The Quest of the Silver Fleece
Twenty-nine: A Master Of Fate
"There is not the slightest doubt, Miss Wynn," Senator Smith was saying, "but that the
schools of the District will be reorganized."
"And the Board of Education abolished?" she added.
"Yes. The power will be delegated to a single white superintendent."
The vertical line in Caroline Wynn's forehead became pronounced.
"Whose work is this, Senator?" she asked.
"Well, there are, of course, various parties back of the change: the 'outs,' the reformers,
the whole tendency to concentrate responsibility, and so on. But, frankly, the deciding
factor was the demand of the South."
"Is there anything in Washington that the South does not already own?"
Senator Smith smiled thinly.
"Not much," drily; "but we own the South."
"And part of the price is putting the colored schools of the District in the hands of a
Southern man and depriving us of all voice in their control?"
"Precisely, Miss Wynn. But you'd be surprised to know that it was the Negroes
themselves who stirred the South to this demand."
"Not at all; you mean the colored newspapers, I presume."
"The same, with Teerswell's clever articles; then his partner Stillings worked the
'impudent Negro teacher' argument on Cresswell until Cresswell was wild to get the
South in control of the schools."
"But what do Teerswell and Stillings want?"
"They want Bles Alwyn to make a fool of himself."
"That is a trifle cryptic," Miss Wynn mused. The Senator amplified.