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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

And he went directly to the Boordman Building


During

the last week of the campaign an incident occurred that shook Harwood a good deal. He had been away from the capital for several days making speeches, and finding that his itinerary would permit it, he ran into town unexpectedly one night to replenish his linen and look at his mail. An interurban car landed him in town at eleven o'clock, and he went directly to the Boordman Building. As he walked down the hall toward his office he was surprised to see a light showing on the ground-glass door of Room 66. Though Bassett kept a room at the Whitcomb for private conferences, he occasionally used his office in the Boordman for the purpose, and seeing the rooms lighted, Dan expected to find him there. He tried the door and found it locked, and as he drew out his key he heard suddenly the click of the typewriter inside. Miss Farrell was rarely at the office at night, but as Harwood opened the door, he found her busily tapping the keys of her machine. She swung round quickly with an air of surprise, stretched herself, and yawned.

"Well, I wasn't exactly looking for you, but I can't deny that I'm glad to be interrupted. Hope you don't mind my doing a small job on the side--"

As Harwood stood, suit-case in hand, blinking at her, he heard a door farther down the hall close, followed by a step in the hall outside. Harwood had seen no lights in the neighboring offices as he crossed the hall, and in his frequent long night

vigils with his law books, it was the rarest thing to find any of the neighboring tenants about. He turned quickly to the door while the retreating steps were still audible.

"Oh!"

Rose had half-risen from her seat as he put his hand to the knob and her tone of alarm arrested him. Instead of flinging open the door he dropped his bag into a corner. His face flushed with sudden anger.

"I didn't suppose you'd mind my doing a little extra work out of hours, Mr. Harwood. Colonel Ramsay was in the office to see Mr. Bassett this afternoon and asked me to take some dictation for him. I guess it's about time for me to go home."

She pulled the sheet of paper from the typewriter with a sharp _brrrrr_ and dropped it into a drawer with a single deft twist of the wrist.

"The Colonel didn't mention it to me," remarked Dan, feigning indifference and not looking at her. "He was making a speech at Terre Haute to-night when I left there."

He tried to minimize the disagreeable aspects of the matter. Rose had been employed by Bassett as stenographer to one of his legislative committees before Dan's relations with the politician began. Since Harwood employed her Bassett had made use of her constantly in the writing of letters. There would have been nothing extraordinary in his calling her to the office for an evening's work; it was the girl's falsehood about Ramsay and the quiet closing of the door of Bassett's inner room that disturbed Harwood. He passed into the library and Rose left without saying good-night. The incident annoyed Dan; Bassett's step had been unmistakable, and the girl's confusion had its disagreeable significance. He had not thought this of Bassett; it was inconsonant with the character of man he still believed Morton Bassett to be.


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