The Case for the Defence

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"The Case for the Defence" is a short story by Graham Greene which is about a case which takes unusual turns. Published in 1939, it is part of the short-story collection Twenty-One Stories.


"The Case for the Defence" is a story of the trial of by Mr. Adams in the 'Peckham murder' case. There were four witnesses: Mrs Parker, Henry McDougall, Mr. Wheeler and Mrs. Salmon, whose account apparently held the key to Mr. Adams' conviction. Although she is confident that she saw Adams on the steps of Mrs. Parker’s house and he had a hammer, She is flustered at the sight of a twin of Mr. Adams at court and is no longer able to testify to the court. Mr.Adams not only had an alibi, but also the evidence was now deemed insufficient. Strangely enough, a freak accident outside the courtroom kills one of the twins and deepens the mystery of the 'Peckham Murder'. The author leaves us with the question: "But if you were Mrs. Salmon, could you sleep at night?"