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ment pay or obscure country gentlemen waiting for somebody to die. They kept on driving in the peg and before they got through all the chinks were filled. Keep your toes in your pumps, gentlemen. High-Muck is loaded for something; I see it in his eyes. Go on, High-Muck, and let us have it. How do you vote—blood or brains?”

“Neither,” I answered. “Lemois is nearest the truth. You can’t make a silk purse out of—you know the rest—neither can you force a man, nor can he force himself, to succeed in something for which he is not fitted. All you do is to split the plank and ruin his life. I’ll tell you a story which will perhaps give you and idea of what I mean.

“Perhaps five years ago—perhaps six—my memory is always bad for dates—I met a fellow in one of our small Western cities at home who, by all odds, was the most brilliant conversationalist I had run across for years. The acquaintance began as my audience—I was lecturing at the time—left the room and was continued under the sidewalk, where we had a porter-house steak and a mug apiece, the repast and talk lasting until two in the morning. Gradually I learned his history. He had started