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Thomas Mc Rae
[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index]

Flo White an’ the Sivun Wee Teuchters

By Tomas Mc Rae, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, © 2008


Hullo thair, Sur! Ah cun see Ye’re new tae this pub an’ oan yer ain. That’s nae sae guid. Cun ah sit by Ye? Ah cun tell Ye a tale or twa, so ah cun. Hae a drink? Aye, ah’d luv yin, thanks. Noo, mah name’s Jimmy an ah’m this pub’s hufyshull histororiun, so ah am. Ah cun tail Ye thungs aboot aebuddy an awbuddy whae’s ivver been in this pub. Hae annuver? Aye, pullease. But cun we mak it a pint this time aroon’?

Nae a bad bar lassie that yin, she’s the doachter o’ Jeannie roond the coarner. But the bestest yin we ivver hud here wis Wee Flo White, an thair’s a richt duramatic story tae tell aboot her. Anithur pint? Luv yin, but seein this is a lang story could Ye mak it fower?

Ah thair we go so let me tell Ye …

Doon the road ut Hill Place thur wiz a loat o’ tainyment hooses, sux tae a laundin’, tae eicht laundins up, been thair sunce Queen Vuktoaria an’ maist luvin thair uset tae cum here. Amang thum wuz a richt froasty faced auld bat caw’d Elsie Wright, but she wuz sae keen oan keepin her hoose an’ the stair clean, we aw cawed her “Hooseprood Nellie” ahint ’er back. She dudnae cum here oaffen fur she wuz tew busy cleanin’, but whane she dud it wuz dubbull gins an tellin’ us whoat a clean hoose an stair she hud. A richt Nae Chuckaway wuz that Elsie; nuvver boacht oanybuddy a drunk … Oh thanks.

Noo, see that chair ower thair? Fur years an years Sandy White wud sit thair ’cept whain ’e had goat tae gang tae the bar fur anuther pint. Aye ah’ll hae anither frae Ye Sir. Tellin’ hustury maks me thursty.

Weel … Jummy White hud a hoose twa laundin’s up frae Nellie in the same tainymunt. Ah’ve waint tae ’is hoose an it wuz aye a richt mess tae see. And gin ’e goat the stair cleanin’ notice … Whoat Ye dinnae ken? Ye see un thae tainyments awbuddy oan yin laundin hud tae tak thair turn cleanin’ it an aw the stairs doon tae the nixt laundin’. Thair wuz a big caird that Ye goat hung oan Yer door knoab when it wiz Yoor turn. Sandy jist hung it oan sumb’dy else’s an uz he wiz sux fit sux in is soaks whae wid dare argie wi ’um? Awfy man!

Oanyhoo, yin nicht Sandy goat issel’ richt steamun’ an fell doon in the ootside lavvie. It wuz in that real cauld Janyury an’ whain ’e shuild’ve wakened up he wiz froze deid insteed. The hoose shuid’ve gawn tae his wee brither, but ’e hud droapped doon deid efter bulldin’ a wa’ at ’is hoose in Drumnadroachit. The sole yin left tae git the place wiz Sandy’s neece Wee Flo White. Sae it wiz that she laift Drumnadroachit an cam tae Edinburgh.

Shaid wurked at a pub at Drumnadroachit, sae it wisnae lang afore she goat the joab as barmaid here. Ah cun tell Ye she wurked awfy haird cleanin up the mess ’er Uncle Sandy hud laift in the hoose ’e’d laift ’er. Und whain it wiz ’er turn that landin’ an stairs wiz cleanist thay’d ivver been. Awbuddy liked wee Flo ut the pub, an she liked thaim, but the yin she liked the baist wiz Sammy Docherty whaw played fur Hairts. Fine-luikin young laddie an a dream tae see drubblin’ a fitbaw doon the pitch at Tynecastell wi awbuddy cheerin’ ’im oan. Sandy fancied Flo an aw. So thay goat real pally, but Fate wiz tae stoap aw tha’. Yin mair pint? Pulleeze! Noo mah tale gits int’russin’.

Ye see yin day, years afore aw this, Hooseprood Nellie wiz walkin’ past the poan shoap yin day when she saw they’d pit sum junk in thair bins. Luikin’ in she saw a nice auld mirrur whoat she tuik hame an hungit oan the wa’. Ilk day she luiked intae it admirin’ ’ersel’, an’ yin time she sed oot lood, “A dinnae luik aw that bad fur sivventy three.” “Naw Ye dinnae, Hen,” sed a voaice. “Whae sed that?” yelled Nellie. “It’s me. Yer mirrur oan the wa’. Ask me things Ye want tae knaw.”

Nellie thocht an’ thocht. Then she sed, “Mirrur, mirrur oan the wa’, wha’s goat the cleanist hoose o’aw?” The voice answurred, ”The best place tae gang b’longs tae Elsie Wright. ’er hoose an ’er stairiz iz aye shinin’ bright.” Fur years Nellie asked the mirrur the same things an’ wiz gled tae git that answir. Thain Wee Flo came tae stey oan the nixt laundin’.

Whoat wi wurkin in the pub an’ tryin’ tae clean up aw ’er uncle’s mess. Munths ganged by but she goat that hoose an’ laundin’ cleaner an’ cleaner. Thair cam the day Nellie ast the mirrur, “Mirrur, mirrur oan the wa’, wha’s goat the cleanist hoose o’aw?” She faintit fair awa when it sed, “If Ye gang tae Flo White’s stair, Ye cun eat Yer dinner frae aff ’er flair.” Frae that day oan Nellie cleaned an’ scrubbed, an’ washed, an’ poalished, but ilk day she goat the same answur … “If Ye gang tae Flo White’s stair, Ye cun eat Yer dinner frae aff ’er flair.”

“Whae’s that, Flo White!” yelled Nellie, “Ah’ll murrdur ’er, so ah wull.” Awfy nerked she went tae the pub fur a gin an’ a nice new wee lassie served it tae ’er. “Oh thanks, Hen,” sez Nellie, “an whoat dae they ca’ Ye?” “Oh, mah name is Flo White, an ah live roond the coarner in the place mah uncle left tae me.” Nellie kept ’er cuill but foond oot whair she lived an’ stairted plottin’ dirty deeds.

Furst she went tae the Cooncil Oaffice. “Hey, you! Thair’s a Flo White steyin’ up the stair frae me. Huz she peyed ’er rent?” “Naw,” sez the Cooncil man. “Thain fling ’er intae the street whair she belungs!” yells Nellie. “But ah cannae dae that but,” sez the Cooncil man “Ye see that lassie’s uncle bocht the hoose, an’ it’s ’ers now, aw legal like.” Nellie left the Cooncil aw crabbit. That Flo White hud tae go.

Oblivuvious tae aw that skulduggury Wee Flo an’ Sammy Docherty o’ the Hairts wuz getting’ oan fine, e’en stairted gang tae the pickchurs thegither an’ Sandy e’en peyed. Romance wiz blossumin’ but no fur lang as Nellie ploated ’er dirty deeds. “Mebbe ah cun git her doon tae ma hoose an pizen ’er,” thocht Nellie, “But naw, hoo cuid ah git rid o’ ’er boadie?” Then she goat ’er great idea. Ye see, ’er naiphew “Hardman Tam” wiz a richt cruikit yin. So she went tae see ’im. “Tam, thair’s twa hunnert poonds fur Ye if ye’ll murther a lassie fur me. Aw Ye need tae dae is catch ’er when the pub she wurks in claises, stick a bag ower ’er heid an’ pit ’er in Yer caur.” “But, Auntie, ah dinnae hae a caur!” “Weel here’s anuther hunnert fur tae hire yin fur twa days. Munny’s nae oabjic’ ah want ’er deid.”

“Drive ’er tae The Lonely Glen, cut ’er froat, an’ dump ’er amang the roacks tae roat furrever. Afore that, tho’, cut oot ’er hert an’ bring it tae me.” Tam tuik oan the joab, fur the munny wiz guid, didnae e’en hire a caur. ’e goat is pal tae laind ’im ’is insteed. When it cam tae time fur the pub tae shut ’e lurkit in a close aside it. Aw the drunkers cam oot then, efter cleanin’ up, so did Flo. ’e dragged her up the close and stuck that bag ower ’er heid then stuffed ’er in the boot o’ the caur.

Took aw nicht tae drive tae the Lonely Glen, but ’e goat thair at the doan an’ pu’d oot his bowie knife. He pu’d Flo oot o’ the boot and tuik aff that bag. Hey, whoat a luvvly wee lassie, nae wey cuid he murther ’er. He goat an idea an sed tae Flo, “Awa Ye gang, but dinnae Ye ivver dare tae cum back tae Edinburrie, fur ah’ll cut Ye tae bits if Ye dae. Flo ran awa intae the heavver, an’ Tam drove back hame an’ did ’is idea. Ye see, ’is pal whaed lentit ’im the caur wuz a butchur, so he asked him fur a sheep’s hert an tuik that tae ’is auntie an’ went hame, £300 the better aff. Nellie wuz fair gloated by that hert an’ pit it in a jar o’ gin oan the mantlepiece aside ’er holy pick’churs. Puir Sammy Docherty went tae the pub as yaisual tae find Flo seem’t tae huv dun a runner. Hud ’e loast ’er furriver? Uz aw that wiz gaun oan Flo kept rinnin’ through the heavver an’ suin she saw a coattage no that far awa’.

Up she gangs tae the coattage, but thair wiz naebuddy thair, tho’ the door wiz open. The rain stairtet up so she went in, an’ that place wiz fulthy. Poats an’ pans that needit washin’, flairs thut hud ne’er seen a besom, an’ seeven wee beds that had fulthy blankits an’ hud nivver been made. Bein’ Flo she goat stuck intae the place an’ sune hud it spick an’ span. She washed the beddin’, lit the fire, and dried it aw thair. Then made the beds nice an’ cleaned aw the dishes. But whoat wur aw thae hawf cooked hawf burnt tatties daein scaitteret roont?

Efter her kidnappin’ an’ haurd wurk she sat ’ersel doon in a wee chair an’ went tae sleep. Jist when it goat dark she wiz wakened up by singin’. Soondit like sum men wi guid voices an’ uz they goat closur she cuid hear the wurds …

“Wur awfy wee.
Uz oanyyin cun see.
But we git guid yields frae oor tawtie fields,
An’ that fills us aw fu’ o’ glee.”

The door opened an’ in cam a wee man cairyin a shooge big sack. Iin cam anither, an’ anither till seven beerdy wee men wi’ sacks stuid luiking at ’er. “Ant fhew fwuid Yew be be my tear?” sez the yin wi’ the biggest beard. Flo cuid tell by ’is tok ’e wiz a Teuchter. “Aye, fhew fwuid Yew be?” Sed aw the raist thegither so Flo telt thum ’er story. “Puir wee sowel,” they aw sed, “But fear Ye no fwur fwe shall gie Ye guid Hielan’ hoaspitality. An’ prutayct Yew.”

The wee men luiked roond thair hoose in bamboozlemationment. Cleanist it hud ivver been and aw a’coz o’this luvly we lassie.

They cairiet thur bags oot the back an’ aimptit thum. Oot poored tatties; whoat they pit oan tap o’ a shooge big pile o’ the things awraidy thair. Flo stood in a fit o’amaze. “Whoat dae Ye dae wi aw thae tatties?” she ast thaim. “Och, fwe juist keep thaim efter we dig thaim up. See fhoo mony we huv goat.” “Ye mean Ye dinnae e’en sell thaim?” said Flo. “Fwur suxty yearss we huv dug the tatties juist this fway so we cun keep thaim. Roatten yins gang back intae the groond sae new yins cun grow bigger.” Flo saw they wiz the biggest tatties she hud ivver saw in aw‘er life.

“Fweel, we baiter huv fwur deener,” sed them aw at the same time. “Tak a tattie an’ jine us cuikin thaim.” Flo luiked flummoxed iz thay stuck thur tatties in the fire whaur thay stairtit tae burn. “Hey! Ye dinnae cuik tatties that wey,” she telt thaim. “That iss the only fwhey we huv effer dun it,” sed aw the wee men. “Hey! Sit Ye aw doon ah’ll learn Ye hoo tae cuik tatties; but the nicht we’ll hae tae bile thaim.” She goat a poat o’ wa’er oan the fire, peelt loats o’ tatties, an’ flung thaim in. Efter they hid eaten thaim the wee men aw sed, “Fwe nivver kent yew cuid dae thum like that. Thai’re a loat baiter than cuiked hawf raw hawf burnt in the fire.” Efter thair dinner the wee men aw sat roon’ the fire an’ sang in pairfeck harromony, an’ Flo jined in tae. They soondid richt guid an did it ilk nicht efter that.

She ast thaim, ”Is thair a village oot this wey?” “Aye, juist up the road a bitty.” Flo goat a guid noshun. They gied ’er a bed fir the nicht an’ bein’ wee ’ersel she fittet it weel. She hud saw thay hud a big barrie ootside sae nixt day, afore they ganged tae wurk. She goat them tae full it up wi’ tatties. She shuv’d it tae the village an’ thae tatties wiz sae guid aw’buddy bocht thum. Wi’ the munny she went tae the shoaps an. bocht sum stuff.

Whain the wee men cam hame that nicht she hud a guid dinner raidy fur thum aw. Roast beef, roast tatties, nice gravy, an’ peas, then she gave them the munny left ower. So it wuz that frae that day oan the wee men ate weel an’ stairted gittin’ loats o’ munny. Flo, o’ course, kep’ that coattage spoatless. Awbuddy wiz happy, though Flo missed ’er Sammy. Yin day she wid git back tae ’im, but fur noo she hud tae hide.

Back un Edinburgh, Hooseprood Nellie wid say tae ’er mirrur ilk day, “Mirrur, mirrur oan the wa’, wha’s goat the cleanist hoose o’aw?” An wiz aye answurret, ”The best place tae gang b’longs tae Elsie Wright. ’er hoose an ’er stair aye shinin’ bright.” Aye Flo White wiz deid an’ she wiz back tae bein’ Queen. Puir Sammy wiz that upset he kep’ missin’ the baw an’ Tam hoped ’is Auntie wid nivver find oot whoat ’ed done. Wee Flo cuicked an’ cleaned that coattage frae ceilin’ tae flair scrubbin aff the glaur o’ mony’s a year.

So it wiz that the weeks passed then cam the day when Nellie askt ’er miirur the yaisyal questyun an’ it sed …

“The cleanest hoose that’s ivver been,
That spoatliss it wid dae the Queen
Is juist a wee bit but an’ ben,
Lived in by seevun wee hairy men
In a lonely Hielan’ glen.
An’ whae’s the lass that keeps it bright?
Nane ither but that wee Flo White.”

Nellie wiz that cunfoondudit she hud a fit wi’ ’er leg up. “Cannae be! Cannae be!” she yelled “That lassie’s deid, an’ ah’ve goat ’er hert in a jar o’ gin oan mah mantlepiece. But that mirrur telt ’er …

“Ah ken that hert Ye goat wisnae cheap.
Ye cun buy them at the butchers. It’s frae a sheep!
Hard Man Tam huz dun Ye in.
Ye’ve wasted aw that luv’ly gin.”

Oh, wiz that Nellie flammerblabbergastid! She tuik that hert oot o’ the jar an’ flung it in the fire. Then she poored that gin doon the sink … Terrubell waste that wiz. Efter that she ploatted awfy retteributichon oan Tam, but thain she thocht again an’ mad anither ploy. She ganged tae see Tam an’ telt ’im, “See Yew, ah ken Ye hud mi oan an’ tuik ma munny. Noo’s Yer chance tae redeem Yersel’. Hire that caur yince mair, tak me whair Ye dumped Flo White, an’ ah’ll gie Ye anither hunnert poonds. If Ye dinnae ah’ll git the polis tae Ye! Cum roond tae mah hoose the moarn, an’ we’ll go find that Flo. This time ah’ll dae the deed mahsel’.”

Then she went hame un’ ast that mirrur …

“Oh, mirrur, mirrur, tell me true!
Ah’ve goat need o’ a poshun frae yew,
Yin that really luiks awright
But that’ll pizen Wee Flo White”

Sae it telt ’er hoo tae mix up a right bad poshun. Ah cannae tell Ye that bit, but efter she’d made it the mirrur sed …

“Noo, Elsie Wright, Yer poshun’s dun.
Flo’ll nae be deid whain its wurk gits dun.
But dinnae wurry! Ye see it’ll keep
’er stuck furrivur in aindliss sleep.
Thair’s juist ain cure the spell tae break.
The kiss o’ a purrince will ’er awake.
Noo lissen whoat Ye’ve goat tae do:
Mix this up wi Irn Bru,
Git Flo juist yin droap o’ that tae drink,
An’ intae endless sleep she’ll sink.”

Irn BruSae Nellie bocht a big bohttul o’ Irn Bru frae the Talli’s ice cream shoap an’ mixed the poshun wi it. Furst it turnt black, an’ smoke cam oot. Thin it turnt green, broon, an’ back tae luik like Irn Bru. Nellie wiz reddy fur her awfy deed the nixt day.

Whain they baith goat near whair Tam hud dumped Flo in Tam’s pal’s caur. They askt at a village if oanybuddy kent ’er. “Oh, aye! Richt nice lassie that steys in the but an ben in The Lonely Glen juist doon the road. She steys thair wi’ suvun funny wee hairy Teuchters an’ sells us thair tatties. Best in Scoatlan’ they iz tae. Ye shuid buy sum frae ’er.”

Sae awa they went tae The Lonely Glen, an’ Nellie pit oan a rid wig an glesses an’ pit the pizented Irn Bru in ’er big handbag. “Yew stey here,” she sed tae Tam an’ went up tae the coattage an’ knoacked oan the door. Flo answer’t wi’ a smile. “Hullo, thair! Hoo cun ah hailp Ye, lady wi the rid hair?” “Oh, ah want tae buy sum o’ Yer tatties pulleese.” “That’s nae boather at aw. Cum awa in!” So Nellie goat intae the coattage tae wurk ’er evul plan.

Flo luiked wi’ envy at the spoatless wee hoose. Widnae be loang noo till she wiz the bestest again ”Here it’s richt hoat here,” she sed uz she pu’ed that Irn Bru oot o’ ’er big bag. “Cum oan noo! Git twa tummlers, an’ we’ll hae a wee cuilin’ drink thegither. Puir Wee sowel goat twa o’ the cleanist glesses un the wurruld an’ pit thum oan the taybul. Nellie pit sum drink in ilk yin. ”Here’s tae Ye,” she sed haundin’ Flo a fu’ gless. “Aye, same tae Yew,” sed Flo drainin’ the loat, an’ that wiz the last thung she wiz tae say fur a lang time uz she droapped tae the flair in a comma.

Nellie poored the raist o’ the pizened drink doon the sink an’ went back doon tae the caur. She tuik the bohtul wi ’er beacoz Ye cuid git tuppence if Ye tuik it back tae the shoap. “Drive oan Tam!” she sed as she stairtit eevul cackelun’, “Eee Hee Hee Hee Hee!”

Flo steyed oan the flair luikin deid but she wisnae. Whain they goat hame that nicht the wee men wiz devasticated tae find Flo oan the flair. “She’z nae deid,” they cried but we cannie waken ’er up.

Nuxt moarnin’ thae pit ’er in the barrie an’ tuik ’er thae see the doaktur in the village. “Nivver seen nuthin’ like this afore,” he sed “Ah think she is in a comma.” Aye, ah ken aboot commas, fur mah auntie Jean went intae yin efter drinkin’ twa boahtulls o’ The Sorry Heid, that’s VP sweet wine, yin Hugmanay. She wiz oot cawld fur twa dayz, an’ whain she cam roond she kent whoat they cawed it “Sorry Heid” fur. But onywey … Oh, anither pint! Ye’re a guid fellie, so Ye are. Ta!

Fu’ o’ sorry the wee men pushed Flo hame in that barrie. Tae mak ’er cumfy the made a big heap o’ tatties in the frunt room an’ set ’er oan it like yin o thae caterfaulks. Thair she slept oan an’ oan fur weeks.

Back un Edinburgh puir Sammy kept luikin’ fur the luv o’ ’is life but cuidnae find ’er ony place, an’ we ken whoat fur. Yin day ’e went tae the butchers fur ’is soassidies, an’ the man askt ’im, “Hey, Sammy! Huv Ye ivver ate a hert?” “Widna dae fur me,” sez Sammy, “Wha’d eat a thing like that, onywey?” “Weell, Hard Man Tam bocht yin efter he goat a lend o’ mah caur fur a cupple o’ dayz. Funny that ah saw it near the pub wi it the same nicht Wee Flo went awa. Whoat’s mair, ’e askt fur anither lend o’ it aboot twa munths back, nivver e’en peyed fur the paytrol eether.”

Sammy thocht an’ thocht thain went tae see Tam whae wisnae sic a hard man as ’e thocht ’e wiz. Grabbin’ the vullun bi iz froat Sammy askt ’im nice like, “Hey, Yew! Wiz yew the yin thut tuik ma Flo awa? Anssur oar ah’ll melt Ye!” Tam wiz terroarificated an’ telt aw aboot the ploat an’ the coattage in the glen, but ’e didnae ken aboot that Irn Bru or whoat iz Auntie wiz up tae.

Efter ’e’d wurked it oan Tam fur a wee while Sammy sez tae ’im, “Richt, Ye bamstick.Ye’ll git intae mah caur an’ show me whair that Lonely Glen iz.” Sae aff they waint tae the Glen.

It wiz hoors an’ hoors la’ur that thay goat tae the coattage whair they heared loats o’ folk greetin’ inside. In they waint an’ thair wiz wee Flo lyin’ oan ’er caterfaulk deid tae the wurruld. “Oh, Flo, Flo! Ye’re deid!” yelled Sammy takkin’ ’er in is airms an’ kissin’ ’er. Yuh’ll nae beleeve me, but thair an’ thain Flo woke up. Ye see: Sammy whoat played fir the Hairts wiz a great fitbaw staur and the peepul uset tae caw ’im “Ra Purrince o’ ra Pitch.” Sae it wiz the kiss o’ a Purrince whoat woke Flo up.

Aw’buddy wiz happy excep’ fur Hard Man Tam, fur they telt ’im tae get oot an woak tae the village whair a bus that went tae Edinburgh stoapped three times a day. Flo wiz sae OK she cuiked up a great dinner fur them aw. Then they sat roon’ the fire singin’ songs. Sammy wiz in amaze at hoo guid they cuild sing thegither. That nicht the rain fell an’ fell an’ the groond ootside goat that wet Sammy couldnae leave wi’ Flo nixt day or fur days efter that. So they spent thair time eatin’ an’ singin’ roon’ the fire. The wee men couldnae wirk in thair tattie fields, fur they wiz juist aw glaur wi aw that wet.

Back in Edinburgh Nellie wiz happy. Nae Flo, an’ hur the Queen. Uz she went past the mirrur sum weeks later she said …

“Oh, happy is me beyond compare,
Fur Flo’s gone furrivur an’ ah’m Queen o’ the Stair!”

A voice sed, “Naw, Ye’re no!” “Whoat? … Did Ye say that, mirrur?”

“Aye, ah did. Mah wurds ah’ll nae mince,
Fur Flo’s been woke up by a the kiss o’ a purrince.
She wiz smilin’ when she woke,
Uz is ’er habit.
Fur naebdy e’er saw Flo White waken up aw crabbit.
So thair she is, ah’d hae Ye ken,
Back in that coattage wi’ the suvun wee men.”

Nellie wiz richt molicated when she haird the news. “Hoo dare Ye tell me that?” she shoutit at the mirrur an’ she flung that empty boahtul o’ Irn Bru at it. Ye see: she hidnae goat roon’ tae gittin’ ’er tuppence back, fur she wiz far tew bizzy reejoaycin’. The gless broke wi’ a goad-awmichty bang an’ mirrur un’ frame turned tae dust. A dark clood rase oot o’ the mess an’ flew oot the windae shootin’, “Ah’m free at laust!” an thair wiz nae mair mirrur.

Nellie thocht e’en darker thochts than she’d dun afore. She went roon’ tae Tam’s hoose, but he wisnae thair. We ken ’e wiz waitin’ fur a bus at that village. But Flo hud a key an’ in she went. Thair wiz Tam’s big bowie knifey thing oan the taybul. So she grabbed it yellin’, “Ah’ll git ’er this time roon’! Aw the wee men’ll be at wurk. So ah cun cut ’er throat mahsel’.”

Doon she went tae the bus station an’ goat an owernight bus that stoapped at that village. Nixt moarnin’ she goat thair an’ walket ower tae the coattage. Sammy’s car wiz in the glen so she didnae see it. She knoacked ut the door. It opened, an’ she rushed in waving that knifey thing at Flo. “Goat Ye this time!” she shootit ut Flo uz she went tae grab ’er. “That’s fwhoat Yew think,” sivun wee voaices sed thegither an’ a big man’s voaice jined in. Ye see: awbuddy wuz stull thair till the groond dried oot. The wee teuchters grabb’t Nellie whair they cuid, kickin’ ’er shins, bitin’ ’er ainkles, e’en staunin’ oan the table tae belt ’er an’ knoack oot ’er fawse teeth. Sammy cuildnae git near them. They were that crowdit wallopin’ ’er.

Nellie wiz able tae git ootside the door, an’ awa she ran acroass the glen. “Ah’ll catch ’er,” said Sammy, but the wee men telt ’im, “Leafe fher alane! Cun Ye no see fwhair she’s runnin tae?”

Nellie run oanwurds richt feart. She saw bug feelds wi trees acroass frae thum an’ saw thut she cuild easy run ower an’ hide thair. Whoat she didnae ken wiz thay wiz thae feelds wiz the glaury tattie feelds! Huv Ye e’er been in a glaury tattie field? Ah cun tell Ye: Yer feet stick, and whain ye pu’ thum oot yer buits gang, “Teuch, teuch.” That’s whoat teuchters are cawed teuchters fur. Didnae ken that did Ye?

Onywey, Nellie stairtit runnin’ in the field. She wiz awrite ut first. Thain “Teuch, teuch.” In jist a minnit she goat stuck, an’ that field wiz sae glaury she stairted tae sink doon intae it. Deeper ’n’ deeper she sunk wavin’ that knife she still hud in ’er haun an’ yellin’, “Hailp!” But afore oanybuddy cuid git near tae ’er she sunk richt intae the glaur till only the haun wi’ that knifey thing wiz wavin’ in the air. Muist uv luiked like that Excloolabur thing that uset tae be up Arthur’s Seat. Then the haun sunk awa tae. Nae mai’ur hoo faur doon they dug they nivver foond ’er boady. Mibbee she sinked aw the wey tae Hell. So it wiz that Nellie goat ’er juist deserts. Oh, anither pint? Noo, that’s mah kin’ o’ desert.

Sae whoat happened tae awbuddy ailse? Weel, Flo an’ Sammy goat merried, o’ course, an’ the wee men selt aw thair tatties an made a foartyin. Thay bocht Nellie’s auld hoose an’ uset tae sing in the pub wi’ Flo whae went back uz the landloard. Sammy stoapped playin’ fue the Hairts and goat thum aw oan the stage, Flo an aw, and they’ve been a big hit ivver since. Sammy made a foartyin frae manaidgin’ thum. Un fac’ … See that Rolls Roayce in Hairts fitbaw cullurs ootside? That’s Sammy’s. ’e’s back in toon pittin’ thaim oan fur The Faistuvul. Thair’s thair poster oan the wa’ …


Whoat aboot Hardman Tam, Ye ask? Weel, efter ’e goat back … … … Tell Ye whoat: cum back the same time the moarun. Pub’s shuttin’ fir the nicht. See Yer!


[Noo click ’ere tae read “Hard Man Tam and the Four Tie Thieves”]

[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index]

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