Elbow-Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about Elbow-Room.

“Mr. Fogg, that’s an awful story; it only happened last Tuesday.”

“Never mind her,” said Mr. Fogg, confidentially.—­And on Sunday the way that cat carried on and yowled, with its tail pointing due east, was so awful that they couldn’t have church.  And Sunday afternoon the preacher told Bradley if he didn’t get that cat down he’d sue him for one million dollars damages.  So Bradley got a gun and shot at the cat fourteen hundred times.—­Now you didn’t count ’em, Maria, and I did.—­And he banged the top of the steeple all to splinters, and at last fetched down the cat, shot to rags; and in her stomach he found his thermometer.  She’d ate it on her way up, and it stood at eleven hundred degrees, so old—­”

“No thermometer ever stood at such a figure as that,” exclaimed Mrs. Fogg.

“Oh, well,” shouted Mr. Fogg, indignantly, “if you think you can tell the story better than I can, why don’t you tell it?  You’re enough to worry the life out of a man.”

Then Fogg slammed the door and went out, and I left.  I don’t know whether Bradley got the stakes or not.

CHAPTER XVII.

HOW WE CONDUCT A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.

The people of Millburg feel a very intense interest in politics, and during a campaign there is always a good deal of excitement.  The bitterest struggle that the town has had for a long while was that which preceded the election of a couple of years ago, when I was not a resident of the place.  One incident particularly attracted a good deal of attention.  Mr. Potts related the facts to me in the following language: 

“You know we nominated Bill Slocum for burgess.  He was the most popular man in the place; everybody liked him.  And a few days after the convention adjourned Bill was standing talking to Joe Snowden about the election, and Bill happened to remark, ‘I’ve got to win.’  Mrs. Martin was going by at the time; and as Bill was speaking very rapidly, he pronounced it like this:  ‘I’ve got t’win;’ and Mrs. Martin thought he was telling Snowden that he’d got twins.  And Mrs. Martin, just like all women about such matters, at once went through the village spreading the report that Mrs. Slocum had twins.

“So, of course, there was a fuss right off; and the boys said that as Bill was a candidate, and a mighty good fellow anyhow you took him, it’d be nothing more than fair to congratulate him on his good luck by getting up some kind of a public demonstration from his fellow-citizens.  Well, sir, you never saw such enthusiasm.  The way that idea took was wonderful, and all hands agreed that we ought to have a parade.  So they ran up the flags on the hotels and the town-hall, and on the two schooners down at the wharf, and Judge Twiddler adjourned the court over till the next day, and the supervisors gave the public schools a holiday and got up a turkey dinner for the convicts in the jail.

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Elbow-Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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