Commentary

Disciples


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Friday, October 17, 1890

     7:15 P.M. Saw W., but briefly. He was in good trim. Was quick to ask me about affairs. I told him all I could squeeze between his own remarks in the 15 minutes I stayed. He thought, "We appear to be on the go." Baker had told me that W. wrote Ingersoll telling him what he (W.) would say on the night.

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"Yes," now said W., "I did, but what I shall say will be short enough: it will not make much of a break in the play." Was not out today.

     I told him I was going to get some dodgers printed. First he asked what dodgers were—then asked to have some left with him: wished to send them "right and left" "some even abroad." I left Conservators with him. He would distribute them. Asked me about part of house so far sold. Said he waited "expectantly," yet was without anything like positive knowledge. "In fact, do not believe things till they become a be."

     Met Baker at Green's in morning. He stayed over till 5:15 train. We busied about the city with great vehemence. Several times at Campbell's, at the Hall, at newspaper offices. We did all we could to work our case up. Saw McLaughlin of the Times. While Baker sat in Ledger office writing ads, I went around to side door and in and asked for Childs. The boy there said this was not visitors day with Mr. Childs. I told him, "I must see Mr. Childs—if only for a minute." So I wrote on one of their cards and sent in word that I was from Walt Whitman and desired to say a word. So in a few minutes he came out and was supremely affable. He said he "had heard of" me and certainly would do something to help us—going forthwith to direct that the five little ads we had made up should be inserted. "I will also give you a reading notice," he said, and would accept no consideration whatever. Baker much tickled—as I was. Then walked back up to Press together. Found Williams was not yet back, so we had a little chat with Merrill, Managing Editor, who told us he intended giving a good report.

     McLaughlin of the Times gave us an equal good promise. Inquirer's Managing Editor not in. We went from office to office this way, placing new advertisements and seeing editors. A tiresome iteration of detail. Baker displayed throughout tact, deftness, integrity. He telegraphed the Colonel during the afternoon. Thought this night would demonstrate whether Ingersoll had lost hold. Could not tell yet—date not far enough advanced.

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Baker is a lover of beauty, honest, affectionate. He seems to be depressed at times. We took dinner with Morris in Bullitt Building—from that look-out dining room which reveals New Jersey in all its lowland beauty. Baker had mind to pause and comment. Our final work was to meet (the three of us) at Green's and arrange for finishing details, Baker leaving all in my hands.


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