In all pleas in the city involving distraint, if the defendant – whether a peer of the city or an outsider – is absent from the city, or it is suspected that he is planning to absent himself in order to delay answering in court, the attached item is to be retained [until the defendant appears to answer]. If it has to be committed to the defendant's pledges, its value shall first be appraised. If the pledges fail to have the defendant in court to answer the plaintiff or to stand to judgement, the pledges shall be held answerable to the plaintiff for the appraised price of the distrained item delivered to them, as fully as if it were they who were defendants in the plea. In addition they shall be heavily amerced for failing to have the defendant in court.