Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bogg, 31 July 1873

Now this is a letter full of news--bad news. Tam Scott got in legal trouble for giving a girl "a tousel"--hard to say exactly what was involved but it sounds like some degree of unwanted advance made by Tam on a Miss Wilson. To make matters worse, Miss Wilson is kin by marriage (Joseph Glencross married Marion Wilson before they emigrated to Pennsylvania); but her father James Wilson still brought the full force of the law against Tam. Tam Scott spent some time in the Dumfries Jail until better-placed friends, Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop, were able to arrange his bail and a fine paid in settlement.

This letter contains many more misspellings than Marion Brown usually commits--the stress of the situation or the unusual vocabulary or both may explain that. She sounds a note of concern--Aunt Agnes's place at Brandley's may be in jeopardy. And Tam Scott is definitely the worse for wear after his stay in jail.

The Bogg
July 31st 1873

Dear Uncle

I again take my pen to write you a few lines to let you know how we are getting on. I hope this will find you well and I am glad to be able to tell you that we are all in moderate health and in better spirits as when I wrote last for we got Tom home last week and all settled up with a fine of two pounds you would see by my last letter that Mr. Kennedy signed the bails for him and he was at home a week before it was settled Tom got a letter from his lawyer saying that he was either to write to him and let him know how matters stood or to go down and see him so we thought it best for Tom to go himself so it was settled that day without any more ado. Mr. Kennedy gave him a good character and said it was not ill to do for they were the first that had ever tried to break it and he would have thought nothing if them that tried to break his had a good one and the sherif told Tom that he know it was quite a common thing in the country to give a girl a tousel and he could see nothing more in it but it was put down to him as an assult and he had to act accordingly and if he had taken a kiss without the girls permition it would have been the same and his adivce to him was the next time he took the notion to give a girl a tousel he was to take one that had more sense for Miss Wilson had neither sense nor shame about her. both Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop Tower says that Tom never ought to have been in Dumfries Jail and if they had known in time he would not have been for they are both Justice of the peace and could have setteled it without any furthur ado and Mr. Hyslop says that if James Wilson does not keep himself quite he will put him in the Jail and make the police loss his place for being so very officiating in the matter for his has gone far above his commission.

I don't know how it may turn out for Aunt is going to do no more in it but Dr. Kennedy and Mr. Hyslop Tower is not going to let Tom be scandled for nothing so it will depend on what they do.
I suppose James Wilson can be put in the Jail if they like. and you are to tell uncle Joseph from Aunt that he is to be aware of them that he is connected with for they have done all in there power to ruin her both to put her out of the place she is in and to take all from her she had but they have not managed it.

I don't know what word may come from the Wilsons to uncle Joseph's wife but I have told you the truth be sure and write soon for I think will never get the better of this for Tom is so dull he is ashamed to see any one he says that he is sure he would not have felt half so bad if he had been put in the jail for an offence, but to think that he lay there for nothing.

we have commenced our hay but it is very bad weather as yet scarce a dry day. give my kind regards to Marion and execpt of the same to yourself from your affectionate neice Marion Brown

be sure to write soon

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