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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

He said Kelton wrote a good deal on astronomical subjects


Owen telephoned me this morning of Professor Kelton's death. You probably read of it in to-day's papers. Mrs. Owen is an old friend of his, and went to Montgomery on the noon train. She asked me to meet the Professor's granddaughter, Miss Garrison, when she comes through here in the morning on her way home. I know her slightly, and I think I'd better go over to Montgomery with her, if you don't mind."

"Yes, certainly; I was sorry to read of Kelton's death. Mrs. Owen will feel it deeply. It's a blow to these old people when one of them drops out of the ranks. I'm glad the 'Courier' printed that capital sketch of him; much better than the 'Advertiser's.' While I think of it, I wish you would tell Atwill that I like the idea of saying a word editorially for these old citizens as they leave us. It gives the paper tone, and I like to show appreciation of fine characters like Kelton."

Bassett had turned round with a letter in his hand. He unfolded it slowly and went on, scanning it as he talked.

"I'm sorry I never knew Kelton. They say he was a very able mathematician and astronomer. It's rather remarkable that we should have kept him in Indiana. I suppose you may have seen him at Mrs. Owen's; they had a common tie in their Kentucky connections. I guess there's no tie quite like the Kentucky tie, unless it's the Virginian."

He seemed absorbed in

the letter--one of a number he had taken from his bag; then he glanced up as though waiting for Dan's reply.

"No, I never saw him at Mrs. Owen's; but I did meet him once, in Montgomery. He was a fine old gentleman. You would hardly imagine him ever to have been a naval officer; he was quite the elderly, spectacled professor in his bearing and manner."

"I suppose even a man bred to the sea loses the look of a sailor if he lives inland long enough," Bassett observed.

"I think my brief interview with him rather indicated that he had been a man of action--the old discipline of the ship may have been in that," remarked Harwood. Then, fearing that he might be laying himself open to questions that he should have to avoid answering, he said: "Kelton wrote a good deal on astronomical subjects, and his textbooks have been popular. Sylvia Garrison, the granddaughter, is something of a wonder herself."

"Bright girl, is she?"

"Quite so; and very nice to look at. I met her on the train when I went to Boston with those bonds in January. She was going back to college after the holidays. She's very interesting--quite different."

"Different?" repeated Bassett vaguely, dropping back in his chair, but again referring absently to the letter.

"Yes," Dan smiled. "She has a lot of individuality. She's a serious young person; very practical-minded, I should say. They tell me she walks through mathematics like a young duchess through the minuet. Some other Wellesley girls were on the train and they did not scruple to attribute miraculous powers to her; a good sign, other girls liking her so much. They were very frank in their admiration."

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