|Pop Hadley | Russia, 1918|
Then there was “Pop” Hadley, as we called him, a New York Tribune reporter that nothing could down. [Ed note: Howard Hadley, political writer for the New York Tribune] (Pop years ago got out the first publicity on the Route now marked Federal Highway 1from Canada to Florida. It was his idea. He came from the Canadian Border.) During our practical internment while street fighting was going on in Moscow , he found a Russian printer who had some Roman characters in his cases, and set up a long jargon of hog-Russian and printed it on a strip of paper a yard long—it was a “Proposk” or permit or passport as you choose. A dozen of us signed it—he illuminated it with bright seals and impressive sealing wax and gave them out occasionally, here and there, as he traveled. As the red guards couldn’t read and Proposk looked highly official, it was often the open sesame to gates otherwise closed. More than one bedraggled traveler used this paper to get him across Siberia [Ed note: see photo of JH’s bogus passport.]
Hadley on one occasion found himself in Odessa. The Bolsheviks were in full control after hard fighting with the Whites. Pop who always carried his camera, was taking pictures. The Red Guard interfered; his passport didn’t work this time and they hailed him before the Commityet at the Narody Dom (City Hall). He was accused of espionage and condemned to be shot. After sentence was passed and the firing squad drawn up outside, he casually remarked to the Commissar that this was a curious procedure hard for an American to understand. And then went on to say, very leisurely, that with the “greatest experiment in all history” under way they should publicize the thing to the world. That’s the way they do it in America.” It didn’t take long; the Bolos got the point, and within ten minutes Pop was made official photographer and chief propoganda agent for the Odessa Soviet.
“Perhaps the following incident will help to convince carpers that the Bolshevik armies have nothing above the neck but some species of bone or ivory:
Toward the middle of December 1918, a little man answering to the name of John D. Wolls was brought to American Headquarters in Vladivostok by a military escort. An American officer in Harbin had examined his passport and his naturalization papers, and had taken violent exception to the them—first because he didn’t see how anybody could travel on a passport like the one Wolls possessed, and second because the naturalization papers had been tampered with, the date of naturalization having been erased. So the American officer had shipped him in to headquarters under military escort.
At American Headquarters Wolls ultimately reached Capt. Bayard Rives, who among other Intelligence duties had charge of passport control for all the Allies. Captain Rives demanded his papers: and while Wolls was undoing several layers of garments and fishing for them Captain Rives asked him how far he had come. Wolls replied that he had come from Petrograd. This gave Captain Rives pause; in fact, it gave him several pauses—several large, full-grown pauses—for the distance from Petrograd to Vladivostok is 5,842 miles; and Bolshevik forces between Petrograd and the Urals were as thick as are black flies in the Maine woods in June; and it was as easy for a person to pass through them as for a St. Bernard dog to pass through a mouse hole. While Captain Rives was attempting to quiet the unrest which Wolls’s statement caused him Wolls finally succeeded in digging out his passport. He handed it to Captain Rives, who examined it carefully and then excused himself and repaired to the office of Colonel James Wilson, the chief surgeon of the Siberian Expeditionary Forces to have his tongue examined and his pulse noted. And considering the document which had got Wolls through the Bolshevik lines, Captain Rives could scarcely be blamed for wondering whether his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him. This is the passport that Wolls produced:
John D. Wolls
To 1 week’s board at "Do Svidanya" Camp, "SI Chas" beach, Upper Chatequgay Lake-in-the-Adirondacks, United States of America, and a seat near the fireplace the while you tell what little you actually know about Russia.”
GOOD for ONE first-class coupe in the Wagon-Lits from WHERESOEVER—YOUARESKI
provided you can get into it and hold it against all comes, “Catch-as-catch-can,” “Jiu-Jitsu,” “Collar-and-Eyebrow,” and “Russo-Roumanian” style of wresting.
GOOD for one first-class passage by any and all payola, steams, e tok dahlia, from
LYON MOUNTAIN, N.Y.
the usual routine for travelers having first been complied with.
SPECIAL NOTICE: --In case you are wrecked, lost, arrested, or in extreme peril or dire distress of any nature on land or sea, you are hereby authorized and empowered, having uttered your regular prayers, to offer up a prayer to either Allah, Buddha, Confucius, Krishna, Mohammad, Shinto, Vishnu, Zende, Vesta, Yogi or Brigham Young, or to all of them, or to any other powers that have helped struggling souls in diverse lands a-down the ages, to the end that they may, --perchance,--tip up the koovchin of salvation and let a little drizzle down upon you. Any port in a storm!
P.S. Bring your Trans-Siberian Hymnals with you. Camp song: “And WHEN I Die, Don’t Bury Me At All, “ e tok dahlia.
ODESSA, Feb. 20, 1918.
HOWARD D. HADLY
Oclin Visocoki Koezezgodent of the Ancient, International Legion of “Si Chassers.”
NOTE: --NOT GOOD unless countersigned at Moscow by Crawford Wheeler, Perwi Advocate and Exemplifier of the short-notat-hour workday: Bayard H. Christy, Chief Prophet of the Worshippers of the Rising Sun and by the Rev. Jesse Halsey, Choroski Commissar, Cook and Bottle-Washer and Supreme Head in Russia of the Sons of Labrador.
This billyet will not be honored by said Hadley aforesaid after Oct. 26, 1972.
If all railways in Russia become blocked this coupon entitles you to hoof it across lots to either Suez, Calcutta, Singapore, Ceylon, Cape Town, Vladivostok, Port Arthur, Archangel, or Jerusalem, and authority is hereby granted to commandeer such horses, oxen, camels, elephants, ostriches and reindeer as may be required.