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

Strickland W. Gillilan (1869–1954)

Finnigin to Flannigan


Boss av the siction wuz Finnigin;

Whiniver the kyars got offen the thrack,

An’ muddled up things t’ th’ divil an’ back,

Finnigin writ it to Flannigan,

Afther the wrick wuz all on ag’in;

That is, this Finnigin

Repoorted to Flannigan.

Whin Finnigin furst writ to Flannigan,

He writed tin pages—did Finnigin,

An’ he tould jist how the smash occurred;

Full minny a tajus, blunderin’ wurrd

Did Finnigin write to Flannigan

Afther the cars had gone on ag’in.

That wuz how Finnigin

Repoorted to Flannigan.

Now Flannigan knowed more than Finnigin—

He’d more idjucation, had Flannigan;

An’ it wore’m clane an’ complately out

To tell what Finnigin writ about

In his writin’ to Muster Flannigan.

So he writed back to Finnigin:

“Don’t do sich a sin ag’in;

Make ’em brief, Finnigin!”

Whin Finnigin got this from Flannigan,

He blushed rosy rid, did Finnigin;

An’ he said: “I’ll gamble a whole month’s pa-ay

That it will be minny an’ minny a da-ay

Befoore Sup’rintindint—that’s Flannigan—

Gits a whack at this very same sin ag’in.

From Finnigin to Flannigan

Repoorts won’t be long ag’in.”


Wan da-ay, on the siction av Finnigin,

On the road sup’rintinded by Flannigan,

A rail give way on a bit av a curve,

An’ some kyars went off as they made the swerve.

“There’s nobody hurted,” sez Finnigin,

“But repoorts must be made to Flannigan.”

An’ he winked at McGorrigan,

As married a Finnigin.

He wuz shantyin’ thin, wuz Finnigin,

As minny a railroader’s been ag’in,

An’ the shmoky ol’ lamp wuz burnin’ bright

In Finnigin’s shanty all that night—

Bilin’ down his repoort, was Finnigin!

An’ he writed this here: “Muster Flannigan:

Off ag’in, on ag’in,

Gone ag’in.—Finnigin.”