Coal Company.—A new company is announced in Dunedin with a capital of L 15,000, to work the Wallsend colliery at Greymouth. County Council. —Only Messi-s Wright and Jackson, attended at the meeting of the Council yesterday, which was adjourned till the lOtli inst. The Deeding Twine Binder —The horses took fright, and smashed the gear of the Deering twine binder at Timaru, so that the public trial, which should have come off on Tuesday, had to be postponed. Funeral of Mrs. J. E. Buchanan. — The funeral of Mrs. J. E. Buchanan took place yesterday at 2 o’clock, and a large and influential company followed the deceased lady to the grave, where the last rites were impressively performed by the Rev. W. Kcall. Hew Railway Project. —A scheme has been mooted for connecting Kyle, Seafield, and Wakauui by railway with Rakaia. The idea is to make an inexpensive line from what is known as Edwards’, to a point some two and a half miles from Rakaia. This line would collect the produce of a very large extent of country, and would he a great boon to the settlers between Rakaia and the sea. As yet the idea has taken no definite form, but the suggestion is being well received. The Otaki Post Letter Case. —The Stewards of the Wellington Racing Club have decided not to prosecute the postmaster at Otaki for ante-dating a letter containing an entry for a race. The horse Commission has been disqualified from running on any racecourse under the Club’s "conti 01, and the Secretary was requested to communicate with the other clubs in the colony, asking them to sustain their action. Stevens, the trainer of the horse, and Mr. Champion, the owner, arc to be disqualified, unless they can give a satisfactory explanation of their action. South Rakaia School Committee.— The usual monthly meeting of the South Rakaia School Committee was held in the Schoolroom on Tuesday evening. Present —Messrs. C. Tucker (Chairman), Hartnell, Cox, and Shcllock. The Chairman said that he had looked through the accounts of the late Committee, and found it impossible to make anything of them. He had some knowledge of balancing accounts, but these accounts beat him. There were cheques drawn by the late Committee which had been dishonored, and there were some accounts said to have been paid for which ho could find no vouchers. Altogether the late Secretary Mr Jaggar—who has absconded, bad left the books 3 of the Committee in a most unsatisfactory state. He was sorry that Mr. A. Makeig, the late Chairman, was not present to throw a little light on some of the matters which at present seem somewhat obscure. He bad written to the Board of Education informing them of the present Committee’s financial position, and forwarding to the Board a copy of the late Committee’s accounts and balance sheet. A letter was read from the schoolmaster, giving sundry matters information as to attendance, and asking to have a curtain hung across the school to divide the classes ; asking for the appointment of a pupil teacher, and informing the Committee that the December salary cheques had been dishonored. Three tenders were received for cleaning the school for a year, and after_ some little consideration the tender of Mrs. Hogan for Ll 3 was accepted. It was resolved to have the low place in front of the school door filled in with gravel. On the motion of Mr. Cox, seconded by Mr. Hartnell, it was resolved that the Chairman write to the Board of Education urging on them the necessity for increased school accommodation, owing to the rapid increase of children of school age in the district. It was resolved that Mr. Hartnell sign cheques in conjunction with the Chairman. The meeting then adjourned.
Caved in. —One of the Longbeach coach proprietors has found that running a vehicle without passengers is not a pi’ofitable business; and has accordingly withdrawn from the spec, along with “certain impedimenta.” Mr. George Willcocks has the road to himself now, and with his dashing coach team is quit", prepared to convey all travellers.
Finn at the Rakaia Hotel. —About 2 o’clock on Tuesday morning one of the boarders at Mr. Partridge’s Hotel, Rakaia, was aroused by a strong smell of fire, and on getting up he found the passage full of smoko that evidently 'proceeded from an adjoining room. Ho immediately alarmed the inmates, and it was then found that a linen closet was on fire. The efforts of those in the house were successful in extinguishing the burning with a few buckets of water, but a large quantity of bedclothes, Ac., was destroyed. The loss is calculated at L3O or DIO. Cricket. — A muff cricket match takes place to-day between an Eleven of Ashburton, and a similar number to be selected from a Christchurch team. The match is to be strictly confined to “ muffs,” and nothing in the shape of professional bowling will bo permitted, and the “ underhand ” business iu the trundling department will be strictly adhered to. A l l the ‘ ‘ fat contingent ” from Ashburton are engaged for the event, and it is expected that some of the halsmen will be considerably out of breath by the time they get through their innings.
The Mount Sowers Railway. —Messrs Fraser and Co. have now laid the rails along the whole length of the Mount Somers railway line, and they will probably finish the ballasting this week. There will then only remain to be done the trimming and boxing, and these will be completed by the end of the month. The line should thus bo ready for the grain traffic which is bound to be in full swing about that time or early iu March. The line would have been finished ere now, but for the want of material —the Government having allowed themselves to run ont of fish plates and bolts. The sleepers made use of for the line, the contractors tell us, are of a very superior class, being all of native timber, and procured from Picton, Oxford, and Waimate. The Lincolnshire Delegates. —Messrs Foster and Grant arrived in town about 1 p. in. on Tuesday, having been coached by Mr. J. LI. Crawley from Messrs. Gould and Cameron’s homestead. They were received at Quill’s Hotel by Messrs. John Grigg, Chairman of the Longbeach Road Board ; Hugo Friedlandcr, Mayor of the Borough of Ashburton ; F. B. Passmore, of Sherwood ; James Scott, Manager of Cliatmoss, Fairfield, and Chertsey; D. Cameron, of Messrs. Gould and Cameron; and other leading gentlemen in the district. At the hotel, host Quill had prepare i for the gentlemen a sumptuous repast, the entertainment of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and after this had been partaken of the delegates proceeded on a further tour of inspection, after which they will go southwards.
The Accident to the Rotomahana. — The finding of the Court of Inquiry into the cause of the accident to the Rotoinahana by striking on a rock near the Great Barrier Island, on Jan. 1, while on an excursion trip, is as follows :—“ That no wrongful act or default can be attributed to Captain Underwood in the striking of the Rotomahana on a rock on Jan. 1 last, but at the same time this Court is of opinion that the sending of such a ship as the Rotomahana on a pleasure excursion with a large number of passengers, to a port seldom visited by largo ships, and further, choosing a channel not even then usually employed, was highly injudicious, and is reprehensible, and the engagement of a person as pilot who cannot understand a chart is blameahle. The Court finds that the conduct of the master and officers, after the accident, was most praiseworthy, there being no confusion nor unnecessary alarm on "board after the striking of the steamer.” Dbomore Goods Shed. —Tenders closed for this building on Monday. The Hall Government’s ideas of economy have taken a fresh departure over this job. It was well known to everyone in the colony, when the expenditure on this work was authorised, that labor was cheap and plentiful, and that contracts could be let at very low rates. Knowing all this, the Government put off the construction of this building until harvest operations set in, and then issued specifications of a most extraordinary nature. Imprimis, the value of the job is be ween LIDO an 1 LSOO. It is sot forth that it must bo finished in sixteen days, the penalty for over time being LlO per day, the deposit LSO, and the security LloO. This is what they call giving a poor man a chance. As it is, there is a strong probability of some big contractor from Christchurch stepping in and getting a good nibble, instead of local carpenters, who could have done the work satisfactorily had ordinarily easy terms been offered.
Small Mercies. —By the courtesy of liia Worship the Mayor we have been favored with a copy of a telegram received by him from the Christchurch Railway Manager. It is as follows : “ His Worship the Maj-or, Ashburton—lt has been arranged that a carriage be attached to 1110 goods, commencing from to -morrow. Only first class passengers for Christchurch will be carried, as train will not stop at intermediate stations, except at uncertain periods. --Fred. Back.” This concession to the requirements of an important district, we suppose, we ought to feel duly grateful for. But it is a remarkable fact that only first-class passengers are to he considered in the matter, and even they, if they wish to keep themselves select, will now run a great risk of having their feelings trampled upon by the advent to a first-class carriage of some vulgar swagman in a burry to get to Christchurch, who may be possessed of the wherewithal to pay the extra four shillings. Wc consider the manner in which the railway department has given way to the demands of the public can only be characterised as shilly shally work. A New Comet. —On Tuesday night residents in the township who cast their eyes towards the river between nine and ten o’clock saw a long narrow streak of light ascending perpendicularly. Many people were at a loss to know its nature, and not a few fancied, but for the absence of the moon, that the streak was part of a lunar rainbow. Local astronomers seem to be agreed, however, that the streak of light was the tail of a comet, and that comet quite a stranger. They are strengthened in this belief by telegrams from otherparts of the colony, where the b'ght was also seen. The appearance of the stranger has been made suddenly, and no warning has been given to us of his approach, but bis advent will be something like a godsend to astronomers, who will now have an opportunity of making a satisfactory analysis of comet light by the aid of the spectroscope which has now come so much into use amongst them. Our astronomical reporter was instructed to take his position oa the “ Guardian” observatory last night, so as to give the most reliable intelligence regarding the comet. The report we received from him was to the effect that he considered we were trying to come it too strong in sending him up on the roof on a wet night to look after a blooming star, and he .intended going for a nip of threestar. Anyhow, things got cloudy, and, comet or constellation, we couldn’t get our astronomer to give us any further information, and it will be observed by our telegram? that all other parts of New Zealand are equally foggy about the celestial visitor. One of them says it is “ Beat her serious,” but we can’t recall any star of that name to mind just now.
A New Business. —An advertisement in another column announces the opening of new premises by Messrs. Craighead and Co. as tailors and clothiers. Mr. Craighead is a gentleman of wide experience in his profession, having practised it both in the leading cities at Horae and in America, and we learn that in addition to carrying on business on behalf of his own firm, he has entered into arrangements with Messrs. Orr, to which their now advertisement today refers. Compensation Wanted. —A drunken woman fell from a bridge into a stream near New Plymouth, the approaches to which were not properly protected. She was drowned, and her husband, feeling her loss, wants to lie compensated by the Now Plymouth Borough Council. The bridge was a private one, leading to a hotel. We should say the chances for compensation are small. Accident. —About 10 a.m. yesterday Mr. C. Smit’xel, contractor, who was riding a young horse belonging to Mr. R. Hudson (Yoi-key) in company with another young man, started to try the merits of their steeds on the shingled road loading to Alford Forest. On the preliminary gallop Mr. Smithcl’s near side stirrup leather broke, and he was dismounted, falling heavily on his head and back. He was at once conveyed to Dr. Ross’ residence, and it was then discovered that some damage had been done to the sufferer’s spine, and up to a late hour last night it was not known whether the patient was out of danger or not. Tea Meeting —On Tuesday a very hearty tea meeting was held in the Primitive Methodist Church, to welcome the new pastor, the Rev. A. J. Smith. The meeting had been postponed from a date previously fixed, and last night the little building was quite full, and betokened the enthusiasm of the people to whose spiritual wants Mr. Smith is henceforth to minister, and how popular ho has become during the short space of time ho has already boon in their midst. Streamers ran along the walls, bearing the device “ Welcome to our station,” and everything indicated that Mr. Smith’s settlement was a happy one, and likely to be successful. The tea tables, abundantly supplied, were attended to by Mesdames Puddiconib, Jowsey, James, Tilly, Lucas, Dally, and Taylor, while the indispensable “ bachelors’ table” was presided over by Miss Jowsey. At the usual after meeting Mr. Puddiconib presided, and in a short address welcomed, in the name of the people, the pastor to his new charge. Mr. Smith has only recently arrived from the old country, and brings with him high testimonials to his ability and success as a preacher, and those have not been belied by the experience of those who have had the pleasure of enjoying his ministrations. During the after meeting suitable addresses were delivered by the Rev. Mr. Smith, Rev. Mr. Beattie, Rev. Mr. Keall, and the Rev. Mr. Hammond, the latter a Wesleyan clergyman on a visit to Ashburton ; and an efficient choir sang several pieces very sweetly, Mrs. Yauglian also contributing Tennyson’s well-known song, “Too late.” The meeting closed at halfpast ten. An Undertaker’s Reason. —Tam Neil was wright and precenter in Edinburgh, and a very droll character in his way. Being questioned one day by a lady, at whoso house he was employed, as to the reason why people of his profession were so exhorhitant in their charges for coffins, he looked very mysterious, and agreed lo give her the necessary information in return for a glass of whisky. The stipulation being carried out, Tam said, “ Weel, ma’am, is just because they are ne’er brought back to be mended.” Maori Logic — A paragraph in a newspaper correspondent’s letter runs as follows :—Latest news received to-day (Jan. 31) from the Waimate Plains represents the natives as inclined to be more sulky than they were yesterday. One old chief is reported to have said to a European interlocutor, referring to the action taken by Government, “Before the pakehas came to Now Zealand the Maoris used to fight, kill, and afterwards eat their prisoners. When the missionaries arrived on the scene .and told them it was bad to oat their prisoners, they asked them to whom they were to look for food, and were told to look above to God. They did so, .and were friendly with each other afterwards. But after a while the pakelia fought witii the Maori. Did God tell them to do this I If so, why did the missionaries say it was bad to fight I ” Larrikin ism. —One day last week, as the 11 25 train from Wanganui was passing one of the crossings near S;. John’s platform, the larrikins of that locality opened fire from an improvised battery, discharging a perfect shower of missiles at the carriage windows. Among the many and novel projectiles (says the “Rangitikei Advocate ”) were included kerosene, lobster, pickled salmon, raspberry, and currant-jam tins, and other articles of like description too numeiousto mention. As in warfare generally it is diflicrlt to please both sides, the fun in this case was enjoyed by the assailing party, the travellers for whose especial benefit the little war was got up, failing to see the point of the joke when impressed upon their notice at the dangerous end of the line of trajection. Small Birds. —The small English birds imported into Hawke’s Bay have increased so rapidly that they are beginning to cause a good deal of mischief, and no little alarm. A large and splendid crop of rape on Mr. Ormond’s Hcretaunga estate attracted these birds in thousands, and fully a third of the seed was eaten by them before it could be gathered. It has been suggested (says the Napier “Telegraph ”) that a dozen of each sort of birds—sparrows, finches, linnets, etc.—should be shot and opened, with a view to ascertaining whether they feed more upon grain than upon insects. It is possible that caterpillars will do more harm to a field of grain in a few hours than the birds will do in a week, but it would be as well to discover how far the charges against the birds can be borne out by evidence. The Wantabadgery Bushranger;?.—■ Writing of the bushrangers who were executed on Jan. 13, the Sydney correspondent of a southern paper says The decision as to their fate was communicated to Scott and Rogan on Christmas Eve. What a mockery the seasonable phrase, “ A Merry Christmas” must have seemed to those unhappy creatures during the following day. Scott received the tidings with apparent callousness. He said he had anticipated that such would be their nature. Since then he has evidently been feeling the terrible narrowness of his time—the end coming momentarily nearer—and has been passing his hours in writing voluminously. He evidently means to speak to the public after lie is dead. But, presumably, there will be an official censorship exorcised over these posthumous works. Rogan, on the other hand, appeared smitten with stupefaction when he learned that he was cast for death. This man’s organism would appear to have been of a low order, and his imagination deficient. He had not, apparently, realised his position. Hanging, until the sentence became an absolute one, appeared to have only an abstract intaniii" for him. But when the sentence was confirmed, and the day (January 20th) definitely fixed, he broke down. A coward in combat, he showed no more moral than he had displayed physical courage.
Farming by Students. —The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky has raised, by student labor, on the sixtyfive acres of arable ground which it cultivated, the following -.—Eighteen hundred
bushels of corn, 600 bushels of Irish potatoes, 70 bushels of sweet potatoes, 273 bushels of wheat, 200 bushels of turnips. 7 tons of Hungarian grass and white millet. Besides growing its own.tomato, cabbage and sweet potato plants, it sold plants amounting to uOdola. It has disbursed a large amount for student labor. The pay-roll for this last month amounted to 150dols. Notwithstanding these expenditures it has still a considerable balance in tie treasury, besides having on hand most of last year’s crop. Its matriculation list lasc year was 50 per cent over that of the preceding year, and the matriculation list of the present, so far, exceeds that of last year by 30 per cent. These facts show that, under economical and. judicious management, the success of an agricultural college is certain.—“ Lexington, Ky., Press.” Bitten by a Cat—A Horrible Scene. —One of the pictures of the late French salon represented the fable of the woman who was turned into a cat. She is depicted crawling on all fours, a woman in figure, but a cat in nature, with kindling oyo and stealthy movement, toward a mouse iu the corner of the room. In the Rue de Montrcuil, yesterday, the inhabitants were witnesses of a scene in which a woman assumed for a short space of time the attributes of a cat. Bub the case was different and far more terrible than the one related in the fable. It was the most appalling of all human maladies that took possession of this poor woman. Last August she was bitten by a mad cat, and, although the wound was considered quite healed, suddenly yesterday afternoon she was seized with hydrophobia. Slip, uttered a terrible scream, like that of a cat, and threw herself with frightful grimaces, as if to bite, upon a neighbor, who hastened to get away. The mad female pursued her, but fell in the middle of the street in paroxysms of agony, tearing out her hair. The crowd looked on petrified with fear and horror. Finally, some policemen threw blankets over her, and succeeded in carrying her to the nearest hospital, but she was dead before arriving there.. —Oorr. “Loudon Daily Ne ws. ”
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