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ment in Britain to answer his request for recognition of the Republic. In the meantime he set up his government and all went well until shoemaker MacPherson, of High Bluff, objected to the taxes imposed by Spence. MacPherson said he believed the taxes were being used, not to operate the Republic, but to buy whiskey for the council. There seems to be a variance of opinion as to the validity of the accusation, but more about that later.
Spence charged MacPherson with treason. Two constables were sent to the MacPherson home to serve the warrant for his arrest. It wasn't difficult to elude them at the time but they had the advantage of horses and a sleigh and he was soon overtaken and captured.
On the way back to the village, over the snow-covered prairie, they overtook another sleigh. MacPherson's spirits must have soared skyward when he recognized the other teamster as his good friend, John McLean!
Now, John McLean was a good friend, but he was also pernickety about abiding by the law, and when the prisoner leaped into his sleigh he had a few uncomfortable moments. However, he talked his friend into going along peaceably with the constables and promised him that he would have a fair trial. So, with faith in his heart, MacPherson allowed himself to be put under lock and key.
The trial was held at night in a
room dimly lit by a lamp. As he saw Spence in the Judge's seat, with his favorite pals in attendance, Mac Pherson must have doubted his chances of having a fair trial.
However, his spirits must have soared somewhat when peering into the gloom he saw the face of Me Lean, along with a few other friends.
If Spence and his men wondered why they were there they didn't have to wait long for the answer.
John Mcl.ean's usually friendly Scottish burr was a demanding growl when he explained their pres ence by saying, "We want to know what MacPherson is being tried for." "Treason to the laws of the Repub-
|John McLean||lie," Spence replied.|