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Chapter II
 They were met in the street outside by a large body of their fellow-citizens, who had accompanied them to the Palace, and who had been spending the time since their departure in listening by turns at the keyhole of the front-door. But as the Hall of Audience was at the other side of the Palace, and cut off from the front-door by two other doors, a flight of stairs, and a long passage, they had not heard very much of what had gone on inside, and they surrounded the three spokesmen as they came out, and questioned them eagerly.  
"Has he taken off the tax on jam?" asked Ulric the smith.
"What is he going to do about the tax on mixed biscuits?" shouted Klaus von der Flue, who was a chimney-sweep of the town and loved mixed biscuits.
"Never mind about tea and mixed biscuits!" cried his neighbour, Meier of Sarnen. "What I want to know is whether we shall have to pay for keeping sheep any more."
"What did the Governor say?" asked Jost Weiler, a practical man, who liked to go straight to the point.
The three spokesmen looked at one another a little doubtfully.
"We-e-ll," said Werner Stauffacher at last, "as a matter of fact, he didn't actually say very much. It was more what he did, if you understand me, than what he said."
"I should describe His Excellency the Governor," said Walter Fürst, "as a man who has got a way with him--a man who has got all sorts of arguments at his finger-tips."
At the mention of finger-tips, Arnold of Melchthal uttered a sharp howl.
"In short," continued Walter, "after a few minutes' very interesting conversation he made us see that it really wouldn't do, and that we must go on paying the taxes as before."
There was a dead silence for several minutes, while everybody looked at everybody else in dismay.
The silence was broken by Arnold of Sewa. Arnold of Sewa had been disappointed at not being chosen as one of the three spokesmen, and he thought that if he had been so chosen all this trouble would not have occurred.
"The fact is," he said bitterly, "that you three have failed to do what you were sent to do. I mention no names--far from it--but I don't mind saying that there are some people in this town who would have given a better account of themselves. What you want in little matters of this sort is, if I may say so, . Tact; that's what you want. Of course, if you will go rushing into the Governor's presence--"
"But we didn't rush," said Walter Fürst.
"--Shouting out that you want the taxes abolished--"
"But we didn't shout," said Walter Fürst.
"I really cannot speak if I am to be constantly interrupted," said Arnold of Sewa . "What I say is, that you ought to employ tact. Tact; that's what you want. If I had been chosen to represent the Swiss people in this affair--I am not saying I ought to have been, mind you; I merely say if I had been--I should have acted rather after the following fashion: Walking firmly, but not , into the 's presence, I should have broken the ice with some pleasant remark about the weather. The conversation once started, the rest would have been easy. I should have said that I hoped His Excellency had enjoyed a good dinner. Once on the subject of food, and it would have been the simplest of tasks to show him how unnecessary taxes on food were, and the whole affair would have been pleasantly settled while you waited. I do not imply that the Swiss people would have done better to have chosen me as their representative. I merely say that that is how I should have acted had they done so."
And Arnold of Sewa twirled his moustache and looked offended. His friends instantly suggested that he should be allowed to try where the other three had failed, and the rest of the crowd, beginning to hope once more, took up the cry. The result was that the visitors' bell of the Palace was rung for the second time. Arnold of Sewa went in, and the door was banged behind him.
Five minutes later he came out, sucking the first finger of his left hand.
"No," he said; "it can't be done. The tyrant has convinced me."
"I knew he would," said Arnold of Melchthal.
"Then I think you might have warned me," snapped Arnold of Sewa, dancing with the pain of his burnt finger.
"Was it hot?"
"Then he really won't let us off the taxes?" asked the crowd in disappointed voices.
"Then the long and short of it is," said Walter Fürst, drawing a deep breath, "that we must rebel!"
"Rebel?" cried everybody.
"Rebel!" repeated Walter firmly.
"We will!" cried everybody.
"Down with the tyrant!" shouted Walter Fürst.
"Down with the taxes!" the crowd.
A scene of great enthusiasm followed. The last words were spoken by Werner Stauffacher.
"We want a leader," he said.
"I don't wish to thrust myself forward," began Arnold of Sewa, "but I must say, if it comes to leading--"
"And I know the very man for the job," said Werner Stauffacher. "William Tell!"
" for William Tell!" roared the crowd, and, taking the time from Werner Stauffacher, they burst into the grand old Swiss chant which runs as follows:
     "For he's a jolly good fellow!
      For he's a jolly good fellow!!
      For he's a jolly good fe-e-ll-ow!!!!
      And so say all of us!"
And having sung this till they were all quite , they went off to their beds to get a few hours' sleep before beginning the labours of the day.

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