by a brother or other kinsman of the slain man by these words: A. appeals B. for  that the said B. consented to and aided in the death of such a one in that he who  was convicted as principal went forth to do that deed from the house of the said  appellee and returned thither after the deed. And that A. was present in the county  court when the aforesaid B. threatened his same brother, so that the king's peace  was sought by him in the said county court and later given him in the king's court.  And that [B.] acted thus wickedly [A.] offers etc. By words such as these1 it was  decided that battle lay between them, as [in the roll] of Easter term in the ninth  year of king Henry in the county of Essex, [the case] of Hugh of Goldingham and  Hugh of Cantilupe concerning the death of John of Goldingham.>2
If the first appellor against the principal dies or defaults.
 If he who has first appealed the principal dies or defaults, or being present retracts  his appeal, or though he wishes to prosecute the appellee avoids the appeal by an  exception, the felony may nonetheless exist, and if it is not convicted wicked  deeds will thus remain unpunished,3 which ought not to be,  from lines 17-19; infra 404">[It may still exist  because, though the appellee has avoided the appeal, he has not as yet disproved it,  and the presumption raised by the appeal will always stand until the contrary is  proved.] and since a wrong is done not only to him who is slain but to the lord  king whose peace is broken, therefore, lest evil deeds remain unpunished,6
The king may proceed ex officio
 let the king proceed to an inquest ex officio for the preservation of his peace because  of the presumption raised by the appeal,7 as though the appellee had not been  appealed but lawfully indicted. 8That an accusation and suit for breach of his  peace belongs to the king is evident, and that the appellee is bound to answer not  only the appellor but the lord king may be seen by the words of the appeal, where it  is said such a one appeals such a one for that wickedly and feloniously and against  the king's peace etc., from which it may clearly be seen that the appellee is bound  to answer not only the appellor but the lord king. When the appellee offers to defend  himself by his body he will not be heard, because the king does not fight, nor has he  any champion other than the country, and if one were to say that he ought to fight,  the duel would fall, since he has made no suit, nor may he speak of his own sight and  hearing.9 Recourse must thus of necessity be had to the country, [if the accused  refuses it he is without defence and thus, so to speak, convicted,] to which he is  forced because of the lack of other proof, as where a woman