Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
Life’s full of riddles and puzzles.
You’ll know that when you look at me. What am I?
Can you guess? I’m a mess I confess.
So riddle me, riddle me re.

I’ll give you three guesses to guess what I am.
To guess what I am is very hard.
So I’ll save you the trouble of guessing.
I’m a detective at old Scotland Yard.

When I say detective they call me a split,
And with me you mustn’t confuse, 
Split weeks or split soda, split heads or split peas 
Or the girls who do splits in revues.

I’m a Tec of the Yard. You’ll all have heard of the Yard.
At the Yard I’ve to work very hard. 
It’s not a Tan yard, a bone yard, or back yard. 
It’s a yard and a half is the Yard.

If you doubt I’m a split I can prove it. 
The proof - I have always on show.
I’ve a split in me vest, and the heel of me sock 
And a split between every toe. 

They say I'm a born disinfectant. 
I can find people out on the twist. 
I find some things out when I'm knocking about. 
I've found things that have never been missed.

My people are all in the police force. 
On point duty was my grandfather. 
He used to guide mammals and humpty-backed camels 
Through traffic blocks on the Sahara.

You've got to know something at this Game. 
Be fair and dont act indiscreetly.
Know all the capers, scan news of the papers
Of John Punch and Pearson's Tit weekly.

I'm very good at disguises, 
From an elephant down to a whelk. 
I can turn myself into a public house 
Or a tin of Condenstles Swiss milk. 

I once gave our landlord the shock of his life, 
On surprising him once I was bent.
He said, 'Sir, you have the advantage of me 
But I've got me hand down for the rent.'

I disguised myself so well once 
I surprised our pet dog Nell. 
She bit me when I went home sober 
And left marks where Napoleon fell.

I started first as a plain copper. 
I've got to admit it of course. 
The chief once said, 'Green you're the plainest I've seen. 
Your face is a blot on the Force'

But it isn't the face that makes the man. 
You can tell that by me when you glance. 
It isn't the cut of the hair on your nap. 
It's the cut of your waistcoat and pants.

How did I gain my promotion? 
T'was outside the Rose and Thistle. 
After trying the doors I sat blowing the froth
That had bunged up the hole in me whistle.

From information received some news 
From the yard had gained ground. 
It gained ground it appears through it going around 
Things are bound to gain ground going around.

Someone had told somebody something. 
When they speak that’s the first thing they do. 
Someone told someone else. They told me. 
If they did, that’s no reason why I should tell you.

From information received 
It appears that a couple of sharks 
Were seen loitering near a big jewellers, 
No names, it was Menser and Sparks.

From information received 
They were trying to break in with a spanner. 
They quickly broke out when they gazed round about 
And found nothing worth over a tanner. 

I met them outside and shook hands with them both. 
And didn’t half give them a shock.
They tried to bribe me when they found who I was 
With a stick of Black-Isle-O’-Pool rock.

I shouted “Hands up,” up they went like a flash 
As they trembled like two Woolworths Palms 
Then my brain got to work and they didn’t half scream 
When I tickled them under the arms.

One of them tried to surround me 
And performed a pea-shooting stunt. 
He blew three of the best and they jazzed on me chest 
And left knee marks all down me shirt front.

Imagine the situation. Murder and me on the brink of it. 
Fancy me thrashing the two of them. 
I didn’t, but only just think of it.

I phoned to the Yard for assistance, 
Called for three double 0’s and a none. 
They found I’d no tuppence. 
The girl cut me off. I was off before I was on. 

I turned round to look for my quarry. 
Then I stood like a blithering ass. 
They’d led me astray and were miles away 
Shouting good health it’s great stuff this Bass.

I felt so wild I wept like a child 
And thought as I slunk away. 
Fancy robbing the great Wallace Edgar,
Of another idea for a play. 
The end