Strength of the Strong and Other Stories HTML version

The Enemy Of All The World
It was Silas Bannerman who finally ran down that scientific wizard and arch-
enemy of mankind, Emil Gluck. Gluck's confession, before he went to the electric
chair, threw much light upon the series of mysterious events, many apparently
unrelated, that so perturbed the world between the years 1933 and 1941. It was
not until that remarkable document was made public that the world dreamed of
there being any connection between the assassination of the King and Queen of
Portugal and the murders of the New York City police officers. While the deeds of
Emil Gluck were all that was abominable, we cannot but feel, to a certain extent,
pity for the unfortunate, malformed, and maltreated genius. This side of his story
has never been told before, and from his confession and from the great mass of
evidence and the documents and records of the time we are able to construct a
fairly accurate portrait of him, and to discern the factors and pressures that
moulded him into the human monster he became and that drove him onward and
downward along the fearful path he trod.
Emil Gluck was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1895. His father, Josephus
Gluck, was a special policeman and night watchman, who, in the year 1900, died
suddenly of pneumonia. The mother, a pretty, fragile creature, who, before her
marriage, had been a milliner, grieved herself to death over the loss of her
husband. This sensitiveness of the mother was the heritage that in the boy
became morbid and horrible.
In 1901, the boy, Emil, then six years of age, went to live with his aunt, Mrs. Ann
Bartell. She was his mother's sister, but in her breast was no kindly feeling for the
sensitive, shrinking boy. Ann Bartell was a vain, shallow, and heartless woman.
Also, she was cursed with poverty and burdened with a husband who was a lazy,
erratic ne'er-do-well. Young Emil Gluck was not wanted, and Ann Bartell could be
trusted to impress this fact sufficiently upon him. As an illustration of the
treatment he received in that early, formative period, the following instance is
When he had been living in the Bartell home a little more than a year, he broke
his leg. He sustained the injury through playing on the forbidden roof - as all boys
have done and will continue to do to the end of time. The leg was broken in two
places between the knee and thigh. Emil, helped by his frightened playmates,
managed to drag himself to the front sidewalk, where he fainted. The children of
the neighbourhood were afraid of the hard-featured shrew who presided over the
Bartell house; but, summoning their resolution, they rang the bell and told Ann
Bartell of the accident. She did not even look at the little lad who lay stricken on
the sidewalk, but slammed the door and went back to her wash- tub. The time
passed. A drizzle came on, and Emil Gluck, out of his faint, lay sobbing in the
rain. The leg should have been set immediately. As it was, the inflammation rose