It happened in the court-room during the trial of a husky young man who was charged with assault and battery. Throughout an especially severe cross-examination the defendant stoutly maintained that he had merely pushed the plaintiff "a little bit."
"Well, about how hard?" queried the prosecutor.
"Oh, just a little bit," responded the defendant.
"Now," said the attorney, "for the benefit of the judge and the jury, you will please step down here and, with me for the subject, illustrate just how hard you mean."
Owing to the unmerciful badgering which the witness had just been through, the prosecutor thought that the young man would perhaps overdo the matter to get back at him, and thus incriminate himself.
The defendant descended as per schedule, and approached the waiting attorney. When he reached him the spectators were astonished to see him slap the lawyer in the face, kick him in the shins, seize him bodily, and, finally, with a supreme effort, lift him from the floor and hurl him prostrate across a table.
Turning from the bewildered prosecutor, he faced the court and explained mildly:
"Your honor and gentlemen, about one-tenth that hard!"
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