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A Would-be Pensioner

A Would-be Pensioner image
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At a club ülunerin New Vork rccently, an ewnlntng íurgeon related tlic following incideut, showing how the Arreáis Actdeveloped pensioners oiitof sound and undeserving men. During the war he was surgeon of an infautrj" regiment. When tlie regiment first went into battle he observed, sitting behind a big tree, at a safe distance from tlie fighting-line, the cáptalo of one of the eompanies. " What are you doing here, eaptttin ? ' asked the doctor. " Vm not fèeïtng well,"' replied the offlcer, in a doleful voice. The surgeon was too busy looking afler the wounded to stop and inquire as to hls complaint. A few weeks later the regiment gffaln got uuder lire, and the surgenn found the sanie captain skulking bêhlnd ;i barn. 'Helio! sick again?" lie exelaimeil. " Wel!, the fact is, doctor, I'in not exactly sick. I may as well own qp that I'm a coward. Tliere's 110 help for It. Itmustbe constitutional. Xow, doctor, what's the nee of my staying in the anny 'i Won't you help me set a discharge ? " The surgeon thought he was doing llie country a service, when a l'rw days afterward, he reeommended that tlie man be discharged on the grouud of general disability. He heard nothing of the captain until sixteenyears later, when he received a letter from the Pension Office informing him that Captain Blank had applied for a pension f rom the date of hls musterout, and that as he, as surgeon of the regiment, had certified to the disability, would he kindly fnform the Government as to the nature of the disease frorn whicli the ollicer suft'ercd ? The surgeon replied that the captain's complaint was chronie and incurable cowardice, not contracted in the line of his duty, but constitutional. The captain's name did not go upon tlie roll, and hú plan for getting some foor tliousand dollars for arreáis and twenty dollars a month for the rest of his life came to grief. IIow many schemes no less dishonest have succeeded through the complaisance ofexamining Miigeoas, less honest Uian the nairator of this incident, could only be ascertained by a thorough overhauling of the whole Pension List a--d a re-examination of the entire army of pensioners.- E. V. Suiiilley, in the July Century.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News