And at those words a piercing scream rang through the court. A woman was seen to be standing on a bench and pointing at one of the dwarfs.
"It's my Ludwig, my own little son Ludwig," she cried. "Ludwig, Ludwig, don't you know your mother?" There was no answer.
"Well, do you or don't you?" asked Cocklecarrot impatiently.
"My name is Bob," said the dwarf with slow dignity, "and I am an orphan. I was left on the doorstep of a house in Eaton Square. In a basket. A month later both my parents died."
"How do you know?" asked Cocklecarrot.
"I read it in the paper."
"You read it?" shouted the judge. "Why, how old were you ?"
"Thirty-one," said the dwarf. "It happened last year."
"Do you ask the court to believe," interrupted Mr. Hermitage, "that at the age of thirty-one you were put into a basket and left on the doorstep of a house in Eaton Square? Who carried the basket?"
"Two friends of my mother," said the dwarf.
"Were you covered up in any way?"
"Oh, yes,' said the dwarf, 'with an old travelling-rug."
"And what happened when you were found?"
"The lady of the house fell over the basket when she came out to go to a dance. She thought it was the washing, and had me carried in by the back entrance. The maids had hysterics when I got out of the basket, and, of course, I had to clear out. So I went to Nuneaton to seek employment; and it was while working there for a haulage contractor that I met the lady who afterwards became my wife, and a dearer, sweeter creature-"
"All this," interrupted Cocklecarrot, "has nothing whatever to do with the case. Mr. Hermitage, please try to confine yourself to the matter in hand. The whole thing is becoming impossible."