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a whimsical settlement of old Singleside’s, sir; he pitted the two cats his daughters against each other,ha, ha, ha!”
“Well, sir," said Mannering, without the slightest smile of sympathy, “but to the
that this lady had power to settle her estate on Miss Bertram, and that she did so ?”
“ "Even so, Colonel,” replied Glossin. "I think I should understand the law-I have followed it for many years, and though I have given it up to retire upon a handsome competence, I did not throw away that knowledge which is pronounced better than house and land, and which I take to be the knowledge of the law, since, as our common rhyme has it,
"Tis most excellent,
No, no, I love the smack of the whip—I have a little, a very little law yet, at the service of my friends."
Glossin ran on in this manner, thinking he had made a favourable impression on Mannering. The Colonel indeed reflected that this might be a most important crisis for Miss Bertram's interest, and resolved that his strong inclination to throw Glossin out at window, or at door, should not interfere with it. He put a strong curb on his temper, and resolved to listen with patience at least, if without complacency. He therefore let Mr. Glossin get to the end of his selfcongratulations, and then asked him if he knew where the deed was?
I know—that is, I think-I believe I can recover it. In such cases custodiers have sometimes made a charge."
“ We won't differ as to that, sir," said the Colonel, taking out his pocket-book.
“But, my dear sir, you take me so very short-I said some persons might make such a claim-I mean for payment of the expenses of the deed, trouble in the affair, etc. But I, for my own part, only wish Miss Bertram and her friends to be satisfied that I am acting towards her with honour. There's the paper, sir! It would have been a satisfaction to me to have delivered it into Miss Bertram's own hands, and to have wished her joy of the prospects which it opens. But since her prejudices on the subject are invincible, it only remains for me to transmit her my best wishes through you, Colonel Mannering, and to express that I shall willingly give my testimony in support of that deed when I shall be called upon. I have the honour to wish you a good morning, sir."
This parting speech was so well got up, and had so much the tone of conscious integrity unjustly suspected, that even Colonel Mannering was staggered in his bad opinion. He followed him two or three steps, and took leave of him with more politeness (though still cold and formal) than he had paid during his visit. Glossin left the house half pleased with the impression he had made, half mortified by the stern caution and proud reluctance with which he had been received. “ Colonel Mannering might have had more politeness," he said to
himself—“it is not every man that can bring a good chance of £400 a-year to a penniless girl. Singleside must be up to £400 a-year now—there's Reilageganbeg, Gillifidget, Loverless, Liealone, and the Spinster's Knowe-good £400 a-year. Some people might have made their own of it in my place—and yet, to own the truth, after much consideration, I do n't see how that is possible.”
Glossin was no sooner mounted and gone, than the Colonel dispatched a groom for Mr. Mac-Morlan, and, putting the deed into his hand, requested to know if it was likely to be available to his friend Lucy Bertram. Mac-Morlan perused it with eyes that sparkled with delight, snapped his fingers repeatedly, and at length exclaimed, “ Available !--it's as tight as a glovenaebody could make better wark than Glossin, when he didna let down a steek on purpose.
But (his countenance falling) the auld b that I should say so, might alter at pleasure !"
“ Ah! And how shall we know whether she has done so ?”
“Somebody must attend on Miss Bertram's part when the repositories of the deceased are opened.”
“Can you go ?” said the Colonel.
"I fear I cannot," replied Mac-Morlan, “I must attend a jury trial before our court.”
“Then I will go myself,” said the Colonel, “I'll set out to-morrow. Sampson shall go with me - he is witness to this settlement. But I shall want a legal adviser ?”
“The gentleman that was lately sheriff of this county is high in reputation as a barrister ; I will give you a card of introduction to him."
“What I like about you, Mr. Mac-Morlan," said the Colonel, "is, that you always come straight to the point. Let me have it instantly-shall we tell Miss Lucy her chance of becoming an heiress ?”
“ Surely, because you must have some powers from her, which I will instantly draw out. Besides, I will be caution for her prudence, and that she will consider it only in the light of a chance."
Mac-Morlan judged well. It could not be discerned from Miss Bertram’s manner, that she founded exulting hopes upon the prospect thus unexpectedly opening before her. She did indeed, in the course of the evening, ask Mr. Mac-Morlan, as if by accident, what might be the annual income of the Hazlewood property ; but shall we therefore aver for certain that she was considering whether an heiress of four hundred a-year might be a suitable match for the young Laird ?
Give me a cup of sack, to make mine eyes look red-For I must speak in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses' vein.
HENRY IV. Part I.
MANNERING, with Sampson for his companion, lost no time in his journey to Edinburgh. They travelled in the Colonel's post-chariot, who, knowing his companion's habits of abstraction, did not choose to lose him out of his own sight, far less to trust him on horseback, where, in all probability, a knavish stable-boy might with little address have contrived to mount him with his face to the tail. Accordingly, with the aid of his valet, who attended on horseback, he contrived to bring Mr.