(From the Ashburton Herald, December 29. ) “I am not yet so bald that you can see ray brains. ” — LoNr.Fjiu.ow.
Tho air was thick on Saturday,—very thick, —and a heavy weight bore down on the spirits of my fellow-townsmen. My neighbour Jones came to me with a fearfully important face and “ whispered with white lips ” that Constable Farmer had “ pressed him tor the army 1” Poor Jones wa s sadly put out, seeing that he had never fired a shot in his life, and was terribly afraid of the crack of a rifle. He didn’t like the idea either of showing his ignorance of whether the powder should go in to. a gun first or the bullet, junthe was certain to close both.eyes came to take aim. 1 tried to soothe his troubled spirit, by telling him he wouldn’t require to shoot at all; that ho would get a stout stick put into his hand, and all he’d have to do was to hit the first man ho met- never mind whether he wore orange or green. Tremblingly Jones asked —What if he hits back ! “ Never mind that,” said I; “just hit again.” Poor Jones became ghastly pale, and left my humble abode. Half-au-hour after, when 1 betook myself to the Hall to swear in as a special constable before our venerable R. M., I saw Dr. Stewart, and Dr. Trevor, and Dr. Ross, all making excellent time for Jones’ house—the anxiety of mind was too much for him, and his sudden illness, consequent on the tax upon his brain, had deprived his fellow citizens of the aid, in time of trouble, of four good men, of fine muscle of themselves, and three of them good healers of muscle that might have given way. Truly the orange and green have much to answer for. Fancy the whole town being in a fervent for two days and a night over a fight that was always going to happen ; but never came off. If those terrible Irishmen are going to fight, why, in the name of everything green and yellow, don’t they do it, and not keep us waiting, and wincing, and agonising over a row that’s always coming, but never comes. Strikes me very forcibly that all the crowd want a jolly good wallopping for disturbing peaceable men’s minds in the way they did on Saturday—and all for nothing. I don’t know whether to com*, pliment the Catholics for keeping quiet, or the Orangemen for holding off; but it would be far better if both would remember that. Ireland is far away from here, and that there are thousands of quiet men in New Zealand who have no more conception of what the two sides differ upon than they have or care to have of the features of his manhood of the moon.
1 was there, but I didn’t wear any kilt. My calves are not so “ buirdly ”aa they were when I was young, so I concluded that it was better to keep them modestly incased in respectable tweed unmentionables. I remember during the Crimean war, when the Hoots Greys and Colin Campbell’s Highlanders were so great a scare to the .Russians, that a poor Russian prisoner, brought into the English Camp, trembling asked who were the ‘ ‘ creatures in petticoats T’ His amazement was huge when a naval officer explained that the Highlanders were the “wives of the men on the grey horses !” On Friday I got hold of one of my friends in a kilt, and out of the wet we betook ourselves to a domicile on the belt. Our host’s daughter Jenny had been born on New Zealand soil, and had never seen a Highlander “in the raw,” as Jimmy M‘Rae would put it. When we entered her cheery dwelling, the sunshine left her pretty face, and she sneaked behind her father, modestly prompting him that a pair of spare ’s of his hung handy behind the door - might not Mr. get them. Her idea was that in a jumping contest an accident had happened to my friend, and he had had to make for the nearest shelter. 1 must compliment piper Elder on his lung power. It must be a powerful pair >.f bellows that could keep up the wind for t.vu solid days, aa he did, and then skirl nearly all night long hi a triumphant march through the streets with all the available tartan of the Caledonian Society fluttering behind him. Long may his chanter yell. Chispa.
Permanent link to this item
Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 41, 30 December 1879
CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 41, 30 December 1879
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.