And after that long conference with myself I called upon the telephone my Buzz and asked of him that he meet me at the Club of Old Hickory, of which, after the required time of waiting, I was soon to be an enrolled member.
And when I told to my Mr. Bumble Bee the fact that in the space of barely three days the great gentleman of France would be in Hayesville for the purpose of a visit and the signing of the contracts concerning our much discussed friend, the mule, he gave a very long and loud whistle and placed his elbows upon the smoking table between us.
“Well, this does call for hustle,” he said as he knocked from his cigarette the ashes. “What are your plans, L’Aiglon?”
“I do not know what it is best to plan, my Buzz,” I answered in perplexity. “Of course, there must be the official reception by His Excellency, the Gouverneur Faulkner, upon the evening of their arrival, but more I cannot think. Also, I am commanded by His Excellency to consult the beautiful Madam Whitworth as the only official wife of the State, on account of the title of Treasurer of her husband.”
“Oh, Mrs. Pat will be satisfied to shine at the elbow of Governor Bill at the reception and we can trust her to arrange little odd cosy hours for herself and any of the bunch who pleases her. It’s the man end of it we want to handle.”
“Yes, it is that man end you speak of I wish you to perform for me, my Buzz,” I assented eagerly.
“I’ll tell you what let’s do,” exclaimed that Buzz with a very great light of enthusiasm coming into his countenance. “Let’s don’t try to imitate London, Paris or New York in blowing ’em off; let’s give them a taste of the genuine rural thing. Let’s take the bunch down to the Brice stock farm, Glencove, give ’em a barbecue done by old Cato and let ’em see the horses run. Gee, they have got a string of youngsters there! It will take two and a half days, for it’s fifty miles down over a mighty poor road, but it’s worth it when you get there. The Brice farm is the heart of the Harpeth Valley. We took that English Lordkin, who came to visit Governor Bill last year, down to see old Brice, and it took us ten days to get him to break away.”
“That we will do, my fine Mr. Bumble Bee,” I answered with gratitude.
“Sure, it’s the thing,” said my Buzz with conviction. “We pass right through the grazing land of the State and we can show them the mule in the making—the right kind of mule. We’d have to do that anyway, for that is what they are here for.”