Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (226)

(228) next ›››

here." Ami he gave him the half-rotten roll ;
but took good care to say nothing of the others
which he had contrived to put away into a
secret place while Mr. Cameron was busied in
the loft.
" (;>h, this won't do at all !" cried Mr. Cameron,
in a rage : "I counted and threw down thirty
'■ Thirty rolls," echoed Archibald: " preserve
me '. but you amaze me, Mr Cameron. What
should bring thirty rolls of tobacco in my loft ?
M e ! who am bound to protect the revenues of
my country ! You must have been drinking, Mr.
Cameron, and wetting your eyes, Mr. Cameron.
Preserve me I but you see more than double,
Mr. Cameron, it's lucky that you did not set my
loft on iire with that candle. Thirty rolls !
why you must be very drunk indeed, Mr.
Cameron : and not at all the proper company
that a decent man like I am ought to keep."
Mr. Cameron was so beside himself with rage
and amazement, and with Archibald's coolness,
that he was blurting out his words very much
as if he indeed were tipsy.
" I thought you had come on a fool's errand,
Mr Cameron," Archibald went on to say, "but
I never thought you were overtaken in liquor,
Mr. Cameron. And to fancy that this little
packet was thirty rolls of tobacco ! I would'ut
have believed it of you, Mr. Cameron. And to
try to take away my honest name, and make me
out to be no better than a smuggler ! Me !
who am bound to protect the revenues of my
country. Preserve me ! But 1 could take the
law at you, ]Mr. Cameron."
" It's I that will take the law of you, Mr.
Macuab, as you will soon find to your cost; "
said Mr. Cameron, as he bounced out of the
Very soon, Archibald received a summons to
appear before the Sheriff, and he obeyed the
summons. Mr. Cameron made out a strong
case against him ; but, as he had no witnesses,
Archibald got the liberty to plead for himself.
"Let me hear, Mr. Macnab," said the Sherili'.
" what explanation you can give to this re-
markable charge that has been brought against
Archibald put on his most smiling face and
jocular manner. '■ It was the gowk-hunting
day (the first of April) and my good friend, Mr.
Cameron here, was to be made a fool of. And
this was our plan. He was to be told that I
bad some smuggled tobacco in my loft, and
then he was to come to me on a fool's errand,
in search of it. In my house, preserve me ! but
the idea was amusing. Well, my good friend,
Mr. Cameron, never susj^ected that he was
being fooled ; so he came to my house, made
his demand, and went up the ladder to the
loft. There he found that roll of tobacco that
ia placed before you ; it is, as yciu plainly see,
rotten and worthless, and had probably been
lying there since the building of Babel. Well,
my good friend, Mr. Cameron, threw down the
roll and I received it ; and he said. That's one.
Without showing him what I was doing, I
threw it up again into the loft, while he was
turning about in the dark with his candle.
Presently he found it, and threw it down,
saying. That's two. So I did the same over
again ; and I was throwing it up, and he was
throwing it down and counting, until I thought
that I had drawn enough fun out of hmi for
one day ; so then I stopped. And, of course,
he was" obliged to stop ; and he said. There's
no more; that last made thirty, and came
down from the loft. Then I showed him what
I had done, and that it was gowk -hunting day,
and that I had played him a trick with that
worthless roll of tobacco. But, my good friend,
Mr Cameron took it amiss that he had been
put upon a fool's errand, and so he took the
summons against me. And that, Mr. Sheriff,
is the whole of the case."
Upon this, all the persons in court burst out
laughing, and although Mr. Cameron protested
that a false tale had been told, yet there was
no witness to support what he said. So, the
Sherili" dismissed the case, and Mr. Cameron
was ordered to pay the expenses: and Archibald
Macnab went home, quite pleased at having
won the day.
As a note to this anecdote of a former officer
of excise in Cantire, I may mention a published
statement regarding the pay of his successors.
Thf Financial Reforniei; for July, 1862, in
speaking of the enormous cost of collecting the
Customs' duties, said, " at Campbeltown, four
officers receive X471, for handing over to the
Commissioners of Customs the sum of £17 ! "
{To he continued.)
Clan Mackay Sooiety. — A meeting of this
Society was held on loth April in 5 St. Andrew
Sciuare, Edinburgh ^Mr. Daniel Mackay, Vice-
President, in the chair. It was reported that a
number of applicants from the counties of Suther-
land and Caithness would compete for the Mackay
Bursary in June, and in this connection it was
resolved to increase the bursary to the annual sura
of £25, and to be called "The Clan Mackay Victoria
Jubilee Bursary," in honour of Her Majesty's
record reign. It was brought to the notice of the
meeting that "A" Bhratach Bhan"— the white
banner of the clan— was, in consequence of the
death of the last custodier, in danger of being lost
to the clan. Mr. John ]Mackay, Secretary {Celiic
Mnnthhi), and Mr. John Mackay, S.S.C, were
appointed to take such steps as they may think
necessary in order to see that the old flag of the
clan passed into proper and safe custody.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence