An angular figure drifted through the mist that had suddenly appeared in the courtroom, and took his place in the dock.
The court bailiff stepped forward.
"You are Captain Jonah Cronan, also known as "Davy Jones' Recruiter", "The Ghoul of Portsmouth", and "The Nun of Dresden"?
"I am." Cronan's voice had a curious, crackling quality. It was the voice of something that had been dead a long time, or perhaps it was just someone who's had too much booze and too many cigarettes.
Judge Lady Prunella Boadicea Springer-Spaniel Bonehart, JD, MBE, DVM, RPh, EdD read out the charges:
"Cap'n Cronan, you are charged with being a serial sinker, a menace to shipping, and a scarer of children and horses. How do you plead?"
Cap'n Cronan just stood there, nonchalantly chewing a fish head.
"I'll take that as a 'not guilty'," said Judge Lady Prunella Boadicea Springer-Spaniel Bonehart, JD, MBE, DVM, RPh, EdD. "Prosecutor, call your first witness."
"M'Lady, I call...