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IN AND AROUND BARRY. The outside public probably think that the meetings of our Local Boards and their committees are insufferably dull. Well, taken altogether, one must admit that dulness does pervade the atmos- phere, but to anyone who has a sense of humour and takes an interest in studying human nature. there are gleams of sunshine even in the funeral gloom of the meetings of our local authorities. At the School Board, for instance, one is enlivened by the scholastic experiences of Mr. Blackmore. the fun of Captain Davies. or the kindly good humour of Mr. Lowdon. To me. indeed, the chairman is an interesting and a lovable study. He knows all the teachers intimately lie can distinguish between the divers Miss Joneses employed by the Board he has a kind word for all, and takes a compas- sionate interest in all their difficulties and trials and if any happen to fall ill, there is no mistaking the tenderness witl which he advocates their claims for rest, and the minute knowledge he dis- plays of their ailments, the causes, and the remedy. Different indeed, but equally fascinating, is the interest that th2 Local Board arouses.Tl often wish that the public would take more advantage of the right they possess of listening to the debates of our local parliament. They would learn more in one sitting of the real powers and- difficulties and calibre of the Board than they will by reading a dozen reports of meetings. One would think by readirg- the reports that the members glared savagely at one another, and that it is only the breadth of a large table and the muscular figure of the Inspector of Nuisances that prevent them from openly going at each other. How different it all really is—the lamb lies down with the wolf, and the little child plays at the nest of the asp There one sees Dr. O'Donnell cheek by jowl with Mr. John Robinson, and Mr. Thomrs, of ere-screet, "sitting like latience on a monu- ment smiling at grief, between the rosy countenances of Mr. George Thomas and Mr. Barstow. (N.B.— This must net be taken to mean that Mr. W. Thomas is a thorn—except in the side of those awfully wasteful members of the Board who wish to pay a kind of Trades Union rate of wages to the officials of the Board.) Very inte- resting it is, too, to watch the way in which the alert Chairman guides to an issue a ricklish subject with not a too great expenditure of time and energy the exchange of courtesies between the champion of the community" and Mr. J. Robin- son the magnificent lounge of Dr. Treharne the Wary look of Mr. Thomas, The Hayes; the self- communings of General Lee. often unable to reconcile duty with inclination the *<•» rocr questionings of Mr. Jewel Williams, who cannot make up his mind and the jokes and flouts of Mr. Benjamin Lewis. But the greatest treat of all to me is to watch Mr. Thomas, of Vere-street. and his particular friends, Mr. George Thomas and Mr. Harstow the superiority with which he listens to the remarks of Mr. George Thomas, and the crush- ing sarcasm with which he twin Mr. Barstow of possessing a mind of higher calibre than his own. Then Mr. Barstow tries to wither him—annihilate him—with a mesmeric look and a contemptuous snort. Mr. Thomas lifts up his voice in indignant protest—the Chairman breaks in with Order. gentlemen, please "—and Mr. Thomas with exalted voice says that he has a right to speak as well as Mr. Barstow; and the unreported incident terminates. I don't know what made me glance off into these matters if it wasn't that I was thinking of last Friday's Health Committee, when there were one or two such incidents. The funniest thing that happened in that meeting was the discussion on the lighting of the public lamps. My readers may perhaps remember that some weeks ago I remarked in this column that there was a great deal of waste of gas during moonlight nights in this district. I said it would be easy to find out what nights there was a full moon, and that for a few nights at full moon there need be no gas lit after 12 o'clock. I am glad the Local Board has taken the thing up. but I never thought that my suggestion would bring the su -eyor to the brirk of such awful danger. It was in this way that I imperilled the life of the surveyor. It was pointed out that soine nights, thoagh there was a full moon, the clouds would be so thick that our mundane sphere would be enveloped in Stygian darkness. The e'erk therefore suggested that the surveyor should meet the different lamplighters in the afternoon, at fall moon time, and after making a carefu1 meteorological survey, give orders either to extin- guish the lamps or not, according to the dictates of his prophetic soul. The surveyor paled visibly a hushed silence fell on the assembled Witan and one poor reporter, who first broached the sub- ject of gas and moonlight, felt a dire remorse gnawing at his heart, and an awakened conscience branded him as worse than a murderer. In imagination, he saw the surveyor—after passing sleepless nights waiting for the advent of the full moon—creeping with haggard mien and laggard steps to the rendezvous. He saw the three' lamplighters creeping stealthily in the shadows towards the same spot in Barry Dock. He beheld the meeting, the' anxious glances to- wards the sky that confessed lunacy he heard the muttered incantations and the inspection of the thus/a last of all, the seer-surveyor ''multum in Pardoe" sitting on his Delphian tripod, in- haling the subterraneangas, and interpreting the oracle in some such words as these :— Artemis, after incantation, Will supply the illumination; Hence my orders shall be this night, Go lamplighters, put out the light. After a dance round a seething cauldron, the wizards disappear into thin air on broomsticks. To my distempeied imagination another scene then occurred. The blue sky be" nes black with lowering clouds; muttered thunder threatsns from afar darkness falls on the awestruck earth. It is the night of the Ratepayers" Association meet- ing. The members in their thousands hie from their cheerful homes to a spacious hall to discuss salaries and sewers, and other congenial topics. Through the howling storm and the darkness that can be felt, they grope their way towards the place of assembly through cesspools they wade, over manholes five feet from the ground they climb. aud for hours they arc as lost as the far-famed Lucy Gray on the mysterious moor. At last— sometime after mid-night—a few gaunt wrecks reach the trysting-place. The secretary looks worn and haggard, the comfortable figure of the president is emaciated and even the energy of Mr. Lloyd is chilled and akened by fatigue and "hope deferred." Only one resolution is passed— a vigorous denunciation of that seer-surveyor who cannot read the signs of the times, and there are significant whispers that the days of constitu- tional agitation are passed. That was the picture which my imagination drew of the consequences of my ill-fated interference. I was distraught wieh anguish I was beginning to curse the day I was born wnen the medical men on the com- mittee, looking with professional knowledge at my trouble brow and lacklustre-eye, proposed that the suiveyor be not asked to be the Board's weather prophet, but that the lamps should absolutely be put ouc for five nights in the month. And I breathed once more. Have you ever noticed wh?„t a number of dogs there are in the town 1 Talk about the rats thut the pied piper exorcised They're nowhere in it with our Bairydogs. Brow." dogs, red dogs, white dogs, black dogs, yellow dogs, green dogs, black and tan dogs—there isn't a colour in the rainbow or in a servant girl's hat, but isn't represented on the coat of our dogs. One wonders if all of them are licensed to live—I know lots of them take a great deal of license in. picking up a livelihood. Last Sunday morning on. my way from meeting I witnessed how some of these rapscaBiois make a livelihood. They were two — one white, and one — well. a kind of curly chestnut. Thçy. belonged to no particular tribe—half breeds that had inherited the vices of half a dozen breeds, and the virtues of none I think the white d.og was the most villainous.lock- ing of the tw,o. IIv made me shiver to look, at him. I ean't understand how the writers of shilling shockeis alwsyvs go in for black dogs., I am sure if Mr. J. W. Nichohis. the Welsh, shillvag- shocker (whose new book, The House of Mystery," —with the inevitable black dog—all my-readers should read)—if he saw this dii cy white dog he would change the colour of his monster. How- ever, these two villainous dogs did uptdp-anything worse than, worry some geese. amlI believe killed one. I confess that when I saw, that beautiful i fat goose lying in her core (that's the right phrase, I believeX I did think of a square meal I had yea':s ago, and longed for aaother. However, I conquered my inclination, especially as the afore- said gentle men of the canine profession were guarding the fallen bird. &n,d I loatl a new pair of unmentionables on. Seriously, the multiplicity <-■* dogs, is becoming a, presring nuisance. I dread tjje thought of walking ,10wn Yere-street, and \è r. only the fear of the editor's august frown—jur.rc terrible than the s:«tarl of other dogs—t);^ com- pels me to steer iuy way to *rie oihee. Life would not be worth living without th< humorous quips and cranks which are weekly fired off the Penarth Polica-court. Genial Mr Ware was the sole magistrate on the bench las' • Monday, and when this gentleman is in attend anc'j to administer the law one can? always rely j Upon his raising a joke or two, which are generally so successful in their effect as to produce a smile even-upon the solemn couhtenance of Inspector King', and that is something. But it was Police- coivstable Herbert Evans, of Dinas Pcwi?. who in- stigated a little humour on Monday. Tfce chair- man wanted to krow the time the next train left Cardiff for Penarth, and in a trice a dozen time- tables were pr luced from as many pockets. Police-ce&stable Evans, not to be outdone in smartness, replied, 12.23, your worship." This however, was a glaring mistake he had given the time for the departure of the Bridgend trains 1 His worship had-meanwhile carefully examined a time table, and retorted sharply It's 12.3 I make it." At this point- Mr. Belcher, from the solicitor's table meekly interposed with the remark, That shows the value of police evidence your worship." Of course this was hugely enjoyed, and the laughter was increased when his worship, with a wicked eye, said, But he was not speaking on oath, Mr. Belcher.' -=- Those of my readers who did not go to the first Popof the season at Cardiff last Saturday missed a treat, and should,make up for it by going to the next on November 7th. Though Mr. D. W. Lewis, 0- Brynaman-(tenor), Messrs. Giles and Perkins (bass), and Misses Gwen Coslett and Mattie Davies (sopranos) sang splendidly, the great attraction of the evening was undoubtedly Mrs. Alice Shaw, the famous lady whistler, who simply fascinated the audience each time she appeared. I must say. though, that the oftener I hear Miss Mattie Davies the more I like her. It isn't only her voice which-is so true and pure that I always wonder how it was she was only second in the soprano solo at the Swansea eisteddfod, nor altogether her manner, which is charming but she is so different from ordinary singers when they sing. I'm afraid I'm treading on. delicate ground, but I must say that ladies as a rule do not show their charms to perfection when singing. It is different with MissDavies. I won't say how nice she looks in repose but a more charming pic ure than Miss Davies singing I have never seen on ilie stage. At the next pop" I hope to hear he singing a solo.









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