MR. SMOOTH FINDS HIS PATH TO THE WHITE HOUSE A DIFFICULT ONE.
“‘Good morning, Mr. Smooth!’ saluted the fat man behind the mahogany, as I entered the office, having escaped from my perilous position in the seventh story. In addition, he took a lunar observation all along down my hull, which he said was a mighty tough sort of craft, and had received no damage for which the house could be held responsible.
“As if to make the picture more complete, a number of anxious-looking individuals (all firm friends of Uncle Sam) crowded about me, each putting some curious question in reference to my expectations and the Executive and his gifts. Many of these important gentry had proboscises largely developed and very red; indeed, the reddest nose was strongest evidence of the best office-seeker; albeit, some waggishly inclined gentleman had said that the most generously red-nosed man always esteemed his deserts to be no less than that of United States Minister at some very fashionable foreign Court, where the good red of a well-developed nose was significant of pure blood. ‘Well now, gents,’ I returned, ’you needn’t be trying to poke your political fun at this citizen! Young America is all right yet. Put me on the track of Mr. Pierce’s whereabouts.’ Seeing they were facetiously inclined, I summoned that independence so necessary to a citizen of standing. At this moment, one more politely inclined than the rest, stepped forward, and commenced giving me the ins and outs of the way to see the Brigadier, who, lie said, was surrounded by many fairweather courtiers. Stepping politely to the door, he, with grace not unbecoming, raised a well-gloved hand, and half whispered:—Mr. Smooth will walk into the avenue—keep on the West side—join the throng (they are all officials in embryo)—be sure and look as serious as they do; and with them you will arrive at the ‘White House’ to take your place and chance.’ Oh! chance! ’There is no missing the way, Mr. Smooth; get behind some well-dressed citizen—one who looks as if he were in pursuit of something the means of securing which he had made sure. Follow that man!’ I thanked him for his civility,—he seemed one of Uncle Sam’s bone-breakers, and sallied out under the happy contemplation that a gentleman from Cape Cod was on a par with the same species of mankind from South Carolina. It was true that with what little aristocracy we boasted—and in that little there was truly a great blessing, inasmuch