18 September 1888
ITS SEAMY SIDE
It has always been to me a matter of surprise that any man with any sense of self respect could take office in the Salvation Army. "General" Booth, addressing his officers, indeed, says:- "There are those who would have you believe that you are in a measure of very serious bondage. I cannot accept it for a moment. I consider that there are no men on the face of the earth that have not only a grander opportunity to take part in this fight for the redemption of the race, but who have greater freedom in the fight. While you act up to the light you possess you walk about your parishes like independent kings, no man daring to make you afraid. Neither malice nor envy can overthrow you." No doubt the "General" means by this that his officers can rely upon being treated fairly by himself and his sons. So they might, perhaps, if the Booths were infallible. The statements in "An ex Captain's Experiences of the Salvation Army," just published at the Christian Commonwealth Office, go far to show that any man who accepts service under "General" Booth is in danger of suffering the disagreeable consequences that often befall those who voluntarily surrender their freedom into the hands of spiritual autocrats.
Dr. Cunningham Geikie, a Norwich clergyman, who contributes a striking preface to this pamphlet, declares with truth that Mr. Booth and his family "are immeasurably more despotic than Leo XIII and his Cardinals." Dr. Geikie declares that no one can read ex Captain Redstone's narrative without feeling that, whoever becomes a Salvation Army officer, is henceforth a slave, helplessly exposed to the caprice of his superiors, and he adds, from his own personal observation, "I have heard more than one case from sufferers, in which jealousy of their popularity was, apparently, the only reason for transference to some station where success was simply impossible. I never saw such abject terror of superiors as seems to be characteristic of the officers of the Salvation Army." There is reason for this terror, for they are all under
The majors are set to watch the captains. "What am I to do?" said one of these persons to ex Captain Redstone, "when I am sent to a place to see and to quiz?" Another wrote, "Look out for the Devil; he is on your track, and so am I, too." Another publicly rated Mr. Redstone before his corps for the merest trifle. In the end, Mr. Redstone, a married man, who had given up a situation which he had held five years, after two years' service, "without trial, without formulated charges, on the strength of secret complaints, which were never apparently tested, was dismissed with less courtesy than most people would show a beggar, with two shillings and fourpence for his last week's salary." These are Dr. Geikie's words, for Mr. Redstone himself tells the simple story of his unworthy treatment without one single bitter word. Dr. Geikie declares that an officer, still in high favour at "Headquarters," told him of some of the blemishes in the Army, but conjured him on no account to breathe a syllable, "as there were eavesdroppers about who reported every word they heard."
Ex Captain Redstone was appointed to one station, where the expenses were 31s. a week before he received any salary at all. The system appears to be on the principle, "Heads I win, tails you lose." No salary is, in fact, guaranteed. If a captain collects enough money, he may take his salary up to a fixed amount; if he does not he must go short. The "General" guarantees no fixed salary. The result is that at hard stations men with families have to endure much privation, and yet are occasionally donned by the "General" for special contributions. Dr. Geikie says:- "Is it right to take advantage of the enthusiasm of young people, who know nothing of the facts of the case and send them out to virtual starvation? It is quite certain that Mr. Booth and all his family have at least decent food and shelter, but how many of their unfortunate officers, male and female, suffer from the want of both. The cases I have heard from victims are distressing beyond words. Working from morning till night, they have hardly food enough to sustain life. One good fellow frankly told me that when he had nothing he just went and begged."
Our own belief is that most of the Salvationists are honest, simple minded, earnest people; but there is a decidedly unpleasant flavour of Pharisaism about their literature. They are encouraged to make flaming professions of "full surrender," "scriptural holiness," and "perfect love," which, no doubt, bring in big subscriptions from outside, but which have an unfortunate result upon themselves. Dr. Geikie says that one captain frankly told him that "many of the lasses seemed to come to the platform only to find sweethearts, and went off when they had succeeded in doing so." Probably many young women go to church for the same purpose. At the last station to which ex Captain Redstone was sent the treasurer was sadly disappointed because women officers had not been sent, for no one else would do any good there. At a previous station he found that the tambourine lasses disappeared when they found he was a married man. The reports of the stations are not trustworthy. When the newly arrived captain had expected to find fifty he found only ten; but, as Dr. Geikie remarks, "How many officers would have moral courage to fill in the shadows of their local picture when the penalty of telling the whole truth is ruin?" Ex Captain Redstone had a banner bearer at one of his stations, a young married woman, who told his own wife that he was the only man captain they had had there whom she had not kissed. The captain took her banner away but the major restored it and this woman used to testify that she "was saved higher than the Apostle Paul." We do not doubt that the Salvation Army is doing good work on the whole; but there is not a little shame in the Gospel of Noise.
POLICE HAVE A CLUE
INQUIRIES IN LUDGATE CIRCUS
Is there a clue? The police apparently believe there is. The following facts have just come to hand in connection with it:- On the day of the murder (the 8th inst.) a man was seen in the lavatory of the City News Rooms, 4 Ludgate circus buildings, changing his clothes. He departed hurriedly, leaving behind him a pair of trousers, a shirt, and a pair of socks. Unfortunately no one connected with the establishment saw the man, or he would certainly have been stopped and questioned as to why he was changing his clothes there, and leaving the old ones behind.
Mr. Walker, the proprietor of the news rooms, states that he did not hear of the occurrence until late in the afternoon, when his attention was called to the clothes in the lavatory. He did not at the time attach any importance to the fact, and the clothes were thrown into the dust box, and placed outside, being carted away in the City Sewers cart on the Monday. On the following Tuesday, however, he received a visit from a man who said he was a police officer, and asked for the clothes which had been left there on the Saturday. Mr. walker replied that if he wanted them he would have to go to the Commissioners of the City Sewers, telling him at the same time what he had done with them. Two detectives called on Thursday last, and had an interview with Mr. Walker, and they succeeded in finding a man who saw the visitor changing his clothes in the lavatory. He has given the police a description of him. He is stated to be a man of respectable appearance, about thirty years of age, and wearing a dark moustache. The police are very reticent about the matter, and decline to give any information on the subject. They evidently attach some importance to the affair. Mr. Walker again received a visit from two detectives yesterday morning. The police are now trying to trace the clothes. There is a hope that they may furnish some clue which will lead to the identity of the man they are seeking.
POLICE ATTRACTED BY SCREAMS
ARREST OF A MAN WITH A KNIFE
Charles Ludwig, 40, a decently dressed German, of 1 The Minories, was charged at the Thames Police court today with being drunk and threatening to stab Alexander Fineberg, of 51 Leman street, Whitechapel. Prosecutor said at three o'clock that morning he was standing at a coffee stall in Whitechapel, when the accused came up drunk, and in consequence was refused to be served. He then said to prosecutor. "What are you looking at?" and then pulled out a knife and tried to stab witness. Ludwig followed him round the stall and made several attempts to stab him. A constable came up, and he was given into custody. Constable 221H said the prisoner was in a very excited condition, and witness had previously received information that he was wanted in the City for attempting to cut a woman's throat with a razor. On the way to the station he dropped a long bladed open knife, and on him was found a razor and a long bladed pair of scissors.
Inspector Punley, H Division, asked the Magistrate to remand the prisoner, as they had not had sufficient time to make inquiries concerning him.
A City constable, John Johnson, 86B, stated that early that morning he was on duty in the Minories, when he heard loud screams on "Murder" proceeding from a dark court in which there were no lights. The court led to come railway arches, and was well known as a dangerous locality. On going into the court he found the prisoner with a woman, the former appeared to be under the influence of drink. Witness asked what he was doing there, when he replied, "Nothing." The woman, who appeared to be in a very agitated and frightened condition, said, "Oh, policeman, do take me out of this." The woman was so frightened that she could then make no further explanation. He got her and the accused out of the court, and sent the latter off. He walked with the woman to the end of his beat, when she said, "Dear me! He frightened me very much when he pulled a big knife out." Witness said, "Why didn't you tell me that at the time?" and she said, "I was too much frightened." He then went and looked for the prisoner, but he could not find him, and therefore warned several other constables what he had seen. Witness had been out all the morning trying to find the woman; but up to the present time had not been able to do so. He should know here again. He believed the prisoner worked in the neighbourhood. Great excitement prevails there, as it is believed that some important discoveries in connection with the recent murders might come to light, and several people have alleged this man knows something about the tragedies. It has already been ascertained that Ludwig who now professes that he is not able to speak English, has been in this country for about three months. He accounts for his time during the last three weeks; but nothing is at present known what he has been doing before that time. Mr. Saunders said it was clear the prisoner was a dangerous man, and ordered him to be remanded.
Alexander Fineberg is a young man, apparently about 20 years of age. In answer to inquiries by our representative today, he said, "While standing at a coffee stall at the end of Commercial road and Whitechapel road about half past three o'clock this morning, Ludwig came to the stall. He asked for a cup of coffee. So far as I can remember he wore a tall hat, a black frock coat and a stand up collar. He appeared to me to be a broken down musher. I should say he was about 40 years of age. he was about 5ft 6in in height; had dark hair and a grisly moustache and whiskers. He tendered one halfpenny for the coffee, and as he would not give a penny the woman who was in charge of the stall refused to serve him. He appeared to me to be intoxicated. He then turned to me and said, "Who are you looking at?" He spoke in broken English. I replied, "I am not looking at you. I am not doing any harm." He then said, "Do you want something?"
"With these words, " said Fineberg, "he opened his coat, and pulled out a large, long bladed penknife. He struck at me with it, but I evaded the blow, and ran round the stall. He followed me, so I took a dish from off the stall to throw at him. The woman in charge, however, asked me not to do so, but to give the man in charge. At that moment a constable came up, and I charged the man with attempting to stab me. While we were standing there Constable Johnson came up and said he wanted Ludwig for attempting to cut a woman's throat. They then took him to Leman street Police station."
"On the way to the station one of the constables said to me, 'Watch his hands; he may throw something away.' Almost immediately afterwards I heard something drop, and we then saw a long bladed penknife lying on the pavement. I think he took the hint from the constable."
"But he asserts that he does not understand English."
"Oh, he can understand it when he likes. He addressed me in broken English."
"Have you seen the man before?" inquired the reporter.
"Oh, yes. I should have told you. About a quarter past three, I saw Ludwig walking towards the Minories with a woman. I noticed him particularly, because of his dress. About a quarter of an hour afterwards, the woman again passed the stall. She was running in the direction of Whitechapel road, and was shouting, although I could not understand what she said. It was about five minutes after that that Ludwig came up to the stall."
The prisoner Ludwig asserts that he lives at No. 1 The Minories. When our reporter visited there this morning, however, two persons on the premises denied that he resided there. the ground floor is occupied by a barber, and there is a club on the first floor. The upper portion of the house, however, is, it is stated, unoccupied. Constable Johnson has not yet been able to identify the woman whom he found with Ludwig in the Minories this morning. The police are, indeed, very reticent in the matter, and will merely say they are investigating the case.
WHITECHAPEL MURDER INCIDENT
Edward Quinn, a labourer, yesterday appeared in the Woolwich Police court dock. His face and hands were bruised, and his clothing blood stained. The Magistrate was about to dispose of the case summarily, when the prisoner stated that on Saturday he fell down and cut his face and knuckles. He went to a public house, and a man then told him he should charge him with the Whitechapel murder.
Mr. Fenwick:- Were you not drunk?
Quinn:- Certainly not, Sir.
Mr. Fenwick:- You will be remanded until tomorrow.
Quinn:- This is rather rough. I am dragged a mile to the station and locked up, and I am to wait another day with all this suspicion of murder hanging over my head.
Mr. Fenwick:- I will take your own bail in £5 for your reappearance.
Quinn:- I object to the whole thing. Me murder a woman! I couldn't murder a cat. (Laughter.)
The prisoner was then released on his recognisances.