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tailed account of the manner in which it was lying. A large fragment of the rock appeared to have accompanied, or followed, the fall of the victim from the cliff above. It was of so solid and compact a substance, that it had fallen without any great diminution by splintering, so that the Sheriff was enabled, first, to estimate the weight by measurement, and then to calculate, from the appearance of the fragment, what proportion of it had been bedded into the cliff from which it had fallen. This was easily detected, by the raw appearance of the stone where it had not been exposed to the atmosphere. They then ascended the cliff, and surveyed the place from whence the stony fragment had descended. It seemed plain, from the appearance of the bed, that the mere weight of one man standing upon the projecting part of the fragment, supposing it in its original situation, could not have destroyed its bias, and precipitated it, with himself, from the cliff. At the
same time, it seemed to have lain so loose,, that the use of a lever, or the combined strength of three or four men, might easily have hurled it from its position. The short turf about the brink of the precipice was much trampled, as if stamped by the heels of men in a mortal struggle, or in the act of some violent exertion. Traces of the same kind, less visibly marked, guided the sagacious investigator to the verge of the copsewood, which, in that place, crept high up the bank towards the top of the precipice.
With patience and perseverance, they traced these marks into the thickest part of the copse, a route which no person would have voluntarily adopted, unless for the purpose of concealment. Here they found plain vestiges of violence and struggling, from space to space. Small boughs were torn down, as if grasped by some resisting wretch who was dragged forcibly along; the ground, where in the least degree soft or marshy, shewed the
print of many feet; there were vestiges also, which might be those of human blood. At any rate, it was certain that several persons must have forced their passage among the oaks, hazels, and underwood, with which they were mingled ; and in some places appeared traces, as if a sack full of grain, a dead body, or something of that heavy and solid description, had been dragged along the ground. In one part of the thicket there was a small swamp, the clay of which was whitish, being probably mixed with marl. The back of Kennedy's coat appeared besmeared with stains of the same colour.
At length, about a quarter of a mile from the brink of the fatal precipice, the traces conducted them to a small open space of ground, very much trampled, and plainly stained with blood, although withered leaves had been strewed upon the spot, and other means hastily taken to efface the marks, which seemed obviously to have been derived from a desperate affray. On one side of this patch of open ground was found the sufferer's naked hanger, which seemed to have been thrown into the thicket; on the other, the belt and sheath, which appeared to have been hidden with more leisurely care and precaution.
The magistrate caused the foot-prints which marked this spot to be carefully measured and examined. Some corresponded to the foot of the unhappy victim; some were larger, some less ; indicating, that at least four or five men had been busy around him. Above all, here, and here only, were observed the vestiges of a child's foot; and as it could be seen no' where else, and the hard' horse-track which traversed the wood of Warroch was contiguous to the spot, it was natural to think that the boy might have escaped in that direction during the confusion. But as he was never heard of, the Sheriff, who made a careful entry of all these memoranda, did not suppress his opinion, that the deceased had met with foul play, and that the murderers, whoever they
were, had possessed themselves of the person of the child Harry Bertram. ? Every exertion was now made to discover the criminals. Suspicion hesitated between the smugglers and the gypsies. The fate of Dirk. Hatteraick’s vessel was certain. Two men from the opposite side of Warroch Bay (so the inlet on the southern side of the Point of Warroch'is called) had seen, though at a great distance, the lugger drive eastward, after doubling the head-land, and, as they judged from her manquvres, in a disabled state. Shortly after, they perceived that she grounded, smoked, and, finally, took fire. She was, as one of them expressed himself, in a light low, (bright fiame,) when they observed a king's ship, with her colours up, heave in sight from behind the cape. The guns of the burning vessel discharged themselves as the fire reached them; and they saw her, at length, blow up with a great explosion. The sloop of war kept aloof for her own safety; and, after ho.