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OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 8032, 8 October 1889
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER.
[From Ock Melbourne Correspondent.J Tuesday, October 1, NEW SOUTH WALES POLITICS. The New South Wales Parliament is about to prorogue, but in order to overtake the financial business incidental to this year it is proposed to have another session, which is to be of short duration. Late sittings have been the order of the day lately, and the House in order to bring the debate on matters connected with the Land Bill to a conclusion did not adjourn until seven o’clock on Friday morning. During the debate Mr Dibbs and Mr Fletcher had a lively passage at arms, which caused a good deal of excitement. The member for Newcastle strongly animadverted upon the attitude assumed by the leader of the Opposition, and, at the conclusion of a vigorous speech, characterised him as a “ thick head.” This elicited an angry retort from Mr Dibbs, who accentuated a lively exchange by saying “ You’re a liar.” Mr Fletcher, now thoroughly roused, said, “It you come outside, I’ll pull your nose.” The chairman, who had so far been very lenient to these two prominent members of the house, interfered, but Mr Fletcher continued, excitedly pointing to Mr Dibbs : “ Am I to be called a liar by a man like that?” (Hon, Members: “Hear, hear.”) “I venture to say that my word will be taken 20 to 1 before his.” The chairman again asserted his authority, and by the exercise of firmness eventually secured withdrawals and apologies from both parties to the quarrel. DARING STREET ROBBERY. A street robbery of the same character as that which was perpetrated in Carlton, Melbourne, some time ago, took place at South Richmond on Saturday. Mr John Kane, a clerk employed in Mr Dale’s fellmongcry, was proceeding from the bank to the fellmongery with L 175 12s in a Gladstone bag, and taking a “ short cut ” through a piece of vacant ground, when a man ran towards him and threw a piece of brick at him. The missile did not strike him ; but before ho had time to recover from his surprise his assailant struck him a violent blow in the mouth. He shouted for help, and a second man appeared on the scene and turned out to be a confederate. He caught at the handbag which Mr Kano was carrying, while the first man seized him by the throat and almost choked him. Mr Kane hold on to the bag as long as he could, but it was finally wrenched from him. The man who had held him by the throat threw him to the ground, and then with his companion hurried to a buggy which was waiting in Church street in charge of a third man. By this time a baker named James Pearson turned up, and ran and seized the horse attached to the buggy in which the robbers were seated. The latter, however, threatened to “ brain ” him with a brick, and the driver lashed at him so viciously with the whip that he was compelled to let go. The robbers made good their escape, and have not since been discovered. The horse and buggy, which had been hired from a livery stable keeper in Melbourne by a young re-spectably-dressed man, were found abandoned in South Melbourne. It is suspected that one of Mr Kane’s assailants was a former employe at the fellmongery, who would know that Mr Kano had the money for the weekly wages in his possession. A HIGHWAY BOBBER AT LARGE. Some sensation has been caused at Dubbo, New South Wales, through several people being stuck up and robbed by a masked men on the outskirts of tho town. In the efforts to arrest the miscreant a police inspector was shot at by mistake and seriously wounded. A cabman named Massart, who had been stuck up while proceeding to the house of Mr Smith, district surveyor, on the Coonamblo road, went to town and armed himself with a revolver. He then returned to Mr Smith’s place. He left his cab before reaching the gate, and went forward on foot until he was challenged by two men, who jumped up from an ambush near the gate. One of these men, who afterwards proved to bo Sub-inspector Cameron, said “ Stand; who are you?” Massart said “Who are you?” and Cameron replied “ Never mind; stand or I’ll shoot you.” Massart, thinking that he had again come across the robber.
fired, and badly wounded Cameron. The constable who accompanied the sub-inspector saw Massart by the flash of his pistol, and prevented any further shots from being fired by calling the cabman by name and informing him of his mistake. Cameron was found to be wounded in the right breast, his collarbone being slashed by the bullet, which, hoWovor, had missed his lungs and the large artery. He now lies in a precarious condition. li’lE OHIKESE MURDER. there ia reason to suppose that the right man has at last been found in connection with tho murder of a Chinaman in a lane off Littlo Bourko street on the 17th of November last. Immediately after the murder a man named Stephen Cutler was arrested on a charge of being concerned in it, and at the inquest held upon tho body a verdict of wilful murder was returned against him and another man, whose name was at that time unknown, but whioh was subsequently ascertained to bo John Stephens. Cutler was tried at the Criminal Court, but in consequence of the strong evidence adduced to establish an alibi on his behalf ho was acquitted. The Crown subsequently proceeded against all the witnesses, ten in number, who had given evidence for the defence for perjury, aud Stephen Cutler, who was called as a witness during tho hearing of these cases, was arraigned on a similar charge. Eive of those persons were convicted of perjury, four were acquitted, and in one case the Crown entered a nolle prosequi . The authorities then sot to work to discover the second person implicated in the murder, and this man was arrested yesterday morning in Rourke street. It is understood that Stephens has been keeping out of the way ever since the murder was committed, and was only induced to return to Melbourne from Gippsland on ascertaining that his whereabouts was suspected. Detective-sergeant Duncan, of the Crown Law Department, who has had the case in hand for some months past, claims that there is little doubt of the man’s identity, and it ia understood that some evidence of a startling nature will be adduced during tho hearing of the charge preferred against him. None of the witnesses for the Crown have yet been afforded an opportunity of identifying him, but the description given by them to the police immediately after the murder is said to have been so accurate that they should bo able to pick him out with ease. THE RINOWOOD MURDER, Robert Landells, charged with the murder of a man named Sherlock at Ringwood, has been found guilty and sentenced to death. It will be remembered that Sherlock’s body was found in an advanced state of decomposition, and carefully covered over with leaves, in a paddock some few miles out of Melbourne. Landells identified the body as an old lodger of his, and staled that Sherlock had left Melbourne some months before with the intention of proceeding up country in search of work. Since leaving his bouse Landells said that he had heard nothing of Sherlock until his body was found. It was discovered, however, that Landells had been manipulating Sherlock’s effects after his disappearance, and on being crosE-examincd ho at length admitted that he had accidentally shot Sherlock. In his confession, he said that “ he was so beside himself with horror at tho accident that he at once hurried from the spot ”; yet, ho was sufficiently selfpossessed to cover up tho body, and cut through the guard that fastened Sherlock’s watch and chain that he might carry them away with him. The Judge, in passing sentence of death upon Landells, said that the murder was a most diabolical one, without passion to actuate it, having been committed for nothing but the lust of greed. SUSPECTED PRIESTCRAFT, A disputed will case has been engaging the attention of the Equity Court in Melbourne for the last week. The will was alleged to have been made by Bessie Flynn, housekeeper to the Yen. Archdeacon O’Dowd, of Warrnatnbool, tho deceased’s property amounting to L 2,158, all being bequeathed to her master. Archdeacon O’Dowd stated that he had no personal interest in the property, and that he had received verbal instructions from the testatrix as to its disposal. Although the deceased could read and write, only what was stated to have been her mark was affixed to the will. The Judge before whom tho case was tried said the affidavits were very unsatisfactory, and commented strongly on the absence of any medical testimony as to the condition of the deceased when the will was executed. Acting on a suggestion made by the Judge, tho Curator of Intestate Estates lodged a caveat in tho interests of the next of kin, and Archdeacon O’Dowd has signified that he does not intend to prosecute his appeal for probate, ’ A SENSATIONAL STORY OF THE SEA. A story which rivals any romance is told by Captain Joss, of the schooner Saucy Jack, whioh arrived in Sydney last week from a cruise in the South Sea Islands, It appears that a powerful young fellow, about twenty-four, named John O'Brien, shipped as a sailor when the vessel left Sydney. He proved to have a violent, ungovernable temper, and brutally assaulted two or three members of the crow with any weapon that chanced to be handy, and in addition uttered all sorts of terrible threats against the captain and mate. On reaching Apia O’Brien desired to be paid off, but the Consul would not allow the captain to discharge him, telling him that he must put the man in irons if he could not otherwise control him. O’Brien returned aboard, and the captain continued to treat him in tho same way as the other members of the crew, till he struck one of the crew on the head with a bar of iron, and nearly killed him. The captain then decided to place him in irons, and succeeded in securiug him with the assistance of the supercargo. O’Brien again made dire threats against the captain and all aboard the ship, .swearing ho would not return to Sydney alive. About midnight on tho third day after tho irons were brought into use a large body of flame was seen issuing from the forecastle, where O’Brien was confined, and great difficulty was experienced in extinguishing tho fire, which, being fed with kerosene spilt on the floor, had half burnt through the deck and got a good hold. No sign was seen of O’Brien, and it is supposed that, after setting fire to the ship, he had jumped overboard. MURDER WHILE INSANE. The Pakenham murderer (John Macnamara) has been found not guilty on the ground that he was insane when ho committed the deed. The circumstances of the case are that the victim (Robert George Fry) called at an hotel at Pakenham, Victoria, and asked for accommodation, but as tho place was full he was given a bed in a hut attached to tho hotel. This hut was also occupied by the murderer, who was suffering from a severe attack of delirium tremens, brought on by a severe drinking bout while engaged in “ knocking down his cheque.” During the night, Macnamara, in a drunken frenzy, attacked Fry with a billhook, hacking him about terribly, the unfortunate victim being found in the morning with his head and face fearfully battered, the flesh and bone being reduced to an unrecognisable mass of crimson pulp. Macnamara is to be confined in the Melbourne Gaol during the Governor’s pleasure, THE VICTORIAN RAILWAYS. The Railway Commissioners annual report on the operations of tho Victorian Railways has been laid on the table of the Legislative Assembly, and shows a net profit of over L 34.000. The revenue derived from working the lines during tho year amounted to L 3,110,140, whilst the expenses reached the sum of L 1,945,830, leaving a balance of L 1,164,304. After paying L 1,130,242, interest on L29,099,C19, the aggregate sum invested in railways, and meeting all expenses, including a sum of L 128.988 paid in connection with the Windsor Railway accident, the receipts show a net profit of L34,0G0. A SELF-CONVICTED MURDERER, Thomas Reilly was sentenced to death at Wagga Wagga on Friday last for the murder of Christian Eppel, at North Wagga Common, on Sunday, September 15. He pleaded guilty, and when the full effect of his plea was explained to him, he declined to withdraw it. Previous to sentence being passed on him he remarked “ All I have to say is I do not ask mercy from the hand of man. It is only from God. I say God’s will be done. That is all I have got to say.” During the latter part of the sentence Reilly put his hand before his eyes, and for the first time in the whole proceedings cried,
GENERAL, Mr G. Collins Levey, C.M.G., late of Victoria, has entered into a contract with the Government of Uruguay for the holding of a grand international exhibition at Monte Video in November, 1889. The Uruguayan Government are to erect the buildings at their own cost in the Plaza Rimirea, and they will occupy an area of 30.000 square metres, and the grounds 53.000 more. The vacant s.eaf. for the Melbourne Province in the Legislative Council, caused by the death of the Minister of Defence (Sir James Lorimer), has been filled by the election of the Mayor of Melbourne (Sir Benjamin Benjamin), who was returned unopposed. A terrible accident happened at Chectham Bros.’ grindery works at Sydney. Whilst Mr Cheetham, one of the owners of the works, was grinding a knife the large stone, which was revolving swiftly, split, and a piece striking him on the head killed him instantly. A man named Peter Buggle died at Kyneton, Victoria, from injuries received at a wrestling match. While a ketch was endeavoring to leave Port Phillip Harbor a heavy squall struck her, capsizing her instantly, one of the crew being drowned. Hia Excellency Sir William Robinson will, by desire of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, pay a short visit to England before assuming the government of Western Australia. Lady Robinson will remain with her sou in the colonies until Sir William’s return, and will then rejoin His Excellency at Perth. Her Ladyship has taken a house at Bowral, New South Wales, and will probably take up her residence there about the middle of October. Sir William Robinson will remain in Melbourne until the departure of Sir Henry Loch for the Cape, and will then again administer the government of Victoria until Lord Hopotoun’a arrival.
The result of the inquest on tho Collins street fire is that a verdict has becu returned that it was accidentally caused. The jury, however, added a rider that tho building regulations of the city should be amended so that the risk of fire spreading from one warehouse to another might be minimised. The recommendations made by tho expert witnesses who wore called were that iron shutters should be affixed to windows instead of immovable iron bars being used; that parapet walla should be raised to such a height as to protect the roof of one building from being reached by flames from a fire next door; that lift shafts should be so encased as to prevent them from becoming flues for a fire ; and that all buildings above a certain height should, be furnished with outside iron stairways. The inquiry demonstrated the want of organisation there is in connection with the city and suburban fire brigades, but it is hoped that a Bill will shortly be introduced into Parliament by Government to place the fire brigades on a more satisfactory footing. An important decision has been given by the Full Court at Sydney in connection with minora and religion. On the death of Mr Edward Butler, Q.C., an order was made by Mr Justice Owens directing that Miss Butler, who is in her thirteenth year, should bo educated and brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. Her father had lived and died a Roman Catholic, but in his will he had not given an> directions as to her religious education. Mrs Butler, who died in June last, had been a member of tho Church of England, and Miss Butler had been educated and brought up as a member of that church. Mias Butler’s friends appealed against the order made by Mr Justice Owens. Tho Full Court set aside Mr Justice Owen’s order, and decided that Miss Butler should bo permitted to remain a Protestant,
An interesting cure effected by the Brown-Sequard system (for restoring vitality to aged persons), which is making rather a stir in medical circles at present, has been reported from the Albury Hospital, Victoria. An old man of sixty years of age, who had been under treatment for hydatids, got into such a low condition that the hospital doctor determined to try the Brown-Sequard treatment, which consists in the hypodermic injection of matter from the glands of a lower animal. The result of the experiment was marvellous, as the man, who was on the point of death, is now walking about. The animal used was a ram.
Telephonic communication has been established between Melbourne and Geelong, a distance of forty-five miles. This is the first long-distance telephone scheme tried in Australia, and it has proved a thorough success. Instead of having a single wire running into the ground at each end, allowing the earth to complete the circuit, as is generally the case, there is an endless copper wire extending from Melbourne to Geelong and back, thus forming a complete metallic circuit. This scheme gives a marvellous distinctness, the sound not being interrupted by earth tremors, as is in the case of a single wire running into the ground, and the induction is reduced to a minimum.
A middle-aged woman, named Margaret O'Keefe, was the |victim of a terrible accident on one of the suburban railway lines. The unfortunate woman was run over by the last train at night, and lay between the rails all the night with her leg and arm broken. She was found in this pitiable condition by the engine-driver of the first train the next morning. After lingering for a short time the unfortunate woman succumbed to her injuries. An impudent jewellery robbery was committed in broad daylight at Sydney. Two men drove up in a buggy to the premises of Priora Bros., jewellers and diamond setters, and one of the occupants of the buggy entered the shop, and told Mr Priora that the man in the buggy wanted him. Priora conversed for a time with the occupant of the buggy in regard to some jewellery, the other man being left standing in the shop. When the men had driven away, Priora found that the safe had been opened by means of a skeleton key, and L6OO worth of diamonds taken.
A young woman named Elizabeth Rebecca Hyde has been committed for trial at Ipswich (Queensland) for the murder of her husband by poisoning with strychnine, at Boanah, on the 11th ult. Her husband, who was engaged at bush work, died shortly after eating a piece of cake or scone made by his wife. An analysis showed a large quantity of strychnine in the uneaten portion of the cake, and strychnine was also found in the stomach and liver of the deceased. A packet of the same poison was also found in a box in the accused’s house.
OUR AUSTRALIAN LETTER., Issue 8032, 8 October 1889
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