Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/220

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Yorkshire Oddities and Incidents.

to-morrow night, wilt thou? I'll learn thee to come poaching on my preserves."

Next morning, very early, Jemmy rose and dug a hole, four or five feet deep and six or seven feet long, just under that part of the garden wall where the sweetheart had clambered over the night before, and covered it all over with thin laths and brown paper, and then sprinkled mould over it, so that it had all the appearance of solid earth. A small stream of water ran through his garden into the river. Jemmy cut a small grip from it to the hole he had dug, and filled the hole with water; then choked the grip up and went into his house, laughing to himself at what would probably happen that night.

Stationing himself at nightfall in the garden where he could not be seen, he had not long to wait before he saw a head rising above the wall, then the body of a man, and in another moment the expectant lover had cleared the wall, and dropped on the covering of the pitfall. The laths and brown paper yielded to his weight, and he plunged up to his neck in water. The unfortunate young man screamed with fright, and Jemmy and Mary rushed to the spot.

"Holloa, my man! what's the matter? What art a' doing i' yond water-pit? Hast a' come to steal my apples and pears?"

Then turning to Mary, he asked if she knew him. The poor girl hesitated, but at last confessed that the young man was her sweetheart. "Well, then," said Jemmy, "help him out and get him into t' house, and let us change his clothes, for I reckon he's all over muck."

The young man was brought in dripping like a water-rat.

"Now, then," said Jemmy, "thou mun have a dry suit. Which wilt a' have—a pair o' my list breeches and rabbit-skin coat, or my old housekeeper's petticoats and gown?"

The young man ungallantly chose the former, thinking if