210 CHAKLES STEWART PARNELL [1888
yon known Mr. Houston previously ? ' Mr. Macdonald was asked. ' Slightly,' he answered. ' I had met him once/ Mr. Houston had taken Pigott on trust, Mr. Macdonald took Mr. Houston on trust.
Mr. Soames, the legal adviser of the ' Times/ was next consulted. Like Mr. Macdonald, he asked ' no questions/ * Did you ask [Houston] from whom he got the letters ?' Mr. Soames was asked. He answered : ' I did not/ ' Did you at any time ask him from whom he got them?' 'Never/1 The letters were finally submitted to an expert in handwriting, pronounced to be genuine, and accepted and paid for by the 'Times/2
On March 7, as we have seen, the first article on 'Parnellism and Crime' appeared, and some days before its appearance Mr. Houston told Mr. Macdonald for the first time that he had got the letters from Pigott. ' After Mr. Houston made this communication to you, did you make inquiries from other people as to who Pigott was?' Mr. Macdonald was asked. 'No,' he answered. * What his antecedents were ? ' ' No; I had no means of doing so/
On April 18 the facsimile letter was published. In July 1888 came the trial of O'Donnell v. "Walter. Immediately afterwards the Special Commission was appointed,3 and the Irish leader and the great English journal stood face to face.
Parnell, as I have said, concentrated all his atten-
1 Mr. Soames explained that * Houston told me at the outset that he was pledged not to divulge the name ' (Q. 48,537).
2 Mr. Houston subsequently got two more batches of letters, making eleven letters in all. The total sum paid by the Times for these letters was -2,5302. (Report of Special Commission, p. 58). The Times paid Mr. Houston for all purposes 30,OOOZ. (Q. 49,010). These 'purposes ' were in connection with Irish politics generally.
* The Bill was introduced on July 16 (Annual Register* p. 144).to a pretty in this country when ft