Once the judge had to interfere with the remark, “I may remind the learned counsel for the defence that the court intends to finish this case before adjournment for the day, if possible; if not, then we shall sit to-night.”
Kahn seemed not to grasp the situation, as he had of old. He actually hurried up the presentation of the case, oblivious to the now black looks that were directed at him by his own client. If he had expected to recover his old-time equanimity as the case proceeded, he failed. For no one better than he knew what that little photograph of Carton’s meant—disgrace, disbarment, perhaps prison itself. What was this Dopey Jack when ruin stared himself so relentlessly in the face in the person of Carton, calm and cool?
At last the summing up was concluded and both sides rested. Judge Pomeroy charged the jury, I thought with eminent fairness and impartiality, even, perhaps, glossing over some points which Kahn’s weak presentation might have allowed him to make more of if Kahn had been bolder and stronger in pressing them.
The jury filed out and the anxious waiting began. On all sides was the buzz of conversation. Kahn himself sat silent, gazing for the most part at the papers before him. There must have been some wrangling of the jury, for twice hope of the gangsters revived when they sent in for the record.
But it was not over an hour later when the jury finally filed back again into their box. As Judge Pomeroy faced them and asked the usual question, the spectators hung, breathless, on the words of the foreman as the jurors stood up silently in their places. There was a tense hush in the courtroom, as every eye was fastened on the face of the foreman.
The hush seemed to embarrass him. But finally he found his voice. Nervously, as if he were taking his own life in his hands he delivered the verdict.
“We find the defendant guilty as charged in the indictment!”
Instantly, before anyone could move, the dignified judge faced the prisoner deliberately.
“You have heard the verdict,” he said colourlessly. “I shall sentence you Friday.”
Three court attendants were at Dopey Jack’s side in a moment, but none too soon. The pent-up feeling of the man idolized by blackmailers, and man-killers, and batteners on street-women, who held nothing as disgrace but a sign of respect for law or remorse for capture, burst forth.
He cast one baleful look at Kahn as they hurried him to the wire-screened passageway. “It’s all a frame-up—a damned frame-up!” he shouted.
As he disappeared a murmer of amazement ran through the room. The unthinkable had happened. An East Side idol had fallen.
THE BEAUTY PARLOUR
“It seems strange,” remarked Kennedy the following morning when we had met in his laboratory for our daily conference to plan our campaign, “that although we seem to be on the right trail we have not a word yet about Betty Blackwell herself. Carton has just telephoned that her mother, poor woman, is worrying her heart out and is a mere shadow of her former self.”