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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

I found it pleasant to watch the Harwoods


And

so they went forth together from the little cottage by the campus where they had first met; nor may it have been wholly a fancy of Dr. Wandless's that the stars came out earlier that white, winter evening to add their blessing!

A POSTSCRIPT BY THE CHRONICLER

Those who resent as an impertinence the chronicler's intrusion upon the scene may here depart and slam the door, if such violence truly express their sentiments. Others, averse to precipitous leavetaking, may linger, hat in hand, for the epilogue.

I attended a public hearing by the senate committee on child labor at the last session of the general assembly, accompanying my neighbor, Mrs. Sally Owen, and we found seats immediately behind Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Harwood.

"There's _E_-lizabeth and Daniel," remarked Mrs. Owen, as they turned round and nodded to us. I found it pleasant to watch the Harwoods, who are, as may have been surmised, old friends of mine. The meeting gathered headway, and as one speaker after another was presented by the chairman, I observed that Mrs. Harwood and her husband frequently exchanged glances of approval; and I'm afraid that Mrs. Harwood's profile, and that winning smile of hers, interested me quite as much as the pleas of those who advocated the pending bill. Then the representative of a manufacturers' organization inveighed

against the measure, and my two friends became even more deeply absorbed. It was a telling speech, by one of the best-known lawyers in the state. Once I saw Dan's cowlick shake like the plume of an angry warrior as his wife turned toward him inquiringly. When the orator concluded, I saw them discussing his arguments in emphatic whispers, and I was so pleased with the picture they made that I failed to catch the name of the speaker whom the chairman was introducing. A nudge from Mrs. Owen caused me to lift my eyes to the rostrum.

"The next speaker is Mrs. Allen Thatcher," announced the chairman, beaming inanely as a man always does when it becomes his grateful privilege to present a pretty woman to an audience. Having known Marian a long time, it was almost too much for my composure to behold her there, beyond question the best-dressed woman in the senate chamber, with a single American Beauty thrust into her coat, and a bewildering rose-trimmed hat crowning her fair head. A pleasant sight anywhere on earth, this daughter of the Honorable Morton Bassett, sometime senator from Fraser; but her appearance in the legislative hall long dominated by her father confirmed my faith in the ultimate adjustments of the law of compensations. I had known Marian of old as an expert golfer and the most tireless dancer at Waupegan; but that speech broke all her records.

Great is the emotional appeal of a pretty woman in an unapproachable hat, but greater still the power of the born story-teller! I knew that Marian visited Elizabeth House frequently and told stories of her own or gave recitations at the Saturday night entertainments; but this was Marian with a difference. She stated facts and drove them home with anecdotes. It was a vigorous, breathless performance, and the manufacturers' attorney confessed afterward that she had given him a good trouncing. When she concluded (I remember that her white-gloved hand smote the speaker's desk with a sharp thwack at her last word), I was conscious that the applause was started by a stout, bald gentleman whom I had not noticed before. I turned to look at the author of this spontaneous outburst and found that it was the Honorable Edward G. Thatcher, whose unfeigned pride in his daughter-in-law was good to see.


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