Manawatu Times, Rōrahi V, Putanga 111, 26 Kohitātea 1881, Page 2
A Ci-eteb Dkviok. — By the mistake of an invoice clerk, a truck load of llogs were being delivered at the wr<tng station at Aix La Chapelle recently, and as they were being unloaded one of the laborers discovered a longitudinal slit m one of them, and on inserting his knife a strong odour of tobacco itsued. The Customs officials overhauled the entire lot, when it was found that, thirty two out of thirty-eight logs had been hoi lowed out and stuffed with 3,800 pounds of Belgian' tobacco. It was a cute trick of French smuggler*, and but for the blunder of the clerk would probably have escaped detection. Hand Tbavemitq. — A F,u9sian statistician has amused himself by calculating the distance travelled m a year by the hand of o printer. He takes the principle thot a skilful compositor, working 10 hours a d«y allowing for distribution and correction, seti up 12,000 letters. In counting the y*ar at 300 working days, he makes them a total of 3,690.000 letter* consequently, the distance from the case to the stick and from the stick t" the case being estimated at two feet, makes m all 5,200,000 feet. There bring 5,280 feet m n mile, the distance ma^e m n veav under the conditions by a printer's hand i« m the neighborhood of 1,350 miles, or four and a half miles a day. An Anomaly —The London correspondent of the Auckland Herald writes s — lt i« i very curious diet, and one which may well set political economists thinking, that while England teems with money which can $B)d no renrmneratire 9»tl»t, »nd literallj
swarms with people many of whom are skilled cultivators of tlie soil, a very considerable area of her soil is literally poing out of cultivation. It was stated at a meeting of the Farmer's Alliance that m almost any county m England it would be possible for a man who really meant good cultivation, to get 300 acres of land m England for three years For nothing. It wuuld «»ein as if the English farmer bus had such a terrible experience of late years that when once he gets bis nei;k out of the noose of a rented property, he is afraid to put it m again under any conditions whatever. Costly Dresses. — It is said (remarks an English paper) that during the coming winter wonderful satins are to be worn m New York. A celebrated dry goods establishment m that city is already displaying a satin'costing £12 per yard, which is thus described : — " Imagine a ground of the softest, creamiest satin, covered with clusters of huge flowers, embroidered m pearls ; here and there, where the leaves turn, or the flowers hides the petal, there is a transient shimmer of gold, just a shading, as il. were, of fine gold embroiderj. Every inch of the ornament is done by hand, and the effect is exquisite." The material of the modern dress made from this satin cost £300. Pouring Oil on Tboublbd Watebs. — Some experiments with oil on waves were made at Peterhead recently, and were so successful that the proposal to lay oil on the mouths of harbours by means of pipes was discussed as a not very remote project. According to the Dundee Advertiser, bottles filled with oil were sunk to the bottom of the harbor m which the sea was breaking heavily. The oil was then released, and, rising to the surface, it exercised an immediate and magical effect m smoothing the troubled waters. Instead of the waves breaking, the sea became quite smooth and glassy-looking, and there was a visible softening-down of the waves, which m place of being shar.p-cre.sted, were turned into long, undulating waves. A Russian Teagbdt. — A Russian lady of rank was travelling on the Fastora line of railway m a first-class compartment on Sep 17, the only other occupant of which was an elderly cavalry captain, with whom she casually entered into conversation. Arrived at the Ustinovka station, she summoned a gendarme to the window of her carriage and informed him that she missed 160 roubles from her handbag, and suspected her travelling companion of having stolen them. A few minutes previously she had requested him to take her ticket out of the bag, wliiYh he had done ; and since that time she had discovered her loss. The money was found on his person. To avoid arrest, the captain drew out a revolver from the breast pocket of his coat, set its muzzle against his right temple, and blew his brains out. Curious Calculation. — On the subject of snuffing, a curious calculation has been left on record by Lord Stanhope. " Every professed, inveterate, and incurable snufftaker," says his lordship, "at a moderate computation takes one pinch m ten minutes. Every pinch, with the agreeable ceremony of blowing and wiping the nose. and other incidental circumstances, consumes one minute nnd a half. One minute and a half, out of every ten, allowing sixteen hour* for a snuff-taking day amounts to two hours nnd twenty- four minutes out of every natural day, or one day out of ten. One day out of every ten amounts to thirty-six days and a half m a year. Hence, if we suppose the practice to be persisted m forty years, two enliru years of t!e sr.uff-taker's life will be dedicated to tickling his nose, and two more to blowing it !" Tying the Knot. — A young man and a young woman were recently contesting possession of a piece of property m Ireland, the one claiming under an old lease, the other under an old will, '" It just strikes me," snid the judge, " that there is a pleasant and easy way to terminate this old lawsuit. The plaintiff uppears to be a respectable young man, and this a very nice young woman. They can both get married, and live happily on the farm. If they go on with law proceedings, it will ull be frittered away between the lawyers, who, I am sure, are not ungallant enough to wish the marriage not to come off." The lady blushed, and the young man stammered that they liked each other a little bit ; so a verdict was entered for the plaintiff on condition of his promising to marry the defendant within two months, a stay of execution being put to the verdict till the marriage should be completed. A Charmed Life. — A trumpeter describing the battle of Maiwand, thus relates what befel himself during the engagement : — " As I was orderly trumpeter of the general commanding the force, and of the officer commanding the 3rd Light Cavalry, I had indeed, very much to do during the fight. I had to take messages from one place to another, and while standing behind the guns several men were blown away by the enemy's guns j even a brigade miijor and quartermaster-general right and left of me were blown away, and I was saved- We were ten persons with the commanding officer and myself ; the rest were blown up. At one time, as I was standing behind a gun, my brother came to see me. I said ' Well, what do you want ?•' He said ' Nothing ; I came to saeyou.' Just as he uttered those words a bullet washed off ray right moustaohe without any injury to my mouth. The next came just after the first, hitting my horse's headstall, and the horse was saved. Again, a miriute after, another bullet tore the skin off my horse's hock, injuring him a little ; and a fourth hit the horse's feet and thigh, on account of which my horse remained a month on sick lilt." Going to a Fire. — One of the most exciting sights a stranger oan witness m the lower part of New York, is the fire Department responding to an alarm of fire m the daytime. A representive of the ' Fireman's Journal' describes a scene familiar to all our citizens, but one that many of our readers have probably never witnessed. We chanced to be m Broardway a day or two since (says the writer) when the street was crowded with vehicles of all kinds, nnd the side-walks with a regular procession of pedestrians. Suddenly the gong of an nppron<-hinfif steamer sounded with its shnrp, sudden, and continou? jingle. There was a rush of tep.ms to clear the centre of the street, and a rush of policemen to aid the dr-ivers m getting their vehicles against the kerb. Then came, a fireman running for dear life, shouting " Clear the road !" and right behind htm came the steamer, the horses on a gallop, and a cloud of smoke issuing from the smoke-stuck. A moment, and she wa3 gone. Then ca.me a hook-andlaeder truck, with sounding, horses on the jump, and the members of the company clinging to their precarious perches on top. Next came the salvage* corps, gong sounding, horses running, and the men urging tliem as if their Hve3 depended on their speed. It was an exciting event, lasting but a moment, but quickening to the pulse of the laziest onlooker. Thousands of persons had stopped to catch a glimpse of the pas* sing flren-.en, and for over a mile Broadway was jammed with vehicles and pedestrians, all of whom had turned out to make room for the fireman, on whose speed might depend the property and lives of some of our citizens. To ft stranger, the sight must have been a thrilling one, and impressed him with tbe efficiency of our fin depart
ment. We know that to our fire,, soldiers the heavy rumble of the apparatus' seemed like the movement of artillery to the froritj and to presage an impending battle. And so it was a battle — a fight, between trained firemen aud an enemy as old as the earth or heavens, nnd one that has scourged mankind since time was.