In the early morning after the news
of the death of President McKinley had been flashed around the world,
a newspaper man, weary with the labor of the night, took his way
homeward. Since evening the bulletins had indicated the certain
end. An entire nation was shocked and stunned, and in every capital
of the earth were expressions of sympathy and grief. Each click
of the telegraph instruments was articulate with sorrow, while underneath
this note was one of indignation at the dastardly agents of murder
who had conceived the deed. Here was a new force that was a portent,
and men looked at the future with foreboding. One scribe had remarked:
“It does not seem that there is a God, or if there is He has left
this world to be ruled by chance and chaos.”
Out of all this turmoil the newspaper
man went into the night. The hour was approaching the dawn and there
was silence over the city. The only sounds to be heard were the
occasional shrill crow of a cock, the distant bark of a dog, or
a solitary hoof-beat echoing from some neighboring street. Men might
be torn by grief or frenzy, but Nature was unmoved. The ruler of
a populous nation had fallen, but through all the excitement and
change here were stability and peace. The great blocks of brick
and mortar loomed the same as on yesterday. The distant mountains
stood as they had stood for centuries. 
Overhead the stars shone with an unwonted
brightness. Low to the west was Orion, to the north lay the polar
star and the bear, to the east was a brilliant planet yellowing
in the dawn, and arching across the zenith was the milky way strewn
like dust with the suns. All the numberless constellations stood
exactly as they had stood at the birth of the first man.
There were worlds on worlds, systems
on systems, till the mind was bewildered at their contemplation.
The infinite spaces were populous with orbs. There were stars so
distant that the light of the troubled earth dwindled to a point
and disappeared billions and trillions of miles short of them. Around
these suns were innumerable other planets, peopled by other races,
on which were enacted other tragedies.
On through the infinite silence swung
the worlds, the suns and the systems, in perfect order and harmony.
Outward to the limits of vision and still outward through unthinkable
distances marched the glittering companies, regiments and armies
of worlds. And so perfect were the plans of the Commanding General
that there were no false steps, no clashes, no faltering ranks.
Every moon and planet, the celestial privates, every commanding
sun was in his place, and all moved with the precision of a perfect
Before this sublime spectacle the
worries of the world dwindled, its fevers grew cool and the complaints
of the human fell silent. The questioning of God became the babble
of a child who does not understand. The talk of chaos was the discordant
squeak of a mouse amid a swelling harmony of organ tones. 
Here was the eternal Cosmos, everything
in place, every blade of grass counted, every atom in absolute adjustment.
Talk about chaos! Nature knows no such term. Man, with his limited
freedom, may make a chaos of his own, but even then the eternal
law brings it again into harmony.
Grieve we must, for grief goes up
from the bruised heart as naturally as the scent from the flower;
but do not question the Infinite Purpose. Often the way is in gloom
and we hurt ourselves by running into the sharp corners of the immutable
law. But the light will break and the path will become plain. Then
we shall learn better.
Darkness is over us. We look at each
other with tearful or startled eyes and ask: “What of the night?”
And, as if in answer to our plaint, from some sentinel tower across
the universe comes the cry: “God reigns and all is well.”
The newspaper man had caught a glimpse
of the real. Henceforth he decided that, in some sort, he would
attempt to give the vision voice. He knew no better avenue than
through his accustomed work; for the modern newspaper is supposed
to stand, above all else, for real things.