THE CARETAKER
by
Charles J. Winter (1912)
Billy Bennett
 We've had a fine time and no kid, puss, 
We've been 'ere two year come next week. 
Still the 'ouse isn't let, and not likely, 
Although we've oft' 'ad a near squeak. 

But the yarn that I pitch is so creepy, 
Not a soul cares the'orrers to face, 
So we can rest easy and sing, puss, 
There's no place like 'ome.

You want to look over the 'ouse sir? 
Why certainly, step this way. 
It's a 'ouse anyone might be proud of, 
So the 'undreds that's seen it say.

Don't mind the cat jumping about sir: 
Maybe she is after a rat, 
She's at it from morning to night sir, 
But there's swarms of them still for all that,

'Ow they get 'ere I'm sure is a marvel, 
Leastways 'twas a marvel to me, 
Till one morning I spots on the reason, 
When a hextra big fat one I see.

I figgers it out like this 'ere sir, 
Their numbers would not always swell 
If they didn't come out from the sewer, 
And besides that accounts for the smell.

Is the smell very bad?... well not always, 
Why sometimes the air is quite clear. 
And I've only 'ad three bouts of typhoid 
In the two years I 'ave been 'ere.

No, the smell's not so bad as the damp sir, 
For that fairly gets into your bones, 
And you'll never be free from rheumatics 
While the damp rises off of them stones.

But there, what's the good of complaining, 
There's even some blessing in that, 
For the fungus and moss on the 'earthstone 
Makes a lovely soft bed for the cat.

And if I don't sweep over the floors, sir, 
For a day or two after some rain, 
The mildoo's that white and that pure, sir, 
It's as pretty as snow in a lane.

Any sounds?... well not doorin' day sir, 
But at midnight there's moans and there's groans, 
And a 'orrible smell of blue brimstone, 
With shrieks and the rattlin' of bones.

As a fact that's the one serious drawback, 
And I'm sorry I let an 'int drop, 
(Don't give me away to the owner, 
Or he'll 'ave me kicked out neck and crop.)

But the sounds that we get 'ere at midnight 
Forget them, well I never shall. 
I'm sure I'd go stark, staring balmy, 
If I 'adn't the cat for a pal.

It comes of that there 'Jack the Ripper', 
What once used to live 'ere they say, 
'E made this a kind of 'eadquarters 
When putting his victims away,

And now all their ghosts come to 'aunt 'im, 
A shrieking and dragging great chains. 
Well, I'm sure I'm a pretty tough 'andful, 
But that there beats the rats and the drains.

What!... you like the house from my description? 
And you wish that you'd come 'ere before? 
Well, I'm 'anged if that don't take the biscuit 
Then I shan't be wanted no more!!

I suppose you're some newspaper feller 
That wants in a ghost house to hide? 
Or a chap that's been chucked by 'is sweetheart, 
And wants to commit suicide?

Or perhaps you are studying 'hefluvias,' 
If so you've a chance that is prime! 
Beg pardon?... What!... You are the landlord? 
0h hang it! I've done it this time! 
The end