Saturday, 18 January 2014

Hucklebowler Finn

Samuel Clemens - aka Mark Twain
In 1895 Mark Twain toured Australia.  Although his record of his visit makes reference to the Sydney Cricket Ground, he does not describe play in progress.  In particular he seems to have missed the concluding matches of the 1894-95 Ashes series which England shaded by 3 matches to 2.  This, so conventional scholarship has it, is as near as his work got to being of interest to the cricketer.

However Fantasy Bob's diligent researches have uncovered how a decade previously Twain was working on his great and much loved work The Adventures of Hucklebowler Finn which, to judge from this rejected draft of the opening, bears some remarkable resemblance to recent events.

YOU don't know about me without you have read some lame stuff in the daily news; but that ain't no matter. That news was made by Mr. Jonathan Aggers, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.

Now the way things is, is how they is and that’s no consternation. If a fella bowls regular and decent then he gets took to Stralya. He might expect he’d get some overs out in the middle; what with Tremlett and Rankin not firing nice. But Judge Flower had a notion to sivilise me so I don’t hit no stumps in my delivery stride and he turn to Widow Sacher who took me for a son. The Widow has me pounding up and down in nets day after day from dawn till dusk and back again. Its dismal stuff . He looks me up and looks me down, and puts my arm round where no regular arm should be, partikerly when he puts my knee where it ain't got no place to be at the same time. He says, if you ain't never beat your head against a brick wall you ain't never goin to get a length. 

But it was rough living though it was a 5 star hotel but I stood it all till Old Man Giles says I'm unselectable. So when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and made back for Middlesex and was free and satisfied. But Angus Fraser he hunted me up and said he was going to work on indoor nets and get more sore in love with the game again. So I went back..........................

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