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Photo by Ann Mundy waionWORM -WiAtialiti~t4IMP~ ” 0.4’4 4-4 013 SERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South April 9, 1971 250 Rep. Frances Farenthold A melancholy rebel Austin Courage is not a commodity much in evidence at the Texas State Legislature, it not being an institution that gives many opportunities for display of same. But one can find there instances of moral courage. Sometimes it takes courage to compromise, to accept too little, too late, because it means the poor will get not enough, but an eighth of a loaf. There is the kind of courage it takes to resist temptation there are a lot of temptations around the capitol. And there is the courage of just keeping on. Frances Farenthold has that kind of courage. “Sissy is depressive,” a friend of hers remarked in fond disparagement. “I’ve never seen her up, she’s always down. Well, hell, no wonder. She’s always just come from some fresh defeat. But she always keeps on.” “There are times,” said Mrs. Farenthold recently, “when I can’t think of a single reason why I do keep on. Like today,” she said, wryly surveying the House floor where some fool was droning on about a bill to encourage the thrashing of pecans or prevent the thrashing of pecans or some damn thing about pecans, while no one else listened. “Today I would very much like to be outside enjoying spring.” Mrs. Farenthold hasn’t seen much of spring this year. All day, every day; all night, every night; weekdays, weekends and holidays, Frances . Farenthold keeps on trying. She is the liberal least likely to be found at Scholz Garten. Her perpetual “down” generally takes the form of a pained, black humor that sounds as though it’s on the verge of petering out entirely. “Did you catch that vote?” she’ll inquire in a thin, tired drawl after some outstanding piece of asininity has triumphed on the floor. “And you smarties in the press think we’re just a bunch of yo-yo’s.” Mrs. Farenthold is the leader of a group of representatives known, with ‘grim, Farentholdian humor, as The Cabal. The Cabal has been responsible for every attempt made in the House to do anything about the involvement of House Speaker Gus Mutscher and two prominent House members, Heatly and Shannon, in the SEC stock fraud scandal. The Cabal has been resoundingly unsuccessful. It is not smart to challenge the speaker, even if he’s up to his neck in a nasty scandal. It may be moral, but it’s not smart. There is a school of ofiinion which holds that Frances Farenthold is not a pessimist, but a realist. Given what she’s trying to do, she’d have to be insane to be an optimist. Shucks, all she wants is honest state government; strong, radical action to