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Poor lad; he had a deal o' heart,
But very little head."


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[NAT SLASHER and NATHAN O'Doll's meeting

in a green lane.] LOW then, owd dog!”

“Now then!”

“Nice melch mak o' a mornin'." “Grand groo-weather, for sure. Weet an' warm, like Owdham brewis."

“What's to do wi' tho? thou stonds very keckley."

“ Rheumatic or summat. I've never bin reet o' mi pins sin' Rushbearin.”

“Thou wackers about like a tripe doll. We mun ha' tho spelk't up a bit, owd craiter, or else thou'll be tumblin' i' lumps.” “I feel very wambly, for sure.

I'm as slamp as a seck-full o'swillin's.”


“It's this rakin' out at neet, mon,

It'll not howd wayter. Thou mun oather poo up, or sign o'er. Pike for thisel'.” “Our Mally says so."

” Ay; an' your Mally's reet. Well, an' how are things shappin' down i'th' cloof,


“ About th' owd bat. There's nought uncuth (strange) agate 'at I know on. Well, -Bill o' Swiper's has order't a new dur to his pig-cote; it should ha' bin ready th' day after, but owd Churn-pow, th' joiner, wur off at a weddin'. Dan o' Cumper's wur axed for th' first time to Lizzy o' Flipper's, last Sunday, an' Ben at th' Hauve Moon's getten his sign painted o'er again, wi' th' shap of his gronfaither, smookin', i'th' middle. There's nought else stirrin', mich. Well,-yigh,Dick o' Belltinker's is for havin' one of his front teeth poo'd out, if it doesn't give o'er warchin'."

'Why, yo're quite in a boil, then. But it olez wur a lively nook, for th' size on't."

Ay; th' town's busy if there's three folk talkin' together at once."


“Well; an' how's Owd Tupper gettin' on ? Didto tell him what I said ?”

“Ay; I towd him, mich and moore ; an' I

· gav him th' best advice 'at I could.”

« An' how then ?”

“Well; thou knows what a wild kempie he is. He hearken't what I had to say, an' then took his own road,-th' same as ever. At it he went,-ticklebut,-like a bull at a gate. I'd better ha' save't mi breath to cool my porritch wi'."

“Well, I lippen't o' nought better. Mon, there's some folk 'at winnot be said,-an' Dick's one on 'em. Reet or wrang, he'll have his own gate; an' nought'll stop him,—but a stone wole."

“I towd him I thought he wur stonnin'in his own leet.”

“ Thou met as weel ha' chanted th' 'Evenin' Hymn' to a deeod pow-cat. There's nought for't but lettin' him tak his own gate. Sich like olez leeten o summat 'at poos 'em up

' afore they dee'n. He'll come to of his-sel', thou'll see.”

“Well,- I laft him to't.”

« Thou couldn't do better. Let him powler about th' world a bit ; it's a rare schoo' for bull-necked scholars.”



“Hasto yerd about Nat o’Softly's gooin' to Runcorn last week ?”

Nawe; I never yerd. Poor little Nat! What's he bin doin' theer ? ”

“Oh, by th' mass, I mun tell tho that.

Here; let's sit us down upo' th' hedge-side a bit. . . . Well, thou knows, Nat's nobbut about ninepence th’ shillin' at th’ best, poor lad, an' he's bin ill knocked about among it, for he's bin taen in of o'sides,-it oft leets so wi' folk 'ats no ill in 'em, if they happen to be of a dull turn,”:

“He's as numb as a clay dobber!”

“That's noather here nor theer. Th’lad connot help it. His faither wur so afore him; an' there isn't a mon livin' 'at can jump out of his own skin into another. ... Well, — but- as I wur tellin' tho. Little Nat's bin out o'wark a good while; and he's bin ill put to't for a bit o' scran, now an' then. He's had to fly up wi' th' hens mony a time. Well,-about a week sin' he yerd of a job down at Runcorn; an' he pricked his ears at news, an' ettle't his-sel for after it. Well, thou knows, th' owd lad wur as clemmed as a whisket, - an' he wur fair stagged up o' gates,-for he'd addle't nought of a good while; an' he took th' gate out o' Boarcloof wi' fourpence hawp'ny in his pocket. Well, — when he geet down into Manchester, he bethought his-sel about th' boat ‘at runs to Runcorn fro Knott Mill, upo' th' Duke's Cut; an' off he set to see if he couldn't get to go by it; for he wur nobbut a hawmplin' mak of a walker' at th’

best-an' he're as wake as a weet dishclout, -beside, he thought it'd save shoe-leather, an' sich like. Well, when he geet to Knott Mill, he went up to th' captain oth' boat, an' he said, 'How soon does this boat start, maister?'

sIn about ten minutes.' "Con I goo wi' it?'

Ay, sure thou con.' ""But I have no brass.' “Oh, then, thou connot goo wi' it.'

“Ay, but, maister,' said Nat, 'yo'n be like to let me goo, for it's a matter o'life and deeoth, mon.' An' then he up an' towd th' captain about this job at he'd yerd on at Runcorn, an' he said, “I'll tell yo what I'll do wi' yo !

Well; what wilto do?' “I'll wortch my passage, if yo'n a mind.'

“Well, th' captain looked at Nat a minute or two, an' then he said, “Wait a bit till I speak to yon chap o' mine; and I'll see what I can do for tho.' In a twothre (two or three) minutes th' captain coom up again, an' he said to Nat, Well, I think we can shap that job for tho!'

“. That's reet!' cried Nat, rubbin' his honds, I have nobbut fourpence, yo known, an' I'se want it for a bit o' summat to heyt. One good turn desarves another.

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I'll pay

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