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The Story of the Lunar Rogue

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Friday May 5, 1814 marked the second day of Henry More Smith’s trial. Proceedings began at 10:00 AM with the prisoner being led in without incident. Henry sat down quietly and remained silent and inattentive. This behaviour prompted Judge Saunders to observe that the prisoner seemed more calm this morning which just goes to prove that even the observations of a learned judge are not always accurate.

Things began to unravel when the prisoner was directed to rise, hold up his hand and hear the evidence. Henry, as usual, ignored the order. It might have been better to allow Henry, the hopeless madman, to remain seated quietly in the prisoner’s box but the directive was, after all, an order off the court and a prisoner should be made to comply!

The constables were ordered to hold Henry’s arm up for him but Henry was not grateful for the assistance. Fighting furiously, he snapped the rails in front of him like matchsticks and it soon became clear that the four constables would not be able to restrain the prisoner. A rope was procured and Henry’s arms were lashed to the railing behind him. His response was to kick out the entire front of the prisoner’s box with his feet, so more rope was brought in and his feet were tied as well.

At this point, with the exhausted and dishevelled constables on the alert for another outbreak, the Lunar Rogue relaxed in his seat and, lashed hand and foot, acted as if nothing at all had happened. Then, with the prisoner not standing, not raising his hand, and not paying the slightest bit of attention, the indictment was read and the evidence was presented.