Champagne With the Board of Brokers

Mark Twain

Virginia City Territorial Enterprise/March 7, 1863

By a sort of instinct we happened in at Almack’s just at the moment that the corks were about to pop, and discovering that we had intruded we were retreating when Daggett, the soulless, insisted upon our getting with the Board of Brokers, and we very naturally did so. The President had already been toasted, the Vice-President had likewise been complimented in the same manner. Mr. Mitchell had delivered an address through his unsolicited mouth-piece, Mr. Daggett, whom he likened unto Baalam’s ass—and very aptly too—and the press had been toasted, and he had attempted to respond and got overcome by something—feelings perhaps—when that ever lasting, omnipresent, irrepressible, “Unreliable” crowded himself into the festive apartment, where he shed a gloom upon the Board of Brokers, and emptied their glasses while they made speeches. The imperturbable impudence of that iceberg surpasses anything we ever saw.

By a concerted movement the young man was partially put down at length, however, and the Board launched out into speech-making again, but finally somebody put up five feet of “Texas,” which changed hands at eight dollars a foot, and from that they branched off into a wholesale bartering of “wildcat”—for their natures were aroused by the first smell of blood of course—and we adjourned to make this report. The Board will begin its regular meetings Monday next.

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