"It means," said Mr. Redbrook, "that when the time comes, we want you to run for governor."
Austen went to the mantelpiece, and stood for a long time with his back turned, staring at a crayon portrait of Colonel Peasley, in the uniform in which he had fallen at the battle of Gettysburg. Then he swung about and seized the member from Mercer by both broad shoulders.
"James Redbrook," he said, "until to-night I thought you were about as long-headed and sensible a man as there was in the State."
"So I be," replied Mr. Redbrook, with a grin. "You ask young Tom Gaylord."
"So Tom put you up to this nonsense."
"It ain't nonsense," retorted Mr. Redbrook, stoutly, "and Tom didn't put me up to it. It's the' best notion that ever came into my mind."
Austen, still clinging to Mr. Redbrook's shoulders, shook his head slowly.
"James," he said, "there are plenty of men who are better equipped than I for the place, and in a better situation to undertake it. I--I'm much obliged to you. But I'll help. I've got to go," he added; the Honourable Hilary wants to see me."