Part 1 out of 5
Produced by Steven desJardins and Distributed Proofreaders
[Illustration: At that moment ... Mr. Tutt emerged from behind the jury box
and took his stand at Tony's side.]
By Advice of Counsel
Being Adventures of
the Celebrated Firm of
Tutt & Tutt
Attorneys & Counsellors at Law
By Arthur William Brown
Published March, 1921
THE KID AND THE CAMEL
CONTEMPT OF COURT
BY ADVICE OF COUNSEL
"THAT SORT OF WOMAN"
BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT
Shyster, n. [Origin obscure.] One who does business trickily; a
person without professional honor: used chiefly of lawyers; as,
pettifoggers and shysters.--CENTURY DICTIONARY.
When Terry McGurk hove the brick through the window of Froelich's
butcher shop he did it casually, on general principles, and without any
idea of starting anything. He had strolled unexpectedly round the corner
from his dad's saloon, had seen the row going on between Froelich and
the gang of boys that after school hours used the street in front of the
shop as a ball ground, and had merely seized the opportunity to
vindicate his reputation as a desperado and put one over on the
Dutchman. The fact that he had on a red sweater was the barest
coincidence. Having observed the brick to be accurately pursuing its
proper trajectory he had ducked back round the corner again and
continued upon his way rejoicing. He had not even noticed Tony Mathusek,
who, having accidentally found himself in the midst of the melee, had
started to beat a retreat the instant of the crash, and had run plump
into the arms of Officer Delany of the Second. Unfortunately Tony too
was wearing a red sweater.
"I've got you, you young devil!" exulted Delany. "Here's one of 'em,
"Dot's him! It was a feller mit a red sweater! Dot's the vun who done
it!" shrieked the butcher. "I vill make a gomblaint against him!"
"Come along, you! Quit yer kickin'!" ordered the cop, twisting Tony's
thin arm until he writhed. "You'll identify him, Froelich?"
"Sure! Didn't I see him mit my eyes? He's vun of dem rascals vot drives
all mine gustomers avay mit deir yelling and screaming. You fix it for
"That's all right," the officer assured him. "I'll fix him good, I will!
It's the reformatory for him. Or, say, you can make a complaint for
"Sure! Dot's it! Malicious mischief!" assented the not over-intelligent
tradesman. "Ve'll get rid of him for good, eh?"
"Sure," assented Delany. "Come along, you!"
Tony Mathusek lifted a white face drawn with agony from his tortured
"Say, mister, you got the wrong feller! I didn't break the window. I was
just comin' from the house--"
"Aw, shut up!" sneered Delany. "Tell that to the judge!"
"Y' ain't goin' to take me to jail?" wailed Tony. "I wasn't with them
boys. I don't belong to that gang."
"Oh, so you belong to a gang, do ye? Well, we don't want no gangsters
round here!" cried the officer with adroit if unscrupulous sophistry.
"Come along now, and keep quiet or it'll be the worse for ye."
"Can't I tell my mother? She'll be lookin' for me. She's an old lady."
"Tell nuthin'. You come along!"
Tony saw all hope fade. He hadn't a chance--even to go to a decent
jail! He had heard all about the horrors of the reformatory. They
wouldn't even let your people visit you on Sundays! And his mother would
think he was run over or murdered. She would go crazy with worry. He
didn't mind on his own account, but his mother-- He loved the old
widowed mother who worked her fingers off to send him to school. And he
was the only one left, now that Peter had been killed in the war. It was
too much. With a sudden twist he tore out of his coat and dashed blindly
down the street. As well might a rabbit hope to escape the claws of a
wildcat. In three bounds Delany had him again, choking him until the
world turned black.
But this is not a story about police brutality, for most cops are not
brutal. Delany was an old-timer who believed in rough methods. He
belonged, happily, to a fast-vanishing system more in harmony with the
middle ages than with our present enlightened form of municipal
government. He remained what he was for the reason that farther up in
the official hierarchy there were others who looked to him, when it was
desirable, to deliver the goods--not necessarily cash--but to stand with
the bunch. These in turn were obligated on occasion, through
self-interest or mistaken loyalty to friend or party, to overlook
trifling irregularities, to use various sorts of pressure, or to forget
what they were asked to forget. There was a far-reaching web of
complicated relationships--official, political, matrimonial, commercial
and otherwise--which had a very practical effect upon the performance of
Delany was neither an idealist nor a philosopher. He was an empiricist,
with a touch of pragmatism--though he did not know it. He was "a
practical man." Even reform administrations have been known to advocate
a liberal enforcement of the laws. Can you blame Delany for being
practical when others so much greater than he have prided themselves
upon the same attribute of practicality? There were of course a lot of
things he simply had to do or get out of the force; at any rate, had he
not done them his life would have been intolerable. These consisted in
part of being deaf, dumb and blind when he was told to be so--a
comparatively easy matter. But there were other things that he had to
do, as a matter of fact, to show that he was all right, which were not
only more difficult, but expensive, and at times dangerous.
He had never been called upon to swear away an innocent man's liberty,
but more than once he had had to stand for a frame-up against a guilty
one. According to his cop-psychology, if his side partner saw something
it was practically the same as if he had seen it himself. That
phantasmagorical scintilla of evidence needed to bolster up a weak or
doubtful case could always be counted on if Delany was the officer who
had made the arrest. None of his cases were ever thrown out of court for
lack of evidence, but then, Delany never arrested anybody who wasn't
Of course he had to "give up" at intervals, depending on what
administration was in power, who his immediate superior was, and what
precinct he was attached to, but he was not a regular grafter by any
means. He was an occasional one merely; when he had to be. He did not
consider that he was being grafted on when expected to contribute to
chowders, picnics, benevolent associations, defense funds or wedding
presents for high police officials. Neither did he think that he was
taking graft because he amicably permitted Froelich to leave a
fourteen-pound rib roast every Saturday night at his brother-in-law's
flat. In the same way he regarded the bills slipped him by Grabinsky,
the bondsman, as well-earned commissions, and saw no reason why the
civilian clothes he ordered at the store shouldn't be paid for by some
mysterious friendly person--identity unknown--but shrewdly suspected to
be Mr. Joseph Simpkins, Mr. Hogan's runner. Weren't there to be any
cakes and ale in New York simply because a highbrow happened to be
mayor? Were human kindness, good nature and generosity all dead? Would
he have taken a ten-dollar bill--or even a hundred-dollar one--from
Simpkins when he was going to be a witness in one of Hogan's cases? Not
on your life! He wasn't no crook, he wasn't! He didn't have to be. He
was just a cog in an immense wheel of crookedness. When the wheel came
down on his cog he automatically did his part.
I perceive that the police are engaging too much of our attention. But
it is necessary to explain why Delany was so ready to arrest Tony
Mathusek, and why as he dragged him into the station house he beckoned
to Mr. Joey Simpkins, who was loitering outside in front of the deputy
sheriff's office, and whispered behind his hand, "All right. I've got
one for you!"
Then the machine began to work as automatically as a cash register. Tony
was arraigned at the bar, and, having given his age as sixteen years and
five days, charged with the "malicious destruction of property, to wit,
a plate-glass window of one Karl Froelich, of the value of one hundred
and fifty dollars." Mr. Joey Simpkins had shouldered his way through the
smelly push and taken his stand beside the bewildered and half-fainting
"It's all right, kid. Leave it to me," he said, encircling him with a
protecting arm. Then to the clerk: "Pleads not guilty."
The magistrate glanced over the complaint, in which Delany, to save
Froelich trouble, had sworn that he had seen Tony throw the brick.
Hadn't the butcher said he'd seen him? Besides, that let the Dutchman
out of a possible suit for false arrest. Then the magistrate looked down
at the cop himself.
"Do you know this boy?" he asked sharply.
"Sure, Yerroner. He's a gangster. Admitted it to me on the way over."
"Are you really over sixteen?" suddenly demanded the judge, who knew and
distrusted Delany, having repeatedly stated in open court that he
wouldn't hang a yellow dog on his testimony. The underfed, undersized
boy did not look more than fourteen.
"Yes, sir," said Tony. "I was sixteen last week."
"Got anybody to defend you?"
Tony looked at Simpkins inquiringly. He seemed a very kind gentleman.
"Mr. Hogan's case, judge," answered Joey. "Please make the bail as low
as you can."
Now this judge was a political accident, having been pitchforked into
office by the providence that sometimes watches over sailors, drunks and
third parties. Moreover, in spite of being a reformer he was nobody's
fool, and when the other reformers who were fools got promptly fired out
of office he had been reappointed by a supposedly crooked boss simply
because, as the boss said, he had made a hell of a good judge and they
needed somebody with brains here and there to throw a front.
Incidentally, he had a swell cousin on Fifth Avenue who had invited the
boss and his wife to dinner, by reason of which the soreheads who lost
out went round asking what kind of a note it was when a silk-stocking
crook could buy a nine-thousand-dollar job for a fifty-dollar dinner.
Anyhow, he was clean and clean-looking, kindly, humorous and wise above
his years--which were thirty-one. And Tony looked to him like a poor
runt, Simpkins and Delany were both rascals, Froelich wasn't in court,
and he sensed a nigger somewhere. He would have turned Tony out on the
run had he had any excuse. He hadn't, but he tried.
"Would you like an immediate hearing?" he asked Tony in an encouraging
"Mr. Hogan can't be here until to-morrow morning," interposed Simpkins.
"Besides, we shall want to produce witnesses. Make it to-morrow
Judge Harrison leaned forward.
"Are you sure you wouldn't prefer to have the hearing now?" he inquired
with a smile at the trembling boy.
"Well, I want to get Froelich here--if you're going to proceed now,"
spoke up Delany. "And I'd like to look up this defendant's record at
Tony quailed. He feared and distrusted everybody, except the kind Mr.
Simpkins. He suspected that smooth judge of trying to railroad him.
"No! No!" he whispered to the lawyer. "I want my mother should be here;
and the janitor, he knows I was in my house. The rabbi, he will give me
a good character."
The judge heard and shrugged his bombazine-covered shoulders. It was no
use. The children of darkness were wiser in their generation than the
children of light.
"Five hundred dollars bail," he remarked shortly. "Officer, have your
witnesses ready to proceed to-morrow afternoon at two o'clock."
* * * * *
"Mr. Tutt," said Tutt with a depressed manner as he watched Willie
remove the screen and drag out the old gate-leg table for the firm's
daily five o'clock tea and conference in the senior partner's office,
"if a man called you a shyster what would you do about it?"
The elder lawyer sucked meditatively on the fag end of his stogy before
"Why not sue him?" Mr. Tutt inquired.
"But suppose he didn't have any money?" replied Tutt disgustedly.
"Then why not have him arrested?" continued Mr. Tutt. "It's libelous
_per se_ to call a lawyer a shyster."
"Even if he is one," supplemented Miss Minerva Wiggin ironically, as she
removed her paper cuffs preparatory to lighting the alcohol lamp under
the teakettle. "The greater the truth the greater the libel, you know!"
"And what do you mean by that?" sharply rejoined Tutt. "You don't--"
"No," replied the managing clerk of Tutt & Tutt. "I don't! Of course
not! And frankly, I don't know what a shyster is."
"Neither do I," admitted Tutt. "But it sounds opprobrious. Still, that
is a rather dangerous test. You remember that colored client of ours who
wanted us to bring an action against somebody for calling him an
"There's nothing dishonorable in being an Ethiopian," asserted Miss
"A shyster," said Mr. Tutt, reading from the Century Dictionary, "is
defined as 'one who does business trickily; a person without
professional honor; used chiefly of lawyers.'"
"Well?" snapped Tutt.
"Well?" echoed Miss Wiggin.
"H'm! Well!" concluded Mr. Tutt.
"I nominate for the first pedestal in our Hall of Legal Ill
Fame--Raphael B. Hogan," announced Tutt, complacently disregarding all
"But he's a very elegant and gentlemanly person," objected Miss Wiggin
as she warmed the cups. "My idea of a shyster is a down-at-the-heels,
unshaved and generally disreputable-looking police-court
lawyer--preferably with a red nose--who murders the English
language--and who makes his living by preying upon the ignorant and
"Like Finklestein?" suggested Tutt.
"Exactly!" agreed Miss Wiggin. "Like Finklestein."
"He's one of the most honorable men I know!" protested Mr. Tutt. "My
dear Minerva, you are making the great mistake--common, I confess, to a
large number of people--of associating dirt and crime. Now dirt may
breed crime, but crime doesn't necessarily breed dirt."
"You don't have to be shabby to prey upon the ignorant and helpless,"
argued Tutt. "Some of our most prosperous brethren are the worst sharks
out of Sing Sing."
"That is true!" she admitted, "but tell it not in Gath!"
"A shyster," began Mr. Tutt, unsuccessfully applying a forced draft to
his stogy and then throwing it away, "bears about the same relation to
an honest lawyer as a cad does to a gentleman. The fact that he's well
dressed, belongs to a good club and has his name in the Social Register
doesn't affect the situation. Clothes don't make men; they only make
"But why is it," persisted Miss Wiggin, "that we invariably associate
the idea of crime with that of 'poverty, hunger and dirt'?"
"That is easy to explain," asserted Mr. Tutt. "The criminal law
originally dealt only with crimes of violence--such as murder, rape and
assault. In the old days people didn't have any property in the modern
sense--except their land, their cattle or their weapons. They had no
bonds or stock or bank accounts. Now it is of course true that rough,
ignorant people are much more prone to violence of speech and action
than those of gentle breeding, and hence most of our crimes of violence
are committed by those whose lives are those of squalor. But"--and here
Mr. Tutt's voice rose indignantly--"our greatest mistake is to assume
that crimes of violence are the most dangerous to the state, for they
are not. They cause greater disturbance and perhaps more momentary
inconvenience, but they do not usually evince much moral turpitude.
After all, it does no great harm if one man punches another in the head,
or even in a fit of anger sticks a dagger in him. The police can easily
handle all that. The real danger to the community lies in the crimes of
duplicity--the cheats, frauds, false pretenses, tricks and devices,
flimflams--practised most successfully by well-dressed gentlemanly
crooks of polished manners."
By this time the kettle was boiling cheerfully, quite as if no such
thing as criminal law existed at all, and Miss Wiggin began to make the
"All the same," she ruminated, "people--particularly very poor
people--are often driven to crime by necessity."
"It's Nature's first law," contributed Tutt brightly.
Mr. Tutt uttered a snort of disgust.
"It may be Nature's first law, but it's about the weakest defense a
guilty man can offer. 'I couldn't help myself' has always been the
excuse for helping oneself!"
"Rather good--that!" approved Miss Wiggin. "Can you do it again?"
"The victim of circumstances is inevitably one who has made a victim of
someone else," blandly went on Mr. Tutt without hesitation.
"Ting-a-ling! Right on the bell!" she laughed.
"It's true!" he assured her seriously. "There are two defenses that are
played out--necessity and instigation. They've never been any good since
the Almighty overruled Adam's plea in confession and avoidance that a
certain female co-defendant took advantage of his hungry innocence and
put him up to it."
"No one could respect a man who tried to hide behind a woman's skirts!"
"Are you referring to Adam?" inquired his partner. "Anyhow, come to
think of it, the maxim is not that 'Necessity is the first law of
Nature,' but that 'Necessity knows no law.'"
"I'll bet you--" began Tutt. Then he paused, recalling a certain
celebrated wager which he had lost to Mr. Tutt upon the question of who
cut Samson's hair. "I bet you don't know who said it!" he concluded
"If I recall correctly," ruminated Mr. Tutt, "Shakspere says in 'Julius
Caesar' that 'Nature must obey necessity'; while Rabelais says
'Necessity has no law'; but the quotation we familiarly use is
'Necessity knows no law except to conquer,' which is from Publilius
"From who?" cried Tutt in ungrammatical surprise.
"Never mind!" soothed Miss Wiggin. "Anyway, it wasn't Raphael B. Hogan."
"Who certainly completely satisfies your definition so far as preying
upon the ignorant and helpless is concerned," said Mr. Tutt. "That man
is a human hyena--worse than a highwayman."
"Yet he's a swell dresser," interjected Tutt. "Owns his house and lives
in amity with his wife."
"Doubtless he's a loyal husband and a devoted father," agreed Mr. Tutt.
"But so, very likely, is the hyena. Certainly Hogan hasn't got the
excuse of necessity for doing what he does."
"Don't you suppose he has to give up good and plenty to somebody?"
demanded Tutt. "Cops and prison keepers and bondsmen and under sheriffs,
and all kinds of crooked petty officials. I should worry!"
_"Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum,"_
quoted Miss Wiggin reminiscently.
"A flea has to be a flea," continued Tutt. "He, or it, can't be anything
else, but Hogan doesn't have to be a lawyer. He could be an honest man
if he chose."
"He? Not on your life! He couldn't be honest if he tried!" roared Mr.
Tutt. "He's just a carnivorous animal! A man eater! They talk about
scratching a Russian and finding a Tartar; I'd hate to scratch some of
our legal brethren."
"So would I!" assented Tutt. "I guess you're right, Mr. Tutt.
Christianity and the Golden Rule are all right in the upper social
circles, but off Fifth Avenue there's the same sort of struggle for
existence that goes on in the animal world. A man may be all sweetness
and light to his wife and children and go to church on Sundays; he may
even play pretty fair with his own gang; but outside of his home and
social circle he's a ravening wolf; at least Raphael B. Hogan is!"
* * * * *
The subject of the foregoing entirely accidental conversation was at
that moment standing contemplatively in his office window smoking an
excellent cigar preparatory to returning to the bosom of his family.
Raphael B. Hogan believed in taking life easily. He was accustomed to
say that outside office hours his time belonged to his wife and
children; and several times a week he made it his habit on the way home
to supper to stop at the florist's or the toy shop and bear away with
him inexpensive tokens of his love and affection. On the desk behind
him, over which in the course of each month passed a lot of very tainted
money, stood a large photograph of Mrs. Hogan, and another of the three
little Hogans in ornamented silver frames, and his face would soften
tenderly at the sight of their self-conscious faces, even at a moment
when he might be relieving a widowed seamstress of her entire
savings-bank account. After five o'clock this hyena purred at his wife
and licked his cubs; the rest of the time he knew no mercy.
But he concealed his cruelty and his avarice under a mask of benignity.
He was fat, jolly and sympathetic, and his smile was the smile of a
warm-hearted humanitarian. The milk of human kindness oozed from his
every pore. In fact, he was always grumbling about the amount of work he
had to do for nothing. He was a genial, generous host; unostentatiously
conspicuous in the local religious life of his denomination; in court a
model of obsequious urbanity, deferential to the judges before whom he
appeared and courteous to all with whom he was thrown in contact. A
good-natured, easy-going, simple-minded fat man; deliberate, slow of
speech, well-meaning, with honesty sticking out all over him, you would
have said; one in whom the widow and the orphan would have found a
staunch protector and an unselfish friend. And now, having thus subtly
connoted the character of our villain, let us proceed with our
The telephone buzzed on the wall set beside him.
"That you, chief?" came the voice of Simpkins.
"Got one off Delany."
"What is it?"
"Kid smashed a window--malicious mischief. Held for examination
to-morrow at two. Five hundred bail."
"Don't know. Says his father's dead and mother earns seventeen a week in
a sweatshop and sends him to school. Got some insurance. I'm going right
round there now."
"Well," replied Hogan, "don't scare her by taking too much off her at
first. I suppose there's evidence to hold him?"
"Sure. Delany says he saw it."
"All right. But go easy! Good night."
"Leave that to me, chief!" assured Simpkins. "See you to-morrow."
It will be observed that in this professional interchange nothing at all
was said regarding the possibility of establishing Tony's innocence, but
that on the contrary Mr. Simpkins' mind was concentrated upon his
mother's ability to pay. This was the only really important
consideration to either of them. But Hogan did not worry, because he
knew that Simpkins would skilfully entangle Mrs. Mathusek in such a web
of apprehension that rather than face her fears she would if necessary
go out and steal the money. So Mr. Raphael B. Hogan hung up the receiver
and with his heart full of gentle sympathy for all mankind walked slowly
home, pausing to get some roses for Mrs. Hogan and to buy a box for
Daddy Long Legs at the Strand, for whenever he got a new case he always
made it the occasion for a family party, and he wanted the children to
benefit by passing an evening under the sweet influence of Miss
Now just at the moment that his employer was buying the roses Mr.
Simpkins entered the apartment of Mrs. Mathusek and informed her of
Tony's arrest and incarceration. He was very sympathetic about it, very
gentle, this dapper little man with the pale gray eyes and inquisitive,
tapirlike nose; and after the first moment of shock Mrs. Mathusek took
courage and begged the gentleman to sit down. There are always two
vultures hanging over the poor--death and the law; but of the two the
law is the lesser evil. The former is a calamity; the latter is a
misfortune. The one is final, hopeless, irretrievable; from the other
there may perhaps be an escape. She knew Tony was a good boy; was sure
his arrest was a mistake, and that when the judge heard the evidence he
would let Tony go. Life had dealt hardly with her and made her an old
woman at thirty-four, really old, not only in body but in spirit, just
as in the middle ages the rigor of existence made even kings old at
thirty-five. What do the rich know of age? The women of the poor have a
day of spring, a year or two of summer, and a lifetime of autumn and
Mrs. Mathusek distrusted the law and lawyers in the abstract, but Mr.
Simpkins' appearance was so reassuring that he almost counteracted in
her mind the distress of Tony's misfortune. He was clearly a gentleman,
and she had a reverential regard for the gentry. What gentlefolk said
was to be accepted as true. In addition this particular gentleman was
learned in the law and skilled in getting unfortunate people out of
trouble. Now, though Mr. Simpkins possessed undoubtedly this latter
qualification, it was also true that he was equally skilled in getting
people into it. If he ultimately doubled their joys and halved their
sorrows he inevitably first doubled their sorrows and halved their
savings. Like the witch in Macbeth: "Double, double toil and trouble."
His aims were childishly simple: First, to find out how much money his
victim had, and then to get it.
His methods were no more complicated than his aims and had weathered the
test of generations of experience. So:
"Of course Tony must be bailed out," he said gently. "You don't want him
to spend the night in jail."
"Jail! Oh, no! How much is the bail?" cried Tony's mother.
"Only five hundred dollars." His pale gray eyes were watching her for
the slightest sign of suspicion.
"Five hundred dollars! Eoi! Eoi! It is a fortune! Where can I get five
hundred dollars?" She burst into tears. "I have saved only one hundred
Mr. Simpkins pursed his lips. Then there was nothing for it! He reached
for his hat. Mrs. Mathusek wrung her hands. Couldn't the gentleman go
bail for Tony? He was such a dear, kind, good gentleman! She searched
his face hungrily. Mr. Simpkins falteringly admitted that he did not
possess five hundred dollars.
"But--" he hesitated.
"But--" she echoed, seizing his sleeve and dragging him back.
Mr. Simpkins thought that they could hire somebody to go bail; no, in
that case there would be no money to pay the great lawyer whom they must
at once engage to defend her son--Mr. Hogan, one who had the pull and
called all the judges by their first names. He would not usually go into
court for less than five hundred dollars, but Mr. Simpkins said he would
explain the circumstances to him and could almost promise Mrs. Mathusek
that he would persuade him to do it this once for one hundred and fifty.
So well did he act his part that Tony's mother had to force him to take
the money, which she unsewed from inside the ticking of her mattress.
Then he conducted her to the station house to show her how comfortable
Tony really was and how much better it was to let him stay in jail one
night and make sure of his being turned out the next afternoon by giving
the money to Mr. Hogan, than to use it for getting bail for him and
leave him lawyerless and at the mercy of his accusers. When Mrs.
Mathusek saw the cell Tony was in she became even more frightened than
she had been at first. But by that time she had already given the money
Second thoughts are ofttimes best. Most crooks are eventually caught
through their having, from long immunity, grown careless and yielded to
impulse. Once he had signed the complaint in which he swore that he had
seen Tony throw the brick, Delany had undergone a change of heart. Being
an experienced policeman he was sensitive to official atmosphere, and he
had developed a hunch that Judge Harrison was leery of the case. The
more he thought of it the less he liked the way the son-of-a-gun had
acted, the way he'd tried to get Mathusek to ask for an immediate
hearing. Why had he ever been such a fool as to sign the complaint
himself? It had been ridiculous--just because he was mad at the boy for
trying to get away and wanted to make things easy for Froelich. If he
went on the stand the next afternoon he'd have to make up all sorts of
fancy details, and Hogan would have his skin neatly tacked to the barn
doors for keeps. Thereafter, no matter what happened, he'd never be able
to change his testimony. After all, it would be easy enough to abandon
the charge at the present point. It was a genuine case of cold feet. He
scented trouble. He wanted to renig while the renigging was good. What
in hell had Froelich ever done for him, anyhow? A few measly pieces of
When Hogan returned home that evening with the little Hogans from the
movies he found the cop waiting for him outside his door.
"Look here," Delany whispered, "I'm going to can this here Mathusek
window case. I'm going to fall down flat on my identification and give
you a walkout. So go easy on me--and sort of help me along, see?"
"The hell you are!" retorted Hogan indignantly. "Then where do I come
in, eh? Why don't you come through?"
"But I've got him wrong!" pleaded Delany. "You don't want me to put my
neck in a sling, do you, so as you can make a few dollars? Look at all
the money I've sent your way. Have a heart, Rafe!"
"Bull!" sneered the Honorable Rafe. "A man's gotta live! You saw him do
it! You've sworn to it, haven't you?"
"I made a mistake."
"How'll that sound to the commissioner? An' to Judge Harrison? No, no!
Nothin' doin'! If you start anything like that I'll roast the life out
Delany spat as near Hogan's foot as he elegantly could.
"You're a hell of a feller, you are!" he growled, and turned his back on
him as upon Satan.
* * * * *
The brick that Terry McGurk hurled as a matter of principle through
Froelich's window produced almost as momentous consequences as the want
of the horseshoe nail did in Franklin's famous maxim. It is the unknown
element in every transaction that makes for danger.
The morning after the catastrophe Mr. Froelich promptly made application
to the casualty company with which he had insured his window for
reimbursement for his damage. Just as promptly the company's lawyer
appeared at the butcher shop and ascertained that the miscreant who had
done the foul deed had been arrested and was to be brought into court
that afternoon. This lawyer, whose salary depended indirectly upon the
success which attended his efforts to secure the conviction and
punishment of those who had cost his company money, immediately camped
upon the trails of both Froelich and Delany. It was up to them, he said,
to have the doer of wanton mischief sent away. If they didn't cooperate
he would most certainly ascertain why. Now insurance companies are
powerful corporations. They can do favors, and contrariwise they can
make trouble, and Lawyer Asche was hot under the collar about that
window. Had he ever heard of the place he would have likened it to the
destruction of Coucy-le-Chateau by the Huns.
This, for Delany, put an entirely new aspect upon the affair. It was one
thing to ditch a case and another to run up against Nathan Asche. He had
sworn to the complaint and if he didn't make good on the witness stand
Asche would get his hide. Then he bethought him that if only Froelich
was sufficiently emphatic in his testimony a little uncertainty on his
own part might be excused.
In the meantime, however, two things had happened to curdle Froelich's
enthusiasm. First, his claim against the Tornado Casualty Company had
been approved, and second, he had been informed on credible authority
that they had got the wrong boy. Now he had sincerely thought that he
had seen Tony throw the brick--he had certainly seen a boy in a red
sweater do something--but he realized also that he had been excited and
more or less bewildered at the time; and his informant--Mrs. Sussman,
the wife of the cigar dealer--alleged positively that it had been thrown
by a strange kid who appeared suddenly from round the corner and as
suddenly ran away in the direction whence he had come.
Froelich perceived that he had probably been mistaken, and being
relatively honest--and being also about to get his money--and not
wishing to bear false witness, particularly if he might later be sued
for false imprisonment, he decided to duck and pass the buck to Delany,
who was definitely committed. He was shrewd enough, however, not to give
his real reason to the policeman, but put it on the ground of being so
confused that he couldn't remember. This left Delany responsible for
"But you said that that was the feller!" argued the cop, who had gone to
urge Froelich to assume the onus of the charge. "And now you want to
leave me holdin' the bag!"
"Vell, you said yourself you seen him, didn't you?" replied the German.
"An' you svore to it. I didn't svear to noddings."
"Aw, you!" roared the enraged cop, and hastened to interview Mr. Asche.
Aping a broad humanitarianism he suggested to Asche that if Mrs.
Mathusek would pay for the window they could afford to let up on the
boy. He did it so ingeniously that he got Asche to go round there, only
to find that she had no money, all given to Simpkins. Gee, what a
It is quite possible that even under these circumstances Delany might
still have availed himself of what in law is called a _locus
poenitentiae_ had it not been that the mix-up was rendered still more
mixed by the surreptitious appearance in the case of Mr. Michael McGurk,
the father of the actual brick artist, who had learned that the cop was
getting wabbly and was entertaining the preposterous possibility of
withdrawing the charge against the innocent Mathusek, to the imminent
danger of his own offspring. In no uncertain terms the saloon keeper
intimated to the now embarrassed guardian of the public peace that if he
pulled anything like that he would have him thrown off the force, to say
nothing of other and darker possibilities connected with the morgue.
All of which gave Delany decided pause.
Hogan, for his own reasons, had meanwhile reached an independent
conclusion as to how he could circumvent Delany's contemplated
treachery. If, he decided, the cop should go back on his identification
of the criminal he foresaw Tony's discharge in the magistrate's court,
and no more money. The only sure way, therefore, to prevent Tony's
escape would be by not giving Delany the chance to change his testimony;
and by waiving examination before the magistrate and consenting
voluntarily to having his client held for the action of the grand jury,
in which event Tony would be sent to the Tombs and there would be plenty
of time for Simpkins to get an assignment of Mrs. Mathusek's insurance
money before the grand jury kicked out the case. This also had the
additional advantage of preventing any funny business on the part of
Delany was still undecided what he was going to do when the case was
called at two o'clock. It is conceivable that he might still have tried
to rectify his error by telling something near the truth, in spite of
Hogan, Asche and McGurk, but the opportunity was denied him.
At two o'clock Tony, a mere chip tossed aimlessly hither and yon by
eddies and cross currents, the only person in this melodrama of motive
whose interests were not being considered by anybody, was arraigned at
the bar and, without being consulted in the matter, heard Mr. Hogan, the
fat, kindly lawyer whom his mother had retained to defend him, tell the
judge that they were going to waive examination and consent to be held
for the action of the grand jury.
"You see how it is, judge," Hogan simpered. "You'd have no choice but to
hold my client on the officer's testimony. The easiest way is to waive
examination and let the grand jury throw the case out of the window!"
Delany heard this announcement with intense relief, for it let him out.
It would relieve him from the dangerous necessity of testifying before
Judge Harrison and he could later spill the case before the grand jury
when called before that august body. Moreover, he could tip off the
district attorney in charge of the indictment bureau that the case was a
lemon, and the latter would probably throw it out on his own motion. The
D.A.'s office didn't want any more rotten cases to prosecute than it
could help. It seemed his one best bet, the only way to get his feet out
of the flypaper. What a mess for a few pieces of rotten beef!
"You understand what is being done, do you?" inquired the keen-faced
judge sharply. "You understand this means that unless you give bail you
will have to stay in jail until the grand jury dismisses the case or
finds an indictment against you?"
Underneath the cornice of the judge's dais Hogan patted his arm, and
Tony, glancing for encouragement at the big friendly face above him,
So Tony went to the Tombs and was lodged in a cell next door to Soko the
Monk, who had nearly beaten a Chinaman to death with a pair of brass
knuckles, from whom he learned much that was exciting if not edifying.
Now, as Delany was wont to say for years thereafter, that damn Mathusek
case just went bad on him. He had believed that in the comparative
secrecy of the inquisitorial chamber he could easily pretend that he had
originally made an honest mistake and was no longer positive of the
defendant's identity, in which case when the grand jury threw out the
case nobody would ever know the reason and no chickens would come home
to roost on him.
But when the cop visited the office of Deputy Assistant District
Attorney Caput Magnus the next morning, to inform him that this here
window-breaking case was a Messina, he found Mr. Nathan Asche already
solidly there present, engaged in advising Mr. Magnus most emphatically
to the exact contrary. Indeed the attorney was rhetorical in his
insistence that this destruction of the property of law-abiding
taxpayers must stop.
Mr. Asche was not a party to be trifled with. He was a rectangular
person whom nothing could budge, and his very rectangularity bespoke his
stubborn rectitude. His shoulders were massive and square, his chin and
mouth were square, his burnsides were square cut, and he had a square
head and wore a square-topped derby. He looked like the family portrait
of Uncle Amos Hardscrabble. When he sat down he remained until he had
said his say. It was a misfortunate meeting for Delany, for Asche nailed
him upon the spot and made him repeat to Caput Magnus the story of how
he had seen Tony throw the brick and then, for some fool reason, not
being satisfied to let it go at that, he insisted on calling in a
stenographer and having Delany swear to the yarn in affidavit form! This
entirely spoiled any chance the policeman might otherwise have had of
changing his testimony. He now had no choice but to go on and swear the
case through before the grand jury--which he did.
Even so, that distinguished body of twenty-three representative citizens
was not disposed to take the matter very seriously. Having heard what
Delany had to say--and he made it good and strong under the
circumstances--several of them remarked disgustedly that they did not
understand why the district attorney saw fit to waste their valuable
time with trivial cases of that sort. Boys would play ball and boys
would throw balls round; if not balls, then stones. They were about to
dismiss by an almost unanimous vote, when the case went bad again. The
foreman, a distinguished person in braided broadcloth, rose and
announced that he was very much interested to learn their views upon
this subject as he was the president of a casualty company, and he
wished them to understand that thousands--if not hundreds of
thousands--of dollars' worth of plate-glass windows were wantonly broken
by young toughs, every year, for which his and other insurance companies
had to recoup the owners. In fact, he alleged heatedly, window breaking
was a sign of peculiar viciousness. Incipient criminals usually started
their infamous careers that way; you could read that in any book on
penology. An example ought to be made. He'd bet this feller who threw
the brick was a gangster.
So his twenty-two fellow grand jurymen politely permitted him to recall
Officer Delany and ask him: "Say, officer, isn't it a fact--just tell us
frankly now--if this feller Mathusek isn't a gangster?"
"Sure, he's a gangster. He was blowin' about it to me after I arrested
him," swore Delany without hesitation.
The foreman swept the circle with a triumphant eye.
"What'd I tell you?" he demanded. "All in favor of indicting said Tony
Mathusek for malicious destruction of property signify in the usual
manner. Cont'riminded? It's a vote. Ring the bell, Simmons, and bring on
the next case."
So Tony was indicted by the People of the State of New York for a
felony, and a learned judge of the General Sessions set his bail at
fifteen hundred dollars; and Hogan had his victim where he wanted him
and where he could keep him until he had bled his mother white of all
she had or might ever hope to have in this world.
Everybody was satisfied--Hogan, Simpkins, Asche, McGurk, even Delany,
because the fleas upon his back were satisfied and he was planning
ultimately to get rid of the whole damn tangle by having the indictment
quietly dismissed when nobody was looking, by his friend O'Brien, to
whom the case had been sent for trial. And everything being as it should
be, and Tony being locked safely up in a cell, Mr. Joey Simpkins set
himself to the task of extorting three hundred and fifty dollars more
from Mrs. Mathusek upon the plea that the great Mr. Hogan could not
possibly conduct the case before a jury for less.
Now the relations of Mr. Assistant District Attorney O'Brien and the
Hon. Raphael B. Hogan were distinctly friendly. At any rate, whenever
Mr. Hogan asked for an adjournment in Mr. O'Brien's court he usually got
it without conspicuous difficulty, and that is what occurred on the five
several occasions that the case of The People versus Antonio Mathusek
came up on the trial calendar during the month following Tony's
incarceration, on each of which Mr. Hogan with unctuous suavity rose and
humbly requested that the case be put over at his client's earnest
request in order that counsel might have adequate time in which to
subpoena witnesses and prepare for a defense.
And each day Simpkins, who now assumed a threatening and fearsome
demeanor toward Mrs. Mathusek, visited the heartsick woman in her flat
and told her that Tony could and would rot in the Tombs until such time
as she procured three hundred and fifty dollars. The first week she
assigned her life-insurance money; the second she pawned the furniture;
until at last she owed Hogan only sixty-five dollars. At intervals Hogan
told Tony that he was trying to force the district attorney to try the
case, but that the latter was insisting on delay.
In point of fact, O'Brien had never looked at the papers, much less made
any effort to prepare the case; if he had he would have found that there
was no case at all. And Delany's mind became at peace because he
perceived that at the proper psychological moment he could go to O'Brien
and whisper: "Say, Mr. O'Brien, that Mathusek case. It's a turn-out!
Better recommend it for dismissal," and O'Brien would do so for the
simple reason that he never did any more work than he was actually
compelled to do.
But as chance would have it, three times out of the five, Mr. Ephraim
Tutt happened to be in court when Mr. Hogan rose and made his request
for an adjournment; and he remembered it because the offense charged was
such an odd one--breaking a window.
Delany's simple plan was again defeated by Nemesis, who pursued him in
the shape of the rectangular Mr. Asche, and who shouldered himself into
O'Brien's office during the fifth week of Tony's imprisonment and wanted
to know why in hell he didn't try that Mathusek case and get rid of it.
The assistant district attorney had just been called down by his
official boss and being still sore was glad of a chance to take it out
on someone else.
"D'you think I've nothin' better to do than try your damned old
window-busting cases?" he sneered. "Who ever had the idea of indicting a
boy for that sort of thing, anyhow?"
"That is no way to talk," answered Mr. Asche with firmness. "You're paid
to prosecute whatever cases are sent to you. This is one of 'em. There's
been too much delay. Our president will be annoyed."
"Oh, he will, will he?" retorted O'Brien, nevertheless, coming to the
instant decision that he had best find some other excuse than mere
disinclination. "If he gets too shirty I'll tell him the case came in
here without any preparation and being in the nature of a private
prosecution we've been waiting for you to earn your fee. How'll you like
Mr. Asche became discolored.
"H'm!" he replied softly. "So that is it, is it? You won't have that
excuse very long, even if you could get away with it now. I'll have a
trial brief and affidavits from all the witnesses ready for you in
"All right, old top!" nodded O'Brien carelessly. "We always strive to
So Mr. Asche got busy, while the very same day Mr. Hogan asked for and
obtained another adjournment.
Some people resemble animals; others have a geometrical aspect. In each
class the similarity tends to indicate character. The fox-faced man is
apt to be sly, the triangular man is likely to be a lump. So Mr. Asche,
being rectilinear, was on the square; just as Mr. Hogan, being soft and
round, was slippery and hard to hold. Three days passed, during which
Mrs. Mathusek grew haggard and desperate. She was saving at the rate of
two dollars a day, and at that rate she would be able to buy Tony a
trial in five weeks more. She had exhausted her possibilities as a
borrower. The indictment slept in O'Brien's tin file. Nobody but Tony,
his mother and Hogan remembered that there was any such case, except Mr.
Asche, who one afternoon appeared unexpectedly in the offices of Tutt &
Tutt, the senior partner of which celebrated law firm happened to be
advisory counsel to the Tornado Casualty Company.
"I just want you to look at these papers, Mr. Tutt," Mr. Asche said, and
his jaw looked squarer than ever.
Mr. Tutt was reclining as usual in his swivel chair, his feet crossed
upon the top of his ancient mahogany desk.
"Take a stog!" he remarked without getting up, and indicating with the
toe of one Congress-booted foot the box which lay open adjacent to the
Code of Criminal Procedure. "What's your misery?"
"Hell's at work!" returned Mr. Asche, solemnly handing over a sheaf of
affidavits. "I never smoke."
Mr. Tutt somewhat reluctantly altered his position from the horizontal
to the vertical and reached for a fresh stogy. Then his eye caught the
name of Raphael B. Hogan.
"What the devil is this?" he cried.
"It's the devil himself!" answered Mr. Asche with sudden vehemence.
"Tutt, Tutt! Come in here!" shouted the head of the firm. "Mine enemy
hath been delivered into mine hands!"
"Hey? What?" inquired Tutt, popping across the threshold. "Who--I
"Raphael B. Hogan!"
"The devil!" ejaculated Tutt.
"You've said it!" declared Mr. Asche devoutly.
* * * * *
That evening under cover of darkness Mr. Ephraim Tutt descended from a
dilapidated taxi at the corner adjacent to Froelich's butcher shop, and
several hours later was whisked uptown again to the brownstone dwelling
occupied by the Hon. Simeon Watkins, the venerable white-haired judge
then presiding in Part I of the General Sessions, where he remained
until what may be described either as a very late or a very early hour,
and where during the final period of his intercourse he and that
distinguished member of the judiciary emptied an ancient bottle
containing a sparkling rose-colored liquid of great artistic beauty.
Then Mr. Tutt returned to his own library at the house on Twenty-third
Street and paced up and down before the antiquated open grate, inhaling
quantities of what Mr. Bonnie Doon irreverently called "hay smoke," and
pondering deeply upon the evils that men do to one another, until the
dawn peered through the windows and he bethought him of the all-night
lunch stand round the corner on Tenth Avenue, and there sought
"Salvatore," he remarked to the smiling son of the olive groves who
tended that bar of innocence, "the worst crook in the world is the man
who does evil for mere money."
"_Si, Signor Tutti_," answered Salvatore with Latin perspicacity. "You
gotta one, eh? You giva him hell?"
"_Si! Si!_" replied Mr. Tutt cheerily. "Even so! And of a truth,
moreover! Give me another hot dog and a cup of bilge water!"
* * * * *
"People versus Mathusek?" inquired Judge Watkins some hours later on the
call of the calendar, looking quite vaguely as if he had never heard of
the case before, round Part I, which was as usual crowded, hot, stuffy
and smelling of unwashed linen and prisoners' lunch. "People versus
Mathusek? What do you want done with this case, Mr. O'Brien?"
"Ready!" chanted the red-headed O'Brien, and, just as he had expected,
the Hon. Raphael Hogan limbered up in his slow, genial way and said: "If
Your Honor please, the defendant would like a few days longer to get his
witnesses. Will Your Honor kindly adjourn the case for one week?"
He did not notice that the stenographer was taking down everything that
"I observe," remarked Judge Watkins with apparent amiability, "that you
have had five adjournments already. If The People's witnesses are here I
am inclined to direct you to proceed. The defendant has been under
indictment for six weeks. That ought to be long enough to prepare your
"But, Your Honor," returned Hogan with pathos, "the witnesses are very
hard to find. They are working people. I have spent whole evenings
chasing after them. Moreover, the defendant is perfectly satisfied to
have the case go over. He is anxious for an adjournment!"
"When did you last see him?"
The judge unfolded the papers and appeared to be reading them for the
first time. He wasn't such a bad old actor himself, for he had already
learned from Mr. Tutt that Hogan had not been near Tony for three weeks.
"Um--um! Did you represent the defendant in the police court?"
"Yes, Your Honor."
"Why did you waive examination?"
Hogan suddenly felt a lump swelling in his pharynx. What in hell was it
"I--er--there was no use in fighting the case there. I hoped the grand
jury would throw it out," he stammered.
"Did anybody ask you to waive examination?"
The swelling in Hogan's fat neck grew larger. Suppose McGurk or Delany
were trying to put something over on him!
"No! Certainly not!" he replied unconvincingly. He didn't want to make
the wrong answer if he could help it.
"You have an--associate, have you not? A Mr. Simpkins?"
"Yes, Your Honor." Hogan was pale now and little beads were gathering
over his eyebrows.
"Where is he?"
"Downstairs in the magistrate's court."
"Officer," ordered the judge, "send for Mr. Simpkins. We will suspend
until he can get here."
Then His Honor occupied himself with some papers, leaving Hogan standing
alone at the bar trying to work out what it all meant. He began to wish
he had never touched the damn case. Everybody in the courtroom seemed to
be looking at him and whispering. He was most uncomfortable. Suppose
that crooked cop had welshed on him! At the same instant in the back of
the room a similar thought flashed through the mind of Delany. Suppose
Hogan should welsh on him! Coincidentally both scoundrels turned sick at
heart. Then came to each the simultaneous realization that neither could
gain anything by giving the other away, and that the only thing possible
for either was to stand pat. No, they must hang together or assuredly
hang separately. Then the door opened and a tall officer entered,
followed by a very nervous Mr. Joey Simpkins.
"Come up here!" directed the judge. "You are Mr. Hogan's assistant, are
"Yes, sir!" quavered the anxious Simpkins.
"How much money have you taken from Mrs. Mathusek?"
"Four hundred and thirty-five dollars."
"For what?" sharply.
"For protecting her son."
"Why--from his arrest to the present time--and for his defense here in
"Have either you or Mr. Hogan done anything as yet--except to waive
examination in the police court?"
Mr. Simpkins turned hastily to Mr. Hogan, who realized that things were
"Your Honor," he interposed thickly, "this money was an agreed fee for
my services as counsel. This examination seems to me somewhat uncalled
for and unfair."
"Call Tony Mathusek to the bar!" suddenly ordered the judge.
It was a dangerous play, but Hogan decided to bluff it through.
"In view of the fact that I have not received my fee I shall refuse to
appear for the defendant!" he announced brazenly.
"Indeed!" retorted the judge with sarcasm. "Then I will assign Mr.
Ephraim Tutt to the defense. You two gentlemen will please sit down--but
not leave the courtroom. We may need you."
At that moment, just as the defendant was led to the bar, Mr. Tutt
emerged from behind the jury box and took his stand at Tony's side.
Nothing much to look at before, the boy was less so now, with the prison
pallor on his sunken little face. There was something about the thin
neck, the half-open mouth and the gaunt, blinking, hollow eyes that
suggested those of a helpless fledgling.
"Impanel a jury!" continued the judge, and Mr. Tutt conducted Tony
inside the rail and sat down beside him at the table reserved for the
"It's all right, Tony!" he whispered. "The frame-up isn't on you this
time, my lad."
Cowering in the back of the room Delany tried to hide himself among the
spectators. Some devilish thing had gone wrong. He hadn't heard all that
had passed between the judge and Hogan, but he had caught enough to
perceive that the whole case had gone blooey.
Judge Watkins was wise! He was going after Hogan just as old Tutt would
go after him, Delany. There was a singing in his head and the blood
smarted in his eyes. He'd better beat it! Half bent over he started
sneaking for the door.
"Who is that man trying to go out?" shouted the judge in terrifying
tones that shook Delany to the ankles. Hastily he tried to sit down.
"Bring that man to the bar!"
Half blind with fear Delany attempted to make a show of bravado and
swagger to the rail.
"What is your name?"
"Delany. Officer attached to the Second Precinct."
"What were you leaving the room for?"
Delany could not answer. His wits were befogged, his throat numb. He
simply stared vacuously at Judge Watkins, his lips vibrating with fear.
"Sit down. No; take the stand!" cried Judge Watkins. "I'll try this case
As if his foot were already attached to a ball and chain Delany dragged
himself up--up--hundreds of feet up, it seemed--to the witness chair. As
if from a mountain side he saw dim forms moving into the jury box, heard
the judge and Mr. Tutt exchanging meaningless remarks. The faces before
him grinned and gibbered at him like a horde of monkeys. They had got
him at last--all for a few pieces of rotten beef! That lean, hungry
wolfhound would tear his tongue out by the roots if he even opened his
mouth; claw wide open his vitals. And old Tutt was fixing him with the
eye of a basilisk and slowly turning him to stone. Somebody sure had
welshed! He had once been in a side show at Coney Island where the room
simulated the motion of an ocean steamer. The courtroom began to do the
same--slanting this way and that and spinning obliquely round and round.
Through the swirl of its gyrations he could see old Tutt's vulture eyes,
growing bigger, fiercer, more sinister every instant. It was all up with
him! It was an execution, and the crowd down below were thirsting for
his blood, waiting to tear him to bits!
"You saw this boy throw a brick through Mr. Froelich's window, didn't
you?" coaxed Judge Watkins insinuatingly. Delany sensed that the old
white fox was trying to trick him--get him for perjury. No! He wouldn't
perjure himself again! No! But what could he do? His head swung
stupidly, swaying like a dazed bull's. The sweat poured from every pore
in his vast bulk. A hoarse noise--like a death rattle--came from his
throat. The room dissolved in waves of white and black. Then in a
vertigo he toppled forward and pitched headlong to the floor.
* * * * *
Deacon Terry, star reporter for the _Tribune_, who happened to be there,
told his city editor at noon that he had never passed such a pleasant
morning. What he saw and heard really constituted, he alleged, a great
big full front-page story "in a box"--though it got only four sticks on
the eleventh page--being crowded out by the armistice. Why, he said, it
was the damnedest thing ever! There had been no evidence against the
defendant at all! And after the cop had collapsed Judge Watkins had
refused to dismiss the case and directed Mr. Tutt to go on in his own
The proceeding had resolved itself into a criminal trial of Hogan and
Simpkins. Tony's good character had been established in three minutes,
and then half a dozen reputable witnesses had testified that the brick
had been thrown by an entirely different boy. Finally, Sussman and his
assistant both swore positively that Delany had been in the back of the
tobacco shop with his back to the door, holding them up for cigars, when
the crash came.
Terry wanted two columns; he almost cried when they cut his great big
full-page story to:
SHYSTERS ACCUSED OF EXTORTION
A dramatic scene was enacted at the conclusion of a minor case in
Part I of the General Sessions yesterday, when upon the motion of
Ephraim Tutt, of the firm of Tutt & Tutt, Judge Simeon Watkins,
sitting as a committing magistrate, held for the action of the grand
jury Raphael B. Hogan and Joseph P. Simpkins, his assistant, for the
crime of extortion, and directed that their case be referred to the
Grievance Committee of the County Lawyers' Association for the
necessary action for their disbarment.
Earlier in the trial a police officer named Delany, the supposed
chief witness for the prosecution, fainted and fell from the witness
chair. Upon his recovery he was then and there committed for
perjury, in default of ten thousand dollars bail. It is understood
that he has signified his willingness to turn state's evidence, but
that his offer has not been accepted. So far as can be ascertained
this is the first time either Hogan or Simpkins has been accused of
a criminal offense. District Attorney Peckham stated that in
addition to separate indictments for extortion and perjury he would
ask for another, charging all three defendants with the crime of
conspiracy to obstruct the due administration of the law.
At the conclusion of the proceedings Judge Watkins permitted a
voluntary collection to be taken up by Mr. Tutt on behalf of the
accused among the jury, the court attendants and the spectators,
which amounted to eleven hundred and eighty-nine dollars. In this
connection the judge expressed the opinion that it was unfortunate
that persons falsely accused of crime and unjustly imprisoned should
have no financial redress other than by a special act of the
legislature. The defendant in the case at bar had been locked up for
six weeks. Among the contributions was found a new
"Talk about crime!" quoth the Deacon savagely to Charlie Still, of the
_Sun_. "That feckless fool at the city desk committed assault, mayhem
and murder on that story of mine!" Then he added pensively: "If I
thought old man Tutt would slip me a thousand to soothe my injured
feelings I'd go down and retain his firm myself!"
The Kid and the Camel
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
--LAY OF THE LAST MINSTREL.
The shortest street in the world, Edgar Street, connects New York's
financial center with the Levant. It is less than fifty feet through
this tiny thoroughfare from the back doors of the great Broadway office
buildings to Greenwich Street, where the letters on the window signs
resemble contorted angleworms and where one is as likely to stumble into
a man from Bagdad as from Boston. One can stand in the middle of it and
with his westerly ear catch the argot of Gotham and with his easterly
all the dialects of Damascus. And if through some unexpected convulsion
of Nature 51 Broadway should topple over, Mr. Zimmerman, the
stockbroker, whose office is on the sixth story, might easily fall clear
of the Greek restaurant in the corner of Greenwich Street, roll
twenty-five yards more down Morris Street, and find himself on
Washington Street reading a copy of Al-Hoda and making his luncheon off
_baha gannouge_, _majaddarah_ and _milookeiah_, which, after all, are
only eggplant salad, lentils and rice, and the popular favorite known as
To most New Yorkers this is a section of the city totally unknown and
unsuspected, yet existing as in a fourth dimension within a stone's
throw--and nearer--of our busiest metropolitan artery--and there within
one hundred yards of the aforesaid Mr. Zimmerman's office above the
electric cars of Broadway, and within earshot of the hoots of many a
multimillionaire's motor, on a certain evening something of an Oriental
character was doing in the hallway of a house on Washington Street that
subsequently played a part in the professional lives of Tutt & Tutt.
Out of the literally Egyptian darkness of the tenement owned by
Abadallah Shanin Khaldi issued curious smothered sounds, together with
an unmistakable, pungent, circuslike odor.
There came an indignant grunt, followed by a flabby groan and a
straining and squeaking of the jerry-built staircase as Kasheed Hassoun
vigorously applied a lath to the horny backsides of Eset el Gazzar.
"Ascend, dog of a dog!" panted Kasheed. "Move thy accursed feet, O
wizened hump! Daughter of Satan, give me room! Thou art squeezing out my
life! Only go on, child of my heart! It is but a step upward, O Queen of
the Nile. Hold the rope tight, Kalil!"
The camel obediently surged forward, breaking off a section of banister.
Through the racket from the hallway above faintly came the voice of
"Her head is free of the ceiling. Quick, Kasheed! Turn her, thou, upon
"Whack!" responded the lath in the hand of Kasheed Hassoun.
Step by step the gentle shaggy brute felt her way with feet, knees and
nozzle up the narrow staircase. What was this but another of those
bizarre experiences which any camel-of-the-world must expect in a land
where the water wells squirted through a tube and men rode in chariots
driven by fire?
"Go on, darling of my soul!" whispered Kasheed. "Curses upon thy father
and upon the mother that bore thee! Wilt thou not move?"
"Ouch! She devil! Thou hast trod upon my foot!"
Outside, that the Western world might not suspect what was going on,
Shaheen Mahfous and Shanin Saba unloaded with as much noise as possible
a dray of paper for Meraat-ul-Gharb, the Daily Mirror. By and by a
window on the fourth floor opened and the head of Kalil Majdalain
"_Mahabitcum!"_ he grinned; which, being interpreted, means "Good
fellowship to all!"
Then presently he and Kasheed joined the others upon the sidewalk, and,
the rolls of paper having been delivered inside the pressroom, the four
Syrians climbed upon the truck and drove to the restaurant of Ghabryel &
Assad two blocks farther north, where they had a bit of _awamat_, coffee
and cigarettes, and then played a game of cards, while in the attic of
the tenement house Eset el Gazzar munched a mouthful of hay and tapped
her interior reservoir for a drink of clear water, as she sighed through
her valvelike nostrils and pouted with her cushioned lips, pondering
upon the vagaries of quadrupedal existence.
Willie Toothaker, the office boy of Tutt & Tutt, had perfected a
catapult along the lines of those used in the Siege of Carthage--form
derived from the appendix of Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar--which
boded ill for the truck drivers of lower Gotham.
Since his translation from Pottsville Center, Willie's inventive genius
had worked something of a transformation in the Tutt & Tutt offices, for
he had devised several labor-saving expedients, such as a complicated
series of pulleys for opening windows and automatically closing doors
without getting up; which, since they actually worked, Mr. Tutt, being a
pragmatist, silently, patiently and good-naturedly endured. To-day both
partners were away in court and Willie had the office to himself with
the exception of old Scraggs.
"Bet it'll shoot a block!" asserted Willie, replacing his gum, which he
had removed temporarily to avert the danger of swallowing it in his
excitement. "Caesar used one just like this--only bigger, of course. See
that scuttle over on Washington Street? Bet I can hit it!"
"Bet you can't come within two hundred feet of it!" retorted the
watery-eyed scrivener. "It's a lot further'n you think."
"'Tain't neither!" declared Willie. "I know how far it is! What can we
Scraggs' eye wandered aimlessly round the room.
"Oh, I don't know."
"Got to be something with heft to it," said Willie. "'S got to overcome
the resistance of the atmosphere."
"How about that paperweight?"
"'S too heavy."
"I know!" exclaimed William suddenly. "Gimme that little bottle of red
ink. 'S just about right. And when it strikes it'll make a mark so's we
can tell where we hit--like a regular target."
"Ink costs money," he protested.
"But it's just the thing!" insisted Willie. "Besides, you can charge me
for it in the cash account. Give it here!"
Conscience being thus satisfied the two eagerly placed the ink bottle in
the proper receptacle, which Willie had fashioned out of a stogy box,
twisted back the bow and aimed the apparatus at the slanting scuttle,
which projected from a sort of penthouse upon the roof of the tenement
house across the street.
"Now!" he exclaimed ecstatically. "Stand from under, Scraggs!"
He pressed a lever. There was a whang, a whistle--and the ink bottle
hurtled in a beautiful parabola over Greenwich Street.
"Gee! look at her go!" cried Willie in triumph. "Straight's a string."
At exactly that instant--and just as the bottle was about to descend
upon the penthouse--the scuttle opened and there was thrust forth a huge
yellow face with enormous sooty lips wreathed in an unmistakable smile.
On the long undulating neck the head resembled one of the grotesque
manikins carried in circus parades. Eset el Gazzar in a search for air
had discovered that the attic scuttle was slightly ajar.
"Gosh! A camel!" gasped Willie.
"Lord of love!" ejaculated Scraggs. "It sure is a camel!"
There was a faint crash and a tinkle of glass as the bottle of red ink
struck the penthouse roof just over the beast's head and deluged it with
its vermilion contents. Eset reared, shook her neck, gave a defiant
grunt and swiftly withdrew her head into the attic.
Sophie Hassoun, the wife of Kasheed, seeing the violent change in Eset's
complexion, wrung her hands.
"What hast thou done, O daughter of devils? Thou art bleeding! Thou hast
cut thyself! Alack, mayhap thou wilt die, and then we shall be ruined!
Improvident! Careless one! Cursed be thy folly! Hast thou no regard? And
I dare not send for Doctor Koury, the veterinary, for then thy presence
would be discovered and the gendarmes would come and take thee away.
Would that we had left thee at Coney Island! O, great-granddaughter of
Al Adha--sacred camel of the Prophet--why hast thou done this? Why hast
thou brought misery upon us? _Awar! Awar!_"
She cast herself upon the improvised divan in the corner, while Eset,
blinking, licked her big yellow hind hump, and tumbled forward upon her
knees preparatory to sitting down herself.
"A camel!" repeated Willie, round-eyed. He counted the roofs dividing
the penthouse from where Morris Street bisected the block. "Whoop!" he
cried and dashed out of the office.
In less than four minutes Patrolman Dennis Patrick Murphy, who was
standing on post on Washington Street in front of Nasheen Zereik's
Embroidery Bazaar talking to Sardi Babu, saw a red-headed, pug-nosed
urchin come flying round the corner.
"One--two--three--four--five. That's the house!" cried Willie Toothaker.
"What yer talkin' 'bout?" drawled Murphy.
"There's a camel in there!" shouted Willie, dancing up and down.
"Camel--yer aunt!" sneered the cop. "They couldn't get no camel in
"There is! I seen it stick its head out of the roof!"
Sardi Babu, the oily-faced little dealer in pillow shams, smiled slyly.
He had thick black ringlets, parted exactly down the middle of his
scalp, hanging to his shoulders, and a luxuriant black curly beard
reaching to his middle; in addition to which he wore a blue blouse and
carpet slippers. He was a Maronite from Lebanon, and he and his had a
feud with Hassoun, Majdalain, and all others who belonged to the sect
headed by the Patriarch of Antioch.
"_Belki!"_ he remarked significantly. "Perhaps his words are true! I
have heard it whispered already by Lillie Nadowar, now the wife of
Butros the confectioner. Moreover, I myself have seen hay on the
"Huh?" exclaimed Murphy. "We'll soon find out. Come along you, Babu!
Show me where you was seein' the hay."
By this time those who had been lounging upon the adjacent doorstep had
come running to see what was the matter, and a crowd had gathered.
"It is false--what he says!" declared Gadas Maloof the shoemaker. "I
have sat opposite the house day and night for ten--fifteen years--and no
camel has gone in. Camel! How could a camel be got up such narrow
"But thou art a friend of Hassoun's!" retorted Fajala Mokarzel the
grocer. "And," he added in a lower tone, "of Sophie Tadros, his wife."
There was a subdued snicker from the crowd, and Murphy inferred that
they were laughing at him.
"But this man," he shouted wrathfully, pointing at Sardi Babu, "says you
all know there's a camel up there. An' this kid's seen it! Come along
now, both of you!"
There was an angry murmur from the crowd. Sardi Babu turned white.
"I said nothing!" he declared, trembling. "I made no complaint. The
gendarme will corroborate me. What care I where Kasheed Hassoun stables
Maloof shouldered his way up to him, and grasping the Maronite by the
beard muttered in Arabic: "Thou dog! Go confess thy sins! For by the
Holy Cross thou assuredly hast not long to live!"
Murphy seized Babu by the arm.
"Come on!" he ordered threateningly. "Make good now!" And he led him up
the steps, the throng pressing close upon his heels.
* * * * *
"What's all this?" inquired Magistrate Burke bewilderedly an hour later
as Officer Murphy entered the police court leading a tall Syrian in a
heavy overcoat and green Fedora hat, and followed by several hundred
black-haired, olive-skinned Levantines. "Don't let all those Dagos in
here! Keep 'em out! This ain't a moving-picture palace!"
"Them ain't Dagos, judge," whispered Roony the clerk. "Them's Turks."
"They ain't neither Turks!" contradicted the stenographer, whose
grammar was almost sublimated by comparison with Roony's. "They're
Armenians--you can tell by their complexions."
"Well, I won't have 'em in here, whatever they are!" announced Burke. "I
don't like 'em. What have you got, Murphy?"
"Shoo! Get out of here!" ordered the officer on duty.
The crowd, however, not understanding, only grinned.
"_Avanti! Alley! Mouch_! Beat it!" continued the officer, waving his
arms and hustling those nearest toward the door.
The throng obediently fell back. They were a gentle, simple-minded lot,
used in the old country to oppression, blackmail and tyranny, and
burning with a religious fervor unknown to the pale heterodoxy of the
"This here," began Murphy, "is a complaint by Sardi Babu"--he swung the
cowering little man with a twist before the bench--"against one Kasheed
Hassoun for violating the health ordinances."
"No, no! I do not complain! I am not one who complains. It is nothing
whatever to me if Kasheed Hassoun keeps a camel! I care not," cried Babu
"What's he talkin' about?" interrupted Burke. "I don't understand that
sort of gibberish."
"He makes the complaint that this here Hassoun"--he indicated the tall
man in the overcoat--"is violating Section 1093d of the regulations by
keeping a camel in his attic."
"Camel!" ejaculated the magistrate. "In his attic!"
"It's there all right, judge!" he remarked. "I've seen it."
"Is that straight?" demanded His Honor. "How'd he get it up there? I
Suddenly Sardi Babu threw himself fawning upon Hassoun.
"Oh, Kasheed Hassoun, I swear to thee that I made no complaint. It is a
falsification of the gendarme! And there was a boy--a red and yellow
boy--who said he had seen thy camel's head above the roofs! I am thy
He twisted his writhing snakelike fingers together. Hassoun regarded him
"Thou knowest the fate of informers and provocateurs--of spies--thou
infamous Turk!" he answered through his teeth.
"A Turk! A Turk!" shrieked Sardi Babu frantically, beating the breast of
his blue blouse. "Thou callest me a Turk! Me, the godson of Sarkis Babu
and of Elias Stephan--whose fathers and grandfathers were Christians
when thy family were worshipers of Mohammed. Blasphemy! Me, the godson
of a bishop!"
"I also am godson of a bishop!" sneered Kasheed. "A properly anointed
bishop! Without Tartar blood."
Sardi Babu grew purple.
"Ptha! I would spit upon the beard of such a bishop!" he shrieked,
Hassoun slightly raised his eyebrows.
"Spit, then, infamous one--while thou art able!"
"Here, here!" growled Burke in disgust. "Keep 'em still, can't you?
Now, what's all this about a camel?"
* * * * *
"That's the very scuttle, sir," asseverated Scraggs to the firm, as Tutt
& Tutt, including Miss Wiggin, gazed down curiously out of their office
windows at the penthouse upon the Washington Street roof which had been
Willie's target of the day before. "I don't say," he continued by way of
explanation, "that the camel stuck his head out because Willie hit the
roof with the bottle--it was probably just a circumstance--but it looked
that way. 'Bing!' went the ink bottle on the scuttle; and
then--pop!--out came the camel like a jack-in-the-box."
"What became of the camel?" inquired Miss Wiggin, cherishing a faint
hope that--pop!--it might suddenly appear again in the same way.
"The police took it away last night--lowered it out of the window with a
block and tackle," answered the scrivener. "A sort of breeches buoy."
"I've heard of camel's-hair shawls but not of camel's-hair breeches!"
murmured Tutt. "I suppose if a camel wore pants--well, my imagination
refuses to contemplate the spectacle! Where's Willie?"
"He hasn't been in at all this morning!" said Miss Wiggin. "I'll
"What?" demanded Mr. Tutt suspiciously.
"--he's somewhere with that camel," she concluded.
* * * * *
Now, Miss Minerva, as her name connoted, was a wise woman; and she had
reached an unerring conclusion by two different and devious routes, to
wit, intuition and logic, the same being the high road and low road of
reason--high or low in either case as you may prefer. Thus logic:
Camel--small boy. Intuition: Small boy--camel. But there was here an
additional element--a direct personal relationship between this
particular small boy and this particular camel, rising out of the
incident of the ink bottle. She realized that that camel must have
acquired for William a peculiar quality--almost that of a possession--in
view of the fact that he had put his mark upon it. She knew that Willie
could no more stay away from the environs of that camel than said camel
could remain in that attic. Indeed we might go on at some length
expounding further this profound law of human nature that where there
are camels there will be small boys; that, as it were, under such
circumstances Nature abhors an infantile vacuum.
"If I know him, he is!" agreed Mr. Tutt, referring to William's probable
proximity to Eset el Gazzar.
"Speaking of camels," said Tutt as he lit a cigarette, "makes me think
of brass beds."
"Yes," nodded his partner. "Of course it would, naturally. What on earth
do you mean?"
"I mean this," began Tutt, clearing his throat as if he were addressing
twelve good and true men--"a camel is obviously an unusual--not to say
peculiar--animal to be roosting over there in that attic. It is an
exotic--if I may use that term. It is as exotic as a brass bed from
Connecticut would be, or is, in Damascus or Lebanon. Now, therefore, a
camel will as assuredly give cause for trouble in New York as a brass
bed in Bagdad!"
"The right thing often makes trouble if put in the wrong place,"
pondered Mr. Tutt.
"Or the wrong thing in the right place!" assented Tutt. "Now all these
"What have they got to do with brass beds in Lebanon?" challenged Miss
"Why," continued Tutt, "I am credibly informed that the American brass
bed--particularly the double bed--owing to its importation into Asia
Minor was the direct cause of the Armenian massacres."
"Tosh!" said Miss Wiggin.
"For a fact!" asserted Tutt. "It's this way--an ambassador told me so
himself--the Turks, you know, are nuts on beds--and they think a great
big brass family bed such as--you know--they're in all the
department-store windows. Well, every Turk in every village throughout
Asia Minor saves up his money to buy a brass bed--like a nigger buys a
cathedral clock. Sign of superiority. You get me? And it becomes his
most cherished household possession. If he meets a friend on the street
he says to him naturally and easily, without too much conscious egotism,
just as an American might say, 'By the way, have you seen my new
limousine?'--he says to the other Turk, 'Oh, I say, old chap, do you
happen to have noticed my new brass bed from Connecticut? They just put
it off the steamer last week at Aleppo. Fatima's taking a nap in it now,
but when she wakes up--'"
"What nonsense!" sniffed Miss Wiggin.
"It's not nonsense!" protested the junior partner. "Now listen to what
happens. Some Armenian--the Armenians are the pawnbrokers of Asia
Minor--moves into that village and in three months he has a mortgage on
everything in it, including that brass bed. Then the Turkish Government,
which regards him as an undesirable citizen, tells him to move along;
and Mister Armenian piles all the stuff the inhabitants have mortgaged
to him into an oxcart and starts on his way, escorted by the Sultan's
troops. On top of the load is Yusuf Bulbul Ameer's brass bed. Yusuf
looks out of his doorway and sees the bed moving off and rushes after it
to protect his property.
"'Look here!' he shouts. 'Where are you going with my brass bed?'
"'It isn't yours!' retorts Mister Pawnbroker. 'It's mine. I loaned you
eighty-seven piasters on it!'
"'But I've got an equity in it! You can't take it away!'
"'Of course I can!' replies the Armenian. 'Where I goeth it will go. The
Turkish Government is responsible.'
"'Not much,' says Yusuf, grabbing hold of it, trying to pull it off the
"'Hands off there!' yells the Armenian.
"Then there is a mix-up and everybody piles in--and there is a
"That's a grand yarn!" remarked Mr. Tutt. "Still, it may be--"
"Bunk!" declared Miss Wiggin. "And what has that got to do with camels?"
"My point is," affirmed Tutt, waving his index finger--"my point is that
just as a Yankee brass bed in Turkey will make certain trouble, so a
Turkish camel in New York is bound to do the same thing."
A door slammed behind them and Willie's voice interrupted the
"Mr. Tutt! Mr. Tutt!" he cried hysterically. "There's been a murder
down there--and we--I'm--partly responsible. I spent the night with the
camel and he's--she's--all right--in Regan's Boarding Stable. But
Kasheed is in the Tombs, and I told them you'd defend him. You will,
Mr. Tutt looked at the excited boy.
"Who killed whom?" he asked correctly. "And where does the camel come
"Somebody killed Sardi Babu," explained Willie. "I don't know exactly
who did it--but they've arrested Kasheed Hassoun, the owner of Eset el
"Who?" roared Tutt.
"The camel. You see, nobody knew she was in the attic until I saw her
stick her head out of the hole in the roof. Then I told Murphy and he
went up and found her there. But Kasheed thought Sardi had told on him,
you see, and nobody would believe him when he said he hadn't. The judge
fined Kasheed twenty-five dollars, and he--Kasheed--accused Sardi of
being a Turk and they had a big row right there in court. Nothing
happened until the cops had got Eset out of the window and she was over
at Regan's. I stayed there. Her head is bright red from the ink, you
know. Then somebody went over to the restaurant where Sardi was and
killed him. So you see, in a way, I'm to blame, and I didn't think you'd
mind defending Kasheed, because he's a corker and if they electrocute
him Eset will starve to death."
"I see," said. Mr. Tutt thoughtfully. "You think that by rights if
anybody was going to get killed it ought to have been you?"
"Yes, sir," he assented.
And that is how a camel was the moving cause of the celebrated firm of
Tutt & Tutt appearing as counsel in the case of The People against
Kasheed Hassoun, charged with the crime of murder in the first degree
for having taken the life of Sardi Babu with deliberation and
premeditation and malice aforethought and against the peace of the
People of the State of New York.
* * * * *
"And then there's this here Syrian murder case," groaned the chief clerk
of the district attorney's office plaintively to his chief. "I don't
know what to do with it. The defendant's been six months in the Tombs,
with all the Syrian newspapers hollering like mad for a trial. He killed
him all right, but you know what these foreign-language murder cases
are, boss! They're lemons, every one of 'em!"
"What's the matter with it?" inquired the D.A. "It's a regular
knock-down-and-drag-out case, isn't it? Killed him right in a
restaurant, didn't he?"
"Sure! That part of it's all right," assented the chief clerk. "He
killed him--yes! But how are you going to get an American jury to choose
between witnesses who are quite capable of swearing that the corpse
killed the defendant. How in hell can you tell what they're talking
"You can't!" said the D.A. "Send the papers in to Pepperill and tell him
on the side it'll make him famous. He'll believe you."
"But it'll take ten weeks to try it!" wailed the chief clerk.
"Well, send it down to old Wetherell, in Part Thirteen. He's got the
sleeping sickness and it will be sort of soothing for him to listen to."
"Might wake him up?" suggested the other.
"You couldn't!" retorted the D.A. "What's the case about, anyhow?"
"It's about a camel," explained the subordinate hesitatingly.
The D.A. grinned. Said he: "It is easier for a camel to go through the
eye of a needle than for a just prosecutor to convict a Syrian of
murder. Well, old top, send for a couple of dozen Korans and hire rooms
for the jury over Kaydoub, Salone & Dabut's and turn 'em loose on
_kibbah arnabeiah, kashtah_ and _halawee_."
Mr. William Montague Pepperill was a very intense young person,
twenty-six years old, out of Boston by Harvard College. He had been born
beneath the golden dome of the State House on Beacon Street, and from
the windows of the Pepperill mansion his infant eyes had gazed smugly
down upon the Mall and Frog Pond of the historic Common. There had been
an aloof serenity about his life within the bulging front of the
paternal residence with its ancient glass window panes--faintly tinged
with blue, just as the blood in the Pepperill veins was also faintly
tinged with the same color--his unimpeachable social position at Hoppy's
and later on at Harvard--which he pronounced Haavaad--and the profound
respect in which he was held at the law school in Cambridge, that gave
Mr. W. Montague Pepperill a certain confidence in the impeccability of
himself, his family, his relatives, his friends, his college, his
habiliments and haberdashery, his deportment, and his opinions,
political, religious and otherwise.
For W.M.P. the only real Americans lived on Beacon Hill, though a few
perhaps might be found accidentally across Charles Street upon the made
land of the Back Bay. A real American must necessarily also be a
graduate of Harvard, a Unitarian, an allopath, belong to the Somerset
Club and date back ancestrally at least to King Philip's War. W.
Montague had, however, decided early in life that Boston was too small
for him and that he owed a duty to the rest of the country.
So he had condescended to New York, where through his real American
connections in law, finance and business he had landed a job in a
political office where the aristocrats were all either Irish, Jews or
Italians, who regarded him as an outlandish animal. It had been a
strange experience for him. So had the discovery that graft, blackmail,
corruption, vice and crime were not mere literary conventions, existing
only for the theoretical purposes of novelists and playwrights, but were
actualities frequently dealt with in metropolitan society. He had
secured his appointment from a reform administration and he had been
retained as a holdover by Peckham, the new district attorney, by reason
of the fact that his uncle by marriage was a Wall Street banker who
contributed liberally without prejudice to both political parties. This,
however, W.M.P. did not know, and assumed that he was allowed to keep
his four-thousand-dollar salary because the county could not get on
without him. He was slender, wore a mouse-colored waistcoat, fawn tie
and spats, and plastered his hair neatly down on each side of a glossy
cranium that was an almost perfect sphere.
"Ah! Mr. William Montague Pepperill, I believe?" inquired Mr. Tutt with
profound politeness from the doorway of W.M.P.'s cubicle, which looked
into the gloomy light shaft of the Criminal Courts Building.
Mr. Pepperill finished what he was writing and then looked up.
"Yes," he replied. "What can I do for you?"
He did not ask Mr. Tutt his name or invite him to sit down.
The old lawyer smiled. He liked young men, even conceited young men;
they were so enthusiastic, so confident, so uncompromising. Besides,
W.M.P. was at heart, as Mr. Tutt perceived, a high-class sort of chap.
So he smiled.
"My name is Tutt," said he. "I am counsel for a man named Hassoun, whom
you are going to try for murder. You are, of course, perfectly familiar
with the facts."
He fumbled in his waistcoat, produced two withered stogies and cast his
eye along the wall.
"Would you--mind--if I sat down? And could I offer you a stogy?"
"Sit down--by all means," answered W.M.P. "No, thanks!"--to the stogy.
Mr. Tutt sat down, carefully placed his old chimney pot upside down on
the window ledge, and stacked in it the bundle of papers he was
"I thought you might forgive me if I came to talk over the case a little
with you. You see, there are so many things that a prosecutor has to
consider--and which it is right that he should consider." He paused to
light a match. "Now in this case, though in all probability my client is
guilty there is practically no possibility of his being convicted of
anything higher than manslaughter in the first degree. The defense will
produce many witnesses--probably as many as the prosecution. Both sides
will tell their stories in a language unintelligible to the jury, who
must try to ascertain the true inwardness of the situation through an
interpreter. They will realize that they are not getting the real
truth--I mean the Syrian truth. As decent-minded men they won't dare to
send a fellow to the chair whose defense they cannot hear and whose
motives they do not either know or understand. They will feel, as I do
and perhaps you do, that the only persons to do justice among Syrians
"Well," replied Mr. Pepperill politely, "what have you to propose?"
"That you recommend the acceptance of a plea of manslaughter in the
Deputy Assistant District Attorney William Montague Pepperill drew
himself up haughtily. He regarded all criminal practitioners as
semicrooks, ignorant, illiterate, rather dirty men--not in the real
"I can do nothing of the kind," he answered sternly and very distinctly.
"If these men seek the hospitality of our shores they must be prepared
to be judged by our laws and by our standards of morality. I do not
agree with you that our juridical processes are not adequate to that
purpose. Moreover, I regard it as unethical--un-eth-i-cal--to accept a
plea for a lesser degree of crime than that which the defendant has
Mr. Tutt regarded him with undisguised admiration.
"Your sentiments do you honor, Mr. Pepperill!" he returned. "You are
sure you do not mind my smoke? But of course my client is presumed
innocent. I am very hopeful--almost confident--of getting him off
entirely. But rather than take the very slight chance of a conviction
for murder I am letting discretion take the place of valor and offer to
have him admit his guilt of manslaughter."
"I guess," answered Pepperill laconically, indulging in his only
frequent solecism, "that you wouldn't offer to plead to manslaughter
unless you felt pretty sure your client was going to the chair! Now--"
Mr. Tutt suddenly rose.
"My young friend," he interrupted, "when Ephraim Tutt says a thing man
to man--as I have been speaking to you--he means what he says. I have
told you that I expected to acquit my client. My only reason for
offering a plea is the very slight--and it is a very slight--chance that
an Arabian quarrel can be made the basis of a conviction for murder.
When you know me better you will not feel so free to impugn my
sincerity. Are you prepared to entertain my suggestion or not?"
"Most certainly not!" retorted W.M.P. with the shadow of a sneer.
"Then I will bid you good-day," said Mr. Tutt, taking his hat from the
window ledge and turning to the door. "And--you young whippersnapper,"
he added when once it had closed behind him and he had turned to shake
his lean old fist at the place where W.M.P. presumably was still
sitting, "I'll show you how to treat a reputable member of the bar old
enough to be your grandfather! I'll take the starch out of your darned
Puritan collar! I'll harry you and fluster you and heckle you and make a
fool of you, and I'll roll you up in a ball and blow you out the window,
and turn old Hassoun loose for an Egyptian holiday that will make old
Rome look like thirty piasters! You pinheaded, pretentious, pompous,
"Well, well, Mr. Tutt, what's the matter?" inquired Peckham, laying his
hand on the old lawyer's shoulder. "What's Peppy been doing to you?"
"It isn't what he's been doing to me; it's what I'm going to do to him!"
returned Mr. Tutt grimly. "Just wait and see!"