furniture, china, or other things.
Like Mr. Hardcastle
, he loved everything old. Among these heirlooms was a New England
Primer, used by his grandfather, Joel Elliot
, in 1784 or thereabouts.
Our friend was greatly interested in the law, and was well versed in some of its points.
He was told more than once by men of the legal profession that, with a little study, he might easily be admitted to the bar. More than that, he was an authority on certain branches of the law.
Upon the legal aspects of his professional endeavor he always entered with a keen zest, whether called upon as an expert witness, or to negotiate, out of court, settlements for damages to estates.
Because of his interest in the success of his clients, his keen perception of the drift of the opposing counsel's attack, and his coolness on the witness stand, his services were highly valued, and were not uncommonly sought afterwards by the lawyer or corporation against whom he had happened to be called.
Many times he was sought by the other side of the same case, after he had engaged himself to the first comer.
On one occasion it was a question of certain rights between a railroad and a town.
(The case did not come into the courts.) At a preliminary meeting the railroad's counsel offered to give the town a quit-claim deed of the railroad's rights.
, who was engaged for the town, said: ‘Sir, I will give you a quit-claim deed of the whole X Y Z railroad system.’
Asked what he meant, he replied: ‘I will release to you all my right in the railroad.
That is all a “quit-claim” means.’
As witness for the Fitchburg Railroad in an accident case, at a crossing where there were fully 600 yards of clear track visible on either side of the station, he was asked by counsel for the plaintiff: ‘Do you mean to tell this jury that this man could have seen that train coming?’
Using a legal phrase which carries great weight, Mr. Elliot
replied: ‘Yes, I think he could have done so by using “due care.”
This reply did not please the opposition counsel, who thundered: ‘Does the Fitchburg Railroad pay
you for manufactur