My name's Bucket, as you are aware, and I have got a peace-warrant against Gridley. You have kept him out of the way a long time, and you have been artful in it, and it does you credit." Mr. George, looking hard at him, bit his lip and shook his head. "Now, George," said the other, keeping close to him, "you're a sensible man and a well-conducted man; that's what YOU are, beyond a doubt.
Out of this incident, the officious sheriff managed most ingeniously to create an embroilment with the town of Lawrence, Buckley, who was alleged to have been accessory to the crime, obtained a peace-warrant against Branson, a neighbor of the victim.
With this peace-warrant in his pocket, but without showing or reading it to his prisoner, Sheriff Jones and a posse of twenty-five Border Ruffians proceeded to Branson's house at midnight and arrested him.
In this manner, we have known a man who had served seven months' imprisonment for assault and battery, by an understanding between the magistrate and the plaintiff, continued in jail for several years upon a peace-warrant, issued by the magistrate from time to time, until at length he shot himself in jail. The man was a peaceable man, and of a social temperament.
A magistrate is clothed with, or assumes a power that is almost absolute, committing them without a hearing, and leaving them to waste in jail; then releasing them before the court sits, and charging the fees to the State; or releasing the poor prisoner on receiving "black mail" for the kindness; giving one man a peace-warrant to oppress another whom he knows cannot get bail; and where a man has served out the penalty of the crime for which he was committed, give a peace-warrant to his adversary that he may continue to vent his spleen upon him.