The Female-Impersonators/Part 6
Newspaper Recounts of Murders of Androgynes
Author's Note.—These excerpts from New York dailies are presented in order to impress upon the public that such murders of inoffensive androgynes are a fairly common occurrence because that public has tabooed, on the basis of prudery alone, enlightenment of the general reader on the facts of androgynism. I withhold names of journals and dates of issue, and cover identities, out of respect for the victims and their families. But I assure those families that one of my present objects is to avenge, by enlightening the public, the unmerited assassination of their dear ones and thus prevent in the future such martyrdom of innocents. The families have my most sincere sympathy, particularly because I myself have several times been brought near death's door in the manner in which their unfortunate—but not in the least immoral—relatives were put out of the way.
Each of the first three murders was apparently the work of some prude not at all criminally minded, but feeling himself the mandatory of society in ridding the world of "a monster of deepdyed depravity," according as he was taught by church and synagogue. The harebrained prude had been prohibited by public opinion from learning the truth that androgynism is solely a matter of abnormal psychology and anatomy, and not at all immorality. The term which best calls up the sensations of revulsion of such a murderer is "sodomite." To its highly malodorous and fundamentally false connotation and application can be traced every year, in every corner of Christendom (particularly puritan), murders of inoffensive androgynes.
The author's comments are in brackets.
I. Two Murder Mysteries Which, Strangely Alike in Many Ways, Baffled All Efforts to Solve.
(Much condensed, and slightly edited for diction, by author of The Female-Impersonators, from article in a New York daily.)
VICTIMS WERE TWO ELDERLY BACHELORS OF MEANS, LIVING IN THE SAME SECTION OF CITY—X AND Y WERE BOTH FOND OF PERSONAL ADORNMENT AND DISPLAY AND BOTH HABITUALLY CHOSE YOUNG MEN AS ASSOCIATES—EACH WAS SLAIN IN HIS OWN APARTMENT—ONLY TWENTY-NINE DAYS SEPARATED THE TWO MURDERS—MANY CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TWO CRIMES BORE CURIOUS RESEMBLANCE
Consideration of recent terrible crimes in New York which have halted agents of justice at dead walls of mystery must bring to mind the X-Y murders of a little more than a year ago. They were committed within five weeks, the scenes within a few blocks on fashionable Murray Hill.
In both, extraordinary interest was stirred by the maniacal savagery unleashed. The settings of the crimes were alike bizarre. The characters of both victims were most peculiar, yet alike. And the men had been friends. [Androgynes, in all large cities, form little cliques like the Cercle Hermaphroditos.]
X was a bachelor of fifty-six, an electrical expert, an art connoisseur, and collector of jewels and weapons. Though in more than comfortable financial circumstances, he resided entirely alone, doing his own housework [common manner of life of androgynes] in a 6-room flat on the ground-floor of the Q Apartments. [I know one androgyne who purposely chose a ground-floor apartment in a house without hall-boy so he could go and come in his disguise with less chance of encountering other tenants.] He had made it his home for ten years. [This proves his outward decency, as well, as liberality to blackmailers.] The artistic luxury of its furnishings was striking. The walls were galleries of fine old prints, original oils, and copies of masters, and displayed a strange collection of swords, sabres, and barbarian spears. [Well-to-do androgynes possess the most highly ornamented homes of any class of society. While congenitally too "yellow" themselves to handle the weapons of warfare, such are generally sexual fetishes with them, being symbols of the highest function of the true man.]
In this handsome, lonely abode, the detectives made a discovery of significance: X had lived in extraordinary fear of the lawless invasion of his rooms. [Cultured androgynes, realizing how bitterly they are hated by prudes, live constantly under the sword of Damocles. Every night they fall asleep in the fear of being murdered. They are uncommonly careful in locking themselves in. The author tries his locks twice before retiring. While a child, he, every night before getting into bed, looked to see whether there was not a murderer under it. Androgynes are extreme cowards.] For he had used his expertness with delicate electrical devices to set his rooms with a maze of traps for any person who might try to enter it by force or stealth. Doors, windows, etc., were invisibly strung with delicate wires. With the controlling alarm device set, scarcely an article might be touched without the ringing of sharp bells of warning.
But that thieves were those of whom he lived in dread was contradicted by other facts. X, far from being a recluse, frequented hotels and cafes and was prone to make chance acquaintances, especially of young men, while going about extravagantly bejewelled and habitually carrying a large roll of bills which it was a pet vanity to display.
His social hours were spent almost entirely with young men. He had been known to comment: "I keep young because I associate with the young." The Q servants said these young-men callers never behaved boisterously. All were decorous and well dressed. [A small proportion of cultured androgynes who live alone in their own homes entertain there adolescents who bear the earmarks of trustworthy gentlemen. X's murderer could have been of no other type, but was in addition an extreme prude so far as concerns homosexuality. The cultured enjoin extreme noiselessness so as not to arouse suspicions of co-tenants of the same apartment house. The uncultured commonly receive any adolescent at all in their homes because having no fear of disgrace and blackmail. By "young men" the author of the excerpt evidently means those from eighteen to twenty-five, the age-group preferred, and almost exclusively cultivated, by androgynes.]
The Q servants further said that X frequently started alone on strolls, many times, however, returning with a youthful companion, who would spend an hour or two with the elderly host. [The favorite New York localities for evening "strolls" of cultured androgynes for scraping acquaintance with a strange Hercules or Adonis are, in cold weather, the Broadway and the Fourteenth Street Rialtos and cafes; and in summer, Madison Square, Union Square, the southerly quarter of Central Park (the three park spaces most frequented at night by idle adolescents who would be glad to pick up a few dollars), the Battery (because frequented by common soldiers), and other localities frequented by uncommissioned warriors, the ideal occupation, as I have already said, for a real man in the eyes of androgynes. In the case of X, the Q menservants probably saw through everything. The servant class often respect a cultured moneyed androgyne who treats them well, and they act only in a protecting capacity.]
Of woman visitors, there could be recalled but one—whitehaired, a few years older than X, said to be an aunt.
Investigators were astonished by the nicety, the fond care, with which X had done his own housekeeping. Floors, rugs, and every article were flawless of dust. In spick and span appearance, thoughtful and orderly arrangement of utensils, neatness of china closets, refrigerator and provision store-room, a feature of which latter were shelves lined with jars of homemade preserves labelled in handwriting, the bachelor's kitchen was fit to excite a housewife's envy. [Androgynes take naturally to woman's tasks.]
Discovery of the Murder
It was not discovered until many hours after commission. At noon of [date omitted by author of The Female-Impersonators] the Q janitor saw a light shining out of a transom of X's. He was immediately convinced such a methodical man would not have gone away leaving the light turned on. He tried X's entrance and found it unlocked. He went to the room where the light was burning. Stretched on the floor beside a divan, with a couch pillow resting on the face, was X. A few feet away was the sabre with which he had been murdered.
The divan covers were half ripped off where the falling man had clutched them as he was repeatedly felled—repeatedly, for it was evident X had fought hard for his life against the sabre-armed assassin. The sabre had been ripped off the wall of the hall-way of the apartment. The retaining wires were strong and the hand must have been strong that snapped them. [Androgynes cultivate only the best physically developed.]
The deduction was made that the assassin had not entered X's home with the intent to murder. He was pictured as having, in all probability, left his host in the "den" and started down the hall to make his exit from the flat when the resolution to attack and kill—a resolution which the weapons on the wall may have suggested—came suddenly upon him. Ripping the weapon from the wall, he is pictured as having dashed back to the "den" and surprised X with a fury of attack. [X probably entertained at his home for the first time that night his well dressed and apparently trustworthy assassin. Only when the two adjourned to the "den" did X probably disclose his desire, so nauseating to the unsophisticated and those ignorant of abnormal psychology. Doubtless a minute after the disclosure, the prude left X's side in insane disgust, and on passing through the hall entertained his first thought to do his "duty by society and put this monster where he could corrupt no more young men"—an absolutely unfounded way of looking at the matter. I have myself scraped acquaintance with a youthful Hercules, who would lead me on hypocritically, and when he got me where there could be no witnesses, has half-murdered me because of disgust at androgynism. My adventure with Harvey Green is an example.]
Physical examination disclosed that despite his fifty-six years, X possessed the preservation of a man of thirty-five. [Perennial youth is an earmark of ultra-androgynism.]The autopsy showed that every character of blow had been inflicted—deep stab wounds, slashes, and fracturing strokes on the skull either with the broad side or dull back of the sabre. The coat of X, who was fully clothed when killed, had been slashed to tatters. [The assassin wished not merely to kill, but to hack X to pieces because of his loathing of androgynism. I myself have not alone been half-murdered, but mutilation has been practiced for its own sake. See page 132 of my Autobiography of an Androgyne.]
A Midnight Caller
X's condition of being fully clothed proves of course that he had not yet retired. [It also indicates that his assassin had repulsed his amorous advances immediately after the pair entered the "den." On such occasions, androgynes usually undress.] Further evidence was that his web system of alarms had not been set. It was his invariable custom, on retiring or when he went out, to do this. There was no sign of forcible entrance of the ground-floor apartment. Therefore X is believed to have freely admitted the man who was to murder him—probably such a chance acquaintance as he appears frequently to have made in his saunterings through the city's streets and visits to its resorts.
The examination of medical experts resulted in the hour of the crime being placed between nine and eleven of the evening previous.
Made No Outcry
It being evident that X had survived the first attack at least for a few minutes before he finally succumbed under the raining blows of the sabre, the police were puzzled to understand why, with his life at stake, the man did not make an outcry. There was only a single wall separating the scene of combat from the public lobby where were stationed throughout the night a telephone operator and an elevator attendant. Tests made showed that a shout of medium volume from the "den" could be distinctly heard in the lobby. The attendants were positive they had heard no calls for help.
One of the puzzles, therefore, was to determine the character of X's murderous guest and the circumstances of his visit. Had X reason so grave for concealment of the presence of his slayer as to prevent him from calling for aid even with death immediately upon him? [X's consciousness of being a sexual eccentric would likely be an inhibition to his alarming those who lived in the same house. He probably did not suspect that the servants saw through everything. Between death and the disclosure to his co-tenants that he was a sexual eccentric, he probably chose the former.] None of the wounds was in his throat. The blow that fractured his skull must have been among the last as indicated by the evidence that X had fought his slayer long and hard.
Motive Not Clear
A diamond ring, whose value must have been close to $1,000, habitually worn, together with X's gold watch and chain, were taken. Very little money was found in his clothing, whereas it was known he usually carried large sums. But there were at hand heavy solid silver articles, and gold ornaments, and valuable jewelry in a frail desk—none of which had been taken. Only X's body had been stripped. The police were convinced that the robbery was committed to conceal another deeper motive, as suggested by the savage maltreatment of X's body.
Whatever the motive, the murderer entered the apartment unseen that night and departed unseen. The police made haste to interview all persons whom they could trace as having been associated with X. There was a young sailor whom X had lately befriended and who had been his guest for several days. This youth was traced to his ship and his presence aboard the night of the murder established.
One clue was a bit of cardboard on which was scribbled, in X's handwriting, the latter's address. It looked as if made hastily for the guidance of the stranger guest to X's apartment. [And in the apartment thrown away as being no longer of use.]No slightest clue to the identity of the slayer was uncovered.
THE MURDER OF Y
On the night of [date omitted by author of The Female-Impersonators] just twenty-nine days after the murder of X, Y was slain in his home nearby. The two murders instantly linked. For the two crimes presented an almost perfect parallel. The scene was the same—an elaborately furnished "den." As with X, Y's murderer had been his guest. A secret guest—in that nobody saw him enter Y's residence, no sound betrayed him in the act of killing, and he managed to leave the "den" and Y's house unobserved.
Of astonishingly the same stamp were X and Y. Both were elderly bachelors and art connoisseurs. [The latter an earmark of cultured androgynism.] Both had specialized in the collection of ancient and curious weapons. Both were addicted to an extravagant display of jewelry on their persons. [Androgynes are loud dressers.] Both lived in dread of attack in their homes and had made elaborate preparations against the possibility. Inspection of the lives of both found them oddly empty of attachment to or association with women. Both had a disposition for the society of much younger men, and had many such acquaintances.
Living in the same neighborhood, frequenting the same hotels and restaurants, visiting the same art galleries and antique shops as they were tireless in doing, it was rather to be expected that they were found to have been close friends.
The indicated motive for both murders was robbery but in both cases only the valuables used in personal adornment were stolen, while other jewels, and silver and gold objects of art and service, plainly in sight, were ignored. [Robbery being only a blind, loathing of sexual eccentricity being the true motive.]
In only two particulars did the crimes differ: X was hacked to death; Y was strangled by the bare hands of his assailant. The marks of relentless fingers were deeply imbedded in the victim's neck. The other difference was that in Y's case, there had been no struggle. He had had no chance to put up a fight for his life. He had been taken by surprise and the strangler's grip been clamped on his throat before he could make outcry.
Y was fifty-nine years old, and a native of rural Illinois. He had prospered as owner of a fashionable ladies' dress-making concern in New York. But he had retired and at the time he was murdered was renting an ex-mansion of a millionaire, where he conducted a boarding-house of the highest class. There were twenty lodgers, but scores of additional persons living in the aristocratic neighborhood took their meals at Y's. He frequently organized card parties and dances for his guests, and to these were always invited freely young men in war service on leave in New York. [Warriors are androgynes' special heroes. A common soldiers' and sailors' club was situated next door, where Y apparently made many acquaintances.]
Y's body was found at seven A. M. [date here omitted] by George, one of Y's eleven negro servants. [Y conducted his establishment on the plan of a multimillionaire's residence.] It was George's daily duty to go to his employer's room on the first floor, directly over the kitchen, awaken him at seven, and serve him breakfast in bed. On that morning, George, receiving no reply to his knock, pushed the door open and entered the elaborately furnished "den" and bedroom.
Strangled to Death
The bed was in order, and the body of Y on the floor nearby was clad only in pajamas. [Apparently the assassin had pretended he was going to retire with Y. Therefore Y got into his night clothes, as also probably the assassin. But just before the bed covers would have been turned down the latter fulfilled his mandate from society by "ridding New York of the monster!"] An autopsy showed that indubitably Y had been strangled to death. The deep, purple marks on his throat were valueless as furnishing finger-print evidence, but they did stamp the murderer's hands as large and very strong. [Androgynes cultivate only the best physically developed.] Y had been suddenly attacked by the strangler and immediately choked into helplessness, for nothing in the room had been disturbed. He had been borne down to death on the very spot where seized.
Y's "den" was the scene of many late-hour parties, in which young men figured exclusively as guests. Frequently also he returned very late with a single companion. His late-hour guests were never boisterous and never gave cause for complaint by Y's refined lodgers.
As in the case of X's apartment, Y's house gave no evidence of a forcible entry. Physicians determined that Y's death had occurred at eleven the night before the body was discovered. At that hour the outer doors of the house were always locked. Many of the lodgers and some of the negro servants had not yet retired, and must have heard, it would seem, a ringing of the doorbell. None did.
Probably an Expected Guest
The conjecture was consequently made that Y had appointed a late meeting with his murderous guest and given him a key to his house that he might enter quietly. Of fully twenty-five persons in the house at the time, not one heard the slighest sound of distress or noise of any kind from the "den" at the hour of the murder.
Even more futile than in the case of X were the efforts of the investigators to round up the many young men [evidently bachelors from eighteen to twenty-five] whose acquaintance Y was constantly making.
Three diamond rings of a value of $2,000 had been stripped from the dead man's fingers, and his gold watch and chain were taken. But as at X's assassination, many articles of jewelry and of gold and silver easily accessible were not touched.
Alike in mystery, the cases of both X and Y manifest the strong likelihood that the same man effected both murders, with a suggestion of a deeper motive than robbery, of a desire to do violence aroused to frenzy, judging by the stark ferocity with which both crimes were committed.
[The motive of course was to rid New York of androgynes; at least, extensively promiscuous ones. It is quite likely the same prude was guilty of both murders. Perhaps at first the assassin had known merely through hearsay that both X and Y were sexual eccentrics. But he was reasonable and merciful enough not to put them out of the way until he possessed ocular evidence. (I have myself associated with torturers who would act only on such.) For X's and Y's murderer was solemnly and conscientiously acting as the mandatory of society.
[From the murder of X he had learned that an androgyne might put up resistance. Therefore in the case of his second quarry, Y, he must adopt a safer, more sudden, and an absolutely noiseless means of execution. In sabre-slaughtering, there was too much risk of the victim calling for help. Moreover, X lived all by himself, whereas Y's residence was alive with people. Androgynes like to be treated by their virile associates as if women, and the ultra-virile always humor that liking. The assassin probably started in with a pretended "love" embrace, and, before Y could realize, turned it into a strangling death-grip.
[I will admit that X and Y were extensively promiscuous. But they could not have been particularly intemperate because my own experience proved that excessive venery soon wrecks the health of an androgyne. As both were close to sixty, their lives had doubtless been temperate. They had probably indulged (the more humiliating role in fellatio) not more than once a week throughout their adulthood. But although they apparently sought intimacy with almost every adolescent Adonis or Hercules (only one out of every twenty adolescents could qualify under either of these types) whose acquaintance they made, they harmed these youthful rakes not in the least; nor did they, throughout their lives, bring detriment to any one else since all androgynes possess the inoffensive psyche of women. For proof of the harmlessness to an adolescent of an androgyne intimate, I refer to my Autobiography of an Androgyne, pages 88, 89, and 194.
[Far from the adolescent suffering harm, he is loaded with material benefits by the well-to-do androgyne who worships him. He is pre-eminently a "lucky dog."
[X and Y were entirely irresponsible for being androgynes and sexual eccentrics. Absolutely no harm came to any individual or to society collectively through their condition or instinctive functioning. They did not deserve that any one interfere with their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.]
II. Z Mystery Baffles Inquiry at Every Angle.
(Much condensed, and slightly edited for diction, by author of The Female-Impersonators, from article in a New York daily.)
NO PROOF OF SUICIDE AND NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER FOUND IN CASE OF YOUTH STRANGLED ABOARD HIS OWN POWER YACHT—FRIENDS INSIST DEATH WAS AN ASSASSIN'S WORK—DRESSING OF THE BODY IN WOMAN'S CLOTHING FURNISHES NO CLUES TO FAMILY OR POLICE—FULL DETAILS FOR STUDENTS OF CRIME TO STUDY
After two weeks of many-sided investigation, the death of Z remains as great a mystery as on the evening of [date omitted by author of The Female-Impersonators] when his mother discovered him strangled aboard his power yacht in New York Harbor dressed in woman's apparel.
"No reason for suicide and no motive for murder—no proof of suicide, no positive evidence of murder." Such is the conclusion reached by the police, private investigators employed by Z's family, and by newspaper reporters who have worked on the baffling case unique for its mass of contradictory theories and circumstances.
[And to the present writer, himself an androgyne and instinctive cross-dresser, the strongest of reasons for suicide and the strongest of motives for murder! Androgynes, because so terribly misjudged by their associates, are the most melancholy and prone to suicide of any class of mankind. Moreover, they are often murdered on the strong motive of intense loathing felt by prudes ignorant of abnormal psychology, in whose eyes the androgyne is a "sodomite," with all the terrible, though false, connotation of that term. Such prudes believe themselves mandatories of society to rid the world of the "monster." The present writer did some detective work in this case "on his own hook."
He ascertained that in the circle of those who knew Z by sight but were not personal friends, he had the reputation of being a fellator. I interviewed several of this circle, but did not dare thrust myself into that of Z's close friends.]
The view of the police generally is that the death was clearly suicide. But as to how the suicide was accomplished, police officers hold theories no two of which agree.
Family Sure Z Was Murdered
Z's family, his closest chum, and his friends generally, maintained from the first, and still believe, that Z was murdered aboard the yacht by an assassin who secreted himself in one of the cabins and afterwards escaped in a fashion equally mysterious.
The fact that young Z wore woman's clothing is to the police the strongest evidence of suicide and supplies to them evidence of a psychopathic individuality. [That fact is to myself the strongest evidence of murder since I have repeatedly witnessed the intense revulsion of prudish bigots at any cross-sex phenomenon, and have been myself half-murdered solely on this incentive.]
Opposed to this is the most positive assertion from Z's family and friends: (1) That he was a normal boy in every respect. [In nearly every case of a cultured androgyne in the past, his family have never suspected anything because of the veil of silence that the deluded public has insisted be thrown over the phenomenon of androgynism and the consequent absolute ignorance of the truth about this phenomenon on the part of the entire Overworld excepting a handful of sexologists. Just to throw their associates off the scent, some cultured androgynes purposely do some courting of females, and have even contracted a marriage (of course, Platonic) as mentioned by Phyllis in the last chapter of Part Five. Moreover, some androgynes are psychic hermaphrodites and capable of sincerity in courting a girl, while at the same time Nature insists on occasional female-impersonation sprees. Z might have been a psychic hermaphrodite.]
(2) That he had never shown any suicidal tendencies. [Readers of my Autobiography of an Androgyne know that I probably showed more suicidal tendencies than almost any one else who has failed to carry them out; yet I always hid them absolutely from my family and every-day associates. Androgynes, because they do not want their friends to become aware of the cause of their melancholia (fearing it would alienate them, as at present no one can forgive cross-sexism in an intimate) habitually suffer in silence and seclusion the most intense mental torture.]
(3) That no kind of woman's wear was ever known to be in his possession. [For years together I have myself kept woman's wear under lock and key and occasionly put it on, but none of my every-day associates ever discovered these facts. Cultured androgynes always conceal such practices because their every-day bigoted circles would make them pariahs.]
And as yet nobody has been able to find where Z got the feminine apparel. [It was later discovered he had bought it of a ladies' outfitter.] Nearly every article found on him was soiled and showed unmistakable signs of wear. [He had probably worn the articles on scores of female-impersonation sprees. Cultured androgynes never let their families get an inkling of these psychic explosions.]
Z was twenty-one. The boy received a common-school education, but left high-school in the second year to work in the large manufacturing establishment of his father. He had a strong bent for mechanics. He took care of the family's three automobiles, as well as a motor-cycle. Three years ago his father gave him a motor-yacht, which he himself took care of.
During the World War, Z enlisted as mechanician in the navy, but was assigned to shore duty near New York throughout the war. [There exist all degrees of psychic effemination in androgynes. I estimate my own proportions as woman, 80 per cent; man, 20. Evidently Z was around 60, woman and 40, man, judging by his willingness to take a fire-arm into his hands, a thing which I would never do, even as a child shrinking from a cap-pistol. X and Y likewise were less extreme effeminants than myself. They would put up a resistance if attacked, whereas I depended for escape merely on entreaty or flight (Nature gave me the legs of a gazelle); or if they failed me, I pretended loss of consciousness after the first terrific blow. Through this complete passivity, I came out far better than if I had shown fight, and probably saved myself, on several occasions, from being one hundred per cent murdered.]
Z often practiced with a revolver at a target in the basement of his home. [He was pay-master in his father's factory and often had in his possession large sums, and had to know how to defend himself from robbers.] His rifle was found on his boat, together with cartridges, on the day of his death. Why, if he intended suicide, did he not use his revolver, or else the rifle that was handy at the time on the boat? [This, to me, is conclusive evidence of murder or manslaughter.]
Z possessed the only key to the cabin of the boat. The family say there were originally two keys, but the duplicate was "lost" about a year ago. [Possibly Z staged all his female-impersonation sprees on his yacht and so gave the duplicate to an idol before whom he regularly posed, just as I have given a trusted idol a key to enter my own apartment whenever he felt like it.]
In High Spirits
On the afternoon preceding the day of his death, Z took his motor-cycle apart in order to renew some mechanism. On his last evening alive, he was in high spirits, setting every one of his circle laughing. So far from being depressed, he seemed flushed with happiness at the prospect of future success in business, having only just received a promotion. [His unusual happiness on the very eve of the murder might indicate that he had just succeeded in coming to terms with a new idol, who, however, the next afternoon, on discovering how "deeply depraved" Z was, strangled him with the rope. I myself have several times been half-murdered under similar circumstances. I have also been elevated into the third heaven of bliss on receiving a favorable message from an idol.]
On the morning of the day of Z's death, he called on a friend who was to give a party in a few days, and assured the latter he would be present. He then ate noon lunch with his family. It was his father's birthday, and Z promised to take the family out for an automobile ride in the late afternoon. Right after lunch, Z remarked: "I'll first make a trip to the boat to pump the water out. It hasn't been touched for a week, and you know how the water accumulates under the engine. I won't be gone long." [It was two miles from Z's residence to the boat; twenty minutes, by motor-cycle, to get on board. The reason given impresses me as a mere pretext to hide his appointment on the launch and prospective female-impersonation—because the pretext sounds just like me. I am one who has been compelled to falsify much because if my associates had been granted the truth, they would have impiously crushed me. In my university course in ethics, I was taught that it is proper to tell a lie if the persons deceived have no right to the truth. Always those whom I deceived had no right, because the truth would have rendered them insanely cruel.]
In a jovial mood [because about to meet his idol, I suspect] Z departed on his motor-cycle at 1:30. On the way he stopped at a dealer's—full of laughter here also—and filled his cycle tank with a gallon of gasoline. [Two indications against suicide.] At the wharf, he was seen to take oars out of his locker and row to his power-boat anchored fifty yards out. He was next seen, by two men on a yacht anchored fifty feet from his own, to disappear down into his cabin. [The last declaration by any one of having seen Z before discovered dead in his cabin.] These two men remained on the deck of their anchored launch all the afternoon until 5:30, and both are positive that Z did not reappear on his deck. They are equally positive that no one came from or went to Z's launch.
The owner of the power-boat continuously anchored on the other side of Z's was aboard from 2:30 until 4:30, and is positive no one approached Z's boat from that side. The owner of a third power-boat continuously anchored thirty-five feet from Z's in another direction also spent the afternoon on board, and tells the same story. Two men [custodians and renters of boats] busy all the afternoon around the wharf fifty yards away saw no one go to or come from Z's launch.
[To me the most probable solution of Z's death is that it was neither murder nor suicide, but accidental man-slaughter. Perhaps Z had the habit, to satisfy his mania for female-impersonation, of taking on his yacht as an audience young bachelors who owned launches usually anchored near his own. Perhaps a launch, on that Sunday afternoon ideal for yachting, was kept at anchor near Z's because its owner had plotted to teach Z a lesson, with the "good" intention of curing him of his habit of female-impersonation, believing—as nearly every one does at present because prohibited by public opinion from learning the truth—that it is a wilful bad habit. When Z had rigged himself in feminine garb (because the female side of his duality demanded it), one or more of the young men from one of the anchored yachts—according to my theory—had tied ropes around him, even around his neck, the latter merely in order to frighten him and prevent his calling for help. The newspapers stated that only a "seaman" could display such skill in tying ropes, and these yachtsmen were amateur seamen. They then, late in the afternoon, after they had had their "fun" with the pitiable androgyne, went ashore, having no thought that the rope around the throat would tighten sufficiently to strangle Z. They designed merely to punish him for his androgynism (1) through his being compelled to lie helpless on the cabin floor for several hours, with a rope tight around his neck to prevent him calling for help, and, (2) more than that, through humilating him before his family, who finally, anxious over his not returning home, would visit the yacht and discover him in his most ignominious garb and predicament.
[But Z, in his writhings to free himself from his bonds, unfortunately tightened the rope about his neck and was fatally strangled, the young men having departed and no one being at hand to succor him in his death agony. Z was only one more of the many martyrs to the public's prohibition of the showing up of the myth that bisexuals are monsters of depravity, deserving the crudest forms of torture and even murder. Those guilty of Z's death—under the theory now being propounded—were fundamentally . The guilt lies with the Church and public opinion, both of which teach that no punishment is too bad for an androgyne.
[A few days after Z's death, I wrote letters to Z's father giving all my theories. I desired to do all I could to avenge my brother in calamity by bringing his assailants to justice. It would not be surprising if Z's father was disinclined to press matters because of shame over the son's being an androgyne combined with the public's so terribly misjudging androgynism. Z's near neighbor, a young college graduate whom I "pumped," told me first that the fact at the bottom of Z's death "was of such nature that it could not be discussed"! I could get at the truth only by putting repeated frank questions, since he labored under the terrible delusion that sex is a subject beyond discussion. This college man expressed the opinion that Z was wilfully depraved and "got all that was coming to him." I interviewed several others who knew the Z family merely by sight and reputation. They all showed intense antipathy, being of the opinion that a family's having an androgyne relative was sufficient cause for its ostracism.
[A personal parallel: To only one member of my own family—a brother—have I ever confessed my addiction to female-impersonation sprees. I did it twenty years ago, at the age of twenty-seven, because I then had enemies at Ft. X (at the time my regular stamping-ground) who hated androgynism so fiercely as to be capable of murdering an individual in whom the phenomenon cropped up. I therefore explained matters to a brother: that if ever I was found murdered, to look for my assassin among the common soldiers of Ft. X. He replied: "Ralph, if you are ever murdered on one of your female-impersonation sprees, the family would be too much ashamed ever to take the first step to bring your murderer to justice!"]
At the supper hour, Z's mother telephoned to the wharf and was informed her son had not returned from his yacht. Fearing he had met with an accident, she and her daughter went by automobile to the wharf, arriving at 6:30. It was then almost dark. A boatman rowed the mother, shivering nervously, to the launch. As Mrs. Z descended the forward hatch, her foot struck a human body lying at the foot of the steps, face downward. She felt the hands, which stuck out above the body, and found them cold.
"Linnie has fainted!" Mrs. Z exclaimed. She hastily lighted a lantern, while the boatman remained at the top of the short flight of stairs, apparently paralyzed with fear. But having a light, Mrs. Z discovered the inert body to be clothed in a long blue dress, while the head was covered with a black oilcloth hag. [Such covering of the head indicates nonsuicide. The man-killer covered Z's head because, before abandoning him with the rope around his neck, he (or they) tormented and tortured Z. I have myself had a handkerchief thrust into my mouth to prevent an outcry and been thereupon tortured merely because of insane loathing of androgynism.]
Mrs. Z now exclaimed: "Why, it's a woman! She's been strangled, and Linnie's not here!"
Overcome with terror, she left the boat without further examination. Mr. Z, when his wife greeted him with the franctic cry: "A woman has been strangled on our yacht!" immediately visited it. He removed the hood from the form on the cabin floor, and in amazement recognized the face of his son. Around the neck was a tightened noose of Manila rope tied with a hangman's knot. Mr. Z is positive the knot was at the back of the neck. [This position is an indication of non-suicide. A suicide would naturally have placed the knot in front.] Unable to loosen the knot, Mr. Z cut the rope. He noticed that both his son's hands were behind the back, apparently tied with a sash cord, although he did not think to make sure both were tied. For, finding the body cold, he was convulsed with grief and immediately left without making further examination.
The next arrivals were policemen.
The Homicide bureau contends that although there was a slip-knot around the left hand, the right was free and Z used one or both hands to draw the hangman's noose about his neck. This theory presupposes that the knot was at the throat, and discards the father's assertion that it was at the back of the neck.
Z's ankles were tied together with rope, as were his knees and arms. [A queer way to commit suicide for the victim to take the greatest pains to make people think he had been murdered! And when there were a rifle and cartridges on board the launch! And only an hour or two before in a jovial mood, and laying in a supply of gasoline!] A medical examiner calculated that death had occurred between four and five P. M. The two men on the deck of the power-boat on one side of Z's launch had gone ashore at 5.30, and the single man on the power-boat on the other side, at 4.30. None had heard any cry or other sound from the Z launch [35 to 50 feet distant and on an ultra-still Sunday afternoon when sounds carry unusually well.] When these witnesses went ashore, Z's rowboat was fastened to his launch—in the same position as when his mother arrived.
The woman's apparel in which Z was found clad consisted of a chemise; corset; corset-cover with rose-colored baby ribbon running through the lace; a pair of pink bloomers with ruffles at the knees; high black stockings fastened by garters to the corset; a pair of high laced woman's shoes, with French high heels; and finally, the blue-checked gingham dress. All the apparel fitted Z well.
The clothing in which Z had left home was found on a bunk in the cabin—excepting an overshirt, which was pinned over the porthole nearest the launch fifty feet distant on whose deck two men spent the afternoon. Aside from this circumstance, the police discovered no sign of disorder in any part of the launch. They discovered no other articles or circumstances having a bearing on the case. [Androgynes are in general non-resistant. Z probably did not struggle against his tormentor, as I myself have always been absolutely passive on such occasions. Any way he probably did not even imagine that he was under any risk of death. He probably expected to return home within an hour—as he had previously done after dozens of female-impersonation explosions.]
But reporters, who later examined the boat, found a thick hickory club in a drawer. [My theory is that Z was accustomed to entertain on the boat, in the absence of any of his family, adolescents before whom he had a craze to impersonate a mademoiselle—the common practice of the more extreme type of androgyne. He probably entertained only one at a time. Fearing he might be attacked by one of these perhaps doubtful characters, he kept the club for self-defence, as well as the rifle already mentioned. The fact that he did not attempt to avail himself of these weapons on this occasion indicates that his assailants were young men whose high morality was known to Z.] In a chest in an out-of-the-way place, the reporters found a bundle of wrapping paper stained and torn. Inside was a metal shoe-horn. [My theory is that Z stored his feminine wardrobe in this paper and chest. The paper was probably that in which the feminine outfit had originally been brought to the launch and was preserved for possible use in carrying it away.]
The Z family kept a supply of beer on the yacht, but affirmed: "Linnie hated beer and never learned to drink it." [Very androgynesque. Girl-boys are inclined to be puritans in every respect except female-impersonation and coquetry.]
The only feminine article that Z wore which the family recognized was a multi-colored silk ribbon fastened around his waist and belonging to a sister.
The autopsy showed that death had resulted solely from strangulation. All the ropes used in binding Z belonged to his yacht. [The reason Z was done to death with ropes is that there naturally were many on board a yacht and it was a noiseless death. There was a loaded rifle on the yacht. That a noiseless method was chosen indicates murder rather than suicide. The use of ropes also indicates a yachtsman as author of the crime—because accustomed to handling ropes. He lives and breathes ropes.]
Z was five feet four in height and weighed 145 pounds. [Short and plump build characteristic of androgjmes.] The city medical examiner noted that the lower ribs were "retracted, possibly due to the use of corsets." He also noted that "the beard and moustache are scanty." [Meaning if not shaven close. Such scantiness is common in androgynes.]
If the murder theory is true, the assassin must have planned to murder with great care. [It was all done on the spur of the moment, and the death probably an accident.] He must have had an accomplice who brought him to the boat before the murder, and took him away afterward, and he must have known in some mysterious way that Z was going to visit the boat that Sunday afternoon. [If Z was murdered, he had had an appointment on the yacht with his assassin. The latter must have arrived before the yachtsmen who spent the afternoon on the closely encircling decks, and watched that they go ashore before himself. At dusk he could have swum away without being seen. At that hour on a Sunday, there were many desolate points on the nearby shore at which he could have unobservedly emerged. But the most daring criminal would hardly have committed a murder with several men only a few feet away on the decks of the encircling yachts. A single shriek from the victim would have immediately brought several men on board.]
The care with which the clothing was put on certainly seems to indicate that Z himself put it on, every article being properly adjusted.
[The authorities, because ignorant of androgyne psychology and habits and despising a bisexual ( ) too much to listen to his-her theories, were on a false scent. At the date this volume goes to press (December, 1921), the Z mystery—as well as the X, Y, and Q—has not been cleared up by the authorities, although none of the four is much of a problem to myself, knowing how the world treats androgynes.
[It is a strange coincidence that about a score of years before Z was strangled, within two miles of his yacht's point of anchorage, in a large patch of woods at night, I was, as an aftermath of a female-impersonation, being roughly teased by six "young fellows."
To cap the climax, they led me toward a tree and said they were "going to get a rope and hang" me. Horrified, I feigned an epileptic fit to save myself. See my Autobiography of an Androgyne, page 208.
[While I have never believed Z a suicide, it is a possibility. A new idol with whom he had had an appointment on the yacht that afternoon might have shown utter disgust at Z's revelations—as I have myself witnessed in a confidant—and pitilessly abandoned him. This misguided attitude might have brought on Z a sympathetic disgust with himself as female-impersonator and cross-dresser. According to this theory, Z wished to punish and heap indignities on his own body—just as I have myself, in my verdant middle teens, taken a whip and chastised my own body because lustful, homosexual thoughts had invaded my mind, while crying out: "'O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death!'" Perhaps Z wished to punish his own body by depriving it of breath while in female garb and so publish to the world the despicableness of his own physical personality. In no other way could Z's spiritually minded psyche better revenge itself on his carnal body than to have the latter's grossness proclaimed on the housetops.
[In case Z was a suicide, the idol who had only a few minutes before pitilessly scorned his advances was very likely an adolescent spending that afternoon on one of the three nearest yachts. As I have said, the case came to a curious abrupt ending in the papers, as if the entire solution had become known to those immediately interested, but the public was not let into the secret in order to shield unblameworthy parties.[If Z was a suicide, I have myself passed through a very similar experience. (See my Autobiography of an Androgyne, page 235.) Because heartlessly jilted by a new idol and afraid I would as "a monster of depravity," be cast out of the caravan with which I was travelling in an uninhabited region of the Rockies, I walked away in the forest alone at dusk a mile from camp having in mind suicide by being torn to pieces by bears, with which the forest abounded, and several of which I saw that night roaming within a hundred feet. Like Z, I had not left behind a single oral or written word as to suicide. I was acting on the spur of the moment. For several hours I experienced such depths of sorrow as not one human out of ten thousand ever tastes. Continuously for an hour, out of hearing of the camp, I wailed at the top of my voice over my terrible lot in life—that of a despised, hated, and outlawed "degenerate" (as the hypocritical nine-tenths of civilized humanity delight to call" me)—and over the possibly impending unfathomable disgrace among a party of rough men with whom I must travel until we got back to a railroad. I experienced a violent desire to be devoured by bears. But the All-Seeing overruled that they did not attack me.]
III. College Student's Death is Unexplained.
(The following are excerpts from a New York paper. Every few months the press brings to light a similar death of an androgyne. All because the world misunderstands and grossly misjudges them, as well as because public opinion has always deprived them of the means of coming to an understanding of themselves. Bracketed words and italics are those of the author of The Female-Impersonators.)
STUDENT'S DEATH MYSTERY BAFFLING—NO KNOWN BASIS IN Q'S LIFE TO SUGGEST MURDER OR SUICIDE THEORY
Overdone detective fiction seldom presents so many significant but mostly inexplicable circumstances surrounding the victim of death by violence as those developed concerning [Jimmie Q], twenty, quiet, studious, religious [earmarks of androgynism], a [North Atlantic] college junior, popular, not morbid, a clean-cut American youth, whose body was taken from the river last Thursday night
Q loved to roam the slums of large cities. [An earmark of cultured androgynism. They thus roam because realizing that in their Overworld, they are prohibited outlet for the feminine side of their duality. They roam with day dreams of how they would like to impersonate a female in the Underworld, where alone female-impersonators are welcome; and finally, in many cases, they are carried away by their mania for an actual female-impersonation spree.] .... His college room-mate commented on the large number of neckties, all Q had, which the latter was taking along. [As he said, for a few days' visit to his father, which visit did not take place. My theory is that he went to the great city, in whose harbor his dead body was found, to spend an evening with chance-met gangsters in the slums, as I have myself done, and he took the many neckties as presents for them, just as I myself have carried neckties with which to shower them and thus win their goodwill. The androgyne, of course, wishes the gangsters as an audience for his loved impersonations. Androgynes always wish an audience of tremendously virile "young fellows."]
Q did not drink and never took special interest in any woman. But he did like to rove about in the districts of big cities in which the poorest classes live and work Whenever he was in New York, he spent most of his time in such districts At the Morgue, Mr. Q identified the effects of his son. When the body was exposed for his inspection—it appeared to have been in the water about ten days—the father bowed his head and tearfuly exclaimed:
"Poor Jimmie! How you must have suffered!"....
The fisherman who had pulled the body ashore had used a grappling hook To it they attributed the incision which the [City's] Medical Examiner had reported to have been made by some weapon. The Medical Examiner denounced this report and suggested that the police were forwarding a suicide theory to escape responsibility for solution of a crime. He declared there was evidence of hemorrhage in this wound not producible by such an injury inflicted long after death. He further recalled that the left arm of Q was dislocated at the elbow, with the arm muscles twisted—positive indications of external violence. [I myself have been tortured by a ruffian's seizing me by the wrist and twisting around my arm so that I had to shriek in agony.]
The Medical Examiner declared the absence of water in the lungs developed by the autopsy showed beyond question that Q was dead when his body entered the water He had seventy-seven cents in his pockets when his body was found. [Evidence of robbery, considering that he was a well-to-do youth on a visit to a great city distant from his college. My theory is, on the basis of intimate knowledge of the practices of androgynes, that he scraped acquaintance with one or more gangsters, while adopting a girl's role. Many gangsters cordially hate bisexuals. Because of this hatred, as well as to escape prosecution after robbing Q, the gangsters murdered him and threw his dead body into the river—probably in the vicinity. Again the fundamental cause of the death of another androgyne is the terribly false teaching of the Church and public opinion as to the nature of bisexuality.]
- See note beginning bottom page 254.
I had fully described this adventure in my AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ANDROGYNE, but the details were cut out by its editor. I append them here because tending to show that the sparser the population of a district, the greater the repugnance of civilized young roues to androgynism and the rarer is the latter phenomenon per thousand males. In other words: My conclusion from extensive travel and intimate mingling, as an ultra-androgyne, with native adolescent roues in every corner of the United States and Europe is that among civilized nations, the frequency of male bisexuals per thousand inhabitants and their tolerance by the full-fledged are in general in direct proportion to the density of population.
I, a woman-soul, but reputedly a young man, was delegated to write up an unusual affair transpiring in a Rocky Mountain wilderness. I was in a caravan with fifty men of the roughest type, cowboys, miners, etc. All were bachelors or grass-widowers. Day in and day out, they hardly talked of anything but prostitutes, some of whom enlivened every mining or lumbering camp of any permanence, although their rates were seven times city prices and they laid away fortunes. Some of the decidedly lucky prospectors, as well as occasional city-ites on hunting trips, were always accompanied by their mistresses—the cityites doubtless glad to get away from "friend wife" for a few weeks.
I found the adolescent cowboys and miners of the Rockies the most prejudiced against effeminate males of any of the hundreds of circles of adolescent roues with which I have mingled as a girlboy. The first hour, when I had not compromised myself in any way, they began to heap up insults, particularly taking pains to refer to me within my hearing by the obscene term most often used by roughs for a girl-boy. (My own age was then thirty-three, but my friends told me I looked to be only twenty-five. I still possessed the "small-boy" aspect common among ultra-androgynes.) I feared my forced sojourn with those who so despised effeminacy would be intolerable.
But my plan to win their respect succeeded. I exhibited my credentials as representative of a journal of national reputation. They never again insulted me and I even became popular. The more sensual began to resort to terms of endearment and embraces. But, while fascinated by these attentions, I distrusted them to the extent of not disclosing my secret desires. I knew that prudes occasionally murder bisexuals in cities. In the wilds of the Rockies these same prudes (only so far as concerns homosexuality) could so easily push me over a precipice after tempting me to a stroll, and no one ever learn my fate. The tradition is wide spread that bisexuals must be murdered. Perhaps the practice of murdering is akin to that prevalent among some savage tribes of children killing their parents as soon as the latter become too feeble to hunt and work. It was racial economy to put out of the way those who could not contribute their share to the food supply, as well as those impotent to procreate children. But as civilized man no longer finds it necessary to the continued life of the nation to knock in the head all citizens as they reach the age of sixty, equally there is now no call for murdering (or even chastising) individuals incapable of generation.
But sleeping in the same tent and continuously having to listen to confessions of their amorous adventures, I became wrought up as rarely in my life. Therefore after a week of continuous Platonic association with the cowboy who seemed naturally the most high-minded and trustworthy, I invited him for an evening's stroll in the forest primæval. He had been brought up on a Wyoming ranch, never been inside of a church, never heard a word read out of the Bible, and could not read nor write. He asserted he had once been a rough rider in Buffalo Bill's show, and my test of his descriptions of the surroundings of Madison Square Garden in New York evidenced his truthfulness. I worshipped the very soil on which this "Nature's nobleman" trod. For he was, in addition, the handsomest adolescent in the caravan. On our stroll I confessed myself an "hermaphrodite," using that inaccurate term because it is known to every rough (though by them always pronounced incorrectly). He would not have understood "androgyne."
Since he was only a servant in the caravan, I offered a large bill. But much to my surprise and almost to my death, he abruptly jilted me with an unparalleled display of horror. But he promised to keep the incident locked in a chamber of his brain, and events proved him true blue. My desolate stroll in the bear-infested wilderness followed immediately. If these cowboys and miners, as well as all other men, instead of having been, from boyhood, fed on the most crimeprovoking of falsehoods, namely, that homosexuals (so called, though psychicly and often in part physically belonging to the opposite sex) are monsters of depravity for whom no punishment is too severe, had been taught that these sexual cripples merit only compassion, I would myself have been spared those hours of excruciating anguish in the forest, and hundreds of youthful androgynes would not have committed suicide.
Note to page 240.—This comment so developed that I was compelled to make it a footnote. The assignment to shore duty might indicate that Z's immediate superiors might have noticed that he was of soft disposition, an earmark of androgynism. An androgyne acquaintance, though perfectly sound physically, was rejected in the World War draft merely on account of his softspokenness and generally "soft" mannerisms. Another young androgyne acquaintance enlisted in the Hospital Corps during the war so as to be able to pass all his time among idols. Moreover, androgynes long to serve as nurses to wounded virile young men, as did Walt Whitman during the American War of the Rebellion. Androgynes make the best nurses of youthful warriors because they slavishly adore them. From an eyewitness I heard of a third androgyne who was drafted in the World War and "bobtailed" out of the army because discovered to be addicted to fellatio. From another eyewitness I heard of a fourth androgyne who was similarly "bobtailed", and as a result of the indignities heaped upon him at the time, immediately committed suicide. Of course those who heaped up the indignities thought the sexual cripple wilfully depraved. From still another eyewitness I heard of another drafted androgyne who, on the eve of his first battle in France, ate the heads off matches so as to assure getting back into the hospital while his virile "buddies" were valiantly "going over the top." Virility confers bravery.
At the date of writing, I still "pal" only with regular soldiers, but am instinctively such an industrious worker that I go into any kind of fellowship only about once a fortnight. I still look upon youthful regular soldiers as magic demigods to whom I wish to enslave myself. Two days before the present writing, I happened to take a walk to Fort Y, which played a large part in my AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ANDROGYNE, and which, from 1902 to 1905, I visited, in the role of female-impersonator, one evening out of fourteen, and where I was acquainted with practically every one of the four hundred men not above the grade of sergeant. That of two days ago was only my second trip there in the past sixteen years. Because it is inconveniently located for a visit. After sixteen years, I happened to be recognized by one soldier who had stuck to that post and risen to the rank of sergeant. He told me there were still only about four at the fort who served there when I had the honor to be "the daughter of the regiment." He expressed his amazement at my being so well preserved, saying I look twenty years younger than I am. He told me that only four or five fairies had run after the men of that fort in the past sixteen years. That small number is due to the remoteness of Fort Y from the city. At two other forts formerly frequented by me as a female-impersonator which are right in the city, androgyne cultivators of the common soldiers are numerous. A man serving at one of these forts told me that common soldiers often speak with one another about their "fairies." Whenever any one of the former appears with a new watch, ring, etc., a common query of his "buddies" is: "Did your fairie give it to you?" Seven out of ten common soldiers appear exceedingly glad to have a prosperous young androgyne in their midst, particularly because he showers them with gifts and entertainment. Only one out of ten is such a prude as to walk away from the circle of which I have hundreds of times had the privilege of being the star. Some of these prudes would murder an androgyne but for fear of being punished.
Because of this remoteness of Fort Y, however, I had found there, during the hey-day of my career as female-impersonator, a specially hearty welcome and specially rich pickings.
(See "Emotion" in Part VIII.)
The sergeant I met two days ago—as common soldiers in general—was very much interested to hear the experiences of an androgyne as I narrated my life-story for the sixteen years since I talked with him. I habitually tell soldier associates the complete story of my life, and all who stay in the circle to listen appear very glad for the chat. Of course I never use any indecent language, although dealing frankly with sex questions. I am a lecturer on sexology to them. Moreover, within three minutes after becoming acquainted with a common soldier, I sometimes ask him, if he is beyond twentyfive, if he is married. For I do not care to chat with married men. I also commonly ask why he never married. I ask him to enlighten me as to his feelings toward the gentle sex, and as to what transpires when he and a girl are out for an evening's stroll on a rural road. They are very frank in telling me their outlook on life. If there is no opportunity for assault and robbery (A large proportion of the uncultured thinking the first thing of robbing a stranger androgyne, if not of "beating him up") I have, to strange young soldiers, confessed myself an androgyne within three minutes after we exchanged our first words, because their learning that fact proves, in general, the strongest kind of a drawing card.
The sergeant of two days ago wanted to make a date with me. I absolutely turned my back on such a proposition, chiefly on account of the dread of the physical and mental debility always supervening the following day. He urged me to resume my visits to Fort Y, to flaunt myself before all the soldiers as female-impersonator, as sixteen years before. I replied that I was now too old and too feeble. While sixteen years before I never left the vicinity of the post without dalliance with intimates, two days ago I did not entertain the least idea of, and hardly any wish for, such relations. Age has sobered me. "Intimates" I just wrote—some of whom, however, I had never laid eyes on until three minutes before. Providence gave me this wealth of one kind to counterbalance the almost unparalleled anguish I have been called upon to suffer because of my fate of being a sorely persecuted androgyne.
Lest I should be misjudged (the reader will any way judge me the warmest body that ever breathed, as intimates have told me) I further confess that during the year ending March, 1921, I visited at another fort about once a fortnight a 20-year-old private whom I planned to adopt (not legally) as son to live with me the rest of my life. I previously looked over, at ball games at the post, the entire common-soldier personnel of several hundred in order to pick out one of the three or four handsomest. Even at my first visit, one or two of the privates with whom I exchanged words evidently took me for an androgyne looking for a sweetheart, and did their best to be "the lucky dog." But I passed the poor fellows by until I could get intimately acquainted with one of the three or four pre-eminent Adonises. I later ascertained that the one selected—greatly to his joy and to the envy of numerous "buddies"—excelled in disposition and character as much as in good looks. I also learned he had been brought up in the back woods and had never attended school a single day, although he had learned to read and write a little after entering the army. After I had known him intimately for nine months, his enlistment expired. Only now I disclosed my true name and station and took him to live in my own home, where I had been all by myself, doing my own housework like a woman. Although I had loaded him with gifts, this my "third adopted son" took French leave after only three days' residence with me. His "buddies" told me he had gone away to marry the girl with whom I had known he had been corresponding.
Having lost him, I immediately started in to cultivate at the same barracks its pre-eminent Adonis, and almost its preeminent Hercules, with a view to his non-legal adoption to live with me as son the rest of my life after a nine-months apprenticeship during which he would not know my real name, station in life, or place of residence. It is easy to conceal these things from common soldiers. They are not inquisitive. They believe my misrepresentations of myself—necessary because androgynes are the favorite victims of blackmailers/ But after a month, this latest favorite committed theft and I never saw him again. His "buddies" told me that he had stolen two blankets, "government property," and was therefore sentenced to two years in military prison. If I am correctly informed, court martials often impose on an enlisted man caught in a misdemeanor a prison sentence several times as lengthy as would a civil court. I take this opportunity to enter a plea for better treatment of common soldiers, who have been my "pals" for a quarter of a century—particularly for punishments by court martial no more severe than by civil courts. Sometimes I have thought that when an uneducated young man enlists to defend his country as a common soldier, he thereby forfeits all rights of citizenship and all privileges guaranteed by the American constitution. The cow-boys of the Rockies have mingled with common soldiers because of the numerous forts scattered throughout the "Indian country." I asked one with whom I was well acquainted why he did not serve a few years in the army. His words were: "Do you think I want to be a slave?" But the lot of the common soldier has steadily improved during my association with him, excepting during our war with Germany. In 1921, he is better treated by his officers than ever before.
The context of this footnote moves me to reflect: Do I prefer an Adonis or a Hercules? I incline to the latter slightly. My first "adopted son" (for nine years, as described in my AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AN ANDROGYNE) was an almost unmatched Hercules and at the same time an almost unmatched Adonis. He was one young man out of ten thousand. My second "adopted son" (for only a half-year, as described in same work) was neither a Hercules nor an Adonis. Not more than one out of twenty adolescents can qualify under either of these physically superior types, and I must confess that these types are very much lacking in mental acumen. Bright intellects nearly always go hand in hand with poor physical development. My second "adopted son" (while only tolerably good-looking) commanded my adoration because of his beautiful disposition and extreme passion for myself. My third prospective "adopted son" was a pre-eminent Adonis, and a fair Hercules.
There exist other attractive qualities in males that knit females to them. The chief is intellectual brilliance. That to me has always been, sexually considered, decidedly detractive—because I am myself of the intellectual type. As a rule, only opposites attract.