Jimmie Higgins eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 312 pages of information about Jimmie Higgins.

Jimmie went home; and there was Lizzie, pacing the floor and wringing her hands in anxiety—­for there had been no way to get word to her what had happened.  She flung herself into his arms, and then recoiled in fright when, she discovered that he was wet.  He told her the story; and would you believe it—­Lizzie, being a woman, and only in the A-B-C stage of revolutionary education, actually did not know that it was a glorious and heroic adventure to be arrested!  She thought it a disgrace, and tried to persuade him to keep the dreadful secret from the neighbourhood!  And when she found that he was not through yet, but had to go to court in the morning and be tried, she wept copiously, and woke up Jimmie Junior, and started him to bawling.  She was only to be pacified when Jimmie Senior agreed to take off his wet clothes at once, and drink a cup or two of boiling hot tea, and let himself be covered up with blankets, so that he might not die of pneumonia before he could get to court.

Next morning there was a crowded court-room and a stern and solemn judge frowning over his spectacles, and Lawyer Norwood making an impassioned defence of the fundamental American right of free speech.  It was so very thrilling that Jimmie could hardly be kept from applauding his own lawyer!  And then Comrade Dr. Service arose, and in his most impressive voice gave the professional information that “Wild Bill’s” nose had been broken, and three of his front teeth knocked out, and that he was in the hospital and unable to come to court; and all the other prisoners were called upon to testify what “Wild Bill” had done to bring this fate upon him.  The policeman who had struck the blow testified that the prisoner had resisted arrest; a second policeman testified, “I seen the prisoner hit him first, your Honour,”—­which caused Comrade Mabel Smith to cry out, “Oh, the ungrammatical prevaricator!” The upshot of the trial was that each of the defendants was fined ten dollars.  Comrade Gerrity led off with an indignant refusal to pay the fine; the rest of them followed suit—­even Comrade Mabel!  This caused evident distress of mind to the judge, for Comrade Mabel with her indignant pink cheeks and her big picture-hat looked more than ever the lady, and it is a fact known even to judges that American jails have not been constructed for ladies.  The matter was settled by Lawyer Norwood paying her fine, in spite of her protests, and her demand to be sent to jail.

VI

The five men were led away, over the “Bridge of Sighs”, as it was called, to the city jail, where they had their pedigrees taken again, and their pictures and their finger-prints—­which for the first time impressed upon their minds the fact that they were dangerous criminals.  Their clothes were taken away, and shirts and trousers given them, whose faded blue colour seemed to have been impregnated with the misery of scores of previous wearers. 

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Jimmie Higgins from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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