Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Ambrose Bierce, A Hasty Settlement
, from Fantastic Fables
"Your Honour," said an Attorney, rising, "what is the present status of this case -- as far as it has gone?"
"I have given a judgment for the residuary legatee under the will," said the Court, "put the costs upon the contestants, decided all questions relating to fees and other charges; and, in short, the estate in litigation has been settled, with all controversies, disputes, misunderstandings, and differences of opinion thereunto appertaining."
"Ah, yes, I see," said the Attorney, thoughtfully, "we are making progress -- we are getting on famously."
"Progress?" echoed the Judge -- "progress? Why, sir, the matter is concluded!"
"Exactly, exactly; it had to be concluded in order to give relevancy to the motion that I am about to make. Your Honour, I move that the judgment of the Court be set aside and the case reopened."
"Upon what ground, sir?" the Judge asked in surprise.
"Upon the ground," said the Attorney, "that after paying all fees and expenses of litigation and all charges against the estate there will still be something left."
"There may have been an error," said His Honour, thoughtfully -- "the Court may have underestimated the value of the estate. The motion is taken under advisement."