"I have heard that a Mr. Crewe is a candidate, but I do not know much about him. They tell me he is a summer resident at Leith."--The Honourable Hilary Vane.
"A millionaire's freak--not to be taken seriously.--State Senator Nathaniel Billings.
The State Tribune itself seemed to be especially interested in the past careers of the twenty signers. Who composed this dauntless band, whose members had arisen with remarkable unanimity and martyr's zeal in such widely scattered parts of the State? Had each been simultaneously inspired with the same high thought, and--more amazing still--with the idea of the same peerless leader? The Tribune modestly ventured the theory that Mr. Crewe had appeared to each of the twenty in a dream, with a flaming sword pointing to the steam of the dragon's breath. Or, perhaps, a star had led each of the twenty to Leith. (This likening of Mr. H--n T--g to a star caused much merriment among that gentleman's former friends and acquaintances.) The Tribune could not account for this phenomenon by any natural laws, and was forced to believe that the thing was a miracle--in which case it behooved the Northeastern Railroads to read the handwriting on the wall. Unless--unless the twenty did not exist! Unless the whole thing were a joke! The Tribune remembered a time when a signed statement, purporting to come from a certain Mrs. Amanda P. Pillow, of 22 Blair Street, Newcastle, had appeared, to the effect that three bottles of Rand's Peach Nectar had cured her of dropsy. On investigation there was no Blair Street, and Mrs. Amanda P. Pillow was as yet unborn. The one sure thing about the statement was that Rand's Peach Nectar could be had, in large or small quantities, as desired. And the Tribune was prepared to state; on its own authority, that a Mr. Humphrey Crewe did exist, and might reluctantly consent to take the nomination for the governorship. In industry and zeal he was said to resemble the celebrated and lamented Mr. Rand, of the Peach Nectar.
Ingratitude merely injures those who are capable of it, although it sometimes produces sadness in great souls. What were Mr. Crewe's feelings when he read this drivel? When he perused the extracts from the "Book of Arguments" which appeared (with astonishing unanimity, too!) in sixty odd weekly newspapers of the State--an assortment of arguments for each county.
"Brush Bascom's doin' that work now," said Mr. Tooting, contemptuously, "and he's doin' it with a shovel. Look here! He's got the same squib in three towns within a dozen miles of each other, the one beginning 'Political conditions in this State are as clean as those of any State in the Union, and the United Northeastern Railroads is a corporation which is, fortunately, above calumny. A summer resident who, to satisfy his lust for office, is rolling to defame--'"
"Yes," interrupted Mr. Crewe, "never mind reading any more of that rot."
"It's botched," said Mr. Tooting, whose artistic soul was jarred. "I'd have put that in Avalon County, and Weave, and Marshall. I know men that take all three of those papers in Putnam."
No need of balloonists to see what the enemy is about, when we have a Mr. Tooting.