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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 41, 8 December 1906
DENIS DISCOURSES* Dear Mr Editor, —Not havin’ amiything betther to do wan day this wake I spint an hour in the Supreme Coort, an’ was -shtruck by the way Judge Denniston kept the lawyers in their places. If ivir they attimpted to slur over the sayins’ or Joins’ av a prisoner he was down on thim like a hundredweight av ,sancl an’ lime bricks, an’ he was all alive from the crown av his head to the sole av his fate to put annywan right that seemed to be gettin’ on the wrong track. M X M * “He’s the sharp man is His Honour,” ses Katie. “He’s all that,” ses I, “he’s jusht the lasht man in the world to put his fut in it, like the Judge in Ireland in my young days. Ye see, a lawyer was arguing away about a dispute over furniture 1 an’ afther talkin’ for a long while an’ savin’ nothin’, ses he —'My lord. I will now address myself to the furniture.’ ‘You have been doing that for some time, I think, Mr Wells,-’ ses the judge, sweetly, amid a gineral titterin’. Now, there was another judge who heard this anecdote, an’ thought av storin’ it up for some future occasion. At the coort, soon, aftherwards, his opportunity seemed to have arrived. He was tryin’ a case in which the circumstances were somewhat similar, but the property involved was live stock. ‘My lord, I will now address myself to the donkey,’ ses the lawyer. ‘You have been doing that for some time,’ was the prompt response, whereupon a regular roar of laughter followed, which highly- gratified the judge until its true reason dawned upon him.” * « w » ’Twas the grate matin’ we had on Monday night over the Home Rule question, an’ ye shud have heard his riverence Dean Burke on the situation. I never realised that we Irishmin were such a downtrodden lot until I heard him shpakin’, an’ I was not the lashte surprised whin Mr I. L. Petrie allowed himsilf to be dieted on the committee that’s to wilcome Mr Delvin, the great Irish dele-g-ate from the Nationalists av Ireland. I don’t belave Mr Petrie is an Irishman, but he’s got a heart that sympathises wi-d the woes av others, an’ so he’s on the committee. He’s a useful man, that same Petrie, an’ he’s nivir out av place. “No,” ses Corney, “he’&nivir likely to find himsilf in the same position as the stranger that towld the captain av a village futball team that he was a grate player. He was put on wi-d the team, but soon showed that he was a duffer, an’ whin ho let the ball roll betwane his legs three times in as manny minutes, the captain’s patience gave out. ‘You a footballer!’ ses he, ‘best thing that you can do is to get- t’other side the ropes along o’ the crowd. We’ll play ten men.’ So the newcomer sorrowfully put on his coat and wint. ‘Wot ’ave I done now ?’ ses he, whin another goal havin’ been scored against the locals, the captain made his way to the ropes, an’ fixed him wid a stare that wud -have punctured an armourplate. ‘Doire !’ bellowed the skipper, ‘why, you ain’t safe even there —you
’ave been ’ollerin’ for the wrong side ! ’■ -i * • * * “Well,” ses Bedalia, “I hope ivirybody’ll rowl up to hear Mr Delvin for I’m towld he’s wan av the finest orators that ivir visited Invercargill, but I always thought,” ses she, ‘-‘that Ireland was goin’ on well.’’ “How can ye think that,” ses Katie, “whin the paple are lavin’ it at the rate av 40,000 a year ?” “Sure, mother,” ses Bedalia, “don’t yo know what the Irishman towld the Yankee that was boastin’ about how rich the States were. ‘That’s nothin’,’ ses- Pat, ‘for Ireland’!! soon be the richest counthry in the world.' ‘How so ?’ ses the Yankee. ‘Sure,’ ses Pat, ‘isn’t it’s capital always Dublin ?’ ” * * * * While we were all laffm’ at the joke in came Angus McGregor, Inkin’ as savage as the crowd av min that wint out to the beer depots the other night an’ found they were too late, an’ that all they cud do was to lave their kegs to be filled nixt day. “I’m angry, Denis,” ses Angus. “Ye ken that bit lassie that gi’es- the wife a harm wi’ the hoosewark ? Weel, she wis talked into buyin’ a sewin’ machine, an’ paid a deposit on it. Then the agint o’ neither machine cam’ along an' persuaded her tao send it back, an’ tak’ his yin instead. She telt him she’d paid a deposit, an’he up an’ said that sooner than see her pit aff wi’ an inferior machine he’d pay the deposit, an’ he did, an’ sint in yin o’ his ain machines. Th« lassie thocht he wis a graun chap, but ye ken, Denis-, if he hadna done that he'd made naething instead o’ twa or three ponds.” * * * « “But that’s no the trouble. A day or twa afterwards Mr Agent called an’ axed me tae sign a paper, jist as a matter o’ form. ‘We always do it,’ ses he, ‘whin a servant girl buys a machine.’ ‘l’ll no sign it,’ ses- I, ‘ye hae gotten her receipt for it, an’ that ought tae be sufficient. Weel, he keepit on at this matter o‘ form business, an’ then I picked up the paper, air’ what dae ye think, Denis, it wis tae the effect that I wis tae guarantee payment o’ the machine. Did ye ivir hear tell o’ the like ? A matter o’ form, forsooth ! Man, but I wis angry, an’ I sent the chap awa’ wi’ a flea in his lug.” * * * * “Yes,” ses I, “I suppose ye treated him like the man at the house treated the tramp. Pedestrian Pete — ‘What did you ask for at the house up the road ?’ Itinerant Mike — ‘ I asked for some cold victuals.’ Pete —‘And what did you get ?’ Mike —T got the cowld shoulder.’ * * * * “ ’Twas a narrow escape ye had, Angus,” ses I, “for if annything had gone wrong - these canvassers or their bosses are jusht the lads to make throu-ble —they’re not nearly so const derate an’ thoughtful as- the servant who was seen at the top av a ladder doin’ somethin’ to the weathercock on the stable turret. ‘Hullo, Pat,’ ses- his mashter, ‘what are you up to now ?’ ‘The mish. tress- want's to go for a drive,’ ses Pat, ‘an’ she towld me to put the pony in the dog cart. But faix, it’s blowin’ so nasty an’ cowld from the aste, an’ she is so pur'ty an’ delicate that I thought I’d bt after lyin’ the bla’gard av a
wind round to the so’-west wid a bit av shtring an’ kape it there till she had her drive an’ come home again.”
On Tuesday night I tuk the family to hear Mr Hornibrook lecturin’ on physical culture. He’s a fine-lukin’ man, an’ a good advert iseniint for Mr Sandow, whose system av developmint he’s afther followin’. He wis death on corsets an’ dhrink, an’ electric belts, an’ patent medicines, an’ towld us we cud kape in the best av health by simply breathin’, an’ shtayin’ out in the open-air. Corney was out bright an’ early nixt mornin’ expandin’ his chist, an’ whin he came in ho ate a breakfast that ’ud have done credit to wan av the animals: in Wirth’s 1 menagerie. His mother lukt quite alarmed, an’ reminded me av the ould lady that wan day entered a doctor’s surgery, leadin’ a healthy boy av nine years. ‘Well, Mrs 13.,’ said the doctor, ‘who’s our patient ?’ ‘My nevew from town,’ Mrs B. replied. ‘Xot much wrong with him, I should say,’ laughed the doctor, pinchin’ his 1 red cheeks. ‘lt’s about his appetite, doctor,’ said the boy’s aunt, in a low voice. ‘What !’ exclaimed the doctor, starin’. ‘Surely he doesn’t need an appetiser ?’ ‘Good gracious, no, doctor,’ ses Mrs 8., in horrified accents, ‘I want you to give me summat to make ’is appetite less. ’ETI eat me out of house an’ home afore ’is month’s holidays is up, if ’is appetite ain’t cut down.” * * * * Talkin’ av appetite, Mr Editor, ’tis wonderful the appetite, the town has for amusements. The theatre’s been crowded night afther night, an’ on Wednesday evenin’ Wirth’s grate tint was bulgin’ out at the sides wid the crowds' that poured in. The managemint were that plased that wan av thim got up an’ ses—‘‘We had our doubts about how we’d get on in a no-license town, but faith, this crowd is a record, and as far as business is concerned I’ll vote no license every time.”- * * * * Katie an’ mesilf wint home in the late car, an’ it rowled about at such a rate that whin I got home it reminded me av a song called “ The Jaunting Oar.” Bedalia wint to the pianny, an’ I shtruck an’ attitude in front av Katie, an’ sang as follows — Och, Katie, sweet, my honey, do ye mind whin long ago, While the silver flakes were failin’ fast and fine, And the ould mare’s hoof kept ballin’ as she floundered through the snow, How your fingers got all tangled up wT’ mine. ’Twas an accident entirely; w T e were sittin’ back to back, ’Twas,qny hand that reached behind a bit too far. Sure the exquisite comminglin’ nearly took me off the track, ‘ 'As we jogged along in Mick’s old jaunting car. Och, Katie, thin, mavonnieen, I have nivir loved but you, All the many years we’ve jogged along together. In the sunshine and the rainstorm ye’ve been ivir tried an’ true. But ye’re still the best of all in wintry weather. Still the exquisite comminglin’ of our souls 1 sets all aglow.
Though we’ve rambled o’er life’s peat-bogs long an’ far. In our hearts ’tig endless springtime, tho’ our heads are Capped wi’ snow,Jog'gin’ homeward, dear, in Love’s old jaunting car. DENIS.
The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 41, 8 December 1906
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