Cowen, Kavanagh
Stan Cowen, "Kavanagh's Pub"
Prologue to Part I
Pages 3-59-11n/a
POVMr Doyle
WhereFennelly's public house, Glasthule
WhenWednesday late morning, May 5 1915
... cock of the town
Postcard, "Old Rooster", US, 1912
Tuck's postcard, ca 1910

... his tanner's worth
Domenico Zampieri
"Saint Ignatius of Loyola's Vision of Christ", 1622

There goes Mr. Mack, cock of the town. One foot up, the other foot down. The hell of a gent. With a tip of his hat here and a top of the morn there, tip-top, everything’s dandy. He’d bare his head to a lamppost.

A Christian customer too. Designate the charity, any bazaar you choose, up sticks the bill in his shop. “One Shilling per Guinea Spent Here Will Aid the Belgian Refugees.” “Comforts for the Troops in France.” “Presentation Missions up the Limpopo.” Choose me the cause, he’s a motto to milk it. See him of a Sunday. Ladies’ Mass by the sixpenny-door, stays on for the Stations for his tanner’s worth. Oh, on the up, that’s Mr. Mack, a Christian genteelery grocerly man.

What’s that? A modest quencher, if your honour is asking. Don’t care if I do.

Sergeant, Royal Dublin Fusiliers
full dress, Boer War period.

... the creature comforts

A sargentleman even, for yous know he was a soldier of the Queen, me lads. Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Second Battalion, the Old Toughs.

Joined up in old God’s time. This was down in Tipp. Tipperary, says he—the Yorkshire of Ireland. Not a patriot by any stretch.

Some say the devil he lives in Slane
More say he comes from Blarney
But them that tells the truth agree
He joined the British Army.

Well, I was only a kidger meself them days, with the wandering soles on me feet—nothing would do but a sodger’s life for me. Had I known the class of galoot they favoured, I better had stopped in me bed. For no time at all old Macks was made a sergeant of. Quartermaster-Sergeant Mack. A responsible position, quoth he, in charge of the regimental vittles. So now yous know. The relief of Ladysmith was down to bread baked on time.

Here’s the boy with the creature comforts. Pardon me parsnips while I do the aqua. May your purse nor your prick never fail you, young sir.

Wait and I tell yous. Small accommodation I asked for one time, old comrades and all that. This was after our sodgering days was done, above in his huckster’s emporium was this. Old Macks had me splitting firewood till closing. And meself here with me lungs destroyed and half me guts left bleeding on the kopjeses. Not the Boer War, says he. Incorrect to name a war for the losing party. Nothing’ll suit but you calls it the South African Campaign.

Not that Mister-me-friend-Mack saw spit of any fighting. Too cute by a quarter. Stowed for home on HMS Funk with his mawsey hide stamped time-expired. I know him of old or me name’s not Doyle, you may take your oath on that, good gentlemen fair.

Cheers now, here’s hoping. Where it goes, it goes worth chasing. This is a good one for yous:

To be sure did you hear
of the heresy beer
that was made for to poison the Pope?
To hide the blame a sin is
the name is Arthur Guinness
for salvation no turncoat can hope.

kernoff, bird never flew one wing
Harry Kernoff (1900–1974), print "A Bird Never Flew on One Wing", showing Dublin pub names 1930s

Sure a bird never hopped on one leg. Pint of purge, if your honour is asking. Don’t care if I do.

Look at old Macks now, would you run your lamps over that. He’s tipped his hat to the milkman’s jennet. Carry me out, the tippest-toppest gent ever that loaned you nuppence.

... general short for General Maid
advertisement, Jeye's Disinfectant, 1879

Yous know what I’m going to tell ya, do yous know what I’m going to say? He has this handle round the parish hereabouts. They calls him the General. He don’t mind, a nod to his gallanty past. And the magnolious sight of him behind of his counter—purl one, plain one, all day long knitting stockings for the troops. Sure no one has the heart to let on ’tis General short for General Maid.

Whisht now, he’s after turning. What’s he forgot? Never fear, he wouldn’t darken the likes of here. Hardened tea-drinker is his nibs.

... does he think he's a Protestant?
Anonymous Italian, water-colour, c.1820

Now now, where’s his corpulence at? Back to the paper stand. Will old bags risk a morning paper? Curse the beggar. He’ll be looking for his change next. Old shoes, up again.

Well, would yous believe it. That bangs it. That bangs Banaghan. Is he a lunatic altogether? Does he think he’s a Protestant? He’s only after taking an Irish Times!