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CHTSPA’S LETTER

“ I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” —LoNGi’itf.ranv. (From Ashburton Herald, September iS, ) Strikes me those by-laws are coming to grief. They must now, anyhow, since they have come with a knock against the pro bono publico display of the Mail's columns on a board outside the establishment which gives the paper birth. A law is always bad that interferes with the maker of it, or trenches on the liberty of the press. You may go hammer and tongs against the doings of a common carrier—fine him for crossing with his horse the heaps of clay or shingle wc respect so much because we call them footpaths, or fine him again for being away from his stand—but don’t dare to touch a breach made by a newspaper man. Now, Look here I I’ve seen your publisher stick outside the Herald office a board with a list thereon written of all the striking things that were to be read in that evening’s paper. Just try it on again, and the R.M. will have a say in the matter, mind that. About those footpaths. A friend of mine recently arrived from tho Old Country after nearly two years’ holiday, came up to see me. I had sent him copies of the current literature of Ashburton all the while he was away, and he

came back firm in the belief that the town was quite a little Taradi.se, with pleasant streets, smooth footpaths, and a reformed climate. His dream lias had a rude dispelling, and the old “down” he had on the petrified kidneys that ruin our shoe leather is just as bitter now as it was when lie left us at a date away back in Ashburton history. As the child is the father of the man, so are, perhaps, those lineal heaps of clay and shingle the embryo of decent footpaths ; therefore, let us be gentle and careful in our treatment of them. They may not be of the highest class as pathway's, but, like Tam o’Shanter’s Nanny, with her “ cutty,” garment—- “ It was her all, and she was Yaunde. ” So let us be proud of such footpaths as we have, for in truth they are “ all” that can be evolved for our good from the wisdom of the multitude of “ Council” we possess, and from the excess of jaw labor that is expended for our benefit.

Some time ago you had a paragraph in your paper about an opposing creditor who hung about the District Court for a whole day, waiting for the bankruptcy case to come on in which he was interested. Towards the end of the business he thought he had still a few moments at his command, and he went out to smoke, I suppose. When he came back the bankrupt whom he meant to bring to task had got his discharge, and the whole thing was over. That incident happened about a couple of months ago, and I wish you to bear it in mind when y'ou read the following letter. And when you have read you can reflect what a splendid country this is we live in, and how free her institutions and laws—especially those that control and regulate the science of living upon other people—that is, getting into debt and then going through the Court to pay it. Read : Ashburton Sep n th 1880 Mr E Endz Co monday 13 at 11 oclock. I Here by Call a meeting Creesitors to be Held at my Residence Back A C Boarding House (on Tuesday at 19 oClock before noon to let you See How Eetor Stand monday 13 day 0 0 at noon Larry Doolan Lybualitycs £44 10 Assets Null o 00 Larry Eoolau Acting for Self Allow me to express my deep regret at the unhappy winding up of the Wakanui school affair. I had hoped to see as good a fight in that usually quiet district as had ever been witnessed in the annals of Ashburton. But the concern has tamed down to a very milk and water affair, the wolf lies down with the lamb, and the lion eats straw with the bullock. The Wakanui posterity, in whese interest the half-battle was fought are sadly disappointed, and the children are beginning to think after all that life is not worth living for. Now that the new era of peace has again dawned, I am afraid the district will he jewed out of the new church. Jim Brown should have fought that battle to the death, and only caved in when the “riggin ” of the new building was on. I gave him credit for more “ stretch.” Of course I saw the water turned on The Mayor was there, and a few of the leading lights—legal, engineering, literary, and mercantile. The water ran all right till it came to Shearman’s Hotel. Then it stopped, as naturally as Dougal Thomson’s mare is said to have done —at every pub, on the way. Foreman Brown stood by, and looked after the young stream till the crowd of great guns went in and had tiio “wet” the stoppage of the water flow suggested. When the clay was sufficiently damp the stream went on again. Sensible water supply ! I admire the way our police force manage things. Two men did a halfhours’ fight in a vacant section by Ansteo’s Hotel last Tuesday night. I don’t know about the science displayed, bu t there was a good deal of rolling on the grass, and rolling out of profanity. Some officious idiot or other acted as referee, and varied the monotony of the thing by calling out, “ Time.” But what interested me was that I, honest “ Chispa,” was at hand and saw the fun, while the men in blue were nun cut. 1 found out the reason afterwards. The bailiff was in the Courthouse, and there was no knowing when the fighters might he tried. It was only when the money came down from Wellington to pay the rent that the police were at liberty to trot out the local Sayers and Heenan. Chispa.

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CHTSPA’S LETTER Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 155, 21 September 1880

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