“One word more, gentlemen: a bit of advice what’s worth a right smart price to ye all”—here he parenthesises by saying he has great sympathy for creditors in distress—“and ye must profit by it, for yer own interests. As the case now stands, it’s a game for lawyers to play and get fat at. And, seein’ how Marston’s feelins are up in a sort of tender way, he feels strong about savin’ them young ’uns; and ye, nor all the gentlemen of the lower place, can’t make ’em property, if he plays his game right;—he knows how to! ye’ll only make a fuss over the brutes, while the lawyers bag all the game worth a dollar. Never see’d a nigger yet what raised a legal squall, that didn’t get used up in law leakins; lawyers are sainted pocket masters! But—that kind a’ stuff!—it takes a mighty deal of cross-cornered swearing to turn it into property. The only way ye can drive the peg in so the lawyers won’t get hold on’t, is by sellin’ out to old Graspum-Norman, I mean—he does up such business as fine as a fiddle. Make the best strike with him ye can—he’s as tough as a knot on nigger trade!—and, if there’s any making property out on ’em, he’s just the tinker to do it.”
They shake their heads doubtingly, as if questioning the policy of the advice. Mr. Scranton, however, to whom all looked with great solicitation, speaks up, and affirms the advice to be the wiser course, as a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
“Oh, yes!” says Romescos, significantly, “you’ll be safe then, and free from responsibility; Graspum’s a great fellow to buy risks; but, seeing how he’s not popular with juries, he may want to play behind the scenes, continue to prosecute the case in the name of the creditors,—that’s all! Curious work, this making property out of doubtful women. Sell out to them what understands the curious of the things, clear yerselfs of the perplexin’ risks—ye won’t bag a bit of the game, you won’t. Saddle it on Norman; he knows the philosophy of nigger trade, and can swim through a sea of legal perplexities in nigger cases.” Mr. Romescos never gave more serious advice in his life; he finishes his whiskey, adjusts his hat slouchingly on his head, bids them good night; and, in return for their thanks, assures them that they are welcome. He withdraws; Mr. Scranton, after a time, gets very muddled; so much so, that, when daylight appears, he finds, to his utter astonishment, he has enjoyed a sweet sleep on the floor, some of his quizzical friends having disfigured his face very much after the fashion of a clown’s. He modestly, and mechanically, picks up his lethargic body, views his constitutional self in the glass, and is much horrified, much disgusted with those who perpetrated the freak.
They are all going to be sold.
Slowly we pass through the precious scenes, hoping our readers will indulge us with their patience.