All I can say is that I gave them every opportunity. But with Theodore (stubborn, difficult man! ) one never knows.
On Saturday afternoon there was a rump session of the trustees of the Ira Howard Foundation, Judge Sperling having come all the way from Toledo for that purpose: Judge Sperling, Mr Arthur J. Chapman, Justin Weatheral, Brian Smith (by unanimous consent), Sergeant Theodore. .. and me. And Eleanor.
When judge Sperling cleared his throat, I understood the signal and started to withdraw. Whereupon Theodore stood up to leave with me.
There was some backing and filling, but the result was that I stayed and Eleanor stayed because Theodore headed for the door when we did. He did explain that the Howard Families, in their permanent organisation, used absolute equality of the sexes. .. and, as Howard Chairman in his own time, attending this meeting as a courtesy to the twentieth century Howard organisation, he could not in conscience take part in any Howard meeting from which women were excluded.
Once they got past that hurdle, the meeting simply consisted of Theodore's repeating his prediction of 11 November 1918 as the day the War would end, followed by his prediction of Black Tuesday, 29 October 1929. On being questioned he embellished this latter, with mention of devaluation of the dollar, from twenty dollars to the ounce down to thirty-five dollars to the ounce. ‘President Roosevelt will do this by what amounts to decree, although Congress will ratify it. .. but this doesn't happen until early in 1933. '
‘Just a moment, Sergeant Bronson, or Captain Long, or whatever you call yourself, are you saying that Colonel Roosevelt makes a comeback? I find that hard to swallow. In 1933 he will be, uh -‘ Mr Chapman stopped to think.
‘Seventy-Five years old, ' Judge Sperling put it. ‘What's so unusual http://www.netshopbook.ru about that, Arthur? I'm older than that, but I have no intention of retiring anytime soon. '
Theodore said, ‘No, gentlemen, no. Not Teddy Roosevelt. Franklin Roosevelt. Now assistant secretary to Mr Josephus Daniels. '
Mr Chapman shook his head. ‘I find that even harder to believe. '
Theodore answered rather testily, ‘It does not matter what you believe, Counsellor; Mr Roosevelt will be inaugurated in 1933 and shortly after that he will close all the banks and call in all gold and gold certificates and devalue the dollar. The dollar never does regain its present value. Fifty years later an ounce of gold will fluctuate wildly, from around a hundred dollars an ounce to around a thousand dollars an ounce. '
‘Young man, ' Mr Chapman pronounced, ‘what you describe is anarchy. '
‘Not quite. It gets worse. Much worse. Most historians call the second half of this century "The Crazy Years". Socially the Crazy Years start at the end of the next World War. But from a standpoint of the economy the Crazy Years start on Black Tuesday, 29 October 1929. For the rest of this century you can lose your shirt if you don't maintain a strong cash position. But it is a century of great opportunity, too, in almost every field. '
Mr Chapman closed down his face. I could see that he had made up his mind not to believe anything. But Justin and Judge Sperling exchanged some side remarks, then the judge said, ‘Captain Long, can you tell us what some of these great opportunities will be? '
‘I'll try. Commercial aviation both for passengers and for freight. Railroads will be in deep trouble and will not recover. The present picture shows will add sound - talking pictures. Television. Stereovision. Space travel. Atomic power. Lasers. Computers. Electronics of every sort. Mining on the Moon. Asteroid mining. Rolling roadways. Cryonics. Artificial manipulation of genetics. Personal body armour. Sunpower screens. Frozen foods. Hydroponics. Microwave cooking. Do any of you know D. D. Harriman? '
Chapman stood up. ‘Judge, I move we adjourn. '
‘Sit down, Arthur, and behave yourself. Captain, you realise how shocking your predictions are, do you not? '
‘Certainly, ' Theodore answered.
‘The only way I can listen to your words with equanimity is to recall the changes I have seen in my own lifetime. If your prediction as to the day the war ends turns out to be accurate, then I feel that we must take your other predictions seriously. In the meantime, do you have anything more to tell us? '
‘I guess not. Two things, maybe. Don't buy on margin after the middle of 1929. And don't sell short if a wrong guess could clean you out. '
‘Good advice at any time. Thank you, sir. '
Carol and I and the children kissed them both goodbye on Sunday 30 June then went back inside as Captain Bozell's car drove away, to cry in private.
The news got worse and worse all that summer.
Then in the late fall it began to be apparent that we were gaining on the Central Powers. The Kaiser abdicated and fled to Holland, and then we knew we were going to win. The false armistice came along and my joy was shaded by the realisation that it was not the eleventh of November.
And the real armistice did arrive, right on time, November the Eleventh, and every bell, every whistle, every siren and horn, anything that could make noise all sounded at once.
But not in our household. On Thursday George fetched home from his route the Kansas City Post. In its casualties report it listed as ‘MISSING IN ACTION - Bronson, Cpl Theo, KCMo'.