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The Contributor

DENIS DISCOURSES. Dear Mr Editor, —It was the angry main Angus Macgregor was lasht Wednesday whin he came home from Riverton" in the motor car. “Denis,” ses he, “I'm fair wild.” “What is the matther, Angus ?” ses Katie. “Did Geordie McAlpine not give yon a drink ?” “It’s no that, Mrs O’Shea,” ses Angus. “I’m disgusted at yin o' ma ain countrymen. Ye see, they got a new kirk oot that way, an’ a big Highland chief, as he ca's himsel’ wadna tak’ a sdttin’ unless he got yin that a lady had taken under yin o' the windows. He telt the parson that he cudna see tae read unless he got that seat, an’ the lady wis guid enough tae gi’ up her seat tae the chief. ‘Now, Mr Mac.’ ses the parson, ‘I hope ye'll bble to see to read.’ ‘Na,’ ses the chief, ' I canna read yet.’ ‘Can t read ?’ Why not ?’ ses meenister. ‘Haven t .you got the seat under the window that you wanted, to read the Bible ?’ ‘Yes,’ ses the chief, ‘butit’s no printed in Gaelic.’ 1 tgought the parson wad hae taken a fit, but ses he ■‘You should see Andy Stevenson. He could give you a word of advice, as he is just out from England, and has got the latest English.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4“Well, Angus,” ses I, “you’re counthrymin are hard tp plase. I was jusht thinkin’ about wan av thim whin you were talkin’. He wint in for a raffle for a pony an’ thrap at sixpence a ticket, an’ he won. Whin the pony an’ thrap were brought out to him, Donald stud lukin’ at thim as if he’d seen a ghost, an’ ses he —‘ Whaur’s the whup ?’ 4” 4- 4- 4“Ye’re too hard on ma countrymen, Denis,” ses Angus. “Not, a bit av it,” ses I, “but I’ll admit you’re not so bad as some av thim. As for your Highland chief, he shud have taken the seat an’ been thankful —it was the chance av a lifetime, as my good frind Mr Todd’ll say whin he puts up the futball ground sections.” 4* 4" 4* 4: “Talkin’ av chances,” Gorney chips in, “reminds me av the Scotch farmer John an’ his wife Janet. Neither av thim wint to kirk very often, belavin’ in work-in’ out their own salvation. John thinks the stipend’s too muckle an’ Janet that the sermons are niver brought to a point. Wan Sunday John wint to another kirk an’ was greatly taken wkl the sermon. Whin he got home he (began tellin about the good, sermon he’d heard. ‘Janet,’ ses he, as he gulped down his dinner, ‘ I heard yin o’ the best discourses I ever listened tae — the like o’ it was never preached in Christian Society afore. Why, Jan- • et,’ he added, getlin’ excited, ‘it carried me tae the very gates o’ heaven.’ ‘Man alive !’ ses Janet, ‘ye’d better hae dodged in, for ye’ll never hae sic’ anibhor chance.’ ” 4- 4- 4- 4’Av coorse we always knew, MiEditor, that me ould frind Mr J. r A\ Mitchell was a bit av a wag an’ fond av a joke, but I nivir thought J he’d go the lingth av makin’ a fool | av me si If an’ a lot more. Ye sec its this way. The Southland Metropolitan A. an’ P. Association are makin’ a new show ground down behind the hospital, across the railway line, an’ lasht Saturday Mr Mitchell ( who’s been against the ground from the shtart because he thinks it’ll all be washed away like the ould line netwane here an’ the Mokomoko) inserted a 1 either in wan av the papers in which he ses —“Sir, —Seeing we have had ten days of our old Southland weather, which many people thought would never return, I would suggest that as the stallion parade is being held to-day, which will mean a large attendance of farmers and others interested in the welfare of Southland’s A. and P. show,, that as many as can find it convenient should pay a visit to the newly-purchased show ground, and judge for themselves as to its suitability or otherwise for the purpose,” 4- 4- 4" 4* Well, a lot av us, afther lavin’ the horse parade wint down to the new show grounds an’ the firsht thing we saw a lot av notices shtuek all over the new ground warnin’ trespassers aff or they’d be prosecuted. Av coorse we cud do nothin’ but come back as wise as we wint. Wan chap was that savage that ho said the notices wanted a word or two to the effect that trespassers after 'ducks 'ud be prosecuted, an’ another declared that visitors shud be advised to borrow the boat that Joe Bray goes duck-shootin’ in, an’ another that the shud firsht to their own shtore in Eeet st. an* lay in a shtock av gum boots.

“Well,” ses Gorney, “the party got more than they bargained for—-ye didn’t expect to see notices about trespassin’, did ye?” “No? ses I, “we were as much surprised as the doctor that ordered a sick Irishman" to take an ounce av whisky three times a day. A day or two latec he made another visit, an he found the man, while not so sick, undeniably drunk. ‘How did this happen ?’" the physician demanded av Pat’s wife, who was hoverin’ about. 'Sure, doctor, 'tis jist what ye ordered, an’ no more that ho had,’ she protested. ‘I said one ounce of whisky three times a day ; that could not make him drunk,’ the physician said. ‘Ho has had much more than that.’ ‘Nivir a dhrop more, doctor dear,’ she declared. ‘Sure a n’ I didn’t know exactly how much an ounce was, so I wint to the drug shtore an’ axed, an' the lad —he’s a broth av a bhoy, too —towld me that an ounce was sixteen drams, a n’ Pat has had thim regular, an’ no more ! ’ ’’ '•¥ '•¥ 4- ’■¥ But we hadn’t heard the lasht av 7 the new show grounds, for on Monday out came Mr R. A. Anderson wid a repl.y to Mr Mitchell, shtartin’ aff like this :—“Sir, —Mr J. A. Mitchell, in his letter in your Saturday issue rightly remarks that “fools and children should not see half-finished work,” and yet he starts out to riticiso the half-finished work on the i newly-acquired property of the A. land P. Association, and calls on the directors to acknowledge that they have made a mistake in order that he might be better pleased with them, as he says. The directors before purchasing the land availed themselves of the best expert advice as to its suitability for the purposes required, and on that advice they acted.” 4- 4* 4* “Well,” ses Katie, “I’m surprised at Mr Anderson hintin’ that Mr Mitchell is either a child or a fool. Begorra, if v’e had army dealings wid him it’s not childish nor foolish){ye’d be afther findin’ him.” “You’re right there, Katie,” ses I, “an’ Mr Anderson’s jusht as shmart as they make thim, I’m thinkin’ that if Mr Anderson an’ Mr Mitchell were Wivin' a bargain they’d be like the Connemara man an’ the man from Kerry. This is how the Kerry man tells the shtory a v the horse that he wanted to get rid a v :—“Wan day I was ridin’ him along the road whin I met a Connemara man la-din’ a horse. ‘Mornin’,’ ses I. -'Mornin'.’ ses he. ‘Will ye swop ?’ ses I. ‘ I will,’ ses he. ‘Done,’ ses I. ■' Done,’ ses he. So we swopped there amt thin, both mighty -well plased wid oursilves. Thin the Connemara man turns to me, an’ ses he :— ‘ There nivir was a man from Connemara but that cud make fun av a man from Kerry,’ ses lie, ‘for that horse that I swopped wid ■ ye jusht now,’ ses he, -‘is blind av an eye,’ ses he. Ts that all ?’ ses 1 ; ‘ thin let me till ye,’ ses I, ‘there nivir was a man from Kerry, 1 ses I, ‘but that cud make fun av a man from C untie- j mara,’ sea I, ‘for mat horse that I I

swopped wid you Jusht now,’ ses I, ‘is blind av an eye, too, deaf in both ears, an’ dumb all over ; an' what’s iiDore,’ ses I, ‘if he doesn't die av the slapin’ sickness on ihe way home ye can lind him to a horse dochtor to practise on', for by the holy shirt aw St. Patrick,’ ses I, ‘he's got m;ro diseases to the square iut av him than wan cud find out in a wake av Sundays.’ ” 4- 4 4 4 'Twas the grate debate they had at the lasht matin’ av the Education Board over the question av whether the milkin’ av cows night an’ raornin’ was interferin' wid the schoolin’ av the childer. Mr Raymond towld how ho had seen little wans milkin’ cows in their shleep—l mane that they were ashieep whin they were milkin’ —an’ me ould frind Mr Thos. Macgibbon thought they sympathised too much wid the childer, an’ towld how hard he had to work whin he was a ooy. Mr Gilchrist backed him up, an’ said he had benefited by hardships. “I suppose,” ses; Katie, they’re both examples av the survival av the fittest.” ‘‘That’s it, Katie,,” ses I, ‘‘an’ if Mr Macgibfbon is wrong, an the childer die aff through bein’’ overworked Southland’ll soon be like the town av Drumlaken, where a visitor, on Inkin’ about, saw no childer, but only grown men an’ women. He wondered at this, an’ finally meetin’ an ould man on the shtreet, inquired, ‘How often are children born in this town ?’ ‘Only once,’ ses the man as he wint on his way.” 4 4 4 un denis “Well,” ses Corney, ‘'‘babies aren’t likely to be born even wance in Southland if the Southland Times publishes manny more advertisements like the followin’ ;—‘ Wanted— Married couple for an out station, MUST HAVE. NOT MORE THAN ONE CHILD. Must be good with stock, and competent to do any kind of station work, have good dogs. WOMAN ABLE TO MILK, HAVE SOME KNOWLEDGE OF GARDENING, and be a GOOD HOUSEKEEPER. A comfortable home with every convenience. State age and wages expected. Reference required. G. Chewings, Moss burn.’ ” 4 4 4 4 ‘‘Well,” ses Katie, ‘‘‘there’s nothin’ unraysonable about the advertiseminl. How cud the poor woman luk aft her anny more than wan child whin she has to milk the cows, an’ luk afther the garden, an’ be a good •housekeeper?’: “That’s all very well,” ses I, “but I wonder how Mr Chewings ’ud have felt if somewan came along an’ towld him he mustn’t have more than wan child. An’ all the time we’re cryin’ out about families not bein’ large enough, an’ this is how we encourage thim ! An’ at the same time the Employers’ l Association ses there’s not enough men an’ women in the colony for the work there’s to do. ‘Must have not more than one child.’ There’s a dictator for ye, if ye like ! Words fail me, Mr Editor —I fale as bad as the lawyer that was crossin' the Irish Channel. He was lyin' over the side av the boat in a very seasick condition.

A well-known judge, a frind av the lawyer’s, an’ who had often been in. court wid him, wint up an’ axed ifi he cud do annything to hilp him 1 .-; ‘ Yes,’ answered the lawyer •; ‘if your, lordship would only over-rule this motion.’ ” “Well,”- ses Bedalia, “I don’t think anny yomng New. Zealanders are ly to die av too much work — they’re too fond av aisy jobs for that.’- 1 ''Perhaps you’re right, Bedalia,” sea Corney. “They like some-wan to lift the heavy ind av the shtick for, thim the same as the soldier. The battle was over. The gallant Twintythird were congratulatin’ one another over the victory. Louder than all - the resht Priv. Murphy’s voice could be heard recountin’ brave deeds he had performed on the field. ' Whatl have you done towards winning the fight ?’ axed the afficer, approaching him. T walked up to ,a man an’ cut his feet off I .’ ‘Why didn’t you out his head off ?’ ‘Sure an’ faith,, yer honour, his head was already aff.’ ” DENIS.

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The Contributor, Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907

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The Contributor Southern Cross, Volume 15, Issue 25, 12 October 1907

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