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The Author op the Prize Story.— We have the permission of the author of- “ The Nabob’s Mistake,” our prize Christmas story, to disclose his name—Mr E. J. Collins. His motto, Non sum quaUs eram, was chosen because, although now a schoolmaster, he was formerly a journalist in the North Island. Newlands. —The farmers have commenced to cut the oats at Newlands. We are glad to hear that ,despite the dryness of the season and the high winds recently experienced, the crops are generally looking well in the above locality, j Challenge. —Some difference of opinion jhaving existed between two local citizens ‘as to the merits of bread turned out by two rival bakers, a batch from the reispective ovens was judged this morning by Mr George Wilcocks for one party, ; and Mr George Eagle for the opposing tradesman. The result, we are informed, was in favor of the gentleman who has dubbed bimself “ Free Trade,” and the amount of the stake being L 5, the successful competitor is, as may be imagined, 'exultant over his victory. I The Big Gooseberry Season. — For several.seasons past, several of the gardentiers in the vicinity of Ashburton have grown some enormous gooseberries, and so much interest has been shown this year with regard to the subject, that a friendly competition is now to take place, and the champion gooseberry grower of the County will, next Saturday week, be published in these columns. Christmas Cheer. —Mr A. Thiele, of the Triangle, gives a pressing invitation in ianother column, to visitors round town to;night, to have a look at his shop window, jwhere all sorts of Christmas cheer is exb ibited.

: Earthquakes. —A slight shock of earthquake was experienced in the Empire City yesterday morning at 7 o’clock. By telegraph to-day we learn that another and a much heavier shock was felt at the same place at nine minutes to 11 last night. The latter shock was of long duration, accompaniedr by a rumbling noise, and the direction north and south. The Grand National. —A meeting was held yesterday at Messrs Saunders Brother’s Buildings, to consider the advisableness of holding the Grand National at Ashburton. Messrs Lindsay and Clulee, who were present, and represented the Grand National Club, have gone to select a suitable course. The Obnoxious Act. —A public meeting, convened by the Mayor, was held at Wellington last night, to discuss the question regarding the recent fine imposed on Chinamen for playing fan tan. Five hundred persons were present, and the Mayor presided. The following resolulution was carried :—“ That the circumstances connected with the first conviction under the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1881, which took place on the 22nd November, are of that peculiar character that in the opinion of this meeting they should be brought under the notice of the Government.” It was also decided to petition his Excellency, praying for the remission the fine inflicted by the Bench, and' a deputation was appointed to wait upon the Minister for Justice to furnish any further information that may be required. Suicide. —A gum-digger named Joseph Smith hung himself at Kaukapakapa, Auckland, recently. Wanted, an Owner. —The present is rather an unlucky time of the year for a goose to lose itself, and we anticipate the honest manager of the gasworks will have many applicants to-night for the strayed bird advertised .elsewhere.

Our Heathen. —At an inquest at Dunedin yesterday, a boy aged 14, who was a witness, stated that he could neither read nor write, and was unaware of the existence of the Bible, and had never been taught a prayer. The Holidays.— The express train this morning consisted of fifteen carriages and three trucks, drawn by two large engines, and conveyed a very large number of excursionists through Ashburton en route to Dunedin, Invercargill, . and the Lakes The reasonable fares will make these excursions very popular, as it places within the reach of most people ; a cheap and pleasant holiday trip during this festive season. We hope the Government will have similar advantages given to those who take their holidays at Easter instead of Christmas. A number of Ashburton residents left by this train to spend their holidays, and it is expected a large number will leave by the special this evening. Many, also, have gone north, and intend visiting the older settled districts of North Canterbury. ‘ The Explosion in Wellington.— At the inquest yesterday on the body of Mrs Anthony, who was killed by an explosion on Wednesday, no further particulars beyond these which have already appeared in our columns were elicited, except that Dr Diver’s theory was that Mrs Anthony was scraping out the mortar with some hard instrument, and so caused the ignition and explosion. A verdict was returned of “ Accidental Death,” and the following rider was added : —“ That the attention of the Government be called to the fact of largo quantities of dangerously explosive powder being mixed up in the city and sold, : without any steps being taken to regulate or limit such sale. ”

Mayfield. —A correspondent sends us the following:—“ The inhabitants of Mayfield will be lost now for a place to hold water-race meetings, as there is no more preaching about here, the minister having left. It used to be the principal topic of conversation before going into church and the first thing after coming out. They talk about “ water on the brain” being a dangerous complaint, but when people get a water-race on the brain I think it is time to get a doctor, either an M.D. or a D.D. in the district, especially when the complaint has got so bad that it cannot be let alone on Sunday during divine service. The Road Board sittings are all done standing, and that on Sunday too. There are some go to the front to sing, but I don’t know whether their thoughts arc about singing, or preaching, or water-race I have seen and heard so much of this that I think it my duty to remind them of it.”,

The Sweepstake Prosecutions. After the decision of the Wellington Bench yesterday in the sweepstake prosecutions, notice of appeal was lodged in all the cases. The legal points aaised by the defence were :—lst. That the defendants were not partners in any known legal interpretation of the word as used in the 18th and 19th clauses of the Act ; that the partnership referred to was evidently that of persons who promoted a sweep for a consideration of profit, sharing the profits or loss as a matter of business. 2nd. That the sections of the Act referred to evidently contemplated others than the partners in the sweep, as they expressly referred to those who hold tickets or were assured prizes. 3rd. That the whole policy of the Act was to put down organised and professional gambling, not to interfere with private amusement, and that the legal definition of gambling was play to excess, not the mere act of playing a game, even for money. During the hearing of the case it transpired that the informant, Detective Chrystal, had actually held the hat while the tickets were being drawn. An information was, therefore, immediately laid against Ohrystal for assisting in the affair.

Journalistic. —Mr J. M. Twomey, one time agent for the Press Co. in Ashburton, has purchased the Temnka Leader. An improvement is certainly noticeable in its columns, and we hope the new proprietor will meet with every success. The Christchurch Caledonian Gathering.—The programme of events: at the above Society s gathering, to be held at Lancaster Park, 011 2nd January, is published in this issue.

Libel. —James Bary Simpson, formerly teacher at the native school, Ahipara (Auckland), has been committed for trial for criminal libel on Mr Eeid, postmaster, Ahipara. The libel was an accusation of opening letters. A Crop por Sale. —A preliminary announcement, with reference to the sale of 880 acres standing crop of wheat, appears in this issue.

The Southern Runs. —A public meeting on the land question, called by the Trades and Labor Council, was held at the Princes Theatre, Dunedin, last night. About 300 were present; Mr W. D. Stewart in the chair. Messrs Stout, Pyke, M. W. Green, and Bracken, were the principal speakers. A resolution was carried urging the Government to postpone re-leasing the runs until the whole question of dealing with the pastoral lands of Otago was further considered by Parliament ; also expressing concurrence with the resolutions come to by the conference of M. H. R’s. The Wellington Personation Case. —The Hon. C. J. Pharazyn was yesterday committed for trial on a charge of plural voting at the recent election for Thorndon. Bail was allowed, his own recognisance of L 5. The Bench stated that they were perfectly satisfied with the explanation given by Mr Pharazyn, but they felt bound to send the case to a higher court, as the question of fact was one for a jury. The correspondent of a contempory writes : —Accused, who is over eighty years old, behaved with great eccentricity, and flatly refused the assistance of counsel, and insisted on conducting his own case. He also disdainfully rejected the offer of a chair on the floor of the Court, and persisted in stand-

ing in the prisoners’ dock like a common “ drunk,” declining even a seat in the dock." He made a rambling statement in

defence, and wound up with an irrelevant attack on the press generally, apropos of nothing at all. He created great amusement by reciting imaginary articles and telegrams which he declared would appear in the New Zealand papers setting forth and commenting on his delinquencies. Christmas Cake. —lf you want a good substantial Christmas cake, give “ Free Trade ” (otherwise called R. Lancaster) a turn.— [Advt.] Christmas Cheer. —Those who require Xmas cheer are invited to take a tour through Mr Thomas Taylor’s premises, in East street. — Advt.

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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 517, 24 December 1881

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 517, 24 December 1881

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