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Message to Garcia

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In all this Cuban business there is one man who stands out on the horizon of my memory. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountains of Cuba, no one knew where. No mail or telegraph could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly. Someone said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you if anybody can." The point I wish to make is this: President McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia, Rowan took the letter and did not ask "Where is he at?" By the eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book learning young men need but a stiffening of the vertebra which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies, DO THE THING-CARRY A MESSAGE TO GARCIA! You put his to the test. You are sitting at your office, six clerks within your call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memo for me on the life of Correggio." Will the clerk quietly say "Yes sir" and go do the task? On your life he will not! He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:

"Who was He?"

"Which encyclopedia?"

"Where is the encyclopedia?"

"Was I hired for that?"

"Is there any hurry?"

"Shouldn’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?"

"What do you want to know for?"

Now I tell you that after you have answered the questions and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him find Garcia and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Now if you are wise you will smile sweetly and say,...

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