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AUSPICIOUS DEA.TH OF TWO GIRLS. i -The death of two srrla, whose bodies were Tpcsntly f> und in the River Lee, near Ware, Hertfordshire, jp, according to a correspondent of the Pall-mall t, isitte, exi ting much interest in the town and v pighbourhood. Oa Sunday evening, the 24th of ] Druary, a girl named Felicitas Squibba, aged 16, i ,:1Y'9 maid to Miss Bonsor, of Great Cozens, Ware, f id Ellen Maddox, aged 2C, living at her father's ) ouae, left their homes about half-past six, ostensibly o go to church. ÅS they did not return, handbills «>:fering £10 reward for information respecting them were issued, but until Tuesday last all that was 11, ,ard of them was that some person had seen t,V>m walking on the Bank of the River Lee, near t ,e village of Stanstead, a place two miles dia- t int from their homes, about half-past seven on the Sunday evening mentioned, and that they were then laughing and talking and walking alone. From some letters lately written by tha girls to their friends, it was ascertained that the girl Maddox had during the past four weeks been clandestinely walking out vith a gentleman whom she described as above her station in life. Her letters also spoke of other young men whom she haddiazarded, and one letter showed that both girls had appointed the Sunday evening in question for another walk. The interest taken in the case by a number of gentlemen in the district w s so great that an order was obtained from the Lee Conservators to draw the water from the river, but just a3 tbis was fioing to be done the bodies of ooth girls were on Tuesday last found in the river near Stanstead. On Wednesday an inquest was held before Mr. Sworder, coroner for Herts. Mr. Hunt, solicitor, watched the case on behalf of the relatives ü! the girl Squibbs and the Rev. Dawson Campbell, vicar of Christ's Church, Ware, watched the case on behalf of the relatives of the girl Maddox, who live in his parish. Mrs. Susan Warner, cook in Mr. Bonsor's family, was called, and questioned by Mr. Hunt about a man said to have lately been a follower" of Ellen Maddox. The woman, however, becoming nervous under the cross-examination, obtained leave to go out of the room for a short time, but instead of re- turning went away. two witnesses stated, that as they were walking from church at Ware, by the side of the river to 8tanstead on the Sunday evening named, they passed two girls answering the descrip- tion of the deceased, and they heard one say to the other, I would not walk along here by myself for all the world." The girls, it was stated, appeared anxious to keep up with company on the road, and were last seen by the river side near Stanstead. The night was dark. William Lambert and a man named Royden, bargeman, proved taking the bodies out of the water. They had no bonnets or hats on. Dr. Butcher, of Ware, said he had examined the bodies, and so far as he could see there were no outward marks of violence. There were abrasions, but such as could be accounted for after death. He had only, in company with Dr. Evans, made a superficial examination, but he should thick they died from suffocation from drowning. Dr. Evans said he concurred in the main with Dr. Butcher, but he would not undertake te say anything without a post-mortem examination. Mrs. Warner, the cook, was then reo called, but it was stated that she had gone home. Mr. Hunt said that on the part of the friends of the girl Squibbs he had to apply for an adjournment, as he thought Warner ought not to be permitted to walk off as she had done. The coroner s.id he could not see any good in ad- journing the case. Mr. Hunt said that a number of letters had been given up to the friends of the de- ceased, some of which showed that the girl had been keeping company with a man an entire stranger to her friends, and that as an appointment had been made for a walk that night, the girl's friends thought that every facility should be given for a full inquiry so as to ascertain in whose company the girls had last been. There were some very mysterious allusions in some of the letters, and varioaa circumstances had come to the knowledge of the girls' friends which ought to be inquired into, and he, therefore, urged that an adjournment should take place. The coroner again said he saw no reason for an adjournment, the only result of which would be scandal upon various persons. Mr. Walter Maddox, brother to the deceased girl Maddox, said that his family had very strong sus- picions that all was not right. The coroner said that if anything could be shown to be wrong, the police would still continue the inquiry. The Rev. Dawson Campbell said that in the interests ef justice he hoped the coroner would give every facility for a full and satisfactory inquiry. The coroner again replied that he could see no use in anv adjournment, and after a long discussion he ordered the room to be cleared, Fivfe minutes afterwards the public were re-admittad, and the coroner said the jury had found a verdict that the twq. girls were found drowned in the river Lee, out how they got into the water there was no evidence to show. The Rev. Dawson Campbell and the friends of the deceased expressed their dissatisfac- tion with the proseedines. On the following afternoon the body of the girl Squibbs was taken home-to God- stone for burial, and the friends applied to a doctor there to open the co#n, and give his opinion as to what they sensidered might be marks of violence on the body. The doctor, however, declined to act without the authority ot a court of law, and it was resolved to allow the funeral to take place, and after- wards to consider the advisability of applying to the Court of Queen's Bench for a mandamus, directing the coroner to reopen the inquiry. LATER. The popular feeling in the locality is not so much directed to the question of bow the deceased came into the water as to the refusal on the part of the coroner to adjourn the inquisition. Had the latter course, however, been adopted, it is doubtful whether the solution of the so called mystery would have advaneed a single stage. Having only been instructed a few hours prior to the inquest, and with but slight material at his command, Mr. Hunt, solicitor, who watched the case on behalf of the relatives of Felicitas Squibbs, felt nevertheless the neces- sity of a postponement of the proceedings, the more so when the witness Warner, from whom he anticipated valuable testimony, broke down and abruptly left the place. The vicar of Christ Church, Ware, has in his possession nearly 200 loiters which belonged to the girl Maddox; and although most of them have reference to clandestine meetings—- some of them, it is said, with a gentleman far above her in position—it is doubtful whether they will throw any light oa the affair- The girl Maddox had been a regular attendant at Christ Church, but for severat weeks had absented herself; and it is thought a little singular that on the Saturday previous to the Sundav on which she was last seen alive she was askea by a neighbour whether she would be at church the next day, to which she replied, No, I have appointed to meet somebody." "Nellie," wad the rejoinder," it may be for the last time." The girl Squibbs had been in the habit of going to the old church of St. Mary's, but on the evening in question she set out to accompany, as was supposed, Maddox to Christ Church. The sequel is known. They were seen at the railway station at Ware on the evening in question (the 24 th ult.), but being too late for the train, they both were seen to walk in the direction of Stanstead, and nothing more was heard of them till their dead bodies were found in the river. The body of Squibbs, which was forwarded to Godstone, Surrey, was interred there on Saturday, and that of Ellen Maddox was consigned to the cemetery at Ware. -—?———————————

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