Open The Law Won
#1
For the time that he had been in sleepy, Catholic Moorland, Zechariah had had yet to meet the constable to whom he so often wrote. Heartfelt correspondences, such as...

Quote:I require the records on Mr. Geoffrey Guber’s disappearance with haste

and...

Quote:Your expedience is appreciated

It was early in the morning when there was a knock upon the constabulary’s door. He might recognize the strong scent of citrus before he even opened the door – an aroma that tended to cling to anything with which he spent enough time.
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#2
Elijah was confused by the knock, as he had been getting ready to leave for work, and it was quite early. Normally, he would have been having breakfast but since that 'poetry reading' he had little appetite and trouble sleeping.

He opened the door , and while he had never seen this man before, his nose told him his most likely identity.

"Mister Meijer? How may I help you this morning? I know I've had those records delivered already."
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#3
There was nothing that made Zechariah feel as alive as purpose – and the urgency with which this case demanded attention had him wide awake.

There was a fractional squint of the eyes when an unfamiliar face bid him by name, but he figured it by now a small town quirk.

“Yes, thank you,” he said, curtly.

His voice bore a hard-to-place accent, though a less traveled man might guess German from the sound of it.

“Right on time as always,” he said, sincerely but with no warmth. “Good morning. Do you have a moment?”
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#4
Elijah knew he was from out of town, the accent not being one of a variety of English or its surrounding countries did surprise him though. He figured he might have been more aware had he considered the man's name. He gave him a small nod and held out a gloved hand to bid him to come inside.

"I was about to step out to start the day, but it's early... I can certainly help you first. What case did you need information on?"

He knew it had to be a case, there was nothing else even mentioned in passing in the letters and Elijah would not attempt conversation if it was unneeded. Lawyers tended to be serious and busy people who did not want to waste time. Whatever it was that Mr. Meijer needed was important enough he had traveled to see him in person first thing in the morning.

Already Elijah moved to look through some files he kept at home when he worked late. "I have my hands a bit full recently, but I think I have everything at hand."
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#5
Zechariah took off his hat. If there was a hook, he placed it neatly – if not, he held it to his chest for the time being.

“A young Mr. Edward Seymour,” he said, and there was a measuring glance the constable’s way. “I believe he was taken into custody?”
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#6
Elijah noticed the hat and guided him to the coat rack by the door that was loaded in coats and jackets with a single hat he rarely used hanging from one prong and another still rose proudly uncovered.

The name had him pause and he turned to him.That was a tragic case all around to him. He knew Mr. Richfeld was a man of violent tendency and it was so hard to get witnesses any court would accept it seemed. The kids were rough, an effect of their circumstances, but he believed deep inside there was good in them and they could be led on the right path with the right inspiration, but this... Between Fred still wavering in health that could take a turn, and Ed seemed to not want his brother involved in the case and acted like he did it to be a big shot, but Elijah knew the truth.

"Yes... Yes he was."
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#7
He nodded in gratitude, put his hat on the hook, and straightened out one of the jackets atop with a purse of his lips before setting his own jacket carefully amongst them. It stood out rather garishly, and the smell of cologne would probably linger.

He waited a moment for the constable to show him in.

“What can you tell me about him?”
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#8
Elijah folded his arms. "He was born in this town, he isn't that different from a lot of kids in town. Big family, his father is an abusive drink, mother works too much to be home. He spends his time out on the street, cuts school. He is wild and rough but he hasn't been more violent than throwing stuff, maybe pulling hair in a fight. He has never been like this before..."

Elijah had a strong feeling he knew why, but the boy wouldn't admit it for some reason.
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#9
Whew. That sounded a bit like Menachem toward the end. His sympathy wavered momentarily, but then – what if this was his chance to stop another Menachem from coming into being?

“Do you have the knife he allegedly used?”
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#10
Elijah nodded and remembered how the very distraught mother was quite upset he had used one of their own knives as the weapon and he had replaced it with one of his own for their home.

"I do." He took out a key and unlocked a closet and took out the knife that was in a bloody bundle with another cloth tied securely around it. "A kitchen knife from their home."
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#11
Zechariah did not look especially shocked by the state of the knife, but his mouth did form a long, thin-pressed line. A kitchen knife from the home of the accused. This kid had no subtlety.

“A kitchen knife,” he repeated. “Do you have a clean one I could see? Just for a moment.”
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#12
Elijah seemed in thought before placing it back in the locked closet. It seemed he did not even trust the lawyer with evidence alone.

He disappeared into his kitchen before returning. By then his cat had discovered the guest and was staring at him from her spot on the back of the sofa. 

"Here, I have something in similar design and size." It was a small paring knife. "I would say from my observations that theirs was a bit duller."

A question came to him. "Are you representing him.or the defendant? If I may ask..." He remembered bringing up the notion of a lawyer and the boy has shot him down. He didn't know of the boy's encounter with the other town lawyer where he had threatened to strike him and toss him out in the blizzard.
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#13
Zechariah cast a brief glance to the calico cat, though paid little attention to them. He waited without disturbing anything, hands clasped behind his back. If he noticed the distrust, he showed no sign of it.

“Thank you,” he said, taking it and heading to the nearest clear surface.

He set out a stained handkerchief and unwrapped it. Within were five clean bones that were thicker and longer than a human finger, most likely from the butcher shop. He arranged them with four parallel, and one horizontal off to the side.

“You may,” he said distractedly, lining the knife up with his macabre little imitation pinky.

He, having chopped more vegetables in court than for his own home use, took a moment to figure out just how to hold a knife to a bone.

“Neither,” he answered after finally aligning it to his satisfaction.

He did an experimental nick up top to test its sharpness, then scooted it down to dead center of the bone. He bore his palm down on the other side, but the knife did not budge against the hardened, exposed bone.

“I represent the court. What I am here to establish...” he bore his weight down at a different angle, and the bone was scraped but not much else, “is whether it is even feasible that a, what, boy who has yet to shave? managed to cut through a full-grown man’s finger with a dulled kitchen knife.”
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#14
The man felt a little bit of hope for the boy. He really didn't want to see the kid go to prison, it was far to cruel for what was, while certainly illegal, a kid's brutal taste of revenge for another illegal and brutal act. 

"Are you saying you think he didn't do it?" He looked at him confused as , while no one saw it, everyone knew he did it. "Or are you saying you are..." his words died as it made no sense. He wasn't helping Ed, so proving he couldn't do it was , while not technically against his position, certainly not for it. Right?

He did watch in wonder as the man tried to cut it. "Are those..human bones?"
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#15
“No one saw Mr. Seymour commit the act,” he said, setting the knife down and turning to face the constable. “The accuser was also inebriated at the time of the act. Something... tragic,” he said like the word itself was sour, “clearly happened here, but what evidence is available suggests this a case of confusion rather than a case for court.”

He cast a scandalized look at Crane.

“What do you take me for?”
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