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Billy and the Big Stick - R. H. Davis

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BILLY AND THE BIG STICK

by Richard Harding Davis



Had the Wilmot Electric Light people remained content only to make
light, had they not, as a by-product, attempted to make money, they
need not have left Hayti.

When they flooded with radiance the unpaved streets of Port-
au-Prince no one, except the police, who complained that the lights
kept them awake, made objection; but when for this illumination the
Wilmot Company demanded payment, every one up to President Hamilear
Poussevain was surprised and grieved. So grieved was President Ham,
as he was lovingly designated, that he withdrew the Wilmot
concession, surrounded the power-house with his barefooted army,
and in a proclamation announced that for the future the furnishing
of electric light would be a monopoly of the government.

In Hayti, as soon as it begins to make money, any industry, native
or foreign, becomes a monopoly of the government. The thing works
automatically. It is what in Hayti is understood as BAUTE FINANCE.
The Wilmot people should have known that. Because they did not as
vice-consul, law and order were as solidly established as the stone
jetties, and by contrast the eccentricities of the Black REPUBLIC
baffled and distressed him.
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