So that singular evening closed with music very sweet and true renderings of old Border melodies like 'My Peggy is a young thing', and 'When the kye come hame'. I fell asleep with a vision of Amos, his face all puckered up at the mouth and a wandering sentiment in his eye, recapturing in his dingy world the emotions of a boy.
In a moment Ailie and Mistress Jeanie were in the wet grass beside them, half a hundred casements flew open, and the piping voices of tenement bairns cried-down: "Did the bittie doggie come hame?" Oh yes, the bittie doggie had come hame, indeed, but down such perilous heights as none of them dreamed; and now in what a woeful plight!
"I'll rather cut my finger for an excuse to bide at hame, though, afore I gang to the field when he's there," was Catherine's half-pettish reply. "Confound ye if ye do ony sic thing!" cried her mother: "though Sandy pays the house-rent, noo, recollect the guidman can ill spare ony o' his shearers when the weather is fair."
Mannering; I am a plain man and do not dwell on these things, and I must needs say I have little memory for them; but I wish ye could have heard my father's stories about the auld fights of the Mac-Dingawaies that's the Bertrams that now is wi' the Irish and wi' the Highlanders that came here in their berlings from Ilay and Cantire; and how they went to the Holy Land that is, to Jerusalem and Jericho, wi' a' their clan at their heels they had better have gaen to Jamaica, like Sir Thomas Kittlecourt's uncle and how they brought hame relics like those that Catholics have, and a flag that's up yonder in the garret.
"Hame, hame, hame, Hame I soon shall be Hame, hame, hame, In mine own countrie" Scotch Ballad Old Jacob and Catharine, who had been mute spectators of the scene so full of interest to them, now presented themselves before the Ojebwa chief and besought leave to depart. The presents were again laid before him, and this time were graciously accepted.
Ye see they a' thoucht he was hame wi' a walth ayout figures stowed awa' somewhaur naebody kent whaur. Eh, but he was no a bonny man, an' fowk said he dee'd na a fairstrae deith: hoo that may be, I dinna weel ken: there WAR unco things aboot the affair things 'at winna weel bide speykin' o'. Ae thing's certain, an' that is,'at the place has never thriven sin syne.
I have since listened to the same melodies from the lips of Dempster, than whom the Scottish bard has had no sweeter or truer interpreter; but the skilful performance of the artist lacked the novel charm of the gaberlunzie's singing in the old farmhouse kitchen. Another wanderer made us acquainted with the humorous old ballad of "Our gude man cam hame at e'en."
Other fragrant messengers followed in their season, but, if ever I "win hame to mine ain countrie," I make mine avow to enshrine that first rosebud in my reliquaire, with all honor and solemnity, there to abide till one of us shall be dust. I heard from Lord Lyons about once a week. Though my letters were always answered most promptly, the replies never reached me within eight days.
As it was his first year, and he was but a learner, his wages were but sma'; but, sma' as they were, at the end o' the season he brought them hame, and my puir blighted scholar laddie thought himsel a man, when he placed his earnings, to a farthing, in his mother's hand. I was sorry for Sandy.
It'll no be safe now for you to come hame wi' me, which I'm wae for, as ye're sae sorely weary't; but there's a frien o' ours that lives ayont the Holmstone-hill, aboon the auld kirk; I'll convey you thither, and she'll gi'e you a shelter for the night." So we turned back, and again crossed the bridge before spoken of, and held our course towards the house of Gideon Kemp's wife's stepmother.