Far Country, a — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about Far Country, a — Volume 2.

In spite of this overwhelming triumph my feelings were not wholly those of satisfaction when I returned to the hotel and listened to the exultations and denunciations of such politicians as Letchworth, Young, and Colonel Varney.  Perhaps an image suggesting Hermann Krebs as some splendid animal at bay, dragged down by the hounds, is too strong:  he had been ingloriously crushed, and defeat, even for the sake of conviction, was not an inspiring spectacle....  As the chase swept on over his prostrate figure I rapidly regained poise and a sense of proportion; a “master of life” could not permit himself to be tossed about by sentimentality; and gradually I grew ashamed of my bad quarter of an hour in the gallery of the House, and of the effect of it—­which lingered awhile—­as of a weakness suddenly revealed, which must at all costs be overcome.  I began to see something dramatic and sensational in Krebs’s performance....

The Ribblevale Steel Company was the real quarry, after all.  And such had been the expedition, the skill and secrecy, with which our affair was conducted, that before the Ribblevale lawyers could arrive, alarmed and breathless, the bill had passed the House, and their only real chance of halting it had been lost.  For the Railroad controlled the House, not by owning the individuals composing it, but through the leaders who dominated it,—­men like Letchworth and Truesdale.  These, and Colonel Varney, had seen to it that men who had any parliamentary ability had been attended to; all save Krebs, who had proved a surprise.  There were indeed certain members who, although they had railroad passes in their pockets (which were regarded as just perquisites,—­the Railroad being so rich!), would have opposed the bill if they had felt sufficiently sure of themselves to cope with such veterans as Letchworth.  Many of these had allowed themselves to be won over or cowed by the oratory which had crushed Krebs.

Nor did the Ribblevale people—­be it recorded—­scruple to fight fire with fire.  Their existence, of course, was at stake, and there was no public to appeal to.  A part of the legal army that rushed to the aid of our adversaries spent the afternoon and most of the night organizing all those who could be induced by one means or another to reverse their sentiments, and in searching for the few who had grievances against the existing power.  The following morning a motion was introduced to reconsider; and in the debate that followed, Krebs, still defiant, took an active part.  But the resolution required a two-thirds vote, and was lost.

When the battle was shifted to the Senate it was as good as lost.  The Judiciary Committee of the august body did indeed condescend to give hearings, at which the Ribblevale lawyers exhausted their energy and ingenuity without result with only two dissenting votes the bill was calmly passed.  In vain was the Governor besieged, entreated, threatened,—­it was said; Mr. Trulease had informed protesters—­so Colonel Varney gleefully reported—­that he had “become fully convinced of the inherent justice of the measure.”  On Saturday morning he signed it, and it became a law....

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Far Country, a — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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