2 share in that formidable riot, and to have fled from Fleming found the convict's letter was returned from Scotland on that account, had made money abroad, Lincolnshire, he wrote to a friend in Edinburgh, to returned to enjoy it in their native country, and lived inquire into the fate of the unfortunate girl whose and died undisturbed by the law. The forbearance child had been stolen, and was informed by his corof the magistrate was in these instances wise, cer- respondent, that she had been pardoned, and that, with tainly, and just; for what good impression could be all her family, she had retired to some distant part of made on the public mind by punishment, when the Scotland, or left the kingdom entirely. And here the memory of the offence was obliterated, and all that matter rested, until, at Sir George Staunton's appli. was remembered was the recent

inoffensive, or per- cation, the clergyman looked out and produced Mar. haps exemplary, conduct of the offender?

garet Murdockson's

returned letter, and the other me Sir George Staunton might, therefore, tread the moranda which he had kept concerning the affair. scene of his former audacious exploits, free from the Whatever might bo Sir George Staunton's feelings apprehension of the law, or even of discovery or sus- in ripping up this miserable history, and listening to picion. But with whai feelings his heart that day the tragical fate of the unhappy girl whom he had throbbed,

must be left to those of the reader to im- ruined, he had so much of his ancient wilfulness of agine. It was an object of no common interest disposition left, as to shut his eyes on every thing, which had brought him to encounter so many pain- save the prospect which seemed to open itself of refull remembrances.

covering his son. It was true, it would be difficult In consequence of Jeanie's letter to Lady Staunton, to produce him, without telling much more of the histransmitting the confession, he had visited the town tory of his birth, and the misfortunes of his parents, of Carlisle, and had found Archdeacon Fleming still than it was prudent to make known. But let him alive, by whom that confession had been received. once be found, and, being found, let him but prove This reverend gentleman, whose character stood de- worthy of his father's protection, and many ways servedly very high, he so far admitted into his con- might be fallen upon to avoid such risk. Sir George fidence, as to own himself the father of the unfor-Staunton was at liberty to adopt him as his heir i tunate infant, which had been spirited away by Madge he pleased, without

communicating the

secret of his Wildfire, representing the intrigue as a matter of ju- birth; or an act of parliament might be obtained, de venile extravagance on his own part, for which he claring him legitimate, and allowing him the name and was now anxious to atone, by tracing, if possible, what arms of his father. He was, indeed, already a legitihad become of the child. After some recollection of mate child according to the law of Scotland, by the the circumstances, the clergyman was able to call to subsequent marriage of his parents. Wilful in every memory, that the unhappy woman had written a let- thing, Sir George's sole desire now was to see this ter to George Staunton, Esq. younger, Rectory, Wil- son, even should his recovery bring with it a new selingham, by Grantham ; that he had forwarded it to ries of misfortunes, as dreadful as those which followpthe address accordingly, and that it had been returned, ed on his being lost. with a note from the reverend Mr. Staunton, Rector But where was the youth who might eventually of Willingham, saying he knew no such person as be called to the honours and estates of this ancient nim to whom the letter was addressed. As this had family,?,,On what heath was he wandering, and pappened just at the time when George had, for the shrouded by what mean disguise? Did he gain his last time, absconded from his father's house to carry precarious bread by some petty trade, by menial toi, off Efie, he was at no loss to account for the cause of by violence, or by theft? These were questions on the resentment, under the influence of which his which Sir George's

anxious investigations could obfather had disowned him. This was another in- tain no light. Many remembered that Annaple Bailstance in which his ungovernable temper had occa- zou wandered through the country as a beggar and sioned his misfortune; had he remained at Willing; fortune-teller, or spae-wife--some remembered that ham but a few days longer, he would have received she had been seen with an infant in 1737 or 1738, but Margaret Murdockson's letter, in which was exactly for more than ten years she had not travelled that described the person and haunts of the woman, district; and that she had been heard to say she was Annaple

Bailzou, to whom she had parted with the going to a distant part of Scotland, of which country infant. It appeared that Meg. Murdockson had been she was a native. To Scotland, therefore, came Sir induced to make this confession, less from any feel- George Staunton, having parted with his lady at ings of contrition, than from the desire of obtaining, Glasgow; and his arrival at Edinburgh happening to through George Staunton or his father's means, pro- coincide with the sitting of the General Assembly of tection and support for her daughter Madge. Her the Kirk, his acquaintance with the nobleman who held letter to George Staunton said, “That while the wri- the office of Lord High Commissioner forced him ter lived, her daughter would have needed nought from more into public than suited either his views or incliany body, and that she would never have meddled in nations. these affairs, except to pay back the ill that George At the public table of this nobleman, Sir George had done to her and hers. But she was to die, and Staunton was placed next

to a clergyman

of respecther daughter would be destitute, and without

reason to able appearance, and well-bred, though plain demeanguide her. She had lived in the world long enough our, whose name he discovered to be Butler. It has to know that people did nothing for nothing ;--so been no part of Sir George's plan to take his broshe had told George Staunton all he could wish to ther-in-law into his confidence, and he had rejoiced exknow about his wean, in hopes he would not see the ceedingly in the assurances he received from his wife, demented young creature he had ruined perish for that Mrs. Butler, the very soul of integrity and howant. As for her motives for not telling

them soon- nour, had never suffered

the account he had given of er, she had a long account to reckon for in the next himself at Willingham Rectory to transpire, even ta world, and she would reckon for that too."

her husband. But he was noi sorry to have an opThe clergyman said, that. Meg had died in the same portunity to converse with so near a connexion, with. desperate state of mind, occasionally expressing some out being known to him, and to form a judgment of regret about the child which was lost

, but oftener sor- his character and understanding. He saw much, row that the mother had not been hanged-her mind and heard more, to raise Butler very high in his opis at once a chaos of guilt, rage, and apprehension for nion. He found he was generally respected by those her daughter's future safety; that instinctive feeling of his own profession, as well as by the laity who of parental anxiety which she had in common with had seats in the Assembly. He had made several che she-wolf and lioness, being the last shade of kind- public appearances in the Assembly,

distinguished by ly affection that occupied a breast equally savage. good sense, çandour, and ability; and he was follow

The melancholy catastrophe of Madge Wildfire was ed and admired as a sound, and, at the same time occasioned by her taking the confusion of her mo- an eloquent preacher. ther's execution, as affording an opportunity of leaving This was all very satisfactory to Sir George Staunthe workhouse to which the clergyman had sent her, ton's pride, which had revolted at the idea of his and presenting herself to the mob in their

fury, to wife's sister being obscurely married. He now be oerish in the way we have already seen. When Dr. gan, on the contrary, to think the connexion so much

See Arnot's Criminal Trials, 4to. ed. p. 235.0 47001 | better than he expected, that, if it should be necessa


ty to acknowledge it, in consequence of the recovery let the gentleman sit down and get a dish of comforta of his son, it would sound well enough that Lady able tea." Staunton had a sister, who, in the decayed state of But Sir George had quite enough of their conversathe family, had married a Scottish clergyman, high in tion; and Butler, at his request, made an apology a the opinion of his countrymen, and a leader in the Mrs. Saddletree, and accompanied him to his lodgings. church.

Here they found another guest waiting Sir George It was with these feelings, that, when the Lord Staunton's return. This was no other than our rea, High Commissioner's company broke up, Sir George der's old acquaintance Ratcliffe. Staunton, under pretence of prolonging some in- This man had exercised the office of turnkey with quiries concerning the constitution of the church of so much vigilance, acuteness, and fidelity, that he Seotland, requested Butler to go home to his lodgings gradually rose to be governor, or captain of the Tol. in the Lawnmarket, and drink a cup of coffee. But- booth. And it is yet remembered in tradition, that ler agreed to wait upon him, providing Sir George young men, who rather sought amusing, than selec would permit him, in passing, to call at a friend's society in their merry-meetings, used sometimes a house where he resided, and make his apology for request Ratcliffe's company, in order that he might not

coming to partake her tea. They proceeded up regale them with legends of his extraordinary feat. the High Street, entered the Krames, and passed the in the way of robbery and escape. But he lived

ane begging box, placed to remind those at liberty of the died without resuming, his original vocation, other distresses of the poor prisoners. Sir George paused wise than in his parratives over a botile. there one instant, and next day a 201, note was found Under these circumstances, he had been recom. in that receptacle for public charity.

mended to Sir George Staunton by a man of the law When he came up to Butler again, he found him in Edinburgh, as a person likely to answer any ques. with his eyes fixed on the entrance of the Tolbooth, tions he might have to ask about Annaple Bailzou, and apparently in deep thought.

who, according to the colour which Sir George StaunThat seems a very strong door," said Sir George, ton gave to his cause of inquiry, was supposed to by way of saying something.

have stolen a child in the west of England, belong. It is so, sir," said Butler, turning off and begin- ing to a family in which he was interested. The ning to walk forward," but it was my misfortune at gentleman had not mentioned his name, but only one time to see it prove greatly too weak,"

his official title, so that Sir George Staunton, when At this moment, looking at his companion, he told that the captain of the Tolbooth was waiting asked him whether he felt himself ill ? and Sir George for him in his parlour, had no idea of meeting his Staunton admitted, that he had been so foolish as to former acquaintance, Jem Ratcliffe. eat ice, which sometimes disagreed with him. With This, therefore, was another new and most un. kind officiousness, that would not be gainsaid, and ere pleasant surprise, for he had no difficulty in recol. he could find out where he was going, Butler hurried lecting this man's remarkable features. The change, Sir George into the friend's house, near to the prison, however, from George Robertson to Sir George Staunin which he himself had lived since he came to town, ton, baffled even the penetration of Ratcliffe, and he being, indeed, no other than that of our old friend bowed very low to the baronet and his guest, hoping Bartoline Saddletree, in which Lady Staunton had Mr. Butler would excuse his recollecting that he was served a short noviciate as a shop-maid. This recol. an old acquaintance. lection rushed on her husband's mind, and the blush And once rendered my wife a piece of great serof shame which it excited overpowered the sensation vice,” said Mr. Butler, for which she sent you a token of fear which had produced his former paleness. Good of grateful acknowledgment, which I hope came safe Mrs. Saddletree, however, bustled about to receive and was welcome." the rich English baronet as the friend of Mr. Butler, Deil a doubt on't,” said Ratcliffe, with a knowand requested an elderly female in a black gown to ing nod; but ye are muckle changed for the better sit still in a way which seemed to imply a wish, that since I saw ye, Maister Butler." she would clear the way for her betters. In the mean- " So much so, that I wonder you knew me." while, understanding the state of the case, she ran to "Aha, then!-Deil a face I see I ever forget," said get some cordial waters, sovereign, of course, in all Ratcliffe ; while Sir George Staunton, tied to the cases of faintishness whatsoever. During her ab- stake, and incapable of escaping, internally cursed sence, her visiter, the female in black, made some the accuracy of

his memory. 'And yet, sometimes," progress out of the room, and might have left it alto- continued Ratcliffe," the sharpest hand will be ta'en gether without particular observation, had she not in. There is a face in this very room, if I might prestumbled at the threshold, so near Sir George Staun- sume to be sae bauld that if I didna ken the honour. ton, that he, in point of civility, raised her and assisted able person it helangs to- I might think it had some her to the door.

cast of an auld acquaintance." * Mrs. Porteous is turned very doited now, puir bo- “I should

not be much flattered," answered the dy," said Mrs. Saddletree, as she returned with her Baronet sternly, and roused by the risk in which he bottle in her hand-"She is no sae auld, but she got saw himself placed, if it is to me you mean to ara sair back-cast wi' the slaughter o' her husband-- Ye ply that compliment." had some trouble about that job, Mr. Butler.-I think, By no manner of means, sir,” said Ratci:fe, Lowsir," to Sir George, "ye had better drink out the ing very low; "I am come to receive your honour's haill glass, for to my een ye look waur than when ye commands, and not to trouble your honour wil my came in,

poor observations." And, indeed, he grew as pale as a corpse, on recol- "Well, sir,” said Sir George," I am told you underlecting who it was that his arm had so lately support stand police matters-So do I.-To convince you of ed--the widow whom he had so large a share in ma- which, here are ten guineas of retaining see-I make king such.

them fifty when you can find me certain notice of a "It is a prescribed job that case of Porteous now," person, living or dead, whom you will find described said old Saddletree, who was confined to his chair by in that paper. I shall leave town presently-you may the avut-"clean prescribed and out of date." send your written answer to me to the care of Mr. "I am not clear of that, neighbour," said Plum

(naming his highly respectable agent,)."07 damas, "for I have heard them say twenty years of his Grace the Lord High Commissioner." Ratshould rin, and this is but the fifty-ane-Porteous's cliffe bowed and withdrew. mob was in thretty-seven.

“I have angered the proud peat now," he said to 'Ye'll no teach me law, I think, neighbour-me himself, "by finding out a likeness-But if George that has four gaun pleas, and might hae had fourteen, an it hadną been the gudewife? I tell ye if the fore- Ratcliffe, among other escapes from justice, was released by the

• There seems an anachronism in the history of this person nost of the Porteous mob were standing there Porteous mob when under sentence of death; and he was Where that gentleman stands, the King's Advocate again under the same predicament when the Highlanders made wadna medde wi' him-itfa's under the negative pre-embraces liberation at the hands of the Jacobiss, and in reward scription."

"Tlaud your din, carles," said Mrs. Saddletree," and was notable come ilitbe keepers of the Tolbooth. to at least nung me if I should not know what to think, His heart lightened in spite of himself when they lost for as high as he carries his head."


sight of Edinburgh ; and the easy, sensible conversa When he was left alone with Butler, Sir George tion of Butler, was well calculated to withdraw his Staunton ordered tea and coffee, which were brought thoughts from painful reflections. He even began to by his valet, and then, after considering with himself think whether there could be much difficulty in refor a minute,

asked his guest whether he had lately moving his wife's connexions to the rectory of Wilheard from his wife and family Butler, with some sur-| lingham; it was only on his part procuring some still prise at the question, replied," that he had received no beiter preferment for the present incumbent, and on letter for some time; his wife was a poor pen-wo- Butler's that he should take orders according to the man.

English church, to which he could not conceive a "Then,” said Sir George Staunton, "I am the possibility of his making objection, and then he had first to inform you there has been an invasion of your them residing under his wing. No doubt, there was quiet premises since you left home. My wife, whom pain in seeing Mrs. Butler, acquainted, as he knew her the Duke of Argyle had the goodness to permit to use to be with the full truth of his evil history-But then Roseneath Lodge, while she was spending some her silence, though he had no reason to complain of weeks in your country,

has sallied across and taken her indiscretion hitherto, was still more absolutely in up her quarters in the

Manse, as she says, to be near-sured. It would keep his lady, also, both in good er the goats, whose milk she is using; but I believe, temper, and in more subjection for she was somein reality, because she prefers Mrs. Butler's company times troublesome to him, by insisting o remaining to that of the respectable gentleman who acts as in town when he desired to retire to the country, al seneschal on the Duke's domains."

leging the total want of society, at Willingham. Mr. Butler said, "he had often heard the late Duke "Madam, your sister is there," would, he thought, be and the present speak with high respect of Lady a sufficient

answer to this ready argument. Staunton, and was happy if his house could accom: He sounded Butler on this subject, asking what he modate any friend of theirs-it would be but a very would think of an English living of twelve hundred slight acknowledgment of the many favours he owed pounds yearly, with the burden of affording his comthem."

pany now and then to a neighbour whose health was That does not make Lady Staunton and myself not strong, or his spirits equal. "He might meet," he the less obliged to your hospitality, sir," said Sir said, “occasionally, a very learned and accomplished George. May I inquire if you think of returning gentleman, who was in orders as a Catholic priest, home soon?"

but he hoped that would be no insurmountable objec. - In the course of two days," Mr. Butler answered, tion to a man of his liberality of sentiment. "What," " his duty in the Assembly would be ended ; and the he said, " would Mr. Butler think of as an answer, i other matters he had in town being all finished, he the offer should be made to him ?" was desirous of returning to Dunbartonshire as soon "Simply that I could not accept of it," said Mr. as he could ; but he was under the necessity of trans- Butler. "I have no mind to enter into the various de porting a considerable sum in bills and money with bates between the churches; but I was brought up in him, and therefore wished to travel in company with mine own, have received her ordination, am satisfied one or two of his brethren of the clergy,

of the truth of her doctrines, and will die under the "My escort will be more safe," said Sir George banner I have enlisted to." Staunton," and I think of setting off to-morrow or “What may be the value of your preferment?" said next day. If you will give me the pleasure of your Sir George Staunton, "unless I am asking an indiscompany, I will undertake to deliver you and your creet question." charge safe at the Manse, provided you will admit "Probably one hundred a-year, one year with ano

ther, besides my glebe and pasture-ground." Mr. Butler gratefully accepted of this proposal; the "And you scruple to exchange that for twelve hunappointment was made accordingly, and by dis- dred a year, without alleging any damning difference patches with one

of Sir George's servants, who was of doctrine betwixt the two churches of England and sent forward for the purpose, the inhabitants of the Scotland ?" manse of Knocktarlitie were made acquainted with "On that, sir, I have reserved my judgment; there the intended journey;

and the news rung through the may be much good, and there are certainly saving whole vicinity, that the minister was coming back means in both, but every man must act according 10 wi' a braw English gentleman, and a' the siller that his own lights. I hope I have done, and am in the was to pay for the estate of Craigsture."

course of doing, my Master's work in this Highland This sudden resolution of going to Knocktarlitie parish; and it would ill become me, for the sake of had been adopted by Sir George Staunton in conse- !ucre, to leave my sheep in the wilderness. But, even quence of the incidents of the evening. In spite of in the temporal view which you have taken of the mathis present consequence, he felt he had presumed tooter, Sir George, this hundred pounds a-year of stic far in venturing so near the scene of his former auda-pend hath fed and clothed us, and left us nothing to cious acts of violence, and he knew too well, from wish for; my father-in-law's succession, and other past experience the acuteness of a man like Rateliffe, circumstances, have added a small estate of about again to encounter him. The next two days he kept twice as much more, and how we are to dispose of it his lodgings, under pretence of indisposition, and took I do not know-So I leave it to you, sir, to think if I leave, by writing, of his noble friend, the High Com- were wise, not waving the wish or opportunity of missioner, alleging the opportunity of Mr. Butler's spending three hundred a-year, to covet the possession company as the reason for leaving Edinburgh sooner of four times that sum. than he had proposed. He had a long conference "This is philosophy,” said Sir George; "I halt with his agent on the subject of Annaple Bailzou : heard of it, but I never saw it before." and the professional gentleman, who was the agent "It is common sense," replied Butler, "which acalso of the Argyle family, had directions to collect all cords with philosophy and religion more frequently the information which Ratcliffe or others might be than pedants or zealots are apt to admit." able to obtain concerning the fate of that woman and Sir George turned the subject, and did not again ne the unfortunate child, and, so soon as any thing tran- sume it. Although they travelled in Sir George's spired which had the least appearance of being im. chariot, he seemed so much fatigued with the motion, portant, that he should send an express with it in- that it was necessary for him to remain for a day at a stantly to Knocktarlitie. These instructions were small town called Mid-Calder, which was their first backed with a deposit of money, and a request that stage from Edinburgh. Glasgow occupied another no expense might be spared ; so that Sir George day, so slow were their motions. Staunton had little reason to apprehend negligence They travelled on to Dunbarton, where they had on the part of the persons intrusted with the commis- resolved to leave the equipage, and to hire a boat to sion.

take them to the shores near the Manse, as the Gare. The journey, which the brothers made in compa- Loch lay betwixt them and that point, besides the im. nv, was attended with more pleasure, even to Sir possibility of travelling in that district with wheel-car riages, Sir George's valet, a man of trust, accompa- I lay of the storm," said Sir George; "it seems as if i nied them, as also a footman;

the grooms were left suspended its peal till it solemnized some important with the carriage. Just as this arrangement was event in the world below." conpleted, which was about four o'clock in the after. "Alas!" replied Butler, "what are we that the laws noon, an express arrived from Sir George's agent in of nature should correspond in their march with our Edinburgh, with a packel, which he opened and read ephemeral deeds or sufferings? The clouds will burst great attention, appearing much interested and when surcharged with the electric fluid, whether a agitated by the contents. The packet had been dis- goal is falling at that instant from the cliffs of Arran, patched very soon after their leaving Edinburgh, but or a hero expiring on the field of battle he has won. the messenger had missed the travellers by passing "The mind delights to deem it otherwise," said Sir through Mid-Calder in the night, and overshot his er- George Staunton; "and to dwell on the fate of hu rand by getting to Roseneath before them. He was manity as on that which is the prime central move. now on his return, after having waited more than ment of the

mighty machine. We love not to think four-and-twenty hours. Sir George Staunton instant that we shall mix with the ages that have

gone befor ly wroto hack an answer, and, rewarding the messen- us, as these broad black rain-drops mingle with the

er liberally, desired him not to sleep till he placed it waste of waters, making a trifling and momentary in his agent's hands.

cddy, and are then lost for ever. At length they embarked in the boat, which had "For ever! we are not-we cannot be lost for waited for them some time. During their voyage, ever," said Butler, looking upward ; " death is to ns which was slow, for they were obliged to row the change, not consummation; and the commencement whole way, and often against the tide, Sir George of a new existence, corresponding in character to the Staunton's inquiries ran chiefly on the subject of the deeds which we have done in the body." Highland banditti who had infested that country since While they agitated these grave subjects, to which the year 1745. Butler informed him, that many of the solemnity of the approaching storm naturally led them were not native Highlanders, but gipsies, tink them, their voyage threatened to be more tedious than ers, and other men of desperate fortunes, who had they expected, for gusts of wind, which rose and fell taken advantage of the confusion introduced by the with sudden impetuosity, swept the bosom of the civil war, the general discontent of the mountaineers, Frith, and impeded the efforts of the rowers. They and the unsettled state of police, to practise their plun- had now only to double a small head-land, in order to dering trade with

more audacity. Sir George next get to the proper landing-place in the mouth of the inquired into their lives, their habits, whether the vio- little river; but in the state of the weather, and the ences which they committed were not sometimes boat being heavy, this was like to be a work of time atoned for by acts of generosity, and whether they did and in the meanwhile they must necessarily be exnot possess the virtues, as well as the vices, of savage posed to the storm. tribes?

"Could we not land on this side of the head-land," Butler answered, that certainly they did sometimes asked Sir George, "and sq. gain some shelter ?" show

sparks of generosity, of which even the worst Butler knew of no landing-place, at least none afclass of malefactors are seldom utterly divested; but fording a convenient or even practicable passage up that their evil propensities were certain and regular the rocks which surrounded the shore. principles of action, while any occasional burst of vir- "Think again," said Sir George Staunton; "tha tuous feeling was only a transient impulse

not to be storm will soon be violent." reckoned upon, and excited probably by some singu- Hout, ay," said one of the boatmen, " there's the lar and unusual concatenation of circumstances. In Caird's Cove; but we dinna tell the minister about it, diseussing these inquiries, which Sir George pursued and I am no sure if I can steer the boat to il the bay with an apparent eagerness that rather surprised But- is sae fu' o' shoals and sunk rocks." ler, the latter chanced to mention the name of Dona- "Try," said Sir George, "and I will give you halt cha Dhu na Dunaigh, with which the reader is already a guinea." acquainted. Sir George caught the sound up eagerly, The old fellow took the helm, and observed," that and as if it conveyed particular interest to his ear. He if they could get in, there was a steep path up from made the most minute inquiries concerning the man the beach, and half an hour's walk from thence to whom he mentioned, the number of his gang, and the Manse." even the appearance of those who belonged to it. "Are you sure you know the way ?" said Butler to Upon these points Butler could give little answer. The the old man. man had a name among the lower class, but his ex- "I maybe kend it a wee better fifteen years syne ploits were considerably exaggerated; he had always when Dandie Wilson was in the Frith wi" his cleanone or two fellows with him, but never

aspirod to the ganging lugger. I mind Dandie had a wild young command of above three or four. In short, he knew Englisher wi' him, that they ca'dlittle about him, and the small acquaintance he had, If you chatter so much," said Sir George Staụnhad by no means inclined him to desire more. ton, you will have the boat on the Grindstone-bring

"Nevertheless, I should like to see himn some of that white rock in a line with the steeple." these days."

"By G," said the veteran staring, "I think your "That would be a dangerous meeting, Sir George, honour kens the bay as well as me. Your honour'e unless you mean we are to see him receive his de nose has been on the Grindstane ere now, I'm serts from the law, and then it were a melancholy thinking."

As they spoke thus, they approached the little cove, "Use every man according to his deserts, Mr. But- which, concealed behind crags, and defended on ler, and who shall escape wlupping? But I am talking every point by shallows and sunken rocks, could riddles to you. I will explain them more fully to scarce be discovered or approached, except by those you when I have spoken over the subject with Lady intimate with the navigation. An old shattered boat Staunton.-Pull away, my lads," he added, address was already drawn up on the beach within the cove, ing himself to the rowers; "the clouds threaten us close beneath the trees, and with precautions for con. with a storm."

cealment. In fact, the dead and heavy closeness of the air, the Upon observing this vessel, Butler remarked to his huge piles of clouds which assembled in the western companion, "It is impossible for you to conceive, Si horizon, and glowed like a furnace under the influence George, the difficulty I have had with my poor peoof the setting sun--that awful stillness in which na ple, in teaching them the guilt and the danger of this

ture seems to expect the thunder-burst, as a con- contraband trade--yet they have perpetually before demned soldier waits for the platoon-fire which is to their eyes all its dangerous consequences. I do not stretch him on the earth, all betokened a speedy storm. know any thing that more effectually depraves and Large broad drops fell from time to time, and induced ruins their moral and religious principles." the gentlemen to assume the boat-cloaks; but the rain Sir George forced himself to say something in a low again ceased, and the oppressive heat, so unusual in voice, about the spirit of adventure natural to youth Scotland in the end of May, inclined them to throw and that unquestionably niany would become wiser them aside. There is something solemn in this de- I as they grew older. Vol. III L



"Too seldom, sir," replied Butler, "If they have know what interest Sir George or I can havo in been deeply engaged, and especially if they have min- your movements this morning." gled in the scenes of violence and blood to which their Cot tam !- this is too cruel, my leddy-as if i. occupation naturally leads, I have observed that, was not py special express from his Grace's honourasooner or later, they come to an evil end. Experience, ble agent and commissioner at Edinburgh, with a as well as Scripture, teaches us, Sir George, that mis- warrant conform, that I was to seek for and appre chief shall hunt the violent man, and that the blood-hend Donacha dhu na Dunaigh, and pring him pefore thirsty man shall not live half his days—But take my myself and Sir George Staunton, that he may have arm to help you ashore."

his deserts, that is to say, the gallows, whilk he has Sir George needed assistance, for he was contrast, doubtless deserved, py peing the means of frightening ing in his altered thought the different feelings of mind your leddyship, as weel as for something of less iniand frame with which he had formerly frequented the portance. same place. As they landed, a low growl of thunder "Frightening me?" said her iadyship; "why, I was heard at a distance.

never wrote to Sir George about my alarm at the That is ominous, Mr. Butler," said Sir George. waterfall."

"Intonui imoum-it is ominous of good, then," an- "Then he must have heard it otherwise ; for what swered Butler, smiling.

else can give him sic an earnest tesire to see this The boatmen were ordered to make the best of rapscallion, that I maun ripe the haill mosses and their way round the head-land to the ordinary land- muirs in the country for him, as if I were to get some ing-place; the two gentlemen, followed by their

ser- thing for finding him, when the pest o't might pe a vant, sought their way by a blind and tangled path, pall through my prains ?" through a close copsewood to the Manse of Knock- “Can it be really true, that it is on Sir George's tarlitie, where their arrival was anxiously expected. account that you have been attempting to apprehend

The sisters in vain had expected their husbands' this fellow ?" return on the preceding day, which was that appoint- "Py Cot, it is for no other cause that I know than ed by Sir George's letter. The delay of the travellers his honour's pleasure;. for the creature might hae at Calder had occasioned this breach of appointment. gone on in a decent quiet way for me, sae lang as he The inhabitants of the Manse began even to doubt respectit the Duke's pounds-put reason goot he suld whether they would arrive on the present day. Lady be taen, and hangit to poot, if it may pleasure ony Staunton felt this hope of delay as a brief reprieve; honourable shentleman

that is the Duke's friend for she dreaded the pangs which her husband's pride Sae I got the express over night, and I caused warn must undergo at meeting with a sister-in-law, to half a score of pretty lads, and was

up in the morning whom the whole of his unhappy and dishonourable pefore the sun, and I garr'd the lads take their kilts history was too well known. She knew, whatever and short coats.'! force or constraint he might put upon his feelings in "I wonder you did that, Captain," said Mrs. But. public, that she herself must be doomed to see them ler, when you know the act of parliament against display themselves in full

vehemence in secret, --con- wearing the Highland dress." sume his health, destroy his temper, and render "Hout, tout, ne'er fash your thumb, Mrs. Putler. him at once an object of dread and compassion. The

law is put twa-three years auld yet, and is ower Again

and again she cautioned Jeanie to display no young to hae come our length and pesides, how is tokens of recognition, but to receive him as a perfect the lads to climb the praes wi' thae tamn'd breekers stranger,--and again and again Jeanie renewed her on them? It makes me sick to see them. Put ony promise to comply with her wishes.

how, I thought I kend Donacha's haunts gey and Jeanie herself could not fail to bestow an anxious weel, and I was at the place where he had rested hought on the awkwardness of the approaching yestreen; for I saw the leaves the limmers had lain meeting; but her conscience was ungalled—and then on, and the ashes of them; by the same token there she was cumbered with many household cares of an was a pit greeshoch purning yet. I am thinking iney unusual nature, which, joined to the anxious wish got some word out o' the island what was intended once more to see Butler, after an absence of unusual - I sought every glen and cleuch, as if I had been length, made her extremely desirous that the travel deer-stalking, but teil a wauff of his coat-tail could I lers should arrive as soon as possible. And-why see-Cot tam!" should I disguise the truth?-ever and anon a thought "He'll be away down the Frith to Cowal," said stole across her mind that her gala dinner had now David ; and Reuben, who had been out early that been postponed for two days; and how few of the morning a-nutting, observed, "That he had seen a dishes, after every art of her simple cuisine had been boat making for the Caird's Cove;" a place well exerted to dress them, could with any credit or pro- known to the boys, though their less adventurous priety appear again upon the third; and what was father

was ignorant of its existence. she to do with the rest?- Upon this last subject she "Py Çot," said Duncan, “then I will stay here no was saved the trouble of further deliberation, by the longer than to trink this very horn of prandy and sudden appearance of the Captain at the head of half-water, for it is very possible they will pe in the wood. a-dozen stout fellows, dressed and armed in the Donacha's a clever fellow, and maype thinks it pest Highland fashion.

to sit next the chimley when the lum reeks. He Goot-morrow morning to ye, Leddy Staunton, thought naebody would look for him sae near hand! and I hope I hae the pleasure to see ye weel-And I peg your leddyship will excuse my aprupt departure, goot-morrow to you, goot Mrs. Putler-I do peg as I will return forth with, and I will either pring you you will order some victuals and ale and prandy Donacha in life, or else his head, whilk I dare to say for the lads, for we hae peen out on firth and moor will be as satisfactory. And I hope to pass a pleasant since afore daylight, and a' to no purpose neither-evening with your leddyship; and I hope to have Cor tam!"

mine revenges on Mr. Putler at packgammon, for the So saying, he sate down, pushed back his briga- four pennies whilk he won, for he will pe surely at eier wig, and wiped his head with an air of easy imhome soon, or else he will have a wet journey, seeing portance; totally regardless of the look of well-bred it is apout to pe a scud." astonishment by which Lady Staunton endeavoured Thuş saying, with many scrapes and bows, and to make him comprehend that he was assuming too apologies for leaving them, which were very readily kreat a liberty.

received, and reiterated assurances of his speedy re"It is some comfort

, when one has had a sair tus- turn, (of the sincerity whereof Mrs. Butler entertained sell,"continued the Captain, addressing Lady Staun- no doubt, so long as her best greybeard of brandy ton, with an air of gallantry, "thea in a fair leddy's was upon duty,) Duncan left the Manse, collected his service, or in the service of a gentleman whilk has a followers, and began to scour the close and entangled (air leady whilk is the same thing, since serving the wood which lay between the little glen and the husband is serving the wife, as Mrs. Puiler does Caird's Cove. David, who was a favourite with the very weel know."

Captain, on account of his spirit and courage, took 1. Really sit" said Lady Staunton, "as you seem the opportunity of escaping, to attend the investiga u intend this compliment for me, I am at a loss to tions of that great man.

« VorigeDoorgaan »