Jurors Have a Great Time Playing Jokes on Deputies

Another in our series of new transcriptions of contemporary articles on the Leo Frank case.

Atlanta Constitution
August 11th, 1913

Coats off and collars and ties flung carelessly on bedposts and convenient chairs the twelve jurors in the Frank case and Deputies Foster Hunter and Bob Deavours, in charge of them, were taking a comfortable afternoon rest Sunday when suddenly a woman’s voice in a plaintive key called loudly from the street, “Oh, Bob, Bob Deavours!” The deputy leaped to his feet. He was certain he had heard his wife’s voice, and though the suite of rooms in the Kimball house where the jury is quartered three floors above the street, the voice came from a window.

The deputy rushed to the window and looked in vain. As he turned back to the room the gruff voice of a man repeated the call from the hall door, he rushed over there and flung the door open, only to hear the first voice call him from the other room.

By that time Deavours was thoroughly alarmed and several of the jurymen had leaped to their feet from the beds and cots on which they had been dreamily listening to F. E. Winburn toying with the piano keys.

Bumps His Head.

Deavours rushed into the room from which he had heard the final call and went so rapidly that he stumbled and bumped his head against a bedpost. He was trying to convince himself that there must have been something else besides ice water in that last pitcher that the bellboy had brought up when he noticed that the jurors and Deputy Hunter were convulsed with laughter and that one man not got off his comfortable position across a bed.

He looked at the man on the bed for an explanation and then a voice from a table in the middle of the room said, “Bob, oh, Bob, there’s one of these here ventriloquists sum’mers round here.”

The cause of all the trouble was A. H. Henslee, who bears the euphemistic tile of “Big Newt,” and who had hitherto concealed his ventriloquial powers from the others.

It was only when the fun had subsided and those who had been holding their sides as they laughed at the deputy, recovered from their mirth that the big lump on the side of the deputy’s head was noticed and then there was no one more assiduous in bathing it than was the man whose gift of voice had started the commotion.

The lump, however, proved to be only a cause of a few moments’ worry and the deputy spent the rest of an hour laughing at the joke played upon himself. [several words illegible] told it to the newspaperman Deavours declared that if the joke was ever published on him he would certainly study the art of throwing his voice, and would run the reporter out of the sheriff’s office some day with six imaginary bill collectors after him.

Holds Child in Arms.

Sunday was a quiet day with the jury. There had been only one cause of worry. That was the illness of M. Johenning’s little baby and Saturday night the juror had been allowed to hold the child in his arms and satisfy himself that it was fully recovered. It was the first time in two wees that he had seen it and his anxiety over its condition had been felt by every one of the others.

The monotony of the day of rest from seven hours a day in the jury box was relieved by Juror Winburn’s talent on the piano, which has been moved in the apartment, and by Bible reading by another juror.

In the afternoon Howard Smith, son of Juror F. V. L. Smith, arrived with a baker’s dozen of cup custards, more than enough slices of lemon pie to go around and what the jurors all declared was the best home-made candy ever tasted. It was the gift of Mrs. Smith and no dainties of a housewife were ever more enjoyed and appreciated.

Sunday night, shortly after supper, Deputies Charles Huber and A. F. Pennington, who relieved the other two deputies, took the jurors for a long walk, as has been the custom every evening when the weather permitted.

Not one of the men whom jury duty has confined for a fortnight now, has suffered the least discomfiture from the trying habits enforced upon them and all of them are in the best of spirits. A sort of fellowship has sprung up that has cemented the twelve and made them fast friends and they know each other and the deputies in charge of them by their first names or nicknames, for not a one of the jurors has been slighted by his fellows in the matter of a title and they range from “Judge Roan” to “Big Newt.”

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Atlanta Constitution, August 11th 1913, “Jurors Have a Great Time Playing Jokes on Deputies,” Leo Frank case newspaper article series (Original PDF)