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The Story of the Lunar Rogue

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Jurors and witnesses had traveled to Kingston from around the province for the trial of Henry More Smith on a charge of horse theft. Even the Attorney General had arrived for the occasion. Unfortunately the accused had escaped 3 days earlier.

Hoping the prisoner would soon be apprehended, the court convened on Tuesday. Accounts of thefts drifted in from the lower Saint John River valley. It appeared that a handsome and personable young man, having received food or shelter, was relieving his hosts of numerous personal effects. Only once did he arouse suspicion and on that occasion he was taken to the home of a magistrate to be examined. As it turned out, they sent the Lunar Rogue on his way with much embarrassment and profuse apologies. Why, you could tell the stranger was an honest man by the way he answered the magistrate’s questions. The Lunar Rogue was apparently back in business.

The patience of the Court and the community was being sorely tried and as the need to blame someone grew, Sheriff Bates was the odds on favourite. The last act of the court before adjournment on Friday was to charge the Sheriff and the jailer with negligence in the escape of the prisoner and to have them held on bail until the next sitting.

About that time, Mr. Knox, who had laid the original charge of horse theft against Henry, burst into the court to announce his second horse had been stolen overnight. Guilty or not, the Lunar Rogue would have appreciated the scene in the courtroom that day.