Dear Mr Editor, —’Tis mcsilf is .wishin’ the authorities ’ud appoint mayors an’ councillors the same as they do J.'s P., for the legs have heen nearly run aft me this wake attindin’ matin’s av wan kind an’ another. Firsht av all, there was Mr Mitchell's matin’ at East Invercargill on Monday night. Begorra, I didn’t, grudge bein’ there, for it was a grate treat —whin Johnny’s got his war-paint on ya can always luk for something miles out av the common. He towld us that he wanted to clean tip some gossip that some paplc had been gettin’ up about him, an’ he .wudn’t come out as mayor if annywan cud say there was a word av truth in what had bein’ goin’ the rounds. At firsht ye’d thought he’d been havin’ gooseberry jam for tea, he was that sweet an’ nice, but whin ho wint on a while he reminded me av the man that was axed for assistance, He was in an a dice, an’ wall day a chap lukt in, an’ ses he — "I’m strictly on business.” "So am I,” ses the other. "Good ! 1 believe,” ses the caller, "that every m a n should furnish money for his own tombstone.” "So do I,” ses the man behind the desk. "Good again. I want to raise £5 to pay for a stone at my grave. What assistance will you render the enterprise ? I want a business answer.” "You shall have it, sir. Unless you immediately t a ke your departure I will aid the enterprise by furnishing the corpse.” Well, I think, Mr Editor, th a t Mr Mitchell ’ud have liked to furnish more than wan corpse, but they- do be s a yin’ that the authors av the report kept outside at the window. 4- 4"Weel,” ses Angus McGregor, whin I towld him, "perhaps it wast the Safest place for them if that wis Mr Mitchell’s mood, for he must hae been like an auld gentleman in Scotland. Ye ken, I wis in a drum an’ fife band connected wi’ a Sunday schule, an’ yin Xmas we went aboot the village singin’ carols an’ such-like. Weel, we cam’ tae the hoose o’ a crusty auld chap, an’ we didna think he’d gie us onything in the way o’ siller or ■ donations, but we mustered up courage enough tae sing under his windy, an’ soon he poked his heid oot o’ it an’ a skit hoo mony o’ us were there. Some yin said sax or seeven. ‘Very well,’ ses he, ‘ divide that among ye,’ ah’ wi’ that he flung a big jug o’ water doon on oor heids, an’ I’m thinkin’ that’s hoo Mr Mitchell wad hae divided his favours if ony o’ his b a ck biters had been in the hall.” 4- 4> 4- 4"Well,” ses Corney, "Mr Mitchell reminds me av ould Captain William Jackson Barry, whin he was mayor av Cromwell. Whin he was talkin’ about ‘Greater Invercargill’ Mr Mitchell said he was quite contint wid his own little borough, for he cud kape a pig, an’ sometimes two, an’ if they were joined to Invercargill' he
wud not be able to do that, for Mr Cameron ’ud call on him to show that it was ag_ainst the model bylaws. Well, whin Captain Barry was mayor. Sir George Grey, the Governor av New Zealand, visited the place, an’ was shown the sights av Cromwell, includin’ the Captain’s pig-sties. ‘Book, Sir George,’ ses he, pointin’ to some young porkers, aren’t they beauties for ten weeks.’ The Governor’s aide-de-camp laughed, m’ ses he—‘More likely ten months.’ ‘Shut up. you fool,’ ses the Captain, ‘what do you know about thorn when I reared them myself ?’ ” 4* 4*; 4: 4" "Very good. Corney,” ses I, "it was always a word an’ a blow wid the captain, an’ i remimber whin a matin’ was called in Cromwell about the w-ather supply, which was gvttin’ short, an’ somowan proposed that the mayor lave the chair. The Captain knocked him down, an’ thin axed if annywan wud. second the motioniwhile he was on his fate. But no wan shpoke—Twas a Quakers’ matin’ afther that. a n’ by the same token none av Mr Mitchell’s opponents thought it safe to take the floor.” ‘'‘Well,” ses Katie, " afther Mr Mitchell's explanation I shud think the reports that he complained av musht be killed entirely—they musht be like the dog that belonged to a man’s ■wife. It was a terrier av extreme ferocity. It bit the man a number av times. He expressed grate hatred for it. Finally the terrier bit a large piece out av the calf av the man's leg. an’ the nixt day it disappeared. The man advertised widely for the dog’s return. He offered a reward av £4O for it, an’ his friends were amazed. ‘L thought,’ ses a frind to him, ‘that you hated that tlog ?•’ ‘T do,’ the man admitted. ‘Why then do you offer such a large reward for its rtsurn ?’ ‘To please my wife.’ ‘But you're foolish. Such a large reward will be sure to bring it back.' ‘No. no,’ ses the man, wid a shmile. ‘You see, I know the dog is dead.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4-
Well, on Tuesday mornin' whin I was goin’ to work, who shnd I see but me ould Wind Davie Roche dashin’ along the North Road in Mr Fleming’s iMigant motor car. Later in the day I mot him, an’ ses I : “Where in the wide world have ye been?” “To Win ton, and back,” ses he. “Ye see, Denis, Dan Moore is shtandhT for mayor, an’ bein’ an ould frind I thought I’d go up a n’ give him a lift.” “Well,” ses I, “it is a rel a ved mail I am, for at firsht, whin I saw the ladies in the car I thought ’tw a s an elopement ye were assistin’.” Davie laded, an’ ses—“Ye aren’t f a r out, Denis, for I’ve ibeen assisting Mr Moore to run away from Mr Kennedy,” an’ begorra, I shought av his words nixt day, whin I saw that Dan had topped the poll wid a good majority. “Yes,” ses Corney, “an’ did ye see that Mr Kennedy got beaten for the council as well as the mayoralty.” “I did,” ses I, “he wanted to make sure av wan thing or the other, an’ he’s out av both.” “Well,” ses Bodalia, “Mr Kennedy’s tactics didn’t work out right—they remind me av the shtory a tacher used to till about a Roman that used to swim the Tiber three times iviry mornin’. As the details
av this achievemint bursht upon him, little Willie Barnes nudged his next neighbour and snickered, audibly. The bacher undertook to rebuke him. ‘Willie,’ scs he, ‘you seem to see something very humorous in this.’ Will you explain to the class what it is ? Do you doubt that he could swim the river three times ?’ ‘Xo, rir, it ain't that 1’ gasped little Willie. ‘But I was wondering why he didn't make it four times, so as to get back to the side where his clothes were.’- Mr Kennedy hasn’t losht his clothes, but he’s on the wrong side av the council —the outside.” •4- 4* 4” 4* Tuesday night, saw us out again to boar the result av the mayoral diction. Mr Scandrett got in again, an’ said some nice things to the ratepayers, an’ as for Mr Stead, ho tuk his lickin’ like the gintieman that he is, an’ promised to give his services again whinivir the town wanted thim. ‘‘That’s what I like about him,” ses Katie. ‘‘He takes ivirything so coolly, an’ nivir gets flurried —he inusht be closely related to the ould man in America that a tourist met wan day an’ axed how the times were. 'Pretty tolerable, strangvr,’ ses the ould man, who was siltin’ on a slitump, ‘I. had some trees to cut down, but the cyclone levelled them and saved me the trouble.' ‘Tnat was good.’ ‘ Yes ; and then the lightning set light to the brush pile and saved me the trouble of burning it.” ‘‘Remarkable —but what are you doing now ?’ Just waiting for an earthquake to come along and shake the potatoes out of the ground.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4-
But the- fun av the evenin’ Game whin Mr Bain was returnin’ thanks. Ye see, he was apologisin’ for not havin' been prisint at the nominations. He towld us that he had to assist at a weddin’, an’ thin he pointed out the importance a v promotin' an increase in the population. At this point me ould frind Duncan Mci’arlane patted Mr Bain on the arm, an" scs lie —‘Good boy, Andrew !’ Well, there was a bit av a laff, an’ it changed to a roar whin some wan in the crowd yelled out—“lfsn’t it time you wore beginning again, Duncan ■?“ Well, Duncan la fled as well as the resht, for he’s the bhoy that enjoys a joke, an’ thin whin he was returnin’ thanks for bein’ at the head av the poll be thried to work aft a bit av brogue by sayin’ l that begorra ! he felt a proud man that night, as Denis O’Shea ’ud sav. 4- > + “ ’Tis the public character ye arc, Denis,” ses Katie, “whin paple talk av ye in that shtyle.” “Yes,” ses I, “if I go on at this rate I’ll be called to the tapper Blouse or made a J. or manager av the nixt exhibition.” .“Well,” sos Corney, “I hope you’ll wear honours meekly, an’ not ■htart blowin’ like the shearer in New South Wales. Ye see, he boasted that he cud lift army man aff the ground by the hair av his head. Among the shearers was a stout, goodnatured follow, whose head was adorned wid luxuriant black locks, both thick an’ long. This individual, who was generally known as the Processor, because av his abundant hair, | offered to lay a wager a v ten pounds nthat he, at any rate, could not be
lifted from the ground by his hair,* The mighty shearer at wance accept* ed the challenge, an’ afther the day’is work there was a 'gineral gathn erin’ in-wan av the shearin’ sheds to witness the performance. ■4" -4" ■4’The venturesome “Professor” stud calmly in front av the boastful shearer. The latter mounted a box* an’ prepared to demonstrate his strength. He twisted his fingers among some of the long locks which afforded him such an excellent grip, thin tightened his muscles, an’ lifted —the hair from the “Professor’s head ! The shearer, scein’ the hair, in his hands, belaved for the moment that he had pulled aff the “Professor’s scalp, an’ turned pale wid fright. Those who were in the joke an’ knew that the “Professor” wore a wig, fell into fits av laughter. The shearer paid the bet, an’ durin’ the time he remained in that neighbourhood made no allusion to his grate strength. -4- + -4- -4But cornin’ back to Invercargill,; ’twas the grate spache we had from Cr. F. G. Stone, who belaves in Call- 1 in’ a Spado a spade, an’ in havin'things square an’ above board. Well, he towld us that if anny av us wanted information about the borough he wud be happy to supply it. “Sure,’i ses Katie, “we can’t call him F. G. anny more—we’ll h a ve to alter it to E. W. Stone.” “What does that shtand for,” ses I. “Enquire Within Stone,” ses she. - “That’s good,” see I, “for it’s little he doesn’t know about works an’ all things av that kind, but if he undertakes to answer all we want to know he’ll be as bothered as the manager av wan av the hotel». A lady came downstairs lant axed him if she cud get a glass av wat her. “Why, certainly, madam,”se's he, fillin’ up a glass for her. Two minutes later she was back in the afficc again. “I don’t like to trouble you,” she said, “but could I get another glass of water ?’’ ‘‘No trouble a t all, madam,” ses the manager, handin’ her another glass. Two minutes later she appeared again. “Certainly, madam,” ses the affable manager, “but may I ask what you are doing with so much water “I know you'll just scream when I tell you,” said the lady, “I’m trying to put out a fire in my room.” DENIS.
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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 4, 27 April 1907
The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 4, 27 April 1907
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