Simply quackers - alleged detention of a duck

Hertfordshire Mercury, 15th September 1906


Fredrick Eve, of Waltham Common Lock, was summoned by George Platten, landlord of the Jolly Bargeman, near Cheshunt Wharf, for detaining a duck, worth 5 shillings, his property. Mr Platten said that on August 26th he missed a duck and told the Police.

He saw it again on the 28th, with P.S. Willoughby and another Sergeant, in a place where coal was kept at the lock-keeper’s house. He recognised the duck by its brown body, yellow beak with dark spots, and white feathers under its wings. Eve refused to give it up unless he paid for it. He valued it at 5 shillings.

The Magistrates’ Clerk : This is a rather valuable duck, isn’t it ?

Platten : Yes, sir, It’s a special duck – half Peking and half Rouen.

Charles Frederick Bishop, of Windmill Lane, Cheshunt, who works for Platten, spoke to finding a duck belonging to prosecutor amongst Eve’s ducks on August 20th – the mother of the duck in dispute. On August 26th he saw Platten’s lost duck in the river, and he had not seen it since.

A Police Sergeant said Platten pointed out the duck at Eve’s place. and said “That’s my duck”.

The Clerk: The duck didn’t answer ? – No, sir

Eve produced two ducks : Platten pointed out one as his and he produced one of his own breed.

Eve, on oath, said the duck he produced was his; he bred it. Cross-examined by Platten: I don’t entice your ducks. The Chairman said the best thing the parties could do was to roast the duck and make a feast of it.

The case was dismissed.


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