|The Adventures of Wolf and Friends: Pages
Author: D Knowlton PM
The boy called Wolf and his friends find more danger and trouble in their quest to become knights. Volume two of The Wolf Chronicles.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Friendship - Chapters: 46 - Words: 147,948 - Reviews: 27 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 13 - Updated: 05-07-13 - Published: 05-21-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3024556
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Adventures of Wolf and Friends: Pages
A Jury of Peers
Wolf sat at the desk, not moving, a virtual prisoner in the Wolverine's apartment at the palace. There was only a drawing room, a bedroom, and a bathroom and he didn't go into the bedroom. Meals were brought to him three times a day.
Wolf numbly realized that Wayne had set him up. The squire had found his biggest weakness; he was too trusting. He knew a knight would never be that trusting, but he wasn't going to be a knight. He wasn't going to medical school. His best option was to go back to the Amazon; this time for good.
There was a knock at the door and Wolf slowly got up to answer it. When he opened the door, nobody was present, but at his feet was a piece of white cloth with a red stain. He reached down to pick it up, and found the stain was wet. When he held it up to let it hang between his finger tips, the stain turned out to be a hand print.
Wolf knew what it meant; that he had been caught red handed. The students had already tried him in absentia. He could never go to class again, or ride a horse. But worst of all he would have to abandon Shadow. The wolf would have to go to a wild animal reserve or worse a zoo.
Wolf walked back into the apartment and threw the symbol into the trash can.
The door opened and the Wolverine entered pushing a dinner cart. There were two covered dishes with glasses of milk. She placed the dishes on the small table and indicated for Wolf to sit in one of the chairs. She sat opposite from him, "Son, we need to talk long and hard about what is going to happen."
Wolf looked down at his food and realized he wasn't hungry, "What is there to say, my life is over. I'm dead in this school."
The knight didn't answer for a while. "What do you remember from your law studies, about guilt?"
"That you're not guilty until proven guilty."
"Good. Then you must realize that you're not guilty."
Wolf whined, "But those coins were found in my footlocker."
"Did you place them there?"
"I know you didn't, but I had to hear it from you."
"What? How is that?"
"I know you're innocent. You just had to admit it to yourself." She smiled at the boy, "I knew it the moment I saw Wayne's face, and it was confirmed the moment that the coin flew up against the wall."
"When Wayne saw me, he turned his head to the side. That is a good indication something he is going to say is wrong. Did you notice that he insisted on you shaking the third tunic, not the first, or the second?" The knight paused but got no response from Wolf. "I saw the smirk on his face as the coin flew out."
"That means that he knew it was there. But you can't prove that," protested Wolf.
"No, I can't. But I can use it as circumstantial testimony."
Wolf looked down, "I'm lost. There is nothing to prove my case."
The Wolverine placed her hand on top of Wolf's hand. "If you give up, you would be declaring yourself guilty. If you fight, you have a chance. Now what do you want the most?"
"I want to be a knight."
"Not a doctor?"
"Yes a doctor, but a knight first. I need it to do what I want to do."
The Wolverine stared at her son and her look changed to a large grin. "Wolf, what will a knight never do?"
Wolf scrunched his forehead. He opened his mouth to say something, and then decided not to. Suddenly his eyes opened wide, "Quit, a knight never quits."
"Very good, I think you are now ready to fight. Now eat your meal. The Brussels sprouts look incredibly good."
After supper the Wolverine fetched the Raven and Red, and the four of them talked late into the evening about how they could prove Wolf's innocence.
Wolf walked towards the ballroom, the largest room in the palace, flanked by the Raven and Red, his two defenders. The Wolverine led them, wearing a uniform dress. She opened the door to the ballroom and walked in. As soon as Wolf appeared at the door, the booing started. Wolf turned red in the face. He wanted to turn and run, but the Raven's hand on his back prevented him. Instead he numbly went to his seat at the defenders table where he sat between Red and the Raven. He looked to his left to see Wayne sitting at the prosecutor's table looking non-concerned.
The Lion, sitting at a table started banging a paper weight and ordered, "Quiet in this court, or leave the room." The knight repeated his command three times before order was restored. "This is an honor court convened to judge the claims of Squire Wayne against Page Wolf, Sir John presiding. The jury consists of four pages and four squires. None of whom are closely associated with either party. The accuser will be represented by the Sir Jessica with assistance from Squire Randolph. The accused is represented by Sir Raven with assistance from Squire Red. Proof must be established before conviction can be delivered. All who will bear witness in this court will rise."
The Lion rapped the paper weight three times and the entire court stood up. The Lion then stood up and raised his right hand. Everyone else raised their right hand. "Repeat after me: I will upon my honor tell the truth… The whole truth… And nothing but the truth…" The entire room repeated the entire oath phrase by phrase. The Lion rapped the paper weight once to sit everyone down. "The Prosecutor will present his case."
Squire Randolph stood and called Wayne to the witness chair. Once the squire was seated Randolph started, "Will you please tell the court what happened on the day in question."
Wayne smiled, "I discovered several coins from my collection were missing in the morning. Later in the day I was called from horse riding and told to report to my room. There I found out that Wolf was stealing my music player. Later I was called to Wolf's room to witness him going through his stuff looking for my coins which were missing. That is when we found one hidden in his tunic. The others were also in his footlocker." Wayne pointed at Wolf, "He's the thief."
"No further questions, Your Honor," said Randolph. He went to sit down.
"Red stood up and approached Wayne, a grin on her face. "Wayne You said you found several coins missing. Tell the court how many and when?"
"I found five silver dollars missing when I awoke in the morning."
"How many were found?"
Red faced the Gallery, "Five silver dollars; that is a lot of money, silver prices being what they are now days. You must have been pretty distraught?"
"Yeah, they were proof coins and much more valuable," Replied Wayne annoyed.
"I can understand that. When did you tell anyone that they were missing?"
"Later, after I found out my music player was being stolen."
Red turned to face Wayne "That is odd, valuable coins are missing and you didn't report it for ten hours."
"I was too busy."
"The watch is just down the hallway, or at least I think he is, since I can't go there, being just a girl." There were several snickers from the gallery. "It would be easy to just tell him. Why didn't you?"
"It was going to take too much time. I had to take care of my horse."
Red smiled, "I can understand the importance of that, I have two horses myself. Why not after that?"
Wayne shifted uncomfortably, "I forgot."
Red fained surprise, "You forgot! You agreed you were distraught over the missing coins, but yet you forgot them after only half an hour. Wayne, did you ask Wolf to retrieve your gloves?"
"No, I didn't."
"In the paddock, before your lesson, did you talk to Wolf?"
Wayne hesitated a second then looked over at Randolph. "Yes, I said 'Hi' to him."
"That is unusual. Usually Wolf avoids you. That is common knowledge. Even I avoid you." There were more snickers from the assembled students. "So how is it you should be talking to him?"
Wayne fidgeted nervously, "I was just trying to be friendly."
"So you sought him out. You went to him then?"
"One last question, Did you know where the coins were?"
Wayne looked at Randolph, "No, I didn't."
"I have no further questions at this time. However, I reserve the right to question Wayne again, Your Honor," concluded Red.
The Lion excused Wayne and the squire returned to sit at the prosecutor 's table, next to Randolph. But not before giving Wolf and Red a deadly glare.
Wolf scribbled on a note pad. 'What just happened?' and pushed it over for Red to see.
Red scribbled back, 'Wayne just impeached himself.' She pushed it back over to Wolf.
Randolph called Wayne's roommate, Martin, to the witness chair. "Martin, please tell the court what happened the day the defendant was found in Wayne's room."
"I was coming out of the study room and saw Wolf hurrying down the hallway and then he went into our room."
"By, 'our room,' you mean Wayne's room?"
"Yes, of course."
"Continue with your narrative please."
"Anyway, I suspected something fishy was happening, so I followed him. When I entered the room I saw Wolf had Wayne's music player in his hand and was getting ready to put it in his pocket. I called the watch and you know the rest."
"OK," said Randolph.
"Objection!" yelled Red jumping to her feet. "'You know the rest,' is not valid testimony."
The Lion responded, "The witness will complete his narrative."
"Yes, Your Honor." Randolph asked, "What happened after you called the watch?"
"Well, Wolf just stood there looking guilty. The Eagle finally arrived and took control of the situation."
"No further questions, Your Honor."
As Randolph went to his table, Red was instantly on her feet and in front of the witness. "Martin, exactly where was Wolf standing when you entered the room?"
"He was in front of Wayne's desk, with the music player in his hand."
"Was Wolf facing you?"
"No, he was facing the desk."
"Where were his hands?"
"In front of him."
"You said he was putting it in his tunic pocket?"
Red faced the Lion, "If the court pleases, Your Honor, may I make a demonstration?"
"You may," replied the Lion.
Pointing at the Lion's table where evidence was placed, Red asked, "Martin, would you please go to the Judge's table and put Wayne's music player into your tunic pocket?"
"But, I don't see the point," protested Martin.
"Humor me please," said Red smiling.
Martin stood and went to the Lions table, reached out, picked up the music player, and started to put it in his tunic pocket.
"Freeze." demanded Red. While Martin remained motionless, Red turned to the gallery, "Those of you in the court who can see the music player please raise your hand." Only students to the right and left of the court raised their hand, no one in the Gallery raised a hand. Red smiled, "The door to the room would be directly behind Wolf." Red paused, "Martin, was Wolf actually putting the music player in his pocket or was he just holding it?"
Looking annoyed Martin answered, "His hand was moving."
Red pointed her index fingers off to her sides, "In which direction?"
"Out to the side."
"So he wasn't actually putting it in his pocket. Is that correct?"
"Yeah." There were murmurs from the gallery.
"That is all Martin. Thank You."
"The prosecutor will call the next witness," intoned the Lion.
Randolph stood, "I call the watch stander, Squire Richard." The squire sat in the witness chair. "If you would, please tell the court what you observed."
"I was sitting at the watch desk when I noticed a page hurrying past me down the hall. He went into a room and shortly I heard Martin calling for me. I went to the room and found Wolf standing there red faced and holding the music player. I confiscated the music player and ordered another squire to fetch the knight on watch. I then waited until the Eagle arrived. The Eagle took down all the information and took command of the situation until the Wolverine arrived."
"Is there anything more about this you want to say?"
"Just that you don't often see pages enter squire's rooms."
"I'm finished with the witness," concluded Randolph.
Red stood and cross examined from her table, "Rick, how many squires were present on the floor?"
"Probably twenty, I can't be exactly sure, but that is a good estimate."
"How many were in the hallway?"
"Two at least. I don't know how many there were behind me."
"So, it was somewhat busy in the dorm, wasn't it?"
"Do you think it would be a bad time to just walk in and take something?"
"Yeah, real bad."
"Not a very smart thing to do, is it."
"Yeah, pretty dumb."
"Does Wolf strike you as dumb?"
"But it might be reasonable to assume Wolf would have to be pretty dumb to just walk into the room; into a room on a busy floor, unless he had a valid reason. Isn't that right?"
"But you said he wasn't dumb." Again there were murmurs. Red faced the Lion, "That is all, Your Honor."
"The prosecutor will call the next witness." intoned the Lion.
Lady Knight Jessica stood and called the Eagle to the witness chair.
The Eagle related the incident in Wayne's room then he was asked to describe what happened in Wolf's room. "After stating the situation, a search was conducted starting with Wolf's footlocker. One coin was found in a folded tunic and four more were found in the bottom of the footlocker. A continued search found no other unusual items in Page Wolf's possession."
After the lady knight was finished examining the Eagle, she nodded to the Raven.
The Raven stood and asked, "Do you remember what was on Wayne's desk?"
"Yes, besides the usual books and papers there was a pair of gloves.
"Let us go to Wolf's room. When was the first coin found?"
"It was in the third tunic to be searched."
"How was it found?"
"It was found when it flew across the room as Wolf shook the tunic."
"Why was Wolf shaking it?"
"It was at Wayne's insistence."
"Not the first two tunics?"
"No, Wayne didn't mention them when they were held open."
"Were they ever shaken afterwards?"
"No, Wayne didn't ask for it."
The Raven walked over to the Lion's table and picked up a plastic bag and handed it to the Eagle. "Is this the coin in question? And please describe its condition."
"This is the coin that came from the third tunic and the remains of its plastic case. The case was smashed into pieces when it hit the wall. The coin is clearly a mint coin but it has smudges on it and is partially oxidized."
The Raven held up the coin in the bag so the gallery could see it, "Does it hold its value with the oxidation?
"No, it is no longer worth more than its value in silver."
"Where were the other four coins found?"
"In the very bottom of the foot locker underneath everything else."
"What kind of condition were they in?"
"They were in immaculate condition."
"If they had been tucked in the clothes would they have been damaged by falling?"
The Raven paused a few seconds, "Does the fact that four coins were in the bottom of the footlocker guarantee they wouldn't be damaged?"
"I think that is reasonable." The murmurs from the gallery were stronger this time.
"Did Wolf cooperate fully with the investigation?"
"Perfectly; he never hesitated to follow my orders and never protested."
"Thank You." The Raven faced the Lion, "Your Honor, I'm finished with the witness."
Lady Knight Jessica stood and announced to the court, "The prosecutor rests."
The Lion ordered, "The court will stand adjourned for one hour for lunch," and rapped the paper weight once.
Wolf was anxious to get out of the court room and almost ran for the door. He exited to more boo's. He hastened down the hallway and descended the stairs, two at a time. He entered the Ravens office and plopped into a chair. He was followed by Red and after a minute, the Raven and the Wolverine. "What is happening? I'm still looking guilty to everyone."
The Raven put his hands on Wolf's shoulders and massaged them. "You, need to relax. Your defense is going exactly as planned. Wayne has lied in court, and his roommate has discredited himself. Other pieces of the puzzle are going to fall into place when we present our defense. I will warn you. I am going to call you as a witness. When I do you will also have to answer questions from the prosecutor, and they won't be easy. Lady Jessica is a fair knight and won't try to trick you. But I don't know about Squire Randolph. He won't like losing."
"But what if I say something stupid"
The Raven smiled, "Tell the truth, and I mean the truth. It may hurt but not as much as any other option. Answer each question precisely, and if you are tricked we will correct it with a re-cross. I am allowed to question you directly, if necessary.
The defendants ate some pimento cheese sandwiches washed down with cups of coffee. When it was time to go back to court Red and the Raven led Wolf and the Wolverine back into the court. This time when Wolf entered there was less booing.
The Lion entered last and everyone stood up. Once he was at his seat he rapped the paperweight and every one sat down. "The defense will present their case."
The Raven called the Wolverine to the witness chair. He grinned as he asked his first question, "Please state your full name?"
A cloud passed over her face, "Sir Aurora Wolverine." There were audible gasps from some of the gallery. The Wolverine had never revealed her given name before.
"Will you tell us what happened on the day in question?"
"I was conducting a self defense class in the palace courtyard when a squire summoned me with urgency to the Squires dorm. When I entered Squire Wayne's room I found Page Wolf, the Eagle, and Squire Martin. Squire Wayne followed me in. I was told that Wolf was being accused of stealing Wayne's music player. I heard Wolf's explanation of what he was doing in the room and Martin's accusation. I asked Wolf If it was true and he replied that it wasn't. I also asked Wayne if he had asked Wolf to fetch his gloves, and he replied that he had not."
"Later I found out Wolf was accused of stealing coins from Wayne's collection. After that, we assembled in Wolf's room to perform the search. We started with the foot locker, Wolf was told to unfold each item then place them on the floor. He did this for the first two tunics. When Wolf held up the third tunic and was about to place it down, Wayne interrupted and demanded that he shake it. Wolf not only shook it, he snapped it like you would snap a towel and the first coin flew out of the pocket and slammed against the wall destroying the plastic case holding the coin."
The Raven interrupted the Wolverine, "So the first two tunics were not shaken. Why not?"
"Wayne did not ask us to go back. In fact he did not insist that any other clothes be shaken, although Wolf continued to shake them."
"What was Wayne's demeanor when the coin flew out of the tunic?"
"He was smiling."
The Raven fained surprise, "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I was looking directly at him."
"How about later?"
"Wayne didn't smile again until just before the last blanket was removed from the footlocker. Then he smiled."
There was audible rumbling from the audience, loud enough to cause the Lion to rap his paperweight and demand that the gallery be quiet.
"One final question, could you please describe Wolf's reaction to discovering the first coin?"
"He was not happy but he was cooperative until the coin hit the wall and had stopped rolling on the floor. Then he turned pale in the face and became unsteady on his feet."
"Would it be reasonable to say he was surprised?"
The Wolverine furrowed her forehead, "Yes, it is a bad habit of his."
"No further questions?"
Lady Knight Jessica stood up and approached the Wolverine. "What is your relationship to the defendant?"
"He is my son."
"You would do anything to save him, wouldn't you?"
The Wolverine pointed at Lady Knight Jessica, "I won't lie. Even for my son."
The knight considered her next question, but never asked it. "That is all, Your Honor."
Red stood up, "I call Page Grace Your Honor." Grace took the witness chair.
"Grace, how long have you known Wolf?"
"Since he helped to save my life."
"Tell the court what happened."
Grace related how she was almost beaten to death and how Wolf had risked his life to save her. Then she told about how he had convinced her to come to the school.
"Is there anything else you want to say about Wolf?"
"Yeah, He keeps his word."
"How is that?"
"I've told him things that I had done in the past; terrible things. I swore him to never tell anybody and he never has, although it has weighed heavily on him. He stands by his friends."
"That is all I have for Grace, Your Honor."
Randolph stood up. "Grace, Do you have any proof that Wolf did not steal the coins?"
"No I don't."
"That is all, Your Honor."
The Lion excused Grace.
Red stood and, said, "I call Page Sally." Once the page was in the chair, Red asked, "Sally, you recently had an adventure with Wolf. Could you explain what happened?"
"Wolf and I were investigating a tomb when the opening closed up and we were trapped. The chamber was threatening to collapse crushing us. Wolf came up with an escape plan and led me safely out through a narrow drain tunnel."
"Could you have escaped through the tunnel by yourself?"
"No. Wolf had to move stones out of the way, and then he pulled me through the muck, which by the way was mostly rat droppings." This brought some yucks from the gallery. "The worst was a low spot in the tunnel that was full of water. He quickly pulled me through before I drowned. Then the end of the tunnel was blocked by a tree root. He was able to saw through that. I never want to be in a tight space again. He had convinced me to go, and he went first, not knowing if the tunnel was open all the way. He showed no fear. The tomb caved in while we were in the tunnel. He truly saved my life."
Red faced the Lion, "That is all I have Your Honor."
Randolph stood up and approached Sally, "That is a good story but what does it have to do with the present case?"
Sally pursed her lips a second then said, "Honor, Wolf would have given his life to save mine. He has already dedicated himself to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. He won't let anything stop him from doing the right thing."
"Sally, can you prove that Wolf is innocent of the charges against him?"
"No, I cannot."
"That is all I have, Your Honor," said Randolph
Red called Wart to the witness chair. "Page William, please tell the court of your relationship with Wolf."
"He is one of my best friends." When Red waited a minute, Wart added "I befriended him the first time I met him."
"So you've known him longer than any other student besides me."
"Were you present the first time Wolf met Wayne?"
"Yeah, Wayne predicted Wolf would be kicked out." There was an immediate rumbling from the court.
"Have you known Wolf to steal anything?"
"No, He won't even touch anybody else's weapon, unless he is given permission."
"Is there anything you can tell us about what happened that might be relevant?"
"Yes, two months ago Wolf had been approached by Wayne who asked for a truce. Wolf accepted. And nothing has happened between then and now." Wart paused a moment, "We talked about what this truce meant. It was decided that Wolf had to be extra careful, because we didn't know what Wayne had in mind. We knew that an offer of truce had to be respected. It is the honorable thing."
"Before the incident in question did Wolf do anything strange?"
"No, not that I can think of. We were together for much of our free time, like always. We hang out together along with Harold and George. The only times we are not together is when we were in class."
"If it pleases the court an examination of class records proves that Wolf did not miss any classes for the previous week." said Red while holding up a folder of records.
"So noted," stated the Lion.
Red continued her examination, "Wart, what is Wolf's relationship with music?"
"He plays a fife and sometimes a penny whistle. He doesn't listen to music on the radio. He has been playing some strange tunes that I think he learned in the Amazon."
"Would he have any use for a music player?"
"Not that I know of."
"Thank You." Red sat back down next to Wolf.
Randolph stood up and approached the page, "Wart, do you have any concrete evidence that Wolf did not steal anything?"
Wart looked hard at the squire, "No, I don't."
"That is all, Thank You."
"Page William, you are excused," said the Lion. "The defense will call the next witness,"
Red stood and said, "The defense calls Page Wolf to the stand."
"Due to the late hour, the Court will recess until the morning," announced the Lion, despite the early hour. He rapped the paperweight three times and everyone stood up. Then he walked out of the room.
When Wolf walked out there were boos from only a few students.
Back in the Ravens office Wolf asked, "What's next? This doesn't look good at all."
"It is you who will have to prove your honor. I am putting you in the witness chair," said Red.
"The bad part is you will probably have to talk about your hatred of Wayne," added the Raven.
"That is why I had you detail every incident that has happened between you two," said the Wolverine. "You must answer every question with the truth. It is your honor that is on trial here. You must face two juries; the jury of four pages and four squires, and the jury of the whole. You must win both juries."
Wolf bemoaned, "I'm done. If there is any doubt, then I will never be truly innocent."
The Raven pushed the legal pad, on which Wolf had written his record of trouble with Wayne, over to the page. "Study this until you can recite it."
The Wolverine escorted Wolf back to her apartment where they found a cart with supper outside her door. The knight immediately opened the covered dishes and found the food despoiled with horse manure. "Strange, I had not asked for supper to be delivered. It seems someone has other ideas."
They left the cart outside the door and entered the apartment. "Mother how can you be so calm? They just dumped on you."
"I've had worse happen to me. The names I was called, I'll not tell you until you are a knight, although I suspect you will hear them soon enough. There was terrible resistance to me being a page. And it wasn't just the boys. That mess out in the hall is nothing in comparison to the things that were done to me. Remember that. I am not surprised you got that bloody rag the other day."
Wolf's eyes went wide open, "You knew? How did you survive?"
"The Lion, only he wasn't the Lion yet, stood up to his father. His father, also Sir John managed to make it possible for me to stay in the program. He taught me how to defend myself against seemingly impossible odds. He taught me that a fight is never a fair match. He is the one who first called me the Wolverine. I managed to slowly get allies. I did that by doing everything that was expected of me and more. I was always on the watch for trouble, and I got it, but I never got anyone else in trouble. I always took my punishment."
"Either Wayne or I will be in big trouble before tomorrow is over."
"Alas, it will be so." the Wolverine placed a hand on Wolf's shoulder. "I believed in you when I first saw you, and I believe in you now. Let us go over those notes that you so painfully wrote. I'll call for some real food.