turning half round guessed that the good looking young man was Professor Smith for his two girl-admirers were persuading him to go on the platform and fascinate the audience.
In a little while he went up amid great applause; a good figure of a man, rather tall, about five feet ten, slight with broad shoulders. He began to speak in a thin tenor voice: "there was a manifest conflict of interests," he said, "between the manufacturing Eastern States that demanded a high tariff on all imports and the farming West that wanted cheap goods and cheap rates of transport.
"In essence, it's a mere matter of arithmetic, a mathematical problem, demanding a compromise; for every country should establish its own manufacturing industries and be self-supporting. The obvious reform was indicated; the Federal government should take over the railways and run them for the farmers, while competition among American manufacturers would ultimately reduce prices".
No one in the hall seemed to understand this "obvious reform"; but the speech called forth a hurricane of cheers and I concluded that there were a great many students from the State University in the audience.
I don't know what possessed me but when Smith returned to his seat behind me between the two girls and they praised him to the skies, I got up and walked to the platform. I was greeted with a tempest of laughter and must have cut a ludicrous figure. I was in cowpuncher's dress as modified by Reece and Dell: I wore loose Bedford cord breeches, knee-high brown boots and a sort of buckskin shirt and jacket combined that tucked into my breeches. But rains and sun had worked their will on the buckskin which had shrunk down my neck and up my arms.