The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 1882. Much Ado About Nothing.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at d. 40 p.m. j
Mr Joseph Ivess, like the “ bold bad man ” of one of Miss Braddon’s novels
never forgives, and his resentment is quite as terrible as that of the blood-and-thundervillain aforesaid. Butitdoes not all fall at once on the devoted head of the individual who may be unfortunate enough to excite it; it reveals itself three times a week in print, in the columns of the Mail. The unhappy man who treads on Mr Ivess’ corns may thus expect to be repaid by instalments, and may rest satisfied that those same instalments will be “ continued in our next ” for an indefinite period. Mr Percy Cox has been so unfortunate as to incur Mr Ivess’ displeasure. The history of the whole business is wellknown to our readers, who have long ere this exonerated the late Registrar for the electoral district of Wakanui from the charges of negligence and incapacity brought against him again and again by the proprietor of the Afail. In a series of brilliant leaders, to say nothing about half a score or so of paragraphs, the readers of the latter influential journal are assured that Mr Cox has behaved in the past not only negligently and incapably, but that he is crassly ignorant of law, and that his actions are guided by the worst of bad taste. In fact his shortcomings are sad to think of. But Mr Cox’s sins are not to be visited on the head of the gentleman alone it would seem. Even the firm with which he is connected must come in for a share of abuse. The recent case of Matson, Cox, and Co. v. Le Breton has furnished the Mail with another peg on which to hang disagreeable innuendoes. The case in question was called for hearing at a recent sitting of the Resident Magistrate’s Court. Briefly stated, the claim arose thus : Mr Le Breton, junr., bought certain sheep of Matson, Cox, and Co., and subsequently feeling dissatified with the purchase the animals were re-sold at his risk, but did not fetch the same price on the second occasion. The amount sued for represented the difference. There being no appearance of the defendant when the case was called, judgment was given against him by default, in the usual way. The auctioneers were bound to take the course they did in suing Le Breton for the difference, as otherwise they would, of course, have been compelled to pay the owner of the sheep—from whom they received instructions to sell—the amount themselves. Tire sheep were knocked down to Mr Le Breton, senr., and the firm did not know his son in the transaction. At the last sitting of the Court, Mr Branson appearing on behalf of Le Breton, sen., applied for a re-hearing on the ground that the summons had been served on the wrong person — upon the father, that was, instead of upon the son. Mr Crisp, who appeared for the firm of Matson, Cox and Co., objected to a re-hearing being granted unless the money in dispute was first paid into Court. To this proposition Mr Le Breton, sen., objected, alleging that he did not owe the money, and that his son, and not himself, was responsible for the debt. Mr Crisp, appearing on behalf of Matson, Cox and Co., was perfectly certain that the summons had been rightly served. “Mr Le Breton, sen.,” said Mr Crisp, “is the person we served, the person we sued, and the person we recovered judgment against, but still, we are willing to consent to a re-hearing provided the money is paid into Court, which cannot possibly prejudice the defendant in any way.” This was the substance of the counsel’s address to the Bench, and Mr Beswick refused the re-hearing unless on the condition named—the payment of the money into Court. This, however, the defendant positively declined to accede to, but he certainly did not assign poverty as the reason of his refusal, which the Mail so touchingly insinuates was the cause of his determination. If we are rightly informed, Mr Le Breton, jun., is in the habit of making purchases on his father’s account, or on the joint account of his father and himself. The understanding may very possibly have thus originated. In any case, Mr Le Breton, the elder, was offered a re-hearing by the Bench on the simple condition that he paid the amount sued for into Court, and so it he feels aggrieved he has only himself to thank for it.