Justice Shearman, in passing sentence upon a woman for slandering her neighbour, remarked that in the good old times, the woman with the mischievous tongue was put in the ducking stool and then sent home “and that was the end of it.” Presumably he wished to drive home the lesson that this brutal mode of punishment was a cure for an evil mind.
In one of his stories “Q” tells of the handsome wife of a labourer who boldly and openly encouraged the attentions of a neighbouring game keeper. The villagers were infuriated by her wanton disregard of the feelings of her humble and devoted husband and one day tied her in the ducking stool and lowered her three times over head into the village pond, green with slime and duckweed.
The husband arrived on the scene in time to wipe the oose from the lips of the unconscious woman and to reproach the crowd tremblingly for their interference. He took her home and nursed her lovingly till she recovered from the shock.
She then eloped with the game keeper.