James Murphy, Constable, isn’t directly described as being the blacksmith in this article. However, since Sergeant Oliphant seems to be the target of the author’s bile, I’m pretty sure that it is he who is described as ‘posing’ as a carpenter!
[Note: I’ve added a few line breaks to make reading easier.]
The Evening Telegram – Oct 17 1887 [Monday]
LITIGATION AT HARBOR MAIN
Conduct of the Constables Criticised
[Letter to the Editor]
Sir, this morning might be seen, in the small door of a murky little building, called “the forge,” two of our local law protectors, or, rather, protectors of the peace, (whichever you might like to call them) standing talking over events of the last court day at Holyrood, which was on Friday last, His Honor just having returned from a shooting expedition with a full hamper of ptarmigan, which our Island-home abounds.
They were speaking about a rock that was rolled off the street a few nights previous to court day. The rock, being considered a public obstruction by a few of the young men, was “rolled away, out to the say,” where it still remains. One of the above named Constables, who wears the acting stripes, thinking to earn promotion to a dutiful servant of the Crown, persuaded a poor old woman and her son to walk six mile in the driving rain of Friday last to swear that the said rock was a “landmark” for acting Sergeant Oliphant’s benefit! Yes benefit-for him to try and vent his malicious spleen on neighbors who are not trying to injure him or his copartner, Mr Murphy. Sergeant, oh! don’t deny giving FREE summonses for the supposed parties who removed the rock. No, sir, not he! He says he can defy all the people of this harbor, but the people say that they should rather have their few potatoes dug than be fooling with the law about frivolities.
Since the noble Sergeant arrived at this harbor he has created more disturbances that he has ever quelled. We cannot think for a moment how the Government allows two idle constables, paying them large salaries, in a place like this, whereas one can do the work of both. One of them acts for himself as a real blacksmith, and the other poses as a carpenter. By publishing the above you will oblige the people here, as probably the Government don’t know the actions of our local “invincibles.”
………. I remain, your CORRESPONDENT.
Another Note: ‘His Honor’ the ptarmigan hunter is probably Judge Daniel Woodley Prowse. Dictionary of Canadian Biography – D W Prowse