attachment to the Count Seckendorf, her 


A Momentous Document 

husband's associate during the Seven Weeks' 
War of 1866 the reports, sometimes denied but 
generally believed, of her marriage to the Count 
not long before her death. True or not, these 
stories what does it matter? 

But what to do with this letter to which I 
attached so much importance? Something im- 
pelled me not to speak of it to my family. But 
who else was there? 

In my perplexity I did an utterly foolish 
thing. I put my whole confidence in a man's 
word. There was, serving at a nearby fortress, 
a Major-General von Dassel, who was in the habit 
of coming to our house quite regularly. To him 
I went, and under pledge of silence I told him 
my story. Of course, he broke the pledge and 
left immediately for Berlin. All doubts, if I had 
any, as to the importance of the document, 
vanished with him. And if I had any misgiv- 
ings concerning my own importance they quickly 
vanished, too. Back from Berlin, with Major- 
General von Dassel came an agent of the Chan- 
cellor. He did not come to our house ; instead 
von Dassel sent for me to go to his headquarters 
in the fortress. I met there a solemn frock- 
coated personage who, so he said, had come down 
from Berlin especially to see me. Imagine my 


A Momentous Document 

elation ! I was in my element ; what I had hoped 
for had at last happened. The pages of Riche- 
lieu and of my secret histories were coming true. 
Another man and I were to lock our wits in a 
fight to the finish that pleasure I promised my- 
self. He was a worthy opponent, an official, a 
professional intriguer. As I looked into his 
serious, bearded face, I built romances about 

The agent of the Chancellor wanted my docu- 
ment and my pledge to keep silent about its 
contents. Through sheer love of combat, I 
refused him on both points. He tried persuasion 
and reason. I was adamant. He tried cajolery. 

"It is plain," he said, in a voice that w r as 
caressingly agreeable, " that you are an extremely 
clever young man. I have never before met 
your like that is, at your age. A great career 
will be possible to such a young man if only he 
shows himself eager to serve his Government, 
eager to meet the wishes of his Chancellor." 

Of course, I was delighted with this flattery, 
which I felt was entirely deserved. I began to 
believe that I was a person of importance. I 
became stubborn which always has been one of 
my best and worst traits. I saw that the gentle- 
man in the frock-coat was becoming angry; his 


A Momentous Document 

serious eyes flashed. Apparently much against 
his will, he tried threats; he suavely pointed out 
that if I persisted in my resolve not to surrender 
the document, destruction yawned at my feet. 
The threats touched off the fuse of my romanti- 
cism. I felt I was leading the life of intrigue of 
which I had read. 

" If you will wait here," I told him, " I shall 
go home and get the document for you." 

The Chancellor's representative stroked his 
beard, deliberated a moment and seemed un- 

"Oh, the Junge will come back all right," 
put in Major-General von Dassel. But the 
boy did not come back. My family had always 
been excessively liberal with money, and I had 
enough in my own little "war chest" to buy a 
railway ticket, and a considerable amount be- 
sides. So I promptly ran off to Paris; and to 
this day I don't know how long the gentleman 
in the frock-coat waited for me in von DassePs 

The terrors and thrills and delight of that 
panic-stricken flight still make me smile. No 
peril I have since been through was half as ex- 
citing. . . . Berlin ! . . . Koln ! . . . Brussels ! 
It was a keen race against arrest. I was 


A Momentous Document 

happily frightened, much as a colt is when it 
shies at its own shadow. Although I was in long 
trousers and looked years older than I was, I had 
not sense enough to see the affair in its true light 
a foolish escapade which was quite certain to 
have disagreeable consequences. And so I fled 
from Berlin to Paris. 

From Paris I fled too. There, any circum- 
stance struck my fevered imagination as being 
suspicious. After a day in the French capital, I 
scurried south to Nice and from Nice to Monte 
Carlo. Precocious youngster, indeed, for there I 
had my first experience with that favoured figure 
of the novelist, the woman secret agent! No 
novelist, I venture to say, would ever have picked 
her out of the Riviera crowd as being what she 
was. She wore no air of mystery; and though 
attractive enough in a quiet way, she was very 
far from the siren type in looks or manners. The 
friendliness that she, a woman of the mid-thirties, 
showed a lonely boy was perfectly natural. I 
should never have guessed her to be an agent of 
the Wilhelmstrasse had she not chosen to let me 
know it. Of course, the moment she spoke to 
me of " my document," I knew she had made my 
acquaintance with a purpose. If the dear old 
frock-coated agent of the Chancellor had been 


A Momentous Document 

asleep, the telegraph wires from Berlin to Paris 
and Nice and Monte Carlo had been quite 

The proof that I was actually watched and 
waited for thrilled me anew. It also alarmed me 
when my friend explained how deeply my Govern- 
ment was affronted. Soon the alarm outgrew 
the thrill and in the end I quite broke down. Then 
the woman in her, touched with pity, apparently 
displaced the adventuress. We took counsel to- 
gether and she showed me a way out. 

" Your document," she .said, "has a Russian 
as well as a German importance. Why not try 
St. Petersburg since Berlin is hostile? For the 
sake of what you bring, Russia might give shelter 
and protection." 

Remember, I was very young and she was all 
kindness. Yes, she discovered for me the avenue 
of escape and she set my foot upon it in the most 
motherly way. And I unknowingly took my first 
humble lesson in the great art of intrigue. For, 
as I learned years afterwards, that woman was 
not a German agent but a Russian ! 

But at that time I was all innocent gratitude 
for her kindness. I was thankful enough to pro- 
ceed to St. Petersburg by way of Italy, Constanti- 
nople and Odessa. Of course, she must have 


A Momentous Document 

designated a man unknown to me to travel with 
me, and make sure that I reached the Russian 
capital. To my hotel in St. Petersburg, just as 
the woman had predicted, came an officer of the 
political police, who courteously asked me not to 
leave the building for twenty-four hours. The 
next day the man from the Okrana, or Secret 
Police, came again. This time he had a droshky 
waiting, with one of those bull-necked, blue 
corduroy-robed, muscular Russian jehus on the 
box. We were driven down the Nevsky Prospekt 
to a palace. Here I soon found myself in the 
presence of a man I did not then know as Count 
Witte. He greeted me kindly, merely remarking 
that he had heard I was in some difficulties, and 
offering me aid and advice. My letter was not 
referred to and the interview ended. 

So began the process of drawing me out. A 
fortnight later the matter of my information was 
broached openly and the suggestion was made that 
if I delivered it to the Russian Government, high 
officials would be friendly and a career assured me 
in Russia, as I grew up. But by that time 
Germany had changed her attitude. Her agents 
also reached me in St. Petersburg. From them 
I received a new assurance of the importance of 
the document. If I would release it so the 


A Momentous Document 

German agent who came to my hotel told me 
and keep my tongue still, Berlin would pardon 
my indiscretion and assure me a career at home. 
Russia or Germany? My decision was quickly 
made. That very night I was smuggled out of 
St. Petersburg and whisked across the frontier at 
Alexandrovna into Germany; and the letter 
passed out of my hands for the time being. 




I impersonate a Russian Prince and steal a Treaty What 
the Treaty contained and how Germany made use of 
the knowledge. 

GROSS LICHTERFELDE ! As I write, it all comes 
back to me clearly, in spite of the full years that 
have passed this, my first home in Berlin. A 
huge pile of buildings set in a suburb of the city, 
grim and military in appearance ; and in fact, as 
I soon discovered. 

I was to become a cadet, it seems ; and where 
in Germany could one receive better training than 
in this same Gross Lichterf elde ? 

At home I had had some small experience with 
the exactions of the gymnasium ; but now I found 
that this was so much child's play in comparison 
with the life at Gross Lichterf elde. We were 
drilled and dragooned from morning till night : 
mathematics, history, the languages they were 
not taught us, they were literally pounded into 
us. And the military training ! I am not un- 
familiar with the curricula of Sandhurst, of St. 

c 17 

Diamond Cut Diamond 

Cyr, even of West Point, but I honestly believe 
that the training we had to undergo was fully 
as arduous and as technical as at any of those 
schools. And we were only boys. 

Military strategy and tactics ; sanitation ; en- 
gineering ; chemistry ; in fact, any and every 
study that could conceivably be of use to the 
future officers of the German Army ; to all of 
these must we apply ourselves with the utmost 
diligence. And woe to the student who shirked ! 

Then there was the endless drilling, that left 
us with sore muscles and minds so worn with the 
monotony of it that we turned even to our 
studies with relief. And the supervision! Our 
very play was regulated. 

Can you wonder that we hated it and likened 
the Cadet School to a prison? And can you 
imagine how galling it was to me, who had come 
to Berlin seeking romance and found drudgery? 

But we learned. Oh, yes ! The war has shown 
how well we learned. 

There was one relief from the constant study 
which was highly prized by all the cadets at Gross 
Lichterfelde. It was the custom to select from 
our school a number of youths to act as pages at 
the Imperial Court; and lucky were the ones 
who were detailed to this service. It meant a 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

vacation, at the very least, to say nothing of a 
change from the Spartan fare of the school. 

I must have been a student for a full three 
months before my turn came ; long enough, at 
any rate, for me to receive the news of my selec- 
tion with the utmost delight. But I had not been 
on service at the Imperial Palace for more than 
a few days when a State dinner was given in 
honour of a guest at Court. He was a young 
prince of a certain grand-ducal house, which by 
blood was half Russian and half German. I 
recall the appearance of myself and the other 
pages, as we were dressed for the function. 
Ordinarily we wore a simple undress cadet uni- 
form, but that evening a striking costume was 
provided : nothing less than a replica of the garb 
of a mediaeval herald tabard and all for Wil- 
helm II. has a flair for the feudal. From my 
belt hung a capacious pouch, which, pages of 
longer standing than I assured me, was the most 
important part of my equipment; since by cus- 
tom the ladies were expected to keep these 
pouches comfortably filled with sweetmeats. 
Candy for a cadet ! No wonder every boy wel- 
comed his turn at page duty, and went back re- 
luctantly to the asceticism of Gross Lichterfelde. 

That was my first sight of an Imperial dinner. 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

The great banquet hall that overlooks the square 
on the Ufer was ablaze with lights. The guests 
the men in their uniforms even more than the 
women made a brilliant spectacle to the eyes of 
a youngster from the provinces; but most bril- 
liant of all was Wilhelm II., resplendent in the 
full dress uniform of a field-marshal. I can 
recall him as he sat there, lordly, arrogant, yet 
friendly, but never seeming to forget the monarch 
in the host. It seemed to me that he loved to 
disconcert a guest with his remarks; it delighted 
him to set the table laughing at someone else's 

By chance, during the banquet, it fell to me 
to render service to the young Emperor. Once, 
as I moved behind his chair, a German Princess 
exclaimed, " Oh, doesn't the page resemble his 
Highness? ' 

The Kaiser looked at me sharply. 

66 Yes , " he agreed , * 6 they might well be 
twins." Then, impulsively lifting up his glass, 
he flourished it towards the Russo-German prince 
and drank to him. 

That was all there was to the incident then. 
I returned to Gross Lichterfelde the next morn- 
ing, and proceeded to think no more of the matter. 
Nor did it come to my mind when a few weeks 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

later, I was suddenly summoned to Berlin, and 
driven, with one of my instructors, to a private 
house in a street I did not know. (It was the 
Wilhelmstrasse, and the residence stood next to 
Number 75, the Foreign Office. It was the house 
Berlin speaks of as Samuel Meyer's Bude in 
other words, the private offices of the Chancellor 
and His Imperial Majesty.) 

We entered a room, bare save for a desk or 
two and a portrait of Wilhelm I., where my escort 
surrendered me to an official, who silently sur- 
veyed me, comparing his observations with a paper 
he held, which apparently contained my personal 
measurements. Later a photograph was taken 
of me, and then I was bidden to wait. I waited 
for several hours, it seemed to me, before a 
second official appeared a large, round-faced 
man, soldierly despite his stoutness who greeted 
my escort politely and, taking a photograph from 
his pocket, proceeded to scrutinise me carefully. 
After a moment he turned to my escort. 

66 Has he any identifying marks on his body? ' 
he asked. 

My escort assured him that there was none. 

" Good! " he exclaimed; and a moment later 
we were driving back towards Gross Lichterfelde 
I quite at sea about the whole affair, but not 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

daring to ask questions about it. Idle curiosity 
was not encouraged among cadets. 

I was not to remain in ignorance for long, 
however. A few days later I was ordered to 
pack my clothing, and with it was transferred to 
a quiet hotel in the Dorotheenstrasse. The hotel 
was not far from the War Academy, and there 
I was placed under the charge of an exasper- 
atingly exacting tutor, who strove to perfect 
me on but three points. He insisted that my 
French should be impeccable ; he made me study 
the private and detailed history of a certain Rus- 
sian house ; and he was most particular about the 
way I walked and ate, about my knowledge of 
Russian ceremonies and customs in a word, about 
my deportment in general. 

The weeks passed. At last, by dint of much 
hard work, I became sufficiently expert in my 
studies to satisfy my tutor. I was taken back to 
the house in the Wilhelmstrasse, where the round- 
faced man again inspected me. He talked with 
me at length in French, made me walk before 
him and asked me innumerable questions about 
the family history of the house I had been study- 
ing. Finally he drew a photograph from his 
pocket the same, I fancy, which had figured in 
our previous interview. 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

"Do you recognise this face?" he inquired, 
offering me the picture. 

I started. It might have been my own like- 
ness. But no ! That uniform was never mine. 
Then in a moment I realised the truth and with 
the realisation the whole mystery of the last few 
weeks began to be clear to me. The photograph 

was a portrait of the young Prince Z , my 

double, whom I had served at the banquet. 

"It is a very remarkable likeness," said the 
round-faced man. " And it will be of good ser- 
vice to the Fatherland." 

He eyed me for a moment impressively before 

"You are to go to Russia," he told me. 

' 4 Prince Z has been invited to visit his family 

in St. Petersburg, and he has accepted the invi- 
tation. But unfortunately Prince Z has dis- 
covered that he cannot go. You will, therefore, 
become the Prince for the time being. You 
will visit your family, note everything that is 

said to you and report to your tutor, Herr , 

who will accompany you and give you further 

"This is^ an important mission," he added 
solemnly, " but I have no doubt that you will 
comport yourself satisfactorily. You have been 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

taught everything that is necessary ; and you have 
already shown yourself a young man of spirit and 
some discretion. We rely upon both of these 
qualities." He bowed in dismissal of us, but as 
we turned to go he spoke again. 

" Remember," he was saying, " from this day 
you are no longer a cadet. You are a prince. 
Act accordingly." 

That was all. We were out of the door and 
half way to our hotel before I realised to the full 
the great adventure I had embarked upon. Em- 
barked? Shanghaied would be the better term. 
I had had no choice whatsoever in the matter. 
I had not even uttered a word during the 

At any rate, that night I left for Petrograd 
still St. Petersburg at that time accompanied by 
my tutor and two newly engaged valets, who did 
not know tht .eal Prince. Of what was ahead I 
had no idea, but as my tutor had no doubts of 
the success of our mission, I wasted little time in 
speculating upon the future. 

.What the real prince's motive was in agreeing 
to the masquerade, and where he spent his time 
while I was in Russia, I have never been able to 
discover. From what followed, I surmise that 
he was strongly pro-German in his sympathies, 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

but distrusted his ability to carry through the 
task in Land. 

In St. Petersburg I discovered that my 
"relatives" whom I had known to be very 
exalted personages were inclined to be more 
than hospitable to this young kinsman whom they 
had not seen for a long time. I found myself 
petted and spoiled to a delightful degree ; indeed 
I had a truly princely time. The only drawback 
was that, as the constant admonitions of my 
tutor reminded me, I could spend my princely, 
wealth only; in such ways as my shall I say, 
prototype? would have done. He, alas, was 
apparently a graver youth than I. 

So two weeks passed, while I was beginning 
to wish that the masquerade would continue 
indefinitely, when one day my tutor sent for 

" So," he said, " we have had play enough, is 
it not so? Now we shall have work." 

In a few words he explained the situation to 
me. Russia, it seemed, was about to enter into 
an agreement with England regarding spheres of 
influence in Persia. Already a certain Baron 

B (let me call him) was preparing to leave St. 

Petersburg with instructions to find out in what 
circumstances the British Government would 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

enter into pourparlers on the subject. Berlin, 
whose interests in the Near East would be menaced 
by such an agreement, needed information and 
delay. I was to secure both. It was the old trick 
of using a little instrument to clog the mechanism 
of a great machine. 

Let me explain here a feature of the drawing 
up of international treaties and agreements 
which, I think, is not generally understood. Most 
of us who read in the newspapers that such and 
such a treaty is being arranged between the repre- 
sentatives of two countries, believe that the 
terms are even then being decided upon. As a 
matter of fact these terms have long since been 
determined by other representatives of the two 
countries concerned, and the present meeting is 
merely for the formal and public ratification of 
a treaty already secretly made. The usual stages 
in the making of a treaty are three : First, an 
unofficial inquiry by one Government into the 
willingness or unwillingness of the other Govern- 
ment to enter into a discussion of the question at 
issue. This is usually done by a man who has 
no official standing as a diplomat at the moment, 
but whose relations with officials in the second 
country have given him an influence there which 
will stand his Government in good stead. After 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

a willingness has been expressed by both sides to 
enter into discussions, official pourparlers are 
held in which the terms of the agreement are 
discussed and decided upon. Finally, the treaty 
is formally ratified by the Foreign Ministers or 
special envoys of the countries involved. Secrecy 
in the first two stages is necessitated by the fear 
of meddling on the part of other Governments, 
and also by a desire on the part of any country 
making overtures to avoid a possible rebuff from 
the other; and it explains why negotiations 
which are publicly entered into never fail. 

But to return to my adventures. My Govern- 
ment had learned of the impending pourparlers 
between Britain and Russia; it knew that Baron 
B 's instructions would contain the condi- 
tions which Russia considered desirable. What 
was necessary was to secure these instructions. 

Now, my tutor had, long before this, seen to 
it that I should be on friendly terms with various 
members of the Baron's household; and he had 
been especially insistent that I should pay a 
good deal of attention to the young daughter of 
the house, whom I shall call Nevshka. I had 
wondered at the time why he should do this ; but 
I obeyed his instructions with alacrity. Nevshka 

was charming. 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

Soon I saw the purpose of this carefully 
fostered friendship. 

" The Baron will spend this evening at the 
club," I was informed. " He will return, accord- 
ing to his habit, promptly at twelve. You will 
visit his house this evening, paying a call upon 
Nevshka. You will contrive to set back the clock 
so that his home-coming will be in the nature 
of a surprise to her. The hour will be so late 
that she, knowing her father's strictness, w r ill 
contrive to get you out of the house without his 
seeing you. That is your opportunity! You 
must slip from the salon into the rear hall but 
do not leave the house. And if, young man, with 
such an opportunity, you cannot discover where 
these papers are hidden and secure them, you are 
unworthy of the trust that your Government has 
placed in you." 

I nodded my comprehension. In other words 
I was to take advantage of Nevshka 's friendship 
in order to steal from her father I was to per- 
form an act from which no gentleman could help 
shrinking. And I was going to do it with no 
more qualms of conscience than, in time of war, 
I should have felt about stealing from an enemy 
general the plan of an attack. 

For countries are always at war diplomat! c- 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

ally. There is always a conflict between the 
foreign ambitions of Governments ; always an 
attempt on the part of each country to gain its 
own ends by fair means or foul. Every man 
engaged in diplomatic work knows this to be true. 
And he will serve his Government without 
scruple, for well he knows that some seemingly 
dishonourable act of his may be the means of 
averting that actual warfare which is only the 
forlorn hope that Governments resort to when 
diplomatic means of mastery have failed. 

So I undertook my mission with no hesitation, 
rather with a thrill of eagerness. I pretended to 
be violently interested in Nevshka (no difficult 
task, that) and time sped by so merrily that even 
had I not turned back the hands of the clock, I 
doubt whether the lateness of the hour would have 
seriously concerned either of us. Oh, yes, my 
tutor who, as you of course have guessed by 
now, was no mere tutor had analysed the situa- 
tion correctly. 

As the Baron was heard at the door, I drew 
out my watch. 

"Nevshka, your clock is slow. It is already 

Nevshka started. 

" Come ! " she exclaimed. " Father must not 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

see you. He would be furious at your being here 
at this hour." In a panic she glanced about the 
salon. "Go out that way! ' And she pointed 
to a door at the rear, one that opened on a dimly 
lit hall. 

I went. I heard the Baron express his surprise 
that Nevshka was still awake. I heard her lie 
beautifully, I assure you. And I remained 
hidden while the Baron worked in his library for 
a while; scarcely daring to breathe until I heard 
him go up the stairs to his bedroom. 

He was a careless man, the Baron. Or perhaps 
he had been reading Poe, and believed that the 
most obvious place of concealment was the safest. 
At any rate, there in a drawer of his desk, pro- 
tected only by the most defenceless of locks, were 
the papers a neat statement of the terms upon 
which Russia would discuss this Persian matter 
with England. 

I returned home with my prize, to find my 
tutor awaiting me. He said no word of com- 
mendation when I gave him the papers, but I 
knew by his expression that he was well pleased 
with my work. And I went to bed, delighted 
with myself, and dreaming of the great things 
that were to come. 

Next day we left St. Petersburg. A German 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

resident of the city had telephoned my relatives, 
warning them that a few cases of cholera had 
appeared. Would it not, he suggested (Oh, it 
was mere kind thoughtfulness on his part !), be 
best to let the young prince return to Germany 
until the danger was over? His parents would 
be worried. Indeed, it would be best, my "rela- 
tives" agreed. So with regret they bade me 
good-bye ; and in the most natural manner in the 
world I returned to Berlin. 

Wilhelmstrasse 76 again ! The round-faced 
man again, but this time less military, less un- 
bending, in his manner. I had done well, he told 
me. My exploit had attracted the favourable 
attention of a very exalted personage. If I could 
hold my tongue w r ho knows what might be in 
store for me? 

That was the end of the matter, so far as I 
was concerned. But in the history of European 
politics it was only the beginning of the chapter. 

It may be well, at this point, to recall the 
political situation in Europe, as it affected Eng- 
land, Russia and Germany at the time. Even 
two years before in 1905 it had become evident 
to all students of international affairs that the 
next great conflict, whenever it should come, 

3 1 

Diamond Cut Diamond 

would be between England and Germany ; and 
England, realising this, had already begun to 
seek alliances which would stand between her 
and German ambitions of world dominance. The 
Entente with France had been the first step in 
the formation of protective friendships; and 
although this friendship had suffered a strain 
during the Russo-Japanese War, because of the 
opposing sympathies of the two countries, the 
end of the war healed all differences. The de- 
feat of Russia removed all immediate danger of 
a Slav menace against India. To England, then, 
the weakened condition of Russia offered an 
excellent opportunity for an alliance that would 
draw still more closely the " iron ring round 
Germany." Immediately she took the first steps 
towards this alliance. 

Now, Russia stood badly in need of two 
things. War-torn and threatened by revolution, 
the Government could rehabilitate itself only by 
a liberal amount of money. But where to get it? 
France, her ally, and normally her banker, was 
slow in this instance to lend and it was only 
through England's intervention that the Tsar 
secured from a group of Paris and London 
bankers the money with which to finance his 
Government and stave off revolution. 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

But more than money, Russia needed an ice- 
free seaport to take the place of Port Arthur, 
which she had lost; and for this there were only 
two possible choices : Constantinople or a port on 
the Persian Gulf. In either of these aims she 
w r as opposed by Britain, the traditional enemy 
of a Russian Constantinople, on the one hand, 
and the possessor of a considerable " sphere 
of interest " in the Persian Gulf on the 

So matters stood, when in August, 1907, but 
a few weeks after my masquerade, an Agreement 
was signed, providing for the division of Persia 
into three strips, the northern and southern of 
which would be respectively Russian and British 
zones of influence ; providing also, in a secret 
clause, that Russia would give England military 
aid in the event of a war between Germany and 

Meantime what was Germany doing? 

She had, you may be sure, no intention of 
allowing England to best her in the game of in- 
trigue. Her interests in the Near East were 
commercial rather than military; but she could 
not see them threatened by an Anglo-Russian 
occupation of Persia. Then, too, she was bound 
to consider the possible effect on Turkey, in 

D 33 

Diamond Cut Diamond 

which she was taking an ever-increasing (and 
none too altruistic) interest. 

The details of what followed I can only sur- 
mise. I know that in the interval between my trip 
to Russia and the signing of that Agreement, on 
August 31, the Kaiser held two conferences : one 
on August 3, with the Tsar at Swinemiinde ; the 
other on August 14, with Edward VII., at the 
Castle of Wilhelmshohe. And when, on Sep- 
tember 24, the terms were published, they were 
bitterly attacked by a portion of the English 
Press, not so much because of the danger to 
Persia, as because of the fact that Russia got the 
best of the bargain !* 

Had the Kaiser succeeded in having these 
terms changed? Who knows? Certainly one 
can trace the hand of German diplomacy in the 
events of the next seven years, most of which are 
a matter of common knowledge. The steady 
aggressions of Russia in Persia during the 
troubled years of 1910-1912; the almost open 
flouting of the terms of the treaty, which ex- 
pressly guaranteed Persian integrity ; the con- 
stant growth of German influence, culminating 
in the Persian extension of the German-owned 

* You will find an interesting account of the effect of this treaty 
upon Persia in William Morgan Shuster's valuable book, "The 
Strangling^ Persia." 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

Bagdad Railway; the founding of a German 
school and a hospital in Teheran, jointly sup- 
ported by Germany and Persia; and finally, the 
celebrated Potsdam Agreement of 1910, between 
Russia and Germany, in which Germany agreed 
to recognise Russia's claim to Northern Persia 
as its sphere of influence, which provided for a 
further rapprochement between the two countries 
in the matter of railway construction and com- 
mercial development generally, and which has 
been generally supposed to contain a guarantee 
that neither country would join "any combina- 
tion of Powers that has any aggressive tendency 
against the other." 

And England did not protest, in spite of the 
fact that the Potsdam Agreement absolutely 
negatived her own treaty with Russia and made 
it, in the language of one writer, " a farce and a 
deception ! ' Why ? Was it because she believed 
that when war came, as it inevitably must, Russia 
would forget this new alliance in allegiance to the 

England was mistaken if she believed so. 
Russia Imperial Russia was never so much the 
friend of Germany as when, neglecting the war 
on her own Western front, she sent her armies 
into the Caucasus, persuaded the British to 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

undertake the Dardanelles expedition, and, fol- 
lowing her own plans of Asiatic expansion, be- 
trayed England ! 

As I write Kut-el-Amara is creating a great 
stir in the Allied countries. The Indian Govern- 
ment has been severely blamed for sending General 
Townshend into Mesopotamia with insufficient 
material, medical supplies and troops. The official 
explanation was that the force was employed in 
order to protect the oil pipes supplying the British 
Navy in those waters from being destroyed by 
the enemy. There was no doubt in my mind at 
the time, in spite of the fact that I was in prison 
and communication with the outside was very 
meagre, that this was not the real reason. Subse- 
quent developments have shown and the aban- 
donment of the inquiry instituted by the British 
Government about this affair only further sup- 
ports my contention that Russia intended to use 
England's helpless position to secure for herself 
an access to the Persian Gulf. The Grand Duke 
Nicholas himself abandoned the campaign on the 
Eastern front to go to the Caucasus. The Galli- 
poli enterprise which turned out to be such a 
monumental failure was undertaken upon his in- 
stigation. Do you think for one second that if 
Imperial Russia had thought England was able to 


Diamond Gut Diamond 

capture Constantinople, a city which she herself 
had been wanting for centuries, she would have 
invited England to do so? The fact is that the 
Gallipoli enterprise tied up all England's avail- 
able reserves so that the English could practically 
do nothing to forestall Russian movements to the 
Persian Gulf. The Government of India, real- 
ising the danger, sent General Townshend upon 
the famous Bagdad campaign rather as a demon- 
stration than as a military enterprise. I will quote 
from my diary which I kept while in prison : 

"Just read in the Times: 'British moving 
north into Mesopotamia to protect oil pipes and 
capture Bagdad.' I don't need to read Punch 
any more, the Times being just as funny. My 
dear friends, you didn't move up there for that 
reason. You went up there so as to be able to 
tell your Russian friends that there was no need 
to come farther south as you were there already." 


That is the story of my little expedition into 
Russia and of what it brought about. 

As for me, I was sent back to Gross Lichter- 
felde, where I abruptly ceased to be a young 
prince, and became once more a humble cadet. 
But only to outside eyes. Dazzled by the success 
of my first mission, I regarded myself as a Super- 


Diamond Cut Diamond 

man among the cadets. Life loomed romantic- 
ally before me. I told myself that I was to con- 
sort with princes and beautiful noblewomen and 
to spend money lavishly. The future seemed to 
promise a career that was the merriest, maddest 
for which a man could hope. 

I laugh sometimes now when I think of the 
dreams I had in those days. I was soon to learn 
that the life which Fate had thrust upon me was 
set with traps and pitfalls which might not easily 
be escaped. I was to learn many lessons and to 
know much suffering ; and I was to discover that 
the finding of my " document " was only the be- 
ginning of a chain of events that were to control 
my whole life and that its influence over my 
career had not ended. 

But at that time I was all hopes and rosy 
dreams of my future, of myself, occasionally of 

Nevshka! Is she still as charming as ever? 



Of what comes of leaving important papers exposed I 
look and talk indiscreetly, and a man dies. 

IN spite of my dreams and extreme self-satisfac- 
tion, I found the atmosphere of Gross Lichter- 
felde as drab and monotonous as ever it had been 
before my masquerade. Discipline sits lightly 
upon one who is accustomed to it solely, but to 
me, fresh from a glorious fortnight of intrigue 
and festivity, it was doubly galling. Yet there 
was one avenue of escape open to me that was 
denied my fellows, for I was required to pay a 
weekly visit to my tutor in the Wilhelmstrasse, 
there to continue my studies in the art of diplo- 
matic intrigue. 

It is a significant comment upon the life at 
Gross Lichterfelde that I could regard these 
visits as a kind of relaxation. Surely no drill- 
master was ever so exacting as this tutor of mine. 
And yet, despite his dryness and the complete 
lack of cordiality in his manner, there was some- 
where the gleam of romance about him. To me 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

he seemed, in a strangely inappropriate way, an 
incarnation of one of those old masters of in- 
trigue who had been my heroes in former days at 
home; and my imagination distorted him into a 
gigantic, shadowy being, mysterious, inflexible 
and potentially sinister. 

,We studied history together that autumn ; not 
the dull record of facts that was forced upon us 
at Gross Lichterfelde, but rather a history of 
glorious national achievement, of ambitions 
attained and enemies scattered a history that had 
the tone of prophecy. And I would sit there in 
the soft autumn sunlight viewing the Fatherland 
with new eyes; as a knight in shining armour, 
beset by foes, but ever triumphing over 4hem 
by virtue of his righteousness and strength 
of arm. 

Then I would return to Gross Lichterfelde and 
its discipline. 

Yet even at Gross Lichterfelde we contrived 
to amuse ourselves, chiefly by violating regula- 
tions. That is generally the result of walling any 
person inside a set of rules ; his attention becomes 
centred on getting outside. American cadets at 
West Point, so I have been told, have their 
traditional list of devilries, maintained with 
admirable persistence in the face of severe penal- 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

ties. At Gross Lichterfelde one proved his man- 
liness by breaking bounds at least once a week 
to drink beer and flirt with maids none the less 
divine because they were hopelessly plebeian. 

In the prevailing lawlessness I bore my share, 
and in the course of my escapades I formed an 
offensive and defensive alliance with a cadet of 
my own age against that common enemy of all 
our kind, the Commandant of the school. Willi 
von Heiden I will call my chum, because that 
was not his name. We became close friends. 
And through our friendship there came an event 
which I shall remember to my last day. It gave 
me a glimpse into the terrible pit of secret 

Often at the present I find myself living it 
over in my mind. If I have learned to take a 
lighter view of life than most men, my attitude 
dates from that time when a careless word of 
mine, spoken in innocence, condemned a man to 
death. I will try to tell very briefly how it 
came about. 

The Christmas after my excursion to St. 
Petersburg I 'was invited by Willi von Heiden 
to visit him at his home. His father was a squire- 
ling of East Prussia, one of the Junkers. He 
had an estate in that rolling farm land between 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

Goldap and Tilsit, which was the scene of count- 
less adventures of Willi's boyhood. 

Just before we left Gross Lichterfelde yes, 
even there they allow you a few days' vacation at 
Christmas Willi received a letter and came to 
me with a joyous face. 

" Good news!' he cried, "we are sure to 
have a lively holiday. Brother Franz is getting a 
few days' leave too." 

I had heard much of Willi's older brother, 
Franz. He was a young man in the middle 
twenties, an officer of a famous fighting regiment 
of foot, one of the Prussian Guards. Willi had 
dilated upon him in his conversation with me. 
Franz was his younger brother's hero. From all 
accounts Franz von Heiden was possessed of a 
mind of that rare sort which combines unremit- 
ting industry with cleverness. His future as a 
soldier seemed brilliant and assured. 

"Where is Franz?" was Willi's first question 
when we reached home. 

I shall be long forgetting my first impressions 
of the man. I had been looking for a dry, spec- 
tacled student, or a stiff young autocrat of the 
thoroughly Prussian type, which I, like many 
other Germans, thoroughly disliked and inwardly 
laughed at. Instead, I found another chum. 

A Botanist in the Argonne 

Franz was an engaging young man of slight 
build, but very vigorous and athletic. I found 
him frank, friendly, unassuming, apparently 
wholly care-free and full of quiet drollery. From 
his first greeting any prejudice that I might have 
formed from hearing my chum Willi chant his 
excellences was quite wiped away. And as the 
days passed I found myself drawn to seek Franz's 
company constantly. I have no doubt it flat- 
tered my vanity always awake since my exploit 
in St. Petersburg to find this older man treat- 
ing me as a mental equal. It seemed to me 
that he differentiated between me and Willi, 
who was quite young in manner as well as years. 
At times the impulse was very strong in me to 
confide in Franz, to let him know that I was not 
a mere cadet, that I had been in Russia for my 
Government. Luckily for myself I suppressed 
that impulse luckily for me, but very un- 
luckily for Lieutenant Franz von Heiden, as it 
turned out. 

One sunny December morning we were all 
three going out rabbit shooting. While Willi 
counted out cartridges in the gun-room I went to 
summon Franz from the bedroom he was using 
as his study. It was characteristic of him that 
without any assumption of importance he gave 


A Botanist in the Argon ne 

a few hours to work early every morning, even 
while on leave. I found him intent upon some 
large sheets of paper, but he pushed them 

"Time to start now?" he asked. "Good! 
Wait a minute, while I dress." He stepped into 
the adjoining dressing-room. 

And then, as if Fate had taken a hand in the 
moment's activities, I did a thing which I have 
never ceased to regret. Fate ! Why not? What 
is the likelihood that by mere vague chance I, of 
all the cadets of Gross Lichterfelde, should have 
become Willi von Heiden's chum and shared his 
holidays? That by mere chance I should have 
been an inmate of his home when Franz was 
there, three days out of the whole year? That 
by mere chance I/with my precocious knowledge 
and thirst for yet more knowledge, should have 
entered his study when he was occupied with a 
particular task? Why did I not send the servant 
to call him? And why, instead of doing any one 
of the dozen other things I might have done 
while I was waiting for Franz to change his 
clothes, should I have stepped across and looked 
at the big sheets of paper on his table? 

I did just that. I did it quite frankly and 
without a thought of prying. I saw that the 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

sheets were small-scale maps. They were the 
maps of a fort, and the names upon them were 
written both in French and in German. The 
thrill of a great discovery shot all through me. 
It flashed upon me that I had heard Willi say 
that during the previous summer Franz had spent 
a long furlough in the Argonne section of France. 
He had been fishing and botanising so Willi 
had said. Indeed, only the night before Franz 
himself had told us stories of the sport there; 
and all his family had accepted the stories at 
their face value. So had I until that moment 
when I stood beside his desk and saw the plans 
of a French field fortress. Then I knew the truth. 
Lieutenant Franz von Heiden was doing im- 
portant work so confidential that even his 
family must be kept in ignorance about it for 
the Intelligence Department of the German 
General Staff. Like me, he was entitled to the 
gloriously shameful name of spy ! 

If I had obeyed my natural impulse to rush 
into Franz's room and exchange fraternal greet- 
ings with this new colleague of the secret service, 
so romantically discovered, he might have saved 
himself. Instead, something made me play the 
innocent and be the innocent, too, as far as intent 
was concerned. 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

When Franz returned, dressed for the shoot, I 
was standing looking out of his window, and I 
said nothing about my discovery. 

We had our rabbit shoot that day. We 
crowded all the fun and energy possible into it. 
It was our last day together, and by sundown I 
felt as close to Franz von Heiden as though he 
were my own brother. A few days later Willi 
and I went back to Gross Lichterfelde. 

Shortly after I returned from my Christmas 
leave my tutor sent for me. He even recognised 
the amenities of the occasion enough to unbend a 
little and greeted me with a trace of mechanical 

" I trust you had a pleasant holiday," he said ; 
"you told me, did you not, that you were to 
spend it at the Baron von Heiden's? 9 ' 

That touch of friendliness was the occasion of 
my tragic error. I remember that I plunged into 
a boisterous description of my vacation, of the 
pleasant days in the country, of the shooting, of 
Franz. As my tutor listened, with a tolerant air, 
I told him what a splendid fellow Franz was, 
how cleverly he talked and how diligently he 
worked. And then, with a rash innocence for 
which I have never forgiven myself, I told him 
of what I had seen on that day of the rabbit 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

shooting of the maps on the table. Franz was 
one of us ! 

But my tutor was not interested. Abruptly 
he interrupted my burst of gossip ; and soon after 
that he plunged me into an exam, in spoken 
French. My progress in that seemed his only 

A month later Willi von Heiden staggered into 
my room. "Franz is dead! " he said. 

The brilliant young lieutenant, Franz von 
Heiden, had come to a sudden and shocking end. 
He was shot dead in a duel. His opponent was 
a brother officer, a Captain von Frentzen. The 
" Court of Honour " of the regiment had approved 
of the duel and it was reported that the affair was 
carried out in accordance with the German code. 

Later I learned the story. Captain von Frent- 
zen was suddenly attached to the same regiment 
as Franz. His transfer was a cause of great sur- 
prise to the officers and of deep displeasure to 
them, for the captain had a notorious reputation 
as a duellist. Naturally the officers, Franz among 
them, had ignored him, trying to force him out 
of the regiment. Upon the night of a regimental 
dance the situation came to a head. 

In response to the gesture of a lady's fan 
Franz crossed the ball-room hurriedly. He was 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

caught in a sudden swirl of dancers and accident- 
ally stepped on Captain von Frentzen's foot. In 
the presence of the whole company von Frentzen 
dealt Franz a stinging slap in the face. 

'Apparently," he sneered, "you compel me 
to teach you manners ! ' 

Franz looked at him, amazed and furious. 
There was nothing that he had done which waV 
ranted von Frentzen's action. It was an outrage 
a deadly insult. There was but one thing to 
do. A duel was arranged. 

To understand more of this incident you must 
understand the unyielding code of honour of the 
German officer. Franz von Heiden's original 
offence had been so very slight that even had he 
refused to apologise to Frentzen the consequences 
might not have been serious. But Frentzen's 
blow given in public was quite a different matter. 
It was a mortal affront. I heard that Franz's 
captain had been in a rage about it. 

6 ' My best lieutenant ! ' he had said to the 
colonel. " An extremely valuable man. To be 
made to fight a duel with that worthless butcher, 
von Frentzen. Shameful ! God knows that laws 
are sometimes utterly unreasonable judged by 
many of our ideas, as officers are equally senseless. 

I have racked my brain to find a way out of this 

4 8 







g 5 


O O 

-I O 



-J Q. 

3) UJ 


2E O 

O O 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

difficulty, but it seems impossible. Can't you do 
something to interfere? ' 

The colonel looked at him steadily. "Your 
honest opinion; is von Heiden's honour affected 
by Frentzen's action? ' : 

There was nothing Franz's captain could do 
but reply "Yes." 

The duel was held on the pistol practice 
grounds of the garrison, a smooth, grassy place, 
surrounded by high bushes; at the lower end 
there was a shed built of strong boards, in which 
tools and targets were stored. At daybreak 
Franz von Heiden and his second dismounted at 
the shed and fastened their horses by the bridle. 
They stood side by side, looking down the road, 
along which a carriage was coming. Contain 
von Frentzen, his second, and the regimental sur- 
geon got out. Sharp polite greetings were ex- 
changed. On the faces of the seconds there was 
a singular expression of uneasiness, but Frentzen 
looked as though he were there for some guilty 
purpose. The prescribed attempts at reconcilia- 
tion failed. The surgeon measured off 'the dis- 
tance. He was a long-legged man and made the 
fifteen paces as lengthy as possible. 

Just at this moment the sun came up fully. 

Pistols were loaded and given to Franz and Trent- 
is 49 

A Botanist in the Argonne 

zen. Fifteen paces apart the two men faced each 
other. One of the seconds drew out his watch, 
glanced at it and said, " I shall count; ready, 
one ! then three seconds ; two ! and again three 
seconds ; then, stop ! Between one and stop the 
gentlemen may fire." 

He glanced round once more. The four 
officers stood motionless in the level light of the 
dawn. He began to count. Presently Franz von 
Heiden was stretched out upon the ground, his blue 
eyes staring up into the new day. He lay still. . . . 

When I heard that story I ceased to be a boy. 
My outlook on the future had been that of an 
irresponsible gamester, undergoing initiation into 
the gayest and most exciting sports. All at once 
my eyes were hideously opened and I looked down 
into the pit that the German secret service had 
prepared for Franz von Heiden, and knew I 
was the cause of it. It was terrible ! By leaving 
that map where I could see it Franz von Heiden 
had been guilty of an unforgivable breach of 
trust. By his carelessness he had let someone 
know that the Intelligence Department of the 
General Staff had procured the plans of a French 
fortress in the Argonne. Wherefore, according 
to the iron law of that soulless war machine, Franz 
von Heiden must die. 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

And this is the sinister way it works. Trace 
it! I innocently betray him to my tutor, an 
official of the Secret Diplomatic Service. A few 
days later one of the deadliest pistol shots in the 
German army is transferred to Franz's regiment. 
A duel is forced upon him and he is shot down in 
cold blood. 

Not long after the news of the duel, my tutor 
sent for me. "Is it not a curious coincidence," 
he began, his cold grey eyes boring into mine, 
"that the last time you were here we spoke of 
Lieutenant Franz von Heiden? The next time 
you come to see me he is dead. I understand 
that certain rumours are in circulation about the 
way he died. Some of them may have already 
come to your notice. I caution you to pay 
no attention whatever to such silly statements. 
Remember that a Court of Honour of an honour- 
able regiment of the Prussian Guards has vouched 
for the fact that Lieutenant von Heiden's quarrel 
with Captain von Frentzen and the unfortunate 
duel that followed were conducted in accordance 
with the officers' code of the Imperial Army." 

I hung my head, sick at heart; but he was 

" Remember also," he said in a pitiless voice, 
"that men of intelligence never indulge in fruit- 

A Botanist in the Argonne 

less gossip, even among themselves. I hope you 
understand that by now." He paused a moment, 
as if he remembered something. 

"For some time," he went on, in the most 
casual way, " I have been aware that it will be 
necessary for me to talk to you seriously. Now 
is as good a time as any. You know that your 
training for your future career has been put 
largely in my hands. I am responsible for your 
progress. The men who have made me respon- 
sible require reports about your development. 
They have not been wholly satisfied with what I 
was able to tell them. Your intentions are good. 
You show a certain amount of natural clever- 
ness and adaptability, but you have also disap- 
pointed them by being impulsive and indiscreet. 

" Now," he said, " I ask you to pay the closest 
attention to everything I shall say. Your atti- 
tude must be changed if you are to go on and 
some day be of service to your Government. You 
must learn to treat your work as a deadly serious 
business not as a romantic adventure. We were 
just speaking of von Heiden. I seem to remem- 
ber vaguely that the last time you were here you 
had some sort of a cock-and-bull story to tell me 
of what was it? of seeing some secret maps of 
French fortifications on the unfortunate young 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

man's table. I could hardly refrain from smiling 
at the time. Such insanity ! You do not imagine 
for a moment, do you, that if he had proved him- 
self discreet enough to be entrusted with such 
highly confidential things, he would have been so 
imprudent as to betray that fact to a mere casual 
friend of his little brother? I hope you see how 
absurd such imaginings are." 

I groaned mentally as he continued : 
" Remember now," my tutor said icily, 
" every man in our profession is a man who not 
only knows very much, but may know too much, 
unless he can be trusted to keep what he knows 
to himself. There are three ways in which he can 
fail to do that by carelessness, by accident, and 
by deliberate talking. Never talk never be care- 
less never have accidents happen to you. Then 
you will be safe, and in no other way can you be 
so safe. Keep that in your mind ! You will find 
it much more profitable and useful than remem- 
bering what anybody has to say about Franz von 
Heiden. It was a commonplace quarrel with 
Captain von Frentzen which killed him. A Court 
of Honour has said so." 

That night at Gross Lichterfelde, after lights 
were out, Willi von Heiden came creeping to my 
bed. I was the only intimate friend he had 


A Botanist in the Argonne 

there, and he felt the need of talking with some- 
one about the big brother who had been his hero. 
Need I go into details of how his artless confi- 
dence made me feel? But human beings are 
exceedingly selfish and self-centred creatures. 
I had a heartfelt sorrow for my chum and his 
family in their tragic bereavement. And, blam- 
ing myself as I did for it, I was abased completely. 
Yet there was another feeling in me at least as 
deeply rooted as these two emotions. It was 

Dread was to follow me for many years. I 
had learned the dangers of the dark secret world 
in which I lived. Its rules of conduct and its 
ruthless code had been revealed to me, not merely 
by precept but by example. And with that 
realisation all the thrill of romance and adventure 
disappeared. For I knew that I, too, might at 
any time be counted among the men who " knew 
too much." 




I am sent to Geneva and learn of a plot How there are 
more ways of getting rid of a King than by blowing 
him up with dynamite. 

IF at any time in this story of my life I have given 
the impression that accident did not play a very 
important part in the work of myself and other 
secret agents, I have done so unintentionally. 
" If " has been a big .word in the history of the 
L world; and even in my small share of the events 
of the last ten years, chance has oftentimes been an 
abler ally than some of the best-laid of my plans. 
If, for instance, I had not happened to be in Geneva 
in the .winter of 1909-10 ; or if a certain official 
of the Russian secret police the Okrana had 
not met a well-deserved death at the hands of a 
committee of " Reds " ; or if the German Foreign 
Office had not been playing a pretty little game 
of diplomacy in the south-western corner of 
Europe why, the world to-day would be poorer 
by a King, and possibly richer by another com- 
batant in the Great War. 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

And if another King had not kept a diary 
he might have kept his throne. And if both he 
and a certain young diplomat, whose name I 
think it best to forget, had not had a common 
weakness for pretty faces, Germany would have 
lost an opportunity to gain some information 
that was more or less useful to her, a certain 
actress would never have become famous, and this 
book would have lost an amusing little comedy 
of coincidences. 

All of which sounds like romance and is 
merely the truth. 

I had spent two uneventful years at Gross 
Lichterfelde at the time the comedy began; two 
years of study in .which I had acquired some 
knowledge and a great weariness of routine, of 
hard work unpunctuated by any element of ad- 
venture. Of late it had almost seemed as if, 
after all, it was planned that I should become 
merely one of the vast army of officers that Gross 
Lichterfelde and similar schools were yearly 
turning out. For such a fate, as you can imagine, 
I had little liking. 

Consequently I was far from displeased when 
one day I received a characteristically brief note 
from my old tutor, asking me to call upon him. 
Still more was I elated when, the next day, he 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

informed me that I had had enough of books for 
the time being, and that he thought a little 
practical experience would be good for me. A 
vacation, I might call it, if I wished with a trifle 
of detective work thrown in. 

H'm! I was not so delighted with that pros- 
pect, and when the details of the " vacation " were 
explained to me, I was strongly tempted to say 
"No" to the entire proposition. But one does 
not say " No " to my old tutor. And so, in the 
course of a .week, I found myself spending my 
evenings in the Cafe de 1'Europe in Geneva, 
bound on a quiet hunt for Russian revolutionists. 

Russia, at this time, had not quite recovered 
from the fright she received in 1905 and 1906, 
when, as you will remember, popular discontent 
with the Government had assumed very serious 
proportions. "Bloody Sunday," and the riots 
and strikes that followed it, .were far in the past 
now, it is true, but they were still well remem- 
bered. And although most of the known revolu- 
tionary leaders had been disposed of in one way 
or another, there were still a few of them, as well 
as a large number of their followers, wandering 
in odd corners of Europe. These it was thought 
best to get rid of ; and Russian agents began 
ferreting them out. And Germany always less 


"Cherchez la Femme!' 

unfriendly to the Romanoffs than has appeared 
on the surface lent a helping hand. 

So it happened that on a particular night in 
December of 1909 I sat in the Cafe de PEurope, 
bitterly detesting the .work I Had in hand, yet 
inconsistently wishing that something .would turn 
up. I had no idea at the moment what I 
should do next. Chance rumour had led me to 
Geneva, and I was largely depending upon 
Chance for further developments. 

They came. I had been sitting for an hour, 
I suppose, sipping vermouth and lazily regard- 
ing my neighbours, when the sound of a voice 
came to my ears. It was the voice of a man 
speaking French, w.ith the soft accent of the 
Spaniard ; the tone loud and unsteady and full 
of the boisterous emphasis of a man in his cups. 
But it was the words he spoke that commanded 
my attention. 

" Our two comrades, " he .was saying, " will 
soon arrive from the centre in Buenos Ayres." 

"Yes," another voice assented a harsher 
voice, this, to whose owner French was obviously 
also a foreign tongue. " In the spring, we hope." 

The Spaniard laughed. 

"An excellent business! So simple. Boom! 

And our dear Alfonso " 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

Some element of caution must have come over 
him, for his voice sank so that I could no longer 
hear his words. But I had heard enough to 
make me assume a good deal. 

Someone was to be assassinated! And that 
someone? It was a guess, of course, but the 
name and the accent of the speaker were more 
than enough to lead me to believe that the pro- 
posed victim must be King Alfonso of Spain. 

I sat there, undecided for the moment. It 
jvas really no affair of mine. I was on another 
mission, and, after all, my theory was merely a 
supposition. On the other hand, the situation 
presented interesting possibilities and, as I 
happened to know, Alfonso's seemingly pro- 
German leanings had made him an object of 
friendly interest at that time to my Government. 

I decided to look into the matter. 

It had been difficult to keep from stealing a 
glance at my talkative neighbours, but I restrained 
myself. I must not turn around, and yet it was 
vitally necessary to see their faces. All I could 
do was to hope that they would leave before I 
finished my vermouth ; for I had no mind to risk 
my clearheadedness with more than the glass I 
had already had. 

They did leave shortly afterwards. As they 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

passed my table I took care to study their faces, 
and my intention to keep them in sight was im- 
mensely strengthened. The Spaniard I did not 
know, but his companion I recognised as a Russian 
and one of the very men I was after. 

I had been in Geneva long enough to know 
where I could get information when I needed it. 
It was only a day or two, therefore, before I had 
in my hands sufficient facts to justify me in 
reporting the matter to my Government. 

Alfonso was in England at the time and pre- 
sumably safe ; for I had gathered that no attempt 
would be made upon his life until he returned to 
Spain. So I wrote to Berlin mentioning what I 
had learned. 

A telegram reached me next day. I was 
ordered to Brussels to communicate my informa- 
tion to the Spanish Minister there. 

Mark that ! I was ordered to Brussels, although 
there was a Spanish Minister in Switzerland. 
But my Government knew that there were many, 
factions in Spain, and it had strong reasons to 
believe that the Spanish Minister to Belgium 
.was absolutely loyal to Alfonso. And in a situa- 
tion such as this, one takes as few risks as possible. 

I followed my instructions. The Spanish 
Minister thanked me. He was more than inter- 

"Cherchez la Femme!' 

csted; and he begged me, since I had no other 
direct orders, to do him the personal favour of 
staying a few days longer in the Belgian capital. 
I did so, of course, and a day or so later received 
from my Government instructions to hold myself 
at the Spaniard's disposal for the time being. 

One night, at the Minister's request, I met 
him and we discussed matters fully. He wished 
me, he said, to undertake a more thorough investi- 
gation of the plot. I was already involved in it, 
and would be working less in the dark than another. 
Besides, he hinted, he could not very well employ 
an agent of his own Government. Who knew how 
far the conspiracy extended? 

I was not displeased to abandon my chase of 
the Russian revolutionaries, for whom I felt some 
sympathy. So, as a preliminary step, I went to 
Paris, where, through the good offices of one Carlos 
da Silva a young Brazilian freethinker who was 
there ostensibly as a student I succeeded in gain- 
ing admission into one of the fighting organisations 
of Radicals there. They were not so communica- 
tive as I could have wished, but by judicious pump- 
ing I soon learned that there was an organised con- 
spiracy against the life of Alfonso, and that the 
details of the plot were in the hands of a committee 
in Geneva. 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

Geneva, then, was my objective point. But 
what to do if I went there? I knew very well 
that conspirators do not confide their plans to 
strangers. And I dared not be too inquisitive. 
Obviously the only course to follow .was to employ 
an agent. 

Now " Cherchez la femme " is as excellent a 
principle to .work on when you are choosing an 
accomplice, as it is jvhen you are seeking the 
solution of a crime. I therefore proceeded to 
seek a lady and found her in the person of a 
pretty little black-eyed " revolutionist, " who 
called herself Mira Descartes, and with whom I 
had already had some dealings. 

It is here that accident crosses the trail again. 
For if a certain official of the Okrana had not 
been murdered in Moscow three years before, his 
daughter would never have conceived an intense 
hatred of all revolutionary movements and I 
should have been without her invaluable assist- 
ance in the adventure I am describing. 

Mira Descartes ! She was the kind of woman 
of whom people like to say that she would have 
made a great actress. Actress? I do not know. 
But she was an artist at dissembling. And she 
had beauty that turned the heads of more than 
the " Reds " upon whom she spied; and a genius 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

for hatred : a cold hatred that cleared the brain 
and enabled her to give even her body to 
men she despised in order the better to betray 

I was fortunate in securing her aid, I told 
myself ; and I did not hesitate to use her services. 
(For in my profession, as must have been 
apparent to you, scrupulousness must be re- 
served for use " in one's private capacity as a 

So Mile. Descartes went to Geneva and, armed 
with my previously acquired information and 
her own charms, she contrived to get into the 
good graces of the committee there, and sur- 
prised me a week later by .writing to Paris that 
she had already contracted a liaison with the 
Spaniard whom I had overheard speaking that 
night in the Cafe de PEurope. 

Soon I had full information about the entire 
plot. It was planned, I learned, to blow up 
King Alfonso with a bomb upon the day of his 
return to Madrid. The work was in the hands 
of two South Americans who were then in 

But far more important than this was the in- 
formation which Mile. Descartes had obtained 
that a high official of Spain a member of the 


"Cherchez la Femme!' 

Cabinet was cognizant of the plot and had kept 
silent about it. 

Why, I asked myself, should this official a 
man who surely had no sympathy with the aims 
of the revolutionists lend his aid to them in this 
plot? The reason was not hard to discover. 
Alfonso's position at the time was far from 
secure. His Government was unpopular at home ; 
and the pro-Teutonic leanings of many officials 
had lost him the moral and political support of 
the English Government and Press facts of con- 
siderable importance. 

So it seemed possible that Alfonso's reign 
might not be of long duration. And the new 
Government? It might be Radical or Conserva- 
tive; pro-English or pro-German. A man with 
a career did \vell to keep on friendly terms with 
all factions. Thus, I fancied, the Cabinet Minis- 
ter must have reasoned. At any rate he said 
nothing of the plot. 

But I went to Brussels and reported all I 
had learned and did not forget to mention the 
Cabinet Minister's rumoured share in the plot. 

There my connection with the affair ceased. 
But not long afterwards a little tragi-comedy 
occurred which was a direct result of my activities. 
Let me recall it to you. 

6 4 


Captain von der Goltz stands second from left. (See p. 139) 


Captain von der Goltz at the extreme left. (See p. uS) 

"Cherchez la Fernine!" 

On the evening of May 24, 1910, those of the 
people of Madrid who were in the neighbourhood 
of the monument which had been raised in 
memory of the victims of the attempted assassina- 
tion of Alfonso, four years before, were horrified 
by a tragedy which they witnessed. 

There was a sudden commotion in the streets, 
an explosion, and the confused sound of a crowd 
in excitement. 

What had happened? Rumour ran wild 
throughout the crowd. The King was expected 
home that day he had been assassinated. There 
had been an attempted revolution. Nobody knew 
any details. 

But the next day everybody knew. A bomb 
had burst opposite the monument a bomb that 
had been intended for the King. One man had 
been killed ; the man who carried the bomb. But 
the King had not arrived in Madrid that day, 
after all. 

The police set to work upon the case and 
presently identified the dead man as Jose Taso- 
zelli, who recently arrived in Spain from Buenos 
Ay res. It was not certain whether he had any 

And while the police worked, the King fol- 
lowing a secret arrangement which had been 

F 65 

"Cherchez la Femme!" 

made by the Spanish Minister at Brussels, and 
of which not even the Cabinet had been informed 
arrived safely and quietly in Madrid ; a day 
late, but alive. 

What became of the Cabinet Minister? There 
are no autocracies now, and not even a King may 
prosecute without proof. So the Minister escaped 
for the time being. But it is interesting to 
remember that this same Minister was assassinated 
not a great while afterwards. 

Now there are more ways of getting rid of a 
king than by blowing him up with dynamite. 
Foreign Offices are none too squeamish in their 
methods, but they do balk at assassination, even 
if the proposed victim is a particularly objection- 
able opponent of their plans. There is another 
method which, if correctly followed, is every bit 
as efficacious. Again I must refer you to that 
excellent French maxim : " Cherchez la femme." 

It would be difficult to estimate properly the 
part that women have played in the game of 
foreign politics. As spies they are invaluable : 
for amorous men are always garrulous. But as 
enslavers of Kings they are of even greater 
service to men who are interested in effecting a 

change of dynasty. Even the most loyal of sub- 


"Cherchez la Femme!' 

jects dislikes seeing his King made ridiculous; 
and in countries where the line is not too strictly 
drawn between the public exchequer and the 
private resources of the monarch, a discontented 
faction may see some connection between excessive 
taxes and the jewels that a demi-mondaine wears. 
Revolutions have occurred for less than that 
as every Foreign Office knows. 

I am not insinuating that all royal scandals 
are to be laid at the door of international politics. 
I merely suggest that, given a king who is to be 
made ridiculous in the eyes of his subjects, it is 
a simple matter for an interested Government to 
see that he is introduced to a lady who will pro- 
duce the desired effect. But no diplomat will 
admit this, of course. Not, that is, until after he 
has "retired." 

This brings me to the second act of my comedy. 

If I ,were drawing a map of Europe a diplo- 
matic map as it was in the years of 1908 to 
1910, I should use only two colours. Germany 
should be, let us say, black; England red. But 
the black of Germany should extend over the 
surfaces of Austria, Italy and Turkey; while 
France and Russia should be crimson. The rest 
of the Continent would be of various tints, rang- 
ing from a discordant combination of red and 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

black, through a pinkish grey, to an innocuous 
and neutral white. 

In the race to secure protective alliances 
against the inevitable conflict, both Germany 
and England were diligently attempting to colour 
these indeterminate territories with their own 
particular hue. Not least important among the 
courted nations were Spain and Portugal. Both 
were traditionally English in sympathy ; both had 
shown unmistakable signs, at least so far as the 
ruling classes were concerned, of transferring 
their friendship to Germany. It was inevitable, 
therefore, that these two countries should be the 
scene of a diplomatic conflict which, if not apparent 
to the outsider, was fought with the utmost bitter- 
ness by both sides. 

Somehow, by good fortune rather than any 
other agency, Spain had managed to avoid a 
positive alliance with either nation. Alfonso .was 
inclined to be pro-German at that time; but an 
adroit juggling of the factions in his kingdom 
had prevented him from using his influence to 
the advantage of Germany. 

Portugal was in a different situation. Poorer 
in resources than her neighbour, and hampered by 
the necessity of keeping up a colonial empire 

which in size was second only to England's, she 


" Gherchez la Femme ! ' : 

had greater need of the protection of one of 
the Powers. Traditionally and rightly from a 
standpoint of self-interest that Power should 
have been England. There were but three ob- 
stacles to the continuance of the friendship that 
had existed since the Peninsular War King 
Manoel, the Queen Mother and the Church. 

Germany seemed all-powerful in the Peninsula 
in 1908. Alfonso's friendship was secured, and 
the boy king of Portugal was completely under 
the thumb of a pro-German mother and a Church 
which, as between Germany and England, dis- 
liked Germany the less. England realised the 
situation, and in approved diplomatic fashion set 
about regaining her ascendancy. 

But diplomacy failed. At the end of two 
years Berlin was more strongly entrenched in 
Portugal than ever ; and England knew that only 
heroic measures could save her from a serious 
diplomatic defeat. 

Then Manoel did a foolish thing. He kept a 

It was a commonplace diary, as you will re- 
member if you read the parts of it which were 
published some time after the revolution which 
dethroned its author. But there were portions of 
it many of them never published which ex- 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

pressed beyond doubt Manoel's anti-English feel- 
ing and his affection for Germany. 

Somehow England obtained possession of the 
diary. In October, 1910, Manoel fled to England, 
where he hoped against hope that the Government 
would live up to that provision of the treaty of 
1908 which pledged England to aid the Portuguese 
throne in the event of a revolution. 

But England remembering the diary wisely 
forgot its pledge. And a Republican Govern- 
ment in Portugal looked with suspicion upon the 
diplomatic advances of a nation which had been 
too friendly towards the exiled king and be- 
came pro-English, as you know. 

There ends my comedy. But there is an amus- 
ing epilogue to the affair, which was not without 
its importance to the Wilhelmstrasse, and in 
which I had a small part. To tell it I must pass 
over several months of work of one sort or 
another, until I come to the following winter 
that of 1911. 

I was on a real vacation this time and had 
selected Nice as an excellent place in which to 
spend a few idle but enlivening weeks. The 
choice was not a highly original one, but as it 
turned out, Chance seemed to have had a hand 
in it, after all. Almost the first person I met 


" Cherchez la Femme ! " 

there was a man with whom I had been acquainted 
for several years, and who was destined to have 
his share in the events which followed. 

People who have travelled in Europe much 
can hardly have avoided seeing upon one occasion 
or another a, famous riding troupe who called 
themselves " the Bishops." They were five in 
number Old Bishop, his daughter and her hus- 
band, a man named Merrill, and two others and 
their act, which was variously known as "An 
Afternoon on the Bois de Boulogne," "An 
Afternoon in the Tiergarten," etc. (according to 
the city in which they played), was a feature 
of many of the noted circuses of seven or eight 
years ago. At this time they were helping to 
pay their expenses in the winter by playing in a 
small circus which was one of the current attrac- 
tions of Nice. 

I had bought horses from old Bishop in the 
past and knew him for a man of unusual shrewd- 
ness who, besides being the father of a charming 
and beautiful daughter, was in himself excellent 
company ; and I was consequently pleased to run 
across him and his family at a time when all my 
friends seemed to be in some other quarter of the 
earth. We talked of horses together, and it was 
suggested that I might care to inspect an Arab 


" Gherchez la Femme ! " 

mare, a recent acquisition, of which the old man 
was immensely proud. 

That evening I heard of the arrival in Nice of 
a young British diplomat whom, I remembered, 
I had once met at a hotel in Vienna. I called 
upon him the following day but I did so, not so 
much to renew our old acquaintance, as because 
that very morning I had received a rambling letter 
from my chief commenting upon the imminent 
arrival of the Englishman, and suggesting that I 
might find him a pleasant companion during my 
stay on the Riviera. 

More work, in other words. My chief did not 
waste time in encouraging purposeless friend- 
ships. As I read the letter, it was a hint that 
the Englishman had something which Berlin 
wanted and I was to get it. 

It was not difficult to recall myself to the 
Under-Secretary. We became friendly, and pro- 
ceeded to " do " Nice together; and in the course 
of our excursions we became occasional visitors 
at the villa of an Eastern Potentate. 

The Potentate in question was an engaging 
and eccentric old gentleman, who had been an 
uncompromising opponent of the English during 
his youth in India, and was now practically an 

exile, spending most of his time in planning 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

futile conspiracies against the British Govern- 
ment, which he hated, and making friends with 
Englishmen, against whom he had no animosity 
whatever. He was especially well disposed to- 
wards my diplomatic friend, and the two spent 
many a riotous evening together over the chess 
board, at which the Potentate was invariably 

Meanwhile I made various plans and culti- 
vated the acquaintance of the latter's secretary. 
He was a Bengali, who might well have stepped 
out of Kipling, so far as his manner went. In 
character the resemblance was not so close. I 
happened to know that he was paid a comfortable 
amount yearly by the British Government, to 
keep them informed of his master's movements; 
and I also happened to know that the German 
Government paid him a more comfortable amount 
for the privilege of deciding just what the British 
Government should learn. (I have often won- 
dered whether he shared the proceeds with the 
Potentate, and whether even he knew for whom 
he was really working.) The secretary, I decided, 
might be of use to me. 

As it happened, it was the secretary who un- 
wittingly suggested the method by which I finally 
gained my object. It was he who commented 


" Cherchez la Femme ! ' ! 

upon the diplomat's intense interest in the 
Potentate's seraglio, giving me a clue to the 
character of the Englishman which was of dis- 
tinct service. And it was he who suggested one 
evening that the three of us for the Potentate 
was ill at the time should attend a performance 
of the circus in which my friends, the Bishops, 
were playing. 

You foresee the end, no doubt. The too sus- 
ceptible diplomat was infatuated by Mile. Bishop's 
beauty and skill. He wished to meet her, and 
I, who obligingly confessed that I had had some 
transactions with her father, undertook to secure 
the lady's permission to present him to her. 

I did secure it, of course, although not without 
considerable opposition on the part of all three 
of the family ; for circus people are very straight- 
laced. However, by severely straining my purse 
and my imagination, I convinced them that they 
would be doing both a friendly and a profitable 
act by participating in the little drama that I 
had planned. Eventually they consented to aid 
me in discomfiting the diplomat, whom I repre- 
sented as having in his possession some legal 
papers that really belonged to me, although I 
could not prove my claim to them. 

You will pardon me if I pass over the events 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

of the next few days and plunge directly into a 
scene which occurred one night, about a week 
later, the very night, in fact, on which the Bishops 
were to close their engagement with the little 
circus in which they were playing. It was in the 
sitting-room of the diplomat's suite at the hotel 
that the scene took place; dinner a deux was in 
progress and the diplomat's guest was Mile. 
Bishop, who had indiscreetly accepted the Eng- 
lishman's invitation. 

Came a knock at the door. Mademoiselle 
grew pale. 

"My husband! " she exclaimed. 

Mademoiselle was right. It was her husband 
who entered very cold, very business-like, and 
carrying a riding crop in his hand. He glanced 
at the man and woman in the room. 

" I suspected something of the sort," he said, 
in a quiet voice. "You are indiscreet, Madame. 
You do not conceal your infidelities with care." 
He took a step towards her, but paused at an 
exclamation from the Englishman. 

"Do not fear, Monsieur" elaborate irony 
was in his voice as he addressed the diplomat " I 
shall not harm you. It is with this lady only 
that I am concerned. She has, it appears, an in- 
adequate conception of her wifely duty. I must, 


'Cherchez la Femme!" 

therefore, give her a lesson. " As he spoke he 
tapped his boot suggestively with his riding 

" My only regret," he continued politely, " is 
that I must detain you as a witness of a painful 
scene, and possibly cause a disturbance in your 


Again he turned towards his wife, who had sat 
watching him with a terrified face. Now as he 
approached her she burst into tears, and ran to 
where the Englishman stood. 

" He is going to beat me," she sobbed. " Help 
me, for Heaven's sake ! Stop him ! Give him 
give him anything ! ' 

But the Englishman did not need to be 

"Look here! " he cried suddenly, interposing 
between the husband and wife. "I'll give you 
fifty pounds to get out of here quietly. Good 
God, man, you can't do a thing like this, you 
know ! It's horrible. And you have no cause. I 
give you my word you have no cause." 

He was a pitiable mixture of shame and appre- 
hension as he spoke. But Merrill looked at him 
calmly. He was quite unmoved and still polite 
when he replied : 

"The word of a gentleman, I suppose! No, 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

Monsieur, it is useless to try to bribe me. It is 
a great mistake, in fact. Almost" he paused 
for a moment, as if he found it difficult to con- 
tinue "almost it makes me angry." 

He was silent for a space, but when he spoke 
again it was as if in response to an idea that had 
come to him. 

"Yes," he continued, "it does make me 
angry. Nevertheless, Monsieur, I shall accept 
your suggestion. Madame and I will leave quietly, 
and in return you shall give us oh, not money 
but something that you value very much." 

He turned to his wife. 

" Madame, you will go to Monsieur's trunk, 
which is open in the corner, and remove every 
article so that I can see it." 

The Englishman started. For a moment it 
seemed as if he would attack Merrill, who was 
the smaller man, but fear of the noise held him 
back. Meanwhile, the woman was rifling the 
trunk, holding up each object for her husband's 
inspection. The latter stood at the door, his eyes 
upon both of the others. 

"We are not interested in Monsieur's cloth- 
ing," he said calmly. "What else is there in the 
trunk? Nothing? The desk then! Only some 
papers? That is a pity. Let me have them, 


" Cherchez la Femme ! ' ! 

however all of them. And you may give me 
the portfolio that lies on the bureau." 

As he took the packet the rider turned to the 
diplomat, who stood as if paralysed in the corner 
of the room. 

" I do not know what is in these papers, Mon- 
sieur, but I judge from your agitation that they 
are valuable. I shall take them from you as a 
warning a warning to let married women alone 
in future. Also I warn you not to try to bribe 
a man whom you have injured. You have made 
me very angry to-night by doing so. 

"Above all," he added, "I warn you not to 
complain to the police about this matter. This is 
not a pretty story to tell about a man in your 
position and I am prepared to tell it. Good 
night, Monsieur ! ' 

He did not wait to hear the Englishman's 

That night, while the two younger members 
of the Bishop family sped away by train to what 
place I do not know and old Bishop expressed 
great mystification over their disappearance, I 
made a little bonfire in my grate of papers which 
had once been the property of the diplomat, and 
which I knew would be of no interest to my 


"Cherchez la Femme!" 

Government. There were a few papers which I 
did not burn a memorandum or two, and a bulky 
typewritten copy of ManoePs diary, which I found 
amusing reading before I took it to Berlin. 

I called upon my English friend the next day, 
but I did not see him. He had fallen ill and 
been obliged to leave Nice immediately. No; it 
was impossible to say what the ailment was. 

"Ah, well," I thought, as I returned to my 
room, " he will get over it." 

It was an embarrassing loss, but not a fatal 
one ; and doubtless he could explain it satisfactorily 
at home. 

I was sorry for him, I confess. But more than 
once that day I laughed as I thought of the scene 
of last night, as Mile. Bishop had described it to 
me. An old game but it had worked so easily. 

But then, wasn't it Solomon who complained 
about the lack of original material on this globe? 

The diary? I took it to Berlin, as I have said, 
where it was a matter of considerable interest. 
Subsequently it was published, after discreet 

But at that time I was engaged upon a matter 
of considerably more importance. 




Germany displays an interest in Mexico, and aids the United 
States for her own purposes The Japanese-Mexican 
Treaty and its share in the downfall of Diaz. 

IT was in Paris that my next adventure occurred. 
I had gone there following one of those agree- 
ably indefinite conversations with my tutor which 
always preceded some especial undertaking. 
"Why not take a rest for a few weeks? ' : he 
would say. "You have not seen Paris for some 
time. You would enjoy visiting the city again 
don't you think so?' : And I would obligingly 
agree with him and in due course would receive 
whatever instructions were necessary. 

It may seem that such methods are needlessly 
cumbersome and a little too romantic to be real ; 
but, in fact, there is an excellent reason for them. 
Work such as mine is governed too greatly by 
emergencies to admit of definite planning before- 
hand. A contingency is foreseen faintly, and 
as a possibility only and it is thought advisable 
to have a man on the scene. But until that con- 

Fighting For His Life; 

Koglmeier Is Murdered 

Harnessmaker Is Found Dying in His Shop, With Many 
Evidences of a Desperate Struggle; Had Been Beat- 

en Over the Head With Some Blunt Instru- 
ment; Robbery Th eory Is Abandoned. 


FTER apparently struggling 
desperately, with hts assail- 
ants, E. E. Kogjmeier, aged 
52 years. volunteer fireman and 
pioneer El Pasoan, was murdered 
in his place of business, 319 South Santa 
5?e street, some time between the hours 
of 7:30 and 9 oclock Saturday night. 
Five jagged cuts and holes, some of 
them being located in the" back of the 
head, and four wounds of a similar na- 
ture inflicted .en the face, resulted in 
his death. Life was- all but extinct 
when Mr. Koglmeier was found lying 
in a pool of blood TLTrxJtit --tire, center of 
the room of his harness and saddlery 
shop. He was., in ms shirt sleeves 
Robbery is not believed to have been 
the motive for the crime. 

William Gieseler, a merchants' po- 
liceman, '-was- the first' one to discover 
Mr. Koglmeier. He had passed the shop 
on his first rounttrafe? oclock Saturday 
night when it is said that he spoke, tc 
Mr. Koglmeier. Returning to the sn 
on his second round at 9:15 ocJ 
Gieseler saw the door of the 
open. Gieseler walked in. He 
presentiment that somethir 
wrong. -The glare from th 
flashlight disclosed the r ' 
Koglmeier. He 
it i 

removed to a local undertaking estab- 

Evidences of a Struggle. 

Despite the fact that the, first blow 
evidently had been delivered when his 
back was turned to his. murderers, Mr. 
Koglmeier must have struggled before 
he was beaten down for the last time ; 
Trails of blood ran from almost every 
section of the room, showing that the 
struggle had been long before the vic- 
tim was finally compelled to succumb 
from the blows dealt him with either 
a dull hatchqt or some iron instrument. 
Theory of the Crime. 

The belief is that two men called at 
the harness shop a little after 7 oclo^Js. 
They had gone there under the pr 
of making a purchase. Bridle- 
ness and collars hang suspend 
the ceiling of the place, 
murderers had evident 
horse collar a? .the 


(See p. 131) 

The Strong Arm Squad 

tingency develops into an assured fact, it would 
be the sheerest waste of energy to give an agent 
definite instructions which might have to be 
changed at any moment. 

So I had become accustomed to receive my in- 
structions in hints and stingy morsels, under- 
standing perfectly that it was part of my task 
to discover for myself the exact details of the 
situation which confronted my Government. If 
I were not sufficiently astute to perceive for my- 
self many things which my superiors would never 
tell me well, I was in the wrong profession, and 
the sooner I discovered it the better. 

I went to Paris in just that way and put up 
at the Grand Hotel. So far as I knew I was on 
genuine leave of absence from all duties and I 
proceeded to amuse myself. Though under no 
obligations to report to anyone, I did occasion- 
ally drop around to the Quai d'Orsay where 
most of the embassies and consulates are to chat 
with men I knew. One day it was suggested to 
me at the German Embassy that I should lunch 
alone the next day at a certain table in the Cafe 

" I would suggest," said one of the secre- 
taries, "that you should wear the black derby 

you have on. It is quite becoming" this with 
G 81 

The Strong Arm Squad 

an expressionless face. " I would suggest also 
that you should hang it on the wall behind your 
table, not checking it. Take note of the precise 
hook upon which you hang it. It may be that 
there will be a man at the next table who also 
will be wearing a black derby hat, which he will 
hang on the hook next to yours. When you go 
out be careful to take down his hat instead of 
your own." 

I asked no questions. I knew better. Old and 
well known as it is, the " hat trick " is perennially 
useful. Its very simplicity makes it difficult of 
detection. It is still the best means of publicly 
exchanging documents between persons who 
must not be seen to have any connection with 
each other. 

I went to the Cafe Americaine, that cosmo- 
politan place on the Boulevard des Italiens near 
the Opera. My man had not yet come, I noticed, 
and I took my time about ordering luncheon, 
drank a "bock" and watched the crowd. Near 
by was a party of Roumanians, offensively 
boisterous, I thought. An American was lunch- 
ing with a dancer then prominent at the Folies. 
Two Englishmen obviously officers on leave- 
chatted at another table, and in a corner, a group 

of French merchants heatedly discussed some 


The Strong Arm Squad 

business deal. The usual scene almost common- 
place in its variety. 

Slowly I finished luncheon, and when I turned 
to get my hat, I saw, as I expected, that there 
was another black derby beside it. I took the 
stranger's derby, and when I reached my room 
in the Grand Hotel I lifted up the sweat band. 
There on thin paper were instructions that took 
my breath away. For the time being I was to 
be in charge of the "Independent Service" of 
the German Government in Paris that is, the 
Strong Arm Squad. 

This so-called "Independent Service" is an 
interesting organisation of cut-throats and thieves 
whose connection with diplomatic undertakings 
is of a distinctly left-handed sort, and is, inci- 
dentally, totally unsuspected by the members of 
the organisation themselves. Composed of the 
riff-raff of Europe of men and women who will 
do anything for a consideration and ask no ques- 
tions it is frequently useful when subtler methods 
have failed and when by violence only can some 
particular thing be accomplished. As an organ- 
isation the ' ' Independent Service ' : does not 
actually exist : the name is merely a generic one 
applied for convenience to the large number of 
people in all great cities who are available for such 


The Strong Arm Squad 

work, and who, if they fail and are arrested or 
killed, can be spared without risk or sorrow. 

Naturally in illegal operations the trail must 
not lead to the Embassy ; and for that reason all 
transactions with members of the " Service" are 
carried on through a person who has no known 
connection with the Government. To his accom- 
plices the Government agent is merely a man 
who has come to them with a profitable sugges- 
tion. They do not question his motives if his 
cash be good. 

My connection with this delightful organisa- 
tion necessitated a change of personality. I went 
round to the Quai d'Orsay and paid a few fare- 
well calls to my friends there. I was going home, 
I said; and that afternoon the Grand Hotel lost 
one guest and ' * Le Lap in Agile ' ' on the hill 
of Montmartre gained a new one. Acting under 
instructions I had become a social outcast myself. 

The place where I had been told to stay had 
been a tavern for centuries. Once it was called 
the " Cabaret of the Assassins," then the 
" Cabaret of the Traitor," then " My Country 
Place," and now, after fifty years, it was "The 
Sprightly Rabbit." Andre Gill had painted the 
sign of the tavern, a rabbit, which hung in the 
street above the entrance. After I had taken 

8 4 

The Strong Arm Squad 

my room being careful to haggle long about 
the price, and finally securing a reduction of 
fifty centimes for one does well to appear poor 
at " Le Lapin Agile " I came down into the 
cabaret. It was crowded and the air was thick 
and warm with tobacco smoke. Disreputable 
couples were sitting around little wooden tables, 
drinking wretched wine from unlabelled bottles; 
an occasional shout arose for "tomatoes," a 
speciality of Frederic, the proprietor, which was, 
in reality, a vile brew of absinthe and raspberry 
syrup. There was much shouting, and once or 
twice one of the company burst into song. 

" Tomatoes," I told the waiter who came for 
my order. As he went I slipped a franc into his 
hand. "I want to see the Salmon. Is he in? ' 

He nodded. 

A moment later a man stood before me. I 
saw a short, rather thick-set fellow, awkward but 
wiry, whose face bore somewhere the mark of a 
forgotten Irish ancestor. He was red-haired. I 
did not need his words to tell me who he was. 

64 1 am the Salmon," he said. "What do you 
want? " 

I studied him carefully before replying, 
appraising him as if he were a horse I contem- 
plated buying. It was not tactful or altogether 

The Strong Arm Squad 

safe, as the Salmon's expression plainly showed; 
but I wished to be sure of my man. After a 
moment : 

"Sit down, my friend. I have a business 
proposition to make. M. Morel sent me to you." 

He smiled at the name. The fictitious M. 
Morel had put him in the way of several excel- 
lent " business propositions." 

" It is a pleasure," responded the Salmon. 
"What does Monsieur wish?' : 

I told him. 

In order to make you understand my business 
it is necessary that I should pause here, aban- 
doning the Salmon for the moment, and recall to 
your memory a few facts about the political situa- 
tion as it existed in this month of February, 
1911. Europe at the time was lulled to out- 
ward seeming. As everybody knows now, the 
forces that later brought about the War were 
then merrily at work, as indeed they had been 
for many years. But outwardly, save for the 
ever-impending certainty of trouble in the Bal- 
kans, the world of Europe was at peace. 

But in America a storm was brewing. Mexico, 
which for so many years had been held at peace 
under the iron dictatorship of Diaz, was begin- 


The Strong Arm Squad 

ning to develop symptoms of organised discon- 
tent. Madero had taken the field, and although 
no one at the time believed in the ultimate suc- 
cess of the rebellion, it was evident that many 
changes might take place in the country, which 
would seriously affect the interests of thousands 
of European investors in Mexican enterprises. 
Consequently Europe was interested. 

I do not purpose here to go into the events of 
those last days of Diaz's rule. That story has 
already been told many times and from various 
angles. I am merely interested in the European 
aspects of the matter, and particularly in the 
attitude of Germany. 

Europe was interested, as I have said. Diaz 
was growing old and could certainly not last 
much longer. Then change must come. Was 
the Golden Age of the foreign investor, which 
had so long continued in Mexico, to continue 
still longer? Or would it end with the death of 
the Dictator? 

To these questions, wilich were having their 
due share of attention in the chancelleries as well 
as in the commercial houses of Europe, came 
another, less apparent but more troublesome and 
more insistent than any of these. Japan, it was 
rumoured, although very faintly, was seeking to 

The Strong Arm Squad 

add to its considerable interest in Mexico by 
securing a strip of territory on the western coast 
of that country an attempt which, if successful, 
would almost certainly bring about intervention 
by the United States. 

My Government was especially interested in 
this movement on the part of Japan. It knew 
considerably more about the plan than any save 
the principals, for, as I happened to learn later, 
it had carefully encouraged the whole idea for 
its own purposes. And it knew that at that 
very time the Financial Minister of Mexico, Jose 
Yves Limantour, was conducting preliminary 
negotiations in Paris with representatives of 
Japan, regarding the terms of a possible treaty. 
It knew that even then a protocol of this treaty 
was being drawn up. 

There was only one thing that my Government 
wanted a copy of the protocol. It was that 
which I had been instructed to get! 

The personality of Limantour is one of the 
most interesting of our day. Brilliant, incor- 
ruptible, unquestionably the most able Mexican 
of his generation, he had for seventeen years been 
closely associated with the Dictator, and for a 
considerable portion of that period had been 
second only to Diaz in actual power. His presence 


The Strong Arm Squad 

in Paris at this time was significant. He had 
left Mexico on the llth of July, 1910, ostensibly 
because of the poor health of his wife, although 
it had been reported that a serious break had 
taken place between himself and Diaz. He had 
spent a certain time in Switzerland, and had 
later come to Paris to arrange a loan of more 
than $100,000,000 with a group of English, 
French and German bankers. But this task had 
been completed in the early part of December, 
and in view of the unsettled conditions in Mexico 
there was no good reason for his continuing in 
Paris, save one the negotiations with Japan. 

It was this man against whom I was to fight 
this man who had proved himself more than a 
match for some of the best brains of both hemi- 
spheres. The prospect was not reassuring. I 
knew that already several attempts had been 
made by our agents to secure the protocol, with 
the result that Limantour was sure to be more 
on his guard than he ordinarily would have been. 
Yet I must succeed and it was plain that I could 
do so only by violence. 

Violence it should be, then ; and with the 
assistance of my friend the Salmon to whom, 
you may be sure, I did not confide my real 
object I prepared a plan of campaign, which we 


The Strong Arm Squad 

duly presented to a group of the Salmon's friends, 
who had been selected to assist us. To these 
men Apaches, every one of them I was pre- 
sented as a decayed gentleman who for reasons 
of his own had found it necessary to join the 
forces of the Salmon. I was a good fellow, the 
Salmon assured them, and by way of proving my 
friendship I had shared with him my knowledge 
of a good "prospect" I had discovered. 

"The man," I said, "always carries lots of 
money and jewellery." Of course, I did not tell 
them his name was Limantour. I said he always 
played cards late at his club. ' To stick him 
up," I said, "will be the simplest thing in the 
world, but we must be careful not to hurt him 
badly not enough to set the police hot on our 

The Apaches fell in with the proposal enthu- 
siastically. We would attempt it the following 

Now the instructions which came to me under 
the sweat band of the black derby in the Cafe 
Americaine informed me that every night quite 
late Limantour received at his club a copy of 
the report of the day's conference with the 
Japanese envoy. It was prepared and delivered 
to Limantour by his secretary and it was his 


The Strong Arm Squad 

habit to study it, upon returning home, and plan 
out his line of attack for the negotiations of the 
following day. I concluded that Limantour 
therefore would have it (the report) on his per- 
son when he left the club. 

Accordingly I had my Apaches waiting in the 
shadows. There were five of us. Limantour 
started to walk home, as I knew he was fre- 
quently in the habit of doing. We followed, and 
in the first quiet street that he ventured down 
he was felled. In his pockets we found a little 
money and some papers, one glance at which 
satisfied me that they were of no value. 

My carefully-planned coup had failed. You 
can imagine how I felt about such a fiasco and 
how very quickly I had to think. Here was my 
first big chance and I had thoroughly and hope- 
lessly bungled it ! Limantour was already stir- 
ring. The blow he had received had purposely 
been made light. If he recovered to find himself 
robbed merely of an insignificant sum of money 
and some papers his suspicions would be aroused. 
I could not hope for another chance at him. I 
knew that Limantour was too clever not to sense 
something other than ordinary robbery in such 
an attack upon him. Furthermore, my Apaches 
had to be bluffed and deceived as thoroughly as 


The Strong Arm Squad 

he must be. I had promised them a victim who 
had loads of money, and at the few coins they 
had obtained there was much growling. Luckily 
1 had a flash of sense. I resolved to turn the mis- 
hap to my advantage. 

" We hit the wrong night, that's all," I mut- 
tered. "You take the coins and get away. I 
am going to try to fool him." 

Like rats they scurried away. When Liman- 
tour came to, he found a very solicitous young 
man concerned about his welfare. 

"I saw them from down the street," I told 
him. "They evidently knoeked you out, but 
they cleared off when I came. Did they get any- 
thing from you? Here seem to be some letters." 
And from the pavement I picked up and restored 
to him the papers I had taken from his pocket 
not two minutes before. 

Limantour accepted them and I knew that 
my audacity had triumphed. 

"They are not of very much importance," 
said Limantour, " and I had only a few francs on 


Then suddenly, as if he just realised that he 
was alive and unharmed, Jose* Limantour began 
to thank me for my assistance. I thought of 
those who had told me he was a cold, hard, dis- 


The Strong Arm Squad 

tant man. Limantour flung his arms around my 
neck. I was his saviour! I was a very brave 
young gentleman! If I had not come up so 
boldly and promptly to his aid he might have 
been very badly beaten, perhaps even killed. 
For all he knew he owed me his life. He must 
thank me. He must know his preserver. Here 
was his card. Might he have mine? I had been 
wise enough to keep some of my old cards when 
I changed the rest of my personality from the 
Grand Hotel to Montmartre. I gave him one 
of them. 

"A German! " he exclaimed, " and a worthy 
representative of that worthy race ! ' Limantour 
was enchanted. " And you live at the Grand 

That was better still. I was only a sojourner 
in Paris and one might venture to offer me hos- 
pitality no? Next day he would send round a 
formal invitation to come and dine at his house 
and meet his family. They would be delighted 
to meet this brave and intrepid hero and would 
also wish to thank me. 

In an adjoining cafe we had a drink and parted 
for the night. Next morning of course I had to 
appear again at the Grand Hotel. On foot I 
walked away from " Le Lapin Agile," jumping 


The Strong Arm Squad 

into a taxi when I was out of sight. The taxi 
took me to the Gare du Nord; there I doubled 
on my tracks and presently, as if just having left 
a train, I took another taxi and was driven with 
my luggage to the hotel. I dropped around that 
afternoon to the Quai d'Orsay and called upon 
some of my acquaintances, remarking that I had 
changed my plans and would stay in Paris a little 
longer. That night I had the pleasure of dining 
with Limantour. 

Thereafter I had to lead a double life. By 
day I was an habitue of prominent hotels, res- 
taurants and clubs. I associated with young 
diplomats, and occasionally took a pretty girl to 
tea. By night I lived in " Le Lapin Agile " and 
consorted with thugs and their ilk. It cost me 
sleep, but I did not begrudge that in view of 
the stakes. All this time I was cultivating the 
acquaintance of Limantour and those around 

Shortly afterwards I succeeded in taking one 
of the members of his household on a rather wild 
party, and when his head was full of champagne 
he blabbed that Limantour and his family were 
planning to sail for Cuba and Mexico on the 
following Saturday. I was also informed that on 
Friday, the day before the sailing, there would 


The Strong Arm Squad 

be a farewell reception at one of the embassies. 
'Knowing Limantour's habits of work as I did 
by this time, I was able to lay my plans with as 
much certainty as prevails in my profession. 

After weighing all the possibilities I decided 
to defer my attempt on him until this last Friday 
night. I reasoned that he would probably re- 
ceive a draft of the agreement from his secretary 
at the club late that night. He would take it 
home with him and go over it with microscopic 
care. The next forenoon Saturday he would 
meet the Japanese envoy just long enough to 
finish the matter, and then he would hurry to the 

Of course, Limantour might act in a different 
way. That is the chance one has to take. 

Friday night came. In his luxurious limousine 
Limantour and his family went to the farewell 
reception at the Embassy. Comparatively early 
he said his farewell leaving Madame to go 
home later and in his car he proceeded to the 
club. I saw him pass through the vestibule 
after leaving his chauffeur with instructions to 
wait. My guess as to Limantour's movements 
had been right, so the plans I had made worked 

I, too, had an automobile waiting near his 

The Strong Arm Squad 

club. Two of my men sauntered over to Liman- 
tour's car. Under pretence of sociability they 
invited his chauffeur to have a drink. They led 
him into a little cafe on a side street near by, 
the proprietor of which was in with the gang. 
Limantour's chauffeur had one drink and went 
to sleep. My men stripped him of his livery, 
which one of them donned. Presently Liman- 
tour had a new chauffeur sitting at the wheel of 
his limousine. 

An hour later Limantour was seen hurrying 
out of the club. As a man will, he scarcely 
noticed his chauffeur, but cast a brief " Home ! ' 
to the man at the wheel. His limousine started, 
following a route through deserted residential 
streets, in one of which I had the trap ready. 
Half blocking the road was a large motor-car, 
apparently broken down. It was the automobile 
in which I had been waiting outside the club. 
In it were four of my Apaches. Limantour's 
car was called upon to stop. 

" Can you lend me a wrench? " one of my men 
shouted to Limantour's false chauffeur. 

His limousine stopped. That freemasonry 
which existed in the early days between motorists 
lent itself nicely to the situation. It was most 

natural for the chauffeur of Limantour's car to 


The Strong Arm Squad 

get out and help my stalled motor. Indeed, 
Limantour himself opened the door of the limou- 
sine and, half protruding his body, called out with 
the kindest intentions. 

To throw a chloroform-soaked towel over his 
head was the work of an instant. In half a 
minute he was having dreams which I trust 
were pleasant. It was still necessary to keep my 
own men in the dark, to give these thugs no 
inkling that this was a diplomatic job. This time 
I was prepared, for I had learned of Limantour 's 
habits in regard to carrying money on his person. 
In my right-hand overcoat pocket there were 
gold coins and bank-notes. With the leader of 
the gang I went through Limantour 's clothes. 
In the darkness of that street it was a simple 
matter to seem to extract from them a double 
fistful of gold pieces and currency, which I turned 
over to the Salmon. 

"Perhaps he has more bank-notes," I mut- 
tered, and I reached for the inner pocket of his 
coat. There my fingers closed upon a stiff docu- 
ment that made them tingle. " I'll just grab 
everything and we can go over it afterwards." 
Out of Limantour's possession into mine came 
pocket-book, letters, card-case and that heavy, 

familiar paper. 

H 97 

The Strong Arm Squad 

Dumping the unconscious Limantour into his 
limousine, we cranked up our car and were off, 
leaving behind us at the worst plain evidence of 
a crime common enough in Paris. It was to 
be corroborated next morning by the discovery 
of a drunken chauffeur, for we took pains to go 
back and get him once more into his uniform 
and full of absinthe. 

But it did not come to even that much scandal. 
Limantour, for obvious reasons, did not report the 
incident to the police. Next morning it was given 
out that Limantour had gone into the country 
and would not sail for a week. He had had a 
sudden recrudescence of an old throat trouble, 
and must rest and undergo treatment before under- 
taking the voyage to Mexico so the specialist 
said. This report appeared in the Paris news- 
papers of the day. Of the protocol nothing was 
said at that time or later by Serior Limantour. 

I turned it over to the proper authorities in 
Berlin, and very soon departed from Montmartre, 
leaving behind me a well-contented group of 
Apaches, who assured me warmly that I was born 
for their profession. I did not argue the question 
with them. 

There the matter might have ended ; but Ger- 
many had another card to play. On February 27, 


The Strong Arm Squad 

1911, Limantour left Paris for New York, to 
confer with members of the Madero family, in 
order if possible to effect a reconciliation and to 
end the Madero revolt. He landed in New York 
on March 7. On that very day, by an odd 
coincidence, as one commentator* calls it, the 
United States mobilised 20,000 troops on the 
Mexican border ! 

It was no coincidence. The Wilhelmstrasse 
had read the proposed terms of the treaty with 
great interest. It had noted the secret clauses 
which gave Japan the lease of a coaling station, 
together with manoeuvre privileges in Magda- 
lena Bay, or at some other port on the Mexican 
coast which the Japanese Government might 
prefer. It had noted, too, that agreement which, 
although not expressly stipulating that Japan 
and Mexico should form an offensive and de- 
fensive alliance, implied that Japan would see 
to it that Mexico was protected against 

And then Germany acting always for her 
own interests forwarded the treaty to Mexico, 
where it was placed in the hands of the American 
Ambassador, Henry Lane Wilson. 

Mr. Wilson immediately left for Washington 

* Mr. Edward I. Bell in "The Political Shame of Mexico." 

The Strong Arm Squad 

with a photograph of portions of the treaty. A 
Cabinet meeting was held. That night orders 
were sent out for the mobilisation of American 
troops, the assembling of United States marines 
in Guantanamo and the patrolling of the west 
coast of Mexico by warships of the United 

Within a week Mr. Wilson had an interview 
in New York with Senor Limantour. Limantour 
left hurriedly for Mexico City, arriving there 
March 20. Conferences were held. Japan 
denied the existence of the treaty, and Washing- 
ton recalled its war vessels and demobilised its 
troops. But barely seven weeks after Liman- 
tour arrived in Mexico, Madero, the bankrupt, 
with his handful of troops " captured " Ciudad 
Juarez. And shortly afterwards, Diaz, discredited 
and powerless, resigned the office he had held for 
a generation. 

That is the story of the fall of Diaz so far as 
Germany was concerned in it. There were other 
elements involved, of course but this is not a 
history of Mexico. 

Germany had done the United States a service. 
It is interesting to consider the motives for her 
action. These motives may be explained in two 
words : South America. 


The Strong Arm Squad 

Germany, let it be understood, wants South 
America, and has wanted it for many years. Not 
as a possession the Wilhelmstrasse is not insane 
but as a customer and an ally. Like many 
other nations, Germany has seen in the countries 
of Latin America an invaluable market for her 
own goods and an unequalled producer of raw 
supplies for her own manufacturers. She has 
sought to control that market to the best of her 
abilities. But she has also done what no other 
European nation has dared to do she has at- 
tempted to form alliances with the South American 
countries which, in the event of war between the 
United States and Germany, would create a 
diversion in Germany's favour, and effectively tie 
the hands of the United States so far as any 
offensive action was concerned. 

There was just one stumbling-block to this 
plan : the Monroe Doctrine. It was patent to 
German diplomats that such an alliance could 
never be secured unless the South American 
countries were roused to such a degree of hostility 
against the United States that they would wel- 
come an opportunity to affront the Government 
which had proclaimed that Doctrine. And Ger- 
many, casting about for a means of making 
trouble, had encouraged the Japanese-Mexican 


The Strong Arm Squad 

alliance, hoping for intervention in Mexico and 
the subsequent arousal of fear and ill-feeling 
towards the United States on the part of the 
South American countries. 

And Germany had been so anxious for the 
United States to intervene in Mexico that she 
had not only encouraged a treaty which would 
be inimical to American interests, but had made 
certain that knowledge of this treaty should come 
into the United States Government's hands by 
placing it there herself! 

The United States did not intervene and 
Germany for the moment failed. But Germany 
did not give up hope. The intrigue against 
the United States through Mexico had only 

It has not ended yet. 




My letter again I go to America and become a United 
States soldier Sent to Mexico and sentenced to death 
there I join Villa's army and gain an undeserved 

I MUST leave Europe behind me now and go on 
to the period embraced in the last five years. 
A private soldier in the United States Army; 
the victim of an attempt at assassination in 
stormy Mexico; major in the Mexican army; 
once again German secret agent and aide of 
Franz von Papen, the German Military Attache 
in Washington; prisoner under suspicion of 
espionage in a British prison, and finally the 
American Government's central witness in the 
summer of 1916, in a case that was the sensation 
of its hour these are the roles I have been called 
on to play in that brief space of time. 

In the month of April, 1912, 1 abruptly quitted 
the service of my Government. The reasons 
which impelled me were very serious. You re- 
member that my active life began with the dis- 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

covery of a document of such personal and political 
significance that Government agents followed me 
all over Europe until I drove a bargain with them 
for it. In the winter of 1912, by a chain of 
circumstances I must keep to myself, that self- 
same document came again into my possession. 
I knew enough then, and was ambitious enough, 
to determine that this time I would utilise to the 
full the power which possession of it gave me. 
But it could not be used in Germany. There- 
fore I disappeared. 

There was an immediate search for me, which 
was most active in Russia. I was not in Russia 
nor in Europe. After running over in mind all 
the most unlikely places where I could lose myself 
I had found one that seemed ideal. 

While they were scouring Russia for me I 
was making my way across the Atlantic Ocean 
in the capacity of steward in the steerage 
of the steamship Kroonland of the Red Star 

The Kroonland docked in New York City in 
May, 1912. I left her as abruptly as I had left 
a prouder service. Three days later, a sorry- 
looking vagabond, I had applied for enlistment 
in the United States Army and had been ac- 
cepted. I was sent to the recruiting camp at 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

Fort Slocum, and under the severe eye of a 
sergeant began to learn my drill. 

It was towards the middle of May that I or 
rather, " Frank Wachendorf " enlisted. After a 
stretch of recruit-training at Fort Slocum I was 
assigned to the Nineteenth Infantry, then at Fort 
Leavenworth, Kansas. 

I learned my drill shades of Gross Lichter- 
felde ! with extreme ease. That is the only single 
thing that I was officially asked to do. 

But early in my short and pleasant career as a 
United States soldier something happened which 
gave me special occupation. My small library was 
discovered. Among th* volumes were Mahan's 
" Sea Power " and Gibbon's " Decline and Fall " 
not just the books one would look for among 
the possessions of a country lout hardly able to 
stammer twenty words in English. But the mis- 
hap turned in my favour. My captain sent for 

"Wachendorf," he said, "you probably have 
your own reasons for being where you are. That 
is none of my business. But you don't have to 
stay there. If you want to go in for a commission 
you are welcome to my books and to any aid I 
can give you." 

Thereafter life in the Nineteenth was decidedly 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

agreeable. I set myself sincerely and whole- 
heartedly the task of winning a commission in the 
United States Army. I believe I might eventu- 
ally have won it, too. But Fate revealed other 
plans for me when I had been an American soldier 
some nine months. 

That winter of 1913, you remember, had been 
a stormy period in Mexico. Huerta had made 
his coup d'etat. Francisco Madero had been de- 
posed and murdered. President Taft had again 
mobilised part of the United States forces on the 
border, leaving his successor, President Wilson, 
to deal with a Southern neighbour in the throes 
of revolution. 

The Nineteenth Infantry was ordered to Gal- 
veston, Texas. And in Galveston the agents of 
Berlin suddenly put their fingers on me again. It 
happened in the Public Library. I was reading 
a book there one day when a man I knew well 
came and sat down beside me. We will call him 
La Vallee born and bred a Frenchman, but one 
of Germany's most trusted agents. 

" Wie geht's, von der Goltz? " was his greeting. 

I told him he had mistaken me for someone 
else. He laughed. 

"What's the use of bluffing?" he asked, 

" when each of us knows the other? Just read 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

these instructions I'm carrying." He laid a paper 
before me. 

La Vallee 's instructions were brief and out- 
wardly not threatening. Find von der Goltz, 
they bade him. Try to make him realise how 
great a wrong he was guilty of when he deserted 
his country. But let him understand, too, that 
his Government appreciates his services and be- 
lieves he acted impulsively. If he will prove his 
loyalty by returning to his duty his mistake will 
be blotted out. 

I read carefully and asked La Vallee how I 
was expected to prove my loyalty at that par- 
ticular time. 

" You know what it is like in Mexico now," he 
said. "Our Government has heavy interests 
there. Your services are needed in helping to 
look out for them." 

"But," I objected, "I am a soldier in the 
United States Army. You are asking me to be 
a deserter." 

"Germany," said La Vallee, "has the first 
claim on every German. If your duty happens 
to make you seem a deserter, that is all right. f 
Frank Wachendorf must manage to bear the dis- 
grace. Speaking of that," he added, carelessly 
enough, but eyeing me severely, "were you not 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

indiscreet there? Suppose some enemy should 
find out that you made false statements when 
you enlisted? I believe there is a penalty." 

La Vallee knew that he had me in his power. 
I had to yield, and was told to report to the 
German Consul at Juarez, across the Rio Grande 
from El Paso. So in March, 1913, Frank Robert 
Wachendorf, private, became a deserter from the 
United States Army and a reward of $50 was 
offered for his arrest. 

Before I crossed the border I had one very 
important piece of business to attend to, and I 
stopped in El Paso long enough to finish it. 
Mexico, under the conditions that prevailed, was 
an ideal trap for me. As the lesser of two evils 
I had decided to risk my body there. But I had 
no mind to risk also what was to Berlin of far 
more value than my body namely, that docu- 
ment which, a year before, had led to my abrupt 
departure from Germany and her service. 

In El Paso, where I was utterly unacquainted, 
I had to find some friend in whose stanchness I 
could put the ultimate trust. Being a Roman 
Catholic, I made friends with a priest and led 
him into gossip about different members of his 
flock. He spoke of a harnessmaker and saddler, 
one E. Koglmeier, an unmarried man of about 

1 08 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

fifty, who kept a shop in South Santa Fe Street. 
He was, the priest said, the most simple-minded, 
simple-hearted and utterly faithful man he knew. 

I lost no time in making Koglmeier's acquaint- 
ance, on the priest's introduction, and we soon 
were on friendly terms. When I crossed the 
international bridge I left behind in his safe a 
sealed package of papers. He knew only that he 
was to speak to no one about them and was to 
deliver them only to me in person or to a man 
who bore my written order for them. 

I reported to the German Consul in Juarez. 
He asked me to carry on to Chihuahua certain 
reports and letters addressed to Kueck, the Ger- 
man Consul there. From Chihuahua Kueck sent 
me on to Parral with other documents. And a 
German official in Parral gave me another parcel 
of papers to carry back to Kueck. 

I had no sooner reached Chihuahua on the 
return trip than I was put under arrest by an 
officer of the Federal (Huertista) forces, then in 
control of the city. I asked on whose authority. 
On that, he said, of General Salvador Mercado. 
I was a spy engaged in disseminating anti- 
Federal propaganda. I had to laugh at the 
sheer absurdity of that, and asked what proofs 
he had to sustain such charges. 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

" The papers you are carrying," he said then, 
"will be proof enough, I think." 

Chihuahua was under martial law. I had not 
the slightest inkling as to what might be in those 
papers I had so obligingly transported. I had 
put my foot into it, as the saying goes, up to 
my neck, the place where a noose fits. 

They marched me up to the barracks and into 
the presence of General Mercado. That was 
June 23, 1913, at 9 o'clock in the evening. 

General Salvador Mercado, then the supreme 
authority in Chihuahua, with practical powers of 
life and death over its people, proved to be a 
squat, thick, bull-necked man with the face of an 
Indian and the bearing of a bully } 

His first words stirred my temper to the bot- 
tom, luckily for me. If I had confronted the 
man with any other emotion than raging anger 
I should not be alive now. 

"Your Consul will do no good," he told me 
sneeringly. " He says you are not a German. 
You are a Gringo. You are a bandit and a 
robber. You have turned spy against us too. I 
am going to make short work of you. But first 
you are going to tell me all you know." 

As the completeness of the charge flashed 
upon me I went wild. There was a chair beside 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

me. I converted one leg into a club and started 
for Mercado. The five other men in the room 
got the best hold upon me that they could. By 
the time they had mastered me Mercado had 
backed away into the farthest corner of the room. 

The remainder of our interview was stormy 
and fruitless. It resulted in my being taken to 
Chihuahua penitentiary, the strongest prison in 
Mexico, and thrown into a cell. It w r as two 
months and a half before I came out again. 

There is small use going in detail into the 
major and minor degradations of life in a Mexi- 
can prison. I pass over cimex lectularius and the 
warfare which ended with my release. There are 
more edifying things to tell. For instance, how 
I came into possession of half a blanket and a pair 
of friends. 

I was confined a sentry with fixed bayonet 
standing before my door in an upper tier 
in the officers' wing. Usually confinement in 
the officers' wing carried one special privilege in 
which I, the desperado, did not share. During 
the day the cell doors were left open and the 
prisoners had the run of the corridor and galleries. 
My sentry's bayonet barred them from me, but 
could not keep them from talking of the new 
prisoner who claimed to be a German and was 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

suffering because he was suspected of attachment 
to the Constitutionalist cause. 

On my third or fourth night there I was 
attracted to my cell door by a sibilant " Oiga, 
Aleman ! " and something soft was thrust between 
the bars. 

"German," whispered a voice in Spanish out 
of the blackness, "it is cold to-night. We have 
brought you up a blanket." 

So began my friendship with Pablo Alman- 
daris and Rafael Castro, two young Constitution- 
alist officers. Almandaris, in particular, later 
became a chum of mine. He was a long, lank, 
solemn individual, the very image of Don Quixote 
of La Mancha. I remember him with love, be- 
cause he was the man who gave to me in prison, 
out of kindness of heart, a full half of his single 

This is how it happened. He and Rafael 
Castro, who were cell-mates, had contrived a way 
to pick their lock and roam the cell block at 
night, stark naked, their brown skins blending 
perfectly with the dingy walls. They had already 
heard the story of my plight. That night Alman- 
daris had cut his blanket in two, and the pair, 
with the bit of wool and a bottle of tequilla they 
had bought that day when the prison market was 


MFYir P 

3 .s :, ; -^ ;- :. -, JH / (V* 

"- * " : ^'V^ / >* 


^^?vs^rf <% s !^&<3*** y 
C Grai. en Jefe c* :*s Optraciones e-. el Kstaan. Fr.,ncico Viiii 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

open, sneaked up to the gallery and my cell. 
They gave the liquor to the sentry, who, being an 
Indian, promptly drank the whole of it down and 
became blissfully unconscious. 

The blanket was the first of many gifts, and 
many were the chats we had together, all with a 
practical purpose. 

66 If you ever escape or are released," Alman- 
daris kept telling me, "go to Trinidad Rodri- 
guez. He is my colonel. And if you ever get 
out of Mexico go to El Paso and hunt up 
Labansat. He is there." 

So they contrived to alleviate the minor evils 
of my predicament, and I shall never forget 
them. The major difficulty was beyond their 
reach. The trap had closed completely round 
me. The charge of spying and Mercado's general 
truculence were only cloaks for a more subtle 
hostility from another quarter. The reason for 
my imprisonment was soon revealed openly. 

I had made various attempts to communicate 
with Kueck, the German Consul. Always I met 
the retort that Kueck himself said I was no 
German. At the same time, managing to 
smuggle an appeal for aid to the American Con- 
sul, I was informed that etiquette forbade his 
taking any steps on my behalf. Kueck himself, 

i 113 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

he said, had told him the German Consulate was 
doing all it could to protect me. It did not need 
a Bismarck to grasp the implications of those con- 
tradictory statements. 

After I had been in prison for about three 
weeks Kueck came to see me and made the whole 
matter thoroughly plain. 

"Von der Goltz," he opened bluntly, "you 
are in a bad situation.' 5 

" Do you think so? " I asked him significantly. 

!< I have every reason to think so," he said. 
"My hands are tied. I positively can take no 
steps in your behalf, unless "' he looked straight 
at me "unless you restore certain documents 
you have no right to possess." 

They had me nicely. The surrender of my 
letter was the price I must pay for my life. 
Acting under instructions, he had made me a 
definite offer. I had to take it or leave it. 

I could not give the letter up. It was my 
guarantee of safety. As long as Kueck did not 
know where it was I was valuable to him only 
while alive. Furthermore, I had some hopes of 
being freed by outside aid. Through Almandaris 
I had learned that the Constitutionalists were 
attacking Chihuahua, with good hope of taking 

the city. I knew that if they succeeded, the 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

German whose suffering for their cause, I was 
told, was known throughout their forces would 
be well cared for. So I reached my decision. 

"Herr Consul," I said, "I will not give up 
the papers you refer to. I am not a child. Those 
papeis are in a safe place. So are instructions as 
to their disposal in case of emergency. Let any- 
thing happen to me, and within a fortnight every 
newspaper in the United States will be printing 
the most sensational story within memory." 

On July 23, 1913, I was tried by court-martial 
and sentenced to death. That led to a bitter per- 
sonal quarrel between General Manuel Chao, the 
Constitutionalist commander attacking the city, 
and Mercado, who defended it. 

Chao sent in a flag of truce, absolving me from 
any connection with his cause and threatening 
that, if I were killed, Mercado personally would 
have to pay the score when the Constitutionalists 
took Chihuahua. The Indian bully retorted that 
if the Constitutionalists ever captured the city 
they would not find their pet alive there. 

Three times in the weeks that followed the 
Constitutionalist forces seemed on the point of 
capturing Chihuahua. Have you ever walked 
out with your own firing squad and spent an end- 
less half hour on a chilly morning in the company 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

of an officer with drawn sword, five soldiers with 
loaded rifles and a sergeant with the revolver 
destined to give you your coup de grace? Three 
times that happened to me, at Mercado's orders ! 
My profession has seldom permitted me to in- 
dulge in personal hatreds, but as I was marched 
back from that third bad half -hour my mind was 
filled with one thought : If ever I got Mercado 
where he had me then I would let him know what 
it felt like. 

Then matters came to a crisis. Reinforce- 
ments were brought up from Mexico City and 
the Constitutionalist besiegers suffered a crush- 
ing defeat. I could put no more hope in them, 

Kueck came again to see me. 

;t Give me an order on Koglmeier for those 
papers," he demanded. "There's no use saying 
Koglmeier hasn't got them, for I know he has." 

I could see he was not bluffing, and knew the 
game was up. I signed the release for the papers. 
There had been no personal animosity between 
Kueck and myself. I had seen too much of life 
to be angry with a man simply because he was 
obeying his orders. 

About September 12, 1913, Kueck came to 
escoit ^ out of prison, and in his own carriage 

drove me to the railway station, bound north, out 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

of Mexico. I had a sheaf of letters, signed by 
Kueck, which recommended me, as Baron von 
der Goltz, to the good offices of German Consular 
representatives throughout the United States, and 
requested them to supply me with funds. 

The last man who spoke to me in Chihuahua 
was Colonel Carlos Orozco, commander of the 
Sixth Battalion of Infantry, and General Mer- 
cado's right-hand man, though his bitter enemy. 
His farewell was a threat. " You are lucky to 
get out of Mexico," he told me. " If you ever 
come back and I see you I will have you shot at 
once." My next meeting with Colonel Carlos 
Orozco occurred on Mexican soil. 

Escorted by Consul Kueck out of Mexico I 
went up to El Paso, determined to return to 
Mexico as soon as possible. But before I did 
anything else I felt a very great desire to square 
accounts with General Salvador Mercado. 

So I stepped off at El Paso to look for Laban- 
sat, the Constitutionalist about whom my friend 
Pablo Almandaris told me while I was in 
prison. I lost no time in getting into touch with 
him and other members of the Constitutionalist 

Another acquaintance made at that time 
proved very useful to me later. Dr. L. A. 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

Rachbaum, Francisco Villa's personal physician, 
was a fellow guest at the Ollendorf Hotel. 

We were an earnest but impecunious bunch. 
Juan T. Burns, afterwards Mexican Consul- 
General in New York, may recall a morning when 
he and I found ourselves with one nickel between 
us and the necessity of getting breakfast for two 
at an El Paso lunch counter. That lone 
"jitney " bought a cup of coffee and two rolls. 
Each of us took a roll and we drank the cup of 
coffee mutually. 

I also renewed my intimacy with Koglmeier, 
the saddler in South Santa Fe Street. He told 
me a man he did not know had come with my 
written order for the papers I had left in his 
safe and he had given them up. 

Despairing at last of obtaining results at El 
Paso, I availed myself of my consular recom- 
mendations and went on to Los Angeles, Cali- 
fornia. There I received help from Geraldine 
Farrar, whom I had known in Germany, and in 
November, 1913, directly after the battle of Tierra 
Blancha, Chihuahua, I received a telegram say- 
ing : "Dr. Rachbaum proposition accepted; come 
with the next train," and signed " General Villa." 
My way lay open before me and I was free to 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

I reached El Paso on November 27 and 
went on to Chihuahua, which had fallen into the 
hands of the Constitutionalists. Once there, I 
looked up my friend of the half blanket, Pablo 
Almandaris, and by him was introduced to 
Colonel Trinidad Rodriguez, commanding a 
cavalry brigade, who promptly attached me to 
his staff, with the rank of captain. 

The Federalists had retreated across the desert 
northwards and settled themselves in Ojinaga, the 
so-called Gibraltar of the Rio Grande, a tremen- 
dously strong natural position. 

Towards the middle of December we received 
orders to proceed to the attack of Ojinaga. Our 
brigade and the troops of Generals Panfilo 
Natira and Toribio Ortega were included in the 
expedition, some 7,000 men. The railway car- 
ried us seventy miles. The rest of the journey 
had to be made on horseback. During four days 
of marching in the desert I made acquaintance 
with Mexican mounted infantry, the most effec- 
tive arm for such conditions and country the 
world has seen. 

Arriving before the outer defences of Ojinaga 
we began our siege of the city. Soon afterwards 
I got my first sight of Pancho Villa. 

Of a sudden, one evening, Trinidad Rodriguez 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

told me that "Pancho" had just arrived, and 
we must ride over for a conference with him. 

We found Villa lying on a saddle blanket in 
an irrigation ditch in the company of Raul 
Madero, brother of the murdered President, a 
handful of officers who had come up with them, 
and our own commanders, Natira and Ortega. 

Madero, to my mind one of the ablest Mexi- 
cans alive, was clad in the dingiest of old grey 
sweaters. Villa, unkempt, unshaven and un- 
shorn, was begrimed and weary from his ride 
across the desert. But he seemed full of bottled- 
up energy, and when General Rodriguez and I 
came up he was giving General Ortega a talking 
to because so little had been accomplished in re- 
gard to the taking of Ojinaga. 

While we talked I fashioned a cigarette, and 
all at oree he broke off abruptly. " Give me 
some of that too," he demanded. I handed him 
"the makings," and he attempted a cigarette. 
He was so clumsy with it Jbhat I had to roll it 
for him. Then for the first arid last time in my 
acquaintance with him I saw Pancho Villa smoke. 
Contrary to the stories that have gone out about 
him, he is a most abstemious man with regard to 
alcohol and tobacco. 

On Christmas night, 1913, happened the ad- 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

venture which made me, quite by accident, and 
without intention^ a hero. Also, I underwent 
the greatest fright of my life. 

My commander, Rodriguez, had received 
orders to make an attack that night straight- 
forward towards Ojinaga. After it was com- 
pletely dark we formed and advanced, finding 
ourselves very soon among the willows lining the 
bank of the Rio Conchos, which we had to cross. 

It was my first taste of genuine warfare, and 
I cannot begin to tell you how it affected me, 
how ghastly it was among the willows in the 
vague darkness through which the column was 
threading its way with the utmost possible quiet- 
ness. The beat of hoofs was muffled in the soggy 
ground, and the only sound to break the utter 
stillness of the night was the occasional clank of 
a spur or thin neigh of a horse. 

Then all at once, to the front and in the dis- 
tance, came a boom the single growling of a 
field-gun. Ping ! Ping ! Ping ! broke out a 
volley of rifle shots, and then with its r-r-r-r-r! 
a Hotchkiss machine-gun got to work. A 
staccato bam! bam! bam! as a Colt's machine- 
gun joined the chorus. Somewhere troops were 
going into serious action. That was no skirmish- 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

We finally crossed the river and dismounted. 
Part of the brigade had gone astray. Rodriguez 
cursed impatiently and incessantly under his 
breath until he joined us. He was a born cavalry 
leader, mad for action. Any sort of waiting 
lacerated his nerves. 

In line, with rifles trailing, we moved across 
the unknown terrain of low, rolling hills. On 
our front there had been no firing. Then all at 
once, directly before us and not far ahead, 
sounded a startled " Qui vive? " and an instant's 
silence while the surprised outpost of the enemy 
waited for an answer. " Alerta ! Alerta!' 
sounded his shrill alarm. 

Hell broke open around us then. Rifles, 
machine-guns and cannon opened fire all at once. 
Bullets whined above our heads and bursting 
shrapnel fell around us. We had just come to 
an irrigation ditch, six feet wide, with a high 
wire fence on the farther bank of it. 

"Stay here till they're all across and look for 
skulkers ! ' ' Trinidad Rodriguez gave himself time 
to order me, then leaped across the ditch and 
began to run towards the fence. " Come on here, 
boys! " he shouted. 

The men were quickly across. I followed, or 
tried to, and just as my front foot touched the 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

farther bank the clay crumbled. Down I went 
into the ditch. 

When I recovered myself in that four feet 
of mud and water and poked my head up over 
the bank the fence had been demolished. Beyond 
it countless rifles spat tongues of fire towards 
me. But not a living soul was near. The 
night had swallowed up the very last one of our 

Fright had not come yet. I was bewildered. 
I still had my rifle and began to use it. After 
a few discharges there came a violent wrench and 
the barrel parted company with the rest of the 
weapon. It had been shot to pieces in my hands. 
I threw the stock away and got out my revolver 
a Colt .44 single-action, of the frontier model. 

Boom! There was a roar like a field-gun's 
and a flash that lit up the night all round me. 
The wet weapon was outdoing itself in pyro- 
technics, and I was unnecessarily attracting atten- 
tion to myself. So, half swimming, half wading, 
I moved down the ditch in the direction of the 
high hill which, looming vaguely, seemed half 
familiar to me. 

I was lost, you understand. I had come at 
night into unknown terrain. I welcomed that 
hill, which seemed to give me back my bearings. 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

I reached the base of it, got out of my ditch and 
began to climb, with some caution, luckily for 
me. For just as I stole over the crest a roar and 
a flash obliterated the night. Two enemy field- 
pieces had been discharged together, almost into 
my face. 

Deeming it more than likely that the flash had 
shown the gunners one startled Teutonic face, I 
rolled down that hill and was once more in my 
ditch. But panic had full possession of me. I 
climbed out on the far side and ran among the 
scattered trees there until I realised that no racer 
can hope to outpace a bullet. Then I stopped. 

Phut ! Phut ! Bullets were hissing into the 
soft irrigated ground all round me, for by acci- 
dent I had gotten into a very dangerous zone of 
dropping cross-fire, while overhead shrapnel was 
searching out blindly for our horses. 

By good luck I knew the trumpet calls. 
Whenever the signal to fire sounded I took what 
cover I could, going on again in what I decided 
was the direction of the Rio Conchos as soon as 
the bugles called "cease firing." 

After a while I found a small grey horse 
standing dejectedly by a tree. I mounted him 
and eventually got among the willows on the 

river bank. There the horse collapsed under me 


'./ :- ''' , 
' .\: r:'.V:t 

*. *'>' 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

without a warning quiver or groan, and when I 
had wriggled myself loose and groped him over 
I discovered the poor brute must have been shot 
as full of holes as a flute before I ever found him. 

But I had small sympathy to spend on fallen 
horses just then. Cleaning my gory hands as 
best I could on breeches and tunic, I stumbled 
on through the bushes. After a long time I 
came, by accident, to the place where the brigade 
had dismounted to go into action. The mounts 
were mostly gone, but a few still stood there, 
with perhaps a score of men and one officer, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick), who was vastly sur- 
prised at my sudden appearance from the direc- 
tion of the front. 

Our brigade had been withdrawn within 
twenty minutes of the beginning of the action 
as soon as it was quite certain the surprise had 
failed. Patricio was waiting there because his 
brother had been killed, and he wanted, if pos- 
sible, to take back his body. 

"But," cried the colonel, suddenly warming 
into emotion, "you where have you been? 
You, valiant German, refused to come back with 
the others ! All night, all by yourself, you have 
been fighting single-handed. Let me embrace 

you! ' 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

He flung his arms about me, to receive a fresh 
surprise. "You are all sticky with something," 
he cried. "What is it?" 

"Blood," I told him simply and truthfully. 
My reputation was made. 

Bravado stirs a Mexican as nothing else can. 
Counterfeit bravado is just as effective as any so 
long as the substitution is not suspected. Young 
Captain von der Goltz, in his first real engage- 
ment, had got stupidly lost and very badly fright- 
ened. But of Captain von der Goltz Colonel 
Patricio and his troopers sang the praises for 
days thereafter to every officer and every peon 
soldier they met. He had fought on alone for 
hours after every comrade left him. He had 
bathed himself in the blood of his enemies, up to 
his hips and up to his shoulders. You could see 
it on his clothes. 

By the time Ojinaga fell " El Diablo Aleman " 
"the German devil" had become a tradition 
of the Constitutionalist Army. 

Ojinaga fell at New Year, 1914, the Federal- 
ists retreating across the Rio Grande into the 
United States. We pursued them. And on the 
bank of the river I had a little adventure. 

You remember that when I left Chihuahua, a 

released prisoner, the last person who spoke to 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

me was Colonel Carlos Orozco, commanding the 
Sixth Infantry Battalion, and his farewell was 
a threat (see p. 117). 

That Sixth Battalion had been engaged in the 
defence of Ojinaga and had retreated with its 
fellow-organisations. When I came up to the 
Rio Grande a small body of fugitives was in 
midstream. My handful of troopers rode in, 
surrounded them and brought them back to 
Mexico. Their heroic commander, who had 
offered no show of resistance, proved to be 
Orozco, with the colours of his outfit wrapped 
round his body, under his blouse ! 

The provocation was too much for me. " Don 
Carlos," I asked him, "is it possible you have 
forgotten me? When we parted last time you 
promised to shoot me if ever we met again. I 
am naturally all on fire to learn whether you are 
thinking of keeping your promise now." 

Prominent prisoners were getting short shrift 
in those days, and Orozco preserved a sullen 
silence. But I let him ford the river to safety. 
He eventually got back to Mexico City and 
Huerta, by way of San Antonio, Galveston and 
Vera Cruz. The story of his exploit at Ojinaga, 
the sole Federal officer to come out of it alive, 
un wounded, and bringing his colours with him, 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

furnished columns of copy to El Impartial and 
the other papers. Friends and admirers of his 
who heard the lion roar at that time may find 
some interest in this less romantic record of his 

I had another account to settle with my old 
acquaintance, Consul Kueck of Chihuahua. 
During the last battle before Ojinaga an officer 
struck up a rifle which he saw a peon aiming at 
my back. The ball whistled over my head. The 
soldier later saw fit to confess the reason for his 
act. He said that a big, fat German Kueck's 
secretary, he thought had come to him just 
before we left Chihuahua on our expedition and 
had given him 500 pesos to attempt my life. 

Returning to Chihuahua very soon after New 
Year's Day, I made it my business to call on Con- 
sul Kueck. He had cleared out across the border 
to El Paso just before we got in. 

Failing the principal, I took the liberty of 
arresting Kueck's secretary inside the sacred 
precincts of the Foreign Club. After my ad- 
jutant and he and I had had three or four hours' 
private talk, and he understood how likely he was 
to occupy the cell in Chihuahua penitentiary 
which had once been mine, he helped me obtain 
copies of certain documents in the consular 


rOI : -liMIA 


: | i 
i ! M ? 

g s 

. 3 

in 1 4 

155. | C$ 

i \ r 

o " X - 

! a I I 6 s 

-E o -s 3 a 

:1* *j 

P. "g "2 5 5- & 




I a a 


S 5 


-4 V 


ri * 
t* a: 

e ? 

w - 


. o 

w a 


as > 


H Q 
Z U 
O H 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

archives, particularly the letter Kueck had written 
to the American Consul affirming himself to be 
fully responsible for my safety, at the very time 
When he was setting Mercado on and telling me 
that he could and would do nothing for me. 
Once I got hold of that I felt fairly certain that 
Kueck would be moderate in his dealings with 
me thereafter. 

Only General Salvador Mercado stood wholly 
on the debit side of my account book. I had heard 
that he had been captured on United States soil, 
along with numerous other fugitive Federal 
officers, and been put for safe keeping into the 
detention camp at El Paso. 

It chanced that Villa and Raul Madero went 
up to the border for a few days of the winter 
race-meet at Juarez, just across the river from 
El Paso. Don Raul was kind enough to invite 
me, too, and I went along in fettle, with a new 
uniform. Our army was in funds and I had all 
the money I wanted. 

From Juarez it v was merely a matter of cross- 
ing the international bridge to be in El Paso. I 
went over. I wanted to see Koglmeier, the 
saddler in South Santa Fe Street, and I wanted 
to visit the detention camp. 

I chose to see the camp first, and had the 

J 129 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

forethought to fill one of the pockets of my over- 
coat with Mexican gold pieces, very welcome to 
my whilom enemies. Poor fellows, they were, 
most of them, in the tattered clothing they had 
worn when captured. Their faces were wan and 
meagre and they were glad enough to accept, 
along with my greeting, the bits of gold I con- 
trived to slip into their hands. 

In the centre of the camp we came upon a 
tent more imposing than its mates, though by 
no means palatial. 

" This," said my cicerone, " is the quarters of 
General Mercado, the ranking officer here. Do 
you wish to pay him your respects? J: 

As I have said, Salvador Mercado is squat and 
thick in build, with a bull neck. Some day, I 
fear, he is going to die of apoplexy, if he does 
not fall, more gloriously, in action. He shows 
certain apoplectic symptoms. For instance, as 
we stepped inside his tent and he saw who one 
of his visitors was, his neck swelled till it threat- 
ened to burst his collar. 

" My General," I assured him warmly, " it is 

indeed a pleasure and an honour to see you again. 

I trust the climate up here agrees with you? >: I 

did not offer him a gold piece when he said 



A Hero in Spite of Myself 

From the detention camp I went to Kogl- 
meier's shop in South Santa Fe Street. Both 
front and rear doors were standing open, and 
through the back of one I could see Koglmeier's 
horse, a beast I had often ridden, switching its 
tail in the yard, which was its stable. I went 
into the store. "Koglmeier!" I called. "Oh, 
Koglmeier ! " 

From the side of the shop stepped out a man 
on whom I had never set eyes before. 

" Koglmeier ain't here." 

"But he must be here," I insisted. "I can 
see his horse out there in the yard." 

" Yes," said the man, "the horse is here, but 
Koglmeier ain't. Nor he won't be. It just hap- 
pens that Koglmeier's dead." 

"When did he die?" 

" The 20th of last December," said the man. 
"But he didn't die. He got murdered." 

On the night of that 20th of December, Kogl- 
meier, the quietest, most inoffensive man in El 
Paso, had been murdered in his shop. It looked, 
said my informant, "like his head had been beat 
in with a hatchet, or something." Robbery 
apparently had not been the motive, for his pos- 
sessions were untouched. If he had made an 
outcry it had not attracted attention, perhaps 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

because a carousal was going full blast in the 
vacant lot beside his place of business. The 
authorities were utterly at sea, and still are. The 
United States Department of Justice agents 
told me they could find no motive for the murder. 
I knew the motive. Koglmeier had kept " my 
documents " for me ; therefore Imperial Germany 
had willed he should die. 

Koglmeier was the only German in El Paso 
who was a friend of mine, and knew of the exist- 
ence of those documents which I had been forced 
to give up through the agency of Mercado's 
firing squads. 

His end subdued the festive spirit in me, and 
I was not sorry when we started back for the 
interior of Mexico. 

Torreon was taken by Villa on April 2, 1914, 
and we settled down there for a brief period of 
rest and recuperation. Rest ! Torreon stands 
out in my memory as the scene of the most hectic 
activity I have indulged in. Raul Madero and 
I have since laughed over the ludicrousness of it. 
But at the time it was deadly serious. My repu- 
tation was at stake. I managed to save it barely 
by the skin of its teeth. 

Chief Trinidad Rodriguez got twenty machine- 
guns down from the United States and turned 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

them over to me. " Train your gun crews and 
get the platoons ready for field service/' he 
ordered. "You can have three weeks. Then I 
shall need them." 

Without a word I saluted and turned on my 
heel. I could not very well tell my General that 
I had never in my life applied even the tip of 
one finger to a machine-gun. 

The guns arrived next day, as promised. They 
had been sent to us bare, just the barrels and 
tripods. There were no holsters, no pack saddles 
for either guns or ammunition, not one of the 
accessories which equip a machine-gun company 
for action. I had to start from the ground, in 
literal truth. And I had not a soul to advise me 
how to begin. 

We loaded the guns on to our wagons, took 
them over to camp, and laid them side by side in 
a long row down the centre of an empty ware- 
house in Torreon. 

That satisfied me for one afternoon. I went 
over to General Rodriguez's quarters. 

"I've got the guns," I reported. 

" Good ! " he cried. " I shall want the platoons 
ready for action in three weeks. Not a day later." 

It was up to me to have them ready. So I got 
busy at once. 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

My first move was an abduction. There hap- 
pened to be in Torreon jail at that time a first- 
class bank robber named Jefferson, who was 
being held for the arrival of extradition papers 
from Texas. The day after my guns arrived 
Jefferson escaped, and though the authorities 
made diligent search they failed to find him. He 
knew more about machine-guns than I did. His 
profession had made him an excellent mechanic. 
Furthermore, he had Yankee ingenuity and 
American "git up and git." We soon had all 
twenty guns set up in working order. 

Then came the problem of the gun crews. Our 
Indians, slow, thick-headed, stubborn and stolid, 
were no fit material for such highly specialised 
work. Machine-gun manipulation requires very 
peculiar qualifications in every man concerned. 
Three men compose the crew. One squats behind 
the shield and pulls the trigger. The second, 
prone, slides the clips of cartridges into the 
breach. The third passes up the supply of am- 
munition. At any moment the gun may heat and 
jam. Also at any moment any one of the trio 
may fall, yet his work must be carried on. I 
had seen a gunner sit on the dying body of a 
comrade and coolly aim and fire, the action being 
so hot there was not time to drag the wounded 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

man aside. You cannot take an Indian wild from 
the hills and in twenty-one days fit him to do 
such work as that by any course of training. 

My only resort was to get my gun crews ready 

A brigade not far away from ours possessed 
machine-gun platoons which were the pride of its 
heart. I looked at them, and broke first the 
Tenth and then the Eighth Commandment. 

To a wise old sergeant I gave a hundred pesos. 

"Juan," I told him, "get the men of those 
machine-gun crews drunk in this quarter of 
Torreon. And encourage them to be noisy." 

Juan obeyed instructions. Once the beer 
and mezcal took hold, the men I wanted became 
boisterous enough to justify our provost guard 
in running them all in. The rest was simple. 
The breach of discipline was condoned by General 
Rodriguez only on condition that the culprits 
were turned over to him for further discipline. 

So I got my gun crews. I was beginning to 
have hopes. The best saddler in the city was 
making holsters. When I first approached him 
with an order he had promptly thrown up his 
hands. " There is not a scrap of leather left in 
Torreon," he said. 

I instantly thought of chair backs. In Spanish 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

countries furniture upholstered in old carved 
Cordovan leather is an heirloom. In time of war 
ruthlessness is a useful quality. I soon pre- 
sented my saddler with sufficient leather for my 
purpose and could turn my attention to pack 
saddles. Not even the sawhorse frames were pro- 
curable in Torreon, but wood was plentiful. And 
there was a jail filled with idle prisoners. Ten 
days after the first sight of my guns I was able 
to report to General Rodriguez that the platoons 
were coming along. 

66 But I have no mules for them yet," I hinted. 

He sent a hundred next day, beauties, fat, 
strong, in the pink of condition. But they had 
come straight down from the tableland. They 
could be trusted to kick saddles, guns, tripods, 
holsters and ammunition cases into nothing at the 
least provocation. 

Torreon was celebrating its new Constitution- 
alism with daily bull fights. Each afternoon, 
.while the fight was on, the plaza before the en- 
trance to the ring was crowded with public rigs 
in waiting, all drawn by sorry-looking mules, 
half fed and too worn out to have a single kick 
left in them. 

With a squad of troopers I descended on the 
plaza one day. No cabby anywhere is markedly 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

shy or retiring, and these were hill-bred mule- 
teers. But we got the mules in the end. 

" You are getting the best of the bargain," I 
assured them. " I am only swopping with you. 
In the corral I have a hundred fine, strong, new 
mules worth three times as much as these played- 
out beasts you are getting rid of. You can have 
the nice new ones to-morrow." 

If General Trinidad ever guessed how thor- 
oughly improvised his favourite outfit was the 
second in command a bank robber on enforced 
vacation, the gunners kidnapped, the equipment 
made by forced labour from commandeered 
material, and the mules snatched rudely from be- 
.tween the shafts of cabs he made no comment. 

He did not live long to enjoy the fruits of my 
labours. In mid-June, during the ten days' attack 
which resulted in the fall of Zacatecas, he was 
mortally wounded. 

I shall always remember that day, not only 
for the death of my chief, but for a personal bit 
of adventure. 

I was temporarily away from my guns with 
some riflemen in a trench. The enemy fire was 
very hot and the men became exceedingly restive. 
Something had to be done to steady them, for 
there was no cover of any sort on the bullet- 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

swept, shrapnel-searched plain behind us. Re- 
treat was impossible. There was plenty of 
horror in the situation the blazing sun, the sense 
of isolation, the cries and curses of the men who 
were being struck. And there was the cactus. 

Unless you have been under fire of high-power 
rifles in a region where the common broad-leaved 
cactus grows you cannot guess its nerve-shaking 
possibilities. A jacketed bullet can pierce a score 
of leaves without much diminution of its velocity, 
and as it goes through the thick, juicy flesh, it lets 
out a sound like the spitting of some gigantic 
cat. Ten Mauser bullets piercing cactus can 
make you believe a ,whole battalion is concen- 
trating its fire on your one small but precious 

The men were getting demoralised. If they 
broke I was done for. If I stayed in the trench 
alone, the Federals would eventually get me and 
stand me up to the nearest wall. If I retreated, 
nothing was gained. 

I stood up, exposing my body from mid-thigh 
upwards to that withering fire, and took out my 
cigarette case. The nearest man .watched side- 
wise, waiting to see me fall. 

By some fortune I was not hit, and after a 
moment looked down at the man beside me. 


A Hero in Spite of Myself 

"Hallo, Pablo!" I said, "why aren't you 
smoking too? ' I offered my case to him, but 
took good care to stretch out my arm quite level. 
To get at the contents he had to rise to his feet. 

Habit won. He did not even hesitate, and I 
held my cigarette, Mexican fashion, for him to 
take a light. Once committed in that fashion, he 
was too proud to show the white feather, and 
he and I smoked our cigarettes out while the 
bullets flew. It was the longest cigarette, I think, 
I ever smoked, but it turned the trick. We held on 
to that trench till darkness put an end to the fire. 

After the capture of Zacatecas I went to the 
staff of General Raul Madero, with the rank of 
Major. The invitation had been extended several 
times before. Now that Trinidad was dead, 
there was nothing to hold me back, and I very 
gladly joined the official family of the brother 
of the murdered President. Since my first as- 
sociation with him, before Ojinaga, he had im- 
pressed me as the ablest man I had seen south of 
the Rio Grande. 

The closer and more constant contact entailed 
by my becoming a member of his staff confirmed 
that feeling. Raul Madero has clarity of intelli- 
gence, an encyclopaedic grasp of Mexican affairs, 
social, religious, political and financial, and a 

A Hero in Spite of Myself 

winning personality that masks abundant energy 
and determination. 

I was associated with him for only six weeks. 
On June 28, 1914, you remember, the Arch- 
duke Francis Ferdinand of Austria was assassin- 
ated. Throughout over three weeks of July 
the Austrian Government was formulating its 
demands on Serbia which culminated in the 
ultimatum of July 23. Long before that I 
had formed my opinion as to which way the wind 
was to blow. And I had a sufficiently conceited 
notion of my usefulness as a trained and ex- 
perienced agent to believe that when the general 
European disturbance should break out my days 
as a soldier of fortune in Mexico would be ended. 

Towards the end of July a stranger brought 
me credentials proving him a messenger from 
Consul Kueck in El Paso. 

"The Consul," he told me, "wishes to ask 
you one question, and the answer is a Yes or a 
No. This is the question : In case your Govern- 
ment wished your services again, could she expect 
to receive them? " 

" In case of war Yes," I answered. 

It was not very long before I received a tele- 
gram from Kueck, 

" Come," was all it said. 



\Var I re-enter the German service and am appointed aide 
to Captain von Papen The German conception of 
neutrality and how to make use of it The plot against 
the Welland Canal. 

THE meaning of Kueck's telegram was plain. 
War had come at last, the war that we had 
expected and prepared for during so many years. 
My country was at war and I must leave what- 
ever I was doing and return to its service. 
I went to Raul Madero with the telegram. 

"It has come," I said. "War! I shall 
have to go." 

We had spoken together too often, during the 
past few weeks, of niy duty in the event of hos- 
tilities for any long discussion to be necessary 
now. I asked for and received all that I believed 
to be necessary a leave of absence for six 
months with the privilege of extension. The 
next day, August 3, 1914, I said good-bye to 
my troops and to my commander and hastened 

north to El Paso. 


Enter Captain von Papen 

At the Hotel El Paso del Norte I met my 
former enemies, Kueck and his stout secretary. 
We had dinner together, and he gave me letters 
containing instructions to proceed to New York 
and to place myself at the disposal of Captain 
Franz von Papen, the German Military Attache 
at Washington. 

" When will Captain von Papen be in New 
York?" I asked. 

" I have just received a communication from 
Papen," replied Kueck, adding with a gratified 
smile, " I am keeping him informed of conditions 
along the border. He will be in New York two 
weeks from to-day." 

There was no necessity for haste, then, and I 
remained in El Paso for five days longer, keep- 
ing my eyes and ears open and learning, among 
other things, more " facts " about Mexico than I 
could have acquired in Mexico itself in a lifetime. 
" There are lies, damned lies and El Pasograms," 
someone has said. I collected enough of the 
last-named to cheer me on my way to Washing- 
ton and to make me marvel that Rome had ever 
been called the father of lies. No wonder news- 
paper correspondents like to report Mexican 
news from El Paso. 

Washington was technically on vacation at the 

Enter Captain von Papen 

time, but there was an unwonted air of excite- 
ment about the city far greater than formerly 
existed when Congress was in full session. At 
the German Embassy I found only a few clerks ; 
but letters from Newport, to which the Am- 
bassador and his staff had gone for the summer, 
informed me that Captain von Papen would 
meet me in New York in a fortnight. And then 
I learned for the first time that it was impossible 
for me to reach Germany, but that I was to be 
assigned to work in the United States. 

I knew what that meant, of course, and I was 
not wholly unprepared for it. Secret agents 
could be very useful in a neutral country, and 
I knew, from my acquaintance with German 
methods in Europe that plans would already 
have been made for conserving German interests 
in the United States. What those plans were I 
did not know; but my only immediate concern 
was to remove any possible suspicion from myself 
by doing something which on the surface would 
seem to be absolutely idiotic. 

I became violently and noisily pro-German. 
On the train I entered into arguments (as a 
matter of fact I could not have escaped them if 
I tried) in which I stoutly defended the invasion 
of Belgium and prophesied an early victory for 

I 43 

Enter Captain von Papen 

Germany. And when I arrived in New York 
I registered at the Holland House, where my 
actions would be more conspicuous than at one of 
the larger hotels, and proceeded to make myself 
as noticeable as possible by spending a great deal 
more money than I could afford and talking. 

In a day or two the reporters were on my 
trail and I became their obliging prey. What I 
told them I do not now remember in its entirety, 
but newspaper clippings of the day assure me 
that I made many wild and bombastic statements, 
promising that Paris would be captured in a very 
few weeks in a word uttering the most flagrant 
nonsense. The reporters decided that I was a 
fool and deftly conveyed that impression to their 
readers. And in a very brief time I had the 
satisfaction of learning that I was everywhere 
regarded as a person of considerably more 
loquacity than intelligence. 

That was the very reputation I had attempted 
to get. I wanted to be known and widely 
as a braggart, a spendthrift, a rattlebrain, for the 
very excellent reason that in no other way could 
I so easily divert suspicion from myself later. 
I was a German, and consequently under the 
surveillance of enemy secret agents, with whom 

oh, believe me ! the United States was filled. 



1 ^ i J r 


- 1 l\* J 


4 ^4 




Enter Captain von Papen 

It was impossible for me to escape some notice. 
Since that was the case, the safest course for me 
to pursue was to comport myself in such a way 
that all interested persons would report (as I 
afterwards learned they did report) that I was 
not worth watching, since no sane Government 
would ever employ me. 

While I was engaged in achieving this enviable 
reputation, I had managed to keep in touch with 
the Imperial German Consulate in New York, 
and on August 21 I had received from the Vice- 
Consul, Dr. Kraske, a note informing me that 
the "gentleman who is interested in you" 
Captain von Papen " will meet you next morn- 
ing at the Consulate/' That letter was to figure 
two years later in the trial of Captain Hans 
Tauscher. I reproduce it here. You might note 
that it is addressed to " Baron von der Goltz," 
although my card did not bear that title, and I 
had registered at the Holland House under my 
Mexican military title of Major. 

Upon the following morning I went to that 
old building at Number Eleven Broadway. There, 
in a little room in the offices of the Imperial 
German Consulate, began a series of meetings 
which were designed to bear fruit of the greatest 
consequences to the United States which would, 

K 145 

Enter Captain von Papen 

had they been successful, have made American 
neutrality a lie, and would have perhaps drawn 
the United States into a serious conflict with Eng- 
land, if not into actual war. 

I remember von Papen's enthusiasm as he 
outlined the general programme to me. "It was 
merely a question of tying their hands" that 
was the burden of his statements, time and again. 
We could hope for nothing from American 
neutrality ; it was a fraud, a deception. Washing- 
ton could not see the German view-point at all. 
Everything was done to favour England. Why, 
the entire country was supporting the Allies 
the Government, the Press, the people all of 
them ! Nowhere was there a good word for Ger- 
many. And that in spite of the excellent propa- 
ganda that Germany was conducting. I remember 
that the failure of German propaganda was an 
especially sore spot with him. 

" How about the German- Americans ? ' I 
asked him upon one occasion. 

He made a sound that was between a grunt 
and a cough. 

" I am attending to them," was his reply. 

I did not understand what he meant until 
much later. 

We talked much of American participation in 


Enter Captain von Papen 

the war in those days. Papen was convinced that 
it would come sooner or later ; and certainly upon 
the side of the Entente unless the German- 
Americans could be brought into line. They 
were being attended to, he would repeat, but 
meanwhile it was necessary for us to decide upon 
some immediate action. Of course, there was 
Mexico to be considered. It was too bad that 
Huerta had fallen. What did I think of Villa? 
Could he be persuaded to cause a diversion if the 
United States abandoned its neutrality? 

I told him that I thought it very unlikely. 
"He is not very friendly towards Germans," I 
said, " and he appreciates the importance of keep- 
ing on good terms with the United States. No, 
I don't think you can reach him now. Later, 
he may take a different attitude when we have 
had a few more victories." 

Von Papen nodded. I was probably right, he 
thought. We must show these ignorant people 
how powerful the Germans were. It would have 
a great moral effect . But that was for the future. 
In the meantime, what did I think of this letter 
as a suggestion for possible immediate action? 

1 This letter" was from a man named Schu- 
macher, who lived in Oregon, at Eden Bower 
Farm. He had written to the Embassy, suggest- 


Enter Captain von Papen 

ing that we should secretly fit out motor-boats 
armed with machine-guns, and using Buffalo, De- 
troit, Cleveland and Chicago as bases, make raids 
upon Canadian cities and towns on the Great 

There were some good features in the plan- 
its value as a means of terrorising Canadians, for 
instance but it was doubtful whether at that time 
we could carry it out successfully. Then, too, 
we could not be sure whether it was not merely 
a trap for us. Papen had been making inquiries 
about Schumacher and was not entirely satisfied 
as to his good faith. 

There was a number of other schemes which 
we considered at this time. One was to equip 
reservists of the German Army, then in the 
United States, and co-operating with German 
warships, then in the Pacific Ocean, to invade 
Canada from the State of Washington. This plan 
was abandoned because of the impossibility of 
securing enough artillery for our purposes. 

Another plan that we considered more care- 
fully involved an expedition against Jamaica. 
This was a much more feasible scheme than any 
that had been proposed thus far, and we spent 
many days over it. It seemed fairly probable that 
with an army of ragamuffins which I could easily 


Enter Captain von Papen 

recruit in Mexico and Central America, we could 
make a success of it. Arms were easy to secure ; 
in fact, we had a very well equipped arsenal in 
New York ; and filibustering had become so com- 
mon since the outbreak of the Mexican revolution 
that it would be easy to obtain what additional 
material we needed without disclosing our pur- 
pose. On the whole, the idea looked promising, 
and matters had gone so far that von Papen 
secured my appointment as captain, so that in the 
event of my being captured on British soil with 
arms in my hand I should be treated as a prisoner 
of war. 

Then just when we \vere making final prepara- 
tions for my departure from New York, von 
Papen came to me in great excitement and said 
he had come upon a plan that would serve our 
purposes to perfection. Canada was, after all, 
our principal objective ; we could strike a telling 
blow against it, and at the same time create con- 
sternation throughout America by blowing up the 
canals which connected the Great Lakes ! 

" It is comparatively simple," said von Papen. 
"If we blow up the locks of these canals the 
main railway lines of Canada and the principal 
grain elevators will be crippled. Immediately 
we shall destroy one of England's chief sources 


Enter Captain von Papen 

of food supply as well as hamper the transporta- 
tion of war materials. Canada will be thrown 
into a panic and public opinion will demand that 
her troops be held for home defence. But, best 
of all, it .will make the Canadians believe that the 
thousands of German reservists and the millions 
of German- Americans in the United States are 
planning active military operations against the 

I looked at him in surprise. Where had he 
got such a plan? Papen enlightened me with his 
next words. 

Two men not Germans but violently anti- 
English had come to him with the suggestion, 
he said. It was in a very indefinite form as yet, 
but the idea was certainly worth careful considera- 
tion. He wished me to discuss the matter .with 
the two men at my hotel. 

It did seem a good plan. As I discussed it the 
next evening with the two men, whom von Papen 
had sent to me, it seemed entirely practicable and 
immensely important. Together we went over 
maps and diagrams, which showed the vulnerable 
points of the different canals and railways. After 
a number of conferences with them and with von 
Papen the plot took definite shape as a plan to 
blow up the Welland Canal. 

Enter Captain von Papen 

" It can be done," I told von Papen one day, 
and together we discussed the details. Finally 
von Papen looked up from the notes we had been 

' ' I think it will do admirably, ' ' he said. " Will 
you undertake it? ' 

I nodded. 

" Good ! " said von Papen. " I shall leave the 
details to you but keep me informed of your 
needs, and I shall see that they are taken care of." 

So began the plot which was literally to carry 
the war into America. My first need was for 
men, and for help in getting these I appealed to 
von Papen, who obligingly furnished me with a 
letter of introduction made out in the name of 
Bridgeman H. Taylor to Mr. Luederitz, the 
German Consul at Baltimore. There were several 
German ships interned at that port, and we felt 
that we should have no difficulty in recruiting our 


force from them. 

Before I went to Baltimore, however, I did 
engage one man, Charles Tucker, alias Tuch- 
haendler, who had already had some dealings with 
the two men who originally proposed the scheme. 

Tucker accompanied me to Baltimore, and to- 
gether we paid a visit to Consul Luederitz. The 
Consul glanced at the letter I presented to him. 

Enter Captain von Papen 

"Captain von Papen requests me to give you 
all the assistance you may ask for, Major von der 
Goltz," he said, intimating by the use of my 
name that he had previously been informed of the 
enterprise. " I shall be happy to do anything in 
my power. What is it you wish? " 

Men, I told him, were my chief need at the 
moment. He said that there should be no diffi- 
culty about securing them. There was a German 
ship in the harbour at the time, and we could 
doubtless make use of part of the crew and an 
officer, if we desired. He offered me his visiting- 
card, on the back of which he wrote a note of 
recommendation to the captain of the ship. But 
while we were talking this man entered the office 
and we made our preliminary arrangements there. 

The following day, a Sunday, Tucker and I 
visited the ship and after dinner selected our men, 
who were informed of their prospective duties. I 
also listened to the news that was being received 
on board by wireless; for the captain was still 
allowed to receive messages, although the harbour 
authorities had forbidden him to use his apparatus 
for sending purposes. 

I needed nothing more in Baltimore, so far as 
my present plans were concerned, but at Consul 
Luederitz's suggestion I decided to furnish my- 


Enter Captain von Papen 

self with a passport, made out in my nom de 
guerre of Bridgeman Taylor. Luederitz was of 
the opinion that it might be useful at some future 
time as a means of proving that I was an American 
citizen, and accordingly we had one of the clerks 
make out an application, which was duly for- 
warded to Washington; and on August 31 the 
State Department furnished the non-existent 
Mr. Bridgeman H. Taylor with a very comfort- 
ing, although, as it turned out, a decidedly 
dangerous document. One other thing I needed 
at the moment a pistol, for my own was out of 
order. This Mr. Luederitz provided me with 
from the effects of an Austrian who had com- 
mitted suicide in Baltimore 1 not long before, and 
whose property, in the absence of an Austrian 
Consulate in the city, had been turned over to 
the German Consul. 

The days immediately following my return to 
New York were filled with preparations for our 
coup. I engaged three additional men to act as 
my lieutenants, acquainted them with the main 
objects of our plan, and agreed to pay them daily 
while in New York, and to add a bonus when our 
enterprise should succeed. These men had all 
been well recommended to me, and I knew I could 
trust them thoroughly. One, Fritzen, who was 

Enter Captain von Papen 

later captured in Los Angeles, had been a purser 
on a Russian ship. A second, Busse, was a com- 
mercial agent who had lived for many years in 
England; the third bore the Italian name of 

Meanwhile I saw von Papen frequently, and 
had on one occasion received from him a cheque 
for two hundred dollars, which I needed for the 
sailors who were coming from Baltimore. That 
cheque, which is reproduced in this book, was to 
prove a singularly disastrous piece of paper, for 
in order to avoid connecting my name with that 
of von Papen, it was made out to Bridgeman 
Taylor. I cashed it through a friend, Frederick 
Stallforth, whose brother, Alberto Stallforth, had 
been the German Consul at Parral when I was 
there. He, incidentally, syas later implicated in the 
Bintelen trial, and was detained for a time on Ellis 
Island, from which he was subsequently released. 

Mr. Stallforth lifted his eyebrows when he saw 
the name on the cheque. I smiled. 

" I am Bridgeman Taylor/' I told him. He 
laughed, but said nothing, merely getting the 
cheque cashed for me at the German Club in 
Central Park South, of which he was a member. 

In a few days everything jvas ready. My men 
had arrived from Baltimore, my plans ;were 


Enter Captain von Papen 

definitely made I needed but one thing : the 
explosives. These, von Papen told me, I could 
obtain through Captain Hans Tauscher, the 
American agent of the Krupps, which meant, in 
effect, the German Government. 

It was asserted many times, in 1916 especially, 
that the charges against Captain Tauscher were 
utterly unfounded. It is easy to understand the 
motives of this gentleman's defenders. There 
are many people still in the United States 
whose friendship with the amiable captain would 
wear a decidedly suspicious look were his com- 
plicity in the anti-American plots of the first two 
years of the war to be proved. I shall not quarrel 
with these people. But reproduced in this book 
are four documents, the originals of which are in 
the possession of the Department of Justice, 
which tell their own story and are a fair indication 
of the way I secured the explosives I needed. 

These documents show : 

First, that on September 5, 1914, Captain 
Tauscher, American representative of the 
Krupps, ordered from the du Pont de Nemoury 
Powder Company 300 pounds of 60 per cent* 
dynamite to be delivered to bearer, " Mr. Bridg 
man Taylor," and to be charged to Captain 


Enter Captain von Papen 

Second, that on September 11, the du Pont 
Company sent Captain Tauscher a bill for the 
same amount of dynamite delivered to Bridgman 
Taylor, New York City, on September 5 ; and 
on September 16 they sent him a second bill 
for forty-five feet of fuse delivered to Bridgman 
Taylor on September 13 the total of the two 
bills amounting to $31.13. 

Third, that on December 29, 1914, Tauscher 
sent a bill to Captain von Papen for a total 
amount of $503.24. The third item, dated 
September 11, was for $31.18. 

Is it difficult to tell of whom I got my ex- 
plosives or who eventually paid for them? I got 
the dynamite, at any rate, by calling for it myself 
at one of the company's barges in a motor boat, 
and taking it away in suit cases. At 146th Street 
and the Hudson River we left the boat, and, 
carrying the explosives with us, went to the 
German Club, .where I applied to von Papen for 
automatic pistols, batteries, detonators, and wire 
for exploding the dynamite* Von Papen 
promised them in two or three days and he 
kept his word.* 

I * It is interesting to remember that Captain von Papen had in the 
earlier part of the year, while he was still in Mexico, conducted an 
investigation into the types of explosives used in Mexico for similar 
enterprises. This investigation had been undertaken at the request 


Enter Captain von Papen 

Bit by bit, all this material was removed from 
the German Club in suit cases by taxi-cab. 
They were exciting rides we took in those days, 
and my heart was often in my mouth when our 
chauffeur turned corners in approved New York 
fashion. But luckily there were no accidents, and 
in a day or so all of our materials were stored 
away; part of them in my apartments not in 
the Holland House, alas ! but in a cheap section 
of Harlem. For von der Goltz, the spendthrift, 
the braggart, was seen no longer in the gay 
places of New York. He had spent all his 
money, and now, no longer of interest to the 
newspapers or to the secret agents of the Allies 
had taken a two dollar and a half room in 
Harlem where he could repent his follies and 
be as inconspicuous as he pleased. 

So it came about that towards the middle of 
September we five Fritzen, Busse, Tucker, 
Covani and myself took train for Buffalo, 
armed with dynamite, automatic guns, deton- 
ators and other necessary implements, and pro- 
ceeded, absolutely unmolested, to go to Buffalo. 
There I engaged rooms at 198 Delaware Avenue 
and began to reconnoitre the ground. I made 

of the German Ministry of War. Letters regarding this matter were 
found in Captain von Papen's effects by the British authorities, and 
are printed in the British White Paper, Miscellaneous No. 6 (1916). 


Enter Captain von Papen 

a trip or two over the Niagara River via aero- 
plane, with an aviator who unquestionably 
thought me mad and charged accordingly ; and at 
the suggestion of von Papen I secured money for 
my expenses from a Buffalo lawyer, John Ryan. 

It had been decided that von Papen should let 
us know when the Canadian troops were about 
to leave camp so that we might strike at the 
psychological moment. A telegram came from 
him, signed with the non-committal name of 
Steffens, telling me that Ryan had money and 
instructions. Ryan gave me the money, as I 
have stated, but insisted that he had no instruc- 
tions whatever. 

Then, after a stay of several days in Niagara, 
during which we did nothing but exchange futile 
telegrams with Ryan and " Mr. Steffens," we 
learned that the first contingent of Canadian 
troops had left the camp and my men and I 
returned to New York unsuccessful. 

Our failure was greater than appears on the 
surface, for my men and I were a blind. Our 
equipment, our loud talking, our aggressive pro- 
Germanism even our secret preparations which 
had not been secret enough were intended 
primarily to distract attention from other and 
far more dangerous activities. 


Enter Captain von Papen 

We had been watched by United States Secret 
Service men from the very beginning of our 
enterprise. During our entire stay in Buffalo 
and Niagara we had been under the surveillance 
of men who were merely waiting for us to make 
their suspicions a certainty by some positive at- 
tempt against the peace of the United States. 
We knew it and wanted it to be so. 

And while they were waiting for sufficient 
cause to arrest us, other men, totally unsuspected, 
were making their way down through Canada, 
intent upon destroying all of the bridges and 
canal locks in the lake region! 

You can see what the effect would have been 
had our plan succeeded Canada crippled and 
terrorised England robbed of the troops which 
Canada was even then preparing to send her, 
but which would have been forced to remain at 
home to defend the border. But, far more de- 
sirable in German eyes, the United States would 
have been convicted in the sight of the world of 
criminal negligence. For my band of men the 
obvious perpetrators of one crime had been 
acting suspiciously for weeks. And yet, in spite 
of that, we were at liberty. The United States 
had made no effort to apprehend us. 

Good fortune saved the United States from 

Enter Captain von Papen 

serious international complications at that time. 
While we were waiting for word from von Papen 
the Canadian troops had left Valcartier Camp, 
and were then on their way to England. Part 
of our object had been removed, and for the rest 
well, the plan would keep, we thought. 

It was a disappointed von Papen whom I met 
on my return to New York a rather crestfallen 
person, far different from the urbane soldier 
that Washington knew in those days. We 
commiserated with each other upon our failure, 
and talked of the better luck that we should have 
next time. I did not know that there was to 
be no next time for me. 

For it came about that Abteilung III. B., the 
Intelligence Department of the General Staff, 
wished some first-hand information about condi- 
tions in the United States and in Mexico; and 
I, who knew both countries (and who was the 
possessor of an American passport bearing an 
American name), was selected to go. 

On October 3, 1914, Bridgeman Taylor 
waved farewell to New York from the deck of 
an Italian steamer, bound for Genoa. The 
curious might have been interested to know that 
in Mr. Taylor's trunk were letters of recom- 
mendation to various German Consuls in Italy; 




"NE\v YORK. 27, viii, 14. I request the Consuls in Baltimore and St. Paul to give 

the bearer of this letter Mr. Bridgeman Taylor all the assistance he may ask for. 

VoT* PAPEN, Captain in the General Staff of the Army and Military Attache." 

(See p. 151) 

Enter Captain von Papen 

strangely enough, they bore the name of Horst 
von der Goltz within them, and the signature of 
each was "von Papen." 

I had said good-bye to von Papen the night 
before at the German Club. He had asked me 
to hand over to him all the firearms I had, for 
use again when needed. 

We talked of the war that night, and of Ger- 
many, which I had not seen in two years. And 
we spoke of the United States, and of what I 
,was to tell them " over there." 

" Say that they need not worry about this 
country," he told me. " The United States may 
still join us in the splendid fight we are making. 
But if they do not it is of small moment. And 
always remember that if things look bad for us, 
something will happen over here." 

I left him, speculating upon the " something " 
that would happen; for then I did not know of 
all the plans that were in my captain's head. I 
.was to learn more about them later and I was 
to know a bitter disgust at the things that men 
may do in the name of patriotism. But of these 
matters I will speak in their proper place. 




I go to Germany on a false passport Italy in the early 
days of the war I meet the Kaiser and talk to him 
about Mexico and the United States. 

IT was peaceful sailing in those early days of 
the war, and our ship, the Duca d'Aosta, reached 
Genoa without mishap. I had but one moment 
of trepidation on the voyage, for on the last 
day the ship was hailed by a British cruiser. 
Here, I thought, was where I should put my 
passport to the test but, as it happened, our ship 
was not searched. An officer came alongside 
inquiring, among other things, if there were any 
Germans on board, but he accepted the captain's 
assurance that there was none to my intense 

Genoa, like all the rest of the world, was in a 
state of great excitement in those days. Rumours 
as to the possible course of the Italian Govern- 
ment were flying about everywhere, and one 
could hear in an hour as many conflicting state- 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

ments of the Government's intentions as he might 
wish. The country was a battlefield of the 
propagandists at the moment. Nearly all of the 
German Consuls, who had been forced to leave 
Africa at the declaration of war, had taken up 
their quarters in Italy, and were busily dissemin- 
ating pro-German literature of all sorts. I was 
told, too, that the French Ambassador had 
already spent large sums of money buying 
Italian papers in which to present the Allied 
cause to the as yet neutral people of Italy. And 
when I went into the office of the Imperial Ger- 
man Consul-General, von Nerf, I was amused 
to see a huge pile of copies of of all papers in 
the world! the Berlin Vorwaerts, which had 
been imported for distribution throughout the 
country. Here was a pretty comedy ! This 
newspaper, which during its entire existence had 
been the bitterest foe of German autocracy in the 
Empire, had become a propagandist sheet for its 
former enemy and was now being used as a lure 
for the hesitating sympathies of the Italian 
people ! In German, French and Italian editions 
it was spread about the country, carrying the 
message of Teutonic righteousness to the unin- 

I found von Nerf to be a large man, with 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

.whiskers that recalled those of Tirpitz, although 
^without that gentleman's temperament or embon- 
point. He assured me that Italy would never 
enter the war; there were too many factions in 
the country which would oppose such a step. 

" Why, consider," he bade me, " we have the 
three most important parties on our side. The 
Catholics will never consent to a break with 
Germany ; the business men are all our stanch 
partisans; and the Labour Party is too violently 
opposed to war ever to consider entering it. 
Besides," he continued, "labouring men all over 
the world know that it is in Germany that the 
Labour Party has reached its greatest strength. 
Why, then, should they consider taking sides 
against us? ' 

" But do you think that there is any chance of 
Italy entering the war on our side? " I asked him. 

Von Nerf shrugged his shoulders. "It is 
doubtful," was his reply. "What could they do 
in their situation? " 

I had come to von Nerf .with von Papen's 
letter of introduction, to ask for assistance in 
reaching Germany. Accordingly he arranged for 
my passage, and soon I was on a train bound for 
Milan and Kuf stein, where I was to change for 

the train to Munich. At that time the German 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

Consuls were paying the passage of thousands of 
Germans who wished to leave Italy for service in 
the army. The train on which I travelled was 
full of these volunteers, who later disembarked 
at Kufstein, on the Austro-German border, to 
report to the military authorities there. 

At Munich we passed some wounded who were 
being taken from the front the first real glimpse 
of the war that I had had. There was little 
evidence of any war feeling in the Bavarian 
capital; restaurants .were crowded, and everyone 
was light-hearted and confident of victory. I 
saw few signs of any hatred there, or elsewhere 
during my stay in Germany. All that there was 
was directed against England; France was uni- 
versally respected, and I heard only expressions 
of regret that she was in the war. 

On the train from Munich to Berlin I had the 
first good meal I had eaten in several weeks. It 
was good to sit down to something besides miles 
of spaghetti and indigestible anchovies. And 
the price was only two marks for that was 
long before the days of the Food Controller 
and $45 ham. 

Berlin was filled with Austrian officers, some of 
them belonging to motor batteries the famous 
'32 's which had been built before the war in the 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

Krupp factories, not for Germany for that 
would have occasioned additional armaments on 
the part of France but by Austria, who could 
increase her strength without suspicion. The 
city, always martial in appearance, had changed 
less than one would have expected. There, too, 
the restaurants were filled; in particular the 
Piccadilly, which had been rechristened the 
Fatherland, and was enjoying an exceptional 
popularity in consequence. One was wise to go 
early if he wished to secure a table there; and 
that fortunate person could see the dining-room 
filled with happy crowds, eating and drinking, 
and applauding vociferously when "Die Wacht 
am Rhein " or some other patriotic air was played. 
I had returned to Germany for two purposes : 
to fight, and to bring full details of conditions in 
Mexico and the United States to the War Office. 
One of my first official visits was paid to the 
Foreign Office, where I found everyone busy 
with routine matters and very little concerned 
about the success or failure of the German 
propaganda in Italy an attitude in marked 
contrast to that of the General Staff. There the 
first question asked of me related to conditions in 
Italy. This indifference of the Foreign Office 
would seem, in the light of after events, to in- 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

dicate a false security on the Ministry's part; 
but in reality the facts are otherwise. Germany 
had never expected Italy to enter the war on the 
side of the Central Powers ; she did hope that her 
former ally would remain neutral, and at that 
time was doing her utmost to keep her so, both 
by propaganda and by assuring her of a supply 
of coal and other commodities, for which Italy 
had formerly depended upon England, and which 
Germany now hoped to secure for her from 
America. But even at the time of my visit the 
indications of Italy's future course were fairly 
clear and the Foreign Office was accepting its 
failure with as good grace as it could. 

But if the Foreign Office were indifferent to 
the attitude of Italy, it was intensely interested 
in that of Turkey, which had not yet entered the 
war. It seemed to me as if Mannesmann and Com- 
pany, a house whose interests in the Orient are 
probably more extensive than those of any other 
German company, seemed almost to have taken 
possession of the Colonial Office, so many of its 
employees were in evidence there; and I had 
an extended conference with Bergswerkdirektor 
Steinmann, who had formerly been in charge of 
the Asia Minor interests of this company. 
Mexico, of course, .was the principal topic of our 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

conversation, but many times he spoke of Turkey 
and of the small doubt that existed as to her 
future course of action. 

Next door to the Foreign Office, every corner 
of which was a-hum with busy clerks and officials, 
stood the house to which I had been taken from 
Gross Lichterfelde so many years before 
" Samuel Meyer's Bude." It was very quiet and 
empty to outward appearance ; and yet from 
within that silent, deserted house, I think it safe 
to say, the destiny of Europe .was being directed. 
It was there that the Kaiser spent his days when 
he was in Berlin. And it was there that the 
Imperial Chancellor had his office and deter- 
mined more than any man, except the Kaiser, the 
policies of the Empire. 

One entered the house, going directly into a 
large room that was occupied no longer by the 
round-faced man of my cadet days, but by As- 
sessor Horstman, the head of the Intelligence 
Department of the Foreign Office. Upstairs 
was the private office of the Emperor, and, to the 
rear of that, the Nachrichten Bureau a news- 
paper propaganda and intelligence office, 
directed by the Kaiser and under the charge of 
Legation-Secretary Weber. 

I visited the Turkish Legation, at the sugges- 

My Interview with the Kaiser 

tion of Herr Steinmann, and discussed at length 
and very seriously with the Ambassador the 
attitude of Italy and its effect upon Turkey's 
possible entry into the war. He assured me that 
the only thing necessary to make Turkey take part 
in the conflict was a guarantee that Germany 
jvas capable of handling the Italian situation, 
and that whatever Italy might do would not 
affect Turkish interests. 

But it was with the General Staff that my chief 
business was. At the outbreak of hostilities this 
the " War Office " so-called had become two 
organisations. One, devoted to the actual super- 
vision of the forces in the field, had its head- 
quarters in Charleville, France, far behind the 
battle front; the other branch remained in the 
dingy old building on the Koenig's Platz, in 
which it had always been quartered. It is here 
that the army department of "Intelligence," 
officially known as Abteilung III. B, is located, 
and it was to this department that I had been 

Von Papen had, of course, communicated to 
Berlin an account of our various activities, and 
there was little that I could add to the informa- 
tion the department possessed about conditions 
in the United States. Mexico seemed rather the 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

chief point of interest, and Major Kohnemann, 
to whom I spoke, asked innumerable questions 
about the attitude of Villa towards both the 
United States and Germany; what I thought of 
his chances of ultimate success, and whether I 
believed that he, if he succeeded, would be more 
friendly to Germany than Carranza was at the 
time. After an hour of such discussion, which 
more closely resembled a cross-examination, he 
suddenly rose. 

"Your information is of great interest, Cap- 
tain von der Goltz," he said. " I shall ask you to 
return here at five o'clock this evening. Wear 
your heaviest underclothing. You are going to 
see the Emperor." 

I started. Prussian officers do not joke as a 
rule, but for the life of me I could not see any 
sane connection between his last two remarks. 
The major must have noticed my perplexity, for 
he smiled as he continued : 

"You are going to travel by Zeppelin," he 
explained. " It will be very cold." 

That night I drove by motor to a point on the 
outskirts of the city, where a Zeppelin was moored. 
It was one of those which had formerly been fitted 
up for passenger service, and was now used when 

quick transportation of a small number of men 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

was necessary. There were several officers of 
the General Staff whose immediate presence at 
Coblenz, where the Emperor had stationed him- 
self, was needed; and since speed was essential 
we were to travel in this way. 

The miles lying between Berlin and Coblenz 
seemed but so many rods to me, as I sat in 
the saloon of the great airship, resting and talk- 
ing to my fellow-passengers. One would have 
thought that we had been travelling but a few 
moments when suddenly there loomed below us 
in the moonlight the twin fortresses of Ehren- 
breitstein and Coblenz, each built upon a high 
plateau. Between them, in the valley, the lights 
of the city shone dimly ; in the centre of the town 
was the Schloss, where the Emperor awaited us. 

But I did not see the Emperor that night. 
Instead, I was shown to a room in the castle a 
room lighted by candle and there my attendant 
bade me good night. 

At half-past three I was awakened by a knock 
at the door. " Please dress," said a voice. " His 
Majesty wishes to see you at four o'clock." 

It was still dark when at four o'clock I entered 
that room on the ground floor of the castle where 
the Emperor of Emperors worked and ate and 
slept. In the dim light I saw him, bent over a 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

table on which was piled correspondence of all 
kinds. He did not seem to have heard me enter 
the room, and as he continued to work, signing 
paper after paper with great rapidity, I looked 
down and noticed that, in my haste to appear 
before him on time, I had dressed completely save 
for one thing. I was in my stocking feet. 

I coughed to announce my presence. He 
looked up then, and I saw that he wore a Litewka, 
that undress military jacket which is used by 
soldiers for stable duty, and which German officers 
wear sometimes in their homes. But the face 
that met mine startled me almost out of my 
composure ; for it was more like the countenance 
of Pancho Villa than that of Wilhelm Hohen- 
zollern. That face, as a rule so majestic in its 
expression, was drawn and lined; his hair was 
disarranged and showed numerous bald patches* 
which it ordinarily covered. And his moustache 
for so many years the target of friend and 
foe which was always pointed so arrogantly 
upwards, drooped down and gave him a dis- 
pirited look which I had never seen him wear 

In a word, it was an extremely nervous and 
not a stolid Teutonic person who sat before me 
in that room. And it was not an assertive, but 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

merely a very tired human being who finally 
addressed me. 

"I am sorry to have been obliged to call you 
at this hour," he said, " but I am very busy, and 
it is important that I should see you." 

And then, instead of ordering me to report to 
him, instead of commanding me to tell him those 
things which I had been sent to tell him, this 
autocrat, this so-called man of iron, spoke to me 
as one man to another, almost as a friend speaks 
to a friend. 

I do not remember all that we spoke of in that 
half-hour the three years that have passed have 
brought me too much of experience for me to 
recall clearly more than the general tenor of our 
conversation. It is his manner that I remember 
most vividly, and the general impression of the 
scene. For as I stood before him then, it sud- 
denly seemed to me that he spoke and looked as 
a man will who is confronted by a problem that 
for the moment has staggered him not because 
of its immensity, but because he sees now that he 
has always misunderstood it. 

Here, I thought, is a man accustomed to 
facing all issues with grand words and a show of 
arrogance ; and now at a time when oratory is of 
no avail, he finds himself still indomitable, per- 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

haps, but a trifle lost, a trifle baffled, when he 
contemplates the work before him. For Wilhelm 
II. had laboured for years to prevent, or if that 
were impossible, to come victoriously through, the 
crisis which he knew must some day develop, and 
which he himself had at last precipitated. He 
had striven constantly to entrench Germany in 
a position that would command the world; and 
had sought to concentrate, so far as may be, the 
trouble spots of the world into one or two, to the 
end that Germany, when the time came, might 
extinguish them at a blow. But the time had 
come, and he knew that, despite his efforts, there 
were not two, but many issues that must be faced, 
and each one separately. He had striven with a 
sort of perverted altruism to prepare the world 
for those things which he believed to be right and 
which, therefore, must prevail. And now after 
long years of preparation, of diplomatic intrigue 
with its record of nations bribed, threatened, or 
cajoled into submission or alliance, he was faced 
with a condition which gave the lie to his expecta- 
tions, and he knew that "failure " must be writ- 
ten across the years. Russia and Japan were for 
the moment lost; Italy was making ready to cut 
itself loose from that alliance which had been so 

insecurely founded upon mistrust. And in 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

America who could tell? And yet for all that 
I read weariness and bewilderment in his every 
tone, I could find in him no trace of hesitation 
or uncertainty. Instead, I knew that running 
through every fibre of the man there was an un- 
questioning assurance of victory a victory that 
must come ! 

While I stood there imagining these things, he 
spoke of our aims in Europe and in America and 
of the things that must be done to bring them to 
success. He bade me tell him the various details 
of our affairs in Mexico and the United States; 
and he, like Kohnemann, was chiefly interested 
in Mexico. It was, in fact, almost suspicious, his 
interest was so great ; and I could explain it only 
in one way that he viewed Mexico as the ulti- 
mate battlefield of Japan and the United States 
in the next great struggle the struggle for the 
mastery of the Pacific. For just as Belgium has 
been the battlefield of Europe, so must Mexico 
be the battleground of America in that war which 
the future seems to be preparing. 

I remember wondering, as he spoke of what 
might come to pass, at the tremendous familiarity 
he displayed with the points of view of the 
peoples and Governments of both Americas. I 
had thought myself well acquainted with condi- 


My Interview with the Kaiser 

tions in both continents ; but here was a man 
separated by thousands of miles from the peoples 
of whom he talked, whose knowledge was, never- 
theless, more correct, as I saw it, than that of 
anyone Dernburg not excepted whom I had 

It was then, I think, that he told me what 
Germany wished of me, outlining briefly those 
things which he thought I could do best. 

" You can serve us," he said, " in Turkey or in 
America. In the one you will have an oppor- 
tunity to fight as thousands of your countrymen 
are fighting. In the other, you will have chosen 
a task that is not so pleasant, perhaps, and not 
less dangerous, but which will always be regarded 
honourably by your Emperor, because it is work 
that must be done. Which do you choose? >! 

I hesitated a moment. 

" It shall be as your Majesty wishes," I said 

He looked at me closely before he spoke again. 
"It is America, then." 

And then, as I bowed in acquiescence, he 
spoke once more for the last time so far as my 
ears are concerned. 

"I must be ready by 7; my train leaves at 

7.10. I may never see you again, but I shall 


N O 2175 

NRW YORK CITY. N.Y., Sept* U. 1914 

,,. 30 DAr.HdBjl 10 day 

Tausoher .HIPPIE* idga.n Taylor 

Bay.. N Y City. D S TN*r,oJaw York City 

Called For *"? 
3/5/14. (N Un B 9 B 

200 Iba d.pont Straight- 60jt iix8 os 3 ,l?i-H 51,00 

FOB wt* York 



A^ New YORK CITY, N. Y., rc^ T K ,^ (< . 


30 OAtsjjirr 2jJ 10 DAYS. 



CUSTOMER;. B o.A- I 07 I * o. LOC.WORK 

SM , PT ( / H M NCW YORK. V1A CAR^' T ' 


5 %- 

45 ' Z tlT^ HfMP FUSF 3 30-lyt .13 

ro< rw YORK. 
TH*$ FUSE OT IK e*t 




My Interview with the Kaiser 

always know that you have done your duty. 

And so I left him this man who is a menace 
to his people, not because he is vicious or from 
any criminal intent; not, I believe, because his 
personal ambitions are such that his country 
must bleed to satisfy them; but merely because 
his mind is the outcome of a system and an 
education so divorced from fact that he could 
not see the evil of his own position if it were 
explained to him. 

For in spite of his remarkable grasp of the 
facts of Empire, the deeper human realities have 
passed him by. For years he has had a private 
clipping bureau for his own information; but he 
does not know that he has never seen any but the 
clippings that the Junkers those who stood to 
gain by the success of his present course have 
wished him to see. He does not know that he 
has been shut out from many chapters of the 
world's real history ; or that this insidious censor- 
ship has kept from him those things which, I am 
sure, had he known in the days when his intellect 
.was susceptible to the influence of fact, would 
have made him a man instead of an Emperor. 

Here jvas a man who honestly believed that he 
was doing what .was best for his people, but so 

M I 77 

My Interview with the Kaiser 

hopelessly warped by his training and so closely 
surrounded by satellites that even had the truth 
borne wings it could not have reached him. 

To me it seems that the menace of the Hohen- 
zollerns lies in this : not that they are worse than 
other men, not that they mean ill to the world, 
but that time and experience have left them 
unaroused by what others know as progress. 
They stand in the pathway of the world to-day, 
believing themselves right and regarding them- 
selves as victims of an oppressive rivalry. They 
do not know that their viewpoint is as tragically 
perverted as that of the fox which, feeling that it 
must live, steals the farmer's hens. But, like the 
farmer, the world knows only that it is injured; 
and just as the farmer realises that he must rid 
himself of the fox, so the world knows, to-day, 
and says that the Hohenzollerns must go ! 




In England, and how I reached there I am arrested and 
imprisoned for fifteen months What von Papen's 
baggage contained. I make a sworn statement. 

BACK in Berlin I sought out Major Kohnemann, 
and together we spent many days in planning 
my future course of action. It was a war council 
in effect, for the object towards which we aimed 
was nothing less than the crippling of the United 
States by a campaign of terrorism and conspiracy. 
It was not pleasant work that I was to do, but I 
knew, as every informed German did, that it was 
necessary. Therefore I accepted it. 

What would you have? Germany was in the 
war to conquer or be conquered. America, the 
source of supply for the Allies, stood in the way. 
Knowing these things, we set about the task of 
preventing America from aiding our enemies by 
using whatever means we could. We did not 
feel either compunction or hostility. It was war 
diplomatic rather than military, but war none 
the less. 


My Arrest and Confession 

I do not intend to go into the details of our 
plans at the present moment. Enough to say that 
after a brief visit to both the Eastern and Western 
fronts I left Germany for England en route to 
America with a programme which, in ruthlessness 
or efficiency, left nothing to be desired. 

But before going to England it was necessary 
that I should take every possible precaution against 
exposure there. My passport might be sufficient 
identification, but I knew that since the arrest of 
Carl Lody and other German spies in England 
the British authorities were examining passports 
t with a great deal more care than they had 
formerly exercised. Accordingly, one morning, 
Mr. Bridgeman Taylor presented himself at the 
American Embassy for financial aid with which 
to leave Germany. There .was good reason for 
this. To ask a Consulate or Embassy to vise a 
passport when that is not necessary may easily 
seem suspicious. But the applicant for aid re- 
ceives not only additional identification in the 
form of a record of his movements, but also 
secures an advantage in that his passport bears 
an endorsement of his appeal for assistance, in 
my case signed with the name of the Ambassador. 
At The Hague I again applied for help from the 
United States Relief Commission. I amused 


My Arrest and Confession 

myself on this occasion by making two drafts : 
one for $15 on Mr. John F. Ryan of Buffalo, 
N.Y., and one for $30 on "Mr. Papen " of 
New York City. 

I was fairly secure, then, I thought. If sus- 
picion did fall upon me it would be simple to 
prove that I had submitted my passport to a 
number of American officials, and had conse- 
quently satisfied them of my good faith as well 
as that the passport had not been issued to some- 
one other than myself, as in the case of Lody. 

As a final step I took care to divide my per- 
sonal papers into two groups : those which were 
perfectly harmless, such as my Mexican com- 
mission and leave of absence, and those which 
would tend to establish my identity as a German 
agent. These I deposited in two separate safe 
deposit vaults in Rotterdam, taking care to re- 
member in which each group was placed and 
that done, with a feeling of personal security, 
and even a certain amount of zest for the 
adventure, I boarded a Channel steamer for 

I ,was absolutely safe, I felt. In my con- 
fidence I went about very freely, ignoring the 
fact that England was at the moment in the 
throes of a spy scare, and even so well recom- 


My Arrest and Confession 

mended a German-American as Mr. Bridgeman 
Taylor was not likely to escape scrutiny. 

And yet, I believe that I should not have been 
caught at all if I had not stopped one day in 
front of the Horse Guards and joined the crowd 
that was watching guard mount. Why I did it 
it is impossible for me to say. There was no 
military advantage to be gained; that is certain. 
And I had seen guard mount often enough to 
find no element of novelty in it. Whim, I sup- 
pose, drew me there ; and as luck would have it, 
it drew me into a particularly congested portion 
of the crowd. And then chance played another 
card by causing a small boy to step on my foot. 
I lost my temper and abused the lad roundly for 
his carelessness so roundly, in fact, that a man 
standing in front of me turned and looked into 
my face. 

I recognised him at once as an agent of the 
Ilussian Government, whom I had once been 
instrumental in exposing as a spy in Germany. 
I saw him look at me closely for a moment, 
and I could tell by his expression, although he 
said no word, that he had recognised me also. 
Thrusting a penny into the boy's hand I made 
haste to get out of the crowd as quickly as I 


My Arrest and Confession 

Here ,was a pleasant situation, I thought, as 
I made my way very quietly to my hotel. I 
could not doubt that the Russian would report 
me but what then? His word against mine 
would not convict me of anything, but it might 
lead to an inconvenient period of detention. I 
sat down to consider the situation. 

After all, I decided, the situation was serious 
but not absolutely hopeless. Unquestionably 1 
should be reported to the police; unquestionably 
a careful investigation .would result in the dis- 
covery that there was no Bridgeman H. Taylor 
at the address in El Paso which I had given to 
the Relief Commission at The Hague. For the 
rest, my accent would prove only that I was of 
German blood ; not that I was a German subject. 

So far, so bad. But what then? I had, in the 
safe deposit vaults in Rotterdam, papers proving 
that I was a Mexican officer on leave. It would 
be a simple matter to send for these papers, to 
admit that I was Horst von der Goltz, and to 
state that I was in England en route from a visit 
to my family in Germany and now bound for 
Mexico to resume my services. There remained 
but one matter to explain : why I was using an 
American passport bearing a name that was not 


My Arrest and Confession 

That should not be a difficult task. Huerta 
had been overthrown barely a week before my 
leave of absence was issued. Carranza's Govern- 
ment had not yet been recognised, and already 
my general, Villa, had quarrelled with him, so that 
it L was impossible for me to procure a passport 
from the Mexican Government. In my dilemma 
I had taken advantage of the offer of an American 
exporter, who had been kind enough to lend me 
his passport, which he had secured and found he 
did not need at the time. As for my name, it 
,was not a particularly good one under which to 
travel in England, so I had naturally been obliged 
to use the one on my passport. 

It was a good story and had somewhat the 
appearance of truth. The question was, would 
it be believed? Even if it were, it had its dis- 
advantages; for I should certainly be arrested as 
an enemy alien, and after a delay fatal to all my 
plans, I should probably be deported. I decided 
to try a bolder scheme. 

In Parliamentary White Paper, Miscellaneous 
No. 13 (1916), you will find a statement which 
explains my next step. 

" Horst von der Goltz," it says, "arrived in 
England from Holland on November 4, 1914 

He offered information upon projected air raids, 


My Arrest and Confession 

the source whence the Emden derived her informa- 
tion as to British shipping, and how the Leipzig 
was obtaining her coal supply. He offered to go 
back to Germany to obtain information) and all 
he asked for in the first instance was his travelling 

What is the meaning of these amazing state- 
ments? Simply this. I realised that even if the 
story I had concocted were believed it would mean 
a considerable delay and ultimate deportation. 
And as I had no mind to submit to either of 
these things if I could avoid them, I decided 
to forestall my Russian friend by taking the 
only possible step one commendable for its 
audacity if for nothing else. Accordingly I 
walked straight to Downing Street and into the 
Foreign Office. I asked to see Mr. X, of the 
Secret Intelligence Department. This was .walk- 
ing into the jaws of the lion with a vengeance. 

I told Mr. X that I wished to enter the British 
Secret Service; that I was in a position to secure 
much valuable information. 

"Upon what subject?" 

Zeppelin raids, I told him. I chose that sub- 
ject first, because it .was the least harmful I could 
think of in case my "traitorous" offer ever 
reached the eai3 of Berlin. No one knew better 


My Arrest and Confession 

than I how impossible it was to obtain information 
about Zeppelins. I reasoned that the officers in 
command of Abteilung III. B in the General 
Staff would know that I was bluffing when I 
offered to get information upon that subject for 
the English. They would know that I was not 
in a position to have or to obtain any such know- 
ledge, for in Germany no topic is so closely 
guarded as that. Also, I reasoned that it k was a 
topic in which the English were vastly interested. 
They .were. 

Mr. X was hesitating, so I added two other 
equally absurd subjects : the movements of the 
Emden and the Leipzig, about which I knew 
and the service chiefs knew that I knew 
absolutely nothing. 

Mr. X was plainly puzzled. My intentions 
seemed to be good. At any rate, I had come to 
him quite openly, and any ulterior motives I 
might have had were not apparent. Then, too, I 
had offered him the key of my safe deposit box, 
telling him what it contained. He considered a 

"We shall have to investigate your story," 
he said finally. " We shall send to Holland for 
the papers you say are contained in the vault 
there; and you svill be questioned further. In 

1 86 

My Arrest and Confession 

the meantime I shall have to place you under 

I had expected nothing better than this, and 
went to my gaol with a feeling that was relief 
rather than anything else. My papers would 
establish my identity, and then, if all went well, 
I should go back to Germany and make my way 
to America by another route. 

But all did not go well. Somehow, in spite of 
my commission and leave of absence perhaps 
because my offer seemed too good to be true 
the British authorities decided that it would be 
better to lose the information I had offered them 
and keep me in England. Whatever their sus- 
picions, the only charge they could bring against 
me and prove was that I was an alien enemy who 
had failed to register. They had no proof 
whatever of any connection between me and the 
German Government. So on November 13, 
1914, they brought me into a London police- 
court to answer the charge of failing to register. 
I ;was delighted to do so. It L was far more com- 
fortable than facing a court-martial on trial for 
my life as a spy, as the English newspapers had 
seemed to expect. Accordingly on November 26 
I was duly sentenced to six months' hard labour 

in Pentonville Prison, with a recommendation for 


My Arrest and Confession 

deportation at the expiration of my sentence. I 
served five months at Pentonville, and then my 
good behaviour let me out. 

Home Secretary McKenna signed the order 
for my deportation. I was free. I was to slip 
from under the paw of the lion. 

And then something happened to this day I 
don't know what. Instead of being deported I 
was thrust into Brixton Prison, where Kuepferer 
hanged himself, strangely enough, just after his 
troubles seemed over. Kuepferer had driven a 
bargain with the English. He was to give them 
information in return for his life and freedom; 
and then, when he had everything arranged, he 
committed suicide. In Brixton I was not sen- 
tenced on any charge, I was simply held in 
solitary confinement, with occasional diversions 
in the form of a " third degree." After my first 
insincere offer to give the English information I 
kept my mouth shut and made no overtures to 
them, although I confess that the temptation to 
tell all I knew was often very great. The English 
got nothing out of me, and in September, 1915, 
I was shifted to another prison. They took me 
out of Brixton and placed me in Reading gaol 
the locale of Oscar Wilde's ballad. Conditions 
L were less disagreeable there. I was allowed to 


My Arrest and Confession 

have newspapers and magazines, and to talk and 
exercise with my fellow-prisoners. 

You may be sure that all this time the English 
made attempts to solve my personal identity as 
well as to learn the reason for my being in 
England. They could not shake my story. Time 
after time I told them : " I am Horst von der 
Goltz, an officer of the Mexican army on leave. 
I used the United States passport made out to 
Bridgeman Taylor from necessity to avoid the 
suspicion that would be attached to me because 
of my German descent. 

" Gentlemen, that is all I can tell you." 

Over and over again I repeated that meagre 
statement to the men who questioned me. I 
would not tell them the truth, and I knew that 
no lie would help me. And then came an event 
w r hich changed my viewpoint and made me tell 
if not the whole story at least a considerable 
part of it. 

I had, as I have said, managed to secure news- 
papers in my new quarters. It is difficult to say 
how eagerly I read them after so many months 
of complete ignorance, or jvvith .what anxiety I 
studied such war news as came into my hands. 
It was America in which I was chiefly interested, 

for I knew that after my capture some other 


My Arrest and Confession 

man must have been sent to do the work which I 
had planned to do. I know now that it was von 
Rintelen who was selected that infinitely re- 
sourceful intriguer who planted his spies through- 
out the United States, and for a time seemed 
well on the way to succeeding in the most gigantic 
conspiracy against a peaceful nation that had ever 
been undertaken. But at the time I could tell 
nothing of this, although I watched unceasingly 
for reports of strikes, explosions and German 
uprisings .which would tell me that that work 
which I had been commanded to do, and from 
which I was only too glad to be spared, was 
being prosecuted. 

So several months passed months in which I 
had time for meditation and in which I began 
to see more clearly some things which had been 
hinted at in Berlin and of which I shall tell 
more later. And then one day I read a dispatch 
that caused me to sit very silently for a moment 
in my cell, and to wonder and fear a little. 

Von Papen had been recalled. 

I read the story of how he and Captain Boy-Ed 
had overreached and finally betrayed themselves; 
of the passport frauds they had conducted; of 
the conspiracies and seditions they had sought to 

stir up. I learned that they had been sent home 


My Arrest and Confession 

under a safe-conduct which did not cover any 
documents they might carry. It was this last 
fact which caused me uneasiness. Had von Papen, 
always so confident of his success, attempted to 
smuggle through some report of his two years 
of plotting? It seemed improbable, and yet, 
knowing his tendency to take chances, I k was 
troubled by the possibility. For such a report 
might contain a record of my connection 
with him and I was not protected by a 
safe-conduct ! 

My fears were well founded, as you know t 
Von Papen carried with him no particular re- 
ports, but a number of personal papers which 
were seized when his ship stopped at Falmouth. 

In my prison I read of the seizure and was 
doubly alarmed; increasingly so when the news- 
papers began publishing reports which impli- 
cated literally hundreds of Irish- and German- 
Americans whose services von Papen had used in 
his plots. Then as the days passed, and my name 
was not mentioned in the disclosures, I became 

" After all," I thought, "he knows that I am 
here in prison and that I have kept silent. He 
will have been careful. These others he has had 

some reason for his incautiousness with them. 


My Arrest and Confession 

But he will not betray me, just as he has be- 
trayed none of his German associates." 

Then, on the night of January 80, 1916, the 
governor of Reading prison informed me that I 
was to go to London the next day. 

"Where to?" I asked. 

"To Scotland Yard," he said briefly. 

"What for?" 

"I do not know." 

My heart sank, for I realised at once that 
something had occurred which was of vital import 
to me. I have faced firing squads in Mexico. I 
have stood against a wall waiting for the signal 
that should bid the soldiers fire. And I have taken 
other dangerous chances without, I believe, more 
fear than another man would have known. But 
never have I felt more reluctant than that night 
when I stood outside of Scotland Yard, waiting 
for what ? 

I was brought into the office of the Assistant 
Commissioner and found myself in the presence 
of four men, who regarded me gravely and in 

There was something tomb-like about the at- 
mosphere of the room, I thought, as I faced these 
men and then I changed my opinion, for I saw 

lying open on the table around which they were 



m g 





i ^^ 




t- r+ r< f-4 CO OS 

Of * 

il rH to 






< " 



1 1^ 


1 ? 


s f: 


ta ~ 

fi ri TJ. c > 


% 1 

"2- oo 

s r r - - . 



U _ 
U 1 


o r 

Q W* 

8 < 

d u 
- 02 


} { 

; I s 

II If 
oi2M gic2H< 

an;; iiiiii 
|i|ji jj}!!, 


I |S i |5 j 

ii I 



I S I 

My Arrest and Confession 

seated a box of cigarettes. I reached forward to 
take one, forgetting all politeness (for I had not 
smoked for six weeks), when my eye caught sight 
of a little pink slip of paper which one of them 
held in his hand a slip which, I knew at once, was 
the cause of my presence there. 

It read : 


" September 1, 1914. 
" The Riggs National Bank, 

66 Pay to the order of Mr. Bridgeman Taylor 
two hundred dollars. 


One of the company turned over the cheque 
so that I could see the endorsement. 

They were all watching me. The room was 
very still. I could hear myself breathe. They 
handed me a pen and paper. 

66 Sign this name, please Mr. Bridgeman 

I knew it would be folly to attempt to disguise 
my handwriting. I wrote out my name. It 
corresponded exactly with the endorsement on 
the back of the cheque. 

"Do you know that cheque?" I was asked. 

" Yes," I admitted, racking my wits for a pos- 
sible explanation of the affair. 

N I 93 

My Arrest and Confession 

" Why was it issued? 5: 
I had an inspiration. 

" Von Papen gave it to me to go to Europe and 
join the army but you see I didn't - ' 


" Ah ! Von Papen gave it to you. 

I was doing quick thinking. My first fright 
was over, but I realised that that little cheque 
might easily be my death-warrant. I knew that 
von Papen had many reports and instructions 
bearing my name. I was afraid to admit to myself 
that after all these months of security I had at 
last been discovered. Von Papen's cheque proved 
that I had received money from a representa- 
tive of the German Government. There might 
be other papers which would prove everything 
needed to sentence me to execution. I was 
groping around for an idea and then in a flash 
I realised the truth. It angered and embittered 

There passed across my memory the year and 
more of solitary confinement, during which I had 
held my tongue. 

I swung around on the Englishmen. 

66 Are you the executioners of the German 
Government?" I asked. " Are you so fond of 
von Papen that you want to do him a favour? If 

you shoot me you will be obliging him." 


My Arrest and Confession 

" We are going to prosecute you on this evi- 
dence," was the only answer. 

"You English pride yourselves," I said, "on 
not being taken in. Von Papen is a very clever 
man. Are you going to let him use you for his 
own purposes? Do you think he was foolish 
enough not to realise that those papers would 
be seized? Do you think" this part of it was a 
random shot, and lucky "do you think it is an 
accident that the only papers he carried referring 
to a live, unsentenced man in England refer to 
me? Just think! Von Papen has been recalled. 
The United States can investigate his actions now 
without embarrassment. And he, knowing me 
to be one of the connecting links in the chain of 
his activities, and knowing that I am a prisoner 
liable to extradition, would ask nothing better 
than to be permanently rid of me. And in the 
papers he carried he very obligingly furnished you 
with incriminating evidence against me. You can 
choose for yourselves. Do him this favour if you 
want to. But I think I'm worth more to you 
alive than dead. Especially now that I see 
how very willing my own Government is to have 
me dead." 

My hearers exchanged glances. I had made 
the appeal as a forlorn hope. Would they accept 

My Arrest and Confession 

it and the promise it implied? I could not tell 
from their next words. 

"We shall discuss that further. Meanwhile, 
you will return to Reading." 

The next few days were full of anxiety. I could 
not tell how my appeal had been regarded, but I 
knew that it would be only by good fortune that I 
should escape at least a trial for espionage for that 
is jvhat my presence in England would mean. 
Finally, I received a tentative assurance of im- 
munity if I should tell what I knew of the work- 
ings of German secret agencies. 

In spite of any hesitancy I might formerly have 
felt at such a course, I decided to make a confes- 
sion. Von Papen's betrayal of me for that he 
had intentionally betrayed me I was, and am, con- 
vinced was too wanton to arouse in me any feeling 
except a desire for my freedom, which for fifteen 
months I had been robbed of merely through the 
silence which my own sense of honour imposed 
upon me. But I must be careful. I had no desire 
to injure anyone .whom von Papen had not impli- 
cated. And I did not wish to betray any secret 
which I could safely withhold. 

I speculated upon what other documents von 
Papen might have carried. So far as I knew the 

only one involving me was the cheque ; but of that 


My Arrest and Confession 

I could not be sure, nor did it seem likely. It was 
more probable that there were other papers which 
would be used to test the sincerity of my story. 
My aim was to tell only such things as were 
already known, or were quite harmless. But how 
to do that? I needed some inkling as to what I 
might tell and on what I must be silent. 

That knowledge was difficult to obtain, but I 
finally secured it through a rather adroit question- 
ing of one of the men who interrogated me at the 
time. He had shown me much courtesy and no 
little sympathy; and after some pains I managed 
to worm out of him a very indefinite but useful 
idea of what matters the von Papen documents 

What I learned was sufficient to enable me to 
exclude from my story any facts implicating men 
who might be harmed by my disclosures. I told 
of the Welland Canal plot so far as my part in it 
was concerned, and I told of von Papen's share in 
that and other activities. And I took care to in- 
corporate in my confession the promise of im- 
munity that had been made me tentatively. 

" I have made these statements," I wrote, " on 
the distinct understanding that the statements I 
have made, or should make in the future, will not 
be used against me ; that I am not to be prosecuted 


My Arrest and Confession 

for participation in any enterprise directed against 
the United Kingdom or her Allies which I engaged 
in at the direction of Captain von Papen or other 
i epresentatives of the German Government; and 
that the promise that I am not to be extradited 
or sent to any country where I am liable to punish- 
ment for political offences, is made on behalf of 
His Majesty's Government." 

It was on February 2 that I completed my 
confession and swore to the truth of it. Affairs 
.went better with me after that. I was sent to 
Lewes prison, and there I was content for the re- 
mainder of my stay in England. And although 
I was still a prisoner I felt more free than I had 
felt for many years. I .was out of it all free of 
the necessity to be always .watchful, always secret. 
And, above all, I had cut myself adrift from the 
intriguing which once I had enjoyed, but which in 
the last two years I had grown to hate more than 
I hated anything else on earth. 

And there my own adventures end so far as 
this book is concerned. I shall not do more than 
touch upon my return to the United States on a 
far different errand from that I had once planned. 
My testimony in the Grand Jury proceedings 
against Captain Tauscher, von Igel, and others 
of my onetime fellow-conspirators, is a matter of 


My Arrest and Confession 

too recent record to deserve more than passing 
mention. Tauscher, you t will remember, was ac- 
quitted because it was impossible to prove that he 
was aware of the objects for which he had supplied 
explosives. Von Igel, Captain von Papen's secre- 
tary, was protected by diplomatic immunity. And 
Fritzen and Covani, my former lieutenants, had 
not yet been captured.* 

But though my intriguing was ended, Ger- 
many's was not. It may be interesting to consider 
these intrigues, in the light of what I had learned 
during those two years and what I have discovered 

* Fritzen, who was captured in Hartwood, Gal., on March 9, 1917, 
was arraigned in New York City on March 16, and after pleading 
not guilty, later reversed his plea. He was sentenced to a term of 
eighteen months in a Federal prison. 




The German intrigue against the United States Von Papen, 
Boy-Ed, and von Rintelen, and the work they did 
How the German-Americans were used, and how they 
were betrayed. 

IN the long record of German intrigue in the 
United States one fact stands out predominantly. 
If you consider the tremendous ramifications of 
the system .which Germany' has built, the extent 
of its organisation and the efficiency with which so 
gigantic a secret work ,was carried on, you will 
realise that this system was not the work of a 
short period, but of many years. As a matter of 
fact, Germany had laid the foundation of that 
structure of espionage and conspiracy many years 
before even before the time .when the United 
States first became a Colonial Power and thus in- 
volved herself in the tangle of world politics. 

I am making no rash assertions when I state 
that ten years ago the course which German agents 
should adopt towards the United States in the 

event of a great European war had been deter- 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

mined with a reasonable amount of exactness by 
the General Staff, and that it was this plan which 
was adapted to the conditions of the moment, and 
set into operation at the outbreak of the present 
conflict. No element of hostility lay behind this 
planning. Germany had no grievance against 
America ; and whatever potential causes of conflict 
existed between the two nations lay in the far 

That plan, so complete in detail, so menacing 
in its intent, was but part of a world-plan to assure 
to Germany when the time was ripe the submission 
of all her enemies and the peaceful assistance and 
acquiescence in her aims of those parts of the world 
which at that time should be at peace. Germany 
looked far ahead on that day when she first knew 
that war must come. She realised, if no other 
nation did, that however strong in themselves the 
combatants were, the neutrals who should com- 
mand the world's supplies would really determine 
the victory. 

Knowing this, Germany which does not play 
the game of diplomacy with gloves on laid her 
plans accordingly. 

The United States offered a peculiarly fruitful 
field for her endeavours. By tradition and geo- 
graphy divorced from European rivalries, it was, 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

nevertheless, from both an industrial and agricul- 
tural standpoint, obviously to become the most im- 
portant of neutral nations. The United States 
alone could feed and equip a continent ; and it 
needed no prophet to perceive that whichever coun- 
try could appropriate to itself her resources would 
unquestionably win the war, if a speedy military 
victory were not forthcoming. 

It was Germany's aim, therefore, to prepare 
the way by which she could secure those supplies, 
or, failing in that, to keep them from the enemy, 
England if England it should be. In a military 
way such a plan had little chance of success. Eng- 
land's command of the seas was too complete for 
Germany to consider that she could establish a 
successful blockade against her. It was then, I 
fancy, that Germany bethought herself of a greatly 
potential ally in the millions of citizens of German 
birth or parentage with whom the United States 
was filled. 

One may extract a trifle of cynical amusement 
from .what followed. Those millions of German- 
Americans had never been regarded with affection 
in Berlin. The vast majority of them were descen- 
dants of men who had left their homes for political 
reasons ; and of those who had been born in Ger- 
many many had emigrated to escape military ser- 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

vice, and others had gone to seek a better oppor- 
tunity than their native land provided. They had 
been called renegades who had given up their true 
allegiance for citizenship in a foreign country, and 
Bernstorff himself, according to the evidence of 
U.S. Senator Phelan, had said that he regarded 
them as traitors and cowards. 

But Germany voicing her own spleen in 
private, and Germany with an axe to grind, were 
two different entities. And no one who observed 
the honeyed beginnings of the Deutschtum move- 
ment in America would have believed that these 
men k who in public life were so assiduously 
and graciously flattered were in private charac- 
terised as utter traitors to the Fatherland and 

Certainly no one believed it when, in 1900, 
Prince Henry of Prussia paid his famous visit to 
America. No word of criticism of these 
"traitors'' was spoken by him; and when at 
banquets glasses were raised and Milwaukee smiled 
across the table at Berlin, the sentimental onlooker 
might have felt a gush of joy at this spectacle of 
amity and reconciliation. And the sentimental 
onlooker would never have suspected that Prince 
Henry had travelled three thousand miles for any 
other purpose than to attend the launching of the 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

Kaiser's yacht Meteor, which was then building 
in an American yard. 

But to the cynical observer, searching the 
records of the years immediately following Prince 
Henry's visit, a few strange facts would have be- 
come apparent. He would have discovered that 
German societies, which had been neither very 
/numerous nor popular before, had in a compara- 
tively short time acquired a membership and a pro- 
minence that were little short of marvellous. He 
would have noted the increasing number of Ger- 
man teachers and professors who appeared in the 
faculties of American schools and colleges. He 
would have remarked the growth in popularity of 
the German newspapers, many of them edited by 
Germans who had never become naturalised. And 
yet, observing these things, he might have agreed 
with the vast majority of Americans in regarding 
them as entirely harmless and of significance 
merely as a proof of how hard love of one's native 
land dies. 


He would have been mistaken had he so re- 
garded them. The German Government does not 
spend money for sentimental purposes; and in 
the last ten years that Government has expended 
literally millions of dollars for propaganda in the 

United States. It has consistently encouraged a 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

sentiment for the Fatherland that should be so 
strong that it would hold first place in the heart of 
every German- American. It has circulated pam- 
phlets advocating the exclusive use of the German 
language, not merely in the homes, but in shops 
and street cars and all other public places. It has 
lent financial support to German organisations in 
America, and in a thousand ways has aimed so to 
win the hearts of the German- Americans that 
when the time should come the United States, by 
sheer force of numbers, would be delivered, bound 
hand and foot, into the hands of the German 

It was this object of undermining the true 
allegiance of the German citizens of the United 
States which transformed an innocent and natural 
tendency into a menace that was the more insidious 
because the very people involved were, for the 
most part, entirely ignorant of its true nature. 
Germany seized upon an attachment that was 
purely one of sentiment and race and sought to 
make it an instrument of political power; and she 
went about her work with so efficient a secrecy 
that she very nearly accomplished her purpose. 

By the time the Great War broke out the 
German propaganda in America had assumed 
notable proportions. German newspapers were 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

plentiful and had acquired a tremendous influence 
over the minds of the German-speaking folk. 
Many of the German societies had been consoli- 
dated into one national organisation the German- 
American National Alliance, with a membership 
of two millions, and a president, C. J. Hexamer, 
of Chicago, whose devotion to the Fatherland has 
been so great that he has been decorated with 
the Order of the Red Eagle. And the German 
people of the United States had, by a long cam- 
paign of flattery and cajolery, coupled with a 
systematic glorification of German genius and in- 
stitutions, been won to attachment to the country 
of their origin that required only a touch to trans- 
late it into fanaticism. 

Germany had set the stage and rehearsed the 
chorus. There were needed only the principals 
to make the drama complete. These she provided 
in the persons of four men : Franz von Pap en, 
Karl Boy-Ed, Heinrich Albert, and later Franz 
von Rintelen. 

They were no ordinary men whom Germany 
had appointed to the leadership of this giant 
underground warfare against a peaceful country. 
Highly bred, possessing a wide and intensive 
knowledge of finance, of military strategy and of 
diplomatic finesse, they were admirably equipped 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

to win the admiration and trust of the people of 
America at the very moment that they were 
attacking them. All of them were men skilled 
in the art of making friends; and so successfully 
did they employ this art that their popularity for 
a long time contrived to shield them from sus- 
picion. Each of these men was assigned to the 
command of some particular branch of German 
secret service. And each brought to his task the 
resources of the scientist, the soldier and the 
statesman, coupled with the scruples of the bandit. 
It is impossible in this brief space to tell the 
full story of the activities of these gentlemen and 
of their many highly trained assistants. Violence, 
as you know, played no small part in their plans. 
Sedition, strikes in munitions plants, attacks 
upon ships carrying supplies to the Allies, 
the crippling of transportation facilities, bomb 
outrages these are a few of the main elements 
in the campaign to render the United States 
useless as a source of supply for Germany's 
enemies. But ultimately of more importance 
than this was a programme of publicity which 
should not only present to the German- Americans 
the viewpoint of their Fatherland (an entirely 
legitimate propaganda), but which was aimed to 
consolidate them into a political unit which should 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

be used, by peaceful means if possible such as 
petitions and the like, but if that method failed, 
by absolute armed resistance to force the United 
States Government to declare an embargo upon 
shipments of munitions and foodstuffs to the 
Allies, and to compel it to assume a position if 
not of active alliance with Germany (a hope that 
was never seriously entertained) at least one 
which should distinctly favour the German 
Government and cause serious dissension between 
America and England. 

There followed a twofold campaign : on the 
one hand, active terrorism against private in- 
dustry in so far as it was of value to the Allies, 
reinforced by the most determined plots against 
Canada; on the other, an insincere and lying 
propaganda that presented the United States 
Government as a pretender of a neutrality which 
it did not attempt to practise as an institution 
controlled by men who were unworthy of the 
support of any but Anglophiles and hypocrites. 

Left to itself, the sympathy of German- 
Americans would have been directed towards 
Germany ; stimulated as it was by an unremitting 
campaign of publicity, this sympathy became a 
devotion almost rabid in its intensity. Race con- 
sciousness was aroused and placed upon the 



. mmimafm m 


(Note the vise of the American Embassv, Berlin, in the top right-hand corner.} 

Germany's Hate Campaign 

defensive by the attitude of the larger portion of 
the American Press, and the German- Americans 
grew defiant and aggressive in their apologies for 
the Fatherland. Even those whose German origin 
was so remote that they were ignorant of the very 
language of their fathers, subscribed to news- 
papers and periodicals whose sole reason for 
existence was that they presented the truth as 
Germany saw it. If in that presentation the 
German Press adopted a tone that was seditious 
why, there were those in Berlin who would 
applaud the more heartily. And in New York 
Captain von Papen and his colleagues would read 
and nod their heads approvingly. 

At the end of the first two months of the war, 
and of my active service in America, the cam- 
paign of violence was well under way. Already 
plans had been made for several enterprises other 
than the Welland Canal plot, about which you 
read in Chapter VII. Attacks had been planned 
against vulnerable points on the Canadian Pacific 
Railway, such as the St. Clair Tunnel running 
under the Detroit River at Point Huron, Michi- 
gan ; agents had been planted in the various 
munitions factories, and spies were everywhere 
seeking possible points of vantage at which a 
blow for Germany could be struck. A plan had 

o 209 

Germany's Hate Campaign 

even then been made to blow up the railway 
bridge at Vanceboro. 

But already von Papen and his associates, in- 
cluding myself, knew that Germany could never 
succeed in crippling Allied commerce in the 
United States and in proceeding effectively against 
Canada until we could count upon the implicit 
co-operation of the German-Americans, even 
though that co-operation involved active dis- 
loyalty to the country of their adoption. 

There lay the difficulty. That the bulk of the 
German- Americans were loyal to their Govern- 
ment I knew at the time. Now, happily, that is 
a matter which is beyond doubt. Among them 
there were, of course, many whose zeal outran 
their scruples and others whose scruples were 
for sale. But for the most part, although they 
could be cajoled into a partnership that was not 
always prudent, they could not be led beyond this 
point into positive defiance of the United States, 
however mistaken they might believe its policies. 

The rest of the story I cannot tell at first hand, 
for I was not directly concerned in the events 
that followed. What I know I have pieced to- 
gether from my recollection of conversations with 
von Papen, and from what many people in Berlin, 
who thought I was familiar with the affair, told 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

me. Who fathered the idea I do not know. 
Someone conceived a scheme so treacherous and 
contemptible that every other act of this war 
seems white beside it. It was planned so to dis- 
credit the German-Americans that the hostility 
of their fellow-citizens would force them back into 
the arms of the German Government. These 
millions of American citizens of German descent 
were to be given the appearance of disloyalty in 
order that they might become objects of 
suspicion to their fellows, and through their re- 
sentment at this attitude the cleavage between 
Germans and non-Germans in America would 
be increased and perhaps culminate in armed 

On the face of it this looks like the absurd and 
impossible dream of an insane person rather than 
a diplomatic programme. And yet, if it be 
examined more closely, the plan will be seen to 
have a psychological basis which, however far- 
fetched, is essentially sound. Given a people 
already bewildered by the almost universal con- 
demnation of a country which they have sincerely 
revered ; add to that serious difference in sympa- 
thies an attitude of distrust of all German- 
Americans by the other inhabitants of the country ; 
and you have sown the seed of a race-antagonism 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

which if properly nurtured may easily grow into 
a violent hatred. In a word, Germany had de- 
cided that if the German- Americans could not 
be coaxed back into the fold they might be 
beaten back. She set about her part of the task 
with an industry which would have commanded 
admiration had it been better employed. 

Glance back over the history of the past three 
years and consider how, almost overnight, the 
66 hyphen " situation developed. America, shaken 
by a war which had been declared to be impos- 
sible, became suddenly conscious of the presence 
within her borders of a portion of her population 
a nation in numbers largely unassimilated, 
retaining its own language, and possessing 
characteristics which suddenly became conspicu- 
ously distasteful. Inevitably, as I say, the 
cleavage in sympathies produced distrust. But 
it was not until stories of plots in which German- 
Americans were implicated became current that 
this distrust developed into an acute suspicion. 
Germanophobia was rampant in those days, and 
to hysterical persons it was unthinkable that any 
German could be exempt from the suspicion of 

It was upon this foundation that the German 
agents erected their structure of lies and defama- 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

tion. Not content with the efforts which the 
Jingo Press and Jingo individuals were uncon- 
sciously making on their behalf, they deliberately 
set on foot rumours which were intended to in- 
crease the distrust of German- Americans. I 
happen to know that during the first two years 
of the War many of the stories about German 
attempts upon Canada, about German- American 
complicity in various plots, emanated from the 
offices of Captain von Papen and his associates. 
I know also that many plots in which German- 
Americans were concerned had been deliberately 
encouraged by von Papen and afterwards as 
deliberately betrayed! Time after time enter- 
prises with no chance of success were set on foot 
with the sole purpose that they should fail for 
thus Germany could furnish to the world evidence 
that America was honeycombed with sedition 
and treachery evidence which Americans them- 
selves would be the first to accept. 

It was in reality a gigantic game of bluff. 
Germany wished to give to the world convincing 
proof that all peoples of German descent were 
solidly supporting her. It was for this reason 
that reports of impossible German activities were 
set afloat; that rumours of Germans massing in 
the Maine woods, of aeroplane flights over 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

Canada, and of all sorts of enterprises which had 
no basis in fact, were disseminated. And since 
many anti-German papers had been indiscreet 
enough to attack the German- Americans as dis- 
loyal, the German agents used and fomented 
these attacks for their own purposes. 

Who could gain by such a campaign of slander 
and the feeling it would produce? Certainly not 
the Administration, which had great need of a 
united country behind it. Certainly not the 
American Press, which was bound to lose circu- 
lation and advertising ; nor American business, 
which would suffer from the loss of thousands of 
customers of German descent, who would turn 
to the German merchant for their needs. Only 
two classes could profit : the German Press, which 
was liberally subsidised by the German Govern- 
ment, and the German Government itself. 

It was to the interests of the Administration 
at Washington to keep the country united by 
keeping the Germans disunited. The reverse con- 
dition would tend to indicate that Americanism 
was a failure, since the country was divided at 
a critical time; it would seriously hamper the 
Government in its dealings with all the warring 
nations; and it would be of benefit only to the 

German societies and German Press, and through 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

them to the German Government. It was of 
benefit. The German newspapers increased their 
circulations and advertising revenues, in many 
cases by more than 100 per cent. German banks 
and insurance companies received money which 
had formerly gone to American institutions, 
and which now went to swell the Imperial German 
War Loans. And the German clubs increased 
their memberships and became more and more in- 
struments of power in the work of Germany. 

There is a typical German Club in New York 
the Deutscher Verein in Central Park South. 
During the war it has been used as a sub-office 
of the German General Staff. It was here that 
von Papen used to store the dynamite that was 
needed in such enterprises as the Welland Canal 
plot. It was here that conspirators used to meet 
for conferences which no one, not even the other 
members of the Club, could tell were not as in- 
nocent as they seemed. 

These German societies and other agencies 
were used not merely to promote sympathy for 
the German cause, but also to influence public 
opinion in matters of purely American interest. 
On January 21, 1916, Henry Weismann, presi- 
dent of the Brooklyn branch of the German- 
American National Alliance, sent a report to 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

headquarters in Chicago regarding the activities 
of his organisation in the recent elections. In 
the Twenty-third Congressional District of New 
York, Ellsworth J. Healey had been a candidate 
for Congress. Both he and another man, John 
J. Fitzgerald, candidate for Justice of the 
Supreme Court of New York, were regarded by 
German interests as "unneutral." They were 
defeated, and Weismann, in commenting upon 
the matter, wrote : " The election returns prove 
that Deutschtum is armed and able, when the 
word is given, to seat its men." 

Even in the campaign for preparedness Ger- 
many took a hand. Berlin was appealed to in 
some cases as to the attitude that American citi- 
zens of German descent should adopt towards this 
policy. Professor Appelmann, of the University 
of Vermont, wrote to Dr. Paul Rohrbach, one of 
the advisers of the Wilhelmstrasse, requesting his 
advice upon the subject. Dr. Rohrbach replied 
that American Deutschtum should not be in 
favour of preparedness, because "it is quite con- 
ceivable that in the event of an American- Japanese 
war Germany might adopt an attitude of very bene- 
volent neutrality towards Japan and so make it 
easier for Japan to defeat the United States." 
And not long ago the Herold des Glaubens of St. 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

Louis made this statement: "When we found 
that the agitation for preparedness was in the in- 
terest of the munition makers, and that its aim 
was a war with Germany, we certainly turned 
against it, and we have agitated against it for the 
last three months." 

But this anti-militaristic spirit was a rather 
sudden development on the part of the German 
societies. In 1911, when a new treaty of arbitra- 
tion with Great Britain was under consideration, 
a group of roughs, led and organised by a Gefr- 
man, violently broke up a meeting held under 
the auspices of the New York Peace Society to 
support that treaty. The man who broke that 
meeting up was Alphonse G. Koelble. It was 
this same Koelble who in 1915, when Germany's 
attack upon America was most bitter, organised 
a meeting of " The Friends of Peace," in order 
to protest against militarism! Strange, is it not, 
this inconsistency? Or was it that Mr. Koelble 
was acting under orders ? 

Germany did these things not only for their 
political effect, but also because she knew that 
she could turn the evidence of her own meddling 
to account. It was for the same reason that Wolf 
von Igel, von Papen's secretary and successor, 

retained in his office a list of American citizens 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

of German descent who " could be relied on." 
This list was found by agents of the Department 
of Justice when von Igel's office was raided. 
And the German agents were glad it was dis- 
covered. It gave to Americans an additional 
proof of the hold which Germany had obtained 
over a large group of German- Americans. 

It was as late as March, 1916, that the mem- 
bers of the Minnesota Chapter of the German- 
American National Alliance received a circular, 
advising them of the attitude towards Germany 
of the various candidates for delegate to the 
national conventions of the different parties, and 
indicating by a star the names of those men 
6 ' about whom it has been ascertained that they 
are in agreement with the views and wishes of 
Deutschland, and that if elected they will act 
accordingly. " I do not believe that the men who 
sent that circular expected it to be widely obeyed. 
But unquestionably they knew it would be made 

I think that if the German conspirators in 
America had confined their activities to this field 
they might ultimately have succeeded. They had 
managed to seduce a sufficient number of Ger- 
man-Americans to cause the entire German- 
American population to be regarded with sus- 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

picion. They had contrived to discredit the 
Pacifist and Labour movements by making public 
their own connection with individuals in these 
bodies. They had aroused the public to such a 
pitch of distrust that in the Presidential cam- 
paign of 1916 the support of the " German vote " 
was regarded with distaste by both candidates. 
And they had helped to create so tremendous a 
dissension in America that friendships of long 
standing were broken up, German merchants in 
many communities lost all but their German cus- 
tomers, and German-Americans were belaboured 
in print with such twaddle as the following : 

" The German- Americans predominate in the 
grog-shops, low dives, pawnshops and numerous 
artifices for money-making and corrupt practices 
in politics." 

The foregoing statement, which I quote from 
a book, "German Conspiracies in the United 
States/' is not perhaps a fair sample of the 
attacks made upon German-Americans by the 
Press in general, but it is indicative of the heights 
to which feeling ran in the case of a few unin- 
formed or hysterical persons. The point is that 
to a large portion of the populace the German- 
Americans had become enemies and objects of 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

They, in turn, beset on all sides by a campaign 
of slander insidiously fostered by men to whom 
they had given their trust, did exactly what had 
been expected. They fell right into the arms of 
that movement which for fourteen years had 
been subsidised for that very purpose. They 
ceased to read American newspapers. They read 
German newspapers, many of which almost 
openly preached disloyalty to the United States. 
They became clannish and joined German 
societies which frequently contained German 
agents. They began to boycott American busi- 
ness houses and dealt only with those of German 

Germany had gained her point. She alone 
could gain by the disunion of the country. It 
was to her advantage that the profits which had 
formerly gone to American business houses 
should be deflected to German corporations. 
And had she rested her efforts there 9 she might, 
as I say, have seen them produce results in the 
form of riots and armed dissension which would 
have effectually prevented the United States from 
entering the war. 

But Germany overreached herself. Embold- 
ened by the apparent success of their schemes, 
her principal agents, von Papen, Boy-Ed and von 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

Rintelen (who had begun his work in January, 
1915) became careless, so far as secrecy was con- 
cerned, and so audacious in their plans that they 
betrayed themselves, perhaps intentionally, as a 
final demonstration of their power. The results 
are notorious. In so far as the disclosures of their 
activities tended further to implicate the German- 
Americans, they did harm. But by these very 
disclosures the eyes of many German- Americans 
were opened to the true nature of the influence 
to which they had been subjected, and through 
that fact the worst element of the German pro- 
paganda in America received its death-blow. 

To-day the United States is at war, and no 
intelligent man now questions the loyalty of the 
majority of the citizens of German blood. That 
in the past their sympathies have been with 
Germany is unquestioned and, from their stand- 
point, entirely proper. That in many cases they 
view the participation of the United States in 
the war with regret is probable. But that they 
will stand up and, if need be, fight as stanchly 
as any other group in the country, no man may 

That is the story of the darkest chapter in the 
history of German intrigue. Other things have f 
been done in this war at which a humane man i 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

may blush. Other crimes have been committed 
which not even the strongest partisan can con- 
done. But at least it may be said that these 
things were done to enemies or to neutral people 
whom fortune had put in the way of injury. The 
betrayal of the German- Americans was a wanton 
crime against men whom every association and 
every tie of kinship or tradition should have 
served to protect. 

Germany has not yet abandoned that attack. 
There are still spies in the United States, you 
may be sure still intrigues are being fostered. 
And there are still men who, consciously or un- 
consciously, are striving to discredit the German- 
Americans by presenting them as unwilling to 
bear their share in the burden of the nation's 
war. Only a week before these lines were written 
one man George Sylvester Viereck circulated a 
petition begging that Germans should not be 
sent to fight their countrymen, and an organisa- 
tion of German Protestant churches in America 
repeated this plea. As a German whom for- 
tune has placed outside the battle, and as one 
whose patriotism is extended towards blood rather 
than dynasty, I ask Mr. Viereck and these other 
gentlemen if they have not forgotten that many 
German-Americans have already shown their 


Germany's Hate Campaign 

feelings by volunteering for service in this war 
and if they have not also forgotten that the two 
great wars of American history were fought be- 
tween men of the same blood. 

Ties of blood have never prevented men from 
fighting for a cause which they believed to be 
just. They will not in this war ! And when Mr. 
Viereck and his kind protest against the partici- 
pation in the war of men of any descent whatever, 
they imply that the American cause is not just, 
and that it is not worthy of the support of the 
men they claim to represent. 

Is this their intention? 




More about the German intrigue against the United States 
German aims in Latin America Japan and Germany 
in Mexico What happened in Cuba ? 

" AMERICAN intervention in Mexico would mean 
another Ireland, another Poland another sore 
spot in the world. Well, why not? ' 

Those were almost the last words spoken to 
me when I left Germany in 1914 upon my ill- 
fated mission to England. I had in my pocket 
at the moment detailed memoranda of instruc- 
tions which, if they could be carried out, would 
insure such disturbances in Mexico that the United 
States would be compelled to intervene. I had 
been given authority to spend almost unlimited 
sums of money for the purchase of arms, for the 
bribery of officials for anything, in fact, that 
would cause trouble in Mexico. And the words 
I have quoted were not spoken by an uninformed 
person with a taste for cynical comment; they 

were uttered by Major Kohnemann, of Abteilung 






?__ (26 .__< 










Mischief in Mexico 

III. B of the German General Staff. They form 
a lucid and concrete explanation of German 
activities in Mexico during the past eight years. 

Long before this war began German agents 
were at work in Mexico stirring up trouble in 
the hope of causing the United States to inter- 
vene. I have already told how, in 1910 and 1911, 
Germany had encouraged Japan and Mexico in 
negotiating a treaty that was to give Japan an 
important foothold in Mexico. I have told how, 
after this treaty was well on the way to comple- 
tion, Germany saw to it that knowledge of the 
projected terms was brought to the attention of 
the United States thereby indirectly causing 
Diaz's abdication (see Chapter V.). That in- 
stance is not an isolated case of German meddling 
in Mexican affairs. Rather is it symptomatic of 
the traditional policy of Wilhelmstrasse in regard 
to America. 

It may be well to examine this policy more 
closely than I have done. Long ago Germany 
saw in South America a fertile field for exploita- 
tion, not only in a commercial way, in which it 
presented excellent opportunities to German 
manufacturers, but also as a possible opportunity 
for expansion which had been denied her else- 
where. All of the German colonies were in torrid 

p 225 

Mischief in Mexico 

climates, in which life for the white man was 
attended with tremendous hardships, and ex- 
ploitation and colonisation were consequently 
impeded. Only in the Far East and in South 
America could she find territories either unpro- 
tected through their own weakness, or so thinly 
settled that they offered at once a temptation 
and an opportunity to the nation with imperial- 
istic ambitions. In tire former quarters she was 
blocked by a concert of the Powers, many of 
them actuated by similar aims, but all working at 
such cross-purposes that aggression by any one 
of them was impossible. In Chapter II. I alluded 
to the result of such a situation in my discussion 
of the Anglo-Persian Agreement. In South 
America there was only one formidable obstacle 
to German expansion the Monroe Doctrine. 

I am stating the case with far less than its real 
complexity. There were, it is true, many facts 
in the form of conflicting rivalries of the Powers 
as well as internal conditions in South America, 
that would have had a deterrent effect upon the 
German programme. Nevertheless, it is certain 
that the prime factor in keeping Germany out 
of South America was the traditional policy of 
the United States; and, so far as the German 
Government's attitude in the matter is concerned, 


Mischief in Mexico 

it is the only phase of the problem worth con- 

Germany had no intention of securing terri- 
tory by a war of conquest. Her method was far 
* simpler and much less assailable. She promptly 
instituted a peaceful invasion of various parts of 
the continent; first, in the persons of merchants 
who captured trade but did not settle perman- 
ently in the country; second, by means of a vast 
army of immigrants, who, unlike those who a 
generation before had come to the United States, 
settled, but retained their German citizenship. 
With this unnaturalised element she hoped to 
form a nucleus in many of the important South 
American countries which, wielding a tremendous 
commercial power and possessing a political in- 
fluence that was considerable, although indirect, 
would aid her in determining the course of 
South American politics, so that by a form of 
peaceful expansion she could eventually achieve 
her aims. 

Was this a dream? At any rate, it received 
the support of many of the ablest statesmen of 
Gemany, who duly set about the task of dis- 
crediting the Monroe Doctrine in the eyes of the 
very people it was designed to protect, so that 

the United States, if it ever came forcibly to de- 


Mischief in Mexico 

fend the Doctrine, would find itself opposed not 
only by Germany, but by South America as well. 

Now, the easiest way to cast suspicion upon a 
policy is to discredit the sponsor of it. In the 
case of the United States and South America 
this was not at all difficult ; for the Southern 
nations already possessed a well-defined fear and 
a dislike of their northern neighbour which were 
not by any means confined to the more ignorant 
portions of the population. Fear of American 
aggression has been somewhat of a bugaboo in 
many quarters. Recognising this, Germany, 
which has always adopted the policy of aggra- 
vating ready-made troubles for her own ends, 
steadily fomented that fear by means of a quiet 
but well-conducted propaganda, and also by seek- 
ing to force the United States into taking action 
that would justify that fear. 

As a means towards securing this latter end, 
Mexico presented itself as a heaven-sent oppor- 
tunity. Even in the days when it was, to out- 
ward eyes, a well-ordered community, there had 
been men in the United States who had expressed 
themselves in favour of an expansion southwards 
which would result in the ultimate absorption of 
Mexico ; and although such talk had never attracted 
much attention in the quarter from which it 


Mischief in Mexico 

emanated, there were those who saw to it that 
proposals of this sort received an effective pub- 
licity south of the Isthmus. Given, then, a 
Mexico in which discontent had become so acute 
that it was being regarded with alarm by 
American and foreign investors, the possibility 
of intervention became more immediate and the 
opportunity of the trouble-maker increased pro- 

Germany's first step in this direction was the 
encouragement of a Japanese-Mexican alliance, 
the failure of which was a vital part of her pro- 
gramme. It was a risky undertaking, for if, by 
any chance, the alliance were successfully con- 
cluded, the United States might well hesitate to 
attack the combined forces of the two countries; 
and Mexico, fortified by Japan, would present a 
bulwark against the real or fancied danger of 
American expansion, that, for a time at least, 
would effectually allay the fears of South America. 
That risk Germany took and, in so far as she had 
planned to prevent the alliance, scored a success. 
That she failed in her principal aim was due to 
the anti-imperialist tendencies of the United 
States and the statesmanship of Senor Limantour 
rather than to any other cause. 

Then came the Madero Administration with 

Mischief in Mexico 

its mystical programme of reform and an oppo- 
sition headed by almost all of the able men in 
the Republic, both Mexican and foreign. Bitterly 
fought by the ring of Cientificos, who saw the 
easy spoils of the past slipping from their hands ; 
distrusted by many honest men, who sincerely 
believed that Mexico was better ruled by an able 
despot than by an upright visionary ; hampered 
by the aloofness of foreign business and Govern- 
ments, waiting for a success which they alone 
could ensure, before they should approve and 
support ; and constantly beset with uneasiness by 
the incomprehensible attitude of the Taft Ad- 
ministration and of its Ambassador the fate of 
the Madero Government was easily foreseen. 

Before Madero had been in power for three 
months this opposition had taken form as a cam- 
paign of obstruction in the Mexican Chamber of 
Deputies supported by the Press, controlled 
almost exclusively by the Cientificos and by 
foreign capitalists ; by the clergy, who had reason 
to suspect the Government of anti-clerical tenden- 
cies ; and by isolated groups of opportunity-seekers 
who saw in the Administration an obstacle to their 
own political and economic aims. The Madero 
family were represented as incompetent and self- 
seeking ; and in a short time the populace, which 


Mischief in Mexico 

a month before had hailed the new Government 
as a saviour of the country, had been persuaded 
that its programme of economic reform had been 
merely a political pretence, and accordingly added 
its strength to the party of the Opposition. 

Here was tinder in plenty for a conflagration 
of sorts. Germany applied the torch at its most 
inflammable spot. 

That inflammable spot happened to be a man 
Pazcual Orozco. Orozco had been one of 
Madero's original supporters, and in the days of 
the Madero revolution had rendered valuable ser- 
vices to his chief. An ex-muleteer, uncouth and 
without education, he possessed considerable 
ability ; but his vanity and reputation were far in 
excess of his attainments. Unquestionably he 
had expected that Madero's success would mean 
a brilliant future for himself, although it is diffi- 
cult to tell in just what direction his ambitions 
pointed. Madero had placed him in command of 
the most important division of the Federal army, 
but this presumably did not content him. At any 
rate, early in February, 1912, he made a demand 
upon the Government for two hundred and fifty 
thousand pesos, threatening that he would with- 
draw from the services of the Government unless 
this " honorarium " honesty would call it a bribe / 


Mischief in Mexico 

were paid to him. Madero refused his demand, 
but with mistaken leniency retained Orozco in 
office and on February 27, Orozco repaid this 
trust by turning traitor at Chihuahua, and involv- 
ing in his defection six thousand of Mexico's best 
troops as well as a quantity of supplies. 

Now mark the trail of German intrigue. In 
Mexico City, warmly supporting the Madero 
Government, but of little real power in the 
country, was the German Minister, Admiral von 
Hintze. In normal circumstances, his influence 
would have been of great value in helping to render 
secure the position of Madero; but with means of 
communication disrupted as they were to a large 
extent, his power was inconceivably smaller than 
that of the German Consuls, all of whom were well 
liked and respected by the Mexicans with whom 
they were in close touch. Apart from their poli- 
tical office, these men represented German busi- 
ness interests in Mexico, particularly in the fields 
of hardware and banking. In the three northern 
cities of Parral, Chihuahua and Zacatecas, the 
German Consuls were hardware merchants. In 
Torreon the Consul was director of the German 
bank. As such it would seem that it was to their 
interests to work for the preservation of a stable 
government in Mexico. And yet the fact remains 


Mischief in Mexico 

that when Orozco first began to show signs of dis- 
content, these men encouraged him with a support 
that was both moral and financial; and when the 
general finally turned traitor, it was my old friend, 
Consul Kueck, who, as President of the Chamber 
of Commerce of Chihuahua, voted to support 
him and to recognise Orozco 's supremacy in that 
State ! 

I leave it to the reader to decide whether it was 
the Minister or the Consuls who really represented 
the German Government. 

It would be idle to attempt to trace more than 
; in the briefest way Germany's part in the events 
of the next few years. Always she followed a 
policy of obstruction and deceit. During the 
months immediately succeeding the Orozco out- 
break, at the very moment that von Hintze was 
lending his every effort to the preservation of the 
Madero regime, sending to Berlin reports which 
over and over again reiterated his belief that 
Madero could, if given a free hand, restore order 
in the Republic, the German Consuls were openly 
fomenting disorder in the north. 

They were particularly well equipped to make 
trouble, by their position in the community and by 
the character and reputation of the rest of the Ger- 
man population. It may be said with safety that 


Mischief in Mexico 

however careless Germany has been about the 
quality of the men whom she has allowed to emi- 
grate to other countries, her representatives 
throughout all of Latin- America have been con- 
spicuous for their commercial attainments and for 

their social adaptability. This, in a large way, has 
been responsible for the German commercial suc- 
cess in Central and South America. As bankers 
they have been honest and obliging in the matter 
of credit. As merchants they have adapted them- 
selves to the local conditions and to the habits of 
their customers with notable success. In conse- 
quence they have been well liked as individuals 
and have been of immense value in increasing the 
prestige of the German Empire. In Mexico they 
were the only foreigners who were not disliked by 
either peon or aristocrat; and it is significant to 
note that during seven years of unrest in that 
country, Germans alone among peoples of Euro- 
pean stock have remained practically unmolested 
by any party. 

Consider of what service this condition was in 
their campaign. Respected and influential, they 
were in an excellent position to stimulate whatever 
anti- American feeling existed in Latin Ameri- 
can countries. At the same time, they were 
equally well situated to encourage the unrest in 


Mischief in Mexico 

Mexico that would be the surest guarantee of 
American intervention and the coalition against 
the United States which intervention would be cer- 
tain to provoke. They made the utmost use of 

\ their advantage, and they did it without arousing 

1 suspicion or rebuke. 

After the failure of the short-lived Orozco out- 
break, events in Mexico seemed to promise a 
peaceful solution of all difficulties. Many of 
Madero's opponents declared a truce, and the irre- 
concilables were forced to bide their time in appa- 
rent harmlessness. In November came the rebel- 
lion of Felix Diaz, fathered by a miscellaneous 
group of conspirators who hoped to find in the 
nephew r sufficient of the characteristics of the great 
Porfirio to serve their purposes. This venture failed 
also. Again Madero showed a mistaken leniency 
in preserving the life of Diaz. He paid for it with 
his life. Out of this uprising came the coup d'etat 
of General Huerta made possible by a dual 
treachery and the murder of the only man who 
at the time gave promise of eventually solving the 
Mexican problem. 

What share German agents had in that tragic 
affair I do not know. You may be sure that they 
took advantage of any opportunity that presented 
itself to encourage the conspirators in a project 


Mischief in Mexico 

that gave such rich promise of aiding them in their 
purposes. I pass on to the next positive step in 
their campaign. That was a repetition of their old 
plan of inserting the Japanese question into the 
general muddle. 

The Japanese question in Mexico is a very real 
one. I know and the United States Govern- 
ment presumably knows, also that Japan is the 
only nation which has succeeded in gaining a per- 
manent foothold in Mexico. I know that spies 
and secret agents in the guise of pedlars, engineers, 
fishermen, farmers, charcoal-burners, merchants, 
and even officers in the armies of every Mexican 
leader have been scattered throughout the country. 
The number of these latter I have heard estimated 
at about eight hundred ; at any rate it is consider- 
able. There are also about ten thousand Japanese 
who have no direct connection with Tokio, but who 
are practically all men of military age, either un- 
married or without wives in Mexico most of them 
belonging to the army or navy reserve. And, like 
the Germans, the Japanese never lose their con- 
nection with the Government in their capacity as 
private individuals. 

Through the great Government-owned steam- 
ship line, the Toyo Risen Kaisha, the Japanese 
Government controls the land for a Japanese coal- 


Mischief in Mexico 

ing station at Manzanillo. At Acapulco a Japa- 
nese company holds a land concession on a high 
hill three miles from the sea. It is difficult to see 


what legitimate use a fishing company could make 
of this location. It is, however, an ideal site for 
a wireless station. In Mexico City an intimate 
friend of the Japanese Charge d' Affaires owns a 
fortress-like building in the very heart of the 
capital. Another Japanese holds, under a ninety- 
nine years' lease, an L-shaped strip of land partly 
surrounding and completely commanding the 
waterworks of the capital of Oxichimilco. The 
land is undeveloped. Both of these Japanese are 
well supplied with money and have been living in 
Mexico City for several years. Neither has any 
visible means of support. And in all of the 
years of revolution in Mexico no Japanese 
has been killed except by Villa. He has 
caused many of them to be executed, but 
always those that were masquerading as Chinese. 
Naturally a Government cannot protest in such 

These facts may or may not be significant. . 
They serve to lend colour to the convictions of 
anti-Japanese agitators in the United States, and 
as such they have been of value to Germany. 
Accordingly it was suggested to Sefior Huerta 



Mischief in Mexico 

that an alliance with Japan would be an excellent 
protective measure for him to take. 

Huerta had two reasons for looking with favour 
upon this proposal. He was very decidedly in the 
bad graces of Washington, and he was constantly 
menaced by the presence in Mexico of Felix Diaz, 
to whom he had agreed to resign the Presidency. 
Diaz was too popular to be shot, too strong poli- 
tically to be exiled, and yet he must be removed. 
Here, thought Huerta, was an opportunity of kill- 
ing two birds with one stone. He therefore sent 
Diaz to Japan, ostensibly to thank the Japanese 
Government for its participation in the Mexican 
Centennial celebration, three years before, but in 
reality to begin negotiations for a treaty which 
should follow the lines of one unsuccessfully pro- 
mulgated in 1911. 

Senor Diaz started for Japan but he never 
arrived there. Somehow the State Department 
at Washington got news of the proposed treaty 
how, only the German agents know and Senor 
Diaz's course was diverted. 

Meanwhile, in spite of the strained relations 
between Huerta and Washington, Germany was 
aiding the Mexican President with money and 
supplies. In the north, Consuls Kueck of Chi- 
huahua, Sommer of Durango, Miiller of Her- 


Mischief in Mexico 

mosillo, and Weber of Juarez were exhibiting the 
same interest in the Huertista troops that they had 
formerly displayed towards Orozco. Kueck, as I 
happened to learn later, had financed Salvator 
Mercado, the general who had so obligingly tried to 
have me shot; and at the same time he was 
assiduously spreading reports of unrest in Mexico, 
and even attempted to bribe some Germans to 
leave the country, upon the plea that their lives 
were in danger. 

When I raided the German Consulate at Chi- 
huahua, I found striking documentary proof of 
his activities in this direction. There were letters 
there proving that he had paid to various Germans 
sums ranging as high as fifty dollars a month, 
upon condition that they should remain outside of 
Mexico. These letters, in many cases, showed 
plainly that this was done in order to make it seem 
that the unrest was endangering the lives of foreign 
inhabitants, in spite of which several of the re- 
cipients complained that their absence from Mexico 
was causing them considerable financial loss, and 
showed an evident desire to brave whatever dangers 
there might be if they could secure the permission 
of Consul Kueck. 

During the year and more that Huerta held 
power, Germany followed the same tactics, I need 


Mischief in Mexico 

not mention the attempt to supply Huerta with 
munitions after the United States had declared an 
embargo upon them ; or that it has been generally 
admitted that the real purpose of the seizure of 
Vera Cruz by United States marines was to pre- 
vent the German steamer Ypiranga from delivering 
her cargo of arms to the Mexicans. That is but one 
instance of the way in which ^German policy worked 
a policy which, as I have indicated, was opposed 
to the true interests of Mexico, and has been solely 
directed against the United States. Up to the very 
outbreak of the war it continued. After Villa's 
breach with Carranza, emissaries of Consul Kueck 
approached the former with offers of assistance. 
Strangely enough, he rejected them, principally 
because he hates the Germans for the assistance 
they gave his old enemy, Orozco. Villa had, more- 
over, a personal grudge against Kueck. When 
General Mercado was defeated at Ojinaga, papers 
were found in his effects that implicated the Consul 
in a conspiracy against the Constitutionalists, 
although at the time Kueck professed friendship for 
Villa and was secretly doing all he could to increase 
the friction that existed between the general and 
Mercado. Villa had sworn vengeance against the 
double-dealer; and Kueck, in alarm, fled into the 

United States. 




IX PURSUAXCE of the power-; conferred by the Aliens Restriction 
Act. 1SIU. <md of Article XII of the Order in Council made under tluit Act 

on the Dili September. 1014, I HEREBY ORDER tluit 

Horct Von Sar Colts 

an Alien, shall be deported from the United Kingdom. 

' DONE at Whitehall this t)t}r day of ; -ril .- 191 & 

(Higned) E. toKei n; . 
One of His M'ajfsly's Principal Secretaries of State. 


(Seep. 188) 

Mischief in Mexico 

With the outbreak of the Great War the 
situation changed in one important particular. 
Heretofore, German activities had been part of a 
plan of attack upon the prestige of the United 
States. Now they became necessary as a measure 
of defence. Before two months had passed it 
became evident to the German Government that 
the United States must be forced into a war with 
Mexico in order to prevent the shipment of 
munitions to Europe. 

So began the last stage of the German intrigue 
in Mexico an intrigue which still continues. As 
a preliminary step, Germany had organised her 
own citizens in that country into a .well-drilled 
military unit a little matter which Captain von 
Papen had attended to during the spring of 1914. 
One can read much between the lines of the report 
sent to the Imperial Chancellor by Admiral von 
Hintze, commenting upon the work of Captain 
von Papen in this direction. The admiral says 
in part : 

;i He showed especial industry in organising 
the Germany colony for purposes of self-defence, 
and out of this shy and factious material, unwilling 
to undertake any military activity, he obtained 
what there was to be got." 

Von Hintze significantly recommends that the 

Q 241 

Mischief in Mexico 

captain should be decorated .with the fourth class 
of the Order of the Red Eagle. 

As related in Chapter IX., I left Germany in 
October of 1914 with a detailed plan of campaign 
for the " American front," as Dr. Albert once put 
it. My final instructions were simple and explicit. 

" There must be constant uprisings in 
Mexico," I was told in effect. "Villa, Carranza, 
must be reached. Zapata must continue his 
maraudings. It does not matter in the least how 
you produce these results. Merely produce them. 
All Consuls have been instructed to furnish you 
with whatever sums you need and they will not 
ask you any questions." 

. Rather complete, was it not? I left with every 
intention of carrying the instructions out and in 
a little over a week was made hors de combat. It 
was then that von Rintelen, who had already 
planned to come over to the United States in order 
to inaugurate a vast blockade-running system, 
undertook to add my undertaking to his own 

What von Rintelen did is well known, so I shall 
only summarise it here. His first act was an 
attempted restitution of General Huerta, which he 
knew was the most certain method of causing in- 
tervention. Into this enterprise both Boy-Ed and 


Mischief in Mexico 

von Papen were impressed, and the three men set 
about the task of making arrangements with 
former Huertistas for a new uprising to be 
financed by German money. They sent agents to 
Barcelona to persuade the former Dictator to enter 
into the scheme; and finally, when the General 
was on his way to America, they attempted to 
arrange it so that he should arrive safely in New 
York and ultimately in Mexico. It was a plan 
remarkably well conceived and well executed. It 
would have succeeded but for one thing. General 

Huerta was captured by the United States authori- 
ties at the very moment that he tried to cross from 
Texas into Mexico ! 

But the indomitable von Rintelen was not dis- 
couraged. He had but one purpose to make 
trouble and he made it with a will. He sent 
money to Villa, and then, like the philanthropist 
in Chesterton's play, supported the other side by 
aiding Carranza, financing Zapata and starting two 
other revolutions in Mexico. Meanwhile anti- 
American feeling continued to be stirred up, 
German papers in Mexico presented the Father- 
land's case as eloquently as they did elsewhere, and 
to a far more appreciative audience. Carranza was 
encouraged in his rather unfriendly attitude 
towards Washington. In a word, no step was 


Mischief in Mexico 

neglected which would embarrass the Wilson 
Administration and make peace between the two 
countries less certain or more difficult to maintain. 

Need I complete the story? Is it necessary to 
tell how, after the recall of von Papen and Boy-Ed 
and the escape of von Rintelen, Mexico continued 
to be used as the catspaw of the German plotters? 
Everyone knows the events of the last few months ; 
of the concentration of German reservists in various 
parts of Mexico ; of the bitter attacks made upon 
the United States by pro-German newspapers ; 
and of the reports, greatly exaggerating German 
activities in Mexico, which have been circulated 
with the direct intention of provoking still more 
ill-feeling between the two countries by leading 
Americans to believe that Mexico is honeycombed 
with German conspiracies. 

These activities have not applied to Mexico 
alone. It is significant that twice in February of 
1917 the Venezuelan Government has declined 
to approve of the request of President Wilson that 
other neutral nations should join him in breaking 
diplomatic relations with Germany as a protest 
against submarine warfare, and that many Vene- 
zuelan papers have stated that this refusal is due 
to the representations of resident Germans, who 
are many and influential. These are, of course, 


Mischief in Mexico 

legitimate activities, but they are in every case 
attended by a threat. Revolutions are easily 
begun in Latin America, and the obstinate Govern- 
ment can always be brought to a reasonable view- 
point by the example of recent uprisings or 
revolutions, financed by Germany, in Costa Rica, 
Peru and Cuba. Within a very recent time 
rumours were afloat in Venezuela that Germany 
had assisted General Cipriano Castro in the 
revolutionary movement that he had been organis- 
ing in Porto Rico. It was reported that there 
were on the Colombian frontier many disaffected 
persons who would gladly join Castro if he landed 
in Colombia and marched on Caracas, as he did 
successfully in 1890. 

For several years the Telefunken Company, a 
German corporation, has tried to obtain from the 
Venezuelan Government a concession to operate a 
wireless plant, which should be of greater power 
than any other in South America. When this 
proposal was last made certain Ministers were for 
accepting it, but the majority of the Government 
realised the uses to which the plant could be put 
and refused to grant the concession. An alterna- 
tive proposal, made by the Government, to 
establish a station of less strength was rejected by 
the Company. 


Mischief in Mexico 

Germany has steadily sought such wireless sites 
throughout this region. Several have been estab- 
lished in Mexico, and in 1914 it was through a 
wireless station in Colombia that the German 
Admiral von Spec was enabled to keep himself 
informed of the movements of the squadron of 
Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock information 
which resulted in the naval battle in Chilean waters 
with a loss of three British battleships. It was after 
this battle that Colombia ordered the closing of all 
wireless stations on its coasts. 

In Cuba, too, the hand of Germany has been 
evident, in spite of the disclaimers which were 
made by both parties in the rebellion which, in 
1916, grew out of the contested election in which 
both President Menocal and the Liberal candi- 
date, Alfredo Zayas, claimed a victory. It is 
strange, if this were the real cause of the up- 
rising, that hostilities did not start until 9th Feb- 
ruary, 1917, when General Gomez, himself an ex- 
President, began a revolt in the eastern portion of 
the island. The date is important; it was barely 
a week before new elections were to be held in two 
disputed provinces and only six days after the 
United States had severed diplomatic relations 
with the German Government, and but four days 
after President Menocal's Government had de- 


Mischief in Mexico 

dared its intention of following the action of the 
United States. 

A little study of the personnel and develop- 
ments of the rebellion furnishes convincing evi- 
dence as to its true backing. The Liberal Party 
is strongly supported by the Spanish element of 
the population, which is almost unanimously pro- 
German in its sympathies. All over the island, 
both Germans and Spaniards were arrested for 
complicity in the uprising. Nor have the clergy 
escaped. Literally, dozens of bishops were im- 
prisoned in Havana upon the same charges. 

It is also a notorious fact that the Mexicans 
have supported the Liberals, and that the staffs of 
the Liberal newspapers are almost exclusively com- 
posed of Mexican journalists. These newspapers 
were suppressed at the beginning of the revolu- 

But far more significant are the developments 
in the actual fighting. 

Most of the action has taken place in the 
eastern provinces of Camaguey, Oriente and Santa 
Clara in which the more fertile fields of sugar 
cane are situated. The damage to the cane fields 
has been estimated at 5,000,000 tons and is, from 
a military standpoint, unnecessary. 

Colonel Rigoberto Fernandez, one of the revo- 


Mischief in Mexico 

lutionary leaders, stated that the rebels were plenti- 
fully supplied with hand grenades and artillery 
although the reports prove that they had none. 
Was this an empty boast or may there be a con- 
nection between Fernandez's statement and the 
capture by the British of three German ships, 
which were found off the Azores, laden with mines 
and arms? 

I was in Havana in the latter part of March 
upon a private errand, although the Cuban 
papers persisted in imputing sinister designs 
to me. Naturally, the Germans were not in- 
clined to tell all their secrets, but my Mexican 
acquaintances, all of whom were well informed 
regarding Cuban affairs, gave me considerable in- 
formation. Among other Mexicans I met General 
Joaquin Maas, the former General of the Federal 
forces under Huerta. The General has since made 
peace with Carranza and was at this time acting as 
the latter's go-between in negotiations with Ger- 
many. When I last saw Maas it was after the 
battle of El Paredo. He was about to blow out 
his brains, but one of his lieutenants elegantly in- 
formed him that he was a fool and dissuaded him 
from suicide. Maas received me with the courtesy 
due to a former opponent, and was not averse from 

telling me much about the situation. I also had 


Mischief in Mexico 

ample occasion to speak with Spaniards, whose 
sympathies were decidedly pro-German. 

Little by little I was enabled to acquire a rather 
complete idea not of the issues underlying the 
Cuban revolution, but of what had brought 
matters to a head. The answer may be found in 
one word Germany. German agents notably 
Dr. Hawe ben Hawas, who took a mysterious 
botanising expedition throughout that part of 
Cuba which later became the scene of revolu- 
tionary activities, and who has thrice teen arrested 
as a German spy saw in the political unrest of the 
country another opportunity to create a diversion 
in favour of Germany. Cuba at peace was a 
valuable economic ally of the United States. Cuba 
in rebellion was a source of annoyance to the 
country, since it meant intervention, the political 
value of which was unfavourable to the United 
States, and a serious loss in sugar, which is one of 
the most important ingredients in the manufacture 
of several high explosives. 

Hence the burning of millions of tons of sugar 
cane. Hence the rebel seizure of Santiago de 
Cuba. Hence the large number of negroes who 
joined the rebel army, and whose labour is indis- 
pensable in the production of sugar. 

The ironic part of it all is that Germany had 

Mischief in Mexico 

nothing to gain by a change of government in 
Cuba. Any Cuban Government must have a 
sympathetic attitude towards the United States. 
What Germany wanted was a disruption of the 
orderly life of the country and she wanted it to 
continue for as long a time as possible. 

At the present writing the Cuban rebellion is 
ended. General Gomez and his army have been 
captured, President Menocal is firmly seated in 
power again, and the rebels hold only a few un- 
important points. But much damage has been 
done in the lessening of the sugar supply and 
the rebellion has also served its purpose as an 
illustration of Germany's ability to make trouble. 

Germany has played a consistent game through- 
out. She has sought to use all the existing weak- 
nesses of the world for her own purposes all the 
rivalries, all the fears, all the antipathies, she has 
utilised as fuel for her own fire. And yet, 
although she has played the game with the utmost 
foresight, with a skill that is admirable in spite of 
its perverse uses, and with an unfailing assurance 
of success she has come to the fourth year of the 
Great War with the fact of failure staring her in 
the face. 

But she has not given up. You may be sure 

that she has not given up. 




The last stand of German intrigue Germany's spy system 
in America. What is coming ? 

As I write these last few pages three clippings 
from recent newspapers lie before me on my 
desk. One of them tells of the new era of good 
feeling that exists between the Governments of 
Mexico and the United States, and speaks of the 
alliance of Latin American Republics against Ger- 
man autocracy. 

Another tells how the first contingent of 
American troops has landed in France after a 
successful battle with a submarine fleet. And a 
third speaks of the victorious advance of the troops 
of Democratic Russia, after the world had begun 
to believe that Russia had forgotten the War in 
her new freedom. 

I read them over again, and I think that each 
one of these clippings, if true, writes " failure" 
once again upon the book of German diplomacy. 

I remember a day not so very many months 

The Complete Spy 

ago, when a man with whom I had some business 
in for me less tranquil days, came to see me. 

" B. E. is in town," he said quietly. "He 
says he must see you. Can you meet him at the 
Restaurant to-night? ' 

Boy-Ed ! I was not surprised that he should 
be in America, for I knew the man's audacity. 
But what could he want of me? Well, it would 
do no harm to meet him, I thought, and anyway 
my curiosity was aroused. 

I nodded. 

' < I '11 be there, ' ' I said. < ' At what hour ? ' ' 

"Six-thirty," my friend replied. " It's only 
for a minute. He is leaving to-night." 

That evening for the first time in two years 
I saw the man who had done his best to compro- 
mise the United States. I did not ask him what 
his presence meant and, needless to say, he did 
not inform me. 

Our business was of a different character. I 
had just arranged to write a series of newspaper 
articles exposing the operations of the Kaiser's 
secret service, and Boy-Ed tried to induce me to 
suppress them. 

" I cannot do it," I told him. 

But the captain showed a remarkable know- 
ledge of my private affairs. 


The Complete Spy 

" Under your contract," he said, " the articles 
cannot be published until you have endorsed them. 
As you have not yet affixed your signature to 
them, you can suppress them by merely withhold- 
ing your endorsement." 

This I declined to do, and our conversation 

Shortly afterwards Boy-Ed returned to Ger- 
many on the U53. He did not attempt to see 
me again, but three times within the following 
weeks attempts were made on my life. Later, 
pressure was brought to bear from sources close 
to the German Embassy, but they failed to secure 
the suppression of the articles. 

But my curiosity was aroused as to the mean- 
ing of Boy-Ed's presence, and I set to work to 
discover the purpose of it. This was not difficult, 
for although I have ceased to be a secret agent, I 
am still in touch with many who formerly gave 
me information, and I know ways of discovering 
many things I wish to learn. 

Soon I had the full story of Boy-Ed's latest 
activities in the United States. 

He had, I learned, gone first to Mexico in an 
attempt to pave the way for that last essay at a 
Mexican-Japanese alliance, which the discovery 
of the famous Zimmermann note later made 


The Complete Spy 

public. Whether he had succeeded or no I did 
not discover at the time. But, what was more 
important, I did learn that while he was in Mexico 
Boy-Ed had selected and established several sub- 
marine bases for Germany ! His plans had also 
carried him to San Francisco, to which he had 
gone disguised only by a moustache. There he 
had identified several men who were needed by 
the counsel for the defence of the German Consul 
Bopp, who had been arrested on a charge of con- 
spiring to foment sedition within the United 

From the Pacific coast Boy-Ed had gone to 
Kansas City and had bought off a witness who 
had intended to testify for the United States in 
the trial of certain German agents. Thence, after 
a private errand of his own, he had made his 
way to New York, en route to Newport and 

It may be well here to comment upon one 
feature of the Zimmermann note which has gener- 
ally escaped attention. It was through no blunder 
of the German Government that that document 
came into the possession of the United States, as 
I happen to know. I must remind you that 
diplomatic negotiations are carried through in the 
following manner. The preliminary negotiations 


The Complete Spy 

are conducted by men of unofficial standing, and 
it is not until the attitude of the various Govern- 
ments involved is thoroughly understood by each 
of them that final negotiations are drawn up. 
Now, although no negotiations had taken place 
between Germany, Japan and Mexico, the form 
of the Zimmermann note would seem to indicate 
that there was a thorough understanding between 
these countries. They were drawn up in this form 
with a purpose. Germany wished the United 
States to conclude that Mexico and Japan were 
hostile to her ; Germany had hoped that America 
would be outwardly silent about the Zimmermann 
note, but would take some diplomatic action 
against Mexico and Japan which would inevitably 
draw these two countries into an anti-American 

Did President Wilson perceive this thoroughly 

[Teutonic plot? I cannot say; but, at any rate, 

\upon February 28 he astounded America by re- 

|vealing once again Germany's evil intentions 

towards the United States, and by so doing not 

only defeated the German Government's particu- 

/ lar plan, but effectively cemented public opinion 

in the United States, bringing it to a unanimous 

support of the Government in the crisis which was 

slowly driving towards war. 

The Complete Spy 

That marked the last stand of German in- 
trigue as it was conducted before the war. Now 
there is a new danger a danger whose concrete 
illustration lies before me in the account of that 
first engagement between United States warships 
and German submarines. 

The people of the United States, just entered 
into active participation in the War, are faced 
with a new peril the betrayal of military and 
naval secrets to representatives of the German 
Government working in America. Not only was 
it known to Germany that American troops had 
been sent to France, but the very course that the 
transports were to take had been communicated 
to Berlin. It is probable that other news of equal 
value has been or is being sent to Germany at 
the present time; and the United States is con- 
fronted with the possibility of submarine attacks 
upon its troopships, as well as other dangers 
which, if not properly grappled with, may result in 
serious losses and greatly hamper it in its conduct 
of the War. 

What exactly is this spy peril w r hich the United 
States now faces and which constitutes a far 
greater, because less easily combated, danger than 
actual warfare? 

How can it be got rid of? 

The Complete Spy 

These are the questions which the American 
people and the American Government are asking 
themselves and must ask themselves if they are 
to bear an effective share in the War in which 
they are engaged. 

Because of my former connection with the Ger- 
man Government and my work as a secret agent 
both in Europe and America, in the former of 
which I was brought into intimate contact with 
the workings of the secret service in other countries, 
I am prepared to give an accurate account of the 
general structure and workings of the German spy 
system in the United States as it is to-day. 

It is important to remember that the secret 
diplomatic service, as it was conducted in America 
before the War, and with which I was connected, 
is entirely different both in its personnel and 
methods from the spy system which is in opera- 
tion to-day. I shall point out presently why this 
is so and why it must be so. 

Before the entry of the United States into the 
War the principal activities of the German 
Government's agents were confined to the 
fomenting of strikes in munitions plants and 
other war activities, the organising of plots to 
blow up ships, canals, or bridges anything which 
would hamper the transportation of supplies to 

R 257 

The Complete Spy 

the Allies and the inciting of sedition by stir- 
ring up trouble between German- Americans and 
Americans of other descent. All of these acts 
were committed in order to prevent the United 
States from aiding in any way the enemies of 
Germany ; and also, by creating disorder in peace 
time, to furnish an object lesson of what could 
be done in time of war. 

These things were planned, supervised and 
executed by Germans and by other enemies of 
the Allies, under the leadership of men like von 
Pap en, who were accredited agents of the Ger- 
man Government and who were protected by 
diplomatic immunity. 

Now that War has come an entirely new task 
is before the German Government and an entirely 
new set of people are needed to do it. War-time 
spying is absolutely different from the work which 
was done before the War, and the two have no 
connection with each other except as the work 
done before the War has prepared the way for 
the work which is being done now. 

And whereas the work done before the War 
was conducted by Germans, the present work, 
for very obvious reasons, cannot be done by any- 
one who is a German or who is likely to be sus- 
pected of German connections. 


The Complete Spy 

I venture to say that not 1 per cent, of the 
persons who are engaged in spying for the Ger- 
man Government at the present time is either 
of German birth or descent. 

I say this, not because I know how the German 
secret service is being conducted in the United 
States, but because I know how it has been con- 
ducted in other countries. 

Let me explain. It is obvious that such activi- 
ties as the inciting to strikes and the conspiring 
which were done in the last three years could be 
safely conducted by Germans, because the two 
countries were at peace. The moment that 
War was declared every German became an object 
of suspicion, and his usefulness in spying that 
is, the obtaining of military, naval, political and 
diplomatic secrets was ended immediately. For 
that reason Germany and every other Government 
which has spies in the enemy country make a 
practice during War of employing virtually no 
known citizens of its own country. 

At the present time more than 90 per cent, 
of the German spies in England are Englishmen. 
The rest are Russians, Dutchmen, Roumanians 
what you will anything but Germans. 

One of the former heads of the French secret 
service in America was a man who called himself 


The Complete Spy 

Guillaume. His real name is Wilhelm and he 
was born in Berlin ! 

For that reason to arrest such men as Carl 
Heynen or Professor Hanneck is merely a pre- 
cautionary measure. Whatever connection these 
men may have had with the German Government 
formerly, their work is now done, and their deten- 
tion does not hinder the workings of the real spy 
system one iota. 


It is difficult to distinguish between the work 
done in neutral countries by the secret diplomatic 
agent the man who is engaged in fomenting 
disorders, such as I have described and the spy 
who is seeking military information which may 
be of future use. The two work together, in that 
the secret agent reports to Berlin the names of 
inhabitants of the country concerned who may 
be of use in securing information of military or 
naval value. It is well to remember, however, 
that the real spy always works alone. His con- 
nection with the Government is known only to a 
very few officials, and is rarely or never suspected 
by the people who assist him in securing informa- 
tion. Here permit me to make a distinction be- 
tween two classes of spies : the agents or directors 


The Complete Spy 

of espionage, who know what they are doing; 
and the others, the small fry, who procure bits of 
information here and there and pass it on to 
their employers, the agents, often without realising 
the real purpose of their actions. 

In the building of the spy system in America 
Germans and German-Americans have been 
used. Business houses such as banks and in- 
surance companies, which have unusual oppor- 
tunities of obtaining information about their 
clients, most of whom, in the case of German 
institutions in America, are of German birth or 
descent have been of service in bringing the 
directors of spy work into touch with people who 
will do the actual spying. 

The German secret service makes a point of 
having in its possession lists of people who are 
in a position to find out facts of greater or less 
importance about Government officials. House- 
maids, small tradesmen, and the like, can be of 
use in the compiling of data about men of im- 
portance, so that their personal habits, their 
financial status, their business and social relation- 
ships become a matter of record for future use. 
These facts are secured, usually by a little 
" jollying " rather than the payment of money, by 

the local agent a person sometimes planted in 


The Complete Spy 

garrison towns, State capitals, etc. who is paid 
a comparatively small monthly sum for such 
work. This information is passed to a director 
of spies, who thereby discovers men who are in a 
position to supply him with valuable data and 
who determine whether or not they can be 

Now, just how is this "reaching" done? 
Mainly, I think it safe to say, by blackmail and 
intimidation. If from this accumulated gossip 
about his intended victim who may be an army 
or naval officer, a manufacturer of military sup- 
plies, or a Government clerk the spy learns of 
some indiscretion committed by the man or his 
wife, he uses it as a lever in obtaining information 
that he desires. Or he may hear that a man is 
in financial straits. He will make a point of 
seeing that his victim is helped, and then will 
make use of the latter's friendship to worm facts 
out of him. In this way, sometimes without the 
suspicion of the victim being aroused, little bits 
of information are secured, which may be of no 
importance in themselves, but are of immense 
value when considered in conjunction with facts 
acquired elsewhere. 

Ultimately the victim will jib or become sus- 
picious. Then he is offered the alternative of 


The Complete Spy 

continuing to supply information or of being 
exposed for his previous activities. Generally 
he accepts the lesser evil. 

In this manner the spy system is built up even 
in peace times. The tremendous sums of money- 
that are spent in this manner amount to millions^] 
The quantity of information secured is, on the 
other hand, inconceivably small for the most part. 
But in the mass of useless and superfluous facts 
that are supplied to the spies and through them 
to the Government, are to be found a few that are 
worth the cost of the system. By the time war 
breaks out, if it does, the German Government 
has in its possession innumerable facts about the 
equipment of the army and navy of its enemy 
and, more important still, it has in its power men, 
sometimes high in the confidence of the enemy 
Government, who can be forced into giving addi- 
tional information when needed. 

Now, the moment that war breaks out, what 
happens? The German Government has, dis- 
tributed throughout the country, thousands of 
men and women who have legitimate business 
there ; it has its hands on men who are not spies, 
but who will betray secrets for a price either in 
money or security ; it is acquainted with the 
strength and weakness of fortresses, various 


The Complete Spy 

units of the service, the exact armament of every 
ship in the Navy, the resources of munition 
factories in a word, almost all of the essential 
details about that country's fighting and economic 
strength. It also knows what portion of the 
populace is inclined to be disaffected. And it is 
thoroughly familiar .with the strategical points 
of that country, so that in case of invasion it may 
strike hard and effectively. 

What it must learn now is : 

First, what are the present military and naval 
activities of the enemy. 

Second, what they are planning to do. 

Finally, the German Government must learn 
the how, why, when and where of each of these 

That, with the machinery at its command, is 
not so difficult as it would seem. 

Here is where the value of the minor bits of 
information comes in. A trainman tells, for 
instance, that he has seen a trainload of soldiers 
that day, upon such and such a line. A similar 
report comes in from elsewhere. Meantime 
another agent has reported that a certain pack- 
ing house has shipped to the Government so many 
tons of beef; while still another announces the 

delivery at a particular point of a totally different 


The Complete Spy 

kind of supplies. Do you not see how all these 
facts, taken together, and coupled with an accurate 
knowledge of transportation conditions and of 
the geographical structure of the country would 
constitute an important indication of an enemy's 
plans, even failing the possession of any absolute 
secrets? Do you not suppose that weeks 
before you were aware that any United States 
soldiers had sailed for France, the Germans 
might have known of all the preparations that 
were being made and could deduce accurately 
the number of troops that were sailing and many 
facts of importance about their equipment ? There 
is no need for the betrayal of secrets for this 
kind of information to become known. It is a 
mere matter of detective work. 

But mark one feature of it. These facts are 
communicated by different spies not to a central 
clearing-house of information in the United States, 
as has been surmised, but to various points 
outside the country for transmission to the Great 
General Staff. They are duplicated endlessly by 
different agents. They are sent to many different 
people for transmission. And even if half of 
the reports were lost, or half of the spies were 
discovered, there would still be a sufficient 
number left to carry on their work successfully. 

R* 265 

The Complete Spy 

Germany does not depend upon one spy alone 
for even the smallest item. Always the work is 
duplicated. Always the same information is 
being secured by several men, not one of whom 
knows any of the others; and always that in- 
formation is transmitted to Berlin through so 
many diverse channels that it is impossible for 
the most vigilant secret service in the world to 
prevent a goodly part of it from reaching its 

How that information is transmitted I shall 
tell in a moment. First I wish to explain how 
more important facts are secured the secret 
plans of the Government, such, for instance, as 
the course which had been decided upon for the 
squadron which carried the first American troops 
to France. 

It is obvious that such facts as these could not 
have been deduced from a mass of miscellaneous 
reports. That secret must have been learned in 
its entirety. Exactly how it was discovered I 
do not pretend to know, nor shall I offer any 
theories. But here, in a situation of this sort 
unquestionably, is where the real spy the 
" master spy," if you wish to call him so 
steps in. 

Now, it is impossible, in spite of the utmost 

The Complete Spy 

vigilance, to keep an important document from 
the knowledge of all but one or two people. No 
matter how secret, it is almost certain to pass 
through the hands of a number of officials and 
possibly several clerks. And with every additional 
person who knows of it the risk of discovery 
or betrayal is correspondingly increased. If in 
code, it may be copied or memorised by a spy 
who is in a position to get hold of it, or by a 
person who is in the power of that spy! Once 
in Berlin, it can be deciphered. For the General 
Staff and the Admiralty have their experts in 
these matters who are very rarely defeated. 

You may be sure that Germany has made her 
utmost efforts to put her spies into high places 
in America, just as she has tried to do elsf- 
where. You may be sure, also, that she has? 
neglected no opportunity to gain control over 
any official or any naval or army officer how- 
ever important or unimportant whom the agents 
could influence. That has always been her 
method ; nor is it difficult to see why it frequently 

Imagine the situation of a man who in time of 
peace had supplied, either innocently or other- 
wise, a foreign agent with information which 
possessed a considerable value. It is probable 


The Complete Spy 

that he would revolt at a suggestion that he should 
do it in time of war but with his neck once in the 
German noose, with the alternative of additional 
compliance or exposure facing him, it is not hard 
to see how some men would become conscious 
traitors and others would be driven to suicide. 

By a system of blackmail and intimidation the 
Germans have attempted to force into their ranks 
many people from whom they extort information 
that would now be regarded as traitorous, although 
formerly it might have been given out in all 

Undoubtedly it was for purposes of intimida- 
tion that von Papen carried with him to England 
papers incriminating Germans and German- 
Americans who had been associated with him in 
one way or another. And why did von Riritelen 
return to America and aid the Government in ex- 
posing the German connections of people who had 
no German blood in them? The obvious answer 
is that those people had refused to aid him in some 
scheme he had proposed. Therefore he made 
examples of them, with the double purpose of 
demonstrating to the United States the extent 
of German intrigue and of filling other implicated 
people with fear of the exposure that would come 
to them if they were not more compliant. 


The Complete Spy 

Once in possession of secret information, the 
spy is faced with the necessity of transmitting it 
to Berlin. Here again the spy who is a German 
would meet with considerable difficulty. He may 
mail letters if no mail censorship has been in- 
stituted; but these are liable to seizure and are 
not so useful in the transmission of war secrets 
as they were in informing his Government before 
the war of more or less standard facts about the 
strength of fortifications and the like. He may 
use private messengers as do all spies but the 
delay in this method is a severe handicap. 

In sending news of the movements of troops 
speed is the prime essential. Consequently he 
must communicate either by wireless or by cable. 
How does he do it? 

There are innumerable ways. There may be in 
the confidential employ of many business houses 
which do a large cable business with neutral 
countries men who are either agents or dupes of 
the German Government. These men may send 
cables which seem absolutely innocent business 
messages, but which if properly read impart facts 
of military value to the recipient in Holland, say, 
or in Spain, or South America. It is not a dif- 
ficult matter to use business codes, giving to the 

terms an entirely different meaning from the one 


The Complete Spy 

assigned in the code-book. Personal messages 
are also used in this way, as is well known. As 
to the wireless, although all stations are under 
rigid supervision, what is to prevent the Germans 
from establishing a wireless station in the Ken- 
tucky mountains, for instance, and for a time 
operating it successfully? 

But in spite of all cable censorship, the spy 
can smuggle information into Mexico, where it 
can be cabled or wirelessed on to Berlin, either 
directly or indirectly by way of one of the neutral 
countries. Even in spite of the most rigid censor- 
ship of mails and telegrams this sort of smug- 
gling can be accomplished. 

When I was in the Constitutional Army in 
Mexico I used to receive revolver ammunition 
from an old German who carried it over the border 
in his wooden leg. Could not this method be 
applied to dispatches? 

There are numerous authenticated cases of 
spies who have sent messages concealed in 
sausages or other articles of food. Moreover, 
the current of the Rio Grande at certain places 
runs in such a manner that a log or a bucket 
dropped in on the American side will drift to the 
Mexican shore and arrive at a point which can be 

determined with almost mathematical precision. 


The Complete Spy 

I mention these instances merely to show how 
little of real value the censorship of cables and 
mails can accomplish. The question arises : 
What can be done? I shall try to indicate the 


I say frankly that I think it absolutely im- 
possible to eradicate spies from any country. 
Certainly it cannot be done in a week or a year, 
or even in many years. It is more than probable 
that the German spy systems in France and Eng- 
land are more complete to-day than they were at 
the beginning of the War. Three years ago the 
spies in these countries were made up of both 
experienced and inexperienced men. Now the 
bunglers have been weeded out, and only those 
who are expert in defying detection remain. But 
these are the only men who were ever of real use 
to Germany ; and fortified as they are by three 
years of unsuspected work in these countries, they 
are enabled to secure information of infinitely 
more worth than they formerly were. 

What is the situation in America? 

I have shown you the structure of that system. 
Let me repeat again that Germany has installed 

in America thousands of men whose nationality 


The Complete Spy 

and habits are such as to protect them from sus- 
picion, who work silently and alone, because they 
know that their very lives depend upon their 
silence, and who are in communication with no 
central spy organisation, for the very simple 
reason that no such organisation exists. There is 
no clearing-house for spy information in the 
United States. There are no " master spies." 

Do you think that the German Government 
would risk the success of a work so important as 
J,7f this by organising a system which the arrest of 
any one man or group of men would betray ? The 
idea of centralisation in this work is popular at 
present. In theory it is a good one. In practice 
it is impossible. By the very nature of the spy's 
trade he must run alone, and not only be un- 
suspected of any connection with Germany now, 
but be believed never to have had such a connec- 
tion. If the secret service were a chain, the loss 
of one link would break it. With a system of in- 
dependent units, endlessly overlapping, eternally 
duplicating each other's work, they continue their 
practices even though half of their number are 

Now with these men, protected as they are by 
the fact that not even their fellows know them, 
with their wits sharpened by three years of silent 


The Complete Spy 

warfare against the agents of other Governments 
and the American neutrality squad, the task of 
ferreting them out is an utterly impossible one. 
You cannot prevent spies from securing in- 

You cannot prevent the transmission of that 
information to Berlin without instituting, not a 
censorship, but a complete suppression of all com- 
munications of any sort. 

But you can do much to counteract their 
methods by doing two things : 

I. Delaying all mails and cables, other than 
actual Government messages. 

II. Instituting a system of counter-espion- 
age, which shall have for its object the detection 
but not the arrest of enemy spies; and the dis- 
semination of misleading information. 

The war work of the spy depends for success 
upon the speed with which he can communicate 
new facts to Berlin. If all his messages are de- 
layed his effectiveness is severely crippled. 

If, in addition to that, all persons sending sus- 
picious messages anywhere are carefully shadowed ; 
if their associations are looked up, it may be pos- 
sible to determine from whom they are getting 
information, and by seeing that incorrect reports 


The Complete Spy 

are given them, render them of negligible value 
to their employers. 

Public arrests of suspected men are worthless. 
Such disclosures only serve to put the real spies 
on their guard. But if the spies are allowed to 
work in fancied security, it will be possible to find 
out just what they know, and the Government can 
change its plans at the last moment and so stultify 
their efforts. 

Eternal vigilance, here as elsewhere, is the 
price of security. Germany has regarded the work 
of her spies as of almost as much importance as 
the force in the field. She has spent millions of 
dollars in building up a system in America whose 
ramifications extend to all points of its national 
life. And since upon this system rest all her 
hopes of rendering worthless American participa- 
tion in the war, she will not lightly let it fail. 

I toss aside my clippings and sit looking out 
into the New York street which shows such little 
sign of war as yet. Defeat ! That is the end of 
this silent warfare, this secret underground attack 
that has in it nothing of humanity or honour. I 
think of Germany, a country of quiet, peaceful folk 
as I once knew it, bearing no malice, going cheer- 
fully about their work, seeking their destiny with 
a will that has nothing in it of conquest. And I 


The Complete Spy 

think of Germany embattled, ruled by a group of 
iron men who seek only their own ambitions as a 
goal who have brought upon the country and the 
world this three-years' tyranny of hate. 

What will be the end? Will the war go on, 
eating up the lives and honour of men with its 
monstrous appetite? Or will there be peace a 
peace that will bring nothing of revenge or op- 
pression; that will carry with it only a desire for 
justice to all the peoples of the earth that will 
kill for ever this desire for conquest which now and 
in the past has borne only sorrow and bloodshed as 
its fruit? Will the peace bring forgetfulness of 
the past, in so far as men can forget? 

That would be worth fighting for. 




K. 30. 21 8 

TO "ii^ 202 Ma i n L i bra ry 642-3403 








1 -month loans may be renewed by calling 642-3405 
6-month loans may be recharged by bringing books to Circulation Des 
Renewals and recharges may be made 4 days prior to due date 







C* IL 



FORM NO. DD 6, 40m, 6'76 


YB 25346