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There are many novel and attractive films in the picture programme presented for the first time at the Princess Theatre last night. On of the best of these shows a daring and dextrous snake-catcher at work securing specimens of these dangerous and repulsive reptiles from the rocks and grass and trees in Queensland.
Before he finished his bag contained fine specimens of the python, carpet, ring brown, diamond, and other snakes, some of them being eight or nine feet in length. They were all caught with the naked hands, and the spectator could readily believe the assertion that some of them were secured at grave risk to the hunter.
On one occasion he allowed a very thin, poisonous snake about 4ft long to fasten its fangs on his wrist, and then speedily rubbed on an antidote and applied a ligature above the wound.
''An Empiremaker'' was an excellent series of pictures of scenes connected with the life of the late Cecil Rhodes. His great mansion at Groote Schur was shown first, then the cottage in which he died, the remarkable monument ''Physical Energy'' erected to him at Capetown, the City of Bulawayo that he founded, and finally the lofty burial place where his remains were laid to rest, guarded by the immense boulders of the Matopo Hills.
The manufacture of glass bottles is a subject of great interest, about which the general public is decidedly ignorant, but no one who paid attention at the Princess Theatre last night could help finding out a great deal about the process, which was clearly depicted from beginning to end. Among the dramatic pictures ''The Convalescent'' bore the A.B. Company's sign, and told the story of the love of two men for one woman, who finally settled matters for both by eloping with her own husband.
''For Valour'' and ''The Rivals'' were both ingenious tales of rival lovers. Comic pictures are numerous and irresistible. A special feature is being made of the orchestral music, and the overture last night was a most effective descriptive piece, designed to represent a skirmish of troops with Red Indians. The same programme will be presented again to-night and to-morrow night.
• The prices that were yielded at the wool sales in Dunedin yesterday afford cause for general satisfaction. As wool is the principal product of the Dominion, the prosperity of the country depends to a considerable extent on the quality of the clip and on the price secured for it, and fortunately there seems to be every reason to believe that the present season will be one of the most successful for wool-growers in the history of New Zealand.
The importance of this will be plain to the public. A large export, disposal of at high prices, should materially contribute to a restoration of the balance of trade in favour of the Dominion, and the proceeds of the sales should relieve the money market.
When to this is added the fact that the harvest prospects are generally regarded as most encouraging, and that the dairying industry continues to show a steady development, it may justly be considered that the promise of the immediate future is distinctly reassuring.
- ODT, 17.12.1912.