What law, you ask? The one against teaching evolution in public schools. (This play takes place at a time "not long ago," okay?)
Bert's friend Rachel tries to get him to say it was all a joke, but he sticks to his guns.
He's serious about this evolution business, and about the education of young minds.
We and Bert have something in common when it comes to being serious about the education of young minds. Word.
Anyway, Bert's trial is kind of a circus. His lawyer and some other hotshot lawyer put up their intellectual dukes.
Bert's agnostic lawyer, Drummond, ends up humiliating the prosecuting lawyer, Brady, on the stand. He does this by proving that Brady, a deeply religious man, doesn't believe in totally literal interpretations of the Bible.
Bert is found guilty anyway. But, he is only fined $100 (chump change compared to a prison sentence).
Keeping the faith, Bert promises to continue to fight against what he considers to be an unfair law.
And then there's that pseudo-romantic part of our happy ending. When Rachel decides to run away from her oppressive father, Bert takes off with her.
A slap on the wrist and a pretty girl on his arm; all's well that ends well, huh?