ONCE, ANYWAY, THEY WORKED. ~ County Employes, at Varying Salaries, Answered Telephones.

October 20, 1907

County Employes, at Varying Sal-
aries, Answered Telephones.

Inquiries from shopkeepers who wanted to know what they might do and what commodities they might sell today without laying themselves liable to arrest, flooding in over the telephones in the criminal court building yesterday, kept four employes of the county busy all day. Two men sat by the telephones in the county prosecutor's office and two in the city marshal's office answering or trying to answer questions. They are men who draw salaaries from the county of from $75 to $150 a month. Questions of all sorts were asked.

"I run a barber shop. I won't shave anybody tomorrow, but may I turn the water on in the bathtubs?" inquired one voice.

"I pass that," replied Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kimbrell, who was on the telephone. "Cleanliness in next to Godliness, as I have heard, but I don't know what Judge Wallace will say about your selling a bath on Sunday."

"I am an undertaker and there is a man in my office now who wants me to furnish a hearse and carriages for his wife's funeral tomorrow. Will I be arrested if I do so?"

"When did the lady die?" replied Jimmy Moran, for this question floated into the county marshal's office.

"Friday, " replied the undertaker.

"That's a very unlucky day to die on," Jimmy said. "Especially since the lid is on. If you think the body won't keep until Monday, go ahead with the funeral Sunday."

The afternoon papers had not been on the street more than five minutes when the four county officers who served as telephone boys got into real trouble. The earlier instructions of Judge Wallace exempted the sellers of candies, bread, ice, milk, and other necessities of life from arrest. But the grand jury told police to report all kinds of business transacted excepting the sales of drugs and service of meals.

Candy store keepers, florists, and bakers, who thought they were exempt, began calling in to find out whether they should obey Judge Wallace or the grand jury. The men on the answer ends of the telephones were up against it and said so frankly.

"Judge Wallace last night wouldn't discuss the change which the grand jury made during his absence from the city, other than to say that he would look into the matter Monday morning. Men who know him, though, believe that promises which he made to bakers and others, many by personal word, will not be violated. If the jury should decide to go beyond the judge's instructions and close everything in the city excepting drug stores and restaurants, however, the judge will, perhaps, back it in enforcing the rules after today.