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Philip Dru: Administrator

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<SPAN name="XXXV"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter XXXV</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Selwyn&#8217;s Story, Continued</h2> <p>By the time I was thirty-six I had accumulated what seemed to me then, a considerable fortune, and I had furthermore become Hardy&#8217;s right-hand man.</p> <p>He had his forces divided in several classes, of choice I was ranged among those whose duties were general and not local. I therefore had a survey of the city as a whole, and was not infrequently in touch with the masters of the State at large. Hardy concerned himself about my financial welfare to the extent of now and then inquiring whether my income was satisfactory, and the nature of it. I assured him that it was and that he need have no further thought of me in that connection. I told him that I was more ambitious to advance politically than financially, and, while expressing my gratitude for all he had done for me and my keen regret at the thought of leaving him, I spoke again of my desire to enter State politics.</p> <p>Some six years before I had married the daughter of a State Senator, a man who was then seeking the gubernatorial nomination.</p> <p>On my account, Hardy gave him cordial support, but the State boss had other plans, and my father-in-law was shelved &#8220;for the moment,&#8221; as the boss expressed it, for one who suited his purposes better.</p> <p>Both Hardy, my father-in-law, and their friends resented this action, because the man selected was not in line for the place and the boss was not conforming to the rules of the game.</p> <p>They wanted to break openly and immediately, but I advised delay until we were strong enough to overthrow him.</p> <p>The task of quietly organizing an effective opposition to the State boss was left to me, and although I lost no time, it was a year before I was ready to make the fight.</p> <p>In the meanwhile, the boss had no intimation of the revolt. My father-in-law and Hardy had, by my direction, complied with all the requests that he made upon them, and he thought himself never more secure.</p> <p>I went to the legislature that year in accordance with our plans, and announced myself a candidate for speaker. I did this without consulting the boss and purposely. He had already selected another man, and had publicly committed himself to his candidacy, which was generally considered equivalent to an election.</p> <p>The candidate was a weak man, and if the boss had known the extent of the opposition that had developed, he would have made a stronger selection. As it was, he threw not only the weight of his own influence for his man and again irrevocably committed himself, but he had his creature, the Governor, do likewise.</p> <p>My strength was still not apparent, for I had my forces well in hand, and while I had a few declare themselves for me, the major part were non-committal, and spoke in cautious terms of general approval of the boss&#8217;s candidate.</p> <p>The result was a sensation. I was elected by a safe, though small, majority, and, as a natural result, the boss was deposed and I was proclaimed his successor.</p> <p>I had found in organizing the revolt that there were many who had grievances which, from fear, they had kept hidden but when they were shown that they could safely be revenged, they eagerly took advantage of the opportunity.</p> <p>So, in one campaign, I burst upon the public as the party leader, and the question was now, how would I use it and could I hold it.</p>
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