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The Contributor.

DENIS DISCOURSES* Dear Mr Editor,—l don’t know how it shtrikes ye, but it inks as if Sir Joseph was makin’ all the appointmints he possibly can before crbasin the say for the Quid Counthry. Ye can’t take up a paper widout seein’ that this wan’s been chosen to reprisint the sailors at the Conference in England, an’ that wan a judge ay the Arbitration Coort, an’ so on, an so on. An’ now there's a lot av chaps called to the Upper House, an’ if Sir Joseph doesn’t lave soon he’ll not lave wan av us that he won’t have into a billit or the Legislative Council, an’ be like the shweeps in Ireland. Ye musht know that whin Lord Morris, wan av Ireland’s judges, was lavin’ the coort wan day, a shweep shpoke to him. “Be aff, ye dirty scoundrel,” ses His Honour, “I don’t know you !” “Ye do, yer honour, ses the shweep, ‘‘sure I shwept yer chimney.” “Oh, it was you, was it? Well, I’ll never have you again, for the work was badly done, and the chimney has smoked ever since. “Oh, yes, you will !” answered the sweep. I tell you I won’t, for there are plenty of other sweeps in Ireland.” “Sure, yer honour, ’ ses the man av soot, “I’m the only wan all the others have become numbers av Parliamint.” •4* ■4’ 's’■ Betgorra, but this New Zealand is a wonderful counthry. The other night me frind Mr M. Gilfedder was walkin’ about the shtreets, a dacint, quiet, hard-workin’ solicitor, an’ nixt mornin’ he woke up to find himsiif a judge av the Native Land Coort. ’Twas the grate debate in the family wo had over it. “Sure,” ses Corncy, “I don’t know how he’ll get on at all, at all, for they do be say in’ that he can’t talk Maori.” “Ho wid your whisht, lad,” ses I, “sure the man that walked on fut from Orepuki to Preservation Inlet to git acquainted wid the elictors whin he was shtandin’ for Pariiamint’ll make short work av the Maori language. He’ll be puttin’ the interpreters right in three months’ time, or me name’s not Denis O’Shea.” “Yes,” ses Katie, “ho has enough energy an’ brains to do that, an’ more, an Bedalia chipped in an’ said she thought he’d 'do credit to the Governmint’s choice. 4- -4“At the same time,” ses Bedalia, “I do hope he’ll not be afther showin’ aff, an’ that he’ll talk to the paple in coort in a plain way, an’ not be like the lawyer in Scotland that tackled an ould counthryman in this fashion :—Ts the defendant m your opinion perfectly sane ?’ The man gazed at him in bewildcrmint, an’ made no reply- ‘Bo you think the defendant capable of managing his own affairs?’ Shtill greater bewildermint on the part av the wi ness. T ask you,’ ses the advocate, speakin’ wid great particularity, do you consider the man perfectly rational ■?’ The man stared wid amazemint, an’ remained perfectly speechless. ‘Let me tackle him, ses Mr 8., another lawyer. Thin, adoptin’ his broadest Scotch, ‘Hae ye yer

mull wi’ ye ?’ ses he. ‘Ou, aye/ answered the witness, an’ reached out his snuff-box. ‘Noo, hoo lang hae ye. kent John Sampson ?’ axed Mr 8., takin’ a pinch gracefully, ‘Ever sin’ he wis that height,’ came the answer. ‘An’ dae yc think, noo, atwoen you an’ me,’ ses the advocate, insinuatingly, ‘that there’s anything intill the " creature ?’ T wadna lippen (trust) him wi’ a calf,’ was the instant and. satisfyin’ rejoinder. -4- -4- -4“Well,” ses Corney, “I think Mr Macgregor, av the Southland Pipe Band, will be afther usin’ some plain language whin he gits to Gore on the way back from the Exhibition.” “How is that ?’* ses I. “Well, dad, ser he, “ye know the fine dishplay they imade in the Queen's Park on Monday night, an’ the lordly shtridc wid which ‘Mac.’ led thini to the grounds. Well, ye’ll hardly credit it, but the Mataura Ensign had the audacity to compare thim to the Fijians. Ses the paper—‘The band has gone to Christchurch, an the lijians have come South—a fair exchange is no robbery.’ Did ye ivir hear av such an insult, makin' out that the band was only equal to a troupe av thravellin’ natives. Pd like to be near ‘Mac.’ whin he reads that !” He’ll be wild, ’ ses Katie. “Wild !” ses I, “that’s nothin’ to the shtate he’ll be in—l shud not be surprised if he doesn’t sht-op in Gore overnight an’ order the band to play tinder the editor's window for two hours, wid the inevitable inquest nixt day.” ‘‘What wild the verdict bo ?’’ ses Bedalia. “Well, it wudn’t be death from natural causes annyway,” ses I. -4- 4- 4- 4-

“Perhaps,” ses Corner, “'she visit to Gore might result in nothin - serious —it might be like what happened in a town of Kentucky, when a stranger wid a, negro servant visited the place. ‘I hope your master was not annoyed by the mosquitos/ observed the head av the hotel ; ‘I m sorry to say they’re pretty bad just now.’ ‘Oh, no, sah !,” Cheerfully responded the servant. ‘Las’ evenin’ Marsc John, when he went to bed was so intoxicated ho don’t mind de skeeters at all, an’ dis mornin’ de skeeters is so intoxicated they don t mind Marse John.’ ” “That s all right,” ses Bedalia, “but ye musht remember, Corney, that since nolicense. was carried not even a sandfly can get intoxicated in Gore, so the comparison doesn’t hold g’ood. - 4>- 4* 4- 4* ''Well,” ses Katie, “I think yc arcall wrong, an’ that Mr Macgregor’ll be like the sea captain that was so much given to usin’ bad language that his tirsht mate made a hot wid him that he could not do widout swearin’ for a week. It wint on all right for the firsht two or three days until a bit av a squall came on, an’ the sailors were up aloft doin’ their different duties. But the captain was displeased -wid their work. He shtud it as long as he cud, an’ thin he threw his cap on the deck in towerin’ rage, jumped on it, au’ shakin’ his fight at the men. wid an angry scowl, he hissed :— ‘ Bless you, my dears —you know what I mean-’ 4” 4“- 4” ’Tis the grate trick was played on me this wake, Mr Hditor, an’ I'm not

above tell in’ it to ye so that ye von’t be had the same way. I met a commercial thraveller I know, an’ ses he —"What’s the matther wid Mr Roope ?■” "Isothin',” ses I, "why do ye ask ?”- ‘•Well,’’ ses hel ‘‘have ye not heard av the ciuare thing ho did whin he visited ‘Australia ?” “No,” ses I. "Why,’’ ses he, " he bought fifty kangaroos.’’ "That bates all,” ses 1, "He can’t be fatin’ well if he did a thing like that. But what does he want wid the craythurs annyway ?” ses I. ‘‘Why,” ses the thraveller, as he wint away, "he wants to make beer out av their hops.” 4Well, Mr lOditor, ye cud have vnocked me down wid your little finger, I was that taken abgc-k at bein’ caught so aisily—me that had been engaged, in. the jokosmilh business so long - . If. it happens again, begorra, I'll ask Sir Joseph Wand to call me to the Upper House, so I will, or, failin' a vacancy I’ll take a J.P.ship. But talkin’ av hops, yc shud have seen the min from Fiji hoppin’ about in the Queen’s Park on Wid'ncsday. The weather was cowld, an’ the wind blew that hard that the natives lukt blue, an’ so did' their bare logs. They danced an’ they sang - , an’ I towid wan av thim that wo were plased wid their antics. He said they wore glad to hoar that, an’ that he’d like to know me name to till it to his frinds whin they met across the Kava an’ bananas in fair Fiji. 44 4 4

I towld him paple called me Denis O’Shea, an’ axed for his cognomen. “Why,” ser he. exposin’ the finest set av teeth I iver saw, “they call me Sosoceni Tamani Kairukurukuiovalu.’ I haven’t got over .the shock yet, Mr Editor, an’ I’ll lave Fijians severely alone in future. Wain I got home there was nearly as little life in me as there was in the man whose will was disputed in coort. The grate Counsellor OjConnell was fightin’ it on the ground, that it was a forgery, but which the other side declared had been properly executed by the testator, whoso hand, howikir, they had to guide I>ecause av his weakness,. AH seemed to be goin’ smoothly for the will. But a phrase oft reiterated by the chief witness, an .Irishman, attracted the attintion av O’Connell. “The life was 1 in him,” ses this man again ’an' again. “On the virtue of your oath, was he alive ?” axed the Counsel. Again the man replied—- “ The life was in him.” 4-

O’Connell shir ode a little nearer to the witness-box, an' in his masht impressive manner addressed the man—- “ Now, I call upon you in the presence av your Maker, Who will one day pass sentence upon you for this evidence, T solemnly ask—and answer me at your peril—was not there a fly in the dead man’s mouth when his hand was placed on the will ?” The man. taken aback at the question, broke down and confessed that that was the truth av the matter. A fly had been introduced into the mouth av the dead man to allow the witnesses to swear that ‘‘life was in him.” DENIS.

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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 48, 26 January 1907

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The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 48, 26 January 1907

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