Mahmud writes: "In the morning the Master spoke about the animosity of the enemies and their evil intentions towards the Blessed Beauty. Then the conversation turned to the corruption and iniquity of the Covenant-breakers. He said:
Shu`á of darkness wrote to his father quite openly that his purpose was to amass wealth and worldly property. With reference to me he stated that he was waiting for the fulfillment of the promise in the verse, `God will assuredly send down one who will deal mercilessly with him.'
Two newspaper reporters came to interview Him and recorded the interview with the utmost courtesy and respect. The Master instructed us to telephone and inquire about Mr Bryan and his wife. Expressing regret that Mr Bryan was not at home, Mrs Bryan said she and her daughter would be pleased to receive `Abdu'l-Bahá in their home. The Master and His entourage hired a large automobile and drove a long distance outside of the city until they reached a large estate which is located in one of the finest places in the region. Mrs Bryan hurried towards the automobile to greet `Abdu'l-Bahá. She and her daughter expressed their joy and happiness for His blessings. After they had had tea and listened to Him, they begged Him to visit some of the rooms of the house, particularly the library and Mr Bryan's study. They showed Him a book compiled by Mr Bryan and asked Him to pray for the success of his endeavors. Mr Bryan was currently on a campaign tour on behalf of [the future] President Wilson and was to lecture in many cities. In honor of the occasion, `Abdu'l-Bahá took a notebook and in His own hand wrote a prayer for assistance. He then said a few words which increased their happiness, devotion, assurance and honor. With that He departed.
Among those visiting the Master at the hotel in the afternoon were some Arabs. They had read about His arrival and His speeches in the newspapers and wished to see Him. The newspaper articles about His arrival and the Manifestations of God were translated and read to Him. It made Him happy to know that a stay in the city of only 12 hours had become the cause of spreading the teachings of God.
At 8:00 p.m., just before leaving the city, the Master came and sat in the lobby of the hotel. A number of people who had read about the new teachings in the newspapers approached and were introduced to Him. They all listened carefully to His explanations and expressed their pleasure. At 11:00 p.m. the train left Lincoln. His companions tried to persuade Him to take Pullman accommodation for Himself but He would not allow it, saying:
We must all be together. The only purpose of this journey is to serve the Cause of God. We have no other aim. We will all sleep in our coach seats.
He spent the night in the chair car with the rest of us, sometimes sleeping and sometimes awake. And in this way His time passed."
It is actually inspiring how `Abdu'l-Bahá followed up on visiting Mrs. Bryan and daughter. He had met William Jennings Bryan in Haifa/Akka--and went out of the way to go to their home (renting a car to do so). I wish we had a videotape of that meeting--and all such meetings! He must have been attuned to Bryan's inclinations toward peace and faith in humanity.
William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American politician in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. He was a dominant force in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as its candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served in theUnited States Congress briefly as a Representative from Nebraska and was the 41st United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson, 1913–1916. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a supporter of popular democracy, an enemy of gold, banks and railroads, a leader of the silveritemovement in the 1890s, a peace advocate, a prohibitionist, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the goodness and rightness of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner."(Wikipedia)
So now the journey is heading west! Can you imagine the Master's response to the grand vistas of America, after such a constrained life? And sitting up through the night!