£(From the Ashbmton Htraki, January 10.) “I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains. ” —Long fellow. I like consistent men—men who strain every nerve to be elected on public bodies, and from purely patriotic motives get all the work possible done in the neighbourhood of their own properties, and sit at the meetings and vote for certain things, and then with the object of making their actions ‘appear still more patriotic attend the annual meeting of ratepayers and (metaphorically) turn round and kick themselves over the action of the Board during the year. A humiliating example of this sort of thing happened the other day at the annual Wakanui meeting, and the member who was so indecent as to criticise unfavorably the actions of himself and his colleagues did not meet with any enthusiastic admirers that day. Whenever there is a billet open in a Road Board there is sure to be a big rush for the job. The other day one of those sinecures (1) was to be settled and a contingent of ninety-two applicants rolled up on the occasion. Gookson’s coach did a big business in carting candidates to Mount Somers, and some of the would-be engineers developed a deal of learning on the trip over the numerous rocks which constitute the road to the village under the mountains. One cheerful individual, who occupied the box seat, took in all the scenery on the road, and nothing escaped his eagle eye. A lode spit attracted his attention and he enquired of the coachman what that was, and was informed with the utmost gravity that it was a place where pigs had been rooting ! The next object which he felt curious about was a trig-pole with the usual adornment of parti-colored flags, and his curiosity was gratified on being informed that the poles were erected for the purpose of signalling to the sheep when it xvas bed-time. It is needless to observe that this gentleman was notelected as clerk. 1 am really glad to know that we are going to have Mr. Bullock in the Borough Council again. Although he will not, this terra, bo the ruler, his experience, suavity 1 , and sound common sense will go a long way towards making the business nf the borough go smoothly. There is, however, so little to do until the LI 5,000 loan is floated that 1 am almost afraid the Council! will develope into a sort of gossiping club. The Ashburton Caledonian Society can’t be composed of a very wide awake lot of Scotchmen. When the Racing Club demanded L2O for rent of their course, the Society offered ten guineas, and the Club had no more right to the ground than anyone else. The racing men were particularly cheeky over the business, but they had their own way, for they kept the sports off the course. And now the Club have worked the oracle so as to get a lease of the ground from the County Council at a nominal rent. The Scotchmen with their legal secretary must have been napping on this occasion. I wonder when the so-called Public Library is going to be X’c-organised. In most country townships these institutions arc very popular and well attended, but for some inscrutable reason our local one seems to be shunned by the general public as if it were the abode of some evil genius. Wouldn’t it be as well if some of our leading men took the matter up and endeavored to make it more popular. In a big district like this a handful of acres is not of much consequence, but when a snug little farm of GOO acres is not reckoned as worth being put on the roll it is rather too good. Such is the case, however; for when the members of the County Council took a casual glance at the new Valuation List the other day they discovered there was a block of land near Dromore which could only be described as “no man’s land ” as it did not appear on any of the lists and there seems to be a doubt if it is in any road district. Amongst other precautions against the lot which is common to all, I insured my life some days ago. A friend of mine bent on the same errand went with mo, and we were examined together. After the usual very important examination by the doctor of our backbones, collar bones, and every bone in our bodies, he proceeded to go into an oral examination of the history of our health. He had exhausted nearly all his queries when he asked my friend if he had ever had ‘‘anything else ” the matter with him. “O yes,” replied my friend, “ I had once a very bad flesh wound.” The doctor gave an electrical start, and said, “Oh ! where may I ask was that ?” “In my arm,” was my friend’s answer. “ How did you get it,” asked the doctor, after careful and minute memoranda on his official sheet of all the particulars as to the age of my friend when the wound was received. The answer was given with great candour. ‘‘ My mother took me to the doctor, and the old fool vaccinated me.” Medico hurriedly deleted the history he had written of that wound, and expunged from the tablets of his mind the horrible dregs of disease the said wound may have left in my friend’s splendid person. After a pause —“ Anything else I” “Yes, a great injury to my toes.” “Ah ! how was that ” (more writing and more particulars, and more mental calculation as to possible effect on longevity. “Wore'tight boots, and crippled myself with corns. ” Sudden collapse of doctor’s notes, and assurance that my friend owned a first-class life, and a very happy temperament. Jones has had two servant gals within a week. He wants legislation on the sub - ject, ho says, for regulating the amount of impudence the Mary Janes may be allowed to dispense to their employers. His maid No. 1 told her mistress there was not one lady in all Ashburton; maid No. 2 was prepared to corrobate No. I’s testimony, with an “allowance” that the mistress was perhaps a lady. Sir George Grey, the reformer, or Mr. Sheehan, his henchman, has a chance here. Sir George is perhaps a little too old, but Mr. Sheehan may make headway with the “Mary Jane Act.” CIIISI’A
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