The Hampstead Mystery eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about The Hampstead Mystery.
Those who were not satisfied with this generosity could get out the way they had come in and be quick about it.  What the sergeant did not explain was that so many people with social influence had applied to the presiding judge for permission to be present at the trial that it had been found necessary to reserve the gallery for them as well as most of the seats in the body of the court.  Fashionably-dressed ladies and well-groomed men drove up to the main entrance of the Old Bailey in motors and taxi-cabs.  The scene was as busy as the scene outside a West End theatre on a first night.  The services of several policemen were necessary to regulate the arrival and departure of taxi-cabs and motor-cars and to keep back the staring mob of disappointed people who had been refused admission to the court by the fat sergeant, but were determined to see as much as they could before they went away.  Elderly ladies and young ladies were assisted from smart motor-cars by their escorts, and greeted their friends with feminine fervour.  Some of the younger ones exchanged whispered regrets, as they swept into the court, that such a fine-looking man as Holymead should have got himself into such a terrible predicament.

The legal profession was numerously represented among the spectators in the body of the court.  So many distinguished members of the profession had applied for tickets of admission that there was little room for members of the junior bar.  It was many years since a trial had created so much interest in legal circles.  When Mr. Justice Hodson entered the court, followed by no fewer than eight of the Sheriffs of London, those present in the court rose.  The members of the profession bowed slowly in the direction of His Honour.  The prisoner was brought into the dock from below, and took the seat that was given to him beside one of the two warders who remained in the dock with him.  He looked a little careworn, as though with sleepless nights, but his strong, clean-shaven face was as resolute as ever, and betrayed nothing of the mental agony which he endured.  His keen dark eyes glanced quietly through the court, and though many members of the bar smiled at him when they thought they had caught his eye, he gave no smile in return.  As he looked at Mr. Justice Hodson, the distinguished judge inclined his head to what was almost a nod of recognition, but the prisoner looked calmly at the judge as though he had never seen him before and had never been inside a court in his life till then.

Among those persons standing in the body of the court were Crewe and Inspector Chippenfield and Detective Rolfe.  Inspector Chippenfield displayed so much friendliness to Crewe as he drew his attention to the number of celebrities in court that it was evident he had buried for the time being his professional enmity.  This was because Crewe had allowed him to appropriate some of the credit of unravelling Holymead’s connection with the crime.  As the jury were being sworn in Crewe and Chippenfield made their way out of court into the corridor.  As they were to be called as witnesses they would not be allowed in court until after they had given their evidence.

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The Hampstead Mystery from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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