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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 9 March 1907
DENIS DISCOURSES, Deal' Mr Editor, —True to me word, I shtartecl slaughterin’ at Wallacetown. Firsht air foremosht. I wint an’ bought me yard av canvas at Messrs Smith an’ Laing’s. I procured tke biggest knife on sale, an’ Katie rubbed up the carvin' knife on q brick, an’ at daylight on Monday mormil' I mounted The new bike that I gave £ll for at Marie's', _ivn’ tuk me bundle an’ me -dinner. ' A head wind all the way made me feel as if I had me 100 up. It Juki like rain, so I thought to put me bike in the afhice, whin a squeaky voice ses, ‘’Take yer ould bone-shaker out av this. Stick it over in the bone-mill.’ True as you are alive it made me heart bleed. Shteppin’ spritely into the killin’ yards I was welcomed by the heartiest British cheer I ivir heard. Ses the butchers, “ Welcome, Denis,” an’ wid that Billy Swale ses, “You arc a butcher, are you ?” ‘T am.” ses I. ‘‘Mow much a hundred do ye want ?” ses he. ”Twimy-fivo bob ses I, bowld-like. “Good !” ses he. rush in’ away to till me pen. 4- 4- 4- 4Anxious to get, the starvin’ sheep done, I seized the firsht bucket to hand, an’ afther strugglin’ for about ten minutes on a greasy flure, landed it full av wather at me table, which .Bradley promptly tuk aff nun it bein’ his bucket. Nothin’ daunted T started to shlaughter, the bhoys shoutin’ “Mow are ye. Denis ?” an’ me shoutin’ “Pippin’,” which was no lie. the mutton an’ skins bein’ the proof av it. 1 sat me down at “smoke-ho” an’ wan, a shtranger to me, takin’ me fo.r a rousoabout, gave me something to do, tellin’ me to run. 1 end see -by his condition that he was not a killer. Afther another big tight wid the sheep (the Battle av the Boyne was- only play'beside it) we adjourned to lunch. I don't like to tell ye where we dined. it wasn’t a place like Mrs Miller’s cake-house—-but we ovorlukt that, whin Swagger invited us all to have* some mushroom pies. 4- 4" 4" 4There were a grate manny advintures in the afthernoon. T was jusht gettin’ a cut or two ahead, whin aff came me firsht finger, which I shtuck in me pocket, an’ rushed to the tiliphone to ring up Dr. Hogg, but someivah fired a pish to! at me. At lasht night came, an’ T made a hatful av money. But whin I wint to me bike that spalpeen av a Jack Kelly was usin’ the rims to make a cask for Jim McNatty to pickle pork in. so he said —but. I noticed there was a tap in it ! Bein’ too far through to walk home, I dragged mesilf up to Bob Fraser s stable, but not to shleep, as ye will imagine, for I discovered that butchers don’t shleep : but a vision came to me in the shape av Pasco carry in’ a bag av wheat on his hack. Ses I. “Are ye thryin’ to break Billy Yewtonks record ?” "No,” ses he. “I was jusht goin' to feed me rabbits, ’ art' ho wint on.
Soon afther daylight me fried Tlob came along - , huntin’ for eg'gs, an’ ses he—“ What did you sleep there
for, Denis?” “I lay awake for l want av betther accommodation.” ses I. Afther helpin' Owld Harry to feed- the pigs, I dragged me weary bones aff homewards. Ses Katie. whin she saw me, ‘‘Heavens, Denis ! Ye Ink ten years older.” "Sure. I feel twinty years older.” ses I, “an' I’ll work at the foundry for me tucker sooner than oblige Billy Swale again, even shud he give fifty hob a hundred.”
Katie bustled round cookin’ wan av the sheep I made a few on. an’ Bodalia busied hers ill’ cutfin’ mo poor hands out av me pockets. Ses T, ‘‘T-f Billy Swale calls, till him I'm out on shtrike.” 4- 4- 4- 4 Whin Corney came in an' heard mo experiences the young shpalpano ses it served me right, “but,” s-cs 'he, ,‘T don’t think ye'll be afther goin' back again.” “Ye can bet. yer lasht dollar on that, Corney.” ses I, "or if I do it'll be for the same rayson that the bhoy give for wearin' the Shamrock. A couple av gintlemon, neighbours, on the mornin' av St Patrick's Day were givin’ their raysons for wearin' the shamrock. ‘I am wearin’ it,’ ses wan, a true son av Finn, ‘in honour av St. Patrick an’ the land that gave me birth.' ‘Well, Pm not an Irishman,' ses the other, ‘and I wear the shamrock merely to show that I appreciate the gallant deeds of plucHv Irishmen.' At that momint the lasht speaker's little son put in an appearance wid a sprig av shamrock in his buttonhole. ‘Hullo, Johnny !’ ses his father, ‘and why arc you wearing the shamrock ?' ‘Because Micky M ’ (the son of the neighbour prisint) ‘said he'd break my head if I didn’t !’ was Johnny’s unexpected reply. ’’ 4* 4- 4- 4An’ talkin’ av the MiEditor, don't on army account miss the Irish Athletic Shports on Widnesday nixt, if its only to see Charlie Beading dhrivin' his new jauntin’ car that's come all the way from Ireland. Charlie's English, ye know, hut he’il he a regular broth av a bhoy on Wednesday, for he's devotin’ all his shpare time lea min’ how to say, “Faugh a ballagh” to the motor cars. Begorra. if they' don't clear’ the way. Charlie'll do it. 4- 4* 4- 4* The followin’ illigant letther r a died me on Thursday : "There was a sound of revelry" in Tapanui on Widnesday night, the cause thereof bein’ Alex Duncan. a prominint mimber av the Southland Pipe Band, an' winner av the cup given by Sir J. G. Ward at the Exhibition competitions to decide the championship av Australasia. Alex, is so accustomed to the w inn in’ av trophies that ho wasn't aware that he had done army thing out av the common, but not so the Tapanui pa-, pie, among whom he has lived since boyhood, an’ perhaps it ’ud be more correct to say babyhood. Army way', whin they heard he was leavin' to settle in Southland's capital. they rose to the occasion, an' invited the nnsuspectin' Alex, to look in at. the spacious public hall. He did, an' was surprised to find a numerous company there, wid the worthy- mayor, Mr Munyard, in command. Alex, modest mortal that ho is, end have modest mortal that he is, wud gave beaten a hasty retreat (he has never been known to blow—except oh the
pipes) but for the fact that that is wan av the few things that Highlanders are not good at, so ho stayed an’ heard (blushingly an’ uneasily) all the good things that the chairman had to say about him—'how he was a credit not only to Tapanui but the colony, an’ how he had become a mash ter av his instrument through constant practice—whin other lads were coortin' Alex, was skirlin’, an’ matin’ the 15 Inc* Mountains echo in early mom an’ likewise dewy eve wicl the choicest av High!awl airs. To add shtill further to Alex’s uneasiness the major insisted on presintin’ him wid a purse av sovereigns an’ a beautiful thravellin’ rug. Alex, managed to thank the company for their kindness, an’ aft her songs ah’ other items, in which the bagpipes were av coor.se heard to advantage, the gatherin’ closed at 10.30 p.m., wid the singin’ av “ Auld Lang Sync” an’ “Loci Save the King,” given so lustily that the 'deer on the adjacent hills must hape been startled out av their beauty shleep. 4- 4- 4- 4-
Alex, came flown to Invercargill tho nixt day, an’ says it is now dawnin’ upon him that he mnsht be somebody at'lher all- He means to shtick to the band. He confesses to havin’ been a denizen av this wicked world for thirty-five years, an’ shtarted to “blaw the 1 , pipes” whin he was fifteen. Tt is hardly likely he'll be weaned aff the practice, although he cud retire wid honour, for he has fourteen or fifteen medals to his credit, an" three cups- But like another Alexander he sighs for fresh laurels, an' wherivir glory calls him forth he will “let the pibroch shako the air with its wild triumphal music,” an’ calmly allow new medals to be pinned on his manlv bosom. 4- <f> 4- <s>
“Well,” ses Bedalia, “if all accounts are thrue, Mr Buncan’ll be an acquisition to the town.” “He will,’ ses i, “he's wan av the handiest min I know—if he was workin’ on a farm ye'd not find him makiiv the, mishtake that wan av the unemployed called Jones made at Home. He got a ioh as a carter. But even to be a carter requires experience, particularly in loadin’ up,' an’ whin wan has a two-wheeled spring cart to load it is betther not to put all the goods at the hack. This, howivir, was what Jones did. wid the consequence that whin they were goiiv uphill, the horse, unable to shiand the strain, shtopped. H did not shtrike our friird that, his method av loadin was at fault. He thried vainly to induce Ids steed to proceed, an’ thin, noticin’ that the animals feet only jusht touched the ground, he •turned an’ dhrove back at full speed to his employer. ‘'Haven't you got a taller horse, governor ?’ he queried artlessly. “This one ain't high enough for tho work.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4Sure, it is the grate holiday sa.ySon we’re havin’ —thrips to Christchurch. an' the Bakes, Stewart Island —in fact from the Three Kings to the Bin IT. Wan av the O’Shea family has gone deer-stalkin’ to the Blue Mountains at Tapanui, no less, an’ he sint his mother a posht card wid “Whisky Oully” on it, if ye plasc. I thought if he’d .shtopped at home an’ wint to the carters’ picnic he wud have- been less out av pock-
cl, but it’s big game the young man is afther. Pie ses he’ll bring Bed alia a pair av horns home wid him, for he ses the. deer are as thick aboutj Brookesdale as the flies in her mo-> ther’s kitchen. But ye can’t catch! thim wid Tanglefut fly-paper. 4-
Thin Corney chipped in an’ ses if he cud get as close to thim as Willie Martin gets to the kitty on the bowlin’ green he might sind the horns. “Yes,” ses his mother, “talk is cheap, ye know.” Thin he ses to his mother —“Not if ye warble over, a long-distance tiliphone.” But 33 don’t know what to do wid that bhoy Corney. Pie’s as quick wid his answers as .Johnny Mitchell is whin soilin’ horses. Thin he ses —“What do ye think is the latest thing Invercargdll is havin’ ?” “1 suppose the throopers’ monumint,” ses I. “Not at all,” ses Corney, “it’s the av a chequered flag on the post afiice.” “Well ses Katie, “in days gone by they had a flagshtaff at the post a Hice, an’ they used to hoist a blad'd ball on it whin the English mail arrived, whin Willie Steel was postman, an’ now ye tell me that it is a chequered flag they are goin' to hoist. It is a chequered world we live in.” 4- 4* 4 4 I got Bedalia to go to the carters’' picnic in mo motor car, an’ we had a fine time. Mr Henderson cud not do enough for the paple. Ho wanted me to run in the Sheffield handicap, an’' I was makin’ Up me mind whin J Calder came to me, an’ ses —“Denis, stand you out of the race, for it’s cut and dried for me,” but I ses —: “Young man, I will run, an’ I think if I get a good handicap t can win,’’ Wid that he losht his temper, an’ so I thought it bosht to say Whin 1 got the handle av the car to wind it up, an’ Bedalia was sitting on the seat, Carter Carnaghan came an’ towld me to clear out wid me hurdy-gurdy an’ bloomin’ monkey.; “All right, Alex,” ses I, “hold on till I see ye on the bowlin’ green—l will see if ye will lie as close to the kitty as ye do to my motor car.’- 1 Bedalia ses she will not go in a motor car to a, carters’ picnic again. Mr Gibbs wanted her to go out wid him in his coal cart, but she sold she was afraid av her new dress gettin’' spoilt wid coal dusht. It is the careful craythur Bedalia is. She has very large notions av what she’d like to be —her notions arc nearly as large as the marrows Mr Couling had at the show, an’ that’s sayin’ a lot, for I nivir saw their equals. 4- 4- 4- 4
Katie thinks that the licensed victuallers’ association'll bo askin’ Miss Benjamin to get up another case for thim, because some av the gladiolus at the flower show were set up in cider bottles, an’ if that’s not a
breach av the licensin’ act she'd like to know what is. “Howld yen whisht, woman,” sos I, “sure your raysonin’ is as quare as the sexton’s'.A gintleinan passin’ through a graveyard noticed a newly-made grave. He axed the sexton—an Irishman —whose grave it was. ‘Old Jones’,’ was the reply. ‘Poor fellow ! How long has he been 'dead ?’ axed the gintleinan. ‘lf he had lived till to-morrow he’d have a fortnight dead !’ ses the sexton.” DENIS.
The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 9 March 1907
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