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don't exactly see where the fun comes in with a railway accident, my friend.”
Ay; you should have heard Doctor Bateson tell the story.”
“I thought he was in London."
“He came back last night; and he was in the collision."
“ And yet, it doesn't seem like a laughing matter,—to me.”
“Oh, it wasn't a very serious affair. The passengers were all, more or less, frightened and shaken; and one fine old Roman nose was broken,-but that seems to have been the principal damage."
Ay; I see. When Greek meets Greek, then comes the '-what's his name? The owner of the nose wouldn't laugh, I sup
“Well,-I believe not-according to the Doctor's account.”
“But what's the story, my friend, what's the story?" Well,
- it seems that Bateson had finished his business in London early in the afternoon yesterday; and he hurried down from his hotel to catch the 5-15 train to Manchester. He was just in time; and he got comfortably seated in a first-class carriage by himself. The tickets had been examined, and the porters were closing the doors, when a fat old man, with an enormous gold watch-chain, came waddling up to the door puffing and perspiring like a hot Scotch haggis. The porters pushed him in; the whistle screamed ; away went the train; and Bateson and the new comer, sitting opposite each other, had the carriage all to themselves. For the first few miles hardly a word passed between the two, for it took the old man some time to recover his breath. At last he came to; and he began to squirt out a little jet of neighbourly chat, now and then, as they rolled along. The old man had a pleasant countenance, the most remarkable feature of which was a fine aquiline nose ; and every sentence he uttered revealed that he was a native of Lancashire. He was evidently well off, and a good-natured man, but very illiterate ; and, as Bateson said, ‘his clumsy attempts at politeness said a great deal for the goodness of his heart, but very little for his education. But, in spite of the old man's strained efforts at 'parlour talk,' Bateson was delighted with him, and they travelled on, mile after mile, chatting genially together, and well pleased with one another. Are
' you going far, sir?' said he to Bateson. ' I'm going to Manchester,' replied the doctor. So am I!' said the old man, rub
bing his hands; 'So am I! Come, that's good! We shall be company! ... You're not teetotal, are yo'?' Well,--not quite.' “Ay, well come, that's reet! All right, sir. We shall get on in a bit!' And so, pleasantly they hob-nobbed together, for an hour or more, sitting opposite each other, - the old man, with his huge paunch, and his fine old aquiline nose, and Bateson, with his bald, bullet-shaped head, as white and as hard as a billiard ball. They had reached the green plains of middle England, and the old man was drawing the attention of his companion to the beauty of the landscape, when a sudden shock of the train brought Bateson's bald head bang against the old man's nose,-like a cannon ball. In an instant, the old man's politeness disappeared ; and his language suddenly changed to the broad, strong, idiomatic dialect of Lancashire. Seizing his nose with both hands, he cried out-'Oh, by - Eh-h! What the hasto done that for!' And eke he groaned, and eke he swore, in strong, set phrase. As soon as the doctor had recovered from his astonishment, he said to the old man, “ Allow me to examine it.'
“Keep off, yo-scampi' cried the old man ; 'keep off! Allow thee, eh? By th' mass; I wish I had never set een on tho !
Here; keep off! Thou's done enough at me! They use’t to co' this a Roman nose; but, by — thou's awter't it!'
“Well, but, I'm a doctor,' said Bateson.
" Eh, my nose !' continued the old man; 'it'll never be reet again! Oh -! ... So, thou'rt a doctor, arto ? Oh ! hearken that; he says he's a doctor! Ay; an' I guess thou'rt gooin' up an' down th' country makin' jobs for thisel', arto? Keep off me, I tell tho,-or I'll warm thi shins for tho! Oh, my nose! A doctor, eh? By th’ mon, I'se want a parson in a bit if I'm to be knocked about o' this shap !'
“But, I'm a surgeon, I tell you,' said Bateson. “Surgeon, be —! Thou's surge't me
nicely! Keep off! Go to yon tother end ! I'll be noan surge't wi' thee, no moor!'
“Well, sir,' said Bateson, 'I'm very
sorry for it.'
Soory for it, arto ? Thou lies, thou'rt nought o'th' sort,- I can tell bi thi een ! I'll ha' thee ta'en up at th' next station! Soory for it, eh? Thou met kill a body, an 'then say, “I'm soory for it;" but th' law shall have it's course, by
! “My dear sir,' said Bateson, 'I assure you that it was quite an accident.'
“Dear sir, eh?' replied the old man;
dear sir, he says. I will be a “dear sir” to thee, afore I've done witho! Thou thought o' makin' some brass out o' my nose, didto ? I'll mak thee fork out, when we getten to th' fur end, -see if I dunnot l'
"'I can put it all right for you.'
“Thou can put it “all right,” conto ? What the didto put it wrang for? Tell me that? Keep off! Thou'll ha' to sit up for this job! Keep off me; an' go to tother side!'
“And so he went on, groaning, and swearing, and mopping his broken nose, to the end of the journey. Bateson's efforts at reconciliation were all useless; and he is now hourly expecting to be summoned before the magistrates for an assault."
"Poor old fellow! I hope he got his bowsprit handsomely repaired. That story reminds me of another. ... You remember an accident that happened in a tunnel, during the Chester race week, a few years
ago ? "
“Ay, that was a shocking affair." “It was
a fearful business. ... An old friend of mine was in the same unfortunate train. He was a fine, portly old man, more than six feet high, and as straight as 'pickin'-rod' I saw him the day after the accident; and he assured me that the carriage