The Let's Play Archive

Aviary Attorney

by Xander77

Part 8: Trial Turnabout

: B-Baron! It's not, um, time for your witness testimony yet!

Baron Rorgueil

: I-i-i-incompetence?

: Indeed. Let us proceed with witness questioning. Is that fine with you, Judge?

: Yes, I suppose that's fine.

: Very good. And I trust that the defense has no objections.

: No. No objections here.

: Fantastic. Oh, but before I forget: I pledge to speak without fear and prejudice, et cetera, et cetera.

: The initial dinner went magnificently. When the photographer arrived, Monsieur Grenwee left to visit the garden. Dame Caterline followed behind him moments later. Seigneur Purrtoir, Monsieur Robinio, and myself were engaged in conversation, so we paid her no mind. After the photographer had left, my housemaid left to go find Monsieur Grenwee and Dame Caterline. That would be when I heard her cry for help.

: Thank you, Baron. I think we all know the story from there.

: I would like to cross-examine the witness.

: Do you doubt my integrity, garçon?

: I'm just here to uncover the truth, baron.

: Very well then. Hit me with your best shot. Let us establish with absolute certainty that I, Baron Rorgueil, am an honest man!

: The defense may proceed with the cross-examination.

Trial Turn-About

: Baron Rorgueil, I would like to ask about the dinner you served that evening.

: Very well. Ask away.

: Earlier today we established that silverware was stolen from your residence prior to the banquet.

: Indeed. I am aware of whom the culprit is, but I have decided not to press charges.

: It is curious, then, that you decided to serve steak. It isn't what one would describe as "finger food", after all.

: I don't know about that, Falcon. With the right attitude, all food can be finger food.

: There is nothing curious about it. Seigneur Purtoir and Dame Caterline are vocal lovers of rare steak. I was merely suiting their needs.

: Besides, what, um, other choice did the baron have, Falcon? Serve vegetable broth like a, um, common peasant?

: Do be quiet, prosecutor. You sound ridiculous.

: S-sorry, baron.

: Now. About this red herring...

: Yes. What about it?

: I'm not sure. But I feel it is of vital importance to the case.

: Falcon, I just want to, um, clarify this. Are you saying that you wish to pursue the red herring?

: Yes. I wish to closely examine and question the piece of evidence that is overtly labeled as a red herring. This is the type of bird that I am. I see a trail that clearly veers away from my goal, but I follow it anyway. Perhaps the path leads to better things. Perhaps it leads to failure. What matters is that my curiosity is satisfied.

: You're a strange bird, Falcon.

You don't gain or lose any favor with them.

: Baron Rorgueil, I have some questions about Monsieur Grenwee.

: God rest his soul...

: What was your relation to Monsieur Grenwee, prior to his demise?

: We were business partners. Monsieur Grenwee, Seigneur Purrtoir Demiaou, and myself all owned a third share in an up-and-coming railway company.

: Excuse the crassness of this question, but that means that you and Seigneur Purrtoir would now own half of the company each, correct?

: Correct. I suppose that's a slight glimmer of benefit that arose from this foul situation. But, Monsieur, you must understand that Monsieur Grenwee and I were friends as much as we were business associates. I mourn the man's passing.

: Of course.

: I believe he wanted some fresh air. The steak did not sit well with him, I fear.

: Oh, I see. But that is quite coincidental timing, isn't it?

: How so?

: Well, Monsieur Grenwee felt sick and left the room just after the photographer arrived, and just before the murder occurred. One might draw a link between the food and the sickness.

: Hold on, Falcon. Surely you aren't suggesting that, uh, Monsieur Grenwee's food was poisoned in some way?

: Baron, we saw the murder scene, your garden, for ourselves.

: If I may ask, what's with all the horses?

: I beg your pardon?

: There are all these horse and cherub statues in your garden. To be frank, we found the whole thing a little... weird.

: Could the defense please stop horsing around? This can't possibly have any relevance to the case.

: Baron Rorgueil, I have a couple questions about your housemaid, Couline Duhaut.

: Does your housemaid smoke cigars?

: Hm? Well that question came out of the, uh, left-field.

: Definitely not. Mademoisselle Duhaut detests the smell of tobacco.

: I see.

: Putting together a bigger picture, are we?

: I think so. The pieces are slowly falling into place.

: Your housemaid is a thief. She has stolen numerous valuables from your household, including all of the silverware.

: I object! That's not a question.

: Oh, right. let me rephrase that.

:Baron, why did you not immediately report to the police when you discovered that your housemaid was stealing from you?

: Is a man is obligated to report every act of theft that they witness?

: Well, not legally, I suppose.

: I chose not to incriminate the poor girl because I felt it would be needlessly harsh. I know letting a criminal run loose is a foreign concept to many of you lawyer types, but I'm sure you understand the concept of “mercy”.

: Baron Rorgueil, when was the last time you ventured into your own garden?

: As it happens, I have quite serious allergies. I haven't been in my own garden for years.

: Years, you say?

: Indeed.

: Baron, I do not wish to call you a liar, but that claim does not hold up to scrutiny.

: Oh? And why's that?

: Because we have hard evidence that you have visited the garden recently.

: Balderdash! My word is gold. Show the court this so-called "hard evidence" that I've been in my garden!

: This was found in your garden. To be specific, it was found inside the fountain basin...

: A... a cigar butt?! That, uh, that, um, that could belong to, uh, anybody, and -

: Prosecutor, please shut your mouth. I can speak for myself.

: O-okay. Sorry, baron.

: That is indeed the remnants of one of my cigars. But I must apologize, Monsieur Falcon, for I misunderstood your initial question. You see, prior to the banquet, I hadn't visited my own garden in years. But naturally, after hearing the housemaid's cry for help on the evening of the murder, I rushed outside. I was shocked and disgusted by what I saw. That must have been when I dropped my half-smoked cigar in the fountain basin.

: You see, Falcon? There's a perfectly reasonable explanation!

: I would find that believable if the cigar were casually discarded. But as it happened, the cigar butt was found in the fountain's upper basin. A location that could only be accessed with great inconvenience.

: And a little paddling.

: The cigar butt was not dropped. It was deliberately hidden.

: There are any number of possible explanations.

: Are there? Because I can only think of one. That is, that you, Baron Rorgueil, deliberately hid your cigar butt to disguise your own illicit activities.

: Did I, now? And what illicit activities would those be?

Trial Turnabout 2 (Saint-Saëns - Samson and Delilah - Bacchanale)

: Directly accusing me of murder? How shamelessly brazen!

: That is a ludicrous accusation, Falcon! The Baron is an upstanding citizen of the highest order! Your allegation is baseless! You have no evidence! No uh, means, motive, or opportunity!

: No evidence? Think harder, Monsieur Rabbington. Every piece of evidence points to Baron Rorgueil as the prime suspect. You want the means? The Baron certainly had means. His lion's claws are as sharp as a surgeon's blade. Gutting a frog belly would be trivial to him. Even Monsieur Robinio confessed, just moments ago, that he feared "his claws"!

: Ridiculous! I would never threaten a man with violence.

: You want a motive? The Baron had at least ten thousand francs' worth of motive! By removing a business partner, the Baron's share of his railway company increased from one third to one half!

: This is preposterous!

: And finally, the Baron had an opportunity. No. He CRAFTED the perfect opportunity. He arranged a small banquet with a very select number of guests. He was aware of the missing silverware, and yet he served steak, a food item that necessitates good cutlery. Why? To bloody the hands of his guests, of course.

: Then, he hired an easily-influenced photographer and staged a very specific picture in order to build a perfect alibi for himself. Photographing the guests in front of a handless clock to make for easy editing is quite an ingenious plan, it must be said.

: Prosecutor, are you going to let this slanderous yarn go uncontested? Say something! Object!

: I, uh, um...

: Oh, you're pitifully useless.

: After executing the murder, the baron found himself still holding a single piece of incriminatory evidence: his finished cigar. He knew that leaving it at the crime scene would raise suspicion, but he didn't have time to properly dispose of it. So, out of desperation, he threw it into his fountain, out of the sight of his guests and any snooping police.

: I imagine the baron was hoping to implicate Seigneur Purrtoir Demiaou, since that would ensure total control over his railway company. Alas, Dame Caterline was the first to happen upon the crime scene. So the baron improvised.

: This is an outrage! Judge, I demand that you disbar this ranting lunatic!

: No! There is only one outrage here!

: You're a bourgeois of the worst kind!

: How dare you, garçon! The utter nerve for a lying scumbag of a lawyer to accuse a philanthropist like myself for something so heinous! I'm nothing like the fat-cat bourgeois! I'm a respectable, hard-working capitalist!

: No! You're a ruthless man who would slaughter a dear friend just to reap a few francs!

: You incredulous whelp! I ought to gut you right here and now like... like...

: ...

: ...

: ...

: ...

: ...

: ...

: Could... could someone please restrain the Baron?

: I'm on it, ya' honor! Let's go, old man. To the Conciergerie with you.

: This is quite a turn of events. Does the prosecution have anything to add?

: I, uh, well, in a manner of, um, speaking, ah, uh, well, to be honest, um... No.

: Then I shall now confer with the members of the jury to come to a decision. I ask that the animals of the court please be patient in this time.

: Thank you. I just hope it was enough.

: What do you mean? You just proved Caterline's innocence! We'll get a not guilty verdict for sure.

: Hmm... Sparrowson, I think you've misunderstood something important about the justice system.

: What's that?

: I haven't "proved" anything. As lawyers, we cannot deal in proofs. It's just not possible. All we can do is organize the evidence, and convincingly explain what it suggests. I haven't proved Dame Caterline's innocence. All I have done is demonstrate that there is a significant possibility that she is not guilty.

: I'm not sure that I understand the difference...

: In light of the recent revelations, it is clear that an error of judgement was made with the initial arrest. On that note, we unanimously find the defendant, Dame Caterline Demiaou, to be...

Victory Fanfare

: Yeah, I suppose we did, didn't we?

: We should head back to the office so we can celebrate properly.

Aviary Office

: I can't take all the credit. This was a group achievement.

: I'm so proud of you both.

: I'll go get one bottle of wine and three of our least dirty glasses.

: Aww, it was nothing.

: I very much liked the way you pinned the murder on the baron. That was an act of sheer genius!

: Well, I didn't "pin" anything. Sparrowson and I just worked at unveiling the truth, given the facts of the case.

: Monsieur Falcon, there is no need to play coy. The case is over.

: ...Play coy?

: Don't tell me you're actually being sincere.

: I'm completely lost.

: Oh wow. I thought the goodie-goodie thing was an act, but you actually don't know. Alright, I'll spell it out for you.

Caterline's Theme

: To increase my papa's share in the train company, of course. My papa always said that the drunk old frog was the weakest link.

: Your confession doesn't make any sense at all. I found baron Rorgueil's cigar butt hidden in the garden.

: Oh, I put that there. I expected the police to find it, but I suppose that was putting too much faith in the brains of Paris's finest.

: But Falcon proved that Monsieur Robinio's photograph was edited!

: It was edited. I wasn't in the picture because I was busy paying a visit to Monsieur Grenwee in the garden. My papa knew I needed an alibi, so he ordered Monsieur Robinio to paint me over Baron Rorgueil, and to add hands to the clock. But that lazy artist didn't manage to finish altering the photograph by trial day! It's a good thing that Monsieur Falcon was so imaginative, because that could have gone very badly.

: ...

: ...

: What's with the silence? You should both be proud. There aren't many lawyers in the whole of France who could have won a case like this, even for a bourgeoisie kitty like me.

: ...

: I think you should leave now.

: Hmph. Fine. So much for the celebrations. Here's the payment for your services, straight from my papa's pockets.

: Falcon, what do we do now?

: ...

: Falcon?