Chapter 524: Indisputable framing!
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
With unparalleled expressions of austerity, Chris felt as if a thunderbolt had struck him as he murmured to himself.
"What is it like this? How did it end up like this?"
As he murmured, Chris was dragged out involuntarily. Right at the corner of the street, Chris suddenly noticed a pair of jesting and ridiculing deep eyes. Chris momentarily understood before struggling violently and pointing towards Sheyan while shouting strenuously.
"Seaman, do you think getting someone to frame me will work? Never! Let me tell you, it will never work! After bitterly establishing myself for so long, how would I be toppled by your fabricated accusation! Just you wait, I'll be out within an hour. You have no evidence to condemn me of crimes!! My company will still be towering within Port Royal as before!"
Indeed, Chris wasn't lying at all. One must understand, acquiring a property in Port Royal as this current age was an exceedingly troublesome affair; something that not merely money could resolve. Such a situation resembled a city center in the present world. In truth, even Sheyan didn't possess the qualifications to acquire his own property in Tortuga, one could imagine its difficulty.
As it turns out, Chris's backing was an influential character in Port Royal, known as Lord Ben Fleming. Being a representative of Port Royal, he could rally the public opinion, and ride with the trends; achieving the acknowledgement of the general public. Whenever Governor Swann was absent, then lord Ben Fleming would assume the temporary responsibility as governor. One could fathom his status from this.
Of course, having just a backing wouldn't be sufficient, but Chris had always been a prudent individual. In truth, he did engaged in smuggling, but his cautious bearing ensured it was conducted neatly from head to tail; having various kinds of accounting records. Thus, Chris was assured that even if the magistrate attempted a stringent investigation, Sheyan would absolutely not find any incriminating evidence.
Without any evidence and purely relying on bribery or fraud, such a method would only work on individuals without a backing. It was certainly impossible on himself! Hence, Chris confidently shouted out those words; claiming that he would be freed within an hour.
During his trial, everything seemed to be playing out according to Reef's depiction. Firstly, it was the criminal charge of homicide.
The accuser's statement was simply powerless, and the charge for homicide was dismissed. In fact, Chris was already awaiting the moment he could depart, where he would erect his middle finger to blow off steam in Sheyan's face.
Following that, the guards who investigated Chris's shop returned. They adorned poker face that was seemingly devoid of any happiness. Under the supervision of the magistrate, they emotionlessly recited the list of merchandises within his trading company, while requesting for Chris to explain about the origins of his merchandises.
Chris answered in flawless fashion, knowing everything by heart; connecting the taxes paid and everything else like a connecting pulse throughout the dragon. Furthermore, there were certain individuals in the jury that could even testify for him.
Soon after, even Lord Ben Fleming stood forward in objection, blaming this entire fiasco as a premeditated framing; a ploy intended to besmirch a law abiding citizen's reputation. He further mentioned that if the trial were carry on, it would be essential akin to being toyed in the culprit's hands.
Faced with Lord Ben Fleming's call to question, the magistrate's face became downcasted.
However at this instant, the accuser raised a hand and spoke with profound significance.
"I have only one question for Mr Chris. May your excellency permit me this final question."
Facing the final counter-argument of the accuser, Chris was already brimming with confidence; so much so, he couldn't sniff up the thick conspiracy behind that question. Chris bluntly interrupted.
"Go ahead, but if your question cannot incriminate me of crime, then I hope to be released from trial."
"Not a problem." The accusing party replied in deep significance.
He then raised the list of merchandise, before loudly reciting the final point on it.
"My final question is, would the respected Mr Chris explain the source of the 21,316 gold guineas found in your shop?
Chris was dumbstruck, sensing that he had suddenly been submerged deep into a whirlpool of conspiracy. His body broke out in cold sweat, as he exclaimed frantically.
"Impossible, absolutely impossible. I only have 10,000 guineas in my shop!"
The investigating officer revealed a mocking sneer.
"Ho, every convict that I've taken would also demonstrate wondrous acting skills, and be crying helplessly. Regrettably, not a single one managed to escape from the clutches of the law! Mr Chris, perhaps you deemed that hiding your guineas is a fantastic idea, yet unfortunately, my lads possess noses of hunting dogs, eagle eyes and the ears of bats. As long as your are guilty, they will definitely catch the melon by following traces on the vines!"
At this moment, Chris noticed Sheyan standing by the window of his trial court, where he was gently smiling at him; as though bidding farewell to an old comrade. The despairing Chris immediately rummaged for a saving rice straw, as he cried aloud in enlightened fashion.
"I know it, your excellency, someone is framing me! Hiding 20,000 gold guineas in my shop to set me up."
Hoots of laughter erupted from the jury towards Chris's argument. At this moment, several marines exerted themselves while hauling a massive chest towards the magistrate, before flipping its lid open. The alluring shimmers of gold coins resonated into the eyes of everyone within a flash.
"Ah, what a blissful entrapment!!" The magistrate praised. "Mr Chris, I have already dealt with pirates, smugglers, bandits, whores, and murderers for over three decades; issuing the punishment of the law to countless convicts. I believe the amount of individuals that hate me, is ten folds that of yours. Yet up till to date, nobody has ever used 20,000 guineas, oh, no, not even risking 20 guineas to frame me."
"Alright fine! Even if I can accept such an absurd assumption of framing, the heavy volume of 20,000 gold guineas right before our eyes cannot be discounted; it isn't mere shillings which can be kept in pockets. This is 20,000 gold guineas we are talking about! A weighty treasure chest that requires two strong men to heave up!"
"If one transported 20,000 gold guineas into my house, I believe my neighbors would definitely notice such an affair. Mr Chris, if you were to suggest to be such an extravagant entrapment of 20,000 guineas had been shifted into your store without a sound, without anyone discovering it; then I have reasons to believe, that you are insulting me. No, that you are insulting us; the intellect of the entire governing office, the jury and even the citizens outside."
Lord Ben Fleming stood up with a sullen expression. Just when everyone thought he would speak, he picked up his crutches before wearing his cap and left without a word. This revered Lord's complexion was tremendously ugly because he had obviously been 'slapped' by the magistrate in the face. However, the main reason was due to the 20,000 gold guineas profit that Chris acquired from smuggling, because, he hadn't gained a single dividend of it!!!!
Hence, he could infer with heartache and disappointment. Since 20,000 gold guineas had been discovered today, what about tomorrow or the following that, or weeks or months. How many of such personal golden-bright and dazzling adorable little objects would be discovered????
Lord Ben Fleming felt his righteousness had been besmirched, and he himself bore deep grudges against individuals who deceived himself.
There was no longer any dissent for his trial following that. Chris was converted from a respected gentleman into a criminal, and was forced to penal servitude. With Norrington's style of sparing no efforts at governance, Port Royal had indeed lacked manpower for their construction works.
From henceforth, Chris's trading company and all his property was confiscated by the government. In other words, all his painstaking establishments had gone up in smoke due to Sheyan's casual tossing of 20,000 gold guineas!!
Forced to change into prisoner robes, Chris's eyes revealed a hysterical madness as he glared towards where Sheyan was standing. Then, he released an abrupt fanaticall laugher as he thought.
"Do you think you've won? You really think I will remain passive?"
If Sheyan had witnessed Chris's expression, he would definitely become slightly vigilant. Sadly, lady luck did not constantly shine on him, and the cruel reality was that Sheyan missed that scene.
Nothing else noteworthy happened following that, as Sheyan left two subordinates at the pier to keep careful watch over the whereabouts of Captain Jack Sparrow. Then, he returned to his ship and started making preparations for the auction the next day. Apart from that, Sheyan proceeded to arrange future scenarios. For example, the question about reacting if his identity were to become exposed, or the morale and unhappiness of those pirates that couldn't come ashore.
Night time. Sheyan had fallen asleep, but not forgetting to reserve pirates to keep watch at night beforehand.
Deep in slumber during the middle of the night, a sudden light but dull odour assailed his nose.
All of a sudden, Sheyan sprung up from bed. As he breathed deeply, he could confirm that pervading odour in the air was the dull stench of blood!!
By now, Reef and Mogensha was similarly woken up. The trio could fathom an abnormal quietness lingering within the surroundings; not even the cricking of bugs from the island could be heard.
After carefully differentiating from the rhythmic waves slapping against the beach, they realized an unexplainable dripping sound - the stifling sound of blood soaking through the cracks of the upper deck, before dripping down onto the lower deck....
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