Inspector Checker did not relish his job today because he had to bring prominent towns folk in for questioning and they stood Charged before the beak at one O’clock.
“Order, order” cried the judge as the courtroom filled with onlookers who scrambled and shoved for a seat.
Mr. Jack Spriggins of Jackstown Hall, Jacks Town, you are charged on this day as follows.
1. One case of fraud, As you fraudulently wormed your way into Mr and Mrs. Ogre’s home by falsely passing yourself off as a poor orphan.
2. Three Cases of Theft, one, a bag of gold, the second a golden singing harp and thirdly a goose that lays golden eggs.
3. For living off the ill-gotten gains of such larceny.
4. And One case of cold blooded murder with a deadly weapon.
“Mrs. Widow Spriggins.
You are charged with the following” called the Judge shaking his head gravely.
1. Three cases of handling stolen goods, and living off said goods to the betterment of yourself and your son.
2.one charge of concealing a crime, namley a murder.
3. Collusion therefore culpability to that murder.
4. Child abuse, as you, on the day your son swapped your cow for a bag of beans, did beat him sorely and sent him to the loft space to sleep without either food or water.
“How do you both plead?” A hush hung thick in the air, only the shuffling of shoes to floor broke the silence.
“Guilty as charged M’lord” said Jack in a cracked voice while dropping his head into his hands. A hubub ensued as gasps were heard and girls sobbed openly into kerchiefs.
“And Mrs. Widow Spriggins how do you plead?”
The Judge tapped his gavel for order and glared at the gallery. A buzz flew around the court as the widow fell to her knees. The harp startled by the malarkey suddenly played a soothing tune, the goose laid two golden eggs in fear of the noise and the widow sobbed.
“Guilty as charged M’lord” she cried.
The bag of gold rattled and shook as the floor vibrated. The towns folk in unison took an intake of breath and none could believe their eyes. As an Ogre entered the court. She was bent at the waist, her back scraped along the ceiling and flakes of dry paint showered the gallery as she approached the bar. Her long and warty nose dripped a puddle of snot on the judges table. The crone wiped her bulbous eye with a finger resembling a stick. The floor vibrated, pictures became squint on the walls as she belowed. ‘Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an English man, be he live or be he dead I will grind his bones to make my bread.”
The chandelier shook, she belched her breath of green clouds over the room which left the stench of rotting flesh. The gallery of men and women rose to their feet banging, jeering and scraping chairs on the floors. “Silence! Silence I say! or the lot of you will be held in contempt” The Judge roared; banging the gavel once more.
The hubub eventually died down and the court awarded Mrs. Ogre all monies, businesses and homes. All that the offending couple had accrued. Mrs. Ogre satisfied with the outcome, went on her way. She was to live as happily as one would in the circumstances, without her dear husband who was long dead by the hand of those villainous pair, ( with wealth beyond belief).
The punishment of Jack and his mother was not made public; neither were seen again. Mrs Widow Ogre became fat, some said she suffered bouts of heinous depression, and awful flatulence for many a year; but mostly the town’s folk kept quiet and kept their distance.
Inspector Checker was made Chief Super intendant and given new uniforms for his men and a brand new station house. The Judge retired, he lived a quiet life in a small cottage deep in the woods, with a few chickens a goat and a cow named Milky White.