Showman (1937)

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SHOWMAN straw-votes standing 50 to 1 in his favor, he didn't spare the language either: "An endless field of purple snows—no life—no land —no spot to relieve the monotony of the frost. We were the only pulsating creatures in a world of dead ice." There's a sample. You could set that to music and sing it, as Mr. Dooley recommended for William Jen- nings Bryan's oratory. I tried to land Cook when he reached Copenhagen on his way back. But he knew all about lecture-tours and had already got himself booked for a tour before he ever started for the Pole. That was all of a piece with the fact that his backers were the Bradley brothers, of whom E. R. Bradley still survives as the maestro of the Palm Beach Casino and a chronic winner of the Kentucky Derby. I also tried to land Peary when he turned up with his story and started the public wondering about Cook. But Peary didn't even give me the courtesy of an answer. For third best—and a pretty good third too—I got Mat Henson, the negro who, along with three Eskimos, had accompanied Peary to the Pole itself. By Peary's own admission Henson had been the most valuable member of the party, except the Eskimos, in handling dogs and sledges. As the only negro in the list of Polar heroes, he was certain to at- tract a lot of attention from the public in general and be a terrific drawing card for his own race in particu- lar. He was an intelligent, good-looking, soft-spoken, dead-panned, modest fellow who, I was sure, would 250