THE DIVER'S STORY
by Edward Kent Yes, when I was a deep sea diver, sir, Some strange things, they happened to me! And the strangest as I recollect, sir, It was off the Southampton quay. A lady was crossing a gangway, And in such a hurry was she That she stumbled-and let go her purse, sir, And it fell, with a splash in the sea! And her boat was to sail in an hour, sir! And she'd dropped eighty pounds in that purse! 'Twas a roll of eight ten-pound notes, sir So for her, well, things couldn't look worse! Then she glares round and says in a whisper "Say, is there a diver about? I'll give him five pounds, if he'll bring up my purse!" So I pulls my forelock and steps out! "I'll go if you makes it ten pounds, ma'am!" I says... so she nods, with a frown My diving suit's just on the pier here And in six minutes time I'll be down!" Well, some mess-mates, they screws on my helmet, While I thinks, "Will she pay what she said?" And my heart was as heavy as sorrow And my boots was as heavy as lead! Then I goes down the steps on the pier, sir, Till the water, it foams round my toes, And still down them steps, sir, I goes, sir, Till the water it foams round my nose Then I lets go the ladder and sinks, sir, While the shrimps and the fish, they disperse Till I lands on the rocks down below, sir, And I starts hunting round for that purse! Then I un-made the oyster-beds, sir, And I rakes up the shells and the sand, And after a good half-hour's search, sir, I found I'd the purse in my hand! But them eight ten-pound notes, they was gone, sir. 'Twas as empty as empty could be! But who could have taken 'em out, sir? In that deep, silent sea! Then I felt something gripping my shoulder! As if by a "tec," it was clinched! I have no doubt you know what I mean, sir I should say as you'd often been pinched Then I turns and I sees behind me... And it made me scream a cuss! A giant cuttlefish, sir! What they calls an octopus! With his eight great arms extended... And it fairly made me screech... When I saw he'd a ten-pound note, sir, Held in the tip of each! Then he handed me over the notes, sir, His kindness I couldn't make out! Then he pulls the cord with one of his arms, For the boys to haul me out! Then I handed the lady her money! And she handed me back a note... And then I went off in a faint, sir... While she... she went off in a boat!
The end