Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/277

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"Executive session of the Senate at 2 p. m.,—got to get the appointment confirmed,—I reckon you'll grant that?"

"Yes……yes," said Riley, meditatively, "you are right again. Then you take the train for New York in the evening, and the steamer for San Francisco next morning?"

"That's it,—that's the way I map it out?"

Riley considered a while, and then said,—

"You couldn't stay a day well, say two days longer?"

"Bless your soul, no! It's not my style. I ain't a man to go fooling around,—I'm a man that does things, I tell you.

The storm was raging, the thick snow blowing in gusts. Riley stood silent, apparently deep in a reverie, during a minute or more, then he looked up and said,—

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"Have you ever heard about that man who put up at Gadsby's, once?……But I see you haven't."

He backed Mr. Lykins against an iron fence, buttonholed him, fastened him with his eye, like the ancient mariner, and proceeded to unfold his narrative as placidly and peacefully as if we were all stretched comfortably in a blossomy summer meadow instead of being persecuted by a wintry midnight tempest:

"I will tell you about that man. It was in Jackson's time. Gadsby's was the principal hotel, then. Well, this man arrived from Tennessee about nine o'clock, one morning, with a black coachman and a splendid four-