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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Candidate: A Political Romance - Chapter 11. The Harrying Of Herbert
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The Candidate: A Political Romance - Chapter 11. The Harrying Of Herbert Post by :lingstar Category :Long Stories Author :Joseph A. Altsheler Date :May 2012 Read :1049

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The Candidate: A Political Romance - Chapter 11. The Harrying Of Herbert


An unexpected addition and honor was now approaching, and it was Hobart who told them of it.

"Our little party is about to receive a touch of real distinction and dignity--something that it needs very much," he said, laying the newspaper that he had been reading upon the dusty car seat and glancing at Harley. They had returned to their special train.

"What do you mean?" asked Harley, though his tone betrayed no great interest.

"I quote from the columns of our staid contemporary, the New York _Monitor_, Churchill's sheet, the representative of solid, quiet, and cultured worth," said Hobart, pompously. "'It has been felt for some time by thoughtful leaders of our party in the East that Jimmy Grayson and the "shirt-sleeves" Western politicians who now surround him are showing too much familiarity with the people. A certain reserve, a certain dignity of manner which, while holding the crowd at a distance also inspires it with a proper respect, is desirable on the part of the official head of a great party, a presidential nominee. The personal democracy of Mr. Grayson is having a disconcerting effect upon important financial circles, and also is inspiring unfavorable comments in the English press, extracts from which we print upon another page.'"

"What on earth has the opinion of the English press to do with our presidential race?" asked Harley.

"You may search me," replied Hobart. "I merely quote from the columns of the _Monitor_. But in order to save time, I tell you that all this preamble leads to the departure for the West of the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote, who, after his graduation at Harvard, took a course at Oxford, lived much abroad, and who now, by grace of his father's worth and millions, is the national committeeman from his state. For some days Herbert has been speeding in our direction, and to-morrow he will join us at Red Cloud. It is more than intimated that he will take charge of the tour of Jimmy Grayson, and put it upon the proper plane of dignity and reserve."

Harley said no more, but, borrowing the paper, read the account carefully, and then put it down with a sigh, foreseeing trouble. Herbert Heathcote's father had been a great man in his time, self-created, a famous merchant, an able party worker, in thorough touch with American life, and he had served for many years as the honored chairman of the national committee, although in a moment of weakness he had sent his son abroad to be educated. Now he was dead, but remembered well, and as a presidential campaign costs much money--legitimate money--and his son was a prodigal giver, the leaders could not refuse to the younger Heathcote the place of national committeeman from his state.

"What do you think of it?" asked Harley, at last.

"I refuse to think," replied Hobart. "I shall merely wait and see."

But the Honorable William Plummer expressed his scorn in words befitting his open character.

The paper was passed on until it reached Mrs. Grayson and Sylvia. Mrs. Grayson, with her usual reserve, said nothing. Sylvia was openly indignant.

"I shall snub this man," she said, "unless he is of the kind that thinks it cannot be snubbed."

"I fear that it is his kind," said Harley.

"It looks like it," she said.

At noon the next day, when they were at Red Cloud, Herbert Henry Heathcote arrived on the train from the East, and the arrival of him was witnessed by Harley, Hobart, Mr. Plummer, and several others, who had gone to the station for that purpose and none other.

Mr. Heathcote, as he alighted from the train, was obviously a person of importance, his apparel, even had his manner been hidden, disclosing the fact to the most casual observer. A felt hat, narrow-brimmed and beautifully creased in the crown, sat gracefully upon his head. His light overcoat was baggy enough in the back to hold another man, as Mr. Heathcote was not large, and white spats were the final touch of an outfit that made the less sophisticated of the spectators gasp. "King" Plummer swore half audibly.

"I wish my luggage to be carried up to the hotel," said Mr. Heathcote, importantly, to the station agent.

"He calls it 'luggage,' and this in Colorado!" groaned Hobart.

"Your what?" exclaimed the station agent, a large man in his shirt-sleeves, with a pen thrust behind his ear.

"My luggage; my trunk," replied Mr. Heathcote.

"Then you had better carry it yourself; I've nothing to do with it," said the agent, with Western brusqueness, as he turned away.

Harley, always ready to seize an opportunity, and resolved to mitigate things, stepped forward.

"I beg your pardon, but this is Mr. Heathcote, is it not?" he asked, courteously.

The committeeman put a glass in his eye and regarded him quite coolly. Harley, despite his habitual self-control, shuddered. He did not mind the supercilious gaze, but he knew the effect of the monocle upon the crowd.

"Yes, I am Mr. Heathcote," said the committeeman, "and you ah--I--don't believe--ah--"

"I haven't been introduced," said Harley, with a smile, "but I can introduce myself; it's all right here in the West. I merely wanted to tell you that you had better get them at the hotel to send the porter down for your trunk. There are no carriages, but it's only a short walk to the hotel. It's the large white building on the hill in front of you."

"Thank you--ah--Mr. Hardy."

"Harley," corrected the correspondent, quietly.

"I was about to say--ah--that the press can make itself useful at times."

Harley flushed slightly.

"Yes, even under the most adverse circumstances," he said.

But Mr. Heathcote was already on the way to the hotel, his white spats gleaming in the sunshine. It was evident that he intended to keep the press in its proper place.

"You made a mistake when you volunteered your help, Harley," said Hobart. "A man like that should be received with a club. But you just wait until the West gets through with him. Your revenge will be brought to you on a silver plate."

"I'm not thinking of myself," replied Harley, gravely. "It's the effect of this on Jimmy Grayson's campaign that's bothering me. Colorado is doubtful, and so are Utah and Wyoming and Idaho; can we go through them with a man like Heathcote, presumably in charge of our party?"

Proof that Harley's fears were justified was forthcoming at once. The crowd at the station, drawn by various causes, had been usually large, and Mr. Heathcote was received with a gasp of amazement. But nothing was said until the white spats of the committeeman disappeared in the hotel. Then the people crowded around the correspondents, with whom a six hours' stop was sufficient to make them familiar. "Who is he?" they asked. "Is he a plutocrat?" "It's a Wall Street shark, sure." "Does Jimmy Grayson mean to hobnob with a man like that?" "Then we can't trust him either. He's going to be a monopolist, too, and his claiming to be champion of the people is all a bluff."

Harley explained with care that Mr. Heathcote was important. To run a great presidential campaign required much money--special trains must be paid for, halls had to be hired for speakers, there was a vast amount of printing to be done, and many other expenses that must be met. Their party was poor, as everybody knew, most of the wealth being on the other side; and, when a man like Heathcote was willing to contribute his thousands, there was nothing to do but to take him. But they need not be alarmed; he could not corrupt Jimmy Grayson; the candidate was too stanch, too true, too much of a real man to be turned from the right path by any sinister Eastern influence.

But the people were not mollified; they resented Mr. Heathcote's manner as well as his dress. Why had he not stopped at the station a few minutes, and shaken hands with those who would have been glad to meet him for the sake of fellowship in the party? Harley heard again the word "Plutocrat," and, deeming it wise to say nothing more for the present, walked back to the hotel. On the long porch sat a row of men in rocking-chairs--correspondents, town officials, and politicians, following in the wake of Jimmy Grayson. A state senator, a big, white-bearded man named Curtis, who had been travelling with them for three days, jerked his finger over his shoulder, pointing to the interior of the hotel, and said, mysteriously, to Harley:

"Where did you get it?"

"New York," replied Harley, sadly.

"Can't you lose it?"

"I don't know," replied Harley, hopefully, "but we can try."

Hobart, who was in the next chair, put his right foot across his left knee and nursed it judicially.

"It is eating its dinner now," he said. "It said: 'Landlord, I want a table alone. I do not wish to be disturbed.' And just think, Harley, this is Colorado! Landlord, otherwise Bill Jeffreys, was so taken aback that he said, 'All right.' But the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote is being watched. There are three cowboys, at this very moment, peeping in at his window."

There was a dead silence for at least a minute, broken at last by Barton.

"Gentlemen," he said, "you do not yet know the full, the awful truth; I accidentally heard Heathcote telling Jeffreys about it."

"Why, what can be worse?" asked Harley, and he was in earnest.

"Mr. Heathcote's man--his valet, do you understand--arrives to-night. He is to have a place in the car, and to travel with us, in order that he may wait on his master."

"King" Plummer uttered an oath.

"The West can stand a good many things, but it won't stand that," he exclaimed. "A national committeeman of our party travelling with his valet on the train with Jimmy Grayson! It'll cost us at least six states. We ain't women!"

There succeeded a gloomy silence that lasted until Heathcote himself appeared upon the porch, fresh, dapper, and patronizing.

"I hope you enjoyed your dinner, Mr. Heathcote," said Harley, ever ready to be a peacemaker.

"Thank you, Mr. Hardy--ah, Harley; it did very well for the frontier--one does not expect much here, you know."

Harley glanced uneasily at the men in the chairs, but Mr. Heathcote went on, condescendingly:

"I am now going for an interview with Mr. Grayson in his room. We shall be there at least an hour, and we wish to be quite alone, as I have many things of importance to say."

No one spoke, but twenty pairs of eyes followed the committeeman as he disappeared in the hotel on his way to Jimmy Grayson's room. Then Alvord, the town judge, a man of gigantic stature, rose to his feet and said, in a mimicking, feminine voice:

"Gentlemen, I am going to the bar, and I shall be there at least an hour; I wish to be quite alone, as I shall have many important things to drink."

There was a burst of laughter that relieved the constraint somewhat, and then, obedient to an invitation from the judge, they filed solemnly in to the bar.

The candidate was to speak in the afternoon, and as he would raise some new issues, sure to be of interest to the whole country, Harley, following his familiar custom, went in search of Mr. Grayson for preliminary information. The hour set aside by Mr. Heathcote had passed long since, and Harley thought that he would be out of the way.

Jimmy Grayson's room was on the second floor, and Harley walked slowly up the steps, but at the head of the stairway he was met by Mr. Heathcote himself.

"Good-afternoon," said Harley, cheerfully. "I hope that you had a pleasant talk with Mr. Grayson. I'm going in to see him now myself; a presidential nominee can't get much rest."

Mr. Heathcote drew himself up importantly.

"I beg your pardon," he said, "but you cannot--ah--see Mr. Grayson. There has been a feeling with us in the East--we are in a position there to judge, being in thorough touch with the great world--that it was not advisable for Mr. Grayson to speak to or to come in direct contact with the press. This familiar talk with the newspapers rather impairs the confidence of our great magnates and prejudices us in the eyes of Europe. It is better--ah--that his remarks should be transmitted through a third person, who can give to the press what is fitting and reserve the remainder."

Harley gazed at Heathcote in amazement, but there was nothing in his manner to indicate that he was not in earnest.

"And you are the third person, I suppose?" said Harley.

"I have so constituted myself," replied Mr. Heathcote, and his tone was aggravatingly quiet and assured. "As one conversant with great affairs, I am the most fit."

"Has Mr. Grayson agreed to this?" asked Harley.

"My dear man, I cannot permit you to cross-examine me. But, really, I wish to be on good terms with the press, which is quite a useful institution within its limits. Now, you seem to be rather more sedate than the others, and I wish you would have the goodness to explain to them how I have taken affairs in hand."

Harley flushed at his patronizing tone, and for a moment he was tempted to thrust him out of his way and proceed with his errand to Jimmy Grayson's room, but he reflected that it was better to let the committeeman make the rope for his own hanging, and he turned away with a quiet, "Very well, I shall forego the interview."

But as he went back down the stairs he could not help asking himself the question, "Does Jimmy Grayson know? Could he have consented to such an arrangement?" and at once came the answer--"Impossible."

He returned to the porch, where all the chairs were filled, although the talk was slow. He noticed, with pleasure, that Churchill was absent. The descending sun had just touched the crests of the distant mountains, and they swam in a tremulous golden glow. The sunset radiance over nature in her mighty aspects affected all on the porch, used as they were to it, and that was why they were silent. But they turned inquiring eyes upon Harley when he joined them.

"What has become of Heathcote?" asked Barton.

"He is engaged upon an important task just now," replied Harley.

"And what is that?"

"He is editing Jimmy Grayson's speech."

Twenty chairs came down with a crash, and twenty pairs of eyes stared in indignant astonishment.

"King" Plummer's effort to hold himself in his chair seemed to be a strain.

"He may not be doing that particular thing at this particular moment," continued Harley, "but he told me very distinctly that he was here for that purpose, and he has also just told me that I could not see Jimmy Grayson, that he intended henceforth to act as an intermediary between the candidate and the press."

"And you stood it?" exclaimed Hobart.

"For the present, yes," replied Harley, evenly; "and I did so because I thought I saw a better way out of the trouble than an immediate quarrel with Heathcote--a better way, above all, for Jimmy Grayson and the party."

The Western men said nothing, though they looked their deep disgust, and presently they quitted the porch, leaving it, rocking-chairs and all, to the correspondents.

"Boys," said Harley, earnestly, "I've a request to make of you. Let me take the lead in this affair; I've a plan that I think will work."

"Well, you are in a measure the chief of our corps," said Warrener, one of the Chicago men. "I don't know why you are, but all of us have got to looking on you in that way."

"I, for one, promise to be good and obey," said Hobart, "but I won't deny that it will be a hard job. Perhaps I could stand the man, if it were not for his accent--it sounds to me as if his voice were coming out of the top of his head, instead of his chest, where a good, honest voice ought to have its home."

"Now you listen," said Harley, "and I will my tale unfold."

Then they put their heads together and talked long and earnestly.

The shaggy mountains were in deep shadow, and the sunset was creeping into the west when Jimmy Grayson came out on the porch where the correspondents yet sat. Harley at once noticed a significant change in his appearance; he looked troubled. Before, if he was troubled, he always hid it and turned a calm eye to every issue; but this evening there was something new and extraordinary about Jimmy Grayson; he was ashamed and apologetic obviously so, and Harley felt a thrill of pity that a man so intensely proud under all his democracy, or perhaps because of it, should be forced into a position in which he must be, seemingly at least, untrue to himself.

The candidate hesitated and glanced at the correspondents, his comrades of many a long day, as if he expected them to ask him questions, but no one spoke. The sinking sun dropped behind the mountains, and the following shadow also lay across Jimmy Grayson's face. He was the nominee of a great party for President of the United States, but there was a heart in him, and these young men, who had gone with him through good times and bad times, through weary days and weary nights, were to him like the staff that has followed a general over many battle-fields. He glanced again at the correspondents, but, as they continued to stare resolutely at the dark mountains, he turned and walked abruptly into the hotel.

"Boys," exclaimed Barton, "it's tough!"

"Yes, damned tough," said Hobart.

"King" Plummer, who was with them, maintained a stony silence.

An hour later the valet of the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote, a smooth, trim young Englishman, arrived in Red Cloud, and never before in his vassal life had he been a person of so much importance. The news had been spread in Red Cloud that a rare specimen was coming, a kind hitherto unknown in those regions. When John--that was his name--alighted from the train in the dusk of a vast, desolate Western night, a crowd of tanned, tall men was packed closely about him, watching every movement that he made. Harley saw him glance fearfully at the dark throng, but no one said a word. As he moved towards the hotel, a valise in either hand, the way opened before him, but the crowd, arranging itself in a solid mass behind him, followed, still silent, until he reached the shelter of the building and the protecting wing of his master. Then it dispersed in an orderly manner, but the only subject of conversation in Red Cloud was the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote and his "man," especially the "man."

At the appointed hour the candidate spoke from a stage in the public square, and it would not be fair to say that his address fell flat; but for the first time in the long campaign Harley noticed a certain coldness on the part of the audience, a sense of aloofness, as if Jimmy Grayson were not one of them, but a stranger in the town whom they must treat decently, although they might not approve of him or his ways. And Harley did not have to seek the cause, for there at a corner of the stage sat a dominating presence, the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote, his neck encircled by a very high collar, his trousers turned up at the bottom, and his white spats gleaming through the darkness. More eyes were upon him than upon the candidate, but Mr. Heathcote was not daunted. His own gaze, as it swept the audience, was at times disapproving and at other times condescending.

About the middle of the speech the night, as usual, grew chilly, and Mr. Heathcote's "man," stepping upon the stage, assisted him on with a light overcoat. A gasp went up from the crowd, and the candidate, stopping, looked back and saw the cause. Again that shadow came over his face, but in a moment he recovered himself and went on as if there had been no interruption. When the speech was finished Mr. Heathcote stood a moment by the table at which Harley was still writing, and said:

"I think you and your associates should leave out of your report that part about our foreign relations. However well received in the West, I doubt whether it would have a very good effect in the East."

"But he said it," exclaimed Harley, looking up in surprise.

"Quite true, but there should be a certain reserve on the part of the press. These expressions have about them a trace of rawness, perhaps inseparable from a man like our nominee, who is the product of Western conditions. I trust that I shall be able to correct this unfortunate tendency."

Harley was burning with anger, but the long practice of self-control enabled him to hide it. He did not reply, but resumed his work. Mr. Heathcote spoke to him again, but Harley, his head bent over his pad, went on with his writing. Nor did any of the other correspondents speak. The committeeman, astonished and indignant, left the stage, and, followed by his "man," returned to the hotel between two silent files of spectators.

"Experience number one," was the only comment of the correspondents, and it came from Barton.

When Harley went into the hotel he saw Jimmy Grayson leaning against the clerk's desk as if he were waiting for something. He glanced at Harley, and there was a tinge of reproach in his look. Harley's resolution faltered, but it was only for a moment, and then, taking his key from the clerk, he went in silence to his room. He understood the position of Jimmy Grayson, he knew how much the party was indebted to Mr. Heathcote for payment of the campaign's necessary expenses, but he was determined to carry out his plan, which he believed would succeed.

But there was one man in Jimmy Grayson's group to whom the appearance of Mr. Heathcote was welcome, and this was Churchill, who was sure that he recognized in him a kindred spirit. He sent a long despatch to the _Monitor_, telling of the very beneficial effect the committeeman's presence already exercised upon the campaign, particularly the new tone of dignity that he had given to it. He also cultivated Mr. Heathcote, and was willing to furnish him deferential advice.

As the special train was to leave early the next morning for the northern part of the state, they ate breakfast in a dim dawn, with only the rim of the sun showing over the eastern mountains. Mr. Heathcote came in late and found every chair occupied. No one moved or took any notice. Jimmy Grayson looked embarrassed, and said in a propitiatory tone to the proprietor, who stood near the window:

"Can't you fix a place for Mr. Heathcote?"

"Oh, I guess I kin bring in a little table from the kitchen," replied Bill Jeffreys, negligently, "but he'll have to hustle; that train goes in less than ten minutes."

The table was brought in, and Mr. Heathcote ate more quickly than ever before in his life, although he found time for caustic criticism of the hotel accommodations in Red Cloud. Just as he put down his half-emptied coffee-cup the train blew a warning whistle.

"That engineer is at least three minutes ahead of time," said Barton.

"He's a lively fellow," said Hobart. "I was up early, and he told me he wasn't going to wait a single minute, even if he did have a Presidential nominee aboard."

The eyes of Barton and Hobart met, and Barton understood.

"We'd better run for it," said Barton, and they hurried to the train, Mr. Heathcote borne on in the press. As they settled into their seats Barton pointed out of the window, and cried: "Look! Look! The 'man' is about to get left!"

John, a valise in one hand and a hat-box in the other, was rushing for the train, which had already begun to move. But the conductor reached down the steps, grasped him by the collar, and dragged him, baggage and all, aboard. John appeared humbly before his master, who was silent, however, merely waving him to a seat. Mr. Heathcote was apparently indignant about something. By-and-by he stated that his valet had been forced to leave Red Cloud without anything to eat. Nobody had looked after the man, and he could not understand such neglect. He would like to have a porter bring him something. Old Senator Curtis, who was with them, spoke up from a full heart:

"He'll have to go hungry. There's no dining-car on this train, and he can't get a bite, even for a bagful of money, till we get to Willow Grange at two o'clock this afternoon."

The senator was not excessively polite, and Mr. Heathcote opened his mouth as if to speak, but, changing his mind, closed it. He glanced at Jimmy Grayson, who looked troubled, although he, also, maintained silence. Neither would any one else speak; but every one was taking notice. Harley in his heart felt sorry for the poor valet, who seemed to be an inoffensive fellow, suited to his humble trade; but a political campaign in the Rocky Mountain West was no place for him; he must take what circumstances dealt out to him.

The committeeman presently recovered his sense of his own worth and dignity, and spoke in a large manner of the plans that he would take to raise the tone of the campaign. The candidate still looked troubled and made no comment. The local public men, the correspondents, and all on the little train were silent, staring out of the windows, apparently engrossed in the scenery, which was now becoming grand and beautiful. Ridge rose above ridge, and afar the peaks, clad in eternal snow, looked down like heaven's silent sentinels.

Mr. Heathcote was very courteous to Mrs. Grayson, but at first he scarcely noticed Sylvia, although a little later he expressed admiration for her beauty, not doubting, however, that he would find her the possessor of an uncultivated mind.

Towards the noon hour a tragic discovery was made. After the candidate's last speech in the evening the train would leave immediately for Utah, and all continuing on the way must sleep aboard. Room had been found in some manner for Mr. Heathcote, but every other berth, upper and lower, had been assigned long ago, and there was nothing left for his man. But Mr. Heathcote, resolved not to be trampled upon, went in a state of high indignation to the conductor.

"I must have a place for my man. I cannot travel without an attendant."

"Jimmy Grayson does," replied the conductor, a rude Democrat of the West; "and your fellow can't have any, because there ain't any to be had; besides, it's 'cordin' to train rules that dogs an' all such-like should travel in the baggage-car."

Mr. Heathcote refused to speak again to such a man, and complained to the candidate. But Jimmy Grayson could do nothing.

"This train on which we now are is paid for jointly by the committeemen of Colorado, Utah, and Idaho," he said, "and I have nothing to do with the arrangements. I should not like to attempt interference."

Mr. Heathcote looked at old Senator Curtis, who seemed to be in charge, but, apprehending a blow to his dignity, he refrained from pressing the point, and the lackey slept that night as well as he could on a seat in the smoking-car.

The next few days, which were passed chiefly in Utah, were full of color and events. Life became very strenuous for the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote. He learned how to take his meals on the wing, as it were, to run for trains, to snatch two hours' sleep anywhere between midnight and morning, and to be jostled by rude crowds that failed to recognize his superiority. The full-backed light overcoat, during its brief existence the focus of so much attention, was lost in a dinner rush and never reappeared. But, above all, Mr. Heathcote had upon his hands the care of the helpless, miserable lackey, and never did a sick baby require more attention. John was lost amid his strange and terrible surroundings. At mountain towns crowds of boys, and sometimes men, would surround him and jeer at his peculiar appearance, and his master would be compelled to come forcibly to his rescue. He never learned how to run for the car, with his arms full of baggage, and once, boarding a wrong train, he was run off on a branch line a full fifty miles. He was rescued only after infinite telegraphing and two days' time, when he reappeared, crestfallen and terrified.

And there was trouble--plenty of it--aboard the train. There was never a berth for the lackey, who was relegated permanently to the smoking-car. Mr. Heathcote himself sometimes had to fight, bribe, and intrigue for one--and often he failed to get breakfast or dinner through false information or the carelessness of somebody. He made full acquaintance with the pangs of hunger, and many a time, when every nerve in him called for sleep, there was no place to lay his weary head.

Now the iron entered the soul of the Honorable Herbert, and he became a soured and disappointed man, but he stuck gravely to his chosen task. Harley, despite his dislike, could not keep from admiring his tenacity. Nobody, except the candidate, paid the slightest attention to him; even Sylvia and Mrs. Grayson ignored him; if he made suggestions, nobody said anything to the contrary, but they were never adopted, and Mr. Heathcote noticed, too, that the others seemed to be enduring the life easily, while it was altogether too full for him. If there was any angle, he seemed somehow to knock against it; and if there was any pitfall, it was he who fell into it. But he gave no sign of returning to the East, and his misfortunes continued. From time to time they got copies of the Western papers containing full reports of Jimmy Grayson's canvass, and none of them, except the _Monitor_, ever spoke flatteringly of the Honorable Herbert or his efforts to put the campaign on a higher plane.

Churchill spoke once to the group of correspondents and politicians about the lack of deference paid to the committeeman, but he was invited so feelingly to attend to his own business that he never again risked it. However, he said in his despatches to the _Monitor that even Mr. Heathcote's efforts could not keep the campaign on a dignified level.

At last, on one dreadful day, they lost the lackey again, and this time there was no hope of recovery. He had been seen, his hands full of baggage, running for the wrong train, and when they heard from him he was far down in Colorado, stranded, and there was no possible chance for him to overtake the "special." Accordingly, his master, acting under expert advice, telegraphed him money and a ticket and ordered him back to New York. When the news was taken to the candidate Harley saw an obvious look of relief on his face. That valet had been a terrible weight upon the campaign, and none knew it better than Jimmy Grayson.

Mr. Heathcote now became morose and silent. Much of his lofty and patronizing air disappeared, although the desire to instruct would crop out at times. Usually he was watchful and suspicious, but the struggle for bread and a place to sleep necessarily consumed a large portion of his energies. As time dragged on his manner became that of one hunted, but doggedly enduring, nevertheless. The candidate always spoke to him courteously, whenever he had a chance, but then there was little time for conversation, as the campaign was now hot and fast. Mr. Heathcote was, in fact, a man alone in the world, and outlawed too. The weight upon him grew heavier and heavier as his path became thornier and thornier; the angles, the corners, and the pitfalls seemed to multiply, and always he was the victim. Jimmy Grayson looked now and then as if he would like to interfere, but there was no way for him to interfere, nor any one with whom he could interfere.

Mr. Heathcote still clung bravely to some portions of his glorious wardrobe. The white spats he yet sported, in the face of a belligerent Western democracy, and he paid the full price. Harley acknowledged this merit in him, and once or twice, when the committeeman, amid the comments of the ribald crowd, turned a pathetic look upon him, he was moved to pity and a desire to help; but the last feeling he resolutely crushed, and held on his way.

The campaign swung farther westward and northward, and into a primitive wilderness, where the audiences were composed solely of miners and cowboys. Old Senator Curtis and several other of the Colorado men were still with them, and one night they spoke at a mining hamlet on the slope of a mountain that shot ten thousand feet above them. The candidate was in great form, and made one of his best speeches, amid roars of applause. The audience was so well pleased that it would not disperse when he finished, and wished vociferously to know if there were not another spellbinder on the stage. Then the spirit of mischief entered the soul of Hobart.

The Honorable Herbert sat at the corner of the stage, the white spats still gleaming defiance, his whole appearance, despite recent modifications, showing that he was a strange bird in a strange land. Hobart constituted himself chairman for the moment, and, pointing to Mr. Heathcote, said:

"Gentlemen, one of the ablest and most famous of our national committeemen is upon the stage, and he will be glad to address you."

The audience cheered, half in expectation and half in derision, but the Honorable Herbert, who had never made a speech in his life, rose to the cry. His figure straightened up, there was a new light in his eye, and Harley, startled, did not know Mr. Heathcote. As he advanced to the edge of the stage the shouts of derision overcame those of expectation. Harley heard the words "Dude!" "Tenderfoot!" mingled with the cries, but the Honorable Herbert gave no sign that he heard. He reached the edge of the stage, waved his hand, and then there was silence.

"Friends," he said--"I call you such, though you have not received me in a friendly manner--"

The crowd breathed hard, and some one uttered a threat, but another man commanded silence. "Give him a chance!" he said.

"You have not received me in a friendly manner," resumed the Honorable Herbert, "but I am your friend, and I am resolved that you shall be mine. I cannot make a speech to you, but I will tell you a story which perhaps will serve as well."

"Go on with the story," said the men, doubtfully. On the stage there was a general waking-up. Correspondents and politicians alike recognized the Honorable Herbert's new manner, and they bent forward with interest.

"My story," said Mr. Heathcote, "is of a man who had a fond and perhaps too generous father. This father had suffered great hardships, and he wished to save his son from them. What more natural? But perhaps, in his tenderness, he did the son a wrong. So this son grew up, not seeing the rough side of life, and finding all things easy. He lived in a part of the country that is old and rich, where what is called necessity you call luxury. He knew nothing of the world except that portion of it to which he was used. What more natural? Is not that human nature everywhere? He saw himself petted and admired, and in the course of time he felt himself a person of importance. Is not that natural, too?"

He paused and looked over the audience, which was silent and attentive, held by the interest of something unusual and the deep, almost painful, earnestness of Mr. Heathcote's manner.

"What's he coming to?" whispered Hobart.

"I don't know; wait and see," replied Harley.

"Thus the man grew up to know only a little world," the Honorable Herbert went on, "and he did not know how little it was. He was like a prisoner in a gorgeous room, who sees, without, snow and storm that cannot touch him, but who is a prisoner nevertheless. Those whom he met and with whom he lived his daily life were like him, and they thought they were the heart of this world. Everything about them was golden; they saw that people wished to hear of them, to read of them, to know all that they did, and their view of their importance grew every day. What more natural? Was not that human nature?"

"I think I see which way he is going," whispered Hobart.

Harley nodded. The audience was still and intent, hanging on the words of the speaker.

"This youth," continued Mr. Heathcote, "was sent by-and-by to Europe to have his education finished, and there all the ideas formed by his life in this country were confirmed in him. He saw a society, organized centuries ago, in which every man found a definite place for life assigned to him, in accordance with what fortune had done for him at birth. There he received deference and homage, even more than before, and the great, changing world, with its mighty tides and storms that flowed about his little group, leaving it untouched, was yet unknown to him.

"He came back to his own country, and the strong father who had sheltered him died. He was filled with an ambition to be a political power, as his father had been, and the dead hand brought him the place. Then he came into the West to join in a great political campaign, but it was his first real excursion into the real world, and his ignorance was heavy upon him."

A deep "Ah!" ran through the crowd, and Harley noticed a sudden look of respect upon the brown faces. They were beginning to see where the thread of the story would lead. Then Harley glanced at old Senator Curtis, whose lips moved tremulously for a moment. "King" Plummer was regarding the committeeman with astonished interest.

"This man, I repeat," continued Mr. Heathcote, "came West with his ignorance, I might almost say with his sins heavy upon him, but it was not his fault; it was the fault, rather, of circumstances. He seemed a strange, a grotesque figure to these people of the West, but they should not have forgotten that they also seemed strange to him. It has been said that it takes many kinds of people to make a world, and they cannot all be alike. One point of view may differ from another point of view, and both may be right. If this man did anything wrong--and he admits that he did--he did it in ignorance. There were some with him who knew both points of view who might have helped him, but who did not; instead, they made life hard; they put countless difficulties in his way; they made him feel very wretched, very mean, and very little. He saw the other point of view at last, but he was not permitted to show that he saw it; he was put in such a position that his pride would not let him."

The crowd suddenly burst into cheers. The keen Western men understood, and the mountain-slope gave back the echo, "Hurrah for Heathcote!" The Honorable Herbert's figure swelled and his eyes flashed. Grateful water was falling at last on the parched desert sands.

"But, friends," he continued, "this man, though his lesson has been rough, comes to you with no resentment. He has broken the bars of his prison; he is in the real world at last, and he comes to you asking to be one of you, to give and take with the crowd. Will you have him?"

"Yes!" a chorus of a thousand voices roared against the side of the mountain and came back in a thunderous echo.

Old Senator Curtis sprang to his feet, seized Mr. Heathcote by the hand, and shouted:

"Gentlemen, I, too, need to apologize, and also I want to introduce to you a real man, Mr. Herbert Henry Heathcote."

"Put me down for an apology, too," said "King" Plummer, in his big, booming tones.

Jimmy Grayson, on the outskirts of the crowd, returning to learn what the noise was about, saw and heard all, and murmured to a friend:

"There is now a new member of our group, and all is well again."

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