Do you remember how we had left off with Johnny McVeigh, the crazy old second hand Army merchandiser who sold Brollies? Well, there was more to be told by Barney Horisk who wants you to feel for the Farmer’s Friend.
After he struck out with the Brollies, young Johnny was [picking] up a twenty yard hank of poor quality rope, he goes on, “in spite of your stinginess, I am always the farmers’ friend.”
Then using the country man’s pleasure, he places the end of the rope at the lobe of his ear and extends it to the tip of his finger tips and counts off the yards. At the same time manipulating the rope, so that it appears to be several yards longer than it really is.
“This first class rope, in demand by farmers, fishermen, sailors and all his majesty’s Prisons. It is highly thought of by prisoners about to be hanged, owing to it feeling so comfortable about their necks. Never since it was first used has a hanged prisoner complained about it.”
At the end of a long rigmarole, he reduces the price to a shilling.
Now comes a square of water proof material with brass eyelets and smelling of linseed oil, known as a ‘kidney cover’ and used to protect horses in wet weather; he goes on.
“Gentlemen! Here is an article that no man with the welfare of his horses at heart, should be without. A genuine article, made to government specifications. As you can see it is stamped with brood arrows, just like what was on your shirt tail when you were in jail.”
Stating at a price far beyond its value, he – with words and gestures - indicating shock and dismay that any right minded person couldn’t snap up such value, reduces it shilling by shilling to its usual selling price.
He puts down the unwanted article in hand and continues,
“There’s no law to compel a man to buy, but weep not for me, but for yourselves, that are so lamentably stupid. You don’t know value, when you see it”, and goes on to offer all kinds of surplus army harness and fittings to the accompaniment of his non stop pattern of quotations and miscellaneous misquotations.
Once, having poor demand for horse whips, which together, with their good qualities, he claimed that with one you could drive further in one day than you could in a week without.
“I’ll put it down” he yelled, “and say it isn’t required, or rather that some people don’t know they require anything, until they need it, I have it on the highest authority that there is no law to compel people to buy.
Last night, I called the District Inspector in Omagh to have this point cleared up. He had much on his mind, as there had been serious complaints about nameless cats, unlicensed dogs and unshod donkeys in the district.
He spared no efforts to protect the fair and unsullied name of Tyrone, so that we can, with pride and clear conscience present to the Assize Judge with either the white gloves or donkey shoes as befits the occasion.”
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