[Note: this version is as the play was performed in Edenbridge; it was amended for the December performances in St Nicholas and changed again when re-used in 1977]

Hoodening 1969

Moll:
They're waiting, Joe
Joe:
That's all right, gal, let 'em wait
Sam:
Old Dobbin's in a sorry state
Sixty miles he's had to plod
Joe:
It's finished him; it has, by God
Martin:
The only grub he's had — some hay
That Joe here pinched out Reigate way
Joe:
He's lost a shoe, his hoof is split
We'll never get the poor jade fit
Sam:
And then we'll have to walk back home
Joe:
I wish to God we'd never come
Moll:
They're well breech'd here; they'll see us right
Martin:
Not them, Moll; ne'er a sup or bite
We'll get from them — they're too darned tight!
Sam:
I've got an idea
Joe:
Ah?
Sam:
Let's sell the bastard to the Knackers
And walk back home and spend the ackers
Joe:
The Knacker's yard can have the nag
We'll take him there and spend the swag
Martin:
We'll lead him there then, Joe, and flog 'im
Sam:
Then the Pub for ale and noggin
Joe:
But we still got to shift 'im
Sam:
Give him a kick or else a crack
Across his nose and then stand back
Martin:
The brute's as stubborn as a mule
Joe:
It's me you're kicking, bloody fool
Moll:
Jab your knife beneath his tail
He'll get up then, chaps, without fail
[Dobbin springs up and rushes angrily into the room, cavorting savagely around]
Martin:
You've done it now; he's up all right
Joe:
My God, he's gone and taken fright
Here, catch his bridle, boy
Martin:
Too late
He'll smash the house down, sure as fate
Sam:
He's going mad
Martin:
He's rushing round
Joe:
Tell 'em we'll catch him for ten pound
Martin:
We'd better just go in and see
Joe:
Go on then. Rather you than me
Martin:
I think I'll see what I can do
Joe:
Go on then, boy, I'll follow you
[They enter the room]
Sam:
Blow down his nostrils, Martin, see
Martin:
Not bloody likely — you be me
Sam:
My God, look at him
Moll:
His hooves are crashing on the floor
Martin:
His flying mane and gnashing jaw
Sam:
Sparks all flying from his toes
Joe:
A quart of soap suds from his nose
Sprinkle the ground, roll down his chin
To prove there's spirit still within
[Dobbin, after some time cavorting round the room, retires to one side of the room and slowly quietens down]
Sam:
He's quiet now
Martin:
He nods his head, his fury spent
The quietest nag in all East Kent
Joe:
Old Dobbin snorts and then he sighs
Sam:
A thoughtful look comes in his eyes
Moll:
It's plain to see his temper's mending
Joe: (aside)
But look, his nether pipe's descending
Sam:
And now… he slowly lifts his tail
Joe:
Quick Martin, run and fetch a pail
Sam:
Too late; the floor is soaked already
Martin:
Now hold it Dobbin, boy, go steady
All:
Well, look at that!
Joe:
A puddle's formed full five feet wide
Sam:
From which a tributary tide
Is flowing fast…
Martin:
But then the mat
Absorbs the flood, and that is that
Sam:
Come, let's cut off before the fire
Can make the soggy mat perspire
Joe:
Before the warmed fumes exhale
Of this repulsive horse's stale
Moll:
You grab him then, boy. He's quiet now
Martin:
All right I hope is is. OH!! He bit my hand
Sam:
Look out! He's rearing!
Joe:
'e's 'it 'is 'ead — 'ard!
Moll:
'e's down
Sam:
I don't like the way he's lying. Drive old Dobbin off
Moll:
Supine he lies upon the ground
Let's see if we can bring him round
Sam:
I reckon you best fetch a doctor
And tell him that old Dobbin's knocked a
Six inch hole deep in his pate
Moll:
Don't trouble, Joe, you'll be too late
Joe:
A surgeon, mates, is what we need
To come and use his skill with speed
Who'll know just where each morsel fits
Who'll chuck away the worthless bits
Whose knowing hands can take his brain
And ram it gently back again
And so this boy's poor brain restore
At least to what it was before
Sam:
See the blood is turning black
Welling from that bloody crack
It forms a crust around his hair
Moll:
There's nothing more to build on there
Joe:
From now until the final trump
Our Martin's just a lifeless lump
Sam:
For twenty youthful years he roughed it
Now, alas, poor Martin's snuffed it
Alas, what wicked cruel luck it
Is poor Martin's kicked the bucket
Joe:
Oh, how lamentably sad it
Is that our friend Martin's had it
Moll:
Bring in rosemary and rue
Joe: (aside)
And some sage and onions too
Cut off in 's youth aged twenty years
Let's lift him from this vale of tears
Sam:
That's not tears, dear Joe, I wis
That, my friend, is Dobbin's p…
Joe:
Now Sam, boy, don't use that word here!
Sam:
At least I know a tear's a tear
Joe:
You only meant old Dobbin's slashed
His head. No call to be abashed
Moll:
Let's bury him then
Sam:
A sheet. We shall want a sheet to wrap him in
Joe:
A sheet. Who's got a sheet?
Moll:
Here's one, Joe
[They cover him with the sheet]
Joe:
About his broken body strew
Sprays of roses, sprigs of yew
Rosemary and bitter rue
Moll:
White chrysanthemums adorning
This youth killed without due warning
Express the sorrow of our mourning
Sam:
Now for Martin tolls the bell
In the prime of youth he fell
You, Ancient sexton, toll his knell
All:
Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, dong
[They hoist him on their shoulders and carry him around the room to the accompaniment of a funeral march]
Joe:
Christ, he's heavy
Sam:
Let's put him down for a bit
Joe:
Undertaking makes me sweat
Run to the ale house, Sam, and get
Six bottles of their best beer
While me and Moll sit by him here
Sam:
I only got a tanner (sixpence)
Joe:
What you got Moll?
Moll:
Nothing
Sam:
Joe?
Joe:
Ninepence
Sam:
That's… one and sixpence, then, I think
Joe:
That's not enough for one small drink
Sam:
I know, Joe
[Sam and Joe whisper together, attempting to prevent Moll from hearing. Sam suggests in an undertone that they should search Martin]
Moll:
Oh — wicked! I heard what you said!
Shame on you, Sam, to rob the dead!
Joe:
He liked a pint himself Moll. Why
He'd not have seen his mates go dry
Sam:
He owed me several; any road
We need a drink with such a load
He's always been a mate of ours
Joe:
We'll make it up to him in flowers
Sam:
Let's find the poor young beggar's riches
Come on, Joe, I'll take his breeches
Joe:
A rusty nail, a bit of string
A corkscrew, and a pointed thing
Sam:
Three dog-ends and some runner beans
In this back pocket's all his means
Joe:
A lady's hanky and a garter…
He must 'ave been a regular Tartar
Epistle from across the Channel
Sam:
If you ask me this poor young man'll
Be less trouble in the ground
But still his money can't be found
Joe:
Ah, I've struck gold, look here — five pound!
Martin:
Hands off my money, thieving hound!
Joe:
He spoke!
Sam:
Alive, by God!
Moll:
Help him up, you rotten swine
Martin:
And give me that five quid of mine
Joe:
I took it fearing you might lose it
Moll:
You lying pair, you thought to booze it
Martin:
A good idea — I'm thirsty too
Come on Moll. Come on, you two
If you ask me, this house is dry
Sam: (aside)
Apart from Dobbin's chamber lye
Martin:
Look, Dobbin looks to me contrite
The clouds of anger vanished quite
Joe:
As, after rain, the sun appears
So Dobbin after nether tears
Martin:
There's only one thing to do then
Sam:
What's that?
Martin:
Well, we best say goodbye to this old lot
Joe:
Right, come on Dobbin, come on boy!
All:
Well, masters, Martin's head's all right
And Dobbin, as you see's contrite
And so are we, if we've offended —
But there — least said is soonest mended
And if old Dobbin did a…miss
Well masters, as you hope for bliss
Forgive him too, he's common clay
And so are we. Since we today
Full sixty miles at least have come
Release us now to go back home
Now let the sound of your kind hands
Release us from bad conscience's bands
God blesses those who bless poor men
Once more, adieu, kind friends. Amen

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