“As a military title was held indispensable to the success of a politician, the Barnstable Invincibles elected me Major, an honor which could not be overlooked by the politicians at Washington, whose business it is to give offices and save the Union. So, with the praises of two newspapers and the well-wishes of the town, I set out for Washington, believing that the chief magistrate, in the exercise of his great wisdom, would reward me with at least a foreign mission.”
Which treats of how the major fell among politicians and other new York vagabonds.
Having paused a few moments to moisten his lips, for the day was excessively warm, the Major spoke a few encouraging words to old Battle, and resumed his story.
“If wisdom becometh the great, money is not to be despised by the politician, I thought. So, having stocked my purse with not less than two hundred dollars, I arrived safely in New York and put up at the Astor House, an hotel in high favor with ex-secretaries and dilapidated politicians, inasmuch as the worthy landlord accepts the honor of their being guests of his house in satisfaction of his bills. It was night when I arrived, and the splendor and strangeness of everything around bewildered and confused me so much, that I forgot to put the prefix of ‘Major’ to my name, when I registered it in the big book. And this single omission had the effect of consigning me to an attic room in the ninth story. Having intimated an objection to this lofty position, the polite waiter said it was the most convenient room in the house, since, in case of a fire breaking out I could use the sky-light, and, having gained the roof, would be rescued by the firemen with their scaling ladders; whereas, a lower position would render me liable to be blockaded and devoured by the rush of flames. I told the polite waiter, who was a gifted Irishman, and though not four months in the country, had taken to politics like a rat to good cheese, that he was entitled to my thanks for the information. An intimation, however, that I was a Major of some renown, surprised the gifted Irishman not a little. That he conveyed the news to my worthy host I had not a doubt, since on the following day I was removed to a spacious room on the second story.
“On descending to the great supper room, I was accosted by one General John Fopp, of the Tippecanoe Club, who congratulated me on my safe arrival in the city. Being extremely easy in his manners, and apparently ready to render me services of no mean importance, I invited him to join me in a cup of tea, which invitation he was not slow to accept. Being much impressed with his dignity of manner, and the glibness with which he discoursed upon the events of the last campaign, I listened to him with profound respect. He said