THE following is one of many
anecdotes long current regarding this theatrical worthy, who, "after
lifeís fitful fever, sleeps" in Glasgow Necropolis.
For many years a queer-looking old
man who rejoiced in the euphonious cognomen of "Auld Clocky" took the
money at the gallery door of "Alickís" theatre; and he was, in his way,
nearly as great an original as his master, to whom, indeed, he is said to
have stood in the relation of father. One night, so many boys went out
between the play and farce that "Auld Clocky" was compelled to resort to
the singular expedient of chalking their backs, his checks being all given
away. The loungers outside were not long in ascertaining the circumstance,
and lo, in a short time, lots of little boys crowded past "Auld Clocky,"
each one bearing on his back the white cross of St. Andrew. On finding
that more were coming up than went down, "Clocky" seized upon a little boy
at random and turned him downstairs, after appropriating his bonnet. The
boy, who had really paid his sixpence, immediately went home and
complained to his father, a tailor, named Weir, who lived opposite the
theatre. This person determined to appeal to Mr. Alexander for redress of
his sonís wrongs, and with that object forthwith proceeded to the stage
door of the theatre, and asked for the manager, who quickly made his
appearance dressed as a sailor, with a drawn cutlass in his hand and
pistols in his belt.
"Well, sir, what is it?" inquired
the manager in no very gentle tones.
"The old man at the gallery stairs
has taken my sonís bonnet, and turned him out of the theatre," said the
snip, in a tremulous voice, evidently not a little awed by the warlike
figure before him.
"Taken your sonís bonnet, and turned
him out of the theatre !" repeated Alick. And then added: "Just go to the
gallery door, sir, and Iíll be with you directly."
Obedient to this direction, the
tailor reached the post of "Auld Clocky," just as the manager, still armed
to the teeth, made his appearance from another quarter; and eyeing the
culprit with the look of a hyena, he exclaimed:
"So, sir, you have been stealing the
boysí bonnets, and chalking their backs. Gracious goodness! that accounts
for the two tons of chalk going amissing from the painting-room. Give the
boy back his bonnet, Ďye hoary-headed old villain,í or I will cut you into
minced collops !" and, as he said so, "Alick" flourished the cutlass in a
manner that indicated a desire to bring the career of the aged "Clocky to
an immediate and tragical termination.
It is almost needless to say that the command was
quickly obeyed, and that the tailorís son was re-admitted to the gallery
to witness the remainder of the eveningís entertainment.