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Elphinstone Kist   Stories for Bairns

William Wallace an the Faithless Lass     by: Wheeler, Les

Noo aabody kens that King Edward o England defeated John Baliol at the Battle o Dunbar an syne said that he should be the King o Scotland. But a lot o Scottish lairds wirna haein that an the een that wis mair determined that the ithers tae stop that happenin wis Sir William Wallace.

Wallace caased the English a lot a trouble an King Edward wintit him captured sae that he could pit an eyn tae Wallace an his ploys eence an for aa. Sae English sodjers wir aye on the look oot for Wallace an tryin tae dream up wyes tae catch him. They wid set traps an offer bribes, but naebody in Scotland wid betray thir finest sodjer!

Noo, the English kent that Wallace wis in the wye o veesitin a lassie fa bade near the toon o Lanark an they decided tae surroond the hoose an see if they could catch the Wallace fan he cam tae visit the lass.

The English captain wint up tae the lassie’s door an the lassie, seein sae mony English sodjers at her door wis a a bittie feart an nae wunner for naebody kent fit the English sodjers micht get up till. But the officer spoke tae the lassie in a rael freenly mainner an began tae tell her fit a gran country England wis an fu muckle better aff fowk wir doon there. He tellt her that if she wis tae help them caatch the Wallace then there could be a reward for her an maybe she could mairry an English laird an hae a castle or big hoose tae bide in.

Noo, sad tae say, the lassie wis taen in by the promises o the English captain an thocht it wid be the verra thing tae be an English laird’s wife, wi servants an a big hoose. She forgot aa aboot her freenship wi Willaim Wallace an fit that meant. Fair bumbazed by the English captain’s wirds she thocht only o hersel.

She did hesitate a bittie. “I’m nae traitor, ye ken,” she said. “I wouldna hae a man murdered fa his taen shelter in my hoose. That widan be richt!”

“Of course, you wouldn’t be a traitor,” said the Captain, “We just want to capture Wallace and put him in prison for a short time to teach him a lesson. He’s just a nuisance to us and we want him to realise that it’s in everyone’s best interests for Edward to rule over Scotland then you’ll all be as well off as we are in England. You wouldn’t be a traitor; you’d be doing Scotland a favour. Wallace won’t come to any real harm!”

“Weel,” said the quine haein been won ower by the captain’s wirds, “Fu wid I gyan aboot helpin ye?”
“That wouldn’t be very hard,” said the Captain. “When William Wallace comes to visit you, let him in and put a light in your window as a signal to us that he is there. We’ll do the rest and you’ll get your reward!”

Sae the fause lassie wint intae her hoose an the English sodjers settled doon tae wait for Wallace tae appear.

Noo, Wallace spied een or twa o the sodjers sae he wis gey wary as he approached the hoose o the lassie, but he managed tae get intae the hoose withoot bein seen. Fan Wallace appeared the lassie wis fair dumfoonert an feart.

Wallace could see that aathing wisna richt sae he said tae the lass, “Fit ails ye, quine? Fit is’t that’s botherin ye?” An Wallace wint tae tak her by the shooders. “Dinna touch me,” said the quine, “for I’m worse than Judas.” Tears were rinnin doon her chicks as she confesst fit she’d deen. The lassie jist couldna stop greetin an Wallace got the story throwe her sobbin.

“Dinna fash yersel,” said Wallace, “Ye’ve been taen a lain o by the English. Ye are nae the first an ye winna be the hinner een either. Ye’ve aye been a gweed freen o mine.”
“Freen!” said the lassie, “I betrayed ye for the promise o mairrage tae an English Laird. Thir are fifteen Engish sodjers oot there waitin tae capture ye. If ye get captured tell aabody fit I’ve deen for I dinna deserve tae live!”

“Na, na noo,” said Wallace, “It’ll nivver be said that Willam Wallace avenged himsel on a lassie. We’ll jist gyan oor different wyes an if yir raelly sorry then ye can help me get awa fae the sodjers.”
“Onything,” said the lassie, “but ye’ll need tae be quick for if they dinna get a signal fae me they micht attack the hoose.”
“Dinna fear,” said Wallace. “Noo, hiv ye ony claes belangin tae een o yer maids. She’ll need tae be a big quine for me tae get intae her claes an I’ll need een o yon muckle bonnets the milk-quines use.”

The lassie didna ask ony questions, she jist wint aff an wis seen back wi petticoats, goon an a muckle cloak. Wallace began tae pit on the maid’s claes, makkin siccar the cloak covert his sword, an syne wound an apron ower his heid like lassies dee tae protect themsels fae the rain or sun. Syne on top o that he pit a muckle great milk-maid’s bonnet. “Noo, fetch me a milk can for I’m nae langer a sodjer but a milk-maid gyan tae the well tae get waater.”

Fower English sodjers wir stannin at the fit o the path an spied the ‘maid’ waakin doon the path cairryin a milk can.
“Could I jist get by,” said the ‘maid’ in a strange, high voice, “for my mistress gets in a richt bin if there’s nae eneuch waater in the hoose.”

“Well,” said one of the soldiers, “I’m not sure I shouldn’t come with you. It might be dangerous for a young maid to be out on her own in these wicked times.”

The ‘maid’ ignored the sodjer an wint on oot the gate an wi great muckle strides wint aff taewards the well. “She has a very long stride, has that one,” said een o the sodjers.
“An I think we should go after her for I’ve heard tell that Sir William Wallace has mighty long legs and a very long stride!” said another.

Terrifeed that they micht hae let thir great enemy escape the sodjers wint rinnin efter Wallace an, jist afore they reacht him, Wallace turnt an drew oot his sword. Afore they hid time tae ken fit wis happenin Wallace was on them. The fecht wis a short een an Wallace seen dealt wi the fower sodjers.

Wallace dragged the bodies under a bush an made his wye oot on tae the muirland an awa fae the roads far he kent the English sodjers wid be looking for him. Wallace hid escaped the clutches o King Edward eence mair an wis safely awa fae the hoose o the faithless lass.



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