This is Charles Russell's version of the Rose Ball story http://www.biblestudents.com/htdbv5/r3808.htm THE COURT RECORDS Mrs. Russell's bill of complaint admitted that there had been no cohabitation between herself and her husband, and her attorney attempted to make out of this that she was deprived of one of the chief pleasures of life. The Court would not permit this.
The fact is that the matter was in Mrs. Russell's own control. She did understand that her husband preferred to live a celibate life, but she agreed and expressed the same as her preference. She knew his teachings on the subject, as now expressed in DAWN, VOL. VI., chap. 12--that neither the husband nor the wife may "defraud" the other of reasonable marital rights.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Mrs. Russell on the witness stand and through her attorney attempted to give the impression that her husband was very amorously inclined, "like a jelly-fish floating around," "embracing all who would respond." She said that some one had told her this thirteen years ago. Hear-say testimony is not admissible in Court, but the precious object to be obtained was the public branding of her husband as a "scalawag," so her attorney smuggled this in by having Mrs. Russell swear that she had told it to her husband ten years ago.
When the next day the husband took the witness stand and swore that he had never used the language (and never had heard of it before) all reasonable people concluded that only an idiotic person would make such an uncomplimentary remark about himself. They concluded, too, that even an ordinary woman, seeking a charge against her husband for thirteen years, could imagine wonders and create the living and real in her own mind. This is the most charitable view possible of such an oath. The Court ruled that the testimony be stricken from the Court records.
Mrs. Russell charged an improper intimacy between her husband and "Rose," who became a member of the Russell household in 1888. The attempt of Mrs. Russell and her attorney to give the inference of criminal intimacy was so manifest that the Court interrupted to inquire, if criminal intimacy were charged, why it had not been made part of the plea and why "Rose" had not been made co-respondent in the suit?
Then both Mrs. Russell and her attorney disclaimed any charge of criminal intimacy, but meant that "Rose" had sat on Mr. Russell's knee and he had kissed her. Mrs. Russell also swore that one night she entered "Rose's" room and found Mr. Russell sitting near her bed and holding her hand. The attempt of Mrs. Russell was not to state "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," but conversely, to state a part of the truth in order to give seeming foundation for evil surmisings, that would injure her husband's influence among those who do not know him.
The next day Mr. Russell on the witness stand explained that "Rose" and her brother "Charles" were members of the family and office assistants--the former at Mrs. Russell's request. "Rose" was quite childish in appearance, wore short dresses, and looked to Mr. Russell to be about 13 years old. He did not know her age, but another who knew her guessed that she was then only 10 years old. She may have been older than 13 in 1888.
The brother came first, and shortly after "Rose's" coming he died. It was some months later that Mr. Russell in the WATCH TOWER office, hearing sobbing, turned to find "Rose" in tears. Inquiring the cause, "Rose," still weeping, came over and sat on his knee, and complained that Mrs. Russell had worked her too hard before she started for the office; and that she felt weary and friendless. He told her that all that was a mistake. He defended Mrs. Russell as not intentionally unkind or unreasonable, and told "Rose" to do what she was able to do, cheerfully, and then to explain her weariness, and that he was sure nothing unreasonable would be asked. Then, suddenly drying her tears, "Rose" kissed [R3815 : page 222] Mr. Russell. Although surprised at all this Mr. R. did not resent it nor reprove it; but rather reproved himself for not having been previously more fatherly. That very night he talked with his wife about "Rose," and pointed out that she was surely lonely since her brother's death, and that it would be a duty to look after her interests more carefully. Mrs. Russell agreed, and it was mutually arranged that "Rose" thereafter should be considered and treated as an adopted daughter.
"Rose" was so informed in the presence of the three, and invited to spend her evenings in the large study and reading room with the Russells. This course was followed; and when "Rose" retired, usually at 9 p.m., Mrs. Russell kissed her good-night and told her to "pass the kiss along" to Mr. R. also. This custom continued several years, until Mr. R. said to "Rose": "I think it best that I should discontinue kissing you; you are now wearing long dresses and looking more womanly, and Mrs. R. might get to feel jealous;--although she has never said a word to that effect, I would not wish to give her the slightest reason for so feeling." Mr. Russell declared that it was quite a while after his discontinuance of his proper fatherly conduct toward "Rose" that Mrs. Russell (having become alienated on account of not getting all the liberty she desired in the WATCH TOWER columns) upbraided him for kissing "Rose."
As for Mrs. R.'s claim that she found her husband in "Rose's" room [R3816 : page 222] one night, sitting near her bed and holding her hand, Mr. R. said that he had no recollection of the occurrence, but that as he has a slight knowledge of medicine he was called on by all the members of the family in cases of illness: Mrs. R., her mother, her sisters and her sisters' children all were accustomed to apply to Mr. R., who kept a free medicine chest, referring serious cases to a regular practitioner. Mr. R. presumed the case in question was an emergency call, and that he was counting "Rose's" pulse. The entire "Rose" matter had a different appearance when the light of truth was turned on it. The Court ruled out the "Rose" testimony, and ordered it stricken from the Court records.