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Every eye in that room was as wet as little Bill's when he made this reply, and Marm Devine seemed a saint in their estimation.
Buck said, “We can trust the witness. Now, little Bill, tell all you know about last night.”
“I was asleep, sir, but Marm Devine snatched me up and ran with me; that wakened me, and she ran out of the door and shut it, and then I heard the gun and Marm Devine fell, and I don't know nothing more.”
The counsel for the defence then cross-examined.
?” “No, sir. Two steps was broke, and we allers went down the front
“That will do, my little fellow.”
Doctor Woodland was then called. His evidence was as has been mentioned before: he heard loud talking, but paid no attention to it, saw the door open and close and Marm Devine start for the sidesteps. Heard the gun, her shriek, and the boy's cry. Saw her fall, Devine rush out and cry out, “Oh, Nan, have í hurt you?” Helped to carry her in; made an examination of the wound, which was necessarily fatal. Showed how it was fatal ; then described the deathbed scene ; the earnest request of Mrs. Devine that he should make it known that it was her fault; the forgiveness she exhibited. Again that band of sturdy men wept; and the words “a good woman, a good woman," came from every part of the house, and judge, jury, speclators, and Devine were all bathed in tears.
The prosecution closed with this witness. The defence only introduced two, to show that it had been considered dangerous to go down the side-steps for some time, and that the front-steps alone had been used. He then appealed to the judge, jury, and spectators to hear the statement of the accused. The judge assented, and Devine spoke as follows:
“I was very drunk and excited last night. For a long time I have been doing wrong — going wrong. My poor wife tried to stop me, but in vain. Last night I heard she had found a nugget of gold, and I wanted it to gamble with. I went home excited with liquor, and mad because I had lost, and asked her about the nugget. At first she would not reply. I told her I would shoot her if she did not give me the gold she had stolen from me. This angered her. She said all had been gambled away until Bill came, and hereafter she intended to keep her share for him. I seized the gun, and she snatched up Bill and ran out. I thought I would frighten her and fire the gun after her; and knowing no one ever went down the side-steps, I fired on one side of the door instead of toward the front-steps. I deserve to be hung. I have treated my wife badly for months. I have killed a good and true woman - my own wife ; but with my dying breath I can declare that I had no idea of killing my wife when I fired."
The straightforward and honest manner of Devine as he gave in
this testimony had its effect on all who heard him. The jury evidently had made up their minds that there were many mitigating circumstances connected with the act, even before Captain Fleming said a word as judge ; and by those within, the action of the jury in delivering him over to the judicial authorities at Colema would have been justified.
Captain Fleming as judge, without his usual hesitation and confusion of utterance, reviewed the testimony: said that there was no doubt as to the act of the prisoner, but there was a great deal as to the criminality attached to the act. He also begged the jury to exercise, with justice, mercy - such mercy as they would have extended to themselves. “But, gentlemen,” said he,- and here he turned and addressed the crowd who stood inside the tent —" there are scenes of violence and murder and wrong occurring within this town continually. Nightly there are crimes committed which demand some expression of sentiment on our part. Young men have been brutally murdered and their bodies suffered to remain upon the streets all night, and while we cannot find the actual murderers, we can trace back to the causes, and find they all spring from one house here – a pest-house of depravily and corruption. Would we stop the evil which has culminated in this deed, let us destroy the causes.” There was a deep silence in the room when the Captain ceased speaking. The jury turned to each other and began to collect the individual opinions. But while these scenes were taking place inside, a different feeling was being fomented without. Jo Brown felt from the first that his house, and perhaps his life, was in danger. A cool, cunning man, , .
, without aught save the deepest selfishness, he saw that a feeling had been aroused which could not be easily laid again, and by his emissaries had watched the proceedings of the trial with closest attention. He felt that each speech had struck a blow at his own house; and when Captain Fleming had directed attention to his place, his mind was made up at once. Whatever feeling existed must be diverted from himself — he would throw himself at the head of the feeling and thus save himself. So his satellites and hangers-on began to circulate among the crowd outside. “Gentlemen," said one, “they are going to let the murderer go free. He's killed his wife — but what do they care? What did they get you up here for ?to make a parcel of fools of you Say, are you going to be made a parcel of fools of?” Another worked his way to the door, secured a position so as to see all that took place, and just then Jo Brown opened a small side-door in the Round Tent near the platform. The silence which had succeeded the Captain's speech was broken by the commotion at the door, and then the shout of a stentorian voice, "Hang him ! hang him!” repeated by half a dozen voices in the room, all Brown's men. The outsiders who knew nothing of the details that had occurred in the tent caught up the cry, and rushed into the building, with their pistols drawn, most of them imagining that the prisoner was about escaping, that a rescue was attempted. At the first cry of the mob outside Jo Brown had leaped upon the platform with a rope in his hand, and rushed towards Devine crying, “ Hang him! hang him!” He was confronted by Captain Fleming. The great burly giant stood face to face with the wiry little brave man — they glared at each other for a moment; but the moral courage of the little Captain was ioo much for the mere brute force of his opponent. Brown slunk down, but only to excite the already excited crowd still more with his cry of “Hang the wife-killer ! ”
When Devine saw Brown thus endeavoring to excite the crowd, and himself bring a rope to hang him, he seemed dumb with astonishment — the very man who had first whispered the word of temptation to injure his wife, to kill her for the nugget — the man who above all others had led him step by step to his present condition, and who had gotten most of the money he had made. His face for the first time that morning betokened fear: he trembled. His arm was seized by the Captain and one of the jurymen; the others and the two lawyers beat back the now furious throng that pressed upon the platform, while Captain Fleming and Devine sprang to the rear door. As it was opened, Brown roared out, “ Look out, boys ! he is escaping at the back door!” The outside crowd rushed behind the tent, seized both the Captain and Devine; the former was borne away in one direction, the latter in another, and was soon surrounded by a maddened, infuriated mob of men who knew nothing of what they were doing, only that they had one in their hands who had killed a good woman and had endeavored to escape.
Then occurred one of those scenes which seem so inconsistent with that just described, and which show the other side of the plausible arguments for Lynch law - a scene which, occurring so immediately
a after the wild excitement of a few moments before, had all the elements of unreality about it. No sooner had the crowd Devine securely in their possession, than all excitement and undue feeling seemed to vanish in a moment. As if by preconcerted action the band, numbering from three to four hundred men, fell into regular line. A few assumed leadership. Brown attempted to do so himself
, but was silently and firmly repulsed. The prisoner was surrounded by a guard of sixteen men with drawn pistols. Forming themselves into line, the others marched eight abreast across the larger cañon which ran by the lower part of the town, and ascended a hill opposite, on the apex of which grew a large oak with spreading branches. It was a sturdy old a
a tree; the branches were strong, and covered with beautiful green leaves. As they reached the tree, Devine was placed immediately beneath it. The men formed a hollow square around it. One of the leaders approached and asked him if he wished anything. “Yes," he replied, a Bible, or a clergyman.” They told him neither was to be found. He then asked time to pray; it was granted him. Jo Brown stood by with his rope still in hand; by common consent he was recognised as executioner. With trembling lips Devine commenced the Lord's prayer.
In the meantime Captain Fleming had not been idle. He had collected as many of those who had witnessed the trial as he could, and prepared to follow the crowd and induce them to transfer Devine to the custody of the authorities. They started across the cañon just as Devine commenced his prayer. Brown had watched their movements with nervous apprehension, and fearing the result, seeing them
approach, just as Devine had finished the petition, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us ”- he hastily threw the rope over his neck, the end over the lowest branch of the tree, and throwing his whole weight upon it, Devine's body rose to within a foot of the limb, quivering and trembling. When Captain Fleming and his band reached the spot, all was over - the body fell lifeless to the ground as Brown quitted his hold upon the rope. “Come, boys,” he said, “let's go and take a drink at my house." No one replied to this invitation, or even spoke ; each avoided the selfconstituted executioner with gestures of abhorrence, as they turned and went back to the town.
The miners have a superstition that when a tree has once borne such fruit as this, it dies. It is an irrational superstition, doubtless, nor does the writer undertake to maintain it; but he can testify that two years after, this tree was dead amid all the surrounding verdure ; and a tree in Hangtown, or Placerville, which was the scene of similar executions, stands in the same condition.
THE STORY OF HIS BEING AN ASTROLOGER REFUTED. THE MANNER
IN WHICH HE RECEIVED HIS WOUND DESCRIBED BY AN EYE-WIT-
HERE are but few incidents of the late war which have given
rise to more conflicting accounts than the unfortunate occurrence which deprived the Army of Northern Virginia of its greatest corps-commander. A number of such accounts have appeared in print, in books as well as in a more fleeting form, and no two of them agree as to the circumstances attending the wounding of General Jackson.
A book entitled Keel and Saddle, and written by General Revere, who served in the Army of the Potomac under Hooker, appeared during the last year, in which is contained a very remarkable story about General Jackson, in connection with the subject of astrology and his being wounded at Chancellorsville. In this book, General Revere, who seems to have belonged at one time to the United States Navy, gives his adventures by sea and land, in a variety of characters. Having described his participation in some military operations in the State of Michoacan in Mexico, in the latter part of February, 1852,
led the way.
he says:—“The spring of 1852 was now at hand, and the time propitious for a change to a more northern climate, which for various reasons I was desirous of making" He then tells of his preparations for leaving Mexico, and his departure ; and continues as follows:
Arriving in due time at New Orleans, I was soon on my way up the Mississippi, and entered the 'belle rivière.' Among my fellow-passengers on the steamer was Lieutenant Thomas J. Jackson, of the United States army, who seemed at first a remarkably quiet, reserved, although very intelligent officer, and with whom I soon became acquainted; for there is everywhere a sort of cameraderie among officers of the two services which attracts them to each other in a crowd of strangers. For several days the inland voyage continued, and our nights were partly spent upon the hurricane deck of the steamer, engaged in conversation. One of these conversations was so peculiar that it fixed itself in my memory, and subsequent events proved it worthy of record, although, I confess, I hesitate to put in writing anything which seems to border so nearly on the marvellous."
He then proceeds to give the conversation held with Lieutenant Jackson, which was upon the subject of astrology, to which Jackson
The latter is made to converse in a very different manner, as to his language, expression, and thoughts, from that for which General Jackson was noted among his acquaintances, and he is made to indicate very clearly some belief in astrology as a science. General Revere then proceeds :
“ Before we parted at Pittsburg, a day or two after this conversation, I had given Jackson the necessary data for calculating a horoscope ; and in a few months I received from him a letter, which I preserved, inclosing a scheme of my nativity.”
According to the scheme of nativity furnished by Jackson, it appeared that his and Revere's “destinies seemed to run in parallel lines," and they were to be exposed to a common danger “during the first days of May, 1863," and it is stated that Jackson said in his letter: “It is clear to me that we shall both be exposed to a common danger at the time indicated."
This story is followed by another in reference to the battle of Chancellorsville in these words:
“At the battle above-named, I was an involuntary witness of an event which had an important bearing on the issue of the war, and which has been the subject of prolonged controversy. I refer to the death of Stonewall Jackson. The circumstances under which I acquired the right to give testimony in the matter were somewhat remarkable, and I here give a full statement of them. The left of my brigade line lay near the plank-road at Chancellorsville, and, after night had fallen, I rode forward, according to my invariable habit, to inspect my picket line. The moon had risen and partially illuminated the woods. I began my inspection on the right of the picket line, progressing gradually to the left, where I stopped to rectify the post of a sentinel not far from the plank-road. While thus engaged I heard the sound of hoofs from the direction of the enemy's line, and paused to listen. Soon a cavalcade appeared approaching us. The foremost horseman detached himself from the main body, which