The Voice of the People eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 319 pages of information about The Voice of the People.

For reply he smiled and flung his arm about her.  “My darling girl, it’s one of the things that make life worth living,” he retorted.  “When I cease to laugh at you I’ll cease to love you—­and that’s a long way off.”

IV

The campaign which would decide the election of a United States Senator was warming to white heat.  On the last day of October Tom Bassett, dropping into Galt’s office, greeted him with the exclamation:  “So you’ve taken to the stump!”

Galt put aside his papers and rose with a laugh, holding out his hand.  “My dear fellow, may I ask where you have spent the last fortnight?  Is it possible that my oratorical fame has just penetrated to your retreat?”

Tom sat down, and taking off his hat, ran his hand through his hair with an exhausted gesture.  “Oh, I’ve been West.  I got back last night, and I’m off to New York in an hour.  So it’s a fact that you’ve been on the stump?”

“It is!  I don’t mean to allow the Webb men to do all the talking.  You heard about my joint debate with Diggs at Amelia Court-house, didn’t you?  That, my dear Tom, was the culminating point of my glorious career.  I squared him off as nicely as you please, and with no rough edges either.”

But Tom refused to be impressed.  “Oh, anybody could do up Diggs,” he said.  “I hear, however, that you had some hot words between you.”

Galt shook his head.  “Ah, the words were as nothing to the drinks that followed,” he sighed.  “Diggs mayn’t be much on speeches, but he’s great on cocktails.  It was a glorious day!” Then he grew serious.  “When he was fairly wound up I got a good deal out of him,” he said.  “We came down on the train together, and I found out that he was against Burr simply because the Webb men had told him that he pledged himself to them when he allowed them to send him to the Legislature.  It’s all rot, of course; his constituents are strong for Burr, but he’s a good deal of a fool, and Rann has put it into his head that he must do the ’honest thing’ by coming out for Webb.  He has a great idea of party honour, so out he’s come.”

“Rann’s a born organiser,” commented Tom.

“Ah, there’s where we aren’t even with him.  He and his assistants have been drilling their forces ever since he had that clash with Burr, and the discipline’s so good they are beginning to convince the people that the opinions of a dozen men represent the principles of the party.  What Burr aims at, of course, is to organise the mass of Democratic voters as effectively as Rann has organised the ring.”

“That’s a tough job,” said Tom, “but if it’s to be done, Burr’s the man to do it.  As it is, I haven’t a doubt that the majority is with us.”

“Well, I live in hope,” returned Galt easily.  “It seems to me there’s a clear chance of our having a good deal over half the votes in the caucus.  Now, grant that there’ll be a hundred and twenty regular Democratic votes—­”

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The Voice of the People from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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