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How Bateese Came Home

Canadian Humour Home






W'en I was young boy on de farm--dat's twenty year ago--
I have wan frien', he's leev near me, call Jean Bateese Trudeau,
An offen, w'en we are alone, we lak for spik about
De tam w'en we was come beeg man, wit' moustache on our mout'.

Bateese is get it on hees head he's too moche educate
For mak' de habitant farmerre--he better go on State--
An' so wan summer evening we're driving home de cow
He's tole me all de whole beez-nesse--jus' lak you hear me now.

"Wat's use mak foolish on de farm? dere's no good chances lef',
An' all de tam you be poor man--you know dat's true you'se'f;
We never get no fun at all--don't never go on spree
Onless we pass on 'noder place, an' mak it some monee.

"I go on Les Etats-Unis, I go dere right away,
An' den, mebbe, on ten-twelve year, I be rich man some day,
An' w'en I mak' de large fortune I come back, I s'pose,
Wit' Yankee famme from off de State, an' monee on my clothes.

"I tole you somet'ing else also--mon cher Napoleon--
I get de grande majorite, for go on parliament,
Den buil' fine house on borde l'eau--near w'ere de church is stand--
More finer dan de Presbytere, w'en I am come riche man!"

I say, "For w'at you spik lak dat? you must be gone crazee.
Dere's plaintee feller on de State, more smarter dan you be;
Besides, she's not so healtee place, an' if you mak l'argent,
You spen' it jus' lak Yankee man, an' not lak habitant.

"For me, Bateese, I tole you dis: I'm very satisfy--
De bes' man don't leev too long tam; some day, ba gosh! he die--
An' s'pose you got good trotter horse, an' nice famme Canadienne
Wit' plaintee on de house for eat--W'at more you want, ma frien'?"

But Bateese have it all mak' up, I can't stop him at all.
He's buy, etc., seconde classe tiquette, for go on Central Fall,
An' wit' two-t'ree some more de boy--w'at t'ink de sam' he do--
Pass on de train de very nex' wick, was lef' Riviere du Loup.

Wall! mebbe fifteen year or more since Bateese go away
I fin' meself Riviere du Loup, wan cole, cole winter day.
De quick express she come, horraw! but stop de soon she can,
An' beeg swell feller jomp off car, dat's boss by nigger man.

He's dressim on de premiere classe, an' got new suit of clothes
Wit' long moustache dat's stickin' out, de 'noder side hees nose,
Fine gol' watch chain--nice portmanteau--an' long, long overcoat
Wit beaver hat--dat's Yankee style--an' red tie on hees t'roat--

I say, "Hello, Bateese! Hello! Comment ca va, mon vieux?"
He say, "Excuse to me, ma frien', I t'ink I don't know you."
I say, "She's very curis t'ing, you are Bateese Trudeau,
Was raise on just sam' place wit' me, dat's fifteen year ago?"

He say, "Oh yass, dat's sure enough--I know you now firs'-rate;
But I forget mos' all ma French since I go on de State.
Dere's 'noder t'ing kip on your head, ma frien', dey mus' be tole
Ma name's Bateese Trudeau no more, but John B. Waterhole!"

"Hole on de water's" fonny name for man wat's call Trudeau;
Ma frien's dey all was spik lak dat, an' I am tole heem so.
He say, "Trudeau an' Waterhole, she's jus' about de sam,
An' if you for leev on State, you must have Yankee nam'."

Den we invite heem come wit' us, "Hotel du Canadaw,"
W'ere he was treat mos' ev'ry tam, but can't tak' w'iskey blanc.
He say sat's leetle strong for man jus' come off Central Fall,
An "tabac Canayen" bedamme! he won't smoke dat at all!

But fancy drink lak "Collings John" de way he put it down!
Was long tam since I don't see dat--I t'ink he's goin' drown!--
An' fine cigar cos' five cent each, an' mak' on Trois-Rivieres!
L'enfant! he smoke beeg pile of dem--for monee he don't care!

I s'pose, meseff, it's t'ree o'clock w'en we are t'roo dat night.
Bateese, hees fader come for heem, an' tak' heem home all right;
De ole man say Bateese spik French, w'en he is place on bed--
An' say bad word--but w'en he wake--forget it on hees head.

Wall! all de winter, w'en we have soiree dat's grande affaire
Bateese Trudeau, dit Waterhole, de be de boss man dere--
You bet he have beeg tam!--but w'en de spring is come encore
He's buy premiere classe tiquette for go on State some more.

You 'member w'en de hard tam come on Les Etats-Unis,
An' plaintee Canayens go back for stay deir own contree?
Wall! jus' about dat' tam again I go Riviere du Loup
For sole me two-t'ree load of hay--mak' leetle visit too.

De freight train she is jus' arrive--only ten hour delay;
She's never carry passengaire--dat's w'at dey always say.
I see poor man on char caboose--he's got heem small valise.
Begosh! I nearly tak' de fit.--It is--it is Bateese!

He know me very well dis tam, an' say, "Bon jour, mon vieux.
I hope you know Bateese Trudeau was educate wit' you.
I'm jus' come off de State to see ma familee encore;
I bus' mesef on Central Fall--I don't go dere no more.

"I got no monee--not at all! I'm broke it up for sure.
Dat's locky t'ing, Napoleon, de brakeman, Joe Latour,
He's cousin of wan frien' of me call Camille Valiquette,
Conductor too's good Canayen--don't ax me no tiquette."

I tak' Bateese wit' me once more "Hotel du Canadaw."
An' he was glad for get de chance drink some good w'iskey blanc!
Dat's warm heem up, and den he eat mos' ev'ryt'ing he see;
I watch de w'ole beez-nesse mese'f--Monjee! he was hongree!

Madame Charette, w'at's kip de place, get very much excite
For see de many pork an' bean Bateese put out of sight--
Du pain dore--potato pie--an' 'noder t'ing be dere,
But w'en Bateese is get heem t'roo--dey go I don't know w'ere.

It don't tak' long for tole de news "Bateese come off de State."
An' purty soon we have beeg crowd, lak village she's en fete.
Bonhomme Maxime Trudeau hese'f he's comin' wit' de pries'
An' pass heem on de "Room for eat" w'ere he is see Bateese.

Den ev'rybody feel it glad, for watch de embrasser,
An' bimeby de old man spik. "Bateese, you here for stay?"
Bateese, he's cry lak beeg bebe, "Ba, j'eux rester ici.
An' if I never see de State, I'm sure I don't care--me."

"Correc'," Maxime is say right off. "I place you on de farm
For help your poor ole fader; won't do you too moche harm.
Please come wit' me on Magasin, I feex you up--ba oui,
An' den you're ready for go home an' see de familee."

Wall! w'en de old man an' Bateese come off de Magasin
Bateese is los' hees Yankee clothes--he's dress lak Canayen
Wit' bottes sauvages--ceinture flechee--an' coat wit' capuchon
An' spik Francais au naturel, de sam' as habitant.

I see Bateese de oder day, he's work hees fader's place.
I t'ink mese'f he's satisfy--I see dat on hees face.
He say, "I got no use for State, mon cher Napoleon.
Kebeck, she's good enough for me--Hooraw! pour Canadaw."





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Previous: Dominique



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