| there were sports on the green he was sure to be there,
and if there was a refreshment tent on the ground he was sure
to be found in it. One day, together with a number of his
fellow-villagers, he was boozing in one of these tents when
a recruiting sergeant entered. Wull, with his legs beneath
the table, looked the most likely civilian among the party
for the making of a soldier. He caught the sergeant's eye,
and was requested there and then to take the proverbial shilling.
" All right, " quoth Wull, " ca' in some drink,
wi't. " The drink was quickly in, and soon quaffed up.
"Come on now, " quoth the recruiter, "its time
we were going. " " All right, " replied Wull,
" hand me ower my stilts an' I'll be wi' ye directly.
" " Sold again, " shouted his friends, with
an outburst of laughter, in which the sergeant heartily joined
and retired from the revellers.
During the cholera epidemic of 1842, Hunter played a great
part among those who were stricken down in the village. Many
a hovel he entered and brought relief to the sufferers when
no one else would venture in. He had not only a fearless heart,
but a strong constitution, and except the trouble that over-indulgment
in the wine glass brought him, he never seemed to know what
suffering was. But his end came too.
Geordie Muir was Wull Hunter's successor in office as drummer,
etc. Wull used the big drum, his successor the kettle drum.
Geordie Muir, like his predecessor, was very lame, but he
used only a big stick instead of crutches when walking. Geordie
was not a man of bright ideas like Hunter; he liked the "
bottle " every whit as well, and he dearly liked to have
a flyte with his mother. As a rule drink was always at the
bottom of their quarrels, and as sure as she abused him for
tippling, as sure was he to shriek out, " If ye dinna
haud yer tongue, wuman, as share as daith I'll run away an'
list. " "Ay, ye blackgaurd, " she would reply,
" rin away then, for I ken it's the road ye have to gang
at ony rate. "
Before Geordie took to the " drum beating " he was
a coal carter. He had a bit beastie and cart of his own, and
as sure as he got fou' he blamed the horse for being drunk.
Geordie as a rule drove his coals down from Elphinstone pits
to the Pans, coming by the west end of Tranent. One day when
coming down a hilly part of the road his horse fell, and loudly
he bawled, " Mother, mother! mother, mother!" till
no end of assistance came. " What's wrang, Geordie? "
cried one; " What's wrang?" for Geordie was well
known at Tranent. " The horse's drunk, " exclaimed
he, " the cairt's reestit, and Geordie Muir's fau'n.
" It's the horse that's fau'n, Geordie, " replied
the speaker. " Oh so it is, puir beastie, " rejoined
he; " but then, d'ye see, he hasna got a wiselike diet
this fortnicht, and unless he stops that dram drinkin' I doot
he winna get ony mair for a fortnicht to come; for, d'ye see,
gin it gangs intil the gill stoup, it canna gang into the
One day he went home with his face all scratched and bleeding.
"What's the matter noo, Geordie?" quoth his mother.
" Ah, mother, mother, " replied he, " its that
horse again, puir beast. He hasna been sober this fortnicht;
but surely, mother, he canna help it. He got drunk again,
d'ye see, and Geordie Muir fell; but I think I'll gang an'
list. " " Yes, gang an' list, " quoth she,
" and tak' the horse too, and they'll surely keep ye
sober in the regiment. " Geordie became town crier after
he lost his horse, but he was no great success in the art
of drum beating.
Davie Storie succeeded Geordie Muir. Davie never used the
drum, but stuck to the bell. He was a " Jack of all trades.
" Not only did he go in for baking, but at times he was
a painter, a plasterer, a plumber, and, to crown all, a famous
chimney sweeper. At one time a pair of beautiful figures,
representative of our first parents, stood before a cottage
door at Preston. One day Davie was requested to sweep the
chimneys there. On his way home he met a cronie. "Where
hae ye been, Davie?" inquired he. " Oh, " was
the reply, " I've been up, up, " but he had forgotten
the name of the house. "Eh, daggont, " he blurted
out, "I've been up soopin Adam and Eve's lums. "
One day Davie got fou, and a merchant, who was a character
in his way, found the chimney sweeper lying helpless at the
mouth of Piper's Close. He fell in with Geordie Simpson—Geordie
acted sometimes as scavenger and crier in Davie Storie's absence—"
Quick, get the hell, Geordie, " cried the merchant, "
and alang ye go by Piper's Wynd and cry oot, ' Lost, stolen,
or strayed, the chimney sweeper of Prestonpans. Whoever shall