The chief player in this amusing game must possess the faculty of inventing a long story, as well as a tolerably good memory.
This player gives to each of the others the name of some person or thing to be mentioned in the story he is about to relate.
For example, he may call one “the coachman,” another “the whip,” another “the inn,” another the “old gentleman,” another the “footman,” another “the luggage,” and so on, until he has named all the persons engaged in the game.
The story-teller now takes his stand in the centre of the room, and commences his narrative; in the course of which he takes care to mention all the names given to the players.
When the name of a player is mentioned, he must immediately rise from his seat, turn round, and sit down again, or else pay a forfeit for his inattention; and whenever “the family coach” is named, all the players must rise simultaneously.
In the following example of a story, the names given to the different players are printed in italics:
“An old gentleman, dreading an attack of the gout, resolved to pay a visit to the hot wells of Bath; he, therefore, summoned his coachman, and ordered him to prepare THE FAMILY COACH (all the players rise, turn round, and sit down again).
The coachman, not liking the prospect of so long a journey, tried to persuade the old gentleman that THE FAMILY COACH was out of repair, that the leader was almost blind, and that he (the coachman) could not drive without a new whip.
The old gentleman stormed and swore upon hearing these paltry excuses, and ordered the coachman out of the room, while the little dog sprang from under his master’s chair and flew at the calves of the offender, who was forced to make a precipitate exit. Early the next morning, THE FAMILY COACH belonging to the old gentleman stopped at an inn on the Bath road, much to the surprise of the landlord, who had never seen such a lumbering conveyance before.
The family coach contained the old gentleman, the old lady (his wife), and the little dog that had made such a furious attack on the poor coachman’s legs. The landlord called the landlady, who came bustling out of the inn to welcome the old gentleman and old lady.
The footman jumped down from behind THE FAMILY COACH, and helped the old gentleman and the old lady to alight, while the boots and chambermaid belonging to the inn busied themselves with the luggage. The little dog trotted after the old lady, but just as it was going into the inn, the coachman gave it a cut with his whip.
The little dog howled, upon which the old gentleman turned round, and seeing the coachman with his whip raised, he seized him by the throat. The footman came to the assistance of his friend the coachman, and the ostler belonging to the inn took the side of the old gentleman.
The landlord, landlady, chambermaid, boots, cook, stable-boy, barmaid, and all the other inmates of the inn, rushed into the road to see what was the matter, and their cries, joined to the yells of the little dog and the screams of the old lady, so frightened the leader, the white horse, and the brown mare, that they ran away with THE FAMILY COACH.”
Of course this tale might have been continued to any length, but the specimen we have given will be sufficient to give the story-teller some idea of what is expected from him to keep up the fun of the game.
Excerpt from the book: EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS. EDITED BY EDMUND ROUTLEDGE. With more than Six Hundred Illustrations FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS. LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE. NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET. 1869.