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4 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections

IN TOWN AND COUNTRY.

(By "Rus.")

It is; luckily, very seldom that Australian sta- tions are forced to import meat for their daily needs. But such a course has just been rendered   necessary by reason of the terrific drought now raging; in Central Queensland. Says a Blackall (Q.) newspaper: "Thirty hundredweight of corned beef has been brought to Charleville from Bris- bane, from where it was to go to Oakwood Sta- tion. This is the first time that anything of the sort has been done in the district, and it is sin- cerely to be hoped it will be the last; no one could have better evidence than the reports of the drought are not overdrawn. It is said there are but very few cattle left, those not taken away being dead." Hard, indeed, is the lot of the pastoralist who cannot grow enough meat to keep things going upon!

* * * *  

Many years is it since the English people saw

such reading as . the "London Gazette" is now constantly making for them. Here is a small

A Type of Imperial Yeomanry.

Mr. J. Henniker Heaton, jun., a trooper in the Oxfordshire Imperial Yeomanry, attached to the 10th Battalion, 40th Company, of the South African Field Force. Mr. Heaton is the eldest

son of Mr. Henniker Heaton, M.P., and was born in Sydney. He has had considerable bush experience in Queensland.

sample, just cut out at random from the three or four close columns of the last Issue:-"Line Bat- talions.-Queen's (Royal West Surrey Reg.): H. D'A. M. Cooke, gent., to be sec. lieutenant, in succession to Lieut. B. H. Hastie, killed in action. The Buffs (East Kent Reg.)-Capt. and Brevet Major E. C. J. Williams to be major. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Reg.)-Captain C. G. Bar- ton, to be major, vice E. W. Yeatherd, died of wounds. Lieutenants to be captains: J. G. Cons- stable, T. D. L. Whittington. Sec. Lieut. J. A. Nixon to be lieutenant, vice N. J. Parker, killed in action. Royal Warwickshire Reg.-Lieut. A. J. Poole to be captain. Sec. lieutenants to bo lieutenants: G. A. F. A. Whitehead, J. H. D. Cos- teker, vice H. M. A. Hankey, killed in action. Devonshire Reg.-Lieutenants to be captains: E. D. Young, vice Maj. J. MacN. Walter, a prisoner of war; W. M. Goodwyn. Sec. Lieut. S. T. Hay- ley, to be lieutenant, vice H. N. Field, killed in action. Prince Albert's (Somersetshire L.I.) Sec. Lieut. H. G. R. Burges-Short to be lieuten- ant, vice V. F. A. Keith-Falconer, killed." And so the long roll goes on. "killed in action," "died of wounds," "missing," "a prisoner of war." And, side by side with the losses, the pro- motions keep step. If the war lasts much longer and the casualties amongst the officers continue in the same ratio as they have maintained up to the present, it will he almost possible for a man who begun as a lieutenant to finish up, as a lieutenant-colonel, or even in full

regimental command. The supply is not by any means everlasting; and Roberts has been just sup- plied with the last 40 special service officers left. Whatever else may be the result of this war, one glance at the lamentable story of wounds and death told by the "Gazette" is enough to show that promotion is proceeding at a rate perhaps un- precedented in the annals of the army.

. * * *

As showing what the only genuine articles can do when it gets properly to work amongst sym- pathetic material, it will be of interest to learn that on March 10 last, the number of deaths by plague in Bombay was 406. This total, too, it must be recollected, occurred in face of the most stringent enforcement of inoculation by Haff-   kine's prophylactic. Compared with what it is  

doing here, such a bag in so short a time seems imposing, indeed. Colored people, of course. And of the fashion in which the disease disposes of them we have already had one or two object les- sons. Let us be thankful that we are Caucasians, and that we do not claim Bombay as our home. * * .*    

A lady recently wrote to one of the Sydney dai-

lies forcibly and eloquently protesting against the present system connected with the removal of   plague patients to quarantine. Avowing also her positive intention of never allowing one of her family to be removed from home, in case of being attacked by the disease. But the writer has hard- ly considered the matter fully enough. Would she allow her' child (she speaks of one) to linger on without medical advice, or the nurs- ing that the trained assistant alone can give? This would indeed be cruel kindness! But, of course, the doctor once called in and the illness diagnosed as plague, the whole structure of home isolation collapses. No medical man would be a party to such concealment. If he did do so, and, as would be almost inevitable, the secret got out, both re- putation and practice would.be gone for ever. Some   there are who may probably risk it; but their re- muneration will be on a scale commensurate with the risk, and quite out of the reach of even fairly well-to-do folk. Thus, taking everything into consideration, and despite all the emotional writ- ing there has of late been on the subject, the me- thod at present in vogue, unless, in some very es- pecial instances, is probably the most humane and

hopeful one. Likely enough, there may be im-  

provements possible in the mode of transit. But that is only a matter of detail. Nor is it likely that if the writer's proposition was sanctioned by the authorities, the general public would fall much in love with it. Neighbors would far sooner see the empty house than know that the stricken one

still inhabited it, and that, perhaps, between them and the raging plague stood only one thin parti- tion.

A country contemporary, speaking of the de- lights of a trip to Sydney at the present season, puts it thus:-"Also, drastic disinfecting has been carried out on such an extraordinary scale that the place has become a sanatorium. Besides, a trip to the seaside at this period of the year is in itself one of the best preventatives of disease."

A Queensland contemporary gives an illustra- tion of what it calls bush slang. It sounds more like thieves' patter. A young Bananaman is sup- posed to have gone to a station adjoining his town- ship to look for work. On his return, in reply to questions as to what success he met with, he says:-"Bli-me! I rolls me portfolio. Pads the hoof with a cronk pin. The old slush was on   fire. I had crook optics. I spars up to the bludger. Cracks graft. He skied his rockets

and cracked a deaf 'un. I guyed a whack. Pads * it back, and 'ere I am dead flat without a. bean." The translation of this very hideous talk is given

as follows:-"I rolled my swag up. Walked out with a sprained foot. The sun was very hot, and I had sore eyes. I walks up to the manager, and asks for work. He put his hands in his pockets, and wouldn't listen to me. I turned away from him, walked back, and here I am without money, not even a penny." Little wonder at anybody's "cracking a deaf 'un" to a request couched in  

such terms. It has been remarked that Australia     has no distinctive slang amongst her country

people, such as obtains, for instance, in the United

States. But better far be without anything of. the kind, which, after all, is useful mainly to the romance-maker, than possess such a degraded specmen as that gven above.

* * * * *          

One of the staff of a newspaper at Gunnedah (N.S.W.) was recently told off to write a descrip- tion of the local gaol. Parts of his article are so enthusiastic as to make one almost believe that the scribe would like to stay and rest there alto gether. Says he:-"The kitchen, wherein the prison food is prepared, was a revelation. Every- thing was spotlessly bright and encouraging. On a. snow-white table stood a dish of peeled potatoes ready for a steaming pot. A bright fire burned beneath a polished oven. The seats of deal were as White as hands could make them, while the _pots and pans, all systematically arranged, were "clean* and bright. As- a domestic and homely

picture the above is first-class.

The Wellington (N.Z.) Maoris have been hav- ing a big carnival in aid of the Patriotic Fund for S. Africa. Says the local newspaper: "Amongst the chieftains present were: Tamahau Mahupuku (the great Wairarapa chief), Pene te Ua Mairangi (Hastings), Te Huke (Taueru), Ma- nihera Maka (Te Ore Ore), and Tangamuru (Ta- kapau). The general arrangements are in the hands of Mr. Tare Parata, of Wellington; whilst Mr. Hare Parata, of Papawai, is superintending the cooking, dancing, and other detials." The tribes- men are all under canvas, and have, congregated from various points on the East and West Coasts, all eager to show their loyalty to "Ka- ween Wikitoria," and, at the same time, augment the fund by their exertions. Many of the special dances and tableaux will be representative of in- cidents that have occurred during the Boer war. Says the paper:-"Amongst the dances will be poi dances, war dances, and hakas. One poi dance will be in honor of 'Wikitoria' (the Queen), another will be in praise of 'Te Pirimia' and Mrs. Seddon. A war dance will celebrate the defeat of Cronje. A special dance of triumph will have somewhat gymnastic tendencies. Its character-

istics may be imagined when its title, 'kikitepoer' (kick the Boer) is stated. Another will have for its theme the relief of Ladysmith, and will chant the praises of White and Buller."

* . * * .»

Up Orange way they have had, so it seems, a wonderful mushroom season, some of the pad- docks being white with them. The editor of   one of the local newspapers waxes enthusiastic over a specimen that has been discovered. He writes:-"Mr. Maude has found a specimen of the succulent fungus as large as a dinner plate, or a small boy's straw hat, and has rightly exhibited it in the window of Mr. Eyles's fruit shop. The   monster weighs 1lb 9½oz. . A prize is offered for one of greater dimensions. The diameter of this 'beauty' is about 10in, and would make a meal for a French gourmet. Visions of soups, meat stews, pies, puddings, and curries, flavored with well- made ketchup, float before our excited imagina- tion and make our mouth water. Thën only fancy bread sauce at every meal of chicken, turkey, or of chop, cutlet, or beefsteak." It is, indeed, a fascinating prospect thus opened out to view through the possibilities of "catsup." But why such a sudden switch off from mushrooms to bread sauce and its use on meat dishes? Further on it is suggested that an addendum on the re- sources of Orange, as exemplified by the late mushroom crop, should be forwarded to Mr. Oli- ver: That's all right. But, once more, why such abrupt and eager, advocacy, of bread, sauce?

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