Once there was a sawed-off Attorney who had studied until he was Bleary around the Eyes and as lean as a Razor-Back. He knew the Law from Soup to Nuts, but much learning had put him a little bit to the Willies. And his Size was against him. He lacked Bellows.
He was an inconspicuous little Runt. When he stood up to Plead, he came a trifle higher than the Chair. Of the 90 pounds he carried, about 45 were Gray Matter. He had Mental Merchandise to burn but no way of delivering it.
When there was a Rally or some other Gabfest on the Bills, the Committee never asked him to make an Address. The Committee wanted a Wind-Jammer who could move the Leaves on a Tree 200 feet distant. The dried-up Lawyer could write Great Stuff that would charm a Bird out of a Tree, but he did not have the Tubes to enable him to Spout. When he got up to Talk, it was all he could do to hear himself. The Juries used to go to sleep on him. He needed a Megaphone. And he had about as much Personal Magnetism as an Undertaker’s Assistant.
The Runt lost many a Case because he could not Bark at the Jury and pound Holes in a Table. His Briefs had been greatly admired by the Supreme Court. Also it was known that he could draw up a copper-riveted Contract that would hold Water, but as a Pleader he was a Pickerel.
At one time he had an Important Suit on hand, and he was Worried, for he was opposed by a couple of living Gas Engines who could rare up and down in front of a yap Jury for further Orders.
“I have the Law on my Side,” said the Runt. “Now if I were only Six-Feet-Two with a sole-leather Thorax, I could swing the Verdict.”
While he was repining, in came a Friend of his Youth, named Jim.
This Jim was a Book-Agent. He was as big as the Side of a House. He had a Voice that sounded as if it came up an Elevator Shaft. When he folded his Arms and looked Solemn, he was a colossal Picture of Power in Repose. He wore a Plug Hat and a large Black Coat. Nature intended him for the U.S. Senate, but used up all the Material early in the Job and failed to stock the Brain Cavity.
Jim had always been at the Foot of the Class in School. At the age of 40 he spelled Sure with an Sh and sank in a Heap when he tried to add 8 and 7. But he was a tall Success as a Book Pedler, because he learned his Piece and the 218 pounds of Dignified Superiority did the Rest.
Wherever he went, he commanded Respect. He could go into a strange Hotel and sit down at the Breakfast Table and say: “Please pass the Syrup” in a Tone that had all the majestic Significance of an Official Utterance. He would sit there in silent Meditation. Those who sized up that elephantine Form and noted the Gravity of his Countenance and the fluted Wrinkles on his high Brow, imagined that he was pondering on the Immortality of the Soul. As a matter of fact, Jim was wondering whether he would take Ham or Bacon with his Eggs.
Jim had the Bulk and the awe-inspiring Front. As long as he held to a Napoleonic Silence he could carry out the Bluff. Little Boys tip-toed when they came near him, and Maiden Ladies sighed for an introduction. Nothing but a Post-Mortem Examination would have shown Jim up in his True Light. The midget Lawyer looked up in Envy at his mastodonic Acquaintance and sighed.
“If I could combine my Intellect with your Horse-Power, I would be the largest Dandelion in the Legal Pasture,” he said.