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A Hoosier Chronicle by Meredith Nicholson

Bassett is an interesting man all right enough


Allen

laughed. His way of laughing was pleasant; there was a real bubbling mirth in him.

"No; but I read about him in the 'Courier,' which they always have follow them about--I don't know why. It must be that it helps them to rejoice that they are so far away from home; but I always used to read it over there, I suppose to see how much fun I missed! And at a queer little place in Switzerland where we were staying--I remember, because our landlord had the drollest wart on his chin--a copy of the 'Courier' turned up on a rainy day and I read it through. A sketch of Bassett tickled me because he seemed so real. I felt that I'd like to be Morton Bassett myself,--the man who does things,--the masterful American,--a real type, by George! And that safe filled with beautiful bindings; it's fine to know there are such fellows."

"Your words affect me strangely; I wrote the piece!"

"Now that is funny!" Allen glanced at Dan with frank admiration. "You write well--praise from Sir Hubert--I scribble verses myself! So our acquaintance really began a long time ago. It must have been last October that we were at that place."

"Yes; it was in the fall sometime. It's pleasant to know that anything printed in a newspaper is ever remembered so long. Bassett is an interesting man all right enough."

"It must be bully to meet men like

that--the men who have a hand in the big things. I must get dad to introduce me. I suppose you know everybody!" he ended admiringly.

They retraced their steps through the silent house and down to the front door, continuing their talk. As Dan turned for their last words on the veranda steps he acted on an impulse and said:--

"Have supper with me to-morrow night--we won't call it dinner--at the Whitcomb House. I'll meet you in the lobby at six o'clock. The honorable state committee is in town and I'll point out some of the moulders of our political destiny. They're a joy to the eye, I can tell you!"

Allen's eager acquiescence, his stumbling, murmured thanks, emphasized Dan's sense of the forlorn life young Thatcher had described.

* * * * *

"So the old boy's skipped, has he?" demanded the city editor. "Well, that's one on us! Who put you on?"

"I kept at the bell until the door opened and then I saw Thatcher's son. He told me."

"Oh, the family idiot let you in, did he? Then there's no telling whether it's true or not. He's nutty, that fellow. Didn't know he was here."

"I believe he told me the truth. His father's on his way to New York."

"Well, that sounds definite; but it doesn't make any difference now. We've just had a tip to let the deal alone. For God's sake, keep at the law, Harwood; this business is hell." The city editor bit a fat cigar savagely. "You no sooner strike a good thing and work on it for two days than you butt into a dead wall. What? No; there's nothing more for you to-night."


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