Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 289-293

FEW folk haes ony sense whun they’re badly. There wus a man leev’t at Kirkennan in Buittle, but A forget whut they ca’t him. A raither think it wus Reid, but A’m no sure; but he wus a queer kin’ o’ a man, an pentit picturs an things, an wus a kin’ o’ poet, an sae he wusna maybe verra thorough.

Nevertheless, let his heid be whut it likit, it didna help his feet, for he took the gout in yin o’ them, an he quotit Scriptur, an wusna in ower gude a temper aboot it; but he had sense aneuch tae sen for the doctor, an tae do whut he advise’t him, an everybuddy said he wus a bleezin fule for’t. Hooever, he wus yin o’ thae kin o’ folk yt haes min’s o’ their ain, an didna fash his thoom aboot whut they thocht o’ him.

He wusna that badly but he could gang aboot, an everybuddy yt kent him, maist, an plenty yt didna, cam an speer’t for him; an maist every yin o’ them tell’t him — “Whut dis doctors ken aboot thae things? an aul’ wife’s worth a dizzen o’ them.”

Than the next thing wus — “Man, A’ll tell ye whut’ll men yer fit. Joost get some black snails, an pit them in saut for three days, an than pit in half as muckle paddick-cruds, an keep them in for a day an a nicht, an then seyl the joice aff an pit it in a bottle, wi a gless o’ brandy in’t tae gar’t keep, an tak  a wine-gless o’t three times a day; an tak the thick pairt an pit it intil a jeely-pig, wi as muckle ream, an half as muckle swine-saem, an set it at the ingle-cheek for twa days, an rub yer fit wi’t, an a’ the time ye’r rubbin’t keep sayin —

Puddick cruds and snail broo;
Confood the deil an cure the goo.

There wus a’ kins o’ cures forbye this yin, and Reid wud pu oot his pocket-book an say — “Dod! man! that’s a gran cure; A’ll get it. Joost say’t ower cannie, an A’ll pit it doon in my book, for fear A forget it;” an he put it doon word for word; an the man or wife, or whutever it wus, wud gang awa as pleas’t as if they had haen a bowe o’ pratas given them.

Every yin yt cam he did the same, an whun it wus ken’t he wus gettin better, every yin thocht it wus his cure yt did it, an wus as please’t as a fule wi a new farden.

Whun Reid got better he got up a gran denner pairty, an inveetit the doctor tae’t, an every yin o’ the men yt had given him a certain cure for his sair fit, gentle an simple; an as everybuddy thocht it wus his cure y’ men’t him, an yt the pairty wus gien in his honour in particular, an yt he wud be made a wee god o’, everybuddy he ax’t wus there.

He gied them a gran denner, an the doctor wus set at his richt han, tae the amazement o’ everybuddy; for they a’ thocht they should ‘a’ been in the place o’ honour; but hooever, the gran denner quaiten’t them doon a bit.

Whun the denner wus ower, instead o’ the whuskey, or rather the toddy bowl comin in, the flonky an the gairdener stotter’t in wi a muckle weshin tub, an set it afore Mr Reid at the en o’ the table; an the twa o’ them took fillers an laidles, an fill’t a’ the wine bottles wi’t, an set them doon a’ alang baith sides o’ the table.

“Noo! gentlemen!” says he, “fill yer glesses, for a bumper.”

They a’ fill’t them.

“Here’s tae the health o’ my verra gude freen, Dr. Trotter,” says he, “turn up yer glesses an gie him three cheers.” An wi that he turn’t up his gless.

The lave o’ them, thinkin it wus some gran new kin’ o’ wine, toss’t it aff too. Ye should ‘a’ seen the faces they made.

“Noo, gentlemen!” says he, “fill again.”

They fill’t again, but no ower fu.

“Noo!” says he, “here’s tae a’ my verra gude freens here, yt said doctors ken’t naething, an gied me saw mony gran cures; an A hae been a heap the better o’ them, every yin o’ them, for A got them a’.”

They didna drink that toast hae heartily; they den’t whut kin a taste it had.

Than he gat up an made a speech, an tell’t them yt he wus uncaly obleeg’t tae them a’ for the remedies they had recommendit; for he had gotten them a’, an taen nane o’ them — till the nicht. He had taen naething but whut the doctor gied him, an for a’ that he wus weel again.

Than he tell’t them yt a’ the med’cines they had adives’t him tae tak wus in the tub, an a’ the rubbin-on med’cines wus in the wee tub at the ither en o’ the table. They had a’ tastit the muckle tub, an could tell whut they thocht o’t, an micht guess whaur he wud ‘a’ been had he swallow’t a’ that rubbish; an as for the ither stuff, if they likit tae rub theirsels wi’t they wur welcome.

Than he tell’t them yt if ony o’ them wantit anither supply, they wur tae help theirsels tae the bottles afore he sent them awa, for he ettle’t tae hae some whuskey next.

They a’ waitit for the whuskey.

Than he brang oot his pocket-book an said he wud read them a wheen o’ the cures he had got, an he wud be gled tae hear their opinion o’ them.

He read oot some o’ the maist outrageous o’ them, an everybuddy lauch’t fit tae kill theirsels, a’ but the yin yt gied him the cure; ye should ‘a’ seen the gruesome face that yin put on, an hoo he lauch’t till his heid wus like tae come aff whun the next yin wus read, no his yin.

Efter the whuskey cam in they made a nicht o’t, an they said some o’ them gaed hame sober, but A’m no axin ye tae believe’t; for a gey wheen o’ them tell’t the history o’ the tubs tae their wifes, an explain’t yt the abominations they had haen tae sup had disorder’t their stammacks a wee, an made them dizzy. It wusna a’ the whuskey they had gotten; certainly no.



Partial Glossar

Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).

  • Thorough ‘Mentally alert, sane, “all there”.’ [THOROUGH]
  • Aneuch ‘Enough.’ [ANEUCH]
  • Fash ‘To trouble, bother oneself, to take pains.’ [FASH]
  • Speer ‘To ask (a piece of information, a question), inquire, make inquiries.’ [SPEIR]
  • Black snail ‘A slug.’ [SNAIL]; see the entry TAE CURE WARTS: “tak twa black snails (“Slugs,” the English ca’s them)”.
  • Paddick-crud ‘Frogspawn.’ [PUDDOCK]
  • Broo ‘Soup, gravy, the liquid in which any kind of food has been boiled.’ [BROO]
  • Seyl ‘To allow a liquid, esp. milk, to pass through a sieve, to strain, filter’. [SILE]
  • Gar ‘To make, cause; to force, compel, esp. to make (a person) do (something).’ [GAR]
  • Jeely-pig ‘A jam-pot.’ [JEELIE]
  • Ream ‘Cream.’ [REAM]
  • Saem ‘Fat, esp. of pigs, lard.’ [SAME]
  • Ingle-cheek ‘The fireside, chimney-corner.’ [INGLE]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition to, as well as.’ [FORBY]
  • Cannie ‘Gently, carefully, quietly, skilfully.’ [CANNY]
  • Pratas ‘Potatoes.’ [PITAWTIE]
  • Farden ‘A farthing.’ [FARDEN]
  • Flonkey ‘A man-servant, esp. in livery, a footman, a lackey, gen. with contemptuous force.’ [FLUNKIE]
  • Stotter ‘To stagger, move unsteadily, to totter, rock about, to stumble.’ [STOTTER]
  • Lave ‘What is left over, the rest, the remainder, the others, of persons or things.’ [LAVE]
  • Uncaly ‘Very much, to a great or remarkable degree’. [UNCO]
  • Ettle ‘To intend, purpose, plan (to do) a thing.’ [ETTLE]
  • Wheen ‘A few, a small number, several.’ [WHEEN]