Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

19 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



OUR SHORT STORY. I i SENT TO COVENTRY. I In our village we are afflicted with—I'm going to be brutally frank and call a spade a 6pade-with an old fool name o' Kiah Simson. lie's a blot on the landscape; a public nuisance; an ambulatory annoyance— that's what the parson coughed up; a holy terror; a—well, all sorts of things like that, you know. We're fajr gravelled for suitable epithets—new ones, 1 mean. Kiah, you see, has nothing to do, so he hangs about the place annoying deceLt folk with his frontal remarks, has back answers, his perverted proverbs, and his general tnckincss. And when I set it down that neither the esquire's acres nor the parson's cloth give them exemption from Kiah's tongue you can guess that we are not spared. An instance or two. The other morning a commercial traveller, a friend of mine, who had had to utay the night in the vitlage because lie couldn't get out of it—our last train is now the 6.25!— was hurrying to the station, and met Kiah ambling back with the morning paper. Kiah, by the way, gets hit; paper half an hour before we get ours. One of his uephews is a guard on the up express, and he pitches out a paper for his confounded uncle as the train rattles through the cut- ting Good jiewfl?" awked my friend, easing up. "Aye!" cackled Kiah. "News be terrible good to-day." "I suppose you couldn t sell me your paper, could you? I've got a long journey ahead, and it's u bit slow without a paper." Vou can Javc 'un for sixpence," said Kiah. "Terrible good news there be in it." My friend paid, got the paper, opened it, scanned the pages, and then snapped: "Why, you old scoundrel, theses no news at alU" No news is good news,' ain't i. t?„ chuckled the old sinner, and ambled off with his profit of iivepence. Aiinoyjii,(,wliat" I believe it was the same morning that Kiah met Farmer Green. that worthy being on hi", way to face the local bench for the crime of moving a pig out of a prohibited area. "Nasty morning," the farmer had greeted, not uncordially. "Think so?" Kiah had replied. "I m ex- pectin' it'll be a fine, day for you, somewhere about twelve," he added with all oflensive chuckle. And, sure enough, it was a fine day for Farmer Green somewhere about twelve. A2 J was the fine and 15s. the costs' Smati wonder -was it that at the next meeting of the parish council Farmer Green moved a, resolution: "That Kiah Simson be requested to leave the parish, not being wanted by nobody." It would, grammar and all— Farmer Green knows all there is to know about farming, but nothing of anything else —havp been carried with acclamation, but the chairman with great—very great—regret was obliged to rule it out of order. Then it was that Farmer Green wrote a letter to the "County Tunes" asking for ad- vice as to how a man like Kiah was to be treated. In his "Replies to Correspondents" column the editor eaid: "J. G. <Mudgbrd).—We suggest that you combine to send the person to Coventry for a time. An excellent plan with nuisances, and nearly always effec- tive. It would deprive him of all oppor- tunity of making back answers,' and rapidly bring him to his senses. Try it, and let us know results There followed-I learnt all this later—an interview with Kiah. You ain't never thought o' taking a holiday, have you, Kiah. There'a no place like 'omc,' said Kiah. Ave I But a change is good sometimes. Ever heard of Coventry? It's a tine place, they tell me, an' full of old gentle- men like you. You'd take to it wondert uf." "I've 'ard about it," admitted Kiah, cau. tiously. "Well, would you like to go there for a spell? It's like this, Kiah," said Farmer Green .with well-assumed heartiness. You ain't looking like you used to, an' it's worrvin' us. The village wouldn't be the same if you wasn't here. You keep 11.6 all cheerful an' laughing. If you was to die, Kiah, just for want of a change, wed never forgive ourselves. You're an institu- tion, Ki.h-that's what you are! "Itfs a long way to Coventry, Mr. Green, an' the same way back," said KI ah. "But I've often thought I'd like to go. It's the lare-- We'll have a whip-round for that, so as you can go without it costing you any- thing. We'll miss you, Kiah. It won't be out u' flight an' out o' mind, as one of them proverbs of yours says1 lIa, ha!" Absence makes the 'cart grow fonder —an' sometimes o' somebody else," said Kiah. "But if that whip-round comes oil all right I'll get to that there Coventry right awav." The whip-round was surprisingly success. ful, and Kiah was sent to Coventry, with his fare paid and three pounds nine and fourpence in his pocket. And Farmer Green wrote to the "County Times":— "Much obliged for the advice you gave me. He has been sent to Coventry like you said hopiug he will be cured like you naid." It so happened that the parson waa away when this Coventry business was worked. Otherwise On his return it wasn't long before he missed Kiah, and was referred to Farmer Green for explanations. "We'd 'ad enough of the old sinner," saio the farmer, "so I took a bit of advice on the matter, an' we've sent him to Coventry 'oping it'll cure the old nuisance." "Not at all a bad idea," said the parson "Kiah certainly needs to restrain thai tongue of his What does he dc now you've sent him to Coventry—stay in doors all day?" "Dunno and don't care. Any rate, he went last Friday. We had a whip-round for his fare—thirty-eight an' six. Pretty stiff. but it was worth it." 1 "He went?" cchoed the parson, puzzled. I "Whip-round—paid his fare? 1 don't under- stand." Thereupon Farmer Green told the full story, and the parson had hysterics. Laughed until the tears chased themselves down his cheeks and round his neck and met the other side. "Would you mind walking away a bit?' he asked the parson. "I want to say some. thing, and it' s better not 'c..rd--llot by a clergyman." The parson obliged. And it may be taken as proof that what the farmer said was-well, appropriate tc the occasion, when it has to be set down that little Tommy Grummit, who was picking primroses on the other side of the hedge, ran screaming to his mother, had two fits in succession, and has never been the same bright child since. "That's better," 6aid Farmer Green when he returned, wiping his mouth. "Wonder what the tarnation old nuisance is doin' with* himself at Coventry? He never asked why I pitched on a place for his change a I couple o' hundred away. rrook it all quite nat'ral." The parson pressed his heaving sides, and after a severe intestinal struggle got a grip on himself. "Then—er—you didn't know that Kiah'e married daughter lives at Coventry, and that he's been wanting to go and see her for some time, but the fare was "Whaf-" roared the farmer. "What's that you say?" The parson said it again—most of it, that J is, for before he had (;iiite finished he had to spring forward to catch the farmer's; lurching form and ease it, aa best he could, to the road. Kiah was at Coventry for a month, and re- turned in fine form. He said he was sorry to r Mister Green was ill with a stroke, and that, as he believed in doin' as he'd been done by, if there was a whip-round tc .elp Mr. Green 'ave a 'oliday when he was z bit better, he—Kiah—would give fourpence ■willin', and wouldn't mind goin' up to six pence if Mister Green thought bein' sent tc Coventry would do 'im any good.


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