The thought of this made
Harwood uncomfortable. It was unfortunate from every standpoint that the
legislature should be called upon to choose a Senator without the usual
time for preparation. Dan had already been struck by the general air of
irresponsibility that prevailed among the legislators. Many of the
members had looked upon the special session as a lark; they seemed to
feel that their accountability to their constituents had ended with the
The "Courier," Dan observed, printed an excellent biographical sketch of
the dead Senator, and its news article on the Democratic opportunity was
seemly and colorless. The state and federal statutes bearing upon the
emergency were quoted in full, but the names of Bassett and Thatcher did
not appear, nor were any possible successors to Ridgefield mentioned.
Dan opened to the editorial page, and was not surprised to find the
leading article a dignified eulogy of the dead Senator. Then his eye
fastened upon an article so placed that it dominated the whole page. It
was the old "Stop, Look, Listen!" editorial, reproduced with minute
citation of the date of original publication.
Dan flinched as though a cupful of ice water had struck him in the face.
Whatever scandalous knowledge touching Bassett's public or private life
Thatcher might possess, it was plain that Bassett was either ignorant of
it or knew and did not fear exposure.