Henry, dressed in his best attire, was walking around the hall restlessly. His beard was trim to the core, his hair as arranged as a freshly cut grass and his moustache as combed as a set of copper wire. Arthur couldn’t help but giggle at the young Master’s anxiety. Love can make any man go crazy. But it thrilled Arthur. Between all the court stress and loneliness, Henry was finally in some company of his own age. Arthur detested the fact that the only known friend of Henry was Desmond, who was surely a destructive influence on anybody. He had enthusiastically prepared a widespread cuisine of some of his best food. As he heard the knock on the door, just by the soft but single knock sound, he could tell it was a woman. Men never had the patience to knock once and wait. As he put the towel on his forearm and went to welcome the guest, Henry interrupted his path. The junior Rutherford didn’t care for any formal etiquettes that evening. He rushed to open the door and stood there stunned. This was surely not the upright doctor with the attitude that he met the other day. The lady in front of him looked like an angel in the moonlight. He had fallen head over heels for her at that moment. Seeing her host perplexed, Alba asked- “I did warn you about keeping a lady waiting. That advice holds good even when she is at your doorstep!.” Coming back to his senses, Henry escorted her to the dining room, still speechless. As Alba sat down, Arthur introduced himself - “Good Evening Doctor, I am your help for the evening. Welcome to this humble abode. Master Henry sure has good luck that you have come into his life. I was getting worried that I will forever be the housewife for him.” Embarrassed and blushing weirdly, Henry spoke up-“That’s enough, Arthur. I do need further meetings with her. Please don’t make this the last one”. Alba intervened- “Oh, don’t worry. This bond you share with Arthur here is pure bliss. This is very rare to witness. Tells a lot about you”. This conversation was making Henry’s face go pink all over, and he decided to just munch on the delicacies in front of him. Alba turned towards Arthur and started complimenting the food- “You, Sir, really are one wonderful chef. This is the most delicious meal I have had in a very long time. Guess I should visit here often, at least for this”. Arthur replied - “That’s very kind of you, Doctor” and started to leave the dining room, giving some personal space for the young couple in love. He was the happiest of the lot and went to the fireplace to make arrangements for the wine tasting session. Henry was very meticulous in selecting the best of wines. As he began arranging the glasses, he heard a loud thud sound at the door. The knocking was very restless and continued till Arthur hurried to the door. Henry and Alba were already there. As the door opened, Harold, the deputy sheriff was at the other end, panting for breath and shouted in a very tense tone - “ You have to accompany me immediately to the station. Please hurry. Oh ! Dr.Smith is here too. That’s better. Both of you, please get on the wagon immediately. We have an emergency”. Henry and Alba both looked shocked at this unknown development, but they quickly recovered and started to board the wagon. The lean but firm Harold was known for his calmness. Unlike his superior Desmond, Harold was very uptight. His sudden panic-filled attitude was alarming. The whole journey from the mansion to the station was conversationless. There was tension in the air itself. As the wheels came to a screeching halt, everyone got down and in front of them was an entourage. Sheriff Desmond, Journalist Kippler and Judge Dawson stood there pale-faced. They all looked like they were waiting for them to arrive. As Henry stepped forward, Desmond went to him and whispered- “ Mate, don’t blame yourself. I told you this case was going to destroy you. Anyway, I repeat myself- don’t go all depressed”. Those words scared Henry even more as his steps became slower and harder than before. He went inside the station, holding Alba’s hand as if a child was looking for some support and as soon as he saw his worst nightmare, he dropped down heavily on the chair. There he was, the dreaded dwarf, Robin, right in front of him, motionless. Alba immediately raced towards the body and checked for a pulse. She sighed hard which made things final for Henry. He could just stutter one word- “How?”. Alba took a few minutes to do a first-hand analysis and turned back in despair. She said- “ He killed himself, by slitting his wrist. I am sorry Henry. I really am”. Henry was completely blank- “ Why would he? How could he? Just when I was celebrating his freedom, he chose to become free this way? It’s all my fault. I never gave him any moral support. I should have met him as soon as the evidence came up and gave him hope. Instead, I chose to meet my personal ambitions. How could I do this”. Henry then fell from his chair, not able to face the ordeal, and now was staring right into the innocent eyes of the person he tried to protect so badly. Slowly he began losing consciousness.
As Henry blinked his eyes, he was in the wagon, Desmond and Alba on his opposite seat, both of them worried sick. He slowly sat up straight, looking out of the window, into the rain. It had all been worthless. Months of working every minute of the day, taking in all the hateful stares from the society went in vain. Worst of all, his definition of justice was proven wrong. He began going back to his law study days when his father was the Hero of the village. Both the nobility and the slave community respected him. But Henry always thought his father was wrong in his way of handling things. Simon Rutherford was known to bring justice in any way possible. If the law didn’t help him, he would choose his own way. The Rebecca case, which was his last, was one such incident. Samuel Campbell was the person involved there too, just that he was alive and well. It was 10 years ago that Mr Campbell was accused of rape and murder of Rebecca. She worked at the Campbell place and also looked after her younger brother Robin. Campbell was always a heavy drinker and had been married twice already. No one even bothered to know what happened to his first wife when she went missing. Even when Rebecca was found murdered, although everyone in the town knew it was Samuel, they didn’t bat an eye. Simon, the attorney who took the case on the victim’s side, was hell-bent on destroying Samuel. After 2 years of fighting hard, Samuel still was declared not guilty because of lack of evidence. Such was the fear that even Robin gave testament in favour of his master. This unexpected change had pushed Simon into depression. A few months later, he took the matter into his own hands and headed with his gun to the Campbell house. Henry hated this very over the law behaviour of his father. But it was not the first time, as Simon was a local Robin hood - always helping the oppressed in his own shrewd way and exploiting the arrogant rich. But he had never been pushed this far. Campbell was dead meat for sure if he hadn’t used his wife as a human shield when Simon shot at him. Poor Mrs Campbell died instantly. Just a few minutes later, Simon Rutherford collapsed, his heart not able to take the ordeal anymore. Samuel only gained the sympathy of society as he lost his second wife. That incident had further reassured Henry was law was the only way and the result of going any other way was always disastrous.
Henry shivered in his seat as he recalled these events. He had believed in law and order and took each step by it. But still, he had failed miserably. As he began to forcefully shut his eyes again, he felt something sharp hit his face. It all happened so suddenly. Several stones had hit the windows of the wagon and glass shattered everywhere. Henry immediately looked at Alba and made sure she was safe. In the meantime, he saw a piece of paper inside, covered in rain, but still legible. He lit up his torch, and the words written inside further brought him only pain - “YOU KILLED HIM, NOT ANYONE ELSE. YOU COULD NOT PROTECT AN INNOCENT HUMAN. MAY HIS WRATH HAUNT YOU FOREVER.” Undersigned in big bold letters was - “THE UPRISING”.