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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

Like the mysterious person from Pulaski


old Uncle Ike," howled some one encouragingly, and there was laughter and applause. With superb dignity Mr. Pettit appealed for silence with gestures that expressed self-depreciation, humility, and latent power in one who would, in due course, explain everything. A group of delegates in the rear began chanting stridently, "Order! Order!" and it was flung back antiphonally from a dozen other delegations.

Mr. Harwood became active and climbed upon his chair. Gentlemen in every part of the hall seemed at once anxious to speak, but the chairman was apparently oblivious of all but the delegate from Marion. The delegate from Marion, like the mysterious person from Pulaski, was a stranger to state conventions. The ladies were at once interested in the young gentleman with the red carnation in his buttonhole--a trim young fellow, in a blue serge suit, with a blue four-in-hand knotted under a white winged collar. As he waited with his eye on the chairman he put his hand to his head and smoothed his hair.

"Is Daniel going to speak?" asked Mrs. Owen. "He ought to have asked me if he's going to back Edward Thatcher for Senator."

"I always think his cowlick's so funny. He's certainly the cool one," said Marian.

"I don't know what they're talking about a Senator for," said Mrs. Bassett. "It's very unusual. If I'd known they were going to talk about that

I shouldn't have come. There's sure to be a row."

The chairman seemed anxious that the delegate from Marion should be honored with the same close attention that had been secured for the stranger from Pulaski.

"I hope he'll wait till they all sit down," said Sylvia; "I want to hear him speak."

"You'll hear him, all right," said Marian. "You know at Yale they called him 'Foghorn' Harwood, and they put him in front to lead the cheering at all the big games."

Apparently something was expected of Mr. Harwood of Marion. Thatcher had left his seat and was moving toward the corridors to find his lieutenants. Half a dozen men accosted him as he moved through the aisle, but he shook them off angrily. An effort to start another demonstration in his honor was not wholly fruitless. It resulted at least in a good deal of confusion of which the chair was briefly tolerant; then he resumed his pounding, while Harwood stood stubbornly on his chair.

The Tallest Delegate, known to be a recent convert to Thatcher, was thoroughly aroused, and advanced toward the platform shouting; but the chairman leveled his gavel at him and bade him sit down. The moment was critical; the veriest tyro felt the storm-spirit brooding over the hall.

The voice of the chairman was now audible.

"The chair recognizes the delegate from Marion."

"Out of order! What's his name!" howled many voices.

The chairman graciously availed himself of the opportunity to announce the name of the gentleman he had recognized.

"Mr. Harwood, of Marion, has the floor. The convention will be in order. The gentleman will proceed."

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