Case: Rex vs Mister Beaver Hateman, Criminal Libel
Presiding Judge: Sir George Jeffreys
Counsel for the Prosecution: Godfrey Badger K.C.
Counsel for the Defence: Mister Hootman G.H.O.S.T
Judge Jeffreys: After the scenes in this court yesterday, I expect today to pass with no further tumult – is that understood? Mister Badger, I notice that you have a number of witnesses that you wish to bring forward to vouch for the good character of Uncle.
Mr Badger: I have, your honour.
Judge Jeffreys: I do not think that is necessary – I am sure that everyone in this court is aware of his immense achievements and reputation.
Mr Hootman: Pah!
Judge Jeffreys: Did you wish to say something Mister Hootman?
Mr Hootman: No your honour, merely clearing my throat.
Judge Jeffreys: Have you any more witnesses for the prosecution, then, Mister Badger?
Mr Badger: One final witness – I know that this is an unusual request, but I should like to call the defence counsel – Mister Hootman!
Judge Jeffreys: It is an unusual request, however, this is an unusual case – so I shall allow it.
Mister Hootman is sworn in.
Mister Badger: Mister Hootman, you have made much, in this case, of what you feel are the dubious properties of the Wizard’s Dressing Gown?
Mister Hootman: Yes, it is a lot of fantastical nonsense!
Mister Badger: This, ladies and gentlemen of the jury – from a ghost!
Gasp from the galleries.
Mister Badger: Can there be a greater figure of fantasy? An incorporeal but ubiquitous, non-quantifiable substance or energy – can one get more supernatural, more fantastical than that?
Mister Hootman: I am not a ghost – I have a well-documented medical condition that makes me a bit wispy and see through. I think it very unkind of you to mock me in this way. My affliction does not stop me from taking part in the struggle for the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. It just means I cannot do much heavy lifting.
Mister Badger: Ah yes, the struggle for control by the community…the community of Badfort, I presume?
Mister Hootman: We do attempt to offer an alternative to the problems inherent with representative democracy, promoting the establishment of a classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production.
Mister Badger: So, Uncle, being the most well-known entrepreneur, needs to be removed?
Mister Hootman: For the good of the people, yes.
Mister Badger: Are you not the master planner of the Badfort Crowd?
Mister Hootman: No, I am just a good citizen.
Mister Badger: A good citizen does not believe in magic?
Mister Hootman: Certainly not, we must build Utopia in the real world. There is no such thing as magic or the supernatural.
Mister Badger: Do you think that someone, such as yourself, composed of a misty material and able to walk through solid objects can really claim that fantasy holds no place in the material world?
Mister Hootman: Look, I have told you I am not a ghost – if I was, how come all the ghosts in the Haunted Tower hate me so…
Mister Badger: No more questions. That M’lud is the case for the prosecution.
Judge Jeffreys: Thank you Mister Badger, tomorrow you may begin calling the witnesses for the defence, Mister Hootman.