Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.
July 29th, 1913
“They Been 15 Reporters Here in the Last Five Minutes,” He Says, “and What’s Not Reporters Is Boyhood Friends I Don’t Remember”
“You are?” said the man who guards the foot of the steps. “Well, son, they been fifteen reporters here in the last five minutes. They represented everything from “Nova Scotia Times” to the “Saskatchewan Gazette.” Who do you report for?”
And it took a letter of identification from the whole press table to gain admittance to the Frank trial for an unoffending and rather retiring reporter who merely wished to glance over the court room and fill his brain with “genre” impressions, as one might say, local color, features, pathos, smiles, and a few trifles.
“Why,” said the guardian of the steps, “folks will be anything to get in here. Look at them fifteen that came right out and said they was reporters. They was some anxious, wasn’t they?
“And everybody is my friend. Honest, I never was thought of so much in my life. People I can’t remember at all come up and say how we used to be boys together, and how they’ve had an undying affection for me ever since.
“You know,” they begin, “there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you. Have a cigarette. No? Cigar. No? Well, old man, if there’s ever anything you want, take it from me. I’m the guy for you to come to. Say, how about a little peep inside. Just a glimpse, you know?
“I didn’t know how popular I was. Here I’ve been holdin’ down a job, and if I’d only known it I might be president, or something of that sort. A man as popular as I am could be anything.”
This guardian of the steps is the first sentry to be passed in reaching the court room where Frank is being tried. The second stands within the door of the room. Their instructions are to let no one pass after the room has been filled to its seating capacity—not even those old boyhood friends whom they can’t remember ever to have seen before.