Settling a Question of Sex

The Gazette
April 18, 1894

“Yonder she comes!” said a tall, lank man, who was sitting on a seat in the shade of the station building.

“Yonder comes who?” asked a fat, good-natured looking man, who sat near him.

“The train we’ve been waiting for nearly half an hour.” said the first speaker.

“Why do you say ‘yonder she comes’?” asked the other.

“Well, that’s the customary way of speaking of a train, isn’t it? And custom is what fixes things. Everybody says ‘yonder she comes,’ in speaking of a train’s approach.”

“Well, I insist you should have said ‘yonder he comes,” said the fat man.

“Oh, pshaw! Nobody ever says ‘he’ in speaking of a train,” returned the lean man.

“Well, I’ll agree to leave it to the station-master and see if it would’t have been better for you to have said ‘yonder he comes,” added the fat man.

Both agreed to it, and when they had found the station-master the fat man asked-

“What is the sex of the train just drawing near to the station?”

“It’s a mail train,” answered he.

And the lean man forthwith went out and bought a good cigar for the fat man.

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