Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12).

“I find, good woman,” said the Judge, “you were willing to revenge yourself without waiting for the justice of this court.”

“My lord, I must confess I was put into a passion, and did not properly consider what I was doing.”

“Well, where is Billy Thompson?”

“Here, my lord.”

“You have heard what Henry Luckless says.  Declare upon your honor whether he has spoken the truth.”

“My lord,” said Billy, “I am sure neither he nor I had any concern in breaking the window.  We were standing together at the time, and I ran on hearing the door open, for fear of being charged with it, and he followed; but what became of him I did not stay to see.”

“So you let your friend,” the Judge remarked, “shift for himself, and thought only of saving yourself.  But did you see any other person about the house or in the lane?”

“My lord, I thought I heard some one creeping along the other side of the hedge a little before the window was broken, but I saw nobody.”

“You hear, good woman, what is alleged in behalf of the person you have accused.  Have you any other evidence against him?”

“One might be sure,” the widow replied, “they would deny it, and tell lies for one another; but I hope I am not to be put off in that manner.”

“I must tell you, mistress, that you give too much liberty to your tongue, and are as guilty of as much injustice as that of which you complain.  I should be sorry indeed if the young gentlemen of this school deserved the general character of liars.  You will find among us, I hope, as just a sense of what is right and honorable as among those who are older, and our worthy master would certainly not permit us to try offences in this manner if he thought us capable of bearing false witness in each other’s favor.”

“I ask your lordship’s pardon; I did not mean to offend; but it is a heavy loss for a poor woman, and though I did not catch the boy in the act, he was the nearest when it was done.”

“As that is no more than a suspicion, and he has the positive evidence of his schoolfellow in his favor, it will be impossible to convict him consistently with the rules of justice.  Have you discovered any other circumstance that may point out the offender?”

“My lord, next morning Jack found on the floor this top, which I suppose the window was broke with.”

“Hand it up.  Here, gentlemen of the jury, please to examine it, and see if you can discover anything of its owner.”

“Here is ‘P.R.’ cut upon it.”

“Yes,” said another boy, “I am sure I remember Peter Riot having just such a one.”

“So do I,” still another remarked.

“Master Riot, is this your top?”

“I don’t know, my lord,” said Riot; “perhaps it may be mine.  I have had a great many tops, and when I have done with them I throw them away, and any body may pick them up that pleases.  You see, it has lost its peg.”

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Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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