A local tavern keeper has been prosecuted for market manipulation, hoarding and price gouging (he was allegedly buying up all the bread for use in his tavern, forcing people to go there to purchase it at inflated prices).
To twist the knife, he was also accused of buying up the main alternative people turn to when bread is short, corn. In doing this later it was alleged that not only was he leaving people with no choice but to come to his pub for food, but was also having drastic effects upon the county's pig and sheep breeding programs - with dire consequences for the local economy in the mid term.
He was found guilty on evidence presented by various witnesses in the law courts, and imprisoned for five days by the judge (because he supposedly had no money). The prosecution made much of the fact that this fellow was flagrantly abusing various quoted 'laws of the land'. Curious, I went to find these 'laws', for the infractions of which fellow citizens could be prosecuted and punished.
I could not find a written source for these laws. Concerned about this apparent anomaly (how can we keep laws of which we cannot know the detail?), I have written to the prosecutor and asked where I can read these 'laws' he quoted.
I then went to the prison and smuggled in a bowl of corn mash soup, together with the following note:
I have snuck in the backgate of the lockup to bring you this corn mash porridge to supplement the roaches and weevils of your prison fare.
Much of the village subsists still on corn mash or church charity. Your imprisonment appears not to have affected the town's food supply for the better.
Whereabouts exist the laws under which you were prosecuted? I cannot find them. How can we live under the rule of law unless we know the laws by which we must live?
I will leave now, and trust that your position within the village has not suffered overly much through these hard times.
It will be interesting to see what comes of all this...