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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES. Dear Mr Editor, —’Tis the plased man I am to be able to till ye that Mr Thos. Howard, av Castle Howard, has been thinkin’ a v takin’ a thrip to the Ould Dart. He ses he has had a big offer for the timber in the domain surroundin’ the castle, an’ that he’d like to see his dear ould Irish home wance more before he p 'gs out. ’Twud make the rain fall at Oamaru quicker than Mr Bates’ explosions, to hear Mr Howard singin’ about that same home — it goes afther this fashion, an’ ye can imagine ye can hear Mr Howard’s melodious tones to the accompanimint av his beloved violin: — In sweet Mayo there’s a spot I know by a shady spreading tree, Where in days gone by my love and 1 strolled through the meadows free. On the worn stone floor by a cottage door sits my mother, old and grey, 'And she croons a song the whole day long in the dear old Irish way. Chorus — Its my Irish home, my Irish home, Down in the shady dpi I In a little nook by the shady brook In the house I love so well. And once again I’ll cross the main. And never more I'll roam From my colleen fair and her loved ones there In my dear old Irish home. Upon the mat sits the tabby cat in peace and quiet content, ‘And the useful pig, so fat nnd b%, that helps to pay the rent. The duck and drake by the placid lake go happily to and fro, And the old jackass, out on the grass, stands watching the water flow. Chorus. But one is there with golden hair, so loving, fond, and true. With dainty feet, and smile so sweet, and eyes of Irish blue. Yes, it’s once again I’ll cross the m a in, And never more I’ll roam From my colleen fair and her loved ones there. In the dear old Irish home. Chorus. * "Well,” ses Katie, "'it’s - the lucky man he is to be aide to run over to Ireland. I hope he’ll be havin’ a betther time av it than the good-natnt-ed Irishman that thought to do a prisoner, a good turn an’ thried to put a Plug av tobacco through the door av the prison-van in the ould counthry. Pat was 'defected, an’ taken before the beak, an’ charged, not wid thryin’ to shmuggle in the tobacco but wid usin’ bad language. The policeman said that Pal ran afther the van an’ thried to put a bit av tobacco through the door, but he caught him, an’ thin he cursed an’ swore. ‘Sure,’ ses Pat, ‘I axed the policeman to put the tobacco in for me, an’ he said he would, an’ thin whin 1 wauled him to do it he got holt av me. The magistrate tuk the policeman’s version av the shtory, an’ Pat had, to pay dearly for his misplaced generosity. “Well,” ses Corney, “poor Pat musht have been as much surprised as Biddy’s husband afther she an’ a frind wint to the sayside for a wake wid instructions to drink say wather occasionally. The husbands came to see him safely domiciled. None av the party had ivir seen the coast before, an’ were greatly impressed wid what they beheld. The tide was high at the time, an’ as the husbands had to rush back home soon they saw that the dyspeptic had her firsht • draught av the say wather before they left. On the Saturday followin’ they returned to convey their beloveds back, -an’ whin they reached the shore the tide was far out. They both shtopped short in their walk wid a look av dire amazemint in their countenances. At lasht the husband av the invalid ejaculated, ‘ By the saints, but Bridget has drunk plintv, anyhow.’ <s> -*• 4- 4“Talkin’ a v surprises,” ses Bedalia, “did ye hear what happened at Mrs Moody’s sale at the Bluff the other day ? Ye see, Mr an’ Mrs Parsons thought they’d like to buy some av the things, an’ aff they wint, an’ losht ache other in the crowd, an’ whin they met discovered they had been biddin’ against ache other. They say it was the fun av the world whin Big Bill found out who’d been runnin’ up the prices. If Bob hadn’t

been a good-natured kind av a man, an’ able to see a joke, he’d have used language unbecomin’ to a parson.” ■'s>■ < s* “Sure,” ses Katie, “ they won’t thank ye for makin’ the shtory public—they’d rather have kept it to thimselves, as the soldier advised the afliccr that he pulled out av the wather. The afficer was very profuse in his thanks, an’ axed his rescuer the besht way ho cud reward him. ‘The best way you can reward me,’ ses the soldier, ‘is to say nothing about it.’ ‘Why, my dear fellow,’ ses tho astonished afficer, ‘why do you wish me to say nothing about it ?’ ‘Because, if the other fellows knew 1 pulled you out they’d chuck me In ! ’ ” Since Prohibition har been carried in town things have come to a pretty pass. In wan shop not a hundred miles from Invercargill the boss beguiles his weary hours watchin’ for mice runnin’ along the wall, an’ shoots thim wid <a revolver. He says it’s the only thing that makes life worth livin’. “iDenis.” ses Katie, “do thry to shpake the truth wance in a while.” “I will,” ses I, “I’ll bo like the lawyers in that regard, acushla. Ye musht know that a. number av legal lights were gathered in a smokin’ room discussin’ the latest reports av the Thaw trial whin the talk .veered round lo the veracity av lawyers. ‘The average man,’ remarked wan desciple av- Bl'ackstone. ‘ seems only too ready to assume we are all liars—a. very unjust position, if seems to me. Do wc not sometimes tell the truth c’ he axed a neighbour, a well-known criminal lawyer. ‘Certainly,’ promptly replied the latter. ‘We will do anything sometimes to win a case.’ ”• -<s><s> Upon me word, Mr Editor, the fall to the throoper was the besht thing that ivir happened. Ye see, it’ll take him out av the hands av the Charitable Aid Board, an’ he’ll be shtronger than ivir. It is a good job we got the Dunedin m a n down afther all, for he made some suggest ions that nivir shtruck our wise-acres. “First a v all,” I think I heard him say, “when I heard the head came off, I was a proud man. for when I put a gaspipo down his throat I can make it so that his head will move, and ho can look out in all directions. For instance, ho can gaze up Tay shtreet and see Charlie Griffiths coming along with a lot of South African souvenirs, or out the North road and see the boys coming: in from out beyond the bridge wid kegs disguised in bags : then he can turn an ear to Mr Thomson’s music rooms and hear the lovely voice trainer, or direct his nostrils to the Misses Cheyne’s Japanese tea rooms and inhale the fragrance of the best Ceylon tea, to say nothing of nodding to dear old cast-iron Minerva over the way.” «$- “You’re a wise man,” ses Mr Bain, “but I don’t want anything loose about him after this ; just make him have a bold and a steadfast look to the front, as our boys did when facing the Boers, for if ho happened to turn round people might think ho was running away.”

■ But jokin’ apart, we shud be plashed wid the way Mr Bain managed the work, an’ afther all, if Mr Ball did make a mishtake in the firsht place, he is only human, an’ to use the words av an ould philosopher—“To err is human.” “His mishtake seems to have been a blessin’ in disguise,” ses Katie, “for ivirybody seems to think the statue’ll be betther than ivir.” But I got the scare av me life whin I saw Andrew Bain up amongst the scaffoldin in case he shud fall to the ground like Pat. Ye see. he was erectin’ a monumint an’ losht his futin’ an’ fell twinty fWte. Another workman lukt down an’ yelled out —“Mickey, Mickey !, are ye dead ?” In reply Mickey jumped up an’ ses he. “Not dead, Pat, hut spachless.” Whin the expert was fittin’ on the throoper’s legs the bhoy he brought from Dunedin got aff an old joke that drew a tear from Mr Bergamini’s eye. “Dad,” ses ho, “he’ll never be able to get Ins boots on till he has worn them for a day or two.” •4" Whin I was cornin’’ away from havin’ a luk at the statue a queer-lukin’ man from out Woodlands way came up to me. an’ pointin’ to tho marble, ses he—-“ That that “that” that that man refers to is not that “that”th a t I spoke of.” I towld him to go ■an’ see Sergeant Matheson. •$- _■<s>■ •& “Well,” ses Katie, “iviryone seems plased to think that the statue was broken because it’s gom’ to be stronger than it was at firsht, so that the moral av the whole business is that if we ivir get another effigy out from Italy we shud break it in three or more places by way a v a shtart.” “Yes,” ses Bedalia. “but wo shud go a shtep further an’ get Dr. Hastings Young to shtart, more classes for first aid to the wounded, an’ thin we’ll be independent av Dunedin.’’ “Well,” sos Corney, “I hope the throoper won’t be up for mendin’ so •soon as tho absent-minded man’s shoes. His name was Hiram Bobbs. Wan mornin’ he reached his /affice unaccountably late. ‘Dear me !’ he thought, ‘where can I have been ?’ The answer was not forthcomin’. Hiram sat down at his desk an’ tuk out his pocket handkerchief. It was tied tightly in. a knot. ‘Now !’ he exclaimed, ‘what was that for ? Oh, yes, Martha told me to get. my shoes soled.’ Wid an air av recognition to the whims av womanhood he put on his hat, closed his desk, an’ wint out to the solod-while-ye-wait cobbler’s. He wint in an’ sat down, tuk aff his shoes, an’ settled back in a ohair to read the newspaper. ‘What is it, Mr Bobbs ?’ inquired the cobbler. ‘What? Ola, er —or —erwhy oh—yes, I want my shoes soled.’ ‘Pardon me, sir,’ said the cobbler, ‘but I finished soling them ohly half an hour ago. They can’t 1)0 worn out yet. sir.” ■3>Angus McGregor was in town the other night, an’ was afther takin’ a groat rise out av me over the riots in Belfast. “Why, Angus,” ses I, “ye’d think tho counthry was a howlin’ wilderness to hear ye talkin’. an' the paple little betther than savages. Sure, man, ses I, “they’ve got the greatest ship-buildin’ yards in the world in Belfast, an’ if ye Want an example av how, the Irish

can manage their affairs, read the followin’ about pay-day at the shipyards :—‘ Some twelve thousand men [are employed here all the year rounds lAt half-past five on Friday after - -! noon a horn blows, and section by section the men line up outside the score of pay-offices. At 20 minutes to six the last man passes out with! his salary. As there are 12,000 peo-i pie employed at an average weekly; wage-bill of £20,000, the payment of these varying accounts within TEN MINUTES instances the perfection of business organisation, which can hardly bt exemplified in a better or more fitting- manner.’ ” “Weel,” ses Angus, “yin swallow; disna mak’ a summer.’-’ “It doesn’t, 1 ses I, “but I cud give ye fact afther fact to show ye that the Irish can howdd their own whin it comes to business or annything else. An’ ye know it, Angus. It’s not a new, thing. It didn’t happen yesterday, as me ould frind Tom Baker, av Winton, ses whin he’s tollin’ yarns about the ould times. As he ses, too, paple get ‘ narked ’ because he tells the truth, like me, Angus. Angus’ hadn’t a word to say, but at lasht he managed to recover himsilf, an’ ses he—“ Denis, I’ve the same opinion o’ ye as the little lad had o’* the inshpector. It wis at a veelage schulo, an’ the rector ca’ed an’ began tae question the class. ‘What am I?’ he asked pompously. 'A man, sir, l cam’ the reply-. ‘Yes, yes, I know I am a man, but what kind of a man ?’ Aifter a pause cam’- anither reply : ‘A’ little man, sir.’ ‘Dear, dear, how silly,’ he said, pettishly, T know I’m a man, and a little man, but you see the clothes I wear. I preach in church. What kind of a man am I?’ Aifter a painfu’ pause, yin little girl bravely pit up hen haun. ‘Well, dear, what am I? Here is a little girl at last can tell us.’* ‘Please sir,’ came the reply, - you’re an uglv little man.’ ’’ DENIS.

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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 22, 14 September 1907

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The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 22, 14 September 1907

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