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I want to hear the cows! Why haven't we asked the cows?
Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:44pm (XFF:

Taphen took his time considering the case, he really wanted to sound wise, but at the same time, he feared that if he tried to cover all angles, he would come out as not having an opinion at all on the matter. No real evidence had come into the open, and the two farmers, understandably, defended their own case, while the hired hand seemed not to want to ruin any of his chances for further employment. Not that he looked like one who should still be working; he was old enough for his children to have stepped in and provided for him. It was difficult to decide for one side or the other, as both were at fault and neither was in the right, not completely at least. It was time for a compromise.

No one seemed willing to be the first to speak up, so Taphen stepped forward and looked the magistrate in the eye. “It is my opinion that Master Ludin’s sheep have indeed been on the wrong side of the fence more than once, and that not all, if any, can be accounted for as accidental. It seems logical that this would weaken the conditions for Master Bowmer’s own stock, and proper payment is due. I do propose that Master Ludin be given the choice to hand over one of his priced cows to Master Bowmer, or allow him access to grass so that his animals do not starve.” He took a deep breath “I do, however, want to make it clear that under no circumstances is it okay to take the law into one’s own hands, as Master Bowmer has done. To steal the cows for whatever reason was against the law, and I would like to see Master Bowmer taught a lesson, I will leave it to the magistrate to decide what would be proper, as I am not too familiar with local customs and traditional punishments.” Not too familiar? Ha! I don’t even know where I am.

Having said his peace, Taphen stepped back in line, allowing another novice to counsel the magistrate. What Tira Sedai had thought of it was difficult to say, as her face revealed nothing. I just hope I did not make a complete fool of myself there, or of the Tower. The magistrate should hopefully leave today, feeling impressed by the clear-sightedness of the even the White Tower’s young ones. Taphen fervently hoped it was so. He was satisfied with his own judgment, never having given one before, and while it might be human nature to further one’s own desires, these two grown men should have know better than to play it this clumsily. He almost laughed; the Game of Houses really was taking hold of him. Both farmers should have known that they would not get away with this, and that taking it to the magistrate might end in a decision both would come to regret, but that’s what happens to stupid people. Hopefully they’ll know better after today, and will be able to settle it peacefully among themselves, as such trivial matters should be.

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