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Widder Haines were a-expect- less a person than Master Wiling of you to kill her pig to- kins, junior, the flower of his night, as you'd said as you father's flock, “how much be a would. But I reckon as you've third and half a third of twogot a better job a-sitting on up pence halfpenny ?” yonder.”
“Two pence," said the boy Our chairman grinned feebly, stolidly. but made no response; and so "You won't do much good Orlick, who seemed to be in shopping, my lad. What do an unusually benignant frame you say?" and Orlick nailed the of mind, addressed his next biggest girl, who had hopes of remark to me
shortly becoming pupil“ Warm in here, Master teacher, and who now dropped Garge, bean't it? I'm all of curtsey
whispered, a muck sweat, same as when “Please, I don't know." you and I run that six as you “Well, then, you ought ter, hit.”
if as how you'd ever been Here Mr Wilkins, who had learnt anything. Come," and seemed to take the allusion to he addressed the corps d'élite his superior officer's extraneous collectively, “ain't none of you vocation as a reflection on the going to tell a chap?” board school, interposed.
Three or four of the children “Now, my good man, will took courage and made wild you be good enough to put shots, none of which seemed to your questions if you have any satisfy the examiner; and at to put.
The children are last, trembling for the credit of waiting.”
his class, "pater ipse gregis,' “P'raps I shall, and p'raps I the great Wilkins stepped into shan't, Wilkins,” replied Orlick, the breach. And here I am “don't you worrit;" and having sorry to record that Erasmus thus reduced Erasmus to a state was not in that calm frame of of silent though boiling indig- mind in which a man either nation, he turned to the corps reasons or calculates, but rather d'élite who were standing ex- following the line which the pectant.
gentleman, whom that out-and“Now, then, you kiddies," he out ruffian Mr Facey Romford
· said, “I'm a-wondering which designated “Hard-and-Fast," of you fine scholards could tell a tried when other people had chap how much a third and a apparently exhausted every half a third of twopence half- wrong way of spelling Cat, he
made a rash and final plunge. The boys stared at the girls, “It is a very silly question, and the girls simpered at the boys and girls," he enunciated boys; but for a moment there with stiff magisterial dignity, was a dead silence.
“but perfectly simple if you go “Don't all like to speak at the right way to work. The once, don't yer ? " suggested the answer is
” examiner. “Well, now, young farthings." carroty,” and he picked out no “Get along with you!”
penny makes ?”
promptly ejaculated the black- but under the circumstances a smith, “you're the worst of the very plucky thing to do. whole bilin'. I ain't a-going to “A gentleman on the platstop here no longer to hear sich form," he said, “has kindly nonsense talked,” and with that reminded me that third he stumped off out of the room, added to half a third is of followed - oh, how fickle is course the same as half, so that popularity!--by the tremendous the answer to the question is applause of the gallery. And one penny one farthing." indeed the man Orlick, as I And as it was now half-past have chosen to call him, having seven, I thought that this was
I signally overthrown the general a convenient opportunity for me of the opposing forces, might to get home to my dinner. be said to have vindicated his If on the one hand the scene claim to the spolia opima. left on my mind a suspicion
“ The man is either mad or that the instruction given by drunk,” protested the now in- our board schoolmaster furiated Wilkins, and he might rather more showy than effechave gone on to say harder tive, it is on the other only fair things. But just at this junc- to add that I have never since ture I saw a slip of paper fall that day heard Erasmus Wilat his feet. He picked it up, kins say a single word to the
, glanced hastily at something disparagement of the curate. written upon it, grew very red For I need hardly say that it in the face, and crumpling up was the latter gentleman who the paper thrust it into his had cut the Gordian knot, and waistcoat pocket. Then after supplied the clue to that great a moment's pause he did what mystery which had fairly baffled was not only a very honest the Master and his apprentices.
COUNTRY-HOUSE IN NEW ZEALAND,
BY MRS A. S. BOYD.
The wharves and streets of Day driving through Auckland Auckland bespeak industrial to the wharf, our faces coated prosperity, and the clear ex- with a thick layer of grey dust hilarating air is redolent of which penetrated even through health. Not that the climate double gossamer veils, every invariably strikes the visitor as little while being obliged to stop perfect. During our first few the horses and sit with closed weeks in Auckland the rain eyes and bowed heads until that rained and the wind blew particular segment of the dense to such an extent as to keep dust-cloud had blown past. our friends in a chronic state Dress is expensive in New of apology for their weather. Zealand, and, in consequence Our later experience, how- of such weather vagaries, lasts ever, atoned for all, and con- but a short time. I reckoned vinced us that the much-lauded that, were I resident in Auckclimate deserves all, or nearly land, it would cost
me four all, the admiration it claims. times as much money to dress Though the sun's rays as it does in London. In the stronger than in England, the first place, the materials and sea - breezes pleasantly temper making would cost twice the the air; and even in the height sum; and in the second, the of summer the nights are cool combined influences of sun, dust, enough to necessitate the use of and rain are such that the a blanket-an article one is only completed garments would last too glad to dispense with during only half the period. Light the same season at home. washing materials are cheap,
A long - continued thunder- and as a rule girls wear colshower in England gives a oured cambric frocks in the modified idea of what tropical morning and white piqué or or semi-tropical rain can be; muslin later. The shortness of but the possibilities of colonial their skirts amused us, until we dust are practically unknown realised that their arrangements to dwellers in Britain. New in that way were dominated by Zealand rain has been known the depth of the dust on the to keep
large excursion roads. party penned up in a rail- A pleasant thing among many way-train at a station during pleasant things recordable of a complete day — a step be- this country is the interest yond the shelter of the car- taken by the female portion of riages meaning a complete the community in literature. drenching. To gain a remote True, their reading is almost conception of antipodean dust exclusively confined to the easy is to picture us on Boxing paths of contemporary fiction.
But in that study they are land impressed us as a land of rarely more than six weeks perpetual leisure. Workmen behind the mother country. enjoyed high wages and an English magazines are sold at eight hours' day; and no event a premium; but the colonial was deemed too small to be editions of the newest books made the occasion of a holiday. are handy, cheap, and well up The harbour was full of to date.
boats, from the goodly steamAs hinted above, it is the yacht to the veriest tub that women who read. The average ever supported sail, and each native-born New Zealand male Saturday the owners of these cultivates his muscles. He rides, vessels embarked with comrows, shoots, plays football, and panies of high-spirited guests, attends races, and none can ex- to return early on Monday, pect a mind engrossed with like having spent the intervening pursuits to take kindly to less hours cruising about among robust occupations. Also he the islands; camping on shore, develops late. At home we are
or sleeping on board if the accustomed to put the dimpled accommodation admitted of it. limbs of our infants into trousers, Parties of schoolboys spent and to see their chubby faces their holidays camping out, overshadowed by preposterous under canvas, in water gullies, chimney - pot hats. In Auck- where they could bathe, fish, land it amazed us to find huge shoot, and play at wild Indians lads of sixteen still wearing as their
as their souls desired. The knickerbocker sailor suits and craving for gipsying, born of enjoying schoolboy games. the perfect climate, sometimes Auckland street - cars are a
even infected sedate families, wonderful institution. The and it
uncommon number of passengers is only thing, when having a riding limited by the clinging - on picnic, to chance upon some space. There are no seats on lovely fern-banked gulch where the top, so that smokers have -under a cluster of more or to find accommodation on the less ramshackle tents—a staid front and back platforms. At respectable family might be busy hours it is customary to found leading a nomad life. see ten people squeezed on to Horses are so cheap in Auckthe place originally set apart land that pedestrianism bids for the driver, and a dozen or fair to become extinct. The more hilarious travellers crowd- postman does his rounds on ing the conductor off the back horseback; the butcher, a huge step; the inside being crammed basket slung over his arm, with sitting and standing pass- canters up with ordered proengers. Even under these cir- vender Schoolboys, two frecumstances none need hesitate quently sharing a mount, ride to hail the car and insist upon to school, where a paddock is admittance.
reserved for their ponies. Even Coming direct from our stern, the lamplighter performs his workaday England, New Zea- duties perched on an ambling
nag, while the droves of live pepper, lemon, loquat, and stock passing along the roads orange, each set solitary in a are always under the care of round bed. Roses bloomed a mounted escort. When an about the verandah posts, and outdoor man is sent an errand at one end a great bougainvillea that would entail walking a rioted in purple glory. In the quarter of a mile, he invariably wide flower-borders under the spends ten minutes in catching verandah gorgeous Japanese a horse that he may ride. But lilies jostled homely sweet-peas more ludicrous than all else was and mignonette; and giant red it to see a sweep, his attention and pink geraniums and blue to the kitchen chimney com- hydrangeas outgrew their pleted, canter off on his nag, bounds and strove to block the with the bag of soot perched paths. on the saddle before him.
A long row of guava-bushes, As an instance of the topsy- laden with embryonic fruit, turvy state of things antipo- edged one side of the lawn; over dean, it may be mentioned that the trellis - work the smooth it is considered smarter to drive green eggs of the passion fruit in a hired carriage than in your were suspended in thousands ; own trap.
and between a double line of “Oh, did you notice how fig-trees a path led to the prostylish the So-and-so's were on lific kitchen-garden. In DecemSaturday? They had a hired ber, when we landed, green peas landau," was one of the colonial were plentiful ; and in March, remarks that impressed us. when we sailed, a third succesWith our usual desire for infor- sion was in bloom. Tomatoes mation we inquired, “Is hiring fruited with little attention. supposed to be stylish ? You Squashes, pumpkins, and marall had your own carriages, rows needed only to have their and that is surely much nicer?” seeds inserted in the ground to “Oh yes ;
but you see horses yield a bountiful harvest. Of are so cheap to buy here, and beans alone there were five hiring is so dear, that it is con- varieties : broad, haricot (for sidered smarter, because it is winter use), runner, French, and more expensive to hire."
butter beans. The friends to whom we paid The rich brown volcanic earth a delightful visit lived near the was clean and unpolluted-one base of One Tree Hill, an extinct could sit on the dry soil in a volcano three miles from Auck- muslin frock without getting it land. Their home was typically soiled. Flies were plentiful, colonial, having many rooms on but the minor pests of a garden, one floor, and a wide verandah. such as wasps, ants, caterpillars,
Before the verandah steps earwigs, and woodlice, were but two tall cabbage - palms stood scantily represented. sentinel. The sloping lawn was At the upper end of the decorated, colonial fashion, with grounds was the tiny cottage flowering trees, magnolia, hibis- set apart for the use of the outcus, lasendria, deodar, plumbago, door man, and to him, as a col