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A Gentleman from Mississippi   By: (1879-)

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First Page:

[Illustration: THE SENATOR AND "BUD" HAINES.]

A GENTLEMAN FROM MISSISSIPPI

A NOVEL

Founded on the popular play of the same title

PRODUCED UNDER THE MANAGEMENT OF WM.A. BRADY AND JOS.R. GRISMER

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

THE SENATOR AND BUD HAINES

"FROM NEW YORK, EH? THE VICKSBURG OF THE NORTH"

"STRANGE, HOW THE LANGDON'S TREAT HIM AS A FRIEND"

THE SENATOR ACCEPTS AN INVITATION TO TEA

THE LANGDON FAMILY

"YOU'LL HAVE TO TAKE YOUR MEDICINE LIKE A MAN"

"TO MORROW, AT 12.30"

"AFTER I HAVE FINISHED, I DARE ONE OF YOU TO DENY A WORD"

INTRODUCTION

Here is a story of an epoch making battle of right against wrong, of honesty against corruption, of simplicity and sincerity against deceit, bribery and intrigue. It is the story of to day in this country. It vitally concerns every man, woman and child in the United States, so far reaching is its influence.

The warfare is now going on the warfare of honest men against corrupt political machines.

The story tells the "inside" of the political maneuvers in Washington and of the workings of bosses there and elsewhere how they shape men and women to their ends, how their cunning intrigues extend into the very social life of the nation's capital. You will find inspiration in the career of the honest old Southern planter elected to the United States Senate and the young newspaper reporter who becomes his private secretary and political pilot. Your heart will beat in sympathy with the love of the secretary and the Senator's youngest daughter.

You will read of the lobbyists and find that not all of them are men. You will see how avarice causes a daughter to conspire against her father. You will hear the note of a gripping national tragedy in the words of Peabody, the "boss of the Senate." But cause for laughter as well will not be found lacking in this truly many sided narrative.

A Gentleman from Mississippi

CHAPTER I

PRACTICAL POLITICS

That bids him flout the law he makes; That bids him make the law he flouts.

Kipling .

In buoyant spirit the Hon. Charles Norton rode up the bridle path leading through the Langdon plantation to the old antebellum homestead which, on a shaded knoll, overlooked the winding waters of the Pearl River. No finer prospect was to be had in all Mississippi than greeted the eye from the wide southwest porch, where on warm evenings the Langdons and their frequent guests gathered to dine or to watch the golden splendor of the dying sun.

The Langdon family had long been a power in the South. Its sons fought under Andrew Jackson at New Orleans, under Zachary Taylor in the war with Mexico, and in the Civil War men of that name left their blood on the fields of Antietam, Shiloh, the Wilderness and Gettysburg. But this family of fighting men, of unselfish patriots, had also marked influence in the ways of peace, as real patriots should. Generations of Langdons had taken deepest pride in developing the hundreds of acres of cotton land, whose thousands of four foot rows planted each April spread open the silvery lined bolls in July and August, and the ripened cotton fiber, pure white beneath the sun, gave from a distance the picture of an expanse of driven snow.

The Hon. Charles Norton had reason for feeling well pleased with the world as he fastened his bay Virginia hunter to a convenient post and strode up the steps of the mansion, which was a characteristic survivor of the "old South," the South of gilded romance and of gripping tragedy. Now in this second year of his first term as Congressman and a promising member of the younger set of Southern lawyers, he had just taken active part in securing the election of Colonel William H. Langdon, present head of the family, to the United States Senate, though the ultimate action of the Legislature had been really brought about by a lifelong friend of Colonel Langdon, the senior Senator from the State, James Stevens, who had not hesitated to flatter Norton and use him as a cat's paw... Continue reading book >>




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