“Smile,” Says Gheesling, “When Facing Bear-Cat Like Luther Rosser”

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Journal
August 2nd, 1913

“Keep smiling on the witness stand.”

That is the motto of Will Gheesling, of the P. J. Bloomfield undertaking establishment, who testified at the Frank trial Thursday.

“When you get a bear cat like Luther Rosser after you,” he declares, “the only thing you can do is to laugh at him.”

Gheesling was one of the few witnesses who came through the ordeal of Attorney Rosser’s cross-examination with flying colors.

His face wreathed in beatific grins, and he calmly fanned himself with a tremendous palm leaf fan from the moment he took the stand until he left it several hours later. Not once did Attorney Rosser’s cross-fire feaze him, not once did the battery of questions from the guns of the defense ruffle his demeanor.

While other witnesses left the stand with dripping brows and a vast respect for Mr. Rosser’s quizzing powers. Gheesling only grinned.

“It was the fan did it, you see,” he stated. “It gave me good luck. Keep fanning and keep smiling. How could I get rattled with this palm leaf?”