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i THE DEVYNOCK SENSATION. y POISON FOUND IN BODY. ) /1 OPEN VERDICT RETURNED. After a hearing which lasted for nearly seven g p m 0Q Monday nntil 1 a.m. on ^esday—the Devynock coroner's jury returned 811 open verdict as to the death of a domestic j^'ant named Maggie Symmonds (18), who j'ed suddenly on August 9th at Tylebychan near Devynock, where she was in service. will be remembered that the inquiry was ^Pened by Dr. W. R. Jones, Sennybridge, the 'strict coroner, on August 10th and was Mourned in order that the post mortem lamination might be completed by an Cyst's report. Deceased, who was the daughter of Mr and Edward Symmonds, 35, Newmarch street, ^econ, took up service at Tylebychan on July ^fd for about a fortnight in order to relieve another servant. On Monday morning, August 9th, after milking cows, she fainted, and rolling off a couch died in a quarter of an hour. Dr. Jones was called in and promptly attended, but the girl hud expired before he arrived. In bis evidence at the opening of the inquest, father; Ed ward Symmonds, said his daughter been occupied lately at home, nursing her pother for about two months. On Friday, Jllly 23rd, she went to Tylebychan to relieve the servant, Gertie Metcalfe. Previous to this 8 e had been in service at Merthyr Vale and ^'aencrai. She had always been in good health was never known to have a day's illness in Jjerlife. She was not subject to fits as far as knew, nor had'ehe ever had rheumatic fever. saw ber last alive on Friday afternoon, Aug. jjth, in a little shop in Bridge street, Brecon, she ^ing come to the market. He asked her why had not gone back with the three train and answered that she was only there (at Tyle- [^chan) for a few days. She appeared then in best of spirits, and did not complain to him Of anyone. She bad no quarrel with anyone M home, nor had she any disagreement with mother if anyone should say she had it **°uld not be true. She had no reason to be ^satisfied with her bcme. Her conduct, to best of his knowledge, was good, and he had Ila\'er had any cause to rebuke her. She went to service immediately she left school, when 14 > 15 years of age, and bad served her time at cb place she had stayed. She went straight 10 Tylebycban from nursing her mother, and bad had the latter's consent to go there. She toad paid two visits to her mother while at "ylebychan and the second time Gertie Metcalfe ^as ia the house. There was some unpleasant- ness about ber master (Mr James) when deceased told Gertie Metcalfe that Mr James said he would charge her (Metcalfe) 2s 6d a Week for the keep of her niece, who had been at Tylebychan. Because of this charge J^etcalfe was not willing to go back to Tyle- jtychan, and so she took the child back to lzlgarth. Dr. J. Powell Jeffreys, Sennybridge, also Save evidence at the first day's hearing, stating *«at he, in conjunction with Dr. Shingleton aulith, Brecon, made a postmortem examination o the body of the deceased. At the resumed inquiry, held at the rpTj-rjcc!: Police Station, Mr W. Jones- "illiams, Brecon, again attended to watch the ^tfcrests of the deceased's family and Mr £ Williams was foreman of the jury. Supt. J^ven Jones (Brecon) and Inspector Williams *8tradgynlais) were also present. At the outset the (Dr. W. R. Jones) pressing the jury said they had met at a very ^Portant inquiry which would touch their faience to a great extent, for it would take a long time. Its importance was very very r?rious and he advised them to dismiss from .toeir minds everything they might have heard 5^ore they came into court and form their ver- entirely upon what they heard that eveniHg. i might ask why he had not called them The reason was that be did not receive public analyst's report until the previous ^ednesday and simple as that report was its j stents was such that further and very minute fairies were necessary. The analyst's report, jtkich was dated August 31st and from the I diversity of London, King's College, read as Allows :— Report of resnlt and examination of stomach contents labelled from Dr. Shingleton T^ith, Brecon. The specimen contains ^chnine. The amount actually found was on the total quantity of the specimen 3i grains. Signed Rees P. Charles. "Procbeding the Coroner said that the jury *°Uld gather from the report that the stomach retained 3 £ grains of strychnine and when he them that in medicine only one sixtieth to De-thirtieth of a grain of strychnine was .ed they could understand that a fatal dose ':1)ld be I to t grain, so that 3! grains would sufficient to kill over six persons. SENSATIONAL INTERRUPTION. » At this stage there was a sensational inter- ruption of the Coroner's remarks, when the ^ceased girl's mother, seated behind the u°r°Der, cried out: "She pnt it in the tea," and were shouts of "hush." Continuing, the Coroner remarked that the jj^Btion for the jury to consider was l?* and when was the poison adminis- to the girl. He also referred to the ^^r'toma of strychnine, which he said would much contortion and suffering- Its effect Tery plain to see at the time, and it would v take from a quarter of an hour to an hour V.ta,Je effect. The Coroner was very pleased th • the way in which the police had conducted j inquiry they had made the most minute ^Uiry> but they had not got very conclusive ft ence, yet they had advanced a great deal °Ui the time they met beforf. The police had every energy and ability to trace the girl's b, and it would be for them to hear the Olice-sergeant George Morris, stationed at tLevynock, was the first witness called. He said (kV' °n Monday morning, August 9th, he was on near'Devynock post office about 10a.m. t0 he saw Gertie Metcalfe coming down the on her bicycle and jumping off opposite >Lowell's house. She was crying and was excited. Witness heard her saying to Mrs ^ell, << TbH girl Maggie at our place is 6r in a fit or dead." Witness waited until W?atneon an<* t*ien asked her what was the She said, Oh, that Maggie has fainted I don't know what is the matter with th- *be master asked her about the market last Friday and there was a bit of a ftsj er-" Witness advised her to get the doctor thtS°°D possible. About 2 p.m., when coming Sennybridge 'from other duties, witness u t,lat the 8irl wa8 dead» and then visited ^Vhan farm after s, the Coroner. He ty:. there in company with deceased s father. W?ess found the deceased lying dead on her far* on the floor. He saw Mr James (the r) who told witness that he had called the that morning about 7 to 7-80 o'clock. V.°»n,e- down shortly afterwards, leaving ^toj If Metcalfe in bed, and had breakfast, ^itU Ja«ies had prepared, in company with *fte8tlc* bis son, Thomas James. The deceased r.^ard8 went out and milked two cows. At 8ile wa3 m Iking the cows the son QQaa James was putting calves to suck in MetP8a,me building. During this time the girl ^*8 e came downstairs,and James or Metcalfe NseaPr?i?aring the second breakfast. James deceased to give account of the on the previous Friday, which James "e did on a bit of paper, but she did not the to°Ver any money. When questioned about 0fit deceased said, I have money in the and yon or Gertie can come with me Friday and have it." He then said that JL I there was a cup of tea poured out for the deceased on the table, and placed opposite where she was sitting on the couch in front of the window. Deceased then leaned back on the I couch and made some oh noise, and in a few seconds rolled over on the floor. Gertie Metcalfe went on her bicycle for the doctor, and James stayed in the house with deceased, who he thought died in about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour from the time she fell back on the l couch. The Coroner Did she taste the cup of tea ? Witness No, sir they say No." Continuing, witness said Gertie Metcalfe gave a similar account, but added to it, We bad a bit of a bother last night in Mrs Powell's house in Devynock, but it was nothing, only about a bit of cant. But on the road further up, as passing a pool of water, the deceased said 'If that pool were deep enough you or no one else would take me from it.' Witness asked if anyone else was there, and Gertie said, "Yes, the girl of Baika." Subsequently he went to see the girl of Bailea. and asked her if there was any talk about a pool of water or of suicide, and she said No, not a word, but Maggie Symmonds told me that Gertie Metcalfe was kicking her about and she would have to go home, but we are all going to meet to-night to have it out." (The witness explained here that at this time the girl at Bailea did not know Maggie Symmonds was dead.) Reverting to his evidence given with reference to bis visit to Tylebychan, witness said he asked them if there was any poison in the house, and he proceeded to search a cupboard in the other room or pantry. SEARCH FOR POISON. The Coroner When was this search made ? Witness It was on August 9th. When searching the cupboard Mrs Powell, who was there, brought this bottle (marked 11 poison ") and handed it to me. I asked her where she got it from, and she said, "I took it out to show Gertie Metcalfe and she put it on the bank or on the hedge. She said she found it on the bank once and then on the hedge." I asked them if there was any other poisonous stuff there, and Gertie Metcalfe and Mr James said, I. No." Continuing, witness said Again, on the 3rd of this month I, in company with Inspector Williams, made another search at Tylebychan (we bad been there previously but found nothing), and we were told then by Gertie Metcalfe that there was some poison used for rats. We searched the shelves and found those two (handing in a small bottle and an oblong cardboard box) specimens of rat poison. We took possession of them, and asked again if there was anything more there. They (James and Gertie Metcalfe) said "No." We then left. Again, on the 4tb, we made another visit. We searched about tbe house for a little time. Afterwards, Gertie Metcalfe said, Oh, I forgot to tell you yesterday that we had some other poison, and showed me this glass (pro. ducing a glass) saying, There was a packet of poison in a brown wrapper marked with a red label poison,' and stood in the glass upwards. It was there when I went away, but I can't fiad it since I have been back. I bought it by the master's orders twelve months last spring at Mr Morris the chemist in Brecon. A young man supplied me in the shop and asked me was I sure it was for killing crows and noth- ing else. I don't remember did I sign for it or not. That was for killing crows on the oats last spring." She said it was like a paste of yellow colour. I asked James if be saw it and be said "Yes, we used to spread it on the stones {for the crows to pick up." We again questioned Gertie Metcalfe as to what was on the breakfast table when the deceased rolled over. James said that Maggie Symonds did not drink her cup of tea which was poured out for her, and could not say what had come of it. We afterwards (and we had seen her before) went to see Mrs Powell, Devynock. Mrs Powell went up with Gertie Metcalfe to Tylebychan on the morning of the death. She says there was no tea in any of the cups on the table, but the dirty dishes were moved in a heap in the middle of the table, but at the top end of the table, next to the fireplace, she found a cup similar to this one (produced) which she thought smelt strongly of paraffin. We bad previously questioned Gertie Metcalfe and James if they had used any paraffin in a cup that morning and they said no." The Coroner When did Mrs Powell give you this information first of all ?-Friday or Saturday last. The Coroner She never gave you the infor- mation before—it is three weeks after the event ? Witness I don't think. She had said some. thing to me about paraffin because she had smelt deceased's lips to see if she could not smell any- thing. We questioned Mrs Powell at to whether there was any bother or row on the Sunday night, August 8tb. She said there were a few high words. Mr Jones Williams Were you informed by whom the tea was poured out ? Witness They don't seem clear they don't seem to remenuber who poured the tea out. Had the girl bad a cup of tea earlier that morning ?—Yes, about 7.30, before she went to I milk the cows. And you bad no information from either Met calfe or James until three weeks time about the poison ?-No, until last Friday. And you told them the object of your visits ? —Yes. The Coroner It was after this analysis that, the strictest enquiries were made. Mr Jones Williams Was this bottle full when you had it ? Witness That is exactly as it came to me. James told me that he bad used a little of it for a horse's leg which had been injured. You found no piece of paper ?-No, we made a search everywhere. The Coroner Was anything found in her pockets ? Witness: We found a few sweets in her jacket pocket. Did you examine her bedroom upstairs ?—Yes, and also examined the cowshed but found no- thing suspicious. Did you examine her chest of drawers ?—We examined every drawer in the house and found nothing. Did the boy tell you anything ?—He said de- ceased asked him when he was putting the calves to suck what they were doing sj late about the previous night with the lights. Did the boy see her take anything ?-N,), sir. Can you tell how long she was in the house, after milking until she died ?—They can't say exactly the time. A cheese fell off the table and broke,and deceased assisted Gertie Metcalfe to gather the pieces. Mr Jones Williams Was she fully dressed when you saw ber first ?-Yeg. In reply to Inspector Williams, Ystradgyn- lais, witness said the girl Gertie Metcalfe told him that the colour of the poison in the packet was more of a raddle colour. From inquiries he (the witness) bad made with the chemist be found that there was no strychnine in the mix. ture in the bottle, which was more of an embro cation, and the specimens for rat poisoning con tained no strychnine, but phosporus. NARROWING THE ISSUE. The Coroner So we can put those out of the question. The poison which was found in the body was not in any of the specimens produced. The strychnine is missing. John C. B. Morris, High street, Brecon, cbemist, said he heard the evidence that Gertie Metcalfe had bought some poison at his shop twelve months last spring. He bad no recollec. tion or record whatover about the purchase. I The young man whom Metcalfe described as having sold it her was his own son, who was now serving his country with the Territorials in India, and therefore could not give evidence. Witness did not think Metcalfe's story was true for the reason that be could not find any account of it in his poison book;and they never supplied to females unless well known. The other reason was that he himself or any other chemist would not supply paste poison in a paper parcel. The Coroner Do you know the powder that has been described ?-Oh, that may be any powder coloured red. The Coroner: What powder is generally given for killing crows ?—Strychnine generally. In what quantities do you sell it ?—From 8d. up to 5s. or 6s. worth. How many grains would be in 3d. worth ?— Twenty grains. And that is sufficient to kill how many per- sons ?—About six. Is strychnine coloured ?—Never. Strychnine is never supplied coloured. It is always white or crystal. Well, bow do they deal with it ?-It is dis- solved in water. Strychnine is not soluble in water ?-Hydro. chloride of strychnine is soluble in water.. Proceeding, witness stated the packets pro- duced of rat poisons contained phosphorus. If a poison was supplied for killing crows, it would be strychnine. Mr Jenkin Williams (foreman of the jury) Do you sell strychnine at all without having the signature ?—No. Have you supplied it to any of the parties ? —No. Have you searched your books for signa- tures ?- Yes, for the last three years. I have only had one lady who bought it during that time. The Coroner Have you supplied it to any of the families during the last three weeks ?—No, sir. Mr Jones Williams In any case, you would not have supplied the same person with strych- nine in separate packets on the same day ?—No, Mr Jones Williams Is it used to kill smuts in grain ?—Possibly. Continuing, witness said he sold various quan. tities of strychnine. He could not tell what many of the preparations for rat poisoning con- tained, but it was generally lard and posphorus. Edward Symmonds, deceased's father, again sworn, after having his evidence given at the last hearing read out to him, said that on the morning of August 9tb he went up to the farm and on his way met Miss Metcalfe and criticia. ed her and asked what ever have you been doing to my daughter ? She said .1 I hope you don't think we have done anything to your daughter." Witness said .1 time will tell." They then reached the farm. Before they reached the farm Gertie Metcalfe shouted, and there was a lady, probably Mrs Powell, in the outbuilding. When they got to the house Mr James was there having his dinner. Mr James said that his daughter came in for her second breakfast drank a cup of tea and then staggered back to the couch. She leaned forward and fell to the ground. Supt. Jones: Has daughter got a Post Office account ?-No, sir, she has not. The Coroner Did James tell you anything about the market account ?—Yes, he said they had had a bit of a tiff and they bad made it up. The Coroner Did Mr James say that she could not account for the money she received at the Brecon market ?—Yes, sir. FATHER HAD HIS OWN OPINION. Did they tell you that she was out on Friday night?—Yes, James, Miss Metcalfe and the Sergeant told me that. That she did not return from the market ?— Yes. Did they tell you where she waii ?-No, sir. He thought she had spent the night in an out- building. They said they found traces of some. one lying in the hay. Did you believe that she had not returned on Friday night ?—No, sir. But you had to find fault with her in Brecon that she did not return with the 3 train ?-That was a simple matter. But you did find fault with her ?-Yes, I did find fault with her. Why did you not believe James then, that she did not return on Friday night ?—I have always found her straight. Would you believe that she was out at 10.30 ? —Well, sir, she would not be out if I was there. But you would not believe she was out all Friday night ?-No, sir. I have my opinion. James James, Tylebychan, stated that Gertie Metcalfe was his housekeeper, having been employed by him for three years. She went to Caerphilly on Thursday, July 29tb, with his consent. There was no previous quar- rel. Maggie Symmonds came to take her place on Friday, July 23. The two girls were there un- til the following Friday. Metcalfe was away nioe days and returned on Saturday, August 7, and they were both there until Symmouds' death. Both went out together on Sunday, about 5 80, and returned home 9.15. So far as he could see there was no quarrel. They had some broth for supper and went to bed about 10 o'clock. Mag gie Syminoncls give him satisfaction during the time Gertie Metcalfe was away. She kept good hours. Witness did not know whether deceased cleaned tba cupboards out. He called the two girls on Monday morning about 7 o'clock. Deceased came down about 7 30. She bad her breakfast which be bad prepared. She took a cup of tea. He did not know what she took with it but there was bread and butter and cake on the I table. He took breakfast with her. Sub- sequently she went out between 8 and 9 o clock to milk the cows and was out about 20 minutes. Having taken the milk to the dairy, where Gertie was skimming the milk, deceased returned to the kitchen. She stood in the middle of the kitchen and witness asked her to account for the money she bad received in Brecon market on Friday. She tock a pencil and paper and placed the account down. Witness was satisfied that the account she gave him was correct. Witness asked her where the money was, She replied that she had money in the Post Office; that if Gertie or himself could go with her to Brecon, they could have ii, every halfpenny. They settled for them to go on Friday. There was no row or tiff concerning the matter. There was no more dispute than be had already said. Deceased told him afterwards that she would like to stop there until the fair and that she would pay for her place. Witness replied that they ''should see." The discussion took about ten minutes. Subsequently they went for a second breakfast which Gertie bad pre- pared. He did not think of having a cup of tea, but they wanted him to have a cup with them. He went and the two girls sat at the tabje. Gertie took tea as that was her first breakfast. Maggie bad not taken tea but was sitting on the couch. Gertie poured the tea out and drank it. She also poured a cup from the same teapot for deceased, but she did not drink it. If the father of the deceased said she drank the cup of tea it was not true. The Coroner It is only right for me to say that what Mr James tells me is quite consistent with the story he told me on the morning in question, but I do not think he tells me all the story about the tiff. I understood it was a bigger thing. Continuing witness said deceased never tasted the tea, as she fell suddenly back on the couch. Deceased then twisted backwards, her eyes turned and she foamed at the mouth. He offered her a cup of tea but she did not answer him. Witness asked Gertie to go for the doctor and she went at once. He believed the girl was alive when Gertie left. Deceased had had two fits on the night of July 27th, with a quarter of an hour's interval between each. There was a good deal of twisting going on that night, but she went off quietly when she died, He could not give any reason for the fits. The Coroner Would you be surprised to know that 3f grains of strychnine were found in her stomach ?—I cannot say anything. This girl has been poisoned ?-I can't say anything. THE MASTER PUZZLED. Are you surprised or otherwise that poison was found in her stomach 2-Well she might have taken it. I do not know anything. Did you see her take anything ?—Nothing at all. She went to the kitchen a couple of times. Had you any poisons about the house ?—Yes. When did you discover that you had poison in the bouse ?—When they were brought out. Witness went on to say that he bad some sort of embrocation in a bottle to heal the leg of one of the horses which had been kicked. He had aleo some rat poison and some poison which Gertie obtained of Mr Morris, the chemist, at Brecon, about twelve months ago to poison the crows. It was red in colour and like paste. I That powder be bad missed and he had not seen it since he used it, He did not remember about it, otherwise he would have informed the police. Gertie had been with him for three years and was hot tempered. He had no suspicion that Gertie had given the poison to the girl. He swore that he knew nothing about it. He bad heard that Gertie and deceased had quarrelled on Sunday night but they came back perfectly happy. He bad never heard that she threatened to commit suicide. Questioned by the Foreman of the jury, wit. ness said deceased was quite happy on the morning of her death. The Coroner Did she come home on Friday? -No, sir. She did not come home that night from Brecon ?-No. When did she come ?—She came to the door at twenty to five on Saturday morning. She told me that she had been bad, having fainted in the shop of Mrs Jones, Devynock, and had been to Mrs Powell's house. Was there any young man in her company the night before ?—More than I can tell. I heard somebody came back from Devynock with her. Is it true that you have spoken to this young man since her death ?—Yes. Did you talk about Maggie Symmonds's death? —Yes. What did you talk about?—About her sudden death. The Foreman That boy came with her from Devynock ?—Yes. She confessed herself that she was in the barn and with the boy. The Coroner Can you tell us whether this boy had been courting her ?-Yee, courting Gertie Metcalfe. And the deceased ?—Yes. Was he courting any other girl ?-I don't know. Was there any jealousy on account of Met- calfe on the part of Maggie P—Nothing at all, sir. Was there any jealousy between them about anybody else P—No, sir, A Juror: Has the boy threatened you of saying something ?-No; he has said nothing at all to me. The Coroner Has she excited Gertie Met- calf's jealousy in some way ?-No, sir. The Foreman Had Gertie Metcalfe a child staying with you 1- Yes. Did you have any conversation with the de. ceased that if Gertie Metcalf brought the child back she would have to pay 2s 6d a week for its maintenance ?-No, and if deceased said so it was not true. The Coroner: The child is the daughter of Metcalfe's sister ?—Yes. A Juror How much was the deceased short of the money ?—26s. Dr Lionel Shingleton Smith, Brecon, said he made a post mortem examination of the body of deceased onjj Mopday, August 9th, in com- pany with Dr Jeffreys. There were no marks of violence on the body. They failed to find the cause of death internally, and the stomach was sent away for analysis, and from that report his opinion was that deceased died from strychnine poisoning. In reply to Supt Steven Jones, witness said that if any strychnine had been put in the tea the deceased would have tasted it immediately, as it had a bitter taste. GERTIE METCALFE'S STORY. Gertie Metcalfe, housekeeper for three years at Tylebychan, said she liked her place. but bad had quarrels which were nothing to talk about. The deceased came to Tylebychan on July 23rd, and they were together for six days, and they agreed splendidly. On July 29th witness went to Caerphilly to her sister. She did not go near a chemist's shop during that time, and never bought poison. She returned to Brecon on Friday, August 6th, and met the deceased at her home. Deceased told her that their master was going to charge her 2s 6d a week for her keeping her niece, consequently witness took the little girl to Talgarth. She teturned to Tylebychan by the 6 o'clock train on Saturday, and met the deceased close to the house. Witness turned back with the deceased, and they went to Sennybridge. They were both at Tylebycban on Sunday until 5 30, when they went to Mrs Powell's house. There Alice Williams, the deceased, and herself bad a few words concerning an allegation made by Maggie Symmonds that her master was in the bedroom with witness. Later deceased admitted that there was no truth in what she said. They went home about 7-30 and Fanny Spacey was with them. There was no quarrel on the way home. Witness denied that deceased threatened suicide that evening, but she said that if witness did not take hold of her arm she would jump over the bridge. The Coroner Didn't you tell me that she tbreated suicide that nizbt ?—Yes. In what way ?-By throwing herself over the bridge. Was she tired of her life ?—She did not say anything to cae. Was she happy that day ?—Yes. Continuing, witness said deceased had a fit in bed and was struggling, and she called the master. After twisting her arms about she got better, but she bad another fit in about a quarter of an hour. The following morning deceased got up about 7 30, and witness got up about 8 o'clock. When witness got downstairs deceased was milking. Deceased did not take a second breakfast. Witness made and poured out the tea, and witness and her master drank some. There were no high words concerning the accounts of the marketing on Friday. Deceased was asked to take the cup of tea that witness had poured out for her, but she did not drink it. She was certain the poison was in the glass on the shelf before she went away. She pur- chased the poison at the request of her master at Mr Morris's, the chemist's shop at Brecon, and it was for killing the crows. Deceased could not have taken any poison while in the kitchen. The Coroner Was Maggie jealous of you ? —I don't think she did not tell me. Did she show it by her actions in any way ?- She said that the master had complained about me. Were you jealous of her in any way ?-Not in the least. Is the same boy courting the two of you ?- He was not courting me at the time be was going with her. The Coroner No, be could not coui i both of you at the same time. (Laughter).-It is two months since I was with him. You kew that Maggie was with him ?—She told me so. And you were not jealous ?—Not in the least. The Foreman How is it that you did not say anything about the poison before ?-I forgot about it, but as soon as I remembered I told the police. Is it not a fact that she was dead before you left that morning ?-No, sir, not in the least. Did you not tell a party in Sennybridge that she was dead and cold before you left ?-No sir. The Coroner remarked that she told him she did not know whether deceased was dead or not. r STRONG CRITICISM BY FOREMAN AND CORONER. The Foreman You have given your evidence in a very unsatisfactory way-it is anything but straightforward. The Coroner It is very unsatisfactory, and we don't get the truth from her. Witness said that she was saying the truth. Mr Jones Williams: Why is that child left with you ?—She is my sister's girl and I keep her for company. Did you call your master a-and said that be wanted to marry you three months ago but that your sister came in between you ?-No, sir. Did you say anything about marriage ?-No, sir. Sarah Powell, Tevynock, said the last witness and the deceased came to her house on Sunday night and they had a slight quarrel, but they made it up before they left. Witness went up to Tylebychan with the last witness and in a cor- ner she found a cup in a corner which was empty, but which smelt like as if paraffin had been in it. Alice May Spacey, domestic servant at Bailea, Senny, also gave evidence. A woman sitting behind the Coroner re- marked at this stage that that was not all the evidence, as some people outside said they knew more. The Coroner said that all the persons who knew anything about the case had been called. In summing up the Coroner said they had gone into the case very carefully and left no stone unturned. He had come to the con- clusion that death was due to strychnine poisoning and it was for the jury to consider whether the poison was aaminstered by mistake or misadventure or whether it was given by somebody else. He thought the jury could dismiss the first two of those considera. tions out of their minds. On the third point- whether it had been administered by somebody else-they bad evidence that there was a quarrel between deceased and Metcalfe on Sunday night. There might be some trace of jealousy, and jealousy was one of the worst kinds of human passion. On the other band the girl bad a quarrel with her masterr about money matters and she bad been discovered to have misappropriated her master's money, and when that was found out there was a probabil- ity that the girl was seized with remorse and went to the back kitchen and took something which she had prepared. It was a mystery to him how it was done. The evidence pointing to suicide was very meagre indeed, because there was one thing missing and that was the brown paper, which it was said contained the poison for killing crows, but there was no evidence whatever that the strychnine bad been administer by anybody. He did not think that the evidence was strong enough for them to bring in any verdiot other than an open one, so that the police might make further inquiries. After a short consideration in private, the jury. at about12.45 a.m., found that death was due to strychnine poisoning, but how adminis- tered there was not sufficient evidence to show.





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