Burns as a Story Teller, pp.41-42.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

ROBERT GOWDIE, Ayr, during his apprenticeship with Mr. Hamilton (son of Gavin), writer, Mauchline, received from many ear and eye witnesses many interesting details of Burns’s habits and history when at Mossgiel. Burns’s gift of extemporaneous eloquence and fictitious narrative was at that time incredibly profuse, and the smithy was a frequent scene of such triumphs. Gowdie related that “Burns took his own plough irons to be repaired; and during this process the story telling began. On one remarkable occasion, when a piece of iron was being welded, the man who plied the sledge hammer was so fascinated with the narrative, that he ‘stood with his hammer thus’ above his head immovable, till the iron cooled, and the process was effectually interrupted. ‘Rab, Rab,’ cried the smith, himself as much absorbed as any body else, ‘this ‘ill never do; you and me man gang for a drap of yill, or deil ae steek o’ graithen ‘ill be mended this nicht!’ The smith’s name was Meikle, and the accuracy of this statement is indubitable.” 

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