How would you interpret the last sentence?
MR. RAVENNER (the counsel): Then we may assume these documents refer to you. That you were then living in the Mexican headquarters of the well-known Communist leader of Stalin’s Bolshevik revolution, Leonadovich Trotsky.
MR. SHEPHERD(the witness): I beg your pardon?
MR. RAVENNER: Answer the question.
MR. SHEPHERD: I only want to clarify. Do you mean Lev Davidovich Trotsky, who led a worldwide movement to oppose Stalin? He was called by your Committee as a friendly witness, sir.
MR. RAVENNER: Just answer the question. Did you work for this Trotsky?
MR. SHEPHERD: Yes.
MR. RAVENNER: In what capacity?
MR. SHEPHERD: As his cook, his secretary-typist, and sometimes cleaner of rabbit cages. But usually the Commissar preferred handling the manure himself.
MR. WOOD (presiding the hearing): Here, I’ll have order!How would you interpret the last sentence?
Did Mr. Wood say that to the witness because he said that funny remark?
Or did Mr. Wood say that to the audience. (I guess the witness’s remark might have caused laughter among the audience.
Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.