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ANDREW AND I., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 23, 28 September 1907
ANDREW AND I.
(To the Editor)-
(Of all the yopng throng who were schoolmates then, there remains only you, Andrew, and I.” Sir,—The above lines were suggested by reading Mr Andrew Kinross’s reminiscences of his own life and some others. But the others, and among them three barmaids, are ali gone. So there remains only Andrew and I, and both of us will have to follow the majority to parts unknown before so very long. The thought of it does not trouble me, nor do I think that leaving will trouble Andrew. But the thought that •does trouble me—'and I have no ■doubt that it troubles Andrew , is .what will become of Southland when there is neither a Kinross nor a Buxton. Surely the ominous w r ord,- "Ichabod” the glory has departed) will have to be written over the portals of the place. You see, Andrew .■and I are the complement of each other. I do the heavy slogging work —the iconoclast business —and Andrew gathers the chips up and makes ’em into poetry, and does the other liaht .fantastic business on heel and toe- Mr Kinross speaks of his ancestors. T think that indiscreet. At anyrate, mum’s the word with me since Darwin let the the cat out of the bag and showed who were our ancestors. If Mr Kinross is curious about his ancestors, he will see the exact facsimile of them in the next wild beast show that visits Invercargill. They will be swinging by their tails from some convenient cross-bar, or perhaps climbing up a pole. The poetic must first descended on these ancestors, and from them it came in a direct line to Mr Kinross. I think it was Macaulay that said that the poetic muse was a species of insanity. Of course I didn t say that ! Mr Kinross finds life in Invercargill dismally dull since no-license was carried and the barmaids left. Well, .why does he not go where the barmaids and license are still in force ? Invercargill once did without him, and might possibly do without_ him again. I think it rather inconsistent of Mr Kinross, a full blown democrat, to raise objection to a reform .which was carried by three-fifths majority of the electors. It seems to me that Mr Kinross's idiosyncrasy overcomes his loyalty to principle in this matter. T also find that Mr Kinross passed through Makarewa Bush on hi.s way to Minton without calling on me. This has set me thinking. ■Mr Kinross knows that no bottle* —except lime juice and stuff of that sort —is kept at my house, and so he passed me by. Shall old acquaintance bo forgot and never brought to mind ? Yes, if you don’t keep a bottle of the right stuff you needn’t expect Mr Kinross to call on you. I have a 400-gallon tank of water and a box of Hava tea and a bag ©f sugar, but these have no attraction for Mr Kinross. His motto was “ Excelsior !” and his goal Winton Plains and the whisky bottle and the mazy dance.
After speaking of his prowess as a dancer and a walker, Mr Kinross tells ns that he ' 'values the intellectual far above the physical, .and that, he aspires to be the best all-round man in New Zealand.'’ I suppose we .are to class dancing as an intellectual exercise. I had not thought of this before. Mr Kinross's ambition to be the best all-round man in New Zeafnnd is most cheering news for Southland. “It shall be light at eventide.’’ T read some ..time ago about an Knglish bishop preaching from that, text to some paupers in a [workhouse, and I thought about the irony of fate—a Bishop -driving in his carriage to a workhouse, and telling the paupers that it should be light at eventide —and I think that if Ms Kinross should become the best allround man in New Zealand there will he the same light at eventide for it. I don’t mean that we shall all be in the workhouse—there may be a few outside. I find that. Mr Kinross and myself are at the opposite poles in some respects. He is fond of dancing and toddy, I never drink toddy and I (never learnt to dance. This is how I have missed a good deal of the spice of life. Mr Kinross sleeps but Ifttle — I sleep a great deal- If I am not either eating or writing letters to the papers I am asleep io fact, nothing but writing or eating will keep me awake, in the evening. I am ■of the earth, earthy. Ms Kinross is ,of Kinross-shire. Mr Kinross says he sang “When •you and I were young, Matggi’e.” How,
long' ago is that ? —I mean since you and Maggie were young. No offence, I hope. I was old 66 years ago- The cares of life made me old. But I am young now, and it is light at eventide, and X do not find life “dismally dull.” “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will depart from it.”- Yes, that is all right if somebody will tell you when you are young which is the way you should go- Here is Mr Kinross "went to a dancing school 65 years ago, and he is still dancing like a go-mad. Sixty-six years ago I had to gather dung off the roads, and I still gather it when I see any now. Which of us two has been trained in the right way ? We are both old in years at anyrate, and we are both sticking to our early training—Andrew to his dancing and I to muck-gathering. ' I am not so egotistical as to decide this question myself, and judging from the modest way Mr Kinross writes of himself he would not like to decide the matter either. Perhaps some cleric will answer the question. There is one other matter in which I think Mr Kinross showed a want of discretion. He says—“l inspected my allotment in the cemetery.” I think that very unwise. If the Lord of that Manor (the King Q f Terrors) happened to see him there with his linen out and his hat off, he would naturally think that Mr Kinross was wearying for his summons to attend his next levee “with visor unclosed and worms sporting his temples about.” In the old churchyard in the valley, Ben Bolt, In a corner obscure and alone, They have fitted a slab of granite so gray. And sweet Alice lies under' the stone. Good-bye, Andrew. From your fellow-pilgram, T. BUXTON.
ANDREW AND I., Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 23, 28 September 1907
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