ON TO WIDECOMBE FAIR by Patricia Lee Gauch

ON TO WIDECOMBE FAIR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on a Devon folk song, which is appended, this tells how Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Pete Davey, Dan'l Widden, Harry Hawke, and Uncle Tom Colby all borrow Tom Pearse's gray mare for transportation to Widecombe Fair. Taking turns on the mount, the men arrive in Widecombe to dance and play and talk and eat and drink; but on the return trip, ""stuffed with goodies and brew, they were not the same sensible fellows."" And so it is that they try to ride back all together and that Tom Pearse, setting off after his mare, finds her ""down on her knees a-making her will."" And despite the pleadings of ""Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney, Pete Davey, Dan'l Widden, Harry Hawke, Uncle Tom Colby and all, . . . the old mare stubbornly rolled over and died""--to appear thereafter as a ghost, complete with seven ghostly riders. The song, with its ""all along down along out along lee,"" is more fun than the story; Gauch and Hyman add only a view of the carousing at Widecombe and otherwise they mostly draw out, and spell out, a good thing. Nevertheless, there's a core of real folk humor, and Hyman's Merrie English sots and scenery to keep it riding along.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam