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[117] once strong in its lines and good natured. My friends approached him respectfully and without any sign of their customary familiarity, and as he shook hands with them there was a pleasant word for each. And then in his hearty voice he explained that his train was ten hours late and that he must get on to such and such a town that evening, and there was a general giving of advice and telephoning and consulting of timetables until it was proven beyond peradventure that it was impossible for him to proceed until the morrow.

Meanwhile I felt rather “out of it,” and at an early stage of the proceedings good old Uncle Joe took pity upon me, and coming over to me whispered:

You know who that is, don't you?

I acknowledged with shame that I did not, and with a look of blank amazement, he added:

Why, that's Major Bedford!

as if the announcement would surely startle me. I fear that my expression was unsatisfactory to him, for there was sorrow in his tone as he explained to the benighted Yankee that Major Bedford was the biggest lawyer in West Carobama, and that only last month he got Hank Martin off, though everybody knew he had chucked Sam Davis into the well.

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