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首页 » 经典英文小说 » Lilith » CHAPTER XXVII THE TRIAL
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“And so the time passed to the day on which the judges entered the town to hold the assizes.
292“The docket was an unusually full one for this term, and many cases had to be tried before that of John Weston, charged with the murder of John Ketcham, was called.
“The remarkable1 feature in this case was the fact that it involved the first case of highway robbery that had occurred in that neighborhood for more than half a century, and seemed the revival2 of a phase of crime that had passed into history and should have been impossible in this age.
“The case drew a large concourse of people to the town, and on the first day of the trial filled the court-room almost to suffocation3.
“But great was the surprise of the throng4 of spectators, when the atrocious criminal was brought in, to see a slight, dark-eyed and curly-haired boy, only eighteen years of age, and looking three years younger, placed in the dock.
“Many whispered comments passed through the crowd, as they gazed at the youthful prisoner. Here he stood lifted up in full view above everybody’s heads, a target for all glances, looking, not frightened, but quiet, subdued5, and deeply humiliated6 by his position; looking anything rather than the brigand7 and desperado they had expected to see.
“When the preliminaries of the proceedings8 were over, and the young prisoner was arraigned9, he pleaded:
“‘Not guilty.’
“The opening charge of the prosecuting11 attorney was a tremendous assault upon the accused boy, as if in his slight form was incarnated13 the spirit of revolt, robbery, murder, treason, and all manner of evil, danger and perdition; and as if the safety of her majesty’s people and dominions14 required the immediate15 death by hanging of the prisoner at the bar.
“Poor Joe was not at this time and in this place a 293hero, it is sad to say! He was a very sensitive and impressible boy, and hearing the prosecuting attorney go on at him at this rate, Joe was—so to speak—psychologized by him and led to look upon himself, the prisoner, as an incarnate12 fiend, though he had never even suspected the fact before. Now, under this scathing16 denunciation, the poor wretch17 bowed his head and looked so guilty that men groaned18 and women sighed to see such deep depravity in one so young.
“At the end of the prosecutor19’s opening charge, that officer called the first witness—Paul Cartright—who, being duly sworn, testified that he was a county constable20, and about midnight on the night of the 18th ultimo he had been alarmed by cries for help coming from that section of the high road that passes through Downdingle, and, with others, hurried to the scene, where he found the stage coach that runs between Orton Village and Orton Station overturned and surrounded by half a dozen, or about that number, of masked men. As he and his companions approached, he heard a pistol fired and saw a man fall. The masked men turned and fled into the thickets21 on each side of the road, and were soon lost to the pursuers, who gave their attention to seeing to the wounded and righting the coach. He, Paul Cartright, had caught one man in the act of flight—had caught him, red-handed, grasping the pistol with which he had just murdered the victim——
“‘Judge! Your honor! oh, your honor! I never fired that pistol! I stooped to see if I could do anything for the fallen man, and seeing he was quite dead, I picked up the pistol from the ground, without knowing what I was doing, and then the constable there took me!’ burst forth22 poor Joe, before any one could stop him.
“He was sternly called to order by the court, and 294then instructed in a whisper by his counsel that he was on no account to speak again until he should be spoken to.
“Joe, crestfallen23 and despairing, subsided24 into silence.
“‘Do you see the man whom you took red-handed, as you say, standing25 pistol in hand over his slain26 victim?’ inquired the prosecutor.
“‘Yes, sir; that is the man,’ replied the witness, pointing to the young prisoner in the dock.
“Joe shook his head in desperation, but said never a word.
“The pistol was then produced, and identified by the witness as the one he had taken from the prisoner at the bar.
“A ball was produced, and identified by the next witness, Dr. Yorke, who performed the autopsy27 on the deceased lawyer, as the bullet extracted from the dead body. It was found to fit the empty chamber28 of the revolver, and to correspond perfectly29 with the other bullets with which it had been loaded.
“Pistol and bullets were handed to the jury, and passed from man to man—conclusive30 evidence of the guilt10 of the prisoner at the bar.
“Several other witnesses were examined, all of whom corroborated31 the testimony32 of the first one.
“Joe thought his case was gone, and he felt thankful that Lil was not there to hear evidence that might even have shaken her faith in him, since it had destroyed his faith in himself.
“But at length the case for the prosecution33 was closed, and the court took a recess34.
“Then Mr. Rocke came around to the dock, and sat down and talked with his client, and encouraged him until his fainting self-esteem was in some degree restored.
“After recess the court reassembled, and the defence 295was opened in a most eloquent35 speech, by Mr. Rocke.
“He told the whole story of ‘John Weston’s’ purely36 accidental connection with the party of young roughs who had stopped the stage coach, not either with any intention of mail robbery, murder or any other great violence, but merely to get possession of a certain document held by the deceased lawyer.
“He dwelt upon the young prisoner’s total ignorance of their plans and incomplicity with their offence.
“He described the purely accidental shooting of the lawyer by the pistol held in the deceased’s own hand, leveled at one of the assailants, and knocked up by the assailant in self-defence, so that it went off, sending a bullet under the chin, and upward and backward through the brain. He bade them see how easy, natural and inevitable37 such an accident must be.
“He described the humane38 impulse of the boy spectator, now the unhappy young prisoner at the bar. He told how he had seen the catastrophe39; how he had run to the rescue, had bent40 over the fallen man, but finding him dead, had picked up the pistol, and without an idea of escaping, as the guilty ones had done, stood there gazing at the dead in a sort of panic, no doubt, until he was taken into custody41 by the constable.
“Was this, he asked, the conduct of a guilty man? The guilty had fled—had finally escaped—had never been recaptured. But had this young man ever even attempted to fly?
“He would bring witnesses to prove the unblemished good character of his client, and to prove that on the fatal night of the robbery and the murder he, the accused, so far from having any share in the conspiracy42 to stop the mail coach, had returned to his home to spend the evening with his newly married 296wife, and had gone again only at the request of his landlady43, and on a neighborly errand. It was after having executed this errand, and while he was on his way home, that he chanced most unhappily to fall in with the party of young ruffians who stopped the coach. He had no hand in their offence, and was taken while trying to render assistance to the victim.
“Then Counsellor Rocke called Joseph Wyvil, of Stockton.
“Joseph Wyvil, who had just come into court, being sworn, testified that he knew the prisoner at the bar, and had known him since he, the prisoner, was four years of age—that is, for fourteen years—and that most intimately at home and at school, and had never known him to be untruthful, dishonest or cruel in all that time, and could not possibly believe him to be capable of the crime for which he was there arraigned.
“Wyvil was cross-examined by the prosecutor as to whether he really never knew the prisoner to vary in the least from the truth, or to take liberties with the sweetmeats, or to tease cats, or to do any little thing that might trench44 upon the borders of falsehood, theft or cruelty.
“But all this only brought out the most positive declaration of the witness that he had not.
“Joseph Wyvil was then allowed to sit down, and Belinda Claxton was called to the stand.
“Being sworn, this witness testified that she knew the prisoner at the bar, who had been her lodger45 for two months up to the time of his arrest; that on the night of the highway robbery and murder he had come home to tea, and had arranged to spend the evening with his wife, and herself and her husband, to play a game of whist, but that news had come of the old squire’s sudden death, and that she had persuaded him, the prisoner, to walk over to the 297Hall and see if the report was true. That he went off, promising46 to be back in half an hour, or in an hour at most. When he failed to come she only thought that he had been detained at the Hall.
“Mrs. Claxton was also cross-examined as to when this whist party had been arranged. She answered that it had been settled before the prisoner had gone out to the post-office that afternoon, that he was to return to an early tea, and play whist all the evening.
“Mrs. Claxton was allowed to retire.
“John Claxton, husband of the last witness, was called, and corroborated her testimony in every item.
“Then the prosecutor got up to deliver the closing address to the jury. He made very light of the testimony for the defence, showing, or attempting to show, the jury that it really proved nothing, and had so little to do with the charge against the prisoner that it might well have been ruled out as irrelevant47, impertinent and vexatious. He exhorted48 the jurors to do their stern duty as British jurors to punish red-handed crime; to—and so forth, and so forth.
“The judge arose to make the final charge. It was all against the prisoner. His honor considered the evidence for the prosecution as quite conclusive; the evidence advanced by the defence as weak and inconsequential. And charged the jury to bring in a verdict in accordance with the facts proven.
“Criminal trials of this sort are soon concluded in England. They do not waste so much time or spend so much money as we do over them.
“The jury retired49 to their room for half an hour, during which poor Joe waited in an agony of suspense50 as great as human nature can endure and live—in an agony that seemed to stretch that half hour into an eternity51 of suffering; and then the jury filed in and rendered their verdict:
298“Joe sprang up and fell back on his seat as if he had been shot.
“‘It will be a murder, you know, Mr. Rocke. Poor Lil!’ he cried to his counsel, who came to his side.
“He was quickly called to order and directed to stand up.
“With as strong an effort at self-control as his boyish soul was capable of making, he obeyed and faced the court.
“He was then asked whether he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him.
“He answered that he had a great deal to say. And then in eager, vehement52, impassioned, yet most respectful language, he asseverated53 his innocence54, and told again the often repeated true story of his connection with the young men who had stopped the stage coach.
“The court heard him patiently, and then, when he had ceased to speak, the judge put on the black cap and proceeded to sentence the boy.
“He told him the enormity of the crime of which he had been guilty, the fairness of the trial he had stood, the ability with which he had been defended, the justice of the verdict, the justice also of his sentence, the hopelessness of any thought of mercy in this world, the necessity of seeking mercy from a higher tribunal, and finally he pronounced the ghastly sentence of the law, and ended with the prayer that the Lord might have mercy on his soul!
“‘Poor Lil!’ was all the boy said, as the bailiffs led him away.
“And the court was adjourned55.


1 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
2 revival UWixU     
  • The period saw a great revival in the wine trade.这一时期葡萄酒业出现了很大的复苏。
  • He claimed the housing market was showing signs of a revival.他指出房地产市场正出现复苏的迹象。
3 suffocation b834eadeaf680f6ffcb13068245a1fed     
  • The greatest dangers of pyroclastic avalanches are probably heat and suffocation. 火成碎屑崩落的最大危害可能是炽热和窒息作用。 来自辞典例句
  • The room was hot to suffocation. 房间热得闷人。 来自辞典例句
4 throng sGTy4     
  • A patient throng was waiting in silence.一大群耐心的人在静静地等着。
  • The crowds thronged into the mall.人群涌进大厅。
5 subdued 76419335ce506a486af8913f13b8981d     
adj. 屈服的,柔和的,减弱的 动词subdue的过去式和过去分词
  • He seemed a bit subdued to me. 我觉得他当时有点闷闷不乐。
  • I felt strangely subdued when it was all over. 一切都结束的时候,我却有一种奇怪的压抑感。
6 humiliated 97211aab9c3dcd4f7c74e1101d555362     
  • Parents are humiliated if their children behave badly when guests are present. 子女在客人面前举止失当,父母也失体面。
  • He was ashamed and bitterly humiliated. 他感到羞耻,丢尽了面子。
7 brigand cxdz6N     
  • This wallace is a brigand,nothing more.华莱士只不过是个土匪。
  • How would you deal with this brigand?你要如何对付这个土匪?
8 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
9 arraigned ce05f28bfd59de4a074b80d451ad2707     
v.告发( arraign的过去式和过去分词 );控告;传讯;指责
  • He was arraigned for murder. 他因谋杀罪而被提讯。
  • She was arraigned for high treason. 她被控叛国罪。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
10 guilt 9e6xr     
  • She tried to cover up her guilt by lying.她企图用谎言掩饰自己的罪行。
  • Don't lay a guilt trip on your child about schoolwork.别因为功课责备孩子而使他觉得很内疚。
11 prosecuting 3d2c14252239cad225a3c016e56a6675     
检举、告发某人( prosecute的现在分词 ); 对某人提起公诉; 继续从事(某事物); 担任控方律师
  • The witness was cross-examined by the prosecuting counsel. 证人接受控方律师的盘问。
  • Every point made by the prosecuting attorney was telling. 检查官提出的每一点都是有力的。
12 incarnate dcqzT     
  • She was happiness incarnate.她是幸福的化身。
  • That enemy officer is a devil incarnate.那个敌军军官简直是魔鬼的化身。
13 incarnated 3cef099d3f67909ff4bf189581cbf93c     
v.赋予(思想、精神等)以人的形体( incarnate的过去式和过去分词 );使人格化;体现;使具体化
  • Dickens incarnated hypocrisy in his Uriah Heep. 狄更斯把虚伪体现在他塑造的人物赖亚·赫普身上。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • His ideals were incarnated in his music. 他的理想具体地体现在他的音乐中。 来自辞典例句
14 dominions 37d263090097e797fa11274a0b5a2506     
统治权( dominion的名词复数 ); 领土; 疆土; 版图
  • The King sent messengers to every town, village and hamlet in his dominions. 国王派使者到国内每一个市镇,村落和山庄。
  • European powers no longer rule over great overseas dominions. 欧洲列强不再统治大块海外领土了。
15 immediate aapxh     
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
16 scathing 2Dmzu     
adj.(言词、文章)严厉的,尖刻的;不留情的adv.严厉地,尖刻地v.伤害,损害(尤指使之枯萎)( scathe的现在分词)
  • a scathing attack on the new management 针对新的管理层的猛烈抨击
  • Her speech was a scathing indictment of the government's record on crime. 她的演讲强烈指责了政府在犯罪问题上的表现。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 wretch EIPyl     
  • You are really an ungrateful wretch to complain instead of thanking him.你不但不谢他,还埋怨他,真不知好歹。
  • The dead husband is not the dishonoured wretch they fancied him.死去的丈夫不是他们所想象的不光彩的坏蛋。
18 groaned 1a076da0ddbd778a674301b2b29dff71     
v.呻吟( groan的过去式和过去分词 );发牢骚;抱怨;受苦
  • He groaned in anguish. 他痛苦地呻吟。
  • The cart groaned under the weight of the piano. 大车在钢琴的重压下嘎吱作响。 来自《简明英汉词典》
19 prosecutor 6RXx1     
  • The defender argued down the prosecutor at the court.辩护人在法庭上驳倒了起诉人。
  • The prosecutor would tear your testimony to pieces.检查官会把你的证言驳得体无完肤。
20 constable wppzG     
  • The constable conducted the suspect to the police station.警官把嫌疑犯带到派出所。
  • The constable kept his temper,and would not be provoked.那警察压制着自己的怒气,不肯冒起火来。
21 thickets bed30e7ce303e7462a732c3ca71b2a76     
n.灌木丛( thicket的名词复数 );丛状物
  • Small trees became thinly scattered among less dense thickets. 小树稀稀朗朗地立在树林里。 来自辞典例句
  • The entire surface is covered with dense thickets. 所有的地面盖满了密密层层的灌木丛。 来自辞典例句
22 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
23 crestfallen Aagy0     
adj. 挫败的,失望的,沮丧的
  • He gathered himself up and sneaked off,crushed and crestfallen.他爬起来,偷偷地溜了,一副垂头丧气、被斗败的样子。
  • The youth looked exceedingly crestfallen.那青年看上去垂头丧气极了。
24 subsided 1bda21cef31764468020a8c83598cc0d     
v.(土地)下陷(因在地下采矿)( subside的过去式和过去分词 );减弱;下降至较低或正常水平;一下子坐在椅子等上
  • After the heavy rains part of the road subsided. 大雨过后,部分公路塌陷了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • By evening the storm had subsided and all was quiet again. 傍晚, 暴风雨已经过去,四周开始沉寂下来。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
25 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
26 slain slain     
杀死,宰杀,杀戮( slay的过去分词 ); (slay的过去分词)
  • The soldiers slain in the battle were burried that night. 在那天夜晚埋葬了在战斗中牺牲了的战士。
  • His boy was dead, slain by the hand of the false Amulius. 他的儿子被奸诈的阿缪利乌斯杀死了。
27 autopsy xuVzm     
  • They're carrying out an autopsy on the victim.他们正在给受害者验尸。
  • A hemorrhagic gut was the predominant lesion at autopsy.尸检的主要发现是肠出血。
28 chamber wnky9     
  • For many,the dentist's surgery remains a torture chamber.对许多人来说,牙医的治疗室一直是间受刑室。
  • The chamber was ablaze with light.会议厅里灯火辉煌。
29 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。
30 conclusive TYjyw     
  • They produced some fairly conclusive evidence.他们提供了一些相当确凿的证据。
  • Franklin did not believe that the French tests were conclusive.富兰克林不相信这个法国人的实验是结论性的。
31 corroborated ab27fc1c50e7a59aad0d93cd9f135917     
v.证实,支持(某种说法、信仰、理论等)( corroborate的过去式 )
  • The evidence was corroborated by two independent witnesses. 此证据由两名独立证人提供。
  • Experiments have corroborated her predictions. 实验证实了她的预言。 来自《简明英汉词典》
32 testimony zpbwO     
  • The testimony given by him is dubious.他所作的证据是可疑的。
  • He was called in to bear testimony to what the police officer said.他被传入为警官所说的话作证。
33 prosecution uBWyL     
  • The Smiths brought a prosecution against the organizers.史密斯家对组织者们提出起诉。
  • He attempts to rebut the assertion made by the prosecution witness.他试图反驳原告方证人所作的断言。
34 recess pAxzC     
  • The chairman of the meeting announced a ten-minute recess.会议主席宣布休会10分钟。
  • Parliament was hastily recalled from recess.休会的议员被匆匆召回开会。
35 eloquent ymLyN     
  • He was so eloquent that he cut down the finest orator.他能言善辩,胜过最好的演说家。
  • These ruins are an eloquent reminder of the horrors of war.这些废墟形象地提醒人们不要忘记战争的恐怖。
36 purely 8Sqxf     
  • I helped him purely and simply out of friendship.我帮他纯粹是出于友情。
  • This disproves the theory that children are purely imitative.这证明认为儿童只会单纯地模仿的理论是站不住脚的。
37 inevitable 5xcyq     
  • Mary was wearing her inevitable large hat.玛丽戴着她总是戴的那顶大帽子。
  • The defeat had inevitable consequences for British policy.战败对英国政策不可避免地产生了影响。
38 humane Uymy0     
  • Is it humane to kill animals for food?宰杀牲畜来吃合乎人道吗?
  • Their aim is for a more just and humane society.他们的目标是建立一个更加公正、博爱的社会。
39 catastrophe WXHzr     
  • I owe it to you that I survived the catastrophe.亏得你我才大难不死。
  • This is a catastrophe beyond human control.这是一场人类无法控制的灾难。
40 bent QQ8yD     
  • He was fully bent upon the project.他一心扑在这项计划上。
  • We bent over backward to help them.我们尽了最大努力帮助他们。
41 custody Qntzd     
  • He spent a week in custody on remand awaiting sentence.等候判决期间他被还押候审一个星期。
  • He was taken into custody immediately after the robbery.抢劫案发生后,他立即被押了起来。
42 conspiracy NpczE     
  • The men were found guilty of conspiracy to murder.这些人被裁决犯有阴谋杀人罪。
  • He claimed that it was all a conspiracy against him.他声称这一切都是一场针对他的阴谋。
43 landlady t2ZxE     
  • I heard my landlady creeping stealthily up to my door.我听到我的女房东偷偷地来到我的门前。
  • The landlady came over to serve me.女店主过来接待我。
44 trench VJHzP     
  • The soldiers recaptured their trench.兵士夺回了战壕。
  • The troops received orders to trench the outpost.部队接到命令在前哨周围筑壕加强防卫。
45 lodger r8rzi     
  • My friend is a lodger in my uncle's house.我朋友是我叔叔家的房客。
  • Jill and Sue are at variance over their lodger.吉尔和休在对待房客的问题上意见不和。
46 promising BkQzsk     
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
47 irrelevant ZkGy6     
  • That is completely irrelevant to the subject under discussion.这跟讨论的主题完全不相关。
  • A question about arithmetic is irrelevant in a music lesson.在音乐课上,一个数学的问题是风马牛不相及的。
48 exhorted b5e20c680b267763d0aa53936b1403f6     
v.劝告,劝说( exhort的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The party leader exhorted his members to start preparing for government. 该党领袖敦促党员着手准备筹建政府。
  • He exhorted his elder. 他规劝长辈。 来自《简明英汉词典》
49 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
50 suspense 9rJw3     
  • The suspense was unbearable.这样提心吊胆的状况实在叫人受不了。
  • The director used ingenious devices to keep the audience in suspense.导演用巧妙手法引起观众的悬念。
51 eternity Aiwz7     
  • The dull play seemed to last an eternity.这场乏味的剧似乎演个没完没了。
  • Finally,Ying Tai and Shan Bo could be together for all of eternity.英台和山伯终能双宿双飞,永世相随。
52 vehement EL4zy     
  • She made a vehement attack on the government's policies.她强烈谴责政府的政策。
  • His proposal met with vehement opposition.他的倡导遭到了激烈的反对。
53 asseverated 506fcdab9fd1ae0c79cdf630d83df7f3     
v.郑重声明,断言( asseverate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • He asseverated that he had seen a flying saucer. 他坚持说,他看见了飞碟。 来自辞典例句
54 innocence ZbizC     
  • There was a touching air of innocence about the boy.这个男孩有一种令人感动的天真神情。
  • The accused man proved his innocence of the crime.被告人经证实无罪。
55 adjourned 1e5a5e61da11d317191a820abad1664d     
(使)休会, (使)休庭( adjourn的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The court adjourned for lunch. 午餐时间法庭休庭。
  • The trial was adjourned following the presentation of new evidence to the court. 新证据呈到庭上后,审讯就宣告暂停。


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