The proceedings in the court that morning were brief. Waymark, from his seat on the public benches, saw Ida brought forward, and heard her remanded for a week. She did not see him; seemed, indeed, to see nothing. The aspect of her standing there in the dock, her head bowed under intolerable shame, made a tumult within him. Blind anger and scorn against all who surrounded her were his first emotions; there was something of martyrdom in her position; she, essentially so good and noble, to be dragged here before these narrow-natured slaves of an ignoble social order, in all probability to be condemned to miserable torment by men who had no shadow of understanding of her character and her circumstances.
Waymark was able, whilst in court, to make up his mind as to how he should act. When he left he took his way northwards, having in view St. John Street Road, and Mr. Woodstock’s house.
When he had waited about half an hour, the old man appeared. He gave his hand in silence. Something seemed to be preoccupying him; he went to his chair in a mechanical way.
“I have come on rather serious business,” Waymark began. “I want to ask your advice in a very disagreeable matter—a criminal case, in fact.”
Abraham did not at once pay attention, but the last words presently had their effect, and he looked up with some surprise.
“What have you been up to?” he asked, with rather a grim smile, leaning back and thrusting his hands in his pockets in the usual way.
“It only concerns myself indirectly. It’s all about a girl, who is charged with a theft she is perhaps quite innocent of. If so, she is being made the victim of a conspiracy, or something of the kind. She was remanded to-day at Westminster for a week.”
“A girl, eh? And what’s your interest in the business?”
“Well, if you don’t mind I shall have to go a little into detail. You are at liberty?”
“She is a friend of mine. No, I mean what I say; there is absolutely nothing else between us, and never has been. I should like to know whether you are satisfied to believe that; much depends on it.”
“Age and appearance?”