D'Arcy McGee was one of the forefathers of the Canadian Confederation whose life was recorded in equally meticulous detail by Mr. Slattery (The Assassination of D'Arcy McGee) before it came to an end in a street shooting in 1868. The case has filled the mind of the author ever since he was ten years old and he has retried it here from the evidence which was circumstantial to negligible at best although the verdict was never at issue--fear of the Fenians, indeed a ""collective psychosis"" comparable to the contemporary animus against the FLQ, confirmed the atmosphere of prejudgment and prejudice. Patrick James Whelan was arrested and tried forthwith and convicted primarily on the fact that his revolver, which the bullet fit, had recently been fired, and on the testimony of one Lacroix, known to be a ""menteur, vanteur."" Whelan was hung by his hooded neck, protesting his innocence. Slattery's reassessment at the close reverses the findings (Whelan carried Leet cartridges in his pocket; the fatal bullet was not made by this manufacturer--and then there's Lacroix's general unrealiability). Certainly he has done a very thorough job but this whole story may never rise above its parochial and limited criminal interest. Who will read it? Your witness.