Wouldn't Unscrew any more.
was an old navy veteran of sixty-seven years. He had lost an arm and an eye, years before, at Navarino
, which last action settled his understanding, both legs being carried off by a chain-shot.
Cork legs were coming into fashion.
had a pair of the first quality made for him; he had a false arm and hand; into the latter he could screw a fork or a hook, as occasion required, and being gloved, the deficiency was not easily perceived.
As increasing years rendered him infirm, his valet took advantage of him, so that he wrote to his brother, a Somerset shire squire, to send him up some tenant's son, as a body servant.
‘"No matter how stupid, if he be honest and faithful,"’ he wrote.
His brother was absent, and sent to his steward to select a lad. This the steward did, but merely mentioned that Captain Evans
was infirm, not apprising the bumpkin of his new master's deficiencies, and sent them to London
at once, where the captain lived.
At 10 at night be arrived, and was immediately shown to Captain Evans
' sitting room,‘"What is your names?"’ ‘"My name is John, zur."’ ‘"Well, John, my rascally valet is absent again without leave; help me to bed, as it is late and then you can go down to your supper."’
Adjourning to the bed-room, the old gentleman said:
‘"John, unscrew my leg."’
‘"Zur?"’ said John.
‘"Unscrew my leg this way, see."’
John did so, tremblingly.
‘"John, unscrew the other leg."’
‘"Zur?"’ said John.
‘"Unscrew the other leg, sir"’
John did so, now in a state of bewilderment.
‘"John, unscrew this arm."’
Trembling still more, to the captain's great amusement, he obeyed.
‘"John, put this eye on the table."’
John took it as if it would have bitten him.
‘"Now, John — no, I won't take the other eye out — lift me into bed."’
This done, the waggish captain continued.
‘"John, beat up my pillow; it is uncomfortable"’
It was done.
‘"Beat it up again, sir, it is quite hard."’
Again John shook up the pillow.
‘"That won't do, John.
I can't get my head comfortable, John, unscrew my head!
‘"No, I'll unscrew no more;"’ and John fled from the room to the kitchen, swearing his master was the devil, taking himself to pieces like a clock.