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Furze the Cruel
written by "Trevena, John, 1870-"
...nd, Peter?" Indignant voices called for silence, but Mary only looked about in some amazement. She couldn't think what the people were driving at. As she was not being entertained there was nothing to prevent her from talking, and it was only natural that she should speak to Peter; and if the folks in front did not approve of her remarks they need not listen. The violinist had dropped her arms in despair; but when she perceived silence was restored she tried again. "Used to play 'en in Peter Tavy church," continued Mary, with much relish. "Used to sot up in the loft and fiddle cruel. Didn't 'en, Master? Don't ye mind ole Will Chanter what had a fiddle like thikky one? His brother Abe sot up wi' 'en, and blowed into a long pipe. Made a cruel fine noise, them two." Mary was becoming anecdotal, and threatening to address the audience at some length, so the violinist had to give up and make way for a vocalist with sufficient voice to drown these reminiscences of a former generation. After the concert there were disturbances outside. One faction cheered the performers; another hooted them. Then a light of Ebenezer kindled into religious fire and hit an Anglican postman in the eye. The response of the Church Militant loosened two Nonconformist teeth. Chegwidden reappeared on horseback, swaying from side to side, holding on by the reins, and raising the cry of down with everything except Ebenezer and liquor-shops. Pendoggat stood aloof, looking on, hoping there would be a fight. He did not mix in such things himself. It was his custom to stand in the background and work the machinery from outside. He liked to see men attacking one another, to watch pain inflicted, and to see the blood flow. Turning to the man whose mouth had been damaged he muttered: "Go at him again." "I'm satisfied," came the answer. "He called you a dirty monkey," lied Pendoggat. The insult was sufficient. The Anglican postman was walking away, having fou...

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