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THE EXHUMATION CASE.|

CONTINUATION OF THE INQUEST.

IMPORTANT EVIDENCE.

THE CHIEF STEWARD'S STORY.

The luquost into the circumstances connected with the death of Patrick Conway, who died Buddenly on the steamer 1 aluno ou Tobruary 19, while ona passage from Wellington to Sydney, waa continued at the South Morgue joatorday before the Deputy Coroner (Dr It H lodd\ andu .ury

Mr Tillott, of the Crown Law Department ap- peared on behalf of the Crown , and Mr Mack, instructed by Mr M as, appeared for Mrs Jane

Smith

James rietcher said time he was chief «toward on the steamer Talune oh her last trip from New Zea- land to Sydney There was a steerage passenger ou board named Patrick Conway, and a saloon piaaen ger named Mrs Smith Hie lady joined the atnp at Lyttleton, anti had a tingle ticket to Wellington Sha intamowed witness about nu hour beforo the boat left Wellington, and told bim that she was short I of tho passage money to ¡sydney by £1, and that she did not want to travel steerage She naltod if wit- ness could eivo a saloon passage if sho _¡ava hoi luggage as security Witness tnld her that it was au unusual thing, ont as tho office wai closod on Saturday attornoon thoy conaanttd to keep tho lug gago us a security After thu vessel loft Wellington they collected tickets Witness went to Mrs Smith, and she told him that ehe wished to keep one of the sovereigns nhe had, as it wa, ii Jubilee ooyoreign As she was already short of ¿1, he consented and collected £4, leaving a balance nf £2 to be paid on arnval in Sydney In tho ooursa of tho conversation Mrs Smith told witness that she had u draft for £i0, which by some mistake had been forwirdod on to Sydnov It should have beau cashe I in Wel- lington Immediately after dinner, on Tcbruarr 19, witness met Mrs ¡smith-she was walking from the saloon and going forward on tho starboard alleyway As »ho owed »ho said " I bavo something1 for a friend , you don't mind, do you," and witness replied, " Certainly not " She was carrying something in hor hand covered with a napKin, It was completely covered, but had the appearance of a plata with a glass on it About 8 ¿0 that night witness was sent for and went to No I hatch, where he saw ducBaaed lying on his back struggling Ho asked him whit waa the matter, and deceased replied, " I don't kniw, I haye never felt Uko this beforo in my life " 1 ho cap- tain instructed witness to Sud a certain lady on board, nud lie immediately went to Mm ¡smith, who waa m her cabin. TI e asked her if she know a pasaeoger named Conway, and abo replied thnt she knew him «lightly, and that ho had assisted Per to got her lug- gage on hoard the ship Witness then uskod her if she know any of his pooplo or if ehe could tell him anything about deceased She asked why ha made the inquiry, and was informed that ha was ill on the forehatch Witness said that ho lina been told that Conway'» wife was ou board She roplicd that sho did not know he waa married Mrs Smith did not go to see Conway Witness asked deceased if he had any pinn, and he replied that liri had no pam, but could not describo the feeling ho had Deceased ap- peared to be in dread of something he could not ozpresB After Conway died the bodv was sewn up in canvas, and placed on the brnlgo Docuased'a pockets wore not seurched that night, hut _a the fol- lón ing day After Conway dieri the captain _,avo witness certain instructions, und ho wont again to seo Mrs Smith Ho asked hor if she could lot thom kaoHr anything about deceased's people, and she Slid, " Why, is he worse i " Wituose told her then that he had died Sha passed the remark, " Poor fol- low " and told him that she knew deceased's sister, who lived at Dunedin When the vonnol um ved lu Sydnoy she told witness that one time sho had given Conway somo employment doing her gardo« ne hid been out ot work, and was not too well eli

Witness thought from the conversation that Mrs Smith waa only slightly acquainted with the deceisel Tho vcusol loft for Newcastle lit 1 » m on February 21, and witness Nd a conversa tun with Mrs Smith in the miloon before tho vessel

sailed blio explained that elie liad been unable to cash a draft He told her that it hld put thom to great inconvenience not being ablo to pay tho money into the olïïce She th«n said '* Vory well, Mr Fletcher," and left lum, returning in u minuto uith the ¿jl, winch she pilli turu Sne weut ashore Witaess saw her oa the following Saturday aud t lid her that a. detective was on board tho ship and wished to see her Ou onn occasion during tim voyage she told witness that alio had suved the hie of a child and that an insurance policy for £j00 h id been taken out on the child's life in ber favoui She also said that tha child wns dyin¿ of consumption, and when it died she should roooive the money The child's parents sho said had offered tier a free trip round tho world

By Mr Mack . Mrs bmitn was quito oilm when he told her of Conwny's death, and did not show any signs of agitation

Tanny M'Donald said she wat a Btewardoss on the steamer Talune On the last trip Mrs bmith occu- pied berth No 83 arid there was also anotliLr pisseugor named Miss Huddleston in the cabin Witness entered the cabin to take the order for lunch ou, robruary 19, and Mrs bmith s lid to her, " What Bort of poison is strychnine ? " Witniss replied that sho did not know anything about strychnine, but beliovod it wat much used in medicine Mrs Sirith then said, " Is it white powder ? " Miss Hu idleston, who W3B alto in the cabin, said " I believo it 13 arteaic, that in a white powder ' About 6 KI p m the same dar Mr« bmith ordered a pint of stout, and said, " I don t want to take it just now, but you tuny as well brmg it. Witness took her a pint bottlB of stout with the cork drawn A fen minute* later witness took dinner to Mrs bmith and Miss Huddleston About 8 30 p m witness saw Mrs

Smith ut the foot of the companion ladder on the matu dock Sho said that she had been to the other end of the vefisel to see some ladies bho had often spokon of two ladies who were travelling steerage as friends of a Miss Brown, who had travelled from Lyttolton to Wellington Mrs bmith was wearing u liebt macintosh coat and fuilor hat bho told witness that her husband bad employed deceased for a, wcok or two doing odd jobs about the garden She believed that Conway was a poor man goiug to bydnoy to look for work Aftor Conway s death witness found the stout bottle iii the rack over Mrs bmith's berth bho left it lu the rack until th9 steamer roic-hol Sydney, when she threw it overboard Mn bmith leit the voissl at 1 30 p ra , but she dil not tako auv luggage with her She returned to tho ship about 4pm, and witness asked her if she had found her undo She had pre- viously said that her uncle was the mdcncrer of the gasworks in Kent-strnet, und asked wittto<s tu direct her there Mrs Smith said that wnou sha got there it was not his shift ou, as he was on the night shift bbo also saul that she had gone to his 1 rivate residence at Paddington, but tbey were all out

Witncts siw hor again on the Saturday before the steamer left for Nov. "oalnnd, when M« Smith called to pav her and the oilier stewardess £2, which (hoy hud lent hor to pav the bal ince duo ou her

tu.kot

By a juror Plums wore served for dinuor on February 19 Mrs bmith said that she had a draft for £ 1O, which had been sent to Sydney instead of a Now Zealand port

_v Mr inlett- There was about half a glist of stout in tho bottle when witness lojk it from the rsLk Mrs bmith had ordered stout oa severs! occasions during the voyage

V. alter Strachau, a greiser ou the Talune, said that be noticed Mrs Smith on board the steamer ou the lost trip from New Zeal md to Sydney On tim night Conway diod she passed him lu thostarboarl alleyway about 8 10 o'clock Sha wat carrying some- thing under a nipkin vi Indi appeared to him to be a bettie Shortly afterwards ho saw her seated oil No ¿ hatch 111 company with Conviy bhe ap- peared to band lum what oho had beau carrying unrtor the unpkin Witness weat tor'urd, and whuu ho returned thoy wero still sitting there Mrs bnuth presently got up dud went aft, mid Conway got up und walked to where some lu les wera He staggered us he did du, and some people went to his ossistanc«

When witness passed Mrs Smith iii the nllov icuy she wat wearing a long cloak Binni ir to the ouo she had on io court und a small straw hat Witness knew 11 man named Allen who worked hit pats&go by tha steamer on her last trip Tho morning after Conwny's death ho found hiui Ijiug outside hin bunk, apparently in a lit

Eluibetli Hoaly said tho wes a houaamoid em- ployed at tho Boyal Giorge Hotel, Sussex-street, She remombored Mrs. Smitn going to the hotel at the end of February bhe told witness that she was looking for a Mrs Brown on board the Talune, but conld not lind bar and mot a Mr Conway bhe wat going to give Mrs Brown some biscuits and plums and as she did not see her she gave thom to Mr. ConwBv Ou March 1 Mrs Smith went into tho kitehon and asked witness if sho wouldsleep with her, as she was frightened to sloop by her- self Witne«s slept with Mrs Smith that night, and Bhe kept jumpiug up in the bed and saying that there wat BOmeono in tho room, and asked witnept to got a light bhe told witneit about four or five days before she was arrested that she had a box at hu- aunt Kate's ia Padding- ton, and had soitio silk dresses 111 it, three diamond rings, one gentleman's gold watch, three lady's gold watches, and oilier jewellery bho said she lind willed t-o of the witches to her sisters m New /elland before she loft Mrs bmith told witnBis not to tay anything about tho gentleman'« I watch On March 4 Bhe enid Hist she had Bout £200 worth of boots to her husband in Now Zealand out of the £oU0 Bhe had received for raviug u child's life She further and that the child was sick aud if it died Bhe would trot the money it wus insured for On Saturday, March I, after Bbo bad viewed the body of deceased, she toDk a newspaper into the dining room, aud said, ' Good God, it is a supposed

poisomug case," an 1 went quite white She laid I " All I gave him was biscuits und plums " '

By Mr lillett Stn Smith «aid that Mr Conway had money and jewell»ry, bul it was taken, and they did not kuow by whom.

At this stage the inquest was adjourned until 10 a m on Thursday, March 28, at tho Coroner's Court.

- I

At the last moetiug of the provisional committee of the Australian Historical Society, Dr. Houison presided, and the following were present :-Messrs. Norman bolfo, E Dowling, J. P. M'Quanne, F. Walker, and E Stack. Dr. Houison read an in- teresting paper dealing with the *'Tank Stream " from its origin in the early days, when its clear and pollucid waters were as nature made thom, and on through its various stages of use and misuse, until the time when its course waa blol ted out by build- ings und street improvements Dr. Houison also exhibited a map showing the configurations of the stream aud the spot where it had ita original source, bince tho formation of the provisional committee some interesting pupora have bcou contributed from time to timo by Mr A. Leo, " Landing of liovernor Phillip , "' and Mr. J P. M'Guiiuno, "Th, lllumiuu 1 tiona et Surly Sydney."

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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