Ol’ Jarge and the village bus

This fine, strapping gentleman is 'Ol' Jarge'
This fine, strapping gentleman is 'Ol' Jarge'

This fine, strapping gentleman is ‘Ol’ Jarge’ - the hero of a book of that name by E Walford Lloyd, published by the Sussex Express in 1946. Here is an extract:

The big grey bus rattled merrily down the village street. Only one sour face was evident in the village that gay morning. Now that face belonged to Ol’ Jarge.

I was just coming out of the village post office when I saw him propped up against the oaken seat which surrounds a very ancient walnut tree; his hat was pulled down over his eyes and he was sucking at an empty pipe.

“Well, Jarge, how goes it?’’

‘’Most heverythink, Master Tom, an’ I allows there ain’t ne’er a draw ef bacca in my pipe.’’

Silently I handed him my pouch, watching while he went through the time-honoured ceremony of stuffing his pipe as full as he could, and also his right cheek.

“What IS wrong, Jarge?’’ I queried again.

“See that there bus,’’ he answered. ‘’Wull I raackons it never orter be in his ’ere place. Be it right, or b’ain’t it that arl they lads an’ lassies should be able to gad abart ter the towns an’ the seaside ser easy an ser comferable like?’’

Point taken, Jarge!