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A Cantankerous Cuss. It is some time since Joseph Daltry Billens set out to , preach his peculiar brand of religion m the. streets of Uhristchurch, and was mobbed by an uncoiir crowd. His next . appearance m public was m the Magistrate's Court, where he violently resisted an application that he should pay something towards the support of his two kiddies, his missus (who was afraid to live with him) being satisfied to maintain herself. At the time Billens said all . sorts of vile things about his unfortunate spouse, who is a respectable woman, and acted m an irresponsible manner generally. He was ordered to pay 12s per week towards the support of his offspring, but has lately been so remiss m his duty that he has allowed the sum of £8 15s 6d to accumulate m arrears. Finally he was .arrested m Wellington and brought to the lioly city to explain matters. He has grown a ginger mo. since last seen, but has abated nothing of his fevered loquacity. ."I'm unable to see the children," he told Magistrate Haselden. Apparently the police had instructions to gaol him if he put a foot on his wife's father's property, and he didn't even know the whereabouts of his kids nor of his grass widow, who was allowed to run about the public thoroughfares at night with young men. "SHE .HAS BEEN SEEN WITH . YOUNG MEW," said Billens, passionately, and he named the persons from whom evidence could be obtained on that point. Since the missus deserted him he couldn't find out ncr address, and the circumstance disturbed his fteace of mind. (This paper nearly printed it "piece.") "Tne children are not my children at all," he pursued, with animation, and he gave the name of a witness that could prove that a Mr Masters, of Melbourne, had been guil- ' fey of something very suspicious while the Billenses were m Auckland. Billens also suspected something dreadful about his wife's brother. He quoted Section 142 of an unspecified Act to the effect that after separation a man was not responsible for a woman's wrongs. Billens said he had lost £250 through the vile machinations of his wife's relatives. Sub-Inspector McGrath mentioned that Billens would go on m that strain all day if permitted. Billens : I'm willing to pay for the children, hut I want to Know where they are. The Sub. said the wife was a thoroughly respectable woman, and nothing could be said against her so far as the police knew. Billens lived m Wellington, but travelled throughout the colony. He had money on him (£l2) when arrested. Biilens said he had lost his situation through the arrest m Wellington. His ' Worship : Well, you'll have to go to gaol for three months if you don't pay. Billens : Can I see the children if 1 pay ? His Worship : Where are they '! 1 don't know where they are. Pay— or three months'.

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BILIOUS BILLENS. NZ Truth, Issue 217, 21 August 1909

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