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Burying the Deil, pp.46-47.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

ON the neighbouring farm to Mossgiel – the residence of Burns’s father – lived a friend of the name of Brown, who had a son with whom young Burns was very intimate. “Tammy,” the lad’s name, paid a visit one day to Mossgiel, and found his acquaintance, “Robbie,” engaged in the moss digging peats. The cutting was deep, and it was some time before Tammy could distinguish his friend at the bottom. The following dialogue took place:- 

“Is that you, Robbie?” 

“Aye, Tammy, it’s me.” 

“What are ye daein’ doon there?” 

“I’m howkin a hole.” 

“What tae dae?” 

“Tae bury the deil in.” 

“But hoo will ye get ‘im in?” 

“Aye, man,” says Robbie, “that’s it, that’s it.” 

“And, to the last day of his life,” said Professor Graham as he related the anecdote, “Robbie never got that deil in the hole.” 

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