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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 128 pages of information about A Gentleman from Mississippi.

Stevens’ gasp of amazement caused the narrator genuine enjoyment.

“I know of a certain Senator who was drunk an’ laid away in a Turkish bath when the roll was called on a certain bill.  He was a friend of Peabody’s,” laughed the lobbyist to the Mississippian.

“But in this case,” said Stevens, “we must be very careful.  Possibly some of your methods in handling the men you go after—­”

“Say,” interposed Steinert, “you know I don’t do all pursuin’, all the goin’ after, any more than others in my business.  Why, Senator, some of these Congressmen worry the life out of us folks that sprinkle the sugar.  They accuse us of not lettin’ ’em in on things when they haven’t been fed in some time.  They come down the trail like greyhounds coursin’ a coyote.”

The speaker paused and glanced across at Peabody, who, however, was too busily engaged in writing in a memorandum book to notice him.

“Why, Senator Stevens,” went on the lobbyist, “only to-day a Down East member held me up to tell me that he was strong for that proposition to give the A.K. and L. railroad grants of government timber land in Oregon.  He says to me, he says:  ’What’n h—­l do my constituents in New England care about things ’way out on the Pacific Coast?  I’d give ’em Yellowstone National Park for a freight sidin’ if ’twas any use to ‘em,’ he says.  So you see—­”

“I must go,” broke in Stevens, rising and glancing at his watch.  “It will soon be daylight.”

“If you must have sleep, go; but you must be here at 9 o’clock sharp in the morning,” said Peabody.  “Steinert will sleep here with me.  We’ll all have breakfast together here in my rooms and a final consultation.”

“You won’t plan anything really desperate, Peabody, will you?  I think I’d rather—­”

“Nonsense, Stevens, of course not.  Our game will be to try to weaken Langdon, to prove to him in the morning that he alone will suffer, because our names do not appear in the land deals.  The options were signed and the deeds signed by our agents.  Don’t you see?  Whereas his daughter and son and future son-in-law actually took land in their own names.”

“How clumsy!”

“Yes.  Such amateurism lowers the dignity of the United States Senate,” Peabody answered, dryly.

“But suppose Langdon does not weaken?” asked Stevens, anxiously, as he picked up his hat and coat.

“Then we will go into action with our guns loaded,” was the reply.

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE HONEYBIRD

In the African jungle dwells a pretty little bird that lives on honey.  The saccharine dainty is there found in the hollows of trees and under the bark, where what is known as the carpenter bee bores and deposits his extract from the buds and blossoms of the tropical forest.

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