The trial of James Whale has been reported previously but only in an abbreviated form. Now the full details of the trial are exclusively available on the Tenacious, the daily blog that you can trust. I other news Few What a Scorcher……..
The Tale of James Whale
This is the tale of James Whale. It was a warm day, too warm. The heat shimmered on the decks of the Pirate Shippe, as the motley crew descended the ladder to a fearsome crush in the Gallery of the courtroom. The smell of the unwashed bodies was overpowering and choking sounds were heard in the presse. Above decks, the ship’s Egret flew away and was never seen again.
The evidence was gathered and the case for the prosecution was strong. The defence team had worked hard to mitigate any punishment, but we all feared for James Whale.
James Whale was accused of hoarding and consuming contraband chocolate. He had been eating it flagrantly and disposing of the wrappers carelessly. The evidence was carefully gathered by the sneaky dog of a court usher, and we hoped that James Whale would not be given too many lashes. James Whale was a likeable soul, popular among the crew for his cheerful manner, but we
feared, if we intervened, then the spotlight might fall on ourselves. I kept my own stash of Murray mints carefully out of sight. Walls have ears and treachery abounds!
The Crown against James Whales:
“Are you James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale?”
The judge was a fearsome man, wearing a judicial wig that looked suspiciously like the head of a mop.
“You are charged with the wilful consumption of chocolate confectionaries between the fifth of November and today.”
The accused, tied between two gallant officers, struggled to escape but he was held in a vice-like grip. He looked at the judge and, with tears forming in this innocent eyes, replied:
The judge continued nonetheless and the prosecution started their case:
“Naw then…Is it true that Ah am yer buddy?” began the barrister, flexing his biceps in a worrisome manner until his shirt was fit to burst.
The barrister dismissed this answer and, with a tweak on his bow tie, he strode to and fro, waving his evidence: an empty chocolate wrapper.
“Is it true that you eat chocolate?”
“Not guilty,” said the accused, looking stubbornly at the barrister.
The barrister shook his head scornfully. One of his tattoos was evident at the wrist of his shirt. He was too well dressed. It was clear he was not what he seemed. He produced a photograph showing the accused in flagrant delicto, a chocolate bar between his lips. It was not looking good for James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale. He licked his lips. A woman started to sob. A stout man groaned. The court usher banged his stave:
An olde out of focuse photographe was slapped on the bench before the grey wigged judge and the jurors leaned forward eagerly from their bench. It was indeed said James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale. A crying female witness, with mascara-drenched cheeks was brought to the dock, but her evidence was dismissed. The judge was unmoved. The prosecution barrister sneered. It seemed, as if, from thin air, he produced a bar of chocolate, opened it and waved it in front of the accused. James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale took a bite out of it. It was the coup de grace. The court gasped. It was looking hopeless for our James. But then the defence barrister, a noble looking man, clean shaven and of middle years, began to speak quietly:
“Not so,” he said.
He summoned his witnesses.
Dr Mary McDougall, a lady of some considerable renown amongst the pirates for her superior galley techniques, staggered to the dock, looked over her monocle and gave a long and boring account. It meandered endlessly beneath the oceans into realms of whales and dolphins. Half the gallery fell asleep and some snoring was heard.
“Order! Order!” cried the court usher again. He was a tall man with mean, dark eyes. He shook his stake as the rest of the galley began to yawn loudly.
“Guilty, or not guilty!” the judge roared. The fronds on his wig bounced impatiently and moved forward over his substantial grey eyebrows. The good doctor concluded her evidence:
“James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale has the false belief that everything he sees is chocolate. Eating chocolate is fatal. It cannot be chocolate or he would be dead.”
The gallery woke up and gasped.
The barrister for the prosecution frowned and wiped his sweaty forehead as he registered the sudden turnaround in proceedings. His bow tie hung limply. His Yorkshire accent faltered and his tattoo quivered.
The defence barrister withheld a little smile and continued quietly:
“Call the second witness.”
Monsieur John Bull, a tall, slim, bespectacled man, came to the dock. He was a man of impeccable taste, who had previously been entrusted with various ship’s documents. Suddenly his demeanour and his accent changed.
“I am Professor von Schmitt,” he revealed in a thick German accent. “I have various clazzified secrets zat I am now going to reveal: Foxes glacier mints do contain mint and zome residues of zee glacier!”
There was a shocked silence in the gallery.
“Scientific analysis has proven zat James Whale’s chocolate is in fact zee fromage. Cheese!”
It seemed that the case was incontrovertible. An American double secret agent speaking fluent German attempted to trick Professor von Schmitt into revealing that he was not German. The court artist produced a drawing of James throwing wrappers overboard the ship. It was not enough to swing the case. The woman jurors retired into a very small room with the foreman of the
jury. Sometime later they emerged. Their demeanour had changed. It seemed that each of them was snacking conspicuously on something that looked like chocolate. The evidence was clear on their cheeks. The gallery saw only
‘cheese’. The jurors unanimously declared James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale: ‘Not guilty’. The judge was now flustered. His eyebrows traced parabolas in his wrinkled forehead. He declared James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale: ‘Guilty!’
The sound of low anger rumbled round the courtroom and with one accord the people rose to their feet.
‘Not guilty!’ they cried, their voices rising in one accord and shaking the timbers from stern to bow on their shippe.
The judge trembled:
“Not Guilty!” he repeated, looking fearfully around at the assembled company. The court usher fingered his stake and thought better of it. He snivelled like a beaten cur. The lasher hid his instrument of doom behind his back and shuffled backwards out of the proceedings. The crowd cheered. James Cadbury Milk Tray Whale walked forth, a free man.