“ I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” —L.ong fellow.
(From Ashburton Herald, September 11.)
This week has fairly put me on my beam ends. What with elections and other matters, I have been quite knocked out of time. I had seen Tom Quill and Friend Harrison stand up to try conclusions with the electioneering gloves, and then sit down again without even the faintest attempt at a spar, while a small crowd declared Friend Harrison the conqueror without a fight at all. They were lazy candidates those, and I thought that Ichabod must be written on the forehead of Ashburton in matters appertaining to elections. I trusted though to the annual turn up causing a row—ah ! me. Not a fight, not a strong speech, not a squib—no loving friend abusing his boon companion —no sweet compliments that put a man on his mettle, and cause him to feel an itching in the knuckles—only St. Hill fires a shot, and one solitary trap that looked like George Parkin’s cart trotted out. The trim pony felt ashamed of its solitary scrap of foliage, and Us “vote for St. Hill” poster. Ashburton is getting old
and drawing near its dotage. I begin to think that Dean Swift didn’t dream a bit when he discovered that flying island where the philosophers had to get a dried bladder with small gravel inside shaken in their eyes -when they were wanted to waken up and speak. Truly the “ depression ” has been catching. Perhaps, though, things will bo more lively in the Council after this calm that precedes a storm.
They’ve struck a patch up here of late, Have Bench,, and Bar, and Paper — A chess fraternity which smacks Of wig, and pown, and wafer. To play a match at Timaru, Crhp, Jacobson, and Guinness, With P. O’Reilly, went their way. And, ye gods, what u finish ! A match at chess, oh dear me, yes Oh, Bench, oil Bar, oh paper, Hide the result with wig and gown, With judgments, types, and wafer. At Timaru they did a feed, Ashburton wired in hearty. Nor did the foemen’s presence spoil, The appetite of the party, Four Timaruvians they did play, Byrne, Gordon, Vincent, Taylor, Gordon, O’Reilly, found too much, And Pastepot met a nailer. Oh Timaru, you’ve put ’em through— Indeed you beat ’em vilely ; You quite upset our man of “ types,” And “ shadowy ” O’Reilly.
Two local men —Guinness and Crisp— Held their own securely ; Though Vincent played a cunning game, And Byrne moved demurely. Our Lecturer was out of form, And Gordon had him sadly ; Our paper man was also made A type of playing badly. Oh, Timaru, you put ’em through This time, and did it truly. But next our Trig-pole he will make Your foemen more unruly.
\ es, Gordon, Vincent, Taylor, Byrne, You’re to return the visit. At this next match you will discern A change of things. Now is it More than probable that they (Who’ll be your grub purveyor) Will turn the tables when you meet Our chess-board’s best surveyor. Oh, Timaru, we’ll put you through, With Wilkin in our quiver. Now, Judgments, Types, and Wig and Gown, Surveyor, now, or never 1 Your board with a theodolite's ~ Surveyed with great precision; Your Queen is sentenced by the Bench To do one hour in prison. While Crisp conveys some castles from The board without instructions ; And Types, much used to his (k )night work, Makes many true deductions. Oh, Timaru, we’ll put you through —Byrne, Gordon, Vincent, Taylor— Your rooks, your bishops, and your pawns, Will all here find a gaoler.
Our barrister will make a ease, While you are looking sombre, That I declare, in tins line brief Your bishops wili encumber. From information he will make Your Knights' defence abortive. Demurring not in your Queen's Court, O’Reilly will be sportive. Oh, Timaru, we’ll put you through, We fairly give you warning. Bench, Trig.-pole. Types, and Bar wil' send You rooked home in mo(u)rniiig.
Those by-laws. Don’t they sweep wide. If you walk two inches off the straight line
iii the street you’ll be bad. You know I am a terror of a chap for getting off the straight in many ways. 1 wear my hat on the back of my head sometimes. I haven’t read far enougli into the by-law book to know if that is an offence or not, but I’m reading fast now, and I’ll soon
know. They’ve had me—the police have. Scott the carrier dumped down my bit of firewood on the footpath. Constable Clark saw me carrying it in, and I’m in for it. He says he hasn’t laid the information yet. I’ll offer him a wet, and buy him over. I sec my friend the Mayor has a big stack of straw behind his mansion. Now, if 1 were a Councillor, I’d have the Mayor’s five bob for that straw stack. Every match struck in the open air is an offence under the by-laws, for I should say striking a match and applying it to a pipe or cheroot was “lighting a fire.” You mustn’t light a fire in the open air for any purpose whatsoever, unless in a properly constructed fire-place—oh, that’s where the non-suit point comes in. A pipe is a fire-place properly constructed. But how about a cigar ? Those laws are too much for me, but like a loyal citizen I’ll obey.
Who keeps the Wakanui Road Board Office do you know ? I went there this week to pay some back rates for a chap. I found a party lying “ dead asleep” on the surveyor’s table, and all my tenstone force couldn’t wake him. I must fight Mr. Rooks about this question next time I see him. These times, when a Board cannot raise a rate, it cannot afford to let its tables for siesta bedsteads without rent. I shall look in the income account of the Board at next balance for an item like this—To lodging on the clerk’s table, Is. per day, ss. Chispa.
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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 152, 14 September 1880
CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 152, 14 September 1880
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