Turning Back the Pages: Donald editor makes up stories to poke fun at Calgary

This is the second part of a two-part spoof written by the editor of the Donald Truth . John Houston is brilliant in his ability to make light of a serious situation.

Councillor Jim Linton: “You are right, Mac; but if we fence them out I would have but few purchasers for the works of ‘Ned Buntline’ and ‘Ouida,’ of which I have quite a large stock. Let us keep them in the pasture.”

All had now given their views except the chair. That gentleman arose slowly and dignifiedly to his feet, and as Truth had two specially imported shorthand reporters at the session, it gives verbatim the first report of his speech handed in, holding the other as a check in case of a libel suit: “Gentlemen, possibly you do not know that I have had 40 years’ experience as a journalist on some of the best papers in Canada such as the Toronto Glove, Montreal La Minerve and the Alberta Livestock Journal; that I can spiel and translate two languages, the one as well as the other; that I know something of law that when acting mayor of this city, I led you in your great conflict with the old fire brigade, and got nothing but abuse for my stern devotion to duty. You may not be aware that I am an old time personal friend of Sir John A., but I am; and to prove it, I received an autographed letter from him, which I published in full in the Herald when I had editorial charge of that paper.”

“My integrity (obscured) questioned: did I not promptly spill six gallons of whiskey found near the Bow River bridge by the police, during my acting mayoralty? This is a momentous question and as a solution of it, I submit the following preamble and resolutions for your consideration. If you wish I will translate them into French.”

The clerk was directed to read and did read: “Whereas, many worthy merchants of Calgary, who have hoarded their savings for years so as to be able to settle with their wives at 100 cents on the dollar, are being ruthlessly fleeced by strangers and “Whereas immoral practices of neighbouring towns, which are so vividly portrayed in our local papers, are having a bad effect on the good, but susceptible, people of our city, Therefore, be it “Resolved, that it shall be the duty of the new chief of the fire department to at once cause to be erected around the city of Calgary, except that portion on Section 16, a board fence 20 feet high, with but one gate for the ingress of outsiders.”

“Resolved, further, that said gate will be guarded day and night by the chief of police, he being instructed to admit no person within the gate unless he presents a certified pedigree from Burke’s Peerage, or be ‘drumming’ for a house willing to sell goods on long time and indefinite payment; Provided always, that Jarrett O’Keefer, Smytheus, and ‘Jumbo’s’ bill be passed unquestioned when he convoys a cargo of contraband spiritus fermenti.”

After a second and third reading of the above, they were passed by a vote of 5 to 1, Jim Linton voting nay. The council then adjourned to the Board of Trade, where each and every one of them called for “a little rye,” the favourite beverage in all strictly prohibition towns like Calgary.

“The fence is reported rapidly nearing completion.”

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