The End Of The Rainbow – Episode 04

“Right. Come away ben the room and we’ll get ye rigged oot decent-like.” There was a brown suit with a waistcoat, hardly worn, a good woollen jacket, some shirts still in the wrapping and a fine pair of brown boots, the price still on the soles.“Try them on,” Jenny ordered sternly.“But Malcolm’s a different build from me,” Adam protested.“Nothin’ in it. Nothin’ that a needle and thread cannae put right.”She was right. The sleeves in the jackets were a little short and the boots pinched a bit, but other than that, Malcolm’s spare clothes were perfect. Adam stood still patiently while she inspected the transformation.“I feel . . . different,” he said at last.She nodded.“Aye. I believe it’s called confidence, Adam, son. Nothin’ like a guid rig-oot for that.”“But, Malcolm I can’t just take all his clothes!” Aunt Jenny would have none of it.“If he was here, oor Malcolm wid make ye take these things. Ye’re the nearest thing tae a brother he’ll ever have. He’s family . . . and ye’re a credit to the family, Adam. Dinnae forget that.”Later, as Jenny sat by the fireside, altering the sleeves of the jackets, she looked up suddenly.“Ye’ll need money and some sort o’ job in between times tae keep ye goin’.”Adam nodded.“Old Ramage the carter says I can help him load up in the morning, and do a bit of work for him before I start at the Art School. And there’s a couple of things I might get after classes finish, too.”“Right. If ye’re up early, ye can light the fire an’ dae a turn for me. That’ll be a help, for I can get the dinner intae the oven afore I go doon tae Mr Anderson’s. Ye’ll need guid feedin’ for a’ ye’ve in front o’ you, Adam.”Then, without lifting her head, she pointed across the room.“There’s a tin behind the clock, up on the mantel there. Take what’s in it. Ye’ll need it.”In the tin was the best part of five pounds. Adam looked at his aunt, aghast.“I can’t take all this money, Aunt Jenny! Nearly five pounds – your savings!”

She looked up at him, her face serious.“I aye pit a wee bit by, Adam. Malcolm’s a guid son, an’ he has plenty when he gets back fae a voyage. Mr Anderson’s a generous man, tae. I’ll make that up in a wee while, dinnae fret. Take it and welcome. Ye can pay me back when ye make yer way in life.”Adam hesitated. Taking wasn’t in his nature . . .“Will ye dae as yer telt, Adam Gray? And dinnae tell oor Mirren, when ye see her.”The tone of his aunt’s voice invited no argument.“Aunt Jenny, thanks. I’ll pay you back as soon as I start earning. I’ll pay something for my digs as well . . .” he began.Jenny shot a ferocious look at him.“Get tae yer bed, afore I take a sweepin’ brush tae yer legs, laddie!”


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