Last of Tam Turnip’s Anecdotes

The last little batch of Tam Turnip’s anecodtes. Written in 1913, remembering back to Blantyre of the 1850s, he writes,

“The “Blanter” mill workers were steady as a rule, but a few indulged on Saturday nights. Allan, the foreman, a very decent man, was suspected of getting his “mornin’” at Stonefield public-house on Sundays. The policeman watched, but could never catch Allan, until he hid in the branches of a tree near by till he saw his man enter, and then made a rush, but the publican was too smart for the bobby, and getting a few eatables on the table, while the wife opened the door, the policeman found Allan with his eyes shut just in the act of asking a blessing, and of course he retired on tip-toe. “

The Temperance movement, which has made such progress now, was just taking root then, and nearly every little obligement was acknowledged with a glass. A neighbour, “Davie,” was cleaning out our garden well, and mother, to treat him, got a gill of brandy in a lemonade bottle and handed a glassful down the well. Davie drained it off without a breath, then screwed his face and shouted, “What’s that you’ve gi’en me?” Mother looked at the bottle and exclaimed — “I’ll wager I’ve gi’en train oil that Tammas keeps in the same kin’ o’ bottle for makin’ his rosit.”

   “Rin quick for the ither bottle,” said Davie. The brandy was soon found, handed down the well and finished instanter. Davie was nane the waur o’ the dooble dose. Meantime that will be plenty aboot Livingstone an’ Blanter frae Tam Turnip”

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