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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOUESES, Dear Mr Editor, —’Tis the sorely 'disappointed man I am this day. Ye see, I knew Sir Joseph ’ud'not fale right unless he got a wire from me on his arrival at Millington, so I gint away a special greetin’ at the same time as the Mayor sint his, an’ will ye belave it not wan av the papers said a word about it. It cudn’t have been that it wasn’t .worth noticin’, as ye will see by the followin’ copy av the tiligram —

Oh, you're wilcome back. Sir Joseph, to your well-beloved home, [Where the Maori an’ the Pakeh a o’er the fertile plains do roam. .Troth, you shpoke your mind in England, an’ gave thim all to undershtand That you got a hearty wilcome from the bhoys-in Paddy’s Land.

I had a letthcr from me uncle, who lives in Marrion’s Square, Bayin’—‘’Denis,. darling jewel, I wish you had been there, [For the Four Courts av Dublin nivir lukt so grand ■Since the day you got your order to lave your native land. The students av ouid Trinity tuk Sir Joseph by the hand, In honour av St Patrick an the bhoys av Paddy’s Land. ’

So you’re wilcome back, Sir Joseph, you droll old funny dear, (Wid your merry lang'h an’ twinklin’ eye, an’ voice so bright an’ clear. CEAD AIILLE FATLTHE ! 'Joe, avic, ’tis you will make from Awarua’s shore .The jokes an’ fun ring through our isle wance more. £)h, Joe, you are the darlin’ bhoy ! The way you played your hand Whin you got that hearty w-ilcome from the bhoys av Paddy's Land. They till me, sure, the times have changed—that Irish fun has fled. That Paddy’s humour’s gone ’ for ■good, an’ Biddy’s mirth is dead ; But I’d like to hear you, Joe, avic, in sunshine or in shower, Of our views upon the truth av it, as you towld in days av yore. Till memories av the dear ould land rise round me heart wance more. For to hear a w-ord against it, you know I cannot stand, •For you got a hearty wilcome from the bhoys av Pacldv’s Land. >f V f “Sir Joseph’!! prize that pome, Denis,” ses Katie. “He will that,” ses I, “he’ll be as anxious to preserve it as the little bhoy called Teddy -was to get a lock av his father’s hair, whin the barber was :cuttin’ it. ‘Daddy,’ he lisped, ‘may Teddy have one of your locks ?’ The barber - wiped away a tear wid the solitary clean corner .av the shop (tow-el. ‘Dear little fellow,’ ses he—- - ’Ow affectionate, ’ow touchin’ ! Do you want to treasure it, my lad ?’ he continued, as he fetched a wavy bunch. ‘Do you wash to keep it so that in years to come you may say ; Behold a lock of ’air from my dear ■parent’s ’ ead !’ ‘Not' much,’ ses Teddy, T want it for a new- tail for my rocking horse.’ ” 4-

On Widnesday la-sht the O’Shea family got the affront av our lives. Ye see., Katie an’ Bedalia an’ mesilf .wint to the Zealandia Ha-11, where it was advertised that a poulthry an’ bird an’ dog an' pet show was to be hild. We g-ot there late in the afthernoon, an’ afther takin’ a good Ink round, ses Katie —“What have they -done wid the dogs ?”- “Lishten ito that,” ses I, for we heard a lot av barkin’ an’ growlin’ at wan side av the hall- Away we wint, but whin twe reached the shpot we found that an addition had been made to the Ibuildin’ for the dogs, an’ whin we wint to the door a man shtepped up, an’ ses he—“ There’s no admittance.” “We don’t want aduii ttance we only [want to see the dogs, ses I. You can’t,” ses he, “because they’re not (judged yet.” ‘‘Well,” ses Katie, ‘ we paid our money at the door to see ithe show, an’ it’s not fair to take paple’s money if ye can’t 1 et thim see all that’s to be seen.” “I can’t help it, ma’am,” ses the doorkeeper. ses I, if we can’t see the 'dogs, what have ye got for visitors ■at all, at all ?” - “Oh,” ses he, li'there’s lots av things—there’s some [tumblers over there.” “Tumblers !” ses I, thinkin’ he wasn’t a bad sort ov a chap afther all, an’ away I ,wint to the place, but sorra a tumbler cud I see, or a dhrop av annything t 0 drink, an’ I lift the place to go an’ have a luk at the futball match, an’ Katie an’- Bedalia L were

that anxious to hear Mr Challis' Irish wather dog, an’ Mrs McFarlaiie’s and Mrs E. B. McKay’s darlin’ pugs that they wint back to the man, but he said the judges wore shtili at work, an’ s o they had to lave wTiflout seein’ the besht part av the shown Katie ses she’ll have an action against the. Society for takin’ money under false pretinces, an’ get Mr Solomon down from Dunedin. ‘ Ye needn’t throuble him,” ses I, “ for he’s a King’s Counsel now. an’ cud not appear widout a junior, an’ ye d not get anny av the .Invercargill lawyers wantin’ to play second fiddle to him.” ‘‘Kingi's Counsel musht be a very special brand,” ses Katie.. “I hey are that,” ses I, “they re like Strang’s coffee —none genuine widout the trade mark. There's only a fewav thim in New Zealand yit—they re nearly as i - aro as the kiad av man the gyrul said she'd marry. ‘The man I am Inkin’ for,’ ses she, ‘must be utterly unselfish, brave as a lion, tender, truthful as the 'day, industrious, intelligent, thoughtful, of distinguished presence, and one who never drinks, smokes, gambles or uses profane language. .1 shall not mind if he is poor-—that will not matter. ‘Not a bit,’ ses the damsel's cynical old father, grimly. ‘He’d have a fine chance of making money, my dear.’ ‘How- so, papa ?’ ‘lVhy, they would give a fortune for a man like that in a show.’ ” • ■4” -4” "$■ “Well,” ses Corney, whin we wore comparin’ experiences at night, “ a dog an’ cat show’s all right enough, but for fun g'ive me Invercargill sLgrog soilin’ cases,” an’ thin he set to work an’ tow-ld us about the thrials that have been engagin the police coort this week, wid Magistrate McCarthy on the Binch. Inspector Mitchell, Sergt. Mathieson, an’ Detective Cameron for the police, an’ Air Stout an’ Air Neave an’ Mr Armstead for the defendants. , “ Air Neave,” ses I, “I nivir knew he was an Invercargill la'vj-er.”- “He s not, ses Corney, “He conies from Gore, an’ begorra he’s the man for objections—he flung that inanity at the binch that at lasht Air McCarthy towld him he was childish.’- “An how-, did he take that,”- ses I. “Sure it was like wat-her on a duck’s backlie jusht shmiled, an’ said it was the firsiit time in his life he had been taxed w-ih childishness.” “If things go on at that rate,” ses Bodalia, “he’ll he nearly as full av good wishes for Air McCarthy before the cases are over, as Che Irishman. A visitor to Ireland was biddin farewell, am ses to an attendant, ‘Good-bye, Pat.' ‘Good-bye, yer honour. May Heaven bless you, and may every hair in your head be a candle to light your soul to glory !’ ‘Well, Pat,’ ses he, showing him a bald pate, ‘w-hen that time comes there won’t be much of a t o rehl i ght pro cess ion.’ ' ’

But cornin’ back to the cases, Corney ses ’twas the fun av the world whin Mr Weave axed wan a v the witnesses where he was livin’. Ses In. specter Mitchell in his mosht courtly shtyle—“He is my 'guest at present.” “Oh,” ses Mr Weave, “I knew very well he wasn’t a guest of anyone on our side.” Ye see, the way the thing shtarted was this :—lnspector Mitchell got it into his head that there was something wrong on both sides

av the Waihopai, an’ summonin’ the energetic Serg-t. Mathieson an’ the 'cute Detective Cameron to his prisince, ses he—“Gome hither, Evan Cameron, come stand beside my knee, I hear there's beer a-floatinig full and free Close beside the placid Waiopee.

Old faces pass before me -(McCluskie), Old forms go flitting past (Horsburgh) ; There's “shouting” bn the waterside, There’s war upon the demijohn and flask.”

Well, ah' they wint, an’ ’twas a grate haul they made —nearly as big as Zealandia Hall —an’ they do be savin’ that the shtory av the raid is"likely to be embalmed in the records av the Supreme Coort. Corney ses some av the paple in coort heaved a sigh av regret whin Mrs Watt av the Royal- Hotel said that whin the boarders offered her anny beer she tuk it an’ put it down the sink. “Bad luck to her,” ses I, “sure it 'ud not do good to annywan to deal wid it in that fashion.” ’’Ho harm, cither. Denis,” ses Katie. ‘■‘■Well,” ses I, “who’cl have thought av good beer bein’ used to disinfect a sink ?” “Why,” ses Katie, “ye seem as much surprised as the ould parson expected his congregation to be. He tuk it into his "head to marry tke housekeeper. His precentor bein’ ill on the day whin the banns were to be proclaimed, the minister, not carin’ to make the intimation himsilf, arranged wid the herd bhoy to do it. ‘Now,’ ses he, ‘you just call out in a loud voice ; Proclamation of marriage between the Rev. Mr Murray, of the parish, and Jean Lowe, of the same. Ha, ha !’ laughed the minister, as he concluded, ‘wha'd hae thocht it ? The Sabbath came round, and the congregation assembled. Whin the moment arrived the lad, who had duly prepared himsilf, rose an’ called out —‘Proclamation of marriage between the Rev. Mr Murray, of this parish, and Jean Lowe, of the same. Ha, ha !’ he laughed, thinkin’ this to be a part av the proclamation, ‘wha’d hae thocht it ?’ ‘"There's only wan thing that X don’t like about these sly-grog sellin’ cases,” ses Katie, “an’ that’s havin’ to kapo detectives an’ policernin watchin’ houses for hours on these cowld shtormy nights.” “ -Tis the clivir lads they are, too,” ses Corney, “for whinivir they see min callin’ at a house night afther night they suspect that something’s wrong, an’ they give live short knocks on the door the same as the others, an’ they get inside in no time.”-* ‘‘Well,” ses I, “the police remind me av the native av Aberdeen, bashful, but desperately in love, fiadin’’ that no _ notice was taken av his freqvent visits to the house a v his sweetheaet, summoned up courage to address the girl thus ‘Jean, I wis here on Monday nicht.’ ‘Ay, ye were that,’ acknowledged the girl. ‘An’ I wis here on Tuesday nicht.’ ‘So ye were.’ ‘An’ I wis here on Wednesday..’ ‘Ay, an’ ye were here on Thursday nicht.’ ‘An I wis here last nicht again.’ ‘Week’ ses she, ‘what if ye were ? ‘An’ I am here the nicht again. ‘An what aboot it even if ye cam’ every

nicht ?’ 'What aboot it, did ye say„ Jean ? Did ye no begin tae smell a rat ?i ”

A frind av Bedalia’s livin’ down Greenhills way dropped her a note this wake about the ladies’ ball hild there lasht Friday. It seems that the young' chaps always have a couple av gallons av beer to take away the taste av salt wather consequent on their livin’ so near the briny, an’ the young ladies thought they’d serve it out, an’ not have the young fellows dodgin’ out behind the tank at the intervals’ to refresh thimsilves.

Whin the young fellows heard av their intintion they got up a petition, an’ said they didn’t want.anny] beer. Thin the young ladies wint wan betther by sayin’—"Then we’ll not allow, beer near the place,” an’ j so it turned out wan av the driest balls held in the township, but iviry-s wan enjoyed the change, an’ as for, the young ladies, they nivir lukt more charmin’ —they say they’d not go back to beer for a deal. There was a grate run on the tank wather, an’ before the interval for supjfer some av the young fellows were prayin’ for rain, an’ they didn’t care whether it was pure rain or beer rain, for as wan young chap put it ; “As a man drinks he usually grows more reckless ; the more drams the fewer scruples.” DENIS,-

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SOCR19070629.2.7

Bibliographic details

The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 11, 29 June 1907

Word Count
2,105

The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 11, 29 June 1907

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