What though his Detractors called him a Four-Flush and a False Alarm, alleging that a true analysis of his Mentality would be just about as profitable as dissecting a Bass Drum?
The more they knocked, the more oleo-margarine became his beaming Countenance, for he knew that Calumny avails naught against a White Tie in the Hot-Bed of cut-and-dried Orthodoxy.
He played the social String from the W.C.T.U. to the Elks and was a blood-brother of the Tin Horn and the acidulated Elder with the scant Skilligans.
In order to keep the High-Binders and the Epworth Leaguers both on his Staff at one and the same time, he had to be some Equilibrist, so he never hoisted a Slug except in his own Office, where he kept it behind the Supreme Court Reports.
When he went out the third time for the same Job, the Voters saw it was no use trying to block him off, so he landed.
In the full crimson of Triumph, with new Patent Leather Shoes and as much as $40 in his Kick at one time, he never forgot for a moment that he was a servant of the Pe-hee-pul and might want to run for something else in the near future.
He tempered Justice with Mercy and quashed many an Indictment if the Defendant looked like a grateful Geezer who might be useful in his own Precinct.
No one dared to attack him because of the fact that he had delivered a Lecture to the eager young souls at the Y.M.C.A., in which he had exhibited a Road Map and proved that adherence to the Cardinal Virtues leads unerringly to Success.
At the age of thirty-two he broke into the Legislature and began to wear a White Vest, of the kind affected by the more exclusive Bar Tenders. Also a variety of Shroud known as the Prince Albert.
He was fearless in discussing any proposed Measure that did not worry the Farmer Vote in his own District.
As for Wall Street and the Plunderbund, when he got after them, he was a raving Bosco. A regular Woof-Woofer and bite their heads off.
About the time he came up for re-election, a lot of Character-Assassins tried to shell-road him and hand him the Gaff and crowd him into the 9-hole.
They said he had been flirting with the Corporations and sitting in on Jack-Pots and smearing himself at the Pie Counter.
Did they secure his Goat by such crude Methods?
Not while the 5-octave Voice and the enveloping Prince Albert and the snow-white Necktie were in working Trim.
He went over the whole District in an Auto (one of the fruits of his Frugality), and everywhere that Sylvester went the American Eagle was sure to go, riding on the Wind-Shield, and a Starry Banner draped over the Hood.
He waved aside all Charges made against him. To give them serious Heed would be an Insult to the high Intelligence of the Hired Hands gathered within Sound of his Voice. He believed in discussing the Paramount Issues.
So he would discuss them in such a way that the Railway Trains passing by were no interruption whatsoever.
In course of time his Hair outgrew the Legislature. He was on whispering terms with a clean majority of all the Partisans in three connecting Counties, so he bought one Gross of the White String Kind and a pair of Gum Sneakers and began to run amuck as a Candidate for Congress.
Even his trusty Henchmen were frightened to know that he had become obsessed of such a vaulting Ambition.
They did not have him sized, that was all. The farther from home he traveled, the more resounding was the Hit he registered.
The Days of Spring were lengthening and the Campaign was not far distant when Sylvester, after looking at the Signs in the Sky and putting his Ear to the Ground, discovered that he was thoroughly impregnated with the new Progressive Doctrines.
The change came overnight, but he was in the Band Wagon ahead of the Driver.