22 CHOICE BITS FROM MARK TWAIN.
incendiary beef contract, at last ? We have nothing
to do with beef contracts for the army, my dear
" Oh, that is all very well—but somebody has got
to pay for that beef. It has got to be paid now, too,
or I'll confiscate this old Patent Office and every¬
thing in it."
" But, my dear sir—"
" It don't make any difference, sir. The Patent
Office is liable for that beef, I reckon ; and, liable
or not liable, the Patent OflSce has got to pay for
Never mind the details. It ended in a fight.
The Patent Office won. But I found out something
to my advantage. I was told that the Treasury
Department was the proper place for me to go to.
I went there. I waited two hours-and-a-half, and
then I was admitted to the First Lord of the
I said, " Most noble, grave, and reverend Signor,
on or about the loth day of October, 1861, John
" That is sufl5cient. sir. I have heard of you.
Go to the First Auditor of the Treasury."
I did so. He sent me to the Second Auditor.
The Second Auditor sent me to the Third, and the
Third sent me to the First Comptroller of the
Corn-Beef Division. This began to look like