The exact quality and popularity of this gift was excellently stated by the wife of a working man, who referred with enthusiasm to the edifying character of the assistant's conversation. "Tammas misses Maister Carmichael juist terrible, for he wud come in on a forenicht an' sit, an' smoke, an' haver wi' the gude man by the 'oor. He wes the maist divertin' minister a' ever saw in the West Kirk."
But, still an' on, he's my ain man, the only ane ever I had, an' I'll stick up for him, an' till him, while the lamp holds on to burn, as the Psalmist says. "See if I can say my geog, Bawbie," said Nathan to me the ither forenicht, as I was stanin' in the shop.
It lookit like's there was genna be a sale or a raffle or something. He gaed doon to supper Donal' i' the forenicht, an' I took a dander awa' doon ahent him, juist to get a moof'u' o' caller air. When I landit at the stable door I heard Sandy speakin' to somebody.
Sandy, as uswal, put on his goshores on Setarday efternune, an' awa' he gaed aboot five o'clock, an' I saw nae mair o' him till the lang legs o' him But you'll learn aboot that sune eneuch. It was a sicht, the first sicht I got o' him, I can tell you. I was takin' a bit cuppie o' tea to mysel' aboot seven o'clock, for I had been terriple busy a' forenicht.
Sandy lost thirty shillin's an' a cairt-load o' tatties ower the heid o' Princie; an' as for the he tortyshall kitlin', I've never heard nor seen hint nor hair o't. "Man, Bawbie, I think I'll see an' get into the Toon Cooncil some o' thae days," says Sandy to me the ither forenicht.
"A' richt than, Bawbie; I'll do that," says I. "Noo, juist try an' get a sleep for a whilie, an' I'll go ben to the shop dask an' write a scrift for you." So noo when I have the chance, I'll better juist mention that Bawbie got terriple seek i' the forenicht yesterday, an' she hardly ever steekit an e'e a' lest nicht.
Weemin can beat them in mony weys, I admit; but, for doonricht selfishness, come your wa's! There's been great gaitherin's in oor washin'-hoose this while back "Nochties-an'-Broziana," Bandy Wobster ca'd the meetin's to Sandy. The ither Wedensday i' the forenicht the shop was shut i' the efternune, of coorse; I'm a great believer i' the half-holiday, you see. I think it's a capital idea.
Some men on the Common cam' doon an' shoo'd the loons awa' frae pappin' Sandy wi' duds, an' we got hame withoot any farrer mishap; but a' forenicht I heard Sandy wirrin' awa' till himsel', an' sayin' ilky noo an' than "Ill-gettit little deevils; an' me gae them an' orange box too!" Nathan cam' in juist afore I shut the shop, an' tell'd Sandy that there had been an' awfu' row on the Common.
Noo, when I gang into the square o' a forenicht, the lads 'll cry oot, 'Dinna be lookin' my gate, Saunders, an' wonnerin' whether I'll need a seven-fit hole, or whether a six-fit yin will pass! Or maybe the bairns'll cry oot, 'Hae ye a skull i' yer pooch? The like o' that tells on a man in time, sir."
But we had a kind o' a kirk o' oor ain on Sabbath i' the forenicht, for Dauvid Kenawee cam' in, an' syne Bandy Wobster; an' they werena weel set doon when in cam' Jacob Teylor, the smith, an' Stumpie Mertin alang wi' them. Gairner Winton cam' in to speer what had come ower Sandy, for he hadna seen him at the kirk.