The postmaster, his wife, the valet, and a peasant woman selling Torzhok embroidery came into the room offering their services.
The postmaster came in and began obsequiously to beg his excellency to wait only two hours, when, come what might, he would let his excellency have the courier horses.
The postmaster was a short man, and consequently a man with a proper idea of his own importance.
The captain was not a man to be daunted, even by a postmaster. A bright idea struck him.
"Oh!" replied the postmaster, uncovering with respect, "a very worthy nobleman.
"Only," continued the postmaster, "if you will put up with a little carriage I have, I will harness an old blind horse who has still his legs left, and peradventure will draw you to the house of M.
I had never heard the postmaster say anything but `Only papers, to-day,' or, `I've got a sackful of mail for ye,' until this afternoon.
The postmaster, going home, stopped to say that grandfather would bring the coroner back with him to spend the night.
The postmaster, who was also the village grocer, had a clear recollection of the telegram.
"Well, surely his own wife ought to know where he is," said the postmaster testily.
The grandfathers of 1876 were fond of telling how Webster opposed taking Texas and Oregon into the Union; how George Washington advised against including the Mississippi River; and how Monroe warned Congress that a country that reached from the Atlantic to the Middle West was "too extensive to be governed but by a despotic monarchy." They told how Abraham Lincoln, when he was postmaster
of New Salem, used to carry the letters in his coon- skin cap and deliver them at sight; how in 1822 the mails were carried on horseback and not in stages, so as to have the quickest possible service; and how the news of Madison's election was three weeks in reaching the people of Kentucky.
Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster
, and some other taxing functionary united; he had come out with great obsequiousness to assist at this examination, and had held the examined by the drapery of his arm in an official manner.
We have given the postmaster
a hint to have the telegraph office moved down into the village, but I don't know that that will help us much."
But the man, for purposes of robbery, had slain an entire family--the postmaster, his wife, and their three children, in the upstairs over the post office in the mountain village of Chisholm.
He was not in pursuit of the man who had slain the postmaster of Chisholm and his family.