The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas, et Prevalebit. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1881.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 430 p.m. j
News by the Mail. — A quantity of interesting news, to hand by the ’.Frisco mail, appears in this issue. They Evidently Believe In It.— Thirty-two Auckland men, including firms, subscribed for 70,000 sh-rcs of Li each in the Thames Valley and Kotorua railway project.
Glad Tidings. —Mr P. P. O’Roily, having thought better yet, has decided to contest the Wakanui seat after all. We understand that Mr O’Reilly’s only reason for so abruptly withdrawing from the contest before was then a strong probability of a brush with the “ black fellows ” eventuating.
An Unruly Character.—At the Police Court this morning Gaorge Wilson was charged with drunkenness. Constable Smart deposed to arresting the man last night at Harper’s Boardinghouse, where he had been behaving himself in a very violent manner, having thrown a tomahawk at Mrs Harper, which fortunately missed her. Wilson was remanded until to-morrow, when he will probably be further remanded in order that he may be medically examined, some doubts being entertained as to his sanity.
They Want Bringing to the Scratch. —Active proceedings are about to be taken by the Property Tax Department, Wellington, against all who have neglected to reply to the circulars recently issued requiring returns under the Acts of last session. Some 4,000 circulars were issued, and only about 1,600 replies have been received. Fancy Fair in a Paddock. —A. fancy fair held in a paddock has been the latest attraction at Fielding. The weather was glorious, the ladies bewitching, their costumes in keeping with the affair, and the whole thing passed off with great eclat. The idea of holding a fancy fair in the open air is a very good one, and might be imitated elsewhere with advantage now that the summer weather has set in. A Protest. —The Press special, wiring from Wellington under yesterday’s date, says :—ln reference to the Property Assessment Amendment Act passed last session, a very strong representation has been made to the Government by the sheep farmers in different parts of the colony to the effect that under the new system wool on the sheeps’ backs will be taxed twice over, as the sheep were valued last year in wool aud now the wool has to be valued separately. It is contended that this would more than make up for the farthing nominally remitted on the Property tax by imposing doub’e taxation on one article. The question has been submitted for the opinion of the proper officers which is as follows :—“ Wool is not taxed double ; the only alteration in the Act in respect to wool is the date upon which sheep are to be valued. The Amendment Act provides that the date of valuation shall be as on the Ist October, whereas by the Act of 1879 the Ist of April was the date. All that is now required from sheep owners is the additional value between the date of the first statement of value and the Ist of October. In very many cases sheep were returned at 5s each, and owners claimed a reduction as a liability for advances obtained against their wool because it was out of the colony.”
The Milbubn Creek Scandal. —The report of Mr Solomons, Commissioner appointed to enquire into the Milburn Creek scandal, has been laid before the New South Wales Assembly. It shows the three trustees, Messrs Baker, late Minister for Mines, Waddell and Matheson received L 4,500 of the money voted by Parliament as compensation to the Company, which they appropriated to themselves without the knowledge of the shareholders. The evidence shows that Mr Garrett, M.P., was a principal party to the collusory transaction, by which in consideration of his helping the Company as a member of the Assembly to obtain their compensation, he was to receive 2000 of the Company’s shares, and a gold watch and chain, valued at LIOO, from Waddell, one of the trustees. The report adds that Messrs Garrett, Waddell, and Russell were guilty of bribery and corruption. The matter was brought before the House, the gallaries being densely crowded on the occasion, and the charges against the parties implicated were fully investigated. Mr Baker strongly protested against the proceedings, as being “ partial, unmanly, unfair, and un-Eng-ligh.” Sir H. Parkes moved—“ That Mr Baker be expelled from’the House. ” The motion was carried by 71 to 2. Mr Baker’s seat was accordingly declared vacant.
Thb President's Murderer. Sergeant Mason, one of the soldiers of the regular army detailed to guard Guiteau, attempted to shoot him while on duty. Guiteau was standing at the cell window when Mason shot at him with his rifle from outside the gaol. The ball passed within a few inches of Guiteau's head and lodged in the cell wall. Mason, who has bean in the service nineteen years, and bears an excellent character, gave himself up to the captain, saying : —“ I fired the shot, captain. I intended to kill the scoundrel. I did not enlist to guard an assassin.” He was arrested. Guiteau, terribly frightened, was found writhing on the floor of the cell, uttering leud prayers. He refused to stand erect or lie on his cot, but remained huddled up in the remotest corner till removed to another cell. The captain of Sergeant Mason’s company says that Mason had been ill several days with chills, and had taken a great deal of strong medicine, which he believed bad affected his mind. A. Walking Automaton. —After a year of patient labor, a veiy ingenious automaton, says the Sydney Henld, has just been completed by Mr Hornburg, of Sydney. Its specialty is that it walks—walks in the same style, and with much the same motion, as a human being does. The place occupied by lungs, heart, and other indispensable organs as the human frame are represented in Frankenstein— Mr Hornburg’s creation—by machinery; and the rattling and gasping sounds which emanate from him would be anything but reassuring if they followed the exertion of gentle walking when undertaken by an ordinary person. Frankenstein is about 5 feet 6 inches high; his motive-power is steam, supplied to him' by means of a horizontal tube, on which one hand rests. This tube is connected at one end with a tall upright exhaust-pipe, into which the steam from a little engine close by passes. As the automaton man moves, an eccentric in the hip revolves, and lever action bends the knee, raises the toes from the ground, and throws the foot forward. Then the foot drops, and the other one repeats the action, the imitation of walking being very pood. A Musical Ghost. —The season is approaching when ghost stories are usually received with more than ordinary relish. A “ creepy crawly ” story comes from Scotland, the land of “ wraiths ” and “second-sight.” Lord Airlie, while on a tour through the Western States of America, was seized with sickness, to which he ultimately succumbed. But the strangest part of the story is that Lady Airlie, far away in distant Scotland, was acquainted with the sad fact the same night. At the dead of night the lady was awakened by the ghostly beating of a drum, the usual sign, it seems, of the approaching death of a member of the family. Too well the lady knew the import of that weird drum solo, and she was fully prepared to receive the intelligence, which reached her in due course, that her husband was no more.