Ridin’ Roun’

A Cornish Tale about Our L’il Village by Sal Tregenna.
Well me deers, I deer zay you bin wunderin’ wot hev ‘appened to pore ole Sal, heb’n ‘ee? Well I bin ridin’ roun’ ez I’ll tell’ee, an’ you can take me wurd vur’t, me deers, I’ve a’ knawed vur a brave wile that I ‘as this bloomin’ trip in store, but I never tould ‘ee, cuz I thort you’d be worried ‘bout me! Zo, to cut a long tail short, ez th’ zaying iz, I might ‘s’well tell’ee I bin up to Plymouth, to th’ Horspittle, and ‘ad a hopperashun. An’ now I spoase you wants to knaw all ‘bout it, doant ‘ee? Well, to begin wi’ I waint up there weaaks an’ weaaks ago an zeed one o’ they big doctors up there, an’ ‘e zed I must cum up an’ hev this yur hopperashun. “when hev I got to hev it dun, maister?” sez I. “Well,” sez ‘e, “you’ll hev a poast card zend to’ee when you must cum up. You zee you got to wait till us hev got a baid vur’ee.” “Look yur,” zes I, “If I got to hev it dun I’d rather twuz dun right away! If you heb’n got no baid vur me I’ll go ‘ome an’ bring up me awn!” Zo the ‘e purty grizzled, you, an’ ‘e zed that wadden no gude cuz they ‘ad’n got np plaace to vix n. Witch I thort wuz a nashun queer thing, in all thikky gurt plaace. ‘Owzumever,, I ‘ad to take ‘is wurd vur’t, an’ I cum away ‘ome agane, an’ waited vur thikky poast-card. I wuz terrable conzerned ‘bout wot pore ole Vather an’ Nurse wuz gain do wile I wuz away, but Mary Ann an’ Willyum Jan vixed it alright. Nurse waint up ‘long wi’ they, an’Vather ‘ad all ‘is mait up there, but ‘e would slaip in ‘is awn baid, pore ole deer. Ennyway, th’ card cum one Thersday mornin’ an’ ‘e zed I ‘ad to be up there be ha’f pas’ leben, an’ I could hev a baid.
ANYWAY I GOES!
I tell’ee there wadden no time to be lost. Nurse ‘elped me git riddy, an’ zeed I ‘ad all I wanted packed in me ole pork-mangle, and’ then I zed gudebye to pore ‘ol Vather an’ away I goes. Twuz a gran’ day I’ll warnthat, an’ I should hev enjoyed thikky ride if it ‘ad’n bin vur wot wuz waitin’ ‘tother aind o’n. Still, I got there ‘zackly ha’f pas’ leben, an in I goes, wi’ me pork-mangle in one ‘and, an’ thikky poast-card in th’ tother, an’ me heart in me boots! A veller cum vor an’ axed me bizzens an’ I shawed’n th’ card. Then ‘e tooked me in to a waitin’ rume, an’ arter a vew minnits I ‘ad to go into anether rume an’ gi’e th’ card to a lady. Then th’ veller tooked me out agane, an’ tould a li’l ginger-haided boy, wi’ buddons all down th’ vrent o’ ‘is coat like pays in a pod, to take me up to baid! Coarse, I purty glazed to un, an’ I zes, zes I, “I can go to baid be mezel’ young man!” But ‘e zed th’ boy ‘ad to carr’ me pork-mangle upsteers, an’ shaw me whare to go. Zo off goes th’ boy an’ me arter’n. When us got up to th’ right ward, ez they calls it, ‘e put down th’ pork-mangle an’ knacked th’ dore. Out cums a nurse, an’ axed if I wuz th’ new patient, an’ when I zed “Iss, my deer,” ‘er tould me to zit down an’ wait a minnit. Well, in a minnit or two I wuz tooked inside, an’ a haid nurse, wot they caaled a ‘Sister,’ tould me I wuz gain hev me hooperashun next day, an’ er’ shawed me whare to put me cloas an’ trade, in th’ locker be th’ baid. Then ‘er tould ‘em to gi’e me zum denner, an’ in cums a nurse wi’ a plate o’ beef an’ greens an’ mashed taties. I manidged to ait moast o’t, tho’ you may depaind I’d a’lost me happy-tight be that time!
ANETHER RIDE!
Arter denner th’ nurse tould me to go an’ hev a bath! I tould er’ I’d ‘ad one avore I left ome, but ‘er made me hev anether! “Rools iz rools,” zes she, zo I ‘ad to do ez I wuz tould. Then I ‘ad to go to baid. Nex’ day I ‘ad to ‘go down’ ez they caals it, an’ a vine ole caper twuz to be sure. They there nurses drest me up in white stockin’s an’ white jacket an’ trooowsers, an’ a purty zight I must hev looked! Then they wrapt me up in blankets, an’ in cums two vellers wi’ white jackets an’ haived me out ‘top an ole thing ‘pon wheels, an’ ‘way I goes vur anether ride! Us waint down in an’ ole thing like a gurt ole burd cage, an’ then lonh miles o’ passidges, an’ at las’ they stopt outside a gurt glass dore. I looked to th’ dore, an’ I zeed ‘Theatre’ ‘rote up. “Yur, whare do ‘ee reckon you’m takin me, me lads!” zes I; “I bant gain to no theatre, net in this pickle, Ennyway!” “Alrite Ma!” they zed, “you’m gain hev a vree trip roun’ th’ wurld, now!” An’ in they goes, an’ th’ nex’ thing I knawed wuz I wuz hoisted up top a blessed table, an’ in cums two nurses wi’ white coats on, an’ white nawse-bags! They tied up me haid in a pudden-clath an’ axed me if I wuz alright. “I should’n be yur if I wuz, me deers,” zes I, vur I tell’ee I wuz gittin’ a mite worried be that time. Then in cums a veller wi’ a nawse-bag on, an’ ‘e put a gurt wallidge o’ cotton-wool auver me vaace, wi’ a ‘ole vur me nawse to steck droo, an’ then ‘e squirted a passell o’ ole taade all auver’t an’ I tell’ee twuz ‘nuff to chuck a witch! I never knawed no more then till I waked up back in baid, zo I ‘ad one ride I never knawed nort ‘bout. Coarse, I dedden veel terrable well vur a vew days, an’ no wunder nother, cuz they would’n laive me hev nort to ait vur days. Still, I made up vur that when I sterted, an’ I’m still doin’ me bit that way!
‘OMEWARDS
Well, I mus’ zay one thing, us ‘ad a gude time together up there, when us wuz gittin bedder. Tiz s’prizin’ wot you finds to laff at even in a plaace like that an’ us used to try to cheer one tother up, an’ ‘elp pass th’ time away. Th’ nurses up there wuz regler deers, ow’ th’ pore maidens steck it an; kip smilin’, iz more than I can make out. When I’d bin there ‘bout a vortnight they tould me I could go ‘ome, zo I wadden long zendin’ wurd to Vather to zend up arter me. Then I ‘ad anether ride!
Th’ Ambulance cum up arter me, from Camelford, an’ I can tell’ee I wuz rum glad to zee Maister Wilkins an’ Maister Treweeks an’ Nurse Cook! They wheeled me out like a cheel in a push-chair if you plaize, an’ brot me ‘ome. Then they carr’ed me in, an’ Nurse put me to baid agane! An’ now I’m out stalkin’ roun’ a mite agane, still veelin’ th’ defecks o’ all that there ridin’ roun’, but on th’ road to raycovery, thanks be. Pore ole Jane cums in every day an’ ‘er bin teraable gude to me, but I do b’leeve ‘er’s jillus cuz I’ve bin droo zummin ‘er heb’n! When I begins to tell th’ tale, an’ zay “Now, when I ‘as me hopperashun –“ ‘er’ll zay, “Aw doant’ee kip on ‘bout that Sall, I b’leeve I shall hev to go mezel’ one o’ these days, but when I go twull be very seryous, I can tell’ee!” Zo ‘er gits th’ last wurd arter all! Well, zo long, me deers; all th’ lates’ agane zoon.