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Colonial Cases

Wang Kee Tseng v. Ferguson, 1878

 [goods sold and delivered]

Wang Kee Tseng v. Ferguson

Civil Summary Court
Mowat, 15 January 1878
Source: The North China Herald, 24 January 1878




Shanghai, 15th Jan.

Before R. A. MOWAT, Esq.


   This was an action to recover $80, for cotton cake supplied to the defendant.

   Defendant admitted that he had received cotton cake, to the am lint of the claim, from the plaintiff, but explained that he had sold him a cake making machine, on condition that he was daily supplied with 120 catties of cake for $2.50.  Plaintiff was to pay 4150 for the machine at the end of a month, it it worked for that time to his satisfaction.  He (defendant) was supplied regularly with cake, and plaintiff often said he was much pleased with the machine, but when six weeks had elapsed the price of cotton seeds increased, and plaintiff said he could not supply him any longer and returned the machine in a damaged condition without having paid anything for it.  He produced a written contract, embodying the foregoing terms; but said all negotiations in reference to it took place between plaintiff and Mr. Bidwell; he himself had nothing to do with it, beyond handing the machine over to plaintiff on receiving the contract.  He had suggested that plaintiff should pay him $30, take back the machine, and forego the present claim, and by so doing defendant would only pay the original cost of the machine.

   Plaintiff refused to settle the case in this way.  He admitted that there was a congract in existence, butr denied what purported to be his signature to the one now produced, and he also denied some of the statements of the edfendant.

   His HONOUR said he could not decide the case without hearing what Mr. Bidwell had to say, and should adjourn the case until Thursday for him to be in attendance, aw well as two other Chinese who had signed the contract as witnesses.

18th January.


   This action was adjourned from the 15th instant.  Plaintiff sought to recover $80 for cotton cake supplied, and defendant admitted his indebtedness, but pleaded that plaintiff purchased a cake-making machine of him for $150, which he had not paid, but had returned the machine in damaged condition.  Defendant, at the previous hearing, produced a written agreement, signed by the plaintiff, but the latter denied that the signature was his; and the hearing was adjourned for further evidence to be produced in reference to it.

   Mr. H. S. BIDWELL and a Chinaman now proved that the plaintiff entered into the agreement, and that a translation of it was supplied him.

   Plaintiff, when confronted with this evidence, acknowledged his signature, and contradicted the evidence he gave at the previous hearing.

   His HONOUR pointed out that under the agreement, plaintiff,  having kept the machine over a month, had purchased it for $150; and therefore was indebted to the defendant to that amount.  On the other hand, defendant admitted that he owed plaintiff the $80 now sued for.  That was clearly how matters stood between the parties.  Judgment would be given for the defendant, who would have to return the machine to the plaintiff.

   Defendant expressed his willingness to do so, and intimated that he should sue plaintiff in the Mixed Court for $70, the difference between the price of the machine and the amount of the present claim.

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