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The Contributor.


Dear Mr Editor,—Lasht wake I thought 1 had an. interview wid Sir J . G? Ward, an’ now I'm jusht afther wakin’ from wan av the mosht realistic dhrames mortal man iyir had. Ye see, I fancied I was goin’ along the .Royal Arcade, whin who shud pop out av a side door but me ould frind Mr Paape. He was lukhT the picture av health an’ as happy as Larry, an’ whin I axed him how he was doin’ he hild up his hand an’ axed me not to shpake too loud in case I waked the baby. “The baby?’’ ses I, “what baby ?” Wid that he pushed a go-cart out av the passage an’ there was a lusty little g-ossoon sittin’ up in it suckin’ away at a dummv in grate shtyle. -$-4 4 4 “ ’Tis an illigant baby ye have there,” ses I, “I’d like to know the name av it ?” “Why,” ses he, “it’s called Saturday Half-Holiday surprised' you haven’t heard of its birth.” “An’ Who,” ses I, “is the father av the darlint ?” “Why,” ses lie, “I thought everyone knew that Mr I. W. Raymond has that honour.” “Well,” ses I, “its a credit to him. Is it teethin’ yet ?” “No,” ses Mr Paape, “but by the time Parliamint meets it will have a thousand teeth in the shape of signatures, ■and they will be laid before the Legislature.” 4 4 4 4 “Well,” ses I, “accordin’ to Mr S. McDonald, Mr Raymond has been guilty a v ignorance and presumption, an’ has shown an utter want a v logic in bringin’ the little wan before the public.” “That’s all very well, Denis,” laffed Mr Paape, “but wait till you hear the child’s father on that point before you commit yourself.” “And who,” ses 1. “is collectin’ the teeth —I mane the signatures, Mr Paape ?” “Well,” ses l he, “Mr Morgan has been out, an’ he’s boea successful —IJaok Jther.e !” ses he, pullin’ out a documint a yard long from under a cushion av the gocart. 4 4 4 4 “Well done !” ses I, “ Tis the tine 'wet nurse ye make, Arthur, me boy, an’ if the child doesn’t thrive ’twon’t. be your fault. But,” ses I, “I nivir thought Mr Morgan ’ud have been able to get signatures to a petition. I thought he was too bashful for that kind av- business.” “Oh, dear, no,” ses Paape, “you mustn’t think that he’s like the servant girl’s young man. Her mistress objects to followers, and consequently experiences some difficulty in getting a . servant to stay with her any length of time- One of her girls had made up a friendship with the postman, and ere very long the man of mails began to visit her. The mistress allowed the affair to go on without interruption for some time, but at length, when his visits became of nightly occurrence she thought it judicious to object. Going" down to the kitchen one morning she said—‘Mary, I cannot allow you to receive your sweetheart in the kitchen any more.’ Hostile opposition never for a moment occurred to Mary. who regarded her mistress’s remark as very considerate. But she had her doubts about the postman, an’ so she answered —‘It’s very kind of you, mum, but I’m almost sure he’s too bashful to come into the parlour.” 4 4 4 4 Afther lavin’ Mr Paape, who towld me not to let on that I'd seen the child, as he was afraid av its bein’ kidnapped, I found mesilf inside av Mr Allen’s comfortable rooms, an’ there, begiorra ! was another baby lyin’ in a cot in front av a big fire, an’ wid Mr McDonald, Mr William Todd, Mr Allen, Mr Wesney, an’ some other well-known paple. includin’ the ivirgreen Davie Roche shtandin’ round it. “Isn’t he a beauty,’ ses Davie, as we shuk hands. “He 1 is,” ses I, “the finest I’ve seen ont av Kerry. But,” ses I, “what is he doin’ here, an’ what’s his name ?” -“Well,” ses Davie, “he’s been deserted by the paple that shud have Inkt afther him, an’ we’re takin’ charge av him till he gets strong enough to go alone. He’s known as the Wednesday Half-Holiday.” 4 4 4 4 “Well,” ses I, “that bates all, the run there is on Half-Holiday. I’ve jusht been seem’ another little wan called Saturday Half - Holiday.” •“Fiddlesticks !” ses Mr McDonald, •‘•‘why, he hasn’t a leg to stand on!” ‘■‘Perhaps not,” ses I, ‘‘for he was in a go-cart.” “Well,” ses another number av the party, “I don’t want to to alarm you, Denis, but if that youngster you saw gets his way, it will be a sorry time for Invercargill, for some of the places of business .will dispense with half their hands.

and, of course, with less business doing, they’ll naturally want a reduction of rents.” “Well,” ses 1, “it seems to me that botwane ye ye 11 be afther ruinin’ the town —wan pullin’ wan way, an wan the othei, but,” ses I, “I’ll not‘be afther interferin’, for ye might be threatenin' me as the man did the doctor. He was inclined to be mindful av other paple’s business, an’ was riflin' along a count hr.road. He drew up where a native was huskin’ corn in a held. ‘You a re gatherin’ yellow corn ?’ ses the doctor. ‘Yes, sir ; planted that kind,’ came the reply. ‘Wont get more than halt a crop ? volunteered the physician. ‘Don’t expect to, sir : planted it on the half shares system.’ The doctor was somewhat nettled by this, an’ replied : ‘You must lie mighty near a fool.’ Aes. sir, onlv a fence between us.’ 44 4 4

Jusht thin the baby woke up wid a cry, an’ as I lift I cud see Mr Todd —who’s got a heart as tender as a woman’s to the sound av distress — pullin’ out wan av Allanburyis feedin’ bottles, an’ howldin’ it to the child's mouth. 4- 4_ 4 4 Whin I towld Katie the dhrame she said ft was astonishin’ to seethe way the paple were light in’ against ache other. “PH be bound.” ses she-, “that if Mr Raymond had been elected lasht lime he shtud for Invercargill, ye’d have heard mighty little av the Saturday half-holiday business, an’ if lie does go in on the strength av it, ye may hear shtill less.” “Don’t be too hard on him.” sos I, “sure, ’tis a laudable ambition to want to serve wan’s counthry.” “Mr Raymond’s not singular, Denis,” ses Katie, “sure, they're all alike. Ivirywan is for his own hand —even the Opposition is tired av waitin for the loaves an' fishes, an wants £.IOOO a year for the Leader. Thin Ink at Mr Matties on. Ses he—‘Some people imagine the Farmers' iJnion to be a purely political organisation, and that the present campaign is being conducted for political purposes only. If you gentlemen think that I leave my cosy fireside, travel hundreds of miles from home, and journey across that wretched Cook Strait to either Government or Opposition party, you make a huge mistake. A tew -days afther makin’ this statemint, Mr Matheson was definitely announced as a candidate at next election tor Mastorton.” 44 4 4 “ ’Tis a grate institution, this same Union,” ses I, “an’ I see somewan wanted to make it a little more free an,’ aisy by allowin’ the mimhers to shmoke at the Conference in Invercargill, but the suggestion was rejected.” “No wonder,” ses Katie. “Why so ?” ses I. “Sure,” sas she, “ ’twud have been too suggestive altogether.” “I don’t follow ye.” ses I. “Why,” ses she, “nearly all their resolutions ind in shmoke —what need for more, Denis ?” “Aisy,” ses I, “sure, if ye only knew it the Governmint’s afraid, av the Union over the Land Bill.j’ 44 4 4

‘•‘Thin,” ses Bedalia, “there’s a grate difference av opinion as to whether paple in the towns or in the counthry are gettin’ the mosht out av the Governmint. I see’ that at a matin’ av the Otama branch av

the N.Z. Farmers’ Union, Mr A. McNab was called upon to give his address on ‘Which had been the more favourably treated by the Government—the town or country ?’ Mr McNab in a ling thy spache endeavoured to show that the counthry had I mosht cause to be grateful ; but his j views were not unanimously shared (bv his hearers.” 144 4 4 “Now,” ses Bedalia, “whin I towld that to a business man in Invercargill. he laffed, an’ ses he— ‘ Some persons are never satisfied'. What has the Government done for people in the towns ? Has it lent them money at a cheap rate ? Does it carry their commodities at reduced rates ? Does it study the needs of the consumer ? if it does., why does it only cost 4s to send a ton of oats from here to the Bluff, while it costs 8s 6d to bring the same quantity of sugar from the port to Invercargill ? Yes, and more than that, do you ever hear of the Government compulsorily acquiring blocks of land in towns as then- do estates in the country, so as to give business people a better chance of making a living instead of being crushed with exorbitant rents?” 44 4 4 “Shtop, Bedalia, shtop,” ses I, “or I’ll lie thinkin’ ’tis in Parliamint we are ! Sure it Inks to me as if the profession av politics was as bad as the lawyers. ‘Why is it, doctor,’ ax’ ed the lawyer, ‘you are always running us down ?’ ‘Well,’ ses the doctor, ‘your profession doesn’t make angels of men. does it ?’ ‘No ; you certainly have the advantage of us there, doctor,’ replied the lawyer.” 44 4 4 I’ve had a tiligram from the Governor say in’ how he enjoyed that bit in the “Cross” called “When Father Rode the Goat,” an’ axin’ me if I cirU sin cl him a lit tle more on Masonry. as he is Grand Mashter av the Lodge, an’ wnd like to have something to recite at the nixt banquet, afther a plate av Stewart Island oysters. So I thought I wud sind him these few lines on Masonry. They are called “ The Level and the Square” : air • “As we went Bobbin’ Round.” : We meet upon the level, and we part upon the square. What words of precious meaning these words Masonic are ;

Come, let us contemplate them —they are worthy of a thought— In the very soul of Masonry these precious words are wrought.. We meet upon the level. though from every station brought. The monarch from his palace, the labourer from his cot ; The. King must drop his dignity when knocking at our door, Tim labourer is his equal as he walks the checkered floor. We act upon the plumb—’tis our Master's great command To walk upright in Virtue’s way, and lean to neither hand. The All-Seeing Eye that reads our hearts will bear us witness true That we will try to know our Cod, and give each man his due. We part upon the square, for the world must have its due, We mingle with the multitude, but keep our secrets true ; * .

But the influence of our meetings in memory are so green. And we long upon the level to renew. the happy scene. There's a world where all are equal—we are hurrying to it fast ; We shall meet upon the level there, when the g-ates of death are past ; We shall stand before the Orient and l our Master will be there ; Our work is to try our lives to prove with God’s unerring Square. We shall meet upon the level there, and never thence depart ; There's a mansion bright and glorious set for the pure in heart. There’s an everlasting welcome from the hosts rejoicing there — We have been met upon the level, and been tried upon the square. Let us meet upon the level, then, while labouring patient here ; Let us meet and let us labour though the labour be severe. Already in the eastern skies the sign bids ns prepare To gather up our working tools and part upon the square. Hands around, then, brother Masons!, gather in the golden grain. We part upon the square below, to meet in Heaven again ; Each tie that has been broken shall •be cemented there, None wiJdV be lost around God's throub who parted on the square.; “Well.*'--ses Katie, “it doesn’t seem quite the thing to have*. such fine poetry mixed up your odds an’ ends, Denis.” “Lave it alone,” ses I, “sure, its too monotonous to be always harpin: on the wan thing —even Mr Kinross gives us 1 a hornpipe sometimes inshtead av a Highland Fling.” -4- ■& Ye musht excuse this short bit av a recitation, as I musht hurry up Esk shtreet to see what His Worship the Mayor is goin’ to call the mew shteam roller; There ' has been a grate squabble over the appointmint av a dhriver—some av the councillors think he shud be called a chauffeur, inshtead av an engineer, seein’ there are so manny motor cars in the shtreets. Katie thinks if they wud put their heads together an’ get the scrubber cleaned at the gas works they wud do a good turn, as she sea hersilf she can’t see to sew a button on Corney’s trousers, the light is so bad. DENI'S.

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The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 8 June 1907

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The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 8, 8 June 1907

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