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CHISPA’S LETTER.

“ I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.’’—Long fellow. (From Ashburton Herald, August 14.) “ Library on the brain ” ia the disease most popular just now, and everybody has it. I notice in the Press that some enthusiastic secretary or other announces en entertainment to be given in a certain Town Hall, for the benefit of a. certain Library, but he forgets to say in what town the hall stands or what library is to be benefitted. Hadn’t the library mania better rest a bit, before all our heads get turned ?

Some time ago, when the land craze was on — w hen we didn’t know how near we were to the bottom of the public flourbarrel (I mean Treasury chest) —we bounced about our railway line and the traffic we did on it. Our express flew past at a pace so fast that lovers travelling to their mistresses were fairly captivated, and chose it for their means of conveyance when these sighing journeys had to be made. It was called the lover’s train then. Now it has become slow enough and late enough to deserve the title of husband’s train. When the steam was up in those times we fancied our line was being used up too fast, and the order was issued to relay the whole stretch from the city of churches to the city of kirks with steel rails. Of course innocent people believed that was to bo done, I am one of the innocent people. Yesterday, however, my faith got a sad shock. I like Irishmen —they are so highly original. A thorough Pat can always make you laugh. Two genuine sons of the Green Isle were working at a siding at our station yesterday. I couldn’t get at the hang of what they were doing no how—but I could see they were lifting rails. My eye is not altogether free of a cast perhaps, and I attributed my failure to catch this hang to the cast. But I hailed Pat. “If it isn’t too impudent to ask, what might you be doing Pat ?” “ We’re minding the new rails with owld ones, sur.” Rather a coniic way of “ minding,” I thought; but further inquiry taught me that the unworn rails of the sidings were being lifted and replaced with old worn out rails from the main line while the worn out main lines were displaced to make room for the iron rails from the siding Sum-—Two men to lift the siding rails ; two men to lift the main line rails ; repeat the operation for laying down; haulage of main line old rails from Dunsandel to Ashburton, and siding rails back. The Government answer to this is—a complete relay of the line with steel rails ; and if that answer is not sufficient the other, “ economy ” will be sure to succeed.

There are mistakes to be madeJ by property owners as well as by poorer men.

The landlord of a nice cottage told me how he had been had recently. He let his house to a good mark. At least, he thought so ; and the rent was L2O a year, payable quarterly. The first month, the landlord observed that the stable was going away picce-meal, and the back fences had already gone. He -made enquiries. The tenant said he was using the boards for fuel, and meant to use every bit of the stable and out-houses, and when these were gone he would tackle the lean-to. Of course the landlord fumed. He was told it was nothing to him so long as he got his rent, and found his house in good repair at the end of the term. Of course he had to shut up, but still the spoliation went on, and he didn’t half like it. Eventually he found out that his tenant was a very bad mark, that his furniture was of the scantiest, and if he did succed in paying the second month’s rent the third month would see his name under the royal arms and over Clerk Hurrell’s. The tenant is out of that house now, having received five pounds from the landlord to surrender his lease. I reckon that’s hot bad, is it 1

Key, Gee sharp—very sharp (do, mi, soh, do) : Eighteen months, eighteen months, Forward and onward. Then had accrued to us Quids to 1,200. “ Strike us a borough rate, Ere it be quite too late, A nd save us in subsidy A sum like i,300.” “ Strike us a borough rate !” Keenly they scanned the dale, Careful to prove it That no one had blundered. They did not make reply, They asked no reason why —But, with a leering eye, Sent Mutch to make a roll, To collar 1,200. Subsidy to right ofjjhem, Endowment to left of them, Licenses in front of them. With revenue unnumbered. Why, when they were so well, Why should they hurry fell, Am poke up poor Mutch to make A trilling wee rate roll To nibble 1,200 ? Gassed every gasser there, Gassed out his empty air— Killing much valued time— Mutually nose-bitten, Till sober men wondered. Plunged in the wordy war, Their prowess was heard afar. Ivess and Saunders Reeled from each oiher’s stroke. And compliments thundered. But, while they loving kissed, Where was 1,200? Rudolf on right of them, Parkin on left of them, Bullock in front of them. Grinned while they floundered. Thus was the chance so good. To win which they fairly stood, Shattered to poor matchwood— Lost by their tomfooling ; Lost to the common good— And we must now grin o’er Unanswering 1,200. When can their glory fade ? (Umph —when their glory’s made b o one will plunder’t). Oh, what a mess they’ve made ! Oh, what a trick they’ve played Our 1,200 ! Chispa.

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CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 140, 17 August 1880

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