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In Cold Blood

Truman Capote

The Corner: 1 of 2

Summary The Corner: 1 of 2


The Garden City jail is on the fourth floor of the county courthouse. That floor is also the home of Wendle Meier, the assistant sheriff, and his wife, Josephine. The "ladies' cell" is part of their apartment, and so Perry becomes a part of it. Josephine finds him gentle, but her husband, who was at the scene of the crime, corrects her.

Perry keeps a journal in his cell. He corrects his earlier confession, saying that in fact he personally shot all four victims. He hears on the radio that the district attorney will seek the death penalty. Neither Perry's sister nor father come to visit him. He receives a letter from an old army friend, Don Cullivan, who read about the case in the papers. Don wants to be Perry's friend and tell him about Catholicism. Perry crafts an enthusiastic response, explaining how he doesn't believe in religion but would love to be Don's friend.

Meanwhile, Dick seems very relaxed, smoking and reading, but he is working on an icepick-like "shiv" crafted from a brush he stole, and planning escape.

Perry's diary continues. He notes that the sheriff searched the rooms and found Dick's "shiv." He fantasizes that some men he sees outside plan to rescue him, but nothing comes of it. He dreams of the big, yellow parrot that will rescue him.

The trial begins. The state-appointed counsel suggests a change of venue, but it is denied. A psychologist is called in. There is a request to delay the trial, because the Clutter estate sale will take place the day before the trial, but it is denied.

On the first day of the trial, the jury is selected. Perry pays little attention, focusing on the "autobiography" that the psychologist asked him to write. He writes disjointedly, but intensely, mentioning some of the more traumatic events of his life. Dick does the same, but is more casual, and pays some attention to the jury selection.