A man and his wife - I will call them Mr. and Mrs. Brown - returned from holiday to find that their home had been broken into and ransacked while they were away. It happened in the nineteen-sixties. The village where they lived had always been one of those quiet communities where nothing much ever happened, until recently that is. Now there were burglaries, graffiti, damage to property and a general atmosphere of mayhem in the village. Mr. Brown was assured by neighbours and friends that there was little doubt as to who was responsible. Two fourteen year old boys were on the rampage and it seemed that for some reason or other the law was unable or unwilling to bring them to book.
A few days later somebody told Mr. Brown that the two miscreants were sitting on a seat on the village green. He decided that he would take the law into his own hands! In his garden shed he had a selection of canes which he used as supports for vegetable plants. He took one and made tracks for the green. Hiding the cane behind his back, he approached the two boys.
"Was it you two who broke into my house?" he asked.
Showing just how they considered themselves above the law they made no attempt to deny it!
"What if we did!" said one.
"This is what!" replied Mr. Brown as he grabbed one of the boys by the wrist and twisted it behind the boy`s back!
Holding him in this painful lock Mr. Brown bent him across the seat. The second boy, seeing what was happening, ran off and left his mate to his fate!
WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
He only managed four hefty whacks before the boy somehow broke loose and made his escape. The boy may have had nothing but contempt for the law but when he became a victim himself he had no hesitation in going straight to the police and putting in a complaint against Mr. Brown! Mr. Brown was charged with assault. The villagers hailed him as a hero and organised a collection vowing to give him the best defence money could buy!
As it turned out they did not need a very large sum. The case never reached a high court. A sympathetic magistrate decided not to send the case to Crown Court and said it could be handled by the Magistrates Court. He found the case against Mr. Brown proved and fined him the princely sum of five pounds! - Probably worth about fifty pounds in today`s money.
The trouble in the village stopped from the day Mr. Brown gave the boy the caning. Interviewed after the court case by a national newspaper the boy said he no longer meets his friend and, in fact, rarely goes out since the incident, but sits at home watching television most of the time. He admitted to feeling embarrassed at the police station when he was told to lower his jeans and show his marks to a room full of police officers!
The story above is absolutely true apart from one thing. I have made one deviation from the truth and before I correct it I would just like to say that I hope that MMSA Stories and you, the readers, will forgive me! For, you see, the two teenagers who had caused so much mayhem in the village were not boys. They were, in fact, girls! But it is such an interesting true story that I felt that I had to tell it!
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