Station: [20] Law and order

“Maybe everyone on the castle building site in Horst is honest and fair – there is no question, however, that even then there were plenty of crooks and scoundrels who would rob others and deceive them, and do much worse in some cases. Who stands up to them? A police force, like the ones we are used to, didn’t exist then. And laws were anything but consistent. Different laws were applicable in different places – what a mess!

Nonetheless, ordinary people aren’t entirely powerless in the face of such crooks. Bailiffs, called reeves or sheriffs, maintain law and order. And as long as the crime isn’t one of murder or manslaughter, the respective landlord may dispense justice. This includes Rutger von der Horst: he could have ne’er-do-wells pilloried for instance, not even far from the castle. The people are allowed to taunt the offender – and worse – throw rotten fruit or even manure at him. Punishment indeed!”