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  • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

    Neither option is in writing.
    Echo 10 Sep:
    At a quarter before five o'clock John Richardson, of 2, St. John-street, son of the landlady of 29, Hanbury-street, the proprietor of a packing-case business, as usual went to his mother's to see if everything was right in the back yard. A short while before there had been a burglary in this place. Richardson sat down on the steps to cut a piece of leather from his boot. The door would then partially hide the corner between the house and the fence. The man is quite clear that he saw nothing to attract his attention before he left

    Irish Times 10 Sep:
    It is a remarkable fact, however, that the man Richardson, who first went into the yard where the corpse was discovered says that he actually sat down on the step of the passage to cut a piece of leather off his shoe and yet did not see the body. This, however, may be explained by the circumstances that the passage door opens outward and toward the left, and so would conceal the body behind it.
    “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

    “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post
      Steps are normally between 9-10 inch on the flat, thats the 'run'. The step up is the 'rise', which are normally 8-9 inch.
      These are the dims I used in my sketch, because two 'runs' make roughly 18 inch, in keeping with Chandlers "nearly two feet".
      If the head was nearly 24 inch (2 feet) from the house wall, then the two steps must be less, which they are at 18 inch, in my sketch.
      Hi Jon,

      I want you to be very clear that I am not in any way disputing your knowledge of vintage building sizes and technique. The question I am raising is, if the steps are normal size, why isn't Mason's boot overhanging the front of the step? Chandler doesn't mention the width of the steps. There is only Phillip's confusing statement to relate the head to the steps.

      Best regards, George
      “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

      “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

      Comment


      • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

        Echo 10 Sep:
        At a quarter before five o'clock John Richardson, of 2, St. John-street, son of the landlady of 29, Hanbury-street, the proprietor of a packing-case business, as usual went to his mother's to see if everything was right in the back yard. A short while before there had been a burglary in this place. Richardson sat down on the steps to cut a piece of leather from his boot. The door would then partially hide the corner between the house and the fence. The man is quite clear that he saw nothing to attract his attention before he left

        Irish Times 10 Sep:
        It is a remarkable fact, however, that the man Richardson, who first went into the yard where the corpse was discovered says that he actually sat down on the step of the passage to cut a piece of leather off his shoe and yet did not see the body. This, however, may be explained by the circumstances that the passage door opens outward and toward the left, and so would conceal the body behind it.
        Thankyou George, that is what I meant by the journalist assuming the door could have hid the body.
        It wasn't Richardson's assumption, he didn't need to assume - he was there, it was a journalist, and we have just fallen in line with that idea.
        Regards, Jon S.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

          Hi Jon,

          I want you to be very clear that I am not in any way disputing your knowledge of vintage building sizes and technique. The question I am raising is, if the steps are normal size, why isn't Mason's boot overhanging the front of the step? Chandler doesn't mention the width of the steps. There is only Phillip's confusing statement to relate the head to the steps.

          Best regards, George
          Is this what you mean George?



          It looks to me like his right shoe over hangs that middle step.
          Also, it's a small size shoe, he was not a tall man.

          As for the size of the step, I cannot tell the true size from the old photograph, I only used standard measurements, yes I could be off, but James Mason's right foot doesn't say anything against my estimate. Not that I can see.
          Last edited by Wickerman; 08-01-2022, 03:00 AM.
          Regards, Jon S.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Herlock Sholmes View Post
            Despite the fact that I’m clearly wasting my time on this subject I’ll try one last time to explain why it’s not a ‘close run thing’ on whether Richardson lied or not as is regularly claimed.

            The first point that has to be stressed and not simply ignored, even though it’s an obvious one, is that Inspector Chandler didn’t say, in either The Times or The Telegraph versions, that Richardson told him that he’d stood on the steps. Only that he hadn’t mentioned sitting on the steps to fix his boot. It’s a subtle point but one that gets conveniently ignored. So its just a question of whether he’d mentioned his reason for sitting there or not. Chandler doesn’t provide evidence for him not doing so; only that he might not have mentioned it at the time.

            The next point is, can we be certain that Richardson didn’t mention his reason for sitting on that step? On this particular point alone yes, we have to concede that it’s at least even (possibly even favouring Chandler - especially on the subject of the boot?) But it has to be conceded (surely?) that it’s possible that in those circumstances that Richardson might have just said “I sat on the steps,” and Chandler either misheard it as “I stood on the steps” or that he mis-remembered at a later time. Its a conveniently ignored possibility . It’s also worth asking - would it have been completely unheard of for a policeman to lie to cover his own backside? Can we be anything like certain that Chandler didn’t press Richardson enough as to whether he’d stood or sat (or indeed why he’d sat?) and that he was embarrassed about this lapse when questioned later, which resulted in him lying? I don’t press this particular point with any real enthusiasm but just to point out that police officers don’t have a monopoly on honesty and that we should at least bear that point in mind.

            So, even if Richardson hadn’t initially mentioned sitting on the step to repair his boot would that imply dishonesty? Categorically not in my opinion. We don’t know how closely Chandler questioned him but we know that this questioning took place in the passage way of the scene of a brutal, high-profile murder. It wasn’t a sit down grilling. Chandler was a busy man under considerable pressure with people wishing to leave and enter the scene no doubt and with Constable’s asking questions and reporting the results of interviews. He also had Doctor Phillips there who he was no doubt keen to get information from. So it’s entirely reasonable to say that this wasn’t a close or lengthy interrogation. It’s entirely possible (even likely) that Richardson might have just said that he’d gone to the back door to check the cellar lock and had seen all over the yard and that there was no body there. Chandler probably just assumed that he’d stood and just asked him if he was certain that there was no body. Of course Richardson was entirely certain about this. So there’s clearly nothing suspicious about Richardson not mentioning a detail that a) wasn’t relevant to Chandler, and b) that Chandler probably didn’t press him on, for obvious reasons. Jeff Hamm has recently made the entirely valid and relevant point that witness often reveal more information on further and more in depth and specific questioning. This is simply a fact of life. And again, it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.

            So to some up so far, there’s simply nothing suspicious about Richardson neglecting to mention a detail that we can’t be certain that he didn’t, at least in part, mention in the first place. Hardly reasonable evidence for a lie so far.

            People usually have a reason for lying. The 15 minutes of fame one borders on desperation in my opinion especially in the LVP where, at best, a witness might have got a mention in a newspaper that most of his friends and colleagues possibly wouldn’t even have read. No YouTube or Twitter publicity. So we need a reason for John Richardson to have lied. The only one that has been put forward is that he wanted to strengthen his point that there was no body there. To somehow ‘prove’ that he couldn’t have missed a body. So how could he have done that? We can’t assume that Richardson was some kind of Professor Moriarty-like criminal genius of course but we also can’t assume that he was some kind of knuckle-dragging cave-dweller either. So what ‘lies’ would have been able to even a man of average or slightly below average intelligence? No complicated plots of course, no Napoleon-like strategic wizardry. He could have said……

            I sat on the steps and closed the door behind me…..

            I stood on the steps and pushed the door back to the fence…..

            I sat on the steps and pushed the door back to the fence……

            I went over to check the cellar and the door swung closed……

            I stood in the yard and smoked for a couple of minutes……

            I went over to use the outside loo…..

            Whilst checking the lock I had a look around the yard checking the fence….

            That’s only seven but there are a couple more that could been mentioned. Are any of these difficult? Are any of them less than glaringly obvious? And yet we are being asked to believe that John Richardson ignored or missed all of these and settled on the supposed lie that he’d sat on the steps to repair his boot! Unbelievable, but true.

            Firstly, it wasn’t a very effective ‘lie’ was it because the question could still be asked “how do you know that she wasn’t hidden by the door?” So he’s avoided the 7+ obvious and 100% effective ones and plumped for this utterly useless one! But that’s not all of course. At a time when people of Richardson’s class trusted the police even less than we do today he stupidly puts a knife in his own hand whilst he’s alone in a yard where a mutilated corpse was found! You really couldn’t make this stuff up but this is exactly what’s being regularly proposed on here. He could even have said that he’d sat on the step without the need to bring a knife into it. “I sat on the step for a smoke” would hardly have required genius.

            So to show that Richardson lied we have - Chandler not saying that JR had stood on the steps but only that he hadn’t mentioned his reason for doing so (a point that we can’t prove to have been the case in the first place) We also have Richardson telling a lie that he didn’t need to tell because it achieved nothing and he avoided a collection of childishly obvious and 100% effective lies to do so. And just to top it off….the icing on the cake….he plucks out of thin air a story that makes the police pay much closer attention to him.

            It’s not a close run thing as is being suggested. It’s overwhelmingly in favour of Richardson telling the truth. It’s also beyond reason to suggest that John Richardson couldn’t have been unaware that a wooden door was physically capable of concealing a body! Of course he realised the possibility but he knew that it wasn’t the case. He had all of the facts available to him; far more than we do. The size of the door, the height of the step, the position that he’d assumed, the angle of his sight, the location of the body, the floor space that it had taken up and the light available. He knew all of this for a fact! He needed no diagrams. So could he have been mistaken? No he couldn’t. Not a chance in hell.

            My apologies for the long post but its misleading when it’s said “he might have, he might not have.” A look at the evidence shows is that’s not the case. My opinion of the chances of Richardson lying…one or two percent but only if I’m being generous. The suggestion that Richardson lied should be dropped. But it won’t be. Some people love a cause I’m afraid. Even thoroughly a lost one. And this one was lost long ago.
            Times 14 Sep:
            Witness saw young John Richardson a little before 7 o'clock in the passage of the house. He told witness he had been to the house about a quarter to 5 that morning, that he went to the back door and looked down at the cellar to see that all was right. He then went away to his work in the market. He did not say anything to witness about cutting his boot, but said he was sure the woman was not there at the time.
            By the Foreman. -The back door opened outwards into the yard, on the left-hand side. That was the side on which the body was lying. Richardson might not have seen the body if he did not go into the yard. If he went down the steps and the body was there at the time he was bound to see it. Richardson told witness he did not go down the steps, and did not mention the fact that he sat down on the steps and cut his boots.


            Daily Telegraph:
            [Coroner] Did you see John Richardson? - I saw him about a quarter to seven o'clock. He told me he had been to the house that morning about a quarter to five. He said he came to the back door and looked down to the cellar, to see if all was right, and then went away to his work.
            [Coroner] Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - No.
            [Coroner]
            Did he say that he was sure the woman was not there at that time? - Yes.

            Above are your named preferred reports on the inquest. Curious that you speculate a mis-heard conversation about "steps" when the word does not even appear in either account of the Chandler/Richardson exchange. You state Richardson couldn't have lied, then suggest maybe Chandler was lying? With what evidence? Then you repeat your 8 could've, should've would've (but didn't) scenarios, which consist of "
            he might have, he might not have"s, conjecture and speculation. The Foreman of the Jury was questioning Richardson's evidence, and he was there hearing the words from Richardson's mouth. Chandler didn't grill Richardson. Chandler related what Richardson said to him. Chandler only mentioned the boot cutting in reply to the question by the coroner.

            You have have your opinion, and others have theirs, some of which contain the Foreman's doubts. Can we just look at the evidence, and respect others opinions, and refrain from the use of emotive superlatives please?

            Cheers, George
            “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

            “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Trevor Marriott View Post

              You keep referring to Richardson as having not lied. i have continued to suggest that he didnt lie and that by reason of his actions he may have simply not seen the body. I have found the attached photo with the door at an angle which I believe may have made it impossible for him to have seen the body.

              I also previoulsy mentioned whether or not Richardson saw the body in situ after its discovery before or after he was spoken to by Chandler. If he sat on the step with the door at this angle or near to this angle he would be correct in saying he didnt see the body because all he would have seen was to his front and to the right which was his main reasons for going to the backyard.

              www.trevormarriott.co.uk

              Click image for larger version

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              Hi Trevor,

              That's what I call well done. To find a photo that has not been seen here before is excellent work.

              Cheers, George
              “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

              “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Wickerman View Post

                Is this what you mean George?



                It looks to me like his right shoe over hangs that middle step.
                Also, it's a small size shoe, he was not a tall man.

                As for the size of the step, I cannot tell the true size from the old photograph, I only used standard measurements, yes I could be off, but James Mason's right foot doesn't say anything against my estimate. Not that I can see.
                Hi Jon,

                James Mason - IMDb
                https://www.imdb.com › name

                James Mason, Actor: Lolita. James Mason was born in Huddersfield and had a film career spanning over 50 years during which he appeared in over 100 films in ...
                Height: 5' 11" (1.81 m)

                I'm 5' 11" and my boot measures 12". I'll try to get a screen dump from the video to show you what I see.

                Best regards, George
                “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                Comment


                • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                  Times 14 Sep:
                  Witness saw young John Richardson a little before 7 o'clock in the passage of the house. He told witness he had been to the house about a quarter to 5 that morning, that he went to the back door and looked down at the cellar to see that all was right. He then went away to his work in the market. He did not say anything to witness about cutting his boot, but said he was sure the woman was not there at the time.
                  By the Foreman. -The back door opened outwards into the yard, on the left-hand side. That was the side on which the body was lying. Richardson might not have seen the body if he did not go into the yard. If he went down the steps and the body was there at the time he was bound to see it. Richardson told witness he did not go down the steps, and did not mention the fact that he sat down on the steps and cut his boots.


                  Daily Telegraph:
                  [Coroner] Did you see John Richardson? - I saw him about a quarter to seven o'clock. He told me he had been to the house that morning about a quarter to five. He said he came to the back door and looked down to the cellar, to see if all was right, and then went away to his work.
                  [Coroner] Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - No.
                  [Coroner]
                  Did he say that he was sure the woman was not there at that time? - Yes.

                  Above are your named preferred reports on the inquest. Curious that you speculate a mis-heard conversation about "steps" when the word does not even appear in either account of the Chandler/Richardson exchange. You state Richardson couldn't have lied, then suggest maybe Chandler was lying? With what evidence? Then you repeat your 8 could've, should've would've (but didn't) scenarios, which consist of "
                  he might have, he might not have"s, conjecture and speculation. The Foreman of the Jury was questioning Richardson's evidence, and he was there hearing the words from Richardson's mouth. Chandler didn't grill Richardson. Chandler related what Richardson said to him. Chandler only mentioned the boot cutting in reply to the question by the coroner.

                  You have have your opinion, and others have theirs, some of which contain the Foreman's doubts. Can we just look at the evidence, and respect others opinions, and refrain from the use of emotive superlatives please?

                  Cheers, George
                  ''Hallelujah''. Well said George , lets hope for a more peacful debate here on in .

                  'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                  Comment


                  • Hi Jon,

                    Hope you can see what I'm saying - the photos are rather dark. There is plenty of space behind his shoe with the toe still on the front of the stone.

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                    Best regards, George
                    “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                    “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                    Comment


                    • Click image for larger version

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                      Photoshopped.
                      “Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

                      “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.” “How do you know I'm mad?” said Alice. “You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn't have come here.”

                      Comment


                      • . John Richardson When I was on the ''doorstep'' I saw that the padlock on the cellar door was in its proper place.

                        [Coroner] Did you sit on the top step? John Richardson ,No....... [so he must have stood on the doorstep]

                        This evidence by Richardsons own account can only mean one thing , while he was on the doorstep he ''saw'' the lock. just as the sketch suggested he was able to.




                        'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                        Comment






                        • If Richardson is to be believed which sketch it to be belived more accurate ?
                          'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                          Comment


                          • [Coroner] Did you see John Richardson? - Chandler I saw him about a quarter to seven o'clock. He told me he had been to the house that morning about a quarter to five. He said he came to the back door and looked down to the cellar, to see if all was right, and then went away to his work.
                            [Coroner] Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - Chandler No.



                            [Coroner] Did he say that he was sure the woman was not there at that time? - Yes.

                            IF Richardson didnt mention anything about cutting his boot to chandler on the morning of the murder , where was he exactly positioned when he claimed the the women was not there .

                            Could he have been standing on the ''doorstep'' checking the cellar lock as he himslf said, and chandler confimed ? .

                            That being the case could we expect that by holding the door open to check the lock he was sure the women was not there in the whole of the yard to which he could see? Given that the door was blocking his line of sight to his right where the body was.

                            Im merely suggesting thats its not as clear cut as it seems when one breaks down the evidence .




                            'It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are . If it doesn't agree with experiment, its wrong'' . Richard Feynman

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by GBinOz View Post

                              Times 14 Sep:
                              Witness saw young John Richardson a little before 7 o'clock in the passage of the house. He told witness he had been to the house about a quarter to 5 that morning, that he went to the back door and looked down at the cellar to see that all was right. He then went away to his work in the market. He did not say anything to witness about cutting his boot, but said he was sure the woman was not there at the time.
                              By the Foreman. -The back door opened outwards into the yard, on the left-hand side. That was the side on which the body was lying. Richardson might not have seen the body if he did not go into the yard. If he went down the steps and the body was there at the time he was bound to see it. Richardson told witness he did not go down the steps, and did not mention the fact that he sat down on the steps and cut his boots.


                              Daily Telegraph:
                              [Coroner] Did you see John Richardson? - I saw him about a quarter to seven o'clock. He told me he had been to the house that morning about a quarter to five. He said he came to the back door and looked down to the cellar, to see if all was right, and then went away to his work.
                              [Coroner] Did he say anything about cutting his boot? - No.
                              [Coroner]
                              Did he say that he was sure the woman was not there at that time? - Yes.

                              Above are your named preferred reports on the inquest. Curious that you speculate a mis-heard conversation about "steps" when the word does not even appear in either account of the Chandler/Richardson exchange.

                              Come on George, this wasn’t a verbatim report of what Richardson might have said (or Chandler for that matter.) We have no way of knowing the exact content of the exchange between those two men. I really can’t see anything objectionable or far-fetched in my speculation as none of us were actually there. My suggestion is a possibility; nothing more nothing less. Why is it ok to suggest that Richardson deliberately lied (with no evidence for this) but somehow ‘unfair’ merely to suggest that at least a part of the discrepancy might have been down to a word being misheard?

                              You state Richardson couldn't have lied, then suggest maybe Chandler was lying? With what evidence?

                              No again George. I think that the evidence overwhelmingly points to Richardson telling the truth (but it’s not 100% provable of course) but the point that I was making is that, when two people make apparently conflicting statements why is it that only one of them could have lied? I’m not saying that Chandler did lie but just that police officers can’t be exempt from possible suggestions of dishonesty or incompetence.

                              Then you repeat your 8 could've, should've would've (but didn't) scenarios, which consist of "
                              he might have, he might not have"s, conjecture and speculation.

                              Which are extremely powerful pointers to Richardson not lying and which are regularly ignored or brushed under the the carpet of convenience in here I’m afraid George.

                              The Foreman of the Jury was questioning Richardson's evidence, and he was there hearing the words from Richardson's mouth. Chandler didn't grill Richardson. Chandler related what Richardson said to him. Chandler only mentioned the boot cutting in reply to the question by the coroner.

                              You have have your opinion, and others have theirs, some of which contain the Foreman's doubts. Can we just look at the evidence, and respect others opinions, and refrain from the use of emotive superlatives please?

                              Cheers, George
                              Nothing that I’ve said is ‘disrespectful’ George. But if there are two possibilities in any given events we shouldn’t just assume or accept that the two are of equal validity just for harmony which is what has been suggested here. It’s something that’s casually tossed out as if it’s a fact and it needs to be challenged. It’s certainly not ‘even.’ The evidence when viewed as a whole ( including your favourite 8 ‘could’ve’s) push things massively, overwhelmingly in favour or Richardson telling the truth. In my opinion the suggestion that he lied is close to ludicrous. This is my opinion and I’ve arrived at it by viewing the evidence as a whole and not just the words of one man taken via the press. Some might disagree of course George but I’m not willing to say “ok it might be x or it might be y, it’s pretty much a toss-up’” just for the sake of it when I couldn’t disagree with that statement more strongly.

                              ​​​​​​…….

                              We can look at the evidence of course George, I wouldn’t suggest otherwise, but the issue with doing it via diagrams is that it can always be stated that Richardson opened the door to a certain extent, that he looked in a certain direction or sat in a certain way. Although the diagram/photograph work that’s being done is very good it can’t really be conclusive.

                              What shouldn’t be dismissed, ignored or discredited, is that Richardson knew that it was being suggested that he might have missed the body behind the door but he was 100% certain that it was impossible for him to have missed it. This doesn’t mean that under certain circumstances (door at a certain angle, Richardson being in a certain position) then the body might have been hidden BUT we can’t assume this. In fact, as Richardson was so confident, I think it likeliest (close to a point of certainty) that Richardson pushed the door open pretty wide……wide enough to see the spot where the body later was. He KNEW that body wasn’t there.
                              Regards

                              Sir Herlock Sholmes

                              “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by FISHY1118 View Post
                                . John Richardson When I was on the ''doorstep'' I saw that the padlock on the cellar door was in its proper place.

                                [Coroner] Did you sit on the top step? John Richardson ,No....... [so he must have stood on the doorstep]

                                This evidence by Richardsons own account can only mean one thing , while he was on the doorstep he ''saw'' the lock. just as the sketch suggested he was able to.



                                You can’t be serious?

                                He was saying that he hadn’t sat on the TOP step. He sat on the middle step.
                                Regards

                                Sir Herlock Sholmes

                                “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

                                Comment

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