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THE CHIMNEY CORNER.

MY MEMORANDUM BOOK

J?ART IL-rrOontimted. Ndw, il Georgeh&dbeen a.,commonplnce young 'i»Sh, she.-would have passed through the hall and gone out without minding him ; such, however, was by no means the case 3 and as the girl gave range to her thoughts, she was -fate to "admit; thaFSher had never seen’ anyone who impressed her so much at first sight. Yes 3 Clara Brierly was in ■ ■Not that she acknowledged such a state of things to herselfslie only kept .thinking, anctr thinking about him day ■aftet 'was such a contrast to Stephen Dibdem. ~ , , fT . ■ As for George Hamilton, lie did not wait ; to, analyser his feelings 3 that first slight recontre did it 3 and before he 'got back tOUh'e'office he had 1 built him-self-a castle, wherein he had worked himself Hito Dibden’s favor and become a partner, and won the ol bis lovely charge. ‘, ..... ■ Now, jQhn t l am not.gpj.ng -tp‘ enterinto .the, details ..of a r.pmantlclove know'-what love;can do—.they met and : met: again, and! learned each other’s history ; and at last, as I : told yoii before, exchanged vows of eternal love.

PART 11. , ; I must take another jump over timeMiss Brierly Is s«ow 5 «ow in her 25th yean arid George Hamilton!' just 29. They had kept their secret 3 and it wanted ■ but a few’rrionths wlidri alb the world would-know it. Their course of true love had run smooth as far as they were concerned theniselyes;'for though thSy saw'bUt little bfdicli other, the though: of herfuture happiness comforted Clara under vexation and annoyance. “ A few more. irioi)tl)sj*’-sh£, would, say -—“ a few more nVoritris, Hfld I am" free of my tyrant.” . ; . . ■■ Alas 1 how true it is that no one can tell what a day-may bring forth ! Before those few months had elapsed Dibden had. got hold,-of their secret. Of course lie stormed and raved—the more as he felt his power was ebbing fast. He tried persuasion, reproaches, threats—but to no purpose 3 George’s determination was fixed, and the anger of his employer knew no bounds.

At'’this juncture a circumstance occurred which completely changed the aspect of affairs.., One day, immediately, after an iiitervievv with jjibden, and while Oeorge was: still a good deal excited, by what had; passed • between them, a stranger came up to’the counter and asked to be favored with change for a. ten-pound' mote. He was a regentleman, advanced' in ; years, and" as Ge6fg6 was the Ohly one.of the clerks who happened hi the ‘ cpupridg-roorri ht > the’firrie‘ he attended to-hiin.', In the office cash-box there were two five-pound ,notes : and two or three half-sovereigns-s'’ and as the' stranger was anxious to have the half of his. money in'gold, and there was not enough in the box,’ George opened his desk ghd took therefrom fiVe sovereigns which He had that morn-, ing placed there with which to pay his landlady. Putting one of the five-pound notes, into his. desk in the place of the sovereigns, he handed the latter, along wifh the other note, to the stranger, who: thereupon thanked him courteously and. withdrew. The tenpound notg he had received in return George jplafeed itrilhe; cash-hope without bestowing' upon it any particular examination, but went on ,with . Ins; .work; still meditating over' fHe. rather sharp words he had had with Mr. Dibdeti’

Nothing happened’ of i -Any!; consequence till' later on in the day, when a message was received from tlifel bank that a ten-pound note wbicli Mr. ‘Dibden had"sent to be lodged there along .with 'some 'other' moneys was a;'forged; ode-. The note in question was : ( that ; which' George , Hamilton had received frpip. the'ijTderly'gehtleiTtan in the r course 1 of the morning, and which Mr. Dibden had himself taken from the cash-box and forwarded to the bank. The message was brought by a private detective in the employment of the bank ; and no r sobder' was Mr. f Dibden made aware of what had occurred than ■ Havihg plhced the note there. George 'pound notes from the cash-box, and put; in, their «. place the ten-pound note in, questionbut s he maintained-he had given them in change for the ten-pound note ,to;a geptlerpan who came, in, ...This* r was-his,explanation when taken before the magistrates. On the other hand, Dibden swore -that he found one of the five-pound notes in George’s desk. This George accounted for by saying that the person who left the forged note asked him to let him have five pounds in gold : and, that that sum not being m the cash-box, Re changed one of the fi ye-ppundf notes, Jfjpjr ? fi vq ‘9? hiVdwrt/ As against "this, 1 hbweVer, one pf t{ie junjor clerks stated that, on the morning' of the occurrence, he asked George for the loan : of a Sovereign, who' replied, “ I’d lend it with pleasure, my dear fellow', but I have not a sixpence to sweat-by. '■ ’ f 1 In dnswet to this, George said that f he absolutely had at that niohietil five sovereigns put away in his desk to pay. his landlady ; and that he felt justified in saying that he had not a sixpence, as he: considered that thd money so "appropriated to pay's jusf debt was not at his disposal. The magistrates , asked him. if he fancied the persort f wHo ; got 'tnef had given the forged notejnnocently or' 'fraudulently. That was of course im- . possible to say,, hut George thought innocently. : Having heard all the • evi* dence, after a careful consultation, they! came to the conclusion that they must commit him for trial, but they would accept . bail. Strange to say, , the Dibdehs weht bail for the full amount—j believe myself,’with tjte hope that hewould break it, by quitting the country.

I must tell you, however, that before •,finy, ’ proceedings, i .were > > cptptpenced young!Dibden coarsely offered to (Jgrg not to prosecute if she accepted his "’proposal of marriage. • To this l she ?/ in-digqantlw--’replic'l't|at she knew Mr. Hamiltqn was'inriocent, and they knew ’■ft’too,'and‘that'it he were not she would not save r.Jitoh M. M a a j t A 7/u ; • fi i , At the time.ofi these-: oCGUfrqu&es.,ili was away on itheContinent;'. vMyi wife* had been delicate, and the doctors said. j3ie‘ tdust has<f‘ change 5 bf AiV, 1 tlrfd hdcf fixed\pn Italy, which accounts for my

not having seen the which appeared in the TVwwp'and which I shall now read to you : If the elderly gentleman with the blue pocket-book who received change for a Lio note at the offices of Messrs. Dibden, Knollys and Dibden, Bell yard. Doctors’ Commons, on the 2nd of September, 18—/will communicate with Messrs. Smith and Oliver, Solid ors, Brick Court, Middle Temple, he will confer a great obligation.

I suppose I need scarcely tell you that I was the elderly gentleman with the blue pocket book. Well, as I say, travelling about from one place to another, 1 did not see a paper regularly, and therefore missed this advertisements In the meantime, the assizes drew on, and George Hamilton stood in the dock charged with felony. I have the trial ip this paper before me. I shall read/to you the leading evidence, which was all,, unfortunately, against the prisoner/ The charge was that George Hamilton did feloniously attempt; to pass a forged Lio note, knowing it to be a'forgery. . V "L-p -The elder Dibden was the first wit-

ness called up. He deposed that the prisoner was his ■ head clerk, in whom he had always placed the greatest confidence. That a caslv-box was left under his care, containing generally a limited amount of money, principally for the purpose of giving change ; that larger sums were also'frequently de- r posited there, if none of the principals of the “house were in .the way to jock it up in the money-safe. That on the morning in question , be himself - had

placed in the cash-box two five-pound nbtes and three pounds in gold. That 1 in-the afternoon he wanted to pay some money .into the, bank, and the safe being deficient of the sum he needed, by five pounds, he opened the cash-box to take that amount therefrom, That, instead of the five-pound notes which he had placed there, he found a tenpound note, which; when presented at the bank, was declared to be a forgery. That when he asked the prisoner to account for the note; he said he had received it from a stranger in exchange for the two five-pound notes. That bn examining the prisoner’s desk, he found one of the five-pound notes which he

Had placed in the cash-box that morn-' ing. ' Cross-examined— No one had access to the cash-box but the prisoner, himself, and his son. Each had a key. The lock was a Chubb’s patent of the best description. He, knew the five-, pound notes by their being endorsed with the pame, “William Day.” ".. The’next witness was William Simmonds, junior clerk to Messrs. Dibden,. Knollys & Dibden. He swore that on the morning of the discovery of the

forged note he had asked tlm prisoner to lend him a sovereign. That the. reply he received was, “ I’d lend it with pleasure, blit I have not a sixpence to swear by.” Had been two years in the office with the prisoner. Never had any quarrel with him. Eleanor Parker deposed that she* 1 knew the prisoner, 'well.; he had lodged with her the last, eighteen months. Paid his rent quarterly;—always paid honorably, but used to be a little behindhand. He was due her fully five pounds at the time of his apprehension. Had always paid her with good money —at least none of it was ever returned to her. Prisoner was out mostly all. day ; usually spent his nights reading. > This was the principal evidence for the prosecution.. For the defence, a few witnesses were brought up to testify to the excellent character the prisoner

always bore. But his counsel took his stand not against any of the facts, which he allowed, but on the ground that they proved the act of the prisoner was done innocently and in ignorance,. “ Just for a moment consider, gentlemen of the jury,” he said, “ Here is a gentleman who has for several years managed the business* iof a; firm of attorneys, large sums daily passing through his hands. The utmost confidence has been placed in him. Do ybti I put it to you in name of the common sense which beams 1 this moment on your

faces—do you think he would risk his position, honor, and name for a paltry teh-pbund note ? He foolishly—yefe, I say very foolishly, and without carefully! examining it, took a note from a cornplete stranger.; and the only excuse he. can give for it is this—that he thought Doctors’ Commons; was the .last placet inv the • EWorld a swindler. would go cadging about in—and that the stranger bore a. most, .respectable appearance. Fpr this act’he-deserve£|the reproof ; o| his employer; and that is all. As to therevidence Of the, junior clerk, X wusjj sfly that stronger could not be brought in favor of a man’s character than, when by a friend for a trifling loan, at the risk of being thought mehn ori of confessing His poverty, he'refuses,’ although he has money by him, becaiis# ■he has put it away fo paf ; a .just? debt. Gentlemen, I leave ray' case in your hands, and I do ; so with confidence, as I know’'you will exercise that intelligence and discrimination which at all times distinguish British jurymen, and ; prove to me and my client that you are not only . able but determined to separate truth from error.”

I need not read to you the summing up of the Judge; he merely directed them tq go by the evidence, and ex| plained to them a few points of law." But I am sorry to tell you that Sergeant Oilem’s flattery failed with the jury, for nn. half an hour they returned with a verdict of, ; f‘ Cuilty; ” and George Hamilton was sentenced to five years’ penal servitude, arid was sent to Millbank prison to commence his punish? ment for a crime he never committed. -

The very day after his sentence was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Clara Brierly’s birthday ; and on the following! morning ’this .advertisement appeared in iht 'TYmgs; J

Five Hundred Pounds Reward. ~ pn.thevZnd day of .September, I?—, an 'elderly man, of respectable appearance, who carried about with him a Blue Pocketbook, presented a Forged Note and got in exchange good money at the offices of Messrs. Dibden, Knollys, and Dibden, Bellyard, Doci tors’ Commons. The above reward will be paid to anyone proving that Such a transaction took place. (Signed) SMITH & OLIVER, : Solicitors. Temples . , Clara was no w free. She had waited anxiously £bfJthfe : tesult:- of the" trial; but never, for one ; moment doubted the entire: moral innocence of her lover. On the morning of her twenty-fifth birthday she; had the newspapers sent rib'to het 1 rbdnb iVhere’she remained;She ; .whole Ttrial over without missing’a 1 word! When she came to

“Guilty” her agitation overmastered' .Ijer directness of purpose. At length,: however, she calmly rose from her seat, with the words, “ Innocent as I am. lam now more certain than ever.”

I “ Without a tear on her pale face, she dressed herself to go out; then packed tip the things that she wished to take with her, and left the house without a word to any one, except the servant, to whom she gave the remaining property of her own that was4n her room;desiring her to tell her master that she had gone away, and should not return. Then, calling a cab, she and Oliver’s, .thes been" recommended to her by George.--It is, wonderful how they, appear r to know- everything in those" mtfsty’ rooms

in the' Templet i ' She Had'. '.mbt-i "■&>& through more than half a dozen sentences. in- explanation ofher before they told her they, knew, entire circuihstkrices, and accept©!' her 0 proposals to place her hands, offering fb/ supply her at dnbe i with any money-she, needed:// The first thingr.she did was, to- r dirpp£a larger-fre-ward to be advertised—as i have just read to you —and receiving ttbat funds she required, intimated her intention,intake lodgings in the city tH^ito'ysFer^

should be cleared up/ To this proposal Mr. Oliver-demurred, suggesting, that, instead of, gojng > into: lodgings she might take up her residence for the time in his house, HeJiad no family, and his wife wbuld be, dllighUfd.to have her ..Coy a companion. .To-thisisuggess-tion Miss Brierly cordially: assented In order to commence those inauiries to 'which she’ if a i ; prepared ‘ Se&fe* her life, if necessary; shd,'acting through her solicitors, pbtamed firpm her unfortunate lover.' closely as “Jbe qpuld stranger. This she had printed '.and. distributed, with the-offer of-a large-

reward, not only to every p6H6<i 4fatidn in®iglfaK!f A, ptionth passed, chie Had been found ; and ! anoi|i» mqntb j; Mdi^otber4i, [4lt;tHis tiroephe _ never lost sight of,her object. She scrutinised every elderfy gentleman that she met, and more than once she even fpllpwed through,- the streets:;people whom she thought suspicious* with the

hope pf : their blue .pocketbook, her chief mirk. r l All tliis time ,1 had never heard, of the advertisements with , the large reward, nor suspected the mischief I had sq unwittingly caused. We. been wandering about the. my wife’s health had recovered l fully, and my daughters; wanted to giv to Egypt. Of course I had to' consent. Here wd sjayed two Qf . thre& weekST “ doing ”-the Pyramids Wd f else -that ,it>behoves travellers:dO;/dcr ; However, iiwitfe advancing:-: spring, M ’began to wish for the- cool breezes or ;old England, so' we ; turned-out steps ihomeward, , taking.rPhris, in opr way. !We arrived in Paris early iii May, where, in spite of all persuasions,' 1 determined] ‘to stay only a few days. We had, therefore, to make the best of our time. ! "p- } be. €OHtiniss /! tP.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810124.2.19

Bibliographic details

THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 250, 24 January 1881

Word Count
2,636

THE CHIMNEY CORNER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 250, 24 January 1881

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