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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 25 May 1907
Dear Mr Editor,—Did ye ivir have the influenza ? It not, pray to ai the saints in the calendar, an as nianny others as ye can think av that ye nivir may ! Av all the evil things in this world its aisaly the tirsht. In case ye have escaped i U ax v© to insert the followin’ pome so that ye’ll know whin ye have the complaint, which is goia’ the rounds .wance more ; [Up and down your spine they race ; Chills, chills, chills. Up and own your neck they chase ; Pills, pills, pi.ls. You kick the dog and kick the cat. Then swallow a dose and kick at that, And growl And groan And writhe And moan And cough And wheeze And gasp And sneeze And swear by all that's good and great That never was man in such a state Of mind And soul And heart And lung Since Adam was stung By a woman’s tongue And made to hate the earth and sky And honestly wish that he could die. Your head feels like a bursting bomb lYnur ears are filled with a devilish hum, tYour back doesn’t feel like a back at all. Your legs are as stiff as a garden wall, Your muscles arc sore and your nerves are strung To a .pitch as high as the topmost rung In the ladder of fame. And Then. When The doctor comes and says to you, [With a fiendish grin, "How do you do ?” Feels your pulse, surveys' your tongue. Tries to look wise and taps your lun - ’And says "You’re getting along all rin-ht.’’ You feel like kicking him out of sight. "Well," ses Katie, "the grip’s bad enough, to be sure, but I’m thinkin’ the half-holiday question is nearly as bad.” "It is, acushla.” ses I. "Didn’t ivirywan think we’d enough Societies in town, whin, lo ! an’ behowld, up shprings two more like mushrooms in the night. There’s Mr Raymond an’ Mr Paape swearin’ that they’ll have Daturday anj nothing- but Saturday, an’ Mr Todd, an’ Mr S. McDonald, an’ Mr J. A. Mitchell jusht a s bent on Widnesday. Both sides have had matins an’ passed resolutions, an by the time Empire Day comes we’ll be like a house divided against itsilf.”
"I'm glad," scs Bed alia, "to see that Davie Roche is in favour av [Wednesday. He’s been here long en-
ough to know what is besht for the town, an’ he’ll see that we get, it or know the rayson why. If he can t get Widnesday it won’t be for want av thryin’—he’ll be as cute as the benighted thraveller in Kent that encountered a severe thundershtorm, an’ aimosht perished wid cold. He arrived at a roadside inn, which ho found full av paplv. so that he cdd not get near the kitchen lire. Calk in’ the landlord, ses he, ‘ Tell your ostler to give my horse a dozen oysters !’ ‘A dozen oysters ?’ exclaimed ■ the landlord. ‘What do you mean ?’ ■ ‘Do as 1 tell you,’ replied the travel- i ler. Hereupon ivirywan rushed alf to • the sh'table- to see the performance, an’ the tlmav-eller got a good sate at the fireside. Upon his return, the landlord said, T would have wagered my head that your horse would not look at the oysters,’ ‘ln that case,’ ses the thraveller, Til eat them myself.’ ” “What I’d like to know,” sea Corney. "is who’s to blame for all the confusion an uncertainty.” "Par- ] la-mint, ” ses Dedal ia. "[No. - ses Corney, "it can’t lie Parliamint, for we elect it.’’ "The paple. thin.” ses Beda'lia. “No,” ses Corney, "for they all profess to be acting for the greatest good of the greatest number, an' whin that’s the case there a no room for divisions.” "I give up,” ses Bedalia,” an’ lave it to you to explain.” 4-
"I’m not equal to that same.” ses Corney. "No,” ses I, "it ud take a wiser head than yon to go into the ins an’ outs av the matther, hut there’s wan thing clear, an’ that is that Mr Miller, Minister for Labour, is carryin’ out the law. Av coorse it can be altered, but in the manetime it’s causin’ no. ind av bother an heart-burnin’.” "it seems to me, Denis.” ses Katie, "that it's as hard to get at the guilty arties as it was to discover who shu-d be hanged in the city of Cairo wance upon a time. Ye see, a robber fell from the second shtory av a house he was thryin’ to enter an’ broke his leg. He wint to the cadi an’ complained. The man’s window was badly made, an’ he wanted justice. The cadi said that was rays-onable, an’ he summoned the owner av the lumse. The owner confessed that- the house was poorly built, but claimed that the carpenter was to blame, an’ not he. This shtruck the cadi as round logic, an’ he sint for the carpenter. ‘The charge is, alas, too true,’ ses the carpenter, ‘but the masonry was at fault, and I could not fit a good window !’ 4- 4-
The cadi, impressed wid the raysonableness av the argumint, sint for the mason. The mason pleaded guilty, but explained that a pretty gyrul in a blue gown had passed, the buildin’ while he was at work, an’ that his attintion had been divarted from his duty. The cadi thereupon demanded that the gyrul shud be brought before him. Tt is true,’ ses she, ‘that I am pretty, but it is no fault av mine. If my gown attracted the mason the dyer should be punished, and not I !’ ‘Quite true,’ said the cadi, ‘send for the dyer.' The dyer was brought to the bar an’ pleaded guilty. This settled it. The cadi towld the robber to take the
guilty wretch to his house an’ hang him from the door, an’ the populace rejoiced that justice had been done. But pretty soon, the crowd returned to the cadi’s house, complainin’ that the dyer was too long to be hanged as ordered. ‘Oh, well,’ ses the cadi, who by that time was sufferin’ from ennui, ‘go find a short dyer and hang him ! Justice shall prevail ! ; ’ ” -
“Sure,” ses I, “ 'tis an illigant yarn, but what puts the set on mo entirely is the way we’re all at loggerheads over matthers that shudn’t .cause anny throuble at all, at all. Ilvirybody tills us that this is God’s Own ‘ C’ounthry, an’ we ought to be inakin’ the mosht av it inshtcad av growlin’ an’ grumblin’ an’ workin’ at cross-purposes. Jusht now we seem to ho losin’ a lot av chances av enjoyment we’re actin’ for all the world like the man that was stranded in Norway wid only money enough in his pocket to pay his passage back to England. 1-Ie thought the matt her over, an’ came to the conclusion that he would buy the ticket, an’ as the sea trip lash ted only a couple av days, he wud go widout food that lingth av time. He realised that if he remamed in Norway an shpent his money he wud nivir lie able to get home. On board he closed his ears to the sound av the luncheon-bell, an’ whin dinnertime came, an’ fellow-passengers axed him to accompany him to the dinin’room, he politely declined on the ground that he nivir ate at sea. The nixt mornin’ he missed breakfasht by sleepin’ late, an’ at lunch time he kept to his room. By dinner-time howivir, he was so he cud have eaten his boots. “I am goin’ to eat,’ ses he, ‘even if I am thrown overboard aftherwards. I might as well be drowned as starved to death. At flic dinner-table he ate everything in sight. Thin he said— ‘ Steward, bring me the bill.’ ‘The bill ?’ ses the steward. T know nothing about bills—meals go with the passage.’ ” There used to be a sayin’ in my young days. Mr Editor, about advisin’ paple to go on the land if they wanted to make money, but we’ve changed all that, an’ now the sayin’ ought to read that if ye want to get wealthy keep all the land, an’ sell it to somewan else. At all ivints, that is what 1 gather that me ould frind Mi - Tom McKenzie’s been tillin’ the paple about the Clydevalc Estate. Ye see. a little syndicate put their heads an’ purses together an’ bought the Moa Flat Estate, an’ made, so it is said, about £70,000 out av the deal. Now, lishten to what Mac. ses about Clydevalc ; —“What are the particulars ? The estate was offered to the Government, and the owners desired to sell. The Government, months ago, sent their trusted valuers over the estate, and they, after careful consideration, fixed its value at within 6d or Is an acre of the price the land was offered to the Government, and at which price the syndicate, bought. The Government again sent valuers down, and they valued it at a rate much above what the Government offered for the land. Then along came an enterprising company of competent men, and no sooner did they see the land from afar than they jumped at it With what result ? I ask your readers to
i take careful note. Within a month lof their seeing the land they have t disposed of about 20,000 acres of the 32,000, and (which 20,000 includes all the poorest of the property) at a price that will nearly cover the cost of the' whole estate. When the fact of the sale was made known to the Minister of .Lands he said that the Government could not g'ive within 10 per cent, of what private buyers could. What a confession of incompetency and lack of business ability ! ' The Government could not pay £4 15s an acre ; they could pay only £4 ss. The private company paid £4 15s, and will make from 30s to £2 an acre profit, or a total of £50,000. ■4* "4“The transaction will also stop any chance of further settlement by. the Government in that locality. Whilst we are glad to see a syndicate step in where a timid Minister or his Board would not venture, the unfortunate part is that, whereasi with capable subdivision under Government the estate would have carried 750 to 1000 pV-sons, under the syndicate sales of 17,Q00 acres have been made to four persons.” ■4* 4- 4- 4Av coorse Mr McNab: isn’t the man to let his bone go wid a dog—not that I’d be afther callin’ Mr McKenzie a dog—so whin he was axed how the Governmint didn’t buy Clydevale
he put It like this : —“The reason is that we ‘have got to open up ground with roads before subdivision, and experience has shown that tenants will put up with far less from private landlords in the reading of property than than from the Government. When we put up property we have got to distribute the total post over the whole land, and then the successful man is determined by ballot. If 300 men wanted' one section,, we don’t get one single penny more than if only one wanted it. The private individual might get 50 percent. more on account of these 300 competing.” •4" -$• “Well,” ses Katie, “ ’tis wonderful how aisy some Paple make money, an’ ’tis high time the Governmint shtopped dal in’ in land in t hat wholesale fashion.” “That’s what the Land Bill’s for, Katie,” ses I, “an’ if ye don’t hurry up an’ get an estate, ye’ll nivir get another chance.” “I’ll have to risk it, Denis,”- ses Katie.” “Don’t, Katie,” ses I, “do not take anny risks —be like the landlord av a row- av cottages. ‘‘You don’t play football, I suppose?’ ses he to a prospective tenant. ‘No.’ ‘And you don’t referee, I hope ?.’■ ‘No ; why do you ask ?’ ‘Well, I’m not taking any risks'. You see, the last fellow that took this house refereed regularly at football matches. One day he was thumped in the back and he swallowed the whistle. After that he couldn’t ’draw a long breath without shrieking like a goods engine, and he kept the neighbours at nights, so I had to give him notice to quit.’ ‘Poor chap. Rather bad for him, wasn’t it ?’ ‘Oh, I don’t know. He’s got a good crib now on a lighthouse. You see, on foggy nights he’s only to shove his head out of the window and breathe hard, and he’d scare a fleet of warships off the rocks.’ ”■ DENIS.
The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 25 May 1907
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