Judge Juggins

Damon Runyon

Judge Juggins was a just man.

He presided over the District Court in Our Town for years.

Everybody voted for Judge Juggins when he came up for re-election, because they knew him as a just man.

Besides, he looked fine sitting up there on the Judge’s bench in the District Court. Everybody felt proud of Judge Juggins, and used to take visitors to his court room to hear him sentence somebody to prison because he always did it in such a splendid manner, and was so just.

He gave old Fred Peppering ten years in prison for stabbing his brother to death with an ice pick, when he might have made it life, but Fred was ninety-four years old at the time and a little crazy, and Judge Juggins said he felt Fred would not live out the sentence as it was.

That is how just Judge Juggins was.

He could have given Mrs. Waggoner ten years the time she married Bill Waggoner, thinking her first husband, Joe Hemps, was killed in the war, because bigamy is a very serious offense, but Judge Juggins only made it eight years, as Mrs. Waggoner had five small children, and he did not wish to be severe on a mother.

That is how just Judge Juggins was.

It was a great surprise to Our Town when Judge Juggins’ wife, Mrs. Juggins, sued him for divorce, charging him with extreme cruelty.

She said he was in the habit of giving her a sound thrashing on an average of once a week. She said he always used a buggy whip on her, and that he had worn out 118 buggy whips in the thirty-two years that they were married.

Judge Juggins was coming up for re-election at the time. He had then been on the bench of the District Court for twenty-four years.

The suit created a sensation.

Everybody talked it over at great length.

Then everybody decided that Judge Juggins was such a just man that he would not have thrashed his wife with a buggy whip unless she needed thrashing.

So Judge Juggins was re-elected by a large plurality.

The first case that came before Judge Juggins after his election was that of Hiram Hobarth, who was arrested for beating his wife with his fists, and Judge Juggins gave him a year in the county jail.

That is how just Judge Juggins was.