Txnwald Footpaths. - Ashburton’s little sister over the river is no better off under the Longbeacb Road Board than is Ashburton under the Municipal Council. The want of funds’ ailment, which is gradually spreading, has affected the Road Board’s purse, and as a consequence the formation of Tinwald’s footpaths has to he put off to a more convenient season, that is, till the Board is more flush of money.
The Subsidies. —The non-payment of the subsidies to Road Boards by Government is causing trouble to such Road Boards as have pumped dry their pecuniary well. The Longbeach Board, at its meeting on Saturday, found from the statement of finances read that it owed the Bank L 1602 15s. lid., with a pay-sheet of L 548 6s. 4d. still to pass. Not a penny of the subsidy now due by Government, nor any other governmental money, had been paid to the Board, and the Clerk was therefore instructed to send an urgent telegram to the Treasury, asking when the half subsidy now duo for last year would bo paid.
Run Out.—Poor Mr. E. G. "Wright has allowed himself to be forgetful of the fact that while Parliamentary honors lay thick upon him, he had not resigned those given him by the Longbeach district ratepayers, and that he was still a member of the Road Board. While attending his Parliamentary duties in Wellington he neglected to ask leave of absence from bis Board, and as a consequence his seat has been declared vacant, and an election to supply his place will follow, in due course.
Highland Dancing. —At the Oamaru Caledonian slants on New Year’s Day and day after, Mr. James M‘Rae, of Ashburton, was successful in gaining the President’s special prize for excellent dancing form. Mr. M‘Rae also gained second prize for sword dance, third prize for Scotch reel, and third for Reel of Tullochgorum.
Accident at Rakaia. —On Saturday evening, Mr. Lyttelton, of Rokcby, was driving a buggy and pair containing three other persons, out from Rakaia, when the reins broke and the buggy came in concontact with the kerbing of the street, throwing out the occupants and breaking the arm of one, a woman, who was taken on to Ashburton for medical assistance. Mount Hutx Road Board. —The annual meeting for the election of two members to serve on the Mount Hutt Road Board, in place of Messrs. E. Chapman and J. Pannett, who retire by lot, was held at the Board office, Methven, yesterday, at 12 noon. There was a very good attendance. The Returning Officer, Mr. Win. Compton, read the notice calling the meeting, and called on the ratepayers to nominate two gentlemen to serve on the Board. Mr. E. Chapman was proposed by Mr. MacMillan, and seconded by Mr. Pannett. Mr. Uiyett proposed Mr. L>. Cameron, and Mr. R. Patton seconded. Mr. Orr proposed, and Mr. Johnson seconded, Mr. J. Pannett. Mr. T. A. Winter proposed, and Mr. R. Patton seconded, Mr. D. G. Holmes. On a show of hands being called for, the result was —Mr. E. Chapman, 5; Mr. D. Cameron, 3; Mr. J. Pannett, 5; Mr. D. G. Holmes, 2. The Returning Officer declared in favor of Messrs. E. Chapman and J. Pannett, on which a poll was demanded in behalf of Messrs. Holmes and Cameron. The poll will be taken at the Road Board office, Methven, and at the schoolhousc, Ban-hill, on Wednesday, 7th inat. The statement of receipts and expenditure will he delivered at the next Board meeting, after the audit. The totals are—To cash received, L10,4C2 17s. 4d.; by works, Ac., L 2701 ss. (id.— L 7701 11S. lOd.
The Plains Water Supply. —A public meeting of ratepayers was held at the Road Board office, Methven, to consider the feasibility of bringing water from Pudding Hill to supply the upper part of the plains in the Mount Hutt district by means of an open channel. Mr. E. Chapman occupied the chair. Mr. R. Patton said that he believed a scheme to meet the requirements of the people during harvest and threshing could be devised at a probable cost of six or seven hundred pounds, and could be done in time for the coming harvest. After some discussion it was resolved that a Committee consisting of Messrs. Patton, Johnson, M‘Mil lan, Cameron, Orr, Pannett, Gaull, and Allen, inspect the locality of Pudding Hill Stream and Washbed Creek, with reference to their capability, and a deputation of throe members wait on the Ashburton County Council at its meeting on Wednesday next to ascertain how far the Council can assist the Committee in the matter.
Chiaeini’s Circus. —This great show arrived by special train at noon on Sunday, and the disembarking of the horses, &c., attracted a considerable crowd to the railway station. The stud, both for quantity and quality, is far superior to Cooper and Bailey’s, there being some 20 horses and half-a-dozen diminutive ponies. In addition, a pair of zebras, a llama, and a bison were centres of attraction. All the animals, the horses especially, gave evidence of great care being taken with them. They were in good condition, and gave no evidence of having had to put up with the discomforts of a sea voyage or long railway journeys. No time was lost by the workmen of the circus in getting the marquees erected, and the three huge tents occupy a large space of ground, the circus ring being by far the largest yet seen here. The afternoon performance commenced at 2 p.m., and was a very brilliant affair indeed. The troupe of equestrians—male and female—are the choice of the profession, and the acrobats are of the most superior class travelling. The performances of the various wild animals in the menagerie called forth repeated rounds of applause, notably those of Mr. Charles Warner, with throe huge Bengal tigers. The jthree tiger pups, cubbed on the passage over from San Francisco, were shown, and arc interesting specimens of their tribe. They are the third litter born to their dam since she became the property of Signor Ghiarini, the first litter having been cubbed at Buenos Ayres, and the second at Panama- The other performing animals are the bison, a huge brute with no hind quarters to speak of, but he stands five feet high on his fore feet, with anything but an affectionate-looking head ; two prettily striped zebras; a huanaco ;a tribe of well-trained dogs ; and a fine stud of plump little Shetland ponies. The circus is quite gorgeously fitted up, the chairs being very comfortable and occupying th* best position round the ring. At the evening’s entertainment an excellent opportunity was given to a good counter of heads to get a fair estimate of the county’s population, for the inhabitants seemed to be all there. Signor Chiarini says his tent when quite full can hold at last night’s prices 3000 dollars, and we should say that LSOO of that sum jingled into his coffers lastf night, for every available seat on the raised galleries was occupied, and only a few of the circle chairs were empty. Visitors were at tho circus from every part of the the county, and every grade of, society sent its representatives of hothjjexea. The
programme was a very attractive one, and opened with the usual “grand entree” by the equestrians of the company, mid the pageant was a very gay one. Then the “ human serpent,” Signor Bartolo, entered, and astonished the crowd with his wonderful contortions : the performing zebras succeeded Signor Bartolo ; then Miss Jeannette Watson, a graceful rider, gained popular favor ; two acrobats occupied the ring after her ; then two welltrained and splendid looking black horses, exhibited Signor Chiarini’s power as a trainer; Mr. Lava ter Lee did some very extraordinary equestriansm; and then Miss Sarah Fergus performed a la Airec on the trapeze ; then some tumbling feats by the whole company ; after which perhaps the cleverest performance came off in that given by Miss Rosa Lee in her jugglery feats on a bare-backed horse. Mddle. Lotta, the lady with the iron jaw, then gave her exhibition of strength, and Charlie Watson having done a bit of dashing horsemanship, the tiger tamer put his tigers through their , performances, one of which, however, could hardly have been a rehearsed one, for the two male tigers bad a bit of a fight that caused a sensation for a time. After the animals had been fed, the entertainment closed, and shortly afterwards everything was packed up, and the company was en route for Timaru. The Well in East Street. —A trial was made on Saturday evening of the open well in East street, opposite the “Guardian” office, and after a ten minutes’ trial it was pumped dry. The Brigade thereupon determined to put on a gang of men and keep the engine going during yesterday to get the well down a sufficient depth to render it capable of standing any trial, and a depth of 25 feet having been attained, it was found impossible to conquer the flow of the under current, and the work was considered as finished. Cricket Association. —A meeting of the Ashburton Cricket Association Committee was hold on Saturday evening, in Messrs. Saunders Bros’, office. Present — Messrs. Mainwaring (Chairman), S. Saunders, Poyntz, and Wilkie. Messrs. Saunders and Mainwaring were appointed a committee to confer with Mr. Ward, Secretary to the Domain Board, to fix on a site for a tube well in the cricket ground. Mr. Poyntz presented some important resolutions to the committee, and it was decided to postpone the consideration of them and any other business to a meeting to be held in Messrs. Saunders’ office on Wednesday t at Bp. m.
Cambridge School. —The Cambridge School Committee, from six candidates, selected Mr. H. Cape-Williamson for the position of Schoolmaster of the now school, to be opened in February. The Board of Education have sanctioned Mr. Williamson’s appointment, subject to the Minister’s approval of his certificate.
The Closed Hotels. —The two hotels —O’DriscoU’s in Timaru, and Barratt’s in Christchurch—that were closed during the recent troubles over the Orange processions, have had permission given to their proprietors for re-opening. Long-beach Road Board. —Among the works lately completed by tin’s Board arc the erection of an office and residence for the surveyor. Both erections arc under one roof, and the building altogether presents a very ornamental mid substantial appearance. It is in the Italian style, the Board room being 20ft. x. ICft., plastered throughout, and all the necessary fittings and furniture are provided. The residence consists of a sitting room, two bedrooms, kitchen, and pantry, and a roomy hall, the whole having a very handsome verandah fronting on the Longbcach road. In addition to the residence, commodious stables have been erected, containing six stalls and a harness room, the studs being carried up to a sufficient height to allow of plenty of storage room for feed &c., on the upper floor. Mr. J. Stanley Bruce, the architect, having drawn the designs in his usual neat and substantial stylo, the work is of more than average excellence. The contractor for the office and dwellinghouse was Mr. George Parkin, at L 549, and for the stables Mr, George Compton at LlO4. All the necessary outbuildings have also been erected, and as the site is on a reserve of 13 acres the whole affair makes a very compact and desirable country residence. A Sad Loss.- —Mr. W. Swanson, one of the notable four who seceded from the Grey party last session was banquetted a fow nights ago by a section of his constituents. The lion, gentleman arrived at the banquetting hall too soon, and he accordingly adjourned to the house of a friendly bonifice. On preparing for his speech some time afterwards he discovered to his horror that the manuscript had disappeared from his coat pocket, in which lie had placed it along with some other documents. With a look of intense dismay upon his countenance, he x-oso to reply to the toast, and made a very discursive and rambling speech indeed. It appears he had offered LI reward for the recovery of the precious documents, but failing to obtain them, bad to stumble along as best he could. Shrinkage.—An old darkey caught a two-pound sucker one day, and was so well satisfied with his work that ho laydown for a nap, with tire fish beside him on the grass. Another darkey came along presently, picked up the sucker, and left a half-pound one in its place. When the first man and brother woke up, the first thing his eyes sought was the fish, and it took him some seconds to realise that something had happened. Then turning the prize over and examining it all round, he simply said—“ Golly, how dat fish am shwunked.”
The “Big Strawberry Season.”— The dull time with newspapers has commenced. An Otago paper finds out that Mr. J. Forsyth, shipping butcher at Port Chalmers, is in possession of a luaus natural, in the shape of a ewe lamb with five legs. The fifth log is jointed at the knee of the left fore leg, and is perfectly formed, although of course it is useless to the little animal. It is Mr. Forsyth’s intention to keep the lamb as a pet. It was bred by Mr. J. Shaud, of the Taieri, and is perfectly healthy and lively. Twenty Years in the Price of Corn. —in 1859 corn was worth 70 cents a bushel; and the price did not vary until 1854, when it went up to 1.10 followed by the remarkably high price of 1.75 dols. the the next year (1855). A fall of 85 cents came the next year, and a rise to 1.10 during the two suceeding years (1807 -’08). Since this time there has been a gradual fall to 40 cents, the price for last year. In 1875 there was an exception i» a rise of 10 cents (85) followed by a fall of 25 cents (00) for the next year. It is to bo seen that during all the 20 years corn was never so low as at the present time. New Mothod of Advertising.—A new, and not altogether commendable method of advertising has lately come into vogue in this city, writes the Wellington “Post.” We refer to the practice of stencilling trade announcements on the pavements. Lately, pedestrians have been implored by this channel to “Ask for Tiger Brandy.” This appears to have aroused the horror of of some teetotallers, for now we find the words “ Certain Death,” painted under neath the alcholic invitation.
A Eelic of Columbus. —On August 4, 1498, a small squadron of three vessels, under the order of Christopher Columbus, was anchored of the south-western extremity of the Island of Trinidad. Late at night Columbus, it is related by Washington Irving, suddenly saw a wall of water approaching towards the fleet from the south. His own vessel was lifted up so high by the oncoming wave that he feared it would be either submerged or
dashed on shore, while the cable of one of the other vessels parted under the strain to which it was subjected. The crews of the vessels gave themselves up for lost; but after a time the wave, which it is surmised must have been caused by an exceptionally large body of water coming suddenly down one of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Paria, ebbed back again. This sudden rise of the waters of the gulf is mentioned by Columbus’ son Ferdinand, who adds that the fleet suffered no damage, save the loss of one anchor. It is this anchor which has now been found ; and, strangely enough, it was dug up from a depth of sft. below the surface of the ground, at a spot 372 it. from the nearest point of the coast line. The land, it is well known, is gaining upon the sea along the shores of Venezuela, so that whore ships once rode at anchor gardens are now planted. The anchor itself is of simple form and comparatively rude manufacture, the stock being Bft. long, and round, with a ring at one end l£t. in diameter, to which to make fast the cable, .and with flukes sft. long, the whole weighing HOOlbs.
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