Rough Scan

      THE air, BAILIE, has been fu’ o’ 
        "jubilee" this wheen months back. In fac’ it’s got perfectly ootrageous
      a'thegither. Everything’s jubilee enoo, jubilee sweeties, jubilee black 
        lead, jubilee red herring, an’ jubilee rat traps. These are silly and 
        harmless. Hooever, o’ a’ the stupid things connected with this jubilee, 
        the maist stupid, as it seems tae me, is that woefu’ ane o’ gathering 
        money tae sen’ tae London for the buildin’ o’ some Imperial Institute 
        or anither.
      An' why London, may I ask? Why no Edinburgh? 
        Surely the English are rich enough tae build a place for themselves. My 
        certy, they wid gie precious little tae help us tae build onythiug in 
      If refused tae subscribe one penny, an 
        I’m happy tae say Stra’bungo, tae a man, did as I, their Provost, did. 
        Ye didna see that Stra’bungo had sent up to London £4 16s. 5¾d., collected 
        by the ladies frae 927 families. No, sir; nothing of the kind.
      Still, while we refused tae enrich London, 
        we were loyal enough tae tak’ a holiday.
      After great cogitation, an’ having heard 
        that Glasgow was going tae hae a review o’ the troops, we thocht we wid 
        tak’ the wind oot o’ their sails an’ hae a review o’ oor ain. Last Thursday 
        was the day set aside for the ploy, an’ on that day we held the review, 
        an’ it was a splendid affair, I can tell you.
      The 1st Royal Stra’bungo Fusiliers were 
        in full force. As the Cornel (ye ken I’m Cornel as wool as Provost), I 
        wis a prood, prood man tae see hoo even the youngest recruits had started 
        new clay pipes for the occasion. It’s in wee things like this that the 
        true sodger is seen.
      Efter they had a’ assembled an’ the bugler 
        had gied them a bit tune, I, wha had been smoking a ceegaur in the coal
      ree, while lookin’ ower the plan o’ the grun so as to see what oor movements 
        for the day were tae be, sent my aid-de-colong for my horse.
      It’s no often I go on a horse. The adjutant,
      hooever, declared that, according to the new rules o’ the service, a cornel 
        must be mounted, an’ the man that does my cartin’ said that he could recommend 
        ane o’ his, a rale quiet, peaceable beast, so I agreed tae hire’t for 
        the day. I tell’t the carter tae be sure an’ no gie’t ower much corn the 
        nicht before, bit as I didna want tae wrang the puir beast, I said that 
        I wid pay for a dooble feed the nicht efter.
      In a wee the aid-de-colong comes hack 
        leading the horse.
      Man, BAILIE, the mair I looked at that 
        beast the mair I liked it.
      As a Cornel’s horse it wis nane o’ your 
        common broon anes—it iris a’ spotted red and white, jist like strawberries 
        an' cream. It had a ringle e’e, an’ its tail was a weak point. In fac’ 
        it had nae tail tae speak o’ at a’. There wis jist a few hairs up at the 
        tap, an’ the rest o’t wis as bald as my heid. Then its fore legs were 
        bent oot like twa girs, although I’m led tae understan’ that that’s a 
        guid quality for it gi’es the animal great purchase when pullin’ a load 
        up a hill. A’thegither it wis a horse that ye widna’ see the like o’ in 
        a day’s journey.
      The officer brocht it tae the gate, an’ 
        twa sergeants carried ower the steps, an’ I got on them, smokin’ awa’ 
        at my ceegaur as leisurely an’ as carelessly as if I had been accustomed 
        tae’t a’ my life. One o’ the sergeants then cam’ up the steps an’ gied 
        me a bit lift, an’ there I wis, only I had put the wrang leg up, an’ found 
        mysel’ lookin’ backward.
      Hooever, that wis easy put richt. One 
        sergeant on each side steadied me a wee, an’ I warsled roon, an’, gatherin’ 
        up the reins in the one haun, I drew my sword an’ held it in the ither, 
        an’ in a wee I an’ the adjutant were at oor posts at the heid o’ the regiment.
      Then the air became hushed wi’ expectancy, 
        an’ the assembled thoosan’s looked on in admiration.
      "Adjutant," says I.
      "Your lordship," says he.
      "Is the roll called?" says I.
      "It is, my lord," says he.
      "Hoo mony?" says I.
      "Nine hundred and ninety-nine men 
        all told," says he.
      "Man, could ye no get haud o’ anither 
        ane," says I, "an’ mak’ it the even number?"
      "Sergeant M’Phun had to go away to 
        a funeral, or we would have had a thousand."
      "Weel," says I, "tell Sergeant 
        M’Phun frae me that he is degraded tae the rank o’ private for this. What 
        business has he tae be bothering wi' funerals when his country calls for 
        his services?
      "I’ll attend tae that, your lordship," 
        says the adjutant.
      "Weel, see ye dae," says I. 
        "Are ye a’ ready? Nae speakin’ in the ranks. Bugler, gie a bit note 
        on twa jist tae wauken them up, an’ tell the pipers tae get ready tae 
        play. Now, comrades in arms, left foot foremost—m-a-r-c-h." An’ I 
        stood up in my stirrups an’ waved my sword, an’ aff we gaed amid the cheers 
        o’ the hale population.
      The last kent face that I saw in my excitement 
        was my dear auld freen Mr Pinkerton, wha ran forrit, an’ grasping me by 
        the leg said, wi’ tears in his eyes, "Ah, Cornel, I wish I could 
        be wi’ ye. I hiv the heart tae serve my country, but this confoonded wudden 
        leg "— An’ here the honest man broke doon.
      "Halt," cries I. So we a’ halted.
      "Mr Pinkerton," says I, lood 
        enough for the hale army tae hear me, "ye are a noble fellow, yer 
        heart’s in the richt place. It has pleased Providence tae gie ye a wudden 
        leg, but we must a be content wi’ oor lot in life. If ye canna be a warrior 
        like me, ye can dae something. Let me see; ye can provide sandwiches for 
        the officers when they come hame the nicht, an’ that wid be servin’ your 
        country in an indirect way."
      "Cornel, it’ll be done," says 
        he, "I’ll cut up a hale biled ham for ye."
      "Mr Pinkerton," says I, "I 
        wid be prood tae hae ye in my regiment. If ye think ye wid like it yoursel’, 
        say the word, an’ I’ll mak’ ye a major on the spot. I don’t know but it 
        wid add éclat tae us. Wi’ a Sir for a cornel, an’ a major 
        wi’ a wudden leg, I question if there’s a single regiment in Scotland 
        could look at us. Think ower’t, Mr Pinkerton. An’, noo, men, step forrit 
        again": an’ awa we gaed.
      The hale route wis lined wi’ spectators. 
        Blankets and hearthrugs were hanging ower every window, giein’ the
        quite a holiday look. Across the entrance tae the Moss Road wis a triumphal 
        arch on which wis inscribed, ‘Go where glory waits thee." The sicht 
        o’ this made a’ oor hearts throb, an’ when at Shawlands we cam’ tae anither 
        arch, on which was "See the conquering heroes come," the ardour 
        o’ the men could be restrained nae langer, an’ they broke oot intae one 
        vast cheer that rent the air nearly as faur as the Shaws.
      I should hae mentioned that the owner 
        o’ my horse tell’t me that he had been in his palmy days in a circus. 
        So when he heard the cheers, an’ saw the triumphal arch an’ the blankets, 
        I suppose recollections o’ the auld days cam back tae his memory, for 
        he began tae gang sideways, an’ tried tae rin noon the adjutant, wha wis 
        on his usual charger. that, ye maybe hae min’, is blin’ o’ an e’e.
      "Wo-ho, my man," says I, as 
        I swee-ed back an’ forrit. Indeed I wis near sliding aff, but a sergeant 
        cam’ rinnin ower an’ grippit him by the heid, an’ walked beside him till 
        hie calmed doon.
      "Your name, Sergeant?" says 
      "M'Fadyen," says he.
      Sergeant M’Fadyen, you are now a
        for meritorious services rendered when on duty."
      Ye see in my regiment I’ve nae humbugs 
        o’ court-martials an things. I’m autocrat mysel’. I’m like the centurion, 
        I say tae this man go, and he goeth, an’ tae the ither, come, an' he cometh. 
        I jist pay them aff or promote them or degrade them as I see proper. It’s 
        the beet plan; it saves bother. Besides, why hae a commander if ye hivna 
        confidence in him?
      The sham fecht that followed wis gran’. 
        Time folk oot yonder at the Haggs said they never had seen the like o’t 
        before. I wis in one park wi' seeven hunner men, an’ the adjutant wis 
        in anither park wi’ three hunner. There wis a bit o’ a hill an’ a hedge 
        between us, an’ we were the attacking force. A’ being ready we speeled 
        up the hill, an’ when we got tae the hedge, I keeked ower an’ I says—.
      " Is there onybody there ?
      There wis nae answer.
      Of course I saw them a’ quite weel, an’ 
        they saw me, but we had tae let on that we didna see each ither.
      "Sentry ahoy!" I cries out again.
      Nae answer.
      "Bring up the guns," I then 
        roared oot, an’ three o’ my men cam’ rinnin’ wi’ three wheelbarrows tae 
        represent the guns, so I assigned them the position they were tae occupy, 
        an' I then, staunin’ up in my stirrups, cried cot lood, "I ask ye, 
        for the third amid last time, is there onybodv there?" Nae answer.
      "Then your bluid be on your ain
        Fire!" I cries oot. The three gunners gied the wheelbarrows a fling 
        frae them, and the rest o’ the men fired a volley so as to mak' a noise.
      Jist as the fixing died awe’ my charger 
        dropt doon as if he had been shot, an’ I got a nasty shake. I wis extricated,
      hooever, an’ as I stood wiping the mud aff my uniform, I heard the beast 
        groanin’ as if he wis in great pain. At this I cried tae the sergeant, 
        "Gross carelessness! There’s some a the men bee shot my charger. 
        Inquire into this at once, an’ bring the guilty person before me till 
        I mak’ an example o’ him."
      Hooever, we got the beast up again, an’ 
        I mounted, an’ ordered anither volley tae be fired on the enemy.
      When the firin’ took place doon goes my 
        horse for the second time.
      "Michty me," I cries, "wha’s 
        deliberately trying tae shoot a puir harmless beast?"
      The groans o’t this time were fearful. 
        My heart wis sair for’t. It lay as if it were deid. Hooever, we could 
        see nae marks o’ a bullet. But when me got it up if ye had seen hoo it 
        limped. In fac, I couldna think tae mount it again.
      One a’ my men noo comes forrit an’ whispers, 
        "A word, Cornel."
      "Weel?" says I.
      "Excuse me," says he, "but 
        I think your horse has been in a circus, and acting in the ‘Battle o’ 
        the Alma,’ for I saw’t acted no lang since, en’ the horses a’ lay doon 
        an’ groaned like that."
      "The vera thing," says I. "Weel,
      weel, whet sagacity. What a noble animal the horse is, an’ yet thoosans 
        o’ them are treated every day in the streets of Glasgow, an’ ither big
      toons, in a may that should mak’ us blush for oor humanity. I’ll mount 
        him again, but we’ll hae nae mair firin’." Jist at this the adjutant 
        looks ower the hedge an’ cries oot—
      "Who goes there?"
      "It’s me," says I.
      "Advance en’ give the countersign." 
        So I began tae advance till he cried cot, "Halt, or you are a dead 
      'n he looked so ferocious that I thocht 
        maybe he forgot it wis a’ in fun. Sae I draws my horse tae the side, an’ 
        I cries tae my men, "There’s the foe, you know your duty. Fire awa’ 
        till your pooder’s dune, an’ then turn an' rin. As I’m no a vera guid 
        rider I’ll start noo. Advance! Charge!"
      The last word sounded as if it had been 
        cried through a speaking trumpet, an’ my men responded nobly. Up they 
        ran, in through the holes in the hedge, an’ bang at the enemy on his am
      The fecht was short but decisive. Time 
        enemy turned and ran down the hill, wi’ my men after them, chasin’ them 
        oot intae the road an’ doon maist as far as the Canal Railway.
      Seein’ that they were awa’ I cam aff, 
        an’ lichtit a ceegaur an’ handed my horse tae a wee laddie tae walk up 
        an’ doon. Hoo prood that laddie wis tae get walking the heid officer’s 
        horse! The tippence I gied him was a mere naething tae the honour o’ the 
      By and by my men cam’ back by two’s and 
        three’s bringing their prisoners wi’ them; an’ then the adjutant cam’ 
        ower an’ gracefully delivered up his sword tae me in token o’ defeat. 
        I took it, but at once handed it back tae him, saying, "Beaten but 
        not disgraced. You are a brave man; you only gave in to superior numbers."
      And so, BAILEE, ended oor Jubilee sham
      fecht. We marched back, an’ Mr Pinkerton was as guid as his word; he had 
        plenty o’ sandwiches ready for us.
      At nicht we held a reception; we had caunels 
        in the windows, an’ a bonfire in the Park. BAILIE, the Jubilee will lang 
        be remembered in Stra’bungo.