The Troubles of
a Mover by
Mr. Flash in?
Mr. Flash? Don't know any such person, my son.
Why, he lives here! continued the boy.
Guess not, my son; I live here.
Well, this is the house, for I brought the things here.
What things? says our friend, Flannigan.
Why, the door mat, the brooms, buckets and brushes, says little
Flannigan looks vacantly at his own door mat, for a minute, then
Come in my man, I'll see if any such articles have come here, for
The boy walks into the hall, amid the barricades of yet unplaced
household effectsfor Flannigan had just moved inand Flannigan calls
for Mrs. F. The lady appears and denies all knowledge of any such
purchases, or reception of buckets, brooms, and little breeches clears
In the course of an hour, a violent jerk at the bell announces
another customer. Flannigan being at work in the parlor, answers the
call; he opens the door, and there stands a greasy citizen.
Goo' mornin'. Mr. Flash in?
Mr. Flash? I don't know him, sir.
You don't? says the greasy citizen. He lives here, got this
bill agin him, thirty-four dollars, ten cents, per-visions.
I live here, sir; my name's Flannigan, I don't know you, or owe
you, of course!
Well, that's a pooty spot o' work, any how; growls our
greasy citizen, crumpling up his bill. Where's Flash?
I can't possibly say, says Flannigan.
Don't know where he's gone to? growls the butcher.
No more than the man in the moon!
Well, he ain't goin' to dodge me, in no sich a way, says
the butcher. I'll find him, if it costs me a bullock, you may tell him
so!for me! growls the butcher.
Tell him yourself, sir; I've nothing to do with the fellow, don't
know him from Adam, as I've already told you, says Flannigan,
closing the doorthe greasy citizen walking down the steps muttering
thoughts that breathe and words that burn!
Flannigan had just elevated himself upon the top of the centre
table, to hang up Mrs. F.'s portrait upon the parlor wall, when another
ring was heard of the bell. He called to his little daughter to open
the door and see what was wanted.
Is your fadder in, ah?
Yes, sir, I'll call him, says the child, but before she could
reach the parlor, a burly Dutch baker marches in.
Goot mornin', I bro't de pills in.
Pills? says Flannigan.
Yaw, for de prets, continues the baker; nine tollars foof'ey
cents. I vos heert you was movin', so I tink maybees you was run away.
Mistake, sir, I don't owe you a cent; never bought bread of you!
Vaw's! Tonner a' blitzen!don't owes me!
Not a cent! says Flannigan, standinghammer in hand, upon the top
of the table.
Vaw's! you goin' thrun away and sheet me, ah?
Look here, my friend, you are under a mistake. I've just moved in
here, my name's Flannigan, you never saw me before, and of course I
never dealt with you!don't you see?
Tonner a' blitzen! cries the enraged baker, I see vat you vant,
to sheet me out mine preet, you raskillsI go fetch the con-stabl's,
de shudge, de sher'ffs, and I have mine mon-ney in mine hands! and off
rushes the enraged man of dough, upsetting the various small articles
piled up on the bureau in the hallby wanging to the door.
Poor Flannigan felt quite put out; he came very near dashing his
hammer at the Dutchman's head, but hoping there was an end to the
annoyances he kept at work, until another ring of the bell announced
another call. The Irish girl went to the door; Flannigan listens
Mr. Flash in?
Yees! says Biddy, supposing Flash and Flannigan was the same in
Dutch. Would yees come in, sir, and in comes the young man.
Good morning, sir, quoth he; I've called as you requested sir,
with the bill of that china set, &c.
Mistake, sirI've bought no china set, lately, says Flannigan.
Isn't your name Flash, sir!
No, sir, my name's Flannigan. I've just moved here.
Indeed, says the clerk. Well, sir, where has Flash gone to, do
Gone to be hanged! I trust, for I've been bothered all this morning
by persons that scoundrel appears to owe. He moved out of here, day
before yesterday; I took his unexpired term of the lease of this
dwelling, having noticed it advertised, gave the fellow a bonus for his
lease, and he cleared for California, I believe.
This concise statement appeared to satisfy the clerk that his firm
was done, and the young man and his bill stepped out.
Another ring, and Flannigan opens the door; two men wanted to
see Mr. Flash; he had been buying some tin-ware of one, and the other
he owed for putting up a fire range in the building, and which range
and accoutrements poor Flannigan had bought for twenty-five dollars,
cash down! These gentlemen felt very vindictive, of course, and hinted
awful strong that Flannigan was privy to Flash's movements; and a great
deal more, until Flannigan losing his patience, and then his temper,
ordered the men to vamose!they did, giving poor Flannigan a good
blessing as they walked away!
The family was about to sit down to a made-up dinner in the back
parlor, when the bell rang; the Irish girl answered the call, and
returned with a bill of sundry groceries, handed in by a man at the
Tell him Mr. Flash has goneleftdon't know him, and don't want
to know him, or have any thing to do with him or his bill!
The girl carried back the bill; presently Flannigan hears a muss
in the hall, he gets up and goes out; there was Biddy and the grocer's
man in a high dispute. Biddytrue to her instinct, had made a bull
of her message by telling the man her master didn't know him; go to the
divil wid his bill! Flannigan managed to pacify the man, and give him
to understand that Mr. Flash was gone to parts unknown, andthe
grocer, in common with bakers, butchers, tinners and china
But now came the tug of war; two colored ladies made their
appearance, for a small bill of seven dollars, for washing and ironing
the dickeys and fine linen of the Flashes.
An' de fac am, says the one, we's bound to hab de money,
It did not seem to take when Flannigan informed his colored
friends that they were surely done, as their debtor had cut his
lucky and gone!
The darkies felt inclined to be sassy, and Flannigan closed
the door, ordering them to create a vacancy by clearing out, and just
as he closed the door, ring goes the bell!
Be gor, says a brawny adopted citizen, planting his brogan upon
the sill, as Flannigan opened the doorI've come wid me coz
-zin to git her wages, ye's owin' her!
Me? Owe you? cries poor Flannigan.
Igh! says Paddy, trying to push his way into the hall.
Stand back, you scoundrel! cries Flannigan.
Scoun-thril! roars the outraged adopted citizen.
Stand back, you infernal ruffian! exclaims Flannigan, as Paddy
makes a rush to grab him.
Give me me coz-zin's wages, yeye but here his oration drew
towards a close, for Flannigan, no longer able to recognise virtue in
forbearance, opened the door and planting his own huge fist between the
ogle-factories of Paddy, knocked him as stiff as a bull beef!
Falling, Paddy carried away his red-faced burly coz-zin, and the twain
tumbling upon the two negro women who were still at the bottom of the
steps, dilating, to any number of lookers-on, upon the rascality of
poor Flannigan in gouging them out of their washing bill, down went the
white spirits and black, all in a lump.
Here was a row! A mob gathered; the people in that house were
denounced in all manner of ways, the negroes screamed, the Irish
roared, the Dutch baker came up with a police-man to arrest Flannigan
for stealing his bread! And soon the butcher arrived with another
officer to seize the goods of Flash, supposed to be in the houseready
to be taken away!
Such a double and twisted uproar in Dutch, Irish, Ethiopian and
natural Yankee, was terrific!
Mrs. F. fainted, the children screamed, and poor Flannigan was
carried to the police office to answer half a cord of charges, and
reached home near sundown, quite exhausted, and his wallet bled for
costs, fines, &c., some $20. Poor Flannigan moved again; the house
had such a bad name, he couldn't stay in it.