Newspaper Page Text
7 MARY'S DEFENSE
IS Philip Langdon's oar threaded
ZA its way through the heavy
/ \ traffic, dodging drays and
clamorous trolleys on its way
toward the grim building where so
many tragedies are staged by "the
law" the young attorney felt his heart
sink into engulfing waves of doubt and
XVUi . ,
For the first time since the beginning [
. of the trial he had lost his buoyant
hope, his tremendous faith in his ability
to prove Mary Page innocent and if
need be to snatch her from a cell by
the sheer power of his love.
The evidence was so overwhelming,
so irrefutable. And Mary herself utterly
unable to explain those last tragic
moments. He knew she couldn't
remember?couldn't explain. But the
jury would not be convinced. He re,
I Over and over in his brooding mind
lie saw again the tragedy of that night
when the body of James Pollock, the
Clubman and wine agent, had been !
ifonnd with a bullet in its heart and
beside it the unconscious figure of
Mary Page. Between them had lain
that revolver with its one accusatory
empty chamber, the revolver that
Mary herself a'dmitted sbe had carried
That Mary was inuocent he hud never
doubted. His love was too great to
admit of doubt, but he was a lawyer,
and now he saw only too rlearly that
his defense might prove unconvincing
In the face of the damnatory factsfirst,
that Mary had hated and feared
James Pollock, who forced his atten
tions upon her; secoud. that she had'
?5 --S in f"h A fmnf
vaineu LUC uiuuvu ?** -? ?~? I
of her dress when she went into the
anteroom where Pollock was waiting,
and, third, that the shooting had occurred
directly after the door had clos
ed npon the two of them.
If he. Langdon, had only been five
minutes earlier?that was the acid that
ate into his souL If he had only reached
that door five minutes sooner perhaps
that fatal shot would never have
He wondered irritably why it was
that the public, and that portion of it
that comprised the jury, couldn't see
how improbable it was that Mary
would have ruined her career in such
a fashion, however much she hated
' Pollock. It was inconceivable that a
gin WOO ai ilit? lauiug ui me vunoiii I
l at 11 o'clock had touched the goal for
I which she had striven and been hailed
as the greatest star of the century
could have killed a man of her own
accord at midnight and watched the
dawn come from a cell in the Tombs.
He knew how much her career had
x^meant to Mary. How close to her heart
^'ls the triumph and the fame, and to
lose it this wayHe
sighed heavily, then, realizing
that they were approaching the Tombs
and that to the world at least he must
be the confident attorney, he straightened
his shoulders and forced a smile
to his lips.
Close to the curb two women wTere
listening while a third read aloud from
the early edition of an afternoon paper,
stippling the monotony of her
tones by ejaculations and questions.
From his car Langdon could plainly
see the huge headlines two women
1 LOVER'S LAST FIGHT FOR LIFE. !
State's Case Against Famous Actress
? Almost Complete ? Young Lawyer
Fights Final Hopeless Battle.
With a shudder of aversion Langdon
dragged his eyes away. The notoriety
iof it was almost as bitter to him as
i the awful overshadowing fear. He
ihated to think that Mary's name should i
be dragged in the mud of common gossip
as an actress who had shot a millionaire
in the anteroom of a huge
tiiotel, while just outside the door, amid
[laughter and music and lights, the
icrreat world indulged in supper danc
ing. He hated the thought that his
love for Mary had become a spicy morsel
to be rolled on the tongues of the
igeneral public, but, after all, what he
;had to bear was pitifully small coml
[pared to the burden on Mary's own
| The car drew up at the curb, and as
iLangdon leaped out somebody shouted
"Here's LangdonT' And the whole
throng of men and women came surging
toward him, sweeping him into the
current of a wave of humanity. Jostling
and staring, they flung a thouk.
ieon.1 /mQcHnn? at him. nulled at his
I [OUiJU V^UVUliVAJv 1 4 ??
ak lanns and pressed against him until at
j 'last the impregnable doors clanged beibind
him. leaving him breathless with
',a feeling o? being bruised and battered
mentally as well as physically.
The quiet of the prison was almost I
[like peace for the moment, but he j
Hlf ?ww?wBM?n?fapYUHHIW "111
The Great McClure My:
JOHN T. M'INTYRE,
Kirk Detective Stories
and See the E^rsam
knew that beyond that pool of silence
in which he stood another clamorous
throng surged about the door of the
court and filled the room itself?thousands
of tbem, some men and many
women, voracious for sensation, glutted
with the lure of this tremendous
tragedy that was being played for
thfsggjjy living puppets. The law had
inueed discovered the secret that every
theatrical manager sighs to know?
"what the public wants."
With a word or two to the officials.
Langdon went hurriedly down the
* ? ? li- ~ +
echoing corridors to Mary s i-eu;
row after row of monotonous barred
doors, from behind which faces peered
out with idle curiosity?faces, savage,
despairing, dull with indifference or
ravaged by tears. But they meant
nothing to Langdon, for heart and
brain alike were speeding on ahead of
him to that distant narrow room
where Marv waited
At the cell door he halted and quick- ;
ly removed his hat, unhidden tears 1
springing to his eyes, for Mary was '
kneeling iike a little child, her head
in h^* mother's lap, and the elder woman
was peaying aloud:
^'And God give us strength to go
through this day and grant justice to
this, my cbildr
"Justice, (tear God, justice!" echoed
Mary. Aad do artistry of the great
actress eo*& hare given to that-simple
prayer tb? poignancy that a great
faith and a gpeat sorrow gave to it
T&en tb?* spied Langdon, and Mary,
jumping op, gavt a ery of joy and ran
fet? hii *r??. H? held her tigbtly,
and the actress iB her would have applauded
if had known the effort
that lay back ef his cheery greeting,
his word of hope and the tender smile j
with which ke put into her hand white
roses to pte against her dark frock.
"I think we had better go on into
court now," he said as she drew the
blossoms through her belt 'The men
are waiting, and it's about time, you
? * * j
For an instant Mary snuaaeivu anu
clung to him with closed eyes.
"If I could only be there without going
across that awful bridge." she sighed.
"Somehow the people are less j
terrible when they are sitting down
and keeping quiet."
"I know, dear, I know," said Langdon
sadly. "I wish to God I could
spare you, but it's really only their !
way of expressing sympathy, and I'll!
give you a happy thought to say to i
yourself when you cross today. Just
look straight ahead and say over and
ovpr: 'Todav Philio begins my defense.
Today we will begin to prove my innocence.'
"When you think"?cried Mrs. Page.
"The state will undoubtedly rest its
case this morning," he answered gravely.
"Our chance is coming now."
"Oh. then 1 shan't mind anything," I
cried Mary and, kissing him, lifted her
And now the end was almost come.
The last witness for the state was
"If I could oniy be there without going !
across that awful bridge."
called to the stand, and Langdon' drew
a deep breath. Unless some one was
called in rebut'il he knew that now
the final stone was to be laid in that
carefully bnilt tower of evidence
against Mary Page.
The policerliad swom that they saw
Mary threaten James Pollock with a
revolver in the park that afternoon.
Employees of the theater had testified
to her fear of his attentions; her own
maid had been forced to admit with
faltering tongue that her mistress had
cried out that he was a aevn, ana sue
wished he was dead. Waiters and innumerable
patrons of the Etotel Republic,
revelling in the publicity, had
told gloatingly of having seen Mary
Page, drunk Apparently, reel" from the
cafe on the night of the murder and
go directly to tbe anteroom where
ge Case of
stery Story, Written by
T- ^ /?11akrtf?^If?n WIlJl
All Vuuai/UIUUVM tow*
Author of the Ashton
i. Head the Story
zy Moving 'Picture
opyright, 1915, by McClure Publication
Pollock was waiting. And now j
| the last man was on the stand?the hotel
detective who, together with Lang- j
don himself, had found the dead man
with his living but unconscious companion.
The monotonous questions of name
ami nomination were rattled
off swiftly enough, and then the detective,
with the ease of one used to tesI
timony, gave a brief res'JH*? of how he j
had first been called by the head wait
found IViary Page lying in a faint."
er, to whom complaints had been made
of the riotous behavior of a big supper
party from one of the theaters. ,
j "It was a pretty noisy bunch," he
said coolly. "But they didn't seem to
be doing any harm, so I just stood at
the door watching them, and presently
James.Pollock came in.
."He was in evening dress," he continued,
"and he 'called a bellhop and
gave him a message, pointing out the
young lady who was sitting at the
head of the table with the noisy party."
"Was rhat young lady Miss Page?"
asked the district attorney, indicating
Mary with a jerk of his head.
"It was." said the detective firmly.
"Then Mr. Pollock went down to what
we call the little gray room and. going
In, shut the door. The bellhop started
into the dining room, but almost be,
fore he'd taken a step the young lady.
Miss Page, threw her wineglass on the
floor with a hysterical sort of laugh
and came reeling out of the room with
her hands stretched out, as if she
didn't know where she was going.
"I turned away to call one of the
maids to take charge of her, and when
I came back she was making straight
for the gray room, walking as firmly
as if she'd never had a drink in her
life. She went in and shut the door,
and a minute afterward Mr. Langdon
there comes flying out of the cafe and
"'Which way did Miss rage,gor
44 4In the gray room,' I answered, and
with that he ran toward it, with me
beside him, hut before we got there
we heard a shot, dnd"? He paused,
enjoying to the full the sensation of
the moment and the tense whispering
wave of sound that quivered through
the crowded room. "When we had
broken in the door we found James
Pollock shot through the heart and
Mary Page lying in a faint beside him
with a revolver not sis inches from the
ends of her fingers."
Mary, who had been watching him
as if fascinated, quailed from that curt,
almost vindictive, description- of the
finding of the bodies of the living and
the dead, and, resting her arms on the
edge of the does, sne Duneu uer xaue
in them and for the first time sobbed
A murmur of sympathy arose, and
several people stood up, only to be
rudely pushed back into their seats by
those behind. And now the district
attorney, going to the grewsome array
of "exhibits" in the case, picked up the
revolver and, showing it to the jury,
put it into the detective's hands.
"Is this the revolver," he demanded
J dramatically, "and is the prisoner the
I woman whom you found locked in the
! room with the dead body of James
"Yes," aaswered the detective. And
at the word the pencils of the reporters
began to spin like mad across the flar
! ing yellow of their copy paper. anil a
; gasp of dismay wrung from some woman's
throat l'admi into a milled sub.
Une of the jurors blew his nose loudly,
and . % or three exchanged significant
g.ances, and Lai^rdon, the
sweat beginning to bead h.^" forehead,
knew that they had already made up
their minds that Mary was guilty.
The detective, released, stepped
down from the witness box, a ad now
the district attorney turned smilingly
to the judge and said, with an ora
| torical flourish:
"Your honor, the state rests ^
The last stone in that brutal gallows
?f evidence bad been cemented into
i Four excited and self important office
boys scuffled out of the room bearing
sheets on which was scrawled:
"State rests its case after evidence
of Detective Farley." And through
the open door as they went came a
murmur like the distant roar of wild
beasts, the unadmitted public clamor
ing for the news borne bj* the boys en
route for the newspaper offices.
But when the door closed again a
tense silence held the room in thrall.
Even Mary's sobs had ceased, and, lifting
her tear stained face, she smiled
rainbow wise at Langdon, as if she
would have said: "Now is our chance!
I \'nw wp will tear down this awful
temple of doom that has been built
Langdon drew a deep breath, flung
i back his shoulders as if breasting a
tremendous current and said quietly:
"Your honor and gentlemen of the
jury, you have heard the case against
Mary Page. Now listen to the case
for Mary Page.
"She has declared herself that she
has no recollection of those final moments
in that hotel room to -which she
had been lured by a miserable beast
She remembers only a flash?like a
dream?of his leering face, and then
blackness swept over her. Gentlemen,
it is not the first tim? that Miss Page
has been affected in that same fashion.
And if Mary Page killed James Pollock
she did it in a moment of insanity
superinduced by the horror of intoxication
that has pursued her since th? day
she was born."
As with one accord, the jury sat up
and leaned forward in thek* eats, and
onlookers broke out int? a sudden babble,
in which the word "insan#" bobbed
like a eork on a Ma of Fiimor, and
not even the judge's farel could sectii*
silence for several moments. In that
time the color crept b&ck into Mary's
cheeks, and somehow she felt deep in
her heart that the tid# of feeling at
least was turned agsrfa in her direction.
The district attorney was frowning
and whispering to his assistant, who
nodded from time ts time as he nervously
fingered the pils of papers in
front of him, but now Langdon was
??Ti. TT fntanttftn rniir honor and
XV 1*3 LL1J 1AHCuuviAf j
gentlemen of the jury, to show you
step by step through this girl's life the
part which that horror of intoxication
has played, a horror that has entangled
her in this mesh of tragedy. I
shall call as my first witness Mary
It came as an overwhelming sur
prise, this calling of Mary to her own
defense, and. although she strove to
be calm, she was obviously startled
and afraid, and wave after wave of
excitement swept through the room
At flip rpnorters' table one "sob sister'
whispered to the other:
"Poor thing! She can't stand much
more. It's wicked to call on her."
"Miss Page," said Langdon, and his
voice was very gentle, "isn't it true
that because of a strong prenatal influ
ence you were born with an unnatural
horror of intoxication?"
"It is true," sighed Mary, but in an
instant the district attorney was on
"I object!" he cried. "That question
concerns something that took place before
Miss Page's birth. She can?she
must, in fact?know it only by hear
"I must sustain your objection." said
j the judge. "Mr. Langdon. your quesi
tion was unfortunately, worded. Can
J you alter it?"
44T T /*nr* " T o r? rrr^ An 4 4 T
1 L11 111X iJUli, saiu uau^uvuL. *.
us put it this way: What is your earliest
recollection of your father?"
"I object to that also!" stormed the
district attorney. "It is not relevant.
What have a child's vague recollections
to do with the action of a woman of
Miss Page's age?"
The judge hesitated, and Langdon.
still smiling, said quickly:
"I withdraw my question. The witness
"Do you wish to cross examine?"
asked the judge, and the district attorney,
with a scowl, shook his head.
"Are?are you tnrougn wim me:
gasped Mary in bewilderment, and
Langdon nodded. A.'id now, as the
throng waited, he turned to the little
gray haired mother, and his voice rang
out (was it with triumph?):
In an instant the room was in an uproar.
More copy boys rushed for tne
door bearing flapping sh**ts covered
with scrawled, disjointed words, and the
onlookers, who had so far considered
Mrs. Page as merely a "prop," a bit of
the setting in this gripping tragedy,
now scrambled up on to their seats to
gape at her. In vain the judge thundered
with his gavel, and in vain the
police shoved back the spectators and
even thrust one or two belligerent ones
out into the corridor, where they were
welcomed with a roar from the waiting.
The noise did not subside until
curiosity had been sated.
"Mrs. Page, how long ago was it that
you met your husband, Daniel Page?"
"Thirty-one years ago at Christmas,''
she said softly, and the district attorney
leaned forward scowlingly, waiting
to leap at the first irrelevant question.
"And you became engaged almost at
once. did you not':" The question and
the answer were equally-quiet
"But you were not married for some
"No.* The gentle old voice shook
now, and a faint hush crept into the
"Why?" The question snapped sharply,
but her answer was long in coming.
" Rppnuse." she said at last, "I found
that Dan drank, anil I?I said I would
not marry a man like?like that."
"But you did later on?"
"Yes," she continued. "He promised
me that he would stop, and I believed
?God knows a woman always believes
that?from a man."
"Please make only direct answers to
the questions." broke in the judge
sternly. But some woman in the back
of the room saicl aloud:
"That's the truth she's speaking. Let
her say it."
'Silence.'" commanded the judge.
And now Langdon said:
"Will you tell us as concisely as possible
of what happened after your marriage?"
For a long time It seemed as if she
could not go on, and Mary leaned toward
her, whispering softly:
"Oh, mother?mother, darling!" But
as if the words were a draft of encouragement
Mrs. Page took up the
thread of her story.
"What happened," she said wearily,
"is what happens to thousands of women.
We hadn't been married very
long before my husband began to
drink again. The?the first night he
came home really drunk was the night
I had planned to tell him that Mary
was coming to us from God. I don't
think I shall ever forget the horror of
that time. And all the while that I
was making ready for her he was making
my inability to go out with him an
excuse for debauch.
"Oh, your honor," and now she turn
ed to the judge, "it's no wonder my
child is full of the fear of drink. For
night after night I walked the floor,
and I prayed like a wicked woman that
my baby might die before it came into
the world?because I was afraid it
would bear the taint?would be born
with that awful devastating ^hirst!"
More thaa one man in the room and,
Indeed. mor? than one of th? jurors
moved uneasily at the words, quietly
spoken, but pregnant with tragedy.
"On the nigbt that Mary was bom,*'
she west on, "Dan was too drank t?
even be told?tba*?he had a daughter."
A iBttrmur of sympathy ?rept through
the room, and one voice conld be heard
"Oh, weH, that's not unusual Most
men do?beastly drunk."
"I felt then," said Mrs. Page tender,
ly, "that it didn't matter. I had my
baby, and I was too full of happy
dreams for her future to fear for the
"Somehow," Mrs. Page continued,
"the years passed, and Mary reached
sixteen, but each of those increasing
years had increased her fear of drunkenness.
She was even afraid of her
father, and because we were too poor
for her to have pretty clothes she
|||j|P jj^V ;>; H
"Dan was too drunk to be told He had
could not go to the parties and things
like other girls. And 1 suppose my
own horror kept building and blending
She broke off. and now Langdon was
on his feet, a red spot of color in each
cheek aud his hands nervously clutch
~ ^ r. V\A OC?L" A/1
| ing ?i scrup ox pupei us .uc ?satu
"What day do you refer to, Mrs.
"To the IGth of June ten years ago."
"Will you tell us why that day is so
clearly remembered?" asked Langdon.
"Because," she answered deliberately,
"that was the night of Mary's first
"I object!" shouted the district attorney,
but the judge frowned.
"This seems to me to be particularly
relevant to Mr. Langdon's ?omewhat
curious defense," he said. "I will let
the question and answer stand."
"Will you tell us," said Langdon,
"what brought on that attack and
what you know of it? Don't tell it to
me, but to the jury, who were not
"I understand," she said softly, and
JUaHgUOIi bUl uurrii, "/
his own recollections of that terrible
night and wondering where the frail
little woman was getting the strength
for the ordeal.
"It was early evening," said Mrs.
Page, turning to the jurors. "PhilipMr.
Langdon?had come to ask Mary
to go to a ball game with him, for they
were friends even then," she explain
ed tenderly. "And while they were
standing on the porch my?my?husband
came home?drunk. He saw the
two of them and accosted them, usine
I improper and insulting language. Lie
didn't mean it?be didn't know what
he was saying?but it was terrible fur
Mary, nnd she urged Philip to leave at
once. I heard them?and beard Dan's
words?and I ran out to help, leavingthe
poker thrust into the hot coals of
the range, for I had been fixing the
"We?we got Dan into the house and
on to a sofa ia the l*itchen at last,
where he lay babbling about Ja^aes
Pollock, with whom he had been drink
ing and who was also?or who had
tried to be?a friend of my daughter's.''
Again the whispering murmur of ex
citement swept through the rootn, bu.
died of its own accord.
"Dan slept for a long time, and wheL,
he woke up he wanted more to drink
CmrdTC;: ::; i? '
*4 heard JaniM Pollock r?*k? an insiHtmg
I had sent M*ty to bed, acd I was
" - - * - ?~ -7-?- - - --' ~ -*?^
aione wim mm. 1 wieu. u? i cn?un mui
him, but he forj^t I was his wife. He
Vras insane with that awful thirst. He
ordered me to bring him the bottle of
whisky out of his cabinet, and when
I wouldn't he?he beat me. He. threw
me down and kicked me and struck me
with a chair. And, though I dfed to
keep back a cry that would rouse
she?she heard and came running doprn.
poor child, in her little nightdress.
"She screamed and ran forward and
dragged at her father. Trying pitifully
to protect me?and at last?he turned?upon
She shuddered and buried her face
in her hands?her eyes tear blin^d
and her mouth distorted with thg Anguish
"And then?he saw?thfc poker^-I
had forgotten?still thrust into the A*e
?and he dragged it out"
A quivering moan like a vocal eAo
; to her mental agony slipped from
! Mary's lips, and dropping her head*'
she sobbed aloud.
I "Please go on, Mrs. Page," said Lang-,
don warningly, and though the mother
yearned toward her daughter, she
took up her story again In a voice that
rose word by word into a poignant cry
straight from a mother's anguished
"He dragged Mary to the center of
the room?that flaming poker in his
hand. He forced her to her knees. I.
struggled to get to them, but I was
weak?dazed, half conscious because
of a blow on the head. It was all just
a nightmare to me! But I heard Mary
scream and scream and scream, and
then?I saw?the poker burn into my
child's forehead! I smelled the scorched
flesh and from somewhere I got the
strength to leap upon him?and then?
the door was burst open and?Mr^
Langdon came in.
"He?he had been worried abou as.""
she panted, her voice breaking now,. '
"and, coming back to the house, lie rd
the cries. My husband rushed at LLm
and thev fousrht. Then suddenly Mary,
' who had been lying in a moaning little
j heap on the floor, writhed?got to her
| knees?to her feet?and before I could
stop her. began to dance wildly about
the two men, laughing and shouting
and singing. And then, while we stood
i there appalled, even L -sobered by
it?she ran on?out of tne house?and
into the street.
"Philip# was after her in a moment
But it seemed hours before 1 ~ould
crawl to the door, and I saw-i?(;:ry
| disappearing down the street ?and
heard James Pollock make an insultijM?
taunt. Then I was knocked down
my husband, who rushed by me witn an
"When I got up again Mr. Langdon
was out of sight, and Dan and James
ti a 11 a1. m mm 1 V\ ?? /~J 1 /\ % n f K A r\ V\
jtujiuck were tying uuuuicu lu iue jmiuji
struggling to get to their feet."
Her voice dropped now and she fin-!
ished quietly, firmly.
"Three hours later Philip brought
Mary home?wrapped in his coat. Her #
nightgown was in ribbons; her feet
were torn and bloouy where she had
danced and run over stones and stumps
in the woods near our home. Eer
hands were braced from snatching at
trees and rocks bv the way. She was
In torture with the burn on her fore'
head, but she was?quite sane. And.
I your honor, she had no recollection of
i anything that had happened after she
i saw her father advancing with the red|
\ [Next Installment Mary's Madness.]