The Green Bag
every nineteen or twenty years, may it not be true now that a thoroughly live community should revamp its "fundamental"lawat least once in every decade?
AN EFFECTIVE JUDGE I WAS once called over to a neigh boring county to act as special judge in a divorce case," said Judge Sam Davis of Marshall, Mo. "The wife was plaintiff, and the court had entered up an order decreeing her an allowance of $250 for the expenses of prosecuting her suit. For some reason or other the court had failed to enforce its order. The wife became convinced it was the judge's fault that she did not get the money, and I was called in by her to see if I would have any better luck. "In the court room was a table for the judge. Hanging by a heavy chain at one side of the table was a copy of the statutes and on the other side another book of similar weight also suspended by a chain. It seems to have been the practice over there for lawyers to borrow books and forget to return them. "The husband was sworn and inter rogated by the wife's lawyer: — "'Mr. Blank, the Court made an order for you to pay your wife $250 pending this trial, didn't he?' "'Yes, sir.' "'Have you done it?' "'No, sir.' "'Why not?' "'Because I don't want to.' "Then I took a hand: — "'Have you got the money, Mr. Blank?' "'Yes, sir, I got $400.' "'Where is it?' "'Right here in my pocket,' he smiled, as he patted his breast to show where it was.
"I reached down for the statutes and the big chain rattled like a brace of handcuffs. "'Hold on, Judge!' cried the defend ant in alarm. 'What you going to do?' "'I'm trying to find a way to make you pay that money,' I said, as I dived down and pulled on the chain. "'Hold on! Don't shoot, Judge!' yelled the defendant; 'I'll come across!'" HAPPENINGS IN COURT ' • "O ASTUS, do you know what an AX. oath is?" asked the judge of the colored witness about to be sworn. "Yes, sir; I knows that all right." "That you must tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." "Yes, sir; I knows that all right, Judge." "Do you know what will happen to you if you don't tell the truth?" "Yes, sir; my lawyer here done tol' me all about that, Judge." "Do you know what will happen to you if you do tell the truth?" "Yes, sir, Judge, he done tol' me that, too. I am very much obliged to you, Judge, but I am all prepared for him and you needn't try to help me, because I don't wants to get mixed up when that lawyer over there gets to asking me those quick questions that I knows he has got ready for me. I knows I have to be very careful what I say here, Judge, and I knows just what I have to say. All de rest ob it, I sure have forgot and don't remember nothing about." "Mr. Witness," said the lawyer to an old grey-haired negro, "look at this signature which is signed 'George Wash ington, by "X" his mark,' and tell the Judge if you wrote that or any part of it."