one night attacked, and had thereafter for a long time to ask the
protection of the police, and to carry a revolver with him."
The number of members in the several co-operative groups varies
according to the rise and decline of employment in the cigar factories, as
about 80 per cent of the members are supported by this industry. During
depressions and strikes many are out of work for long periods and some
are therefore suspended. But here again co-operation comes to the
rescue. Dues of deserving members who are destitute through no fault
of their own are paid by the society through benefit entertainments given
for this purpose.
By 1904 the membership of Centro Espanol had grown to 900,
and by 1914 had increased to 2,480. The average yearly membership for
ten recent years has been about 2,000.
In a typical ten-year period 2,473 members were hospitalized at
an average cost to the patients of $18 each. It was estimated that for this
amount each patient received services that in a private hospital would
have cost him $100, thus effecting an aggregate saving to members of
nearly $2,000,000 or $82 each.
Money saving, however, was not the only advantage because
prompt and adequate treatment saved the lives of many members. Poor
people generally, the co-operatives explained, have no money for medical
services and often are compelled to put off treatment until too late to be
cured. But the group-medicine members, even if they are destitute