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Waits Vainly for Bahá

Waits Vainly for Baha
The Chicago Daily News
May 1, 1912
Chicago, IL

Throng at Wilmette for Temple Dedication, but Leader Fails to Appear.


After That Trace of Him Is Lost, but Followers Take the Disappointment Placidly.

Abdu’l-Bahá, master of the Bahá’ís and voice of the long dead Báb, to-day mystified his followers by a second disappearance. The son of Bahá’u’lláh was expected at the dedication of the site of the proposed Magrigu ‘L Azkar, or Bahá’í Temple, in Wilmette. When last heard of the seer of ancient Persia had essayed the mysteries of the modern taxicab in Chicago. By noon the Bahá’ís, gathered some 200 strong on the hill at Linden avenue in the suburb, had not seen their robed leader.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá is utterly controlled by circumstances,” explained Honore J. Jaxon of the Saskatchewan district, one of the watchers, to a reporter for The Daily News, was also waiting in vain to see the master.

It Sounds Reminiscent.

This was the same explanation offered when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was “lost” for ten hours or so between Washington, D. C., and Chicago.

Perhaps the taxicab was a little too much for him,” suggested Albert H. Hall of Minneapolis, Minn., head of the Bahá’í Temple of Unity.

The services were postponed until the mystery could be cleared.

Bahá’ís began to arrive at the temple site long before 11 o’clock, the time set for the opening of the exercises. The other name for the little black tree stump studded hill is “The Dawning Place of the Most High.”

On the dawning place of the most high, which overlooks the north shore drainage canal, was a great nine cornered tent filled with canvas seated benches arranged circularly and having nine aisles, leaving a circle in the center for the speaker.

Early Arrivals Crowd In.

In crowded the early arrivals. The last word from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s oriental suite in the Hotel Plaza in Chicago had been that the “Master” would arrive at the appointed hour - 11 o’clock. This news was brought to the Bahá’ís and they cheered up.

He will not disappoint us,” said one young woman, “and, anyway, we are prepared to wait.”

Whereupon from a package beneath her bench she brought forth a thick sandwich.

At this signal other such baskets appeared. Many of the waiting Bahá’ís concealed their anxiety behind sandwiches and hard boiled eggs. Others, however, were too restive and left the tent to do lookout duty, scanning the mile long stretch of Linden avenue for a sign of the delicate hued robes of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Little clumps of other pilgrims came to the hill from various places as to a Mecca.

Courier Brings the News.

Once a courier in a runabout dashed his horse to the meeting place and the sentries ran down and met him.

The master has left town in taxicab,” he announced. “I just telephoned the hotel in Chicago and learned the news from it.”

Some fifty persons were gathered without the tent at this time. Up Sheridan road, which meets Linden avenue at this point, slowly drove a black automobile. It turned and easily slid to a standstill at the foot of the hill.

A committee rushed forward. Several fashionably attired women stepped from the machine, accompanied by Mr. Hall of Minneapolis. But ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was not there.

Where is the master?” asked one of the committee.

Surprised at Failure to Arrive.

Hasn’t he arrived?” responded Mr. Hall “We drove out slowly and he might have passed us. He was going to leave the hotel immediately after us.”

We heard that he had chartered a taxicab,” put in an eager bystander.

Perhaps that accounts for his delay,” said Mr. Hall. “However, I expect he will arrive within a few minutes.”

The lookouts resumed their posts.

To add to the suspense the sky which had been dark grew darker and the wind which has whistled shrilly up out of the lake grew even more noisy.

The time dragged on.