Salted with Fire

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Excerpt CHAPTER I "Whaur are ye aff til this bonny mornin', Maggie, my doo?" said the soutar, looking up from his work, and addressing his daughter as she stood in the doorway with her shoes in her hand. "Jist ower to Stanecross, wi' yer leave, father, to speir the mistress for a goupin or twa o' chaff: yer bed aneth ye's grown unco hungry-like." "Hoot, the bed's weel eneuch, lassie!" "Na, it's onything but weel eneuch! It's my pairt to luik efter my ain father, and see there be nae k-nots aither in his bed or his parritch." "Ye're jist yer mither owre again, my lass!—Weel, I winna miss ye that sair, for the minister 'ill be in this mornin'." "Hoo ken ye that, father?" "We didna gree vera weel last nicht." "I canna bide the minister—argle-barglin body!" "Toots, bairn! I dinna like to hear ye speyk sae scornfulike o' the gude man that has the care o' oor sowls!" "It wad be mair to the purpose ye had the care o' his!" "Sae I hae: hasna ilkabody the care o' ilk ither's?" "Ay; but he preshumes upo' 't—and ye dinna; there's the differ!" "Weel, but ye see, lassie, the man has nae insicht—nane to speak o', that is; and it's pleased God to mak him a wee stoopid, and some thrawn (twisted). He has nae notion even o' the wark I put intil thae wee bit sheenie (little shoes) o' his—that I'm this moment labourin ower!" "It's sair wastit upo' him 'at caana see the thoucht intil't!" "Is God's wark wastit upo' you and me excep' we see intil't, and un'erstan't, Maggie?" The girl was silent. Her father resumed. "There's three concernt i' the matter o' the wark I may be at: first, my ain duty to the wark—that's me; syne him I'm working for—that's the minister; and syne him 'at sets me to the wark—ye ken wha that is: whilk o' the three wad ye hae me lea' oot o' the consideration?" For another moment the girl continued silent; then she said— "Ye maun be i' the richt, father! I believe 't, though I canna jist see 't. A body canna like a'body, and the minister's jist the ae man I canna bide." "Ay could ye, gi'en ye lo'ed the ane as he oucht to be lo'ed, and as ye maun learn to lo'e him." "Weel I'm no come to that wi' the minister yet!" "It's a trowth—but a sair pity, my dautie (daughter—darling)." "He provokes me the w'y that he speaks to ye, father—him 'at's no fit to tie the thong o' your shee!" "The Maister would lat him tie his, and say thank ye!" "It aye seems to me he has sic a scrimpit way o' believin'! It's no like believin' at a'! He winna trust him for naething that he hasna his ain word, or some ither body's for! Ca' ye that lippenin' til him?" It was now the father's turn to be silent for a moment. Then he said,— "Lea' the judgin' o' him to his ain maister, lassie. I ha'e seen him whiles sair concernt for ither fowk." "'At they wouldna hand wi' him, and war condemnt in consequence—wasna that it?" "I canna answer ye that, bairn." "Weel, I ken he doesna like you—no ae wee bit. He's aye girdin at ye to ither fowk!" "May be: the mair's the need I sud lo'e him." "But noo can ye, father?" "There's naething, o' late, I ha'e to be sae gratefu' for to Him as thatI can....
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