Rough Scan
 

 

 

 



 
        
       
        JEEMS ON A VOYAGE
         
         
        DON’T be alarmed,
        BAILIE, it wisna tae America, nor yet tae the Mediterranean, nor even 
          by the “one hundred and forty-ninth popular Saturday afternoon excursion 
          tae Lochgoilhead and back for ninepence.” 
        No, BAILIE, it wis in the canawl – noo, dinna jump at conclusions, 
          it wisna in the Suez canawl, nor yet the Caledonian, nor even the
        Crinan, 
          but on the Forth and Clyde Canawel, frae Port-Dundas tae Kirkintilloch, 
          that lovely village nestling amang the Campsie hills – at least, no 
          far frae them.
        Last Saturday,
        BAILIE, Betty an’ me got intae the Rockvilla omnibus at St. Enoch Square, 
          an’ for tippence got hurled up tae Port-Dundas; an’ here, lying at Spiers’ 
          Wharf, we beheld for the first time the “Rockvilla Castle,” a fine wee 
          boat, wi’ a funnel pented the same as the “Iona’s,” red below and black
        abin, a saloon in the neb o’ her, and anither in the hin’ en’ an’ twa 
          raw o’ sates abin the saloon, wi’ a ticket up, “Top, cabin fare.”  When Betty an’ I gang frae hame, we aye like dae the thing decently 
          – we believe in the maxim o’ leeve an’ let leeve – so we stepped on 
          to the tap o’ the saloon an’ sat doon, and surveyed the surroundin’ 
          scenery till the boat wid start.
        Bein’ frae the 
          country, we were lost in admiration at the great stores, the weather-beaton 
          sailors, an’ the magnificent vessels – I heard a man on the next sate 
          ca’in’ them “scows”: it struck me as a new name, but I didna pretend 
          to ken much aboot vessels, sae I sat still an’ serenly looked roon.
        I then read 
          the bill o’ the sailin’s :- “The fine, safe seagoing steamer ‘Rockvilla 
          Castle’ sails daily, Sundays excepted, with or without pilots, and with 
          liberty to tow or assist vessels in distress, from Spiers’ Wharf,
        Port-Dundas, 
          at 20 minutes to 4, for Lambhill, Kirkintilloch, and Kilsyth.  Fares, Kirkintilloch, 6d; Kilsyth, 8d.  Passengers are requested to look after their own luggage.  Servants in cabin pay full fare.”
        Time being up, 
          oor gallant captain scanned the horizon wi’ his eagle eye, an’ seein’ 
          nae mair passengers comin’ up Port-Dundas, he pulled his sou’-wester 
          doon ower his ears, an’ sung oot, “Throw off that bow line—three turns 
          ahead—half a turn astern—ease her—full speed”; an’ aff we went tae plough 
          the deep, giein’ a last fond look at oor native laud, amid the wavin’ 
          o’ pocket-napkins.  On we went smoothly withoot adventure, till 
          the man on the look-oot cried, “A light on the port bow.”
        But it only 
          turned oot tae be a man lichtin’ his pipe on Ruchill Wharf; so we sailed 
          on.
        Then the mate 
          called oot, “A suspicious-looking craft without sails bearing up the 
          channel.”  Every e’e was strained 
          for the suspicious vessel, an’ as it cam’ nearer we made oot it wis 
          an immense armour-clad drawn by twa horses, a white ane an’ a broon 
          ane.
        We hailed the 
          stranger: “What vessel is that?“ — “The ‘Kate Dalrymple’ o’
        Tillietudlem.” 
          — ”Where from and to?” — “Frae Bowling tae Coatbrig, wi’ a cargo o’ 
          pig iron.”  Reported stormy weather 
          at Wynford Locks, an’ a heavy sea runnin’.  
          Civilities being exchanged, the driver crackit his whup, oor 
          engineer dived doon below, an’ the twa vessels parted, oor captain bein’ 
          asked tae report havin’ spoken the ither tae the Kilsyth 
          Advertiser.
        After a wee 
          a cry was raised, “Breakers ahead!”  The 
          captain cried oot, “Man the lifeboats, an’ every man for himsell’.”  Hooever, it turned oot tae be the waves dashin’ 
          ower a hunnerwecht o’ coals that had fa’en overboard frae a
        lichter.
        On we went, 
          an’ when the “Rockvilla Castle” was opposite the new Barracks on the 
          Maryhill road, a terrific storm arose, little by little, till the wind 
          howled an’ the waves dashed against us.  
          The very seagulls tum’led heids ower heels in their fricht, while 
          oor vessd shivered an’ strained, an’ her timbers creaked, an’ the carpenter 
          reported three feet o’ water in the hold.  
          The women begau tae pray while we men cried “All hands tae the 
          pumps,” an’ at it we went with a will.  
          When the storm was at its warst the boatswain shouts oot, “A 
          strange fish three points on the starboard beam!” 
        We stoppit pumping, an a crooded tae see this new sicht.
        “The sea-serpent 
          for a sixpence!” cried oor second mate.  “Unfurl the top-gallant foresail, an’ splice the main brace!” shouted 
          the captain.  “Man the jolly-boat!“ 
        “Aye! aye! Sir!“  “Get yon auld harpoon oot o’ the main hatch 
          an’ after him!  A thoosand pounds 
          to the man wha catches him! he has often been seen, but it remains wi’ 
          us tae catch him!  Drive the 
          harpoon in at the third bend o’ his tail an’ he’ll whummle ower as deed’s 
          a herring.”  An’ amid the fury o’ the gale the sea-serpent 
          was seen sailing up frae Bowling tae us, wi’ his tail rearing in the 
          air, while ten gallant British sailors jumped into the jolly-boat tae 
          get a haud o’ him.
        I being auld 
          and aye cautious, thocht I wid stop on board, as things were gettiug 
          serious, I determined to keep an e’e the lifeboat, an’ wis making my 
          way ower tae it when Betty grips me by the arm an’ says, “Bless me,
        Jeems, tak care or ye’ll fa’ in,” an’ BAILIE, I awoke.
        It was a dream.  
          I had eaten a heavy dinner, an’ the speel the brae had wearied 
          me, an’ so I had fa’en asleep afore we started frae Port-Dundas, jist 
          as I wis admiring the scenery.  It’s maybe hardly worth while me telling ye o’ my dream, but it’ll 
          account for me no describing the places we passed atween Port-Dundas 
          and Lambhill.
        Weel, here we 
          were sailing along the canawl, thro’ a fine country, wi’ raws o’ wee 
          hooses here and there, an’ corn fields, an’ the shearers hard at work, 
          and every noo an’ again passing inward bound vessel fu’ o’ coal.  We stoppit noo an’ again tae put oot folk wi’ their week’s provisions 
          frae Glasgow.  We gaed by Cadder 
          — a bonny wee place, wi’ an auld kirkyard an’ kirk — then passed the 
          residence o’ a wheen tinklers in the wood, wi’ an awfu’ swarm o’ wee 
          sun-burnt bairns.
        At last, withoot 
          further mishap, we arrived at Kirkintilloch at twenty minutes to six, 
          moet extraordinarily weel pleased wi’ oor sail.  It was cheap, it was smooth, it was droll; oor boat wis nate an’ 
          clean, an’ oor worthy captain civil, careful, an’ attentive.  For ither tippence we could have got to
        Kilsyth, 
          an’ I wanted tae go, an’ got the length o’ saying tae Betty, “Never 
          min’ expenses, ma woman, when we’re oot for a holiday; come awa’ tae
        Kilsyth.”  But we thocht we wid leave that for anither 
          day.