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Being the substance of a Dooley dialogue dreamed by Greenwich Place, Esq.
“I must see him,” said Dolly, rising suddenly from her chair and walking to the window. “I really must, you know.”
“Who?” I asked, rousing myself from the lethargy into which my morning paper had thrust me. It was not grammatical of me—I was somewhat under the influence of newspaper English—but Dolly is quick to understand. “Must see who?” I continued.
“Who indeed?” cried Dolly, gazing at me in mock surprise. “How stupid of you! If I went to Rome and said I must see him, you’d know I must mean the Pope; if I went to Berlin and said I must see it, you’d know I meant the Emperor. Therefore, when I come to Chicago and say that I must see him, you ought to be able to guess that I mean—”
“Mr. Dooley?” I ventured, at a guess.
“Good for you!” cried Dolly, clapping her hands together joyously; and then she hummed bewitchingly, “The Boy Guessed Right the Very First Time,” until I begged her to desist. When Dolly claps her hands and hums, she becomes a vision of loveliness that would give the most confirmed misogynist palpitation of the heart, and I had no wish to die.
“Do you suppose I could call upon him without being thought too unconventional?” she blurted out in a moment.
“You can do anything,” said I, admiringly. “That is, with me to help,” I added, for I should be sorry if Dolly were to grow conceited. “Perhaps it would be better to have Mr. Dooley call upon you. Suppose you send him your card, and put ‘at home’ on it? I fancy that would fetch him.”
“Happy thought!” said Dolly. “Only I haven’t one. In the excitement of our elopement I forgot to get any. Suppose I write my name on a blank card and send it?”
“Excellent,” said I.
And so it happened; the morning’s mail took out an envelope addressed to Mr. Dooley, and containing a bit of pasteboard upon which was written, in the charming hand of Dolly:
Mrs. R. Dolly-Rassendyll.
The response was gratifyingly immediate.
The next morning Dolly’s mail contained Mr. Dooley’s card, which read as follows:
Every Day. Archie Road.
“Which means?” said Dolly, tossing the card across the table to me.
“That if you want to see Dooley you’ll have to call upon him at his place of business. It’s a saloon, I believe,” I observed. “Or a club—most American saloons are clubs, I understand.”
“I wonder if there’s a ladies’ day there?” laughed Dolly. “If there isn’t, perhaps I’d better not.”
And I of course agreed, for when Dolly thinks perhaps she’d better not, I always agree with her, particularly when the thing is a trifle unconventional.
“I am sorry,” she said, as we reached the conclusion. “To visit Chicago without meeting Mr. Dooley strikes me as like making the Mediterranean trip without seeing Gibraltar.”
But we were not to be disappointed, after all, for that afternoon who should call but the famous philosopher himself, accompanied by his friend Mr. Hennessey. They were ushered into our little parlor, and Dolly received them radiantly.
“Iv coorse,” said Dooley, “I hatter come t’ see me new-found cousin. Hennessey here says, he says, ‘She ain’t yer cousin,’ he says; but whin I read yer car-r-rd over th’ second time, an’ see yer na-a-ame was R. Dooley-Rassendyll, wid th’ hifalution betwixt th’ Dooley an’ th’ Rassendyll, I says, ‘Hennessey,’ I says, ‘that shmall bit iv a coupler in that na-a-ame means only wan thing,’ I says. ‘Th’ la-ady,’ I says, ‘was born a Dooley, an’ ’s prood iv it,’ I says, ‘as she’d ought to be,’ I says. ‘Shure enough,’ says Hennessey; ‘but they’s Dooleys an’ Dooleys,’ he says. ‘Is she Roscommon or Idunnaw?’ he says. ‘I dinnaw meself,’ I says, ‘but whichiver she is,’ I says, ‘I’m goin’ to see her,’ I says. ‘Anny wan that can feel at home in a big hotel like the Hippojorium,’ I says, ‘is wort’ lookin’ at, if only for the curawsity of it,’ I says. Are ye here for long?”
“We are just passing through,” said Dolly, with a pleased smile.
“It’s a gud pla-ace for that,” said Dooley. “Thim as pass troo Chicago ginerally go awaa pleased, an’ thim as stays t’ink it’s th’ only pla-ace in th’ worruld, gud luk to ’em! for, barrin’ Roscommon an’ New York, it’s th’ only pla-ace I have anny use for. Is yer hoosband anny relation t’ th’ dood in the Prizner iv Cinders?”
I laughed quietly, but did not resent the implication. I left Dolly to her fate.
“He is the very same person,” said Dolly.
“I t’ought as much,” said Dooley, eying me closely. “Th’ strorberry mark on his hair sort of identified him,” he added. “Cousin Roopert, I ta-ak ye by the hand. Ye was a bra-ave lad in th’ first book, an’ a dom’d fool in th’ second; but I read th’ second first, and th’ first lasht, so whin I left ye ye was all right. I t’ought ye was dead?”
“No,” said I. “I am only dead in the sense that Mr. Hope has no further use for me.”
“A wise mon, that Mr. Ant’ny Hawp,” said Dooley. “Whin I write me book,” he continued, “I’m goin’ t’ shtop short whin folks have had enough.”
“Oh, indeed!” cried Dolly, enthusiastically. “Are you writing a book, Mr. Dooley? I am so glad.”
“Yis,” said Dooley, deprecatingly, yet pleased by Dolly’s enthusiasm. “I’m half finished already. That is to say, I’ve made th’ illusthrations. An’ the publishers have accepted the book on th’ stringth iv them.”
“Really?” said Dolly. “Do you really draw?”
“Nawm,” said Dooley. “I niver drew a picture in me life.”
“He draws corks,” put in Hennessey. “He’s got a pull that bates—”
“Hennessey,” interrupted Mr. Dooley, “since whin have ye been me funnygraph? Whin me cousin ashks me riddles, I’ll tell her th’ answers. G’ down-shtairs an’ get a cloob san’wich an’ ate yourself to death. Char-rge it to—er—char-rge it to Misther Rassendyll here—me cousin Roop, be marritch. He looks liks a soft t’ing.”
Hennessey subsided and showed an inclination to depart, and I, not liking to see a well-meaning person thus sat upon, tried to be pleasant to him.
“Don’t go just yet, Mr. Hennessey,” said I. “I should like to talk to you.”
“Mr. Rassendyll,” he replied, “I’m not goin’ just yet, but an invitation to join farces with one iv the Hippojorium’s cloob sandwhiches is too much for me. I must accept. Phwat is the noomber iv your shweet?”
I gave him the number, and Hennessey departed. Before he went, however, he comforted me somewhat by saying that he too was “a puppit in th’ han’s iv an auter. Ye’ve got to do,” said he, “whativer ye’re sint t’ do. I’m told ye’ve killed a million Germans—bless ye!—but ye’re nawthin’ but a facthory hand afther all. I’m th’ background iv Dooley. If Dooley wants to be smar-rt, I’ve got t’ play th’ fool. It’s the same with you; only you’ve had yer chance at a printcess, later on pla-acin’ the la-ady in a ’nonymous p’sition—which is enough for anny man, Dooley or no Dooley.”
Hennessey departed in search of his club sandwich, which was subsequently alluded to in my bill, and for which I paid with pleasure, for Hennessey is a good fellow. I then found myself listening to the conversation between Dolly and Dooley.
“Roscommon, of course,” Dolly was saying. What marvellous adaptability that woman has! “How could you think, my dear cousin, that I belonged to the farmer Dooleys?”
“I t’ought as much,” said Mr. Dooley, genially, “now that I’ve seen ye. Whin you put th’ wor-rds ‘at home’ on yer car-rd, I had me doots. No Dooley iv th’ right sor-rt iver liked annyt’ing a landlord gave him; an’ whin y’ expreshed satisfaction wid th’ Hippojorium, I didn’t at first t’ink ye was a true Dooley. Since I’ve seen ye, I love ye properly, ma’am—like th’ cousin I am. I’ve read iv ye, just as I’ve read iv yer hoosband, Cousin Roopert here be marritch, in th’ biojographies of Mr. Ant’ny Hawp, an’ while I cudn’t help likin’ ye, I must say I didn’t t’ink ye was very deep on th’ surface, an’ when I read iv your elopin’ with Cousin Roop, I says to Hennessey, I says, ‘Hennessey,’ I says, ‘that’s all right, they’d bote iv ’em better die, but let us not be asashinators,’ I says; ‘let ’em be joined in marritch. That’s punishment enough,’ I says to Hennessey. Ye see, Miss Dooley, I have been marrit meself.”
“But I have found married life far from punishment,” I heard Dolly say. “I fear you’re a sad pessimist, Mr. Dooley,” she added.
“I’m not,” Mr. Dooley replied. “I’m a Jimmycrat out an’ out, if ye refer to me politics; but if your remark is a reflection on me religion, let me tell ye, ma’am, that, like all me countrymen in this beautiful land, I’m a Uni-tarrian, an’ prood iv it.”
I ventured to interpose at this point.
“Dooley,” said I, “your cousin Roop, as you call him, is very glad to meet you, whatever your politics or your religion.”
“Mosht people are,” said he, dryly.
“That shows good taste,” said I. “But how about your book? It has been accepted on the strength of its illustrations, you say. How about them? Can we see them anywhere? Are they on exhibition?”
“You can not only see thim, but you can drink ’em free anny time you come out to Archie Road,” Dooley replied, cordially.
“Drink—a picture?” I asked.
“Yis,” said Dooley. “Didn’t ye iver hear iv dhrinkin’ in a picture, Cousin Roopert? Didn’t ye hear th’ tark about th’ ‘Angelus’ whin ’twas here? Ye cud hear th’ bells ringin’ troo th’ paint iv it. Ye cud almost hear th’ couple in front just back iv th’ varnish quar’lin as t’whether ’twas th’ Angelus er the facthery bell that was goin’ off. ’Twas big an’ little felt th’ inflooance iv Misther Miller’s jaynius, just be lukin’ at ut—though as fer me, th’ fir-rst time I see the t’ing I says, says I, ‘Is ut lukin’ for bait to go fishin’ with they are?’ I says. ‘Can’t ye hear the pealin’ iv the bells?’ says Hennessey, who was with me. ‘That an’ more,’ I says. ‘I can hear the pealin’ o’ th’ petayties,’ I says. ‘Do ye dhrink in th’ feelin’ iv it?’ says Hennessey. ‘Naw, t’ank ye,’ I says. ‘I’m not thirsty,’ I says. ‘Besides, I’ve swore off dhrinkin’ ile-paintin’s,’ I says. ‘Wathercoolers is gud enough fer me,’ I says. An’ wid that we wint back to the Road. But that was th’ fir-rst time I iver heard iv dhrinkin’ a work iv ar-rt.”
“But some of the things you—ah—you Americans drink,” put in Dolly, “are works of art, my dear Mr. Dooley. Your cousin Rupert gave me a cocktail at dinner last night—”
“Ye’ve hit ut, Miss Dooley,” returned the philosopher, with a beautiful enthusiasm. “Ye’ve hit ut square. I see now y’re a thrue Dooley. An’ wid yer kind permission I’ll dedicate me book to ye. Ut’s cocktails that book’s about, ma’am. Fifty Cocktails I Have Met is th’ na-ame iv ut. An’ whin I submitted th’ mannyscrip’ wid th’ illusthrations to the publisher, he dhrank ’em all, an’ he says, ‘Dooley,’ he says, ‘ut’s a go. I’ll do yer book,’ he says, ‘an’ I’ll pay ye wan hoondred an’ siventy-five per cent.,’ he says. ‘Set ’em up again, Dooley,’ he says; an’ I mixed ’em. ‘I t’ink, Dooley,’ he says, afther goin’ troo th’ illusthrations th’ second toime—‘I t’ink,’ he says, ‘ye’d ought to get two hoondred an’ wan per cent. on th’ retail price iv th’ book,’ he says. ‘Can’t I take a bottle iv these illusthrations to me office?’ he says. ‘I’d like to look ’em over,’ he says; an’ I mixed ’im up a quar-rt iv th’ illusthrations to th’ chapther on th’ Mar-rtinney, an’ sent him back to his partner in th’ ambylanch.”
“I shall look forward to the publication of your book with much interest, Mr. Dooley,” said Dolly. “Now that I have discovered our cousinship, I am even more interested in you than I was before; and let me tell you that, before I met you, I thought of you as the most vital figure in American humor that has been produced in many years.”
“I know nothin’ iv American humor,” said Dooley, “for I haven’t met anny lately, an’ I know nothin’ iv victuals save what I ate, an’ me appytite is as satisfoid wid itself as Hobson is wid th’ kisses brawt onto him by th’ sinkin’ iv th’ Merrimickinley. But for you an’ Misther Rassendyll, ma’am, I’ve nothin’ but good wishes an’ ah—illusthrations to me book whenever ye give yer orders. Kape your hoosband home, Miss Dooley,” he added. “He’s scrapped wanst too often already wi’ th’ Ruraltarriers, an’ he’s been killed off wanst by Mr. Ant’ny Hawp; but he’ll niver die if ye only kape him home. If he goes out he’ll git fightin’ agin. If he attimpts a sayquil to the sayquil, he’s dead sure enough!”
And with this Dolly and Dooley parted.
For myself, Rupert Rassendyll, I think Dooley’s advice was good, and as long as Dolly will keep me home, I’ll stay. For is it not better to be the happy husband of Dolly of the Dialogues, than to be going about like a knight of the Middle Ages clad in the evening dress of the nineteenth century, doing impossible things?
As for Dooley’s impression of Dolly, I can only quote what I heard he had said after meeting her.
“She’s a Dooley sure,” said he, being novel to compliment. And I am glad she is, for despite the charms of Flavia of pleasant memory, there’s nobody like Dolly for me, and if Dolly can only be acknowledged by the Dooleys, her fame, I am absolutely confident, is assured.
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