NO TAE BE BEAT

Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 322-323

PEGGY wrocht awa a’ the wunter at ocht she could get tae do, an wesh’t an span, an nurse’t unweel weans an folk wi the pox an the typhus, an helpit folk tae thresh their corn, an wappit strae, an did onything yt cam till her han, an manage’t tae keep herself.

Yae day she fan a droon’t bullock at the Airds Heuch, an she made braxy hams o’t, an she cut the skin inta a lang raip, an had it taen hame an hung up the lum tae dry a bit; an she ey use’t this for gaun ower the heuchs wi. She said it wus far stronger an safer nor a tow.

Folk try’t tae persuade her no tae gether the passper, it wus that dangerous. She wus sure tae be kill’t, they said, but she said if she wus it couldna be helpit. It wus her hervest, she said, an she needit it; an if the Lord had joostly punish’t her for setting her heart on an Englishman, He wusna likely tae punish the puir innocent wean wi lettin her fa’ ower; she had mair faith in Providence nor believe that.

She got several offers fae young fallas yt wantit tae mairry her, but she wudna tak ony o’ them. She said yt though Marryat couldna richtly be ca’t her man, he wus a’ the man she had, an as lang as he wus leevin she consither’t herself his. Hooever, she never got tae ken whether he wus leevin or deid.

She use’t tae tak aff her claes, an pit on a man’s troosers an jacket, afore she gaed ower the heughs, for she said women’s claes wusna for speelin craigs wi.

There wus a penter falla fae aboot Dumfries yince took a notion tae watch her, an try an see whut she wus like wantin the claes, but Peggy gat a glisk o’ him an his spy-gless, an slippit roon a craig an gat ahint him, an dabble’t him in the saut water till he wus maist droon’t, an cure’t him o’ his curiosity.

Whun the son grew up he gaed tae the sea, an got on tae be a captain o’ an Indiaman, an took a hoose at Liverpool, an Peggy flittit there.

Whun she dee’t she wantit tae be bury’t at the Aul’ Aibbey, an they bury’t her there.

A MODEL FLOCK

GUDE NEEBORS

Partial Glossar

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

  • Wrocht ‘Worked.’ [WIRK]
  • Ocht ‘Anything.’ [OCHT]
  • Wap ‘To make straw into bundles or bottles.’ [WAP]
  • Braxy hams ‘the hams of those sheep which die of the braxy. . . . What of the carcases can then be ham’d, are done, and the rest of the flesh made present use of by the family. The hams thus cut out are hung up in the smuiky brace, until they are quite dry.’ The DSL entry cites MacTaggart’s Gallovidian Encyclopedia here. [BRAXY]
  • Heuch ‘A crag or precipice, a cliff or steep bank, esp. one overhanging river or sea.’ [HEUCH]
  • Lum ‘A chimney.’ [LUM]
  • Tow ‘Flax or hemp fibre.’ [TOW]
  • Pasperr ‘Samphire.’ [PASPER]
  • Speel ‘To climb, clamber up, to shin, swarm up, mount, ascend.’ [SPEEL]
  • Glisk ‘A glance, a cursory look, a peep, a glimpse’ [GLISK]
  • Flit ‘To remove, transport from one place to another, to shift.’ [FLIT]