Brass Band: 0050.0289
A BRASS BAND – Contractor Reid, an Old-Time Horn-Blower, It Is Alleged Is Willing to Instruct One.
Contractor Reid was in town Saturday, and expressed the opinion that Cranbrook ought to have a brass band, saying that if they would organize one he would give it instructions, as he was an old bandmaster. Some of the boys smiled incredulously at the idea of Reid being a bandmaster, but Long Oliver said the statement was all right as he had often heard Reid blow his horn; McGil chipped in and said he too knew it was right for he had seen Reid playing the foghorn on a Newfoundland fishing smack when Reid retorted that he used to cut bait for him while he fished. All this was taking place in the reading-room of the Kootenay house when Reid chanced to look around and saw a talking machine – not Pieper’s, but a phonograph belonging to a traveling exhibitor; it had a brass funnel attachment, resembling a French horn, and Reid picking the latter up, told them he would show them whether he could play or not, and said that he would proceed to give them an imitation of Prof. Levy playing the “Last Rose of Summer,” and he started in. At the first note McQuiston’s dog Slim went through the plate glass front; Slim went up against a cougar once, and thought there was another one lurking round in the vicinity; then Reid produced a tremola passage which sounded something like the wail of lost Scotch spirits crosscut by a heartrending strain resembling the mourning of a young man with an attack of James Preserves; then a window opened in the story above and a voice shouted, “Glory, hallelujah! O Lord, I’m comin’!” followed by a dull, sickening thud on the outside. An investigation followed and Jack Lamont was found lying in a heap on the pavement below; he recovered breath enough to ask if Gabriel hadn’t “blowed his horn.” He said he woke up and tho’t it was the call of Gabe, that he had a pair of wings and was going to fly right away to heaven. McQuiston explained matters to him, and helped him to his room, Jack remarking that if that was an imitation of Levy’s music, he could easily understand how it was that Levy’s wife was granted large alimony and a divorce. Reid then essayed that good old French hymn, “Paddy’s Lament;” at the first blast Long Oliver fell off his chair and his legs and arms were afterward found to be tied in such a hard knot that it took fifteen minutes to untangle them; the paper commenced to peel off the wall and tried to get out of the windows; the perspiration rolled off McQuiston and Frank said the next day that the scales showed that he had lost 20 pounds thereby; McGil was observed to be shedding tears, and when asked what affected him so he replied that Reid’s music carried him back to his boyhood days when he worked in a boiler factory holding the hammer inside while the rivets were being headed, whereupon Reid retorted that he had always wondered how McGil had come by his boiler plate gall, and then stated that he would conclude by rendering “Nearer My God T Thee,” whereupon McCrimmon, who had just came out of a faint, told Reid that if he put that horn to his rosebud lips again, that moment would find him a whole lot nearer his God than he ever had been before or would be again. To top it off Constable Cole came in and said that he had a ‘phone from Fort Steele that the quiet of the town was being disturbed; also that there was a man sick in Wardner who was then in convulsions, and requested that the concert close.