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Col. G. Very well, sir. Erit into the house.
Ger. (to WAR.) I can't touch clay again till I get that fellow out of
head. War. Come along, then.
Exeunt GER, and WAR.
Re-enter Col. G. polishing a boot. Regards
it with dissatisfaction. Col. G. Confound the thing! I wish it were a scabbard. When I think I'm getting it all right-one rub more and it's gone
dull again! The house-door opens slowly, and THOMAS
peeps cautiously in. Th. What sort of a plaze be this, maister ?
Col. G. You ought to have asked that outside. How did you get in ?
Th. By th' dur-hole. Iv yo leave th' dur oppen,
th' dogs'll coom in. Col. G. I must speak to Martha again. She will leave the street-door open!—Well, you needn't look so frightened. It ain't a robbers cave.
Th. That be more'n aw knaw—not for sartin sure, maister. Nobory mun keawnt upon nobory up to Lonnon, they tells mo. But iv a gentleman axes mo into his heawse, aw'm noan beawn to be afeard. Aw'll coom in, for mayhap yo can help mo.
It be a coorous plaze. What dun yo mak here?
Col. G. What would you think now?
Th. It looks to mo like a mason's shed-a greight one.
Col. G. You're not so far wrong.
Th. (advancing). It do look a queer plaze. Aw be noan so sure abeawt it. But they wonnot coot mo throat beout warnin'. Aw'll bother noan.
(Sits down on the dais and wipes his face.) Well, aw be a’most weary.
Col. G. Is there anything I can do for
Th. Nay, aw donnot know; but beout aw get somebory to help mo, aw dunnot think
aw'll coom to th' end in haste. Aw're a lookin' for summut aw've lost, mon.
Col. G. Did you come all the way from Lancashire to look for it?
Th. Eh, lad! aw thowt thae'rt beawn to know wheer aw coom fro!
Col. G. Anybody could tell that, the first word you spoke. I mean no offence.
Th. (looking disappointed). Well, noan's ta'en. But thae dunnot say thae's ne'er been to Lancashire thisel'?
Col. G. No, I don't say that: I've been to Lancashire several times.
Th. Wheer to ?
Col. G. And Liverpool. I was once there for a whole week.
Th. Nay, nay. Noather o those plazes. Fur away off 'em.
Col. G. But what does it matter where I have or haven't been ?
Th. Mun aw tell tho again? Aw've lost summut, aw tell tho. Didsto ne'er hear tell ov th' owd woman ’at lost her shillin'? Hoo couldn't sit her deawn beawt hoo feawnd it! Yon's me.
(Hides his face in his hands.)
Col. G. Ah! now I begin to guess! (aside). --You don't mean you've lost your
Th. (starting up and grasping his stick with both hands).
Aw do mane aw've lost mo yung lass; and aw dunnot say thae's feawnd her, but aw do say thae knows wheer hoo is. Aw do. Theighur! Nea then!
Col. G. What on earth makes you think that? I don't know what you're after.
Th. Thae knows well enough. Thae knowed what aw'd lost afoor aw tou'd tho. Yo' be denyin' your own
Thae knows. Aw'll tay tho afore the police, beout thou gie her oop. Aw wull.
Col. G. What story have you to tell the police then? They'll want to know.
Th. Story saysto? The dule's i' th' 'mon! Didn't aw seigh th' mon ’at stealed her away goo into this heawse not mich over hauve an hour ago ?-Aw seigh him wi' mo own eighes.
Col. G. Why didn't you speak to him?
Th. He poppit in at th' same dur, and there aw've been a-watching ever since. Aw've not took my eighes off ov it. He's somewheeres now in this same heawse.
Col. G. He may have been out in the morning (aside).—But you see there are more doors than one to the place. There is a back door; and there is a door out into the street.
Th. Eigh! eigh! Th' t'one has to do wi' th' t'other--have it? Three dur-holes to one shed! That looks bad !
Col. G. He's not here, whoever it was. There's not a man but myself in the place.
Th. Hea am aw to know yo're not playin'