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Copyright, 1916,

By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Set up and clectrotyped. Published March, 1916. Reprinted
March, twice, 1916.

GOD'S PUPPETS

GOD'S PUPPETS

A SOCIAL RECTANGLE

PART I

In that early and unlovely day in our national life when men coming home from the Civil War still regarded pain-giving as one of the high virtues, the Times-Globe never referred to Colonel Longford less gently than as “that human orangutan.” His presence was esteemed by the same authority and in those days as a “ portable plague spot.” In a great black sheet-iron box locked with a log-chain and padlock - a box whereon the edi. tor's rifle rested, a mute token of his willingness to assist might in making right — were filed away records of the evil men had done in the town, in the county, in the State and in the nation. That box was a kind of black Ark of the Covenant which the editor kept with his fellows, and in the box,

I

he always claimed, were records and documents whose lightest word would send Colonel Longford through the penitentiary to suicide.

Yet the Colonel was not upon particularly intimate terms of enmity with the editor; the Colonel's dark record was one of scores to which the editor of the Times-Globe in his high office of guardian of the public morals and keeper of the town's conscience pointed with pride. And it may be worth while to recall that in the open season for shooting editors — as for instance when the campaign for the location of the courthouse was on, during a campaign for voting railroad bonds or for choosing a member of the school board or the council — the Colonel was but one of a gallant company who availed themselves of the season's pleasant privilege and took pot shots, wing shots and trap shots at the editor. So the long list of those names that could not be printed in the paper grew longer, until in the decade following the Civil War the list included the flower of the chivalry of New Raynham. And as many of the flowers in that bouquet were merchants whose advertising patronage was needed by the sordid demands of a pay roll, it became necessary for the

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