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CORRESPONDENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 81, 1 April 1880
We do not hold ourselves responsible for the opinions expressed by our correspondents. THE WATERTON DOG CASE. To the Editor. Sir, —"Will you allow me space through your valuable journal to correct some errors in the report of the “ Ashburton Mail,” on the case of Anderson v. Fleming at the R.M. Court, Ashburton, on the 23rd inst. and also to make clear to the public the justice of my claim. First, my claim was not for harboring my dog, as stated by the “ Mail,” the words harboring and impounding ai:e very different. My claim was to recover my dog, which was taken up by defendant, chained at or in his house, and kept under close confinement for three weeks, lest he might come home ; and when asked for him defendant, with great insult, said ho had me now, and refused to give him to me unless I paid him the enormous sum of L2O for imaginary damage, represented to be done by the dog in question. Secondly, I am represented as a wrong-doer in the same report. How, Sir, was I wrong in applying to a Court of Justice (when all other means failed) to recover my own ? As to the defence raised in the shape of damages, it is very strange the accident should happen to that particular hen and her large family, which was sworn to be worth L 3 10s. My dog has his character, no doubt. Hois said to be a wanderer and a sheep worrier ; for in answer to a question, while on oath, the defendant stated that the distance between his and my place was 1A miles, whereas it is only two chains from his land to mine, and 55 chains from house to house. As for worrying sheep, defendant has only one X>etlamb, and it is alive and well. Fleming’s witness also stated, while on oath, in answer to a question, that the night- of the 3rd March last was moonlight, almost as light as day at nine o’clock. See your almanac, and apply your chain, and test the truth of these statements. I love the truth, and shall stand or fall by it.—l am, &c., Robert Anderson.
“ FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF THE PUBLIC.” To the Editor. Sir, —The above heading refers to that great boon conferred on the Ashburton people by the railway department, the carriage attached to the 11 a.m. luggage train. This concession was, obtained through Mr. Friedlander, who represented that this cereal city of the plains would practically be without communication with Christchurch fx’ora 6.10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Of course every one thought what a concession this was, and Ashburton in consequence was inflated with the idea that i t possessed influence with the figux-e----heads of the railway department. Now, being part and parcel of Ashburton, I was jubilant about this, and last Thursday determined to avail myself of the “ convenience,” feeling it incumbent on me to honor it with my presence. I obtained a first-class ticket for Christchurch after the express had left, I stood on the platform like Patience on a monument smiling at Grief, waiting for this aforesaid “ convenience ” to show up, until one of my acquaintances hailed me thusly—“ I say old man, if you are going to Ohristchurch by this tx-ain, you’d best look spx-y.” Then I heard the station-officials calling on the passengers to take their seats for the north, but I wanted to know where those seats we were to take were located. My friend pointed out to me that they lay over against the goods-shed. I steered cax-efully across the line, tried to go on the port tack, once or twice missed stays, and finally collided with the “convenience.” I scrambled aboard without loss of life; the bosen’s whistle piped stand by ; and we got fainly under weigh. We reached Dromore in due course, and stayed there 10 minutes. Ghertsey was our next port, which we reached at 12.25, and left at 1 p.m. for Rakaia; and so on to Christchurch, which we reached at 4.45. Shax-p work this. Put me in mind of the old lady who was walking to Invercargill, some yeax-s ago, fx-om oxie of the villages on the line of rail from Winton. The guard of one of the tx-ains asked her if she would not ride to town. “No, thank you,” she replied, “ I am in a great hurry to reach Invercargill.” Rather severe this on the tx-ains; and on Thursday, if I had been in a hurry, I certainly should have got out and done the remainder of the journey on “ Shanks, his pony.” But, being a Briton out for a lioliday, and time and a pound or twq of no consequence, I stayed in the luxurious first-class carriage. Did I say first-class ? I humbly beg its pardon ; I mean a dirty double second-class one, half of it being a cross between a good third and a bad second-class Home carriage ; the cushions abstracted from a superanuated first, and made to do duty in this second, to tx-ansmogrify it into a firsc, the word “ second” being scrubbed off to make folks believe it was first. The floor of this “ first” compartment was in a disgraceful condition, there being a good deal of what Mr. John Stuart Mill said was matter in the wrong place—-viz., dirt, —about it, well-seasoned apple cores, dried plum atones, and a few cobwebs thrown in as an inducement for people to travel by this carriage. : It was plainly evident to me that the floor had not rubbed noses with a good broom for some time, for it “ ’pears to me,” asTopay said, that these brown apple cores and dried plum stones hadn’t “grow’d” there, .nor were they seasoned'in an hour. From the official annoulxeement respecting this “convenience,” I was under the impression that a firstclass carriage was to be attached to the luggage train, and only first class tickets issned ; yet on Thursday I saw second class tickets issxxed, and for more passengers than the second class
compartment could hold, and m consequence some of these passengers had to be put in the first class (save the mark) compartment. This is scarcely right,, not that I object to rub shoulders with people who travel second class, but I object to pay for fiivt class accommodation when second class fare would' apparently have done. It seems disgraceful that people who pay for the luxury, if such it can be called, of first class, should be stuck in a dirty bastard first class carriage, and be kept on the road for nearly live hours, and then landed just anywhere in the Christchurch station, in a perfect sea of wagons, to the imminent danger of one’s life ; and it seems preposterous that this train should travel so slowly that a passenger should be able to jump off safely at one of the crossings near Addington.;— I am, &c., Dot.
CORRESPONDENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 81, 1 April 1880
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