How can I leave the marmalade
An’ bonnets o’ Dundee?
The h cheap nike air max aar, the haddies, an’ the brose,
The East win’ blawin’ free!
How can I lay my sporran by,
An’ sit me doun at hame,
Wi’oot a Hieland philabeg
Or hyphenated name?
I lo’e the gentry o’ the North,
The Southern men I lo’e,
The canty people o’ the West,
The Paisley bodies too.
The pawky fowk o’ Fife are dear,–
Sae dear are ane an’ a’,
That e’en to think that we maun pairt
Maist braks my hairt in twa.
So fetch me tartans, heather, scones,
An’ dye my tresses red;
I’d deck me like http://cheapnikeairmaxux.co.uk/ th’ unconquer’d Scots
Wha hae wi’ Wallace bled.
Then bind my claymore to my side,
My kilt an’ mutch gae bring;
While Scottish lays soun’ i’ my lugs
McKinley’s no my king,–
For Charlie, bonnie Stuart Prince,
Has turned me Jacobite;
I’d wear displayed the white cockade,
An’ (whiles) for him I’d fight!
An’ (whiles) I’d fight for a’ that’s Scotch,
Save whuskey an’ oatmeal,
For wi’ their ballads i’ my bluid,
Nae Scot could be mair leal!
I fancied that I had pitched my verses in so high a key that no one could mistake their burlesque intention. What was my confus nike air max 95 ion, however, to have one of the company remark when I finished, “Extremely pretty; but a mutch, you know, is an article of _woman’s_ apparel.”
Mr. Macdonald flung himself gallantly into the breach. He is such a dear fellow! So quick, so discriminating, so warm-hearted!
“Don’t pick flaws in Miss Hamilton’s finest line! That picture of a fair American, clad in a kilt and mutch, decked in heather and scones, and br nike air max 90 andishing a claymore, will live forever in my memory. Don’t c nike air max classic lip the wings of her imagination! You will be telling her soon that one doesn’t tie one’s hair with thistles, nor couple collops with cairngorms.”
Somebody sent Francesca a great bunch of yellow broom, late that afternoon. There was no name in the box, she said, but at night she wore the odorous tips in the bosom of her black dinner-gown, and standing erect in her dark hair like golden aigrettes.
When she came into my room to say good-night, she laid the pretty frock in one of my trunks, which was to be filled with the garments of fashionable society and left behind in Edinburgh. The next moment I chanced to look on the floor, and discovered a little card, a bent card, with two lines written on it:–
“_Better lo’ed ye canna be,
Will ye no come back again?_”
We cheap nike air max have received many invitations in that handwriting. I know it well, and so does Francesca, though it is blurred; and the reason for this, according to my way of thinking, is that it has been lying next the moist stems of flowers, and, unless I do her wrong, very near to somebody’s warm heart as well.
I will not betray her to Salemina, even to gain a victory over that blind and deaf but much beloved woman. How could I, with my heart beating high at the thought of seeing my ain dear laddie before many days!
“Oh, love, love, lassie,
Love is like a dizziness:
It winna let a puir body
Gang aboot his business.”
“Now she’s cast aff her bonny shoon
Made o’ gilded leather,
And she’s put on her Hieland brogues
To skip amang the heather.
And she’s cast aff her bonny goon
Made o’ the silk and satin,
And she’s put on a tart nike air max 1 an plaid
To row amang the braken.”
We are in the East Neuk o’ Fife; we are in Pettybaw; we are neither boarders nor lodgers; we are residents, inhabitants, householders, and we live (live, mind you) in a wee theekit hoosie in the old loaning. Words fail to tell you how absolutely Scotch we are and how blissfully happy. It is a happiness, I assure you, achieved through great tribulation. Salemina and I traveled many miles in railway trains, and many in various other sorts of wheeled vehicles, while the ideal ever beckoned us onward. I was determined to find a romantic lodging, Salemina a comfortable one, and this special combination of virtues is next to impossible, as every one knows. Linghurst was too much of a town; Bonnie Craig had no respectable inn; Whinnybrae was struggling to be a watering-place; Broomlea had no golf course within ten miles, and we i nike air max ntended to go back to our native land and win silver goblets in mixed foursomes; the “new toun o’ Fairloch” (which looked centuries old) was delightful, but we could not find apartments there; Pinkie Leith was nice, but they were tearing up the “fore street” and laying drain-pipes in it. Strathdee had been highly recommended, but it rained when we were in Strathdee, and nobody can deliberately settle in a place where it rains during the process of deliberation. No train left this moist and dripping hamlet for three hours, so we took a covered trap and drove onward in melancholy mood. Suddenly the clouds lifted and the rain ceased; the driver thought we should be having settled weather now, and put back the top of the carriage, saying meanwhile that it was a verra dry simmer this year, and that the crops sairly needed shoo’rs.
“Of course, if there is any district in Scotland nike air max sale where for any reason droughts are possible, that is where we wish to settle,” I whispered to Salemina; “though, so far as I can see, the Strathdee crops are up to their knees in mud. Here is another wee village. What is this place, driver?”
“Pettybaw, mam; a fine toun!”
“Will there be apartments to let there?”
“I couldna say, mam.”
“Susanna Crum’s father! How curious that he should live here!” I murmured; and at this moment the sun came out, and shone full, or at least almost full, on our future home.
“Pettybaw! _Petit bois_, I suppose,” said Salemina; “and there, to be sure, it is,–the ‘little wood’ yonder.”
We drove to the Pettybaw Inn and Posting Establishment, and, alighting, dismissed the driver. We had still three good hours of daylight, although it was five o’clock, and we refreshed ourselves with a delicious cup of tea before looking for lodgings. We consulted the greengrocer, the baker, and the flesher, about furnished apartments, and started on our quest, not regarding the little posting establishment as a possibility. Apartments we found to be very scarce, and in one or two places that were quite suitable the landlady refused to do any cooking. We wandered from house to house, the sun shining brighter and brighter, and Pettybaw looking lovelier and lovelier; and as we were refused shelter again and again, we grew more and more enamored, as is the manner of human kind. The blue sea sparkled, and Pettybaw Sands gleamed white a mile or two in the distance, the pretty stone church raised its carved spire from the green trees, the manse next door was hidden in vines, the sheep lay close to the gray stone walls and the young lambs nestled close beside them, while the song of the burn, tinkling merrily down the glade on the edge of which we stood, and the cawing of the rooks in the little wood, were the only sounds to be heard.
Salemina, under the influence of this sylvan solitude, nobly declared that she could and would do without a set bath-tub, and proposed building a cabin and living near to nature’s heart.
“I think, on the whole, we should be more comfortable living near to the inn-keeper’s heart,” I answered. “Let us go back there and pass the night, trying thus the bed and breakfast, with a view to seeing what they are like,–though they did say in Edinburgh that nobody thinks of living in these wayside hostelries.”
Back we went, accordingly, and after ordering dinner came out and strolled idly up the main street. A small sign in the draper’s window, heretofore overlooked, caught our eye. “House and Garden To Let. Inquire Within.” Inquiring within with all possible speed, we found the draper selling winseys, the draper’s assistant tidying the ribbon-box, the draper’s wife sewing in one corner, and the draper’s baby playing on the clean floor. We were impressed favorably, and entered into negotiations without delay.
“The house will be in the loaning; do you mind, ma’am?” asked the draper. (We have long since discovered that this use of the verb is a bequest from the Gaelic, in which there is no present tense. Man never is, but always to be blessed, in that language, which in this particular is not unlike old-fashioned Calvinism.)
We went out of the back door and down the green loaning, until we came to the wee stone cottage in which the draper himself lives most of the year, retiring for the warmer months to the back of his shop, and eking out a comfortable income by renting his hearthstone to the summer visitor.
The thatched roof on the wing that formed the kitchen attracted my artist’s eye, and we went in to examine the interior, which we found surprisingly attractive. There was a tiny sitting-room, with a fireplace and a microscopic piano; a dining-room adorned with portraits of relatives who looked nervous when they met my eye, for they knew that they would be turned face to the wall on the morrow; four bedrooms, a kitchen, and a back garden so filled with vegetables and flowers that we exclaimed with astonishment and admiration.
“But we cannot keep house in Scotland,” objected Salemina. “Think of the care! And what about the servants?”
“Why not eat at the inn?” I suggested. “Think of living in a real loaning, Salemina! Look at the stone floor in the kitchen, and the adorable stuffy box-bed in the wall! Look at the bust of Sir Walter in the hall, and the chromo of Melrose Abbey by moonlight! Look at the lintel over the front door, with a ship, moon, stars, and 1602 carved in the stone! What is food to all this?”
Salemina agreed that it was hardly worth considering; and in truth so many landladies had refused to receive her as a tenant that day, that her spirits were rather low, and she was uncommonly flexible.
“It is the lintel and the back garden that rents the hoose,” remarked the draper complacently in broad Scotch that I cannot reproduce. He is a house-agent as well as a draper, and went on to tell us that when he had a cottage he could rent in no other way he planted plenty of creepers in front of it. “The baker’s hoose is no sae bonnie,” he said, “and the linen and cutlery verra scanty, but there is a yellow laburnum growin’ by the door: the leddies see that, and forget to ask aboot the linen. It depends a good bit on the weather, too; it is easy to let a hoose when the sun shines upon it.”
“We hardly dare undertake regular housekeeping,” I said; “do your tenants ever take meals at the inn?”
“I couldna say, mam.” (Dear, dear, the Crums are a large family!)
“If we did that, we should still need a servant to keep the house tidy,” said Salemina, as we walked away. “Perhaps housemaids are to be had, though not nearer than Edinburgh, I fancy.”
This gave me an idea, and I slipped over to the post-office while Salemina was preparing for dinner, and dispatched a telegram to Mrs. M’Collop at Breadalbane Terrace, asking her if she could send a reliable general servant to us, capable of cooking simple breakfasts and caring for a house.
We had scarcely finished our Scotch broth, fried haddies, mutton-chops, and rhubarb tart when I received an answer from Mrs. M’Collop to the effect that her sister’s husband’s niece, Jane Grieve, could join us on the morrow if desired. The relationship was an interesting fact, though we scarcely thought the information worth the additional threepence we paid for it in the telegram; however, Mrs. M’Collop’s comfortable assurance, together with the quality of the rhubarb tart and mutton-chops, brought us to a decision. Before going to sleep we rented the draper’s house, named it Bide-a-Wee Cottage, engaged daily luncheons and dinners for three persons at the Pettybaw Inn and Posting Establishment, telegraphed to Edinburgh for Jane Grieve, to Callender for Francesca, and dispatched a letter to Paris for Mr. Beresford, telling him we had taken a “wee theekit hoosie” and that the “yett was ajee” whenever he chose to come.
“Possibly it would have been wiser not to send for them until we were settled,” I said reflectively. “Jane Grieve may not prove a suitable person.”
“The name somehow sounds too young and inexperienced,” observed Salemina, “and what association have I with the phrase ‘sister’s husband’s niece’?”
“You have heard me quote Lewis Carroll’s verse, perhaps:–
‘He thought he saw a buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece;
He looked again and found it was
His sister’s husband’s niece:
“Unless you leave the house,” he said,
“I’ll send for the police!”‘
The only thing that troubles me,” I went on, “is the question of Willie Beresford’s place of residence. He expects to be somewhere within easy walking or cycling distance,–four or five miles at most.”
“He won’t be desolate even if he doesn’t have a thatched roof, a pansy garden, and a blossoming shrub,” said Salemina sleepily, for our business arrangements and discussions had lasted well into the evening. “What he will want is a lodging where he can have frequent sight and speech of you. How I dread him! How I resent his sharing of you with us! I don’t know why I use the word ‘sharing,’ forsooth! There is nothing half so fair and just in his majesty’s greedy mind. Well, it’s the way of the world; only it is odd, with the universe of women to choose from, that he must needs take you. Strathdee seems the most desirable place for him, if he has a mackintosh and rubber boots. Inchcaldy is another town near here that we didn’t see at all,–that might do; the draper’s wife says that we can send fine linen to the laundry there.”
“Inchcaldy? Oh yes, I think we heard of it in Edinburgh–at least I have some association with the name: it has a fine golf course, I believe, and very likely we ought to have looked at it, though for my part I have no regrets. Nothing can equal Pettybaw; and I am so pleased to be a Scottish householder! Aren’t we just like Bessie Bell and Mary Gray?
‘They were twa bonnie lassies;
They biggit a bower on yon burnbrae,
An’ theekit it ower wi’ rashes.’
Think of our stone-floored kitchen, Salemina! Think of the real box-bed in the wall for little Jane Grieve! She will have red-gold hair, blue eyes, and a pink cotton gown. Think of our own cat! Think how Francesca will admire the 1602 lintel! Think of our back garden, with our own ‘neeps’ and vegetable marrows growing in it! Think how they will envy us at home when they learn that we have settled down into Scottish yeowomen!
‘It’s oh, for a patch of land!
It’s oh, for a patch of land!
Of all the blessings tongue can name,
There’s nane like a patch of land!’
Think of Willie coming to step on the floor and look at the bed and stroke the cat and covet the lintel and walk in the garden and weed the turnips and pluck the marrows that grow by our ain wee theekit hoosie!”
“Penelope, you appear slightly intoxicated! Do close the window and come to bed.”
“I am intoxicated with the caller air of Pettybaw,” I rejoined, leaning on the window-sill and looking at the stars, while I thought: “Edinburgh was beautiful; it is the most beautiful gray city in the world; it lacked one thing only to make it perfect, and Pettybaw will have that before many moons.
‘Oh, Willie’s rare an’ Willie’s fair
An’ Willie’s wondrous bonny;
An’ Willie’s hecht to marry me
Gin e’er he marries ony.
‘O gentle wind that bloweth south,
From where my love repaireth,
Convey a word from his dear mouth,
An’ tell me how he fareth.'”
“Gae tak’ awa’ the china plates,
Gae tak’ them far frae me;
And bring to me a wooden dish,
It’s that I’m best used wi’.
And tak’ awa’ thae siller spoons
The like I ne’er did see,
And bring to me the horn cutties,
They’re good eneugh for me.”
Earl Richard’s Wedding.
The next day was one of the most cheerful and one of the most fatiguing that I ever spent. Salemina and I moved every article of furniture in our wee theekit hoosie from the place where it originally stood to another and a better place: arguing, of course, over the precise spot it should occupy, which was generally upstairs if the thing were already down, or downstairs if it were already up. We hid all the more hideous ornaments of the draper’s wife, and folded away her most objectionable tidies and table-covers, replacing them with our own pretty draperies. There were only two pictures in the sitting-room, and as an artist I would not have parted with them for worlds. The first was The Life of a Fireman, which could only remind one of the explosion of a mammoth tomato, and the other was The Spirit of Poetry Calling Burns from the Plough. Burns wore white knee-breeches, military boots, a splendid waistcoat with lace ruffles, and carried a cocked hat. To have been so dressed he must have known the Spirit was intending to come. The plough-horse was a magnificent Arabian, whose tail swept the freshly furrowed earth, while the Spirit of Poetry was issuing from a practicable wigwam on the left, and was a lady of such ample dimensions that no poet would have dared say “no” when she called him.
The dining-room was blighted by framed photographs of the draper’s relations and the draper’s wife’s relations; all uniformly ugly. (It seems strange that married couples having the least beauty to bequeath to their offspring should persist in having the largest families.) These ladies and gentlemen were too numerous to remove, so we obscured them with trailing branches; reflecting that we only breakfasted in the room, and the morning meal is easily digested when one lives in the open air. We arranged flowers everywhere, and bought potted plants at a little nursery hard by. We apportioned the bedrooms, giving Francesca the hardest bed,–as she is the youngest, and wasn’t here to choose,–me the next hardest, and Salemina the best; Francesca the largest looking-glass and wardrobe, me the best view, and Salemina the biggest bath. We bought housekeeping stores, distributing our patronage equally between the two grocers; we purchased aprons and dusters from the rival drapers, engaged bread and rolls from the baker, milk and cream from the plumber, who keeps three cows, interviewed the flesher about chops; in fact, no young couple facing love in a cottage ever had a busier or happier time than we; and at sundown, when Francesca arrived, we were in the pink of order, standing under our own lintel, ready to welcome her to Pettybaw. As to being strangers in a strange land, we had a bowing acquaintance with everybody on the main street of the tiny village, and were on terms of considerable intimacy with half a dozen families, including dogs and babies.
Francesca was delighted with everything, from the station (Pettybaw Sands, two miles away) to Jane Grieve’s name, which she thought as perfect, in its way, as Susanna Crum’s. She had purchased a “tirling-pin,” that old-time precursor of knockers and bells, at an antique shop in Oban, and we fastened it on the front door at once, taking turns at risping it until our own nerves were shattered, and the draper’s wife ran down the loaning to see if we were in need of anything. The twisted bar of iron stands out from the door and the ring is drawn up and down over a series of nicks, making a rasping noise. The lovers and ghaists in the old ballads always “tirled at the pin,” you remember; that is, touched it gently.
Francesca brought us letters from Edinburgh, and what was my joy, in opening Willie’s, to learn that he begged us to find a place in Fifeshire, and as near St. Rules or Strathdee as convenient; for in that case he could accept an invitation he had just received to visit his friend Robin Anstruther, at Rowardennan Castle.
“It is not the visit at the castle I wish so much, you may be sure,” he wrote, “as the fact that Lady Ardmore will make everything pleasant for you. You will like my friend Robin Anstruther, who is Lady Ardmore’s youngest brother, and who is going to her to be nursed and coddled after a baddish accident in the hunting-field. He is very sweet-tempered, and will get on well with Francesca”–
“I don’t see the connection,” rudely interrupted that spirited young person.
“I suppose she has more room on her list in the country than she had in Edinburgh; but if my remembrance serves me, she always enrolls a goodly number of victims, whether she has any immediate use for them or not.”
“Mr. Beresford’s manners have not been improved by his residence in Paris,” observed Francesca, with resentment in her tone and delight in her eye.
“Mr. Beresford’s manners are always perfect,” said Salemina loyally, “and I have no doubt that this visit to Lady Ardmore will be extremely pleasant for him, though very embarrassing to us. If we are thrown into forced intimacy with a castle” (Salemina spoke of it as if it had fangs and a lashing tail), “what shall we do in this draper’s hut?”
“Salemina!” I expostulated, “the bears will devour you as they did the ungrateful child in the fairy-tale. I wonder at your daring to use the word ‘hut’ in connection with our wee theekit hoosie!”
“They will never understand that we are doing all this for the novelty of it,” she objected. “The Scottish nobility and gentry probably never think of renting a house for a joke. Imagine Lord and Lady Ardmore, the young Ardmores, Robin Anstruther, and Willie Beresford calling upon us in this sitting-room! We ourselves would have to sit in the hall and talk in through the doorway.”
“All will be well,” Francesca assured her soothingly. “We shall be pardoned much because we are Americans, and will not be expected to know any better. Besides, the gifted Miss Hamilton is an artist, and that covers a multitude of sins against conventionality. When the castle people ‘tirl at the pin,’ I will appear as the maid, if you like, following your example at Mrs. Bobby’s cottage in Belvern, Pen.”
“And it isn’t as if there were many houses to choose from, Salemina, nor as if Bide-a-Wee Cottage were cheap,” I continued. “Think of the rent we pay and keep your head high. Remember that the draper’s wife says there is nothing half so comfortable in Inchcaldy, although that is twice as large a town.”
“_Inchcaldy!_” ejaculated Francesca, sitting down heavily upon the sofa and staring at me.
“Inchcaldy, my dear,–spelled _caldy_, but pronounced _cawdy_; the town where you are to take your nonsensical little fripperies to be laundered.”
“Where is Inchcaldy? How far away?”
“About five miles, I believe, but a lovely road.”
“Well,” she exclaimed bitterly, “of course Scotland is a small, insignificant country; but, tiny as it is, it presents some liberty of choice, and why you need have pitched upon Pettybaw, and brought me here, when it is only five miles from Inchcaldy, and a lovely road besides, is more than I can understand!”
“In what way has Inchcaldy been so unhappy as to offend you?” I asked.
“It has not offended me, save that it chances to be Ronald Macdonald’s parish,–that is all.”
“Ronald Macdonald’s parish!” we repeated automatically.
“Certainly,–you must have heard him mention Inchcaldy; and how queer he will think it that I have come to Pettybaw, under all the circumstances!”
“We do not know ‘all the circumstances,'” quoted Salemina somewhat haughtily; “and you must remember, my dear, that our opportunities for speech with Mr. Macdonald have been very rare when you were present. For my part, I was always in such a tremor of anxiety during his visits lest one or both of you should descend to blows that I remember no details of his conversation. Besides, we did not choose Pettybaw; we discovered it by chance as we were driving from Strathdee to St. Rules. How were we to know that it was near this fatal Inchcaldy? If you think it best, we will hold no communication with the place, and Mr. Macdonald need never know you are here.”
I thought Francesca looked rather startled at this proposition. At all events she said hastily, “Oh well, let it go; we could not avoid each other long, anyway, though it is very awkward, of course; you see, we did not part friends.”
“I thought I nike air max had never seen you on more cordial terms,” remarked Salemina.
“But you weren’t there,” answered Francesca unguardedly.
“At the station.”
“The station in Edinburgh from which I started for the Highlands.”
“You never said that he came to see you off.”
“The matter was too unimportant for notice; and the more I think of his being here, the less I mind it, after all; and so, dull care, begone! When I first meet him on the sands or in the loaning, I shall say, ‘Dear me, is it Mr. Macdonald! What brought you to our quiet hamlet?’ (I shall put the responsibility on him, you know.) ‘That is the worst of these small countries,–fowk are aye i’ the gait! When we part forever in America, we are able to stay parted, if we wish.’ Then he will say, ‘Quite so, q cheap nike air max uite so; but I suppose even you, Miss Monroe, will allow that a minister may not move his church to please a lady.’ ‘Certainly not,’ I shall reply, ‘eespecially when it is Estaiblished!’ Then he will laugh, and we shall be better friends for a few moments; and then I shall tell him my latest story about the Scotchman who prayed, ‘Lord, I do not ask that Thou shouldst give me wealth; only show me where it is, and I will attend to the rest.'”
Salemina moaned at the delightful prospect opening before us, while I went to the piano and caroled impersonally:–
“Oh, wherefore did I cross the Forth,
And leave my love behind me?
Why did I venture to the north
With one that did not mind me?
I’m sure I’ve seen a better limb
And twenty better faces;
But still my mind it runs on him
When I am at t cheap air max he races!”
Francesca left the room at this, and closed the door behind her with such energy that the bust of Sir Walter rocked on the hall shelf. Running upstairs she locked herself in her bedroom, and came down again only to help us receive Jane Grieve, who arrived at eight o’clock.
In times of joy, Salemina, Francesca, and I occasionally have our trifling differences of opinion, but in hours of affliction we are as one flesh. An all-wise Providence sent us Jane Grieve for fear that we should be too happy in Pettybaw. Plans made in heaven for the discipline of sinful human flesh are always successful, and this was no exception.
We had sent a “machine” from the inn to meet her, and when it drew up at the door we went forward to greet the rosy li cheap nike air max trainers ttle Jane of our fancy. An aged person, wearing a rusty black bonnet and shawl, and carrying what appeared to be a tin cake-box and a baby’s bath-tub, descended rheumatically from the vehicle and announced herself as Miss Grieve. She was too old to call by her Christian name, too sensitive to call by her surname, so Miss Grieve she remained, as announced, to the end of the chapter, and our rosy little Jane died before she was actually born. The man took her curious luggage into the kitchen, and Salemina escorted her thither, while Francesca and I fell into each other’s arms and laughed hysterically.
“Nobody need tell me that she is Mrs. M’Collop’s sister’s husband’s niec nike air max 90 sale e,” she whispered, “though she may possibly be somebody’s grandaunt. Doesn’t she remind you of Mrs. Gummidge?”
Salemina returned in a quarter of an hour, and sank dejectedly on the sofa.
“Run over to the inn, Francesca,” she said, “and order bacon and eggs at eight-thirty to-morrow morning. Miss Grieve thinks we had better not breakfast at home until she becomes accustomed to the surroundings.”
“Shall we allow her to become accustomed to them?” I questioned.8