Will he, won’t he? Eddie’s witness does appear in court and Eddie escapes with a very stiff fine.

Radio Times: Eddie faces judgement day.

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  • An hour is no use! That’s Eddie’s reaction when Usha announces that the court has agreed to put back his case; this is to give Ed time to visit Mr Houghton again and try to persuade him to change his mind.
  • Meanwhile, back at the ranch (that’s Brookfield) Sam and David are full of admiration for Eddie’s well judged holes; they are just big enough for the new water troughs without needing too much back-filling. Sam reveals that he has worked in New Zealand and had some interesting stop-overs on the way back. David is envious.
  • Eddie’s time has come and he pleads guilty. Before sentence Usha has a witness. Maurice Houghton, a butcher of 26 years, tells the court that the meat he was offered looked good; indeed he had sold worse, legitimately. The story he was told was entirely believable, although he still turned down the offer because he cannot afford to take risks (and he is not an idiot!). The magistrates considered the evidence offered in mitigation but decide that the penalty must reflect the seriousness of the offence, which endangered the public health.
  • Ruth has called from the auction, so Sam has to rush off to collect his new wardrobe. This leaves David to finish the plumbing with Bert, who finds an opening for a sarcastic remark about the seemingly boundless extent of Sam’s farming knowledge and experience.
  • £3000 plus costs is the penalty, payable in instalments. Eddie is glad still to be a free man but his offer to buy Mr Houghton a drink is not well received; Eddie gets a tongue lashing about the effect of his activities on the small legitimate trader. It was Ed who changed his mind; Maurice Houghton has a son himself but he has not seen him for a decade, since his wife left. He figured Eddie must have done a good job to make Ed to be so determined to save his father – so maybe he was worth turning up for.

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