TAUSTAFORD. [After a prolonged clearing of his throat] What I mean to zay is that ‘tes no yuse, not a bit o’ yuse in the world, not duin’ of things properly. If an’ in case we’m to carry a resolution disapprovin’ o’ curate, it must all be done so as no one can’t, zay nothin’.
Sol Potter. That’s what I zay, Mr. Trustaford; ef so be as ’tis to be a village meetin’, then it must be all done proper.
Freman. That’s right, Sot Potter. I purpose Mr. Sot Potter into the chair. Whu seconds that?
[A silence. Voices from among the dumb-as-fishes: “I du.”]
Clyst. [Excitedly] Yu can’t putt that to the meetin’. Only a chairman can putt it to the meetin’. I purpose that Mr. Burlacombe— bein as how he’s chairman o’ the Parish Council—take the chair.
Freman. Ef so be as I can’t putt it, yu can’t putt that neither.
Trustaford. ‘Tes not a bit o’ yuse; us can’t ‘ave no meetin’ without a chairman.
Godleigh. Us can’t ‘ave no chairman without a meetin’ to elect un, that’s zure. [A silence.]
Morse. [Heavily] To my way o’ thinkin’, Mr. Godleigh speaks zense; us must ‘ave a meetin’ before us can ’ave a chairman.
Clyst. Then what we got to du’s to elect a meetin’.
Burlacombe. [Sourly] Yu’ll not find no procedure far that.
[Voices from among the
dumb-as fishes: “Mr. Burlacombe ’e
Sol Potter. [Scratching his head—with heavy solemnity] ’Tes my belief there’s no other way to du, but to elect a chairman to call a meetin’; an’ then for that meetin’ to elect a chairman.
Clyst. I purpose Mr. Burlacombe as chairman to call a meetin’.
Freman. I purpose Sol Potter.
Godleigh. Can’t ‘ave tu propositions together before a meetin’; that’s apple-pie zure vur zurtain.
[Voice from among the
dumb-as fishes: “There ain’t no meetin’
yet, Sol Potter zays.”]
Trustaford. Us must get the rights of it zettled some’ow. ’Tes like the darned old chicken an’ the egg—meetin’ or chairman—which come virst?
Sol Potter. [Conciliating] To my thinkin’ there shid be another way o’ duin’ it, to get round it like with a circumbendibus. ’T’all comes from takin’ different vuse, in a manner o’ spakin’.
Freman. Vu goo an’ zet in that chair.
Sol Potter. [With a glance at Burlacombe modestly] I shid’n never like fur to du that, with Mr. Burlacombe zettin’ there.
Burlacombe. [Rising] ’Tes all darned fulishness.