The jury went out and stayed out all day. Those who had an interest in the verdict of Marvin Mandel had little to do but wait and talk and speculate.
Mostly, they waited - at the courthouse in Baltimore and the State House in Annapolis, at the newsrooms and restaurants.
"There are two ways to wait," said Hans F. Mayer, an aide to Gov. Mandel, while waiting at the State House pressroom. "You either sit down and wait or you stand up and wait."
Mandel, at the end of a two-month trial, waited at the Governor's Mansion. "He was very cheerful," said Blair Lee III, the acting governor. Lee, whose political future may depend on the jury's decision, said he also was tranquil. "When it comes it comes," he said. "Let's be philosophical."
Frances Garczynski, an alternate juror who had just been dismissed by the trial judge, waited at her home in East Baltimore.
"It was beautiful," said Garczynski, a 65-year-old widow, of the two months she spent sequestered in a suburban motel with her fellow jurors. "We had a ball."
They played gin rummy and Monopoly, they read love stories and mysteries. They were driven around by U.S. marshals in shiny government cars, they ate at "the best restaurants" in Baltimore. Garczynski found it a fascinating world.
"Some might have felt cooped up. Not me. I'm an old lady. I enjoyed it."
A typical day for the jurors began at 6 a.m., when the marshals came knocking on the juror's rooms on the eighth floor of the hotel. Breakfast was at 7, in a special dining room set up especially for the jorors. They could order whatever they wanted, said Garczynski. She added: "We all gained weight."
Lunch was catered by the marshals again, who picked up sandwiches at downtown restaurants and brought them to the jury room located behind courtroom 1-A at the courthouse. On rare occasions, said Garczynski, they ordered hamburgers from Gino's.
Late each afternoon, after a full day of listening to testimony, the jurors were bused back to the hotel and escorted up to their floor. There, they entertained themselves in a top-security-environment.
They were unapproachable by the motel's three elevators, which would stop at the seventh floor. The door on their hallway had a large "keep out" sign and the window on the door was completely covered by a brown paper bag. The marshals kept watch over them.
Helen Brown, another alternate juror, was grateful for the service provided by the marshals ("they made things very comfortable for us"), but happy to leave them behind today. "There's no place like home," said she.
That sentiment was shared by U.S. District Judge Robert Love Taylor, the 77-year-old Tennesseean who came up from Knoxville to preside at the Mandel trial. Taylor gave notice to his landlord today that he plans to vacate his apartment by Monday.
"I'm just hoping it will be all over by then," said Taylor, who hasn't been home since May 31.
Taylor and his wife, Florence, have been leasing a two-room suite on the 24th floor of a Charles Center apartment building in downtown Baltimore for the last 10 weeks.
They have spent most of their free time within the apartment complex, reading, swimming and cooking. The judge's only outside excursions have been for Sunday church services and occasional dinners with their daughter, a reporter for NBC in New York.
Taylor, a former semipro baseball player, has become hooked on the Baltimore Orioles. He has also developed a liking for Maryland seafood, especially hard shell crabs. "I love 'em, love 'em," said the diminutive judge, who has a habit of repeating the last words in each sentence. "We sure don't have these down home."
The folksy judge has entertained the lawyers in the case with tales of his boyhood in Tennessee. Taylor comes from a famous eastern Tennessee political dynasty. His father was a three-term Republican congressman and governor and senator. And his grandfather was a "Whig preacher who served in Congress - preachers ran for office just like sinners in those days."
A state senator from Western Maryland who attended a committee meeting in Annapolis said his colleagues were setting odds for conviction or acquittal, although no one placed bets because of the seriousness of the case.
The only news at the courthouse yesterday, where scores of reporters did their hovering, was that one of the six defendants. Ernest N. Cory Jr., waived his right to appear in court when the verdict finally comes in.
Corey left for Kansas City to attend the funeral of his brother-in-law.