Rough Scan
 






 
       
        I
         
        SANDY SWAPS HIS POWNEY.
         
        HE’S 
          a queer cratur, my man Sandy!  He’s 
          made, mind an’ body o’ him, on an original plan a’thegither.  He says an’ does a’ mortal thing on a system 
          o’ his ain; Gairner Winton often says that if Sandy had been in the
        market-gardenin’ line, he wudda grown his cabbage wi’ the stocks aneth 
          the ground, juist to lat them get the fresh air aboot their ruits.  It’s juist his wey, you see.  I wudna winder to see him some day wi’ Donal’ 
          yokit i’ the tattie-cairt wi’ his held ower the fore-end o’t, an’ the 
          hurdies o’ him whaur his heid shud be.  
          I’ve heard Sandy say that he had an idea that a horse cud shuve 
          far better than poo; an’ when Sandy ance gets an idea intil his heid, 
          there’s some beast or body has to suffer for’t afore he gets redd o’t.  If there’s a crank wey o’ doin’ onything Sandy 
          will find it oot.  For years 
          he reg’larly flang the stable key ower the gate efter he’d brocht oot 
          Donal’ an’ the cairt.  When he 
          landit hame again, he climbed the gate for the key, an’ syne climbed 
          ower again an’ opened it frae the ootside.  
          He michta carried the key in his pooch; but onybody cudda dune 
          that!  But, as I was sayin’, 
          it’s juist his wey.
        “It’s 
          juist the shape original sin’s ta’en in Sandy’s case,” the Gairner said 
          when the Smith an’ him were discussin’ the subject.
        “I 
          dinna ken aboot the sin; but it’s original eneuch, there’s nae doot 
          aboot that,” said the Smith.
        There’s 
          naebody kens that better than me, for I’ve haen the teuch end o’ forty 
          year o’t.  But, still an’ on, 
          he’s my ain man, the only ane ever I had, an’ I’ll stick up for him, 
          an’ till him, while the lamp holds on to burn, as the Psalmist says.
        . 
          . . . . .
        “See 
          if I can say my geog, Bawbie,” said Nathan to me the ither forenicht, 
          as I was stanin’ in the shop.  He’d 
          been sittin’ ben the hoose wi’ his book croonin’ awa’ till himsel’ aboot 
          Rooshya bein’ boundit on the north by the White Sea, an’ on the sooth 
          by the Black Sea, an’ some ither wey by the Tooral-ooral mountains or 
          something, an’ he cam’ ben an’ handed me his geog, as he ca’d it, to 
          see if he had a’ this palaver on his tongue.
        I’ve 
          often windered what was the use o’ Nathan wirryin’ ower thae oot-o’-the-wey 
          places that he wud never be within a thoosand mile o’.  He kens a’ the oots an’ ins o’
        Valiparaiso, 
          but michty little aboot Bowriefauld.  
          Hooever, I suppose the dominie kens best.
        Nathan 
          was juist busy pointin’ oot the place to me in his book when there was 
          a terriple rattlin’ oot on the street, an’ aff he hookited to see what 
          was ado.  He thocht it was a 
          marriage, an’ that there micht be a chance o’ some heys aboot the doors.  What was my consternation when the reeshlin’ 
          an’ rattlin’ stoppit at the shop door, an’ I heard Sandy’s voice roarin’, 
          “Way-wo, haud still, wo man, wo-o-o, will ye!”
        “What 
          i’ the face o’ the earth’s ado noo?” says I to mysel’; an’ I goes my 
          wa’s to the door.  Sandy had 
          been up at Munromont for a load o’ tatties.  
          When I gaed to the door, here he was wi’ a thing atween the shafts 
          o’ his cairt that lookit like’s it had been struck wi’ forkit lichtnin’.
        “What 
          hae ye dune wi’ Donal’, Sandy?” I speered.
        “Cadger 
          Gowans an’ me’s haen a swap,” says Sandy, climbin’ oot at the back o’ 
          the cairt, an’ jookin’ awa’ roond canny-weys to the horse’s
        heid.
        “Wo,
        Princie,” he says, pettin’ oot his hand.  
        “Wo, the bonnie laddie!”
        Princie, 
          as he ca’d him, ga’e a gley roond wi’ the white o’ his e’e that garred 
          Sandy keep a gude yaird clear o’ him.
        “He’s 
          a grand beast,” he says, comin’ roond to my side; “a grand beast!  Three-quarters bred, an’ soond in wind and 
          lim’.  I got a terriple bargain 
          o’ him.  I ga’e Gowans Donal’ an’ thirty shillin’s, 
          an’ he ga’e me a he tortyshall kitlin’ to the bute—the only ane i’ the 
          countryside.  He’s genna hand 
          it in the morn.”
        There 
          was nae want o’ soond in Princie’s wind at ony rate.  I saw that in a minute.  He 
          was whistlin’ like a lerik.
        “He 
          sooks wind a little when he has a lang rin,” says Sandy; “but that’s 
          nether here nor there.  He’s 
          haen a teenge or twa, an’ he’s akinda foondered afore, an’ a little 
          spavie i’ the aft hent leg; but I’ll shune pet that a’ richt wi’ gude 
          guidin’.  He’s a grand beast, I tell ye!”
        Sandy 
          stood an’ lookit first up at the horse an’ then doon at his cairt.  “He’s gey high for the wheels,” he says; “but, 
          man, he’s a grand beast.  He 
          cam hame frae Glesterlaw juist like a bird.  
          Never turned a hair.  He’s 
          a grand beast.”
        “Hoo 
          mony legs has he, Sandy?” says I, lookin’ at the great, big, ravelled-lookin’ 
          brute.  He was a’ twisted here 
          and there, an’ the legs o’ him lookit for a’ the world juist like bits 
          o’ crunckled waterhose.  The 
          cairt appeared to be haudin’ him up, raither than him haudin’ up the
        cairt; an’ he was restin’ the thrawn legs o’ him time aboot, juist like 
          a cock stanin’ amon’ snaw.  “Ye shudda left that billie at the knackers 
          at Glesterlaw, Sandy,” says I, I says.  
        “I’m dootin’ yell ha’e back to tak’ him there afore him or you’s 
          muckle aulder.”
        “Tyach!  Hand your lang tongue,” says Sandy.  “Speak aboot things ye ken something aboot.  
          Wait till the morn.  Ye’ll see I’ll get roond my roonds an’ a’ my 
          tattines delivered in half the time.  
          I’ll ha’e rid o’ a’ my tatties an’ be hame gin ane o’clock, instead 
          o’ dotterin’ awa’ wi’ a lazy brute like Donal’.  
          I’ll beat ye onything ye like, Gowans ‘ill be ruin’ his bargain 
          gin this time; but he’ll no’ get him back noo.  
          I’ll go an’ see an’ get Princie stabled.”
        Sandy 
          gaed inby to the shafts, but he sprang back when Princie ga’e a squeek 
          an’ garred his heels play tnack on the boddom o’ the cairt.
        “That’s 
          the breedin’,” says Sandy, gaen awa’ roond to the ither side o’ the
        cairt.
        “It 
          soonded to me like the boddom o’ the cairt, as far as I cud hear,” says 
          I, I says; but Sandy never lut on.
        The 
          brute had a nesty e’e in its heid.  
          It turned roond wi’ a vegabon’-like look aye when Sandy gaed 
          near’t.  He got up on the front efter a while, an’ ga’e 
          the reinds a tit, an’ Princie began to do a bit jeeg, garrin’ Sandy 
          bowse aboot on the front o’ the cairt like’s he was foo.  Sandy ga’e him a clap on the hurdies to quieten him, but aye the 
          hent feet o’ him played skelp on the boddom o’ the cairt, till I thocht 
          he wudda haen’t ca’d a’ to bits.  Syne 
          awa’ he gaed full bung a’ o’ a sudden, wi’ Sandy rowin’ aboot amon’ 
          the tatties, an’ hingin’ in by the reinds, roarin’ “Wo! haud still,” 
          an’ so on.  Gin he got to the fit o’ the street there was 
          a dozen laddies efter him screamin’, “Come on you lads, an’ see Sandy 
          Bowden’s drumadairy.  By
        crivens, 
          he’s gotten a richt horse for Donal’, noo.”
        Sandy 
          didna come up frae the stable till near-hand eleven o’clock, an’ I didna 
          say ony mair aboot his braw horse.  
          I’ve heard the minister say, it’s the unexpectit that happens.  That’s aye the way wi’ Sandy, I can tell you.  
          I aye expect that something will happen wi’ him that I’m no’ 
          expectin’; so I find it best juist to lat him aleen.
        Next 
          mornin’ be gaed awa’ gey early to get yokit, an’ he took Bandy Wobster 
          wi’ him to gi’e him a hand.  It 
          was twa strucken ‘oors afore he got to the shop door wi’ the cairt, 
          an’ baith him an’ the horse were sweitin’ afore they startit on his
        roonds.  Sandy was lookin’ gey raised like, so I lut him get on a’ his tatties 
          an’ said naething.
        Stumpie 
          Mertin cam’ by, an’, lookin’ at Princie, gae his heid a claw.
        “What 
          are ye stanin’ glowerin’ at?” says Sandy till him, gey snappit like.
        “Whaur 
          did ye get that hunger’d-lookin’ radger, Sandy?” says he.  “That beast’s no’ fit for gaen aboot.  The Cruelty to Animals ‘ill nip you, as shure’s 
          you’re a livin’ man.”
        “Tak’ 
          care ‘at they dinna nip you, for haein’ a wid leg,” says Sandy, as raised 
          as a wasp.  “Awa’ oot o’ that, 
          an’ mind your ain bisness.”
        “That’s 
          been steak oot ahent some menagerie caravan,” says Stumpie; an’ awa’ 
          he gaed dilpin’ like’s he’d made a grand joke.
        The 
          policeman cam’ doon an’ settled himsel’ aboot ten yairds awa’ frae
        Princie, 
          put his hands ahent his back, set forrit his heid like’s he was gaen 
          awa’ to putt somebody, an’ took a lang look at him.  
        “That’s a clinker, Sandy,” says he.  
        “That billie ‘ill cover the grund.”
        I 
          didna ken whether the bobbie meant rinnin’ ower the grund, or coverin’t 
          efter he was turned into gooana or bane-dust; but I saw the lauch in 
          his sleeve a’ the same.
        Gairner 
          Winton cam’ doon the street at the same time, an’ the bobby an’ him 
          startit to remark aboot Sandy’s horse.
        “A 
          gude beast, nae doot,” says the Gairner; “but Sandy’s been gey lang 
          o’ buyin’ him:”
        “He’s 
          bocht him gey sune, I’m thinking,” says the policeman.  “Gin he’d waited a fortnicht, he’d gotten him 
          at twintypence the hunderwecht.”
        Sandy 
          never lut dab ‘at he heard them.  The 
          cairt was a’ ready an’ Sandy got up on the front and startit.  A’ gaed richt till he got to the Loan, when 
          Princie startit to trot.  The 
          rattlin’ o’ the scales at the back o’ the cairt fleggit him, an’ aff 
          he set at full tear, the lang skranky legs o’ him wallopin’ about like 
          torn cloots atween him an’ the grund.  
          A gude curn wives were oot waitin’ their tatties, an’ they roared 
          to Sandy to stop; but Sandy cudna.  
          The tatties were fleein’ ower the back door o’ the cairt, an’ 
          the scales were rattlin’ an’ reeshlin’ like an earthquake; an’ there 
          was Sandy, bare-heided, up to the knees amon’ his tatties, ruggin’ an’ 
          roarin’, like the skipper o’ some schooner that was rinnin’ on the rocks.  
          I’ll swear, Sandy got roond his roonds an’ a’ his tatties delivered 
          in less than half the time Donal’ took!  
          The wives an’ laddies were gaitherin’ up the tatties a’ the wey 
          to Tutties Nook; and gin Sandy got to the milestane his cairt was tume.  
          By this time Princie was fair puffed out, an’ he drappit i’ the 
          middle o’ the road, Sandy gaen catma ower the tap o’ him.
        Donal’s 
          back till his auld job!  Sandy 
          lost thirty shillin’s an’ a cairt-load o’ tatties ower the heid o’
        Princie; 
          an’ as for the he tortyshall kitlin’, I’ve never heard nor seen hint 
          nor hair o’t.