Mr. Hamilton Tooting spread out his feet, and appeared to be studying them carefully.
"It's funny you should have mentioned cash," he said, after a moment's silence, "and it's tough on you to have to be the public-spirited man to put it up at the start. I've got a little memorandum here," he added, fumbling apologetically in his pocket; "it certainly costs something to move the boys around and keep 'em indignant."
Mr. Tooting put the paper on the edge of the desk, and Mr. Crewe, without looking, reached out his hand for it, the pained expression returning to his face.
"Tooting," he said, "you've got a very flippant way of speaking of serious things. It strikes me that these expenses are out of all proportion to the simplicity of the task involved. It strikes me--ahem that you might find, in some quarters at least, a freer response to a movement founded on principle."
"That's right," declared Mr. Tooting, "I've thought so myself. I've got mad, and told 'em so to their faces. But you've said yourself, Mr. Crewe, that we've got to deal with this thing practically."
"Certainly," Mr. Crewe interrupted. He loved the word.
"And we've got to get workers, haven't we? And it costs money to move 'em round, don't it? We haven't got a bushel basket of passes. Look here," and he pushed another paper at Mr. Crewe, "here's ten new ones who've made up their minds that you're the finest man in the State. That makes twenty."
Mr. Crewe took that paper deprecatingly, but nevertheless began a fire of cross-questions on Mr. Tooting as to the personality, habits, and occupations of the discerning ten in question, making certain little marks of his own against each name. Thus it will be seen that Mr. Crewe knew perfectly what he was about--although no one else did except Mr. Tooting, who merely looked mysterious when questioned on the streets of Ripton or Newcastle or Kingston. It was generally supposed, however, that the gentleman from Leith was going to run for the State Senate, and was attempting to get a following in other counties, in order to push through his measures next time. Hence the tiny fluctuations of Hilary Vane's seismograph an instrument, as will be shown, utterly out-of-date. Not so the motto toujours l'audace. Geniuses continue (at long intervals) to be born, and to live up to that motto.