"Come in. Glad to see you. Claghorn's the name - Senator Claghorn, that is. What can I do for you?"
"I'd like an interview with you, senator."
"Certainly, son. I'm always glad to talk to the press and answer any questions that are put to me. Who are you with, son?"
"I'm with 'Graft,' the tree surgery magazine, senator. We admire the way a poor farm boy like you went up to Washington and made good money, sir, and we'd . . ."
"The expression is 'made good,' son, not 'made good money."
"We were thinking about all that cash that you say people keep handing you - the tens and twenties and things like that."
"What do you mean 'all that cash,' son? The sums people give me are very small. They don't amount to a hill of beans."
"But you said you lived off that cash, senator, so it must have been a little bit more than beans."
"Tush, tush, son. I live on $25 a week. It was just pocket money."
"Is there some other kind, senator?"
"Now listen, son, when you came in here and said you wanted an interview, I thought you were a good old boy who wanted to write the truth about why I should be reelected. You didn't tell me you were going to be asking a lot of hostile questions."
"Senator, I didn' mean to be hostile. My editor just wants to know why people keep giving you so much money."
"Son, people are just plumb charitable in Georgia, that's all. Everybody gives gifts."
"Ah, I see. When you go back to Georgia, you reciprocate by giving cash to all the people who gave you cash. Is that the way it goes?"
"Son, I warned you once, if you want an interview, that's one thing. But if you want to come in here with a lot of hostile, smart-alecky questions, you and I aren't going to get along very well."
"Senator, my editor has been wondering why people give you all that money. Do you ever do any special favors for people who give you money?"
"Now son, that's a downright insulting question. If you would just follow me around for a day and get your facts straight you'd see that I take from everybody - the rich and the poor, Republicans and Democrats alike. I don't play any favorites. I don't even write down their names.
"Then how do you account for the money on your income tax?"
"What are you, son, some kind of communist agent paid to make trouble for 100 percent Americans like me? Nobody pays income tax on piddling little gifts."
"What about the fees you get for speaking to organizations that have legislation before your committee, senator?"
"Making speeches is hard work, son. You get paid for interviewing, I get paid for speeches. What's wrong with that? You're not suggesting that the amount I'm paid influences my position on legislation, are you?"
"I'm not suggesting anything, senator. I'm just trying to check on some facts, as my editor instructed me to. We're told you've become a millionaire, senator. Is that correct?"
"Well, now, don't you think it's kind of personal for one gentleman to ask another gentleman how much money he has in the bank? Why can't we just be friends and talk about noncontroversial things?"
"There's nothing controversial about having a million dollars in the bank, senator. We'd just like to know how you got it."
"Live frugally, as I have, son, and you can accumulate a million, too. Just remember that when people insist on slipping you a few dollars in cash, don't argue with them. Arguing gets the stomach all riled up, and then you can't enjoy the nice meal that somebody might want to buy you. Got that, boy? Never argue with generous people who want to show their friendship for you. I've got to go now, son, but I want you to know that you planted a seed in my mind today. You asked whether I ever reciprocate when people give me gifts, and I wonder if I could ask you to do me a favor."
"Can you spare a few of those cigars you have in your pocket? I might meet some voters this afternoon and if any of them give me money, I'd like to be in a position to reciprocate. It would add a nicetouch, don't you agree?"