A Matter Of Justice (2)
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A Matter Of Justice (2)

And I remember at the noon hour of a certain day, when my criteria was a miscellany stalked by hunger, I received the first issue of the week.

It was a matter of blasphemy.

The offender, I was told, was an individual who did not seem to be on his own sanity. He had the habit of walking up and down Avenue L........ -the main one of our humble village- preaching to the people in a very exalted fashion.

At first, I swear for God, I thought to punish him locking him in at the our Royal Asylum.

But before my tongue articulated some elemental word, only prevailed in me the intention of my own comfortability, waitng for more detalils.

The innovation of having a prosecuter -I overheard they were called in that way- relieved me of the task of inquiring by myself to the recalcitrant wrongdoer.

With the boastfulness of youth, the prosecuter entered to the Room.

He hailed to the Excellance of my person with a deep bow and then, with a calculated pomposity, went to his desk where he plunged into the reading of his papers... Paid none attention to the pride of the magnificence and elegance of our Court Room... I should not mention it, but this impression grew worse my bad temper of the day...

Then the convict entered in the room, escorted by two minions.

At first glance that man reflected none trace indicating an absurd sort of behavior.

He was dressed very properly for the event: a green velvet cloak which hung nearly to his heels. Gray breeches made of what appeared to be a fabric from what is called the New World. A black velvet shoes and a cap still covering his long brown hair, slightly tilted to the left.

I think I murmmered:

-Out the cap...

Then the prosecuter, in a warmish emphasis, announced the knot of the matter: unnaceptable expessions against the Holy Church...

Then the prosecuter, in a lower voice, numbered the series of anathemes which were aimed to injure the Holy Institution Integrity.

Long minutes had went by after the prosecuter address. I turned up my head when silence was next to be inconvenient. At this point of the accusation any offender would have replied. It was the common reaction...

Yet the man who was in front of me, was only capable of having his eyes fixed in a place of the Court Room that I could not determine. Weren't my eyes what he stared at. Neither were the prosecuter's ones. And along with a notorious and disdainful expression running over his whole face, I also sensed of being in presence of a temper perfectly still...

The tips of my right hand fingers felt a light tremble. It was a bad symptom, and my mood of that day was not precisely for experiencing a harmful first time.

A witness, inquired by the caustic tongue of the prosecuter -lessened on his skill by the offender's silence- confirmed the deeds. Almost word by word the man described the whole sequence. As for me, I only paid attention at the final part of the speech:

-"... And the Church is the Temple of Injusticy... The one and only truth is able to demonstrate it's the inequality among the men... Its ignorance is scholastic; and one only can have a glimpse of the clergy moral through the width of the bellies of its components..."

-Need to declare something?- I hurried to inquire before the gloomy silence led us up to an astonished stillness.

Three, four..., six times repeated the prosecuter the demand.

I just insisted twice.

The outdoor whispers emphasized our hazardous amazement at such a wordless attitude.

In a very nervious manner, the prosecuter -likely awareless of his movements- stretched the folds of his gown...

-Come forward -ordered to one of the minions... I needed to know if the accused had already been tortured

-No, indeed, Milord.

-How's that?

-The man is a noble fellow...

I deeply believed that two hundred-fifty lashes with the flagelum was enough mending of the treachery pleaded by the prosecuter on behalf of the Holy Church.

I think I considered to apply the Death punishment: there were reasons for doing so: the convicted senseless insistance on his silence was next to be a demonstration of intelective superiority without none remorse at all.

For the rest, it was already too late for searching the offender's nobility proofs.

Five years and half later Archbishop told me that the offender was the eldest Dux's nephew...

-You must have known- said in a sort of whisper that seemed to be a complain; and lowering his voice even further than his precedent whisper, he added-. A judge man is meant to be more than secure of knowing in advance the answers of each single question that he makes...

He sighed deeply, with a sorrowful gesture.

-Why did you take such a long time for coming to see me?- I inquired abruptely.

After five years facing my conscience, my gray hair and also the mood of that day, it was phsycally unbearable for me to hear some clerical admonitions.

-My friend, I had to rebuild the whole structure that you've destroyed with your foolish temper of the man whose security cannot see beyond his own pride...

-I was taught to have none hesitation- answered looking at the tetrical ceiling.

-But first we need to walk through the fire of the doubts...

Think the Archbishop continued speaking. His aged voice, phlegmatic and gloomy. just like his whole appearance, vanished, threadless, in my ears; the twilight's sounds foretold the ominous night as someone lighted a candle on...

I could not help to inquire:

-And the Dux's nephew?

-Happily married with the Duchess of......-answered the Archbishop as though he were surrounded by a mighty force that only allows the resignation as the unique human feeling-. He have got three lively children and enlights His Royal Highness' decision with his advices... Dux died saintly last year...

-Did he remember me before he...

-Never forgot you!

Archbishop seemed to weight my expectancy.

As for me, I didn't dare asking nothing, for as we all know, there're certain things which do not need to be asked nor even written.

Standing up for leaving, the archbishop -the only man in this world I can point out as a friend- softly said: -Cave ne cedat... That was he declared...

The remote slams rumbled in the prison's corridors. The metallic echo decreased its intensity and the sound of the night, along with the gloominess of the site, settled their nocturnal reign. And when the light candle finally turned off, my pen did not write down any more.


Street Talk

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