"Why?" I once asked, and he
explained that it might come in handy if he were ever stopped for
speeding in a strange town.
"What would you tell them?" I
"I'd tell them next time they came to Weston I'd get even
But here was a use for the badge he had never anticipated.
We were suspected of being the signal senders. I had a power- ful
flashlight which they examined carefully but decided it was
not powerful enough to account for what they had been seeing. Then my
father suggested that perhaps automobile headlights coming up the steep
approach to our house might shine into the sky and look like
signals, but they discounted that possibility
also. After an hour or so of questioning, and no doubt being
given a wee drappie or two by my father, they finally left.
Whether or not we were under suspicion for the duration of the war, I
shall never know.
I do know that Mr. Charles Paine of Weston and Chatham
was apprehended in the Chatham Woods one night while collect-ing moths
with a buglight. The secret service was never one hundred percent
satisfied, and for the rest of the summer had at least one agent
parading up and down in front of his house around the
clock. The fact that he was being watched was certainly no
Many changes came with the
first world war — taxes, woman suffrage, radios, prohibition, and the
bootlegger who later turned into the
gangster. Sometimes I wonder if the most significant factor
influencing the great transition was the self- starter
which made it possible for the weaker sex to drive an