...AND JUSTICE FOR NONE: Chapter 5 - A Near Miss

AT THE ESTATE of Sir Marmaduke D'Ranged QC, Arthur Conscience and Jolyon Potty have been invited to a day's shooting. Arthur doesn't like guns, but he could hardly refuse the offer from Sir Marmaduke, who was Head of Chambers at 14 Little Graymatter Square, and Arthur's Pupil Master, prior to being appointed to the judiciary.

Sir Marmaduke thrusts a gun into Arthur's hands. "Do you know how to use this thing?" He asks.

Arthur shakes his head.

"Don't they teach you anything at school these days?" Asks Sir Marmaduke. He gives Arthur a quick lesson in loading and shooting the gun.

"Pull!" Shouts Jolyon.

A clay pidgeon flies into the air.

"This is for you, Larry!" Screams Jolyon, shooting the clay pidgeon from the sky.

"What did you say?" Asks Arthur.

"That was for Larry Larceny." Explains Jolyon, with a manic expression on his face.

Arthur starts to wonder whether Jolyon is losing it.

"Your turn." Says Sir Marmaduke.

Reluctantly, Arthur shouts: "Pull!"

Another clay pidgeon flies into the air. Arthur shoots, but doesn't disturb the pidgeon's serene trajectory across the sky. In fact, he doesn't even get close.

"Oh, bad luck." Says Sir Marmaduke sympathetically.

"I'm afraid I'll never get the hang of this." says Arthur.

"You will." Says Sir Marmaduke. "Watch me - I'll show you how easy it is. Pull!"

Another clay pidgeon flies into the air, but before it can ascend far Sir Marmaduke points his gun just over Arthur's head and blasts it from the sky.

"Bloody hell!" Exclaims Arthur, jumping about angrily. "You nearly killed me!"

Sir Marmaduke and Jolyon are in fits of laughter at Arthur's reaction.

They're both quite mad. Thinks Arthur.