Clann Tartan - (Annie Laury)


Clann Tartan Character Sketches

  Annie Laury
By the hand of Fr. Richard Donnelly, priest of St. Mary's Church

M' name is Annie Laury, and I'm not a bad lass, though I can tell some o' ye think it of me! I can tell because the great ladies yon pick up their skirts and cross th' ither side o' the street if we meet in the square. And our gentlemen are nae better, the dirty self-righteous sods. Yellin' after a girl whose only trying to make a living with nothing but what she's given by God, shoutin' names I won't repeat and then sneaking into my cottage o' nights when a wife's awa' to visit!! Makes me want tae spit in their faces, but I know what's what, and every night a steady stream o' village lads slinks tae m' fire and leaves a little while later with his burdens lifted and his heart restored. Aye, I'd like tae see what t' guid women next door t' me would do if all of a sudden they'd had home and bairns and husband and position taken awa' in the blink of an eye as I'd suffered through. They wouldn't hae the brains t' survive like I did. Not them! They'd die in the street afore lowering themselves to sin. But I did it, I dared, and why? Well, there weren't nae muckle else tae lose, for hadn't I already lost everything I'd cared for? What were ane muir thing? Me sowl were already deid w/ the fever that took my family. What did I care if my body should follow? I were a good gurl once, aye, and where'd it get me? Nowhere but misery, that's where!

Ah, but I've made guid coin wi' it, I must say. Every night, near, 'tis the same ane or twa gents, and a few times a season I'm brought a young lad by his da or his friends to take the blush off him. Which I'm grateful t' do, ye ken. I'd rather he learn it from me, rather than wi' some puir girl who dasn't ken nothin' about young laddies. They ken I'll teach them fair, and they'll leave me better husbands for it, so they will. And now there's these dashing souldiers come tae raise a regiment in our town-I ken these, all right. Most of them will all be wanting the same thing after moonrise tonight. And during their leave in the daytimes also, I'm sure. Seems like nae matter where a mon come's frae, it's always the same thing. But I'm glad tae oblige, fer if ever the laddies change, it's I that'll be lookin' for a new line o' work!