41 1 am not yet so bald that you can see my brains.” —.Longfellow. There has been a settled .calm over the Ash bur lonian spirit for a fortnight or more, and it puzzled me for some time to find out the reason why. At last ! hit it. Councillor Ivess is away, and Councillor St. Hill is somewhat indisposed. As a consequence certain mice are playing while two cats are absent. However, I learn that Councillor St. Hill is about again, and things will come back to the “as you were” position. - The worthy Councillor would be missed much were he to be laid on the shelf for any length of time, as without his lively stirring up the Borough Council would not be worthattending, and members would decline to trot down to the chambers, but would do the Borough’s business in about ten minutes over a long beer at Shearman’s, or perhaps a “comfortable” in the Mayor’s office ; or perhaps the programme may be varied by a visit to Councillor Robinson’s snuggery, where, the steam would be got up by a “stoiip o’ the real stingo. ” Possibly Chispa may be asked to do up a report of. the meeting beforehand, send it in, and the clerk would be instructed to act as per report by your humble servant. But there is no chance as yet of such a comfortable contingency, as George will be up to time at next meeting. Long may ho wave.
Of course I went to Timarn. I drank the Queen’s health, and the usual Orange toast of ‘ ‘ Down with the Pope and the rest of the protestant Clergy ” with my friend Johnny Bennett, whosje well known “ Prince of Orange ” was left at Wakanui to enjoy hiriiself in his master’s .absence. My other friend Bob M'lntyre was all there of course; He’s a. Teihplar, but though he drank no healths ,he was as enthusiastic in the cause as those who pledged deeply and were under a high per inchage of alcoholic rainfall. A very spirited Ashburton member had charge of the torpedo brigade, and it was a study to see the care each member of the brigade took of his left coat pocket, lest an awkward lurch should terminate in a sudden elevation of the whole‘ crowd to the sainted side of the hero of the Boyne. Those Orangemen are a great-people, and so are the men of the Green. Fancy a whole line of New Zealand’s best detective ability being stretched right along from Christchurch to Timaru to keep dynamite cartridges away from the rails, so that the godly defenders of protestantism should be prevented from entering glory too many at a time, and blocking the gateway.
The Fire Brigade don’t seem to be pleased with the Amateur Dramatic Club swallowing up both the race' nights. I don’t blame the extinguishers. They have every right to be helped by the public, and I dare say their need of funds is just as great as that of the A. D. 0. Besides, they have a higher claim on, public sympathy. It would no doubt be a distinguished honor to Ashburton, if her leading local comedian were to shine out as a star of the first magnitude, and to astonish the habitues of Drury Lane, finishing his career with a resting place in Westminster Abbey. Were we to read in the cablegrams now and again that the Ashburton Siddons had played to an enraptured audience of several thousands, and that her acting had revolutionised the drama, and popularised it as a teacher with all the religious sects of Christendom—were we to so read, we would be delighted no doubt. But those telegrams wouldn’t help us nearly so much as a bucket of water would were our cottages a-blaze. We would survive the bursting up, of the A.D. C., hut the bursting up ofidhe Fire Brigade would be a calamity. Still, business is business, and if the Club has some debts to pay and wishes to meet them honestly, the}' only show business; smartness, by taking the hall in advance if they can get it, thus cutting out all rivals. Still, on the race nights there will he population in Ashburton sufficient to fill two or three Town Halls, and the Brigade should take Matson’s store, or the Drill Shed, and go in big licks for a grand show of some sort or other, and I have no doubt they’d shovel in the spondulix.
Mr. Nugent Wood, R.M., seems to he a gentleman likely to get along on our Bench. He is a man of very few words. Like a thorough Englishman ■ lie goes about his work the shortest way, and does it, and as a consequence, superfluous speechifying is done without. Already the bar appear to have dropped to the fact that Nugent is a man of shrewd common sense, and do not trouble; him with any more evidence and “ address ’’ than he wants. Let me express a hope that the days of long sittings and waste of words, interminable cases and contempt of Court, have passed away, and that an era of quiet has dawned.
At last the Mayor has “ struck ile,” and the County has caved in. Hugo has a great power of “ pegging in,” and he pegged in grandly about that Longbeach Road Board money. Let me tell him, however, that blue snow would have fallen on all the plains of Ashburton, before John Gvigg would have stumped up a penny, and Jim Brown would have carried away the Borough Chambers on his back, if the Wakanui instalment were not paid hack. But the occurrence of horrible things has been prevented, and to get rid of the Mayor’s persistent “ pegging,” the County Council has struck its flag, and the money will he forthcoming to wipe out a “ chronic grievance." CIIISHA.
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