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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 220 pages of information about The Transgressors.

“How am I, a woman who knows nothing of politics or the principles of government, to decide a question that divides nations?

“What does all the advanced civilization of to-day amount to when it stands as a barrier to happy marriages?

“I cannot exchange places with a woman of the mining districts.  My life has been so different that I should be miserable.”

As she philosophises Ethel glances about her boudoir.  It is midnight.  From her open window a refreshing breeze comes from the sea.  Venetia, on the Long Island shore, where Gorman Purdy has built his palatial residence, is always fanned by ocean breezes.  On this particular night in August the moon shines full and bright.  It gives a soft tone to the luxurious apartment in which America’s richest heiress lies tossing restlessly on her bed.

“How impossible it would be for a miner’s wife to exchange places with me,” Ethel sighs.

“I am envied by every woman in the land.  And still I am unhappy; O, so unhappy.

“The fetters of wealth are as binding as those of poverty; they are not appreciated by the world, and those who wear them are never pitied.  If only Harvey is elected President, and my father’s fears are not verified, perhaps—­”

Ethel does not dare to express the hope that wells in her heart.

CHAPTER XVII.

OPENING THE CAMPAIGN.

A National Headquarters at the height of a Presidential election is of all places in the world the busiest.  Men there seem to concentrate the pent-up energy of four years in the four months that are devoted to the campaigning; they work day and night, regardless of sleep or food.  A few hours rest, taken when a momentary lull will permit, must suffice; a hurried meal must appease their appetite.  Meetings have to be arranged; funds distributed to the various committees; literature has to be prepared and distributed; doubtful districts need the attention of the ablest spell-binders; the movements of the opposing parties have to be met and counteracted.

Especially is the present campaign an exciting one.  The strain on old party lines has at length snapped.  The two leading parties in the West and South are disrupted.  While not utterly disorganized, the same parties have suffered serious disintegration in the manufacturing districts of the East.

On the virtual ruins of the effete political organizations, the spirit of the people finds utterance through the agency of the new party which chooses as its name the “Independence Party.”  Vitalized by the infusion in its body of the energetic and patriotic young men of the country, the new party sprang into the lists, as it were, full grown.  Its period of adolescence has been as rapid as the transit of a comet.  Yesterday it had not existed, even in the minds of dreamers; to-day, in the convention of one of the great political organizations an attempt

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