The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 357
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The Case of Summerfield
could raise only half a million dollars. Only one more day re-
mained. The committee was desperate. With reluctance, Sum-
merfield agreed to go with Parker to New York and there enlist
the aid of "the leading capitalists and clergymen" of the metrop-
olis. But the bishop rebelled: no man was safe while this dia-
bolical wretch, this enemy of all mankind, still lived; he must
be destroyed. The committee was convinced, but the New York
trip was not abandoned. Parker was again chosen as the travelling
companion of Summerfield and as his executioner. He asked for
an hour of meditation with his conscience before accepting the
assignment. At first, "it seemed to be a most horrible and unwar-
rantable crime to deprive a fellow-being of life" without a chance
for preparation and repentance. He considered the legal signifi-
cance of action and intention and then narrowed his thoughts
down to full realization that here was the enemy of the human
race. The sheriff hangs the criminal; the soldier slays his enemy;
likewise duty demands that he must kill Summerfield.
The two men boarded the Pacific Railway train together.
When they reached the neighborhood of Cape Horn, Parker
asked Summerfield to come out on the rear platform so that he
could more fully appreciate the beauty of the scenery of northern
California. And then, at a gorge well known to Parker, the body
of Summerfield catapulted down the perpendicular sides of the
rock. His battered body was found six months later; clenched in
the skeleton grip of his right hand was the small wide-mouthed,
Finally, it can be stated that up to now the world is at least
partially intact. If, however, the scientific discoveries of the Sum-
merfields, past and present, continue to be used for the destruc-
tion of the human family rather than for its betterment, who
can say that we may not find ourselves in the predicament of the
optimist who having fallen from a twentieth story window was
heard to say as he passed the fifth floor, "I am alright so far"?
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/431/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.