San Francisco Examiner/April 14, 1900
Bert A, Herrington, the San Jose Attorney, Makes an Audacious Attempt to Carry off the Mongol Girl, Once Stolen from Palo Alto, Although She Was in Federal Custody.
Wild Race Through Mayfield in Which Inspector Gardner Beats Legal Advisor of the Slave Dealers.
Celestial Implicated in the Midnight Affair Near Menlo Park Is Held for Trial in the Superior Court.
MAYFIELD, April 13.—An attempt to abduct Kim Quey from the protection of the United States authorities is the crowning act of impudent unconcern for law and order exhibited by the coterie of men who, on fictitious charge, took the Chinese girl from the Presbyterian Mission in San Francisco and in the dead of night, on the deserted highway near Palo Alto, delivered her into the hands of two highbinders as their legal chattel.
This latest high-handed proceeding was attempted by Attorney Bert A. Herrington in broad daylight in the center of the town of Mayfield. That it ended in failure was due only to the lawyer’s Ignorance of the lay of the land.
The case of The People vs. Wong Fong, charged with the abduction of Kim Quey, began yesterday morning before Justice of the Peace Van Buren and continued without special incident until about 4 o’clock this afternoon, when the defense attempted to prevail upon the magistrate to dismiss the matter for lack of evidence. This Judge Van Buren refused to do and then in a curtained surrey that drove up to the Justice’s court, the surprised crowd saw Attorney Herrington with a Chinaman and a Chinese girl. The two were Kim Quey and her pretended husband, Wong Hing Ding. They were then put upon the stand to prove that the woman had been a willing participant in all that was done at Palo Alto on the unfortunate Friday morning when Justice of the Peace B. G. Dyer called the memorable session of his court on the open highway at an hour when honest men are in bed.
When Kim Quey had finished her story she was conducted again to the vehicle from which she had come, but not before Joseph B. Gardner, Federal Chinese Inspector, had placed her under arrest. Gardner was called into the court and left his prisoner with Deputy Sheriff William Brownell. The latter turned the Chinese girl over to Deputy Constable Spaulding, from whose custody she was taken shortly afterwards by Attorney B. A. Herrington.
Just as the trial was concluded, when the crowd began to file into the street, Attorney Herrington jumped into the vehicle in which was Kim Quey, called to Wong Hing Ding, and swinging his whip started away at full speed toward the railroad depot. Gardner came out a moment later, jumped into a two-wheeled cart and started in pursuit at full speed, down the main street of the town.
Around the block Gardner went at a break-neck pace, followed by a motley throng, afoot and awheel. Herrington was a third of a mile in the lead. One thing the attorney failed to count on. There is no back outlet to the town of Mayfleld, After searching in vain for some way to break into the Milpitas road the baffled lawyer found himself cornered in an out of the way portion of the town and gave up the race.
The whole affair occupied not more than twenty minutes, yet when Herrington was brought back to the Justice’s court half of Mayfield was there to see him.
A throng of people also followed Gardner and his prisoner to the depot here and watched them board the train for San Francisco.
Accompanying the Chinese girl was Mrs. Leonie Worth, a sister of Attorney Herrington. She asked that she be allowed to go with Kim Quey and Gardner told her she was perfectly welcome to do so, so far as he was concerned.
In all, to-day, the following witnesses were examined for the prosecution: Dr. B. F. Hall, Liveryman R. B. Bell, Miss D. M. Cameron, her attorney, G. G. Weigle, Liveryman Jaspar Paulsen, J. Evans Dent of San Jose and Louis Brant of Menlo Park. The Chinese woman testified that the charge was never explained to her and that at no time did she ever say she stole anything. She made it quite clear to the Court that she was never in the county of Santa Clara before her arrest and therefore could not have stolen the articles, as set out in the complaint. It developed also that Ah Kee, the Chinese who swore out the warrant, has not been seen since be made the complaint, on the 27th of March, and what is more, his present whereabouts are unknown.
Wong Hing Ding was called by the defense and told a story that gave the lie to Constable Harris and Justice of the Peace Dyer. The testimony of Evans Dent also contradicted Harris, who had maintained that he did not see the Chinese girl after the trial on the road. Both Dent and Wong Hing Ding testified that Harris accompanied her to San Jose and secured a room for her in a rooming-house, and they showed that Harris knew where Kim Quey was on Friday, when he told Miss Cameron he had not seen her since the night before.
Wong Hing Ding related the entire circumstances surrounding the pretended trial. He testified that the case was fixed up before anything was done, and that it was understood that the girl would be fined only $5 if a plea of guilty was entered.
After Wong Hing Ding had left the stand, Justice Van Buren announced that he would hold the prisoner, Wong Fong, to answer to the Superior Court to the charge of kidnaping. Bail was fixed at $5,000. Attorney J. N. E. Wilson, who represented the defendant, with B. A. Herrington, announced that a writ of habeas corpus would be sworn out tomorrow to bring the matter at once before the Superior Court. He said the defense would take the stand that there was no evidence rightly before the court in the case.
Inspector Gardner arrived in San Francisco with his prisoner on the 7:30 train last evening. In relating the Incidents of the day he said:
“I went to the trial as a check on the interpreter. After the girl testified I asked her if she had a certificate. She replied that she had not, and I thereupon arrested her for being unlawfully In the United States. Attorney Herrington Inquired of me regardlng my authority and I exhibited my badge as a Federal officer. I was called into the courtroom and left the girl in charge of Brownwell. He came to me later and said he would not be responsible for her unless I had a warrant. He told me he had left her in charge of Deputy Constable Spaulding. I told Dr. Hall that it would be well to keep an eye on her, as Herrington was passing in and out hurriedly, as if something was on the tapis. A little later, when Dr. Hall had gone out, I felt uneasy and also went to the door. The carriage with the prisoner, Herrington, the Deputy Constable and the lady accompanying them had dlsappeared.
“Just then Dr. Hall came up with a cart. He had acted without waiting for orders when he saw them drive away, and at once obtained means for pursuit. I jumped into the cart and away we went under whip. After driving about town for some time we whirled a corner and there, at the other corner, stood the objects of our pursuit, with Herrington out and peering around the opposite corner. We were upon them in a moment and he surrendered the girl. I shall consult with the United States District Attorney with a view to the prosecution of Herrington.”
The Chinese girl was placed In the matron’s room at the city prison and Herrington’s sister went to the residence of her brother, a physician of this city. When seen in company with Kim Quey last night, she stoutly denied that she was a sister of the attorney, but claimed to be acting only from motives of humanity.
SAN JOSE, April 13—Mrs. Leonie Worth, the sister of Bertram A. Herrington, who insisted on accompanying the Chinese girl Kim Quey to San Francisco, has resided in San Jose for a number of years and has, until the beginning of the agitation over the Palo Alto affair, been unidentified with her brother’s Chinese cases. She is a widow and her brother has made his home with her. Since the mass-meeting here, when Herrington made his dramatic play for a vindication, which so utterly failed, she has been an active partisan and has at all times stood up boldly for him. Her present action, which involves her in the abduction, is no surprise to her friends, who have heard her talk in defense of her brother.