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DISTRICT COURT.

ASHBURTON.— Friday, Dec. 10. (Before His Honor Judge Ward.) Fergus v. Peter. Claim L 195 for damages for wrongous conversion of oaten sheaves and seed wheat. Mr. Purnell for plaintiff, stated that L 22 had been paid into Court. Mr. Harper appeared for defendant. Win. Fergus—l am a carrier, but in 1878 I was cropping and carrying. I had two teams of six horses each, and employed two men, and was living at Alford Forest. Had been carrying-for Mr. Peter for the past six years, and occupied IG3 acres of Ins land, which were cultivated by me—principally in wheat and oats. I made an application to Mr. Peter to allow me to store the wheat in his wool-shed. This was before the crop was reaped. I also asked liberty to stack my oats on the land, and I would fence the land in. I told Mr. Peter the oats wore for fee d for horses. I was not to pay for these privileges, and lie gave me leave. I stacked about 30 tons of the oats. I have sufficient experience of oat stacks to be able to reckon this stack at that weight. There were twelve five-horse wagon-loads. The oats were very good, and the value of oaten sheaves at that time would be L 5 per ton. I had to pay that figure to Mr. Peacho, Mount Somers. This land would be about 20 miles from Ashburton. Oaten sheaves are clearer as a rule at Mount Somers than in Ashburton. Mr. Peache’a land is seven miles off from where the stack was, and was the only place at hand where oats could be got. 1 had to cart Peaches oa J s to Alford Forest, seven miles. I do not include the cartage in the price of the oats when I say they cost L 5 per ton. I was living at-this time on my own land at Alford Forest. After I had stacked the oats I left Mr. Peter’s land, and went to live at Alford Forest. On the 2Gth of June, 1879, I sent three men to Mr. Peter’s place to get the oats— Donald Kellis, Peter Gobiu, and William Bennet. They had two drays, of three horses each. They were to bring two good loads of oaten sheaves, to be cut into chaff for my own horse feed. The men came back without the oats. They were not sent again. They were away a whole clay. Their wages were 255. a-week and board. A day’s wages at that time would have been Bs., and the hire of a team 20s. per day, I had to buy chaff in consequence of not getting those oats. I stored 500 bushels of oats in Mr. Peter’s woolshecl, and removed all except 35 bags of 4 bushels each. It was Hunter’s white, and was seed wheat, worth about 4j. 6cl. per bushel. I removed the portion I took away with Mr, Peter’s consent, and ho never claimed any payment, I sent Gobin and Kellis for the 35 bags in July of 1879 —with three horses and a dray. They came home without it. The bags were worth lOd. each. I I wrote to Mr. Peter on the subject of the wheat, and he said ‘‘ Well, are you going insolvent?” By Mr. Harper—l was occupying Mr, Peter’s land, and the rent was LI an acre. I was renting IG3 acres, and had not paid any rent at the time I was refused the wheat, but there was an account between us. Friedlancler had a lien over the wheat. Mr. Peter let me put in the

wheat, and gave me the key to take it out. 1 gave him back the key when 1 was done. I told Mr. Peter that I had sold the wheat to Mr. Taylor, and ho said he would take the balance at the same price as Mr Taylor had paid. I swear there was no arrangement with Mr. Peter that the "rent was- to be paid out of the proceeds of the wheat. When the thirty-live bags wore in the shed the rent was not paid, as I did not know how wo stood. Mr. Peter took an action against 1110 for rent, which I hid to pay. Previously to July i had removed only enough oaten sheaves to cut afo.vbags of chaff'—only a few hundredweights. There was no arrangement between myself and Mr. Peter as to the slack; being’ left on the ground as security for the rent,. I did not.go myself for the wheat but sent men with teams. I sent u letter to Mr. Peter asking for all that belonged to me. The drivers went for oats to the stack only once. I had no agreement with Peter to do ploughing after the land had been cropped. I never asked Mr. Peter’s permission to take a chaUentlcr to the stack. I had not the key of the woolshed when I sent the men for the wheat.

By Air. Purnell—There was a dispute between myself and Air. Peter as to the rent. He charged me for the year previous to 1879,■'having promised not to do so. There is stillan account between him and I. The arrangement between him and myself was made on Air. Peter’s own station. I did not say how long I should want the land with the stack on it. We were on good terms. The wheat was to remain in the shed till I got a bettor price, and there was nothing sa d as to.the wheat being a security for rent. The Lo a ton paid to Air. Peache was for sheaves which my own man cut, with my own chaff-cut-ter. I suppose tiny all lent a hand. I do not know the exact value of oaten sheaves at. that time. Peter Gobin wanted lo know about his expenses before he would give his evidence. Ho had come a hundred miles—from Waikari Flat. His Honor made an order for L2 Is. 3d., and the examination was postponed until plaint ff made payment.

Weymouth Roberts—l am a contractor, and do threshing in the season. I have never been asked to value oats, but 1 can always give a a fair idea of what a stack will yield. I was threshing in Fergus’ land. There were two stacks, a small one and a large one 1 threshed the small one and left the large one, which was fenced in. The larger one would have yielded -100 or 500 bushels, and at that time oa : s were 2s. Bd. or 2s. !)d. a bushel. The stack as it stood would, be worth about L 4 a ton, and would bo about 20 tons in weight. The stack was perfect when I saw it, well made, and properly covered. I also saw the wheat ;it was a good sample. By Mr. Harper—l was threshing the wheat in the same paddock as the oats wci’e in, and passed within a chain of the big stack. Donald-Kellis, ponndkeeper at Alford Forest—l remember the stack of oats in question. 1 helped to build, it. There were 10 or 17 wagon-loads in it. The vehicles used were a large wagon and a big dray—four horses in the wagon. The stack v oulcl weigh about 30 tons, and was properly built and fenced. I was one of tiro men who went for Fergus’ wheat in July. The other was Peter, the Frenchman. Gubin asked for the wheat. Mr. Peter replied by asking if Gobin bad brought money to pay for it. Gobin said ho hadn’t, and Mr. Peter would not let us have the wheat. We went to Mount Somers for chaff afterwards. Mr Peter had the key of the wool-shed. I saw the stack about six months afterwards, and it was strewn about, and ithacl been eaten at by stock. The next time I saw it, it was in a worse condition, and was a good bit pulled down, having been seriously injured. There were wheat sheaves amongst the oaten in the stack —ab(iut a couple of loads. All the sheaves were hand bound,. We took away one load before Mr X'eier stopped us. William Bonnet—l was in Fergus’ employ in Juno, 1879, but did not assist in stacking the oafs. The big stack was fenced when I went at Fergus’ order to Help remove it. The pigs had been about it, but had not damaged it. There would bo 25 tons weight of feed in it. Shortly after last Christmas I saw tire stack. It was considerably injured then. Peter Gobin —Fergus’s stack was properly built, I was sent uith two other men to get the oats in it. It was fenced then. I estimate its weight at about 40 ton. About a week afterwards I and Kellis wont for the wheat. We met Mr Peter in the riverbed, and 1 asked for Mr Fergus' wheat. He replied had I fetched any money to pay for it. I said no, and he said 1 could not have it unless I paid for it. I had no written order. I did not get the wheat. I have since been carting for Mr. Peter. About six or seven months ago I saw the stack, it was in very bad condition, much smaller, and all open on the top. I wont to Pcache’s for the chaff. It was cut by Poacho’s cutter and bis men. , Fergus did not send a chaticuttcr with mo in the dra y- _

- W. S. Peter —Fergus rented my land at LI an acre. There was no written agreement signed because no witnesses were present. Fergus came when the wheat was cut and asked if I would take Fried lander’s guarantee for the rent. I said I w mid do so, but advised him not to sell as the price of wheat was low. I offered to take a deposit of wheat, to lie in my woolshed as security for the rent. He accepted that offer, and put in, he said, dOO or 500 bushels. He came to mo and asked the key, saying he had sold the wheat to Mr Taylor, who would pay me. I have received no payment from Sir Taylor. The balance lies in the woolshed now. When Gobin and Kellis came for the wheat I at first refused to deliver it, and then asked if they had a written order. I do not remember saying they could get the wheat if they paid for it. It would have taken 1,000 bushels to pay the rent, but he only pjLit 500. The stack of oats was on fenced ground. i made n.o arrangement with him about the stack. Before the balance of the wheat had been sent for, I stopped the men from taking away the oats. The stack was Cieu badly fenced, and they bad taken a load off’ the top. The side of the stack appeared as if half the stack had been taken away It was a badly built stack, and had no roof. I had it put in order, and hadatarpaulin putoverit. Some time afterwards the waste stuff lying about was put on the top, after the tarpaulin was removed Mackenzie's pigs did the stack a great deal of damage. My over l seer weighed the stack, which was composed of wheatgu and oaten sheaves. Fergus did not dispute his right to pay me LIOO rent. I never waived my right to that money, on account of him taking other land. As a matter of fact he did dispute the rent, but that was afterwards. Ho had a cent] a account aga : nst me. Ineverseized hisreapingmachine,but I seized the stack, The wheat lie put into the wool-shed as security for the vent, I allowed Fergus to remove the wheat on the understanding that he was selling it to Taylor, and that Taylor was to pay me ; I bad no order on Taylor, as I believed Fergus to be an honest man. Kenneth B. Bain—l am overseer on Mr Peter’s land. Fergus had loft before I went to the place ; I remember the stack. In June, 1879, it was in passable condition. Tile top had blown about a good deal. The rats had been about it; I was ordered by Mr Peter to weigh the stack—that was last winter. It was compoiod tf wheat and oats, 75 cwt 2 qrs of eats, and 48 cwt 3 qrs of wheaV We weighed everything and stacked afresh ; I do not notice that any animals had been at the

stack. A good many rats and mice were in the stack, and had clone a good.deal of damage. A stack like that would become lighter after standing two years. After counsel had addressed the bench, His Honor gave judgment for L 42 12s and costs, defendant to return the 35 bags of wheat lying in the woolshed. Saunders v. Irvine.—Claim L 36 2s 3d on an order drawn upon defendant and accepted by him. Mr Purnell for plaintiff, and Mr Harper for defendant. Adjourned for a month at cost of plaintiff. IN BANKRUPTCY. Applications for order of discharge— Granted —Joseph. Ward, AT. 11. Robinson, J. A. Smith, C. J. Truckle, S. ill Hand, F. P. Leßreton. Mr Purnell applied for an order to adjudicate Janies Fletcher a bankrupt.

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DISTRICT COURT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 213, 10 December 1880

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