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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

Harwood communicated itself to the delegates


"Mr.

Chairman, I rise to a point of order."

Dan's voice rose sonorously; the convention was relieved to find that the gentleman in blue serge could be heard; he was audible even to Mr. Thatcher's excited counsellors in the corridors.

"The delegate will kindly state his point of order."

The chairman was quietly courteous. His right hand rested on his gavel, he thrust his left into the side pocket of his long alpaca coat. He was an old and tried hand in the chair, and his own deep absorption in the remarks of Mr. Harwood communicated itself to the delegates.

Dan uttered rapidly the speech he had committed to memory for this occasion a week earlier. Every sentence had been carefully pondered; both Bassett and Atwill had blue penciled it until it expressed concisely and pointedly exactly what Bassett wished to be said at this point in the convention's proceedings. Interruptions, of applause or derision, were to be reckoned with; but the speaker did not once drop his voice or pause long enough for any one to drive in a wedge of protest. He might have been swamped by an uprising of the whole convention, but strange to say the convention was intent upon hearing him. Once the horde of candidates and distinguished visitors on the platform had been won to attention, Harwood turned slowly until he faced the greater crowd behind him. Several times he lifted

his right hand and struck out with it, shaking his head with the vigor of his utterance. ("His voice," said the "Advertiser's" report, "rumbles and bangs like a bowling-alley on Saturday night. There was a big bump every time a sentence rumbled down the hall and struck the rear wall of the building.")

"Sir, I make the obvious point of order that there are no vacancies to fill in the office of United States Senator, and that it does not lie within the province of the delegates chosen to this convention to pledge the party to any man. I do not question the motive of the delegate from Pulaski County, who is my personal friend; and I am animated by no feelings of animosity in demanding that the convention proceed to the discharge of its obligations without touching upon matters clearly beyond its powers. I confidently hope and sincerely believe that our party in Indiana is soon to receive a new commission of trust and confidence from the people of the old Hoosier State. But our immediate business is the choice of a ticket behind which the Hoosier Democracy will move on to victory in November like an army with banners. (Cheers.) There have been intimations in the camp of our enemy that the party is threatened with schism and menaced by factional wars; but I declare my conviction that the party is more harmonious and more truly devoted to high ideals to-day than at any time since the grand old name of Democrat became potent upon Hoosier soil. And what have we to do with leaders? Men come and men go, but principles alone are eternal and live forever. The great task of our party must be to bring the government back to the people. (Scattering applause.) But the choice of an invulnerable state ticket at this convention is our business and our only business. As for Indiana's two seats in the national Senate which we shall soon wrest from our adversaries, in due season we shall fill them with tried men and true. Sir, let us remember that whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. Stop, Look, Listen!"


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