“That’s right, Mr. Seigerman,” said Arab. “They’ll come from the west and south to a man, and as far east as the middle of the next county. I tell you they will be a thousand strong and a unit in voting. Watch my smoke on results!”
“Well,” said Stubb, slowly and deliberately, “I think it’s high time we had Mr. Seigerman’s consent to make the race. This counting of our forces and the sinews of war is good enough in advance; but I must insist on an answer from Mr. Seigerman. Will you become our candidate?”
“Shentlemens, how can I refuse to be one sheriff? The cattle-mens must be protec. I accep.”
The trio now arose, and with a round of oaths that would have made the captain of a pirate ship green with envy swore Seigerman had taken a step he would never regret. After the hearty congratulation on his acceptance, they reseated themselves, when Louie, in his gratitude, insisted that on pleasant occasions like this he should be permitted to offer some refreshments of a liquid nature.
“I never like to indulge at a bar,” said Stubb. “The people whom I work for are very particular regarding the habits of their trusted men.”
“It might be permissible on occasions like this to break certain established rules,” suggested Baugh, “besides, Mr. Seigerman can bring it in here, where we will be unobserved.”
“Very well, then,” said Stubb, “I waive my objections for sociability’s sake.”
When Louie had retired for this purpose, Baugh arose to his full dignity and six foot three, and said to the other two, bowing, “Your uncle, my dears, will never allow you to come to want. Pin your faith to the old man. Why, we’ll wallow in the fat of the land until the grass comes again, gentle Annie. Gentlemen, if you are gentlemen, which I doubt like hell, salute the victor!” The refreshment was brought in, and before the session adjourned, they had lowered the contents of a black bottle of private stock by several fingers.
The announcement of the candidacy of Mr. Louis Seigerman in the next week’s paper (by aid of the accompanying fiver which went with the “copy”) encouraged the editor, that others might follow, to write a short, favorable editorial. The article spoke of Mr. Seigerman as a leading citizen, who would fill the office with credit to himself and the community. The trio read this short editorial to Louie daily for the first week. All three were now putting their feet under the table with great regularity, and doing justice to the vintage on invitation. The back room became a private office for the central committee of four. They were able political managers. The campaign was beginning to be active, but no adverse reports were allowed to reach the candidate’s ears. He actually had no opposition, so the reports came in to the central committee.
It was even necessary to send out Arab Ab to points on the railroad to get the sentiments of this and that community, which were always favorable. Funds for these trips were forced on them by the candidate. The thought of presenting a board bill to such devoted friends never entered mine host’s mind. Thus several months passed.