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PAGE 2

The Water Goats
by [?]

“I have not,” said Toole. “I was thinkin’ ‘twould be good t’ think it over a bit, Dugan. Mebby ‘twould be best t’ git thim at Chicagy.” He looked anxiously at the mayor’s face, hoping for some sign of approval or disapproval, but the mayor’s face was noncommittal. “But mebby it wouldn’t,” concluded Toole. As a feeler he added: “Would ye be wantin’ me t’ have thim made here, Dugan?”

The big mayor patted Toole on the shoulder indulgently.

“It’s up t’ you, Mike,” he said. “Ye know th’ way Dugan does things, an’ th’ way he likes thim done. I trust thim that I kin trust, an’ whin I put a man on committee I’m done wid th’ thing. Of coorse,” he added, putting his mouth close to Toole’s ear, and winking at Grevemeyer, “ye will see that there is a rake-off for me an’ th’ byes.”

“Sure!” said Toole.

The big mayor turned back to the bar and took a drink from his glass. Grevemeyer took a drink from his glass, also. So did Toole, gravely. Dugan wiped his mouth on the back of his hand and turned to Toole again.

“Mike,” he said, “what do ye think? Mebby ‘twould do as well t’ git a couple of sicond-hand dongolas an’ have thim painted up. If they was in purty good shape no wan would know th’ difference, an’ ‘twould make a bit more rake-off fer th’ byes, mebby.”

“Th’ same word was on th’ ind o’ me tongue, Dugan,” said Toole, nodding his head slowly. “I was considerin’ this very minute where I could lay me hand on a couple of purty good dongolas that has not been used much. Flannagan could paint thim up fine!”

“Or Stoltzenau could do such paintings,” interposed Grevemeyer.

“Sure!” agreed the big mayor. He toyed with his glass a moment. “Mike,” he said suddenly, “what th’ divil is a dongola, anyhow?”

Mike Toole was just raising his glass to his lips with the movements of one accustomed to hold conversation with the mayor. His left hand rested on his hip, with his arm akimbo, and his hat was tipped carelessly to the back of his head. The hand raising his glass stopped short where it was when he heard the mayor’s question. He frowned at the glass–scowled at it angrily.

“A dongola, Dugan”–he said slowly, and stopped. “A dongola”–he repeated. “A dongola–did ye ask me what a dongola might be, Dugan?”

The big mayor nodded, and Grevemeyer leaned forward to catch the answer. Casey, too, leaned on his bar and listened. Alderman Toole raised his glass to his lips and filled his mouth with the liquor. Instantly he dashed the glass furiously to the floor. He jerked off his hat and cast it into a far corner and pulled off his coat, throwing it after his hat. He was climbing on to the bar when the big mayor and Grevemeyer laid their hands on the little man and held him tightly. The big mayor shook him once and set him on the floor.

“Mike!” said the big mayor. “What’s th’ matter wid ye? What are ye goin’ afther Casey that way for? Is it crazy ye are? Or have ye gone insane?”

“Knock-out drops!” shouted Toole, shaking his fist at Casey, who looked down at him in astonishment. “Knock-out drops! I will have th’ law on ye, Casey. I will have th’ joint closed! I’ll teach ye t’ be givin’ knock-out drops t’ th’ aldermin of th’ city!”

“Mike!” cried the big mayor, giving him another vigorous shake. “Shut up wid ye! Casey wouldn’t be givin’ ye annything that wasn’t good for ye. Casey wouldn’t be givin’ ye knock-out drops.”

“No?” whispered Mike angrily. “No? Wouldn’t he, Dugan? An’ what has he done t’ me mimory, then, Dugan? What has he put in th’ drink t’ rob me of me mimory? Wan minute ago I knew as well anny other man what a dongola is like, an’ now I have no mimory of anny dongolas at all. Wan minute ago I could have told ye th’ whole history of dongolas, from th’ time of Adam up till now, an’ have drawed a picture of wan that annywan could recognize–an’ now I wouldn’t know wan if ye was show it t’ me! I was about t’ tell ye th’ whole history of dongolas, Dugan; ’twas on th’ ind of me tongue t’ give ye a talk on dongolas, whin I took a drink. Ye saw me take a drink, Grevemeyer?”