Fire at Kaiafoi.— A fire occurred at the Kaiapoi Woollen Factory last night, destroying a shed and about L3OO worth of, goods.
R. M. Court. —There were no police cases set down for hearing at the Court this morning, and the only civil case on the sheet —Nealas v. Struthers, claim, L 3 6s.—in which Mr. Ireland appeared for defendant, was adjourned, on the application of Mr. Branson, until Friday next.
Window Smashing in Christchurch. —Dozens of cases of window smashing have recently occurred in Christchurch. Last night two young men, John Hobberfield and William Smith, were caught in the act, and were this morning ordered to pay Lll 15s. A Warning. —Pulitere Ahuno'co, an intelligent Maori chief, in a letter to the Poverty Bay Herald, warns fie Europeans that Te Kooti is inviting nitives to visit him under the pretence of curing their ailments, but the real object that Te Kooti has in view is to cause an insurrection among the natives against .the Europeans. County Council. —The usual meeting of the County Council will be held tomorrow, in accordance with a resolution passed last month. A special meeting requires to be held annually to elect a 0 lairman, and it was decided to hold both ordinary andfspecial meetuigs on one day, to save summoning the Council twice. At this meeting the Chairman will he elected, and amongst the ordinary business will be consideration of the Tariff Committee’s report. A Hint to Government. —Owing to the Albury line, which already extends twenty-five miles inland, not being extended to Fairlie Creek, thirteen miles further, the majority of the runholders and farmers in the Mackenzie country have decided to cart their wool direct into Timarn. The formation of the extension, with the exception of one cutting, was completed some time ago. It is estimated that 13,000 bales of wool will come from this district during the forthcoming season. The Albury line, so far, has been the best paying line in the colony.
A Growl from New Plymouth.—If we can gather anything from this paragraph, sent by the Press Association agent to the newspapers of the colony, it is that the Department is making the New Plymouth line a sort of sick stable for the colony’s iron horses ; There was a regular mess with the trains on Saturday, through two out of the three engines breaking down. The passengers from Stratford did not get into town till midnight. The men were engaged all Sunday repairing engines. The continuous repairs to worn-out engines adds to the expense of the line considerably.
Ministers in Trouble. —The Hons. Bryce and Rolleston had a narrow escape from being killed on Sunday, whilst being driven from the camp co Opunaki in the A. C express. On descending the hill before coming to the Waitatu river the break gave way, and the express went down the Bill with a run into the river. Mr. Rolleston was thrown amongst the horses, and Mr. Bryce got somehow under the trap into the water Fortunately the gentlemen were not injured, and finding that the spokes of the wheels were broken Messrs. Rolleston and Bryce procured horses from the camp and proceeded on their journey.
A Modkl Farmer. — A certain mechanic in one of tlie up-country districts recently took it into his head that he was intended by nature for a farmer. He purchased some land and proceeded to stock it. One of the cows which he procured soon manifested symptoms which were strange to this would-be feeder of beasts. Visions of pleuro-pneumonia passed through his mind, and rather than lose his herd he determined on extreme measures. Rushing into the house he got his gun and deliberately shot the beast. His disgust may be imagined, when in its death-throes the cow brought forth a fine calf.
Rats. —Paris is terribly overrun with rats, and they are made use of to “ clean” the bones of dead horses, which are thrown for the purpose into a common pound, where thousands of rats arc kept. Every now and then there is a grand battue, and vast numbers of rats are killed, and a very considerable amount is realised by the dead bodies, which are a marketable commodity, the fur being used by hatters, whilst the skins are used in the making of thumbs for gloves—such thumbs being tougher and more elastic than kid. The black and brown rats live together in Paris, in perfect amity, their offspring being a parti-color. .
The Weather. —The continued dry weather is beginning to make itself felt a little on the crops in the lighter districts of the county, which bear evidence that a shower would be welcome. The crops, however, have not lost altogether that healthy green which is so pleasing to the farmer, and if rain comes soon everybody will be rejoicing. The hard sky docs not, to be sure, look very promising of moisture,-blit the tenacious vitality of our vegetation can afford to hold out for a good while yet, waiting the clerk of the weather’s pleasure to give us a few drops. The closing paragraph of each budget of telegrams from the south seems to be on the hot weather and want of rain, so that we are not alone in our desire for moisture.
Bush Fires at Alford Forest.—On Sunday last the Alford Forest district was visited with a bush fire, which has done a considerable lot of damage. There were three distinct fires burning, but the largest one was on the south side of Taylor s stream. It started near the Company’s bush and as a strong north-west wind was blowing, it made rapid head-way through Messrs. NY. and D. Clifton’s bush Messrs. Clifton’s houses were fortunately saved by the exertions of the neighbors and a plentiful supply of water. Adjoining this was a large block of green timber, which put a check on the fire for some time, but eventually the sparks were carried for several chains from the tops of the dead standing trees into an adjoining section of Mr. J. Bowe. A considerable lot of timber ready for market was on this section, and on account of there being a number of dry tops Tying about every stick was consumed. This will be a considerable loss fo Mr. Bowe. His house also had a very narrow escape ; in fact, at ope time it seemed almost impossible to save it. All the furniture was removed to another house some distance away, and the roof of the building covered with sacks and completely drenched with with water. The fire is still burning, and there is no saying when or where it will end. Another fire spr.nng up near Mr. Tisch’s bush, between the North Ashburton and; Taylor’s stream, and this one has been burning several days. These fires not only destroy the bush timber, but also kill thegrowing trees; and as this is the only bush in the Ashburton County it will bo very much missed by generations in years to come.
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