A Tale of Two Choices

"She did not trust you. She knew that you would look in the passage. You have failed her and you must be punished."

The man, a middle aged fellow with whiskers and a heavy paunch, grabbed Dorothea by the hair and pulled. Dorothea screamed her agony, the sound travelling into the noise of the day.

"Be quiet you wench. I don't want to attract attention. Now give me those tubes."

"Shall not. If you don't let go of my hair I will smash them on the pavement and scream. Look, there's a bobby." Dorothea pointed to a police man walking across the road, not yet aware of this young woman being attacked.

"Who would he believe though? A guttersnipe like you, or a respectable magistrate? Now give me those tubes." Dorothea noticed the sweat on the man's brow. He was obviously worried about her threat to smash them. But he had a point about who was the more reliable witness in the eyes of the law.