He was one of the original 787 Boy Orators of the Timothy Hay Section of the Imperial Middle West.
At every hotel Banquet, whether by the Alumni of the Shorthand College or under the auspices of the Piano Movers’ Pleasure Club, he was right up at the Head Table with his Hair rumpled, ready to exchange a Monologue for a few warm Oysters and a cut of withered Chicken.
On Memorial Day it was Sylvester who choked up while laying his Benediction on the Cumrads of the G. A. R.
On Labor Day he unbuttoned his Vest all the way down, held a trembling Fist clear above the leonine Mat, and demanded a living Wage for every Toiler.
Consequently he acquired repute as a staunch Friend of the Agriculturist, the Steam Fitter, the Old Soldier, the Department Store Employee, and others accustomed to voting in Shoals. In order to mature himself and be seasoned for onerous Responsibilities, he waited until he was 22 years of age before attempting to gain a frontage at the Trough.
It was highly important that he should serve the Suvrin People in some Capacity involving Compensation. It was fairly important to him and it was vitally important to a certain Woman of gambling Disposition, who operated a Boarding-House.
Sylvester was the type of Lawyer intensely admired but seldom employed, save by Criminals entirely bereft of Means.
In addition to his Board, the young Barrister actually required a pouch of Fine Cut and a clean White Tie every week, so he was impelled by stern Necessity to endeavor to hook up with a Salary.
Because Sylvester had administered personal Massage to every Voter within five Miles of his office, he thought he could leap into the Arena and claim an immediate Laurel Wreath by the mere charm and vigor of his Personality.
He ignored the Whispering Ikes who met in the dim Back Room, with Cotton plugged in the Key Hole.
The Convention met, and when it came time to nominate a Candidate for State’s Attorney, all of Sylvester’s tried and true Friends among the Masses were at home working in the Garden or spread out in the Hammock.
The Traction Engine pulled the Juggernaut over the Popular Idol.
They lit on him spraddled out. They gave him the Doo-Doo.
When the Battle had ended, he was a mile from the cheerful Bivouac, lying stark in the Moonlight.
He was supposed to be eliminated. The only further recognition accorded him would be at the Autopsy.
Next day he was back in his usual Haunts, with an immaculate Bow Tie and a prop Smile, shaking hands with all who had so recently harpooned him. As a Come-Back he was certainly the resilient Kid.
Those who had marveled at his sole-leather Organ of Speech, now had to admire his sheet metal Sensibilities, nor could they deny that he possessed all the attributes of a sound and durable Candidate.
He had learned his Primer lesson in Politics. As soon as he saw that he could not throw the Combination, he joined it.
He came into the Corral and lay down in the Dust and allowed them to brand him as a Regular.
Sylvester became the White Slave of the Central Committee, knowing that eventually true Patriotism would have to be recognized and recompensed.
When he came to bat the second time he had the Permanent Chairman and the Tellers and all the Rough-Necks plugging for him, consequently it was a Pipe.
But it was a case of Reverse English on Election Day, for the venal Opposition rode into power on a Tidal Wave.
After the Tide had receded, Sylvester was found asleep among the Clams and Sea-Weed, apparently so far gone that a Pulmotor would be no help.
Three days later, however, he was on hand, with chaste Neckwear and a jaunty Front, to make a Presentation Speech to the Chief of the Fire Department.
Talk about your Rubber Cores! The harder they trun him down the higher he bounced back.
Those who had been marked by Fate to be his Constits began to see that Sylvester was something inevitable and not to be denied.