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PROLOGUE OF THE 8TORY.
Tbcliamer Thornton, locally known "Duke of Caniban," for fifty years boss of his district, plans to retire and send his grandson, Harlan, to the leg Is la tare as his successor. The reform ers in his district, who are called "Bamrodders," endeavor to defeat Harlan for the nomination. They are led by Irus Niles, Evangelist Dudley lid others. Harlan la unwilling to be ft candidate, bnt his grandfather In sists. Harlan and Miss Clare Eara nagh are very much interested in each other, and Thornton and Clare's fa ther try to break up this intimacy. The reformers are In control of the caucus, bnt -Thornton's followers stam pede them by starting a forest fire and during their absence nominate Harlan for the legislature. Harlan helps sub due the fire, learns of his nomination and tells his grandfather that he will flee line it because it was dishonestly procured. However, the duke gets him to run for the office, settles with farmers who lost by the forest fire and practically assumes management of the whole Btate campaign. Harlan meets Clare, who, gowned and gloved, looks more mature. Thornton and Harlan pay a secret visit to ex-Governor Waymouth and get him to accept the nomination for governor in order to beat Arba Spinney. Harlan meets pretty Made leine Presson. Waymouth startles Thornton and other leaders by insist ing upon writing his own platform and upon a rigid enforcement of the prohibitory law. They refuse to nom inate him. Harlan deserts his grand father and supports Waymouth. Har lan and Lawyer Linton call upon Way mouth. Arba Spinney's Plight. B OYS," General Waymouth continued, "I want you to Linton raised his hand to gain the general's attention. "I ask your pardon for interrupting, general," said Linton manfully, "but I want to be as square with you as I can. Interests that belong to others will suffer, if 1 continue with you. things being as they are. I make haste to speak before you tell me any more. I ask to be released." "As a soldier I might question a res ignation on tbe eve of battle, but as a politician I waat no half heartedness In my ranks. Good day, Mr. Linton." He stood very erect, and his air ad mitted no further explanation. Lin ton bowed and went out of the room. "There is no half heartedness here!" cried Harlan passionately. "Is there anything I can do, General Way mouth?" "Go and bring Arba' Spinney to this room at once. Understand the situa tion before you go. I have already sent men for him. He has refused to come. Tell him this is his last op portunity to save himself from such deep disgrace that it will drive him from his state. I wish I could tell you to take him by the collar and lug him here. I venture to say you have the muscle, young man. But minutes are valuable bring him." Harlan hurled away. Mr. Spinney was not in evidence in the parlor of his suit, but Harlan heard his tre mendous voice in the bedroom. That voice could not be softened, even in an exigency. Several men whom Harlan recog nized as members of the state com mittee were seated near the door, and when ne approached to knock one of them informed him that Mr. Spinney was too busy to be seen. "Is Mr. Spinney afraid of visitors?" demanded the young man. - His. mien impressed the men. They knew that he was Thelismer Thornton's grand son. They conversed amcng them selves in whispers. Without waiting and before they could stay him he flung open the door. "Mr. Spinney. I have been sent to bring you with me instantly. Will you come?" - "Where?" "It's a matter for your ear, sir. But you must come." He propelled his man toward the door, and Mr. Spinney went. It is likely that he concluded that no very serious damage could come to him in the presence of Thelismer Thornton's grandson. But when they arrived near the dofcr of General Waymouth's par lor Spinney recognized what it meant and resisted. "It's a trap!" he gasped. "I thought your grandfather" t9S Copyright, 1910, by tltrper Brothers. The state committeemen were follow ing along the corridor, growling threats. Now they understood that this was practically an abduction. They has tened up to the scene of the struggle. But the young man was not deterred. He was obeying orders without ques tion. At that moment Thelismer Thornton appeared in the corridor. "Let the boy alone," he commanded, thrusting himself among them. The diversion gave Harlan his op portunity. Clutching Spinney with one hand, he threw open the door and pushed him in, followed him and closed the door. He locked it and stood with his back against it, for fists began to hammer at it. Spinney looked around him and start ed toward the door. "I've got witnesses to that assault, and you're going to suffer for it," he blustered. Harlan did not give way. v"Y'ou can't leave here yet, Mr. Spin- . y not until General Waymouth fin ishes his business with you." The general had viewed Mr. Spin ney's headlong arrival with astonish ment. He stepped forward to the cen ter of the room. There was a note in his voice that quelled th.e man as much as had Harlan's resolute de meanor at tbe door. "Spinney, it will be better for you if you listen." The candidate turned to face him, apprehensive and defiant at the same time. The panels' of the door against which Harlan leaned were jarred by beating fists. Harlrn heard the voice of his grandfather outside, calling to him impatiently. A moment more and Chairman P-esson added a more wrathful admonition to open. "Mr. Thornton, will you kindly in form those people at the door that this is my room and that I command them to withdraw?" directed General Waymouth. Harlan flung the door open and filled the space with the bulk of his body. Both parties stood revealed to each other, the young man dividing them a .id disdaining intrenchments. "What kind of a crazy headed, lum berjack performance are you perpe trating here?" demanded the elder Thornton. "You're not handling Ca nucks today, you young hyena!" "This is a scandal a disgrace to this convention:" thundered Presson. He started to come in, but Harlan barred the doorway. "Do you want any of these gentle men inside, general?" he asked. "Neither Mr. Presson, nor Mr. Thorn ton, nor any of tbe rest," declared Waymouth. "And I want that, dis turbance at my door stopped." "You hear that!" cried the defender of the pass. "Now, Mr. Presson, if you Intend to disgrace this conven tion by a riot, it's up to you to start it. I'm keeping this door, and I'm man enough for all the pot bellied poli ticians you can crowd into this cor ridor. And if there's any more ham mering here, I'll step out and show you." He slammed the door, locked it, and set his shoulders against the panels. 'Luke, keep away," counseled The lismer. "The boy is just plain lum berjack at the present moment, and he's a hard man in a scrap. We can't afford to have a scene." Inside Spinney faced the general, blinking, doubtful, sullen. The old soldier knew how to attack. He flung his accusation with fierce di rectness. "Spinney, you have sold out. You're a traitor. And you're a thief as well, for you've sold what . didn't belong to you. You solicited honest men in the name of reform to put their cause into your hands. It was a trust. You've sold it." "I'll prosecute you for slander!" roar ed the candidate. He hoped his defi ance would be beard by those outside. The general shook papers at him. "Last night, or, rather, this morning at 1 o'clock, to be exact, you met Luke Presson and members of tbe ' state committee and for $2,000 paid to you in hundred dollar bills you agreed to pull out. The secret was to be kept until it should be time for the nomi nating speeches to be made on the floor of the convention today. I have here affidavits signed by responsible parties who heard the entire transac tion." It was accusation formal, couch ed in cold phrases, without passion. Spinney started. The perspiration began to stream down his face. But in spite of the staggering blow the fight was not out of him. He thought quickly, reassuring himself by the rec ollection tt.St his bedroom door had been locked, and men were on guard in his parlor. There could have been no eavesdroppers. This must be a bluff. "That's a lie!" he shouted. "Don't you bellow at me, sir! I'm not trying to extort any confession. But you're wasting time denying. I'm sure of my ground. The god of good chance lodged you in the traitor's room' last night, Mr. Spinney." The man stared at him, frightened, not understanding. "There's a false door and a slide in the wall of that bedrom. Spinney, and the old politician, who put it there years ago t assed the knowledge on to me. I'm willing every one should know it now. When you go back I will have It shown to you. It will convince you that these affidavits I hold in my hand are not guesswork. Look at them and deny deny once more. Spinney." But the candidate had no voice now. He glanced furtively from face to face. "Spinney," one declared bitterly, "we've got you dead to rights. There ain't any use in squirming. We sus pected you when you hid away from us, and General Waymouth put us in the way of finding out just who was with you. You might aswell give in." The general did not wait for Spin ney to speak. He was in no mood then for listening. He was in com mand. He was issuing orders. The battle was on, and he was in the sad dle. "I propose to have your name go be fore the convention. Spinney. You must walk out of this room and deny "It's a trap!" he gasped. the rumors that are afloat. I propose to have two of these men go with you and stay with you. And if yen deny khalf heartedly or if you attempt any more sneak tricks or if your name is not put into nomination today I'll stand out and declare what is in these affidavits. If you want to save your self and tbe men who bribed you, obey my orders." "I don't understand why yon want me to go ahead now," Spinney ventur ed to protest. "And I don't propose to take 'you- into my confidence enough, sir, to in form you. J simply Instruct you to do as I say, and if you obey 1 and these men here will do all we can to cover up this nasty mess In our party. It's in your hands .whether you go to jail or not." The general signaled to Harlan, and the young man opened the door. Spin ney went out with his watchful guard ians. "Now yon ought to be able to hold your men together until we need them, gentlemen," said the general, address ing those who remained. "Bnt you'd better get out among them and see that they staj la line. Defend Spin- ney! The words will stiek in your ; throats, but show a bold front to the other side. Gather in your stragglers." They filed out, plain and stolid indi viduals from the rural sections. Harlan was left alone with the gen eraL "There go the kind that the dema gogues always catch, Mr. Thornton. The demagogues understand human nature. They prey on the radicals who will follow the man who promises sets class against class and eternally promises: promises the jealous ascet ics to deprive other men of the indul gences they seem to enjoy; promises to correct things for tbe great majority which dimly understands that things are out of Joint in their little affairs and as dimly hope that laws and rulers can correct those things and make the Income cover the grocery bills. Spin ney had them" by the ears, that he did! But the knave was shrewd enough to understand that the machine would probably whip him in convention. They used my name to scare him into selling out threatened to stampede the convention for me. That's why I'm so angry." "Let me ask you something, general. It was. Spinney, was it. Spinney and the kind I've seen training with him in this thing, that stirred up the oppo sition in this state the kind of opposi tion we found at our Fort Canibas cau cus?" . . . "From all reports, yes. I know some of the agents that have been working in the state. The men behind have hid den themselves pretty well, and I'm not exactly certain where their money is coming from. But I suppose the liquor interests are putting, in consid erable, as usual." 'The liquor interests! Backing re formers?" The general smiled. "In case of doubt you'll find the liquor interests on both sides, for the saloons- are to be tolerated and pro tected or they are to be persecuted the program depends on the men who get control. So the big rumsellers ca ter to both sides." "Isn't there any decency anywhere. in any man, General Waymouth, when he gets mixed into such things?" "Don't lose your faith that way, my boy. You see, I'm even playing a few political tricks myself. Your grand father is more than half right. We have to play the game. But I'm try ing a last experiment with human na ture before I die. Young man, this state is in a condition of civil war over this infernal liquor question, There's no common ground for a de cent and honest man to stand on be tween that Is, he's too much disgust ed with both sides to join either. I want to see whether there's good sense enough in this state to take the thing out of the hands of the fanatics so that we can get results that decent men can subscribe to results instead of the ruin and rottenness we're in now." He stopped suddenly with a word of apology. "You mustn't think I'm inflicting a rehearsal of my inauguration speech on you, Mr. Thornton. I talked more than I intended. But my feelings have been deeply stirred this. morning. We'll be going along to the hall, npw, you and I. It's near the hour. I want to be the next governor of this state he smiled wistfully "so you and I will go out and hunt for enough hon est men to make me governor." The hotel was pretty well deserted as they walked down the stairs and through the lobby. "Ours doesn't seem to be the largest parade of the day, Mr. Thornton," said the veteran mildly when they were on the street, "but we'll see we'll see!" The Shepherd and the Sheep. f IKE a beacon marking shoals, 11 f I Thelismer Thornton stood at il -wui I the head of the broad granite Masaal steps that led up to the con vention hall. General Waymouth and Harlan came up the steps together. He swung between them and went along into tbe hall. From open doors and windows "band music blared, welded with the roar of 2,000 voices, each man shouting his conversation to be heard above his neighbors. -It still lacked ten minutes of the hour set for the opening of the convention. ' Under the cover of the uproar as they walked along the duke delivered some very vigorous opinions to his grandson, expressing himself as to the latter's state of intellect, judgment and general fitness to be allowed loose among men. "You're too righteous altogether! I've been easy and patient with you, but I don't propose to stand at one side now and see you ruin yourself politically. Why are you letting the boy do it, Varden?" he demanded, turning on the general. "You're old enough to know better. He's no help to you now. supposed I had a-grandson until yon got hold of him!" "You've still got a grandson, bnt yon haven't got a political tool to use in prying open a new governorship deal every fifteen minutes," declared the young man. "You took me to General Waymouth, you pledged me to him I pledged myself to him. I don't pro pose to discuss this matter any fur ther. I'm my own man when it comes to politics!" ' "Thelismer, I wouldn't say any more Just now," suggested the general. "You are angry, and I've told you many times in past years that your judgment Lis not good when you are angry. But this is no place for talking these mat ters!" The curious had already begun to throng about' them. General Way mouth was a marked figure in a gath ering. The early buzz that greeted his k first appearance in tbe hall grew loud er and louder and swelled Into an- up- roar es delegates, turned in larger num bers and recognized him. The vast body of the auditorium was crowded with men. Posts supporting huge placards indicated the division of delegates into counties. Tbe gen eral's own county was nearest the door by which he had entered. At a call from some one these delegates climbed upon their settees. They gave three cheers for him. It was a spontaneous tribute to the one great man of the state, their county's favorite son. The word passed rapidly. Other counties came to their feet. The band. was playing, the early enthusiasm of the day was fresh, men had not had opportunity to exercise their voices till then, and as the general passed down the side aisle of the hall he was cheer ed by every delegation. Harlan fol lowed him closely, and the duke was at their heels. Kvery man in the hall saw the Hftle group. It seemed emi nently fit that Thelismer Thornton should escort General Waymouth. But the duke did not realize that the gen eral was shrewdly using that opportu- "Spinney, eh?" he blazed. nity of displaying Thornton, the elder. in his retinue. The accident fitted with some plans of his own. "How do you like the sound of that. grandfather?" Harlan flung over his shoulder. "There's no politics in that, you young fool. A hoorah isn't a nomina tion." But he could not hide from himself the plain fact that Varden Waymouth was a tremendously strong figure in state affairs. , There was sincerity behind that out burst. Eyes glistened. Faces glowed with admiration and respect. The duke wondered bitterly how much of that extraordinary tribute was inspir ed by the publicity work for which the state committee had spent its good money. The general led the way in at the side door that admitted to the stage. He was on familiar ground. Behind the stage there were several ante rooms. He appropriated an empty one, hanging his hat on a hook. "Not an elaborate layout for a can didate, Thelismer," he remarked pleas antly, "but headquarters today is where we hang up our hat." "Yard, you don't mean to tell me seriously, at this hour that you mean to be a candidate?" Thornton had put aside his anger. That had been bitter and quick ire, because his grandson had- seemed so blind to his own per sonal Interests. There was solicitude now in the old man's air. "I got you into this myself," he went on. "I coaxed yon in, for the situation was right and ripe. You kicked it over yourself. I haven't any compunctions, Yard. I stayed with you just as long as I could stay. But I'll be dod -J i na med if I'll shove a governor onto my party that's a hybrid of Socialist and angel. Now, you can't swing this thing. Everett's got it buttoned. I tell you be has! You're too big a man today to get before that convention and be thrown down. I've got a better line on the sit uation than you have. Yard, let's not have this come up between us at our time of life. It's bad it's bad!" "It is bad," returned the general quietly, "but not for me! And it's too late to stop. I'm going through with it, Thelismer." There was dignity a finality of de cisionthat checked further argument. Thornton shifted his gaze from Way mouth to his grandson, started to say more, snapped his Jaws shut and walk. ed away. - The door of the anteroom afforded a view across the stage. Tbe honr had arrived. The secretary of the state committee appeared from the wings and waited until the delegates were in their seats and quiet. He read the call, and then the temporary organization was promptly effected, the tagged dele gates popping up here aial there and making the motions that had been in trusted to them. A clergyman invoked divine blessing, beseeching that tbe delegates would be guided by the higher will In their de liberations. After the prayer the routine proceed ed hurriedly. For five minutes the convention seemed to be in a state of riot"" Men were bellowing and yelp ing and standing on settees. The coun ties were holding simultaneous cau cuses for the purpose of selecting each Its vice president of convention, its state committeeman and member of the committee on resolutions, the reso lutions then reposing in the breast pocket of the Hon. Luke Presson. The secretaries were announced, the temporary organization was made per manent, and, advancing against a blast of band music and a salvo of applause. Senator-Chairman Pownal began his address. Now," remarked General Way mouth grimly, "I am ready to open headquarters in earnest. My boy. In that anteroom across the stage you'll find your grandfather and Mr. Presson and certain members of the state com mittee. David Everett will be there too. Inform them I sent my urgent request that they meet at once the Hon. Arba Spinney and a delegation in my room here. I think that combina tion will suggest to guilty consciences that they'd better hurry. If they show any signs of hesitating you may Inti mate as much to them." The plain and stolid men came in just then. They brought Mr. Spinney through the side door. The unhappy conspirator, jostled by his bodyguard. was near collapse. He was now traitor to both sides. Circumstances hemmed him in. But more than he feared the recriminations of Luke Presson and his associates he feared the papers in the breast pocket of Varden Way mouth. Harlan did not knock at the ante room door; he tvalked in,, and for a moment he thought that the enraged chairman was about to' leap at his throat. . Spinney, eh?" he blazed at the young man's first word. "Explain to me, Mr. Thornton, what is meant by your assault on a decent and honest citizen. What do you mean by team ing him from the hotel to this conven tion hall with a bodyguard to insult men who have business with him?" The question was a confession that the chairman bad been unable to get at ' the political property he had paid dearly . for. It indicated that he sus pected but did not realize fully how, deeply Spinney was in the toils. General Waymouth Is waiting to explain, sir. He's across the stage there. And Mr. Spinney is with him. I'd advise you to hurry." I don't need any of your advice. II you've got him on exhibition at last where the public can be admitted I' can't get there any too quick." . He rushed out, charging like a bull. and the others followed. Young Thorn ton waited till all had entered the general's anteroom and again took his post as guard on the inside of the door. General Waymouth checked Presson at the first yelp of the outburst with which he had stormed into the room. Gentlemen, I haven't called you here for the purpose of arguing or wrangling. You'll waste time by try ing to do either. You are here to lis ten to what must be done. You repre sent the warring factions. There are enough of us to straighten the matter out. There are not so many that the secret of this shameful mess cannot be kept and our party saved at the1 polls." He paused to draw the fateful docu ments from his pocket. In the hush of the little room they heard Senator Pownal declaiming, "And it is upon these firm principles. bedrock of inalienable rights guaran teed to the people, upon the broad is sues of reform, inculcation of temper ance and the virtues of civic life that the Republican party is founded." Harlan, at the door, younger than tbe rest, found a suggestion of humor in what the orator was saying com pared with what the party managers had met to hear. But there were no smiles on the faces of the group. I have here five affidavits from eye witnesses, swearing that Arba Spinney was bribed to sell out his faction at the last moment today, leaving only David Everett in the field." He bran dished the papers under the nose of Presson, who attempted to speak. "I do not propose to have my intelligence insulted by denials from you or any one else. If you don't believe I have full proof of what I charge you walk out of that door and put tbe matter to the test! And I hasten to assure yon. sir, that you'll be eternally disgraced! He waited a moment, because a roar of applause that greeted one of Sena tor Pownal's utterances resounded even in the remote anteroom. "It all means, gentlemen, that Im to be the nominee of this convention to day. It's time for a cleanup, and I'm going to start one. The men who are running our party are not fit to be la charge of it. The voters .deserve a bet ter show. I've called you here to give you an opportunity to save yourselves personally. I'm willing to submit to a little byplay for that purpose. You are to allow Spinney's name to go before the convention, according to the regu lar program. That's to divert the at tention of the convention and the state at large from what otherwise would seem a split in tbe recognized manage ment of the party. Then, you gentle men of the state committee, each la his county delegation, are to start demonstration In my behalf. This la no time for me to be mock modest. On tbe heels of that demonstration Everett's name is to be withdraw with the explanation that such an ap parently spontaneous demand from the voters should be recognized. Mr. Ev erett is to declare that under the cir cumstances he does not wish to stand in the way of popular choice, and he is to announce that much and present me to the convention. I assure yon, Mr. Everett, that I ask this last with no intent of wounding your feelings or indulging In cheap triumph it Is neces sary in order that the months of pollt cial gossip may be shut." A rather stupid silence followed that declaration of program. The voice of the senator rose and fell without. ITe be continued.