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He therefore resolved to escape for the present to the neighbouring coast of England, and to remain concealed there, if possible, until he should receive letters from his regimental friends, and remittances from his
and then to resume his own character, and offer to young Hazlewood and his friends any explanation or satisfaction they might desire.
With this purpose he walked stoutly forward, after leaving the spot where the accident had happened, and reached without adventure the village which we have called Portanferry, (but which the reader will in vain seek for under that name in the county map). A large open boat was just about to leave the quay,
bound for the little sea-port of Allonby, in Cumberland. In this vessel Brown embarked, and resolved to make that place his temporary abode, until he should receive letters and money from England. In the course of their short
he entered into some conversation with the steersman, who was also owner of the boat, a jolly old man, who had occasionally been engaged in the smuggling trade, like most fishers on the coast. After talking about objects of less interest, Brown endeavoured to turn the discourse toward the Mannering family. The sailor had heard of the attack upon the house at Woodbourne, but disapproved of the smugglers' proceedings.
« Hands off is fair play; zounds, they'll bring the whole country down upon them— na, na! when I was in that way I played at giff-gaff with
the officers-here a cargo ta'en--vera weel, that was their luck ; - there another carried clean through, that was mine-na, na ! hawks shouldna pike out hawks' e'en.»
« And this Colonel Mannering?»
« Troth, he's nae wise man neither to interfere-no that I blame him for saving the gaugers lives--that was very right; but it wasna like a gentleman to be fighting about the poor folk's pocks o' tea and brandy kegs- however, he's a grand man and an officer man, and they do what they like wi' the like o'us.»
« And his daughter,» said Brown with a throbbing heart, « is going to be married into a great family too, as I have heard?» What, into the Hazlewoods'? na, na,
that's but idle clashes-every sabbath day, as regularly as it came round, did the
young man ride hame wi' the daughter of the late Ellangowan—and my daughter Peggy's in the service up at Woodbourne, and she says she's sure young Hazlewood thinks nae mair of Miss Mannering than you do.»
Bitterly censuring his own precipitate adoption of a contrary belief, Brown yet heard with delight that the suspicions of Julia's fidelity, upon which he had so rashly acted, were probably void of foundation. How must he in the mean time be suffering in her opinion? or what could she suppose of conduct, which must have made him appear to her regardless alike of her peace of mind, and of the interests of their affection! The old man's connection with the family at Woodbourne
seemed to offer a safe mode of communication, of which he determined to avail himself.
« Your daughter is a maid-servant at Woodbourne?-I knew Miss Mannering in India, and though I am at present in an inferior rank of life, I have
great reason to hope she would interest herself in my favour. I had a quarrel unfortunately with her father, who was my commanding officer, and I am sure the young lady would endeavour to reconcile him to me. Perhaps your daughter could deliver a letter to her upon the subject, without making mischief between her father and her?» The old man readily answered for the letter being faithfully and secretly delivered, and, accordingly, so soon as they arrived at Allonby, Brown wrote to Miss Mannering, stating the utmost contrition for what had happened through his rashness, and conjuring her to let him have an opportunity of pleading his own cause and obtaining forgiveness for his indiscretion. He did not judge it safe to go into any
detail concerning the circumstances by which he had been misled, and upon the whole endeavoured to express himself with such ambiguity, that, if the letter fell into wrong hands, it would be difficult either to understand its real purport, or to trace the writer. This letter the old man undertook faithfully to deliver to his daughter at Woodbourne; and, as his trade would speedily again bring him or his boat to Allonby, he
promised farther to take charge of any answer with which the young lady might entrust him.
And now our persecuted traveller landed at Allonby, and sought for such accommodations as might at once suit his temporary poverty, and his desire of remaining as much unobserved as possible. With this view he assumed the name and profession of his friend Dudley, having command enough of the pencil to verify his pretended character to his host of Allonby. His baggage he pretended to expect from Wigton, and, keeping himself as much within doors as possible, awaited the return of the letters which he had sent to his agent, to Delaserre, and to his Lieutenant-Colonel. From the first he requested a supply of money; he conjured Delaserre, if possible, to join him in Scotland; and from the Lieutenant-Colonel he required such testimony of his rank and conduct in the regiment, as should place his character as a gentleman and officer beyond the power of question. The inconvenience of being run short in his finances struck him so strongly, that he wrote to Dinmont upon that subject, requiring a small temporary loan, having no doubt that, being within sixty or seventy miles of his residence, he would receive a speedy as well as favourable answer to his request of pecuniary accommodation, which was owing, as he stated, to his having been robbed after their parting. And then, with impatience enough, though without serious apprehension, he waited the answers of these various letters.
It must be observed, in excuse of his corre. spondents, that the post was then much more
tardy than since Mr Palmer's ingenious invention bas taken place; and with respect to honest Dinmont in particular, as he rarely received above one letter a quarter; (unless during the time of his being engaged in a law-suit, when he regularly sent to the post-town,) his correspondence usually remained for a month or two sticking in the postmaster's window, among pamphlets, gingerbread, rolls, or ballads, according to the trade which the said postmaster exercised. Besides, there was then a custom, not yet wholly obsolete, of causing a letter, from one town to another, perhaps within the distance of thirty miles, perform a circuit of two hundred miles before delivery; which had the combined advantage of airing the epistle thoroughly, of adding some pence to the revenue of the post-office, and of exercising the patience of the correspondents. Owing to these circumstances, Brown remained several days in Allonby without answer, and his stock of money, though husbanded with the utmost economy, began to wear very low, when he received by the hands of a young fisherman the following letter:
« You have acted with the most cruel indiscretion, you have shewn how little I can trust to your declarations that my peace and happiness are dear to you, and your rashness has nearly occasioned the death of a young man of the highest worth and honour. Must I say more? must I add, that I have been myself very ill in
I consequence of your violence, and its effects?