[BY A CORRESPONDENT.]
THERE are few people down south who have beard anything definite of Burketown, except that, it is proverbial for "yellow jack, "ma-
laria,",smallpox," and all the contagious and infectious diseases that a Gulf country set- tle ment can contain, " Give a dog a bad name
and hang him for it," is a maxim that applies "to countries as well as dogs. Burketown is not
half, as bad, as it is represented.
It is a curious fact that the natives of the Gulf are deeply marked with smallpox, show- ing, that the disease must have been prevalent some years ago, probably caught from Malay traders, However, there is no smallpox here now; the place is just as healthy as Norman- ton, if a man take heed to his dietary scale, and to his general course of living. At the , sanie timo I am in a position to state that the
.farther you go West during tho months of July August, and Septcmbor tho moro severly tho .malarial, foyer ia felt, and that can't be attributed as, a fault to Burketown. I
have,seen, during tho mouths of July and August in Port Darwin, in a population of 100 on, the,,goldfields, not ono man to help another-»li,Were laid down ; but, at tho samo ,time, vcry,few, deaths occurred, and it any did occur, thoy were from other causes, not neces- sary, here to describe.
,,, I, don't think the first glance at Burketown
is much ¡¡('that town's favour. The landscape is a di cary blank. There is nothjng to relievo, the oye-not a ti co on the plain, , except the scruhjn the far distance, which dis , t]ngulalies the courso of the river. Why tho people established a town here I can't well say, except that there happens to bo a lagoon at the place of some extent which supplies fresh water-that ia, fresh to a certain extent, but at
the Janie time I think it amelia of malaria just ,at,present, and I, as a resident on the Gulf for .fouiteen years, kaow what malaria amelia are. The town is situated on the left bank of the Albert River, thirty milos from the month, fallowing tho course of its wind- ings, but only fourteen miles by land. The European population of the placo is not moro than, fifty souls, and tho Mongolians and Malays may' bo sixty. There are always a largo number of natives at work at Burke- town, 'I am certain they seem ao well trained that there is not much fear of any murder being, committed within a radius of fifty miles qf that town, and I apeak from exporience of niggers. ,,
Tliehtown ia widely laid off, and from the pqsition of the houses there is not much causo for alarm iu caso of fire-they are, about a quarter of a-milo apart. Tho three publlcdiousca form a trianglo at long , distances, from ono another. There is also a ' cordial.manufactory, and a chemist's aud drug gist'a shop, under tho management of Mr, .Hubert J. Tracey, from Rockhampton, In the absence of any medical map he asaumea the character of doctor aa w eil. Bcof and bread, as in Normanton, are supplied by a Chinaman, .who sells beef at 4d. par lb., bread at l8, per 31b., , and milk at Od. per quart. Mr. M'Arthur ia pollce-magiatrate, and he baa a clerk,of petty sessions to assist him.
The iioxt official ia the senior-constable of police, who has control over, say, from time to time, four or five constables.
There ,is only ono store in Burketown-a ,branch of Mesirs. Burns, Philp, andCo.'s firm, Brisbane,butthisbranch is cstabliahcdon a very
extensive scale. There were two or throe small , stores .at one time in Burketown, but these hare hecu absorbed by Burns, Philp, and Co., ,and the consequenco ia that business with the
interior, ia carried on much moro efficiently, and that there is now no scarcity of supplies. There is, nof- much fear of any opposition to this firm, , because if such should be attempted it would , have to bo organised on a gigantic scale, and
.the divided profita would not be equal to the capital expended. ;
Ifo bank has yet been established here, and .Jlp's ia a want severely felt by the inhabitants !in the district., Psrhaps the Q.N. Bank ia , afraid that under present auspices there would
be.too many applications for overdrafts ; and undoubtedly if we havo another dry season the Burke aquattera will require extended accom- modation. It must be admitted that tho pros- perity of Burketown dependa almost entirely on the favourable character of the seasons, and settlors duriiig.thc past two seasonahaio been pretty severely tried. It ia to be hoped that an. early fall of rain this year will give the prospects of the place a brighter colour, i
The extension of the telegraph line] from i Normanton is a sine qua non to tho prosperity
of the place. ,
There was a petition presented to the Car- pentaria Divisional Board the other day. when tho squatter petitioners asked that all country west of the Leichhardt should be made a separate division. It .enumerated a number of stations cm .¡bracing an area of more than 25,000 square miles, on which tho tax is something conside- rable, and as the board cenUes at Normanton, apd the greater part of the taxos will bo ex ,pcnded "at Normanton, the people at Burke-
town have a right.to a separate division, and to «cn»rate allocation,. '
" The, inhabitants of Burketown conduct them 8cUcj,very wqll. Aa a matter of couise liorso ra.çing and gambling arc about tile only amuse- ments. It, is a moat alngulnr thing Nhat duruig the fortnight I have been here I have never «een- a " set-to" fight in any case of gambling.
MR. S. POLUTZKK, CK., of Sydney, has pre- pared the plan of a suspension bridge to connect Sydney with the North Shore. The central span is 700ft., and each of the two side spans' 350ft The height is 100ft., to allow (nipping to pass underneath. '? j t
<í '/JUñi .TÍBJTHI visttéai Ün np-town studio
the other day, and was admiring the portraits,
.when~the artist "quietly - inquired* of "herr "Wouldn't' you like to be taken from life, madam!" ¡ "Laws-a-raercy," exclaimed she, atarting for the door, " I hope I hain't fallen i into the hands of a murderer 1" And she retired in evident alarm before the artist could say a word in explanation. ,
A KKW mode of reforming drunkard* has. come to light through the report of a Berlin ' Evangelist Herr Poiselt, who is fighting the
drink fiend in Natal. This good man believes that his style of dealing with the matter is more efficacious than the blue ribbon method of the British and American reformers. He flogged lustily with a strap two women of hi* congregation, who had got drunk; and, although his British and American friends in South Africa were shocked by the proceed- ing, one Teutonic onlooker (Dr. Grundemann) unsentimentally suggests that it is "rather a blessing to find a brave man who can address the natives in holy earnestness and love, in a language they can understand."