« НазадПродовжити »
most anxious doubt as to the result; a meeting between parents and son! for, though none could pull a strong- What gratulations! What greeter oar, yet the boat, in crossing a ings and embracings! What grapdistance equal to its own length, pling of hearts and moisture of eyes was swept down 200 yards. Ten ensued! All crowded round them yards more would have dashed to obtain one squeeze of their hands. them to atoms on the lower stone 'Hoot toot, nonsense !' cried the wall. But they were now in com- weather-beaten Rodney, dashing paratively quiet water ; and avail- his rough hand across his eyes ; ing themselves of this, they pulled “What's this o't? Toots ! I canna up again to the park, in the space stand this mair than you, bairns. between two currents, and passed, Od, I maun just greet it out.' with a little less difficulty, though Again, Yellow-Waistcoat and in the same manner, the second and his gallant fellows plied their oars, third streams, and at length reached on the work of deliverance. And the houses. The spectators gave first they rescued from death, in a them three hearty cheers. By this lonely cottage among the alders, a time the Kerrs had been left scarce- little way
above the blown-up ly three feet of ground to stand on, bridge, three helpless old women, under the back wall of the houses. one of them for years bedrid. They A pleasing sight it was to see the were found sitting on chairs, placed boat touch that tiny strand, and the in a wooden-roofed bed, nearly despairing family taken on board. dead with cold, and could not have After they were safely stowed, existed many hours longer. Yellow-Waistcoat
observed Again the boat was manned and wading, and sounding his way with launched on the flood-for the a pole, till he reached the west end Broom of Moy. Dr. Brands was of the building, where he pounced one of the gallant crew. The first upon an enormous hog, which he house they made for was that occulugged down to the boat, and threw pied by a family of the name of it in as easily as if it had been a Cumins, consisting of a poor
invalid rabbit. My indignation was stir- old man, father-in-law to Funns, his red up against the Kerrs, said Mr. wife, nearly as infirm, their daughSuter, thinking that, at such a ter an elerly woman, and her son, time, they could have thought of a boy. At first the silence seemed risking Munro's life for such a pur- to denote death. But there the pose. But I was afterwards pleas- whole family were, roosted like ed to learn, that it was to preserve fowls on the beams of the roof.
poor Widow Ross's soo, which They were all half dead with cold ; was a' that was now left till her.'” and the old man's mind, being too
“How anxiously did the specta- much enfeebled to withstand the tors watch every motion of the little horrors, was now utterly deranged. boat that was now so crowded as The next house of the hamlet the very much to impede the rowers ! boat went to, was that of the Widow They crossed the two first streams, Speediman, an old bedrid woman, and finally drew up for the last and with whom resided her niece, Isadreadful trial. There the frail bark bella Morrison, an elderly person. was again whirled down ; and, not- What follows is worth reading,withstanding all their exertions, the and William Shakspeare's fiction stern just touched the wall. The never surpassed Isabella Morrison's prow, however, was in stiller water; truth :one desperate pull; she sprang for « One of the walls of this house ward in safety, and a few more was gone, and the roof was only strokes of the oar landed the poor kept up by resting on a wooden people amongst 50 or 60 of their boarded bed. Here those in the assembled friends. Then was there boat beheld a most harrowing spec
tacle. Up to the neck in water, some time oot o' my senses. It sat the niece, scarcely sensible, and was surely the death-grip I had o' supporting what was now the dead the post; an’ surely it was the Lord body of her aunt, with the livid and that waukened me, for the dead distorted countenance of the old sleep had cum'd on me, an' I wud woman raised up before her. The hae faun, and been droont in the story will be best told in her own waters ! After I cam' to mysell a words, though at the risk of some wee, I feelt something at my fit, an' prolixity.
I mysell, This is my aunty's «• It was about eight o'clock, head that the waters hae torn aff! an' my aunty in her bed, fan I says I feelt wi' my haun', an' tuk haud till her, “ Aunty, the waters are o't wi' fear an’tremblin'; an' thankcumin' about's ; ' an' I had hardly fu' was I fan I saund it to be naespoken fan they wur at my back. thing but a droon't hen! Aweel, -Gang to my kist,” says she to I climbed up, an' got a haud o' the me, "and tak oot some things that cupple, an' my fit on the tap o' the are to be pit aboot me fan I'm dead.” wa', and susteened mysell that way I had hardly tukken oot the claes frae maybe about half-past ten that fan the kist was floated bodalie night till three next afterneen. I through the hoos. “Gie me a haud suppose it wuz 12 o'clock o' the o'your hand, Bell,” says my aunty, day before I saw my aunty again, " an' I'll try an? help ye into the after we had gane doon thegither, bed." “ Ye're nae fit to help me,”
,” an’ the dreadfu’ocean aboot huz, says I, “ I'll tak a haud o' the stoop just like a roarin' sea.
She was oʻthe bed.” And sae I gat in. I left on a bank o'sand, leanin' on think we war strugglin' i' the bed her side, and her mouth was fou o for about twa hours; and the water san'. Fouk wondered I didna dee foatit up the cauf-bed, and she lyin' o cauld an’hunger; but baith on't. Syne I tried to help her up, cauld an? hunger ware unkent by an' I took a haud o' her shift, to try me, wi' the terrification I wuz in to keep her life in. But the waters wi’ the roarin' o' the waters aboot were aye growin'. At last I got me, Lord save me !'* her up wi' ae haun to my breest, “The corpse of the poor old woand held a haud o' the post o’the man Speediman was put into a cart, bed with the ither. An' there wuz together with her niece Bell, whose ae jaw o' the water that cam' up to state of exhaustion was so great, my breest, an anither jaw cam' an' that it was difficult to tell which was fuppit my aunty oot o' my airmes. the living and which the dead body.” "Oh! Bell, I'm gane !
says she ;
The boat next rescued three old and the waters just chokit her. It women, one of whom died, in Elgin Fuz a dreadfu' sight to see her ! hospital, of dropsy, brought on by That wuz the fight and struggle she cold and wet. Then a family of had for life! Willin' wuz she to the name of Monro were relieved, save that! An her haun', your but the horrors of that dreadful day honor ! hoo she fought wi’ that affected Mrs. Monro's mental, as baun?! It would hae drawn tears well as bodily health. a pity frae a heathen! An' then It was now about six o'clock in I had a dreadfu' spekalation for my the evening, and Funns and family ain life, an' I canna tell the consee- had for four-and-twenty hours been derable moments I was doon in the in peril. During all these rescues water, an' my aunty abeen me. they had been seen far over in the The strength 'o' the waters at last midst of the inundation, clustered brak the bed, an' I got to the tap like flies on their little speck of o't ; an' a dreadfu' jaw knockit my land. The boat of the deliverers head to the bed-post; an' I wuz for had gone to the rescue of those
This poor woman has since become a perfect cripple from rheumatism.
within easiest reach, or had been to and fro on a low seat, called a forced to obey the flood. Funns Sunkie, before a fire, which she in had never been for a moment for- vain tried to make burn, complaingotten, and it was now his turn to ing to herself of a hurt in one of be saved. Through the wide inun- her legs, received at the time the dation that surrounded the tiny spot flood filled the house, when the where that family stood, five tre- daughter, by an almost miraculous mendously tumultuous streams raged exertion of strength, raised her pafuriously with elevated waves. The rents and her son up to the place moment the boat dashed into the whence they were rescued. Unfirst of these, it was whirled down conscious whence the blessing came, for a great way ; but having once the poor creatures eagerly drank got through it, the bold crew pulled the wine the lady had brought them; up in the quiet water beyond to and when, a little afterwards, she prepare for the next, and in doing looked for the bottle, that she might so, Sergeant Grant stood in the give a glass to their daughter, she prow, with a long rope, the end of found that, with the selfishness dowhich was fixed to the boat, and tage sometimes brings with it, the whenever he thought he had foot- old woman had contrived to hide it ing, he jumped out and dragged in a corner of her bed. Their them up, and thus, finally, they daughter, who is quite deaf, was reached Funns, and after many dan- employed in digging various articles gers all the family were brought to out of the sand. Her hand had Moy-House. The youngest daugh- been severely cut by an adze, while ter fainted, on being brought near in the act of dragging up her parents the fire; and on the wise suggestion from danger. It will be o' nae of Dr. Brands, as sensible as brave, use,' said she, refusing to have it
restore the animal temperature bound up, 'for I maun ay be dabshe was put into Mrs. Suter's bed, bling.' It was the lady I allude to *already occupied by “five bairns;" who made them comfortable in the and warm wine, and warm broth, cottage, where they were disturbed and a good night's sleep, perfectly by the flood of the 27th. But the restored her to strength.
succession of miseries to which they Reader, weep for the poor Cum- have been exposed, have not been ins's. You have seen that poor, without their good result, since they frail, and both bodily and mentally have but widened that field for beinfirm couple, rescued from death nevolent exertion, in which a truly in their cottage in the Broom of angelic mind delights to occupy Moy. In the appendix flood of the itself.” 27th, they were again nearly drown We have not room to accompany ed in their bed in a cottage near Sir Thomas in his account of all the burn of Raulsmill--but were the incidents of the flood on the saved. Here is a picture of human plain of Forres, on the right bank nature :
of the Findhorn, to the seaport. “A lady, who felt a charitable These details are nearly as interestinterest in these poor people, visited ing as those we have now abridged. them at the Broom of Moy, after The old military bridge of Spey, the subsidence of the flood. She below Grantown, rose with a steep found the old man lying on a damp ascent from the low left to the high bed, under a defenceless roof, ex- right bank, and had its roadway and posed to wind and rain. His moans northern wing walls heightened, were unceasing, save when his which occasioned such a concenwandering mind led him to talk tration of the power of the stream wildly of drowning, and of the water that the least of the three arches being at his feet. His wife, scarce- gave way, all except about three ly less imbecile, sat rocking herself feet, which supported the spandral
and parapet walls on the lower side. ders of the Spey, had nearly made Here is an amusing picture : him lose his balance. But, with
“On Wednesday, the 5th of Au- all his terror, he stuck to his pack, gust, Mr. Peter Forbes, farmer at resolving that if he did go, he Urlarmore, on the south side of Li- should carry his goods with him. vat, despatched his servant, Donald At last, however, he succeeded in Cameron, a tall, handsome, athletic carrying all safe to the opposite man, about twenty-five years of age, side, amidst the cheers of the multo carry a message to Mrs. Forbes, titude." then at Aitnoch, near the banks of The flood, both in the Spey and the Findhorn. On arriving at the its tributary burn, the Knockando, Bridge of Spey, and seeing its state, was terrible at the village of Charles he quietly mounted the extremely town of Aberlour. A picture of more narrow parapet. The river was sustained harrowing and agonizing still raging in all the fury of a flood, passion than that prevailing through and loud were the cries and expose the following passage, we never retulations of the spectators. Disre- member to have met with either in garding these, however, but without the records of real miseries, in poesaying one word, Donald coolly and try, or in dreams. steadily walked onwards, with an “On the 3d of August, Charles air of perfect complacency, till he Cruickshanks, the innkeeper, had a came to that part where there was party of friends in his house. There a gap in the masonry of forty feet, was no inebriety, but there was a save in the single parapet alone. fiddle ; and what Scotsman is he The increased cries of the behold- who does not know, that the wellers were luckily drowned by the jerked strains of a lively Strathspey roaring of the surges. Donald staid have a potent spell in them that but one moment to cast his plaid goes beyond even the witchery of more tightly about him, and again the bowl? On one who daily incontinued his dangerous path to the hales the breezes from the musical farther end of the parapet, where, stream that gives name to the mealeaping lightly down, he pursued sure, the influence was powerful, his way without once looking over and it was that day felt by Cruickhis shoulder for applause, or show- shanks with a more than ordinary ing the slightest symptom of being degree of excitement. He was joyconscious that he had achieved any- ous to a pitch that made his wife thing extraordinary. A certain grave. I have already noticed the shopkeeper in Grantown, too, nick- predestinarian principles prevalent named Dear Peter, pressed by the in these parts. Mrs. Cruickshanks urgency of some favorable chance was deeply affected by her husband's of sale, did also essay the adventure unusual jollity. Surely my goodof the perilous parapet. But, hav- man is daft the day,' said she graveing a large pack on his back, he ly, 'I ne'er saw him dance at sic a took the good mercantile precaution rate. Lord grant that he binna fey!' of doubling his security, by planting “When the river began to rise four legs instead of two under
him. rapidly in the evening, CruickSquatted on hands and knees, Peter shanks, who had a quantity of wood pursued his path, whilst his pack lying near the mouth of the burn, kept vibrating to and fro, like the asked two of his neighbors, James pendulum of a clock, his features Stewart and James Mackerran, to being, all the while, twisted in an go and assist him in dragging it out opposite direction to that of his load. of the water. They readily comThe spectators, notwithstanding plied, and Cruickshanks, getting on their anxiety for their Dear Peter, a loose raft of wood, they followed were convulsed with laughter, till him, and did what they could in their shouts, mingled with the thun- pushing and hauling the pieces of
4 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series,
timber ashore, till the stream in the point where the burn met the creased so much, that, with one river, in the ordinary state of both, voice, they declared they would stay there grew some trees, now surno longer, and, making a desperate rounded by deep and strong cureffort, they plunged overhead, and rents, and far from the land. The reached the land with the greatest raft took a direction towards one of difficulty. They then tried all their these ; and, seeing the wide and tueloquence to persuade Cruickshanks multuous waters of the Spey before to come away, but he was a bold him, in which there was no hope and experienced floater, and laugh- that his loosely connected logs could ed at their fears ; nay, so utterly stick one moment together, he coolreckless was he, that, having now ly prepared himself, and, collecting diminished the crazy ill-put-together all his force into one well-timed and raft he stood on, till it consisted of well-directed effort, he sprang, a few spars only, he employed him- caught a tree, and clung among its self in trying to catch at and save boughs, whilst the frail raft hurried some haycocks belonging to the away from under his foot, was dashclergyman, which were floating past ed into fragments, and scattered on him. But, while his attention was the bosom of the waves. A shout so engaged, the flood was rapidly of joy arose from his anxious friends, increasing, till, at last, even his for they now deemed him safe ; but dauntless heart became appalled at he uttered no shout in return. Eveits magnitude and fury. À horse! ry nerve was strained to procure a horse !' he loud and anxiously help. "A boat !' was the general cried ; ' run for one of the minister's cry, and some ran this way, and horses, and ride in with a rope, else some that, to endeavor to procure I must go with the stream.' He one. was quickly obeyed, but ere a horse “ It was now between seven and arrived, the flood had rendered it eight o'clock in the evening. A impossible to approach him. boat was speedily obtained from Mr.
Seeing that he must abandon Gordon of Aberlour, and, though no hope of help in that way, Cruick- one there was very expert in its use, shanks was now seen, as if sum- it was quickly manned by people moning up all his resolution and eager to save Cruickshanks from presence of mind, to make the pe- his perilous situation. The current rilous attempt of dashing through was too terrible about the tree to the raging current, with his frail admit of their nearing it, so as to and imperfect raft. Grasping more take him directly into the boat ; but firmly the iron-shod pole he held in their object was to row through the his hand, called in floater's language smoother water, to such a distance a sting, he pushed resolutely into it ; as might enable them to throw a but he had hardly done so, when rope to him, by which means they the violence of the water wrenched hoped to drag him to the boat. Frefrom his hold that which was all he quently did they attempt this, and had to depend on. A shriek burst as frequently were they foiled, even from his friends, as they beheld the by that which was considered as the wretched raft dart off with him, gentler part of the stream, for it down the stream, like an arrow from hurried them past the point whence the bowstring. But the mind of they wished to make the cast of Cruickshanks was no common one, their rope, and compelled them to to quail before the first approach of row up again by the side to start on danger. He poised himself, and each fresh adventure. Often were stood balanced, with determination they carried so much in the diand self-command in his eye, and rection of the tree, as to be comno sound of fear, or of complaint, pelled to exert all their strength was heard to come from him. At to pull themselves away from him