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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 9 (December 1, 1937.)

“The Other” Person

“The Other” Person.

What was the name of that “one other” person who travelled with this celebrated company on the engine that day? I am inclined to think that this person was John Marshman, first manager of the Canterbury Railways. John Marshman was a friend of Butler's and he lived next door to another friend of Butler's—Dr. Julius Von Haast. This house was recently demolished, and in describing the house a writer stated: “At times Samuel Butler came in from his station, played on the Marshman piano, painted in the dining room, and walked in the Marshman garden. No doubt he also sniffed the banksia roses and dreamed of the time when, having created the estate of his desire, he would be able to return to London and the British Museum, and there devote himself to literature. But in the meantime, he played the piano and painted….”

As the long back-station Canterbury winters came and went, this desire to return to England and to devote himself entirely to literature grew stronger and stronger. There was, too, the insistent plea from Pauli for more money. So Butler bids farewell to his sheep station and his adopted land. After having settled down in England for some time, he found that he was in need of further cash, so he took steps to call in some funds he had invested in New Zealand, an action which later occasioned much remorse in Butler's mind.

In relating the story, Butler says “All this is a story that haunts me and will haunt me to my dying day; for it was my friend, William Sefton Moorhouse, who was my mortgagor—one of the finest and best men whom it was ever my lot to cross—a man who had shown me infinite kindness and whom I never can think of without remorse; whether I could have avoided it or no, I do not, and did not, see how I could without breaking faith with Pauli. It was a trespass to call in the money, may I be forgiven, as from the bottom of my heart I forgive Pauli, for whose sake I did it. However, let it pass it makes me sick to think of it.”

(W. W. Stewart Collection.) A typical scene in the railway yard at Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.

(W. W. Stewart Collection.)
A typical scene in the railway yard at Auckland, North Island, New Zealand.

The memory of the greatness and the goodness of Moorhouse's friendship with him remained with Butler right to the end of his days. Just a few months before he died, Butler, in acknowledging receipt of a copy of the “Weekly Press,” again recalled this friendship: “I am glad to possess photographs of my old friend Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse, who dwells in my memory as one of the finest men whose path I ever crossed, but who also haunts me bitterly as one of the very few men—at least I trust it may be so—who treated me with far greater kindness than I did him. His memory is daily with me, notwithstanding all these years, and ever will be, as long as I can remember anything. Alas that he should show nothing but extreme kindness and goodwill to me and who did not receive from me the measure which he had meted out. Not that I ever failed in admiration and genuine affection, but (it is true, under great stress), I did not consider things which a larger knowledge of the world has shown me I ought assuredly to have considered. Enough! he dwells ever with me as perhaps the greatest man all round that I have ever known.”

page 32


(Continued from page 29.)

“Well, I never!” exclaimed Prudence, clasping the girl in a spontaneous embrace. “Everything seemed all wrong this morning, Dorothy, and now we're shooting up to Heaven. I thought that you and Ralph looked very pleased about something when I came in.”

“I guess we couldn't help it,” laughed Dorothy and perhaps we had better leave Hughie to gurgle over his paints now and Mr. Enderby might want to leave and it would be too bad to delay him after all his kindness.

They found the men folk engaged in a lively conversation both apparently enjoying themselves.

“Mr. Enderby and I were just discussing a letter I received from the Placement Office this afternoon,” said Ralph. “That means I will have to be up bright and early in the morning, Dossie, to meet the manager of Lonsdale's.”

“Oh, I don't think I'd be in such a hurry, if I were you,” replied Mr. Enderby off-handedly.

All eyes were centred on Mr. Enderby in blank amazement.

“You see, you've just had your interview, because I happen to be the manager of Lonsdale's. Would you care to start in the morning?”

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