ly seen that the squire was onto his drift, for he nodded his head. "And yet," says Col. Bowie, speaking shrill and changing his whole demeanor, "we find criminal
corporations coming here to this peaceful town and through their agents, sub-agents, hired tools, creatures
or what not, deliberately refusing to enter into competition with each other, destroying our trade and commerce, stagnating our business, rendering the ordinary avocations of life unprofitable and threatening the whole social fabric that shelters our wives, our children and our kinfolks with destroyment and undoing."
The listeners was so wrought up that there was a burst of applause. Major Westbate, the well-known Confederate veteran, hollowed " Hooraw for Jeff Davis"
and let out a rebel yell that filled the court-room. Squire McBride fined him $5, but remitted it on ac-count of the great excitement that caused the outbreak.
" What is corporation or stock fire insurance ?" asks Col. Bowie, and he stopped and looked around the crowded room. " It means simply this," he continues, " a combination of blood-suckers and avaricious capitalists to grow rich on the misfortunes of the world. Their agents come around and by drumming on the danger of fires, the incompetency of the fire department, and the lack of water supply, frighten the merchant, the manufacturer, rich and poor alike—aye, even the lonely and disconsolate widow, deep in the weeds of woe for her lost love—into taking out insurance at exorbitant rates on the promise of getting their money if their property burns up. What next? Why, as soon as they have got your premiums nailed down, they go running around stirring up the common council, get-