Far Country, a — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 643 pages of information about Far Country, a — Complete.
streets; brazen young girls, who blazed forth defiance to all order; derelict men, sodden and hopeless, with scrubby beards; shifty looking burglars and pickpockets.  All these I beheld, at first with twinges of pity, later to mass them with the ugly and inevitable with whom society had to deal somehow.  Lawyers, after all, must be practical men.  I came to know the justices of these police courts, as well as other judges.  And underlying my acquaintance with all of them was the knowledge—­though not on the threshold of my consciousness—­that they depended for their living, every man of them, those who were appointed and those who were elected, upon a political organization which derived its sustenance from the element whence came our clients.  Thus by degrees the sense of belonging to a special priesthood had grown on me.

I recall an experience with that same Mr. Nathan.  Weill, the wholesale grocer of whose commerce with the City Hall my Cousin Robert Breck had so bitterly complained.  Late one afternoon Mr. Weill’s carriage ran over a child on its way up-town through one of the poorer districts.  The parents, naturally, were frantic, and the coachman was arrested.  This was late in the afternoon, and I was alone in the office when the telephone rang.  Hurrying to the police station, I found Mr. Weill in a state of excitement and abject fear, for an ugly crowd had gathered outside.

“Could not Mr. Watling or Mr. Fowndes come?” demanded the grocer.

With an inner contempt for the layman’s state of mind on such occasions I assured him of my competency to handle the case.  He was impressed, I think, by the sergeant’s deference, who knew what it meant to have such an office as ours interfere with the affair.  I called up the prosecuting attorney, who sent to Monahan’s saloon, close by, and procured a release for the coachman on his own recognizance, one of many signed in blank and left there by the justice for privileged cases.  The coachman was hustled out by a back door, and the crowd dispersed.

The next morning, while a score or more of delinquents sat in the anxious seats, Justice Garry recognized me and gave me precedence.  And Mr. Weill, with a sigh of relief, paid his fine.

“Mr. Paret, is it?” he asked, as we stood together for a moment on the sidewalk outside the court.  “You have managed this well.  I will remember.”

He was sued, of course.  When he came to the office he insisted on discussing the case with Mr. Watling, who sent for me.

“That is a bright young man,” Mr. Weill declared, shaking my hand.  “He will get on.”

“Some day,” said Mr. Watling, “he may save you a lot of money, Weill.”

“When my friend Mr. Watling is United States Senator,—­eh?”

Mr. Watling laughed.  “Before that, I hope.  I advise you to compromise this suit, Weill,” he added.  “How would a thousand dollars strike you?  I’ve had Paret look up the case, and he tells me the little girl has had to have an operation.”

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Far Country, a — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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