The Project Gutenberg eBook of Red Cap Tales, Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North

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Title: Red Cap Tales, Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North

Author: S. R. Crockett

Walter Scott

Release date: September 17, 2007 [eBook #22656]
Most recently updated: January 3, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Emille and the Booksmiths



Cover Title Page



Red Cap among the Wizard's Treasures. Red Cap among the Wizard's Treasures.





New York


Copyright, 1904,

Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1904.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing & Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.




So I told them these stories—and others—to lure them to the printed book, much as carrots are dangled before the nose of the reluctant donkey. They are four average intelligent children enough, but they hold severely modern views upon storybooks. Waverley, in especial, they could not away with. They found themselves stuck upon the very threshold.

Now, since the first telling of these Red Cap Tales, the Scott shelf in the library has been taken by storm and escalade. It is permanently gap-toothed all along the line. Also there are nightly skirmishes, even to the laying on of hands, as to who shall sleep with Waverley under his pillow.

It struck me that there must be many oldsters in the world who, for the sake of their own youth, would like the various Sweethearts who now [vi]inhabit their nurseries, to read Sir Walter with the same breathless eagerness as they used to do—how many years agone? It is chiefly for their sakes that I have added several interludes, telling how Sweetheart, Hugh John, Sir Toady Lion, and Maid Margaret received my petty larcenies from the full chest of the Wizard.

At any rate, Red Cap succeeded in one case—why should he not in another? I claim no merit in the telling of the tales, save that, like medicines well sugar-coated, the patients mistook them for candies and—asked for more.

The books are open. Any one can tell Scott's stories over again in his own way. This is mine.




 Certain Small Pharaohs that knew not Joseph    1


The First Tale:
i.good-bye to waverley-honour    11
ii.the enchanted castle16
iii.the baron and the bear21
 the first interlude of action28


Second Tale:
i.the cattle-lifting31
ii.the robber's cave35
 the second interlude41


Third Tale:
i.the chief of the mac-ivors and the chief's sister46
ii.misfortunes never come single55
 the third interlude—being mainly a few words upon heroes    62


Fourth Tale:
 here and there among the heather64
 interlude of sticking-plaster78


Fifth Tale:
 the white cockade81[viii]


Sixth Tale:
 black looks and bright swords94
 interlude of brevity104


Last Tale:
 the baron's surprise105


 Where we told the Second Tale123
The  First Tale:
i.witchcraft and wizardry124
 interlude of interrogation140


Second Tale:
i. happy dominie sampson 143
ii. dandie dinmont 150
iii. in the lion's mouth 158
  interlude of locality 162


Third Tale:
  the return of dirk hatteraick 166


Fourth Tale:
 the fight in the cave185
 interlude of consultation204


The  First Tale:
  frank the highwayman     211[ix]
  interlude of discussion 236


Second Tale:
i. in the toils of rashleigh 241
ii. rob roy at last 254
iii. the bailie fights with fire 267
iv. the drowning of the spy 276
  interlude of expostulation 284


Third Tale:
i. in the hands of the philistines 288
ii. the escape 294
iii. the death of rashleigh     307


The  First Tale:
i. the mysterious mr. lovel     326
ii. the night of storm 337
  interlude of warning 352


Second Tale:
i. lovel fights a duel 354
ii. the seekers of treasure 370
iii. misticot's grave 377
  a quite superfluous interlude 389


Third Tale:
i. the earl's secret 396
ii. the mother's vengeance 400
iii. the heir of glenallan     408




1Red Cap among the Wizard's treasuresFrontispiece


  Facing page
2In an instant his red cap was off and he was bowing and saluting . . . with . . . extravagant gestures20
3So fierce was the attack . . . made on Edward, that the young man was compelled to draw his pistol66
4Rose Bradwardine . . . watched him with a sigh on her lip and colour on her cheek84
5 "Vich Ian Vohr," it said in a dreadful voice, "beware of to-morrow"102


6"Ride your ways, Laird of Ellangowan," she cried136
7He would stand there transfixed . . . till a serving-maid pulled his skirts to tell him dinner was waiting150
8He saw his late companion . . . engaged in deadly combat with a couple of rascals154
9Hazlewood snatched the gun from the servant and haughtily ordered Brown to stand back and not to alarm the lady170


10He took the lantern . . . and holding it up, proceeded to examine the stern, set countenance of Frank's guide256
11The fight between Frank and Rashleigh266
12"Stand!" she cried, . . . "and tell me what you seek in Macgregor's country"278
13The girl's face, perhaps not altogether unintentionally, touched that of Frank Osbaldistone300


14"Turn back! Turn back!" he cried344
15Dousterswivel flung himself on his knees375
16He lighted his beacon accordingly410




It was all Sweetheart's fault, and this is how it came about.

She and I were at Dryburgh Abbey, sitting quietly on a rustic seat, and looking toward the aisle in which slept the Great Dead. The long expected had happened, and we had made pilgrimage to our Mecca. Yet, in spite of the still beauty of the June day, I could see that a shadow lay upon our Sweetheart's brow.

"Oh, I know he was great," she burst out at last, "and what you read me out of the Life was nice. I like hearing about Sir Walter—but—"

I knew what was coming.

"But what?" I said, looking severely at the ground, so that I might be able to harden my heart against the pathos of Sweetheart's expression.

"But—I can't read the novels—indeed I can't.[2] I have tried Waverley at least twenty times. And as for Rob Roy—"

Even the multiplication table failed here, and at this, variously a-sprawl on the turf beneath, the smaller fry giggled.

"Course," said Hugh John, who was engaged in eating grass like an ox, "we know it is true about Rob Roy. She read us one whole volume, and there wasn't no Rob Roy, nor any fighting in it. So we pelted her with fir-cones to make her stop and read over Treasure Island to us instead!"

"Yes, though we had heard it twenty times already," commented Sir Toady Lion, trying his hardest to pinch his brother's legs on the sly.

"Books wifout pictures is silly!" said a certain Maid Margaret, a companion new to the honourable company, who was weaving daisy-chains, her legs crossed beneath her, Turk fashion. In literature she had got as far as words of one syllable, and had a poor opinion even of them.

"I had read all Scott's novels long before I was your age," I said reprovingly.

The children received this announcement with the cautious silence with which every rising generation listens to the experiences of its elders when retailed by way of odious comparison.[3]

"Um-m!" said Sir Toady, the licensed in speech; "we know all that. Oh, yes; and you didn't like fruit, and you liked medicine in a big spoon, and eating porridge and—"

"Oh, we know—we know!" cried all the others in chorus. Whereupon I informed them what would have happened to us thirty years ago if we had ventured to address our parents in such fashion. But Sweetheart, with the gravity of her age upon her, endeavoured to raise the discussion to its proper level.

"Scott writes such a lot before you get at the story," she objected, knitting her brows; "why couldn't he just have begun right away?"

"With Squire Trelawney and Dr. Livesey drawing at their pipes in the oak-pannelled dining room, and Black Dog outside the door, and Pew coming tapping along the road with his stick!" cried Hugh John, turning off a sketchy synopsis of his favourite situations in fiction.

"Now that's what I call a proper book!" said Sir Toady, hastily rolling himself out of the way of being kicked. (For with these unusual children, the smooth ordinary upper surfaces of life covered a constant succession of private wars and rumours of wars, which went on under the table[4] at meals, in the schoolroom, and even, it is whispered, in church.)

As for blithe Maid Margaret, she said nothing, for she was engaged in testing the capacities of a green slope of turf for turning somersaults upon.

"In Sir Walter Scott's time," I resumed gravely, "novels were not written for little girls—"

"Then why did you give us Miss Edgeworth to read?" said Sweetheart, quickly. But I went on without noticing the interruption, "Now, if you like, I will tell you some of Sir Walter's stories over again, and then I will mark in your own little edition the chapters you can read for yourselves."

The last clause quieted the joyous shout which the promise of a story—any sort of a story—had called forth. An uncertain look crept over their faces, as if they scented afar off that abomination of desolation—"lessons in holiday time."

"Must we read the chapters?" said Hugh John, unhopefully.

"Tell us the stories, anyway, and leave it to our honour!" suggested Sir Toady Lion, with a twinkle in his eye.

"Is it a story—oh, don't begin wifout me!" Maid Margaret called from behind the trees, her sturdy five-year-old legs carrying her to the scene[5] of action so fast that her hat fell off on the grass and she had to turn back for it.

"Well, I will tell you, if I can, the story of 'Waverley,'" I said.

"Was he called after the pens?" said Toady Lion the irreverent, but under his breath. He was, however, promptly kicked into silence by his peers—seriously this time, for he who interferes with the telling of a story is a "Whelk,"—which, for the moment, is the family word for whatever is base, mean, unprofitable, and unworthy of being associated with.

But first I told them about the writing of Waverley, and the hand at the Edinburgh back window which wrote and wrote. Only that, but the story as told by Lockhart had affected my imagination as a boy.

"Did you ever hear of the Unwearied Hand?" I asked them.

"It sounds a nice title," said Sir Toady; "had he only one?"

"It was in the early summer weather of 1814," I began, "after a dinner in a house in George Street, that a young man, sitting at the wine with his companions, looked out of the window, and, turning pale, asked his next neighbour to change seats with him.[6]

"'There it is—at it again!' he said, with a thump of his fist on the table that made the decanters jump, and clattered the glasses; 'it has haunted me every night these three weeks. Just when I am lifting my glass I look through the window, and there it is at it—writing—writing—always writing!'

"So the young men, pressing about, looked eagerly, and lo! seen through the back window of a house in a street built at right angles, they saw the shape of a man's hand writing swiftly, steadily, on large quarto pages. As soon as one was finished, it was added to a pile which grew and grew, rising, as it were, visibly before their eyes.

"'It goes on like that all the time, even after the candles are lit,' said the young man, 'and it makes me ashamed. I get no peace for it when I am not at my books. Why cannot the man do his work without making others uncomfortable?'

"Perhaps some of the company may have thought it was not a man at all, but some prisoned fairy tied to an endless task—Wizard Michael's familiar spirit, or Lord Soulis's imp Red Cap doing his master's bidding with a goose-quill.

"But it was something much more wonderful than any of these. It was the hand of Walter Scott finishing Waverley, at the rate of a volume every ten days!"[7]

"Why did he work so hard?" demanded Hugh John, whom the appearance of fifty hands diligently writing would not have annoyed—no, not if they had all worked like sewing-machines.

"Because," I answered, "the man who wrote Waverley was beginning to have more need of money. He had bought land. He was involved in other people's misfortunes. Besides, for a long time, he had been a great poet, and now of late there had arisen a greater."

"I know," cried Sweetheart, "Lord Byron—but I don't think he was."

"Anyway Fitzjames and Roderick Dhu is ripping!" announced Hugh John, and, rising to his feet, he whistled shrill in imitation of the outlaw. It was the time to take the affairs of children at the fulness of the tide.

"I think," I ventured, "that you would like the story of Waverley if I were to tell it now. I know you will like Rob Roy. Which shall it be first?"

Then there were counter-cries of "Waverley" and "Rob Roy"—all the fury of a contested election. But Sweetheart, waiting till the brawlers were somewhat breathed, indicated the final sense of the meeting by saying quietly, "Tell us the one the hand was writing!"[8]







On a certain Sunday evening, toward the middle of the eighteenth century, a young man stood practising the guards of the broadsword in the library of an old English manor-house. The young man was Captain Edward Waverley, recently assigned to the command of a company in Gardiner's regiment of dragoons, and his uncle was coming in to say a few words to him before he set out to join the colours.

Being a soldier and a hero, Edward Waverley was naturally tall and handsome, but, owing to the manner of his education, his uncle, an high Jaco[12]bite of the old school, held that he was "somewhat too bookish" for a proper man. He must therefore see a little of the world, asserted old Sir Everard.

His Aunt Rachel had another reason for wishing him to leave Waverley-Honour. She had actually observed her Edward look too often across at the Squire's pew in church! Now Aunt Rachel held it no wrong to look at Squire Stubbs's pew if only that pew had been empty. But it was (oh, wickedness!) just when it contained the dear old-fashioned sprigged gown and the fresh pretty face of Miss Cecilia Stubbs, that Aunt Rachel's nephew looked most often in that direction. In addition to which the old lady was sure she had observed "that little Celie Stubbs" glance over at her handsome Edward in a way that—well, when she was young! And here the old lady bridled and tossed her head, and the words which her lips formed themselves to utter (though she was too ladylike to speak them) were obviously "The Minx!" Hence it was clear to the most simple and unprejudiced that a greater distance had better be put between the Waverley loft and the Squire's pew—and that as soon as possible.

Edward's uncle, Sir Everard, had wished him to travel abroad in company with his tutor, a staunch Jacobite clergyman by the name of Mr. Pembroke.[13] But to this Edward's father, who was a member of the government, unexpectedly refused his sanction. Now Sir Everard despised his younger brother as a turncoat (and indeed something little better than a spy), but he could not gainsay a father's authority, even though he himself had brought the boy up to be his heir.

"I am willing that you should be a soldier," he said to Edward; "your ancestors have always been of that profession. Be brave like them, but not rash. Remember you are the last of the Waverleys and the hope of the house. Keep no company with gamblers, with rakes, or with Whigs. Do your duty to God, to the Church of England, and—" He was going to say "to the King," when he remembered that by his father's wish Edward was going to fight the battles of King George. So the old Jacobite finished off rather lamely by repeating, "to the Church of England and all constituted authorities!"

Then the old man, not trusting himself to say more, broke off abruptly and went down to the stables to choose the horses which were to carry Edward to the north. Finally, he delivered into the hands of his nephew an important letter addressed as follows:—

"To Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine, Esquire of[14] Bradwardine, at his principal mansion of Tully-Veolan in Perthshire, North Britain,—These.—"

For that was the dignified way in which men of rank directed their letters in those days.

The leave-taking of Mr. Pembroke, Edward's tutor, was even longer and more solemn. And had Edward attended in the least to his moralisings, he might have felt somewhat depressed. In conclusion, the good clergyman presented him with several pounds of foolscap, closely written over in a neat hand.

"These," he said, handling the sheets reverently, "are purposely written small that they may be convenient to keep by you in your saddle-bags. They are my works—my unpublished works. They will teach you the real fundamental principles of the Church, principles concerning which, while you have been my pupil, I have been under obligation never to speak to you. But now as you read them, I doubt not but that the light will come upon you! At all events, I have cleared my conscience."

Edward, in the quiet of his chamber, glanced at the heading of the first: A Dissent from Dissenters or the Comprehension Confuted. He felt the weight and thickness of the manuscript, and promptly confuted their author by consigning the package to[15] that particular corner of his travelling trunk where he was least likely to come across it again.

On the other hand, his Aunt Rachel warned him with many head-shakings against the forwardness of the ladies whom he would meet with in Scotland (where she had never been). Then, more practically, she put into his hand a purse of broad gold pieces, and set on his finger a noble diamond ring.

As for Miss Celie Stubbs, she came to the Waverley church on the last day before his departure, arrayed in all her best and newest clothes, mighty fine with hoops, patches, and silks everywhere. But Master Edward, who had his uniform on for the first time, his gold-laced hat beside him on the cushion, his broadsword by his side, and his spurs on his heels, hardly once looked at the Squire's pew. At which neglect little Celie pouted somewhat at the time, but since within six months she was married to Jones, the steward's son at Waverley-Honour, with whom she lived happy ever after, we may take it that her heart could not have been very deeply touched by Edward's inconstancy.

[As a suitable first taste of the original I now read to my audience from a pocket Waverley, Chapter the Sixth, "The Adieus of Waverley." It was listened[16] to on the whole with more interest than I had hoped for. It was an encouraging beginning. But Sir Toady, always irrepressible, called out a little impatiently: "That's enough about him. Now tell us what he did!" And this is how I endeavoured to obey.]


Edward Waverley found his regiment quartered at Dundee in Scotland, but, the time being winter and the people of the neighbourhood not very fond of the "red soldiers," he did not enjoy the soldiering life so much as he had expected. So, as soon as the summer was fairly come, he asked permission to visit the Castle of Bradwardine, in order to pay his respects to his uncle's friend.

It was noon of the second day after setting out when Edward Waverley arrived at the village of Tully-Veolan to which he was bound. Never before had he seen such a place. For, at his uncle's house of Waverley-Honour, the houses of villagers, all white and neat, stood about a village green, or lurked ancient and ivy-grown under the shade of great old park trees. But the turf-roofed hovels of Tully-Veolan, with their low doors supported on either side by all too intimate piles of peat and rubbish, appeared to the young Englishman hardly[17] fit for human beings to live in. Indeed, from the hordes of wretched curs which barked after the heels of his horse, Edward might have supposed them meant to serve as kennels—save, that is, for the ragged urchins who sprawled in the mud of the road and the old women who, distaff in hand, dashed out to rescue them from being trampled upon by Edward's charger.

Passing gardens as full of nettles as of pot-herbs, and entering between a couple of gate-posts, each crowned by the image of a rampant bear, the young soldier at last saw before him, at the end of an avenue, the steep roofs and crow-stepped gable ends of Bradwardine, half dwelling-house, half castle. Here Waverley dismounted, and, giving his horse to the soldier-servant who had accompanied him, he entered a court in which no sound was to be heard save the plashing of a fountain. He saw the door of a tall old mansion before him. Going up he raised the knocker, and instantly the echoes resounded through the empty house. But no one came to answer. The castle appeared uninhabited, the court a desert. Edward glanced about him, half expecting to be hailed by some ogre or giant, as adventurers used to be in the fairy tales he had read in childhood. But instead he only saw all[18] sorts of bears, big and little, climbing (as it seemed) on the roof, over the windows, and out upon the ends of the gables—while over the door at which he had been vainly knocking he read in antique lettering the motto, "BEWAR THE BAR." But all these bruins were of stone, and each one of them kept as still and silent as did everything else about this strange mansion—except, that is, the fountain, which, behind him in the court, kept up its noisy splashing.

Feeling, somehow, vaguely uncomfortable, Edward Waverley crossed the court into a garden, green and pleasant, but to the full as solitary as the castle court. Here again he found more bears, all sitting up in rows on their haunches, on parapets and along terraces, as if engaged in looking at the view. He wandered up and down, searching for some one to whom to speak, and had almost made up his mind that he had found a real enchanted Castle of Silence, when in the distance he saw a figure approaching up one of the green walks. There was something uncouth and strange about the way the newcomer kept waving his hands over his head—then, for no apparent reason, flapping them across his breast like a groom on a frosty day, hopping all the time first on one foot and then on the other. Tiring of this[19] way of getting over the ground, he would advance by standing leaps, keeping both feet together. The only thing he seemed quite incapable of doing was to use his feet, one after the other, as ordinary people do when they are walking. Indeed, this strange guardian of the enchanted castle of Bradwardine looked like a gnome or fairy dwarf. For he was clad in an old-fashioned dress of grey, slashed with scarlet. On his legs were scarlet stockings and on his head a scarlet cap, which in its turn was surmounted by a turkey's feather.

He came along dancing and singing in jerks and snatches, till, suddenly looking up from the ground, he saw Edward. In an instant his red cap was off, and he was bowing and saluting, and again saluting and bowing, with, if possible, still more extravagant gestures than before. Edward asked this curious creature if the Baron Bradwardine were at home, and what was his astonishment to be instantly answered in rhyme:

"The Knight's to the mountain
His bugle to wind;
The Lady's to greenwood
Her garland to bind.
The bower of Burd Ellen
Has moss on the floor,
That the step of Lord William,
Be silent and sure."


This was impressive enough, surely; but, after all, it did not tell young Captain what he wanted to know. So he continued to question the strange wight, and finally, after eliciting many unintelligible sounds, was able to make out the single word "butler."

"He came along dancing and singing in jerks and snatches. . ."

"He came along dancing and singing in jerks and snatches, till, suddenly looking up from the ground, he saw Edward. In an instant his red cap was off, and he was bowing and saluting, and again saluting and bowing, with, if possible, still more extravagant gestures than before."

Pouncing upon this, Edward commanded the Unknown to lead him instantly to the butler.

Nothing loath, the fool danced and capered on in front, and, at a turning of the path, they found an old man, who seemed by his dress to be half butler, half gardener, digging diligently among the flower beds. Upon seeing Captain Waverley, he let drop his spade, undid his green apron, frowning all the time at Edward's guide for bringing his master's guest upon him without warning, to find him digging up the earth like a common labourer. But the Bradwardine butler had an explanation ready.

His Honour was with the folk, getting down the Black Hag (so he confided to Edward). The two gardener lads had been ordered to attend his Honour. So in order to amuse himself, he, the majordomo of Bradwardine, had been amusing himself with dressing Miss Rose's flower beds. It was but seldom that he found time for such like, though personally he was very fond of garden work.[21]

"He cannot get it wrought in more than two days a week, at no rate whatever!" put in the scarecrow in the red cap and the turkey feather.

"Go instantly and find his Honour at the Black Hag," cried the majordomo of Bradwardine, wrathful at this interference, "and tell him that there is a gentleman come from England waiting him at the Hall."

"Can this poor fellow deliver a letter?" Edward asked doubtfully.

"With all fidelity, sir," said the butler, "that is, to any one whom he respects. After all, he is more knave than fool. We call the innocent Davie Dolittle, though his proper name is Davie Gellatley. But the truth is, that since my young mistress, Miss Rose Bradwardine, took a fancy to dress him up in fine clothes, the creature cannot be got to do a single hand's turn of work. But here comes Miss Rose herself. Glad will she be to welcome one of the name of Waverley to her father's house!"


Rose Bradwardine was still quite young. Scarce did the tale of her years number seventeen, but already she was noted over all the countryside as a[22] pretty girl, with a skin like snow, and hair that glistened like pale gold when the light fell upon it. Living so far from society, she was naturally not a little shy. But as soon as her first feeling of bashfulness was over, Rose spoke freely and brightly. Edward and she, however, had but little time to be alone together. For it was not long before the Baron of Bradwardine appeared, striding toward them as if he had possessed himself of the giant's seven-league boots. Bradwardine was a tall, thin, soldierly man, who in his time had seen much of the world, and who under a hard and even stern exterior, hid a heart naturally warm.

He was much given to the singing of French songs and to making long and learned Latin quotations. And indeed he quoted Latin, even with the tears standing in his eyes, as he first shook Edward by the hand and then embraced him in the foreign fashion on both cheeks—all to express the immense pleasure it was to receive in his house of Tully-Veolan "a worthy scion of the old stock of Waverley-Honour."

While Miss Rose ran off to make some changes in her dress, the Baron conducted Edward into a hall hung about with pikes and armour. Four or five servants, in old-fashioned livery, received them[23] with honour, the majordomo at their head. The butler-gardener was not to be caught napping a second time.

Bradwardine took Captain Waverley at once into an old dining room all panelled with black oak, round the walls of which hung pictures of former chiefs of the line of Tully-Veolan. Somewhere out-of-doors a bell was ringing to announce the arrival of other guests, and Edward observed with some interest that the table was laid for six people. In such a desolate country it seemed difficult to imagine where they would arrive from.

Upon this point Edward soon received enlightenment. First, there was the Laird of Balmawhapple,—"a discreet young gentleman," said the Baron, "much given to field sports." Next came the Laird of Killancureit, who cultivated his own fields and cared for his own cattle—thereby (quoth the Baron) showing the commonness of his origin. Added to these were a "non-juring" Episcopal minister—that is, one who had refused to take the oaths of allegiance to King George's government, and, last of all, the "Baron-Bailie" or land-steward of Bradwardine, one Mr. Macwheeble.

This last, to show his consciousness of his inferior position, seated himself as far as possible from the[24] table, and as often as he wanted to eat, he bent himself nearly double over his plate, in the shape of a clasp-knife about to shut. When dinner was over, Rose and the clergyman discreetly retired, when, with a sign to the butler, the Baron of Bradwardine produced out of a locked case a golden cup called the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine, in which first the host and then all the company pledged the health of the young English stranger. After a while, the Baron and Edward set out to see their guests a certain distance on their way, going with them down the avenue to the village "change-house" or inn, where Balmawhapple and Killancureit had stabled their horses.

Edward, being weary, would much rather have found himself in bed, but this desertion of good company the Baron would noways allow. So under the low cobwebbed roof of Lucky Macleary's kitchen the four gentlemen sat down to "taste the sweets of the night." But it was not long before the wine began to do its work in their heads. Each one of them, Edward excepted, talked or sang without paying any attention to his fellows. From wine they fell to politics, when Balmawhapple proposed a toast which was meant to put an affront upon the uniform Edward wore, and the King in whose army he served.[25]

"To the little gentleman in black velvet," cried the young Laird, "he who did such service in 1702, and may the white horse break his neck over a mound of his making!"

The "little gentleman in black velvet" was the mole over whose hillock King William's horse is said to have stumbled, while the "white horse" represented the house of Hanover.

Though of a Jacobite family, Edward could not help taking offence at the obvious insult, but the Baron was before him. The quarrel was not his, he assured him. The guest's quarrel was the host's—so long as he remained under his roof.

"Here," quoth the Baron, "I am in loco parentis to you, Captain Waverley. I am bound to see you scatheless. And as for you, Mr. Falconer of Balmawhapple, I warn you to let me see no more aberrations from the paths of good manners."

"And I tell you, Mr. Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine of Bradwardine and Tully-Veolan," retorted the other, in huge disdain, "that I will make a muir cock of the man that refuses my toast, whether he be a crop-eared English Whig wi' a black ribband at his lug, or ane wha deserts his friends to claw favour wi' the rats of Hanover!"

In an instant rapiers were out, and the Baron and[26] Balmawhapple hard at it. The younger man was stout and active, but he was no match for the Baron at the sword-play. And the encounter would not have lasted long, had not the landlady, Lucky Macleary, hearing the well-known clash of swords, come running in on them, crying that surely the gentlemen would not bring dishonour on an honest widow-woman's house, when there was all the lee land in the country to do their fighting upon.

So saying, she stopped the combat very effectually by flinging her plaid over the weapons of the adversaries.

Next morning Edward awoke late, and in no happy frame of mind. It was an age of duels, and with his first waking thoughts there came the memory of the insult which had been passed upon him by the Laird of Balmawhapple. His position as an officer and a Waverley left him no alternative but to send that sportsman a challenge. Upon descending, he found Rose Bradwardine presiding at the breakfast table. She was alone, but Edward felt in no mood for conversation, and sat gloomy, silent, and ill-content with himself and with circumstances. Suddenly he saw the Baron and Balmawhapple pass the window arm in arm, and the next moment the butler sum[27]moned him to speak with his master in another apartment.

There he found Balmawhapple, no little sulky and altogether silent, with the Baron by his side. The latter in his capacity of mediator made Edward a full and complete apology for the events of the past evening—an apology which the young man gladly accepted along with the hand of the offender—somewhat stiffly given, it is true, owing to the necessity of carrying his right arm in a sling—the result (as Balmawhapple afterwards assured Miss Rose) of a fall from his horse.

It was not till the morning of the second day that Edward learned the whole history of this reconciliation, which had at first been so welcome to him. It was Daft Davie Gellatley, who, by the roguish singing of a ballad, first roused his suspicions that something underlay Balmawhapple's professions of regret for his conduct.

"The young man will brawl at the evening board
Heard ye so merry the little birds sing?
But the old man will draw at the dawning the sword,
And the throstle-cock's head is under his wing."

Edward could see by the sly looks of the Fool that he meant something personal by this, so he plied the butler with questions, and discovered that[28] the Baron had actually fought Balmawhapple on the morning after the insult, and wounded him in the sword-arm!

Here, then, was the secret of the young Laird's unexpected submission and apology. As Davie Gellatley put it, Balmawhapple had been "sent hame wi' his boots full o' bluid!"


The tale-telling had at this point to be broken off. Clouds began to spin themselves from Eildon top. Dinner also was in prospect, and, most of all, having heard so much of the tale, the four listeners desired to begin to "play Waverley."

Sweetheart made a stately, if skirted, Bradwardine. Besides, she was in Cæsar, and had store of Latin quotations—mostly, it is true, from the examples in the grammar, such as "Illa incedit regina!" Certainly she walked like a queen. Or, as it might be expressed, more fittingly with the character of the Baron in the original:

"Stately stepped she east the wa',
And stately stepped she west."

Hugh John considered the hero's part in any story only his due. His only fault with that of Waverley was that so far he had done so little. He specially resented the terrible combat "in the[29] dawning" between the Baron and the overbold Balmawhapple (played by Maid Margaret). Sir Toady Lion as low comedian ("camelion" he called it) performed numerous antics as Daft Davie Gellatley. He had dressed the part to perfection by putting his striped jersey on outside his coat, and sticking in his cricket cap such feathers as he could find.

"Lie down, Hugh John," he cried, in the middle of his dancing and singing round and round the combatants; "why, you are asleep in bed!"

This, according to the authorities, being obvious, the baffled hero had to succumb, with the muttered reflection that "Jim Hawkins wouldn't have had to stay asleep, when there was a fight like that going on!"

Still, however, Hugh John could not restrain the natural rights of criticism. He continually raised his head from his pillow of dried branches to watch Sweetheart and Maid Margaret.

"You fight just like girls," he cried indignantly; "keep your left hand behind you, Bradwardine—or Balmawhapple will hack it off! I say—girls are silly things. You two are afraid of hurting each other. Now me and Toady Lion—"

And he gave details of a late fraternal combat much in the manner of Froissart.

It is to be noted that thus far both Sweetheart and Maid Margaret disdained the female parts, the[30] latter even going the length of saying that she preferred Celie Stubbs, the Squire's daughter at Waverley-Honour, to Rose Bradwardine. On being asked for an explanation of this heresy, she said, "Well, at any rate, Celie Stubbs got a new hat to come to church in!"

And though I read the "Repentance and a Reconciliation" chapter, which makes number Twelve of Waverley, to the combatants, I was conscious that I must hasten on to scenes more exciting if I meant to retain the attention of my small but exacting audience. Furthermore, it was beginning to rain. So, hurriedly breaking off the tale, we drove back to Melrose across the green holms of St. Boswells.

It was after the hour of tea, and the crowd of visitors had ebbed away from the precincts of the Abbey before the tale was resumed. A flat "throuch" stone sustained the narrator, while the four disposed themselves on the sunny grass, in the various attitudes of severe inattention which youth assumes when listening to a story. Sweetheart pored into the depths of a buttercup. Hugh John scratched the freestone of a half-buried tomb with a nail till told to stop. Sir Toady Lion, having a "pinch-bug" coralled in his palms, sat regarding it cautiously between his thumbs. Only Maid Margaret, her dimpled chin on her knuckles, sat looking upward[31] in rapt attention. For her there was no joy like that of a story. Only, she was too young to mind letting the tale-teller know it. That made the difference.

Above our heads the beautiful ruin mounted, now all red gold in the lights, and purple in the shadows, while round and round, and through and through, from highest tower to lowest arch, the swifts shrieked and swooped.



Next morning (I continued, looking up for inspiration to the pinnacles of Melrose, cut against the clear sky of evening, as sharply as when "John Morow, master mason," looked upon his finished work and found it very good)—next morning, as Captain Edward Waverley was setting out for his morning walk, he found the castle of Bradwardine by no means the enchanted palace of silence he had first discovered. Milkmaids, bare-legged and wild-haired, ran about distractedly with pails and three-legged stools in their hands, crying, "Lord, guide us!" and "Eh, sirs!"

Bailie Macwheeble, mounted on his dumpy, round-[32]barrelled pony, rode hither and thither with half the ragged rascals of the neighbourhood clattering after him. The Baron paced the terrace, every moment glancing angrily up at the Highland hills from under his bushy grey eyebrows.

From the byre-lasses and the Bailie, Edward could obtain no satisfactory explanation of the disturbance. He judged it wiser not to seek it from the angry Baron.

Within-doors, however, he found Rose, who, though troubled and anxious, replied to his questions readily enough.

"There has been a 'creach,' that is, a raid of cattle-stealers from out of the Highland hills," she told him, hardly able to keep back her tears—not, she explained, because of the lost cattle, but because she feared that the anger of her father might end in the slaying of some of the Caterans, and in a blood-feud which would last as long as they or any of their family lived.

"And all because my father is too proud to pay blackmail to Vich Ian Vohr!" she added.

"Is the gentleman with that curious name," said Edward, "a local robber or a thief-taker?"

"Oh, no," Rose laughed outright at his southern ignorance, "he is a great Highland chief and a very[33] handsome man. Ah, if only my father would be friends with Fergus Mac-Ivor, then Tully-Veolan would once again be a safe and happy home. He and my father quarrelled at a county meeting about who should take the first place. In his heat he told my father that he was under his banner and paid him tribute. But it was Bailie Macwheeble who had paid the money without my father's knowledge. And since then he and Vich Ian Vohr have not been friends."

"But what is blackmail?" Edward asked in astonishment. For he thought that such things had been done away with long ago. All this was just like reading an old black-letter book in his uncle's library.

"It is money," Rose explained, "which, if you live near the Highland border, you must pay to the nearest powerful chief—such as Vich Ian Vohr. And then, if your cattle are driven away, all you have to do is just to send him word and he will have them sent back, or others as good in their places. Oh, you do not know how dreadful to be at feud with a man like Fergus Mac-Ivor. I was only a girl of ten when my father and his servants had a skirmish with a party of them, near our home-farm—so near, indeed, that some of the windows of the house were[34] broken by the bullets, and three of the Highland raiders were killed. I remember seeing them brought in and laid on the floor in the hall, each wrapped in his plaid. And next morning their wives and daughters came, clapping their hands and crying the coronach and shrieking—and they carried away the dead bodies, with the pipes playing before them. Oh, I could not sleep for weeks afterward, without starting up, thinking that I heard again these terrible cries."

All this seemed like a dream to Waverley—to hear this young gentle girl of seventeen talk familiarly of dark and bloody deeds, such as even he, a grown man and a soldier, had only imagined—yet which she had seen with her own eyes!

By dinner-time the Baron's mood had grown somewhat less stormy. He seemed for the moment to forget his wounded honour, and was even offering, as soon as the quarrel was made up, to provide Edward with introductions to many powerful northern chiefs, when the door opened, and a Highlander in full costume was shown in by the butler.

"Welcome, Evan Dhu Maccombich!" said the Baron, without rising, and speaking in the manner of a prince receiving an embassy; "what news from Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vohr?"[35]

The ambassador delivered a courteous greeting from the Highland chief. "Fergus Mac-Ivor (he said) was sorry for the cloud that hung between him and his ancient friend. He hoped that the Baron would be sorry too—and that he should say so. More than this he did not ask."

This the Baron readily did, drinking to the health of the chief of the Mac-Ivors, while Evan Maccombich in turn drank prosperity to the house of Bradwardine.


Then these high matters being finished, the Highlander retired with Bailie Macwheeble, doubtless to arrange with him concerning the arrears of blackmail. But of that the Baron was supposed to know nothing. This done, the Highlander began to ask all about the party which had driven off the cattle, their appearance, whence they had come, and in what place they had last been seen. Edward was much interested by the man's shrewd questions and the quickness with which he arrived at his conclusions. While on his part Evan Dhu was so flattered by the evident interest of the young Englishman, that he invited him to "take a walk with him into the mountains in search of the cattle," promising him that if[36] the matter turned out as he expected, he would take Edward to such a place as he had never seen before and might never have a chance of seeing again.

Waverley accepted with eager joy, and though Rose Bradwardine turned pale at the idea, the Baron, who loved boldness in the young, encouraged the adventure. He gave Edward a young gamekeeper to carry his pack and to be his attendant, so that he might make the journey with fitting dignity.

Through a great pass, full of rugged rocks and seamed with roaring torrents—indeed, the very pass of Bally-Brough in which the reivers had last been spied—across weary and dangerous morasses, where Edward had perforce to spring from tuft to tussock of coarse grass, Evan Dhu led our hero into the depths of the wild Highland country,—where no Saxon foot trod or dared to tread without the leave of Vich Ian Vohr, as the chief's foster-brother took occasion to inform Edward more than once.

By this time night was coming on, and Edward's attendant was sent off with one of Evan Dhu's men, that they might find a place to sleep in, while Evan himself pushed forward to warn the supposed cattle-stealer, one Donald Bean Lean, of the party's near[37] approach. For, as Evan Dhu said, the Cateran might very naturally be startled by the sudden appearance of a sidier roy—or red soldier—in the very place of his most secret retreat.

Edward was thus left alone with the single remaining Highlander, from whom, however, he could obtain no further information as to his journey's end—save that, as the Sassenach was somewhat tired, Donald Bean might possibly send the currach for him.

Edward wished much to know whether the currach was a horse, a cart, or a chaise. But in spite of all his efforts, he could get no more out of the man with the Lochaber axe than the words repeated over and over again, "Aich aye, ta currach! Aich aye, ta currach!"

However, after stumbling on a little farther, they came out on the shores of a loch, and the guide, pointing through the darkness in the direction of a little spark of light far away across the water, said, "Yon's ta cove!" Almost at the same moment the dash of oars was heard, and a shrill whistle came to their ears out of the darkness. This the Highlander answered, and a boat appeared in which Edward was soon seated, and on his way to the robber's cave.[38]

The light, which at first had been no bigger than a rush-light, grew rapidly larger, glowing red (as it seemed) upon the very bosom of the lake. Cliffs began to rise above their heads, hiding the moon. And, as the boat rapidly advanced, Edward could make out a great fire kindled on the shore, into which dark mysterious figures were busily flinging pine branches. The fire had been built on a narrow ledge at the opening of a great black cavern, into which an inlet of the loch seemed to advance. The men rowed straight for this black entrance. Then, letting the boat run on with shipped oars, the fire was soon passed and left behind, and the cavern entered through a great rocky arch. At the foot of some natural steps the boat stopped. The beacon brands which had served to guide them were thrown hissing into the water, and Edward found himself lifted out of the boat by brawny arms and carried almost bodily into the depths of the cavern. Presently, however, he was allowed to walk, though still guided on either side, when suddenly at a turn of the rock passage, the cave opened out, and Edward found the famous Cateran, Donald Bean Lean, and his whole establishment plain before his eyes.

The cavern was lit with pine torches, and about a charcoal fire five or six Highlanders were seated,[39] while in the dusk behind several others slumbered, wrapped in their plaids. In a large recess to one side were seen the carcasses of both sheep and cattle, hung by the heels as in a butcher's shop, some of them all too evidently the spoils of the Baron of Bradwardine's flocks and herds.

The master of this strange dwelling came forward to welcome Edward, while Evan Dhu stood by his side to make the necessary introductions. Edward had expected to meet with a huge savage warrior in the captain of such banditti, but to his surprise he found Donald Bean Lean to be a little man, pale and insignificant in appearance, and not even Highland in dress. For at one time Donald had served in the French army. So now, instead of receiving Edward in his national costume, he had put on an old blue-and-red foreign uniform, in which he made so strange a figure that, though it was donned in his honour, his visitor had hard work to keep from laughing. Nor was the freebooter's conversation more in accord with his surroundings. He talked much of Edward's family and connections, and especially of his uncle's Jacobite politics—on which last account, he seemed inclined to welcome the young man with more cordiality than, as a soldier of King George, Edward felt to be his due. The[40] scene which followed was, however, better fitted to the time and place.

At a half-savage feast Edward had the opportunity of tasting steaks fresh cut from some of the Baron's cattle, broiled on the coals before his eyes, and washed down with draughts of Highland whiskey.

Yet in spite of the warmth of his welcome, there was something very secret and unpleasant about the shifty cunning glance of this little robber-chief, who seemed to know so much about the royal garrisons, and even about the men of Edward's own troop whom he had brought with him from Waverley-Honour.

When at last they were left alone together, Evan Dhu having lain down in his plaid, the little captain of cattle-lifters asked Captain Waverley in a very significant manner, "if he had nothing particular to say to him."

Edward, a little startled at the tone in which the question was put, answered that he had no other reason for coming to the cave but a desire to see so strange a dwelling-place.

For a moment Donald Bean Lean looked him full in the face, as if waiting for something more, and then, with a nod full of meaning, he muttered: "You might as well have confided in me. I am as[41] worthy of trust as either the Baron of Bradwardine or Vich Ian Vohr! But you are equally welcome to my house!"

His heather bed, the flickering of the fire, the smoking torches, and the movement of the wild outlaws going and coming about the cave, soon, however, diverted Waverley's thoughts from the mysterious words of his host. His eyelids drew together, nor did he reopen them till the morning sun, reflected from the lake, was filling all the cave with a glimmering twilight.


As soon as this part of the tale was finished, the audience showed much greater eagerness to enter immediately upon the acting of Donald Bean Lean's cattle-raid, and its consequences, than it had previously displayed as to the doings of Edward Waverley.

As Hugh John admitted, this was "something like!" The Abbey precincts were instantly filled with the mingled sounds characteristic of all well-conducted forays, and it was well indeed that the place was wholly deserted. For the lowings of the driven cattle, the shouts of the triumphant Highlanders, the deep rage of the Baron, stalking to and fro wrapped in his cloak on the Castle terrace, might well have astonished the crowd which in these sum[42]mer days comes from the four corners of the world "to view fair Melrose aright."

It was not till the edge had worn off their first enthusiasm, that it became possible to collect them again in order to read "The Hold of a Highland Robber," which makes Chapter Seventeenth of Waverley itself. And the reading so fired the enthusiasm of Sweetheart that she asked for the book to take to bed with her. The boys were more practical, though equally enthusiastic.

"Wait till we get home," cried Hugh John, cracking his fingers and thumbs. "I know a proper place for Donald Bean Lean's cave."

"And I," said Sir Toady Lion, "will light a fire by the pond and toss the embers into the water. It will be jolly to hear 'em hiss, I tell you!"

"But what," asked Maid Margaret, "shall we do for the cattle and sheep that were hanging by the heels, when Edward went into Donald Bean Lean's cave?"

"Why, we will hang you up by the heels and cut slices off you!" said Sir Toady, with frowning truculence.

Whereat the little girl, a little solemnised, began to edge away from the dangerous neighbourhood of such a pair of young cannibals. Sweetheart reproached her brothers for inventing calumnies against their countrymen.

"Even the Highlanders were never so wicked," she objected; "they did not eat one another."[43]

"Well, anyway," retorted Sir Toady Lion, unabashed, "Sawney Bean did. Perhaps he was a cousin of Donald's, though in the history it says that he came from East Lothian."

"Yes," cried Hugh John, "and in an old book written in Latin it says (father read it to us) that one of his little girls was too young to be executed with the rest on the sands of Leith. So the King sent her to be brought up by kind people, where she was brought up without knowing anything of her father, the cannibal, and her mother, the cannibaless—"

"Oh," cried Sweetheart, who knew what was coming, putting up her hands over her ears, "please don't tell that dreadful story all over again."

"Father read it out of a book—so there!" cried Sir Toady, implacably, "go on, Hugh John!"

"And so when this girl was about as big as Sweetheart, and, of course, could not remember her grandfather's nice cave or the larder where the arms and legs were hung up to dry in the smoke—"

"Oh, you horrid boy!" cried Sweetheart, not, however, removing herself out of ear-shot—because, after all, it was nice to shiver just a little.

"Oh, yes, and I have seen the cave," cried Sir Toady, "it is on the shore near Ballantrae—a horrid place. Go on, Hugh John, tell about Sawney Bean's grandchild!"

"Well, she grew up and up, playing with dolls just like other girls, till she was old enough to be sent[44] out to service. And after she had been a while about the house to which she went, it was noticed that some of the babies in the neighbourhood began to go a-missing, and they found—"

"I think she was a nursemaid!" interrupted Sir Toady, dispassionately. "That must have been it. The little wretches cried—so she ate them!"

"Oh," cried Sweetheart, stopping her ears with her fingers, "don't tell us what they found—I believe you made it all up, anyway."

"No, I didn't," cried Hugh John, shouting in her ear as if to a very deaf person, "it was father who read it to us, out of a big book with fat black letters. So it must be true!"

Sir Toady was trying to drag away his sister's arms that she might have the benefit of details, when I appeared in the distance. Whereupon Hugh John, who felt his time growing limited, concluded thus, "And when they were taking the girl away to hang her, the minister asked her why she had killed the babies, and she answered him, 'If people only knew how good babies were—especially little girls—there would not be one left between Forth and Solway!'"

Then quite unexpectedly Maid Margaret began to sob bitterly.

"They shan't hang me up and eat me," she cried, running as hard as she could and flinging herself[45] into my arms; "Hugh John and Sir Toady say they will, as soon as we get home."

Happily I had a light cane of a good vintage in my hand, and it did not take long to convince the pair of young scamps of the inconvenience of frightening their little sister. Sweetheart looked on approvingly as two forlorn young men were walked off to a supper, healthfully composed of plain bread and butter, and washed down by some nice cool water from the pump.

"I told you!" she said, "you wouldn't believe me."

All the same she was tender-hearted enough to convey a platter of broken meats secretly up to their "condemned cell," as I knew from finding the empty plate under their washstand in the morning. And as Maid Margaret was being carried off to be bathed and comforted, a Voice, passing their door, threatened additional pains and penalties to little boys who frightened their sisters.

"It was all in a book," said Hugh John, defending himself from under the bedclothes, "father read it to us!"

"We did it for her good," suggested Sir Toady.

"If I hear another word out of you—" broke in the Voice; and then added, "go to sleep this instant!"

The incident of the cave had long been forgotten and forgiven, before I could continue the story of[46] Waverley in the cave of Donald Bean Lean. We sat once more "in oor ain hoose at hame," or rather outside it, near a certain pleasant chalet in a wood, from which place you can see a brown and turbulent river running downward to the sea.



When Edward awoke next morning, he could not for a moment remember where he was. The cave was deserted. Only the grey ashes of the fire, a few gnawed bones, and an empty keg remained to prove that he was still on the scene of last night's feast. He went out into the sunlight. In a little natural harbour the boat was lying snugly moored. Farther out, on a rocky spit, was the mark of last night's beacon-fire. Here Waverley had to turn back. Cliffs shut him in on every side, and Edward was at a loss what to do, till he discovered, climbing perilously out in the rock above the cave mouth, some slight steps or ledges. These he mounted with difficulty, and, passing over the shoulder of the cliff, found himself presently on the shores of a loch about four miles long, surrounded on every side by wild heathery mountains.[47]

In the distance he could see a man fishing and a companion watching him. By the Lochaber axe which the latter carried Edward recognised the fisher as Evan Dhu. On a stretch of sand under a birch tree, a girl was laying out a breakfast of milk, eggs, barley bread, fresh butter, and honeycomb. She was singing blithely, yet she must have had to travel far that morning to collect such dainties in so desolate a region.

This proved to be Alice, the daughter of Donald Bean Lean, and it is nothing to her discredit that she had made herself as pretty as she could, that she might attend upon the handsome young Englishman. All communication, however, had to be by smiles and signs, for Alice spoke no English. Nevertheless she set out her dainties with right good-will, and then seated herself on a stone a little distance away to watch for an opportunity of serving the young soldier.

Presently Evan Dhu came up with his catch, a fine salmon-trout, and soon slices of the fish were broiling on the wood embers. After breakfast, Alice gathered what was left into a wicker basket, and, flinging her plaid about her, presented her cheek to Edward for "the stranger's kiss." Evan Dhu made haste to secure a similar privilege, but Alice[48] sprang lightly up the bank out of his reach, and with an arch wave of her hand to Edward she disappeared.

Then Evan Dhu led Edward back to the boat. The three men embarked, and after emerging from the mouth of the cavern, a clumsy sail was hoisted, and they bore away up the lake—Evan Dhu all the time loud in the praises of Alice Bean Lean.

Edward said that it was a pity that such a maiden should be the daughter of a common thief. But this Evan hotly denied. According to Evan, Donald Bean Lean, though indeed no reputable character, was far from being a thief. A thief was one who stole a cow from a poor cotter, but he who lifted a drove from a Sassenach laird was "a gentleman drover."

"But he would be hanged, all the same, if he were caught!" objected Edward. "I do not see the difference."

"To be sure, he would die for the law, as many a pretty man has done before him," cried Evan. "And a better death than to die, lying on damp straw in yonder cave like a mangy tyke!"

"And what," Edward suggested, "would become of pretty Alice then?"[49]

"Alice is both canny and fendy," said the bold Evan Dhu, with a cock of his bonnet, "and I ken nocht to hinder me to marry her mysel'!"

Edward laughed and applauded the Highlander's spirit, but asked also as to the fate of the Baron of Bradwardine's cattle.

"By this time," said Evan, "I warrant they are safe in the pass of Bally-Brough and on their road back to Tully-Veolan. And that is more than a regiment of King George's red soldiers could have brought about!"

Evan Dhu had indeed some reason to be proud.

Reassured as to this, Edward accompanied his guide with more confidence toward the castle of Vich Ian Vohr. The "five miles Scots" seemed to stretch themselves out indefinitely, but at last the figure of a hunter, equipped with gun, dogs, and a single attendant, was seen far across the heath.

"Shogh," said the man with the Lochaber axe, "tat's the Chief!"

Evan Dhu, who had boasted of his master's great retinue, denied it fiercely.

"The Chief," he said, "would not come out with never a soul with him but Callum Beg, to meet with an English gentleman."[50]

But in spite of this prophecy, the Chief of Clan Ivor it was. Fergus Mac-Ivor, whom his people called Vich Ian Vohr, was a young man of much grace and dignity, educated in France, and of a strong, secret, and turbulent character, which by policy he hid for the most part under an appearance of courtesy and kindness. He had long been mustering his clan in secret, in order once more to take a leading part in another attempt to dethrone King George, and to set on the throne of Britain either the Chevalier St. George or his son Prince Charles.

When Waverley and the Chief approached the castle—a stern and rugged pile, surrounded by walls, they found a large body of armed Highlanders drawn up before the gate.

"These," said Vich Ian Vohr, carelessly, "are a part of the clan whom I ordered out, to see that they were in a fit state to defend the country in such troublous times. Would Captain Waverley care to see them go through part of their exercise?"

Thereupon the men, after showing their dexterity at drill, and their fine target-shooting, divided into two parties, and went through the incidents of a battle—the charge, the combat, the flight, and the headlong pursuit—all to the sound of the great warpipes.[51]

Edward asked why, with so large a force, the Chief did not at once put down such robber bands as that of Donald Bean Lean.

"Because," said the Chief, bitterly, "if I did, I should at once be summoned to Stirling Castle to deliver up the few broadswords the government has left us. I should gain little by that. But there is dinner," he added, as if anxious to change the subject, "let me show you the inside of my rude mansion."

The long and crowded dinner-table to which Edward sat down, told of the Chief's immense hospitality. After the meal, healths were drunk, and the bard of the clan recited a wild and thrilling poem in Gaelic—of which, of course, Edward could not understand so much as one word, though it excited the clansmen so that they sprang up in ecstasy, many of them waving their arms about in sympathy with the warlike verses. The Chief, exactly in the ancient manner, presented a silver cup full of wine to the minstrel. He was to drink the one and keep the other for himself.

After a few more toasts, Vich Ian Vohr offered to take Waverley up to be presented to his sister. They found Flora Mac-Ivor in her parlour, a plain and bare chamber with a wide prospect from the[52] windows. She had her brother's dark curling hair, dark eyes, and lofty expression, but her expression seemed sweeter, though not, perhaps, softer. She was, however, even more fiercely Jacobite than her brother, and her devotion to "the King over the Water" (as they called King James) was far more unselfish than that of Vich Ian Vohr. Flora Mac-Ivor had been educated in a French convent, yet now she gave herself heart and soul to the good of her wild Highland clan and to the service of him whom she looked on as the true King.

She was gracious to Edward, and at the request of Fergus, told him the meaning of the war-song he had been listening to in the hall. She was, her brother said, famed for her translations from Gaelic into English, but for the present she could not be persuaded to recite any of these to Edward.

He had better fortune, however, when, finding Flora Mac-Ivor in a wild spot by a waterfall, she sang him, to the accompaniment of a harp, a song of great chiefs and their deeds which fired the soul of the young man. He could not help admiring—he almost began to love her from that moment.

After this reception, Edward continued very willingly at Glennaquoich—both because of his growing admiration for Flora, and because his curi[53]osity increased every day as to this wild race, and the life so different from all that he had hitherto known. Nothing occurred for three weeks to disturb his pleasant dreams, save the chance discovery, made when he was writing a letter to the Baron, that he had somehow lost his seal with the arms of Waverley, which he wore attached to his watch. Flora was inclined to blame Donald Bean Lean for the theft, but the Chief scouted the idea. It was impossible, he said, when Edward was his guest, and, besides (he added slyly), Donald would never have taken the seal and left the watch. Whereupon Edward borrowed Vich Ian Vohr's seal, and, having despatched his letter, thought no more of the matter.

Soon afterwards, whilst Waverley still remained at Glennaquoich, there was a great hunting of the stag, to which Fergus went with three hundred of his clan to meet some of the greatest Highland chiefs, his neighbours. He took Edward with him, and the numbers present amounted almost to those of a formidable army. While the clansmen drove in the deer, the chiefs sat on the heather in little groups and talked in low tones. During the drive, the main body of the deer, in their desperation, charged right upon the place where the chief[54] sportsmen were waiting in ambush. The word was given for every one to fling himself down on his face. Edward, not understanding the language, remained erect, and his life was only saved by the quickness of Vich Ian Vohr, who seized him and flung him down, holding him there by main force till the whole herd had rushed over them. When Edward tried to rise, he found that he had severely sprained his ankle.

However, among those present at the drive, there was found an old man, half-surgeon, half-conjurer, who applied hot fomentations, muttering all the time of the operation such gibberish as Gaspar-Melchior-Balthazar-max-prax-fax!

Thus it happened that, to his great disappointment, Edward was unable to accompany the clansmen and their chiefs any farther. So Vich Ian Vohr had Edward placed in a litter, woven of birch and hazel, and walked beside this rude couch to the house of an old man, a smaller chieftain, who, with only a few old vassals, lived a retired life at a place called Tomanrait.

Here he left Edward to recruit, promising to come back in a few days, in the hope that by that time Edward would be able to ride a Highland pony in order to return to Glennaquoich.[55]

On the sixth morning Fergus returned, and Edward gladly mounted to accompany him. As they approached the castle, he saw, with pleasure, Flora coming to meet them.


The Chief's beautiful sister appeared very glad to see Edward, and, as her brother spoke a few hasty words to her in Gaelic, she suddenly clasped her hands, and, looking up to heaven, appeared to ask a blessing upon some enterprise. She then gave Edward some letters that had arrived for him during his absence. It was perhaps as well that Edward took these to his room to open, considering the amount of varied ill news that he found in them.

The first was from his father, who had just been dismissed from his position as King's minister, owing (as he put it) to the ingratitude of the great—but really, as was proved afterwards, on account of some political plots which he had formed against his chief, the prime minister of the day.

Then his generous uncle, Sir Everard, wrote that all differences were over between his brother and himself. He had espoused his quarrel, and he[56] directed Edward at once to send in the resignation of his commission to the War Office without any preliminaries, forbidding him longer to serve a government which had treated his father so badly.

But the letter which touched Edward most deeply was one from his commanding officer at Dundee, which declared curtly that if he did not report himself at the headquarters of the regiment within three days after the date of writing, he would be obliged to take steps in the matter which would be exceedingly disagreeable to Captain Waverley.

Edward at once sat down and wrote to Colonel Gardiner that, as he had thus chosen to efface the remembrance of past civilities, there was nothing left to him but to resign his commission, which he did formally, and ended his letter by requesting his commanding officer to forward this resignation to the proper quarter.

No little perplexed as to the meaning of all this, Edward was on his way to consult Fergus Mac-Ivor on the subject, when the latter advanced with an open newspaper in his hand.

"Do your letters," he asked, "confirm this unpleasant news?"

And he held out the Caledonian Mercury, in which not only did he find his father's disgrace[57] chronicled, but on turning to the Gazette he found the words, "Edward Waverley, Captain in the —th regiment of dragoons, superseded for absence without leave." The name of his successor, one Captain Butler, followed immediately.

On looking at the date of Colonel Gardiner's missive as compared with that of the Gazette, it was evident that his commanding officer had carried out his threat to the letter. Yet it was not at all like him to have done so. It was still more out of keeping with the constant kindness that he had shown to Edward. It was the young man's first idea, in accordance with the customs of the time, to send Colonel Gardiner a challenge. But, upon Fergus Mac-Ivor's advice, Edward ultimately contented himself with adding a postscript to his first letter, marking the time at which he had received the first summons, and regretting that the hastiness of his commander's action had prevented his anticipating it by sending in his resignation.

"That, if anything," said Fergus, "will make this Calvinistic colonel blush for his injustice."

But it was not long before some part at least of the mystery was made plain. Fergus took advantage of Edward's natural anger at his unworthy treatment, to reveal to him that a great rising was[58] about to take place in the Highlands in favour of King James, and to urge him to cast in his lot with the clans. Flora, on the contrary, urged him to be careful and cautious, lest he should involve others to whom he owed everything, in a common danger with himself.

Edward, whose fancy (if not whose heart) had gradually been turning more and more toward the beautiful and patriotic Flora, appeared less interested in rebellion than in obtaining her brother's good-will and bespeaking his influence with his sister.

"Out upon you," cried Fergus, with pretended ill-humour, "can you think of nothing but ladies at such a time? Besides, why come to me in such a matter? Flora is up the glen. Go and ask herself. And Cupid go with you! But do not forget that my lovely sister, like her loving brother, is apt to have a pretty strong will of her own!"

Edward's heart beat as he went up the rocky hillside to find Flora. She received and listened to him with kindness, but steadily refused to grant him the least encouragement. All her thoughts, her hopes, her life itself, were set on the success of this one bold stroke for a crown. Till the rightful King was on his throne, she could not think of[59] anything else. Love and marriage were not for such as Flora Mac-Ivor. Edward, in spite of the manifest good-will of the chief, had to be content with such cold comfort as he could extract from Flora's promise that she would remember him in her prayers!

Next morning Edward was awakened to the familiar sound of Daft Davie Gellatley's voice singing below his window. For a moment he thought himself back at Tully-Veolan. Davie was declaring loudly that

"My heart's in the Highland, my heart is not here."

Then, immediately changing to a less sentimental strain, he added with a contemptuous accent:

"There's nocht in the Highlands but syboes and leeks,
And lang-leggit callants gaun wanting the breeks;
Wanting the breeks, and without hose or shoon,
But we'll a' win the breeks when King Jamie comes hame."

Edward, eager to know what had brought the Bradwardine "innocent" so far from home, dressed hastily and went down. Davie, without stopping his dancing for a moment, came whirling past, and, as he went, thrust a letter into Waverley's hand. It proved to be from Rose Bradwardine, and among other things it contained the news that the Baron[60] had gone away to the north with a body of horsemen, while the red soldiers had been at Tully-Veolan searching for her father and also asking after Edward himself. Indeed they had carried off his servant prisoner, together with everything he had left at Tully-Veolan. Rose also warned him against the danger of returning thither, and at the same time sent her compliments to Fergus and Flora. The last words in the letter were, "Is she not as handsome and accomplished as I described her to be?"

Edward was exceedingly perplexed. Knowing his innocence of all treason, he could not imagine why he should be accused of it. He consulted Fergus, who told him he would to a certainty be hanged or imprisoned if he went south. Nevertheless, Edward persisted in "running his hazard." The Chief, though wishful to keep him, did not absolutely say him nay. Flora, instead of coming down to bid him good-bye, sent only excuses. So altogether it was in no happy frame of mind that Edward rode away to the south upon the Chief's horse, Brown Dermid, and with Callum Beg for an attendant in the guise of a Lowland groom.

Callum warned his master against saying anything when they got to the first little Lowland[61] town, either on the subject of the Highlands, or about his master, Vich Ian Vohr.

"The people there are bitter Whigs, teil burst them!" he said fiercely. As they rode on they saw many people about the street, chiefly old women in tartan hoods and red cloaks, who seemed to cast up their hands in horror at the sight of Waverley's horse. Edward asked the reason.

"Oh," said Callum Beg, "it's either the muckle Sunday hersel', or the little government Sunday that they caa the Fast!"

It proved to be the latter, and the innkeeper, a severe sly-looking man, received them with scanty welcome. Indeed, he only admitted them because he remembered that it was in his power to fine them for the crime of travelling on a Fast Day by an addition to the length of his reckoning next morning.

But as soon as Edward announced his wish for a horse and guide to Perth, the hypocritical landlord made ready to go with him in person. Callum Beg, excited by the golden guinea which Waverley gave him, offered to show his gratitude by waiting a little distance along the road, and "kittlin' the landlord's quarters wi' her skene-occle"—or, in[62] other words, setting a dagger in his back. Apparently Vich Ian Vohr's page thought no more of such a deed than an ordinary English boy would have thought of stealing an apple out of an orchard.


Among the listeners there was somewhat less inclination than before to act this part of the story. For one thing, the boys were righteously indignant at the idea of any true hero being in love—unless, indeed, he could carry off his bride from the deck of a pirate vessel, cutlass in hand, and noble words of daring on his lips.

As for the girls, well—they knew that the bushes were dripping wet, and that if they set their feet upon their native heath, they would certainly be made to change their stockings as soon as they went home. This was a severe discourager of romance. There was nothing to prevent any one of them from asking questions, however. That was a business in which they excelled.

"But why did the Highland people want to rebel, anyway?" demanded Hugh John. "If I could have hunted like that, and raided, and carried off cattle, and had a castle with pipes playing and hundreds of clansmen to drill, I shouldn't have been such a soft as to rebel and get them all taken away from me!"[63]

"It was because they were loyal to their rightful King," said Sweetheart, who is a Cavalier and a Jacobite—in the intervals of admiring Cromwell, and crying because they shot down the poor Covenanters.

"I think," said Sir Toady, who had been sitting very thoughtful, "that they just liked to fight, and King George would not let them. So they wanted a king who would not mind. Same as us, you know. If we are caught fighting in school, we get whipped, but father lets us fight outside as much as we want to. Besides, what did old Vich Ian Vohr want with all these silly Highlanders, eating up everything in his castle, if there were never any battles that they could fight for him?"

This was certainly a very strong and practical view, and so much impressed the others that they sat a long while quiet, turning it over in their minds.

"Well, at any rate," said Sweetheart, dropping her head with a sigh to go on with her seam, "I know that Flora Mac-Ivor was truly patriotic. See how she refused to listen to Waverley, all because she wanted to give her life for the cause."

"Humph," said Hugh John, disrespectfully turning up his nose, "that's all girls think about—loving, an' marrying, an' playing on harps—"

"I don't play on harps," sighed Sweetheart, "but I do wish I had a banjo!"

"I wish I had a targe and a broadsword, and the[64] Chief's horse, Brown Dermid, to ride on," said Hugh John, putting on his "biggety" look.

"And a nice figure you would cut," sneered Sir Toady Lion, provokingly; "Highlanders don't fight on horseback! You ought to know that!"

Whereupon the first engagement of the campaign was immediately fought out on the carpet. And it was not till after the intervention of the Superior Power had restored quiet that the next tale from Waverley could be proceeded with.



Not long after Callum Beg had been left behind, and indeed almost as soon as the innkeeper and Edward were fairly on their way, the former suddenly announced that his horse had fallen lame and that they must turn aside to a neighbouring smithy to have the matter attended to.

"And as it is the Fast Day, and the smith a religious man, it may cost your Honour as muckle as sixpence a shoe!" suggested the wily innkeeper, watching Edward's face as he spoke.

For this announcement Edward cared nothing. He would gladly have paid a shilling a nail to be allowed to push forward on his journey with all speed.[65] Accordingly to the smithy of Cairnvreckan they went. The village was in an uproar. The smith, a fierce-looking man, was busy hammering "dogs' heads" for musket-locks, while among the surrounding crowd the names of great Highland chiefs—Clanronald, Glengarry, Lochiel, and that of Vich Ian Vohr himself, were being bandied from mouth to mouth.

Edward soon found himself surrounded by an excited mob, in the midst of which the smith's wife, a wild witchlike woman, was dancing, every now and then casting her child up in the air as high as her arms would reach, singing all the while, and trying to anger the crowd, and especially to infuriate her husband, by the Jacobite songs which she chanted.

At last the smith could stand this provocation no longer. He snatched a red-hot bar of iron from the forge, and rushed at his wife, crying out that he would "thrust it down her throat." Then, finding himself held back by the crowd from executing vengeance on the woman, all his anger turned upon Edward, whom he took to be a Jacobite emissary. For the news which had caused all this stir was that Prince Charles had landed and that the whole Highlands was rallying to his banner.

So fierce and determined was the attack which[66] the angry smith of Cairnvreckan made on Edward that the young man was compelled to draw his pistol in self-defence. And as the crowd threatened him and the smith continued furiously to attack with the red-hot iron, almost unconsciously his finger pressed the trigger. The shot went off, and immediately the smith fell to the ground. Then Edward, borne down by the mob, was for some time in great danger of his life. He was saved at last by the interference of the minister of the parish, a kind and gentle old man, who caused Edward's captors to treat him more tenderly. So that instead of executing vengeance upon the spot as they had proposed, they brought him before the nearest magistrate, who was, indeed, an old military officer, and, in addition, the Laird of the village of Cairnvreckan, one Major Melville by name.

"So fierce and determined was the attack which the angry smith of Cairnvreckan made on Edward that the young man was compelled to draw his pistol in self-defence."

"So fierce and determined was the attack which the angry smith of Cairnvreckan made on Edward that the young man was compelled to draw his pistol in self-defence."

The latter proved to be a stern soldier, so severe in manner that he often became unintentionally unjust. Major Melville found that though the blacksmith's wound proved to be a mere scratch, and though he had to own that the provocation given was a sufficient excuse for Edward's hasty action, yet he must detain the young man prisoner upon the warrant issued against Edward Waverley, which had been sent out by the Supreme Court of Scotland.[67]

Edward, who at once owned to his name, was astonished beyond words to find that not only was he charged with being in the company of actual rebels, such as the Baron of Bradwardine and Vich Ian Vohr, but also with trying to induce his troop of horse to revolt by means of private letters addressed to one of them, Sergeant Houghton, in their barracks at Dundee. Captain Waverley was asserted to have effected this through the medium of a pedlar named Will Ruthven, or Wily Will—whose very name Edward had never heard up to that moment.

As the magistrate's examination proceeded, Waverley was astonished to find that, instead of clearing himself, everything he said, every article he carried about his person, was set down by Major Melville as an additional proof of his complicity with treason. Among these figured Flora's verses, his own presence at the great hunting match among the mountains, his father's and Sir Everard's letters, even the huge manuscripts written by his tutor (of which he had never read six pages)—all were brought forward as so many evidences of his guilt.

Finally, the magistrate informed Edward that he would be compelled to detain him a prisoner in his house of Cairnvreckan. But that if he would furnish[68] such information as it was doubtless in his power to give concerning the forces and plans of Vich Ian Vohr and the other Highland chiefs, he might, after a brief detention, be allowed to go free. Edward fiercely exclaimed that he would die rather than turn informer against those who had been his friends and hosts. Whereupon, having refused all hospitality, he was conducted to a small room, there to be guarded till there was a chance of sending him under escort to the Castle of Stirling.

Here he was visited by Mr. Morton, the minister who had saved him from the clutches of the mob, and so sympathetically and kindly did he speak, that Edward told him his whole story from the moment when he had first left Waverley-Honour. And though the minister's favourable report did not alter the opinion Major Melville had formed of Edward's treason, it softened his feelings toward the young man so much that he invited him to dinner, and afterwards did his best to procure him favourable treatment from the Westland Whig captain, Mr. Gifted Gilfillan, who commanded the party which was to convoy him to Stirling Castle.

The escort which was to take Edward southward was not so strong as it might have been. Part of Captain Gifted Gilfillan's command had[69] stayed behind to hear a favourite preacher upon the occasion of the afternoon Fast Day service at Cairnvreckan. Others straggled for purposes of their own, while as they went along, their leader lectured Edward upon the fewness of those that should be saved. Heaven, he informed Edward, would be peopled exclusively by the members of his own denomination. Captain Gifted was still engaged in condemning all and sundry belonging to the Churches of England and Scotland, when a stray pedlar joined his party and asked of "his Honour" the favour of his protection as far as Stirling, urging as a reason the uncertainty of the times and the value of the property he carried in his pack.

The pedlar, by agreeing with all that was said, and desiring further information upon spiritual matters, soon took the attention of Captain Gifted Gilfillan from his prisoner. He declared that he had even visited, near Mauchline, the very farm of the Whig leader. He congratulated him upon the fine breed of cattle he possessed. Then he went on to speak of the many evil, popish, and unchristian things he had seen in his travels as a pedlar over the benighted countries of Europe. Whereupon Gifted Gilfillan became so pleased with his companion and so enraptured with his subject, that he allowed his[70] party to string itself out along the route without an attempt at discipline, or even the power of supporting each other in case of attack.

The leaders were ascending a little hill covered with whin bushes and crowned with low brushwood, when, after looking about him quickly to note some landmarks, the pedlar put his fingers to his mouth and whistled. He explained that he was whistling on a favourite dog, named Bawty, which he had lost. The Covenanter reproved him severely for thinking of a useless dog in the midst of such precious and improving conversation as they were holding together.

But in spite of his protests the pedlar persisted in his whistling, and presently, out of a copse close to the path, six or eight stout Highlanders sprang upon them brandishing their claymores.

"The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" shouted Gifted Gilfillan, nothing daunted. And he was proceeding to lay about him stoutly, when the pedlar, snatching a musket, felled him to the ground with the butt. The scattered Whig party hurried up to support their leader. In the scuffle, Edward's horse was shot, and he himself somewhat bruised in falling. Whereupon some of the Highlanders took him by the arms, and half-supported, half-carried him away[71] from the highroad, leaving the unconscious Gifted still stretched on the ground. The Westlanders, thus deprived of a leader, did not even attempt a pursuit, but contented themselves with sending a few dropping shots after the Highlanders, which, of course, did nobody any harm.

They carried Edward fully two miles, and it was not till they reached the deep covert of a distant glen that they stopped with their burden. Edward spoke to them repeatedly, but the only answer he got was that they "had no English." Even the mention of the name of Vich Ian Vohr, which he had hitherto regarded as a talisman, produced no response.

Moreover, Edward could see from the tartans of his captors that they were not of the Clan Ivor. Nor did the hut, into which they presently conveyed our hero, reveal any more. Edward was placed in a large bed, planked all round, and after his bruises were attended to by an old woman, the sliding panel was shut upon him. A kind of fever set his ideas wandering, and sometimes he fancied that he heard the voice of Flora Mac-Ivor speaking in the hut without. He tried to push back the panel, but the inmates had secured it on the outside with a large nail.

Waverley remained some time in these narrow[72] quarters, ministered to by the old woman and at intervals hearing the same gentle girlish voice speaking outside, without, however, ever being able to see its owner. At last, after several days, two of the Highlanders who had first captured him returned, and by signs informed him that he must get ready to follow them immediately.

At this news Edward, thoroughly tired of his confinement, rejoiced, and, upon rising, found himself sufficiently well to travel. He was seated in the smoky cottage quietly waiting the signal for departure, when he felt a touch on his arm, and, turning, he found himself face to face with Alice, the daughter of Donald Bean Lean. With a quick movement she showed him the edges of a bundle of papers which she as swiftly concealed. She then laid her finger on her lips, and glided away to assist old Janet, his nurse, in packing his saddle-bags. With the tail of his eye, however, Edward saw the girl fold the papers among his linen without being observed by the others. This being done, she took no further notice of him whatever, except that just at the last, as she was leaving the cottage, she turned round and gave him a smile and nod of farewell.

The tall Highlander who was to lead the party now made Edward understand that there was con[73]siderable danger on the way. He must follow without noise, and do exactly as he was bidden. A steel pistol and a broadsword were given him for use in case of attack. The party had not been long upon its night journeying, moving silently along through the woods and copses in Indian file, before Edward found that there was good reason for this precaution.

At no great distance he heard the cry of an English sentinel, "All's well!" Again and again the cry was taken up by other sentries till the sound was lost in the distance. The enemy was very near, but the trained senses of the Highlanders in their own rugged country were more than a match for the discipline of the regulars.

A little farther on they passed a large building, with lights still twinkling in the windows. Presently the tall Highlander stood up and sniffed. Then motioning Waverley to do as he did, he began to crawl on all fours toward a low and ruinous sheep-fold. With some difficulty Edward obeyed, and with so much care was the stalk conducted, that presently, looking over a stone wall, he could see an outpost of five or six soldiers lying round their camp-fire, while in front a sentinel paced backward and forward, regarding the heavens and[74] whistling Nancy Dawson as placidly as if he were a hundred miles from any wild rebel Highlandmen.

At that moment the moon, which up to this time had been hidden behind clouds, shone out clear and bright. So Edward and his Highland guide had perforce to remain where they were, stuck up against the dike, not daring to continue their journey in the full glare of light, while the Highlander muttered curses on "MacFarlane's lanthorn," as he called the moon.

At last the Highlander, motioning Edward to stay where he was, began with infinite pains to worm his way backward on all fours, taking advantage of every bit of cover, lying stock-still behind a boulder while the sentry was looking in his direction, and again crawling swiftly to a more distant bush as often as he turned his back or marched the other way. Presently Edward lost sight of the Highlander, but before long he came out again at an altogether different part of the thicket, in full view of the sentinel, at whom he immediately fired a shot—the bullet wounding the soldier on the arm, stopping once and for all the whistling of Nancy Dawson.

Then all the soldiers, awakened by the shot and their comrade's cry, advanced alertly toward the[75] spot where the tall man had been seen. He had, however, retired, but continued to give them occasionally such a view of his figure in the open moonlight, as to lead them yet farther from the path.

Meanwhile, taking advantage of their leader's ruse, Waverley and his attendants made good speed over the heather till they got behind a rising ground, from which, however, they could still hear the shouts of the pursuers, and the more distant roll of the royal drums beating to arms. They had not gone far before they came upon an encampment in a hollow. Here several Highlanders, with a horse or two, lay concealed. They had not arrived very long before the tall Highlander, who had led the soldiers such a dance, made his appearance quite out of breath, but laughing gayly at the ease with which he had tricked his pursuers.

Edward was now mounted on a stout pony, and the whole party set forward at a good round pace, accompanied by the Highlanders as an escort. They continued without molestation all the night, till, in the morning light, they saw a tall old castle on the opposite bank of the river, upon the battlements of which they could see the plaid and targe of a Highland sentry, and over which floated the white banner of the exiled Stuarts.[76]

They passed through a small town, and presently were admitted into the courtyard of the ancient fortress, where Edward was courteously received by a chief in full dress and wearing a white cockade. He showed Waverley directly to a half-ruinous apartment where, however, there was a small camp bed. Here he was about to leave him, after asking him what refreshment he would take, when Edward, who had had enough of mysteries, requested that he might be told where he was.

"You are in the castle of Doune, in the district of Menteith," said the governor of the castle, "and you are in no danger whatever. I command here for his Royal Highness Prince Charles."

At last it seemed to Waverley as if he had reached a place of rest and safety. But it was not to be. On the very next day he was put in charge of a detachment of irregular horsemen who were making their way eastward to join the forces of the Prince. The leader of this band was no other than the Laird of Balmawhapple, who, backing words by deeds, had mustered his grooms and huntsmen in the cause of the Stuarts. Edward attempted to speak civilly to him, but found himself brutally repulsed. Captain Falconer of Balmawhapple had noways forgotten the shrewd pinch in the sword-[77]arm which he had received from the Baron of Bradwardine in Waverley's quarrel.

At first Edward had better luck with his Lieutenant, a certain horse-coper or dealer. This man had sold Balmawhapple the chargers upon which to mount his motley array, and seeing no chance of getting his money except by "going out" himself, he had accepted the post of Lieutenant in the Chevalier's army. So far good. But just at the moment when it seemed that our hero was about to get some information of a useful sort, Balmawhapple rode up, and demanded of his Lieutenant if he had not heard his orders that no one should speak to the prisoner.

After that they marched in silence, till, as the little company of adventurers was passing Stirling Castle, Balmawhapple must needs sound his trumpet and display his white banner. This bravado, considerably to that gentleman's discomfiture, was answered at once by a burst of smoke from the Castle, and the next moment a cannon-ball knocked up the earth a few feet from the Captain's charger, and covered Balmawhapple himself with dirt and stones. An immediate retreat of the command took place without having been specially ordered.

As they approached Edinburgh, they could[78] see that white wreaths of smoke circled the Castle. The cannonade rolled continuously. Balmawhapple, however, warned by what had happened at Stirling, gave the Castle a wide berth, and finally, without having entered the city, he delivered up his prisoner at the door of the ancient palace of Holyrood.

And so, for the time being, Edward's adventures in the wild Highlands were ended.


This time the children were frankly delighted.

"It's just like Kidnapped, father," cried Hugh John, more truly than he dreamed of, "there's the Flight through the Heather, you remember, and the tall man is Allan Breck, heading off the soldiers after the Red Fox was shot. There was a sentinel that whistled, too—Allan heard him when he was fishing, and learned the tune—oh, and a lot of things the same!"

"I like the part best where Alice Bean gives him the papers," said Sweetheart; "perhaps she was in love with him, too."

"Pshaw!" cried Toady Lion; "much good that did him. He never even got them looked at. But it was a pity that he did not get a chance at a King George soldier with that lovely sword and steel pistol. The Highlanders had all the luck."[79]

"I would have banged it off anyway," declared Hugh John; "fancy carrying a pistol like that all the way, scouting and going Indian file, and never getting a shot at anybody!"

"What I want to know," said Sweetheart, dreamily, "is why they all thought Edward a traitor. I believe the papers that Alice Bean Lean put in his bag would reveal the secret, if Waverley only had time to read them."

"Him," said Sir Toady, naturally suspicious of all girls' heroes, "why, he's always falling down and getting put to bed. Then somebody has to nurse him. Why doesn't he go out and fight, like Fergus Mac-Ivor? Then perhaps Flora would have him; though what he wanted her for—a girl—I don't know. She could only play harps and—make poetry."

So with this bitter scorn for the liberal arts, they all rushed off to enact the whole story, the tale-teller consenting, as occasion required, to take the parts of the wounded smith, the stern judge, or the Cameronian Captain. Hugh John hectored insufferably as Waverley. Sir Toady scouted and stalked as the tall Highlander, whom he refused to regard as anybody but Allan Breck. Sweetheart moved gently about as Alice Bean—preparing breakfast was quite in her line—while Maid Margaret, wildly excited, ran hither and thither as a sort of impartial chorus, warning all and sundry of the movements of the enemy.[80]

I saw her last, seated on a knoll and calling out "Bang" at the pitch of her voice. She was, she explained, nothing less imposing than the castle of Edinburgh itself, cannonading the ranks of the Pretender. While far away, upon wooden chargers, Balmawhapple's cavalry curvetted on the slopes of Arthur's Seat and cracked vain pistols at the frowning fortress. There was, in fact, all through the afternoon, a great deal of imagination loose in our neighbourhood. And even far into the gloaming sounds of battle, boastful recriminations, the clash of swords, the trample and rally of the heavy charge, even the cries of the genuinely wounded, came fitfully from this corner and that of the wide shrubberies.

And when all was over, as they sat reunited, Black Hanoverian and White Cockade, victor and vanquished, in the kindly truce of the supper-table, Hugh John delivered his verdict.

"That's the best tale you have told us yet. Every man of us needed to have sticking-plaster put on when we came in—even Sweetheart!"

Than which, of course, nothing could have been more satisfactory.




It was Fergus Mac-Ivor himself who welcomed Edward within the palace of Holyrood, where the adventurous Prince now kept his court.

Hardly would he allow Edward even to ask news of Flora, before carrying him off into the presence-chamber to be presented. Edward was deeply moved by the Chevalier's grace and dignity, as well as moved by the reception he received. The Prince praised the deeds of his ancestors, and called upon him to emulate them. He also showed him a proclamation in which his name was mentioned along with those of the other rebels as guilty of high treason. Edward's heart was melted. This princely kindness, so different from the treatment which he had received at the hands of the English government, the direct appeal of the handsome and gallant young Chevalier, perhaps also the thought of pleasing Flora in the only way open to him, all overwhelmed the young man, so that, with a sudden burst of resolve, he knelt down and devoted his life and his sword to the cause of King James.

The Prince raised and embraced Waverley, and[82] in a few words confided to him that the English general, having declined battle and gone north to Aberdeen, had brought his forces back to Dunbar by sea. Here it was the Prince's instant intention to attack him.

Before taking leave he presented Edward with the splendid silver-hilted sword which he wore, itself an heirloom of the Stuarts. Then he gave him over into the hands of Fergus Mac-Ivor, who forthwith proceeded to make Waverley into a true son of Ivor by arraying him in the tartan of the clan, with plaid floating over his shoulder and buckler glancing upon his arm.

Soon after came the Baron of Bradwardine, anxious about the honour of his young friend Edward. He said that he desired to know the truth as to the manner in which Captain Waverley had lost his commission in Colonel Gardiner's dragoons,—so that, if he should hear his honour called in question, he might be able to defend it,—which, no doubt, he would have performed as stoutly and loyally as he had previously done upon the sulky person of the Laird of Balmawhapple.

The morrow was to be a day of battle. But it was quite in keeping with the gay character of the adventurer-prince, that the evening should be[83] spent in a hall in the ancient palace of Holyrood. Here Edward, in his new full dress as a Highlander and a son of Ivor, shone as the handsomest and the boldest of all. And this, too, in spite of the marked coldness with which Flora treated him. But to make amends, Rose Bradwardine, close by her friend's side, watched him with a sigh on her lip, and colour on her cheek—yet with a sort of pride, too, that she should have been the first to discover what a gallant and soldierly youth he was. Jacobite or Hanoverian, she cared not. At Tully-Veolan or at a court ball, she was equally proud of Edward Waverley.

Next morning our hero was awakened by the screaming of the warpipes outside his bedroom, and Callum Beg, his attendant, informed him that he would have to hurry if he wished to come up with Fergus and the Clan Ivor, who had marched out with the Prince when the morning was yet grey.

Thus spurred, Edward proved himself no laggard. On they went, threading their way through the ranks of the Highland army, now getting mixed up with Balmawhapple's horsemen, who, careless of discipline, went spurring through the throng amid the curses of the Highlanders. For the first time Edward saw with astonishment that more than half[84] the clansmen were poorly armed, many with only a scythe on a pole or a sword without a scabbard, while some for a weapon had nothing better than their dirks, or even a stake pulled out of the hedge. Then it was that Edward, who hitherto had only seen the finest and best armed men whom Fergus could place in the field, began to harbour doubts as to whether this unmilitary array could defeat a British army, and win the crown of three kingdoms for the young Prince with whom he had rashly cast in his lot.

"Rose Bradwardine, close by her friend's side, watched him with a sigh on her lip, and colour on her cheek—yet with a sort of pride, too, that she should have been the first to discover what a gallant and soldierly youth he was.""Rose Bradwardine, close by her friend's side, watched him with a sigh on her lip, and colour on her cheek—yet with a sort of pride, too, that she should have been the first to discover what a gallant and soldierly youth he was."

But his dismal and foreboding thoughts were quickly changed to pride when whole Clan Ivor received him with a unanimous shout and the braying of their many warpipes.

"Why," said one of a neighbouring clan, "you greet the young Sassenach as if he were the Chief himself!"

"If he be not Bran, he is Bran's brother!" replied Evan Dhu, who was now very grand under the name of Ensign Maccombich.

"Oh, then," replied the other, "that will doubtless be the young English duinhé-wassel who is to be married to the Lady Flora?"

"That may be or that may not be," retorted Evan, grimly; "it is no matter of yours or mine, Gregor."[85]

The march continued—first by the shore toward Musselburgh and then along the top of a little hill which looked out seaward. While marching thus, news came that Bradwardine's horse had had a skirmish with the enemy, and had sent in some prisoners.

Almost at the same moment from a sort of stone shed (called a sheep smearing-house) Edward heard a voice which, as if in agony, tried to repeat snatches of the Lord's Prayer. He stopped. It seemed as if he knew that voice.

He entered, and found in the corner a wounded man lying very near to death. It was no other than Houghton, the sergeant of his own troop, to whom he had written to send him the books. At first he did not recognise Edward in his Highland dress. But as soon as he was assured that it really was his master who stood beside him, he moaned out, "Oh, why did you leave us, Squire?" Then in broken accents he told how a certain pedlar called Ruffin had shown them letters from Edward, advising them to rise in mutiny.

"Ruffin!" said Edward, "I know nothing of any such man. You have been vilely imposed upon, Houghton."

"Indeed," said the dying man, "I often thought[86] so since. And we did not believe till he showed us your very seal. So Tims was shot, and I was reduced to the ranks."

Not long after uttering these words, poor Houghton breathed his last, praying his young master to be kind to his old father and mother at Waverley-Honour, and not to fight with these wild petticoat men against old England.

The words cut Edward to the heart, but there was no time for sentiment or regret. The army of the Prince was fast approaching the foe. The English regiments came marching out to meet them along the open shore, while the Highlanders took their station on the higher ground to the south. But a morass separated the combatants, and though several skirmishes took place on the flanks, the main fighting had to be put off till another day. That night both sides slept on their arms, Fergus and Waverley joining their plaids to make a couch, on which they lay, with Callum Beg watching at their heads.

Before three, they were summoned to the presence of the Prince. They found him giving his final directions to the chiefs. A guide had been found who would guide the army across the morass. They would then turn the enemy's flank, and after[87] that the Highland yell and the Highland claymore must do the rest.

The mist of the morning was still rolling thick through the hollow between the armies when Clan Ivor got the word to charge. Prestonpans was no midnight surprise. The English army, regularly ranked, stood ready, waiting. But their cavalry, suddenly giving way, proved themselves quite unable to withstand the furious onslaught of the Highlanders. Edward charged with the others, and was soon in the thickest of the fray. It happened that while fighting on the battle line, he was able to save the life of a distinguished English officer, who, with the hilt of his broken sword yet in his hand, stood by the artillery from which the gunners had run away, disdaining flight and waiting for death. The victory of the Highlanders was complete. Edward even saw his old commander, Colonel Gardiner, struck down, yet was powerless to save him. But long after, the reproach in the eyes of the dying soldier haunted him. Yet it expressed more sorrow than anger—sorrow to see him in such a place and in such a dress.

But this was soon forgotten when the prisoner he had taken, and whom the policy of the Prince committed to his care and custody, declared himself as none other than Colonel Talbot, his uncle's dearest[88] and most intimate friend. He informed Waverley that on his return from abroad he had found both Sir Everard and his brother in custody on account of Edward's reported treason. He had, therefore, immediately started for Scotland to endeavour to bring back the truant. He had seen Colonel Gardiner, and had found him, after having made a less hasty inquiry into the mutiny of Edward's troop, much softened toward the young man. All would have come right, concluded Colonel Talbot, had it not been for our hero's joining openly with the rebels in their mad venture.

Edward was smitten to the heart when he heard of his uncle's sufferings, believing that they were on his account. But he was somewhat comforted when Colonel Talbot told him that through his influence Sir Everard had been allowed out under heavy bail, and that Mr. Richard Waverley was with him at Waverley-Honour.

Yet more torn with remorse was Edward when, having once more arrived in Edinburgh, he found at last the leather valise which contained the packet of letters Alice Bean Lean had placed among his linen. From these he learned that Colonel Gardiner had thrice written to him, once indeed sending the letter by one of the men of Edward's[89] own troop, who had been instructed by the pedlar to go back and tell the Colonel that his officer had received them in person. Instead of being delivered to Waverley, the letters had been given to a certain Mr. William Ruffin, or Riven, or Ruthven, whom Waverley saw at once could be none other than Donald Bean Lean himself. Then all at once remembering the business of the robber cave, he understood the loss of his seal, and poor Houghton's dying reproach that he should not have left the lads of his troop so long by themselves.

Edward now saw clearly how in a moment of weakness he had made a great and fatal mistake by joining with the Jacobites. But his sense of honour was such that in spite of all Colonel Talbot could say, he would not go back on his word. His own hastiness, the clever wiles of Fergus Mac-Ivor, Flora's beauty, and most of all the rascality of Donald Bean Lean had indeed brought his neck, as old Major Melville had prophesied, within the compass of the hangman's rope.

The best Edward could now do was to send a young soldier of his troop, who had been taken at Prestonpans, to his uncle and his father with letters explaining all the circumstances. By Colonel Talbot's advice and help this messenger was sent aboard[90] one of the English vessels cruising in the Firth, well furnished with passes which would carry him in safety all the way to Waverley-Honour.

Still the days went by, and nothing was done. Still the Prince halted in Edinburgh waiting for reinforcements which never came. He was always hopeful that more clans would declare for him or that other forces would be raised in the Lowlands or in England. And meanwhile, chiefly because in the city there was nothing for them to do, plans and plots were being formed. Quarrellings and jealousies became the order of the day among the troops of the White Cockade. One morning Fergus Mac-Ivor came in to Edward's lodgings, furious with anger because the Prince had refused him two requests,—one, to make good his right to be an Earl, and the other, to give his consent to his marriage with Rose Bradwardine. Fergus must wait for the first, the Prince had told him, because that would offend a chief of his own name and of greater power, who was still hesitating whether or not to declare for King James. As for Rose Bradwardine, neither must he think of her. Her affections were already engaged. The Prince knew this privately, and, indeed, had promised already to favour the match upon which her heart was set.[91]

As for Edward himself, he began about this time to think less and less of the cruelty of Flora Mac-Ivor. He could not have the moon, that was clear—and he was not a child to go on crying for it. It was evident, also, that Rose Bradwardine liked him, and her marked favour, and her desire to be with him, had their effect upon a heart still sore from Flora's repeated and haughty rejections.

One of the last things Edward was able to do in Edinburgh, was to obtain from the Prince the release of Colonel Talbot, whom he saw safely on his way to London from the port of Leith. After that it was with actual relief that Edward found the period of waiting in Edinburgh at last at an end, and the Prince's army to the number of six thousand men marching southward into England. All was now to be hazarded on the success of a bold push for London.

The Highlanders easily escaped a superior army encamped on the borders. They attacked and took Carlisle on their way, and at first it seemed as if they had a clear path to the capital before them. Fergus, who marched with his clan in the van of the Prince's army, never questioned their success for a moment. But Edward's clearer eye and greater knowledge of the odds made no such mistake.[92]

He saw that few joined them, and those men of no great weight, while all the time the forces of King George were daily increasing. Difficulties of every kind arose about them the farther they marched from their native land. Added to which there were quarrels and dissensions among the Prince's followers, those between his Irish officers and such Highland chiefs as Fergus being especially bitter.

Even to Edward, Fergus became fierce and sullen, quite unlike his former gay and confident self. It was about Flora that the quarrel, long smouldering, finally broke into flame. As they passed this and that country-seat, Fergus would always ask if the house were as large as Waverley-Honour, and whether the estate or the deer park were of equal size. Edward had usually to reply that they were not nearly so great. Whereupon Fergus would remark that in that case Flora would be a happy woman.

"But," said Waverley, who tired of the implied obligation, "you forget Miss Flora has refused me, not once, but many times. I am therefore reluctantly compelled to resign all claims upon her hand."

At this, Fergus thought fit to take offence, saying that having once made application for Flora's hand,[93] Waverley had no right to withdraw from his offer without the consent of her guardian. Edward replied that so far as he was concerned, the matter was at an end. He would never press himself upon any lady who had repeatedly refused him.

Whereupon, Fergus turned away furiously, and the quarrel was made. Edward betook himself to the camp of his old friend, the Baron, and, as he remembered the instruction he had received in the dragoons, he became easily a leader and a great favourite among the Lowland cavalry which followed the old soldier Bradwardine.

But he had left seeds of bitter anger behind him in the camp of the proud clan he had quitted.

Some of the Lowland officers warned him of his danger, and Evan Dhu, the Chief's foster-brother—who, ever since the visit to the cave had taken a liking to Edward—waited for him secretly in a shady place and bade him beware. The truth was that the Clan Mac-Ivor had taken it into their heads that Edward had somehow slighted their Lady Flora. They saw that the Chief's brow was dark against Edward, and therefore he became all at once fair game for a bullet or a stab in the dark.

And the first of these was not long in arriving.


And here (I concluded) is the end of the fifth tale.

"Go on—oh—go on!" shouted all the four listeners in chorus; "we don't want to play or to talk, just now. We want to know what happened."

"Very well, then," said I, "then the next story shall be called 'Black Looks and Bright Swords.'"

Carrying out which resolve we proceeded at once to the telling of



It was in the dusk of an avenue that Evan Dhu had warned Waverley to beware, and ere he had reached the end of the long double line of trees, a pistol cracked in the covert, and a bullet whistled close past his ear.

"There he is," cried Edward's attendant, a stout Merseman of the Baron's troop; "it's that devil's brat, Callum Beg."

And Edward, looking through the trees, could make out a figure running hastily in the direction of the camp of the Mac-Ivors.

Instantly Waverley turned his horse, and rode straight up to Fergus.

"Colonel Mac-Ivor," he said, without any attempt[95] at salutation, "I have to inform you that one of your followers has just attempted to murder me by firing upon me from a lurking-place."

"Indeed!" said the Chief, haughtily; "well, as that, save in the matter of the lurking-place, is a pleasure I presently propose for myself, I should be glad to know which of my clansmen has dared to anticipate me."

"I am at your service when you will, sir," said Edward, with equal pride, "but in the meantime the culprit was your page, Callum Beg."

"Stand forth, Callum Beg," cried Vich Ian Vohr; "did you fire at Mr. Waverley?"

"No," said the unblushing Callum.

"You did," broke in Edward's attendant, "I saw you as plain as ever I saw Coudingham kirk!"

"You lie!" returned Callum, not at all put out by the accusation. But his Chief demanded Callum's pistol. The hammer was down. The pan and muzzle were black with smoke, the barrel yet warm. It had that moment been fired.

"Take that!" cried the Chief, striking the boy full on the head with the metal butt; "take that, for daring to act without orders and then lying to disguise it."

Callum made not the slightest attempt to escape[96] the blow, and fell as if he had been slain on the spot.

"And now, Mr. Waverley," said the Chief, "be good enough to turn your horse twenty yards with me out upon the common. I have a word to say to you."

Edward did so, and as soon as they were alone, Fergus fiercely charged him with having thrown aside his sister Flora in order to pay his court to Rose Bradwardine, whom, as he knew, Fergus had chosen for his own bride.

"It was the Prince—the Prince himself who told me!" added Fergus, noticing the astonishment on Edward's face.

"Did the Prince tell you that I was engaged to Miss Rose Bradwardine?" cried Edward.

"He did—this very morning," shouted Fergus; "he gave it as a reason for a second time refusing my request. So draw and defend yourself, or resign once and forever all claims to the lady."

"In such a matter I will not be dictated to by you or any man living!" retorted Waverley, growing angry in his turn.

In a moment swords were out and a fierce combat was beginning, when a number of Bradwardine's cavalry, who being Lowlanders were always at feud[97] with the Highlandmen, rode hastily up, calling on their companions to follow. They had heard that there was a chance of a fight between their corps and the Highlanders. Nothing would have pleased them better. The Baron himself threatened that unless the Mac-Ivors returned to their ranks, he would charge them, while they on their side pointed their guns at him and his Lowland cavalry.

A cry that the Prince was approaching alone prevented bloodshed. The Highlanders returned to their places. The cavalry dressed its ranks. It was indeed the Chevalier who arrived. His first act was to get one of his French officers, the Count of Beaujeu, to set the regiment of Mac-Ivors and the Lowland cavalry again upon the road. He knew that the Count's broken English would put them all in better humour, while he himself remained to make the peace between Fergus and Waverley.

Outwardly the quarrel was soon made up. Edward explained that he had no claims whatever to be considered as engaged to Rose Bradwardine or any one else, while Fergus sulkily agreed that it was possible he had made a mistake. The Prince made them shake hands, which they did with the air of two dogs whom only the presence of the master[98] kept from flying at each other's throats. Then after calming the Clan Mac-Ivor and riding awhile with the Baron's Lowland cavalry, the Prince returned to the Count of Beaujeu, saying with a sigh, as he reined his charger beside him, "Ah, my friend, believe me this business of prince-errant is no bed of roses!"

It was not long before the poor Prince had a further proof of this fact.

On the 5th of December, after a council at Derby, the Highland chiefs, disappointed that the country did not rally about them, and that the government forces were steadily increasing on all sides, compelled the Prince to fall back toward Scotland. Fergus Mac-Ivor fiercely led the opposition to any retreat. He would win the throne for his Prince, or if he could not, then he and every son of Ivor would lay down their lives. That was his clear and simple plan of campaign. But he was easily overborne by numbers, and when he found himself defeated in council, he shed actual tears of grief and mortification. From that moment Vich Ian Vohr was an altered man.

Since the day of the quarrel Edward had seen nothing of him. It was, therefore, with great sur[99]prise that he saw Fergus one evening enter his lodgings and invite him to take a walk with him. The Chieftain smiled sadly as he saw his old friend take down his sword and buckle it on. There was a great change in the appearance of Vich Ian Vohr. His cheek was hollow. His eye burned as if with fever.

As soon as the two young men had reached a beautiful and solitary glen, Fergus began to tell Edward that he had found out how wrongheaded and rash he had been in the matter of their quarrel. "Flora writes me," continued Fergus, "that she never had, and never could have, the least intention of giving you any encouragement. I acted hastily—like a madman!"

Waverley hastily entreated him to let all be forgotten, and the two comrades-in-arms shook hands, this time heartily and sincerely.

Notwithstanding, the gloom on the Chief's brow was scarcely lightened. He even besought Waverley to betake himself at once out of the kingdom by an eastern port, to marry Rose Bradwardine, and to take Flora with him as a companion to Rose, and also for her own protection.

Edward was astonished at this complete change in Fergus.[100]

"What!" he cried, "abandon the expedition on which we have all embarked?"

"Embarked," answered the Chief, bitterly; "why, man, the expedition is going to pieces! It is time for all those who can, to get ashore in the longboat!"

"And what," said Edward, "are the other Highland chiefs going to do?"

"Oh, the chiefs," said Fergus, contemptuously, "they think that all the heading and hanging will, as before, fall to the lot of the Lowlands, and that they will be left alone in their poor and barren Highlands, to 'listen to the wind on the hill till the waters abate.' But they will be disappointed. The government will make sure work this time, and leave not a clan in all the Highlands able to do them hurt. As for me, it will not matter. I shall either be dead or taken by this time to-morrow. I have seen the Bodach Glas—the Grey Spectre."

Edward looked the surprise he did not speak.

"Why!" continued Fergus, in a low voice, "were you so long about Glennaquoich and yet never heard of the Bodach Glas? The story is well known to every son of Ivor. I will tell it you in a word. My forefather, Ian nan Chaistel, wasted part of England along with a Lowland chief named Halbert[101] Hall. After passing the Cheviots on their way back, they quarrelled about the dividing of the spoil, and from words came speedily to blows. In the fight, the Lowlanders were cut off to the last man, and their leader fell to my ancestor's sword. But ever since that day the dead man's spirit has crossed the Chief of Clan Ivor on the eve of any great disaster. My father saw him twice, once before he was taken prisoner at Sheriff-Muir, and once again on the morning of the day on which he died."

Edward cried out against such superstition.

"How can you," he said, "you who have seen the world, believe such child's nonsense as that?"

"Listen," said the Chief, "here are the facts, and you can judge for yourself. Last night I could not sleep for thinking on the downfall of all my hopes for the cause, for the Prince, for the clan—so, after lying long awake, I stepped out into the frosty air. I had crossed a small foot-bridge, and was walking backward and forward, when I saw, clear before me in the moonlight, a tall man wrapped in a grey plaid, such as the shepherds wear. The figure kept regularly about four yards from me."

"That is an easy riddle," exclaimed Edward; "why, my dear Fergus, what you saw was no more than a Cumberland peasant in his ordinary dress!"[102]

"So I thought at first," answered Fergus, "and I was astonished at the man's audacity in daring to dog me. I called to him, but got no answer. I felt my heart beating quickly, and to find out what I was afraid of, I turned and faced first north, and then south, east, and west. Each way I turned, I saw the grey figure before my eyes at precisely the same distance! Then I knew I had seen the Bodach Glas. My hair stood up, and so strong an impression of awe came upon me that I resolved to return to my quarters. As I went, the spirit glided steadily before me, till we came to the narrow bridge, where it turned and stood waiting for me. I could not wade the stream. I could not bring myself to turn back. So, making the sign of the cross, I drew my sword and cried aloud, 'In the name of God, Evil Spirit, give place!'

"'Vich Ian Vohr,' it said in a dreadful voice, 'beware of to-morrow!'

"It was then within half a yard of my sword's point, but as the words were uttered it was gone. There was nothing either on the bridge or on the way home. All is over. I am doomed. I have seen the Bodach Glas, the curse of my house."

The spirit glided before me

"The spirit glided steadily before me, till we came to the narrow bridge, where it turned and stood waiting for me. I could not wade the stream. I could not bring myself to turn back. So, making the sign of the cross, I drew my sword and cried aloud, 'In the name of God, Evil Spirit, give place!'

"'Vich Ian Vohr,' it said in a dreadful voice, 'beware of to-morrow!'"

Edward could think of nothing to say in reply. His friend's belief in the reality of the vision was[103] too strong. He could only ask to be allowed to march once more with the sons of Ivor, who occupied the post of danger in the rear. Edward easily obtained the Baron's leave to do so, and when the Clan Mac-Ivor entered the village, he joined them, once more arm in arm with their Chieftain. At the sight, all the Mac-Ivors' ill feeling was blown away in a moment. Evan Dhu received him with a grin of pleasure. And the imp Callum, with a great patch on his head, appeared particularly delighted to see him.

But Waverley's stay with the Clan Ivor was not to be long. The enemy was continually harassing their flanks, and the rear-guard had to keep lining hedges and dikes in order to beat them off. Night was already falling on the day which Fergus had foretold would be his last, when in a chance skirmish of outposts the Chief with a few followers found himself surrounded by a strong attacking force of dragoons. A swift eddy of the battle threw Edward out to one side. The cloud of night lifted, and he saw Evan Dhu and a few others, with the Chieftain in their midst, desperately defending themselves against a large number of dragoons who were hewing at them with their swords. It was quite impossible for Waverley to break through to their[104] assistance. Night shut down immediately, and he found it was equally impossible for him to rejoin the retreating Highlanders, whose warpipes he could still hear in the distance.


The Bodach Glas held the children. The brilliant sunshine of the High Garden in which they had listened to the tale became instantly palest moonlight, and between them and the strawberry bed they saw the filmy plaid of the Grey Spectre of the House of Ivor. It had been helpful and even laudable to play-act the chief scenes when the story was beginning, but now they had no time. It would have been an insult to the interest of the narrative.

Doubtless, if they had had the book, they would have skipped, to know "how it all ended." But it was time for the evening walk. So, instead of stringing themselves out along the way as was their custom, seeing if the raspberry bushes had grown any taller since the morning, the four collected in a close swarm about the tale-teller, like bees about an emigrant queen.

"You must tell us the rest—you must!" they said, linking arms about my waist to prevent any attempt at an evasion of such just demands.

So, being secretly no little pleased with their eagerness, I launched out upon the conclusion of the[105] whole matter—which showed, among other things, how Waverley-Honour was more honoured than ever and the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine threefold blessed.



After wandering about for some time Edward came unexpectedly upon a hamlet. Lights gleamed down the street, and Edward could hear loud voices and the tramp of horses. The sound of shouted orders and soldiers' oaths soon told him that he was in great danger. For these were English troops, and if they caught him in his Mac-Ivor tartan, would assuredly give him short shrift and a swift bullet.

Lingering a moment uncertainly near the gate of a small garden enclosure, he felt himself caught by gentle hands and drawn toward a house.

"Come, Ned," said a low voice, "the dragoons are down the village, and they will do thee a mischief. Come with me into feyther's!"

Judging this to be very much to the purpose, Edward followed, but when the girl saw the tall figure in tartans instead of the sweetheart she had[106] expected, she dropped the candle she had lighted, and called out for her father.

A stout Westmoreland peasant at once appeared, poker in hand, and presently Edward found himself not ill received—by the daughter on account of a likeness to her lover (so she said) and by the father because of a certain weakness for the losing side. So, in the house of Farmer Jopson, Edward slept soundly that night, in spite of the dangers which surrounded him on every side. In the morning the true Edward, whose name turned out to be Ned Williams, was called in to consult with father and daughter. It seemed impossible for Edward to go north to rejoin the Prince's forces. They had evacuated Penrith and marched away toward Carlisle. The whole intervening country was covered by scouting parties of government horsemen. Whereupon Ned Williams, who wished above all things to rid the house of his handsome namesake, lest his sweetheart Cicely should make other mistakes, offered to get Waverley a change of clothes, and to conduct him to his father's farm near Ulswater. Neither old Jopson nor his daughter would accept a farthing of money for saving Waverley's life. A hearty handshake paid one; a kiss, the other. And so it was not long before Ned Williams was intro[107]ducing our hero to his family, in the character of a young clergyman who was detained in the north by the unsettled state of the country.

On their way into Cumberland they passed the field of battle where Edward had lost sight of Fergus. Many bodies still lay upon the face of the moorland, but that of Vich Ian Vohr was not among them, and Edward passed on with some hope that in spite of the Bodach Glas, Fergus might have escaped his doom. They found Callum Beg, however, his tough skull cloven at last by a dragoon's sword, but there was no sign either of Evan or of his Chieftain.

In the secure shelter of good Farmer Williams's house among the hills, it was Edward's lot to remain somewhat longer than he intended. In the first place, it was wholly impossible to move for ten days, owing to a great fall of snow. Then he heard how that the Prince had retreated farther into Scotland, how Carlisle had been besieged and taken by the English, and that the whole north was covered by the hosts of the Duke of Cumberland and General Wade.

But in the month of January it happened that the clergyman who came to perform the ceremony at the wedding of Ned Williams and Cicely Jopson,[108] brought with him a newspaper which he showed to Edward. In it Waverley read with astonishment a notice of his father's death in London, and of the approaching trial of Sir Everard for high treason—unless (said the report) Edward Waverley, son of the late Richard Waverley, and heir to the baronet, should in the meantime surrender himself to justice.

It was with an aching anxious heart that Waverley set out by the northern diligence for London. He found himself in the vehicle opposite to an officer's wife, one Mrs. Nosebag, who tormented him all the way with questions, on several occasions almost finding him out, and once at least narrowly escaping giving him an introduction to a recruiting sergeant of his own regiment.

However, in spite of all risks, he arrived safely under Colonel Talbot's roof, where he found that, though the news of his father's death was indeed true, yet his own conduct certainly had nothing to do with the matter—nor was Sir Everard in the slightest present danger.

Whereupon, much relieved as to his family, Edward proclaimed his intention of returning to Scotland as soon as possible—not indeed to join with the rebels again, but for the purpose of seeking out[109] Rose Bradwardine and conducting her to a place of safety.

It was not, perhaps, the wisest course he might have pursued. But during his lonely stay at Farmer Williams's farm, Edward's heart had turned often and much to Rose. He could not bear to think of her alone and without protection. By means of a passport (which had been obtained for one Frank Stanley, Colonel Talbot's nephew), Waverley was able easily to reach Edinburgh. Here from the landlady, with whom he and Fergus had lodged, Edward first heard the dread news of Culloden, of the slaughter of the clans, the flight of the Prince, and, worst of all, how Fergus and Evan Dhu, captured the night of the skirmish, were presently on trial for their lives at Carlisle. Flora also was in Carlisle, awaiting the issue of the trial, while with less certainty Rose Bradwardine was reported to have gone back to her father's mansion of Tully-Veolan. Concerning the brave old Baron himself, Edward could get no news, save that he had fought most stoutly at Culloden, but that the government were particularly bitter against him because he had been 'out' twice—that is, he had taken part both in the first rising of the year 1715, and also in that which had just been put down in blood at Culloden.[110]

Without a moment's hesitation, Edward set off for Tully-Veolan, and after one or two adventures he arrived there, only to find the white tents of a military encampment whitening the moor above the village. The house itself had been sacked. Part of the stables had been burned, while the only living being left about the mansion of Tully-Veolan was no other than poor Davie Gellatley, who, chanting his foolish songs as usual, greeted Edward with the cheering intelligence that "A' were dead and gane—Baron—Bailie—Saunders Saunderson—and Lady Rose that sang sae sweet!"

However, it was not long before he set off at full speed, motioning Waverley to follow him. The innocent took a difficult and dangerous path along the sides of a deep glen, holding on to bushes, rounding perilous corners of rock, till at last the barking of dogs directed them to the entrance of a wretched hovel. Here Davie's mother received Edward with a sullen fierceness which the young man could not understand—till, from behind the door, holding a pistol in his hand, unwashed, gaunt, and with a three weeks' beard fringing his hollow cheeks, he saw come forth—the Baron of Bradwardine himself.

After the first gladsome greetings were over, the[111] old man had many a tale to tell his young English friend. But his chief grievance was not his danger of the gallows, nor the discomfort of his hiding-place, but the evil-doing of his cousin, to whom, as it now appeared, the Barony of Bradwardine now belonged. Malcolm of Inch-Grabbit had, it appeared, come to uplift the rents of the Barony. But the country people, being naturally indignant that he should have so readily taken advantage of the misfortune of his kinsman, received him but ill. Indeed, a shot was fired at the new proprietor by some unknown marksman in the gloaming, which so frightened the heir that he fled at once to Stirling and had the estate promptly advertised for sale.

"In addition to which," continued the old man, "though I bred him up from a boy, he hath spoken much against me to the great folk of the time, so that they have sent a company of soldiers down here to destroy all that belongs to me, and to hunt his own blood-kin like a partridge upon the mountains."

"Aye," cried Janet Gellatley, "and if it had not been for my poor Davie there, they would have catched the partridge, too!"

Then with a true mother's pride Janet told the story of how the poor innocent had saved his master. The Baron was compelled by the strictness of the[112] watch to hide, all day and most of the nights, in a cave high up in a wooded glen.

"A comfortable place enough," the old woman explained; "for the goodman of Corse-Cleugh has filled it with straw. But his Honour tires of it, and he comes down here whiles for a warm at the fire, or at times a sleep between the blankets. But once, when he was going back in the dawn, two of the English soldiers got a glimpse of him as he was slipping into the wood and banged off a gun at him. I was out on them like a hawk, crying if they wanted to murder a poor woman's innocent bairn! Whereupon they swore down my throat that they had seen 'the auld rebel himself,' as they called the Baron. But my Davie, that some folk take for a simpleton, being in the wood, caught up the old grey cloak that his Honour had dropped to run the quicker, and came out from among the trees as we were speaking, majoring and play-acting so like his Honour that the soldier-men were clean beguiled, and even gave me sixpence to say nothing about their having let off their gun at 'poor crack-brained Sawney,' as they named my Davie!"

It was not till this long tale was ended that Waverley heard what he had come so far to find out—that Rose was safe in the house of a Whig[113] Laird, an old friend of her father's, and that the Bailie, who had early left the army of the Prince, was trying his best to save something out of the wreck for her.

The next morning Edward went off to call on Bailie Macwheeble. At first the man of law was not very pleased to see him, but when he learned that Waverley meant to ask Rose to be his wife, he flung his best wig out of the window and danced the Highland fling for very joy. This rejoicing was a little marred by the fact that Waverley was still under proscription. But when a messenger of the Bailie's had returned from the nearest post-town with a letter from Colonel Talbot, all fear on this account was at an end. Colonel Talbot had, though with the greatest difficulty, obtained royal Protections for both the Baron of Bradwardine and for Edward himself. There was no doubt that full pardons would follow in due course.

Right thankfully the Baron descended from his cave, as soon as Edward carried him the good news, and with Davie Gellatley and his mother, all went down to the house of Bailie Macwheeble, where supper was immediately served.

It was from old Janet Gellatley, Davie's mother, that Waverley learned whom he had to thank for[114] rescuing him from the hands of Captain Gifted Gilfillan, and to whom the gentle voice belonged which had cheered him during his illness. It was none other than Rose Bradwardine herself. To her, Edward owed all. She had even given up her jewels to Donald Bean Lean, that he might go scatheless. She it was who had provided a nurse for him in the person of old Janet Gellatley herself, and lastly she had seen him safely on his way to Holyrood under the escort of the sulky Laird of Balmawhapple.

So great kindness certainly required very special thanks. And Edward was not backward in asking the Baron for permission to accompany him to the house of Duchran, where Rose was at present residing. So well did Edward express his gratitude to Rose, that she consented to give all her life into his hands, that he might go on showing how thankful he was.

Of course the marriage could not take place for some time, because the full pardons of the Baron and Edward took some time to obtain. For Fergus Mac-Ivor, alas, no pardon was possible. He and Evan Dhu were condemned to be executed for high treason at Carlisle, and all that Edward could do was only to promise the condemned Chieftain that[115] he would be kind to the poor clansmen of Vich Ian Vohr, for the sake of his friend.

As for Evan Dhu, he might have escaped. The Judge went the length of offering to show mercy, if Evan would only ask it. But when Evan Dhu was called upon to plead before the Court, his only request was that he might be permitted to go down to Glennaquoich and bring up six men to be hanged in the place of Vich Ian Vohr.

"And," he said, "ye may begin with me the first man!"

At this there was a laugh in the Court. But Evan, looking about him sternly, added: "If the Saxon gentlemen are laughing because a poor man such as me thinks my life, or the life of any six of my degree, is worth that of Vich Ian Vohr, they may be very right. But if they laugh because they think I would not keep my word, and come back to redeem him, I can tell them they ken neither the heart of a Hielandman nor the honour of a gentleman!"

After these words, there was no more laughing in that Court.

Nothing now could save Fergus Mac-Ivor. The government were resolved on his death as an example, and both he and Evan were accordingly exe[116]cuted, along with many others of the unhappy garrison of Carlisle.

Edward and Rose were married from the house of Duchran, and some days after they started, according to the custom of the time, to spend some time upon an estate which Colonel Talbot had bought, as was reported, a very great bargain. The Baron had been persuaded to accompany them, taking a place of honour in their splendid coach and six, the gift of Sir Everard. The coach of Mr. Rubrick of Duchran came next, full of ladies, and many gentlemen on horseback rode with them as an escort to see them well on their way.

At the turning of the road which led to Tully-Veolan, the Bailie met them. He requested the party to turn aside and accept of his hospitality at his house of Little Veolan. The Baron, somewhat put out, replied that he and his son-in-law would ride that way, but that they would not bring upon him the whole matrimonial procession. It was clear, however, that the Baron rather dreaded visiting the ancient home of his ancestors, which had been so lately sold by the unworthy Malcolm of Inch-Grabbit into the hands of a stranger. But as[117] the Bailie insisted, and as the party evidently wished to accept, he could not hold out.

When the Baron arrived at the avenue, he fell into a melancholy meditation, thinking doubtless of the days when he had taken such pride in the ancient Barony which had passed for ever away from the line of the Bradwardines. From these bitter thoughts he was awakened by the sight of the two huge stone bears which had been replaced over the gate-posts.

Then down the avenue came the two great deer-hounds, Ban and Buscar, which had so long kept their master company in his solitude, with Daft Davie Gellatley dancing behind them.

The Baron was then informed that the present owner of the Barony was no other than Colonel Talbot himself. But that if he did not care to visit the new owner of Bradwardine, the party would proceed to Little Veolan, the house of Bailie Macwheeble.

Then, indeed, the Baron had need of all his greatness of mind. But he drew a long breath, took snuff abundantly, and remarked that as they had brought him so far, he would not pass the Colonel's gate, and that he would be happy to see the new master of his tenants. When he alighted in front of the Castle, the Baron was astonished to find how swiftly the marks of spoliation had been removed. Even the[118] roots of the felled trees had disappeared. All was fair and new about the house of Tully-Veolan, even to the bright colours of the garb of Davie Gellatley, who ran first to one and then to the other of the company, passing his hands over his new clothes and crying, "Braw, braw Davie!"

The dogs, Bran and Buscar, leaping upon him, brought tears into the Baron's eyes, even more than the kind welcome of Colonel Talbot's wife, the Lady Emily. Still more astonishing appeared the changes in the so lately ruined courtyard. The burned stables had been rebuilt upon a newer and better plan. The pigeon-house was restocked, and populous with fluttering wings. Even the smallest details of the garden, and the multitude of stone bears on the gables, had all been carefully restored as of old.

The Baron could hardly believe his eyes, and he marvelled aloud that Colonel Talbot had not thought fit to replace the Bradwardine arms by his own. But here the Colonel, suddenly losing patience, declared that he would not, even to please these foolish boys, Waverley and Frank Stanley (and his own more foolish wife), continue to impose upon another old soldier. So without more ado he told the Baron that he had only advanced the money to buy back the Barony, and that he would leave Bailie Mac[119]wheeble to explain to whom the estate really belonged.

Trembling with eagerness the Bailie advanced, a formidable roll of papers in his hand.

He began triumphantly to explain that Colonel Talbot had indeed bought Bradwardine, but that he had immediately exchanged it for Brere-wood Lodge, which had been left to Edward under his father's will. Bradwardine had therefore returned to its ancient Lord in full and undisputed possession, and the Baron was once more master of all his hereditary powers, subject only to an easy yearly payment to his son-in-law.

Tears were actually in the old gentleman's eyes as he went from room to room, so that he could scarce speak a word of welcome either to the guests within, or of thanks to the rejoicing farmers and cottars who, hearing of his return, had gathered without. The climax of his joy was, however, reached when the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine itself, the golden cup of his line, mysteriously recovered out of the spoil of the English army by Frank Stanley, was brought to the Baron's elbow by old Saunders Saunderson.

Truth to tell, the recovery of this heirloom afforded the old man almost as much pleasure as the regain[120]ing of his Barony, and there is little doubt that a tear mingled with the wine, as, holding the Blessed Bear in his hand, the Baron solemnly proposed the healths of the united families of Waverley-Honour and Bradwardine.









Summer there had been none. Autumn was a mockery. The golden harvest fields lay prostrate under drenching floods of rain. Every burn foamed creamy white in the linns and sulked peaty brown in the pools. The heather, rich in this our Galloway as an emperor's robe, had scarce bloomed at all. The very bees went hungry, for the lashing rain had washed all the honey out of the purple bells.

Nevertheless, in spite of all, we were again in Galloway—that is, the teller of tales and his little congregation of four. The country of Guy Mannering spread about us, even though we could scarce see a hundred yards of it. The children flattened their noses against the blurred window-panes to look. Their eyes watered with the keen tang of the peat reek, till, tired with watching the squattering of ducks in farm puddles, they turned as usual upon the family sagaman, and demanded, with that militant assurance of youth which succeeds so often, that he should forthwith and immediately "tell them something."[124]

The tales from Waverley had proved so enthralling that there was a general demand for "another," and Sir Toady Lion, being of an arithmetical turn of mind, proclaimed that there was plenty of material, in so much as he had counted no fewer than twenty-four "all the same" upon the shelf before he left home.

Thus, encouraged by the dashing rain on the windows and with the low continual growl of Solway surf in our ears, we bent ourselves to fill a gap in a hopeless day by the retelling of



Through storm and darkness a young Oxford scholar came to the New Place of Ellangowan. He had been again and again refused shelter along the road for himself and his tired horse, but at last he found himself welcomed by Godfrey Bertram, the Laird of Ellangowan, attended by Dominie Sampson, his faithful companion, the village schoolmaster, on the threshold of the great house.

That very night an heir was born to the line of the Bertrams of Ellangowan, one of the most ancient in Galloway, and as usual the New Place was full of company come from far and near to make[125] merry over the event. Godfrey himself, a soft, good-natured, pliable man, welcomed Mannering (for that was the name of the young Oxford student), and set him forthwith to calculating the horoscope of the babe from the stars. This, Mannering, to whom astrology seemed no better than child's play, was at first unwilling to do, until the awkward opposition of Dominie Sampson, as well as some curiosity to see if he could remember the terms of the sham-science learned in youth, caused him to consent to make the calculation.

He was still further pushed on by the appearance of a wild gipsy woman, a sort of queen among the ragged wandering tribe which camped in a little hamlet on the Laird's estates. She entered the house singing shrilly a kind of ancient spell:

"Trefoil, vervain, John's wort, dill,
Hinder witches of their will!
Weel is them, that weel may
Fast upon Saint Andrew's day.
Saint Bride and her brat,
Saint Colme and his cat,
Saint Michael and his spear
Keep the house frae reif and weir."

So sang Meg Merrilies, the gipsy, a great cudgel in her hand, and her dress and bearing more like[126] those of a man than of a woman. Elf-locks shot up through the holes in her bonnet, and her black eyes rolled with a kind of madness. Soon, however, Godfrey, who evidently only half disbelieved in her powers as a witch, dismissed her to the kitchen with fair words, while Guy Mannering, whom his strange adventure had rendered sleepless, walked forth into the night. The vast ruins of the ancient castle of the Bertrams rose high and silent on the cliffs above him, but beneath, in the little sandy cove, lights were still moving briskly, though it was the dead hour of the night. A smuggler brig was disloading a cargo of brandy, rum, and silks, most likely, brought from the Isle of Man.

At sight of his figure moving on the cliffs above, a voice on the shore sang out, "Ware hawk! Douse the glim!" And in a moment all was darkness beneath him.

When Mannering returned to his chamber in the dim light of the morning, he proceeded to carry out his calculations according to the strictest rules of astrology, marking carefully the hour of the birth of the babe. He found that young Harry Bertram, for so it had been decided to name the child, was threatened with danger in his fifth, his tenth, and his twenty-first years.[127]

More dissatisfied than he cared to own with these results, Mannering walked out again to view the ruins of the old castle of Ellangowan in the morning light. They were, he now saw, of vast extent and much battered on the side toward the sea—so much so, indeed, that he could observe through a gap in the mason-work, the smuggling brig getting ready to be off with the tide. Guy Mannering penetrated into the courtyard, and was standing there quietly, thinking of the past greatness of the house of Bertram, when suddenly, from a chamber to the left, he heard the voice of the gipsy, Meg Merrilies. A few steps took him to a recess from which, unseen himself, he could observe what she was doing. She continued to twirl her distaff, seemingly unconscious of his presence, and also, after her own fashion, to "spae" the fortune of young Harry Bertram, just as Mannering had so lately been doing himself. Curiosity as to whether their results would agree kept him quiet while she wove her spell. At last she gave her verdict: "A long life, three score and ten years, but thrice broken by trouble or danger. The threads thrice broke, three times united. He'll be a lucky lad if he wins through wi' it!"

Mannering had hardly time to be astonished at the manner in which the gipsy's prophecy confirmed[128] his own half-playful calculations, before a voice, loud and hoarse as the waves that roared beneath the castle, called to the witch-wife, "Meg, Meg Merrilies—gipsy—hag—tousand deyvils!"

"Coming, Captain—I am coming!" answered Meg, as calmly as if some one had been calling her pet names. Through the broken portion of the wall to seaward a man made his appearance. He was hard of feature, savage-looking, and there was a cruel glint in his eyes which told of a heart without pity.

The man's body, powerful and thick-set as an oak, his immense strength, his savage temper made him shunned and disliked. There were few indeed who would have ventured to cross the path of Dirk Hatteraick, whose best name was "black smuggler," and whose worst a word it was safest to speak in a whisper, lest a bird of the air should carry the matter.

On the present occasion Dirk had come to the gipsy queen to demand of her a charm for a fair wind and a prosperous voyage. For the less religion such a man has, the more superstitious he is apt to be.

"Where are you, Mother Deyvilson?" he cried again. "Donner and blitzen, here we have been[129] staying for you full half an hour! Come, bless the good ship and the voyage—and be cursed to ye for a hag of Satan!"

At that moment, catching sight of Mannering, the smuggler stopped with a strange start. He thrust his hand into his pocket as if to draw out a hidden weapon, exclaiming: "What cheer, brother? You seem on the outlook, eh?"

But with a glance at the intruder Meg Merrilies checked him. In a moment Hatteraick had altered his tone, and was speaking to Mannering civilly, yet still with an undercurrent of sullen suspicion which he tried to disguise under a mask of familiarity.

"You are, I suppose," said Mannering, calmly, "the master of that vessel in the bay?"

"Ay, ay, sir," answered the sailor, "I am Captain Dirk Hatteraick of the Yungfrauw Hagenslaapen, and I am not ashamed of my name or of my vessel, either. Right cognac I carry—rum, lace, real Mechlin, and Souchong tea—if you will come aboard, I will send you ashore with a pouchful of that last—Dirk Hatteraick knows how to be civil!"

Mannering got rid of his offers without openly offending the man, and was well content to see the precious pair vanish down the stone stairs which[130] had formerly served the garrison of the castle in time of siege.

On his return to the house of Ellangowan, Mannering related his adventure, and asked of his host who this villanous-looking Dutchman might be, and why he was allowed to wander at will on his lands.

This was pulling the trigger, and Mr. Bertram at once exploded into a long catalogue of griefs. According to him, the man was undoubtedly one Captain Dirk Hatteraick, a smuggler or free-trader. As for allowing him on his lands—well, Dirk was not very canny to meddle with. Besides, impossible as it was to believe, he, Godfrey Bertram of Ellangowan, was not upon his Majesty's commission of the peace for the county. Jealousy had kept him off—among other things the ill-will of the sitting member. Besides which—after all a gentleman must have his cognac, and his lady her tea and silks. Only smuggled articles came into the country. It was a pity, of course, but he was not more to blame than others.

Thus the Laird maundered on, and Mannering, glad to escape being asked about the doubtful fortune which the stars had predicted for the young heir, did not interrupt him. On the next day, how[131]ever, before he mounted his horse, he put the written horoscope into a sealed envelope, and, having strictly charged Bertram that it should not be opened till his son reached the age of five years, he took his departure with many expressions of regret.

The next five years were outwardly prosperous ones for Godfrey Bertram of Ellangowan. As the result of an election where he had been of much service to the winning candidate, he was again made a Justice of the Peace, and immediately he set about proving to his brothers of the bench that he could be both a determined and an active magistrate. But this apparent good, brought as usual much of evil with it. Many old kindly customs and courtesies had endeared Godfrey Bertram to his poorer neighbours. He was, they said, no man's enemy, and even the gipsies of the little settlement would have cut off their right hands before they touched a pennyworth belonging to the Laird, their patron and protector. But the other landlords twitted him with pretending to be an active magistrate, and yet harbouring a gang of gipsies at his own door-cheek. Whereupon the Laird went slowly and somewhat sadly home, revolving schemes for getting rid of the colony of[132] Derncleugh, at the head of which was the old witch-wife Meg Merrilies.

Occasions of quarrel were easy to find. The sloe-eyed gipsy children swinging on his gates were whipped down. The rough-coated donkeys forbidden to eat their bite of grass in peace by the roadside. The men were imprisoned for poaching, and matters went so far that one stout young fellow was handed over to the press-gang at Dumfries and sent to foreign parts to serve on board a man-of-war.

The gipsies, on their side, robbed the Ellangowan hen-roosts, stole the linen from my lady's bleaching-green, cut down and barked the young trees—though all the while scarce believing that their ancient friend the Laird of Ellangowan had really turned against them.

During these five years the son, so strangely brought into the world on the night of Mannering's visit, had been growing into the boldest and brightest of boys. A wanderer by nature from his youth, he went fearlessly into each nook and corner of his father's estates in search of berries and flowers. He hunted every bog for rushes to weave grenadiers' caps, and haled the hazelnuts from the lithe coppice boughs.[133]

To Dominie Sampson, long since released from his village school, the difficult task was committed of accompanying, restraining, and guiding this daring spirit and active body. Shy, uncouth, awkward, with the memory of his failure in the pulpit always upon him, the Dominie was indeed quite able to instruct his pupil in the beginnings of learning, but it proved quite out of his power to control the pair of twinkling legs belonging to Master Harry Bertram. Once was the Dominie chased by a cross-grained cow. Once he fell into the brook at the stepping-stones, and once he was bogged in his middle in trying to gather water-lilies for the young Laird. The village matrons who relieved Dominie Sampson on this last occasion, declared that the Laird might just as well "trust the bairn to the care o' a tatie-bogle!"[2] But the good tutor, nothing daunted, continued grave and calm through all, only exclaiming, after each fresh misfortune, the single word "Prodeegious!"

Often, too, Harry Bertram sought out Meg Merrilies at Derncleugh, where he played his pranks among the gipsies as fearlessly as within the walls of Ellangowan itself. Meanwhile the war between that active magistrate Godfrey Bertram and[134] the gipsies grew ever sharper. The Laird was resolved to root them out, in order to stand well with his brother magistrates. So the gipsies sullenly watched while the ground officer chalked their doors in token that they must "flit" at the next term.

At last the fatal day arrived. A strong force of officers summoned the gipsies to quit their houses, and when they did not obey, the sheriff's men broke down the doors and pulled the roofs off the poor huts of Derncleugh.

Godfrey Bertram, who was really a kindly man, had gone away for the day to avoid the sight, leaving the business to the chief exciseman of the neighbourhood,—one Frank Kennedy, a bold, roistering blade, who knew no fear, and had no qualms whatever about ridding the neighbourhood of a gang of "sorners and thieves," as he called the Derncleugh gipsies.

But as Godfrey was riding back to Ellangowan with a single servant, right in the middle of the King's highway, he met the whole congregation of the exiles, evicted from their ruined houses, and sullenly taking their way in search of a new shelter against the storms of the oncoming winter. His servant rode forward to command every man to stand to his beast's head while the Laird was passing.[135]

"He shall have his half of the road," growled one of the tall thin gipsies, his features half-buried in a slouch hat, "but he shall have no more. The highway is as free to our cuddies as to his horse."

Never before had the Laird of Ellangowan received such a discourteous reception. Anxious at the last to leave a good impression, he stammered out as he passed one of the older men, "And your son, Gabriel Baillie, is he well?" (He meant the young man who had been sent by means of the press-gang to foreign parts.) With a deep scowl the old man replied, "If I had heard otherwise, you would have heard it too!"

At last Godfrey Bertram thought that he had escaped. He had passed the last laden donkey of the expelled tribe. He was urging his beast toward Ellangowan with a saddened spirit, when suddenly at a place where the road was sunk between two high banks, Meg Merrilies appeared above him, a freshly cut sapling in her hand, her dark eyes flashing anger, and her elf-locks straying in wilder confusion than ever.

"Ride your ways, Laird of Ellangowan," she cried, "ride your ways, Godfrey Bertram! This day ye have quenched seven smoking hearths—see if the fire in your own parlour burns the brighter[136] for that? Ye have riven the thatch off seven cottars' houses—look if your roof-tree stands the faster. There are thirty yonder that would have shed their lifeblood for you—thirty, from the child of a week to the auld wife of a hundred, that you have made homeless, that you have sent out to sleep with the fox and the blackcock. Our bairns are hanging on our weary backs—look to it that your braw cradle at hame is the fairer spread! Now ride your ways, Godfrey Bertram. These are the last words ye shall ever hear from Meg Merrilies, and this the last staff that I shall ever cut in the bonny woods of Ellangowan!"

"Meg Merrilies appeared above him, a freshly cut sapling in her hand, her dark eyes flashing anger, and her elf-locks straying in wilder confusion than ever.

"Meg Merrilies appeared above him, a freshly cut sapling in her hand, her dark eyes flashing anger, and her elf-locks straying in wilder confusion than ever.

"'Ride your ways, Laird of Ellangowan,' she cried, 'ride your ways, Godfrey Bertram! This day ye have quenched seven smoking hearths—see if the fire in your own parlour burns the brighter for that!'"

And with the gesture of a queen delivering sentence she broke the sapling she had held in her hand, and flung the fragments into the road. The Laird was groping in his pocket for half a crown, and thinking meanwhile what answer to make. But disdaining both his reply and his peace-offering, Meg strode defiantly downhill after the caravan.

Not only was there war by land at Ellangowan. There was also war by sea. The Laird, determined for once not to do things by halves, had begun to support Frank Kennedy, the chief revenue officer,[137] in his campaign against the smugglers. Armed with Ellangowan's warrant, and guided by his people who knew the country, Kennedy swooped down upon Dirk Hatteraick as he was in the act of landing a large cargo upon Ellangowan's ground. After a severe combat he had been able to clap the government broad-arrow upon every package and carry them all off to the nearest customs' post. Dirk Hatteraick got safely away, but he went, vowing in English, Dutch, and German, the direst vengeance against Frank Kennedy, Godfrey Bertram, and all his enemies.

It was a day or two after the eviction of the gipsies when the Lady of Ellangowan, suddenly remembering that it was her son Harry's fifth birthday, demanded of her husband that he should open and read the horoscope written by the wandering student of the stars five years before. While they were arguing about the matter, it was suddenly discovered that little Harry was nowhere to be found. His guardian, Dominie Sampson, having returned without him, was summoned to give an account of his stewardship by the angry mother.

"Mr. Sampson," she cried, "it is the most extraordinary thing in the world wide, that you have free up-putting in this house,—bed, board, washing,[138] and twelve pounds sterling a year just to look after that boy,—and here you have let him out of your sight for three hours at a time!"

Bowing with awkward gratitude at each clause in this statement of his advantages, the poor Dominie was at last able to stammer out that Frank Kennedy had taken charge of Master Harry, in the face of his protest, and had carried him off to Warroch Head to see the taking of Dirk Hatteraick's ship by the King's sloop-of-war, which he had ridden all the way to Wigton Bay to bring about.

"And if that be so," cried the Lady of Ellangowan, "I am very little obliged to Frank Kennedy. The bairn may fall from his horse, or anything may happen."

The Laird quieted his wife by telling her that he and Frank Kennedy had together seen the sloop-of-war giving chase to Dirk Hatteraick's ship, and that even then the Dutchman, disabled and on fire, was fast drifting upon the rocks. Frank Kennedy had ridden off to assist in the capture by signalling to the man-of-war from Warroch Head, and had evidently picked up little Harry upon the way. He would doubtless, continued the Laird, be back in a little time. For he had ordered the punch-bowl to be made ready, that they might drink good luck to the[139] King's service and confusion to all smugglers and free-traders wherever found.

But hour after hour went by, and neither Frank Kennedy nor the boy Harry returned. The night approached. Parties of searchers anxiously beat the woods and patrolled the cliffs. For long they found nothing, but at last a boat's crew, landing perilously at the foot of the precipices, came upon the body of the excise officer, a sword-cut in his head, lying half in and half out of the water. He had been flung from the cliffs above. Frank Kennedy was dead—as to that there was no question. But what had become of the child, Harry Bertram? That—no one could answer. Not a trace of him was to be found. The smuggler's ship still burned fiercely, but Dirk Hatteraick and his men had completely vanished. Some one suggested the gipsies, whereupon the Laird mounted the first horse he came across and rode furiously to the huts of Derncleugh. Bursting in a door, he found on the ruined hearth of the house that had once sheltered Meg Merrilies, a fire still smouldering. But there, too, Godfrey Bertram discovered nothing and no one.

While he remained on the spot, dazed and uncertain, looking at the blackened hearthstone, his old servant entered hastily to bid him return at[140] once to Ellangowan. His wife had been taken dangerously ill. Godfrey spurred as fast as horse would carry him, but Death had gone faster, and had arrived before him. When he reached the gate, the Lady of Ellangowan was dead, leaving him with a little baby girl less than an hour old. The shock of Kennedy's murder and her own little Harry's loss had killed her.


The melancholy conclusion of the first Guy Mannering tale kept the children quieter than usual. I think they regretted a little the gallant opening of Waverley, but as ever they were full of questions.

"And all that happened here, in our Galloway?" began Sweetheart, looking about her at the hills of dark heather and the sparkling Solway sands, from which the storm-clouds were just beginning to lift.

"Yes," I answered her, "though it is doubtful if Scott ever was in Galloway. But he had seen Criffel across from Dumfries-shire, and the castle of Ellangowan is certainly described from the ruins of Caerlaverock, opposite New Abbey. Besides, had he not good old Joseph Train, the Castle Douglas exciseman, to tell him everything—than whom no man knew Galloway better?"[141]

"Did gipsies really steal children?" said Maid Margaret, with some apprehension. She was somewhat anxious, for an affirmative answer might interfere with certain wide operations in blackberrying which she was planning.

"Sometimes they did," I answered, "but not nearly so often as they were blamed for. They had usually enough mouths of their own to feed. So, unless they were sure of a ransom, or perhaps occasionally for the sake of revenge, gipsies very seldom were guilty of kidnapping."

"But they always do steal them in books," said Hugh John; "well, I would just like to see them cart me off! And if they took Sir Toady Lion, they would soon send him back. He eats so much!"

This was Hugh John's idea of a joke, and somewhat hastily I interrupted fraternal strife by returning to the general subject.

"Adam Smith, a very learned man, who afterwards wrote The Wealth of Nations, was stolen by gipsies when a child," I said.

"I wish they had just kept him," said Hugh John, unexpectedly; "then we wouldn't have had to paraphrase the beastly thing at school. It is as full of jaw-breakers as a perch is full of bones."

"Was little Harry really stolen by gipsies, or was he killed over the cliff?" queried Maid Margaret.[142]

"Of course he was stolen, silly," broke in Sir Toady Lion, sagely; "look how much more of the book there has got to be all about him. Think there would be all that, if he got killed right at the beginning, eh?"

"Do any people smuggle nowadays?" demanded Hugh John.

"Of course they do—in Spain," interjected Sir Toady Lion, "father got put in prison there once."

"That was all owing to a mistake," I explained hastily (for really this had nothing to do with Scott); "it was only because your parent happened to be wearing the same kind of hat as a certain well-known smuggler, a very desperate character."

"Hum-m!" said Sir Toady Lion, suddenly developing a cold in the nose.

"Well, anyway, they do smuggle—though not much in this country now," said Sweetheart, "and I'm glad father knew a man who smuggled in Spain. It makes this book so much more real."

"Getting put in prison instead of him made it almost too real," said Sir Toady. He is a most disconcerting and ironical boy. One often wonders where he gets it from.

So to shut off further questioning, I proceeded immediately with the telling of the second tale from Guy Mannering.




It was seventeen long years after the murder of Frank Kennedy and the disappearance of little Harry Bertram when Guy Mannering, now a soldier famous for his wars in the East, penetrated a second time into Galloway. His object was to visit the family of Ellangowan, and secretly, also, to find out for himself in what way his random prophesies had worked out.

But he arrived at an unfortunate time. He found that, chiefly by the plotting and deceit of a rascally lawyer, one Gilbert Glossin, the Bertrams were on the point of being sold out of Ellangowan. All their money had been lost, and the sale of the estate was being forced on by the rascally lawyer Glossin for his own ends.

The old man Godfrey Bertram also was very near his end. And indeed on the very day of the sale, and while Mannering was paying his respects to his former host, the sight of Glossin so enraged the feeble old man that he was taken with a violent passion, falling back in his chair and dying in a few minutes.[144]

Mannering, whose heart was greatly touched, was most anxious to do all that he could to assist Lucy Bertram, the old man's daughter, but he was compelled by an urgent summons to return into England. It had been his intention to save the estate of Ellangowan from the clutches of the scoundrel Glossin by buying it himself, but the drunkenness of a postboy whom he had sent with a letter to Mr. Mac-Morlan, the lawyer in charge of the sale, defeated his intentions, so that Ellangowan became the property of the traitor. So young Lucy Bertram and Dominie Sampson (who refused to be separated from her) became for the moment inmates of Mr. Mac-Morlan's house. The Dominie found a pupil or two in the neighbourhood that he might not be chargeable to his dear Lucy or her friend Mr. Mac-Morlan. And so, in the twenty-first year after the birth of an heir, and after Mannering's prophecy concerning him, there seemed an end to the ancient house of the Bertrams of Ellangowan.

During these years, Colonel Mannering also had a tale to tell. Wedded early to the wife of his youth and his heart, he had gone to India in the service of the Honourable, the East India Company. There by his valour and talent he had rapidly[145] acquired both wealth and position. But during the twenty-first year an event occurred which gave him a distaste for the land of his adoption, and he had come back to his native country with the idea of settling down, far away from old memories and new entanglements.

In a duel which he had fought in India with a young man named Brown—a brave youth of no position, who had offended Mannering by his attentions to his daughter, and by establishing himself in his house as a friend of the family—he had left Brown for dead on the field, hardly escaping himself with his life from a sudden attack of the armed banditti who, in the India of that day, were always hovering round desert places. The shock of that morning had so told on the health of Mannering's wife that she died shortly afterwards, leaving him with one daughter, Julia—a proud, sprightly, sentimental girl, whom he had brought home, and placed under the care of a friend named Mervyn, whose house stood upon one of the Cumberland lakes.

So it came about that when Mannering was in Scotland, he received a letter from his friend which took him to Mervyn Hall as fast as horse-flesh could carry him.[146]

His friend wrote, as he was careful to say, without his wife's knowledge. Mr. Mervyn told Colonel Mannering that he was certain that his daughter Julia was receiving secret visits from some one whom she did not dare to see openly. Not only were there long solitary walks and hill-climbings, but on several occasions he had heard up the lake at midnight, as if under her windows, a flageolet playing a little Indian air to which Julia Mannering was partial. This was evidently a signal, for a boat had been seen hastily crossing the lake, and the sash of Julia's window had been heard to shut down at the first alarm. Mr. Mervyn said that, little as he liked playing the part of tale-bearer, he felt that Julia was under his care, and he would not deserve his old name of Downright Dunstable if he did not inform her father of what he had discovered. Julia, he said, was both a charming and high spirited girl, but she was too much her own father's daughter to be without romantic ideas. On the whole, concluded Mr. Mervyn, it behooved the Colonel to come at once to Mervyn Hall and look after his own property.

This was the letter which, put into his hands at a seaport town in Scotland, lost Mannering the estate of Ellangowan, and threw the ancient seat of[147] many generations of Bertrams into the clutches of the scoundrelly Glossin. For Colonel Mannering instantly posted off to the south, having first of all sent despatches to Mr. Mac-Morlan by the untrustworthy postilion—the same who arrived a day too late for the sale.

When Colonel Mannering first went to Mervyn Hall, he could make nothing of the case. Of course he believed Brown to have died by his hand in India, and he could find no traces of any other man likely to be making love to his daughter. Nevertheless he had brought back a plan with him from Scotland, which, he thought, would put an end to all future difficulties. The helplessness of Lucy Bertram had moved his heart. Besides, he was more amused than he cared to own by the originality of the Dominie. He had easily obtained, by means of Mr. Mac-Morlan, a furnished house in the neighbourhood of Ellangowan, and he resolved for a time at least to repose himself there after his campaigns. His daughter Julia would thus have a companion in Lucy Bertram, and it was easy to provide the Dominie with an occupation. For the library of an uncle of Mannering's, who had been a learned bishop of the Church of England, had been willed to him. The Dominie was the very man to[148] put the books in order. So indeed it was arranged, after some saucy remarks from Miss Mannering as to the supposed Scottish accent and probable red hair of her companion.

Then Colonel Mannering, accustomed to do nothing by halves, sent down his directions about Dominie Sampson, whose heart indeed would have been broken if he had been separated from the young mistress over whom he had watched from childhood.

"Let the poor man be properly dressed," wrote the Colonel to Mr. Mac-Morlan, "and let him accompany his young lady to Woodbourne!"

The dressing of Dominie Sampson was, however, easier said than done. For it would hurt the pride of the Dominie to have clothes presented to him as to a schoolboy. But Lucy Bertram soon settled the matter. The Dominie, she said, would never notice the difference, if they put one garment at a time into his sleeping room and took away the other. This was what her father had always done when the wardrobe of his dependent needed renewing. Nor had the Dominie ever showed the least consciousness of the change.

So said, so done. A good tailor, having come and looked Mr. Sampson over, readily agreed to provide him with two excellent suits, one black and[149] one raven grey, such as would fit the Dominie as well as a man of such an out-of-the-way build could be fitted by merely human needles and shears.

The Dominie, when completely equipped, made no remark upon the change—further than that, in his opinion, the air of a seaport town like Kippletringan seemed to be favourable to wearing-apparel.

It was the depth of winter when the Mannerings arrived at Woodbourne. All were a little anxious. Even Dominie Sampson longed to be at his books, and going repeatedly to the windows demanded, "Why tarry the wheels of their chariot?" But when at last they came, Lucy and Julia Bertram were soon friends, while the Dominie stood with uplifted hands, exclaiming, "Prodeegious! Prodeegious!" as, one after another, the thirty or forty cart-loads of books were deposited on the library floor ready to his hand. His arms flapped like windmills, and the uncouth scholar counted himself the happiest man on earth as he began to arrange the great volumes on the shelves. Not that he got on very quickly. For he wrote out the catalogue in his best running-hand. He put the books on the shelves as carefully as if they had been old and precious china. Yet in spite of the Dominie's[150] zeal, his labours advanced but slowly. Often he would chance to open a volume when halfway up the ladder. Then, his eye falling upon some entrancing passage, he would stand there transfixed, oblivious of the flight of time, till a serving-maid pulled his skirts to tell him dinner was waiting. He would then bolt his food in three-inch squares, and rush back to the library, often with his dinner napkin still tied round his neck like a pinafore. Thus, for the first time in his life, Dominie Sampson was perfectly content.

"His eye falling upon some entrancing passage, he would stand there transfixed, oblivious of the flight of time, till a serving-maid pulled his skirts to tell him dinner was waiting."

"His eye falling upon some entrancing passage, he would stand there transfixed, oblivious of the flight of time, till a serving-maid pulled his skirts to tell him dinner was waiting."


But the story now turns to the young man Brown, or, to give him his full title, Captain Vanbeest Brown, whom Colonel Mannering had left for dead on an Indian field. He did not die, but he had been compelled to undergo a long captivity among the bandits before he found his way back to his regiment. The new Colonel whom he found in Mannering's place had been kind to him, and he soon found himself in command of a troop of dragoons. He was at present on leave in England, and, as he was conscious that Mannering had no reason for his ill-will and apparent cruelty,[151] Brown felt that he on his part had no reason for standing on ceremony with such a man. He loved Julia Mannering, and, to say the least of it, she did not discourage him. So it was he who had played the Hindoo air upon the lake—he with whom Julia had talked at her window, even as Mervyn had related in his letter to his friend Colonel Mannering.

When the Colonel and his daughter went away to Scotland, Captain Brown, having no relatives in the country, resolved to follow them. He set out on foot, having for sole companion a little terrier named Wasp. On the way he had to pass a long and weary waste of heath and morass. One house alone broke the monotonous expanse. It was little better than a shed, but was sheltered by an ash tree, and a clay-built shed alongside served for a rude stable. A stout pony stood tethered in front of the door, busy with a feed of oats. Stillness brooded all around. It was a poor place, but Captain Brown had wandered too far and seen too much to care about appearances. He stooped his head and entered at the low door. In a few minutes he found himself attacking a round of beef and washing it down with home-brewed ale in company with the owner of the pony tethered outside, a certain Mr. Dandie Dinmont, a store-farmer on his way home from a[152] Cumberland fair. At first only pleasant nods passed between them as they drank to each other in silence.

Presently Brown noticed, seated in the great chimney, a very tall old woman clad in a red cloak and a slouched bonnet, having all the appearance of a gipsy or tinker. She smoked silently at her clay pipe, while the doubtful-looking landlady went about her affairs.

Brown's terrier Wasp was the means of his striking up an acquaintance with the sturdy farmer opposite, who, hearing that he had never seen a blackcock, invited him forthwith to Charlies-hope, the name of his farm, where he promised him he should both see blackcock, shoot blackcock, and eat blackcock. Dandie Dinmont was going on to tell Brown of his wanderings, when the old crone in the red cloak by the side of the fire suddenly broke silence by asking if he had been recently in Galloway, and if he knew Ellangowan.

"Ellangowan!" cried the farmer, "I ken it weel! Auld Laird Bertram died but a fortnight ago, and the estate and everything had to be sold for want of an heir male."

The old gipsy (who, of course, was no other than Meg Merrilies) sprang at once to her feet.

"And who dared buy the estate, when the bonny[153] knave-bairn that heirs it may any day come back to claim his ain?"

"It was, I believe," said Dandie Dinmont, "one of these writer bodies that buy up everything,—Gilbert Glossin by name!"

"Ay, Gibbie Glossin," said the old witch-wife, "mony a time I hae carried him in my creels. But maybe ye'll hae heard o' Derncleugh, about a mile frae Ellangowan?"

"And a wild-looking den it is," said the farmer; "nothing but old ruined walls."

"It was a blithe bit once," said the gipsy, as if talking to herself; "did ye notice if there was a willow tree half blown down, that hangs over the bit burnie? Mony is the time hae I sat there and knitted my stockin'."

"The deil's in the wife," cried Dandie; "let me away! Here's saxpence for ye to buy half-a-mutchkin, instead o' claverin' o' auld-world tales."

The gipsy took the money from the farmer, and tendered in return this advice: "When Tib Mumps brings ye out the stirrup-cup, and asks ye whether ye will gang ower Willie's brae or by the Conscowthartmoss, be sure to choose the road ye dinna tell her."

The farmer laughed and promised. But to Brown he said that after all he would rather that Tib Mumps[154] kenned where he was going than yon gipsy queen, so he would e'en hold on his way.

Captain Brown soon followed on foot, but at the door he found himself stopped by Meg Merrilies, who, with much earnestness, asked his name and from whence he came.

"My name is Brown," he answered, a little impatiently; "I come from the East Indies."

"He had not gone very far, and was still in the heart of the morass, when he saw his late companion of the ale-house engaged in deadly combat with a couple of rascals, one of them armed with a cutlass, and the other with a bludgeon."

"He had not gone very far, and was still in the heart of the morass, when he saw his late companion of the ale-house engaged in deadly combat with a couple of rascals, one of them armed with a cutlass, and the other with a bludgeon."

The old gipsy appeared disappointed by his answer, and Brown put a shilling into her hand as he took his leave. However, he had not gone very far, and was still in the heart of the morass, when he saw his late companion of the ale-house engaged in deadly combat with a couple of rascals, one of them armed with a cutlass, and the other with a bludgeon. Brown's terrier Wasp ran forward, barking furiously, but before Brown could come to his assistance the ruffians had got Dandie Dinmont down, and the man with the bludgeon bestowed some merciless blows upon his head. Then with a shout they turned their attention to Brown, crying that "the first one was content." But Brown was a staunch antagonist, and they soon found that they had met more than their match. Whereupon the leader bade him follow his nose over the heath, for that they had nothing to say to him.[155]

But, since to do this was to abandon Dandie Dinmont to their mercy, Brown refused point-blank. Affairs were at this pass when Dandie, staggering to his feet, his loaded whip in his hand, managed to come to the assistance of his rescuer, whereupon the two men took to their heels and ran as hard as they could over the moor.

Then the farmer, who knew their ways, bade Brown mount behind him on his horse Dumple, for he warned him that in five minutes "the whole clanjamphrey" would be down upon them. And even as he spoke five or six men made their appearance, running toward them over the moss. But Dumple was staunch, and by dint of following the safest roads, and being left to pick his own way in the difficult places, Dandie's pony soon left the villains behind him. Then, following the old Roman road, they reached Dinmont's farm of Charlies-hope, across the border, not long after nightfall.

A furious barking from innumerable terriers and dogs of all breeds was their welcome. And soon Brown found himself within four hospitable walls, where not only were his own wants satisfied, but the wounds of the master of the house were bound up by his buxom wife.

At kindly Charlies-hope, Brown remained several[156] days, while Dandie Dinmont showed him the best sport to be had upon the border. Together they hunted the fox after the manner of the country—that is, treating Reynard as a thief and a robber, with whom no conditions are to be observed. Together they went to the night fishing, where Brown heard the leisters or steel tridents ringing on the stones at the bottom of the water, as the fishers struck at the salmon in the light of the blazing torches kindled to attract the fish. Otter-hunting and badger-baiting filled in the time, so that Brown had never been so well amused in his life. But he begged from his host that the badger, which had made so gallant a defence, should be allowed henceforth to go scot-free. Dandie promised with willingness, happy to oblige his guest, though quite unable to understand why any one should "care about a brock." When Brown told this hearty family that he must leave them, he was compelled to promise, over and over again, that he would soon return. The chorus of Dandie's tow-headed youngsters burst into one unanimous howl.

"Come back again, Captain," cried one sturdy little chap, "and Jennie shall be your wife."

Jennie, a girl of eleven, promptly ran and hid herself behind her mother.

"Captain, come back," said a little fat roll-about[157] girl of six, holding up her mouth to be kissed; "come back and I'll be your wife my ainsel'!"

It was hard to leave so hospitable a home to go where, to say the least of it, one was not wanted. Especially was it so when the sturdy farmer, grasping Brown's hand, said with a certain shamefacedness, "There's a pickle siller that I do not ken what to do wi', after Ailie has gotten her new goon and the bairns their winter duds. But I was thinking, that whiles you army gentlemen can buy yoursel's up a step. If ye wad tak the siller, a bit scrape o' a pen wad be as guid to me. Ye could take your ain time about paying it back. And—and it would be a great convenience to me."

Brown was much moved, but he could only thank his kind host heartily and promise that in case of need he would not forget to draw upon his purse. So they parted, Brown leaving his little terrier Wasp to share bed and board with the eldest of the Dinmont boys, who right willingly undertook the task as a kind of security for his master's return.

Dinmont conveyed his guest some distance, and afterward, from the first Dumfries-shire town which they entered, Brown took a carriage to carry him part of the way in the direction of Woodbourne, where Julia Mannering was at present residing.[158]


Night and mist stopped him after many miles of journeying. The postboy had lost his way, and could offer no suggestions. Brown descended to see if by chance, in this wild place, they were near any farm-house at which he could ask the way. Standing tiptoe upon a bank, it seemed as if he could see in the distance a light feebly glimmering.

Brown proceeded toward it, but soon found himself stumbling among ruins of cottages, the side walls of which were lying in shapeless heaps, half covered with snow, while the gables still stood up gaunt and black against the sky. He ascended a bank, steep and difficult, and found himself in front of a small square tower, from the chinks of which a light showed dimly. Listening cautiously, he heard a noise as of stifled groaning.

Brown approached softly, and looked through a long arrow-slit upon a dismal scene. Smoke filled a wretched apartment. On a couch a man lay, apparently dying, while beside him, wrapped in a long cloak, a woman sat with bent head, crooning to herself and occasionally moistening the sufferer's lips with some liquid.

"It will not do," Brown heard her say at last[159] "he cannot pass away with the crime on his soul. It tethers him here. I must open the door."

As she did so she saw Brown standing without. He, on his part, recognised in the woman the gipsy wife whom he had seen on the Waste of Cumberland, when he and Dandie Dinmont had had their fight with the robbers.

"Did I not tell you neither to mix nor mingle?" said the woman; "but come in. Here is your only safety!"

Even as she spoke, the head of the wounded man fell back. He was dead, and, before Brown could think of seeking safety in flight, they heard in the distance the sound of voices approaching.

"They are coming!" whispered the gipsy; "if they find you here, you are a dead man. Quick—you cannot escape. Lie down, and, whatever you see or hear, do not stir, as you value your life."

Brown had no alternative but to obey. So the old gipsy wife covered him over with old sacks as he lay in the corner upon a couch of straw.

Then Meg went about the dismal offices of preparing the dead man for burial, but Brown could see that she was constantly pausing to listen to the sounds which every moment grew louder without. At last a gang of fierce-looking desperadoes poured tumult[160]uously in, their leader abusing the old woman for leaving the door open.

But Meg Merrilies had her answer ready.

"Did you ever hear of a door being barred when a man was in the death-agony?" she cried. "Think ye the spirit could win away through all these bolts and bars?"

"Is he dead, then?" asked one of the ruffians, glancing in the direction of the bed.

"Ay, dead enough," growled another; "but here is the wherewithal to give him a rousing lykewake!" And going to the corner he drew out a large jar of brandy, while Meg busied herself in preparing pipes and tobacco.

Brown in his corner found his mind a little eased when he saw how eagerly she went about her task.

"She does not mean to betray me, then!" he said to himself. Though for all that, he could see no gleam of womanly tenderness on her face, nor imagine any reason she should not give him up to her associates.

That they were a gang of murderers was soon evident from their talk. The man, now wrapped in the dark sea-cloak, whose dead face looked down on their revels, was referred to as one who had often [161]gloried in the murder of Frank Kennedy. But some of the others held that the deed was not wisely done, because after that the people of the country would not do business with the smugglers.

"It did up the trade for one while!" said one; "the people turned rusty!"

Then there were evident threats uttered against some one whose name Brown did not hear.

"I think," said the leader of the ruffians, "that we will have to be down upon the fellow one of these nights, and let him have it well!"

After a while the carousing bandits called for what they called "Black Peter." It was time (they said) "to flick it open."

To Brown's surprise and indignation, Black Peter proved to be nothing else than his own portmanteau, which gave him reasons for some very dark thoughts as to the fate of his postboy. He watched the rascals force his bag open and coolly divide all that was in it among them. Yet he dared not utter a word, well aware that had he done so, the next moment a knife would have been at his throat.

At last, to his great relief, Brown saw them make their preparations for departure. He was left alone with the dead man and the old woman.[162]

Meg Merrilies waited till the first sun of the winter's morn had come, lest one of the revellers of the night should take it into his head to turn back. Then she led Brown by a difficult and precipitous path, till she could point out to him, on the other side of some dense plantations, the road to Kippletringan.

"And here," said she, mysteriously putting a large leathern purse into his hand, "is what will in some degree repay the many alms your house has given me and mine!"

She was gone before he could reply, and when Brown opened the purse, he was astonished to find in it gold to the amount of nearly one hundred pounds, besides many valuable jewels. The gipsy had endowed him with a fortune.


"And all this happened here?" repeated Sweetheart, incredulously, pointing up at the dark purple mountains of Screel and Ben Gairn.

"Well," I answered, "Scott's Solway is the Dumfries Solway, not the Galloway Solway. Portanferry exists not far from Glencaple on the eastern bank of Nith, and the castle of Ellangowan is as like as possible to Caerlaverock."[163]

"But he says Galloway!" objected Sweetheart, who has a pretty persistence of her own. "And I wanted Ellangowan to be in Galloway. What with Carlyle having been born there, the Dumfries folk have quite enough to be proud of!"

"Yes, Scott says Ellangowan is in Galloway," said I, "but nevertheless to any one who knows the country, it remains obstinately in Dumfries-shire. His swamps and morasses are those of Lochar. The frith is the Dumfries-shire Solway, the castle a Dumfries-shire castle, and what Scott put in of Galloway tradition was sent him by his friend the Castle Douglas exciseman."

"Oh!" said Sweetheart, a little ruefully, "but are you sure?"

"Certain," I answered, "if you consider time and distance from the border—say from Charlies-hope, you will see that Brown could not possibly have reached the heart of Galloway. Besides, Scott was far too wise a man to write about what he did not know. So he wove in Train's Galloway legends, but he put the people into his own well-kenned dresses, and set them to act their parts under familiar skies. Hence it is, that though the taste of Scott was never stronger than in Guy Mannering, the flavour of Galloway is somehow not in the mouth!"

"What does it matter where it all happened?" cried Hugh John; "it is a rattling good tale, any[164]way, and if the Man-who-Wrote-It imagined that it all happened in Galloway, surely we can!"

This being both sensible and unanswerable, the party scattered to improvise old castles of Ellangowan, and to squabble for what was to them the only wholly desirable part, that of Dirk Hatteraick. The combat between the smuggler and the exciseman was executed with particular zeal and spirit, Sir Toady Lion prancing and curvetting, as Frank Kennedy, on an invisible steed, with Maid Margaret before him on the saddle. So active was the fight indeed, that the bold bad smuggler, Dirk, assailed as to the upper part of his body by Sir Toady, and with the Heir tugging at his legs, found himself presently worsted and precipitated over the cliff in place of Frank Kennedy. This ending considerably disarranged the story, so that it was with no little trouble that the pair of strutting victors were induced to "play by the book," and to accept (severally) death and captivity in the hold of the smuggling lugger.

On the other hand, after I had read the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Chapters of Guy Mannering to them in the original, it was remarkable with what accuracy of detail Sweetheart wrapped a plaid about her and played the witch, Meg Merrilies, singing wild dirges over an imaginary dead body, while Hugh John hid among the straw till Sir Toady and Maid Margaret rushed in with incred[165]ible hubbub and sat down to carouse like a real gang of the most desperate characters.

Seated on a barrel of gunpowder, Sir Toady declared that he smelt traitors in the camp, whereupon he held a (paper) knife aloft in the air, and cried, "If any deceive us or betray the gang, we will destroy them—thus!"

"Yes," chimed in the rosebud mouth of Maid Margaret, "and us will chop them into teeny-weeny little bits wif a sausage minchine, and feed them to our b-r-r-lood-hounds!"

"Little monsters!" cried Sweetheart, for the moment forgetting her proper character of witch-wife. Nevertheless, all in the Kairn of Derncleugh were happy, save Hugh John, who declared that Scott's heroes were always getting put under soft cushions or up the chimney. "You can't really distinguish yourself," he insisted, "in such situations!" And he referred once more to the luck of a certain Mr. James Hawkins, ship's boy, late of "Treasure Island."

"It's the nobodies that have all the fun—real heroes don't count!" he continued ruefully, as he dusted himself from the bits of straw.

"Wait," said I; "you have not heard the third tale from Guy Mannering. Then there will be lots for you to do!"

"High time!" he answered with awful irony.




One event deeply stirred all Solway-side in the year of Colonel Mannering's arrival at Woodbourne—the smugglers had returned in force, and proved themselves ripe for any desperate act. Their stronghold was as of old, the Isle of Man, from which they could descend in a few hours upon the Solway coasts. Stricter laws and more severe penalties had only rendered them fiercer than of old, and in case of need, they did not hesitate in the least to shed blood.

As of yore also, their leader was the savage Dirk Hatteraick, under whom served a Lieutenant named Brown. One of their first exploits was a daring attack upon the house of Woodbourne, where dwelt Colonel Mannering with his daughter and Lucy Bertram.

It happened thus. Mannering, in company with young Charles Hazlewood, was setting out for a loch some miles away to look at the skaters. Hazlewood had quite often come to visit the house of Woodbourne since Lucy Bertram went to live there.[167] Suddenly a few men, each leading a laden horse, burst through the bushes, and, pressing straight across the lawn, made for the front door. Mannering hastened to demand what they wanted. They were revenue officers, they said, and as they knew that Colonel Mannering had served in the East, they called upon him in the King's name to protect them and their captures.

To this Mannering instantly agreed. No time was to be lost. The smugglers were hot in pursuit, strongly reinforced. Immediately the goods were piled in the hall. The windows were blocked up with cushions, pillows, and (what caused the Dominie many a groan) great folios out of the library, bound in wood, covered with leather, and studded with brazen bosses like a Highland targe.

While these preparations were being made within the house of Woodbourne the steady earth-shaking beat of a body of horsemen was heard approaching, and in a few minutes a body of thirty mounted men rushed out upon the lawn, brandishing weapons and uttering savage yells. Most of them had their heads tied up in coloured handkerchiefs, while many wore masks by way of disguising themselves.

Finding the mansion in an unexpected state of defence, they halted a moment, as if to take counsel[168] together. But finally one of them, his face all blackened with soot, dismounted and came forward, waving a white cloth in his hand.

Colonel Mannering immediately threw up a window, and asked the smuggler what he wanted.

"We want our goods, of which we have been robbed by these sharks," cried the man with the blackened face, "and we mean to have them. If you give them up, we will go away quietly without harming any one, but if you refuse, then we will burn the house and have the life-blood of every soul under your roof."

This he swore with many horrible and cruel oaths.

"If you do not instantly ride off my lawn," answered Colonel Mannering, "I will fire upon you without any further warning!"

The Ambassador returned to his troop, and no sooner had he told them the Colonel's answer than they rushed forward to the attack with horrid yells. Three volleys were fired, shattering the window-glass in all directions, but, thanks to the Colonel's preparations, the slugs and bullets rattled harmlessly against his defences. Many of the smugglers now dismounted and advanced with axe and crow-bar to force the front door. It was time for those within to take action.[169]

"Let only Charles Hazlewood and myself shoot!" said the Colonel, "Hazlewood, do you mark the Ambassador. I will take the commander of the rascals—the man on the grey horse, whom they call their Lieutenant!"

Both men fell as the shots rang out. Astonished by this reception, the smugglers retreated, carrying with them their wounded. It was one of these whom Captain Brown saw die in the little ruined keep at Derncleugh the night when he was overtaken in the darkness—indeed, that very namesake of his own, Brown, the mate of Hatteraick's vessel.

There were many who thought that after this Captain Mannering ought to remove his family out of danger. But that gentleman confined himself to taking greater precautions at locking-up time, and insisting that when the ladies went out walking, a gun should be carried by an attendant for their protection.

One day Julia Mannering and Lucy Bertram had gone out with young Charles Hazlewood to visit a small lake much frequented by skaters and curlers, while a servant followed behind with a gun.

It chanced that Lucy, who never kept Hazlewood's arm when she could avoid it, had dropped behind as they were passing along a narrow path[170] through a pine plantation. Julia Mannering was therefore alone at Charles Hazlewood's side when Brown suddenly appeared from among the trees, right in their path. He was roughly dressed, and young Hazlewood, taking him for one of the smugglers, and mistaking the meaning of Julia's cry of surprise at seeing her lover, snatched the gun from the servant, and haughtily ordered Brown to stand back so as not to alarm the lady. Brown, piqued at finding Julia on the arm of a stranger, replied as haughtily that he did not require to take lessons from Hazlewood how to behave to any lady. Instantly Charles Hazlewood pointed the gun at his breast. Upon which Brown sprang upon him, and in the struggle the gun went off by accident, and Hazlewood fell to the ground wounded. Brown, anxious not to bring Julia Mannering into the affair, at once sprang over the hedge and disappeared.

"He was roughly dressed, and young Hazlewood, taking him for one of the smugglers, and mistaking the meaning of Julia's cry of surprise at seeing her lover, snatched the gun from the servant, and haughtily ordered Brown to stand back so as not to alarm the lady."

"He was roughly dressed, and young Hazlewood, taking him for one of the smugglers, and mistaking the meaning of Julia's cry of surprise at seeing her lover, snatched the gun from the servant, and haughtily ordered Brown to stand back so as not to alarm the lady."

Hazlewood's wound was, happily, not serious, and being an honest open young fellow, he was the first to own himself in the wrong. Nothing of importance would have come of the affair, but for the officiousness of Glossin, the new Laird of Ellangowan, who saw in it a way of ingratiating himself with the two powerful families of Mannering and Hazlewood.[171]

Glossin began by questioning the landlady of the hotel where Brown had been staying. Then he tried to draw out the postboy. From them he gathered little, save the fact that a young man named Brown had been staying at the Gordon Arms at Kippletringan. On the day of the accident to Charles Hazlewood, Brown had taken the postboy with him to show him the skating and curling on the pond in the neighbourhood of which the supposed attack had taken place. Jock Jabos, the postboy, however, denied that "the stoutest man in Scotland could take a gun frae him and shoot him wi' it, though he was but a feckless little body, fit only for the outside o' a saddle or the fore-end of a post-chaise. Na, nae living man wad venture on the like o' that!"

So Glossin, in order the better to carry out his plans, pretended to believe that Brown was the Lieutenant of the gang which had assaulted the house of Woodbourne.

Much more to the point was the information which was waiting for Glossin on his return to his house of Ellangowan. Mac-Guffog, the county thief-taker, and two of his people were there. With them they had brought a prisoner, whom they had first beguiled into drink, and then easily[172] handcuffed while asleep. Glossin was delighted. He was under a great hope that this might prove to be Brown himself. Instead, he recognised an old acquaintance—no other than Dirk Hatteraick, the smuggler. In the interview which followed, Dirk told Glossin some facts which made him tremble. His possession of Ellangowan was threatened. The true heir, the young lad Harry Bertram, lost on the night of the murder of Frank Kennedy, had not perished as had been supposed. He had been brought up by the principal partner of the Dutch firm to which he had been bound apprentice, sent to the East Indies under the name of Vanbeest Brown, and he was at that very moment upon the coast of Solway—it might be very near to Ellangowan itself.

Glossin saw his hopes wither before his eyes. If the heir should find out his rights, then the fruits of his villany, the estate of Ellangowan itself, must return to its true owner. The lawyer secretly gave Dirk Hatteraick a small file with which to rid himself of his irons, and then bade his captors confine him in the strong-room of the ancient castle.

"The stanchions are falling to pieces with rust," he whispered to Dirk, "the distance to the ground is not twelve feet, and the snow lies thick. After[173] that, you must steal my boat which lies below in the cove, and wait till I come to you in the cave of the Wood of Warroch!"

So saying, he called the thief-takers in, and made his arrangements. Glossin could not sleep that night. Eagerly he watched the window of the old castle. He heard the iron bars fall outward upon the rocks with a clinking sound, and feared that all was lost. The light in the window was obscured, and presently he saw a black object drop upon the snow. Then the little boat put out from the harbour, the wind caught the sail, and she bore away in the direction of Warroch Point.

On the morrow, however, he overwhelmed Mac-Guffog with the full force of his anger for his carelessness in allowing his prisoner to escape. Then he sent his men off in different directions, as fast as they could, to retake Hatteraick—in all directions, that is, except the true one.

Having thus disposed of the thief-takers, he set out for Warroch Head alone. But the marks of his feet in the snow startled him. Any officer, coming upon that trail, would run it up like a bloodhound. So he changed his path, descending the cliff, and making his way cautiously along the sea-beach where the snow did not lie. He passed the great[174] boulder which had fallen with Frank Kennedy. It was now all overgrown with mussels and seaweed. The mouth of the cave opened black and dismal before him. Glossin drew breath before entering such a haunt of iniquity, and recharged his pistols. He was, however, somewhat heartened by the thought that Dirk Hatteraick had nothing to gain by his death. Finally he took courage to push forward, and immediately the voice of Hatteraick came hoarse from the back of the cave.

"Donner and hagel! Be'st du?" he growled.

"Are you in the dark?" said Glossin, soothingly.

"Dark? Der deyvel, ay!" retorted Hatteraick, "where should I get a glim? I am near frozen also! Snow-water and hagel—I could only keep myself warm by tramping up and down this vault and thinking on the merry rouses we used to have here!"

Glossin made a light, and having set down the little lantern which he carried, he gathered together some barrel-staves and driftwood. The flame showed Hatteraick's fierce and bronzed visage as he warmed his sinewy hands at the blaze. He sat with his face thrust forward and actually in the smoke itself, so great had been his agony of cold. When he was a little warmed up, Glossin gave him some cold meat and a flask of strong spirits. Hatteraick eagerly[175] seized upon these, exclaiming, after a long draught, "Ah, that is good—that warms the liver!"

After the liquor and the food had put the smuggler into a somewhat better temper, the two associates settled themselves to discuss the project which had brought Glossin to the Cave of the Warroch Point.

Up to the present, Glossin had believed that the Vanbeest Brown who had wounded young Hazlewood was the mate of the smuggling lugger. But now, hearing that this Brown had been shot on the night of the Woodbourne attack, all at once a light broke upon him. The assailant could be no other than the rightful heir of Ellangowan, Harry Bertram.

"If he is on this coast," he meditated, half to himself, "I can have him arrested as the leader of the attack upon Woodbourne, and also for an assault upon Charles Hazlewood!"

"But," said Dirk Hatteraick, grimly, "he will be loose again upon you, as soon as he can show himself to carry other colours!"

"True, friend Hatteraick," said Glossin; "still, till that is proved, I can imprison him in the custom-house of Portanferry, where your goods are also stowed. You and your crew can attack the custom-house, regain your cargo, and—"

"Send the heir of Ellangowan to Jericho—or the[176] bottom of the sea!" cried Hatteraick, with fierce bitterness.

"Nay, I advise no violence," said Glossin, softly, looking at the ground.

"Nein—nein," growled the smuggler; "you only leave that to me. Sturm-wetter, I know you of old! Well, well, if I thought the trade would not suffer, I would soon rid you of this younker—as soon, that is, as you send me word that he is under lock and key!"

It so happened that at the very moment when Colonel Mannering and Dominie Sampson had gone to Edinburgh to see after an inheritance, Brown, or rather young Bertram (to give his real name), had succeeded in crossing the Solway in a sailing-boat, and was safe in Cumberland.

Mannering's mission was one of kindliness to his guest, Lucy Bertram. Her aunt, old Miss Bertram of Singleside, had formerly made Lucy her heiress, and the Colonel hoped that she might have continued of this excellent mind. By Mr. Mac-Morlan's advice he engaged a whimsical but able Scottish lawyer to go with him to the opening of the will—at which ceremony, among other connections of the deceased, Dandie Dinmont was also present. But all were[177] disappointed. For Miss Bertram had put her whole property in trust on behalf of the lost heir of Ellangowan, young Harry Bertram, whom (said the will) she had good reason for believing to be still alive.

The object of all these plots and plans, good and evil intentions, was, however, safe in Cumberland. And had he been content to stay where he was, safe he would have remained. But as soon as young Bertram arrived upon the English coast he had written to Julia Mannering to explain his conduct in the affair with Hazlewood, to the Colonel of his regiment to ask him for the means of establishing his identity as a Captain in one of his Majesty's dragoon regiments, to his agent to send him a sum of money, and in the meantime to Dandie Dinmont for a small temporary loan till he could hear from his man-of-affairs.

So he had nothing to do but wait. However, a sharp reply from Julia Mannering stung him to the quick. In this she first of all informed him that the Colonel would be from home for some days, then reproached him for the hastiness of his conduct, and concluded by saying that he was not to think of returning to Scotland.

This last was, of course, what Bertram at once proceeded to do, as perhaps the young lady both hoped and anticipated.[178]

So once more the heir of Ellangowan was set ashore beneath the old castle which had been built by his forefathers. He had worked his passage manfully, and it was with regret that the sailors put him ashore in the bay directly beneath the Auld Place of Ellangowan. Some remembrance came across him, drifting fitfully over his mind, that somehow he was familiar with these ruins. When he had entered and looked about him, this became almost a certainty. It chanced that lawyer Glossin had entered the castle at about the same time, coming, as he said aloud, to see "what could be made of it as a quarry of good hewn stone," and adding that it would be better to pull it down at any rate, than to preserve it as a mere haunt of smugglers and evil-doers.

"And would you destroy this fine old ruin?" said Bertram, who had overheard the last part of Glossin's remarks. The lawyer was struck dumb, so exactly were the tone and attitude those of Harry Bertram's father in his best days. Indeed, coming suddenly face to face with the young man there within the ancient castle of Ellangowan, it seemed to Glossin as if Godfrey Bertram had indeed risen from the dead to denounce and punish his treachery.


But the lawyer soon recovered himself. The scheme he had worked out together with Dirk Hatteraick matured in his mind, and this seemed as good a time as any for carrying it out. So he waited only for the coming of two of his thief-takers to lay hands on Bertram, and to send word to the father of Charles Hazlewood that he held the would-be murderer of his son at his disposition.

Now Sir Robert Hazlewood was a formal old dunderhead, who was of opinion that his family, and all connected with it, were the only really important things in the universe. Still when the prisoner was brought before him, he was a good deal startled by Bertram's quiet assurance, and, in spite of Glossin's sneers, could not help being influenced by the information that Colonel Guy Mannering could speak to the fact of his being both an officer and a gentleman. But Glossin pointed out that Mannering was in Edinburgh, and that they could not let a possible malefactor go merely because he said that he was known to an absent man. It was, therefore, arranged that, pending the arrival of the Colonel, Harry Bertram (or Captain Vanbeest Brown) should be confined in the custom-house at Portanferry, where there was a guard of soldiers for the purpose of guarding the goods taken from the smugglers.

Happy that his schemes were prospering so well,[180] Glossin went off to arrange with Dirk Hatteraick for the attack, and also as to the removal of the soldiers, in such a way that no suspicion might fall upon that honourable gentleman, Mr. Gilbert Glossin, Justice of the Peace and present owner of Ellangowan.

Meanwhile, however, the emissaries of Meg Merrilies were not idle. They brought her the earliest information that the heir of Ellangowan was in the custom-house at Portanferry, and in imminent danger of his life. Far on the hills of Liddesdale one Gibbs Faa, a gipsy huntsman, warned Dandie Dinmont that if he wished his friend well, he had better take horse and ride straight for Portanferry—where, if he found Brown in confinement, he was to stay by him night and day. For if he did not, he would only regret it once—and that would be for his whole life.

Glossin's plan was to work on the fears of the stupid pompous Sir Robert Hazlewood, so that he would summon all the soldiers for the defence of Hazlewood House, in the belief that it was to be assaulted by the gipsies and smugglers. But Meg Merrilies herself sent young Charles Hazlewood to order the soldiers back, in which mission he would have[181] succeeded but for the dull persistence of his father. However, Mr. Mac-Morlan, as Sheriff-Substitute of the county, was able to do that in spite of Sir Robert's protest which the good sense of his son had been powerless to effect. The soldiers left Hazlewood House, and took the direct road back to Portanferry in spite of Sir Robert's threats and remonstrances.

Lastly Colonel Mannering, but recently returned from Edinburgh, was warned by a missive which Dominie Sampson had brought from Meg herself. So that on one particular night all the forces of order, as well as those of disorder, were directing themselves toward the custom-house of Portanferry, where in a close and ignoble apartment Harry Bertram and his worthy friend, Dandie Dinmont, were sleeping. It was Bertram who wakened first. There was a strong smell of burning in the room. From the window he could see a crowded boat-load of men landing at the little harbour, and in the yard below a huge mastiff was raging on his chain.

"Go down and let loose the dog!" the wife of Mac-Guffog called to her husband; "I tell you they are breaking in the door of the liquor store!"

But the good man appeared to be more anxious about his prisoners. He went from cell to cell,[182] making sure that all was safe, while his wife, affirming that he had not the heart of a chicken, descended herself into the courtyard.

In the meantime, Bertram and Dandie watched from their barred window the savage figures of the smugglers triumphantly loading their boats with their recovered goods, while the whole custom-house flamed to the heavens, sending sparks and blazing fragments upon the roof of the adjoining prison.

Soon at the outer gate was heard the thunder of sledge-hammers and crows. It was being forced by the smugglers. Mac-Guffog and his wife had already fled, but the underlings delivered the keys, and the prisoners were soon rejoicing in their liberty. In the confusion, four or five of the principal actors entered the cell of Bertram.

"Der deyvil," exclaimed the leader, "here's our mark!"

Two of them accordingly seized Bertram and hurried him along. One of them, however, whispered in his ear to make no resistance for the present—also bidding Dinmont over his shoulder to follow his friend quietly and help when the time came. Bertram found himself dragged along passages, through the courtyard, and finally out into the narrow[183] street, where, in the crowd and confusion, the smugglers became somewhat separated from each other. The sound of cavalry approaching rapidly made itself heard.

"Hagel and wetter!" cried the leader, no other than Hatteraick himself, "what is that? Keep together—look to the prisoner!"

But, for all that, the two who held Bertram were left last of the party. The crowd began to break, rushing this way and that. Shots were fired, and above the press the broadswords of the dragoons were seen to glitter, flashing over the heads of the rioters.

"Now," whispered the man who had before advised Bertram to be quiet, "shake off that fellow and follow me."

Bertram easily did so, and his left-hand captor, attempting to draw a pistol, was instantly knocked senseless by the huge fist of Dandie Dinmont.

"Now, follow quick!" said the first, diving at the word into a dirty and narrow lane. There was no pursuit. Mr. Mac-Morlan and the soldiers had appeared in the nick of time. The smugglers had enough to do to provide for their own safety.

At the end of the lane they found a post-chaise with four horses.[184]

"Are you here, in God's name?" cried their guide.

"Ay, troth am I," said Jock Jabos; "and I wish I were ony gate else!"

The guide opened the carriage door.

"Get in," he said to Bertram, "and remember your promise to the gipsy wife!"

Through the windows of the coach Dinmont and he could see the village of Portanferry, and indeed the whole landscape, brilliantly lighted by a tall column of light. The flames had caught the stores of spirits kept in the custom-house. But soon the carriage turned sharply through dark woods at the top speed of the horses, and, after a long journey, finally drew up in front of a mansion, in the windows of which lights still burned, in spite of the lateness of the hour.

The listening children remained breathless as I paused. I had meant this to be the end of my tale, but I saw at once that no excuse would be held valid for such a shameful dereliction of duty.

"Go on—go on," they cried; "where was the house and what happened?"

"I know!" said Sweetheart; "it was the house of Julia Mannering, and her lover—"

"Oh, bother her lover," cried Hugh John, impatiently; "we don't want to hear about how they lived[185] happy ever after. Tell us about the gipsy, Meg Merrilies—"

"And about Dirk Hatteraick!" said Sir Toady Lion, getting his word in. "I just love Dirk!"

"And how many people he killed wif his big knife, and if he was burnt up alive in the fire!" For Maid Margaret also delights in the most gory details, though she would not willingly tread upon a worm.

"Yes, go on, tell us all—everything that happened!" said Sweetheart.

"But do skip the lovering parts," cried the boys in chorus.

So within these statutes of limitation I had perforce to recommence, without further preface, telling the fourth and last tale from Guy Mannering.



Immediately upon receiving the message of Meg Merrilies, brought by Dominie Sampson, Colonel Mannering had sent a carriage to the place designated. Bertram and his companion Dandie, having by the help of the gipsies, Meg's companions, made good their escape from the burning custom-house,[186] took their places in it and were whirled through the darkness, they knew not whither. But it was at the door of the house of Woodbourne that they found themselves. Mr. Pleydell, the lawyer, had also arrived from Edinburgh, so that all were presently met together in the drawing-room, and it is difficult to say which of the party appeared the most surprised.

In Captain Brown (or Harry Bertram, to call him by his own proper name), Colonel Mannering saw the man whom he had believed slain by his hand in India. Julia met her lover in her father's house, and apparently there by his invitation. Dominie Sampson stood half aghast to recognise the lost heir of Ellangowan. Bertram himself feared the effect which his sudden appearance might have on Julia, while honest Dandie wished his thick-soled boots and rough-spun Liddesdale plaid anywhere else than in a room filled with ladies and gentlemen.

Only the lawyer, Mr. Pleydell, was wholly master of the situation, and bustled about, putting everybody at their ease. He saw himself in the thick of a great mysterious lawsuit which he alone could unravel, and he proceeded on the spot to cross-examine Bertram as to what he remembered of his life before he went to Holland.

Bertram remembered, he said, quite clearly, a[187] good-looking gentleman whom he had called father, a delicate lady who must have been his mother, but more distinctly than either he recalled a tall man in worn black who had taught him his lessons and whom he loved for his kindness.

At these words Dominie Sampson could contain himself no longer. He rose hastily from his chair, and with clasped hands and trembling limbs cried out, "Harry Bertram—look at me! Was not I the man?"

Bertram started up as if a sudden light had dawned upon him.

"Yes," he cried, "that is my name—Bertram—Harry Bertram! And those are the voice and figure of my kind old master!"

The Dominie threw himself into his arms, his whole frame shaking with emotion, and at last, his feelings overcoming him, he lifted up his voice and wept. Even Colonel Mannering had need of his handkerchief. Pleydell made wry faces and rubbed hard at his glasses, while Dandie Dinmont, after two strange blubbering explosions, fairly gave way and cried out, "Deil's in the man! He's garred me do what I haena done since my auld mither died!"

After this, the examination went on more staidly. Bertram said that he remembered very well the walk[188] he had taken with the Dominie and somebody lifting him up on horseback—then, more indistinctly, a scuffle in which he and his guide had been pulled from the saddle. Vaguely and gradually the memory came back of how he had been lifted into the arms of a very tall woman who protected him from harm. Again he was a poor half-starved cabin-boy in the Holland trade. Quickly, however, gaining the good-will of the leading partner of the firm to which the vessel belonged, he had been thoroughly well educated in Holland, before being sent to seek his fortune in India. He passed over his career there, but told in detail the accidental way in which young Hazlewood had been wounded, and ended by a request that he should now be told who the questioner might be who took such an interest in his affairs.

"Why, for myself, sir," answered the counsellor, "I am Paulus Pleydell, an advocate at the Scottish bar. And as for you, it is not easy for the moment to say who you are. But I trust in a short time to hail you by the title of Henry Bertram, Esquire, representative of one of the oldest families in Scotland, and heir of entail to the estates of Ellangowan."

On the morrow the plotting at Woodbourne still went on merrily, around the person of the newly[189] found heir. The counsellor-at-law arranged his plan of campaign. The Dominie, having left Harry Bertram at half-text and words of two syllables when he was carried off in Warroch Wood, prepared to take up his education at that exact point.

"Of a surety, little Harry," he said, "we will presently resume our studies. We will begin from the foundation. Yes, I will reform your education upward from the true knowledge of English grammar, even to that of the Hebrew or Chaldaic tongue!"

In the meantime, Colonel Mannering, having first had an interview with the counsellor in his room, gently drew from Julia that it was no other than Bertram who had spoken with her under her window at Mervyn Hall; also that, though she had remained silent, she had perfectly recognised him before the scuffle took place with young Hazlewood at the pond. For these concealments from her father, Mannering as gently forgave her, and received in return a promise that, in future, she would hide nothing from him which it concerned him to know.

The first step of the conspirators was to obtain a legal release for Bertram from Sir Robert Hazlewood, who granted it most unwillingly, having (it was evident) been secretly primed by Glossin as to what he should say and do. But it was secured at[190] last, upon Colonel Mannering's pledging his word of honour for his appearance. And while the business was being settled, Harry Bertram, with the two ladies, wandered out to a knoll above the ancient castle of Ellangowan to look once again upon the home of his ancestors.

They were standing here, looking on the crumbling walls, when suddenly, as if emerging from the earth, Meg Merrilies ascended from the hollow way beneath, and stood before them.

"I sought ye at the house," she said, "but ye are right and I was wrong. It is here we should meet—here, on the very spot where my eyes last saw your father. And now, remember your promise and follow me!"

In spite of the unwillingness of Lucy and Julia to allow him to depart with such a companion, Bertram and Dandie (for Meg invited Dinmont also to follow her) hastened to obey the gipsy's summons. There was something weird in the steady swiftness of her gait as she strode right forward across the moor, taking no heed either of obstacle or of well-trodden path. She seemed like some strange withered enchantress drawing men after her by her witchcrafts. But Julia and Lucy were somewhat comforted by the thought that if the gipsy had meditated any evil[191] against Bertram, she would not have asked so doughty a fighter as Dandie Dinmont to accompany him.

They therefore made the best of their way home, and while they were telling the adventure to the Colonel, young Hazlewood, who happened to be at Woodbourne, courageously offered to follow after, to see that no harm came to Dandie and his former antagonist.

Meg Merrilies led them through the wood of Warroch, along the same path by which Harry had been carried on the night of the exciseman's murder.

Turning for a moment, she asked Bertram if he remembered the way.

"Not very clearly!" he answered.

"Ay," she said, "here was the very spot where Frank Kennedy was pulled from his horse. I was hiding behind the bour-tree bush at the moment. Sair, sair he strove and sair he cried for mercy. But he was in the hands of them that never kenned the word."

Continuing her way, she led them downward to the sea by a secret and rugged path, cut in the face of the cliff, and hidden among brushwood. There on the shore lay the stone under which the body of[192] Frank Kennedy had been found crushed. A little farther on was the cave itself in which the murderers had concealed themselves. The gipsy pointed mysteriously.

"He is there," she said, in a low voice, "the man who alone can establish your right—Jansen Hatteraick, the tyrant of your youth, and the murderer of Frank Kennedy. Follow me—I have put the fire between you. He will not see you as you enter, but when I utter the words, 'The Hour and the Man'—then do you rush in and seize him. But be prepared. It will be a hard battle, for Hatteraick is a very devil!"

"Dandie, you must stand by me now!" said Bertram to his comrade.

"That ye need never doubt," returned the Borderer; "but a' the same it's an awesome thing to leave the blessed sun and free air, and gang and be killed like a fox in his hole. But I'll never baulk ye—it'll be a hard-bitten terrier that will worry Dandie!"

So forward they went, creeping cautiously on all fours after the gipsy woman. When they were about halfway in, a hand was laid on Dandie Dinmont's heel, and it was all the stout farmer could do to keep from crying out—which, in the defence[193]less position in which they were placed, might well have cost them all their lives.

However, Dandie freed his ankle with a kick, and instantly a voice behind him whispered, "It is a friend—Charles Hazlewood!"

As soon as they had gained the higher part of the cave, Meg Merrilies began rustling about among the dried branches, murmuring and singing, to cover the noise made by the entrance of the three men who followed her. From the deep dark where they stood, they could see Dirk Hatteraick at the farther end of the cave, behind a fire which he was continually building up by throwing into it bits of dried sticks. Hatteraick was of powerful build, and his features were beyond description savage and rugged. A cutlass hung by his side, and into his belt he had thrust, ready to his hand at a moment's notice, two pairs of pistols. Truly the capture of Dirk Hatteraick was no light adventure, and Bertram, having been warned by Dandie in a cautious whisper of Hazlewood's arrival, thought within himself that they would be none the worse of the third who had come so opportunely to their assistance.

"Here, beldam—deyvil's kind," cried Hatteraick in his harshest voice, "have you brought me the brandy and news of my people?"[194]

"Here is the flask for you," answered Meg, passing it to him; "but as for your crew, they are all cut down and scattered by the redcoats!"

"Storm and wetter, ye hag," he cried, "ye bring ill news. This coast is fatal to me! And what of Glossin?"

"Ye missed your stroke there," she said; "ye have nothing to expect from him!"

"Hagel," cried the ruffian, "if only I had him by the throat! He has led me to perdition—men lost, boat lost, credit lost. I dare never show my face in Flushing again!"

"You will never need!" croaked the gipsy.

Meg's sombre prophecy startled Hatteraick. He looked up suddenly.

"What is that you say, witch? And what are you doing there?" he cried. Meg dropped a firebrand steeped in spirit upon some loose flax. Instantly a tall column of brilliant wavering light filled the cave.

"Ye will never need to go to Flushing," she said, "because 'The Hour's come and the Man!'"

At the signal, Bertram and Dandie Dinmont, springing over the brushwood, rushed upon Hatteraick. Hazlewood, not knowing the plan of assault, was a moment later. The ruffian instantly under[195]stood that he had been betrayed, and the first brunt of his anger fell upon Meg Merrilies, at whose breast he fired a pistol point-blank. She fell with a shriek which was partly the sudden pain of the wound, and partly a shout of triumphant laughter.

"I kenned it would end that way—and it is e'en this way that it should end!"

Bertram had caught his foot on some slippery weed as he advanced, and the chance stumble saved his life. For otherwise Hatteraick's second bullet, aimed coolly and steadily, would certainly have crashed through his skull. Before he could draw a third, Dandie Dinmont was upon him. Yet such was the giant smuggler's strength and desperation, that he actually dragged Dandie through the burning flax, before Bertram and Hazlewood could come to the farmer's assistance. Then in a moment more Hatteraick was disarmed and bound, though to master him took all the strength of three strong well-grown men.

After he had been once bound securely, Hatteraick made no further attempt to escape. He lay perfectly still while Bertram, leaving Dandie to guard his prisoner, went to look to Meg Merrilies. The soldier, familiar with gunshot wounds, knew at once that her case was hopeless.

But he did what he could to bind up the old[196] gipsy's wound, while Dandie, his hand laid heavily on Hatteraick's breast, watched pistol in hand the entrance of the cave. Hazlewood, whose horse had been tied outside, mounted to ride for assistance, and in a few moments silence fell on the scene of so fierce a combat, broken only by the low moans of the wounded gipsy.

It was no more than three-quarters of an hour that Bertram and Dandie Dinmont had to keep their watch. But to them it seemed as if ages had passed before Hazlewood returned and they were clear of the fatal cavern. Hatteraick allowed himself to be removed without either assisting or hindering those who had charge of him. But when his captors would have had him rest against the huge boulder which had been thrown down along with the murdered exciseman, Hatteraick shrank back with a shout:

"Hagel—not there," he cried, "you would not have me sit there!"

On the arrival of a doctor, he could only confirm Bertram's opinion that Meg Merrilies was indeed wounded to the death. But she had enough strength left to call the assembled people to witness that Bertram was indeed young Harry Bertram the lost heir of Ellangowan.[197]

"All who have ever seen his father or grandfather, bear witness if he is not their living image!" she cried.

Then with her failing breath she told the tale of the murder, and how she had pleaded for the child's life. She dared Dirk Hatteraick to deny the truth of what she was saying. But the villain only kept his grim silence. Then suddenly the enthusiasm broke forth at the chance testimony of the driver of a return coach to Kippletringan, who exclaimed at sight of Bertram, "As sure as there's breath in man, there's auld Ellangowan risen from the dead!" The shouts of the people, many of whom had lived all their lives on his father's land, came gratefully to the ear of the dying woman.

"Dinna ye hear?" she cried, "dinna ye hear? He's owned—he's owned! I am a sinfu' woman! It was my curse that brought the ill, but it has been my blessing that has ta'en it off! Stand oot o' the light that I may see him yince mair. But no—it may not be! The darkness is in my ain e'en. It's a' ended now:

"Pass breath,
Come death!"

And sinking back on her bed of straw, Meg Merrilies died without a groan.


Mr. Pleydell having, as Sheriff of the county, formerly conducted the inquiry into Frank Kennedy's death, was asked by the other magistrates to preside at this. The meeting was held in the court-house of Kippletringan, and many of the chief people in the neighbourhood hastened to the little town to be present at the examination of Hatteraick. Pleydell, among the evidence formerly collected, had by him the sizes and markings of the footmarks found round the place of Frank Kennedy's death-struggle. These had, of course, been safely preserved, ever since the failure of justice on that occasion. One set evidently belonged to a long and heavy foot, and fitted the boots of Brown, the mate of Hatteraick's vessel, the same who had been killed at the attack on Woodbourne. The stouter and thicker moulds fitted those of the prisoner himself.

At this Hatteraick cried out suddenly, "Der deyvil, how could there be footmarks at all on the ground when it was as hard as the heart of a Memel log?"

Instantly Pleydell noted the smuggler's slip.

"In the evening," he said, "I grant you the ground was hard—not, however, in the morning. But, Captain Hatteraick, will you kindly tell me where you were on the day which you remember so exactly?"[199]

Hatteraick, seeing his mistake, again relapsed into silence, and at that moment Glossin bustled in to take his place on the bench with his brother magistrates. He was, however, very coldly received indeed, though he did his best to curry favour with each in succession. Even Hatteraick only scowled at him, when he suggested that "the poor man, being only up for examination, need not be so heavily ironed."

"The poor man has escaped once before," said Mr. Mac-Morlan, drily. But something worse was in store for Glossin than the cold shoulder from his fellow-justices. In his search through the documents found upon Hatteraick, Pleydell had come upon three slips of paper, being bills which had been drawn and signed by Hatteraick on the very day of the Kennedy murder, ordering large sums of money to be paid to Glossin. The bills had been duly honoured. Mr. Pleydell turned at once upon Glossin.

"That confirms the story which has been told by a second eye-witness of the murder, one Gabriel, or Gibbs Faa, a nephew of Meg Merrilies, that you were an accessory after the fact, in so far as, though you did not take part in the slaughter of Kennedy, you concealed the guilty persons on account of their giving you this sum of money."

In a few minutes Glossin found himself deserted[200] by all, and he was even ordered to be confined in the prison of Kippletringan, in a room immediately underneath the cell occupied by Hatteraick. The smuggler, being under the accusation of murder and having once already escaped, was put for safety in the dungeon, called the "condemned cell," and there chained to a great bar of iron, upon which a thick ring ran from one side of the room to the other.

Left to his unpleasant reflections, Glossin began to count up the chances in his favour. Meg Merrilies was dead. Gabriel Faa, besides being a gipsy, was a vagrant and a deserter. The other witnesses—he did not greatly fear them! If only Dirk Hatteraick could be induced to be steady, and to put another meaning upon the sums of money which had been paid to him on the day of Kennedy's murder!

He must see Hatteraick—that very night he must see him! He slipped two guineas into Mac-Guffog's hand (who since the burning of Portanferry prison had been made under-turnkey at Kippletringan), and by the thief-taker's connivance he was to be admitted that very night at locking-up time into the cell of Dirk Hatteraick.

"But you will have to remain there all night," said the man. "I have to take the keys of all the cells directly to the captain of the prison!"[201]

So on his stocking-soles Glossin stole up after his guide, and was presently locked in with the savage and desperate smuggler. At first Hatteraick would neither speak to Glossin nor listen to a word concerning his plans.

"Plans," he cried at last, in a burst of fury, "you and your plans! You have planned me out of ship, cargo, and life. I dreamed this moment that Meg Merrilies dragged you here by the hair, and put her long clasp-knife into my hand. Ah, you don't know what she said! Sturm-wetter, it will be your wisdom not to tempt me!"

"Why, Hatteraick," said Glossin, "have you turned driveller? Rise and speak with me!"

"Hagel, nein—let me alone!"

"Get up, at least! Up with you for an obstinate Dutch brute!" said Glossin, all at once losing his temper and kicking him with his heavy boot.

"Donner and blitzen," cried Hatteraick, leaping up and grappling with him, "you shall have it then!"

Glossin resisted as best he could, but his utmost strength was as nothing in the mighty grasp of the angry savage. He fell under Hatteraick, the back of his neck coming with a fearful crash upon the iron bar.

In the morning, true to his promise, Mac-Guffog called Glossin to come out of Hatteraick's cell.[202]

"Call louder!" answered a voice from within, grimly.

"Mr. Glossin, come away," repeated Mac-Guffog; "for Heaven's sake come away!"

"He'll hardly do that without help!" said Hatteraick.

"What are you standing chattering there for, Mac-Guffog?" cried the captain of the prison, coming up with a lantern. They found Glossin's body doubled across the iron bar. He was stone dead. Hatteraick's grip had choked the life out of him as he lay.

The murderer, having thus done justice on his accomplice, asked neither favour nor mercy for himself, save only that he might have paper whereon to write to his firm in Holland.

"I was always faithful to owners," he said, when they reproached him with his crimes. "I always accounted for cargo to the last stiver! As for that carrion," he added (pointing to Glossin), "I have only sent him to the devil a little ahead of me!"

They gave him what he asked for—pens, ink, and paper. And on their return, in a couple of hours, they found his body dangling from the wall. The smuggler had hanged himself by a cord taken from his own truckle-bed.

And though Mac-Guffog lost his place, on the[203] suspicion of having introduced Glossin into Hatteraick's cell, there were many who believed that it was the Evil One himself who had brought the rogue and the ruffian together in order that they might save the hangman the trouble of doing his office upon them.

The end can be told in a word. Harry Bertram was duly and legally returned as heir of Ellangowan. His father's debts were soon paid, and the Colonel, in giving him his daughter, gave him also the means of rebuilding the ancient castle of the Ellangowan race. Sir Robert Hazlewood had no objections to Lucy Bertram as a daughter-in-law, so soon as he knew that she brought with her as a dowry the whole estate of Singleside, which her brother insisted on her taking in accordance with her aunt's first intention. And lastly, in the new castle, there was one chamber bigger than all the others, called the Library, and just off it a little one, in which dwelt the happiest of men upon the earth. This chamber was called on the plans "Mr. Sampson's Apartment."




A unanimous sigh greeted the close of Guy Mannering. It was the narrator's reward—the same which the orator hears, when, in a pause of speech, the strained attention relaxes, and the people, slowly bent forward like a field of corn across which the wind blows, settle back into their places.

"A jolly ending—and the cave part was ripping!" summed up Hugh John, nodding his head in grave approval of Sir Walter, "but why can't he always write like that?"

"Couldn't keep it up," suggested Sir Toady Lion; "books can't all be caves, you know."

"Well, anyhow, I'm not going to play any more heroes," said Hugh John, emphatically. "I bags Hatteraick—when we get out to the Den!"

The young man intimated by these cabalistic words that the part of Hatteraick was to be his in any future play-acting.

"Which being interpreted," said Sweetheart, with spirit, "means that I am to be Gilbert Faa the gipsy, and Glossin, and all these nasty sort of people. Now I don't mind Meg Merrilies a bit. And being shot like that—that's always something. But I warn you, Hugh John, that if you were Hatteraick ten times over, you couldn't get me down over that iron bar!"

"No, that you couldn't," said Sir Toady Lion,[205] seeing a far-off chance for himself; "why, Sweetheart could just batter your head against the wall! And then when Mac-Guffog came in the morning with his lantern, he'd find that old Hatteraick hadn't any need to go and hang himself! But don't you two squabble over it; I will do Hatteraick myself!"

"A very likely thing!" sneered Hugh John. "You heard me say 'Bags Hatteraick,' Toady Lion! Every one heard me—you can't go back on that. You know you can't!"

This was unanswerable. It was felt that to palter with such sacred formulas would be to renounce the most sacred obligations and to unsettle the very foundations of society.

Whereupon I hastened to keep his Majesty's peace by proposing a compromise.

"The girls surely don't want to play the villains' parts," I began.

"Oh, but just don't they!" ejaculated Maid Margaret, with the eyes of a child-saint momentarily disappointed of Paradise. "Why does a cat not eat butter for breakfast every morning? Because it jolly well can't get it."

"Well, at any rate," said I, severely, "girls oughtn't to want to play the villains' parts."

"No," said Sweetheart, with still, concentrated irony, "they ought always to do just what boys tell them to, of course—never think of wanting[206] anything that boys want, and always be thankful for boys' leavings! U-m-m! I know!"

"You should wait till you hear what I meant to say, Sweetheart," I went on, with as much dignity as I could muster. "There are plenty of characters you will like to be, in every one of the books, but I think it would be fair always to draw lots for the first choice!"

"Yes—yes—oh, yes!" came the chorus, from three of the party. But Hugh John, strong in the indefeasible rights of man, only repeated, "I said 'Bags Hatteraick!'"

"Well, then," I said, "for this time Hatteraick is yours, but for the future it will be fairer to draw lots for first choice."

"All right," growled Hugh John; "then I suppose I'll have to put up with a lot more heroes! Milksops, I call them!"

"Which book shall we have next?" said Sweetheart, who was beginning to be rather ashamed of her heat. "I don't believe that you could tell us Rob Roy!"

"Well, I can try," said I, modestly. For so it behooves a modern parent to behave in the presence of his children.

"She," said Hugh John, pointing directly at his sister, "she read nearly half the book aloud, and we never came to Rob at all. That's why she asks for Rob Roy."[207]

"But there's all about Alan Breck in the preface—ripping, it is!" interpolated Sir Toady, who had been doing some original research, "tell us about him."

But Alan Breck was quite another story, and I said so at once. Rob Roy they had asked for. Rob Roy they should have. And then I would stand or fall by their judgment. [208]







Frank Osbaldistone had come back from France to quarrel with his father. A merchant he would not be. He hated the three-legged stool, and he used the counting-house quills to write verses with.

His four years in Bordeaux had spoiled him for strict business, without teaching him anything else practical enough to please his father, who, when he found that his son persisted in declining the stool in the dark counting-room in Crane Alley, packed him off to the care of his brother, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone of Osbaldistone Hall in Northumberland, there to repent of his disobedience.

"I will have no idlers about me," he said, "I will not ask even my own son twice to be my friend and my partner. One of my nephews shall take the place in the firm which you have declined."

And old Mr. Osbaldistone, of the firm of Osbaldistone and Tresham, merchants in London town, being above all things a man of his word, Master[212] Frank took to the North Road accordingly, an exile from his home and disinherited of his patrimony.

At first he was gloomy enough. He was leaving behind him wealth, ease, society. As he looked back from the heights of Highgate, the bells of the city steeples rang out their "Turn again, Whittington!" And to tell the truth, Frank Osbaldistone felt half inclined to obey. But the thought of his father's grave scorn held him to his purpose, and soon the delights of travel and the quickly changing scene chased the sadness from his heart. Indeed, as was natural to a young man, a good horse under his thigh and fifty guineas in his pocket helped amazingly to put him in the best humour with himself.

The company Frank met with on the North Road was commonplace and dull. But one poor man, a sort of army officer in a gold-laced hat, whose martial courage was more than doubtful, amused Frank Osbaldistone by clinging desperately to a small but apparently very heavy portmanteau, which he carried on the pillion before him, never parting from it for a moment. This man's talk was all of well-dressed highwaymen, whose conversation and manners induced the unwary to join company with them. Then in some shady dell whistling up their men, the[213] unlucky traveller found himself despoiled—of his goods certainly, perhaps also of his life.

It delighted Frank's boyish humour beyond measure to play upon the fears of this gallant King's officer—which he proceeded to do by asking him first whether his bag were heavy or not, then by hinting that he would like to be informed as to his route, and finally by offering to take the bag on his own pillion and race him with the added weight to the nearest village.

This last audacious proposal almost took the man's breath away, and from that moment he was convinced that Frank was none other than the "Golden Farmer" himself in disguise.

At Darlington, the landlord of their inn introduced a Scotch cattle dealer, a certain Mr. Campbell, to share their meal. He was a stern-faced, dark-complexioned man, with a martial countenance and an air of instinctive command which took possession of the company at once. The lawyer, the doctor, the clergyman, even Frank himself, found themselves listening with deference to the words of this plainly dressed, unobtrusive, Scottish drover. As for the man with the weighty bag, he fairly hung upon his words. And especially so when the landlord informed the company that Mr. Camp[214]bell had with his own hand beaten off seven highwaymen.

"Thou art deceived, friend Jonathan," said the Scot, "they were but two, and as beggarly loons as man could wish to meet withal!"

"Upon my word, sir," cried Morris, for that was the name of the man with the portmanteau, edging himself nearer to Mr. Campbell, "really and actually did you beat two highwaymen with your own hand?"

"In troth I did, sir," said Campbell, "and I think it nae great thing to mak' a sang about."

"Upon my word, sir," said Morris, eagerly, "I go northward, sir—I should be happy to have the pleasure of your company on my journey."

And, in spite of short answers, he continued to press his proposal upon the unwilling Scot, till Campbell had very unceremoniously to extricate himself from his grip, telling him that he was travelling upon his own private business, and that he could not unite himself to any stranger on the public highway.

The next day Frank approached Osbaldistone Hall, which stood under the great rounded range of the Cheviot Hills. He could already see it standing, stark and grey, among its ancestral oaks, when down the ravine streamed a band of huntsmen in full[215] chase, the fox going wearily before, evidently near the end of his tether. Among the rout and nearer to Frank than the others, owing to some roughness of the ground, rode a young lady in a man's coat and hat—which, with her vest and skirt, made the first riding-habit Frank had ever seen.

The girl's cheeks were bright with the exercise. Her singular beauty was the more remarkable, chanced upon in so savage a scene. And when, after hearing the "Whoop—dead!" which told of poor Reynard's decease, she paused to tie up her loosened locks, Master Frank stared most undisguisedly and even impolitely.

One of the young huntsmen, clad in red and green, rode towards her, waving the brush in his hand as if in triumph over the girl.

"I see," she replied, "I see. But make no noise about it. If Phœbe here (patting the neck of her mare) had not got among the cliffs, you would have had little cause for boasting."

Then the two of them looked at Frank and spoke together in a low tone. The young man seemed sheepishly to decline some proposal which the girl made to him.

"Then if you won't, Thornie," she said at last, "I must."[216]

And turning to Frank she asked him if he had seen anything of a friend of theirs, one Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, who for some days past had been expected at the Hall.

Frank instantly and gladly claimed kindred.

"Then," said the girl, smiling, "as this young man's politeness seems to have fallen asleep, I must e'en be master of the ceremonies, however improper it may be. So I beg to present to you young Squire Thorncliff Osbaldistone, your cousin, and Die Vernon, your accomplished cousin's poor kinswoman."

The "accomplished cousin" finally decided to shake hands with mingled awkwardness and an assumption of sulky indifference. This being done, he immediately announced his intention of going to help the huntsmen couple up the hounds, and so he took himself off.

"There he goes," said the young lady, following him with disdainful eyes, "the prince of grooms and cock-fighters and blackguard horse-racers. But truly there is not one of them to mend another!"

She turned sharply upon Frank.

"Have you read Markham?" she demanded.

Poor Frank had never even heard of that author. The girl held up her hands in horror.[217]

"Never to have heard of Markham—the Koran of this savage tribe—the most celebrated author on farriery!" she cried. "Then I fear you are equally a stranger to the more modern names of Gibson and Bartlett?"

"I am, indeed, Miss Vernon," answered Frank, meekly.

"And do you not blush to own it?" she cried. "Why, we will disown the alliance. Then I suppose you can neither give a ball, nor a mash, nor a horn?"

"I confess," said Frank, "I trust all these matters to my groom."

"Incredible carelessness!" she continued. "What was your father thinking of? And you cannot shoe a horse, or cut his mane and tail. Or worm a dog, or crop his ears, or cut his dew-claws; or reclaim a hawk or give him casting-stones, or direct his diet when he is sealed! Or—"

Frank could only once for all profess his utter ignorance of all such accomplishments.

"Then in the name of Heaven, Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, what can you do?"

"Very little to the purpose, I am afraid, Miss Vernon," answered Frank; "only this—when my groom has dressed my horse I can ride him,[218] and when my hawk is in the field, I can fly him."

"Can you do this?" said Die Vernon, setting her horse to a rude gate composed of pieces of wood from the forest, and clearing it at a bound. In a moment Frank was at her side.

"There are hopes for you yet," she said. "I was afraid that you were a very degenerate Osbaldistone. But what brings you to Cub Hall? I suppose you could have stayed away if you had liked?"

"The Cubs of the Hall may be as you describe them," said Frank, looking at his companion, "but I am convinced there is one exception that will make amends for all their deficiencies."

"Oh, you mean Rashleigh!" said Die Vernon.

"Indeed, I do not," said Frank, who had not been four years in France for nothing, "I never even heard of Rashleigh. I mean some one very much nearer me."

"I suppose I should pretend not to understand you," she answered, "but that is not my way. If I were not in the saddle, I would make you a courtesy. But seriously, I deserve your exception, for besides Rashleigh and the old priest, I am the only conversable being about Osbaldistone Hall."[219]

"And who, for Heaven's sake, is Rashleigh?"

"Your youngest cousin, about your own age, but not so—so well-looking. Full of natural sense—learned, as being bred to the church, but in no hurry to take orders—and in addition by all odds the cleverest man in a country where such are scarce."

They rode back to the Hall, but as it was some time before Frank could get any one to attend to his own horse and Diana's mare, which she had left in his charge, he had time to look about him and take in the old castle and its rough, wasteful prodigality of service. By and by, however, there arrived Sir Hildebrand, who, among his sons, seemed, by comparison at least, both intelligent and a gentleman. He gave Frank a rough but hearty welcome to his mansion.

"Art welcome, lad!" he said. "I would have seen thee before but had to attend to the kennelling of the hounds. So thy father has thought on the old Hall and old Sir Hildebrand at last! Well, better late than never! Here are thy cousins—Percie, Thornie, John, Dick, and Wilfred. But where's Rashleigh? Ay, here's Rashleigh! Take thy long body aside, Thornie, and let's see thy brother a bit. And here's my little Die, my sister's daughter,[220] the prettiest girl on our dales, be the next who she may. And so now let's to the sirloin!"

The five elder brethren of Osbaldistone Hall were all cast in one mould—tall, well-formed, athletic men, but dull of feature and expression, and seemingly without any intellect whatever. Rashleigh, the youngest, was the exact opposite of his brethren. Short in stature, thick-set, and with a curious halt in his gait, there was something about his dark irregular features—something evil, relentless, and cruel, which even the assumed gentleness of his words and the melody of his voice could not hide. His brothers were mere oafs in learning, none of whom ever looked at printed paper save to make a fly-book of it. But Rashleigh was learned, and, when he pleased, of manners exquisitely refined.

It was, however, Miss Diana who really introduced Frank to his cousins, and the ceremony took place that day at dinner, while the young men were devoting themselves heartily to the meat which they piled up on their platters. The clatter of knives and forks covered her voice.

"Your cousins," she said, "taken all together, form a happy compound of the sot, the gamekeeper, the bully, the horse-jockey, and the fool. But as no two leaves off the same tree are quite exactly alike,[221] so these ingredients are differently mingled in your kinsmen. Percie, the son and heir, has more of the sot than of the gamekeeper, bully, horse-jockey, or fool. My precious Thornie is more of the bully—John, who sleeps whole weeks among the hills, has most of the gamekeeper. The jockey is powerful with Dickon, who rides two hundred miles by day and night, to be bought and sold himself at a race-meeting. And the fool so predominates over Wilfred's other characteristics that he may be termed a fool positive."

Though Frank pressed her, Die Vernon refused to add Sir Hildebrand to her gallery of family portraits.

"I owe him some kindnesses," she said, "or what at least were meant for such. And besides, I like him. You will be able to draw his picture yourself when you know him better."

Having once before been successful with a compliment, when talking to his beautiful companion, Frank now summoned his French breeding and tried a second. He had been silent for a minute, and Miss Vernon, turning her dark eyes on him, had said with her usual careless frankness, "You are thinking of me!"

"How is it possible," answered Master Frank,[222] "that I should think of anything else, seated where I have the happiness to be."

But Diana only smiled with a kind of haughty scorn, and replied, "I must tell you at once, Mr. Osbaldistone, that your pretty sayings are wholly lost on me. Keep them for the other maids whom you will meet here in the north. There are plenty who will thank you for them. As for me, I happen to know their value. Come, be sensible! Why, because she is dressed in silk and gauze, should you think that you are compelled to unload your stale compliments on every unfortunate girl? Try to forget my sex. Call me Tom Vernon. Speak to me as to a friend and companion, and you have no idea how much I shall like you."

Frank's expression of amazement at these words egged on Diana to further feats of daring.

"But do not misjudge me," she said, "as I see you are likely to do. You are inclined to think me a strange bold girl, half coquette, half romp, desirous, perhaps, of storming you into admiration. You never were more mistaken. I would show as much favour to your father, as readily make him my confidant, if he were here—and if I thought he were capable of understanding me. The truth is, I must speak of these things to some one or die."[223]

Frank changed the subject. "Will you not add Rashleigh to the family gallery?" he said.

"No, no," she said hastily, "it is never safe to speak of Rashleigh—no, not even when, as you now think, he has left the table. Do not be too sure even of that—and when you speak of Rashleigh Osbaldistone, get up to the top of Otterscope Hill, stand on the very peak, and speak in whispers. And, after all, do not be too sure that a bird of the air may not carry the matter. Rashleigh was my tutor for four years. We are mutually tired of each other, and we shall heartily rejoice to be separated!"

Nevertheless Rashleigh it was who had been selected in full family conclave to take Frank's empty stool in the counting-house of Osbaldistone, Tresham and Company in Crane Alley. Indeed, there was no choice. His brothers were incapable even of the multiplication table. Besides, they wished him away, with the feelings of mice who hear that the family cat is going off to fill another situation. Even his father, who stood no little in awe of his clever son, breathed more freely at the thought of Osbaldistone Hall without Rashleigh.

It was not long before Mr. Frank Osbaldistone had a taste of his cousin Rashleigh's quality. The very next morning his uncle and cousins looked at[224] him curiously when he came down early. Sir Hildebrand even quoted a rhyme for his benefit,

"He that gallops his horse on Blackstone Edge,
May chance to catch a fall."

It was a fox-hunting morning, and during a long run Frank sustained his character as a good and daring rider, to the admiration of Diana and Sir Hildebrand, and to the secret disappointment of his other kind kinsfolk, who had prophesied that he would certainly "be off at the first burst," chiefly for the reason that he had a queer, outlandish binding round his hat.

It was plain that Diana wanted to speak with him apart, but the close attendance of Cousin Thornie for some time made this impossible. That loutish youth's persistence finally fretted the girl, and having been accustomed all her life to ride the straightest way to her desire, she bade him be off to see that the earths above Woolverton Mill were duly stopped.

After some objections Thornie was got safely out of the road, and Diana led the way to a little hill whence there was a fine view in every direction. She pointed, as Frank thought, somewhat significantly to the north.[225]

"Yonder whitish speck is Hawkesmore Crag in Scotland," she said, "the distance is hardly eighteen miles, as the crow flies. Your horse will carry you there in two hours—and I will lend you my mare if you think her less blown."

"But," said Frank, quite mystified, "I have so little wish to be in Scotland, that if my horse's head were in Scotland, I would not give his tail the trouble of following. What should I do in Scotland, Miss Vernon?"

"Why, provide for your safety—do you understand me now, Mr. Frank?"

"Less than ever, Miss Vernon," he answered. "I have not the most distant conception of what you mean."

"Why, then," said Diana, "to be plain, there is an information lodged with our nearest Justice of the Peace, Squire Inglewood, that you were concerned in a robbery of government papers and money sent to pay the troops in Scotland. A man with whom you travelled, and whom you certainly frightened, has lodged such a complaint against you. His name is Morris."

"Morris has been robbed?"

"Ay," said Diana, "and he swears you are the man who robbed him."[226]

"Then Sir Hildebrand believes it?" cried Frank.

"He does," answered Diana, "and to tell the truth, so did I until this moment."

"Upon my word, I am obliged to you and my uncle for your opinion of me."

"Oh, it is nothing to be ashamed of," she said, smiling, "no mere highway robbery. The man was a government messenger. We are all Jacobites about here, and no man would have thought the worse of you for bidding him stand and deliver. Why, my uncle had a message from Squire Inglewood himself, that he had better provide for your safety by smuggling you over the border into Scotland."

"Tell me," said Frank, somewhat impatiently, "where does this Squire Inglewood live? I will go and answer the charge instantly and in person."

"Well said—I will go with you," said Diana, promptly, "it was never the Vernon way to desert a friend in time of need."

Frank tried to dissuade her from this, but he could not combat the girl's resolution. So they set off together for Inglewood Hall. As they entered the courtyard, they met Rashleigh just coming out.

Miss Vernon instantly challenged him, before he got time to make up a story.[227]

"Rashleigh," she said, "you have heard of Mr. Frank's affair, and you have been over to the Justice talking about it."

But Rashleigh was equally ready.

"Certainly," he answered, "I have been endeavouring to render my cousin what service I could. But at the same time I am sorry to meet him here."

"As a friend and kinsman, Mr. Osbaldistone," said Frank, "you should have been sorry to meet me anywhere else but where my character is at stake, and where it is my intention to clear it."

However, it was evidently not Miss Vernon's purpose to quarrel with Rashleigh at that time. She led him apart, and began talking to him—at first quietly, then with obvious anger. From her manner she was charging him with knowing who had really committed the robbery, and pressing upon him in some way to make plain his cousin's innocence. He resisted long, but at length gave way.

"Very well, then," he said, "you are a tyrant, Diana. Still, it shall be as you desire. But you know that you ought not to be here. You must return with me at once!"

"I will do no such thing," said the girl; "not a foot will I go back till such time as I see Frank well[228] out of the hands of the Philistines. He has been bidding me to go back all the time, himself. But I know better. Also, I know you, my cousin Rashleigh, and my being here will give you a stronger motive to be speedy in performing your promise."

Rashleigh departed in great anger at her obstinacy, and Frank and Die together sought the den of the Justice, to which they were guided by a high voice chanting the fag-end of an old bottle-song:

"Oh, in Skipton-in-Craven
Is never a haven
But many a day foul weather,
And he that would say
A pretty girl nay
I wish for his cravat a tether."

"Hey day," said Die Vernon, "the genial Justice must have dined already—I did not think it had been so late."

As Diana had supposed, the Justice had dined. But though both his clerk Jobson and Frank's accuser Morris were with him, he showed himself as pleased to see Diana as he was evidently disinclined for all further legal business.

"Ah, ha, Die Vernon," he cried, starting up with great alacrity, "the heath-bell of Cheviot and the blossom of the border, come to see how the old[229] bachelor keeps house? Art welcome, girl, as the flowers in May!"

Miss Vernon told him that on this occasion she could not stay. She had had a long ride that morning, and she must return at once. But if he were a good kind Justice, he would immediately despatch young Frank's business and let them go.

This the "good Justice" was very willing to do, but Clerk Jobson, alert in his office, pressed that the law should have its course, while Frank himself demanded no better than that the mystery should be cleared up once and for all.

Whereupon the man who had been robbed repeated his statement. He had, it seemed, been first of all terrified by Frank's antics. And then on the open moor, when he had found himself stopped, and relieved of his portmanteau by two masked men, he had distinctly heard the name "Osbaldistone" applied by one of his assailants in speaking to the other. He furthermore certified that all the Osbaldistones had been Papists and Jacobites from the time of William the Conquerer. From which it was clear that Frank was the guilty man!

Frank replied that it was true that, like a foolish, gamesome youth, he had certainly practised somewhat on the fears of the man Morris, but that he[230] had never seen him since he parted from him at Darlington, and that, far from being a Papist and a Jacobite, he could easily prove that he had been brought up in the strictest school of Presbyterianism and in full obedience to the government of King George.

Clerk Jobson, however, was sharp enough to turn Frank's admissions against him, and said that since he had voluntarily assumed the behaviour of a robber or malefactor, he had by that very act brought himself within the penalties of the law.

But at this moment a letter was handed to the Clerk, which informed him that a certain old Gaffer Rutledge was at the point of death, and that he, Clerk Jobson, must go immediately to his house in order to settle all his worldly affairs.

The clerk, after offering to make out the warrant of commitment before setting out, at last, and with great reluctance, rode away. Then the Justice, who evidently still fully believed in Frank's guilt, counselled him as a friend to let bygones be bygones, and to give Mr. Morris back his portmanteau. Frank had hardly time to be indignant at this when a servant announced—"A stranger to wait upon the Justice!"

"A stranger!" echoed the Justice, in very bad[231] temper; "not upon business, or I'll—" But his protestation was cut short by the entrance of the stranger himself, and by the stern deep voice of Mr. Campbell, who immediately produced his usual effect upon Squire Inglewood.

"My business is peculiar," said the Scot, "and I ask your Honour to give it your most instant consideration."

Then Mr. Campbell turned on Morris such a look of ferocity that it made that valiant gentleman shake visibly from head to foot.

"I believe you cannot have forgotten what passed between us at our last meeting," he said, "and you can bear me witness to the Justice that I am a man of fortune and honour. You will be some time resident in my vicinity, and you know it will be in my power to do as much for you. Speak out, man, and do not sit there chattering your jaws like a pair of castanets."

At last an answer was extracted from the trembling Mr. Morris, but with as much difficulty as if it had been a tooth.

"Sir—sir—," he stammered, "yes—I do believe you to be a man of fortune and of honour—I do believe it!"

"Then," said Campbell, "you will bear me wit[232]ness that I was in your company when the valise was stolen, but did not think fit to interfere, the affair being none of mine. Further you will tell the Justice that no man is better qualified than I to bear testimony in this case."

"No man better qualified, certainly," assented Morris, with a heavy sigh. In order to prove his character, Mr. Campbell put into the hands of Justice Inglewood a certificate given under the seal and in the handwriting of the great Duke of Argyle himself. The Justice, who had stood by the Duke in 1714, was duly impressed, and told the Scot that his additional testimonial was perfectly satisfactory.

"And now," he added, "what have you to say about this robbery?"

"Briefly this," said Mr. Campbell, "the robber for whom Mr. Morris took Mr. Osbaldistone was both a shorter and a thicker man. More than that, I saw under the false face he wore, when it slipped aside, that his features were altogether different!"

Between terror and the determined attitude of Campbell, Morris was soon forced to withdraw his information against Frank, and the Justice, glad to be rid of so troublesome a case, instantly threw the papers into the fire.

"You are now at perfect liberty, Mr. Osbaldis[233]tone," said Squire Inglewood, "and you, Mr. Morris, are set quite at your ease."

In spite of this Mr. Morris did not seem exactly comfortable, especially as Mr. Campbell expressed his intention of accompanying him to the next highway, telling him that he would be as safe in his company as in his father's kailyard.

"Zounds, sir," he said as they went out, "that a chield with such a black beard should have no more heart than a hen-partridge. Come on wi' ye, like a frank fellow, once and for all!"

The voices died away, the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard, and after a few kindly words from the Justice, Diana and Frank set out on their way home. On the road they met Clerk Jobson returning in great haste and in a most villanous temper. The will-making, even the illness of Gaffer Rutledge, had proved to be a "bam," that is to say, a hoax. The clerk's language became so impertinent towards Miss Vernon, that, if she had not prevented him, Frank would certainly have broken the rascal's head.

The revel was in full swing at Osbaldistone Hall when they returned. So for the sake of peace Diana ordered some dinner to be brought to them in the library. This was a large neglected room,[234] walled about with great books, into which hardly any of the Osbaldistones ever came, and which accordingly Diana had appropriated as her peculiar sanctum.

To this chamber Rashleigh Osbaldistone penetrated after dinner had been removed. He came to explain the events of the day, but except that he had met Campbell by chance, and that, having learned that he had been an eye-witness to the robbery, he had sent him on to Squire Inglewood's, there was not much more that he seemed inclined to reveal.

Afterwards, however, in his own room, Rashleigh became more communicative. He desired to know what kind of man Frank's father was, with whom in future he was to be placed. And in return for this information he told Frank what he wished to know as to Diana Vernon. She was, said Rashleigh, to marry Thorncliff, according to a family compact of long standing. But he intimated in addition that she would greatly have preferred himself, and that, indeed, he had withdrawn from the care of her studies on account of the too evident affection she had begun to show towards one, who, as a son of the church, was destined never to marry.

This information rankled in Frank's mind, and all the next day he was sullen and even brutal in[235] his manner towards Miss Vernon. But she did not grow angry, and merely left him to fill up the measure of his folly—which he presently did by an affray with Rashleigh and his other cousins over the wine-cups in the evening, in which swords were drawn and blows given.

The next morning, however, Miss Vernon called him to account.

"Upon my word, Mr. Francis Osbaldistone," she said, seating herself in one of the great chairs in the library, like a judge upon the bench, "your character improves upon us. Last night's performance was a masterpiece. You contrived to exhibit in the course of one evening all the various qualifications of your several cousins—the gentle and generous temper of Rashleigh, the temperance of Percie, the cool courage of Thorncliff, John's skill in dog-breaking, Dickon's aptitude for betting—all these were exhibited by the same Mr. Francis, and with a choice of time and place worthy of the taste and sagacity of Wilfred."

Frank expressed his shame and sorrow as best he could. He had been troubled, he said, by some information that he had received.

Instantly Miss Vernon took him up.

"And now," she said, "please tell me instantly[236] what it was that Rashleigh said of me—I have a right to know and know I will!"

It was some time before Frank could bring himself to tell Diana what her cousin had really hinted concerning herself, and when she heard that he had affirmed her wish to marry him in preference to Thorncliff, she shuddered from head to foot.

"No," she cried, all her soul instantly on fire, "any lot rather than that—the sot, the gambler, the bully, the jockey, the insensate fool were a thousand times preferable to Rashleigh! But the convent, the jail—the grave—shall be welcome before them all!"


At the abrupt close of the story the children looked not a little surprised, nor did they manifest their usual eagerness to rush out of doors and instantly to reduce the tale to action.

The first difficulty was as to who the real highwayman could be.

"Did Frank really take the man's bag with the money and things?" ventured Maid Margaret, a little timidly. She knew that she would be promptly contradicted.

"No, of course not," shouted Hugh John, "it was the Scotch drover, Campbell,—for how else could[237] he know so well about it? Of course it was—I knew it from the first."

Meantime Sweetheart had been musing deeply.

"Do you know," she said gently, "I am most of all sorry for Die Vernon. I don't think that I want to play in this story. It is too real. I think Die Vernon lived."

"Why—didn't they all live?" said Maid Margaret, plaintively. For the world of books was still quite alive for her. She had not lost the most precious of all the senses. Dream-gold was as good as Queen's-head-gold fresh out of the mint for her. Happy Maid Margaret!

"I am sure Die Vernon was real," Sweetheart went on; "last night when you were all out cycle-riding and I was waiting for my Latin lesson, I read a bit of the book—a chapter that father has not told us. And it made me sorry for Die. She wished that she had been born a man, so that she might say and do the same things as others. She was alone in the world, she said. She needed protection, yet if she said or did anything naturally, every one thought what a bold, forward girl she was! I have felt that too!"

"Rubbish!" said Hugh John, in high remorseless scorn, "you are not 'alone in the world!' No, not much. And if we say or do anything to you, you jolly well whack us over the head. Why, the last time I called you—"[238]

"That will do, Hugh John," interrupted Sweetheart, in very Die Vernonish voice.

"Well, when I called you—'Thinggummy'—you know—you hit me with a stick and the mark lasted three days!"

"And served you right!" said Sweetheart, calmly.

"Well, I'm not saying it didn't, am I?" retorted honest Hugh John, "but anyway you needn't go about doing wooly-woo

"'My nest it is harried,
My children all gone!'"

"Oh, you are a boy and can't understand—or won't!" said Sweetheart, with a sigh, "I needn't have expected it. But Diana Vernon did make me cry, especially the bit about her being a Catholic—stop—I will find it!"

And she foraged among the books on the shelf for the big Abbotsford edition of Rob Roy, the one with the fine old-fashioned pictures.

"Here it is," she said with her finger on the place.

"'I belong to an oppressed sect and antiquated religion (she read), and instead of getting credit for my devotion, as is due to all other good girls, my kind friend Justice Inglewood might send me to the house of correction for it. . . . I am by nature of a frank and unreserved disposition,—a plain, true-hearted girl, who would willingly act honestly and[239] openly by all the world, and yet fate has entangled me in such a series of nets and toils and entanglements, that I dare not speak a word for fear of consequences, not to myself but to others.'"

Sweetheart sighed again and repeated thoughtfully, "I am sorry for Die Vernon!"

"Humph," said Hugh John, with dogged masculine logic, "girls are always making up troubles, I think. I don't see what she has to 'whimp' about—everybody did just as she said at that Hall—more than I would do for any silly girl, I bet! Just you try it on, only once, Miss Sweetheart, that's all! She has all she can eat and can order it herself—lots of horses and riding—a gun—cricky, I only wish I had her chances! Think of it—just oblige me by thinking of it—secret passages to come and go by, night and day, right plumb in the wall under your nose, mysterious priests, Jesuits, Jacobites, and things. Why, it's nearly as good as Crusoe's Island, I declare."

Sweetheart looked at Hugh John with the far-away gentle compassion which always drove that matter-of-fact warrior wild.

"All girls are the same," he asserted insultingly, "they always get thinking they are going to die right off, if only their little finger aches!"

"You'll be sorry!" said Sweetheart, warningly.

"Oh, will I?" said Hugh John, truculently, "isn't what I say true, Toady Lion?"[240]

But Toady Lion was sitting upon a buffet, in the character of Morris upon his portmanteau. He was shaking and chattering with such exaggerated terror that Maid Margaret, wrapped in a dust-sheet for a disguise and armed with the kitchen poker, could not rob him for very laughter. So neither of them paid any heed.

"You'll be sorry for speaking like that about Die Vernon," Sweetheart went on; "I've looked and I know. She was a true heroine. And she is worth a whole pack of your heroes any day."

"And, indeed, that's not saying much!" said Hugh John, who also had his sorrows. "But at any rate that was no proper place to break off a story. And I'll tell father so. Let's tease to have some more. It's a wet day, and we can't do anything else!"

"Oh, yes—let's!" said Sweetheart. "Stop all that, Toady Lion, and you, Maid Margaret. We are going to ask for the second tale from Rob Roy!"

"Well," grumbled Hugh John, "I hope that there will be more about Rob Roy in it this time. It's not too soon."

And Sweetheart only continued to regard him with the same quiet but irritating smile, and nodded her head as who would say, "Those who live the longest see the most!"




But it became more and more evident that Frank's time at Osbaldistone Hall was growing short. A certain travelling merchant, a friend and countryman of Andrew Fairservice, the Osbaldistone gardener, brought news from London of how Frank's character had been attacked there in the matter of Morris, and that in the high court of Parliament itself.

Moreover, Frank felt that he could not much longer remain in the same house with Miss Vernon. His love for her daily increased. Yet she told him plainly that she could and would only be a friend to him. He must ask her no questions, however deep the mysteries which encircled her might seem. One day he found a man's glove lying on the library table. On another occasion, after Rashleigh's departure for London, he distinguished two shadows on the windows of the library while he was patrolling the garden after dark.

Last of all Frank received a letter through some secret channel of Diana's written by his father's partner, Mr. Tresham. This informed him that[242] his father had been for some time in Holland on business of the firm, and that Rashleigh had gone north to Scotland some time ago, with a large amount of money to take up bills granted by his father to merchants in that country. Since his setting out, nothing whatever had been heard of Rashleigh, and Owen had gone north to find him. Frank was urgently prayed to proceed to Glasgow for the same purpose as soon as possible. For if Rashleigh were not found, it was likely that the great house of Osbaldistone and Tresham might have to suspend payment.

At this news Frank was stricken to the heart. He saw now how his foolishness had ruined his father, because it was through his obstinacy that Rashleigh had gained admission to his father's confidence. Mr. Osbaldistone, he knew, would never survive the disgrace of bankruptcy. He must, therefore, instantly depart. And Diana willingly sped him on his way, giving him a letter which he was only to open if all other means of paying his father's debts had failed.

Frank resolved to quit Osbaldistone Hall by night secretly, leaving only a letter of thanks for his uncle, and informing him that immediate and urgent business called him to Glasgow. He found[243] a willing guide ready to his hand in the gardener Andrew Fairservice, who, as he said, had long been awaiting such an opportunity of quitting his employment.

But this same Andrew came near to involving Frank in a fresh breach of the law. For, as Squire Thorncliff owed him ten pounds which he refused to pay, Andrew had mounted himself on Squire Thornie's good beast. And it was not until the animal was safely arrested by the law in the first Scotch town across the border, and Frank had written the whole story to Sir Hildebrand, that he felt easy in his mind as to the irregular act of his attendant.

They arrived at Glasgow, then a small but ancient town, on the eve of the Sabbath day. It was impossible for Frank to discover Owen that night, and it proved to be no more easy the following morning.

For when he proposed to his landlady to go to the dwelling-house of Mr. MacVittie, or to the counting-house of that firm, in search of Owen, she held up her hands in horror.

"There will not be a soul in either place," she cried; "they are all serious men and will only be found where all good Christians ought to be on[244] the Lord's Day Morning, and that's in the Barony Laigh (Low) Kirk!"

So thither accordingly Frank betook himself, accompanied, of course, by his faithful follower, Andrew Fairservice. They found the Laigh Kirk to be a gloomy underground crypt into which light was but sparingly admitted by a few Gothic windows. In the centre the pews were already full to overflowing with worshippers, and Andrew and Frank had to take their places in the ring of those who stood in the outer dark among the gloomy ranges of pillars which stretched away into complete obscurity.

Frank listened to the sermon for some time with what attention he could muster. But the thought of his father's loss and his own share in it recurred often to his mind. Suddenly he was roused from his revery by a whisper from the darkness behind, "Listen," a voice said, low but very distinct, in his ear, "do not look back. You are in danger in this place. So am I. Meet me to-night at the Brig, at twelve o'clock precisely. Keep at home till the gloaming and avoid observation!"

Frank tried to find out who could be so well acquainted with his journey as to give him this rendezvous. But all that he could see, vanishing into the darkness of the vaulted arches, was a figure,[245] wrapped in a long cloak which revealed nothing whatever of its wearer. Instinctively Frank attempted to pursue, but he had not gone many yards, when he fell over a tombstone with such a clatter that it caused the preacher to stop and order the officers to take into custody the author of the unseemly disturbance.

There was nothing for it, therefore, but to wait with as much patience as he could muster for the time appointed. He did, however, see Mr. MacVittie, his father's correspondent, when as Andrew said the "kirk scaled." But he did not take that worthy's advice to speak to the merchant. The hard features of the man had in them something disagreeable and even menacing which vaguely recalled Rashleigh Osbaldistone. And Frank, remembering the warnings of his unknown friend, resolved to refrain from making his presence in Glasgow known, at least for the present, to that notable merchant Mr. MacVittie.

This Sunday was the longest day of Frank Osbaldistone's life. It seemed as if the hours would never go past. Twilight came at last, however, and he issued forth to walk up and down in the public park, among the avenues of trees, till the time of his appointment should arrive.[246]

As he marched to and fro, keeping as much as possible out of sight of the passers-by, he heard the voice of Andrew Fairservice in close and somewhat loud conversation with a man in a long cloak and a slouched hat. Andrew was retailing the character of his master to the stranger, and though Frank Osbaldistone promised to himself to break Andrew's pate for his insolence on the first suitable occasion, he could not but acknowledge the fidelity of the likeness which Andrew painted.

"Ay, ay, Mr. Hammorgaw," Andrew was saying, "the lad is a good lad. He is not altogether void of sense. He has a gloaming sight of what is reasonable, but he is crack-brained and cockle-headed about his nipperty-tipperty poetry nonsense. A bare crag wi' a burn jawing over it is unto him as a garden garnished with flowering knots and choice pot-herbs. And he would rather claver with a daft quean they call Diana Vernon, than hear what might do him good all the days of his life from you or me, or any other sober and sponsible person. Reason, sir, he cannot endure. He is all for the vanities and the volubilities. And he even once told me, poor blinded creature, that the Psalms of David were excellent poetry. As if the holy Psalmist thought of rattling rhymes in blether,[247] like his own silly clinkum-clankum that he calls verse! Gude help him! Two lines of Davie Lindsay wad ding a' that he ever clerkit!"

At last, after a weary waiting, the bell of the church of St. Mungo tolled the hour of midnight. The echoes had not ceased upon the air when a figure approached across the bridge, coming from the southern side. The man was strong, thick-set, and wore a horseman's cloak wrapped about him. But he passed without speaking, and held on his way to the farther end of the bridge. There he turned, and meeting Frank full in face, bade him follow him and he would know his reasons for thus warning him.

Frank first demanded to know who he was, and what were his purposes with him.

"I am a man," was the reply, "and my purpose is friendly to you."

More than that he would not say. Frank could follow him or not, just as he chose. Only if he did not, he would rue it all his life.

Furthermore, he stung the young man, perhaps intentionally, with the taunt of being afraid. Frank cast back his words in his teeth. He was young, active, armed, of a good conscience. Why then had he need to be afraid?[248]

"But," said the stranger, "if you are not afraid of what I can do to you, do you not fear the consequences of being found in the company of one whose very name whispered in this lonely street would make the stones themselves rise up to apprehend him—on whose head half the men in Glasgow would build their fortune as on a found treasure, had they the luck to grip him by the collar—the sound of whose apprehension were as welcome at the Cross of Edinburgh as ever the news of a field stricken and won in Flanders?"

"And who, then, are you?" cried Frank, "whose name should create so deep a terror?"

"No enemy of yours, since I am taking you to a place where, if I were recognised, cold iron for my heels and hemp for my throat would be my brief dooming."

Instinctively Frank laid his hand on his sword.

"What," said the stranger, "on an unarmed man and your friend?"

"I am ignorant if you be either the one or the other!" said Frank, "and indeed your language and manner lead me to doubt both."

"Manfully spoken," said the unknown; "well, I will be frank and free with you—I am conveying you to prison!"[249]

"To prison," cried Frank, "and by what warrant—for what offence? You shall have my life sooner than my liberty. I defy you! I will not follow you a step farther!"

The unknown drew himself up haughtily.

"I am not taking you there as a prisoner," he said. "I am neither messenger nor sheriff's officer. Your liberty is little risked by the visit. Mine is in some peril. But I care not for the risk. For I love a free young blood, that kens no protector but the cross of his sword."

So saying he tapped at a low wicket, and was answered sharply from within, as by one awakened suddenly from a dream.

"Fat's tat? Wha's that, I wad say? And what the deil want ye at this hour o' the e'en? Clean again rules—clean again rules—as they call them!"

The speaker seemed by the yawning drone of the last words again to be composing himself to slumber.

Then the stranger, who had hitherto guided Frank, spoke in a loud whisper, "Dougal man! hae ye forgotten Ha nun Gregarach?"

Instantly there was a bustle inside.

"Deil a bit, deil a bit!" said the voice within, briskly.

Bolts were drawn, whispers passed in Gaelic, and[250] presently Frank and his companion stood both of them in the vestibule of the tolbooth or public prison of Glasgow. It was a small but strong guard-room, from which passages led away to the right and left, and staircases ascended to the cells of the prisoners. Iron fetters fitly adorned the walls. Muskets, pistols, and partizans stood about, ready alike for defence or offence. Still more strange was the jailer who greeted them.

This man was a wild, shock-headed savage with a brush of red hair, but he knelt and almost worshipped Frank's guide. He could not take his eyes off him.

"Oich—oich," grunted Dougal, for that was the turnkey's name, "to see ye here! What would happen to ye if the bailies should come to get witting of it?"

The guide, still wrapped in his cloak, placed his finger on his lip.

"Fear nothing, Dougal," he said, "your hands shall never draw a bolt on me."

"That shall they no," said Dougal, emphatically, "she wishes them hacked off by the elbows first. And when are ye gaun yonder again? When you return, you will not forget to tell your poor cousin—only seven times removed."[251]

"I will let you know, Dougal," said the man, "as soon as my plans are settled."

"And by my sooth," cried Dougal, "when you do, I will fling my keys at the provost's head, and never gie them anither turn—see if I winna!"

But Frank's guide, who had listened to all this rhapsody very much with the air of a prince accustomed to royal service and thinking little of it, interrupted Dougal with some words in Gaelic.

Whereupon the turnkey, taking a lantern, led the young man up the winding stair and introduced him to a cell, where, lying on a bed, he recognised—no other than Owen, the head clerk of his father's house.

At first the good Owen could only bemoan the hardness of fate, thinking that Frank also had met with the same treatment as himself, by being sent to prison. He had, it seemed, as in duty bound, gone at once to Messrs. MacVittie, MacFin, and Company and exposed to them his case, stating the difficulty in which the house were placed by Rashleigh's disappearance. Hitherto they had been most smooth and silver-tongued, but at the first word of difficulty as to payment, they had clapped poor Owen into prison on the charge of meditating flight out of the country.[252]

He had, he continued, sent a note to Bailie Nicol Jarvie, the other correspondent of the house in Glasgow. But, as he said, "If the civil house in the Gallowgate used him thus, what was to be expected from the cross-grained old crab-stock in the Salt Market?"

It had fallen out even as he had expected. Bailie Nicol Jarvie had not so much as answered his letter, though it had been put into his hand as he was on his way to church that morning.

Hardly were the words out of Owen's mouth, when from below came the voice of Dougal the turnkey, evidently urging Frank's guide to conceal himself.

"Gang upstairs and hide behind the Sassenach gentleman's bed. Ay, ay—coming—coming!"

The Highlander hastily entered Owen's cell, and, stripping off his heavy coat, stood at bay, evidently gathering himself for a leap at the officers, should it indeed prove to be the provost, magistrates, and guard of the city of Glasgow, as Dougal believed. It was obvious that he meant to spring right at any who might be seeking to apprehend him. But instead of a guard with fixed bayonets, it was only a good-looking young woman in kilted petticoats holding a lantern in her hand, who ushered[253] in a magistrate, stout, bob-wigged, bustling, and breathless. At the sight of his face Frank's conductor instantly drew back and resumed the muffling cloak which hid the lower part of his features.

The chief captain of the jail now showed himself at the door, having descended hastily to wait on the great man. But the Bailie's anger was huge against all and sundry.

"A bonny thing, Captain Stanchells," he cried, "that I, a magistrate of the city, should have been kept half an hour knocking as hard for entrance into the tolbooth as the poor creatures within knock to get out! And what, pray, is the meaning of this—strangers in the jail after lock-up time? I will look after this, Stanchells, depend upon it. Keep the door locked. By and by I will speak with these gentlemen. But first, I must have a talk with an old acquaintance here. Mr. Owen, Mr. Owen, how's all with you, man?"

"Well in body, I thank you, Mr. Jarvie," said poor Owen, "but sore afflicted in spirit."

"Ay, ay—no doubt—no doubt," said the Bailie, briskly, "but we are all subject to a downcome, and it comes hard on those that have held their heads high. But I have not come out at twelve o'clock of a Sabbath night to cast up to an un[254]fortunate man his backslidings. That was never Bailie Nicol Jarvie's way, nor yet was it his father the deacon's before him. Why, man, even in the Kirk I was thinking on your letter. And after supper I sat yawning wide enough to swallow St. Enoch's Kirk, till twelve of the clock struck. Then I took a bit look at my ledger just to see how matters stood between us. Syne I called up Mattie and bade her light the lamp and convoy me down to the tolbooth. I have entry here at any hour of the night and day, and so had my father before me, God bless him!"


During this harangue Frank's mysterious guide had been gradually edging toward the door, and showing signs of slipping away. But even when looking carefully over Mr. Owen's papers, the keen eyes of the magistrate detected the movement.

"Shut the door, Stanchells, and keep it locked!" he cried.

The Highlander took three or four steps across the room, muttered an execration in Gaelic, and then with an air of careless defiance set himself down on a table and proceeded to whistle a stave with all possible assurance.[255]

The Bailie soon arranged Mr. Owen's affairs. He would become his bail himself, and promised to secure his liberation early next morning. Then he took the lantern from his servant Mattie, and, holding it up, proceeded to examine the stern, set countenance of Frank's guide. That stout-hearted Celt did not move a muscle under the inspection, but with his arms folded carelessly, his heel beating time to the lilt of his whistled strathspey, he came very near to deceiving the acuteness of his investigator.

"Eh—ah—no—it cannot be. It is! Eh, ye born deevil, ye robber—ye catheran! Can this be you?"

"E'en as ye see me, Bailie!" was the short response.

"Ye cheat-the-gallows, ye reiving villain—what think you is the value of your head now!" cried the Bailie.

"Umph! Fairly weighed and Dutch measure," came the answer, "it might weigh down one provost's, four bailies', a town-clerk's, six deacons', besides stent-masters'—!"

"Tell over your sins," interrupted Mr. Nicol Jarvie, "and prepare ye, for if I speak the word—"

"But ye will not speak the word," said the Highlander, coolly.[256]

"He took the lantern from his servant Mattie, and, holding it up, proceeded to examine the stern, set countenance of Frank's guide. That stout-hearted Celt did not move a muscle under the inspection, but with his arms folded carelessly, his heel beating time to the lilt of his whistled strathspey, he came very near to deceiving the acuteness of his investigator."

"He took the lantern from his servant Mattie, and, holding it up, proceeded to examine the stern, set countenance of Frank's guide. That stout-hearted Celt did not move a muscle under the inspection, but with his arms folded carelessly, his heel beating time to the lilt of his whistled strathspey, he came very near to deceiving the acuteness of his investigator."

"And why should I not?" said the Bailie, "answer me that—why should I not?"

"For three sufficient reasons, Bailie Jarvie," he retorted, "first, for auld langsyne. Second, for the sake of the auld wife ayont the fire at Stuckavrallachan, that made some mixture of our bloods—to my shame be it spoken that I should have a cousin a weaver. And lastly, Bailie, because if I saw a sign of your betraying me, I would plaster the wall there with your brains, long before any hand of man could rescue you!"

"Ye are a bold, desperate villain, sir," retorted the undaunted Bailie, "and ye ken that I ken ye to be so—but that were it only my own risk, I would not hesitate a moment."

"I ken well," said the other, "ye have gentle blood in your veins, and I would be loath to hurt my own kinsman. But I go out of here free as I came in, or the very walls of Glasgow tolbooth shall tell the tale these ten years to come!"

"Well, well," said Mr. Jarvie, "after all, blood is thicker than water. Kinsfolk should not see faults to which strangers are blind. And, as you say, it would be sore news to the auld wife below the Ben, that you, ye Hieland limmer, had knockit out my brains, or that I had got you strung up in a halter.[257] But, among other things, where is the good thousand pound Scots that I lent you, and when am I to be seeing it?"

"Where is it?" said the unknown, grimly, "why, where last year's snow is, I trow!"

"And that's on the tap o' Schehallion, ye Hieland dog," said Mr. Jarvie, "and I look for payment from ye where ye stand."

"Ay," said the Highlander, unmoved, "but I carry neither snow nor silver in my sporran. Ye will get it, Bailie—just when the King enjoys his ain again, as the auld sang says!"

Then the magistrate turned to Frank.

"And who may this be?" he demanded, "some reiver ye hae listed, Rob? He looks as if he had a bold heart for the highway, and a neck that was made express for the hangman's rope!"

"This," said Owen, horrified at the Bailie's easy prediction as to the fate of his young master, "this is Mr. Francis Osbaldistone, only son of the head of our house—"

"Ay, I have heard of him," said the Bailie, still more contemptuously, "he that ran away and turned play-actor, through pure dislike to the work an honest man should live by!"

"Indeed," said the Highlander, "I had some[258] respect for the callant even before I kenned what was in him. But now I honour him for his contempt of weavers and spinners, and sic-like mechanical persons."

"Ye are mad, Rob," said the Bailie, "mad as a March hare—though wherefore a hare should be madder in the month of March than at Martinmas is more than I can well say. But this young birkie here, that ye are hounding the fastest way to the gallows—tell me, will all his stage-plays and his poetries, or your broad oaths and drawn dirks tell him where Rashleigh Osbaldistone is? Or Macbeth and all his kernes and galloglasses, and your own to boot, procure him the five thousand pounds to answer the bills that must fall due ten days hence—were they all sold by auction at Glasgow Cross—basket hilts, Andrea Ferraras, leathern targets, brogues, brechan, and sporrans?"

"Ten days!" said Frank, instinctively drawing Diana Vernon's letter out of his pocket. The time had elapsed, and he was now free to open it.

A thin sealed enclosure fell out, and the wandering airs of the prison wafted it to Bailie Jarvie's feet. He lifted it and at once handed it to the Highlander, who, after glancing at the address, proceeded calmly to open it.[259]

Frank tried vainly to interpose.

"You must first satisfy me that the letter is intended for you, before I can allow you to read it," he said.

"Make yourself easy, Mr. Osbaldistone," answered the Highlander, looking directly at him for the first time, "remember Justice Inglewood, Clerk Jobson, Mr. Morris—above all, remember your very humble servant, Robert Campbell, and the beautiful Diana Vernon."

The vague resemblance which had been haunting Frank ever since he had heard this man's voice was now at once made plain. The cloak being dropped and the man's face turned full upon him, he saw that it was indeed the same Highland drover who had borne unexpected testimony in his favour when he was in danger of his life in the house of Mr. Justice Inglewood.

"It is a difficult cast she has given me to play," said the Highlander, looking at Die Vernon's letter, "but I daresay I shall be able to serve you. Only you must come and visit me in my own country. I cannot hope to aid you on the paving stones of Glasgow. And you, Bailie, if you will come up with this young gentleman as far as the Clachan of Aberfoil, I will pay you the thousand pounds Scots that I owe you."[260]

"Such a journey ill becomes my place," said the Bailie, doubtfully, "but if I did come, would you really and soothfully pay me the siller?"

"I swear to you," said the Highlander, "by him that sleeps beneath the grey stane at Inch Cailleach!

"But," he continued, "I must be budging. For the air of the Glasgow tolbooth is no that over salutary to a Highland constitution."

"Ohon," said the Bailie, "that I should be art and part in an escape from justice—it will be a disgrace to me all the days of my life! Aweel, we have all our backslidings to answer for. Stanchells, open the door!"

The head jailor stared at the two visitors who had gotten into Mr. Owen's cell without his leave, but he was reassured by the Bailie's careless "Friends of mine, Stanchells, friends of mine!"

The party descended to the lower vestibule, and there called more than once for Dougal, but without effect.

Whereupon Campbell observed, with a quiet smile, that "if Dougal was the lad he kenned him, he would scarce wait to be thanked for his share of that night's work, but would now be full trot for the pass of Ballamaha—"[261]

"And am I myself," cried the angry Bailie, "to be locked up in the tolbooth all night? Send for fore-hammers, sledge-hammers, pincers! Send for Deacon Yettlin, the smith. And as for that Hieland blackguard, he shall hang as high as Haman—"

"When ye catch him," said Campbell, gravely, "but wait, surely the jail door is not locked!"

And so it turned out.

"He has some glimmerings of sense, that Dougal creature," added the Highlander; "he kenned that an open door might have served me at a pinch!"

So saying he sprang into the darkness, and soon the street resounded to low signal whistles, uttered and instantly replied to.

"Hear to the Hieland deevils," said Mr. Jarvie; "they think themselves already on the skirts of Ben Lomond! But what's this?"

There was a clash of iron at his feet, and stooping to the causeway cobbles, the Bailie lifted the keys of the jail which Dougal had carried away in his flight.

"Indeed," he said, "and that's just as well. For they cost the burgh siller, and there might have been some talk in the council about the loss of them, that I would little like to have heard. It would not be the first time they had cast up my[262] kin to me, if Bailie Grahame and some others should get wind of this night's work."

The next morning at the Bailie's hospitable table, Frank Osbaldistone met Mr. Owen—but altogether another Owen from him of the tolbooth—neat, formal, and well brushed as ever, though still in the lowest of spirits about the misfortunes of the house.

They had not long begun when Frank, who could be brusque enough upon occasion, startled the Bailie by the question, "And pray, by the bye, Mr. Nicol Jarvie, who is this Mr. Robert Campbell whom I met last night?"

The question, abruptly put, seemed to knock the worthy Bailie all of a heap. He stammered and repeated it over and over, as if he had no answer ready.

"Wha's Mr. Robert Campbell? Ahem—ahay—! Wha's Mr. Robert Campbell, quo' he?"

"Yes," repeated the young Englishman, "I mean who and what is he?"

"Why, he's—ahay! He's—ahem! Where did you meet Mr. Robert Campbell, as you call him yourself?"

"I met him by chance," Frank answered promptly, "some months ago, in the north of England."[263]

"Then, Mr. Osbaldistone," said the Bailie, doggedly, "ye ken just as much about him as I do!"

"I should suppose not, Mr. Jarvie," said Frank, "since you are, it seems, both his relation and his friend!"

"There is doubtless some cousinship between us," said the Bailie, with reluctance, "but I have seen little of Rob since he left the cattle-dealing. He was hardly used by those who might have treated him better, poor fellow."

More than this for the moment Frank could not extract from Mr. Jarvie, and indeed his father's affairs were naturally the first consideration. As Frank could not help with their business matters and arrangements, the Bailie dismissed him without ceremony, telling him that he might go up to the College Yards, where he would find some that could speak Greek and Latin, but that he must be back at one o'clock "preceesely" to partake of the Bailie's family leg of mutton and additional tup's head.

It was while Frank Osbaldistone was pacing to and fro in the College Yards, that, from behind a hedge, he saw three men talking together. At first he could hardly believe his eyes. For one of them, the very sight of whom caused a disagreeable thrill to pass through his body, was none other than[264] Rashleigh himself, while the other two were Morris and Mr. MacVittie,—the very three men who could do him the most harm in the world.

At the end of the avenue MacVittie and Morris left the gardens, while Rashleigh returned alone, apparently pacing the walk in deep meditation. Frank suddenly appeared before him, and challenged him to give up the deeds and titles he had stolen from his father.

Rashleigh, whom no surprise could stir out of his cool native audacity, answered that it would be better for his cousin to go and amuse himself in his world of poetical imagination, and to leave the business of life to men who understood and could conduct it.

Words grew hotter and hotter between the two young men, till Rashleigh, stung by a reference to Diana Vernon, bade Frank follow him to a secluded place where he would be able to chastise him for his boyish insolence.

Accordingly Frank followed him, keeping a keen watch on his adversary lest he should attempt any treachery. And it was well that he did so. For Rashleigh's sword was at his breast before he had time to draw, or even to lay down his cloak, and he only saved his life by springing a pace or two backward in all haste.[265]

In the matter of fence, Frank found Rashleigh quite his match—his own superior skill being counterbalanced by Rashleigh's longer and more manageable sword and by his great personal strength and ferocity. He fought, indeed, more like a fiend than a man. Every thrust was meant to kill, and the combat had all the appearance of being to the death.

At last Frank stumbled accidentally, and Rashleigh's sword passed through his coat and out at the back, just grazing his side, whereupon Frank, seizing the hilt of his antagonist's sword, shortened his grip and was on the point of running him through the body. But the death-grapple was put an end to in the nick of time, by the intervention of Campbell, who suddenly appeared out of the bushes and threw himself between them. Rashleigh demanded fiercely of the Highlander how he dared to interfere where his honour was concerned.

But Campbell, with a whistle of his broadsword about his head, reminded him that so far as "daring" went, he was ready to make mincemeat of the pair of them. But though this cooled Rashleigh's temper at once, it was far from appeasing Frank, who swore that he would keep hold of his cousin till he had given up all he had stolen from his father.[266]

"The death-grapple was put an end to in the nick of time by the intervention of Campbell, who suddenly appeared out of the bushes and threw himself between them. Rashleigh demanded fiercely of the Highlander how he dared to interfere where his honour was concerned."

"The death-grapple was put an end to in the nick of time by the intervention of Campbell, who suddenly appeared out of the bushes and threw himself between them. Rashleigh demanded fiercely of the Highlander how he dared to interfere where his honour was concerned."

"You hear!" said Rashleigh to Campbell; "he rushes upon his fate. On his own head be it!"

But the Highlander would not permit the young man to be ill treated, only for standing up for his own father. He took hold of Frank, however, and by a gigantic effort he caused him to release Rashleigh's coat which he had seized in his anger.

"Let go his collar, Mr. Francis," he commanded. "What he says is true. Ye are more in danger of the magistrate in this place than what he is. Take the bent, Mr. Rashleigh. Make one pair of legs worth two pair of hands. You have done that before now."

Rashleigh, with a last threat of future revenge, took up his sword, wiped it, put it back in its sheath, and disappeared in the bushes.

In spite of his struggles the Highlander held Frank till it was vain for him to pursue Rashleigh, and then Campbell had some advice to give him.

"Let him alone," he said. "I tell you, man, he has the old trap set for you. And here I cannot give you the same help that I did in the house of Justice Inglewood. Now go your ways home, like a good bairn. Keep out of the sight of Rashleigh, and Morris, and that MacVittie animal. Mind the[267] Clachan of Aberfoil, and by the word of a gentleman I will not see you wronged."

On his way back Frank had his slight wound dressed by a surgeon and apothecary in the neighbourhood, who refused to believe his explanation about the button of his adversary's foil slipping.

"There never was button on the foil that made this!" he said. "Ah, young blood—young blood! But fear not—we surgeons are a secret generation!"

And so dismissed, Frank soon found his way back to Mr. Jarvie's family leg of mutton and tup's head, only a few minutes after the appointed stroke of one.


When Frank Osbaldistone, the Bailie, and Andrew Fairservice, set forward toward the Highlands, their way lay for the first stage over barren wastes, with the blue line of the Grampian Hills continually before their eyes.

Andrew had as usual tried to cheat his master by getting rid of his own pony and buying another on Frank's account. But the Bailie soon caused Andrew to recover his old horse on the penalty of being at once haled off to prison.[268]

Night came on before the little party of three arrived at the inn of the Clachan of Aberfoil, having previously crossed the infant Forth by an ancient bridge, high and narrow.

The inn was a mere hovel, but the windows were cheerfully lighted up. There was a sound of revelry within that promised good cheer to hungry men, and the party were on the point of entering, when Andrew Fairservice showed them a peeled wand which was set across the half-open door.

"That means," he said, "that some of their great men are birling at the wine within, and will little like to be disturbed."

It proved to be even so. The landlady was most anxious to keep them out. They could get rest and shelter, she promised them, within seven Scottish miles—that is to say, within at least double that number of English ones. Her house was taken up, and the gentlemen in possession would ill like to be intruded on by strangers. Better gang farther than fare worse.

But Frank, being an Englishman and hungry for his dinner, was ready to do battle against all odds in order to get it.

The interior of the inn of Aberfoil was low and dark. The smoke of the fire hung and eddied under[269] the gloomy roof about five feet from the ground. But underneath all was kept clear by the currents of air that rushed about the house when the wind blew through the wicker door and the miserable walls of stone plastered with mud.

Three men were sitting at an oak table near the fire. Two of these were in Highland dress, the first small and dark, with a quick and irritable expression of countenance. He wore the "trews" of tartan, which in itself showed him a man of consideration. The other Highlander was a tall, strong man, with the national freckled face and high cheekbones. The tartan he wore had more of red in it than that of the other. The third was in Lowland dress, a bold, stout-looking man, in a showily laced riding-dress and a huge cocked hat. His sword and a pair of pistols lay on the table before him.

All three were drinking huge draughts of the Highland drink called "Usquebagh," and they spoke loudly and eagerly one to the other, now in Gaelic, now in English. A third Highlander, wrapped in his plaid and with his face hidden, lay on the floor, apparently asleep.

The three gentlemen were at first unconscious of the invasion. They continued their loud conversation, and it was not until Frank Osbaldistone called[270] the landlady that they paused and looked at them, apparently stricken dumb by his audacity.

"You make yourself at home," said the lesser Celt, in very good English, which however he spoke with an air of haughty disdain.

"I usually do, sir," said Frank, "when I come into a house of public entertainment."

"And did she not see," demanded the taller man, "by the white wand at the door, that gentlemans had taken up the public house on their ain business?"

"I do not pretend to understand the customs of this country," said Frank, with firmness, "but I have yet to learn how any three persons are entitled to exclude all other travellers from the only place of shelter and refreshment for miles around."

The Bailie here offered a stoup of brandy as an appropriate means of establishing a good understanding, but the three natives proceeded to snuff the air and work themselves up into a passion with the evident intention of ending the quarrel by a fray.

"We are three to three," said the lesser Highlander, glancing his eyes at the intruding party. "If ye be pretty men, draw!"

And so saying, he drew his own broadsword[271] and advanced upon Frank. The young Englishman, knowing the superiority of his rapier to the claymore, especially in the confined space, was in no fear as to the issue of the combat. But when the gigantic Highlander advanced upon the worthy magistrate of Glasgow, after trying in vain once or twice to draw his father's shabble, as he called it, from its sheath,—a weapon which had last seen the light at Bothwell Bridge,—the Bailie seized as a substitute the red-hot coulter of a plough, which had been sticking in the fire. At the very first pass he set the Highlander's plaid on fire, and thereafter compelled him to keep a respectful distance. Andrew Fairservice had, of course, vanished at the very first symptoms of a storm, but the Lowlander, disappointed of an antagonist, drew honourably off and took no share in the fight. Nevertheless the Bailie, built for more peaceful pursuits, was quickly getting the worst of it, when from the floor started up the sleeping Highlander, crying, "Hersel' has eaten the town bread at the Cross of Glasgow, and by her troth, she will fight for Bailie Jarvie at the Clachan of Aberfoil!"

And seconding words with blows, he fell upon his tall countryman. As both were armed with targes made of wood and studded with brass, the[272] combat was more remarkable for noise and clatter than for serious damage. And it was not long before the Lowlander cried out, taking upon himself the office of peacemaker: "Hold your hands, gentlemen—enough done, enough done! The strangers have shown themselves men of honour, and have given reasonable satisfaction."

There was no wish to continue the fray, save perhaps on the part of the Bailie's antagonist, who demanded to know who was going to pay for the hole burnt in his bonnie plaid, through which, he declared, any one might put a kail-pot.

But the Bailie, pleased with himself for having shown spirit, declared that the Highlander should have a new plaid, especially woven, of his own clan-colours. And he added that if he could find the worthy lad who had taken his quarrel upon himself, he would bestow upon him a gill of aqua-vitæ.

But the Highlander who had been so ready on the Bailie's behalf was now nowhere to be found. The supper was brought in presently, as if the landlady had only been waiting for the end of the fray in order to serve the repast.

The Bailie had from the first recognised the Lowlander as one to whom the deacon his father had lent[273] money, and with whose family there were many ties of cordiality and confidence. So while the friendly converse was thus proceeding indoors, Frank went out to find Andrew Fairservice, and on his way the landlady gave him a folded scrap of paper, saying that she was glad to be rid of it—what with Saxons, soldiers, and robbers—life was not worth living on the Highland line!

By the light of a torch Frank read as follows, "For the honoured hands of Mr. F. O., a Saxon young gentleman—These!"

The letter proved to be from Campbell, and informed Frank that as there were night hawks abroad, he must hold no communication with any one lest it should lead to future trouble. The person who gave him the letter might be trusted, but that in the meantime it would be well to avoid a meeting with "R. M. C."

Frank was much disappointed at this deferring of the hope of aiding his father, by recovering the papers and titles which Rashleigh had stolen. But still there was no help for it. And so, after dragging Andrew out of the corner of the shed, where he was hidden behind a barrel of feathers, he returned to the inn.

Here he found the Bailie high in dispute with[274] his quondam friend, the Lowlander Galbraith. The quarrel concerned the Duke of Argyle and the Clan Campbell, but most of all a certain freebooter of the name of Rob Roy, who, as it now appeared, they were all assembled to pursue and make an end of.

North and east the passes were being held. The westland clans were out. Southward Major Galbraith was in command of a body of Lennox horse, and to a certainty Rob Roy would swing in a rope by the morrow's morn.

Scarcely were the words spoken when the ordered tramp of infantry on the march was heard, and an officer, followed by two or three files of soldiers, entered the apartment. It gave Frank a thrill of pleasure to remark his English accent, after the Scotch which he had been listening to ever since he left Osbaldistone Hall.

But he liked somewhat less what he was next to hear. The English officer had received instructions to place under arrest two persons, one young and the other elderly, travelling together. It seemed to him that Frank and the Bailie answered fairly well to this description.

In spite of the protests and threats of the honourable magistrate, he ordered them both to follow him[275] in his advance into the Highland country, upon which he was immediately to set out.

The letter which Frank had received from the landlady of the inn, being found upon him, was held to be evidence that he had been in treasonable correspondence with Rob Roy, whose usual initials, indeed, were at the bottom of the note. Next the shock-headed Highlander who had taken the Bailie's quarrel upon him, having been captured, was brought before the officer, and commanded, on pain of being instantly hanged, to lead them to the place where he had left the Mac-Gregor. After long persuasion, some of it of the roughest sort, poor Dougal consented for five guineas to act as guide to the party of soldiers under Captain Thornton—for such was the name of the English officer.

This sinful compliance of Dougal's angered the Bailie so much that he cried to the soldiers to take Dougal away, because now he deserved hanging for his treachery more than ever.

This drew the retort from the Corporal who was acting as hangman, that if it were the Bailie who was going to be hanged, he would be in no such desperate hurry!

But Dougal promised to be faithful, and in a few[276] minutes the English officer had paid the reckonings of the three gentlemen whom Frank had found drinking at the inn of Aberfoil. The hot and smoky atmosphere of the miserable inn was exchanged for the wide hill breezes. But on their passage through the villages the hatred of the natives, mostly women and children, for the "red soldiers" broke forth into shrill cursing. Andrew Fairservice, who alone of the three understood Gaelic, grew pale with terror at the threats which were lavished upon them.

"And the worst of all is," he said, trembling, "that the owercome o' their sang is that we are to gang up the glen and see what we are to get."


Whereupon the Bailie took it on himself to warn Captain Thornton that the Highlanders, especially under a leader so daring as Rob Roy, were in the habit of attacking their enemies in narrow passes where regular troops had no chance against them. But the officer was not to be turned aside. He had his orders and he meant to carry them out. Rob Roy was certainly trapped, he said. All the upper passes were in the hands of the Highlanders of the[277] western clans. Garschattachin had closed in on the south with the Lennox Horse. The latest tidings of the freebooter were in accordance with the information so reluctantly given by Dougal, and were to the effect that Rob Roy had sent away the larger part of his clan, and was seeking escape alone, or with very few in his company, trusting most likely to his superior knowledge of the passes.

Meanwhile Dougal their guide answered with a natural impatience to all complaints that he was leading them by difficult or dangerous roads.

"If," he said, with an appearance of reason, "gentlemans were seeking the Red Gregarach, they must expect some wee danger. And if they likit grand roads, they should hae bided at Glasgow."

The party was continuing to follow the narrow path by the lake, till they came to a halt at a place where the path left the water and climbed upward by several zigzags to the top of a rock, on which the advance guard reported that they had seen the bonnets of the Highlanders as well as the shining barrels of their long muskets.

The officer now ordered the Corporal with three files to dislodge the enemy from this stronghold. The soldiers accordingly moved forward while Captain Thornton, with the rest of his party, followed[278] in support. But immediate attack was prevented by the appearance of a woman on the top of the rock.

"Stand!" she cried in commanding tones, "and tell me what you seek in Mac-Gregor's country."

"The soldiers accordingly moved forward while Captain Thornton, with the rest of his party, followed in support. But immediate attack was prevented by the appearance of a woman on the top of the rock.

"The soldiers accordingly moved forward while Captain Thornton, with the rest of his party, followed in support. But immediate attack was prevented by the appearance of a woman on the top of the rock.

"'Stand!' she cried in commanding tones, 'and tell me what you seek in Mac-Gregor's country.'"

She was tall and imposing in figure. Her features had once been handsome, but were now wasted with grief and passion. She wore a man's plaid and belt, a man's bonnet was on her head, and she held a naked sword in her hand.

"That's Helen Mac-Gregor, Rob's wife," said the Bailie, in a whisper of alarm; "there will be broken heads before long!"

"What seek ye here?" she demanded again of Captain Thornton, who had advanced to reconnoitre.

"We seek the outlaw Rob Roy Mac-Gregor Campbell," said the officer; "we make no war upon women. Therefore offer no opposition to the King's troops and assure yourself of civil treatment."

"I am no stranger to your tender mercies," the woman said, "you have left me neither name nor fame—neither house nor hold, blanket nor bedding, cattle to feed us, nor flocks to clothe us! Ye have taken from us all—all! The very name of[279] our ancestors ye have taken away, and now ye come for our lives!"

"I seek no man's life," said the officer. "I only execute my orders. Forward there—march!"

"Hurrah, boys—for Rob Roy's head and a purse of gold!" cried the Corporal, taking the word from his officer.

He quickened his pace to a run, followed by his six men. But as they reached the first loop of the ascent of the cliff, there came the flash of a dozen muskets from both sides of the pass. The Corporal, shot through the body, still struggled to reach the summit. He clung to the rock, but after a desperate effort his grasp relaxed. He slipped from the bare face of the cliff into the deep lake, where he perished. Of the soldiers three fell with him, while the others retired as best they could upon their main body.

"Grenadiers, to the front!" cried the steady voice of Captain Thornton, "open your pouches—handle your grenades—blow up your matches—fall on!"

The whole party advanced with a shout, headed by Captain Thornton, the grenadiers preparing to throw their grenades among the bushes, and the rank and file ready to support them in a close and combined assault.[280]

Dougal, finding himself forgotten in the scuffle, had wisely crept into the thicket which overhung the road, and was already mounting the cliff with the agility of a wild-cat. Frank hastily followed his example. For the spattering fire, directed on the advancing party of soldiers, the loud reports of muskets, and the explosion of the grenades, made the path no comfortable place for those without arms. The Bailie, however, had only been able to scramble about twenty feet above the path when, his foot slipping, he would certainly have fallen into the lake had not the branch of a ragged thorn caught his riding-coat and supported him in mid-air, where he hung very like a sign in front of a hostelry. Andrew Fairservice had made somewhat better speed, but even he had only succeeded in reaching a ledge from which he could neither ascend nor yet come down. On this narrow promontory he footed it up and down, much like a hen on a hot girdle, and roared for mercy in Gaelic and English alternately, accordingly as he thought the victory inclined toward the soldiers or went in favour of the outlaws.

But on this occasion it was the Highlanders who were destined to win. They fought altogether under cover, and, from the number of musket flashes they held also a great superiority in point of numbers.[281] At all events Frank soon saw the English officer stripped of his hat and arms, and his men, with sullen and dejected countenances, delivering up their muskets to the victorious foe.

The Bailie was, however, rescued by "the Dougal cratur," as the magistrate called him, who cut off the tails of his coat and lowered him to the ground. Then, when at last he was somewhat appeased, on account of Frank's seeming desertion, he counselled that they should be in no hurry to approach Mac-Gregor's wife, who would certainly be most dangerous in the moment of victory.

Andrew Fairservice had already been espied on his airy perch, from which the Highlanders soon made him descend, by threatening him with their guns and even firing a stray shot or two over his head, so that presently he fell to the earth among them. The outlaws stood ready to receive him, and ere he could gain his legs, they had, with the most admirable celerity, stripped him of periwig, hat, coat, doublet, stockings, and shoes. In other circumstances this might have been amusing for Frank to watch. For though Andrew fell to the earth a well-clothed and decent burgher—he arose a forked, uncased, bald-pated, and beggarly-looking scarecrow.[282]

And indeed Frank and the Bailie would soon have shared the same fate, had not Dougal appeared on the scene in the nick of time, and compelled the plunderers to restore their spoil. So to Helen Mac-Gregor they were taken, Dougal fighting and screaming all the way, evidently determined to keep his captives to himself, or at least to prevent others from claiming them.

With many but (considering the time and occasion) somewhat ill-chosen words of familiarity, the Bailie claimed kindred with Rob Roy's wife. But in this he did himself more harm than good, for his ill-timed jocularity grated on Helen Mac-Gregor's ear, in her present mood of exaltation, and she promptly commanded that the Sassenachs should one and all be bound and thrown into the deeps of the lake.

But here Dougal threw himself between the angry woman and her prisoners with such vehemence that he was able to stave off, at least for a time, the execution of the supreme sentence. These men were, he said, friends of the Chief and had come up on his assurance to meet him at the Clachan of Aberfoil.

But at that very moment the wild strains of the pibroch were heard approaching, and a strong body[283] of Highlanders in the prime of life arrived on the scene. It now appeared that those who had fought and beaten the troops were either beardless boys or old men scarcely able to hold a musket. But there was no joy of victory on the faces of the newcomers. The pipes breathed a heart-breaking lament.

Rob Roy was taken!

"Taken," repeated Helen Mac-Gregor, "taken!—And do you live to say so? Did I nurse you for this, coward dogs—that you should see your father prisoner, and come back to tell it?"

The sons of Rob Roy, the elder James, tall and handsome, the younger Robin Oig, ruddy and dark, both hung their heads. And after the first burst of her indignation was over, the elder explained how Rob Roy had been summoned to bide tryst with—(here Frank Osbaldistone missed the name, but it sounded like his own). Having, however, some suspicion of treachery, Rob Roy had ordered the messenger to be detained, and had gone forth attended by only Angus Breck and little Rory. Within half an hour Angus Breck came back with the tidings that the Chief had been captured by a party of the Lennox militia under Galbraith of Garschattachin, who were in waiting for him.

Helen Mac-Gregor had now two purposes to carry[284] out. First, she sent messengers in every direction to gather assistance for an immediate attack on the Lowlanders, in order to effect the rescue of her husband. Second, she ordered the spy, whose false message had sent her husband to his doom, to be brought before her. For him there was no pity.

When he was haled, pale and trembling before the enraged wife of the Mac-Gregor, what was Frank's astonishment to discover that he was none other than Morris, the very same man who had accused him of the robbery of his portmanteau at Squire Inglewood's, and whom he had last seen in the Glasgow College Yards, walking and talking with Rashleigh Osbaldistone.

A brief command to her followers—and the wretched man was bound. A heavy stone was tied about his neck in a plaid, and he was hurled instantly into the depths of the lake, where he perished, amid the loud shouts of vindictive triumph which went up from the clan.


"Oh, do go on," said Sweetheart, actually pushing the narrator's arm, as if to shake more of the tale out of him. "What a perfectly horrid place to stop at! Tell us what happened after."[285]

"Nothing more happened to Morris, I can promise you that!" I replied.

"That's not nice of you," said Sweetheart. "I am quite sorry for the poor man—in spite of all he had done!"

"Well, I'm not," said Sir Toady Lion, truculently, "he deserved it all, and more. He has done nothing but tell lies and betray people all through the story—right from the very beginning."

"Besides, he was afraid!" said Hugh John, with whom this was the sin without forgiveness.

"Well," said Sweetheart, "so am I afraid often—of mice, and rats, and horrid creeping things."

"Huh," said Sir Toady, crinkling up his nose, "you are a girl—of course you are afraid!"

"And I know," retorted Sweetheart, "two noble, brave, gallant, fearless, undaunted boys, who daren't go up to the garret in the dark—there!"

"That's not fair," said Hugh John; "that was only once, after father had been telling us about the Hand-from-under-the-Bed that pulled the bedclothes off! Anybody would have been frightened at that. You, yourself—"

"Oh, but I don't pretend," cried Sweetheart; "I don't need to. I am only a girl. But for all that, I went up and lit the candle in a bedroom belonging to two boys, who dared not even go up the stair holding each other by the hand!"

"If you say that, I'll hit you," said Sir Toady.[286]

"Will you!" said Sweetheart, clearing for action; "we'll see about that. It's only mice I am afraid of—not cowardly boys!"

I hastened to still the rising storm, and in order to bring the conversation back to the subject of Rob Roy, I asked Hugh John if this were not more to his taste in the matter of heroes.

"Oh, Rob Roy's all right," he said; "that is, when once you get to him. But Frank Osbaldistone is just like the rest—always being tied up, or taken round where he doesn't want to go. Besides, he ran away at the battle!"

"Well," said I, "he had no arms, and besides it was not his quarrel. He couldn't fight either for the soldiers or for the Highlanders. At any rate, you can't deny that he did fight with Rashleigh in the College Yards of Glasgow!"

"Yes, and he got wounded. And then Rob Roy threatened to lick them both—I don't count that much!" said the contemner of heroes. "But, at any rate, it was something. And he didn't go spooning about after girls—that's good, anyway."

"Don't be too sure," said Sweetheart; "there's Die Vernon in the background."

"Well, of course, a fellow has to do some of it if he's a hero," said Hugh John, who has always high ideas of the proper thing; "it's in his part, you see, and he has to—else he wouldn't be respected. But I think if ever I had to be a hero, I would dress up Sir[287] Toady for the girl's part. Then if he monkeyed too much, why—I could welt him well after. But (he added with a sigh), with a girl, you can't, of course."

"Well, anyway," said Sweetheart, thinking that possibly the tale-teller might feel aggrieved at these uncomplimentary remarks, "I think it is just a beautiful story, and I love the dear Bailie for being willing to go all that way with Frank, and get hung up in the tree by the coat-tails and all!"

"Rats!" said Hugh John, contemptuously, "think if he had known that, he would ever have left Glasgow—not much!"

"Well, it was beautiful, I think," said Sweetheart, "but I am sorry that they drowned the poor man Morris, especially when he was so very frightened."

But the instant indignant outcry of the boys silenced her. Lochs twelve feet deep, it speedily appeared, ought to be provided by law everywhere over the kingdoms three, for the accommodation of such "sweeps" and "sneaks" and "cowards."

Then Mistress Margaret spoke up for the first time. She had been sitting with her eyes fixed dreamily on the sparkle of the logs in the library fireplace.

"What a blessing it is," she said, "that this is a rainy Saturday, and so we do not need to wait for more. Please go on with the story—JUST where you left off."

And Maid Margaret's form of government being absolute monarchy, I did so, and the result was




After the victory of the Highlanders and the drowning of Morris the spy, it was for some little while touch-and-go whether the Bailie and Frank should be made to follow him to the bottom of the loch. But at last Frank was ordered to go as an ambassador to those who had captured Rob Roy, while the Bailie with Captain Thornton and all the other prisoners remained as hostages in the hands of the victorious Helen.

This was the message he was to carry to the Sassenach.

The whole district of the Lennox would be ravished if the Mac-Gregor were not set free within twelve hours. Farmhouses would be burned, stack-yard and byre made desolate. In every house there would be a crying of the death wail—the coronach of sorrow. Furthermore, to begin with, Helen Mac-Gregor promised that if her request was not granted within the time specified, she would send them this Glasgow Bailie, with the Saxon Captain, and all the captive soldiers, bundled together in[289] a plaid, and chopped into as many pieces as there were checks in the tartan!

When the angry Chieftainess paused in her denunciations, the cool level voice of the soldier struck in: "Give my compliments—Captain Thornton's of the Royal's—to the commanding officer, and tell him to do his duty and secure his prisoner, without wasting a thought on me. If I have been fool enough to let myself be led into this trap, I am at least wise enough to know how to die for it without disgracing the service. I am only sorry for my poor fellows," he added, "fallen into such butcherly hands!"

But the Bailie's message was far different in tone.

"Whisht, man, whisht," he cried, "are ye weary of your life? Ye'll gie my service, Bailie Nicol Jarvie's service—a magistrate o' Glasgow, as his father was before him—to the commanding officer, and tell him that there are here a wheen honest men in sore trouble, and like to come to mair. And tell him that the best thing he can do for the common good is just to let Rob come his ways up the glen, and nae mair about it! There has been some ill done already, but as it has lighted mostly on the exciseman Morris it will not be muckle worth making a stir about!"[290]

So young Hamish Mac-Gregor led Frank Osbaldistone across the mountains to the place where his father's captors, the horsemen of the Lennox, had taken up their position on a rocky eminence, where they would be safe from any sudden attack of the mountaineers.

Before parting he made Frank promise not to reveal, either who had guided him thither, or where he had parted from his conductor. Happily Frank was not asked either of these questions. He and Andrew (who, in a tattered cloak and with a pair of brogues on his feet, looked like a Highland scarecrow) were soon perceived by the sentries and conducted to the presence of the commanding officer, evidently a man of rank, in a steel cuirass, crossed by the ribband of the Thistle, to whom the others seemed to pay great deference. This proved to be no other than his Grace the Duke of Montrose, who in person had come to conduct the operations against his enemy, Rob Roy.

Frank's message was instantly listened to, and very clearly and powerfully he pointed out what would occur if Rob Roy were not suffered to depart. But the Duke bade him return to those who sent him, and tell them that if they touched so much as a hair upon the heads of their hostages, he would[291] make their glens remember it for a hundred years. As for Rob Roy, he must surely die!

But Frank Osbaldistone pointed out that to return with such a message would be to go to certain death, and pleaded for some reply which might save the lives of Captain Thornton, the Bailie, and the soldiers who were captive in Helen Mac-Gregor's hands upon the hostile shores of Loch Ard.

"Why, if you cannot go yourself, send your servant!" returned the Duke. At which Andrew burst forth. He had had, he said, enough and to spare of Highland hospitality.

"The deil be in my feet," quoth Andrew, "if I go the length of my toe on such an errand. Do the folk think I have a spare windpipe in my pocket, after John Highlandman has slit this one with his jocteleg? Or that I can dive down at one side of a Highland loch and come up at the other like a sheldrake? Na, na, every one for himself, and God for us all! Folk may just go on their own errands. Rob Roy is no concern of mine. He never came near my native parish of Dreepdaily to steal either pippin or pear from me or mine!"

The Duke seemed much affected by the hard case of the King's officer, but he replied that the state of the country must come first, and it was absolutely[292] necessary that Rob Roy should die. He held to this resolution even when Galbraith of Garschattachin and others of his followers seemed inclined to put in a good word for Rob. He was about to examine the prisoner further, when a Highlander brought him a letter which seemed to cause the great man much annoyance. It announced that the Highland clans, on whom the Lowlanders had been relying, had made a separate peace with the enemy and had gone home.

As the night was now fast coming on, the Duke ordered Garschattachin to draw off his party in one direction, while he himself would escort the prisoner to a place called Duchray.

"Here's auld ordering and counter-ordering," growled Garschattachin between his teeth, "but bide a wee—we may, ere long, play at Change Seats—for the King's coming!"

The two divisions of cavalry began to move down the valley at a slow trot. One party, that commanded by Galbraith, turned to the right, where they were to spend the night in an old castle, while the other, taking along with them Frank Osbaldistone, escorted the prisoner to a place of safety. Rob Roy was mounted behind one of the strongest men present, one Ewan of Brigglands, to whom he[293] was fastened by a horse-belt passed round both and buckled before the yeoman's breast. Frank was set on a troop-horse and placed immediately behind. They were as closely surrounded by soldiers as the road would permit, and there were always one or two troopers, pistol in hand, riding on either side of Rob Roy.

Nevertheless the dauntless outlaw was endeavouring all the time to persuade Ewan of Brigglands to give him a last chance for his life.

"Your father, Ewan," he said, so low that Frank had difficulty in catching the words, "would not thus have carried an old friend to the shambles, like a calf, for all the dukes in Christendom!"

To this Ewan returned no answer—only shrugging his shoulders as a sign that what he was doing was by no choice of his own.

"And when the Mac-Gregors come down the glen," the voice of the tempter went on in Ewan's ear, "and ye see empty folds, a bloody hearthstone, and the fire flashing out between the rafters of your house, ye may be thinking then, Ewan, that were your friend Rob Roy to the fore, you might have had that safe, which it will make your heart sore to lose!"

They were at this time halted on the river-bank,[294] waiting for the signal to bring over the Mac-Gregor. Rob made one last attempt.

"It's a sore thing," said Rob Roy, still closer in the ear of his conductor, "that Ewan of Brigglands, whom Rob Roy has helped with hand, sword, and purse, should mind a gloom from a great man more than a friend's life."

Ewan, sorely agitated, was silent.

Then came the Duke's loud call from the opposite bank, "Bring over the prisoner!"

Dashing forward precipitately, Ewan's horse, with the two men on his back, entered the water. A soldier kept back Frank from following. But in the waning light he could see the Duke getting his people into order across the river, when suddenly a splash and a cry warned him that Rob had prevailed on Ewan of Brigglands to give him one more chance for life.


In a moment all was confusion. The Duke shouted and ordered. Men rode hither and thither in the fast-falling darkness, some really anxious to earn the hundred guineas which the Duke promised to the captor of his foe, but the most part trying rather by shouting and confusion to cover Rob's[295] escape. At one time, indeed, he was hardly pressed, several shots coming very near him before he could lose himself in the darkness. He was compelled to come to the surface to breathe, but in some way he contrived to loosen his plaid, which, floating down the stream, took off the attention of his more inveterate pursuers while he himself swam into safety.

In the confusion Frank had been left alone upon the bank, and there he remained till he heard the baffled troopers returning, some with vows of vengeance upon himself.

"Where is the English stranger?" called one; "it was he who gave Rob the knife to cut the belt!"

"Cleave the pock-pudding to the chafts!" said another.

"Put a brace of balls into his brain-pan!" suggested yet another.

"Or three inches of cold iron into his briskit!"

So, in order to nullify these various amiable intentions, Frank Osbaldistone leaped from his horse, and plunged into a thicket of alder trees, where he was almost instantly safe from pursuit. It was now altogether dark, and, having nowhere else to go, Frank resolved to retrace his way back to the little inn at which he had passed the previous night. The moon rose ere he had proceeded very far, bring[296]ing with it a sharp frosty wind which made Frank glad to be moving rapidly over the heather. He was whistling, lost in thought, when two riders came behind him, ranging up silently on either side. The man on the right of Frank addressed him in an English tongue and accent strange enough to hear in these wilds.

"So ho, friend, whither so late?"

"To my supper and bed at Aberfoil!" replied Frank, curtly.

"Are the passes open?" the horseman went on, in the same commanding tone of voice.

"I do not know," said Frank; "but if you are an English stranger, I advise you to turn back till daybreak. There has been a skirmish, and the neighbourhood is not perfectly safe for travellers."

"The soldiers had the worst of it, had they not?"

"They had, indeed—an officer's party was destroyed or made prisoners."

"Are you sure of that?" persisted the man on horseback.

"I was an unwilling spectator of the battle!" said Frank.

"Unwilling! Were not you engaged in it?"

"Certainly not," he answered, a little nettled at[297] the man's tone. "I was held a prisoner by the King's officer!"

"On what suspicion? And who and what are you?"

"I really do not know, sir," said Frank, growing quickly angry, "why I should answer so many questions put to me by a stranger. I ask you no questions as to your business here, and you will oblige me by making no inquiries as to mine."

But a new voice struck in, in tones which made every nerve in the young man's body tingle.

"Mr. Francis Osbaldistone," it said, "should not whistle his favourite airs when he wishes to remain undiscovered."

And Diana Vernon, for it was she, wrapped in a horseman's cloak, whistled in playful mimicry the second part of the tune, which had been on Frank's lips as they came up with him.

"Great heavens, can it be you, Miss Vernon," cried Frank, when at last he found words, "in such a spot—at such an hour—in such a lawless country!"

While Frank was speaking, he was trying to gain a glimpse of her companion. The man was certainly not Rashleigh. For so much he was thankful, at least, nor could the stranger's courteous address[298] proceed from any of the other Osbaldistone brothers. There was in it too much good breeding and knowledge of the world for that. But there was also something of impatience in the attitude of Diana's companion, which was not long in manifesting itself.

"Diana," he said, "give your cousin his property, and let us not spend time here."

Whereupon Miss Vernon took out a small case, and with a deeper and graver tone of feeling she said, "Dear cousin, you see I was born to be your better angel. Rashleigh has been compelled to give up his spoil, and had we reached Aberfoil last night, I would have found some messenger to give you these. But now I have to do the errand myself."

"Diana," said the horseman, "the evening grows late, and we are yet far from our home."

"Pray consider, sir," she said, lightly answering him, "how recently I have been under control. Besides, I have not yet given my cousin his packet—or bidden him farewell—farewell forever! Yes, Frank, forever. (She added the last words in a lower tone.) There is a gulf fixed between us! Where I go, you must not follow—what we do, you must not share in—farewell—be happy!"

In the attitude in which she bent from her High[299]land pony, the girl's face, perhaps not altogether unintentionally, touched that of Frank Osbaldistone. She pressed his hand, and a tear that had gathered on Die Vernon's eyelash found its way to the young man's cheek.

That was all. It was but a moment, yet Frank Osbaldistone never forgot that moment. He stood dumb and amazed with the recovered treasure in his hand, mechanically counting the sparkles which flew from the horses' hoofs which carried away his lost Diana and her unknown companion.

Frank was still dreaming over his almost unbelievable encounter with Miss Vernon—more concerned perhaps, be it said, about the fact that she had wept to part with him than about the recovery of his father's papers, when another traveller overtook him, this time on foot.

"A braw nicht, Mr. Osbaldistone," said a voice which there was no mistaking for that of the Mac-Gregor himself; "we have met at the mirk hour before now, I am thinking!"

Frank congratulated the Chieftain heartily on his recent wonderful escape from peril.

"Ay," said Rob Roy, coolly, "there is as much[300] between the throat and the halter as between the cup and the lip. But tell me the news!"

"In the attitude in which she bent from her Highland pony, the girl's face, perhaps not altogether unintentionally, touched that of Frank Osbaldistone. She pressed his hand, and a tear that had gathered on Die Vernon's eyelash found its way to the young man's cheek."

"In the attitude in which she bent from her Highland pony, the girl's face, perhaps not altogether unintentionally, touched that of Frank Osbaldistone. She pressed his hand, and a tear that had gathered on Die Vernon's eyelash found its way to the young man's cheek."

He laughed heartily at the exploits of the Bailie and the red-hot coulter in the inn of Aberfoil, and at the apprehension of Frank and his companion by the King's officer.

"As man lives by bread," he cried, "the buzzards have mistaken my friend the Bailie for his Excellency, and you for Diana Vernon—oh, the most egregious night owlets!"

"Miss Vernon," said Frank, trying to gain what information he could, "does she still bear that name?"

But the wary Highlander easily evaded him.

"Ay, ay," he said, "she's under lawful authority now; and it's time, for she's a daft hempie. It's a pity that his Excellency is a thought elderly for her. The like of you or my son Hamish would have sorted better in point of years."

This blow, which destroyed all Frank's hopes, quite silenced him—so much so that Rob Roy had to ask if he were ill or wearied with the long day's work, being, as he said, "doubtless unused to such things."

But in order to divert his attention Mac-Gregor asked him as to the skirmish, and what had hap[301]pened afterwards. It was with genuine agony that Rob Roy listened to the tale which Frank had to tell—though he modified, as far as he could, the treatment the Bailie and himself had met with from the Mac-Gregors.

"And the excise collector," said Rob Roy; "I wish he may not have been at the bottom of the ploy himself! I thought he looked very queer when I told him that he must remain as a hostage for my safe return. I wager he will not get off without ransom!"

"Morris," said Frank, with great solemnity, "has paid the last great ransom of all!"

"Eh—what?" cried the Mac-Gregor, "what d'ye say? I trust it was in the skirmish that he was killed?"

"He was slain in cold blood, after the fight was over, Mr. Campbell!"

"Cold blood!" he muttered rapidly between his teeth, "how fell this? Speak out, man, and do not Mister or Campbell me—my foot is on my native heath, and my name is Mac-Gregor!"

Without noticing the rudeness of his tone, Frank gave him a distinct account of the death of Morris. Rob Roy struck the butt of his gun with great vehemence on the ground, and broke out, "I vow to[302] God, such a deed might make one forswear kin, clan, country, wife, and bairns! And yet the villain wrought long for it. He but drees the doom he intended for me. Hanging or drowning—it is just the same. But I wish, for all that, they had put a ball or a dirk through the traitor's breast. It will cause talk—the fashion of his death—though all the world knows that Helen Mac-Gregor has deep wrongs to avenge."

Whereupon he quitted the subject altogether, and spoke of Frank Osbaldistone's affairs. He was glad to hear that he had received the stolen papers from Diana Vernon's own hands.

"I was sure you would get them," he said; "the letter you brought me contained his Excellency's pleasure to that effect, and it was for that purpose I asked ye to come up the glen in order that I might serve you. But his Excellency has come across Rashleigh first."

Rob Roy's words made much clear to the young man, yet some things remained mysterious. He remembered that Diana Vernon had left the library and immediately returned with the letter which was afterwards claimed by Rob Roy in the tolbooth of Glasgow. The person whom he now called his Excellency must therefore have been in Osbaldistone[303] Hall at the same time as himself, and unknown to all except Diana and possibly to her cousin Rashleigh. Frank remembered the double shadows on the windows, and thought that he could now see the reason of those.

But Rob would give him no clew as to who or what his Excellency was.

"I am thinking," he said cautiously, "that if you do not know that already, it cannot be of much consequence for you to know at all. So I will e'en pass over that part of it. But this I will tell you. His Excellency was hidden by Diana Vernon in her own apartment at the Hall, as best reason was, all the time you were there. Only Sir Hildebrand and Rashleigh knew of it. You, of course, were out of the question, and as for the young squires, they had not enough wit among the five of them to call the cat from the cream!"

The two travellers, thus talking together, had approached within a quarter of a mile from the village, when an outpost of Highlanders, springing upon them, bade them stand and tell their business. The single word Gregarach, pronounced in the deep commanding tones of Frank's companion, sufficed to call forth an answering yell of joyous recognition. The men threw themselves down be[304]fore the escaped Chief, clasping his knees, and, as it were, worshipping him with eyes and lips, much as poor Dougal had done in the Glasgow tolbooth.

The very hills resounded with the triumph. Old and young, both sexes and all ages, came running forth with shouts of jubilation, till it seemed as if a mountain torrent was hurrying to meet the travellers. Rob Roy took Frank by the hand, and he did not allow any to come near him till he had given them to understand that his companion was to be well and carefully treated.

So literally was this command acted upon, that for the time being Frank was not even allowed the use of his limbs. He was carried—will he, nill he—in triumph toward the inn of Mrs. MacAlpine. It was in Frank's heart that he might possibly meet there with Diana Vernon, but when he entered and looked around, the only known face in the smoky hovel was that of the Bailie, who, with a sort of reserved dignity, received the greetings of Rob Roy, his apologies for the indifferent accommodation which he could give him, and his well-meant inquiries after his health.

"I am well, kinsman," said the Bailie, "one cannot expect to carry the Salt Market of Glasgow at one's tail, as a snail does his shell. But I am blithe[305] to see that ye have gotten out of the hands of your unfriends!"

The Bailie, however, cheered by Highland refreshment, presently unbent and had many things to say. He would also have spoken concerning Helen Mac-Gregor. But Rob stopped him.

"Say nothing of my wife," he said sternly; "of me, ye are welcome to speak your full pleasure."

Next the Bailie offered to bind Rob's two sons as apprentices to the weaving trade, which well-meant proposition produced from the outlaw the characteristic anathema, mostly (and happily) conceived in Gaelic, "Ceade millia diaoul! My sons weavers! Millia molligheart! But I would rather see every loom in Glasgow, beam, traddles, and shuttles, burnt in the deil's ain fire sooner!"

However Rob Roy honestly paid the Bailie his thousand merks, principal and interest, in good French gold. And Frank quite won the outlaw's heart by the suggestion that the foreign influence of the house of Osbaldistone and Tresham could easily push the fortune of Hamish and Robin in the service of the King of France or in that of his Majesty of Spain. Rob could not for the present accept, he said. There was other work to be done at home. But all the same he thanked him for the[306] offer, with, as it seemed, some considerable emotion. Already Frank was learning the truth that a hard man is always more moved by what one may do for his children, than with what one does for himself.

Lastly he sent "the Dougal cratur," dressed in Andrew Fairservice's ancient garments, to see them safe upon their way. He had a boat in waiting for them on Loch Lomond side, and there on the pebbles the Bailie and his cousin bade each other farewell. They parted with much mutual regard, and even affection—the Bailie at the last saying to Rob Roy that if ever he was in need of a hundred "or even twa hundred pounds sterling," he had only to send a line to the Salt Market. While the chief answered that if ever anybody should affront his kinsman, the Bailie had only to let him ken, and he would pull the ears out of his head if he were the best man in Glasgow!

With these assurances of high mutual consideration, the boat bore away for the southwest angle of the lake. Rob Roy was left alone on the shore, conspicuous by his long gun, waving tartans, and the single tall feather in his bonnet which denoted the chieftain.

The travellers arrived safely in Glasgow, when[307] the Bailie went instantly home, vowing aloud that since he had once more gotten within sight of St. Mungo's steeple, it would be a long day and a short one before he ventured out of eye-shot of it again.

As for Frank, he made his way to his lodgings in order to seek out Owen. The door was opened by Andrew Fairservice, who set up a joyous shout, and promptly ushered the young man into the presence of the Head Clerk. But Mr. Owen was not alone. Mr. Osbaldistone the elder was there also, and in another moment Frank was folded in his father's arms.


Mr. Osbaldistone's first impulse seemed to be to preserve his dignity. But nature was too strong for him.

"My son—my dear son!" he murmured.

The head of the firm of Osbaldistone and Tresham had returned from Holland sooner than was expected, and with the resources which he had gathered there, and being now in full credit, he had no difficulty in solving the financial problems which had weighed so heavily upon the house in[308] his absence. He refused, however, every tender of apology from MacVittie and Company, settled the balance of their account, and announced to them that that page of their ledger, with all the advantages connected with it, was closed to them forever.

Soon after the home-coming of Frank Osbaldistone from the Highlands and his reconciliation with his father, the great Jacobite rebellion of 1715 broke out, in which the greater part of the Highlands burst into a flame, as well as much of the more northerly parts of England. Sir Hildebrand led out his sons to battle—all, that is to say, with the exception of Rashleigh, who had changed his politics and become a spy on behalf of the government of King George.

But it was not the will of Fate that the name of Osbaldistone should make any figure in that short and inglorious campaign. Thorncliff was killed in a duel with one of his brother officers. The sot Percie died shortly after, according to the manner of his kind. Dickon broke his neck in spurring a blood mare beyond her paces. Wilfred the fool died fighting at Proud Preston on the day of the Barricades; and his gallantry was no less that he could never remember an hour together for which king he was doing battle.[309]

John also behaved boldly and died of his wounds a few days after in the prison of Newgate, to the despair of old Sir Hildebrand, who did not long survive him. Indeed he willingly laid himself down to die, after having first disinherited Rashleigh as a traitor, and left his much encumbered estates to his nephew, Frank Osbaldistone.

Mr. Osbaldistone the elder now took an unexpected view of his son's prospects. He had cared nothing for his family in the past—indeed, never since he had been expelled from Osbaldistone Hall to make way for his younger brother. But now he willingly spent his money in taking up the mortgages upon the Osbaldistone estates, and he urged upon Frank the necessity of going down at once to the Hall, lest Rashleigh should get before him in that possession which is nine points of the law.

So to Osbaldistone Hall went Frank once more, his heart not a little sore within him for the good days he had spent in it, and especially because of the thought that he would now find there no madcap Die Vernon to tease and torment him out of his life.

First of all, to make his title clear, Frank had been desired to visit the hospitable house of old Justice Inglewood, with whom Sir Hildebrand had[310] deposited his will. As it chanced, it was in that good gentleman's power to give the young man some information which interested him more than the right of possession to many Osbaldistone Halls.

After dinner in the evening Frank and the Justice were sitting together, when all of a sudden Squire Inglewood called upon his companion to pledge a bumper to "dear Die Vernon, the rose of the wilderness, the heath-bell of Cheviot, that blossom transported to an infamous convent!"

"Is not Miss Vernon, then, married?" cried Frank, in great astonishment, "I thought his Excellency—"

"Pooh—pooh! His Excellency and his Lordship are all a humbug now, you know," said the Justice; "mere St. Germains titles—Earl of Beauchamp and ambassador plenipotentiary from France, when the Duke Regent scarce knew that he lived, I daresay. But you must have seen old Sir Frederick Vernon at the hall, when he played the part of Father Vaughan?"

"Good Heavens," cried Frank, "then Father Vaughan was Miss Vernon's father?"

"To be sure he was," said the Justice, coolly; "there's no use keeping the secret now, for he must be out of the country by this time—otherwise no[311] doubt it would be my duty to apprehend him. Come, off with your bumper to my dear lost Die!"

So Frank fared forth to Osbaldistone Hall, uncertain whether to be glad or sorry at Squire Inglewood's news. Finally he decided to be glad—or at least as glad as he could. For Diana, though equally lost to him, was at least not wedded to any one else.

Syddall, the old butler of Sir Hildebrand, seemed at first very unwilling to admit them, but Frank's persistence, together with Andrew Fairservice's insolence, made a way into the melancholy house. Frank ordered a fire to be lighted in the library. Syddall tried to persuade him to take up his quarters elsewhere, on the plea that the library had not been sat in for a long time, and that the chimney smoked.

To the old man's confusion, however, when they entered the room, a fire was blazing in the grate. He took up the tongs to hide his confusion, muttering, "It is burning clear now, but it smoked woundily in the morning!"

Next Frank ordered Andrew to procure him two stout fellows of the neighbourhood on whom he could rely, who would back the new proprietor, in case of Rashleigh attempting any attack during Frank's stay in the home of his fathers.[312]

Andrew soon returned with a couple of his friends—or, as he described them, "sober, decent men, weel founded in doctrinal points, and, above all, as bold as lions."

Syddall, however, shook his head at sight of them.

"I maybe cannot expect that your Honour should put confidence in what I say, but it is Heaven's truth for all that. Ambrose Wingfield is as honest a man as lives, but if there be a false knave in all the country, it is his brother Lancie. The whole country knows him to be a spy for Clerk Jobson on the poor gentlemen that have been in trouble. But he's a dissenter, and I suppose that's enough nowadays."

The evening darkened down, and trimming the wood fire in the old library Frank sat on, dreaming dreams in which a certain lady occupied a great place. He chanced to lift his eyes at a sound which seemed like a sigh, and lo! Diana Vernon stood before him. She was resting on the arm of a figure so like the portrait on the wall that involuntarily Frank raised his eyes to the frame to see whether it was not indeed empty.

But the figures were neither painted canvas nor yet such stuff as dreams are made of. Diana Vernon and her father—for it was they—stood[313] before the young man in actual flesh and blood. Frank was so astonished that for a while he could not speak, and it was Sir Frederick who first broke the silence.

"We are your suppliants, Mr. Osbaldistone," he said; "we claim the refuge and protection of your roof, till we can pursue a journey where dungeons and death gape for me at every step!"

"Surely you cannot suppose—" Frank found words with great difficulty—"Miss Vernon cannot suppose that I am so ungrateful—that I could betray any one—much less you!"

"I know it," said Sir Frederick, "though I am conferring on you a confidence which I would have been glad to have imposed on any one else. But my fate, which has chased me through a life of perils, is now pressing me hard, and, indeed, leaving me no alternative."

At this moment the door opened, and the voice of Andrew Fairservice was heard without. "I am bringing in the candles—ye can light them when ye like—'can do' is easy carried about with one!"

Frank had just time to rush to the door and thrust the officious rascal out, shutting the door upon him. Then, remembering the length of his servant's tongue, he made haste to follow him to[314] the hall to prevent his gabbling of what he might have seen. Andrew's voice was loud as Frank opened the door.

"What is the matter with you, you fool?" he demanded; "you stare and look wild as if you had seen a ghost."

"No—no—nothing," stammered Andrew, "only your Honour was pleased to be hasty!"

Frank Osbaldistone immediately dismissed the two men whom Andrew had found for him, giving them a crown-piece to drink his health, and they withdrew, apparently contented and unsuspicious. They certainly could have no further talk with Andrew that night, and it did not seem possible that in the few moments which Andrew had spent in the kitchen before Frank's arrival, he could have had time to utter two words.

But sometimes only two words can do a great deal of harm. On this occasion they cost two lives.

"You now know my secret," said Diana Vernon; "you know how near and dear is the relative who has so long found shelter here. And it will not surprise you, that, knowing such a secret, Rashleigh should rule me with a rod of iron."

But in spite of all that had happened, Sir Frederick was a strict and narrow Catholic, and Frank[315] found him more than ever determined to sacrifice his daughter to the life of the convent.

"She has endured trials," he said, "trials which might have dignified the history of a martyr. She has spent the day in darkness and the night in vigil, and never breathed a syllable of weakness or complaint. In a word, Mr. Osbaldistone, she is a worthy offering to that God to whom I dedicate her, as all that is left dear or precious to Frederick Vernon!"

Frank felt stunned and bewildered when at last they retired. But he had sufficient forethought to order a bed to be made up for him in the library, and dismissed Syddall and Andrew with orders not to disturb him till seven o'clock in the morning.

That night Frank lay long awake, and was at last dropping over to sleep when he was brought back to consciousness by a tremendous noise at the front door of Osbaldistone Hall. He hastened downstairs only in time to hear Andrew Fairservice bidding Syddall stand aside.

"We hae naething to fear if they come in King George's name," he was saying; "we hae spent baith bluid and gold for him."

In an agony of terror Frank could hear bolt after bolt withdrawn by the officious scoundrel, who[316] continued to boast all the while of his master's loyalty to King George. He flew instantly to Diana's room. She was up and dressed.

"We are familiar with danger," she said with a sad smile. "I have the key of the little garden door. We will escape by it. Only keep them a few moments in play! And dear, dear Frank, again—for the last time, farewell!"

By this time the men were on the stairway, and presently rapping on the library door.

"You robber dogs!" cried Frank, wilfully misunderstanding their purpose; "if you do not instantly quit the house, I will fire a blunderbuss upon you through the door!"

"Fire a fool's bauble," returned Andrew Fairservice; "it's Clerk Jobson with a legal warrant—"

"To search for, take, and apprehend," said the voice of that abominable pettifogger, "the bodies of certain persons in my warrant named, charged of high treason under the 13th of King William, chapter third."

The violence on the door was renewed.

"I am rising, gentlemen," said Frank, trying to gain as much time as possible; "commit no violence—give me leave to look at your warrant, and if it is formal and legal, I shall not oppose it."[317]

"God save great George our King," cried Andrew Fairservice, "I telled ye that ye would find no Jacobites here!"

At last the door had to be opened, when Clerk Jobson and several assistants entered. The lawyer showed a warrant for the arrest of Diana Vernon, her father,—and, to his surprise, of Frank himself.

Clerk Jobson, evidently well-informed, went directly to Diana's chamber.

"The hare has stolen away," he said brutally, "but her form is still warm. The greyhounds will have her by the haunches yet."

A scream from the garden announced that he had prophesied too truly. In five minutes more Rashleigh entered the library with Diana and her father, Sir Frederick, as his prisoners.

"The fox," he said, "knew his old earth, but he forgot it could be stopped by a careful huntsman. I had not forgot the garden gate, Sir Frederick—or, if the title suits you better, my most noble Lord Beauchamp!"

"Rashleigh," said Sir Frederick, "thou art a most detestable villain!"

"I better deserved the name, my Lord," said Rashleigh, turning his eyes piously upward, "when under an able tutor I sought to introduce civil war into a[318] peaceful country. But I have since done my best to atone for my errors."

Frank Osbaldistone could hold out no longer.

"If there is one thing on earth more hideous than another," he cried, "it is villainy masked by hypocrisy!"

"Ha, my gentle cousin," said Rashleigh, holding a candle toward Frank and surveying him from head to foot, "right welcome to Osbaldistone Hall. I can forgive your spleen. It is hard to lose an estate and a sweetheart in one night. For now we must take possession of this poor manor-house in the name of the lawful heir, Sir Rashleigh Osbaldistone!"

But though Rashleigh braved it out thus, he was clearly far from comfortable, and especially did he wince when Diana told him that what he had now done had been the work of an hour, but that it would furnish him with reflections for a lifetime.

"And of what nature these will be," she added, "I leave to your own conscience, which will not slumber forever!"

So presently the three prisoners were carried off. Syddall and Andrew were ordered to be turned out of the house, the latter complaining bitterly.[319]

"I only said that surely my master was speaking to a ghost in the library—and that villain Lancie—thus to betray an auld friend that has sung aff the same Psalm-book wi' him for twenty years!"

However, Andrew had just got clear of the avenue when he fell among a drove of Highland cattle, the drivers of which questioned him tightly as to what had happened at the Hall. They then talked in whispers among themselves till the lumbering sound of a coach was heard coming down the road from the house. The Highlanders listened attentively. The escort consisted of Rashleigh and several peace-officers.

So soon as the carriage had passed the avenue gate, it was shut behind the cavalcade by a Highlandman, stationed there for the purpose. At the same time the carriage was impeded in its further progress by some felled trees which had been dragged across the road. The cattle also got in the way of the horses, and the escort began to drive them off with their whips.

"Who dares abuse our cattle," said a rough voice; "shoot him down, Angus!"

"A rescue—a rescue!" shouted Rashleigh, instantly comprehending what had taken place, and,[320] firing a pistol, he wounded the man who had spoken.

"Claymore!" cried the leader of the Highlanders, and an affray instantly engaged. The officers of the law, unused to such prompt bloodshed, offered little real resistance. They galloped off in different directions as fast as their beasts would carry them. Rashleigh, however, who had been dismounted, maintained on foot a desperate and single-handed conflict with the leader of the band. At last he dropped.

"Will you ask forgiveness for the sake of God, King James, and auld friendship?" demanded a voice which Frank knew well.

"No, never!" cried Rashleigh, fiercely.

"Then, traitor, die in your treason!" retorted Mac-Gregor, and plunged his sword into the prostrate antagonist.

Rob Roy then drew out the attorney Clerk Jobson from the carriage, more dead than alive, and threw him under the wheel.

"Mr. Osbaldistone," he said in Frank's ear, "you have nothing to fear. Your friends will soon be in safety. Farewell, and forget not the Mac-Gregor!"


"And that," I said, "is all!"

But I was instantly overwhelmed by the rush of a living wave.

"No, no," cried the children, throwing themselves upon me, "you must tell us what became of Rob Roy—of the Bailie—of Dougal!"

These demands came from the boys.

"And if Diana married Frank, or went to the convent?" interjected Sweetheart.

"Well," I said, "I can soon answer all these questions. Sir Frederick died soon after, but before his end he relieved his daughter from her promise to enter a convent. She married Mr. Frank Osbaldistone instead."

"And lived happy ever after?" added Maid Margaret, who was at the "fairy princess" stage of literature.

"Except when she got cross with him," commented Sir Toady, an uncompromising realist, with pessimistic views on womenkind.

"And Rob Roy held his ground among his native mountains until he died."

"Tell us about the Bailie," said Hugh John; "I liked the Bailie—he's jolly!"

I told him that he was far from being alone in that opinion.

"The Bailie," I answered, "lived, as the Maid says, happily ever after, having very wisely married his servant Mattie. He carried on all the northern[322] affairs of Osbaldistone and Tresham, now a greater commercial house than ever, and lived to be Lord Provost of the city of Glasgow."

"Let Glasgow flourish!" cried Sir Toady, spontaneously. And the audience concluded the fourth tale and last from Rob Roy with a very passable imitation of a Highland yell.








The children lay prone on the floor of the library in various positions of juvenile comfort, watching the firewood in the big wide grate sparkle and crackle, or the broad snowflakes "spat" against the window-panes, where they stuck awhile as if gummed, and then began reluctantly to trickle down. As Sir Toady Lion said, "It was certainly a nice day on which to stop in!"

The choice of the book from which to tell the next Red Cap Tale had been a work of some difficulty. Hugh John had demanded Ivanhoe, chiefly because there was a chapter in it about shooting with the bow, the which he had read in his school reader when he ought to have been preparing his Latin. Sir Toady wanted The Fortunes of Nigel, because the title sounded adventurous. Sweetheart, who has been sometimes to the play, was insistent for The Bride of Lammermoor, while as to Maid Margaret, she was indifferent, so long as it was "nice and eecitin'."

But the tale-teller, being in the position of the Man-with-the-Purse (or in that of the House of[326] Commons with regard to the granting of supplies), held to it that, in spite of its "growed-up" title, The Antiquary would be the most suitable. First, because we had agreed to go right through the Scottish stories; secondly, because The Antiquary was one of the first which Sir Walter wrote; and thirdly and lastly, because he, the tale-teller aforesaid, "felt like it."

At this, I saw Hugh John look at his brother with the quick glance of intelligence which children exchange when they encounter the Superior Force.

That unspoken message said clearly and neatly, "Pretty thing asking us to select the book, when he had it all settled from the start!"

Nevertheless, I made no remark, but with my eyes on the click of Sweetheart's knitting needles (for in the intervals of nursery wars Sweetheart grows a diligent housewife), I began in the restful silence of that snowy Saturday my first tale from The Antiquary.


As though all the tin pots on a tinker's wagon had been jolted and jangled, the bells of St. Giles's steeple in Edinburgh town, had just told the hour of noon. It was the time for the Queensferry diligence (which is to say, omnibus) to set out for the passage of the Firth, if it were to catch[327] the tide of that day, and connect with the boat which sets passengers from the capital upon the shores of Fife.

A young man had been waiting some time. An old one had just bustled up. "Deil's in it!" cried the latter, with a glance at the dial of the church clock, "I am late, after all!"

But the young man, saluting, informed him that, instead of being late, he was early—so far, that is, as the coach was concerned. It had not yet appeared upon the stand. This information first relieved the mind of the old gentleman, and then, after a moment or two, began (no difficult matter) to arouse his anger.

"Good woman! good woman!" he cried down one of the area stairs, common in the old town of Edinburgh. Then he added in a lower tone, "Doited old hag! she's deaf as a post. I say, Mrs. Macleuchar!"

But Mrs. Macleuchar, the proprietress of the Queensferry diligence, was in no hurry to face the wrath of the public. She served her customer quietly in the shop below, ascended the stairs, and when at last on the level of the street, she looked about, wiped her spectacles as if a mote upon them might have caused her to overlook so minute an[328] object as an omnibus, and exclaimed, "Did ever anybody see the like o' this?"

"Yes, you abominable woman," cried the traveller, "many have seen the like before, and all will yet see the like again, that have aught to do with your trolloping sex!"

And walking up and down the pavement in front of Mrs. Macleuchar's booth, he delivered a volley of abuse each time he came in front of it, much as a battleship fires a broadside as she passes a hostile fortress, till the good woman was quite overwhelmed.

"Oh! man! man!" she cried, "take back your three shillings and make me quit o' ye!"

"Not so fast—not so fast," her enemy went on; "will three shillings take me to Queensferry according to your deceitful programme? Or will it pay my charges there, if, by your fault, I should be compelled to tarry there a day for want of tide? Will it even hire me a pinnace, for which the regular price is five shillings?"

But at that very moment the carriage lumbered up, and the two travellers were carried off, the elder of them still leaning out of the window and shouting reproaches at the erring Mrs. Macleuchar.

The slow pace of the broken-down horses, and[329] the need to replace a shoe at a wayside smithy, still further delayed the progress of the vehicle, and when they arrived at Queensferry, the elder traveller, Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck by name, saw at once, by the expanse of wet sand and the number of the black glistening rocks visible along the shore, that the time of tide was long past.

But he was less angry than his young companion, Mr. Lovel, had been led to expect from the scolding he had bestowed upon Mrs. Macleuchar in the city. On the way the two had discovered a kindred taste for antique literature and the remains of the past, upon which last Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck was willing to discourse, as the saying is, till all was blue.

The Hawes Inn sat (and still sits) close by the wash of the tides which scour the Firth of Forth on its southern side. It was then an old-fashioned hostelry, overgrown on one side with ivy, and with the woods of Barnbogle growing close down behind it. The host was very willing to provide dinner and shelter for the two guests, and, indeed, there was a suspicion that Mr. Mackitchinson of the Hawes was in league with Mrs. Macleuchar of the Tron, and that this fact went far to explain the frequent late appearance of the coach with "the three yellow[330] wheels and a black one" belonging to that lady, upon the High Street of Edinburgh.

At the Hawes Inn, therefore, the time of waiting before dinner was sufficient for young Mr. Lovel to step out and discover who his amusing and irascible companion of voyage might be. At South Queensferry every one knew Mr. Oldbuck of Monkbarns. Bred a lawyer, he had never practised, being ever more interested in the antiquities of his native country than in sitting in an office among legal documents and quill pens. The death of his brother had made him heir to all his father's property, and in due time he had settled comfortably down to country life and Roman inscriptions at the family seat of Monkbarns, near by to the town of Fairport, the very town to which Mr. Lovel was at that moment making his way.

Mr. Oldbuck, though equally anxious, was unable to discover anything about his travelling companion. He had, however, discussed the elder dramatists with him, and found him so strong in the subject, that his mind, always searching for the reasons of things, promptly set the young man down as an actor travelling to Fairport, to fulfil an engagement at the theatre there.

"Yes," he said to himself, "Lovel and Belville[331]—these are just the names which youngsters are apt to assume on such occasions—on my life I am sorry for the lad!"

It was this thought which made Mr. Oldbuck, though naturally and of habit very careful of his sixpences, slip round to the back of the Hawes Inn and settle the bill with the landlord. It was this which made him propose to pay two-thirds of the post-chaise which was to carry them across to Fairport, when at last they set foot on the northern side of the Firth. Arrived at their destination, Mr. Oldbuck recommended Lovel to the care of a decent widow, and so left him with many friendly expressions, in order to proceed to his own house of Monkbarns.

But no Mr. Lovel appeared on the boards of the theatre at Fairport. On the contrary, not even the town gossips, who, having no business of their own to attend to, take charge of other people's, could find out anything about him. Furthermore they could say no evil. The Sheriff called upon him, but the stranger had evidently fully satisfied the man of law, for on his return home he sent him an invitation to dinner, which was, however, civilly declined. He paid his bills and meddled with no one. All which being reported, more or[332] less faithfully, to the proprietor of Monkbarns, caused the young man to rise in his estimation, as one who had too much good sense to trouble himself with the "bodies" of Fairport.

It was five days before Lovel made his way out to the House of Monkbarns to pay his respects. The mansion had once on a time been the storehouse of the vanished Abbey. There the monks had stored the meal which the people dwelling on their lands brought to them instead of rent. Lovel found it a rambling, hither-and-thither old house, with tall hedges of yew all about it. These last were cut into arm-chairs, crowing cocks, and St. Georges in the act of slaying many dragons, all green and terrible. But one great yew had been left untouched by the shears, and under it Lovel found his late fellow-traveller sitting, spectacles on nose, reading the London Chronicle.

The old gentleman immediately rose to welcome his guest, and having taken him indoors, he guided him with some difficulty to the "den," as he called his study. Here Mr. Oldbuck found his niece in company with a serving-maid, both in the midst of a thick cloud of dust, endeavouring to reduce the place to some order and cleanliness.

The Antiquary instantly exploded, as is the man[333]ner of all book-lovers when their "things" are disarranged.

"How dare you, or Jenny either, presume to meddle with my private affairs? Go sew your sampler, you monkey, and do not let me find you here again as you value your ears—"

"Why, uncle," said the girl, who still stood her ground, "your room was not fit to be seen, and I just came to see that Jenny laid everything down where she took it up."

In the midst of a second discharge of great guns the young lady made her escape, with a half-humorous courtesy to Lovel. It was, indeed, some time before the young man could see, through the dense clouds of dust (which, as the Antiquary said, had been ancient and peaceful enough only an hour ago) the chamber of Mr. Oldbuck, full of great books, littered with ancient maps, engravings, scraps of parchment, old armour, broadswords, and Highland targets.

In the midst of all crouched a huge black cat, glaring steadily with great yellow eyes out of the murky confusion, like the familiar spirit of this wizard's den.

So, after showing Lovel many of his most valuable antiquities, and in especial his treasured books,[334] Mr. Oldbuck gladly led the way into the open air. He would take his visitor, he said, to the Kaim of Kinprunes. It was on his own land, he affirmed, and not very far away. Arrived at a little barren eminence, the Antiquary demanded of his friend what he saw.

"A very fine view!" said Lovel, promptly.

But this was not the response for which the proud owner was waiting. He went on to ask Lovel if he did not see anything remarkable on the surface of the ground.

"Why, yes," said Lovel, readily, "I do see something like a ditch, indistinctly marked."

At this, however, the Antiquary was most indignant.

"Indistinct!" he cried, "why, the indistinctness must be in your own eyes. It was clear even to that light-headed lassie, my niece, at the first glance. Here on this very Kaim of Kinprunes was fought out the final conflict between Agricola and the Caledonians! The record says—let me remind you—'in sight of the Grampian Hills.' Yonder they are! In conspectu classis,—'in sight of the fleet,'—and where will you find a finer bay than that on your right hand? From this very fortification, doubtless, Agrippa looked down on the immense[335] army of Caledonians occupying the slopes of the opposite hill, the infantry rising rank over rank, the cavalry and charioteers scouring the more level space below. From this very prætorium—"

But a voice from behind interrupted the Antiquary's poetic description, for his voice had mounted almost into a kind of ecstasy.

"Prætorian here—Prætorian there—I mind the bigging o't!"

Both at once turned round, Lovel surprised, and the Antiquary both surprised and angry. An old man in a huge slouched hat, a long white grizzled beard, weather-beaten features of the colour of brick-dust, a long blue gown with a pewter badge on the right arm, stood gazing at them. In short, it was Edie Ochiltree, the King's Blue-Gownsman, which is to say, privileged beggar.

"What is that ye say, Edie?" demanded Oldbuck, thinking that his ears must have deceived him.

"About this bit bower, Monkbarns," said the undaunted Edie, "I mind the biggin' (building) o' it!"

"The deil ye do!" said the Antiquary with scorn in his voice; "why, you old fool, it was here before ye were born, and will be here after ye are hanged."

"Hanged or drowned, alive or dead," said Edie, sticking to his guns, "I mind the biggin' o't!"[336]

"You—you—you," stammered the Antiquary, between confusion and anger, "you strolling old vagabond, what ken ye about it?"

"Oh, I ken just this about it, Monkbarns," he answered, "and what profit have I in telling ye a lie? It was just some mason-lads and me, with maybe two or three herds, that set to work and built this bit thing here that ye call the prætorian, to be a shelter for us in a sore time of rain, at auld Aiken Drum's bridal. And look ye, Monkbarns, dig down, and ye will find a stone (if ye have not found it already) with the shape of a spoon and the letters A.D.L.L. on it—that is to say Aiken Drum's Lang Ladle."

The Antiquary blushed crimson with anger and mortification. For indoors he had just been showing that identical stone to Lovel as his chiefest treasure, and had interpreted the ladle as a Roman sacrificing vessel, and the letters upon it as a grave Latin inscription, carved by Agrippa himself to celebrate his victory.

Lovel was inclined to be amused by the old beggar's demolishing of all the Antiquary's learned theories, but he was speedily brought to himself by Edie Ochiltree's next words.

"That young gentleman, too, I can see, thinks little o' an auld carle like me, yet I'll wager I[337] could tell him where he was last night in the gloaming, only maybe he would not like to have it spoken of in company!"

It was now Lovel's turn to blush, which he did with the vivid crimson of two-and-twenty.

"Never mind the old rogue," said Mr. Oldbuck, "and don't think that I think any the worse of you for your profession. They are only prejudiced fools and coxcombs who do that."

For, in spite of Lovel's interest in ancient history, it still remained in the Antiquary's mind that his young friend must be an actor by profession.

But to this Lovel paid no attention. He was engaged in making sure of Edie's silence by the simple method of passing a crown-piece out of his own pocket into the Blue-Gown's hand; while Monkbarns, equally willing to bridle his tongue as to the building of the prætorian, was sending him down to the mansion house for something to eat and a bottle of ale thereto.


The Antiquary continued to hear good reports of his young friend, and, as it struck him that the lad must be lonely in such a place as Fairport, he[338] resolved to ask Lovel to dinner, in order to show him the best society in the neighbourhood—that is to say, his friend, Sir Arthur Wardour of Knockwinnock, and his daughter Isabella.

Sir Arthur was something of an antiquary also, but far less learned and serious than Mr. Oldbuck. Living so near each other the two quarrelled often about the Pictish Kings of Scotland, the character of Queen Mary, and even other matters more modern—such as the lending of various sums of money. For Sir Arthur always wanted to borrow, whereas the Antiquary did not always want to lend. Sir Arthur was entirely careless as to paying back, while Mr. Oldbuck stood firmly rooted upon the rights of principal and interest. But on the whole they were good friends enough, and the Baronet accordingly accepted, in a letter written by his daughter, the invitation to Monkbarns.

Lovel arrived punctually on the afternoon appointed, for, in the Antiquary's day, dinners took place at four o'clock! It was a brooding, thundery day, sultry and threatening—the 17th of July, according to the calendar.

Mr. Oldbuck had time to introduce his "most discreet sister Griselda" as he called her, who came arrayed in all the finery of half a century before,[339] and wearing a mysterious erection on her head, something between a wedding-cake and the Tower of Babel in a picture Bible, while his niece, Miss MacIntyre, a pretty young woman with something of bright wit about her, which came undoubtedly from her uncle's family, was arrayed more in the fashion of the day.

Sir Arthur, with his daughter on his arm, presently arrived, and respects, compliments, and introductions were interchanged. The dinner was made up chiefly of Scottish national dainties, and everything went well, save that the solan goose, a fragrant bird at all times, proved so underdone that Mr. Oldbuck threatened to fling it at the head of the housekeeper.

As soon as the ladies left the dining room, Sir Arthur and the Antiquary plunged into their controversies, with a bottle of good port wine between them, while Lovel set himself to listen with much amusement.

The language of the Picts, the building of the earliest Edinburgh Castle, with other subjects, on none of which they agreed, made the two wiseacres grow hotter and hotter, till at last the wrath of the man of pedigree was roused by a chance statement of the Antiquary's that the Baronet's famous ancestor, Gamelyn de Guardover, who had signed the[340] Ragman Roll, showed thereby a mean example of submitting to Edward of England.

"It is enough, sir," said Sir Arthur, starting up fiercely. "I shall hereafter take care how I honour with my company one who shows himself so ungrateful for my condescension."

"In that you will do as you find most agreeable, Sir Arthur," returned the Antiquary. "I hope that, as I was not aware of the full extent of the obligation you had done me by visiting my poor house, I may be excused for not having carried my gratitude to the extent of servility."

"Mighty well—mighty well, Mr. Oldbuck—I wish you a good evening, Mr.—ah—ah—Shovel—I wish you a very good evening."

And so saying Sir Arthur flounced out, and with long strides traversed the labyrinth of passages, seeking for the drawing-room of Monkbarns.

"Did you ever see such a tup-headed old ass?" said the Antiquary, "but I must not let him burst in on the ladies in this mad way either."

So Mr. Oldbuck ran after his adversary, who was in great danger of tumbling down the back stairs and breaking his shins over various collections of learned and domestic rubbish piled in dark corners.

"Stay a minute, Sir Arthur," said the Antiquary,[341] at last capturing him by the arm; "don't be quite so hasty, my good old friend! I was a little rude to you about Sir Gamelyn—why, he is an old acquaintance of mine—kept company with Wallace and Bruce, and only subscribed the Ragman Roll with the just intention of circumventing the Southern—'twas right Scottish craft—hundreds did it! Come, come—forget and forgive—confess we have given the young fellow here a right to think us two testy old fools."

"Speak for yourself, Mr. Jonathan Oldbuck," said Sir Arthur, with much majesty.

"Awell—awell," said the Antiquary, with a sigh, "a wilful man must have his way!"

And the Baronet accordingly stalked into the drawing-room, pettishly refused to accept either tea or coffee, tucked his daughter under his arm, and, having said the driest of good-byes to the company at large, off he marched.

"I think Sir Arthur has got the black dog on his back again!" said Miss Oldbuck.

"Black dog! Black deil!" cried her brother; "he's more absurd than womankind. What say you, Lovel? Why, the lad's gone too."

"Yes," said Miss MacIntyre, "he took his leave while Miss Wardour was putting on her things."[342]

"Deil's in the people!" cried the Antiquary. "This is all one gets by fussing and bustling, and putting one's self out of the way to give dinners. O Seged, Emperor of Ethiopia," he added, taking a cup of tea in one hand and a volume of the Rambler in the other, "well hast thou spoken. No man can presume to say, 'This shall be a day of happiness.'"

Oldbuck had continued his studies for the best part of an hour, when Caxton, the ancient barber of Fairport, thrusting his head into the room, informed the company—first, that it was going to be "an awfu' nicht," secondly, that Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour had started out to return to Knockwinnock Castle by way of the sands!

Instantly Miss MacIntyre set off to bear the tidings to Saunders Mucklebackit, the old fisherman, while the Antiquary himself, with a handkerchief tied round his hat and wig to keep them from being blown away, searched the cliffs for any signs of his late guests.

Nor was the information brought by Caxton one whit exaggerated. Sir Arthur and his daughter had indeed started out to reach their home by the sands. On most occasions these afforded a safe road enough, but in times of high tide or when the[343] sea was driven shoreward by a wind, the waves broke high against the cliffs in fury.

Talking earnestly together as they walked, Sir Arthur and Miss Wardour did not observe the gathering of the tempest till it had broken upon them. They had reached a deep sickle-shaped bay, and having with difficulty passed one headland, they were looking with some anxiety toward the other, hoping to reach and pass it before the tide closed in upon them, when they saw a tall figure advancing toward them waving hands and arms. Their hearts rejoiced, for, they thought, where that man had passed, there would still be a road for them.

But they were doomed to be disappointed. The figure was no other than that of the old Blue-Gown Edie Ochiltree. As he advanced he continued to sign to them and to shout words which were carried away by the blast, till he had arrived quite close.

"Turn back! Turn back!" he cried, when at last they could hear. "Why did you not turn back when I waved to you?"

"We thought," said Sir Arthur, much disturbed, "that we could still get round Halket Head."

"Halket Head!" cried the vagrant; "why, the[344] tide will be running on Halket Head by this time like the Falls of Foyers. It was all I could do to get round it twenty minutes since."

"The figure was no other than that of the old Blue-Gown Edie Ochiltree. As he advanced he continued to sign to them and to shout words which were carried away by the blast, till he had arrived quite close.

"The figure was no other than that of the old Blue-Gown Edie Ochiltree. As he advanced he continued to sign to them and to shout words which were carried away by the blast, till he had arrived quite close.

"'Turn back! Turn back!' he cried, when at last they could hear. 'Why did you not turn back when I waved to you?'"

It was now equally impossible to turn back. The water was dashing over the skerries behind them, and the path by which Miss Wardour and her father had passed so recently was now only a confusion of boiling and eddying foam.

There was nothing for it but to try to climb as far up the cliffs as possible, and trust that the tide would turn back before it reached them. With the help of the old beggar, they perched themselves upon the highest shelf to which, on that almost perpendicular wall of rock, they could hope to attain. But, nevertheless, as the waves leaped white beneath, it seemed very far indeed from safety.

Sir Arthur, struck with terror, offered lands and wealth to the Blue-Gownsman if he would only guide them to a place of safety.

But the old beggar could only shake his head and answer sadly: "I was a bold enough cragsman once. Many a kittywake's and seagull's nest have I taken on these very cliffs above us. But now my eyesight and my footstep and my handgrip all have failed this many and many a day! But what is that?" he cried, looking eagerly upward. "His[345] Name be praised! Yonder comes some one down the cliff, even now."

And taking heart of grace, he cried directions up through the gathering darkness to the unseen helper who was descending toward them.

"Right! Right! Fasten the rope well round the Crummie's Horn—that's the muckle black stone yonder. Cast two plies about it! That's it! Now creep a little eastwards, to that other stone—the Cat's Lug, they call it. There used to be the root of an old oak tree there. Canny now! Take time! Now ye maun get to Bessie's Apron—that's the big, blue, flat stone beneath ye! And then, with your help and the rope, I'll win at ye, and we will be able to get up the young lady and Sir Arthur!"

The daring adventurer, no other than Lovel himself, soon reached the place pointed out, and, throwing down the rope, it was caught by Edie Ochiltree, who ascended to the flat blue stone formerly spoken of. From this point of vantage the two of them were able by their united strength to raise Miss Wardour to safety. Then Lovel descended alone, and fastening the rope about Sir Arthur (who was now utterly unable, from fear and cold, to do anything for himself), they soon had him beside them on Bessie's Apron.[346]

Yet, even so, it seemed impossible that they could remain there all night. The wind and the dashing spray every moment threatened to sweep them from the narrow ledge they had reached. Besides, how was one so delicate as Miss Wardour to stand out such a night? Lovel offered, in spite of the gathering darkness, once more to climb the cliff, and to seek further assistance. But the old Blue-Gown withheld him.

No cragsman in broadest daylight could do such a thing, he asserted. Even he himself, in the fullest of his strength, would never have attempted the feat. It was death to ascend ten yards. Miss Wardour begged that neither of them should try. She was already much better, she said. Besides, their presence was needed to control her father, who was clearly not responsible for his actions.

Just then a faint halloo came from high above. Edie answered it with a shout, waving at the same time Miss Wardour's handkerchief at the end of his long beggar's staff, as far out from the cliff as possible. In a little while the signals were so regularly replied to, that the forlorn party on Bessie's Apron knew that they were again within hearing, if not within reach, of friendly assistance.

On the top of the cliffs Monkbarns was heading[347] the party of searchers. Saunders Mucklebackit, an old fisherman and smuggler, had charge of the rescue apparatus. This consisted of the mast of a boat, with a yard firmly fixed across it. Through the ends of the yard a rope ran in two blocks, and by this Saunders hoped to lower a chair down the cliffs, by means of which (said the old smuggler) the whole party would presently be "boused up and landed on board, as safe as so many kegs of brandy."

The chair was accordingly let down, together with a second rope—which, being held by some one below, would keep the chair from dashing about in the wind against the rock. This Saunders called the "guy" or guide rope.

Miss Wardour, after some persuasion, mounted first, being carefully bound in the rude seat by means of Lovel's handkerchief and neckcloth, in addition to the mendicant's broad leathern belt passed about her waist.

Sir Arthur, whose brain appeared quite dazed, continued loudly to protest. "What are you doing with my bairn?" he cried. "What are you doing? She shall not be separated from me. Isabel, stay with me—I command you!"

But the signal being given to hoist away, the chair mounted, intently watched by Lovel, who[348] stood holding the guide rope, to the last flutter of the lady's white dress. Miss Wardour was duly and safely landed. Sir Arthur and Edie followed, and it remained for Lovel to make the more hazardous final ascent. For now there was no one left below to help him by holding the "guy" rope. Nevertheless, being young and accustomed to danger, he managed, though much banged and buffeted about by the wind, to fend himself off the rocks with the long pike-staff belonging to the beggar, which Edie had left him for that purpose.

It was only when Lovel reached the safety of the cliff that he felt himself for a moment a little faint. When he came to himself Sir Arthur had already been removed to his carriage, and all that Lovel saw of the girl he had rescued from death was the last flutter of her dress vanishing through the storm.

"She did not even think it worth while waiting to see whether I was dead or alive—much less to thank me for anything I had done!"

And he resolved to leave Fairport on the morrow, without visiting Knockwinnock, or again seeing Miss Wardour. But what he did not know was that Miss Wardour had waited till she had been assured that Lovel was safe and sound, having sent Sir Arthur on before her to the carriage.[349]

But as the young man was not aware that she had shown him even this limited sympathy, his heart continued to be bitter within him.

It was arranged that he was to sleep that night at Monkbarns. Indeed Mr. Oldbuck would hear of no other way of it. The Antiquary had looked forward to the chicken pie and the bottle of port which Sir Arthur had left untasted when he bounced off in a fume. What then was his wrath when his sister, Miss Grizel, told him how that the minister of Trotcosey, Mr. Blattergowl, having come down to Monkbarns to sympathise with the peril of all concerned, had so much affected Miss Oldbuck by his show of anxiety that she had set the pie and the wine before him—which he had accordingly consumed to show his good-will.

But after some very characteristic grumbling, cold beef and hard-boiled eggs did just as well for the two friends, and while Lovel partook of them, Miss Grizel entertained him with tales of the Green Room in which he was to sleep. This apartment was haunted, it seemed, by the spirit of the first Oldenbuck, the celebrated printer of the Augsburg Confession. He had even appeared in person to a certain town-clerk of Fairport, and showed him (at the point of his toe) upstairs to an old cabinet in[350] which was stored away the very document for the want of which the lairds of Monkbarns were likely to be worsted in a famous lawsuit before the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Furthermore, a famous German professor, a very learned man, Dr. Heavysterne by name, had found his rest so much disturbed in that very room that he could never again be persuaded to sleep there.

Lovel, however, laughed at such fears, and was accordingly shown by the Antiquary up to the famous Green Room, a large chamber with walls covered by a tapestry of hunting scenes,—stags, boars, hounds, and huntsmen, all mixed together under the greenwood tree, the boughs of which, interlacing above, gave its name to the room.

Lovel fell asleep after a while, still bitterly meditating on how unkindly Miss Wardour had used him, and his thoughts, mixed with the perilous adventures of the evening, made him not a little feverish. At first his dreams were wild, confused, and impossible. He flew like a bird. He swam like a fish. He was upborne on clouds, and dashed on rocks which yet received him soft as pillows of down. But at last, out of the gloom a figure approached his bedside, separating himself from the wild race of the huntsmen upon the green tapestry,[351]—a figure like that which had been described to him as belonging to the first laird of Monkbarns. He was dressed in antique Flemish garb, a furred Burgomaster cap was on his head, and he held in his hands a black volume with clasps of brass.

Lovel strove to speak, but, as usual in such cases, he could not utter a word. His tongue refused its office. The awful figure held up a warning finger, and then began deliberately to unclasp the volume he held in his hands. He turned the leaves hastily for a few minutes; then, holding the book aloft in his left hand, he pointed with his right to a line which seemed to start forth from the page glowing with supernatural fire. Lovel did not understand the language in which the book was printed, but the wonderful light with which the words glowed impressed them somehow on his memory. The vision shut the volume. A strain of music was heard, and Lovel awoke. The sun was shining full into the Green Room, and somewhere not far away a girl's voice was singing a simple Scottish air.[352]


It was the spinner of yarns himself who broke the silence which fell on the party at the close of the first tale told out of the treasure-house of The Antiquary.

"If I catch you," were the words of warning which fell from his lips, "you, Hugh John, or you, Toady Lion, trying to hoist one another up a cliff with a rope and a chair—well, the rope will most certainly be used for quite another purpose, and both of you will just hate to look at a chair for a fortnight after! Do you understand?"

They understood perfectly.

"It was me they were going to hoist," confided Maid Margaret, coming a little closer. "I saw them looking at me all the time you were telling the story!"

"Well," I said, "just let me catch them at it, that's all!"

This caution being necessary for the avoidance of future trouble, I went on to read aloud the whole of the Storm chapters, to the children's unspeakable delight. Hugh John even begged for the book to take to bed with him, which privilege he was allowed, on the solemn promise that he would not "peep on ahead." Since Sweetheart's prophecies as to Die Vernon, such conduct has been voted scoundrelly and unworthy of any good citizen of the nursery.[353]

On the whole, however, I could not make out whether The Antiquary promised to be a favourite or not. The storm scene was declared "famous," but the accompanying prohibition to break their own or their family's necks, by pulling chairs up and down rocks, somewhat damped the ardour of the usual enthusiasts.

As, however, the day was hopeless outside, the snow beating more and more fiercely on the windows, and hanging in heavy fleecy masses on the smallest twigs of the tree-branches and leafless rose stems, it was decided that nothing better could be imagined, than just to proceed with our second tale from The Antiquary. But before beginning I received two requests, somewhat difficult to harmonize the one with the other.

"Tell us all about Miss Wardour and Lovel. He's nice!" said Sweetheart.

"Skip all the love-making!" cried Hugh John and Sir Toady in a breath.




The Antiquary, to whom Lovel told his dream, promptly pulled out a black-letter volume of great age and, unclasping it, showed him the very motto of his vision. So far, however, from glowing with fire now, the words remained in the ordinary calm chill of type. But when the Antiquary told him that these words had been the Printer's Mark or Colophon of his ancestor, Aldobrand Oldenbuck, the founder of his house, and that they meant "skill wins favour," Lovel, though half ashamed of giving any credit to dreams, resolved to remain in the neighbourhood of Knockwinnock Castle and of Miss Wardour for at least some time longer.

In vain Oldbuck made light of his vision of the Green Room. In vain he reminded him that he had been showing that very volume to Sir Arthur the night before in his presence, and had even remarked upon the appropriate motto of old Aldobrand Oldenbuck.

Lovel was resolved to give his love for Miss[355] Wardour one more chance. And indeed at that very moment, under the lady's window at Knockwinnock Castle, a strange love messenger was pleading his cause.

Miss Wardour had been trying to persuade old Edie Ochiltree to accept a garden, a cottage, and a daily dole, for his great services in saving her own and her father's life. But of this Edie would hear nothing.

"I would weary," he said, "to be forever looking up at the same beams and rafters, and out upon the same cabbage patch. I have a queer humour of my own, too, and I might be jesting and scorning where I should be silent. Sir Arthur and I might not long agree. Besides, what would the country do for its gossip—the blithe clatter at e'en about the fire? Who would bring news from one farm-town to another—gingerbread to the lassies, mend fiddles for the lads, and make grenadier caps of rushes for the bairns, if old Edie were tied by the leg at his own cottage door?"

"Well, then, Edie," said Miss Wardour, "if this be so, if you feel that the folk of the countryside cannot do without you, you must just let me know when you feel old enough to settle, and in the meantime take this."[356]

And she handed him a sum of money. But for the second time again the beggar refused.

"Na, na," he said, "it is against our rule to take so muckle siller at once. I would be robbed and murdered for it at the next town—or at least I would go in fear of my life, which is just as bad. But you might say a good word for me to the ground-officer and the constable, and maybe bid Sandy Netherstanes the miller chain up his big dog, and I will e'en come to Knockwinnock as usual for my alms and my snuff."

Edie paused at this point, and, stepping nearer to the window on which Miss Wardour leaned, he continued, speaking almost in her ear.

"Ye are a bonny young leddy, and a good one," he said, "and maybe a well-dowered one. But do not you sneer away the laddie Lovel, as ye did a while syne on the walk beneath the Briery bank, when I both saw ye and heard ye too, though ye saw not me. Be canny with the lad, for he loves ye well. And it's owing to him, and not to anything I could have done, that you and Sir Arthur were saved yestreen!"

Then, without waiting for an answer, old Edie stalked toward a low doorway and disappeared. It was at this very moment that Lovel and the Anti[357]quary entered the court. Miss Wardour had only time to hasten upstairs, while the Antiquary was pausing to point out the various features of the architecture of Knockwinnock Castle to the young man.

Miss Wardour met the two gentlemen in the drawing-room of the castle with her father's apology for not being able to receive them. Sir Arthur was still in bed, and, though recovering, he continued to suffer from the fatigues and anxieties of the past night.

"Indeed," said the Antiquary, "a good down pillow for his good white head were a couch more meet than Bessie's Apron, plague on her! But what news of our mining adventure in Glen Withershins?"

"None," said Miss Wardour, "or at least no good news! But here are some specimens just sent down. Will you look at them?"

And withdrawing into a corner with these bits of rock, the Antiquary proceeded to examine them, grumbling and pshawing over each ere he laid it aside to take up another. This was Lovel's opportunity to speak alone with Miss Wardour.

"I trust," he said, "that Miss Wardour will impute to circumstances almost irresistible, this intru[358]sion of one who has reason to think himself so unacceptable a visitor."

"Mr. Lovel," said Miss Wardour, in the same low tone, "I am sure you are incapable of abusing the advantages given you by the services you have rendered us—ah, if I could only see you as a friend—or as a sister!"

"I cannot," said Lovel, "disavow my feelings. They are well known to Miss Wardour. But why crush every hope—if Sir Arthur's objections could be removed?"

"But that is impossible," said Miss Wardour, "his objections cannot be removed, and I am sure you will save both of us pain by leaving Fairport, and returning to the honourable career which you seem to have abandoned!"

"Miss Wardour," said Lovel, "I will obey your wishes, if, within one little month I cannot show you the best of reasons for continuing to abide at Fairport."

At this moment Sir Arthur sent down a message to say that he would like to see his old friend, the Laird of Monkbarns, in his bedroom. Miss Wardour instantly declared that she would show Mr. Oldbuck the way, and so left Lovel to himself. It chanced that in the interview which followed Sir Arthur let[359] out by accident that his daughter had already met with Lovel in Yorkshire, when she had been there on a visit to her aunt. The Antiquary was at first astonished, and then not a little indignant, that neither of them should have told him of this when they were introduced, and he resolved to catechise his young friend Lovel strictly upon the point as soon as possible. But when at last he bade farewell to his friend Sir Arthur and returned below, another subject occupied his mind. Lovel and he were walking home over the cliffs, and when they reached the summit of the long ridge, Oldbuck turned and looked back at the pinnacles of the castle—at the ancient towers and walls grey with age, which had been the home of so many generations of Wardours.

"Ah," he muttered, sighing, half to himself, "it wrings my heart to say it—but I doubt greatly that this ancient family is fast going to the ground."

Then he revealed to the surprised Lovel how Sir Arthur's foolish speculations, and especially his belief in a certain German swindler, named Dousterswivel, had caused him to engage in some very costly mining ventures, which were now almost certain to result in complete failure.

As the Antiquary described Dousterswivel, Lovel remembered to have seen the man in the inn at[360] Fairport, where he had been pointed out to him as one of the illuminati, or persons who have dealings with the dwellers in another world. But while thus talking and tarrying with his friend Monkbarns, an important letter was on its way to call Lovel back to Fairport. Oldbuck had so far taken his young friend to his heart, that he would not let him depart without making sure that the trouble he read on Lovel's face was not the want of money.

"If," he said, "there is any pecuniary inconvenience, I have fifty, or a hundred, guineas at your service—till Whitsunday—or indeed as long as you like!"

But Lovel, assuring him that the letter boded no difficulty of the kind, thanked him for his offer, and so took his leave.

It was some weeks before the Antiquary again saw Lovel. To the great astonishment of the town the young man hardly went out at all, and when he called upon him in his lodgings at Fairport, Mr. Oldbuck was astonished at the change in his appearance. Lovel was now pale and thin, and his black dress bore the badge of mourning. The Antiquary's gruff old heart was moved toward the lad. He would have had him come instantly with him to Monkbarns, telling him that, as they agreed[361] well together, there was no reason why they should ever separate. His lands were in his own power of gift, and there was no reason why he should not leave them to whom he would.

Lovel, touched also by this unexpected affection, answered that he could not at present accept, but that before leaving Scotland he would certainly pay Monkbarns a long visit.

While the Antiquary remained talking thus to Lovel in his lodgings, a letter was brought from Sir Arthur Wardour inviting the young man to be a member of a party which proposed to visit the ruins of St. Ruth's Priory on the following day, and afterward to dine and spend the evening at Knockwinnock Castle. Sir Arthur added that he had made the same proposal to the family at Monkbarns. So it was agreed that they should go together, Lovel on horseback, and Oldbuck and his womenkind (as he called them) in a hired post-chaise.

The morning of the next day dawned clear and beautiful, putting Lovel in better spirits than he had known of late. With the Wardour party there came the German adept, Mr. Dousterswivel, to whom, after offering his thanks to his preserver of the night of storm, Sir Arthur introduced Lovel. The young man's instinctive dislike at sight of the[362] impostor was evidently shared in by the Antiquary, for the lowering of his shaggy eyebrow clearly proclaimed as much.

Nevertheless, the first part of the day went well on the whole. Oldbuck took upon himself the office of guide, explaining and translating all the while, leading the company from point to point till they were almost as much at home as himself among the ruins of the Priory of St. Ruth.

But the peaceful occupations of the day were interrupted by the arrival of a young horseman in military undress, whom the Antiquary greeted with the words, "Hector, son of Priam, whence comest thou?"

"From Fife, my liege," answered Captain Hector MacIntyre, Mr. Oldbuck's nephew, who saluted the company courteously, but, as Lovel thought, seemed to view his own presence with a haughty and disapproving eye. Captain MacIntyre attached himself immediately to Miss Wardour, and even appeared to Lovel to take up a privileged position with regard to her. But Miss Wardour, after submitting to this close attendance for some time, presently turned sharply round, and asked a question of the Antiquary as to the date at which the Priory of St. Ruth was built. Of course Mr. Oldbuck started off like[363] a warhorse at the sound of the trumpet, and, in the long harangue which ensued, mixed as it was with additions and contradictions from Sir Arthur and the minister, Captain MacIntyre found no further chance of appropriating Miss Wardour. He left her, accordingly, and walked sulkily by his sister's side.

From her he demanded to know who this Mr. Lovel might be, whom he found so very much at home in a circle in which he had looked forward to shining alone.

Mary MacIntyre answered sensibly that, as to who he was, her brother had better ask his uncle, who was in the habit of inviting to his house such company as pleased him; adding that, so far as she knew, Mr. Lovel was a very quiet and gentlemanly young man.

Far from being satisfied, however, from that moment Captain MacIntyre, with the instinct of a dog that returns home to find a stranger making free with his bone and kennel, set himself almost openly to provoke Lovel. When by chance the latter was called on by the Antiquary to state whether or not he had been present at a certain battle abroad, MacIntyre, with an accent of irony, asked the number of his regiment. And when that had been told him, he replied that he knew the regiment very[364] well, but that he could not remember Mr. Lovel as an officer in it.

Whereupon, blushing quickly, Mr. Lovel informed Captain MacIntyre that he had served the last campaign on the staff of General Sir Blank Blank.

"Indeed," said MacIntyre, yet more insolently, "that is still more remarkable. I have had an opportunity of knowing the names of all the officers who have held such a situation, and I cannot recollect that of Lovel among them."

Lovel took out of his pocket-book a letter, from which he removed the envelope before handing it to his adversary.

"In all probability you know the General's hand," he said, "though I own I ought not to show such exaggerated expressions of thanks for my very slight services."

Captain MacIntyre, glancing his eye over it, could not deny that it was in the General's hand, but drily observed, as he returned it, that the address was wanting.

"The address, Captain MacIntyre," answered Lovel, in the same tone, "shall be at your service whenever you choose to inquire for it."

"I shall not fail to do so," said the soldier.[365]

"Come, come," exclaimed Oldbuck, "what is the meaning of this? We'll have no swaggering, youngsters! Are you come from the wars abroad to stir up strife in a peaceful land?"

Sir Arthur, too, hoped that the young men would remain calm. But Lovel, from that moment, felt that he was to some extent under suspicion, and so, in a short time, he took the opportunity of bidding the company good-bye, on the plea of the return of a headache which had lately troubled him. He had not ridden far—rather loitering, indeed, to give MacIntyre a chance of overtaking him—when the sound of horse's hoofs behind told him that his adversary had returned to find him. The young officer touched his hat briefly, and began in a haughty tone, "What am I to understand, sir, by your telling me that your address was at my service?"

"Simply," answered Lovel, "that my name is Lovel, and that my residence is, for the present, Fairport, as you will see by this card!"

"And is this," said the soldier, "all the information you are disposed to give me?"

"I see no right you have to require more."

"I find you, sir, in company with my sister," said MacIntyre, "and I have a right to know who is admitted to her society."[366]

"I shall take the liberty of disputing that right," replied Lovel, to the full as haughty in tone and manner.

"I presume then," said the young officer, "since you say you have served in his Majesty's army, you will give me the satisfaction usual among gentlemen."

"I shall not fail," said Lovel.

"Very well, sir," rejoined Hector, and turning his horse's head he galloped off to rejoin the party.

But his uncle suspected his purpose, and was determined to prevent a duel at all risks. He demanded where his nephew had been.

"I forgot my glove, sir," said Hector.

"Forgot your glove! You mean that you went to throw it down. But I will take order with you, young gentleman. You shall return with me this night to Monkbarns."

Yet in spite of the Antiquary the duel was easily enough arranged between these two over-hasty young men. It was the custom of the time to fight about trifles, and it seemed to Lovel that as a soldier he had really no honourable alternative. He was fortunate enough to find a second in the Lieutenant-commander of one of the King's gun-brigs, which was stationed on the coast to put down smuggling.[367] Lieutenant Taffril only put one question to Lovel before offering him every assistance. He asked if there was anything whereof he was ashamed, in the circumstances which he had declined to communicate to MacIntyre.

"On my honour, no," said Lovel, "there is nothing but what, in a short time, I hope I may be able to communicate to the whole world."

The duel thus insolently provoked was to be fought with pistols within the ruins of St. Ruth, and as Lovel and his second came near the place of combat, they heard no sound save their own voices mingling with those of the sheep bleating peacefully to each other upon the opposite hill. On the stump of an old thorn tree within the ruins sat the venerable figure of old Edie Ochiltree. Edie had a message to deliver.

He told Lovel that he had been at the Sheriff's that very day, and had got it from the clerk himself that a warrant had been issued on Monkbarns's demand for the apprehension of Lovel. The old beggar had come hastily to warn the young man, thinking that perhaps it might be some matter of debt. But the appearance of Captain MacIntyre and his second, Mr. Lesley, soon informed him otherwise.

The antagonists approached and saluted with the[368] stern civility of the place and occasion. MacIntyre instantly ordered the old fellow off the field.

"I am an auld fellow," said Edie, "but I am also an auld soldier of your father's, and I served with him in the 42nd."

"Serve where you please," said MacIntyre, hotly, "you have no title to intrude on us. Be off with you—or—"

He lifted his cane as if to threaten the old man. But the insult roused Edie's ancient courage.

"Hold down your switch, Captain MacIntyre! I am an auld soldier, and I'll tak' muckle from your father's son—but not a touch o' the wand while my pike-staff will hold together!"

"I was wrong—I was wrong," said MacIntyre, relenting, "here is a crown for you—go your ways."

But Edie refused the money, exhorting the young men to go and fight the French instead of each other, if they were so fighting hot. But neither his words nor the efforts of the seconds could reconcile MacIntyre to the man with whom he had from the first resolved to quarrel.

The ground was measured out by the seconds, while old Edie stood unheeded at the side muttering, "Bairns, bairns—madmen, I should rather say! Weel, your blood be on your heads!"[369]

The fatal signal was given. Both fired almost at the same moment. Captain MacIntyre's ball grazed the side of his opponent, but failed to draw blood. That of Lovel was more true to the aim. MacIntyre reeled and fell. Raising himself on his arm, his first exclamation was: "It is nothing—it is nothing! Give us the other pistols!"

But the moment after he added in a lower tone: "I believe I have enough, and what's worse, I fear I deserve it. Mr. Lovel, or whatever your name is, fly and save yourself. Bear witness all of you, I alone provoked the quarrel."

Then raising himself on his arm, he added: "Shake hands, Lovel. I believe you to be a gentleman—forgive my rudeness, and I forgive you my death!"

Lovel stood dizzy and bewildered, while the ship's surgeon approached to do his part. But presently his arm was grasped by Edie, who hurried him off the field with the assistance of Lieutenant Taffril, his late second.

"He is right—he is right!" exclaimed Taffril, "go with him—there, into the wood—not by the highroad. Let him bring you to the sands at three of the morning. A boat will be in waiting to take you off to my brig, which will sail at once."[370]

"Yes—fly—fly!" said the wounded man, his voice faltering as he spoke.

"It is madness to stay here," added Taffril.

"It was worse than madness ever to have come!" said Lovel, following his uncouth guide into the thicket. As he went up the valley he realised the bitterness of remorse that comes too late. He had passed that way in the morning, innocent, and now—he had the stain of blood upon his hands.


Edie guided him along a deep ravine till they came to a precipice of rock overhung with brushwood and copse. Here completely concealed was the mouth of a cave, where, as Edie said, they would be in perfect safety. Only two other persons knew of its existence, and these two were at present far away. The cavern was in the shape of a cross, and had evidently been the abode of some anchorite of a time long past. In the corner was a turning stair, narrow but quite passable, which communicated with the chapel above—and so, by a winding passage in the thickness of the wall, with the interior of the priory of St. Ruth.

Twilight faded into night, and the night itself[371] wore away, while Edie sat telling Lovel all the old-world tales he could lay his tongue to, in order to keep the mind of the young man from brooding over his situation. They sat close together on a little watch-tower niched deep in the wall, and breathed the night air, while waiting for the hour at which they must betake them to the beach, to meet the boat which Lieutenant Taffril was to have in readiness.

Midnight approached, the moon rose high in the sky above, but the voice of the Blue-Gown still droned on, telling his tales of old time, when suddenly Lovel, whose ears were quicker, laid his hand on his companion's arm.

"Hush," he whispered, "I hear some one speaking!"

So saying Lovel pointed in the direction of the sound,—toward the door of the chancel at the west end of the building, where a carved window let in a flood of moonlight upon the floor.

Two human figures detached themselves from the darkness and advanced. The lantern which one of them carried gleamed pale in the bright moonlight. It was evident in a moment by their motions that they could not be officers searching for Lovel. As they approached nearer, the beggar recognised the[372] two figures as those of Dousterswivel and Sir Arthur.

Lovel was about to retreat, but a touch on the arm from the old Blue-Gown convinced him that his best course was to remain quiet where he was. In case of any alarm, there was always the passage behind, and they could gain the shelter of the wood long before any pursuit would be possible.

Dousterswivel was evidently making some proposition about which Sir Arthur was uncertain.

"Great expense—great expense!" were the first words they heard him mutter.

"Expenses—to be sure," said Dousterswivel; "there must be great expenses. You do not expect to reap before you do sow the seed. Now, Sir Arthur, you have sowed this night a little pinch of ten guineas, and if you do not reap the big harvest, it is because you have only sowed a little pinch of seed. Much seed sown, much harvest reaped. That is the way to find treasure. You shall see, Sir Arthur, mine worthy patron!"

The German now put before his dupe a little silver plate engraved with strange signs, squares of nine times nine figures, flying serpents with turkey-cocks' heads, and other wonderful things. Then having professed to lay out the baronet's ten guineas[373] in what he called "suffumigations,"—that is, to scare away the demons which kept guard over the treasures,—he informed him that he was ready to proceed. The treasure itself could not be obtained till the stroke of midnight. But in the meanwhile he was willing to show Sir Arthur the guardian demon of the treasure-house, which, "like one fierce watchdog" (as the pretended wizard explained), could be called up by his magic power.

But Sir Arthur was not particularly keen to see such marvels. He thought they had little enough time as it was, and if he could get the treasures, he preferred, supposing it to be the same thing to his guide, to let sleeping demons lie.

"But I could show you the spirit very well," said Dousterswivel. "I would draw a circle with a pentagon, and make my suffumigation within it, while you kept the demon at bay with a drawn sword. You would see first a hole open in the solid wall. Then through it would come one stag pursued by three black greyhounds. They would pull him down, and then one black ugly negro would appear and take the stag from them. Then, paff! all would be gone. After that horns would be winded, and in would come the great Peolphan, the Mighty Hunter of the North, mounted[374] on his black steed—but you are sure that you do not care to see all this?"

"Why, I am not afraid," said the poor baronet, "that is, if—do any mishaps ever happen on such occasions?"

"Bah—mischiefs, no!" said the German. "Sometimes if the circle be no quite just, or the beholder be frightened and not hold the sword firm and straight toward him, the Great Hunter will take his advantage, and drag him exorcist out of the circle and throttle him. That happen sometimes."

This was quite enough for Sir Arthur, who did not desire any intercourse with demons on such terms.

Whereupon Dousterswivel, the time of midnight being near, set fire to a little pile of chips, which instantly burned up with a bright light. Then when the flame was at its highest, he cast into the blaze a handful of perfumes which smoked with a strong and pungent odour. This made both Dousterswivel and his pupil cough and sneeze heartily, and by and by, the vapour mounting upward, it found out Lovel and Edie in their high watch-tower, making them also sneeze loudly in their turn.

"Was that an echo? Or are there others present[375] in this place?" cried the baronet, astonished at the sound.

"No, no," said the German, who had so long employed himself with magic that he had grown half to believe in it, "no—at least, I hope not!"

Here a complete fit of sneezing, together with a kind of hollow grunting cough from Edie Ochiltree, so alarmed the wizard that he would have fled at once, had not Sir Arthur prevented him by force.

"You juggling villain," cried the baronet, whom impending ruin made desperate, "this is some trick of yours to get off fulfilling your bargain. Show me the treasure you have promised, or by the faith of a ruined man, I will send you where you will see spirits enough!"

"Consider, my honoured patron," said the now thoroughly frightened treasure-seeker, "this is not the best treatment. And then the demons—"

"At this moment Edie Ochiltree, entering fully into the spirit of the scene, gave vent to a prolonged and melancholy howl.

"At this moment Edie Ochiltree, entering fully into the spirit of the scene, gave vent to a prolonged and melancholy howl.

Dousterswivel flung himself on his knees.

'Dear Sir Arthurs,' he cried, 'let us go—or at least let me go!'

'No, you cheating scoundrel,' cried the knight, unsheathing his sword, 'that shift shall not serve you. I will see the treasure before I leave this place—or I will run my sword through you as an impostor, though all the spirits of the dead should rise around us!'"

At this moment Edie Ochiltree, entering fully into the spirit of the scene, gave vent to a prolonged and melancholy howl.

Dousterswivel flung himself on his knees.

"Dear Sir Arthurs," he cried, "let us go—or at least let me go!"

"No, you cheating scoundrel," cried the knight, unsheathing his sword, "that shift shall not serve[376] you. I will see the treasure before I leave this place—or I will run my sword through you as an impostor, though all the spirits of the dead should rise around us!"

"For the love of Heaven, be patient, mine honoured patron," said the German, "you shall have all the treasure I knows of—you shall, indeed! But do not speak about the spirits. It makes them angry!"

Muttering exorcisms and incantations all the while, Dousterswivel proceeded to a flat stone in the corner, which bore on its surface the carved likeness of an armed warrior.

He muttered to Sir Arthur: "Mine patrons, it is here! God save us all!"

Together they managed to heave up the stone, and then Dousterswivel with a mattock and shovel proceeded to dig. He had not thrown out many spadefuls, when something was heard to ring on the ground with the sound of falling metal. Then the treasure-seeker, snatching up the object which his mattock had thrown out, exclaimed: "On mine dear word, mine patrons, this is all. I mean all that we can do to-night!"

"Let me see it," said Sir Arthur, sternly, "I will be satisfied—I will judge with my own eyes!"[377]

He held the object up in the light of the lantern. It was a small case of irregular shape, which, from the joyful exclamation of the baronet, seemed to be filled with coin.

"Ah!" said Sir Arthur; "this is good luck, indeed. This is a beginning. We will try again at the very next change of the moon. That six hundred pounds I owe to Goldieword would be ruin indeed unless I can find something to meet it. But this puts new hope into me!"

But now Dousterswivel was more than ever eager to be gone, and he hurried Sir Arthur away with his treasure, having only taken time to thrust back the earth and replace the tombstone roughly in its place, so as to leave no very obvious traces of the midnight search for treasure.


The hour of going to meet the boat was now approaching, and Edie conducted Lovel by a solitary path through the woods to the sea-shore. There in the first level beams of the rising sun, they saw the little gun-brig riding at anchor in the offing. Taffril himself met his friend, and eased Lovel's mind considerably by telling him that Captain[378] MacIntyre's wound, though doubtful, was far from desperate, and that he trusted a short cruise would cover all the consequences of his unfortunate encounter.

Lovel offered gold to the beggar, but Edie once more refused it, declaring that he thought all the folk had "gone clean daft."

"I have had more gold offered to me these last two or three weeks," he said, "than I have seen in all my life before. Na, na, take back your guineas, and for luck let me have but one lily-white shilling!"

The boat put off toward the lieutenant's brig, impelled by six stout rowers. Lovel saw the old beggar wave his blue bonnet to him, before turning slowly about as if to resume his customary wanderings from farm to farm, and from village to village.

So excellently well did Captain MacIntyre progress toward recovery that in a little while the Antiquary declared it clean impossible for him to get a single bite of breakfast, or have his wig made decent, or a slice of unburnt toast to eat—all because his womenfolk were in constant attendance upon the wounded Captain, whose guns and spaniels filled the house, and for whom even the faithful Caxon ran[379] messages, while his own master waited for him in his chamber, fuming and stamping the while.

But as his sister often said, and as all who knew him, knew—"Monkbarns's bark was muckle waur than his bite."

But an unexpected visit from Sir Arthur soon gave the Antiquary other matters to think about. The Baronet came, so he said, to ask his old friend's advice about the disposal of a sum of money. The Antiquary drew from a right-hand corner of his desk a red-covered book, of which Sir Arthur hated the very sight, and suggested that if he had money to dispose of, it might be as well to begin by clearing off encumbrances, of which the debt marked in his own red book accounted for no less than eleven hundred and thirteen pounds. But Sir Arthur put away the red book as if Monkbarns had offered him so much physic, and hastened to say that if the Antiquary would wait a few days, he would have the sum in full—that is, if he would take it in bullion.

The Antiquary inquired from what Eldorado this treasure was forthcoming.

"Not far from here," said Sir Arthur, confidently, "and now I think of it, you shall see the whole process in working, on one small condition."[380]

"And what is that?" inquired the Antiquary.

"That it will be necessary to give me your friendly assistance, by advancing the small sum of one hundred pounds."

The Antiquary, who had been rejoicing in the hope of getting both principal and interest of a debt which he had long thought desperate, could only gasp out the words, "Advance one hundred pounds!"

"Yes, my good sir," said Sir Arthur, "but upon the best possible security of having it repaid in the course of a few days."

To this the Antiquary said nothing. He had heard the like before from Sir Arthur's lips. So the Baronet went on to explain. "Mr. Dousterswivel having discovered—"

But the Antiquary would not listen. His eyes sparkled with indignation. "Sir Arthur," he said, "I have so often warned you against that rascally quack, that I wonder you quote him to me!"

But this time Sir Arthur had something to show for his faith in the expert. He placed a large ram's horn with a copper cover in his friend's hand. It contained Scottish, English, and foreign coins of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Most were silver but some were of gold, and, as even the Antiquary allowed, of exceeding rarity.[381]

"These," said the Baronet, "were found at midnight, at the last full moon, in the ruins of St. Ruth's Priory, in the course of an experiment of which I was myself the witness."

"Indeed," said Oldbuck, "and what means of discovery did you employ?"

"Only a simple suffumigation," said the Baronet, "accompanied by availing ourselves of a suitable planetary hour."

"Simple suffumigation! Simple nonsensification! Planetary hour—planetary fiddlestick! My dear Sir Arthur, the fellow has made a gull of you under ground, and now he would make a gull of you above ground!"

"Well, Mr. Oldbuck," said the Baronet, "I am obliged to you for your opinion of my discernment, but you will at least give me credit for seeing what I say I saw!"

"I will give you credit for saying that you saw what you thought you saw!"

"Well, then," said the Baronet, "as there is a heaven above us, Mr. Oldbuck, I saw with my own eyes these coins dug out of the chancel of St. Ruth's at midnight! And if I had not been there, I doubt if Dousterswivel would have had the courage to go through with it!"[382]

The Antiquary inquired how much the discovery had cost.

"Only ten guineas," said the Baronet, "but this time it is to cost a hundred and fifty pounds, but of course the results will be in proportion. Fifty I have already given him, and the other hundred I thought you might be able to assist me with."

The Antiquary mused.

"This cannot be meant as a parting blow," he said; "it is not of consequence enough. He will probably let you win this game also, as sharpers do with raw gamesters. Sir Arthur, will you permit me to speak to Dousterswivel? I think I can recover the treasure for you without making any advance of money."

Dousterswivel had on his part no desire to see the Laird of Monkbarns. He was more in fear of him than even of the spirits of the night. Still he could not refuse, when summoned to leave Sir Arthur's carriage and face the two gentlemen in the study at Monkbarns.

The Antiquary then and there told him that he and Sir Arthur proposed to trench the whole area of the chancel of St. Ruth, in plain daylight, with good substantial pickaxes and shovels, and so, with[383]out further expense, ascertain for themselves the truth as to the existence of this hidden treasure.

"Bah," said the German, "you will not find one copper thimble. But it is as Sir Arthur likes—once I have showed him the real method. If he likes to try others, he only loses the gold and the silver, that is all!"

The journey to the Priory was made in silence, each of the party having enough on his mind to employ his thoughts. Edie Ochiltree joined them at the ruins, and when the Antiquary pulled out of his pocket the ram's horn in which the coins had been found, Edie claimed it at once for a snuff-box of his which he had bartered with a miner at Mr. Dousterswivel's excavations in Glen Withershins.

"And that brings it very near a certain friend of ours," said the Antiquary to Sir Arthur. "I trust we shall be as successful to-day without having to pay for it."

It was decided to begin operations at the tomb with the carven figure on top—the same which Sir Arthur and Dousterswivel had disturbed on a former occasion, but which neither the Antiquary nor Edie ever remembered to have seen before. It appeared, however, that a large pile[384] of rubbish, which had formerly filled up the corner of the ruins, must have been dispersed in order to bring it to light.

But the diggers reached the bottom of the grave, without finding either treasure or coffin.

"Some cleverer chield has been before us," said one of the men.

But Edie pushed them impatiently aside, and leaping into the grave, he cried, "Ye are good seekers, but bad finders!"

For the first stroke of his pike-staff into the bottom of the pit hit upon something hard and resisting.

All now crowded around. The labourers resumed their task with good-will, and soon a broad surface of wood was laid bare, and a heavy chest was raised to the surface, the lid of which, being forced with a pickaxe, displayed, beneath coarse canvas bags and under a quantity of oakum, a large number of ingots of solid silver.

The Antiquary inspected them one by one, always expecting that the lower layers would prove to be less valuable. But he was at last obliged to admit that the Baronet had really and truly possessed himself of treasure to the amount of about one thousand pounds.[385]

It chanced that Edie Ochiltree had observed Dousterswivel stand somewhat disconsolate and sad, looking into the open grave. Age had not dulled Edie's wit, nor caused him to relish less a boyish prank. His quick eye had caught some writing on the lid of the box of treasure, and while all were admiring the solid ingots of precious metal laid bare before them, Edie kicked the piece of wood aside without being observed by any one.

Then, with all due caution, he whispered to Dousterswivel that there must certainly be more and better treasure yet to be brought to light in the place where the silver had been found, and that if he would wait only a little behind the others he would show him proof of it. When they were alone he showed him on the lid of the treasure-chest the words, written in black letter:

"Search—Number One"

Dousterswivel at once agreed to meet Edie at midnight within the ruins of the Priory, and he kept his word. It was a stormy night, great clouds being hurried across the face of the moon, and the woods were bending and moaning in the fierce blast. Edie marched up and down while he waited for the German, shouldering his pike-staff, and dreaming[386] that he was back again on the outposts with a dozen hostile riflemen hidden in front of him.

After a little, Dousterswivel arrived, having brought with him a horse and saddle-bags in which to carry away the expected treasure. Edie led him once more to the place of the former search—to the grave of the Armed Knight. On the way he told his companion the tale of that Malcolm Misticot whose treasure was supposed to have been found and rifled that day.

"There is a story that the Misticot walks," said Edie; "it's an awesome nicht and an uncanny to be meeting the like of him here. Besides he might not be best pleased to come upon us when we were trying to lift his treasure!"

"For the love of Heaven," said Dousterswivel, "say nothing at all, either about somebodies or nobodies!"

Edie leaped into the grave and began to strike; but he soon tired or pretended to tire. So he called out to the German that turn and turn about was fair play. Whereupon, fired with the desire for wealth, Dousterswivel began to strike and shovel the earth with all his might, while Edie encouraged him, standing very much at his ease by the side of the hole.

"At it again," he cried; "strike—strike! What for are ye stopping, man?"[387]

"Stopping," cried the German, angrily, looking out of the grave at his tormentor; "I am down at the bed-rock, I tell you!"

"And that's the likeliest place of any," said Edie; "it will just be a big broad stone laid down to cover the treasure. Ah, that's it! There was a Wallace stroke indeed! It's broken! Hurrah, boys, there goes Ringan's pickaxe! It's a shame o' the Fairport folk to sell such frail gear. Try the shovel; at it again, Maister Dousterdeevil!"

But this time the German, without replying, leaped out of the pit, and shouted in a voice that trembled with anger, "Does you know, Mr. Edie Ochiltree, who it is you are putting off your gibes and your jests upon? You base old person, I will cleave your skull-piece with this shovels!"

"Ay," said Edie, "and where do ye think my pike-staff would be a' the time?"

But Dousterswivel, growing more and more furious, heaved up the broken pickaxe to smite his tormentor dead—which, indeed, he might have done had not Edie, suddenly pointing with his hand, exclaimed in a stern voice, "Do ye think that heaven and earth will suffer ye to murder an auld man that gate—a man that might be your father? Look behind you, man!"[388]

Dousterswivel turned, and beheld, to his utter astonishment, a tall dark figure standing close behind him. Whether this was the angry Misticot or not, the newcomer certainly lifted a sturdy staff and laid it across the rascal's back, bestowing on him half-a-dozen strokes so severe that he fell to the ground, where he lay some minutes half unconscious with pain and terror.

When the German came to himself, he was lying close to Misticot's open grave on the soft earth which had been thrown out. He began to turn his mind to projects of revenge. It must, he thought, be either Monkbarns or Sir Arthur who had done this, in order to be revenged upon him. And his mind finally deciding upon the latter, as most likely to have set Edie Ochiltree on to deceive him, he determined from that moment to achieve the ruin of his "dear and honoured patron" of the last five years.

As he left the precincts of the ruined Priory, he continued his vows of vengeance against Edie and all associated with him. He had, he declared aloud, been assaulted and murdered, besides being robbed of fifty pounds as well. He would, on the very next day, put the law in motion "against all the peoples"—but against Edie Ochiltree first of all.[389]


The snow was now deep in the woods about the library. It lay sleek and drifted upon the paths, a broad-flaked, mortar-like snow, evidently produced on the borderland between thawing and freezing.

"It is fine and buttery," said Hugh John, with a glance of intention at Sir Toady Lion, which was equal to any challenge ever sent from Douglas to Percy—or even that which Mr. Lesley carried for Hector MacIntyre to Mr. Lovel's Fairport lodgings.

Sir Toady nodded with fierce willingness. He scented the battle from afar.

"Ten yards then, twenty snowballs made before you begin, and then go as you please. But no rushing in, before first volley!"

"And no holding the balls under the drip of the kitchen roof!" said Hugh John, who had suffered from certain Toady Lionish practices which personally he scorned.

"Well, then," said I, "out you go in your jerseys for one hot half-hour. But no standing about, mind!"

Sweetheart and Maid Margaret looked exceedingly wistful.

"Of course," I said, "Sweetheart will want to go on with her knitting, but if she likes, the Maid can watch them from the window."

"Oo-oh!" said Maid Margaret, "I should like to go too!"[390]

"And I should not mind going either," admitted Sweetheart, "just to see that they did not hurt the Maid. They are such rough boys!"

So it was arranged, as I had known it would be from the first. The snow was still falling, but the wind had gone down. There was to be no standing still, and afterward they were to change immediately for dinner. These were the conditions of permitted civil strife.

"Please, is rolling in the snow permitted?" said Hugh John, to whom this was a condition of importance.

"Why, yes," said I, "that is, if you catch the enemy out of his intrenchments."

"Um-m-m-m!" said Hugh John, grimly rubbing his hands, "I'll catch him." In a lower tone he added, "And I'll teach him to put snowballs in the drip!"

As he spoke, he mimicked the motions of one who shoves snow down inside the collar of his adversary.

The cover of a deal box, with a soap advertisement on it, made a very fair intrenching tool, and soon formidable snow-works could be seen rising rapidly on the slopes of the clothes' drying ground, making a semicircle about that corner which contained the big iron swing, erect on its two tall posts. Hugh John and Maid Margaret, the attacking party, were still invisible, probably concocting a plan. But Sweetheart and Sir Toady, laughing and jesting as[391] at some supreme stratagem, were busily employed throwing up the snow till it was nearly breast-high. The formation of the ground was in their favour. It fell away rapidly on all sides, except to the north, where the position was made impregnable by a huge prickly hedge.

Nominally they were supposed to be enacting The Antiquary, but actually I could not see that the scene without bore any precise relation to what they had been hearing within. Perhaps, however, the day was too cold and stormy for standing upon the exactitudes of history.

I did not remain all the time a spectator of the fray. The stated duel of twenty balls was over before I again reached the window. The combatants had entered upon the go-as-you-please stage. Indeed, I could gather so much even at my desk, by the confusion of yells and slogans emitted by the contending parties.

Presently the cry of "It's not fair!" brought me to the window.

Hugh John and Maid Margaret had evidently gained a certain preliminary success. For they had been able to reach a position from which (with long poles used at other times for the protection of the strawberry beds) they were enabled, under shelter themselves, to shake the branches of the big tree which overshadowed the swing and the position of the enemy. Every twig and branch was, of course,[392] laden with snow, and masses fell in rapid succession upon the heads of the defenders. This was annoying at first, but at a word from Sir Toady, Sweetheart and he seized their intrenching tools, calling out: "Thank you—thank you! It's helping us so much! We've been wanting that badly! All our snow was gone, and we had to make balls off the ramparts. But now it's all right. Thank you—thank you!"

The truth of this grew so evident that the baffled assailants retired to consult. Nothing better than a frontal attack, well sustained and driven home to the hilt, occurred to Hugh John; and, indeed, after all, that was the best thing that could happen on such a day. A yell, a charge, a quick batter of snowballs, and then a rush straight up the bank—Maid Margaret, lithe as a deer-hound, leading, her skirts kilted "as like a boy" as on the spur of the moment she could achieve with a piece of twine. Right on Sweetheart she rushed, who,—as in some sort her senior and legal protector,—of course, could not be very rough with her, nor yet use the methods customary and licensed between embattled brothers.

But while the Maid thus held Sweetheart in play, Hugh John developed his stratagem. Leaning over the ramparts he seized Sir Toady by the collar, and then, throwing himself backward down the slope, confident in the thick blanketing of snow underneath, he dragged Sir Toady Lion along with him.[393]

"A prisoner—a prisoner!" he cried, both of them, captor and captive alike, being involved in a misty flurry of snow, which boiled up from the snowbank, in the midst of which they fraternally embraced, in that intimate tangle of legs and arms which only boys can achieve without breaking bones.

"Back—come back!" rang out the order of the victorious Hugh John. "Sit on him—sit on him hard!"

Thus, and not otherwise, was Sir Toady captured and Sweetheart left alone in the shattered intrenchments, which a little before had seemed so impregnable. Now in these snow wars, and, indeed, in all the combattings of the redoubtable four, it was the rule that a captive belonged to the side which took him, from the very moment of his giving in. He must utterly renounce his former allegiance, and fight for his new party as fiercely as formerly he had done against them. This is the only way of decently prolonging strife when the combatants are well matched, but various prejudices stand in the way of applying it to international conflicts.

In this fashion was Sweetheart left alone in the fort which she and Sir Toady had constructed with such complete confidence. She did not, however, show the least fear, being a young lady of a singularly composed mind. On the other hand, she set[394] herself to repair the various breaches in the walls, and so far as might be to contract them, so that she would have less space to defend. Then she sat sedately down on the swing and rocked herself to and fro to keep warm, till the storm should break on her devoted head.

It broke! With unanimous yell, an army, formidable by being exactly three times her own numbers, rushed across the level space, waving flags and shouting in all the stern and headlong glory of the charge. Snowballs were discharged at the bottom of the glacis, the slope was climbed, and the enemy arrived almost at the very walls, before Sweetheart made a motion. There was something uncanny about it. She did not even dodge the balls. For one thing they were very badly aimed, and her chief safety was in sitting still. They were, you see, aiming at her.

It soon became evident, however, that the works must be stormed. Still Sweetheart had made no motion to resist, except that, still seated on the broad board of the swing, she had gradually pushed herself back as far as she could go without losing her foothold on the ground.

"She's afraid!—She is retreating! On—on!"

No, Hugh John, for once your military genius has been at fault. For at the very moment when the snowy walls were being scaled, Sweetheart suddenly lifted her feet from the ground. The swing,[395] pushed back to the limit of its chains, glided smoothly forward. One solidly shod boot-sole took Hugh John full on the chest. Another "plunked" Sir Toady in a locality which he held yet more tender, especially, as now, before dinner. Both warriors shot backward as if discharged from a petard, disappearing from view down the slope into the big drifts at the foot. Maid Margaret, who had not been touched at all, but who had stood (as it were) in the very middle of affairs, uttered one terrified yell and bolted.

"Time!" cried the umpire, appearing in the doorway.

The baffled champions entered first. While changing, they had got ready at least twenty complete explanations of their downfall. Sweetheart, coming in a little late, sat down to her sewing, and listened placidly with a faint, sweet, far-away smile which seemed to say that knitting, though an occupation despised by boys, does not wholly obscure the intellect. But she did not say a word.

Her brothers somehow found this attitude excessively provoking.

Thus exercised in mind and body, and presently also fortified by the mid-day meal, the company declared its kind readiness to hear the rest of The Antiquary. It was not Rob Roy, of course—but a[396] snowy day brought with it certain compensations. So to the crackle of the wood fire and the click and shift of the knitting needles, I began the final tale from The Antiquary.



On the seashore not far from the mansion-house of Monkbarns stood the little fisherman's cottage of Saunders Mucklebackit. Saunders it was who had rigged the mast, by which Sir Arthur and his daughter were pulled to the top of the cliffs on the night of the storm. His wife came every day to the door of Monkbarns to sell fish to Miss Griselda, the Antiquary's sister, when the pair of them would stand by the hour "skirling and flyting beneath his window like so many seamaws," as Oldbuck himself said.

Besides Steenie Mucklebackit, the eldest son, the same who had assisted Edie Ochiltree to bestow a well-deserved chastisement upon Dousterswivel, and a number of merry half-naked urchins, the family included the grandmother, Elspeth Mucklebackit—a woman old, but not infirm, whose understanding appeared at most times to be asleep, but the stony[397] terror of whose countenance often frightened the bairns more than their mother's shrill tongue and ready palm.

Elspeth seldom spoke. Indeed, she had done little for many years except twirl the distaff in her corner by the fire. Few cared to have much to do with her. She was thought to be "far from canny," and certainly she knew more about the great family of Glenallan than it was safe to speak aloud.

It chanced on the very night when Edie and Steenie had given a skinful of sore bones to the German impostor Dousterswivel, that the Countess of Glenallan, mother of the Earl, was brought to be buried at midnight among the ruins of St. Ruth.

Such had been the custom of the family from ancient times—indeed, ever since the Great Earl fell fighting at the Red Harlaw against Donald of the Isles. More recently there had been another reason for such a strange fashion of burial. For the family were Catholics, and there had long been laws in Scotland against the holding of popish ceremonials even on an occasion so solemn.

The news of the death of her ancient mistress, coming at last to the ears of old Elspeth, took such hold upon her, that she could not rest till she had sent off Edie Ochiltree to the Earl of Glenallan, at[398] Glenallan House, with a ring for a token and the message that Elspeth of the Craigburnfoot must see him before she died. She had, Edie was to say, a secret on her soul, without revealing which she could not hope to die in peace.

Accordingly Edie set off for the castle of Glenallan, taking the ring with him, but with very little hope of finding his way into the Earl's presence; for Lord Glenallan had been long completely withdrawn from the world. His mother was Countess in her own right, and so long as she lived, her son had been wholly dependent upon her. In addition to which some great sorrow or some great crime, the countryside was not sure which, pressed sore upon his mind, and being a strict Catholic he passed his time in penance and prayer.

However, by the help of an old soldier, one Francie Macraw, who had been his rear-rank man at Fontenoy, Edie Ochiltree was able after many delays to win a way to the Earl's presence—though the priests who were about his person evidently tried to keep everything connected with the outer world from his knowledge. The Earl, a tall, haggard, gloomy man, whose age seemed twice what it really was, stood holding the token ring in his hand. At first he took Edie for a father of his own church,[399] and demanded if any further penance were necessary to atone for his sin. But as soon as Edie declared his message, at the very first mention of the name of Elspeth of the Craigburnfoot, the Earl's cheek became even more deathlike than it had been at Edie's entrance.

"Ah," he said, "that name is indeed written on the darkest page of a terrible history. But what can the woman want with me? Is she dead or living?"

"She is living in the body," said Edie, "and at times her mind lives too—but she is an awfu' woman."

"She always was so," said the Earl, answering almost unconsciously. "She was different from other women—likest, perhaps, to her who is no more—"

Edie knew that he meant his own mother, so lately dead.

"She wishes to see me," continued the Earl; "she shall be gratified, though the meeting will be a pleasure to neither of us."

Lord Glenallan gave Edie a handful of guineas, which, contrary to his usage, Edie had not the courage to refuse. The Earl's tone was too absolute.

Then, as an intimation that the interview was at an end, Lord Glenallan called his servant.[400]

"See this old man safe," he said; "let no one ask him any questions. And you, my friend, be gone, and forget the road that leads to my house!"

"That would indeed be difficult," said the undaunted Edie, "since your lordship has given me such good cause to remember it."

Lord Glenallan stared, as if hardly comprehending the old man's boldness in daring to bandy words with him. Then, without answering, he made him another signal to depart by a simple movement of his hand, which Edie, awed far beyond his wont, instantly obeyed.


The day of Lord Glenallan's visit to the cottage where dwelt old Elspeth of the Craigburnfoot seemed at first ill timed. That very day Steenie Mucklebackit, the young, the gallant, the handsome eldest son of the house had been carried to his grave. He had been drowned while at the fishing, though his father had risked his life in vain to save him. The family had now returned home, and were sitting alone in the first benumbing shock of their grief.

It was some time before the Earl could make[401] good his entrance into the cottage. It was still longer before he could convince the old woman Elspeth that he was really Lord Glenallan, and so obtain an opportunity of speaking with her. But at last they were left alone in the cottage, and the thick veil which had fallen upon Elspeth's spirit seemed for a while to be drawn aside. She spoke like one of an education far superior to her position, clearly and calmly, even when recounting the most terrible events.

Her very first words recalled to the Earl the fair young wife, whom he had married long ago, against his mother's will and without her knowledge.

"Name not her name," he cried, in agony, "all that is dead to me—dead long ago!"

"I must!" said the old woman; "it is of her I have to speak."

And in the fewest and simplest words she told him how, when his mother the Countess had found means to separate husband and wife, while he himself was fleeing half mad, none knew whither, the young wife had thrown herself in a fit of frenzy over the cliffs into the sea. It was to Elspeth's cottage that she and her babe had been brought.

"And here," said the terrible old woman, sud[402]denly thrusting a golden bodkin into his hand, "is the very dagger which your mother the Countess gave me in order that with it I might slay your infant son."

The Earl looked at the gold bodkin or dagger, as if in fancy he saw the blood of his child still red upon it.

"Wretch!" he cried; "and had you the heart?"

"I kenna whether I would or not," said Elspeth. "My mistress commanded and I obeyed. So did I ever. But my obedience was not to be tried that time. For when I returned, the babe had gone. Your younger brother had been called up to the castle. The child had been left in the care of the Countess's Spanish maid, and when I returned to my cottage, both she and the babe were gone. The dead body of your young wife alone remained. And now," concluded Elspeth, abruptly, "can you forgive me?"

Lord Glenallan was going out of the hut, overwhelmed by the disclosure to which he had been listening. He saw his young wife hounded to death by his fierce and revengeful mother. He thought of the living child so wonderfully left to him as a legacy from the dead. Yet he turned at Elspeth's last words.[403]

"May God forgive thee, miserable woman," he said. "Turn for mercy to Him. He will forgive you as sincerely as I do."

As Lord Glenallan went out into the sunlight, he met face to face with the Antiquary himself, who was on his way to the cottage to offer what consolation or help might be in his power. The Earl and he recognised one another, but the Antiquary's greeting was hard and cold. As a magistrate he had made, on his own responsibility and against all the power of the Glenallan family, the legal inquiries into the death of the Earl's young wife. Indeed, during a residence which she had made at Knockwinnock Castle with the Wardour family twenty years ago, and while she was still only known as Miss Eveline Neville, the Antiquary had loved her and had asked her to be his wife. It was, indeed, chiefly on her account that he had never married. Mr. Oldbuck had never ceased to mourn her, and now, believing as he had good reason to do, that the Earl was the cause of her untimely death, and of the stigma which rested upon her name, it was little wonder that he should wish to have no dealings with him.

But the Earl had a great need in his heart to speak to some one. In a moment the whole world[404] seemed to have changed for him. For the first time he knew the truth about a dark deed of cruelty. For the first time, also, he knew that he had a son. He desired above all else the wise counsel of a true friend. In his heart he had admired the fearlessness of the Antiquary in the bold inquiry he had made at the time of Eveline Neville's death, and now, refusing to be rebuffed, he followed Mr. Oldbuck as he was turning away, and demanded that he should not deny him his counsel and assistance at a most terrible and critical moment.

It was not in the good Antiquary's nature to refuse such a request from Earl or beggar, and their interview ended in the Earl's accepting the hospitality of Monkbarns for the night, in order that they might have plenty of time to discuss the whole subject of Elspeth's communication.

On his own part Mr. Oldbuck had some comfort to give Lord Glenallan. He had kept the papers which concerned the inquiry carefully, and he was able to assure his lordship that his brother had carried off the babe with him, probably for the purpose of having it brought up and educated upon the English estates he had inherited from his father, and on which he had ever afterward lived.

"My brother," said Lord Glenallan, "is recently[405] dead, which makes our search the more difficult. Furthermore, I am not his heir. He has left his property to a stranger, as indeed he had every right to do. But as the heir is like himself a Protestant, he may be unwilling to aid the inquiry—"

"I trust," interrupted Mr. Oldbuck, with some feeling, "that you will find a Protestant can be as honest and honourable as a Catholic."

The Earl protested that he had no idea of supposing otherwise.

"Only," he continued, "there was an old steward on the estate who in all probability is the only man now living who knows the truth. But it is not expected that any man will willingly disinherit himself. For if I have a living son, my father's estates are entailed on him, and the steward may very likely stand by his master."

"I have a friend in Yorkshire," said Mr. Oldbuck, "to whom I can apply for information as to the character of your brother's heir, and also as to the disposition of his steward. That is all we can do at present. But take courage, my lord. I believe that your son is alive."

In the morning Lord Glenallan returned to the castle in his carriage, while Mr. Oldbuck, hearing from Hector that he was going down to Fairport,[406] in order to see that old Edie Ochiltree had fair play before the magistrates, offered to bear him company.

Edie Ochiltree—in prison for thwacking the ribs of Dousterswivel, which he had done (or at least poor Steenie Mucklebackit for him), and for stealing the German's fifty pounds, which he had not done—willingly revealed to Monkbarns what he had refused to breathe to Bailie Littlejohn of the Fairport magistracy. After some delay Edie was accordingly liberated on the Antiquary's bail, and immediately accompanied his good friend to the cottage of old Elspeth Mucklebackit, where, by the Earl's request, Oldbuck was to take down a statement from her lips, such as might be produced in a court of law. But no single syllable would the old beldame now utter against her ancient mistress.

"Ha," she said, at the first question put to her by the Antiquary; "I thought it would come to this. It's only sitting silent when they question me. There's nae torture in our days, and if there was, let them rend me! It ill becomes a vassal's mouth to betray the bread which it has eaten."

Then they told her that her mistress, the Countess Jocelin, was dead, hoping this might bring her to confession. But the news had quite an opposite effect.[407]

"Dead!" cried Elspeth, aroused as ever by the sound of her mistress's name, "then, if she be gone before, the servant must follow. All must ride when she is in the saddle. Bring my scarf and hood! Ye wadna hae me gang in the carriage with my lady, and my hair all abroad in this fashion!"

She raised her withered arms, and her hands seemed busied like those of a woman who puts on a cloak to go a journey.

"Call Miss Neville," she continued; "what do you mean by Lady Geraldin? I said Eveline Neville. There's no Lady Geraldin. But tell her to change her wet gown and not to look so pale. Bairn—what should she do wi' a bairn? She has nane, I trow! Teresa—Teresa—my lady calls us! Bring a candle! The grand staircase is as black before me as a Yule midnight! Coming, my lady, we are coming!"

With these words, and as if following in the train of her mistress, old Elspeth, once of the Craigburnfoot, sunk back on the settle, and from thence sidelong to the floor.[408]


Meanwhile doom was coming fast upon poor Sir Arthur Wardour. He seemed to be utterly ruined. The treachery of Dousterswivel, the pressing and extortionate demands of a firm called Goldiebirds, who held a claim over his estate, the time-serving of his own lawyers, at last brought the officers of the law down upon him. He found himself arrested for debt in his own house. He was about to be sent to prison, when Edie Ochiltree, who in his day had been deep in many plots, begged that he might be allowed to drive over to Tannanburgh, and promised that he would certainly bring back some good news from the post-office there.

It was all that Oldbuck, with his best tact and wisdom, could do to keep Hector MacIntyre from assaulting the officers of the law during the absence of Edie. Two long hours they waited. The carriage had already been ordered round to the door to convey Sir Arthur to prison. Miss Wardour was in agony, her father desperate with shame and grief, when Edie arrived triumphantly grasping a packet. He delivered it forthwith to the Antiquary. For Sir Arthur, knowing his own weakness, had put himself unreservedly into the hands of his abler[409] friend. The packet, being opened, was found to contain a writ stopping the proceedings, a letter of apology from the lawyers who had been most troublesome, and a note from Captain Wardour, Sir Arthur's son, enclosing a thousand pounds for his father's immediate needs. It also declared that ere long he himself would come to the castle along with a distinguished officer, Major Neville, who had been appointed to report to the War Office concerning the state of the defences of the country.

"Thus," said the Antiquary, summing up the situation, "was the last siege of Knockwinnock House laid by Saunders Sweepclean, the bailiff, and raised by Edie Ochiltree, the King's Blue-Gown!"

There was, at the time when the story of the Antiquary and his doings draws to a close, a daily expectation of a French invasion. Beacons had been prepared on every hill and headland, and men were set to watch. One of these beacons had been intrusted to old Caxon the hairdresser, and one night he saw, directly in the line of the hill to the south which he was to watch, a flame start suddenly up. It was undoubtedly the token agreed upon to warn the country of the landing of the French.[410]

He lighted his beacon accordingly. It threw up to the sky a long wavering train of light, startling the sea-fowl from their nests, and reddening the sea beneath the cliffs. Caxon's brother warders, equally zealous, caught and repeated the signal. The district was soon awake and alive with the tidings of invasion.

"One night he saw, directly in the line of the hill to the south which he was to watch, a flame start suddenly up. It was undoubtedly the token agreed upon to warn the country of the landing of the French.

"One night he saw, directly in the line of the hill to the south which he was to watch, a flame start suddenly up. It was undoubtedly the token agreed upon to warn the country of the landing of the French.

"He lighted his beacon accordingly."

From far and near the Lowland burghers, the country lairds, the Highland chiefs and clans responded to the summons. They had been drilling for long, and now in the dead of the night they marched with speed upon Fairport, eager to defend that point of probable attack.

Last of all the Earl of Glenallan came in with a splendidly mounted squadron of horse, raised among his Lowland tenants, and five hundred Highland clansmen with their pipes playing stormily in the van. Presently also Captain Wardour arrived in a carriage drawn by four horses, bringing with him Major Neville, the distinguished officer appointed to the command of the district. The magistrates assembled at the door of their town-house to receive him. The volunteers, the yeomanry, the Glenallan clansmen—all were there awaiting the great man.

What was the astonishment of the people of[411] Fairport, and especially of the Antiquary, to see descend from the open door of the carriage,—who but the quiet Mr. Lovel.

He had brought with him the news that the alarm of invasion was false. The beacon which Caxon had seen was only the burning of the mining machinery in Glen Withershins which had been ordered by Oldbuck and Sir Arthur to make a final end of Dousterswivel's plots and deceits.

But there was yet further and more interesting private news. The proofs that Lovel was indeed the son of the Earl of Glenallan were found to be overwhelming. His heirship to the title had been fully made out. The chaplain who had performed his father's wedding had returned from abroad, exiled by the French Revolution. The witnesses also had been found. Most decisive of all, among the papers of the Earl's late brother, there was discovered a duly authenticated account of his carrying off the child, and of how he had had him educated and pushed on in the army.

So that very night the Antiquary enjoyed in some degree the crowning pleasure of his whole life, in bringing together father and son for the first time. That is, if the marriage which took place soon after between his young friend Lovel (or Lord William[412] Geraldin) and Miss Isabella Wardour of Knockwinnock Castle did not turn out to be a yet greater pleasure. Old Edie still travels from farm to farm, but mostly now confines himself to the short round between Monkbarns and Knockwinnock. It is reported, however, that he means soon to settle with old Caxon, who, since the marriage of his daughter to Lieutenant Taffril, has been given a cottage near the three wigs which he still keeps in order in the parish,—the minister's, Sir Arthur's, and best of all, that of our good and well-beloved Antiquary.


"Now," said Sweetheart, nodding particular approval, "that is the way a story ought to end up—everything going on from chapter to chapter, with no roundabouts, and everything told about everybody right to the very end!"

"Hum," said Hugh John, with a curl of his nose; "well, that's done with! But it was good about the Storm and the Duel! The rest was—"

"Hush," said Sweetheart, "remember, it was written by Sir Walter."

"Sir," said I to Hugh John, heavily parental, "The Antiquary may not now be much to your[413] taste, but the day will come when you may probably prefer it to all the rest put together."

At these words the young man assumed the expression common to boys who are bound to receive the wholesome advice of their elders, yet who do so with silent but respectful doubt, if not with actual disbelief.

"Well," he said, after a long pause, "anyway, the Duel was good. And I'd jolly well like to find a treasure in Misticot's grave. Can we have another snow fight?"



[1] These were Scottish children to whom the stories were retold, and they understood the Scottish tongue. So the dialect parts were originally told in that speech. Now, however, in pity for children who have the misfortune to inherit only English, I have translated all the hard words and phrases as best I could. But the old is infinitely better, and my only hope and aim is, that the retelling of these stories by the living voice may send every reader, every listener, to the Master of Romance himself. If I succeed in this, my tale-telling shall not have been in vain.

[2] i.e. scarecrow.

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

One reference each of "lifeblood" and "life-blood" were retained. This was also done with "sea-shore" and "seashore".

The remaining corrections made are indicated by dotted lines under the corrections. Scroll the mouse over the word and the original text will appear.