WE SOMETIME AGO informed our readers that a few Merino rams, from South Australia, had been sent to Queensland, to the order of Mr. Fleming. The sheep were 51 in number, and were selected by Mr. W. Keynes, under in- structions from Mr. W. Duffield, who negotiated the transaction. Mr. Keynes selected 37 rams from the flock of Mr. John Murray, of Murray Vale, and 17 from that of Mr. A. B. Murray, of Tungkillo. They were shipped, we believe, at a price of £5 10s. each ram. Looking over our files per Oscar, we were pleased to find honor- able mention made of these sheep, as will be seen by the following paragraph from the Moreton Bay Courier :
" Mr. Fleming, having occasion to visit South Australia in January last, making purchases of wheat, when in Adelaide casually met with several gentlemen largely engaged in sheep farming, who were at the time talking of a de- scription of sheep in that quarter, which they fully believed to be the best wool-producing sheep in the world. To satisfy his own curiosity on this point, Mr. Fleming at once called upon the gentleman named as the breeder of these most famous sheep-John Murray, Esq., of Murrago Hall (whose residence is about 60
miles out of Adelaide), when to his great surprise and delight, he found, so far as
appearances went, that Mr. Murray's sheep had not been in the least exaggerated, and the result has been that there are now 54 rams
of these most valuable animals, quietly grazing on the banks of the Bremer, on Mr. Fleming's estate. In introducing the class of sheep now referred to, it is most certainly far from our de- sire to excite the curiosity of any party who may peruse this article. We only state facts which we ourselves believe, and we have therefore to
state that Mr. Murray's hoggets are reported last shearing to have cut, as one year's growth, 8 lbs. of wool ; and the rams from 12 lbs. to 13 lbs. This wool was certainly not washed, but is said to be far from dirty. Now, allowing, say 2 or 2½ per cent, for cleaning tho wool-as much as any wool sent from this colony-what a large margin is left behind between Mr. Murray's sheep and any (the best) we have yet heard of in this or the neighboring colanies. But what to us is more surprising still, in the history of these rare wool-producing sheep, is the fact (strange and staggering though it be) that they are the descendants of sheep that have never been out of Mr. Murray's possession during the last eighteen years, and which have never been crossed by what is truly termed foreign blood. Now if this is correct, which we cannot for one moment doubt, it most clearly explains (if it means anything) that we are yet in the dawn or infancy of our knowledge of the great truths involved in the breeding of sheep in this colony, and the growth
Tlie article then proceeds to eulogise Mr. Fleming's enterprise in procuring so valuable an addition to the flocks of the colony, and asserts that by this transaction " he has done more than any two-yes, than any ten men in the colony -ever did during their whole lifetime." This praise must be as gratifying to Mr. Murray, and to South Australians generally, as it doubtless is to Mr. Fleming. The article concludes as fol-
" We are glad to learn that two gentlemen well known in the district-Mr. William Turner, of Helidon, and Mr. J. Rankin, of Ipswich have each taken a share in the rams now alluded to, and when they saw them (and neither of these gentlemen are bad judges), they were so delighted with their appearance that they could hardly be prevailed on to think they v\evo the proceeds of sheep of eighteen years' standing, without ever once being crossed by foreign blood, and frankly admitted they were one and all equal in appearance of wool to the best Ger- man rams ever imported into the colony. We regret, for the satisfaction of many, that the rams in question are now shorn, in compliance with .a colonial enactment to prevent disease."