The Muttaburra correspondent of the Winton Herald writes as follows:
No rain since my last letter. Hot winds and clouds. For about ten days, we had two or three thunderstorms a day, with an average of one or two points of rain each, and it cleared up again without giving the relief so much required. Two months more of this weather and things will be desperate here. There is supposed to be two months drinking water in the dam, but as the cattle are allowed to water at it, I think another month will make it unpleasant. Some heavy falls of rain occurred in patches, making the creeks run in places, but none within twenty miles of us. The river has not run for twelve months.
Death has been busy in our midst, Mr. R Clarke, aged 17 years, a nephew of Mr. Edkins, of Mount Cornish, died there of fever. S Neale, a wool classer, was found dead in his tent, about three miles from town, supposed to have died from apoplexy. A man named Edward Kiernan is tried for shooting Mortimer King in the arm with a revolver at Mount Cornish. Dr Lindsay extracted the bullet. It is supposed that he went to the bachelors quarters to pick a quarrel with Mrs. Pym, but had a row with King instead. He has been committed for trial at the Supreme Court, Rockhampton.
Mr. Gardiner, a Church of England minister, is here, forming church and confirmation classes for Bishop Dawes’ visit after Easter, and held services at 11 am, 4 pm, and 8pm on Sunday.
Messrs Fitzgerald and Campbell, the labor candidates have visited the town on electioneering business. It is to be hoped Mr. Fitzgerald will be selected by the unions.
Stations are sending stock on the road to try and get some grass, and even if rain falls now the loss of stock will be very heavy. Rumor credits one station already with the loss of 100,000 sheep, and dead animals are pretty thick about the reserve. It is a strange season – 34 feet of water in the streets of one town and another place famishing for want of rain. Prayers for rain are offered up every Sunday night, but have had no effect so far. The heavy south and west gales blow up every day, trying the strength of buildings, drying up the water, and encouraging profanity. This is worse than the big drought of 1885-6 as regards stock, I am told.
Source: Roberta Morrison