The consequences of this culminating conflict between them, the coming of which he had long dreaded--although he had not foreseen its specific cause--weighed heavily upon Austen. It was Tom Gaylord himself who abruptly aroused him from his revery by bursting in at the door.
"Have you heard what's up?" he cried, flinging down a newspaper before Austen's eyes. "Have you seen the Guardian?"
"Matter!" exclaimed Tom; "read that. Your friend and client, the Honourable Humphrey Crewe, is out for governor."
"On an anti-railroad platform. I might have known something of the kind was up when he began to associate with Tooting, and from the way he spoke to me in March. But who'd have thought he'd have the cheek to come out for governor? Did you ever hear of such tommyrot?"
"I'm not sure it's such tommyrot," he said.
"Not tommyrot?" Tom ejaculated. "Everybody's laughing. When I passed the Honourable Hilary's door just now, Brush Bascom and some of the old liners were there, reciting parts of the proclamation, and the boys down in the Ripton House are having the time of their lives."
Austen took the Guardian, and there, sure enough, filling a leading column, and in a little coarser type than the rest of the page, he read:
The Honourable Humphrey Crewe of Leith, at the request of twenty prominent citizens, consents to become a candidate for the Republican Nomination for Governor.