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The Contributor.

DENIS DISCOURSES. Dear Mr Editor, —'Tis the unexpected that is always happenin:. Sure, I nivir dhramed' that a matin’ av the Mat-aura Presbytery ’u-d have anny fun in it, but begorra, whin I shtarted to read the report in the Ensign 1 didn’t shtop till I finished it, an’ whin Katie towld me the tea’ud be cowld if I didn’t hurry I felt fair mad. ■s- - musht know that the Presbytery axed the Church Extension Committee to Sind a deputation to report on the proposal to form - a mission charg-e out av the districts av Brydone, Waimumu, an’ Charlton. Well, i don't rightly know whether this will affect, the salaries av some 'av the parsons, but anny way, whin the report came in signed by the Rev. Mr Borrie it said that some av the ministers showed that they were hostile, an’ thried to put obstacles in the way av the deputation. The Rev. Mr Gray said the report was unfair, ■an’ moved that a reply be drawn up •by the mimbers prisint at the lasht matin for the nixt matin’, an’ this was carried. Ses the Rev. Mr McDonald : Leave me out of it ; I do not want to be mixed up with it. 'All I know is that Mr Borrie was exceedingly hurt at something that was said. So much so that he was inclined to return to Dunedin by the first train. The Rev. Mr McTnnes ; I was present and heard nothing that would justify Mr Borrie in taking such a course. The Rev. Mr McDonald said that it was said, that it was what was said outside rather than inside the meeting that had given offence. The Rev. Mr Gray : iWhat was said outside the meeting we have nothing to do with. The Rev. Mr McDonald ; We have a good deal to 'do with it. It was all part of the reception of the deputation. •The Rev. Mr Gray repeated that they had nothing to do wid what occurred outside the meetin’. With the Benediction the meeting ended. The Rev. Mr McDonald ; You were gentlemen. The Rev. Mr Gray : Yes. I know one who behaved as a gentleman. 4Well, they wint on like that, an’ whin Mr McDonald rose to a point av order. The Rev. Mr McTnnes : This is intolerable, these interruptions by Mr McDonald. The Moderator : Keep your temper, gentlemen. The Rev. Mr McTnnes : It is- very difficult to keep your temper when Mr McDonald rises to points of order in this way. The Rev. Mr McDonald : Let us remember that wo are Christian gentlemen. " ’Twas high time he shpoke like that,” ses Corney, "for iviry min nit. I thought they’d be live the Irishmen charged wid fightin’. Ses the judge, ‘As the court understands the matter, the defendant here began the quarrel because the plaintiff hurled an epithet at him. Was that the way of it ?’ ‘No, your honour,’ ses the witness, emphatically, T seen the .whole affair mesilf. Nobody chucked an epithet. Mike—that’s him over

there, your honour called J aim somethfhg, and John —that’s him over there—heaved a brick. Nobody hurled nothin’ else.’ ” -s>• *s>■ "Well,” ses Katie, "it’s refroshin’ to hoar the clargy g-oin’ in for plain shpakin’ wance in a way, for its powerful little they do av it in the pulpit. Ye nivir see a word in anny av the papers about the parsons hittin’ out a t the world, the flesh, an’ the devil, the way they used to, an’ now that the Rev. Mr Campbell has abolished the fall av man they’ll have less to say than ivir.” "I wish he cud abolish the Puni creek,” ses Corney. ‘ ‘Perhaps, ’ ’ ses Bedalia, "they’re like the church beadle in Scotland that tuk his sweetheart into the church, an’ ses he —‘Mary, did ye ever hear me preach!n’ ?’ '‘Na ; can ye preach ’ ‘Sit ye doon there.’ He thin ascindod the pulpit, anpreached a sermon, vehemently denouncin’ the sins of idolaters in India till the perspiration stood on his brow. Whin he finished .Many said — ‘Ye’ve fairly belt ns abbot the sins o’ the idolaters in India, but na a wircl aboot the sins o’ the fowk at hame.’ ‘Na, na,’ ses the beadle. ‘ I ken the trick o’ preachin’ ower weel for that.’ " -4Angus McGregor shtepped in jusht thin, an’ “Ma’ certie, Denis,” ses he. "there’s- grate need o’ plain speakin’ the noo.” "Wha't:s the throublo now ’’ ses I. "Weel.” ses he, "a lot o’ fow-k want tae ken whit way the toon council cam’ tae let the Besses Band chairge for admission tae the Park on Sunday when it’s against the law tae chairg'e at all on a Sunday, an’ whaun the Park belongs tae the people. An’ that’s no ivirything, Denis. Ye’ll hae mind o’ hoo the same toon council refused the Black Family, that was born an’ bred amongst us, tae gic a sacred concert on Sunday nicht, an’ then went an’ let the Besses hae the new theatre for an entertainment, an’ chairge for admission, Tf that’s no playin’ fast an’ loose I want, tae ken whit is.”• "I must ask the Mayor about it,’’ ses Katie, "for I see he’s goin’ to sht-and again, an’ if he’s to blame for that sort av thing the sooner we know it the hetther.” "I’d not be afthcr blamin’ him,” ses I, "until ye make sure, for ye might make the same mistake as the relatives av the bhoy that got a sh pi inter into his fut, an’, in shpite av his protestations they decided to place a poultice over the, wound. The boy resisted vigorously. T won’t have any poultice,’ he ‘declared,, stoutly. But in shpite av that they had their way. ■4- ■$- -4>- -4‘■‘As the hot poultice touched the boy’s fut he opened his mouth. ‘■You ’ he began. ‘Keep still,’ sea his mother, raisin’ her hand, while the grandmother applied the poultice. Wance more the little 'fellow opened his mouth. ‘I ’ But the uplifted hand awed him into silence. In a minnit more the poultice was firmly in place, an’ the boy was tucked up in bed. ‘There, now,’ ses his mother, ‘the splinter will be drawn out, and Eddie’s foot will soon bo well.’ As the mot-der a n’ grandmother moved away triumphantly, a shrill, small voice came

from under the bed-clothes ; ‘You've iCfot it on the wrong foot!’ ’’ •4" •4- ■4’- •4“ Goin' back to the subject av plain shpakin', did ye see the way Mr Millar, the Minister for Labour, hi Id forth about Unionists'. It see nisi that a union deputation protested aginst the appointmint av four scaffoldin’ inshpectors on the ground that they were not qualified, an’ that'three av thim were non-unionists. Mr Millar definded the inshpectors’ 'qualifications, an’ said that the Govemmint was trustee for the paple as a whole an’ no Govemmint could ivir lie committed to a policy that unionists alone should receive employment from it. All things being equal a unionist would get preference if the Minister know him to be a Unionist ; but no applicant would be asked whether he wore a unionist or not. Ho (the Minister) wild not be dictated to by anny outside organisation. If the men showed thimsilvos unfit ho alone wnd dismiss thim. ■4- ■4 > - That’s atralght out from the showider,” sos Corney. “It is,” ses I, “but if we’ve all got to be unionists before wo can get a job we’ll have to be as accommodatin’ as Mr Michael Donoughue, whin he wint before a magistrate to enlist. The magistrate was a groat stickler for honour an' honesty, an' was frequently- in the habit of savin’ that some av our soldiers were not very respectable in character. When anny recruit came before him he always inquired closely into his history. So far as Michael was concerned ivirything appeared satisfactory, but as a final safeguard the magistrate asked —“Have you ever been in gaol ■?” Michael was somewhat astorushed at the question, but afther a moment he replied—“No, sir, I nivir was; but sure, sir, I 'don’t mind doin’ a few days if ye think it shud be tlionc.” DENTS.

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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 9 February 1907

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The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 9 February 1907

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