The Bloodless Onslaught

In the far-off realm of those good old times, when it was thought something smart to work telegraph lines, there was one Malloy in Washington City, a shrewd, sharp chap, exceedingly witty, who signed an “X,” and often said, as he swelled and perspired and rolled his head, that he was about a mess for any New York gent, when business or press by him was sent. To send a message one spring-like day to T. L. Hawkins, 19 Broadway, this rusher did prepare, but as he finished Hawkins’ name in at the switch his own chief came and said to New York, in his king-like way, “ans. on House,” and the operator then went on to say, room No. 9, 19 Broadway.

Then, as now, you understand, a “none but known-ability” man was put upon the Washington lines, but as it happens oftentimes the mind of the receiver was gathering wool, running, perchance, on his days at school when on a similar spring-like day he played the truant and romped at play, or when, mayhaps, to the infinite joy of his fellows he pestered McLafferty’s boy by dropping in his pocket a defunct mouse, and thus preoccupied, as Anson House our hero chalked it down.

But he knew too well of the town the lay to put the Anson House at 19 Broadway, so a disclaimer offered with the usual deference, to the style of which there’s no need of reference. The observation being tart, it naturally made Mr. Washington smart, and he hastened to say with a sly reflection that with Anson House Hawkins had no connection, and that, moreover, if New York was sane, he would know well enough he had given no name in the message like Anson House. Then quickly followed a mutual exchange of nice little compliments, a struggling for circuit, and the inevitable result—a melange. To have the last word was the settled intent of each of the boys, and much time was spent, while both seemed to forget that there languished that day, for a message, one Hawkins, at 19 Broadway.

But their converse was suddenly ended be-times by the chief, whose voice, like the Trinity chimes, came in and inquired with great “catouse,” why in thunder he wasn’t answered on House? It was then that the jolly, red-cheeked Sam saw the point, and told the Washington man, to go ahead period, then and there, there was no sort of use for this tearing of hair, that of the Washington man he had no fear, that he wouldn’t chaw off any one’s ear, as that pompous fellow had vainly said, that he’d better put his head under a pump instead, and let up and go on and give Hawkins a shake that was sort of inclined to be fair.

The message was finished at last, but not so the rumpus. From Washington City that night there came, a staunch six-footer, who, all but the mane, was the peer of that terrible beast, that certain old parties thought would a feast make of Daniel of old, who, as all of us know, sat in the den and saw the show, and departed in safety by the front door; (that lion had dined but a jiffy before).

Arrived in New York at break of day, to a restaurant our hero made his way; and after feasting with a lip of scorn, and nursing his wrath to keep it warm, to the telegraph office at once proceeded with frenzied mien and forehead beaded,

“Is Mr. E. here?” he inquired in tones that are death on the marrow in one’s bones.

“I am Mr. E.,” said the jolly Sam, in accents, oh! so soft and bland that it wilted at once that disciple of Mars, for which, perchance, Sam may thank his stars, and the fellow grinned till he showed his gum, and said “I am ‘X’ from Washington.”

“Glad to see you, come in, old boy; when did you get here, Mr. Malloy? I am off this afternoon,” said Sam, “we’ll go and see Barnum’s woolly man; dine at Fulton Market on coffee and cakes, or over at Gould’s on sirloin steaks, and go to the Old Bowery this evening.”

And, would you believe it, this simple plan of chawing that ear pleased the Washington man, and he smiled and agreed to the whole with a bow, and no word was said of yesterday’s row. And they feasted and chatted and had a grand time, and “X” left that night for his own fair clime; they shook hands at the ferry, with God-speeds were free, and Sam sent to everybody his “’73.” Yet they quarrelled next day in

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