Chapter 3 Summary
The townspeople have become morose and quiet. Although the day-to-day business of the town is taking place, the people now have the war on their minds.
Annie and Joseph bicker with each other as they struggle to move a large table into the Mayor’s drawing room. After throwing the hot water on the soldiers, Annie became a bit of a celebrity in the town. This has encouraged her to employ her angry disposition more often.
Annie and Joseph engage in a discussion about the invaders. They say that it is wrong for them to be here and that it would be wrong for them to sentence Alex Morden (the miner who killed Captain Bentick) to death. Joseph quietly tells Annie that two men from the town have escaped. He also tells her that he believes Corell will not live much longer.
Mayor Orden and Doctor Winter come into the room. They discuss the fact that the invaders were putting Alex Morden on trial. When the Mayor wonders why they are bothering with the trial, Doctor Winter says, “The invaders will have a trial and hope to convince the people that there is justice involved.”
The door opens and an attractive young woman enters. It is Alex Morden’s wife, Molly Morden. Molly tells Mayor Orden that she has heard that he would be the one to sentence her husband to death. The Mayor says, “How could the people know what I don’t know?”
Doctor Winter replies, "That is a great mystery. That is a mystery that has disturbed rulers all over the world—how the people know . . . how the truth of things fights free of control. It is a great mystery."
Molly asks the Mayor if he will be the one to sentence her husband, and the Mayor says, “I’ll not sentence him.”
When Molly leaves, the Mayor’s wife comes in the room, complaining about how many people are in the house. The Mayor tells her to go the Morden’s house and stay with Molly for as long as she needs her.
Colonel Lanser comes in and asks to see the Mayor alone. When Doctor Winter leaves, Colonel Lanser and the Mayor discuss the fact that Alex Morden will stand trial for the murder of Captain Bentick. When Mayor Orden asks Colonel Lanser why they didn’t just shoot Morden without bothering with a trial, Colonel Lanser replies, "You know as well as I that punishment is largely for the purpose of deterring the potential criminal. Thus, since punishment is for others than the punished, it must be publicized. It must even be dramatized."
Colonel Lanser explains that he has orders to “get the...
(The entire section is 668 words.)