NEWS AND NOTES.
BY A SYDNEY MAN.
Saturday, May 4.
THE causo of tho detention of the steamer advortisod to leave Sydney for Brisbano yostorday, is ono that must bo regarded with deep regret by all who entertain loving romom brancos of Queensland. Tho ncwB of the great storm and flood, and the destruction of tho temporary bridge over the Brisbane River, was brought to Sydney by the Lady Young, last night. Truly your misfortunes, like those of many private individuals, come in a hoap ; but I hope that tho bridgo -will soon be all right again, and that the loss and damage caused by the flood, will bo soon mado good. It seems " hard linos " that so much ill-luck should como togother, and truly, and from the depths of my heart, I om vory sorry for it.
Wo hove thn report of tho Ipswioh meeting on the subjoct of free seloetion. Tboro is muoh
sound eonse and wholesome truth in what tho speakers said, and it is pleasing to observe that they did not indulge in any lampant invectivo against tho squatters. I think it will have to como to freo selection at last, under proper restrictions. No doubt the interests of some would suffer severely, and it would bo unreason- able to suppose that, considering how muoh is at stake, they would yield without a strugglo ; but, on the othor hand it doos also seem un- reasonable, that, whon in your state of financial embarrassment, you are carrying a railway at a great cost in to the heart of the Downs country, tho lands contiguous should continue to bo occupied as if naturo had doomed them to comparative desolation for over. When I first read the telegram announcing the procla- mation of lands "sot apart," I certainly thought it a most wiso and resolute measure ; but it is impossible not to acknowledge the force of the argument that the whole affair remains still at the option of the Executive. I Those confounded " regulations " of which the
Queensland Times BO justly complains, havo sadly hampered the operation of many well intentioned Acts of Parliament in this colony, under their agency I know of more than ono case in which, induBtrious and truly unfortunate froo selectors here are harassed and worried into a state of mind that will probably compol thom to , surrender nil they had gained. In one case, that of an old, frugal couple in the South Western district, with a family of in- dustrious sons, an action of ejectment has been brought against them by the wealthy lessee of the adjoining pastoral run. The action was set down for trial at the last Goul- burn Circuit Court, and tho defendants, with their counsel, attended, at great cost ; but by some means or other, the wealthy plaintiff got the trial put off until noxt assizes, and the delay and further expense seem likely to bring the defendants to utter ruin. This would bave
been the case before now, only that they have been vory substantially' assisted by the Froo
Selectors' Protection Association. Evils of
this kind, some of your reader» will say, merely servo to alústrate the mischievous tendencies of free selection. I grant this, if free selection is improperly or corruptly administered, by means of the "regulations. Whatever system is adopted ought to be carried'out in good faith and the fullest integrity. If this bad been the case with the Queensland Agricultural Reserves, there 'would not have been any free selection cry for many a year to come ; but when the Government or its agents select the worst land for sole, it'is natural that the intending'pur- chaser should desire to select for himself. A
| change is evidently about to come over the
land systom-of Queensland, and I hope that it may be effected with as little damage os possible to existing intorosts; but when the future welfare oí a young colony struggling with disaster is the objeot in view, the interests of the minority must and ought to give way, especially oonsidering the greatness of the ad- vantages whioh they novo so long onjoyed.
Tho news by tho Panama mail, possesses moro interest than we had anticipated. You will obsorvothat tho rumors of the split between Gladstone and Bright, aro entirolyunsupported, and that thoy, with Earl Bussell, were etil pulling togother for Parliamentary Reform. But I quito agroewith your Ipswich contem- porary that what is really sought is household suffrage although tho largor demand is made for manhood suffrage As to American con- gressional procoodings, nothing like them have boon soen since the days of King Charles the First. Tho Congress, after acareo four hours discuBfliou-all composed of stern denunciations of the Presidont, sot his veto again at defiance by a second timo passing tho bill whioh oxcludes tho ton states of tho South from political rights, and places them under military law. Tho last news was that the Prosidont was preparing to corry out_ tho not, and to appoint Govornors. Tho Ponian " rising " in Ireland is variously estimated hore, somo thinking ii all moonshine,* and othors estimating it vory eoriously. The truth, no doubt, lies botween. If the minds of tho pooplo could bo kept in a state of ex oitomont, and tho troops and polico harrassed and worriod, until a favourablo opportunity occurrod, I havo no doubt that opportunity could bo takon advantago of, and groatly the British troops would rojoico thereat.
In all oonscionco I havo bushranging news enough for you this wook, and most of it of a rather "sensational" character; in the first plaoo comes tho attaok of prisonorB on their polioo escort last Wednesday morning. Tho following aro the particulars :
Lato yostorday (Thursday) afternoon tho Govornmont roooivod a roport of the occurrence from the sergeant in ehargo of tho oscort. It is
as follows :
"Polico Station, Pulpit Hill, April 30.
"Sergeant Onsoy roports that at half-past 2 o'clook this morning, the flftoon prisoners undor escort to Sydnoy, rushod constables Maddon and Hitchcook. Tho formor had just relieved tho latter who had oponod tho ooll door to seo that oil tho prisonors woro thore. Tho prisonors rushod out, and caught tho two con stabloB by tho throat, and woro strangling thom, Sorgeant Casey, who had boon sleeping in tho look-up, instantly sprang up and Bhot tho man who had hold of constable Madden. Sergeant Casey thou shot tho prison'or, Thomoi Kerr, and fired at tho prisoner Southgate The pistol hung Uro, nnd when it did go off, wounded constablo Maddon, who had beon pushed towards sorgoant Oasoy. Sorgoant Casey fired again, and drovo thirteen out of tho flftoon prisonors into tho coll. Ho thon found out that Maddon had boon mortally wounded by his ilro. Maddon diod at 10 o'clook this morn- ing boforo tho.arrival of tho doctor. Sorgoant Casey Arod fivo shots ; ono shot struok ELerr in tho arm, one shot glanced off Korr's head, one Bhot struok JamoB Morgan hi tho hip, and two struok poor Maddon. Ono of the prisonors (Rutherford) has just boen arrested, and brought in by sonior-constablo Maomanamy, and tbû Hartloy and other polico aro on tho traok of tho ether abscondor, Holmes. Sor- goant Oasoy is so agitatod at tho dreadful occurrence that ho is unable to moko tho proper
"WAMEB 0. OASES-, Sorgoant."
U'lio prisoners woro brought down by troin, and safely lodgod in Darlinghurst gaol at an early houryostorday (Thursday) and tho wounded prisoners, who had beon previously attondod to by Dr. Egan, woro at once placed under Dr. Aaron, tho Burgoon of tho gaol. Tho body of poor Maddon was removed to Hartlay, wheroaa inquest will bo hold upon it. It is hardly ne ooBSary to stoto that it was dark in tho look-up ii han tho dospoi ato oncouutor took place botweon tho prisonors and tho caoorr, and that, under the circumstances, it was not surprising, though it is muoh to bo rogrettod, that poor Maddon lost his lifo. One thing is cortain, if Casey had not aotod so promptly and determinedly, tbo wholo of the prisonors, among whom aro somo notorious robbers, would huve effeotod thoir oscapo, nnd probably not one of the escort would havo survived to toll tho tale.
Anothor notorious bushranger has beon taken. Tho following particulars of tho capture hove beon supplied to tho Empires
" It will bo romomborod that, somo time ago, two desporoto oritmnals named Southgate and Cummings offootod tboir escapo from Berrima gaol, by foroing thoir way through the open drain. One of those scoundrols, Southgate, was captured somo little timo ago, and was among tho fifteon prisoners who tried to escape from tho polioo oscort at Pulpit Hill, on thoir way to Sydney, last Wednesday morning. Tho other, Cummings, who is o very desperate charactor, continued to elude tho soaroh of tho polico, committing robberies in all directions. About throe weeks ago ho and another man stuck up Mr. Webb's storo, at the Fish River, whon Mr. Wobb's son Bhot tho ruffian in tho faco, -with a gua loaded with duck shot. It was at first reportod that Cummings, who on being woundod rodo off, had died of tho |injuries ho received. But jnstoad of this, it appears that ho loy np with some of his bush friends until his wounds could bo healed, His whereabouts becoming known, Sonior-sorgeant Grainger, one of Mr, Lydiard's mon, was sent with a party to hunt him down ; and a telegram was received by the Govornmont yosterday, announcing that Grain §or had boon successful. Cummings was appro*
ondod at tho house of a man namod Cramp, at tho Abercrombie river. At the time of his arrest he was armod with two revolvors and a doublo-barrellod gun. Graingor's party was only out ten days. Cummings is now safely lodged in Bathurst gaol. The man Cramp, in whoso house ho was found, was under commit- tal for trial on a ohargo of sheep-stealing, and had been allowed bail by tho Bench of magis-
trates that committed him."
The caso of Bertrand, for tho Kinder murder, is still undecided. It was expected that it would have como off on the 28th February, but other matters sot it aside, and Monday is now flxod for the hearing.
Wo have fine woathor hore at laBt, and I think that it will continuo, with perhaps an occasional shower. This is the first day, ac- cording to postponement, of the Randwick Autumn Race Meeting, and the attendance will bo largo, judging from, appearances. The rains
have flooded the Hunter again, but this will soon subside, now that the continuous down Îiour of five weeks has ceased. By the woy, the oto stormy weather in your quarter, if it ex- tended to the Downs, will test the Toowoomba railway, and this will bo a good service and a sort of warrant of security, because if anything is wrong you will bo able to see where the fault
It is strange enough that, while the ooast country has been almost deluged, 'wo should hear of most distressing drought in what is called " Riverina," a bushman giving £1 for a drink of water, and offering £4 for a p&nnikin ful ; and skeletons of men found frequently in the bush-perished of thirst.
In last Wednesday's Empire there is an article headed '' On the Wallaby,"from Dickens' All the Year Round. It is a sketch of mobs of bushmen " on the Wallaby track," or tramping ostensibly in search of employment. There is much truth in the picture, and I recommend bushmen to read it. Perhaps you will give them an opportunity. The writer very fairly distinguishes between mere "loafers" and men sincerely desirous of employment.
AN ELOQUENT APPBAI,.-The following powerful, elegant and olassic appeal was mode m a court of justice, recently; somewhere in Ken- tucky, by one of the learned heads of the bar : " Gentlemen of the jury, do you think my client, who lives in the pleasant valley of Kentucky, where the lands is rich and the sod are fertile, would be guilty of stealing eleving little skeins of cotting ? I think not, I calculate not. And I guess, gentlemen of the 'jury, that you had bettor bring in my client not guilty t for if you. convict him, he and his son John will lick the whole of you I" J