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In The Hand of Fate by The Rolling Stones, the main character gets in a gunfight with a man over his ex-wife. He killed the guy, claiming that he was just defending his girlfriend against her violent, alcoholic ex-husband. He promptly fled, believing that he would go to prison over the incident if he was caught.

The hand of fate is on me now
It pick me up and knock me down
I'm on the run, I'm prison bound
The hand of fate is heavy now
I killed a man, I'm highway bound
The wheel of fortune keeps turning round
Turning round, turning round
I should have known it was a one horse town

My sweet girl was once his wife
He had papers the judge had signed
The wind blew hard, it was stormy night
He shot me once, but I shot him twice
The hand of fate is on me now
It pick me up and it kicked me right down
Kicked me right down
Kicked me right down

I had to save her life
Yeah, I gunned him twice
Yeah, and I watched him die, watch out boy
Yeah, I watched him die

What, exactly, are the papers that the judge had signed, and why did her ex-husband have them? Is this referring to divorce papers, or some other papers that the ex-husband had acquired?

Also, does the line that "He shot me once, but I shot him twice" imply that this was also self-defense, or was the main character the instigator here?

If the main character really was acting in self-defense and/or defense of her like he claimed, why did he think that he would go to prison over the incident?

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