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to ane in her way, doubtless they were responsiblebut she sauld cry in Deacon Bearcliff, and if Mr. Glossin liked to tak an inventar o' the property, and gie her a receipt before the Deacon—or, what she wad like muckle better, an it could be sealed up and left in Deacon Bearcliff's hands, it wad mak her mind easyShe was for naething but justice on a' sides."
Mrs. Mac-Candlish's natural sagacity and acquired suspicion being inflexible, Glossin sent for Deacon Bearcliff, to speak “anent the villain that had shot Mr. Charles Hazlewood.” The Deacon accordingly made his appearance, with his wig awry, owing to the hurry with which, at this summons of the Justice, he had exchanged it for the Kilmarnock-cap in which he usually attended his customers. Mrs. Mac-Candlish then produced the parcel deposited with her by Brown, in which was found the gipsy's purse. On perceiving the value of the miscellaneous contents, Mrs. MacCandlish internally congratulated herself upon the precautions she had taken before delivering them up to Glossin, while he, with an appearance of disinterested candour, was the first to propose they should be properly inventoried, and deposited with Deacon Bearcliff, until they should be sent to the Crown-office. “He did not,” he observed, " like to be personally responsible for articles which seemed of considerable value, and had doubtless been acquired by the most nefarious practices."
He then examined the paper in which the purse had been wrapt up. It was the back of a letter addressed
to V. Brown, Esquire, but the rest of the address was torn away. The landlady,—now as eager to throw light upon the criminals escape as she had formerly been desirous of withholding it, for the miscellaneous contents of the purse argued strongly to her mind that all was not right, — Mrs. Mac-Candlish, I say, now gave Glossin to understand, that her postilion and hostler had both seen the stranger upon the ice that day when young Hazlewood was wounded.
Our readers' old acquaintance, Jock Jabos, was first summoned, and admitted frankly, that he had seen and conversed upon the ice that morning with a stranger, who, he understood, had lodged at the Gordon-Arms the night before.
“What turn did your conversation take ?” said Glossin.
“ Turn ?-ou we turned na gate at a', but just keepit straight forward upon the ice like."
“Well, but what did ye speak about ?”
“Ou, he just asked questions like ony ither stranger," answered the postilion, possessed, as it seemed, with the refractory and uncommunicative spirit which had left his mistress. “But about what?” said Glossin.
Ou, just about the folk that was playing at the curling, and about auld Jock Stevenson that was at the cock, and about the leddies, and sic like."
“ What ladies ? and what did he ask about them, Jock ?" said the interrogator.
“What leddies ? ou, it was Miss Jowlia Mannering
and Miss Lucy Bertram, that ye ken fu' weel yoursell, Mr. Glossin—they were walking wi' the young Laird of Hazlewood upon
the ice.” “And what did you tell him about them ?” demanded Glossin.
“Tut, we just said that was Miss Lucy Bertram of Ellangowan, that should ance have had a great estate in the country—and that was Miss Jowlia Mannering, that was to be married to young Hazlewood—See as she was hinging on his arm—we just spoke about our country clashes like—he was a very frank man.” “Well, and what did he
keen like, and asked if it was for certain that the marriage was to be between Miss Mannering and young Hazlewood—and I answered him that it was for positive and absolute certain, as I had an undoubted right to say sae —for my third cousin Jean Clavers (she's a relation o’ your ain, Mr. Glossin, ye wad ken Jean lang syne ? she's sib to the housekeeper at Woodbourne, and she's telld me mair than ance that there was naething could be mair likely.” “ And what did the stranger say
told him all this?” said Glossin.
“Say ?" echoed the postilion," he said naething at a' - he just stared at them as they walked round the loch upon the ice, as if he could have eaten them, and he never took his ee aff them, or said another word, or gave another glance at the Bonspiel, though there was the finest fun amang the curlers ever was seen—and he
turned round and gaed aff the loch by the kirk-stile through Woodbourne fir-plantings, and we saw nae mair o' him.”
Only think,” said Mrs. Mac-Candlish, “what a hard heart he maun hae had, to think o' hurting the poor young gentleman in the very presence of the leddy he was to be married to !”
“O, Mrs. Mac-Candlish,” said Glossin, “ there's been many cases such as that on record-doubtless he was seeking revenge where it would be deepest and sweetest."
“God pity us !” said Deacon Bearcliff, “ we're puir frail creatures when left to oursells !—ay, he forgot wha said 'Vengeance is mine, and I will repay it.""
“Weel, aweel, sirs,” said Jabos, whose hardheaded and uncultivated shrewdness seemed sometimes to start the game
when others beat the bush—“Weel, weel, ye may be a' mista'en yet-I'll never believe that a man would lay a plan to shoot another wi' his ain gun. Lord help ye, I was the keeper's assistant down at the Isle mysell, and I'll aphaud it, the biggest man in Scotland shouldna take a gun frae me or I had weized the slugs through him, though I'm but sic a little feckless body, fit for naething but the outside o' a saddle and the fore-end o’a poschay-na, na, nae living man wad venture on that. I'll wad my best buckskins, and they were new coft at Kirkcudbright fair, it's been a chance job after a'. But if ye hae naething mair to say to me, I am thinking I maun gang and see my beasts fed "--and he departed accordingly.
The hostler, who had accompanied him, gave evidence to the same purpose. He and Mrs. Mac-Candlish were then re-interrogated, whether Brown had no arms with him on that unhappy morning. “None,” they said, “but an ordinary bit cutlass or hanger by his side."
“Now,” said the Deacon, taking Glossin by the button (for in considering this intricate subject, he had forgot Glossin's new accession of rank) —“this is but doubtfu' after a', Maister Gilbert—for it was not sae dooms likely that he would go down into battle wi' sic sma' means.” Glossin extricated himself from the Deacon's
grasp, and from the discussion, though not with rudeness ; for it was his present interest to buy golden opinions from all sorts of people. He inquired the price of tea and sugar, and spoke of providing himself for the year; he gave Mrs. Mac-Candlish directions to have a handsome entertainment in readiness for a party of five friends, whom he intended to invite to dine with him at the Gordon-Arms next Saturday week; and, lastly, he gave a half-crown to Jock Jabos, whom the hostler had deputed to hold his steed.
"Weel,” said the Deacon to Mrs. Mac-Candlish, as he accepted her offer of a glass of bitters at the bar, “the deil's no sae ill as he's ca’d. It's pleasant to see a gentleman pay the regard to the business o' the county that Mr. Glossin does."
“Ay, ’deed is’t, Deacon,” answered the landlady ; “ and yet I wonder our gentry leave their ain wark to the like o' him. — But as long as siller's current,