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NEWS NOTES.

BULAWAYO EXPLORATIONS.,

I UNIMPORTANCE OF THE PARSON!…

WHERE AMERICANS SCORE.I

AMERICAN SHIPBUILDING COMBINATION.

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IS NAIL-CUTTING SURGERY?

KEAT'S HAMPSTEAD HOUSE.

HALF-A-BARREL OF LOVE LETTERS.

: MR. RHODESS CATTLE.

I -— H.R.H. AND THE FOREIGN…

SAMOAN PRINCESS'S POVERTY.

COFFEE CULTIVATION.

THE STORY OF A BLIND PRINCIPAL.

NITROGEN IN PEACE AND WAR.

THE CITY OF KN0XVILLE.-

HOW HEMP IS GROWN.

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HOW HEMP IS GROWN. Hemp, or rather the plant from which it is manu- factured, is (says a Manila correspondent of an American paper) known in scientific circles as Musa textilus," and by the natives as abaca. It belongs to the plantain family, closely resembling the banana plant. The latter has a leaf similar in shape to that of the abaca, but of slightly darker green. The difference in appearance must be told by.the expert, the,inexperienced can tell the difference only by tasting the fruit. The abaca tastes like a green persimmon. Many or me natives are engaged I in its, growth and sale. It flourishes on hilly ground, and, like the banana plant, take3 about three years to flower. When ic comes to the flowering age it is cut down and made ready for Scraping. The stalk springs up again from the roots, and soon begins to seed. It is not per- mitted to dp, so, however, as the seeding process reduces the quality of the fibre. The abaca grows to the height, of Sit., but is not a tree in any sense except that it gives shade. Its leaves run from its roots, enfolding the flower stem until near the top, when they branch out into great waving fans. Most of the plantations are on hilly ground, and nearly all, for that reason, are in the mountain districts. The plantations are worked by the natives, but they are seldom owned by them. The work is done on shares, usually, the labourers receiving half the product. Two men are required to do the work in a field, which is limited to about two acres. When the stalk is ready it is cut and, the leaf layers are separated, making what is known as bast." These leaf stalks are about 6in. wide and about 6ft. long. The operator has a dull knife fastened to a hinged block, and an attachment which allows him to work it with his feet. The pulp is dexterously scraped from the pbrer. and then the fibre is hung out to dry, being, later gathered into bales and marketed. The planter seldom owns his own boats, and is not often ablo to carry his hemp to Manila, whjch is the market, and so does his business with the nearest agent of the Manila house. The hemp is packed in by the natives, a bunch at either end of a carrying pole, which is a method of transportation similar to that of the Chinese tea-carriers. The agent grades it and bargains for a low price, taking advantage of his customer with the true Indian trader skill. Often he has advanced money to the grower and taken a mortgage on the crop. The native knows nothing of prevailing prices. He takes what lie can get, cheats as often as he can, and wears his life away in the business—for it is said to be the hardest kind of work that a native can do. No one yet has invented machinery that can do satisfactory work in preparing the hemp. The trader gathers np his hemp and sorts it out to its different grades, until he has enough for -a boatload, if he happens to be on one of the islands, and then he charters a vessel and sends it to his house in Manila. If he ia in Luzon he gets it ito the river and loads it into the cascos, and 'then floats it down to his bouse," which takes care of it and ships it out. In America it is made into binding twine or into ropes. The whiteness of the 'hemp designates its grade, of which there are four. Binder twine hemp is classed as current,' '• fair ■current," 8nd brown." There are without doubt many tricks in this trade, and they are worked all j the way from the lazy cultivator to the exporting agent, and back again. The pressing of hemp costs one dollar a bale the landing and shipping charges at Manila are 30 cents a bale. The freight to Manila averages about 1 dollar 25 cents a bale. The jobber's profit is enormous.

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PEERS WHO HAVE BEEN MAYORS.

ENGLAND'S LATEST GUN.

—j PROVISION FOR VOLUNTEERS'…

A CHURCH WITHOUT A NAMK.

INTERESTING " WOODEN WALL."

COMPANY FRAUDS.

MANCHESTER COLLISION.

LAST OF THE PATRIA.

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HIS UNCLE BAGGED.

POSTl\IAN'ð REMARKABLE RECORD.

REMARKABLE MILITARY FAMILY.

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OUR LONDON CORRESPONDENT.>…

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CURIOUS WEDDING CUSTOMS.

SUBSIDISED HOSPITALS.

;EXTINCTION OF ABORIGINES.

MISTAKES IN COURT.

A NEW PRESERVE.

THE LATE MAJOR MYERS.

.WANTED-OLD IRON.

fHE QUEEN'S ITALIAN HOLIDAY.

A THOUSAND POUNDS IN JEWELS…

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IN CLOVER AT NAAUWPOORT,

GUARDING GREENWICH TIME.

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