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Philip Dru: Administrator; A Story of Tomorrow, 1920-1935 By Edward Mandell House Characters: 4194

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


Dru and Selwyn Meet

The roads of destiny oftentimes lead us in strange and unlooked for directions and bring together those whose thoughts and purposes are as wide as space itself. When Gloria Strawn first entered boarding school, the roommate given her was Janet Selwyn, the youngest daughter of the Senator. They were alike in nothing, except, perhaps, in their fine perception of truth and honor. But they became devoted friends and had carried their attachment for one another beyond their schoolgirl days. Gloria was a frequent visitor at the Selwyn household both in Washington and Philadelphia, and was a favorite with the Senator. He often bantered her concerning her "socialistic views," and she in turn would declare that he would some day see the light. Now and then she let fall a hint of Philip, and one day Senator Selwyn suggested that she invite him over to Philadelphia to spend the week end with them. "Gloria, I would like to meet this paragon of the ages," said he jestingly, "although I am somewhat fearful that he may persuade me to 'sell all that I have and give it to the poor.'"

"I will promise to protect you during this one visit, Senator," said Gloria, "but after that I shall leave you to your fate."

"Dear Philip," wrote Gloria, "the great Senator Selwyn has expressed a wish to know you, and at his suggestion, I am writing to ask you here to spend with us the coming week end. I have promised that you will not denude him of all his possessions at your first meeting, but beyond that I have refused to go. Seriously, though, I think you should come, for if you would know something of politics, then why not get your lessons from the fountain head?

"Your very sincere,

"Gloria."

In reply Philip wrote:

"Dear Gloria: You are ever anticipating my wishes. In the crusade we are making I find it essential to know politics, if we are to reach the final goal that we have in mind, and you have prepared the way for the first lesson. I will be over to-morrow on the four o'clock. Please do not bother to meet me.

"Faithfully yours,

"Philip."

Gloria and Janet Strawn were at the station to meet him. "Janet, this is Mr. Dru," said Gloria. "It makes me very happy to have my two best friends meet." As they got in her electric runabout, Janet Strawn said, "Since dinner will not be served for two hours or more, let us drive in the park for a while." Gloria was pleased to see that Philip was interested in the bright, vivacious chatter of her friend, and she was glad to hear him respond in the same light strain. However, she was confessedly nervous when Senator Selwyn and Philip met. Though in different ways, she admired them both profoundly. Selwyn had a delightful personality, and Gloria felt sure that Philip would come measurably under the influence of it, even though their views were so widely divergent. And in this she was right. Here, she felt, were two great antagonists, and she was eager for the intellectual battle to begin. But she was to be disappointed, for Philip became the listener, and did but little of the talking. He led Senator Selwyn into a dissertation upon the present conditions of the country, and the bearing of the political questions upon them. Selwyn said nothing indiscreet, yet he unfolded to Philip's view a new and potential world. Later in the evening, the Senator was unsuccessful in his efforts to draw from his young guest his point of view. Philip saw the futility of such a discussion, and contented Selwyn by expressing an earnest appreciation of his patience in making clear so many things about which he had been ignorant. Next morning, Senator Selwyn was strolling with Gloria in the rose garden, when he said, "Gloria, I like your friend Dru. I do not recall ever having met any one like him." "Then you got him to talk after we left last night. I am so glad. I was afraid he had on one of his quiet spells."

"No, he said but little, but the questions he asked gave me glimpses of his mind that sometimes startled me. He was polite, modest but elusive, nevertheless, I like him, and shall see more of him." Far sighted as Selwyn was, he did not know the full extent of this prophecy.

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