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All the talk in the store is about the upcoming trial of Bert Cates. The people seem very excited about all the attention the town is receiving. They mention the many visitors who are arriving for the trial and wonder where they will all stay during the proceedings. To prepare for the arrival of Brady and the others, the whole town is abuzz. They work at hanging up the banner; it clearly reveals the nature of the town by stating, "Read your Bible." The resourceful people in town plan to take advantage of the opportunity offered by a crowd. A girl comes on the scene selling lemonade, and a man is seen selling hot dogs. A different woman sells fans from a funeral home, while a man sells Bibles; he is appropriately named Elijah, the name of one of the prophets in the Old Testament.
An unpleasant stranger arrives in Hillsboro. He refuses to buy a fan from the funeral home; he also refuses the offer of a room. He even makes fun of the town, calling it heavenly Hillsboro, "the buckle on the Bible belt." The hot dog hawker and Elijah, the Bible salesman, try to sell their wares to the stranger at the same time. He responds by making a joke of the dilemma they present him; he does not know whether he should feed his stomach or feed his soul. He decides the best choice is to buy a hot dog for his body. Elijah questions the stranger; he wants to know if the man is an evolutionist, an infidel, a non-believer, and a sinner. The stranger answers in the affirmative and makes fun of the Bible salesman, laughing and saying he did not have any idea that Elijah was still around. The stranger then explains that he works for a newspaper, the Baltimore Herald, and has come to town to cover the trial. The stranger then spies a monkey belonging to an organ-grinder. He holds out his arms to it, exclaiming, "Grandpa!" Next he humorously asks the monkey if it is in town to testify for the defense or the prosecution.
The train arrives in town, and there is a flurry of activity. Reverend Brown calls the members of the Bible League together. They parade off as they sing "Marching to Zion." Hornbeck, the newspaperman, is left standing alone on the street. He talks humorously to the monkey about the arrival of the great Mr. Brady. When the parade marches past, Hornbeck looks at the signs that the people carry; they all condemn evolutionary teaching. He also listens to the song they sing; it is "Gimme that Old-time Religion" with a variation, for they have included Mr. Brady's name in it. The parade winds to the train station, where Mr. Brady steps off the platform, followed by his wife. He greets the crowd in an oracular tone, and the people are pleased by the sound of his words. The mayor arrives at the station and greets Brady. He then delivers his speech that is in honor of the famous guest. The Mayor confers on him the title of honorary Colonel of the State Militia, and everyone starts to call him Colonel Brady. He is then introduced to Reverend Brown, who greets Brady warmly. The entire gathering is constantly photographed.
Hornbeck comes to the picnic and introduces himself as writer from the Baltimore Herald. He then tells the crowd that the famous lawyer, Henry Drummond, is coming to Hillsboro to defend Mr. Cates. Everyone is stunned, for they have all heard about him. He became a national figure when he handled the case of two Chicago child murderers, who were not sentenced. The townspeople are certain that Drummond is a vicious and godless man. In fact, Reverend Brown calls him an agent of darkness. The Mayor tries to think if there is any way to keep Mr. Drummond out of town.