File No. 342.112Sm6/4.

Vice Consul Curtis to the Secretary of State.

Sir: I have the honor to report the finding of the coroner’s jury in their inquest on the death of Walter Smith, of Buffalo, N. Y. as follows:

We find that the deceased, Walter Smith, met his death on Monday forenoon, December 28, 1914, while evading arrest for unlawfully shooting duck out of [Page 417] season in Canadian [territory] by a bullet delivered accidentally from the rifles of the 3 militiamen who were called upon by Provisional Officer Thomas Delaney to assist him.

John Layle, Foreman.

I personally attended this inquest, which was held in the Fort Erie Town Hall, Wednesday afternoon, December 30, 1914, and am enclosing full minutes of the proceedings.1

Immediately after the coroner’s inquest there was conducted a military inquiry by Lieutenant Colonel Rose, in charge of the 44th Welland and Lincoln regiment, Colonel Ptolomy in command of the military district in which Fort Erie is, and Captain N. G. Fite in charge of the detachment stationed at Fort Erie. Their report was not divulged but forwarded immediately to Ottawa.

I have twice called upon Charles Dorsch in the General Hospital and find his condition greatly improved. I have assurance from his doctor that his recovery is certain unless unexpected complications set in. I endeavored to get a statement from him yesterday but he asked to be excused until today, in making one, as he did not feel Strong enough at that time to tell his version. Today he refused absolutely to give me any statement saying that his attorney had forbidden him to say anything about the affair.

I have [etc.]

J. B. Curtis.
  1. Not printed.