Justice For The Queen

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Chapter 19

First they stopped off at the Chimeran camp. There, there was a bit of a reception and a good bye dinner. “I bid you farewell,” King Jehan said to King Kirillo. “And I you, young human King,” Kirillo said. I hope that you do not return too soon to my country.” They left the land of the chimerans. King Jehan went to the village, were the journey man blacksmith was now the master. There he called one of his men who was a scribe. “I want this clearly written down and posted so that all will know. I give to your hand now, 1000 Royals. You are to use this money to provide for King Kirillo of the chimerans, or to any agent he should send, whatever hunting weapons they require of you, until that amount is finished. I also require that the work be good and the price be fair. I am certain that if it is not, I shall hear of it.” Both the blacksmith and the king signed it. However, whether or not it was kept, was up for speculation.

The route that they took to return to the capitol and the palace was much shorter than the one they took to get there. That was thanks to the shee. They were home by high summer. When they were in the vicinity of the capitol of the shee, Sibelius and his men left them for a time. Less than a day later they were back. “Our king,” Sibelius said, “requests that I accompany you and observe the punishment that these men suffer. He has that right, as it was his cousin that they killed.” “Actually I am delighted, my friend. Come and see my capitol and be made welcome.”

In the bailey, hammering sounds could be heard. The carpenter was building a giblet for the three criminals the king was bringing back. The whole town would want to see them hung.

Sibelius came to Shinna for the trial. After all, he wanted to see justice done for his people. King Finnian did not go, for such was not the habit of their people. Sibelius was empowered to act for the King. He wondered what that made him. He was to be a witness to the trial so that he could come back and tell his people that it was done. He was ordered to be a witness to the execution too. Again, it was to be able to report to his people that that was done.

So they returned to the capitol. The scouts hurried on ahead to let the Queen know that the King was returning. They also told her that he had some new friends with him. The word spread to the city guard, thence to the town guard, and then to the people. The king had captured all the criminals alive and was bringing them back. Their cases would be heard in court and if they had anything to say, they would have a chance to say it. But the people were reassured that they would be executed for what they did to the Queen.

The queen ordered that on the second day after he arrived a sumptuous dinner should be prepared for her husband and his new friends. But there was one thing that she wanted to see the very day they arrived. So she watched the line of march from the parapets as her husband came in to the city. The people lined the way and cheered as he and his men went by. They threw rotten things at the wagon with the prisoners.

All proceeded to the castle gates and to the keep itself. That was where the thing the Queen wanted to see happened. The prisoners forced by armed guard from the wagon and into the dungeon. The king greeted his wife, and his son, who was now nearly two years old. “I have ordered a simple meal for tonight,” Queen Medora told her husband. “There will be meat and mead for everyone. The official dinner to welcome your friends will be tomorrow night.” “Very well,” said the King, “but I believe my friend Lord Sibelius here and his shee would prefer to have their mounts on the outskirts of our fair city. There they can tether their pegasi where they can graze the tops of the trees. Pegasi really like the tender shoots there.”

“Forgive me, your lordship,” the Queen said, turning to greet Sibelius. It was on the way back to the capitol that the King learned that Sibelius was in fact a lord and that his estates lay on the border with the human lands. “How long will you be staying?” the Queen asked. “Until after the execution,” Sibelius said. It wasn’t until after supper that he explained to the Queen about the death of the King’s cousin.

The trial took place within three days of the King’s arrival home. This was not unusual. What was more unusual was that there was a trial at all. Joopi, Kendrew and Matyes were all tried together. Lord Curito read the charges in court. The judge called out to Joopi et. al. “How do you plead?”

“We plead not guilty, because of the influence of strong drink and of other forces that we do not understand,” Sir Joopi stood and called back. That necessitated the courts being busy all afternoon calling people, including the Queen, to testify about these young men. Lord Ghino was quite noticeable absent during the entire proceeding.

The Queen story about what she could remember of what happened in the garden convinced the judges of their guilt. Lord Sibelius reported about the murder of the King’s cousin and what they found when her body was found. It was discovered then, that he was also part of the family. Finally, the Judge banged his gavel and announced his decision to Joopi and his friends. “All of this,” he said. “Convinces me that you are guilty of egregious crimes against your queen, our people, and other peoples. With luck, your behaviors have not brought about conditions for wars among those peoples. Your behaviors clearly merit death, so death it shall be. What is the King’s pleasure in this?” King Jehan stood and said simply, “Hang them.” “It is so ordered that the day after tomorrow, at High noon, Joopi, Kendrew and Matyes be taken to the center of town and publicly hanged by the neck until dead.” The judge banged his gavel and court was adjourned.

That evening the sound of hammering could be heard coming from the central square. In the morning, it continued. The master carpenter constant-ly checked his work and the work of his journeyman. His apprentice was left to sort and straighten nails. That day Lambeth got his wish and took Prince Inigo for a ride on his Pegasus.

Finally, the next day, the gallows was finished. The King, Queen, Sir Sibelius, and others came in carts to the central square to witness it. The three men mounted the gallows and stood on small stools. Each rope was set to accommodate each man’s height or the lack of it. As the King dropped his kerchief, the stools were kicked from beneath the men. In 4 minutes, they were dead.

The next day Sibelius and his men said good-bye to the King and Queen and young Prince, and left for hom.

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