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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 15, 27 July 1907
DENIS DISCOURSES, Bear Mr Editor, —Corney ses that Mr Toshach’s not nearly so black as he’s painted, an’ that the young lady at the winter show did him full justice wid the sketch that she made av his classic features. “You know, dad,’’ ses Corney, ‘'that we were towld that he'd bought ould Mr Dingwall’s shop over his head because he shtarted in the same line as himsilf, an’ now it turns out that he’s goin’ to lave him there, so that there’ll be two tobacconists there inshtea'd av one.” “Well done, Mr Toshach,” ses I, “he's a brick, so he is, an’ he musht have bought the shop jusht to show his friendship, like Boolan an’ his mate Sullivan in a railway smash. Boolan (addressin’ railway official): ’Can ye tell me, sir, if me dear frind, Pat Sullivan is amongst this lot ? Don't tell me ho is dead, for it’ll break me heart entirely, for we were more than brothers, sure.’ Official : ‘How can I tell which is your friend ? Has he any marks about him by which I can identify him ?’ ‘Uegorra, he has, sir. He’s a big scar on his head that I done wid a shovel wan day whin we had a frindly tiff.’ ’’ ■<s» There's been grate doins at the Bluff, Mr Editor, as ye’ll see from the followin’ epistle from me frind, Mr McSpurkle Dear Denis, —Scein’ that Invercargill is only a wee bit suburb o’ the Bluff, an’ that ye canna get along wi’oot oof port, I’ll jist tell ye twa or three things that micht be usefu’ whaun ye cam’ tae live in this toon. Yae thing is, that when ye join the Murihikus, dinna forget tae apply for the richt the hae “MAC” tacked on t® your name. Anither thing is oboot the kirk. Noo, last week there wis what was ca’ed the annual social, an’ me gangin’ past the door at the time an’ bearin’ some fine singin’, it pit me in min’ o’ the U. P. Kirk at ha mo, so I thocht I wad jist keek in, an’ 10-sh ! I could see it wis a gatherin’ o’ the Presbyterian kirk. Onyway, 1 stayed dang enough tae hear some fine speakin’. 4- 4- 4First, there wis the repbi't o’ the superintendent o’ the Sabbath schule, an’ man, it wis a fi'raun composition ! He dklna forget tae mention that we ought tae be prood o’ oorsels. Then he telt us o’ a guid plan that wis adopted in the Auld Country o’ allowin’ on.v layman tae speak aifter the moenister had finished. The superintendent thocht it wad be a graun idea if the same arrangement could be carried oot at oor kirk, as it wad allow- thae folk wha w’ere like himsel’, an’ had the gift o’ speakin’, tae let go their feelin’s instead o’ keepin’ dumb for the want o’ opportunity an’ practice an’ forbye deprivin’ the congregation o’ the benefit o’ their broadminded view’s. Man, he’s a graun superintendent —he didna forget tae impress on the congregation whit a fin 3 thing it is tae see a big collection when the plate gangs roon, an’ he askit a’ thae wh a had ony spare hauf-croons in their drawers a t ha me tae bring them along. Then comes the chairman o’ the Deacon’s Court wi’ his report. He wis invitit rip tae the pulpit beside three meenisters, but bein’ a kind o’ bashfu’ man, by the name o’ McCarpenter (or some Mac like that), he thocht he wad stay whaur he was. Then cam’ the secretary o’ the Deacons’ Court wi’ anither lang report, an’ o’ course the meenisters cudna dae less than invite him up beside them, so that he could be better heard. He wisna bashfu’, but ses he tae the meenisters, —“X a , na ; I’m bad enough noo wi’oot goin’ up there.” Wool, Denis, I thocht it wia time for me tae gang a wa’ hame—it seemed as if the Deil wis connect!! wi’ that kirk ! -4* -<?>- “ ’Twas a wonder they wudn’t take the chance o’ sittin’ wi’ the clargy,” ses Katie. “Perhaps,” ses 1, “they were like the m a n that wint to church to get married. Whin the happy morn arrived a youthful swain an’ ‘fa ire ladyc ’ presented thimsilves at the chancel steps. The service proceeded smoothly as far as the question ‘Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife ?’ Whereupon the supposed bridegroom stammered blushingly, ‘Please sir, I’m not the right man.’ ‘Not the right man !’ exclaimed the clergyman, aghast, ‘Then, where is the right man ?’ ‘He’s down at the bottom of the church ; he’s ashamed to come up.’ ”
Grcenhills wance more, Mr Editor — Dear 'Denis, —This is just to let you know the doings of the people at Grcenhills for the last week. While on my way to the township one windy day I saw what at first I took to be a lady parachutist, but which subsequently turned out to be Mrs Alex. Macdonald with her umbrella turned inside out, and bawling at the top of her voice, when I went to her assistance. She had been caught in the tail-end of the Greymouth cyclone. -$> 4- 4And then there was the sale of the township sections, •and mighty fine prices were paid for some of them, one small section fetching- £BS. Now, Denis, as far as I can learn, since the Invercargill Corporation has taken over the quarry, my old friend, Jimmy Maclaughan is going to start storekeeping down here, and Greenhills will be the place for cheap tobacco, etc,, for when Jimmy starts, he is sure to cut prices with Bluff and Invercargill. 4* 4- 4- 4Then there was a little gathering of the clans up on the hill last Friday, but as those gentlemen who signed that fatal petition against beer were excluded, 1 was not there, so cannot tell you anything about it. 4* 4* 4* 4 And last Monday night a great debate took place, the question which had to be decided being—" Should women enter public life ?” Well, Mrs Ward, our schoolmistress, took the affirmative side of the question, and started by telling ns of the difference in the construction of man and woman —how man was composed of muscle and woman wasn’t, but Nature had made up the want of muscle -in women by endowing her with more brains than man. Then she told us about a man 44 inches round the chest and wearing a .17 inch collar standing behind a counter serving ribbons, etc., and she wanted to know if he were in the proper place. Anyhow, Denis, man was an inferior creature, when she had done with him, and I began to imagine myself one of those animals that Gulliver met in his travels, and which he calls "yahoos.” 4 4 4- 4 Then Danny Oates took the floor, and away he went, telling us that woman’s place was that of mother, at home looking 'after the moral training of her children. Then he gave us a splendid illustration of howl' when a woman took a situation she did a man out of a good job and so deprived him from marrying, and that stopped the increase in the population, and it was only a matter of time when the human race would become extinct. Some gentleman told us there were six women to one man in the world, and if the women didn’t go out and tackle work, who was going to keep them ? Well, Denis, if such is the case the sooner we all turn Mormons the better it will be for the ladies. Then Fred Fehany jumped up, foaming at the mouth, for ho reckoned that Mrs Ward wanted to get all the nice little soft jobs for the, ladies and turn the men into hewers of wood and drawers of water, and he told us how girls were doing for £1
a week, whereas if a man were employed the wage would he £2 10s. Well, Denis, if that is so the ladies must be nearly as had as the ‘'yellow peril.” Then up jumps my old friend Jimmy 7 Gilman, and he said he was certainly 7 in favour of the ladies entering “pooblic” life. The next gentleman was little Ernie Patterson, the president of the society 7, and he w 7 as quite willing for the ladies to take his job, and he would stop at home and look after the children, and I’ve been thinking since, Denis, that if it was a young baby 7 it would be pretty hungry before that gvntleman could satisfy it. Then one young lady wanted to know whether she was to sit at home and wait till somebody came along and married her ; and, Denis, by the look of some of the young chaps I don’t think she will have to wait long. Anyhow, after all the wrangling, the ladies came out on top, and I honestly think that it wopld pay the lad.y suffragists of London to invite Mrs Ward Home to tight their battle., I’ll warrant she would make Mr Asquith feel mightv small. 4- 4- V ‘■‘l nivir knew Greenhills was such a centre av intiliict till now,” ses Katie. “That only 7 proves,” ses I, “that the world knows nothing - av its gralest treasures. As for intillcct, Katie, ye’ll lind more av it at the Greenhills than ye'd imagine—the paplo there aren’t like the sailor that the barber tuk a rise out av vance. His name was Ginger Smith, an’ he was a naval barber, an’ whin not engaged in his ordinary 7 duties aboard ship he did a roarin’ trade in shaves. Wan day while shavin’ wan av the men, wid the usual crowd round, Tubby 7 Jones ses to him—‘Why is a barber the meanest man mi earth ?’ T couldn’t say 7 ,’ ses Ginger. ‘Well,’ ses Tubby 7, ‘when he’s not scraping for a living he’s sponging.’ A great laugh greeted this ; but afterwards Ginger had his own back. He was trimming Tubby’s hair, and the fellows around were hattin’ about Saturday-to-Monday leave, whin -Ginger ses to Tubby - —■ ‘Why 7 is your head like Saturday-to-Monday, Tubby ?’ After deeply thinkin, Tubby said : ‘Don’t know.’ ‘Well,’ ses Ginger, ‘because it is your weak end.’ Collapse av all hands.” '■4- 4-' Angus McGregor musht have had a line time av it at Spar Bush on Wednesday, as ye’ll se by the followin’ screed that wan av his gyruls brought over to me on Thursday night. Here it is : Man, Denis ! there wis a grate gatherin’ o’ the clans at Bonskeid on Wa’nsday, whin winsome Annie Robertson, the second dochter o’ our auld free ns John an’ Mrs McCrostie, wis merret tac Harry Little, a rale (latent chiel frae aw a’ ayont Christchurch. A’ the kintrvskle, wis there, forbye a fell pickle fowk frae Invercargill an’ ither places. The bride lookit rale bonnie, an’ had her twa sisters for bridesmaids, bit for guidness sake, Denis, clinna let yer ain guid wife ask me hoo they were dressit —it’s far beyont me tae tell that. A’ can only - say 7 they 7 lookit awin’ braw. The bridegroom had a
brither o’ his ain for best man, an’ his intendit guicl brither for groomsman, Maister Simpson, o’ Winton, soon got them intae place, an’ wisna lang ere he had them lyin' a knot wi’ their tongues that they couldna lowse wi’ their teeth’ Syne we gaed intae a big tent for the breakfast. Hech, sirs ! Thae tables as laid oot by John Kingsland —honest man —were a sicht for sair e'en, an’ enuch tac mak: a body’s teeth waiter for a month o’ Sundays. Aifter we. were a’ 'dune, there were twa or three toasts ; ilka ane had a bit speech wi’ it, an’ short anes at that—nano o’ yer fal-de-rala or lang-winded ‘orations’ —A’ think that’s the word ; A’ dinna ken whit it means verra weol, but na maitter.; We had nane o’t, 4* Man, Denis ! it wad hae dune, ye guid tae see the send-afl' we gi’ed the young couple. The fowk a’ cuist as muckle rice at them as wad hae starlit a wee grocer’s shop, an’ as mony auld bauohals as wad hae keepit a cobbler in patches for a “Hielan’ min.” The young fowk hae gotten a hale cairt-load o’ bonnie prcesents frao a’ pairts, boith faur an’near—ln fac’, it wis a rale temptin’o’ Providence tae see the muckle braw stuff, an’ no help yerseT. -Q* “Well, Katie,” ses. I the other evnin’ aft her I had got me pipe goth, ‘‘sure an’ I had the grate joke to-day.” ‘‘Did ye, now, Denis,” ses Katie’ ‘‘an’ I’m glad av that, for some av your jokes are terribly feeble now an’ thin.” ‘‘Arrah, bequiet, woman—sure its jealous av us lords av creation ye are,” ses I. “Well, let us hear it annyway," ses Katie. “Well,” ses I, “ye know thim land agents that advertise houses an’ sections. Well, I see wan av thim says that he’ll sell the earth, an’ thinks I to mesilf this sounds rather big'—l’il see what I can do. So I goes into the affice. Ses I—‘Good day, Mr Agent.’ ‘Good day, Denis,'es he, ‘an’ how are you, and how's the wife and family—and what can I do for you, Denis?’ ‘Well,’ ses I,
‘l’ve been readin’ your advertisemints.’ ‘Oh, yes,’ ses he, ‘you want a house, of course. Well, I've got two or three that will suit you grand.’ ‘No,’ ses I, it s not that. ‘Oh, well, you want a section,’ ses he, quite quick-like. Quite right ; I can give you a whole lot to pick from.’ ‘Not quite that either,’ ses I. ‘You go too fast, Mr Agent. I see rou sell the earth,’ ses I. ‘Quite right, Denis, so we do—anywhere, any sort, and anyhow,’ ses hej ‘Well,’ ses I, ‘Katie wants to grow a nice rose tree in a tub, a n ’ I’d jusht take a few pounds av earth,’ ses I. 'Oh, come, come, Denis,’ ses he, ‘you will have your joke, I know, but we don’t sell it that way. You see— ’ ‘Well,’ ses I, angry-like, ‘what for do yees go puttin’ in the paper that ye sell the earth ?’ ‘Oh, well, Denis, ‘ you see it is a figure of speech,’ ses he. ‘Figure ov spache, be blowed,’ ses I, ‘I want five pounds av earth, or none at all.’ ‘Well, I’m very sorry, Denis, but I can’t do it. If you’ll take a section now—’ 'Section be hanged,’ ses 1, ‘if I wanted a section, sure I wud go an’ get it aff ,’ but there, Mr Editor, I mustn’t say who I said or me life insurance wudn’t be worth a fiver annyhow. Sure, an’ they’re a terrible scroppin’ crowd, thim agents. Well, at that I lift, an’ the poor man was so meek an’ sorrowful that I felt quite throubled for him. It was like the ould woman in Scotland who axed the railway ticket clerk how much it cosht to go to Leeds, an’ ses he—‘Three-an’-six.: ‘l’ll gie ye hauf-a-croon,' ses she. ‘Can’t do it, ma’am,’ ses he. ‘Well, then. I’ll no gang,’ ses she.” DENIS.
The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 15, 27 July 1907
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