Aw met Cinnamon th’ next mornin, an’ aw saw ’at he’d a gurt plaister ov his nooas, an’ aw couldn’t help thinkin what a blessin it wod ha been to some fowk if it had been stuck ovver his maath asteead.
Ther’s a Mule I’ th’ Garden.
A Christmas Story.
Hark thi lass, what a wind! it’s a long time sin we had sich a storm. Folk ought to be thankful ’at’s getten a warm hearthstooan to put ther feet on, sich weather as this:—unless it alters it’ll be a dree Kursmiss-day. If ony poor body has to cross this moor to neet, they’ll be lost, as sure as sure con be.
It’s a fearful neet reight enuff, lad, an’ it maks me creep cloiser to th’ range,—but it’s th’ sooart o’ weather we mun expect at this time o’ th’ year. It’s a rare gooid job tha gate them peats in, for we stand i’ need ov a bit o’ fire nah. Does ta mean to sit up all th’ neet same as usual?
Eea, aw think ther’s nowt like keep in up th’ owd customs, an’ we’ve niver missed watchin Kursmiss in sin we wor wed, an’ that’ll be nearly forty year sin; weant it? Shift that canel, sithee’ ha it sweals! Does’nt to think tha’d better ligg summat to th’ dooar bottom? Hark thi what a wind! Aw niver heeard th’ likes; it maks th’ winders fair gender agean. Soa, soa; lend me owd o’ that pooaker, aw shall niver be able to taich thee ha to mend a fire aw do think. Tha should never bray it in at th’ top;—use it kindly mun, tha’ll find it’ll thrive better; it’s th’ same wi’ a fire as it is wi’ a child—if you’re allus brayin’ at it you’ll mak it a sad un at th’ last, an’ niver get nowt but black luks. But its net mich use talkin’ to thee aw con see, for tha’rt ommost asleep; aw believe if th’ thack ud to be blown off tha couldn’t keep thi e’en oppen after ten o’clock; but use is second natur ommost, an’ aw feel rayther sleepy mysen, aw allus do when ther’s a wind.”
* * * * * * *
In two or three minutes they wor booath hard asleep, but they had’t to sleep long, for ther coom a knock at th’ door laad enuff to wakken deeaf Debra (an shoo couldn’t hear thunner). Th’ owd man started up an flew to oppen th’ door, an’ in stawped a walkin’ snow-drift.
“Aw wish yo a merry Kursmiss,” he said.
“Thank thi lad; come a bit nearer th’ leet. If tha’s browt noa better luk nor tha’s browt weather, tha’d better ha stopped at hooam. Who art ta?”
“Well, its a bonny come off,” said th’ chap, “when my own uncle connot own me.”
“Its nooan Ezra, is it?” said th’ owd woman.
“That’s my name, aw believe, aunt,” he said.
“Waw, do come an’ sit thi daan. Set that kettle on lad, and mak him a drop o’ summat warm; he’ll do wi’ it.”
It worn’t long afoor th’ new comer wor sat i’th’ front o’th’ fire, smookin’ a long pipe an’ weetin’ his whistle ivery nah an then wi’ a drop o’ whiskey an’ watter.