The next step of the stairs that would eventually lead Squattedman to the cusp of Tammany Hall was made of Carrara marble. The name contributed by Boss Tweed was that of the congressman Art Cartridge. This man was somewhat peculiar because he used to attend Congress sessions in pajamas and with a nightcap. In fact, the speaker was forced to call his attention continuously because he not only snored loudly but every now and then he sleepwalk through the House of Representatives. He had his residence in New York, where he was a night watchman in a liquor store, but he used to go to Washington every day to sleep in the Capitol Building. As if this present was not enough weird, it was rumored that he had a very dark past. Something related to a giant ball of manure that he rolled by pushing it with the force of his arms through Texas with a dark purpose. Hence his nickname “Roller Dung Beetle”.
In his character of François de La Rochefoucauld, Squattedman set up an appointment with Mr. Cartridge in his office at the Capitol. The congressman received him in pajamas and with a hot water bottle on his head.
“I have been told that you have some questions to ask me.”
“Can I ask you to skip the question marks? I am allergic to them.”
“As you prefer.”
“Boss Tweed sends you?”
“Yes, in a way.”
“Ignore everything he may have tell you. He is a man who cannot be trusted. The proof is that you are here while I warned him that, whatever happened, my name was never mentioned.”
“Why? Do you have something to hide?”
“Of course I have something to hide! Lots of things! Notice we have been stained with corruption for almost twenty years.”
“I didn’t expect you to be so frank. And above you, is there still someone else?”
“Naturally! There is Cow Head!”
“Do you know where I can find him?”
“He is a very elusive man. Besides, I wouldn’t advise it. He is a dangerous guy.”
“I am also a dangerous guy.”
The congressman burst into a loud laugh.
“Ha, ha, ha! You, a dangerous guy?! Don’t make me laugh! Why do you think I’ve told you all these things that nobody should know?”
“Because you are repented?”
“Ha, ha! How funny you are!”
While laughing, the congressman presses a button on his desk and the floor under Squattedman’s feet blows open, swallowing him.