Rough Scan
~II~
 
THE young ladies has had one of thae telephone machines putten into the house. Miss Jean said it would be handy for sendin' for cabs on a wet day, the cabstand bein' round the corner, and no' visible to the naked eye. They've set it up on the lobby-table. Mind you, yon's a queer thing! I doubt it's no canny. There's naebody can hear but the person with the trumpet to their ear, an' us! It's funny to hear Miss Jean parly-vooin' away, and naebody speakin' back. But you can aye guess the subjeck of the conversation easy. It's for sending messages private-like. I got an awfu' fright the first time I had to answer the bell. The young ladies were out at an efternoon-tea, and Christina and Merran were at the top of the house, when, lo and behold, there came a fearfu' jowl! I was petrifeed at first, and didna ken which way to run; and then I was for fleein' to get Kirsty, but they wouldna give me time. So I put the trumpet to my ear, and I hears a gentleman cryin', "Are you there ?" "No, sir," says I, "I'm here." He didna lift me appearinly, for he bawled again, "Are you there? Who is speaking?" I wasna goin' to tell him till I knew what he wanted, and him a perfeck stranger, so I kept quiet, and I heard him kind-o' wonderin'. Then he let fly anither deefenin' roar, and says he, "Can you hear me?" "Fine that, sir," says I, dry-like. "Then who is speakin'?" says he. "There's naebody speakin' but yersel, sir," I says, says I. He took a thought, and then he said something very calm-like that I couldna hear right. "Beg pardon, sir," says I. "What?" says he. "Beg pardon, sir." "Are you number One hundred and seven?" "I daursay no'," says I. "It'll be the prison you're seekin'." And with that, never anither word! It was most peculiar. And when Kirsty came down she said she was certain it was a burglar. That's the way they do; they ring the bell, and if the folk are no' in, they take their chance to burgle the house. Did ever you hear the like? And mebbe No. 107 was an accomplish. But they've no' made an attemp on the house yet. It was a mercy I never let on who I was, but Miss Celandine was wild; she said it was likely a young gentleman that was thinkin' on makin' her a proposal of marriage, and he would be put off it. I dinna believe it; he'll call again if that's all he wants.
Miss Celandine has been neither to haud nor to bind since she "came of age" as she ca's it. She was eighteen on her last birthday, and she gets her income now the same as Miss Jean. But she aye ca's it her "salary," the same as if she was workin' for it, and if I check her she casts up that she waters the bushes on the balcony very near every day; and fine the folk in the street below kens that! But it's best to let Miss Celandine alone. "Dinna meddle with the de'il and the laird's bairns," as my mither used to say. Miss Jean can manage her fine, but she doesna like ither folk to find fau't with her; she canna see the light of day to Miss Celandine.
But anyway, now the young ladies is both grown up, the house down the water is to be opened up again for them to go to in the summer-time, and we've been adverteezin' for a gardener, old Andra bein' dead and buried seven year syne. We had a work to compose the advertizment, it no' bein' an easy maitter to write for the public press (as they ca' it) and no' exceed the sixpence, nor the fourteen words, parteeclarly with Miss Celandine findin' fau't with everything me and Miss Jean tried. We kind-o' copied a nottice we saw in "Seetiations Wanted," and we started with "Gardener inside and out, single-handed," meanin' that he would need to attend to the bit hot-house forbye the gairden, as onybody with a thinkin' mind could comprehend. But Miss Celandine she up and says it was liable to misconstruckshon, and that it was a waste of words valued at very near a halfpenny each, for if the man was a gardener inside he would likely be a gardener outside; and if he was a gardener outside she wasna' carin' what he was inside; just a blether. And then she yokit on "single-handed," and said we might as well have a whole gardener when we were about it. We saw a "Bright Christian Couple" in the Church Times (an English paper Miss Jean takes a read of nows and thens), but I once neeboured one of thae Bright Christian folk, and she was a fair provoke. Finally, we made out a neat, plain statement ending with "Wages Moderate"; but, when we counted it up, it was only thirteen words, and Miss Celandine was disappointed-like, so we put "please" at the end to get the good of the sixpence, and it'll be in the paper come Setterday, if we're spared.