He realized that he knew more about the Compton murder case than any one else. He was of the opinion that he could clear it up if he were almost any one other than the Lizard, but with the record of his past life against him, would any one believe him? In order to prove his assertion it would be necessary to make admissions that might incriminate himself, and there would be Murray and the Compton millions against him; and as he pondered these things there ran always through his mind the words of the girl, “You and I are the only friends he has.”
“Hell,” ejaculated the Lizard as he rose from his chair and prepared for bed.
Edith Hudson spent a restless night, and early in the morning, as early as she thought she could reach him, she called the office of Jimmy’s attorney. She told the lawyer that some new evidence was to have been brought in to him and asked if he had received it. Receiving a negative reply she asked that she be called the moment it was brought in.
All that day and the next she waited, scarcely leaving her room for fear that the call might come while she was away. The days ran into weeks and still there was no word from the Lizard.
Jimmy was brought to trial, and she saw him daily in the courtroom and as often as they would let her she would visit him in jail. On several occasions she met Harriet Holden, also visiting him, and she saw that the other young woman was as constant an attendant at court as she.
The State had established as unassailable a case as might be built on circumstantial evidence. Krovac had testified that Torrance had made threats against Compton in his presence, and there was no way in which Jimmy’s attorneys could refute the perjured statement. Jimmy himself had come to realize that his attorney was fighting now for his life, that the verdict of the jury was already a foregone conclusion and that the only thing left to fight for now was the question of the penalty.
Daily he saw in the court-room the faces of the three girls who had entered so strangely into his life. He noticed, with not a little sorrow and regret, that Elizabeth Compton and Harriet Holden always sat apart and that they no longer spoke. He saw the effect of the strain of the long trial on Edith Hudson. She looked wan and worried, and then finally she was not in court one day, and later, through Harriet Holden, he learned that she was confined to her room with a bad cold.
Jimmy’s sentiments toward the three women whose interests brought them daily to the court-room had undergone considerable change. The girl that he had put upon a pedestal to worship from afar, the girl to whom he had given an idealistic love, he saw now in another light. His reverence for her had died hard, but in the face of her arrogance, her vindictiveness and her petty snobbery it had finally succumbed, so that when he compared her with the girl who had been of the street the latter suffered in no way by the comparison.