Frantz Schmidt was a master executioner. He had a notarized certificate to prove it. He apprenticed under a master; he paid his journeymans dues. He mostly worked in the imperial city of Nuremberg during his forty-five years of service, 1573-1618. He executed 394 people: men, women, and some boys and girls. Schmidt, always poised, delivered a good death, whether he beat you to kingdom come with a wagon wheel or applied the pitch and touched the flame, slipped the noose or cut off your head.