Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Clouds of Witness cont.

Duke of D. (with visible hesitation): “Round at the back of the house. Towards the bowling-green.”
A bowling green is a finely-laid, close-mown and rolled stretch of lawn for playing the game of lawn bowls. The world's oldest surviving bowling green is the Southampton Old Bowling Green, which was first used in 1299. Bowls (also lawn bowls, variants include flat-green bowls and crown-green bowls ) is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat (for "flat-green bowls") or convex (for "crown-green bowls"). It is normally played outdoors.

The Coroner: “The bowling-green?”
Duke of D. (more confidently): “Yes.”
The Coroner: “But if you were more than a quarter of a mile away, you must have left the grounds?”
Duke of D.: “I—oh yes—I think I did. Yes, I walked about on the moor a bit, you know.”
The Coroner: “Can you show us the letter you had from Mr. Freeborn?”
Duke of D.: “Oh, certainly—if I can find it. I thought I put it in my pocket, but I couldn't find it for that Scotland Yard fellow.”
Scotland Yard is often used as a metonym for the Metropolitan Police Service of London, UK. It derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Scotland Yard entrance became the public entrance to the police station. Over time, the street and the Metropolitan Police became synonymous. The New York Times wrote in 1964 that, just as Wall Street gave its name to the New York financial world, Scotland Yard did the same for police activity in London. Although the Metropolitan Police moved away from Scotland Yard in 1890, the name New Scotland Yard was adopted for the new headquarters.

The Coroner: “Can you have accidentally destroyed it?”
Duke of D.: “No—I'm sure I remember putting it——Oh”—here the witness paused in very patent confusion, and grew red—“I remember now. I destroyed it.”
The Coroner: “That is unfortunate. How was that?”
Duke of D.: “I had forgotten; it has come back to me now. I'm afraid it has gone for good.”
The Coroner: “Perhaps you kept the envelope?”
Witness shook his head.
The Coroner: “Then you can show the jury no proof of having received it?”
Duke of D.: “Not unless Fleming remembers it.”
The Coroner: “Ah yes! No doubt we can check it that way. Thank you, your grace. Call Lady Mary Wimsey.”
The noble lady, who was, until the tragic morning of October 14th, the fiancée of the deceased, aroused a murmur of sympathy on her appearance. Fair and slender, her naturally rose-pink cheeks ashy pale, she seemed overwhelmed with grief. She was dressed entirely in black, and gave her evidence in a very low tone which was at times almost inaudible.
The custom of wearing unadorned black clothing for mourning dates back at least to the Roman Empire, when the toga pulla, made of dark-colored wool, was worn during periods of mourning.
By the 19th century, mourning behaviour in England had developed into a complex set of rules, particularly among the upper classes. Women bore the greatest burden of these customs. They involved wearing heavy, concealing, black clothing, and the use of heavy veils of black crêpe. The entire ensemble was colloquially known as "widow's weeds" (from the Old English "Waed" meaning "garment").

Special caps and bonnets, usually in black or other dark colours, went with these ensembles. There was special mourning jewelry, often made of jet and with the hair of the deceased in a locket or brooch. The wealthy could also wear cameos or lockets designed to hold a lock of the deceased's hair or some similar relic.


Poor orphans depicted wearing a makeshift black armband to mourn for their mother (Work by F.M. Brown), 1865Widows were expected to wear special clothes to indicate that they were in mourning for up to four years after the death, although there were many occasions where this attire was worn for the rest of the widow's life. To change the costume earlier was considered disrespectful to the decedent and, if the widow were still young and attractive, suggestive of potential sexual promiscuity. Those subject to the rules were slowly allowed to re-introduce conventional clothing at specific time periods; such stages were known by such terms as "full mourning", "half mourning", and similar descriptions. At half mourning, gray and lavender could be introduced


The five daughters of Albert, Prince Consort wore black dresses and posed for a portrait with his statue following his death in 1861.
Queen Victoria with the five surviving children of her daughter, Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, dressed in mourning clothing for their mother and sister in early 1879.Friends, acquaintances, and employees wore mourning to a greater or lesser degree depending on their relationship with the deceased. In general, servants wore black armbands when there had been a death in the household.

Mourning was worn for six months for a sibling. Parents would wear mourning for a child for "as long as they feel so disposed". A widow was supposed to wear mourning for two years and was not supposed to enter society for twelve months. No lady or gentleman in mourning was supposed to attend balls. Amongst polite company, the wearing of simply a black arm band was seen as appropriate only for military men (or others compelled to wear uniform in the course of their duties). Wearing a black arm band instead of proper mourning clothes was seen as a degradation of proper etiquette and to be avoided.[2] Men were expected to wear mourning suits (not to be confused with morning suits) of black frock coats with matching trousers and waistcoats. Later, in the inter-war period, as the frock coat became increasingly rare, the mourning suit consisted of a black morning coat with black trousers and waistcoat, essentially a black version of the morning suit worn to weddings and other occasions, which would normally include coloured waistcoats and striped or checked trousers.

Formal mourning culminated during the reign of Queen Victoria. Victoria may have had much to do with the practice, owing to her long and conspicuous grief over the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Although fashions began to be more functional and less restrictive for the succeeding Edwardians, appropriate dress for men and women, including that for the period of mourning, was still strictly prescribed and rigidly adhered to.

After expressing his sympathy, the Coroner asked, “How long had you been engaged to the deceased?”
Witness: “About eight months.”
The Coroner: “Where did you first meet him?”
Witness: “At my sister-in-law's house in London.”
The Coroner: “When was that?”
Witness: “I think it was June last year.”
`The Coroner: “You were quite happy in your engagement?”
Witness: “Quite.”
The Coroner: “You naturally saw a good deal of Captain Cathcart. Did he tell you much about his previous life?”
Witness: “Not very much. We were not given to mutual confidences. We usually discussed subjects of common interest.”
The Coroner: “You had many such subjects?”
Witness: “Oh yes.”
The Coroner: “You never gathered at any time that Captain Cathcart had anything on his mind?”
Witness: “Not particularly. He had seemed a little anxious the last few days.”
The Coroner: “Did he speak of his life in Paris?”
Witness: “He spoke of theatres and amusements there. He knew Paris very well. I was staying in Paris with some friends last February, when he was there, and he took us about. That was shortly after our engagement.”
The Coroner: “Did he ever speak of playing cards in Paris?”
Witness: “I don't remember.”

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