Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

chasers. “They're but at long bowls yet,” cried Kennedy in great exultation, “but they will be closer bye and bye.-- D-n him, he's starting his cargo ! I see the good Nantz pitching overboard, keg after keg !-that's a d- dungenteel thing of Mr Hatteraićk, as I shall let him know bye and bye.--Now, now! they've got the wind of him !--that's it, that's it!-hark to him ! hark to him !-- now, my dogs ! now, my dogs !+hark to Ranger, hark !

." I think,” said the old gardener, to one of the maids, "the gauger's fie;" by which word the common people express those violent spirits which they think a presage of death. : . · Meantime the chase continued. The lugger, being pilotted with great ability, and using every nautical shift to make her escape, had now reached, and was about to double, the head-land which formed the extreme point of land on the left side of the bay, when a ball having hit the yard in the slings, the main-sail fell upon the deck. The consequence of this accident appeared inevitable, but could not be seen by the spectators; for the vessel, which had just doubled the head-land, lost steerage, and fell out of their sight behind the promontory. The sloop of war crowded all sail to pursue, but she had stood too close upon the cape, so that they were obliged to wear the vese sel for fear of going ashore, and to make a large tack back into the bay, in order to recover sea-room enough to double the head-land.

“ They'll lose her by , cargo and lugger, one or both,” said Kennedy ; “I must gallop away to the Point of Warroch (this was the head-land so often mentioned,) and make them a signal where she has drifted to on the other side. Good bye for an hour, Ellangowan-get out the gallon punch-bowl, and plenty of lemons. I'll stand for the French article by the time I come back, and we'll drink the young Laird's health in a bowl that would swim

the collector's yawl.” So saying, he mounted his horse, and gallopped off.

About a mile from the house, and upon the verge of the woods, which, as we have said, covered a promontory terminating in the cape called the Point of Warroch, Kennedy met young Harry Bertram, attended by his tutor, Dominie Sampson. He had often promised the child a ride upon his galloway; and, from singing, dancing, and playing Punch for his an usement, was a particular favourite. He no sooner came scampering up the path, than the boy loudly claimed his promise ; and Kennedy, who saw no risque in indulging him, and wished to tease the Dominie, in whose visage he read a remonstrance, caught up Harry from the ground, placed him before him, and continued his route ; Sampson's “ Peradventure, Master Kennedy"- being lost in the clatter of his horse's feet. The pedagogue hesitated a moment whether he should go after them ; but Kennedy being a person in full confidence of the family, and with whom he himself had po delight in asso. ciating, “ being that he was addicted unto profane and scurrilous jests,” he continued his own walk at his own pace, till he reached the Place of Ellangowan. · The spectators from the ruined walls of the castle were still watching the sloop of war, which at length, but not without the loss of considerable time, recovered searoom enough to weather the Point of Warroch, and was lost to their sight behind that wooded promontory. Some time afterward the discharges of several can: non were heard at a distance, and, after an interval, a still louder explosion,' aś of a vessel blown up, and a cloud of smoke rose above the trees, and mingled with the blue sky. All then separated upon their different occasions, auguring variously upon the fate of the sinuggler, but the majority insisting that her capture was

inevitable, if she had not already gone to the bottom.

" It is near our dinner-time, my dear," said Mrs Bertram to her husband, " will it be lang before Mr Kennedy comes back?"

"I expect him every moment, my dear," said the Laird ; " perhaps he is bringing some of the officers of the sloop with him."

“My stars, Mr Bertram! why did not ye tell me this before, that we might have had the large round table ?-and then, they're a' tired o'saut meat, and, to tell you the plain truth, a rump o' beef is the best part of your dinner--and then I wad have put on another gown, and ye wad na have been the waur o’a clean neck-cloth yoursell-But ye delight in surprising and hurrying one-I am sure I am no to haud out for ever against this sort of going onBut when folk's missed, then they are moaned.”

“Pshaw, pshaw, deuce take the beef, and the gown, and the table, and the neckcloth!-we shall do all very well. -Where's

« PreviousContinue »