Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr.

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some advice to-night?" "I'll be mair than glad to do it."

"Tell me frankly, Uncle John, what you think I ought to do. I saw
Robert off to America to-night. Shall I follow him?"

"Davie, mind what I say. In the vera place where a man loses what he
values, there he should look to find it again. You hae lost your good
name in Glasgow; stay in Glasgow and find it again."

"I will stay here then. What shall I do?"

"You'll go back to your old place, and to your old business."

"But I heard that Deacon Strang had bought the looms and the lease."

"He bought them for me, for us, I mean. I will tell you how that came
about. One day when I was cross, and sair put out wi' your affairs,
Davie, Dr. Morrison came into my office. I'm feared I wasna glad to
see him; and though I was ceevil enough, the wise man read me like a
book. 'John,' says he, 'I am not come to ask you for siller to-day,
nor am I come to reprove you for staying awa from the service o' God
twice lately. I am come to tell you that you will hae the grandest
opportunity to-day, to be, not only a man, but a Christ-man. If you
let the opportunity slip by you, I shall feel sairly troubled about

"Then he was gone before I could say, 'What is it?' and I wondered and
wondered all day what he could hae meant. But just before I was ready
to say, 'Mr. MacFarlane, lock the safe,' in walks Deacon Strang. He
looked vera downcast and shamefaced, and says he, 'Callendar, you can
tak your revenge on me to-morrow, for a' I hae said and done against
you for thirty years. You hold twa notes o' mine, and I canna meet
them. You'll hae to protest and post them to-morrow, and that will
ruin me and break my heart.'

"David, I had to walk to the window and hide my face till I could
master mysel', I was that astonished. Then I called out, 'Mr.
MacFarlane, you hae two notes o' Deacon Strang's, bring them to me.'
When he did sae, I said, 'Well, deacon, we a' o' us hae our ain
fashes. How long time do you want, and we'll renew these bits o'

"And the thing was done, Davie, and done that pleasantly that it made
me feel twenty years younger. We shook hands when we parted, and as we
did sae, the deacon said, 'Is there aught I can do to pleasure you or
David?' and a' at once it struck me about the sales o' the looms and
lease. Sae I said, 'Yes, deacon, there is something you can do, and
I'll be vera much obligated to you for the same. Davie is sae tied
down wi' Robert's illness, will you go to the sale o' Callendar &
Leslie's looms and lease, and buy them for me? You'll get them on
better terms than I will.' And he did get them on excellent terms,
Davie; sae your mill is just as you left it - for Bailie Nicol, wha
took it at the accountant's valuation, never opened it at all. And you
hae twenty months' rent paid in advance, and you hae something in the
bank I expect."

"I have £3,600, uncle."

"Now, I'll be your partner this time. I'll put in the business £4,000,
but I'll hae it run on a solid foundation, however small that
foundation may be. I'll hae no risks taken that are dishonest risks;
I'll hae a broad mark made between enterprise and speculation; and
above a', I'll hae the right to examine the books, and see how things
are going on, whenever I wish to do sae. We will start no more looms
than our capital will work, and we'll ask credit from no one."

"Uncle John, there is not another man in the world so generous and
unselfish as you are."

"There are plenty as good men in every congregation o' the Lord; if
there wasna they would scatter in no time. Then you are willing, are
you? Gie me your hand, Davie. I shall look to you to do your best for
baith o' us."

"I have not drunk a drop for two months, uncle. I never intend to
drink again."

"I hae given it up mysel'," said the old man, with an affected
indifference that was pathetic in its self-abnegation. "I thought twa
going a warfare together might do better than ane alone. Ye ken Christ
sent out the disciples by twa and twa. And, Davie, when you are hard
beset, just utter the name of Christ down in your heart, and see how
much harder it is to sin."


The arrangement had been a very pleasant one, every way, but somehow
John did not feel as if David had as much outside help as he needed.
The young man was not imaginative; an ideal, however high, was a far
less real thing to David than to old John. He pondered during many
sleepless hours the advisability of having David sign the pledge.
David had always refused to do it hitherto. He had a keen sense of
shame in breaking a verbal promise on this subject; but he had an
almost superstitious feeling regarding the obligation of anything he
put his name to; and this very feeling made John hesitate to press the
matter. For, he argued, and not unwisely, "if David should break this
written obligation, his condition would seem to himself irremediable,
and he would become quite reckless."

In the morning this anxiety was solved. When John came down to
breakfast, he found David walking about the room with a newspaper in
his hand, and in a fever heat of martial enthusiasm. "Uncle," he
cried, "O Uncle John, such glorious news! The Alamo is taken. Colin
Campbell and his Highlanders were first at the ramparts, and Roy and
Hector Callendar were with them. Listen?" and he threw the passion and
fervor of all his military instincts into the glowing words which
told, how in a storm of fire and shot, Sir Colin and his Highland
regiment had pushed up the hill; and how when the Life Guards were
struggling to reach their side, the brave old commander turned round
and shouted, "We'll hae nane but Hieland bonnets here!" "O Uncle John,
what would I not have given to have marched with Roy and Hector behind
him? With such a leader I would not turn my back on any foe."

"David, you have a far harder fight before you, and a far grander

"Uncle, uncle, if I could see my foe; if I could meet him face to face
in a real fight; but he steals into my heart, even by my nostrils, and
unmans me, before I am aware."

John rang the bell sharply, and when Jenny came, he amazed her by
saying, "Bring me here from the cellar three bottles of whiskey." He
spoke so curt and determined that for once Jenny only wondered, and

"That will do, my woman." Then he turned to David, and putting one
bottle on the table said, "There is your foe! Face your enemy, sir!
Sit down before him morning, noon, and night. Dare him to master you!
Put this bottle on the table in your ain room; carry this in your hand
to your office, and stand it before your eyes upon your desk. If you
want a foe to face and to conquer, a foe that you can see and touch,
here is one mighty enough to stir the bravest soul. And, if you turn
your back on him you are a coward; a mean, poor-hearted coward, sir.
And there ne'er was a coward yet, o' the Callendar blood, nor o' the
Campbell line! Your Captain is nane less than the Son o' God. Hear
what he says to you! 'To him that overcometh! To him that overcometh!'
O Davie, you ken the rest!" and the old man was so lifted out of and
above himself, that his face shone and his keen gray eyes scintillated
with a light that no market-place ever saw in them.

David caught the holy enthusiasm; he seized the idea like a visible
hand of God for his help. The black bottle became to him the
materialization of all his crime and misery. It was a foe he could
see, and touch, and defy. It seemed to mock him, to tempt him, to beg
him just to open the cork, if only to test the strength of his

Thank God he never did it. He faced his enemy the first thing in the
morning and the last thing at night. He kept him in sight through the
temptations of a business day. He faced him most steadily in the
solitude of his own room. There, indeed, his most dangerous struggles
took place, and one night John heard him after two hours of restless
hurried walking up and down, throw open his window, and dash the
bottle upon the pavement beneath it. That was the last of his hard
struggles; the bottle which replaced the one flung beyond his reach
stands to-day where it has stood for nearly a quarter of a century,
and David feels now no more inclination to open it than if it
contained strychnine.

This is no fancy story. It is a fact. It is the true history of a
soul's struggle, and I write it - God knows I do - in the strong hope
that some brave fellow, who is mastered by a foe that steals upon him
in the guise of good fellowship, or pleasure, or hospitality, may
locate his enemy, and then face and conquer him in the name of Him who
delivers his people from their sins. I do not say that all natures
could do this. Some may find safety and final victory in flight, or in
hiding from their foe; but I believe that the majority of souls would
rise to a warfare in which the enemy was confronting them to face and
fight, and would conquer.

I have little more to say of David Callendar. It was the story of his
fall and his redemption I intended to write. But we cannot separate
our spiritual and mortal life; they are the warp and woof which we
weave together for eternity. Therefore David's struggle, though a
palpable one in some respects, was, after all, an intensely spiritual
one; for it was in the constant recognition of Christ as the Captain
of his salvation, and in the constant use of such spiritual aids as
his Bible and his minister gave him, that he was enabled to fight a
good fight and to come off more than conqueror in a contest wherein so
many strive and fail.

David's reformation had also a very sensible influence on his business
prosperity. He has won back again now all, and far more than all, he
lost, and in all good and great works for the welfare of humanity
David Callendar is a willing worker and a noble giver. The new firm of
John and David Callendar acquired a world-wide reputation. It is still
John and David Callendar, for when the dear old deacon died he left
his interest in it to David's eldest son, a pious, steady young fellow
for whom nobody ever mixed a first glass. But God was very kind to
John in allowing him to see the full harvest of his tender love, his
patience, and his unselfishness. Out of his large fortune he left a
noble endowment for a church and college in his native town, making
only two requests concerning its management: first, that no whiskey
should ever go within the college walls: second, that all the children
in the town might have a holiday on the anniversary of his death;
"for," said he, "I have aye loved children, and I would fain connect
the happiness of childhood with the peace o' the dead."

Dr. Morrison lived long enough to assist in filling in the grave of
his old friend and helper, but attained unto the beginning of peace
and glory soon afterwards. And I have often pictured to myself the
meeting of those two upon the hills of God. The minister anticipated
it, though upon his dying bed his great soul forgot all
individualities, and thought only of the church universal, and his
last glowing words were, "For Jerusalem that is above is free, which
is the mother of us all."

Robert Leslie has done well in America, and no man is a more warm and
earnest advocate of "the faith once delivered to the saints." I read a
little speech of his some time ago at the dedication of a church, and
it greatly pleased me.

"Many things," he said, "have doubtless been improved in this age, for
man's works are progressive and require improvement; but who," he
asked, "can improve the sunshine and the flowers, the wheat and the
corn? And who will give us anything worthy to take the place of the
religion of our fathers and mothers? And what teachers have come
comparable to Christ, to David, Isaiah, and Paul?"

Jenny only died a year ago. She brought up David's children admirably,
and saw, to her great delight, the marriage of Flora and young Captain
Callendar. For it had long been her wish to go back to Argyleshire
"among her ain folk and die among the mountains," and this marriage
satisfied all her longings. One evening they found her sitting in her
open door with her face turned towards the cloud-cleaving hills. Her
knitting had fallen upon her lap, her earthly work was done for ever,
and she had put on the garments of the eternal Sabbath. But there was
a wonderful smile on her simple, kindly face. Soul and body had parted
with a smile. Oh, how happy are those whom the Master finds waiting
for him, and who, when he calls, pass gently away!

"Up to the golden citadel they fare,
And as they go their limbs grow full of might;
And One awaits them at the topmost stair,
One whom they had not seen, but knew at sight."

Andrew Cargill's Confession.



Between Sinverness and Creffel lies the valley of Glenmora.
Sca Fells and Soutra Fells guard it on each hand, and the long,
treacherous sweep of Solway Frith is its outlet. It is a region of
hills and moors, inhabited by a people of singular gravity and
simplicity of character, a pastoral people, who in its solemn high
places have learned how to interpret the voices of winds and
watersand to devoutly love their God.

Most of them are of the purest Saxon origin; but here and there one
meets the massive features and the blue bonnet of the Lowland Scots,
descendants of those stern Covenanters who from the coasts of Galloway
and Dumfries sought refuge in the strength of these lonely hills. They
are easily distinguished, and are very proud of their descent from
this race whom

"God anointed with his odorous oil
To wrestle, not to reign."

Thirty years ago their leader and elder was Andrew Cargill, a man of
the same lineage as that famous Donald Cargill who was the Boanerges
of the Covenant, and who suffered martyrdom for his faith at the town
of Queensferry. Andrew never forgot this fact, and the stern, just,
uncompromising spirit of the old Protester still lived in him. He was
a man well-to-do in the world, and his comfortable stone house was one
of the best known in the vale of Glenmora.

People who live amid grand scenery are not generally sensitive to it,
but Andrew was. The adoring spirit in which he stood one autumn
evening at his own door was a very common mood with him. He looked
over the moors carpeted with golden brown, and the hills covered with
sheep and cattle, at the towering crags, more like clouds at sunset
than things of solid land, at the children among the heather picking
bilberries, at the deep, clear, purple mist that filled the valley,
not hindering the view, but giving everything a strangely solemn
aspect, and his face relaxed into something very like a smile as he
said, "It is the wark o' my Father's hand, and praised be his name."

He stood at his own open door looking at these things, and inside his
wife Mysie was laying the supper-board with haver bread and cheese and
milk. A bright fire blazed on the wide hearth, and half a dozen
sheep-dogs spread out their white breasts to the heat. Great settles
of carved oak, bedded deep with fleeces of long wool, were on the
sides of the fireplace, and from every wall racks of spotless deal,
filled with crockery and pewter, reflected the shifting blaze.

Suddenly he stepped out and looked anxiously towards the horizon on
all sides. "Mysie, woman," said he, "there is a storm coming up from
old Solway; I maun e'en gae and fauld the ewes wi' their young
lammies. Come awa', Keeper and Sandy."

The dogs selected rose at once and followed Andrew with right
good-will. Mysie watched them a moment; but the great clouds of mist
rolling down from the mountains soon hid the stalwart figure in its
bonnet and plaid from view, and gave to the dogs' fitful barks a
distant, muffled sound. So she went in and sat down upon the settle,
folding her hands listlessly on her lap, and letting the smile fall
from her face as a mask might fall. Oh, what a sad face it was then!

She sat thus in a very trance of sorrow until the tears dropped
heavily and slowly down, and her lips began to move in broken
supplications. Evidently these brought her the comfort she sought, for
erelong she rose, saying softly to herself, "The lost bit o' siller
was found, and the strayed sheep was come up wi', and the prodigal won
hame again, and dootless, dootless, my ain dear lad will no be lost
sight o'."

By this time the storm had broken, but Mysie was not uneasy. Andrew
knew the hills like his own ingle, and she could tell to within five
minutes how long it would take him to go to the fauld and back. But
when it was ten minutes past his time Mysie stood anxiously in the
open door and listened. Her ears, trained to almost supernatural
quickness, soon detected above the winds and rain a sound of
footsteps. She called a wise old sheep-dog and bid him listen. The
creature held his head a moment to the ground, looked at her
affirmatively, and at her command went to seek his master.

In a few moments she heard Andrew's peculiar "hallo!" and the joyful
barking of the dog, and knew that all was right. Yet she could not go
in; she felt that something unusual had happened, and stood waiting
for whatever was coming. It was a poor, little, half-drowned baby.
Andrew took it from under his plaid, and laid it in her arms, saying,

"I maun go now and look after the mither. I'll need to yoke the cart
for her; she's past walking, and I'm sair feared she's past living;
but you'll save the bit bairn, Mysie, nae doot; for God disna smite
aften wi' baith hands."

"Where is she, Andrew?"

"'Mang the Druids' stanes, Mysie, and that's an ill place for a
Christian woman to die. God forbid it!" he muttered, as he lit a
lantern and went rapidly to the stable; "an evil place! under the vera
altar-stane o' Satan. God stay the parting soul till it can hear a
word o' his great mercy!"

With such a motive to prompt him, Andrew was not long in reaching the
ruins of the old Druidical temple. Under a raised flat stone, which
made a kind of shelter, a woman was lying. She was now insensible, and
Andrew lifted her carefully into the cart. Perhaps it was some
satisfaction to him that she did not actually die within such
unhallowed precincts; but the poor creature herself was beyond such
care. When she had seen her child in Mysie's arms, and comprehended
Mysie's assurance that she would care for it, all anxiety slipped away
from her. Andrew strove hard to make her understand the awful
situation in which she was; but the girl lay smiling, with upturned
eyes, as if she was glad to be relieved of the burden of living.

"You hae done your duty, gudeman," at length said Mysie, "and now you
may leave the puir bit lassie to me; I'll dootless find a word o'
comfort to say to her."

"But I'm feared, I am awfu' feared, woman, that she is but a prodigal
and an - "

"Hush, gudeman! There is mercy for the prodigal daughter as weel as
for the prodigal son;" and at these words Andrew went out with a dark,
stern face, while she turned with a new and stronger tenderness to the
dying woman.

"God is love," she whispered; "if you hae done aught wrang, there's
the open grave o' Jesus, dearie; just bury your wrang-doing there."
She was answered with a happy smile. "And your little lad is my lad
fra this hour, dearie!" The dying lips parted, and Mysie knew they had
spoken a blessing for her.

Nothing was found upon the woman that could identify her, nothing
except a cruel letter, which evidently came from the girl's father;
but even in this there was neither date nor locality named. It had no
term of endearment to commence with, and was signed simply, "John
Dunbar." Two things were, however, proven by it: that the woman's
given name was Bessie, and that by her marriage she had cut herself
off from her home and her father's affection.

So she was laid by stranger hands within that doorless house in the
which God sometimes mercifully puts his weary ones to sleep. Mysie
took the child to her heart at once, and Andrew was not long able to
resist the little lad's beauty and winning ways. The neighbors began
to call him "wee Andrew;" and the old man grew to love his namesake
with a strangely tender affection.

Sometimes there was indeed a bitter feeling in Mysie's heart, as she
saw how gentle he was with this child and remembered how stern and
strict he had been with their own lad. She did not understand that the
one was in reality the result of the other, the acknowledgement of his
fault, and the touching effort to atone, in some way, for it.

One night, when wee Andrew was about seven years old, this wrong
struck her in a manner peculiarly painful. Andrew had made a most
extraordinary journey, even as far as Penrith. A large manufactory had
been begun there, and a sudden demand for his long staple of white
wool had sprung up. Moreover, he had had a prosperous journey, and
brought back with him two books for the boy, Æsop's Fables and
Robinson Crusoe.

When Mysie saw them, her heart swelled beyond control. She remembered
a day when her own son Davie had begged for these very books and been
refused with hard rebukes. She remembered the old man's bitter words
and the child's bitter tears; but she did not reflect that the present
concession was the result of the former refusal, nor yet that the
books were much easier got and the money more plentiful than thirty
years previous. When wee Andrew ran away with his treasures to the
Druids' stones, Mysie went into the shippen, and did her milking to
some very sad thoughts.

She was poisoning her heart with her own tears. When she returned to
the "houseplace" and saw the child bending with rapt, earnest face
over the books, she could not avoid murmuring that the son of a
strange woman should be sitting happy in Cargill spence, and her own
dear lad a banished wanderer. She had come to a point when rebellion
would be easy for her. Andrew saw a look on her face that amazed and
troubled him: and yet when she sat so hopelessly down before the fire,
and without fear or apology

"Let the tears downfa',"

he had no heart to reprove her. Nay, he asked with a very unusual
concern, "What's the matter, Mysie, woman?"

"I want to see Davie, and die, gudeman!"

"You'll no dare to speak o' dying, wife, until the Lord gies you
occasion; and Davie maun drink as he's brewed."

"Nay, gudeman, but you brewed for him; the lad is drinking the cup you
mixed wi' your ain hands."

"I did my duty by him."

"He had ower muckle o' your duty, and ower little o' your indulgence.
If Davie was wrang, ither folk werena right. Every fault has its

Andrew looked in amazement at this woman, who for thirty and more
years had never before dared to oppose his wishes, and to whom his
word had been law.

"Davie's wrang-doing was weel kent, gude-wife; he hasted to sin like a
moth to a candle."

"It's weel that our faults arena written i' our faces."

"I hae fallen on evil days, Mysie; saxty years syne wives and bairns
werena sae contrarie."

"There was gude and bad then, as now, gudeman."

Mysie's face had a dour, determined look that no one had ever seen on
it before. Andrew began to feel irritated at her. "What do you want,
woman?" he said sternly.

"I want my bairn, Andrew Cargill."

"Your bairn is i' some far-awa country, squandering his share o'
Paradise wi' publicans and sinners."

"I hope not, I hope not; if it werena for this hope my heart would
break;" and then all the barriers that education and habit had built
were suddenly overthrown as by an earthquake, and Mysie cried out
passionately, "I want my bairn, Andrew Cargill! the bonnie bairn that
lay on my bosom, and was dandled on my knees, and sobbed out his
sorrows i' my arms. I want the bairn you were aye girding and
grumbling at! that got the rod for this, and the hard word and the
black look for that! My bonnie Davie, wha ne'er had a playtime nor a
story-book! O gudeman, I want my bairn! I want my bairn!"

The repressed passion and sorrow of ten long years had found an outlet
and would not be controlled. Andrew laid down his pipe in amazement
and terror, and for a moment he feared his wife had lost her senses.
He had a tender heart beneath his stern, grave manner, and his first
impulse was just to take the sobbing mother to his breast and promise
her all she asked. But he did not do it the first moment, and he could
not the second. Yet he did rise and go to her, and in his awkward way
try to comfort her. "Dinna greet that way, Mysie, woman," he said; "if
I hae done amiss, I'll mak amends."

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Online LibraryAmelia Edith Huddleston BarrScottish sketches → online text (page 11 of 15)