Part 1 - The Letter.

... he was serving a life sentence for murder but I didn't know the detail ... some weeks after our conversation someone told me that he had murdered two of his friends ... he was a pleasant quiet spoken man with a gentle manner and a sense of humour too ... he said he enjoyed the conversation, we agreed to stay in touch ... about two weeks later I received a letter ... He wrote in a hand that was almost gothic in appearance ... the upper tips of the letters were like sharp rocks, jagged ...

Fifty carefully chosen words ... there was nothing gentle here, nothing touching or soft, it was simple, cold and brutal ... he had signed his name with a single letter 'P' ... so final. So final ...


Part 2 - The Ballad Of Punch's Pranks

But not so handsome Mr. Punch.
Who had a monstrous nose, sir;
And on his back there grew a hunch
That to his head arose, sir:
But then, they say, that he could speak
As winning as a mermaid;
And by his voice - a treble squeak -
He Judy won - that fair maid.

And next he took his little heir -
Oh, most unnatural father!
And flung it out of a two-pair
window; for he'd rather
Possess the lady of his love,
Than lady of the law, sir;
And cared not for his child above
A pinch of Maccabau sir.

At last he back in England came,
A jolly rake and rover,
And pass'd him by another name,
An alias when at Dover.
But soon the police laid a scheme,
To clap him into prison:
They took him, when he least could dream
of such a fate as his'n.

And now the day was drawing near,
The day of retribution;
The trial o'er, he felt but queer
At thought of execution.
But when the hangman, all so grim,
Declared that all was ready,
Punch only tipp'd the wink at him,
And ask'd after his lady.

Pretending he knew not the use
of rope he saw from tree, sir,
The hangman's head into the noose
He got, while he got free, sir.
At last the Devil came to claim
His own; but Punch what he meant
Demanded, and denied the same;
He knew no such agreement!

"You don't! (the Devil cried:) 'tis well;
I'll quickly let you know it:"
And so to furious work they fell,
As hard as they could go it.
The Devil with his pitch-fork fought,
While Punch had but a stick, sir,
But kill'd the Devil, as he ought.
Huzza! there's no Old Nick, sir.


Part 3 - Judy's text

I died because I came when I was called
I died because I questioned his intensions
I died because I threw him a punch rather than gave him a kiss
I died because I asked him "Where is the child?"
I died because I hit him with my frying pan
I died because I hit him and hit him and hit him, but still I died
I died because I .… "Oh pray, Mr. Punch - no more.!"
I died because I meant to finish the brute once and for all and
I died because I thought I'd get away with it
I died because .… and ….
I died because ….

It's often I sat on my true love's knee
And many a fond tale he told me
He told me things that never shall be
Sweet William's a-mourning among the rush.
The rose is red, the grass is green
The days are past that I have seen
And there is another where I have been
Sweet William's a-mourning among the rush.

I'll dye my petticoats crimson red
Through all the world I'll beg my bread
When he comes back he'll think I'm dead
Sweet William's a-mourning among the rush.
The rose is red, the grass is green
The days are past that I have seen
And there is another where I have been
Sweet William's a-mourning among the rush.


Part 4 - The tale of Scaramouch

So in comes I Scaramouch, with my bona bagadga and says I t' him
"Hollo Mr. Punch! What have you been doing to my poor Towzer?"
Then he makes t' scarper, sways back and scared like, as e' sees I, with this bona bagadga.
He tries to prattle his way out of it too. Then the narc that he is, he says
"Ha! It's my good friend Scaramouch, how you do? Glad to see you look so well. I wish you were back farther with your nasty great bagadga."
I says,
"Back farther? But you have been at the battery and ill-using my poor towzer, Mr. Punch."
An' e' says
"He has been biting and ill-using my poor onk a biting on my dolly old eek, Mr. Scaramouch"
Then the nonce sets out again, as e' varders my bona bagadga,
"what have y got there, sir?"
says he'
says I,
"Where sir.?"
He says
"There sir in your lil"
I hold it in back and say,
"nanty lil, nanty"
He says
"Yes sir there sir"
I say
"Oh this, its nothing but a fiddle"
He says,
"A fiddle! What a pretty thing is a fiddle! -can you play upon that fiddle?"
I say "Well don't be strange and I'll try."
Then like a nonce he says,
"Nanty thanks - I can hear the music here, very well."
So I says,
"Well then you shall try yourself. Can you play? Let's see you slang your dolly at the edge - Mr, Punch."
And in he trolls. 'N' bold as brass he says,
"I do not know, till I try. Let me see!"
So he cups his lil round my bona bagadga and starts to give it the old barclays and the arthur. And oh such sweet music …. After a while I say,
"You play very well, Mr. Punch; now let me try. I will give you a lesson how to play this fiddle of mine. - Lets have some batty without the fang, Mi-is-ter Pu-unch"
says I.
So I works my fiddle round his screech, and then to his barnet I starts acting dicky.
"Now there's sweet music for you." I say.
An' he says back,
"I like nanty your playing so well as my own. Let me again."
So he takes my bona fiddle and gives me back as good as I had give t' 'im!
"How you like that tune my good friend? That sweet music, or sour music, eh?
Says he
He, he, he,!"
Then with my bona bagadga, my own sweet fiddle, he swipes my barnet clean off, clean off! Nanty barnet! Nanty riah! Who would've believed it!
And all full of himself he sets about the business as usual singing as he goes,
"You'll never hear such another tune, so long as you live, my boy."
Says he.


Part 5 - Pretty Polly's narrative

Punch. (seeing her, and singing out of "The Beggers Opera" while he dances)
When the heart of a man is oppress'd with cares,
The clouds are dispelled when a woman appears,
What a beauty! What a pretty creature!
Oh Pretty Polly! Pretty Pretty Poll.
I love you so, I love you so,
I never will leave you; no, no, no:
If I had all the wives of wise King Sol,
I would kill them all for my pretty Poll.
What! A! Beauty!
Polly. Who Killed my poor father? Oh! Oh! (cries)
Punch. 'Twas I.
Polly. Oh! Cruel wretch, why did you kill my father?
Punch. For your sake my love.
Polly. Oh, you barbarian!
Punch. Don't cry so my dear. You will cry your pretty eyes out, and that would be a pity.
Polly. Oh, oh! How could you kill him.
Punch. He would not let me have you, and so I killed him. If you take on so, I must cry too - Oh, oh! (pretending to weep) How sorry I am!
Polly. And are you really sorry?
Punch. Yes, very sorry - look how I cry.
Polly. (aside) What a handsome young man. It is a pity he should cry so. - How the tears run down his beautifull long nose! - (to Punch) Did you kill my father out of love for me, and are you sorry? If you are sorry, I must forgive you.
Punch. I could kill myself for the love of you, Much more your father.
Polly. Do you really, really love me.
Punch. I do! I do!
Polly. Then I must love you!
(They embrace and kiss and dance.)
Punch. Of all the girls that are so smart,
There's none like pretty Polly:
She's the darling of my heart,
She is so plump and jolly.
(Exit Punch - Now, Polly sings on her own)


Epilogue - A conversation between a puppet and a man in a mask

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