The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER. SATURDAY, JANUARY 10, 1880.
How much, or rather how little the County of Ashburton owes to the Grey Government was made apparent at last County Council meeting by a conespdndence that had taken place between the Hon. Mr. Oliver, the present Minister for Public Works, and Mr. E. G. AVright, the member for the district, who is also Treasurer of the County Council, and who read the conmspondence. In Mr. Wiight’s letter to the Minister he traced the history'of the Mount Somers railway from the original vote of £IO,OOO by the Canterbury Provincial Council for its construction to its taking over by the Colonial Government as a part of Mr. Macandrew’s celebrated railway scheme. Mr. Macandrew does not stick at trifles, and knowing that he had no support to gain from the Coleridge district, he was Quito ready to sorve tlie necessities of liis party at the expense of the Ashburton district. The £1.0,000 voted by the Provincial Council had been expended in rails for the proposed lino to Mount Somers. These rails the rapacious Colonial Government did not think twice about making use of on colonial railways" When asked to replace them they reluctantly offered to supply rails to the value of L 6400, or money to that amount instead of LIO,OOO, the original cost of the rails they had gorged for the colonial lines. They put forth, in plea fortius proceeding, that the price of iron had so fallen that the LIO,OOO worth of rails could be replaced for the smaller sum. To save bother the County accepted the compromise, and the Mount Somers line was to proceed as a County railway. Then it struck Mr. Macandrew that the line was worth appropriatingas a part of his general scheme, and he adopted it accoidingly. But a wide-awake man is Mr. Macandrew, and one has to rise up early to get to windward of him. Fancy the County s astonishment when they found that, after all the £6,400 was to be annexed by Government again, by being stopped from subsidies. Truly it was high time we not rid of the Liberal Government, with Its high flown ideas of reform, and got into power a Minister who respected fan dealings to the extent at least of giving us what was honestly and undeniably our own. For a straight piece of hard impudence commend us to the loss through Mr. Macandrew’s harefacedness of the £G 400 ; and let us thank Mr. Oliver s honesty and Mr. AVright s cuteness for its recovery. .
Chbktsey.— Mr. Edward Bowley, who has been railway porter at Cherlsey for a considerable time, was removed on luesday to Selwyn station, where he has been appointed station-master. The people of the district express many hearty good wishes for his future success, for his great kindness and civility rendered to the public during a residence amongst them ox nbout 18 months.
Mount Somers Road Overseer. —Out of 92 applicants for the overseershipof the Mount Somers Road District Mr. J. C. Wentworth Cookson was selected by the Board at their meeting on Thursday last. The Special Constables. —Theß.M., at the Court yesterday, desired it to be noticed through the columns of the press that the services of the special constables were now dispensed with, as the necessity which led to their being called out bad disappeared. He desired to thank those who had come forward in the interests of peace on the occasion on which they were sworn in. Mount Hutt Road Board Election.The official declaration of the poll in this election has taken place, the Barnhill returns showing a large majority in favor of Messrs. Pannett and Chapman, who are thus the candidates elected. The Weather. —Yesterday the thermometer stood higher than it had hitherto done this summer, registering a little after noon, 82 degrees In the shade, • being 14 degrees higher than it stood at noon on the previous day, and 3 degrees higher than the previous highest record on Wednesday, the 7th instant. An “Escapee.” —An individual who had been indulging too freely was arrested on Wednesday evening, and spent a quiet night at Her Majesty’s expense in the house conducted on the cheapest possible principles by our local police. On being liberated for a few' minutes, for the purpose of making his ablutions, bo was not to be found on the call of the roll, and by the assistance of a resident he w'as discovered later in the day and rearrested. The Aneroid. —The aneroid barometer stood at 23.47 ac 10 p.m. last night. Bad w'eathev of some sort is brewung, whether it means nor’-westers or sou’westers a day or tw r o will determine. Valuation Lists. —Great complaints are being made as to the incorrectness and incompleteness of the valuation lists for this year. The County Council undertook the w'ork, and at its last meeting passed a resolution calling upon the valuator to fill up all the blanks by the 15th inst. From a cursory glance at the roll we imagine he has a tough job before him. Cricket. A general meeting of cricketers was held last evening at the County Council Office. There was a failattendance, and Mr. Douglas occupied the chair. It w’as proposed by Mr. Poyntz, seconded by Mr. Main waring, and carried unanimously, “That it is desirable the County and Borough Cricket Clubs should amalgamate.” It was proposed by Mr. Poyntz, seconded by Mr. Fooks, and carried, “ That the amalgamated club bo called the Ashburton Cricket Club.” After a resolution had been fully , discussed the following amendment was carried, “ That the two recently existing clubs wmd up their affairs independently.” Mr. Saunders proposed and Mr. Poyntz seconded, “ That the subscription to the Ashburton Cricket Club for the present season be five shillings.” It was suggested'that the Committe of the new Club should purchase the material from the old clubs, and a resolution recommending this course w r as proposed and carried. The following officers for the new club were appointed ; President—F. Guineas ; Vice-President — J. E. Trevor ; Captain—G. W. Andrews ; Deputy-Captain—A. Fooks ; Treasurer— St. G. Douglas ; Secretary—F. Mainwarin" ; Committee men—T. R. Hodder, T. Buchanan, S. Poyntz, D. Amos, J. Ashwood, R. Westenra, A. Fooks. It w'as proposed by Mr. Fooks and seconded by Mr. Hodder, “That any of Committee absenting himself from twm consecutive meetings without reasonable excuse vacate his seat.” A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the proceedings. Auction Sale. Messrs. Edmiston Bros, and G undry held a sale at Mount Somers on Thursday of the goods in the estate of the late Mr. Andrew Todd. There was a large attendance, and the bidding for the various lots was spirited. The property consisted of horses, drays, implements, and growing crops, and the whole of the items changed hands at very full rates. The draught horses brought what should be considered very high prices, and a field of standing oats brought 30s per acre. A Close Shave. —Yesterday the intense heat had the effect of causing a 5-pint bottle of strong ammonia in the shop of Mr. Neate, chemist, Moore street, toburst and fall from a top shelf to the floor. The powerful gas arising from the ammonia for a time threatened the inmates of the shop and adjoining room with asphyxia, but they all fortunately succeeded in escaping from the premises. Mr. Neate’s family were at dinner at the time, and his two children were only rescued in time from great danger. Whatever farmers think of the fine weather, it is not at all profitable to chemists who require to keep on their premises goods of a description that may at any time become a domestic torpedo. Miraculous Escapes.— On Monday last Mr. George Cole and his family visited Ashburton to witness the afternoon performance at the circus ; and, having business to transact on the south side of the river, drove over, and on his return journey took a short cut across the river bed, about 7 miles down from the bridge. At the time he tried to cross, it was nearly dark; and the trap, containing himself, his w'lfe, four young children, and a quantity of household necessaries was capsized into an unexpected hole in the river. The whole of the occupants and cargo were in an instant adrift on the deep. Mr. Cole as soon as he got footing, finding the trap and his wife safe, made for the children, and picked up two on'the first shallow' place down the river. The third he discovered apparently lifeless, nearly a mile below w'here the trap capsized ; but the fourth was not discoverable anywhere. He then made his w'ay at his best speed to the nearest house (Mr. Fitzgerald’s') and his neighbors collecting, a further search was made, and the child w'as discovered fully a mile and a half from the scene of the accident, and to all appearances dead. With great presence of mind, and a promptitude which deserves both commendation and imitation in such cases, the remedies recommended by the Humane Society were used, and a messenger sent for medical assistance to Ashburton. Before Dr. Stewart arrived, however, the appliances used had the desired effect, and the nearly moribund infant was again brought to the land of the living.— On the same day Mr. Wallace, of the Chertsev Hotel, with his wife and another lady and an infant, were driving up to Ashburton, also to see the circus. About two miles down the Great South Road, the buggy springs broke, and the horse began to plunge. The two ladies were thrown out, the one above the other, with the infant under both, and the trap was smashed to smithereens. Mr. Wallace had one of his legs severely bruised and torn, but the ladies and the infant were not in any way injured. After some delay another trap was procured, and the party came on to Ashburton, the mishap, though a narrow shave, not having been serious enough in its consequences to spoil the evening’s entertainment.
Pastures.— The droppings of animals on the pastures should be scattered and spread. This not only manures the field, but prevents injury to tlie spots covered with droppings. A dressing of plaster over the pasture wall be useful, sweetening the fouled spots and so avoiding the nnequal character of the surface caused by the neglect of cattle to eat down the herbage in other, wise distasteful places.
Trapping the Chinamen. —The “ Ra- | venswood Mining Journal” describes a , curious scene which recently took place in the Police Court there ; —“ The Court j was full of Chinamen as it could well j hold, there being hardly standing room, j As soon as the case between Ah Pong and i four Chinamen was heard, the doors were closed ; but all those who had their miners’ rights with them were allowed to go out at a private door ; but those who had none had to fork out 10s. each for miners’ rights. When the Chinamen found out their little game, some got out of the window's, while’ others outside lent their miners’ rights to some inside ; but, nevertheless, the Warden succeeded in getting about L 15.”
Underground Streams. —Mr. H. C. Russell, of the Sydney Observatory, in a letter to the “ Sydney Morning Herald ” “On the supply of waiter to be found in wells in the interior of the colony,” supplies the following interesting information :—“The width of the river at Bourke is only 180 feet, and the banks are steep, but I am not able to state at what height the water overflows the bulks ; for my present purpose however, this is not of much consequence, because this back water must sink into the ground, or find its ivay back into the river. And my object is to show that by far the greater part of the Darling River water sinks into the ground and finds its way to the sea below the surface. The figures for the first ten months of this year seem to prove that at least eight times as much water as the Darling carries off must find its w T ay to the sea beneath the surface; and there is every reason to suppose that this is the abundant source from which the wells derive their supply. It is w r ell known that the Barcoo, a fine river, getting its water from tropical Queensland, flows out ou to a plain and entirely disappears, and there are several other streams lost in the same way ; and when such largo quantities of water do certainly flow' beneath the surface, it is reasonable to suppose that by far the greater part of the water wdiich should pass through the Darling goes in the same way. One striking fact bearing upon this question has come to my knowledge. Several wells have recently been sunk iti the Darling district, between Bourke and Wilcannia, and the water ran over the top ; when pipes were connected with one of these wells the water rose 2Gft. above the surface ; its temperature was found to be Sideg., and the time w r as winter. The depth of the well w'as not given, but said to bo moderate, probably, therefore, less than 100 ft., wdiich is considered a deep well. The height to which this water rose, and its temperature, point to a very distant and tropical source, and suggests so much that I am sure it would well repay anyone who had time to investigate the cause of these phenomena. ”
The Five Million Loan. —The Sydney “Morning Herald” says regarding this loan :—The New' Zealand loan has been an unexpected success It is true that the terras have been made comparatively easy, and that to take 97 for a 5 percent stock is a condescension to which none of the other colonies would like to stoop. Still, it is not very many years ago since the best of ns v.'ould have been glad to get money on such terms, and to New Zealand it is just now much more important to borrow- on that footing than to do without borrowing at all. The tone of the English press has of late been very unfavorable to colonial loans, and it lias endeavored to discourage our Governments from pressing their claims on the market. But the readiness with wdiich all the money New Zealand wanted was subscribed, and, indeed, twice as much as w-as wanted, show’s that people who did so have not made the complaint. It is quite clear that, however heavily indebted New Zealand may be, the moneyed people in England regard it as solvent and as free from ail taint of repudiation.
The Otago Team. —Regarding the Otago team of cricketers chosen to face the eleven from Canterbury, a writer in the “ Otago Daily Times ” has the following to say:—“They ought to render a very fair account of themselves. Otago is, however, lamentably weak in bowling. There are seven or eight changes of bowling in the team, but not one firstclass tvundler. There is lots of quantity, but very little quality. McLennan, in racing parlance, a strapping colt from the Albion, is to bo tried solely fur his bowling, and should the ground be any way wet, ho w’lli prove difficult to play. Conway bowls fast, but is rather erratic ; Cooke is very promising, and likely to succeed better. Par am or and Haskell both bowl well on the wicket, the former at times with good judgment. A onion and Spring can bowl a decent ball. The eleven is tolerably strong in fielding, and lucky in having sijch a good wicket keeper as Spring. Their strongest point, however, is in batting, nearly every one in the team being in fair practice.”
Railway up Vesuvius.— This railway, the last new project iu mountain-climbing, is now finished. It is 900 metres in length, and will enable tourists to ascend by it to the very edge of tho crater. The line has boon constructed with great care upon a solid pavement, and it is believed to be perfectly secure from all incursions of lava. The mode of traction is by two steel ropes put iu movement by a steam engine at the foot of the crone. The wheels of the carriages are made so as to be free from any danger of leaving the rails, besides which each carriage is furnished with an cxceeingly powerful automatic brake, which, should the ropeby any chance break, will stop the train almost instantaneously.' One of the chief difficulties of the undertaking was the water supply, but that has been obviated by the formation of two very large reservoirs, one at tho station, the other near the observatory.
Life Saving Beds.— A new life saving bod for the use of passengers on board ship (says “Cassell’s Magazine) has been recently approved and adopted by the United States Naval Department for use in the American Navy. These matresscs possess a remarkable power of buoyancy. They are made of elastic felt, and one measuring six feet six inches long by two feet nine inches wide, and 5 inches thick, of which the entire weight is only 251b5., floated a man weighing 1501bs, in addition to an iron grate weighing 501bs. more. To sink it so that its upper surface was level with the water, a dead weight of 3001 b. was required. An average steerage bod of this material would cost only _ 13s. _4d., and would be capable of sustaining 051 b., which is equivalent to the weight of three men under water, or in other words, when swimming. Several lines of steamers running to the AVcst Indies now employ these buoyant beds, and they are, we hear, about to be tried for adoption into the Royal Navy.
French Railways. —M. de Freycinit’s proposed increase of the railway system seems likely to be soon bearing fruit. According to a recent report of the Minister of Public Works, it was decided in the last Parliament to proceed with the construction of between 11,000 and 12,000 kilometres of new lines, which, roughly speaking, will thus be divided [among the different systems : -Nerd, 79G kilom. ; Est, 2549 ; Quest, 2335 ; Orleans, 2341 ; Lyons, 19G2; and Midi, 212 G. Traffic between France and other countries is, or will be, abundantly served by 40 international lines, of which 29 are already at work and eleven have to be made. When all these lines are finished France will have communication with Belgium at 22 points; with Germany at seven; with Switzerland at six ; with Italy at three ; and with Spain at two.
A Maori Abduction.—A curious case of abduction of a European girl by a Maori is reported from Clive. The girl who is the only daughter of a man named Thakson, and is only eleven years of age, states that about 8 p.m. on New Year’s eve she wont down the Pakorahai road in company with another little girl, and as she was returning home she was met by a Maori, who took her under his arm and carried her to a wharo, where he fastened her in, but did not in any way assault her. She remained there all night, - but between 5 and G o’clock in the morning she took a knife which she saw in the whare cut the rope which fastened the door, and returned home. The girl’s father having made complaint about the matter at the Clive police station, a constable proceeded on New Year’s day to the Maori pah at Kohupai. Ho was accompanied by the girl, but she was unable to say positively which was the whare she had been kept in. Constable Matley considered that the fright the girl had received prevented her identifying the whare, but lie believed her story to be true, and that he would be enabled to discover the Maori who fcommißed the abduction.