Hello, lovelies! I'm so glad you're enjoying the story. We're almost at the end, but I did want to let you know, if anyone has been here before, I purposefully left out the NellieXSweeney subplot because honestly, it took away from what his relationship with Clara was supposed to be. This re-posting is just me updating and fixing some of my mistakes. Anyway, enjoy!
Ella and Mr. Todd were escorted into a large courtroom, which was packed with people – which was very unusual. Apparently the scandal of Mrs. Lovett and Mr. Todd baking murder victims into pies was quite sensational. There was even a crowd of people around the building, pressing their faces against the glass to get a better view. They sat on the defendant bench, and towering above them was none other than Judge Turpin.
Ella wiped her face with her cuffed hands and steeled her nerves.
"We are here today to-" rang out Judge Turpin's nasally voice. He stopped short, staring at the defendant bench. "Where's the other one?" he asked a policeman by the stand.
"We found her dead in the cell, sir," he replied. He was one of the ones that had brought Ella here.
"Ah," he said. "No matter. We are gathered here today to pass judgment on Isabella Sophia Mohr and Sweeney Todd of Fleet Street. Their crimes are as follows: For two counts of murder. For twelve counts of theft. For one count of misleading information to your customers, as they were not aware they were helping to clean up your dastardly dirty work."
"I object," Mr. Todd said.
"Overruled," Turpin said. "Mr. Todd we received an anonymous tip a few days ago complaining that the stink from your chimney was repulsive. Upon further inspection, it was found that hidden in your parlor room, there were enough watches, clothes and wallets for a dozen victims – as well as large bones downstairs in your bakehouse. There was evidence that you, and at least one other accomplice, had murdered, butchered, ground and served their victims to an unwitting public. What do you have to say in your defense?"
"Not guilty," he said stubbornly. "What's this two counts of murder?"
"Ah, yes. Well, even though we have enough evidence to believe that you've killed about a dozen people, only two count can be solidly accounted for. One was our own dear Beadle Bamford, who was found intact in the bakehouse last night. The only other identifiable victim was one Francis Thornhill. I summon Doctor Sylvester Steers to the stand."
A man with hardly any hair and large glasses walked up to the stand to testify. After swearing on the Bible, Judge Turpin asked him. "Could you tell us a little bit about your patient, Mr. Francis Thornhill?"
Who? Ella had no idea who the man on the stand was, nor who Mr. Thornhill was.
"Yes. I have worked with Mr. Thornhill for many years now. He has chronic hip pain, and I've done several surgeries to try and correct it."
"And you were unsuccessful?"
"Obviously," he muttered. "Because of the frequent surgeries, I knew that man literally inside and out. He had a very unique fracture in his hip bone, which was the cause of his pain."
"So you're certain that you can identify the fracture against an ordinary pelvic bone?"
"Certainly," he said, pushing his glasses further up his nose.
A policeman beside the Judge had pulled out an ivory-looking object out of a bag and presented it to the doctor.
"Is this indeed Francis Thornhill's hip bone?"
"Yes," he said, without a moment's hesitation.
"I object!" Sweeney Todd shouted.
"Overruled! Thank you, Mr. Steers, you may return to your seat. Now, we had suspected that you were working with a Mrs. Nellie Lovett, who owned the pie shoppe below, correct?" Judge Turpin asked.
Todd glared at him.
"That is where your shoppe is located, correct? 186 Fleet Street."
Todd gritted his teeth. "Correct."
"When we searched the premises, we found a chute leading directly from the chair in your shoppe leading down to the bakehouse, where there was a grinder waiting, large enough to dispose of a human body. Convenient, eh?"
Sweeney Todd's eyes were dark. He was backed into a corner. He'd have a hell of a time turning this around to where they weren't executed.
"I assume she was your accomplice, but from what I hear, she died in her cell from some poison. Convenient, eh?" He paused so Sweeney Todd could catch every word. "The question now is, Ella, what was your part in all this?"
"She had no idea!" Mr. Todd shouted, while Ella spat.
"Ella, tell me you had no part in his despicable plan," Judge Turpin urged.
"What are you getting at?" Ella asked him, rising from her seat. "Just because I have a family who loves me, you have to ruin it?"
"Ella, I take no joy in punishing others. I am simply a conduit for God's will."
"That's a load of rubbish," Ella said. "I'm just happy and you can't stand it."
"This has nothing to do with you if you are not involved. If you are innocent, simply say so. I will take you into my custody as my ward, and I'll deal with this man how I deal with every criminal in my city."
"You can't hurt him!" she screamed. "He's my father!"
There was a hushed silence throughout the crowd. Murmurs echoed off the high ceiling, surrounding Ella with her own declaration.
Judge Turpin laughed. "Surely you jest?"
"No, I do not. Todd is my father, by blood and by choice. He's more of a father than you ever would be!"
Judge Turpin leaned forward menacingly. "Do you realize what you're saying?"
"Yes," I said determinedly. "I would rather die than be with you."
He eyed me one last time from head to foot, from my messy bird's nest hair to my soiled skirt, the very red dress that he had bought for me. I kept my breathing steady, trying not to focus on how my breasts were heaving out of the top. "So you shall have it," he muttered for only me to hear. There was a touch of sadness in his angry beady eyes. To the courtroom, he said, louder, "Two accomplice's! Since one has already met their timely demise, we must decide what to do with you two. Jury, have you deliberated?"
He turned to a bench of twelve people, who were all pale faced and wide eyed. A man with a thick mustache who was sweating profusely stood and said, "We find both defendants guilty on all accounts."
In a final fit of rage, Sweeney Todd roared, "I'll kill you! I'll kill you all!" He lunged forward toward the jury, his cuffed hands outstretched, trying to strangle the mustached foreman. Guards rushed forward to shield the screaming jury and contain the wrathful Todd. Ella couldn't blame him for his outburst, wasn't scared of the rage in his eyes. She wanted to do the same, but she stood her ground. The entire courtroom was pandemonium. Judge Turpin banged his gavel in front of him, shouting for order, but none came.
It wasn't until four guards were pinning Sweeney Todd to the ground between Ella and the jury that the noise finally died down. Turpin's voice rose above it all.
"Order! I demand order! Thank you." He straightened his wig.
All eyes were turned upon the contemptible criminal, Sweeney Todd, who finally stood, glaring at the foreman of the jury. Ella stood firmly, glaring at the Judge. She would stand by her father until the end – even if the end was nearer than they would have liked.
"Guilty of murder, theft, and falsehood, I sentence you both to death by hanging at sunset. May God have mercy on your souls." He glared at Ella and Todd once more before they were dragged out by a group of policemen and returned to their cells.
Ella looked at where Mrs. Lovett had been. She shivered, her sheer shawl providing little warmth. She wrapped it tighter around her and sat in the rays of sunlight that came through the barred window, then looked to the barber.
"So I guess this is it?" she said. He nodded mutely. "Any regrets?"
He looked up and into her eyes. "Not telling you sooner."