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Major J. Clogston is a lawyer working for the Borogravian Army's Legal Department. Owing to an unspecified disorder (diabetes?) , the major needs to eat something sweet every so often, without fail, so as to maintain blood sugar levels. Any legal papers carried in that smart briefcase are therefoe not so much bound in red tape as in red jam leaking from the emergency sandwich.

Clogston defends the Last Detail at the court-martial at Kneck citadel. As with the best trials and court-martials, the lawyers involved have one eye on show and spectacle and organise last-minute surprise witnesses to keep the presiding panel interested. The surprise at this one took the form of Sergeant Jackrum, who had a revelation or ten to make. Especially about Janet.


The court-martial of the Last Detail has echos to another court-martial in military fiction, that of Private McAuslan, the Dirtiest Soldier in the World, as described in George McDonald Fraser's semi-autobiographical collection of short stories. Court-martialled for disobedience rather than for his habitually filthy state, McAuslan is saved by a cunning Jewish lawyer who calls the Regimental Sergeant-Major as surprise witness, to testify to McAuslan's sterling soldierly qualities. And gets away with it.