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“ Vanbeest Brown ! is that the fellow's name? Good God: that young Hazlewood of Hazlewood should have had his life endangered, the clavicle of his right shoulder considerably lacerated and dislodged, several large drops or slugs deposited in the acromion process, as the account of the family surgeon expressly bears, and all by an obscure wretch named Vanbeest Brown!”
" Why, really, Sir Robert, it is a thing which one can hardly bear to think of; but, begging ten thousand pardons for resuming what I was about to say, a person of the same name is, as appears from these papers (producing Dirk Hatteraick's pocket-book), mate to the smuggling vessel who offered such violence at Woodbourne, and I have no doubt that this is the same individual; which, however, your acute discrimination will easily be able to ascertain.”
“ The same, my good sir, he must assuredly be—it would be injustice even to the meanest of the people, to suppose there could be found among them two persons doomed to bear a name so shocking to one's ears as this of Vanbeest Brown."
“True, Sir Robert; most unquestionably; there cannot be a shadow of doubt of it. But you see further, that this circumstance accounts for the man's desperate conduct. You, Sir Robert, will discover the motive for his crime-you, I say, will discover it without difficulty, on your giving your mind to the examination; for my part, I cannot help suspecting the moving spring to have been revenge for the gallantry with which Mr. Hazlewood, with all the spirit of his renowned forefathers, defended the house at Woodbourne against this villain and his lawless companions.”
“I will inquire into it, my good sir," said the learned Baronet. “Yet even now I venture to conjecture that I shall adopt the solution or explanation of this riddle, enigma, or mystery, which you have in some degree thus started. Yes ! revenge it must be-and, good Heaven! entertained by and against whom? - entertained, fostered, cherished, against young Hazlewood of Hazlewood, and in part carried into effect, executed, and implemented, by the hand of Vanbeest Brown! These are dreadful days indeed, my worthy neighbour (this epithet indicated a rapid advance in the Baronet's good graces) — days when the bulwarks of society are shaken to their mighty base, and that rank, which forms, as it were, its highest grace and ornament, is mingled and confused with the viler parts of the architecture. Oh, my good Mr. Gilbert Glossin, in my time, sir, the use of swords and pistols, and such honourable arms, were reserved by the nobility and gentry to themselves, and the disputes of the vulgar were decided by the weapons which nature had given them, or by cudgels cut, broken, or hewed out of the next wood. But now, sir, the clouted shoe of the peasant galls the kibe of the courtier. The lower ranks have their quarrels, sir, and their points of honour, and their revenges, which they must bring, forsooth, to fatal arbitrament. But well, well! it will last my time - let us have in this fellow, this Vanbeest Brown, and make an end of him at least for the present."
Fair Maid of the Inn.
The prisoner was now presented before the two worshipful magistrates. Glossin, partly from some compunctious visitings, and partly out of his cautious resolution to suffer Sir Robert Hazlewood to be the ostensible manager of the whole examination, looked down upon the table, and busied himself with reading and arranging the papers respecting the business, only now and then throwing in a skilful catchword as prompter, when he saw the principal, and apparently most active magistrate, stand in need of a hint. As for Sir Robert Hazlewood, he assumed on his part a happy mixture of the austerity of the justice, combined with the display of personal dignity appertaining to the baronet of ancient family.
“There, constables, let him stand there at the bottom of the table.—Be so good as look me in the face, sir, and raise your voice as you answer the questions which I am going to put to you."
“May I beg, in the first place, to know, sir, who it is that takes the trouble to interrogate me?” said the prisoner ; " for the honest gentlemen who have brought me here have not been pleased to furnish any information upon that point."
“And pray, sir,” answered Sir Robert, " what has my name and quality to do with the questions I am about to ask you ?”
“Nothing, perhaps, sir," replied Bertram ; "but it may considerably influence my disposition to answer them.”
“Why, then, sir, you will please to be informed that you are in presence of Sir Robert Hazlewood of Hazlewood, and another justice of peace for this county-that's
As this intimation produced a less stunning effect upon the prisoner than he had anticipated, Sir Robert proceeded in his investigation with an increasing dislike to the object of it.
“Is your name Vanbeest Brown, sir ?” “ It is," answered the prisoner.
“So far well ;-and how are we to design you further, sir ? " demanded the Justice.
“Captain in his Majesty's regiment of horse," answered Bertram.
The Baronet's ears received this intimation with astonishment; but he was refreshed in courage by an incredulous look from Glossin, and by hearing him gently utter a sort of interjectional whistle, in a note of surprise and contempt. “I believe, my friend,” said Sir Robert, "we shall find for you, before we part, a more humble title."
“If you do, sir," replied his prisoner, “I shall willingly submit to any punishment which such an imposture shall be thought to deserve."
“Well, sir, we shall see," continued Sir Robert. “Do you know young Hazlewood of Hazlewood ?”
“I never saw the gentleman who I am informed bears that name excepting once, and I regret that it was under very unpleasant circumstances.”
* You mean to acknowledge, then," said the Baronet, " that you inflicted upon young Hazlewood of Hazlewood that wound which endangered his life, considerably lacerated the clavicle of his right shoulder, and deposited, as the family surgeon declares, several large drops or slugs in the acromion process ?”
“Why, sir," replied Bertram, “I can only say I am equally ignorant of and sorry for the extent of the damage which the young gentleman has sustained. I met him in a narrow path, walking with two ladies and a servant, and before I could either pass them or address them, this young Hazlewood took his gun from his servant, presented it against my body, and commanded me in the most haughty tone to stand back. I
was neither inclined to submit to his authority, nor to leave him in possession of the means to injure me, which he seemed disposed to use with such rashness. I therefore closed with him for the purpose of disarming him; and just as I had nearly effected my purpose, the piece went off accidentally, and, to my regret then and since, inflicted upon the young gentleman a severer chastisement than I desired, though I am glad to understand it is like to prove no more than his unprovoked folly deserved.”
"And so, sir,” said the Baronet, every feature swollen with offended dignity,—“You, sir, admit, sir, that it was your purpose, sir, and your intention, sir, and the real jet and object of your assault, sir, to disarm young Hazlewood of Hazlewood of his gun, sir, or his fowling-piece, or his fuzee, or whatever you please to call it, sir, upon the king's highway, sir ?--I think this will do, my worthy neighbour! I think he should stand committed ?".
“You are by far the best judge, Sir Robert," said Glossin, in his most insinuating tone ; " but if I might presume to hint, there was something about these smugglers."
“Very true, good sir.— And besides, sir, you, Vanbeest Brown, who call yourself a captain in his Majesty's service, are no better or worse than a rascally mate of a smuggler!”
“Really, sir," said Bertram, "you are an old gentleman, and acting under some strange delusion, otherwise I should be very angry with you.'
“old gentleman, sir! strange delusion, sir !” said Sir Robert, colouring with indignation. “I protest and declare
- Why, sir, have you any papers or letters that can establish your pretended rank, and estate, and commission ?”
“None at present, sir," answered Bertram ; “but in the return of a post or two- "
“And how do you, sir," continued the Baronet, “if you are a captain in his Majesty's service, how do you chance to be travelling in Scotland without letters of introduction, credentials, baggage, or anything belonging to your pretended rank, estate, and condition, as I said before ?"
“Sir," replied the prisoner, “I had the misfortune to be robbed of my clothes and baggage.”
“Oho! then you are the gentleman who took a post-chaise from — to Kippletringan, gave the boy the slip on the road, and sent two of your accomplices to beat the boy and bring away the baggage ?"
"I was, sir, in a carriage as you describe, was obliged to alight in the snow, and lost my way endeavouring to find the road to Kippletringan. The landlady of the inn will inform you that on my arrival there the next day, my first inquiries were after the boy."
“Then give me leave to ask where you spent the nightnot in the snow, I presume? you do not suppose that will pass, or be taken, credited, and received ?"
“I beg leave," said Bertram, his recollection turning to the gipsy female, and to the promise he had given her, “I beg leave to decline answering that question."
“I thought as much," said Sir Robert.--" Were you not during that night in the ruins of Derncleugh ? in the ruins of Derncleugh, sir?”
“I have told you that I do not intend answering that question,” replied Bertram.
“Well, sir, then you will stand committed, sir,” said Sir Robert, "and be sent to prison, sir, that's all, sir.-Have the goodness to look at these papers ; are you the Vanbeest Brown who is there mentioned ?'
It must be remarked that Glossin had shuffled among the papers some writings which really did belong to Bertram, and which had been found by the officers in the old vault where his portmanteau was ransacked.
"Some of these papers," said Bertram, looking over them, se are mine, and were in my portfolio when it was stolen from the post-chaise. They are memoranda of little value, and, I see, have been carefully selected as affording no evidence of my rank or character, which many of the other papers would have established fully. They are mingled with shipaccounts and other papers, belonging apparently to a person of the same name."
“And wilt thou attempt to persuade me, friend," demanded Sir Robert, " that there are two persons in this country, at the same time, of thy very uncommon and awkwardly sounding name?”
“I really do not see, sir, as there is an old Hazlewood and a young Hazlewood, why there should not be an old and a young Vanbeest Brown. And, to speak seriously, I was educated in Holland, and I know that this name, however uncouth it may sound in British ears
Glossin, conscious that the prisoner was now about to enter upon dangerous ground, interfered, though the interruption