me there,— “Don’t talk such nonsense, we’ll have to put up with this,” he said, “If they knew who you were, do you think it would help you to get a vacant seat' in a train which has no vacant seats in it?"
This did not Improve my condition at all, but just then I noticed that the porter of a sleeping-car had his eye on me. I saw the expression of his face suddenly change. He whispe red to the uniformed conductor, pointing to me, and I reali zed I was being talked about. Then the conductor came forward, his face all politeness.
“Can I be of any service to you?”2 he asked. “Do you want a place in a sleeping-car?”
“Yes,” I said, “I’ll be grateTul to you if you can give me a place, anything will do.”
“We have nothing left except the big family compart ment,” he continued, “with two berths and a couple of armchairs in it, but it is entirely at your disposal. Here, Tom, take these suitcases aboard!”
Then he touched his hat, and we moved along.3 I was eager to say a few words to my companion, but I changed my mind. The porter made us comfortable in the compartment, and then said, with many bows and smiles:
“Now, is there anything you want, sir? Because you can have just anything you want.”
“Can I have some hot water?” I asked.
“Yes, sir, I’ll get it myself.”
“Good! Now, that lamp is hung too high above the berth. Can I have a better lamp fixed just at the head of my bed below the luggage rack, so that I can read comfor tably?”
“Yes, sir. The lamp you want is just being fixed in the next compartment. I’ll get it from there and fix it here. It’ll burn all night. Yes, sir, you can ask for anything you want, the whole railroad will be turned inside out to please you.” And he disappeared.
I smiled at my companion, and said:
“Well, what do you say now? Didn’t their attitude change the moment they understood I was Mark Twain? You see the result, don’t you?” My companion did not answer. So I added, “Don’t you like the way you are being served? And all for the same fare.”
As I was saying this, the porter’s smiling face appeared in the doorway and this speech followed:
“Oh, sir, I recognized you the minute I set my eyes on you. I told the conductor so.”