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“ but if I don't deserve double fees from both Miss Bertram and you when I conclude my examination of Dirk Hatteraick to-morrow—Gad, I will so supple him ! -You shall see, Colonel, and you, my saucy misses, though you may not see, shall hear.”
“Ay, that's if we choose to listen, counsellor,” replied Julia
“ And you think,” said Pleydell, "it's two to one you won't choose that ? But you have curiosity that teaches
your ears now and then.”
"Reserve them for the harpsichord, my love," said the counsellor. “Better for all parties."
While this idle chat ran on, Colonel Mannering introduced to Bertram a plain good-looking man, in a grey coat and waistcoat, buckskin breeches, and boots. This, my dear sir, is Mr. Mac-Morlan.”
“To whom," said Bertram embracing him cordially, “my sister was indebted for a home, when deserted by all her natural friends and relations.”
The Dominie then pressed forward, grinned, chuckled, made a diabolical sound in attempting to whistle, and finally, unable to stifle his emotions, ran away to empty the feelings of his heart at his eyes.
We shall not attempt to describe the expansion of heart and glee of this happy evening.
-How like a bateful ape,
THERE was a great movement at Woodbourne early on the following morning, to attend the examination at Kippletringan. Mr. Pleydell, from the investigation which he had formerly bestowed on the dark affair of Kennedy's death, as well as from the general deference due to his professional abilities, was requested by Mr. Mac-Morlan and Sir Robert Hazlewood, and another justice of peace who attended, to take the situation of
chairman, and the lead in the examination. Colonel Mannering was invited to sit down with them. The examination, being previous to trial, was private in other respects.
The counsellor resumed and re-interrogated former evidence. He then examined the clergyman and surgeon respecting the dying declaration of Meg Merrilies. They stated, that she distinctly, positively, and repeatedly, declared herself an eye-witness of Kennedy's death by the hands of Hatteraick, and two or three of his crew; that her presence was accidental ; 'that she believed their resentment at meeting him, when they were in the act of losing their vessel through the means of his information, led to the commission of the crime ; that she said there was one witness of the murder, but who refused to participate in it, still alive,-her nephew, Gabriel Faa; and she had hinted at another person, who was an accessory after, not before, the fact ; but her strength there failed her. They did not forget to mention her declaration, that she had saved the child, and that he was torn from her by the smugglers, for the purpose of carrying him to Holland.—All these particulars were carefully reduced to writing.
Dirk Hatteraick was then brought in heavily ironed ; for he had been strictly secured and guarded, owing to his former escape. He was asked his name; he made no answer :-His profession; he was silent :-Several other questions were put; to none of which he returned any reply. Pleydell wiped the glasses of his spectacles,
and considered the prisoner very attentively. “A very truculent-looking fellow," he whispered to Mannering; “ but as Dögberry says, I'll go cunningly to work with him.--Here, call in Soles-Soles the shoemaker.-Soles, do you remember measuring some footsteps imprinted on the mud at the wood of Warroch, on November 17—, by my orders ?” Soles remembered the circumStance perfectly. -"Look at that paper--is that your note of the measurement ?" Soles verified the memorandum.--"Now, there stands a pair of shoes on that table ; measure them, and see if they correspond with any of the marks you have noted there." The shoemaker obeyed, and declared, “that they answered exactly to the largest of the foot-prints."
“We shall prove," said the counsellor, aside to Mannering, "that these shoes, which were found in the ruins at Derncleugh, belonged to Brown, the fellow whom you shot on the lawn at Woodbourne.
Now, Soles, measure that prisoner's feet very accurately.”
Mannering observed Hatteraick strictly, and could notice a visible tremor. “Do these measurements correspond with any of the foot-prints ?”
The man looked at the note, then at his foot-rule and measure--then verified his former measurement by a second. “They correspond," he said, “within a hairbreadth, to a foot-mark broader and shorter than the former.”
Hatteraick'sgenius here deserted him—"Der deyvil !" he broke out, “how could there be a foot-mark on the
ground, when it was a frost as hard as the heart of a Memel log ?"
“In the evening, I grant you, Captain Hatteraick,” said Pleydell,“ but not in the forenoon—Will you favour me with information where you were upon the day you remember so exactly ?"
Hatteraick saw his blunder, and again screwed up his hard features for obstinate silence. down his observation, however,” said Pleydell to the clerk.
At this moment the door opened, and, much to the surprise of most present, Mr. Gilbert Glossin made his appearance. That worthy gentleman had, by dint of watching and eavesdropping, ascertained that he was not mentioned by name in Meg Merrilies's dying declaration, -a circumstance, certainly not owing to any favourable disposition towards him, but to the delay of taking her regular examination, and to the rapid approach of death. He therefore supposed himself safe from all evidence but such as might arise from Hatteraick's confession to prevent which he resolved to push a bold face, and join his brethren of the bench during his examination. I shall be able, he thought, to make the rascal sensible his safety lies in keeping his own counsel and mine ; and my presence, besides, will be a proof of confidence and innocence. If I must lose the estate, I must-but I trust better things.
He entered with a profound salutation to Sir Robert Hazlewood. Sir Robert, who had rather begun to suspect that his plebeian neighbour had made a cat's