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Colonial Cases

Delacroix, 1876



Spanish Consular Court, Shanghai
De Garay, 7 January 1876
Source: The North China Herald, 13 January 1876

Shanghai, Jan 7th.
Before Senor ALBERTO DE GARAY, Spanish Consul.
Charge of Homicide.
  PASQUALE DELACROIX, who said he was a native of the Philippine Islands, serving as a quartermaster of the S.S.N.Co.'s steamer Shanse, was charged with having feloniously and maliciously caused the death of William Chisholm, chief engineer of that vessel, on the night of the 1st instant.
  Inspector STRIPLING watched the case on behalf of the prosecution; the prisoner was undefended.
  The COURT first questioned the prisoner, in Spanish, the substance of his answers being afterwards interpreted.
  Prisoner said - At about nine o'clock on the night of the 1st instant, the chief engineer called for me to come on deck.  It was my watch, but I was not on deck.  One of the sailors told me the chief engineer wanted me.  I went to him, and he asked me where I had been.  We went into the gangway together. While standing there, we had a few words.  The chief engineer said he would send me ashore, as I was of no use on board.  I said, "If you want to send me ashore, pay me up; but it is a fine time of night to send me ashore."   While we were talking, the chief engineer took hold of me by the back of the neck, and I took hold of him.  We struggled, and both fell on the deck; and afterwards over the gangway into the river together.  We had hold of each other.  I tried to save myself, and swam to the rudder, and caught hold of it until I was picked up by a sampan.  I do not know what became of the chief engineer.
  HO AH-CHUN, mess-room boy on board the Shanse, next deposed - The chief engineer told me to fetch the quartermaster (prisoner).  I went but could not find him.  The porter (lamp-trimmer) was also told top go in search of him, and also a sailor.  The lamp-trimmer found him in the wheelhouse.  I afterwards saw the chief engineer and the prisoner fighting together.  They fell on deck, prisoner being uppermost.  They got up and fought again, taking hold of each other.  Both then fell over the gangway into the river.  I called to a sampan man to come and help.  He came, and the prisoner was found clinging to the rudder.  He was brought on board, and I then sent the sampan to look for the chief engineer, but he never came to the surface.  I then gave the alarm to the people of the str. Hupeh.
  By the COURT - I do not think the prisoner tried to throw the chief engineer into the water.  They both fell in together.  The chief engineer had been on board all day, and was quite sober.  The prisoner had been on shore from ten in the morning till six in the evening. When they fell in the river, I saw the prisoner come to the surface, but saw nothing of the chief engineer.
  By Inspector STRIPLING - I did not see the commencement of the fight.  I was in my room, and hearing some glass break, went to see what it was, and then saw them fighting.  Neither seemed to want to leave off fighting.  Prisoner was the strongest man of the two, and got the chief engineer down on deck.
  HO JAN-SING, lamp-trimmer of the Shanse, deposed, through an interpreter, - I was on board last Saturday night at nine o'clock.  The mess-boy came and told me the chief engineer wanted me to go and find the quartermaster.  I went, but could not find him there.  He was not in the wheelhouse, for I looked there.  I then went down below to fetch a lamp, and again went in search of him.  I went to the wheelhouse again, and as I was opening the door to go in, he walked out.
  Inspector STRIPLING explained that as the door of the captain's cabin, which opened into the wheelhouse, was found unlocked next morning, it was thought the prisoner had gone into the cabin to lie down.  He had no business there, but it would account for his not being found in the wheelhouse the first time the lamp-trimmer looked in.
  Witness resumed - I told the quartermaster the chief engineer wanted him on deck, and he walked behind me towards the gangway, where the chef engineer was standing.  I went into my room, and he went on to the gangway.  Soon afterwards, I heard some glass broken, and went out to see what it was.  The chief engineer and quartermaster were then fighting.  (The witness then described the falls on deck and into the river.)  When they fell into the river, I went to the stern of the Shanse, and threw some ropes and life-buoys overboard.  In consequence of my having gone aft, I did not see that quartermaster brought on board.  I was told he had gone to his berth.
  CHUNG AH-CHU, fireman, deposed - I was in the engine-room on watch on Saturday night, and heard the chief engineer calling for the quartermaster, who did not come at first.  The chief engineer then called for the porter to go in search of him.  The quartermaster came soon afterwards, and the chief engineer began to swear at him.  He told the quartermaster that he was no use on board, and it would be much better that he should go on shore.  The quartermaster replied that it was no busies of the chief engineer's to talk to him so.  They then began to fight.  There was no other talking between them.  I heard a window broken, and went out of the engine-room to see what they were doing.  They were still fighting.  I put down a lamp that I was carrying, and went between them to try to separate them.  The chief engineer put his hand upon my arm, and told me to go away and not to interfere.  I drew back, and they began to fight again.  In a few seconds, both fell over the gangway into the river. - The remainder of this witness's testimony was similar to that preceding it.
  The prisoner, on being asked, said the last witness's statement was correct.
  YE TONG-HE, sailor, after corroborating the evidence already given, as to the commencement of the quarrel, deposed - When they fell into the river, I got into a sampan, and helped to rescue the quartermaster.  He was clinging to the rudder.  I took him to the ladder, and he went up the ship's side.  I and others then went in search of the chief engineer, but could not find him.
  This closed the evidence, and
  The COURT reserved its decision, directing the prisoner to be taken back to the gaol at the U.S. Consulate-General, and held in custody until a future day, of which notice would be given.

[No further report found.]

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School