Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/279

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Job Senior, the Hermit of Rumbold's Moor.

"And your butter-milk too?"

"Aye, aye. Sithere." And he poked two stone bottles out from the embers. "I do it to clear my voice," said the hermit. "Now thou shalt hear my four voices." He then got up, set his face to the crag, and began a wonderful performance of four voices—treble, alto, tenor, and bass. He said he had picked up his "four voices" by listening to the choir in Leeds parish church. He usually sang sacred hymns, such as "While shepherds watched their flocks by night," "Christians, awake," and the Old Hundredth. He went about the country in winter, singing in four parts for money, and his performance was sufficiently remarkable for him to be brought to perform in public at the theatre at Leeds, and in the Headingly Gardens and the Woolsorters' Gardens at Bradford, where he stayed for weeks at a time. He would sleep in any outbuilding or blacksmith's shop; indeed, he was so dirty that few people would like to have given him a bed in their houses.

He used to walk leaning on two rough sticks, wearing a pair of heavy wooden clogs on his feet, stuffed with hay, his legs bandaged with straw. His coat was of many colours and much patched; his trousers were to match. He wore no braces, but kept his trousers in position with a hempen belt, part of an old horse-girth, which he buckled round his body. A bag on his back was fastened at the front to his belt. His head was adorned with a hat of the most antique shape, without a brim, and stitched together with hemp-string.

The condition of his skin, which had not seen water for years, need not be described. His hair, once jetty black, now hung in heavy clotted locks on his shoulders. His eyebrows were black and prominent; his eyes low-set and watery. He wore a coarse beard, grizzled with age, and very