PER OUR SPECIAL WIRE.
INTERPROYINCIAL, Auckland, Feb. 16. On Saturday last a brutal rape xvas committed" by a Fijian on a little girl five years old, daughter of Geo. Smith, in Bishop’s paddock, Parnell. The police gave chase, and the perpetrator ran into a swamp near Kohcmarima. The police got bogged, and the Fijian escaped to the bush. A file of policemen surrounded the swamp all Saturday and Sunday night, but the Fijian is supposed to have escaped. It is the same bush Winiata got into. To-day tho police are scouring tho countiy, and the telegraph has been set in motion xvarning the police in tho out-districts. The teachers are moving to obtain a room for a library in the training college. It is said the Mormon elders Ixave conxmrted two or throe. They held Mormon service again yesterday. Archbishop Stons performed high mass yesterday, and confirmed a large number of children. An attempt has been made to set fire to Mr. R. Allen Webb’s house. The fire xvas discovered on tho verandah after the family had retired. They xvere aroused by the neighbors xvho put it out. The single passengers by the British Empire xvere released to-day from quarantine. It has not been decided when the families xvill be allowed to leave. The Now Zealand Accident Insurance Company has commenced business ; shares are at a premium. The Board of Directors accepted 150 proposals for large sums at last meeting. Mx*. Sheehan has gone to Katikati to visit Rcwi. A gum digger named Robert Reid died suddenly. Haxvera, Feb. 16. Tho road is to be xvidenod, clearing axvay the fern ten feet on each side of the formation, previous to the Coiistabulary shifting their camp. Sir. F. D. Bell and Sir W. Fox, accompanied by Mr. Parris, called at the A. C. camp on Saturday on their way to Geo, whither they returned the same evening. Wellington, Feb. 16. It is mentioned that Walter Bishop, late collector of accounts for the “ New Zealand Sun,” intends to commence a criminal action for libel against that paper for publishing an advertisement in connection xvith him. Tho first meeting of the Royal Commission on the Native Affairs xvill be held at Oeo on Thursday, the 19th inst. The interpreters and short hand xvritei*a have been instructed to be in attendance, and they leave here to-morrow morning. Tho Naval Brigade xvill send about 150 men to the review at Christchurch at Easter. Tho inhabitants of Pioton have subscribed LIOO in aid of the Irish Distress Fund, xvhich xvill be forwarded to the proprietor of the “Evening Post” foxtransmission to Dublin. Mr. Johnson, Relieving officer, has reported to the Colonial Treasurer an approximate estimate of tho unemployed in Wellington, xvhich is as follows ;—Carpenters, saxv mill hands, etc., 112 ; ironxvorkers, 115; coach builders, smiths, etc., 20 ; plumbers, and gas fitters, 29 ; painters and paperhangers, 60 ; printers, 12 ; laborers, navvies, etc., 200 ; clerks and draper’s assistants, 30—total, 577. An enquiry is proceeding at the Hutt into the circumstances connected xvith the recent fire at Deverill’s butcher shop. The police laid an information against Kirkcaldy and Stains, drapers, Charles Hill, hatter*, Cogan, tailor*, and Mrs. Delauree, dressmaker, for the violation of Employment of Females Act. Arrangements for taking over the “Nexv Zealand Times” were completed this evening, and Mr. Harris takes possession tomorrow. The “Times” and “ New Zealander” xvill amalgamate, when the latter ceases publishing after to-morrow morning. The shareholders of the “ Times ” have confirmed tho resolution of the directors, selling the paper to Mr. Chantry Harris. The amalgamation takes place early next xveek. Twenty-eight entries-have been received here for the N. Z. Rifle Association Meeting at Nelson. Dr. Lemon has received a cablegram that there are txvo Irish relief funds, one with tho Lord Mayor of Dublin at its
head, and the other with tho Duchess of Marlborough. Nelson, Feb. 16. A man named Marshall, 30 years of age, who leaves a mother, a widow, and four children unprovided for, was drowned at Collingwood whilst attempting to cross the river in a canoe. Deceased arrived in the colony only about three months ago, and came with others to work at the Wallsond coal mine, Westport. Ho took the wrong ford, and was capsized. Preparations for the Rifle Association are in progress, under Armorer Christie. Wooden buildings for the officers, mess huts, sleeping rooms, and telegraph office are under construction. A bricked well has been sunk, and 12 targets are being put in position, with sunk butts, to prevent any shadow being thrown on the target. Willie Hogg, a local poet, but also known throughout tho colony, died at the hospital yesterday, aged 70 years. Henry Adams, solicitor, who has been practising many years, and held the position of Crown Prosecutor, has executed a deed of assignment. Westport, Feb. 16. At the Resident Magisti afce’s Court, W. Stewart, for assaulting Mr. M‘Lean, was committed for trial at the District Court. Christchurch, Feb. IG. Barrett, the contractor for the tramway and drainage works, was again fined today on six informations for having neglected to keep lights burning on obstructions. He said be had had two men watching, and it was after three o’clock in tho morning that the cases mostly occurred. The other morning a young man was badly injured through his horse getting into a hole on the tramway line, he is going to sue Barrett for LSOO damages in consequence. The Sunday trading case was further adjourned in consequence of press of work. There were several cases of illegal fishing for trout, but they were nearly all dismissed on technical points or in consequence of the prosecution not producing sufficient evidence. The Rechabites are to bold their annual meeting in Christchurch this week. Representatives from all parts of the colony are expected to be present. Timaru, Feb. 16. Tho weather within the last few days has been most changeable. Yesterday morning the thermometer registered 93 in the shade, and in the afternoon a fierce northerly gale prevailed doing a considerable amount of damage to tho oat crops and fruit trees. Heavy rain has now set in. Oamabu, Feb. 16. The ceremony of laying the corner stone of the new Primitive Methodist Church took place to-day. The high winds which have dune so much damage to crops in other parts of the colony were not felt much here, and little if any injury has been inflicted. Dunedin, Feb. 16. The police have decided to take no further action in the King street aflair. Over 7,000 ounces gold were sent down by escort during the past two months. The Native Lauds Commission held a formal sitting to-day, adjourning till Wednesday, -when Judge Symons, who surveyed the Otago block will bo examined. His Excellency and Lady Robinson arrived in Dunedin by special train at 4.45 o’clock this afternoon. At Palmerston they wore joined by the Commissioner of Middle Island Railways, under whoso charge tho special train was. About 350 hands engaged in the employed sections of the Otago railways will be knocked off immediately, by order of Government. The high winds on Sunday did considerable damage to the crops at Tokomairiro, Clutha, and Tuapeka districts. Dunedin, Feb. 10. Tho members of Knox Church, by a majority of over 100, voted in favor of the introduction of instrumental music to the ordinary Sunday service, but as the necessary majority was not obtained, the matter lies in abeyance. The tender of Kincaid and M'Queen, L4ls9, for the construction of a dredge for Greymouth harbor works has been accepted. James Robertson, a young man, met with a suspicious death at Dumbarton Rock Hotel, four miles from Roxburgh, yesterday. A number of men were harvesting on a farm of the landlord’s, and four of them commenced card playing. One of them, M ! Loughliu, and young Robertson commenced to quarrel, and during the scuffle Robertson received a blow on the head, causing instantaneous death. It is supposed the blow was inflicted with an iron rod. M'Loughlin has been arrested. By a fire in the South Ward last night the premises of James Kennedy, bootmaker, were gutted. The fire was caused by a kerosene lamp igniting a cloth that had been put round it, while the inmates were absent. The dividend paid during the half-year ending January to shareholders in the Mountain Race Gold Mining Company (Blue Duck), at Tinker’s, of whom there are 24, amounted to L 260 each. Gunners Carle and Skardon, of the Dunedin Artillery, have entered for the Nelson meeting. The master of tho schooner Awarau reports to tho Collector of Customs his feax's that the whaleboat’s crew of eight men, which went out sealing in July last, and has not since been heard of, must have been drowned. The Awarau returns to the Islands immediately to make a complete search. The recent proseexxtion against Captain Drew, of the schooner Awarua, for catching seals in the close season, has fallen through, owing to Mi’. Watt, tho 8.M., commiting defendant for trial instead of inforcing penalties under the later interpretation of the Act. Balclutha, Feb. 15. By a violent gale which continued yesterday afternoon and evening, immense damage has been done to crops, the ripe oats imexxt being fully threshed. A fire XMged in Kaihiku Bush, and Potter and Doull's old saw mills bxxildings wore destroyed. Tho house of Mx - . Motfatfc, a settler, had a narrow escape. Much fruit is shaken down throughout tho district. At a meeting of the Clutha County Council to-day, four tenders xvere received for erecting Balclutha bridge. The loxvest was LI, 100 above the engineer’s estimate. Consideration xvas deferred for a fortnight.
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