|Everybody in Dubuque knows Billy A'Hern, the honest, hard-working
drayman and "Mayor of Dublin." Our reporter chanced to overhear him a few days since relating to a few of
his chums some reminiscences of his early life in the old country, and we herewith give as near as we can in
his own language his account of a duel he witnessed. He said:
"When I wor quite a young man I was in the sarvice of a gintleman named O'Halloran, in the County
of , and he was one of the best masthers and best men I ever knew. He stood over
six feet on the naked floor, and was that big around it took six yards of cloth to make a coat for him. With
all his bigness he was bould as a lion, and didn't fear the divil himself.
He was a good landlord, too, by the same token ; and all the people around about would fight for him any
day. Well, there was a felly in the neighborhood, an officer in a regiment, who had the reputation of being
a terrible shot, and was called by way of nickname Murtherin McNamara, for the number of men he had
killed at different times in his juels. He was a little felly, too, with a face on him like a weazel, covered with
short bristly hair, and all you could see of him was his nose and his eyes, and a wicked look he had in them
same, too. He was an insultin, aggravatin' kind of a chap, and was niver continted unless he had a fight on
his hands. And he niver had one that he did not kill his man, aither.
"Weel, my masther, who was a good-natured man as iver lived and not aisily provoked ; somehow he got
into a quarrel with this McNamara, and short work they made of it until the challenge had passed between
them. Who sint it, divil a one of me knows now, but first I heard of it was wan evening I was sint for by Mr.
O'Halloran. I went up to his room and there I saw him coolly cleaning up his pistols and whistling the
'Rigs of barley' softly to himself, 'William, avic,' says he. He always called me William and not Billy as you
blackgards do. 'William dhrink that,' and he poured me out a rousin' tumbler of punch. I emptied the tumbler
without any more axin, and he filled it again for me, when I says to him : They tould me yer anner that you
wanted to see me. 'Yes,' says he ; 'I want you to be on hand bright and early in the morning to drive over
to Mallen's Hill.' 'What are you going there for, masther dear?' says I. 'Hold yer tongue,' says he, 'and don't
be axing foolish questions.'
Well, to make a long story short, we set out at break of day, and a rougher road I never traveled in my life.
And after driving awhile we came to the top of a hill, and there way beyant we saw a crowd
standin', and all of them lookin' at us. O'Halloran lifted his eye-glass, and looking steadily through
it a minnit, and shutting it hastily, he says, 'Drive like the divil. We're late. Don't spare the whip.' Wid
that we set off at a terrible gait. I had as fast a team of horses as there was in the country, and they
fairly flew over the ground whenever I gave them the laste touch of the whip. What wid the fear I was
in, and the excitement, and the stones we ran over, I could hardly hould on to the sate, but after a bit
we got to the ground, and before I had fairly stopped the team, O'Halloran was out of the carriage, and
whipping a tape measure out of his pocket, along wid his knife, he stuck the knife through the ring of the
measure into the ground that had already been staked off, and measuring it off, he says: 'You are three
feet too far! Here is the spot.' 'As you plaze,' says the other felly's second, and the two were stuck in their
places, while the crowd, which was by this time a big one, darted right and left.
Well, their arms were lifted, the word was given, and two reports went off as one. McNamara half fell over,
and as he raised himself the blood was streaming down his face from his ear which had been shot away.
O'Halloran had the knot of his necktie cut off as slick as a daisy, but stood in his place smiling like a morning
in May. McNamara was furious, however, and wanted another shot. Well, the pistols were loaded again, the
word was given, and bang they went. Almost with the report, McNamara staggered and fell like a log on his
face. They went up to him, but he never moved. They turned him on his back and found an ugly hole in his
forehead. O'Halloran ran up to him, bent down and looked into his face. 'The Lord love you,' says he; 'I am
sorry for you, but you would have it so.'
The body of McNamara was put into the carriage and taken away by his friends, while O'Halloran drove,
home without saying a word. 'And this,' said Billy, 'was the first
and only juel I iver saw, and I niver want to see another."Dubuque Times