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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Edward Waterman Townsend (1855–1942)

Chimmie Fadden Makes Friends

From “Chimmie Fadden”

“SAY, I’m a dead easy winner to-day. See? It’s a fiver, sure ’nough. Say, I could give Jay Gould weight fer age an’ lose ’im in a walk as a winner. See? How’d I collar it? Square. See? Dead square, an’ easy. Want it fer a story? Why sure.

“Say, you know me. When I useter sell poipers, wasn’t I a scrapper? Dat’s right, ain’t it? Was dere a kid on Park Row I didn’t do? Sure! Well, say, dis mornin’ I seed a loidy I know crossin’ de Bow’ry. See? Say, she’s a torrowbred, an’ dat goes. Say, do you know wot I’ve seed her done? I’ve seed her feedin’ dem kids wot gets free turk on Christmas by dose East Side missioners. She’s one of dem loidies wot comes down here an’ fixes up old women an’ kids coz dey likes it. Dat’s right.

“Well, say, I was kinder lookin’ at ’er when I sees a mug wid a dyed mustache kinder jolt ag’in’ ’er, an’ he raises his dicer an’ grins. See? Say, dat sets me crazy. Lemme tell ye. Remember when de truck run over me toes? Well, I couldn’t sell no poipers nor nutting den. See? Say, she was de loidy wot comes ter me room wid grub an’ reads ter me. Dat’s wot she done.

“Well, I runs up to her dis mornin’ an’ I says: ‘’Scuse me, loidy, but shall I t’ump der mug?’

“She was kinder white in de gills, but dere was fight in her eye. Say, when ye scrap ye watches de odder felly’s eye, don’t ye? Ye kin always see fight in de eye. Dat’s right. Well, say, dere was fight in her eye. When I speaks to her she kinder smiles, an’ says, ‘Oh, dat’s you, is it, Chimmie?’

“Say, she remembered me name. Well, she says: ‘If you’ll t’ump de mug’—no, dat wasn’t wot she says—‘If you’ll t’rash de cur I’ll give ye somethin’,’ an’ she pulled out her wad an’ flashed up a fiver. Den she says somethin’ about it not being Christian, but de example would be good. I don’t know what she meaned, but dat’s straight. See? Wot she says goes, wedder I’m on or not.

“‘Can you t’rash ’im, Chimmie?’ she says.

“‘Can I?’ I says. ‘I’ll put a new face on ’im.’

“Den I went fer ’im. Say, I jolted ’im in de belly so suddent he was paralized. See? Den I give ’im de heel, an’ over he went in de mud, an’ me on top of ’im. Say, you should have seed us! Well, I’d had his odder ear off if de cop hadn’t snatched me.

“Say, he ran me in, but it wasn’t ten minutes before she come dere and squared me. See? When she got me outside she was kinder laffin’ an’ cryin’, but she give me de fiver, an’ says, ‘I hope de Lord’ll forgive me, Chimmie, for leadin’ ye into temptation, but ye done ’im brown.’

“Dat’s right; dem’s ’er very words. No, not ‘done ’im brown’; dat’s wot dey meaned—say, ‘’trashed ’im well.” Dat’s right. ‘T’rashed ’im well,’ was her very words. See?”


“Say, I knowed ye’d be paralyzed w’en ye seed me in dis harness. It’s up in G, ain’t it? Dat’s right. Say, remember me tellin’ ye ’bout de mug I t’umped fer de loidy on de Bow’ry? de loidy wot give me de five and squared me wid de perlice? Dat’s right. Well, say, she is a torrowbred, an’ dat goes. See? Dat evenin’ wot d’ye t’ink she done? She brought ’is Whiskers ter see me.

“Naw, I ain’t stringin’ ye. ’Is Whiskers is de loidy’s fadder. Sure!

“’E comes ter me room wid der loidy, ’is Whiskers does, an’ he says, says ’e, ‘Is dis Chimmie Fadden?’ says ’e.

“‘Yer dead on,’ says I.

“‘Wot t’ell?’ ’e says, turning to ’is daughter. ‘Wot does de young man say?’ ’e says.

“Den de loidy she kinder smiled—say, yer otter seed ’er smile. Say, it’s cutter sight. Dat’s right. Well, she says: ‘I t’ink I understan’ Chimmie’s langwudge,’ she says. ‘’E means ’e is de kid yuse lookin’ fer. ’E’s de very mug.’

“Dat’s wot she says; somet’n like dat, only a felly can’t just remember ’er langwudge.

“Den ’is Whiskers gives me a song an’ dance ’bout me bein’ a brave young man fer t’umpin’ der mug wot insulted ’is daughter, an’ ’bout ’is heart bein’ all broke dat ’is daughter should be doin’ missioner work in de slums.

“I says, ‘Wot t’ell;’ but der loidy, she says, ‘Chimmie,’ says she, ‘me fadder needs a footman,’ she says, ‘an’ I taut you’d be de very mug fer der job,’ says she. See?

“Say, I was all broke up, an’ couldn’t say nottin’, fer ’is Whiskers was so solemn. See?

“‘Wot’s yer lay now?’ says ’is Whiskers, or somet’n’ like dat.

“Say, I could ’ave give ’im a string ’bout me bein’ a hard-workin’ boy, but I knowed der loidy was dead on ter me, so I only says, says I, ‘Wot t’ell?’ says I, like dat, ‘Wot t’ell?’ See?

“Den ’is Whiskers was kinder paralized like, an’ ’e turns to ’is daughter an’ ’e says—dese is ’is very words—’e says:

“‘Really, Fannie,’ ’e says, ‘really, Fannie, you must enterpert dis young man’s langwudge.’

“Den she laffs an’ says, says she:

“‘Chimmie is a good boy if ’e only had a chance,’ she says.

“Den ’is Whiskers ’e says, ‘I dare say,’ like dat. See? ‘I dare say.’ See? Say, did ye ever ’ear words like dem? Say, I was fer tellin’ ’is Whiskers ter git t’ell outter dat, only fer der loidy. See?

“Well, den we all give each odder a song an’ dance, an’ de end was I was took fer a footman. See? Tiger, ye say? Naw, dey don’t call me no tiger.

“Say, wouldn’t de gang on de Bow’ry be paralized if dey seed me in dis harness? Ain’t it great? Sure! Wot am I doin’? Well, I’m doin’ pretty well. I had ter t’ump a felly dey calls de butler de first night I was dere for callin’ me a heathen. See? Say, dere’s a kid in de house wot opens de front door when youse ring de bell, an’ I win all ’is boodle de second night I was dere showin’ ’im how ter play Crusoe. Say, it’s a dead easy game, but de loidy she axed me not to bunco de farmers—dey’s all farmers up in dat house, dead farmers—so I leaves ’em alone. ’Scuse me now, dat’s me loidy comin’ outter der shop. I opens de door of de carriage an’ she says, ‘Home, Chames.’ Den I jumps on de box an’ strings de driver. Say, ’e’s a farmer, too. I’ll tell you some more ’bout de game next time. So long.”