The Congressman drew a long breath. His eyes beamed with gratitude.
“I should say I have, Senator. Of course, it won’t interfere with any of my duties as a Congressman.”
“Of course not, Norton. I see that your sense of humor is improving. If convenient, run over to New York the last of the week. I’ll give you a card. My client’s office is at 10 Broadway.”
The ruler of the Senate nodded a curt dismissal.
“Thank you, Senator; thank you very much.” And Norton bowed and left, rejoicing.
Peabody turned to Stevens.
“You see, even a Congressman can be useful sometimes,” remarked Stevens, dryly.
“Keep your eye on that young man, Stevens. He’s the most valuable Congressman we’ve had from your State in a long while. Does just what he is told and doesn’t ask any fool questions. This was good work. Langdon’s on the naval committee now sure. Come, Stevens; let’s go to some quiet corner in the smoking-room. I want to talk to you about something else the Standard has on hand for you to do.”
Hardly had they departed from the lobby when resounding commotion at the entrance, followed by the rushing of porters and bellboys and an expectant pose on the part of the clerk, indicated that the new Senator from Mississippi had arrived.
THE BOSS OF THE SENATE INSPECTS A NEW MEMBER
An actor playing the role of a high type of Southern planter would score a decided success by picturing the character exactly after the fashion of Senator William H. Langdon as he strode to the desk of the International Hotel. A wide-brimmed black hat thrust back on his head, a long black perfecto in his mouth, coattails spreading out behind as he walked, and the “Big Hill” Langdon smile on his face that carried sunshine and good will wherever he went, he was good to look on, an inspiration, particularly in Washington.
Following the Senator were Miss Langdon and Hope Georgia, leading a retinue of hotel attendants staggering under a large assortment of luggage. Both beautiful girls, they caused a sensation all of their own. Carolina, a different type from the younger, had an austere loveliness denoting pride and birth, a brunette of the quality that has contributed so much to the fame of Southern women. Hope Georgia, more girlish, and a vivacious blonde, was the especial pet of her father, and usually succeeded in doing with him what she chose.
A real Senator and two such young women handsomely gowned seemed to take the old hotel back a score of years—back to the times when such sights were of daily occurrence. The ancient greatness of the now dingy International lived again.
“How are you, Senator? Glad to welcome you, sir,” was the clerk’s greeting.
The genial Senator held out his hand. Everybody was his friend.