The Ear in the Wall HTML version
27. The Election Night
It was election night. Kennedy and Carton had arranged between them that we were all to
receive the returns at the headquarters of the Reform League, where one of the papers
which was particularly interested, had installed several special wires.
The polls had scarcely closed when Kennedy and I, who had voted early, if not often, in
spite of our strenuous day, hastened up to the headquarters. Already it was a scene of
The first election district had come in, one on the lower East Side, which was a
stronghold of Dorgan, where the count could be made quickly, for there were no split
tickets there. Dorgan had drawn first blood.
"I hope it isn't an omen," smiled Carton, like a good sport.
Kennedy smiled quietly.
We looked about, but Miss Ashton was not there. I wondered why not and where she
The first returns had scarcely begun to filter in, though, when Craig leaned over and
whispered to me to go out and find her, either at her home, or if not there, at a woman's
club of which she was one of the leading members.
I found her at home and sent up my card. She had apparently lost interest in the election
and it was with difficulty that I could persuade her to accompany me to the League
headquarters. However, I argued the case with what ability I had and finally she
The other members of the Ashton family had monopolized the cars and we were obliged
to take a taxicab. As our driver threaded his way slowly and carefully through the
thronged streets it gave us a splendid chance to see some of the enthusiasm. I think it did
Margaret Ashton good, too, to get out, instead of brooding over the events of the past few
days, as she had seen them. Her heightened colour made her more attractive than ever.
The excitement of any other night in the year paled to insignificance before this.
Distracted crowds everywhere were cheering and blowing horns. Now a series of wild
shouts broke forth from the dense mass of people before a newspaper bulletin board.
Now came sullen groans, hisses, and catcalls, or all together, with cheers, as the returns
swung in another direction. Not even baseball could call out such a crowd as this.