ON THE PHILIPPINES
Mr. Dooley in peace and in war
Finley Peter Dunne
"I know what I'd do if I was Mack," said Mr. Hennessy. "I'd hist a flag over th' Ph'lippeens, an' I'd take in th' whole lot iv thim."
"An' yet," said Mr. Dooley, "tis not more thin two months since ye larned whether they were islands or canned goods. Ye'er back yard is so small that ye'er cow can't turn r-round without buttin' th' wood- shed off th' premises, an' ye wudden't go out to th' stock yards without takin' out a policy on yer life. Suppose ye was standin' at th' corner iv State Sthreet an' Archey R-road, wud ye know what car to take to get to th' Ph'lippeens? If yer son Packy was to ask ye where th' Ph'lippeens is, cud ye give him anny good idea whether they was in Rooshia or jus' west iv th' thracks?"
"Mebbe I cudden't," said Mr. Hennessy, haughtily, " but I'm f r takin' thim in, annyhow."
"So might I be," said Mr. Dooley, "if I cud on'y get me mind on it. Wan iv the worst things about this here war is th' way it's makin' puzzles f'r our poor, tired heads. Whin I wint into it, I thought all I'd have to do was to set up here behind th' bar with a good tin-cint see-gar in me teeth, an' toss dinnymite bombs into th' hated city iv Havana. But look at me now. Th' war is still goin' on; an' ivry night, whin I'm countin' up the cash, I'm askin' mesilf will I annex Cubia or lave it to the Cubians? Will I take Porther Ricky or put it by?
An' what shud I do with the Ph'lippeens? Oh, what shud I do with thim? I can't annex thim because I don't know where they ar-re. I can't let go iv thim because some wan else'll take thim if I do. They are eight thousan' iv thim islands, with a popylation iv wan hundherd millyon naked savages; an' me bedroom's crowded now with me an' th' bed. How can I take thim in, an' how on earth am I goin' to cover th' nakedness iv thim savages with me wan shoot iv clothes? An' yet 'twud break me heart to think iv givin' people I niver see or heerd tell iv back to other people I don't know.
An', if I don't take thim, Schwartzmeister down th' sthreet, that has half me thrade already, will grab thim sure.
"It ain't that I'm afraid iv not doin' th' r-right thing in th' end, Hinnissy. Some mornin' I'll wake up an' know jus' what to do, an' that I'll do. But 'tis th' annoyance in th' mane time. I've been r-readin' about th' counthry. 'Tis over beyant ye'er left shoulder whin ye're facin' east. Jus' throw ye'er thumb back, an' ye have it as ac'rate as anny man in town. 'Tis farther thin Boohlgahrya an' not so far as Blewchoochoo. It's near Chiny, an' it's not so near; an', if a man was to bore a well through fr'm Goshen, Indianny, he might sthrike it, an' thin again he might not. It's a poverty-sthricken counthry, full iv goold an' precious stones, where th' people can pick dinner off th' threes an' ar-re starvin' because they have no step-ladders.
Th' inhabitants is mostly naygurs an' Chinnymen, peaceful, industhrus, an' law-abidin', but savage an' bloodthirsty in their methods. They wear no clothes except what they have on, an' each woman has five husbands an' each man has five wives. Th'r-rest goes into th' discard, th' same as here. Th' islands has been ownded be Spain since befure th' fire; an' she's threated thim so well they're now up in ar-rms again her, except a majority iv thim which is thurly loyal. Th' natives seldom fight, but whin they get mad at wan another they r-run-a-muck. Whin a man r-runs-a-muck, some-times they hang him an' sometimes they discharge him an' hire a new motorman.
Th' women ar-re beautiful, with languishin' black eyes, an' they smoke see-gars, but ar-re hurried an' incomplete in their dhress. I see a pitcher iv wan th' other day with nawthin' on her but a basket of cocoanuts an' a hoop-skirt. They're no prudes. We import juke, hemp, cigar wrappers, sugar, an' fairy tales fr'm th' Ph'lippeens, an' export six-inch shells an' th' like. Iv late th' Ph'lippeens has awaked to th' fact that they're behind th' times, an' has received much American amminition in their midst. They say th' Spanyards is all tore up about it.
"I larned all this fr'm th' papers, an' I know 'tis sthraight. An' yet, Hinnissy, I dinnaw what to do about th' Ph'lippeens. An' I'm all alone in th' wurruld. Ivrybody else has made up his mind. Ye ask anny con-ducthor on Ar-rchy R-road, an' he'll tell ye. Ye can find out fr'm the papers; an', if ye really want to know, all ye have to do is to ask a prom'nent citizen who can mow all th' lawn he owns with a safety razor. But I don't know."
"Hang on to thim," said Mr. Hennessy, stoutly. "What we've got we must hold."
"Well," said Mr. Dooley, "if I was Mack, I'd lave it to George. I'd say: 'George,' I'd say,'if ye're f'r hangin' on, hang on it is. If ye say, lave go, I dhrop thim.' 'Twas George won thim with th' shells, an' th' question's up to him."
"It looks to me," said Mr. Dooley, "as though me frind Mack'd got tired iv th' Sthrateejy Board, an' was goin' to lave th' war to th' men in black." "How's that?" asked Mr. Hennessy, who has at best but a clouded view of public affairs.
"Well," said Mr. Dooley, "while th' sthrateejans have been wearin' out their jeans on cracker - boxes in Wash'n'ton, they'se been goin' on th' mos' deadly conflict iver heerd tell iv between th' pow'rful preachin' navies iv th' two counthries. Manila is nawthin' at all to th' scenes iv carnage an' slaughter, as Hogan says, that's been brought about be these desthroyers. Th' Spanyards fired th' openin' gun whin th' bishop iv Cades, a pow'rful turreted monitor (ol' style), attackted us with both for'ard guns, an' sint a storm iv brimstone an' hell into us. But th' victhry was not fr long with th' hated Spanyard. He was answered be our whole fleet iv preachers.
Thin he was jined be th' bishop iv Barsaloona an' th' bishop iv Mahdrid an' th' bishop iv Havana, all battle-ships iv th' first class, followed be a fleet iv cruisers r-runnin' all th' way fr'm a full-ar-rmored vicar gin'ral to a protected parish priest. To meet thim, we sint th' bishop iv New York, th' bishop iv Philadelphia, th' bishop iv Baltimore, an' th' bishop iv Chicago, ac- companied be a flyin' squadhron iv Methodists, three Presbyteryan monitors, a fleet iv Baptist submarine desthroyers, an' a formidable array iv Universalist an' Unitaryan torpedo boats, with a Jew r-ram.
Manetime th' bishop iv Manila had fired a solid prayer, weighin' a ton, at San Francisco; an' a masked batthry iv Congregationalists replied, inflictin' severe damage. Our At- lantic fleet is now sarchin' f'r th' inimy, an' the bishop iv New York is blockadin' th' bishop iv Sandago de Cuba; an' they'se been an exchange iv prayers between th' bishop iv Baltimore an' th' bishop iv Ha- vana without much damage.
"Th' Lord knows how it'll come out. First wan side prays that th' wrath iv Hiven'll descind on th' other, an' thin th' other side returns th' compliment with in-threst. Th' Spanish bishop says we're a lot iv murdherin', irreligious thieves, an' ought to be swept fr'm th' face iv th' earth. We say his people ar-re th' same, an' manny iv thim. He wishes Hivin to sink our ships an' desthroy our men; an' we hope he'll injye th' same gr-reat blessin'. We have a shade th' best iv him, f'r his fleets ar-re all iv th' same class an' ol' style, an' we have some iv th' most modhern prayin' machines in the warruld; but he prays har-rd, an' 'tis no aisy wurruk to silence him."
"What d'ye think about it?" asked Mr. Hennessy.
"Well," said Mr. Dooley, "I dinnaw jus' what to think iv it. Me own idee is that war is not a matther iv prayers so much as a matther iv punchin'; an' th' on'y place a prayer book stops a bullet is in th' story books. 'Tis like what Father Kelly said. Three weeks ago las' Sundah he met Hogan; an' Hogan, wantin' to be smart, ast him if he'd offered up prayers f'r th' success iv th' cause. 'Faith, I did not,' says th' good man. 'I was in too much iv a hurry to get away.'
'What was th' matther?' ast Hogan. 'I had me uniform to brush up an' me soord to polish,' says Father Kelly. 'I am goin' with th' rig'mint to-morrah,' he says; an' he says, 'If ye hear iv me waitin' to pray,' he says, 'anny time they'se a call f'r me,' he says, 'to be in a fight,' he says, 'ye may conclude,' he says, ' that I've lost me mind, an' won't be back to me parish,' he says.
'Hogan,' he says, 'I'll go into th' battle with a prayer book in wan hand an' a soord in th' other,' he says; 'an,' if th' wurruk calls f'r two hands, 'tis not th' soord I'll dhrop,' he says.
'Don't ye believe in prayer?' says Hogan. 'I do,'says th'good man; 'but,' he says, 'a healthy person ought,' he says, 'to be ashamed,' he says, 'to ask f'r help in a fight,' he says." "That's th' way I look at it," said Mr. Hennessy. "When 'tis an aven thing in th' prayin', may th' best man win." "Ye're r-right, Hinnissy," said Mr. Doo- ley, warmly. "Ye're r-right. An' th' best man will win."
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