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FROM SUVA

♦ Stowaway Hubby Comes Home (From "N.Z. Truth's" Special Auckland Rep.) When the "R.M.S. Aorangi" berthed at the Queen's Wharf a few weeks ago, her passenger list was soon m the hands of the press, and it was not long before Auckland knew who was who. •THERE was one name not included m *■ the list, however, yet it found its way into the papers the next day. That was, the name of Robert Verner Gault, a stowaway from Suva, who was convicted and ordered to pay his fare. Under certain circumstances, New Zealand should have been " the last place on earth for Gault, for when the "Aorangi" butnped the wharf it meant that the sea-going swagger was very soon to bump his head against a few realities that were not to his credit. His appearance m the police court as a stowaway led to his arrest on a charge of false pretences. It was alleged that m 1924 he had misrepresented to a man named Robertson that "his wife had died and he wished to bury her." This affair was said to have brought him m the sum of £3. ' As m the case of the stowaway charge, Gault's relatives came to the rescue. t However much Gault "wished" to bury his wife three years ago, she is still very much alive. She noticed his name m the court news and remarked to Lawyer Moody: "That's him!" So Robert had to toddle round to the Magistrate's Court — fchiß time on the upper deck, the "Agony Court," where hang the lifeboats of separation and maintenance and the maxim is "Wives end children first." Robert Verner is a printer by trade — and a good one, too, according to his wife's statement. In 1920 he tried his hand on the marriage register with Constance Coralie and for twelve months everything was O.K. Then Robert started to interest himself m liquids not usually found m a printing office and certainly not used In the trade. On the grounds of drunkenness, Constance had obtained a separation order, but was later persuaded to return to her husband. He Moved On Again drink upset the Gault abode and another separation order was issued, only for Constance once more to .return to the connubial fold. The couple then went over to Australia, where the matrimonial barque was completely wrecked and an order for separation with maintenance at £2/7/6 a week was made. But Robert, instead of complying with the order— left Sydney— where they had been living, and braved the sandbags and knuckledusters of Melbourne. * He was taken back to Sydney, only to see the sun's rays through the bars of a prison, having been gaoled for wilful disobedience o£ the order. He was released, however, on condition that he complied. But poor Constance saw not the color of Robert's cash, for he disappeared — evidently to |Suva/— 'and she returned to New Zealand. Look at him, your worship," said lawyer Moody, after concluding the history of Gault's eluslveness before Magistrate McKean last week, when separation and maintenance were ask* ed for by the wife. "You will observe that he is well-dressed and prosperouslooking." "The only time my client had any money was when her husband was m gaol — and that was a pension," added counsel. "She earns her own living as a waitress." Robert Verner Gault, who appeared to be a few years older than his dark, smart-looking wife, had Lawyer Matthews to give his side of the affair. So far as his going to Suva was concerned, said counsel, it was an arrangement of the wife's. His client had relatives m Auckland who were doing everything they could to find him employment, but owing to the advent of machinery it was hard to obtain work m his line. At present he was destitute and was being kept by his relatives. Lawyer Moody: "He doesn't want Work!" Lawyer Matthews finally agreed to a separation order and maintenance was fixed at £2 per week.: "I hope he will be given to understand that if he leaves New Zealand he will be guilty of a criminal offence," ©aid the wife's lawyer.

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FROM SUVA NZ Truth, Issue 1135, 1 September 1927

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