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A WELL-KNOWN WINCHELSEA     CONTRACTOR DEVELOPS INSANITY. COMMOTION IN THE STREETS OF BIRREGURRA.   [FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.]   Birregurra was stirred from its wanted sleepiness on Saturday evening last by the appearance in the streets of a mad man who caused no small consternation by his violent manner. He was recognised as John Farquharson, of Winchelsea, a con tractor well known in the district, and who     was seen in the township on the 31 December, then on his way to Skene's Creek   to commence some contracts for the Colac Shire Council. He was noticed then to be   a little exhilarated, as is common with Scotchmen at New Year time, but no   appearance otherwise indicated anything   wrong with his mental balance. He appears to have proceeded with his team to Skene's Creek, but what happened to him after that is not clearly known until he   appeared at Ripple Vale on Saturday after noon, where he claimed the place, and ordered Mr A. G. Campbell, the manager to clear out, declaring he was the owner of the estate, and had now come to take   possession. Mr Campbell, by humouring     got him to go into Birregurra, where he called at Mr Clarke's Native Youth H0tel and announced to the landlord that he was owner of the premises, and would resume possession. He had nothing to drink there but shortly left and proceeded up the   street, shouting that Birregurra was his and that he would do what he liked with it; in fact, he said all Victoria belonged to him, and he was going to send a telegram to the Queen, whence he proceeded to the telegraph office. Mr Lock, the postmaster happened to be standing at the office door when he accosted him, and seeing there was something wrong, retired within, closing the door, and telling the man to speak   to him through the window. Farquharson again declared the whole of Victoria was his, and he wanted charge of the office. Mr Lock tried to reason with him, and finally he left the window. Mr Lock   thinking that he had gone away, opened the door, when Farquharson suddenly   rushed in, gripped him by the back of the neck, and struck him a number of blows before he could free himself. Fortunately Mr Thomas Keeghan happened to be near and coming to the rescue seized Farquharson and conducted him outside, where   after making a great noise, he said he would go to the railway station, whence he proceeded. Mr C. D. Hall, the station master was in his office when he arrived and hearing loud talking thought it must he a drunken man and took no notice. When Farquharson, with whom he was acquainted, came in and said he had come   to take charge of the station as the rail ways were now under his control. Mr   Hall, seeing the man was off his head,   thought it best to humor him and said "'all right; what are your orders," and so by appearing to give in to him got him quietened, and finally induced him to walk to   the township. When nearing the outer gates Mr Hall saw some of Farquharson's   friends approaching, and suggested that he had better go back and send off a goods train then at the station, To this he   replied " Certainly," so Mr Hall got clear but not without a certain amount of mental anxiety, for had Farquharson, who is a tall powerful man, about sixty, attacked him in the office he might have got seriously maltreated, none of the porters happening to be on the station at the time. When Farquharson's friends got hold of him his violence increased, and they then got a   straight jacket into which he was placed and conveyed to the lock-up in a wagonette, where he continued to shout and yell till he was removed to Melbourne. It so happened that Constable Smith, who is in charge of the Birregurra district, was   absent on duty on Saturday and didn't   reach home till eight o'clock just after Farquharson had been locked up. He watched him all night, and on Sunday night arrangements to have magistrates present and two medical men to give evidence at the court on Monday morning. This could not be done without the presence of Mr Lloyd, clerk of Petty Sessions, who was not at his house at Colac. The constable then determined to ride to Colac and see Mr Lloyd but ........ clerical gentleman who was holding service     at Birregurra would save him trouble and would deliver any letter or message he had to send. The constable was rather   doubtful, but accepting the assurance of the rev. gentleman and his friends that he could depend upon it being delivered,   entrusted him with a letter to Mr Lloyd under cover to the sergeant of police at Colac. Farquharson passed a very restless night and on Monday morning was worse, but his violence was somewhat subdued by exhaustion, want of sleep, and the excessive heat of Sunday. The doctors were in attendance, the magistrates were at the court, the Beeac and Colac train arrived, but not Mr Lloyd. They waited for the express; still he didn't come. The case   was serious; the man should be far away at all hazards. Then the constable     telegraphed to Mr Lloyd that Mr J. B. Farquharson, of Birregurra, was coming with a buggy to bring him down. Mr Lloyd was in readiness to return with him, and stated he had not received Constable Smith's letter, nor knew nothing of the matter except that someone had told him there was a letter on the way for him, but what it was about he did not know. Mr Lloyd reached Birregurra about 2.30 p.m., and the J's.P. having obligingly returned to the court, the unfortunate man was brought up and duly committed on a charge of lunacy to the Kew Asylum, whence he was conveyed by the 3.30 pm train in charge of Constable Smith, who duly delivered his charge at 10 p.m. It so happened that the wife of Con. stable Smith had been confined about a week before, and the lock-up, which is seldom used, being situated near the house, was very much disturbed by the noise and violence of the unfortunate man. On Mon day morning the infant child was so ill that the doctor had to be called in. Its condition did not improve during the day, and when the constable left in the after noon with his charge it was seriously ill, and died at two o'clock next morning. A telegram was sent to Melbourne, which reached Mr Smith just as he was going for the train. He reached Birregurra in the afternoon of Tuesday, much knocked up distressed by the events of the past few days. A great deal of sympathy is felt for him. He was lately promoted, and was to have gone to Geelong on the 31st   December, but just the day before his wife took ill, and he was granted three weeks longer time to remove. Constable Smith, who succeeded Constable Healy a year ago in charge of the Birreguarra district, is much esteemed for his civility and   attention to duty. The district is a large one, extending to Lorne on the one side and to Barramunga on the other. His duties   frequently called him away from the town-   ship, there being no other constable residing between Winchelsea and Colac. He   will carry with him the best wishes of the inhabitants on his promotion to the   important centre of Geelong. In Melbourne a baker failed a short time ago with assets valued at £300 to £400 The assets realised £73 3s, and out of this sum the creditors got £10 16s Sd, the balance--£62 6s 4d--going in expense. Notwithstanding the unfavorable season a crop of barley belonging to Mr A. Gillin, near Glenormiston, yielded 65 bushels to the acre, and another from Mr Wallace's land gave a return of over 60 bushels an acre. Not only did the Johannesburg  Uit landers send no help to Dr Jameson but they allowed cartridges to be sent out to the Boer soldiers during the battle in which Jameson was defeated. The Boer, according to the Victorian   military commandant, is by no means the morose individual he has been represented       to be. About a century behind in hi ideas he cares for wife, children, Bible, farm and cattle and nothing else.   While going down Don Hill, Hobart on a bicycle the Hon Mrs Freeman Thomas was thrown violently to the ground but her injuries were not seriou