MR. J. B. FAGAN AS CO-RESPON-
MT. James William Ritchie, a merchant of the city of London, was granted a decree nisi recently on his petition for divorce against his wife, Ada Bevan Ritchie, on the ground of her misconduct with Mr James Bernard Fagan, the successful play wright. The suit was undefended.
Mr. Fagan, the son of an Irish doctor was originally an actor in Mr. Benson's company. In 1899 he made his first effort as a writer of plays- with "The Rebels," and afterwards wrote "The Earth" "A Merry Devil," .md "Bella Donna," adapted from Mr. Hitehen's novel.
Mrs. Ritchie, the wife of the pétition in the case, has been acting in "Bclla Donna" under the name '"Mary Grey."
Mr. Ritchie, giving evidence said he was a merchant in the city, and was married at Christ Church, Paddington, on .July 20. 1898. He and his wife lived together at various addresses, including Portman Man- sions and 7, Dorset-square. A child was bom on June 15 1902.
How did you get on during the first few years?-Very well.
In 1900 did she want something to do? -She said she wanted something to do. I did not want her to go in for singing professionaliy, but she said it -was better for her, and I agreed to let her do it.
She went, as we know, on the singing platform, and then she gradually drifted on to the stage?- Yes.' She actually went on the stage, appearing first in "A Walt Dream" about four years ago.
Did you make the aquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Fagan about"October, 1910?-Yes.
You dined wiih bim and his wife?- No; I think he and his wife dined with us.
In that wav 'the acquaintance became established?-Yes.
Did you notice.after a time that he was at your house very often?-I noticed that he was there continually in the afteîrnoon
when I arrived home three or four times a week..
Did you speak to your wife about it? Yes, and she said, "Oh, if you do not like him coming he will not come any more.'" As far as I knew the visits -were discon- tinued. In July of last year my wife had an engagement, at the Stratford-on-Avon Festival and irt was arranged that we should so awa ytogether after that engage
ment had terminated. When the time came she said she was probably going on tour. I had made arrangements for a visit to Pevensey. We had arranged to meet there. When there I heard about Devon- shire. I had a letter from my w:fe saying she wanted a holiday, and she had had a place rccommended to her in Devonshire, and she thought she was going down there for a little time. She thought the boy also might go and spend part of the holiday with her. My boy had been with her at Stratford-on-Avon. He came back to me when she went to Devonshire, and in con- sequence of something I heard from him I made enquiries and I then ascertained what I had suspected-that Mr. Fagan had been associating with my wife.
After obtaining that information what did you do?-I endeavored to induce my wife to come back and give up all associa- tion with Mr. Fagan.
When she did not do so did you even tually file the petition in January this
Evidence was given' that while Mrs. Ritchie was living in Berners Street Man-, sions in October and November last year Mr. Fagan visited her. He called her Mary and she called him "Jim.*"
His lordship granted the petitioner a decree nisi with costs and the custody of
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