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Notes and Comments.

~ • I The Dreyfus affair is believed to bo becoming dangerous, as the army and the populace are both discussing it with acrimony, the central idea being that if Captain Breyf as is innocent, secret court martial oannot be trusted, a suspicion which affeots every family in France, The friends of the accused now accuse Count Esterhazy, a retired French, officer, as the real culprit, and the Count,' ■who admits that he was at the time heavily in debt, retorts that he is the victim of a Jew conspiracy. He is to be tried; but it is quite evident that there is some secret whioh the Government is most anxious to conoeal,,pro- : bably because the whole truth would impacate one of the great Embassies. It would probably be wiser (says the London Spectator), for the Government to make a clean breast of it, telling the whole truth,, and relying on -pnblie^sense; but the horror of free discussion upon army questions cows all French politicians. They are afraid lest conscripts should have a goodoase against officers, . * * • • J According to mail news from the West Coast of Africa, it is reported from the Kittam Boom river that a " Human Aligatof " society now infests its bank. Fishermen and boatmen have been enticed from their canoes by the members of the sooiety, who, after murdering them and stealing cheir belongings, feasted on their bodies. One man who was enticed to the river bank, when fallen on by the " human aligators," killed one of his assailants and wounded two others, but was eventually himself killed and eaten, excepting one of his legs, which was found in the river, and identified by some marks upon it. So common were the outrages becoming in the district that the attention of the authorities was being drawn to the matter. # # * * Colonists with collections of curios' hold a faluable asset (says the Home News), the price of which is steadily rising year by year, as the sophisticated natives of the South Seas increasingly prefer the useful productions of Birmingham to the rough-hewn tools and weapon* of the pre-trading days.- There have been several sales lately at' Stevens' Auction Mart oi South Sea, Australian, and Now Zealand curiosities, and the prices realised have ben distinctly good. The feature of the late sale was human heads and skulls. A Maori head, with the skin preserved, went for 17 guineas. New Guinea* skulls fetched from 25s to six guineas, and the head of au Ecuador chief was sold for 19 guineas. It is not easy (if desirpble) to get skulls now in Australasia ; public feeling is adverse, as it is well known that head-hunting has frequently been practised by the natives in order to satisfy the demands of the collector of relics. Spears, boomerango, woomeras, jade axes and adzes have sold well, and it is plain to 6ee that "savage" curios in a few years' time will have considerable value, as the supply is being rapidly exhausted. A skeleton of the moa fetched 48 guineas, * * # * A novel aviction sale was held at Omaha, Nebraska, on the Ist and 2nd November, when the Union Pacific Kailway was put to competition under an order of foreclosure. Th^company had got behind in thoir interest payments, the bondholders foreclosed, and a re-organisation committee was formed. The trustees of this cortmittee were the successful bidders, acquiring the property for 50,635,465 dol (over .£1Q,000,900 sterling). Of thie sum they have to find in cash about 45,000,0u0 dol, or to pay off all indebtedness. The operation will free the undertaking from some complications. The trustees of the Re-orgaui-sation Committee banded the auctioneer a marked' cheque for 4,100,000 dol (ovei £800,000) as a deposit. ' .

A meeting of the friends of the late Mr A. O'Bughlien is convened for Tuesdny next, iv the Miners' Union Hall at 7.30 p.m. Last Thursday afternoon at Waihi a, prettywedding took place at the Anglican church,' the contracting parties being Mr Walter' Teirill and Miss L. Gibbons, of Waihi. The Church was decorated, and the aerrioe, which was conducted by the vicar of Paeroa (the Rev. William Wilson), was a choral one, the musioal portion being admirably rendered by' a full choir, Miss Whelan presiding at the organ. .The bride was most becomingly i dressed in a cream tennis cloth, trimmed with ' white silk, ribbons to match, ornamented with orange blossoms. The hat was of chiffon, trimmed with silk and lilies of the valley. The bridesmaids, who lookad charming, Misses F. and M. Gibbons, were dressed in nun's veiling trimmed with cream lace and ribbons. Mr Albert White, brother-in-law, gave away the bride, and Mr Ready acted as best man. Breakfast was prepared at. Ventnor House, where seventy sat down. The happy couple left for Te Aroha in the course of the afternoon. The numerous guests re-assembled in the evening, when dancing was kept xlj till an early hour in the morning. Mb Hooper, of the well-known mining firm of Messrs Bewiok Moreing and Co., arrived from Auckland last* evening, on a tour of inspection of the various goldfields centres. He leaves for Whangamata this morning, and will remain there three or four days, during which time he will thoroughly inspect the Whangamata Proprietary mine. Mr Hooper will be accompanied by Mr Curtis. . '■•' ■'—'

Thb enquiry into the circumstances in connection with Miss Ellen Casey's death will be continued at the Courthouse tomorrow: evening. Wo hear there are a, number of witnesses to be called, and it is possible that a f urthet adjournment ■will be necessary. It is not probable that the public will be admitted. ' / A social will be held under the auspices of the Burns Club in St. George's Hall this evening to celebrate the anniversary of the birth day of Robert Burns. We are informed that haggis andwea donals to wash it a' doon will be included in the bill of fare. The funeral of the late Antonio Francis O'Buglfcn took place yesterday afternoon, and was largely attended. Rev. Father O'Reilly conducted the burial service. ' The picnic in connection with the Odd* i fellows' Society, which is to be held at St. Heliers' Bay on the 12th February, promises to be a great, success. In the morningl, there will be a series of sports got up for the special benefit of the juveniles. In the afternoon, there will be a number of races for which members only'will be eligible, a 150 yards race for professionals, and a sack race, open to all comers. Particulars of ( events, prizes, add entrance fees were pubished in our last evening's issue.

The County Engineer (Mr J. M. McLaren) invites tenders foj various works, through the medium of our Advertising columns, this evening. At the Burke Street wharf to-day the ! TalismaD, a scow, was discharging a cargo of coal for the Big Pump. I*A man named Phil Owen was arrested ! for lunacy this afternoon. It appears that he had been wandering about the town in an aimless manner all the morning. About three o'clock this afternoon he went out on to the mud flat at the foot of Mary Street, and waded through the mud to the Shortland wharf. As he. was throwing kis clothes about and rapidly divesting himself of them, his conduct was reported to the police, with the result that Sergeant Stapletou and Constable McPhee went to Shortland and arrested him. < 'wen'a condition has probably been caused through excessive drinking. He arrived from Paeroa this morning. Sats the Reef ton Times : Rumor has been busy for the past couple of days with a story of the unobstructive departure on a holiday trip " for a few days only," of a gentleman who has been identified with scientific mining in this district for some little time. There was nothing remarkable in the gentleman in question seeking a holiday, but it is now understood that he has shaken the dust of New Zealand off his feet and this news has, not unnaturally, caused a certain amount of consternation to certain gentlemen who did business wi h the departed scientist. There are many new methods nowdays of extracting gold from refractory ores ;• but as far as the gold which exists in what old diggers call " pockets" is concerned, experience shows that o»d processes are not easly. improved upon. A unique and interesting wedding took place on board the s c. Wakatipu tbe other day (says the N.Z, Times), when Mr Chin Ting, a well-known and well-to-do Chinese storekeeper from Pahiatua, was united in the bonds of matrimony by the Rev. Mr Ogg to Miss Ching Fan, of Hongkong. The latter came by the Wakatipu in charge of another Chinese lady, in the capacity of chaperon, and left the boat only after she had become Mrs Chin Ting. The principals were most stylishly attired, and attracted a great deal of attention. It is stated that a formal application will be made for a refund of the poll tax on Mrs Ting, aud that if this is not complied ' with a test case will be instituted, a legal opinion having been given that a Chinese woman married to a naturalised Chinaman before landing in New Zealand is under he existing law exempt from the poll tax. Two boys, aged IT and 10 years respectively, pleaded guilty at Otautau last week to having stoned a young bull to death. The police aaid that the accused, with their two younger brothers, while going home from school, ran the animal iuto a gully, and there stoned it to death. When questioned about the deed they admitted the . whole thing, the eldest stating that he was very sorry for what he had done. Mr Poynton, S.M., said the boys were liable to bix months' imprisonment and if brought before the Supreme Court, to 14 years, but taking . their age into consideration they would be : convicted and discharged, and ordered to pay expenses (12s) and the value of the animal to the owner (255.)

Mb James Mackay informs the Herald tnat the late Mr J. C. Bichmond was Native Minister at the time (27 wh July, 1867) when the first agreement was made between the Governor and the natives by the Hon. Dr Pollen and Civil Commissioner Mack'ay for the handing over the land bethe Hape and Kuranui streams, Thames (excluding Waiotahi) for gold mining purposes. Mr Bichmond took great interest in the Thames goldfields, and in couveying the Governor's approval of the action of Messrs Pollen and Mackay he gave the latter carte blanche to complete other arrangements for the cession of additional j blocks. The Provinciol Government were at that timo in a very impecunious position, and Mr Richmond authorised Mr Mackay to drawn on the Colonial Treasury for a i good many of the preliminary expenses of the goldfield. Bichmond-street, Shortland, is named after the deceased gentleman. * The question of the excessive employment of children of school age was discussed by the Educational Institute sitting in Dunedin I in committee. • From statements made it appeared that in some cases in the colouy children attending school were required to do j several hours' hard work, such as rendered them mentally and physically unfit for school duties, even in some instances injuriously affecting their physical development. An amusing incident occurred at Temuka in connection with a recent poaching case, j The ranger secured the poached fish and handed them to the secretary of tiis Acclimutisation Society, who forwarded them to the manager of the Tiniaru Freezing "Works in order that they .night be preserved for identification in court. It was a Saturday, and the fish, instead of being dropped off at the freezing works siding, i were taken into Timaru. The manager was I out of town, and the letter of advice did not' reach him. The railway advised the office ; that a parcel of perishable goods awaited release, and the office telephoned to the manager's housekeeper. She, poor soul, j sent for the fish, and, and, not liking to! waste them, cooked and ate them. On his! return to town the manager was placed in possession of the facts, and he duty expressed his regret at not being in apo ition | to produce the fish. The laugh over the: incident fully compensated for any bother' which had arisen in connection with it. . I

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

Thames Star, Thames Star, Volume XXX, Issue 8975, 25 January 1898

Word Count
2,051

Notes and Comments. Thames Star, Volume XXX, Issue 8975, 25 January 1898

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