Friday, June 22, 2007
New Beginning 300!!
I was weary and sore when I came to the great house of the Mackays. In my state, nothing seemed very grand, not the Church, not the village with its rock beach, and not the dark, dark house anchored on the hill above the choppy loch.
The coach had been on the road for days coming up from Edinburgh, and even for a young man, or a boy as my father would type it, it was weary business on the hard seat, swaying and lurching back and forth. Mostly though, I was tired of the coach, tired of rain, tired of the views from the open windows, and tired of my timorous fear. Fear - Perhaps it could not really be called a fear, but I had been tense and shaky for days as I came alone to this place where all things would be new to me.
In the door, the wind tugged at me, but was fresh and salt and welcome, as I came down out of the coach. At that second, after the smells of the carriage, I was ready to smile in relief and look forward to – whatever came. Ignobly, I fell on the last step and dropped to my knees in the mud.
It was then, at the lowest point in this wretched journey, that I first met McNulty. His strong hands brought me to my feet as he told me, “Ach man, yer mucktle’s feckled twix moar ’n’ broar. Gin yon hoose ’n’ fettle fer m’ tock.”
No doubt, I thought, he's offering to carry my bags to the house. “I am grateful, sir, for your assistance,” I told him.
“Ahh,” he said as we passed through the massive doorway, “twas nicht mer ’n’ enny mon ’t’ twickle in laird ’d’dee.”
I assumed he was asking me to remove my muddied breeches and my other too-long-worn clothes so that he might wash them. I had not expected to encounter such gentle hospitality in this northern wilderness.
McNulty led me to the kitchen, where the range filled the room with warmth--enough so that I had no need to request a blanket while waiting for the return of my garments and undergarments, which lay on the floor, McNulty having thus far neglected to commence laundering them.
Being Sunday evening, the Mackays were still at chapel, but I was grateful for the company of this honest, working chap as he fed me and had me drink fine whisky. We talked for hours, and eventually I asked him in good humor, “So, tell me sir: do all the working men in these parts wear lady’s clothing?”
“’n’ dw awl thewme bee haylin’ frome tha souythe sytt ’round thir hostes’ kytchings naickit?” he replied. “Woar widja mean ta skuttle tha mittie ’n’ morah y’sassenach shithead.” Strangely his tone seemed colder than before.
Opening: Scott Jones.....Continuation: ril