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NEWS ITEMS

(Feom our Latest Exchanges,) In a p'otcresquG locality ia the district of Mount Otui (not shown on the m^p of China, hut north ' of the Yau^t'G River, aud on the borders of Tibe ) Mrs. Archibald Little <v,h\> has b ! en travellirg in Chica) beard oi two feminine reelns s e, sisters, who lived in caves en tie faoa of the precipice, w< ich iorms one of the sides of Bai King, about fifty fett from the top. • f Rice, which (heir father smt them, wag let down to them by a cord, and they drank the water of the Bpriog. Ttere was a lit le sort of platform in front of the two oaves, whioh ran f baok into the rock, oue behind the ether, t-nd there they had lived for eevea years, remote from the cares as well as the pleasures of this life, in order to pnrify their soalg after the Buddhist fashion. Then laßt year tboir mother had dkd and theic father had recalled them to manage his ' honeehold.' 1

Some sensation has bseu caused i Paris by th a revelation of the manuei in which a master at the GovernmtE College of St. Girons met with bi death. According to the aeconnt givei it seemed that one of Ihe masters ha< made himßelf obnoxious by bis severity and in order to bo revenged on him i number of the older pupil* one even ing entered his bedroom, strapped bin down to bis bed, and compelled hf» to drink a pint of ram. The next daj the unfortunate gentleman was dan geronsly ill, and he died within a week The matter was hushed up, sod the college authorises only expelled f ftw of the ringleaders. Now that the afiair has become public, bowover, the police have taken the matter op witL a view to prosecution. "Writes a Christohnrch ■ correspondent " — lt is a reflection on the peopfc of this colony to say by implication 01 otherwise that we cannot find seventyfonr men amongst seven, hncdred thousand who are competent to make laws in accordance with onr wishes. Sir Wilfred Lawson once Baid, when speaking on this question. " that it ought to ba written over the door of the Home of Lords ' Mangling done hfiv.' " Nor I thiuk this will apply equally well to our House of Lords. They have seldom improved a measure, but they have done a lot of mangling." Mr Thomas Thompson, engineer to the Buller County Council, has received news of the death of his brother by the wreck on the coast of Vancouver of the Greeiiock barque Janet Cowan, of which he was in command. The Janet Cowan was bound from Capetown to Vancouver, when she was wrecked on December 31. Howell (the second mate) and two others were drowned, but the rest of those on board managed to reach the shore. They remained on this bleak and barren spot for 12 days, undergoing intense suffering, having little food and less protection. Captain Thompson and three sailors were frozen to death during tho terrible period. At the State Farm at Levin, four acres have been fenced as a pig run. It is the intention to go into the pig business. A good market has been secured at a satisfactory price. A writer in an English magazine gives some highly in cresting facts and figures relating to the London and North - Western railway, from which we learn that it has a capital of £119,000,000, and a revenue of over £1800 an Lour; its 2800 engines travel ov<.r 11 million miles in the year ; it employs over GO,OOO men, and carries over 15G.000 passengers a day. The ' London Morning Post ' announces the approaching marriage of Colonel 11. Cautley, retired B.E , and Mrs Edward Wingfield Humphreys (rel.ct of the ex-member for Christchurch). Practical sympathy ! The Christchurch papers state that the neighbours of Mr Truman, whose three children were burned to death and his house and furniture destroyed, at Balcairn, have raised and pres-nted him with £170. The local paper says that Havelock (Marlborougb) is unique in its way. There is not one empty cottage in the township, and, from enquiries made, three or four suitables one could now be let readily. Mr E. H. Wane, a visitor from England, who was staying with relatives at New Plymouth, was choked by a plum stone on Saturday evening. Deceased came to the colony three months ago for the benefit of his health He leaves considerable property in England. A London correspondent states : — " There are many silly reports going about as to the cause of Prince Henry's going to Africa, but the real one was he wish to do something to win over the English people, and to let them feel that he had real grit in him. He might with care have avoided the fatal fever, but he and Major Ferguson would go snipe shooting against the earnest remonstrances of the doctor. And, as we all know, snipe flock in swamps." Quite a little typlioid scare exists just now in the remarkably healthy town of Ashburton. Dr Greenwood reported four cases to the borough council, and that body is taking energetic steps to have tlie street channels kept clean and a steady stream or river water constantly running in them. Tue London « Echo ' states that four thousand and two hundred species of plants are used for commercial purposes in Europe. Of these 420 have a perfume that is pleasing, and enter largely into the manufacture of scents and soaps. It is propoeod to hold a conference of dtlfgatcs fr.rn tha Manchester Utity Oddfellows district governing bocLs for tho whole of Ne^7 2ealacd io Wellington mxt mouth, opening oq Afril 4. AniO'.'gat tho subjects to hi considered i 3 a propisdto es'ablish a uniform ssala of contributions throughout tho colony. An Etgliah paper, ' the Peopl?,' coolly informs its read rs that •• these is a spider in New Zealand tbat usually tbrows coils of i*s veeb about the head of its prey until tha wre'ehed victim is fi % st blinded and then choked. In many unfreqaented dark nooks of the j angle you come across perfect skeletons of small lirds caught ia these terrible stares."

Tfk Agricultural Department in Sydney have received fjoni Persia a number of cuttings of a lar^e seedless grape, which it is believed will be of great value for being converted into raisins. The cuttings were obtained from the Agent-General by means of the Foreign Office, which communicated with the British Consul at Teheran on the subject. A little boy named Gray had a narrow escape at Johsonville on Monday. He and his elder brother, aged eight years, were crossing the railway line at the Johsonville crossing in front of a train when the younger lad stnmbled. The driver was unable to stop the train, but the elder brother, with great pluck, pulled the other out of harm's way. So close was the engine, however, that the cow-catcher grazed the youngster's leg. Says • N. Z. Times * : — How can one account for the crass stupidity of rumour-mongers ? We cannot. We give up the task as hopeless. We can only give denial to the stories which come ftorn their brains, more inventive than well balanced. It is absolutely untrue that Mr Ward is about to retire from the Government. The rumour going about to that effect never had the slightest shadow of a foundation.

Says the ' People ' :— " Social circles in Wellington have been much excited during the past few days over preliminary proceedings in a sensational divorce case, in which parties well-known in that city are concerned. Some leading professional men in Wellington, including married men with families, will be joined as defendant', and the injured husband also asks for heavy damages. The other day, Captain A. Potjer, of the Dutch line steamer Maasdam, when about 400 miles out from the English Channel, as he stood on the bridge thought he saw denned a few leagues to the starboard a full-rigged schooner. Giving the order to slow down, his vessel approached cautiously , the object. When the Maasdam got within hailing distance the fog lifted, and the outlines of the schooner be« came plainly visible. She was an English two-master, with the Union Jack turned upside down. Across the I stern of the boat were painted, in gilt letters, the words, " Medus Vivendi, St John's, Newfoundland.' 1 The vessel was as spick and span, as if she had just glided off the ways. There was nothing to show why the schooner I had been deserted. She was left to drift on the Atlantic.

An Irishman, on seeing a notice in a haberdashers's window in a country town one day which ran as follows : — ,•' Everything sold here by the yard," entered, and aßked the man of the shop if be cold buttermilk. " Yes," was the answer. " Then give me a yard," £a<d Pa*. " All ri?ht," said the man, and dipping his finger into a dish of milk at his side, he drew it a yard in leDglh along the counter. 11 Any hing elee," ha queried triumphantly of Pat, "No," said Pat, " just rowl it up in a piece of paper and I'll take it with me." BY SPECIAL AEP OINTMENT, Psißß* Soap, makers to her Majesty the Quean

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NEWS ITEMS Colonist, Volume XXXIX, Issue 8509, 17 March 1896

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