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Bendy’s Coming

Nottingham Guardian 28 Feb 1873
…Our reporter, stationing himself in Sneinton Market on Sunday morning, suddenly heard a cry of “Bendy’s coming”. Instantly a crowd of persons who had been listening to a youth on the Republican platform reading extracts from the Guardian, ran in the direction of where the singing came from.

The ex prize fighter, arm in arm with Mr Dupe, headed the procession, and in a very short space of time five of the number, including Bendigo were mounted on a dray…The ex champion seemed rather disconcerted at first, but gradually showed his presence of mind, and when asked by Mr Dupe to join the chorus of a hymn, ending, “he took me out of mire and clay, and placed me on the rock of ages,” he replied that he would “with a fullock.” One of the band then offered up a prayer, and, in doing so, petitioned on behalf of “fighters” amid, among other classes, which allusion caused “Bendigo” to make a wry face, as who should say, “That’s one for me.” …Mr Dupe announced that Bendigo had been converted four weeks, and he had no doubt he would adhere to his resolution. Bendigo, “I mean it.” Mr Dupe referred to the fact that that so changed was their friend that he submitted to an insult without ‘nose-ending’ the individual who insulted him, thought it was added that an acquaintance of Bendigo discharged that duty to his satisfaction…He had no doubt that Bendigo would address a few words to them, though being new to the business would have to feel his way. Bendigo, “I can see my way without feeling it.” Bendigo, about this time, espied his old chum, Harry Poulson, in the crowd, and amid much laughter asked him to step up, at the same time doing a little imaginary sparring. He also observed a very old acquaintance, Mr Superintendent Raynor, standing some distance off, whom he also accosted, observing with respect to the police that he could “smell ’em” before he saw ’em. Bendigo was at last called upon to say a few words, which he did in a brief but pointed style, thoroughly in earnest. He said he had been living a certain kind of life for many years, and as he was growing older he thought it time to alter his ways…He never was bad hearted he did not think, but he intended now to serve Jesus Christ. He intended soon to be in the House of Lords. He had had enough of the police and having to pay forty shillings and so on. The general impression created by Bendigo was that he was sincere and without hypocrisy…The service concluded by a prayer uttered in very energetic terms for all fighting men, thieves, poachers, unfortunates, convicts etc.

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