If the Professor of Poetry in the University of Oxford has not forgotten the rock whence he was hewn, this simple story may give an hour of entertainment. I offer it to you because I think you have met my friend Dickson McCunn, and I dare to hope that you may even in your many sojournings in the Westlands have encountered one or other of the Gorbals Die-Hards. If you share my kindly feeling for Dickson, you will be interested in some facts which I have lately ascertained about his ancestry. In his veins there flows a portion of the redoubtable blood of the Nicol Jarvies. When the Bailie, you remember, returned from his journey to Rob Roy beyond the Highland Line, he espoused his housekeeper Mattie, ''an honest man's daughter and a near cousin o' the Laird o' Limmerfield.'' The union was blessed with a son, who succeeded to the Bailie's business and in due course begat daughters, one of whom married a certain Ebenezer McCunn, of whom there is record in the archives of the Hammermen of Glasgow. Ebenezer's grandson, Peter by name, was Provost of Kirkintilloch, and his second son was the father of my hero by his marriage with Robina Dickson, oldest daughter of one Robert Dickson, a tenant-farmer in the Lennox. So there are coloured threads in Mr. McCunn's pedigree, and, like the Bailie, he can count kin, should he wish, with Rob Roy himself through ''the auld wife ayont the fire at Stuckavrallachan.''
Such as it is, I dedicate to you the story, and ask for no better verdict on it than that of that profound critic of life and literature, Mr. Huckleberry Finn, who observed of the Pilgrim's Progress that he ''considered the statements interesting, but tough.'' J.B.