Jennospot 9 Girls Don’t Play Cricket
It’s nearly the end of 2010, so Oi’m goin’ ter wish all of yew wot is so kind as ter follow moi blog, a very ‘appy New Year. And then, fer no good reason at all, Oi’m goin’ ter tell yew about the time when Peter ‘n me nearly ‘ad a good ole row. It were all because Oi’d borrowed ‘is cart wivvout askin’ ‘im first. ‘Ee were roight annoyed about it:
‘Cripes, yew didn't mind did yew?’ I said when he I tackled me in the schoolyard first thing on Monday morning.
‘What do you mean, "I didn't mind"? Of course I minded. How would you like it if I took Emmeline P without asking you?’
‘Yeah— well— yew wasn't using 'er. An' could yew see me waltzing up ter yer back door to ask yer, wiv yer aunt there an all?’
‘I was going to use her to go up to
Water Mill Lane. What did you take her for anyway? You've got Emmeline P now.’
‘Yeah, but Oi'd just painted 'er 'adn't Oi? The paint was still wet. Besides, Oi'd given moi promise.’
‘Oi promised Oi'd show Heebie Jeebie cart racin'.’
‘What! Heebie Jeebie Phoebe from the post office? You took my Lightning to demonstrate cart racing to that horrible creep?’
‘She's in the Go-Getter Girls.’
‘I don't give a brass monkey's if she's in the Royal Marines. I detest her. And you had the blatant nerve to take my cart to show that detestable hellhag the things I've been showing you.’
‘Yeah, well— Oi've gotta get the GGG ready to challenge the boys ain't Oi? No need ter get yer garters in a twist about that. Thought yew was on moi soide.’
‘Now listen, Miss high-handed Jenno, and listen good. I don't want that foxy Phoebe anywhere near me or my cart. I've already had enough of her to last me a lifetime. She got me up before the magistrate last year.’
‘Oh yeah— Cripes, Oi'd forgotten about that.’
‘Well I haven't. So don't you ever take my cart again without asking.’
I was about to stalk off to drive home my point, when Golfball came up to me. ‘Duke, Braces an' me are gettin' up a cricket game against the wall. Want to join in?’
‘Yeah, Oi'll be in it,’ said Jenno at once.
‘I wasn't askin' you,’ said Golfball. ‘Girls don't play cricket.’
‘This one does,’ said Jenno. ‘An' cripes, Oi bet the GGG can beat yew stupid boys anyway.’
There exists an unwritten convention, that a bet of this kind represents a serious challenge. It cannot simply be ignored. Golfball knew this. Even so, he tried to get out of it. I believe he wanted to avoid humiliating Jenno. He gave her a chance to withdraw by repeating his last statement.
‘Girls don't play cricket.’
‘Wot's the matter? Scared we moight beat yer?’
‘No I just want a good game.’
‘Yew'll get a good game. 'Ow many on yer side?’
‘We're four with Peter. You're serious then Jenno?’
‘Cripes, we'll show you if we're serious.’
Golfball shrugged. ‘It's your funeral.’
‘Yew'd better watch out it ain't yours. Just give me five minutes to get my team together.’
Five minutes later, she was back with Winnifred, Molly and Selena. Jenno's team won the toss and elected to bowl. She tossed the ball to Winnifred.
Golfball was the first to bat. By the time the bell rang he had scored three runs. Winnifred was still bowling.
(Gang Loyalty chapter 20)