“What!” exclaimed the astounded Langdon. “Well, who in hades will vote for it because it’s for the good of the United States?” he gasped.
“I believe you will, Senator,” replied Haines, with ready confidence.
HOW SENATOR LANGDON GETS A SECRETARY
Langdon leaned over and seized the arm of his interviewer.
“See here, young man, why aren’t you in politics?” he said.
“Too busy, Senator,” replied Haines. “Besides, I like the newspaper game.”
“Game?” queried Langdon.
“Oh, I use the word in a general sense, Senator,” replied Haines. “Pretty much everything is a ’game’—society, politics, newspaper work, business of every sort. Men and women make ‘moves’ to meet the moves of other men and women. Why, even in religion, the way some people play a—”
The speaker was interrupted by the appearance of Hope Georgia, who was searching for her father.
“Stay here and listen to what a hard task your old father has got,” said the Mississippian to his daughter, whom he presented to Haines with a picturesque flourish reminiscent of the pride and chivalry of the old South. “He has the idea that those New Yorkers who read his paper would actually like to know something about me.”
Hope Georgia stole many glances at the reporter as he talked with her father. He made a deep impression on her young mind. She had spent almost all her life on the plantation, her father providing her with a private tutor instead of sending her to boarding-school, where her elder sister had been educated. Owing to the death of her mother the planter had desired to keep Hope Georgia at home for companionship. This good-looking, clean-cut, well-built young man who was taking so big and so active a part of the world’s work brought to her the atmosphere that her spirit craved. He gave one an impression of ability, of earnestness, of sincerity, and she was glad that her father approved of him.
Hope Georgia, by the same token, did not escape the attention of the interviewer. Her appealing charm of face and figure was accentuated by her daintiness and a fleeting suggestion of naivete in poise and expression when she was amused. His first glance revealed to Haines that her eyes were gray, the gray that people say indicates the possessor to have those priceless qualities—the qualities that make the sweetest women true, that make the maiden’s eyes in truth the windows of her soul, the qualities that make women womanly.
She sat close to her father, her hand in his, listening intently to the unfolding of a story of what to her was a mysterious world—the man’s world, the strong man’s world—which many a woman would give her all to enter and play a part therein.
“What else have you against a political career, Mr. Haines?” went on the Senator, taking up their conversation.