To look at him you wudda thocht he was trailin' the band an' a' the sojers ahent him, he lookit that hard wrocht. He never saw me not him! His e'en were starin' fair afore him; he wudna kent his ain tattie cairt, I believe, he was that muckle taen up wi' his merchin'. He landit hame till his tea atween sax an' seven o'clock, stervin' o' cauld, but as happy's a cricket.
When I heard the band on Setarday efternune, I threw the key i' the shop door, an' ran doon to the fit o' the street to see the sojers passin'. Wha presents himsel', merchin' in the front o' the band, but my billie, Sandy.
I took a bit peek in at the winda, an' here's Sandy merchin' aboot wi' the horse cover tied up in a bundle in ae hand, an' a stick i' the ither. He stoppit in the tume staw an' laid doon his bundle rale smert like; syne he lookit ower the buird to Donal', an' says, in an Englishy kind o' a voice, "Twa return tickets third-class an' back to Edinboro!" I saw syne what he was at!
I doot yon's the end o' a very promisin' match, and the man, though he mayna' think it, has his merchin' orders." The brief bow-legged figure rolled along the lobby, pshawing with vexation, and in a little, Doom, to all appearance, was a castle dark and desolate.
"Man, Bawbie," he says, as I laid a reed herrin' on the brander for him, "there's naething affeks me like sojers merchin' to musik. It juist garrs my backbeen dirl, an' I canna sit still. When they were doin' the merch-past this efternune, I had to up an' rin, or I wudda thrappilt some lad sittin' aside's. That's the wey it affeks me.