Monday, 30 April 2012

The Longest Journey

 Awa' tae the editorial offices

Alex peered out gloomily.  'Aren't we there yet?  We seem to have been travelling for days.  I thought you said rail-travel was quick!'

'So it is', William reassured him.  'It took you three MONTHS to cover 1200 miles, largely on foot, in 1815.  You're not grumbling about a weekend traveling from Scotland to England?'

Wearily, James opened his eyes, irritably elbowing his travelling-companions in the ribs.  'Considering we're travelliing First Class, I'd have expected to be there by now.  Hey, move over, you two.  There's nae room for my auld creekin' joints, the way you've spread yourselves out.  And you, Robert - do you have to stretch your legs out like that?  You've already taken up enough room in her book without literally occuping the whole coach!'

'Well, I like that!', Robert blustered.  'It's not my fault if she decided to expand my contribution from one chapter to two!  I didn't ask her to invite all those Welsh bards and Irish militants, either!  If you ask me, one harp is plenty.  An eisteddfod or harpers' convention is a guid few minstrels too many.  Anyway, you and William got a chapter between you - you got quoted verbatim every bit as much as I did!'

'James, you aye were a grumpy old curmudgeon', Andrew chipped in sociably.

'Ach, quit yer fightin', you lot!  All I can say is, the sooner we get there, the better', Alex sighed.  'I'm getting too old for long jaunts, what with the gout an' a' that!  Someone just tell me when we get to the offices!'

And with that, he closed his eyes wearily and dozed off again. He'd never expected to travel down to England at his advanced age.  Why, even his daughter died well over a century ago!


Suddenly, there was a jolt.  Then another.  The compatriots and their English companion were roughly bumped against one another.  Then again.  And again.

"Awright, mate?  There you go, then.  Delivery from Scotland ..."

The song-collectors exchanged anxious glances.  So ... had they reached their destination?

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