CHAPTER XXVII
THE ARENA AND THE DUST

ALAS! that the great genius who described the battle of Waterloo is not alive to-day and on this side of the Atlantic, for a subject worthy of his pen is at hand, -- nothing less than that convention of conventions at which the Honourable Humphrey Crewe of Leith is one of the candidates. One of the candidates, indeed! Will it not be known, as long as there are pensions, and a governor and a state-house and a seal and State sovereignty and a staff, as the Crewe Convention? How charge after charge was made during the long, hot day and into the night; how the delegates were carried out limp and speechless and starved and wet through, and carried in to vote again, -- will all be told in time. But let us begin at the beginning, which is the day before.

But look! it is afternoon, and the candidates are arriving at the Pelican. The Honourable Adam B. Hunt is the first, and walks up the hill from the station escorted by such prominent figures as the Honourables Brush Bascom and Jacob Botcher, and surrounded by enthusiastic supporters who wear buttons with the image of their leader -- goatee and all -- and the singularly prophetic superscription, To the Last Ditch! Only veterans and experts like Mr. Bascom and Mr. Botcher can recognize the last ditch when they see it.

Another stir in the street -- occasioned by the appearance of the Honourable Giles Henderson, -- of the blameless life. Utter a syllable against him if you can! These words should be inscribed on his buttons if he had any -- but he has none. They seem to be, unuttered, on the tongues of the gentlemen who escort the Honourable Giles, United

-431-

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