DENIS DISCOURSES* Dear Mr Editor, —I see me ould frind Mr Honisby, has been down south an’ lecturin’ the railway min on their rights. He ses they shudivt call thimsilves the railway servants society, but workers, because servants is too humble like, an’ he ses, moreover, that they’ve not got anny concessions from the .Governmint, but only rights that they shud have had long ago. Ho also towld thim that he was in touch wid the Minister, an’ that the Minister intinded to treat thim like men, an’ that he was makin’ very little out av the editorship av the Railway Review—jusht a paltry tin pounds lasht year, an that he did’nt want to make annything—that it was a labour av love, an’ so on. * * * * "Well,” ses Katie, "by his own showin’ he’s done a powerful lot for the poor down-trodden min—l nivir knew they were treated so badly before, and that they were afraid to shpake or write to the Minister.” "Yes,” ses Corney, "Mr Hornsby’s the grate worker entirely, but he’ll overdo it if he doesn’t Ink out an’ share the fate av the vetetan that was runnin’ for Congress in days before the Civil War. He had as bis opponent a young man who had nivir been a soldier. In his spaches the ould hero made the mosht av his ‘record.’ 'Fellow citizens,’ he wud say, ‘I have fought an’ bled for my country ; I have helped repulse the Mexican ; I helped repel the savage Indian. I have slept upon the field of battle with no other covering than the canopy of heaven. I have plodded baiwfoot over the frozen ground until every footstep was marked with blood,’ At the close av these spaches an old man, wipin’ the tears from his eyes wid the inds av his coattails, elbowed his way up up to the spaker. ‘You’ve fought both the Mexicans an’ the Injuns ?’ he axed. -I have, sir.’ ‘An ye’ve slep’ on the ground without kivver ?’- '‘l have, sir.’ ‘An’ you say that your feet have covered the ground ye walked on with blood ?’ 'They have, sir.’ ses the speaker, delighted that his words had made such a profound impression- ‘Well , then,’ ses the old man, turnin’ away wid a sigh av deep emotion, ‘l’m a-feerd I’ll have to vote for the other feller, fur I’ll be gosh blamed if you ain’t done enough fur yer country already. - -- * * * * "Well,” ses Katie, "the veteran Was a plucky ould chap, but he cudn’t howld a candle to Mr Adam Hoffman, av Gore.” "How do ye make that out ?” ses I. "Why,” ses she, "what do ye think he did ? Lishten, Denis. Eight months ago he contracted inflammation av the lungs, an’ was out av work, five months. Thin he filed because a company got judgmint against him for a bicycle, an’ borrowed the money from his mother to file wid. Thin, Denis, another order was made against him for £4 a month, an’ thin he got married, an’ paid for 38 gallons av beer in honour av the happy ivint. But that wasn’t all, Uenis, He got his leg an’ his collar-
bone broken an’ his knee-cap shplit—• an’ he’s shtill alive, Denis.” "There’s a man for ye,” ses I, "begorra, he’s not so aisy upset as the beer depot regulations. Av coorse, he’ll be afther g-ettin’ the Victoria Cross for bravery in the battle av life, or Something av that kind,” ses I. "No,” ses Katie, "his creditors are goin’ to bring him before the judge to explain things, an’ how he’s not able to pay a matt her av forty odd pounds. Ye’d think a man that had come through all that ’ud deserve betther treat-mint.” "Well,” ses Corney, "he’s not goin’ to let it bother him, for whin I towld him not to borrow trouble, ‘Why, Corney, ses ho, wid a laff, ‘it’s about the only thing I can borrow f” * * * * Its the talk av Otautau, Mr Editor, the grate horse case that Charlie. Reading had against Mr McMenamin over the beasht that got into the pound an’ that was taken out again an’ got killed. Charlie wanted £l6, an’ the magistrate gave him nothing, an’ ordered him to pay coshts into the bargain, an’ what made matt hers- worse he give judigmint whin Charlie was out chasin’ a witness, an’ Charlie didn’t get a chance to address the coort by way av summin’ up. The crowd that was there say they nivir heard the like av Charlie for eloquence. Ye see, he conducted his own case an’ a good part av the other side’s also, an’ they say that whin he got goin’ properly the shtream av talk flowed from him as quick as the Otautau shtrame rushes along the shtreots' in flood-time. "He’s a grate ould general, is Charlie,” ses Corney. "He’s all that,” ses I, "but he’s not like the wan that examined the school children wance. Ye see, he’d been givin’ them a sketch av the lives 1 av famous ginerals. ‘Boys,’ he concluded, ‘you all know the great George Washington was a general ; perhaps you also know I am a general. Now, can anyone tell the difference between George Washington and mysel ?’ T know, sir,’ answered a youngster, at the back of the room. ‘Well, what is the difference?’ ‘George Washington couldn’t tell a lie, sir,’ shouted the boy in exultant tones.” Well,” ses Corney, "Charlie Reading couldn’t tell a Ho, but ho can say more in five minutes than anny other man cud give utterance to in an hour,” * * * * Av coorse Bedalia an’ Corney wint to the Riverton regatta. There’s wan good thing about Riverton —il the weather’s too rough for the regatta yc can always fall back on the scenery or the mishaps to the sailin’ craft —an’ the whisky. Corney ses the wind shpoilcd the regatta, an’ that it was also too much for some av the visitors 1 . It tuk thim all their time to shtecr a course for the railway station, an’ whin Corney towld wan chap that the road was rather long, ses he-—"I know it’s long, but it’s not the lingth but the breadth that’s killin’ me.” * » * * In an evil moment Katie an’ me was persuaded into goin’ to Stewart Island. We got there wid a lot av other paple, an’ whin we got there ye cud have hung us on a line to dry—we were that wet outside an’ that impty inside. There was a big
wind an 5 the same kind av say on, even some av the crew lufct as blue as if they’d been bakin’ Epsom salts. But och it was the fun av the world whin we got back to the Bluff an’ wint to Tom Parry’s comfortable establishmint for refreshmints. Katie an’ mesilf nivir laffed so much in our lives as we did whin a young couple sat down at the nixt table. Katie heard her callin’ him Sandy, an’ ye cud see they were kapin’ company. Well, Sandy ordered a pie, sat down, an’ commenced to ate it. Meanwhile the gyrul lukt shyly on. “Is’t fine, Sandy ?” she timidly axed. ‘Ay, ’tis awfu’ fine, Jennie,” ses he, “ye should buy yin f” * « « • Corney ses that he’s read something like that before, an’ that Sandy musht have been tryin’ to take a rise out av us. Its a way .young paple have nowadays av thinkin’ that the ould paple arc av no account, an’ that annybody can play wid thim, but if ye wanted to get an’ eye-opener ye shut! have seen me ould frind Mr Kenneally at the Clifton shports on Widnesday. The shmall boy that got the besht av him an’ inside the gates wxdout the right to be there had to be very shmart. The only thing that troubled me frind was that more paple weren’t throublin’ for tickets. I shtarted to sympathise wid him, but he wudn’t let me. “Don’t mention it, Denis,” ses he, ‘ sure they’ll all turn up again nixt year—they’ll be like the woman’s childer. She was refused the tenancy av house aft-her house because she had nine childer. Thin she resorted to strategy, an’ sint her little wans for a walk in the cemetery. ‘Have you aky children ?’ axed the nixt house agent. ‘They are all in the cemetery,’ she replied, mournfully. ‘Thin yod can have the house,’ ses he. She moved in nixt day wid her family.” DENIS.
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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 44, 29 December 1906
The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 44, 29 December 1906
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