915. Harold George Erby
TORTUOUS TALE OF TENDER TIMES AT TERRIGAL
MISCHIEVOUS MOSQUITOES MOVE MAIDEN TO MIDNIGHT MEANDERINGS
Citronella Seeker's Strange Story of Surprising Situation DID HAROLD ERBY SEE HIS WIFE SHIMMYING BY THE SILVERY SEASIDE SANDS?
FROM Terrigal to the Divorce Court, from sun-kissed lake and golden beaches to King street, Sydney — a long cry, but not impossible, as is proved by the matrimonial misadventures of the Erbys.
TERRIGAL ! An ideal place for a holiday, but there was more destined to come out of the holiday visit of Harold George Erby and his wife, Mary Doreen, last February, than ever Erby bargained for. AS a direct result of that holiday Erby and his wife figured in the Divorce Court last week, when the husband sought release from his spouse, who, he alleged, had strayed from the straight and narrow path while staying at one of the more select boarding establishments at the seaside resort. MRS. ERBY, in reply to her husband's charges, cross-petitioned and charged him with habitual drunkenness and cruelty.
IN court the talk was all of Terrigal, where Nature bathes the land and lake in beauty, ferocious members of the culex pungens breed (other wise mosquitoes) their swampy lairs at night and feed off dainty ankles or hairy legs. Of Terrigal and a heart-broken man who went for a holiday with his wife, and lost her there, so he said — in this place where pleasure calls to youth and romance lurks in every grain of sand, and hides behind every tree — . Of mosquitoes that were so hungry and unkind that they attacked a pretty young lady late at night, and drove her to seek solace, and some kill-em-guick, from a young gentle man friend in another room of the fashionable Astill Holme boarding house. Of the same grief-stricken husband, who pursued — so he said—lonely vigil outside a cottage to try and find for certain whether his young and pretty wife had gone philandering in forbidden fields. There were the two Erbys, of course. In the story, and a third — a tall, well built young man, the tertium quid, a Terrigal orchard owner and car driver, John Strange Sullivan, cited as co respondent in this matrimonial mix-up. The upshot of the 'holiday' was the marital disturbance - that ended in a separation, and Erby suing for a divorce on the grounds of his wife's infidelity with Sullivan on the romantic shores of the pretty lake. The story was told to Mr. Justice Oven last week, and there were many little interesting sidelights on what sometimes happens when people go a holiday at a boarding-house, including the story of the pretty young miss, who found that mosquitoes were stronger than Morpheus. Erby, a worried looking gentleman, the son of a big drapery emporium owner, in Church-street, Parramatta, said what he had to say sometimes loudly, but always with great conviction. Mrs. Erby didn't seem the least perturbed by the charges levelled against her. She sat next but one to Sullivan, and took an animated interest in the whole proceedings, often finding time to smile, her dark-brown eyes flashing with delight. Sullivan sat stolidly there, almost always looking straight ahead, though once or twice his face flushed and he raises his head when the excited Erby referred to him as a 'mongrel.'
HUSBAND'S STORY Erby said that after their marriage in 1921 he and his wife went to live at Strathfield, in their own home, on the corner of Hunter-street and Kingsland road. In June the following year their first and only child, a little boy named Alan, was born. When Erby came to tell of their departure for Terrigal on February 9 this year, be hung his head a little sadly, and there was a note of regret in his voice. To reach the lake it was necessary to leave the train at Gosford, and from what he said strange fates must have been working in that interesting and apparently innocent little event. They were to stay at Astill Holme, and the man who drove them in the car was Sullivan. Apparently, it was the first time that the trio had ever met. Erby, recounting his story, said that they stayed at Terrigal until Sunday night, February 15. During that time there were several rows between them. Erby said that his wife stayed out till late at night, and sometimes did not come home until early in the morning. "She was never out of Sullivan's company, as a matter of fact," he declared. He couldn't see the reason why she should want to go out dancing at night, leaving him back at the boarding-house with their little child. The Sunday they returned to Sydney he was told by his wife, he said, that she had received a telephone message to say that his mother was very ill. On their arrival at Strathfleld, they were met by his father in the car and then he learnt that his mother was all right. They went home, but at half-past 6 the following morning, his wife left again. "She went as soon as she could get dressed," said he. "She got £5 from me, and said that the was going to finish her holiday." She went. LIGHTLY CLAD He did not hear anything from her till the following Wednesday, when he noticed in one of the papers that some one had been poisoned at Terrigal, and that Sullivan's name had been mentioned. Some time on the Wednesday, he rang his wife up and incidentally asked her wether she was still carrying on with Sullivan. She denied it. "Was that the name in the paper?" he asked and her voice came back, "No, it 's not him at all. Erby went up on the 19th or the 20th, but according to himself, he didn't have to wait till he got to Terrigal to see his wife. No sooner had he landed in Gosford than he met her in the street — with Sullivan, so he said. And apparently her clothes were of that diaphonous stuff that the vulgar cognoscenti call 'X-ray.' But more of that anon. Erby's first question of his wife was why she had told him the tale about his mother, and receiving a denial, his following query was why she was still out in the car. I am being treated was her retort. "You are never dressed like that in my presence he remarked, referring to her clothes. She refused to go with him, nor would she converse. "She was dressed in a way that I would not like to see my wife dressed in a public street," said Erby to the Judge. "She was dressed in a thin voile dress, and very little else. No stockings, and no hat." He got the next train home, and went to his father's house, only to return to Terrigal on the 23rd, when he received a telephone message. Just as he was about to describe the incident, Mr. McTugrue (instructed by Mr. 1. C. J. Ryan) who appeared for Mrs. Erby interrupted him to tell the judge that there was someone in Court shaking her fist at his client. His Honor looked down into the body of the Court, and threatened to have the offender put out if she persisted. There was no more fist shaking . TALK OF THE HOUSE Erby, recounting his return to Terrigal, said that he saw Mrs. Burns, the proprietress of the boarding-bouse, and immediately communicated his information to his wife. "It is about up to you to come I home,' he said he told her. "Your carrying-on has been disgusting. You have been the talk of the boarding house, and Terrigal." Her reply was a denial and a protest "Very well, said he; 'come home if that is the case.' She refused, and said that she would not go home with a man who accused her of that sort of thing. However, she did return with him, and with their little boy went to their home in Strathfield. "She said," Erby said,"'that I could sleep with her if I wanted to", but I said "No, thank you." I went to my father's place. On March. 2 he went to his own house at his usual time, a, quarter-past six,
SYDNEY JAMES WEYMARK and ETHEL HUIE.
The gentleman who had the citronella and the young lady who went searching, for it at night. She is hiding from the camera man behind her boy-friend. but his home-coming brought the discovery that his wife had gone again. He waited, however, thinking that she would return home, and stayed till about ten o'clock, but there was no appearance. Thereupon he went down to the Strathfield station to go to his father's, but saw his wife at the station as she got off the Newcastle train. Immediately he hired a taxi-cab and rushed back to his residence, arriving before her. "This is a nice hour to get home,' was his welcoming remark, "and to leave the child like this. I am getting sick of this. Where have you been?" She refused to say, so he said, and he replied that he knew, because he had seen her. "I don't care if you have," she said. He accused her of having been drinkIng, and she did not deny it further, she had a lot of bruises on her arm, and he asked her where she got them, receiving for a reply that he had given them, to her. "When she was getting undressed a lot of sand fell out of her shoes," Erby said. "'Then she got into a violent temper, and kicked my hat out of the door, and said, "Get out of the damned place". He then left. He said that he went back later, and saw that the child was very ill, where upon he threatened to take it away from her, and she seemed to be very pleased. Accordingly he look the boy to his parents' home. The following Sunday he went back to his own place again, and she was not there. On Monday, March 24, he received a letter, and immediately went down to see his solicitors, from whom he received certain advice. Whatever that was, he went to Terrigal with a friend, leaving by the 7.30 p.m. train from Strathfleld for Gosford, whence he went to Terrigal in a cab. Then followed a search for Sullivan's home, which resulted in the place being found in a lane that ran off the main road into the scrub, about a mile back on the way from Terrigal to Gosford. The front of the house was in darkness, but there were lights in the back. Laughter struck his ears, and he could hear his wife's voice, so he said. Erby said that he saw his wife go into a room on the right side of the house, to be followed by Sullivan. Erby waited tor about half an hour, and then saw Sullivan come out and pick up something that looked like a bathing costume. After that the watchers left to spend the night elsewhere, and to return In the morning. 'JACK, DEAR' In the morning, at his return, he could hear his wife talking, and Sullivan's voice. Then he heard a hand knocking on a door and a voice telling them that It was time that they were up. " I heard her say," said Erby, ''Jack dear is going to have a shave, and I am going to have a bath; then I'm going home." Erby said that he returned to Sydney, and again saw his solicitor. Following on that he returned by the same train the next night with a private inquiry agent named Brown, with whom he proceeded to Sullivan's house. They went right to the back, and from where they were ensconced saw his wife and Sullivan with two other people. They were all sitting in a room together joking and talking. He saw his wife with her arm around Sullivan, while they kissed, and smoked cigarettes together. His wife, he said, had Sullivan's blazer coat on. Then he saw her get up, and dance a shimmy — so he described her antics. There was no music, but from what Erby said, she shook herself sufficiently hard to cause her princess slip to fall to her waist. "Could they do that" she asked, and one of the other persons present said, 'You're drunk." Erby said that he heard them laughing about her calling herself 'miss,' and they remarked on how Sullivan loved her. They were looking at some photographic proofs that had been developed that day and someone said, "Hello, what is this?" Erby said that he heard his wife say, "That is Jack with his hand on my garter." The company left the room somewhere about half past eleven, Mrs. Erby going to a room situated at the rear of the house at the end of a verandah. A moment later Sullivan followed, so Erby said, and lit a light. LOVING MURMURS "I could see in the back window," Erby said, "and I could see the movements ot them getting undressed. When they got undressed the light went out, and I could bear them murmuring as though they were loving each other." Some time later Sullivan left the young woman, and went to the room in which they had been sitting early in the night. His vigil finished, Erby said that he left, and returned to Strathfield the next morning to await his wife's homecoming. He waited till about five o'clock, but as she did not return he went along towards the station with the intention of returning to his people's place. But as he was going to catch the train he saw his wife get off another, with the result that they met on the top of the Strathfield station. He put her in a cab and took her back to his own home."'I told her that it was true all along that she had been living with Sullivan," he said, "sleeping with him." She asked how he knew. I said: "I have been there and saw you, as a matter of fact," he said he replied. He showed the letter that his mother had written, and her remark was, according to him, "Damn them. They never thought of me, anyhow." He asked her what about her child, and she said: "'No, I am thinking of myself, and myself alone". I said, he went on, "Are you satisfied? Are you going back to this mongrel of a Sullivan?" She said: "Yes, I am.'' WANTED A FLAT She began to get dressed and started to pack all her belongings, putting them on a table, telling him that she would write for them, and he, could pack them in a suit case, and advance them to an address of which she would notify him. Her intention was, she told him, to go into town and get a flat, as she was going to earn her own living. He left, but returned the next morning to find that she was in bed, where upon he asked her did she want a chance. "No." she said. He saw his solicitors, and subsequently met her at the G.P.O. when he told her that he was going on with it, but agreed to allow her £2 a week. On March 25, he said, he told her that he was glad that she had not disgraced his name while she was up there. She had gone under the name of Miss. At that time, he noticed that her rings were not on, and he asked where they were. Her reply was to fling them at him, suggest that he could do something with them, and remark that they were 'tinny things'. Mr. McTague's cross-examination, on Mrs. Erby's behalf, centred on whether he drank to excess, and he admitted candidly that he was not a teetotaller by any means. QUESTION OF DRINK Mr. McTague suggested that he was very drunk while he was at Terrlgal. "1 don't say that I had too many?''. said Erby. "No more than the rest of the crowd." " Isn't it a fact that during the whole of your married life you drank to excess?' queried the legal man. "No! Absolutely not" shouted Erby. "I always knew what I was doing." be I added. "If I were working in the yard of a Sunday I most certainly would have two or three bottles of beer." One time he was looking for his wife, he said. It was raining. "She was under a policeman's coat" he said. In 1922 he suffered from an illness — several complaints, he described them, but did not wish to say what the major one was. Mr. McTague suggested that it was due to alcoholism, and he admitted that he had had a few drinks at that time, but pleaded that he always had it when he was attacked by that kind of sickness. Erby, in fact, suggested that his wife was a much better drinker than he was. "She could drink a bottle of brandy in two nights," he said. "Not a large bottle, but a small one."
"Do you remember August, 1923, threatening your wife with a carving knife?" asked Mr. McTague. "I never threatened her with carving knife in my life," he cried. "Do you remember June, 1924, a little disturbance about a lady's photo?" He did not remember it. ''Do you remember a photo being found in your pocket?" he was asked, "Never in my life did she find a photo in my pocket" he retorted. "The only thing she ever found in my pocket was the cash. He didn't know a lady named Lorna Cooper and had never heard of the name. FELLOW-BOARDERS His first witness was Sydney James Weymark, a young gentleman who lives at Homebush. and who happened to be staying at Astill Holme when Erby and his wife arrived. Weymark remembered seeing Mrs. Erby and Sullivan together at Wilson's dance hall. On the Wednesday after Mrs. Erby came back alone to the boarding house, Sullivan inquired of Weymark whether he had a vacant bed in his room, and on being told that there was one there Sullivan said that be would occupy it that night. There was a fancy dress ball that evening, and afterwards, after supper, Sullivan came to the room, but only for about ten minutes. They went together to the boys' room, but when he left, Weymark left alone. Sullivan did not occupy the bed that night. "As far as I could see," said Weymark, "Mr. Sullivan and Mrs. Erby were friendly. I saw them kissing each other". An interesting lady was Mrs. Alice May Burns, who owned the boarding house Astill Holme. Called by Erby, she said that she had seen Mrs. Erby and Sullivan walking arm in arm, and Mrs. Erby called him 'Jack.' One night, in the presence of six or seven people in the dining room, she put her arm around his neck as they sat beside each other. Sullivan apparently was under engagement by Mrs. Burns to drive guests from Gosford to Terrigal, but that was broken off in circumstances that Mrs. Burns described. She asked him point blank whether it was true that Mrs. Erby was living with him, and he said that it was.
Thereupon, Mrs. Burns took all orders from him. She said that she told him that he was a heart-breaker, and a home breaker, too. "I think I said that it was the second home that he had broken up said Mrs. Burns. "He never made any reply". The young lady whom the mosquitoes troubled and who went looking for some kill 'em quick, was pretty Ethel Hule, of Homebush, who was staying at the boarding house the same time that the Erbys and Weymark were there. She, too, had seen Sullivan kissing Mrs. Erby more than once, and described a visit that she, Weymark, Mrs. Erby and Sullivan paid to the latter's house one night, when they met a friend of Sullivan's named Webber, who later had to be put to bed in the boarding-house. After their return to Astill Holme they all bought some supper, and went to Mrs. Erby's bedroom. with Miss Hule. After a while, she and Weymark left, leaving Sullivan and Mrs. Erby there. Miss Hule went to her room to bed and Weymark went to his. "I was in bed for about three quarters of an hour, when I got up to get something for the mosquitoes," said Miss Hule. She went to Weymark's bedroom with the intention of getting it there, but found that Weymark was not in. So she went to Mrs. Erby's room, knocked at the door, and Sullivan answered her. He asked her what she wanted. She asked him would he find Weymark for her. He came out through the door, which had been locked, and went to look for Weymark. She went into Mrs. Erby's bedroom, and found that lady in bed in her nightdress. Miss Hule said that she waited for a while, and then went back to Weymark's room, discovering that he was very sick. Sullivan did not come back, she said. MOSQUITO CURE Back in the box on Thursday morning Miss Hule, who said that she kept company with Weymark, told how she had heard Mrs. Erby and Sullivan arranging to get Erby into the toils of Bacchus so that they could go out together at night. Furthermore, two or three times she had seen Sullivan going into the lady's bedroom. That supper party: How long did it last? Miss Hule told Mr. McTague that it went on for more than an hour, till close on midnight. And the mosquito cure that she sought in order to reach the seductive arms of Morpheus? She had left that in Weymark's room, she said. Mr. McTague seemed incredulous. "Why," he asked, "were you in the habit of going to his room?" "No," said the young lady, "but I used it, and gave it back to him".
Was the door of Weymark's room open? — She was not sure, but she just looked in, and if it wasn't open she opened it.. 'Did you look for the citronella where you had left it?' queried Mr. McTagtie 'No,' said she. 'Why?' he pursued, and she answered, 'Because I wanted to see where Mr. Weymark was. He had been sick beforehand.' 'But why didn't you get the citronella?' Mr. McTague persisted. 'Because I wanted to see where he was first,' said she. And when she went out. Miss Hule informed Mr. Jacques, who appeared for Sullivan, she was dressed in her night robes, but had a coat on over them. WHAT HOUSEMAID SAW From Terrigal to Erby's home the Court was taken by a fifteen-year-old miss, Ruth Selby, who had been in the employ of the Erbys at Strathfield as a house maid. After the Erbys had been to Terrigal, she said, she remembered one morning going into the dining-room and seeing Sullivan in pyjamas lying on the lounge with bedclothes up to his waist Mrs. Erby was sitting beside him in her nightdress, with a kimino covering that. Ruth cooked breakfast, and afterwards was ordered by Mrs. Erby to wash the pyjamas that Sullivan had been wearing, so that Erby wouldn't know. The question of the bruises that Mrs. Erby had on her arms cropped up, and according to what was said there must be something of the caveman about Sullivan. Mrs. Erby, the maid said, once showed her bruises on her arm, explaining that while she was at Terrigal she wanted to get home, but Sullivan wouldn't let her. Indeed, he grabbed her by the arm with such force that that member was bruised . Private Inquiry Agent Frederick Brown was called to describe the shim my-shake that Mrs. Erby went through after she had finished sitting on Sullivan's knee, where she smoked a cigarette. Brown said that he also saw them scan the photos, and heard Mrs. Erby say, 'Oh, that is his hand on my knee.' Silhouettes on the blind was Brown's description of what he saw after Mrs. Erby's adjournment to the back-room, to be followed afterwards by Sullivan. He saw their shadows on the blind, be said. THE WIFES STORY Mrs. Erby, who did not refer to Erby as her husband, but as the petitioner, accused hubby of being a drunkard, and averred that be began his bibulous habits soon after they were married. In fact, he imbibed so much that he became quarrelsome, and on the night of New Year's Day, 1928, after they had arrived from the race whereat he had lost his money, he locked her out on a narrow verandah all night in the rain. She had to stay tnere till five o'clock in the morning, when he let her in, wet to the skin. He drank always, but more especially at the week-ends, when be adjourned to the hotel at the Burwood railway station on Saturday afternoons, and bought bottles of wine and beer, which he brought home in a suitcase. The baby was born in June, 1822, and she went into the private hospital with bruises on her arms. He came to the hospital to see her, and always brought gin. Indeed, on one occasion she looked up and caught him drinking from a bottle. Before she went into the hospital Erby used to drink wine and beer, but when she returned home he drank whisky and gin. So afraid was she of him that one Sunday night in August, 1922, he drove her out into the garden, where she hid in fear of him, and would not return to the house till he had gone to bed, despite the endeavors of her sister, who had arrived, to get her in. One night, she tried to put him to bed in the presence of his mother, and for her pains received a kick in the stomach". He was always in a perpetual state of quarrelling,' said Mrs. Erby, when he was drunk. THE LADY LORNA ! Mrs. Erby introduced another character into the story, a fair lady named Lorna, and said that one day Erby came home and said that for once in his life he had enjoyed himself, and informed her that he had been out with a woman, who was much nicer than his wife. The next day he was shaking his coat when out dropped the photo of a lady in a bathing costume— Lorna, he said she was, a divorced woman, and he had been out with her the day before. Giving instances of the cruelty that, she said he showed her, Mrs. Erby averred that one Sunday night while the table was set for te, her husband picked up a carving knife in a drunken frenzy and attacked her with it. He was going to cut her throat, he said, but later reckoned that it was she who had the murderous intent. Another time, coming from Manly, where they had spent the afternoon, he abused her on Circular Quay as they walked across the road. You ____ ,'' said he, 'a man oughtn't to have married you.' At Terrigal, while they were away on their holiday, Erby, she said, began to drink on the Tuesday, and continued drinking till the night they came home. On their return, after staying the night in Strathfield, she told him that she was going off to finish her holiday. She went, but on the Wednesday wrote to him and he came up on the Friday. They met In the main street of Gosford, and the conversation centred on the letter that she had sent to him. She promptly told him that he had broken the promise that he made to her at Christmas time, and, therefore, she refused to live with him any more. Thereupon she left him, and sat in the back of the car. And he, she presumed, went back to the railway station and caught the next train to Strathfield. MUTUAL SEPARATION She went back to the boarding house at Terrigal and stayed there till Monday, the 23rd, and when she did return she came to an arrangement with Erby. She said, that she should have the house for a year and live alone, while he was to go to his people's place. That arrangement lasted till about the middle of March, and she was visited pretty frequently by him. But on the 21st he came down, accused her of neglecting the child, said that he was going to take it with him, and told her to get out. Mrs. Erby denied all the statements that had been made about her conduct at Terrigal, and protested that never at any time had she misconducted herself with Sullivan. The time she stayed at his place then were there a Mr. Beggs and his housekeeper, Mrs. Harvey, two children, and Sullivan. It was Mrs. Harvey who invited her there to stay, and she slept in the same room as that lady. She had not gone into the bedroom with Sullivan, and had never kissed him. In fact, Mrs. Erby detailed all her movements at Terrigal, and said that never at any time had Sullivan been to her home at Strathfield. There was quite a little flutter in Court when the lady was handed a brown paper bag which she carefully opened and produced a flimsy pink thing shaped like a petticoat, with two straps for the shoulders. It was the princess slip, the garment that was said by the husband and the private detective to have slipped off while she was doing the shimmy. The garment apparently was too personal a thing to remain opened before the vulgar gaze of the public. And the judge ordered that it should be wrapped up again. The associate, it was noted, treated it tenderly, and gently as it was lowered into the brown paper bag again. NOT HER KNEE As for the shimmy, Mrs, Erby denied that she ever went through such antics, and furthermore wasn't drunk at the time. All that night photos were being developed by Mr. Beggs, and one contained the likeness of a little girl named , Molly. It was on Molly's knee that the gentleman's hand reposed, and when she made the remark. It was Molly's name that, she mentioned. There were no files on Erby when he was preparing his case, as is witnessed by the fact that after the 'bust up' he confiscated a pink sheet of blotting paper that contained the imprint of a lady's writing, the writing being that of his wife. It was declared by Mr. Bryan Fuller. who appeared for Erby. They had transcribed it by means of a looking-glass. and Mr. Fuller questioned the lady from the transcription. : 'Have you ever written this" he asked: "I feel like going in, and just sitting on that lounge, and try and imagine that I am just with you, dearest?' ' 'No,' said Mary emphatically. Mr. Fuller, however, wanted to know , whether she had written to anyone, calling them sweetheart, and she said she didn't. He suggested that she wrote, 'Well, sweetheart, I will watch for you on Saturday,' but again she denied it. The only time that Erby did any work in the parden was when he was drunk, the lady said. The case was adjourned till ten o'clock on Friday morning. LADY MARKS' PROTEGE Mrs. Erby on Friday morning told Mr. Fuller that last Sunday week she went down to Palm Bsach with Sullivan and Lady Marks, but they went down there in obtaining witness named Benson for the divorce suit. ''Is Lady Marks identical with the lady who was engaged in a police court case at Burwood recently?- queried Mr. Fuller. Although Mr. McTague objected to the question, Mrs. Erby answered that Lady Marks had never been engaged in any police court proceedings. 'In fact, she has only just arrived from England.' 'Who is Lady Marks?'— 'She has the Cyclax massage rooms in Pitt street, and I work for her.' '1 am under her protection,' said Mrs. Erby. 'I am living with her.' 'Do you remember your mother asking you whether it was true that you were living, with another man'-' asked Mr. Fuller. 'Yes.' said Mrs. Erby, -but only since the divorce proceedings. ' Mrs. Erby's first witness was her girl friend, Muriel Emily Hyde, who remembered that in July last year Mrs Erby had a tooth out| and her mouth was bruised, as was her arm on another occasion. Ruby May Harvey, the widow who now keeps house for Erby's was down at Manly but who was at Terrigal in March last, told the Court that Mrs Erby cam down about March and slept with her in the front bedroom of Sullivan's house. Beggs, Mrs. Harvey said, occupied the back bedroom, and Sullivan slept on the verandah. Mrs. Erby's last witness was the gentleman who employs Mrs. Harvey Leonard Bruce Beggs, a process engraver. Slightly deaf, and with a memory that was not too good. Beggs supported the other, in saying that Sullivan and Mrs. Erby did not kiss and neither did Mrs. Erby do the shimmy. CO-RES. DENIAL Sullivan save evidence and denied absolutely that he had misconducted himself on any occasion with Mrs Erby. He detailed his various movements on the occasions referred by Erby's witnesses, contradicting their evidence. He denied, in fact, ever having been in Mrs. Erby's bedroom, and that she had sat on his knee and kissed him. 'There was never any familiarty at all,' said he. There were letters in Mr. Fullers possession which Mr. Toller cross examined Sullivan on. . . 'Do you remember writing this? 'Oh, my darling, please forgive me for not writing to you yesterday. I do not feel like giving my letter to some old pot and having it posted at Goulburn or somewhere else. 'Do you remember writing that to Mrs. Erby' 'No,' said Sullivan. 'Or this,' Mr. Fuller went on, 'Last night was the first time I have dreamed for month, and you were in the dream, darting? 'No,' Sullivan said. 'I never wrote this' 'Do you remember this - 'There were some parts ot it loving, but it was only a dream, dear?' 'I never wrote that,' said Sullivan. TREATMENT FOR LIPS Sullivan said that he did not know that Mrs. Erby went under the name of Miss Letchford while she was up at ' Terrigal, and said that he did not write, 'Now what do you think what we have done re the miss part? So you think I had better tell the truth?' He also said that he did not write, 'What you will be pleased to hear is that my lips will be quite well ... After the treatment; they got on Tuesday they improved wonderfully 'Did you also write,' Mr. Puller pursued, I feel very well waiting for your letter. Just to wait for what you have to say. But I suppose it will be here with lots of love from you, darling?' Sullivan said that he did not, and further, in answer to another question that he did not write, 'How did you get home?' I stood all the way, but when I looked at my bed it seemed such a long way back to the other night.' 'And did you write this?' 'My whole body was too fall of love for you, darling, and when a chap gets drunk that way it seems to be the most wonderful thing in the world. ' 'I never wrote that,' he said, and also denied that he wrote, forgive me for writing this. One time I thought it mad. Now I can't express my feelings. It is the only happiness that I have while I am away from you, my sweetheart.' On Friday afternoon Erby gave evidence in reply, and he had had not concluded when the Court adjourned till a date to be fixed later.
Source: Truth 1 Nov 1925
SYDNEY DIVORCE CASE
The suit in which Harold Erby petitioned for a divorce from his wife, Mary Doreen Erby, on the grounds of misconduct with John Sullivan at a boarding house at Terrigal, concluded this afternoon after a hearing lasting six days. Mr. Justice Owen said he was of the opinion that the misconduct alleged had been proved, and he granted Erby a decree nisi. Sullivan was directed to pay the costs of the suit. The wife's allegations against her husband the judge ruled were not upheld.
Source: Northern Star 7 Nov 1925