THE CHIMNEY CORNER
THE DISRUPTION A TALE OF TRYING TIMES.
[According to promise we give the two chapters that went araissing some weeks.ago, and without which the tale is incomplete]. CHAPTER XVIII. Awa, ye- selfish warly race, Wlia think that bavins, sense, an’ grace, E’en love and friendship should give place To catch the plack I • : I dinna like to sec your face, , . Nor hear your crack. Burns. How Mr. Bacon gathered himself up after his fall ; how Miss Stimperton poured the balm of sympathy into his wounded pride ; how he smiled on her as he never smiled on woman before, and frowned .bn Jean Brown and Robin Afleck for-their merriment at his expense, need not be circumstantially related. Neither is it necessary to describe how he became mollified, or by what means Jean Brown managed to obtain access to every corner of.his house, and to gratify her love of fun by prying into every oddity of his domestic economy. Suffice it to say, all this took place ; and, before the shades of evening fell, Mr. Bacon was left ‘ alone in his glory.’ ..... The proceedings of ; Stiffriggs arid Mrs. Renshaw now require some attention. Instead of attending Mr; Bacon’s drawing-room rehearsal, the mistress of Whinnyside was engaged in playing a Bold Stroke for a husband. Ringan Stimperton met her, according to previous appointment, to assist her in transacting certain business affairs, which, as she herself alleged, could not well be managed without the help of “ some man body.” Stiffriggs did not possess, or pretend to, much knowledge ol such business; ’but he was disposed to be obliging, and . readily agreed to aid his fat and fair neighbor in the matters in which she solicited his assistance. He found her dressed very showily, and ready to go with him; but she desired him'to be seated for a minute, as she had. .something to explain. She then, with an air of mystery, closed the door, and took from her pocket a small parcel, put up with great care in a silk handkerchief. ‘ This is a pickle siller,’ she said, speaking low, as'if afraid of being overheard, while she produced a bunch of bank notes—“ This is a pickle siller I hae scrapit thegither, and want piit in ■a safe place. Ye’ll find that it comes to the feck o’ five hundred pound. Three hundred and fifty o’t was lent to auld Gideon Miggumeri on his house, so it was hae wonder I was against James Duncanson taking the dochter, for you see the family were as puir as skim milk.at Martinmas; but they’ve gotten abune the broo at last, and paid aff my bond; plack and bawbee; so Jimes has no chance there, at ony rate. Will ye just be sae gude as see if there be; three bunder and fifty there in big notes, and boo muckle mair there is in wee anes ?’ • ‘ Ay, ( ay, neighbor! ye’re weel gathered, 1 I think. Let me see —here ye hae three notes o’ a hundcr, each, and five o’ ten pounds the piece. Exactly, that’s just three bunder and fifty. Then ye ha’e—let me see—ay ;ye ha’e twenty fives, and three .bunches o’ single notes, ’' wi ten, I reckon, in every bunch.’ ‘Just that. Then I have a pickle guineas in this purse, or sovereigns as they ca’, them nop, ; Do ye think they’ll gang?’
. ‘ Gang ! ay. At least, they ay gang fast eneuch awa Irae me.
‘ Weel, then, I should ha’e within a pound ! or twa o’ five hunder there a’thegither, and I want to see what ye think I should do wi’t? Ye ken I’m just a lone woman, and canna be expeckit hoo to do for the best in sic matters.’
‘Trowth, it’s my opinion ye ken far better than me, for ye’ve managed to male’ a hantle mair siller than I could ever fairly ca’ my ain.’ ‘ Toots, man ! that’s no a’ I have, nor the hawfo’t. There I have four hunner pounds in the laird’s hand, and the stocking o’ the mailin' is worth as muckle mair. But mind, ye mauna tell ony body o’ this, for I wadna for the woiT hae folks talking aboot it. It wadna be lang o’ being haurled through my fingers if it were kent I had it ; so it's best to keep a calm sough and ca’ canny. I just want to hear how ye think this odd pickle could be turned to the best advantage.’ ‘ Weel, I’ll tell you, Mrs. Renshaw, what I think ye should do wi’ some o’t.’
‘ Le me hear, then, and I’m sure I’ll be obleeged to ye.’ ‘I think ye might do waur than lend your nevoye as muckle as wad bring him decently through the colleße-’ ‘ Deed, Mr. Stimperton, I m no sae daft. Whaur wad the profit be o’ that I wonder? I trow, the principle and interest wad come back to me wi’ the blin’ carrier. Set my nevoye up wi my hard won siller, truly, after he’s been sae ungratefu’ for what I have spent on him already ! Na, na, I may need a’ my gear mysel’, Mr. Stimperton; at at least, if I gie’t awa, I’ll gie’t to somebody better i deserving o’t than, Jimes Duncanson. -He ran awa’ wi’ the harrows about this Non-intrusion nonsense, and never speert my leave, though I was his only auntie, and had done everything for him. As little did he speer my leave whan he drew up wi’ Agnes Miggummerie; and this was the mair provoking when her faither was sae deep in debt to me.- I would be as foolish as himsel’, I think, if I sent ony mair o’ my siller that gate. And as for his coming through the college, what wad it signify though he was through the morn, when he has spoilt his best chance o’ being a parish'minister, and may need to leave the Kirk o’ Scotland a’thegither ? ” . ■ If he does leave the Kirk it will be to his honor, and for conscience’ sake ; and he may be a usefu’ minister, and a bright an’ shining licht after a’.’ ‘ I wadna gie a snuff for ony minister but a parish minister. A pu’pit without a parish is nae better than caff without the corn, or a saddle without a horse. It’s just a mock and a blafum.’ ‘ It grieves me to hear ye speak in this way, neighbor,’ said Stiffriggs; ‘your wisdom is of the earth, earthy ; and your siller is but trash, since ye canna see hoo to mak’ the right use o’t.’ Saying this he pitched the notes which he had just tied up again on the table ; but they rebounded and fell on the floor. He then gave the precious parcel a kick which sent it to the other side of the room, repeating at the same time, half jocularly half in earnest, ‘trash.’
‘ For glide’s sake, Mr. Stimperton,: tak’ care o’ the notes, or they’ll be in the fire !’ exclaimed the lady, in a dreadful panic. She snatched them up immediately, and after tying them again in the silk handkerchief, replaced the parcel in her pocket, saying in rather a sulky and disappointed manner —‘ So ye’re no gaun to advise me what to do wi’ the siller? ’ .
‘ I’ve gi’en ye my advice already, ye ken.’ "
■■ ■ ‘ Foots, man! the advice I want to get is aboot what bank would be the safest and gi’e the raaist interest. Can ye no tell me that ? ’ ■ ‘Yes, the Bank o’ Christian duty. That’s whaur yoor siller would be safest, and bring you the best interest.’
‘ I never heard o’ sic a bank. I was thinking o’ tryin’ the British Linen Company. ' But there’s anither business I maun see after first.’ ‘ Ay, what is’t ?’ ‘lt’s an account that’s awn me for meal and cheese, by a worthless bagibon in the toun here. I’ve sent and written to him often abooiit, but canna get the siller oot o’ his fingers. Ye see hoo a single woman’s imposed on Mr. Stimperton. . He,wadna trifle wi’ the like o’ you, I’m‘ thinkin’, the way he trifles wi’ me ; so ye maun come along wi’ me, and see if ye can fricht him.’ ‘Trowth, mistress, if a body may judge by the siller ye’ve made in Whinnyside, ye’re a hantle better at managing money matters than me, for ye’ve grown rich while. I havena been gaun oot the bit. Hoosomever, I’ll gang wi’ ye, and see what can be dune wi’ this scooneral customer o’ your’s.’ (To be continued.)
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 188, 10 November 1880
THE CHIMNEY CORNER Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 188, 10 November 1880
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