Falder, who throughout the judge’s speech has looked at him steadily, lets his head fall forward on his breast. Ruth starts up from her seat as he is taken out by the warders. There is a bustle in court.
The judge. [Speaking to the reporters] Gentlemen of the Press, I think that the name of the female witness should not be reported.
The reporters bow their
acquiescence. The judge. [To Ruth,
is staring in the direction in which Falder has disappeared] Do
you understand, your name will not be mentioned?
Cokeson. [Pulling her sleeve] The judge is speaking to you.
Ruth turns, stares at the judge, and turns away.
The judge. I shall sit rather late to-day. Call the next case.
Clerk of assize. [To a warder] Put up John Booley.
To cries of “Witnesses in the case of Booley”:
The curtain falls.
A prison. A plainly furnished room, with two large barred windows, overlooking the prisoners’ exercise yard, where men, in yellow clothes marked with arrows, and yellow brimless caps, are seen in single file at a distance of four yards from each other, walking rapidly on serpentine white lines marked on the concrete floor of the yard. Two warders in blue uniforms, with peaked caps and swords, are stationed amongst them. The room has distempered walls, a bookcase with numerous official-looking books, a cupboard between the windows, a plan of the prison on the wall, a writing-table covered with documents. It is Christmas Eve.
The governor, a neat, grave-looking man, with a trim, fair moustache, the eyes of a theorist, and grizzled hair, receding from the temples, is standing close to this writing-table looking at a sort of rough saw made out of a piece of metal. The hand in which he holds it is gloved, for two fingers are missing. The chief warder, Wooder, a tall, thin, military-looking man of sixty, with grey moustache and melancholy, monkey-like eyes, stands very upright two paces from him.
The governor. [With a faint, abstracted smile] Queer-looking affair, Mr. Wooder! Where did you find it?