I was in a courtroom where a criminal trial was taking place, apparently a murder trial. Schwille was the judge. It was late in the day but the defense wanted to call one more witness and the judge permitted it. A stout fellow (probably in his mid 20s) was called and he sat down on the witness stand, just a chair sitting along one wall in the room. The fellow had blond hair and was dressed in work clothes that looked a lot like a farmer's.
Most people in the room seemed to think the defendant was guilty and it wasn't going to help to examine any more witnesses. Nevertheless the attorney began asking questions. The attorney (seated in the gallery to my left with the rest of the audience) looked as if he were in his late 20s. He also was dressed in work clothes. In fact everyone in the courtroom seemed to be dressed about the same way.
I had doubts about how effectively the lawyer was going to perform, but I was surprised to hear him casually ask very piercing and intelligent questions. The witness didn't seem to be trying to hide anything and straight-forwardly answered the questions. Gradually the lawyer was able to show the witness had a very violent nature and was given to explosions of violence. The witness admitted he had at times kicked his father's car and put dents in it. And when the lawyer asked him if he ever felt like "King Kong" when he had watched that movie on television, he readily admitted he did.
The audience seemed more and more moved by each question and I could gradually feel the suspicions toward the witness rising. I however hadn't heard any responses which would indicate the witness was in any way involved with the crime in question. Gradually the witness appeared to become more uneasy and finally he stood up. He was very near a door in front of which a bailiff was standing. Some people seemed to move toward him in apprehension that he might try to escape. But it looked as if the bailiff was in charge of the situation.
Suddenly the witness bolted toward the door, slid under the bailiff's arm and exited. It was obvious to me that the bailiff had done nothing to try to stop him. People immediately ran through the door in pursuit and the judge left the bench to return to his chambers. Upset with the action of the bailiff, I walked over to him and accused him of purposely allowing the witness to escape. He basically admitted he had done just that because he had felt that the witness had had nothing to do with the crime and that the defendant was guilty.
I basically agreed with him; but I still believed it was wrong to have let the witness escape. I grabbed the bailiff and picked him up. His legs bent back under him and he seemed stiff like a board. He was very light and I held him in the air for a while. Finally I decided to put him back down and I thought the proper thing to do would be to go talk to judge Schwille about the bailiff's actions.
I walked back toward the clerk's offices, came to a closed door and heard women's voices inside which I recognized as the voices of some of the clerks in Schwille's court. I thought that I heard my name mentioned and that perhaps the clerks had heard I had returned and had prepared a welcome-back cake for me.
I opened the door and walked in, but no cake was there. Five or six clerks were busy with their work. Karen Hicks (a Waco acquaintance) was among them. I walked past them without saying much. I could tell from the look on their faces that they were surprised to see how long my hair had grown. I asked someone if judge Schwille were back in his chambers and they told me he was. So I headed back.
On the way I encountered a man (probably in his 60s) who seemed to be dressed in sporting gear. He spoke to me for a moment and said he and Schwille were getting ready to go on a camping expedition and would be gone for a week. I was disappointed to hear that. I walked on into Schwille's office and found him sitting at his desk.
I was glad to see Schwille. I felt at ease around him even though I did have long hair (which he seemed surprised to see but which he didn't really seem to mind). I felt as if I were a bit like an apprentice under Schwille and as if he had taken a special interest in me. He didn't act surprised to see me, even though I had been gone for a very long time, and he seemed to regard my presence as just an ordinary event.
I began condemning his bailiff for having purposely let the witness escape. Schwille seemed to realize that that was what had happened and that he would have to scold the bailiff, but basically he seemed unconcerned.
Schwille looked in good health. He appeared heavy-set, but still robust. I asked him about his trip and where he was going. He must have thought I wanted to go with him and he responded, "Oh I'd be afraid for you to come"
I said, "No I didn't want to come I just wanted to know where you were going."
He then began describing a type of snow-covered mountain he and the other old man were going to climb. The mountain had an almost perpendicular ascent and the climb was estimated to take three days. Apparently they were going to sleep on the side of the mountain at night while they were climbing. On the desk was a black and white photo of some big-horn sheep and I thought the sheep would probably be discovered at certain levels of the mountain.
Someone else began talking to Schwille and I sat down in a chair. I noticed Schwille had quite a few books lying on a shelf. Many of the books seemed to be in German and I thought I might borrow one to read during the next week. I was disappointed to hear Schwille would be gone for a week because I wouldn't be able to work in his court during that time. But I thought I might spend some of the time reading.
I then noticed on another book shelf some books which had French words written on their ends and which seemed to be some kind of French encyclopedia. There were probably 30-40 volumes. I thought maybe I would borrow one of those volumes. I picked out the volume with the Ds and began looking in it for the word "droit," the French word for "law."
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