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Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion             289
" Well, I proved by eleven witnesses that the cat was of a low character and very ornery, and warn't worth a canceled postage-stamp, anyway, taking the average of cats here; but I lost the case. What could I ex­pect? The system is all wrong here, and is bound to make revolution and bloodshed some day. You see, they give the magistrate a poor little starvation salary, and then turn him loose on the public to gouge for fees and costs to live on. What is the natural result? Why, he never looks into the justice of a case — never once. All he looks at is which client has got the money. So this one piled the fees and costs and every­thing on to me. I could pay specie, don't you see? and he knew mighty well that if he put the verdict on to Mrs. Brown, where it belonged, he'd have to take his swag in currency."
" Currency? Why, has Bermuda a currency?"
"Yes — onions. And they were forty per cent, discount, too, then, because the season had been over as much as three months. So I lost my case. I had to pay for that cat. But the general trouble the case made was the worst thing about it. Broke up so much good feeling. The neighbors don't speak to each other now. Mrs. Brown had named a child after me. But she changed its name right away. She is a Baptist. Well, in the course of baptizing it over again, it got drowned. I was hoping we might get to be friendly again some time or other, but of course this drowning the child knocked that all out of the question. It would have saved a world of heart-break and ill blood if she had named it dry."
I knew by the sigh that this was honest. All this trouble and all this destruction of confidence in the purity of the bench on account of a seven-shilling law­suit about a cat! Somehow, it seemed to " size " the country. 19**