The Ashburton Guardian. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1881. Rumored Fall in the Price of Grain.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 5 p.m.]
. We are informed that a Christchurch firm of grain merchants have received cable advices from London that the grain markets at Home have a strongly downward tendency, that already wheat has fallen 2d per bushel, and that the quotations for New Zealand wheat, ex ship, are 42s 6d per quarter. Reuter’s last quotation was 445, ex ship, and Adelaide 495. The markets have been stagnant for some days past, judging from the reports per Reuter’s agency we have received, and a change was of course to be looked for, but not necessarily a heavy fall. We do not, of course, accept the information of a fall of 2d per bushel with uncompromising faith, though we shall not be astonished should it turn out to be true ; but by the end of the week we shall doubtless be in possession from Reuter of any change that is likely to have taken place. Loafers. Some time ago we referred to the trouble that many of our country friends had with “sundowners,” who come about the farms and almost take charge of the.place. Those fellows look upon the “cockatoo” as an institution for their especial benefit, and will scarcely take no for an answer when they make their demands for a meal and a shake* : dbwp. . The trouble has npt assuaged -v: In any degree, and one has only to take a look at any ot the country hotels to
see how strong m'numbers the “sundowner ” is. One publican told us recently that it was as much as he could do sometimes to keep his place from being rushed by the crowd of idle loafers who hung about his house, begging a meal, stealing it when they could, and generally sponging for liquor. But the state of affairs is no better in the town than it is in the country, and there is scarcely an unrented house that is not very densely populated of a night, if an entrance can be made at all. One old shop we know of had over a score of free sleepers in it last night, and we could place our hands on others that the social Arabs make very free use of. Even on the main street if a lobby door is left open of a night, uninvited guests make entrance and unsavory tarriance. The worst of it is that there is no chance whatever in entertaining angels unawares in these men—unless it be angels that have fallen considerably!; and from the fact that they smoke much and often and get drunk frequently, they will light matches, and are not particular as to where they throw them whey thev have got their pipes alight. The police do their best to look after the free 1 >dgers, but tht re are so many cf them, and tht'y seek for shelter in so many different places that they are not always easily dropped upon. For its size Ashburton keeps the Magistrates well supplied with cases of drunk, but be it remembered that for many a day not a single permanent resident in the township has been before the Court, so that, were it not for the floating scum of drunken loafers that sojourn for a time here and there—now in the country, now in the town —the duty of the R.M. and the Justices of the Peace would be light indeed. We would commend owners of property just now, if they would keep out unwelcome visitors, to make secure all doors and windows, and to be as particular in seeing to the shutting up of their dwellings and outhouses as they possibly can, for the genus sundowner is a very dangerous parasite to have about.