THE BAKED-POTATO-MAN'S NARRATIVE
by Walter Stanford The potato man looked down at his stock As they steamed and hissed He was a man of a garrulous turn And he thoughtfully reminisced To the stranger, who stood with his mouthful of spuds And a far away look in his eye While the snow filled the space at the back of his neck As it fell from the storm-ridden sky 'Yes' the 'Murphy' man said, 'It was just such a night, Some ninety two long years ago As it 'appened, I¹ll tell you the tale if you like.' And the stranger said, 'Certainly, do.' (And with bated breath, he heard the following narration...) That night, I was standing alongside my can, When up drives a carriage and pair Containing a toff and a lady in silks With diamonds and things in her 'air And they steps from the carriage, the coachman drives off And the toff from his pocket 'e drew Two pennies, a-saying, 'Buck up, we¹re 'ungry Supply me with 'taters for two.' And 'im and the lady, they stands in the snow there A munching away there, all gay When the bloke starts talking in foreign to 'er In a insolvent sort of a way. And, all of a sudden, the woman flares up And she goes for the toff a fair treat With 'er 'tater she stabs 'im three times in the chest And 'e falls down a corpse at 'er feet. When she sees 'im a-sweltering there in 'is gore She says, 'Evings, what 'ave I done?' And the bloodstained pertater she drops from 'er 'and As the clock booms out twenty to one 'You heard 'im consult me' she says, with a groan And my nerves they were fairly unnerved 'I¹ve killed 'im, I've killed 'im, but you are me witness 'Twas only the fate 'e deserved.' Just then, in the distance, we heard the bright gleam Of a bull's eye approach, and she cried 'Oh look! 'ere¹s the slop coming round on 'is beat Oh save me! where can I hide?' Like lightning, I raises the lid off my can, And the lady 'ops into it quick And I 'ears 'er inside crying, 'Saved, I am saved' As I fastens it down with a click. And I leaves that dead corpse, on its back, in the mud And I pushes like mad from the spot And when the passing policeman 'e says, 'Ow is trade?' And I answers 'im, 'All 'ot, all 'ot' When at last I arrives down our yard with the can I lifts up the cover with care And I says in a soft, sotto-vocical way To the lady inside, 'Are you there?' No voice didst reply, so I lights up a match And my 'air perpendikiler stands For the woman lay dead, with a smile on 'er face And a 'tater in each of 'er 'ands! And the shock, what it gave me to think what I'd done Made the blood in my arteries chill My teeth starts a-chattering, my knees knocks together My 'eart gives a bound and stands still. The chill what I got then, I never shook off And whatever the weather may be My temperature¹s always below 32 And my 'air keeps on end, as you see. I¹ve tried every medicine what¹s ever come out And consulted physicians in vain Since that 'orrible night, on my sivvy, it¹s true Sir, my 'eart¹s never beated again.' The stranger looked up at the murphy's face 'Why, your fortune is made, man.' said he 'I want you... I edit the 'Daily Disgrace' Our reporter in chief you shall be. Ananias I know of, Munchausen and such And De Rougemont himself I have met, But it strikes me that you are the ablest of liars That I have encountered as yet.'
The end