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DUFFS DILEMMA

A Careless, Calloni Cove MEANDERINGS WITH MAORI MAIDEN. Spouse and Offspring Suffer. '■ (From "Truth's" Otago Rep.) Albert Francis Cameron Duff is ap? parently a careless, if not callous bloke; at least m regard to the matter of the maintenance of his wife and wee 'uns. . Selina, who, m the halcyon days of the ipast, took the name of Duff and undertook to cook for Albert, braved the obvious terrors of the Dunedin City ■Police poon-t to complain of her better half's remissness m not keeping strict-, ly to the letter of a maintenance order. But, Bundle, S-M., was on the bench. The order was one for £2 15s per week for the support /of A.-F.rC.-D.'s wife and three children, and the arrears— up till February last— had amounted to the paltry sum of £44.

The controller of the court (Mr. Harvey), who so frequently has to command "silence" from the solicitor's table, gently ushered Duff into the box and adjured him, by all he held holy, to tell no lies. Duff said he wouldn't tell any. He went on to relate how, up to November last, he was an "electric linesman" m the employ of the City Corppratlon. He had lost that joTj and had been out of work since, and had been living with some FRIENDS IN THE COUNTRY. The court knew it quite (well, (but. still, Duff admitted graciously that the order was made and that he was m arrears* „ . Bundle, S.M.,- then took a hand m the mess and to the man with the second-course name he said, "You iwere before the court m January (for this order, did you pay?" Duff: No; I did a month for that.. S.M.: What have you done to get work? / Duff: I lhad a job to go to,, harvesting, but having to do that month. I lost my chance. To a further inquiry Duff said that since he "came out" early m March he had been m the country and had only earned £4. , .; "With "Hanlonesque" acuteness, then, did the champion of the under- dog, the Rev. V. G. Bryan King, undertake, the cross-examination of the recalcitrant. Duff admitted that he had to leave the employ of the Corporation owing to a, propensity for liquor. He would not, however, admit .that on the day on which the maintenance order was made he !had been under the ■influence of liquor m company with a Maori who was then attending the Maori Land Court. He was not intoxicated, but might (have had '.'a drink' or two"; but not at his own expense. Mr. King: Where have you been living?' Duff: With a Maori . gentleman. . Mr. King: , Did you ever live WITH A MAORI WOMAN? The wife (excitedly) : Yes, he has; and lie has two children by her. Duff: V&3, I have; and I 'have two children by her,The Magistrate: Do you live with ttiis woman? ■ The. wife: Yes, he does and < has for three years. The Court Controller: Silence. Duff, m reply to further questions, cheerfully admitted that he had lived with the Maori lady, but qualified the admission. somewhat by adding: "It was the place I was Stopping at." fA man must stop somewhere," was another explanation, probaibly meant m extenuation. Bundle, S.M.: What sort of a place do these Maori friends of yours keep? Duff: Their own; a sort of farming place. Bundle, S.M«: Do. you .work hard there? Duff: No, not at all hard; just an odd; day. The defendant (Went on to philosophise a bit concerning the mistakes men may make and the liability of each of us to be subject to temptation. He was out short by the Bench. "You will be sentenced to four months' imprisonment," went forth the fiat. Duff: No chance of time? Bundle, S.M. : I'd give you every chance if I thought you deserved it. "What do you know?" said the S.M. to Mr. Brian King, m words perhaps a little different. , The reverend said he didn't think Duff was doing much to find the necessary money. ' . Bundle, S.M. : . Four months' imprisonment; the warrant to be suspended on payment of £ 3 per week. f A PI-EA AND SOME SCORN.

Enter Selina. Duff (the wife): Your Honor, he is sure to be taken back to his work if he would leave the drink alone; his boss told me so. He had to! be dismissed through drink, as the man was m danger of being killed. He was there for ten years. . Whereupon the Rey. Y. G. Bryan King cornered off Duff .obviously, though inaudibly, suggesting the issue of a prohibition order toy consent.

Bundle, S.M. (to the lady); Is there any chance of you and your husband getting 1 together and. talking this matter over? ■ : - . ,■■':

'.'■' Selina (scornfully) : Indeed, . no; 111 have nothing to say to him.

In a lower tone she added> as she passed . the press- table: "I (wouldn't lower myelf.",, \. / ■■; : ,-

Bundle, S.M;, repeated his pronouncement of a few minutes, previously,' but added that the first payment must be made by April 28. ■•V

Nobody can explain why there . has up to now, been no divorce 1 proceedings. They are costly.

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DUFFS DILEMMA NZ Truth, Issue 858, 29 April 1922

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