The mail and the CRIMSON reporter had just come to the Newburyport Town Hall and "Bossy" Gillis was busy. Between his knees stood a wastebasket, rapidly filling with the spoils of the morning.
"Who is this guy E. W. A. K.? What a fool he must be." The wastebasket moved a trifle. "These guys sure do bawl me out." Another letter capped the debris in the basket. The telephone rang.
"Yes, I'm the Mayor when I'm here, answering the phone. Yes, . . Yes. No."
"Bossy" Gillis's feel moved to a more comfortable position on the desk. "My sympathies are always with Yale. You fellows kind of liberated up there in the last 15 years. Before that you were pretty high-hat. . . . . Any man like myself, who hasn't taken a chance to get an education is a damn fool."
Shifting his gaze out of the window and to politics, the Mayor turned his guns on the people of the land. "We've been too narrow in lots of our views. We don't care what a fellow is as long as he pays his bills, no matter what church he goes to. Country's too big for bigotry. I'm gonna run for something else if I don't get hit down before.
"Cal, he's a flat tire. Look at the Middle West, prosperous, and here in New England we're slipping. I'll bo the biggest gun this town ever produced if I can get the shoe manufacturies to this town. We ought to have a fighting admiral in the Navy Department, not an Annapolis grad. Damn shame politics and the Navy have to mix up. When I'm a little older-"
Dropping politics into the wastebasket along with another letter, "Bossy" withdrew education again. "If I'd wanted to, I coulda been one of the best college students goin'. I got the bug on law. I'd really show some of them buzzards if I was a lawyer. Prohibition, now I used to argue for prohibition, but it's just a damn farce the way it's going now. We oughta be free, and do what we want to. What's the Statue of Liberty for, anyway? . . . .
Hello, yes, this is the Mayor, when I'm here, answering the phone."