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Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall, Vol. 2, by William Bottrell, [1873], at

How A Zennor Man Choked Himself, but had his Will in his Pocket.

NOT long ago a high-country farmer, after having finished his marketing, in Penzance, treated himself to a supper at a cook-shop in Caunse-head. Being in great hunger, or haste, he thought it waste of time to cut his meat into smaller pieces than he could possibly swallow; besides, solid junks would stand by his ribs and do the more good.

He made but two morsels of a quarter of a pound of beef; and in bolting the last it stuck in his throat. In an instant he went blue in the face and fell on the floor. The landlord ran for a surgeon, and by good luck found one at home, the other side of the street. "Stand clear a bit, and open the man's trap," said the doctor. With much trouble the Zennor man's jaws were forced open, and the doctor feeling a portion of the meat pulled out a piece about six inches long.

The patient was soon restored and ready for another such meal.

Then a lawyer's clerk, who had just entered, remarked;—"Why, old boy, you ought to make your will and keep it by ye before sit down to eat beef again." "Why bless ’e so I have.

p. 211

[paragraph continues] I always keep my will in my pocket, and you shall see am of you mind to. I made ’n myself—no lawyers for me. Here a es." Saying this he drew from his pocket a sheet of paper, and gave it to the doctor, telling him he might keep it, if he had a mind to see how to make a will. He intended to make another the next Sunday, because he had more, things to bequeath now than when he made the testament, of which the following is a faithful copy:—

"I'll make my will while I am well. I will bestow my riches. I'll give to Ellek, * my eldest son, my best Coat, Jacket, and my Breeches. As for my watch et es in pawn else Elexander should have that. Neckey shall have the courage Horse, and Jan the little Sprat. Mary shall have the milking Cow, and Lystria shall have the Heifer. Fillis shall have the flock of Sheep, and wat can I do better? Old Polly shall have the Puss  of goold, and that will most maintain her. Sally shall have the old brass Pan, the Bucket, and the Strainer.

"Signed, sealed, and delivered, in the presence of

"Cousin Matthew Hollow,
"Uncle Philip Eddy, and
"John Quick, the Schoolmaster."

According to our intended arrangement the three foregoing stories should have preceded those of St. Just.


211:* Alexander.

211:† Purse.

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