RED CAP TALES
[Illustration: Red Cap among the Wizard's Treasures.]
RED CAP TALES
STOLEN FROM THE TREASURE CHEST OF THE WIZARD OF THE NORTH
WHICH THEFT IS HUMBLY ACKNOWLEDGED BY
S. R. CROCKETT
=New York= THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK 1904
COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1904.
J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.
FOUR CHILDREN WOULD NOT READ SCOTT
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
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
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
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.
S. R. CROCKETT.
CERTAIN SMALL PHARAOHS THAT KNEW NOT JOSEPH 1
RED CAP TALES FROM "WAVERLEY"
THE FIRST TALE:
I. GOOD-BYE TO WAVERLEY-HONOUR 11
II. THE ENCHANTED CASTLE 16
III. THE BARON AND THE BEAR 21
_THE FIRST INTERLUDE OF ACTION_ 28
THE SECOND TALE:
I. THE CATTLE-LIFTING 31
II. THE ROBBER'S CAVE 35
_THE SECOND INTERLUDE_ 41
THE THIRD TALE:
I. THE CHIEF OF THE MAC-IVORS AND THE CHIEF'S SISTER 46
II. MISFORTUNES NEVER COME SINGLE 55
_THE THIRD INTERLUDE--BEING MAINLY A FEW WORDS
UPON HEROES_ 62
THE FOURTH TALE:
HERE AND THERE AMONG THE HEATHER 64
_INTERLUDE OF STICKING-PLASTER_ 78
THE FIFTH TALE:
THE WHITE COCKADE 81
THE SIXTH TALE:
BLACK LOOKS AND BRIGHT SWORDS 94
_INTERLUDE OF BREVITY_ 104
THE LAST TALE:
THE BARON'S SURPRISE 105
RED CAP TALES FROM "GUY MANNERING"
_WHERE WE TOLD THE SECOND TALE_ 123
THE FIRST TALE:
I. WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY 124
_INTERLUDE OF INTERROGATION_ 140
THE SECOND TALE:
I. HAPPY DOMINIE SAMPSON 143
II. DANDIE DINMONT 150
III. IN THE LION'S MOUTH 158
_INTERLUDE OF LOCALITY_ 162
THE THIRD TALE:
THE RETURN OF DIRK HATTERAICK 166
THE FOURTH TALE:
THE FIGHT IN THE CAVE 185
_INTERLUDE OF CONSULTATION_ 204
RED CAP TALES FROM "ROB ROY"
THE FIRST TALE:
FRANK THE HIGHWAYMAN 211
_INTERLUDE OF DISCUSSION_ 236
THE 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
THE THIRD TALE:
I. IN THE HANDS OF THE PHILISTINES 288
II. THE ESCAPE 294
III. THE DEATH OF RASHLEIGH 307
RED CAP TALES FROM "THE ANTIQUARY"
THE FIRST TALE:
I. THE MYSTERIOUS MR. LOVEL 326
II. THE NIGHT OF STORM 337
_INTERLUDE OF WARNING_ 352
THE SECOND TALE:
I. LOVEL FIGHTS A DUEL 354
II. THE SEEKERS OF TREASURE 370
III. MISTICOT'S GRAVE 377
_A QUITE SUPERFLUOUS INTERLUDE_ 389
THE THIRD TALE:
I. THE EARL'S SECRET 396
II. THE MOTHER'S VENGEANCE 400
III. THE HEIR OF GLENALLAN 408
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
BY SIMON HARMON VEDDER
1 Red Cap among the Wizard's treasures _Frontispiece_
2 In an instant his red cap was off and he was
bowing and saluting . . . with . . . extravagant gestures 20
3 So fierce was the attack . . . made on Edward, that the
young man was compelled to draw his pistol 66
4 Rose Bradwardine . . . watched him with a sigh on her lip
and colour on her cheek 84
5 "Vich Ian Vohr," it said in a dreadful voice, "beware of
6 "Ride your ways, Laird of Ellangowan," she cried 136
7 He would stand there transfixed . . . till a serving-maid
pulled his skirts to tell him dinner was waiting 150
8 He saw his late companion . . . engaged in deadly combat
with a couple of rascals 154
9 Hazlewood snatched the gun from the servant and haughtily
ordered Brown to stand back and not to alarm the lady 170
10 He took the lantern . . . and holding it up, proceeded to
examine the stern, set countenance of Frank's guide 256
11 The fight between Frank and Rashleigh 266
12 "Stand!" she cried, . . . "and tell me what you seek in
Macgregor's country" 278
13 The girl's face, perhaps not altogether unintentionally,
touched that of Frank Osbaldistone 300
14 "Turn back! Turn back!" he cried 344
15 Dousterswivel flung himself on his knees 375
16 He lighted his beacon accordingly 410
RED CAP TALES
CERTAIN SMALL PHARAOHS THAT KNEW NOT JOSEPH
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. 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
"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
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.
"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 at meals, in the schoolroom, and even, it is whispered, in
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
"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
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 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
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.
"'There it is--at it again!' he said, with a thump of his fist on
thetable 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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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!_"
RED CAP TALES
THE FIRST TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
I. GOOD-BYE TO WAVERLEY-HONOUR
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
Jacobite 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
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
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. 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
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 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 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 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.]
II. THE ENCHANTED CASTLE
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 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 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 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."
[Illustration: "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
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
"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!"
III. THE BARON AND THE BEAR
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 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 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
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 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.
"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 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 summoned 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 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 FIRST INTERLUDE OF ACTION
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 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
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
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.
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 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
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.
THE SECOND TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
I. THE CATTLE-LIFTING
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,
Bailie Macwheeble, mounted on his dumpy, round-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 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 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?"
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
II. THE ROBBER'S CAVE
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 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
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
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 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.
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, 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 scene which followed was, however, better fitted to the time and
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
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
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 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
THE SECOND INTERLUDE
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
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
summer 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
"Why, we will hang _you_ up by the heels and cut
slices off you!" said Sir Toady, with frowning
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."
"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
"Well, she grew up and up, playing with dolls just
like other girls, till she was old enough to be
sent 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
Then quite unexpectedly Maid Margaret began to sob
"They _shan't_ hang me up and eat me," she cried,
running as hard as she could and flinging herself
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
"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
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.
THE THIRD TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
I. THE CHIEF OF THE MAC-IVORS AND THE CHIEF'S SISTER
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.
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
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?"
"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
"_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
"The Chief," he said, "would not come out with never a soul with him but
Callum Beg, to meet with an English gentleman."
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.
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 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
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
After this reception, Edward continued very willingly at
Glennaquoich--both because of his growing admiration for Flora, and
because his curiosity 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
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 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
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.
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.
II. MISFORTUNES NEVER COME SINGLE
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 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 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 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
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
"_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 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 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
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 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.
THE THIRD INTERLUDE--BEING MAINLY A FEW WORDS UPON HEROES
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!"
"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
"_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
"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
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.
THE FOURTH TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
HERE AND THERE AMONG THE HEATHER
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. 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
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 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.
[Illustration: "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.
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 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
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 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 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 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 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
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
The tall Highlander who was to lead the party now made Edward understand
that there was considerable 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 whistling _Nancy
Dawson_ as placidly as if he were a hundred miles from any wild rebel
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
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 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.
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-arm which he had received from the Baron of Bradwardine in
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 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
INTERLUDE OF STICKING-PLASTER
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."
"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
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
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
THE FIFTH TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
THE WHITE COCKADE
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 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
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
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 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.
[Illustration: "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."
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 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
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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
"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, 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
"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
THE SIXTH TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
BLACK LOOKS AND BRIGHT SWORDS
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
"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 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.
"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
"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 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
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
"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?"
"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 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 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
* * * * *
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 surprise 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
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.
"What!" he cried, "abandon the expedition on which we have all
"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
"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 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
"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!"
"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
"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."
[Illustration: "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
Edward could think of nothing to say in reply. His friend's belief in
the reality of the vision was 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 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
INTERLUDE OF BREVITY
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
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 whole matter--which showed, among other things,
how Waverley-Honour was more honoured than ever and
the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine threefold blessed.
THE LAST TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"
THE BARON'S SURPRISE
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
"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 expected, she dropped the candle she had lighted, and called out for
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 introducing
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,
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 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
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
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 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 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
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
It was from old Janet Gellatley, Davie's mother, that Waverley learned
whom he had to thank for 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 he
would be kind to the poor clansmen of Vich Ian Vohr, for the sake of his
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
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 executed,
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 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
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 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 Macwheeble 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
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
Truth to tell, the recovery of this heirloom afforded the old man almost
as much pleasure as the regaining 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.
THE END OF THE LAST TALE FROM "WAVERLEY."
RED CAP TALES
WHERE WE TOLD THE SECOND TALE
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."
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
A FIRST TALE FROM "GUY MANNERING"
I. WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
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 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
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 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
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
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.
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 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
"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 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
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 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, however, 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 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.
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!" 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 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
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.
"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 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!"
[Illustration: "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, 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, 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
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
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 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 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
INTERLUDE OF INTERROGATION
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
"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?"
"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.
"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
"Do any people smuggle nowadays?" demanded Hugh
"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_.
THE SECOND TALE FROM "GUY MANNERING"
I. HAPPY DOMINIE SAMPSON
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.
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 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
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.
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 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
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 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 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
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 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
[Illustration: "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."]
II. DANDIE DINMONT
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, 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
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 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 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
"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
"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
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 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
[Illustration: "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.
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
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 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
"Captain, come back," said a little fat roll-about girl of six, holding
up her mouth to be kissed; "come back and I'll be your wife my
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
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.
III. IN THE LION'S MOUTH
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
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 "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
"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 tumultuously 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 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
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.
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
INTERLUDE OF LOCALITY
"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
"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
"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, anyway, 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
incredible 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
"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
"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
"High time!" he answered with awful irony.
THE THIRD TALE FROM "GUY MANNERING"
THE RETURN OF DIRK HATTERAICK
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. 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 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.
"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
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
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.
[Illustration: "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
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 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 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 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 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 bottom of the sea!"
cried Hatteraick, with fierce bitterness.
"Nay, I advise no violence," said Glossin, softly, looking at the
"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 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.
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, 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
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
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, making sure that all was safe, while his wife,
affirming that he had not the heart of a chicken, descended herself into
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
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 street,
where, in the crowd and confusion, the smugglers became somewhat
separated from each other. The sound of cavalry approaching rapidly made
"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
"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.
"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
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 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
So within these statutes of limitation I had
perforce to recommence, without further preface,
telling the fourth and last tale from _Guy
THE FOURTH TALE FROM "GUY MANNERING"
THE FIGHT IN THE CAVE
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, 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 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 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 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 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 against Bertram,
she would not have asked so doughty a fighter as Dandie Dinmont to
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 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 defenceless 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?"
"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
"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 understood 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
"I kenned it would end that way--and it is e'en this way that it should
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 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
"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.
"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:
And sinking back on her bed of straw, Meg Merrilies died without a
* * * * *
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
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
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?"
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 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!"
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
"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
In the morning, true to his promise, Mac-Guffog called Glossin to come
out of Hatteraick's cell.
"Call louder!" answered a voice from within, grimly.
"Mr. Glossin, come away," repeated Mac-Guffog; "for Heaven's sake come
"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
And though Mac-Guffog lost his place, on the 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."
* * * * *
THE END OF THE FOURTH AND LAST TALE FROM "GUY MANNERING."
* * * * *
INTERLUDE OF CONSULTATION
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
"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
"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
"No, that you couldn't," said Sir Toady Lion,
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
"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
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 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
"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_."
"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
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
RED CAP TALES
THE FIRST TALE FROM "ROB ROY"
FRANK THE HIGHWAYMAN
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 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 unlucky traveller
found himself despoiled--of his goods certainly, perhaps also of his
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
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. Campbell had with his own hand beaten off
"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 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 Phoebe
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."
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
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.
"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
"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
"Then in the name of Heaven, Mr. Frank Osbaldistone, what _can_ you
"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, 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
"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
"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, 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
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, 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, "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
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
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 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
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
"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
"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
"Morris has been robbed?"
"Ay," said Diana, "and he swears you are the man who robbed him."
"Then Sir Hildebrand believes it?" cried Frank.
"He does," answered Diana, "and to tell the truth, so did I until this
"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
"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
"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 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
"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 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 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 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
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 witness 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
"You are now at perfect liberty, Mr. Osbaldistone," 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
"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, 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
This information rankled in Frank's mind, and all the next day he was
sullen and even brutal in 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 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!"
INTERLUDE OF DISCUSSION
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
"No, of course not," shouted Hugh John, "it was the
Scotch drover, Campbell,--for how else could 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
"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
"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--"
"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
"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
"'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 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
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?"
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
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!"
THE SECOND TALE FROM "ROB ROY"
I. IN THE TOILS OF RASHLEIGH
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 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 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
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 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, 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
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.
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, 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
"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
"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
"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
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!"
"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
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 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
"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
"I will let you know, Dougal," said the man, "as soon as my plans are
"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.
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
"Gang upstairs and hide behind the Sassenach gentleman's bed. Ay,
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 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 unfortunate 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!"
II. ROB ROY AT LAST
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
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
"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',
"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.
[Illustration: "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
"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. 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 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
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
"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."
"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
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
"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
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 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
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
"Wha's Mr. Robert Campbell? Ahem--ahay--! Wha's Mr. Robert Campbell,
"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."
"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 Rashleigh himself, while the other two were Morris and Mr.
MacVittie,--the very three men who could do him the most harm in the
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
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.
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.
[Illustration: "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
Clachan of Aberfoil, and by the word of a gentleman I will not see you
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.
* * * * *
III. THE BAILIE FIGHTS WITH FIRE
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
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.
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
"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
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 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 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
"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
"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 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
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
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 Bailie had from the first recognised the Lowlander as one to whom
the deacon his father had lent 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 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 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 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
IV. THE DROWNING OF THE SPY
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 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 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
[Illustration: "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
"'Stand!' she cried in commanding tones, 'and tell me what you seek in
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 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.
"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
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.
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. 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.
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
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
But at that very moment the wild strains of the pibroch were heard
approaching, and a strong body 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 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
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.
INTERLUDE OF EXPOSTULATION
"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."
"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
"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.
"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.
"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 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
"Rats!" said Hugh John, contemptuously, "think if
he had known _that_, he would ever have left
"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
"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
And Maid Margaret's form of government being
absolute monarchy, I did so, and the result was
THE THIRD TALE FROM "ROB ROY"
I. IN THE HANDS OF THE PHILISTINES
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 a
plaid, and chopped into as many pieces as there were checks in the
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
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!"
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 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
"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
"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 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 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, 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
Ewan, sorely agitated, was silent.
Then came the Duke's loud call from the opposite bank, "Bring over the
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
II. THE ESCAPE
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 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
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, bringing
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
"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 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
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 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
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 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.
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 between the throat and the
halter as between the cup and the lip. But tell me the news!"
[Illustration: "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
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 happened 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 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 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 before 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
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 to see that ye have gotten out of the hands of your
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 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 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.
III. THE DEATH OF RASHLEIGH
* * * * *
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 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.
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 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
"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 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
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.
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 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
"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 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
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 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 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,
By this time the men were on the stairway, and presently rapping on the
"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."
"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
"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 peaceful country. But I have since done my best to atone for
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
"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
"Who dares abuse our cattle," said a rough voice; "shoot him down,
"A rescue--a rescue!" shouted Rashleigh, instantly comprehending what
had taken place, and, firing a pistol, he wounded the man who had
"_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
* * * * *
"_And that_," I said, "_is all!_"
But I was instantly overwhelmed by the rush of a
"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
"And lived happy ever after?" added Maid Margaret,
who was at the "fairy princess" stage of
"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
"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
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 END OF THE LAST TALE FROM "ROB ROY."
RED CAP TALES
THE FIRST TALE FROM "THE ANTIQUARY"
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
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
I. THE MYSTERIOUS MR. LOVEL
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 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 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 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 wheels
and a black one" belonging to that lady, upon the High Street of
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--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 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"
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 manner 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, 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
"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,
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 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 or drowned, alive or dead," said Edie, sticking to his guns, "I
mind the biggin' o't!"
"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 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
"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
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.
* * * * *
II. THE NIGHT OF STORM
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 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
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, 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
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
Ragman Roll, showed thereby a mean example of submitting to Edward of
"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
"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, 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
"Awell--awell," said the Antiquary, with a sigh, "a wilful man must have
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
"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."
"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 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 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."
[Illustration: "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
"'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
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 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.
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 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
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
But the signal being given to hoist away, the chair mounted, intently
watched by Lovel, who 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.
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 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
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,--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.
INTERLUDE OF WARNING
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
"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
"Well," I said, "just let me catch them at it,
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
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
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 SECOND TALE FROM "THE ANTIQUARY"
I. LOVEL FIGHTS A DUEL
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 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
"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."
And she handed him a sum of money. But for the second time again the
"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
Antiquary 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 intrusion 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
"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
"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 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
"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
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 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
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 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 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 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
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 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
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.
"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
"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."
"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
"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. 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 stern civility of the
place and occasion. MacIntyre instantly ordered the old fellow off the
"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!"
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
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
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
"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."
"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.
II. THE SEEKERS OF TREASURE
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 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
"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 two figures as those of Dousterswivel and Sir
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
Dousterswivel was evidently making some proposition about which Sir
Arthur was uncertain.
"Great expense--great expense!" were the first words they heard him
"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 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 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
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 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--"
[Illustration: "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 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!"
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.
III. MISTICOT'S GRAVE
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
MacIntyre's wound, though doubtful, was far from desperate, and that he
trusted a short cruise would cover all the consequences of his
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 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."
"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
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.
"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
"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
"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!"
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, without further
expense, ascertain for themselves the truth as to the existence of this
"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
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.
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:
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 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
"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
"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
"At it again," he cried; "strike--strike! What for are ye stopping,
"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
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,
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
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.
A QUITE SUPERFLUOUS INTERLUDE
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
"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,
Sweetheart and Maid Margaret looked exceedingly
"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
"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
"Please, is rolling in the snow permitted?" said
Hugh John, to whom this was a condition of
"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
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 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
Presently the cry of "It's not fair!" brought me to
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,
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
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
"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
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 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
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, 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
"Time!" cried the umpire, appearing in the
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
* * * * *
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
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_.
THE THIRD TALE FROM "THE ANTIQUARY"
I. THE EARL'S SECRET
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
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 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
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
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, 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
"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
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
Then, as an intimation that the interview was at an end, Lord Glenallan
called his servant.
"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.
II. THE MOTHER'S VENGEANCE
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 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
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
"Name not her name," he cried, in agony, "all that is dead to me--dead
"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, suddenly 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.
"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
But the Earl had a great need in his heart to speak to some one. In a
moment the whole world 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 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
"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, 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
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
"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
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.
III. THE HEIR OF GLENALLAN
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 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.
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.
[Illustration: "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
"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 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 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.
THE END OF THE LAST TALE FROM "THE 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
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
"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
THE END OF THE FIRST SERIES OF RED CAP TALES FROM THE TREASURE-CHEST OF
THE WIZARD OF THE NORTH.
 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.
 _i.e._ scarecrow.
* * * * *
Obvious punctuation errors repaired.
One reference each of "lifeblood" and "life-blood" were retained. This
was also done with "sea-shore" and "seashore".
Page 151, "campanion" changed to "companion" (sole companion a)
Page 180, "summons" changed to "summon" (would summon all)
Page 324, "than" changed to "then" (and then began)
Page 374, "hims" changed to "his" (mounted on his)