Maxwell suddenly paused. His wife looked up from some work she was doing. He was reading something with the utmost interest. “Listen to this, Mary,” he said, after a moment while his lip trembled:
This morning Alexander Powers, Superintendent of the L. and T. R. R. shops in this city, handed in his resignation to the road, and gave as his reason the fact that certain proofs had fallen into his hands of the violation of the Interstate Commerce Law, and also of the state law which has recently been framed to prevent and punish railroad pooling for the benefit of certain favored shippers. Mr. Powers states in his resignation that he can no longer consistently withhold the information he possesses against the road. He will be a witness against it. He has placed his evidence against the company in the hands of the Commission and it is now for them to take action upon it.
The News wishes to express itself on this action of Mr. Powers. In the first place he has nothing to gain by it. He has lost a very valuable place voluntarily, when by keeping silent he might have retained it. In the second place, we believe his action ought to receive the approval of all thoughtful, honest citizens who believe in seeing law obeyed and lawbreakers brought to justice. In a case like this, where evidence against a railroad company is generally understood to be almost impossible to obtain, it is the general belief that the officers of the road are often in possession of criminating facts but do not consider it to be any of their business to inform the authorities that the law is being defied. The entire result of this evasion of responsibility on the part of those who are responsible is demoralizing to every young man connected with the road. The editor of the News recalls the statement made by a prominent railroad official in this city a little while ago, that nearly every clerk in a certain department of the road understood that large sums of money were made by shrewd violations of the Interstate Commerce Law, was ready to admire the shrewdness with which it was done, and declared that they would all do the same thing if they were high enough in railroad circles to attempt it.”
Henry Maxwell finished reading and dropped the paper.
“I must go and see Powers. This is the result of his promise.”
He rose, and as he was going out, his wife said: “Do you think, Henry, that Jesus would have done that?”
Maxwell paused a moment. Then he answered slowly, “Yes, I think He would. At any rate, Powers has decided so and each one of us who made the promise understands that he is not deciding Jesus’ conduct for any one else, only for himself.”
“How about his family? How will Mrs. Powers and Celia be likely to take it?”
“Very hard, I’ve no doubt. That will be Powers’ cross in this matter. They will not understand his motive.”