Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Skippers stages a Comeback or True Love is hard to find

Terri Macnicol summarized amongst other stories in her book 'Echoes from Skippers Canyon' the following:

By the turn of the 20th century, the goldrush was over and the goldminers disappeared. Early in the 1930s though when New Zealand was in the grip of the Depression, Skippers enjoyed a moderate comeback after being a ghost town for years. Many men, unable to find employment, drifted to backwaters such as Skippers. Here they hoped to supplement their allowance with gold, always with the thought that they would strike it rich.

One of them was Jamie. He was a confirmed bachelor and lived alone not for from his mate Mike. Jamie was reputed to be the ugliest man in the district and tongues wagged furiously when it was rumoured that he was getting married. The big question was, who was the bride?

None were brave enough to ask the prospective groom and he kept his own counsel. He did confide to Mike, who told his friends in secret that Mary was a pen-friend whom Jamie had contacted through a Lonely Hearts Club.

Jamie was been writing her for months. His friends thought it would be a bit of a risk to marry someone before they know each other. They might not get on at all...

In due course the bride came to Jamie's cottage. She was not very good-looking herself. She was about Jamie's age, friendly without being over-interested in her neighbours. Jamie's little cottage sparkled soon with cleanliness and even Jamie himself changed. He shaved regularly and always appeared tidy and smart. Everyone agreed that Jamie and Mary were ideally suited for each other.

Just when it happened no one could say, but neighbours awoke to the fact that Mary was no longer with Jamie. Instead she was living with Mike - Jamie's friend. She appeared to be just as happy there as she had been with Jamie.

Apparently, Mary was not Jamie's type and so he told Mike that he could have her if he liked.

One day Mary and Mike departed for Queenstown. Friends prepared to celebrate their return, expecting they would come home man and wife. Mike came back that night - alone.
'Where is Mary?' he was asked. 'Oh, she is gone. I just went out to see her away. She sent her regards to all you womenfolk.'

That was all he had to say and the visitor was quickly forgotten. Mike and Jamie became firmer pals and reverted to their easygoing careless ways.

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