In Nebraska: What the Governor of Nebraska said to the Governor of New York went into history: "I enjoyed your speech very much last night. It listened well over the radio."
The Governor of New York thanked the Governor of Nebraska, reflected that the "raddio"* is indeed a marvelous thing, and sat down at the Governor of Nebraska's desk.
A less light-hearted Democrat might have been overcome by the thought that he was sitting at the official heart of the State which gave William Jennings Bryan, the Great Commoner, to the Democracy. Nominee Smith of the Sidewalks was not overcome.
"Bring on your next bill and I'll sign it," he joked to Governor Adam McMullen.
It was his idea that Farm Relief should not be without some comic relief. At Omaha, he had again handled with gloves that troublesome symbol, the Equalization Fee. Without gloves he had man-handled the G. O. P.'s eight-year "solicitude and sympathy" for the farmer. If it had "listened well" to Republican Governor McMullen, Governor Alfred Emanuel Smith was content. He continued his inspection of the State capitol which the late, great Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue of New York designed for Nebraska.
Passing through Nominee Curtis's home state was great sport. The Brown Derby swept and waved at every platform pause. People said the crowd at Topeka was "as big as Bryan's"; bigger, even, than Senator Curtis got when he went home a Nominee—but then, everyone in Topeka knows what Mr. Curtis looks like. The Brown Derby was something of a curiosity as well as an enthusiasm.
Between stations, the Nominee mingled freely with his newspaper entourage. He dictated, chatted, visited around, snoozed. An act earlier in the trip, just after leaving Chicago, had seemed characteristic of him. Mrs. Smith wanted something. The Nominee had strode, cigar in teeth, to the baggage car and himself teetered out a huge trunk for her to rummage in.
In Oklahoma: It was dark when the Smith special entered Oklahoma. Only a few wakeful members of the party saw, in the small hours of the morning, the thing burning in a black, empty field—a fiery cross.
In Oklahoma City, the restless tension of the packed streets was punctuated by pistol shots as a policeman shot down a pickpocket. When the special pulled in, there was yelling and tumult from the railroad station to the hotel. The Nominee shaved and received newsgatherers in his bathrobe.
It was a long day of conferences and conversations. The hotels teemed with men, money, moonshine, political and religious arguments. For an hour in the afternoon, the Nominee" stood bareheaded, smiling, bowing, smart-cracking, in an automobile that moved about town at a snail's pace.
Half an hour before the Nominee's arrival at the Coliseum, appeared the man who once called him "the deadliest foe of moral progress in America," thin-lipped hot-eyed Parson John Roach Straton. There was some altercation, but Dr. Straton clutched his ticket. He had promised to behave. He was admitted and took a seat at the back of the platform. His presence intensified the Nominee's grim earnestness. It was a real Moment in the campaign.