Whatever was brewing inside the organization, I felt that we should soon know, for this was the day on which Justice Pomeroy had announced he would sentence Dopey Jack.
It was a very different sort of crowd that overflowed the courtroom that morning from that which had so boldly flocked to the trial as if it were to make a Roman holiday of justice.
The very tone was different. There was a tense look on many a face, as if the owner were asking himself the question, “What are we coming to? If this can happen to Dopey Jack, what might not happen to me?”
Even the lawyers were changed. Kahn, as a result of the proceedings that Carton had instituted, had yielded the case to another, perhaps no better than himself, but wiser, after the fact. Instead of demanding anything, as a sort of prescriptive right, the new attorney actually adopted the unheard of measure of appealing to the clemency of the court. The shades of all the previous bosses and gangsters must have turned in disgust at the unwonted sight. But certain it was that no one could see the relaxation of a muscle on the face of Justice Pomeroy as the lawyer proceeded with his specious plea. He heard Carton, also, in the same impassive manner, as in a few brief and pointed sentences he ripped apart the sophistries of his opponent.
The spectators fairly held their breath as the prisoner now stood before the tribune of justice.
“Jack Rubano,” he began impressively, “you have been convicted by twelve of your peers—so the law looks on them, although the fact is that any honest man is immeasurably your superior. Even before that, Rubano, the District Attorney having looked into all the facts surrounding this charge had come to the conclusion that the evidence was sufficiently strong to convict you. You were convicted in his mind. In my mind, of course, there could be no prejudgment. But now that a jury has found you guilty, I may say that you have a record that is more than enough to disgrace a man twice your age. True, you have never been punished. But this is not the time or place for me to criticise my colleagues on the bench for letting you off. Others of your associates have served terms in prison for things no whit worse than you have done repeatedly. I shall be glad to meet some of them at this bar in the near future.”