Shortly after nine o'clock this morning the Californian mail steamer signals ab Mount Victoria announced that the Oceanic Company's steamer Alameda had made another smart passage from the Golden Gate, and within two hours the European and American mails were being sorted by the Post Office officials. Tho trip of the fine steamer was without incident, nor did the affairs at the islands occasion any interest or excitement. At Honolulu and Apia everything was found to be in a state of order and tranquillity, although ab the Samoan group it is stated that mutterings of discontent have been heard since the departure of tho warships. Fine weather accompanied the stoatnor across the Pacific and enabled deck games and amusements to be freely indulged in. The steamer's passenger list is nob very large on this occasion and amongst those who disembarked hero, was Mr C. J. Hutchinson, the well-known gum merchant, who has returned from an American trip. Mails of the following dates were landed : London. December 2 ; New York, December 9; San Francisco, December 15 ; Honolulu, December 22; Apia, December 29. The Alamoda is lying at the outer eastern tee of the Queen-street wharf, and she leaves this evening at 6 o'clock for Sydney. When the R.M.s. Alameda left Honolulu on December 22nd, tho following warships were in port there :—U.S.s. Philadelphia, U.S.s. Adams, U.S.s, Corwin, H.M.s. Champion and H.I.J.M.a. Nanivva. Mr Thomas Morrin, the Wellington Park studmaster, has good reason to feel proud of his breeding operations for the past year. The yearlings bred at his famous establishment were submitted to public auction yesterday, and the thirty sold realised the handsome total of 5,233 guineas, being an average of 175gs each. A descriptive account of the scene around the sale ring, together with the full details of the Bale, will be found on page three. An inquest was proceeding as we went to press this afternoon to ascertain tho cause of the death of a man named Thomas Way, who died last night at Burnand's lodging house, Wyndham-streot. The deceased was an unmarried Englishman, 67 years of age, and without relatives in tho colony, lie was a remittance man, and for tho last two years had stayed at Burnand's. About 8.30 o'clock on Saturday night Way is said to have fallen from the staircase to the floor, his foot having probably slipped on the step. He appeared slightly stunned, but soon recovered consciousness. lie was put to bed until Sunday night, when he got up, saying that he felt much bettor. On Monday he seomed worse again, and on Tuesday Dr. Hooper was sent for, and he at once expressed a fear that Way would not recover. Last nighb Way died while tho doctor waa in the house. Last evening ab the United Service Hotel, the members of the Sports Committee of the Caledonian Society invited the Judges of the Highland events (Messrs Mair, Stevenson and Scott) to a dinner, which was provided in Host Martin's best style. Mr John Earl prosided, and in proposing the toast of the evening, aaid the members of the Society were very grateful to Messrs Mair, Stevenson and Scott for coming from the Thames to oblige the Society, and it was a pleasure to know that the decisions given by them were accepted as jusfe and fair. Messrs Mair and Stevenresponded, the former stating thab ho had nob soen bettor dancing by children in Scotland than that done in the Domain on New Year's Day, and he thought tho children reflected great credit on the teachers of Highland dancing in this city. A number of toasts were given during the evening, those of " the Auckland and Thames Burns Club," and " Caledonian Societies throughout New Zealand " being received with great acceptance. A number of songs and recitations were contributed by Messrs Robertson, Barber, Smith, Johnston, Stevenson, Stewart, and Jennings, and a very agreeable evening wound up with the singing of " v Auld Lang.Syne."
The Brokers' Association resumed opera* tions this morning on the Stock Exchange,, but no transactions were reported. The Jubilee Conference, the great evonfr of the year with New Zealand Primitive Methodists, will bo held in New Plymouth, commencing on the 10th inst. New Ply« mouth was the first home of the connection in this colony; in its streets the firs* Primitive Methodist missionary co New Zealand (Rev. R. Ward) preached tha Gospel, and there was erected the firs! connectional church. Fifty-fonr delegated have been chosen to represent the various A glance at the personnel of th« Conference (according to " The New Zea* land Primitive Methodist ") is interesting. There are no female representatives this' year; the privilege granted to women in the political world has not evidently made much impression upon the Church courts. ;. In the present issue of the magazine appear* the photos of the Revs. J. Dumbell and J. < Dean, two superannuated ministers, with, biographical sketches. Station plans forj ensuing quarter, and the annual report ot., Home Mission Fund, also find a place in this well-edited journal. , At a meeting of the Grand Division of the Sons and Daughters of Temperance held at Dunedin yesterday it was resolved,, with a view to strengthen the sick and' funeral fund, to make a levy of 6d per' quarter on tho brothers and sisters. A. system of reciprocity in regard to sick members from Victoria or New South. Wales was agreed to. The capita tar. was fixed at 8d for brothers and 4d for sisters per quarter; extension levy,• brothers ljd per quarter; repreaentatioa levy, brothers 2d and sisters Id per. quarter. It was decided to hold the nextr. meeting at Christchurch in the first week' in January. . Dr. Coom was the honoured guest at a^ banquet held last night, in the Court-room/ of the Foresters' Hall, Karangrahape Road. About 60 brethren of Court City of Auckland, No. 3978, attended bo bid farewell to their, late medical officer. The cußtomarypleasant things were spoken, and Dr. Coom was the recipient of an illuminated address from those present. Bro. Jas. Carlaw, P.D.C.8.., presided. Another large audience assembled in th»' City Hall on the occasion of tho Payna< Family's final performance in that building. The usual excellent programme was provided and met with unqualified approval. The members of the company rest until the end of the week, and then commence a* suburban tour. At the Dunedin Chess Congress yesterday a game between (Jleland and Pleasanta, ended in a draw. A similar result attended! the game between Brown and Barton. Edwards beat Mellor at tho 46th move, and. Mouatt defeated Smith after a well fought game. Victory was contested for 6 houra and 35 minuto3 before Barnes forced Hookham to resign. At present, according topoints, Brown is still leading, with Cleland second (after taking his bye) and Hookham. third. The somments on tho new serial story which begine its career in the "Graphic"' this week are universally favourable. There can be no manner of doubt) thab, " Utu " will be.the success of the year. It>: is, indeed, a most powerful story, utterly free from sickly sentimentality, and yet with a very fine love plot. . The story with its thrilling situations ia, moreover,, excellently told, and the interest commences with the first chapter. The adventures of the heroine are vividly described, and there ia not a dull line in any singfe chapter. We would strongly advise lovers of fiction to get the first chapters in this week's " Graphic "at once. They will, continue afterwards. A correspondent writes : — "I heartily endorse the remarks in your morning contemporary with reference to a performance or performances of Pinero's beautiful play • The Profligate,' and only trust that Misa Kemble will find time to produce it ere her Auckland season closes. I had the opportunity of seeing the play in London lately, and also when represented in Dunedin by Miss Kemble and her Company. To my mind, the performance of the Company now in Auckland compares most favourably with the London cast. I shall be glad to hear that Auckland playgoers will have aaearly chance of seeing this really great-* work, a play that will live when nine tenths of tho present so-called ' masterpieces' are: dead and forgotten."' The first of a series of special New YearUnited Moetintrs, under the auspices of the; Auckland Ministers' Association, was held in St. James's Presbyterian Church last? evening. The attendance was rathermeagre owing, no doubt, tip the wet muggy weather. The proceedings were opened by the Rev. R. F. Macnicol, and the address. for the evening >vaa then delivered by tbo Pvev. James Blaikie. The reverend gentleman spoke on the subject of family religion,, aud was listened to with the greatest in-< tercst. He thought that Christian parents* had three things to consider. They should be certain first that they were really. Christians themselves. They were next to; be as Christ-like ac possible; and thirdly, to follow in His footsteps. The second meeting takes place in the Tabernacle this; evening, when the Rev. S. F. Prior will1 speak on '• Our Young People." The Rev. H. Bull presided at the public meeting held on Tuesday night to celebrate, the anniversary of the Woodside Wesleyan Sunday-school. He also gave a short address and distributed the annual prizes to* the scholars. Addresses were also delivered I by Messrs Somerville, Bowie and G. D. Smith. Caledonian Sports.—Prince Charlie bon-. ' nets for the above at the New Zealand Clothing Factory. Only a limited number. Secure early,—(Advt.) Country friends before returning homo should call on Geo. Fowlds, VictoriaArcade, who is offering men's and boy's., clothing, hats, shirts, hosiery, etc., at exceptionally low prices.—(Advt.)