Yes. Take this to the House at once. To Mr. Maynard. See that he gets it himself. Here’s a dollar.
[Touching his cap.
Thank you, sir.
[Taking up the telephone again.
Give me the Senate. Mr. Taney. Saw him go out?
[He hangs up the receiver impatiently.
Isn’t anyone on the job?
[He strides up and down.
A damned plot!—
[Enter, right, hurriedly, SENATOR TANEY_, a stout, red-haired man, clean-shaven._
Thank God, you’re here.
Only got a minute. Hell’s loose in the Senate.
I’ve been nearly crazy waiting for news.
God, man. Perhaps you think I ain’t been busy rounding up a lot of on-the-fence-men? It seems to me pretty nearly everybody was on the fence. No decided opinions at all. But they’re coming, they’re coming.
How ’bout that report about the King over there wanting peace?
That’s what the row’s about. The highbrows an’ the peace people are shouting hurrahs all over the place, an’ the rest of us has to do what we can to drown ’em out.
[Restlessly moving about the room.
If it’s true about the King, can you—work it—anyway?
How do I know?
Got any figures? For or against?
Yes. It’s about an even go.
You can’t give me anything more definite?
What’s up, anyway? You look nervous.
I am. This business is cutting into my sleep. My last cent is tied up, and I’ve got a good many other people’s last cents as well. Damn it, Taney, this is worse than Monte Carlo. You’re dealing with cold-blooded chance there, but here you’re dealing with sentiments, emotions. It’s exhausting. War is a terrible thing, Taney. It worries me day and night. Think of the lives! And yet we need this war, we need it for the good of the nation. And now that we’re ready, it would be a calamity if—