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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (March 14, 1915)
The Omaha Sunday Bee Magazine Page
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There It Lay Unnoticed, While the Skirts of Fashion Frou-
(Froued Over It.
HY should the luck of the
Vanderbilts, Vhlch Is popu
larly suppoaed to turn every-
thing they touch Into gold, hsvs re-'
Teried its magic to blight the happl
bu of a Brooklyn bride? I
By what token do talismans oper
ate that this one, popularly the moat
potent, should turn to dross the glad
ness of Mrs. Lillian Oough, xf Flat
bush, Brooklyn, New York? .
When alchemy. once starts working
backward, once the - Philosopher's
Stone la rubbed the wrong way, it
can turn things Into trouble faster
than it ever turned them into gold. .
Witness Mrs. Lillian Cough and
the Vanderbilt necklace. '
The necklace, which holds some of
Mrs. W. tK. VanderbiH'a favorite
pearls, lay on the doorstep of the
Rits-Carlton Hotel. Daintily ehod
toes trod Its encasing envelope. Over
It, through the rotary doors, streamed
the frou-frou of fashion. While it lay
there young John Jere Collins locked
his desk in Mr. Vanderbilt's . New
York Central freight offices, a few
blocks sway, and tben started down
town. By the time he had reached
the RlU-Carlton the envelope con
taining the pearls had been kicked ,
to the base of the eteps. The en
velope had been torn also and the
diamond pendant flashed a signal to
his eye. Collins picked up the envel
v ope and put it in his pocket.
Here was a situation in itself. An
bonest young clerk from Mr. Vander-.
bllt's own New York Central Kali
road office picked up Mrs. Vander
bilt's lost necklace before Mrs. Van
derbilt knew it was lost, at the very
door of the Rita, where Mrs. Vander
bilt's maid -had dropped it.
But in the tangled skein of human
fates Interwoven around the fortu
nate finding of one of Mrs. Vander
bilt's most treasured possessions
there was another situation over m
Flatbush, Brooklyn, where Mrs.
Gough lived, and where, it happened,
Collins .frequently called. For. from
afar, ever since his boyhood, be had
brought his friendship to the feet of
the pretty young woman.
Even now as he threaded his way
through the lnpourlng throng of
wealth of fashion at the door of the
Rltz, he was bent on an errand which
had her faapplness for its object and
ts aim. '
' "Oh. I so would like to aee that
play," he heard her say the evening
before when they were out together
with friends, lie bad set oat after
the day's work at the office waa
ver to go te the theatre and buy
How should be know that be was
How It Lay
the Feet of
going to .stumble upon Mrs. Vander
bilt's pearl necklace? How should
he know that Fate, which has so
strange a penchant for choosing
jewels as emissaries of undoing,
lurked In the sparkle of the diamond
pendant that his eyes caught at the
door of he Rltz?
Least of all, bow should poor little
Mrs. Gough, la her Flatbush home,
seek evil portents in ber young ad
Fortunate Mr. Collins saw ber that
"Oh, I round this thing," he said.
He drew the necklace from bis
"Beads," eald young Mrs. Oough.
"Be careful how you handle them,
John. It's so hard to string them."
"Try them on," he suggested.
She clasped them about her neck
and looked down disapprovingly upon
them. "1 don't like It," she said. "I
wouldn't wear the $lg, clumsy thing."
When she removed It they discov
ered the "clumsy thing" bad a pen
dant encircled by shining stones. .
"The rest or it Is trash." she said,
."but that may be worth something."
The pendant was a large oval, be
neath which, on one elde, waa a min
iature of a very young man, scarcely
more than a lad. On the other was
a lock of hair, probably from the
thick, (waving mass on die head of
the original of the mlntetare. As a
matter of fact, the portrait was that
of Mrs. Vanderbilt's son, Rutherford,
who was killed In France some years
"Better watch the Lost advertise
ments," advised a friend who was
present. "The thing msy be worth
"It is worth something to some
body because of this," said the finder,
looking at the pictured face. "Who
ever he is, he is a manly chap."
The next day there appeared in
the Lost and Found columns an ad
vertisement by a leading firm of Jew.
elers, describing the necklace, nam
ing the hour and place at which it
waa loat, and offering $500 reward.
The Jeweller looked up In surprise as
Collins presented the necklace.
J'l am commissioned to pay the
600 reward in cash," he said.
And he handed eoross the counter
five $100 bills.
"By the wsy, bow much is that
necklace worth?" asked the young
"About $100,000 waa the reply.
Collins gasped bis astonishment.
But he was yet to learn at how much
more than that Mra. Vanderbilt rated
He waa at work at his clerk's desk
in the big freight oCflces of the New
)York Central next day 'When he waa
4 W'Y ''
told by ku oi nee boy that Mr. Van
derbilt wished to see him.
'The Big Boss?" breathed Collins
in surprise that was half dismay. He
walked briskly Into Mr. Vanderbilt's
"Mr. Collins." said the millionaire,
"I hear that you found a necklace
belonging to Mrs. Vanderbilt and re
turned it. I ask you It you would
rather have $500 cash or five one
thousand dollar bonds of the railroad.'
"I'd prefer to leave that to your
Judgment, sir," eald Collins. "
"Well, here, then," said Mr. Van
derbilt, handing the young clerk five
one-thousand-dollar bonds of the New
"Here is the $500." said Collins.
"Oh. you may as well keep that"
By which token It would appear
that so far, at least, the talisman of
the Vanderbilt touch of gold held
It did for Collins. But what of
poor little Mrs. Lillian Oough?
(Hearken now to what it brought to
For ten years Collins bad known
her, and all that time bad loved her.
His patient, awkward, 'boyish love
apparently made little impression
upon, the- belle of hie neighborhood
in which they lived In Brooklyn,
r He had many rivals. From among
them she chose Joseph Gough, a mas-'
ter machinist, of Newark. Five years
ago she wedded him. Two years ago
a little daughter was added to their
In business Joseph Gough pros
pered. But la business, cards often
bear the inverse ratio to success
in love. There were rumors that the
Oough s were not wholly happy. He
was faithful. She was true. He at
tended to his business in the shop,
she to hers in the home. Yet there
was not perfect accord- Neighbors
whispered the long word, covering
much unhapplness. "incompatibility."
Meanwhile the clerk plodded stead.
11 y on In his office. He saved bis
money. He hoped for bappler times.
And now and then when Mrs. Oough
paid a visit to ber family or friends
in Flatbush be called upon ber and
occasionally bad the happiness of es
corting her to the theatre.
Then enter the pearl necklace.
Followed the catastrophe to the Mrs.
) "She told me a fellow la Brooklyn
was going to get ucaets ror i win
Beds,' and on the way be found the
necklace It belonged to Mrs. Van
derbilt, and be got a reward for It,"
testified ber friend, lira Nellie V.
Wordley, in the suit that fallowed.
For her hue band, a master machinist.
having found a letter written by the
'clerk, waxed indignant and ordered
Mrs. W. KT Vanderbilt the
$100,000 Necklace, Actual
Size, and Below It Mrs.
John Gough, Whose
'Home it Broke Up.
his wife to leave his borne and never
more return to It.
The Vanderbilt necklace bad been
lost and found the first week in De
cember. Her forced departure from
HAT becomes of the boles In
a sheet of postage stamps?
Sounds like a ellly question,
doesn't it? But wait a minute. .
On a concrete platform outside the
Burea uof Engraving and Printing la
Washington a few days ago some
barrels were , being "headed up."
They were filled with queer-looking
stuff which anybody lmgbt well bsve
been at a' loci to Identify. It cer
tainly wasn't a mineral; It didn't
look like a vegetable. Many colors
red, blue, green and yellow seemed .'
to be mixed in the small particles of
whloh it wss composed.
"Whit on earth is It?" asked a
ourloua passerby, pausing to take a
"Just boles In postage stamps," re
plied the man wltb the hammer.
Then, In explanation, he grabbed out
a handful of the staff and showed
that It was composed of tiny disks of
bX the Star Company. Great Britain-
her husband's home' followed Jan
uary 6. '
"Joe thinks I wore the necklace to
the theatre. I didn't. You know
perfectly well that after I tried it on
It stayed in that cabinet drawer until
John left, and then be had to be re
minded of it or he would have forgot
ten it," sobbed Lillian Oough. "I
never thought of wearing the old
thing." ' ;
. "You did say you wouldn't wear the
clumsy thing," affirmed a friend.
But Joseph Gough was Immovable
as one of the rivets in the machine
he operates. He produced a letter
written by the clerk, a missive which
he designated as' "slushy, but con
vincing.",' This letter, 'which' was signed
"Jere," ran as follows;
"Dear Sweetheart Girlie 1 am Just
aching to bold you in my arms again.
It seems like an age since 1 saw you
last. Am trying to picture you over
there pining and worrying away, and
I can't bear to think about it, so I
am coming over to, Newark every
evening, if It is possible, even if I
can only Jee you for five minutes.
For, you sweet girlie, five minutes
with you is like a year In heaven, if
we believe what Is preached. '
"But, for me, beaven Is Just you
and 4, and for me to sed you happy
of the Holes in Our Postage Stamps
paper, some red. some yellow, some
blue, some green.' Others were of
yet other colors.
It appears that the material In
question is a by-product of tbe ma
chines through which the sheets of
postage otampSfgo to be perforated.
As tbe UUle boles sre punched out
of them the tiny paper dUUs fall into
baskets beneath, while later on are
emptied Into barrels. Every week
day in the year tbe Bureau of En
graving turns out in this way a
barrel and a half of "hole." Tbls
means nine barrels a week, or 403
barrels lu a twelvemonth.
How many holes go to make a
barrel full? Nobody ever took tbe
trouble to count, but It may be
reckoned approximately without much
dlulrulty. The bureau prints in a
year 12,000,000,000 postage stamps.
Allowing for tbe fact that a row of
perforations serves for the stamps on
both sides of it, there are twenty-one
of them for each stamp. This would
mean a total of 252,000,000,000 holes
v Up the
1 "' j .
"He Clasped It Around Mrs.
and bave that sweet little smile oa
your face always.
' "As I write this your ring on my
finger k6eps staring me In the face,
. and It seems as if the lion were say
ing, 'Your girlie wants you.' And
that Is Just the way it is. Whatever
I am doing, wherever 1 am, my first
thoughts are 'Whatever is my poor
little girlie doing now?'
"But be of brave heart and cheer
up. Things are bound to chanfe, and
the sooner they do the better. I
will be over In Newark to see you
to-morrow night 'Will call you up
some time after 6 p. m. II you are
not in, will' leave the telphone num
ber where you can reach me. I had
a telephone conversation with Mr. C.
and it will be all right for yon to see
him in his office to-morrow, Tues
day, afternoon at 3 o'clock.
"So, girlie, go down and aee him;
explain everything to him and aak bis
V advice to the limit. Waa talking with
your mother this afternon. The baby
is fine and dandy. Heard her running
around and playing while I was talk
ing. Everything and everybody else
is all O. K., so don't worry on that.
"Well, my sweetheart girl, and I
know you are mine and mine only,
and I am not afraid I am In a dream
and will be waked up. When thoae
aweet lips of yours told me that you
loved me, then I knew that it was no
dream, but a reality, and I was filled
"Sweetheart, words cannot express
made by the machines. Wltb a total
output of 468 barrels of holes for the
twelvemonth, It Js obvious that the
contents of each barrel would amouut
to about 588,461,033 boles.
Astronomers aay that there are In
the universe not fewer than R00
billion starts and not more than 1,000
billion, the exact number being
comewhere betweeu the two. It ap
pears then that the Bureau of En
graving in a perled between two and
four years turns out enough boles la
postage stamp to equal the number
of tbe starts.
Now, what becomes of all thee
holes? Have they any value? , The
enswer to the latter question Is. not
the slightest. They are carried off, in
the barrels, to tbe city dump.
Many sheets of pontage stamp are
spoiled in tbe making. Thousands of
other sheets, gummed together by hot
weather in tbe Bummer time, nibbled
by mice, or in other ways rendered
unsalable, ere returned to the
bureau to be replaced with new ones.
Such sheets, of course, bave a casb
He . . &
the feeling. Neither can I describe,
it Will do everything I ean to show
you la time to come. Mncb as 1
bate to say It. will bfeve to say good
by until to-morrow night, 'sweetheart
girlie of mine." '
' On the strength of the affidavit el
Mrs. Wordley and on this letter be
responded to her suit for separate,
maintenance with a counter emit
Of course, it Is hardly fair to blm
young Collins' alleged infatuation. fo
Mra. Oough on the Vanderbilt neck
lace, but if It bad not been for the.
necklace Incident, and the repetition
of it by Mrs. Wordley to Mr. Gough,
the breaking irp of the Gough) borne,
might perhaps have been averted.
This time the proverbial Vanda
bilt luck has been reversed. O
Undoubtedly the proverb of th
Vanderbilt good luck held for Mrs.
Vanderbilt Problematically for th
clerk. But It failed for the young
woman of tse dtrldel homes la New i
ark and Flatbush.
For ber the necklace was her w
doing. That a young roan found 1
necklace and, placing it about het
seek, took ber to the theatre, wa(
enough evidence for the breaking u
of ber home. Though the wife ha
explained and the clerk has said hi .
will talk matters over with him a
any time, the master machinist It
For Mrs. Joseph Gough the Van
derbllt necklace was her undoing.
value; they must be destroyed, like
redeemed paper money. For this
purpose they are packed in boxes and
seqt In a wagon to the Washington
Navy Yard, where they are burned,
under the official eye of a Govern
ment committee, in a big furnace.
Formerly the spoiled stamps were
boiled to a pulp, like tbe old paper
money, in a tank with water and
acids. But whereas tbe paper money
pulp wss sold, as U still the custom,
for paper vtock, being derived
originally from line linen ragw, the
h tumps, of woodpulp paper, went into
the sewer, being not worth jarlng.
As for the hole in a postage stamp,
it seems to be a very trifling thing;
yet, as a matter of fact, it represents
an extremely Important invention.
When stamiw were first used they
had to be cut apart with scissors,
which was highly Inconvenient It
is said that $10,ooo'was paid to tbe
man who originated the idea et
perforating the sheets, for sue privi
lege of using It
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