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- Philip Dru: Administrator - 10/33 -


"I am committing the party and the Nation to you, and my responsibility is a heavy one, and I owe it to them that no mistakes are made."

"You may trust me, Senator," said Rockland. "I understand perfectly."

CHAPTER XIII

DRU AND SELWYN MEET

The roads of destiny oftentimes lead us in strange and unlocked for directions and bring together those whose thoughts and purposes are as wide as space itself. When Gloria Strawn first entered boarding school, the roommate given her was Janet Selwyn, the youngest daughter of the Senator. They were alike in nothing, except, perhaps, in their fine perception of truth and honor. But they became devoted friends and had carried their attachment for one another beyond their schoolgirl days. Gloria was a frequent visitor at the Selwyn household both in Washington and Philadelphia, and was a favorite with the Senator. He often bantered her concerning her "socialistic views," and she in turn would declare that he would some day see the light. Now and then she let fall a hint of Philip, and one day Senator Selwyn suggested that she invite him over to Philadelphia to spend the week end with them. "Gloria, I would like to meet this paragon of the ages," said he jestingly, "although I am somewhat fearful that he may persuade me to 'sell all that I have and give it to the poor.'"

"I will promise to protect you during this one visit, Senator," said Gloria, "but after that I shall leave you to your fate."

"Dear Philip," wrote Gloria, "the great Senator Selwyn has expressed a wish to know you, and at his suggestion, I am writing to ask you here to spend with us the coming week end. I have promised that you will not denude him of all his possessions at your first meeting, but beyond that I have refused to go. Seriously, though, I think you should come, for if you would know something of politics, then why not get your lessons from the fountain head?

"Your very sincere,

"GLORIA."

In reply Philip wrote:

"Dear Gloria: You are ever anticipating my wishes. In the crusade we are making I find it essential to know politics, if we are to reach the final goal that we have in mind, and you have prepared the way for the first lesson. I will be over to-morrow on the four o'clock. Please do not bother to meet me.

"Faithfully yours,

"PHILIP."

Gloria and Janet Strawn were at the station to meet him. "Janet, this is Mr. Dru," said Gloria. "It makes me very happy to have my two best friends meet." As they got in her electric runabout, Janet Strawn said, "Since dinner will not be served for two hours or more, let us drive in the park for a while." Gloria was pleased to see that Philip was interested in the bright, vivacious chatter of her friend, and she was glad to hear him respond in the same light strain. However, she was confessedly nervous when Senator Selwyn and Philip met. Though in different ways, she admired them both profoundly. Selwyn had a delightful personality, and Gloria felt sure that Philip would come measureably under the influence of it, even though their views were so widely divergent. And in this she was right. Here, she felt, were two great antagonists, and she was eager for the intellectual battle to begin. But she was to be disappointed, for Philip became the listener, and did but little of the talking. He led Senator Selwyn into a dissertation upon the present conditions of the country, and the bearing of the political questions upon them. Selwyn said nothing indiscreet, yet he unfolded to Philip's view a new and potential world. Later in the evening, the Senator was unsuccessful in his efforts to draw from his young guest his point of view. Philip saw the futility of such a discussion, and contented Selwyn by expressing an earnest appreciation of his patience in making clear so many things about which he had been ignorant. Next morning, Senator Selwyn was strolling with Gloria in the rose garden, when he said, "Gloria, I like your friend Dru. I do not recall ever having met any one like him." "Then you got him to talk after we left last night. I am so glad. I was afraid he had on one of his quiet spells."

"No, he said but little, but the questions he asked gave me glimpses of his mind that sometimes startled me. He was polite, modest but elusive, nevertheless, I like him, and shall see more of him." Far sighted as Selwyn was, he did not know the full extent of this prophecy.

CHAPTER XIV

THE MAKING OF A PRESIDENT

Selwyn now devoted himself to the making of enough conservative senators to control comfortably that body. The task was not difficult to a man of his sagacity with all the money he could spend.

Newspapers were subsidized in ways they scarcely recognized themselves. Honest officials who were in the way were removed by offering them places vastly more remunerative, and in this manner he built up a strong, intelligent and well constructed machine. It was done so sanely and so quietly that no one suspected the master mind behind it all. Selwyn was responsible to no one, took no one into his confidence, and was therefore in no danger of betrayal.

It was a fascinating game to Selwyn. It appealed to his intellectual side far more than it did to his avarice. He wanted to govern the Nation with an absolute hand, and yet not be known as the directing power. He arranged to have his name appear less frequently in the press and he never submitted to interviews, laughingly ridding himself of reporters by asserting that he knew nothing of importance. He had a supreme contempt for the blatant self-advertised politician, and he removed himself as far as possible from that type.

In the meantime his senators were being elected, the Rockland sentiment was steadily growing and his nomination was finally brought about by the progressives fighting vigorously for him and the conservatives yielding a reluctant consent. It was done so adroitly that Rockland would have been fooled himself, had not Selwyn informed him in advance of each move as it was made.

After the nomination, Selwyn had trusted men put in charge of the campaign, which he organized himself, though largely under cover. The opposition party had every reason to believe that they would be successful, and it was a great intellectual treat to Selwyn to overcome their natural advantages by the sheer force of ability, plus what money he needed to carry out his plans. He put out the cry of lack of funds, and indeed it seemed to be true, for he was too wise to make a display of his resources. To ward heelers, to the daily press, and to professional stump speakers, he gave scant comfort. It was not to such sources that he looked for success.

He began by eliminating all states he knew the opposition party would certainly carry, but he told the party leaders there to claim that a revolution was brewing, and that a landslide would follow at the election. This would keep his antagonists busy and make them less effective elsewhere.

He also ignored the states where his side was sure to win. In this way he was free to give his entire thoughts to the twelve states that were debatable, and upon whose votes the election would turn. He divided each of these states into units containing five thousand voters, and, at the national headquarters, he placed one man in charge of each unit. Of the five thousand, he roughly calculated there would be two thousand voters that no kind of persuasion could turn from his party and two thousand that could not be changed from the opposition. This would leave one thousand doubtful ones to win over. So he had a careful poll made in each unit, and eliminated the strictly unpersuadable party men, and got down to a complete analysis of the debatable one thousand. Information was obtained as to their race, religion, occupation and former political predilection. It was easy then to know how to reach each individual by literature, by persuasion or perhaps by some more subtle argument. No mistake was made by sending the wrong letter or the wrong man to any of the desired one thousand.

In the states so divided, there was, at the local headquarters, one man for each unit just as at the national headquarters. So these two had only each other to consider, and their duty was to bring to Rockland a majority of the one thousand votes within their charge. The local men gave the conditions, the national men gave the proper literature and advice, and the local man then applied it. The money that it cost to maintain such an organization was more than saved from the waste that would have occurred under the old method.

The opposition management was sending out tons of printed matter, but they sent it to state headquarters that, in turn, distributed it to the county organizations, where it was dumped into a corner and given to visitors when asked for. Selwyn's committee used one-fourth as much printed matter, but it went in a sealed envelope, along with a cordial letter, direct to a voter that had as yet not decided how he would vote.

The opposition was sending speakers at great expense from one end of the country to the other, and the sound of their voices rarely fell on any but friendly and sympathetic ears. Selwyn sent men into his units to personally persuade each of the one thousand hesitating voters to support the Rockland ticket.

The opposition was spending large sums upon the daily press. Selwyn used the weekly press so that he could reach the fireside of every farmer and the dweller in the small country towns. These were the ones that would read every line in their local papers and ponder over it.

The opposition had its candidates going by special train to every part of the Union, making many speeches every day, and mostly to voters that could not be driven from him either by force or persuasion. The leaders in cities, both large and small, would secure a date and, having in mind for themselves a postmastership or collectorship, would tell their followers to turn out in great force and give the candidate a big ovation. They wanted the candidate to remember the enthusiasm of these places, and to leave greatly pleased and under the belief that he was making untold converts. As a matter of fact his voice would seldom reach any but a staunch partisan.

Selwyn kept Rockland at home, and arranged to have him meet by special appointment the important citizens of the twelve uncertain states. He would have the most prominent party leader, in a particular state, go to


Philip Dru: Administrator - 10/33

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