ELLISON DURANT SMITH "A Politician from the Old South"
BY LEONARD NIEL PLUMMER
THE BRASS SENATORIAL CUSPIDOR VIBRATED UNDER THE impact of a bull's eye, scored by Senator Ellison Durant (Cotton Ed) Smith, who then turned and smiled benignly into the face of the Gentleman from Texas1 who was speaking in opposition to a bill favored by the Gentleman from South Carolina. The Gentleman from Texas had just faltered in his factual exposition, and the unerring discharge of ambeer had marked the mistake with an emphatic sound effect which, of course, could not be noted in The Congressional Record.
The Gentleman from Texas resumed his narrative. Again he erred, and again the cuspidor received a baptism from the fount fed by an ample quid rolling comfortably within the South Carolinian's jaws. A smile again lighted the heavy jowls and flickered around a closely clipped mustache. The Gentle. man from Texas, in due time, could endure no more of this:
"Mr. President, the Gentleman's grimaces break my chain of thought and I object to them," he complained to the presiding officer.
"If my smiles interrupt the Gentleman's thought processes," interjected Senator Smith, with a low bow, "I shudder to think what would happen if I laughed right out loud, as I feel constrained to do."
Cotton Ed, a member of the Senate for thirty-six years and last of the "spittoon Senators"2 had scored again, emphasizing his facility in rough and tumble political debate. A winner____________________