Page:The King's Men (1884).djvu/26

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16
THE KING'S MEN.

him for counsel. His correspondence became burdensome, and Mary, having urged him long to let her help, at last had her way.

In this way it was that she became familiar with the troubled issues of the time, and learned to think with her father in all his moods. Their house in Nottingham, with comings and goings, committees and councils, was soon like the office of a great Minister.

"This can't last," said Mr. Patterson to Mary Lincoln, one day; "he is needed in London again, and he will go. I believe they mean to nominate him for President."

Two days later, Patterson, with all the rest of England, was allowed to see the secret that had moved the political, sea for years.

The National Convention was held to nominate the President. The Radical wing (they were proud to call themselves anarchists) had developed unlooked-for strength, chiefly from the cities and great towns, and had put forward as their candidate the blatant demagogue, Lemuel Bagshaw, whose name has left so deep a stain on his country's record.

On the first day of the National Convention the news of Bagshaw's strength caused only a pained surprise throughout England. Men awaited with some irritation the proper work of the Convention. But on the second day, when the two strongest opposing candidates did not together count as many votes as the demagogue, there was downright consternation.

Then the Aristocrats showed their hand: they abandoned their sham candidate and voted solidly for the demagogue—and Lemuel Bagshaw, the atheist and anarchist,