Flemington, N.J., Feb. 13.--For the first time since his arrest Bruno Richard Hauptmann was reported tonight to be in a state of collapse.
When he marched out of the court room, manacled to Constable Hovey Low on his left and State Trooper Hugh Stockberger on his right, he was pale, but erect and his step seemed firm.
He went through the back rooms to his cell tier, which has been occupied by him alone. The minute the door was slammed shut behind him, according to the reports, he slumped, his face striking the floor.
There was a hush in the court room when Hauptmann came in at 10:30 o'clock tonight. For the first time since the trial started he was in irons, manacled to two of his nine guards. The bell in the belfry had already announced that the jury had reached a verdict, and the shouting of the throng outside was an overtone to the inside hush.
Wife Comes to His Side
Hauptmann walked across the room from the rear door and took his seat. He sat down stiffly, a little awkwardly, as if the manacles impeded his motions.
At almost the same moment his wife, her normally red face growing pale, edged up the outside aisle and around the seats inside the rail to a place close to her husband. She twisted her lips into a wry smile, but her husband, after one glance, looked away.
In the two minutes that passed before the jurors began to file in there was a vivid little picture. C. Lloyd Fisher, the one member of Hauptmann's counsel who has been closest to him, visiting him in the jail daily and taking his life story before the trial, leaned over and put his arm around the prisoner's shoulder.
He whispered: "This is only the beginning. Don't show a sign, because, if you do, it will count against you."
Then the attorney leaned over and placed his arm around Mrs. Hauptmann. He told her the same thing, substantially.
There was no sign of emotion on the face of either one, Hauptmann or his wife. They knew it was a warning to expect the worst, but, already pale, neither gave any other sign of feeling.
They Cannot Speak
Then, for a moment, they sought to speak to each other. He leaned forward and so did she, but after a word or two, the conversation flagged. In less than a minute the same door through which Hauptmann had come was opened again, and the face of Oden Baggstrom, chief constable in charge of the jury, warned the court room that the twelve were coming in.
One look at the jurors was enough for most of the persons in the room. Their faces were drawn, and they fidgeted as they filed into their seats, squirming as if to make the rubber-padded chairs more comfortable.
Hauptmann, too, took one glance at their faces and stared straight ahead of him at Justice Trenchard's bench. Mrs. Hauptmann studied a point on the floor before her.
Even more than the jury, these two people formed the centre toward which all eyes were directed. All around them were people. Fisher, the attorney-friend, had his back to the prisoner, and Hauptmann, who had stood up for the verdict, stared past his head.
He did not even look up when he heard the voice of Charles Walton Sr., the foreman, so nervous at pronouncing a verdict of death that he nearly tore in two the paper on which it was written, nor did he look up when the jurors were polled and made their answers in a variety of voices, some strong and firm, others so low they could not be heard.
He did not look at his wife, whose chin sank by degrees upon her chest. He looked only through a space between the heads of Fisher and Edward J. Reilly, chief defense counsel, whose back also was toward him.
Still "Man of Steel"
He sat down when the verdict had been announced. There was not even a sign passing between man and wife. When, as Justice Trenchard ordered him to stand again and receive the sentence, he seemed in a fair way to justify the description of Attorney General David T. Wilentz that he was a "man of steel." There was no visible tremor in his body, no sign in his face.
The sentence over, Hauptmann stood again and marched from the room. His step seemed a little less than firm, but solid enough. As he passed, Fisher stepped close to him and muttered something, to which the prisoner nodded, a half-nod, as if he had not quite comprehended, but did not have time to stay and learn what it was he was supposed to know.
Then he was gone through the rear door from which he had come.
His wife sat still. Up to now she had been staring at the floor, the only sign of life on her face the blinking of her heavy-lidded eyes. Suddenly her shoulders shook, the tears came, silently, without sound or warning, and she was crying. From her pocketbook she took a small blue handkerchief and began dabbing at them.
John Walters, the chief of police of Flemington, stepped forward and offered to escort her home. After a while she left with him.
Meanwhile her husband had gone back to his cell. After his slump, he half walked, was half carried, to his cell cot and fell face downward upon it, sobbing wildly, muttering in unintelligible German. After a time of this according to Lieutenant Alan Smith, chief of his guards, he sat on the edge of his cot, but his sobs were uncontrollable.
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