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ACCIDENTS AND OFFENCES. A case of leprosy at Castlemaine has been reported to the central health authorities. The patient is a Chinaman, and directions have been given to isolate him in a tent especially erected for his accommodation in a one-acre paddock, adjoining tho Castlemaine Benevo lent Asylum. A fatal accident of a distressing character occurred at the Hobson's Bay railway station nbout half -past two p.m. on Thursday, 9th Feb. An elderly gentleman, a resident of Hawthorn, uamod K. Wiener, waa . going down the steps on . the Hawthorn side of the station, when he tripped and fell on to the asphalt pavement, crashing in tho front of his head. He was picked up, and conveyed to tho Melbourne Hospital, but. died in the casualty room in a ' few minutes. On the night of tho 24th ult. a fatal fire occurred at a small cottage just outside the township of Colac. The house was occupied by Mrs. Ellen Gamble^ who went home at about nine o'clock under tho in fluence of liquor. She called at a house close bv. and wanted her eranddauehter, who

was six years old, to go and sleep with her as usual. The child not being well had been put to bed, and the mother refused to disturb her. She then wanted her son to go home and par take of some rum, which she had in a bottle, but he declined. About an hour afterwards, he was awakened by the neighbors cry ing out that there was a fire at his mother's house. The whole place was enveloped in flames, and the entrance could not be found. The body of the woman was discovered completely charred, and only a portion of the trunk was found, the head and limbs being destroyed. Several large bush fires occurred on the 29 th January in the North-Eastern district, one of the most destructive and extensive being in the neighborhood of Lancefield, when the dividing range, north of Lancefield, was com pletely devastated for an extent of about twenty miles. The fierce north wind that was blowing at the time caused the fire to spread with lightning-like rapidity, and tfce as sistance that could be procured was power less to retard the progress of the conflagration, which carried everything before it. Those who were upon the scene describe it as most appalling, the roaring of the flames and the huge trees and branches fall ing in all directions rendering the task of beating out the fire one of considerable danger. Fences of all descriptions were swept away, and it was with difficulty that dwellings were saved. A number of sheep belonging to Mr. J. N'. Beasley, of Dunsford station, were destroyed, and hares nnd opossums were roasted by hundreds. The fire readied the Deep Creek, within a short distance from the township, when tho wind changed to the south, other wise nothincr could have saved the town, and

possibly the entire district, from destruction. Tho scene, as witnessed from the township at night, was of terrific grandeur, the whole range appeared to be ablaze. On 4th February a shocking death occur red to Joseph Day, signalman, at the rail way viaduct, Taradale. It is believed, says the HI. A. Mail, 'that he was killed by the passenger train that arrives at tho Castle maine station at half -past ten p.m., and that, at the time of its passing tho viaduct a gopds train was coming in the opposite direction, which he did not notice. When his remains were discovered next morning, the shock ing spectacle presented itself of his body being found about 50 yards from his box at the via duct, lying between the rails and the parapet, a good deal mutilated. About 15 yards further on was his head, that had been cut off from- the trunk. Deceased was one of the early residents in Castlemaine, who had a gro cer's and butcher's shop at the corner of Bar ker and Doveton streets, and owned the ground on which the house where Dr. Bone re sides is erected. The ground was then esti mated at a high value, but his land specula tions, which were numerous, did not turn out profitably to him. After leaving Castlemaine he opened a publichouse at Yapeen, and after wards he removed to Newstead, where he car ried on business. Not being fortunate, he at last was glad to seek employment on the rail way, which lie obtained some years ago. He must have passed the allotted years of threo score and ten when thus suddenly cut off.' A sad accident occurred in Corio Bay, Gee long, on Sunday, Feb. 5, by which two lives were lost. A party — consisting of William Xianglands, aged 19 years, son of the secretary ? of the Geelong Gas Company ; Frederick Armestead, aged '19 years, son of a well-known builder at Geelong West, and an employ^ at the boot fatory of Messrs. Strong Bros., and a sailor named George Clark, aged 35 .years — went for a sail in a boat belong ing to Mr. Jose. They had been sailing nearly an hour, and were returning from the direc tion of Cowie's Creek. When about three quarters of a mile from the shore, and nearly midway between the railway pier and Hutton's wharf, a suddon gust; of wind cauaod the boat to heel over. The new

rope which was attached to the mainsail of the boat, and which was not fastened down, did not run freely, and the boat, giving a lurohj quiclt?y ?fille'd'-with'Vat'er 'ami sank.' Younj* ' Xinnglauds, who happened to have his coat stowed away in the boat's locker, observing that tli' traft wa3 sinking, jumped into the water, and divested himself of his waistcoat and shirt, but his comrades were less fortu nately situated. Clark climbed up the mast of the sinking boat, and remained above water for a minute or so, when he sank, and was drowned. Armestead, who was reputed to be an excellent swimmer, was fully dressed, and ho, with Langlands, struck out for the shore. After swimming a quarter of a mile Armestead called out that he was exhausted, sank, and was drowned, whilst Langlands kept ' tread ing' water, and occasionally swimming.