CAPTAIN CUTTLE'S NOTES.
I beg to protest most emphatically Mr. Editor, against the way in which I am being treated in this town, sir ! Indignant, I should think I am indignant ! Have I not been deliberately accused in your pages, sir, of stealing linen - body-linen too - off the Cloffocks ? I, a CUTTLE, a Captain, a cousin of an Alderman, I, to be accused of petty larceny by a miserable man named JOHN BANKS ! Sir, Sir-r, this is unbearable; and I shall be revenged.
And besides, I strongly object sir, to you putting in your foolish comments and remarks among my notes. Here I go and write down a beautiful note, and then you expose the whole thing, and throw ridicule - yes, ridicule - on me, in two or three lines you stick below it. I object, sir; an editor has no right to mangle my notes, and I won't have it. I don't see no good editors are noway, a pack of meddling, muddling land-lubbers, who should be killed off as MR. STEAD, of London, has kindly suggested. Now, sir, put any more of your little pieces in after my notes, if you dare.
Well, yes, certainly it is rather gratifying to find that one idea of mine is appreciated and thought a good one. I mean my idea of having a Park in Finkle-street, which I see is favourably looked upon by the public. I have been thinking the matter over a good deal, and upon my word I consider my suggestion for that Park is just about the best that could be made. The place is better adapted for it than any other, and a nice snug compact little retreat it would be, handy for everything and a vast improvement to the town at large. Surely, when little Keswick could go and get such a large and handsome Park as she has got, "big Workington" can muster pluck enough and coin enough to make a bonny little grotto along one side of Finkle-street.
I am told by a nice gentleman that lives next door to my landlady, that the row of cottages below the "Star" office belongs to the Squire, and that they used to be inhabited long ago by the colliers who worked at MR. CURWEN's pits. Now, I am sure, if the Squire was nicely approached, he would give those old cottages to the town so that they could be pulled down to make way for the New Park. I am told that MR. CURWEN very seldom refuses to give the town anything that is respectfully asked for, only people are so shy here they won't ask half enough. For my part I would raise no objection to the Town covenanting to pay MR. CURWEN yearly what he now gets from those cottages as rent, if he would let them be pulled down for the Park. We must have that Park somehow, that's plain.
The other morning I walked over to Flimby to meet a gentleman, and I was struck with the unnatural quietness that seemed to fill the village. The pall of grief is yet over Flimby, and there are widows and orphans there, whose eyes are still red with crying, and there are homes where all the light seems to have gone out, and where morning and evening they think of the 19th of April last, and of the poor mangled bodies that are still down the death shaft at St. Helen's Colliery. Poor Flimby; well may the little clean village be quiet, and well may the mother brush away the tear when the little one on her knee calls for its "Pa" who comes at the call nevermore.
I am going to law with somebody, but I hardly know yet who it is. Every morning for three weeks past at a quarter to three o'clock exactly, I have been awakened by a most fiendish sound just outside of my bed-room window, of "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo-00". I don't know whose fowl it is that thus annoys me, a mystery is about it. MRS. CUTTLE went personally to every house in our street, and not a single householder would own to keeping a male fowl. I saw the wretch the other morning and made a sketch of it for you MR. EDITOR, and I give it below. If anyone who identifies the creature will let me know whose it is, I'll have an example made of them. For of all the nuisances ever I had to put up with sir, this horrid, blood-curdling, shrieking, wretched "Cock-a-doodle-doo-oo-00" at a quarter to three o'clock in the morning, is just the worst and the greatest of 'em all.
On Monday evening I was in a - in a place - and the company were talking about the Lattrigg case, and the plucky way in which the "little man who lives under a mountain" and who wanted the mountain all to himself, had been fought by the Footpaths Preservation Society. And somehow the subject took a very local turn, and one gentleman present said that a Footpath's Preservation Society would be a very good thing down near the sea in certain towns that he could name. I asked the gentleman if he meant Workington, but he just winked and said, "Its all right, CUTTLE; its all right ; never mind." But I am convinced in my own mind that that man knows something more about footpaths than he told me. I'll see him again.
MRS. CUTTLE went to the circus the other evening, but I couldn't go. I was very much engaged and had no spare time. I thought I would hear all about the circus next day, and so I did, but it began sooner than I liked.
MRS. CUTTLE gave a great jump up in bed, and I said, "My dear, whatever is the matter ?" She didn't speak for a moment, and then she says, "I've got 'em" ; and I says "ISABELLA, what have you got, what does this mean anyhow ?" But before I finished the words that lovely woman was fast asleep and quiet as anything. So I thought she was only dreaming, and I settled down.
In five minutes more, up she jumped again, and she says, "They're there." I says, "What's there, what is it MRS. CUTTLE ?" And she deliberately raised her right arm and pointed to the ceiling and shouts, "Kangaroos ! Kangaroos !", and I batted her back and shouted, "Where have you got 'em ISABELLA ?" and she awoke; and if you believe me she had been dreaming about that circus and a Kangaroo hunt. I shall never vote for MRS. CUTTLE going to no more circuses; no, never.