ROUGH NOTES FROM THE NORTHERN TERRITORY.
[From Friday's Advertiser.]
(By our Port Darwin Correspondent.)
July 22! — Although Port Darwin was never a very lively place, since the departure of the Gulnaie it has been most woefully dull, a sort of damper being thrown over everything and everybody
but it is to be hoped that the Government by prompt and energetic measures will redeem the lost ground, and. that the contract will still be completed within the prescribed time, or at least communication will be opened with Ade laide. There have been a good many cases of fever and ague amongst the telegraph party, brought on by exposure and hard living, but they have all happily got over it with a 'good shaking and the loss of a little flesh, for which they seem to make up very quickly. The Government Resident and a party of six left to-day in the Larrakeah, for the pur pose of visiting the old settlement at Port Essington ; Captain Douglas intending on his way back to examine the Adelaide River as far as Fred's Pass. They will no doubt have a pleasant and interesting cruise, the weather just now being everything one would desire. August 9. — The Larrakeah returned from Port Essington and Melville Island. The Go vernment Resident fearing that the vessel might be in during his absence, did not proceed up the Adelaide. At Port Essington they found the stone work of a great many buildings still standing and in good repair; from the descrip tion given, some of them must have been very elaborate constructions. They saw a number of fine English cattle (one of which they shot) and a few horse tracks. The garden was entirely obliterated with the exception of a few pine apples. At Melville Island they succeeded in shooting a couple of buffaloes, which they brought into camp as trophies. The description of the chase is most amusing, the buffaloes evidently taking an immense amount of killing. News came down to-day from No. 2 Depot that Mr. Ross, who had started on his homeward trip and got some dis tance beyond the Roper, had been obliged to put back on account of ill-health. August 18. — Messrs. Ross and McLachlan re turned. It was fortunate that Mr. Ross was able to fall back on the Depot, for he certainly would never have got through, as one of his legs is even now perfectly powerless. Mr. McLachlan and party, although they were unfortunate enough to be robbed of all their blankets and mosquito nets by the natives, brought back the much-wished-for information of having discovered a payable gold-field. Mr. McLachlan' s official report will of course be published and the gold exhibited, so I need not enter into particulars; but that it is a bona fide discovery there can be not the slightest doubt. This is what was said would be the only thing that would start the Northern Territory, and no doubt hundreds would catch the gold fever, and want to be off to Port Darwin; but I would advise them to bear in mind that a rush in any of the neighbouring colonies is a very dif ferent thing to a rush to the Northern Territory. There you have the settled districts to fall back on in case of illness or ill-luck, and can easily obtain provisions and transport. Here the difficulty is not so much, in obtaining supplies, but in conveying them and the neces sary implements to the scene of action, where, in case of misfortune or sickness, the only retreat is Port Darwin, and before you can leave that place you must at least have a certain amount of the needful; so I would recommend people, before coming here, to be sure that they are prepared to encounter these diffi culties. August 22.— The Government Resident having invited all the inhabitants of Palmerston to a picnic reunion at Fannie Bay, they left the fort at 10 a.m., a few going overland, but the majo rity preferring the boats. We had a pleasant breeze, and skimmed along merrily for about an hour, when we reached the scene of festivities. Immediately on landing the sports commenced, some going in for cricket, others preferring to join in the novel match of shooting at a running buffalo (an idea suggested to Captain Douglas during his late excursion). The shooting, on the whole, was remarkably good. Subjoined are the winning scores : — First Match.— Running buffalo, 100 yards, first prize, A. J. Todd, 10 points; second prize, H. McCallum, nine points. After this match we adjourned to the tents, where a capital spread awaited us, kindly provided by Mrs. Douglas, and having done ample justice to the viands, we proceeded with the , Second Match. — Standing buffalo, at 200 yards, first prize, W. Cook, 12 points; second
prize, D. Beetson, 11 points, By the Uao this was decided the sun was getting low, and, after giving three cheers for the Government Resident, and three with another for Mrs. Douglas, we took to the boats and proceeded homewards, every one having thoroughly enjoyed the day's sport. August 24.— A party started to-day in tho Larrakeah for the purpose of prospecting for gold on Melville Island, but they had gone but a few miles when they discerned a steamer coming in, and on boarding her it proved to bo our old friend Omeo, with Mr. Patterson and party. The Government have certainly lost no time in sending out another party, ana it is to be hoped that they will even yet bo able to complete the contract within the time. Captain Calder showed his usual alacrity in landing tho steck, and they are certainly the best sample of horseflesh that has been landed here as yet. We believe she is to leave again on the 31st, taking as passengers Messrs. Finniss, C. Wells, and several other members of the former telegraph party, and we hope it will not be many months before we see her here again with a number of settlers and diggers. September 2.— Tho schooner Gulnaro ven tured her first trip up to Southport with a cared of stores and wire, but the tides not serving, sho experienced some difficulty both in going up and coming down. September 6.— The Antipodes arrived to-day with 97 head of cattle, three having died on tho voyage. It is a great pity ; but an older, thinner, or more miserable mob of cattle coukl hardly been landed, and if this is a sample of, 4what the other shipments are going to be, tho contract time will expire before they are fit for work. September 12. — A boat came in to-day from the ship Golden Fleece, which is anchored out side the Heads with the Himalaya. Not being certain of the entrance, the captain took tho precaution to reconnoitre before venturing in with such a large vessel. Captain Sweet has gone out for the purpose of piloting them in some time to-morrow. September 13.— The two ships came to their anchorage during the afternoon, and the appear rance of Port Darwin is considerably improved by seeing four fine vessels at anchor so close to Fort Point. They commenced landing the cattle immediately, and there is certainly no comparison between these and those landed from tho Antipodes, inasmuch as most of them are fine young cattle in very fair working con dition. The Golden Fleece brings 120 bullocks, 51 horses; the Himalaya 90 bullocks, 73 horses; the Omeo 80 bullocks, 40 horses; Antipodes 97 bullocks. Total, 387 bullocks, 164 horses. September I8.— Three of the crew of the Himalaya were brought before the Magistrate this morning for deserting from their vessel on the night of the 17th. It seems that during the night they took one of tho ship's boats, and after visiting the Government Gardens, and assisting themselves to the plantains and pine apples, they leisurely proceeded to pull up to Southport, little dreaming that they were going into the lion's jaws. On reaching there they told their tale to a sympathizing audience of police at present stationed at that place, from whom they received every attention, and were escorted back to Port Darwin by 'those gcntle men on tho following day. They were each fined a month's pay and sent on board their ship again. On the 15th the Gulnare again went up to Southport with another cargo. Nearly all the cattle and horses, as well as the working hands, have started on their way up, and in another week no doubt Palmerston will be as quiet as usual. The Antipodes sails for Fremantle on the 19th or 20th, and the other vessels I suppose will leave some time next week. The storekeeper for the O. T. party (W. Symons) has been arrested for stealing wearing apparel, &c, and attempting to ship the goods to Adelaide per Antipodes.
Serious Occurrence.— It is mentioned that on Wednesday Mrs. H. Stephens, of near Marrabel, was thrown out of a cart. The Rev. T. J. Smyth found her lying on the road in a pool of blood, and conveyed her to her residence. She was then quite insensible, and little hopes were entertained of her recovery. Outside Fires.— A bush fire of considerable extent was noticed to be raging on Tuesday somewhere in the vicinity of Bethel. The Kapunda Herald remarks:— 'W e hear that Mr. David Young, of the Moppa, had 35 acres of wheat burned on Tuesday. The grass is so high and dry that if a fire should once get the mastery, the consequences will be most disastrous. Then follows the advice to ensure crops. Candid.— In the Stockport West box was found on polling-day a voting-paper with the rather distinct opinion written upon the face of the paper instead of the crosses, the words 'neither of them worth a curse.' Adelaide and Port Local Courts.— The Full Jurisdiction sitting of the Adelaide Local Court for January 3 will be held on Wednesday, January 17, and the Port Adelaide Court of Full and Limited Jurisdiction will be held on Tues day, January 9, in place of January 2. Northern Crops.— The Kapunda Herald writes:— 'The weather has been admirably suited to the labours of the husbandman; the reaping-machines have been kept steadily going, and in the bulk of cases we are glad to hear the farmers say the yield is better than they had anticipated. The plague of locusts continues. On Saturday and in the early part of this week vast armies of these unwelcome invaders passed through the town— going south wards. Some farmers who left their hay stubble standing in place of ploughing it in have found the newly-sprung grass very useful in diverting these insects from the wheat paddocks.' The Clare Argvs says:—' The crops which have been commenced upon on Blyth Plains, about Rochester, and some other places about Clare are not expected to yield more than four or five bushels to the acre. The red rust has attacked some of the wheat in a devastating manner that has hardly ever been paralleled.' Presbyterian.— The Northern Argus reports that at a meeting of the Clare Congregation on Monday evening, it was decided to call Mr. John Mitchell (student), of Adelaide. Mr, Davidson presided, and conducted divine service the same evening. The same paper mentions having been shown a bona fide piece of tin hammered out and cut to tho size of a three penny piece, which some large-hearted and generous soul put in the collection-plate last Sunday. A little in the Ananias and Saphira way of business that. Distinguished Visitor.— The brig Emily Smith, which arrived on Sunday from Fre mantle, brought as a passenger Leopold Rodpath, whose name will be well remembered in con nection with the extensive frauds practised on the Great Northern Railway Company of Eng land in 1856. For this offence no was tran sported to Western Australia, which province he left on November 29. In consequence of the provisions of our Convicts' Prevention Act the police declined to permit him to land in South Austalia, and we understand that he proceeds by the Southern Belle for Sydney. Redpath's sentence was one for life, but he has, it seems, received a conditional pardon. Sir Charles Wentworth Duke, in 'Greater Britain,' writing of the Adelaideans, says :— 'You never meet a man who does not make some sacrifice, to the heat, in the shape of puggree, silk coat, or sun helmet; but the ladies are nearly as unwise here as in the other colonies, and persist in going about in shawls and coloured dresses. Might they but see a few of the Richmond or Baltimore ladies in their pure white muslin dresses, and die of envy, for the dress most suited to a hot dry climate is also the most beautiful under its bright sun.' Whilst demurring to the insinuation as to the wisdom of the fair Adelaideans, and being firmly con vinced that they have no just grounds to be en vious of the ladies of Richmond, Baltimore, or any other city, J. A. Northmore & Co. desire to inform them that the dress so much admired by the observant author of ' Greater Britain,' con sisting of 10 yards of Swiss Book Muslin and 18 yards of Trimming, can be purchased at their Establishments for the small sum of 11s. 6d.; whilst equally suitable and more elaborate costumes, of the newest fashion in Cambric, Chambertin, and Tussore Silk, can be obtained in great variety of style, colour, and trimming at all prices up to 50s. The address, 99 and 100, Rundle-street, 103 and 105, King William-street, Adelaide; and Flag Howe, Clara* 322i