Chapter 169753239

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Url
Full Date1896-11-29
Page Number8
Word Count2629
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleTruth (Sydney)
Trove TitleAn Australian Anarchist
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fffc y ? m ? ' | IIISTIJAUM

, (B* V. L. THOMAS.)


: 'Bdbday Bun Hohbsti * — 'All the Last News Ihe Watson Poisoning Case'*— ' Yesterday's Tblal'— ' Fdll ^.s:'v Account ' The Judge's Summing SJfcj- Up ' Vebdict and Sentence l ' Scenes in Couet ' Fold Repobt pf- « Sunday Sun,' oe « Honesty «Tup pence Bach!'

'fj .... Boch were the newsboys' disjointed cries, £V as they disturbed the Sunday morning air of Algernon-street, North Sydney. The experienced end expectant eye of the urchin noticed the form of a man in |Pv.' pyjamas at the door opening on one of i. the balconies at the quiet terrace. He i ; r fkgeriy enquired;, Jv . . ' fju ' or ' Honi'sty,' eir ? Which ?' L-;,. The man laconically replied,

'Both. Never mind the change.' Doubling the papers into tare email bnndles, the lad ilung tiiem up with euch accuracy that they tiolh, fell at the man's tOMe Then, picking up the silver coin as it rebounded £ren- the pavement, the eeller aped along, .shunting at the top of hiB ebrill voice the announcements -calculated , to attract customers for his wares. The buyer stooped, picked ap the papers, and as'he unfolded tbem, muttered— ''The 'Sun '«ia better for a fair, full, 'C^md unvarnished^ Pepert than '* Honesty,' ao-oalled, I presume, on .the Incut non luctndo principle, for crisp comment I T ' presume that the editor can't have much * to say, as the time was bo short. He opened the folde of the 'Sunday Sun.' and directed his eye to page 5. The Yankee 'eoare headings' in bold black letter?, evidently designed for the con venience of a people who skip, rather than read, their papere, were murely a cepy of the youthful newsvendor'a shrill crieB, which had disturbed the air a few minutes before. Squatting himself on . the rock ing-chair, which usually adorn* Sydney bud urban balconies, the man begun to fciuL At the foot of the bold black liead ! lines (he reporter's plain but by no moans J unvarnished tale, went on aB follows ' Late last night, in fact almost, at ;the witching hour, immortalised by the Bard : of Aven, there was rang down at Darling hnrst .Courthouse the final scene— if we' except the epilogue in which the public exeoutiener takes so prominent a part — of a tragedy, which has, for some past, cast a sombio gloom over our public life.' 'It is needless to say that we allude to the ' Watson Poisoning Case.' With the fotpiia of that esse, already described at euch length in these columns, we shall : not now bore our readers, who must already be apprised of the salient points. Still a few preliminary remarks may be accessary: — 'The victim, Walter Watson, member . of the New South Wales Assembly, was one of our beBt-known public men. A few , years ago, he was justly regarded as our ?; most promising leegislator, and had be v only possessed a little of that ballast, un fortunately too often divorced from telenta ofthe very highest, order, be might have ^EttMfied^ the pinnacle of New South ' 'Wji«8— asy, with 'Federation in the - nii^V^e might say Australian — political ISjIfn rHofortiinately, the jpbgwee of V youth, andthe eccentricity eo Often allied. prevented ..hio undoubted taipnte, |&16|S^?weg- A** itfber kection of, p4 public opinion, influenced by solidity: S'ritiier; than brilliancy. There is every $-^ouw to believe that,' with the mellowing. If prbceseof years, certain faults of youth Iff would have been toned down, and tha f Walter Watson would ltave appealed: to : S tite respect, ae well as the admiration, of ; if- bis countrymen. .- 'Cutdownin the flower -of his youtb, his'iend would in any case have.been sad ; ' the 'foul way in which : that endwas brought about has excited the horror, aa: i. well as the grief, of the public who loved ? bii» at heart The very manner ef his : ? death baa evoked the deepest sympathy Afromthese who did not always approve of! P igs conduct in life. The - use of the knife repugnant te the Britisher, who avenges i Mb wrongs by the use of bis Sets. But -- though the assassin's dagger may be 4 palliated, in the British -and Australian |li3-itaBt-ithere iB no sympathy with the K'^fEpul sxt of the poisoner. And that Walter ® ;''jfirat»(m was poisoned there can be no fe-ldonbfc fe^I'It will be remembered that nearly two IfS^enio'ago, for disorderly conduct, which f'- 'too often marred one the vety brightest 8?-. parliamentary careers in eur record, he W: came into collision with the Speaker, who ordered .him to be excluded from the If - Chamber during the remainder of the fite' sitting. Hie marvellous knowledge gs! : f of the rules ef the House and Farliamen-; iff tary procedure in general enabled him to , hi.- . 'WificUy see that opr ' first commoner ' and .

|; ihighest legislative officer, .while virtually p: correct, wee technically wrong in his V' vhiing. How the was matter fought cut sS in our law courts, and finally carried to the rrivy Canncil to end in tiie victory ot the §e& yonng and irresponsible legislator, and in If: the diaoomforture ef theNpeaker, baeked fei cp by the law officers and the Govem |?'i vnent, arc now common history and need not tie repeated here. J t ip'-V 'There is no donbt that during his visit IK ::-**jElfiglaiid,' where he Conducted his case. Ef ^^srkedxnOi^ pU^W^farified Iw wsme ..peculiar aeseciatidas.- It cooasloh p-'tibMU; old in the,^ home papers that -f r i^^ed ^Mrl^h^o^^^iSttd's ^ri&bw lawyers, his eccentricities ia pe- Mother brought discredit on Australia, p . -He fell into bid , company with results ' . . which led to an eably and terrible . death. W llethore made the acquaintance ofthe p . adventniess n'ow convicted ef murdering illfiibim. Beth came out to Anstralia together. W?, fjM the beginning of her. Australian career ' he befriended her, and her succsbb ae a If leoturer on Woman's Bights, as concert : singer (in which lines she displayed talent, ^fjf.not absolute genius) was, in a great iSf-jsteBBure, dne to his influence. Ipff :'Bits. directly she parted from the K^ sbaiHftf orward path of honesty, Waltsr ^flSjRKen, noted for his hatred of sham and felsHsvananarv. was her friend* no more'. W bile

lll^aU'Sydney believed in Madame Violin's ^^httutiietio pewera, and flecked U her ^KlAMii'eaB, * he remained dubious. The man jpfc£a^, from bis place in Parliament, had BPaMWAa- ae.-manv ahania and frauds, end ^£rimd/wluitever his faults, -was .eta ready K^idiexpbse wrong-doing and-proteot the Kta^Shc, wai not likely .to tetand idly by ^'-'A^Aae tite people duped and fleeced by p'- WES introduoad to Sydney by himself. & VHoW be brought about the culminating. K met efexnoaiirewae fully desoribed intbis W- :^mnal at the time, and must be familiar ||%y- *Aiwtoad*rg. There is every reason te that sh^ a vindiotiva foreigner, y^ESaw vesen^d Ae expssure irhieh

deprived bar of a lucrative calling, and brought ridicule on her head. She was heard to utter threats against him, and they became estranged. ** Our readers will remember the horror with which Australia heard, just two months ege, that Walter Watson's corpse was found in Madame Violini's room. A cursory examination showed that he had been poisoned. How he had come there, and why, were the most puzzling pointB of a very mysterious case. The very fact of his having died there, above all places in the world, was, considering the bad blood known to exist, between tbem, on her part, at any rate, a most auspicious circumstance, eo no one was surprised to learn that Madame Violini was arrested within a few hours on a charge of having

wilfully murdered Walter Watson. The proceedings at the Coronet's Court and the Police Conrt, which ended in her com mittal are too fresh in the pnblic mind to here need recapitulation. The case came on last Wednesday, and wa need net state was closely and attentively followed by all AustraUn. 'As soon ms it became knows that; in consequence of Mr. : Justice Deacon's de parture for India .on a well-merited holi day the court wonld ait en Friday evening, the attendance, as wellaepnblicexcitement, increased. - Mr. Morton, the prisoner's counsel, who for a young practitioner has conducted the defence with remarkable ability, began his address at 7 o'clock on Friday evening. Aproaching 9 p.m. something like a scene occurred. The young barrister informed the Oonrt that having been forced to follow the case for three days, mad having been in attendance since 9 a.m. that day, physical exhaustion prevented hini from doing justice to his client ; so on that account be asked for an adjonrnment. This his Honor refused, saying that the case most proceed, upon which counsel left the conrt. Yesterday's ners, however, erred in eaying that be flung up his brief, for he wee in attendance when the case was resumed. 'When the court opened at 9 am. yesterday the learned judge began bis summing up. He commenced by remind ing the jury that, while in many respects a remarkable case, it presented very little difficulties to them in their task of arriv ing at a right conclusion. Beyond a donbt the deceased, Walter Watson, had been fonllv murdered. The next question

was, had he been murdered by the prisoner at the bar ? In cases of that kind the qnestion of motive was all important People did net commit murders nnless actuated by seme powerful object, such as gain, jealousy, or revenge. Was there snoh a motive in the present instance ? The evidence undoubtedly showed that there was. It wat; proved that -the prisoner bore a grudge against the (deceased, and had even threatened him. Her very foreign extraction pointed to a vindictive nature. Beside the body was found a phial obtained in a Parisian shop, for it bore the shopkeeper's label ; such another was found in accused's box. and, beyond a doubt, she bad lived in Paris a few years ago. Tho defending counsel made much of the fact that no poison was found in the remains ; but against this were the facts that deceased ImmI undoubtedly been poisoned, and the hypothesis put forward by the prosecution tbi it two poisons had been used, and that thine had so neutralised ene another that the residue had been absorbed in the pro cess ef chemical combination, so as to leave no trace. Then again, poisoning was a woman's crime, generally.' 'Hie Honor's summing up finished a little before neon, and all in court felt certain that the jury would not be long in arriving at a conclusion. The general opinion was.that the case had gone agsinpt the prisoner. , . ; ? ' Contrary lo expectation, however, the afternoon p«mo£, apd still. the jury.did.not appear. .. . Yet .the expectant crowd re mained. The shpdes of night fell end still the spectators were in attendance. 'There was a hush of excitement, when at 8.30 p.m. the judge resumed his eeat. and the jurymen slowly , filed into their places. In answer to the usual query -tha foreman ?aid they were unable te agree. The learned judge expressed his sorrow and surprise at this, for to hie mind- the case was perfectly .clear, and he was . sur prised to find any hesitation. He, ho waver, badAo . alternative but to look: thekn up until Honday morning; and7 might remind them that had they any qualmish, repug nance to. the' death penalty, ho would for ward to the proper source any recom mendation to mercy which might aocom pany their verdict In half-an-henr the Jury came black. They were now agreed. The verdict was guilty, . with a strong reoemmendatien to meroy on account ef the prisoner's youth. ' In answer to-the stereetypod query as to whether the death penalty should not be inflicted, the prisoner, in broken ' English; denounced law in general and, while pro testing her innooenoe, stated that she had no confidence in tho administration of justice, while the 7 worst scoundrels on God's earth «re at the head of the Govern ment. Quivering . with excitement and emotion, ehe enddenly stopped. The learned judge, who seemed visibly affieetod, said'. - . ' Prisoner at the bar, you have been

found guilty - en tne clearest possieie evidence. Despite your fervent protesta tions of innocence, I am as certain of your gqilt aB if I had Been you administer the poison with my ewn eyes. The recom mendation Of the jury will be forwarded to the proper quarter, but, ft the same tone, I cau hold out no hope, and would recommend . you to pender on the fate before you. Your denunciation . ef the; Government and exiating institutions I will net notice, but, at the earns time,-, I might express an opinion that it must have been ,tha . ®8ffioifitqi of .fuoh .pernicious doctrines, in (he -plaoe of a sound youthful trailing: which led to (hat Citeeref simulation and fraud, of which your present unfortunate position is the outcome.' - The learned judge then passed sentence of death, and, after gazing round the oenrt with that forbidding ecowl, which her face has worn all through the proceed ings, the condemned was removed. We understand that an appeal to the Fall Court on the point overruled by the judge of the improper admission of evi dence will be heard on Tnesday, and if unsuccessful may be carried to the Privy Council. The manetopped reading, and muttered: ' Forbidding scowl on .her sweet, inno cent faoe. It bears out what Dalley once e&id: Put the coinelieBt couutenanoe be hind the spike* in the deck, end it at once looks ruffianly.' Then' he picked up the seoend journal, and instead Of looking at the report and acaieheadinge en page 5, directed his attention to the short, criBp announce ments on the front page, under the head ing of .''Honesty ' Temxs.' When his eyes had rpacbed the middle ef the column, he begau te read aleud ?That after the minder ef the gladiator, the prisoner in tbe doek is nowadays butchered to make a judgt's holiday.' 'That despite p^ujAt . approval of last fight's rtrdict, (M

ml culprit is the Watson Poisoning Caw is still at largs.' 'That a csrtain Cabinet Minister if pnt in ihe witness-box could shed a good deal of light on the poisoning mystery.' ' That he was not ceiled — a fact which ex plains the injustice. Hash ! no names men tioned.' 'That the judge's allusion to the prieoner'a ?piritoalietic frauds reminded people that he was one of her dupes.' ' That the trial of capital charges should not begin later than Thursday, morning, eo as that juries may not be terrified into agree ment tbrongh dread ef being looked up over Sunday.' 'That there is more ia the appeal to the Fall Court — likely lobe carried to the Privy Council — than people generally believe.' 'That the defence of the prisoner was con ducted with extraordinary ability by Mr Frank Morton, subeditor of this journal before his oall to the bar,' His reading was interrupted by a knock and a shrill cry : 'Mr Morton, mother says your breakfast is ready.' Mr Morton rose and muttered : ' Whet will be the next act in this mysterious drama Anyway, we have secured time, and that ia all that can be done for the poor girl now.' (to be continued.)