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Life in Early Poverty Bay

A Fireworks “Tragedy.”

A Fireworks “Tragedy.”

The most spectacular pyrotechnic display was staged one night by V. G. Day and W. E. Akroyd, then both recent arrivals from England. By some mischance their careful plans went a-gley, and, after a quietly successful page 136 opening, the whole store of fireworks got out of hand. Catherine Wheels circled madly. The Devil amongt the Tailors showered flames and sparks from a dozen different spots. Roman Candles blazed green, purple and crimson. Squibs and crackers exploded under the feet and in the faces of the crowd. The air was full of colored streamers and showers of stars—a regular Aurora. The first outburst was greeted enthusiastically. The show was beyond anything ever seen before. But when the rockets began banging and shooting wildly just over their heads or sending fiery snakes through the long dry grass, the spectators turned and ran for their lives. Women fainted and children howled with fright. Fortunately no one was hurt. The only tragedy was that the fireworks were all burnt out in that lurid ten minutes.

Te Hapara garden, the morning after a fete, was a sorry sight, strewn with torn paper wrappings, empty bottles (looking as rakish as if they had held Falernian instead of lemonade and raspberry vinegar), overturned benches and trestle tables. Flower-beds were trampled down, arbours broken, and—horror of horrors—the tenins lawn! Instead of smooth green turf, a sandy waste bearing eruptions of stubble and torn-up roots!

Mr. and Mrs. Rees were garden lovers. They quailed before the mute reproach of the green things which had trusted them. They vowed “Never again,” and Mrs. Rees might upbraid her husband for being too ready to consent to such a sacrifice, and exact a promise that it should not happen again. And then—next time—she herself would give permission.