The Ear in the Wall
13. The Conviction
Meanwhile, the organization was using every effort to get possession of the Black Book,
as Kennedy had suspected.
Miss Ashton had been busy on the case of the missing Betty Blackwell, but as yet there
was no report from any of the agencies which she had set in motion to locate the girl. She
had seen Langhorne, and, although she did not say much about the result of the interview,
I felt sure that it had resulted in a further estrangement between them, perhaps a suspicion
on the part of Langhorne that Carton had been responsible for it.
In as tactful a way as possible, Miss Ashton had also warned Mrs. Ogleby of the danger
she ran, but, as I had already supposed, the warning had been unnecessary. The rumours
about the detectaphone record of the dinner had been quite enough. As for the dinner
itself, what happened, and who were present, it remained still a mystery, perhaps only to
be explained when at last we managed to locate the book.
Since the visit of Kahn, we had had no direct or indirect communications with either
Dorgan or Murtha. They were, however, far from inactive, and I felt that their very
secrecy, which had always been the strong card of the organization, boded no good.
Although both Carton and Kennedy were straining every nerve to make progress in the
case, there was indeed very little to report, either the next day or for some time after the
episode which had placed Kahn in our power.
Carton was careful not to say anything about the graphic record we had taken of Kahn's
attempt to throw the case. It was better so, he felt. The jury fixing evidence would keep
and it would prove all the stronger trump to play when the right occasion arose. That time
rapidly approached, now, with the day set for the trial of Dopey Jack.
The morning of the trial found both Kennedy and myself in the part of General Sessions
to which the case had been assigned to be tried under Justice Pomeroy.
To one who would watch the sieve through which justice vigorously tries to separate the
wheat from the chaff, the innocent from the guilty, a visit to General Sessions is the best
means. For it is fed through the channels that lead through the police courts, the Grand
Jury chambers, and the District Attorney's office. There one can study the largest
assortment of criminals outside of a penal institution, from the Artful Dodger and Bill
Sykes, Fagin and Jim the Penman, to the most modern of noted crooks of fact or fiction,
all done here in real flesh and blood. It is the busiest of criminal courts. More serious
offenders against the law are sentenced here than in any other court in New York. The
final chapter in nearly every big crime is written there, sooner or later.
As we crowded in, thanks to the courtesy of Carton, we found a roomy chamber, with
high ceiling, and grey, impressive walls in the southeast corner of the second floor of the
Criminal Courts Building. Heavy carved oaken doors afforded entrance and exit for the