The Let's Play Archive

Aviary Attorney

by Xander77

Part 14: First Day of Juan's Trial part 1

: Are you feeling nervous, Falcon?

: Of course I'm nervous! What have we learned about Prince Juan? What do we know about the real murderer? Nothing!

: Easy there, Falcon! We can do this!

Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite, Aragonaise (guitArtistas)

: Senor Falcon, I trust everything is in order?

: Absolutely. I have every intention of bringing the truth to light in this trial.

: Ah, such confidence. That's magnificent to see. And bringing the truth to light, you say? An admiral (sic) goal. No more jousting at imaginary giants!

: All of you, cease your yammering. The door's openin’.

: Here we go. Buena suerte, Senor Falcon!

: We will!

: Are we ready?

: Nervous?

: Why would I be nervous?I'm not nervous.I'm as calm as a cuckoo.You’re the nervous one!This whole courtroom is nervous!

: Woah, cool your feathers, Falcon.

: Hmph. Terrible. You can't even maintain a stoic facade. I thought this trial would be the perfect opportunity for you to redeem your previous embarrassments. But if this is how you act before the trial has even started...

: Why, you pompous-tailed, posture-perfect-

Bernstein- Tchaïkovsky Marche Slave

: Order, order! Let's all settle down. Court is now in session.

: Um.

: Psst. Falcon.

: What is it?

: Is it me, or does the primary judge look... hairier... today.

: Oh. Still, it’s a little strange, isn't it?

: It is a little, I suppose...

: Judge Maxime has gone on temporary sick leave due to a terrible accident with a flight of stairs. But rest assured, assesseurs, prosecutor, defense, and members of the jury, that I am more than qualified to fill his shoes.

: Without further ado, let’s get this show underway. This is the trial of Prince Juan Querido, who stands accused of murdering Major Howl, and of conspiring to murder the king himself.

: Roll call!

: Good. Very good.

: I expect this to be a nice, speedy trial. I don't want to see this dragged out by technicalities and bureaucracy.

: Well said, your honor. I expect that, once the court sees the overwhelming evidence, this trial will be over in five minutes.

: F-five minutes?!

: He's just messing with your head, Falcon. Keep it together!

: So were all on the same page? Excellent. Prosecutor, please call your first witness to the stand.

: Very well. I call the police officer who investigated the crime scene. I call upon Inspector Juste Volerti.

: Step up to the stand, Inspector, and recite the oath.

Hector Berlioz "Grande Symphonie funebre et triomphale"

: Please recite your name and occupation for the court record.

: Now, can you tell us what you witnessed on the morning of the 7th of January?

: Of course. At 10 o'cluck in the morning, I was called to the Louvre's Grande Galerie by one of the king's royal guards.

: Did he just say o'cluck?

: There, I saw Prince Juan, King Louis Philippe, the corpse of Major Howl with a rose in hand, and around two dozen citizens.

: The citizens and the king himself all attest to seeing Major Howl taking the rose from Prince Juan’s hand, and then promptly dropping dead.

: And what did the morgue uncover upon examination of the corpse?

: The coroner determined with absolute certainty that Major Howl died of poisoning. Aside from a prick upon the finger, there was no sign of external harm to Major Howl’s body.

: Therefore, the poisoned rose must have been the cause of death.

: Putting the pieces together, that does seem very implicative of the prince. I have no further questions.

: That would make for a particularly speedy trial, wouldn't it? But no, we aren't so lucky. Something else must be amiss in the old bird’s testimony.

: Right! I’ll tear it apart. Your honor, I wish to cross-examine the witness.

: Falcon, wasn't it? Don't waste the court's time. A high-ranking police officer would never lie on the witness stand.

: I wouldn't accuse the Inspector of lying. I just want to make sure that every base is properly covered.

: Ugh. This sounds like pointless nitpicking to me. But I'll allow it. For now.

Dudamel plays the Bacchanale by Camille Saint Saens

: 10 o'cluck, you say?

: Correct, 10 o'cluck.

: From the time you were called, how long did it take you to arrive at the crime scene?

: Around five minutes. I happened to be in the neighboring Palais-Royal at the time, so it was a simple journey.

: Then I'm guessing that Major Howl would have been dead for around ten minutes by the time you arrived.

: That would be a fair estimate.

: Plenty of time for a bad guy to slip away, huh?

: That’s definitely a possibility. I don't think the court would appreciate my wild speculations though.

: Surely you meant to say 10 o'clock?

: I beg your pardon?

: You clucked... like a... chicken...

: Jayjay, do you really want to kick off this trial by picking on petty pronunciation peculiarities?

: Inspector, I would like to ask you about the victim, Major Howl. It’s curious. We've spent our whole investigation focusing on the murder, but I still don't know much about the victim himself. Exactly who was Major Howl?

: He was a royal guard. A well-respected dog who was getting on in the years. I was not friends with the man, but I had met him on several occasions in the past, at banquets and royal meetings and the sort.

: Major Howl was a stern, no-nonsense fellow, but he was a good man. His wife and children no doubt miss him.

: No doubt. Thank you for the insight, inspector.

: We have been treating this case as if the intended murder target was King Louis Philippe. But there is another possibility: what if the killer was trying to murder Major Howl from the very beginning?

: Jayjay. Stop talking. You just said something very stupid. I could explain why, and humiliate you in front of the whole court. Alternatively, you could retract your question right now, and I will save your humiliation for another day.

: (Assuming you DO retract it, you get a "On second thoughts (sic), I retract my question")

: I know a bluff when I see one, Severin! My question stands.

: First, it doesn't absolve your client of any guilt.

: If the defendant was intending to murder Major Howl, then he is still guilty of murder, and would likely face the same punishment as before.

: Second, it doesn't make any sense.

: Nobody has motive to kill Major Howl, but plenty have motive to kill the king.

: A-alright, I get it.

: Third, many citizens attested to seeing the prince try to approach the king himself, not the Major.

: His intentions were clear to everyone present.

: Fourth-

: Prosecutor, that will do. Defense, don't ask such stupid questions.

: Inspector, you say that there were around two dozen citizens, all of whom attest to seeing my client deliver the poisoned rose.

: Oh boy. When you put it like that, our situation seems a little dire, doesn't it?

: Correct. We collected precisely twenty-two testimonies, and there were no major inconsistencies.

: I would like some further details. What exactly did the testimonies say?

: Each citizen attested to seeing the king and his entourage approaching the new painting in the Grande Galerie. They each heard the king deliver a short speech, which was on the subject of progress and societal improvements and what-not.

: There was some applause. Then, prince Juan stepped out of the crowd, and approached the king with a rose in his hand. Each person then saw Major Howl take the rose from prince Juan, and each person saw Major Howl promptly drop dead.

: I see.

: Some of the descriptions of the man’s death were quite graphic. “He convulsed, twisted, and spasmed”, said one witness. “His mouth frothed like he was a rabid lunatic”, said another.

: Th-thank you, Inspector. I think we get the picture.

: Are the testimonies trustworthy?

: I saw nothing to give me doubt.

: But surely there is a possibility that the citizens were bribed or threatened?

: Falcon, I can understand having doubts about one or two testimonies, but are you really saying that twenty-two people were coerced?

: Inspector, you say that the coroner determined with certainty that Major Howl was killed by poison.

: Correct. He stated the signs and symptoms were textbook. There is no possibility that his death was natural.

: Did the coroner mention specifically what kind of poison it was?

: He was not certain. At first the coroner posited that it was a plant-borne poison like that of the aconite flower. But when he learned how fast the poison had taken effect, he noted that this was atypical of aconite.

: Consequently, he suggested that it may have been some newly-engineered concoction.

: A newly-engineered poison, you say? Well that only reaffirms that this was a very deliberate assassination attempt.

: Indeed.

: How exactly was Major Howl poisoned? What was the delivery mechanism?

: His finger was pricked by the poisoned rose. He even commented out-loud about it, seconds before dying.

: All twenty-two citizens who witnessed the murder attested to seeing and hearing this.

: Is there any possibility that he was poisoned by something else?

: What an absurd thing to ask, Jayjay. You just heard that twenty-two people saw the victim prick his finger and die. What are you suggesting? That the pricked finger had no relation to the poisoning?

: That’s exactly what I’m saying. I don’t doubt that Major Howl was poisoned, but I do doubt that the rose was the cause.

: Unbelievable! Only a total buffoon could fail to draw the blatant link here.

: Jayjay, as tempting as it is to sit here and lecture you on the basics of cause and effect, I’ll end this discussion painlessly. Inspector, please tell the defense that you found traces of poison on the thorns of the rose itself. That should alleviate all doubt that the rose was, in fact, the poison delivery mechanism.

: ...

: I dread to ask, but why not?

: We didn't check the rose for traces of poison. It just seemed obvious that the rose caused the poisoning, given the timing of the incident.

: Well then, now would be a good time to make a test. Here’s a marvelous thought: we prick the finger of the defendant with the rose. If there is no poison on the rose, then Prince Juan lives, and he is free to go. If the rose is poisoned, then the prince dies. But that’s okay, because the punishment would be just and fitting of the crime.

: A marvelous suggestion.

: Calm your feathers, Jayjay. It was clearly a joke. There are far more humane ways of testing for poison. I'm sure the Inspector will perform his duty with due diligence.

: Actually... We won’t be able to test the rose for poison at all.

: Why’s that?

: Given the dangerous nature of the flower, it was... destroyed...

: by the police force. We burned it to ashes.

: Tsk. Such unprofessionalism.

: Nice try, Jayjay, but, through the process of reasoning by elimination, we can still deduce with absolute certainty that the rose was poisoned. In other words, there was nothing else at the crime scene that could have caused the poisoning!

: Wrong! There was something else at the crime scene that could have contained the poison. Something the investigative police blindly overlooked!

: What am I supposed to be looking at?

: It is the paper wrapper to a piece of chocolate. It was found in the Louvre - the Salle du Tibre to be precise - and we can date its consumption to the day of the incident.

: You’re not suggesting-

: That Major Howl ate a piece of poisoned chocolate moments before he died? I most certainly am.

: Did you see this wrapper at the crime scene for yourself, Inspector?

: The police force does not have the time nor resources to trawl every piece of trash at every crime scene, I’m afraid.

: In other words, you overlooked it? Tsk. Astounding unprofessionalism.

: The prosecution is right to be disgusted. What a disgraceful display, Inspector!

: I offer my apologies, your honor.

: don't want your apologies. I want you to do your damned job properly! Get off the witness podium before I kick you off myself!

: As you wish. I'll take my leave. Until next time, messieurs.

: So let me get this straight. This chocolate wrapper was found at the crime scene.

: Correct.

: And you have reason to believe that it was consumed on the day of the incident?

: I do. I have an expert food-tasting witness who is willing to testify, if need be.

: You have a foodie witness? I don't recall anyone like that. Who on Earth are you talking about, Falcon-

: Hmm. But do you know for certain that Major Howl consumed this chocolate?

: Well, that is a fact that we are still investigating.

: I see. And do you have evidence that this chocolate was in-fact poisoned?

: Again, that is something that may require a little more time to definitively prove...

: So then, in actuality, you do not have evidence that Major Howl consumed some poisoned chocolate.