« PreviousContinue »
ran over his project in his own mind, and then drew near the smuggler with a confidential air.
“You know, my dear Hatteraick, it is our principal business to get rid of this young man ?”
“Umph !" answered Dirk Hatteraick.
Not," continued Glossin—"not that I would wish any personal harm to him—if—if—if we can do without. Now, he is liable to be seized upon by justice, both as bearing the same name with your lieutenant, who was engaged in that affair at Woodbourne and for firing at young Hazlewood with intent to kill or wound.”
“Ay, ay,” said Dirk Hatteraick; " but what good will that do you? He'll be loose again as soon as he shows himself to carry other colours.”
True, my dear Dirk ; well noticed, my friend Hatteraick! But there is ground enough for a temporary imprisonment till he fetch his proofs from England or elsewhere, my good friend. I understand the law, Captain Hatteraick, and I'll take it upon me, simple Gilbert Glossin of Ellangowan, justice of peace for the county of
to refuse his bail, if he should offer the best in the country, until he is brought up for a second examination—now where d’ye think I'll incarcerate him ?”
Hagel and wetter! what do I care ?”
Stay, my friend—you do care a great deal. Do you know your goods, that were seized and carried to Woodbourne, are now lying in the Custom-house at Portanferry? (a small fishing-town). Now I will commit this younker”.
“When you have caught him ?”
· Ay ay, when I have caught him I shall not be long about that—I will commit him to the Workhouse, or Bridewell, which you know is beside the Customhouse."
“Yaw, the Rasp-house ; I know it very well.”
“I will take care that the red-coats are dispersed through the country ; you land at night with the crew of your lugger, receive your own goods, and carry the younker Brown with you back to Flushing. Won't that do ?”
“Ay, carry him to Flushing," said the Captain, “or -to America ?”
* Ay, ay, my friend.”
"Nein, nein—you leave that to me. Sturm-wetter ! I know you of old. But, hark ye, what am I, Dirk Hatteraick, to be the better of this ?”
“Why, is it not your interest as well as mine?” said Glossin; "besides, I set you free this morning.'
“ You set me free !—Donner and deyvil ! I set myself free. Besides, it was all in the way of your profession, and happened a long time ago, ha, ha, ha!”
“Pshaw! pshaw ! don't let us jest; I am not against making a handsome compliment—but it's your affair as well as mine."
“What do you talk of my affair ? is it not you that keep the younker's whole estate from him ? Dirk Hatteraick never touched a stiver of his rents.”
“Hush ! hush !—I tell you it shall be a joint business."
Why, will ye give me half the kitt ?”
“What, half the estate ?-d'ye mean we should set up house together at Ellangowan, and take the barony, ridge about ?”
“ Sturm-wetter, no! but you might give me half the value-half the gelt. Live with you ? nein—I would have a lust-haus of mine own on the Middleburgh dyke, and a blumen-garten like a burgomaster's.”
“Ay, and a wooden lion at the door, and a painted sentinel in the garden, with a pipe in his mouth! But, hark ye, Hatteraick-what will all the tulips, and flower-gardens, and pleasure-houses in the Netherlands do for you, if you are hanged here in Scotland ?”
Hatteraick's countenance fell. “ Der deyvil ! hanged ?"
Ay, hanged, meinheer Captain. The devil can scarce save Dirk Hatteraick from being hanged for a murderer and kidnapper, if the younker of Ellangowan should settle in this country, and if the gallant Captain chances to be caught here re-establishing his fair trade ! And I won't say, but, as peace is now so much talked of, their High Mightinesses may not hand him over to oblige their new allies, even if he remained in fader-land.”
“Poz hagel blitzen and donner ! I-I doubt you say true.”
• Not,” said Glossin, perceiving he had made the desired impression, “not that I am against being civil ;" and he slid into Hatteraick's passive hand a bank-note of some value.
“Is this all ?" said the smuggler; "you had the price of half a cargo for winking at our job, and made your
business too.” “But, my good friend, you forget—in this case you will recover all your own goods."
“Ay, at the risk of all our own necks—we could do that without you."
“I doubt that, Captain Hatteraick," said Glossin drily, “because you would probably find a dozen redcoats at the Custom house, whom it must be my business, if we agree about this matter, to have removed. Come, come, I will be as liberal as I
should have a conscience.”
“Now strafe mich der deyfel !—this provokes me more than all the rest !—You rob and you murder, and you want me to rob and murder, and play the silvercooper, or kidnapper, as you call it, a dozen a times over, and then, hagel and wind-sturm ! you speak to me of conscience! Can you think of no fairer way of getting rid of this unlucky lad ?”
“No, mein heer; but as I commit him to your charge":
“To my charge-to the charge of steel and gunpowder! and—well, if it must be, it must — but you have a tolerably good guess what's like to of it."
“O, my dear friend, I trust no degree of severity will be necessary,” replied Glossin.
“Severity !" said the fellow, with a kind of groan, “I wish you had had my dreams when I first came to this dog-hole, and tried to sleep among the dry sea-weed. First, there was that d—d fellow there, with his broken back, sprawling as he did when I hurled the rock over a-top on him-ha! ha!-you would have sworn he was lying on the floor where you stand, wriggling like a crushed frog—and then”
“Nay, my friend,” said Glossin, interrupting him, “what signifies going over this nonsense ?-- If you are turned chicken-hearted, why, the game's up, that's all -the game's up with us both.”
“Chicken-hearted !No. I have not lived so long upon the account to start at last, neither for devil nor Dutchman.”
“Well, then, take another schnaps — the cold's at your heart still.–And now tell me, are any of your old crew with you ?”
"Nein—all dead, shot, hanged, drowned, and damned. Brown was the last—all dead but Gipsy Gab, and he would go off the country for a spill of money-or he'll be quiet for his own sake-or old Meg, his aunt, will keep him quiet for hers.”
“Which Meg ?”
Meg Merrilies, the old devil's limb of a gipsy witch.” “ Is she still alive?” “ Yaw.” “ And in this country ?”