Letter of the Law

Letter of the Law

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4
(1 Review)
Letter of the Law by Alan Edward Nourse

Published:

1954

Pages:

23

Downloads:

2,413

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Letter of the Law

By

4
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

an of the Jury," said the Judge succinctly, "will read the verdict."

The little native in the front of the jury-box popped up like a puppet on a string. "Defendant found guilty on all counts," he said.

"Defendant is guilty! The court will pronounce sentence--"

"Now wait a minute!" Zeckler was on his feet, wild-eyed. "What kind of railroad job--"

The judge blinked disappointedly at Paul Meyerhoff. "Not yet?" he asked, unhappily.

"No." Meyerhoff's hands twitched nervously. "Not yet, Your Honor. Later, Your Honor. The trial comes first."

The judge looked as if his candy had been stolen. "But you said I should call for the verdict."

"Later. You have to have the trial before you can have the verdict."

The Altairian shrugged indifferently. "Now--later--" he muttered.

"Have the prosecutor call his first witness," said Meyerhoff.

Zeckler leaned over, his face ashen. "These charges," he whispered. "They're insane!"

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An interstellar con man is caught swindling the natives on Altair, and, rather than just killing him outright, the natives are convinced to put him on trial. The problem is that everyone on Altair lies. The con man has trouble presenting his defense because the charges are all invented, and all the witnesses perjure themselves.

This is one of those stories with a set-up more satisfying than the trick ending, but most of the story is amusing.
Vanessa Thurgood - Elemental Magic, Love, Honor, and Family
FEATURED AUTHOR - Vanessa Thurgood didn't go to college to write, but her teachers always told her she was good at it. She even had one professor get her to sign one of her homework assignments because he thought she had written it so well. However, she chose to go into Agricultural Business and Event Planning, NOT writing. Flash forward several years, and she finds herself finally penning out the worst rough draft of what was to become The Earthspark in the dead of night. All because of a dream she'd just had.… Read more