Rough Scan








 
      THE MARINE 
        EXHIBITION
      HAVING been born, BAILIE, on the 
        banks o’ the Clyde, famous a’ the worl’ ower for its vessels; and,
      forbye, 
        haeing a lot o’ freens in that line, I tak’ a great interest in our shipbuilding; 
        so the ither day Betty an’ me, an’ a freen frae Kilma’colm, stepped awa’ 
        up tae see the Marine Exhibition. Paying oar sixpence, we gaed in, an’ 
        Betty bocht a catalogue. I, hooever, kent ower much aboot ships tae need 
        ane: a diligent reading o’ the papers has posted me a’ up aboot boats; 
        so I left the book tae her, but as she had forgot her specs, she got a 
        wee mixed up wi’ the names and numbers.
      "Noo," says I, stopping opposite 
        a gless case, "pay attention tae me, an’ never mind the catalogue, 
        an’ I’ll explain everything as we go alang. Here’s the ‘Royal George,’ 
        for instance, that wis the man-o’-war that Lord Nelson was in at the battle 
        o’ Copenhagen. This is no like the man-o’-wars they mak’ noo-a-days. Ye’ll 
        notice it’s very high oot o’ the water, an’ they build them at present 
        wi’ naething above the water but a funnel an’ a gun. Fashion changes, 
        ye see, in a' things baith at land an’ sea.
      "No. 3, Model of the ‘Victory.’ ‘Victory,’ 
        ‘Victory’; let me see, that wis the name o’ a steamer that used tae rin 
        tae Rothesay, but she wisna like this. I’ve been in her mony a time. They 
        must hae made some mistake. What’s this? ‘100 guns.’ Well, she had nae 
        gun that ever I saw except a wee brass cannon up on the paidlebox. Surely 
        that’s vera careless o’ them pittin’ doon 100 guns.
      "No"—but I needna tell ye o’ 
        them a’, BAILIE, we admired the various models: every ane nicer than
      anither. 
        It’s perfectly extror’nar hoo they can get up yon things. In fac’ they’re 
        perfect triumphs o’ art. The man wha can mak’ ane o’ yon models is nae 
        greenhorn. There were some they ca'ad "hauf models" that werena sae interesting-they 
        were jist like a bit a polished wood wi' a bow an' a stern, an’ then sliced 
        through the middle, an they possessed nae great beauty tae the eye o’ 
        an ootsider like mysel', but the "whole models" were vera neat-everything 
        being shown, blocks, ropes, wheels, skylichts, etcetera.
      We walked on and admired.
      "Noo," I remarks in oor walk, 
        "here’s No. 110, Model of the ‘Comet,’ that wis the man-o’-war that 
        tummled ower at Spithead when the admiral and 800 sailors were drooned-there’s 
        a sang aboot it-Admiral Kempenfield or something. This is a model on an 
        unco wee scale-she looks like a tug-boat jist-maybe they were short a’ 
        wudd when they made her."
      Mr Laird, my freen frae Kilma’colm, speaks 
        up at this, an’ says, "Ye’re surely wrang, Mr Kaye the Comet’ wis 
        the first boat ever built, if I’m no mista'en."
      "Mr Laird," says I, turning roon 
        tae him, " d’ye mean tae contradict me? Me that wis brocht up among 
        ships a’ my days, contradictit by you that wis born an’ brocht up in Kilma’colm, 
        an’ never wis nearer a ship than seeing them as ye cam doon ower the hills 
        tae Port-Glasgow. Ye may be an authority on soor milk carts, but I’m thinking 
        ye ken unco little aboot boats. The first boat ever was built, sae far 
        as I’m aware, wis Noah’s Ark, but ye’re thinking o’ the first steamer, 
        Mr Laird, an’ that wis the 'Industry,’ presented some years ago by its 
        owners tae the Corporation o’ Glasgow as a curiosity, an’ noo lying doon 
        at Bowling high an’ dry. Man, Mr Laird, it’s extror’nar the ignorance 
        o' some folk, an’ I notice the mair ignorant they are they’re the mair
      presumptous. Noo, don’t say anither word! Come ben an’ see the engines."
      So awa’ we went, and amang ither things 
        we saw, labelled No. 619, some droll-looking gear that somebody said was 
        for a "diver." I looked and looked and looked, and felt it, 
        and turned it roon, and then I said, "It’s extror'nar heavy. I’m thinking 
        if anybody had it on they wid ‘dive’ fast enough, but hoo they wid ever 
        win up again is a question. Bit here's a polisman he'll ken a' aboot it." 
        So I waved him ower, and gieing him a snuff we got quite confidential, 
        and be explained it a’—hoo the helmet wis put on and the air pumped in, 
        and hoo the diver went doon amang the wulks tae look for lost treasure. 
        By and bye I took anither snuff, and then I says to the polisman—
      "Ye couldna pit it on and tak’ a 
        bit walk up and doon tae let us see it in actual working order, and I’ll 
        catch thir gutta-percha pipes and pump the air intae ye. Ye can lay yer 
        hat and coat doon in the corner and Betty’ll watch them. I suppose there’s 
        nae fear o’ the Inspector comin’ up?"
      The polisman was vera obleeging, so after 
        a wee coaxing he took off his coat and hat and crept intae the waterproof 
        suit and walked up and doon for a wee, and then I says—
      "Gie a wee bit rin for the last."
      Bit he had jist run twice up and doon 
        when a heid comes roon the corner, and then a face, and then a—Police 
        Inspector! He—that’s the Inspector—wis quite dumbfoondered at seeing the 
        diving bell rinnin’ up and doon the lobby and singing a sea song, something 
        about
      Ye hoh, my lads, ye hoh!
      and he wis getting red in the face wi’ 
        anger, but I steps up tae him and I says—
      "That polisman a’ yours is a by or’nar 
        scientific man. He has a great thirst for knowledge; aye, and ye’ve put 
        him in the very best place for improvement. It’s really creditable indeed 
        tae the police force o’ Glasgow tae hae sich men. I question if any other 
        police force in the kingdom equals it for intelligence. You inspectors 
        ocht tae be prood a’ your men."
      Then I handed him my snuff box, and adds—
      "Sae naething tae the puir chiel. 
        It wis his desire tae obleege visitors acting on his natural propensity 
        for hydraulics that induced him tae throw aside his uniform for a wee, 
        so I hope ye’ll overlook it this time." Oor freen Q 1999 had by this 
        time put on his coat and hat again, and I got the Inspector and him tae 
        shake hauns and let bygones be bygones, and then I whispers tae Betty 
        and Mr Laird—
      "We’d better awa’ noo. There’s a 
        wheen ingines and capstans and things lying aboot, but I’ve little skill 
        o’ them, and ye twa hae less, so enough’s as guid’s a feast ony day." 
        So we a’ come oot, BAILIE, weel pleased indeed.