[Editor: This joke was published in The Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), 7 June 1913.]
The story is told up north of a North-West lady who died and presented herself at the Gate of Heaven, St. Peter said dogmatically that no one could enter who had not earned a place by some acts of charity.
She racked her brain for reminiscences till she remembered the little boy crying from hunger to whom she had given a penny to buy a bun with.
The gate-keeper was not satisfied. So she remembered a woman in rags to whom she gave a penny half-penny to buy a ribbon with. Memory then failed her.
St. Peter went in to Gabriel, recounted the woman’s record, and asked: “What am I to do? shall I let her in?”
After thought, the archangel replied: “Better give her back her tuppence ha’penny and tell her to go to ——!”
The Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA), 7 June 1913, p. 3
Also published in:
The Geraldton Guardian (Geraldton, WA), 14 June 1913, p. 1
—— = two em dashes (or a variant number of em dashes) can be used to indicate swearing, just as “****”, “$#*!”, “#$@&%*!”, or similar, can indicate swearing (a series of typographical symbols used to indicate profanity is called a “grawlix”); an em dash is an extended dash (also known as an “em rule” or a “horizontal bar”), being a dash which is as wide as the height of the font being used (em dashes can also be used in place of a person’s name, so as to ensure anonymity; or used to indicate an unknown word) [in this instance, “——” refers to “Hell”]
ha’penny = a half-penny (a penny was a unit of British-style currency); “ha’penny” was pronounced “ha’penny” (phonetical: hape-nee)
North-West = the North-West area of Australia; of or relating to the North-West area of Australia
St. Peter = Saint Peter, a disciple of Jesus Christ; Saint Peter is traditionally regarded as the Saint who stands at the Gates of Heaven, determining whether or not those who present themselves should be allowed to enter
See: “Saint Peter”, Wikipedia
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]