Patsy Moran and the Orange Paint
ENTERTAINING SHORT STORIES
Arthur Sullivant Hoffman in Everybody’s
“I HAVE no great likin’ for thim mesilf,” said Patsy Moran, skilfully lighting his pipe from the one that Tim had silently handed him and settling back comfortably on his end of a Central Park bench; “yet ’twas only me good luck saved me from bein’ wan of thim.”
The phlegmatic Tim smoked peacefully on without comment, but Patsy, who required no other response from Tim than his presence, continued reminiscently :
“Yis,” he said, “but for good luck and a bit of me own good judgment I’d be tremblin’ for me job on the polayce force this minute—depindent for the rint on whether I could git it from Hinissey for not seein’ his place was open Sunday mornin’ whin I was takin’ a drink over his bar, or whether me sergeant had already took ivrything Hinissey had for the offinse of havin’ it, tellin’ him he might keep the rest if he would report me for drinkin’ on duty. Sure, and in the place of that I’m me own master of mesilf, livin’ free and comfortable by industrious burglin’ and drivin’ the polayce distracted, may the divil dance on the blue backs of thim—hiven forgive me for sayin’ so !
“But they was a time whin I was timpted into wantin’ a job on the force, and this was the way of it. ’Twas in me early twinties, and faith, it’s the fine, upstandin’ lad I was in thim days, with all the women gittin’ beyond thimsilves entirely over me, and me that careless and go-lucky. It was only me good luck saved me from wan of thim the same day it kept me from throwin’ mesilf away on the polayce force, and if iver a man made his way with a woman with ivrything ag’inst him—well, I’ll be tellin’
“It was me and Dinnis O’Toole with the eyes of the two of us on the same polayce job, good friends as we was —sure! I loved him like a brother and
he treated me like wan, bad cess to him ! But we was frinds thin, and whin the word come to us that the man holdin’ the wires to the givin' of that job was old Michael O’Grady up in Westchester County, Dinnis comes to me and says he, with wan of thim lady-trust-me looks from the big eyes of him : ‘Patsy,’ says he, ‘it’s frinds we are first, and wan of us is a polayceman afterwards,’ he says, noble.
“ ’Yis,’ says I, swellin’ with pride at bein’ so honorable.
“‘We’re playin’ fair and the best man wins,’ he says.
“ ‘Yis,’ says I.
“ ‘Thin,’ says he, ‘let the two of us go up togither to old man O’Grady’s place in the country and settle it wanct and for all like gintlemen, lettin’ him choose atween us. Are ye with me?’
“ T wouldn’t be lettin’ ye go alone for worlds,’ says I, still feelin’ honorable and turnin’ cold at the thought of him goin’ to O’Grady unbeknownst to me. ‘It’s the true frind ye are and I’ll not be goin’ back on ye.’
“ ‘Will it be this afternoon, thin ?’ he says.
“ ‘Sure,’ I says, takin’ quick thought of the new clothes I was wearin’ and knowin’ Dinnis couldn’t raise the money by afternoon for better than the shabby wans on the back of him.
“So up we wint. O’Grady, havin’ made his pile, was livin’ comfortable on his own place in the country and addin’ to it, bein’ a capacious man, by keepin’ his hold on politics on the East Side. He was so rich his home was a matter of a mile from the station and we wint the way on foot, takin’ no sorrow of it, for the sun was shinin’, the flowers bloomin’ ivrywhere, and the bees hummin’ soothin’ and pleasant-like—and the country’s a fine place to go to whin ye can come back ag’in.
“We was trudgin’ along through a
bit of woods, nayther of us talkin’ much by reason of thinkin’ how he could git a medal from O’Grady for bein’ fair and honorable whilst he was rnakin’ the other look like the last words of a drunken man afore he falls into the ditch and quits speakin’, whin who should we be meetin’, drivin’ along in his bit of a cart, but old man O’Grady himsilf !
“We stops him, both talkin’ to wanct, but afore we could tell our business he says he must be goin’ on after the mail and for us to wait for him where we was and ride home with him whin he comes back. Which we done, or begun to do, only by this time we was so nervous about each other that Dinnis wandered around in the woods and I stretched out on the grass by the roadside.
“I was watchin’ him, suspicious, but prisintly I rolled over and wint to sleep, with the warm sun shinin’ down on me back, knowin’ me wits would carry me through with O’Grady if I didn’t wear thim out with usin’ thim aforehand.
“It was Dinnis woke me, and the eyes of him was bulgin' out like eggs.
“‘Tare and ages!’ he says, “what’s happened ye?’
“ ‘Me ?’ says I, blinkin' me eyes.
“ ‘Who’s done this to ye, Patsy?’ he goes on, fairly yellin' at me. ‘What the divil has been at ye whilst I was away? Oh, wirra, wirra, man, if O’Grady iver sees ye now it’s more like he will be killin’ ye than annything ilse ! ‘Here,’ he says, ‘roll over ag’in and let me see to back of ye wanct more. Holy saints, look at that, now! “Down with Tammany!” across your shoulders ! And runnin’ crooked down from it—hold still but wan minute—no true Irishman iver done that—“Bless Boyne Water!” And down wan leg is “Ireland for the English !” and along the other “Down with the Pope !” and startin’ from your hip-pocket is a blaspheemous suggistion to the polayce ! Ivry letter of it all in orange paint ! Och, man, if O’Grady ever sees but wan letter of that ye’re lost entirely, and by the powers here he comes now, jauntin’ along in his bit cart, though he ain’t
seen us yet ! Keep your face to him —no, they’s no time to be lookin’ at it now—and crawl back where ye can sit with your back ag’inst this tree and your legs flat out along the concealin’ ground, and don’t move annything but your tongue whilst he’s with us ! I’ll do what I can, but for the love of hiven, sit tight !’
“With the first words of him me brains threw the sleep from thim and me heart stopped beatin’ with the sickenin’ fright of what he was sayin’. I could see immediate that thim words painted on the back of me would murder all me chancts with O’Grady— and me fine new suit, besides ! Young as I was, I seen it was no time for mere thinkin’—me wits was quick to tell me that—and in less time than it takes a potaty to roll into a barrel I was scrunchin’ and wormin’ and wigglin’ along on me back—alanna, thim poor clothes !—and was sittin’ tight ag’inst a big tree with me legs flat out along the ground and niver wan of thim yellow letters showin’, praise be.
“And with that, old man O’Grady, havin’ come close by with his head down a-studyin’, looks up and sees us. ‘Whoa !’ says he. ‘Well, gintlemen, here I am and ready for ye. Will ye be gittin’ in with me, or has your frind changed his mind, Mr. O’Toole?’ he says, put out over a young man like me showin’ him no more respict than not to git up whin he come.
‘Well, sor,’ says Dinnis, ‘it ain’t his mind he’s wantin’ to change. Ye see, sor,’ he says, givin’ me a black eye right in the start of it and leavin’ me no chanct to tell me own lies, ‘it’s not over strong he is—Moran’s the name, sor, Patrick Moran—and the walkin’ was a bit too much for him. The sun makes him this way, sor, but he gits all right ag’in whin he can rest his back ag’inst something for a bit.’
“Did ye iver hear the like of that from wan that was a frind ! It made me so blunderin’ mad that niver a word could I say ixcipt to take off me hat polite, prayin’ the saints they was no orange paint on the back of me arm, and not dairin’ to move from where I sat !
“ ‘Sure,’ says Mr. O’Grady, ‘and that’s a pity. What can we be doin’ for ye?’ he says, gittin down from his cart. ,
“There was me chanct and I took it. ‘Mr. O’Grady,’ I says, ‘sure, it’s troublin’ ye too much I am, sor, but if ye could just be settin’ down and talkin’ to me soothin’ a few minutes I’d be right ag’in in no time. It ain’t wanct a year I git these spells, and thin only from eatin’ pickled beets with horseradish on thim,’ says I, knowin’ they ain’t no chanct for invalids on the polayce.
“ ‘Och, it’s mesilf will do that same,’ says Mr. O’Grady, ‘and little enough.’
“ ‘Just a minute, sor, and axin’ your pardon,’ puts in Dinnis. ‘Patsy, Patsy,’ says he, tinder as a woman, the divil snatch him !—‘don’t ye mind how Dr. Ryan says the wan thing ye’re not to do whin ye’re this way is to talk with annybody whativer?’
“‘Ye lie, ye dirty blackguard!’ I says, losin’ hold of mesilf, but keepin’ pasted to the tree. T niver wint to Dr. Ryan in me life, and they ain’t anny such man annyways ! Don’t I know what-’
“ ‘Patsy dear,’ says Dinnis, like it was hurtin’ him, ‘quiet yoursilf down! Och, come away, Mr. O’Grady, sir ! It’s killin’ him we’ll be after doin’. If ye’ll be takin’ me into your cart 111 be acceptin’ your kind bid to go borne with ye where l can be settlin’ the business the two of us come out foi, with no trouble to me frind. It’s what the doctor says is best for him —to be left left quiet by himsilf.’
“ ‘Now the black curse of Shielygh on ye, Dinnis O’Toole’ I yells at him, bein’ beyond mesilf, though not movin’
me back and legs. ‘And if iver-’
“ ‘Don’t be ragin at thim as is doin’ their best for ye, Patsy dear,’ he says, still lookin’ sorrowful, ‘for if it’s much worse ye’re gittin’, I’ll have to ask Mr. O’Grady to hilp me roll you on to your stummick and pound your back like Dr. Ryan said !’
“It’s a wise man that knows whin a fool has the best of him. I give up; besides, the two of thim was already movin’ toward the cart. I comminced
callin’ Dinnis all the evil names that come to me—which was all they was —but I seen him touchin’ his head with his finger and whin I shut me mouth to listen, he was sayin’ to Mr. O’Grady, says he : ‘Oh, no, sir, he don’t mean nothin’ by all that. ’Tis only the fit that’s on him and they’s no offinse to be took. Other times he’s a daycent man, though-’
“And with that they climbed in and away they wint, leavin’ me blind and chokin’ with me anger.
“I was so busy cursin’ to mesilf that it was some minutes afore it come to me to look at thim blamed letters on me back. And thin, so hilp me, I was afraid to look! Sure I was that it was Dinnis himsilf put thim on me— it stood to reason no one would be wanderin’ round the country with a can of orange paint waitin’ for some Irishman to come along and go to sleep on his stummick so he could paint nefarious writin’s on the innocent back of him ! At the thought of thim I fell to swearin’ ag’in prodigious, and was just goin’ to draw up wan leg and read it whin I heard some wan singin’. A woman’s voice, and a sweet wan, it was—and I begun prissin’ me headlines to the ground closer than iver.
“Thin I seen her through the trees cornin’ down a bit of a lane into the road, and faith, few is the women I’ve laid me eyes on afore or since could equal that wan ! Her hair was blacker than annything ilse ixcipt her eyes, and the red cheeks and lips of her would ’a’ made the berries in her pail look like they was snowballs. And as saucy as ye please, she was.
“She spoke to me social as she wint by in the road, bein’ nayther afraid nor too much the other way, and I could see the looks of me was by no means hurtin’ her.
“ ‘A fine afternoon to ve,’ she says, goin’ right along on her way.
“ ‘Sure,’ says I, ‘and if ye’d said that same afore ye come, ‘Id ’a’ been answerin’ that it was not like to be !’
“ ‘Och,’ says she, laughin’ a bit of a laugh that made me heart feel like a repeater. ‘But is it in trouble ye are?’ her voice fillin’ out with kindness so
I nearly forgot the paint that was keepin’ me where I was.
“ ‘I was till you come/ I says, laughin’ back at her, ‘and now I’m like to git in it worse than iver,’ I says.
‘Och,’ says she, ‘go long with ye ! Can’t I be stoppin’ long enough to be civil but ye must begin’ blarneyin’ like ye’d known me all me life long?’
“ 'Sure,’ I says, still settin’ tight ag’inst me tree and all the earth me legs could cover, ‘I’ve knowed ye iver since I first met ye, and that’s all anny wan has done. And as for blarneyin’, was they iver a man laid eyes on ye without tellin’ ye what he saw ?’
“ ‘Yoursilf,’ says she, laughin’, with the dimples cornin’ all over the face of her.
“ ‘Mesilf indeed !’ says I, and I could see she was bein’ drawed to me by the way I was settin’ there indifferent whilst she stood in the road. ‘Wasn’t I just sayin’ I saw a worse trouble for me than anny that have gone afore?’
“She give me a look out of thim black eyes of hers and set me stranin’ at the tree-trunk I was leanin’ me back ag’inst. ‘Meanin’,’ saye he, ‘the trouble of gittin’ up on your feet whin a lady speaks to ye?’ she says, tossin’ her pretty head and leadin’ me on.
“ ‘Faith,’ I says, ‘I’d be up on me feet and down on me knees the same minute if—’ says I, if—’ I says, surprised at where I’d got mesilf to and /castin’ round for anny kind of sinsible reason for bein’ a bit of stickin’ plaster >on the face of the earth whin they was .a. girl like that callin’ to me from the moad.
“ ‘Ye seem to be in trouble ag’in/ says she. ‘It’s like to become a habit with ye, and where’s the glib tongue was waggin’ so easy a minute gone?’
“ ‘It ain’t me tongue’s, at fault,’ I says, meanin’ to blame it on me heart and quiet the poor girl, only just thin I begun noticin’ how manny of thim big black ants they' was crawlin’ around the ground and wanderin’ over me hilpless form. It’s me that hates bugs worse than the blissed St. Patrick hates snakes and ’twas me immediate intintion to jump straight up
in the air, brushin’ the little divils off me with all me hands and feet, but I raymimbered thim murderin’ yellow letters printed up and down the back of me, and callin’ up all me willpower, I set where I was. Mind ye, it was fair wild I was with thirfi— they was eight of thim animals on the wan leg of me—but such will the pride in him do for a man, and the love of women ! And good come of it, for it was wan of thim lunytic ants scourin ’up the toe of me shoe and down the sole of it, not havin’ sinse enough to go around instead of climbing over, that give me a idea; and so quick was all this that ’twas but a second after she was done askin’ that I outs with the answer.
“ ‘It ain’t me tongue,’ I says, wan eye on her and the other wan on the biggest of thim ants what was ballyhootin’ round the bottoms of me trousies, debatin’ would he be explorin’ inside, ‘and hiven knows it ain’t me heart that’s keepin’ me here, but me foot,’ I says. ‘I sprained me ankle on that store forninst ye in the road and would ye mind throwin’ it as far as ye’re able into the woods?’ says I.
“ ‘Och, ye poor man !’ she says, cornin’ toward me as I knowed she would. ‘And why ain’t ye takin’ off your shoe afore your foot swells in it?’
“ ‘Bring a stick with ye !’ I says, the wan big ant havin' disappeared from me view and another wan startin’ to hunt for him.
“ ‘Do what ?’ says she, but doin’ it. ‘Be careful of yoursilf there !’ she goes on, for I was movin’ me legs back and forth like they was pendulums, but keepin’ thim tight to the ground and not alarmin’ the ants to speak of. ‘It’s goin’ for help I’ll be,’ she says, still cornin’ toward me.
“At thim words me stummick collapsed with fright of me bein’ picked up and her readin’ thim mortifyin’ letters on me, and right on top of that she come close enough to see it was low shoes I was wearin' and both me ankles as trim and tidy as iver they was.
“ ‘Ye big gomeral, ye was lyin’ to me!’ she says, stoppin’ short.
“ ‘Yis, I was/ says I, ‘but in the name of hiven give me the stick !’ I says, the sicond ant havin’ gone over the idge of me trousies’ leg. ‘And what might your name be, so I can be thankin’ ye?’ I says, reachin’ for the stick. ‘And won’t ye set down and rist yoursilf?’
“‘Take it!’ she says, throwin it at me. ‘And it’s none of your business and I want no thanks from the likes of ye and I won’t !’ says she, answerin’ ivrything at wanct.
“ ‘Thank ye annyways,’ I says, heatin’ me shins with the stick without movin’ me back from the tree, ‘and ye will and what is it?’
“ ‘The saints in glory be among us !’ says she, watchin’ me whippin’ me silf. ‘What ails ye?’
“ ‘It’s punishin’ mesilf I am for lyin’ to ye,’ I says, ‘but I misdoubted would ye believe me if I told ye the truth.’
“ ‘Ye might be tryin’ the truth wanct to find out,’ she says, forgittin’ to stay mad from bein’ a woman and curious, and lookin’ prettier ivry minute.
“ ‘Will ye set down friendly-like, thin, and what was it ye didn’t say your name was?’ says I’ brushin’ a ant off me shoulder and shiverin’ at the thought of him gittin’ down me neck.
“ ‘I’ll be stoppin’ a minute, havin’ time on me hands,’ says she, her curiosity killin’ her, ‘and me name is just what ye said I didn’t say it was, me not knowin’ yours annyway,’ she says.
“ ‘Oh, mine,’ says I. ‘The last of of it’s Moran,’ I says, tellin’ her the truth by reason of knowin’ she wouldn’t believe it, ‘but that don’t matter since it’s just like ivry other man’s—your own at the word from ye. Me own name is Patrick,’ I says, ‘but Patsy’s easier. And I’m not wantin’ the last of yours the day, seein’ as it’s not likely to stay so unless all the single men loses the power of speech and can’t make signs. And if I’m not knowin’ your own sweet name,’ I says, wonderin’ was it the old granddad ant ticklin’ me over me knee, ‘there's naught left but to call
ye mavoureen and other things that come out of the heart of me,’ says I, givin her a look and sighin’ painful.
“ ‘It’s Katy, thin,’ says she, dimplin’ so I had to keep me eyes on me own back to raymimber thim purgatorial letters on it, ‘and ye needn’t be beatin’ yoursilf anny more with that stick,’ she says, ‘if ye’ll be tellin’ me the real truth intirely.’
“ ‘Niver mind that, Katy dear,’ I says. ‘I can’t forgive mesilf for lyin’ to ye and it keeps the bugs off, but will ye be offinded at the truth if ye have it?’ I says, me wits furnishin,’ me with a splendiferous reason for bein’ a porous plaster.
“ ‘If ye can stand tellin’ of it wanct’ it’s me will be tryin’ to put up with the hearin’ of it,’ she says, smilin’ at me and showin' the white teeth of her so I was minded to git up with all that outrageous printin’ on me and take me chanct of lookin’ a fool.
“ ‘Thin here it is,’ says I, solemn and trembly-like, ‘in three words. ‘I’ve seen the world, Katy darlin’, and the most contimptible creature in the whole of it is him that makes a fool of himsilf runnin’ round after a woman, bleatin’ like a sheep whin she takes notice of him, and squealin’ like a litter of pigs whin she pretinds she don’t. I was but the makin’s of a man whin I took me solemn oath that if iver the heart of me wint out to a good woman and a pretty wan, divil the step would I be traipsin’ after her, leastways till she’d come to me first. Lad as I was, I knowed ’twas only a good woman would have sinse to see that belike I was the better man for not bein’ a fool afore marriage, afTd the less likely to be a divil afterwards. ’Twas a big oath I took, and niver in all thim years was they need of it, but this day, Katy darlin’,’ I says, makin’ me voice rich and sweet, and lookin’ at her in a way I’d learned was worth doin’, ‘but this day, Katy darlin’, the time has come on me ! The minute me eyes was blissed by the sight of ye cornin’ down the lane I begun sayin’ over and over to mesilf, “Patsy, me boy, Patsy, me boy, if ye move but wan inch from where ye are, ye’ll spind alf the rest of your life after
ye’re dead in purgatory!” And mesilf answers me back immediate, “And if ye let that girl go by, ye’ll spind it in a worse place, and God pity ye!” Faith, Katy dear, I’m cursin’ the day I made that big oath, for it’s glad I’d be to put me face in the dirt at your little feet, mavourneen,’ I says,, thinkin’ right in the middle of it what the bedivilled back of me would be lookin’ like if I was to do it, 'but I know ye’d not be havin’ me break me oath and I’m too much of a man for that, annyways,’ I inded up, sighin’ tremindous.
“It was a long speech, but a good wan, and it made the pretty face of her red as thim red flowers, whativer the name of thim is, and her lookin’ at me like she was tryin’ to see into me heart itsilf.
“ 'Are ye a lunytic ?’ says she, gaspin’ for breath. ,
' ‘Yis,’ says I, shakin’ wan of thim divil-chasin’ ants off me bare hand, 'but not till ye come,’ I says.
“And thin she comminced to laugh, though I couldn’t be tellin’ was it from the quick wit of me answer to her or just by reason of her bein’ a bit hysteric over the man’s strength of me courtin’. But me own face I kept lookin’ mortal sorrowful, though the whole of me was squirmin’ all over with the ants I could feel on me, and was they real or not I don’t know, but they might as well V been.
“But not all of it—thim armies of bugs and thim fool paintin’s on me back that kept me nailed down to wan spot like I was a lid to it—wasn’t holdin’ me from makin’ me way with a woman. She was pretindin’ to be a bit proud at the first, but I ixplained to her how me settin’ still was but a compliment to her and if she would be humorin’ me oath for the wan day, after that I would be crawlin’ around for her like all thim other fools did, which suited her complete and tremindous. It wasn’t long afore she come over close enough for me to be holdin’ wan of her hands, me still usin’ me free wan to knock off thim owdacious ants.
“ 'And now, Katy darlin’,’ says I, 'It’s business I’ll be havin’ in these
parts to-morrow and belike after that, and,’ I says, 'ye didn’t git all the berries they was, did ye, mavourneen? Couldn’t ye be cornin’ by here after more of thim to-morrow?’ I says, squeezin’ the soft hand of her, encouragin’.
" 'And do ye think Katy O’Grady has no more to do than go wanderin’ about waitin’ for some wan that will forgit he iver met her?’ says she.
“Whin I heard 'O’Grady’ me blood quit circulatin’.
“'Do ye think that?’ she goes on, lookin’ at me, pleadin’.
“ T ain’t thinkin’,’ I says. But I was, and at wanct me wits told me that if she was old man O’Grady’s daughter, here was me chanct to beat Dinis out after all by workin’ on the poor girl’s heart and makin’ an alley of her.
“ 'And is it Mr. Michael O’Grady is your father?’ I asks, careless-like.
“ 'The same,’ says she, 'and do ye know him?’
“Thin I told her as much of the truth as I thought would be doin’ her no harm, but also narratin’ imprissive how Dinnis had been after persuadin’ me to take a bit of a nap, me bein’ tired from workin’ so hard, and thin wint and slipped off to the old man, tellin’ him I was just a frind who’d come along for company, which would ’a’ been true if it had happened, and maybe it did.
“Annyways, I wint to work in earnest and if I’d been makin’ love to her afore, after that I fair drawed the heart out of her. It was almost like makin’ love to old man O’Grady himsilf, though the face and winnin’ ways of her was enough in thimsilves. I’m not the man to be boastin’ of such things, but it was but a short time till I could see mesilf in a polayceman’s uniform arrestin’ Dinnis for bein’ alive, goin’ home ivry night to me father-in-law’s sumpchus risidince in the country and sindin’ out the servants to kill all the ants they was on me estates.
“Thim ants was wonderful ristless, and by this time I could feel crowds of thim scramblin’ round all over me underneath me clothes, playin’ they
was Coney Island and Wall Street and eliction night all to wanct. I niver knowed they was so many ants, and ivry wan of thim was barefoot and diggin’ his toes in. The cold chills run up and down me back and me stummick felt like it was a Charlotte Roose. Ivry wanct in a while wan of thim would bite me, meanin’ no harm, but just investigatin'—and me all the time nailed down to the seat of me own trousies be thim painted and blaspheemus letters I was settin’ on, niver darin’ to move me back from the tree for all the ants nor all Katy’s inticin’ ways. Anny other man would ’a’ run screamin’ and clawin’ from the place, but me will power is me strong point, and I stayed where I was, makin’ love to a woman and the polayce force, and lyin’ like the father of all lies to prove all thim I’d told afore and was intindin’ to tell later on. But I will say this : If I was thrown into the tormints of hell this minute I would but wave me hand easy-like and make enemies on ivry side by findin’ fault with the feeble way they was doin’ things.
“Katy was makin’ it no easier for me. ‘Give ye a kiss, is it?’ says she, replyin’ to wan of me suggistions I’d made whilst tryin’ to siparate two of thim ants what had met on a street corner and was havin’ a free-for-all on me bare skin. ‘Come over and give ye a kiss, is it? And ye settin’ there mumblin’ about a oath ye took whin ye was drivin’ the pig home in the Old Country! And did ye take anny oath about makin’ the woman do the runnin’ after? Och, Patsy dear, if ye was meanin’ the half of what ye’ve been sayin’ to me—and faith, twould not be runnin’ after me to move over but the few feet they are atween us !’
“Can ye guess bein’ put like that, and me with the back of me lookin’ like a plate of alphabet soup ! And wouldn’t ‘Down with the Pope and Tammany!’ be a fine card for the daughter of Michael O’Grady, and her blushin’ and waitin’ for me to come and kiss her!
“At the sound of some wan cornin’
along the road I begun givin’ thanks to all the saints, wan by wan and all togither, and Katy come to her feet, grabbin’ up her berry pail, but afore she could reach the road she give a little squeal :
“ ‘Och,’ she says, stoppin’ in her tracks, ‘it’s me father himsilf !’
“And him it was, and Dinnis O’Toole, walkin’ arm in arm as thick as ye please.
“ ‘I’m glad of that same,’ says I. ‘Now do ye be leavin’ it all to me, Katy darlin’, and we’ll give Mr. O’Toole what he’s deservin’, bad scran to him, and me oath would ’a’ been busted to smithereens if they’d waited but the wan minute more !’
“Just thin old Mr. O’Grady claps his eyes on her. ‘And what are ye doin’ here, now,’ he calls out to her, ‘gabbin’ with a man what’s a stranger to ye. If I wasn’t knowin’ him too sicfl to move, I’d be boxin’ both thim ears of yours !’
“‘Sick?’ says she, lookin’ first at me and thin at him.
“ ‘Yis,’ says the old man, close to her by now, ‘he was so sick in the head of him that his frind Mr. O’Toole—had to leave him here like the doctor said, till he come to. And are ye feelin’ a bit better, Mr. Moran, and no offinse to ye?’ says he, lookin’ down at me ag’inst me tree.
“ ‘Sick !’ says she ag’in, disgusted, but barely noodin’ to Dinnis, who was bowin’ and scrapin’ to her with the eyes of him stickin’ out of his head. ‘Why,’ says she, ‘he was tellin’ me he’d took a oath—I was but passin’ the time of day to him as I wint by,’ she says, seein’ she was makin’ trouble for hersilf. ‘He said he’d took a oath to—to—but-’
“ ‘Oath ?’ says Dinnis, laughin’, the spalpeen ! ‘Faith, I’m bettin’ all me hopes of Paradise I can be guessin’ it was wan of two things ! Come, now, Patsy me boy,’ says he, actin’ like he was payin’ me a frindly compliment, ‘which wan was it? Have ye been swearin’ off ag’in on gallivantin’ after the girls, or is it the liquor ye put your oath on this time? ‘Sure,’ he says, turnin’ to the others, ‘It’s his tinder conscience makes me like him, and if
the girls would be leavin' him alone and he wasn’t so good-lookin’, he’d make less trouble for the hearts of thim. As regardin’ the liquor, now, I’m sayin’ but what-’
“ ‘Ye’re a murderin’ liar, Dinnis O’Toole!’ I yells at him whin I could catch me breath from the treach’ry of him, mixin’ the truth with black lies to ruin me chanct with Katy and the old man ! ‘If I could be gittin’ on me feet I’d break ivry bone in your sneakin’ body !’ I says, chokin’ with the rage that was on me and cursin’ the paint on me back that kept me from killin’ him.
“ ‘Oh,’ says he, swellin’ up the chist of him, ‘words is easy things, but I’d be makin’ ye eat thim ye’ve just spoke if ye wasn’t out of your head with the sickness, and can’t ye take a bit of jokin’ from a frind?’ he says. ‘And what is the matter with ye, annyways ?’
“Hell was hiven be the side of that minute. Here was that big lyin’ gomach insultin’ me and spoilin’ me last chanct with Katy and the polayce force, and me growin’ in the ground like I was a toadstool ! I could see she was talkin’ to Dinnis a bit from spite, believin’ I’d been desayvin’ of her and thinkin’ me a coward and a lunytic besides that, and O’Grady himsilf, the old spancelled goat, was regardin’ me like I was two lunytics and drunk wans at that. Dinnis, the wretch, was smilin’ wan of thim sweet smiles of his and whisperin’ to Katy confidential, seein’ himself on the polayce force foriver by reason of bein’ married to O’Grady’s own daughter. And that not bein’ enough to tormint me, I begun feelin’ thim ants ag’in crawlin’ all over me, furious.
“All to wanct me quick wits and me good judgmint come back to me and I seen that havin’ nothin’ to choose from’ they was but wan thing to do. I couldn’t in anny way look more of a fool than I was lookin’ already and I might as well be showin’ Dinnis up for another, and maybe, by destroyin’ his chanct with the both of thim, I could build up me own ag’in. And annyways, whin ye’ve fell from the
elivinth-storey window they ain’t no more can happen ye after hittin’ the ground.
“ ‘Listen, Mr. O’Grady, and you, Miss O’Grady,’ says I, lookin’ up at thim, and with the sound of me own voice I seen how fine me plan was and that Dinnis was as good as done for. ‘I’ll tell ye the whole truth from the beginnin’ and ye can judge atween the two of us !’
“At wanct Dinnis quit whisperin’ and wint a bit white in the face, but I wint right on, keepin’ me eyes on all three of thim and tellin’ thim all of it —how Dinnis betrayed our agreemint and painted thim blaspheemous letterin’s on me, so he could ruin me with his lyin’ tongue whilst I was helpless —me Irish pride keepin’ me from movin’ so anny wan could see me back —clean down to the liese just off the oily lips of him, but omittin’ about Katy and wan or two other things.
“It done me good to see O’Grady beginnin’ to scowl at Dinnis as I wint on with me story, though Katy laughed a bit wanct or twict. As for Dinnis himsilf, ye couldn’t tell what was goin’ inside him, but his face was red and his lips twitchin’ so I thought he was on the idge of cryin’.
“But the impidence of him! The minute the last word was out of me mouth he steps up to old man O’Grady, bold as ye please, though his mouth was still trimblin’ round the corners.
“ ‘Mr. O’Grady,’ says he, his voice shakin’, ‘whin ye are through listenin’ to me ixcited frind Mr. Moran, I’ll be askin’ another word with ye about whin I’m to join the force. And at the same time, sor,’ he says, sinkin’ his voice so Katy couldn’t hear him, but I could, bein’ nearer, ‘and at the same time, sor,’ says he, easy and cheerful, ‘I’ll be askin’ your permission to pay me court to your daughter !’
“Old man O’Grady spun round on him and give him a look like he would bite him, and Dinnis turned his back and run, throwin’ himsilf down on the ground a little ways off and rollin’ about with his face covered with his hands and his body shakin’ like his
troubles was murderin’ him. The old man turned to me wanct more :
“ 'Git up, thin, and let’s see thim letters on ye, me frind,’ says O’Grady.
" 'Faith,’ I says, blushin’, 'they’re that humiliaytin’ I ain’t seen thim mesilf, but the same’s none of me own for all that, though I’m wishin’ Miss O’Grady would be lookin’ the other way/ I says, gittin’ up slow by reason of wan of me legs bein’ asleep, and turnin’ me back round to him.
"Just thin Dinnis let out a laugh like he was a lunytic entirely and the nixt minute O’Grady busted out himsilf and Katy joined in with thim, laughin’ so it made me weak with the shame of it !
"I made wan grab at me coat, tearin’ it off me and twistin’ round at the same time to see the backs of me legs, and—so hilp me hiven, they wasn’t a mark on me !”
’Tis Even So
Our fool treatment, of Canada is another illustration of what our legislators can accomplish. The Dominion has now made up her mind to treat us to as harsh laws as can be devised, and her decision is wise and right. For a quarter of a century she has waited patiently, while one President after another, and one Secretary of State after another, devised treaties intended for the mutual benefit of Canada and the United States. Every time the Senate, imagining itself to exist for sequestering benefits desired by the well-intrenched, has protected its clients against the administration and the people. Calmly, at length, Canadian leaders have seen that no fair measure of reciprocity could ever pass the Senate, and she has decided to do all in1 her power to stop trade with us, to develop it with England and her other colonies ; to favor all Europe against the United States, to develop her own incalculable resources. We wish her well. Whatever harm our ass policy brings to us has been fully and painstakingly deserved.