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The North Wales Weekly News.

[No title]

Open Letter.

Technical Education in Denbighshire.…

--.----Christmas Puddings.

I Llandudno Landlady and her…


Llandudno Landlady and her Visitors. REMARKABLE CASE. A RUSSIAN ON THE WARPATH. On Thursday, at the Llandudno County Crurt, before his Honour Judge Moss, con- siderable amusement prevailed during the hearing of an action in which Mrs. Thomas, lodging-house keeper, Toronto Villa, Win- Ilan-avenue, Llandudno, claimed the sum of £4 3s. 3d from Miss Minnie Williams, 9, Lime Grove, Oxford-road, Manchester, in re- spect of apartments during the latter end of last August. Mr. James Marks was for the plaintiff, and the defendant was represented by Mr. Os- borne (of Messrs. Porter, Amphlett and Jones, Conway, Colwyn Bay, and Llanrwst). Plaintiff's advocate stated that the de- fendant, accompanied by a Mrs. Massey and a gentleman, visited the plaintiff's house on tho 18th August inquiring for a sitting-room and two bedrooms for one week only. Plain- tiff replied that she co.¡Jd not let the rooms for a week only at that time of the year, as there was a great demand for rooms. Even- tually it was agreed that the letting was to be for a fortnight-, and the terms were settled at 50s. per week. Defendant, who was a professional singer, mentioned that she had a rehearsal on the 1st of September, but would pay up to the 3rd of September if she had to go before that date. On the 20th August they came to the house, and the first thing they did was to grumble about the great distance to the town. On the follow- ing Monday, Mrs. Massey told the plaintiff that the gentleman complained that there was a flea or fleas in the bed. (Laughter.) The plaintiff replied that there were none in her house, and whatever fleas there were, must have been brought in by the persons who were complaining. To avoid any difh- culty, a bed was made up in another room, and on the following Friday there was a com- plaint that another flea had been found. An excuse was made that they had to go home, but so far from them going home, they re- turned the following morning, and asked if there were any letters for them, and it was believed they remained in Llandudno to make up the fortnight. Before they left on the Friday, they wanted to pay for one week only, but the plaintiff declined to ac- cept this. The sole reason why they left was that NN-inllaii-aveniie was some distance from the town, and, as the weather was wet, rooms in the town would be more convenient. The plaintiff had conducted a lodging-house in Llandudno for some years, and there never had been any complaint or suggestion that her house was not perfectly fit in every re- spect for the reception of guests. The de- fendant had paid into Court the sum of £ 2 3s. 5d., with a denial of liability altogether. Mrs. Thomas, the plaintiff, corroborated her advocate's statement, and said that Mrs. Massey complained that Mr. Antonoff could not sleep because of a flea, and when witness asked how many he had caught, she brought out one. Cross-examined, the witness said the de- fendant never spoke to her about the insects. Did you notice anything on the sheets ?— I noticed one flea. Before you had the complaint ?—No, after- wards. The Judge In whose bed was that ?-The gentleman's. Mr. Osborne Were you looking for fleas ? —Mrs. Massey told me he was complaining, and then I went to look for them. Did you look into the washstand bowl ?- No. Will you say Mrs. Massey is not sneaking the truth when she will say that she saw twelve ileas which had been put in the bowl by Mr. Antonoff ?—! did nor see that. Did you look there ?-No, I did not. Continuing, she denied having had trouble with a Mrs. Dr. Preston, who was staving at the house at the time, but she complained about the gentleman and the defendant. Mrs. Maggie Jones, Bangor, a relative of the plaintiff, corroborated, and, in reply to the Judge, said she did not find any "fleas there. Replying to Mr. Osborne, she said she had no dealings whatever with the lodgers. Mr. Osborne here intimated that the de- fence was that the furnished rooms were absolutely unfit for occupation. Defendant, who is blind, was given a seat in the witness box, and in reply to her advo- cate said that on the first night at Toronto Villa she did not sleep at all because she felt the fleas. She was bitten by fleas all night, and when she got up in the morning she was uncomfortable and found a bite which had raised a blister on her neck. At that time she had had no acquaintance with such things. There were fleas on the wall and blanket, and a dozen fleas crushed in the wash hand bowl. She then so disinfected herself and turned out everything which was likely to harbour the insects, and she was not very much troubled, but apparently the fleas appreciates the Russians (the gentleman being a Russian). In reply to Mr. Marks, the defendant said that she first of all took rooms at Llanddulas, where they stayed four days. They left that place because Mr. Antonoff could not sleep for the noise of the trains. They wished to be quiet, and for that reason quite appre- ciated Conway Shore. She told Mrs. Thomas she was glad the house was a distance from the town. During the whole of the Saturday afternoon they were on the Conway Shore sitting down and walking about, but she de- nied that they were troubled with insects there. She also denied that Mr. Antonoff went to bed in his clothes. She went to Mr. Antonoff's bedroom because there was such a vile smell there. She thought he would never live in the room. Mrs. Massey, Oxford-road, Manchester, a friend of the defendant, gave corroborative evidence, and added fhat Mr. Antoncff said on the Monday morning, I have been bitten alive. You go upstairs and see them in the wash hand bowl." Witness went upstairs, and found twelve drowned fleas, and there was one alive on the counterpane, and she killed it. When leaving the room she drew up her skirts tightly, but when she got into the dining room, there were two fleas on her, which the plaintiff saw her kill. Replying to Mr. Marks, witness said she had never seen any insects on the Conway Shore. You let Sunday go by without complain- in ?—We did not want to upset Mrs. Thomas. Upset Mrs. Thomas, madame, when you had such a time of it the night before ? It is a wonder anything is alive if the evidence is accurate. Did you ask Mrs. Thomas to go and see ?—On Monday morning I did. Continuing, she said she did not hear any- body else complain. She procured a bottle of Jeyes' fluid, Sanitas, Keating's powder, and six packets of camphor for the rooms. The Judge Did it have any effect ? Witness No, the fleas had got hold of the place. Mr. Marks They were in possession, and possession is nine points of the law. Witness, continuing, said that when she got to Manchester she unpacked her port- manteau in the garden, and she found a bug there. She put it in an envelope and took it to a friend to ask what it was. She knew a flea when she saw one. George Antonoff, who spoke broken Eng- lish, said he was a Russian student at the Manchester University. He denied ever sleeping in his clothes, as he had pyjamas for the purpose. Mr. Osborne How did you get on the first night ?—I was very far from sleeping. Why ?-I don't know, but I felt uncom- fortable. It was a sensation not pleasing to describe. I was itching all over. In the morning did you know the cause ? —I did not realise until the morning, because I could not make the localisation of the sensa- tion. It was all over me, and I could not think it wa. a flea. All Monday night 1 was hunting. What for ?—Fleas. Did you catch any ?—Oh, yes. and I drowned them in the water(-laughter).- but unfortunately, I noticed afterwards that very many of them escaped. They jumped out of the water ?—No, they swam out of the water. (Laughter.) Allowing for those that escaped, how many corpses were there in the morning ?■—About twelve, I think. I found several of them on the way to escape. Continuing, he said that he told them he was going away on Monday, but he returned when he got a telegram that new accommoda- tion was found him. His Honour He could not go away, and be on the war path on Monday night. Mr. Osborne It was on Saturday and Sunday that he was on the war path. The witness here corrected himself. Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, mother ofthe defendant, spoke to Mr. Antonoff visiting her when he returned from Llandudno after the first Sunday. His arm was covered with flea bites. She unpacked her daughter's clothes on her return, and found fleas amongst them. The Judge announced that he would ad- journ the case, for the attendance of the maid servant, who wac; at Toronto Villa at the time, to the Colwyn Bay County Court to be held on January 19tli.

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