Tweet of the Day: Conflict- Beyond Arguments and Fistfights
Tyrwyr’s, my dwarven advocate, voice thundered across the forum, “…and today you will see that no crime has been committed. No false promises laid, and not rapture or leave from family or friends. Merely an act of two young lovers who discovered a powerful attraction and acted on it, as many of us have done, if we are lucky,” laughter rained from the gallery, “from time to time. Thank you!” he bowed and sat beside me at our bench.
“Well done, Sir,” I said.
“I did what I do best, the rest is up to you,” he said. The red beard common to the Hollyhead Clan accentuated the mirth in his voice. He really enjoyed the challenge of the trial. I would have enjoyed it too, if my neck had not been on line.
Justine father brought out the first witness, the head priest of the local temple of Diana. He asked him if she had been pledged as a virgin servant of the goddess, to wit the priest answer in the affirmative.
Tyrwyr whispered, “Ask him about the timing of the pledge.”
I paced the open floor of the forum, “I just have but a few questions. Does the great goddess Diana demand that women who serve her be virgins?”
“It is our tradition that those who come to serves be virgins, for Diana guards virginity in all women,” he said with his chin held high.”
“And who made this pledge?”
“The girl’s father,” he said.
“And when did he make it?”
“A week a go.”
“And did you know that she was no longer a virgin, a week ago?”
He dabbed his brow with a piece of cloth, “Well, I…I ah, I had no reason not to believe him, that is….”
I waved him away, “No further questions, sir. Thank you for your time.”
Next came Justine’s father. He grumbled all the way to the bench assigned to the witnesses, “Let’s get this over with.”
“In a minute. I just have just two questions. One, is it true that you ordered my incarceration and execution without trial?
“Of course I did! Your guilt was evident!” he screamed at the jurors.
“Indeed. And on who’s authority did you do this?”
“What?” His cheeks boiled red.
“Did you consult the City Council or call a magistrate? According to my distinguished advocate, no patrician or citizen may be executed without a trial. Last I remember I found myself in a cell without the benefit of one,” I said.
“You’re not patrician, you’re a low life scum,” he spat.
“Your opinion of me doesn’t change the facts,” I said.
“You dishonored me and defiled my daughter,” he said.
I shook my head, “I have no further questions for this witness.”
I left Justine for last. I hated the idea of bringing her into this mess, but I had no choice, “My lady, I like to apologize to bring you into this, I’ll be as brief as possible.” She smiled. I took a deep breath, “This is a delicate question, but I have to ask it. Was I your first?”
She shrugged, “No.”
“Did I tried to take you away from your family?”
“Did I threaten you in anyway or made promises I did not keep?”
“You promised me pleasure and had you not delivered on that promise I would have thrown you bodily out of my chambers,” she said. Again, the jurors roared with laughter.
“Thank you my lady, no further questions,” I said. I sat back on my bench.
The magistrate pointed at the jurors. A few raised their wax tablet showing the side marked with the letter C, but the majority of the one-hundred jurors flipped the tabled to show a capital A.
The Magistrate stood up, “Considering the evidence presented, I concur with the judgment of the jurors. However, considering that the accused admitted to having carnal knowledge of the defendants daughter, I here by order him to marry her forthwith, in the manner prescribed by tradition and with a full dowry. That is all.”
Justine’s father and I spoke at the same time, “WHAT!”