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THE COAST.

AN ArP'RECIATION OF A HAPPY TKIP.

(By "Manuhiri.")

7 a.m. Sunday morningi we were | putting, our baggage and, incidentally : <;'Ui:>;elvea, ajboaird thtvbnaike. Soon, aftea- the hour had struck, we swung, gallantly into! .'Pollen street, behind, our team, 'Jake/ the irrepressible as! Jeihn having the ribbons. P'oiku streeib was quiet, not many of our citizens being abroad, the gjloriousi morning notwithstanding. A few cats, waiting the arrivlal of ilie milkman, and th-3 übiquitous siparro-w, were only in sight, am we boiwltd along. Soon we passed through Tarara, and fixjon that place onward the beauty of tlie surrounding:* never palled. Winding, ascending, descending", an entrancing panorama was ever presented to our eager eyes. Forest clad heights, clearing®, home«, on. t-he one hand; belojw, on the other, the sapphire sea, witih its sleiepy pulse and gentle heave, stirring t-he shingle en tlie beaches. The giant was asleep, only the faintest murmur of his latent power being audible. Sleek, and well-fed look-ingi shags, lazed along the margin of the tide, overhead, the gulls, their plumage sta-ntlir.gly 'vlivid in the morning light., looped tlie loop with all their native grace ; and air. intervals the ambient air w-;i,s punctured fry their sihriaks' cf absolute merriment. They were enjoying itShemsieivcs, that.wais quite apparent. Fringing the shore, the beloved pohutukiawa, often lying ait- a rakish angle, flung their leaf bedecked branches wiide, wliispeiringly inviting tci theiir cdol and enticing .shades. Here and there a, remnant oif bloom lemaiined, reminiscent of the riot of colour they displayed ait Xnias timei. But we musti. on. See, far across the water, holw clearly tihe shore is. seen. Yos, aisd thfire is Wa-iheke-, looking big, and massive, apparently Mocking up the entrance to tlie- lirtih. Our objective wais—Somebody's Boy. I forget tihe human who h,ad the excellent honor of having 1 one o-f tliei.se beauty ispo.fc«' named after him, but it's -aibouit 19 miles from Thames, so you will probaibly knmv a.tT ailxwt it. Yarns and songs wea'o n-umerous ivsi we drove along a so»mew!ia:l. narrow j hiiZih'.vay : the inimitablo Claudius keeping everyone in high .spirits with hi'«! oliar'aicteristio songsi, the "'boys' rc-»pondin.g gaily in thoi choruses. There aiti laslb. "Unyoke and unload!' "Blight." Then wo file atong the shingly shore, till, under a cool cliff avo lay oiu.r gotods down, arid make re-idy for whalt-'si to come. iSlome got water, otheirsi got a fire <_'o>imr, and in o, Very short tiime Aye Ave'o etitintr o-ur firsit- pot of mussels.

• The pot w.is a kerosene tin, but oh! j what mussels.' . Never had really i known whalb musisiels were till then. | Fab, juicy, succulent (my stock- of descriptive words is strictly limited) but you know what 1 mean. Yea. 11 know you do. And then the second I pot wus filled up, cooked, and aissiiailated. We were it'en all told, and Ida not tihink that we were unduly hard 'on those mussels; and they certainly agreed with us, because not one of us '. had ■nightmare or things like t]ia)t. After tliis we had lunch, bread, butj. ter, pressed beef, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, ©tic, and some hop beer. Then we went fishing from the rocks. We did nioifc do* well an this department far the finny denizens of th" c gulf, a-si the poet says, were conspicuously absent. Some then went in Cor a dip, 'and they enjoyed .it much, their friends ashore keeping a. bright look Out for dorsal fins, etc., which appendage, or whatever you call it, . belongs to -sharks—water-sharks in ■ this case. After a thorough good time, raiiifc- ■ ling, fishing, bathing, etia, exchanging semaphore 1 signals! wiith. a cruiser launch, and not understanding n tiling they said, wo g;ot -back to our camp, hungry and thirsty. Harry sent Jimmy for wateir, and then tea Was ready very .soon*; and the pctla^ toofi didn't take long 1 to boil, -either. Hoioiey got- to work making 1 ai tomato-onion-oucumber slalad, or something, isolated in viinegar. Oh, bosh, it was grand". Ho caiglut rtto* be a, chef—"coal-dou-bleu" aitl that. Those who hop be?r had that silky (not "'sickly,' editor) I-overage in-Sit-L-rrd <>-l tea., but I stuck to rhe tea. You know the stuff that "in-e'briaiteii but does not cheer"— is that the quote? "Pack up !" but hold on ! Fred ha-sriY fiuishcvl yet," so we give him another lia'f 'l.xKir and then, we up and away for \hv brake. George, Henb, and Billy in the lead with' part of the camp impedimenta. Jake'lias already gone and fed the ponies. Then ihe re-it -el" us oamo along .and .sawn wo wore .glaired in 'tihe brake ready for our homo trip. We iooik it very steady coming hoane (in facto we« Inid to). Horses, very sullen, the most eauphaitic ;idjuiations having solu-tely no> offeot.—ir-he pla.eid equine teanpea-a--meut rising] superior to all thei blandisibinents od' om- Voiice.si-cr Jake's whip. But never mind—wo were ha.ppy —and so well fed that we did not repine. Old* "Tami-iteia^te-ra" (I believei thait's the Maori way of talking about tlio sun), was 'dropping into the west, through ai hazy curt.aii-n of simoke, and tho effeot was mia.gjnifice.nt. A broad belt of living gold lay -on the waiters, from where his liglito impigiied through the' smoke. The phenomenon wavsj mci-t sitrikingly boaiutiful. Far away across the waitei' night was letilin.tr do-wn his euHtlain., and little by little, <:-.s we (I nearly .said bowled! alo'iKj; iigain, - but our gee-geeisi were not boiwlers: this time) came along:, tho landscape faided from view, the stars appeared, aiiid the hush of tranquil even-tide lay upon tlie land. The switfh oF'tne miniaibure rollers on the beach was ;all we c-oluld hear when we halted at timesi. Then the faiint tinkle of the lifltle sitbnesi as they moved intiha liiaiekwasli, and that was 1 all. A .strance quiet peace lay. upon owr spirits, whispering! that here, in this sunny land, lay the way and means oif our more tally eiiitering upon vnd enjoying the delights of this naturally favioured s'])ot. Do all THaiiyiesitesi fully appreci ite the bmuties of tlieir oaaisfti? An asset conducing to health, sta-eaigth, and beiauty in nature. Yes, -of that I feel v, assured. We olid get back to town, ( tired a little, but happy. Everybody pleased" No "wondei*! I for oaie .shall not readily forget thalt trip, and tihis poor effort of my pen is just meanfc to shonv my high appreciation of that unique experience; and also to 1 warmly tihanlkl the 'boys' for the ; honor they conferred upon- me, when I was included in the company. •I'd like to live there alwaysl (you wouldn't want the baker or buitoher much; remeniiber the mussels!) with a few choice spiritsi. "No Hop beer itlhanlkisl ', tea for me." "The World Forgetting I—by the World Fbrsiot."

X

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THE COAST. Thames Star, Volume XLVII, Issue 14738, 6 February 1914

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