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William Thomas Goodge

(1862 - 1909 / Australia)

The Guile of Dad M'Ginnis


When M,Ginnis struck the mining camp at Jamberoora Creek
His behaviour was appreciated highly;
For, although he was a quiet man, in manner mild and meek,
Not like ordinary swagmen with a monumental cheek,
He became the admiration of the camp along the creek
'Cause he showed a point to Kangaroobie Riley!

Both the pubs at Jamberoora had some grog that stood the test
(Not to speak of what was manufactured slyly!)
And the hostel of O'Gorman, which was called The Diggers' Rest,
Was, O'Gorman said, the finest house of any in the west;
But it was a burning question if it really was the best,
Or the "Miners" - kept by Kangaroobie Riley.

Dad M'Ginnis called at Riley's. Said he "felt a trifle queer",
And with something like a wan and weary smile, he
Said he "thought he'd try a whisky". Pushed it back and said, "I fear
I had better take a brandy." Passed that back and said: "Look here,
Take the brandy; after all, I think I'll have a pint of beer!"
And he drank the health of Kangaroobie Riley!

"Where's the money?" asked the publican; "you'll have to pay, begad!"
"Gave the brandy for the beer!" said Dad the wily,
"And I handed you the whisky when I took the brandy, lad!"
"But you paid not for the whisky!" answered Riley. "No," said Dad,
"And you don't expect a man to pay for what he never had!"
- 'Twas the logic flattened Kangaroobie Riley!

"See," said Kangaroobie Riley, "you have had me, that is clear!
But I never mind a joke," he added, dryly.
"Just you work it on O'Gorman, and I'll shout another beer."
"I'd be happy to oblige yer," said McGinnis with a leer,
"But the fact about the matter is - O'Gorman sent me here! -
So, good morning, Mr Kangaroobie Riley!"

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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