Mr. Crewe's answer was characteristically terse and businesslike. The overwhelming compliment of a request from such gentlemen must be treated in the nature of a command--and yet he had hesitated for several weeks, during which period he had cast about for another more worthy of the honour. Then followed a somewhat technical and (to the lay mind) obscure recapitulation of the iniquities the Northeastern was committing, which proved beyond peradventure that Mr. Crewe knew what he was talking about; such phrases as ""rolling stock," "milking the road"--an imposing array of facts and figures. Mr. Crewe made it plain that he was a man who "did things." And if it were the will of Heaven that he became governor, certain material benefits would as inevitably ensue as the day follows the night. The list of the material benefits, for which there was a crying need, bore a strong resemblance to a summary of the worthy measures upon which Mr. Crewe had spent so much time and labour in the last Legislature.
Austen laid down the paper, leaned back in his chair, and thrust his hands in his pockets, and with a little vertical pucker in his forehead, regarded his friend.
"What do you think of that?" Tom demanded. "Now, what do you think of it?"
"I think," said Austen, "that he'll scare the life out of the Northeastern before he gets through with them."
"What!" exclaimed Tom, incredulously. He had always been willing to accept Austen's judgment on men and affairs, but this was pretty stiff. "What makes you think so?"
"Well, people don't know Mr. Crewe, for one thing. And they are beginning to have a glimmer of light upon the Railroad."
"Do you mean to say he has a chance for the nomination?"
"I don't know. It depends upon how much the voters find out about him before the convention."