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Authors: Allen Drury

Preserve and Protect

Table of Contents

Allen Drury

Preserve and Protect

Allen Drury

The United States is thrown into chaos as the President is killed in a plane crash shortly after securing his party’s nomination in a hotly contested race for re-election. As suspicions are cast upon the circumstances of the place crash, the incumbent party quickly convenes to nominate a candidate in a storm of domestic and international chaos.

Against the backdrop of a rich cast of characters, the motivations and drives of each candidate and player help shape the future of the nation and the world. Allen Drury’s
Preserve and Protect
brings to a climax the epic saga begun with Pulitzer Prize winning
Advise and Consent—
and ends with one of the greatest cliffhangers in all of political fiction.

***

Other Allen Drury Titles
from Wordfire

The Advise and Consent series

Advise and Consent

A Shade of Difference

Capable of Honor

Other Novels

Preserve and Protect

Come Nineveh, Come Tyre

The Promise of Joy

Decision

Mark Coffin, U.S.S.

***

Smashwords Edition – October 2014

WordFire Press
wordfirepress.com

ISBN: 978-1-61475-217-2

Copyright © 2014 Kevin D. Killiany and Kenneth A. Killiany

Originally published by Doubleday and Company, Inc. 1968

Foreword excerpted from “An Exclusive Interview With Allan Drury” by John Knoop, which appeared in
Writer’s Yearbook 1968
, with permission from
Writer’s Digest
.

“Education for Politics” published in the Rollins
Animated Magazine
, Volume XXXIV, Number 1. February 26, 1961, on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee observance of the founding of Rollins College, 1885–1960. Reprinted with permission.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the express written permission of the copyright holder, except where permitted by law. This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, used fictitiously.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Cover design by Janet McDonald

Art Director Kevin J. Anderson

Book Design by RuneWright, LLC
www.RuneWright.com

Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, Publishers

Published by
WordFire Press, an imprint of
WordFire, Inc.
PO Box 1840
Monument, CO 80132

Electronic Version by Baen Books
www.baen.com

***

Dedication

To the hopeful, the well-meaning
and the goodhearted, who may
still be in the majority

***

Foreword

Interviewer: What is the title of your next novel?

Drury:
Preserve and Protect

Interviewer: There’s an echo there. Can you tell me a little about it?

Drury: Well, it carries on the same characters into a new Administration; a new President and various crises along the way. I’m about 150 pages in and it’ll take most of the year to finish it.

Interviewer: How contemporary is it?

Drury: Well, it’s like all of them, it’s—the time reference and time framework is slightly in advance of the present day, which is just a novelistic gimmick, of course, to permit the freedom to comment on a lot of things. Again, I’ve had letters from readers who tell me exactly what Administration I was writing about—It could only be so-and-so and Johnson was so-and-so, but it’s none of those of course. And this one I think is more and more going to revolve around the central theme of violence because inevitably it is the central theme we’re living through. Not so much violence for or against a particular thing, but the whole question of violence; when and ever it’s justified, and what it leads to and what it does to the people who employ it, as well as the people it’s employed against, and so on.

Interviewer: This includes an international situation?

Drury: Yes.

Interviewer: How directly do you draw from events of the past three years?

Drury: Well, nothing specific, except riots and demonstrations, but then, no particular one. I mean, there are such things going on and they are apparently becoming an increasing failure of our national life with many implications and consequences in the long run.

Interviewer: But you’re not referring directly to Vietnam?

Drury: Well, no. Of course in
Capable of Honor
, I had already established a couple of wars going on in which the U.S. is involved and I’m just turning them forward, I’m not creating any new ones.

Interviewer: You really are building a continuum.

Drury: Yes, this will be the fourth and I think this will be the last book for a while with the same group of characters. I don’t know, it may not be. I just have to see how this thing develops.

Excerpted from “An Exclusive Interview with Allan Drury” by John Knoop, which appeared in Writer's Yearbook 1968, with permission from Writer's Digest.

MAJOR CHARACTERS IN THE NOVEL

At Andrews Air Force Base:

Harley M. Hudson, President of the United States

In Washington

William Abbott, President of the United States

Lucille Hudson, former First Lady

Orrin Knox, Secretary of State

Beth, his wife

Hal, his son

Crystal Danta Knox, his daughter-in-law

Robert Durham Munson of Michigan, Majority Leader of the United States Senate

Dolly, his wife

Governor Edward M. Jason of California

Ceil, his wife

Patsy Jason Labaiya, his sister

Mr. Justice Thomas Buckmaster Davis of the United States Supreme Court

George Harrison Wattersill, an advocate

Robert A. Leffingwell, director of the President’s Commission on Administrative Reform

Helen-Anne Carrew, a columnist

Walter Dobius, a columnist

Frankly Unctuous, a commentator

LeGage Shelby, director of Defenders of Equality for You (DEFY)

Senator Fred Van Ackerman of Wyoming, spokesman for the Committee on Making Further Offers for a Russian Truce (COMFORT)

Rufus Kleinfert, Knight Kommander of the Konference on Efforts to Encourage Patriotism (KEEP)

J. B. “Jawbone” Swarthman of South Carolina, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee

At the United Nations

Lafe Smith, Senator from Iowa

Cullee Hamilton, Representative from California

Lord Claude Maudulayne, the British Ambassador

Raoul Barre, the French Ambassador

Krishna Khaleel, the Indian Ambassador

Vasily Tashikov, the Soviet Ambassador

Prince Obifumatta Ajkaje of Gorotoland

Felix Labaiya-Sofra of Panama

On the National Committee:

Roger P. Croy of Oregon

Esmé Harbellow Stryke of California

Asa B. Attwood of California

Pierre Boissevain of Vermont

Mary Buttner Baffleburg of Pennsylvania

Lizzie Hanson McWharter of Kansas

Anna Hooper Bigelow of New Hampshire

Lathia Talbott Jennings of South Dakota

Lyle Strathmore of Michigan

Luther W. Redfield of Washington

Ewan MacDonald MacDonald of Wyoming

Blair Hannah of Illinois

***

Note to the Reader

Most of the characters in this novel, and the background of most of the events in it, have appeared in its predecessors,
Advise and Consent
,
A Shade of Difference
and
Capable of Honor
.

In
Advise and Consent
(1959) will be found the story of the nomination of Robert A. Leffingwell to be Secretary of State; the accession of Vice President Harley M. Hudson to the Presidency; the successful Soviet manned landing on the moon; the death of Senator Brigham Anderson of Utah; the appointment of Senator Orrin Knox of Illinois to be Secretary of State following the defeat of Bob Leffingwell by the Senate. There, also, will be found the marriage of Orrin’s son Hal to Crystal Danta, the marriage of Senate Majority Leader Robert Munson of Michigan to Washington hostess Dolly Harrison, and many other episodes leading into later books.

In
A Shade of Difference
(1962) will be found the visit to South Carolina and New York of His Royal Highness Terence Wolowo Ajkaje, ruler of Gorotoland, with all its explosive effects upon the racial problem in the United States and the United Nations; the beginnings of the rebellion in Gorotoland; the early stages of Ambassador Felix Labaiya’s activities in Panama; the opening moves of California’s Negro Congressman, Cullee Hamilton, in his race for the Senate; the opening moves of California’s Governor Edward M. Jason in his campaign for the Presidential nomination; the death of Senator Harold Fry of West Virginia and his decision to entrust his son Jimmy to Senator Lafe Smith of Iowa; and many other episodes leading into later books.

In
Capable of Honor
, (1966) will be found the bitter convention battle between President Hudson and Governor Jason; the selection of Orrin Knox for the Vice Presidential nomination; the escalation of the war in Gorotoland, the outbreak of war in Panama, and the United Nations debates that culminate in the first United States vetoes in history. There also will be found the ominous coalition of Defenders of Equality for You (DEFY), the Committee on Making Further Offers for a Russian Truce (COMFORT), and the Konference on Efforts to Encourage Patriotism (KEEP) which turns the convention into a near-battleground and paves the way for the events that surround the selection of a President and Vice President in the present novel.

Running through previous novels, through this and others to come—as it runs through our times—is the continuing argument between those who would use responsible firmness to maintain orderly social progress and oppose the Communist drive for world dominion, and those who believe that in a reluctance to be firm, in permissiveness, and in the steady erosion of the law lies the surest path to world peace and a stable society.

***

One
The Speaker’s Book

1

Sometime he read. Sometimes he dozed. But mostly, as Air Force One moved swiftly back from San Francisco to Washington across a summer-somnolent land, the President of the United States thought.

Not particularly profound or major thoughts: the furious national convention just concluded in the lovely city by the Bay had left him too tired and too emotionally exhausted for that. Just the rather wandering, musing thoughts of a gentle man still surprised by his own capacity for deviousness, his own surrender to anger and retaliation, his own grim pursuit of the power he had once thought himself too mild and generous ever to need or want.

He had meant it a year ago when, upon his accession to the White House following the death of his brilliant predecessor, he had told a hushed and emotional Senate that he did not want another term and would not run. Now international crisis and those hostile columnists and broadcasters who had produced the savage commentaries, the hurtful news stories, the suavely damaging broadcasts and the screaming headlines about him and about the convention had changed all that.

(PRESIDENT FORCES BITTER DELEGATES TO TAKE SECRETARY OF STATE ORRIN KNOX FOR VICE PRESIDENT ON PRO-WAR TICKET, they said now. GOVERNOR EDWARD JASON OF CALIFORNIA, DEFEATED IN PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL BIDS, MAY LAUNCH THIRD PARTY IN CAUSE OF WORLD PEACE.)

He had meant it when he announced a month ago that he would not attempt to dictate the choice of Vice President Ted Jason and the cynical souls supporting him had changed all that.

He had meant it, years ago, when he thought that all he wanted from life was a loving family, a good home, a peaceful life.

The strange ways of power and politics in a strange and complex country had changed all that.

So here he was, plan-changer, word-breaker, grasper after power as avid as his fellows: Harley M. Hudson, President and candidate, learner with the rest that certain roads of power, once entered, sometimes cannot be abandoned.

Nor should they be, he told himself as the giant craft passed into Maryland, providing a man believed he could see a road that led at last, through whatever dark forest, toward some ultimate benefit for the United States. If a man saw somewhere ahead some shining upland where the puzzled, unhappy, beloved Republic might rest at last, if history had given him a chance to lead her to it, then he had a right to seek power, a right to get it if he could, a right to hold and use it as the Lord gave him strength.

Most things were justified by this … for Presidents in pursuit of their fearful duty, he was finally beginning to believe, all things.

Much had been made of honor at the convention, as Ted Jason had said in his agonized speech of withdrawal, after Harley had won their savage battle for the Presidential nomination and then had thrust Ted aside to choose Orrin Knox for second place. And this was true, and each of them had been forced to come to terms with honor in his own way, as best he could.

For himself, the President had done what the imperatives of history required. So, no doubt, had all the rest, from Ted to Walter Dobius, that hostile and rather ridiculous bellwether of the press whose syndicated column in 436 newspapers gave him such enormous impact on the ideas and policies of his time.

The President was satisfied in his own conscience about the angry events of recent days: let Ted and Walter and the rest make what bargains they could with theirs.

There came a point where a man could not worry about others’ peace of mind.

His own was problem enough.

He closed his eyes, his plain, pleasant face slipping into repose. He wished Lucille were with him, but the First Lady was on her way to “Maine Chance” for a week of recovery from the convention’s turmoil. He wished Orrin Knox were, too, but the Secretary of State and Beth were taking their son Hal and his wife Crystal to Carmel, so that Crystal might recover from the beating by anonymous Jason supporters which had resulted in the loss of her baby.

Quite frequently, the President mused with a wry little smile, the people you needed most were far away. All you had was the comfort of knowing that they were probably thinking of you. He knew Lucille and Orrin were. His face relaxed completely. For the last time on his journey home, he slept.

“There it is!” cried the
New York Times
at Andrews Air Force Base in nearby Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia. “It’s a bird—it’s a man—”

“It’s Fearless Peerless,” the
Chicago Daily News
replied, using the ironic nickname the press corps had given Harley a year ago when he faced down the Russians at Geneva, “so cut the disrespectful, irreverent, God-damned chatter.”

“Shall we kneel down and touch our heads to the ground?” the
Washington Post
inquired.

“Better lie down in a line and let him use us for a rug to walk to the White House helicopter, hadn’t we?” the
Washington Evening Star
suggested in wry reference to the way the President had triumphed over the opposition of a majority of press and television at the convention. “That might be more fitting, under the circumstances.”

They all laughed, somewhat ruefully, but dauntless still; not noticing in the flurry and excitement and sudden bustling all about that in the jostling, police-held crowd pressed up against the fence behind them, one other, gifted by a sometimes puzzling Almighty with the gift to change the world, laughed too.

In Gorotoland in Central Africa at that moment, at the ancient city of Mbuele in the highlands, Prince Obifumatta Ajkaje and his stern-faced Communist advisers were even then rejecting, for the twenty-seventh time, the cautious peace feelers put out by Britain through the circuitous route of Ceylon, Nigeria and Guyana, in an attempt to end the steadily escalating war with the United States. And in the capital, dusty Molobangwe on the plains, his cousin Prince Terence, “Terrible Terry,” head of the legitimate government, was reviewing the latest detachment of U.S. troops, whose arrival, as yet unannounced, would lift the formal American commitment to one hundred thousand men.

In Panama, Felix Labaiya, standing alone as he liked to do on the terrace of his ancestral estate, “Suerte,” staring down the long valley that led from Chiriqui to the sea, was calculating what the convention’s humiliation of his brother-in-law, Governor Jason, might drive that brilliant, ambitious mind to do. On the basis of what he thought he understood of Ted, who now was virtually trapped into launching a “Peace Party” in the coming election in an attempt to defeat the ticket of Harley Hudson and Orrin Knox, Felix was making his decision with a renewed determination. He would order his forces to fight on in their battle to overturn the legitimate Panamanian government, seize the Canal, and force the United States once and for all out of his fiercely loved land.

At the UN, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Cuba and nine Afro-Asian nations were preparing yet another resolution demanding United States withdrawal from around the globe, agreeing that they would reintroduce it regularly each month from now on so that America, if she so desired, might keep on affronting the world with her hated and inexcusable vetoes in the Security Council.

In San Francisco, the disgruntled, the hopeful, the idealistic, the subversive, the believers in Ted Jason and the Right Position on Things, the famous names and prima donnas of the world of Walter Dobius who were now more than ever determined to keep Harley and Orrin out of the White House, were beginning to drift into the ballroom of the Hilton. An hour ahead of time, cameras, lights and microphones were in place to record the organizing session that would set the time and place for the Peace Party’s rump convention.

And at Andrews Air Force Base, the Mayor and City Council of Washington, the members of the Cabinet, the members of Congress, the members of the diplomatic corps, the public, the reporters, and one other, waited.

Gracefully the giant craft glided toward the runway, ten miles from the great white city on the Potomac where the hopes and dreams, the triumphs and failures, the pasts and futures of so many men and causes were centered, while all around the lovely, rolling green countryside drowsed in the peaceful heat of a soft, exhausted twilight, late in the month of July.

“Do you suppose he’ll have anything to say to us?” the
Times
asked as they watched the beautiful machine coming lower and lower, nearer and nearer, skimming now scarcely a hundred feet above the ground. “Something about God and Motherhood and why it’s all right for us to be fighting two wars at the same time on opposite sides of the earth?”

“Come on, now,” the
Post
said. “None of this subversive humor at a time like this.”

“What time is it?” the
Evening Star
asked idly, and behind him from somewhere in the crowd a voice said, “8:12” in an odd, tense tone that disturbed them a little, though they did not quite understand why. And that was how they knew, for as long as they knew.

Down it came, Air Force One, veteran of so many journeys, some happy, some tragic, all heavy with the precious burden of the Presidency. Some viewers, standing far back, were able to report later that they thought they had seen Harley Hudson looking out, and indeed it was a fair presumption that by then he was awake and preparing himself for those formal little solemnities that always take place when the Executive returns to the capital. Senate Minority Leader Warren Strickland, arriving late and just emerging from the terminal on his way to the ramp, was such a one. He always refused to be quoted later, but he was quite sure his old friend was waving in response to the waves and shouts that were beginning to rise from the small but friendly crowd.

“Get her down, boy!” the
Christian Science Monitor
said with a sudden sharp intake of breath. “Why doesn’t he put her down?”

“He will,” the
Post
said quickly, but in spite of himself a nervous tremor came abruptly into his voice.

“My God,” the
Times
said explosively, “she’s landing on one wheel!”

“She’s coming this way!” the
Star
shouted frantically.

“Something’s wrong!” the
Monitor
cried in a horrified sing-song. “Something’s wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong!”

And indeed there was, though no one ever knew exactly later, despite all the investigations by the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Air Force, the President’s Special Commission, six committees of Congress, innumerable articles, television specials, broadcasts and books, what it was. Those who might have been able to say, assuming they had known, were not there to testify. Nor were many of those astute and perceptive professional observers who might otherwise have given an accurate account to the public.

For Air Force One had a date with a good many of them, as one wheel crumpled and the other failed to make contact, as she teetered and tottered to a horrible screaming of reversed engines and the beginnings of the sickening sound of metal ripping apart, as she rocked and veered and swung about, as she bumped and jumped and then in one great
BOOM!
landed flat on her belly, slid, exploded, and burst into a single enormous hurtling balloon of fire that raced inexorably toward the waiting crowd.

For a terrible split second the Mayor and City Council of Washington, the members of the Cabinet, the members of Congress, the members of the diplomatic corps, the public, the reporters, and one other, robbed forever of his chance for glory by an Almighty Whose capacity for irony is quite a bit greater than men are willing to concede, stood paralyzed together in the gentle twilight now filled with the awful sound of human certainties being revealed for the frail and futile things they are.

Then as the great tumbling ball of flame and debris rolled toward them, they began to scream and run.

But many of them did not run far, or, mercifully, scream for long.

2

Thus with a dreadful abruptness it becomes necessary once again, for the nation and the world to experience the death of an American President. It is occurring too often in this hectic age: the nation is becoming traumatic.

The world, which secretly or openly always enjoys the discomfitures of its most powerful, most patient and most confused member, responds as might be expected.

In London (“We Have Lost a Good Friend”), in Paris (“A Curious Figure Passes from the Scene”) and in Moscow (“H. Hudson, American Politician, Dies”) the reactions are at least reasonably respectful. But in Asia, Africa and some parts of Latin America, the chorus of jubilation mounts. From India’s “President Hudson Dies in Midst of Questionable Overseas Adventures” to Dar-es-Salam’s “Invader of Africa Cut Down,” to Cairo’s “American Assassin Gets Deserts,” to Cuba’s “World Breathes Thanks as U.S. Criminal Killed,” the note of naked satisfaction sounds throughout. In these first hours in which the fantastic news races the globe, the response is one of immediate emotion, for the moment only. It will be a while before the ultimate implications sink in.

Not so, of course, in Harley Hudson’s native land, where a President need do no more than suffer a slight head cold to start the speculations whirling. Confronted by actual death in the White House, those whose profession it is to assess implications and consequences go at once to work. Everyone who has access to newsprint, editorial, magazine or television tube is instantly a-cackle. This time the implications and consequences are not only enormous: they are without precedent. Never before has a Presidential candidate died before an election. The fact that Harley is actually gone, as Senate Majority Leader Bob Munson of Michigan remarks bitterly to his wife Dolly when he calls her at “Maine Chance” immediately after hearing the news, is almost forgotten in the rush of conjecture about What Will Happen Now.

Some are like Helen-Anne Carrew, that astute observer of society and politics for the
Washington Evening Star
, whose instinctive, startled reaction in the San Francisco Hilton’s press room—“If Orrin Knox doesn’t have all the luck!”—is immediately succeeded by a shame-faced, sad and genuine, “Poor Harley, poor Harley!” There are others, like her ex-husband Walter Dobius, who waste no time on such sentimental maunderings but plunge at once into the analysis, and creation, of the news.

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