Mr. Crewe grew red in the face.
"I am interested in these questions," he said stiffly.
"Little mite hasty, wahn't it?" Mr. Braden remarked equably, "but you've got plenty of time and money to fool with such things, if you've a mind to. Them don't amount to a hill of beans in politics. Nobody pays any attention to that sort of fireworks down to the capital, and if they was to get into committee them Northeastern Railroads fellers'd bury 'em deeper than the bottom of Salem pond. They don't want no such things as them to pass."
"Pardon me," said Mr. Crewe, "but you haven't read 'em."
"I know what they be," said Mr. Braden, "I've be'n in politics more years than you've be'n livin', I guess. I don't want to read 'em," he announced, his benign manner unchanged.
"I think you have made a mistake so far as the railroad is concerned, Mr. Braden," said Mr. Crewe, "I'm a practical man myself, and I don't indulge in moonshine. I am a director in one or two railroads. I have talked this matter over with Mr. Flint, and incidentally with Senator Whitredge."
"Knowed Whitredge afore you had any teeth," said Mr. Braden, who did not seem to be greatly impressed, "know him intimate. What'd you go to Flint for?"
"We have interests in common," said Mr. Crewe, "and I am rather a close friend of his. My going to the Legislature will be, I think, to our mutual advantage."