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Young Colin's Version

page 37

Young Colin's Version

“Between twilight and dusk I repaired to the cattle-yard to keep my appointment with my beloved Janet. The evening, I remember, was exceedingly fine. The moon had not yet risen above the horizon, but the minor luminaries of Heaven beamed with sufficient radiance to give light to my path, without unnecessary effulgence. My heart was throbbing violently. Perhaps the little girl might object to leave her parent and her sister, and all that she cared for, to depart with me to those distant countries beyond the ocean, which Mr Renwick so frequently made the subject of his conversation.”

When he had finished he pit doun the paper, and lookit round for the applause owing till his performance. Eh! but he was sair disappointed. “Whatna trasherie's that?” quo his faither. “What for dae ye mak' me say that I repaired to a cattle yard when I telt ye I gaed till the byre? An' what's a that clishmaclaver aboot the moon? I dinna ken if she was aboon the horizon, as ye ca't, or ayont. I telt ye she wasna shawin'. An' the minor luminaries o' heaven tae'. Wha's thae? I hope ye haena gotten infected wi ony o' thae heresies that the deil's folk are sae busy preachin' e'en noo. There's nae minor luminaries in Heaven, lad; they're a ane. An' dinna ye ken better than, to ca' a bit lassie a little girl? Eh, Colin, Colin! gin that's the best o' the English ye learn at schule, the maister disna ken muckle o' things in ordinar'.'

I comforted the puir laddie as weel as I could, seein' his faither's disappointment was as keen his ain. But page 38 'deed he was weel able to take his ain pairt. “For” said he—very prettily I thocht—“you wished me to write it in English, father. I would have done it better in my mother tongue, which,” quo he, wi' a sly look to mysel, “I hope I'll never forget.”

Weel the upshot o't was, that I had to take the post o' Colin's secretary, an' oor young student o' the beauties o' the English language had to be pacified wi' the promise o' a new fishin' rod an' tackle for the next trout season.