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The Staffordshire Collieries

Jests Home

MANY anecdotes might be collected to show the great difficulty of
discovering a person in the collieries without being in possession of
his nickname. The following was received from a respectable attorney.
During his clerkship he was sent to serve some legal process on a man
whose name and address were given to him with legacy accuracy. He
traversed the village to which he had been directed from end to end
without success; and after spending many hours in the search was about
to abandon it in despair, when a young woman who had witnessed his
labors kindly undertook to make inquiries for him, and began to hail her
friends for that purpose. Oi say, Bullyed, does thee know a man named
Adam Green? The bull-head was shaken in sign of ignorance. Loy-a-bed,
does thee? Lie-a-bed's opportunities of making acquaintance had been
rather limited, and she could not resolve the difficulty. Stumpy (a man
with a wooden leg), Cowskin, Spindleshanks, Corkeye, Pigtail, and
Yellowbelly were severally invoked, but in vain; and the querist fell
into a brown study, in which she remained for some time. At length,
however, her eyes suddenly brightened, and, slapping one of her
companions on the shoulder, she exclaimed, triumphantly, Dash my wig!
whoy he means my feyther! and then, turning to the gentleman, she
added, You should ha' ax'd for Ould Blackbird!

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