Catalytic Agent

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One afternoon early last October a happy, jaunty Irishman, whose bantam-sized body houses an almost inhuman store of nervous energy, strolled into his four-room apartment in Washington's elegant Shoreham Hotel. With sly casualness, fully aware of the dramatics of the occasion, he said to his wife: "Well, Maude, I've just given up my job." The job was that of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court—which had seemed, 16 months before, like the pinnacle of achievement to a man born on the wrong end of famed, aristocratic King Street in Charleston,...

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