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148 28 ~ Pippa Their case had just been called, only ninety minutes late. Not bad, according to the lawyer. Turning slightly in her seat, Pippa looked back over her shoulder at the full courtroom. Mostly reporters, it looked like, which wasn’t surprising after the spread in the Sunday paper. She thought she glimpsed Sam way in the back, or some guy with an eccentric mustache like his, but then a large woman shifted position and he was blocked. Pippa turned to look at the rest of her family, sitting together two rows behind her. Francie was dressed in white, next to Marshall, who cleaned up pretty smart when he made the effort. Adele and the twins were looking down at a book. Pippa could see Timothy’s lips moving as he read. Liz sat perfectly still, eyes closed, probably praying to Isis. Pippa started to wave, but Francie shook her head the slightest bit. Feeling reprimanded, Pippa flushed and turned to face the front of the courtroom. She sat behind the defense table with her court-appointed lawyer. She had only met the guy once before today’s hearing, and that was at her arraignment. He was so thin that she couldn’t imagine he had room for the necessary internal organs, much less for the strength to stand up to the D.A.’s booming voice. Arms folded across his chest, a uniformed guard stood sentry at the side door to the right of the raised stage. At their arraignment, the cops had brought all three of them through that door from the holding cells. But only Tian and Murphy returned to the jail, and Pippa had been escorted to Nan Malloy’s office to hear about her house arrest rules. The lawyer leaned close to Pippa’s ear and pointed to the matching door to the left. “Judge Thomas will enter that way. When he does, stand up, and look respectful. He’s the one who set the terms of your house arrest and he’ll hear your case.” “Is that good?” Ellen Meeropol ~ 149 “So-so. He’s strict, conservative. But he’s very pro-motherhood, and you’re pregnant , so that’s in your favor. Especially if you can convince him how much you want this baby.” The lawyer’s mouth twisted down at the corners and he pointed down at Pippa’s barely rounded middle. “When you stand up, stick out your belly. Your best chance is to persuade him that you are the innocent young mother. You’re the youngest defendant, the youngest adult in the cult. That’s why it’s so important to separate your case from the other defendants. Our strategy will be to show you as a victim under their control. Brainwashed.” “But that’s not true.” “It’s your best defense. Do you want your baby born in prison?” Pippa had no chance to answer, because things started happening. First, two men in dark suits came over to their table, leaned down to shake her lawyer’s hand. Pippa recognized them as the public defenders assigned to Tian and Murphy. Then Nan Malloy and Emily walked in from the back of the courtroom and sat in the front row across the aisle, behind the table with the District Attorney. Did that mean Emily was on the other side? Pippa wanted to ask her lawyer, but he was whispering with the other lawyers, who had taken their seats behind the defense table. She had other, bigger, questions about Emily, questions the lawyer couldn’t imagine . Like, why did she run out of the house so abruptly yesterday? Was it just being squeamish about a decapitated cat? She was a nurse; she should be used to injury and death. How come she wouldn’t answer about the solstice? Had Pippa been wrong to trust her? Then the right-hand door opened and Tian and Murphy were led in, dressed neck toanklesinorangecoveralls.Handcuffedandshackled.Theguardshadgunsinleather holsters, bumping against their blue trousers with each step. They escorted Tian and Murphy to the end of Pippa’s row, to chairs on the other side of the lawyers. Pippa wondered if the lawyers would change seats with her, so she could sit next to Tian. There might be a rule against defendants touching thighs on courtroom chairs. She leaned forward so she could see Tian and smiled at him, tried to capture his eyes, but he was staring at the opening door on the left...


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MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
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