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Act III Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 313

Act Three
Bert and Drummond discuss the possible outcome of the trial. Drummond tells Bert about a toy rocking horse he received as a childhood birthday present from his parents. The horse, which he named Golden Dancer, was beautiful, yet when he tried to actually ride the horse, it broke in two. This, Drummond asserts, illustrates that many things are not what they appear to be, that a beautiful, strong-looking toy horse may in fact be cheap and weak—just as an age-old belief may in fact be false. Back in court, the jury returns a verdict of guilty and the judge fines Bert $100. Brady objects, claiming that the penalty is too lenient. Drummond shocks the court by declaring that he will appeal to the state Supreme Court—and would do so even if the fine were a single dollar. Vexed at not winning a more decisive victory, Brady tries to have his views read into the record, but he is rebuffed by the judge, ignored by the people in the court, and cut-off by a radio broadcaster. Brady suddenly collapses and is rushed from the courtroom, leaving Bert, Drummond, and Rachel to discuss the case. When the judge returns to announce that Brady has died, Hornbeck cynically attacks Brady and his views. Drummond turns on him angrily, denouncing Hornbeck's attitude as self-serving and without compassion. Hornbeck leaves, confused, and Bert and Rachel make plans to depart together on the afternoon train. Drummond picks up Rachel's copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species—a sort of bible to evolutionists—which she has forgotten, but Bert and Rachel are out of earshot. Drummond spots the court's Bible on the judge's bench, weighs them against each other in his hands, slaps the two volumes together, and jams them into his briefcase side by side. He walks out of the courtroom and across the town square.

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Act II Summary