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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which an Old Friend appears, and the Bridal Trip takes a Fresh Start

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"Oh my!" exclaimed Euphemia. "How could you remember all that?"

"I heard it so often, I couldn't help remembering it," replied Pomona. And she went on with her narrative.

"That case wasn't a easy one to understand, as you may see for yourselves, and it didn't get finished that day. They argyed over it a full week. When there wasn't no more witnesses to carve up, one lawyer made a speech, an' he set that crooked case so straight, that you could see through it from the over-shot wheel clean back to Brown's grandfather. Then another feller made a speech, and he set the whole thing up another way. It was jus' as clear, to look through, but it was another case altogether, no more like the other one than a apple-pie is like a mug o' cider. An' then they both took it up, an' they swung it around between them, till it was all twisted an' knotted an' wound up, an' tangled, worse than a skein o' yarn in a nest o' kittens, an' then they give it to the jury.

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"Well, when them jurymen went out, there wasn't none of 'em, as Jone tole me afterward, as knew whether is was Brown or Adams as was dead, or whether the mill was to grind soup, or to be run by soup-power. Of course they couldn't agree; three of 'em wanted to give a verdict for the boy that died, two of 'em was for Brown's grandfather, an' the rest was scattered, some goin' in for damages to the witnesses, who ought to get somethin' for havin' their char-ac-ters ruined. Jone he jus' held back, ready to jine the other eleven as soon as they'd agree. But they couldn't do it, an' they was locked up three days and four nights. You'd better believe I got pretty wild about it, but I come to court every day an' waited an' waited, bringin' somethin' to eat in a baskit.

"One day, at dinner-time, I seed the judge astandin' at the courtroom door, a-wipin' his forrid with a handkerchief, an' I went up to him an' said, 'Do you think, sir, they'll get through this thing soon?'

"'I can't say, indeed,' said he. 'Are you interested in the case?'

"'I should think I was,' said I, an' then I told him about Jone's bein' a juryman, an' how we was on our bridal-trip.

"'You've got my sympathy, madam,' says he, 'but it's a difficult case to decide, an' I don't wonder it takes a good while.'

"'Nor I nuther,' says I, 'an' my opinion about these things is, that if you'd jus' have them lawyers shut up in another room, an' make 'em do their talkin' to theirselves, the jury could keep their minds clear, and settle the cases in no time.'

"'There's some sense in that, madam,' says he, an' then he went into court ag'in.

"Jone never had no chance to jine in with the other fellers, for they couldn't agree, an' they were all discharged, at last. So the whole thing went for nuthin.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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