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herself so much as in a situation like that of Mannering.
As the light grew faint and more faint, and the morass appeared blacker and blacker, our traveller questioned more closely each chance passenger upon his distance from the village of Kippletringan, where he proposed to quarter for the night. His queries were usually answered by a counter-challenge respecting the place from whence he came. While sufficient day-light remained to slew the dress and appearance of a gentleman, these cross interrogatories were usually put in the form of a case supposed, as, “ Ye'll hae been at the auld abbey o' Haly.cross, sir ? there's mony English gentlemen gang to see that.”— Or, “ Your honour will be come frae the house o' Pouderloupat?”. But when the voice 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 ?”—ör, “ Ye'll no be of this country, freend?" The answers, when
obtained, were neither very reconcileable 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 slike a mile and a bittock ;" then extended themselves into "four miles or there awa;" and, lastly, a feInale voice having hushed a wailing infant which the spokeswoman carried in her arms, assured Guy Mannering, “ It was a weary lang gait yet to Kippletrin. gan, and unco heavy road for foot passen. gers.” The poor hack upon which Mannering was mounted was probably of opinion that it suited him as ill as the female re. spondent; he began to flag very much, an. swered each application 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 his journey was near,
by the apparition of a twinkling light or two; but, as he came up, he was disappointed to find the gleams proceeded from some of those farm-houses which occasionally ornamented the surface of the ex. tensive bog. At length, to compleat 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 saga. city 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 Kipple
tringan 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 bog.blitter, or bull-of-thebog, 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 sea-beach, 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 infets, which it was only safe to pass at particu. lar 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, definitive
ly, to halt for the night at the first inhabit. ed 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 duett between a female and a cur-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 howl, 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 ye no let me hear what the man wants, wi’ your yaffing?"
“ Am I far from Kippletringan, good: dame?”.