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Prestonpans and Vicinity

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science—a jailor's benevolence—and the sympathy of a
policeman. "
"Where, Wull? where?" inquired the lounger, in all earnestness.
"Oh! I dinna ken, " quoth the drummer; "but it was somewhere between the Nungate Brig and the West port Toll, I fancy, and the finder is sure to be rewarded. " Whether Wull had suffered at Haddington court previously the historian fails to discover.
Wull said that he could eat a bit, and drink a bit, but he disclaimed the honour (?) of being a glutton; and yet some great stories are told concerning his food devouring propensities. But he was not a Rab Ha'. The biggest dish he was ever known to clear out was a large brown basin of brose and two chappins of sour dook, but this he said he could do at any time, either before a spree or after one, and the biggest spree he ever had was one day when he cleaned out nineteen glasses of whisky. He got down the inn stair that day he said, but whether he or his drum got first he could not tell.
Whether Wull had one wife or many wives the parish register does not declare, but there are those who remember that on one occasion he had
He had been out on special service, drum and all, and went bounding up to his door at darkening, half fou as usual. Just as he arrived, " Want a wife, Wull?" inquired a neighbour. " Where is she? " quoth the drummer. " There she stands, " rejoined the neighbour, pointing towards a half-intoxicated female leaning against his gable end. " Eh, my darling, " quoth Wull, "will you hae me?" "I will, " quoth she. " Well, I'll hae you, " and there and then the pair got spliced, for ill or weel, and without the service of priest or minister. Wull said she was a regular heart-breaker. He was glad to get rid of her, and vowed he would never have another wife wi' such a brief wooin'.
Tranent had an able town crier of its own, but what had
become of him on this particular day no one knew. Wull concluded he was "juist like other folk, had got fou and couldna turn oot. " It happened that a number of shows had set up at Pigeon Square in Tranent, and as the village official was not on duty, Wull had to be brought up from Prestonpans. Whether it was a make up of the drummer's own, or if the showman had a hand in the ploy, remains unknown. But drum in hand, and accompanied as usual by a host of youngsters, Wull set off from Tranent down by Cockenzie, the Pans, and back to Tranent, and this is the notice he proclaimed all the way: —
" Shows at Pigeon Square, Tranent.
" Come a' ! come a' ! come a' and see !
A horse's held where its tail should be !"
Further he proceeded—
" There is to be seen at Tranent a livin' lion stuffed wi' straw, headed like a bear, luggit like a deer, and hasna a tooth in its under jaw. All to be seen for the sma' sum o' tuppence. " It need hardly be added that the show containing these living curiosities was soon crowded and the show began. For the curious horse the audience were shown a pony standing with its hindlegs three or four steps up a stair, and its forefeet on the ground. The explanation was "that no horse went up a stair tail foremost, so that practically the horse's head stood where its tail should be. " " Mockery, " and " vengeance, " was the cry, but the show proceeded. The "living lion" was part of a waxwork. The machinery being set in motion, the lion began to gape and growl. But these things were too much for a Tranent audience. Seeing they had been mocked, the showman was instantly captured, knocked down, and bereft of all the cash he possessed, which being scattered among the audience, the leaders of the rebellion then set fire to the concern and cleared out. Poor Wull was not exactly blamed for being art and part in the deception, but the showman forgot to remunerate him for his services, and he went home cursing his own stupidity, maintaining that the towncrier of Tranent had not been drunk on that occasion at all, but had known of the deception and had taken advantage of his "poor brother at Prestonpans. " Wull vowed he would never be " ta'en in " by his Tranent brother again.
Wull was a regular attender at Musselburgh Races. If
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