Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 303-306

HE wus a simple-mindit innocent kin’ o’ man, G—e, an thocht everybuddy as strecht-forrit an honourable as hissel, an believe’t whatever onybuddy tell’t him, nae matter hoo ootrageous it wus; an sae they affen play’t a’ kins o’ practical jokes on him, an he never jaloose’t it.

Whun he cam tae Auchencairn he cam a deal tae oor hoose, for the doctor an him wus skule-mates an sib forbye, but he ey stoppit at Johnie B—s the draper’s, an they wur verra kin till him, an chairg’t him joost a trifle, an gied it back tae him in different weys, an he never notice’t it.

B—s wus an awfu man for mischief an fun, an G—e cam in verra handy, he wus that innocent; an whatever scrape they got him intae, a gude tumler o’ toddy at nicht saffen’t it a’ doon again.

There wus yae time he wus inveetit tae Orrolan alang wi S—m H—y o’ Auchenleck an B—s, an they agree’t tae walk baith weys. A’ the road gaun they tell’t him the maist horrible stories o’ folk bein rob’t an murder’t an disappearin on that road, till G—e’s hair wus like tae lift the hat aff his heid, an his teeth wus chatterin like a dizzen stane-chackers.

In the coorse o’ the efternoon they try’t tae mak him fu, but that wus nae use, for he wus nae drinker, he joost took his yae tumler, an wudna taste anither drap for naebuddy. Hoowever, they divertit him wi mair atrocious stories nor ever aboot the robbers, an threw in a ghaist or twa, an a wheen fairies forbye.

Joost afore dark S—m H—y wus wantit verra particularly at hame, an aff he gaed; but afore gaun he put on an aul’ coat an troosers o’ Orrolan’s, an’ an aul’ white beaver hat, an a big he-goat’s beard, an a crape ower his face, an a dooble-barrel’t gun ower his airm, only he didna let G—e see them.

G—e wantit tae stey a’ nicht, but as sune as it wus dark B—s insistit on them gaun hame thegither.

Whun they got tae the plantin naur the entrance gate, B—s begood bragging whut he wud do tae the robbers if they daur’t tae molest him. He wud scatter their brains on the road, he wud ding them inta flinners, he wud dust the stoor oot o’ their jackets, he wud learn them tae interfere wi respectable gentlemen on the queen’s high road, he wud do everything, — but rin awa.

In the middle o’ the braggin there wus a brainge amang the hezzels in the plantin; a fearsome-lookin robber put his heid ower the dyke, an roarin oot in an awesome voice, — “An whut’ll A be doin than, think ye? raise’t his gun an fire’t.

B—s gied an awfu scraich an tummle’t ower on the road, cryin oot, — “Rin for yer life, Mr G—e, for A’m a deid man.” G—e took tae his heels an ran, an the robber lap the dyke an after him, an gruppit him, an order’t him tae deliver up his money or he wud blaw his brains oot.

G—e gaed doon on his knees an beggit for mercy. “Good Mr. Roober,” says he, take all I have, for I have nothing to give you; I’m only a poor minister of the Gospel.”

“Deevil gospel ye,” says the robber, “oot wi yer siller. Ministers o’ the Gospel haes fat glebes an big steepens. Han’ oot yer goold watch an yer purse, or A’ll blaw the heid aff ye.”

“My gude Mr. Robber,” says G—e, “A hae neither glebe nor steepen; A’m only a puir itinerant preacher; A hae naething tae deliver.”

The robber rypit his pooches, an gat naething but three ha’pence an a pair o’ specs.

“Ya poverty-stricken deevil!” says the robber, “get oot o’ my sicht! Hoo daur ye gang aboot the country, imposin on decent folk this wey? dress’t up like a gentleman, an naething on ye but three bawbees. Be gaun, confoond ye! ye’r no worth murderin! A maun see whut the deid yin haes on him.”

An wi that he gaed back tae rype the corpp, while G—e gied him leg-bail an fled for his life; an the demoniac lauchin fae the robber an the corpp sent him scrievin hame.



Partial Glossar

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

  • Strecht-forrit ‘Straight-forward.’ [STRAUCHT]
  • Jaloose ‘To suspect, be suspicious of, to have doubts or suspicions about, guess, surmise.’ [JALOUSE]
  • Sib ‘Related by blood, of the same kindred or lineage; bound by affection, familiarity, or sim. ties, friendly, intimate, mutually well disposed.’ [SIB]
  • Ey ‘Always, ever, continually, on all occasions.’ [AYE]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition, as well, what is more.’ [FORBY]
  • Stane-chacker ‘A stonechat; a wheatear.’ [STANE]
  • Wheen ‘A few, a small number, several.’ [WHEEN]
  • Crape ?’A band of crape serving as an ornament or addition to an article of dress.’ [CRAIP]
  • Plantin ‘a small wood or grove of trees, a plantation.’ [PLANT]
  • Begood ‘past tense of begin’ [BEGOOD]
  • Ding ‘To knock, beat or strike: to drive; to push suddenly and forcibly; to displace or overturn by shoving.’ [DING]
  • Flinners ‘Fragments, splinters, smithereens.’ [FLINDER]
  • Stoor ‘Dust.’ [STOUR]
  • Brainge ‘A violent or clumsy rush, a dash, a plunge.’ [BREENGE]
  • Scraich ‘A shriek, screech, shrill strident sound.’ [SKRAICH]
  • Grup ‘To seize, catch, lay hold of.’ [GRIP]
  • Rype ‘To search thoroughly, examine, esp. for stolen property; to hunt (through), grope, rummage.’ [RIPE]
  • Bawbee ‘A halfpenny.’ [BAWBEE]
  • Corpp ‘A corpse.’ [CORP]
  • Leg-bail ‘Retreat.’ [LEG]
  • Scrieve ‘To move, glide, bowl swiftly along, to speed on smoothly.’ [SCRIEVE]