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TALK OF THE DAY.

Br MAZBPPA.

*** The Dunedin Jockey Club's Anniversary races will be held on Saturday of this week, and promise to supply a capital day's sport. Mr Dowse has been particularly successful in satisfying owners of the g&Uopiug horses, the whole five entered for the Hurdle Race having accepted, while Cactus is the only withdrawal from the Anniversary Handicap, and Arline alone drops- out of. the Cliffs. In regard to the trots, the handicapper has not done so well. Of 32 entered for the two-mile race 16 only have paid up, and but 17 out of 32 survive in the mile race. Tbe soratch horae has gone out of each, as might have been expected. He did not have a fair f how. Some of the others now near the head of the list might as well be among the non-acceptors for all the chance they have of winning, t repeat, for the hundredth time, that such loan starts »» are aive to horeei ftt

and ne&r the limit are discouraging our real trotters and making £10 haoka equal in value to Btaliclard-bred horses, and furthering the designs of the " waiting" division, and making thfe crowd disgusted with trotting, whorefora I again aopeal to the D.J.C. and other olubs that make money out of trotting to intervene by stating a limit to the handicap of every rr.ee. However, if the trotters have been slaughtered to a large extent, there are itjll enough le£t to make up large fields, and perchance the trials may be interesting. The other raoes we bound to furnish good sport. My (selections are as follows : — Hurdle Race, Brin ; Anniversary Handicap, Hippomenes ; Selling ftace, Stockfish ; Cliffs Handicap, Maklin or Van Bobkn, with Nomad end Quatorze dangerous.

*** Roused by the "stress of really exasperating oiroumstances, the Dunedin Jockey Club has at last broken oat with a plain statement of its intention to be done with the affliction under which it has for years and years been vexed. The committee at its last meeting resolved to look out for another course. Including rates, the club pays £1209 udd yearly for the occupation of the Forbury. It has asked for a reduction, ftud offered in the alternative to buy at £15,000, but the owning company reply that there* is not the slightest; chance of a sale on tlioae terms, and pr<>»uoQs.bly the request for a reduoed rent is also n^gleoted, or the committee would never go the length of authorising ft search for another site. It is. of oourse, quite open to the oompany to refuse the £15,000. A sale at that price would mean that on a 4 per cent, basis the club could go on at an outlay of £600 per year in interest, and reduce this «s occasion offered by paying off part of the principal Honestly, Ido not think the club is justified in undertaking a heavier liability than that. There are lots of sites within reasonable distance of town, say an hour's drive, that one would think could be secured at a price which, including" the cost of improvements, would not land the club in a heavier payment than £600 a year, and probably some site 3 could be secured for Itsa. Almost any pa,rb of the Taieri would do for the purpose. The publio would not object to goiug out of town. Lots oi them would rather prefer to thus make a day of it, as is the case in most other places. _ I hope and believe thab the club means what it says and will really take steps to get rid of tbis terrible millstone which is fairly drowning it. I for one should not regret leaving the Forbury, which is really too small fca allow of decent improvements and has the further disadvantage of a not very interesting avenue of approach from town. This point, by the way, should be borne in mind by those who are asked to look ou£ for a new sice— namely, that a mile circuit is on the small side. The handiest and best size is, it seems to me, a, mile and & furlong, as at Auokland. And we want room for a wider course. It is a job to start a dozen horses fairly at the Fotbury. The present position has been forced upon the club, and dow that they to face it, I feel pleased with the prospaot of getting away from a site which is .ugly, oramped, and expensive, to a course that it will be a holiday to visit. Wherefore I beseech of Messrs M'Lean, Gourley, and Miilev to hurry up and end the club's troubles in this respect.

*#* On Wednesday of last week a match at three furlongs for £50 a-side, money placed with the D.J.C, took place at the Forbury between Mr Ketb's Stockfloh, ridden at 11.0 by J. A. M'Ginnesa, and Mr Johnston's Brin, , ridden at 10.0 by J. Cotton the younger. As it was believed to be a genuine mif,tch, considerable interest was taken in the affair, and a lot of fellows went out to see what they hoped would be a good race. In this they were disappointed. There was no race at all. Brin hung at the post when the order was given, and Stockfish completed the course alone. How this happened is the subject of numberless arguments. Cotton seemed to be manoeuvring for a flying start, and some aver that in his rushiugs to and fro he happened to be partly in the ditch when the word was given, and could not get on his legs in time. Others say that j Loughlin, the trainer of Stockfish, got exoited j and shouted "Go" when his horse had the i advantage, and that it was from his signal that Stockfish went off. I am not, however, disposed to accept either of these explanations. It is understood that Cotton's statenif nfc is to the effect that hie horse's head was turned the wrong way when the word was given ; and fit'Ginness saye that he simply stood still and waited till "go " was Maid, whereupon be bustled Stockfish off as best he could, and had gone SQvds or so when, luokivog over bis ithoulder to see whether he could sately pull to the inside, he heard Lougblin yell oub " Go on," as much as to say that it was a start, though the other horse was standing still. Mr Harry James, who acted as starter, declares that it was a fair start, and I am disposed to think it was, but that Brln's rider was not expecting the word to be given at that momnnt, and consequently lost his opportunity. This, of cour-e, was all-important. In a three-furlong race the start k half the battle. The. result was a ditpute as to whether it was a race, and tbis coming before the D.J.C. Committee for settlement, it was decided to order the match to be run over again. This decision was arrived at by virtue of Rule 29 of the Dunedin Jockey Club's regulations, which is in the following words: "No match or other nice shall be run under the management of the club unless the contracting parties thereto come under a written obligation to abide by the decision of the committee or stewards as final and conclusive, nor unless the money pledged on either Bide be placed in tbe hands of the treasurer 24 hours previous to the time of starting." In tbis case, I understand, the money was posted only two or three hours before tho match. Under all the circumstances the decision is perhaps as good a one as could have been arrived at, for both parties were very keen for a race, and in a matob, which is supposed to be purely a sporting kind of thing, it is always more satisfactory to have a go than to see the issue determined in a committee's parlour. At the same time it must be admitted that in this case there is no natural point of contact between the dispute and the decision. The question for the arbiters was simply this : " Was it a proper start ? " ' Tlfce reply made is, in effect, "We don't say anything about the start, but the money wasn't up in time, so you must race again.*' Obviously this objection, if taken at all, should have been taken before the match. Presumably it waa overlooked till the match was over, and wss then draggtd in on the scord of tqttky. This may ba just fhbla, bat it certainly seems a HtUe irregular. My opinion is that the objection is one that could only be taken before the match; that as it was not taken then the stakeholder's right to raise it tras waived ; therefore that the only question before the committee was " Start or no, start ? " Supposing the match had been got off without any dispute, according to the ruling given it would have been competent for the beaten owner to creep out of his liability on the plea that the money was not posted in time. Either party acquainted with the rule oould, if fliean enough, have held this oolnt over his

antagonist. Thai) \s my view of tbe legal aspect of the question. How the deoisioh of the ooin* mittee will result remains yet to be seen,. It would not surprise me to see the match mutually cried off.

* # * Mr W. K. H&zlott has applied in vain to the Gore Club for the amount of tho stakes in the Maiden Plate run on January 15. His mare Fawn finished seoond to Ilex. Before the race an objection was taken to Ilex on the ground that by the conditions he was not eligible. That demurrer was overruled, for what reason i{ is hard to guess, since the faots seems to show very clearly that the horse was not a maiden according to the club's definition. A claim by the owner of Fawn was therefore to be expected. It ia hard lines on tbe olub to have to pay & stake twice, but in this oase, the club having to all appearauedtt gone astray with its eyes open, Mr Hazlett is not to be blamed in asking for his rights. Whether he will get them remains to be seen. The immediate position is that the club disallows the claim. This also is not to be wondered at. What does surprise me is the nature of the answer given. It [a reported in one of the looal papers — the Ensign, I think — that the answer from the oommittee was that as the stewards had already dealt with the matter it was out of tbe com* rnifctee's hands. There is some mistake here, either in the report or in the answer itself. It is no answer at all. By rule 32 " the powers of the stewards continue after the meeting for all purposes relative to disputes, objections," &o. There are two ways of reading' the reply made to Mr Hazlett ; Firstly, as though the committee said, "The stewards have settled this, and the stewards' body is now dissolved and we have nothing to do with the matter." That, however, is not, I take it, the attitude of the committee. They mean, I presume, simply to say that the question has been disposed of, and they are not inclined to re-open it. If so, the obvious reply is that if the decision was a wrong one — even if it is to appearances wrong — the person thereby aggrieved cannot be expected to consent to such a polite bowing out of court. He in entitled, surely, to some sort of reply that shall include an explanation of the club's attitude. So for as we can learn, the communication made to him assumes that the olub holds an impregnable position. Inasmuoh as this seems to me an erroneous assumption, the reply, if correctly reported, is not of the sort; that might have been expected.

*#* Idolater is related to Perfcobe, a horse that was brought to Otago from Victoria in 1874, and sired a lot of winners of small races. Pertobe, in fact, is brother to Idolater's dam, Nina, both being by Panic out of Heater Grazebrook. Polidori, another of the same family, was reckoned a very poor stayer, and it used to be often said that he had a weak spot in him. Another thing about the breeding of the Australian Cup winner is that hie pedigree is not quite as full on the dam's side as sticklers for blue blood, such as Amerioan buyers, would consider desirable. Idolater's dam is Nica, who came from Hester Graeebrook, whose dam was Misa Napier, daughter of Mrs Roberts, who is described merely as a daughter of Wanderer. There are not enough known names to quite fill up the ordinary newspaper-column table. And the Stud Book does not count either Miss Napier or Mrs Roberts in its list of thoroughbred mares. What can be said to all this by those students who draw fide distinctions between different strains of blood,\and argae that one line of ancestry produces stayers and another sprinters, I know not. Here we have a horse whose predecessors of three or four generations back Were hardly deemed thoroughbreds at all. Yet for all his plebeianism Idolater can race. So can Liberator, whose dam has never had a whole pedigree given her ; still, he was good enough to win cups, and at the present day, old as he is, and battered, he is one of the stoutest horses in New Zealand, perhaps iv the colonies,

* # * It is extraordinary, says "Vigilant," how opinions differ concerning the merits of Persimmon and Sb. Frusquin. Quite by chance the other day I fell into conversation with two gentlemen who refuse to believe in either of these champions, and who stoutly maintained that their praises have all along been sung too highly. On the one hand it was argued that the Prince's colt trad no pretensions en form to be anything out of tha common. " What did he ever do to entitle him to rank as , favourite for the Two Thousand ? " was propounded. " Her oame out at Ascot with a smashing reputation, and certainly won the Coventry Stakes by three lengths ; but did he beat anything p His nearest attendant past the judge was Mcli Melo, a mare who was at least 211b behind the best of her sex and age, whilst Dynamo, a second-rater, finished third. The other runners were Gulistan, Snowy, Corrie, R&mpion, Enjoyment, and Eisteddfod. ' There was nothing to boast about in that lot. At Goodwood Persimmon had to be hard ridden to get rid of tbe moderate Chamfleurie in the Richmond Stakes, and again was the opposition weak, His Reverence, Spook, and Devoue being the odlv other runners. This cannot be construed into a brilliant performance. His next andlastappesittince waßinthe Middle Park Plate, and directly he met a good hocso he was beaten \ " In such words this non-believer in the royal candidate summed up the two-year-oldureden-fciali of Florizel ll's younger brother, and my attempted defence of the juvenile Blue Riband defeat on the ground of indisposition was immediately ohecked by a reminder that excuses are always forthcoming for beaten favourites. The other gentlemen who was so stoutly opposed to St. Frusquia as a Derby winner went on the old tack o* his apparent dislike or inability to act down hill. "He may get home in the Guineas," was the burthen of his contention, •' unless he is pushed vr-ry hard from the Bushes, where he will sprawl to a certainty, and probably go to pieces. But, whatever happens in tbe Rowley Mile race, he will never conic down the Epsom hill. That will settle him. When the winner is passing the judge we shall see Sb. Fru6quin opposite the number board, perchance going twice as fast as anything else, like a steam engine, in a vain effort to make up the ground he has lost at Tattenham Corner. I watched him in the Chesterfield Stakes, and caw Nenemoosha get him in trouble coming down the July hill. He was all abroad in the Dewhurst Plate, and he will be dead settled in the Derby." It is just as well to know all about it beforehand, and yet in face of these very positive statements, I am, like the man convinced against his will, and remain of the same opinion still— namely, that whatever beats St. Frusquia either in the Guineas or Derby will bo returned the winner.

*** Norton, the New Zealand 'ohaser, who has to be acknowledged as such whatever he may do in England, ha 9 been handicapped for the Liverpool National at the reasonable weight of 11.0, or a stone and a-half below the maximum, and as it is something less than a Cloister that has pride of place the Maoriland ohestnut may be reckoned well treated. To get in at such a nice weight will console his party for his defeat at Lingfleld Park, though no doubt they would have preferred t<s win there and chance the National. A victory afc Nor*

ton's flral attempt on Boil was, howerfk coo much to ezpect ; and iWk getting into tbj big steeplechase at a midway impost is the netu best thing that oould have happened. Eleven 1 atone will be quite a treat to Norton in s<rac^. It is to be hoped be will not think, when he jfeeji the unusually light burden on hie back, th»s « ia a more exerciue gallop that he Is pulled <Jni for, as, though his weight is reduoed, he rt|ll require fcp race all he oan to Win, for he is' t> pretty old horse, and he wilj be meeting soifle of the world's best company. Still, if he evet had any show— if it was worth while taking him Home at all—this is his ohauoe. took at tfia weights he has carried in New Zealand. Her* are hiß winning performances in the colony sinoi} the sale by Mr Bristol to Mr D.. Rutherford itt the winter of 18&1 :—

at Syrs : - Spring Hurdles, Chrjßtchurch, 9.10 Tally-ho Handloap, Dunedin, \ti ■ Hurdle Race, Wellington, 12.2. at 6rRS : Maiden Steeplechase, Grand National, 11.7 Spring Hurdles, Uhristchurch, i 2.9' Curragh Steeplechase, 12.11 Oulverden Plate (flat), 10.13. AT 7YRB : Beaufort Steeplechase, GraDd National, IB. If Curragh Steeplechase (dead heat), 13.0 Kildare Steeplechase, 12.7. at BtRS : Grand National Steeplechase, 12.8 Hawke'a Bay Steeplechase, 12.9. This sea* on the gallant chestnut is nine yet m old, therefore not improving, bub I feel euro! ft Gollan is Satisfied so far as weight is concern! & Moreover, he will probably be able to baok bis horse for as much as he wants at a good price, English sports have had a recent sickener of colonial horses with Daydream and Paris, and as they quickly take prejudices and uphold them even to their pecuniary detriment, there is sore to bo lots of tin for Norton. Already we h«ys a comment on the handicap to the effect tykkt Norton has done nothing to deserve so high 4 place in the list. This comes from the editor of the leadiug sporting paper, ami others are snr^ to follow his le»d. Well, I hope that on the 27th. inst Norton will go to the post fit and weu. It is hardly to be supposed that he will be ftbhTs best, and I do not quite expect to hear of his winning, but 1 should like to know that he had ran a good race, for the credit of our little colony. The full list of entries is given else* where. It will be seen that last year's winneir, Wild Man from Borneo, Is weighted at 12.0, tit 171b more than he had when he won.

*** Malama's Newmarket Handicap viotory, writes the Argus sporting man, brought tip memories of Bungebah'a easy win in 1891. Qbe got nicely away, and faking the lead At the fou£» Furlong post she really had everything beaten after going half the distance. Oourallie Wm the only one who appeared to have even ft remote chance of oatohing her, and when the chosen of the Sydney division threw oat his challenge Maluma made a gallant response, and as she passed the post she waa going at quite si comfortable pace. The time was not very fast* but Maluma, if she had been pushed, could possibly have chipped something off the lmjp lSfaec recorded. Though she usually did hei work at Caulfleld so early that the touts could cot properly distinguish the posts and worn thus unable to accurately time her gallops, wt Redfearn made no secret of the fact that her work was wonderfully smart, seven fnr« longs being reeled off by her with he» shoes on one morning^ in lmin ZOsea. Newhaven quite covered himself with glory by the way be won the Ascotvale Stakes. Thq race was never in doubt at any time, and he won in the Jbollowesfc fashion. His meeting with Coil on level terms was one oE the features oE the day's, racing, and opinions being pretty well divided as to (He respective merits of the two colts, there was some heavy betting on tho event. Coil ran very disappointingly^' and he' certainly did not show hia true form. Tom Fayten has always considered Newbaveo better than Coil — he beat his colt so easily in fcfap Maribyroong Plate—but he expected the son or Aberoorn to at least give Newhaven a rattling good race, and he is quite at a losb to understand hia bad form. It may be that Coil 1* going off. Newhaven will no doubt now rule as the winter favourite for the Derby, lie is not such a popular colt amongifc backers M Coil, but publio form cannot be ignored.

*** From Wellington it is telegraphed >- " The Acting CQlonial Secretary hat written to the secretary of the Wellington Raoiog Club statiDg thatifae is not prepared to consider any applicatioDS for permission to use the totalisatoij at race meetings in the Wellington distriot uatfl the restrictions placed upon the MastertonOpaki Jockey Club be removed. It is under* stood that in consequence of this decision tha Wellington Racing Club and the Wairarapa Racing Club will withdraw their autumn prolgrammes, as the Metropolitan Club is not likely to recede from the position taken up. the stewards meet on Wednesday to finally decide."

* # * The position of tbis dispute is therefore very much aa it was last week: the ActiDg Colonial StcroUry — otherwise the Premier— maintaining with stubbornness that unless the metropolitan club lets him have his own way ha. ■will punish the whole distriot, and the We.l* lingfcon Club, on the other hand, showing no dig« position to retire from its position nor earreudef its rights at the command of our modern King Riohard. As to the claims of the respective parties there cannot be two opinions. Tho Wellington Club has all the best of the argument, or would have if there was an argument, whioh there is not, the club choosing to not on the defensive without the aid of trumpeters oif bluster of any sort, and to endure in silence whatever punishments may be in store for doing its duty ; and, whatever the outcome of this quarwsl, it should be borne in mind and remembered griittf ully by sporting men throughout the colony that the Wellington Club is net' merely acting on its own account, but is loyally doing duty for the whole colony. For the Premier I feel somewhat sorry. Entering upon his administration of the Department of Racing with characteristic earneßtuees and energy, ha has in an ill-advised moment aUowed his impetuosity to lead him to commit! himself to s> declaration which he would probably withdraw i£ it would not seem undignified to do so. Ido not think he would suffer any loss of dignity by giving way for the benefit of the people ; bujs perhaps he does not view the matter in the eamQ light, and having gone so far I expect he will see the business through and gain a nominal, viotory. It will, however, be one of those sort of viototies that are more disastrous th*d defeats. In either case tbe Premier has nothing to gain. The ultimate effect of this unedifyin^ dispute will be, iq all probability, a further did' ouesion about the totalisator next session. Someone id aure to bring up the question even if the Government do not. What will im> mediately happen in such a case can hardly ba foreseen. Parliament as a body doe 3 not under* fttand' the s^bjeoi;, and will aot bother itself to try and understand it till sporting men organisa and make it a question of votes. When that is done our legislators will educata themselves with prompt alaority, and endeavour to do the will of the Peonle. Meanwhile th»

debating and the voting that are to be expeoted brill burn on all sorts of side issues, and no one can foretell the outcome. Perhaps it will be as ■serious as to abolish the totalisator — temporally. it comes to that or not, racing can Jiardly be expected to proflb by being mixed up av?it& Butih a debasing influence as party politics. jßufr, aa 1 hive said, Parliament cannot work permanent injury to raoing. It is one of the (People's ohief amusements, end if deprived of. it jor made to take it in a form which is distasteful jbo fchair wishes, they will soon let the legislators jknow what's what. Therefore Ido not fear the (ultimate outcome — not even an aob forbidding lihe'ujra of the tobalisator. This Parliament pay if it likes pass euoh an act, bub the next one B?ill very quickly receive inatmotions to repeal 16. The Worst fhat can happen is a temporary annoyance. Above and beyond Parliament are the People, and their decisions when given on Consideration are as a rale not far astray.

t * # * My trotting list, revised to date, appears again this week. Four meetings have contributed to the catalogue of even-timers sinoe jbhe previous publication. At Otaauha we had JPioke mitking a record of smin 54seo for two ■pailes and Duke C. entering the two and a-half mile list with the very fair time of 7min l2£seo. JThe Palmerston North meeting found Misnomer doing Bmin 23aec for three miles, Jenny putting up a record of Bmin 47seo for the same distance, the pony Eric reducing bis record of fcmin 49^sec to Bmin Msec, ai.d Claret gaining jhonours at a mile with 2miu 53seo. At Akaroa Jthere wera two recruits — namely, Daiium, Bmin BSseo, and Kit, smin 45seo, for two miles. At jPlumpton on Saturday last every winner did considerably better than even time, The new ones at a mile were t Ascot,2min 48^seo, Redmire 2min SBseo, and Seawcod 2min 53sec, while Carolina lowered her record from 2min 51-£seo to 2min |46seo ; and at two miles Polly Plum (pony) jfoined the ranks with fimin 44^sec, Sans Souoi with smin 45^ec, and Young Irvington with cmin 16^8eo, and Bel Lorimer improved her posifclou by reducing her reoord from Smin 41sec to {Bmin 15£ see. I shall soon have to think about raising the standard of admission to the honours list. Pretty well all the trotters in training van do, or ought to be able to do, even time, if they can't, their plaoa is on a cab rank or dragging old ladies about for afternoon airings.

*** Gipsy Grand's excursion to Napier has (turned oat disastrous. All that he has got for fiis 1000-mile journey is a cripplicg accident. ti?he first report was that ihe oolt had sfcinok (himself at exercise; but the owners, both of {whom travelled up to see Gipsy Grand ran, telegraphed on Monday that the real injury was a ttrench of the off fore fetlock. The additional line that with a spell the colt will probably tome right indicates pretty plainly that to all appearances the damage is not serious. Still, *he very word •• spell " is fatal to Gipsy Grand's Chances of raoing very soon, for be is a gross Jolt, requiring to gallop every day, and in his Idleness he will build up fat like a Leicester '*heep. I should not, therefore, be surprised to find that his career is over for the season, ffoxt week, perhaps, we shall be able to form a ' fcetter idea of how our crack racer stands. Meanwhile everybody is sorry to hear of his »ad look*

*** Some Australian writers seem to take .ijery little pains to get hold ot the facts about Now Zsaland racing. Behold a sample of " fcoent "news" culled from a Viotorian journal : . r.'Hr Stevenson also carried off on Saturday the Marshall Memorial Stakes with his aged , horse Hippomenes, by St. Leger, who at weight for age over siz inrlongs downed St. Onida, by the same sire, who is regarded as a very promising two-year-old filly." In another newspaper we get a specimen of the correct stuff poshed tip: "Donedin seems lately to have fcad a mortgage on the Dunedin Cup. During Jthe past five years it has been won by an outsider, Mr P. Butler's Liberator, which remiads jtne that this son of Betrayer and Diana keeps jon - winning." This is the sort of thing that fa&kes the writer swear when he sees it in print.

*** Returning to town from the last Caul"field meeting, writes "Woomera" in the Australasian, I happened to get into the same railjffay carriage as a professional tipster, who, for |the present, is ont of business. He explained )to the girls with him that he had lost money on ©very r*oe. " t should have been five quid out of pocket," s»id he, *' but Father gave me a fiver to put on — — , and that just squares mo." " But didn't you pat it on P" ' ask«d one of the girls. v Pnt it on— do yon think Fm a fool? The mare didn't win, so it's all right. jßut, anyhow, I had him pn toast. He couldn't make a noise about it, or I would have reported >bim to the archbishop for gambling." If this should meet the eye of Father ho will know, where his £5 went.

*** According to » contributor to Sydney Reteree, the Hon. James White won a big sum tn bets on Carlyon when that horse won the Sssendon Stakes. Mr White was sitting in the Melbourne Club one evening, " just thinking of nothing at all," when he was approached by tone of the many rich Maoriland sportsmen who were over after Nelson, and was challenged to $»&ck bis horse against Nelson in the Bssendon. JAfter a while the Hon James made a wager with his tormentor, but nil handi joined in and granted to back the big chestnut from the Land of the Moa. Mr White then stopped the lot of them. It's a matter of history how Oarlyon look Nelson along at such a bat as Jib never was taken before, and beat him easily at the finish.

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TALK OF THE DAY., Otago Witness, Issue 2194, 19 March 1896

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TALK OF THE DAY. Otago Witness, Issue 2194, 19 March 1896

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