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The Story of the Lunar Rogue

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Henry More Smith’s pardon impressed everyone but the condemned prisoner. He babbled on about the pretty paper but was uninterested in its contents and did not seem to comprehend its importance.

Henry’s clothes had been reduced to rags and so, because he had to appear before the court on August 26th for the reading of his pardon, the Sheriff arranged for a tailor to make him a suit. Henry would ruin the bolt of cloth but, unable to convince him otherwise, the Sheriff left enough material to make a vest along with a needle and thread and a small candle to provide light. Henry set to work immediately but soon snuffed out the candle and continued to work swiftly in total darkness. When the completed vest was found to be as fine as any tailor’s job, Henry was given the rest of the cloth and quickly finished the suit.

In spite of Sheriff Bates’ pleading and coaxing, Henry refused to leave his cell on the day of his court appearance until he was allowed to take along one of his puppets and a pair of scissors.

Having read the pardon, the judge was warning him to leave the province immediately upon his release when Henry interrupted. “Your shoe string. I want your shoe string,” said Henry, on all fours on the floor, his scissors perilously near the Judge’s ankle. “Best take him back, Bates. He’s as daft as a loon,” said the Judge.

Back in his cell, the pathetically insane Henry, reluctantly packed his puppet family into a box and waited, hopelessly unprepared, for his release from prison.