BOOK OF THE JUDGES

Completely engrossing the headlines of the New York newspapers for the past several months have been the rather insouciant difficulties in which the members of the Manhattan judiciary have all too unwillingly found themselves immersed. Rumors of bribes and office-buying filled the air with acrid odors. Someone traced down several of these odors and, strangely enough, found them sadly true. That someone was Isador Kresel, respected member of the New York bar, an unfailing public servant, and daemoniac detective hounding the paths of careless judiciaries. There ensued sudden resignations, mysterious disappearance and, still more strangely, several convictions. The innocent trembled with the guilty as Justice walked without its customary blind staggers.

The Lawyer Kresel still holds the headlines and double columns of the press. Yesterday's type, however, bore a slightly different tune, that of the prosecutor pleading "not guilty" to charges of misappropriating funds of a now deceased bank. And as Mr. Kresel was formally indicated with promises of a speedy trial, the baited judiciary may have relaxed.

The plot smells of melodrama; the honest devotee of the public had gone too far and tread on the wrong person's toes. Machination followed recrimination and Mr. Kresel has been found wanting. Of course he may be guilty. Somehow, the courageous actions and brief plea for public confidence of a man who is held for circumstances over which he seemingly had no control make a continuous pattern with his actions in the past. And the past, as someone naively remarked--it was not Mr. Kresel--is the judge of the present.