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(From Ocr Melbourne Correspondent.]


The preliminary investigation into the charge of child murder against William M'Carron and his daughter Jane took place at Natbalia last week, and resulted in both prisoners being committed for trial. The case has excited the greatest interest, and feeling runs very high in the district in which M'Carron lived. Both he and the daughter have preserved a calm demeanor since their arrest, and to all appearances the latter does not realise the horrible nature of the relationship in which she stood to tier father. In Court she stated hor age to be twenty-throe. She looked a full-grown woman, with a dull and heavy conntenance almost suggesting weakness of intellect. M'Carron is a man of about fifty years of age, of dark complexion and most powerfully built. He is a fine specimen of physical strength, but his face lacks any indication of fine feeling or strong moral sense. Mr C. Smyth conducted the prosecution for the Crown, and in opening described the male prisoner as a man of brutal nature and vile temper, who, in order to carry out his schemes, had reduced the whole of his family to a perfect condition of terror. The evidence was of a most revolting nature.

A PECULIAR ROBBERY. Through the arrival of the R.M.S.S. Iberia some information is available as to the robbery of 5,000 sovs which took place on tho steamer during her last trip from Melbourne to London. On that voyage 1 some specie was shipped at Sydney, but 1 on the arrival of tho vessel at Melbourne other boxes of gold were taken on board, and the whole of the contents of the specie-room were examined and placed in order for the trip. The Btrong-room in which the specie is stored is situated in the main hold of the vessel, and is secured by a special Ohubb lock. After the room is locked the key is deposited in a cash-box, and this box is locked by the captain in the presence of tho purser. The captain retains the key, which, for greater safety, he wears round his neck, and the cash-box containing the strong-room key is locked up in a safe in the purser's room. The specie is sent Home in boxes containing 5,000 sovereigns each. These boxes were carefully counted at Melbourne, found to be all correct, and the usual precautions were taken with the key of the strong-room. Throughout the whole voyage the room was not supposed to be opened, and the keys, as far as is known, never left the custody of the commander and the purser; yet, when the vessel arrived at London, one box of gold was missing. Captain Shannon, the commander, had been in the company's service for several years, and was looked upon as a most trustworthy officer. The second officer and the purser were also regarded as abovo suspicion ; but the gold was gone, and as no explanation of its loss could be given at all, the directors of the company felt compelled to ask these gentlemen to resign. They did not wish to suspect these gentlemen, but it appeared to them that there must have been carelessness in some quarter or the robbery could not have occurred. The surmise of course is that if there was no connivance on the part of the late officers the robbery must have been committed by someone who was well acquainted with the ship's routine, and had in some mysterious way obtained an impression of the key of the stroDg-room on some previous voyage, and aided by this had manufactured a second key which would unlock the door. But even when he obtained possession of the box, he must still have had considerable difficulty in getting the gold off the ship. Five thousand sovereigns weigh close upon lewt, and it a man attempted to carry them out in portmanteaus the weight of them would excite suspicion. They were got off, however, and the box which had contained them vanished as completely as the sovereigns. It is not anticipated that the mystery will ever be cleared up. The robbery must have been planned and executed with great Bkill, and it is only reasonable to assume that the same skilfulness will be exercised in tho disposal of the stolen sovereigns. THEATRICAL AND MUSICAL. It is said that Mr George Rignold is going to produce Mr F. Hume's dramatic version of the lattei's novel, 'A girl from Malta.' Miss Leah Thompson, daughter of ' Joe' Thompson, the leviathan Melbourne bookmaker, promises to become a vocalist of note. She is at present in London studying under Signor Randegger, who, if a cable message appearing in the ' Age' is to be believed, declares that she has one of the finest voices which has come under his notice. Messrs Charles Holloway and Walter Howe are forming a dramatic company to go thiough New Zealand. Tho combination may be expected in Dunedin about the end of the present month. Miss Kate Bishop retires from her position as leading lady of tho Bland Holt company on their departure for New Zealand, as she is going to avoid sea voyages for the future.

Miss Jennie Lee made her reappearance before a Melbourne audience at the Princess's Theatre on Saturday evening, and met with a cordial welcome. She was seen in her favorite impersonation of • Joe,' in the dramatised version of Dickenß's 'Bleak House.'

The opera company of the triumvirate have been transferred to Sydney, where they are appearing in the ' Yeomen of the Guard.' Dunedinites will have the opportunity of seeing them in this opera, as well as ' Pepita,' during Exhibition time. 1 The Old Curiosity Shop' is being produced at the Opera-house, Melbourne, by the Katie Putnam Company, ' The Bells of Haslemere' by the new dramatic combination of Messrs Williamson, Garner, and Musgrove at the Theatre Royal, and ' The Crimes of Paris' by the Dampier Company at the Alexandra, GENERAL. Sydney has had an epidemic of burglaries lately. One which occurred last week was of rather a sensational character. The hou3e of a Mrs Dickinson was broken into, and one of the burglars, finding that he had aroused som? of the occupants of the house, rushed into Mrs Dickinson's room to make his escape through it. She was, however, equal to the occasion, and, seizing a loaded revolver, fired at him as he was passing downstairs. That the shot took effect in some way was evident from the fact that the man uttered a cry of pain, but he managed to get away all the same. A considerable quantity of plate was afterwards missed from the house.

An extraordinary example of juvenile depravity has happened at Adelaide. Mr H. M. Alexander, a stockbroker, had signed a number of cheque forms and left them to be filled in by hia clerk in connection with some business transactions. The latter's brother, Alfred Levine, happened to be in the office at the time, and, watching an opportunity, purloined one of the forms. He had it filled up for LI,OOO and cashed before the theft was discovered, and subsequent events Bhow that with a confederate he had made arrangements to proceed to Melbourne. Young Levine is only sixteen years of age, and belongs to a respectable family. The whole of the money has been reoovered, with the exception of L3O. A rumor is current in Sydney that Sir Henry Parkes contemplates retirement from public life at no distant date. He will, it is Slid, devote his attention to writing two books—one dealing with provident men and the other with the history of the colony. Mr W. E. Benton, Professor of Mineralogy and Chemistry at Mison College, Binningham, and President of the South Staffordshire and East Worcestershire Institute of Mining Engineering, and Associate of the Royal School of Mines, has arrived in this colony from England. Professor Benton has como to Australia for the purpose of making a thorough examination of the mineral deposits, particularly of the east coast, and the coal deposits, in which a portion of it is so rich. He intends alsoto acquaint himself with the system of mining in this colony, as well as those followed in the other colonies of the group. Professor Benton's mission has been undertaken at the instance of a number of very wealthy capitalists in England, who have become alive to the value of the mineral resources of thia continent, and intend, should the

report be favorable, to invest largely in the direction named.

Some human remains found just off Ada Vale road, eighty miles from Charleville, Queensland, have been identified us those of A. M. Fitzherbert, who started to walk from Ada Vale to Charleville last January. A pannikin was found near the body with the following message scratched on the bottom:— " Lost in the bush. Write to S. Fitzherbert, Wanganui, Now Zealand. Tell bim provide for widow and children. (Signed) A. M. Fitzherbert." The body was found about two miles from a dam.

A discovery has been made at Preston, a towußhip a few miles out of Melbourne, that suggests the perpetration of a horrible crime. Id. the back yard of a house, occupied by a man named Carter and his family, the skeleton of a child has been discovered. The information leading up to the discovery reached the police in rather a peculiar way. Last week a young woman was arrested on a charge of vagrancy, and on the way to the cell hinted that her mate, Lucy Carter, had been confined of a child and had done away with it. The constable immediately made inquiries, resulting in him proceeding to Carter's house with a warrant to search the premises. After some hours' digging in the yard he discovered the skeleton not more than three feet from the surface. On being taxed with the maternity of the child, the girl Lucy admitted it was true, but said that the child was stillborn, and on consulting with her mother determined to bury it in the yard. The mother and daughter have been arrested on a charge of child murder. The system of free postage of newspapers in New South Wales haß resulted in a letter from Mr Derham, Postmaster-General of Victoria, to Mr D. O'Connor, PostmasterGeneral of New South Wales, bringing under his notice the great injury done to the printing trade of Victoria by the printing of publications for Victoria in Sydney so that they can be circulated through Victoria post free. In his letter Mr Derham Btated that at least twice as many publications pass through the Melbourne post offices from Sydney as through the Sydney offices from here.

The remains of a middle-aged man, named William Saunders, were found terribly mutilated a little distance out of town, on the railway line to Sandhurst. The back portion of the skull was smashed, the scalp removed, and the brains scattered along the line some yards. The right leg was torn off and the left was almost cut in two above the knee. The unfortunate man leaves a wife and three children. He followed the occupation of a shoemaker, and was known to be of intemperate habits, A man named John Blake had a novel experience the other day. He was walking past a tobacconist's shop in Swanston street, when he was suddenly rooted to the spot by the force of electricity. The shop window was lighted by an electric lamp, and the wires having been allowed to get out of order the force of the current was communicated to the flagstones, so that the man became transfixed. Clutching hold of the verandah post, matters became much worse, for the wiro had been trained along it. Immediately afterwards the electricity suddenly gave out, and the man was forcibly precipitated to the ground, sustaining some severe injuries. He has commenced a suit for LI,OOO damages, as it is stated that it was due to negligence on the part of tho proprietor of the shop that the wires were out of order.

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 7960, 16 July 1889

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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER. Issue 7960, 16 July 1889

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