BUT WHAT ABOUT Branton Hills’ municipal affairs, right now? In two months it was to ballot on who should sit in past-Councilman Antor’s chair; and a campaign was on which was actually sizzling. And in what a contrast to our city’s start! For it has grown rapidly; and, in comparison to that day upon which a thousand ballots was a big out-pouring of popular clamor now many politicians had City Hall aspirations. And who do you think was running for Council. now? William Gadsby. Popularly known as Bill! Bill, Branton Hills’ famous dandy; Bill, that consummation of all Branton Hills girls’ most romantic wish; Bill, that “outdoor part” of Branton Hills’ most aristocratic tailor shop! Naturally, opposing groups fought for that vacancy; part of our population clamoring loudly for Bill, but with many just as strongly against him. So it was:—

“Put Bill Gadsby in!! Bill has all our Mayor’s good points! Bill will work for all that is upright and good!”

And also:—

“What! Bill Gadsby? Is this town plumb crazy? Say! If you put that fop in City Hall you’ll find all its railings flapping with pink satin ribbons; a janitor at its main door, squirting vanilIa on all who go in; and its front lawn will turn into a pansy farm! Put a man in City Hall, not a sissy who thinks out ‘upsy-downsy, insy-outsy’ camping suits for girls !”

But though this didn’t annoy Bill, it did stir up Nancy, with:—

“Oh! That’s just an abomination! Such talk about so grand a young chap! But I just saw a billboard with a sign saying: ‘Bill Gadsby for Council;’ so, probably I shouldn’t worry, for Bill is as good as in.”

“Baby,” said Gadsby, kindly, “that’s only a billboard, and billboards don’t put a man in City Hall. It’s ballots, darling; thousands of ballots, that fill Council chairs.”

“But, Daddy, I’m going to root for Bill. I’ll stand up on a stump, or in a tip-cart, or —”

“Whoa! Wait a bit !” and Gadsby sat down by his “baby girl,” saying: “You can’t go on a stumping campaign without knowing a lot about municipal affairs; which you don’t. Any antagonist who knows about such things would out-talk you without half trying. No, darling, this political stuff is too big for you. You just look out for things in that small bungalow of yours, and allow Branton Hills to fight to put Bill in. You know my old slogan:— ‘Man at a city’s front; woman at a cabin door.’”

And Nancy, fondly stroking his hand, said:

“Man at a city’s front! What a grand post for a man! A city, a big, rushing, dashing, slamming, banging, boiling mass of humanity! A city; with its bright, happy, sunny parks; and its sad, dark slums; its rich mansions and its shanty-town shacks; its shops, inns, shows, courts, airports, railway stations, hospitals, schools, church groups, social clubs, and, — and, — Oh! What a magic visualization of human thought it is! But it is as a small child. It looks for a strong arm to support its first toddlings; for adult minds to pilot it around many pitfalls: and onward, onward!! To a shining goal!!” and Nancy’s crown of rich brown hair sank lovingly in Gadsby’s lap.

During this outburst Gadsby had sat dumb; but finally saying, proudly:—

“So, ho! My baby girl has grown up! Dolls and sand-digging tools don’t call, as of old. And small, dirty paws, and a tiny smudgy chin, transform, almost in a twinkling into charming hands and a chin of maturity. My, my! It was but a month or two ago that you, in pig-tails and gingham —”

“No, Daddy! It was a mighty long month or two ago; and it’s not pig-tails and gingham, now, but a husband and a baby.”

“All right, kid; but as you grow old, you’ll find that, in glancing backwards, months look mighty short; and small tots grow up, almost in a night. A month from now looks awfully far off: but last month? Pff! That was only last night!”

Thus did Nancy and His Honor talk, until a vigorous honking at his curb told of Frank, “looking for a cook,” for it was six o’clock.



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Books with no spinal columns.