Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

Precisely the same—only quite different

Precisely the same—only quite different.

That so able and experienced an advocate should be driven to such an argument is a convincing illustration of the weakness of his case. To apply the test which he proposes is to acquit Meikle, not to convict him. If Meikle had followed the method suggested, at the rate of two a day, not a single one would have been left for the police to find at the end of the fortnight. The removal by "ones or twos, as they are required Sired, is," says Dr. Findlay, "just precisely what was done here," though here fourteen days had passed and not a single sheep had disappeared but this ingenuous sheep-stealer, besides this fragrantly violating the canons of his craft as laid down the counsel for the Crown, had ventured on a remarkable addition to them out of the goodness of his heart. In order to rebut the strong presumption of innocence-which his first departure from the rules had created, in order to demonstrate that at the alien sheep on his land were the result not of accident or a trap, but of his own crime, he thoughtfully left two sheepskins bearing his neighbour's brand for anybody to see who looked through the open door of his smithy. And though he had, according to Lambert's original version, immediately destroyed the ear-mark and the fire-brand on the sheep that was killed, and according to the revised version which the same witness produced in Court for the first time nearly nineteen years afterwards, he had destroyed the paint-brand also, yet the paint-brand was not touched on either of the-skins which were left in the smithy for the information of the police. If Meikle really acted so, should he not rather have been acquitted as a lunatic than convicted as a thief?