One morning a great Judge, who had been promoted to the Bench because he could not connect as a Lawyer, climbed up on his Perch and directed the Lord High Sheriff to feed him a few Defendants.
“We have rounded up a tough bunch of Ginks,” said the Attorney for the Commonwealth. “I shall ask your Honor to Soak them good and proper.”
The first to be led in was a grinning Imp with a wide Mouth, large Freckles and flapping Ears.
It was proven that he stuck Pins into his Grandmother and blew up Elderly Gentlemen with Cannon Crackers and set fire to Houses and was a hard Nut in general. The Prosecutor suggested a Dungeon with Bread and Water.
Up spoke the Prisoner as follows: “I defy you to lay a Hand on me. I am the Stand-By of the Comic Artist and the Star Attraction of the Colored Supplement. When I pull the Step-Ladder from under some Honest Workingman, causing him to break his Leg, or hit a Stout Lady in the Eye with a Brick, please remember that I am bringing Sunshine into thousands of Homes. As I go on my way, committing Arson, Mayhem, and Assault, with Intent to Kill, I am greeted by Peals of Childish Laughter. When you put me out of Business, you will be handing the Circulation an awful Wallop. I am not a Criminal; I am an Institution.”
“I remember you very well,” said the Judge. “You are my Excuse for buying the Paper. While the Kids are busy with you, I look up Packey McFarland and One-Round Hogan.”
Just as the Celebrated Juvenile hit the Fresh Air the second Defendant came into The Dock, taking long sneaky Strides and undulating like a Roller Coaster. She was a tall Gal and very Pale, with Belladonna Optics and her Hair shook out and a fine rhythmical Bellows Movement above the Belt Line.
“She is a raving Beetle,” explained the Prosecutor. “She wants to go out doors every Night and count the Moon and pull some of that shine Magazine Poetry. Every time she sees anybody named Eric or Geoffrey she does a Swoon, accompanied by the customary Low Cry, and later on, in her own Boudoir, which is Richly Furnished, she bursts into a Torrent of Weeping. If you start her on a Conversation about Griddle Cakes she will wind up by giving a Diagnosis of Soul-Hunger. She is a Candidate for Padded Cell No. 1 in the big Foolish House. If she continues at Large she may accidentally marry some poor misguided Clarence, and then, if there are any Children, the Neighbors will have to take care of them.”
“Do you not recognize me?” asked the Prisoner in low musical Tones, fixing a passionate Gaze on the Court. “I am the Heroine of a Best Seller. If I did not have these large Porcelain Orbs and the Bosom heaving in Rag Time and the Hair swirling in Glorious Profusion, do you suppose that a Member of the Upsilon Pajama Sorority would sit up until 1 A. M. with Me and a Bottle of Queen Olives and a Box of Chocs? If I made up like an ordinary Sadie and talked Straight Stuff, do you think I could last through Ten Editions? I may not be Human, but I can raise the Temperature of every Flathead from Bangor to San Antone.”
“You are dead right,” said the Court. “We couldn’t keep house without you.”
So she proceeded to exit, sneeringly, her Garments rustling and a faint Aroma of Violets lingering in her Wake, just as it does in the Red Book that sells for $1.50.
The next Prisoner was a big handsome Buck with his Clothes recently pressed and many Gloves.
“I want a Life Sentence for this Guy,” said the learned Prosecutor. “He is so crooked that a Straight Edge would cut him in a thousand places. He would bite an Ear-Ring off of a Debutante or blow open a Family Vault to unscrew the Handles from the Casket containing Father. He promotes phoney Corporations and sells Florida Orange Groves that have Crocodiles swimming around on top of them. He is a prize Bunk, a two-handed Grafter, a Short-Change Artist and a Broadway Wolf. Slip him the Limit.”