Just then there was a banging on the door from outside the courtroom.
One of the court officials opened it and a magpie burst into the room, all in a panic. “Am I too late?” she said, seeing the guards holding the struggling Benny.
“Who are you?” asked the judge.
“My name is Winters,” said the magpie. “I’ve got the button!”
“What?!” said the judge, straightening her wig.
“Yes, here it is! The button missing from Benny’s coat!” said Winters.
“I couldn’t help myself. It was so big and shiny!” she continued. “I saw Benny walking in the Chilly Peaks on Thursday morning in his scarlet tunic and I saw the button come off when he tripped over a curl of ropeweed that was sticking up out of the path. I don’t think he noticed it come off. It rolled down the mountainside and I flew after it. And I kept it. Then I read about the trial in the newspaper. I got here as fast as I could!”
Eveyone gawped at the magpie, as her testimony sank in. Then there was a strange chorus of groans (generals and admirals), cheers (birdladies-in-waiting), whistles (the Emperor’s uncle), sighs (the court officials and the stenographer) and various other curses, titters and whoops.
This only ceased when the judge shouted “Order! Order!!”
There was order. One of the court officials took the button the magpie had brought and handed it to the judge. The judge had a look at Exhibit A and Exhibit B. She cast her eyes over Exhibit C. And then she peered at the new exhibit; Exhibit D - the new button, examining it closely.
And then she spoke. “In light of this new witness’s statement and evidence....”she said, “I hereby revoke the sentence. Benny Bluebell, you are free to go!”