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Guy Vox

A Cornish Tale about Our L’il Village by Sal Tregenna.

Well, me deers, us hev ‘ad very purty eggzitemint yur theze las’ vew days, auver ole Guy Vox agane! I deer zay I tould’ee las’ yur ‘ow pore ole P’leeceman Sly wuz ‘poun th’ tracks o’ th’ youngsters vur puttin’ off zitch a passell o vire-wurks an’ kippin’ up zitch a commoshun all roun’.
I thort ‘e’d be on agane thze yur, an’ when I zeed un up glazin’ in th’ Poast Offiss winder, an’ heyein’ th’ boxes o’ vire-wurks wot Willyun Jan ad a’got vixed in th’ winder. I knawed ‘e wuz gain be on th’ war-path agane. Net that I ‘olds wi’ zo mutch baistly ole vire-wurks, mine you. I ‘ates th’ varmints mezel, an’ I declare a body cant vencher to put the’r nawse outside th’ bleesid dore th’ vust week in November, vur veer you’m gain heb’n blawed off! Like I zed to Willyum Jan, when I zeed’n puttin’ they ole boxes in th’ winder. “There’s enuff rubbitch there to vrighten th’ Vrench, laive alone us pore zawls. An’ tedden aunly th’ row they makes when they goes off, tiz th’ horrable smill o’ ‘em, I doant like. ‘Nuff to chuck a witch, idden it?”
“Well, there tiz, Mawther,” zes ‘e. “Boys wull be boys; an’ boys wull hev vire-wurks! Th’ chaps be makin’ a Guy theze yur; regler booty, too. I heb’n zeed’n, but I yurd ‘em tellin’ they’m gain hev a bon’vire an’ burn’n ‘pon th’ green Vriday night.”
Vather cum in Thersday aivmen laffin’ like a piskey. ‘E’d a’bin up Vules corner hevin’ a yarn wi’ th’ chaps, an’ ‘e’d zeed th’ Guy, zo vur’s ‘e wuz got. “Well, wots th’ joke, Vather?” I axed. “You might s’well tell us, then we can laff too.” “Wait till tomorrah aivmen,” zes Vather. “You’ll be abel to go up green an’ zee’n vur yerzel’ then.” Jane wuz there , an’ ‘e would’n zay no more, but arter us waint to baid thikky night, Vather sterted to grizzle agane. I wuz tryin’ to go to slaip, an’ I veeled vext ez a snake when ‘e kipt on tiddlin’ an’ laffin’ an shakin’ th’ baid. “Do’ee be’ave yerzel’, an’ go to slaip!” snaps I. “I declare you’m wuss thanb a skule boy!” But ‘e’d got a regler laffin’ vit on, ez th’ zayin’ iz, an’ there wadden no stoppin’ o’n. in th’ aind o’t ‘e ‘ad me grizzlin’ too, tho’ I dedden knaw no more’n a vule wot ‘e wuz laffin’ vur. ‘Owzumever, I got it out o’n, in th’ aind. It ‘peers ‘e’d bin up taalkin’ wi’ th’ chaps an’ they’d tooked’n into Zammy Brown’s linney an’ left’n zee this yur gran’ Guy. ‘E tould me ‘e never zeed zitch a gurt ole himage in all ‘is borned days. “They’ve made’n out ‘o hess’an trade an’ vulled’n up wi’ dowse,” zes ‘e, “an’ they’ve made a gran’ vaace to’n, an’ put on a hosseshair miss-tash an’ all, an’ I dekalre tiz th’ livin’ himmage o’n!” “Who?” zes I. “Wotever be’ee tellin’ ‘bout?” But I could’n git no more out o’n. “Wait till tomorrah night,” wuz all ‘e’d zay, an’ wi’ that I ‘ad to be contain. I could’n go to slaip vur a very purty time, vur puzzlin’ me haid auver thikky ole Guy, an’ tryin’ to think who ‘ad a miss-tash like hosses-hair. Nex’ day Jane cum in agane, an’ ‘er’d bin up village an’ nawsed out a thing or two. “I yurd tell they’ve made a gurt himage,” zes she, “an’ ‘e’s gain be all drest up theze aivmen an’ then th’ chaps be gain wheel’n vore to green ‘pon a ‘and-kert an’ they’m gain hev a bon-vire, an’ all zoarts o’t. Be’ee gain up to zee wot’s on, Sal?” Vust I zed No, but Jane kipt on wi’ me till I zed I’d go. Arter all, I ‘ate to veel I’m gain to miss ort, doant you? Bezides, I knawed be th’ way Vather wuz teckled th’ night avore, that there wuz zummin’ speshal on.
Well, arter tay me an’ Jane drest ourzel’s up an’ waint away up to village. Vather wuz go zoon’s ever ‘e’d a’ galloped down ‘is zupper, an’ like I zed to Nurse, twuz a murcy us ‘ad stewed tripe an ‘onyuns vur zupper thikky night, instid o’ ‘errin’s, else I deklare ‘e’d hev chucked ‘izzel’ to de’th wi’ th’ bones! When me an’ Jane got up outside Zammy Brown’s plaace, there wuz a regler crowd there, an’ I knawed they wuz waitin’ vur th’ Guy to be brot out. I spotted Vather an’ Zilas there, like a pare o’ skule boys, right in th’ vrent row. “They bant gain miss nort,” zes Jane. “I wish us ‘ad cum up a mite earlier, too.” All to once there wuz a purty ole scuffle in th’ linney, an’ then out cums vower chaps pushin’ a ‘and-kert, an’ carr’in’ lanturns. Zimmin to me jist all th’ chaps ‘ad lights, vlash-lights, bike-lights, or lanturns, zo twuz like a torch-light percesshun gain along. I could’n zee mutch o’ th’ himmage, cuz th’ crowd wuz all roun’ th’ ‘and-kert ex us moved along, but I ded zee that ‘e wuz all drest up, an’ I zeed th’ veet o’n ‘angin’ out auver th’ ‘and-kert, an’ I zed to Jane, “They heb’n vorgot to put veet to’n, Ennyway! They looks to me to be ‘bout a yerd long.”
I two or dree minits us wuz vore to th’ green, an’ vire-wurks wuz gain off like cannons everywhere. Th’ chaps ‘ad brot a vew’vaggots o’ hood, an’ zum vuzz an’ starw, an’ they wuz bizzy perpairin’ it to burn th’ ole himmage. “Cum on Jane,” zes I, “le’s shove vore an’ hev a look at’n avore ‘e’s put in th’ vire.” Be th’ time us got vore they’d a’got un propped up in th’ ‘and-kert an’ I didden hev to take no zecond look to’n to knaw who twuz spoased to be! They’s dressed’n up in an ole blew zoot wi’ brass buddeons, an’ they’d even put a pare o’ white gloves on th’ ‘ands o’n! An’ like Vather zed, they’d manidged zum ‘ow to catch th’ likeness in th’ vaace o’n, I’m beggared if they ‘ad’n. Bezides, like I zed, you need aunly to look at th’ veet o’n to knaw who twuz spaosed to be!
Jist ez th’ chaps ‘ad got th’ vire lighted, I yurd a titter rin roun’ th’ crowd an’ then I zeed P’leeceman Sly cum staalkin’ ‘cross th’ green. “Lor’ Massy” zes I, “th’ vat’s in th’ vire now!” Ole Sly walked right vore to th’ vire, an’ spoak to th’ chaps, an’ then ‘e cum vore to th’ ‘and-kert, an’ looked to th’ himmage! I could’n move, vur the crowd wuz pushin’ too ‘ard behind us, but I doant mind tellin’ ‘ee I wished mezel’ out o’t at thikky minnit. I wuz waitin’ vur Sly to spaik, an’ zo wuz all th’ rest, but when ‘e ded spaik I reckon they all veeled a mite vlat. “Well, well,” zes ‘e, grinnin’ like a boy. “I mus’ zay tha’s a purty bit o’ wurk, boys! I dedden knaw you ‘ad it in ‘ee, that I dedden!” Then ‘e terned roun’ to Zammy Brown, ez if ‘e knawed ‘e wuz th’ ring-laider. Coarse twuz Zammy’s boy Jan, wot got in trubble wi’ Sly las’ yur vur putting’ off vire wurks in voke’s dore-plaaces; zo I deer zay tha’s why Sly guessed who wuz to th’ botoom o’t. “I’ll laive it to you, Zammy Brown,” zes ‘e “to zee that yer bonvire iz put out vitty when you’ve vanished burni’ yer Guy. I’m off dooty now, an’ I’m off to baid, boys, Hev a gude time, be all mains, but doant’ee go roun’ annoyin’ vokes in the’r awn houses. There’s plainty o’ rume yur vur all yer vire-wurks idden there?” An’ wi’ a “Gudenight, boys”” ‘e wuz gone, an’ I b’leeve jist all th’ chaps hollered “Gude night” to’n. Zammy Brown cum vore to th’ ‘and-kert an’ picked up th’ Guy, an’ put’n on th’ vire, an’ all th’ rest stood zilent an’ waatched’n burn. Arter a vew minnits Zammy zed “There boys, e’ll zoon be gone, and I wish now I never made’n. There idden mutch vun in it, arter all.” “Wot ‘bout th’ zong us practissed Zammy?” zumbody hollered, “If I yur ennybody begin to zing that I’ll put’n in th’ vire longzide th’ Guy,” zes Zammy. Vather told me artewurds that they’d a’ planned to dance roun’ th’ bonvire an’ zing, while th’ Guy wuz burnin’. Th’ zong wuz one they’d ‘atched up between ‘em an’ th’ chorus o’t wuz all ‘bout “burnin; th’ Guy, an kippin it Sly.”
When th’ vire burned out Zammy Brown zed, “Looky yur, boys; I veel us hev gone a mite too vur, an’ I’d like to tell’n I’m zorry. Arter all, ‘e got ‘is dooty to do, an’ Young Jan axed vur wot ‘e got las’ yur no dou’t” An’ then, avore I knawd wot wuz ‘appenin’ away goes th’ crowd vore to P’leeceman Sly’s dore, an’ they wuz all zingin’ “Vur e’s a jolly gude veller,” wi’ all the’r h’arts. An’ ole Sly opened th’ baidrume winder an’ zed, “Thank’ee boys and Gude-night. An’ if you disturb me enny more to-night I’ll show you all my ‘eel.”

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