April 23, 1916

Man With Credentials Spent Several Weeks Here, It Develops.


Disappearance of a number of Youths Thus Is Explained.

The police have been puzzled for the past two months in an effort to account for the disappearance of a large number of men and boys. In several instances lately it has been discovered that several young men have joined the Canadian army for service in Europe at the instance of a British army officer, who has been recruiting in Kansas City.

In the latter part of March a man came to Kansas City and registered at a local hotel from Boston. He said he was a traveling salesman for a book concern. He remained in Kansas City for several weeks, leaving about a week ago for Montreal, Canada.

During the time he was in Kansas City, according to a statement made by the man -- who gave the name Miller -- to several Kansas City people, he had paid traveling expenses of at least twelve young men and boys, sending them to Canada and putting them in charge of the American Legion of Canada as soon as they crossed the international boundary.

Frequented Hotel Lobbies.

The man frequented hotel lobbies and saloons. He said he was born in Scotland and in glowing words told of his romantic experiences as a traveler and soldier of fortune.

Miller, who confidently told some of his "prospects" that he has a captain's commission in the British army, presented papers of identification which showed that he was empowered to recruit for the regiment of American adventurers to join the allies in Europe. Several companies of this regiment already have seen active service in the war zone.

The officer's plan in getting American youths to join the English colors was to tell of his own experiences as a captain in the Belgian campaigns.

"I was in command of a company in Belgium and later in France," he is reported to have told several persons, "and it was at Aix La Chapelle that I was wounded three times. I was among the leaders of a charge on a German battery. The Teutons had a position which enabled them to give us a warm cross fire and I fell, with three shrapnel bullets imbedded in my right leg and in my left shoulder. If you boys want to be real heroes you can take up my proposition. You will be given a mighty thrill when you are able to take a German battery or a string of trenches."

Five in One Party

To show that his sympathy for the allies was not prejudiced by his Scottish birth, Captain Miller detailed his adventures as a lieutenant in the United States army during the Spanish war.

"I am the Lieutenant Miller you read about in history," he told one young man in the lobby of the Baltimore hotel. "In addition to serving Uncle Sam during that conflict, I held commissions from the Nicaraguan federal government when Zelaya was ousted, and with the Italians in the Turkish war."

Captain Miller said that the joys of traveling and fighting far excel those of persons who are content to remain at home.

The English officer took several young men to the Union station, where he bought through tickets to Montreal. Five recruits went in one party. They signed statements in which they renounced their allegiance to the United States and offered to stake everything for the cause of the allies.

Captain Miller, it is said, left Kansas City suddenly. Before he went he inadvertently said that his recruiting here was successful, and that he had "worked" St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and other cities.