THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 8: THE BOSS
To be vested with enormous authority is a fine thing; but to have
the on-looking world consent to it is a finer. The tower episode
solidified my power, and made it impregnable. If any were perchance
disposed to be jealous and critical before that, they experienced
a change of heart, now. There was not any one in the kingdom
who would have considered it good judgment to meddle with my matters.
I was fast getting adjusted to my situation and circumstances.
For a time, I used to wake up, mornings, and smile at my "dream,"
and listen for the Colt's factory whistle; but that sort of thing
played itself out, gradually, and at last I was fully able to realize
that I was actually living in the sixth century, and in Arthur's
court, not a lunatic asylum. After that, I was just as much
at home in that century as I could have been in any other; and
as for preference, I wouldn't have traded it for the twentieth.
Look at the opportunities here for a man of knowledge, brains,
pluck, and enterprise to sail in and grow up with the country.
The grandest field that ever was; and all my own; not a competitor;
not a man who wasn't a baby to me in acquirements and capacities;
whereas, what would I amount to in the twentieth century? I should
be foreman of a factory, that is about all; and could drag a seine
down street any day and catch a hundred better men than myself.
What a jump I had made! I couldn't keep from thinking about it,
and contemplating it, just as one does who has struck oil. There
was nothing back of me that could approach it, unless it might be
Joseph's case; and Joseph's only approached it, it didn't equal
it, quite. For it stands to reason that as Joseph's splendid
financial ingenuities advantaged nobody but the king, the general
public must have regarded him with a good deal of disfavor, whereas
I had done my entire public a kindness in sparing the sun, and was
popular by reason of it.