"Well, his case came up on appeal not so long ago and - would you believe - yours truly was asked to join the trans-European legal team."

I agreed it must have been a great honour.

"First time round it was Hades himself in the judge’s hot seat and was he hopping mad? Told yon Sisyphus he was to push a boulder up a big steep hill. Of course once he got it to the top there was no way of keeping it there, so down it rolls to the bottom again. So Sisyphus has to go down after it and push it all the way up again. And the same thing happens again, and again and again, no let up, no tea breaks." He shook his head slowly in wonder. "I don't know how he took his meals."

I asked him to kindly keep to the point.

"Anyways, that's only the background. You won't have read anything about the case in the papers. They kept the whole thing under wraps because there was meant to be no parole, no remission. Eternity meant eternity in those days, and there's those who'd think our great leaders a bit light on law and order for giving him a hearing so soon into his sentence. But with Greece wanting to join the European Community and all that, it was thought politic to get it out of the way. In case it blew up in their faces later on."

I commented on this unusual forethought from our governing classes.

"Anyways, Sisyphus was brought into the dock, shackled in irons. All string and bone he was, with long wild hair and a mean, sour face, what you could see of it behind the beard. I expect you or I wouldn’t look too good either after that long pushing a hefty rock." I nodded with slight impatience and signalled him to continue. "He didn't have much to say for himself and didn't seem to really understand the proceedings, though I'm sure he was pleased to be sitting down for a change. Well, he was defended by Cherie Booth, one of her earliest cases I believe. She gave a good account of herself and won him the deal. Of course Hades himself didn't make a personal appearance though he sent his envoy, the Reverend Ian Paisley. Yon Peter Stringfellow was there to represent the undead, the original victims. They didn’t bother with the travellers. I won't bore you with all the legal details. Enough to say there was a lot of blather about Human Rights from the defence and a load of raked over grievances from the gods and the undead. Some folk can bear a grudge for an awful long time."

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