after stating the case: We are again called upon to decide what is often a very perplexing question, whether there is any evidence for submission to the jury. It is not apt to be a difficult one when the evidence is direct, and especially when it is credible, for belief in that case is generally the immediate and necessary result; whereas, in cases of circumstantial evidence, processes of inference and deduction are essentially involved, frequently of a most delicate and embarrassing character, liable to numerous causes of fallacy, some of them inherent in the nature of the mind itself, “which has been profoundly compared to the disturbing power of an uneven mirror, imparting its own nature upon the true nature of things.” Wills on
*548Circumstantial Evidence, p. 33. So that Baron Alderson said in. Reg. v. Hodge's, 2 Lewis Or. Cases, 227, “it-was necessary to warn the jury against the danger of being misled by a train of circumstantial evidence. The mind was apt to take pleasure in adapting circumstances to one another, and even in straining them a little, if need be, to force them to form parts of one connected whole; and the inore ingenious the mind of the individual, the more likely was it, in considering such matters, to overreach and mislead itself, to supply some little link that is wanting, to -take for granted some fact consistent with its previous theories and necessary to render them complete.” It has been concluded, therefore,, that such evidence should always be closely and cautiously scanned. We cannot expect to introduce mathematical precision into our reasonings and judgments, and consequently not into our deductions, and therefore the law regards it as sufficient if guilt is established to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, or, as it is sometimes put, of every reasonable theory or hypothesis of innocence. If the facts and circumstances tend to show the prisoner’s guilt, so that the deduction of it from them is not merely conjectural or probable, but a fairly logical and legitimate one, we cannot say that there is no evidence, but should submit the case to the jury to find whether, by them, they áre convinced of the fact of guilt beyond any reasonable doubt, they being the judges of the force or weight of the evidence. S. v. Vaughan, 129 N. C., 502. The rule is well settled that if there be absolutely no evidence, or if the evidence be so slight as not reasonably to warrant the inference of the fact in issue, or if it does not furnish more than material for a mere conjecture, or merely shows it possible for the fact to be as alleged, the court will not leave it to the jury for them to find the fact. This was held in S. v. Vinson, 63 N. C., 335; S. v. Rhodes, 111 N. C., 647; Brown v. Kinsey, 81 N. C., 245, and in the numerous cases cited iii Byrd v. Express Co., 139 N. C., 273, where the subject was fully discussed.
After a careful analysis of the testimony, we have reached the conclusion that the judge did not err in submitting it to the jury. The circumstances pointed with convincing force to the prisoner as the perpetrator of the crime. It was admitted that *549a homicide bad been committed, and there was evidence from, wbicb tbe jury might well have found that the deceased could not have killed himself. When found, his body was lying outstretched upon the floor, with an -ugly and a mortal gun-shot wound in the head, and his gun was in the rack. There was no evidence connecting any one but the prisoner with the firing of the fatal shot. Shortly after the report of the gun was heard, he was seen riding from the direction of the house, and- about as far from there as the distance that would be traversed in the time which had elapsed since the report of the gun was heard. It was shown that he was evidently angry with the deceased, and intended to take his life. He had made different threats that he would kill him, and actually named the day on which it would be done, and it happened just as he had foretold it. On the Thursday before the day of the homicide, he said, “He may live to see the sun rise the third day, but will never see it rise and set the fourth day,” and his menacing words were verified with fatal accuracy. But this is not all, nor even the half of it. Just after he had uttered this threat to the wife of the deceased, on Thursday, in the cotton field, they walked to the end of the row where she had been picking cotton, and he warned her not to call his name if they made her tell anything about what he had said or done, and threatened, if she impli-. cated’him in the homicide, that he would kill her, and advised her to charge some one else with it. He also stated in her hearing, and at her house, to Will Alston, when he heard that Will Clifton, the deceased, was coming home, that “hell would be to pay there.” He added that two men had gone to Spring Hope to bring Will home, and Will had telephoned that he was coming, and that he had gone to Will’s place and laid in the bushes until 2' o’clock with a double-barrel gun to kill him if he did come. On the day of the inquest, the prisoner also told the witness Clarinda Clifton, widow of the deceased, that they were trying “to put this murder case on him,” and if she told on him, he would do everything against her to send her to Raleigh-meaning the penitentiary, and that if “they ever hit the ground together, there would be another day of it.” The jury might reasonably have found that he meant by this language to admit *550the killing, and that there would be another homicide if she told what he had said to her. There was also proven a strong motive for the killing, as the evidence shows that the prisoner was the paramour of deceased’s wife, and not only that, but he denied the right of the deceased to occupy the land on which was his home, and was angry about it.
It would be useless to examine the evidence further in detail. Our conclusión is that it was sufficient in probative force for the jury to find, if they saw fit to do so, that the prisoner was guilty, and it is quite as strong as that which was submitted to the jury in S. v. Wilcox, 132 N. C., 1120, with the approval of this Court, and we may add that, in our opinion, it ’is of a much more convincing nature. The cases of S. v. Brackville, 106 N. C., 701; S. v. Rhodes, 111 N. C., 647, and S. v. Goodson, 107 N. C., 798, are distinguishable, as the decisions in them were based upon facts essentially different from those in this record. There are facts in this record which were not in those cases, and which the Court regarded as missing links necessary to forge a complete chain ■ of circumstances, and emphasized the lack of them as being fatal to the successful prosecution of the case.