Reads: 72

Coolie and Rufus finished with the crowd of spectators, reporters, families,  and survivors, and went down to the basement cells. Augustus arose, and stared at his young friend. There was a trepidation in his eyes. Although he had inadvertently been the catalyst in the rescue of abducted women,  his conscious was murky on Coolies reasoning. He went to the bars and stuck his hand out to pet Rufus, who began licking his fingers, some of which were still sheltering that famous Chooky taste. Coolie opened the cell door and told Augustus,  "You're Free." Augustus stepped out of the gaol cell, and Coolie informed him that they would have to go down to Brimly and see Lord Chappington to finalize his release. He followed behind the constable and his dog and as he entered the parlor, the warmth of the sun through the long windows warmed him to his very soul. Augustus took a deep breath of the fresh morning air, as they hopped on Coolies bike, and rolled back down the street to Brimly. Augustus held the old hounddog in his lap in the sidecar. Olga stood in the doorway of the boarding house, and smiled at her newly freed friend. They hopped out and walked up to the door. Olga hugged Augustus tightly, and Coolie was similarly embraced by Darbie. Rufus wagged his way into the dining hall where Lord Chappington was sitting with his new love interest. Margaret beamed at her majestic visitor.  They all sat at the large dining table and Margaret retreated to the kitchen. She had made a smattering of pancakes,  and returned with a platter of them along with sausages and hot syrup. They all dug in, satified that the meal was well deserved. Henry and Margaret next to one another, then Coolie and Darbie, with Rufus huddled between them, Olga and Augustus sat across from them and they discussed their various points of view around the events that brought them there.

Lord Chappington officially adjudicated Augustus of any culpability in the death of Ainsley Templeton. And athough his statement had been altered to release Augustus from charges, he stood abruptly and decided right there to confess that his murderous rage wasn't in fact self defense,  but a passionate but unfortunate outburst caused by Ainsley's disregard for the beauty of nature. He demanded that Henry pass a legitimate judgement on him, and have mercy on his soul. He fell to his knees and began to cry. Everyone gasped at the confession. 

The Magistrate paused momentarily, and then explained that Yancy Creek had been a haven for his contemplation as well. Knowing the truth that Augustus had confessed, he said he thought it was necessary to render his judgement in the case, in light of all the extenuating circumstances, and proclaimed that in the murder of Ainsley Templeton,  Augustus was sentenced to time served. The old Judge smiled at Augustus and told him how one of his portraits was in his private collection, and that such talent shouldn't ever be extinguished. He also explained how in the bigger picture, Augustus was an instrument of the Divine, that orchestrated the demise of a wicked and cowardly monster.

Augustus felt vindicated by the wisdom of the judge, arose and shook his hand.

The three couples spent the day in conversation, Henry had to assess the value of the estate, and devise a plan for the distribution of wealth, back into the community, while Margaret began to plan a wedding for the spring, when the retiring magistrate would permanently relocate to Brimly Hall. Coolie was informed of his new position by the constabulary as Cheif Inspector, obtaining yet another Key to the city, and that very day proposed to miss Darbie Oglethorpe, who accepted both man and dog. Augustus had found a new muse, and decided to switch his subject from ugly children, to a vivacious woman who shared the same distain for scoundrels as he did. Olga posed regularly in Augustus new landcapes,  and Mrs.Worthington doubled the price of his works, and got it. Rufus became an official police dog, and continued to lead Coolie on to new and daring adventures, taking down more of the sinisterly secretive  "Fraternal United Citizens Society"

Augustus reached into his pocket, and pulled out a lenght of torn serviettes, strung together, and grinned as Olga began picking off years of nervously bitten nails from the back of his black coat.

As for the ugly children?  They grew up to be ugly adults, all the progeny of another loathsome brute from Hobbletown. 

Submitted: February 06, 2022

© Copyright 2023 dewey green. All rights reserved.


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