21st May

Lord Cummerbund

‘Lord Cummerbund, as you know there has been considerable public disquiet about the conviction of Henry Ingram. You have come before this inquiry voluntarily but I want you to answer the questions put to you as fully and frankly as possible. Is that clear?’

‘Perfectly clear, but as Ingram has been dead for more than a year I don’t really see the point.’

‘Lord Cummerbund, an innocent man may have been found guilty of a terrible crime. If such an injustice has been done, would you not agree, as the former most senior law officer of the land, that it should be undone?’

‘Oh, quite, quite. Fat lot of good it’ll do him, though.’

‘Now, in your former capacity you drew up the charges against Mr Ingram and it was of those charges that he was eventually found guilty. Were you then, and are you still, satisfied that the court reached the correct verdict?’

‘Absolutely. Not a shred of doubt about it.’

‘And do you agree that this verdict could not have been reached without the evidence of the witness Morgan Curtis.’

‘Oh, yes, that was crucial.’

‘Then why in an interview some years after the trial did you describe Mr Curtis, the prosecution’s key witness, as, I quote, “a soft-boiled egg”? What exactly did you mean by that?’

‘Well, you know. You crack open the shell and it’s all a bit runny inside. Underdone.’

‘You also referred to him as “not the sharpest tool in the box” and “an apple short of a picnic”. Were these rather unoriginal clichés intended to suggest that Mr Curtis was not intelligent?’

‘He was as thick as two short planks. Not all there.’

‘So you continue to disparage the intelligence and reliability of this witness, without whose evidence, as you have admitted, the guilty verdict imposed on Mr Ingram could not have been reached?’

‘Oh, come on, it’s all over now. We all know Ingram did it. Does it really matter if Mr Curtis’s paella was missing a few prawns? Let sleeping dogs lie, that’s what I say. Right, is that it? Let’s go to the pub.’

‘Wait, Lord Cummerbund!’

‘Who’s buying? Mine’s a Scotch – on the rocks.’

Reader: James Robertson
Fiddle: Aidan O'Rourke
Piano: Kit Downes
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