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Local News and Notes.

This evening the inhabitants of Queenstown will have an opportunity not often accorded them of learning something of " New Zealand in the Olden Time," from a gentleman respected as widely as he is known in the district—Captain Budd, who has consented to give a narrative of his captivity among the Maorics, in aid of Masonic charities. It is scarcely possible to conceive a person better qualified for this task than Captain Budd, and the object of the lecture is an additional claim on the public. We expect a highly interesting evening, and there is no doubt our expectations will be more than fulfilled.

A meeting for the formation of a fire brigade took place at Bracken's Hotel last night, when resolutions in favor thereof were passed unanimously. Several names were enrolled for the purpose of forming the brigade, and the meeting was subsequently adjourned till Friday next, the 6th inst. We are glad to notice the advent of an alditional attraction to Messrs. Fawcett's talented troupe, in the person of Mr R. B. Dale, the celebrated comedian, who arrived in Queenstown yesterday. The talents of this gentleman are too well known to require any comment from us, and we have no doubt that the laurels he has so well earned in Dunedin will not be suffered to wither on the Wakatip. " Cinderella" is announced for to-morrow evening, in which Mr Dale will appear. It is satisfactory to notice that the proposed Lake and Invercargill railway bids fair to be soon a fait accompli. Tenders for the construction of the first section, to Winton Bush, are advertised for, to close on the 3rd inst. We may therefore be permitted to indulge in the hopo that easy and rapid travelling will soon be allowed us to one seaport, if we are virtually denied access to the other.

In another column will be found the report of Mr. Wright, Mining Surveyor, on the copper lode at Moke Creek, to work which a company is about to be formed in Queenstown. We have been requested to note the dissolution of partnership between Mr S. A. Wood and Messrs. Bruce, and to state that Mr Wood's first sale will take place on Saturday, at his new auction mart, next the Mnsonic Hall.

The sale of the steamer " Wakatip" took plac e on Monday, according to notice, at Rees's jetty» A large number of persons were present, but the bidding was very slow, and required all the skill of the auctioneer, Mr Wood, to drive the offers up to £BIO, where they pertinaciously stuck. She was consequently bought in on behalf of the trustees, who we believe intend running her regularly on the Lake. From the Invcrcaryill Times we learn that a Prospecting Association meeting took place on the 28th ult., in Invercargill. A Mr M'Crae addressed the meeting, stating it as his opinion that a payable goldfield existed in Southland, and offered to prospect if a certain sum were advanced him, adding that the Government had refused to give him any assistance, though they were willing to givo the £IOOO reward in case of success—they thinking that no payable field existed within their boundaries. A provisional committee was subsequently formed for the furtherance of the object of the meeting, and the assembly dispersed.

INQUEST AT QUEENSTOWN.

An inquest was held yesterday at the Courthouse, Queenstown, before R. Beetham, Esq., Coroner, and a jury, on the body of a man, name unknown.

Lucio Monigatti, sworn, deposed that he started on Tuesday morning last from the Arrow, to go to the Shotover ; and when he got over the ranges, he left the track to go down to the river, discovering the body when about a quarter of a mile from the track. Went the next day to Packer's Point, and saw one of his cousins, telling him that he had found a body. Found the body again in company with Jan Keyser, and then returned to Packer's Point.

Jan Keyser stated that he was a miner, residing at Packer's Point. Shotover. Last Wednesday, Monigatti informed his mate that he had found the body of a man, and witness subsequently accompanied him to the spot. Having given information to the police, witness, with two other men and the sergeant, brought the body to Packer's Point. ])id not know of any person, especially a foreigner, having been missed from the district since his residence there—which had been from May last. James Daly, sworn, said he was a police constable, stationed at Skipper's. On the 29th ult., he was informed that there was a body lying on the ranges, about four miles from Packer's Point, and three quarters of a mile from the track leading to the Arrow. Went up with Jan Keyser and two other men, and found the body lying on its face, with the left hand under the forehead ; the right hand was partly under his side. The bones were completely denuded of flesh except where the clothes remained on the body. They consisted of a dark monkey jacket, with a pocket of the same material as the coat sewed on from the outside, a brown vest, grey Crimean shirt, and an under one of white flannel. The trousers were of very small white corduroy, and were pulled down to below the knee 3, leaving the body from there to the chest exposed, which was quite eaten away by vermin. One boot was found about fifty yards from the body—nothing being seen of the other, or of a hat. In the left hand vest pocket a silver Geneva hunting watch was found, and some papers (produced) in the other pockets. The body was lying upon the side of a range, and partly round a stone. It was removed to Packer's Point, and subsequently to Queenstown. It was impossible that the sto'ie could have been lifted by one mail. Deceased had no money in his possession. Some substance appeared to have been dragged or rolled down a spur, about fifty yards from where the body was lying. It could not have been the corpse, as the rolled track did not seem to have been more than a few days old. No person or foreigner had been reported as missing from the district since witness had been stationed at Skipper's, which had been since August last.

David Anderson stated that he was a butcher residing at Butcher's Point, Shotover. About the end of May last, ho was living- at Packer's Point, and having occasion to go in the ranges after cattle, met a man coming towards him when on the top of the hill going to the Arrow. The man had two picks on his back, and some other things. After directing him to the Sandhills, witness discovered the body of a man on the side of the range, apparently cold and stiff. Noticed blood trickling from the side of his ear, and then called to the man whom he had told the way to the Sandhills, who looked at the body and then went away. Witness told several people at the Sandhills, and at Packer's Point. Sergeant Neal came up from Maori Point, with another constable, and witness and the other man, named Nicholas Marlow, accompanied thein to endeavour to find the body, but which they could not do. The next day the search was continued, and the following one also, assisted by about 40 men, but without success. By the jury—When I found the body it was lying with its face on the ground, and the trousers were pulled down. The body was bare from the calf of the leg to the middle of the back, and the arms were supporting the head. I do not think he had been dead more than three or four days. There was frost and snow on the ground. I could not tell if he had boots on or not. The snow was newly fallen when I was there. I saw no marks of struggling near the spot. There was nothing to lead me t>» believe that violence had been used. He had no hat on, and had long fair hair. I believe that the body is the oue I found in May. 1 did not see the face. The blood was

not trickling at the time I found it; the marks of the blood were there. I did not notice any rat holes near the place. I consider that his arms were in an easy position, as if he had gone to rest himself.

Nicholas Mariow corroborated the foregoing evidence.

Michael Cassius, sworn, deposed that he was a merchant in Queenstown. He had examined the papers handed to him by Constable Daly. Found fragments of five documents, two of which were written in English and three in German* Believed that all referred to mining transactions between one ocbastian Rauh and different people. One was signed by John Ziegler and witnessed by Henry Koch—it was a receipt of payment ; another was signed by Betz; another by Friedrich Rothenberger. None were clear enough for witness to make out the locality in which they were written, but all appeared to refer to one person—Sebastian Rauh—which name occurred more frequently than any other. Witness also found a few specks of gold carefully wrapped up among the papers. ' Jan Keyser re-called: lam a native of Amsterdam. I did not know anyone in the district named John Ziegler, Friedrich Rothenberger, or Hcinrich Koch.

l)r. Pelley, sworn, deposed that he had examined the body, which was so much decomposed that had there been any marks of violence they could not be distinguished, Examined the skull and also the suture between the parietal and temporal bones. Each side was separated more than usual, but there was no fracture. The separation might have been caused by the progress of decomposition. All the covering of the hand and forearm were taken away and the bone denuded. It was impossible at that stage of decomposition to tell the cause of death, except from poisoning or violence affecting the bones. Believed the deceased died from natural causes. Consider the position described by Constable Daly to be a natural one, and not that of a man who had been murdered.

The jury returned a verdict to the effect tha* deceased died from exposure to cold; that the evidence warranted them in supposing his name to be Sebastian Kauh: and that they were of opinion that the body was the same as that seen by Anderson in May last. To this they added a rider, exculpating the police from any blame for not finding the body in May.

I INQUEST AT THE SHOTOVER.

An inquest was held at Foster's Ferry, Shotover, on Monday, before R. Beetham, Esq., Coroner, and a jury, on the body of a man, name unknown.

Wm. Trevethan, sworn, said he was in the employ of Mr. Foster, at the Ferry, and was walking down the beach of the Shotover, on Saturday night, looking for timber, when he saw the body of deceased. Did not go near it at that time, but came up and told Mr. Foster. Both then went down to the place where it was lying, carrying a candle, it being dark, and on Sunday morning Mr. Foster sent in a report to the police. The body had no clothing on at the time witness saw it. There were two rings on his ears. Showed the body to Mr. Pughe, bailiff at the Arrow, telling him at the time that the finding had been reported to the police. Saw him take the rings out of deceased's ears. Another man accompanied him, named Robert Turner. R. Lambert said, he was a publican, residing at Frankton, and had seen the body of deceased. Knew a man named Charles Matthews, but could not identify the body as his. The height corresponded with that of Matthews, who was drowned about the 22nd July last, and to the best of witness's belief, he had rings in his ears when he was drowned. He had very small hands and feet, which also corresponded with those of deceased, which were small. Could not have sworn to the rings had they been in deceased's ears. The body answered the description of Chas. Matthews, except that the hair of deceased is lighter. The whiskers agreed in size with those of Matthews. Did not think he had any relations in the Province. The height of the body is five feet nine inches, while that of Charles Matthews was about five feet five inches.

The jury returned a verdict—" That the deceased was found dead on a beach of the Shotover River on the 31st October; but that there does not exist sufficient evidence to showthat the body is that of Charles Matthews, the corpse being so much decomposed that it is impossible to identify it."

w WAKATIP HOSPITAL

The committee meeting adjourned from Thursday last was held at Bracken's Hotel on Monday evening. Present—Messrs Rees, (chair) Bracken, Beetham, Lockhart, Douglas, Healy, M'Gaw, Croft. The minutes of last meeting were read and confirmed. A draft of the proposed rules for the management of the Hospital, to be submitted to the general meeting on the sth inst., was read, and after a few alterations and additions were made, was passed. The Hon. Secretary then read copies of the following letters:— To Mr Beetham, acknowledging the receipt of £2 (assessors' fees) and expressing the thauks of the committee.

To Mr Jarvis, superintendent of government works, requesting the performance of certain works in the Hospital. To Mr VV. G. Rees, respecting the supply of wood; complaining of it not being delivered at the Hospital, but only landed on the beach. To Mr R. Lambert, in reply to an application for payment of an order from Dr Pelley, informing him that the committee had decided to defer the payment of any orders till after their next meeting. To Dr Pelley, requesting a report on the state of the Hospital, on or before the 4th inst. Approved. Mr Rees said in reference to the supply of wood, that he had given the house-steward carte blanche to engage any drays that might be necessary for the transport of the wood, but who said he was unable to obtain any. He would soon have his own bullocks at Frankton, when he would see that the contract was properly carried out. At the same time he wished to observe, as he understood there had been some remarks upon the subject, that if they could obtain any more favorable tender, he would willingly give up the contract, as he only accepted it for the benefit of the Hospital, the committee having hitherto been unable to obtain any satisfactory contract. Several members thanked Mr Rees for his kindness in undertaking the supply. The meeting was then adjourned till 11 o'clock a.m. on Thursday, the sth inst., at Frankton, one hour before the time appointed for the general meeting of subscribers.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/LWM18631104.2.8

Bibliographic details

Local News and Notes., Lake Wakatip Mail, Volume II, Issue 54, 4 November 1863

Word Count
2,505

Local News and Notes. Lake Wakatip Mail, Volume II, Issue 54, 4 November 1863

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