At Marchmont House Station, another pair of passengers entered the compartment, and the Doctor and Baronet ended their conversation, because it was impossible to speak freely within the confines of the small space and, the train not having a corridor, they could not even step outside to continue it, but Doubleday thought the young woman very pretty, although—like himself—of the servant class, she had a peaches and cream complexion, abundant blonde curls piled on top of her head, rosy lips and that curvy zaftig figure he particularly liked—at this present stage of his life—and was obviously a nursemaid, as she was in charge of a small boy of about five, dressed as would befit one of the Family, "from the Big House?" he asked, breaking the silence and the girl reacted somewhat confusedly, glancing around as if the question had been addressed to someone else, but it didn't take a brainiac to realise that Doubleday's—seemingly innocuous—words were directed at her and had an amouring intent, so she blushed to her roots!
Which was when Dr Green asked MacFarlane what he was talking about, at which the Baronet might have taken offence, and certainly, had he been asked that question by someone not endowed with the long, delicate, leptodactylous fingers of a concert pianist, he might—in Times Past, or Paster than these—have demanded 'Satisfaction' and looked forward to crushing a boneheaded tyro, who had hardly learnt the difference between a sabre and an épée, under his heel, but now he smiled and replied, "to tell you the truth, dear Rullion, and I know I can rely on your sympathetic discretion, I earn my living as a writer, of fiction, perhaps you may even have read some of my tales: The War of The Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man?" and Green stared at him, the stammered, "W-W-W-Wells? H G Wells?" at which MacFarlane nodded modestly, conceding that "indeed, that is my nom-de-plume, and my specialisation is in what we term Science-Fiction, or Strange Tales of Weird Things, which involves research into fanciful notions and unfathomable mysteries, and Doubleday is an excellent transcriber of my notes, drafts, soliloquy, with his typewriting skills, and I can tell you, whenever he is away—on business, or suchlike—and I have to engage a temporary typist, there is at least one, or two, if not five and twenty issues which arise and can be summed up by one word, one single word," at which point Green was become excited and emotional, "what word is that, Sir Parlane?" and MacFarlane snarled out, "PEBCAK!" causing the Doctor to blink and sink back in his chair, obviously worried that this may refer to a medical condition of which he was ignorant, "what does it mean?" he asked at last and MacFarlane snorted, "Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard, it's an acronym for incompetence, an inability to listen, read, spell or even hit the correct keys, and it is my opinion that unless all children are taught how to use a keyboard in school, instead of that calligraphic writing style of our Grandfathers, we shall never progress out of the 19th Century, you mark my words, Rullion, in several generations—although we three," including Doubleday in the conversation, "may not live to see it—there will be people who can write a thousand words in a matter of seconds, not on paper, but on a glass window, using a tiny keyboard in the palm of their hand, and send it instantaneously to friends in New York, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Timbuktu, Bombay and Peking, in all the local languages without even knowing them all himself! and all I ask of my typist is that he—or she—type exactly what I have drafted, or dictate, is that too much to ask? my God, even silkworms in the magnanerie the monks of Melrose Abbey had could do their job with less mistakes than that chap, what was his name, Dominic, you remember, the one who sat in for you in Madrid, or Minneapolis, the one with the beard, him, who was he?" but Doubleday, looking more than ever like a tired old bloodhound, with his heavy jowls, shook his head and said, "huvnae goat a scoobie, Boss, cos ah wis awa at m'uncle Sudso's funeral, an ah nevva met the geezer, an you tore up the bit paper wi his name 'n'address and chucked it in the fire an said he kin whustle fur his money, you wisnae peyin," and MacFarlane snapped his fingers, "that's the one! well I can tell you, Rullion, in a hundred years, those skills will be all people will need, and woe betide anyone who doesn't master them!"
"Of course," continued Sir Parlane, "they could always change their names to Wullie and Mhairi King, or better still MacQueen, practice the Glesca Glottal Stop, go to Evening Classes in Gaelic, and being a big muckle ursiform with his full beard, he'd look fine in a kilt, much better than the lederhosen he wears at the moment, and in fifteen years, maybe, just maybe, enough water will have passed under the Gattonside Bridge and people may have forgotten he's German, but that's just the tip of the iceberg: having come to Scotland, far from their friends and relations, pitching up in Melrose, settling there and launching their new business, putting all their equity in one basket, it's risky, as the Doctor said to the cryonaut, if you haven't made arrangements for your electricity bills to be paid on time for the next millennia, and even if you have, banks can have glitches in their computer systems, they can crash like any other business, and it would only take a power cut that lasts for a few days for decay and putrefaction to begin," and he realised that Dr Green was giving him strange, sideways glances and gesturing to Doubleday, who was trying—with little success—not to laugh.
At one point, perhaps as the train chuffed towards Earlston, MacFarlane felt his pulse slow down, his thoughts turn soft and his breathing become so shallow that he was reduced to being absorbed by the ambient nature of the First Class compartment in which they rode, and it was only with an enormous effort of will that he, Sir Parlane MacFarlane of MacFarlane, hereditary Laird and Chief of that renowned Clan, forced himself to wake and address Doctor Green, "when we reach Melrose, my dear friend, it will be time for dinner and I suggest we dine at Ambigu," the doctor's expression indicating that the name meant nothing to him, Doubleday explained, "it's a new resta-your-auntie in the High Street," and MacFarlane, who needed no interlocutors, went further, "it is newly established, but has acquired an excellent reputation, the owners being a German couple, Wilhelm and Brünnhilde Kaiser, who have brought a traditional form of Bavarian dining in which one orders a complete meal, three, four, or five courses, whatever, and they are all served simultaneously, so you can mix and match entrées and desserts, fish soup and apple crumble, as you wish, and they specialise in yeanlings," and the doctor shook his head, "I'm afraid I'm not familiar with that," at which MacFarlane elucidated, "lamb, not mutton, veal, not beef, chicken not hen, only the youngest and tenderest of whatever form one's dish takes," and the doctor rubbed his hands together, "that sounds most appetising, and very entrepreneurial, are they accepted in the local community?" at which MacFarlane consulted his watch and said, "I'll give them 15 years!"
They may have been endowed with a vinaceous haze, those thoughts of Sir Parlane MacFarlane, as he gazed through the window of their carriage while it crossed the Berwickshire Merse, that hinterland he had last travelled by train on this self-same journey, during an August day forty-eight years in the future when the worst rainstorm in living—or dead—memory, which had lashed the Borderlands for a week, culminated on the 12th and destroyed the passenger service overnight, and he remembered how the train aquaplaned across a lake, where no lake should be, the carriages separating and floating away from the engine which got bogged down and he felt the mobile phone in his pocket—oh, nothing like that then, or now— but spanking brand new when he purchased it in 2020, discarding his old model to the pile of e-waste which was threatening to submerge the planet, and here he was, marooned in 1900 when he should be back in 2020, where she no doubt was, the phone which had not yet been thought of by it's unborn inventors, designers and manufacturers, as useless now as it would be by 2025, if it even lasted that long, and he recalled a stupid phrase, Time is a great healer, and laughed out loud, which brought him a curious look from Dr Green and a cautioning one from Doubleday, at which MacFarlane thought, "fuck that fer a gemme of sojers," and poured himself another glass of chianti in lieu of whisky and raised it in a toast, "here's tae us, wha's like us, gey few, an they urnae born yet!" watching the puzzlement in the Doctor's quizzical eyes at the unexpected reworking of the traditional words and their strange meaning.
It was at Duns, in a smoky carriage of their third train, that the three travellers capitulated, opened the hamper packed by Mrs Bunion that morning and saw that she had roasted a turducken and made doorstep sandwiches for them, garnished with various sauces and pickles to complement the layers of turkey, duck and chicken, and there were bottles of three different wines, to give a vinaceous boost to the particular meats as each was encountered, "oh, indeed," sighed Dr Rullion Green, "Mrs Bunion is quite a cook, she rather saved me after I was set upon by a footpad, shortly after first arriving in Eyemouth," and proceeded to narrate the violent and bloody event which culminated in the severely injured doctor being carried home on a makeshift stretcher rigged out of fishing nets and put to bed, where he was nursed by Edith—the first time since they had met him that Green had mentioned her given name—and in particular, given spoonsful of an old family elixir she had, passed down through generations of Bunion women, and she had mopped his brow on the night the fever broke, "and when I opened my eyes for the first time afterwards, she appeared to me to be an Angel of Mercy, sent to me by Our Loving Father in Heaven, that I should be able to carry out my duties to the poor folk of the town," and MacFarlane and Doubleday noted the soppy expression on the young man's face and thought, "there's a sucker born every minute!"
Such was Dr Rullion Green's excitement and enthusiasm, stoked up by Sir Parlane MacFarlane over that potluck meal, that he did not perceive any ulterior motive on the part of his new Best Friend—albeit of only a few hours acquaintance—and in the days and months to come, that was to give rise to many conspiracy theories and slanderous calumnies about the morals and sexuality of the innocent doctor, which it is not our place to bandy about here, suffice it to say that, the herbal salve worked wonders on Dominic Doubleday's vinous rash, and Green having arranged for retired General Practitioner, Dr Raymond Snoddie to stand in for him in his surgery while he took a week's holiday, the very next morning the three travellers climbed the twisting cockle stairs to Platform 1 of Eyemouth Railway station for the first stage of their train journey to Melrose and the Eildon Hills, MacFarlane having regaled the doctor well into the night about huge Caverns, Neolithic Wall Paintings, twisting and winding tunnels, fossils everywhere in the Old Red Sandstone, and legends galore about Michael Scott the Wizard, most of which were the product of MacFarlane's fertile imagination and fed into Green's febrile obsessions.
While they enjoyed the victuals served up by Mrs Bunion, MacFarlane studied and listened to the Doctor, for it seemed that Green was the possessor of a double life, openly and outwardly, the Medical Man, following the same profession as his father and grandfather before him, treating the physical needs of the people living and working in this bustling fishing port and yet, driven by some autotelic force within him, the man had the same obsession and passion as Hugh Miller, the self-taught stonemason geologist, for the Old Red Sandstone and what it revealed about the Creation itself, but fortunately for him, Doctor Green seemed not to have that evangelical Christian literalist element to his personality which, clashing with his scientific understanding, pushed Miller over the edge and compelled him to commit the sin of suicide—covered up by that perennial assertion that 'his death was a tragic accident', caused when the pistol he was cleaning went off and blew his brains out—which MacFarlane knew for a fact, being the only independent witness at the scene, although in view of his own reputation he beat a hasty retreat, made a sharp exit from Edinburgh on Christmas Eve 1856 and never spoke to another soul, or even person, about it, and when Rullion Green mentioned Molly Blob, MacFarlane nearly choked on a chunk of sausage and the Doctor had to slap him on the back several times before he could cough it up, "the Heimlich Manoeuvre not invented yet?" asked MacFarlane, taking a long draught of water—something he normally avoided religiously, as if it were contaminated—"maybe we could teach you and it would become the Rullion Green Manoeuvre, and Henry Heimlich will have to find something else to give his name to, but why did you refer to Mrs Bunion as Molly Blob? is it some kind of pet name? have I missed some aspect of your relationship?" and the doctor looked horrified at the implication, "no, no, I assure you, Mrs Bunion is my employee and I am her employer, we do not have any other relationship or such things as pet names for one another," and MacFarlane laughed at the acute embarrassment he had caused, "so why did you call her that?" and the doctor laughed, " I was referring to this posy of Marsh Marigolds on the table, Molly Blob is the country-name for them, well, one of many in fact, but I appreciate that you are probably more at home in Drawing Rooms and Golf Links, among the aristocracy, than on hillsides, amang the broom, as we rural folk are," but the Baronet assured the doctor that he had spent much of his youth on the Bens and in the Glens of wilder parts than Berwickshire, "but I'm just not very interested in flora, although I have charmed a few Floras in my time!" and Green wasn't quite sure if that was a joke, or an indication of a man having different moral standards from himself, but before he could decide, his guest asked, "so, are we going by train? from here to Reston, I believe, then the Berwickshire Railway to Leaderfoot Viaduct, from there it's just a short stroll to Melrose and then we can plan our approach to the Eildons, the weather seems settled for a spell, I would guess, are you up for it Doctor Green?"
While Mrs Bunion was cooking what Doctor Green called "the North Sea Fisherman's All Day Breakfast," he was examining Doubleday, whose face and, particularly, nose, had taken on a claret colour, and asked him if he had been overdoing his wine drinking, "ah cannae staun the stuff," said the valet, "gie's a bottle o malt ony dey," which MacFarlane confirmed, and the Doctor mused, "of course the vinous colouring could actually be a skin reaction, like urticaria—hives—or close contact with an urticaceous plant—stinging nettles—have you been among them?" but MacFarlane pointed out that they had been in the North Sea, so the Doctor suggested it may have been a jelly-fish, "perhaps a Moon Jellyfish, although I haven't seen such a severe reaction, but if you are particularly sensitive," at which Doubleday was roused, "ye cannae ca' me sensitive, tell him Sir, tellim am urny sensitive," and the Doctor tried to mollify him "perhaps susceptible—to that particular jellyfish—is what I meant," which idea seemed more acceptable and Doubleday became calmer, "although," continued Green, "the Portuguese Man o' War sting is usually worse, even when it's posthumous, but either way and if we aren't certain, I have a very useful balm which I will give you, apply it several times a day to the affected area," at which MacFarlane, who had been examining a cabinet which held a number of pieces of red Sandstone on display, asked Green where they had come from, and the Doctor explained, "many collectors tend towards Argyllshire, or Aberdeenshire, but those are from the Borderlands, Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, that one is from Jedburgh, and next to it a piece I found near Melrose, see, it's reptiliferous," and MacFarlane noted the fossilised creature visible on the surface, while Green continued,"now that's a place I intend to visit again," and MacFarlane's ears pricked up with interest and Doubleday said, through gritted teeth, "why, thon's whaur oor gaun tae, how d'ye no come alang, Maister Green? ye'd be braw cumpny oan the journey."
And then, noticing that the—rather mortified—Doctor Rullion Green—and no, the famous Battle was not named after him, it was, of course the other way round, albeit some generations earlier, for this particular twig of the Green tree was indeed the seventh in direct descent to be named Rullion and proud of his Covenanter ancestry—while admittedly no mogul was nonetheless a hard-working and dedicated minister to the many ailments which affected his patients who—for the most part—paid their bills, in kind if not always in cash, and he was able to afford a cook/housekeeper and her son to tend to his horse and carry out other duties as directed by his mother, the stranger who had vented so cruelly at the young medical man turned and in an altogether different tone apologised unreservedly, explaining that he and his companion had "experienced a near fatal encounter with the sea and been miraculously rescued by the doughty captain of this handsome vessel,"—which brought some jeers from onlookers who had no high opinion of either Mudge Muncaster or his rust-bucket of a boat—"and swallowed brine, badderlocks, slimeballs and probably small creatures of the deep, which rather upset the balance of my mind, may I, good Doctor, introduce myself, Sir Parlane MacFarlane, Baronet, of Glockamorra, and this unfortunate, still a bit green about the gills, is my valet, Doubleday, we were part of a quaternion travelling from the Low Country to Melrose, but have no knowledge of what fate befell our companions, the Very Reverend Angus MacAngus of Lesmahagow and his Chaplain, The Reverend Lesley Wesley," at which the good Doctor was completely taken in and threw aside his antagonism, called his stable-boy, Bunion, over and ordered him ahead to let his mother know that the Doctor and two friends would arrive shortly, in need of a square meal and some brandy,"err, do you have any Malt in?" enquired MacFarlane, so money was placed in Bunion's hand and he was directed to go by way of the nearest Inn and purchase a bottle of malt whisky, "Laphraoigh, if they have it," murmured MacFarlane, with an inconsequential air, following behind his new best friend, while a still peely-wally Doubleday staggered after him.
And just a few minutes later, Bunion came running back, dragging a reluctant Dr Green up to She Who Must Be Obeyed where Maisie had seated the two men on chests and already given them each a dram or two of Mudge's whisky, much to her husband's annoyance, "come on aboard, Doactur Green, did the laddie tell ye? aye they must've bin shipwrecked an netted wi the herrin an dumped in the tank, fer thon's whaur they cam oot," indicating with a sweep of her large hands the place where she had dragged the first out by his hair, but by this time, having coughed up plenty of brine and vomited what looked like a mixture of diced carrots and peas, the two men were recovering from their ordeal, and had even become quite euphoric, joking about poking around in Davy Jones's locker and singing snatches of sea shanties, so Dr Green observed to Mrs Muncaster that so far as he could see the situation of the pair was quite intraordinary and his medical knowledge surplus to requirements, at which point one of the two got to his feet and asked the Doctor point blank, "and exactly where did you qualify to make such a diagnosis?" and Dr Green blushed rather fiercely and said rather primly that he was a graduate of Edinburgh University School of Medicine, "aha!" said the stranger, "the haunt of Burke and Hare and the much vaunted Doctor Knox, was he your Tutor?" and the Doctor turned a similar colour to his name and protested that Knox had died thirty-eight years ago, "before I was even born, I'll have you know!" and the unashamed stranger asked his name and the young man replied that he was "Dr Rullion Green, MD," at which the stranger asked, "I suppose they named the Battle after you and maybe that's why you don't look particularly brewstered, I take it there isn't a great deal of competition for Practices in places like this, eh, no? ye'll not get rich hereabouts, I shouldn't wonder, Dr Green, aye, they like as not saw you were a bit green when you arrived, take my advice, go inland, the kind who live on the edge of the country, they usually can't or won't pay their medical bills, and either way, you don't get paid," at which Mudge Muncaster, having drunk a bit more of his whisky during the altercation, grew quite defensive of his home town and declared, "divnae ye mak fun o wur toon, ye galoot, Eyemooth hus a lang an noble histry an wur fisher fowk ur the finest up an doon the coast fae Nor Berwick tae Sou Berwick," and he sat down with a belch as the voluble stranger whispered to his companion, "well, Eyemouth's not too far out, but we must've taken a wrong turn somewhere, because we're a hundred and twenty years early!"
And even as the crowd on the harbour-side collectively gasped and stepped back from the appropriately named She Who Must Be Obeyed, Maisie had already bellowed, "Mudge!" and her husband, the titular Maister of the boat, debouched from the forecastle, wiping whisky from his lips with a greasy coat-sleeve and scuttled over, only to stop short and stare at the retching man who lay on the deck, but even as he did, a hand reached out of the water-tank and managed to grasp one of Maisie's thick ham-handed wrists and begin to haul from the depths another wild-eyed, drenched and dripping figure, in a bright green shell-suit, whose desperate keening added a grace note to Maisie's bawling for someone on the quay to "goanie fetch the fuckin' doactur," at which a wee laddie—by the name of Bunion—who happened to be passing by with a bundle of woven baskets piled atop his head, dropped the fascines and ran off pell-mell in the direction of Doctor Rullion Green's surgery!
For all her apparent grandiloquence, and make no mistake, she had an extensive vocabulary which she dressed to impress, Maisie Muncaster was nobbut a ham-fisted Fishwife, accustomed on a daily basis to draw live wrigglers from the tank in Mudge Muncaster's well-boat and bash their brains out in a way that permitted no ambilogy, but she did as she spoke—and presented herself—with a colourful panache which always drew onlookers to the boat's reg'lar berth, and it was no different that morning, when she plunged her huge left hand into the icy water, mallet raised aloft in the other, but instead of one of the expected silver darlins, her hand pulled out a spluttering, coughing, retching, half-drowned man in a royal-blue shell-suit, the like of which Eyemouth in 1900 had never seen before.
And that was when Hannah Manyanah—yes, as well as Girl Friday, Sub-Editor, Sports Correspondent and General Dogsbody at the Melrose Monday Meshuggener, she too is a member of the Girl Gang—walked in, threw herself into an empty armchair, swung her booted feet up an onto the coffee table, only to have them pushed off by wee Flora Prestonpans, who said: "ah spent an oor polishin thon, sae keep yer pit bits aff!" which brought a number of grins to the other faces in the room, but Hannah—good-natured to the core—didn't protest, simply untied her laces, eased her feet out and swung her feet up again, left clad in a purple sock, right in shocking pink, "they're odd," yipped Flora, and Hannah laughed, "well I can tell you, I don't have another pair like them, I got a pack of 14 different colours to mix and match," and Flora stared at them, a mixture of awe and desire, absolutely certain now of what she wanted for Christmas, and Lulu had already promised her that she could start decorating the flat on the 1st of December, for while Lulu herself considered Christmas to be principally for bairns and Hogmanay for grown-ups, she wasn't so ham-fisted that she would pour cold water on any Gang member's wish for fun and games, particularly this year, when none of them believed they would have the chance of visiting their parents or siblings, they would have to make the most of the festivities here, in their own home, and she realised that Dora was speaking, her voice soft and misty, "we could always put on a show, not a Panto, but something that involved the audience," and Eunice asked "where could we do it? the Corn Exchange is out because of Covid, same for all the other Halls," but Dora had thought of this, "at the Greenyards, on the pitch, there'd be plenty of room in the Stands and on the banking round the other three sides, even with family groups keeping separate," and Lulu interjected, "the pitch is huge hun, how would we do it, you've seen the rugby, even wi twa teams pleying, there's still loads of space to fill," but Dora wasn't concerned, "we could get the kids fae baith schools for sterters, the Toon Band, the Music Academy, the Operatic Society, the older kids wha go to Earlston an Gala as well, an the Church Choirs, ah'm sure we could pit somethin thegether in time," as Lulu, Eunice and Hannah exchanged doubtful glances, and Lulu asked, "have you got a story? a script? onything to show people when you ask them?" and Dora flourished a sheaf of papers, "it's aboot emigration an immigration, aboot partins an discoveries, birth an rebirth, aboot Genocide an the Holocaust, fowk wha keep their heids doon an let bad things happen an later cite the Nuremberg Defence o 'jist follyin oarders, ye ken,' an ithers wha staun up an oppose evil at risk tae their lives, but mebbe save their souls, ye said it yersel, earlier, Lulu, 'we're aw Jock Tamson's Bairns,' an I'm suggesting we ca' it Jock Tamson's Bairns, an ye ken the auld couple that lives in Newstead?" at which everyone scratched their separate heads and wondered which 'auld couple' she was referring to, but she explained, "Betty Comden an Adolph Green," and Flora looked shocked, "ur they no merrit?" but Dora continued, "separate rooms, hen, they used tae be twa o the biggest names on Broadwey an in Hollywud, mind when they turned up here, jist afore the Second Eildons landed, said they'd been in Las Vegas, got loast oot in the desert in a sand storm an fund theirsels drivin ower the Gattonside bumps, oan the wrang side o the road, smashed intae a tractor an were baith in the BGH fer weeks, weel, onywey, whiles they've nae desire tae gaun back tae America, they want tae thank abdy that's helped them oot here, fae the staff at the BGH, tae the Jewish Community, the ither Churches, the Hoosin Depairtment at the Cooncil, an the CAB, neebours an emdy else that's made them feel welcome, as unintentional immigrants, so they've been workin on a pile o new sangs wi various local composers an musicians an ah've persuaded them tae let us showcase them, like ah've said, at the Greenyairds wi a cast o local talent, ah've spoken tae folk wha've Directed shows an concerts an stuff, an abdy's willin tae len a haun, but whit's needed's sumdy wi gumption an the baws tae be the Producer, and Lulu realised that not only was Dora staring at her, but so were all the others, and she said, "weel, weel, this is when ye find oot wha yer real freens ur, ah thocht ah wis a bit crafty, bit ye tak the cake, Dora, ye've stitched me richt up, an gien us a maister-class in callidity, boy, o boy, weel then, seen as ye've done maist o the thinkin an plannin an organizin and talkin tae this ane an thon ane, ah'll dae it, on ane condition," and everyone shouted out, "whit?" and Lulu said, "yer ma Assistant Producer, Dora, cos yer the ainly ane wha kens whit's gaun oan!" and Nora, who'd been quietly baskin in her twin's glory, produced a bottle of 50 year old Laphraoigh and everyone cheered!
"But," explained Lulu, "he wis here afore Christmas, mind, an chasin efter Peter Boo, then scarpered when the Covid cam, cos he's a born fearty, naethin bit a scrape o ordure," and Flora piped up, "whit's ordure, Lulu?" and there were a few chuckles, "shite," said one of the Twins - I'm not sure which - and Lulu continued, "but oor invincible cos wur consanguineous," and Flora started, "whit's. . . . ?" but before she completed her query, Lulu said, "oor aw sisters, ye ken, thon's whit maks us cohesive as a Girl Gang," but Flora was still puzzled, "Nora an Dora's ma real sisters, we urny aw related ur we?" and this time Eunice explained, "ye ken in the Bible it sez Goad made Adam an Eve?" and Flora nodded, "an abdy's descended fae them," and Flora nodded, getting the idea, "weel, in Scoatlan oor aw Jock Tamson's Bairns," and Flora asked, "wis he the furst maun in Scoatlan?" and Lulu grinned, and gave the blessing, "In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen," at which Flora asked, "duzzaat mean wur Caflicks tae?" and was showered with cushions thrown at her by the rest of the Gang!
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