Excerpt: ...The advocate for the defence adopted a tone of bluff conviction of his client''s innocence that earned the accused a sympathy he had failed to secure by his own efforts
The sitting was suspended and the jury assembled in the room set apart for deliberation. There, after a confused and confusing discussion, they found themselves divided in two groups about equal in number. On the one side were the unemotional, the lukewarm, the men of reason, whom no passion could stir, on the other the kind who let their feelings guide them, who prove all but inaccessible to argument and only consult their heart. These always voted guilty. They were the true metal, pure and unadulterated; their only thought was to save the Republic and they cared not a straw for anything else. Their attitude made a strong impression on Gamelin who felt he was of the same kidney himself. This Guillergues, he thought to himself, is a cunning scamp, a villain who has speculated in the forage supplied to our cavalry. To acquit him is to let a traitor escape, to be false to the fatherland, to devote the army to defeat. And in a flash Gamelin could see the Hussars of the Republic, mounted on stumbling horses, sabred by the enemy''s cavalry. But if Guillergues was innocent.? Suddenly he remembered Jean Blaise, likewise suspected of bad faith in the matter of supplies. There were bound to be many others acting like Guillergues and Blaise, contriving disaster, ruining the Republic! An example must be made. But if Guillergues was innocent.? There are no proofs, said Gamelin, aloud. There never are, retorted the foreman of the jury, shrugging his shoulders; he was good metal, pure metal! In the end, there proved to be seven votes for condemnation, eight for acquittal. The jury re-entered the hall and the sitting was resumed. The jurors were required to give reasons for their verdict, and each spoke in turn facing the empty chair. Some were prolix, others confined themselves to a...