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The Honourable Lord Magistrate Henry Chappington III was a prudent man, never ever dubious. He had a quiet existence cataloging coloured stones for his lapidary collection. He spent hours tumbling and polishing, trying to achieve the singular brilliance a precious, or semi precious stone deserved. He was also an avid art collector, and had a small collection of  Catharina Van Hemessen paintings, small portraits of women completed sometime between 1540-1550 he had also collected some works by local artists, whose work he found intriguing. 

As a Judge, he passed sentence on many who had come before him over the years. He was neither ruthless nor lenient, harsh or gentile. He worked by the letter of the law, and no human force ever opposed his sensibilities. When his gavel dropped, his judgment was rendered. He never looked back to ponder a decision. There was no need for retrospection. He was by all accounts, fair, and saw each offense as a personal affront.  He took great pleasure in staring into the eyes of the accused as he passed his condemnation upon them.

Months before, while purchasing a bottle of very fine aged port, from a bottle shoppe on Kensington Road, a particular portrait caught his eye.  It was a small one reminiscent of a Van Hemessen. Entitled "Abigail lazy-eye Allthorpe" the grotesque features entranced him. The poor unfortunate was gruesome. Her lazy-eye aside, (pardon the pun) she had extremely large nostrils, and a long sloping nose. Her giant forehead almost made her appear hydrocephalic. Her tiny mouth was disproportionate to her face, and her large ears looked like a car with the doors opened. As hideous as it was, the portrait was masterfully painted, and earned a place amongst his fine art collection. He didn't blink at the £500 pricetag.

Although his jurisdiction covered many Cities, Towns, Villages, Burroughs, Hamlets, Burgs, and Depots, he traveled to each for his judiciary pronouncements. He had just received case files pertaining to  a murder in Hobbletown, and he would begin his research into the despicable crime that afternoon. The perpetrator of the undisputedly brutal attack would certainly be punished to the full extent of the law. He would absolutely see to that.


Submitted: January 08, 2022

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