THE M.P. DEPUTATION THE ither nicht, while Betty was darnin’ stockin’s at the one side o’ the fire, and auld Mr M'Cunn an’ Mr Pinkerton an’ me were sittin’ at the tither side, wi’ the wee table atween us, playin’ at the cards for a bawbee the gemm, a ring cam’ tae the door, an’ Betty says, "Bless me, wha’s this?" "I hope," says I, "it’s no the minister, an’ us gemblin’ awa oor hard-earned siller; we wid never hear the end o’t"; an’ turnin’ tae Mr Pinkerton, "Slip a wheen o’ thae cards intae your pouch," I says tae him, an' then I gathered up the siller—it’s as weel aye tae look the maist valuable elements. Jist at this meenit Betty ushered in twa weel-dressed men wi’ bits o’ pass-books in their haun. Thinks I, as they entered, "What’s up noo? Are they selling gas burners, or the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ at a shilling the pairt in fifty numbers, or am I tae be summoned? or what?" "Sit doon, gentlemen," I says, "sit doon. Alloo me tae put your hats on the dresser! A freen o’ mine—Mr M'Cunn," an’ I waved my haun gracefully o’er Mr M’Cunn’s bald heid as an introduction, "an this gentleman wi’ the wudden leg is anither freen—Mr Pinkerton." The principal stranger nodded, an’ says, "Mr Kaye, I believe?" "At your service," I replied. "We called, Mr Kaye, with reference to the vacancy in the representation of Renfrewshire." "Oh, aye," I says, "for my vote, nae doot." "Not at all, Mr K aye, we want you to become a candidate." A wha—at!" "A candidate, Mr Kaye. You are aware that hitherto this thriving village of Strathbungo has had little or no say in electing a member, and we want to remedy that. Our last member hailed from Neilston, the one before from Renfrew, and another from Inverkip: all very worthy men, as you know, but totally unacquainted with the wants and wishes of Strathbungo." "Very awkward," I put in at this point. "Very awkward, indeed," he rejoined; "why, would you believe it, when anybody belonging to Strathbungo applied for their help to get into the Customs or Excise, or such like, they had no definite idea where Strathbungo was. One, indeed, remarked, ‘Strathbungo, it’s in Lanarkshire;‘ and another stroked his chin and said, ‘Let me see. Strathbungo! Strathbungo! Isn’t that away by Kirkcaldy?’ Now, we want to remedy this, and get a Strathbungo man in. Time about is fair play." "Weel, weel," I says, "I doot it’s a’ true what ye say; but megsty me!—let me see—M.P.—man, it’s jist raither much—I’m no equal tae’t either in purse, speech, or position! Dod, I don’t know but what I micht be as guid’s plenty that’s in already, though. Gentlemen, I must alloo ye have surprised me—ta’en me ower quick. I wis thinkin’ o’ puttin’ in for a Justice-ship. That wid be jist in my line, ye see; for if a fire broke oot I could rin wi’ the reel, or if a water pipe burst I could superintend the plumbers, besides being aye on the spot tae see nae breach o’ the peace took place; but M.P. wid tak’ me awa’ frae my business, an’ the laddie wid ruin me wi’ the guid wecht he wid gi’e. Man, I doot it’s no practicable. Let me think a wee, tho’. Indeed, gentlemen, jist sit doon an’ tak’ a bit thimblefu’ till I cast it ower in my mind." So I turned my back tae them, an’ fixin’ my e’e on the broken haun o’ the echt-day clock, I thocht—"Sir James Kaye, M.P. for Stra’bungo!" an’ then I could hae on my accounts, "Bought of Sir James Kaye, M.P., 2 hunerwecht o’ best Wishaw at 8d." Dod, I could put anither penny on the hunerwecht easy. An’ when I wis comin’ hame for the vacation, an’ gaun oot on the tap o’ the car, the crood that wid gaither tae meet me! an’ the hurrahing! An’ then it wid be in the papers, "The Honourable Sir James Kaye, M.P., took a drive tae the Shaws yesterday!" "The right honourable gentleman, we regret tae say, sprained his thoom on Monday, while superintending in his extensive premises, an’ we understand Her Majesty has desired tae be informed by telegraph if ony change takes place." "We grieve tae inform oor numerous readers that the Right Honourable Lady James Kaye, M.P., has the influenza, but the latest bulletins are favourable. Her honourable husband, oor much respected and universally beloved M.P., is in constant attendance." "Losh, a Justice wid be naething tae’t. I’ll"—but here an awfu’ stramash took place, an’ when I turned roon there wis Mr M’Cunn an’ Mr Pinkerton, an’ the twa strangers, an’ the table an’ glesses, a’ in a humpluck on the floor, an’ them tearin’ each ither like mad, while Betty wis up on the dresser flourishin’ the darnin’ needle. I wis perfectly dumfoundered, but having kent Mr M’Cunn an' Mr Pinkerton for mony years, I thocht they couldna be tae blame, whatever the strangers micht be, so I got a jugfu’ o’ water, an’ poured the hauf o’t doon the neck o’ the tane, an’ the balance doon the neck a’ the tither, an’ that sobered them a wee, an' then ane by ane they a’ got up gey disjaskitlike; Mr M’Cunn wi’ a clour on his nose, an’ Mr Pinkerton wi’ ane a’ his coat tails torn awa’, an’ the virl aff his wudden leg; as for the strangers, they were mair drooned than hurt. As they rose tae their feet, I says, sternly— "What dis a’ this mean, gentlemen! a’ this rippit in a Member a’ Parliament’s hoose? Ay, answer me!" Then Mr M’Cunn explained that he had noticed ane o’ the deputation reaching ower his haun tae lift my watch that wis on the mantelpiece, an’ on his interfering, the ither yin struck in, an’ so the stramash began. I turned roon at this tae grip the twa fellows, but they made a bringe oot o’ the door, an’ I after them, an’ I daursay I micht hae grippit at least ane o' them, but as Mr Pinkerton had his wudden leg stickin’ oot tryin’ tae screw on the virl, I trippit across’t, an gaed heids ower heels oot on the stair-heid. I could dae naething, therefore, but gather mysel’ up an’ come in again, so after puttin’ vinegar on Mr M’Cunn’s nose, and screwin’ on Mr Pinkerton’s virl, we drew intae the fire, an each mixing a gless a’ toddy, condoled wi’ ane anither on the wickedness o’ the worl’, an’ hoo we had been fairly humbugged by twa scoonrels.