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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES, Bear Mr Editor, —Sure, if it wasn’t for the Bluff I don't know what Ed be doin’ for something to write about. Jusht whin I was wonderin' how to shtart this week’s epistle a knock comes to the door, an’ me obligin frind Mr Keast a v the posht affico delivery shtaff handed in the followin’ letther from another ould acquaintance by the name av McSpurklc, av the Bluff : Boar Benis, —Bid ye hoar aboot that michty footba’ club ca’ed the “Murihiku” ? Its ' been specially picked frae a’ the clans, an’ its made up o’ McKenzies, McDonalds, McKays, McPhails, an’ McHamiltons. There wis a beadle brocht oot 'wi’ them—maybe tae keep them in order, an’ the game they - play is oa’ed "Soccer.” Man, but they’re a michty club ; they havena won a cup match yet, but they're expectin’ tae win. ■Twas a wonnerfu’ struggle they had wi’ the bold "Underwoods ’ last Saturday. It wis a graun sicht tae ree the michty struggle wi’ the glaur. iYe cudna tell the McPhersons frae the McTavishes. There wis a Mac Somebody o’ the Murihiku wi’ his een fu’ o’ drookit stoor, wha kickit a goal through the Underwoods’ posts, an’ forbye lost Murihiku the game. Noo aboot the days before the cup matches. That was the time the Murihikus won every match, an’ maybe it wis, on account o’ the graun runnin’ man they had. There cam’ a man amang the Murihikus yin day wi’ a michty reputation, in his aiu estimation, an’ he wis engaged tae play, an’ when do got on his footba’ gear it wis noticed that he had piebald boots, an’ whaun ask it whit they were for he explained. "It’s like this.” ses he, "me bein’ sae last this black boot I wear for dribblin’ an’ this tan yin for kickin’ goals.” So ye see, Benis, how it wis thy Murihikus won everything in the days before cup matches. ■<s> <s="That's the club for me,” ses Corney. "But you're not eligible. Corney,” ses I. "Why." ses he. "Because they’ll only take Scotchmin, an’ you’d hardly pass mushier, unless, av coorse, ye cud spin as good a y arn as the chap that joined the Scottish volunteers in London. The would-be recruit was asked if he were a Scotchman. ‘No, I ain’t.’ 'Father and mother Scotch, perhaps ?’ suggested the sergeant. ‘No.’ Ho was here told that unless he had some connection wid Scotland he wud be unable to join the ranks. Tvn got, some property in Scotland,’ he volunteered desperately. ‘Ah.’ that will be all right,’ remarked the sergeant, and enlisted him. Before leavin’ the young man was axed where might be his property in ‘ Scotland. ‘Well,’ was the reply, T have a football jersey in the Perth dye works.’ ” -$■ “The sergeant got a. grate surprise,” ses Bedalia. "He did,” ses I, "nearly a s grate as the man that visited the Hospital lately', an’ made out that he was a medical man wid a lot av experience in India. Well, the hospital bein’ kind-hearted, an’ always ready to entertain angels unawares, invited him to have a Ink through the wards, an’ all wint well till they' passed wan chap that had been in a long time. ‘Hallo, George,’ he yelled out to the visitor, ‘do you like this better than the ffaxmill.’ George thried to make out that the fellow was wanderin’ in his mind, but all the same ho tuk himsilf aft soon afther, an’ was lasht heard av at Kew, where he wanted to know if his services wud be required for the new hospital. 4- ■<£■ Katie was radin’ in the paper that there’s to be a grate meetin’ av boxers in Invercargill soon, wid prizes for bantams an’ feather-weights an’ light weights an’ heavy weights. She ses she prefers Mr Mitchell’s Orpingtons to the list av bantams advertised in the papers. Bedalia ses it musht take a lot av pluck for two min to sht a nd up in cowld blood an’ knock ache other about among the sawdust. "Not at all,” .ses Corncy, "sure, wan av the besht min wid his fishts I ivir knew was that frightened av his wife that he put me in mind av the song I heard wanco. It wint like this : He would terrorise the neighbours in a most outrageous way. Broke the wide world’s standing records in athletics every da,v ; ."While in pugilistic circles he could wipe men in the dust, 'And show master tricks at fencing laugh at every cut and thrust.

Ho slew tigers in the jungle, and scalped redskins on the plains, .He chased lions across the mountains and harpooned upon the m a in. He could break a bucking br o ncho, yes, and rope a Texan steer ; Sling a bowie knife or hatchet, throw the boomerang or spear, In hairbreadth escapes ho -gloried, did this worthy son of Mars, And he'd lick his weight in wild cats —kick them higher than the stars. But his shoes were in his pocket, and his face was ghastly white : He was silent as an oyster when he climbed the stairs a t night. 4- 4- 4’Tis the debate a v debates we've had over the new tariff. Katie's been callin’ down the blessiir.s a v all the saints on the calendar on the head av the Governmint for reducin' the duty on tea an’ dates an figs, . an suchlike, but ,I'm not so enthusiastic Mr Editor. " 'Tis a game av see-saw Katie,” ses 1. "Av course the duly is af'f sugar, "but they've raised it on boots, so the wan balances the other, an’ there ye are." “Well,” ses Bedalia, ‘‘tafkin’ av kerosene an' light in’ there’s wan good thing they have done —they’ve raised the duty on imported candles, an' now we'll all have to burn the Aspray brand.'' "Will that be anny hardship, Bodalia ?” ses I. "None in the world, dad,” ses she, for they're first-class, an’ moreover, ’twill be supportin' local industry, an’ be the means av enlargin' the factory down below Mr Cleave’s place at Arena!.” -4* •4' "It musht be a grate job to make n tariff that,Ml plase ivirybody,” ses Katie. “It is,” ses I. "it's nearly as hand as what the Highlander wanted the barber to do- A Highlander in the North av Scotland, who made his livin’ by soilin’ brooms, entered a barber’s shop in a largo town an’ axed to be shaved. After he had been shaved he axed the barber to buy a broom. The barber took the broom an' thin 'axed how much he had to pay for it. ‘Sixpence.’ said the Highlander. T will give yon twopence,’ said the barber, ‘and if you arc not content with that you can take back the broom.’ The Highj lander tuk the broom back, an’ thin axed how much he had to Pay for his shave. 'Twopence,' replied the barber. ‘Ah. wool,' said the Highlander, ‘AMI gi'e ye a penny, an’ if ye’re no content wi' that- ye can pit on ma beard again.’- ” ■4* Bedalia ses she met Mr J. A. Mitchell in the shtreet the other day. He had a iermer-lukin' chap by the buttonhole, an’ Bedalia ses ho let her pass widout recognisin' her, "Well,” ses I, ‘‘ye needn't wonder at that, for the champion ploughin’ match is coinin’ on soon, an’ he’s up to the eyes thryin’ to make it the besht that’s ivir been hild. Begorra, if it wasn’t for him I don’t know what Mid become av the match or the ould identities’ society a n’ half-, a-dozen other things that he's connected wid.” "He’s full av go,”- ses Katie. "Iviry inch av him,” ses I. "He reminds mo av Mr Moody, a man that had been badly bitten by the ‘success by maxim’ craze. Ho lived on it, slept on it, an’ lectured on it. ‘The only way to succeed is to be so thorough in everything you undertake that failure is altogether

impossible,’ ses ho recently, to a long-suffering rural audience. ‘ For instance, if you mean to be a lecturer like I am’ —cries of ‘Hope not !’— U say.’ continued the speaker, ‘ if you mean to address farmers, don’t , peak to them about farming unless you’ve studied every question thoroughly.. Be determined and resolute in all you undertake. Remember that he who puts his hand to the plough must not turn back.’ ‘Then what’s ’e to do when ’e gets to the other end o’ the furrow ?’ yelled a voice a t the back.” In the natural course a v things, Mr Editor, ye musht have heard about the grate rebellion in Gala shtreet. Ye see, the tdigraph departmint wanted to put bigger an’ betther poles up in Gala shtreet the same as they are doin' all over the town, but in-, shtead av puttin' thim on the North] side as before they wanted to have (him on the South side, where the houses are. Well ye nivir heard the like a v the row there w a s. Iviry wan in Gala shtreet that cud sign his name petitioned to have the poles kept in their ould place, an’ said M-wnd ruin their properties- if they didn't, an' they do be say in’ that Mr Tapper offered to pay the cosht av the alterations, an’ at lasht the Governmint agreed on condition that the cosht was made good. •4" -4* -4” 4” "So the Gala shtrectors carried the day ?” ses Katie. ‘-‘They did,” ses I, “an - ivirything is quiet,” but I’m afraid it's only the lull before the shtorm.” "What makes ye think that ?” ses Katie. "Well,” ses I, "I saw a crowd round at the back av the posht aflice on Thursday, an’ whin I got over I Saw thim all gazin’ awc-shtruck at a grate invintion painted a bright yellow colour. Wan man thought it was a lighthouse, another tuk it for an airship bound for the Antarctic regions ; an’ thin wan av the chaps let the cat out a v the bag. "Youirc all wrong,” ses he, "this is a contrivance for carI’yin' min in the air so that they can hang the wires on the new tiligraph polos widout goin’ up an’ down iviry few yards.” "I thought it had something to do wid the yellow agony,” ses I. "but there’s wan thine, young man,” ses I, “that ye can make smv -about. "What’s that” ses he. "Why,”- ses I, “the Gala shtreet paplo’ll nivir let a thing like that into that lovely thoroughfare—it Tul deshtroy their properties for all time.” '■¥ 4- 4- ■¥ An' sure enough, Mr Editor, whin T tuk a Gala shtreet man to see it he was nearly beside himsilf wid rage. "Benis,” ses he, "this is adding insult to injury. We boat the department on one point, and now they mean to revenge themselves by sending this hideous-looking edifice into our midst. But, Benis,” ses he, "we will have none of it. Mr Baxter has offered to barricade Gala shtreet wid Rava Tea, an’ if that isn’t sufficient Mr McDonald will sacrifice the largest stock of boots and shoos in Southland to the same worthy purpose, and if that rampart is sui - - mounted we have a last hope in Mr Smith, the dentist, who says he can put a new face on the yellow mon- ] ster, an’ make it presintable if they {will give him half a chance.” -‘Well,’

sea I, "if ivirything else fails ye, get dr Bastings to challenge the smartest man in the tiligraph service to run a hundred yards, an’ if Mr B. wins, the yellow chateau is to he kept out av Gala shtreet.” 4; & 4Whin I got home Bedalia towld me she’d jusht been talkin’ about the same thing to Davie Roche, "Was he angry ?’’ ses I. “Not a hit av it,’i ses she. "He jusht laffed, an’ ses he, ‘lf the edifice is all that people say it is nobody'll be anxious to preserve it —they won’t be like the sail-* or on board a shteamer Q n the coast av Ireland. All at wance rang out the cry a v ‘man overboard.’ In an instant w a n av the crew leaped overboard an’ seized the drownin’ man. The pair av thim were quickly hauled on board. The passengers, wishin’ to cemonstrate their appreciation 'av the sailor’s bravery in a practical manner made a collection among thimsilves. The captain was deputed to present the proceeds , to the gallant fellow. ‘My man,’ ses the captain, ‘you are indeed a hero. I am proud to shake you by the hand. 1 sppose he was one of your best chums you saved, eh ?’ ‘Faith, no, yer honour,’ ses the sailor. ‘Ye see, he had my boots on.’ ’’ DENIS.

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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 14, 20 July 1907

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The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 14, 20 July 1907

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