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Harold MacGrath
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 257 pages of information about Half a Rogue.
worldly enough to know that Mrs. Franklyn-Haldene was not the kind of woman to keep such a scandal under lock and key; others must know, Mrs. Franklyn-Haldene’s particular friends.  So she avoided the possibility of meeting these friends by declining all invitations of a formal character.  Perhaps after a time it would die of its own accord, to be recalled in after years by another generation, as such things generally are.  Patty derived no comfort from the paragraph in the Sunday papers announcing Mrs. Franklyn-Haldene’s departure for Egypt, to remain for the winter.

She kept in touch with all that Warrington did.  The sense of shame she had at first experienced in reading his speeches was gone.  Her pride no longer urged her to cast aside the paper, to read it, to fling it into the flames.  Sometimes she saw him on the way home from his morning rides.  It seemed to her that he did not sit as erectly as formerly.  Why should he? she asked herself bitterly.  When the heart is heavy it needs a confidante, but Patty, brave and loyal, denied herself the luxury of her mother’s arms.  Tell her this frightful story?  Bow that proud, handsome head?  No.

“It is very strange,” mused her mother, one evening, “that Mr. Warrington calls no more.  I rather miss his cheerfulness, and John thinks so much of him.”

Patty shivered.  “He is very busy, mother.  Election is only three days off, and doubtless he hasn’t a minute to call his own.”

Nor had he.  Pulled this way and that, speaking every night, from one end of the city to the other, he went over the same ground again and again, with the same noise, the same fumes of tobacco and whisky and kerosene, with his heart no longer behind his will.  Yes, Warrington was very busy.  He was very unhappy, too.  What did he care about the making up of the slate?  What was it to him that this man or that wanted this or that berth?  What were all these things?  But he hid his dissatisfaction admirably.  His speeches lacked nothing.

Election day came round finally, and a rare and beautiful day it was.  The ghost of summer had returned to view her past victories.  A west wind had cleared the skies, the sun shone warm and grateful, the golden leaves shivered and fluttered to the ground.  Nature had lent a hand to bring voting humanity to the polls.  Some men are such good citizens that they will vote in the rain.  But warmth and sunshine bring out the lazy, the indifferent, and the uninterested.

Warrington voted early in the morning, rode to the Country Club, made an attempt to play golf over the partly frozen course, lounged round till three in the afternoon, and then returned to town.  There was not a flutter in his heart.  There was this truth, however, staring him in the eyes:  if he lost, he would become an indifferent citizen; if he won, an in different mayor.  He was not a man to falsify his accounts for the inspection of his conscience.

The voting was heavy throughout the day.  Crowds lingered round the polls, which, in greater part, were in the rear of shops, in barns and sheds.  There was a good deal of repeating in some of the districts, and a dozen arrests had been made.  Neither party was free from this taint of dishonest politics.  But no one could prophesy what the final results of the day would be.

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