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HOME > Classical Novels > A Child of the Jago37 > CHAPTER 34
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 The Lion and Unicorn1 had been fresh gilt2 since he was there before, but the white-headed old gaoler in the dock was much the same. And the big sword—what did they have a big sword for, stuck up there, over the red cushions, and what was the use of a sword six foot long? But perhaps it wasn't six foot after all—it looked longer than it was; and no doubt it was only for show, and probably a dummy3 with no blade. There was a well-dressed black man sitting down below among the lawyers. What did he want? Why did they let him in? A nice thing—to be made a show of, for niggers! And Josh Perrott loosened his neckcloth with an indignant tug4 of the forefinger5, and went off into another train of thought. He had a throbbing6, wavering headache, the outcome of thinking so hard about so many things. They were small things, and had nothing to do with his own business; but there were so many of them, and they all had to be got through at such a pace, and one thing led to another.  
Ever since they had taken him he had been oppressed by this plague of galloping7 thought, with few intervals8 of rest, when he could consider immediate9 concerns. But of these he made little trouble. The thing was done. Very well then, he would take his gruel10 like a man. He had done many a worse thing, he said, that had been thought less of.
The evidence was a nuisance. What was the good of it all? Over and over and over again. At the inquest, at the police court, and now here. Repeated, laboriously11 taken down, and repeated again. And now it was worse than ever, for the judge insisted on making a note of everything, and wrote it down slowly, a word at a time. The witnesses were like barrel-organs, producing the same old tune12 mechanically, without changing a note. There was the policeman who was in Meakin Street at twelve-thirty on the morning of the fourth of the month, when he heard cries of Murder, and proceeded to the coffee-shop. There was the other policeman who also 'proceeded' there, and recognised the prisoner, whom he knew, at the first-floor window. And there was the sergeant13 who had found him in the cellar, and the doctor who had made an examination, and the knife, and the boots, and all of it. It was Murder, Murder, Murder still. Why? Wasn't it plain enough? He felt some interest in what was coming—in the sentence, and the black cap, and so on—never having seen a murder trial before. But all this repetition oppressed him vaguely14 amid the innumerable things he had to think of, one thing leading to another.
Hannah and Dicky were there, sitting together behind the glass partition that rose at the side of the dock. Hannah's face was down in her hands, and Dicky's face was thin and white, and he sat with his neck stretched, his lips apart, his head aside to catch the smallest word. His eyes, too, were red with strained, unwinking attention. Josh felt vaguely that they might keep a bolder face, as he did himself. His sprained15 foot was still far from well, but he stood up, putting his weight on the other. He might have been allowed to sit if he had asked, but that would look like weakness.
There was another judge this time, an older one, with spectacles. He had come solemnly in, after lunch, with a bunch of flowers in his hand, and Josh thought he made an odd figure in his long red gown. Why did he sit at the end of the bench, instead of in the middle, under the long sword? Perhaps the old gentleman, who sat there for a little while and then went away, was the Lord Mayor. That would account for it. There was another room behind the bedroom at Weech's, which he had never thought about. Perhaps the money was there, after all. Could they have missed any hiding place in the shop parlour? No: there was the round table, with the four chairs about it, and the little sideboard; besides the texts on the wall, and two china figures on the mantel-piece—that was all. There was a copper16 in the wash-house, but there was nothing in it. The garret was a very good place to keep things in; but there was a strong smell of stale pickles17. He could smell it now—he had smelt18 it ever since.
The judge stopped a witness to speak of a draught19 from a window. Josh Perrott watched the shutting of the window—they did it with a cord. He had not noticed a draught himself. But pigeons were flying outside the panes20 and resting on the chimney-stacks. Pud Palmer tried to keep pigeons in Jago Row, but one morning the trap was found empty. A poulterer gave fourpence each for them. They were ticketed at eighteenpence a pair in the shop, and that was fivepence profit apiece for the poulterer. Tenpence a pair profit on eleven pairs was nearly ten shillings—ten shillings all but tenpence. They wouldn't have given any more in Club Row. A man had a four-legged linnet in Club Row, but there was a show in Bethnal Green Road with a two-headed sheep. It was outside there that Ginger21 Stagg was pinched for lob-crawling. And so on, and so on, till his head buzzed again.
His co............
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