“I am thinking to myself how Great-aunt Alison would have dreaded Pamela’s influence. She would have seen in her the personification of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil—albeit she would have been much impressed by her long descent: dear Aunt Alison.
“All the same, Davie, it is odd what an effect one’s early training has. D’you remember how discouraged G.-A. Alison was about our levity—especially mine? She once said bitterly that I was like the ell-woman—hollow—because I laughed in the middle of the Bible lesson. And how antiquated and stuffy we thought her views, and took pleasure in assuring ourselves that we had got far beyond them, and you spent an evening tea-less in your room because you said you would rather be a Buddhist than a Disruption Worthy—do you remember that?
“Yes, but Great-aunt Alison had builded better than she knew. When Pamela laughs ‘How Biblical!’ or says in her pretty, soft voice that our great-aunt’s religion must have been a hard and ugly thing, I get hot with anger and feel I must stick unswervingly to the antiquated views. Is it because poor Great-aunt isn’t here to make me? I don’t know.
“Mhor is really surprisingly naughty. Yesterday I heard angry shouts from the road, and then I met Mhor sauntering in, on his face the seraphic expression he wears when some nefarious scheme has prospered, and in his hand the brass breakfast kettle. He had been pouring water on the passers-by from the top of the wall. ‘Only,’ he explained to me, ’on the men who wore hard black hats, who could swear.’
“I told him the police would probably visit us in the course of the afternoon, and pointed out to him how ungentleman-like was his behaviour, and he said he was sorry; but I’m afraid he will soon think of some other wickedness.
“He thinks he can do anything he hasn’t been told not to do, but how could I foresee that he would want to pour water on men with hard black hats, capable of swearing?
“I had almost forgotten to tell you, an old man came yesterday and wanted to see over the house. You can imagine what a scare I got—I made sure he wanted to buy it; but it turned out that he had lived at The Rigs as a boy, and had come back for old sake’s sake. He looked ill and rather shabby, and I don’t believe life had been very good to him. I did want to try and make up a little, but he was difficult. He was staying at the Temperance, and it seemed so forlorn that he should have no one of his own to come home to. He didn’t look as if anybody had ever made a fuss of him. I asked him to stay with us for a week, but he wouldn’t. I think he thought I was rather mad to ask him, and Pamela laughed at me about it.... She laughs at me a good deal and calls me a ‘sentimentalist.’ ...