American Notes By Rudyard Kipling








































































































































 -   Tales of the Law,
which in this country is an amazingly elastic affair, followed
from the lips of a judge - Page 20
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"Tales Of The Law," Which In This Country Is An Amazingly Elastic Affair, Followed From The Lips Of A Judge.

Forgive me for recording one tale that struck me as new.

It may interest the up-country Bar in India.

Once upon a time there was Samuelson, a young lawyer, who feared not God, neither regarded the Bench. (Name, age, and town of the man were given at great length.) To him no case had ever come as a client, partly because he lived in a district where lynch law prevailed, and partly because the most desperate prisoner shrunk from intrusting himself to the mercies of a phenomenal stammerer. But in time there happened an aggravated murder - so bad, indeed, that by common consent the citizens decided, as a prelude to lynching, to give the real law a chance. They could, in fact, gambol round that murder. They met - the court in its shirt-sleeves - and against the raw square of the Court House window a temptingly suggestive branch of a tree fretted the sky. No one appeared for the prisoner, and, partly in jest, the court advised young Samuelson to take up the case.

"The prisoner is undefended, Sam," said the court. "The square thing to do would be for you to take him aside and do the best you can for him."

Court, jury, and witness then adjourned to the veranda, while Samuelson led his client aside to the Court House cells. An hour passed ere the lawyer returned alone.

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