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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On Our Cuban Allies
By Finley Peter Dunne (1867–1936)
 
From ‘Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War’

“WELL, sir,” said Mr. Dooley, “dam thim Cubians! If I was Gin’ral Shafter, I’d back up th’ wagon in front iv th’ dure an’ I’d say to Gin’ral Garshy, I’d say, ‘I want you’; an’ I’d have thim all down at th’ station an’ dacently booked be th’ desk sergeant befure th’ fall iv night. Th’ impydince iv thim!”  1
  “What have they been doin’?” Mr. Hennessy asked.  2
  “Failin’ to undherstand our civilization,” said Mr. Dooley. “Ye see, it was this way. This is th’ way it was: Gin’ral Garshy with wan hundherd thousan’ men’s been fightin’ bravely f’r two years f’r to liberyate Cubia. F’r two years he’s been marchin’ his sivinty-five thousan’ men up an’ down th’ island, desthroyin’ th’ haughty Spanyard be th’ millyons. Whin war was declared, he offered his own sarvice an’ th’ sarvices iv his ar-rmy iv fifty thousan’ men to th’ United States; an’, while waitin’ f’r ships to arrive, he marched at th’ head iv his tin thousan’ men down to Sandago de Cuba an’ captured a cigar facthry, which they soon rayjooced to smokin’ ruins. They was holdin’ this position—Gin’ral Garshy an’ his gallant wan thousan’ men—whin Gin’ral Shafter arrived. Gin’ral Garshy immedjitly offered th’ sarvices iv himsilf an’ his two hundherd men f’r th’ capture iv Sandago; an’, when Gin’ral Shafter arrived, there was Gin’ral Garshy with his gallant band iv fifty Cubians, r-ready to eat at a minyit’s notice.  3
  “Gin’ral Shafter is a big, coorse, two-fisted man fr’m Mitchigan, an’, whin he see Gin’ral Garshy an’ his twinty-five gallant followers, ‘Fr-ront,’ says he. ‘This way,’ he says, ‘step lively,’ he says, ‘an’ move some iv these things,’ he says. ‘Sir,’ says Gin’ral Garshy, ‘d’ye take me f’r a dhray?’ he says. ‘I’m a sojer,’ he says, ‘not a baggage car,’ he says. ‘I’m a Cubian pathrite, an’ I’d lay down me life an’ the lives iv ivry wan iv th’ eighteen brave men iv me devoted ar-rmy,’ he says; ‘but I’ll be dam’d if I carry a thrunk,’ he says. ‘I’ll fight whiniver ’tis cool,’ he says, ‘an’ they ain’t wan iv these twelve men here that wudden’t follow me to hell if they was awake at th’ time,’ he says; ‘but,’ he says, ‘if ’twas wurruk we were lookin’ f’r, we cud have found it long ago,’ he says. ‘They’se a lot iv it in this counthry that nobody’s usin’,’ he says. ‘What we want,’ he says, ‘is freedom,’ he says; ‘an’, if ye think we have been in th’ woods dodgin’ th’ savage corryspondint f’r two year,’ he says, ‘f’r th’ sake iv r-rushin’ yer laundhry home,’ he says, ‘’tis no wondher,’ he says, ‘that th’ r-roads fr’m Marinette to Kalamazoo is paved with goold bricks bought be th’ people iv ye’er native State,’ he says.  4
  “So Shafter had to carry his own thrunk; an’ well it was f’r him that it wasn’t Gin’ral Miles’, the weather bein’ hot. An’ Shafter was mad clear through; an’, whin he took hold iv Sandago, an’ was sendin’ out invitations, he scratched Garshy. Garshy took his gallant band iv six back to th’ woods; an’ there th’ three iv thim ar-re now, ar-rmed with forty r-rounds iv canned lobster, an’ ready to raysist to th’ death. Him an’ th’ other man has written to Gin’ral Shafter to tell him what they think iv him, an’ it don’t take long.”  5
  “Well,” said Mr. Hennessy, “I think Shafter done wrong. He might’ve asked Garshy in f’r to see th’ show, seein’ that he’s been hangin’ ar-round f’r a long time, doin’ th’ best he cud.”  6
  “It isn’t that,” explained Mr. Dooley. “Th’ throuble is th’ Cubians don’t undherstand our civilization. Over here freedom means hard wurruk. What is th’ ambition iv all iv us, Hinnissy? ’Tis ayether to hold our job or to get wan. We want wurruk. We must have it. D’ye raymimber th’ sign th’ mob carrid in th’ procession las’ year? ‘Give us wurruk, or we perish,’ it said. They had their heads bate in be polismen because no philan-thropist’d come along an’ make thim shovel coal. Now, in Cubia, whin th’ mobs turns out, they carry a banner with the wurruds, ‘Give us nawthin’ to do, or we perish.’ Whin a Cubian comes home at night with a happy smile on his face, he don’t say to his wife an’ childher, ‘Thank Gawd, I’ve got wurruk at last!’ He says, ‘Thank Gawd, I’ve been fired.’ An’ th’ childher go out, and they say, ‘Pah-pah has lost his job.’ And Mrs. Cubian buys hersilf a new bonnet; and where wanst they was sorrow an’ despair all is happiness an’ a cottage organ.  7
  “Ye can’t make people here undherstand that, an’ ye can’t make a Cubian undherstand that freedom means th’ same thing as a pinitinchry sintince. Whin we thry to get him to wurruk, he’ll say: ‘Why shud I? I haven’t committed anny crime.’ That’s goin’ to be th’ throuble. Th’ first thing we know we’ll have another war in Cubia whin we begin disthributin’ good jobs, twelve hours a day, wan sivinty-five. Th’ Cubians ain’t civilized in our way. I sometimes think I’ve got a touch iv Cubian blood in me own veins.”  8
 
 
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