Ghost of my uncle (NLS104185164)/Chapter 3


A Highlander entered a haberdasher's shop in Perth, and asked for a piece of scarlet cloth to make him a waistcoat. The rustic manner of the Gael set some young women who were at the counter a-giggling; and the shopman, willing to afford them sport, began to play off his small wit upon the stranger. "So, goodman, ye want a piece of scarlet? Would you know scarlet if you saw it?". "I tink I would," replied the mountaineer. The shopman threw down a piece of blue cloth: "Is that scarlet?" "Hout no, no! that no be it." A piece of green cloth was produced; the same question was repeated, and received a similar answer, to the great amusement of the querist and his female friends, who were, at no pains to conceal their mirth. The Highlander took revenge in his own way: He put his nose to the cloth, and affected to judge of the colour by the smell. The shopman, at his request, did the same; but the instant he bent his nose towards the counter, the Highlander seized him by the ears, and made his nasal protuberance come in such violent contact with the boards, that the blood sprung from it. "Tat," said the Highlander, "is ta colour o' scarlet tae ye noo, lad;" and he walked away.