THE TRAVELLERS
'Twas a Dark and Stormy Night!
(with knobs on)
by
T.W. Connor
Billy Bennett
The thunder rolled! The lightning flashed! 
And loud the wind did roar,
As two belated travellers
Struggled across the moor.

To a distant cottage window
Where they saw a tiny light!
Where they might find shelter from the storm 
And a 'shake-down' for the night.

One was a lean and lanky man
Whose face spelt pimples... and failure,
The other... was short... with a patch on his eye
And a couple of wives in Australia!

Stumbling here, stumbling there, 
Tho' miles from the public-houses 
The breath running out of their feeble frames 
And the rain running out of their trousers.

The wind howled round the ghostly barn 
As they reached the cottage door,
And saw the ghosts of a thousand men
They'd never seen before!

Loudly they rapped on the cottage door 
There were muffled sounds within,
Someone was moving or walking about
Whichever it might have been.

'Who's there...' came a growl 'at this hour o' night?'
'Who's there?' said an angry speaker 
'We're seeking shelter from the storm!'
Said a voice... like a ha'penny squeaker.

There was whisp'ring and fumbling behind the door,
Then slowly... the bolt drew back; 
And a face-all whiskers and beady eyes
Peered at them through the crack.

'You can't come in here!' he thundered,
Then a woman's voice so soft, said,
'Don't turn them out in the storm Oswald!
Let them sleep up in the loft!'

'All right,' growled the man-with a meaning look
'And I hope they sleep well tonight
I'd like to give 'em a good 'blow-out'
So I'll go up and blow out their light'

Once inside they looked around
Old photographs hung on the wall, 
There was Aunt Frizzy-Winkle, old Granny Chin-Whiskers,
And Uncle Tom Cobley an' all.

They had hoped for a sight of the 'Foaming Tank'
Or a bottle of' Mother's ruin '... 
But after a look at the Farmer's nose
They knew there was nothing doin'.

So warming their hands at the open grate
Where there'd been no fire for months 
They mounted the ladder-up to the loft
And down on the straw-at once.

And all night long-with no wireless set 
They 'listened in ' to the thunder!
While the lightning played round their trembling forms,
And the rats played 'Over and under'.

VOICES BELOW!... in the night they heard
And prayed for the morning light 
The sharp'ning of knives.. and a pleading voice
Saying, 'Don't kill 'em both-to-night!'

'Why not?' said the fiend, 'I've killed dozens before!'
(More sharp'ning of knives... and a clatter),
'I might as well hang for a sheep as a lamb,
So one or two more won't matter!'

'DON'T KILL'EM BOTH! did you hear that Bill?'
Said the little man all of a jelly. 
'You'll soon be an angel-and so shall I
As sure as my name's not Kelly!'

No sleep for them as they lay on the straw
It was nothing like being 'in clover'
Expecting a 'visit '... every minute
They said their prayers seven times over.

The storrn passed away with the dawn of day
They thought it was time to be going 
If only they could escape in the fog
But it wasn't even snowing! 

Then all of a sudden... a stern command
Fell on their ears as they lay there, 
And they very near fell in a fit as they heard
'COME ON DOWN... If you don't want to die there!'

Slowly they crept down the ladder
Prepared for the 'Promised Land'
There stood the beady-eyed ruffian,
The carving-knife still in his hand!

At the table-they noticed a buxom lass 
Pouring out steaming coffee,
She beckoned them both to come and sit down
With a smile that was sweeter than toffee.

Dumb with surprise! they sat rubbing their eyes,
To make sure they were not mistaken
The little man's mouth watered, all down his back,
At the smell of the eggs an' bacon.

'I guessed you'd be hungry!' the farmer said,
'So I've done the best I can do,
Here's a couple of nice roast young spring chickens,
And I KILLED 'EM BOTH... for you!' 
The end