“Nah lad,” said th’ owd man, “what news has ta browt? Tha’s generally summut new.”
“Aw’ve nowt mich uts likely to be fresh, aw dooant think,” said Ezra. “Yo’d hear tell abaght that do o’ Slinger’s aw reckon?”
“Niver a word, lad; what’s th’ chuffin heead been doin?”
“Well, aw’d better start at th’ beginnin’ o’ my tale, an’ as it’s rayther a longish en, you mun draw up to th’ fire and mak up yor mind to harken a bit.”
“Yo happen niver knew Molly Momooin? Shoo lived at Coldedge, an’ used to keep one o’ them sooart o’ spots known i’ thease pairts as a whist shop; yo’ll know what that is? Shoo worn’t a bad-like woman, considerin’ her age (for shoo wor aboon fifty, an’ had been a widdy for a dozen year), an iver sin her felly deed, shoo’d sell’d small drink o’th sly (they dooant think its wrang up i’ them pairts), an ther wor at said it wor nooan of a bad sooart, tho shoo used to booast at ther wor niver a chap gate druffen i’ her haas, tho ther’d been one or two brussen. Like monny a widdy beside, at’s getten a bit o’ brass together, shoo wor pestered wi’ chaps at wanted to hing ther hats up, an put ther feet o’ th’ hearthstooan, an’ call thersen th’ maister o’ what they’d niver helped to haddle. But shoo wornt a waik-minded en, wornt Molly:—an shoo tell’d em all at th’ chap at gate her ud have to have a willin’ hand as well as a warm heart, for shoo’d enuff to do to keep hersen, withaat workin’ her fingers to th’ booan for a lump o’ lumber ith’ nook.
Soa one after another they all left off botherin’ her except one, an that wor Jim o’ long Joan’s, throo Wadsworth, an he seemed detarmined to get her to change her mind if he could. As sooin as iver shoo oppened th’ shuts in a mornin’, he used to laumer in an’ call for a quart (that cost him three-awpence, an used to fit him varry weel woll nooin). Well, things nother seemed to get farther nor nearer, for a long time, but one day summat happened at made a change ith’ matter. It wor just abaght th’ time at th’ new police wor put on, an Slinger wor made into one. Nah Slinger thowt he ought to be made into a sargent, an he said “he wor determined to extinguish hissen i’ sich a way woll they couldn’t be off promotionin’ him, an if they didn’t he’d nobscond.” Soa th’ furst thing he did wor to goa an ligg information agen owd Molly sellin’ ale baght license. Th’ excise chaps sooin had him an two or three moor off to cop th’ owd lass ith’ act, for they said, “unless they could see it thersen they could mak nowt aght.” It wor a varry nice day, an’ off they set o’ ther eearand.
Nah it just soa happened at Jim o’ long Joans (they used to call him Jimmy-long for short), wor lukin’ aght oth’ winder, an’ saw em comin’; ther wor noabody ith’ haas drinkin’ but hissen, soa emptyin’ his quart daan th’ sink, he tell’d Molly to be aware, for ther wor mischief brewin’; an then he bob’d under th’ seat. In abaght a minit three on em coom in,—not i’ ther blue clooas an silver buttons, but i’ ther reglar warty duds.