The manacles hold the lusty fool fast to the plinth. The city’s plutocrats have all turned up for the show. The judge has his best leathers on with his favoured red whip. This ought to be good!

‘Greetings guests!’ the Speaker announced, ’This day, the Honourable Maximillian von Hapsburg delivers judgement upon the serf named ‘Gideon’, for the charge of abject sedition. Judgement shall now be executed.’

‘I say Percival, what’s your bet on this idiot’s duration, ay?’ Lord Fecklingjinson of Gainsbury gestured to the serving waif to attend.

‘I bet you lunch the fellow shan’t endure more than seven minutes.’ The Right Honourable Minister of Social Welfare scrabbled about in his pocket for loose change.

‘I say nine. Winner chooses the restaurant.’ They chuckled.

‘’Scuse me, sirs?’ The waif bowed. ‘My pardons, sirs?’

‘Fetid dingo’s kidneys,’ the Lord snapped.

‘Eye of newt and make it snappy,’ the Minister added.

‘Yes, honourable sirs.’ The waif retrieved the packets from its tray and presented them.

‘I’ll shout old boy,’ the Minister said, throwing some coins into the far aisle.

‘Thank you kind sirs!’ The waif dashed off.

‘Now, let’s see to this whipping of an idiot!’

‘I say!’