Beelingo.com

English Audio Books

Philip Dru: Administrator

SPONSORED LINKS
<SPAN name="XXV"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter XXV</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">The Administrator of the Republic</h2> <p>General Dru began at once the reorganization of his army. The Nation knew that the war was over, and it was in a quiver of excitement.</p> <p>They recognized the fact that Dru dominated the situation and that a master mind had at last arisen in the Republic. He had a large and devoted army to do his bidding, and the future seemed to lie wholly in his hands.</p> <p>The great metropolitan dailies were in keen rivalry to obtain some statement from him, but they could not get within speaking distance. The best they could do was to fill their columns with speculations and opinions from those near, or at least pretending to be near him. He had too much to do to waste a moment, but he had it in mind to make some statement of a general nature within a few days.</p> <p>The wounded were cared for, the dead disposed of and all prisoners disarmed and permitted to go to their homes under parole. Of his own men he relieved those who had sickness in their families, or pressing duties to perform. Many of the prisoners, at their urgent solicitation, he enlisted. The final result was a compact and fairly well organized army of some four hundred thousand men who were willing to serve as long as they were needed.</p> <p>During the days that Dru was reorganizing, he now and then saw Gloria. She often wondered why Philip did not tell her something of his plans, and at times she felt hurt at his reticence. She did not know that he would have trusted her with his life without hesitation, but that his sense of duty sealed his lips when it came to matters of public policy.</p> <p>He knew she would not willingly betray him, but he never took chances upon the judgment she, or any friend, might exercise as to what was or what was not important. When a thought or plan had once gone from him to another it was at the mercy of the other&#8217;s discretion, and good intention did not avail if discretion and judgment were lacking. He consulted freely with those from whom he thought he could obtain help, but about important matters no one ever knew but himself his conclusions.</p> <p>Dru was now ready to march upon Washington, and he issued an address to his soldiers which was intended, in fact, for the general public. He did not want, at this time, to assume unusual powers, and if he had spoken to the Nation he might be criticised as assuming a dictatorial attitude.</p> <p>He complimented his army upon their patriotism and upon their bravery, and told them that they had won what was, perhaps, the most important victory in the history of warfare. He deplored the fact that, of necessity, it was a victory over their fellow countrymen, but he promised that the breach would soon be healed, for it was his purpose to treat them as brothers. He announced that no one, neither the highest nor the lowest, would be arrested, tried, or in any way disturbed provided they accepted the result of the battle as final, and as determining a change in the policy of government in accordance with the views held by those whom he represented. Failure to acquiesce in this, or any attempt to foster the policies of the <i>late government,</i> would be considered seditious, and would be punished by death. He was determined upon immediate peace and quietude, and any individual, newspaper or corporation violating this order would be summarily dealt with.</p> <p>The words &#8220;late government&#8221; caused a sensation.</p> <p>It pointed very surely to the fact that as soon as Dru reached Washington, he would assume charge of affairs. But in what way? That was the momentous question.</p> <p>President Rockwell, the Vice-President and the Cabinet, fearful of the result of Dru&#8217;s complete domination, fled the country. Selwyn urged, threatened, and did all he could to have them stand their ground, and take the consequences of defeat, but to no avail. Finally, he had the Secretary of State resign, so that the President might appoint him to that office. This being done, he became acting President.</p> <p>There were some fifty thousand troops at Washington and vicinity, and Dru wired Selwyn asking whether any defense of that city was contemplated. Upon receiving a negative answer, he sent one of his staff officers directly to Washington to demand a formal surrender. Selwyn acquiesced in this, and while the troops were not disbanded, they were placed under the command of Dru&#8217;s emissary.</p> <p>After further negotiations it was arranged for such of the volunteers as desired to do so, to return to their homes. This left a force of thirty thousand men at Washington who accepted the new conditions, and declared fealty to Dru and the cause he represented. There was now requisitioned all the cars that were necessary to convey the army from Buffalo to New York, Philadelphia and Washington. A day was named when all other traffic was to be stopped, until the troops, equipment and supplies had been conveyed to their destinations. One hundred thousand men were sent to New York and one hundred thousand to Philadelphia, and held on the outskirts of those cities. Two hundred thousand were sent to Washington and there Dru went himself.</p> <p>Selwyn made a formal surrender to him and was placed under arrest, but it was hardly more than a formality, for Selwyn was placed under no further restraint than that he should not leave Washington. His arrest was made for its effect upon the Nation; in order to make it clear that the former government no longer existed.</p> <p>General Dru now called a conference of his officers and announced his purpose of assuming the powers of a dictator, distasteful as it was to him, and, as he felt it might also be, to the people. He explained that such a radical step was necessary, in order to quickly purge the Government of those abuses that had arisen, and give to it the form and purpose for which they had fought. They were assured that he was free from any personal ambition, and he pledged his honor to retire after the contemplated reforms had been made, so that the country could again have a constitutional government. Not one of them doubted his word, and they pledged themselves and the men under them, to sustain him loyally. He then issued an address to his army proclaiming himself <i>"Administrator of the Republic."</i></p>
SPONSORED LINKS