Next day the miller spoke
to James anent his marriage, an tell't him, as they were no to move
frae the mill, it needna be putten aff ony langer; sae it was settled to
be in a fortnight, an' that created an unco bustle in the house. An
Jeanie was every now and then speakin o' how they were a. to manage,
but the miller neer seemed to mind her.
So ae day, when theyre in the kitchen by themsels, she begins ont
An` James an' his wife
will hae to get the room that he an William are in ; an then William
he maun either get mine, or sleep outby, for therell be nae puttin him
in yon cauld, damp bed,unless we want him to gang like a cripple; sae I
dinna ken what's to be dune."
"Ye forget, Jeanie," said
the miller, that John Murdoch sleepit there, an, he didna seem to be
the waur o`t.
"Aye, for ae night, nae
doubt, and in fine weather; but how lang will that last?
The miller gies her nae
answer; but after sittin thinking a wee, he rises and taks down his
"Its a fine day for
being out," says Jeanie; "but are ye gaun far, father?"
"Nae farer than the
Hope," said the miller.
"The Hope! exclaimed
Jeanie, as her face reddened.
"Ay," says the miller;
"and Im thinking o speirin if theres room there for ane o' ye."
"Now God bless my gude
auld father," said Jeanie; "he sees brawly what I wanted, and wadna even
look me in the face to confuse me."
* * * * *
"Geordie Wilson. cries
the miller, "when will it suit you to marry my dochter?"
The daythe mornony
day," answers Geordie, as happys a prince.
"Because I was thinking
says the miller, "that it might be as weel to pit Jamess waddin and
yours ower thegither."
"Wi a my heart," says
Geordie, "wi' a my heart! "
"Weel, then," quoth the miller, "I`ll awa hame and see what our Jeanie
"And Ill gang wi you,"
Come your wa's then, my
man," says the miller.
And sae as theyre gaun
down the road thegither, they meets William, an Geordie tells him how
matters stood. An when William hears ot, he shakes Geordie by the
hand, an awa he flees ower ditch and dyke, an is hame in nae time. An
after resting himsel a minute, an to tak breath, in he gangs to the
kitchen; an when Jeanie sees him, she says, "Yere warm-like, William,-
yeve surely been running?
"Is onything wrang wi my father? asked he.
"Gude forbid! said
Jeanie; "but what maks ye speir?"
"Ou, naething ava, amaist; but only I met him walking unco gravelike,
an he scarcely spak to me; an I met wi Geordie Wilson too, and he
didna say muckle either."
"Preserve us a! cries Jeanie; "if onything has happened atween the
"What could put that
nonsense in your head, lassie?" said William. "By-the-by," continues he,
after a pause, "Geordies at the end o the lane, an wishing muckle to
speak to ye.
"An what for did ye no
tell me that at first, ye haverel?" cried Jeanie; and out she flees. An
just as shes turning the corner, she runs against her father wi a
"The lassies in a creel,
I think!" quoth the miller; "but its the same wi them a.
"Jeanie! my ain Jeanie!
whispers Geordie, "an its a settled for neist week, and well be sae
Jeanie held him at arms
length frae her, that she might look him in the face.
"I see its true! I see
its true!" she said, "an yere no joking me ! An that wicked callant,
to gang and gie me sic a fright! Hech ! I haena gotten the better ot
"An now, Jeanie, that I
hae seen ye," says Geordie, "I maun rin awa hame and tell my gude auld
mither that its a' fixed ; for she wasna in when your father cam to the
Hope ; and then I maun awa to the toun for things. An whatll I bring
ye, Jeanie? whatll I bring?"
"Ou, just onything ye
like," said she; "bring back yoursel, thats a Jeanie cares about.
An she stands an looks
after him till hes out o sight; an' as she turns about.
"Jeanie! my ain Jeanie!
says James, takin her in his arms.
"My ain gude and aye kind
brither! said Jeanie, resting her head on his shouther.
"Shell no speak to me,
nae doubt," says William, his voice shakin a wee.
"Ah, ye wicked callant!
says Jeanie, kissing his cheek. "But ye mauna plague me nae mair; na,
yell no daur dot!
"No! cries William, "Im
sure Im fit for a that Geordie Wilson can do ony day, an maybe mair.
Jeanie was gaun to
answer, but she got her ee on the miller standing at the door.
"I maun hae his blessing
first," she cries, "and then Jeanie's heart will be at peace."
When the miller saw her
coming, he gaes slowly back to his ain room, an in she comes after him,
and, "Bless me, bless your bairn, my gude auld father! you thats been
father an mither, an a to her since before she could guide hersel !
Bless your Jeanie, an shell hae naething mair to wish for!
"How like shes to her
mither! said the miller in a low voice; "but yell no mind her sae weel,
Jeanie. I mind weel that on the night before she deet, an when I was
like ane distrackit, Its the will o Providence, John, says she, and
we maun a bow tillt; but dinna ye grieve sae sair for my loss, John;
for young as she is yet, my heart tells me that Im leaving ane ahint
me, whall be a blessing an a comfort to ye when Im awa; and neer
were truer words spoken, continued the miller, "for neer frae that day
to this was her fathers heart wae for Jeanie; sae bless you, my bairn,
an may a that's gude attend ye, an may ye be spared to be a comfort
and an example to a around ye, lang, lang after your auld fathers
heads laid low." An as he raised her frae her knees he kissed her, an
then turned slowly frae her, an Jeanie slippit saftly awa.
On the neist Friday the
twa marriages took place, an a the folk sat down to a gude an a
plentifu dinner, an there was an unco deal o fun an laughing gaed
on. An when dinner was ower and thanks returned, the miller cried for
a to fill a fu, fu bumper. "An now, says he, "well drink King
James health, an lang may he and his rule ower us."
This led them to speak o
his coming there as John Murdoch; and some o them that hadna heard the
hale story, askit the miller to tellt.
"Wi a my heart, quoth
the miller; "but first open that cage-door, Jeanie, for its no fitting
that it, wha had sae muckle share int, should be a prisoner at sic a
An the robin cam fleein
out to the millers whistle, an lightit on the table beside him.
When the miller was dune
wi the story, "An now, friens," said he, "ye may learn this frae it,
that its aye best to do as muckle gude and as little ill as we can. But
theres a time for athing," continued he; "sae here, Jeanie, my dawtie,
put ye by the robin again; and now, lads, round wi the whisky.
They a sat crackin an
laughin thegither, till it was time for Geordie an his wife to be
settin aff for the Hope, and the rest o the folk gaed wi them, an a
was quiet at the mill again.
In twa year after that,
William was married to Elie Allison. And when he was three score and
ten, the miller yielded up his spirit to Him that gied it ; an when
King James heard that he was dead, he said publicly, that he had lost a
gude subject and an honest man, and that he wished there was mair folk
in the kintra like John Marshall.
And James succeeded to his father; an after James cam James sons, and
their sons after them for never sae lang; and, for aught I ken to the
contrair, theres a Marshall in the Mill o Doune at this day.
The Odd Volume.