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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 71, 9 March 1880
(From the Ashburton Herald, March 6.) “I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains. ” —Long fellow. A couple of my sporting acquaintances got hit pretty hard over Mata winning the Dunedin Cup ; they laid out their month’s wages on Titania and went broke over the business, and then they laid their heads together with a view of raising the wind] Their ideas in that direction were ingenious, and I think original. Each of them owns a buck jumping horse (neither of the animals is marketable, as they have both been to the slaughter yard in Burnett street without fetching a bid), and the owners calmly deliberated on a cold blooded project by which the lives of two much respected heads of departments in Ashburton wex - e to have their limbs endangered, and their tenderest feelings outraged. The diabolical plot was as follows ;—The two horse owners were to visit the two bank managers separately, and get them into a conversational humor,, and sympathise with their long hours and arduous duties, and then offer them the use of a nice quiet horse for a little exercise, and then get their victims mounted on the buckjumpers, previously trained to go full tear to Seafield, and there the two villians, by previous arrangement, would be in waiting with a trap, in which the managers would be offered a ride home on the condition that they discounted a bill for fifty or so," or take the alternative of either riding the buckjumpers back or walking. Tho conspirators seemed to reckon the discounting would be the least painful business to tho bankers. I only write this as a warning to Messrs. R. and S. as to what they may expect from some of their horsey customers. I don’t like cruelty to animals, even where the victim is a bank manager.
Photography is one of the fine arts, I ain told. It sometimes makes the “human face divine ” look very pretty on cardboard, and it sometimes don’t. A week or so ago the school children had a treat, and part of the treat was being set up in rows like animated cabbages, and being done with a camera. Our local man was considered too foggy a negative to do the business, and another foggist was imported from Christchurch to do the job. I inspected some of the “ cartes” yesterday, and at the first look I thought it was a representation of a ten-pin alley, and I turned it upside down, and it then looked like the Ashburton bridge—until a young Chispa said, “ That’s me ! dada and then it dawned upon me that it was a photograph of one of Mr. Stott’s classes. But to call them pictures ! Why, some of the pupils were bald headed, some had no head at all, and one unfortunate small boyhad got the point of his nose inserted in his own left car. But the children seem delighted with them, and they are selling rapidly at Is. each, so I suppose everybody must feel satisfied. Our Court-house still keeps up its reputation for burlesque. A week or two ago the Bench decided that the profession were not to laugh in court, no matter what the occasion might be, and 1 fully expected next court day to see the walls of the Hall of Justice placarded with notifications in hold print, “ Laughing strictly prohibited.” Compliments are as yet permissible between the “ learned friends,” such, for instance, as one legal gentleman referring to another’s contentions as “ gross impudence and ignorance,” and to the gentleman himself as a “silly idiot.” Next Friday is to be a grand field day, and I hear that numerous applications have already been made for front seats to hear the case against Joe for aspersing the professional reputation of one of the limbs. I am always learning something in that court, whilst rubbing the whitewash off the wall with my shoulders. It seems that if Smith summonses mo, and employ's a lawyer, and then Smith and 1 settle the case out of court, that Smith can’t withdraw the case unless he does so through his solicitor, otherwise Smith is guilty of “ fraud at least that is the way it was put the other day. And another new wrinkle is that when the names of parties to a suit are called, they must now stand up and say, “ Here, Sir.” It used to be sufficient to stand up, but as Mr. Guinness pointedly remarked to a defendant wbo had stood up, “ Standing up is > nothing, Sir! answer to your name, Sir !” and the defendant was of course duly dumfoundered at the rebuke, and felt uncomfortable for the next two hours. If any festive reader of my lucubrations is on the look out for a scene, I should strongly recommend him to peg out a claim between the Somerset Hotel and Montgomery's buildings, that is the convincing ground of this great and "lorioua city." I do a saunter around that corner sometimes, and often meet my friends on the look out for a gossip in that part of the town. It is, however, very discreditable to Montgomery and Co., or Josh Tucker, or some of their tenants to have their glass smashed in such a reckless manner as they have lately. Last Saturday a dog came through one window and the verandah, and a day or two afterwards a distinguished cavalry officer came through another, but a kind friend, (whose) so obliging when you go
to pay for a bag of coal or ask for a subscription for Cliiniquy, happened to catch the lieutenant just as lie was on the point of dropping on the glass verandah. There have been many instances in my knowledge, where the Humane Society’s medal lias been awarded for the salvation of lives far less valuable than our commander of the local horse marines. May bo long live to give the battle cry of that Ilk, “Charge Chester charge. On Stanley on,” and Barney will see you through it(i.e), the window. Since writing the above, a glazier attempting to mend the broken pane, at 3 p.m. this afternoon finished the business by going through,the verandah, and after doing a suspension trick for some time lie was quietly landed on the footpath by a Samaritan passingby, and will probably find an outlet for some of his spare panes. The show of vegetables was a great sight to-day. I don’t know a petunia from a lobelia, but 1 was shown a splendid cauliflower, which I w.is informed by a distinguished horticulturist, was one of the pelargonium breed ; lie gave me a long pedigree of the vegetable, and made use of such a string of dog lathi on the subject that I requested him to produce the stud book to convince me. His look of horror at the idea of such a literary production having been published, was a sufficient notice for me to leave his company, more especially as I saw one of his legs gyrating around in the direction of my body. Anyhow, the flowers were pretty, and I thoughtlessly plucked a specimen and was promptly collared ; I felt it hard too, when inspecting Savage’s poaches that they were only to bo looked at, they seemed so luscious and tempting, that petty larceny on such an occasion ought to be looked upon as a virtue. My next venture was feeling if the grapes were ripe, and then yorrs truly was incontinently run out without further notice. The following is Chispa’s Sum for This Were. A cutting has to be excavated and an embankment formed with a portion of the earth taken out, and the balance goes to spoil. The dimensions are as follows ; Base of cutting, 14 feet ; slopes, to 1; depth at start, ‘6 feet; at finish, 41 "22 feet; length, G 2 -55 chains. Embankment on top, 14 feet; slope, li to 1 ; depth at start, 37 ‘9O feet; at end, - 0; length, 42 - 78 chains. State the number of cube yards in the cutting, the number of cube yards in embankment, and quantitythrown to spoil, if any, and width of cutting and embankment at extreme depths. The prize will be awarded to the bona fide pupil of any school in the County who woi'ks the sum out correctly by the shortest method. Prize awarded on Saturdays, March 13th. Chihpa.
CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 71, 9 March 1880
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