« PreviousContinue »
the collector's yawl.” So saying, he mounted his horse, and gallopped off.
About a mile from the house, and upon the verge of the woods, which, as we have said, covered a promontory terminating in the cape called the Point of Warroch, Kennedy met young Harry Bertram, attended by his tutor, Dominie Sanipson. He had often promised the child a ride upon his galloway; and, from singing, dancing, and playing Punch for his amusement, was a particular favourite. He no sooner came scampering up the path, than the boy loudly claimed his promise; and Kennedy, who saw no risque in indulging him, and wished to tease the Dominie; in whose visage he read a remonstrance, caught up Harry from the ground, placed him before him, and continued his route; Sampson's. “ Peradventure, Master Kennedy" being lost in the clatter of his horse's feet. The pedagogue hesitated a moment whether he should go after
them; but Kennedy being a person ia full confidence of the family, and with whom he himself had no delight in associating, “ being that he was addicted unto profane and scurrilous jests,” he continued his own walk at his own pace, till he reached the Place of Ellangowan.
The spectators from the ruined walls of the castle were still watching the sloop of war, which at length, but not without the loss of considerable time, recovered searoom enough to weather the Point of Warroch, and was lost to their sight be. hind that wooded promontory. Some time afterward the discharges of several cannon were heard at a distance, and, after an interval, a still louder explosion, as of a vessel blown up, and a cloud of smoke rose above the trees, and mingled with the blue sky. All then separated upon their different occasions, auguring variously upon the fate of the smuggler, but the majority insisting that her capture was inevitable, if she had not already gone to the bottom.
" It is near our dinner-time, my dear," said Mrs Bertram to her husband, “ will it be long before Mr Kennedy comes back?"
"I expect him every moment, my dear," said the Laird ; « perhaps he is bringing some of the officers of the sloop with him.”
• My stars, Mr Bertram ! why did not ye tell me this before, that we might have had the large round table ?-and then, they're a' tired o' salt-meat, and, to tell you the plain truth, a rump of beef is the best part of your dinner-and then I wad have put on another gown, and ye wad na have been the waur o' a clean neck-cloth yoursell—But ye delight in surprising and hurrying one I am sure I am no to haud out for ever against this sort of going on But when folk's missed, then they are moaned.” .." Pshaw, pshaw, deuce take the beef, and the gown, and the table, and the neckcloth!we shall do all very well. Where's
the Dominie, John :-(to a servant who was busy about the table) where's the Dominie and little Harry ?”
“ Mr Sampson's been at home these twa hours and mair, but I dinna think Mr Harry came home wi' him.”
“ Not come home wi' him?" said the lady, “ desire Mr Sampson to step this way directly.” : “Mr Sampson,” said she, upon his entrance, “is it not the most extraordinary thing in this world wide, that you, that have free up-putting-bed, board, and washing-and twelve pounds sterling a-year, just to look after that boy, should let him out of your sight for twa or three hours ?”
Sampson made a bow of humble acknowledgment at each pause which the angry lady made in her enumeration of the advantages of his situation, in order to give more weight to her remonstrance, and then, in words which we will not do him the injustice to imitate, told how Mr Francis Kennedy." had assumed spontaneously
the charge of Master Henry, in despite of his remonstrances in the contrary.”
"I am very little obliged to Mr Francis Kennedy for his pains,” said the lady peevishly; “suppose he lets the boy drop from his horse, and lames him?-or suppose one of the cannons comes ashore and kills him ?-or suppose"
“Or suppose, my dear,” said Ellangowan, “what is much more likely than any thing else, that they have gone aboard the sloop, or the prize, and are to come round the Point with the tide ? "
“ And then they may be drowned,” said the lady.
" Verily,” said Sampson, “I thought Mr Kennedy.bad returned an hour since Of a surety I deemed I heard his horse's feet."
“That,” said John with a broad grin, " was Grizel chasing the humbled cow out of the close."...
Sampson coloured up to the eyes-not at the implied taunt, which he would never have discovered, or resented if he