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49 CHAPTER X. What different luck the election brought to the lawyer and the street sweeper. I make another visit to Inez. some months now passed away, carrying with them the fall and winter, during which no incidents occurred, that are necessary to be narrated, in any detailed manner in this veracious history of my life and adventures. Whether from the unsatisfactory nature of my answer to Barney Fox’s questions, or some other cause, Covert lost his election. There had come a revulsion in what the newspapers call public sentiment, and the party which carried the day a season or two before, was now completely swamped. The Hon. Isaac Leech came forth in colors of resplendent glory, and Alderman Rye labored under deep depression of spirits. As to Mr. Fox, he showed more sense than I had given him credit for. He discovered suddenly that he had always been an ardent advocate and laborer for the party now successful; and, on the strength of the importance given him by his appointment as a “committee 50 of one,” in an exciting election contest, and as the representative of a large body of fellow-citizens, all of whom have votes, and, like wide-awake members of a republican government ought to do, lose no occasion of using them. Mr. Barney Fox, the cunning dog, before anybody knew it, had the coolness to propose for and secure a really nice little contract for digging out and filling up certain public grounds in his ward! Now Barney possessed not ten dollars in the world, and his getting the contract was partly the result of his natural impudence, and partly luck. But Barney found friends after his good fortune once came upon him, and from that day was totally oblivious toward street-sweeping, nor took any more interest in “masheens” that might interfere with the manual performance of that avocation. In a few months from the time of his promotion, he bought a big lot of ground at Hoboken, and had a neat comfortable twostory cottage on the same, and moved over Mrs. Fox and the little Foxes, now increased in number to eight; and let out two rooms in the upper story to whoever wanted fine airy lodgings for the summer. “And a happy woman I’d be this day,” said Barney’s wife, as she took her departure from the rear building, “if it wasn’t for the leavin’ of you, Miss Inez. If you were me own daughter, I could not feel sorrier.” “Nancy, dear, you are a good creature, and don’t talk about it. For isn’t the ferry handy; and shan’t I take your 51 two rooms for my own sweet self, this summer, and live with you again?” This assurance of Inez comforted the good, faithful Irishwoman, more than anything else. She went off, followed by her juvenile procession, all as clean and neat as plenty of soap and pure water could make both their clothes and their bodies. Nancy was the tidiest dame in the land, and a good looking one withal, and Inez, as I have before intimated, had a thoroughly filial affection for her. She had bestowed a hearty kiss and a present besides on every little Fox, before the procession took its departure. Inez gave me this description the same evening, when I visited her, really for my own good pleasure, but nominally to beg permission to bring a friend who had seen her on the stage, and was eager for a closer acquaintance. It was a ridiculous whim, so I thought it anyhow, for Inez to insist so generally on my paying visits only when accompanied by a companion. Our acquaintance had now continued several months, and this was about the first time, whenever I came without Smytthe, or when Nancy was away minding her brood of children, that she did not, under some trivial pretence or other, either shorten her own stay in the room, or frankly say, “Now, there’s a good boy, don’t stay any longer, for I want to be alone. Don’t take any offence, only I want you to go.” It was cool, but her manner was so good-natured, and there was no help for it. 52 This evening I was more fortunate. The Spaniard was in her most pleasant humor, and I fell into giving her a description of my early vagabond life, which proved to be, as we soon discovered on...


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