RUSSIA: Mercy

A stern, scarlet Mother Hubbard is the Soviet State. In one of her Moscow cupboards she keeps tons of jam (most Russians fancy gooseberry with the seeds left in). Lately this cupboard has been almost bare. Nine greedy Comrades, including the Warehouse Manager, have been stealing jam (especially gooseberry), peddling it for sky-high prices on Moscow's illicit "open markets." Last week they squealed confessions, begged mercy.

According to its red lights the Moscow Court was merciful, since jam stealing is a counter-revolutionary and therefore deadly crime. Only the Warehouse Manager and...

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