Throughout the month of April the needle kept up its persistent registering, and the Honourable Hilary continued to smile. The Honourable Jacob Botcher, who had made a trip to Ripton and had cited that very decided earthquake shock of the Pingsquit bill, had been ridiculed for his pains, and had gone away again comforted by communion with a strong man. The Honourable Jacob had felt little shocks in his fief: Mr. Tooting had visited it, sitting with his feet on the tables of hotel waiting-rooms, holding private intercourse with gentlemen who had been disappointed in office. Mr. Tooting had likewise been a sojourner in the domain of the Duke of Putnam. But the Honourable Brush was not troubled, and had presented Mr. Tooting with a cigar.
In spite of the strange omission of the State Tribune to print his speech and to give his victory in the matter of the Pingsquit bill proper recognition, Mr. Crewe was too big a man to stop his subscription to the paper. Conscious that he had done his duty in that matter, neither praise nor blame could affect him; and although he had not been mentioned since, he read it assiduously every afternoon upon its arrival at Leith, feeling confident that Mr. Peter Pardriff (who had always in private conversation proclaimed himself emphatically for reform) would not eventually refuse--to a prophet--public recognition. One afternoon towards the end of that month of April, when the sun had made the last snow-drift into a pool, Mr. Crewe settled himself on his south porch and opened the State Tribune, and his heart gave a bound as his eye fell upon the following heading to the leading editorial:--
A WORTHY PUBLIC SERVANT FOR GOVERNOR
Had his reward come at last? Had Mr. Peter Pardriff seen the error of his way? Mr. Crewe leisurely folded back the sheet, and called to his secretary, who was never far distant.
"Look here," he said, "I guess Pardriff's recovered his senses. Look here!"
The tired secretary, ready with his pencil and notebook to order fifty copies, responded, staring over his employer's shoulder. It has been said of men in battle that they have been shot and have run forward some hundred feet without knowing what has happened to them. And so Mr. Crewe got five or six lines into that editorial before he realized in full the baseness of Mr. Pardriff's treachery.
"These are times" (so ran Mr. Pardriff's composition) when the sure and steadying hand of a strong man is needed at the helm of State. A man of conservative, business habits of mind; a man who weighs the value of traditions equally with the just demands of a new era; a man with a knowledge of public affairs derived from long experience;" (!!!), a man who has never sought office, but has held it by the will of the people, and who himself is a proof that the conduct of State institutions in the past has been just and equitable. One who has served with distinction upon such boards as the Railroad Commission, the Board of Equalization, etc., etc." (!!!) "A stanch Republican, one who puts party before--" here the newspaper began to shake a little, and Mr. Crewe could not for the moment see whether the next word were place or principle. He skipped a few lines. The Tribune, it appeared, had a scintillating idea, which surely must have occurred to others in the State. "Why not the Honourable Adam B. Hunt of Edmundton for the next governor?"
The Honourable Adam B. Hunt of Edmundton!