MERIONETH ASSIZES. | 1 The Summer Assizes for the county of Merioneth were opened at Dolgelley on Friday before the Hon. Sir W, Rann Kennedy. His Lordship arrived in the town on v afternoon, and was met at the station by the High Sheriff, R. E. Lloyd Richards, Esq., of Caerynwch, who wore the levee uniform of Captain of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers the Under SherLI, I.L. John Charles Hughes, and a posse of police under the command of Mr. Supt. Jones, and escorted to his lodgings at Brynhyfryd. At two o'clock on Friday morning His Lordship attended divine service in the Parish Church, when the Rev T. Llewellyn Williams, Brithdir, officiated. The Com-nission opened at the Shire Hall about half past ten o'clock. The following gentlemen were sworn on the Grand Jury :-Edward Evans Lloyd, Esq., Moelygarnedd, foreman, Owen Slaney Wynne, Esq., Dolrhyd; Charles Williams. Hengwm; R. S. Wayne, Brynllwyn Edward Griffith, Springfield; Robert Pryce Owen, Aelybryn, H. J. Lloyd, Tynycoed; Edmund Bucklev "Pln^vndinas; W. F. Jones, Colomendy.R. D. Robert, Bronygraig John Hughes Jones, Aberdovey; John Chidlaw Roberts, Leahurst; E. R. Jenkins, Bodmeni; John Williams, Gwern- hefyn; R. C. Anwvl, Llugwy; J. O. Pugh, The Bank John Parry, Glantegid; Henry Haydn Jones, Pantyneuadd: W. Jones Morris, Glanglasfor; Thomas Edwards. Blaenau; D. Griffith Williams, Bryngwvn and G. H. Ellis, Esqrs., Penymount. THE CHARGE. His Lordship, in addressing the Grand Jury, said he was glad on this his first official coming to the county of Merioneth to find from the small calendar before him, the county was maintaining its high character of freedom from serious crime. There were only two prisoners. With regard to one of them, who was charged with having committed what might be called offences in relation to his duty as an offices of the post office, he ueeu not say anything in detail. He would only say a word as to the other case, which was of an unpleasant nature, but it was a matter for careful consideration whether there was any case for consideration at all. His Lordship pro- ceeded to refer to the new Prisoners' Act, passed last year, which he described as a salutary piece of legislation and one which related especially to the better classification of prisoners and tended to the greaterindividualisation of the treatment which they might receive. It was therefore, one hoped, .an Act that would be fruitful of good reformatory results, because though certain men were not habitual criminals who might have slid into crime into whom it was desirable to awaken a ray of hope. Therefore there would now be power in magis- trates to order a man to be sent to a second divi- sion which would enable him to be treated differ- ently from those who were sent simply to hard labour and might be regarded the third or general class, for there were cases in which such discrim- ination which might be just and right. Replying to Colonel Evans-Lloyd, the Judge re- marked that however disgusting and unpleasant investigation of a case might be, if there was evidence, the Court in duty bound must deal with it. THROWN OUT. The Grand Jury threw out the Bill against John Jones (41), blacksmith, charged with having com- mitted an unnatural offence on July 1st in the parish of Eala.. POST MASTER SET TO PRISON. William Jones (42), shopkeeper and sub-post- master, Aberangell, was indicted as follows :-HFor that he, on the 9th May, at the parish of Mallwyd, then being a person employed at Her Majesty's Post Office, did steal a post letter containing 216 postage stamps, of the value of 18s., and a post letter containing three pairs of socks and a letter; also for unlawfully wilfully detaining a post-letter directed to A. Lomas, a post-letter directed to Gethin W. Griffith, all the property of H. M. Post Master General.—Mr. Trevor Parkins and Mr. Clement Lloyd (instructed by Mr. A. J. Hughes, Aberystwyth), prosecuted, and Mr. Ellis Jones Griffith, M.P. (instructed by Mr. Jones Griffith, Dolgellcy), appeared for the defendant, who pleaded not guilty. John Austin Derry Phillips, clerk at the General Post Office, stated that in consequence of in- structions he went down to Welshpool about the beginning of April, and to Shrewsbury on April 19th. Before going to Shrewsbury he made up a letter containing 266 penny stamps, all of which he had marked with his initials in invisible ink, and which he placed in an envelope, together with a letter carefully sealed. The letter was addressed to H. Morgan, 9, Usk-road, Brecon a newspaper Q. Chetwynd, Esq., Brecon; and the postcard to Rev. W. Lloyd. Brecon College, Brecon, He posted them in the hoad office at Shrewsbury at 2 p.m. on 19th April, in a parcel tied together with red tape round them. Previously giving certain instructions to Mr Harries, a sorting in j'-i l vvv r. i .L1 u?i(!ii2nd' A°jjnl fin consequence of ¡;pL".Vr!l. UIl G2nd Avn1, III consequence of information he received, he went to Aberangell. t- jii, roster, JS^tTmasTer of "IN ewTori, and P.C. Scott, in the employment of the Post Office. The witness pro- ceeded: I asked Mr. Foster to go into the office first, and to begin checking the accounts. I went in myself ten minutes after. I saw there the Prisoner, the Sub-postmaster. I had a conversation with him, in the presence of Mr. Foster, in an inner room, and took a note of the conversation at the time. I went first with prisoner to get his stock of stamps from the till. Then I had the following conversation with him: I said, On Thursday morning last, 20th inst., a letter addressed to A. Morgan, Esq., 9, Usk-road, Brecon, South Wales, was enclosed in the letter bag received by you at the railway station. The letter, having been mis-sent, should have been scut away in the letter bag despatched by you the same evening, but it was not so sent away. What did you do with it ? He replied, I dont know anything about it.' Isaid, Did you open the bag on Thursday morning ?' He replied, Yes.' I said, And you went through the letters ?' He replied, I Yes.' I said, 'Did you open the letter I have described to you?' He replied, No, I didnt open it, I left it at the counter when I went out with the delivery.' I said, 4 When you returned was it there still?' He replied, No.' I said, 4 Where was it ?' He replied, It was opened on J the desk.' I said, Can you say who opened it ?' J He replied, Mrs. Jones or somebody else.' I said, How did the stamps get into your till?' He replied, I found them on the counter, and made j inquiry oL J'lrs. Jones as to where shed got them, she said it was in that letter. I left them in the desk, or she put them in the drawer. I have no recollection.' 1 said, What did you then do with the letter' He replied, I didn't see it then as I was busy, but afterwards, about 4 p.m., I had a few words with Mrs. Jones about the stamps, but I dont now remember what I said.' At this stage of the proceedings Mr. Ellis Griffiths told his Lordship that he was informed there were three jurymen v.-ho did not understand English. His Lordship remarked that they ought to have said so before they were sworn. The case would now have to be re-heard from the commencement, and the evidence interpreted. Counsel suggested that it would be better if three new jurymen were sworn in the place of those who did not understand English; the evidence would not then have to be interpreted. His Lordship agreed, and three new jurymen were accordingly sworn. Mr. Ellis Griffiths asked if this meant that no monoglot Welshman was'qualified to act on a jury. His Lordship: I have nothing to do with general principles. The question here what is most expedient for justice. He must make enquiries in future be- fore prisoners are sworn. Mr. Griffith Of course, there is no difficulty as far as I am personally concerned. I can address them in Welsh (laughter). His Lordship Oh! no we can't have that. We i will have your speech translated sentence by sentence in Welsh. 1 Mr. Perkins then repeated his opening speech, i and the witness Phillips, having gone over the first part of his evidence, proceeded as follows;—I said, You noticed the letter after opening the bag in the morning. He replied, Yes. I said, Did it not occur to you to return it in the evening: He replied, No. I said, What did you do with the postcard and paper for Brecon, which were also in the bag. He replied, They are very likely in the office now, I did not think there was any use to return them. I then called in Mrs. Jones, and had a conversation with her in her husband's presence. I said to her, What did you do with the letter addressed to Brecon on Thursday morning last ? She replied, I saw it on the counter, I don't know 'what became of it. I said, What accounts did you give to Mr..tones of some stamps about which he I spoke to you and which he found on the counter 1 She replied, H^ did ask me about some, but I did not know what to say. I said, Did you tell Mr. Jones they came out of the letter. She replied, Yes. I said, How did you know that ? She replied. The letter was open, and I didn't open it. I looked at them in the letter, and left the letter on the counter. I don't know whether they were in the tetter when Mr. Jones asked me about them. I j raid, Did you open the letter ? She replied, No. | [ said, Did Mr. JOUd tell you lie had opened the letter?$]•»> replied, I c<'tn.'t remember, sir. Pro- jeeding, witness said t-hftt he then told the prisoner le was going to search the office for the missing irticles. I went behind the counter. Prisoner same with jj, I noticed prisoner trying to sneak tway towards his private apartments when I was occupied trying to look for something. I noticed hat his hand was close to his left hand coat- docket. I asked him what he had in his pocket. Ic did not reply. So I told him to turn it out, and a this pocket was the cover of the letter addressed to A. Morgan. The stamps (produced) are the stamps I found in his till; and some on his premises. The envelope was in two pieces. The figures on the back of the envelope in pencil were on the envelope then. The letter enclosed with stamps was also found in prisoner's pocket. I told him then I should give him into custody, and asked him if he had any objection to his house being searched. He said, No." I then called in P.C. Scott who searched the house. I drove prisoner over to the nearest police officer, three miles away, and gave him into the custody of P.C. Morgan Jones. I said something to the prisoner as to the letter being in his pocket he said that he put it there and forgot all about it. Replying to his Lordship the witness said that the letter, having been mis-sent, should have been returned by the evening mail. In this case it should have gone back to Newtown, the head office for the district. Cross-examined by Mr. Ellis Griffith-Witness stated that the prisoner started on his rounds at seven o'clock in the morning, and traversed a distance of eight miles. One side of the shop was reserved for a post office and the other side for the general business of the shop. Mr. Griffith: He does not know English very well, does he? Witness He appeared to under- stand everything I said to him. Mr. Griffith: He does not speak it in a very cultured manner as they do at the General Post Office? Witness I leave you to judge (laughter). Replying to further questions, witness said, that there was nothing locked on the premises or con- cealed, but he was told that the newspaper was secreted. The envelope containing the stamps was securely sealed, and could not have become | loosened of itself. Mr. Griffith: Do you know anything about the prisoner's means ? Witness No, I dont, Have you heard anything ? I have heard people speculate that he might be in financial difficulties. Haven't you heard that he is worth a good deal of money, hundreds of pounds ? No, I have heard the other way. You will swear you have not? I will. Re-examined by Mr. Parkins He made special pains to avoid the parcel becoming unfastened. William Harris. Sorting clerk, Shrewsbury Post Office, deposed to receiving instructions by the last witness on April 19th. in consequence of which he enclosed in the bag for Aberangell the articles 11 9 already referred to. The letter, postcard and newspaper were not returned by the evening mail, as a letter mis-sent should have been. Thomas Howell Foster, postmaster at Newtown, said that AbE rangell,'was a sub post office to New- town. The prisoner was appointed sub-postmaster in January, 1891, and held the position until April last. He (witness) inducted him. He supplied him with a copy of a book of duties when it was made a money order and savings bank office in 1895. Coming to the 21st of April, witness said that he received the Aberangell to Newtown bag by the evening mail at 8.30, and the letter addressed to A. Morgan was not in it. When at Aber- ngell he went into the accounts and found a deficiencv of E12 6s 5d, which was at once produced by the prisoner's wife from the prisoner's private cash box. Noticing a penny stamp on a parcel sent on 21st of April to the Royal Welsh Warehouse, Newtown, he wrote a direction to give to letter carrier, Ask for the label back and the name and address." Witness spoke of the conversation between the prisoner and Mr. Phillips. Cross-examined by Mr. Griffith Before being appointed sub-postmaster prisoner kept a shop upon other premises, and was previous to that a farmer. There were other sub-postoffices under his control, and this was not the only instance in which he found the official cash was not kept separately from the private cash. It was a common fault in country shops. Prisoner knew English well, When he asked for the accounts, &c., they were produced at once. Mr. Griffith Do you know anything about his financial position?—I had no idea how he stood until this morning when some one told me he had Z200 on mortgage. Margaret Jane Pugh proved taking a parcel for Mrs Owen (her neighbour) to the post office on April 21st with threepence to pay for postage, and Richard Owen, postman, proved despatching the parcel. P.C. Scott, employed by the General Post Office, proved finding the "Exchange and Mart" news- paper in the store room behind the shop, on a small stool. This was the case for the prosecution. For the defence, Mr. Griffith called Mr. R. D. Roberts, a member of the firm of D. Jones & Co., who stated that he bad had financial dealings with the prisoner, who had a good reputation in the district for honesty and straightforwardness, as far as he knew. Mr. Griffith made an eloquent plea on behalf of the prisoner, who broke down during its delivery. The Judge having summed up, the Jury retired, and found the prisoner guilty, but recommended him to mercy. l-H,' His post office for some time, or only recently. Mr- PhilliDS replied that it had only been dis- covered recently, but a large number of things were found on the premises which had been de- layed two or three years-circulars for rival trades- people and letters. His Lordship, addressing the prisoner, said that be had been convicted after a most careful trial. He could not see that there were any mitigating circumstances; without assuming that he had been guilty of any great offence, it was clear that for some time he had been very reckless in what might be matters of very great interest to very poor people-circulars and letters which cost them money, and they could ill afford to have their live- lihood destroyed or affected even by wilful care- lessness on the part of those who, like himself (the prisoner) were entrusted by the people of this country with interests of a vital kind. At the same time, this was the first time that he had been brought into a criminal court, and in his case the punishment which must follow this conviction was in itself a severe one. While he thought-and rightly—that offences of Post Office officials must be treated with severity, he would bear in mind what the jury had suggested to him that he should exercise such lenity as was consistent with his duty. He could not but treat this as a very serious offence, and the least he felt he could pass upon him was a sentence of imprisonment for ten calen- dar months. His Lordship added that he would direct that he should be treated as a prisoner of the second division. BARMOUTH SLANDER ACTION. HOTEL MANAGERESS AND PROPRIETRESS. A REMARKABLE CASE. At the Merioneth Assizes, at Dolgelley, on Friday, before Judge Kennedy, a remarkable action for slander was heard, in which the plaintiff was Miss Nunton, late manageress of the Barmouth Hotel, Barmouth, and the defendant Miss Duffield, the proprietress. Plaintiff claimed £1000damages. Mr. Herbert Williams (instructed by Messrs Few and Co., solicitors, London), appeared for the prose- cution; Mr. Marshall, Q.C., and Mr. Ellis J. Griffith, M.P., (instructed by Mr. Jones Griffiths, solicitor, Dolgelley), defended. Mr. Herbert Williams in his opening statement said the action was brought to recover damages for serious slander spoken by Miss Duffield about Miss Munton under the following circumstances. Miss Duffield, who was the proprietress of the Pump House Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, was also the proprietress of the Hotel at Barmouth. Last year, at the beginning of the summer season the defendant advertised for a manageress for the Hotel at Barmouth, which had been previously managed by her sister, Miss Ada Duffield. The advertisement was answered by the plaintiff, who had for some years acted as manageress of hotels. Defendant replied that she would be glad to engage her if she sent reference, and the plaintiff sent a four years reference from the place of which she had been Imanageress and >he was appointed. The terms were iE,35 a year salary, and one month's notice on either side. Plaintiff took up her duties on June 6th. As the defendant lived at Llandrindod Wells, it was part of plaintiff's duty to send her statement of receipts and expenditure every week, and to pay the balance into defendant's account at the North and South Wales Bank at Barmouth, which the plaintiff did regularly. When plaintiff entered on her duties 'on June 6th Miss Ada Duffield, the then manageress, stayed to put her in the way of the business. The plaintiff continued there till the 1 end of October when the occasion for the account 1 arose. During the greater part of this time Miss Clara Duffield, another sister, was at the hotel, and ■ assisted the plaintiff in keeping the books, &c., of 1 the business. The defendent had told her that the business of the hotel was only a season's business." During the five months the defendant, 1 knew what the takings in the hotel were. and not: one word of complaint of any sort or kind was' 1 said to the plaintiff in connection with the maD.- agement of the hotel. At the end of Octobet the plaintiff came to the hotel at Barmouth, stayed « there. She was perfectly friendly and ipteasant to 1 the plaintiff, and had nothing to say by way of complaint. On the 31st, however, t.h defendant 1 came to the plaintiff in the bar, rjia said, I want; 1 to see your books; things are '^hart." There were present in the bar defendant's two sisters. The books were produced, but before examining 1 them, the defendant said to the plaintiff ] right away, in the presence of her two sisters, There are £ 200 short somewhere; you have stolen it! And have lined your pockets with it. J You're a thief and a rogue, and I'll prosecute you for it." This fell upon the plaintiff like a thunder- £ bolt, as she had sent the accounts to the defendant for the whole of the summer months, and the latter had said nothing to her till then. Plaintiff at once a replied, It is untrue. I have sent the accounts every week and paid the balance into the bank." The defendant looked at the books and said, Yes, that is quite true, the books don't show; therefore I believe you must have stolen it without entering it at all." The plaintiff said, "It is all entirely untrue. I have accounted for every penny I have received, and I'm not going to stay here any longer." Defendant said, I'll send for a policeman. I'll prosecute you, and I'll have your room searched." The plaintiff replied, You may search as much as you like. I am quite willing. I'm not going to stay here." Plaintiff then went upstairs, and put on her things and went out. Outside, as she was going away, she met Mr. Pickersgill, who was staying at the hotel at the time. In con- sequence of what she said to him the two went back to the hotel together. The defendant, who was in the bar with her two sisters, called the plaintiff to her and said, I have searched your places. I find nothing at all, only your letters, and these I am going to keep." Then the defendant called Mr. Pickersgill into to bar, and said to him in the presence of her two sisters and the plaintiff, I suppose you know that Miss Munton has robbed me of several hundred pounds. She's a thief and a rogue, and I shall prosecute her for stealing £ 200.' Mr. Pickersgill said he did not believe it was true, and that it must be utterly unfounded. Mr. Pickersgill paid his bill and went away, and the plaintiff said she would not stay there. The defendant refused to let her take her things away. The next day the plaintiff, who was supposed to be robbing her mistress, went to the Barmouth Police Station, and made a complaint to the sergeant. She said Miss Duffield wont allow my box to be taken away.' Police Constable Jones :went with her to the hotel. The same thing was said to him by the defendant, Miss Munton has robbed me of several hundred pounds.' The plaintiff was then allowed to take her things away, but she said to the defendant, I'm not going to run away, your charge is untrue, I am going to stay in Barmouth.' She stayed there a whole week, waiting for the defendant to take proceedings. No proceedings were taken, and nothing happened. It was impossible for the plaintiff to stay longer after these allegations. What had defendant to say about it ? She would not retract it, and she would not say it was true. So what they had to try was whether Miss Munton was, or was not a thief. Defendant said, in effect I honestly believe the charges are true, and I had a right to say then in the presence of my sisters and Police Constable, with regard to Mr. Pickersgill she said nothing. It was, added the learned Counsel, a gross and terrible charge against a lady in plaintiff's position. PLAINTIFF'S EVIDENCE. The plaintiff was then called and sworn. She stated that her name was Elizabeth Munton, and she was now staying in South-parade, Grantham, Lincolnshire. She had been an hotel manageress for some years. In June last year she became the manageress for the chftndant, at the Hotel, Barmouth. She sent a four years' reference from her previous employer. Defendant engaged her at a salary of £35 a year. She had to keep the books, and to send weekly statements showing takings and expenditure to Miss Duffield, who lived at Llandrindod Wells, and to pay the balance into her account at the bank. During the whole of the time she was there-from June 6th to October 28th—she received no complaint. Miss Clara Duffield assisted her at the bar of the hotel. On 28th October, Miss Duffield came from Llan- drindod Wells to the hotel. Plaintiff proceeded She made no complaint immediately, and treated me courteously until the 31st when she said to me that she wished to see my books as I had robbed her of P-200. I said, How can that be when everything I've taken I've accounted for?" She had not seen the books then. She said, You are a thief, a rogue, and have robbed me." I denied it. She and Miss Ada went through the books and the bank book, and could find nothing wrong. Miss Clara was also present. 9 1 Miss Ada had been previously manageress but had nothing to do with the hotel now. They could find nothing against me. Then she said I must have taken the hard rash out of the drawer. I denied having taken hing from her and said I had done n y best. She said she would give me an hour to tell her what I had done with the money, as she would have me locked up, and as she would have all my things searched I said I was quite willing. I went upstairs to go into my room. She said I could not go into my room as it was sealed until it was searched. I put on my hat and went out. I met Mr. Pickersgill outside, who was staying at the hotel, and who advised me to return. The defendant sent for me in the presence of her two sisters and repeated the accusation aloud to Mr. Pickersgill, who said he did not believe it. She said, You have done so; you are a thief." I asked her to let me take my things away. She re- fused, and I left the hotel. I stayed at Barmouth that night, and afterwards went to the hotel with P. C. Jones, whom I had asked to come with me to get my luggage. I saw the defend3^11'upsUiirs, sale i rx,: Vbnes, went with me. When coming away defendant owned to owing me two months money, but said, I wo'nt pay you any money be- cause you've robbed me of several hundred pounds." P. C. Jones heard that. She said, If you go away I'll have a warrant and you'll be brought back." I stayed at Barmouth for a week, I went then to stay with a sister in Birmingham. Mr. Williams: Is there any truth in the sugges- estion that you took any money or anything belonging to the defendant? Plaintiff: Certainly not. His Lordship here mentioned that it was only fair to say that the wages which the defendant refused to pay had now been paid. THE PLAINTIFF CROSS-EXAMINED, Cross-examined by Mr. Marshall. On the Satur- day (October 29th), defendant did not have an opportunity of seeing the books, because she did not ask me for them. They were locked up in the commercial room drawer, where they were always kept. On that day I took the takings out of the drawer, entered them, and put them back. The drawer was locked up the whole of Sundav. Mr. Marshall (producing an invoice) Had you sent this on ?—Plaintiff: I had sent it on to her. Mr. Marshall Didn't Miss Duffield find several letters from firms complaining that remittances had not been sent on to them?—Plaintiff: There was one letter. Letters which she found on the premises com- plaining of invoices not being paid.—There was only one from Mackie and Gledstone. I put it to you that there were several-some from Marlowe's—No, not from that firm. There was only one letter, as I have stated. Did she complain about it 7-Yes, she asked me why the invoice hadn't been sent on. How long bad you kept it ?-Two or three weeks. So that these letters had been received complain- ing that the money hadn't arrived?-There was only one. In spite of this letter you hadn't sent the account on, and Miss Duffield knew nothing about it ?-I was keeping it there until she came." That is the only explanation ?—I didn't know what discount to give. Did you take the discount off?-No, I didn't. I generally have to ask the travellers to take the dis- count off, and then send to Miss Duffield. Now was not this the beginning of the conversa- tion on the 31st of October—did not Miss Duffield complain very strongly of this not having been sent on, and ask for explanation from you ?-This in- voice was the beginning of the complaint. Did she say on the 31st that the takings had been much less during August and September than during the corresponding period of the previous year ?—Yes, she did say so. Did she ask you if you could account for the difference in the takings ?-Yes, she did. What did you say ?—I said I could not, but that it had been a very quiet season. As a matter of fact wasn't it rather a brisk season ?—No, not until the close of the season. We 'began to be busy in September. Asa matter of fact the season had throughout been a good season compared with the previous one ?-I didn't look to see what the previous one was. Did she ask you if you had been careful in book- ing the accounts 7.- Yes, and I said I had. Didn't she say then that in the face of all these eircmstances you must either be a fool or a thief, and that if you had any rpon ey, or knew where any money was, she would be glad to know what had become of it ?—Yes, she did. .'You told her you didn't know?—Yes, and that all I had taken I had sent. Did she then say she would give you hal'f an hour to consider, and that it would be necessary then for her to consider what steps she should take ?—X'O, that is not what she said. She said if [ didn't find the money I had taken from her., 'she would. prosecute me. VOilen you went out did you walk abcKft with M*. Pickersgill for some time before you went Saclc?—Yes, sir. When you went in did Miss Dfcme^d show you ihis bundle of letters (produced) which she said die had found ?—No, she said she had fhken them. She said she had searched .my 'boxes,. arid in one Irawer had found these letters and had taken them—my drawers I had kept locked. Did you then immediately turn round to go and bring Mr. Pickersgill m ?-—No, he was sent for to the commercial room. Didn't you turn round and yourself went to fetch him 7-No. Miss Ada stopped me from going out to fetch him, and sent for him herself. I didn't leave the room myself. Then he came in ?—Yes, he heard me scream. You screamed because Miss Duffield told you hat some letters had been found ?—No, because Miss Ada caught hold of me, and said I should not o out. REVELATIONS. When you came in; esc letters were immedi- .telyziieiltiorie(lby.Aii- Duffield ?—They were. Did they tell you that these letters showed that you and Mr. Pickersgill had been living in the house as man and wife i-She did. And you had, hadn't you?—No sir. Here are the the letters, you know. I put it to you solemnly—isn't it a fact that you and he had been living there as man ard wife ?—No sir. How long have you known him ?—I have known him for some time. Here we have a number of these letters begin- ning My own sweet-- Mr. Williams (interposing): I object. His Lordship: This is entirely outside the plead- ing, here. Of course, it is a matter for Mr. Williams and the jury to deal with. If it is thought that because a person may live, as suggested, im- morally, therefore, he or she steals money. Mr. Marshall; No, His Lordship No other way is relative. Is there another issue ? Mr. Marshall The issue may be dealt with in two or three ways. The plaintiff claims the damages as to character. His Lordship Character for honesty. Mr, Marshall: As manageress of an hotel. She claims damages for the detention of these letters. Therefore this is germane to the action. His Lordship: I wont say any more now, the mischief is done. I am sure Mr. Marshall may be trusted not to make the cross-examination of witnesses a mere needless pain. Mr. Williams: I raise no objection to his reading them now. His Lordship I dont suppose he intends reading them. Mr. Marshall (to lplaintiff): Are you prepared to repeat the answer you gave us ? Plaintiff: I am. You see what is underlined there ? (handing up a letter).—I do. That does not lead you to alter your answer ?— There is no truth in it. Throughout this correspondence he calls you wife, and you call him husbaacl 1-No, not always. Generally ?—Generally, yes. Still, you repeat the answer you gave just now? —I do sir. What do you say to that, (handing up another letter)—He had had a conversation with me previous to that. I suppose l.e refers to that. Mr. Marshall (reading) How I do wish I had stayed with you all that iiigh-, "?-Yes, because he told me in the morning he was dreaming about me (laughter). Is that the explanation you give ?—Yes. Look at this document. Is it in your hand- writing 7-Plaintiff (examining document) No, it is not. Can you swear it is not ?-Ies, I do swear, it was given to me by my cousin. And you kept it ?-Yes. Mr. -Marshall It is a document I cant read to the jury. His Lordship: These are tha private letters of a woman, who happened to be a servant, taken out of her drawer. The foreman of the jury Are these letters material to the case, His Lordship I have expressed my opinion. The foreman We don't think they are. His Lordship: The jury will have an opportunity of dealing with the subject. I cannot rule'it as inadmissible. IV, he, a person comes to a court of law to claim damal-, for injury to character, it is always said, as Mr. Marshall siys, I ought to go into this on a question of damage to character." It may be you may take the view that it has very little to do with the question of being a thief, whether one has or has not been immoral. I can- not say the learned counsel is going outside what is his right, if he thinks proper to do it. Mr. Marshall (continuing hiscross-examination) When P.C. Jones came with YJU didn't you bear Miss Duffield ask him what she had better do in the room ?—No, she didn't address him at all. Mr. Williams (re-examining^: There is no truth in the suggestion made by M:. Marshall.—Plain- tiff There is not any truth in it. MR. PICKERSGILL'S 7ERSION. Henry Pickersgill stated that on October 31st he met the plaintiff outside Bamouth Church, and went to the hotel with her. The plaintiff was called into the commercial roon, and presently he was called in by the defendant with whom were also her two sisters. The defendant said to him, I suppose you know that Miss Munton has robbed me of £ 200 ?" He replied, I lon't know and I don't believe it." Defendant then said Miss Mun- ton was a thief, and that she sh)uld not leave the house. They were all excited. They called him a blackguard, and he went away. J Mr. Williams: Is there any truth in the sug- gestion as to the relations between you and her.- Witness No truth whatever. Cross-examined by Mr. Marshall: It was Miss Duffield who called him into theroom. Everybody seemed to be talking simultaneously. He bad been Mr. Day was with them. He (nly stayed about five minutes at the hotel. The defendant clid:not tell the plainliff to leave the hoise at once she told her to pay the money in an lour, and that she would detain her. His Lordship: Did she say anything about the letters in your presence.—Witness She said she had searched Miss Munton's things and found some letters. His Lordship: Anything more ?—She said I was a blackguard (laughter). Mr Marshall (holding up a pile of letters) I don't want to go into the matter nore than necess- ary. Mr. Williams I thought ihat had been dropped. His Lordship: You-, Mr. Marshall, have heard what the jury has said. I am sur; you are one of those who do everything with :the greatest care. I must leave it to you. Mr. Marshall: I must put some passages. These are from Mr, Pickersgill's own letters, therefore he is the man who knows about ttem. (Reading) 18th August. My own sweet darling I wish I was kissing you know. I do want to be with you, my darling. Your own loving Harry" Did you write that ?—Yes. And this, You'll come with me to-night, my own sweet Bess. It will be unkind of you if you don't I shall expect you." Is that your "letter ?—Yes. sir. Then you say in another, I do vish I was there with you. I wish to-night I was in No. 15." Whose room was that ?—Hers. You say, Don't put anyone in No. 5 until I come back." Is that your letter ?—I have slept in other bedrooms. Mr. Marshall (reading) Sorry I didn't have an opportunity to kiss you before I left. Never mind what people say. You are always .n my thoughts. I wish you bad stayed with me all last night I did want you to, my pet."—are these your letters ?- Yes. You suggest there was nothing between you and her ? Nothing whatever. How long did you use to stay theie ?—Sometimes a week, sometimes a fortnight. This was the case for the plaintif. Mr. Marshall addressed the jury for the defen- dant. He contended that the occasion on which the conversation took place were privileged occasions, and that the defendant was not actuated by malice. They (the jury) had heard the part of the case which had been painful to him he felt a great reluctance to bring it in, but he could not get rid of it. MISS DUFFIELD IN THE BAR. Miss Elizabeth Maud Priscilla Duffield, the de- fendant then gave evidence. Replying to Mr. Ellis Griffith, she said I engaged the plaintiff on June 3rd, 1898. I went down to Barmouth on Friday October 28th. Nothing was said about the business on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but on Monday morning I said to plaintiff, well now, its Monday morning, and I have a few hours to spare, I should like to see the books and see what you have been doing." The plaintiff then brought the book out of the drawer. I As she was taking out the books, I noticed a number of letters from firms complaning of not having received cheques, and I said, How is it these people have been writing for money." The plaintiff, "They were an insult and I kept them back." I said, Surely it is not an insult to write. If I owed money, I should have sent cheques in the same way that I send other cheques." A few days previously she had sent me some bills, but I found invoices here containing items which I bad no idea had been ordered. She told me in all her letters that the season was a very bad one. I knew there was a good deal of stock there, and I was very much astonished to see things bad been ordered of which I had no knowledge, Mr. Griffiths: Here are two bills, one for P.3 9s., another for £4 10s. His Lordship: What bearing has this on the case ? Mr. Griffiths: A complaint that she has mis- managed. (to defendant). It was a surprise to you to find these details ?—Yes. Did you look into the books ?—Yes, my sister had been managing the hotel previously, and she asked Miss Munton how it was that on certain dates the takings were so very considerably below the corresponding periods of the previous year. She said, "I dont know." To all my inquiries she said, I have no money besides, I dont know." Whatever I asked her she replied, I dont know, I dont know" (laughter). I suggested to her that probably she hadn't booked everything. She said she had. I said to her," I am told it has been a much better season in Barmouth this year than the last two years, and it is very strange that the bar takings should be so considerably less. There's more money taken in the bar when there are more people about. I have been told that it has been a very good season indeed, and I am surprised to find that the receipts are very'much less, and if you cant explain to Die the very small amount entered you must he either a thief or a fool." I then told her I would give her half an hour, and that I would also have to consider what I should do in the matter. I did not say that she was to find the money in half an hour. His Lordship What was it she was to take half an hour to do. Witness To explain to me how it was the takings were so much less than it was in the previous two years, when I had been told that it was a much better season. His Lordship But I think she wrote through the season that the season had been a poor one ?— Yes. Proceeding, witness said that she found invoices for whisky of which she had no knowledge. Plaintiff had suppressed them-never sent them on. Mr. Griffith: Is it true that you said, There's £ 200 short somewhere. You've stolen it and lined your pockets with it."—No. The sum of Z200 was never mentioned, neither was. the word "robbed" ever used. Did you say, I shall prosecute you for it ?"-No. I did'nt accuse her of taking money. I told her she was either a fool or a thief (laughter). The bundle of letters was given to me by my sister. I said to plaintiff, Since you've been out, these letters have come into my hands, and judging from one or two I have read, it is evident you and Mr. Pickersgill have been living in my house as husband and wife. I am exceed- ingly sorry I ever had such a creature in my house; you take up your things and leave immediately." She did not deny the accusation-she did'nt say a single word. Mr. Pickergill was not there then. Questioned by His Lordship, witness said it was the plaintiff who fetched in Mr. Pickersgill. When he came in she told him about the letters and he exclaimed Letters of mine come into your hands!" And she replied Yes, here they are." He had nothing to say. She said nothing before Mr. Pickersgill as to plaintiff having robbed her or being a thief or a fool. Replying further to Mr. Griffith, witness said that she sent for P.C. Jones who told her he had better fetch the sergeant, and the sergeant came. She did not say in the presence of P.C. Jones "She has robbed me of several hundred pounds." When the officer came into the house she told him she had been looking at the books and there had been a falling off. Proceeding, witness said We looked at the cash book for October 22nd. My sister said that the entry should have been £ 2 5s Od, and I found it was £117s Od. On that I sent for P.C. Jones, because my sister had counted up the money that day. The sergeant came. He said I should have a warrant. I said I didn't want one. It is not true that I accused her of theft in the presence of the police officer. Cross-examined by Mr. Williams I told her in the end to pack up her things and leave. When she brought Mr. Jones with her she said she had come to fetch her things. Mr. Williams Didn't you tell her that you would detain her things ?—Witness: I never said any- thing of the kind. It is an absolute falsehood. You had no right to keep her letters.—I suppose not. And you thought it the proper thing to bring them here to-day and deprive her of her character? —I have not tried to rob her of her character. My sister took the letters. You thought it the right thing to take a woman's letters from her drawer and try to Witness: I didn't. Your sister did ?—I can't help what my sister does. His Lordship: You know they came from her own drawer ?—My sister told me she got them in a room. Cross-examination continued: She had owned the hotel six years. Her sister had a general idea of what the takings had been during the seasons. She believed plaintiff's word as to the quality of the season when she wrote, but she afterwards found out from some people in Barmouth that this was not so. There were invoices there of which she knew nothing. Some of the invoices were found with the packet of letters, and some with her (witness's) private box. His Lordship You have not taken any stock at all ?—Witness No, I have not. Mr. Williams: Do you mean to say that hav- ing sent for a policeman you never said one word about stealing money ?—I asked him what he thought I better do. He wanted me to take out a warrant. I said, no, I would not do that without further consideration. Do you still say that you've never said Miss Munton had taken money dishonestly ?—I don't remember it. Do you still believe she had robbed you ?-I don't know I am sure. How can I say ? I suppose you still believe that she robbed you ? —I'll leave you to judge. I want you to tell me.—You say I've come here to blacken her character. I've done nothing of the kind. L I am asking you if you still believe that she has robbed you ?—I can't say. You have no belief one way or the other ?-I You fairly believed it in October ?-Of course, I did. Wait a minute. You said you didn't accuse her ? —I didn't. I called her a thief or a fool (laughter). THE SISTER'S EVIDENCE. Miss Ada Duffield, sister of the defendant, stated that when the plaintiff was appointed manageress, she was with her a fortnight to put her in the way of the business. Coming to the 21st of October, she corroborated as to the con- versation in the hotel. It was she who found the bundle of letters with which were certain invoices, upon seeing which her sister said, "Why were these not sent to me ?" Because." the plaintiff replied, "I considered them an insult." She (witness) found that for Bank Holiday—one of the best davs of the year—only P,5 had been taken according to the book, whereas with the corresponding day of the previous year she herself took over £12. She (witness) seeing this, said to plaintiff, How dare you put such a figure in the book ?" She did not say one word in reply, except Oh keep yourself quiet. But witness could not keep herself quiet (laughter). Her sister questioned her as to the falling off in the takings, but all she said was, I don't know, I don't know." Her sister said if she could not account for it she must be either a fool or a thief." There was nothing said about the plaintiff having robbed them of £200, or any other sum. Her sister said, I'll give you half an hour to consider what explanation you can give me and then I'll consider what steps I shall take." She did not say, I'll give you half an hour to go and get the money." She (witness) was looking for some invoices when she accidentally found the bundle of letters. When plaintiff was told about the letters she did not prevent her from going out of the room as alleged. She got hold of her by the wrist be- cause she thought she would be frightened at the letters. The witness confirmed the defendant's evidence as to the conversation that took place when Mr. Pickersgill was called in. Her sister did not refuse to let her have her things She would only be too glad to get rid of such a woman from her hcuse." Cross-examined She found all the season through that there had been a falling off, and considered it her duty to find out the reason. She (witness) was 'the object of this trouble,' (laughter). She did from her hcuse." Cross-examined She found all the season through that there had been a falling off, and considered it her duty to find out the reason. She (witness) was 'the object of this trouble,' (laughter). She did not say that the plaintiff was dishonest, but she thought she had been careless, and had not attended to the business as she (witness) had done previously. thought she bad been careless, and had not attended to the business as she (witness) had done previously. Miss Clara Duffield afco gave confirmatory evid- ence as to the conversation on October 31st. Mr. John Francis Dodd, Accountant of Liverpool, stated that he bad examined the books kept by the plaintiff, and compared the takings with those for the two preceding years. In 1896 the total takings during the corresponding five months were C725 5s. 8d., in 1897 t655 Is. 8d.. and in 1898 E561 10s. lOd. The bar takings for the some periods were. 1896 k379 10s. 4d., 1897 Z376 19s. 6d., 1898 £ 283 Is. Od. Mr. Williams: That is from the 1st of June. Miss Munton commenced on June 6th, so there is a difference of six days. Evan Lewis, the boots' at the hotel for the last 44- years, said that it was part of his duty to take up from the cellar beer, wine and spirits, and he took more in 1898 than he did in 1897 and 1896. Counsel on each side then addressed the jury, and the Judge summed up. His Lordship, having explained the law, proceeded to say that no one could justify the taking of the private letters of another under any circumstances except under the order of a Court of Justice or with the permission of the party. Nothing could be more blameworthy. The more the person was on's dependent the more advisable it was that, directly their letters were found to be private letters, they should have been at once handed over to the true owner, whatever the allegations as to mismanagement. Instead of that they were not only kept or taken at the time, but brought into that court. The real issue was, was there slander? According to the statements sworn to by the defendants, they never charged her with dishonesty. If they did, the search would be intelligible; as it was, it gave evidence of malice. The jury retired to consider their verdict, and on their return the Foreman announced that they found a verdict for the plaintiff, whom they awarded 50 guineas damages. Judgment was accordingly given for the amount with costs.
A great colliers' demonstration was held at Swansea on Saturday in support of the Miners' Federation movement for an eight hours' day and other labour questions. The demonstrators went in procession through the principal streets to Yictoria Park, where speeches were delivered by Mr. William Abraham, M.P., Mr. David Randell, M.P.,and other members of Parliament. Several resolutions relating to the position of affairs in the Welsh coal industry were assed. f
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