"The chief of the Inner Station," he answered in a short tone, looking away.
"Much obliged," I said, laughing. "And you are the brickmaker of the Central Station. Every one knows that."
"He is a prodigy," he said at last. "He is an emissary of pity and science and progress, and devil knows what else. We want," he began to declaim suddenly, "for the guidance of the cause intrusted to us by Europe, so to speak, higher intelligence, wide sympathies, a singleness of purpose."
"Who says that?" I asked.
"Lots of them," he replied. "Some even write that; and so he comes here, a special being, as you ought to know."
"Why ought I to know?" I interrupted, really surprised. He paid no attention.
"Yes. Today he is chief of the best station, next year he will be assistant-manager, two years more and . . . but I dare-say you know what he will be in two years' time. You are of the new gang -- the gang of virtue. The same people who sent him specially also recommended you. Oh, don't say no. I've my own eyes to trust."