Page images

one side of the old man was a sylph-like form-a young woman of about seventeen, whom the Colonel accounted to be his daughter. She was looking, from time to time, anxiously towards the avenue, as if expecting the post-chaise; and between whiles busied herself in adjusting the blankets, so as to protect her father from the cold, and in answering enquiries, which he seemed to make with a captious and querulous manner. She did not trust herself to look towards the Place, as it was called, although the hum of the assembled crowd must have drawn her attention in that direction. . The fourth person of the group was a handsome and genteel young man, who seemed to share Miss Bertram's anxiety, and her solicitude to sooth and accommodate her parent. This

young man was the first who observed Colonel Mannering, and immediately stepped forward to meet him, as if politely to prevent his drawing nearer to the distressed group. Mannering instant

iy paused and explained. “ He was," he said, “a stranger, to whom Mr Bertram had formerly shewn kindness and hospitality; he would not have intruded himself upon him at a period of distress, did it not seem to be in some degree a moment also of desertion; he wished merely to offer such services as might be in his power to Mr Bertram and the young lady.”

He then paused at a little distance from the chair. His old acquaintance gazed at him with lack-lustre eye, that intimated no tokens of recognition-the Dominie seemed too deeply sunk in distress even to observe his presence. The young man spoke aside with Miss Bertram, who advanced timidly, and thanked Mr Mannering for his goodness ; " but,” she said, the tears gushing fast into her eyes“ her father, she feared, was not so much himself as to be able to remember him."

She then retreated towards the chair, accompanied by the Colonel.--" Father,"

[ocr errors]

she said, “this is Mr Mannering, an old friend, come to enquire after you.”

" He's very heartily welcome,” said the old man, raising himself in his chair, and attempting a gesture of courtesy, while a gleam of hospitable satisfaction seemed to pass over his faded features ; " but, Lucy, my dear, let us go down to the house, you should not keep the gentleman here in the cold.-Dominie, take the key of the winecooler. Mra-a-the gentleman will take something/after his ride.”

Mannring was unspeakably, affected by the contrast which his recollection made between this reception, and that with which he had been greeted by the same individual when they last met. He could not restrain his tears, and his evident emotioih

b at once attained him the confidence of the friendless young lady.

“ Alas !” said she, “this is distressing even to a stranger; but it may be better for my poor father to be in this way, than if he knew and could feel all."

[blocks in formation]

A servant in livery now came up the path, and spoke in an under tone to the young gentleman-"Mr Charles, my lady's wanting you yonder sadly, to bid for her for the black ebony cabinet; and Lady Jean Devorgoil is wi' her an a'-ye maun come away directly."

“Tell them yoa could not find me, Tom; or, stay,—say I am looking at the horses."

No, no, no,” said Lucy Bertram earnestly; " if you would not add to the misery of this miserable moment,

go to the company directly.—This gentleman, I am sure, will see us to the carriage.”

Unquestionably, madam,” said Mannering, "your young friend may rely on my attention."

"Farewell, then,” said Mr Charles, and whispered a word in her ear-then an down the steep hastily, as if not trustin 8 his resolution at a slower pace.

“Where's Charles Hazlewood running?” said the invalid, who apparently was accustomed to his presence and attentions ;

« where's Charles Hazlewood running ? what takes him away now?"

“ He'll return in a little while," said Lucy gently.

The sound of voices was now heard from the ruins. The reader may remember there was a communication between the castle and the beach, up which the speakers had ascended.

“ Yes, there's plenty of shells and seaware, as you observe-and if one inclined to build a new house, which might indeed be necessary, there's a great deal of good hewn stone about this old dungeon for the devil here"

" Good God!” said Miss Bertram has. tily to Sampson, “ 'tis that wretch Glossin's voice !-if my father sees him, it will kill him outright!”

Sampson wheeled perpendicularly round, and moved with long strides to confront the attorney, as he issued from beneath the portal arch of the ruin. “ Avoid ye!"

« PreviousContinue »