When Alfonso awoke, the ring of beaten gold was gone, where, he knew not. The tourist-coach was rumbling down the mountain road, and he joined it. After an inspection of his mines, he sadly left the Sierras for San Francisco.
The prophetic words of Mariposa, whispered among the pines, proved true. Alfonso again met Gertrude’s best friend, beautiful Mrs. Eastlake, now a young widow, and later he married her, making their home on Knob Hill, the most fashionable quarter of the city by the Golden Gate.
What is of more value to civilization, or what commands a greater premium in the world than successful leadership? Successful leaders are few, and the masses follow. Honor, fame, power, and wealth are some of the rewards of great leadership. The confidences bestowed and the responsibilities assumed are often very great. A betrayal of important trusts, or a failure to discharge responsibilities, usually brings swift and terrible punishment, poverty, prison, disgrace, and dishonor to descendants.
George Ingram had proved himself a successful leader, and those who knew him best, by study of his methods and his works, saw his capacity for leadership. Hence the popular demand for him to stand as candidate for mayor of Harrisville. His practical intelligence, and his acuteness in observation of character, had served him well in organizing, developing, and controlling the greatest model steel-plant of his generation, which for quality, quantity, and minimum cost of products had attracted the attention of manufacturers and scientists. Politicians soon discovered in George Ingram natural prudence and tact in behavior. The strong religious element of the city conceded that he possessed, as a certain doctor of divinity said, “a nice sense of what is right, just and true, with a course of life corresponding thereto.”
The alert women of the city were in hearty approval of conferring the honor of Mayor upon George Ingram. They knew that the completeness of his character resulted in no small degree from the influence of his gifted wife. The practical business men of the city saw that the proposed candidate for mayor had good common sense. So all party spirit was laid aside, as it should be in local politics, and George Ingram was nominated and elected unanimously as the mayor of Harrisville. His cabinet, composed of the heads of several departments, was filled with able men, who with zest took up their portfolios not with the thought of personal gain but with the lofty purpose of securing the utmost good to every citizen.
Fortunately the city had adopted the just principle of paying its servants liberally for all services rendered. By the so-called “Federal Plan” the number of members of the Cabinet, of the Board of Control, of the Council, and of the School Board, has been so reduced that at their meetings speeches and angry discussions were tabooed; each associate member was respected, if not on his own account, then on behalf of his constituency, and all business was discussed and consummated with the same courtesy and efficiency, as at a well regulated board of bank directors.