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The Little Scottish Martyrs
(Taken from the book Scottish National Readings)
(Adapted by Sylvia Cameron)


A Bonnie wee Scotch lassie, with rosy cheeks, sunny hair,
Laughing eyes, and bare, brown feet, stood beside a brawling
Mountain stream. Poised on one foot, she lightly touched the
Water with the other.
"Eh, but it's cauld and it's deep. Will ye no help me across Sandy?"
"No, if ye canna come yersel, then ye maun jist gang hame."
"Weel. If I maun, I maun" and with a splash she bravely
crossed the stream and stood by her brothers side.
"Eh, Sandy, look!"
"Wheesht, Myzie, thems the sojers"
Up the mountain pass came the glittering bayonets, and
Before the boy and girl could gain shelter they were surrounded
by armed men.
"Here boy, has anyone passed this way this morning?"
"No mony folk pass this wey,"
"Perhaps not, but one has passed not more than an hour ago."
"Do you know the man I speak of?"
"Whit like was he?"
"Do you know Robert Brock?"
"Aye, I ken him for a guid man, wha ner did onybody hairm."
"You saw him then?"
"Aye."
"Which road did he take?"
"Whit d'ye want him for?"
"To send a bullet through his head, as I'll send one through
yours if you don't answer,"
"Ye can send a bullet thro, my heid gin ye like, but I'll no
tell which wey Robert Brock went."
"Ask the girl, Captain: she'll tell fast enough."
"Sh! Dinna tell them Myzie."
"Curse you, be quiet."
And a heavy hand fell with cruel force on the boys mouth.
"Now girl, which way went the Saintly man of God?"
"I canna tell."
"You will not, you mean, then I will give you something
that will make you tell."
Seizing her by the wrist, twisting it, til she screamed with pain-
"Lay her be, ye black herted coo-ard!"
"I'll lay her be, when she's answered my question."
"Now, girl for the last time which way went Robert Brock?"
"I canna tell!"
"We'll see, put her against that boulder,
Present arms!
FIRE!
A wreath of white smoke curling upwards to the blue heaven -
A mass of fair hair dabbled in blood, a white face on the green grass
"Throw her into the stream."
In an instant the crystal water blushed in Gods sunlight
with the blood of one of his martyrs.
"Now boy, perhaps you'll tell us. Which way went Robert
Brock?"
Ye've killed ma pair wee sister, noo ye can jist kill me."
"It's easy to talk of dying boy."
"I'd raither dee wi clean hands, than stain them wi the blood 'o Gods servant, and live."
"We'll see, put him against that boulder.
Present arms!"
"Now boy, for the last time. Which way went the Saintly man of God?"
He looked at the sunny sky, the crystal water,
He heard the singing of the birds in his brave young soul.
"FIRE!"
"Throw him into the stream."
Once more, The blood stained turf, the crystal water,
Once more the armed men marched down the mountain-side on their bootless errand,
While God looked over the lonely resting place of the little,
SCOTTISH MARTYRS.


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