Castle Gay HTML version

'scholar and a gentleman.' That's what they always say about University
players. Well, I'll warrant he's as good a gentleman as any, though he
comes out of a back street in the Gorbals. I'm not so sure about the schol-
ar. But he can always do anything he sets his mind to, and he's a worse
glutton for books than me. No man can tell what may happen to Jaikie
yetÉ . We can take credit for these laddies of ours, for they're all in the
way of doing well for themselves, but there's just the two of them that I
feel are like our own bairns. Just Jaikie and DougalÑand goodness
knows what will be the end of that red-headed Dougal. Jaikie's a douce
body, but there's a determined daftness about Dougal. I wish he wasn't
so taken up with his misguided politics."
"I hope they'll not miss their train," said the lady. "Supper's at eight,
and they should be here by seven-thirty, unless Jaikie's in the hospital."
"No fear," was the cheerful answer. "More likely some of the
Kangaroos will be there. We should get a telegram about the match by
six o'clock."
So after tea, while his wife departed on some domestic task, Mr
McCunn took his ease with a pipe in a wicker chair on the little terrace
which looked seaward. He had found the hermitage for which he had
long sought, and was well content with it. The six years which had
passed since he forsook the city of Glasgow and became a countryman
had done little to alter his appearance. The hair had indeed gone com-
pletely from the top of his head, and what was left was greying, but
there were few lines on his smooth, ruddy face, and the pale eyes had
still the innocence and ardour of youth. His figure had improved, for
country exercise and a sparer diet had checked the movement towards
rotundity. When not engaged in some active enterprise, it was his habit
to wear a tailed coat and trousers of tweed, a garb which from his boyish
recollection he thought proper for a country laird, but which to the or-
dinary observer suggested a bookmaker. Gradually, a little self-con-
sciously, he had acquired what he considered to be the habits of the
class. He walked in his garden with a spud; his capacious pockets con-
tained a pruning knife and twine; he could talk quite learnedly of crops
and stock, and, though he never shouldered a gun, of the prospects of
game; and a fat spaniel was rarely absent from his heels.
The home he had chosen was on the spur of a Carrick moor, with the
sea to the west, and to south and east a distant prospect of the blue Gal-
loway hills. After much thought he had rejected the various country
houses which were open to his purchase; he felt it necessary to erect his
own sanctuary, conformable to his modest but peculiar tastes. A farm of