Limitation of Liability Hearings

DEPOSITION OF GEORGE RHEIMS - Contd.

BY MR. KINNICUTT:

Q. Did you make any special observations of the weather?
- When I was up on the boat deck, at first when I went up on the boat deck I noticed that it was a beautiful night; sky very clear. That is all I can say.

Q. When you say very clear, are you referring to the stars being out over head?
- I am referring to the stars and the atmosphere generally. It was a beautiful night; one of the finest I have ever seen on the ocean.

Q. Did you see anything of Capt. Smith and Ismay that night?
- Yes, after dinner.

Q. What time?
- It must have been 9 or 9:15.

Q. Where were they?
- Taking coffee outside of the dining room with a party of people whom I do not know.

Q. Do you know how long they stayed there afterwards?
- No.

Q. Did you see them before that time?
- I saw the Captain.

Q. How long do you remember you saw him there at that time?
- About ten minutes.

Q. Were the Captain and Mr. Ismay talking together at that time?
- They were.

Q. Mr. Rheims, state what effect this accident had upon you with reference to your health, first as to your condition on board the "Carpathia"?
- Well, I was sent down to the hospital on board the "Carpathia"; I spent the day and night there.

Q. What was your condition on board the "Carpathia"?

Mr. Burlingham:
I object to these questions as prematurely put, question as to damages; this is not the proper time.

- My feet were very much swollen and very black. When I got to New York -

Q. Were you confined to your bed during the rest of the voyage to New York?
- Yes, I had to be carried; could not walk.

Q. Were you able to move in bed?
- Yes.

Q. When you got to New York?
- I had to be carried off.

Q. Did you go to a hospital?
- No, I went to my home.

Q. Were you confined to your bed there?
- For two weeks.

Q. Did you have medical attendance?
- I did.

Q. Who was the Doctor?
- Dr. Higgins.

Q. Did you pay him for his services?
- I did.

Q. Rendered in connection with this illness?
- Yes.

Q. What did you pay him?
- I think it was $700.

Q. Look at that,- that is a copy of your claim, is it not?
- I think so.

Q. Refreshing your recollection from that copy of the claim, what was the amount of the doctor's bill you paid?
- $500 in New York.

Q. Did you pay any doctor's bill subsequently in connection with the same illness?
- Yes, in Paris, $200.

Q. What did you suffer from during this ilness?
- My feet were frozen and I had gangrene in one of my toes.

Q. Anything else, that is, your physical condition?
- I suffered quite a lot; remained here two weeks.

Q. Suffered pain?
- Quite a lot.

Q. Were you able to walk during these two weeks in New York?
- Had to be carried.

Q. Describe your physical condition after you got back to Paris?
- I walked in crutches for about a week after I got to Paris.

Q. Were you kept from your regular work?
- In Paris for about three weeks.

Q. Were you able to do any business while you were here in New York before you sailed back?
- No.

Q. What is the nature of your business?
- Jobbers in milinery goods and silk goods.

Q. What is your position?
- I am President of the Company.

Q. What were the expenses of your trip from Paris to New York and back?

Mr. Burlingham:
Objected to.

- $700 or $800.

Q. Have you a list of personal effects that you had on the "Titanic" that were lost?A. Yes I have here a correct and true list of the articles which I had with me on the "Titanic which were lost, and the fair and reasonable value of each of them is set forth in my claim and reads as follows:

Pearl Scarf Pin,
$800.
Diamond & Ruby cuff links,
700.
3 Pearl studs,
750.
Gold studs and cuff links,
100.
Enameled studs and cuff links,
200.
Turquoise scarf pin,
500.
Pearl and diamond scarf pin,
250.
Labrador Pin and Cuff links,
100.
Gold watch,
100.
Cash,
950.
8 suits of clothes,
400.
3 Dz. Silk socks,
75.
1 " Handkerchiefs,
30.
48 shirts,
100.
Underwear,
80.
Fur coat,
600.
6 Pairs silk pajamas,
100.
1 fur rug,
300.
1 stick,
50.
1 umbrella,
18.
Shoes & divers,
60.
2 Innovation trunks,
130.
1 Bag,
25.

Q. Did you suffer from these injuries after you returned to Paris?
- Yes, suffered quite a lot of pain.

Q. Did you suffer anything else?
- I lost my memory for about two months; that is, my memory was not as good as it usually was.

Q. Did you suffer pain?
- Yes, considerable pain; even when it is cold now I suffer with my feet.

Q. Was that pain constant after the accident until you got gack to Paris, or only intermittently?
- Constantly till I got back to Paris; after that it disappeared.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. BURLINGHAM:

Q. What is your address here in New York?
- Hotel Plaza.

Q. What is your address in Paris?
- 22 Rue Octave Feuillet.

Q. You are expecting to go to Paris very soon?
- Yes.

Q. Within a few days?
- Tomorrow on the Olympic.

Q. And you go back and forth?
- Yes.

Q. Every three or four months?
- Twice a year.

Q. When are you next expecting to come?
- April.

Q. You said you bought your ticket from Martin?
- Yes, he is the agent of the White Star.

Q. What street?
- Rue Scribe.

Q. And when did you buy it?
- A few days before I sailed.

Q. Did you sail from Cherbourg?
- Yes.

Q. What day did you go on board?
- About April 10th I think; the day the boat sailed.

Q. Had you bought your ticket a week or so before that?
- I reserved my stateroom but my ticket was delivered the day before I sailed.

Q. At your office address in Paris?
- Yes.

Q. You have often crossed the ocean?
- About 50 times.

Q. You have always crossed with a first class ticket?
- Always.

Q. And you are familiar with the fact that first class tickets have a large number of stipulations and conditions on the front and on the back?
- I think they have.

Q. Are you familiar with them?
- Never read them.

Q. Never have taken the trouble to read them?
- Never.

Q. In all the 50 times you have never taken the trouble to read them?
- Never.

Q. Plenty of opportunity, but no disposition?
- That is it.

Q. You had not undressed, you were not going to bed at this time, at the time of this accident?
- I was going to bed but I undressed on deck.

Q. But what?
- I undressed when I got up on deck.

Q. Before the accident, when you came out of the lavatory?
- I was dressed.

Q. You were fully dressed?
- Yes, sir.

Q. And you were not thinking of going to bed immediately then?
- Oh yes I was.

Q. This particular lavatory is on A deck?
- A deck.

Q. Is it adjoining the smoking room?
-Not if I remember rightly? The smoking room was way in the back and the bathroom was way in the front.

Q. Was this lavatory near your stateroom?
- Yes.

Q. 21 A?
- Yes.

Q. On the port side?
- Yes.

Q. And the door from the washroom opened to the starboard or to the port?
- I could not tell you.

Q. But you came out of it?
- I could not tell you that.

Q. But if you were bound for the port side how did you happen to come over to the starboard side. I thought you looked through a window on the starboard side?
- Yes, when I came out of this bathroom; there is kind of a passageway.

Q. Make a sketch. (Witness does so).

Q. Are you satisfied that that is a good enough drawing of it?
- To the best of my knowledge.

Drawing marked Petitioner's Exhibit A for Identification Nov. 14, 1913. (Rheims).

Q. You do not recall how the door opened from the lavatory, whether aft or to the starboard or the port?
- No.

Q. And the white object that you saw -- the window through which you saw the white object was at the starboard end of a little opening or hallway through which the passengers go to their staterooms?
- That is it.

Q. To the left and right?
- Yes; if I remember well, all this is glass, (pointing to the top of the drawing); I also saw the iceberg this way and that way (indicating an angle of about 45 degrees) forward to the starboard side and at right angles from the starboard side. (Witness marks it with the letters A and B).

Q. Was the passage way lighted with electric lights?
- I suppose so; I don't remember.

Q. You spent four or five nights there, can't you recall?
- I suppose they were, yes.

Q. On reflection you are not able to say whether this white object you saw was through the forward or through the side?
- I really think I saw it through the forward and through the side windows, but of that I am sure (pointing to the side).

Q. How long after that did you feel the shock?
- Practically the same time.

Q. The forward windows were closed?
- Yes.

Q. And the side window too?
- I could not say.

Q. Of course you could make out nothing of the shape?
- Nothing at all.

Q. Just a mass of white, which filled your whole vision?
- Correct.

Q. You would not attempt to say that this iceberg of which you made a picture, that you saw the next morning, was the same one you saw the night before?
- No.

Q. You say the iceberg of which you made a drawing at the request of the claimants' counsel, was a couple of miles away. Are you a good judge of distance?
- Yes, fairly good.

Q. When you saw it were you on the Engelhardt raft or in the boat or on the "Carpathia"?
- On the Engelhardt raft.

Q. How many icebergs did you see then?
- Four or five.

Q. Had you seen any icebergs during the night except this white object you speak of?
- No.

Q. Had you, while on the Engelhardt, looked intently to see if you could see them?
- Yes.

Q. Was the weather clear then?
- Yes.

Q. Was the sea very smooth?
- Yes, except in the morning a swell came up.

Q. But during the night it was perfectly smooth?
- Yes.

Q. Extraordinarily so?
- No, because there was enough motion to keep out boat rolling all the time.

Q. Of course always in mid-ocean there is a swell?
- Yes.

Q. But it was exceptionally slight?
- Why not so exception ally slight, but it was smooth; calm sea.

Q. Could you see the reflection of the stars on the sea?
- I did not notice.

Q. You kept a sharp lookout to see if you could see objects?
- To see boats.

Q. You saw any lights of vessels?
- No.

Q. Were you near ice during the night, do you know?
- No.

Q. Did you have this experience, that you heard water lapping the ice, rippling on the ice during the night?
- No.

Q. How did you know Mr. Andrews?
- My brother-in-law named him to me.

Q. And it was he who told you to put on a life belt?
- Yes.

Q. Were the other passengers putting on life belts at the time?
- Yes.

Q. Did your brother-in-law put on one?
- He did.

Q. You went up on the boat deck quite early, didn't you?
- On the boat deck,- well, about 20 or 25 minutes after the shock.

Q. Did you see the first boat launched?
- Well I could not tell you if it was the first boat.

Q. Did you see the first on the starboard side?
- I think I did.

Q. Of course the deck houses on the boat deck concealed the view on the port side for a person on the starboard side?
- Yes.

Q. They are large structures?
- Yes.

Q. The boat houses where the officers live, etc.?
- They were forward,

Q. Where was this boat launched?
- Well forward; of course when I saw that boat launched I could not see that was being done on the port side.

Q. Do you know what officer was in charge on the starboard side?
- No, but I could describe him, I think. He was a very tall man, rather round face; very husky.

Q. Did you see more than one boat launched from that side before you went to the port?
- I think I saw three boats launched on that side.

Q. In what order did they come, from forward, aft?
- From forward aft.

Q. And only women and children for the most part in those boats?
- Yes, for the most part.

Q. Was the lowering of the boats orderly?
- Yes.

Q. The first boat was launched had a considerable distance to go to the water, I suppose. Could you estimate it? 50 - 60 feet?
- Practically the whole heighth of the boat.

Q. She had not settled much then?
- Very little.

Q. Why did you go to the port side?
- To see what was going on the other side.

Q. How were things going on there?
- About the same thing; another officer in charge there.

Q. Women and children first?
- Women and children first.

Q. Did you hear any orders given to the boats as they went off to return to the gangway?
- No, I did not.

Q. Did you hear any yelling to them to come back?
- No.

Q. How long did you remain on the port side?
- I went from one side to the other after that when all the boats were loaded.

Q. Where is the smoking room that you referred to?
- In the back of the boat, I think; I think it is right above the Ritz restaurant.

Q. Is it on the level of the A deck?
- A Deck.

Q. Was there an open room at the stern of the smoking room, open to the air as there is on so many of the steamers?
- Not so far as I remember; there was a passage way and staircase; kind of a lounge, on the lower deck.

Q. Had you dined in the Ritz Restaurant that night?
- The Ritz.

Q. The Gothe to be exact?
- I could not tell.

Q. You dined with your brother-in-law?
- I did.

Q. No one else?
- No.

Q. Did you see Capt. Smith dining there?
- No.

Q. Did you see Mr. Ismay dining there?
- No.

Q. How did you know Mr. Ismay?
- My brother-in-law pointed him out to me.

Q. When?
- When we were going out of the dining room; they were taking coffee in the dining room and he said: "There is Capt. Smith and Mr. Ismay."

Q. Outside on the deck?
- No, in the lounge.

Q. Where is the lounge?
- Outside of the dining room.

Q. Below the restaurant that you speak of?
- Same floor as the restaurant.

Q. Did your brother-in-law point out Capt. Smith to you?
- He said, "That is Captain Smith and Mr. Ismay".

Q. Was there a group of people with these two gentlemen?
- Yes.

Q. Are you willing to swear that it was Mr. Ismay?
- I am willing to swear that my brother-in-law said it was Mr. Ismay and the Captain. I never saw Mr. Ismay before.

Q. Nor since?
- Nor since.

Q. How many people were taking coffee together?
- About six or eight, I suppose.

Q. Did you know any of the others?
- No, I did not.

Q. Did you know Mrs. Thayer?
- No, I met her on the "Carpathia"; I had not known her before.

Q. Was she one of them?
- I could not say.

Q. I should think you could remember that if you met her on the "Carpathia"?
- Only saw her a few minutes on the "Carpathia".

Q. You had never seen Mr. Ismay, so you only knew of his being there through what your brother-in-law told you?
- Yes.

Q. Had he told you he had ever crossed with him before?
- He didn't say anything about that; my brother-in-law lived in London.

Q. Your account of it is that you saw six or eight people taking coffee in the lounge outside of the Gothe or Ritz Restaurant, and among them were Capt. Smith and Mr. Ismay?
- Correct.

Q. And you did not know Capt. Smith either before he pointed him out?
- No.

Q. This talk of yours with the steward I suppose was apropos of the pools on the runs which I assume that you took part.
- No, sir.

Q. Or were interested in?
- I was interested in.

Q. As a matter of fact, curiosity?
- Yes, sir.

Q. And no one had called your attention to the vibration of the engines until that night?
- No.

Q. I suppose the steward was encouraging the passengers to a little more indulgence in that sport?
- I do not think so.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. KINNICUTT:

Q. At that point of time when you saw the "Carpathia" stop in the morning, could you see any other lifeboats in sight?
- No, I could not see anything.

Q. Were you near the other lifeboats during the night, so far as you know?
- Far away, because we saw them pulled up in the morning.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. BURLINGHAM:

Q. Who was the officer who came, if you learned afterwards, in the boat and rescued you from the Engelhardt?
- Officer Lowe.

Q. And did he rescue all those people?
- 13 or 14; there were three bodies left in the boat.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. KINNICUTT:

Q. Well, prior to the time you went up on the boat deck, where were you most of the time?
- At the head of the staircase at the front of the boat.

Q. In doors?
- Yes.