The prosecutor cleared his throat. In melancholic tones, he began to tell of his client, of what a great man he was, a pillar of his community, an example to children, a man of great wisdom and foresight—

"When he doesn't have a bag over his head, you mean?" the judge enquired.

Sir Gerald made a sour face. "Yes, Your Lordship."

"Go on, go on. I didn't mean to interrupt."

"Well, as I was just planning to say, on last Christmas Eve, my client happened to be in a tap room in town, having a mug of ale and happily celebrating our Lord's birth with his friends."

The judge nodded gravely. "Quite understandable. I also celebrate Christmas in the pub each year. For does the Holy Scripture not tell us, 'And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; and there Mary gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and put him in the local pub; because the Whiskey in the church tasted like crap. Amen.'"

Sir Gerald's face turned a nice shade of red. As for his client's face, it was hard to tell under the bag.

"Are you making fun of me, My Lord?"

"Whatever gave you that impression, Sir Gerald? Do go on. I am most interested to hear the rest of this tale."

"Harrumph. As I was saying, he was enjoying a quiet mug of ale when suddenly, this madwoman there, Miss Caroline Newton—" he raised an arm and stabbed it in the direction of the defendant, "attacked him and clawed and bit him! He barely escaped with his life, and was severely disfigured!"

"Ah. I see." The judge nodded. "And, just out of curiosity...what exactly led up to this mad attack?"

Sir Gerald glanced away. "Pardon, My Lord? I have not the pleasure of understanding you."

"Then let me be clearer. Was Miss Newton's attack unprovoked, or did she have a reason to decide that bulbous nose would be a better dessert than spotted dick?"

"Perhaps I should best take over this part of the story?" The defence council stepped forward. "After all, it is my responsibility to speak for Miss Newton."

"Please do." The judge nodded. "Would your client like a bag as well? After all, I won't have it said that this court is unfair."

"I don't believe that will be necessary, Your Lordship," the defence council responded, keeping his face totally stoic. "Now, to get back to the subject, there was indeed provocation involved in the matter. I have here signed statements from multiple witnesses who were present during the occasion."

He handed the judge a stack of documents. McDougal started leafing through them.

"Hm...accuser kissed defendant's younger sister, defendant demanded him to cease, whereupon..."

He glanced up sharply at the prosecutor. "Is this true?"

The prosecutor cleared his throat. "My client does not deny the course of events, but the witnesses were overly judgemental in their statements. My client was under the influence, if I may remind you. It was Christmas, and everyone was having fun, and—"

"A little too much fun, I see." The judge returned to the document. "...He told her if she was angry about him kissing her sister, he would kiss her also...a scuffle ensued, and they both fell to the ground..."

A deadly silence spread over the courtroom as the judge read. Finally, he put the statements down, and nodded. "All right. That would be all. Now, before we proceed to the verdict, does the prosecution or its client have anything more to add?"

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