was a broth of a boy in Killarney, and could toss off his poteen and whirl his shillalah aid the best ov the bog. When the war in America
broke out, says Billy, says he, ‘"it's a hero and a patriot I'll be, begorras,"’ and so he borrows from one and anither and starts across the blisses old ocean, and av a fine morning puts himself right afore old King Lincoln, as bowled as a lion.
‘"It's meself,"’ says Billy, ‘"which will crack the crowns of those same bloody seceshers.
Give me the command of yer army, and I'll whack the daylights out of 'em, ere ye can light a pipe;"’ and with that he fetches a whoop and swing of his shillelah, that would have done your heart good to see. ‘"But, Billy,"’ says the King
, ‘"ye are too raw from the bogs to take a command."’ ‘"And what for no,"’ says Billy, ‘"wid yer dam Dutchmen, yer Poles, Eyetalyans, yer Swiss, Danes and French
, wid big feathers on their heads, but niver a word of English on their tongues.
It's meself will talk and fight too."’
So, to cut a long story short, Billy found himself of a fine morning traveling to Missouri
as fast as steam could take him, and a Colonel
's commission in his pocket.
‘"Billy,"’ says the King
‘"don't write, but put it through — put it through.
"’ ‘"Begorra,"’ says Billy, ‘"it's meself that won't write, for divil a letter do I know; and as for putting it through, jest wait a bit, and ye may swallow all I lave behind me."’ So Billy found himself in Lexington
, at the head of his grand army and Seceshers all around him. A rousing time they had of it ye may be sure, wid thar big guns a roaring and thar little guns a popping, and Billy a hollering till he was hoarse, and drinking poteen until he came to his voice again.
Such a clatter, and smoke, and dust, was never heard av before.
At last they cut off his water; but what use of water, says Billy, so long as there's whiskey to be had for the drawing?
But, by-and-bye, they drank up the whiskey, and then they had him, sure enough.
They took Billy's grand army, and sent every ragamuffin of 'em home with a foot-mark in the rear; but Billy himself, and all his staff, they shut up in a black hole, where he now lies, wid plenty of water, but no whiskey at all; and this is the story of Billy Mulligan