Of course, the League did not have such a big “barrel” as their opponents under Dorgan. But, at least they did have many willing workers, men and women, who were ready to sacrifice something for the advancement of the principles for which they stood.
In one part of the suite of offices which had been leased by the League, Carton had had assigned to him an office of his own, and it was to this office that he led us, after a word with the boy who guarded the approach to the door, and an exchange of greetings with various workers and visitors in the outside office.
We seated ourselves while Carton ran his eye through some letters that had been left on his desk for his attention.
A moment later the door of his office opened and a young lady in a very stunning street dress, with a pretty little rakish hat and a tantalizing veil, stood a moment, hesitated, and then was about to turn back with an apology for intruding on what looked like a conference.
“Good-morning, Miss Ashton,” greeted Carton, laying down the letters instantly. “You’re just the person I want to see.”
The girl, with a portfolio of papers in her hand, smiled and he quickly crossed the room and held the door open, as he whispered a word or two to her.
She was a handsome girl, something more than even pretty. The lithe gracefulness of her figure spoke of familiarity with both tennis and tango, and her face with its well-chiselled profile denoted intellectuality from which no touch of really feminine charm had been removed by the fearsome process of the creation of the modern woman. Sincerity as well as humour looked out from the liquid depths of her blue eyes beneath the wavy masses of blonde hair. She was good to look at and we looked, irresistibly.
“Let me introduce Professor Kennedy and Mr. Jameson, Miss Ashton,” began Carton, adding: “Of course you have heard of Miss Margaret Ashton, the suffragist leader? She is the head of our press bureau, you know. She’s making a great fight for us here—a winning fight.”
It seemed from the heightened look of determination which set Carton’s face in deeper lines that Miss Ashton had that indispensable political quality of inspiring both confidence and enthusiasm in those who worked with her.
“It is indeed a great pleasure to meet you,” remarked Kennedy. “Both Mr. Jameson and myself have heard and read a great deal about your work, though we seem never before to have had the pleasure of meeting you.”
Miss Ashton, I recalled, was a very clever girl, a graduate of a famous woman’s college, and had had several years of newspaper experience before she became a leader in the cause of equal suffrage.
The Ashtons were well known in society and it was a sore trial to some of her conservative friends that she should reject what they considered the proper “sphere” for women and choose to go out into life and devote herself to doing something that was worth while, rather than to fritter her time and energy away on the gaiety and inconsequentiality of social life.