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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES

Dear Mr Editor,—l suppose ye’ve heard av the sensation we had in town on Saturday lasht, whin wan av our laclin’ solicitors was locked up. It has keen the talk av Esk an’ ( Dee shtreets. The news shpread wildfire, an’ wantin’ to get. the nights', av things I wint round to the police station an’ axed the afficer in charge if he had a solicitor locked up. "No, we have no one in the cells just now,’’ ses he, "but we'd better have a look, as he may have got in widout our knowing—these lawyers are such tricky customers.’’ We had a Ink, but not a sign av legal talent w a s to be found, "it's strange," ses the sergeant, "Who told you, Denis?" "Well," ses J, "a man at the corner av Dee shtreet said a solicitor had been locked up." Thankin’ him kindly for his throuble, I lift. ■4* -4- -4- -4Coming down Esk street, I saw Mr Stewbrt, the plumber, climbin’ up the side av a brick buildin’, an’ I followed to see what his game was. ‘Afbher mountin’ a verandah he got through a window, an’ thin the whole thing flashed on me. Sure enough a solicitor was locked up, but In his own afflee ! an’ not in the police station. Ye see, it happened this way. The clerk occupies an adjoinin’ room, an’ aflher gettin’ some instructions about some business, went back to his own den, an’ in goin’ out he slammed his boss's door so hard that the lock broke, in the door an’ the solicitor didn't get out, an’ was a trifle to big to puli through the keyhole wid his clothes on. 4- -4* -4" There was grate exekemint, an’ clients were waitin’ around for attention. The solicitor nivir losht his bland shmile—the wan that Inshpector Mitchell likes so well—an’ like a good general in a fire, argued his point through the keyhole, wid such tellin’ effect that his release was only a matther av half-an-hour or so. They do toll me that the solicitor charged himsilf up wid 6s 8d for consultation fees jusht to square his dav-book. Whin he got out he was in great fettle, an’ towld a yarn he wanco 1 heard about a red-headed man over at Otaliara. "Ye see,” ses he, "the man had a very line head of hair, but it was terribly fiery. He used to rise at five in the morning to work on the farm, and as sure as you’re alive, directly he put his foot outside the door the cocks began to crow because they thought it was sunrise. The fowls at lasht got that thin through losing their sleep that he had to stop keeping them altogether." <s><s> "Well, Denis," ses Katie, whin 3 finished. "I think ye shud dress rip yer statemints a little* neither if yo want us to belave thim." "Sure," ses I, "ye musht be like Judge Haselclcn that’s presidin’ over the Nightcaps Commission. Ye see, the other day Mr Forbes who represents the Miners’ Union, was askin' Mr James Summerville questions, an’ ses he : ’Then the Commission may take it that for six weeks before the disaster Mr Lloyd knew that the mine was in a dangerous state ?’ Judge Haseldcn suggested that Mr Forbes shud put the questions in a more judicial way. Mr Forbes thought the question a fair wan. Mr Hanlon objected to the. question as bein’ put i n a too assertive manner. .Judge Hasoklen suggested that the question shud be put in the form ; ‘Did you infer, from the fact that sponges were provided, that the manager considered the mine in a dangerous condition ?’ —‘I came,' ses Mr Summerville, ‘to give evidence, not to give my Judgment,’ ’’ ■4* 4* -4“So ye see, Katie," ses I, " the judge’s way av puttin’ things didn’t recommind itsilf to the witness." "No,” ses o o rney, "it’s not aisy to express wan’s silf so that nobody’ll take offiince, like the Irishman that axed a minister to marry him, - To he sure I will,’ ses the parson, ‘ but you arc Irish ?’ ses he, inquiringly. ‘I am,’ ses Pat. ‘Then why do you come to mo ? Why don’t you go to the priest?’ ‘Praste 1’ ses Pat, 'but sure an’ I have been to him.’ 'Well, what did he say ?’ ‘Say ? Well, I towld v him I had only five dollars in the world to give him for the qob, an’ he towld me to go to the divil, so I came to you.’ " •4' -4" -4" Bedalia wint round to the competitions in Victoria Hall on Monday afthernoon, an’ heard a lot av young ladies recitin’. She ses she thought at firsht that the mayor ’ml be the

only man there, but prisintly Mr Andrew Kinross shtrolled in, an lukt round him, an' whether he got frightened at scein’ so inanny ladies there, or because the atmosphere was chilly, she can’t tell, but annyhow he didn’t shtay long. Bedalia ses the recitin’ was good. but that it got a little monotonous before the lasht wan av the batch got. through, an that it reminded her av a picture entertainmint up counthry. The curtain had jusht fallen on a ready, creditable picture av the Death av Nelson, shown to slow music. whin wan who was known to bo a frind av the gentleman representin’ the the greatest naval hero rose an’ tried to make his way towards the stage. ‘Keep your seats, please,:’ ses the manager. ‘ln response to your kind applause, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to give you the Death of Nelson over again.’ 'Oh, are yer?’ came from his frind. ‘Then if you 11 tell Nelson ’is chimney's afire an’ ’is missus just ’ad a couple of fits, perhaps ’e won't be so blessed lingerin’. ” -4- -4- <s>■ -4I’ve jusht got another long screed from Greenhills, but I’m not goin' to ax ye to put it in the "Cross." because the paple down there’ll be geltin’ too proud av thimsilves if ye kape on givin’ thim free advertisomints. So T hope my correspondent will undershtand that I'll be glad if he’ll break fresh ground somewhere, else, otherwise the GreenhillitcsTl bo Id owin’ about thimsilves like the visitor to Broad an’ Small’s factory wan day. "This is our latest novelty,’’ sos the foreman proudly, "It's good work, isn’t it?” "Not bad, ’ ses the visitor, "but you can't hold a candle to the goods we make." "Oh, are you .in this line, too ?” "No, we make gunpowder.” :4i 45 I’m sure ye musht have been plased. Mr Editor, wid the fine sinsihle letther that Mr S. McDonald wrote about the half-holiday question, an' how ho advised us to put our heads together a n’ shove the town along to the besht advantage inshtead av makin’ too much av our little differences av opinion. "Yes,’’ ses Katie, "but thin Mr I. \V, Raymond came out wid some remarks on the antiWidnesday side,, an’ thin the fat w a s in the fire.” "To till ye the truth, dad,”- ses Corney, "our public min are too fond ak fight in' for their own particular fads inshtead av doin’ their besht for the place they live in. They remind me av a bit av poetry I read wanco. It wint like this : "FOSSIL TOWN.’-’ For one pulled this way, one pulled that. Each with a stubborn will ; And all the others did the same On varying lines, until The net result was always that The old town clock stood still. Non' this would all be changed, they said, And all woxdd pull in line : And things would move and things would hum ’And croakers cease to whine. When everybody pulled his best, And all should pull in line.

Now what we needed only was Some enterprising man To take the lead and show the rest Some practicable plan On which all parties could agree Before the .work began. Then up spake one, and he was sure He knew the very scheme ; It was a new railroad, ho said — The boomer's favourite theme. The others all sat down on him — It was an "idle dream.” Another spoke of waterworks. With eloquence and power ; Another of a big hotel For tourists on the tour ; One thought it might be well x,o try A mill for milling flour. A factory and a bleachery Excited some debate ; An iron works, a wooden mill. Had each its advocate ; A cannery, a pottery— All shared the common fate. A cotton mid, a trolly lino, A turnpike broad and long, Were each proposed, and each poohpoohed In chorus loud and strong ; They cost too much ; no scheme would "go” If it were started wrong. A dirt road, then ? A knitting mill? A creamery somewhere ? A grist mill ? A brick kiln ? The meeting didn’t care To waste Its time and money On any cheap affair. Each speaker had his own Idea, And argued it with vim ; The others couldn’t see it, .And thought its promise dim ; As each in turn rose up and spoke The others went for him. r§i “4; ’Tis the grate time we’re to have nixt Thursday. Mr Editor, in honour av Dominion Day. The bands’ll be playin’ an’ the volunteers mar chin’, an' spiaches’ll be made, an’ there’ll be no ind av dishplay. Katie wanted to know if the colony bein’ turned into a Dominion ’ud reduce the cosht av livin', but I towld her she had no soul to be afther talkin’ like that. “Sure,” sos I, "Ink at the advertisemint it’ll be for us.” “That’s all very well, Denis,” ses she, "but there is no harm in bein’ practical, an’ if ye ivir got hard up I'm thirikin’ ye wild be as uncomfortable as the Irishman. His face was so plain that his frinds used to till him that it was an offence to the landscape. He happened also to be as poor as he w a s ugly. Wan day a neighbour met him an’ axed —‘How are ye, Pat ?’ ‘Mighty bad ! Sure ’tis shtarvation that’s sMarin’ me in the face./ ‘Sure,’ exclaimed his neighbour sympathetically, ‘it can’t be very pleasant for cither av yez "There’s wan thing certain,” ses I, "an’ that is that since Sir J, _ G. Ward g'ot colony altered to Dominion. he’s not goin’ l to let annybody tramp on him. Ye see, he’s got an idea that some Governmint supporters are inclined to kick over the traces, an' he ses that if he wants a dissolution he'll ax for it as wan av his rights. Ses he ; —‘As the new leader, brought into position by the

Wand of death, I have an undeniable right to ask the people if 1 possess their confidence. I have neither ask-i ed nor have I been refused ; but I know what my rights are. I ana nob thinking of my personal safety, but of the maintenance of the high traditions of my office. I am not -going to be trodden upon by any members of the House, whether they are supporters or from the Opposition bens chest "That’s straight from the er,” ses Katie, "but I’m sick av pos litics —let’s drop thiin, an’ luk for-? ward to cilibratin’ Dominion Day.”-* ‘■'Well,” ses Corney, "it’ll have to ba done on no-license principles'.” "Yes, 2 * 3 * ses I, "there’s not much chance av, army av us bein like the London hairdresser. He had for rnanny years enjoyed the custom av a large hotel near by, the manager av which aL ways maintained that he was widout equal in the metropolis. At) length manny visitors whom he had recomminded to go there reported that the barber was always more or. less drunk, but the manager stoutly, Xleclined to belave it. Wan day, howivir, his confidence was rudely shaken. Goin’ in early wan mornin’ for his usual shave, he was surprised to find himsilf very roughly handled as he was bein’ lathered. ‘Let go me nose !’ he shouted, as that organ re-< ceivecl an- unusually severe wrench.‘Let go your nose ?’ w T as the answer* ‘ I can’t. If I did, I’d fall down.’- 1 DENIS,

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SOCR19070921.2.8

Bibliographic details

The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 22, 21 September 1907

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2,039

The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 22, 21 September 1907

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