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(From the Ashburton Jlaahi, February 21.) “I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” — Long pel low.

The value of land to lot, or for rating purposes, appears to puzzle not only the parties who have to stump up to the rate collector, but those who claim to he experts as well, and not only the value of land but tbe value of money seems to be a very open question. At the Assessment Court-held the other day to overhaul the Boro'J*h’s valuation list, his Worship the Mayor, and his Worship the Magistrate held'very opposite views on the matter of interest. It’s a thing I don’t understand, as I never had tick enough to know the bearings of consols, discount, or cent, percent. ; but Mr. Guinness seemed to think he had made a hit when he told the Mayor that if the Banks charged 10 per cent, for money people sometimes went to other places, where they were charged a good deal more ; and Tasked myself way the deuce did they go there \

The land fever has set in again with renewed vigor, and with a view of satisiying the demand, a new wrinkle has been fliscovered by which the cravings of wouldbe land owners is to bo satisfied. By an ingenious process, something akin, 1 presume, to the process of making indiarubber sheets, a 20-acro section is made to contain 87 quarter-acres, with a few roads thrown in. I don’t know how- it is going to work out ; perhaps when the purchasers go to get their quarter-acres measured the survey will be made by a system patented on the West Coast, when there were good claims to be jumped, stolen, or otherwise got hold of. One I recollect, the best claim on the Darkie’s ten ace, had been carefully marked off by the four digger’s who first pegged it out, and a smart individual with a bran new tape informed them some time after they had commenced operations that they occupied more ground than they were entitled to, and a measurement took place with the smart man s tape, and sure enough they held 40it. too much frontage, which was at once occupied by the “jumper,” who took out of his claim the respectable sum of L 2300 in ten weeks, and then asked the other boys to the pub. to assist at a bottle of champagne and calmly informed them that they had been “bad. as he had cut ten feet out of the tape prior to measuring their claim off. I don t think that that game is going work on quarteracres in Ashburton though. Citizen Treadwell, of Christchurch, is worthy of being a Nihilist or a Communist leader. His ideas are of the uitra-share-and -share-alike description, and his cheeky application to the Auckland folks for lands to be given free of cost, and free means of transit for a host of the Treadwell breed and theii offspring to Auckland was met with a delicious reply from Mr. Tonks, to the effect that the applicant had omitted a very important feature in his application, viz., the necessity of having three jears rations provided. Wo may hear by-and-by of Government being asked to pass a “ Three Pints a Day Beer Bill,” under the provisions of which every publican shall be compelled to supply three gratis deepsinkers to every man who chosos to thirst, to be paid for out of the “ Contingencies Fund.” Compulsory matrimony ! Local school committees are granted the least possible powers by tbe Central Board of Education, but what power they have is occasionally stretched to its utmost limit. An applicant fox- a mastership in a district not far off •s recently informed that his qualifier,rolls were all that could be desired, and that he' was in every way a desirable dominie but for one objection, which could not be possibly overlooked, and that was his being a single man. Looking at the fact that he had not arrived at the “ sere and yellow ” stage of existence, and was, moreover, decently good looking, they gave him the option of either having his application refused, or of obtaining a wife within three weeks. I hear he has accepted the latter alternative, and is now busily engaged in doing the preliminary business of courting. It is a difficult thing to be a benefactor of the human race. I thought to initiate a little plan for making myself acquainted with the smartest lads in the district, and sent you a sum for them to work out. I sent it to you in plain round ’script that a man might feel if ho couldn’t see, yet you go and let your printers make a mess of it. I wrote plainly enough the weight of the wire to be “ ‘321b,” not “ 321bs a mighty difference you’ll perceive. Wire weighing 321bs to the 100 ft may do foxmaking horse shoes, but it would scarcely do for tying corn sheaves. You _ must get your printers to look after the And since you have made the muddle I must ask you to insert the following TO THE L: JDS. LADS. —I offer you a prize, not a very princely one to be sure, still a prize, foxworking out the undergiven sum. It was announced by the editor of the ‘ ‘Hex-aid that the answer should be sent by Monday, but in consequence of an error in the sum, I shall extend the time to Wednesday MORNING AT ELEVEN O’CLOCK to allow the Rakaia, Longbeach and Wakanui hoys to have a shot. In making the awards I shall get a reliable arithmetician to help me, and I shall take into consideration, neatness of writing, carefulness, and shortness of method of arriving at an accurate result. I have got auswex-s already to the sum as the editor gave it, and I tender my apologies to the senders for the sum being wrongly stated, and ask them to try again with the thin wire, and wire in : the suit. (As it should have been.) . “ Messrs. Friedlandcr Bros, have sold durin" the present harvest 52 tons of wire ° for the reaping and binding machines. The wire is No. 20 gauge, and weighs "321 b. per 100 ft. V)' hat number of miles is the 52 tons ; and if it takes 4jibs, of wire to tie an acre of crop, how many acres have been tied ?” My next sum will he in duo-deciraala, and my young friends had better read up, and keep an eye on algebra for future operations. I remain, lads, yours truly, Cnisi'A.

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Bibliographic details

CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 65, 24 February 1880

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CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 65, 24 February 1880

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