Dec. 29, 1907 (Sunday)
WRITER LET OFF EASY BY JUDGE, WHO IS SENSITIVE TO CELEBRITIES AND "OLD SOLDIERS": Author Booth Tarkington (above) was spared an embarrassing scene in the prisoner's dock in police court yesterday in an Indianapolis courtroom.
The author was accused of disturbing the peace and resisting officers. The affidavits, released for the first time yesterday said "that the defendant willfully, viciously and violently kicked Detective Samuels in the abdomen with both of his feet" and that he kicked Detective Manning on the legs and punched him with his fist, according to the front-page article in today's New York Times. The officers and a witness were in court, expecting to testify. But Judge Whallon ruled that the case against Tarkington had been "continued indefinitely on the court's own motion." That likely means the case will never be tried.
After the session the judge was asked if somebody else "who planted his feet in an officer's stomach would get off so easily." The judge said it might happen. In court, he had previously stated, "This action is not wanting in precedent, as the court has done it before in the case of OLD SOLDIERS and CELEBRITIES."
Tarkington is not an "old soldier" but the future Pulitzer Prize winner is considered a celebrity in 1907. The Times article reminds readers that Tarkington -- charged with an ungentlemanly act -- also wrote the book titled "The Gentleman from Indiana".
A "NEW RIVAL" HITS THE STAGE IN VAUDEVILLE: On Friday, a gentleman named William Morris, a vaudeville agent, incorporated a company for $500,000 so he can operate theaters, according to today's New York Times. He told a Times reporter:
The theatres will be high-class vaudeville houses, and we will have a house in New York. Our own theatres will reach from New York to Chicago, and beyond that we will have connections through to San Fancisco."
The Times adds that "Mr. Morris is recognized in vaudeville circuits as one of the most experienced men in the business."
Eventually, there will be a large agency that bears the William Morris name.
A STRANGE THEORY SURFACES ABOUT NIGHT-TIME AUTOMOBILING: Evidently, some automobilists think the machines run better once the SUN has GONE DOWN. Here's an explanation, courtesy of Sir Edgar Roehm, as presented in The London Auto Car, and reprinted in today's New York Times:
The reason is obvious -- for the herbage and foliage &c. give off certain gases at nightfall which act on the explosive mixture, the ignition of which supplies the force which moves the pistons of the engine, and, in consequence, we get an increase in power.
For safety's sake, we hope the HEADLIGHTS benefit from some of that mystical power as well.