Authors: William Deverell
ALSO BY WILLIAM DEVERELL
Kill All the Judges
The Laughing Falcon
Trial of Passion
Street Legal: The Betrayal
Kill All the Lawyers
The Dance of Shiva
A Life on Trial
Copyright Â© 2011 by William Deverell
All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher â or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency â is an infringement of the copyright law.
Deverell, William, 1937-
Â Â Â I'll see you in my dreams / William Deverell.
“An Arthur Beauchamp novel.”
PS8557.E8775I44 2011Â Â Â Â Â C813'.54Â Â Â Â Â C2011-902103-X
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program and that of the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Media Development Corporation's Ontario Book Initiative. We further acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for our publishing program.
Published simultaneously in the United States of America by McClelland & Stewart Ltd.,
P.O. Box 1030, Plattsburgh, New York 12901
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011925619
Cover art: Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images
Cover Design: Leah Springate
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
75 Sherbourne Street
Dedicated to the First Nations people who survived,
defied, and exposed the Native residential school system
A THIRST FOR JUSTICE:
The Trials of Arthur Beauchamp
BY WENTWORTH CHANCE
AT TIMES THERE SEEMED MORE LABOUR
than love in this labour of love, yet I can now sit back with weary satisfaction at having realized a long-held dream: capturing the tumultuous journey of Arthur Ramsgate Beauchamp from awkward familial beginnings to early triumphs and losses, and, despite years of alcoholic despair and cuckoldom, finally securing a reputation as one of the leading trial lawyers of the past hundred years â sharing the throne, in my respectful opinion, with Clarence Darrow. (A.R.B. will forgive me for giving the edge to Darrow, with his more strenuous commitment to social justice.)
Before you proceed on, dear reader, please practise with me this aid to pronunciation. It's
, and certainly not
. The name came to England with the Normans, but the conquerors were stubbornly met by the Anglo-Saxons' insistence on hard syllables.
I am indebted to many, first among them Margaret Blake, Member of Parliament for Cowichan and the Islands, Green Party leader, and, of course, Beauchamp's life partner, the liberal yin to his conservative yang. Thank you, Ms. Blake, for filling in so many of the gaps that your overly cautious partner shied away from.
Many from Beauchamp's firm, Tragger, Inglis, Bullingham, had anecdotes to tell, particularly retired partner Hubbell Meyerson, who offered several humorous tales, and Gertrude Isbister, Beauchamp's long-time secretary. Without the aid of Beauchamp's daughter, Deborah, I might never have been able to bring alive his self-destructive decades with her mother, Annabelle, who, though she otherwise cooperated
with this enterprise, recalled only happy memories, insisting that the rest was “history, best forgotten.” Legal beagles Augustina Sage, John Brovak, and Maximilian Macarthur III offered lively anecdotes. April Wu should not go unmentioned, nor should Ira Lavitch, Nick “the Owl” Faloon, or Tony “the Angle” d'Anglio.
A collective thank-you to the good folks of Garibaldi Island, where Beauchamp has entered into a relaxed, bucolic retirement. Reverend Al Noggins, our hero's ally and spiritual adviser, shared confidences if not confessions. The island postmaster, Abraham Makepeace, and the editor of the
, Nelson Forbish, were unsparing of their time.
It would be inappropriate not to extend my sincerest gratitude to the subject of this biography, and I do so unequivocally, despite an unaccountable chilling of friendship that followed his reading of the final draft. And finally, I acknowledge the unrelenting support of my publisher and its editors, publicity staff, and lawyers.
y onions are shiny, my peaches plump, my bean pods crisp and fresh. All the entries are cuddled in foam in the back of my beloved 1969 Fargo, ready for the drive to the community hall tomorrow and the judging at the 2011 Garibaldi Island Fall Fair.
Pacing on the veranda, I try to pump myself up: this year the Mabel Orfmeister Trophy for Most Points in Fruits and Vegetables must be brought home to Blunder Bay, where it belongs. Doc Dooley has ruled too long; he must be overthrown.
I will wait half an hour before heading out. I don't want to get there too early. I don't want to appear anxious. I often felt this kind of tension as a lawyer, at the outset of a trial. I hope my beets and cukes will speak with the eloquence I displayed in court.
I go inside and flop into my club chair, reach for the poems of Catullus, recite aloud a favourite line: “No fickle lusts, no rooting between other sheets â your husband will lie only in the valley of
breasts.” Emphasis added, as if for Margaret's ears. Has anyone else been lying there, in that valley? I have been playing with that worry lately. A stupid concern, obviously false, unworthy of me.
Now my hand reaches out to
A Thirst for Justice: The Trials of Arthur Beauchamp
. This opus has been sitting beside the chair since its pre-summer release â presumably it was considered to offer light reading for the beach or cottage.
I have tossed away the book's cover jacket with its repellent illustration, my beaklike nose in profile, a frightening sight for those of tender years. I have marked up pages, written marginal notes of the kind that crazies scribble in library books. So many flagrancies, so many wounds exposed, so much grist for the Garibaldi gossip mill. Locals who snaffled early copies are having trouble making eye contact with the impotent cuckold.
From time to time I suffer a masochistic urge to tell the whole story, shout it to the world, bold and uncensored. But I have contented myself with vocalizing to my club chair, or to the goats, the sheep, and Bess, the milk cow. I can't find the courage to do anything but ruminate (as Bess does her cud, chewing again what has already been chewed and swallowed).
Astonishingly, the biography has won plaudits for Wentworth Chance, my self-proclaimed official biographer and (I'd thought) champion. It was seen as “candid” and “brave.” The
considered it “a remarkable story of self-redemption.” Who knew that shy Wentworth could speak so loudly on paper? Who could have guessed that A.R. Beauchamp, Q.C., so wise, so wary, would have posed so nakedly for those interminable taping sessions?
I leaf through it again, seeking to recognize myself, wondering who this fellow could be â so accomplished in the courthouse, so mired in insecurity outside its walls. My years as a tormented, self-doubting alcoholic. “The Wet Years” is my least favourite section, but one I've reread often, mainly because I have a mental blank about the drunken episodes that Wentworth makes seem almost heroic â hurling insults at a judge at a Law Society dinner, dousing a prosecutor with my gin-spiked water jug, my raucous barstool recitations from the Song of Solomon or the
RubÃ¡iyÃ¡t. A flask of wine! A book of verse!
“Where the Squamish River Flows” is the poetic title of one of the early sections, complete with black-and-white photos of the cast: young Beauchamp himself, in the apparent guise of Ichabod Crane, Gabriel Swift, Professor Dermot Mulligan, Ophelia Moore. To kill time I return to it, though I've read it until its print smudged, looking for shadowy clues to what truly happened on the shores of that misty river on the Easter weekend of 1962.
Evil, unforgivable evil