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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES

Dear Mr Editor,—Bad cess to the influenzy—sure it's no reshpoctor av persons at all. at all, and I’vo foil ml out that whin yc have it, the hesht way to thrate it is to ao to bed an’ lie low till it gets tired av waitin’, an’ goes ah in search av another victim. ’Tis disablin’ too, for whin ye have it ye don't want to write or do annythi-ng else, an’ I’d like to he aide to dale wid it in the same way as the quaker did wid his visitors. They were' police officers an’ were sint to arrest him. His wife met thim at the door, an’ said : “Walk in, gentlemen, my husband will see thee." After waitin’ some time they got impatient, air called the woman, savin’, “You said we should see your husband presently.” “No, friends,” she replied, “I said he would see thee —he did see thee, did not like thy looks, and went out by the back door.” 4- 4" 4" 4> Jusht whin I was wonderin’ what I’d get to write about this wake, the poshtman called wid the followin’ epistle from a counthry fried, an’ ’twas placed I was to get it.; —Dear Denis, —It was the line trip I had the other day down 'Ocean Beach way. ! As 1 was passing the meat works T saw my old friend .lack Stewart in the arena with a sheep. At first I thought I was in Spain, and that it was a sheet) light instead of a bull fight that was being held in honour of the birth of an heir to the* throne. For Jack was waving a cloth in his hand in front of the sheep, and the animal was stamping his feet in defiance. Then Jack, with a. stragetic movement, muzzled the .creature, and for a few minutes there was the lines t display of catch-as-catch-can I’ve ever soon. 4- 4" 4- 4Then I saw my old pal. Ambergris Billy, looking as well as ever. Do you know, lie reminded me of a short piece of poetry 3 heard cnee, and here it is : “ Uncle Millie's back again with swag and dog and hilly, -And in the cook-shop once again sits dear old I'ncle Willie.” 4* 4" 4" 4" Then along the road comes a young fellow after some cattle, and mvay behind was a lady, and by the queer noise she was making it was difficult to tell whether she was crying or calling the dog-, tail 3 think it was the latter. “Hullo !” said I, “What’s up, young fellow’?'' “What's up?” said he. ‘"why, that animal has rushed this cow and knocked her about.” With that off he went again and I got a look at the' buck of him. and Denis, by the look of ids pants he had a very close shave of getting gored himself. 4- 4- 4- 4When I got to Greenhills. there was Abomah, the local giantess, carrying bread from the station with another young fellow. Then a’ong comes an engine drawn by four splen-did-looking horses. Somebody told me it was Jimmy AlcLaughlan's and that he was off to the Bluff, and I believe he is busy grinding coffee for his store. I next took a stroll up the by-road, then began to think I had taken a trip to Mars, for in one plaice, Denis, there ,s the finest canal 3 have ever seen in my life, and I’ve been, thinking-, since I found out that the canal is cm this planet, that the people of Mars will be having a look at us, and reporting in their newspapers that this planet is Jihabited, ami cut up with canals. 4- 4’- 4- 4“I didn't know that they had army ■giants or giantesses at Greenhills,” ses Bedalia. “Ye live an’ learn,” ses 3, “for I’m towld that there are some very tall paple down there wan av thim is that long that, if he tu'k a cowld in January he’d not sneeze till July.” “Don’t shtuff the child’s head wid nonsense,” ses Katie. “It’s gospel true, Katie,” ses I, “an’ I suppose ye’ll be aft her doubt in what I hoard from a fried in Dee shtreet quite lately. Ses lie— ‘ There was a married couple staying in town the other day, an’ whin the husband wint out on business his wife followed his example on her own account. Whin she got to the posht afflee square she saw a ’bus wid the words, “Heads and Hill ’’ on it, an’ over she wint an’ axed the driver whin he shtartod for the heads. ’For the where ?■’ ses he. That made the lady hesitate, an’ thin she plucked up courage an’ told the man she wanted to go to either the heads or the hills. ‘Look here, mum,’ ses the driver, “What arc you driving at—l’m going to North Invercargill.’ ’’ 4- 4- .4: 4-

Bedalia is in a grate way, Air Editor,. lo join the lawn tennis club, but 1 towld her I cudu’t afford it. —not even wid the new “free breakfast table” tariff. “How is that, dad ?” ses she, “sure the sub. isn't veryhigh.” “it’s not that,” ses 1, ” but if ye joined the club, Bedalia, an’ became a champion yo'd ate us out av house an’ home, W-hy,” ses I. "'lnk at Mrs Hiliyard. the grate player at Home. She was beaten by a -Miss Wilson, an’ this is how she 'explains it ;—‘ 1 was advertised to play Miss Wilson in the centre court at two o'clock, and as 1 now find that 3. have to be very careful what 3. eat before a match. 3 had but a small plate of rice pudding at one o’clock. When I arrived at the court it was pouring with rain. and the tarpaulin was on the court. The referee; then told us that Ik. 1 should be glad if we would go on. if we did not mind. 3 promptly refused, having looked forward for a fortnight to this match, and wished to play it on a dry court with a good gallery. The rain went on steadily falling until 4.80 . ami then the referee told ns that lie should put on a adies’ double as soon as it stopped. At that I wont into the tea tent, and at the risk of having to appear positively vulgar I must tell you what I ate, thinking, of course, that ad chance of my playing in the championship was over ;—-Two bath buns, six or seven slices of bread and butter, three or four cups of tea, six or seven biscuit cakes, and two or three slices of other cake. Not satisfied with that, when I went up to the ladies' dressing-room there were some beautiful rt ra wherries hrovided for the players, and I ate -three plates of strawberries. I did this, having had a very light lunch and not expecting if) dine until 9 or 9.80. As soon as I had eaten this fearful meal the referee came and asked me as a particular favour if I would pi a v.-Miss Wilson.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4“Av course she was bsaten, Bedalia, but if ye had the same kind av appetite I’d have to interview the Charitable Aid Board." That put the set on Bedalia, Mr Editor. 4- 4- 4*

Corney ses he can't make things out. “Ye know,” ses he, “that there was grate talk about kapin’ the Chinese out; av the Dominion, an’ soincwan wint round formin’ Leagues an’ suchlike, an’ .yet the Chinese laundry is gettin’ more to do than ivir, an’ paple crowd into it at such a rate that the late comers have lo sit down on Kingsland an’ Ferguson's tombstones.” “ ’Tis lyin’ under thim they wud be, if I had mo way,” ses I. “Aisy, Denis, aisy,” ses Katie, “sure there’s room in the world for. 'ivirybody, an’ whin the Europeans can laundry as well as the Chinese, an’ live as cheaply, an’ work as long hours, an’ do the work lower than annybody else, they'll have plinty av custom.” “As for doin’ the work,” ses I. “I’d have ye know that they’re doin’ all right, for tliis is what the Laundry Record has to say on the point : —' The genuine laundry girl of the present ’day is an honest, hand-working girl of as sturdy an independence and as

blameless an existence as will be found In any industry extant. Of all the girls that are so sweet ’there’s none like Laundry Sally ; She looks so smooth and fresh and neat When working in the alley. There is no lady in the land— Nor in the corps de ballet— Who In my eyes looks half so grand As my fair laundress, Sally, i Some people full of gall ond (pitc, j Make game of .Laundry Sally, [And say their list of shirts don’t quite J With hers agree or tally. They say she tears lo rags our stocks Of linen, in 'her chalet. And ruins collars, cuffs, and smocks With her flat-iron, does Sally. But ne’er heed I these charges vile. But to her aid I rally : 3 trust her with my Crags” to bile, 1 .And treat her a la Raleigh. She’s perfect, in .my humble view. As violet of the valley ; Her hand, if not her blood, is blue. And there’s no starch in Sally. 4* 4" 4* 4Corney ses he nivir cud understand how Mr Massey was leader av the Opposition so long till lie read the followin’ from the debate on the tariff bill :— ‘ Mr Massey said that if grapes were allowed to enter the colony- free, or even at Id a pound, it would ruin many who had invested money in hot houses, as they could not compete with imported grapes. The Hon. J. A. Millar said that hothouse grapes would always bring a higher price than grapes from outj side, consequently- the industry- would not be interfered with by allowing grapes to enter free.” 4- 4- 4- 4‘'Sure,” svs Corney, “if Air Massey thinks it right to keep thousands av paple from enjoyin’ -grapes at a ray-son-aide figure because it might ruin a. few hot-house growers, it shows ■ how much sympathy- he has for the I workin’ classes, an’ explains why they’re willin’ to lave him in the Opposition so long.” “Yes,” ses, X, “the Opposition always is talkin’ big av what- it will do for the paple, but in the ind it’s all talk—it reminds rue av the young chap that tuk his sweetheart to church wance in a shmall village, an’ whin the time for the collection came round he shtarted to display a sovereign. Presumin’ on their engagemint t-hei young woman placed a restrainin’ hand on his arm. 'Don’t be so extravagant, George,-’ she exclaimed'Oh, that’s nothing,’ he replied. ‘I alway s make a point of giving a sovereign when T go to a strange church.’ Jusht thin the deacon came wid the plate, an’ George dropped a coin. Everything seemed favourable, an’ the young man beamed wid a sense av generosity. Thin the minister gave out the notices av the wake, an’ concluded wid the announcemint av the day’s collection. ‘ The collection for to-day,’ ses he, ‘ amounts to nineteen shillings and sixpence.’ ” 4- 4» 4-’ 4Av coorso ye heard nil about the all-night siltin’ av the Waterworks

Committe av the Town Council, for; the whole town’s been talkin’ about it. There was Cr. Roche (chairman) an’ Cr. Cleave on rhe won side, an’ the Mayor an’ Crs. W. Stead an’ MeKay on the other, an’ the Mayor' wanted Mr Roche to take a motion in favour av re-appointin’ Mr Harper, an’ Mr Roche said it evasn’t in order till they rescinded a resolution that had been passed to give the waterworks sh tali’ three months’ notice. At tin o’clock Mr Cleave wint home, lavin' Mr Roche in a minority, but wid the light av battle in his eyes, he shtuck to his guns, an’whin six o'clock came on Tuesday, mom in’ he was shtill mashter a v the situation, air there w T as nothin’ for it but for the mimbers to put their hats on an’ retire. i“ Tis a. wonder,’’ sos Katie, ‘-‘that Mr Browett, the Inshpector av Factories, didn’t have thim before the coort for workin’ overtime widout a permit.” ■ ‘lt is,” ses 1, ‘‘but by the same token, the matin’ caused a good dale av alarm, an’ I’m towld that the wife av wan Cr., who towld her on lavin’ J that he dbe home soon, was surprised whin he didn’t turn up at midnight, an’ rang up the police station to make inquiries.” -4- •4 > - Ses she : "Have you seen ray husband anywhere ?” “No, ma’am,” ses he ; “what’s 1 he like ?” “lie’s a teetotaller,’ ses she. “Oh, yes, ma’am,’- 1 ses the sergeant, as he winked at the tiliphone, “ sure, they’re all that same/’ So he inshtructed all the conshtables to go out, an’ Ink for his lordship, until wan bright man ses—■ “Sergeant,” ses> he, wid a salute,. “X think he imight bo at the Town Hall.” '‘Good for yo,” ses the ser-: geant, ‘you d better ao an’ sind him home.” So the conshtable want round an’ walked in, an’ Mr Roche the chairman, axed.—“ ‘What do yo want here.” “Oh,” ses lie, /'l’ve been sint round to sind w 7 an av the

councillors home.” “Well, he s not going,” ses Mr Rpche, “you clear Sut.°’ He can't go until the Mayor, who's only epual to a common councillor to-nig-’ht, withdraws his motion, so get away.” An’ begorra ! Katie, they eft) say that the councillor’s wife is goin’ to make him lave the Council. 4- 4. 4. 4. “Is that so ?” ses Katie., “Well, an' a good job, too. Jusht see here, Denis, don’t ye be aft her goin’ into that Council, or there’ll be ructions. Faix, it’s no place for a dacint man at all. at all.” “Well," ses Corney, “ '(was the wonderfully good fight that Davie Roche put up. “£l was,’’ ses I, “the w)ay he sat t-herediour after hour was grate, so it was. an’ I’m thinkin he’s well-named, lor if I’m not mishtaken. Roche is Irish for ‘ rock,’ an’ lie’s a rock right enough whin he thinks he’s in the right.” “Yes,” ses Katie, “ the way he hild the fort makes me think av Mrs Donahue. • Have ye manny a 11cist ors. Mrs Donahue ?’ axed Mrs O’Brien. ‘An’ . what's ancistors ?’ ’£ Why, paple ye shprung from.’ ‘Kishten to me, Mrs O’Brien,* ses Mrs Donahue, impressively, * I come from the rale shlock av Donahues, that, shprung from nobody. They shpring at Hum.’ DENIS.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SOCR19070831.2.9

Bibliographic details

The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 20, 31 August 1907

Word Count
2,461

The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 20, 31 August 1907

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