THIRTY-THREE
COURTROOM LIT BY A CHANDELIER

The morning of the trial was dark, and all over the town lights shone in the shop-windows. In front of the old Assize Hall, a few people had gathered on the pavement, staring at the policemen on the steps.

It was still too early. I walked into the entrance hall, which was filling up. George came in: when, after a moment, he saw me in the crowd of strangers, his face became suddenly open and bewildered.

"There are plenty of people here," he said.

We stood silently, then began to talk about the news in the morning papers. In a few minutes we heard a call from inside which became louder and was repeated from the door.

"Surrender of George Passant! Surrender of George Passand!"

George stared past me, buttoned his jacket, smoothed down the folds.

"Well, I'll see you later," he said.

In the robing-room Getliffe was sitting in his overcoat taking a glance at his brief. As I came in, he stood up hurriedly.

"Time's getting on," he said. "We must be moving."

I helped him on with his gown; he chatted about Eden.

"Pleasant old chap, isn't he? Not that he's as old as all that. He must be this side of sixty. You know, L.S., I was thinking last night. First of all I was surprised he has been contented to sit in a second-rate provincial town all his life -- and then I realized one could be very happy here. Just limiting yourself, knowing what you've got to do, knowing you're doing a useful job which doesn't take too much out of you. And then

-221-

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