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In Prussia the railways make special rates for poor persons in ill-health.

Ail exquisite, leading a dog by a string, lounged up to the booking office of a railway Station, and inquired: "Must I—aw—take a specie.! ticket, for a puppy '!" " No; you can travel as aa prdinary passenger," was \ the reply. The "^Post" saya that some of jthe returjifid Ivermadec Island settlers are petitioning parliament for compensation, alleging that they were deluded into going to Sunday island through the misrepresentations contained in cor tain reports and other documents issued by Government. One petitioner estimates hia loss at nearly £$00. Again no nomination was received on Tuesday for a member for No. 3 Ward of the \\ akanui K ( yad District. We understand that the Returning Office]' on his return to Newlands, the place for the )iomina(,ic<ns to be delivered, fourd a paper at the Road Board Office, but it was then considerably ! after Xh.*? time and could not be accepted. General Boulangerwas notified on February , 17 that the sacred congregaiton to which il ■ was referred at Rome had decided against • his application for a divorce. The General ] haa &uifc to the Papal Nuncio at Paris entreating him to wsk the; JJnly Father to overrule the decision! Should tlu? appljeation be successful the General will marry Mine. IJOJldniain, to whom he owes 100,000 fiancs. ■ TJievc dcc.niany curious custom's observed by the Brazilians'. jFjonftrals are notable in thatfor a young unmarried lady, coffin, hearse and Ihj3 Jjvory of tlie 'driver must be bright aciivlvt, lU(i I'iup white horses drawing the hearse must be covered y/jf-h scarlet nets, and scarlet pinnies must dock the houses' hpadg. No women go to the cemeteries. The mother, or the widow, must not exhibit her grief In public. 11116 J7"ke of Bedford having built for his owji ,^se & fcintui cf near the building which the Cremation Sovcpj of England has erected at Woking, has contribiitod £fG(L r! to i.Jw funds of the society. The groAvt'h of opinion lufjvp^v of cremation is represented !by the fact that rtwitift the past year fortysix cremations have taken place at Woking, while the total number during the preceding five . , —■■'■ n ~-1y to fit'Ly-four.

An entered the corridor of a JL^hiJ^clelphifJi Jiotcl and rested his "all Hillc"in actmiar, with tbjs pasteboard fastened Lo it: —" The man avlu» owns Lin's j.itnl)rclla can knock down an ox and will be back ;u five minutes." In one minute and a half the treasured article was gone, and in its place was this: " The gentleman who took this umbrella can walk ten miles an hour, and won't j be bp,ck at all." The "Star" says:—"The public should k«ji}V how Mr- Vai-ley sometimes treats rcportej ■. ! ■■ : '. • :]'-:l-J----this, we give the fat . . ■ . . on a member of our ■ '

Thia gentleman in the course of his fluty lms had a pretty good dose of Mr. Varlcy's clofjuejice during the past three weeks, and he -JHigfyt ,on that ground have been excused from wit-hdru.yjjjtf when lie made a note of the scope,of the a<jlcL;ti=«, -As it was, he had other work to attend to,' ai[d .>vs.i.> <fbji£fid to take his departure. When he' rosfe fri^ YsM-lay broke off from his subject, and drew the attention of the audience to the departing signer. *'There goes a young man who lias had,miough of me. TjTu dx>os not want to he;y what I have to say. Jfo ; lie jj» flff to some "haunt of siw.'; These remark £ \vsvc interlarded witii various uncomplimentary epithets. The reporter took no notice of the tirade beyond a quite smile j but JVif Varley evidently found out that he had made a mistake, for on Monday he sent a note apologising fov what he hed said."

', A further portion of the Greymouth-Reef-j ton section of the Midland Railway has been f opened for traffic. It is six miles in length, i and extends from Nelson Creek to Ahaiira \ The cabmen's difficulty at Christchurch is over for the present, a meeting of cabnie having accepted the offer of the tra ffi manager to restrain Constable Kelly from ' interfering with cabs at all, pending an enquiry into his conduct. We observe that the expenditure of, the j Levels Road Board last year in fighting the . small birds pest was £143 6s sd. Of this sum £39 5s lOd was spent •in providing poisoned wheat for, gratuitous, distribution,, and £104 0s 7d was paid for eggs. The absurd proposal to call ome of the new j electoral districts by the name >of "Banks " | has been abandoned, and the district in question will be known as "-^ikaroa." It includes the town from which it takes its name and also the town of Lytt elton. We were shown to-day several enormous blue Derwent potatoes grown : by Mr R. . Murray, watchmaker, among the' trees in his ] orchard. The largest potato turns the'scale &t 3Jlb3, but the others are from an ounce to two ounces lighter.' They were grown from seed obtained, from Hornby last year by Mr R. S. Bean, produce merchant.' ' A co-operative Company of those engaged in the pastoral industry has been formed, in Sydney with a capital of £150,000., ./.They have acquired the business of a leading firm, and intend to enter into the wool and frozen meat export trade on a comprehensive scale, and erect the largest warehouses in Australasia.'

The directors of the Federal Coffee Palace, Melbourne, have been "forced into the belief that it is impossible to carry on business on temperance principles." The shareholders have to face a loss of about £5000 a year, - and shares on- which 15s has been paid are quoted at 4s. The paid-up capital is £113,000, £70,000 is owing on mortgage, and the, bank' overdraft is -£6000. The directors, propose to "writeoff" 10s' per share at one swoop. ,If is next proposed "to abandon the unprofitable sale of coffee, etc., and to obtain a license for the establishment of an hotel." *' William Appleyard, a resident at New Plymouth, has receivedacommunication from the enquiry agents at Christchurch asking for his antecedents. The letter states that a John Appleyard, died 30 years ago at Lincolnshire worth twenty thousand pounds,' and they want to find his heirs. The party here is the only son of John Appleyard, of Horton, Lincolnshire, who. died 30. years ago, and is 64 years of age. .He.left Home,at the ; age of 16 as a soldier for India, and says tie'had heard, as a boy, of a rich uncle in America, but knows nothing further. In the year 1872 during a skirmish with fche Sioux Indians, " the third Cavalry Regiment had formed an encampment in the Valley of Niobrara, on the southern border of Dakota. At nighafall the horses were tethered by a long line to the ground. Towards daybreak a violent storm of rain and hail burst over the valley. The terrified animals broke loose from their fastenings, and in their fright,- tore away up the steep sides of the valley into the territory of the enemy. Without horses, at the mercy, of the enemy, we should be lost; yet it' was impossible in' the half darkness, to go after them into an unknown country, probably full, of Indians. The captain, as a last resource, 'ordered the stable call to be sounded. In a few"minutes every horse had returned to the encampment and we were saved."

Mr Fred Duncan, who has just.returned from a six weeks' prospecting quest on the mountains boliiud Alford Forest, brings with him samples of fine clays, hennaUtc, etc., seams of which he found in groat variety and abundance. The clays lie hasprospected j for with a view to discovering minerals suitable for use as paints, and in the samples he has brought doivn he thinks he has discovered what he wants. They are easily reducible to powder, work up well with oil, and withstand in -paint form the action of water. His samples <riA*e in seven or eight different shades, from deep orange to light lavender, and there are" other colors to be found in the hills Avherc he has been prospecting. Considering the immense quantity of paint' imported to this colony, for uso on wooden buildings, Mi 1 Duncan's finds .ought, to be valuable. The seams are easy of access, and could be worked without difficulty. Samples havo been sent to Christchurch with a view to obtaining what information is availa ]le, there about the minerals and their properties. Coal is also i\\ the vicinity, ironstone, and limestone in plenty, and Mr Duncan is sanguine that sooner or later he will strike gold-bearing quartz. ' j

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LOCAL AND GENERAL, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2423, 7 May 1890

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LOCAL AND GENERAL Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2423, 7 May 1890

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