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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 24, 5 October 1907
Dear Mr Editor, —’Twas the ■o-ant crowd gathered at the rotunda on Wednesday evenin’ to hear the phonograph concert given by- Mr Hanson. Ivirywan was plased, an said thev’d like to have it all over again- Even the returned throoper on top av the monumint forgot the kink in his neck, an’ somewan said they heard Minerva whisper —“ Encore !” An’ somewan else declared that Davie Roche ’ud lie sure to engage a phonograph the nixt time he had an all-night sittih’ av the Gas an’ Water Committee. There were wan or two railway min there, but they kept quiet, for ye see they might be breakin’ some av the regulations if they shpoke. But they lukt columns, an’ ye cud see that the love av the music grew on thim as fast as hair grows on the scasps a\ bald min whin Prof. Scott puts his rimidy on it. But the man that got the mosht good out av the music was me oulcl frincl Charlie Logan, the man that carries medicines an’ happiness into the homes av Invercargill an’ suburbs,. Ye shut! have heard him. He was beamin wid pleasure an’ perspiration. But there was wan thing 'that puzzled him. Ses he —“Bless me, I can quite understand them getting a small man in such a little box ; but I’m blest if I can understand how they get a whole brass band.” 4- 4- 4- 4The followin’ epistle was on the mantlepiece whin I got home on Wednesday night : Dear Denis,—l feel sad because I have lost so many lady friends. We had to bow to Fate, and all we could do before we parted was to promise to keep a place for each other in our hearts. 1 have a large heart, and there is room for a great many in it. Some time ago a young’ married lady who was a friend of mine removed a long way from Invercargill. I used to visit at her residence, spent some pleasant evenings there, and composed a poem about her. She had a good ear for music, and sometimes played the violin while I danced with her friend Maggie, Simple pastimes in which I can take part suit me better than being a mere spectator at pageants. Recently I was cheered by receiving a pretty post card from ray lady friend. She had written on it : Of pleasant days gone by. Of pleasures and of joy, I’ve had‘with thee. Memory will not fade. Recollections never fade — Such happy friends were we. As a post card could not contain my thoughts I sent both letter and post cards. To her poetry I replied ; I’m glad to learn I’m not forgot, though we are far apart, And that the happy hours we spent are treasured in thy heart ; Thy kindness I reciprocate, and fondly think of thee, I know Lhy boy still joins with thee in warm regard for me. On the post card I received was a picture of two young lovers. They were seated ih a small boat driftingon a placid river. Each had an arm around the other, and with hands clasped they seemed so happy, especially the g-irl. As my friends 1 are still young enough to enjoy that sort of thing, I wrote : IN LOVE’S DREAMLAND. May you enjoy love’s pleasant dream, Together floating on Life’s stream ; Such happiness is not for mo. But with kind friends content I’ll be. I could not find such a pretty picture as my friend sent to me. However, I sent one of Maori loversi rubbing noses. To show that I do not approve of that stylo, I wrote : THE BEST WAY. Though the Maori still supposes It is best to rub the noses, I am sure that I will never take the tip ; I know our way is best. And has far the greatest zest. Just to kiss the pretty darlings, on the lip. Yours truly, ANDREW KINROSS. ‘‘What do ye think a v it, Katie ?” ses I. “Well,” ses she, “I’d be the lasht to hurt our poet’s feelin’s, but sure, Denis, I’d be afraid he’d be like the soldier in the rigimint whoso colonel had been jilted in his youth, an’ who strictly enforced the rule that none av the min under his command shud marry widout his leave. IVan day a private entered the great man’s tint, an’ axed that the rule
shud be set aside in his favour, ahe had found the dearest gyrul on earth. “Well, Jones,” ses the colonel, “you’re a good soldier, and don’t want to t>e too Come back in a year’s time, and if you are of the same min'd I’ll allow you to marry. Exactly a year latci 1 iiv ate Jones returned with the same request. “Well, you may marry,” ses the colonel, “but I never thought there was such a constancy be tv een man and woman.” “Thank you, sir, ses Private Jones, , thin, salutin as he lift the tint, he added —“It isn L the same woman.”
Corney ses that he' got the shock av his life whin he read in the papers that the Nightcaps Royal Commission was likely to finish this wake. “Sure,” ses the lad, “they Ink things so aisy that_ I thought they’d settled clown at Riverton for the resht av their lives.’ “DoiH be unreasonable, Corney, ’ ses Katie, “sure ye don’t think the Commission expiated the job to lasht for ivir ? “No,” ses Corney, “but all the same I’m think-in’ they’ll be sorry whin it is done —they’ll be feelin’ the same as the elderly man who had been workin for a city firm for fortytwo years, an’ was called wan mornin’ into his mashter’s private aflice. ‘ I’m awfully sorry, Mr Holden,’ ses his employer, ‘but we’ve decided to reduce our staff, so your services will not be required after next week.’ The oulcl fellow seemed to lie considerably astonished. ‘Surely there is some mistake, sir !’ he explained. ‘Why, when I started I was told the job was regular.’ ” <?> <S>
" Pis the grate time we’ve all had lishtenin’ to Miss Murcutt. Corney ses she’s the equal av Sir J. G. Ward as a shpeaker, an’ that’s savin’ a good deal. Katie an’ Beclalia swear by her, an’ think that women ought to have an opportunity av showin’ what they cud do in Parlia-m-int. “Well,” ses I, “I don’t —I am like oulcl Farmer Giles that was axed to sign a petition in favour av .women’s rights. The oulcl man eyed the documint suspiciously, an axed, afther a while : ‘What , is it for ?' The lady, noticin’ his look av semihostility, dared not say th'at it was to work for female suffrage, so she replied, after some hesitation ; ‘ Oh, it’s an address in favour of the women’s movemint !’ ‘Then, I'm agin’ it !’ ses Farmer Giles, with a firmness that suggested some .. domestic infelicity. ‘ A woman who’s alius- amovin’ is alius gettin’ into, trouble. If you’ve got anything to keep her still, though,’ he added, TTI sign it, an’ welcome !’ ” -4* Angus McGregor lukt in the other night to have a crack about public affairs, an’ ye shud have heard him hittin’ out at me ould frind Ben Tillett who’s come all the way from England to till the workin' min av the Dominion that they are too continted that they’re little betther than slaves, an’ don’t know it. ‘Ye ken, Denis,’ ses Angus, ‘that kind av talk fair angers me whaun I know
an’ yc know what the auld country is like for walkin’ folk like you an’ me.” “Thrue for ye, Angus,” ses I, “ye ought to have heard Miss Murcutt on the White Slaves av Britain —it ’ud have melted a heart ay Ruapu.ke granite.” “In fac’, Denis,” sesTAngus, “it’s like tellin’ the warkin’ chaps tae quarrel wf their bread an’ butter, an’ I’d like tae gie Mr Tille'tt the same answer as the auld Scotchman gied the Englishman. ‘And what do you have for breakfast, my good man ?’ he as|ked. ‘Parritch,’ replied the Scot. ‘Oh, of course ; but what have you for dinner ?’ ‘Parritch,’ wis again the laconic reply. ‘And when you go home after your day’s work, what do you have then ?’ ‘Parritch.’ ‘Then you have supper before retiring for the night, have you not ?’ ‘Weel, ye gee, ma freen, we jist tak’ three meals a day in this pairt o’ the warl’, though gin aibfins I gang oot a whilie at nicht tae a meetin’ or siclike, an’ there's ony cauld parritch left owre frae supper, I claursay I’d tak’ them.’ ‘And do you never tire of porridge?' asked the Englishman in much surprise. ‘Tire o’ parritch? Tiro o’ ma feedin’ ?’ queried the Scot incredulously, ‘Goveyclick, no !’ ” 4- 4* “But,” ses Corney, “Mr Tillett may think that 'the workers aren’t gettin’ enough for their labour —that they might be entitled to meat an’ jam an’ suchlike instead av porridge morn in’, noon, an’ night.” ‘‘Some paple ai'o hard to plase, Mr McGregor,” ses Bedalia, “they are like the ploughman out at the farmer’s house. He was suppiu’ his half-gallon bowl av porridge whin he Was interrupted by the farmer’s wife sayin’, ‘Jock, there’s- a flee in yer mulk !’ ‘Ou, aye,’ ses Jock, still suppin away, ‘it’ll no droon.’ .‘Whit dae ye mean, -ye gowk ? Dae I no gie ye enough mulk ?’ ‘Deed, ay, mistress,’ came the answer, ‘enough for the parritch ! ’ ” # '■¥ ■¥ 4= “I see,” ses Corney, “that somewan has been axin’ Mr Gil ruth, the head av the G-overnmint Veterinary shtafT, what’s the chief trouble wld the farmin’ industry av New Zealand, an’ he replied that one av the greatest evils was that the farmer was, in manny instances, only secondly a farmer. He was firshb a land-jobber. He bought his farm’to sell it again. He wanted his rates high, not low, so that the price av his land might be high also. He tried to make his money in a sale, rather than out av the soil by in'.”■<s>■ •4“ -4” ‘■‘Well,” ses I, “he may be right as far as the North goes, taut what about the MdKerchars that bad a farm at Long Bush since 1861 ; or the Ronalds that have tilled the soil at Waianiwa, an’ tilled it well, for nearly half a century : or Mr Beaven av Opoi’o : or the Deegans av Dipton, or Mort Hishon av Hillend, or Mark SlVaw near Winlon, the Hamiltons av Forest Hill, McLean ak Browns, Duncad King av The Bond, the Grieves, the Blakies an’ the Grays av Ryal Bush an’ Wallace-
town, McCrostie av Spar Bush, Cal’; vert an’ Halliday av Itoslyn, tha Thomson clan, an’ the Currans an ,J the Joyces av West Plains, an nianny others that I haven’t mintioned',, not forgettin’ me ould frind Thosu Howard av Howard Castle.” “But a lot av farmers have been sellin’ even in Southland, Denis,’’ ses Katie.’’ “Av coorse they have,’’ sea K “but luk at the timptation they’ve had in the way av big prices. It’s enough to make yer mouth wather to rade about thim.” ■4=“ -4* ~ “Annyway, Katie,’’ ses I, “ mosht av our farmers have shtuck to their farms faithfully—they’ve been truer to their ould love than the man who had losht his much-beloved wife an’ consulted a stone-mason in regard to the erection of a tombstone with -a suitable epitaph. Afther havin’ a number av lines suggested, he finally selected the followin ;—‘The light of my life has gone out.’ r A‘ short time afterwards the widower fell in love wid a very charmin’ girl, to whom he became engaged. Jusht before the weddin’ he inshtructed the mason to alter the epitaph, so that the feelin’s av his prospective wife shud not be hurt. This the mason promised to do, an whin the widower nixt visited the grave,' he found that the mason had been thrue to his word, the epitaph now appearin’ : —‘The light of my life has gone out, but I have found another match.’ ’’ DENIS.
The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 24, 5 October 1907
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