The Evil Genius HTML version
Before The Story
Miss Westerfield's Education
THE gentlemen of the jury retired to consider their verdict.
Their foreman was a person doubly distinguished among his colleagues. He had the
clearest head, and the readiest tongue. For once the right man was in the right place.
Of the eleven jurymen, four showed their characters on the surface. They were:
The hungry juryman, who wanted his dinner.
The inattentive juryman, who drew pictures on his blotting paper.
The nervous juryman, who suffered from fidgets.
The silent juryman, who decided the verdict.
Of the seven remaining members, one was a little drowsy man who gave no trouble; one
was an irritable invalid who served under protest; and five represented that vast majority
of the population--easily governed, tranquilly happy--which has no opinion of its own.
The foreman took his place at the head of the table. His colleagues seated themselves on
either side of him. Then there fell upon that assembly of men a silence, never known
among an assembly of women--the silence which proceeds from a general reluctance to
be the person who speaks first.
It was the foreman's duty, under these circumstances, to treat his deliberative brethren as
we treat our watches when they stop: he wound the jury up and set them going.
"Gentlemen," he began, "have you formed any decided opinion on the case--thus far?"
Some of them said "Yes," and some of them said "No." The little drowsy man said
nothing. The fretful invalid cried, "Go on!" The nervous juryman suddenly rose. His
brethren all looked at him, inspired by the same fear of having got an orator among them.
He was an essentially polite man; and he hastened to relieve their minds. "Pray don't be
alarmed, gentlemen: I am not going to make a speech. I suffer from fidgets. Excuse me if
I occasionally change my position." The hungry juryman (who dined early) looked at his
watch. "Half-past four," he said. "For Heaven's sake cut it short." He was the fattest
person present; and he suggested a subject to the inattentive juryman who drew pictures
on his blotting-paper. Deeply interested in the progress of the likeness, his neighbors on