The ten hundred are diminishing. It is like the banners of the auroral light. The ten hundred were there a moment ago. Now it is but a memory. No one is there. The street is so empty that a belated delivery wagon may rattle along, stopping at wrong houses to fix the number.
The orator speaks on. He weeps and he thunders.
Hasten out on that balcony, Richard Tarbelle, and stop this scandal! Lead that demented orator in! Pluck him by the sleeve! Pluck harder!
“The voice of the people, my fellow-citizens,” cries the people’s idol, “is the voice—is the voice of God.”
“God, and Holy Mary, and the sweet angels!” comes a low, keening cry from the kitchen.
LYNCH-LAW FOR CORKEY
It is a month after the election. Lockwin has been out of bed for a week.
“You astound me!” cries Dr. Tarpion.
The doctor is just back from his mine in Mexico. The doctor has climbed the volcano of Popocatapetl. His six-story hotel in Chicago is leased on a bond for five years. He has a nugget of gold from his mine. His health is capital. He is at the mental and physical antipodes of his friend. Talk of Mexican summer resorts and Chicago real estate is to the doctor’s taste. He is not prepared for Lockwin’s recital.
“Your Davy, my poor fellow, had no constitution. Mind you, I do not say he would have died had I remained at my office. I do not say that. Of course, it was highly important that his stomach should be preserved. You fell in the hands of a Dr. Flod—let me see our list. Why, by heavens! his name is not down at all!”
Dr. Floddin’s name is not in the medical peerage. Dr. Floddin, therefore, does not exist.
“Well, David, let us speak of it no more. You were entrapped. How about this Congress? I tell you that you must go. You must do exactly as our leader directs.”
Lockwin is elected, and he is not. He received the most votes, but great frauds were openly perpetrated. Without the false votes Corkey would have been elected. There is to be a contest in the lower House. The majority of the party in the House is only three, with two republicans on sick beds in close districts.
Interest in the Chicago affair is overshadowing. The President’s private secretary has commissioned the Chicago political boss to fix it up.
Corkey is an unknown factor. The boss assures the administration that the district would be lost if Corkey should win.
What does Corkey want?
“I was elected,” says Corkey.
“You don’t carry the papers,” answers the boss.
“I just made you fellers screw your nut for 2,000 crooked votes,” says Corkey.
“None of your sailors had the right to vote,” says the boss. “Now, here, Corkey, you are going to lose that certificate. It doesn’t belong to you, and we’ve got the House. Here’s a telegram from a high source: ‘Lockwin must get the election at all hazards. See Corkey.’ I’ll tell you what you do. You and Lockwin go on and see the President.”