CAPTAIN CUTTLE'S NOTES.
I have a serious complaint to make. Last week my notes were all spoiled and in my copy of the "Star" at any rate, nobody could read them. My poor sketch (Quite right, Captain; poor enough. Ed.) of "the bewildered chicken" was all blurred and daubed and dabbled, and it looked just like a lot of rocks. I was so proud of that sketch, and it was just so much genius wasted.
I showed it to my landlady, and the good old soul looked at it five minutes through her best spectacles, and then she looked at me, and she said "Is it a ship?"
Then I got disgusted, and went out. I really do believe that artist chap on the staff deliberately spoiled that sketch; I heard of him boasting in Bate's the other night that he would take old Cuttle down a peg.
But will he ? Brace up Hezekiah, brace up and shiver his timbers my lad.
CAPTAIN CUTTLE'S NOTES continued
I am very sorry that a strike has taken place at the West Cumberland Works, and about 500 men have been thrown idle. It seems to me that 25 per cent. reduction was a very heavy demand to make upon the men's wages, and I don't wonder at them striking.
I don't believe in strikes, they could almost always be avoided by a little care, but certainly if I was a steel worker, and it was proposed to cut my wages down from 20s. a week to 15s. at one clap, I should not be very anxious to submit to the reduction. And it strikes me very forcibly that these big reductions are generally levelled at those who can least afford reductions of wages.
Speaking for myself, I can say that I have heard a lot in my time about men's wages being reduced at this works or that, but I never heard much about officials and managers being pulled down.
I wish somebody would pull the "Star" office down, (Whatever does the rascal mean ? Ed.) I do indeed, and also everyone of the cottages and houses below it, right to Vulcan's Lane. Talk about a park or pleasure grounds in the middle of Workington ! Why, there you are !
Pull down all that row, put a wall and palisading along the street ten feet back, throw the gardens behind all those houses into one big garden, and you have a good compact little park, easy of access from all parts of the town, and a thing of beauty and a joy for ever !
CAPTAIN CUTTLE proposes it be done, and it can't be done too soon. As the Local Board actually owns several of the old houses, it seems the very thing.
Look what an improvement it would be !
Why Finkle Street would be like Prince's Street, Edinburgh, in no time !
CAPTAIN CUTTLE'S NOTES continued.
Can anybody tell me how many lies are supposed to be a shillings-worth in West Cumberland ? Because I observe that at Maryport Police Court, a man names JAMES GILMOUR paid six shillings as he alleged, for lies told.
He accused another man named AARON WEDGEWOOD of having "told six shillings worth of lies," and he paid the money apparently satisfied.
The case reminds me of an old uncle of mine who once went to a theatre to see "The Forty Thieves," He was rather short-sighted, so thought he would have a seat pretty well forward, so asked for a front ticket. The ticket seller handed him a ticket and demanded 3s.
The old fellow paid the money, took a long look at the man, then gave him the ticket back, and said, "I don't want to see the other 39,) and set off home.
I hear that on a friend meeting another in Station Road one day this week, the following colloquy ensued:
First friend: "I want to ask you a conundrum, as I know you are good at guessing them."
Other friend: "Well, what is it?"
First friend: "When is the Parish Church to be rebuilt?"
Other friend: "Well, there you have me completely; I really must give that up."
First friend: "So have the other parishioners of Workington."
It is whispered that a flag-staff has been recently erected in Washington Street, adjoining the Local Board Offices. When the joyful news - or otherwise - is received as to the arrival of the Charter of Incorporation of Workington, a Union Jack will be suspended from the pole.
When the flag-staff was being erected, lots of people thought it was for a barber's shop. One witty fellow, whilst going into the rate office to pay some money to either MR. DICKINSON or MR. FAWCETT, pointed to the flagstaff, and said he was going to be shaved, - of his money.