What's Mine Is Mine

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Judge Henry Abbott ("Hang'in Hank") rode the circuit in the early days of the American frontier. A man of uncompromising principles, with his white hair and long white beard he was frequently compared to Moses with the tablets. The judge was utterly immune from all forms of graft as much as we was insensitive to the pleas of the guilty.

It happened that a period of temporary public virtue had overtaken a community where the judge presided, and a law was passed prohibiting gambling. One fellow, a certain "Pecos Bill" had drifted through town and fallen afoul of this statute.

Bill determined to fight the charge with all his might and stood as his own lawyer. Offering a very credible defense, he was nonetheless convicted and rose to his feet as the judge pronounced sentence.

"You have been found guilty of wagering," the judge began, "and I therefore sentence you to two months in jail from this date."

"That's a mighty harsh sentence," replied an unrepentant Bill. "After all, it was my money that I wagered. I tremble to think what the sentence would be if I had gambled your money ..."

----------------A Final Thought ...

"Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude."

- Ambrose Gwinett Bierce (1842-1914?), US author, editor, cynic: The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906)