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Ngamihi; or The Maori Chief's Daughter

Chapter XXXV. "Shure They Make very Small Glasses now."

page 144

Chapter XXXV. "Shure They Make very Small Glasses now."

When is your lunatic patient going away Doctor?" asked Mrs. Munroe from her corner.

"As soon as possible. He swears that he will cut his wife and children into small pieces when he gets out, and he informed one of the police where he had concealed a sharp razor for the purpose. The constable went to the house to test the truth of his story, and found the razor in the place as Trant had described. I think the latter incident reconciled the woman to parting with her husband, and she has now consented to his removal to Auckland."

"I should think so." interjected Miss Munroe.

"I never thought it possible for a lunatic to be so cunning, said Mrs. Munroe with surprise.

"I assure your madam," answered the Doctor, "lunatics are very intelligent in their own peculiar way, and by knowing their peculiarities, you can make them do almost anything. I was talking to a man a short time ago, who had just resigned his appointment as warder in a lunatic asylum, and he told me some very queer stories about them. I was very much interested in page 145one case he mentioned. Doctor——had been confined in a mad-house for some time suffering from some wild delusion. Although violent at times, a polite request to be quiet was generally sufficient, particularly if given by one of the warders. As Doctor——was very clever in writing prologues, his services were often largely availed of at the amateur performances at the asylum, and in the township close by. The warders were willing when permission was given by the superintendant, to take him to the township if he pledged his word not to give any trouble. They often brought him to the good templar's concerts, which was a new thing then, and got him to write prologues for the entertainments. The warder was kind enough to give me some copies of productions by the lunatic doctor, and in their way they are very remarkable.

"Have you got then with you, Doctor?" asked Miss Munroe eagerly.

"Well, no; you surely don't think I carry lunatic's poetry about in my pocket?" he answered with a smile.

"Of course I don't, Doctor; but perhaps you can send for them? Pat, the gardiner, is in the kitchen, and won't be five minutes going. Your housekeeper knows where your papers are."

The Doctor rubbed his chin, and considered for a moment.

"You might as well give in Doctor," said the old gentleman "She will give you no peace if you don't."

"Well, tell Pat to ask Mrs. Hood for my little yellow desk," said the Doctor at length with a resigned look.

Miss Munroe sent at once for the papers, and in a very short time Pat returned out of breath, and swearing he would never go another message.

page 146

"Sure!" ho said, running his fingers through his hair; "when I was runnin' along, some gossoons sung out 'Fire!' and others axed if me grandmother was dead, bud luck to them?"

"Never mind Pat, I will ask dad to give you some of his medicine," said Jessie soothingly.

"No medicine Miss, sure I had enough of that when I was a child. Och! but the breath is out of me!"

"I mean some Scotch whisky, Pat."

"Troth, an' I'll have as much of that as you like, whether it's Scotch or Irish. You would be tired of pouring it out before I'd be tired of drinkin," he answered, a broad smile relaxing his hard features.

"Thank you Miss" he said as Miss Munroe poured him out a glass, "That's the rale Scotch stuff, first cousin to Irish. Sure they make very small glasses now, don't they?" he remarked, turning the glass upside down after drinking.

"Take another glass Pat?" said Miss Munroe laughing

"Ask a cat will she drink milk! Sure an' I will, just to plase you and meself, avick. Here's to you Miss, and to Mr. Douglas the haro, and may you be ——but bad cess to me tongue, I may be after sayin' too much."

After Pat had retired, Miss Munroe turned to the Doctor and said:

"Now, Doctor, for your poetry."