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Headlines around the world had focused on the criminal case: pitcairn’s cloud of vice.

But a more dramatic story lay buried in the thousands of pages piled high on a table partly shielding the Privy Council lords from the commoners facing them.

But the Internet had invaded even Pitcairn, and all home computers there were set on Google Alerts.

The court’s most intriguing observer, a handsome woman in her early 60s named Kari Boye Young, her hair now silver gray, sat erect and proud against a far wall.

That was the beginning, not the end, of the odd colony the mutineers founded.

Over the centuries Pitcairn, its population rising as high as 233 and now holding at 47, has become a mystical destination for those seeking escape, freedom, and the dream of paradise in the South Seas.

T he venerable Privy Council sits behind the usual barricades of modern life on prime London real estate at No. The court’s power has faded from its colonial heights, when one of its decisions banned suttee, the Hindu practice of burning the widow with her husband’s body atop his funeral pyre.

This was Britain’s attempt to clean up a mess it had allowed, through inattention, to spin out of control.

Pitcairn is the last holding of the British Empire in the Pacific, a place and people so remote, so unlikely, and, until recently, so lost in time that they often seemed more myth than reality. The island emerges alone out of the South Pacific more than 3,000 miles from any continent, a hunk of red volcanic rock not much larger than New York’s Central Park.

At age 12, she fell madly in love with Clark Gable in a movie theater in Norway.

The girlhood crush from that movie never ebbed, and 15 years later it carried her, like so many dreamers before her, to a life, a husband, and children on Pitcairn.

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