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her it rolls, I can’t account for it,” said he. “This thing ought to have died down long ago. It’s been fomented very skilfully. Such a campaign as this one against us takes both ability and money–more of either than I thought Samuels could possibly possess.”
In the meantime, Erbe managed rapidly to tie up the legal aspects of the situation. The case, nike air max 90 sale as it developed, proved to be open-and-shut against his client, but apparently unaffected by the certainty of this, he persisted in the interposition of all sorts of delays. Samuels continued to live undisturbed on his claim, which, as Thorne pointed out, had a bad moral effect on the community.
The issue soon took on a national aspect. It began to be commented on by outside newspapers. Publications close to the administration and thoroughly in sympathy with its cheap nike air max forest policies, began gravely to doubt the advisability of pushing these debatable claims at present.
“They are of small value,” said one, “in comparison with the large public domain of which they are part. At a time when the Forest Service is new in the saddle and as yet subjected to the most violent attacks by the special interests on the floors of Congress, it seems unwise to do anything that might tend to arouse public opinion against it.”
As though to give point to this, there now commenced in Congress that virulent assault led by some of the Western senators, aimed at the very life of the Service itself. Allegations of dishonesty, incompetence, despotism; of depriving the public of its heritage; of the curtailments of rights and liberties; of folly; of fraud were freely brought forward and urged with impassioned eloquence. Arguments special to cattlemen, to sheepmen, to lumbermen, to cordwood men, to pulp men, to powe nike air max 90 r men were emphasized by all sorts of misstatements, twisted statements, or special appeals to greed, personal interest and individual policy. To support their eloquence, senators supposedly respectable did not hesitate boldly to utter sweeping falsehoods of fact. The Service was fighting for its very life.
Nevertheless, persistently, the officials proceeded with their investigations. Bob had conducted his campaign so skilfully against Samuels that Thorne used him further in similar matters. Little by little, indeed, the young man was withdrawn from other work. He now spent many hours with Amy in the little office going over maps and files, over copies of documents and old records. When he had thoroughly mastered the ins and outs of a case, he departed with his pack animal and saddle horse to look the ground over in person.
Since the _eclat_ of the Samuels case, he had little hope of obtaining relinquishments, nor did he greatly care to do so. A relinquishment saved trouble in the courts, but as far as avoiding adverse public n nike air max 1 otice went, the Samuels affair showed the absolute ineffectiveness of that method. But by going on the ground he was enabled to see, with his own eyes, just what sort of a claim was in question, the improvements that had been made on it, the value both to the claimant and the Government. Through an interview he was able to gauge the claimant, to weigh his probable motives and the purity of both his original and p cheap nike air max resent intentions. A number of cases thus he dropped, and that on no other than his own responsibility. They were invariably those whose issue in the courts might very well be in doubt, so that it was impossible to tell, without trying them, how the decision would jump. Furthermore, and principally, he was always satisfied that the claimant had meant well and honestly throughout, and had lapsed through ignorance, bad advice, or merely that carelessness of the letter of the legal form so common among mountaineers. Such cases were far more numerous than he had supposed. The men had, in many instances, come into the country early in its development. They had built their cabins by the nearest meadow that appealed to them; for, to all intents and purposes, the country was a virgin wilderness whose camping sites were many and op nike air max 95 en to the first comer. Only after their households had been long established as squatters did these pioneers awake to an imperfect understanding that further formality was required before these, nike air max their homes, could be legally their own. Living isolated these men, even then, blundered in their applications or in the proving up of their claims. Such might be legally subject to eviction, but Bob in his recommendations gave them the benefit of the doubt and advised that full papers be issued. In the hurried days of the Service such recommendations of field inspectors were often considered as final.
There were other cases, however, for which Bob’s sympathies were strongly enlisted, but which presented such flagrant irregularities of procedure that he could not consistently recommend anything but a court test of the rights invol cheap nike air max ved. To this he added a personal note, going co nike air max sale mpletely into details, and suggesting a way out.
And finally, as a third class, he was able, as in Samuels’s case, to declare war on behalf of the Government. Men who had already taken up all the timber claims to which they or their families were legally entitled, nevertheless added an alleged homestead to the lot. Other men were taking advantage of twists and interpretations of the law to gain possession of desirable tracts of land still included in the National Forests. These men knew the letter of the law well enough, and too nike air max k pains to conform accurately to it. Their lapses were of intention. The excuses were many–so-called mineral claims, alleged agricultural land, all the exceptions to reservation mentioned in the law; the actual ends aimed at were two–water rights or cheap air max timber. In these cases Bob reported uncompromisingly against the granting of the final papers. Thousands of acres, however, had been already conveyed. Over these, naturally, he had no jurisdiction, but he kept his eyes open, and accumulated evidence which might some day prove useful in event of a serious effort to regain those lands that had been acquired by provable fraud.
But on the borderland between these sharply defined classes lay many in the twilight zone. Bob, without knowing it, was to a certain extent exercising a despotic power. He possessed a latitude of choice as to which of these involved land cases should be pushed to a court decision. If the law were to be strictly and literally interpreted, there could be no doubt but that each and every one of these numerous claimants could be haled to cour t to answer for his short-comings. But that, in many instances, could not but work an unwarranted hardship. The expenses alone, of a journey to the state capital, would strain to the breaking point the means of some of the more impecunious. Insisting on the minutest technicalities would indubitably deprive many an honest, well-meaning homesteader of his entire worldly property. It was all very well to argue that ignorance of the law was no excuse; that it is a man’ cheap nike air max trainers s own fault if he does not fulfill the simple requirements of taking up public land. As a matter of cold fact, in such a situation as this, ignorance is an excuse. Legalizing apart, the rigid and invariable enforcement of the law can be tyrannical. Of course, this can never be officially recognized; that would shake the foundations. But it is not to be denied that the literal and universal and _invariable_ enforcement of the minute letter of any law, no matter how trivial, for the space of three months would bring about a mild revolution. As witness the sweeping and startling effects always consequent on an order from headquarters to its police to “enforce rigidly”–for a time–some particular city ordinance. Whether this is a fault of our system of law, or a defect inherent in the absolute logic of human affairs, is a matter for philosophy to determine. Be that as it may, the powers that enforce law often find themselves on nike air max classic the horns of a dilemma. They must take their choice between tyranny and despotism.
So, in a mild way, Bob had become a despot. That is to say, he had to decide to whom a broken law was to apply, and to whom not, and this without being given any touchstone of choice. The matter rested with his own experience, knowledge and personal judgment. Fortunately he was a beneficent despot. A man evilly disposed, like Plant, could have worked incalculable harm for others and great financial benefit to himself. That this is not only possible but inevitable is another defect of law or system. No sane man for one single instant believes that literal enforcement of every law at all times is either possible or desirable. No sane man for one single

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