Rough Scan
 






 
       
        XX
         
        SANDY’S APOLOGIA.
         
        “ARE 
          ye there, Sandy?  Sandy, are 
          ye there?  Sandy!  I winder whaur that man’ll be?  
          He’ll gae awa’ an leave the shop stanin’ open to the street, 
          as gin it were a byre, an’ never think naething aboot it!  Are ye there, Sandy?” I heard Bawbie sayin’ in her bed the ither 
          mornin’.
        “Ay, 
          I’m here,” says I.  “What are 
          ye yalp-yalpin’ at?  What d’ye 
          want?  I had throo to the cellar to rin for tatties 
          to Mistress Hasties.  What was 
          ye wantin’?”
        “See, 
          look!  Ye micht pet the pot on 
          the fire there, an’ warm that drappie pottit-hoach brue; an’ ye’ll tak’ 
          it alang to Mary Emslie,” said Bawbie.  
        “Puir cratur, she’s gotten her death o’ cauld some wey or ither, 
          an’ I think she’s smittit her bairnie; for when I was yont yesterday
        forenune, the puir little thingie was near closed a’thegither.  
          Juist poor the brue into the flagon, Sandy, an’ open the second 
          lang drawer there, an’ ye’ll get some bits o’ things rowed
        thegither, 
          an’ tak’ them alang an’ gie them to Mary.  
          Turn the lookin’-gless roond this wey a bittie on the dresser 
          there, an I’ll notice in’t if onybody comes into the shop, an’ tell 
          them to hover a blink till ye rin yont to Mary’s.  Rin noo, Sandy, an’ speer at Mary if she has 
          coals an’ sticks, an’ tell her to keep on a gude fire.  Puir cratur!“
        “Mary’s 
          a fell lot better the day, she thinks, Bawbie,” says I, when I cam’ 
          back; “an’ she tell’d me the nurse had been in an’ snoddit up her hoose 
          till her, an’ sortit the bairn.  Puir
        cratur, she ac’ually grat when I gae her the bits o’ things for the
        litlan; an’ tell’d me to thank ye.  
          She was terriple taen up when I said you wasna able to be up 
          the day, an’ howps ye’ll be better gin the morn.”
        “I 
          think I’m better, but I’m awfu’ licht i’ the heid yet,” says
        Bawbie.  “Ye micht get the pen an’ ink, Sandy, an’ send 
          a scart or twa to thae prenter bodies.  
          Juist say I’ve taen a kind o’ a dwam, but that I’ll likely be 
          a’ richt again in a day or twa.  An’ 
          see an’ watch your spellin’.  Gin 
          ony o’ the wirds are like to beat ye, juist speer at me, an’ I’ll gie 
          ye a hand wi’ them.”
        “A’ 
          richt than, Bawbie; I’ll do that,” says I.  
        “Noo, juist by an’ get a sleep for a whilie, an’ I’ll go ben 
          to the shop dask an’ write a scrift for you.
        So 
          noo when I have the chance, I’ll better juist mention that Bawbie got 
          terriple seek i’ the forenicht yesterday, an’ she hardly ever steekit 
          an e’e a’ lest nicht.  An’ nether 
          did I, for that pairt o’t, for she byochy-byochied awa’ the feck o’ 
          the nicht, an’ I cudna get fa’in’ ower.  
          But I didna say onything, for I doot I’m to blame, although I’ve 
          never lutten dab that I jaloosed onything had happened.
        Bawbie 
          was juist gaen awa’ to hae her efternune cup yesterday, an’ I was chappin’ 
          oot the dottle o’ my pipe on the corner o’ the chumla, when it flaw 
          oot an’ gaed oot o’ sicht some wey.  
          I socht heich an’ laich for’t, but na, na; it wasna to be gotten.  I thocht syne it had gane into the fire.  But it’s my opinion noo, it had fa’in’ into 
          Bawbie’s teapot!  She was sayin’ 
          ilky noo-an’-than, “That tea has a dispert queer taste, Sandy.  What can be the maitter wi’t?”  I never took thocht; but when Bawbie fell seek, 
          an’ groo as white’s a penny lafe, thinks I to mysel’, “That’s your
        dottle, 
          Sandy Bowden!“  But I never lut 
          wink; for, keep me, if Bawbie had kent, I micht as weel gane awa’ an’ 
          sleepit on the Sands for the next twa-three nichts.  
          She’s a gude-heartit budy; but, man, she gets intil an awfu’ 
          pavey whiles, an’ she’s nether to haud nor to bind when she gets raised.  But, for ony sake, dinna lat on I was sayin’
        onything.
        Bawbie’s 
          an awfu’ cratur to tell fowk aboot me an’ my ongaens.  Weel, there’s a lot o’ truth in what she says, I maun admit; altho’ 
          she mak’s a heap o’ din juist aboot twa-three kyowows, noo-an’-than.  
          I dinna ken hoe it is ava’, I canna help mysel’ sometimes.  
          Man, the daftest-like ideas tak’ a haud o’ me whiles—juist like 
          a flesher grippin’ a sheep by the horns — an’, do what I like, I canna 
          get oot o’ their grips.
        For 
          instance, I was gaen up the brae juist the ither nicht, an’ the kirk 
          offisher was stanin’ at the kirk door.
        “Wud 
          ye bide i’ the kirk for ten meenits till I rin hame for a bissam shaft?” 
          says he.  “I’ve broken the ane 
          I have.”
        “Oo, 
          ay,” says I; “I’ll do that.”
        Weel, 
          man, I wasna twa meenits into the kirk when I windered what like it 
          was for size aside Gayfield Park, an’ I thocht I wud see if I cud rin 
          fower times roond it in five meenits.  
          I buttoned my coat, an’ lookit the time, an’ aft’ I set up ae 
          passage, ower the pletform, doon the ither passage, throo the lobby, 
          an’ so on.  I was juist aboot 
          feenishin’ when, gaen sweesh oot at ane o’ the doors, I cam’ clash up 
          again’ the minister, an’ sent him spinnin’ into the middle o’ the lobby, 
          an’ the collection plate in his oxter.
        “What 
          in the name of common sense is the matter with you?” said he, gettin’ 
          up, an’ shakin’ the stoor aff his hat.
        “Man, 
          ye shud keep aff the coorse,” says I, forgettin’ for the meenit whaur 
          I was.  “I was tryin’ to brak’ 
          the record.”
        “Break 
          the record!” he says, in a most terrible fizz.  
        “If it wasna for the laws of the country, I’d break your head.”
        Man, 
          the passion o’ the sacket was raley veeshis.  
          He ac’ually spat oot the wirds; an’, faigs, I steekit baith my 
          nivs an’ keepit my e’e on him, for fear he micht lat dab at me.
        Juist 
          at that meenit the kirk offisher cam’ in, an’ the minister turned, an’ 
          gleyin’ roond at me gey feaned like, said something till him, an’ I 
          heard them crackin’ aboot gettin’ me hame in a cab.  
          I saw in a wink what they were jaloosin’.
        “Ye 
          needna bather your heids aboot a cab,” says I.  
        “I’m wyser than the twa o’ ye puttin’ thegither; so keep on your
        dickies.  Gude-nicht,” says I; 
          an’ doon the front staps I gaed, three at a time, an’ hame.
        The 
          beathel cam’ doon afore he gaed hane, an’ speered what i’ the world 
          had happened.
        “I 
          was juist comin’ oot at the kirk door,” says I, “when the minister cam’ 
          skelp up again’ me.”  I didna 
          mention ‘at I was rinnin’.  “The 
          cratur drappit i’ the flure,” says I, “like’s he’d been shot; an’ then 
          to crack aboot me bein’ daft!  Did ye ever hear the like?”
        The 
          kirk offisher gaed awa’ hame, clawin’ his heid, an’ sayin’ till himsel’, 
          “Weel, it raley snecks a’ thing.  There’s 
          some ane o’ the three o’s no’ very soond i’ the tap, shurely; an’ whuther 
          it’s me or no’, I raley canna mak’ oot.”
        But what I want to lat you see is that I do thae 
          daft-like things sometimes, I dinna very weel ken hoo.  
          I canna tell ~ye what wey it comes aboot.  Is ony o’ ye lads ever affekit like that?  Man, I’ve seen me gaen to the kirk wi’ Bawbie 
          sometimes, dressed in my sirtoo an’ my lum, an’ my gloves an’ pocket-hankie, 
          an’ a’thing juist as snod’s a noo thripenny bit, an’, a’ o’ a sudden, 
          I wud hae to pet my tongue atween my teeth, an’ grip my umberell like’s 
          I was wantin’ to chock it, juist to keep mysel’ frae tumblin’ a fleepy 
          or a catma i’ the middle o’ the road amon’ a’ the kirk fowk, lum hat,
        sirtoo, an’ a’thegither.  What 
          can ye mak’ o’ the like o that?  It’s 
          my opinion sometimes that I was never meent to behave mysel’; an’ yet 
          I’m sensible o’ doin’ most terriple stewpid things of’en.  
          It’s a mystery to me, an’ a dreefu’ dwang to Bawbie.  
          But what can ye do?  You 
          canna get medisin for that kind o’ disease!  
          As Bawbie says, I’ll never behave till I’m killed; an’ the fac’ 
          o’ the maitter is, I’m no’ very shure aboot mysel’ even efter that.  I ken it’s an awfu’ job for Bawbie tholin’ 
          my ongaens; but, at the same time, if it wasna me, the neeper wives 
          an her wudna hae onything to mak’ a molligrant aboot ava.  As the Bible says, we’re fearfu’ an’ winderfu’ made, an’, I suppose, 
          we maun juist mak’ the best o’t.
         
        THE 
          END.