THE TAXI-DRIVER'S STORY
by Warren Hastings and Herbert Jordan It was just such a night as this, Sir, if you’ll pardon me sayin’ so It seems like yesterday, sir, but it must ‘a been years ago I was standin’ on this very corner, with me taxi-cab by me side A-dreaming of beer and ‘ome, sir, I reckon I nearly cried The night was as black as ink, sir, and cold as a publican’s ‘eart Sudden I sees a sight, sir, what gives me an ‘orrid start It turned out to be a gent, sir, he stood about nine feet high They calls me ‘Truthful Bill’, sir, I’ve never been known to lie He stood about ten feet ‘igh, sir, he must ‘ave weighed forty stone And I ‘ad a sort of feeling, that I’d rather ‘a been alone Says ‘e in an ‘usky voice, sir, like the sound of a gurglin’ sink “Take me to Billingsgate Gardens” afore I had time to think “A couple of quid if you hurry, a matter of life and death.” The shock nearly laid me out, sir, but bravely I fought for breath Like a rocket I opens the door, sir, quick as a lightning flash I lost me ‘abitual calmness when I thinks of two quid in cash Like an avalanche ‘e jumps, sir, and sticks in the door-way fast By a super-in-human effort, I shoves him inside at last Away we goes with a jerk, sir, and flies like a blinking lark So fast that the lamp post looked, sir, like the railings around Hyde Park In just under thirty seconds we done thirteen miles or more And out of the seat I jumps, sir, to open the taxi-cab door But s’truth what a shock I get,sir, the sight nearly drops me dead And me eyes, they sticks right out, sir, like ‘at-pegs, from me ‘ead The weight of that Baby Lockhart, must ‘a busted the floor away And he’d run all them thirteen miles, sir, inside the cab that way Well I drags him out thro’ the door, sir, and s’welp me upon my soul The gent what was forty stone, sir, was as thin as a barber’s pole His clothes hung in folds around him, like a scarecrow on a farm ‘Twas runnin’ them thirteen miles, sir, had worked like a blinkin’ charm Says he as ‘e grasps me ‘and, sir, “Put it right there, old mate, Every drug on the market I’ve taken to try and reduce my weight The powders and pills I’ve swallered would start up a chemists shop And I’ve lived like a canary on caraway seeds and sop.” Well he hands me a ten pound note, sir, A ‘tenner’ it was, and no kid And the bill for repairing me taxi-cab floor, It come, sir, to just fifteen quid.
The end