The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
certain it was, that during the past year he had been often seen the war o’ drink.  His wife, puir body, admonished an’ entreated him to break awa’ fra the sinfu’ habit, and he often, when moved by her tears, made resolutions o’ amendment, which were broken maist as soon as made; an’ it was during a longer season o’ sobriety than was usual wi’ him, that his wife, thinkin’ if he was once awa’ fra the great city he would be less in the way o’ temptation, persuaded him to leave Glasgow an’ remove to the sma’ village o’ Mill-Burn, a little way frae the farm which my father rented.

I well mind, said my father, o’ the time when they first cam’ among us, an’ how kin’ was a’ the neebors to his pale sad-lookin’ wife and the bonny light-hearted Geordie, who was owre young at the time, to realize to its fu’ extent the sad habit into which his father had fa’n.  When Mr. Stuart first came to our village he again took up his aul’ habits o’ industry, an’ for a long time would’na taste drink ava; but when the excitement o’ the sudden change had worn off, his aul’ likin’ for strong drink cam’ back wi’ fu’ force, an’ he, puir weak man—­had’na the strength o’ mind to withstand it.  He soon became even war than before; his money was a’ gane, he did’na work, so what was there but poverty for his wife an’ child.  But it is useless for me to linger o’er the sad story.  When they had lived at Mill-Burn a little better than a twelve month, his wife died, the neebors said o’ a broken heart.  A wee while afore her death she ca’d Davie to her bedside, an’ once mair talked lang an earnestly to him o’ the evil habit which had gotten sic a hold o’ him, an’ begged him for the sake o’ their dear’ Geordie, who, she reminded him, would soon be left without a mither to care for him, to make still anither effort to free himself fra the deadly habit.  I believe Davie was sincere when he promised the dyin’ woman that he wad gie up drink.  Wi’ a’ his faults, he had tenderly loved his wife, an’ I hae nae doubt fully intended keepin’ the promise he made her.  For a lang time after her death, he was n’er seen to enter a public house ava’, an’ again he applied himsel’ to his wark wi’ much industry.  After the death o’ Mrs. Stuart, Geordie an’ his father bided a’ their lane.  Their house was on the ither side o’ the burn which crossed the high-road, a wee bit out o’ the village.  Time gie’d on for some time wi’ them in this way.  Davy continued sober and industrious, an’ the neebors began to hae hopes that he had gotten the better o’ his evil habit; he had n’er been kenned to taste strong drink o’ ony kin’ sin’ the death o’ his wife.  One evening after he an’ Geordie had ta’en their suppers, he made himsel’ ready to gang out, saying to Geordie that he was gaun’ doon to the village for a wee while, and that he was to bide i’ the house an’ he would’na be lang awa’.  The hours wore awa’ till ten o’clock, an’ he had’na cam’ hame.  It was aye supposed that the boy, becoming uneasy at his father’s

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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