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A SORDID SYMPHONY

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The symphony of sensation maintained in daily newspapers plays to a large and enthusiastic gallery. Sordidness of all sorts has an appeal which Bares in the habitat of headlines. By a judicious selection of detail, the reporters turn a trial into a drama comparable to that of the Restoration.

If the heroine nervously tugs at her glove under cross-examination, the country, is told in a special edition. If the hero waves on the witness stand, pink-sheeted extras herald the indiscretion. With the skill of true playwrights, the reporters interlard the main action with willy bits of byplay between the lawyers.

Were it not for these interludes even the subtle suggestions of sex might pall. But as it is, great popular sympathy is built up for the chief actors of the drama. The newspaper reader, knowing Mr. Carroll's intimate life as well as he does himself, can not avoid some semblance of pity for his plight. Bathtubs are such an integral part of existence that one rarely associates wrong-doing with their shiny enamel. Indeed young America is apt to consider a tub synonymous with parental urging to a goodly scrubbing. Perjury regarding neck and cars is a common crime often condoned.

With newspaper drama and the bathtub bogie thus working in Mr. Carroll's defense, the conviction is more than a usual triumph for the forces of justice. Somehow, the district attorney's cause must have drawn strength from the legions of parents who made their children go back to wash again.

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