TRAVELING WITH A REFORMER
The conductor smiled pleasantly, and said :
"Well, if you want to report him, all right, but I don t quite make out what it s going to amount to. You ll say as I understand you that the brake- man insulted this old gentleman. They ll ask you what he said. You ll say he didn t say anything at all. I reckon they ll say, how are you going to make out an insult when you acknowledge yourself that he didn t say a word."
There was a murmur of applause at the conduc tor s compact reasoning, and it gave him pleasure you could see it in his face. But the Major was not disturbed. He said:
"There now you have touched upon a crying defect in the complaint system. The railway offi cials as the public think and as you also seem to think are not aware that there are any kind of insults except spoken ones. So nobody goes to headquarters and reports insults of manner, insults of gesture, look, and so forth; and yet these are sometimes harder to bear than any words. They are bitter hard to bear because there is nothing tangible to take hold of; and the insulter can always say, if called before the railway officials, that he never dreamed of intending any offense. It seems to me that the officials ought to specially and urgently request the public to report unworded affronts and incivilities."
The conductor laughed, and said :
"Well, that would be trimming it pretty fine, sure!"
- But not too fine, I think. I will report this