Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tobacco’s Trials

“No, I did not ‘anticipate the scourge tobacco would become’,” Walter Raleigh replied tersely. “The Indians enjoyed a pipe and didn’t go overboard. They seemed perfectly healthy.”
     The plaintiffs’ attorney smirked at the jury. “You gave it to people? You recommended it here in England?”
     “It became fashionable quickly,” Raleigh replied vaguely.
     “Indeed... fashionable. Did you do any research? Clinical trials?”
     “Clinical trials won’t be invented for centuries!” Raleigh snapped.
     The attorney smiled. Raleigh’s temper would do his case no good. But he was worried about a couple of the jurors. During lunch, he’d spotted them outside, sharing a cheroot.

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