Caesar's Column eBook

Ignatius Donnelly
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Caesar's Column.

“Yes,” replied Andrews—­“if I am alive.  But it is dangerous for me to come here.”

“Wait in the library,” said the Prince, “until I am at liberty, and I will give you an order for the thousand dollars I promised you; and also a key that will admit you to this house at any hour of the day or night.  Gentlemen,” he said, turning to his associates, “have you any further questions to ask this man?”

They had none, and Andrews withdrew.

“I think,” said the Prince, “we had better reassemble here on Wednesday night.  Matters are growing critical.”

This was agreed to.  The Prince stepped to the door and whispered a few words to Rudolph.

CHAPTER XV.

THE MASTER OF “THE DEMONS”

The door, in a few minutes, opened, and closed behind a tall, handsome, military-looking man, in a bright uniform, with the insignia of a brigadier-general of the United States army on his shoulders.

The Prince greeted him respectfully and invited him to a seat.

“General Quincy,” said the Prince, “I need not introduce you to these gentlemen; you have met them all before.  I have told them that you desired to speak to them about matters relating to your command; and they are ready to hear you.”

“Gentlemen,” said the General, rising to his feet, “I regret to have to approach you once more in reference to the pay of the officers and men of my command.  I fear you will think them importunate, if not unreasonable.  I am not here of my own volition, but as the mouthpiece of others.  Neither have I incited them to make these demands for increased pay.  The officers and men seem to have a high sense of their great importance in the present condition of public affairs.  They openly declare that those they maintain in power are enjoying royal affluence, which they could not possess for a single day without their aid; and therefore they claim that they should be well paid.”

The General paused, and the Prince said, in his smoothest tones: 

“That is not an unreasonable view to take of the matter.  What do they ask?”

“I have here,” replied the General, drawing a paper from his pocket, “a schedule of their demands, adopted at their last meeting.”  He handed it to the Prince.

“You will see,” he continued, “that it ranges from $5,000 per year, for the common soldiers, up through the different grades, to $25,000 per year for the commanding officer.”

Not a man at the Council table winced at this extraordinary demand.  The Prince said: 

“The salaries asked for are high; but they will come out of the public taxes and not from our pockets; and if you can assure me that your command, in view of this increase of compensation, will work with increased zeal, faithfulness and courage on behalf of law, order and society, I, for one, should be disposed to accede to the demand you make.  What say you, gentlemen?”

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Caesar's Column from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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