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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History

Geordie Gray     by: Duncan, Jock

Geordie Gray wis feed by ma fadder at Maud Whitsun feein merket in 1933 for a sax month term. He cam fae Methlick an wis echteen fin he wis feed. He cam hame at the term tae caa the orra beast an be the secunt billie on the place at Faddenhill. He wis a richt fine easy goin chiel an naethin seemed tae pit him oot o his stot- nae even ma fadder roarin at him, deein the dog pairt o takkin in the sheep fae the far parks tae the sheep dippin or nowt shiftin… My fadder niver got a dog that could wirk, fin he started roarin at them they aye gaed hame.

Onywye, naethin could ruffle Geordie, he aye hid a gweed lauch an cairriet on in great gweed humour. Bein an orra kinna lad tee, he hid tae perform a hunner different sottery jobs, like scrape a dubby close or clear the strang drain. This he did withoot thraain his face. Fin nicht cam he fished miles awa in the little watter at Baldie’s Wid. At echt eer auld I follaed my hero an did the same thing, learnin the art o catchin a troot.

I follaed him at the rabbitin as weel an we set snares bi the hunner in Bruckle’s Moss. He tied the rabbits ontae his bike an gaed tae the Methlick butcher far he got saxpence a piece. The money he saved bocht a shotgun, an ae day at dennertime Geordie decided tae try it oot on a craa sittin on a post ower fae the barn door far he wis takkin aim. He fired at the craa fin ma midder wis comin roon the corner tae the corn laft for corn tae the hens. The affa blast gaed her a fleg an fae henceforth Geordie wis ordered tae sheet oot ower fae the toon. The craa got a fleg tee, bit lived tae tell the tale.

He likit tae sweem in the mill dam, bit nae until late on, he said it wis warmest at that time fin the mist wis comin aff the watter. He then got a widden troch, an he an I cruised the dam up an doon an roon aboot in it, an got mony a gweed drucken. Then, I mind, he got an invitation tae a bus run tae Fraserburgh fae some committee at Millbrec. This wis tae gang tae the beach, an Geordie wis lookin forrit tae dookin an aa that.

Somewye or anither he got inveiglit wi strang drink, some say by Bruckle’s lads an ither coorse chiels. Naebody kens, bit the upshot wis that neist day, Sunday mornin, at the door o Faddenhill chaumer steed a barra. The foreman wis awa at the time, sae Geordie wis aa his leen. My fadder as usual wis an early mornin man, an charged inno the chaumer demandin that Geordie tell him faas barra it wis staunin at the door. Geordie wis sleepin like he wis deed of coorse. He didna ken an couldna care less either.

Ma faither bein a kirkie man (ma mither wis organist) fun oot at the kirk fin somebody lat the cat ooto the bag that the barra cam fae Slater Ewan’s place, nae far fae they teemed the bus the nicht afore at the eyn o the Fraserburgh picnic. It wis Bruckle’s bailie an secunt lad fa hid rowed Geordie hame in it, an nae doot left him tae rowe it back again, a hale mile o coorse road. This he did on Sunday nicht fin he wis back tae normal, an left Slater Ewan scrattin his heid. I dinna think Geordie thankit Bruckle’s lads fur their Samaritan act. It wis richt gweed o them, bit then Geordie wis aye a man o fyew wirds.

I missed Geordie fin he gaed awa tae his neist fee an it wisna till eers later fin the war wis sterted, that I met him in the street in Methlick an speired foo he wis deein. Weel, he’d been awa in the war an hid got sick an laundit up in hospital. Fin he wis discharged he jist took a train back hame withoot reportin back tae his barracks. This wis three wikks efter an they hidna cam lookin fur him yet. That wis Geordie aa ower, he didna gie a docken fur man nor beast. I heard he survived the war an got a gamie’s job. Noo that wid hae suited Geordie doon tae the grun!



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