“You could never bring it home to him,” said Bates; “he's too cunning for that. He has always turned his dirty work over to other people. You remember during the big strike how he ran away and left the job to William Roberts; and after it was all over, he came back smiling.”

“And then buying out the Government to keep himself from being punished!” said the Lieutenant, savagely.

Montague turned and looked at him. “What is that?”

“That is the story that Bates's lawyer friend can tell,” was the reply. “The board of officers awarded six hundred thousand dollars' damages to the Government; and the case was appealed to the President of the United States, and he sold out the Navy!”

“Sold it out!” gasped Montague.

The officer shrugged his shoulders. “That's what I call it,” he said. “One day old Harrison startled the country by making a speech in support of the President's policy of tariff reform; and the next day the lawyer got word that the award was to be scaled down about seventy-five per cent!”

“And then,” added Bates, “William Roberts came down from Pittsburg, and bought up the Democratic party in Congress; and so the country got neither the damages nor the tariff reform. And then a few years later old Harrison sold out to the Steel Trust, and got off with a four-hundred-million-dollar mortgage on the American people!”

Bates sank back in his chair. “It's not a very pleasant topic for a holiday afternoon,” he said. “But I can't forget about it. It's this kind of thing that does it, you know—this.” And he waved his hand about at the gay assemblage. “The women spending their money on dresses and diamonds, and the men tearing the country to pieces to get it. You'll hear people talk about it—they say these idle rich harm nobody but themselves; but I tell you they spread a trail of corruption wherever they go. Don't you believe that, Mr. Montague?”

Tips, opportunities to make money:cherry swap
“I believe it,” said he.

Tips, opportunities to make money:big black delta money rain down
“Take these New England towns,” said Bates; “and look at the people in them. The ones who had any energy got up and went West years ago; and those who are left haven't any jaw-bones. Did you ever notice it? And it's just the same, wherever this pleasure crowd comes; it turns the men into boarding-house keepers and lackeys, and the girls into waitresses and prostitutes.”

Tips, opportunities to make money:make money on facebook
“They learn to take tips!” put in the Lieutenant.

“Everything they've got is for sale to city people,” said Bates. “Politically, there isn't a rottener little corner in the whole United States of America than this same Rhode Island—and how much that's saying, you can imagine. You can buy votes on election day as you'd buy herrings, and there's not the remotest effort at reform, nor any hope of it.”

“You speak bitterly,” said Montague.

“I am bitter,” said Bates. “But it doesn't often break out. I hold my tongue, and stew in my own juice. We newspaper men see the game, you know. We are behind the scenes, and we see the sawdust put into the dolls. We have to work in this rottenness all the time, and some of us don't like it, I can tell you. But what can we do?”