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"Pigs Is Pigs"
by [?]

Mrs. Morehouse jumped, guiltily. She never used ink. She had not seen the ink, nor moved the ink, nor thought of the ink, but her husband’s tone convicted her of the guilt of having borne and reared a boy, and she knew that whenever her husband wanted anything in a loud voice the boy had been at it.

“I’ll find Sammy,” she said meekly.

When the ink was found Mr. Morehouse wrote rapidly, and he read the completed letter and smiled a triumphant smile.

“That will settle that crazy Irishman!” he exclaimed. “When they get that letter he will hunt another job, all right!”

A week later Mr. Morehouse received a long official envelope with the card of the Interurban Express Company in the upper left corner. He tore it open eagerly and drew out a sheet of paper. At the top it bore the number A6754. The letter was short. “Subject–Rate on guinea-pigs,” it said, “Dr. Sir–We are in receipt of your letter regarding rate on guinea-pigs between Franklin and Westcote addressed to the president of this company. All claims for overcharge should be addressed to the Claims Department.”

Mr. Morehouse wrote to the Claims Department. He wrote six pages of choice sarcasm, vituperation and argument, and sent them to the Claims Department.

A few weeks later he received a reply from the Claims Department. Attached to it was his last letter.

“Dr. Sir,” said the reply. “Your letter of the 16th inst., addressed to this Department, subject rate on guinea-pigs from Franklin to Westcote, ree’d. We have taken up the matter with our agent at Westcote, and his reply is attached herewith. He informs us that you refused to receive the consignment or to pay the charges. You have therefore no claim against this company, and your letter regarding the proper rate on the consignment should be addressed to our Tariff Department.”

Mr. Morehouse wrote to the Tariff Department. He stated his case clearly, and gave his arguments in full, quoting a page or two from the encyclopedia to prove that guinea-pigs were not common pigs.

With the care that characterizes corporations when they are systematically conducted, Mr. Morehouse’s letter was numbered, O.K’d, and started through the regular channels. Duplicate copies of the bill of lading, manifest, Flannery’s receipt for the package and several other pertinent papers were pinned to the letter, and they were passed to the head of the Tariff Department.

The head of the Tariff Department put his feet on his desk and yawned. He looked through the papers carelessly.

“Miss Kane,” he said to his stenographer, “take this letter. ‘Agent, Westcote, N. J. Please advise why consignment referred to in attached papers was refused domestic pet rates.”‘

Miss Kane made a series of curves and angles on her note book and waited with pencil poised. The head of the department looked at the papers again.

“Huh! guinea-pigs!” he said. “Probably starved to death by this time! Add this to that letter: ‘Give condition of consignment at present.'”

He tossed the papers on to the stenographer’s desk, took his feet from his own desk and went out to lunch.

When Mike Flannery received the letter he scratched his head.

“Give prisint condition,” he repeated thoughtfully. “Now what do thim clerks be wantin’ to know, I wonder! ‘Prisint condition, ‘is ut? Thim pigs, praise St. Patrick, do be in good health, so far as I know, but I niver was no veternairy surgeon to dago pigs. Mebby thim clerks wants me to call in the pig docther an’ have their pulses took. Wan thing I do know, howiver, which is they’ve glorious appytites for pigs of their soize. Ate? They’d ate the brass padlocks off of a barn door I If the paddy pig, by the same token, ate as hearty as these dago pigs do, there’d be a famine in Ireland.”

To assure himself that his report would be up to date, Flannery went to the rear of the office and looked into the cage. The pigs had been transferred to a larger box–a dry goods box.