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Page:Stanwood Pier--The ancient grudge.djvu/231

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in Avalon." It gratified him to find that his reputation was extending beyond the city limits; certain political honors came to him unsought; he was chosen delegate-at-large to the Republican National Convention, and there he made the speech nominating for the presidency the "favorite son" of the state, who on the first ballot received the complimentary vote of his state and no other. Experiences like this caused Colonel Halket to renew his youth; he aspired to an eminence broader, greater than any that had yet Engaged him—in short, to an eminence that should be national. His mills were known all over the country; what he now dreamed of and set his mind upon was that his personality should likewise be known and esteemed. The noble, public-spirited citizen, the generous employer, the polished, cultivated gentleman, the pioneer of a more humane and kindly era, the lovable man—these were a few sides of his character of which he was profoundly conscious and for which he desired wider recognition. To that end, he no longer confined his benefactions to Avalon; he contributed to various good causes in various parts of the country, traveled far to make speeches, enjoyed hearing the eulogies pronounced upon him by presiding officers, enjoyed bowing to the applause. Sometimes he thought of identifying himself with some political issue and lending his influence and voice to the championship of some public cause, but there was none that appealed with sufficient strength to his dramatic sense; no doubt he was wise in restricting himself to the enunciation of excellent generalities and championing nothing more definite than humanity.

Meanwhile, his autobiography was progressing. Floyd made repeated efforts to secure a reading of it, but Colonel Halket was firm; no one should see the manuscript except the publisher. Floyd felt that he could mark the stages in its development by the reminiscences which his grandfather occasionally let fall; from dealing with the remote past, they were now approaching perilously near the im-