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"CUNNING GREEKS#B", 1 Alleged Wicked Plot I I SKIPPER'S AMAZING LETTER 1 I BRITISH STANDARD'S LOSSl I Deep interest was taken in a Board of ¡ Trade inquiry held at the Nisi Prins Court of the Cardiff Izw Courts to-day into the cir- cumstances attending the lose of the steam- ship British Standard, owned by the British Standard Steamship OoTixpaTiy, off Negro Point,' Brazil, in May last. The proceedings were conducted before the Stipendiary (Mr. T. W. Lewis) and the assessors. Mr. T. C. Horridge, K.C.. Mr. Hamer Greenwood, a.nd ifr. Vaux (instructed by Sir Ellis Cunliffe, solicitor to the Board of Trade) appeared for the Board of Trade; Mr. S. Williams (Jn&tructed by M'TS. Le?ig and Lewis, Jx>n- don) for the underwriters; Mr. L. H. Hornby (Newport) for the master; Mr. H. M. Ingle- dew (Messrs. Ingledew and Sons) for the three engineers, while the first and second officers were not legally represented. [r. Hamer Greenwood, in opening the pro- oeedings for the Board of Trade, said this was an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping I Act of 1894; into the loss of the British Stan- dard. belonging to the port of Cardiff, which occurred on the 25th of May last whilst on a voyage with a cargo of 5,500 tons of coa-l from the Bristol Channel to Bit de Janeiro. The British Standard belonged to the British J Standard Ste.am.l1jp Company (Limited), of London. the managing owners being Messrs. Brawn. ??oa, and Co. (Lim1too), of Cardiff. ?he was a new sTup. built at Sunderland, and this was her maiden voyage. The British I Standard left Cardiff on the 25th of April, and there was no incident of note in connec- tion with the voyage uaitil the early morning of the 25th of May, just a month after she iait Cardiff, when off Negro Point, on the Brazilian Coast. The ship suddenly struck what was described by those on board as a reef. a derelict, or &ome other object, not shown on the chart, and after "thumping and scraping," filled and sank. This being an inquiry into the lois of a new -ship, on her maiden voyage, within fifteen miles of the coast, in calm weather, and within 341 mile. of her port of destination, it was neces- sary that he should give a somewhat detailed open in? statement. I She Ran Ashore It was incumbent that he should point out, lS a matter of fact, aJthough he did not attach any particular importance to the cir- cumstance, that on the 16th of April the British Standard left Sunderland for Cardiff, and while on the run to the Bristol Channel fclie ran ashore, but came off on the next tide, and also in the Penarth Roads collided with the steamer RiTer Plate. When the ship Oape Negro, about ten minutes past two in the morn i rug, she struck some I mysterious object, and a6 she rapidly filled the crew took to the boats, were rescued by the Brazilian schooner Condor, and landed at Cape Frio, being transferred to Rio de .Janeiro, and sent home to Southampton. Mr. Greenwood read extracts from the memorandum of association, and the pro- «spectus of Messrs. Brawn, Sons, and Co., with reference to tile purchase and management ff the British Standard, which had been I b'l:lt at a total cost of S-33,673, and insured &t Iioyd'a for £ S5,300. The captain of the ship, Mr. Pan! A. Brawn, was a shareholder to the extent of £:;00. and although his name was spelt differently it was admitted that Captain Brawn was a brother of the registered manager. Mr. Frederick Brawn, and out of the 961 -hta'res in the ship 675 were held by members of the Brawn family. It wat- pointed out tjiat Messrs. Wi'so?s and Co., to whom the a.rgo had ?)ee? consigned, had advanced ?1.500 to the man?ia? owners on account of freight. t "A Very Mixed Crew." j There was no evidence, as he had already pointed cut. of anything out of the ordinary ooouring during the voyage from the time the ship, Y, -bic -h had a very mixed crew" of 26 lut-ilds, left Cardiff till she passed St. Vin- cent, and then some suspicion seemed to have been aroused in the mind of the look- ] out man I hat the ship was "running straight for the land." hut on this point there was a good deal of oonfliot of evidence amonsrst th^e on board. When the ship 9.rr;.ed at Point Negro, on the afternoon of the 24th of May, .-he was running at about six knots an hour, the captain heirs anxious, it was explained, to enter B-io in daylight. Shortly after two o'clock on the morning Tf the 25th, according to the statement of the captain, and this was borne oInt the chief officer, a grinding or rrating sound was suddenly heard, but nothing could be Reen. Orders were given W> put the ship astern, but the engines efue.d to work. and the wheel was jambed. 'hen all at once the cng'nes ran rapidly, as If the ship lad loot her propeller. The ship filling, and p cast of ths lead showed they were in about 55 fathoms of water. There wx-i every indication that the ship was rapidly sinking, and the captain and cro-v took to the boats, which rowed away for about an hour, and then one of the boats returned to the ship, the captain and the first and third engineers iyoing aboard; but the chief < ffi^er called them back, as the ship "was going down, and a'. half-past seven she disappeared stern foremost. There was some evidence that the reason why the captain went back to the ship was tD put out the light, but ?his was denied by Captain Brawn. At the conclusion d his opening addrefw Mr. Hamar Gre&nw&od called the first WÏtI!e6B./ c( Dark Insinuations Mr. Greens-?od then read c?rr?ponden&e and caht?i.'m m?-Hgea from Captain Brawn and Messrs. Brawn, Sons, and Co. Having L-iven..similar detail;- of the accident to those contained in the pi-e. viously cited by counsel, the captain's letter ¡ to thi." firm proceeded:— I herebi forward abstract of mate's log- I book, which is all exact copy. I al8'o I enclose copy of protest need at Rio. As tliis letter wiH get homo before me. you can conic- to Southampton with a notary to get the protest signed.1 did not ta,ll you ill my last letter that on board the schooner (which picked them up) the don key man made a statement- to me. and when I wanted his signature, he demanded £ 50, saying we knew 'niuc.li mid making dark insinuations, which made me think the man was crazy a cunning rogue of the deepest dye. That I was thoroughly Upset and most astounded at the man's 00 >1 audacity and boundless impudence is not saying much. Upon reflection, I saw he is deeply cimnins- He speaks Greek to h.is countrymen, and they a-li support him. He also went to the sailors and firemen telling them they most all stand together and compel Hie captain to pay them L30 apiece. I have witnesses hs cier,an(Icd 150 from me. I thought at first all tliia was real bluff, Jtud so did the sajiors. Nevdr Liked Creeks" At Rio this man and three other Greek sailors made statements to the Consul to the effect that I had run the vessel full of water and sank her. and, although it is difficult to see how a steamer can sink at filling the tanks, yet the Board of Trade, especially the underwriters, will eoize upon this like crows upon carrion. Already 1 see the newspapers blazing my name abroad with headlines in Large type. This donkey- man is well informed of the loss of your previous steamer, and his idea, evidently is that to avoid foul allegations you will rather pay, or, failing that, he thinks the underwriters will recompense him as the only honest Greek that every lived. I never liked Greeks, and it is a lesson to you to never have a,nything to do with them. If we had had a British crew, we shculd ]lot now be tronbled with these rogues. The worst Britisher is a thousand times more honourable than the best of Greeks. If Y- could only get Dennis to trap these wretches I would not mind pay- ing to bring that proverb right, "Whoever diggeth a pit. falleth himself therein." This doukeyman is full of cunning, and he must lie trapped by greater cunning. Supposing be was trapped in going to your office demanding your money, you could have a detective hiding who could pounce upon them at the right moment. That, would oocnvict them and be making assurance doubly sure. The Wicked Plot." I I X may mention tdiat Lne QAb(i the T<eGt of them saw that the Greeks made charges against me. They caane and told me what they knew a-lxvut them, but the Consul would hear no more, and remitted all to London. Having dealt with eoane details, the writer Voceeded: It is a-lso very important that their state- ments should be taken before they are tampered with. I cannot tell you how much worried I a.m by this wicked plot hatched against me by this oily. cunning Greek. I never realised until now how much real mischief one wicked man can do to the character of an imiooent man. "Throw plenty of mud and some is sure to stick" is a.n old maxim that hiae deep trath in it. This mud-thixywing business ill never out of my samd day or ujchu I I feel nervous, and do not know whether I am on my head or on my heels. Friends are always feeble as oompared with crafty- blooded enemies. Sorry for the loss of your steamer. I remain, with deepest regret, your most obedient servant, PAUL A. BRAWN. "Act Promptly, Cautiously." Mr. Greenwood then read the fallowing cablegram despatched by the captain to j Messrs. Brown;— Greek sailors have informed Lloyd's agent steamer has been scuttled. Endeavour to induce Dennis by all and every means possible, upon arrival. Greeks to trap with cunning. You may promise Dennis a large amount. Greeks must demand money. Don't offer any. Witnesses must' be concealed. Have already some witnesses that they demanded money, extorting blackmail, as it is called. Come to Southampton with solicitor at once. Take statements of witnesses before they reach Cardiff. Come: am afraid the insurance people have solicitor waiting. Act promptly, act cautiously. Bring C591 travelling expenses. The crew to Cardiff to be pa.id. Engineers want money. Bring me one pair of boots. (Laughter.) Counsel then proceeded with the examina- tion of witnesses, who gave formal evidence as to the registering of the ship and details ae to its construction, &c. (Proceeding.)

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