Gavin Dishart was barely twenty-one when he and his mother came to Thrums, light-hearted like the traveller who knows not what awaits him at the bend of the road.
"I believe," Gavin said, with sudden enlightenment, "that you brought me here for that purpose." "Maybe," chuckled the doctor; "maybe." Then he changed the subject suddenly. "Mr. Dishart," he asked, "were you ever in love?" "Never!" answered Gavin violently. "Well, well," said the doctor, "don't terrify the horse. I have been in love myself. It's bad, but it's nothing to curling."
A minister from another town assisted at these times, and when the service ended the members filed in at one door and out at another, passing on their way Mr. Dishart and his elders, who dispensed "tokens" at the foot of the pulpit. Without a token, which was a metal lozenge, no one could take the sacrament on the coming Sabbath, and many a member has Mr.
"As for what they would do, that is certain; they would put me out of my church." "And it is dear to you?" "Dearer than life." "You told me long ago that your mother's heart would break if " "Yes, I am sure it would." They had begun to climb the fields, but she stopped him with a jerk. "Go back, Mr. Dishart," she implored, clutching his arm with both hands.
I thocht the minister was waiting till I found it." "Hendry Munn," said Birse, "stood upon one leg, wondering whether he should run to the session-house for a glass of water." "But by that time," said Elspeth, "the fit had left Mr. Dishart, or rather it had ta'en a new turn. He grew red, and it's gospel that he stamped his foot."
"Send some one in your place," advised the doctor, who liked the little minister. "He must come himself and alone," said the Egyptian. "You must both give me your promise not to mention who is Nanny's friend, and she must promise too." "Well," said the doctor, buttoning up his coat, "I cannot keep my horse freezing any longer. Remember, Mr. Dishart, you take the sole responsibility of this."
"I canna make up my mind," he said, "whether she liked that, for she rapped my knuckles wi' her fan fell sair, and aff she gaed. Ay, I consulted Tammas Haggart about it, and he says, 'The flirty crittur, he says. What would you say, Mr. Dishart?" Gavin managed to escape without giving an answer, for here their roads separated. He did not find the Wild Lindsays, however.
Never was there a man more uncomfortably loved than Mr. Dishart. Easie Haggart, his maid-servant, reproved him at the breakfast-table. Old wives grumbled by their hearths when he did not look in to despair of their salvation. He told the maidens of his congregation not to make an idol of him.
Tammas kept what he had done from his wife, but Chirsty saw a deterioration setting in and told the minister of her suspicions. Mr. Dishart was newly placed at the time and very vigorous, and the way he shook the truth out of Tammas was grand. The minister pulled Tammas the one way and Gavin pulled him the other, but Mr.
The minister, however, harangued them on their sinfulness in daring to question the like of him, and they had to retire vanquished though dissatisfied. Then came the disclosures of Tammas Haggart, who was never properly secured by the Auld Lichts until Mr. Dishart took him in hand. It was Tammas who wrote anonymous letters to Mr.