A Jung Tale

Ellen Stuttle

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Of course [Rand] had to have experienced it [envy] to know it just like everybody does.

I question the implication of that statement as a generalization, irrespective of the particular emotion in regard to Rand.

Does one have to have experienced an emotion to have an idea of what the emotion is? I think one can learn from literature and from observations of other people about emotions one doesn't feel -- e.g., something like the consuming destructive passion of Iago.

Xray is always saying that she thinks Rand lacked "empathy." I'm not sure what Xray means by "empathy" -- a capacity to register what others are feeling? or to sympathize with others' feelings? or both? (I doubt she means neither.)

Although that isn't the way I've described a lack I sensed in Rand from my first reading of Atlas, it's along the lines. I was struck by what seemed to me the odd combination of Rand's brilliance -- and enormous insightfulness in some respects -- with what I've always called a "naivety," as if there was a great deal she didn't understand about people, so that she was inventing what made people tick instead of embodying awareness of emotional dynamics as is usual with great literary writers.

I'll pick up with that first reading when next I can do an extended post. Attending meetings takes it out of me.


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Does one have to have experienced an emotion to have an idea of what the emotion is? I think one can learn from literature and from observations of other people about emotions one doesn't feel -- e.g., something like the consuming destructive passion of Iago.

I can testify first hand witness that one can catch on to an emotion without feeling it. It can be done by empirical means. It is slow but it works. I learned how to be "human" in a manner similar to learning how to paint by the numbers. Since I turned fifty (long ago) I learned how to "pass" for human.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Although that isn't the way I've described a lack I sensed in Rand from my first reading of Atlas, it's along the lines. I was struck by what seemed to me the odd combination of Rand's brilliance -- and enormous insightfulness in some respects -- with what I've always called a "naivety," as if there was a great deal she didn't understand about people, so that she was inventing what made people tick instead of embodying awareness of emotional dynamics as is usual with great literary writers.



I think this is very true - Rand's brilliant naivete was clear to me from "Anthem"

onwards. It's as though she saw more than anyone - and also saw it through the eyes of

a child. A unique talent. A young first-time reader connects immediately to her vision

and intent of bringing clarity to a confusing world. (Or, doesn't). Like attracts

like; it's a'sense of life' thing. Older Objectivists show signs still of a

marvellous, youthful idealism and appetite for truth.

Her detractors make too much of her apparent shortage of 'people skills' in her life

and novels - to their own ends, I suspect.

I reckon, despite her own behavior and uncompromising fictional characters, she took emotions like compassion for granted: As a 'human given', for each to employ as he will. Readers who faithfully try to copy her fictional egoist heroes - equally those who loathe and deride them - commit the same fallacy of concretism and lack of independence, I believe. Literalists who cannot comprehend symbolism.

Her remarkable insight into people is on record.

As for her personal compassion (or lack of): I'd ask anyone to imagine exhausting oneself for 13 years on a single venture to warn humanity of the dangers of an ideology, the probable fate of a Nation, and the way to avoid its misery and live as proper human beings - Do you sincerely think AS was motivated by money, or for fame, or solely by egoism?

Or because...she cared?

Thirteen! difficult years.

You gotta have imagination (and empathy :)) to appreciate Rand.

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PDS, no, sad to say, I haven't read the van der Post bio of Jung. I have read other books of his, and since I think he writes beautifully and deeply, I expect I'd enjoy the Jung bio.

One of van der Post's books which I have is titled About Blady: A Pattern Out of Time. Speaking of "man and horse" -- post #16 -- "Blady," the figure of departure for the book, was a horse.

Here's the jacket description:

In this absorbing autobiographical work, Blady (the "a" is pronounced as in "father"), a beautiful Grand Prix show jumping horse discovered plowing a field in Provence, is not so much the principal figure (although she has a crucial role) as the symbol of the coherence of seemingly random events. About Blady is a true story of people, happenings, themes, and relationships that have created a special pattern in Sir Laurens van der Post's life. That extraordinary life has encompassed expeditions in Africa, wartime service (including three years as a P.O.W.) against the Japanese, and extensive worldwide travel. Sir Laurens combines these rich experiences with the myriad influences on his thinking, ranging from Carl Jung (with whom he shared a two-decade-long close friendship) to Zen Buddhism, to produce this profound memoir.

Sir Laurens begins with his childhood in Africa, and movingly re-creates his kinship with the magnificent landscape and his deep personal attachment to the first inhabitants of his native land, the Bushmen. He recalls his life in London in the 1920s and 1930s with sensitivity. In one of the most touching parts of the book, Sir Laurens tells how the scourge of his youth, tuberculosis, has been replaced with the scourge of our time, cancer, which claimed the life of his only son. In revealing the connections between these and other apparently random occurrences, Sir Laurens provides the framework for a searching exploration into the human spirit, its besetting ills and troubles, and the forces that keep it alive.

Impassioned and uplifting, but not without respect for the sadness that is inescapably part of life, About Blady carries with it a powerful message of hope and understanding. It is a testament to humanity's capacity for partnership with nature, the vital necessity of that partnership, and the healing that it can bring.

Not, I think, the sort of book an Objectivist would be likely to write.


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Does one have to have experienced an emotion to have an idea of what the emotion is? I think one can learn from literature and from observations of other people about emotions one doesn't feel -- e.g., something like the consuming destructive passion of Iago.

I can testify first hand witness that one can catch on to an emotion without feeling it. It can be done by empirical means. It is slow but it works. I learned how to be "human" in a manner similar to learning how to paint by the numbers. Since I turned fifty (long ago) I learned how to "pass" for human.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Correct, Ellen. In literature and life we find infinite variety and no one person can experience it all personally, but we can understand , and dare I use Xrays E-word?

And Baal you not only pass, sometimes you score an A.

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By the time I first read Atlas Shrugged, in June 1961 after my freshman year of college, I was well-steeped in biological information and theory. I was also, for someone my age, well-read literarily.

I liked reading literature, and could always find something of interest on the multitudinous bookshelves lining the house. (Both of my parents loved and hoarded books.) Plus, with books -- unlike with horses -- all I had to do was ask. If there was a book I wanted which we didn't have, it would be provided upon request.

My reading tastes ranged from major greats, such as Goethe's Faust, Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, Shakespeare's plays, to the aforementioned "Gothics" of the Victoria Holt class.

A popular writer of the time whose work was relevant as contrast early in my first read of Atlas was Taylor Caldwell. I'd read a book of hers called Let Love Come Last and had been frustrated and bothered by the ending and by the book's moral stance.

The male lead, William Prescott, is a self-made lumber magnate who's driven to give his children all the wealth and advantage he didn't have in his own childhood -- and who succeeds in driving them away and spreading emotional ruin. Only his wife, Ursula, remains loyal.

(In what follows, I give away the ending and I quote from the final pages. Sorry, in case anyone was thinking of reading the story -- but I doubt that anyone was.)


Let Love Come Last by Taylor Caldwell



It was a spring like no other. Ursula's father died and left her to face an uncertain future. Then William Prescott took over her life. To his obsession with power and money, he added his passion for her. But still he clung to childhood's bitter memories. He wanted his own children to have more -- much more.

One by one, they deserted him. Until only Ursula stood by -- ready to teach him that love alone could help him forget.

Only, just when it looks as if William might find some resolution and happiness, he becomes ill and dies, the love that was to "come last" never ripening for him to enjoy.

On the final page of the story proper Ursula sums up:

[emphasis added]

She sighed, and her voice broke: "It's very strange but, when it is suffering or desolated or ruined by its own evil, the world always says: 'The younger generation with save the world for themselves and for their children. All our hope is in our children.' But the children become men and women, and they don't save the world, the don't save themselves, they don't save their children. The hope is a lie. Men have to lie to themselves; there'd be no living without lies."

She lifted her hands, let them fall again. "There's nothing more to say. I had to tell you all this [she's speaking to her and William's children, who have gathered for the funeral], because, you see, I'm lying to myself, also. For I want to believe that you'll teach your children that there is no hope for anybody, except in himself, and no hope for the world, except in each man's responsibility towards his neighbor. All the evil that ever came to any man, to the whole world, comes when men say to themselves: 'I, but not my brother.' You won't teach your children that. And so the terribleness of the world will only increase."

She stood up, then, and left the room, tall and thin and straight, and she did not look back.

The book concludes with a page-and-a-half "Prologue" which I'll excerpt:

All that had to be done was done.

The Prescott house had been sold, and sold at a great loss. The neighbors could not afford to buy this house, and keep it from destruction. No one in Andersburg could afford to buy it.

The swart walls would be torn down. The marble would be carried off. The treasures and the rugs and the pictures and the furniture would disappear, be bought by strangers for the decoration of the houses of strangers. All that William Prescott had loved, had gathered together for his children, would be lost. Julia and Thomas and Barbara would buy nothing, for they wanted to forget. Because of what they wanted to forget, they wished nothing of this house to remain.

Ursula could now say to herself: "Let them forget. Please, God, let them forget. Let them forget everything but a hope for their children."

Her bitterness was gone. She had her sorrow now, huge yet in some way comforting. She could remember that William had loved her, and that he had thought only of her before he died. It was enough for her. It was enough for all the rest of her life. In the end, she thought, there is only a man and his wife, even if one of them is dead, and the other is left, remembering.


In a few moments Oliver and Barbara would arrive for her. She would go away with them, to her house [the house in which she grew up], where the fire would be burning on the old hearth, and the smell of leather, and the lamps, and the panelled walls, would remind her of her father. Had August Wende had hopes for her, Ursula, too? Had he thought his hope of the world was in her? Poor Papa, thought Ursula, standing alone at the leaded window, and looking out at the dark night and the snow.

[....] In less than two weeks it would be 1908. The Panic was passing. Perhaps, if one lied to oneself, one could believe that a "new era" was indeed coming, when all the old cruelties would be buried, all the old hatreds forgotten.

Perhaps it would indeed be possible to believe in that ancient salutation to the world: "On earth peace, good will toward men!"

Ursula began to weep, the first tears she had shed for her husband.

Not a happy ending.

And what of the philosophy expressed?

Can anyone imagine (rhetorical question) why I was starting to contrast Let Love Come Last with Atlas Shrugged as soon as Rearden appeared on the scene?

I remember thinking, explicitly and excitedly, "Oh! She's [Rand is] going to make him [Rearden] win!"


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As I was reading the description of Hank Rearden watching from the high walkway while the first heat of Rearden Metal was being poured, I wished that I could, in effect, put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign and go into seclusion until I'd finished reading the book. Instead, I had to host a horseback riding party.


I need to return to my horse tale within a tale within a tale at this point, since features of that sub-saga were important to my assessment of Atlas Shrugged. However, I've hit a snag pertaining to the naming of names.

"The names have been changed to protect the innocent." In this case, the names I've been wondering what to do about are those of two of the guilty. 

If I withhold the names, then I can't talk about significant details of the two persons' backgrounds. On the other hand, I'd rather not have my name show up in Google searches by people looking for information about the family of those two persons -- and I know that there are people looking for such information. I found this out by doing some Googling myself.

I finally decided to try a bit of a run-around. I'll give a link to a website about the most famous relative of the unnamed. The website is maintained by the author of a biography of the same relative.

The author says the site "is 100% official, thanks to kind permission granted by his descendents [my emphasis] and the estate of [...]."

This sounds as if there were children. However, there aren't names of children listed in the Index of the biography. And, on another site, I found someone claiming to be a great great grandson searching for information, to which comment the reply came: 

Sorry buddy...you can't be [X]'s g-g grandson...he didn't have any children."

So I'm not sure if the two brothers I knew were sons or nephews or more-distant relatives of the famous Prohibition Era gangster. I'd thought that they were his sons.

One of the two looked so much like the famed gangster, I took a breath of sharp surprise upon seeing the latter's photo, feeling as if I were seeing a photo of the former at about the age when I knew him.

Plus, on reading descriptions of the famed person's characteristics, I felt as if those characteristics had been parcelled out into halves in the two brothers (similarly to the process of gamete formation), one of them, the look-alike one, getting the likable characteristics, the other getting the cold killer side.

So, here's the "official website" link

And here's a request: Please, if you name D O'B in a reply, don't quote my post.

Brant, please take note, since you have a habit of copying full posts when you reply.


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In my childhood horse "kingdom" fantasy-games I left out any social interaction, even with a veterinarian, a blacksmith, a trucker delivering hay, oats, straw. My focus was on internalizing, as best I could given the lack of an actual horse to ride, the instructions on how to ride a horse from my Essentials of Horsemanship book. I felt sure that the lack of a horse would prove to be temporary -- and I wanted to be ready.

The continuing "lack" wasn't because Father couldn't have easily afforded to buy me a horse. It was because he was dragging his heels.

He was leery. He'd pieced back together numerous broken bones from riding accidents. Even more important to his hesitating was the healing process from the childhood polio I'd been stricken by when I was 6-1/2.

Father was a world-class expert on the treatment of childhood polio. I probably would have ended up walking with braces all my life if not for his program of mending. (That included exercises and special shoes constructed to force-counteract a twist in my ankles.) He thought that it wasn't a good idea for me to start riding until as much recuperation as could be attained had "set."

At last, the summer after I was in sixth grade, I was allowed to go to a girls' summer camp where good riding instruction was a feature. I wasn't disappointed by the real experience. I loved it, and I felt when I returned home from camp that waiting till the next summer to ride again was a dismal prospect.

Thus I had the idea of trying to form a "riding club," a group of classmates whose mothers -- excepting mine -- would take turns driving us to a local stables.

The reason why my mother couldn't serve as a chauffeur was her health. She had serious complications from pregnancies and miscarriages. She'd had six miscarriages, four of those between me and her second-born, my first sister. While she was carrying her last child, my youngest brother, who was born the summer before I started eighth grade, she came close to dying from toxemia.

If mother had been well, she would have been happy to drive me to a stables and to do some riding herself. She'd grown up on a Colorado ranch and she'd enjoyed riding.

As it was, someone else's mother was required to serve as chauffeur, and finding such a mother was hard to do.

The semi-livery stables nearest to the town limits was about a twenty-minute drive from my family's house (which was close to the then-outskirts of Peoria), and it wasn't primarily a livery stables. It was more a boarding stables, though it did have several horses which could be rented by the hour for riding around on the large property. A big downside for a mother-chauffeur who didn't want to ride -- along with the time expenditure -- was that there wasn't a lounge room or even a picnic-bench area, so the mother had to wait in the car or while away time walking around the parking area. Not entertaining. Most of the mothers who said "Yes" once didn't say "Yes" twice.

Thus, except for summers at camp, my riding hours averaged only about one/per three months. I yearned for the day when I could drive and transport myself to the stables.

Then, the summer after I was in eighth grade, the "miracle" occurred. Mother was feeling better, and she'd had a hysterectomy -- no more pregnancies in the offing. When I returned from camp that summer, she told me that she'd heard of a new riding stables -- a full-blown livery stables -- which had opened north of town (the semi-livery stables was west of town). She was interested in trying the place herself.

The result was that over the next four years, I not only got lots of horseback riding time -- including on my own horse, the first of several horses -- I got an accelerated-learning education in the ways of human beings (particulars to come).


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I have a mixed impression about Jung's idea of archetypes.

If I were to critique it philosophically, I'd describe it as a form of Platonism. It alleges transcendent abstract 'types' exist inside a collective subconscious. You could say it has some similarities with Kantianism, with archetypes being the Kantian Categories of Experience which structure and organize our perceptions.

However, one doesn't need to (and, arguably, one should not) treat it as an epistemology. I think a Conceptualist understanding of archetypes makes a huge amount of sense. Archetypes are really significant features of the human condition (or the male or female experience, for gendered archetypes) which are experienced across a sufficiently wide scale that we all know them to some degree. For example, the vast majority of us grow up with parents so obviously there will be parental archetypes.

So yeah, that's my way of looking at it; archetypes as reifications of common elements of the human experience.

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PS in advance: Andrew, thank you for your post above, which I'll store up for later comment.

I'm enjoying "re-living" where I was coming from on encountering first Rand and then Jung and I'd rather not switch gear just now into philosophic reflection. But I welcome such reflection from others and will get to lots of it myself further down the road. :smile:


Thinking about this stuff almost makes me feel young again.

"'Twas so good to be young then, to be close to the earth..."


I'll start with some geographical stage setting. For convenience, I'll describe all the landmarks using the past tense. Some of the geographical features are still much as they were. Others have changed, including considerably, in the 50+ years since the time of the story.

Two long blocks East of our house there was a major North-South thoroughfare. To the South the thoroughfare was a main access route to the downtown business district. To the North it went through an upscale residential area; then it narrowed to a two-lane highway through outlying farmlands.

About ten miles past the city limits, on the left of the highway going North, there was a small country tavern, the sort of establishment where farmers would gather to relax and talk after their day's work. For awhile, that tavern acquired a second kind of clientele when it became the innocuous-seeming meeting place of a criminal gang which was operating with the collaboration of the Sheriff.

Running a meandering, mostly North-South course at distances varying from about three to about six miles East of the highway was a wooded and rocky sloping ridge which had once been the bank of the river. The ridge formed a natural boundary between higher ground and the rich, dark-soiled plain of the river-valley farmlands. The East-West road made a winding descent down the ridge where it was closest to the highway. Just beyond the road's descent, the ridge veered sharply East for several miles, running roughly parallel to the road, in what had once been a long promontory jutting into the river. Then it turned at an angle in a North-Northwest direction before resuming a mostly northly course.

If you imagine man's geometry drawing grids on the land, the angled face of the ridge can be seen as the hypotenuse of a right triangle, the two orthogonal sides of which formed the South-West corner boundary of a large (several miles squared) farm. Thus the ridge area formed a kind of wedge shape across the bottom left corner of the farm. The ridge's wooded, rocky terrain made it useless for cultivation. However, it provided a wonderful locale for a riding stables.


Next, some key "dramatis personae":

The farmer: The aforementioned large farm (unlike much of the river-valley farmland, which was owned by the Caterpillar Tractor Company) was singly owned. The man who owned it was a working farmer. He rose daily at dawn to do chores, and personally supervised the farm's operations. I never myself saw him dressed in anything except obviously-worn-to-work-in farm attire, though I heard rumors that he did wear a suit when going to church on Sundays or when attending a meeting. Usually a financial meeting. His land holdings ranked him, in assets value, among mid-state Illinois' wealthiest persons.

The farmer's daughter: The farmer and his wife had only one child, then in her late-twenties. Where her characteristics came from, I couldn't tell you. Her parents were nice people, decent "salt of the earth" sorts of people. I could detect nothing in their characteristics which resembled hers, and I never heard any hint of their having mistreated her in her upbringing.

Later -- getting ahead of the tale -- I would think of that woman in connection with James Taggart. James Taggart seemed just to be born bad. So did she. A different kind of "bad." She was plain nasty, nasty through and through, the nastiest woman I've ever met. A malicious gossip, an ugly slant on everything, a way of inflecting even the most mundane statements -- including, for instance, the simple word "Hello" -- with a sneer.

She could have been reasonably attractive to look at. About 5'4", not overweight, pale skin and black hair, aquiline features. She might have looked a bit "aristocratic," but instead managed to seem -- to my eye, and to that of others whom I heard describe her like this -- "predatory" in the style of a threatening bird.

She wasn't sought for by local guys as a marriage partner, despite her father's wealth. She might have been considered acceptable as a "quick lay" by guys she met at the raunchier Peoria bars she was said to frequent. To what extent those rumors were true, I had no way of knowing. However I know that one male she met at such a bar -- a guy new to town -- began to court her.

The suitor: The new-to-town aspirant to the farmer's daughter's hand was a very good-looking man, also in his late-twenties. He resembled Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, but was less "beefy," and he had what my mother would later describe as "bedroom eyes." He was attractive to many women, and he knew it, and knew how to use his looks and an open, boyish manner to charm.

He came from a Southern state, I think from the area around Little Rock, Arkansas. Why he decided to move to the Peoria area, I might have heard at some point, but, if so, I've forgotten. He had a guiding passion. It was a genuine passion and one with which I could only feel sympathy. He loved horses, and he wanted to run a riding stables. Problem was, finding a good location and getting the money for up-front capital.

I suppose the reader is doing the addition: Rich farmer, unused parcel of ridge land, unmarried daughter.

The farmer did the addition himself. He suspected the suitor's ulterior motive and objected to the idea of a marriage. So his daughter got pregnant.

The father then consented to the marriage. The couple moved into a house which was located on a finger-like extension of flatter ground nestled in the ridge area. (The flatter ground could be accessed by a dirt road which separated the ridge area from the main farm and then continued along the western perimeter of the farm.) I think the father had the house built for the newly weds, but it might have already been there and previously used as a rental property.

For about two years, however, the father refused to let his son-in-law carry through with the idea of opening a riding stables. Maybe he wasn't expecting the marriage to last. When a second child was born (a girl; the first was a boy), the father gave his ok.

An old barn -- used as overflow storage space for farm equipment -- was already built on the finger-like extension of flatter ground. The barn was renovated to provide shelter for horses. A corral was built, and a picnic area was set up. The son-in-law had managed, through odd jobs, to scrape together enough to buy some horses for the riding string.

Thus a new livery stables opened North of where I lived. It wasn't actually as newly opened as Mother had thought when she heard of it while I was at camp the summer of 1956. It had been in operation for a year and a half of so, but we hadn't known it was there.


On a late-summer day, 1956, a glorious day with a hint of fall already in the air and on the leaves, Mother said, let's go try the new stables.

I liked the place, liked the proprietor -- whom I'll henceforth call "H" for "horseman" -- liked the horse he selected for me to ride -- i.e., I was all-round pleased and hoping to go back soon.

I didn't expect "soon" to be the next day, but the next day Mother said, let's go again.

And then the weekend afterward she said, let's put together a picnic lunch and take all the kids and make a day of it. Etc., with multiple picnic excursions and excursions just with Mother and me.

The "accelerated-learning education in the ways of human beings" which I referred to at the end of post #34 started when I figured out why I was having such a run of good luck:

Mother had formed a romantic interest in H.


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Reminder: I'm referring to the riding stables owner as "H" for "horseman." Add: I'll use "W" to refer to his wife.


I'm no longer feeling a sense of fun in telling the tale. The inexorable chronology inches into material which is painful to remember.

Mother's entrance into H's life spelled eventual downfall for him and grief for her, but neither of them could have foreseen the full extent of the troubles ahead. 

For one thing, the two rival criminal gangs which played a role hadn't yet set up "business" in Peoria. For another, I think that not even W's parents, who had known her all her life, would have imagined the bizarre culminating act of her maliciousness.

H was well aware, however, that he had to exercise caution regarding his behavior toward Mother. He knew that his wife was prone to jealousy and to quick suspicion -- and that his tenure on the riding stables' parcel of ground was dependent on the continuance of his marriage.

Mother was strongly attracted to H. He didn't reciprocate the strength of her feeling, but he liked Mother and enjoyed her company. Mother was an intelligent and well-read woman, and interesting to talk with. She was also still pleasing to look at.

She was 37+1/2 when she and H met, eight or nine years his senior. (I don't remember his exact age, somewhere around 28 or 29.) Mother had lost what I thought of as the "enchanted damsel" beauty of her 20s, but she retained the smooth, alabaster-toned skin and the silky, lustrous long black hair. Mostly black hair. A silver streak growing from the right temple added a natural highlight. Mother wore her hair braided in a coronet around the crown of her head with the braid starting at the right so that the silver streak wound into the braid. The arrangement nicely set off her oval-shaped face and blue eyes with an unusual effect that often garnered compliments. In stature, she was about 5'6'' and well-proportioned, though a bit overweight. Her motions were graceful.

I'd say that Mother would easily have won in a "looks" competition with W -- and that W thought so, too. I could detect the glint of "green" in W's eyes when she watched Mother and H together. I figured that he was being hassled in private and was deliberately trying to be circumspect in how he acted toward Mother. For instance, he addressed her with a formal "Mrs." and maintained a polite distance of demeanor.

The circumspection obtained even when Mother and H were alone -- or at any rate, so Mother said when, in talking with me, she began wondering aloud if H was just using her for financial advantage.

I think that, partly, he was using her. I doubt that he'd have attempted the delicate Scylla-Charybdis navigation of steering between provoking his wife's vengeance and rebuffing Mother if she hadn't had access, via a joint bank account, to Father's income. But I never came to believe that H was "just" using Mother. I think that he genuinely liked her and, as I said, enjoyed her company.

Of which he got quite a bit.


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Mother soon thought of a more-compelling excuse for frequenting the stables than was provided by taking her children for picnics or by taking me separately for by-the-hour rental rides.

She bought me a horse.

I suppose that I needn't say that I was delighted. A horse! At last! My very own horse. Not the magnificent Arabian dream horse of my childhood fancyings, but a real flesh-and-blood creature which I could groom and tend to and ride on long rides outside the precincts of the stables property.

The horse was acquired from H's string. It was boarded at his place. Thus he had the sales price -- not much, a few hundred, but something -- and a monthly boarding fee which was a larger amount than my rental costs had produced.

H spied a further possibility. He might entice Mother into buying a (special) horse -- or, rather, a pony -- a Welsh pony stallion for a scheme he had.

Explaining requires some further geographical detail. I mentioned that the stables land could be accessed by a dirt road which cut through W's father's property, and then continued North along its western boundary. A ways up the road, along it on the West, was another parcel of hilly, wooded land, rentable for no more than H was getting from boarding my horse. The property had an old but well-constructed barn. Also a house where a couple and their children were living. The couple paid minimal rent in return for caretaking the land.

H had the idea of acquiring a small herd of wild mares from Mexico, plus a Welsh pony stallion, and breeding children's mounts which he could sell. He could now manage the rental for the property up the road. The problem was purchasing the stallion, Welsh ponies -- well-bred ones -- being pricey.

Mother was amenable to footing the cost of the stallion, as a present. I had fun looking into Welsh pony lineages. Mother had fun attending sales with H.

Eventually a gorgeous, exceptionally-large-for-the-breed Welsh stallion was bought. We unceremoniously called him "Stud." "Stud" was beautiful, the most perfect conformation of any horse I've ever seen and a glorious gold-tinted sorrel coat with flaxen mane and tail.

"Stud" was turned loose on the land up the road with a herd of wild mares. Prospects looked good.

But meanwhile W had formed the conviction that Mother and H were having an affair.


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It was fortunate that H was renting that land up the road. He soon needed a place for refuge.

His wife took to driving into town and parking where she could follow when Mother left the house by car. Mother would, for instance, if she went to a local shopping mall, find that W had pinned under the windshield wiper a filthily scurrilous note the central message of which was, "I know what you're up to."

Mother and H weren't having an affair, but H couldn't convince his wife that they weren't -- and W's father believed W. With her father's assistance, W filed for a divorce.

H was required to sell his riding string to divide the take in settlement. Mother bought several of the horses back, some for our family, one -- H's favorite mare -- as, again, a present for him.

The horses were relocated to the property up the road. H, in need of funds, got a job bartending at the country tavern I've mentioned.

Enter the rival criminal gangs.


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What if any of these characters were Howard Roark?


end of story

"What if any of these characters were" Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden?

I hope readers begin to see that I had some preparatory background from which to suspect from the beginning.


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Apologies, to anyone who'd become curious about my gangster moll past (joking), for the week+ of silence. I needed some time in which to bring up memories before trying to write a narrative account.

I'll get started, but I don't know how far I'll progress today. I don't want to go too fast. The material is both complicated and relevant to issues raised in an earlier OL discussion pertaining to criminals. I stayed out of that earlier discussion since I couldn't briefly describe the background of my perspective.


Re-capping and adding to the code initials: "H" (for "horseman") is the now-former stables owner. "W" is his now-ex wife. I'll use "F" (for "friend") for the gang leader with whom H became pals. I'll call the sheriff "Sheriff S."


In 1957-60, there were at least two "organized crime" groups operating in the Peoria area. There might unbeknownst to me have been more than two. There were two which I knew about and which received a lot of local media attention.

One group was a gambling syndicate which had a pay-or-die policy. Persons who defaulted on their gambling debts to the syndicate turned up as corpses in the trunks of cars which had been submerged in the river at places where a submerged car could easily be seen. The syndicate wanted the fate of renegers to be well known so as to discourage reneging. The reprisal method provided free advertising, since area news reports would feature a tomb-car find.

The second group was a small gang -- I estimate at most six members, probably fewer. The second group specialized in rooftop burglaries of business establishments.

When I left off (post #41), I described the two groups as "rival criminal gangs." The adjective "rival," which implies competition for the same objective, wasn't a good choice. The actual relationship was antagonistic of purpose.

The syndicate's goal of minimizing default was assisted by public attention, hence resultant fear. The rooftop burglers, on the other hand, wanted their heists to attract as little notice as possible, to look haphazard, non-systematic, not the work of a single group, and basically to be written off as an insurance loss in an otherwise peaceful town. Thus the hue and cry about criminal doings aroused by a series of submerged corpses had the unwelcome effect, from the burglers' standpoint, of increasing inquisitiveness directed toward them.

As best I know, the syndicate's presence in the area was also unwelcome by the sheriff. I never heard anything to indicate that he was connected with the gambling operation. Reporters became suspicious, however, that he was countenancing and collecting from the burglary gang. Because of the circumstances in which I met Sheriff S, I can attest that indeed he was "in cahoots" with that group.


During the last week, I've done some Googling research trying to find out the dates of Sheriff S's tenure in office and to confirm -- or to correct -- my memory of the chronology. In a way I've been interested, though frustrated, at finding nothing, no Google hits referencing either the persons or the events. There are places where I could inquire for a fee, but I'd have to provide an email address, which I don't want to do. So I'm currently stuck with relying on memory.

Some developments I can date with fairly close reliability because of other, exactly datable occurrences which happened at about the same time.

One such "time-stamping" occurrence was my acquiring a driver's license -- that happened the second week of November, 1958.

I'll briefly summarize the situation up to then.


Unshakably though erroneously convinced that Mother and H were having an affair, H's wife had filed for a divorce. H had been required to sell his riding string to split the proceeds as part of the divorce settlement.

Mother had bought back H's two favorite mares for him. (I made a mistake earlier when I said that she'd bought back his favorite -- singular -- for him. We eventually acquired the second favorite, hence the mix-up.) She bought three horses for our family's use -- a mare and two geldings. Plus I had the mare she'd previously bought for me. Thus the total remaining from the riding stables was six horses.

Luckily, as things turned out, prior to his wife's filing for divorce, H had started renting a property up the road from the stables. (The stables property, which belonged to W's father, H only had use of because of the marriage.) The rental property, which comprised multiple acres of primarily hilly and wooded land, included an old barn which was in good repair. There was also a farm house on the land, but that was separately rented, for a nominal rent plus caretaking responsibilities, to a couple who had three or four children.

H had originally rented that land to use as a breeding grounds for children's mounts. He'd acquired a bunch of wild mares from Mexico, for hardly more than the expense of going and catching them -- and, as a gift from Mother, a Welsh pony stallion. The stallion and mares were excluded from the divorce settlement.


H moved the six horses -- his two, our four -- up the road.

Needing income, he got a job as bartender at the country tavern located on the North-South highway about seven miles from the rental property. The tavern had a spare room which he used as a mini-apartment. The precincts included a bathroom and refrigerating and light-cooking facilities (it wasn't a pub and didn't serve full meals).

I think that H did not know when he took the bartending job that the tavern was being used as a meeting place by the burglary gang.

If indeed he was ignorant of the tavern's shady side use when he started the job, he soon learned of it. He and one of the brothers who led the gang became friends.


I think that's a good place to break. I'll resume later.


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H began working at the tavern not long before -- two or three months before -- I "got wheels" and a license to drive them and Mother and I became transportationally independent of each other.

For those first two or three months, I still required chauffeuring to and from the property where the horses resided by then. Thus, in order for Mother to see H while I was taking care of and/or riding the horses, she'd have to backtrack the about seven miles to the tavern after dropping me off, then come fetch me. A lot of extra driving, and the tavern was already about seventeen miles from our house. Plus, my having to depend on her availability caused troubles in relation to my school schedule. The logistics were a nuisance.

The second week of November 1958, I turned sixteen and, as I said, got my driver's license. I also got a car of my own, a relay hand-me-down.

Father had recently bought a little Mercedes sports car for his use. (He could make that little car "dance." He had superbly coordinated muscular control and was great at driving, golf, and bowling as well as at surgical technique.)

Mother got the Packard which Father had been using. (I was sometimes permitted to use the Packard myself. I loved that car, with the silky-smooth flow of motion provided by its suspension system and its road-hugging balance and mass.)

I was bequeathed the rattle-trap Ford station wagon which had been the "family car." (It was a test to start the thing. One had to do everything "wrong," pumping the gas pedal and nearly flooding the engine before it would fire. Eventually the car was donated to the car mechanics program at Peoria High, where a special-honors award was offered to anyone who could fix the ignition system. No one won the award.)

I could now go out to take care of the horses before or after school and could spend long hours riding on weekends. Mother could drive back and forth to the tavern at her desire and convenience.

Since Mother didn't drink, and was of a different "social echelon" than the farm-community patrons, H worried at first that Mother's presence would be bad for business. The worry proved unfounded. Mother had grown up on a ranch and got along fine with the farmers.

The gangster "patrons" mostly kept to themselves when they were around, and mostly Mother didn't interact with them. Especially not with the older brother. He had a reputation for being very dangerous. The reputation fit the feeling he gave Mother and me. We both thought of the saying "as soon kill you as look at you." Whether he really was as cold-blooded as we felt he was, we didn't try to find out by "getting to know" him.

However, Mother liked the other brother, "F," and had a number of talks with him in which he told her his life story.

(To be continued, but maybe not tonight. My eyes are giving out.)


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My next installment will start with a day shortly after April 20, 1959. I can date with close proximity because it was the day I overheard F (one of the brothers who headed the burglary gang) talking about the two-part TV pilot movie of "The Untouchables," which he'd seen. (I hadn't seen it and don't think I ever have.)

Unfortunately I don't remember any details of what F said. I wasn't paying attention. I was preparing eggs and toast for him and H, and I was eager to finish doing that so I could go riding.

What I recall is the gist of F's comments: that the movie wasn't true, either in a number of factual details or in depiction of many of the characters.

Readers of this board probably know that "The Untouchables" was a favorite of Rand's, and that she wrote an article, originally for the Los Angeles Times, later reprinted in The Objectivist Newsletter, titled: "The New Enemies of 'The Untouchables.'"

Here are some links and excerpts pertaining to Rand's view of the TV series and Robert Stack's portrayal of Eliot Ness.

The first is the Objectism Reference Center's descriiption of the article. This is from a complete listing of the contents of The Objectivist Newsletter:


August 1962 (1:8)

The New Enemies of "The Untouchables" (Ayn Rand)

Rand reprints one of her columns for the Los Angeles Times, in which she decries criticism of the television show, "The Untouchables," as a sign of irrationality in American culture: "When a culture is dominated by an irrational philosophy, a major symptom of its decadence is the inversion of all values. This can be seen clearly in the field of art, the best barometer of a culture." This article is reprinted in The Ayn Rand Column.

The second is from the section "Favorites" from Facets of Ayn Rand:



Television shows?


The original Perry Mason was her favorite. She watched all the reruns of it, too. Mason’s character, played by Raymond Burr, stressed intelligence and self-confidence, a man who enjoyed problem-solving. She praised the show when she wrote about it and compared it to the new Perry Mason show, which she panned. And The Untouchables. She admired its hero, Eliot Ness, played by Robert Stack. His character projected the quiet intensity of a man dedicated to justice. The show also portrayed the miserable psychology of the gangsters. She wrote about this, too.

Next is an excerpt from the interview with Robert Stack in 100 Voices. The complete interview can be read at the link:


What was the effect on you of getting that review, especially in the period you were being attacked?

[stack] It was a validation. As I told producers early on: if you glamorize or excuse the behavior of these crumbs, you're talking about the lowest form of life. To take them and somehow humanize them, I'm not going to do it. Eliot Ness was a guy who went in there with six other guys and he declared was, which is second cousin to suicide, against these animals who controlled and owned Chicago.

Last is a link to a Forum for Ayn Rand Fans thread titled "Was Eliot Ness from 'The Untouchables' morally untouchable?"

The thread isn't long, only 17 posts including the initial one. I recommend reading it for the issues it raises pertaining to the rights-violating nature of Prohibition and to the nature of "objective law" and to Ness' character.


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The occasion when I personally heard most about F's background -- though I was scarcely listening -- was on a Saturday or Sunday in late April or early May 1959 when H and F had come for "breakfast" at "the Stuttle kitchen."

"The Stuttle kitchen" was H's coinage. One day -- I forget why; I'd guess to pick up a check -- H had come to my family's house when I happened to be preparing scrambled eggs for Mother. She was an accomplished cook, but she liked the way my scrambled eggs came out better than the way hers did, so if she got a yen for scrambled eggs when I was around, she'd ask me to prepare the meal. On that day, she asked H if he'd like some "beakfast" too. Answer, yes, so Mother showed me how to make his favorite -- eggs sunny side up. Afterward, mostly on weekends but every now and then during the week if school was on break, he'd sometimes call and ask, "Is the Stuttle kitchen open for breakfast?" Generally, Mother would say, yes, and I'd be enlisted to do the cooking if I was there. F sometimes came along also after H and F became pals in the Fall of '58.

The occasion when F started talking about Chicago gangland history was shortly after April 20, 1959. April 20, 1959, was the day the first half of the two-part made-for-TV pilot movie of "The Untouchables" aired.

(It might have been the day both parts aired. I couldn't find in movie sources whether both parts had been shown the same day, or the same week -- April 20, 1959, was a Monday -- or on two consecutive weeks. The current Wikipedia article titled "The_Untouchables_(1959_TV_series)" -- link -- gives an incorrect airing date of January 22, 1959. for the pilot movie. See the second paragraph under "Series Overview." All other sources I consulted, including datesinhistory.com -- link -- say April 20, 1959, or simply April 1959. I checked Wikipedia first, but was immediately suspicious of the date given there, since I remembered the weather as being springish at the time F saw the movie.)

F was highly critical of the movie. I wish I could remember details of what he said, but I can't. The conversation -- or more like the monologue -- was for me a blur in the background. I was wanting to finish the cooking chore so I could go riding.

What I recall is F's complaining of multiple inaccuracies, and of the stereotyped characterization of the Capone gangsters, which he thought made them look like "dolts" -- I recall his using that word. He seemed to feel that his own family-and-friends opposing gang members were insulted by the depiction of their rivals as so dumb. Since Capone's people had pretty much been victorious in the rivalries, if they were idiots, how did that make their opponents look? That sort of sentiment.

What I remember thinking afterward concerned the large differences in the mileau of people's upbringings.

For me, as I grew up, "shop talk" pertained to the medical profession. Father's father -- "Granddad Doc," as the family called him -- had been a horse and buggy doctor and was still doing a bit of medical practice when I was young. Father was an orthopedic surgeon. Mother had been a surgical nurse. Many of Father's and Mother's friends, and periodic dinner guests, were doctors and their wives. So even at social gatherings at my home, what I'd hear as context was usually medical talk.

By contrast, the "family profession" when F was growing up was gangsterism. I felt sorry for him, since that sort of background seemed to me an awful, and a boring, one in which to grow up.

According to some things Mother told me that she'd heard in conversations with F at the tavern, he'd tried several times to "go straight," but each time his background connections had come to light and he'd been fired. I supposed that if he'd really been set on "going straight," he could have severed family relationships and moved away from Chicago. But I guess he didn't feel emotionally up to doing that.

A detail of his ancestry which I've become puzzled about is whose kid he was. I'd thought that he and his brother were the sons of the famous florist-gangster of the same last name. However, upon doing Googling of gang history this past couple weeks -- I'd never consulted web sources on the subject before -- I learned, along with a whole lot else about the Chicago gangs, that the famous gangster's year of death in a gangland slaying was 1924. That's too early for the brothers to have been his sons, unless I'm off by several years in my estimate of the brothers' ages when I knew them. (I think that they were about 7 and 9 years younger than Mother, approximately H's age. Mother was born in March 1919.)

As to why F and his brother had re-located to Peoria: Again, according to things I heard via Mother, there was a gangland situation in Chicago which had grown "too hot," so in the interests of staying alive, F and brother had moved downstate for awhile. I think that the gambling syndicate which was depositing bodies in the trunks of cars submerged in the river had followed the brothers, muscling in as it were, by setting up a Peoria subsidiary. The syndicate was headquartered in Chicago.

I've found out why I've been unable to turn up any information about the Peoria criminal activities of '57-'60. The Peoria Journal Star's archives aren't yet web-accessible for years prior to 1991. I didn't think of checking the newspaper's website directly until a couple days ago.

Meanwhile, though I found nothing about people and events relevant to my story, I sure did find a hell of a lot about the general history of Chicago and downstate Illinois gangster activities. Evidently, there are loads of people who are really into that stuff. There are many websites, some of them lavishly illustrated with photos. I wonder if it's mainly guys who are interested. But there are women who have written histories of the gangsters and who maintain some of the sites.


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Oops, an incident I meant to include in the above post. Then next time I'll tell the icky ending of the gangster part.

I mentioned in post #44 that I was sure that Sheriff S was "in cahoots" with the brothers because of the circumstances in which I met the sheriff. Briefly, here's what happened.

Come mid-1959, news suspicion pertaining to the rooftop burglaries was strongly focused on F and his brother. Thus the sheriff's office reported being in a diligent search for the brothers' whereabouts. I don't know where the older brother was. I know where F was -- camping out in the hayloft of the barn on the property H was renting.

One day -- I think it was a hot day in mid-summer -- I arrived at the property to tend to the horses. F was standing next to a sleek black car talking to the person sitting in the car's driver's seat.

"Hi, Ellen," F said as I got out of my car. Then, "This is Sheriff S."

Hello, I said, and went about my business. Yeah, sure, the sheriff was searching hill and dale trying to find the brothers for questioning.


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Dating problems again.

I was writing an earlier version of this installment when I realized that something I was starting to say about H's motivation didn't make sense if my memory of when his ex-wife died is correct. So I went on an unsuccessful search trying to find the exact date of W's death.

As I remember the chronology, W's death, from a self-inflicted pistol shot to the head, occurred in mid-Fall of 1959. I'm sure that it was later the same year when H received a "pay now or else" final notice from the gambling syndicate. I provided the funds he needed -- a few thousand dollars -- from a trust account I had, though we didn't mention to H where the money came from. I remember that it wasn't long before Christmas when F, who acted as liason in this instance, came to our house to pick up the money. I remember thinking at the time about the irony of the near-juxtaposition with Christmas.

So far so good. But here's the problem: I've remembered W's death as happening not long before my seventeenth birthday, i.e., in early November or at earliest in late October. But unless I've been significantly off about the approximate date when W died, I've been mistaken in supposing that H began placing bets as an indirect result of her death. What I've thought is that H developed an urgent desire to leave town, getting the children away, hence he started the gambling although he had to have known full well how the syndicate operated, and the odds against his winning more than a small amount.

However, the lead time isn't enough if W died in mid-Fall. The syndicate gave more lead time than a few weeks before issuing a final notice. H must have already racked up a bill several months before. I.e., he must have started gambling no later than that summer. But I'm almost prepared to swear that W was still quite alive that summer. If indeed she was, then H didn't start gambling as an indirect result of W's death. Maybe from a similar motive to what I've thought -- a desire to get out of Peoria.

I'll pick up the story now from the reverse direction -- going forward from where I left off.


I left off with F purportedly "being sought for questioning" by Sheriff S -- who knew where F was. F was camping in the hayloft of the barn on the property H was renting, the property where my horses were boarded. I, too, knew where F was. When I'd arrive to do chores, I'd say, for instance, "Hello, mice," or otherwise make identifying noises, thus alerting F that he needn't go for his gun, it was just me.

I said that I thought it was mid-summer when F started hiding in the hayloft. Maybe it was somewhat earlier. It was before I went to Knox College in Galesburg to take a summer biology course. I'll talk about the course further on, when I turn to intellectual issues. Here the relevance is the dates.

I've found several references to the course on the web, but nothing which gives starting and ending dates. One reference I found -- a stray blog mention by another of the about 20 students who attended -- describes the length as "a week." I think that that's wrong, that the course ran for two weeks. I don't see how, in only a week, we could have covered the territory we covered, both literally (doing field work) and figuratively, or gotten to feel as if we'd known one another for years, or worked ourselves into the state of giddy exhausation we'd attained by the time we gave concluding reports.

I loved the course, but there was a marring incident -- a phone call from Mother with the news that she'd had the Welsh pony stallion gelded. She'd anticipated correctly that I'd be furious, so she'd had the deed done while I was out of town.

By that time, H had sold the band of wild mares and had turned ownership of the pony over to Mother. (She'd bought the pony in the first place as a gift to H.) Thinking back, in the light of my realization that H must have started gambling some months earlier than I'd thought, I wonder if part of why he sold the mares was in the hope of leaving town. I also wonder if part of why Mother had the pony gelded was because she didn't expect H to renew rent on the property when the lease came up and she knew that typical boarding stables won't accept stallions. (I'm sure that she didn't suspect about the gambling, given how angry she was when H told her later about his need of funds to cover a gambling debt.) What she told me regarding the pony was simply that a stallion didn't make a useful mount for my brothers and sisters. I had to concede that she was right. But I didn't like it.

F was no longer hiding in the hayloft when I returned from the biology course, and I only saw him a few times afterward. I don't know how the issue of his "being sought for questioning" was resolved. As I recall, the rooftop burglaries had stopped and didn't resume.

I noticed that H seemed distracted and that he more and more left chores to me. I couldn't even enlist his help when one of the two mares he still owned, his second favorite, Molly Bee, developed a trick as a result of which she was possibly in danger of getting shot.

Up on a ridge of the rental property, there was a place where the fence was sagging a bit. Visible across the fence line, and I suppose smellable, was a garden area, cultivated by the guy who owned the property next up the road North. Included in the garden area was a corn patch.

Molly Bee wasn't able to jump the fence if it was at full height. However, she was a good broad jumper. She learned to lean against the fence until it was low enough for her to broad jump. The guy whose corn patch she then invaded threatened to shoot her if the problem continued.

I'd patch the fence with rope as best I could, but not well enough to keep it upright with Molly Bee leaning on it. H kept saying he'd dig new postholes and string new wire. But he didn't do it, so finally I did it -- not well, I didn't have the muscular strength, but sufficiently well to withstand Molly Bee's leaning stunt.

Fact is, keeping the horses where they were was starting to seem more trouble than it was worth, and I started looking for another place to which to move them. Fortunately, I'd found a place West of town, a new stables eager for boarders, by the time an exit became needed.

(Continued in next post)

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(Continued from above post)

Now to the details of this part's unpleasant ending.

W had moved back into her parents' home, along with the two children, following her divorce from H.

On an afternoon in mid-Fall, if I remember right when this happened, W had misplaced a dental bridge she wore to fill in for a couple missing teeth.

W was heard by her mother to say, "Someone who can't find her false teeth deserves to be shot."

She took a pistol from her father's desk, went to the stair landing, called the children from the downstairs room where they were playing -- and shot herself in the head, splattering the stair wall and dying as she fell, with the children watching.

No one had thought that she was suicidal, and I doubt that she was. I think that her shooting herself was just a horribly malicious impulse. I don't know if it's even clear that she was intending to kill herself. Maybe she merely meant to graze her skull for dramatic effect. I suppose that the coroner's report would have indicated if the position of the pistol was such that it had to have been specifically aimed for lethalness, but I have no idea what was in the report.

Then, farther along in November, H received a "pay or die" notice from the gambling syndicate. As I've already told, he'd been placing bets. I now think, though this hadn't occurred to me before, that he must have started betting a number of months before then. It was toward the end of November that he told Mother about the debt and asked if she could help. F had meanwhile tried to intercede with the syndicate -- special pleading -- but to no avail.

The needed sum wasn't enormous from Mother's standpoint, a few thousand, but she worried that Father would notice a lump-withdrawal of that size from the joint account. (Father paid little attention to "household" expenditures, but something that amount all at once he might have noticed.)

As it happened, I had some money, about ten thousand, in a trust account set up for me by "Granddad Doc," Father's father, who was then well on in years. The money in my trust account had become accessible on my sole signature when I'd turned sixteen (before then a withdrawal would have required Father's co-signature). So I provided the funds. We didn't tell H from whom they'd come. F, as I've said, acted as liaison, picking up the money at our house and delivering it. ((I don't recall the form in which the money was transferred -- most likely cash, I suppose, to prevent tracking.)

H decided to leave town -- if he wasn't already hoping to leave. I feel sure that he didn't breathe a word to his parents-in-law about the gambling debt, or to his ex-wife while she was alive. Although his father-in-law could have easily covered the expense, he very much disapproved of gambling. I think that if the father-in-law had had a clue about H's getting in hock with the syndicate, he would have put up a battle against H's taking the children, and likely would have won. As things were, the parents-in-law raised no objection. I suppose that they thought that the children would be better off living with their father than in the house where they'd witnessed their mother's death.

I can pretty closely date when H left town -- with the children, and his favorite mare; he sold the second favorite to us for not much. He called, specifically to talk to me, just before he left. He didn't want to talk to Mother at all, maybe from embarrassment. He had his daughter place the call, in case Mother answered. When I answered, he came on line. He'd seen the announcement of area high school graduating-class standings in the newspaper. This would have been late January or early February, 1960. I was Peoria High's valedictorian, and he'd wanted to congratulate me. I cried. I'm crying now. I have trouble remembering that phone conversation without crying. I hope his life went well. I never heard from or about him again.


I've mentioned that I already had a place selected for the horses. I moved them in December 1959. Anticipating further developments: The stables I'd chosen had a wonderful riding area but turned out not to be well run. It didn't stay in business long. The summer of 1960, before I started college, I moved the horses to the combination livery/boarding stables, also West of town, which had been the destination years before when I'd tried to form a "riding club" with revolving-mother chauffeurs.

Last in this part, about subsequent developments pertaining to the two criminal groups: As I've said, I think the rooftop burglaries had stopped by the time I returned from the summer course. As best I know but why I don't know, the syndicate soon stopped its Peoria-area operations -- or maybe just the corpses-in-car-trunks reprisal method.

At the second stables to which I moved the horses, one of the people who boarded a horse there was a lawyer who was the (male) lover of the sheriff's son. The sheriff's son didn't ride, but he'd occasionally come out to the stables while his lover was riding. Thus I somewhat got to know him.

The fall of 1960, I was coming home by train for a weekend. (I was going to school at Northwestern. Freshmen weren't allowed to have cars on campus then.) The sheriff's son happened to be on the train too. He told me, if I heard from H, to convey the word that "the weather was bad" in Peoria. I don't know what the cryptic message meant -- and I didn't know where H was, so couldn't deliver it. I think that Sheriff S was soon voted out of office and the new incumbent promised a strong stand on crime.

F was still around town for awhile. The summer before I went to college (1960), I chanced to see him on a country road where I was horseback riding. He was talking to a State Police officer -- looked to me as if he'd been pulled over for speeding.

He said, "Hi, Ellen!" with a big grin, and he and I exchanged a few pleasantries. Then I went my way, wanting to turn to see what was happening between him and the police officer, but restraining the desire.

A bit later there was a news report of F's being apprehended in Indiana and sent to a penitentiary there. A year or two afterward, there was another news report of his being assigned to the accounting office due to good behavior -- and being found forging checks.

I'd like to think that, upon getting out of jail, F decided in earnest to "go straight" and succeeded, but I'd be surprised if the reality went so rosily. My not being able to find anything about him in my Google researches could mean many things besides a happy ending.


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