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“Well said, my hearty Captain !” cried Glossin, endeavouring to catch the tone of revelry,
“Gin by pailfuls, wine in rivers,
For three wild lads were we, brave boys,
That's it, my bully-boy! Why, you're alive again now !-And now let us talk about our business.”
“Your business, if you please," said Hatteraick; hagel and donner !- mine was done when I got out of the bilboes.”
“Have patience, my good friend ;-I'll convince you our interests are just the same.”
Hatteraick gave a short dry cough, and Glossin, after a pause, proceeded.
“How came you to let the boy escape ?”
“Why, fluch and blitzen! he was no charge of mine. Lieutenant Brown gave him to his cousin that's in the Middleburgh house of Vanbeest and Vanbruggen, and told him some goose's gazette about his being taken in a skirmish with the land-sharks—he gave him for a foot-boy. Me let him escape !— the bastard kinchin should have walked the plank ere I troubled myself about him.”
“Well, and was he bred a foot-boy then ?”
“Nein, nein; the kinchin got about the old man's heart, and he gave him his own name, and bred him up in the office, and then sent him to India—I believe
he would have packed him back here, but his nephew told him it would do up the free trade for many a day, if the youngster got back to Scotland.”
“Do you think the younker knows much of his own origin now ? ”
“Deyvil !” replied Hatteraick, “ how should I tell what he knows now? But he remembered something of it long. When he was but ten years old, he persuaded another Satan's limb of an English bastard like himself to steal my lugger's kahn-boat—what do you call it—to return to his country, as he called it-fire him! Before we could overtake them, they had the skiff out of channel as far as the Deurloo—the boat might have been lost.”
“I wish to Heaven she had — with him in her!": ejaculated Glossin.
“Why, I was so angry myself, that, sapperment ! I did give him a tip over the side— but split him—the comical little devil swam like a duck; so I made him swim astern for a mile to teach him manners, and then took him in when he was sinking. By the knocking Nicholas ! he'll plague you, now he's come over the herring-pond! When he was so high, he had the spirit of thunder and lightning.”
“How did he get back from India ?”
“ Why, how should I know ?—the house there was done up, and that gave us a shake at Middleburgh, I think—so they sent me again to see what could be done among my old acquaintances here--for we held old stories were done away and forgotten. So I had
got a pretty trade on foot within the last two trips ; but that stupid houndsfoot schelm, Brown, has knocked it on the head again, I suppose, with getting himself shot by the colonel-man.”
“Why were not you with them ?”
“Why, you see, sapperment ! I fear nothing but it was too far within land, and I might have been scented.”
“ True. But to return to this youngster
'Ay, ay, donner and blitzen ! he's your affair,” said the Captain.
How do you really know that he is in this country ?”
“Why, Gabriel saw him up among the hills.”
“A fellow from the gipsies, that, about eighteen years since, was pressed on board that d-d fellow Pritchard's sloop-of-war. It was he came off and gave us warning that the Shark was coming round upon us the day Kennedy was done; and he told us how Kennedy had given the information. The gipsies and Kennedy had some quarrel besides. This Gab went to the East Indies in the same ship with your younker, and, sapperment! knew him well, though the other did not remember him. Gab kept out of his eye though, as he had served the States against England, and was a deserter to boot; and he sent us word directly, that we might know of his being here—though it does not concern us a rope's end.”
“So, then, really, and in sober earnest, he is actually
in this country, Hatteraick, between friend and friend ? " asked Glossin seriously.
“ Wetter and donner, yaw! What do you take me for ?”
For a blood-thirsty, fearless miscreant ! thought Glossin internally; but said aloud, “And which of your people was it that shot young Hazlewood ?”
Sturm-wetter !” said the Captain, “ do ye think we were mad !-none of us, man -Gott! the country was too hot for the trade already with that d—d frolic of Brown's, attacking what you call Woodbourne House."
Why, I am told,” said Glossin, “it was Brown who shot Hazlewood ?”.
“Not our lieutenant, I promise you ; for he was laid six feet deep at Derncleugh the day before the thing happened. —Tausend deyvils, man! do ye think that he could rise out of the earth to shoot another
A light here began to break upon Glossin's confusion of ideas. “ Did you not say that the younker, as you call him, goes by the name of Brown ?”
“Of Brown? yaw—Vanbeest Brown ; old Vanbeest Brown, of our Vanbeest and Vanbruggen, gave him his own name—he did.”
“ Then,” said Glossin, rubbing his hands, “it is he, by Heaven, who has committed this crime !"
“ And what have we to do with that ?" demanded Hatteraick.
Glossin paused, and, fertile in expedients, hastily