It was a mistake! And one I have come to rectify, so far as I may!” Tryon was standing his ground, jaw tight as he glared upward.
“A mistake. And is the loss of an innocent man’s life no more than that to ye? You will kill and maim, for the sake of your glory, and pay no heed to the destruction ye leave — save only that the record of your exploits may be enlarged. How will it look in the dispatches ye send to England — sir? That ye brought cannon to bear on your own citizens, armed with no more than knives and clubs? Or will it say that ye put down rebellion and preserved order? Will it say that in your haste to vengeance, ye hanged an innocent man? Will it say there that ye made ‘a mistake’? Or will it say that ye punished wickedness, and did justice in the King’s name?”
Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (Chapter 72 – Tinder and Char)