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The Consul - Richard Harding Davis

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The Consul

by Richard Harding Davis


For over forty years, in one part of the world or another, old man
Marshall had, served his country as a United States consul. He had
been appointed by Lincoln. For a quarter of a century that fact was
his distinction. It was now his epitaph. But in former years, as
each new administration succeeded the old, it had again and again
saved his official head. When victorious and voracious
place-hunters, searching the map of the world for spoils, dug out
his hiding-place and demanded his consular sign as a reward for a
younger and more aggressive party worker, the ghost of the dead
President protected him. In the State Department, Marshall had
become a tradition. "You can't touch Him!" the State Department
would say; "why, HE was appointed by Lincoln!" Secretly, for this
weapon against the hungry headhunters, the department was
infinitely grateful. Old man Marshall was a consul after its own
heart. Like a soldier, he was obedient, disciplined; wherever he
was sent, there, without question, he would go. Never against
exile, against ill-health, against climate did he make complaint.
Nor when he was moved on and down to make way for some
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