Rough Scan



YE mind ma wee sister?  Yes, Janet, ye're quite richt.  She wis the youngest o' the family, and wis born in the merry month o' June when the sun wis shinin' and the birds were whustlin' and a' the flooers were nodding their heids, as if tae gie her a welcome.
It was quite different frae me, for I arrived in the vera middle o' Mairch, at six o'clock on a Sunday morning.  Could onything be mair dismal or depressin'?  I mind fine it was a cauld easterly windy morning and the grund wis white wi' snaw.  'Deed I've never been richt warm since.  Mind ye, that early morning's rise has had a queer effect on me ever since.  Jist you mention the middle o' Mairch, the exact middle and a Sunday morning at six o' clock and the shivers fairly come up ma back.  There wis twenty years atween me and her.  She wis sunshine and I wis shade, but tho' sometimes a warm hert is no seen for the shadow, it's maybe there a' the same and ready tae spring out at ony time.  Aye, there wis a lot o' weans atween us, but it's no aboot them that I'm thinking.  Some o' them's marrit and some o' them's no and never will.


It's aboot Dollie that I'm speaking.  Her richt name is Grace, what a name tae gie a wean!  She wis like a doll wi' her bonnie blue een and fair curly hair.  I wis dark, but noo the years hae bleached me white; mony and mony a nicht I've walkit up and doon wi' her in ma airms, tae get her tae sleep, but the wee monkey aye wanted fun, and the only wey wis tae sing tae her.  I wud start "Ba, ba, black sheep" but she didna like that sang, syne I'd try a verse o' "Slumber my darling," but no, that didna please her leddyship either, tho' fine I kent what she wanted, then I begins her favourite, "The Angel's whisper."  Dae ye no ken it, Janet?  It wis something like this, but I forget some o' the words:—

=="A baby was sleeping
==A mother was weeping,
For her husband was far on the wild rolling sea,"

but the end o' the verse said the angels were aye watching them.  Another verse aboot the mother counting her beads while the baby still slumbered and the angels were guarding them, and then a smile passes over the baby face, and that wis the down o' the angel's wing gently touching the wee facey.
Lang before the end o' the sang, wee Dollie wis fast asleep and wi' a sigh and a loving prayer I wud lay ma pet in her cradle.  Ma mither wud be busy getting the rest o' the weans bedded, but Dollie wis aye left for me.  Hoo thae auld times come back tae me.


Suppose it's because Dollie and her man have come back frae California tae see me efter being awa' for sae mony years.  Fred has been a guid man tae Dollie, but a' the same, I've often sung "It's no that she's Freddie's at a', at a', it's jist that she'll aye be awa', awa'."  Noo, they're baith hame and looking weel.  Oh, no, they're no bidin' here.  This wee hoose wudna haud them and a' their luggage.  They are livin' in a big hotel in the town.  Fred is awfu' rich, I ken that, and has been kind tae me.  I saw him gie a beggar man a shillin' the ither day and jist last Monday we noticed three weans lookin' intae a shop windy whaur they hev denners; 'deed we were going in oorsels tae hae something tae eat, Fred and Dollie and me.  Fred says tae the weans (it wis a cauld wet day and they looket shivering and blue wi' cauld), "Are you all hungry?  You look it, come in and have something to eat," and would you believe it, Fred walks in and orders the very best in the shop and set a table for six people.  We enjoyed oor lunch, so he ca'ed it, but you should hae seen thae three weans.  They were stuffing themselves as hard as they could, pouches and everywhere.  Ma certie, they had a proper tuck in.


Puir wee souls, it seemed hard that thae three nice weans should go starving and ither weans hae everything this world can gie them.  It's one o' the problems o' life, as the minister said the ither Sunday, but here I am started on ministers and weans and problems instead o' telling aboot Dollie.  Before we cam' oot o' the shop Fred bocht a big parcel o' cookies and sweeties for each o' the kids and gied each o' them a shilling tae gang tae a pictur' hoose.
If thae kids are no needin' a big dose o' medicine the nicht, ma name's no Tibbie.  I telt Fred he should hae pit a dose o' something in each o' the parcels, but he jist said, puir wee souls, the world is ill divided, and I believe noo he is sorry but he had askit them whaur they bide, but I jalouse that next day he wis at that shop windy aboot the same time, but the weans wudna be there, they wud be a' seek at hame.


Dollie telt me the next day that she and Fred wanted John and me tae shut up oor hoose and gang wi' them for a holiday tae a Hidripathetic.  I think that wis the name o' the place.  It wis something wi' Hidro at the start o' the word, and I ken it wisna Hidrofobia, fur that's a dug or a dug's kennel.  I'm no kenning which and dinna care, sae lang as it's no amang dugs.  I like dugs, but gie me a pussy.  My pussy is a rale beauty, pure white, but it's no aboot pussies or dugs that I'm speaking, it's aboot a holiday tae this big place.  My word, big wis nae word for it.  Dollie says, "I'll need tae see that ye are properly equipped."  "What's that ye say," says I.  So she sees I don't quite understand her, so says, "I mean rigged out, Tibbie, dae ye comprenez me noo."  This wis an auld joke when she wis a lassie.  She learnt French and could speak it like a native.  Says I, "As far as I'm concerned I'm a' richt.  I've got the purple silk dress I had on at yer waddin' and it's rowed in broon paper and camphor ever since.  It's only been on at the baptism o' Sandy's wean, and 'deed I grudged tae pit it on that day, so it's quite a' richt.  Then I've got ma guid black alpaca dress and a wrapper for the mornings.  It's a new yin and hasna been washed yet.  Blue wi' wee white spots."


She lookit at me wi' surprise, and it was difficult for her tae explain that thae claes wisna quite suitable for the occasion.  Ye see she wudna hurt ma feelings for a' the warld, no her, she's jist the same as whan she wis a bit lassie, but I ken her sae weel that I saw she wis wondering hoo tae explain, so says I, jist tae comfort her, "Dinna you worry aboot me, for I hae ma Paisley shawl as guid as the day I got it.  Ma slippers are gey sair worn, but I'll buy a new pair the morn.  The last carpet slippers I hed wis broon colour, wi' a bit leather across the front, but I'll buy masel' a pair wi' a bonnie red and green.  I saw her smile, but never for a meenit did I think she wis in a fix hoo tae explain that carpet slippers werna the thing tae wear at a Hidropatic.  It's an ill word tae get a haud o', Janet, but thro' time I'll get a grup o' it.  In as gentle a mainner as possible she says, "Tibbie, don't worry about your dress or onything else, you'll come wi' me to—morrow and I'll see you properly rigged out."  It seemed desperate like the riggin' o' a ship, but I said naething, only "thenk ye."


Next day we set off tae get the riggin', first tae a big draper's shop, a swell yin.  Dollie and a big leddy in a black satin goun has a bit crack tae themsel's.  In the meantime I wis takin' a look roon' and a' I sees wis imitation folk withoot a heid on wan o' them.  They had bits o' dresses on, bit no wan wi' a sleeve, 'deed they hadna airms, so sees they were wire stands tae show off the "Newest Styles," as a ticket said.  I wis listening a' the time and I hears Dollie say, "No, not purple silk, anything but that, blue or grey, but not purple," so thocht it wis time tae butt in.  So says I, "By your leeve, I'll raither hae black, as it's a handy colour and disna get sae sune dirty."  So Dollie says, "Yes, I believe you are right.  It had better be black silk and put white lace on it."  But again I chimed in, "Na, na, nae white lace for me."  "Oh, Tibbie, ye're no a widdy," says Dollie.  "No, Dollie, I'm no that yet, but it'll be handy if it's needed, and sometimes John has a sair cough," so that settles the white lace question.  Wis I no richt, Janet?  It wud never dae for Tibbie tae be buskit wi' bits o' white lace.  Jist look at the colour o' ma haun's, fancy white lace near them.  The measuring begood and it wis a tiresome job.  The lass wanted the body o' the dress cut low at the front, but, I struck at that and telt Dollie if I cudna hae the frock made high up roon' the neck then I didna want the frock.  So Dollie in her sweet wey o' speaking says, "Yes, dearie, it must be made to suit you."  Then says I tae the lass, "I like plenty cloth in the sleeves, so that they could easy be shoved up if I wanted tae wash," and that kind o' staggered her.  "Sleeves! you don't want sleeves in an evening gown."  Then, says I, "I'm gaun hame, ye immodest limmer that ye are.  I can tell you I'm a respectable wumman, as everybody kens."  Dollie at this time wis talkin' tae the leddy wi' the satin goun and I heard something aboot twenty pounds, but I wis in sic a rage aboot the sleeves that I hadna time tae bother aboot onything else, but Dollie noticed my birse wis up aboot something, so comes tae the rescue and tries tae calm me doon, but a' I cud say wis, "Nae sleeves! nae sleeves!"  However they cam' tae an arrangement for half sleeves, jist below the elbow, so I kent I cud aye put on a pair o' red mits I had made for John last winter.
She said the skirt wis tae be sae mony inches lang, so I says in a sweet voice like Dollie, "I wud like a deep tuck a' roon' the fit o' the skirt so that it cud be let doon if the fashion changes in a hurry."  Noo, we were dune wi' that job, sae off we starts for the millinery shop.  It wis anither big shop.  Dollie says, "What kind o' toke wud ye like?" and says I, "I'm no wanting a tyke, I dinna care for dugs, jist pussies."  However she explained to me that "toke" wis the new name for a bannet, but I didna feel very certain.  I looks roon' the place, but never a bannet was tae be seen, so says I, "There's nae use pittin' aff time here, so we'd better gang tae the wumman that aye toshes up ma bannets.  She kens ma style best."  But by this time she is looking at the maist awfu' atrocities ye ever saw.  Some had feathers ower their nose, ithers were like John's auld wide—a—wake, wi' a hen's feather stuck up the back, anther had a' the colours o' the rainbow, and listen! there wis wan jist like a deed flounder.  Fine I kent naething wud dae here, so Dollie says tae the stuck—up lass that wis trying tae serve us, "Please (Dollie is aye sae polite) make something that my sister would suit and send it home as soon as you can," and would you believe it, when the blooming bannet did come home it had nae strings tae tie it on.  Hoo in thunder is it gaun tae stick on?  I've sae little hair, I canna jag preens in?  But Dollie rammed it doon on ma heid, and fegs, it stuck on richt enough that time, but what a sicht I wis, but Dollie said it wis nice, so it maun be nice, but I felt rale cauld aboot the back o' ma ears.  Did I no tell ye what it wis like, Janet?  I forgot.  It wis a' black and a lot o' jet, and twa bonnie wee feathers sitting doon quite snug at the left side.  It wis awfu' nate and I wis prood o' that bannet.  I imagined it would cost about 15s. or so, but by the merest chance I saw the account, £3, 3s.  Nae wonder it wis a grand toke, so they ca'ed it in the account.  A bannet has strings, that's a' the difference, dae ye see?  I got a lot o' ither things, gloves, and a 'brella, thae wis easy tae select; but the fittin' o' the slippers took the cake.  I wanted them for comfort, but that's no the fashion noo, but I comforted masel' wi' feeling that ma carpet slippers wid gang wi' me, red and black carpet, they look warm like.  However I got the dandy slippers and they're fine tae look at.  Very nate and quite shairp at the pint, and heels like pirns.  Pretty wee buckles, wonder they werna the big kind I see in the shop windies.  I also got a nice new portmantel tae haud ma things in, and John got wan as weel, sae off we started.  Dollie sent a taxi for us nae less, but when I got tae the taxi door I had a bit crack wi' the driver.  I kent him a little, but it wis mair tae let the neebors see ma gran' new toke and handsome coat trimmed wi' fur that Fred sent me the day afore.  We travelled first—class a' tae oorsels.  There wis a ticket on the windy telling folks no tae come in as it wis reserved for us.  John wud hae liket it had been a smoker, but he hed a guid smoke afore he started so wisna needin' mair for a whiley.  I sometimes tell him he'll smoke his brains awa'.
When we got as far as the train cud tak' us, we got into a fine omnibus, wi' two spanking horses.  No, Janet, the horses werna in beside us, they were ootside, and if ye gie me ony mair o' yer impidence ye'll no hear another word.  There wis twa men in livery, a coachman and a flunkey, top boots, silver buttons, and gloves on; and mind ye I felt a swell and tried to act a swell.
Noo here's John comin' in, so hinna time tae tell ye ony mair the day for I maun get his tea, aud then I'm expecting Fred and Dollie later on.  Come in the morn and I'll tell ye hoo we got on at the Hidraprakit.  That's it this time.  By-bye the noo.



OH, here ye are again, Janet!  Oh yes, I promised tae tell ye hoo we got on at the Hidra.  Whaur did I leeve aff last nicht?  I think i wis in the fine bus, then I had tae stop, for John cam' in till his tea.  Weel, whaun we got tae the graund building, mercy me, it wis like a Castle, it wis sae big and sic a lot o' windies, jist every corner; my word, it'll tak' some time tae clean them a'.  Whaun we got oot o' the bus, I made for my portmantel and nodded tae John tae look efter his yin, but would you believe it, they werna tae be seen, sae aff we gaed into the big place and Fred had a crack wi' a leddy at an office windy, then tak's us tae an iron gate, where there wis a man wi' brass buttons inside.  First I wondered what he wis in for, but suddenly the gate slides back oot o' sicht and the chap walks oot and signs for us tae gang in.  I wisna very keen aboot it at first, but Dollie popped in, so I follows wi' the rest.  It wis a wee wee room wi' a sate covered wi' velvet.  In follows the man wi' the buttons and shuts the gate.


I wondered what ploy wis on, when a' of a suddent I sees the flure gang doon (that we had been stanin' on, no a meenit afore) clean oot o' sicht.  I screamed and cries, "The flure's doon! oh help! is the hoose tae follow?"  But Fred grips me and says, "It's a' richt, Tibbie, it's gaun up tae the bedrooms, this is the lift," and by that time we were in a different pairt o' the hoose.  Gled wis I tae see the wee gate open and let us oot.  I had a flash in ma mind that this pairt o' Scotland had earthquakes, so my idea was, here's an earthquake and us jist come, but I understood that they blew up instead o' down and I heard frae a man wance that dishes fell and pictur's fell and beds tumult in and windies fell out and cabs and omnibuses went clean oot o' sicht and the shape o' the town wis quite different frae whit it wis afore.  Whaur there had been a brae wis quite level, and vises versus, what that meent I dinna ken, but he wis a bit o' a scholar so he kent.  What a blessing for us it wisna an earthquake, jist a lift tae save baith yer legs and the stair carpets.  What a braw hoose it wis, and what a lot o' servants.  It maun tak' a fortune tae keep them.


Ye should hae seen oor bedroom.  I canna describe it.  It had twa windies and twa beds, wee yins, only big enough tae haud wan body at a time, so John gets the wan and me the ither.  Ye should hae seen the looking glesses, they were roon' and roon' the room, and ye saw yersel wherever ye went, twa or three times ower.  Oh! what a lovely wardrobe, and it had twa mirrors as weel.  The carpet wis like walking on deep deep moss, and twa big easy chairs and a fine big sofy; and oh! michty me, sic a fire, and a pailfu' o' coal.  There wis a room aff this big yin, also nicely furnished, but nae bed and if you please, this wis John's dressin' room !!! a' tae his ainsel.  What a lovely view oot at the windies and a lot o' folk walking aboot, jist wastin' time.  In a wee, in comes Dollie tae see I'm a' richt, and ahint her comes a servant lass, nice and tidy, wi' cups o' tea on a tray and thin, vera thin bread and butter, jist as Dollie says tae refresh us till denner time.  The cups, wee wee bits o' things, I wadna hae been bothered wi' them at hame, I wud hae stuck them on ma parlour mantelshelf for ornament.  After we had oor cup o' tea, I gaed alang wi' Dollie tae see her bedroom and I'm telling ye it was a beauty.  I wisna lang oot o' the room, as she telt me tae go and hae a rest before I begood tae dress for denner, and what wis my surprise, whan I got back tae ma room, wis tae find a man had brocht up baith John's portmantel and mine and wis busy trying tae open mine.


By that time he had aff wan strap and wis busy wi' the other, when I catched him rale nate in the act.  I got a grup o' him and says, "Ye thieving rascal, leeve ma luggage alane, I'll report ye," and by this time he wis makin' a hard struggle tae get oot o' ma grup, but I held on and we struggled and better struggled until Dollie happened tae be passing and cam' in tae hear whet wis the rumpus.  I telt her and she tried tae explain that the porter's job is tae help the veesitors tae unpack their luggage, "Aye, and help themsel's at the same time," says I.  Mind ye, I wis thinkin' aboot ma new silk frock and ma new slippers, however, it passed like ither things.


John wis in his room, never fashin' his heid aboot me, jist like John.  His luggage never got the length o' bein' touched, for the man bolted oot o' the door, haudin' his airm, so efter we got in workin' order again, Dollie trips off tae get dressed and telt me tae dae the same.  I wis seeing her oot o' ma room and vera nearly fell ower a watering can, fu' o' bilin' water.  Dollie said it wis tae wash ma face wi', but I telt her it wis weel washed in the morning, but Dollie says it should be washed three times a day.  What a waste o' soap, no tae mention time; howsomever, if it's the rule, here goes for a splash.  I telt John tae tak' hauf o' the water tae his room and scrub his haun's weel and pit on a clean collar and no tae forget his dickey and his cuffs.  John's vera forgetfu' at times, puir man.  Then I starts tae this job o' dressin', but first of a' I lockit ma door, for ye never ken wha will come in, and maybe you wi' yer frock aff.  Efter I got ma hair as nice as I could manage it, wi' jist a wee touch o' hair ile tae keep it in order, I gets oot the new silk frock, but what a lot o' thin white paper, sheets and sheets and sheets, and at last out comes the frock, the first time I'd seen it since it wis feenished.  What's wrang wi' the sleeves, something wantin'.  However, I get's the frock on, and believe me or no as ye like, but the sleeves didna come doon tae ma elbow, tho' they did cover the vaccination mark, and a wee narrow bit o' white lace at the bottom; then the front o' the body wisna there, naething at a', jist clean bare neck, that is, if I hadna had on my red flannel chest protector.  Efter I looked at masel' and better looked in the gloss, I minded I had a purple knitted polka, so I bangs aff the frock and on goes the polka, and then got the frock on again.  I felt a bit ticht, but I wis fine and warm and ma airms were covered and so wis ma neck.  I took a bit look at masel' in the gless again and I cud see it looket funny, the red and the purple.  I nearly sat doon and grat, and if only I had the dressmaker lass for aboot twa meenits, weel, I'll no say whet wud happen.  I took a look in tae see hoo John wis getting on and jist listen, he wis sitting in a big easy chair in his shirt sleeves and his feet oot at the open windy and smoking a clay pipe.  "Oh dear me, John," says I, "hurry up and get dressed and stop smokin' a clay pipe.  Did I no tell ye no tae bring clay pipes wi' ye and here ye've dune it," and wi' that I took it oot o' his mooth and heaved it oot o' the windy and awa' back tae ma room and hears John lock his door ahint me tae keep me oot maybe.  I get on ma slippers next and oh, deary me, but it wis a sair job walkin' wi' them, so I jist popped ma carpet slippers intil the satin bag that Dollie gied me tae haud ma hanky.  I wis prancin' up and doon the room in front o' the lookin' glesses and jist admiring my bonnie dress, and trying tae get used tae the new slippers, tho' mind ye I wisna ower weel pleased wi' the purple sleeves and the red flannel chest protector.  It seemed queer, but queer or no, I like tae be cosy.


In comes Dollie.  I jist stared at her and her at me.  Oh, wasn't she lovely; jist like a fairy in her white dress and white slippers tae match, and diamonds and pearls roon' her neck.  I never saw onybody sae braw.  I jist held up ma twa haun's and says, "Yer jist a sicht," and she smiles and says, "So are you, oh, Tibbie, Tibbie," and would you believe me she sat doon on the sofy and she laughed till she wis tired.  I sat doon beside her thinking she was ill, and quite innocent like, says, "Whit's wrang wi' ye, Dollie."  Then off she started again, and wi' that Fred comes in wi' an apology and says, "I'll jist look and see if John is ready."  As he passed me I noticed a funny look on his face, but it fairly bate me tae ken whit the game wis, so I jist sat and waited, and wi' that in walks John and Fred ahint him, and what an astonisher I got.  John wis like a gentleman, ye wudna hae kent him.  He had on a swallow tail coat, wee white vest wi' only twa buttons, and a big sheet o' white shirt front, collars and cuffs tae match, and listen tao this, patent leather slippers wi' wee black ribbon bows on the front!!!


Fancy John wi' bows on slippers, it bate a'.  Fred had been riggin' John up when Dollie wis attendin' to me, and they had never said a cheep aboot it.
Whan I got ma wind again, I off wi' ma frock, telt Dollie tae help me tae haul off baith the polka and the red flannel thingumy, and on the silk frock  again, and says I, "If John is properly buskit so am I."
Dollie fixed a wee bit white lace in the front, and wi' a bit black velvet ribbon roon' ma auld neck I didna look sae bad.  Jist as I wis leavin' the bedroom Dollie throws a lovely black silk scarf roon' ma neck in case I got the cauld.  Awa' we gaed doon the stairs tae the dining-room, I had Fred's airm in case I slippit.  Fred proposed the lift, but I didna care for it, besides mair folk wad see us if we walkit doon, and mind ye we were worth lookin' at.  Some o' the folk we met were very nice, but we didna speak tae them a' at first.  Wan auld gent askit me whan me and ma dochter arrived.  I looks at him and  says, "I like that, ma dochter, that's Dollie, everybody kens Dollie," so I left him.


I canna describe the room wi' a its flooers and dishes and servants.  It wad tak' a week.  But we had a nice table a' tae oorsel's, any number o' knives and forks and spunes and dishes.  A wee, wee salt dishy tae yersel.  I canna tell ye hoo muckle I ate, but jist took whatever they offered me; and did I no suffer that nicht, seek wisna the word for it, and John never kent I wis up at a'.  Mind ye, Dollie never kent, as I wis a' richt the next day, but wis carefu' o' what I took for the next few days.  I think it wis the excitement, or maybe the want o' ma red flannel protector, however I sune got intae the wey o' daein' withoot it.  In the evening we went intae a big room wi' a polished flure and saw the dancing, but my certie, I could hae let them see what dancing wis if I had likit.  Yon wis silly dancing, jist wigglin'—wagglin' back and forrit, and takin' the hale room tae waggle in.


Ma feet were gettin' gey sair, so when naebody wis lookin' I slippit ma carpet slippers oot o' ma bag and pits them on, but no tae let Dollie ken, I jest keeps the taes o' the wee dandy slippers peeping oot frae below ma skirt, they lookit nice, but misfortune wis in store for me, for wan dancing fool wi' a lassie, sailed ower near the wind and cam' bang up against me and sent the slippers intae the middle o' the flure.  It wis the funniest thing alive, tae see twa slippers withoot foot dancing intae the middle o' the flure.  Of coorse I didna want tae loose ma new slippers, so up I gets and makes a dive for them, and no mindin' aboot the slippery flure, doon I goes on my back aboot half wey across the room, wi' ma carpet—slippered feet in front o' me.  It took baith Fred and John and the chap that wis the cause o' the disaster tae lift me.  Somebody cries, "Get her water," anither wants tae send for the doctor, bit I jist sat still a meenit till the dirling feeling passed and then I wis as richt as ninepence.  Dollie was greatly upset, at least she said she wis upset, but I telt her that it was me that had been upset and no her.


The next evening we a' went intae the drawing—room, where there wis music, some fine singin'.  There wis a young leddy bossed the show, and I heard her speir at a leddy if she could play or sing, and this leddy on her word o' honour said she couldna.  She wis an English leddy and a bonnie, healthy-lookin' lass at that.  Her man wis there and heard her quite distinctly.  Somehow I had ma doobts, and what dae ye think o' this; next nicht, the vera nicht efter she had made that statement, did I no see her sit doon tae the piany, put up her music and play.  Oh! jist lovely.  Noo she hadna time tae learn a' that in wan nicht, had she?  Noo that's the kind o' funny folk ye meet at thae swell places, and her man wis beside her and heard her say it.  I'll no tell ye whit I said tae her the next day, but I'm surprised at folk sayin' things like that, and as mony respectable-lookin' ministers in the hoose.  Some o' them were vera nice, but I hadna time tae hae a discussion wi' them a'.  I maun tell ye a joke.  I wis sittin' at the front door chattin' tae a nice young man as the ithers had gane for a guid walk, and as I felt a bit tired, jest sat doon at the door tae enjoy the fresh air.  Weel, he and I got on the chat.  He had been awa' golfin' and wis wearing a nice tweed suit, no quite new, and efter chattin' back and forrit, I says, "There's a terrible lot o' dog collar aboot this place," and says he wi' a chuckle, "Yes, mem, there is, but I do enjoy getting the dog collar off during my holidays."  I sat quiet for a meenit, then says, "I think it's gettin' cauld oot here, I'll awa' in beside the fire."  Wasn't it a horrible mistak, but he seemed tae enjoy the joke, but it wisna as bad as I micht hae said, but it wis a mercy I didna, for I dinna like tae hurt folk's feelings.


Wan day the four o' us, for a change, started at two o'clock tae gang for a lang walk, jest by oorsel's.  Fred said he wis pining for a whiff o' the heather hills, and awa' frae the hurry-burry aboot a hoose.  He took what he said wis a tea basket.  Him and John carried it turn aboot.  Sometimes on the road we wud talk and sometimes we were silent.  It wis a glorious day, jist everlasting sunshine.  Noo and then Fred wud hum a verse o' a Scotch sang and we wud jine in the chorus and noo and again he wud start a sang he had learnt frae the niggers and gie a bit dance wi' the sang as he had seen them dae.  We were all in such guid speerits.  The fine air o' the heather and the waff o' the pine trees in the distance wis grand.


We cam' tae a notice board on the side o' the road, "To the Ferry," and here we spied a loch and an auld boat, wi' a man sitting smoking in it.  He had on a dark blue jersey and a tammy wi' a red toorie like "Wee Macgregor."  He wis by no means a bonnie man, but certain sure he lookit a lazy man.
Fred says tae him, "Captain, when does your boat start?" and without takin' his dirty pipe oot o' his mooth, or even looking up, faur less stanin' up, he says, "Eh, is it ma poat ye are fur askin' apout?  Well, it sometimes starts sooner and it sometimes starts later whateffer, but ither times it starts afore that, moreover."  Fred says, "That's all right and what is your charge for each person to cross to the other side," and his reply was "For each person she will want twa and saxpance to co across."  "How much will you take, suppose we all go, that will be four persons," says Fred.  So takin' aff his tam-o'-shanter and scratching his pow, he answers "That will be twelve shillings exact."
Fred smiles, but this wis mair than I could thole, so says I, "Look here, we are no wantin' tae buy baith your boat and the loch intae the bargain; twelve shillings!! my certie, the auld rascal can coont!!!"  Then Fred asks him "What it will cost tae bring us back again?" and could you imagine his answer.  "We can settle that when we get there, moreover, och, och," so we didna' worry ony mair aboot him.  It wis cheaper tae walk and that's what we had come for.
We walkit on till we cam' tae a bonnie hillside wi' lots o' heather and a bonnie wee stream o' rippling water, so doun we squatted.  John and Fred were tae look efter the tea; wi' a speerit lamp and a kettle o' water, we sune had a nice cup o' tea alang wi' some biskits, which wis a rare treat.  I don't think that in a' ma lang life I ever tasted tea like that.  Oh! it wis lovely.  Efter tea, John took a stroll ower the hillside tae hae a quiet bit smoke, Fred wis lying flat on his back, and Dollie and me were sittin' beside him, whan I hears him say tae himsel' "This is heavenly," and Dollie answers "It's divine."  I kent at that time they were baith thinkin' o' the same spot and jist in touch wi' someplace sacred tae them baith, far awa' in California.  I sat and jist gazed at that perfect blue sky, scarcely a cloud tae be seen, all sae beautiful and perfect, nothing tae disturb or vex us, and in the distance noo and again, a bird floating ower us.  I cud hardly believe that within a short distance and under that same blue sky wis the roar and bustle o' a big town and the squalour and the misery o' slum life.  What a difference, it lookit like another warld.  I think that a day on the hills is more eloquent than o' the sermons that wis ever preached.  Heaven and earth seemed tae me to be so near.  Efter we had rested a bit and a' felt refreshed, we started for hame again tae jine the busy crood, but that quiet and peacefu' efternoon wis the best o' the holiday.
Before ye gang I maun cut ye a bit o' cake we brocht hame.  Oh, yes!  I'll jist gie ye the hauf o' it, and the ither hauf will dae for some ither body that hasna had the fine holiday that I had and here's a pot o' black currant jam for Geordie.


DUNCAN wis a jiner tae his trede, so he said, but he wis wan o' thae kind o' chaps that cud dae everything ye wanted-mend a cradle, stop a door frae squeakin', mend broken windies; 'deed, I honestly believe he cud mend a sinner's broken weys, and if he jist started that big job, ma certie, he has his work cut oot for him.


In looks he wis an ugly man, a long-pinted nose, gey red at the end, scrubby grey whuskers, his legs werena jist whet ye wud ca' a very perfect shape, a bittie ower faur out, but wan thing I can say o' him in the wey o' praise, and that is, he wis a dacent man and cud mak' the bawbees, aye, and save them as weel.  He wisna a mean man, far frae that, for mony a puir body I ken blessed him for helping them in their time o' trouble.  I cud tell ye o' wan puir cratur that wud hae died o' starvation thro' the wickedness o' a bad man, but Duncan helpit them in a very kind wey, and noo that same couple are in Canada and gettin' on weel.  Duncan didna tell me this, but I kent a wumman that lived beside them and she kent a' about it and helpit them tae pack up afore they left, so ye see the kind o' man that Duncan is.


Duncan wis a weedower, but his wife hadna jist been whet ye wud ca' an ideal wife, and I'm sure Duncan wasna very sorry when wan morning she slippit quietly awa'.  As he sed tae me it wis the only thing she ever did quietly.  Howsomever, this is no aboot Duncan's wife, but aboot Duncan himsel'.


I dinna ken what made him aye come tae me wi' a his troubles, but this time he cam' tae the door wi' a doleful face and telt me his niece wha had been keepin' hoose for him since his auld wife had left him wis gaun tae get marrit tae his foreman, a fine man, and they were going to Canada and he wondered whit he wis gaun tae dae, for he had nae mair relations that were quite suitable for the job, so says I, quite cheery, "Dinna be sae doon-hearted aboot it, ma advice is follow her example and get marrit yersel'."
Wi' that he held up his twa haun's in horror, and says he, "No me, wan wife wis mair than plenty for me, I'm for nae mair."
I saw his mind wis quite made up on that pint for the present time, but thinks I, "Them that leeves longest sees maist."
Then I proposed a hoosekeeper and this wis his idea as weel.


He askit me tae pit a bit notice in the papers, which I did in a very stylish wey, saying, "A widower, withoot ony weans, wants a nice hoosekeeper, he has lots o' bawbees and no stingy wi' them, a guid hame, and a guid wage, apply tae Duncan, and I gaed his address."
Next day when he gangs hame he wondered whit had happened at his hoose for there wis a bobby tryin' his best tae keep a big crood o' wummen in order-auld yins, young yins, wee yins, and big yins, some weel dressed, and ithers gey so-so.  Some even had their luggage wi' them, showing they meent business.  Some were thumping at the door, no tae speak o' twa cheeky leddy buddies glowerin' in at the windie.


Duncan says, "Hullo, bobby, whit's up, is there a fire?"  Bobby says, "The man inside wants somebody tae keep his hoose, but I'm doobtin' if he tak's a' that lot, he'll need me in tae keep the peace."  So Duncan says, "Tell the crood that the man went oot by the back door and he's aff tae America."  So Mr Bobby sune made a clean sweep o' that lot.
Duncan cam' straught tae me in a perfect fever wi' fricht, and telt me tae try anither notice but no tae pit his name, nor yet his address, which I did, not quite sic a graund notice, and gied them my address, "by letter only."
Next day Postie arrived wi' a bag on his back and dumpit it doon at ma door, and says he, "There's a fine lot o' accoonts ye've forgotten tae pey," and awa' he gaed wi' a lauch.  I canna tell ye hoo mony letters there wis, something ower twa hunner I'll say.  But I poppit the dirty yins in the fire, and them that wis ower lang or badly written, and I cudna read, went the same road, and jist keepit hauf a dizzen.


The wan I thocht mnaist likely I sent her a note and telt her tae come alang the next nicht, when Duncan cud see her for himsel', and she wis a most likely wumman for the place.


When Duncan arrives he wis that nervous, he wis quite white wi' nerves and lookin' cauld and meeserable.  The cratur wisna for comin' in tae the parlour tae see her, he wis like a big bashfu' laddie.
At lang and length I got him in, and he jist stood and twirled his hat and lookit at his feet.
His face wis as red as a lobster and he simply cudna speak, the auld fule!!
Then efter a whiley he says, "If you're pleased, so am I, when can ye come, come the morn," and set off oot o' the room, saying, "It's awfu' warm weather, I'm a' sweetin'," and it the middle o' winter.
Efter he gaed off, I explained tae the wumman and telt her she wis gey lucky tae get sic a fine place.


Next day she gangs tae his hoose.
It's a nice hoose o' fower rooms and kitchen.  The kitchen wis mair like a room, wi' an auld sofy and a nice bit carpet in the middle o' the flure and ither odds and ends, which made it rale comfy lookin'.
There wis a weel-furnished dining-room tae the front o' the hoose, a nice lot o' books lying on the table, wi' a big family Bible in the middle.  On the tap o' the Bible wis a gless case wi' stuffed birds, reds and blues and yellow; and anither case on a wee table, wi' bonnie wax flooers.
The fireside had a white crochet thingamyjig ('deed I'm thinking it wis netted) hingin' in front o' the grate and the edges a' spread ower the fender.  This room, he keepit fur his customers and the parlour he ca'ed his "Office room," whaur he keepit a' thing, and then there was twa nice bedrooms, so you see he had a nice hoose for ony wumman tae be thankfu' tae get intae.
He aye took his breakfast and his denner in the kitchen, he telt her, but he didna mind his tea and supper in the room.


I gaed alang a few nichts efter she got there, tae see hoo they were gettin' on, and tae ma surprise, finds them baith in the sulks.
Duncan opened the door and whaun I got intae the parlour he telt me a' aboot it.  He had telt her he likit his breakfast and denner in the kitchen beside the fire, and ma leddy turned up her nose at this and set his breakfast in the parlour.  He lifts the hale show intae the kitchen and took it there by the fireside.  At denner time, the same thing, the denner set in the parlour and he mairches wi' it back tae his wee corner by the side o' the kitchen fire, without wan word, the next morning ditto, ditto, and then he exploded.
When I arrived on the scene, I saw his monkey wis up, so he telt me a' aboot it.  I made straught for the kitchen and didn't I gie her a bit o' ma mind.  I telt her there and then on the mortal spot tae pack up her wee boxy and oot o' this.  If she didna' ken whaun she had a guid maister, there were plenty mair ready tae fill her place, and I had at least a dizen ither wummen ready tae fill the place.
That settled the bism, so she begins tae greet, and pled wi' me tae let her stay and said she wis tryin' tae mak' Duncan a "gentleman," but efter this, she wud set his parritch in the coal hoose if he wanted it."  So says I, "Weel I'll gie ye anither chance, but ye'll gang ben tae the parlour and ye'll beg Duncan's pardon and promise tae dae as he wants, and let me tell ye this, no tae try yer haun' at makin' Duncan a 'gentleman,' for he is one o' 'nature's honest men' and that's faur mair than being a gentleman, so mind that."  I took her ben tae Duncan and let them settle it themsel's.  She telt me she had a quick temper, but I telt her that ither folk could bounce aboot their quick temper as weel as her.


It wud be aboot three months efter this that Duncan appeared at ma door.  Thinks I, anither wap wi' Sarah, I noticed he had gotten the length o' ca'in' her Sarah.  I speired him tae cum in.
Efter sittin' doon a wee while, I noticed he had an awfu' diffeculty tae tell me what he wanted, so, as I had keepit some o' the ither wummen's letters, I got them oot o' the drawer and begood tae read them.
He strokit his hat and rubbit his face, syne scratched his heid, coughed and cleared his throat, then he mak's for the door, comes back again and stands like an auld owl, blinking, and didna ken whaur tae look, then started coughing again.
By this time I jaloused what he wanted tae say, but wud I help him?  Nae fears, then says he, "It's a fine day."  Says I, "The days a' richt."  "Is John in?" he jerket oot.  "No, he's no in.  Did ye want him?" says I.  Again he says, "It's a fine day" (tho' it wis pouring rain at the time and the water wis dreeping aff his hat).  "Yes," says I, and wi' that he heaves his hat on the flure and pits his fit on it and says he, "It's a' settled."  "What's a' settled," says I."  She's awa' hame," says he.  By this time I thocht it had been anither hurlicane, so very gently I says, "Wha's awa' hame?"  He glowered at me and roars "Sarah."  Oh, I see what ye want, it's anither hoosekeeper ye are wantin'.  Could ye no hae said that at first.  Is it the kitchen breakfast again?  Bless me, can ye no settle thatatween ye?"


By this time his face seemed tae be swellin', it had gotten sae red and purple at places and his nose seemed langer than ever, so between gasps he roars, "I'm gaun tae get marrit in three weeks."  "Whit's that you say? you that said jist a few months ago, 'nae mair wives for me,' but a' the same I'm rale gled tae hear the news.  Of coorse, I ken it's the lass that bides next door tae ye.  A fine sonsy wench she is, and her faither is a rale dacent man, and an elder o' the kirk.  Ye'll hae nae bother wi' the breakfast in the kitchen."  Wi' that, he jumpit up and shouts as if I wis deaf, "It's no the lass next door, it's Sarah."  I pretended I wis flabergasted, but fine I kent a' the time.  I telt him there wis nae fules like auld fules, but it wis the best thing he cud dae.  I wished him joy and he went aff quite pleased.


Next nicht he cam' and askit me tae gang wi' him tae a hotel and arrange aboot the waddin'.  The best hotel in the town and the best o' everything, it must be done in proper style, nae expense considered, for "Sally" wis worth it a'.
Next day I met him and we set aff for the hotel.  As we were going in, he says.  "You ken maist aboot this kind o' job so ye can plan the hale affair, but mind, spare nae expense, but do it 'tip top,' but I'd raither no gang in."  "Oh, says I, "come on, it's your waddin' and no mine, so come on."
It wis the first sicht he got o' the flunkeys aboot the lobby that scared the life oot o' him-him that cud hae bocht the lot o' them up, brass buttons and a', so up we goes tae the office, when a dandy young lass comes forrit.
First the limmer looks at me, then at Duncan, then gied a queer cough when I mentioned waddin', something must hae got stuck in her wind pipe so I telt her tae get a cough mixture and tae wear a bit warm flannen on her chest, insteed o' exposing it tae the glare o' ony body wha cared tae notice it.
Wi' that she left the desk and a chap comes forrit.  Trust me tae be served by a man, they only smile and sometimes draw their haun' across their mooth tae see the wee bit hair on their lip is aye there, but in a wee while he wis quite interested in what I telt him, that it wis for a waddin', and wis tae be done in the very best style, nothing common.  A nice wee room wi' a fire for the bride, a drawing-room wi' lots o' roses and daisies, etc.
Tell the flunkeys no tae hurry tae lift the plates afore the folk's dune wi' their denner, gie them plenty o' time, for Duncan can pey for it a'.


The denner is tae be a guid yin, ice cream and roast beef, maceronie cheeses, chicken and hotch potches, piles o' strawberries, and beef steak pies, and plenty cream, every kind o' vegetable like leeks and neepshaws, and don't forget turkeys, and a lot o' plum duffs, and kipper herring.  Mak' it a splash affair, jellies and shivery things, baith pink and yellow, and lots o' lamps a' lichted.
Pit everything on the table at the same time for I ken that's the wey the gentry does and Duncan can pey for it a'.  Don't forget tao be lavish wi' the champagny, and the whisky, and Bass' beer; and a big thumping brides-cake, mind it's a' decorated wi' wee flags and angels and birds and wee trumpets a' roon'.


Order a fine motor, 'deed I think ye better order twa in case the first yin disna come, and the second yin can stan' roon the corner.  So I think everything is properly ordered.
We quite forgot tae speir what the blooming show wud cost, but it didna maitter tae me as I hadna the peying o' it.  Duncan wisna gettin' marrit every day.
When we cam' oot o' the Hotel the gent shook haun's quite the thing and said something aboot wishin' us joy.  He meent Duncan, of coorse, but jist as we were coming oot o' the big gless door I fancied I heard something aboot "Auld fules," but this wisna us, it couldna be.
Weel, Duncan thankit me and better thankit me, and bocht me a box o' chocolates wi' a blue ribbon tied on and peyed ma caur hame, and begged o' me no tae be late on the waddin' day.
Weel, the eventfu' day cam' roon, so says I tae John, "We maun gang in time as Duncan will need ye tae cheer him up."  Fancy John cheering onybudy up, it strikes me he wad rather console than rejoice wi' them, 'deed wan thing John enjoys is a funeral, for he says he meets sic a lot o' his auld freen's, but that's nather here nor there, it's the waddin' I'm thinking aboot and here I'm wandering awa' frae the important subject, that's Tibbie a' the warld ower.


We baith got dressed, and mind ye we are a handsome couple when we are dressed.  I pit on ma guid merino frock.  Mony a waddin' it's been at, aye, and mony anither spree as weel, and it still looks quite nice, wi' ma lace collar, white cotton gloves, and a clean hanky.  I felt quite smairt.  John aye looks weel in his Sunday claes and his purple tie, but I telt him no tae pit on his lum hat, as the crape band on it wudna look weel at a waddin'.  The crape has been sae often on and off that it's beginning tae look crumpled a wee, for the last time he had his lum hat on it wis a terrible wet day and his hat got sic a soakin', deed I think it changed the shape, or else he cam' hame wi' some ither body's lum hat; howsomever, he didna pit it on, jest pit his tweed kep on, and as I telt him, he could shove it in his pocket.


When we arrives at the hotel, we had ta'en the caur, as it is cheapest, faur cheaper than a cab, and there's nae chance o' the horse rinning awa', as there's nae horses in the caur, jest a rope affair, but no only that, the last cab that we took wis rather an expensive affair.  John and me were coming hame frae a spree, and as we had a cab, we askit ither five folk tae come intae the cab wi' us, as they were going the same road, so it was only ceevil and polite tae invite them, wasn't it?
Weel, the cab arrives, and John, he thinks he kens mainners, but I think different, didn't he walk intae the cab first!  As ye ken, he is a big man, so in he goes, wi' his heid doon, and as he kent there wis a lot o' folk tae come in efter him, he thocht best tae gang faur ben intae the cab, so in he goes, and the peety wis that the windy wis up at the ither side, so bang he goes straught thro' the gless, and but for the door, he wud hae been oot on the road, wi' the windy hingin' noon' his neck.  But there he got stuck, and he roared, and better roared, and mind ye John _can_ roar like a bull.


He cudna' got his heid back and there he stuck, keepin' the roaring up a' the time.  I telt him tae haud his tongue (tho' it wis next tae impossible tae haud his tongue when his haun's were inside the cab and his tongue ootside) and gie folk time tae get him back again intae the cab and no tae smash ony mair gless, for every inch wud need tae be peyed for.  Of course I kent it wis sair, wi' the broken gless cuttin' his neck and his face a' bluidy.  I cudna see his face very weel in the dark, but I jist keepit telling him it wis a' his ain faut for bein' sae unmainnerly, and served him richt.


I never gie John ony saft sawdor, no me, or there's nae pittin' up wi' him, he is sic a safty.
Weel, tae mak' a lang story short, we got his heid hauled oot thro' time and got the wee bits o' gloss pickit oot o' his face, and a bonnie face it wis; wan o' the chaps lichted a match, and losh me but John wis a beauty, like he had been in a dug fecht.
I sairly grudged using ma nice guid hanky tae dicht his face; for it wis ma mither's and I didna want it messed, but for a blessin' I had pit an auld yin in ma petticoat pouch.  It's a handy thing tae hae twa or three pockets aboot yer claes, so this time the auld hanky jist suited fine.  I dichted his face and as no mony folk saw him, it wis a' richt and sune got better, but I hope it will teach him a lesson.
I've gotten clean aff the waddin' and it sic an important affair, sometimes they're mair nor important, they are disastrous, aye, very often, mair that than the ither wey, for mony a couple baith you and me kens, that wishes they had never been born, at least, they baith wish the ither yin hadna been born.


Noo, aboot Duncan's waddin'.  When we arrives at the hotel, it wis a graund entrance and we gaed in by the gless door, it wis the queerest gless door I ever saw.  John, he gaed in at wan place and me at anither place, and believe me, the hale blooming place moved roun' and roun' and we wis in the big lobby safe and soond.
A young perky lass pits me intae a bonnie wee room wi' lots o' braw things.  I sat doun by the fire tae warm my feet.  Oh, dear! cauld foot is a most distressing trouble, ye dinna ken whether they're on nor aff, until somebody tramps on them, and then ye ken.  Some folk say tae pit yer feet intae a cauld bath, wi' a lump o' ice in the water.  I never tried it, fur whaur could I get the ice?
Think I had a wee snooze tae masel', for I wis feelin' fine and cosy in the big easy chair wi' a big bonnie pillow at ma back.  I didna worry, for I kent I hadna the dishes tae wash on this eventfu' occasion.  Hoo lang I sat, dear knows, but never a soul cam' near me, so thinks I, I'd better gang oot tae the lobby, and see whaur a' the folk are, so mairched tae the room whaur I kent the ceremony wis tae be, and wi' that a cheeky flunkey opens the door tae let me in, and says he, in a loud voice, "Enter the Bride," and in showin' me in, I fell clean ower his big feet, and went sprawling a' ma' length intae the room, heid first.


What a fricht I got, I wis fair stunned, and nae wonder. I cudna move, but by that time three hefty chaps were trying tae lift me.  Had they left me alane, I wud hae gotten up in time, but they hauled me different weys, the wan hauled me east, and the ither west, till ma frock wis near torn aff me, then wan big stoot chap got me under the oxters, and tried his best tae hoist me up as if I wis a bag o' dross, insteed o' a respectable marrit wumman; however, I managed thro' time tae get sitting on the sofy, wi' ma legs up.  It wis a fine heezy hozy sofa, the springs wanted screwing up ticht.  Duncan cud hae dune it in a meenit, only he wis otherwise engaged at present.
I enjoyed ma sate, and by this time the waddin' wis a settled fact, and me no' in the middle o' the show.
The hale affair hed been an abomnible mistake, as I fund oot.
I had been mistaken for the Bride, and John for ma faither.  It wis a' the flunkey's faut.
Puir John got wed chaffed, but I didna mind, but fortunately I wis the first tae kiss the Bride, and says I tae her, quietly, "Dinna be thrawn wi' Duncan, and ye'll sune hae yer parritch in the parlour."


Weel, efter a lot o' cake wis devoured, and lots o' champagny and whuskey washed it doun, the company were ta'en intae the dining-room.
Duncan had invited a very mixed lot o' folk, some quite genteel like masel', but ithers, ah, dear! some chaps wi' big dirty tacketty buits, anither wi' a blue and red muffler, insteed o' a collar, and some ithers, smokin' clay pipes.  Their wives jest matched the men, untidy lookin' hizzies they were, and wan had a wean wi' her and sic a wean tae greet, it roared near a' the time, but they were Duncan's freen's and no mine.  He said he kent them for a lang time, and they were guid at their wark, and if they hadna time tae gang hame and tosh themselves up a bit, it didna maitter.  But he kent they cud enjoy a guid feed, and he likit tae see folk happy and enjoy themselves, so of coorse I had nae mair tae say, it wis Duncan's waddin', and no mine.


When we goes intae the dining-room, there wis a hale raw o' flunkeys stanin' alang twa sides.  Every yin o' them had his haun' across his mooth.  It maun be the proper thing fur flunkeys tae dae, and they seemed tae be a fine cheery lot o' chaps, and nudged each ither; something had amused them.
One chap, he cudna haud on ony langer, as he begood tae choke, and had tae leeve the room fur a wee, hauding his sides, but he cam' back efter a whiley wi' an awfu' red face.  I wunner whit had happened, maybe a gumbile.  Every time, yin o' oor pairty spoke, he turned and lookit oot o' the windy, and the ither flunkeys were trying tae keep their faces straucht.


Weel, we starts tae eat.  I staunds up tae see that everything wis on the table that I had ordered, and as faur as I cud see, I don't think they had neglected onything, 'deed frae the look o' the table, there seemed tae be faur mair nor I hed ordered.
I says in a loud voice, "Freen's, Duncan wants ye tae hae a guid denner, so dinna be bashfu', jest help yersel's."
Oh, what a mistake I had made, for in a twink every body made a rush fur what they fancied maist.
Wan man, I think he wis a plasterer tae trade, got haud o' a plum pudding in his richt haun', and a chicken in his left, and stuck a daud o' breed in his mooth, while anither chap fancied the jelly things, and lifted the gless dish in front o' him, and wi' a big spoon sune cleared aff the lot, then he attacked a fine kipper, and went ower beside the fire and ate it there.
I sees a wee fat man (dear knows whaur he cam' frae), grab a turkey, but his neebor wanted it as weel, so they each held on by a leg, and wudna let go.
By this time there wis a general uproar.
 A puir thin weakly - looking fellow takes a rabbit pie and a bottle o' whuskey, and gaed ower tae a wee corner o' the room, and sits doun on a fine easy chair, and made short wark o' the lot, and the next time I noticed him he wis helpless, wi' the pie dish lying at his feet, and the empty bottle sleeping in his airms, perfectly unconscious of everything in the room, or ony ither place.
The Bride and her man were sae taken up wi' theirsel's, that the rowdy show didna bother them.
The minister, dacent man, who, nae doot, had a graund speech ready, never got a start, 'deed he never got the blessin' said tae the end, tho' I mind hearin' him saying, wi' his haun's up, "Let us pray," but further than that he never got.  So maybe that wis the cause o' the bad mainners o' some o' the folk, for I never in a' ma life saw sic conduct before.
By this time the drink or the fine denner wis takin' an unwholesome effect on some o' the pairty, and they were enjoyin' a wee snooze, and ithers were talking like machines, I wud say, like "perpetual motion," if sic a thing exists.  (I mind hearin' that ma great - graundfaither very nearly invented "perpetual motion," and it wis near perfect when he died, but he had aye lost sae muckle time hidin' a' the wheels o' his machine frae his wife, wha said it wis the wark o' the deevil, and she wadna allow sic cantrips in her hoose, that he used tae hide it under the kitchen bed, and the day, Thursday, I think it wis, that she scrubbed oot the kitchen, alow the bed, he got up early that morning and cairted the hale show oot tae the cellar, sae that wis hoo he didna get his wonderfu' invention feenished).
Weel, the hauf sober chaps were jest talkin' like that.


I cudna describe the rest o' the scene, but the last I saw as I wis leaving the room (I had popped yin o' the jeely things intae my bag, wi' a chicken.  I thocht it wud dae for oor supper, seeing we didna get muckle at the denner.  I aye tak' a bag wi' me, for ye aye bring hame something), weel as I wis saying, the last I saw as I cam' oot o' the room, wis a storm o' bits o' jelly, vegetables, legs o' chicken, and so on, fleeing in the air, frae wan end o' the table tae the ither.
The bride's cake had been a fine yin, but by the time everybody had ta'en a big chunk aff it, it lookit like a hoose efter it had been burnt doon.
By this time, a flunkey shouts, "Motor, for the bride and bridegroom," then the sober yins rushed for the front door.
I had telt the flunkey tae keep the second motor roon' the corner, as the happy couple kent tae run roon' there.


I said guidbye tae them, and wished them "joy and happiness, and see and dinna quarrel ony mair aboot the parritch in the kitchen."  The bride smiled, but John only said, "D- the parritch," which wis very wrang o' him, and on his waddin' day.
Ye cud hardly see them for rice, they got a bicker, but didn't they gie the crood a fine sell? (that's Tibbie's idea, mind), whaun they bolted roon' the corner, intae the motor and aff they went quite bright, Duncan wavin' his lum hat, quite the thing.  So thinks I, they are shure tae get on weel, for they are baith second-hands, as they have baith been thro' the mill afore.
The motor at the door wis decorated wi' auld frying pans, pat lids, and tin cans, tied on the wheels.  The inside o' the motor wis smothered wi' rice, so in case the motor man should feel he had lost his job, the crood lifted the best man, and the best maid intae the motor, in spite o' a' their howling, and aff went the motor, wi' a couple lookin' onything but happy, withoot even a hat on.
We telt the motor man tae gie them a guid hurl for an 'oor, up wan street and doun anither.  But I didna wait tae see them return, as I wis vera tired, so John and me cam' hame by the tram caur, and gled wis I tae get aff ma braw frock, and got a dacent cup o' tea.
John, as usual, says "Nae mair waddin's for me," and says I, "till the next."


Last nicht I gaed alang tae spier hoo the turtle doves were getting on, and as faur as I could see, it wis quite a success, but time will tell.

_The following Stories have been reprinted by kind permission of the Weekly Scotsman."_
===-_The Author_.


DO ye no' think, John, ye micht tak' a step alang and speir for yer auld freen' Tam M'Farlane.  He's been a gey while in the house wi' that broken leg o' his?
Eh!  Whet's that ye say?  "Hoo could he be keepit in wi' ony ither body's leg?"  Man, John ye're ower smairt for yer age; tak' care, or ye'el hurt yersel', for, do you no see, he micht hae gotten in a leg tae mend.  Ye ken, he is a guid jiner, and can ca' in nails wi' onybody.
But, speaking about legs, did ye hear about Wee Robin Rae gettin' his richt leg badly hurted, and the doctor ordered a big blister for it.  But Robin was 'cute, for he gied his mother the ither leg to put the blister on, in case she hurted his sair leg, and faith, its gotten better.  Wisna' that a trick?  But sae like Robin.
Noo, dinna.' stan' there haverin' ony mair, but awa' ye go, for, ye ken, ye canna' gang the morn; it's the prayer meeting nicht, and Friday is Hallowe'en, and I promised tae gie the weans "dookin for apples," and I maun keep ma word.
Here, I'll help ye on wi' yer coat, and here's yer gravat; put it twice roun' yer neck and keep yoursel' warm.  Tam was rale guid in coming to ask for you last winter, when ye were lying wi' "amony on the lungs," so its only just richt that you should gang and console him in his sair trouble.
Tell him it would cost a lot o' siller to buy a new leg, so he's quite richt tae get his auld yin mended, oven though it's no quite a fashionable shape.  But wait a meenit; yer aye in siccan a big hurry.  Tell him tae pit a big nail on the end; it micht keep him frae slippin'.
Noo ye'll enjoy yer walk.  Eh, but the wind is snell the nicht, I can hear it in the lum.


Hallowe'en time tak's me back tae my auld hame when we used tae "dook for apples," but the best nicht-or maybe the worst, I should rather say; at least it wis the maist uproarious-I'll never forget.
The kitchen wis lookin' sae bonnie, and Martha, oor puir auld servant, had scrubbed the flair sae white.  Nane o' yer auld bits o' waxcloth in thae days; for nooadays it's a' the auld bits o' odds and ends, without planning either the shape or the colour, and nails by the thoosand, that are aye comin' oot in yer feet.
Then the big fire; nae meanness about the coals, for they were piled as high as they could stick them on the fire, a kettle singing on each side, and a' the tin things on the shelves shining like silver.
Then the big washing tub standing in the middle of the floor, filled near the tap wi' clean cauld water.  My brithers and ma wee sister and masel' dancing aboot all excited till mother cam' ben wi' the apples, and tae pit the three plates on the dresser, one wi' clean water, one wi' dirty water, and one wi' nae water at a'.  An', of course, we had oor hankeys ready tae tie roon' oor een, tae try oor luck.
The clean water wad gie ye a fair sweetheart, the dirty a dark yin, and the empty plate, nane ava: but don't think it aye cam' true.
But just tae keep up the fun till mother cam' ben, I sat doon on the edge o' the tub and says to my big brother, "What will ye gi'e tae see me sit doon in the water," and says he, "A shove," and wi' that he keepit his word, and in a twinkle I wis stuck fast in the tub, and the water gaed up like a fountain, and the floor was like a pond.


Of course, as usual, I howled, and Martha hauled me oot wi' siccan a force that the tub couped, and then the kitchen wis like the Firth of Forth.  The laddies jumpit into the tub and pretended it wis a boat, and shouted, "Man overboard."  Ma wee sister got up on a chair wondering what wis tae happen next, and puir Peter, the cat, guid a spring on tae the dresser and caud ower three bowls and a brown teapot, and smashed the lot.  Old Nero, puir duggie, got on tae the fender and tried tae keep his tail frae getting soaked and jist howled.
In the midst of the general uproar, when Martha was scooping up the flood wi' the coal shovel and I was busy at the same job, with a broth plate, which at that meenit couldna stand the storm and went tae bits in the water, in walks my mother wi' a fine basket o' apples, and then all wis silence.
Her face was a study.  She would hae made a grand model for ony artist tae be prood o'.  She never spoke; it was quite beyond her, and I heard her say to a freen', when she had been telling aboot her clever family and hoo prood she wis o' them, and that they all amused themsel's in a quiet way and wis nae bother tae onybody, that this show wis mair than she could thole.
However, the next thing I mind wis castor ile, and into bed, and nae dookin' that nicht.  It's a queer thing castor ile used to be trotted oot in sae many cases.  Ye got it if ye were ill tae mak' ye better, and if ye were weel ye got it as a punishment tae mak' ye ill.  It's vera puzzling aboot castor ile, and its no a cheap drink either.
It seems a gey eerie nicht, and there's my auld duggie wantin' oot for a bit dander, but, speaking o' dugs, can I mind that guess the laddies gie'd me before they went oot:-"Why is a dog wi' a broken tail better aff than a dog wi' a whole tail?" an' when I couldna think o' the answer they laughed and said that "Every dog has it's day, but the dog wi' the broken tail had a weak end."  Sic silly nonsense, can you see the meaning o't, duggie? for it beats me.  Come on, then, and I'll let ye oot.


Hoo quiet the hoose is when they are a' oot.  It mak's me think o' the days o' auld lang syne, and hoo vera different everything is noo-a-days.  The folk think there was nae fun lang ago, but it shows how little they ken.  I never hear lauching as it used tae be, it wudna be genteel; but in oor young days, it wudna hae been genteel, nor proper either, tae show as muckle leg as the leddies are doing now.  And I dinna like even to mention it, it fairly makes me blush, but losh me, maist o' them would be the better o' a dicky on.  It wud keep the cauld oot at any rate, no tae say it wud be mair modest.
Eh! but I hope the laddies will enjoy the soiree the nicht.  They ca' it a social meeting, but soiree was a faur better name, and the proper name as weel.
But thinking o' soirees, I mind we used tae get a paper poke wi' a cookie and a scone, baith gey dry, and neither o' them born yesterday.  Then there was aye an orange, some sticky raisins, and twa or three conversation lozenges, and they were aye printed wi' something like "Do you love me?"  "Meet me by the moonlicht?" or "Will you marry me?" and sich like nonsense.  Deary me, if I'd married a' the laddies that asked me wi' a conversation lozenge, I wud hae been a Mormon.
Mary Macdougall carried on the joke, and married puir Sandie.  He wis a bonnie lad, but a nice pickle they hae been in ever since-twelve weans, and no enough meat for three, so her lozenge wisna quite a success.  Howsomever, that's her business and no mine.


But the soiree I mind best wis the Sunday skule soiree, and efter we ate as much as we could and mair than was guid for us, we couped the rest on the floor, then blew up oor pokes, and just for a bit o' mischief, I bust mine on Mr Jamieson's bald heid.  Onybody wad hae dune it, it wis sae temptin' and wi' that he roared and stamped, aye, and he swore!
I can tell ye, I wis gled tae get doun on the floor and crawl along below the seats, and then grabbed something, which happened to be the leg o' Mrs M'Duff, the meenistor's wife.  Then she jumped up and yelled, jist like a woman.  Then the hale crood got up and yelled, oot o' sympathy and respect to her, for it could be nae ither reason, as I never meddled wi' them, and of course quite forgetting they had dishes o' tea on their laps.  So between that and the general excitement there was a fine how-do-you-do for a wee while, no tae mention the guid tea being wasted, and at the next soiree the dishes were short, all on account o' them no' keepin' in their seats.


I ran hame as fast as my legs wud go, but when my faither got hame, there was a faur bigger commotion than had been at the soiree.  He looked sae stern and says "Tibbie"-in siccan a hollow voice to fairly impress me wi' the solemnity of the occasion-"you have disgraced a very respectable family the nicht.  Hoo can I ever show face the morn?  And Mr Jamieson is yin o' ma best customers.  But, you understand, Tibbie, you can never gang tae the Sunday Skule again."
That didna bother me sae lang as I got to the soirees, but, a' the same, I got a fricht, for I was feared I had killed Mr Jamieson.  But nae fears, for I saw him jest yesterday up the street, looking like a young chap, and him near ninety.  Indeed, he's had a jolly fine time a' his life and enjoyed it too-three wives and buried them a' and looks fit for ither three.  Wha kens?  When a' is said and dune, maybe that crack has been the cause o' his guid luck.


WEEL, guid nicht, Samuel, guid nicht, and gie ma best respec's tae yer guidwife.  Noo, come back sune, and see me, for it cheers up ma auld hert tae get a look o' ma auld sweetheart.  There's no mony o' them left, but I'm rale gled tae see ye lookin' sae weel, for deed yer rale spry for yer age, there's really no muckle difference in ye since ye were a young man, except, of coorse, yer bald heid.
Ye were aye a handsome chap, and mony a lassie lookit at ye, but yer red heid wis aye a blot on yer landscape, for it was a peety it wis sic' a strong colour, tho' I hears noo-a-days it is the maist fashionable colour o' hair, and penter chaps sae often pent a picture wi' a red-heided lassie.  It's queer, but it's true, but for my pairt I like ye best wi' yer bald heid, and ye hev' gotten sic' a shine on it!  It suits yer style o' beauty very weel.
Do you mind we had nick-names at the skule, and yours wis never onything but Carrots, and, when I think o' ye tae this day I mind o' ye best as Carrots.  I never can mind Samuel.  The name jest suited ye doon tae the flure, and it wis fine tae sit near ye on a cauld day, for I could warm ma haunds on yer heid.  Weel, guid nicht again!


Eh, but it's cauld stanin' at the open door speakin' tae Samel.  I'm sure the wind is in the east the nicht.  If he had just started richt aff and no stude there as lang, jest speakin' o' naethin'!
Whit's that ye say,John?  I "shouldna stand sae lang at the door wi' Samel, it's no dacent being at the door at this time o' nicht wi' a man?"  Is that whit ye say?  Ma certie, I like that!  You wud daur tae sae sic' a thing tae me, and tae ma very face!  But jest let me tell you, John, that I'll staund as lang as I like wi' ony man.
There's wan thing let me tell you-we werena speaking aboot you; but I can see yer in the dumps aboot something or ither.  It tak's very little tae send you that gait-but for a' I ken or care, ye are maybe jealous o' Carrots.  Is that it, John?  Deary me, ye are an auld fule.  I've got a guid mind tae ask a' ma auld lads tae come and see me, jest to spite ye, but dout they're nearly a' deid and gane, so ye needna be feart.  Ye sud ken me better efter fifty lang years; but a' the same it's fine tae see an auld freen' again.
Yes, John, it's quite true whit ye sed, that I cau'd him ma auld sweetheart, and let me tell you, I had dizzens o' sweethearts, but only wan lover, and his name is John.  Noo that sud please ye, but it tak's some daein' tae keep ye in a guid mood, as I've telt ye afore.  "Carrots," indeed!  I wad hae been easy tae please, but, 'deed, ony kind o' a man can get a wife, but he wudna hae gotten me; nae fears, I kent my value ower weel tae be content wi' a red heid.
Did I ever tell ye aboot Carrots being near killed, tho' it wis his ain faut?  Deed, I had quite forgotten his existence till he appeared at ma door, and, says he, "Are you Tibbie?"
I jest draws masel up and looks as haughty as ye like, for, thinks I, siccan a leeberty for ony man tae ca' me Tibbie in sic' a fameelier wey!  So, says I, "Weel, if my name did happen tae be Tibbie, whit is that tae you, your Lordship?"
So says he, "Ye've jest the same auld temper, Tibbie, just the same auld spitfire.  Dae ye no mind Samel?"
Then I looks him up and doun, and, says I, "Bless me, the last time I saw ye wis sae mony years ago, that I'd forgotten a' aboot ye.  However if ye hae come tae see me, then come in tae the hoose an' no stan' there grinning for a' the neebors tae hear yer Glesca tongue, for since ye hae lived in Glesca' ye'll hae pickit up that nesty wey o' speakin'.  It's no a bonnie tongue at a', at least it's no ma taste."  So that's how he cam tae be in the hoose.
But I wis telling ye aboot him being near killed, and, as I telt him, it wis his ain faut, and I micht hae been killed at the same time, and that wud hae been the end o' me.


Weel, it happened this wey.  Ye mind the laddies and the lassies were a' in the same class in the skule, a' hither and thither as ye wud say.  It was faur better nor the skules noo-a-days, whaur there's a skule for the boys and a skule for the girls, nearbye.  There canna be muckle fun, but we had lots o' fun, even if we did get lots o' skelpin' into the bargain.  Weel, I'm aff ma story again.  Whaur wis I when I left aff?
Oh, aye, it wis Samel gettin' near killed.  It wis this wey here.  Just you thump on the table if I gang aff ma story again.  Weel, Carrots and me-I mind him best by Carrots, it jist suits him-we wis sittin' thegither in oor class, and, of coorse, as wud be quite natural, we were chattering.
Noo, John, haud aff the dumps, we wudna be talking aboot onybudy you ken.  Mind, I ken lots o' folk that you never saw and never wull see.
Hullo, what are ye thumpin' the table for?  Are ye in anither o' yer tempers?
Whit's that ye say?  I telt ye tae thump the table if I gaed aff ma story!  Weel, I'm no aff ma story, and whit's mair, ye'll no thump that table, becus it belanged tae ma granny, and I'll no hae it thumpit, mind I'm telling ye.  Aff ma story!
Weel, efter a', yer maybe richt.  It wis aboot Carrots and the Skule and him near gettin' killed, and me as weel, but it wis his ain faut and there's nae mistake aboot that.
Weel, I telt ye we were havin' a wee bit talk, when the maister noticed us.  As I sed we were speaking when we shouldna,so says he, "Samel and Tibbie!" but it wud hae been mair polite to say "Tibbie and Samel," but we'll let that pass, as he wisna much o' a man.
So, says he, "Come forrit tae the front," as if we cud ha'e come forrit tae the back, the silly owl that he wis.  Tho' some maisters think they are very clever, I've met some that had nae mair heid than a hen.


We mairched up tae the front.  I gaed first, being the leddy, and Samel keppit weel ahint.  The maister says:
"Samel and Tibbie, you set a bad example tae the cless, and I must punish you.  Get up on tae the middle o' that form?"  So up we gaed, that wis easy.
"And now, Samel, you walk tae the richt haund end, and Tibbie, you tae the left and stand there till I tell ye' tae come doun."
Wha ever made that form hadna muckle gumption, and had be been living noo he could hardly have expected the O.B.E.  What that is I dinna' ken or ony o' the ither honours that are kickin' about the noo in sic lairge numbers, for sune everybody but you and me will be decorated wi' some kind o' ornament.  I saw some in a shop window the ither day and I gaed in tae speir the price.
There ye go again at that table!  Wull ye no be quiet?  Oh, it's tae tell me I'm aff ma story.  My memory is no whit it wis.
Weel, I wis tellin' ye about Carrots bein' killed, and a' his ain faut.  We got tae the twa ends o' the form-at least ye ken whit I mean, he gaed tae the richt and I gaed tae the left, jest the same story a' the world over.  The wumman aye gets left and the man scoops up a' that's richt.
Noo, nae thumping!  I'm no aff ma story, jest taking a wee roon'-aboot.
Weel, after we had got properly placed, the maister first gies Samel a Bible, a gey auld yin and then gies me a very guid yin, and, says he,
"Samel and Tibbie, you are tae stan' there till you learn the hale o' the third and fourth chapters o' Moses, if ye sud stand there till doomsday."
I think it wis Moses he said, but it's siccan a lang time ago that I forgot; but it wis a book wi' very few chapters and vera difficult to find.  However, we baith got the place thro' time; but the misfortune wis that the leaves o' Carrot's book were in penny numbers, and even these werena in guid terms wi' each ither.  As it happened, the very bit that Samel wis tae learn jest fancied a bit dander on its own.  So it flees on tae the flure, and, puir Carrots wis doun in a jiffey efter it, as he didna fancy tae stay there till doomsday.
'Deed, he wis gaun tae a wee pairty that nicht, and anything nor miss that.  He wis awfu' fond o' the "American Post" or ony games wi' some kissing the lassies, wis Carrots.
Here, stop that chapping on ma table.  Ye get on ma nerves, so stop it.  I'm no aff ma story.


Weel, as ye can jalouse, in a jiffy Carrots makes a bee line for the bit leaf that flew awa.  Up goes his end o' the form, so I wis telt efter, but I wis ower busy going down wi' ma end tae notice onything aboot Carrots' end.  Whaun I came tae masel' I wis sittin' on the flure and nae doot it was Carrots howling that waukened me up.  I, of coorse, started the howling as weel as him, for company's sake.
However, as it happened, when ma end richted itsel' Carrots end cam down and landed him one on the back o' his heid, and it wis a gey sair daud he got.  He was quate jist for a jiffy, then the roaring begood in earnest, and I can tell ye Carrots can roar.  I thocht I saw his heid swellin', but I wis ower busy greetin' tae pey muckle attention tae him.  It wis his ain faut for jumpin' doun, when he wis telt tae stay there till doomsday.
So there he wis, lying on the flure wi' his heid swelling as fast as it could.  He never geid a thocht tae me, tho' I can tell you when I cam tae ma senses, I wondered whit pairt o' Scotland I wis in.
However, my best plan wis tae mak' as muckle noise as I could, so now and then I jist let oot another big yell and keepit the noise up.  Between the twa o' us, the maister wis fair demented, and he roars oot tae me:
"Tibbie, wull ye mak' less noise?  The place is like a menagerie!  Wull ye be quiet!"
Weel, had he telt me tae stop, it meant I had to abey, but he didna.  Sae I took ma ain wey and roared the louder.
The maister begood tae look anxious aboot Carrots, so he trails him aff tae the kitchen and stuck his heid under the cauld water spout.  Indeed, it wis the only spout that wis there, for in thae days there wis nae sic thing as hot water in the hoose.


Here, noo, that's quite enough chapping, ye hey very nearly split the auld table in twa.  It wisna ower strong at the best, for it wis ma grannie's; but ah'm tellin' ye, jist wan mair thump and it's doun on that back leg.
No, I'll no gang on wi' ma story till I'm ready, so ye can wait.
Ye're no caring even if Carrots had been killed or no, but he wisna, for in a wee while the maister shoves Carrots into the room.
Ye wud hae been vexed for him, puir wee sowl!  He wis greetin' baith at his een and his nose, and his heid wis like a bunch o' wet carrots.  But, mind ye, it wis his ain faut for being sic a big sumph as to let the pages o' Moses fa' on the flure.
But, as I've sed before, it micht hae killed me, and then I wudna hae been here tae tell you the wee story aboot the terrible calamity.  But nae doot ye wud hae gotten some ither woman to bring ye oot o' the pet, but maybe she wudna hae ta'en the trouble, and likely it wud hae been better fur you in the lang run.
But as we are on the subject o' Carrots - Oh! mercy on us!  The table's doun!  It's a' your faut, wi' that big fist o' yours!  Ye better jest tak' it along tae the jiner and get it mended, for it wis ma Granny's.  Whit, eh, it's the jiner's half-holiday?  Weel, gang the morn and dinna forget, but a' the same ye maun hear aboot Carrots and the day-


WE were bletherin' aboot Carrots.  Well, ye maun hear aboot Carrots and the day he brought a fine big yellow orange tae the skule.  He had jest took the first sook o' it when the maister begins tae sniff and sniff and better sniff, and then he says, "Somebody has an orange, and I demand tae ken wha it is, so stan' up."  So up gets Carrots, and then the maister telt the puir wee lad tae bring it tae him, so Carrots had tae gang forrit and gie up his fine big orange.  The maister pits it up on the chimney-piece shelf, an telt Carrots he wud get it when the cless wis dune, and he cud enjoy it on the road hame.


Weel, as luck wud hae it, jest a wee while efter this a rap comes tae the door, and a heid pops in and a squeaky voice says, "There's folk at the door wanting the maister; it's a man and a wumman and twa wee laddies, so hurry up in case they gang aff wi some o' the coats in the lobby."  So oot goes the maister, and the door wis hardly shut on his back when up goes a laddie and has a sook at the orange; then up number two goes and he has a sook next, and then the hale crood o' laddies mak a bee-line for the same place, and I can assure ye, by the time it cam tae the last laddie, ye wudna had kent it had been an orange at a', fur it wis jest a bit o' dirty skin.
Carrots, he wis busy greetin' in a corner, instead o' going and thumpin' a' thae laddies.  It wis jest like him, and that wis the sample o' a man ye were jealous o'.  The maister cam back smiling, so he had mair nor likely booked the twa laddies for the skule, and in a cheery mainner, he says:- "Noo, children, nae doot ye hey a' behaved yersel's when I wis oot, sae ye can gang hame.  Oh, by the way, Samel, tak yer orange, and I hope ye wull enjoy it on the road hame."  But puir Samel didna bother the orange, he jest gaed awa hame greetin' tae his mither.  That wis Samel tae the life.
Deary me, jealous o' Samel!  I wis only yince in his hoose, that time I wis in Glesca' seeing my gude-sister, but for your piece o' mind he wisna in, so I didna see him.  Ma gude-sister kent Samel, as he leeved abune her, but Samel's wife and her had cast oot about something, and they werna on speakin' terms.


Glesca' is a nice place when it's no raining, and it can rain when it likes, but if it does ye jest step intae a caur.  But that, of coorse, costs money, tho' no vera muckle there; 'deed, ye get a lang ride for next tae naething.  It's no like Edinburgh, whaur they sometimes forgot tae cum in for yer money; but ye can afford tae pey in Glesca, for it raley costs very little.  I enjoyed the caurs, ye see sic a lot o' funny things.
One day I wis in a caur, I think it wis the day I wad be going tae St. Rollox, whaur the great big lum sticks up.  I think it wis that day, and in comes a wumman wi' a wee laddie.  She was dressed awfu' braw; at onyrate, she had a lot o' colours on, and a bannet wi' feathers and a white veil ower her face, and it wis a red face an' no mistake.  Her hair wis towsy and fluffy.  She had gran' new white gloves on, but I thocht tae masel', ma' wumman, ye wad be the better o' a pair o' new buits, for what she had on wis past mendin'.  Deed, she tried tae keep them oot o' sicht, but ye ken, John, that I notice things gey smairt.


She wis busy talking tall English tae the wife beside her, and speaking about parcels; she had every shape and kind, big yins and wee yins, and certain there wis wan o' them fish, by the smell, and I'm shure that fish hadna had its face washed for mony a day and wis gaspin' for a drink.  Wan o' the pokes had fancy things, I cud see that, for wan o' them wis squeezing itsel' thro' the paper poke and the jam wis making a trail for her white lace scarf that I forgot to tell ye she had on.
The wee laddie had a sate a' tae himsel'.  He wud be aboot seeven year auld.  He wis dressed in a velvet tunic and big white lace collar and cuffs, but they badly needed an iron, and then ye micht think they were rale lace, and I ken what rale lace is like, for a lassie I kent had a hanky wi' rale lace on it, and she let me see it.  It wisna muckle tae look at, but she said it wis the rale thing.
Ye hev' an awfu' bad habit o' rapping yer hands on the table.  Deary me, if they're cauld, pit them tae the fire.  Mercy me, the fire's oot!  Weel, row them in that shawl, and then sit on them, but for ony sake mak' loss noise.
I wis tellin' ye aboot the wee callant in the caur.  His name wis a gey queer yin; she ca'ed him "Adolphus," but noo and again she said "Doly."  He had a bonnie bit face, and it was clean, for a wonder, for weans' faces are aye dirty.  But there wis a line o' mournin' roon aboot by the neck that hadna seen a scrub for a gey while.  He wis nate enough, but, like his mither, his feet wis his drawback.  Big coorse knitted stockings that wudna keep up, and tacketty buits sair worn.  At first he wis rale quiet, but later on the journey his remarks aboot the passengers were a bit trying.


Then all of a sudden he cries, "Maw, I want ma tert!"  She took no notice for some time, having got into a dispute wi' the wife next her, but thro' time she says in a sweet voice: "No, Adolphus dear, not jest now; ye'll git yer cranberry tort whan ye get hame."  But that did not suit the wee brat, it only made him more determined tae hae his share o' good things there and then, for he jumpit aff his sate and threw his bannet on the flure, and jumpit on it, and jest demanded the tert frae his maw.  Sae tae keep the peace in the caur she geid the little beggar a tert, and then the fun begood.
Ye ken what a lot o' trouble a cranberry tert can mak', and it fair excelled itsel' this time; but he hed gotten weel thro' it afore his maw noticed the pretty condeetion her little deary wis in.  His face and his haun's werena the worst o't.  His braw lace collar and cuffs and the fine velvet claes were in a mess.  His maw slappit him and slappit him, and then the remains o' the tert landed on her white lace scarf.  She took a grip o't wi' her gran' white gloves on, and went tae the door o' the caur and heaved it oot; but it wis unfortunate that a leddy wis passin' at the time, and she got it clean in the eye.
However, the caur went on wi' the angry maw, and every noo and again she gies her kid a shake and a skelp and says, "I'll teach ye tae ask for terts in a caur again.  Whaur's yer bunnet?  Here, pick it aff the flure, and no let folk clean their feet on it.  Ma certie, when you get hame I'll pop ye straight intae the jawbox, claes and a', and gie ye a scrub.  Bairns are jest a pest.  Here's oor close, so we man get aff here."  But we werna sorry; but, mind ye, I never saw Carrots nor his wife but wan day comin' doon the stair, and I never let on I kent him.  Noo, are ye pleased, John?


JEST come in, Jenet, and steek the door ahint ye.  Ye see I'm vera busy and dinna want tae rise till I'm dune.  'Deed, I'm jest puttin' on buttons on John's Sunday coat, but whaur he pits them, or hoo he gets them aff, wud fairly bate a conjuror.  For every two or three weeks I'm at the same job.
This time a' the buttons are off and my stock is getting vera low, but it's some weeks noo since I lookit at the weskit.  I thocht it wad be a' richt; and it's no as if hooks and eyes wad dae - it man be buttons richt enough.
This time the buttons wull be a queer mixture, something like hotch-potch.  Did ye ever taste hotch-potch?  No likely, seeing ye come fra London or nearby, tho' London folk think they ken everything; but hotch-potch wud bate them; I don't suppose they could even ca' it by its richt name.
I mind a Londoner turned up his wee nose at brose.  Puir chap, had he only kent it, it micht hae made a man o' him, wha kens.


However, I'm aff my story; it wis wi' thinking o' the great variety o' buttons, a' the colours in the rainbow, jest like the carrots and turnips and leeks in the hotch-potch.  Hoo the very name mak's my teeth water, but simmer is coming and wi' that comes hotch-potch.
Noo let me see aboot the button affair.  There's a pearl yin, and there's yin like a sugar bool-that's twa.  Oh! haud yer tongue when I'm counting!  Eh?  Here's yin wull dae for the third; it's a blue silk button that cam' aff a braw silk dress o' mine lang, lang ago, but whaur its neebors are, dear only kens.
Oh, noo I'm in luck, for here's a fine lot amang a' the rubbish in this box.  I picket them aff an auld shirt o' John's before I bestowed it on an auld beggar man that cam' tae the door the ither day.  Of course, they are no quite the thing tae pit on Sunday claes, but they auld linen buttons are gie and dirty, sae they'll no be noticed; I'll shue them on his breeks.
I'm gaun tae tell him the nicht that this ploy maun stop, for I'll no shue another button on for him nor ony ither buddy, and he can find a wey tae keep his weskit and other garments on as he likes.  That'll settle him, I'm thinking.


The funny trick is that he'll no tell me hoo they cam' off, but jist gies a bit snigger and says naething.  If there's wan thing that I canna stand it's a snigger.  It's sae senseless and mean and mak's a buddy feel very disgustificated.  That lang word jest explains whit I mean, noo, dis it no?
Howsomever, I see further than he thinks, and I'm telling ye the next time the buttons are aff I'll fix them wi' a bit lemonade bottle wire, and he canna very weel haul that aff.  Now, is that no a clever idea?  It's only Tibbie's brain could imagine sic' a thing, but if ye'll gie me your solemn word o' honour, and I ken ye can haud yer tongue whan ye like, I'll tell ye whit I jalouse.


Ye ken, John has taen a terrible dislike-he says it is an aversion, but what that means I dinna ken; John aye likit lang-nebbit words-but it's naething else than a positive dislike tae the auld minister, dacent man that he is.  John says he's tired o' him.
Fancy being tired o' yer minister.  It's like being tired o' yer grocer when he gies ye ham that's able to walk its lane sel' withoot crutches, or eggs that are nearly tuck-tucking; but yer minister!!
John says there's naething in his sermons, but I think there's a guid lot whan it tak's near an hoor to preach it, and he drivels along.  So, what he wants is something quite different.  Grand music-no a wee, wheezy harmonium, wi' half o' the notes sae auld that they're past playing.  At ither times the wee organ winna stop playing when the verses are a' dune.  The minister may be stanin' up on his feet wi' his twa hands up and his een shut, ready to begin his pairt, but the wee bit musical boxie is still bumming awa', and has nae intention o' stopping till it pleases.
Wan day, when the wee thing wadna stop, twa chaps in the choir had tae carry it oot tae the front door, and that settled it.  I don't think it wull try that trick again.
That's only some o' the fauts John has tae the kirk, but he says the sates are hard; so I adveesed him tae tak' a pillow under his oxter, but tae mind and bring it back every time, for tho' it's a respectable kirk, I ken there's twa or three folk wadna be aboon taking ma' guid pillow away wi' them.  If they were caught, they wad jest ca' it a lapse o' memory; but I hae anither name for it.
Even the pillow business didna please him, so noo he is stravagin' every Sunday morning and nicht to different kirks.


The ither Sunday he asket me tae gang tae a gran' kirk wi' him; so, muckle against ma' will, I dressed masel in my best, and aff we started.  When we got there he wanted tae slip intil a sate near the back, but says I, "Na, na, we wud see naething;" so up I mairched and he followed tae the vera front sate jest beside a great big gold turkey wi' its wings spread oot as if it wis gaun tae flee-at least it lookit like gold.  It's no safe tae leave it there if it wis solid gold like a weddin' ring.  Look hoo ye aye keep it on yer finger, in case it's stolen.
I wis surprised when I walkit intae the kirk that there wis nae big basin at the door for the baw-bees.  We aye hae one at oor kirk door and twa o' the best-looking elders stanin' at the back tae watch that ye dinna tak' onything oot.
Mind ye, mony a queer thing has been puttin' in thae basins, I mind a lad o' mine stealing ma portrait oot o' ma locket.  He pop't it intae his vest pocket, when he thocht I wasna lookin', and on the Sunday morning, he pop't the pictur' intae the basin insteed o' a hapenny he had meant tae put in, and he only discovered his mistake when wan o' the elders ran efter him and tappit him on the back, and says he, "I think this belangs tae you, so tak' it wi' ye, for it'll no help tae pay the minister's wages."
Puir chap, he jest turned and walkit richt oot o' the kirk, and made for the Calton Hill, tae git a whiff o' fresh air frae Portobelly.


But here, I'm aff ma subject, whaur wis I?  It's John an' me at the gran' kirk.  Thinks I, efter I sits down, this is the kirk for me-nae collection-when jest at that meenit I sees a wee dapper gent handing a bonnie wee velvet bag alang among the folk for their money.  I had sic a job tae get ma penny oot, for it had got mixed up wi' pepperment losengers at the fit o' ma pocket.
Howsomever, I managed tae get a grip o' it at last, bit by that time the wee gent wis a guid bit awa'; bit I stood up and waggit on him tae come back, which he did, and when I had drappit in ma penny, he says, "Thank ye, mem," jest as if I'd been a duchess.
I had noticed afore that that John wis aye fummeling wi' a button, but I'm gey and smairt, and he didna ken I wis looking.  I sees him drap the button intae the wee bag.


I dinna care for the wee bag idea, but did ye ever hear o' the dodge the American folk hae wi' their collections.  They pass, so I'm told, a box alang, and if ye are rich enough tae pop in a shilling, the box is quite silent; but if onybody draps in a saxpence, the wee box rings a bell.  When some ither body pairts wi' a threepenny-bit, it blaws a whustle, but when it comes tae the honest penny, the wee beggar fires a gun, so whit wud happen when John's button draps, dear only kens, unless it wis an earthquake.
Noo ye maun keep this tae yersel', for ye ken John was aye mean aboot siller.
Weel, whit's yer news, eh?  Jest so, dae ye say so.  Tut, tut, just fancy that!  Weel, it's aboot time ye were takin' a ludger.  Noo that yer man is past wark, it's up tae you tae dae yer best tae keep the pat biling.  Didna ye promise whan ye marrit Geordie tae staun' by him in health and wealth and in poverty and riches and never tae forsake him?  Weel, if ye hinna gotten the wealth ye hae gotten the poverty; sae whit are ye grumblin' aboot?  It's a' the same a hunder' years efter this, and ye are aye a marrit woman, and that's something tae bounce aboot onyway.


I PROMISED tae tell ye aboot the tattie race.  Weel, one day I was sent wi' a basket tae git tatties for the denner aboot twelve o'clock when I come oot o' the skule.  Sae awa I gaed to get my basket nearly filled up and in coming back again doun the street, I was busy like a lassie swinging my basket roon my heid tae see if the tatties wud hand in; they wore doing fine and it had got into a real nice swing when an auld man wis comin' doon the street wi' a basket o' eggs in his hand, and bang my basket gied into him.


He fell in a heap, the eggs smashed, and my tatties and basket flees oot o' ma hand, and before you could say a single word, awa' ran my tatties, big yins and wee yins, as fast as they could.  Some of an inquiring mind crossed the street and stopped a grand carriage and pair of braw horses wi' an auld leddy inside, but maist of them made a bee-line for Granton.  I ran and ither folk ran, but the tatties ran faster.  I grabbed as mony as I could, and pit them in ma peeny, but it had a hole and the wee tatties were aye getting through, so I ran back for my basket, but it had taen a bit dander on its own, and I felt overcome wi' grief, so sat on the fit o' the stair tae see what wad happen next.
It wis in the shape o' my big brother, and says he, "Tibbie, whaur's the tatties?"
I showed him ma peeny and says, "That's a' I could catch.  They were ower wee tae run far.  The rest maun be near Granton, if they are no arrested on the road, but nae doot some will be sitting doon aboot Pitt Street, feeling they hae lost the race."
So there wis nae tatties that day for poor me, and it wisna my faut, it wis the auld man wi' his eggs got in ma road, and caused a' the trouble.  But I often wonder if the eggs belonged tae him, or if he wis oot a message like me.


Here's a chance, when they're a' oot.  It wis but richt that John should gang alang and see Tam Macfarlane's leg, noo that it is in workin' order, and the laddies said they wudna be late at the show, so I think I'll tak' the chance and gaun ben tae the parlour.  I hae sic a fancy tae try some o' ma auld sangs.  I used tae be a gran' singer and could play the piany as weel.
I wudna for the warld that the laddies wud hear me trying, so I maun gang noo.  I wonder whaur my cannel is and my stick.  Eh! but I'm stiff.
My certie, but the parlour is cauld.  Noo, whit could I sing?  There wis "The Auld Hoose," but I dinna mind the words, tho' I had them in ma mind the ither day.  "The Rowan Tree," another bonnie sang-hoo it pits me in mind o' the Rowan Tree at the fit o' ma grandfaither's gairden.  Puir auld man, mony a time I've seen him sittin' under it' wi' his Bible on his knee.


But I think ma favourite sang wis aye, "My Ain Wee Hoose."  There wis something aboot it that made everybody want tae help me wi' the chorus, as they loved to do lang ago.
But what is that soond?  Oh! it's only the wind amang the trees.  Noo I maun try my

=It's jest a wee bit placey,
==Jest a humble but an ben,
=But there's aye a kindly facey
==And mair comfort than ye ken,
=In ma ain wee hoose,
==In ma ain wee hoose,
=Oh, there's nae, nae place in a the warld,
==Like ma ain wee hoose.
====(Aye, that's true!)

=There's aye a kindly blessing
==And there's aye a table spread,
=For he who feeds the ravens
==Has aye me fed and cled,
=In ma ain wee hoose,
==In ma ain wee hoose,
=Oh, there's nae, nae place in a' the warld,
==Like ma ain wee hoose.

=It's jest a wee bit placey,
==But sae sacred unto me,
=I wudna change for grandeur,
==Oh, may I live and dee
=In ma ain wee hoose,
==In ma ain wee hoose,
=Oh, there's nae, nae place in a' the warld,
==Like ma ain wee hoose.
==Like ma ain wee hoose.
====(Whaur's ma hanky?)

There's that noise again.  I'm getting nervous, but it's jest the wind amang the trees.  Yet it soonds different this time; deed, its jest the laddies efter a'-whaur's ma licht?
Oh, is that you gotten hame?  Whet's that ye say?  What am I daein' in the parlour wi' a licht?  What wud I be daein' in the parlour, but lookin' oot the window tae see if you or yer grandfaither wis comin' hame?  Noo, come on ben tae the kitchen and get yer supper, for ye maun be rale hungry.  Ye can tell me a' aboot the show in the morning, for I'm feeling tired and weary, sae guid nicht, and God bless ye, ma bonnie laddies.


I WONDER if that's somebody chapping at ma door.  I'd better gang and see.  It'll maybe be a neebor.
Oh! it's you, Marget.  Eh! but I'm rale gled tae see ye.  What a stranger ye hae been.  Come awa' in near tae the fire and gie me a' yer news.
Noo, sit doun, but ye'd better tak aff yer cloak, ye'll feel the better o't when ye gang oot.  Ye are no looking awfu' weel; what's wrang?  Ye maun jest tell me a' aboot it, but first of a' ye maun hae a wee drap o' something tae cheer ye up.  Noo tak' it up, it winna dae ye ony harm, nor gang tae yer heid, for whisky noo-a-days is almost a teetotal beverage-it's nae taste.
Noo, Marget, yer face tells me ye are in sair trouble, so whet is it?  I suppose it's Johnnie thinking o' taking a wife.  Weel, that's naething tae vex yersel' aboot.  He passed oor window last nicht wi' his airm roon' a bonnie lassie's waist, and wis lookin' into her face as if he could eat her.  Ye ken the feelin' yersel', Marget, for when you were young and bonnie, maybe mair than one laddie did the same.
But if it's no that that's vexing ye, it's maybe yer sair leg.  If I was you, I'd gang alang and see the doctor the morn and he will sune pit it richt for ye.


Doctors are sae clever noo and ken a lot, no like the doctors o' lang ago.  I mind a man telling me when he wis young, the doctors were auld men and aye wore an auld velvet smoker on their heid, wi' a big tassel hangin' ower their nose, a big pair o' specs, and a snuffy hanky hauf wey oot o' their pocket.
And when ye gaed intae the room the doctor telt ye tae stand up, and he tied a bit string roond yer waist and says, "Put yer hand ower the pairt that gives pain"; and if ye pit yer hand above the string, it wis cough mixture, and if it was below the string, it wis castor ile, and if ye didna git better, it was yer ain faut, and he wisna tae blame.
But noo-a-days, Marget, things are quite different.  There's nae need tae tell the doctor yer no' weel; fegs, he kens a' aboot it in a meenit wi' yon wee trumpet, and he dumps ye here and he dumps ye there, till ye have nae strength nerve tae ask him if it is serious or is it catching.  But when he does tell ye some lang-nebbed ord, ye are as wise as when ye went in, but feeling ye have dune yer duty.


Jest look at the difference o' nurses.  I mind lang ago onything wad dae for a nurse, but it was usually an ould woman withoot a tooth in her heid and awfu' bad wi' rheumatics.  And if ye were lucky enough to get a poultice on when it was warm, no tae mention hot, ye were guy lucky, but it didna happen often.
The nurse noo-a-days is quite the opposite.  She is smairt and tidy and clean.  She is often quite plain in her ordinar' dress, but when she gets on her collar and cuffs, and yon white towel on her heid, she looks rale bonnie.  Nae wonder there's sae mony nurses, I think the dress is an attraction; but a' the same, I ca' them "angels o' mercy."
Noo, Marget, I wud strongly advise ye tae see the doctor the morn.  Wud ye like me tae gang wi' ye?


Bless ma hert, ye're no sleepin', Marget!  Here, wauken up, it's time ye were hame.  Ye have been here aboot an hour and a hauf.  Here's yer cloak, and hurry awa' hame.  Tak' care o' the step at the door and no' fa', for I think ye are no' richt wakin'.  I've enjoyed yer visit and a' yer news.  Come back very sune, and gie me the rest.
Of a' the auld, sleepy-heided wimmin, I ever met, I think she bates them a'.  Fancy her sleepin'!  Noo, I maun gang and mak' John's supper.  But he never taks much efter a Masonic meeting, sae I'll aff tae bed, for I'm tired.


Ye are wondering what I'm laughing aboot sae muckle, but wait or I tell ye, John, and I think it will at least amuse ye.
This forenoon Mrs M'Gubbin-ye ken wha I mean, her wi' the awfu' gab-weel she cam' this forenoon tae ask me tae gang tae the doctor wi' her, so I hurried up and aff we started, and while we were on the road she telt me some o' her complaints.  But as far as I could see what wis wrang wi' her wis just that she speaks far ower muckle and's aye quarrelling wi' her neebours.  I believe, John, in living in peace wi' my neebours, and yet no' tae let them tak' the lend o' ye, nor borrow ower mony things at a time-but I'm aff ma story.
Weel, we arrived at the doctor's hoose, and were pit into his room tae wait.  It's a nice room, and much cleaner since he got married.  I hear she is a very nice leddy; but a' the same, I wish he had ta'en the ither yin.  He's gotten a new carpet, but wis sorry tae see it wisna big enough tae cover the floor, for he had gotten a' roon' pented wi' kind o' broon varnish.  It wisna ma taste, but he had twa great big easy chairs wi' great big seats; they wore the biggest I ever saw.
So Mrs M'Gubbin and me sat doon on them, when the doctor walks in.  You should hae seen the wey we had tae get oot o' thae chairs!  I'm gey stiff, and it fair bate me tae rise in a nice way, sae the only wey wis tae row on tae the floor, and get up as best I could.
The doctor hauled Mrs M'Gubbin out, and then she began tae tell him a' her woes-she wis aye tired, and she couldna sleep, and some days didna feel inclined tae speak tae onybody, and she couldna eat, and her man wisna workin' for the last three days and wis jist in her road, and the next door neebour didna keep the stair clean, and another woman cut her rope on the back green when it was filled wi' claes, jist oot o' spite, no tae mention that the folk below her keepit sic late hoors, she didna think they were dacent folk, what did the doctor think?-and she wis sure her last sugar wis hauf sand, and she micht hae gane on like this for a week.
But the doctor pit up his hand and says-"My good woman, put out your tongue as far as you can, and keep it there till I tell ye' tae tak' it in again," and then he went tae his desk and wrote a letter, and juist tore it up; syne he began tae read a book, which I saw wis upside doon, and wis keepin' a watch on Mrs M'G. a' the time.  Then he goes tae his bookcase and looks for a book that he didna find, syne he poked the fire and heaved on a hale shovel o' coals -and them sae dear.
By that time, Mrs M'G.'s twa een were nearly oot o' her heid, and she wis pantin' and blawin' like an auld horse getting up a brae.  Puir woman, she couldna hae held on muckle langer.  Sae the doctor comes and he looks at her, wi' sic a serious face, and says, "That'll do now, Mrs M'Gubbin; it's had a fine rest.  There is nothing wrong with you, except an over-abundance of tongue."  Sae oot we cam', and we were a guid bit doun the street before she exploded.  I daurna let her see I wis aboot bursting, as that wud hae dune for her, but when she got a bit calm, she begged o' me no' tae mention her veesit tae the doctor, and hoo she had been insulted that day.
Of coorse, I'll no' mak' it common talk among the neebors, but I couldn't help telling the twa neebors next door, for they saw us stert.  There wis nae harm in that, John; ye are aye sae feared that folk will repeat a story, but nae fears, for I telt them it wis a great secret, and they'll no' tell onybody.


NOO, be awfu' carefu' aboot takin' the richt body intil yer hoose. I f ye tak' ma advice, ye'll no tak' a wumman, naither young nor auld.  The wan is as bad as the ither, and they're a' a pest.  The young yins hey aye gotten chaps comin' tae see them.  Of course they are a' kisns; as I said tae a leddy ludger, "Ye hae an awfu' lot o' relatives, and it seems tae me they are a' of the male gander."
Wi' that she flees up and goes for me for a' she wis worth.  "Ye'll no ca' my relations ony thing o' the sort; there's no a gander among them."  An it took me mair nor an hoor tae calm the lassie doon.  At that time I didna' ken her faither wis a farmer, and keepit coos an' cocks an' hens, and that accounted for her flare up.  A gander wis evidently no a credit, but I telt her it wis only a bit joke o' auld Tibbie's.
This same lass seemed tae hae an extra lot o' kisns, to judge by the boxes o' chocolates and flooers that arrived for the wee jade, but I got tired o' her stanin' every nicht at ma' door, wi' a chap.  Whether it wis a kisn or no I didna' ken nor care, but it mak's the hoose cauld, and besides, I like ma door lockit as ten o'clock is chappin'.
Wan nicht I found her chattin' oot o' her window to a chappie efter twelve o'clock at nicht.  A fine moonlicht nicht it wis.  It jest happened that I wis feelin' a bit cauld in ma bed.  Thinks I, the fire canna be oot yet, so I'll pit on wee Jenny, and it'll bile in a jiffey; then I can got a drap o' something hot-I'll no' say what, and ye can suspec' what ye like, but ye're wrang as usual.


Weel, jest as I wis sitting waiting for Jenny tae sing I thocht there wis somebody speaking, so I pops up the wee curtain, and there's a boy throwing kisses up till the lass, and nae doot saying nice things, little thinking that I wis on the watch.
Weel, says I tae mysel', we can cure this wee game; so I slips awa' up tae ma attic-the window is jest aboon whaur the gent wis stanin'.
I had ta'en a pail o' water that I'd washed the lobby wi' the day afore, and, as it wis a fine soapy saple, I had left it for the kitchen flure in the morning.  The joke wis that I'd left the washing clout in the water, but, merciful gudeness, I had ta'en the scrubbing brush oot.
So, as I wis telling ye, I had slippit up the stairs, bare feet and a'-I had clean forgotten I wis cauld in ma hurry-and quietly opened the window.
By this time ma braw lad wis stanin' looking up at the lass, wi' his bonnie wee moo' wide open and waiting tae catch the next sweetie that she heaved at him, and this wis the ploy that made her skirl and laugh when he missed yin.
So I jest watched my chance, and jest as he opened his mooth extra wide-he wis evidently expecting the hale box this time-I let fly ma' pail o' water, clout and a'.
I jest waited tae see whit wud happen next, and hoo ma bonnie wee doo wud like it, but I couldna see his face at a'; it was a' washing clout, and he was stamping aboot like the "turkey trot hop," or such like dance as that.  Thae new dances are horrible; gie me the auld "polka."
Weel, wud you believe me, next morning I discovered the soap had been in the water and I've looked ootside, but it's no tae be seen.  I wonder if the wee chap swallowed it for a sweetie.  Like as no.


In the morning I walks in wi' the little leddy's breakfast.  She bursts oot and lauchs like tae kill hersel', and says I, "Pack up this meenit and oot ye go, for sic cantrips I'll no hae in ma hoose.  Dae ye ken, I hae gotten siccan a cauld wi' being oot o' ma bed last nicht, and ma wee Jenny kettle is burnt through and through, so I had jest tae get intae ma bed and I fair shivered till the morning."
An' what dae ye' think she says, "Oh, don't worry, old dear, if it's the bit soap that ye hae lost, I'll buy ye' a bit mair."  Such doonricht impidence.
Of coorse, she begins tae greet, and said it wud never happen again; but, says I, "No, no; when wance I say go ye gang, and quick aboot it."  She said I wis a hard-hearted woman, but I jest telt her tae "hurry up; maybe some o' yer dearies micht be waiting for ye roon' the corner."  So oot she gaed, and that wis the last I saw o' her and her relations.
And mind, ye a' through this escapade John sleepit the sleep o' the just.  Aweel, he wudna hae been ony help tae me in this game.  O, dear, when I think o' that puir fellow standing looking sae happy, and then bang gaes a saxpence.  Oh, dear me!


So be carefu' wha ye let intae yer hoose.  I certainly wudna advise ony o', the auld wummen, for they are apt tae tak' jist a wee drap mair than they can stand, and that's no kirn milk nor yet lemonade.  I can sune tell whan I gang in wi' their breakfast in the morning.
Oh, no; it's no' the smell o't; it's the funny look the room has.  I found wan leddy buddy that I had let ma room tae for a fornicht had her 'brella and her big coat in the bed weel happit up!  And she was in the big easy chair ma granny left me alang wi' some auld rubbish, fenders and so on.  It's yin wi' lugs at the side, and awfu' comfy for a wee snooze, but I grudged it sair tae her.  She was jist as fu' as a lord, and I never hurt ony person's character, but it is quite true.
After a wee she comes tae her senses and looks at me and gi'es a bit wink and says, "I had bad news last nicht and I couldna sleep."  She thought it had upset her equelebrations (or a big word like that), and as her wee bottle wis needed tae get parrifin ile she jest scooped up the wee tate-that's a rale Glesca' word an' no mistake; ye never heard it in this toun, I'm certain.  The wee tate of whusky had been in it for aboot twa years, or maybe mair, but it must hae gaen bad wi' the keepin', so it hadna agreed wi' her, so she said!


"But," says I, "What aboot the 'brella in the bed?" and I pints tae the bed.  "Whet's it dae'n in alow the blankets?  Did it get a wee drap as weel?  I can see the crook o' the handle keiking oot, and yer auld coat's keeping it company."
"Noo, dinna mak' apologetics, for ye certainly werna jest quite sober; in fact, even yet I doot if ye cud walk along that straucht line o' the carpet without stotting tae the side, but whaun ye get some breakfast yeel obleege me by removing yer 'brella and coat oot o' the bed and packing up a' yer clamjamfrey and making yer exit as fast as yer auld legs wull carry ye.  Oh, aye, ye'll hae tae pey the hale fortnicht tho' ye hev been only here for three nicht's.  Weel, seeing yer gey and hard up, I'll let ye aff wi' a week's rent."  "Thank ye, no, I'll no tell onybody."
Wis I no gled tae see the back seam o' her stocking doon the stair?  and then I sits doon and hed a guid hearty lauch tae mysel'; the memory o' the 'brella wis too much for me.  Puir buddy, she'll be the better o' a bed tae hersel'.
Noo, Janet, tho' it's a wee bit fashious at the time, ye see a queer lot o' life.  However, ma' solemn advice to you is, "Beware of wummen lodgers."  Of course, I'll no say they are ony worse than men, and I've had queer yins, but at the present time I'm gey weel aff wi' Mr Devally.  He is a gentleman richt thro' and peys weel, so that's a' that's wanted.
Jest you gang awa' hame and pit a notice in yer windy, and be sure yer windy is clean, wi' a nice white curtain, and if ye have a geranam tae pit in the windy, pit the flooers lookin' tae the ootside.  It's a guid adverteesment, and, mind ye, ha'e yer ain face clean.  A' thae things help.  I hope Geordie wull sune be better, and guid luck tae ye.  Guidnicht.


I'm no shure that ma' advice wull dae her ony guid, for she is positeevly the maist untidy wumman that I ken.  If she had ony pride in hersel', wad wash her face and keep her bannet on straucht, she widna be sic a miserable-looking wench.  She seems tae ha'e an awfu' job tae keep her hair richt, but I think it's a wig.  Weel, wha kens and wha cares, but it tak's a bonnie face tae wear a wig.  The hale secret aboot a wig is tae get it the richt colour, but as a rule the wummen get a fine golden wig instead o' a dank yin same as the colour o' their ain hair, and as sure as onything a man that wis born wi' a red head gets a fine black wig, shinin' as if it hed been polished wi' blackleed.  It's queer, but it's true.  Oh, deary me, bit I'm tired.  Time I was ha'ein' a rest.


ARE ye ready John?  Come on then, for yer tea is poored out, and ye dinna like it if it's cauld.
Deary me, whit are ye fummelin' aboot in that corner and yer tea waitin' ye.  Come on, for I'm jest gaun tae lift the Finnan haddies, aye but thae are fine haddies this time.


Haud yer plate close tae the pan, so as ye'll no lose ony o' the gravy.  They're fine and juicy.  Ever since Meg telt me tae keep a lid ower them, whaun they were on the fire, and no let baith the taste and the smell gang up the lum, and naebody gets ony benefit, the haddies ha'e been as nice again.


There's a nice bit o' buttered toast-oh, no! ye better jest tak' a bit o' plain breed, wi' yer haddie, fur buttered toast wad be twa kitchens, and fair wastray.  Na, na.  Here's anither moothfu' o' tea, John.  Oh, ye're no ready.  Whet's that ye say?  There's a horrid lot o' banes in fish!  Weel, it wudna be fish if it hadna banes, ye gowk.  They mak' fine picking, even tho' ye swallowed yin, it wudna kill ye.  What's up noo, John?  Ha'e ye got yin in yer throat already, jest gie a guid cough, and a drap o' tea sune sets it ower.  Noo, yer a' richt, ye maun jest ha'e anither bit.  I dinna think this has a single bane in it, only a bit o' skin, and ye can heave that at the back o' the fire.


Weel, John, I dinna ken whet you think, but I have enjoyed ma' tea.  I think there's no onything in a' the warld like a guid cup o' tea, no ower lang maskit, but jest lang enough tae bring oot a' the flavour.  If ye're tired efter a day's washing a cup o' tea refreshes ye, and if ye come in cauld, it warms ye, and if ye are feeling ower hot, losh, it cools ye, and if ye hae been rale annoyed wi' some middling buddy, it calms ye doon, even if ye canna sleep when it has chappit twa o'clock in the morning, get oot o' yer bed and mak' yersel' a wee taste o' tea, and intae yer bedy-baw again, and hoots, man, ye are soon asleep afore the knock has time tae chap again.  Oh, but I hae telt ye this story mony's the time afore.  Aweel, I'll better start and wash up the dishes; mony's the time I wish they cud wash themsel's.  Hooever, here goes-but I maun tell ye hoo I spent the efternoon, seeing it is ma' birthday.


Eh, John, man, but thae birthdays hae a nasty trick o' comin' awfu' quick roon'.  When I wis a wean, lang syne ago, I thocht every buddy hed a birthday but puir me, noo I think different.
I mind ma mither, God bless her, aye made a pudden wi' currants in it, on ony o' the weans' birthdays, and that wean had the honour o' sitting at the tap end o' the table and dividing the pudden.  I mind the funny wey it wis cut intae bits, and as certain as onything the first yin got a great big daud, and anither wean only got a wee bit, big enough tae accommodate three wee wee currants, and lang afore the rest o' the family wis served, the pudden wis a thing o' the past, and the wean that divided the pudden had nane left, then as usual the howling begood, and mither had tae console the disappointed wean wi' a promise o' an orange, and maybe a veesit tae the circus.
Well, I didna hae a pudden the day fur oor denner, as I was feart it michtna agree wi' you, no tae speak o' masel'.  I mind the last yin I made, me and you werna weel for days and days, so says I tae masel', nae pudden.  Noo wis I no quite richt; but if ye leeve tae Christmas Day I'll maybe mak' ye a nice plum pudden.  Mind, I'm no promising, for I micht change ma mind, twa, or even three times afore that; howsomever, it's worth leevin' for, on the chance, and mind, you stand the castor ile in case we need it.
Weel, I maun tell ye hoo I spent my birthday.  I jest took a hurl in the caur, the tram car-yes, I mean the tram caur! and fine ye ken I meent it, for it'll be a jolly lang time till ye can afford me a motor caur, ye cudna afford a hand-barry, faur less a caur.  "Barrys."  Speaking o' barrys, pits me in mind o' the time ma big brither gied me a hurl roon' oor gairden, in ma faither's barry.  It wisna ower clean, ye can guess that, but I turned up ma skirt roon' ma waist, and sits doon, wi' ma legs hingin', wan on each side o' the wheel.  Afore we started, says I tae him, "Noo yer no tae coup me, and gang quick past the ashpit, for it has a cruel smell."  So says he, "A' richt Tibbie."  "Well, awa' we goes, roon' and roon' the gairden.  I wis enjoying it fine, but every time I cam' near tae the smelly place I held on a' ma micht, for fine I kent his tricks, so of coorse he tried his best, but he couldna coup me, so on he goes, and jist as we were passing the tattie patch, if he didna coup barry and me clean intae the middle o' the tattie shaws.  I got up as fast as I could, and efter him; didn't I pummel him; my certie, he got "what for."  Ma faither had seen the ploy and wis lauching fit tae burst, but ma mither didna lauch whaun I gaed intae the hoose.  Ma frock wis torn frae the waist doun, and a bit o' it fleeing ahint me like a flag, no tae speak o' the awful state o' dint I wis in.  I mind ma faither says, "Here, guidwife, they're only kids, let them enjoy themsel's while they're young, the young maun hae their pranks, same as we had in oor young days."
Hoo thae auld scenes come tae ma mind.  They're only a remembrance.  Deed, I often see them like pictur's afore me, the fireside whaur we a' sat, faither and mither on each side o' the fire, and us weans running aboot the room.  Ma mither wis aye knittin' or sewing, likely patching some o' oor claes.  Even I can see the wee pussy, it had aye the best sate at the fire, jist in front.  Ma faither wud be reading the papers, and noo and again, he wud stop reading, and look ower his paper and say, "Less noise, weans."  Then we wud be quiet for a wee whiley, then, one more cheeky than the rest wud start the rumpus again.  By this time ma faither had got intae a most interestin' bit o' his paper, and the noise wis main than he cud stand, so he cries oot in a terrible voice, "Here, the wean that started the noise again, maun gang and stand in that corner till I tell him tae come oot!"  On one occasion I mind it wis me, so in I had tae gang tae the corner, and jist at that very meenit, a ring comes tae the door and as bad luck wad be, ma faither and mither baith gaed tae the door, and wad you believe it, they stood gossipin' wi' somebody at the door for mair nor an hoor, forgettin' they had left "wee Tibbie" in the corner, I wadna like tae say hoo aften I bolted roon' the room, and in alow the table, and ower the tap o' it as weel, wi' the rest o' them, but as guid luck wad hae it, I wis in ma corner looking quite sad whaun they cam' intae the room and telt me tae come on and get ma parritch and be a good girl!
Whit wis I speaking aboot, John?  I forget, that's the warst o' haeing a birthday, things came back tae yer mind frae the very day ye were born and I ken this, the middle o' Mairch is a guy cauld time tae arrive in this world.  Oh, aye, you're a' richt, June's no cauld, at least it shuldna be, if it's a dacent summer.  Whether or no, it wis Mairch, the very middle, noo cud it be ony nearer the middle, than the 16th o' Mairch.  Well this is it, of coorse you dinna mind onybuddy's birthday, not you, s'pose you thocht I wis born at the back end o' the year; for a' you care, I michtna hae been born at a', and then ye wad hae been a puir auld bachelor man, and naebody tae tak' care o' ye, so ye are well off, tho' ye never say sae.


Deary me, keep yer dirty buits aff the fender, jist look at the glaur aff yer buits.  I've telt ye afore aboot it, ma clean fender and newly washed fireside.  There's nae keepin' it clean when you come in.  If ye wad only dae as I've telt ye fifty times, aye and mair nor fifty times, maybe a hunder times, jist tae tak aff yer buits whan ye come in and pit on thae nice carpet slippers that I bocht for ye years ago for yer birthday, and you have never pit them on wance.  Awa' ye go and get them, and I'll clean up the fireside and the fender.  Ye're no awa' yet?  Weel, I'll gang for them masel', as I ken they're in the below drawer, aside yer best shirts and they are in the same broon paper as ye got them in.
No, I'll no stop.  I'm aff tae get them.  Dinna sit there scartin' yer heid but get aff yer dirty buits while I'm awa'.
Weel, here's the parcel richt enough, but it feels awfu' heavy.  Whit's in it, ava?  Oh, losh preserve me, what's this?  A brick! in the vera same broon paper and tied up wi' the same string.


Come here, you villain, what hey you dune wi' the carpet slippers? whaur are they? tell me that this meenit.
Ye hevna popped them at "yer Uncle's," for ye were never short o' money; a' yer life, you've been saving and saving, and we hae money in the bank.  Oh, deary me, whaur's the slippers?  Tell me that, ye scoondrel that ye are.  What! ye gied them awa'.
Wha did ye gie them tae, may I ask?
_Geordie_! did ye say, Geordie? that wastrel; weel, weel, ye had little tae dae, and me bocht them wi' oor hard savings, and they cost me, 2s. 11.5d.  Ma certie, Geordie gets the next birthday present I gie ye, and that wull be a while tae  wait; so now, ye can jist sit in yer stockin' soles, so there.  There wis wan thing I wis able to mak ye dae, and that wis tae keep on yer coat in the hoose.
I mind ye used tae tak aff yer coat and heave it doon whaun ye cam in, and sit in yer shirt sleeves, but that I cudna thole, it wis sae like a common working man, so I cured ye o' the coat business; but Geordie got yer slippers, it bates a'!
"Are ye listening, John; whaur are ye?"


What in this wide warld are ye aboot in that corner.  Is it a parcel ye are fummeling wi'?  What is't?  What!  A birthday present for me.  What can it be, I wunner?
There's an awfu' lot o' paper aboot it and it's in a box, wi ma' name on it.  Oh, my! "frae John tae Tibbie," that's like days o' lang ago; oh, aye, I'll open it noo.
"Oh, John! a bag," and sic a graund affair, a' beads, noo is that no bonnie?  I never in a' my life saw onything sae lovely.  Jist look at the beads, red yins, and blue yins, and look at the wee yellow yins doon there, mind ye, it's jist the maist beautifullest bag I even clapped ma een on.  Ye maun hae spent an awfu' lot o' money on that bag.  Here, John, ye didna gang and pawn yer carpet slippers, and tak' the money tae buy me a bag, and then say ye gied the slippers tae Geordie?
Oh, that's a' richt, for if ye had done that, the hale pleesure wad hae been lost.
Aye, I'll look inside the noo, but I canna get my een aff thae bonnie wee yellow beads, they're like wee canaries cuddlin' doon in the corner a' by themsel's.


Weel, I wunner whet like the inside is.  Oh! michty me! white silk lining, and wee pockets at baith sides.  Whit's this wee silver thing?  A wee lookin' gless, in a silver frame, and here's something in the ither pocket, whit is't?  A white fluffy thing, wi' a nate wee nob tae tak haud o' it, so as ye'll no crush the fluff, but it bates me tae ken what it's for.  And here's a wee silver boxy aside it wi' white pouther stuff, like flooer for baking scones, but that wee tate wudna bake half a scone.  And wha cud bake wi' a graund bag like that in ma haund.  What!  Ye askit the wumman ye bocht it frae what the puffy thing wis for, and she said what! tae puff the white stuff on my face tae mak it young and bonnie.  The cheek o' the bism, whatever wud she think o' ye buying a lot o' rubbish like that, and sic an insult.  Here, I'm no for the bag.  If I'm no as bonnie as ye said I wis when ye marrit me, it's no ma faut, ye should jist tak' a bit look in the gless, and see if ye are as guid lookin' as ye were whaun ye cam courtin' me.  Ye mind the three wee raps ye made on the back door, so that I kent it wis you?  Weel, I dinna think ye hae improved; howsomever, it's ma birthday, and I winna say ony thing the least unkind.  No me, only I'll say this, "unless ye tak' that fluffy rubbish, and the wee box oot o' the bag and heave them on the back o' the fine (dinna middle the lookin'-gless, it's fine whaur it is), ye can tak' the bag (tho' it's awfu' bonnie, and I dinna like tae pairt wi' the wee canaries in the corner, the dear wee cushie doos) back tae the shop and get yer money back, and ca' in at Mrs Morrison's shop and bring me a frying pan, and a wee pan tae bile eggs in, the yin we hae is aboot dune, that is if there's enough money left, and tell the person in the bag shop what I think o' her.  Noo, which are ye gaun tae dae?
Bless me!  The lum's on fire.  Oh, of coorse blame me as usual.  I never did tell ye tae heave them on the fire whaun the fire wis sae big, ye micht hae waited till it wis near oot; howsomever, I've rescued the wee silver boxy, and a bit polish will mak' it quite like new again.  I'll keep it on the mantel shelf and that will mak' a fine boxy tae keep yer pills in.
Weel, that settles the bag, a' the same it nearly set the lum on fire.
It's a lovely bag a' the same, and will look fine whaun I gang tae the kirk.
This wee pocket at the side will haud some peppermint draps, naething like a "Pep" tae keep ye frae sleepin', and I'll jist keep the wee lookin' gless in the ither pocket.  It'll be rale handy in the kirk if I think ma bonnet is no straught on, I can jist open the bag and pretend I'm looking for my hanky, and gie a bit keek at the same time, so it will be handy for that and naebody will be ony wiser.  I think I'll lay it on the book board, instead o' keepin' it on ma' lap, then it will be better seen.
I wunner what Mrs Broon and Mrs M'Cleery will think when they see it.  My word, won't they glower at it, but I'll never say a cheep, no me.


I'll awa' alang and see Jennie Mitchell, her that we ca' the "queen," and let her see ma bag.
She enjoys tae see everything.  It's a peety she's sic an invalid, but she sets everybody an example by her patience in a' her trouble.  She is aye cheery and bright, and always a smile o' welcome whaun ye gang tae see her.
She is aye busy.  Ye should see the lovely lace she mak's, it tak's up her time.  Then she is a great reader and very clever, she can gammar in a lot o' ither langwiges, German, bad cess to it, and French, and lots mair besides.
It vexes me tae see her aye sitting on the sofy.  She has a fine view frae her windy, seeing she leeves on the attic.
I think if she hadna let herself grow sae big, she wad hae been faur stronger.  I'm certain she is faur taller than you, John.  I daursay she is six or seven feet high.  She's a' gaun tae length, a fair case o' north and south, nae east and west in her case.  Aye, I'm certain, she will be six feet at least-What's that ye say?  She cudna hae six feet, nae wumman ever had six feet, nor man, nather.  She cudna walk in sae mony, for they micht want tae gang different roads.  I never said she had onything o' the kind, but I meant six feet high, and ye're jist an aggravatin' beggar that ye are.  Whaun she wis strong and well; she must hae been a handsome lass, and when she gets strong again, will look as weel as ever, and I'm gled, for she deserves it.
Weel, I ken she'll like ma bag, indeed I'm perfectly certain she never saw wan like it.  I'll jist hae anither keek inside.  Now, I'll row it in the white paper and pit it in its box.  Dae ye think it'll be quite safe withoot the string?  I'll cairry it under ma cloak, so that naebody has ony chance o' seeing it.  Time enough for them, whan I gang tae the kirk, wi' it ower ma airm.  I'll need tae watch the strap disna gie wey, then I micht lose it.  Think I'll cairry it in ma airm.  What dae ye think, John?  What dae ye say?  Ony way does, but you are a queer man.  It wis you that bocht me the bag, and I canna tell ye hoo prood I am.  Weel, I'm aff.
What's that ye are saying?  I didna tell ye hoo I enjoyed my tram caur hurl.  Weel, that can keep till the morn's nicht, for as like as no, ye'll be soon' sleepin' by the time I come in.  If ye feel like it, jest gang tae yer bed.  Whet's that I see at the end o' yer sock? it's never wee Johnnie looking out.  Deary me, thae sox are almost new, and there's a hole in them already.  What? ye cudna get yer feet in unless there wis a hole at the end.  But it's no that end I'm lookin' at, it's yer big tae hauf wey oot.  It's too terrible.  On second thoughts, I'll no gang oot the nicht, as I'm feeling tired.  Maybe the effects o' the east wind, and ma birthday combined, wha kens, but jist tae celebrate the important event, you and me will jist hae a drap o' the auld kirk, at the side o' the fire.  You get oot the tumblers, and I'll get oot the strong stuff, and here's twa three biscuits.  Is the kettle biling? well, that's a' richt.  Noo, jist a wee drap tae me, John, and no muckle tae yersel, and mony mair may we see, and live content wi' a' oor freen's and neebors, but mind ye, you and me is getting on.  It's a lang time since we were wed.  Hoo mony year will it be, John?  Eh, hoo mony?
Bless me, the beggar's sleepin'!  Here, wake up, John, that wee drap hasna gaun tae yer noddle.  Wake up, and aff tae yer bed.  I'll jist tidy up, and leave a' thing richt for the morning.  No, John, I'll no be lang in comin' but I maun just tak' anither keek at the wee canaries.  Noo, I'm aff.  Guid nicht, wee birdies.



ARE ye in, Mrs Macraw?  Thenk ye, I'll jest come in for a wee.
I thocht ye wud like tae hear aboot Mrs Peterson's pairty last nicht.  It wis a graund affair as usual.  Oh, aye, I've been at lots o' them.  Ye mind Mrs Peterson at the skule, she wis Jessie Hunter, but she aye got Jess.  She wis a fine lass, guid looking, and a favourite wi' everybody.
There was nane could say an ill word o' her.  Mony a time she took the blame on hersel' tae save some ither lassie.  Her and me were great freen's, 'deed we said we were bosom companions, for we were aye thegether.
Ye dinna mind o' her?  I canna understand that, but maybe ye hed left the skule afore she cam', for she is younger than me, and as faur as I can mind ye are a bit aulder, but no muckle, maybe a year or so, so that's the reason ye dinna ken Jess.


She met Mr Peterson at a picnic.  Picnics are responsible for a lot in this warld, sometimes a success, but ither times no quite; hooever in this case, it has been a supreme success, that jest explains it.  I heard the meenister in yin o' his sermons say something or ither wis a supreme success and I thocht it soonded fine, so on this occasion it seems tae fit the place, and their life has been a real happy yin; but ony man or wumman could be happy wi' Jess, and her man is a gey lucky man tae get her.


We hae aye keepit guid freen's, tho' she is a big swell, as her man has been clever and honest in his business and ye canna say that o' a' the wealthy men, some o' them hae been clever, nae doobt, but we canna vouch for some o' their honesty, and that's true.
I'm still o' the working cless, as John could never rise any further up than a workin' man, tho' mind ye, I wudna gie John for ony ither man I ever met.  John is John tae me.  Of coorse I ken he has his fauts, but wha hasna, nane o' us are perfect or we wudna be here.


Weel, I wis tolling ye about Jess and here I gaed and left her and havered awa' aboot John, that's me a' the warld ower.
Well, the grand pairty wis last nicht.  What's that ye say?  When did we get the invite?  We got it aboot three weeks ago, but you wis awa on a veesit tae yer mother-in-law at the time, nae doobt haeing a richt jolly holiday at her hoose.  Eh, what's that ye say?  I didna catch it that time.  Ye're no gaun back?  What for?  Wis she no nice tae ye?  Some mother-in-laws are very nice I hear, but I never had yin, so canna say onything aboot them.  Whet wis I dressed in, and had I a cab?  I canna answer mair than wan question at a time.  Weel, I wis dressed in ma black silk that I got frae ma sister Dollie when she and her man wis here frae foreen pairts.  It's a nice dress, but I had the sleeves made doon tae ma haun's and got a bit white frilling put on, then I got it a' filled up wi' black lace tae ma neck.  Dollie insisted on haeing it open aboot a quarter doon tae ma waist, but I didna like it, for wan thing it wisna modest and for anither thing it wis cauld, so I got it sorted and it's mair like me.


I cudna walk, faur less dance, wi' the slippers she bocht me tae match ma frock, the heels were that high, jist like pirns o' threed, and ma taes went ower faur forrit and squashed out o' shape.  I very nearly fell a' ma length on several occasions, so I wis at the expense tae buy masel' a nice new pair o' black slippers and nae heels, but I got big shiny buckles on the front and they are quite braw.
Mind ye, John is rale kind and mindfu'.  What dae ye think he did?  He went and bocht me a white rose tied roon' wi' silver paper at the stalk.  This wis tae preen in ma frock.  It wis bonnie, but I wish it had been red, mair like ma age, but I didna say that tae John as it wad vex him.  I only said, "Thank ye, John, but did ye no buy one for yersel' tae match mine," but he only gied a bit lauch and gaed oot o' the kitchen.
Weel, at last we got ready.  I warned John tae pit plenty hair ile on his heid, and gie his haun's a guid scrub.  So when we were ready and we walkit oot tae the cab, I can tell ye we lookit weel, and I ken the neibours were watching tae see us come oot.


It wis an awfu' nicht o' rain, and sae dark that sometimes we didna ken whaur we wore, and it's a lang drive tae whaur Jess bides.
The hale row o' hooses are a' the same, jist like bars o' soap up on the kitchen shelf, and big gairdens in front.  We telt the cabby the address a' richt, Number 26, but it happened that there wis a pairty at Number 6, so quite natural he thocht it wis a' richt, and that the 2 wis washed off wi' the rain, so he stops at Number 6 and oot we gets and walks up ahint some ither grand dressed folk.  There wis a man cam oot wi' a big 'brella and held it ower ma heid, and as I had my goloshes on and ma skirt up roon' my waist, I got in quite dry.
Inside a lass meets me, and says she, "Ladies' dressing room upstairs."  So up I goes, but I cried tae John, "Jist you wait at the fit o' the stair till I come doon, I'll no be a jiffy.
When I gets up tae the bedroom, there wis three leddys-very stylish, I wud say, takin' aff graund cloaks, and then at the looking-gless dabbing something on their face, a' ower, with a bit white fluffy thing, I dinna what it wis.  I didna ken ony o' them, and they didna ken me, but efter they left the room, I took a bit look at the braw claes on the bed.  The room seemed different frae the last time I wis there, even the paper on the wa' wis a different colour; however, efter I sorted masel', and hid ma goloshes under the bed, up at the tap end, for gollies sometimes got mixed up wi' ither gollies, I awa doon.


John wis waitin, as I telt him, sittin' on the bottom step.  Afore the lass showed us intae the room, she asks for "oor caird," "Caird," says I, "dae ye mean a ticket, I didna ken this wis a soiree."  "Oh no," she says smiling, "I jist want yer names."  "Bless me," says I, "dae ye no ken John and Tibbie, me that kent yer mistress whaun she wis a lassie at the skule, and we were such chums," but by that time there wis sic a crood ahint that afore ye cud whistle, we were fair plumped intae the room, wi' a soond o' a giggle frae the bit lassie.  "John and Tibbie," and the crood ahint followed wi' their names, but whit wis ma surprise, no a sicht o' Jess or her man could I get.  I lookit roon' and roon' the room, but Jess wisna there, jist a lot o' young gigglin' folk.


By this time a leddy and gent (the leddy wis awfu' braw, and awfu' bonnie, golden hair, and lots o' graund things on her) were speakin' tae John.
I couldna think whaur i wis, or whet wis up, till John takes me by the airm, and says, "Tibbie, ma wumman, we're in the wrang hoose, this is no oor pairty.  Wait or I catch that cabby, he'll get what for," and at that very moment my nice white rose that John had bocht for me, fell on the flure at ma feet, and went intae bits, and the folk tramped on it.  I telt them tae haud aff, till I pickit it up, as John had gien me it, and it cost sixpence, but they never listened tae me.  I felt like greetin', but John says, "Never heed, Tibbie, I'll buy ye anither yin the morn," so that bucked me up a bit.


I dinna ken yet hoo wee got oot o' that room, but I wisna lang in rinning up that stair, and on my things and doon again, and oot the door wi' John.
We had tae walk, as oor cab wud be nearby hame by that time.
We were aboot three doors alang the road, when I minded aboot my goloshes, so I ran back, and at the door I sees whut I took tae be a waiter chap, so says I, "Here whiskers, run up tae the bedroom for my gollies.  They're under the bed, up at the tap end, and be quick aboot it, for ye are younger, and mair souple than me," but a' he says wis, "Madam, I'm not a waithah, you hinsult me."  So up I had tae gang masel, puffin' and blawing, and haul oot my gollies and pit them on, and doon that stair as fast as ma auld logs could cairry me.


John and me felt awfu' like makin' for hame, but as I said, "Jess will miss me, if I'm no at her pairty, so come on."  We arrived a wee bit late, and telt Jess and her man the mistake we had made.  Jess sat doon and roared and lauched, and when the rest o' the folk heard, they lauched as weel.
We hed a rare jolly nicht.  I wis up at a lot o' the dances, as Jess said, "Nae new fashioned dances in her hoose, them that couldna dance polkas, and galops, and country dances, needna come."
John wis dancing nearly a' the nicht, and so wis I.  Everbody wis sae happy.  Nae asking fur yer caird at Jess' hoose, jist a richt guid welcome, and "I'm gled tae see ye," frae everybody.
We got a fine cup o' tea, rare and hot, whaun we went in, jist tae warm us up, but the supper later on wis a supper, and no mistake aboot it.  There wis baith meat and drink, galore, and yet naebody got foo, quite sober a' the time.
Whit fun we got, every kind o' game, even the "American post, blind man's buff and the auld game o' forfeets."  Ma forfeet wis a horrid yin, tae hap roon' the room three times, and say, "What dae ye think o' me hap happing," but it fair bate me, so I wis let aff.
We danced the "Haymakers" at the end, of coorse, and sic a noise.  Think every body tried tae roar loodest, and the slaps on the back sometimes werna very saft, then we a' sang "Auld Lang Syne," and jist wan verse o' "Happy tae Meet, and Sorry tae Pairt," a great song o' Jessie's.  Then oor cab arrived and we were hauf asleep a' the wey.


We were gled tae get hame, but mind ye we had a happy nicht, and it wis worth being tired for, the fun we got.  It wis rare.
Before going tae bed, we took a dose o' something, jist in case some o' the queer things we got at the supper didna feel quite comfortable in their new abode, but as faur as has gane, they henna bothered us.
John's like me this mornin', gey and stiff.  He says his back is a bit sair, bit it'll sune be better.  Wasn't it a peety aboot my white rose John bocht for me, bit I keepit the stalk wi' the silver paper.  I rowed it in a thin bit paper whaun I got hame, and lockit it up in ma drawer beside some wee odds and ends that naebody ever sees but masel'.
Noo I maun awa' my messages, and hurry hame.  I tell ye I'll no be late oot o' ma bed the nicht, and nather wull John, sae guid nicht.  Come alang and see me some nicht sune.  By, bye.