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A SHORT STORY., Issue 10455, 27 October 1897
A SHORT STORY.
THE BICKER IN THE KAIL YARD. Yielding to the prevalent taste for stories in the Northern dialect we have engaged an eminent literary gentleman, at great expense, to contribute the following. A translation can be had cn application : “Hoo are ye the noo, Maggie?” said Tonald Mac Scone, interrogatively, to the braw lass who was industriously milking the kye in the kail yard. “ It’s lang syne ye let me see a glimtre' o’ ye bright een. Na doot all your thcchts have been given to yon v/astril, Sandy Macparritch.” “Ye ken very well, Mister MacScotchbroth,” responded the damsel, casting a disdainful glance at the young Highlander as he leaped disconsolately on his sporan ; “ye ken tine I ha’ na’ t’ok ns wi’ yon stiokit swain.”
“ But ye maun confess, my wee Maggie, that the auld Carle has sma’ pleasure to tak a dander o’er the muirs forbye ye will na play houghmagandie wi’ him ?’’ “ That may be as ye say,” responded the gay hizzie, as she smoothed out the wrinkles in her goon j “ bub his haffPna-ways are but pint stoup clatters to them as winna heed them.”
“ I wad I cou’d believe a’ ye say,” returned Tonald, oneasily shifting his stance fra his left leg to hla right; “ it’s a muokle pity ye dinna tell him that ye’sel.” “ And sa I did tell’t him bat yesireen,” cried the girl with rising anger in her voice. “ It's na fault of mine if the oallant will fain to the barn pen. I ha’ ketcht him a fine braw ane, but be winra tak no for an answer.”
“ Wha winna tak no for an answer?” exclaimed a voice from behind the hedge ; and the next moment a stalwart figure clad in the Macparritch tartan stood before them. The new-comer fixed his twa een gloomily on his rival as the latter laid his hand on his skene dhu.
“Pit up thy dirk, Tonald Mac Scone,” ha cried ; “ I’ll no fechb thee before the lass, aiblins the temptation. But the time shall come when my swirlie auld moss-oak shall loot a winze on tba’ numskull.”
“I seek no quarrel with thee, Sandy Macparritch,” exclaimed the other eagerly; “ but whiles owre a linn the burnie plays (as Burns so appropriately puts 'it) I’ll gie thy cog a wee bit heap before I gie up the lassie to a ten tie stimpart like yeVel.” “ Mackrihanish !” exclaimed Sandy (ha seldom swore, but when ha did it was dreadful to hear him). "If ye dinna cease your blethrin I’ll gia ye a taste o* spleuohan that'll hut and ben ye ’’—and as he spoke he aporan menacingly. “ Na, na!” interrupted Maggie, seeing that matters were getting serious. " Waesucks, mon I D’ye think a bonnie lassie like mysel’ cares a kebbuok-heel for a’ thy jow and croon. The olaehan gill has made ye baith canty. Ye put me in an eerie swither with yere fierce looks and yere wild words. He’ll be na guidman o’ mine that kicks up a stoure aboot sic a trifle.”
“ An’ ye call it a trifle for a laverock like you to be winkin’ baudrons whiles be claps a shangan on the tail of a lass that I sa weel respeckit I” cried Tonald. “ I’ll gie him on a rape a hoyse, and cow his measure shorter some day i’ the morn, when he hasna his cranreuch wi' him.”
This was too much for the irate Sandy, whose eyes shot wi’ sklentin’ light, while his sporan shook in his nieve, “Come on, ye dawtittwal-pint billie !” he shouted. “ Stop till I have ye i’ my thrall, and I’ll mak ye repent ava yere ill-tongu’d scawl.”
“ Let me get at the smoutie phiz o’ the rantin’bardie P cried the valorous Tonald, brandishing his weapon, and actively placing a stone wall between his adversary and himself. “I’ll make ye’re duds reekitr wi’ bluid if ye’ll pit that skene dhu down and come here !'’ -
“Ye measeless, graceless loons !” exclaimed Maggie, though secretly proud of the special Scotch courage displayed by both of her lovers; “I’ll ha na fechtin’ on my account. D’ye no ken that I’m ta be wedded to the douce Jamie M'Whuskey when the kye come hame ?”
Toe rivals dropped their weapons as this announcement fell on their ears.
“And I have been making a wee bit hooaie this lang syne for thee to share,” cried Tonald ; “ but gif it’s sae I’m red ye’re glaikit.”
“ Deil tak the fause loon,” said Sandy; “ ’twas but yestreen he tel’t me, as he went limpan vi’ the spavie, that ’twas Grizel Grogan he had in his een.”
It was now Maggie’s turn to look discomposed. , “DiAhe say that, the sbelpic-limmer ? Then 111 foozle bis bunkered lugs for him till his skin comes haurlin.”
As she spoke the winsome lassie gaed a keck wi’ her shoulder and owre the hill gaed sorievin.
Sandy looked at Tonald for a minute wi’ & bickering dancing wintle in the corner of his een. Then he thrust his skene dhu back into its sheath, and said : “Sync, instead of fechlin aboot the crouchie lass, we’ll foregather wi’ buttered so’ens and a glass o’ strunt, my hilchin Tonald.”
“Aye, sa we will, ye stibble-rig,” replied the gallant Hielander, flinging down his gruntle. “It’s na use vap’rin an aizle brunt ower only lass jootelega.” And the twa walkit off arm-in-arm.—‘St. James’s Gazette.’
The Government intend opening up part of the Puhipuhi kauri forests in the Whangarei district. . ,
A SHORT STORY., Issue 10455, 27 October 1897
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