THE BORDEN'S SERVANT TELLS HER STORY OF THE MURDERS.
Her Testimony Establishes the Presence of Lizzie in the House at the Time the Crime Was Committed-
She Weakens the State's Case, However, by Declaring that Lizzie and Her Stepmother Lived Together Peaceably-
NEW-BEDFORD, Mass., June 7.-Properly speaking, this was the first day of the Borden trial, for, while the two previous days had been occupied in the preparation of preliminaries, this day was marked by the rapid presentation of testimony. The progress made was marked, and was entirely in keeping with the course presaged by the prompt selection of the jury.
Judges and attorneys are alike interested in securing celerity, and the trial will now proceed as rapidly as possible to its conclusion.
The witnesses of the day comprised a number of persons who testified in relation to Andrew Borden's presence in the business portion of the city half an hour before his murder. John V. Morse, uncle of the prisoner, and Bridget Sullivan also testified.
Bridget Sullivan was the strongest witness of the day, but while her testimony placed Lizzie Borden, the accused, in the home at the hour of the murders, the effect of it was weakened by the statement, reiterated with emphasis, that between the accused and her stepmother there had never been, to witness's knowledge, an unkind word.
The Government needs a motive and must have one in its presentation of its side of the case. Bridget Sullivan helped the District Attorney out a bit on that point.
When she told of the food served at the Borden homestead she laughed, and there was a smile on the lips of the prisoner. Others have been amused at the parsimony of the man whose possessions were more than a quarter of a million, and who fed his family on a diet of mutton and cold mutton and mutton broth.
Again the prisoner laughed when John V. Morse, her uncle, went through some mathematical calculations, the deduction of which was the prisoner was thirty-three years of age. The latter shook her head vigorously at the assertion, and there spoke the woman.
The weakness of yesterday had vanished, and to-day her strong will was again in evidence. She appeared highly interested in the proceedings, and watched the developments closely. To-morrow it is expected that Medical Examiner Bowen will be a witness and the skulls will be produced.
Proceedings opened with the recall of Mr. Kiernan, the civil engineer, whose examination stopped yesterday when the jury started for Fall River to view the scene of the murder. Mr. Kiernan's testimony was devoted to locating various points upon the Borden place, describing the fences, barns, and outbuildings, explaining the arrangement of the rooms, stairs, and closets. He also gave the results of certain experiments that he had made to determine from what points of view the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Borden could have been seen.
After Mr. Kiernan came a photographer, who exhibited pictures which he had made of the premises and of the bodies of the murdered man and his wife.
John V. Morse, uncle of the prisoner and brother of Mr. Borden's first wife, was the next witness. Mr. Morse is sixty years old. He lives at South Dartmouth. He said Mr. Borden was first married about forty-seven years ago and had three children by his first wife, one of whom was dead. He said that Lizzie was thirty-three years old and Emma forty-one.
On Wednesday, Aug. 3, last, he went to the Borden house. He had been a visitor there several weeks before. The last time he saw Lizzie before that visit he could not place. He arrived at the Borden house about 1:30 o'clock. He did not see anybody that day except Mr. and Mrs. Borden and Bridget. He
ate dinner there that day, but ate it alone. He left the house between 3 and 4 P.M. and got back about 8:30. He entered the front door, having been let in by Mrs. Borden. The door was shut after he went in.
He saw nobody there but the family. He went first into the sitting room and went to bed about 10:30. Mrs. Borden went to bed first, going out of the rear door to the back stairs.
"While we were sitting there," said Mr. Morse, "somebody entered the front door and went up stairs to Lizzie's room. Mr. Borden and I went to bed at the same time, I going into the guest room. The prisoner's room door was closed when I went into my room, but I do not know whether it was locked or not. "
The next morning witness was up at 6 o'clock and breakfasted about 7 o'clock with Mr. and Mrs. Borden on mutton, bread, coffee, sugar cakes, and bananas. He didn't recall that there was fried johnny cakes on the table. At 8:40, he left the house and did not return until after the murder. Reaching the back yard he ate part of a pear before going into the house. It was not until after he had seen the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Borden that he caught sight of Lizzie Borden.
On cross-examination witness said that on reaching the Borden house after the murder he saw no officers in the yard, that the barn door was closed, and he heard no one inside. This contradicted the Government's allegation that officers, by immediate examination of the barn, ascertained that the prisoner could not have been there at the time of the murder.
Witness said that at the first meal Mrs. Borden brought in the food, and he saw nothing of Bridget Sullivan. On the evening previous to the murder both Mr. and Mrs. Borden were sick. Of his own knowledge he did not know whether Bridget was in the house that day or not. He first saw her at breakfast the day of the murder.
Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of the Union Savings Bank of Fall River, of which Mr. Borden was President, and others were called to show what time Mr. Borden was about town the morning of the murders. Their testimony established that he went toward his home soon after 10:30 o'clock.
Counsel Robinson stated that it was agreed, to save time, that Mr. Borden died intestate, and that his property was estimated between $200,000 and $300,000.
A buzz of excitement went around the room at 12:30, when Mr. Moody called "Bridget Sullivan." She was dressed on a maroon colored, fashionably-made dress, and wore a large hat, with large feather, and black kid gloves. She leaned on the left side against the rail, looked straight at Mr. Moody, and spoke so low that he had to tell her to speak louder. The prisoner changed posture so as to see witness plainly, and watched her steadily with her large eyes wide open.
Bridget said that she had worked for the Bordens for two years and ten months doing general housework, but having no care of any sleeping rooms except her own. She remembered Mr. Morse's visit the night before the murder. She remembered, too, that Mr. and Mrs. Borden were ill Wednesday night. She herself felt well until Thursday morning, when she waked up with a headache. She was out Wednesday night until 10:30 o'clock. She entered the house by the back door, and locked and bolted it.
Thursday, the day of the murder, she was up at 6:15 o'clock. She found all doors down stairs just as she had left them the night before. Witness then went on to detail minutely what happened in the house from the time of her getting up until the discovery of the murders.
At 1 o'clock the court took a recess until 2:15. Resuming her testimony, Bridget Sullivan said that after Mr. and Mrs. Borden and Mr. Morse had finished their breakfast Lizzie Borden came to the kitchen and said that she would have coffee and cookies for her breakfast. Bridget left Lizzie in the kitchen and went outdoors feeling ill. When she came back there was nobody in the kitchen. She fastened the screen door on the inside as she came in.
About 9 o'clock Mrs. Borden told her to wash the windows, and she went to work at once obeying the order. Her work took her first to the front of the house, where she spent some time washing the outside of the parlor windows. She passed from the front of the house to the barn several times, and also entered the kitchen. At no time did she see a stranger about the premises.
She opened the door for Mr. Borden when he came in from down town. There were several locks on the door.
"I was so bothered with those locks," said Bridget, "that I said: 'Oh, pshaw!' and Lizzie, who was either at the head of the stairs or in her room, laughed at me."
"When I let Mr. Borden in," continued the witness, "he did speak to me. He had a parcel in his hand. When he came into the dining room he sat in a chair at the head of the lounge and I went on washing my windows. Miss Lizzie came down stairs about five minutes after, and went into the dining room. I heard her ask her father if he had any mail, and she told him Mrs. Borden had received a note and had gone out. Then Mr. Borden took the key of his bedroom door and went up the back stairs. When he came down soon after he took a rocking chair in the sitting room, and I went on washing my windows, this time in the dining room.
"When I was doing this Lizzie came into the room, took an ironing board from the kitchen and placed it in position. She asked me if I was going out that afternoon and I said I did not think I was. She says, 'Well, if you do, be sure and lock the doors, for Mrs. Borden has gone out on a sick call, and I may go out myself.'
"Then I went up to my room and lay down. The first notice I took of any time was when I heard the City Hall clock strike 11. I think I had been there three or four minutes. Don't think I went to sleep. Heard no noise. Am able to hear the opening and closing of the screen door if it is done by a careless person.
"The next thing I heard was when Lizzie called me to come down, as her father was dead; that was at least fifteen minutes after."
Counsel asked witness to describe the dress Lizzie had on that morning, but objections stopped an answer. She remembered a light-blue dress with a sprig on it of darker, blue, bought the previous Spring.
Continuing her narrative, witness said: "When I heard the outcry from Lizzie I went down stairs and first saw Lizzie; I cannot tell what dress she had on that morning. When I came down the back way the wooden door was open, and she was leaning against the door. The screen door was shut, but I could not tell whether it was hooked or not. I went to go into the sitting room, and she said: " 'Oh, Maggie'--I was sometimes called by that name--'I've got to have a doctor right away. I was out in the back yard, and when I came in the screen door was open and I found father dead. Do you know where Miss Russell lives?'
"I did not, and she told me. I didn't find Dr. Bowen. Then I went to the corner of Borden and Second Streets for Miss Russell and she was not there. Then I found where she did live and told her what Lizzie wanted. I guess I ran to Dr. Bowen's but I don't know. When I came back I found Mrs. Churchill. I said, when I came back, that if I knew where Mrs. Whitehead lived I would go and tell Mrs. Borden, if she was there, that Mr. Borden was very sick, and Lizzie said: " 'Oh, Maggie! I am almost sure I heard her come in; go upstairs and see if she is there.'
"I said, 'I will not go up stairs alone,' and Mrs. Churchill went up with me. "When I got far enough on the stairs to see into the room I saw the body on the Door and ran in and stood by the foot of the bed. The door was wide open.
On cross-examination Bridget said: "I never saw or heard anything out of the way in the family relations, and during my nearly three years of service everything was pleasant. There were times when the girls did not eat at the same table with their parents most of the time. They rarely arose when the old people got up. There were times when they ate alone, or separately. Lizzie and her mother always spoke to each other.
"I heard them all talking in the sitting room that morning, and Mrs. Borden asked Lizzie some questions and she answered them civilly and properly. So far as I could see, they lived congenially and pleasantly. I waited on the table when all were there, and they conversed usually in a pleasant manner.
Speaking of the intercourse between Mr. Borden and his daughter just before the murder witness asked her what was the matter and Lizzie. said, "Come down quickly, Maggie; father is killed."
Asked if she had stated this the same way before, if she had not used the word "dead", the witness replied she could not remember; it was all the same, anyhow; he was dead.
"When I got back," witness said, "from going after the people, I found Mrs. Churchill there and Dr. Bowen. Lizzie was on the lounge. Her dress was free from spots of blood and her hair was not disarranged."
close of Bridget Sullivan's examination, at 4:55, the court adjourned.