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A Fine Gentleman Helps Two Coal Miners to Divide Three Gold Sovereigns

Thomas Davies (1901-82)

It was a man called Ben Griffiths, from Waun-fawr [Pen-boyr], who told me this story. He said that two coal miners had been working a bit of overtime one week, to earn some extra money. Between them they'd been paid three pounds more than usual. Three gold sovereigns. After they'd gone a little way out into the countryside now, to some lonely place, they began dividing the money. One of them tries to divide it. He says:

'One for me, one for you, one for me. Oh, no, that won't do.' The other tries:

'One for me, one for you, one for me.' Nothing. Nothing worked. They saw a fine gentleman approaching on horseback. They stopped him. They said:

'Excuse me, sir, will you help us?'

'Oh, yes. What's the matter?'

'We can't divide these three pounds between us.'

'Oh, I'll do that for you now. One for you, one for you, and one for me.'

'Thank you sir.'

And after he'd gone:

'It's a great thing to be an educated man,' said one to the other. Yes.


A Fine Gentleman Helps Two Coal Miners to Divide Three Gold Sovereigns

More information


MWL 2625. Recorded 18.xi.1969.


Thomas Davies heard this story from Ben Griffiths, farmer, Waun-fawr, Pen-boyr, when he was some eighteen years old.

'I attended church, you see, and it was two miles away. And the people who lived near the church would ask you up for lunch there, as was very common. And it was to this Griffiths I went that day. And I remember he told me this story as I was going home.'


AT 1539 A (C) Miscellaneous tales of cleverness and gullibility.