Newspaper Page Text
By Henry Russell Miller,
"The Man Higher Up"
Cefyrttat. fc* the BoMeMcrril
Reader, here is a live, gripping,
absorbing romance of politics—
not the politics of a decade ago,
bat the politics of today. A
young American of good fighting
blood and hard, fixed ideals sets
oat to smash the political ma
chine of his state without com
promise with evil. The great mo
ment of his life comes when he
must sacrifice his clean hands or
ruin the father of the girl he
loves. The creative genius and
large power of the author are
even more notable than in "The
Man Higher Up," Mr. Mtller's
Mists of the Morning.
was twilight still in the val
ley, but over the hills to the
east the sky was whiteuiug
A young man sitting by his
window turned to see the birth of ao
other day. Throughout the night he
bad been staring at a vision. But
,weariness bud set no mark upon him.
.His vision he did not understand, save
that for him it spelled opportunlty-a
chance to put into a drifting, rather
ordinary existence, purposeful action.
to stretch his muscles, rack his brain
and tear his soul in the struggle that
la the life of men.
Be caught up a rough towel and.
stealing quietly out of the house, walk
ed rapidly down thestreet When the
straggling town lay behind him he
broke into a slow trot. At a place
where many feet had worn ,a path
across a clover meadow be turned
from the road. The path ended at a
damp of bushes on the river bank.
Hastily undressing, be plunged into*
the green depths, from which June
bad not quite taken the chill of spring.
His lithe, strong body responded to
the shock. The nerves, harried by the
long night watch, relaxed. He about*
ed lustily. For a few- minutes he
•warn vigorously. Then, reaching the
shore, he took the towel and robbed
himself into a glow. He tingled with
Sense of well being.
When be was dressed again, refresh
ed and eager for his day. he took the
path back ro the-highway. The sun
was climbing over the hills. He stop
ped and watched It While it swung
clear In the sky. gleaming a fiery red
through the mists of the valley. The
glory of the morning was complete.
He was about to resume hi* tramp
homeward when be beheld a stninsse
procession advancing along the road, a
young woman leading a limping horse
'As she came nearer be chuckled aloud
The handsome pigskin saddle, the ivory
handled crop, the modish riding suit
and boots were not the equipment with
which young ladles of New Chelsea
were wont to tide.
She beard .him and looked up coldly.
The chuckle died Instantly.
"Good morning." be said. "What's
the matter with your horse? Can I
She stopped. "He has picked up a
•tone," she answered, "and I can't get
It out If yori will be so good"-
He vaulted lightly over the fence
that bounded the meadow and removed
the offending stone.
"Thank you," the young woman said.
"You're quite welcome." he answer
ed. "I'm always glad to help beauty
In distress. He is a beautiful animal.
Isn't her' be added hastily.
"Are you chaffing
me?" she asked
He repressed a smile. "By no means
Better not ride blm for a little bit, un
til we see How he walks. You ride
sarly," be ventured.
"No earlier than you—swim." she re
piled briefly, glancing at his wet hair
and towel. He at once became noeoro
fortnbly conscious of „Ji1«\ rather un
kempt appearance. v, .,
"Ate you staylrig in'New Chelsea?"
"Shall you stay long?"
"Are you in the habit ,of cross ei
amlnlng strangers on the road?" she
He reddened. "I beg your pardon,
he MM and slackened bis pace to let
her draw ahead.
"1 think I'll ride now." she said, "tr
yon will help me up. Crusader has
He held out his hand, she placed a
foot io It and was lifted to the sad
dle. She murmured her thanks. But
although she gathered In the reins, she
did not start awny. For a moment she
sat looking at the bills, apparently ob
livious of the yoong man's presence
He wondered who she was and ven
tured again. "Why do you call him
8he looked down at him. "Another
question? Yon are Incorrigible.''
**lVbeg your pardon,'' be said again
and marched up the road.
have named blm that." she called
after him. "because he has pleuty of
fire and spirit, but at critical times
seems to lack common sen.se." She
laughed, a free, musical laugh that
somehow recalled the blood to bis
cheeks He made no reply.
She watched him as be swung along,
frankly admiring the tall, cleanly built
figure whose lines the loose coat he
wore did not conceal She remembered
the end of the big game eight years be
fore, when a laughing, mud stained
young athlete tore himself away from
bis idolatrous companions to lay his
triumph at the feet of the day's sweet
heart She remembered also, with a
smile, the stabbing childish jealousy
with wbicb a freckle faced, short
skirted girl had witnessed bis devotion
"And you're still here, burled alive
In this out of the way corner of the
world," she said softly. "Ob, John
Dunmeade! John "Dunmeade!"
Suddenly she touched, her horse witb
the crop. He bounded forward and
clattered along until the young man
was overtaken. She pulled Crusader
down to a walk, at wbicb the young
man looked up astonished. Curious as
to ber identity, but fearing another re
proof," he cautiously refrained from
Tbey went along in silence until they
reached a point where the undulating
road rose to command a view of the
•alley to the south and the town to
the north. She reined In ber horse.
"What a pity one can't find words
for such a morning! And the wonder
of it is ttfat it has recurred, we don't
know how many millions of times, al
"It makes one feel a bit—reverent"—
"It makes one feel as helpless as"—
She paused for lack, of a comparison.
"As helpless as some chick will soon
feel, unless the farmer's dog scares off
that hawk," he completed the sentence
for ber. pointing. Over a barnyard In
the valley the big bird was soaring
in narrowing, lowering circles.( From
beneath came faintly the cries of
frightened fowls. Suddenly the hawk
swooped low to the earth. Scarcely
pausing, it soared aloft once more,
leaving panic in the barnyard and one
chick the less.
The young woman laughed. "There's
an illustration of one fundamental
"The supremacy of the strong? That's
an .old theory, I know. A very pretty
one—from jhe point of view of the
hawk. But how about the chick?"
"Oh. if oue Is born a chick"— She
concluded the sentence witb a shrug
ftudeenly. With a Laugh, She Was Qene
Amid a Clatter of Heofe.
of her shoulders. "Strength is Its own
law. Hasn't the world always been
conquered and ruled by its strong?'*
•I'm afraid that is true," be said so
"Afraid! I should think you would
be glad, since-1 have it from the New
Chelsea Globe-yon are a strong
He looked his astonishment "Yo
know who I nmr
••Of course! Did you think, Mr.
Dnnmeade." -be laughed-^W you
think your chnrnw outwelgneq tno
young men oh the road butore 7 o'clock
In the morning."
"What did you read in the Globe?"
"The^.vanity of men! I read, 'Mr.
Dunmeade will undoubtedly make a
strong candidate. The entire county
wants him it will bave him.' It reads
like a pateut medicine advertisement,
doesn't it? How does'it feel to bt
wanted by an entire county, Mr. Dun
"It Is." he confessed, "rather pleas
ant—if true Who are yon?"
And suddenly, witb a laugh, she was
gone, amid a clatter of hoofs.
Alone he addressed the morning.
"She tutid I am strong. 1 wonder, am
I strong—strong enough?" And. search
ing tits soul for the answer, be beard
This chronicle, we neglected to state,
begins at tbe beginning of tbe end of
an epoch The epoch baa been vari
ously styled a golden age. a period of
prosperity, an era of expansion. It was
all of that—to a few. For others,
though they did not see It. It was a
recession, a truce in tbe struggle, old
as life itself, between tbe many and
William Murcbell was a distinguish
ed member of a class whose climbing
proclivities are not subdued by the in
cident of a lowly start. He was born
in the obscure hill town of New Chel
sea soon after Andrew Jackson and
bis contemporaries promulgated and Il
lustrated the immortal doctrine. "To
tbe victor belong the spoils" In the
fashion made popular by Abraham Lin
coln and other great men he secured
an education and on the dny he attain
ed his majority was admitted to the
practice of law in Benton county
AuC'1' *np "sine time he entered the
broader profession of politics, being
then a lukewarm Whig.
Hh military serrlces are perhaps
best dismissed with the mention of a
certain gold medal struck in his honor,
by special act of congress, for gallant
conduct on the field of battle The in
vidious have made much of this deco
ration. However, it probably required
a finer courage to resign from the colo
neley of his home guard regiment on
the eve of Gettysburg-this indeed was
the fact—to accept the less exposed of
flee of aid to the governor at the capi
tal than to face the hail of rebel bul
lets. There are many ways of express
ing one's patriotism Later he served
his country as prothonotary for. Benton
county Afterward he passed through
many gradations of political prefer
ment. as representative In tbe general
assembly of his state, as st.ite sena
tor, as state treasurer and Anally as
United States senator, which exalted
office he held until-but we anticipate
our history. He became in addition
leader of bis party organisation, an
euphemism employed by those who ob
Jected to the term "boss •.
William Murcbell's creed was that
of a respectable but practical man.
He was a teetotaler and a Presbyte
rian elder and believed in the doc
trine of foreordination and In a literal
scriptural bell for those not numbered
among tbe elect He believed devout
ly In the avowed and tacit principles
of his party, although he was not big
oted and would on ocensh take a se
cret hand in tbe affairs of tbe opposl
tlott. He had more than once read
out of tbe party foolhardy young men
who ventured to oppose bis leadership.
He lived during at least two months
of every year In the town of his bh*th
either In the square, white frame
house on Maple street or at the farm,
three miles west, which he let "on
shares" New Chelsea was a quaint,
old fashioned town lying at the head
of the Weehnnnock valley, quite con
tent witb its population of 5.000 nnd
with the honor of being the county
sent, which Murcbell's Influence had
prevented from being moved to Plum
ville. that thriving little factory city
fifteen miles away.
Down Main street one fine June aft
ernoon be was walking with fbat air
of abstraction wbicb sits so well on
"He bas big possibilities." Dncon
sclously tbe senator spoke aloud.
His companion seemed to under
stand tbe reference. "He's all right"
he answered. State Senator Jim
Sheehan was a big. fat gentleman with
furtive, twinkling eyes, a modicum of
coarse good looks and a rolling, cock
sure gait bred of no misfortune. He
was a son ot power. Fifteen years be
fore he bad gone to Plumville to work
In the mills, an uncouth, unlettered
Irishman, who could tell a good story,
bold unlimited quantities of liquor and
was not unwilling to work wben mon
ey could not be had otherwise.
But not long for him bad been tbe
grime and roar and muscle racking ot
the mills. Money could be had more
easily. Plumville was booming. There
were streets to be graded and paved
public buildings to be constructed. Jim
went into politics and because be was
good "rote getter" and bad a cer
tain rough talent for tbe game acquir
ed power. He opened a saloon and ac
quired more power. Be became a con
that Jim Sbeeban owned Its govern
ment The cltJsens cried out In pro
test-and. witb the habit of American
cities, little and big. submitted. Ue
became, by virtue of his alliance witb
Murcbell, state senator from Benton
county and leader-we cling to tbe
euphemism-of the county organisa
"He's all right" he repeated and
"Eh?" said Murcbell "Who's all
"Wby, Johnny Dunmeade. of course
Didn't tell yon how I happened to be
goin' to see htra 'stead of tbe other way
round It's a horse on me. all right"
He threw bnrk
Chuckle hers me a
convention**? am not a barbarian hi stord for him to come to my office last
of philosophising with
tractor and secured uwo,. eamtmctti campaign and the of
2 %L S 5 2. !l!-? 1 Uce according to my own notion, id
ran It straight"
"Surer agreed Sheehan.
"1 really mean It. you know," John
Tuesday at 2 o'clock sharp. Guess be
knew what for He came, all right I
thought It'd do blm good to cool bis
heels awbile-keep him from gettln'
too chesty. Guess be waited about
half an hour and then got up. 'Pre
sent my compliments to Senator Sbee
ban.' he suys to tbe boy, 'and tell blm
to go to the devil and learn bow to
keep his appointments,' and left. 'Long
•bout 3 o'clock I strolled out and gets
his message." Sbeeban paused long
enough to slap his thigh resoundingly.
"He's all rl bt. Ain't any one told me
to go to the devil for some time. He'll
be worth 500 extra mojority-to tbe
"If he'll take the nomination."
"Take If Of course he'll take It
Ain't there $1,500 a year in it for him?
And mebby when his term's ended be
might go to tbe legislature as repre
"Or state senator?'
Sheeh:in grinned. "Say. do I look
like 1 was on my way to the bone
He became serious. "What's the
matter with the people, anyhow? Rais
in' Cain all over ^tbe state—Just be
cause," he added complalnlngly, "one
trust company went up and tbe cashier
shot itself. Ain't business good?
Ain't tbe organization given them good
government?" he demanded.
"It has." Senator Murcbell spoke
"What do they want, then?'
"I don't know. Tbey don't know.
And as long as they don't know," Mur
cbell said dryly, "you and 1. Jim,
needn't be afraid"
They had reached and turned the
corner of the street that bounds the
court house square on the north They
stopped at a frame, two room shack
by the door of which hung a battered
tin .sijrn. "John Dunmeade. Attorney at
Law" Slicehnn led the way Inside
Through the door of the Inner room
came the muffled drone of voices. The
two men seated themselves In the I
passed Then the door opened and
John Dunmeade emerged, ushering out
a big. bearded farmer. When tbe cli
ent had left the young lawyer turned
to bis callers and shook bands, warmly
with Murchell and hastily witb Shee
"Will you step inside, gentlemen?"
& They took seats around the old.
time stained mahogany ta'de.
-"Well?" Dunmeade's look addressed
the remark to Senator Murchell.
The senator smiled slightly. "I'm
here only as an honorary vice presi
dent Ask Shceban He likes to talk."
"Sure," Sbeeban grinned. "I ain't
one of .them that 'believes tbe feller
that don't talk is deep and wise. He
gener'ly ain't tnlkln' because he can't
think of nothin to say." He paused
and continued. "Well. Mr. District Af
"Isn't that a little premature?" John
For answer tbe Honorable Jim drew
^farth from another pocket *a folded
newspaper, which be spread out on bis
knees. Solemnly he began to read:
"We should not dignify tbe present
rather unsettled political conditions
with the name crisis. But it is un
questionably a time when'our party
most inspect its path carefully: At
such a time it behooves it to choose
as candidates duly men wbose fear
lessness and honesty are not open to
question Benton county has this fall
to fill the important office of district
attorney. Of all those meutloned for
this post we know of none who so
well fills the bill as John Dunmeade.
tbe popular and brilliant young lawyer
of New Chelsea His name"—Sheehan's
voice rose to a triumphant climax—"bis
name bas brought forth enthusiasm
wherever mentioned. The entire coun
ty wants blm. It will bave blm." He
looked up. "What do you think of
"Wbicb of you," John asked, "In
spired that editorial?"
"I did." answered Sbeeban. "1
didn't write it though," be confessed.
"Don't you think." John demanded,
a little sharply, "you might have asked
my consent before using my name as a
candidate? Do I understand you've
come here to—to give me your consent
"We came to say we'd support you.
•Then let me state tbe case to yoq
as it Is. Tbe state is pretty much
worked up over that trust company
affair back east Pm not sure ft
oughtn't to be worked up, either. The
farmers In this county and- a good
many people in Plumville aren't very
friendly to you personally at best In
short" be laugbed. "yon heed some
new timber to patch up the old ship of
state. And you think I'll do."
Sheeban turned to Senator Murcbell
"Senator, let's me and you go right out
and resign and let Johnny here run
things. Don't you want tbe Job?" he
demnnded of John.
"I don't know yet. I'm thinking it
over. But ir I take it It will be on
—"that there are no conditions I'd
Insisted. "I might even bare to get
after you. Sheeban."
This to Sheeban was hnmoroiis mat
ter. 'That's all right." be agreed
again, grinning, "if you can catch me
Tou think It over, Johnny, and let me
He rose. "Well. I guess I must he
goln'. Are yon eomln' along, sens
"Not just now, Sbeeban." Senator
"I'll he snyln* good day. then."
Sbeeban shimfc hands with
Murchell and John and left
went to the window,
where be watched the politi
cian until tbe swaggering fig*
,ure disappeared around the
corner. Murcbell, with a faint twinge
at his heart, saw the distaste plainly
written on the young man's face. The
twinge was because tbe time had
come to grind his young friend through
the mills of tbe organization. The
senator, wbo set a low value upon
gratuitous services, proposed to make
tbe grinding process worth while to
the man wbo was to be ground. He
was already forming vague plans of
setting blm on the road to high po
litical station. Perhaps John might
even prove to be an FUsha. some day
to assume a fallen mantle.
To the portrait of the state leaner al
ready painted we may add that William
Murcbell was a bachelor, a matter for
which be Is not to be censured too se
verely, since be once made ao earnest
effort to repair tbe condition. His bad
been a very simple romance?^ He bad
loved, bad laid himself and his aspira
tions at the lady's feet and bad been
rejected. A short time afterward be
ambition, he quickly put an end to It
and gave himself to the climb to pow
er In time his romance was almost
Almost, for In later years some
times In a mellow hour be would
construct for himself a scene In which
a gentle faced woman with gray
green eyes sat across the hearth and
around them an indefinite number of
the second generation. In tbe scene
was always a pleasantly laughing
young man who peered out on the
world through eyes like his, mother's.
John returned to bis chair. Murchell
looked around at the dingy office. Over
the desk bung a calendar and another
faded, old fashioned print of Daniel
Webster. Save for this adornment
the walls were given over to calf and
sheep bound books—rows and rows set
upon plain pine shelves. Tbe old ma
hogany furniture, doubtless splendid
In its day, bad been battered and
scratched by many careless bands and
"Yon keep tbe old office just the
same, I see. I remember when your
grandfather built and furnished it"
"Yes I don't like to disturb things,
though Aunt Roberta thinks it's a fear
ful mess. Three generations of Dun
meades bave used this office just as
"I used to come here to borrow books
from your grandfather and talk poli
tics. He was a mighty* smart man.
He would have been governor during
the war if he badn't died. He gave
me my'start" v. *.,
"Yes," John said idly. "Senator"
he leaned forward abruptly—"what do
you think of Sheeban? Why don't you,
with all your power, put men like Shee
han out of politics?"
"Young man," Murcbell answered
dryly, "If I were strong enough to put
all tbe rascals out of politics I'd make
the Almighty jealous. Are you going
to take tbe nomination?"
"I bate to be under obligations to
"You won't be under obligations—to
"I don't want to be under obliga
tions"—John hesitated a moment—"to
you. Something might come up that
would make me seem ungrateful."
"I'll risk it"
"But I'm not sure I'm tbe kind of
man you want"
"I'll risk it" Murcbell repeated.
"But I don't think you understand."
John persisted. "I've been—bothered
a little lately about some things. That
trust company affair, for Instance—it
doesn't look right And then Sbeeban—
I can't quite stomach bis power. I
don't like to seem to criticise, senator,
but it looks to me as though the sys
tem that allowed that trust company
"affair must be wrong somewhere."
"Tut. tut young manT tbe senator
answered, a trifle testily. "Don't go
flying off at a tangent with harebrain
ed theories about perfect systems."
John snook His bead in troubled fash
ion. "I've got to figure that out In my
He pointed to the sleepy square. "You
won't want" to sit here looking out at
that all your life, if you're the man I
take you for. You'll, want to go out
and make your place—a big place—In
the life of men. If you do you can't
stop to bit every ugly head that pops
up In your path. And you've got to
make use of tbe. materials yon And.
Leave the things that don't look right
alone. They'll work themselves out In
the end. Tbey always have. And be
impersonal Make use of enemies and
Counsel to Laertes from an expert
stood with his best friend as tbe latter' bronchitis and other affections of the
took tbe same lady |n holy wedlock, throat, chest and lungs. Stops la
It is probable that he bad bis period |6riPPe' coughs .an4 has a healing and
of suffering: but as became a man of
«Kven your frlendshlpr Jean
ranted quickly, smiling.
"You'd be a fool If you didn't,"
occurred after Senator Mur-
ad or a
anteroom and waited Ten minutes l°hn Dunmeade, a young man ia whom
be thought be saw a masculine replica
ot the woman of his romance. The
senator's memory must bave been
good, for she had been dead many
years. He was seeing ber that June
Wm afraid." John nlghed-Tni
afraid I'm that kind of fool. I sopy
pose." be wept on, "I'm going to take
tbe ndminatlon. I do want to make a
place for myself In the big life of men.
But 1 want to earn It not seise It be
cause 1 am strong enough or bave it ^jg
given to me by some other wbo is
strong." He hesitated, then contin
used: "It sounds absurd, 1 know, but &$
something seems calling, compelling %f
me luto this. And I'm—I'm afraid I
have tbe feeling that I am facing A
something to wbicb 1 perhaps may not
be equal. Senator Mgrchell, 1 ask
you to tell me truly, hf there any rea
son why a man who iwants to come
through clean should not go into poll*,
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Murcbell looked out of the window
into the square thoughtfully. It was
a warm, listless day. There was noth
ing in .the peaceful. Indolent scene to
tell him that the serene* water* upon
which be had. sailed to power were to
become a seething, passion lashed fury
whose subsidence b« would never tee. ^rM.«..*» I W A
He knew only that tbe people, even- iSmmm I O A I
sad example of tbe Ingratitude of re- I a ~-e
pubMcsl-the people of Benton county, I I I I I I & I S I I I
were stirring restlessly, asking ques
tion and criticising answers. But that
would pass, as such ebullitions had al
rnll raior blada by
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