Manalive HTML version

II.2. The Two Curates; or, the Burglary Charge
Arthur Inglewood handed the document he had just read to the leaders of the
prosecution, who examined it with their heads together. Both the Jew and the
American were of sensitive and excitable stocks, and they revealed by the
jumpings and bumpings of the black head and the yellow that nothing could be
done in the way of denial of the document. The letter from the Warden was as
authentic as the letter from the Sub-Warden, however regrettably different in
dignity and social tone.
"Very few words," said Inglewood, "are required to conclude our case in this
matter. Surely it is now plain that our client carried his pistol about with the
eccentric but innocent purpose of giving a wholesome scare to those whom he
regarded as blasphemers. In each case the scare was so wholesome that the
victim himself has dated from it as from a new birth. Smith, so far from being a
madman, is rather a mad doctor-- he walks the world curing frenzies and not
distributing them. That is the answer to the two unanswerable questions which I
put to the prosecutors. That is why they dared not produce a line by any one who
had actually confronted the pistol. All who had actually confronted the pistol
confessed that they had profited by it. That was why Smith, though a good shot,
never hit anybody. He never hit anybody because he was a good shot. His mind
was as clear of murder as his hands are of blood. This, I say, is the only possible
explanation of these facts and of all the other facts. No one can possibly explain
the Warden's conduct except by believing the Warden's story. Even Dr. Pym,
who is a very factory of ingenious theories, could find no other theory to cover the
"There are promising per-spectives in hypnotism and dual personality," said Dr.
Cyrus Pym dreamily; "the science of criminology is in its infancy, and--"