[From Manx Tales, Egbert Rydings 1895]

How "Our Thobm and Kirree " went from Laxey to Midsummer Fair.

[AS TOLD BY KIRREE HERSELF.]

"WELL, woman! You've got back from the feer, I see - Come tell us all about what you've seen."

"Lough save us! Mrs. Kelly, is that you? Come in, woman, do, and don't be standin' in the door like that, but come on the settle and take a ress (wait woman, let me brush it) till I takes mee t'ings off and puts the keddhel on the bar. I'm jus' dead and fairly was'e fora cup of tay.

Having jammed the kettle on the fire with the spout up the chimney, and taken her things off and put them on the parlour "laff," she comes and sits down on the "furrim," and commences her narrative.

"Mrs. Kelly! Mrs. Kelly! The 'jeeil' our Thobm has done this blessed day bates all. But wait, woman, wait. I mus': tell ye from the very fus' to make ye understan', as the man said.

"Well, our Thobm and me made it up las' week that when the 5th of July would be comin' we would go to the feer. You mus' know, Mrs. Kelly, we hadn' been to the feer for years and years, in fac', not since the railroad bein' open,

and, in fac', Mrs. Kelly, to tell you trus, our Thobm has navar seen a railroad, as the sayin' is; and as he had sowl a hafer to the Co-op., and gorra good price, an' his wool too ('cept what you know, woman, I allis keeps for meeself-a fleece or two of Kier for stockin' yarn, and some white, for Kalter*[* Heavy flannel]; chat ! woman, this mill spinnin' is mortal poor; give me plenty of twiss, twiss, Mrs. Kelly, that's the stuff to wear, eh? mee own spinnin' on the lil quheel to stan' a rep, as the man said - eh, Mrs. Kelly? You know as well as I do). Well, Mrs. Kelly, as I was sayin'-what was I sayin', Mrs. Kelly? Oh, aye, aye, our Thobm. Well, as I was sayin', our Thobm had a new pair of russad trousis made at the tailor - Lawson in the glen - machine stetched, did ye say, Mrs. Kelly? Our Thobm would be tru the leks of them in a munse. No, my gough ! nawthin' 'll stan' our Thobm but needle stetched and thread waxed like a cobbler's end. (The Fair?) Aw well, Mrs. Kelly, indeed yes, you do well to remin' me about the feer. Well, as I was sayin'-(Machine stitched)-No, Mrs. Kelly, and I'll thank you not to interrupt, Mrs. Kelly. If you think you can tell the story batthar til me, do, but don't 'rup' me, plase.

" Well, Mrs. Kelly, on the mornin' of the feer, its up we got when we heard the mine's bell. (Washin' floor ?) Chut woman, miners. How do yo think in your heart, Mrs. Kelly, I could get through all the mess and muck of work I had to do-feedin' calves, pigs, and fowls, melkin, and hapes of other kiartagh [ Business] you know I have to do, and meet Jem the Co-op., who promised our Thobm to give us a leff, and you know he is mortal 'tiklar to start at nine, and it would be no use if we gorr up only at the washin' bell.

"Well, though, after crammin' a lot of stuff in a shatchet. (Satchell ?) Mrs. Kelly, I'll ax you not to be a-'ruptin' me again. I said 'sash-' Chut! I'll gallantee I know the word as well as you do, and can say it too, you needn' fear ; but I can't jus' now get mee tongue roan' it, as the man said.

" Howsomever, as the pazon said, let us stock to the tex. And so when-when-where was I, Mrs. Kelly ? Ah, ye needn', I've gorrit, I've gorrit, the sash - dear me ! this cough I've got in nice neck is fet to tear me to pieces. 'Scuse me, Mrs. Kelly, I'll take a spoonful of this cowl pinjane ; our Thobm says it's tarrable good to sof'n the neck.

"Well, we gorrit cramm'd full of cheese, and barley-bread and botthar - fresh barley-bread as you know, Mrs. Kelly, for I had to borrow your griddle the everin' before - when, to and behoul' ye ! jus' as I was squeezin' the thing to, our Thobm shouts from the laff, 'Kirree, purra junk of yandhar stock-fish on the sendhars ; it'll go high wis a pint of ale.' Our Thobm is tarrable fond of salt fish. So I had to do it, and jam it into the-thing, as well, you know, as I could.

" Well, we no sooner gorr outside and put the lock on, and the key in mee pockad, when our Thobm call'd from off' the street, ' Kirree !' 'Well?' 'Put two new-laid duck-eggs in the baskag ; they'll be nice wis the fish.' Mrs. Kelly, as sure as I'm alive the-it-thing though, or whatever you're callin' it, was ram-jam full, so, you may belave me or no, there warn' room to put a hayseed in, let alone a couple of eggs. Faix, Mrs. Kelly, as you know, our Thobm is mortal fond of a duck egg wis any sort of a kitchen; so I had to go and get two, as there was no room in the sca-- Chut ! I had to wrap them in mee han'kecher and carry them in nice pockad. You know, Mrs. Kelly, duck eggs has tougher shells, so no fear; and off we went.

"I walk'd middlin' quick down Agneash Road, I can tell you, woman, for I know in mee heart Jem the Co. wouldn' wait one sackon, and didn' care, no not a farthin', but ups and off he mus' go if we wash' theer at the time. So I kep' on pushin' our Thobm, for I knew the time was nearly up by the way the Agneash boys was hurryin' to school. But bad cess to it, Mrs. Kelly, and wus' luck, as the man said, no sooner had we gorr over the river at Creer's mill than who should our Thobm meet but the Clerk, and 'Hulloah,, Thobm ! wheer now? the feer ?' and a cooish* mus' be arrim. You know the Clerk and our Thobm bein' Baldhun bred, mus' have a long cooish [Talk] about him, and her, and every-- body, and the Ardwhallans, and the Renshents, and Filla the dessart, and a whole hage of rubbage of that surt ; and me the shoutin' at the top of mee vice, 'We'll be late ! Guy heng ! It's late we'll be.' And nawthin' from our Thobm but 'fuiree, [Easy-wait] gell ! Fuiree woman;' and bad cess to his I fuiree,' and if I hadn' ha' gone back aud laid hoult of our Thobm's arrim and actually dragg'd him away, them two would have talk'd on till now. These Baldhun fallas, you know, Mrs. Kelly, are tarrable fond of a long cooish.

" Well, when we gorrit the Co., lo and behoul' ye ! Jem was gone. I was that mad, Mrs. Kelly, I could have ups wis me fisses and given our Thobm on the mous, but what'd ha' been the use ? what'd ha' been the good, Mrs. Kelly ? but he aggravated me wis his 'Aisy gell ! aisy woman for all ! ' Yes, he did, though ; he reglar ril'd me, I mus' say, when I knew in mee heart it was his cuss-no, Mrs. Kelly, I won't say that bad word ; it was his listenin' to newses that made us too late for Jem the Co. Well, I was that mad, Mrs. Kelly-you may belave me or no-that I was for goin' back. But our Thobm coax and coax, and said how the Agneash ones would make fun of us if we didn' go to the feer ; and, few th' pacerfy me lek, he said he'd carry the sacket. (Yon needn' smile, Mrs. Kelly, you needn', I can tell you--You didn' ? Maybe not. Well, we'll lave that alone, as the man said, and perceed with the tex, as the Pazon said.) Aye, woman, and coax me though to lerrim carry the duck-eggs in his hat, but I wouldn' lerrim do that, Mrs. Kelly, as you know our Thobm sweats lek the mischief when he's walkin', and would be sure to tak' his hat off to mop his head, furgerrin' the duck-eggs. No, Mrs. Kelly, I preferred to keep them in mee pockad.

" Well, off we started, and gorr as far as Dan's-(Mylroi's ?). Chut ! woman, do you take us for born idjits to be goin' down the Glen to Dhoolish ? No, but Cleator's-White's half-way house-and our Thobm would go in to gerra light for his pipe, he said, and coax and coax enough for me to go in, and-'They've pop, woman,' he says. But I said I wouldn', and, of coorse, I wouldn', Mrs. Kelly, go in any such place, not in our own parish, to be seen comin' out maybe by the Super, or at lase by some of the Agneash chapel ones. No, Mrs. Kelly, I honours too much for mee quarterly ticket to be seen comin' urrov any such places, anyway, as I said, in our own parish. So I walks on, and I hadn' got no furder till Charlie's when our Thobm shouts, 'Kirree!' 'Well? ' Howl on! give us three-half-pence. I mus' have some thombargar at Dan's.' And ye may belave me or no, Mrs. Kelly, but the everin' before I gorrim a quhole quarter of twis', and him bittendin' he'd lef' it at home, which was rubbage, as I purrit in wis mee own han's in his Sunda' jacked pockad. He bittendid to feel for it, and pulled out his han'kecher, but I wouldn' belave, but for all I give him three-half-pence.

"'Deed, Mrs. Kelly, I navar thrus' our Thobm wis the pus'. If he gorrit he'd make jeeill of it in no time, and wouldn' regard, not him, spendin' it lek fletthars. I don't navar 'llow our Thobm mor'n three-half-pence, 'cept when he's in Dhoolish, for he says the jough is a half-penny dearer theer, so I have to give him two-pence.

"Well, I gorrup to the top of the White Bridge before our Thobm overtid, me, and we went down the Burnt Mill, and at the bottom theer was a carriage standin', and our Thobm wanted to gerr in, as he said it was sure to be goin' to the feer, as theer were so many people in wis theer Sunda' clothes on. But, you know, Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm has no schoolin', and says I, 'You stupit! don't ye see that's a thrum goin' to Bovril ?' for I could see the name stuck on the sule like Laxa car.

"Well, on we goes to the Market Place, and the people that was goin' to the station was somethin' tremenjous. When we got to the station all the people was rammin' and jammin' to the right, but says I to our Thobm, 'Here's a road in through this gate to the lef' ; we can get in without such jingin' and scrunchin'.' So in we goes and up to the train, and we was jus' gerrin' in when a man comes up wis a church bell in his han' and calls 'Tiggads !' 'What tiggads?' says I ; 'haven' we got the money in our pockads ?' and out wis mee pus ? But would you belave it, Mrs. Kelly, he had that imprince to tell me he wouldn' tak' mee money, but we mus' go to the wooden box and get tiggads ? 'And be slippy about it,' says he-the imprince that's in the lek, Mrs. Kelly, for I tuk him to be no batthar til a ' cottonie.' But I ups and goes to the hut, and the pushin' and the scroogin' before I could get to the man in the hole that was sarvin' the tiggads ; but at last I gorrem. And Mrs. Kelly ! Mrs. Kelly! If you'd ha' seen mee new Sunda' bonnad, only once wore at me, the jammed and the crunkled it was ! And I couldn' help it, woman, for I had to keep the two ban's in mee pockad to mine mee pus, and to keep the eggs from bein' bruk. Well, I gorrem at las', and I rum back, and the men were jammin' the doors of the train to, and the falla ding-dongin' the church bell lek mad, and 'Hurry up, woman, or you'll be too late.' And nice, Mrs. Kelly, clane disthracted, and in a muck of sweat, and our Thobm wis his head urrov a wends', and signin' to moo lek mad, and the train jus' on the move, and ' Gerr in, woman, gerr in ! ' and a man grips me behint, and in I tumbles in the carriage, and the carriage a-goin', and I flops on the seat, and bad cess to it ! nice pock-ad was undhar mee, and I heard the eggs go plop, lok when the boys blows up a tay bag and plop it in theer han', and I knew in mee heart, Mrs. Kelly, that mee new black merino frock I'd only had on twice was teetotal spoilt. So I inns wis rice ban' in mee pockad; and turned it inside out, and the muck came flyin' out, and it went on the frock of a woman tirat was sittig on the furrim opposite, and in mee flurry I onluoky took mee pockad harr'kecher I'd forgot was wrapp'd roan' the eggs and brushed it off, and made the woman's frock ten times was' til it would have been if I hadn' touched it.

" And Mrs. Kelly ! Mrs. Kelly ! You should have seen the look on that woman's face-it would ha' freckened you- red, white, and blue, and, Mrs. Kelly, cry I mus', and couldn' help it, woman, and the han'kecher up to moo face, and I turns, and she seen the yalla' muck runnin' down mee face, and the woman begun to laff, and our Thobm, the fool ! begun to laff, and all the people in the carriage begun to laff, till we ups at the Ballasalla station, and the tiggad man come roun', and, behoul' ye ! Mrs. Kelly, as sure as I'm alive, we had come to Castletown instead of the feer. And this is how our Thobm and me went to Midsummer Feer.

"And the keddhel is jus' a-bilin', and I'll have a cup o' tay, for I'm jus' dead-bet, and no mistake, as the man said.

"Look here, Mrs. Kelly-achree ! Gone, are you? Don't for massy's sake tell John Oliver, the Ballacregga, or the Agneash ones, for I'd navar hear the las' of it-(you won't) that's a good sowl! And, Mrs. Kelly, I'll be sendin' you a boddle of steep, and I'll give you, as sure as I'm alive, a fine junk of spare-rib when we kills our pig, and your Ned-beg shall have the bladdhar; theer now. Good everin', Mrs. Kelly, achree ! if you won't stop, as you say, and hav' a cup of tay wis me. Good everin'."

CHAPTER II.

MRS. KELLY and " our Kirree " are having a quiet cup of "tay" together. Kirree, with a black "taypot" in her hand, says :- "Lough save us alive, woman, you're navar done wis on'y two cups of tay. (Fortune ?) Oh, aye woman, yes, I see your fortin-well, turn it up and let's see your luck-but to tell you the trus, Mrs. Kelly, I don't navar belave in tay- cups tallin' fortins. Chat ! woman, its nawthin' but rubbage, bittendin to tell one's luck wis tay-laves. No, I won't look at no money-bags, nor such thumfoolery-let me fill your cup, this tag is jus' at its bes'. (Co-op. tay?) No, no, woman, I don't gerrit at the Co. Our Thobm says that the Laxa' tag is -no batthar til--Chat ! our Thobm is too tarrable vulgar sometimes, so I won't say what he says. No, Mrs. Kelly, for years and years I have gerrit at Allen's, in Dhoolish-the Ballavarra ones-you mus' know, Mrs. Kelly? Wheer the Laxa' miners always went before the strike - pay Saturda' - and all the carts in the parish hired arram, and the sthrengs of them in Duke Street, and mus' wait theer turn at the Divvle's Elbow, and tremenjous goin' on arram at the pay-nawthin' less til the very bes' of every- ting - Bobby-the-Blood, and Rocks, and Bobby Lewney, would jus' as soon hav' giv'n you a slap in the mous as lak at ye-these were mortal ghennal* [Genial - Jolly] times, but I forget, Mrs. Kelly, you are too young to 'member them.

"Chut! woman, you mus' have another cup-what's five lil cups laak these to a woman the laaks of you, and after a stockfish dinner, as you say? And two more herrin's in the ffryin'-pan on the fire-Port-le-murrough steaks our Thobm calls them. (No ?) You needn' say no, Mrs. Kelly ; you'll have to before you lave the table; theer now. Here, wipe your fingars on my brat and fall to, as the man said.

" Chut ! woman, what's two herrin's apiece for you and me at the fus' of the sayson ? I've hard our Thobm tell me when he was at the herrin's, he thought nawthin' of takin a dozen and a warp out of the pot on the fire by their tails aud shakin' the mate off into his bross. (And bread ?) Yes, woman, aud plenty of spuds and cabbage, and leeks and the lek. Them fisher-fallas, our Thobm tells me, are allis tarrable ravingus when they goes out at fus'. But, Mrs. Kelly, I makes allowances for men, but when it comes to women drinkin' twelve cups of tay, and no end of bun loaf, and batthar laid on lek cheese at the Harves' Home lek I've seen wis mee own eyes some women do, I think its piggish, don't you, Mrs. Kelly? I navar takes mor'n till six meeself. I could mention names, Mrs. Kelly, but chut! what's the use of causing bothar among naybors, as the sayin' is ? (You 'promised-) Yes, yes, yes, I did woman promise you I'd tell the story how our Thobm gorr home that night we should have gone to the feer. But wait, woman, I'll jus' shove these things off the table on to the drassar, so we can sit comfable in the chiollaglh,[Hearth] purra junk of turf on, Mrs. Kelly, and give me that wing-theer now, that's comfable and clane, and I can now go on wis mee tale.

"Mrs. Kelly, I do belave in nice heart our Thobm gets more confounded stupider and stupider every day. You'd think, Mrs. Kelly, at his years, he'd a tuk wit, and all my talkin' to him and scoulin'-I might jus' as well save mee bres to blow mee porrage, as the man said, as talk to our Thobm ; it takes no more effect til water on a goose's wing.

" (The Story ?) Yes, woman, I'm gerrin at it; but you mus' let nice take nice bres, and tell it in mee own ways. I know, woman, I go clanderin' on, and as our Thobm often says, mee tongue goes waggin' laak a dyin' lamb's tail, but I mus' have nice own way, and nice own time too if I mus' tell it. Theer now, don't 'rup' me, Mrs. Kelly, and I'll go on wheer I leff off tellin' you before. Well, woman, when we gorr into Castletown our Thobm said he knew a house wheer we could ate our mate, and the jough was tremenjous good. You know, Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm was once on a jury at the Castle- Dempster Heywood's time-and the go that was on our Thobm bet all, woman-up hours before dark-chut ! no. What am I saying' ?-daylight I mane- and snow comin' down lek the mischief, and Billy Hom tuk wis our Thobm, and the two of them had to walk every step to Castletown. 'Deed on Thobm though, and Billy Hom ; they were tarrable swivel yandhar times. (Railway ?) Chut ! woman, there was no railway then ; on'y Thobm Cowell's coach, and he on'y lef Dhoolish in the everin'-so there was no help for it but shanks' pony, as the sayin' is. And mus' be theer by ten, or my gough, oul Heywood would clap a ten pound fine on ye as sure as look at ye. But, howavar, Billy and our Thobm gorrat the Castle before the coort started, and a pint or two of jough arram before goin' in, and what wis the murdherin' long walk tru' the sludge and muck on the road, and the settin' up arram two nights before wig a talvin' cow haffar, our Thobm said he felt tarrable sleepy, and no wondher, woman. Well, Billy Hom and our Thobm were bose tuk, and a back sate arram, and ' kess the book,' said the Dempster, quite solemn lek, and this was all our Thobm hard of the trial that was arram. It chance on a very dark winter's day, and the coort on'y bein' lit wis two or three tallow candles, no one tuk notice of our Thobm bein' asleep, and the trial went dronin' on for three hours and our Thobm slept quite comfable tru' it all. Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm, you knows yourself, snoors lek an out sow when he's asleep, so when it was comin' too loud entirely Billy had to pinch our Thobm, and that kep' the damper on; but our Thobm didn' hear a haporth. Billy, I've hard him tell, did manage to keep awake sometimes, when George William was shoutin' at the top of his vice, and latherin' the table lek mad. The advocate on the other side was-C-(Sherwood ? Laughton ? Adams? Collister ? Thornhill ?) No. Chut ! woman, don't be a fool. The name begins wis a C. Dear me, mee head's gone no batthar til a turmit. Oh, I've gorrim ! I've gorrim ! Craggie, that's the falla; a tarrable bully, but cudn' houl' a candle, as the sayin' is, to George William, that could twis' oul Heywood roun' his fingar, I've hard say, lek a piece of quhalebone lek. What was the trial about, says you? 'Deed, Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm navar knew. Hom said he thought it was someting about some falla that had tuk a sheep or sometin' from somewhere Cronk-na-ary-laa way. But, Mrs. Kelly, you may belave me or no, but I belave in mee heart that Hom know'd no more til our Thobm what was arram. Well, when the talkin' stop, our Thobm woke up, and they were toul' to go into a back room and consedhar their vardick. Billy ups at once and perposes our Thobm for fore-falla. (Foreman ?) Chut ! woman, isn't it all the same falla and man, what's the differ? Well, our Thobm wouldn' stan', and a falla thee're call'n Thobm-a-Close, Crammag way, was tuk arram. And 'Houl' up your han's for not guilty,' and Billy and our Thobm seein' mos' of the han's up, ups wis theers too, as bose of them thought it bes' to go wis the 'jority.

" Lough save us ! Mrs. Kelly, at this rate of perceedin' I'll navar get tru' wis mee tale, as the man said.

" Well, woman, as we had come to Castletown in place of the feer, and as theer warn' any train back immajant, we made it up, our Thobm and me, we'd go and see tru' the Castle. Our Thobm says he had hard there was some tarrable gran' tings arram theer.

" So in we went, payin' the money at the door, and a falla come all smilin' ghennal mortal, which I tuk for a bobby in his Sunda' bes' clothes, and he tak as roan', splainin' everyting.

" You mus' know, woman, beside our Thobm and me, there were lots of 'cottonies' goin' the roun'. And our Thobm kep' at the falla's elber, lessenin' wis his moos wide open to everyting the man said, and comes to a room wheer theer was an oul wooden clock, wis quheels some of them you could see as big as plates on the dhrassar, and the weights, tremenjous, hung on clothes lines across the room Our Thobm says they were for hanging the prisoners' shirts on, when they had them washed, to dry. I was'n lessenin' to the falla, Mrs. Kelly, for the people were starin' at mee frock wis the yalla muck on, and I went into a corner and pinned it up, so it couldn' be seen, so I didn' hear what the falla said. But our Thobm, who, as you know, Mrs. Kelly, has gorra head laak an almanac, and could carry every word quite pat, as the man said, toul' me that the falla said that that oul' clock was gove t'ousands of years ago by the Bible Queen of Sheba' to the Castle, and our Thobm said she lived on the Peel Road, on the Dhoolish side of St. John's, in a tremenjous castle theer, and that was the 'east' she come from. (That's Greeba?) Mrs. Kelly, I'll allow you bates me at pronunchon, but when it comes to tology, you know you can't houl' a, candle to me; chut! woman, one that was sittin' lek it would be at the fut of Gammal, Harry Crebbin and owl' Kay, tarrable clavar fallas, bose in knowin' texses and Scriptur pints, and soun' orra massy, I've argified wis them bose for hours by the clock, and they were allowin' they couldn' come over me. Luk here, Mrs. Kelly, if you want to argify the subjac from a Scriptur point of view, I'm willin', and in the fus' place, as Juan-a-Nollick says, don't the Bible names of persons, when they are turned from the Manx into the English change the fus latthars, as for instance, Yacob into Jacob, Voses into Moses, Yoshua into Joshua, Yuaase into Judas, Yamys into James, and so like- wise, as Nollick would say, Sheba, translated from the Manx into English, would be Greeba, and therefore our Thobm and the man was right. Mrs. Kelly, I'll revise you for the future don't you navar meddle wis tology, its pas' your depse, as Juan would be sayin'. And Mrs. Kelly, I'm fairly ashamed of young persons the leks of you not havin' one mossil of Manx arram, your native laugwige, and the very same speech that Adam and Eve used in the garden.

"(The Story?) Yes, yes, les' get back to the tale. I am glad you puk me up, woman. Wheer was I? (In the Castle.) O aye, aye, 'thanks,' Mrs. Kelly, as the ' cottonies ' say ; in the Castle we were, I 'member. Well, then the falla he tuk us into a room that I didn' care a farden for, with all sorts of oul' thing-a-morgigs, spears, swoords, guns and bagganets, and all such lek rubbage, and he callt it, our Thobm said, the hangquitar room. (Antiquarian ?) Didn' I say that? Here you, as you are so clavar, and 'ruptin' me, you spell it. Spell it, as oul' Cannell the one arrim used to say. (A, n, t, q- Chut !) Theer now, I knew you couldn'. You've foun' your match for once. Dear me, when I was a gel and goin' to school to oul' Cannell, the one arrim, in the Glen, I was his bes' scholar, and could spell hard words lek the mischief - Constantinople, Nebucadnezar, Baalzebub. Chut! woman, I could reel them off laak tape, and no mistake, as the Irish man said. (Grammar ?) No, Mrs. Kelly, we navar larn'd grammar, nor gerogrepy, nor none of your jus'-comme-up- tings that they turns the childhars' heads wis now, but Cannell woman was tarrable clavar, writiri' lek copper plate, Manx arrim to perfection. 'Rule of three it puzzles me, praxis makes me mad,' and sea schoolin' for the boys, and Corletts arrim, and the Kerruish's ones to polish them off, and warn they all captins of vessels sailin' furrin ? Chut ! woman, wheer's the lek of them you'll find now, wis your grammar and gerogrepy and sengin' ?

" Sengin' ! sengin' ! indeed, nawthin' now-a-days but sengin' mus' be arram, and Kelly-boy-noa and his sol-fa rubbage, and the boys and gels sweelin' and ballarin' laak cats and bulls wis ther trimbles and basses, and stretchin' their necks like coar-ny-kastans.[Herons] Chut ! woman, if I mus' have my way, I'm tinkin' I would houl' wis Walter Hooper, when he toul' our Thobm that if any of his childhar tivar larnt or 'tempted to sing, he would murther them.

" Well, Mrs. Kelly, when we gorr out of the Castle, we come straight on to the station, for I had gorr a tarrable sick head-jus' fit to splet, for what wis the lookin' at the out' tholthans [Ruins] of tings in the Castle, and the dirt of tay I gorr at the house wis me mate, and had to pay tuppence for two lil cups, no beggar til egg-cups, which I ups and toul' the woman to her face was nawthin' til downright robbery, and not a hapoth batthar til desh-water. (You told her so ?) 'Deed, Mrs. Kelly, I did, aud didn' regard for the leks of yandhar ; you know, woman, I can't navar a-bear to be put on wisout givin' the laak the lense of mee tongue. Well, anyway, we were sick of Castletown, and between you and me and the bed-pos', as the sayin' is, Mrs. Kelly, let me tell you its a tarrable slack and dull place sense the coorts and pris'ners were tuk to Dhoolisb. Man alive ! it's wus' til bein' buried alive livin' yandhar, 'deed I would jus' as soon live at Thobm Alone's as the laak of yandhar place.

" Well, we didn' wait at the station mor'n five minutes when theer up wis a train from Port-le-murrough way, and we gorr in a carriage all one's self-on'y our Thobm and me in ,jus' lek quality folks, and we gorr at Dhoolish in no time, as the man said-and as comtable as comfable.

CHAPTER III.

"WHEN we gor at Masue's [St. Matthew's] clock in the Market Place, the fingars were jus' standin' on the minutes of half-pas' four, and our Thobm said that was 'arly, and to stay in Dhoolish for an hour or two at las'e. But I wouldn', no I wouldn', Mrs. Kelly, for mee head was quhirlin' like a top and fet to selet. Arid our Thobm want'd for to go into Thobm Joe's. 'And they'll make you a cup of tay woman, to cattle your head,' and coax enough. Besides, woman, I don't think much of Thobm Joe's, and I toul our Thobm so. Would you balave me, woman, las' Crissimus I soult two of the nicest and fat-as-butthar gooses as avar stad on one leg, and every Sataday sense, when I had done me butthar and egg at the market, I tuk mee empy baskag into Joe's, bittendin' I want'd to lave it for a sackon or two, and always past the compliments of the day to Joe's wife, expactin' she would pay me for the gooses, but navar a mawsil of a word abut the goose-money. I hate to dun people for money, laak some of the Laxa ones does on pay days-standin' at the office door, aud almost grippin' the miners when they comes out wis theer pay. Some fallas are tarrable hungry for theer money, if it's been owin' for a niunse or two. Its hateful, Mrs. Kelly, don't you think so? Well, for this rason I navar would ax Joe's wife for the money, although she had had them for mor'n six munses, and the savvin-and-sixpunce was still owin'. But chat! woman, I could be as inderpennant as her, and wouldn' humble to her, nor the Queen herself, if

I tuk it that way. You know, Mrs Kelly, nice tempar, if riled, as the man said, won't navar be sat upon ; no, not by the bes' in the land. So I wouldn' go in, coax as hard as he laak. But I gav our Thobm tuppance, and toul him he might get a pint of jough at Joe's, for I always mind a wise sayin' of Neddy Nims - 'Navar quarrel wis your bread and butthar if you can halpet.' Neddy, you know, Mrs. Kelly, was always tuk for a wise falla, although he was not a Premmitif. Well, I toul our Thobm to mind and meet mee in Duke Street, opposite Thobm Hunthan's 'mungery shop in half-an-hour's time, and be shure to be theer sharp, as the auction bills now has it. You know, Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm is mortal slack and bad to hender. So I went to Allen's, the grocer's, as I want'd to get tay and pappar, and lil things laak that. And Allen sarved me his-self; he always would do that, Mrs. Kelly, whanavar I went in the shop, no matthar who he would be sagvin-lef' they mus' be, and the boy to 'tan tham, and 'Well, Mrs. Kelley, and how are you this fine morning?' (or everin', jus' as it may be). 'And how is your Thobm, and how is Mr. Clague, Ballacregga?' Its quare, Mrs. Kelly, how some fallis gets mesther'd, and others don't ? Our Thobm navar don', navar. ' And how are the crops lookin' in Kil-Lonan side? Its every appearanse we'll be gerren a early harves'.' And as gannal as gannal could be, and quite the gentleman is Mr. Allen; one of the ould surt, as the man said, and very fond of a good cooish he is, when he finds some one that can talk sometin' worse lessenin' to. Chut ! woman, does'n' he know everyborry in Kil-Lonan, miners and farmers and all, and is'n' there some distan' relation, third or fours cousin either his or the wife's side, to the Mylreas, or sumthin' of that surt ; but I'm not sure how near. Johnny Hungan could have traced the perrigree to the last dot, and may be our Thobm could; but lacks save us, Mrs. Kelly, where am I ramblin' to ?

" When I gorr out of Mr. Allen's shop, and was goin' down Duke Street, there were a lorra people crunchin' in a jungler's shop (jew--). Chut ! woman, you need'n be'ruptin' nice. I know, I know-where they were havis' a auction sale, and I sees our Thobm right in the front of the auctioneer, wis' a lil clock in his hand ; it was Tomsellar that was the auctioneer, a tarrable limb, as you know, Mrs. Kelly, and he was shoutin' at our Thobm, and almost cousin', and people laffin' fet to splet theer sides. I crunches in amongst them, and ups to our Thobm as bowl as brass, and shouts-' What's this cousin' about? I'm ashamed of you, Tomsellar, a family man and church goer, and 'spectable, which I always tak you till now, -sin' langwige which any hobbler on the quay would be ashamed of, to a 'spectable pusson like our Thobm, that's known you from a lump of a boy, when we gorr our seeds from your father;' and on I went like that, till I was out of bress. Tomsellar hung down his bead and give a lil snigger of a laf', but was tuk down a peg, I can tell you, woman. Tomsellar then explain, and said he was very sorry for what he had said, but he really did not know our Thobm with his Sunday bes' clothes on him, but tuk him for a swindlin' cottonie.' Says he, our Thobm had bought a clock and wouldn' pay for it. So I outs wis' me puss, and axes how much it was, and the clerk said 'five shillings,' so I down's wis the blunt, and laid howl of our Thobm's arrim and pull'd him away, and I hard Tomsellar, the sleech, say sometin' about 'wearin' the breeches,' and the people laffin'; and I knew it was our Thobm's new russad trousis they were struk wis. So I turns at the door and, says I, 'Yes, indeed, these are bran new off the needle, Moore the waver's clothes, and none of your machine stetched neither;' so I outs with us in the street. Did'n' I sarve him out Mrs. Kelly?-the imperance there is in some people, Mrs. Kelly, its no use of talkies'. When the gorr in the street, out of the crunchin, Billy Hom was wis' our Thobm, and I had put the clock in our Thobm's jackal pockad-and I axed him how in the mischief he cum to be buyin' clocks when he knew in his heart he had'n a farden in his pockads. Well, Thobm up and toul me the whole rig-Billy helpin' him. I can always truss our Thobm to tell the truce, Mrs. Kelly, when he's nawthin' to lose by it. Well, he said, when he gorr in Duke's Street, and did'n see me at Thobm Huntan's shop door, he went down the street a lil way, and saw the people crunchin into the ruction, and so, lek a fool, he mus' go in. Then Hom says (and Billy is truseful we all knows), when Tomsellar gorra glint of our Thobm at the door, he shouts out-'For heaven's sake, people, stand back ! here's Mr. Thobm Killey, Esq., M.H.K for Garff, at the nex' election, to be held nex' week accordin' to the papars, retches' man in Kil-- Lonan-not barrin' Clague, Ballafernan, neither, six pair of bosses arrim; an' more lan' til Bishop's Court-tousans and tousans out on interes', his own place not a farden in it rich as the Diamon' King, and no mistake. Frank Johnson was at mee to-day, wantin' to buy six of mee bigger' safes, and he said what they had arrem was ram jam of Killey's bonds, and they kep' comin' in baskags full, an mus' hev' new safes to purrem in. Now then, start me! start me! that clock is worse two poun if it's worth a penny. Start me ! start me ! he kep' hollerin' out, and our Thobm, as plased as a stuffed monkey, walks up to the front, and, 'Five shillings,' says our Thobm. I Chut ! that will navar do for a man richer til Noble,' he said, but no one put another bid in, and it was knock'd down to Thobm, and the man givvit to him when I jus' comes in, and you know the res', Mrs. Kelly.

" Well, when we gorr outside, me and our Thobm and Billy, lo and behoult you! who should I see standin' wis a empy cart arrim, but the miller, and he'd jus' pek up the lines on the bosses back, and was jus' on the move to start, and I runs across the street, and he sees me, and shouts on to gerr in and hev a lif'. So our Thobm and Billy helps me in over the cart quheel. I wanted our Thobm, and so did the miller, to gerr in, but Hom grips him and wouldn' let go his hoult, he said, til they had drunk the 'jough a dhorris' [Stirrupcup] at Thobm Joe's. Of course its undurstood and taken for granted, as the man said, Mrs. Kelly, that I had to fork out tuppens to our Thobm, but I had this constilation, as the man said, that it would be the las' I should give him that day, and he would soon have to follow, because I knew nobry would giv' tek to either our Thohm or Billy.

"Well, so off we started in the cart, wis plenty of straw to keep mee feet comfable. You know, -Mrs. Kelly, the miller is total to the backbone, and no feer of him hendran on the road. Our Thobm, you mus' know, woman, always sends his groats and barley-male to him, for our Thobm tinks he gets arrim more flour back, because Juan Phil's mill is water- quheel turned, and oul fashion stones, and our Thobm says he hasn' faise in them fire-engen turnin' things and iron stones. But, how-some-daver, as the man said, its my opingin (which our Thobm says, sometimes, does'n count for much) the meal is sweetner to the tas'e til iron stones.

"Well, Mrs. Kelly, wisout furrier transgressin' on your time, as the super says, I gorr home to Agneash on the minute of nine o'clock. And theer was the fire to light, milkin', pigs, fowlses, and a hape of other kiartaghs to do, and ger on Thobm-Belt's suppar on the table, and you know, Mrs. Kelly, the boy-bough was on the everin' shift, and on the minutes of ten would be home.

" Well, woman, I got all mee kiartaghs done, and our clock was standin' at a quarter to eleven, and I heard our Thobm-Beg on the street-(Quarter to ten ?)-No, woman, eleven ! for I allis keeps the clock three-quarter fast, so that the boy-beg can gerr up at six, and be down at the lavar' mous [mouth of the level] when the bell rings. Well, our Thobm-Beg comes in, and his fuss words were, 'Where's daa ?' That boy, you know, Mrs. Kelly, is tarrable fond of 'daa,' as we calls our Thobm at home. Well, I had to tell him he was'n' come home, but hopes to the massy nawthin' had happened him. Well, our Thobm-Beg gorr his wash, tuk his clothes, and pur his clane dros stock'n's on, and gorr his supper, and was takin' a draw of his pipe, before flyin' up, as the man said, when I become tarrable onasy about our Thobm, and his smook being done arrim, and was makin' off for bed when the clock struck twelve. Goodness grayshurs ! I shouted, as sure's I'm alive, sometin' has happened to daa-murthered arrem, for I fel' mee heart go tump against mee rebs. Put your clothes on, Thobm-bough, and les go to Billy Hom's, and see if Billy hev' come home. So off we started, and bein' a fine starry night, we went the short cut across the ravar. It was a pretty stiff climb, I can tell you, ups the brew from the ravar, but, howavar, we gorr at Billy's at the las'; land we went rount to the back door and saw- a light in the kitchen, and ins I went wisout knockan, for you mus' know, Mrs. Kelly, our Thobm and Billy hev' all their lives made boundry togethar. Well, when I gorr in, and the gels saw me panthin' for me bres, and fair checkt, they were freckened lek, for they said I was more laak a gose, and Bella was that kind she ran for the boddle at once, and would make me take a timble full, which I did'u' want, but have it I mus', or she would tro it at mee. Well, really, it did soon bring me bres back again, and then I could ask if Billy had gorr home, and how long; and she toult me he come home about half- an-hour ago as full as a mollag, and was sleapin' on the seddle' in the parlour. ' Was our Thobm wis' him?' I as'. 'No. "'Then for massy sake wake him, woman, for I'm afeared our Thobm has been murthered.' She ups at once, and wakes up Billy, and he come in quite studdy lek, but mor'n half asleep, but studdy as a gun, but his bres smellin' laak a pungean. Chat ! woman ! Billy could carry a quarter cas', and be as studdy, as studdy. Well, when I properly wakes him up, and Bella shook him till we could gerr him to under- stan', as the sayin' is, I asses him where he'd lef' our Thobm, and he rubs his eyes wis his fisses, and yawns like to splet his mous. My gough, I begun to be impatient, and I nearly knocked him off the settle wis the shook I givvim. At las' I gorrim somethin' lek clear, and after a lot of ramblin' jaw about what our Thobm and him had been doin', and his jokses, and 'what he said, and what I said,' and I was gerrin' fair mad, Mrs. Kelly, you may believe me, and I toul him to 'shut up,' his ' what I said, and he said,' and come to the point and tell me where was our Thobm ? Chut! woman, you might as well try to stop Laxa ravar wis a piece of a cushag [ragwort] as stop Billy's jaw, when he gets on the talk about our Thobm and him. But when I could piece bits together of sense arrim lek, this is what I could make was the chapthar of events, as the sayin' is, sense I left them in Dhoolish. Billy and our Thobm, it seems, went back to Thobm Joe's, and drunk the 'jough a dhorris,' and then our Thobm, when his twopence was spen arrim, Billy said, went up as bowl as brass and axes Joe's wife for the gooses money, which she give to our Thobm, and a receipt mus' be arrar, and Billy mus' sign as witness, quite properlek; 'deed Joe's wife would see no mistake to her own side. (And quite in the right.) Yes, Mrs. Kelly, I've nawthin' to say again that, specially when it was our Thobm and Billy Hom half drunk already, and would forget the nex' day, and take the Bible ose they navar gorrit. Well, as nither our Thobm nor Billy couldn' write a strook, Kelly Ballascroo was callt, and 'touch the pen' arrim, and the ting was done, and our Thobm, the dirty sleech ! for I can call him no batthar, Mrs. Kelly, got the money-savvin-an'-six-pence, woman, that I had been saving up, as you may say, for the last six munse, to buy a new Sunda jackad I had my eye on for munses in the Co-op. 'Deed, Mrs. Kelly, as long as I lives, I'll navar tres' our Thobm behint my back, no not one single inch, and the 'jough a dhorris' mus' be drunk wis Kelly, and all the ones in the kitchin', which was full, and our Thobm, the fool, paying the whole shots and the 'jough a dhorris,' and would have been kep up til shuttin' time, but Joe's wife, for feer of her license bein' tuk, wouldn' fill Billy and our Thomb any more, so they had to lave. Billy was going on a long palaver of' how they gorr on from Doolish to White's at the Half-way House, but I shuts him up, and toult him at once to come to the point.

"I was gerrin' tarrable onaisy, and Billy, lek a pig, wouldn' be druv. Well, they went into White's, and it only wanted half-an-hour to shuttin' time; and the house being full of the Chutra-side ones, and hapes from Laxa, and our Thobm, the boy-bough, nearly as soon as he gorr in, tips to the table wis a swagger, and 'drink up buoys, an' glasses round at my expens ; we don't kill a pig every day,' and 'Hear, hear,' and 'Well done, Thobm, la!' and clappin' tremerijus', Billy said, and our Thobm lashin' out the selver lek dus', and 'Mrs. White, plaze'blige me wis a quart of hot ale, marm.' Billy was sayin' our Thobm was talkie' as polite as a ' cottonie,' and that Tomsellar had fairly turned his head. But, Mrs. Kelly, as soon as ever Billy mentioned 'hot ale,' I jump to my feet at once and wouldn' lessen to another word he had to say,. but made him say at once where he had las' lef' our Thobm, which he said was the Clerk's Schoolhouse. Then I hurries to the door like one destrac, and 'Lough, save us ! If our Thobm has been driakin' hot ale, it will play the very mischif wis him, and won't ger home on the night.' I bids them all 'good everin," aud says to our Thobm-Beg, 'Hurry up as fas' as thee legs will run, la! call at Quilliam's as thou goes pas', and see if he have him loc in the jug ; if not theer, run on to Kil Laane, and thou'll find him sleepin', I wouldn' trus', in some gatthar or in the ravar ,it Stroaney-a-cull. So we walks as quick as the ugly road would lerr us down the hill pass Levison's, and tuk the short cut down the narrow road, that was swimmin' more like a ravar til a road, and gorr at the Co-op. Thobm-Beg sets off lek mad up the new Dhoolish way. You know, woman, the boy-bough is tarrable swivel on foot, and wouldn' be a crack in gorrin' to Kil Laane, if he had to go so far. Well, I came home, for I besought me in the hurry we'd lef' the door on'y on the latch, not, as you know, woman, we tinks anythin' of that at Agneash, we are not lek Dhoolish ones wis theer gurgles and the lek, eh, Mrs. Kelly, are we ? Well, when I gorrin the house at home, and, of coorse, found everytin jus' as I had lef' it, the clock struck one ; that was a quarter pas' twelve by the mine's time exac'. Well, I set me down and waited as patien' as I could, but you know yourself that time goes mighty slow when you are waitin' for anyone. Have you notice, Mrs. Kelly, dos'n it seem ages, even five minutes, when you are expectin'-waitin', even a keddhal, when you are lookin' and watchin' it to boil, even when you put bous under it, and you blows wis your mous, and your eyes smartin' lek the mischif; still it won't boil, if you look arrit, but mus' ger up and hav a look true the window, and then no sooner til your back is turnt, when you hears it boilin' over lek mad, and puts the fire out for you. Is'n' that your 'sperance, Mrs. Kelly? Well, I set me down in mee cheer, and turns mee back on the clock, and shuts nice eyes, but that was worsen til all; for I could see our Thobm drownen in the Stroaney-a-cull ravar, throwing up his han's lek mad, tumpin over the big rocks, and at las' he roults over the waterfall at the bottom and mashes into the sea. Mrs. Kelly, I couldn' stan' this, it was worse til the clock, so I goes on countin' up to a hundhar, but before I gorrat sixty I los' the count. Chut! I says to myself, I'll take a candle and go and see if the bases are all right; somethin' I mus' do or go mad. Is'n it a quare feelin' this, Mrs. Kelly, that sometimes comes over us ? Well, I gorr the candle, and was jus' streckin' a match to light it, when I hard the men's feet on the street-the boy-bough's I should know in a tousan, but theer was a sluddhar and a slob I couldn' make out until the door open, and our Thobm-Beg came in draggin' our Thobm lek a sack of spuds. 'Lough save us!' Mrs. Kelly, his face looked whiter til a gooses, and drunkner til I ever saw him, and bad enough I've seen him before; his new russad trowsis muck'd up to the wais. Well, we gorr him on the seddhel in the parlour, and norra word out of his moos. Our Thobm-Beg toul' me he foun' him lyin' on the top of the hedge at the Clerk's Schoolhouse, sleepin' as soun' as a bell, and snoorin' til he could hear him at the oul Chapel jus', with nawthin' in the world on him but his shirt and drawses, and his clothes hung on the talingraf pose, and - when he shuck him, he shouts, 'Hello! what's this? miner's bell?' That's what he allis says, Mrs. Kelly, when I wakes him, and he thought he was in bed, then it struck me quite suddint lek, Mrs. Kelly, about the new clock, and I went and ramgaged his pockads, and behoult ye! Mrs. Kelly, is sure as I'm alive, the quhole tings I could find in his pockads was a clay pipe, a bit of twin' thombargar, and a ha'peany piece, and two lil clock fingars. All the goose money was gone, his watch was missin', and the new clock all to the fingars ! Chut ! woman, I was fair stampin' mad, and if our Thobm hadn' been too drunk to mind, and wasn' lyin' face down, I would have ups wis me fisses and lerrim have it in the mous.

" The boy-beg tried to peaceify me wis sayin' he wouldn trus' findin' bose the watch and the clock about where he gorr his father, as he would take his watch off and hang it somewhere lek he does on the bed-pose at home. Well, our Thobm-Beg started off again to look for the clock and the watch, and got back jus' as it was brakin' day wis both watch and clock arrim. He said when he gor wisin a few steps of the place wherr he puk up the father he hears a gur-gur-gur as loud as the washin'-bell jus', which fair freckened him, for he thought it nawthin' less til the Boghane Ballagawn, or a. choar-ny-hastan behint the hedge, and was freckened it might fly arrim, but it stop quite sudden lek, and then our Thobm- Beg went to it, and found it was the clock which was am album and had jus' gone off. (Alarum.) Chut ! you needn' bothar to 'rup' now, I've jus' done. And was wrap in a pockad han'kecher, and laid quite careful lek on the top of the hedge, and he found the watch hung as mate as could be on a twig in the hedge over where he found the father. And this is the story I promised you, Mrs. Kelly, of how our Thobm and me got from the feer, which we unlucky navar went."


 

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