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Thanking their stars for having such sure-fire publicity dropped in their laps, Representatives McCormack & Dickstein began calling witnesses to expose the "plot." But there did not seem to be any plotters.
A bewildered army captain, commandant at the Elkridge CCC camp, could shed no light on the report that his post was to be turned into a revolutionary base.
Mr. Morgan, just off a boat from Europe, had nothing to say, but Partner Lamont did: "Perfect moonshine! Too unutterably ridiculous to comment upon!"
"He had better be pretty damn careful," growled General Johnson. "Nobody said a word to me about anything of this kind, and if they did I'd throw them out the window."
G.M.-P. Murphy & Co.'s President Grayson Mallet-Prevost Murphy, Wartime lieutenant colonel, snorted: "A fantasy! . . . and I don't believe there is a word of truth in it with respect to Mr. McGuire."
Investor Clark, in Paris, freely admitted trying to get General Butler to use his influence with the Legion against dollar devaluation, but stoutly declared: "I am neither a Fascist nor a Communist, but an American." He threatened a libel suit "unless the whole affair is relegated to the funny sheets by Sunday."
"It sounds like the best laugh story of the year," chimed in General MacArthur from Washington.
From San Francisco, Socialist Norman Thomas wryly doubted that "it would be worth $3,000,000 to any Wall Street group to attempt to overthrow the Government under the present Administration, because Wall Street and Big Business have flourished under it more than any other group."
Dr. William Albert Wirt, Gary, Ind. school superintendent, who thought the Reds were about to capture the Government last spring, took a practical view of General Butler's Fascist uprising. "Three million dollars would be a mere bagatelle for a revolution," said he. "Why, that would be only $6 a head for an army of 500,000. . . ."
Only public figure to support General Butler's story was Commander James Van Zandt of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He said he had known about the plot all along, that he had refused to participate in it.
Though most of the country was again laughing at the latest Butler story, the special House Committee declined to join in the merriment. Turning from the Fascist putsch yarn to investigate Communism among New York fur workers, Congressman Dickstein promised Commander Van Zandt a later hearing in Washington. "From present indications," said the publicity-loving New York Representative, "General Butler has the evidence. He's not making serious charges unless he has something to back them up. We will have some men here with bigger names than Butler's before this is over."