He did not leave me until I was on my way home loaded with fact and fable and good dialect with a savour of the sea in it.
Hope and Uncle Eb were sitting together in his room when I returned.
‘Guess I’ve got a job,’ I said, trying to be very cool about it..
’A job! said Hope eagerly, as she rose. ’Where?
‘With Mr Horace Greeley,’ I answered, my voice betraying my excitement.
’Jerusalem! said Uncle Eb. ‘Is it possible?’
’That’s grand! said Hope. ‘Tell us about it.’
Then I told them of my interview with the great editor and of what I had done since.
‘Ye done wonderful!’ said Uncle Eb and Hope showed quite as much pleasure in her own sweet way.
I was for going to my room and beginning to write at once, but Hope said it was time to be getting ready for dinner.
When we came down at half-past six we were presented to our host and the guests of the evening — handsome men and women in full dress — and young Mr Livingstone was among them. I felt rather cheap in my frock coat, although I had thought it grand enough for anybody on the day of my graduation. Dinner announced, the gentlemen rose and offered escort to the ladies, and Hope and Mrs Fuller relieved our embarrassment by conducting us to our seats — women are so deft in those little difficulties. The dinner was not more formal than that of every evening in the Fuller home — for its master was a rich man of some refinement of taste — and not at all comparable to the splendid hospitality one may see every day at the table of a modern millionaire. But it did seem very wonderful to us, then, with its fine-mannered servants, its flowers, its abundant silver. Hope had written much to her mother of the details of deportment at John Fuller’s table, and Elizabeth had delicately imparted to us the things we ought to know. We behaved well, I have since been told, although we got credit for poorer appetites than we possessed. Uncle Eb took no chances and refused everything that had a look of mystery and a suggestion of peril, dropping a droll remark, betimes, that sent a ripple of amusement around the table.
John Trumbull sat opposite me, and even then I felt a curious interest in him — a big, full bearded man, quite six feet tall, his skin and eyes dark, his hair iron-grey, his voice deep like David s. I could not get over the impression that I had seen him before — a feeling I have had often, facing men I could never possibly have met. No word came out of his firm mouth unless he were addressed, and then all in hearing listened to the little he had to say: it was never more than some very simple remark. In his face and form and voice there was abundant heraldry of rugged power and ox-like vitality. I have seen a bronze head of Daniel Webster which, with a full blonde beard and an ample covering of grey hair would have given one a fairly perfect idea of the look of John Trumbull. Imagine it on a tall, and powerful body and let it speak with a voice that has in it the deep and musical vibration one may hear in the looing of an ox and you shall see, as perfectly as my feeble words can help you to do, this remarkable man who, must, hereafter, play before you his part — compared to which mine is as the prattle of a child — in this drama of God’s truth.