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Newspaper Page Text
"I know nothing of naval law," I'
told the court. "I do not know if it
would be advisable for me to have
counsel. I will leavfe-the question to
"As you are only a witness, you
have no need of counsel," said Cap
But I soon found that I was more
than "only a witness."
Richardson was the technical de
fendant. I was the actual defendant.
Richardson had counsel. I had none.
Richardson was allowed to be present
td-listen to the testimony of all the
witnesses. .1 heard no testimony ex
cept my own.
I was warned by Captain Grant that
I must not discuss my testimony with
anyone. I asked him why.
"Because it is naval law," he re
plied. "I told him that I was not a navy
man, but a civilian and a correspond
ent accredited to the army.
"It makes no difference," he said,
thumping the table with his fist. "It
is NAVAL LAW!"
At the very outset I was assured
that there was neither prosecuting
witness nor defendant, but merely a
court of inquiry to get at certain
Yet' my subpoena stated that the
action was brought by "the United
States vs. Ensign Williain A. Richard
son, U. S. Navy"; Commander Sellers
continually referred to his client as
"th& defendant," and the court record
referred to him as the defendant.
Indeed, I suspect that my judges
were as rusty on naval law as their
court stenographer (an enlisted man)
was rusty on shorthand. The judges
felt their way along, and his stenog
rapher held his tongue between his
teeth and perspired in his efforts to
I told the story of the "ley de f uga"
as I have told it in preceding articles.
And that story the court, the judge
advocate and the defendant's counsel
took turns trying to break down.
Th&y" tried ttftrapieandtripimeij-a
m& a witness for the prosecution who
was supposed to be helping the judge
advocate make a case against the de
That is why I say that I, and not
Richardson, was on trial.
At this writing the hearing is still
in progress. I have no' doubt that
Richardson will be acquitted, and that
the court will report to Gen. Funston
that I had failed to prove my allega
tions in the "ley de fuga" story and
that he will order me deported.
This trial is not an investigation
of the navy or any part of it. The
navy cannot try itself.
A "DIVORCE COURT" .
With the opening of the fall term
of the circuit court a new branch,
a sort of special "divorce court,"
will be established and placed
in charge of Judge Charles M.
Walker. This court will hear all
cases relating to martial difficulties,
including divorces, annulments, suits
for separate maintenance, alimony,
i X "VBEflOTIFULA