Facey Romford at Home

We will now suppose our distinguished Sponge entering the village, or what the natives call the town of Washingforde, towards the close of a short December day, on his arrival from Mr Jog’s.

‘What sort of stables are there?’ asked he, reining up his hack, as he encountered the brandy-nosed Leather airing himself on the main street.

‘Stables be good enough -- forage, too,’ replied the stud groom -- ‘per--wided you likes the sittivation.’

‘Oh, the sittivation ’ll be good enough,’ retorted Sponge, thinking that, groom-like, Leather was grumbling because he hadn’t got the best stables.

‘Well, sir, as you please,’ replied the man.

‘Why, where are they?’ asked Sponge, seeing there was more in Leathers manner than met the eye.

Rose and Crown!’ replied Leather, with an emphasis.

Rose and Crown!’ exclaimed Sponge, starting in his saddle; ‘Rose and Crown! Why I’m going to stay with Mr Romford!’

‘So he said,’ replied Leather; ‘so he said. I met him as I com’d in with the osses, and said he to me, said he, ‘‘You’ll find captle quarters at the Crown!’’ ’

The deuce!’ exclaimed Mr Sponge, dropping the reins on his hack’s neck; ‘the deuce!’ repeated he with a look of disgust. ‘Why, where does he live?’

‘ ’Bove the saddler’s, thonder,’ replied Leather, nodding to a small bow-windowed white house a little lower down, with the gilt-lettered words:

overend saddler and harness-maker to the queen

above a very meagrely stocked shop.

The devil!’ replied Mr Sponge, boiling up, as he eyed the cottage-like dimensions of the place.

The dialogue was interrupted by a sledge-hammer-like blow on Sponge’s back, followed by such a proffered hand as could proceed from none but his host.

‘Glad to see ye!’ exclaimed Facey, swinging Sponge’s arm to and fro. ‘Get off!’ continued he, half dragging him down, ‘and let’s go in; for it’s beastly cold, and dinner’ll be ready in no time!’

So saying, he led the captive Sponge down the street, like a prisoner, by the arm, and, opening the thin house-door, pushed him up a very straight staircase into a little low cabin-like room, hung with boxing- gloves, foils, and pictures of fighters and ballet girls.

‘Glad to see ye!’ again said Facey, poking the diminutive fire. ‘ ’Axed Nosey Nickel and Gutty Weazel to meet you,’ continued he, looking at the little ‘dinner-for-two’ table; ‘but Nosey’s gone wrong in a tooth, and Gutty’s away sweetheartin’. However, we’ll be very cosy and jolly together; and if you want to wash your hands, or anything afore dinner, I’ll show you your bedroom,’ continued he, backing Sponge across the staircase landing to where a couple of little black doors opened into rooms, formed by dividing what had been the duplicate of the sitting-room into two.

‘There!’ exclaimed Facey, pointing to Sponge’s portmanteau and bag, standing midway between the window and door: ‘There! there are your traps. Yonder’s the washhand-stand. You can put your shavin’ things on the chair below the lookin’ glass ’gainst the wall,’ pointing to a fragment of glass nailed against

  By PanEris using Melati.

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