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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

Harwood struck his hands together sharply


"I

dare say they were!" snapped Harwood, searching the youngster's thin, sensitive face, and meeting for an instant his dreamy eyes. He was touched anew by the pathos in the boy, whose nature was a light web of finespun golden cords thrilling to any breath of fancy. The superb health, the dash and daring of a school-girl that he had seen but once or twice, had sent him climbing upon a frail ladder of romantic dreams.

Harwood struck his hands together sharply. If he owed a duty to Marian and her family, not less he was bound to turn Allen's thoughts into safe channels.

"Of course it wouldn't do--that sort of thing, you know, Allen. I didn't mean to beat you into the dust. Let's go over to Pop June's and get some oysters. I don't feel up to our usual boarding-house discussion of Christian Science to-night."

At the first opportunity Dan suggested to Bassett, without mentioning Marian's adventure with Allen, that the Whitcomb was no place for her, and that her pursuit of knowledge under his own tutorship was the merest farce; whereupon Bassett sent her back immediately to Miss Waring's.

CHAPTER XIV

THE PASSING OF ANDREW KELTON

Andrew Kelton died suddenly, near the end of May, in Sylvia's senior year at college. The end came unexpectedly, of

heart trouble. Harwood read of it in the morning newspaper, and soon after he reached his office Mrs. Owen called him on the telephone to say that she was going to Montgomery at once, and asking him to meet Sylvia as she passed through Indianapolis on her way home. Both of the morning papers printed laudatory articles on Kelton; he had been held in high esteem by all the friends of Madison College, and his name was known to educators throughout the country.

On the same afternoon Bassett appeared in town on the heels of a letter saying that Dan need not expect him until the following week.

"Thought I'd better see Fitch about some receiver business, so I came down a little ahead of time. What's new?"

"Nothing very exciting. There's a good deal of political buzz, but I don't believe anything has happened that you don't know. From the way candidates are turning up for state office our fellows must think they have a chance of winning."

Bassett was unfailingly punctilious in forecasting his appearances in town, and his explanation that legal matters had brought him down was not wholly illuminative. Dan knew that the paper-mill receivership was following its prescribed course, and he was himself, through an arrangement made by Bassett, in touch with Fitch and understood the legal status of the case perfectly. As Bassett passed through the library to his own room he paused to indulge in a moment's banter with Miss Farrell. It was not until he had opened his desk that he replied to Harwood's remark.

"A few good men on our ticket might pull through next time, but it will take us a little longer to get the party whipped into shape again and strong enough to pull a ticket through. But hope springs eternal. You have noticed that I don't talk on national affairs when the reporters come to me. In the state committee I tell them to put all the snap they can into the county organizations, and try to get good men on local tickets. When the boys out West get tired of being licked we will start in again and do business at the old stand. I've always taken care that they shouldn't have a chance to attack my regularity."

"I've just been reading a book of Cleveland's speeches," remarked Dan.


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