The Man Without a Country and Other Tales eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 288 pages of information about The Man Without a Country and Other Tales.
“What sent you out from your warm steam-boiler?” “Steam-boiler, indeed,” said Todd.  “Two rivets loose,—­steam-room full of steam,—­police frightened,—­neighborhood in a row,—­and we had to put out the fire.  She would have run a week without hurting a fly,—­only a little puff in the street sometimes.  But there we are, Ingham.  We shall lose the early mail as it stands.  Seventy-eight tokens to be worked now.”  They always talked largely of their edition at the Argus.  Saw it with many eyes, perhaps; but this time, I am sure, Todd spoke true.  I caught his idea at once.  In younger and more muscular times, Todd and I had worked the Adams press by that fly-wheel for full five minutes at a time, as a test of strength; and in my mind’s eye, I saw that he was printing his paper at this moment with relays of grinding stevedores.  He said it was so.  “But think of it to-night,” said he.  “It is Christmas eve, and not an Irishman to be hired, though one paid him ingots.  Not a man can stand the grind ten minutes.”  I knew that very well from old experience, and I thanked him inwardly for not saying “the demnition grind,” with Mantihni.  “We cannot run the press half the time,” said he; “and the men we have are giving out now.  We shall lose all our carrier delivery.”  “Todd,” said I, “is this a night to be talking of ingots, or hiring, or losing, or gaining?  When will you learn that Love rules the court, the camp, and the Argus office.”  And I wrote on the back of a letter to Campbell:  “Come to the Argus office, No. 2 Dassett’s Alley, with seven men not afraid to work”; and I gave it to John and Sam, bade Howland take the boys to Campbell’s house,—­walked down with Todd to his office,—­challenged him to take five minutes at the wheel, in memory of old times,—­made the tired relays laugh as they saw us take hold; and then,—­when I had cooled off, and put on my Cardigan,—­met Campbell, with his seven sons of Anak, tumbling down the stairs, wondering what round of mercy the parson had found for them this time.  I started home, knowing I should now have my Argus with my coffee.


And so I walked home.  Better so, perhaps, after all, than in the lively sleigh, with the tinkling bells.

    “It was a calm and silent night!—­
      Seven hundred years and fifty-three
    Had Rome been growing up to might,
      And now was queen of land and sea! 
    No sound was heard of clashing wars,—­
      Peace brooded o’er the hushed domain;
    Apollo, Pallas, Jove, and Mars
      Held undisturbed their ancient reign
        In the solemn midnight,
          Centuries ago!”

Project Gutenberg
The Man Without a Country and Other Tales from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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