Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Rising of the Court   By: (1867-1922)

Book cover

First Page:


By Henry Lawson

Note: Only the prose stories are reproduced here, not the poetry.


Oh, then tell us, Sings and Judges, where our meeting is to be, when the laws of men are nothing, and our spirits all are free when the laws of men are nothing, and no wealth can hold the fort, There'll be thirst for mighty brewers at the Rising of the Court.

The same dingy court room, deep and dim, like a well, with the clock high up on the wall, and the doors low down in it; with the bench, which, with some gilding, might be likened to a gingerbread imitation of a throne; the royal arms above it and the little witness box to one side, where so many honest poor people are bullied, insulted and laughed at by third rate blackguardly little "lawyers," and so many pitiful, pathetic and noble lies are told by pitiful sinners and disreputable heroes for a little liberty for a lost self, or for the sake of a friend of a "pal" or a "cobber." The same overworked and underpaid magistrate trying to keep his attention fixed on the same old miserable scene before him; as a weary, overworked and underpaid journalist or author strives to keep his attention fixed on his proofs. The same row of big, strong, healthy, good natured policemen trying not to grin at times; and the police court solicitors ("the place stinks with 'em," a sergeant told me) wrangling over some miserable case for a crust, and the "reporters," shabby some of them, eager to get a brutal joke for their papers out of the accumulated mass of misery before them, whether it be at the expense of the deaf, blind, or crippled man, or the alien.

And opposite the bench, the dock, divided by a partition, with the women to the left and the men to the right, as it is on the stairs or the block in polite society. They bring children here no longer. The same shaking, wild eyed, blood shot eyed and blear eyed drunks and disorderlies, though some of the women have nerves yet; and the same decently dressed, but trembling and conscience stricken little wretch up for petty larceny or something, whose motor car bosses of a big firm have sent a solicitor, "manager," or some understrapper here to prosecute and give evidence.

But, over there, on a form to one side of the bench opposite the witness box and as the one bright spot in this dark, and shameful, and useless scene and in a patch of sunlight from the skylight as it happens sit representatives of the Prisoners' Aid Society, Prison Gate and Rescue Brigades, etc. (one or two of the ladies in nurses' uniforms), who are come to help us and to fight for us against the Law of their Land and of ours, God help us!

Mrs Johnson, of Red Rock Lane, is here, and her rival in revolution, One Eyed Kate, and Cock Eyed Sal, and one or two of the other aristocrats of the alley. And the weeping bedraggled remains of what was once, and not so long ago, a pretty, slight, fair haired and blue eyed Australian girl. She is up for inciting One Eyed Kate to resist the police. Also, Three Pea Ginger, Stousher, and Wingy, for some participation in the row amongst the aforementioned ladies. (Wingy, by the way, is a ratty little one armed man, whose case is usually described in the head line, as "A 'Armless Case," by one of our great dailies.) And their pals are waiting outside in the vestibule Frowsy Kate (The Red Streak), Boko Bill, Pincher and his "piece," etc., getting together the stuff for the possible fines, and the ten bob fee for the lawyer, in one case, and ready to swear to anything, if called upon. And I myself though I have not yet entered Red Rock Lane Society on bail, on a charge of "plain drunk." It was "drunk and disorderly" by the way, but a kindly sergeant changed it to plain drunk (though I always thought my drunk was ornamental).

Yet I am not ashamed only comfortably dulled and a little tired dully interested and observant, and hopeful for the sunlight presently... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books