new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge


online works
 

The “Te Katipo Extended.” From the chronicles of Sandy Gully as kept by Skiting Bill
     


The sandy pug was risin’, an’ the claim was duffered out,
The divy of the washin’ wouldn’t pay a three-bob shout;
We ‘greed we’d have ter chuck it, an’s ses Bill, “Let it be soon!”
A-strollin’ round the township one Sunday afternoon,
A city bloke came by us, his nose stuck in the air,
A forty-acre shirt-front an’ ile upon his hair.
He spoke up pretty sociable an’ open-like an’ free.
He was a minin’ expert, so he said ter Bill an’ me –
A-travellin’ fer a syndicate an’ jess’ come up on spec –
(He sorter eased the collar a-scrapin’ on his neck.)
We talked a little further, an’ I got my lamps on Bill,
And took the new chum expert by a short cup up the hill,
To see our minin’ property. He hemmed an’ hawed a bit,
And fondled with his eye-glass an’ said he’d think of it;
But first he’d try a prospec’; then Bill turned as pale as chalk.
He said that it was Sunday – the other chaps might talk
At breaking o’ the Sabbath, but if he would come next day
And try a dozen dishes, he ‘ud find the thing would pay.
At dark that night we fixed it, an’ I doctored up the pug;
Touched all the lightly places. “He is just a toffish mug –
‘Twill learn him some of business, if it takes him down a cut.”
An’ then we slep’ like children in our ‘umble little ‘ut.
Next mornin’ in the paddock, when the toff had washed a dish,
He sunk upon the barrer, lookin’ like a dyin’ fish!
“’Tis reely most surprisin’! You hev struck the Golden Lead –
We’ll float it in a company if you are both agreed!”
And so we made it over to – he said his name was Snares –
For cash down fifteen hundred, an’ a thousand pair-up shares.
“Of course when it is floated – why, what the dooce is this?”
(He’d stumbled on the nugget that we’d got at Coolabis.)
‘Twas over fifty ounces, an’ a pretty bit of quartz –
The gold a-stickin’ out of it like a little bunch o’ wartz.
“’Twill do; a fairish sample; I will take it up to town –
They mightn’t know of Sandy’s – you kin get it when you’re down.
The shares ‘ll go like pastys; for there are no flies on this!” 
He pocketed the nugget that we got at Coolabis.
I shouted down at Reilly’s, an’ we met the golden sell.
The expert named it ‘andsome by a name we couldn’t spell:
“Te Katipo Extended,” he said, softly, “by your leave;
It means a little spider that does a little weave.
May it prove a money weaver! Haw – a pint of orange fizz.
Now, boys, fill up your glasses and drink success to biz!”
“Oh, raise me up,” says William, when the toff had said good-bye,
“He walked into that cobweb – Lord, he’s just a little fly!”
We watched the post like lovers – we could ‘ardly eat or sleep,
An’ got a lot o’ paper from the expert in a week.
“Te Katipo Extended!” It looked flourishin’ an’ fine,
But ‘bout the fifteen hundred he never dropped a line.
Then I got sort o’ restless, an’ Bill was moochin’ ‘roun’,
A-lonesome for the nugget; so we took a trip to town.
We struck the minin’ expert a-walkin’ with a girl;
He said he’d see us private, as he gave his cane a twirl.
Sez Bill: “We’ve come from Sandy’s, an’ we’re not ter be put off,
Hand up that fifteen hundred!” Well, you should ha’ seen the toff.
He cocked his little eye-glass, and sez he, “You must forget,
We ‘greed to stand that over – it is in the claim as yet,
Which, judgin’ from the prospec’s, will pay nigh a thousand pound
A week. You’ll get your divy in the first wash from the ground.”
“What’s left fer us, the owners, will you tell us, Mr. Snares?”
He murmured out politely, “You hev got the paid-up shares.”
Bill was rollin’ up his shirt-sleeves; but I didn’t want no hits:
“Here, chuck us back our sample, an’ we’ll cry that we are quits.
Return our bloomin’ nugget an’ take back the paid-up shares!”
He said, “You’re very foolish, for I am S. P. Snares,
The well-known minin’ expert, an’ you are Tom and Bill,
Two of the biggest rascals that loaf at Sandy hill.
Take a friend’s advice; you’d better — “ Then he stopped to parry Bill;
I rushed him in the rearward – oh, he wanted all his skill –
A crash an’ then the atmosphere was red an’ green and blue!
I sittin’ in the gutter was the next thing that I knew,
And Bill a-lyin’ near me, but we saw no more of Snares
The week we stopped in city to undergo repairs;
I’d swallowd half my molars an’ Bill had lost an eye.
But we never touched the expert who was just a little fly.


 

‘The “Te Katipo Extended,” From the Chronicles of Sandy Gully as Kept by Skiting Bill,’ Overland Monthly 51 (Mar 1908): 298-99.
See also Verses 1905: 81-84.




Comments
Last updated 30 May, 2013