Mine host bore the name of Opper and was widely known as ’All Right’ Opper, from his habit of cheery approval. Everything and everybody were ‘all right’ to him so far as I could observe. If he were blessed or damned he said ’all right . To be sure he took exceptions, on occasions, but even then the affair ended with his inevitable verdict of ‘all right’. Every suggestion I made as to terms of payment and arrangement of furniture was promptly stamped with this seal of approval.
I was comfortably settled and hard at work on my article by noon. At four I went to meet Uncle Eb. Hope was still sick in bed and we came away in a frame of mind that could hardly have been more miserable. I tried to induce him to stay a night with me in my new quarters.
‘I mus’n’t,’ he said cheerfully.’ ‘Fore long I’m comin’ down ag’in but I can’t fool ’round no longer now. I’ll jes’go n git my new clothes and put fer the steamboat. Want ye t’go ’n see Hope tomorrow. She’s comm up with Mis Fuller next week. I’m goin’ t’ find out what’s the matter uv her then. Somethin’s wrong somewhere. Dunno what ’tis. She’s all upsot.
Poor girl! it had been almost as heavy a trial to her as to me’ cutting me off as she had done. Remembrances of my tender devotion to her, in all the years between then and childhood, must have made her sore with pity. I had already determined what I should do, and after Uncle Eb had gone that evening I wrote her a long letter and asked her if I might not still have some hope of her loving me. I begged her to let me know when I might come and talk with her alone. With what eloquence I could bring to bear I told her how my love had grown and laid hold of my life.
I finished my article that night and, in the morning, took it to Mr Greeley. He was at his desk writing and at the same time giving orders in a querulous tone to some workman who sat beside him. He did not look up as he spoke. He wrote rapidly, his nose down so close to the straggling, wet lines that I felt a fear of its touching them. I stood by, waiting my opportunity. A full-bearded man in his shirt-sleeves came hurriedly out of another room.
‘Mr Greeley,’ he said, halting at the elbow of the great editor.
‘Yes, what is it?’ the editor demanded nervously, his hand wobbling over the white page, as rapidly as before, his eyes upon his work.
’Another man garrotted this morning on South Street.
‘Better write a paragraph,’ he said, his voice snapping with impatience as he brushed the full page aside and began sowing his thoughts on another. ’Warn our readers. Tell ’em to wear brass collars with spikes in ’em till we get a new mayor.
The man went away laughing.
Mr Greeley threw down his pen, gathered his copy and handed it to the workman who sat beside him.
‘Proof ready at five!’ he shouted as the man was going out of the room.
‘Hello! Brower,’ he said bending to his work again. ’Thought you d blown out the gas somewhere.