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---An Imaginary Interview1…


An Imaginary Interview 1 WITH AN EDITOR. ARE BOARDING-HOUSE KEEPERS CHRISTIANS ? I was seated one day last week on Aberystwyth Promenade, weary and ill I at ease, and reflecting on the cause or causes thereof. Rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly, I blamed the blazing sun and the hard, horrid,, heated, sun- reflecting, blinding pavement stones at my feet. While cursing the Town Coun- cil of Aberystwyth for inventing such a beastly nuisance (the stones, not the sun), a kindred soul placed his weight on the same seat, for he, too, had often cursed the Town Council, and had succeeded in making a jolly good thing out of it. He was a heavy and rather tall personage, and inclined to stoop. His arms hung awkwardly and listlessly. He wore spec- tacles, and a Carlylean snarl, and looked what he really was and is-a born fault- finder. .¡ T "'Good afternoon, Mr. Gibson," I said "Good afternoon" he replied indiffer- ently, with just a side glance. You will excuse me greeting you, I hope. I never did so before, though you are an old acquaintance of mine. 1 often come to Aberystwyth, and I always I see you when I come, though it is more than probable you never set eyes on me before this moment. I look upon you as an integral part of Aberystwyth, and 1 shouldn't dream of going back from my holidays without seeing yon. any more than I should leave without seeing the sea, or the" "I am obliged to you. but you inter- fere with the trend of my thoughts. I was just evolving a few pars for my ç Up and Down the Coast' column."> Give me an interview. I, also, write to the papers, but here am I dried up, as I dry as the Aberdare Canal in warm weather. Answer a few questions." "No, I never give anything away. 'The Cambrian News' gets all that is in me. I write 6 or 7 columns of original matter for my paper every week, and have been doing so for 40 years." Yon are a resourceful writer.. How- do you manage it?" I "I manage it." I see. You are a great man. Yon are a son of John Gibson. the painter, and the father of the Gibson Girls, are you not?" "I am the Editor of 'The Cambrian News. "Was not the great painter your father?" I "No." And are not the Gibson Girls your daughters?" I should be sorry to say they were. I am not their dad any more than I am the father of the Town Council, and Heaven forbid that I should ever claim the parentage of such a body." "I should be sorry to wound your feel- ings, but I thought you were the Town Council now." How ?" "Your journal has been creating pub- lic opinion for 40 years, and public opin- ion elects the Town Council. If your paper is worth anything at all it ought to have the Town Council in the hollow of its hands." "But there are counter influences at work," replied Mr. Gibson. "There are the churches and chapels, and after all it takes more than 40 years' digging to get at the bottom of a Cardi. By the y, where do you come from?" "Aberdare." Aberdare is noted for its Stipendiary and its Town Council—no District Coun- cil, is it not." Quite so. Aberdare is only a little village with 5 times the population of Aberystwyth. This is why we cannot get a Charter of Incorporation." 1 Mr. Gibson smiled, and then with his I characteristic sneer said, Your Council has tried to emulate, more than one-, I' our Town Council." "No comparison, my dear sir. We have had a whiff or two from Trecynon, and Cwmdare hills, but nothing like the Atlantic breezes which you have exper- ienced here. I always maintain that a town gets the representation it deserves, That is rather hard on Aberystwyth, I admit, but there you are. What can you I expect from a collection of boarding- house,, keepers?" It is an honest means of earning one's I livelihood," retorted Mr. Gibson. I, Question. I shouldn't like to call it honest. Your lodging-house. keepers are worse than racing tipsters, who succeed I in making enough during the racing period to tide them over the non-racing seasons. Your resident population live on fleecing the 'Gentiles' who come from I Aberdare or Birmingham or Manchester, and a jolly good thing they make out of it. I should liked to have seen every boarding-house keeper in Aberystwyth paying a visit to the Coliseum last week to see "The Passing of the, Third Floor Back." After that there ought to be an importation of about 1000 "Paesere-By, the creation of Jerome K. Jerome, to oc- cupy rooms in each boarding-house and seek to Christianise the landlords and landladies, if, indeed, they are not past redemption." "What is the matter with them?" "They have no consciences, that is all. Perhaps you don't consider that very much. Why, one of your respectable townsmen allowed an apprentice who "lived in' to sleep on a couch, without having his clothes off, for 6 or 7 weeks, so that he might crowd in visitors-at a good price. This might be an extreme instance-let us hope it is-but by no means a solitary example of how" your local work-people—boys and girls—have to suffer while the heads of the house reap a good harvest. They are too buJY fleecing1 the visitors to attend divine ser- vice in summer. But they are extremely holy in winter, because they have noth- ing better, or worse, to do. Open your columns on that subject. You might do worse." I never take advice as to how to con- duct a paper," Mr. Gibson responded, "and I cannot grant you an interview/' I have had as much as I wanted, Toi-i. You are not so great as I thought you were. You are not the son of John Gibson, the painter. You aro not the father of the Gibson Girls, and in 40 years you have not succeeded in creat- ing' public opinion." But I write 7 columns weekly to the News. That's nothing. There goes a man along the Promenade who speaks seven columns every hour of the day, and good stuff, too, whenever he gets an audience, if it is only one person." "Who may he be P County Councillor and District Coun- cillor Thos. Walter Williams, barrister- f t-law, of AberdAre.- On what does he discourse ?" H Anything under the sun, or above the sun. Astronomy and geology, heaven and earth, and educational matters." Mr. Gibson rose and strode along m the same direction as our barrister, and keenly observed him until both passed from my view. 0-

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