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console his mother, and he bowed low over Marget’s worn hand as if she had been a Queen.”
In the beginning I referred to the appalling array of martial forces, but we should be equally mindful of the unproclaimed, - undecorated, ununiformed armies of healing, restoration, and amelioration, which never were so strong in numbers, in enthusiasm, so potently organized and effectively occupied as they are to-day, nor so mighty in their mild strength since the Star of Bethlehem shed its serene light upon the Chaldean shepherds, and has steadily and irresistibly radiated its influences silently into the hearts of mankind, converting countless men into its unconscious instruments.
Evolution, not revolution, is the quiet masterful force now leading the progress of civilization, and the personal conscience and the “living soul” of the free individual are essentlaltO enable mankind to conform to the changes which are inevitable in its onward journey.
“ For what avail, the plough or sail,
THE DURRANT CASE.
The Durrant Case, if we classify it in the annals of celebrated murder trials, was distinctly an alibi case; 2'. e., the issue of ‘ guilt or innocence rested mainly on the central question of the defendant’s whereabouts and of the truth of his own story on that point; and in the variety of events and issues bearing on this main question it is among the most interesting. Secondarily, the case is of the class in which much depends on the details of nloeality, and on this point it made peculiar demands upon the industry and the ingenuity of counsel. In these two respects lies the special interest of the case and the reason for the great length of the trial.‘
The case was called on Monday, July 22, 1895, in the Superior Court, Department 3, of the City and County of San Francisco, California, before Hon. Daniel James Murphy. The twelfth juror was obtained on Thursday, August 29, or 5% weeks later; 21 actual days being consumed in selecting the jury. The lists needed were a general one of 1250, from the general venire, and two more special venires of 75 each; of these, 482 were challenged for cause, and 15 peremptorin (4 for the State, and 11 for the defense). The opening address, followed by a view of the premises, took place September 4; the counsel for the State being Mr. Wm. Sanford Barnes, District Attorney, and Mr. Edgar Davis Peixotto; and for the defense, Mr. John Henry Dickinson, Mr. Eugene Nelson Deuprey and Mr. Abram Warren Thompson.
The facts leading up to the charge were in brief as follows: Miss Blanche Lamont, 21 years of age, lived with her aunt and her aunt’s husband at 209 21st street. She had been brought up
1For the proceedings at the trial Worthington Hubbard, Esq., of San and for other information the writer Francisco. is indebted to the courtesy of T.
in Dillon, Mont., and had come for her health to San Francisco, in September, 1894, her .sister Maud (19 years old) having come in the preceding June. She had been, since her arrival, an attendant, as well as her uncle, aunt, and sister, of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pastor George J. Gibson, situated on the east side of Bartlett street, half way between 22d and 23d streets. She here attended with fair regularity the Sunday-school and - the morning service, as well as the weekly and monthly meetings of the local branch of the Young People’s Christian Endeavor Society. She also went weekly to the meetings of an amateur orchestra, in which she played the violin, at Grace Methodist Church; and, for a short period, went weekly to a reading-club, of which her uncle was a member. Other than this she went out little; and she was chiefly in the society of her own family, except that this or that young man more or less frequently escorted her home (alone or with her sister) from the meetings of the church, the society, and the orchestra.
On Vl’ednesday, April 3, 1895, she left her home as usual to attend the morning work at the Girls’ High School, on Sutter street, near Gough. Thence she went (also in accordance with her customary practice, beginning with that week) to an afternoon cooking-class, at the Girls’ Normal School, on the east side of Clay street, just north of Powell. She left this school with the other pupils at 3 o’clock; by supper time she had not yet reached home, and when morning came, she was still missing. The police were informed, search was made, and the disappearance was discussed in the newspapers as a mysterious case of possible enticement or elopement.
On Saturday morning, April 13 (Easter Sunday falling on April 14), some ladies went to the Emmanuel Church to decorate it with flowers. Happening into the library, they found there the dead body of one Minnie Williams (who had disappeared on the preceding Friday night), evidently murdered. The police were called, and searched the church, finishing late in the evening. The search of the belfry tower, however, was postponed until the following morning,— the tower-door being locked, and (as afterwards appeared) the handles broken off and thrown from the inside underneath the flooring. At 9a. m. on Sunday, the search being resumed, the door was forced open, and on the second or top landing of the belfry stairs was found a body, which was immediately suspected to be and was soon afterwards identified by Mr. Noble as that of Blanche Lamont.
The body lay upon its back, entirely naked; the hands crossed in front, the feet together, and the head supported on each side by a block of wood somewhat in the manner used at autopsies to steady the body to be operated upon. An examination showed that death had occurred by strangulation. The lungs and the windpipe were congested; the throat was compressed, and there was some clotted blood about the mouth and the nose; while upon the right side of the neck were five finger-nail incisions, aud upon the left side seven, one of these (on the left side) appearing to be that of a thumb.
The decomposition which had set in pointed to perhaps two weeks as the period elapsing since death, and it had so far progressed that it was impossible to determine from the body whether an attempt on the virtue of the deceased had been made. No blood appeared about the premises,1 and though the floor was dusty, it was so littered with sticks, sawdust, shavings, and papers, that traces of a struggle or of footprints were hardly to be expected, if indeed there was any serious attempt to discover them. The clothes of the dead girl were missing; but after some search (made by the three or four policemen present, as well as by some of the dozen other persons who had been allowed indiscriminately to enter) the various articles were found in the following places: A glove and other articles on the floor near by; the girl’s school books and strap, under the joists in the southwest (front) corner of the middle ceiling; her hat, under the belfry flooring; her shoes, under the rafters of the lower ceiling in the southwest corner; another glove, between the joists in the southeast (rear) corner of the lower ceiling.
The situation and construction of the building, as they are material to the understanding of this and subsequent parts of
1 Some stains found below were otherwise explained.
the story, must now be explained.1 The church building, measuring some 115x55 feet, stands full up to the street line on a lot 125x80 feet, the street being 60 feet wide over all, and the church standing some 200 feet from 22d street. On the north side of the building is an alley-space of nearly 4 feet, on the south side another of 20 feet, both of these being fenced in, with a gate in each front fence. There is a door on the north and on the south sides, as well as in front. 4 Within, on the ground floor, is first a vestibule, with stairs leading upwards right and left (to the main auditorium-vestibule); at the left side is a small library-room; then a large Sunday-school room; then an infants’ class-room separated from the main room by folding-doors; and, at the same or east end of the church, a janitor’s room, a wash-room, and a stairway to the next floor. On the second floor, the east or rear end contains (back of the auditorium) a pastor’s study, a baptistery and a choir and organ loft; the latter receives the stairs from below; and from a passage behind the study and the baptistery another stairway ascends through the rafters to an attic at the back of the roof. At the west or front end is the main vestibule, from which a stairway leads to a gallery on the west wall, some 12 feet above the floor, and 15 or 20 feet below the ceiling. The belfry-tower, at the same end, projects from the main building, and is entered exclusively by a door from this gallery. A winding stair, in 53 steps, goes up within the tower 15 feet to an intermediate or first landing, then 18 feet more to the second or main landing. The peculiarity of the roof is that there are three distinct leads, creating two chambers or lofts extending over the entire auditorium; first, the real or outer roof; next, the original ceiling, several feet below and formerly plastered on the ceiling side; and last, a new wooden ceiling, several feet below the old one, added in 1894. The wall at the front or west end is sheathed over
for the space between the new and the old ceilings; but I