m Tupelo. He was frequent and popular about Chamberlin鈥檚. The Statesman from 鏉窞娌瑰帇灏卞仛浠€涔?Tupelo was a humorist of celebration and one of the redeeming features of the House of Representatives. His eye fell upon the queer, ungainly form of Jim Britt, with hungry face, eyes keen but guileless, and nose of falcon curve.
The Statesman from Tupelo beheld in Jim Britt with his Gothic simplicity a self-offered prey to the spear of 鏉窞瓒虫荡搴楀皬濮?every joker. The Statesman from Tupelo, with a specious suavity of accent and a blandness irresistible, drew forth Jim Britt in converse. The latter, flustered, flattered, 鏉窞鍝佽尪鎸夋懇 went to extremes of confidence and laid frankly bare his railroad hopes and fears which were now all fears.
The Statesman from Tupelo listened with decorous albeit sympathetic gravity. When Jim Britt was done he spoke:
鈥淎s you say,鈥?observed the Statesman from Tupelo, 鈥測our one chance is to get acquainted with a majority of 鏉窞澶滅綉spa both Houses and interest them personally in your bill.鈥?
鈥淏ut how might a party do that soonest?鈥?asked Jim Britt. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 want to camp yere for the balance of my days. Besides, 鏉窞濡冨瓙闃乿ivi thar鈥檚 Samantha.鈥?
鈥淐ertainly, there鈥檚 Samantha,鈥?assented the Statesman from Tupelo. Then following a pause:
鈥淚 suppose the readiest method would be to give a dinner. Could you undertake that?鈥?
鈥淲hy, I reckon I could.鈥?
The dinner project obtained kindly foothold in the breast of Jim Britt; he had read of such banquet deeds 鏉窞鐢ㄥ彛鐨凷PA as a boy when the papers told the splendors of Sam Ward and the Lucullian day of the old Pacific Mail. Jim Britt had had no experience of Chamberlin prices, since his purchases at that hotel had gone no farther a-field than a now-and-then cigar. He had for most part subsisted at those cheap restaurants which鈥攆or that there be many 鏉窞甯︽湇鍔＄殑娲楁荡涓績 threadbare folk, spent with their vigils about Congress, hoping for their denied rights鈥攁re singularly abundant in Washington. These modest places of regale would give no good 鏉窞妗戞嬁娲楁荡浼氭墍 notion of Chamberlin鈥檚, but quite the contrary. Wherefore, Jim Britt, quick with railway ardor and to get back to the far-away Samantha, took the urgent initiative, and said he would order the dinner for what night the Statesman from
Tupelo deemed best, if only that potent spirit would agree to gather in the guests.
鈥淲e will have 鏉窞涓濊瓒虫荡 the dinner, then,鈥?said He of Tupelo, 鈥渙n next Saturday. You can tell Chamberlin; and I鈥檒l see to the guests.鈥?
鈥淗ow many?鈥?said Chamberlin鈥檚 steward, when he received the orders of Jim Britt.
The coming railway magnate looked at the Statesman from Tupelo.
鈥淪ay fifty,鈥?remarked the Statesman from Tupelo.
Jim Britt was delighted. 鏉窞瓒虫荡搴楀彲浠ュ惞 He would have liked sixty guests better, or if one might, one hundred; but fifty was a fair start. There could come other dinners, for the future holds a deal of room. In time 鏉窞澶滅綉鏈€鏂板湴鍧€ Jim Britt might dine a full moiety of Congress. The dinner was fixed; the menu left to the steward鈥檚 ingenuity and taste; and now when the situation was thus relaid, and Saturday distant but two days, Jim Britt himself called for an apartment at Chamb