Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 295-296

DESPARATE few can stan’ prosperity, an Colonel G—n wusna yin o’ them.

The mansion hoose o’ Balcary wus biggit by the Smugglers in the gude aul’ times o’ the French War, an there wus ony number o’ secret cellars aneath an roon’t. The flooer gairden wus a’ fu o’ them too, an the entrance wus generally a wee plot o’ flooers wi an ornamental border, yt liftit up an show’t a stair doon inta the cellar, an whiles yae cellar led by secret doors inta ithers, an they keep’t their tea, an lace, an silk, an gin, an brandy, an tabacca, an a’ that kin’ o’ thing in them, an sent them awa tae Edinburgh an Glesca an Dumfries an ither bits, joost as they had the chance.

The name o’ the smugglin firm wus Quirk, Clark & Co. Quirk wus a Manxman, Clark wus a native, an the Co. wus a’ the rag-tag bobtail an clanjamfrey o’ Europe, an the dirtery o’ the Aibbey.

Whun Colonel G—n got it, he hokit a’ aboot it, huntin for gin an brandy an things, but they said he didna get muckle.

He wus a colonel in the Militia, an a son o’ the aul’ Shirra’s, but he wusna likit half sae weel as his faither. Ye see he had “richts o’ property on the brain,” — ye wud ‘a’ thocht he wus a return’t Packman.

He wusna content wi whut he bocht, but he try’t tae tak possession o’ the sea too, an put up a dyke athin the tidemark an cut aff the foreshore. Forbye this, he stuck up a notice amang his flooers, a wee bit aff the road, saying, — “Sailors and persons with horses and carts are allowed to pass to the marked-off landing place,” an try’t tae interfere a’ he could wi the farmers, an the skippers o’ the boats yt cam in wi coals an lime an things; an whun folk wus gaun tae ship wud or corn or onything, he wudna let them lay’t doon on the shore; an for that a when ill-dispose’t folk, an there’s plenty o’ them a’ gates, said he wus an aul’ tyrant, an wantit dookin in the tide.



Partial Glossar

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

  • Big ‘To build, construct (in gen.).’ [BIG(G)]
  • Whiles ‘Sometimes, at times, occasionally.’ [WHILES]
  • Clanjamfrey ‘A company of people; gen. used contemptuously, hence a mob, rabble, the riff-raff of a community; “frequently used to denote the purse-proud vulgar”.’ [CLANJAMFRY]
  • Dirtery ‘A collective term, used contemptuously to denote a number of worthless, good-for-nothing people.’ [DIRTERIE]
  • Aibbey ‘Abbey.’ Here meanin Dundrennan. [AIBBEY]
  • Hoke ‘To dig, delve the soil, to make a trench or the like in the earth, to uproot or remove from the ground by digging. [HOWK]
  • Shirra ‘Sheriff.’ [SHERIFF]
  • Packman ‘A man who carries wares or merchandise in a pack; chiefly, an itinerant packman, chapman or pedlar.’ [PAKMAN]
  • Athin ‘Within.’ [ATHIN]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition, as well, what is more.’ [FORBY]
  • A’ gates ‘Everywhere.’ [A’GAIT]