Highways and Byways in Sussex - online book

An illustrated appreciation, of the most interesting districts in Sussex.

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XLII
MAS' MEPPOM'S ADVENTURE
427
sight an but a couple of liddle cheps about eighteen inches high or dereaway come into de barn without uppening the doores. Dey pulled off dere jackets and begun to thresh wud two liddle frails as dey had brung wud em at de hem of a rate. Mas' Meppom would a been froughten if dey had been bigger, but as dey was such tedious liddle fellers, he couldn't hardly help bustin right out a laffin'. Howsonever he pushed a hanful of strah into his mouth and so managed to kip quiet a few minutes a lookin'at um — thump, thump; thump, thump, as riglar as a clock.
" At last dey got rather tired and left off to rest derselves, and one an um said in a liddle squeakin' voice, as it might a bin a mouse a talkin':—' I say Puck, I tweat; do you tweat?' At dat Jeems couldn't contain hisself no how, but set up a loud haw-haw; and jumpin' up from de strah hollered out, ' I'll tweat ye, ye liddle rascals , what bisness a you got in my barn ?' Well upon dis, de Pharisees picked up der frails and cut away right by him, and as dey passed by him he felt sich a queer pain in de head as if somebody had gi'en him a lament­able hard thump wud a hammer, dat knocked him down as flat as a flounder. How long he laid dere he never rightly knowed, but it must a bin a goodish bit, for when he come to 'twas gittin' dee-light. He could'nt hardly contrive to doddle home, and when he did he looked so tedious bad dat his wife sent for de doctor dirackly. But bless ye, dat waunt no use; and old Jeems Meppom knowed it well enough. De doctor told him to kip up his sperits, beein' 'twas onny a fit he had had from bein' a most smothered wud de handful of strah and kippin his laugh down. But Jeems knowed better. ' Ta-iint no use, sir,' he says, says he, to de doctor; ' de cuss of de Pharisees is uppan me, and all de stuff in your shop can't do me no good.' And Mas' Meppom was right, for about a year ahtawuds he died, poor man ! sorry enough dat he'd ever intafered wud things dat didn't consarn him. Poor ol' feller, he lays buried in de church-aird over yender—leastways so I've heerd my
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