Monday, March 26, 2018

The Queen's Sheriff

Hidden Chapter 1: Sheriff Cashgrow

 Once upon a time, and that time is now!

"My good people, may I present sheriff Edwin Cashgrow, one of the few elected officers of my court. Most officials in my court are appointed by me or one of my representatives. The sheriff, however, is elected by the people using a voting process. The voting process may seem out of place in a kingdom, but when I first ascended the throne, I wanted the citizens to know that they would have a say in political decisions, such as electing a sheriff," the queen addresses the audience in her royal court from her throne above the desks of the court officials. 

"Thank yew, yew'er majesty," the sheriff humbly replies as he removes his official headdress and bows before the queen.

"Sheriff Cashgrow," the queen addresses the sheriff directly, attempting to gain his attention as his focus continually shifts from the whispers throughout the courtroom, including the officials attending to their daily assignments as their smirks reveal the nature of their whispers.

"Yes, yew'er highness," the sheriff responds as he spins his head back to face the queen. The queen raises her upper left arm, signaling for silence among the whispers echoing from behind the columns and curtains surrounding the great room; her lower left arm busy leaning against her beautifully adorned golden scepter.

"I am pleased that the people of the local Weehawk district elected you as their sheriff," the queen claims across the courtyard as the officials beneath her throne continue shuffling papers and passing each other documents.

"Thank yew ma queen. Ma duties are ta uphold yew'er laws in da best interest of maintaining a peaceful, amicable, an' safe environment fo' all da citizens of Weehawk as well as any guests or visitors from udda districts or zones," the sheriff recites from memory, stumbling across the sentence as if hurdles placed purposefully in his way.

"I govern the court system and supervise all of the court officials that I have appointed," the queen continues, "I have complete autonomy over who is employed in my royal court and what responsibilities each of those persons is required to manage. Each of my appointed officials is subject to an annual review by either me personally or someone I empower to perform the reviews. Any official may receive disciplinary action, including discharge of appointed office, and depending upon the severity, up to exile from the kingdom. Should enough complaints be received about a court official and sufficient evidence exist to initiate an investigation into any claims or complaints against the appointed official, then it is my duty to investigate those claims or complaints," the queen advises the sheriff. Her speech causes a puzzled expression on the sheriff's face. "You however, sheriff, are elected, and therefore, outside the scope of my authority."

"I understand my queen. It is my duty as a sheriff elected by da people ta serve yew and uphold yew'er laws. I am responsible for enforcing da laws within yew'er kingdom ten days after dey have been announced publicly, which is when a law becomes enforceable throughout da kingdom. In my district, I am bound by duty ta uphold da spirit of each law, and not necessarily da letter, but always in da best interest of da safety, tranquility, and prosperity of my district and our socialist equality upon which da kingdom is founded," the sheriff recites from memory again, as if reading from an official sheriff's handbook. She nods, though not in agreement.

"Yes sheriff, that was well spoken. But tell me, what does that mean on a day-to-day basis in terms of enforcing those laws, dear sheriff," the queen inquires, attempting to extract his interpretation of the written oath of an elected sheriff. "Further, though I appreciate your dedication and loyalty in service to the royal courts, you are answerable only to the people of your district, nobody else, not even me."

He ignores her, knowing that all people within the kingdom are servants of the royal monarchy, regardless of any promises, even if made by the queen herself. "As an elected official of my district," the sheriff begins his response, "I am expected ta uphold da spirit of da law and not da letter of the law, which means I have a responsibility and obligation ta da people dat elected me ta maintain peace and lawfulness within the district using common sense and following da queen's laws as guidelines. If two or more laws contradict each other in a certain circumstance, den I must be diplomatic in my enforcement so dat udda citizens can feel assured dat I am acting in der best interests. Also, when such situations arise, I should inform the royal court so dat de laws can be reviewed," the sheriff offers to the court officials and the queen.

"That is a very formal response sheriff, but if your actions follow your words, then I think you will serve my people well," Queen Halvah responds, ending her line of inquiry and beginning a new one, "The royal palace and the royal marketplace are governed under my direct order over the palace and royal guards. If anything happens at either of those locations that leads to a dispute between two people, two businesses, or any other types of entities, then I am given total autonomy to decide a fair and reasonable resolution that satisfies the complaints of both parties. I do not force my will on the two parties in opposition; but instead, I only force them to compromise so that we can all live happily together," the queen continues, preparing to request a favor of the sheriff. "Either of two parties may demand an audience before me if they are unsatisfied with the terms of a settlement, should they feel they are not being offered a fair resolution by the court officials or royal guards handling the issue at the time."

"I understand my queen," the sheriff responds, concealing his confusion of the queen's intentions. 

"Outside the boundaries of the marketplace, the land is divided into districts, with sheriffs elected by the people to enforce the queen's laws as the majority of the constituents within that district have agreed either orally or in writing as their interpretation of my laws. These written interpretations within each district are known throughout the land as the sheriffs' doctrines. The doctrines are publicly posted in various areas of each district's borders and centers. Often, in the interest of ensuring new laws are properly publicized, when a new law is decreed throughout the land, the sheriffs are summoned to the court to retrieve the new law and inform the people of his district. I have a request to make of you sheriff Cashgrow," the queen finally reveals the reason for summoning the sheriff to the royal court.

"I will do my best ta fulfill yew'er wishes my queen," the sheriff interjects.

"Sheriff?" the queen begins her request, "I would like to empower you to review the performance of the royal guards and assign training sessions to them as needed based on those reviews."

"My queen, dis is a very high honor," the sheriff replies with surprise.

"Then you accept?" the queen asks with an authoritative tone.

"I would like ta think about it before accepting, my queen. Can I have some time ta consider it before responding," the sheriff requests of the queen.

"Very well sheriff, take all the time you need. I expect your answer before the courts close later today," the queen commands, surprised that the sheriff did not immediately accept her offer.