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of the querist alone was distinguishable, the response usually was, « Where are ye coming frae at sick a time o' night as the like o' this ?»---or, « Ye'll no be of this country, freend ?» · The answers, when obtained, were neither very reconeileable to each other, nor accurate in the information which they afforded. Kippletringan was distant at first, « a gay bit.» Then the « gay bit» was more accurately described, as, « aiblins three miles ;» then the « three miles » diminished into « like a mile and a bittock ;» then extended themselves into « four miles or there awa';» and, lastly, a female voice having hushed a wailing infant which the spokeswoman carried in her arms, assured Guy Marnering, « It was a weary lang gait yet to Kippletringan, and unco heavy road for foot passengers.» The poor hack upon which Mannering was mounted was probably of opinion that it suited him as ill as the female respondent; he began to flag very much, answered each applieation of the spur with. a groan, and stumbled at every stone and they were not few) which lay in his road.
Mannering now grew impatient. He was occasionally betrayed into a deceitful hope, that the end of bis journey was near, by the apparition of a twinkling light or two; but, as he came up, he was disappointed to find the gteams proceeded from some of those farm-houses which occasionally ornamented the surface of the ex- . tensive bog. At length, to complete his perplexity, he arrived at a place where the road divided into two. If there had been light to
consult the reliques of a finger-post which stood there, it would have been of little avail, as, according to the good custom of North-Britain, the inscription had been defaced shortly after its erection. Our adventurer was therefore compelled, like a knight-errant of old, to trust to the sagacity of his horse, which, without any demur, chose the left-hand path, and seemed to proceed at a somewhat livelier pace than formerly, affording thereby a hope that he knew he was drawing near to his quarters for the evening. This hope was not speedily accomplished, and Mannering, whose impatience made every furlong seem three, began to think that Kippletringan was actually retreating before him in proportion to his advance.
It was now very cloudy, although the stars, from time to time, shed a twinkling and uncertain light. Hitherto nothing had broken the silence around him, but the deep cry of the bogblitter, or bull-of-the-bog, a large species of bittern; and the sighs of the wind as it passed along the dreary morass. To these was now joined the distant roar of the ocean, towards which the traveller seemed to be fast approaching. This was no circumstance to make his mind easy. Many of the roads in that country lay along the seabeach, and were liable to be flooded by the tides, which rise with great height, and advance with extreme rapidity. Others were intersected with creeks, and small inlets, which it was only safe to pass at particular times of the tide. Neither
circumstance would have suited a dark night, a fatigued horse, and a traveller ignorant of his road. Mannering resolved, therefore, definitively, to halt for the night at the first inhabited place, however poor, he might chance to reach, unless he could procure a guide to this unlucky village of Kippletringan.
A miserable hut gave him an opportunity to execute his purpose. He found out the door with no small difficulty, and for some time knocked without producing any other answer than a duet between a female and a eur-dog, the latter yelping as if he would have barked his heart out, the other screaming in chorus. By degrees the human tones predominated; but the angry bark of the cur being at the instant changed into a bowl, it is probable something more than fair strength of lungs had contributed to the ascendancy..
« Sorrow be in your thrapple than !» these were the first articulate words, « will you no let me hear what the man wants, wi' your yaffing ?»
u Am I far from Kippletringan, good dame?»
« Frae Kippletringan !!!» in an exalted tone of wonder, which we can but faintly express by three points of admiration. « Ow, man! ye should hae hadden easel to Kippletringan - ye maun gae back as far as the Whaap, and haud the Whaap till ye come to Ballenloan, and then»--
« This will never do, good dame! my horse is almost quite set up-can you not give me a night's lodgings ?»
« Troth can I no-I am a lone woman, for James he's awa to Drumshourloch fair with the year-aulds, and I darena for my life open the door to ony of your gang-there-out sort o' bodies.»
« But what must I do then, good dame? for I can't sleep here upon the road all night?»
« Troth, I ken na, unless ye like co gae down and speer for quarters at the Place. I'se warrant they'll take ye in, whether ye be gentle or semple.•
«Simple enough, to be wandering here at such a time of night,» thought Mannering, who was ignorant of the meaning of the phrase ; « but how shall I get to the place, as you call it?» .
* Ye maun haud wessel by the end o' the loan, and cake tent o' the jaw-hole,» · «O, if you get to easel and wessel again, I am undone!- Is there nobody that could guide me to this place. I will pay him handsomely,»
The word pay operated like magic.
« Jock, ye villain,w exclaimed the voice from the interior, « are ye lying routing there, and a young gentleman seeking the way to the Place? Get up, ye fause loon, and shew him the way down the muckle loaning.--He'll shew you the way, sir, and I'se warrant ye'll be weel put up; for they never turn awa' naebody frae the door; and ye'll be corne in the canny moment I'm thinking, for the laird's servant- that's no to say his body-servant, but the helper like-rade express by this e’en to fetch the houdie, and he just staid the drinking o'twa pints o'tippenny, to tell us how my leddy was ta'en wi' her pains.»
« Perhaps,» said Mannering, wat such a time a stranger's arrival might be inconvenient.»
* Hout, na, ye needna be blate about that ; their house is muckle eneugh, and clecking time's aye canty time.»
By this time Jock had found his way into all the intricacies of a tattered doublet, and more tattered pair of breeches, and sallied forth a great white-headed, bare-legged, lubberly boy of twelve years old, so exhibited by the glimpse of a rush-light, which his half-naked mother held in such a manner as to get a peep at the stranger, without greatly exposing herself to view in return. Jock moved on westward, by the end of the house, leading Mannering's horse by the bridle, and piloting, with some dexterity, along the little path which bordered the formidable jawhole, whose vicinity the stranger was made sensible of by means of more organs than one. His guide then dragged the weary hack along a broken and stony cart-track, next over a ploughed field, then broke down a slap, as he called it, in a dry stone fence, and lugged the unresisting animal through the breach, about a rood of the simple masonry giving way in the splutter with which he passed. Finally, he led the way, through a wicket, into something which had still the air of an avenue, though many of the trees were felled. The roar of the ocean was now near and full, and the moon, which began to