Rough Scan
 






 
       
        IX
         
        THE GREAT STORM OF NOVEMBER, 1893.
         
        EH, 
          since me, what a nicht we had on Setarday mornin’!  O, haud your tongue!  Though 
          I should live lang eneuch to bury Sandy Bowden, an’ hae a golden weddin’ 
          wi’ my second man, I’ll never forget it.  
          It mak’ me shaky-trimilly yet to think aboot it.  
          Sandy’s gaen aboot wi’ a’ the hair cut aff the back o’ his
        heid, 
          an’ fower or five strips o’ stickin’ plester battered acres his
        scawp.  He got an awfu’ mishap, puir man.  I thocht his heid was a’ to smash, but, fortunately, 
          it turned oot fully harder than the biscuit tin it cam’ into contact 
          wi’.
        It 
          would be aboot ane o’clock or thereaboot when Sandy gae me a daud wi’ 
          his elba that garred me a’ jump.  I 
          had an awfu’ busy day on Friday, an I was sleepin’ as soond’s a tap.
        “‘Oman,” 
          says he, “there’s something fearfu’ gaen on doon the yaird
        somewey.  Wud that be the Dyed Wallop an’ her man fechtin’, 
          or what i’ the world’s earth can it be?  
          Harken, Bawbie!  Did you 
          ever hear sic yawlin’?”
        “Bliss 
          me, Sandy man,” says I, “that’s the wind soochin’ throo the trees in 
          the banker’s gairden, an’ fizzin’ in amon’ the pipes o’ the water barrels.  It’s shurely an awfu’ nicht o’ wind.”
        Juist 
          at this meenit you wudda thocht the very deevil himsel’ had gotten grips 
          o’ the frame o’ oor winda.  He 
          garred it rattle like the thunder at Hewy White’s theatre; then he
        yawled, 
          an’ hooed, an’ growled like five hunder cats an’ as many dogs wirryin’ 
          them, an’ a’ the fowk ‘at echt them fechtin’ at the same time.  
          This feenisht up wi’ a terrific yawl; an’ Sandy dived doon in 
          ablo the claes.
        “Ye 
          fear’d nowt,” says I, ”what are ye fleein’ awa’ doon there for?  Ye’ll hae my feet sterved to death wi’
        cauld.  
          Lie up on your pillow an’ lat the claes doon to the fit o’ the 
          bed.”
        For 
          a hale strucken ‘oor this gaed on, an’ sometimes I akwilly thocht I 
          fand the bed shakin’.  Oor birdie 
          (he hings at the winda) began to wheek-wheek wi’ fear, an I wanted Sandy 
          to rise an’ tak’ the puir cratur doon.
        “The 
          feint a-fear o’ me,” says he, the hertless skemp ‘at he is.  “If you want the canary i’ the bed aside you, 
          you can rise an’ tak’ him doon yersel’.”
        I 
          raise an’ took the puir craturie doon, an’ hang him up on the ither 
          side o’ the room; an,’ mind ye, ye wud raley thocht the bit beastie
        kent, for it gae a coodie bit cheep or twa, an juist cooered doon to 
          sleep again.  Juist as I was gaen awa’ to screw doon the 
          gas, it gae twa or three lowps, an’ oot it gaed; an’ afore I kent whaur 
          I was, there was a reeshilin an’ rummelin’ on the ruif that wudda nearhand 
          fleggit the very fowk i’ the kirkyaird.  
          I floo to my bed, an’ in aneth the claes, an’ lay for a meenit 
          or so expectin’ the cuples wud be doon on the tap o’s, an’ bruze baith 
          o’s to pooder.  Efter the rummelin’ haltit, I fand aboot wi’ 
          my fit for Sandy; but he wasna there.
        “Preserve’s 
          a’,” says I, heich oot, “whaur are ye, Sandy?  
          Are ye there?  What’s 
          come ower ye?  Are ye deid?”
        “I’m 
          here, Bawbie,” says a shiverin’ voice in aneth the bed.  “I’m here, Bawbie.  Yell hear Gabriel’s tuter juist i’ the noo.  O, Bawbie, I’ve been a nesty footer o’ a man, 
          an’ ill-gettit scoot a’ my days.  I 
          wiss I cud juist get hauds o’ the Bible on the drawers-heid, Bawbie.  Did ye hear the mountins an’ the rocks beginnin’ 
          to fa’?”
        “Come 
          awa’ ‘oot ablo there, Sandy,” I says, says I, “an’ no’ get your death 
          o’ cauld, an’ be gaen aboot deavin fowk wi’ you an’ your reums.  The mountins an’ rocks is the brick an’ lum-cans aff Mistress Mollison’s
        hoose, I’m tbinkin’.”  An’ I 
          cudna help addin’— ”It’s ower late to be thinkin’ aboot startin’ to 
          the Bible efter Gabriel’s begun to blaw his tuter, Sandy.  Come awa’ to your bed!”
        Sandy 
          got himsel’ squeezed up atween the bed an’ the wa’; an’ at ilky hooch 
          an whirr ‘at the wind gae he wheenged an’ groaned like’s he was terriple 
          ill wi’ his inside; an’ aye he was sayin’, “I’ve been a lazy
        gaen-aboot 
          vegabon’, an’ ill-hertit vague.  O 
          dear, Bawbie, what’ll we do?”
        I 
          cam’ to mysel’ efter a willie. an’ raise an’ tried the gas, an’ it lichtit 
          a’ richt.  The wind was tearin’ 
          an’ rivin’ at the ruif at this time something terriple.  
        “We’ll go doon the stair, Sandy,” says I; an’ I made for the 
          door.
        “For 
          ony sake, Bawbie,” roared Sandy oot o’ the bed, “wait till I get on 
          my breeks.  If ye lave me, I’ll 
          g’wa’ in a fit-as shure’s ocht.”
        We 
          got doon the stair an’ I lichtit the fire an’ got the kettle to the 
          boil, an’ we sat an’ harkined to the wind skreechin’ doon the
        lum, an’ 
          groanin’ an’ wailin’ amon’ the trees ower the road, an’ soochin’ roond 
          aboot the washin’-hoose.  I raley 
          never heard the marrow o’t.  The 
          nicht o’ the fa’in’ o’ the Tay Brig was but the blawin’ oot o’ a can’le 
          aside it.  I’ the middle o’ an awfu’ sooch there was a 
          fearfu’ reeshil at oor door, an’ Sandy fair jamp aff his chair wi’ the 
          start.
        “A’ye 
          in, Sandy?” cried Dauvid Kenawee, in a nervish kind o’ a voice.
        I 
          awa’ an’ opened the door, an’ here was Dauvid an’ Mistress Kenawee— 
          Dauvid wi’ his pints wallopin’ amon’ his feet, an’ his weyscot
        lowse, 
          an’ Mistress Kenawee juist wi’ her short-goon an’ a sballie on.
        “This 
          is shurely the end o’ the world comin’,” said Mistress Kenawee, near 
          greetin’.  “O dear me, I think 
          something’s genna come ower me.”
        “Tuts 
          ‘oman, sit doon,” says Dauvid, altho’ he was in a fell state aboot her.  I cud see that brawly.
        The 
          sicht o’ the puir wafilly budy akinda drave the fear awa frae me; an’ 
          I maskit a cup o’ tea, an’ crackit awa till her till we got her cowshined
        doon.  Their back winda had been blawn in, and Dauvid 
          had tried to keep oot the wind wi’ a mattress; but the wind had tummeled 
          baith Dauvid an’ the mattress heels ower gowrie, an’ the wife got intil 
          a terriple state.  They cudna 
          bide i’ the hoose any langer, an’ i’ the warst o’t a’, they cam’ awa 
          through a shoer o’ sklates, an’ bricks, an’ lum-cans, an’
        gless, to 
          see if we wud lat them in.
        I 
          garred Sandy pet on a bit ham, and drew anower the table, and tried 
          to keep them frae thinkin’ aboot it; but at ilka whizz an’ growl the 
          wind gae, baith Sandy an’ Mistress Kenawee startit an’ took a lang breath.
        I’m 
          shure we hadna abune a moofu’ o’ tea drucken, an’ Sandy was juist awa’ 
          to tak’ aff the ham, when the fryin’ pan was knockit ooten his hand, 
          an’ doon the lum cam’ a pozel o’ bricks an’ shute that wudda filled 
          a cairt.  Sandy fell back ower an’ knockit Mistress Kenawee 
          richt i’ the flure.  The ham 
          dip gaed up the lum in a gloze, an’ here was Sandy an’ Dauvid’s wife 
          lyin’ i’ the middle o’ a’ the mairter o’ rubbitch.  
          Mistress Kenawee’s face, puir thing, was as white as a cloot; 
          but Sandy’s was as black as the man More o’ Vennis, the bleckie that 
          smored his wife i’ the theatre for carryin’ on wi’ a sodger.
        What 
          a job Dauvid an’ me had gettin’ them roond.  
          We poored a drappie brandie doon baith their throats; an’ Sandy 
          opened his een an’ says, “Ay; I’ve been an awfu’ blackgaird; I have 
          that!”  He had come doon wi’ the back o’ his heid on 
          a biscuit tin fu’ o’ peyse meal, an’ had smashed the tin an’ sent the 
          meal fleein’ a’ ower the hoose.  But 
          the cratur had gotten an awfu’ tnap on the back o’ the heid, an’ he 
          was bluidin’ gey sair.  Gin daylicht 
          brook, Dauvid an’ me had gotten the twa o’ them akinda into order, and 
          Sandy was able to open the shop.  He 
          had an awfu’ ruggin’ an’ tuggin’ afore he cud get the door to open; 
          an’ he cam’ into me an’ says, “Dod, Bawbie, I think the hoose has gotten 
          a terriple thraw.  The shop door ‘ill nether go back nor forrit!”
        I 
          gaed oot to see what was ado.  Eh,
        sirce, if you had only seen oor street!  
          The beach ootby at the Saut Pan, whaur there’s a free coup for
        rubbitch, was naething til’t!  It 
          juist mindit me o’ the picture, in oor big Bible, o’ Jerusalem when 
          the fowk cam’ back frae Babylon till’t—it was juist a’ lyin’ a cairn 
          o’ lowse steens an’ half bricks.
        There’s 
          neen o’s ‘ill forget Friday nicht in a hurry, or I’m muckle
        misteen.