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A Spoil of Office A Story of the Modern West   By: (1860-1940)

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A SPOIL OF OFFICE

Hamlin Garland's Books.

Uniform edition. Each, 12mo, cloth, $1.25.

Wayside Courtships. Jason Edwards. A Spoil of Office. A Member of the Third House.

A Little Norsk. 16mo. 50 cents.

D. APPLETON & COMPANY, NEW YORK.

A SPOIL OF OFFICE

A STORY OF THE MODERN WEST

BY

HAMLIN GARLAND

AUTHOR OF JASON EDWARDS, A MEMBER OF THE THIRD HOUSE, A LITTLE NORSK, ETC.

NEW AND REVISED EDITION

NEW YORK D. APPLETON AND COMPANY M DCCC XCVII

Copyright, 1897, by D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

Copyright, 1892, by Hamlin Garland

TO

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS,

THE FOREMOST HISTORIAN OF OUR COMMON LIVES AND THE MOST VITAL FIGURE IN OUR LITERATURE, I DEDICATE THIS STUDY OF THE GREAT MIDDLE WEST, ITS CONTEMPORARY LIFE AND LANDSCAPE.

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION.

In this story of "A Spoil of Office" it was my intention to treat life as it would present itself to a young Western man of humble condition, who should set himself to the task of winning a political success. I have therefore maintained with considerable care the point of view of Bradley Talcott. Such a design loses in variety but gains, it seems to me, in unity and continuity of movement.

It has one marked disadvantage, however: it is apt to be misunderstood by the reader who may take the characters, events, and theories, judged by the central figure, to be the author's estimate. To illustrate: Ida Wilbur is presented as she appeared to Bradley Talcott, and not as the reader would see her, and not as the author would have delineated her had she been taken as the central figure of the book. This explanatory word seemed needed; being given, I leave its working out to the reader.

The three great movements of the American farmer, herein used as background the Grange, the Alliance, and the People's party seem to me to be as legitimate subjects for fiction as any war or crusade. They came in impulses with mightiest enthusiasms, they died out like waves upon the beach; but the power which originated them did not die; it will return in different forms again and again, so long as the love of liberty and the hatred of injustice live in the hearts of men and women.

What the next movement will be I do not know; but when it comes, Bradley Talcott and Ida his wife will be foremost among its leaders.

HAMLIN GARLAND.

CHICAGO, May, 1897.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE GRANGE PICNIC 1 II. THE DINNER UNDER THE OAK 17 III. BRADLEY RESOLVES TO GO TO SCHOOL 26 IV. TRIALS AT SCHOOL 38 V. BRADLEY RISES TO ADDRESS THE CARTHAGINIANS 58 VI. BRADLEY ATTENDS A CONVENTION 78 VII. THE FARMERS OUST THE RING 87 VIII. BRADLEY ATTACKS NETTIE'S FATHER 95 IX. BRADLEY MEETS MRS. BROWN 102 X. A COUNTRY POLLING PLACE 111 XI. STUDYING WITH THE JUDGE 122 XII. THE JUDGE ADVISES BRADLEY 129 XIII. BRADLEY SEES IDA AGAIN 136 XIV. BRADLEY CHANGES HIS POLITICS 158 XV. HOME AGAIN WITH THE JUDGE 169 XVI. NOMINATION 180 XVII. ELECTION 195 XVIII. DON'T BLOW OUT THE GAS 203 XIX. CARGILL TAKES BRADLEY IN HAND 218 XX. AT THE STATE HOUSE 232 XXI. BRADLEY AND CARGILL CALL ON IDA 242 XXII... Continue reading book >>




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