The Guile of Dad M'Ginnis

William Thomas Goodge 1862 – 1909

When M,Ginnis struck the mining camp at Jamberoora Creek
His behaviour was appreciated highly;
For, although he was a quiet man, in manner mild and meek,
Not like ordinary swagmen with a monumental cheek,
He became the admiration of the camp along the creek
'Cause he showed a point to Kangaroobie Riley!

Both the pubs at Jamberoora had some grog that stood the test
(Not to speak of what was manufactured slyly!)
And the hostel of O'Gorman, which was called The Diggers' Rest,
Was, O'Gorman said, the finest house of any in the west;
But it was a burning question if it really was the best,
Or the "Miners" - kept by Kangaroobie Riley.

Dad M'Ginnis called at Riley's. Said he "felt a trifle queer",
And with something like a wan and weary smile, he
Said he "thought he'd try a whisky". Pushed it back and said, "I fear
I had better take a brandy." Passed that back and said: "Look here,
Take the brandy; after all, I think I'll have a pint of beer!"
And he drank the health of Kangaroobie Riley!

"Where's the money?" asked the publican; "you'll have to pay, begad!"
"Gave the brandy for the beer!" said Dad the wily,
"And I handed you the whisky when I took the brandy, lad!"
"But you paid not for the whisky!" answered Riley. "No," said Dad,
"And you don't expect a man to pay for what he never had!"
- 'Twas the logic flattened Kangaroobie Riley!

"See," said Kangaroobie Riley, "you have had me, that is clear!
But I never mind a joke," he added, dryly.
"Just you work it on O'Gorman, and I'll shout another beer."
"I'd be happy to oblige yer," said McGinnis with a leer,
"But the fact about the matter is - O'Gorman sent me here! -
So, good morning, Mr Kangaroobie Riley!"

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Thomas Goodge

William Thomas Goodge (28 September 1862 – 28 November 1909) was an English writer and journalist, who arrived in Australia in 1882, after jumping ship in Sydney. He worked in various jobs in New South Wales, including as a coal-miner, until he was engaged to write for "The Tribune" in North Sydney, a small weekly associated with the "Daily Telegraph". From there he was chosen by Harry Newman (Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor) to edit "The Leader" newspaper in Orange, NSW. Goodge remained in Orange, becoming part-owner of "The Leader" at some point, until in the early 1900s he returned to Sydney and began writing for that city's newspapers, especially "The Sunday Times". Goodge was first married on 21 January 1892. His wife died 3 January 1895 of typhoid, leaving behind two children. Sometime later he remarried and had another child. Goodge died on 28 November 1909 in North Sydney. During his writing career, Goodge wrote mainly light-verse poems and short stories. Although he did have one novel, The Fortunes of Fenchurch, serialised in the pages of The Sunday Times, the book was never published separately. His best known works were "The Great Australian Adjective", and "The Oozlum Bird". Norman Lindsay, who illustrated the reprint volume of Goodge's only poetry collection, considered the poet better than C. J. Dennis. "Goodge, with his Hits! Skits! and Jingles!, is a much better light-verse writer than Dennis, and his book should be reprinted."  more…

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