"Well, come on up then!" Griffith smiled. She took the podium, a tall, plain young woman in a plain calico dress. Her only attractive feature was her titan hair.
"Miss, would you introduce yourself?" Griffith suggested.
"My name doesn't matter; all that matters is what we do today to correct this injustice." Her voice was as fiery as her hair.
"Who are you?" a reporter shouted. "For the record."
"'If it be a sin to covet honor/I am the most offending soul alive,'" she declared.
"Now you've heard the stories of all these other ladies and gentlemen. Surely there can be no doubt in your minds that Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes are not only reformed men leading honest and productive lives; they are also men of good character and high morals--and I don't mean the kind of morals that some people practice on Sunday and use as weapons against their neighbors on Monday! No, I mean steadfast morals, morals of courage, the kind that make a man risk his life to fulfill a promise, even if that promise is to a liar and a cheat like Governor Francis Warren. I mean morals that drive a man to throw his life on the line to save a stranger's, as you heard these people describe. I mean integrity! I mean honor!" she pounded her fist on the podium. "I mean chivalry! Ladies and gentlemen, can you sit here today listening to all these stories of courage and integrity and honor and chivalry, and not be moved? Can you?"
"No!" someone from the back of the room blurted.
"Well then, how can you not do something about it? About the travesty of justice perpetrated by that man--" with great flair, she threw her arm outward and pointed to the door--"that Iago, that dark, conniving, dishonorable man, that manipulating, scheming, dishonest man?" she concluded with a shudder, as though the governor's name were poison on her tongue. "How can you not do something?"
She paused to allow the murmurs to rise and grow into fully voiced, bitter complaints. Then to their amazement she raised her skirts a notch and scrambled atop J. Carmichael Griffith's polished mahongany desk. She lifted her arm as though there were a sword in it. "He to-day that marches with me/Shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile,/This day shall gentle his condition;/And gentlemen in Wyoming now a-bed/Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,/And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks/That fought with us upon Amnesty Day!"
Most in the crowd had no idea what she was talking about; few recognized the paraphase of Henry V's St. Crispian's Day speech. But all found it stirring, nonetheless.
"Do something!" she demanded. "March with me, march with us--" she swept her arm toward the other witnesses, who were on their feet. "March to the mansion of this craven coward who makes his living spewing lies and cheating honest men! March now! Free Curry and Heyes!" she shouted, rhythmically pounding her fist into her palm. "Free Curry and Heyes! Free Curry and Heyes!"
The others on the dais joined the call, and one by one so did the onlookers and the reporters, until it seemed unlikely that the governor, safe in his mansion two miles across town, couldn't hear them.
Satisfied with the level of excitement, the speaker swept her arm toward the street. "To the governor's mansion!" But as she stepped down from the desktop to lead the way....