“You’ll no’ ken, I suppose?” she retorted. “Sanny has told me a’ aboot it this morning afore he gaed to his work. My! I’d hardly hae looked for this frae you,” she went on, her voice suddenly becoming softer and more soothing as if she meant to appeal to his sense of gratitude if any remained within him. “Efter what we’ve been to yin anither, I never expected you’d dae this. I aye thocht that you’d be loyal as we hae been tae you. We hae made oursel’s the outcasts o’ the district for you, an’ noo you wad turn on us like this. No, I never thocht it o’ you at a’!”
“What are you ravin’ at this morning?” he asked, in a quiet voice, as if he meant to force her into being more definite. “I don’t ken I’m sure what you are drivin’ at.”
“Dae you no?” she broke in quickly, loosing hold of herself as she saw that her method of attack was not going to succeed. “I hae been suspectin’ something for a while. You hinna been in owre my door for three weeks an’ that’s no your ordinar. But I have seen you gaun in tae Tam Granger’s nearly every nicht in that time. An’ I can put twa an’ twa together. Dae you think we dinna ken the reason that Sanny has lost his contracts an’ the reason why Tam Granger has stepped into them? Oh, ay,” she cried, her voice rising as she continued. “I can see hoo things are workin’! I ken a’ aboot it. Wee Leebie, I suppose, will be afore some o’ us noo. The stuck-up limmer that she is. She gangs by folk as brazened as you like, wi’ her head in the air, as if she was somebody. You wad think she never had heard o’ Willie Broonclod, the packman, that she sloped when she left doon the country. Nae wonder she has braw claes to glaik aboot in; for they were gey easy paid. The dirty glaiket limmer that she is. I wonder she disna think shame o’ hersel’.”
“What the hell’s a’ this to me?” asked Walker abruptly breaking in upon her tirade.
“I suppose it’ll no’ mean onything to you,” she returned. “But I just wanted to tell you, that you’re no her first, for Willie Broonclod gaed to her lang afore she cam’ here, an’ she’s left him wi’ a guid penny that he’ll never get. But her man’s a contractor noo, makin’ big money, an’ Jock Walker ca’s in to see her whenever he’s needfu’ an’ there’s naething sae low as a packman noo for her. The brazen-faced stuck-up baggage that she is. Does she think I dinna ken her? Her, with her hair stuck up in a ‘bun’ an’ her fancy blouses an’ buckled shoon, an’ a’!” Mag was now very much enraged and she shouted and swore in her anger.
“Ach, gang to hell,” he said with brutal callousness. “You’re no’ hauf a woman like Leebie. She’s a tippy wee lass, an’ has a way wi’ her. She has some spirit, an’ is aye snod and nate,” and there was a tantalizing smile about his lips that was plainly meant to irritate Mag.
“I was guid enough a gey lang while, an’—”
“Ay, but you’ve haen a damn’d guid innins,” he interrupted. “A dam’d guid innins, an’ I canna see what the hell you hae to yowl at.”