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what's the matter and asked, everhe gathe
shoulder-" Eh !-Ay!-Oh !Ailie, woman, it's no time to get up yet," groaned the sleeping man of the mountains. More roughly shaken, however, he gathered himself up, shook his ears, and asked, “In the name of Providence, what's the matter?"
“That I can't tell you," replied Bertram ; “but either the place is on fire, or some extraordinary thing is about to happen. Are you not sensible of a smell of fire? Do you not hear what a noise there is of clashing doors within the house, and of hoarse voices, murmurs, and distant shouts on the outside ? Upon my word, I believe something very extraordinary has taken place-Get up, for the love of Heaven, and let us be on our guard.”
Dinmont rose at the idea of danger, as intrepid and undismayed as any of his ancestors when the beacon-light was kindled. “Odd, Captain, this is a queer place! they winna let ye out in the day, and they winna let ye sleep in the night. Deil, but it wad break my heart in a fortnight. But, Lordsake, what a racket they're making now l-Odd, I wish we had some light. Wasp-Wasp, whisht, hinny-whisht, my bonnie man, and let's hear what they're doing.- Deil's in ye, will ye whisht?”
They sought in vain among the embers the means of lighting their candle, and the noise without still continued. Dinmont in his turn had recourse to the window, “Lordsake, Captain ! come here.-Odd, they hae broken the Customhouse !”
Bertram hastened to the window, and plainly saw a miscellaneous crowd of smugglers, and blackguards of different descriptions, some carrying lighted torches, others bearing packages and barrels down the lane to the boat that was lying at the quay, to which two or three other fisher-boats were now brought round. They were loading each of these in their turn, and one or two had already put off to seaward. “This speaks for itself,” said Bertram ; “but I fear something worse has happened. Do you perceive a strong smell of smoke, or is it my fancy ?”
“Fancy?" answered Dinmont, “there's a reek like a killogie. Odd, if they burn the Custom-house, it will catch here, and we'll lunt like a tar-barrel a' thegither.-Eh ! it wad be fearsome to be burnt alive for naething, like as if ane had been a warlock !—Mac-Guffog, hear ye!”-roaring at the top of his voice ; "an ye wad ever hae a haill bane in your skin, let's out, man ! let's out!”
The fire began now to rise high, and thick clouds of smoke rolled past the window, at which Bertram and Dinmont were stationed. Sometimes, as the wind pleased, the dim shroud of vapour hid everything from their sight; sometimes a red glare illuminated both land and sea, and shone full on the stern and fierce figures, who, wild with ferocious activity, were engaged in loading the boats. The fire was at length triumphant, and spouted in jets of flame out at each window of the burning building, while huge flakes of flaming materials came driving on the wind against the adjoining prison, and rolling a dark canopy of smoke over all the neighbourhood. The shouts of a furious mob resounded far and wide ; for the smugglers, in their triumph, were joined by all the rabble of the little town and neighbourhood, now aroused, and in complete agitation, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour; some from interest in the free trade, and most from the general love of inischief and tumult, natural to a vulgar populace.
Bertram began to be seriously anxious for their fate. There was no stir in the house ; it seemed as if the jailor had deserted his charge, and left the prison with its wretched inhabitants to the mercy of the conflagration which was spreading towards them. In the meantime a new and fierce attack was heard upon the outer gate of the Correction-house, which, battered with sledge-hammers and crows, was soon forced. The keeper, as great a coward as a bully, with his more ferocious wife, had Aed; their servants readily surrendered the keys. The liberated prisoners, celebrating their deliverance with the wildest yells of joy, mingled among the mob which had given them freedom.
In the midst of the confusion that ensued, three or 'four of the principal smugglers hurried to the apartment of Bertram with lighted torches, and armed with cutlasses and pistols.
-"Der deyvil," said the leader, “here's our mark !” and two of them seized on Bertram ; but one whispered in his ear, “Make no resistance till you are in the street.” The same individual found an instant to say to Dinmont-"Follow your friend, and help when you see the time come.”
In the hurry of the moment, Dinmont obeyed and followed close. The two smugglers dragged Bertram along the passage, downstairs, through the courtyard, now illuminated by the glare of fire, and into the narrow street to which the gate opened, where, in the confusion, the gang were necessarily in some degree separated from each other. A rapid noise, as of a body of horse advancing, seemed to add to the disturbance. “ Hagel and wetter, what is that?" said the leader; "keep together, kinder, look to the prisoner.”—But in spite of his charge, the two who held Bertram were the last of the party.
The sounds and signs of violence were heard in front. The press became furiously agitated, while some endeavoured to defend themselves, others to escape; shots were fired, and the glittering broadswords of the dragoons began to appear, flashing above the heads of the rioters. “Now," said the warning whisper of the man who held Bertram's left arm, the same who had spoken before, “shake off that fellow, and follow me.”
Bertram, exerting his strength suddenly and effectually, easily burst from the grasp of the man who held his collar on the right side. The fellow attempted to draw a pistol, but was prostrated by a blow of Dinmont's fist, which an ox could hardly have received without the same humiliation. “ Follow me quick," said the friendly partisan, and dived through a very narrow and dirty lane which led from the main street.
No pursuit took place. The attention of the smugglers had been otherwise and very disagreeably engaged by the sudden appearance of Mac-Morlan and the party of horse. The loud manly voice of the provincial magistrate was heard proclaiming the Riot Act, and charging "all those unlawfully assembled to disperse at their own proper peril." This interruption would indeed have happened in time sufficient to have prevented the attempt, had not the magistrate received upon the road some false information, which led him to think that the smugglers were to land at the Bay of Ellangowan. Nearly two hours were lost in consequence of this false intelligence, which it may be no lack of charity to suppose that Glossin, so deeply interested in the issue of that night's daring attempt, had contrived to throw in MacMorlan's way, availing himself of the knowledge that the soldiers had left Hazlewood House, which would soon reach an ear so anxious as his.
In the meantime, Bertram followed his guide, and was in his turn followed by Dinmont. The shouts of the mob, the trampling of the horses, the dropping pistol-shots, sunk more and more faintly upon their ears; when at the end of the dark lane they found a post-chaise with four horses.
“Are you here, in God's name?” said the guide to the postilion who drove the leaders.
“Ay, troth am I,” answered Jock Jabos, “and I wish I were ony gate else."
“Open the carriage, then-You, gentlemen, get into itin a short time you'll be in a place of safety-and (to Bertram) remember your promise to the gipsy wife !”
Bertram, resolving to be passive in the hands of a person who had just rendered him such a distinguished piece of service, got into the chaise as directed. Dinmont followed; Wasp, who had kept close by them, sprung in at the same time, and the carriage drove off very fast. “Have a care o me," said Dinmont, “but this is the queerest thing yet !-Odd, I trust they'll no coup usand then what's to come o' Dumple?-I would rather be on his back than in the Deuke's coach, God bless him.”
Bertram observed, that they could not go at that rapid rate to any great distance without changing horses, and that they might insist upon remaining till daylight at the first inn they stopped at, or at least upon being made acquainted with the purpose and termination of their journey, and Mr. Dinmont might there give directions about his faithful horse, which would probably be safe at the stables where he had left him.“Aweel, aweel, e'en sae be it for Dandie.—Odd, if we were ance out o' this trindling kist o' a thing, I am thinking they wad find it hard wark to gar us gang ony gate but where we liked oursells.”
While he thus spoke, the carriage making a sudden turn, showed them, through the left window, the village at some distance, still widely beaconed by the fire, which, having reached a storehouse wherein spirits were deposited, now rose high into the air, a wavering column of brilliant light. They had not long time to admire this spectacle, for another turn of the road carried them into a close lane between plantations, through which the chaise proceeded in nearly total darkness, but with unabated speed.
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter,
We must now return to Woodbourne, which, it may be remembered, we left just after the Colonel had given some. directions to his confidential servant. When he returned, his absence of mind, and an unusual expression of thought and anxiety upon his features, struck the ladies whom he joined in the drawing-room. Mannering was not, however, a man to be questioned, even by those whom he most loved, upon the cause of the mental agitation which these signs expressed. The hour of tea arrived, and the party were partaking of that refreshment in silence, when a carriage drove up to the door, and the bell announced the arrival of a visitor. "Surely," said Mannering, “it is too soon by some hours.”
There was a short pause, when Barnes, opening the door of the saloon, announced Mr. Pleydell. In marched the lawyer, whose well-brushed black coat, and well-powdered wig, together with his point ruffles, brown silk stockings, highly varnished shoes, and gold buckles, exhibited the pains which the old gentleman had taken to prepare his person for the ladies' society. He was welcomed by Mannering with a hearty shake by the hand. “The very man I wished to see at this moment!”
“Yes," said the counsellor, “I told you I would take the first opportunity; so I have ventured to leave the Court for a week in session time-no common sacrifice—but I had a notion I could be useful, and I was to attend a proof here about the same time. But will you not introduce me to the young ladies ?-Ah! there is one I should have known at once, from her family likeness! Miss Lucy Bertram, my love, I am most happy to see you."--And he folded her in his arms, and gave her a hearty kiss on each side of the face, to which Lucy submitted in blushing resignation.
“On n'arrête pas dans un si beau chemin," continued the gay old gentleman, and, as the Colonel presented him to Julia, took the same liberty with that fair lady's cheek. Julia laughed, coloured, and disengaged herself. “I beg a thousand pardons,"