In the midst of these more diffident invitations, the golden doors of the ballroom opened with a blatting of trumpets, and a circus parade rolled in. It was composed of the Zenith brokers, dressed as cowpunchers, bareback riders, Japanese jugglers. At the head was big Warren Whitby, in the bearskin and gold-and-crimson coat of a drum-major. Behind him, as a clown, beating a bass drum, extraordinarily happy and noisy, was Babbitt.
Warren Whitby leaped on the platform, made merry play with his baton, and observed, “Boyses and girlses, the time has came to get down to cases. A dyed-in-the-wool Zenithite sure loves his neighbors, but we’ve made up our minds to grab this convention off our neighbor burgs like we’ve grabbed the condensed-milk business and the paper-box business and—”
J. Harry Barmhill, the convention chairman, hinted, “We’re grateful to you, Mr. Uh, but you must give the other boys a chance to hand in their bids now.”
A fog-horn voice blared, “In Eureka we’ll promise free motor rides through the prettiest country—”
Running down the aisle, clapping his hands, a lean bald young man cried, “I’m from Sparta! Our Chamber of Commerce has wired me they’ve set aside eight thousand dollars, in real money, for the entertainment of the convention!”
A clerical-looking man rose to clamor, “Money talks! Move we accept the bid from Sparta!”
It was accepted.
The Committee on Resolutions was reporting. They said that Whereas Almighty God in his beneficent mercy had seen fit to remove to a sphere of higher usefulness some thirty-six realtors of the state the past year, Therefore it was the sentiment of this convention assembled that they were sorry God had done it, and the secretary should be, and hereby was, instructed to spread these resolutions on the minutes, and to console the bereaved families by sending them each a copy.
A second resolution authorized the president of the S.A.R.E.B. to spend fifteen thousand dollars in lobbying for sane tax measures in the State Legislature. This resolution had a good deal to say about Menaces to Sound Business and clearing the Wheels of Progress from ill-advised and shortsighted obstacles.
The Committee on Committees reported, and with startled awe Babbitt learned that he had been appointed a member of the Committee on Torrens Titles.
He rejoiced, “I said it was going to be a great year! Georgie, old son, you got big things ahead of you! You’re a natural-born orator and a good mixer and—Zowie!”
There was no formal entertainment provided for the last evening. Babbitt had planned to go home, but that afternoon the Jered Sassburgers of Pioneer suggested that Babbitt and W. A. Rogers have tea with them at the Catalpa Inn.