MACFARLANE was a lodging-house keeper in
Glasgow, and, as a matter of course, a widow. Mr. Thomas Macfarlane was a
lodger in her house, but, although bearing the same name, he was not
related to his landlady. An elderly gentleman became a fellow-lodger, and
Mrs. M.’s attention to Mr. M.’s comfort decreased from his appearance in
the house. Certain articles, also, in the shape of eatables, began
mysteriously to disappear. When this occurred,
his press or cupboard was systematically ransacked, but, as may be
imagined, the search was vain. One day Mr. M. came home to enjoy a nice
little chop he had left safe in the cupboard when he left for his office
in the morning. But, alas, the chop was gone! The landlady was summoned,
and a conversation took place which is here reproduced
where’s the chop I left in the press this morning?"
the chop’s no whaur ye left it, sir, the dowg maun ha’e took it; as for
me, I ken naething aboot ony chop in the hoose this day!"
M.—"Is the dog in?"
warrant he is, unless he’s out amang the cats at the back."
him in, then, and I’ll ask him about the chop myself."
The dog, which belonged to Mr.
Macfarlane, was accordingly hunted up, and brought into the room.
"Towser," said the lodger, "did you
steal the chop out of the press this morning?"
Towser looked first at his master,
and then at the landlady, with an eye which neither lacked lustre nor
The latter at once accused the dog
of being the thief, by saying:
"Ye needna look that way, because ye
ken ye stole the chop; and mair than that, ye ken ye stole a big beefsteak
out o’ the same press yesterday, you thief-looking tyke."
It so happened that Mr. Macfarlane’s
press did not contain such an article on the preceding day, but that the
fellowlodger had met with such a loss, and duly informed Mr. M. of the
fact. The result was that both lodgers gave immediate notice to quit their
apartments, perfectly satisfied that the dog was not the culprit, and that
Glasgow landladies were as bad, if not worse, than English ones. The widow
was thus left, meanwhile, to chew the cud of disappointment, and to look
out for fresh temporary victims.