Wanted A Partner by Anonymous

"Ah! now, Michael, be quiet,—why can't you?—It brakes the heart o' me, cousin,—so it does thin, and I'll own it,—to see you laugh that way, and the pair of us ruined, as we are!"

"Is it ruined, Thady?—and yourself there with a bull and a hog in your pocket?"

"What's half-a-crown and a shilling? A bull and a hog is but three-and-sixpence.—I'll be starved intirely whin that's gone; for there's no work for us, far or near. I tell you we're ruined."

"Then let's go partners; and who knows but we'll make a fine fortune? What's invention but the daughter of necessity?—So now's the time to shew our abilities, if we have any."

"Divil of any abilities have I, Michael; and you know it."

"Ah! Thady, Thady—"

"I'll give you my oath I hav'n't!—so don't be suspecting me. If I'd abilities, do you think I'd be such a blackguard as to consale them? Not I, thin!"

"Well but, Thady, boy, hav'n't you three-and-sixpence?—hav'n't you now?"

"I have,—I won't deny it."

"And hav'n't I abilities?"

"I won't deny that either, unless you've lost them since we last saw one another,—that's two years ago, I think:—I won't deny but you've abilities, Michael; if I did I'd be giving you the lie; for it's often you tould me you had grand ones, if you'd only a field large enough to display them. But where'll we get a field, big or little, for a bull? I would'nt risk more than that of my money upon your abilities,—though it's much I respect them."

"Thady, you're a fool, with your big field and your bull!—Besides, I've a reaping hook, and a long rope."

"I see you have: but tell me, Michael, as we're spaking of reap-hooks and abilities, how did you lose your last place? Wasn't your master a good one?"

"Say 'employer,' Thady, the next time you mintion him. Well, thin, he wasn't so bad, but for two things:—being an Englishman, he hadn't exactly got into our mode of transacting things, don't you see, Thady?—he stuck to the letter o' the law too closely for me."

"You didn't rob him Michael,—did you?"

"Of a little time only, Thady: he'd too many eyes to be robbed of anything else,—if I was dishonest,—but I'm not, you know."

"So I say, Michael, to every one who spakes of you."

"Thank you, Thady, for that:—and, faith! the time I took wasn't worth noticing. He put me into a little patch of peas, and bid me reap them as fast as I could. So I began to work as though I'd the strength of ten; and he stood by me and tould me I was a fine fellow. I got on well enough till he wint, and a while after even,—so I did. But I'd over-rated my own powers, and was soon obliged to lay down, just by the way of recruiting myself a little, under the hedge. By-and-by, who should be passing that way again but my employer; and, says he, putting his toe in my ribs, 'What did you lie there for,' says he, 'you blackguard?' 'To repose a little, sir,' says L 'Bad luck to you!' says he, 'didn't I hire you to reap peas?' 'Well, sir,' says I, mimicking his way of spaking, 'and isn't sleep a weary man's harvest? and,' says I, quite pleasant, 'if it isn't in sleep I'd reap ease, how else would I?' 'Don't be quibbling that way,' says he; I'll be obeyed to the very letter.' 'Well, sir,' says I, 'O's and P's ar'n't far apart; they're next door to one another in the alphabet.' But it wouldn't do for him; he'd have the letter itself; and if he paid me to reap peas, he wouldn't have me repose: so we parted. But don't let's be losing time: there's a rope and a reaping-hook, and they're mine, ar'n't they?"

"I'd be wrong if I denied that, whin I see them in your hand, and possession is nine points of the law. But what of your rope and your reap-hook, Michael?"

"Why, thin, let them be our stock, and your three-and-six-pence our capital, and us partners and sole and only proprietors. What say you to that? You'll own it looks like business, I hope."

"Yes, Michael; but where'll the customers come from?"

"Don't bother about them; they'll come fast enough when we want them, as you'll see. It's no use to be reckoning our chickens before they're hatched, is it?"

"Not a bit:—what you say can't very soon find one that'll contradict it. It is no use to be reckoning our chickens before they're hatched."

"So far, thin, we go on by mutual consint. Now, Thady, would you like to make a great stroke or a little one?"

"The sooner we make money the better, I think."

"But little fishes are sweet, you fool!"

"So they are, Michael: I'm vexed that I didn't think of that; and it's but little we'll risk by way o' bait to catch them."

"But what's the use, Thady,—answer me now, you who set yourself up for a sinsible man—"

"Not I, thin! I'd fall out with you if you said so."

"Well, thin, where's the use, I'll ask you—fool as you are,—of our catching sprats and wullawaughs, when there's sea-cows and whales in the ocean?—A sprat isn't a sea-cow, is it?"

"No, faith!"

"Nor a wullawaugh a whale?"

"How should it?"

"Then why not try for a sea-cow?"

"Bekase I wouldn't like to risk my silver bull, Michael."

"Why, thin, you're a lunatic,—so you are. Suppose you lost your bull—tell me now, where'd your hog be?"

"Gone to try to bring back my bull, may be. I don't think we'll try for a sea-cow, or a whale, Michael."

"Thin you'll be contint with catching wullawaughs and shrimps, is it?"

"Not exactly: I'd like to try for a whale, but not so as to risk what money I have."

"Well, I'll tell you what we'll do:—let us set up a show."

"That plazes me. But what'll we shew, Michael? Is it your reap-hook, that's worn out doing divil a ha'p'orth but going to the grinstone?—or your rope, bekase you found it?"

"No, Thady; that wouldn't do: but I think if you'd tar and feather yourself, I might make something of you, by swearing you were a monster,—a big bird I caught on a furze-bush with bird-lime."

"I'll not consint to that; for if you'd be showman, you'd take all the money."

"And what thin?"

"Suppose you took yourself off one day?"

"And what thin?"

"Suppose you took the money with you, thin what'd I do? Sore, you know, I couldn't run after you in my tar and feathers; for, if I did, wouldn't the people see me without paying?"

"That would be a loss, I'll admit, if it happened: but I'd have you to know, Thady—"

"Now don't look big, for I'll apologize: but I may spake my mind, I hope."

"You certainly may."

"Well, thin, I won't tar and feather myself; bekase, how'd we get tar and feathers to do it, without risking my bull, or my hog at the least?"

"Oh! thin, if you've doubts in your mind, I'll abandon the project: but I'll insist upon it that you don't take advantage of my idea, and tar and feather yourself for your own benefit."

"I give you my word, I won't:—but listen, Michael, and I'll tell you what we'll do, and there's no risk in it."

"I'd like to hear:—though I expect you'll be proposing to shoot the stars with a big bow and arrow, and sell them for diamonds."

"That wouldn't be bad, if we'd a bow and arrow that could do it; but I'm afraid we'd find it hard to get one. That's not my plan, Michael; but this is it:—there's a big hole, a stone's-throw from this; dark and deep it is, for I've looked down it; and far below, at the very bottom, runs a stream, that goes under the waters, and under the land, away off to the Red Sea: and it's often a big ould crocodile comes to it, for a day or so, in the summer, by the way of getting a change of air and retirement."

"Well, Thady, and suppose he does?"

"Why, thin, this is my plan:—let us fish for the crocodile, and make a show of him if we catch him."

"Arrah! Thady! I didn't think it was in you. But what'll we do for a hook and line?"

"Haven't you your reap-hook and rope?"

"That's true, Thady, so I have; but by way of a bait—you know crocodiles ates man's flesh, Thady."

"I know it: and it's the beauty o' my plan, that we've bait, hook, and line,—all the materials, without a penny expense."

"Oh! I see:—faith I you're a genius, Thady:—you'd have me bait the hook with yourself."

"Not a bit of it, Michael; I couldn't separate you from your hook;—I wouldn't like to part with my money, and why should I ask you to part with your hook?"

"But don't you see, Thady, I run all the risk?—may be I'll lose my property;—the crocodile may carry it off. If we're to be partners, you must risk a little as well as me. I'll be my hook and my rope, with all the pleasure in life, if you'll be yourself—if you'll let me tie you to them by the way of a bait."

"Nonsinse, Michael! what good would I be? Sure he feeds upon blacks—the crocodile does; and, fair as I am, he wouldn't know I was good to ate. Now, as you've a fine dark complexion—"

"No, I havn't."

"Faith! you have;—and it's what you're admired for, by me among many: I'd like to have it myself. Why, thin, as you're within a few shades of the raal thing, may be, in the dark, he'd take you for the raal thing."

"Oh! thin, crocodiles ar'n't bamboozled so aisily; we'd better make sure,—and I'll tell how we'll do it:—I'll get some soot, and black you from head to foot."

"I'd be afraid, Michael."

"What harm could happen you, man? When he made his bite, wouldn't my reap-hook stick in his jaws and stop him from shutting them, until I'd pull him up?"

"Suppose he'd nibble and not bite?—suppose, too, he'd untie the cord and make a meal of me, and then pick his teeth with your reap-hook?"

"I'll tie the knot so that he can't: or, I'll tell you what we'll do;—we'll toss up which of us shall be bait."

"With all my heart:—but what'll we toss with?"

"Isn't it with your money? You'll lend me your bull."

"No, I won't lend you my bull, Michael."

"Well! toss your bull yourself, and let me have your hog."

"I won't do that, either; for I couldn't risk my money."

"What! do you suspect me?"

"Far from it; but, as there's grass here, we might lose it, you know."

"But I'll be responsible; and you can't doubt my honour."

"Not a bit; but—what's as bad,—I doubt your means. If I lost my bull, and you couldn't give me another if you would, that's the same thing to me as if you wouldn't give me another if you could,—don't you see?"

"Well, I've another plan: and I think it must plaze you:—did you ever throw a summerset?"

"I tried once, but didn't succeed."

"That's just my own case; so we're even, and it don't matter which does it. Now hark to this, Thady; you'll throw your summerset as well as you can, and while you're throwing it. I'll cry 'head' or 'tail,' just which I like: if I say 'tail,' and you I'll on your head, it's you that wins."

"No, Michael; you must toss yourself; for I've no tail to my coat, and you have."

"Arrah, man! won't I lend you mine? Sure, we'll exchange."

"Well, but suppose I lost?"

"Thin you'd strip yourself, and I'd black you."

"But why strip myself, Michael?"

"Don't the crocodiles always catch people that's swimming? And suppose they didn't, don't the blacks go naked? They do, Thady: so that if you were in your clothes, the crature couldn't know you were a man, and we wouldn't catch him. If there was a fish that ate apples, you wouldn't bait your hook with a dumpling, would you?"

"I wouldn't: still, I couldn't leave my clothes."

"Why not, thin, eh?"

"Bekase there's my bull and my hog in the pocket; and I'd not like to risk them, with nobody on the bank, but yourself, to take care o' them."

"I don't know how it is, Thady, but nothing plazes you;—you're too particular by half."

"I'm fool enough to be too fond of my money, I'm afraid."

"I'm afraid you are:—but will I tell you what you'll do with it,—once for all now?"

"What, Michael?"

"Why, thin, you'll just lend me two-and-sixpence, and I'll go and do something in the way of speculation with it; so that, whin we meet again, I'll be able to give you back your bull, with something handsome to the tail of it."

"That's not bad, Michael: but I'd be afraid we wouldn't have the luck of meeting whin we'd wish. Who knows but one of us might be looking for the other, all over the wide world, like a needle in a bundle of hay?"

"Thady, is it trash your trying to talk? People meets where hills and mountains don't, you know."

"That's true: but I've found out that though one meets with them one don't want to see nine times a week, one goes a whole year, and more, without getting a sight o' them one wishes to come across. Who knows but, if I lent you my bull, the sight o' you would be good for sore eyes?—For that rason, I'll not lay you under the obligation, I think, Michael."

"Oh! bad luck to you, and every bit of you! Get out o' that, for I don't like you;—giving people trouble, by making believe you're a fool, whin all the while you ar'n't!"

"I'm beginning to think you'd bad intuitions, Michael."

"Do you think I'd chate my cousin?"

"You would thin,—I'll say that for your abilities,—if you could get anything by it. Ar'n't you trying to bully me out o' my bull?"

"Get out o' that, I tell you!—go away intirely:—I dissolve the partnership. Go at once, for I'm in a passion."

"Who cares for you, Michael? Go away yourself. I'll engage you'll find many's the one who wants a partner that's active, and won't mind about capital; but I don't think he'll be a man of property. Why should you crow over me, I'd like to know?—is it bekase you've a cock in your eye?"