“What does he say!” inquired the landlord, on the verge of being offended.
“Shut up, Potdevin!” said the only man who understood English, fearful lest the second treat should go astray.
“Take!” cried Spoon, in a at of reconciliation, throwing down a five dollar bill; and at the sight of the money, Potdevin, true landlord, proceeded with the pouring out of the beverages into very small glasses with very thick bottoms.
It was funny, when he had precipitated himself from the door, as above said, to contemplate the fellow with his low hat on one side and far down on his nose, his swelling shirt-front, striped breeches, and mighty brass chain, leading the trooping crowd like some travelling juggler.
All this, however, was election work.
Was it the kind of method Chamilly would approve? There was a short and certain answer.
Which then of Haviland’s friends supplied Spoon with money for these only too obvious processes of vote-obtaining. It was not the Honorable, it was not De La Lande, it would not be penurious Benoit?
“Ah, well,” Chrysler thought, “I am here but to observe. Am I not under obligations to Zotique, if it be he, which prevent my interfering?”
Another of Chrysler’s theories too was exploded. He had long revolved a suspicion that it was Cuiller who had stolen Francois’ $750. “Where else,” thought he, “does he get these liberal sums to spend?” Once he had ventured to ask Spoon himself about Le Brun’s loss but was plumply faced with the growl, “Do you suppose I stole it?” and, ashamed of himself, withdrew the theory almost from his own mind. How he could explain even the American’s expenditure.
The Haviland party were not the only people alive to the necessities of the contest. It was not seldom that in the Ontarian’s walks during those few days, the steady, inscrutable bust of Grandmoulin passed him, driven in one direction or another by Libergent; and sometimes Picault accompanied.
Grandmoulin, indeed, made herculean efforts. His grand chefs d’oeuvre of oratory—soul stirring appeals, in the name of all that was sacred in honor and religion, for his hypocritical and corrupt purposes, were lifted in noble structures of eloquence before the people, till it seemed as if the lavishness of his genius and labor could only be explained by the desire of challenging the other great orator of the race. The young energies of Haviland responded readily. Their speeches were reported in full for the journals of the cities and watched for everywhere. It was the battle of Cataline and Cicero.
The back parishes were not so soundly “Red” as Dormilliere: they usually polled a considerable Blue vote, and were very unstable. Here were concentrated the efforts of Grandmoulin to cajole and Picault to buy.