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The Water Goats
by [?]

“Ya!” said Grevemeyer, nodding his head solemnly. “You took such a drink!”

“Sure,” said Toole, arranging his vest. “Grevemeyer saw me take th’ drink–an now I have no mimory of dongolas at all. If ye was t’ show me a chromo of wan I wouldn’t know was it a dongola or what. I’m ashamed of ye, Casey!”

“If ye done it, Casey, ye hadn’t have ought t’ have done it,” said Dugan reprovingly. “Th’ mind of him might be ruined intirely.”

“Stop, Dugan!” said Toole hastily. “I forgive him. Me mind will likely be all right by mornin’. ‘Tis purty good yit, ixcipt on th’ subjict of dongolas. I’m timporarily out of remimbrance what dongolas is. ‘Tis odd how thim knock-out drops works, Grevemeyer.”

“Ya!” said the alderman unsuspectingly, “gifing such a forgetfulness on such easy things as dongolas.”

“Sure! You tell Dugan what dongolas is, Grevemeyer,” said Toole quickly.

Grevemeyer looked at his glass thoughtfully. His mind worked slowly always, but he saw that it would not do for him to have knock-out drops so soon after Toole.

“Ach!” he exclaimed angrily. “You are insulting to me mit such questions Toole. So much will I tell you–never ask Germans what is dongolas. It is not for Germans to talk about such things. Ask Casey.”

Casey scratched his head thoughtfully.

“Dongolas?” he repeated. “I have heard th’ word, Grevemeyer. Wait a bit! ‘Tis something about shoes. Sure! I remimber, now! ‘Twas dongola shoes wan of me kids had, last winter, an’ no good they were, too. Dongolas is shoes, Grevemeyer–laced shoes–dongolas is laced shoes.”

The big mayor leaned his head far back and laughed long and loud. He pounded on the bar with his fist, and slapped Toole on the back.

“Laced shoes!” he cried, wiping his eyes, and then he became suddenly serious. “‘Twould not be shoes, Casey,” he said gravely. “Thim dongolas was ricomminded by th’ landscape-gardener from New Yorrk. ‘Twould not be sinsible t’ ricommind us put a pair of laced shoes in th’ park lake fer th’ kids t’ ride on.”

“‘Twould not seem so,” said Toole, shaking his head wisely. “I wisht me mind was like it always is. ‘Tis a pity–“

“Stop!” cried Casey. “I have it! Thim was kid shoes. Thim dongolas was kid shoes.”

“So said, Casey,” said Duo’an “For th’ kid.”

“No,” said Casey, “of th’ kid.”

“Sure!” said Gravemeyer. “So it is–the shoes of the child.”

“Right fer ye!” exclaimed Casey. “Th’ kid shoes of th’ kid. ‘Twas kid leather they were made out of, Dugan. Th’ dongola is some fancy kind of a goat. Like box-calf is th’ skin of th’ calf of th’ box-cow. Th’ dongola is some foreign kind of a goat, Dugan.”

“Ho, ho-o-o!” cried Toole, suddenly, knocking on his forehead with the knuckles of his fist. The three men turned their eyes upon him and stared.

“What ails ye now, Mike?” asked Dugan, disgustedly.

“Ho-o-o!” he cried again, slapping himself on the top of his head. “Me mind is comm’ back t’ me, Dugan! Th’ effects of th’ knock-out drops is wearin’ off! I recall now that th’ dongola is some fancy kind of a goat. ‘Twill all come back t’ me soon.

“Go along wid ye!” exclaimed Dugan. “Would ye be puttin’ a goat in th’ lake for th’ kids t’ ride on?”

“Sure!” said Toole enthusiastically. “Sure I would, Dugan. Not th’ common goat I wouldn’t. But dongola goats I would. Have ye heard of dongola water goats, Casey? Was thim dongola goat skin shoes warranted t’ be water-proof?”

Casey wrinkled his brow.

“‘Tis like they was, Toole,” he said doubtfully. “‘Tis like they was warranted t’ be, but they wasn’t.”

“Sure!” cried Toole joyously. “‘Tis water-proof th’ skin of th’ dongola water goats is, like th’ skin of th’ duck. An’ swim? A duck isn’t in it wid a water goat. I remimber seein’ thim in ould Ireland whin I was a bye, Dugan, swimmin in th’ lake of Killarney. Ah, ’twas a purty picture.”

“I seem t’ remimber thim mesilf,” he said. “Not clear, but a bit.”