Nah monny a one would wonder ha soa monny fowks could live an’ thrive i’ sich a place—aw wonder misen; an’ some wod wonder whear all th’ fowk coom throo to fill ther chapels an’ church: but aw doant wonder at that, for wheriver there’s a lot o’ wimmen an’ lasses ’at can spooart nice Sunday clooas there’s sure to be a lot ‘at’ll goa to places o’ worship to show’ em; an’ whear th’ lasses, are, there will th’ lads be also. (Aw believe that’s a quotation, but awm net sure.) An’ th’ publics—they tell me they niver wod ha’ been able to get on at all if it hadn’t been for th’ Sunday closin’, but as sooin as fowk see th’ doors shut they begin to feel dry, an’ as th’ constable is a chap’ at wodn’t lower his dignity bi goin’ to see if fowks back doors wor oppen, things wark pratty weel. It wor at th’ Red Lion aw thawt aw’d stop this time (that’s whear iverybody stops ‘at knows what gooid grub is; an’ it’s worth sixpence any time to see Tommy’s face when he’s mad, an’ a shillin to see his wife’s an’ hear her laff when shoo’s suited). It wor here ’at this tale wor tell’d to me—its’s rayther sorrowful, but then it may happen to be relished bi some ’at read it.
Sally Bray worn’t a beauty, but shoo wor what yo’d call a nice lass. Her hair an’ een wor black as sloes, an’ her cheeks wor ommost as red as her lips, an’ they wor like cherries; her teeth wor as white as a china cup, but her noas worn’t mich to crack on. Shoo wor rayther short an’ dumpy, but ther wor allus sich a pleasant smile abaat her face, an’ shoo wor soa gooid tempered at ivvery body liked her an’ had a kind word for “awr Sal,” as they called her. Nah Sally worn’t like other lasses in one respect, shoo nivver tawked abaat having a felly, an’ if others sed owt abaat sweethearts an’ trolled her for net havin’ one, shoo’d luk at ’em wi her een blazin’ like two fireballs, but nivver a word could they get her to say. Shoo had noa father or mother, nor any relation i’ th’ world, unless it wor a brother, an’ shoo didn’t know whether he wor livin’ or net, for he’d run away to sea when a little lad, an’ shoo’d nivver heeard on him agean; but it wor noaticed ’at when once a sailor happened to call at th’ Lion one day, ’at shoo showed him moor favor nor shoo’d showed any body else, an’ even sat beside him for an haar, to hear him tell abaat ships an’ storms. Well, he wor th’ only one shoo ivver had showed any fancy for, an’ he wor th’ last, for little moor nor a year after that Sally had gooan.
One mornin’, about eight or nine months after that sailor’s visit, a young farmer happened to be walkin’ across one o’ th’ fields ’at formed a part o’ th’ Crow Tree Farm, when he saw a little hillock wi’ fresh gathered wildflowers, an’ bending daan wondering at sich a thing should be i’ sich a place, all lonely an’ barren, he noticed some fresh soil scattered raand it. Rooting wi his fingers, he sooin com to a little bundle, an’ what should he see when he oppened it, but a bonny little babby, lukkin’ as sweet an’ pure as th’ flaars ’at had been strewed ower it.