A cigar! Bok had been
A cigar! Bok had been taking his tobacco in smaller doses with paper
around them. He had never smoked a cigar. Still, one cannot very well
refuse a presidential cigar!
"Thank you," Bok said as he took one from the President's case. He
looked at the cigar and remembered all he had read of Benjamin
Harrison's black cigars. This one was black--inky black--and big.
"Allow me," he heard the President suddenly say, as he handed him a
blazing match. There was no escape. The aroma was delicious, but--Two or
three whiffs of that cigar, and Bok decided the best thing to do was to
let it go out. He did.
"I have allowed you to talk so much," said the President after a while,
"that you haven't had a chance to smoke. Allow me," and another match
crackled into flame.
"Thank you," the editor said, as once more he lighted the cigar, and the
fumes went clear up into the farthest corner of his brain.
"Take a fresh cigar," said the President after a while. "That doesn't
seem to burn well. You will get one like that once in a while, although
I am careful about my cigars."
"No, thanks, Mr. President," Bok said hurriedly. "It's I, not the
"Well, prove it to me with another," was the quick rejoinder, as he held
out his case, and in another minute a match again crackled. "There is
only one thing worse than a bad smoke, and that is an office-seeker,"
chuckled the President.
Bok couldn't prove that the cigars were bad, naturally. So smoke that
cigar he did, to the bitter end, and it was bitter! In fifteen minutes
his head and stomach were each whirling around, and no more welcome
words had Bok ever heard than when the President said: "Well, suppose we
go in. Halford and I have a day's work ahead of us yet."
The President went to work.