Tictocq, a famous French detective, arrived in Austin and registered at the Avenue Hotel under an assumed name. He was approached by the Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, Platform No. 2, who informed him that a prominent Populist Candidate's socks had been stolen from his hotel room. The Chairman asked Tictocq to recover the socks, fearing that their loss would be blamed on the Democrats and used as political ammunition by the Populists.
"Entrez vous," said the detective.
Entrez vous, said the detective.
Tictocq began his investigation by questioning the hotel's bellboy and visiting the local police station, but found no leads. He then went to the Statesman newspaper office, where he learned that a man with blue whiskers had recently purchased a paper. Tictocq suspected that this man might be the thief, as he would need a paper to wrap the stolen socks.
Later, Tictocq attended a high-society reception at the home of Mrs. Rutabaga St. Vitus. There, he encountered Professor Ludwig von Bum, a pianist he had known in Paris. Believing von Bum to be the thief, Tictocq seized him during a performance, removed his socks, and escaped through a window.
The following day, Tictocq presented the recovered socks to the Populist Candidate and the other witnesses. "Come to this room to-morrow afternoon at 6 o'clock with the landlord, the Populist Candidate, and any other witnesses elected from both parties, and I will return the socks," he confidently told the Chairman.
Come to this room to-morrow afternoon at 6 o'clock with the landlord, the Populist Candidate, and any other witnesses elected from both parties, and I will return the socks.
The Populist Candidate angrily denied that the socks were his and accused the Democratic Chairman of orchestrating the entire affair as a political trick. Despite his protests, the other Populists in the room believed that the damage had already been done and urged the Candidate to withdraw from the race.
"The damage is already done," they said. "The people have heard the story. You have yet time to withdraw decently before the race."
The damage is already done, they said. The people have heard the story. You have yet time to withdraw decently before the race.
In the end, the Democrats celebrated their successful political intrigue by opening a bottle of champagne on the Finance Committee.