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"Pigs Is Pigs"
by [?]

“Wan, — two, — t’ree, — four, — five, — six, — sivin, — eight!” he counted. “Sivin spotted an’ wan all black. All well an’ hearty an’ all eatin’ loike ragin’ hippypottymusses. He went back to his desk and wrote.

“Mr. Morgan, Head of Tariff Department,” he wrote. “Why do I say dago pigs is pigs because they is pigs and will be til you say they ain’t which is what the rule book says stop your jollying me you know it as well as I do. As to health they are all well and hoping you are the same. P. S. There are eight now the family increased all good eaters. P. S. I paid out so far two dollars for cabbage which they like shall I put in bill for same what?”

Morgan, head of the Tariff Department, when he received this letter, laughed. He read it again and became serious.

“By George!” he said, “Flannery is right, ‘pigs is pigs.’ I’ll have to get authority on this thing. Meanwhile, Miss Kane, take this letter: Agent, Westcote, N. J. Regarding shipment guinea-pigs, File No. A6754. Rule 83, General Instruction to Agents, clearly states that agents shall collect from consignee all costs of provender, etc., etc., required for live stock while in transit or storage. You will proceed to collect same from consignee.”

Flannery received this letter next morning, and when he read it he grinned.

“Proceed to collect,” he said softly. “How thim clerks do loike to be talkin’! Me proceed to collect two dollars and twinty-foive cints off Misther Morehouse! I wonder do thim clerks know Misther Morehouse? I’ll git it! Oh, yes! ‘Misther Morehouse, two an’ a quarter, plaze.’ ‘Cert’nly, me dear frind Flannery. Delighted!’ Not!”

Flannery drove the express wagon to Mr. Morehouse’s door. Mr. Morehouse answered the bell.

“Ah, ha!” he cried as soon as he saw it was Flannery. “So you’ve come to your senses at last, have you? I thought you would! Bring the box in.”

“I hev no box,” said Flannery coldly. “I hev a bill agin Misther John C. Morehouse for two dollars and twinty-foive cints for kebbages aten by his dago pigs. Wud you wish to pay ut?”

“Pay–Cabbages–!” gasped Mr. Morehouse. “Do you mean to say that two little guinea-pigs–“

“Eight!” said Flannery. “Papa an’ mamma an’ the six childer. Eight!”

For answer Mr. Morehouse slammed the door in Flannery’s face. Flannery looked at the door reproachfully.

“I take ut the con-sign-y don’t want to pay for thim kebbages,” he said. “If I know signs of refusal, the con-sign-y refuses to pay for wan dang kebbage leaf an’ be hanged to me!”

Mr. Morgan, the head of the Tariff Department, consulted the president of the Interurban Express Company regarding guinea-pigs, as to whether they were pigs or not pigs. The president was inclined to treat the matter lightly.

“What is the rate on pigs and on pets?” he asked.

“Pigs thirty cents, pets twenty-five,” said Morgan.

“Then of course guinea-pigs are pigs,” said the president.

“Yes,” agreed Morgan, “I look at it that way, too. A thing that can come under two rates is naturally due to be classed as the higher. But are guinea-pigs, pigs? Aren’t they rabbits?”

“Come to think of it,” said the president, “I believe they are more like rabbits. Sort of half-way station between pig and rabbit. I think the question is this–are guinea-pigs of the domestic pig family? I’ll ask professor Gordon. He is authority on such things. Leave the papers with me.”

The president put the papers on his desk and wrote a letter to Professor Gordon. Unfortunately the Professor was in South America collecting zoological specimens, and the letter was forwarded to him by his wife. As the Professor was in the highest Andes, where no white man had ever penetrated, the letter was many months in reaching him. The president forgot the guinea-pigs, Morgan forgot them, Mr. Morehouse forgot them, but Flannery did not. One-half of his time he gave to the duties of his agency; the other half was devoted to the guinea-pigs. Long before Professor Gordon received the president’s letter Morgan received one from Flannery.