The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, October 25, 1914, MAGAZINE SECTION, Page 3, Image 75

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    OBSERVATIONS
.sae.iWK
BT C. H. WILUAMS.
N
EED for a domestic relations court
In Multnomah County is pro
nounced, but as yet this want
has not . been supplied. In lieu of a
sympathetic tribunal where fractured
families can be sometimes mended, or,
at least, rendered painless surgery, as
far as may be, divorce cases are sand
wiched in between real estate tangles,
suits for damages of all kinds, murder
cases, trials of burglars, forgers and
common thieves.
Divorces merely form a part of the
grist that comes to the legal mill.
They outnumber by far any other class
of cases that comes before the courts.
Necessarily, they are given short shrift
and ground through with expedition.
By their persistent repetition they have
long lost their novelty or interest to
the Judges and court officials. In a
majority of the cases, decrees are en
tered in default of the accused partner
to answer the charges made. '
Instead of all divorces going to one
Judge, they are handed around- impar
tially among the six departments of
Circuit Court. One who sues .for a
legal separation never knows which
one will decide the merits of his case.
There is no certain day for divorces
to be decided; they are handled every
day In the week that the courts are
open. Some days decrees are given
In large numbers; on other days there
are but few. It is all a result of a
casual system whereby Judges grant
divorces whenever they have time.
The number of divorces is constantly
growing. Some say this is the gravest
American problem. All agree It is a
serious problem. How to improve con
ditions so as to lessen the number .of
divorces Is a solution that many are
seeking. So far, nobody has advanced
the particular bright idea desired.
Men are blamed mostly for the di
vorces granted every week in Multno
mah County. Their faults are usually
greater than those of women. Judges
who hear the divorce trials say they
are the . chief offenders. Women,
however, are far from perfect, as the
divorce records will show.
Judge W. N. Gatens, who has given
a lot of time to the study of domestic
problems in his work as head of the
Juvenile Court and also as a student
of the domestic tragedies that are daily
enacted in his department of Circuit
Court, favors the interlocutory decree.
This is in effect In sorrte states, notably
New York. It is a temporary separa
tion, not an absolute divorce. Tet
New York State probably has its full
share of marital unrest, if one is to
believe the reports. It is thought,
however, this sort of divorce would
Improve conditions here.
"Passing fancy instead of affection
leads so many people into marriage
.that the glamor soon wears off and'
divorce follows," says Judge Gatens.
Lacking a remedy for the present
condition, divorces keep growing in
number. They are ever on the Increase.
If they multiply much faster a special
court will be imperative.
Whoever planned the arrangement
f the Courthouse had a sardonic sense
of humor, for marriage licenses are is
sued and. divorce suits filed, at different
wickets at the selfsame counter. Be-,
tween these two points It is a matter
of a dozen steps and to span it takes
the length of a breadth of a half dozen
ticks of a watch.
But the real distance between these
two points is not to be measured.
Those wickets are as far apart as the
poles and Interstellar space, which
they say cannot be defined, has noth
ing on this fatal Journey, which is
really no more than a hop, skip and a
Jump. But divorcees will tell you that
In comparison with this fatal Jonrney
the walk over the Bridge of Sighs was
a pleasant Jaunt in the country on a
bright October morning.
The time required to make the dis
tance from marriage license to divorce
window varies with- the luck or mis
adventure of those taking the. trip.
Most of us, happily, escape it alto
gether, but there are countless couples
who do not. For some interminable
years wind their weary way between;
others make it In a month. But In any
case it is a long, long way to go.
The honeymoon trail starts at one
wicket. It Is pleasant enough then.
But the path gets rougher and rockier,
they say. as it goes on. It often winds
among the mountain peaks and over
windswept, barren rocks. Divorced ,
persons say it too frequently leads to
the brink of a precipice where the big
Jump must be made.
Viewed from another angle the de
parture from the marriage license win
dow may be said to be like nothing so
much as th launching of a ship, wbare
flags are flyink" and everyone is gay.
By the same token the arrival at the
divorce suit wicket may be likened to
the towing Into some sheltering port
of a broken and shattered derelict,
while all concerned are intent only on
salvage.
What storms and perils In between!
Divorcees tell the courts every day that
the voyage has been a succession of
misfortunes and mishaps and that they
met repeated matrimonial squalls.
The shipwrecked sailor who is
washed ashore on a spar through the
crawling canyons of the sea may know
something of rough weather, but these
patrons of the divorce courts will tell
v. i'ou that ona such Is like a bahy rocked
itrANCY' .ASSIGNED AS CAUSE
totStdia,?,5!-!!-th
One would think that after the bat-
trrf wi-o,.!.- , .u.
c.wm m uivurca
tezTrv aholdthbVnteI1K ? ."WlnS
1 t nT, , 1 ' '.tra"
as it may seem, in most cases quiet and
w a "
their charm and all too often they
again venture out into the open where is either doping out the ball game or ated and long-drawn-out that it is
the marital typhoons blow. the strategy of the European armies. good. Verbosity and repetition charac-
Hurricanes and monsoons sweep down Cruel and inhuman treatment Is an terizo them all In divorce-court lan
on the unsuspecting sailor and almost allegation in divorce cases that cov- guage. a man never swears at his wife,
blow his ship out of water at times, ers a multitude of sins. This may he invariably ""curses and swears " ac
and any honest tar will tell you thrill- mean anything from failure to remem- cording to the complaint filed by his
ing stories of heavy weather, but when Der a wife's birthday to actually beat- aggrieved partner. He never. It ap
it comes to being thrown on beam ends. ins her wit-h a club. Desertion is, of pears, strikes her only, but "strikes and
having timbers shivered, sails, masts course- a common and successful plea, beats" her, although it would seem that
and running gear carried away and all
the other adventure stuff, the average
divorce decree winner can spin a yarn
that shows the sailor to be a mere
child towing a toy sailboat in a pond
compared to the thrash and pitch and
toss of the good ship Marriage on the
Domestic Ocean, the stormiest in the
world.
One would think there should be a
trustworthy chart for this voyage, that
amateur sailors would be prepared
with compass, patent log, rafts, boats
and life preservers and that they
would be so well equipped for the jour
ney that they would know Just what to
do when ominous clouds appeared on
the horizon or sudden storms sprang
up.
One would suppose that a course that
has been found to be so full of perils
would be linked .with signs of danger,
beacon lights and signal fires. Light
houses should mark the shoals and
shallows and warning bells the danger
ous reefs.
But there seems to be no navigation
side for the newly-married that essay
to thread the dangerous currents that
run across their path. For all the mil
lions who have gone before and met
dire disaster, the newlyweds know no
more, apparently, about the ten thou
sand perils they must pass than the
first married pair. Every little while
they run full on an uncharted rock and
their frail craft is broken and sent be
neath the waves.
If these unhappy mariners had kept
a sharp lookout, if they had shortened
sail or battened down the hatches, or
done any of the other things that pru
dent sailors do when in strange waters
or stormy weather, they might have
arrived safely and cheated the divorce
courts. But the answer is they didn't.
When a skyscraper rears Its steel
skeleton against the sky, engineers
compute to the fraction of a pound the
stress and strain on each red-hot rivet
that is hammered into the structure.
When a bridge is thrown across a river
experts figure out to a nicety the bur
den put upon each beam and bolt and
every possible Jolt and Jar is provided
for.
But where is the man, or woman,
either, who will give a blueprint to the
hopeful pair at the" marriage license
wicket that will Indicate the points of
weakness and strength, the things to
be done and the things to be left un
done? The 8-year-old child whose toes
won't "Opach the pedals doing the re
quired hour's piano practice, may know
something about discords and how to
make them, but if you ask any gradu
ate of Multnomah County's divorce
courts as he or she emerges, diploma
In hand, they will tell you more of lack
of harmony than you ever thought ex
isted. There is a complete education be
tween these two sinister wickets In the
County Clerk's office at the Court
house. At the marriage license win
dow applicants are as children play
ing with ABC blocks; but by the time
they have reached the other they are
able to do higher logarithms.
At the marriage license window the
novitiate pays a fee of J3. When his
divorce is thrust through the corre-
sponding wicket at the other end of the
counter a fee of J10 is required as an
evidence of good faith that must be
followed up by various costs that make
the bill anywhere from $50 upward.
There Is some agitation by thought-
f ul minds looking toward the printing
of a divorce coupon on each marriage
license that may be torn off later if
desired. This measure may be pro
posed by initiative. It will undoubted
ly be carried unanimously.
Circuit Court Judges marry couples
and also divorce them. They take on
something of the divinity, for they
both give and take away. These mag
istrates are cheered every little while
by seeing before them warring couples,
eager for divorce and alimony, who,
only a short time before, in the same
rooms, were joined together "for bet-
ter. for worse, for richer, for poorer
until death," etc etc
Somewhat the same feeling Is ex-
perienced as comes to a physician when
his patient dies, aitnouga to. Doth cases
responsibility Is assigned to Providence
ur auiuo ouvu ficuuj.
Divorce court proceedings are not at
all Interesting to those who carry
them on and. like the man about to be
hanged who Kipling tells about, per-
sons divorced must be struck by the
bored appearance of all who turn the
"".tX "It 1tW'
The Judge on the bench, although he
doe. not sit on a bench at all but la a
comfortable swivel chair, usually reads
THE SUNDAY OEEGOXIAX, PORTLAM), OCTOBER 2.7, 1914.
ON THE. GRIND OF PORTLANDS DIVORCE MILL
riUL i rMUrAn COUNTY
V m0rnIn5 Pttper WhiIe tn tn.ony
is being given.
More often, he is not
in court at all. but reads th trn-i-iit
.i- - '
mu testimony, or some or It, after
T!.C,irt reporter ha fr the
3U,al ?:!;.
The bailiff yawns through the pro-
-""'"s- "cu cases nave long ago
lost their novelty for him. and th
ere
iTL -
&ess- z2aZsr ire2
4 Pyf7tfW ;v? i-
BT ROBERT H. MOULTOJJ
EX BASSLER, a youngster of, 6.
living at Darlen, Wis., has prob
ably the strangest driving team
R
in tire world a team of eight snapping
turtles, weighing about 30 pounds each
and from 60 to 75 years old. Rex has
tamed these creatures, which naturally
are savage, and they draw him In his
express wagon like ponies driven by
other children, although they are not
likely to shatter any speed records.
The youngster learned that turtles
could be tamed while watching his
father. Max Bassler, catching turtles
for the New Tork and Philadelphia
markets. He found that thv wata nn
preciative of kindly treatment and for
bits of food, and soon was able to make
the turtles follow him about while they
were being held for shipment to the
East. Persuading his father to give
him some of the largest, he finally
grouped them for a driving team, and
they seem to enjoy the sport as much
as he likes to ride behind them,
The turtles In Rex's team are now so
old that their back. nr. n
with moss. . The two largest are both
males and can even stand on their
backs and let them walk off with him.
The team Is kept In line by means of
a wire harness. Holes were drilled in
the hacks of the leaders' shells and In
the front part of those following, and
all then wired together.
The enterprise which led to the fash-
toning of Rex' team, that of catching
snapping turtles for the market, is, by
the way, a very profitable one. In which
J. S. and Max Bassler claim to be pl-
oneers. For three or four years now
they have been engaged In hunting
turtles and readily dispose of all they
can catch at from 6 to 12 cents a pound.
The turtles are used to make sons.
which In the first-class restaurants of
ma .cast sens ax or more a plate.
The season for catching the turtles
begins about September 15 and lasts
10 or 12 weeks, an average catch for
this period being four or five tons. The
best field for the work, the Basslers
have found to be in Southern Wisconsin
an1 Minnesota, and Northern Iowa and
Illinois. Along ,th small .treams in
these section, th. .napper. are abun-
dant, although it takes aa expert to lo-
OF MOST'CASES
tJ.. -. 8 -n, - -"iftll i- i- - ' ' f . -t,- 7 -ots fT-rt i i
1 stf -- - '- -TV- . 1
The eternal triangle fi
eurpa In mfinv
caae HninVamu..i. t
i....vi S .
rdu " miegea. over ana
over again.
Many a literary gem is hidden away
ia these tiresome and tedious divorce
complaints. Every once and again the
curious winding of a legal phrase and
. . .
curious winding of a legal phrase and
VI
cate them In the deep mud beds where
they go In the FaU to spend the Wln-
ter.
The Bassler use a slender teel rod
about six feet long, with a hook at one
end. Wading along the streams, they
"probe" every likely looking " place
where turtle signs are found. When
a turtle is struck, the end of the steel
rod Is hooked Into its back and It ia
then pulled out As they are caught
by on. man. another washes them and
p$ them in bass. A ood hole, will
Is feotra.
nP
mi
A B
Iff v
OF MARSTA!,
either one would be sufficient. Should
he injure her health by any act what
ever, either by striking .her or caus
ing her,worry, he is always accused of
having made her "sick, ill and sore."
Finally comes the fateful "findings of
fact and conclusions of law." which is
a routine statement of why and where
fore the person who sues is entitled to
a divorce or contrawlse, and In the
profuse verbiage that seems to char
acterize all court orders, motions and
documents whatever. It is set forth:
"This cause coming on regularly for
hearing, etc, etc.." for a long and te
dious distance, the recital finally
reaches the point where:
"The court having proceeded with
frequently yield 200 pounds of turtles.
When .hipping to market the turtle,
are packed In barrels, with small hole,
for ventilation, one above another.
Snapping turtles' derive their name
from their habit of snapping at any
thing within reach when their anger
is aroused. They have a bull-dog grip,
and even after the head has been sev
ered from the body for an hour or
more, the Jaw. will open and close te
naciously upon a pleca of wood thrust
ate th. mouth.
y
58fPECK IN
the trial of the case and having heard
the testimony of the witnesses and
based on said testimony makes and
files the following as Its findings of
fact and conclusions of law. etc, etc."
One would think that now, having
waded through a page or two of type
writing, the kernel of the nut was
about to be reached, but not yet. Many
vital facts are now recited, that so and
80 r married, for Instance, that they
have lived In Multnomah County quite
some time for another, and so on and
on. Finally the real gist of the mat
ter comes out. as if the author of the
decree had at last given up hope of
hiding It any longer, and It Is. usually,
about aa follows:
"That the plaintiff Is entitled to a
decree of this court forever annulling
and dissolving the bonds of matrimony
heretofore and now existing between
plaintiff and defendant and for a de
cree of this court giving the plaintiff
the care, custody and control of the
minor children of plaintiff and defend
ant, to-wlt. Cliude, Perclval. Hortense
and Guy, and for a decree and Judg
ment against the defendant for ali
mony, amounting to the sum of $45 per
month, for the support and mainten
ance of plaintiff and the said minor
children of plaintiff and defendant and
for her costs and disbursements here
in." Follows the signature of any one
of the six Circuit Court Judges, and
the divorce is accomplished.
Judge Gatens is a polished and af
fable Jurist who. If you ask him what
makes men leave home, why beautiful
girls rob cash registers or any one of
the other thousand foolish questions,
will return a civil answer. So I asked
him to beat the marriage game. Judge
Gatens has some realy serious views
on the subject. He blames men most
ly. He said:
"Divorces are too often caused by
incompatablllty based on the fact that
neither party has much regard for the
feelings of the other. They do not
consider each other's rights. Husbands
and wives should confide fully and be
honest with each other.
"Husbands go out nights without re
gard to the feelings of their wives and
without inquiring as to their arrange
ments. Husbands squander money on
their own pleasures that Is needed for
the home. ' If the wives would do the
same these same husbands would raise
the roof.
"On the other hand, no woman should
get married unless she knows some
thing about cooking. The happiest
homes are those where children are
found. Every home should have them.
One of the greatest curses and most
frequent causes for divorce Is club life
I mean men's clubs.
"Divorce is too easily obtained and
is on the Increase. If It were more
difficult to obtain people would be
more careful whom they married. Mar
riage Is the most solemn obligation
one can enter Into and It should not be
undertaken lightly. Many homes are
unhappy because the husbands do not
WORK DIGGING TRENCHES
THE advancing line may have suf
fered great losses, or the ammuni
tion may be running low. At all events,
it finds itself unable to gain ground
to the front. To retreat would be fatal.
It must remain where it Is some of
the men find natural cover, but many
must provide artificial protection from
the enemy's rifle fire. The men are
lying down as flat as they can. To
. arise, even to a kneeling position,
jmeans death or a disabling wound. The
necessity for cover under these cir
cumstances caused men to devise the
lying-down trench, sometimes called
the skirmishers' trench. It gives cover
from rifle fire to a man lying down,
but Is absolutely no protection from
shrapnel bullets. The height of the
parapet should not exceed one. foot.
The trench Itself is about 2 feet wide
and about six feet long. It can be
constructed by one man in soft ground,
using the portable Intrenching tools,
In about 20 minutes.
Under fire, aa outlined In the fore
GERMAN AUTO STRENGTH
IN Germany military motor trucks,
complete with trailer, to the number
of 1150 were under subsidy on April 1
this year. In addition, the empire had
14,700 commercial cars, capable of be
ing converted Into military vehicles.
The order of mobilization placed at the
disposal of the German general staff
approximately 15,000 delivery cars, not
counting the trailers. In addition, the
German army comprised .at the begin
ning of .this year the following "spe
cial" " vehicles: Fifty completely
.equipped motor kitchens. 100 motor
ambulances. 500 .motor-driven cannon
and four powerful - tractors, which
have been especially useful in drawing
the new 42-centimeter siege guns of
the artillery. About 200 armored cars,
fitted with Maxim guns ; 15 searchlight
cars and a number of aeroplane repair
wagon, make up the remainder.
The government ha. commandeered
the majority of all the pleasure cars
In the empire, amounting to probably
60.000 vehicles, for use by officer, at
the front and for rp.id communication
do their full duty by their children,
but leave their care all to the mother.
"There should. In my opinion. be
some requirement whereby evidence
must be shown that persons about to
marry iave known each other for a
certain required- length of time. This
would lessen divorce. I believe we
should adopt the Interlocutory decree.
This means a separation for a required
period of time, during which neither
party to the divorce may marry. It
impossible to reconcile the divorced
persons, an absolute decree may be
given later. Much trouble is caused
by the fact that men mistake a passing
fancy for love and they do not find out
their mistake until after they have
married. . Divorce follows.
"In the whole wide world there ia
nothing more pathetic than a childless
wife; and nothing sweeter than a
baby's kiss; but the most disgusting
and unnatural thing in this world to
me Is the Indifferent and negligent
mother.
"The woman who has been so blf ssed,
the woman whom God has given into
her keeping an innocent and helpless
child, depending upon her for the love
and training which will, at last, bring
It safely to womanhood, or manhood,
who neglects her duty as a mother and
allows herself to drift into sin and
Immorality, is not worthy to be called
a woman, much less a mother. For we
all know that motherhood develops the
highest and best qualities within the
woman. But do not think I am placing
all the blame and responsibility upon
the woman, who tod often becomes the
victim of wrongdoing through an un
fortunate alliance with a man unfitted
for the marriage state. There are two
sides to every question every civilized
man should have progressed far enough
beyond the animal to realize that he.
too, has some home responsibility.
"A man who, from his own selfish
motives, deprives his wife (who has
maternal instincts and love) of mother
hood, has. In my opinion, forfeited his
right to the respect of his fellow men.
"The happiest homes are the homes
with children in them; where the
fathers, as well as the mothers, live and
work for their children; where the hus
bands, as well as the wives, are true
to the marriage vowa
"The man who has his health and
strength and who is the possessor of
a faithful wife, a good mother to his
children, has need of no other bless
ings. "My experience has shown me that
in the majority of cases back of the
broken home, the unfaithful wife and
the delinquent child, the cause lies with
the drunken, inconstant and Indiffer
ent husbands and fathera
"The home Is the only foundation
upon which we can safely build our
future contentment and happiness
wine, women, the pleasures of the 'Gay
White Way' all these things will fade
In time, and never can and never will
take the place of home."
going, the man being compelled to re
main In the prone position, he can
mask himself from view in from 10
to 15 minutes and complete the trench
In 40 to 5 minutes. In this position,
and In view of a small number of
portable Intrenching tools carried by
the company, the man would be obliged
to use bis knife bayonet to loosen the
earth and the cover of his meat can
to shovel It In front of him.
One of the methods of working sug
gested by the textbooks Is to dig a
trench 18 inches wide as far back
as the knees; roll into it and dig 12
Inches wide alongside of it and down
to the feet; then roll into the second
cut and extend the first one back to
the feet. This trench was seldom used
in the Manchurian war. The best tkat
can be said for it is that men can ob
tain slight cover under a hot fire,
with a minimum of casualties, because
it involves less digging, .and they are
partially protected from the very be
ginning of the work Scientific Ameri
can. In the rear of the army. Whole regi
ments are reported to have been shift
ed under cover of night by means of
big fleets of motorcars to points 60
and 100 miles distant. In addition,
there are with the army more than
10.000 cyclists and motorcyclists.
The shortage of gasoline, which has
been- the subject of much comment in
the American press during the past
week. Is of little importance, as U
the military vehicles can be run with
equal facility on benzol and denatured
alcohol, both of which fuels are avail
able in considerable quantity In Ger
many. Scientific American.
His Birtbslone.
(Judge.)
"Did Julius give you a stone-set ring
for your birthday?"
"Tea. Isn't it a beauty? Blue white."
"But you were born in March. The
diamond 4s the birthstone for April."
"That's right: but as long as I know
Julius, my birth, month la going to be
ApriVj'