Letter of the Law
The little native in the front of the jury-box popped up like a puppet on a string. "Defendant found guilty on all counts," he said.
"Defendant is guilty! The court will pronounce sentence--"
"Now wait a minute!" Zeckler was on his feet, wild-eyed. "What kind of railroad job--"
The judge blinked disappointedly at Paul Meyerhoff. "Not yet?" he asked, unhappily.
"No." Meyerhoff's hands twitched nervously. "Not yet, Your Honor. Later, Your Honor. The trial comes first."
The judge looked as if his candy had been stolen. "But you said I should call for the verdict."
"Later. You have to have the trial before you can have the verdict."
The Altairian shrugged indifferently. "Now--later--" he muttered.
"Have the prosecutor call his first witness," said Meyerhoff.
Zeckler leaned over, his face ashen. "These charges," he whispered. "They're insane!"