Data de entrada: 12 de jun. de 2022


Rory didn’t make enough money in a very short time to smother Janie in bed linen. By the third week of the New Year he had managed to acquire only a further eight pounds and this after four Saturday nights’ sittings. And the reason wasn’t because of his bad play or ill luck, it was because he was playing against fiddlers, cheats, a small gang who worked together and stood by each other like the close-knit members of a family

Well, he was finished with the Corstorphine Town lot, and he had told little Joe either he got him into a good school or he himself would do a little investigating into No. 3 Plynlimmon Way. He could have told him he had already done some investigating and that the occupier, a Mr Nickle, was a shipowner. Even if not in an ostentatious way, nevertheless he was big enough to be a member of the shipowners’ association, known as the Coal Trade Committee, which had its club and meeting room in a house on the Lawe. Moreover, he was understood to have shares in a number of businesses in the town, including those which dealt not only with the victualling of ships with bread and beef but also in ships’ chandlery. And then there was the tallow factory, and many other smaller businesses. In his favour it could be said that he subscribed generously to such causes as distressed seamen and their families. And at times there were many of these; the bars along the waterfront were not always full, nor the long dance rooms attached to them in which the sailors jigged with the women they picked up.

Mr Nickle had also been a strong advocate for better sewerage, especially since the outbreak of cholera in ’66, and the smallpox outbreak in 1870. He had helped, too, to bring about the new Scavenging Department under the Borough Engineer. Before this the removal of the filth of the town had been left to contractors.

Oh, Mr Nickle was a good man, Rory wasn’t saying a thing against him, but Mr Nickle had a failing which was looked at askance by the temperance societies and the respectable members of the community.


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