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ACT II - Scene 1


RUPERT. So here thou art at last! Thou hast been long on the way.

McCRANKIE. Houts, mon, business maun be attended tae.

RUPERT. Business? What business?

McCRANKIE. If thou but ken't how mony gude folk I had made meeserable, thou'd say I'd nae wasted my time. I'd scarce set foot upo' t' bo't that was to hae brought me frae t'Eel o' Rum, when I behelt a sicht that froze me vera blud. A sailor-laddie, gangin' on a cruise, a cuittlin' an' a cuddlin' a braw lassie on t' quay itsel'!

RUPERT. Perhaps she was his sister?

McCRANKIE. Aiblins, aiblins! I care nae boddle! Was I tae staun by an see cuittlin' an' cuddlin' i' a public place? Na, na. Sae I jist steppit ashore an' charged 'em wi' disorderly behaviour. That's hoo I missed t' bo't.

RUPERT. Any more adventures?

McCRANKIE. The neist sicht that I seen was some wee bairns singin' an' dancin' i' t' oopen air. I jist gang'd up tae 'em, and somethin' i' ma vera face took the de'il oot' 'em. I said, "Hae ye a singin' an' a dancin' leecence?" They said they hadna; sae I took 'em tae t' jile, an' when I left 'em greetin' oot their een, I couldna help fa'in on ma knees, an' giein' the Laird thanks for ha'en made a mon sae unco guid as me.

RUPERT. No doubt, McCrankie, no doubt, as a work of art thou dost Providence infinite credit.

McCRANKIE. An' ye may say that. T'best day's work it aye did. I aye said that.

RUPERT. But there is one little matter which rather perplexes me, if I may mention it without offence.

McCRANKIE. Oot wi' it!

RUPERT. I have never been able to reconcile thy notorious objection to the costume of the corps de ballet with this exceedingly liberal display of thine own personal attractions.

McCRANKIE. Mon, it is saved from offence by the deegnity o' the kilt.

RUPERT. Which is its dignity? That tobacco pouch there?

McCRANKIE. Tat, mon, be ma sporran.

RUPERT. Or that arrangement in petticoats?

McCRANKIE.Tat, mon, be ma philabeg. Houts, thou doil'd dotard, thou may lauch thy fill, but Scots wha hae nae breeks aye worn, nae breeks sall they aye wear.

RUPERT. What art thou about now?

McCRANKIE. Aweel, aweel, I was jist baskin' i' t' licht o' my ain coontenance, an' gie'in' thanks that I was made sae muckle mair guid that ithers.

RUPERT. But, McCrankie, my old comrade, strictly between ourselves, dost think that this exuberant virtue of ours is altogether a matter for thanksgiving? It makes life somewhat dull, doth it not?

McCRANKIE. (producing flask). Aweel, aweel, life hae its campensation. Here's t' ye! (drinks) Hae a drappie? (PURITANS gather round.)

RUPERT. I don't mind if I do. (Drinks and returns flask. PURITANS cough.)

McCRANKIE. (puts flask back in his sporran) Hae ye caulds, a' o' ye?

RUPERT. My friends, you may withdraw. The McCrankie and I are about to propound the Puritan programme of posterity, and it is desirable that he should not be interrupted. Withdraw gracefully, if ye can — but withdraw.

SIMEON. As usual.

NICODEMUS. Out of it.

PURITANS.Always out of it!


McCRANKIE. Hae they ga'en awa'?

RUPERT. They have not withdrawn gracefully, but they have withdrawn.

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