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But when he came to myself, he looked hard at me, and said: 'You are a gentleman? The room became a press of steaming nudity, the sweaty odours of the tramps competing with the sickly, sub-faecal stench native to the spike.
What talk there was ran on the Tramp Major of this spike.
He was a devil, everyone agreed, a tartar, a tyrant, a bawling, blasphemous, uncharitable dog.
It was the invariable spike meal, always the same, whether breakfast, dinner or supper–half a pound of bread, a bit of margarine, and a pint of so-called tea.
It took us five minutes to gulp down the cheap, noxious food.
The cells measured eight feet by five, and, had no lighting apparatus except a tiny, barred window high up in the wall, and a spyhole in the door.
There were no bugs, and we had bedsteads and straw palliasses, rare luxuries both.This was Scotty, a little hairy tramp with a bastard accent sired by cockney out of Glasgow.His tin of cigarette ends fell out of his sock at the wrong moment, and was impounded. An official at the gate entered our names and other particulars in the register and took our bundles away from us.Then we set about smuggling our matches and tobacco, for it is forbidden to take these into nearly all spikes, and one is supposed to surrender them at the gate.We hid them in our socks, except for the twenty or so per cent who had no socks, and had to carry the tobacco in their boots, even under their very toes.The woman was sent off to the workhouse, and we others into the spike.