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Act 1, Scene 2
The scene is set in the courtroom a few days later. Mr. Brady and Mr. Drummond are choosing a jury. They are down to the last two jurors. Mr. Brady is questioning Mr. Bannister, a man who is obviously eager to serve on the jury. Brady asks Mr. Bannister if he attends church regularly. Mr. Bannister says he only attends on Sundays. Brady accepts him for the jury. Mr. Drummond questions him next. When he finds out that Mr. Bannister has not ever read anything about evolution, Darwin, or even the Bible because he cannot read, Drummond also accepts him as a juror. Before the next person is called, Mr. Brady asks the judge if the men in the courtroom can remove their jackets. The judge grants permission. Mr. Drummond says the court may be offended by his purple suspenders. When Brady makes fun of his Chicago fashion, Drummond says he purchased the suspenders in Brady's hometown of Weeping Water, Nebraska.
The next candidate for the jury is called; he is Jesse H. Dunlap, a farmer and cabinetmaker. After proclaiming that he believes in the word of God and in Matthew Harrison Brady, he is accepted onto the jury by Brady. Drummond, however, immediately refuses to accept Dunlap. Brady objects that Drummond has rejected the man without questioning him. Drummond asks the man how he is. The man says he is hot. Drummond says that he is finished questioning the man and that he has not changed his mind. The judge excuses Dunlap from jury duty.
Before the next candidate is called, Drummond objects to the judge calling Mr. Brady "Colonel Brady." He says the term brings forth an image of Brady on a white horse riding in to save the day. After some discussion, the Mayor also appoints Drummond a temporary Honorary Colonel. Now both attorneys are referred to with the title Colonel.
The judge calls a recess and announces that there will be a prayer meeting on the courthouse lawn. Drummond objects to the judge's "commercial announcement." He also objects to the banner "Read Your Bible!" posted outside the courthouse. He wants to remove it or to post another sign beside it that states, "Read Your Darwin!" The judge does not answer, but again announces the recess. Everyone leaves the courtroom, rallying around Brady. Drummond packs up his briefcase as Rachel stands with Bert Cates.