An Unfortunate Piano.
Before Mr. Nugent Wood at Rakaia yesterday the case E. Clark v. A. M. Pearson came on again for hearing. Mr. Izard appeared for Clark and Mr. Purnell for Pearson, who is bailiff of the Ashburton R. M. Court. The case was heard by Mr. Guinness on last Court day, and was now brought up for re-hearing. Mr. Purnell raised the objection that the case having been heard by Mr. Guinness it was out of Mr. Wood’s jurisdiction. This his Worship overruled and the case proceeded, his Worship reserving certain other ejections raised by Mr. Purnell.
Edwin Clark sworn, said—l am postmaster at Rakaia. I recollect Fagan’s auction sale. Was present at it. Mr. Pearson officiated as auctioneer. I bought a piano at that sale. T. E. Fagan mentioned at the sale that a bill of sale for L2O was held by Messrs. Milner and Thompson, at Christchurch. , Previous to this an individual had bid LlO for the piano. On hearing of the existence of the bill of sale the bid of LlO was withdrawn. Mr. Pearson said he would proceed with the sale, and would guarantee the purchaser against the bill of sale. The piano was then started at L2O, the amount of the bill of sale. It was knocked down to me for L 25. I bought the piano in consequence of what Pearson had stated about the non-liability of the purchaser. I paid the money and got delivery. A claim was afterwards made against me by Milner and Thompson for L2O, amount of the bill of sale which they held over the piano. I referred them to Mr. Pearson. I was sued by Milner and Thompson in the R. M. Court here, and had to pay L 25 16s. 6d. I have asked Mr. Pearson to refund me the amount, but he has not done so. I have paid quite L3O over and above what I bought the piano for. By Mr. Purnell—l have sold the piano. I got L4O for it. I had an opportunity to settle with Milner and Thompson by paying L2O. If I had not settled with them I should have lost L 5. I had heard that Fagan’s piano , was to be sold. I knew that it was to be sold by the bailiff of the Court. Thought the piano would go cheap. The sale took place at Fagan's at North Rakaia.
Mr. Purnell here raised the objection that North Rakaia was beyond his Worship’s jurisdiction. His Worship decided to continue the hearing. Examination continued—Mr. Pearson said at the: sale that it was to satisfy, Saunders Bros’, claim that he was selling. A man named Mulcaster was there. I made no particular enquiries respecting the bill of sale. I was not the only person that bid for the piano. I got delivery the same evening. Spoke to Pearson about my liability. He said I was quite clear. Milner and Thompson made a claim on me about a fortnight from the date of the sale. The piano was cheap at L4O. Michael Fagan, sworn said Was present at the sale, and saw the piano put up. During the bidding, I announced that a bill of sale was over the piano. The bidder withdrew his bid. The bailiff then started the bidding at L2O, as he said, to cover the bill of sale.
T. E. Fagan, sworn—When the piano was put up Clark bid L 5, and Mr. Welsh bid LlO. I informed them of the existence of a bill of sale over the piano, Welsh withdrew his bid. The bailiff then put it up at L2O, and Clark bid L 25. It was knocked down to him. The bailiff said he would see the bill of sale settled. Mr. Pearson said in my house that he would send the amount of the bill of sale to Milner and Thompson. Will swear Pearson said this. Wo were in the front room of my house at the time, and my father^*"* 1
—XTMakeig, sworn, said—l am clerk of tlie Resident Magistrate’s Court •at xinKtiia. I was present at a former hearing of this case before Mr. Guinness. I do not know whether Pearson was a witness in this case. I was present at Fagan’s sale. When the bailiff put up the piano it was mentioned that a bill of sale existed over it.. It was put up at L2O, and knocked down to Mr. Clark for L 25. Heard Mr. Pearson say that Mr. Saunders would see him straight. Mr. Pearson asked Fagan to produce the bill of sale. Fagan said it was in the hands of Milner and Thompson. The bailiff said immediately after that He would go on with the sale. Do not remember Clark asking whether the existence of the bill of sale would make any difference to him as purchaser of the piano. _ _
By Mr. Izard—Pearson said he was acting for Saunders, of Ashburton. Mr. Welsh, sworn, said—l was present at Fagan’s sale. I bid for the piano. I offered LlO for it. The bailiff said that would not cover the bill of sale. Pearson said several times that any person buying the piano he would see him allrght By Mr. Purnell—l am not sure who first mentioned the bill of sale. A. M. Pearson, sworn, said bailiff of the R.M. Court at Ashburton. I received a warrant to distrain at Fagan’s, North Rakaia. I sold the piano. Up to the time of sale I did not know of the existence of a bill of sale over it. I read the distress warrant as the conditions of the sale. The sale had been duly advertised. The younger Fagan said there was a bill of sale to Milner and Thompson over the piano. I asked him to produce the bill of sale. He said he could not, as it was in Christchurch. I told him he had had plenty of time to get it, as a bailiff had been in the bouse for seven days. Mr. Saunders was the executing creditor. My instructions from him were to sell unless a bill of sale was produced. I told Clark whatever the piano fetched I would give him a receipt for, if it were knocked down to him. I never mentioned anything about paying Milner and Thompson out of the proceeds of the sale. Mulcaster started the auction at L2O. Mr. Saunders said he would see me straight. When 1 gave Clark the receipt for the money he never complained of the wording of it, and never asked for a guarantee. I had no personal interest in the sale. Heai’d Clark say he had got a bargain. Heard that he had sold the piano some time after for, L4O. I would not hare sold it if the bill of sale had been produced. By Mr. Izard —Mulcasterdid not bid by my authority. Mr. Saunders has not guaranteed me against loss in this action. Paid the proceeds of the sale into the Court at Ashburton. This being the whole of the evidence, and counsel on each side having addressed the bench, his Worship said he would give judgment on next Court day, 9th December, i ;
Resident Magistrate’s Court.
To-Day. (Before Mr. Nugent Wood, R.M.) DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.
John Barrett was charged with being drunk and disorderly and resisting the arresting constable. .Barrett admitted the first offence, but denied the latter charge. Accused was then charged with damaging the constable’s uniform, for which he had to pay L2 12s. fid. For the first offence he had to forfeit 55., and for resisting the man in blue, LI Bs. A first offender, ‘‘ who didn’t know anything about it,” contributed ss. to the Clerk of the Court, and was then let off. Patrick Butler confessed to having had some drink, and also dropped ss. for his delinquency, with the alternative of taking it out in Sergeant Felton’s accommodation establishment.
Thomas Millan pled guilty to a like charge, and got mulct in a similar penalty, or the usual alternative.,.
Another first offender, who had indulged too much during the recent festivities, escaped with the small penalty of contributing a colonial Robert to the exchequer, which he readily handed over, glad of his escape. James Lemon, who was defended by Mr. Branson, pled not guilty to a charge of creating a disturbance in a public place, and after evidence had been taken his Worship, without much hesitation, dismissed the charge. THE BY-LAWS. Joseph Hyde and Samuel Hardly, for tethering horses on the reserve at the corner of East and Moore streets, contrary to the by-laws of the Borough of Ashburton, were respectively fined Is. and costs 7s. William Toppin, for allowing a horse to wander at large, was let off, having pled extenuating circumstances, which his Worship admitted. ALLEGED LARCENY. Patrick Butler, who was charged with stealing four LI notes from the person of Anthony Thompson, on the racecourse yesterday, was, on the application ; of Sergeant Felton, remanded for eight days, to allow of material evidence, both for and against accused, being brought forward. .
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