Maspeth, L.I., May 28. – Edward Hause and George Rettinger, in ordinary times and in ordinary circumstances, would be regarded simply as two exceptionally ragged, bleared, and unkempt tramps, but yesterday they achieved a modicum of notoriety. In their zig-zag wanderings they came upon Maspeth hopelessly drunk and with a still unquenchable thirst. They sank into profound slumber near the barn of Cord Meyer, Jr., who, in addition to being a wealthy sugar refiner, is the Democratic leader in Queens County.
The two dusty pilgrims awoke about 3 A.M. and felt chilled. With rare presence of mind they built a fire, which they managed with difficulty to keep from falling into so great was their fatigue. Neighbor Henry Ricketts saw the fire, and concluded that Mr. Meyer’s barn was being destroyed by Anarchists.
He aroused Mr. Meyer’s coachman, George Doebling, and then Mr. Meyer himself. When this little army reached the spot they found the barn slightly scorched.
“What’s this? Are you trying to burn my barn up?” queried Mr. Meyer.
“N-n-n (hic) noshir! Wer-wer-wush—(hic) wus tr-tryin ter sh-sh (hic) shave it. Sh-shay ger-ger-give ush-quarter wer-wer-will yer?” “A quarter?” roared Mr. Meyer. “Y-yesh, gishquarter, fo-er-fer shavin bar’barn ter groun,” returned the spokesman of the pilgrims, while his companion made heroic but vain efforts to arise from his couch of rags.
Mr. Meyer refused to pay for having his barn saved from the flames.
“Orri, nun-nun-nexsht time woon shave it; “leter burn shgroun.”
Thereupon the orator was overcome by emotion and lay down and slumbered.
Meanwhile Mr. Ricketts stamped out the fire.
Since the New York Times divulged the doings of an Anarchist colony in Maspeth, with the result of landing some of them in jail, the community is on the lookout for Anarchist plots, and in the heated imagination of several Maspeth citizens and one reporter the mishap of the night was raised to the dignity of a diabolical Anarchist plot.
Before Justice Monteverde this morning the two fatigued prisoners were still too weak from loss of sleep to give any coherent account of their wanderings and so prostrated by the charge that they were Anarchists that they collapsed totally and had to be carried back to their cells. There they will remain until the Grand Jury meets next week.
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SERVING MIDDLE VILLAGE AND MASPETH SINCE 1938.