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DEATHS IN FOREIGN HOTELS.—Mr. Charles Braid, M.B., Edinburgh, writes as follows in the Tunes; A dear friend, after a week's illness, died, frem no contagious disease, at the Hotel de l'Univers on u*' AmbMsadeurs, at Aix-les Bains, S»voie, on the 20th of last month. In Paris, if a death occurs at an hotel, j hear a reasonable indemnity is requested, usually amounting to £3, in order to paint aud disin- fect the room but in the provinces it is different, the sum awarded by law being frequently £20. After paying 8ft exorbitant hotel bill, the landlord, Monsieur Renaud, demanded the fabulous indemnity of £280, and his wife refused to permit me to depart until the entire sum was paid. After much ex- postulation «hich was utterly useless, I said I would go to the judge of the country, and was told by Madame that there was no such official in the town but I knew better, and foond a courteous and honour- able gentlemaili who, with great care, investigated the matter and awarded the landlord the sum of £20. Many efforts were made in my absence to induce try sister and friends, all young girls, not one being 21 years of age, to sign a document rendering themselves responsible for the sum of £280. Such an attempt at extortion deserves to be made known wherever the Times reaches. TERBIBLE FIRB AT TIENTSIN.—A frightful catastrophe from fire has occurred at Trientsin. A great number of refugeee are gathered at that port, where they are housed in temples and improvised camps, and fed by Government or private charity. On the morning of the 7th of January a fire broke out among the matsheds in one of the relief yards just out- side the city wall. A strong wind was blowing at the time, and within an hour the sheds were all burnt, and some 1500 Intn, women, and children were suffocated or burnt to death. This frightful result is due— i first, to the location of the yard, and partly to the occurrence of the accident at meal-time. The place was bounded on one side by the city moat, on a part of the south and west sides was an ice-pit, while houses lined the remaining sides. In addition it was surrounded by a fence of millet-stalks, plastered with mud, in which was only one gate, that was kept closed by special order at mealtime, to prevent outsiders in truding and stealing tbe food. In the confusion there was delay in opening this solitary outlet, and then so many had to find exit that it is not difficult to realise the scene while eye-witnesses dectare that the horror of the picture after the fire will never be effaced from their memory. AFRICAN EXPLOHATION.—A private letter has been published, received by one of his friends, from Mr. Maas, of the Belgian expedition to Africa, one of the two whose sudden illness and death have caused such a painful sensation here. It is dated Zanzibar, the 7th of January, just a week before his death. He gives a pleasing a'count of his arrival and first im- pressions, his reception by the Sultan, and the new kind of life to which be was getting accustomed. He concludes by saying that he was quite well, and-had. not as yet felt any bad effects from the climate, about which be had heard so much before leaving Belgium. M. 0am bier telegraphs that he has returned from his preparatory journey to Mpwapwa, and is making arrangements to leave for the interior in May. A Brussels paper asks if carrier-pigeons might not be employed in Africa as a means of communication. THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN VICTORIA has ter- minated. Tbe bill for the payment of members j jf tbe Assembly having been passed by the Legis- lative Council, the Legislative Assembly thereupon | pasaed the Appropriation Act without that item. i


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