FOUND AT LAST.
A WIFE'S STRANGE STORY.
It is not often that a story of a deserted wife's vicissitudes, as sadly romantic as that which was heard by Dr. Giles at the Police Court yesterday morning, comes before the Auckland public. A wife, whose husband left her in Sydney twenty-eight years ago, leaving no trace to indicate whither he had gone, again discovered the wanderer daring the present month, though she had heard no tidings of him for all those long years. The man referred to is Albert Potter, of Mount Eden. The wife, Margaret Ann Potter, immediately set the law in motion, and as a result the husband was charged with having wilfully failed to provide his wife with adequate means of
support. Mr. T. Cotter, who represented the complainant, stated that the parties concerned in the case were married in the neighbourhood of Ballarat in 1853, the wife bringing £3000 as her marriage portion. They kept an hotel at Hobart for some years, and lived happily until 1862, when the husband ran away with another woman. Margaret Ann Potter deposed that she was married to defendant in Ballarat in 1853. Soon afterwards they removed to Hobart, where they lived happily together until 1862. She had five children now living. At the latter end of 1862 her husband left her, going away with a woman named Catherine Whitehouee. Witness followed him to Sydney, taking four of the children with her, and leaving one, an infant in arms, in Hobart. She saw her husband in Sydney in 1864, and took out a summons against him ; but before proceedings could be commenced, he left by the Bellamarina, a transport ship taking soldiers to Auckland, taking the four children with him. She had one child left with her, the baby in arms. Until last March she had received no tidings of him. She had kept herself and the child by nursing. She was 55 years of age, and was solely dependent upon her own exertions for ber livelihood; bat she was not now able to do so much as she was at one time. She had only been in Auckland about six weeks. She knew nothing of her husband's means. He lived at Mount Eden, but she had not seen him, as he had been hidden away as soon as ib was found that she was in Auckland. She had beard it said that he had had a good deal of money in his time, but had gone through it. Her sons, who still lived with theirfather, had asked him what he would do for her, bub he said that he would do nothing ; that he would not even give her a threepenny bit. While at Sydney she had made inquiries as to where he was at the Missing Friends Agency, but they wanted three guineas to run him down, which she could not afford. Dr. Giles thought it very strange that in these days it should take 28 years for her to discover whereabouts in Auckland her husband resided. Witness explained that she did nob know until lately that her husband left Sydney in the Bellamarina for Auckland. When he left Sydney she had no idea where he went. She found out quite accidentally his whereabouts a short time ago. She was nursing o young woman who had come from Auckland, when for some reason or other the thought suddenly suggested itself to "her that her patient might possibly know something of her longlost husband. She accordingly asked, " Have you ever heard of anyone in Auckland by the name of Potter." The patient replied that she knew such a family well, and described them in such a way as to leave hardly any doubt in the witness* mind that it was her husband and children that she referred to. This information led ber to come over to Auckland to prosecute a search, and the result was that she saw her sons as mentioned above. Her husband was still living with the woman with whom be left Hobart in 1862. • Dr.' Giles said, considering the fact that the defendant had not come forward to deny J any -of the statements made, he felt bound to make an order, which would be for the sum off 1 per week.