turn all my attention to law. Judge Stevens told me he would bring action on my behalf against the Faculty if I wished and felt sure he'd get damages and reinstate me. But the University without Smith meant less than nothing to me and why should I waste time fighting brainless bigots? I little knew then that that would be the main work of my life; but this first time I left my enemies the victory and the field, as I probably shall at long last.
I made up my mind to study law and as a beginning induced Barker of Barker & Sommerfeld to let me study in his law office. I don't remember how I got to know them; but Barker, an immensely fat man, was a famous advocate and very kind to me for no apparent reason. Sommerfeld was a tall, fair, German-looking Jew, peculiarly inarticulate, almost tongue-tied, indeed, in English; but an excellent lawyer and a kindly, honest man who commanded the respect of all the Germans and Jews in Douglas County partly because his fat little father had been one of the earliest settlers in Lawrence and one of the most successful tradesmen. He kept a general provision store and had been kind to all his compatriots in their early struggling days.
It was an admirable partnership: Sommerfeld had the clients and prepared the briefs; while Barker did the talking in court with a sort of invincible goodhumor which I never saw equalled save in the notorious Englishman, Bottomley. Barker before a jury used to exude good-nature and commonsense and thus gain even bad cases. Sommerfeld, I'll tell more about in due time.
A little later I got depressing news from Smith: his cough had not diminished and he missed our companionship: there was a hopelessness in the letter which hurt my very heart: but what could I do?