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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 1 June 1907
- DENIS DISCOURSES.
Dear Mr Editor, —Some wan has said that blessed is the man that invinti d si a pe, but Tor me own part Ed like.to be afther shakin’ hands w,d the chap that give us wireless eelegraphy. By its manes, ye musht know, i’ve had a mosht interestin’ interview wid Sir. J. G-. Ward, New Zealand's ivirgreen Premier. “The i.sound av yer voice is more wilcome than ivir,” ses I, whin the air began to vibrate. “I’m glad you recognised me, Denis,” ses the voice. “Recognise ye !” ses I, “sure I’d know yer tones fifty years hence — ’twasn't for nothin’. Sir Joseph, that I’ve lishtened to ye at the Bluff, an’ Portro.se, an’ Riverton, an’Otautau, an’ manny other places, to saY nothing av Parlianiint.” “Thank ye. Denis,” ses the Premier. “1 hope you are keeping everyand everybody going till I return.’ ’ “I’m doin' me besht in that regard, sir,' sos I, “but ye'll have to amind the law for the benefit av Mr Eugene Murphy whin ye settle down again.” “That’s the first I’ve heard about it, Denis, Can you give me any details ?”
“Well,” ses I, “here is the report in wan av the papers : ‘ Recently Eugene Murphy,, a poor decrepit olid man, was refused admission to the Southland and the Wallace charitable institutions. Since then Dr. Valentine has telegraphed .to the Southland Board asking them to look after Murphy till the authorities had decided with which Board the responsibility lay. Murphy, who has been, in gaol since his first appearance at court, was brought before the court on Thursday. The Magistrate put the matter thus : —The position, seems to be this : that, so far as we know, Eugene Murphy is a Poor but respectable man. Whilst at work at Otautau he was overcome with sickness and paralysis, from which ho is now suffering. He made application to the Southland Hospital and Charitable Aid Board for admittance to the home, but that Board, being of opinion that his keep was rightly chargable against the Wallace Board, refused to take him in. and sent him on to the AVallace Board at Riverton, who again refused to take him in, and sent him back to Invercargill, where he was again refused admittance to the home. In consequence he had, in this inclement weather, to remain out the whole of one night, and the only way that his case could be brought before the proper authorities was to charge him with vagrancy. •4” 4>- 4- 4* “ ‘The only object he (Mr McCarthy) had in making those, remarks was to make it quite plain to Mr Murphy and everyone that he was not a vagrant, and that the method followed was the only one by which the case could be brought before the proper authorities. The charge has no proper foundation. He was a icspectable man. and no vagrant. His AVorship was only sorry that to arrive at the present- sett lenient of matters he had had to be charged with vagrancy.’ ” 4- 4- 4> 4“That doesn’t make good reading,” ses the Premier. “It doesn’t,” ses I, “an’ it, won’t read well at Homo that paple are sint to gaol in New Zealand for bein’ floor an’ sick.” “You’ve hit it, Denis,” ses the voice—“it seems to me, speaking at a distance, as if the Boards wanted to treat the old man as the boy’s father did. You must know. Pm nis, that in some schools tne officials; have taken to looking after the ey«s of the children, as the parents are often ignorant of anything l:*'iig wrong until the mischief has gone too far. A certain 1; tie hoy came home, the other day with a note from the teacher to his father, which ran like this : —'lt is my duty to tell you that your son shoves decided symptoms of astigmatism, and his case is one that should be attended to without delay.’ The boy took this note back with him next morning : —‘ To Mister School Teacher. Dere Sir, — AA 7 il you kindly bete it out of Bill ; 1 ain’t got the time !” 4" 4" -4" ''That’s a good wan.” ses I. “I can see by that that ye are shtill in good form.” ‘‘Well, Denis, as for form, I see that one of the papers reports that I am a man of slight figure.” ‘‘That bates all,” ses I, “an’ if its thrue it only shows that the conferences* an’ banquets, an’ speeches, an’ interviews have been too much for ye, but all the same I can till that
you’re shtill very much alive —you are not like the chap that was found hangin in a barn. An inquist was held on the deceased man. an’ the yokel who found him was the chief witness. ‘AA’oll,’ ses the coroner, 'and where did you find this unfortunate man ?•’ In a barn, yer honour, hangin’ by* a cord to one of the beams. So I ran and fetched the police.’ ‘But,’ ses the coroner, ‘why did you not cut him down first ?’ ‘Well, you see, yer honour,’ the yokel replied, confidentially, ’ ’e wasn't quite dead.’ 4 4*4 4 “Goad, but g.ri m,” ses Sir Joseph, “but c’d like to know now my* old friends are doing ?” “Av coorse ye wild,” ses T, “an’ I may as well say at wanco that Southland is goin’ ahead like a. kangaroo, an’ that yer own beloved Bluff has had a record year as a harbour.; ’ “By* George ! That’s good news !” ses the Premier. “Yes,” ses I, ‘Mr George had a shpHndi'd report to lay before the Board, an’ if Mr Me Yah can get all the. business paple in the colony* to select thv> Bluff as the N.Z. central port, thing's ’ll hum an’ no mishtake.” “Good old ‘Bluff.” murmured the voice. “Thin,” ses I, “Mr McNab in-tin els to sht-and or fall by the Band Bill.” “.Just so. AVell, strictly between ourselves, 1 think he might have been more diplomatic—don’t you think he might have hedged a little.” “AVell,” ses 1. seein’ that he takes sich an interest in tree-plantin’, ’tis a. wonder that didn’t occur to hi m. ’ ’ “But lavin’ that,’’ Ses i, “some paple are savin’ that the Governmint will have to regulate the price av wheat : an’ thin Mr Millar’s goin’ to Improve the Arbitration Act an’ the Half-Holidays Act, so that youTl be a busy* man al’ther ye radio our shores.” “I’m used to bein’ busy, Denis,’j ses the voice, “but coming nearer home, how is the O’Shea family doing •?“ “ ’Tis kind av ye to think av domestic matthers like that.” ses I, “but the fact is. Bed alia is thinkin’ av launchin’ out into the fancy* goods line.” “I thought that line was overdone already,” sos the Premier. “.So did I. Sir Joscpn. but she ses that 800 posht an’ til (graph min are to be transferred in a few months-, an’ av coorse there’ll be no ind av prisint-ations, an’ Bedaiia thought thlrare’d be a demand for pipes an’ silver-mounted walkm’-sticks, an’ travellin’ bags an’ suchlike things.” “She’s a far-seeing young lady*,” ses the voice, “and now what about Corney ?” “Och, Corney*. Sir Joseph, “he’s joined a Parliamentary Union, an’ he is that taken up wid it that he makes spaches in his shlapc. like the man in the Irish assize enurt whin a trial was interrupted by* some totally irrelevant words from a man reclining on one of the benches. Lord Justice Walker at • wan.ee remarked that the man wud have to be put out if ho -did not kapo quiet. ‘ Ho is talking in his sleep, my lord.’ explained a member of the Bar. ‘Never mind,’ ses the judge, ‘up will have to walk in his sleep if he interrupts again.’ ”
4* 4- 4” 4s“That would have surprised the man, Denis,” ses the voice. “It wud,” sos 1, “he'd have 'been as much surprised as Mr Hess was the day afthor the gale av wind wa had the other day, whin he picked up the News an’ read that his photographic studio had been partly unroofed. ‘That's news to me,’ sos Charlie, an’ rushed out, but for the life av him he cu'dn't see whore the unroofin had taken place. I may as well till ye at tne same time that the scaffoldin’ rouod the throopers’ memorial suffered a little, but that doesn’t matter, for the job’s hung up for a month or two, an' tde inshpector av works has gone! to siuperintind the buildin' av an infectious diseases hospital at. Kew. Ye see. Sir Joseph, we nivir shtand shtill in Southland—. if we're not goin' forward, we’re goin’ backward.” “Very interesting, Denis,” ses the Premier, “and now just give a word or two about the Exhibition.” “Well.” ses I, ‘'‘there won’t be much av it lift except. Mr Munro whin ye return, for it is bein’ trailed hown an’ sowld piecemeal.” “It has been a great success, Denis," ses Sir .Joseph, “I’ve heard a lot about, it here.” “That's good,” ses I, “but Corncy ses he wishes the paplo in change had lukt afther the exhibits betther. Ye musht know a chum av his sint up a beautiful copy av the Nelson Monnmint in Trafalgar Square, an’ will ye belavo it, it came back the other day widout some av the iittins, an’ that dirty that Mr .Kenny Cameron ’ud have no hesitation in orderin’ poor ould Nelson into quarantine if he'd known he was on board av the thrain.”
‘■•.l 'in sorry t o hear that, Denis, and to toll you the truth, after the way the statuary I sent out from Italy was treated, and now Nelson, I’m beginnin' to think there may have been room for improvement.” “Thin,” ses: I, “there’s another tning that's botherin’ some paple. Ye see, the seals that were on view at the I'lxhibition were sint to the rivers, an' now the report comes that they're devourin’ the trout at such a rate that they'll have to be extirpated, like Mr Mclntyre.’: “You mean extradited, Denis,” ses the voice, wid a hearty lal'f that did me good to hear. “Well, army way. it manes that the seals'll have to be sint away from where they are,” ses I. To till ye the truth. Sir Joseph, nothin’ connected wid the hlxhibition seems to lasht long'. It's for all the world like what Tom Perkins sard wance. ‘Most o’ these here advertisements is lies,’ ses he, as he threw down the newspaper.. ‘Oh, I dunno,’ commented Joe Summers, reflectively, lightin’ his pipe. T dunno ; last autumn 1 bought a hat from a feller in London that had an advertisement in the paper that said that the hats would not last long, an’ to come early if we wanted to take advantage of his marvellous offer.’ Mr Summers 1 meditatively smoked on, until Mr Perkins broke the silence wid —‘Well ?’ ‘Well, it didn’t last long, that is all.’ ” “Now,” ses the Premier, “I’ve monopolised the wire long enough, and will say not good-bye but au rovoir. ”
“A worh in your ear. Sir Joseph,” ses I, “before ye go. Ye must know that a grate reeiption is in front av ye whin ye get back, an’ there’s only wan thing- puzzlin’ the paple..” “What is that, Denis ?” “Weil, they don’t rightly know how to address ye. Will it be Viscount Ward or Baron Ward av A warn a? “You are as curious as a woman,, Denis,” ses the voice, a»d I ’ll just give you one piece of advice —watch the papers.” DENIS.
The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 1 June 1907
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