| livin' or deid, to the 'Whale' at the Cuitle, shall be
handsomely rewarded. '" Away went Geordie, ringing and
shouting betimes. On approaching the wynd, the sound of the
bell had partially aroused Davie Storie, and when he heard
the "chimneysweeper" mentioned, up he started and
stood before the bell ringer. " Hi, Geordie, " he
exclaimed, " that's me. " " Yes, " quoth
Geordie. " Your quite sure it's me? " inquired Davie.
" Quite sure. " " Well, that's you, and the
bell's mine. " He knocked Geordie down, taking the bell
out of his hands, and rushed back through the village shouting
" Lost, stolen, or strayed, the scavenger of Prestonpans,
" etc. Just as he arrived at the merchant's door Geordie
overtook his opponent, when a regular melee was about to ensue,
but the merchant stepped in, gave both a good dram, and sent
them home by different routes. And thus the quarrel ended.
Robbie Smith was born a good many years before the last century
came in. He dwelt with a sister named Bell in that house opposite
the church now known as " Morrison's Buildings. "
He had a drum of his own, but he could scarcely be called
a "town drummer, " as he only used it for the amusement
of the villagers. He was a "wheelman" in Gordon's
Pottery; but often in the summer evenings, when free from
his work, he would parade the village beating his drum, accompanied
by hundreds of noisy children; or if there was to be a meeting
of " potters, " he was not slow to call them to
the assembly. But the potters' annual procession was his head
field day. To every door he went, beating them up in the morning
long before time for rising, and he never forgot to accompany
the procession with his drum slung over his shoulder.
When at work, his sister always carried his dinner to the
pottery to save him going home for it. One day she had "
tattie soop " for him, and brought it in a pitcher. He
had not long begun to delve in with the spoon, when something
else than " tatties" began to turn up, and, glancing
into the dish, " Bags the day, Bell, " he whispered,
" bags, bags, " and he nichered and laughed loudly
in anticipation of a big feed of tripe. "Eh, Robbie,
" she exclaimed, and prepared to fly, " it's the
dishclout; I forgot to take it oot when washin' the pitcher";
and she fled. But Rob got up, pursued, and lashed her haffits
well with the dishclout, crying out the while,
" That'll help to keep 'e in mind, Bell, that Robbie
eat bags ony day, but he'll no try to eat dishclouts. "
ROBBIE SMITH'S MARRIAGE.
Robbie made up his mind to get married. The cries were put
in, the night arranged; the guests came, the bride came, and
the minister came. The ceremony began and had proceeded thus
far, "Will you have this woman to wife?" "
Na, man, na I" he cried, withdrawing his hand from her
sharply; and turning to the audience, " Ay, chaps, "
he whispered, " I was very near nicket the noo, "
and bolted out at the door. But he was pursued, caught, and
the ceremony proceeded without any further hitch.
Robbie had a fellow " wheelman" in the same pottery
every whit as silly as himself, named
Sandy's pay when working full time was 4s. 6d. per week, and
if he had a deal of overtime he got 6d. extra. He was very
particular in the cash offered him at the pay table. If he
got two half-crowns he went forth rejoicing, but if five single
shillings were laid down to him he went out with a scowl on
his countenance, and would not lift them. When he had no overtime
he had to get a half-crown, a shilling, and two sixpenny pieces;
otherwise it had also to be sent alter him. One day the pay
clerk inquired at Sandy whether he would prefer one guinea
or sixteen shillings. " Lord, man, " was the reply,
"d'ye think I'm daft? Ony bodie wi' half his senses aboot
'im kens that sixteen 's mair than yin ! Jist try it wi' nips
o" whisky, for instance ! "
The workmen as a rule took pleasure almost daily in getting
up a row between the pair of wheelmen. It seldom went further
than a flyte, but one day it ended in a battle. Robbie Smith
went home to dinner that day, but Sandy remained at the pottery.
Before Robbie's return one of the men, in order to continue
the strife, went out and brought in the stock of a gun, with
the lock, but no barrel on it. As soon as Robbie appeared
at the gate, the old gun was put into Sandy's hands, with
instructions to fire and have his revenge. It had been a flint
gun; there was still a flint in the dog-head. He drew the
trigger, the flint flashed, and Robbie turned and fled, howling
" Murder! " They told Sandy that he had slain his