A medieval King became aware that one of his Counts was plotting against him, so he had the Count seized and thrown into the dungeon beneath the castle. The Count was repeatedly tortured, using unspeakable methods, so that the King might discover who else was involved in the dastardly plot against him. But the Count refused to reveal anything regardless of what they did to him.
Finally, in a fit of impatience the King charged into the torture chamber, seized a hatchet from the wall and thundered, “Tell me who else is plotting against me, or you die immediately.”
The Count replied, “I will never tell.”
At this the King lost all control and roared, “Then you die, knave!” and swung the hatchet.
The Count, seeing that the King really meant to kill him this time, cried out, “No, No Stop, I will tell.”
By then the hatchet was swinging and it was too late and the King chopped off his head. So the King never knew who was plotting against him.
The moral of the story is that you should never hatchet your counts before they chicken!