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28. CHAPTER XXVIII. THE VERDICT.
For a moment there was tense silence in the court-room which was broken by the defense's perfunctory "Take the witness" to the prosecuting attorney, but again cross-examination was waived.
"Call the next witness, please," and a moment later the Lizard emerged from the witness-room.
"I wish you would tell the jury," said the counsel for defense after the witness had been sworn, "just what you told me in my office yesterday afternoon."
"Yes, sir," said the Lizard. "You see, it was like this: Murray there sent for me and tells me that he's got a job for me. He wants me to go and crack a safe at the International Machine Company's plant. He said there was a fellow on the inside helping him, that there wouldn't be any watchman there that night and that in the safe I was to crack was some books and papers that was to be destroyed, and on top of it was three or four thousand dollars in pay-roll money that I was to have as my pay for the job. Murray told me that the guy on the inside who wanted the job done had been working some kind of a pay-roll graft and he wanted the records destroyed, and he also wanted to get rid of the guy that was hep to what he had been doin'. All that I had to do with it was go and crack the safe and get the records, which I was to throw in the river, and keep the money for myself, but the frame-up on the other guy was to send him a phony message that would get him at the plant after I got through, and then notify the police so they could catch him there in the room with the cracked safe.
"I didn't know who they were framin' this job on. If I had I wouldn't have had nothin' to do with it.
"Well, I goes to the plant and finds a window in the basement open just as they tells me it will be, but when I gets on the first floor just before I go up-stairs to the office, which is on the second floor, I heard some one walking around up-stairs. I hid in the hallway while he came down. He stopped at the front door and lighted a cigarette and then he went on out, and I went up-stairs to finish the job.
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