While a few strikes

But von Rintelen had still bigger projects afoot. While his precise,
swiftly moving mind supervised the Mexican conspiracy, and carefully
watched over shipments of supplies to the Fatherland, _he was launching
a series of concerted conspiracies designed to cut off this country
almost entirely from Europe_. His vivid imagination had led him to
picture a Utopian fantasy wherein Americans who believed so absolutely
in universal peace—despite the war raging abroad—that the labourers
would refuse to make munitions of war, the farmers would decline to sell
food to warring nations, and the Government would take over all the war
factories. _Von Rintelen, accordingly, determined to bring such a dream
into real life, not for altruistic purposes, but to help Germany conquer
the Allies._

He had made his plans before he left Germany, and he had sent ahead for
information concerning Americans as his aids, who were skilled in
finesse and underground work. _He wanted men who, while men of brains,
might be led by lust for gold or hatred of England to espouse the
criminal schemes which he had originated. He sought leaders whose logic
and oratory could sway the rank and file._ The man of whom he had heard
while in Berlin as a likely assistant was David Lamar, now serving a
term of imprisonment for having impersonated a Congressman, whose
craftiness and ingenious methods in using politicians in his stock
operations had won him the title of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The two
men were brought together.

One can see von Rintelen, enthusiastically speaking in millions of
dollars, as he outlined his schemes to Lamar, his equal in grace of
manner and deceit, and Lamar cloaking his avarice with smiles and
sophistry.

BEFUDDLING THE PACIFISTS

_Von Rintelen’s first step_, as he outlined it to Lamar, _was to use the
horrors of the European War as an appeal for universal peace, and to
enlist the labouring men and the farmers of America in raising their
united voice against the exports of arms and ammunition. And thus a
great labour peace propaganda_ was originated by a German whose
patriotism had driven away his scruples, and an American who had gone
money-mad. The details of the organization were set forth, and soon von
Rintelen had a staff of workers at his command, though they all may not
have known he was paying their salaries. His agents, in secret
interviews with labour leaders, were soliciting their aid, flashing
rolls of gold-tinted certificates. The men who guiltily handled the
money which von Rintelen drew from the bank had only one complaint,
namely, that the denominations of the bills were entirely too large.

_Two of von Rintelen’s agents following Samuel Gompers, president of the
National Federation of Labour, to Atlantic City one day, offered him
$500,000 for his services in endorsing the peace propaganda and
participating in the work. Mr. Gompers scorned the offer. Other big
labour leaders, whose aid was solicited, began immediately to warn their
associates against the anti-American activities of German agents._

By June, 1915, von Rintelen’s schemes were moving apace. A big
advertising campaign had been started in the early spring with von
Rintelen’s cash. Newspaper propaganda picturing the glories of universal
peace began to appear.

By the aid of Lamar, who kept von Rintelen in the background, the German
soon had many persons working and talking in the interest of universal
peace. It has been stated that the services of Frank Buchanan,
Representative in Congress and former labour leader, and of H. Robert
Fowler, ex-Congressman, were obtained. Whether they were aware of von
Rintelen and his motives is a question for a jury to answer, for they
have been indicted in connection with the alleged activities of the
Labour’s National Peace Council.

Within a short time, thousands of invitations were scattering throughout
the country to labour leaders, small and large, and to heads of farmers’
granges, to attend the national convention of the peace propaganda at
the expense of the organization. All railroad fares, hotel expenses and
a liberal allowance for spending money were promised.

Under the fostering financial auspices of von Rintelen, who hovered
conveniently near the New Willard Hotel, the members of a peace movement
gathered in Washington, expenses paid. They adopted resolutions saying
they desired “to promote peace.” _The resolutions demanded the enactment
of laws that would enable the Government to take over as exclusive
government business the manufacture of all arms, instruments and
munitions of war; demanded an immediate embargo upon shipments of war
supplies to the belligerents; denounced the maintenance of military and
naval forces, and called for a special session of Congress to promote
“peace universal.”_ The executive board went immediately into executive
session.

PAYING THE HIRELINGS

“How is this movement to be financed?” one of the newly-elected
executive board asked another. He and one of the vice-presidents waited
for an answer. They got none, he says, and the question was repeated by
another. Then one of the officers answered:

“This thing is big enough, so that I do not care where the money comes
from to finance it.”

Another member asked:

“What, after all, does this council want to do?”

“We want,” was the answer, “to stop the exportation of munitions to the
Allies. Germany can manufacture all the munitions she wants.”

Von Rintelen’s deposit in the Trans-Atlantic Trust Company meantime was
growing smaller by jumps of $100,000. It was drawn by cheques payable to
cash, placed in another bank, quickly withdrawn, and on one occasion the
money in bills was taken to the headquarters of a peace organization in
a suit-case. _Bank accounts of von Rintelen’s peace propagandists began
to jump._

The executive board was busy. One of the first moves was a statement
filed with Secretary of State Lansing alleging that nine ships in
various American ports were taking on cargoes of ammunition in violation
of the neutrality laws. That charge, undoubtedly prepared with von
Rintelen’s aid upon information gathered by German spies, showed an
accurate knowledge of the merchantmen loading with supplies for the
Allies. _There was, however, no violation of law_, because the vessels
were officered and manned by ordinary seamen who had no connection with
the Allied governments.

The second step was the preparation of a complaint charging as a
violation of law the issuance of Federal Reserve notes by national banks
on the ground that the New York banks had lent money to the Allies which
was being used in payment for war supplies, and that some of those banks
had rediscounted notes with the Federal Reserve Bank. Here again was
displayed a remarkably detailed knowledge of the business of the Federal
Reserve Banks. _This charge also fell flat._

A third move was against Dudley Field Malone, Collector of the Port of
New York. Resolutions were adopted accusing him of exceeding his
authority in having granted clearance papers to the steamship
_Lusitania_ when that vessel was ladened with munitions, and authorizing
an action to be started against him. No suit, however, was begun. In
this connection, it may be mentioned that one member of the peace
committee was attorney for a woman of Chicago, who, months afterwards,
started suit for $40,000 against Collector Malone and Captain Turner, of
the _Lusitania_, on the ground that the ship illegally carried
explosives.

CONSPIRACY GROWS BOLDER

These public acts mentioned above, however, are stated by the Federal
Government to have been merely a cloak, covering a more extensive
conspiracy financed by von Rintelen. By a series of strikes in munition
factories, humming with the Allies’ war orders; on railroads carrying
the articles to the seaboard, and on steamships, von Rintelen, it is
alleged, sought to cut off commerce among the United States and the
Allied countries. Von Rintelen and several others are accused in the
Federal indictment of doing six different acts in a conspiracy in
restraint of foreign commerce. They are charged with conspiring to use
“solicitation, persuasion and exhortation” to influence the workers to
go on strike or to quit work, to bribe officers of labour unions to get
the men to strike, and “by divers other means and methods not
specifically determined upon by the defendants, but to be decided as the
occasion arose.”

Von Rintelen was busy now jumping from town to town, sending orders
under one name, then another, and paying out money. _There took place in
June and July, 1915, many strikes which, the national labour leaders of
the respective trades said, were absolutely unauthorized by the national
bodies._ The German agent was delighted to read in the newspapers of
strikes at the Standard Oil plant in Bayonne, N. J.; of strikes at the
Remington Arms Company in Bridgeport, Conn., and in the General Electric
Plant in Schenectady, N. Y. His agents would approach him gleefully with
the newspapers containing these accounts, and immediately would receive
another bundle of bills with the exhortation, “That is fine. Go out and
start some more.”

Another projected strike in connection with which Germans were mentioned
in correspondence, but in which von Rintelen is not named, is presented
here because it fits in the general scheme of the German plotting. That
is the conspiracy on part of moneyed representatives of Germany in May
and June, 1915, to start a strike simultaneously among the 23,000
‘longshoremen on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. _Such a walkout would
absolutely have paralysed American shipping, completely stopped the
movement of explosives to the Allies at a most critical moment._ A
leader of the big ‘Longshoremen’s Union told Chief William J. Flynn, of
the United States Secret Service, that $1,035,000, or $45 for every man,
was offered to keep the men out on strike for four weeks. After the
sinking of the _Lusitania_, the man who approached the ‘longshoremen
wrote under the name of “Mike Foley,” asking if an “S.” (strike) was to
be called, that because of the “L. (_Lusitania_) affair,” his people
were not going to do anything at present, and because the “Big Man” (who
preceded von Rintelen) was going away. It will be recalled that after
the sinking of the _Lusitania_, Dernburg was dismissed from the country
because of his comments concerning the attitude of Germany towards
submarine warfare.

CRIMINALS SET TO WORK

While von Rintelen was reaching out in so many directions in his frantic
endeavour to build a barrier between the United States and the Entente
Powers, he did not hesitate to resort to criminals. Keeping his quick
eyes on the progress of the peace propaganda, he had schemes which,
while distinctly separated from that organization, were designed to work
in harmony with the developments in the strike propaganda. Von Rintelen
planned by aid of reservists and crooks to take other measures in
munition factories to stop, delay, injure the production of materials
destined for the Allies’ battle fronts.

_He sent trained German reservists to get employment in factories with
orders to collect information and do what they could to cause trouble._
Resorting again to the well-developed system of German secret agents in
New York, under new aliases, he got in touch with organized bands of
criminals in New York, and, the authorities say, hired them _to start
depredations on the ships being loaded with supplies_ for the Allies in
New York harbour. To von Rintelen or some other person associated with
him is attributed the origin of a plot for widespread attacks by thieves
on cargoes being lightered from railroad piers to merchantmen. These
thefts of sugar, automobile tyres and magnetos have amounted to millions
of dollars. For instance, one of the sugar thieves stealing bags of
sugar from a lighter said to a comrade:

“Take some more bags. The ship won’t ever reach the other side, anyway,
and nobody will know.”

To the persons who doubt these varied, reckless and extensive activities
of von Rintelen, it may be suggested that von Rintelen asserted
frequently to his associates that he had come to America to take every
step, including peaceful or violent measures, to stop the shipment of
munitions.

The doubter must not overlook the supervision which von Rintelen
exercised over the manufacturer of fire bombs which German reservists
are accused of hiding on the Allies’ merchantmen, and the fact that von
Rintelen’s aid visited a bomb man in his Hoboken laboratory frequently;
that on one occasion he scored him roughly because the fire bombs were
not proving effective. Furthermore, Fay, after his arrest, and long
before the indictment of the bomb plotters, told Captain Tunney of a
wealthy German, then a prisoner of war in England, who had paid $10,000
to a Hoboken chemist to make fire bombs.

Though von Rintelen, during the months of June and July, was exuberant
over the reports—most of them false—which were carried to him concerning
the progress of peace, the strikes and other schemes, and though he was
kept drawing money from the bank until the $800,000 in the
Trans-Atlantic Trust Company was reduced to $40,000, he began to have
doubts about Lamar and about the effectiveness of the latter’s
management of some of the projects. He knew that Lamar and his
associates were planning for a second rousing meeting in Washington,
but, becoming suspicious, he suddenly cut off the money. He had received
estimates of activities that required more money. After deliberation he
finally decided to slip away to Berlin, get away from Lamar entirely and
after making a report to the War Office return to America to broaden his
scope of work.

All told, von Rintelen had failed to perceive any falling off in the
exports to the Allies. They were, in fact, rapidly increasing, and von
Rintelen’s schemes thus far had proved ineffective, though he still was
optimistic that eventually he would have all his forces working in
unison and thus accomplish his aims.

He did not go to Washington when a second peace convention was in
session, and the word had slipped out to some of the workers that von
Rintelen was about to sail. Still, the meeting with the members claiming
a representation of 8,000,000 voters, was more denunciatory and
enthusiastic over its aims, than ever. There were attacks on President
Wilson and demands for an embargo on war munitions. There was an intense
pro-German feeling.

Differences, meantime, began to arise among the members of the executive
board. One of the vice-presidents resigned just before the second
session convened, saying emphatically that the financing of the
organization was under suspicion. Another quietly quit, not making the
fact public until weeks afterwards. Lamar flitted away to a magnificent
country home which he had bought in Pittsfield, Mass. There was no money
left. The propaganda died.

EXIT VON RINTELEN

Von Rintelen was on the high seas. He had left $40,000 in the bank in
charge of his friends, and some of the plotters tried to get that on the
strength of a promise to stop the Anglo-French bond sale of
$500,000,000. Before sailing he had applied for a passport as an
American citizen named Edward V. Gates, of Millersville, Pennsylvania.
But whisperings concerning von Rintelen’s activities had reached the
White House from society folk who had heard von Rintelen’s rash talk and
who knew of some of the unscrupulous things he had attempted. The State
Department ordered an investigation and finally sent his passport on to
New York the day before the sailing of the _Noordam_, in care of Federal
agents; but von Rintelen did not claim it. Though he had bought a ticket
on the boat under the name of Gates, and had obtained drafts payable on
that name, he did not occupy the Gates cabin but at the last minute
engaged passage under the name of Emil V. Gasche, a Swiss citizen.

On board ship, he set to work preparing for the close scrutiny of
British naval officers when the ship neared Falmouth. He handed over
many of his documents to Andrew D. Meloy, his travelling companion, and
Meloy’s secretary. He dictated a long document about financial
conditions of Mexican railways purporting to be the report of himself as
commissioner for a group of English bondholders. He sought to make it
appear that he had been sent to the United States as a representative of
the bondholders’ committee of Mexican railways. When the British
officers came on board and searched him, von Rintelen put up a skilful
bluff, but finally surrendered as a prisoner of war. Meloy, who had
aided von Rintelen in his application for the American passport, was
sent back to this country by the British authorities.

A VALUABLE PRISONER

While von Rintelen, after his strenuous days in America, was resting
comfortably in a luxurious prison camp at Donington Hall, England, the
American authorities were busily delving into his record. Mr. Sarfaty
presented witness after witness and thousands of documents to the
Federal Grand Jury. Von Rintelen and Meloy were indicted, first, for the
fraudulent passport conspiracy; and Meloy finally made a confession to
the Government authorities. Von Rintelen’s agent, called before the
Grand Jury and refusing to answer, was adjudged in contempt of court and
spent a night in the Tombs prison. Another agent, summoned before the
Grand Jury and asked about his dealings with von Rintelen, refused to
answer on the ground that it might tend to degrade and incriminate him,
but he afterwards was arrested on a firebomb charge.

Von Rintelen was indicted on the charge of forgery on the passport
application, and upon that as a basis, application was made to the
English authorities for his extradition. After months of investigation,
indictments finally were filed against von Rintelen, Lamar, and his
associates on a charge of conspiring to restrain foreign trade.

The moment a United States District-Attorney, equipped with a mass of
documentary evidence, telegrams, letters, minutes of secret meetings,
and the statements of hundreds of witnesses, laid facts before the Grand
Jury who brought an indictment against a Congressman, the House of
Representatives, without waiting for the trial of the defendant,
immediately ordered an inquiry which in substance amounted to a fishing
expedition by the sub-committee to ascertain just what evidence Mr.
Marshall and Mr. Sarfaty had dug up against one of their members.
Congress did not take any action, and finally, after a spectacular play,
decided to let the matter drop.

A COSTLY FAILURE

From the viewpoint of picturesqueness, fantastic conceptions,
recklessness, extravagance, and a remarkable mastery of detail, von
Rintelen stands forth as the most extraordinary German agent sent to
America. Boy-Ed and von Papen are now telling their friends in Berlin
that their recall was due not to what they did but to what von Rintelen
did and said.

The energetic nobleman had hoped to cause an absolute cessation of
exports from this country to the Allies and to create a political
situation where the United States would be powerless to make any protest
on Germany’s submarine warfare. To bring these conditions about _he had
not hesitated to try to foment war between the United States and Mexico,
to violate various American neutrality laws, to attack American
institutions and American ideals with the aim of causing an industrial
stagnation_. Yet how little he actually accomplished!

His Mexican plans were a failure. His schemes to influence legislation
came to naught. While a few strikes were started and quickly settled,
the activity of the Germans proved hurtful to the working men. Von
Rintelen did get a few supplies over to Germany; but many of his ships
were seized by the English. His enterprises are said to have cost many
millions of dollars, and the supplies which he shipped are about the
only thing that Germany got out of his gigantic schemes. U. S. Attorney
Marshall has a passport issued to Edward V. Gates which von Rintelen can
have any time he wishes to come and get it. Should he ever step upon
American shores, he will face charges which upon conviction furnish a
total sentence of anywhere from fifty to sixty years. _Never did Germany
aim through one man to accomplish so much yet effect so little as
through Franz von Rintelen, the Crown Prince’s friend._

The _Lusitania_ was, in the eyes of the German Admiralty, the symbol of
Great Britain’s supremacy on the seas. The big, graceful vessel,
unsurpassed in speed, had defied the German raiders that lurked in the
Atlantic hoping to capture her and had eluded the submarines that tried
to find her course. Time and time again, the Germans had planned and
plotted to “get” the _Lusitania_, and every time the ocean greyhound had
slipped away from them—every time save when the plot was developed on
American territory.

To sink the _Lusitania_, the German Admiralty had argued, was to lower
England’s prestige and to hoist the black eagle of the Hohenzollerns
above the Union Jack. Her destruction, they fondly hoped, would strike
terror to the hearts of the British, for it would prove the inability of
the English navy to protect her merchantmen. It would prove to the world
that von Tirpitz was on a fair way of carrying out his threat to isolate
the British Isles and starve the British people into submission to
Germany. It would be a last warning to neutrals to keep off the Allies’
merchantmen and would help stop the shipment of arms and ammunition to
the Allies from America. It would—as a certain royal personage
boasted—shake the world’s foundations.

Gloating over their project and forgetting the rights of neutrals, the
mad war lords did not think of the innocent persons on board, the men,
the women and babies. The lives of these neutrals were as nothing
compared with the shouts of triumph that would resound through Germany
at the announcement of the torpedoing of the big British ship, symbol of
sea power. The attitude was truly expressed by Captain von Papen, who on
receiving news of the sinking of the _Lusitania_ remarked: “Well, your
General Sherman said it: ‘War is Hell.’”

So the war lords schemed and the plots which resulted in the sinking of
the _Lusitania_ on May 7, 1915, bringing death to 113 American citizens,
were developed and executed in America, through orders from Berlin.

The agents in America put their heads together in a room in the German
Club, New York, or in a high-powered limousine tearing through the dark.
These men, who had worked out the plot, on the night of the successful
execution had assembled in a club and in high glee touched their glasses
and shouted their devotion to the Kaiser. One boasted afterwards that he
received an Iron Cross for his share in the work.

On the night of the tragedy, one of the conspirators remarked to a
family where he was dining—a family whose son was on the
_Lusitania_—when word came of the many deaths on the ship: “I did not
think she would sink so quickly. I had two good men on board.”

WARRIORS AT WORK IN AMERICA

In their secret conferences the conspirators worked their way round
obstacles and set their scheme in operation. Hired spies had made
numerous trips on the _Lusitania_, and had carefully studied her course
to and from England, and her convoy through the dangerous zone where
submarines might be lurking. These spies had observed the precautions
taken against a submarine attack. They knew the fearful speed by which
the big ship had eluded pursuers in February. They also had considered
the feasibility of sending a wireless message to a friend in England—a
message apparently of greeting that might be picked up by the wireless
on a German submarine and give its commander a hint as to the ship’s
course. _In fact, they did attempt this plan._ Spies were on board early
in the year when the _Lusitania_ ran dangerously near a submarine,
dodged a torpedo and then quickly eclipsed her German pursuer.

Spies also had brought reports concerning persons connected with the
_Lusitania_, and had given suggestions as to how to place men on board
in spite of the scrutiny of British agents. All these reports were
considered carefully and the conclusion was that no submarine was fast
enough to chase and get the _Lusitania_; that it was practically
impossible to have the U-boats stationed along every half mile of the
British coast, but that the simplest problem was to send the _Lusitania_
on a course where the U-boats would be in waiting and could torpedo her.
The scheme was, in substance, as follows:

“Captain Turner, approaching the English coast, sends a wireless to the
British Admiralty asking for instructions as to his course and convoy.
He gets a reply in code telling him in what direction to steer and where
his convoy will meet him. First, we must get a copy of the Admiralty
Code and we must prepare a message in cipher, giving directions as to
his course. This message will go to him by wireless as though from the
Admiralty. We must make arrangements to see that the genuine message
from the British Admiralty never reaches Captain Turner.”

That was the plan which the conspirators, aided and directed by Berlin,
chose. Upon it the shrewdest minds in the German secret service were set
to work. _As for the British Admiralty Code, the Germans had that at the
outbreak of the war and were using it at advantageous moments. How they
got it has not been made known; but they got it and they used it, just
as the Germans have obtained copies of the codes used by the American
State Department and have had copies of the codes used in our Army and
Navy. While the codes used by the British officials change almost daily,
such is not the case with merchant vessels on long voyages._

The next step of the conspirators was to arrange for the substitution of
the fake message for the genuine one. Germany’s spy machine has a
wonderful faculty for seeking out the weak characters holding
responsible positions among the enemy or for sending agents to get and
hold positions among their foes. It is now believed that a man on the
_Lusitania_ was deceived or duped. Whether he was a German sympathizer
sent out by the Fatherland to get the position and be ready for the
task, or whether he was induced for pay to play the part he did—has not
been told. Neither is his fate known.

Communication between New York and the German capital, ingenious,
intricate and superbly arranged, was almost as easy as telephoning from
the Battery to Harlem. Berlin was kept informed of every move in New
York and, in fact, selected the ill-fated course for the _Lusitania’s_
last voyage in English waters. Berlin picked out the place where the
_Lusitania_ was to sink.

Berlin chose the deep-sea graves for more than one hundred Americans.
Berlin assigned two submarines to a point ten miles south by west off
Old Head of Kinsale, near the entrance of St. George’s Channel. Berlin
chose the commander of the U-boats for the most damnable sea-crime in
history.

Just here there is a rumour among U-boat men in Europe that the man for
the crime was sent from Kiel with sealed instructions not to be opened
till at the spot chosen. With him went “a shadow” armed with a death
warrant if the U-boat commander “baulked” at the last moment.

BERLIN GIVES WARNING

The German officials in Berlin looking ahead, sought to prearrange a
palliative for their crime. Their plan, which in itself shows clearly
how carefully the Germans plotted the destruction of the _Lusitania_,
was to warn Americans not to sail on the vessel.

While the German Embassy in Washington was kept clear of the plot and
Ambassador von Bernstorff had argued and fought with all his strength
against the designs of the Berlin authorities, he, nevertheless,
received orders to publish an advertisement warning neutrals not to sail
on the Allies’ merchantmen. Acting under instructions, this
advertisement was inserted in newspapers in a column adjoining the
Cunard’s advertisement of the sailing of the _Lusitania_:

=NOTICE!=

=Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are
reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her
Allies and Great Britain and her Allies; that the zone of war
includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in
accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German
Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain or any of
her Allies are liable to destruction in these waters and that
travellers sailing in the war zone on ships of Great Britain or
her Allies, do so at their own risk.=

_Imperial German Embassy._

_Washington, D.C., April 22nd, 1915._

Germans in New York, who had knowledge that German submarines were lying
in wait off the Irish coast to “get” the _Lusitania_, sent intimations
to friends before the sailing of the ship.

The _New York Sun_ was told of the plot and warned Captain Turner by
wireless after the ship sailed. The German secret service in New York
also sent warnings to Americans booked on the _Lusitania_. One of the
persons to receive such a message signed “morte” was Alfred Gwynne
Vanderbilt. Many other passengers got the same warning that the ship was
to be torpedoed; but they all laughed at it. They knew she had outrun
submarines on a previous voyage and tricked them on another voyage.
Besides, before the horrors of this war, optimistic Americans firmly
believed the world was a civilized place. It was only after the
destruction of the _Lusitania_ that many neutral Americans could credit
the atrocity stories of Belgium.

FATEFUL MAY 1, 1915

So when the _Lusitania_ backed from her pier in the North River on the
morning of May 1, 1915, there was more than the average levity that
makes the sailing of an ocean liner so absorbing. On the pier were
anxious friends somewhat perturbed by the mysterious whisperings of
impending danger. Mingling among them also were men who knew what that
danger was, and who had just delivered final instructions to German
hirelings on board. On the deck of the great vessel, as she swung her
nose down-stream toward Sandy Hook, was not only the man who had
promised to see that the false message in code reached Captain Turner,
but there also were those two friends, good and true, of von
Rintelen’s—men who, in the event that the _Lusitania_ should run into
the appointed place at night, would flash lights from port holes to give
a clear aim to the commanders of the stealthy submarines.

On board the vessel swinging out past Sandy Hook into the ocean lane
were a notable group of passengers, many of them representative
Americans of inestimable value to this country. Besides Mr. Vanderbilt,
there was Charles Frohman, a talented theatrical producer, who had
furnished by his artistic shows genuine amusement to millions; Elbert
Hubbard, talented and inspiring writer; Charles Klein, writer of
absorbing plays; Justus Miles Forman, novelist, and Lindon W. Bates,
Jr., whose family had befriended von Rintelen. Merchants, clergymen,
lawyers, society women, a large list of useful men and women in the
1,254 passengers.

These, added to the crew of 800, made more than 2,000 lives under the
care of the staunch, blue-eyed captain. _Of that number_, 1,214 were
_being rushed over the waves to doom_. And as the ship sped eastward,
submarines leaving their bases at Cuxhaven and Heligoland clipped their
prows under the waves, and made for Old Head of Kinsale on the south
coast of Ireland, where they were instructed to pause, upon sealed
instructions, and obey them to the letter.

Meantime, Berlin, counting almost to the hour when the _Lusitania_ would
near the British Isles, prepared the exact wording for the false
instructions to Captain Turner. This was sent to New York by wireless,
where it was put into British code. The next step was to have this
message substituted for the British Admiralty’s instructions to the
_Lusitania_. The inside details of how this substitution was
effected—can only be surmised. This secret is buried with the British
Admiralty and with the Bureau in Berlin.

BERLIN’S DELIBERATIONS

For such intricate action Germany had been preparing with infinite
patience both before and after the war began. Prior to the outbreak,
representatives of Germany had started the building of the wireless
plant at Sayville, Long Island, by which aerial communication was
established with Berlin. After the war began, the equipment of the
station was increased, and instead of 35 kilowatt transmitters, 100
kilowatt transmitters were installed, the machinery for tripling the
efficiency of the plant having been shipped from Germany _via_ Holland
to this country. Wireless experts, members of the German navy, also
slipped away from Germany to direct the work of handling messages
between the two countries.

Everything was in readiness at Sayville, consequently, to catch the
directions that were flashed through the air. There was an operator
specially trained to take the message coded for the deception of Captain
Turner, and send it crackling fatefully through the air. Everything was
ready and only the request of the operator on the _Lusitania_ for
directions south of Ireland was needed. _All this was in violation not
only of our neutrality laws, but also in disregard of American statutes
governing wireless stations._

Meantime, the vessel had reached the edge of the war zone decreed by
Germany in violation of international law, and Captain Turner sent out
his call for instructions. Presently the order came. It was hurried to
Captain Turner’s state-room.

Captain Turner, carefully decoding the message by means of a cipher book
which he had guarded so jealously, read orders to proceed to a point ten
miles south of Old Head of Kinsale, and run into St. George’s Channel,
making the bar at Liverpool at midnight. He carefully calculated the
distance and his running time, and adjusted his speed accordingly. He
felt assured, because he relied on the assumption that the waters over
which he was sailing were being thoroughly scoured by English cruisers
and swift torpedo boats in search of German submarines.

THE EXPLOSION THAT ROCKED THE WORLD

The British Admiralty also received his wireless message—just as the
Sayville operator had snatched it from the air, and despatched an
answer. The order from the head of the Admiralty directed the English
captain to proceed to a point some seventy or eighty miles south of Old
Head of Kinsale and there meet his convoy, which would guard him on the
way to port. _But Captain Turner never got that message, and the British
convoy waited in vain for the Lusitania to appear on the horizon._

The _Lusitania_ headed north-east, going far away from the vessels that
would have protected her. Swiftly she slipped through the waves on the
afternoon of May 7. Unsuspecting, the ship moved directly toward certain
death. The proud, swift liner steered straight between two submarines,
lying in wait.

The details of what happened after the torpedo blew out the side of the
great ship have been told—told so fully, vividly, so terribly that they
need not be repeated here. As Captain Turner heard the explosion of the
torpedo he instantly knew that there had been treachery. He knew he had
been decoyed away from the warships that were to escort him to his pier.

The manner in which the captain had been lured to the waiting submarines
was made clear at the secret session of the Board of Inquiry that
investigated the sinking of the ship. Captain Turner told at the
Coroner’s inquest how he had been warned, supposedly by the British
Admiralty, of submarines off the Irish coast, and that he had received
special instructions as to course. Asked if he made application for a
convoy, he said:

“No, I left that to them. It is their business, not mine. I simply had
to carry out my orders to go, and I would do it again.”

At the official inquiry, the captain produced the orders which he had
received, directing him to proceed south-west of Old Head of Kinsale.
The British Admiralty produced its message which had directed Captain
Turner to go by an utterly different course. It produced also orders
which had been issued to the convoy to meet the _Lusitania_. The orders
did not jibe. _They showed treachery, and further investigation pointed
to Sayville._

AMERICA REVOLTED AND APPALLED

The indignation and the revulsion of Americans against Germany because
of the destruction of the _Lusitania_ with the appalling loss of life
was a surprise to the Kaiser and his war staff. They apparently had
believed that the warning contained in the official announcement of
Germany, declaring the waters about the British Islands a war zone, and
the advertisement published would be sufficient excuse, and that their
act would be accepted calmly by America. They were not prepared for
Colonel Roosevelt’s invective stigmatizing the act as piracy, or the
editorial denunciation throughout the country. Their effrontery was
displayed by one of their agents, who announced that American ships also
would be sunk. But this agent’s removal from the country and mob
violence threatened other agents was emphatic proof of America’s state
of mind.

Immediately Germany turned as a defence to the argument that the
_Lusitania_ carried munitions of war and other contraband in violation
of the United States Federal statute. But the American laws were quoted
to Ambassador von Bernstorff to prove to him that cartridges could be
transported in a passenger ship. That argument proved of no avail.

Secretary Bryan’s note, written by President Wilson, and forwarded to
Berlin, demanded a disavowal of the sinking of the _Lusitania_, an
apology and reparation for the lives lost. But Germany sought to parley
with a reply that would lay the blame on Great Britain, and asserting
that the _Lusitania_ had been an armed auxiliary cruiser, requested an
investigation of these alleged facts, and refused to stop her submarine
warfare until England changed her trade policy. But this note again
aroused the wrath of Americans.

LIES AND DECEIT

German secret agents began to manufacture evidence to support the
Kaiser’s contentions. Here a hireling of Boy-Ed looms as an obedient
servant of the naval attaché, whether he knew all the facts or not. It
was Koenig, who, using the alias of Stemler, obtained from Gustave Stahl
an affidavit to the effect that he had seen four fifteen-centimetre guns
on the decks of the _Lusitania_ before she left port on her ill-fated
voyage. There were three other supporting affidavits. All these
documents were handed to Boy-Ed on June 1, 1915, and the following day
were in the hands of von Bernstorff, who turned them over to the State
Department in Washington.

It required but little work on the part of Federal agents to establish
the untruth of Stahl’s affidavit. Stahl, a German reservist, appeared
before the Federal Grand Jury, where he again repeated his lies. He was
indicted for perjury and upon a plea of guilty was sent to the Federal
prison at Atlanta.

It was Koenig who had hidden Stahl away after the latter had made his
affidavit, and it was Koenig who, at the command of the Federal
authorities, produced him.

So here again Germany’s efforts to deceive and to justify her piratical
act came to naught, and left her even more damned before the world. Time
came within a few days for President Wilson to reject forcibly the
flimsy defence made by Germany, but before that note was drafted, the
United States authorities by a thorough investigation of Sayville, and a
scrutiny of the German naval officers employed there, discovered that
the fake code message that drove the _Lusitania_ to her grave in the sea
had been flashed out from neutral territory; that the conspiracy had
been developed in America, though the details were not obtainable at
that time as they are presented here.

President Wilson was determined to demand absolute safety for Americans
at sea. Though Bryan resigned, Mr. Wilson sent a note, asserting that
the _Lusitania_ was not armed, and had not carried cargo in violation
either of American or international law. The action of Bryan weakened
the position of America in demanding a cessation of Germany’s submarine
warfare. It gave encouragement to Austria, after Germany had promised to
obey international law, to try a series of similar evasions. It gave
impetus to Germany’s plans to make a settlement of the submarine
controversy and to try to divide Congress on the issue.

The loss to America was 113 lives and a great amount of prestige; to
Germany, a tremendous amount of sympathy. But through it all stand out
the pictures of secret agents, boasters, schemers and reckless
adventurers, one of whom, having aided in the sinking of the _Lusitania_
and the drowning of hundreds of her passengers and crew, had still the
audacity to dine on the evening of this ghastly triumph at the home of
an American victim. One agent high in international affairs, overcome by
the force of the tragedy done in answer to the Kaiser’s bidding, had
still enough decency left to remark:

“Oh, what foul work!”