The Train to Kaministikwai
In the courtroom, leaned over the bench was Judge Grant MacDonald. His Honour was known to as strict and fair but intolerant of long-winded witness, one of whom he is presently questioning. The man in the witness box was Elias Fuss, retired conductor of the Superior Railway.
"Mr. Fuss!" thundered Judge Macdonald, "For heaven's sake we have already heard from the other witness that the railway station is on the western of the Kakabeka Falls. We also know that the track runs north and south along the lip of the canyon. We know that it stops for 5 minutes in Kakabeka Falls at 7:30 in the morning and then runs north to kaministikwia, and we know this service is repeated by the station in the evening at 7:30. What the court like to know- all the court wants to know- is :Did you or did you not punch the ticket of the defendant, Mr. Manley, during the 7:30 morning run to Kaministikwia on September 28 last year? Surely this is not a difficult question to answer.
Fuss was, however unmoved. Judge, in his opinion, ranked somewhere below railway conductors, so he replied, in the long winded manner that has exasperated the judge before: "Well, your Honour, as I have mentioned previously, our rail track runs north and south along the canyon.."
See thing with anger, Judge MacDonald called for the defence lawyer. "Mister Marion! I have in my hand your Exbit Four. It is Mr Manley's trail ticket dated September 28, one way from Kakabeka Falls to Kaministikwia. There is a hole in the ticket, where your withness may or may not have punched it. And, Mr. Marion, the punched hole takes out of the 0 in 7:30 and all the A in the AM ! Now would you please instruct Mr. Fuss to tell the court whether or not it was he who punched the ticketon September 28 last year. Mind you that Mr. Manley's whereabouts at 7:45 AM on that morning is crucial to your case. He is on trial for a murder that took place in Kakabeka Falls at almost precisely that time in his hotel home!"
"Mr. Fuss , please answer the question." Marion pleaded. However, Fuss ranked lawyers even lower than judge and conductors, and so gave the same reply that frustrated everyone "I have mentioned many times that our rail track runs north and south along the canyon..."
"Enough!!" thundered the judge. "Remove Mr Fuss from the withness box!" as Judge MacDonald focussed his blazing eyes on lawyer Marion.
"I still have other evidence, Your Honour." muttered Marion as he passed a Polariod photograph to the judge. "That's Mr Manley in the centre of the track behind the train... uh... the dayliner. This picture was taken before he boardeda at 7:30. His wife took it and she's my withness."
Judge MacDonald studied the picture intently. "And who is the woman beside him, in his shadow? Hard to see her face. She's holding out his fingers. Who's that? His wedding ring?"
"She's Mr Manley's sister, Your Honour. He had just been married on September 26. The one on the other side is Manley's brother-in-law. They will both be called as witnesses later."
"You better be prepared to explain yourself to me, Mr Marion." howled Judge MacDonald. "For the flaw in your argument is too big to ignore."
What Major Flaw Did Judge MacDonald Detected In Lawyer Marion's Case?
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