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My Late Senatorial Secretaryship: читать книгу в оригинале на английском
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[Written about 1867.]
I am not a private secretary to a senator any more I now. I held the berth two months in security and in great cheerfulness of spirit, but my bread began to return from over the waters then — that is to say, my works came back and revealed themselves. I judged it best to resign. The way of it was this. My employer sent for me one morning tolerably early, and, as soon as I had finished inserting some conundrums clandestinely into his last great speech upon finance, I entered the presence. There was something portentous in his appearance. His cravat was untied, his hair was in a state of disorder, and his countenance bore about it the signs of a suppressed storm. He held a package of letters in his tense grasp, and I knew that the dreaded Pacific mail was in. He said:
"I thought you were worthy of confidence."
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "I gave you a letter from certain of my constituents in the State of Nevada, asking the establishment of a post-office at Baldwin's Ranch, and told you to answer it, as ingeniously as you could, with arguments which should persuade them that there was no real necessity for as office at that place."
I felt easier. "Oh, if that is all, sir, I did do that."
"Yes, you did. I will read your answer for your own humiliation:
'WASHINGTON, Nov. 24
'Messrs. Smith, Jones, and others.
'GENTLEMEN: What the mischief do you suppose you want with a post-office at Baldwin's Ranch? It would not do you any good. If any letters came there, you couldn't read them, you know; and, besides, such letters as ought to pass through, with money in them, for other localities, would not be likely to get through, you must perceive at once; and that would make trouble for us all. No, don't bother about a post-office in your camp. I have your best interests at heart, and feel that it would only be an ornamental folly. What you want is a nice jail, you know — a nice, substantial jail and a free school. These will be a lasting benefit to you. These will make you really contented and happy. I will move in the matter at once.
'Very truly, etc.,
'For James W. N — — — , U. S. Senator.'
"That is the way you answered that letter. Those people say they will hang me, if I ever enter that district again; and I am perfectly satisfied they will, too."
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