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transformed into " Signer Pollonio," and "Alfred
Davis" iuto " Herr Devanti."

This was the turning-point in our fortuns;
at least not my fortuns, but Joey's. Mine
were all misfortuns and no fault of my own
neither. You know what my opinion of Joey is.
He ain't a bad fellow; but he has no headpiece,
and he can't play the fiddle and dance the
hornpipe at the same time. I'm not a bit conceited;
but I always was a better man than Joey, and I
am sure as I'm born, that if it hadn't been for
the unlucky turn up of a halfpenny, I shouldn't
be a sitting here now on this barrel, drinking of
humble porter. I should be down at Hornseywood
House pigeon-shooting and drinking
champagne with swellsthat's where I should
be. I can see that fatal halfpenny now. It
was a Fridayalways an unlucky day with
meand it was the last remaining coin of my
week's salary, which, being then at Barnsley, I
needn't tell you, wasn't heavy to carry home.
I had been turning the halfpenny over and looking
at it all the afternoon, for there was nothing
that I could spend it in, but apples or sweetstuff,
and I did not care about them. It was an
old George the Third halfpenny, worn as smooth
as a button on the Woman side, and with nothing
left for the King's head on the other, but a
little round bulge in the copper like a sun
blister on a brown door. I should know that
halfpenny again, among a thousand. I have
reason. After the performances that night,
Joey and I got talking about our London
engagement. We were to go up in the second
week in December to arrange the comic business
and rehearse. Now, I was very anxious about
one point. It was an arrangement between
Joey and me in the country that we should
play clown, time about. When Joey played it
at one town, it was my turn to play it at the
next town; and then Joey played pantaloon. At
Barnsley, Joey was playing clown. The next
place would be London; so I says to Joey, " It's
my turn to play clown next." Joey had his
head in the basin then, washing off the paint, and
he didn't answer. I repeated the words, " It's
my turn to play clown next time, Joey." I never
knew Joey to take such a long time to wash off
the paint before. He kept on slousing and
puffing and spluttering, just like a porpoise,
and I thought he would never have done. At
last he took his head out of the basin and began
drying himself. " You heard what I said, Joey?"
"Of course I did," Joey says; " your turn
next, that's right; and look here, Alf, old boy,
you shall have it to-morrow. We'll see Grundler
before we go, and get him to alter the names
in the bill, and you shall play clown for the
rest of the engagement."

Artful Joey! This was the scheme he was
making up under the water in the basin. If I
took clown now, it would be his turn when
we went to London.

"No, no, Joey," I says, "none of that; I'm
in no hurry; I can wait till we go to London,

Joey saw that I was up to his scheme and
turned rusty.  We had a long altercation over
it, and at last Joey began to brag of his superior
qualifications for the part. He was younger,
he said, and was better at the hornpipe.
"Allowed," said I; " but you can't play the
fiddle with it; and I'm told the double business
is a great go in London."  He could do the
stilts; but I could walk the barrel.  He could
turn a double summersault; I was good at
Tippetywitchet and Hot Codlins.  We come to
high words and were nigh breaking up the
partnership, but Joey suddenly calmed down,
and said:

"Alf, we've been friends now some years;
don't let us quarrel; come away and have a
drain." So we went into the Nag's Head, and
Joey stood rum-and-water, which was put down
to him. We had two stiff glasses, and then
walked away towards home together. Joey
never said a word for some time, nor I neither;
but suddenly, when I was coming close to my
lodging, he stopped and held out his hand to me;
and I took it.

"Don't let us quarrel, Alf," he says; " this
is a new start altogether; let's toss for it, that's
the fairest way." And he grasped my hand
kindly. I couldn't help being touched by Joey's
friendly way.

"Agreed," says I; "it is, as you say, a new
start, and tossing is as fair for the one as it is
for the other."

Joey felt in his pocket for a coin, but he was
at a lower ebb than me. He hadu't got e'er
a one. I produced my halfpenny.

"What do you say, Joey, will you cry to

"All right," he says; and we drew close to
a little chandler's-shop where a tallow dip was
a glimmering among some herrings and nuts and
other odds and ends in the window.

"Which shall it be, Joey, two out of three, or
sudden death."

"Sudden death," says Joey, rather excited,
"and I call heads!"

I threw up the halfpenny, intending to catch
it, but it fell with a ring on the pavement.

"Hands off!" cries Joey; and we both fell
upon our knees in the wet to see what it was.

*' It's a woman," I cried out, before I saw it;
for the wish was father to the thought, and I
was excited.

"No, it ain't," said Joey; " it's a man."

And the tallow dip in the window threw just
light enough to show me the brown sun blister
that I had been looking at all the afternoon.
There was no use denying it. It was heads.

"And I play clown in London!" says Joey.

We parted, and I went home to my garret
with a heavy heart, to think what a fool I had
been to trust to chance, what I was entitled to
claim as a right. I dreamed that Joey and me
tossed again, two out of three, and that I won;
but the morning brought back the memory of
the halfpenny lying head upwards on the stones
underneath the chandler's window. Joey was
to play clown in London.

We had a spare week after the end of our

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