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Tall Tales
 
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THRILLING STORIES
by
Reuben More and Herbert Townsend (1920)

I'll relate some thrilling stories,
Told down at the Old Ship Inn,
By a sea-dog who has travelled,
By the name of Mack'rel Jim.
'Once,' said he, 'on board the Eggshell,
We were wrecked off Monkey Brand,
Sinking fast, but from the funnel,
I jumped ten miles on to land.
Then I heard the shouts of "Save me, save,
Oh save me from the wreck."
Let those women perish, never!
Back I jumped upon the deck.
One by one I safely fired them from our cannon to the shore,
Crowds were cheering, but I told them that there would be no encore.
People gave me watches, money, with excitement most intense,
Talk of wealth, well altogether, two bob short of eighteen pence.'
Landlord, just fill up Jim's tankard, (this you'll nightly overhear)
'Want another yarn?' says Jimmy, 'Right you are,' then drinks his beer.
'Once upon a desert island, I was stationed for a time,
Stationed, - tho' there was no station,
Picking chloride out of lime.
Animals, you ask? Well rather, snakes of all kinds in your bed,
Tigers there with double bodies, - some with just a head.
One dark night (it made me shudder) came a most unearthly growl.
Looking up I saw a lion, out upon its nightly prowl
Then it sprang and soon devoured me,
But my senses did not roam,
With a knife I ripped it open
Had it stuffed and brought it home.
Hand my mug Bill; here's good health boys... 'nother? Thanks, I'll try a beer.
How's the clock? It wants five minutes - time for one more yarn to hear.
I shall ne'er forget the night boys, up at Jarrow, Tyne.
From the railway station platform - fell a woman on the line.
On the track I in a moment sprang as people shrieked with fright,
Round the bend the Scotch Express was dashing madly into sight.
Quickly then I knelt beside her, - to the metals holding fast,
The train it rattled o'er my body, like a switchback thundering past.
The girl was saved, - but that reminds me, once I heard the cry of 'Fire,'
A New York building 'sixty stories' - flames were leaping 'liar'... higher
A child up at the attic window, - cried for help, each heart stood still.
Fiendish flames in all directions, - who will risk their life?... "I will."
Through the blinding smoke I mounted, - upward with determined face
Seized the child, then from the window - sprang midst yells into space,
At blinding speed we dashed to earth, ten miles a second I suppose,
The awful rate gave me a chill, I stopped midway to blow my nose.
Then the child screamed out - 'Where's mamma? left behind to burn - to die!'
'No,' said I, 'She shall not perish! - I'll return my child, don't cry.'
Back I went and left the infant - floating on the fiery breeze
Saved the mother, - bet your life - what?"
Come along now - Time, gents, please!'
 
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