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A Snapshot At The President
[This is the kind of waggish editorial O. Henry was writing in 1894 for the readers of The
Rolling Stone. The reader will do well to remember that the paper was for local
consumption and that the allusions are to a very special place and time.]
(It will be remembered that about a month ago there were special rates offered to the
public for a round trip to the City of Washington. The price of the ticket being
exceedingly low, we secured a loan of twenty dollars from a public-spirited citizen of
Austin, by mortgaging our press and cow, with the additional security of our brother's
name and a slight draught on Major Hutchinson for $4,000.
We purchased a round trip ticket, two loaves of Vienna bread, and quite a large piece of
cheese, which we handed to a member of our reportorial staff, with instructions to go to
Washington, interview President Cleveland, and get a scoop, if possible, on all other
Texas papers.
Our reporter came in yesterday morning, via the Manor dirt road, with a large piece of
folded cotton bagging tied under each foot.
It seems that he lost his ticket in Washington, and having divided the Vienna bread and
cheese with some disappointed office seekers who were coming home by the same route,
he arrived home hungry, desiring food, and with quite an appetite.
Although somewhat late, we give his description of his interview with President
I am chief reporter on the staff of The Rolling Stone.
About a month ago the managing editor came into the room where we were both sitting
engaged in conversation and said:
"Oh, by the way, go to Washington and interview President Cleveland."
"All right," said I. "Take care of yourself."
Five minutes later I was seated in a palatial drawing-room car bounding up and down
quite a good deal on the elastic plush-covered seat.
I shall not linger upon the incidents of the journey. I was given carte blanche to provide
myself with every comfort, and to spare no expense that I could meet. For the regalement
of my inside the preparations had been lavish. Both Vienna and Germany had been called
upon to furnish dainty viands suitable to my palate.