Pat Houlihan threw out his hands in a helpless plea. "Sean, see it this way, then—it's a private transaction between Toddy O'Sullivan and meself. I've sold him a goat, that's all. There is nothing wrong with a man selling a goat and picking up a few quid to support his children, now, is there, Sean? Is there?"
Sean Falvey said quietly, "Pat. Pat Houlihan. I am only now getting to know how little I know about people. I wouldn't have thought it of you, Pat. But, of course, I was wrong, wasn't I?"
That night John Phillip O'Sullivan pondered the situation in the dim light of his pub and finally he made his decision: "The goat sold to the American Navy can't possibly be King Puck, for there is no goat that is King Puck until our committee styles him so. Our King Puck was released to the hills this year. The American Navy has a goat from Killorglin, but it cannot be truthfully called King Puck." Then a broad smile beamed across his face. "Of course," he said, "if that is the same big black goat that abdicated his crown this fall, then I must commiserate with the American Navy. He was a bloody bad goat that one was—a hopeless slop who would not deign even to stand when he was crowned."
Well, as the tale at last ends, this handsome, black Irish goat is alive and well and residing in a pen near Annapolis. Tom Maloney figures he is out another $1,000 or so. Pat Houlihan has gained a few quid, but times are testy in Killorglin. Two goats are dead and, reflecting on its football season, Navy is not far from it. King Puck has had his vengeance. If there is a moral to this story, it is obscured. However, it might be respectfully suggested that the next time Navy seeks a mascot from Killorglin, it ought to consider the virgin.