Wayfarer Column- The Tale of William Reid who gave his executor the run around

Life is full of mysteries and it is often best to leave some as such. If we go through life trying to solve all the mysteries, then life would lose a lot of its flavour.

The wonders we come across in our travels no matter whether they be oddities of man, animal or nature should be treated with understanding and be enjoyed by all who have the imagination to appreciate the mystery without trying to explain it.

For example why should William Reid who died in Glasgow in 1960 not be entitled to give his executor the run around. His will left instructions as follows ‘This may come to you as a great surprise, to be able to count a miser’s hoard. This is what I want you to do: Get the case out of the cupboard with ‘CR’ on it. The key can be found in a tin with beans on it. This case contains all the things you require-policies, title deeds, insurance, record cards etc.Collect the old case from the sideboard. There is a cash box in it. There is also a cash box in the kitchen cupboard with a few cans on top of it. There is a pocket book between the two mattresses, and another below the centre lump of coal at the back of the bunker. In the old clock on the top of the shelf there are a few pounds. Make sure you find everything.’ The executor did and amassed the sum of £2,518 not an insubstantial sum in those days.

Presumably the executor was the main beneficiary under the terms of the will to have gone to all that trouble, but it was obviously worthwhile. William Reid must have had a sense of humour and preferred keeping his money in a safe place not trusting even, Government Bonds or banks.

Another tale of the unusual is about a farmer in Carluke named Gavin Shanks who was showing a customer around his farm when he came across ‘Tam’ his favourite pot bellied pig floating face down in a pool.

He jumped in fully clothed and lifted the pig out of the water to find that it was not breathing. However Shanks gave the pig heart massage, pumped water out of its lungs eventually giving it the kiss of life. How he did that to a pig UGH! He was about to give up when the pig gave a croak so Shanks continued and as he said later ‘He seems to be back to normal and is running about the farmyard quite the thing now’. I wonder what his customer thought of it.

So there you are two tales of the unusual, but nevertheless entertaining and it is not necessary to try and rationalize everything. See you next week.