페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

public be induced to believe this, when the said Court consists of Sir Richard himself and life-long friends, who have grown up side by side with him in his professional career? Saying this much, however, in just criticism of part of Sir Henry James's speech, we have nothing but admiration for its chivalrous tone, and this, at any rate, we can hold forth as worthy of imitation. We take occasion to repeat, too, that whatever might be thought of the prudence or over-zeal, or want of care of Sir Richard, there can be but one opinion of his honour and integrity.

MR. GEORGE LEWIS, the solicitor for Mr. Parnell, writes: I must call attention to an amazing and important misstatement of the Attorney-General in Friday night's debate. He followed Sir W. Harcourt in the debate, and replied to the following passage in the speech of Sir W. Harcourt :

I wish to know when the Attorney-General was made acquainted with the letter of November 17, in which Pigott declared his own infamy, and informed Mr. Houston and Mr. Soames that if he went into the witness-box his character would be made known, with the result that the case for the prosecution would be destroyed.

Referring to this the Attorney-General is reported to have said:

Now, will the Committee listen to this statement of simple dates? I had told the House that I knew of the letter in the middle of December. Before Pigott went into the box-five days before-I put that letter into the hands of the hon. and learned member for South Hackney. So, if it was desirable that the other side should know-if they ought to know—that that man's character was discredited, I myself had given that information. (Loud and continued cheering, and cries of "Withdraw.") Hon. members who have cheered me do not want the charges withdrawn. They have been refuted by evidence which cannot be disputed. (Renewed cheering). In the course of Mr. Soames's evidence, which was given some days before February 20, the letter was called for, and I produced it and handed it to the hon, and learned member for Hackney before Pigott went into the box.

Sir William Harcourt: Two months afterwards.

The Attorney-General: The right hon. gentleman says two months afterwards. The accusation made against me a moment ago was, that I did not let the other side know that Pigott was a tainted witness. It was not a question when I found it out, but that I called him without letting the other side know. Will the Committee believe that, having handed the letter to my hon. and learned friend, who was conducting the case against me, he asked that it might not be read, as I wished it, until Pigott went into the box?

There were, in fact, two letters, of November 11 and 17, to Mr. Soames from Pigott. The first enclosed a copy of a letter of the same date which he had written to Mr. Houston (but which Mr. Houston destroyed), and the second was written direct to Mr. Soames.

In both these letters Pigott clearly conveyed that he was an untrustworthy witness.

Neither the existence, much less the contents of these letters, was known or in any way communicated to Sir Charles Russell or to any of the other counsel or me, and it was only after Pigott's flight, when Mr. Soames was put into the box, that they were produced for the first time-namely, on February 26. The only letter between Mr. Soames and Pigott referred to before Pigott's flight was the one offered in evidence by the Attorney-General on February 20, the moment before Pigott was called into the box.

What occurred on that occasion is best shown by the following transcript from the official shorthand notes:

The Attorney-General: Before Mr. Pigott comes, I put in the letter that Sir Charles Russell called for on November 15, 1888, from Mr. Soames to Mr. Richard Pigott-the arrangement in writing.

[blocks in formation]

Pigott, relating, not to Pigott's credit as a witness, but to the arrangement made by Mr. Soames, on the part of The Times, that his clients would not see harm come to him (Pigott) in consequence of his supporting in the witness box statements he had given to Mr. Soames, and is absolutely silent as to Pigott's warnings about his own credit. In fact, in the words of the Attorney-General above quoted, it was "the arrange. ment in writing" between The Times and Pigott.

It will thus be seen that the Attorney-General has been misled into making an important misstatement on a very important point. It is clear beyond doubt that, before Pigott was put into the box, no letter was called for, produced, referred to, or put in, showing that Pigott had discredited his own evidence in letters to Mr. Houston or Mr. Soames, and neither Sir Charles Russell nor the other counsel, nor I as solicitor for the defence, had notice of any such letter till after Pigott's disappearance.

In conclusion, I desire to say that I not depending upon my recollection, but upon reference to the official shorthand notes of the proceedings.

THE fee on the Attorney-General's Brief, and on that of Sir Henry James, was £1,500, with commensurate refreshers for each day of the investigation.

SINCE writing on the subject, we have noticed the renewed discussion in the House of Commons. We have heard Sir Charles Russell's statement, and we are not prepared to say, for the present at any rate, that we disagree with him. It is quite possible, as we have before said, that when the Commission is closed and Sir Richard is wholly unfettered, he may be able to furnish us with other refutations than he has yet been able to afford, on the points mentioned in our leader of a fortnight ago. It is possible, and we wish we could go the length of saying that it seems probable. There is not the slightest bit of good, however, in making the extravagant charges which overheated radical politicians are making out of the incident. The letter itself, which Sir Richard is blamed for not handing over to the other side, did not really go anywhere near the point of suggesting that the statement he (Pigott) had made to the Times was untrue. It really was intended to convey the impression merely that his general character was not so good as to lead him to look forward with pleasure to crossexamination. This certainly would not be enough to entitle a counsel, acting for his client, to discard a witness, or to try to discredit him; and a client would have reasonable ground of complaint against a counsel who so acted. Nay, further, in view of the way in which some of the witnesses had backed out of their statements; the dread which the Times people, with more or less cause, had of their witnesses being intimidated or bribed by Invincibles or others; the ranks from which this witness was drawn ; the coquetting with him of Mr. Labouchere; all these were circumstances which might well induce counsel to believe that the letter might be but an artful trick of Pigott's to prevent the Times getting the evidence he would feel bound to give when on oath. Therefore, we are of opinion that more point is made of the letter than the incident will sustain. On the other hand, we are bound to say that, if it were established that Sir Richard ought to have handed the letter to Sir Charles Russell, we cannot for a moment admit that its presence among a large bundle of letters called for under a formal and general notice, and for other purposes, would be sufficient. We do not at the present moment remember whether the period was stated at which Sir Richard became aware of Pigott's statement that he had forged the letters.

MR. VIDLER, the defendant in an action brought by the principal and antients of Barnard's Inn, for alleged slander to the title to the property, was before Mr. Justice Kay, in Chambers, yesterday. An order was made, giving the defendant leave to amend his defence and counter-claim, and mutual discovery was directed. The litigation has reference to the power to sell Barnard's Inn, in Holborn, which Mr. Vidler, as a law student, has opposed in a publicspirited manner worthy of all praise. We hope the profes sion and the public will support Mr. Vidler. We shall probably have occasion to refer to the matter again.

THE TEMPLE NEWSPAPER LAW

REPORTS.

HOUSE OF LORDS.

HUXLEY (PAUPER) v. WEST LONDON EXTENSION RAILWAY COMPANY.-R.S.C., Order 65, Rule 1.—“Good Cause" for Depriving Successful Plaintiff of his Costs.-Extortionate Demand made by Plaintiff.-Certificate made subsequently to Judgment.Whether Functus Officio. Question Reserved.-Plaintiff brought action for injury sustained, while a passenger on defendants' railway, by reason of defendants' servants' negligence. Defendants denied negligence, pleaded contributory negligence, and denied that plaintiff was injured as alleged. He claimed £3,000. At trial, the jury gave plaintiff a verdict, with damages £50, for which sum Lord Coleridge (L.C.J.) gave judgment for plaintiff. Counsel for defendants applied to the L.C.J., under Order 65, rule 1, to give a certificate depriving plaintiff of his costs, on the ground that his demand was extortionate. The L.C.J. intimated that he should deprive the plaintiff of his costs if the matter rested with him; but declined to certify, on the ground that the Court of Appeal had decided that what was "good cause" for depriving a plaintiff of his costs was for them to determine, and referred defendants' counsel to Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal remitted the application to the L.C.J., on the ground that they had no power to certify, though they had to decide whether "good cause" for such an order existed, if it had been made. Lord Coleridge then certified, depriving plaintiff of his costs. Held (by Lord Halsbury, L.C., and Lords Watson, Bramwell, Fitzgerald, Herschell and Macnaghten), affirming decision of Court of Appeal: That Lord Coleridge was not functus officio on pronouncing judgment, and that he had power subsequently to certify as he did; also, that "good cause" for certifying existed.

COURT OF APPEAL.

DIMMOCK V. RANDALL.-Action by Landlord against Tenant for Mining Royalties.-Defence: Settled Account.-Reply: Fraud. -Compulsory Reference to Official Referee.-Judicature Act, 1873, Sect. 57.-Right to Trial in Open Court of Charge of Fraud.— Intricate Inquiry.-Action by landlord for royalties due from tenant, a brick manufacturer. Defence: Account settled, and no indebtedness since then. Reply: That if accounts had been settled to a given date, as alleged, he was entitled to re-open them, on the ground that they were based on false and fraudulent statements of defendant. At trial, Manisty (J.) referred case to Official Referee, under Judicature Act, 1873, Sect. 57. Defendant appealed. Held (by Lord Esher, M.R., and Fry, L.J.): That the case was not one involving so intricate an inquiry, that defendant should be deprived of his right to have the charge of fraud which had been persisted in tried in open Court; the charges of fraud and question of settled account should be tried in open Court.

[ocr errors]

PRICE AND Co. v. AI SHIPS SMALL DAMAGE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED.-Action on Marine Policy.-"Warranted Free from Average under £3 per Cent., unless General."-Whether Particular Damage could be added to General, to make Amount exceed the Percentage.-Action by plaintiffs on policy on ship, effected June 1, 1885. Policy covered, inter alia, "all losses which cannot be recovered under an ordinary Lloyd's or similar policy of insurance, by reason of the insertion of the clause, Warranted free from average under £3 per cent., unless general, or the ship be stranded, sunk, or burnt.'" Ship in question, on voyage made directly afterwards, had bad weather, rendering certain general average sacrifices necessary. She sustained also particular average damage not included in general average. She had not been stranded, sunk, or burnt, and amount of particular average alone was under £3 per cent., though, if added to that contributed for general average, the whole would exceed £3 per cent. Plaintiffs contended their loss was covered by defendants' policy. Cave (J.) gave judgment for the plaintiffs. Held (by Lord Esher, M.R., Bowen and Fry, L.JJ.): That the particular average loss could not be added to the general average loss, so that the total would exceed the percentage rate, and that plaintiffs were therefore entitled to recover from defendants.

37

advertised his preparations as "Ashton's Great Cures." Defendant at first advertised and sold his preparations as manufactured by Warner, successor to Ashton; but afterwards changed his style, calling them, e.g., "Warner's Gout and Rheumatic Cure.' There was evidence of an application having been made to defendant for a bottle of "Warner's Safe Cure for Rheumatism," meaning, as appeared from the letter, plaintiff's preparation; in response to which defendant had simply sent his own preparation. Plaintiff's preparations were sold at 4s. 6d., defendant's at 2s. 9d., per bottle. Stirling (J.), holding that defendant was advertising and selling his preparations in such a way as to mislead the public, and derive benefit from the plaintiff's reputation for his preparations, granted an interlocutory injunction, restraining him, &c. Held (by Cotton, Lindley and Lopes, L.JJ.): That the interlocutory injunction had been rightly granted, there being, on the evidence as it stood, a strong probability of the plaintiff's success at the trial.

WARNER V. WARNER.-"Warner's Safe Cure for Rheumatism." -Sale by Defendant of "Warner's Gout and Rheumatic Cures." -Misleading Public, and Appropriating Benefit of Plaintiff's Reputation. Injunction.-Plaintiff was manufacturer and sole proprietor of medical preparations, introduced in 1879 as "Warner's Safe Cures." By extensive advertising and considerable sale, they had become known in the market, shortly, as "Warner's Cures." Defendant, whose name was Warner, had purchased a business previously carried on by Ashton, who carried on a similar business to plaintiff, and

Gillman and Spencer (Lim.) v. Carbutt and Co.-Principal and Fraudulent Agent.-Broker Making Subsequent Contract.— Issue of Delivery Order under first supposed Contract.-Repre sentation of Fact or Intention.-Estoppel.-Defendants, rice merchants, agreed, February 6, 1888, with F., a rice broker, to sell plaintiffs 1,000 bags of rice, &c., prompt day, April 6: Sold note was given by F. to defendants, and contract entered in his book. Plaintiffs had no knowledge of the transaction, and F. no authority from them to make the contract. March 21, F. agreed to sell to plaintiffs same quantity and quality of rice, and the following day obtained a delivery order addressed to superintendent at defendants' warehouse, under contract February 6, which he handed to plaintiffs, obtaining their acceptance at two months, which he discounted and absconded. The delivery order had "C., 6-2-88," on its face. March 26, plaintiffs sent to defendants' warehouse a stencil plate bearing letters "G. and S.," and a letter asking that the bags might be marked. Foreman said he would see to it. They were, however, not marked. April 6, defendants, not having received payment, sent in their invoice requesting payment, and plaintiffs informed them they had paid F. April 9, plaintiffs demanded delivery; it was refused, and this action brought, Hudclaiming rice or its value and damages for detention. dleston (B.) gave judgment for defendants. Held (by Lord Esher, M.R., Fry and Lopes, L.JJ.): That the defendants were not estopped as against the plaintiffs by reason of the dealings of F. with the delivery order, which bore on its face a reference to a supposed contract other than that under which plaintiffs claimed; also that, apart from that, the delivery order was no more than a representation of inten. tion; and that the appeal must be dismissed.

SLAZENGER AND SONS v. FELTHAM AND Co.-Trade Mark.— Infringement of.-"Demon" "Demotic" Applied to same Kind of Article in same Manner.-Calculated to Deceive and Mislead.Injunction.-Plaintiffs registered "Demon," coupled with a face and the words trade mark, as a trade mark for their racquets. They claimed an injunction to restrain the defendants from using the word "demotic" on racquets manufactured by them. The word was stamped by defend. ants on their racquets in the same place as on plaintiffs', and the racquets were of the same shape. Kekewich (J.) granted an injunction. Held (by Cotton, Lindley and Bowen, L.JJ.): That the decision of Kekewich (J.) must be affirmed; for that the use of the word "demotic," in the circumstances, must have been intended to, and was calculated to, mislead the public.

CHANCERY DIVISION.

In re GANGE.-MUMMERY V. GANGE.-Mortmain.-Gift to Charity by Will.-Bond issued under Dover Corporation Sea Defences Act, 1877.-Impure Personalty.-A Bond, issued under the Dover Corporation Sea Defences Act, 1877, empowering the Corporation to issue debenture bonds for loans to them, the repayment being charged on their district fund, general district rates, and certain monies payable by instalments in respect of private improvements, is "impure personalty," and cannot, therefore, be bequeathed to a charity. So Held (by Kay, J.).

In re ROPER.-MORRELL v. GISSING.-Testator.-Will.— Bequest of Share of Child Dying Without Issue unto " Survivors" of my said Children.-Share of last Surviving Child.-Passing under Residuary Gift or to Personal Representatives of last Surviving Child.-Testator, on death of each of his children, gave a fourth part of certain funds to the children of such deceased child, and, "in the event of either of my said children dying without issue, I give the fourth part (above referred to) unto the survivors of my said children in equal shares and propor. tions." There were four children, and the last surviving child died without issue. Held (by Chitty, J.): That the share of the deceased child went to his personal repre sentatives, and did not pass under the residuary clause in testator's will.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE PARNELL COMMISSIONERS.

MR. JUSTICE SMITH.

THE Honourable Sir Archibald Levin Smith, born about
half a century ago, in 1836, is the only son of Francis
Smith, Esq. of Salt Hall, in the county of Sussex. After a
careful preparatory education, Mr. Smith entered the
University of Cambridge, at Trinity College, where he
graduated B.A. in 1858. Two years previously he had
entered himself of the Inner Temple, and on taking his
degree he at once began to read in chambers under the
discreet eye of Mr. (now Justice) Chitty. Indeed, we believe
Mr. A. L. Smith was the very first on the long roll of Chitty's
distinguished (and undistinguished) pupils. He then passed
through the chambers of old Mr. Thomas Chitty, of kindly
memory, where he widened and deepened his foundations,
and began to build up. Mr. A. L. Smith next removed to
the chambers of Mr. (now Justice) Hannen, where he not
only saw plenty of work and how work should be done,
but enjoyed the intellectual companionship of Mr.
Charles (now Lord Justice)
Bowen, and Mr. Farrer
(now Lord Chancellor)
Herschell, who were his
fellow pupils. Meantime
Mr. A. L. Smith had been
called to the Bar at the
Inner Temple in 1860.
He chose the Home Cir-
cuit, where he soon con-
stituted himself a prime
personal favourite with the
whole mess, and drew to
himself a very well de-
served share of the busi-
ness that happened to be
going. His early successes,
however, did not in any
degree quench his ardent
attachment to field sports,
especially to cricket.

v. The Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company,
in which he supported Sir John B. Karslake, and which
involved an important point of construction of a bill of
lading; Dahl v. Nelson, Donkin and others (in the House of
Lords); Sewell v. Sewell and nephew; Kish v. Cory and
others; and many more. He was very frequently engaged in
licensing cases. As specimens of patent cases, we may
refer to Napier's Patent and Adair's Patent-both before
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Important
commercial cases before the Judicial Committee were
Willans v. Ayres, on appeal from the Supreme Court of
South Australia; Citizens' Insurance Company of Canada
v. Parsons, and the Queen Insurance Company v. Parsons,
in which he fought by the side of Sir John Holker; and
Musgrave v. Pulido (Captain-General and Governor-in-
Chief of the Island of Jamaica), on appeal from the
Supreme Court of Jamaica, involving important points as
to the powers of governors
of colonies. In the last-
mentioned case Mr. Smith
was again lieutenant to Sir
John Holker, who left him
to reply to Mr. Farrer (now
Lord Chancellor) Her-
schell. From the Court
of Appeal we may cite the
South-Eastern Railway
Company v. The Railway
Commissioners, in which
Mr. Smith contended on
behalf of the Railway
Commissioners, with Sir
Hardinge Giffard (ex-Lord
Chancellor Halsbury). Re-
markable cases in the Lords
were Enraght v. Lord Pen-
zance; The Capital and
Counties Bank v. Henty
(twice argued); and the
very exceptional strain of
Mackonochie v. Lord Pen-
zance (seven days) and
Castro v. the Queen (Ben-
jamin leading for Castro)
in one week. Mr. Smith
appeared in no fewer than
five Stroud and three Dur-
ham election petitions, not
to mention more. The
very remarkable Probate
case of the will of Mr.
Hall, late magistrate at
Bow Street, ought to be
noted. Of criminal cases,
it will suffice to mention
the cases of the West of
England Bank Directors,
Catherine Webster, Han-
nah Dobbs, Lefroy, and
Bravo; in the last-named,

When Mr. Hannen was appointed by Sir Roundell Palmer Attorney-General's "devil," Mr. A. L. Smith became devil to him in turn, acting in this capacity from 1863 to 1868, when Mr. Hannen was raised to the Bench. He then plodded on by himself till, early in 1879, Sir John Holker appointed him' Attorney-General's

Devil. This post he retained for a little over four years, when Lord Selborne invited him, on April 12, 1883, to become a Justice of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. Apart from the dignity of the new position, we have

a shrewd suspicion that it was a grateful change; for, Mr. A. L. Smith appeared, with Serjeant Parry, for Dr. Gully.

as a rule, the pleasure a man feels on release from the office of "devil" is only paralleled by the pleasure of receiving the appointment. But this, by way of speculation. Mr. Justice A. L. Smith was elected an honorary Bencher of his Inn immediately upon his elevation to the Bench. He never took silk.

Sir A. L. Smith married, in 1867, Isobel, eldest daughter of Mr. John Charles Fletcher, of Dale Park, Sussex, J.P., D.L. There is no judge on the Bench that enjoys a more sure and unostentatious popularity than Mr. Justice Smith; and close observers agree that he manifests a continuous improvement which they would not be surprised to see rewarded in due time by a higher promotion still.

To say that Mr. Justice A. L. Smith is an ornament to the English Bench would be a trite commonplace; it is nevertheless the simple fact.

Sir Charles Russell's opening, when the Commission resumes, is looked forward to with great interest. We have no doubt the Court will be crowded, and there can be no question that the brilliant Counsel will be well worth listening to.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The life of a "devil" is, ex hypothesi, one perpetual grind. The cases in which Mr. A. L. Smith figured, therefore, are legion: are they not written in the Law Reports? If we name a few here and there in a busy career, it is but as the merest specimens and reminders, both of the nature and the extent of his arduous labours. His name occurs in numerous shipping cases of an important character-e.g., Gray v. Carr, in which he seconded Watkin Williams, in opposition to Sir George Honeyman; Fraser and others

[merged small][ocr errors]

THE atmosphere of Angel Court, Throgmorton Street, is redolent of money. One seems to hear the crackle of crisp bank-notes and the jingling of gold in the very sound of its name, and it is here that Mr. Thomas Thompson, the well-known outside-broker and authority upon mines and mining, has his office. A plain, workmanlike office it is, too, and when our representative called to obtain some of Mr. Thompson's views upon the particular field of finance which he has made his own, the first impression given by the place and its surroundings was that it was essentially a centre of business. Nor was this impression lessened when in due course PUMP COURT was ushered into the presence of the presiding genius of the place.

"Busy? Well, I'm always busy. But I shall be pleased to have a chat with you. Now, what can I tell you?" and the popular mining broker settled himself in his chair for what women call a good, comfortable gossip.

"I want to know something of the kind of business you transact, Mr. Thompson. I believe it is almost unique, and that you are the man par excellence to tell me something about mining exploits, and the place they occupy in the financial world."

"I daresay I can tell you something. I ought to be able to do so, for I have had eighteen years of it. Yes," continued the broker, reflectively, "it is just about eighteen years since the floating of the Malpaso Company, which was afterwards developed into the big undertaking now worked by the Colombian Hydraulic Company. It was that which first drew my attention to hydraulic mining, and from that day to this I have devoted my special attention to it. I was convinced that even when the output of gold was unsatisfactory, there were often cases in which mines might still prove highly profitable properties by working the gravel alone, provided the cost of working was kept within the narrowest possible limits. The hydraulic system, which had already proved highly successful in California, supplied just the facilities which seemed to me to be needful, and the result has justified my judgment."

"I suppose your principal business is in mines of this description?"

"Yes. Of course I deal in every class of security, but my chief transactions are in mines. I am not a speculative broker, and do not deal on the cover system; and I think I may fairly say that I satisfy my clients, for, when once they come, they seem to stick to me."

"Are they numerous, and where do they come from?" "Very. I have over five thousand regular clients upon my books, to whom every issue of my Circular is mailed directly it leaves the printers'. Then, in addition to these, I commonly send out through the post another hundred thousand or so; and by this means introduce myself to the rest of the public who as yet have had no transactions with me."

“The labour must be enormous."

"It is heavy, as you may judge, when I tell you that the Post-office vans are sent to the printers' for the Circulars, and that each issue usually weighs from five to seven tons." "And do you write the Circular yourself?"

"All that is original in it. My clients, and, in fact, the public at large, get the full benefit of my experience. When they have read my Circular, they can, if they choose, of course, act upon my advice and yet ignore me doing

their business through their own broker. But I do not think many of the recipients would do any such shabby trick. Besides, it pays them to come to me. They can buy and sell more cheaply through me than through an ordinary inside broker."

Yes, but of course that is to a great extent almost mechanical. And, with a daily growing business like mine, and it is no easy task to train new clerks into our own ways; you know how important that is, if business is to be conAnd here I would take ducted with anything like success. the opportunity of mentioning that in sending out my Circular, I invariably make a point of posting to my own regular clients earliest, as I consider it only fair to give them the first chance of standing in in a good thingbut, with all my efforts, I fear that sometimes I disappoint one here or there, as it is quite impossible, with so many to deal with, to ensure unerring exactitude and punctuality in the Post Office. I do the best that I can, sparing no time or pains to serve my clients well, and I must say that they appreciate it by sticking to me year after year."

"To return for a moment to the special class of under

taking with which you have identified yourself, Mr. Thomp

son-I mean hydraulic mines-do you consider the outlook of the Colombian enterprises promising?"

"Most promising. There is a fine navigable river, the Magdalena, as the main approach; the climate is equable and healthy; it is mountainous, so that the hydraulic power is of the finest, and an important point is that the mining industry is regarded as the backbone of the country. The great advantage of hydraulic mining is that you utilise a purely natural force in your work, the disintegration of the auriferous ground being effected very much in the way "And where do your clients come from, Mr. Thomp--if I may use so homely a metaphor-as a fire-hose might be used to disperse a mob.

son?"

When the auriferous

"How is that? And how can you afford to work more cheaply than your rival inside the House?"

66

'Speaking roughly, everywhere. My first morning post frequently brings me three or four hundred letters, and the day, some two or three hundred telegrams, but I manage to cope with them all by the aid of my shorthand-clerks. "Are your office hours long?"

"Not so far as the public are concerned, but my own work is often not completed until midnight, and sometimes it carries me on well into the morning. Like a woman's work, as the old saying goes, it is never done."

"I suppose, however, the result more than repays you?" "Well, I have no cause to complain. And I am glad to say that my clients have, perhaps, even less. They have been very succesful, especially of late. There has been quite a boom in mining shares, and naturally, my clients have stood in for many a good thing."

"I thought the monied public were very shy of mining speculations?"

"They were, without doubt, but they have to a large extent, outgrown that feeling. They seem to have begun. to understand that gold and silver and copper and jewels must come from somewhere. Upon my word, to hear some people talk of mining exploits, one would think that diamond rings and gold watch-chains grew ready-made. I believe it is really only of late years that the average member of the public has quite understood that the original diamonds and the virgin gold, must have, at some time or other, come from the bowels of the earth, and that fortunes have been, and are still to be, made by the judicious prospector who knows where to find them and how to extract them when they have been found."

"Then I suppose business is growing in this direction rather than the reverse?”

"Certainly. I am in a position to judge, because I feel the pulse of the public, not only from John o' Groat's to Land's End, but even abroad, as I have a considerable number of Continental clients. Indeed, I suppose I have as lengthy a roll of clients as any man in the City."

"Do your clients consult much with you personally, Mr. Thompson?"

"No. It would not do. In the first place, it would swallow up far too much of my time; in the second, I am not eager to give advice in that manner; and, in the third, they can get virtually all the advice I can give them out of my Circular. My Circular is my advice, and I can assure you that I spare no pains in making it as complete and authoritative as possible. The preparation of each Circular that I issue involves days of the closest application upon my part-there are so many calculations to be made, so many details to be investigated, so many points to be duly and scrupulously weighed.'

""

66 I help?

suppose you are able to get a good deal of clerical

66

'Simply thus," said Mr. Thompson, quietly. "I deal at nett prices, and charge no brokerage whatever; the margin between the buying and the selling-price giving me my profit."

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »