Sam's Christmas Shopping
written by
Pulham J, Sherman
Sam Small were invited one Christmas,
To visit some friends down in Kent,
But owing to war and taxation,
Most of 'is money was spent.
And 'e wanted to take away with 'im,
A beautiful gift for each one,
But with financial resources depleted
'E didn't see 'ow 't could be done.

So imagine 'is joy on receiving
A very kind note from 'is 'ost
Saying, "Sam, don't get lavish wi' presents,
No more than a bob at t' most."
Sam put 'is spare cash in 'is pocket
And set out on a shopping foray,
Thinking as job would be simple
Wi' only one shilling each way.

'E got off t' bus near to Bond Street
As 'e'd 'eard that the shops there were nice,
But 'e tried every shop right down Bond Street
And couldn't buy owt at 'is price.
When 'e saw 'e were near Oxford Circus
'E thought 'e'd try Selfridge's store,
But 'the crowd were so dense and excited
'E couldn't get in on t' ground floor.

'E were standing outside on t' pavement
Feeling sorry and very perplexed
For not knowing much about London,
'E didn 't know where to try next.
So 'e thought 'e would ask a policeman
To tell 'im the best-place to go,
If there's owt to be bought for a shilling
Then surely a bobby should know.

The policeman were kindly and 'elpful
And drew 'imself up in 'is pride,
If it's cheapness you're after", 'e chuckled,
You'd best take a bus to Cheapside!"
Sam jumped on a bus that was passing
And was glad to be resting 'is legs,
But before 'e 'ad made 'imself cosy,
'E were opposite Mappin and Webb's.

'E looked at t' stuff in t' window
And saw it were gradeley and rare,
And 'e thought that 'is friends would be flattered
With any gift 'e purchased there.
So once more 'e studied t'window
And glanced at the name over top,
Then 'e threw down 'is fag-end in t' gutter
And boldly walked into t' shop.

Mr. Mappin seemed pleased to receive 'im
And said with a smile and a nod,
"Is it gold plate or jewels that you're wanting?"
Sam said, "Ave you owt at a bob?"
Mr. Mappin looked quite disappointed.
"I'm not at all certain", 'e said,
"We've 'ad such a rush 'ere this Christmas,
But I'll just go and ask Mr. Webb."

'E were back in a couple of moments and said,
"No, sir, we 'ave not a thing,
But I'll find you a nice diamond necklace
If you come back when sale's on in t' spring."
Sam trudged all the way back to West End,
So tired 'e scarcely could stand,
And feeling the need for refreshment
'E entered a milk bar in t' Strand.

'E sat down at table in t' corner
And ordered a glass of 'ot grog,
To 'imself 'e were saying, contented,
"At least I'll get that for a bob."
But waiter stood there in amazement
And said to 'im, "Eh lad, come, come,
We sell nowt but milk 'ere, young faller,
Ye can't 'ave a noggin of rum,"

Sam almost went mad with resentment
At being denied such a treat,
But 'e managed to control 'is temper
And stumbled out into t' street.
'E'd forgotten that darkness 'ad fallen,
And before 'e 'ad 'ad time to look,
'E bumped into someone on pavement,
And then realized it were Duke.

Duke uttered a slight imprecaution,
Intended to blister and scorch,
But 'is manner and tone quickly altered
As soon as 'e flashed on 'is torch.
'E graciously smiled as 'e murmured,
"Well, well, if it isn't Sam Small!
I count myself lucky, I do that,
And come to find thee in black-out and all.

"But, come, lad, whatever's the matter?
Thee's looking so sad-like and glum.'
Sam told 'im the day's disappointments
'E 'ad 'ad over shopping - and rum.
"You poor lad", cried Duke, tender-'earted,
'But 'appen I know a few tricks,
Thou shall 'ave finest rum sold in London,
Obtainable at Dirty Dick's."

To Sam, Dirty Dick's were enchanting,
As 'e never 'ad been there before,
More 'ome-like than Buckingham Palace,
What wi' cobwebs and sawdust on t' floor.
When they'd knocked back a couple together
And felt 'appy and all of a glow,
Duke said, "Now, what about shopping,
I'll tell thee where I always go.

'It's Woolworth's - at sixpence or shilling
In value there's nowt to compare,
My family for three generations
'Ave bought all their best heirlooms there.
They 'ave presents to suit everybody
And their branches are all over town,
But it's too late to do much this evening,
They'd just about be closing down."

"No matter", said Sam, all elated,
"As I've just 'ad a couple with thee,
It's only quite fitting and proper
That thee 'as a couple wi, me."
And then, like a pair of old soldiers,
They got talking of present campaign,
Sam said, "We should win war in fortnight
If thee led the army again."

"By gum, lad!" cried Duke, 'is voice ringing,
"I'd do it in under that time,
And I'd rather 'ave thee with thy musket
than the whole of the Maginot Line!"
So they drank out the evening together,
And Sam's shopping - it never got done,
For 'e found when 'e woke up in t' morning
That 'e'd spent all 'is money on rum! 
The end