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Since in the office of Tutt & Tutt such an invitation, like those of royalty, was equivalent to a command, Tutt acquiesced.

“Thank you, Mr. Tutt," said Tutt, looking about vaguely for a match.

“That conscienceless brat of a Willie steals 'em all, growled Mr. Tutt. "Ring the bell."

Tutt obeyed. He was a short, brisk little man with a pronounced abdominal convexity, and he maintained toward his superior, though but a few years his junior, a mingled attitude of awe, admiration and affection such as a dickey bird might adopt toward a distinguished owl.

This attitude was shared by the entire office force. Inside the ground glass of the outer door Ephraim Tutt was king. To Tutt the opinion of Mr. Tutt upon any subject whatsoever was law, even if the courts might have held to the contrary. To Tutt he was the eternal fount of wisdom, culture and morality. Yet until Mr. Tutt had finally elucidated his views Tutt did not hesitate to hold conditional if temporary opinions of his own. Briefly their relations were symbolized by the circumstance that while Tutt always addressed his senior partner as "Mr. Tutt," the latter accosted him simply as “Tutt." In a word there was only one Mr. Tutt in the firm of Tutt & Tutt.

But so far as that went there was only one Tutt. On the theory that a lily cannot be painted, the estate of one seemingly was as dignified as that of the other. At any rate there never was and never had been

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any confusion or ambiguity arising out of the matter since the day, twenty years before, when Tutt had visited Mr. Tutt's law office in search of employment. Mr. Tutt was just rising into fame as a police-court lawyer. Tutt had only recently been admitted to the bar, having abandoned his native city of Bangor, Maine, for the metropolis. "And

may I ask why you should come to me?" Mr. Tutt had demanded severely from behind the stogy, which even at that early date had been as much a part of his facial anatomy as his long ruminative nose. “Why the devil should you come to me? I am nobody, sir-nobody! In this great city certainly there are thousands far more qualified than I to further your professional and financial advancement."

“Because," answered the inspired Tutt with modesty, “I feel that with you I should be associated with a good name."

That had settled the matter. They bore no relationship to one another, but they were the only Tutts in the city and there seemed to be a certain propriety in their hanging together. Neither had regretted it for a moment, and as the years passed they became indispensable to each other. They were the necessary component parts of a harmonious legal whole. Mr. Tutt was the brains and the voice, while Tutt was the eyes and legs of a combination that at intervalsrare ones, it must be confessed—made the law tremble, sometimes in fear and more often with joy.

At first, speaking figuratively, Tutt merely carried

Mr. Tutt's bag—rode on his coat tails, as it were; but as time went on his activity, ingenuity and industry made him indispensable and led to a junior partnership. Tutt prepared the cases for Mr. Tutt to try. Both were well versed in the law if they were not profound lawyers, but as the origin of the firm was humble, their practise was of a miscellaneous character.

“Never turn down a case," was Tutt's motto.

“Our duty as sworn officers of the judicial branch of the Government renders it incumbent upon us to perform whatever services our clients' exigencies demand," was Mr. Tutt's way of putting it.

In the end it amounted to exactly the same thing. As a result, in addition to their own clientele, other members of the bar who found themselves encumbered with matters which for one reason or another they preferred not to handle formed the habit of turning them over to Tutt & Tutt. A never-ending stream of peculiar cases flowed through the office, each leaving behind it some residuum of golden dust, however small. The stately or, as an unkind observer might have put it, the ramshackly form of the senior partner was a constant figure in all the courts, from that of the coroner on the one hand to the appellate tribunals upon the other. It was immaterial to him what the case was about—whether it dealt with the "next eventual estate” or the damages for a dog bite—so long as he was paid and Tutt prepared it. Hence Tutt & Tutt prospered. And as the law, like any other profession,

requires jacks-of-all-trades, the firm acquired a certain peculiar professional standing of its own, and enjoyed the good will of the bar as a whole.

They had the reputation of being sound lawyers if not overafflicted with a sense of professional dignity, whose word was better than their bond, yet who, faithful to their clients' interests, knew no mercy and gave no quarter. They took and pressed cases which other lawyers dared not touch lest they should be defiledand nobody seemed to think any the less of them for so doing. They raised points that made the refinements of the ancient schoolmen seem blunt in comparison. No respecters of persons, they harried the rich and taunted the powerful, and would have as soon jailed a bishop or a judge as a pickpocket if he deserved it. Between them they knew more kinds of law than most of their professional brethren, and as Mr. Tutt was a bookworm and a seeker after legal and other lore their dusty old library was full of hidden treasures, which on frequent occasions were unearthed to entertain the jury or delight the bench. They were loyal friends, fearsome enemies, high chargers, and maintained their unique position in spite of the fact that at one time or another they had run close to the shadowy line which divides the ethical from that which is not. Yet Mr. Tutt had brought disbarment proceedings against many lawyers in his time and—what is more—had them disbarred.

"Leave old Tutt alone,” was held sage advice, and when other lawyers desired to entertain the judiciary

they were apt to invite Mr. Tutt to be of the party. And Tutt gloried in the glories of Mr. Tutt.

“That's it!" repeated Tutt as he lit his stogy, which flared up like a burning bush, the cub of a Willie having foraged successfully in the outer office for a match. “He's willing to be hanged or damned or anything else just for the sake of putting a bullet through the other fellow !”

“What was the name of the unfortunate deceased ?” "Tomasso Crocedoro—a barber."

"That is almost a defense in itself," mused Mr. Tutt. “Anyhow, if I've got to defend Angelo for shooting Tomasso you might as well give me a short scenario of the melodrama. By the way, are we retained or assigned by the court?”

Assigned," chirped Tutt.

"So that all we'll get out of it is about enough to keep me in stogies for a couple of months!"

"And if he's convicted, as of course he will be a good chance of losing our reputation as successful trial counsel. Why not beg off?"

“Let me hear the story first,” answered Mr. Tutt. “Angelo sounds like a good sport. I have a mild affection for him already."

He reached into a lower compartment of his desk and lifted out a tumbler and a bottle of malt extract, which he placed carefully at his elbow. Then he leaned back again expectantly.

"It is a simple and naive story,” began Tutt, seating himself in the chair reserved for paying clients—that

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