Thursday, December 24, 1897
THE SAWED-OFF ELOPEMENT IN COURT
N. C. McNeil appeared as counsel for the prosecuting witness. The defendant had no counsel.
Incidentally, pretty much the whole trouble came out in the evidence. Lightner testified on the stand that he was trying to run away with Friel’s wife, in the presence of them both. The evidence of the witnesses in substance is as follows:
L. M. WAUGH
His brother-in-law had come to this house and told him that Lightner was going to run away that night with his wife, he thought, and got him to go to Ben Wilson’s to see if she had gone there, as she had said she was. Some parties told him that she had gone on with Lightner. He took the Marlinton road and struck out pretty hard. About 8 o’clock he came upon them in the dark unexpectedly near Col. Levi Gay’s. Saw Beverage, and it was the first he knew that he was mixed up in the affair. Rode by the party for about 100 yards. Beverage suddenly pulled out a revolver, cocked it, and told the witness to “Git.” Witness answered, “Boys, some of us’ll die right here before I do that.” Neither “got” nor died, but he took his sister home with him.
Witness introduced a letter to show Beverage’s part in the conspiracy. Beverage produced a letter at once to show that he had been conspired with. The Squire did not allow the reporter to read these letters in a manner more righteous than legal. We are informed there is no law in West Virginia permitting evidence to be sealed, but the Squire did right not to read them himself, as he had plenty of evidence to decide on.
MRS. CHARLES FRIEL
Was present and saw Beverage draw a pistol on her brother. Does not recollect what was said. Was very badly frightened.
Was at Hugh Sharp’s. Amos Sharp had been out rabbit hunting and came in and told him that he had seen Lightner going through the woods; witness said, “I bet they are going to run off, and laid spurs to my old mare and went off to Moff’s at a dead gallop. Asked him to follow up while I went up to Hugh Sharp’s after some more of my friends.” Witness said that Beverage had acted as go-between for his wife and Lightner all summer, carrying letters, etc.
The testimony of the defense was substantially as follows:
“Squire, I never drawed no revolver in his face. I told him to git down the road.” Witness did not deny that he had a revolver with him, and said, “I did not point it at him.”
Was present at the meeting; the night was cloudy, but not dark. Did not see prisoner draw a revolver. Heard no threats made. Said that it was a fact he had met Mrs. Friel that night and was trying to leave the country with her. Would not tell any of the circumstances.
The court evidently weighed the testimony and decided that where one side swore positively that the man had a revolver and the prisoner did not deny it, it was not difficult to find him guilty. He imposed the lightest fine, which is $25 and costs.
The parties went home and the matter rests here.
Lightner has a nice wife and two children. Mrs. Friel has one child. It is a very sad business. Beverage is a neer-to-do-well who does not seem to realize that he has helped to break up two families of young people who should be enjoying the happiest years of their lives. The best plan for all concerned would be to forget all that has occurred and try to patch up a treaty of peace, and leave the gay Beverage out of the compact.
The sun has a spot on it which can be observed for an indefinite length of time by means of a smoked glass. A few weeks ago some astronomers said, in more or less sensational journals, that the sun was about to give birth to a new world that was meant to either destroy the earth or affect it in some direful manner. They maintained that when the glowing mass passed near the earth it would burn it to a cinder. Still people persisted in saving up money for old age and making arrangements for making both ends meet, rather than for meeting the end.
The new world has turned out to be a sunspot 100,000 miles in diameter. Through the most powerful telescopes, it appears a dark swirling mass which spreads with great rapidity. It is the greatest seen on the sun since 1892. The effect on the weather is beneficial. It will make the winter more endurable and we are not apt to suffer from any great extremes of temperature during the sun-spot season.
Sheldon Hannah is building a barn which he views by day and works on by night.
The shooting match was a success. Twenty persons attended and they all claim to have won five turkeys each.
Thomas Beale’s family has scarlet fever. One of them contracted it while at the Linwood school. George Hoover’s family, having a chance, were stopped from attending the Slaty Fork school for a few days.
Dennis Williams says to “Hoot Owl Ike:”
“It is better to be where no one is nigh,
where incipient whiskers can grow on the sly,
than in literary labors, lowly to stoop,
in reporting the news from some lone chicken coop.”
– BILL BURLEY