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The Contributor.

DENIS DISCOURSES. Dear Mr Editor, —Sure, it was the plased man I was to see me frind exconshtable Reidy in Dee shtreet the other day, wid his moustache as nicely waxed as whin he was in the force, an’ as janial a shmile on his face as ivir. “He’s becomin’ a distinguished man,” ses Katie, “for I see his name in the papers.” “Yes,” ses II “he’s gettin’ a good adverfcisemint, an’ the way he’s hit back at his ould bosses, Begg an’ Go., is mosht divartin.’ Ye see, he thravellcd round the counthry for thim tryin’ to get orders for pianos, an’ Jew’s harps, an’ mouth organs, an’ suchlike, an’ thin there was a notice in the papers wan day that Mr Reidy was no longer authorised- to act for thim. Well, that was shot No. 1. Mr Reidy fired shot No. 2 by gettin’ the papers to till the world that he’d got a betther billet wid the opposition musical paple, the Dresden Co.” “ 'Twas nately done,” ses Corney. “It was all that,” ses I ; ‘‘av coorse I don’t know the ins an’ outs av the throuble betwane thim, but I’m thinkin’ it’s the poor opinion they’ll be havin’ av ache other ; they’ll be like the Irishman that got a lawyer’s opinion an’ declined to pay for it. The lawyer sint in as manny bills as there are letthers in the alphabet, an’ at lasht the Irishman wint to see him, an’ wanted to know' why he was always gettin’ accounts sint to him. ‘Then why don’t you pay me that six-and-oightpence ?’ ses the lawyer. ‘Sure, an’ because I don’t owe ye the same,’ returned the Irishman. ‘Don’t owe it to me !’ exclaimed the solicitor. ‘Yes you do ; it’s for the opinion you had of me.’ ‘Faith, now, an’ that’s a good wan. w'hin I nivir had anny opinion av ye at all !’ •4’ 4' 4- 4" “Well,” ses Bedalia, “the advertisemint Mr Reidy is gettin; is nothin’ to the wan that Invercargill is gettin’ from a party av respected townspaple that are thravellin round the world, the McGrucrs, the Greshams, an’ the Hawkes. Ye shud see thim, dad,” ses she, “in the Otago Witness.” “I saw' thim, child,” ses I, “siltin’ on Jerusalem cookoos in front av the pyramids av Egypt. Archie Inks as if he’d like to be back in the Union grounds watchin’ a futball match at half-time ; but the ladies, bless their sowls, have got something substantial under thim in the shape av camels.” “Well,” ses Corney, “I hope some av the party will bring the donkey an’ the camels back wid thim, for they’d be handy to follow' the Birchwood hounds up wid.” 4* 4” 4* 4Katie was grately throublcd whin she read that three or four hundred masons had arrived in the town. “Why, Denis,” ses she, “the Riverton Star towld us the other day that Invercargill is overbuilt, so whativir will the poor crayturs get to do ?” ’Tis dense ye are, Katie,” ses I, “sure they’ll nivir have time to do annything all the time they are here.” “How do ye make that out,’ ses she. “Well,” sesl, “didn t ye see how long it tuk Eord Plunket to get widin talkin’ range av thim. Ye see, he wanted to thank thim for reelectin’ him Grand Master, an’ this is how he shtarted ;—‘Most Worshipful, Right Worshipful, Very Worshipful and Worshipful Brethren.’ Now, Katie.” ses I, “if Masons can’t pass the time av day widout introducin’ thimsilves in " that shtyle, can ye wonder that they haven’t much time for annything else V” “it bates all,” ses Katie, “I suppose its hard w'ork to g'et into the Order. “ ’Tis that,” ses 1 I, "an’ they won’t let wimmin in on anny account. Begorra, if they see a woman about the lodge-room they’re as, angry as the mistress that complained to her servant she’d too many followers. ‘Mary,’ ses shef ‘l’m sorry to have to complain again—the more so that it is the only fault I have found in you—but the frequent visits of one of your young follow'ers are unbearable. You must put a

stop to them.’ ‘l’m sure I’ll do my best.. Ma’am,’ responded Mary. ‘ I know 3,’ve promised to do so before, but I will really try to settle him this week.’ In the middle av the week, Mary had her afthernoon out, an’ her mishtress suggested that she would have an opportunity av ‘speaking her mind once for all’ to the young man. Mary came back radiant. ‘l’ve settled him this time, ma’am,’ she remarked. ‘I hope you did it gently. You did not insult him?’ ‘lnsult him !’ gasped Mary. ‘No, ma’am, that I didn’t. I just married him this afternoon, an’ I’m to leave here in a month’s time.’ ’-

“Well,” ses Corncy, “I don’t know j whether they insult annywan whin ( they get him inside the lodge-room, hut the shtory goes that wan man that joined the lodge had to ride a goat. This is how it runs The house is full of arnica and mystery profound. Wo do" not dare to run about or make the slightest sound. We have the big piano shut, and do not strike a note. The doctor’s been here seven times since father rode the goat. He joined the lodge a week ago. got in at 4 a.m., And sixteen brethren brought him home, though he says he brought them. His wrist was sprained, and one big rip had rent his Sunday coat. There must have been a lively time when father rode the goat. He’s resting on the couch to-day, an’ practising his signs ; The hailing signal, working grip, and other monkey.shines. He mutters passwords ’neath his breath, and other things he li quote— They surely had an evening s work when father rode the goat. ■4~ 4- 4- 4“Well,” ses I, “I’d sooner ride in a motor car to Riverton an' back the same as I did on Widnesday week whin wan av the motor min axed me to have a hurl,” ses I. “Did ye enjoy it ?” ses Katie. “Knjoy it ! ’ ses I." “Av coorse I did— : ’twas the grates t evint av me life. It felt like this looks : Twom ileaminu te, Geohowwefly ' Swiflasameteor 81 reaki ngthes ky. Whatisthatblur ? Onlythetrees. Lo ok a U h em w a ve Mywhatabreeze ! A ho'nkandarush, Aflashanda smell Whatdidwchit ? Di'dsomebodyycll ? A jaran da scream — ; Notcllingnow, Keept o theco urse, Outoftheroad ! Giveusashow ! Twomileaminutc, Geehowwego ! 4" 4" Angus MacGregor has been in talkin’ about the pioneers’ picnic an’ other entertainmints, an’ ’tis the grate debate that Katie an’ he’s had over havin’ a “wee drappie” for an oulin’. Katie was dead against it, but Angus, shtuck out for it, an’ at it they wint hammer an’ tongs. “Why, Mrs O’Shea,” ses Angus “ ye remind me o’ the woman that took anither yin tae task for drinkin . Ses she—T hear ye were the worse o’ drink a week ago.’ ‘Me the worse o’ drink !’ ses the ither. Ma certie Id hae ye ken I wis a handle the better I o’ it.’ ” i “Well,” ses Katie, “I’m not goin’ to argue wid ye anny more, for ye

musht be a firsht cousin to the oulcl Highland lady that was axed by a tourist whin he arrived at a village where there was no doctor widin miles, to till him how they managed whin annywan tuk ill, ‘Oh !’ ses she. ‘we .list gio them a gloss o’ whisky.’ ‘But if that does them no good.’ ‘jist gie them anither yin.’ ‘But if that docs them no good?’ ‘Well, jist gie them anither yin.’ ‘But even if a third does thim no good ?’ ‘Oh ! weel, if throe glosses o’ guid whisky disna’ cure them, they’re garni tae doe onywey.’ ■4* 4- -4- 4~ “Well,” ses I, “.1, wish the doses we’re at’ther havin’ now were as pleasant to the taste.” “I don’t follow ye. Bonis,” .ses Katie. “Why,” ses I, “I’m talkin’ av the doses av governmint we’re havin’. Luk at the way things are goin’ this wake. Wan part av a business shut up on Widnesday an’ the other part in full swing, an’ thin on Saturday the other part ’ll be open an’ the other shut, an’ in some cases the workmen lose had a day’s pay.” “But I thought this was a self-governed colony, Do-iB is,” ses Katie. “So it is,” ses I, “an’ that makes me wonder how we como to sind min to Parliamint that cause no ind av throublc all over the colony.” “Perhaps they’re doin’ it to advertise the colony,” ses Corney., “I see,” ses he, “that •they’ve arristed a ship at the Bluff.” “That’s it,” ses I, “ye nivir know where they’ll shtop ; they’ll thry to arrist atten- 1 tion next.” ■4- 4- 4 “Well, dad," ses Corney, “I don’t see why the thing can’t be altered. Sure, isn’t the Covermnint the servant av the paple, an’ if they want the shops an’ factories kept open on Saturdays, why don’t they Say s-o ? If the Covermnint won’t do as they are towld, we ought to threaten thim the same as the afficer towld the volunteer to deal wid a stout gintleman clurin’ the recent visit av the King an’ Queen to Edinburgh, that was thryin’ to push forward. ‘I toll you I can’t get back,’ ses the trespasser ; ‘tire crowd’s pushing me forward.’ Thin an afficer came along. ‘Won’t get back ? Make him,’ ses‘ he. ‘Put the butt of your rifle in his chest. Don’t toll me that you can’t —you are the stronger man av the two.’ The private hesitated. ‘Yes, , sir, I know I’m the stronger man,’ he said. Then, desperately, he added ; ‘But he’s my employer, sir.’ ” -4* 4 4 4 Katie an’ mesilf used to think that Southland cudn’t be bate for -gr owin’ big things, but begorra, we’ll have to take a back sate to little Temuka. It can lick us hands down, for I see that Mr Jeremiah Twomey, who used to grace the Legislative Council wid his prisence, an’ who lives in Temuka whin he isn’t somewhere else, writes about Mr McNab flit tin’ about like a fly in a bottle, cacklin' about his Land Bill. Now, Mr Editor, if they have flies in Temuka so big that they can be heard cacklin’ like layin’ hens, what chance has Southland av maintainin’ her reputation in the eyes av the world ? “Perhaps Mr Twomey’s drawin’ on his imagination,” ses Corney, “ Ho may be,” ses I, “but I’d not like to ' be the man to casht a doubt on his > word. He might treat ye the same

way as a counthryman av his did another man. Ye see a tourist was invited to take a resht in a cabin on the roadside in Ireland. As soon as the stranger entered he cud not hilp observin’ the extreme poverty av ivirything about him. The furniture was av the rudest possible description, an’ amongst the various articles was an extraordinary but primitive arrangement that evidently served the purpose av a sideboard ; this simply consisted av a rough plank, supported at ache ind by four bricks. Doin’ duty as a sort av centre mint on this shtrang’e stand was half an ould brick, an’ restin’ on it was a faded flower. The shtranger became exceedingly curious as to the mailin’ av this brick an’ flower, an’ duriiv the course av conversation he made inquiries "about it. ‘Sure, yer honour,’ ses the Irishman, ‘an’ do ye really want to know what the things mane ? Well, thin. I’ll till ye. Ye see this big hole at the back av me ear ? Sure, thin, it was made entirely wid that brick.’ ‘But what have you got the flower there for ?’- axed the tourist. ‘Ah, but sure now,’ ses Pat pleasantly, ‘that’s a flower aff the man’s grave that threw the brick !’ -’

Corney ses that there’s weepin’ an’ wailin’ at wan av the foundries in town. Ye see, a brewer wanted some work widin a certain time, an’ he said he’d give two five-gallon kegs av beer if the min managed it. They did, an’ wan keg was served all round. But whin they wint to divide the second wan, they found some wan had been there before thim an’ taken it home in a sack. Corney ses that they’ve got an idea av who did it, an’ they’ll be careful about in the future. “They’ve losht faith in him ?” ses I. “They have,’’ ses Corney, “they’ll treat him like the doctor did the patient. ‘As I understand it, doctor, if I believe I’m well I’ll be well. Is that the idea ?'■ ‘lt is.’ Then, if you believe you’re paid, I suppose you’ll be paid ?’ ‘Not necessarily.’ ‘But why should not faith work as well in one case as in the other ?’ 'Well, you see, there is a considerable difference between having faith in the Almighty and having faith in you.’ ” DENIS.

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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 6, 11 May 1907

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The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 6, 11 May 1907

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