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In 1902 Bartholomew Curtis Wingate makes a fateful decision in order to save his skin as the ship he was on was sinking. At the subsequent trial for his shameful cowardice, the judge sums up his decision. "From this day forward, you are Miss Wingate. You donned skirts and took on the guise and privilege of a woman in peril. Therefore, because the appearance of womanhood has saved your worthless life, you will hereafter honor the condition you elected to use to your own ends."

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    "Bartholomew Curtis Wingate," the judge intoned from the bench. "You have been found of manslaughter by a jury of your peers." The Prosecutor had reduced his charge. He didn't want Bartholomew Wingate to hang; he wanted him alive and humiliated. "Have you anything to say for yourself?"

    "You and all your cronies will regret this," Bartholomew stated sternly. "You don't know who you are dealing with."

    "And you obviously are not aware of whom you are dealing with, young man." the judge returned. "The crime you commited was unspeakable; a slap in the face of every decent gentleman. Now normally, a long prison term would be in order, but such won't do in your case."

    Fleming, standing officiously next to Bartholomew, stiffened.

    "Hanging you like an honorable man would restore dignity to your name and memory as would putting you in a cell. Neither of the punishments seem fitting for you. No, not at all fitting. You save your wretched hide and that choice condemned an innocent woman to die in your place; and now, that choice has also sealed your fate. It is the sentence fo this court that you perpetuate the masquerade you began on the Tinanius."

    Flemming coughed and shuffled his feet.

    "I don't quite understand your Honor."

    "It's quite simple, Counselor. Your client is herewith stripped of all the rights and privileges accorded a male citizen of this state and country. This court is ordering his legal status changed forthwith, in the eyes of the law, Bartholomew Curtis Wingate shall henceforth be regarded as a female."