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The Contributor

DENIS discourses

Dear Mr Editor,—“Another wrong to Ireland, Denis,” ses Katie. “An' what’s the matt her now ?” see I. “Why,” ses she, “somewan’s thryin’ to make out that more av our nationality go the asylums than anny other in the colony.j’ “Howld yer whisht, woman,” ses I, “sux:e that’s a complirnint in disguise.” “Well, I may be dense,” ses she, “but for the life av me I can t see how ye can make that out.” “It is the height av simplicity,” ses I. “Sure, ye inusht know, Katie, that wan authority ses that it’s not the fools that go wrong in their minds, but paple wid good brains —men an women av sensitive intillicts, so yc see, Katie, that we’ve no rayson to find fault wid statistics this time.” - 4-

“That’s wan way av lukin’ at it, Denis,” ses Katie, “but it doesn’t sound satisfyin’—but hard to plase, like the servant gyru| in the house that a plumber was workin’ at. Bang, bang, bang, the noise sounded' through the whole house. Paterfamilias had rushed out for a walk, the partner av his joys an’ sorrows was in hysterics, an’ the little children were cryin’ bitterly. The plumber had been called in to repair a leakage in the bathroom, an’ was smashin’ up the bath, while the housemaid lukt at him admiringly. He had worked diligently for about five minutes, an not’ he thought he deserved a resht. ‘Ain’t ycr heal'd about it, then?’ he enquired, pausin’ fox’ a moment in his toil. ‘Wot d’ye mean ?’ axed the gyrul. 'W’y, the Workmexx’s Goxnpensation Bill. It’s to eaxbrace domestic servants.’ ‘Oh, is it ?’ exclaimed _ the housemaid, with a ring of indignation in her tones. ‘Well, you just get on with your work. I won’t ’ave no workmen cmlmacin’ me, an’ so I tell yer !’ ” 4- 4- 4 The other night. Mr Editor, falin the nade av something to make me co to shlapc, I shtaided to rade Hansard, an’ it acted like a charm. Just before I dropped atf 1 came to the followin piece by a Mr George in the Upper House. He was talkin’ about the Pure Food Bill that’s to be passed for the protection av the King s sxibjects, an’ ses he—“lf anything in this country wants inspection it is the liquor that is sold. If liquor was properly inspected, and it was seen that only pure liquor was being sold I venture to say that the troubles caused by the drinking of bad liquor .would cease to exist. I remember many years ago ixx 1869, when I lived in the North Island at Taupo, there was a canteen near the place at which I was stationed. I used to go to the canteen with an old Maori friend of mine named Pohipi He said to me on one occasion :—T cannot understand this. ‘When I go to Napier and drink a bottle of rum it does not affect me at all, but when I go across to the canteen here and take two or three tots I am drunk.’ That was the case. Well, I remember that some two or three years afterwards this canteen ceased to exist, and amongst some old rubbish which was found at the place was the old rum-keg that used to stand on the shelf in the place where the liquor was sold. It was opened, and the bottoxxx was found to be two or three inches deep in tobacco —that is to say, the rum-keg used to be filled up with tobacco, and, I was told, bluestone ; but certainly there used to be any quantity of tobacco put into this liquor.” 4 4 4 4 ’Tis a grate bill entirely, Mr Editor, an’ whin I explained to the O’Shea family, Corney, ses he —“ 1 nivir ’ heaxM av axxything so severe in all me born clays —sure, it’ll put a shtop to the sale av bad foods if annything will. Parliamint is goln’ to the root av the thing.” “ They are,” ses I, “they’re like the Irishnxan that tuk a gx’ate pride in his ■garden, an’ was annoyed by a xxeighbour’s cat, which appeared to take a malignant delight in scratohin’ up his favourite seedlings. Wan day the luishman reported to a fellow-suffex-er who lived nixt door that he had at lasht succeeded in settlin’ the hash av that cat. ‘Why, what did ye do to it ?’ inquired the other. ‘ I cut off it’s tail,’ replied the Irishman ti'iumphantly. ‘Cut off it’s tail ? iWhy, what the deuce is the good of that ? The beastly thing will do as xnuch harm as before.’ ‘Oh, no, it won’t,’ ses the Irishman, wid a chuckle, ‘you see, I cut it off close up to its head.’ ” 4 4 4 4 ’Twas the grate surprise Parliamint an’ the counthry got lasht wake

whin the Mimber for Christchurch East (Mr Davey) axed the Minister whether it was a fact that the Chief Customs Expert was receivin’ a salary av £-800 per annum, an' at the same time drawin’ thirty slxillin s a clay for thraveilin' expixxses whether he thravelled or xxot. ‘I have been told that this is the case,’ said Mx Davey, ‘and the position is an extraordinary one. The officer is drawing a larger salary than that of a Cabinet Minister. I will ask the Minister -whether the statement is true.’ - 4 4 4 4 “The statemexxt is absolutely coi’rect,” said the , Hon. J. A. Millar. “The officer received his appointment in 1888 under the late Sir Harry Atkinson at £BOO per annum, with 30s per day travelling allowance, to be paid whether he travelled or not. That has been going on since 1888 up to the present tiixxe. The matter is now under the consideration of the Ministry, and an alteration will be made. It was only brought under my notice by the member for Christchurch East a short time ago.” 4- 4. 4. 4> Av course Mr Shannon ses tffat there’s nothing extraordinary about the matter, an’ that he’s saved the colony thousands av poubds ivisy year, but thin, as ivirywan is savin', the Govei'nmiixt ought to know how much iviry man is drawin’ from the Treasui'y. Wan member blaxxxed the Opposition, but it Inks as if the blame shud go all round. Fancy, Mr Editor, a private business bein’ run for 19 years wid wan av its shtaff drawixx’ 30s a day more than annywan had anny knowledge. Av coorse, I’m not savin’ Twas his fault, but its the systexxx av doin’ thing's that's to blame. “Yes,” ses Katie, “it’s a quare world. There’s Mr Shannon drawin’ £1 10s a day whether he thravels or not, an’ down at Greenhills there’s Mr Simon Pasco that can't get in or out to his home for waxxt av a road, an’ whin he axed the County Council to make hixxi wan they axed him what he’d give towards the cosht av it.” “Well,” ses I, “he ixiight do worse than write to the British War Office, an’ buy their carrier pigeons, for they’re givin’ thim up in favour av wireless telegraphy, an’ thin he cud send pigeongrams to McLauchlan’s whin he wanted a pound av 1 ay or sugar.” 4 4 4 4 “Well,” ses Katie, “Mr Shannon’s case shtartled the House av Representatives, but Invercargill can go wan oven betther than that same.” “How do ye make that out ?” ses I. “Well,” ses she, “didn’t you see how natcly the Southland Times exposed our young frind, Mr D. A. Mitchell on Wednesday. It seems, Denis, that while we’ve all been thinkin’ he was a layman he’s a clargyman, for the paper ses that the President (Rev. B. A. Mitchell) was ixx the chair at the annual xxxeetin’ av the Cyclin’ Club.” “That bates all,” ses I, “an’ I musht go round axi’ ax hixxx whin he was admitted to holy orders.” “Well,” ses Bedalia, “he’s a dacint young gintleman, aa’ he’ll do credit to the profession, so he will.” 4 4 4 4 “It xxxight be true,” ses Corney. “Oh, it’s true enough,” ses Katie,

“Yes,” ses I, “but the ‘ proof ’ av it is rather weak —it’s like what the man that bought a sausage said. Another maix towld him he was a fool for doin’ it, declarin’ that the sausage was made av time-expired cab-horses. This the purchaser indigxxan'tly denied, but that saxne evenin’, go\n’ to his frind’s room, he apologised. ‘You wei’e quite right about that sausage, Bill,’ he said. ‘Ah !, I knew I was. But how did you px’ove it ?’ ‘Why, I cut the sausage up into five pieces, an’ set ’exxx out in a row, one behind the other. Then I shifted the first on the rank, an’ the ocher four moved u p !’ ”- 44 4 4 Begori-a. Mr Editor, I nivir saw the town so dull as itjs been av late, an’ if it hadn’t been for the greed av the Dunedinites in thryin’ to get more money for their railways we’d have been dead cntix’ely. Sui’e, it was the grate xnatin’ we had to protest against the Bawi’ence-Roxburgh line, an’ the way Mr Raymond smashed into ivirywan connected wid it was worth goin’ a long way to hear. He called thim ivirything, an found fault wid nearly iviry railway line in the South Island. But, say what ye like, he displayed plinty av energy. It rexxiains to be seen if he’ll carry the day like Roaring Dick av Nugget Creek, whin there was a matin’ there. He arose an’ wanted to know what the citizens intinded to do in the matt-hex* av lightixx’ the “streets’ 1 ’ by night. “ Yon know me, boys,”- he said, twii’lin’ a formidable six-shoofi-er. “I ain’t afeard o’ nothing, naythur in daylight or dax’k. But it’s this way—other cities ’as got gas, an’ we’ve got ter ’ave it.” “It can’t be did.” ses wan. “It’s got ter be did,” roai'ed the speaker. “Wot other cities does we does ! ’Sides, gaslamps is a hornamint, an’ lampposts a hapsolute necessity. W’y, ain’t a decent spot ter lynch a maix within twenty xniles. We’ve got ter ’ave lamp-posts.” The argument was conclusive, an’ it was decided unanimously to have gas. DENIS.

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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 19, 24 August 1907

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The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 19, 24 August 1907

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