BRISIUNE, JANUAnv 4TH -We are rather disappointed with the performances of tho Boomerang. Surely a trip once a fortnight was not too much to expect of a steamer whose powers were so much vaunted ; and yet during the short time she has been on the line, and in the height of su nmer, she has already lost a day in the abova ample allowance of time. Why, I have seen the City of Melbourne for months together punc- tual to the very hour ; and even the old crazy Tamar would occasionally for many voyajr.es make the trips within the fortnight. Wherefore the Boomerang does not accomplish them within the same time?, with .greater easo it is difficult to explain ; but if she can So no better than this in her very prime, what aro we to i?xpect after sho has run some twelve or eighteen months on the line ? I anticipated, with many others, .that with the new boat a considerable export trado of Stock for tho Sydney markets would spring up, but the Boomerang is not much adapted for the convey- ance of stick, and besides the time for such a trade docs not apt. ear to have arrived U9 yet. The market in Sydney is so fluctuating that stockholders will content themselves with the certain, although moderate re- turns which boilding down yields, to runring the ha- zard of sending their beasts to an occasionally over- stocked market. Horses will now and then be for * warded, but at prosent the prices hero offer little en- couragement for tho speculation. Some that were bought in Brisbane lately under a very confidential idea that they would realise a haiidsomo profit in Sydney, were sold for less than they cost in this place.
Christmas and the new year passed over quietly here. We had races on Boxing Day, for tho first time for many years, and never before did they attract so great a crowd. There were no superior horses on the course, but some of the races were well contested, and others excited interest from the number of horses that ran for some of the stakes ; in one race not fewer than twenty-two horses started. It is proposed at present to get up races in May, at the time our regatta is usu- ally held, and to drop the latter, for which, indeed, our river affords no proper scope.
The General Hewitt s immigrants are moving off apace, at wages that must be considered ample : viz., 6QI. for married couples, shepherds from 251. to 35/., and female servants 201. Official accounts have been received that another vessel with government immi- grants would sail in October ; and two vessels from Hamburgh, the Aurora and Herbst, with about 500 Germans, are expected .during the present month. Tin's affords a good prospect for Moreton Bay, our great drawback having always been the want of people. Very likely we might at the present time obtain la- bourers from Melbourne, but that the high rate of pas- sage stands in the way of their transmission.
People in trade are complaining less now than they did about a month ago. Business is decidedly more brisk, which is owing iu fact to tho rapid arrival of wool from the interior, as well as to tho time of year. The recent arrivals have brought considerable quanti-
ties of English goods, and the previous stock r, ccived , via 8ydnoy has been rather heavy ; but doubtless the improved demand will soon effect a clearance.
We are suffering greatly from drought, no rain to speak of having fallen for five or six week, and tho heat during the interval having been for several days at a time very oppressive. At presentthere is no pros- pect of any change, and the stock kept about tho town are suffering severely from scarcity of feed. I have seldom seen the bush pastures in the neighbourhood of the town so very much burnt up. It is needless to say that vegetables are scarce, or that the growing crops of maize are suffering.
(From the Papers.)
TUB WEATHER, &O.-Forthelast two or three weeks all classes of tho community have been anxiously looking for a fall of rain. AVithin tho above period several slight showers have fallen, but they were quite insufficient to penetrate to the roots of plants, and as they were invariably followed by dry winds and fierce sunshine, they had not even a transitory good effect. The feed in the bush is very much burned up, and both gardens and orchards are of course suffering se . verely. The arid state of the bush pasturage adjoin- ing the town is shown by the deteriorated quality of the butchers' meat, especially of the mutton, which, so far as freedom from fat is concerned; might well rank with venison or kangaroo flesh. The season seems to have been unpropitions to the growth of fruits and vegetables, as very small supplies of either continue to bo brought to town. Water melons, which used to abound at this season, are seldom seen in any quantity, and their scarcity, together with the high price they bear, sufficiently proves how very un- favourable to the expansion of v« getablo growth, the weather has recently been. Several lots of English potatoes, grown in the district, and of very f .ir qua- lity, have lately been brought to market, and sold at about £25 per ton, and 3d. per lb. retail, but the sup- ply of this esculent, like that of every other vegetable production, is far inferior to the demand. There aro scarcely any fruits of our own growth in the market, with the exception of grapes, which are of pretty fair quality, but the price, somewhere about Is. Gd. per Çound, completely excludes them from general use. ho steamer usually brings a moderate supply of fruit from Sydney, which generally arrives in tolerable con- dition. Oranges wo have been supplied with in this way pretty regularly, but the season for this fruit has now passed away, Latterly we have had supplies of apricots, apples, pears,plums, and even English goose, berries, by the same conveyance, all in a state of good preservation, and it is needless to say that they met with a reedy market, notwithstanding the extrava- gant prices charged. The supply of pine-apples has, strange to say, been extremely short during the sea- son. This is one of the few fruits yet cultivated here which seems to thrive in a moderate degree. It used to be ttot only common in the shops and vegetable carts, but considerable quantities were spared for ex- portation. At present not much of it is to be met with ; its scarcity most probably arising from the backward- ness of the season, for the plant itself is very hardy and a Bure producer after it has attoined the proper age. The maize crop has perhaps suffered as much as any other from the present dry weather, and except that planted in low moist ground, it is likely to be close upon a total failure. If this should really hap- pen it will bo a great misfortune, for the consumption of maize in the district is now considerable. To bo sure there is yet plenty of time for planting and grow- ing another crop, but tho season is fast running on, and the rain is still keeping off, and, of course, to de- posit tiie seed without a supply of moisture would be useless. Another misfortune arising from the dry weather is, that the water in the public reservoir is getting low, and the lower it gets, its quality, never, under the most favourable circumstances very choice, becomes of cour o proportionably deteriorated. A spell of wet weather is usually calculated to occur about Christmas in tliis climate, but, as far as our experience goes, this is no more true of Christmas time than of any other, rain occurring here much, as it does in tho old country, at hap-hazard. During the last eight years, for ona instance of a rainy period setting in at Christmas, three at least could be adduced where it did not. We trust, however, the present season will vin cate the popular belief in the theory of Christmas rains, and we are happy to Bay, that there are indications although slight, that this will be the case. It must not be _ inferred from the foregoing that we have been visited with an unusually long period of drought. This is by no means the case, but the excessive heat, and constant sunshine, have made the comparatively short interval between the present time and the last effective rain, equivalent to a long period of drought occurring at a cooler period of the season. We leam that on the 24th and 25th ultimo a good deal of rain fell on the table land of New England, extending to Warwick, and filling the water holea and creeks. On the Downs, on the other hand, we hear that little rain has fallen for the last six months. The feed is conse- quently very much burned up; and stock of all kinds aro suffering considerably.-Free rrcss, January 2.
MELANCHOLY OCCUUUESCE.-On tho evening of Sunday last a scene of a very distressing nature, and one which has created a very painful feeling among our small community, occurred at South Brisbane. Between nine and ten o'clock of the night above men- tioned, according to the"information wo have received, but various versions of the occurrence aro abroad, Mr. Daniel Peterson, in a fit of madness, as we are con -strained to believe, brought on by habits of intemper- ance, fired a loaded pistol at Mrs. Peterson, and after- wards cut his own throat with a razor. The pistol discharged at Mrs. Peterson was loaded with ball; but most providentially, okhough occasioning a very deep and painful wound, the shot did " not take effect ou a vital part, other- wise it ' is probable we should have had to record a tragedy of a most frightful kind. Immediately after the «ad occurrence an alarm was given, and assistance '
was promptly rendered, by which Mr. Peterson was immediately disarmed and prevented from inflicting any further injury on himself or others. The services
of Dr. Cannon were soon obtained, and everything! was done for the unhappy man which the nature of his case admitted of, but according to the information ' which we received last night it ia very doubtful indeed whether ho will recover from the effects of his self- j inflicted wound. Mrs. Peterson, it is satisfactory to hear, is in no apparent danger from the injury she has received, but of course she has uufTcred much from fright and excitement. It was a mercy that she waB not deprived of existence on the spot by the mad act of
her husband.-Free Press.
THE NEW YEAR.-Yesterday being New Year's Day most of the shops and stores were shut, and all who could absent themselves from business Bpent the day in various amusements, picnics, excursions, &c. There was a little amateur horse racing at South Brisbane, and the usunl sports went forward at Kangaroo Point and the Fortitude Valley suburbs. Upon the whole the Christmas festivities have passed over quietly and orderly, and in such a way as to confer no little credit on the community.-Free Press.
TUB CONDEMNED CONVICT.-The aboriginal Dundalli, ordered for execution on Friday next, will not admit that he is likely to suffer death, but obstinately persists in asserting that when the white man fhang mnn) comes down from Sydney, he is to be spoken to to tako himJDundalli) to Sydney, instead of " hanging him up." The wretched culprit has been several times attended by the Rev. James Hanly, but apparently without any good results, although the prisoner shows no lack of intelligence.
THE OVERLAND MAU..-The dates brought by the overland mail of Saturday last, were only to the 16th ultimo, from Sydney and Maitland respectively, in- stead of the 20th as ought to have been the case in the due return of post. On enquiring into the cause of this, we were informed tha*; the postman only brought " half a mail," a phrase which we do not pretend to understand, but which, it is to be suppo'ed, is capable of explanation i although, we apprehend, it will be difficult to convince the public that the regular mail cannot be transmitted in thepresert state of the roads. This is by no means the first time that irregularities have occurred, without any apparent adequate cause, in the transmission of the everland mail, and we hope the matter will be enquired into by the Postmaster General, and greater regularily insured for the time to come, and also that those concerned will be called upon to explain why it comes to pass that, in the best possible state of the roads only "half a mail" is brought on. It would also be satisfactory to know what has become of the other "half," and whether it is likely ever to come to hand; and, finally, the persons who take it upon themselves to divide her Majesty's mjiil, forwarding such portion only as may suit their own or the mailman'3 convenience. When it happens, as it frequently does, that the overland mail ought to bring later intelligence than has arrived coastways, the re- gular transmission of the former l-ecoines a matter of considerable importance to people engaged in trade hero. It is surelj- somebody's business to see that the mail contractors perform their duty, and we trust those implicated, whoever they may be, will be called upon to explain why this " half mail" system has sprung into existence, and in thp event of their explanation being unsatisfactory, which may be safely a^'icipated, that they will be compel'ed to perform their contract
by forwarding in its regular course the entire mail | under all ordinary conditions of the weather and the
THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.-We understand that a requisition has been addressed to Mr. T. de Lacy Moffat, of Darling Downs, inviting that gentleman to i come forward as a candidate for the representation of Clarence and Darling Downs, in the place of Mr. George F. Leslie, who is about to resign.-Courier,
THE NATIVE POLICE.—The local Commissioners ap- pointed to investigate the charges brought against Mr. Frederick Walker, by the officers of the Native Police force, have closed their proceedings, the result of which will be transmitted to his Excellency the Go- vernor-General. The nature of the evidence given has not transpired, and it will probably not be laid before the public unless moved for in the next session of the Legislative Council. Pending this investigation, Mr. Walker has been replaced in the command of the force by Mr. Marshall.—Courier.