When the door had closed, the lawyer wrote a brief note which he placed in his pocket, and dropped later into a letter-box with his own hand. Mr. Fitch, of the law firm of Wright and Fitch, was not in the habit of acting as agent in matters he didn’t comprehend, and his part in Harwood’s errand was not to his liking. He had spoken the truth when he said that he knew no more of the nature of the letter that had been carried to Professor Kelton than the messenger, and Harwood’s replies to his interrogatories had told him nothing.
Many matters, however, pressed upon his attention and offered abundant exercise for his curiosity. With Harwood, too, pleased to have for the first time in his life one hundred dollars in cash, the incident was closed.
HOME LIFE OF HOOSIER STATESMEN
In no other place can a young man so quickly attain wisdom as in a newspaper office. There the names of the good and great are playthings, and the bubble reputation is blown lightly, and as readily extinguished, as part of the day’s business. No other employment offers so many excitements; in nothing else does the laborer live so truly behind the scenes. The stage is wide, the action varied and constant. The youngest tyro, watching from the wings, observes great incidents and becomes their hasty historian. The reporter’s status is unique. Youth on the threshold of no other profession commands the same respect, gains audience so readily to the same august personages. Doors slammed in his face only flatter his self-importance. He becomes cynical as he sees how easily the spot light is made to flash upon the unworthiest figures by the flimsiest mechanism. He drops his plummet into shoal and deep water and from his contemplation of the wreck-littered shore grows skeptical of the wisdom of all pilots.
Harwood’s connection with the “Courier” brought him in touch with politics, which interested him greatly. The “Courier” was the organ of the Democratic Party in the state, and though his father and brothers in the country were Republicans, Dan found himself more in sympathy with the views represented by the Democratic Party, even after it abandoned its ancient conservatism and became aggressively radical. About the time of Harwood’s return to his native state the newspaper had changed hands. At least the corporation which had owned it for a number of years had apparently disposed of it, though the transaction had been effected so quietly that the public received no outward hint beyond the deletion of “Published by the Courier Newspaper Company” from the head of the editorial page. The “policy” of the paper continued unchanged; the editorial staff had not been disturbed; and in the counting-room there had been no revolution, though an utterly unknown man had appeared bearing the title of General Manager, which carried with it authority in all departments.