The Quest of the Silver Fleece HTML version

Twenty-five: The Campaign
Mr. Easterly sat in Mrs. Vanderpool's apartments in the New Willard, Washington,
drinking tea. His hostess was saying rather carelessly:
"Do you know, Mr. Vanderpool has developed a quite unaccountable liking for the idea
of being Ambassador to France?"
"Dear me!" mildly exclaimed Mr. Easterly, helping himself liberally to cakes. "I do hope
the thing can be managed, but—"
"What are the difficulties?" Mrs. Vanderpool interrupted.
"Well, first and foremost, the difficulty of electing our man."
"I thought that a foregone conclusion."
"It was. But do you know that we're encountering opposition from the most unexpected
The lady was receptive, and the speaker concluded:
"The Negroes."
"The Negroes!"
"Yes. There are five hundred thousand or more black voters in pivotal Northern States,
you know, and they're in revolt. In a close election the Negroes of New York, Ohio,
Indiana, and Illinois choose the President."
"What's the matter?"
"Well, business interests have driven our party to make friends with the South. The South
has disfranchised Negroes and lynched a few. The darkies say we've deserted them."
Mrs. Vanderpool laughed.
"What extraordinary penetration," she cried.
"At any rate," said Mr. Easterly, drily, "Mr. Vanderpool's first step toward Paris lies in
getting the Northern Negroes to vote the Republican ticket. After that the way is clear."
Mrs. Vanderpool mused.