For those who haven’t been following this blog, let me introduce it a little. I am currently blogging my 21st novel that has the working title Daemon. The novel is about Aksinya, a sorceress, who, to save her family from the Bolsheviks, called and contracted the demon, Asmodeus. Her family was murdered anyway, and she fled with the demon from Russia to Austria.
Aksinya is on trial in Wien, Austria. The presiding judge decided to try Aksinya's fraud case first. We find that all of Aksinya's bills have been paid. Father Dobrushin wishes to question the witnesses further...
Father Dobrushin put up his hand, “Presiding Judge, before you release the witnesses, I’d like to ask each a single question.”
“I see no reason why not. You may begin with Herr Frump.”
Father Dobrushin stepped up to the bench, “Herr Frump, did you contract with the Countess or with someone else.”
“I contracted with Anatov Aznabaev. He said he represented the Countess.”
“So your claims were really against Anatov Aznabaev and never against the Countess, yet you accepted the Countess’ goods against the debt of Anatov Aznabaev.”
Herr Furmp’s merchant smile slipped into a frown, “I didn’t think I would be on trial here. My claims were paid.”
Father Dobrushin turned toward the Judge, “Yet, Your Honor, the claims were most properly against Anatov Aznabaev. Why should the Princess Aksinya not have an equal share in the claims against this man? It seems to me that these claimants have all been made whole, but she has born the entire burden of a debt that she did not cause.”
Aksinya spoke very clearly, “Although I did not know Herr Frump, I did benefit from his business. I ate his very fine beef and blessed his meats at my table every night. I do not wish to make any claim against him or his business.”
Herr Frump stood at the witness chair and bowed deeply, “God bless your words, Dear Lady. I felt myself lucky to balance my books after such an incident. I am more than blessed by hearing you disburse me of any guilt as well.”
Father Dobrushin drew his hand across his face, “That is not the outcome I desired or expected.”
Judge Richter laughed and the rest of the court broke into mirth. The judge held up his hand, “I do under my authority as the presiding judge of this Schöffengericht pronounce all the charges related to theft dismissed and absolved. I will state in the official records that they were brought wrongly and with prejudice. This will be presented to all the claimants along with a potential petition to be used by the Princess in any civil litigation against them. She shall be able to claim in civil trial any difference between her benefit and what she was forced to pay. I shall leave the details to her representative, Herr Lopuhin. Herr Lopuhin, will that please you?”
“That pleases the defense.”
“The prosecution agrees with the judge’s assessment.”
“Therefore, I release this Schöffengericht for luncheon. At one we shall begin with the assault and battery charges. Sergeant Nagel, there is no reason to return the Princess to her cell.”
Father Dobrushin is a good defender and a good lawyer. He brings up a very important point--this is also a metaphor within the context of the novel. The question is simple--it is one of contracts. Who did you contract with? The answer is not Aksinya. The point is that the claimants accepted money from Aksinya even though it wasn't her debt. The debt was the demon's and not Aksinya's. On the other hand, as Aksinya noted, she accepted the meat at her table and even blessed it. There is another important point her. Father Dobrushin (we will shortly find) paid off Aksinya's debt. Therefore, he paid a debt that was never his. This was a gift to Aksinya. If you aren't getting this metaphor, there is no need to go further.
The metaphor goes one step further--Aksinya forgives any debt Herr Frump might have against her--and Father Dobrushin. She forgive his debt as well. Listen to Herr Frump's words: "I am more than blessed by hearing you disburse me of any guilt as well.”
This is indeed not the outcome Father Dobrushin wished. He wanted to get back something for Aksinya. He is defending and protecting Aksinya.
The judge notes there are no longer any charges in relation to fraud against Aksinya. The books are cleared and the only charge against her is that of assault and battery against Natalya. The judge goes further and gives Aksinya the right to make a counter claim against her accusers. Then he releases them to lunch. Tomorrow, luncheon.