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What is it you’re sayin’, man! Are you askin’ me tae live among savages on the other side of the warld? Where was it ye said?"

"New Zealand is where it is, Jane. By all accounts it’s a grand country, and there’s a place for us in a town called Dunedin. They’re building a new Scottish society there, and it’s the Free Kirk that is doin’ it. And we wouldna be among savages - we’d be wi’ God-fearing fowk who believe what we believe. There’s more savages in this part of Glasgow."

"But why would we want to leave the place we were born in – where we belong? The place where all our friends and relations live? Would we ever see them again?"

"We canna stay where we are, Jane. You’ve been sayin’ yourself that the Saltmarket will ruin us if it doesna kill us first. And ye know full weel that we canna afford to set up business in a better part of town. It’s you that’s doin’ the household budgeting – you know how things are."

"It’s just not right – how can ye ask me to leave all we have here to go chasin’ after something that could be worse than we already have?"

"All I’m sayin’ Jane, is that we should tak’ a look at the notion. Will ye come wi’ me to the meetin’ tomorrow night?"

"Ye’ll be goin’ on yer own, guidman!"

John MacGibbon watercolour portrait (1840)
John MacGibbon from a watercolour portrait painted in Glasgow, 1840.

Jane MacGibbon watercolour portrait (1840)
Jane MacGibbon with her son Thomas, 1840 watercolour.

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