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relation o’your ain, Mr. Glossin — ye wad ken Jean lang syne?) she's sib to the housekeeper at Woodbourne, and she 's tell’d me mair than ance that there was naething could be mair likely."
“And what did the stranger say when you told him all this?” said Glossin.
“Say?" echoed the postilion, “he said naething at a'— he just stared at them as they walked round the loch upon the ice, as if he could have eaten them, and he never took his ee aff them, or said another word, or gave another glance at the bonspiel, though there was the finest fun amang the curlers ever was seenand he turned round and gaed aff the loch by the kirk-stile through Woodbourne fir-plantings, and we saw nae mair o' him."
“Only think,” said Mrs. Mac-Candlish, “what a hard heart he maun hae had, to think o' hurting the poor young gentleman in the very presence of the leddy he was to be married to !”
“0, Mrs. Mac-Candlish,” said Glossin, “there's been many cases such as that on the record doubtless he was seeking revenge where it would be deepest and sweetest.”
“God pity us!” said Deacon Bearcliff, “we 're puir frail creatures when left to oursells ! -ay, he forgot wha said, “Vengeance is mine, and I will repay it.'
“Weel, aweel, Sirs,” said Jabos, whose hard-headed and uncultivated shrewdness seemed sometimes to start the game when others beat the bush-“Weel, weel, ye may be a' mista’en yet I'll never believe that a man would lay a plan to shoot another wi' his ain gun. Lord help ye, I was the keeper's assistant down at the Isle mysell, and I'll uphaud it, the biggest man in Scotland shouldoa take a gun frae me or I had weized the slugs through him, though I'm but sic a little feckless body, fit for paething but the outside o' a saddle and the fore-end o’a poschay-na, na, nae living man wad venture on that. I 'll wad my best buckskins, and they were new coft of Kirkcudbright fair, it's been a chance job after a'. But if ye hae naething mair to say to me, I am thinking I maun gang and see my beasts fed” — and he departed accordingly.
The hostler, who had accompanied him, gave evidence to the same purpose. He and Mrs. Mac-Candlish were then re-inter
rogated, whether Brown had no arms with him on that unhappy morning. “None,” they said, “but an ordinary bit cutlass or hanger by his side.”
“Now," said the Deacon, taking Glossin by the button, (for, in considering this intricate subject, he had forgot Glossin's new accession of rank)—“this is but doubtfu' after a', Maister Gilbert
for it was not sae dooms likely that he would go down into battle wi' sic sma' means."
Glossin extricated himself from the Deacon's grasp, and from the discussion, though not with rudeness; for it was his present interest to buy golden opinions from all sorts of people. He inquired the price of tea and sugar, and spoke of providing himself for the year; he gave Mrs. Mac-Candlish directions to have a handsome entertainment in readiness for a party of five friends, whom he intended to invite to dine with him at the Gordon-arms next Saturday week; and, lastly, he gave a half-crown to Jock Jabos, whom the hostler had deputed to hold his steed.
“Weel,” said the Deacon to Mrs. Mac-Candlish, as he accepted her offer of a glass of bitters at the bar, “the deil's no sae ill as he's ca’d. It's pleasant to see a gentleman pay the regard to the business o' the county that Mr. Glossin does."
“Ay, 'deed is 't, Deacon,” answered the landlady; "and yet, I wonder our gentry leave their ain wark to the like o' him. - But as lang as siller 's current, Deacon, folk maunna look ower nicely at what king's head's on 't."
“I doubt Glossin will prove but shand* after a', mistress," said Jabos, as he passed through the little lobby beside the bar; “but this is a gude half-crown ony way.”
CHAPTER XXXIII. A man that apprehends death to be no more dreadful but as a drunken
sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of wbat 's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal.
Measure for Measure. GLOSSIN had made careful minutes of the information derived from these examinations. They threw little light upon the story,
• Gant expression for base coin.
so far as he understood its purport; but the better informed reader has received, through means of this investigation, an account of Brown's proceedings, between the moment when we left him upon his walk to Kippletringan, and the time when, stung by jealousy, he so rashly and unhappily presented himself before Julia Mannering, and well-nigh brought to a fatal termination the quarrel which his appearance occasioned.
Glossin rode slowly back to Ellangowan, pondering on what he had heard, and more and more convinced that the active and successful prosecution of this mysterious business was an opportunity of ingratiating himself with Hazlewood and Mannering, to be on no account neglected. Perhaps, also, he felt his professional acuteness interested in bringing it to a successful close. It was, therefore, with great pleasure that on his return to his house from Kippletriogan, be heard his servants announce hastily, “that Mac-Guffog, the thief-taker, and twa or three concurrents, had a man in hands in the kitchen waiting for his honour.”
He instantly jumped from horseback, and hastened into the house. “Send my clerk here directly, ye 'll find him copying the survey of the estate in the little green parlour. Set things to rights in my study, and wheel the great leathern chair up to the writingtable - set a stool for Mr. Scrow. - Scrow, (to the clerk, as he entered the presence-chamber,) hand down Sir George Mackenzie on Crimes; open it at the section Vis Publica et Privata, and fold down a leaf at the passage "anent the bearing of unlawful weapons.' Now lend me a hand off with my muckle-coat, and hang it up in the lobby, and bid them bring up the prisoner - I trow I'll sort him — but stay, first send up Mac-Guffog. --Now, MacGuffog, where did ye find this chield?”
Mac-Guffog, a stout bandy-legged fellow, with a neck like a bull, a face like a firebrand, and a most portentous squint of the left eye, began, after various contortions by way of courtesy to the Justice, to tell his story, eking it out by sundry sly nods and knowing winks, which appeared to bespeak an intimate correspondence of ideas between the narrator and his principal auditor. “Your honour sees I went down to yon place that your
honour spoke o', that's kept by her that your honour kens o', by the sea-side. - So says she, what are you wanting here? ye 'll be come wi' a broom in your pocket frae Ellangowan? So, says I, deil a broom will come frae there awa, for ye ken, says I, his honour Ellangowan himself in former times"
“Well, well,” said Glossin, “no occasion to be particular, tell the essentials.”
“Weel, so we sat niffering about some brandy that I said I wanted, till he came in."
“He!" pointing with his thumb inverted to the kitchen, where the prisoner was in custody. “So he had his griego wrapped close round him, and I judged he was not dry-handed - so I thought it was best to speak proper, and so he believed I was a Manks man, and I kept ay between him and her, for fear she had whistled. ** And then we began to drink about, and then I betted he would not drink out a quartern of Hollands without drawing breath and then he tried it and just then Slounging Jock and Dick Spur'em came in, and we clinked the darbies*** on him, took him as quiet as a lamb - and now he's had his bit sleep out, and is as fresh as a May gowan, to answer what your honour likes to speir.” This narrative, delivered with a wonderful quantity of gesture and grimace, received at the conclusion the thanks and praises which the narrator expected.
“Had he no arms?” asked the Justice.
“Go down stairs, then, Mac-Guffog, and be in waiting.” The officer left the room.
The clink of irons was immediately afterwards heard upon the stair, and in two or three minutes a man was introduced, handcuffed and fettered. He was thick, brawny, and muscular, and although his shagged and grizzled bair marked an age somewhat advanced, and his stature was rather low, he appeared, never* Unarmed.
** Given information to the party concerned. *** Hand-cuffs.
theless, a person whom few would have chosen to cope with in personal conflict. His coarse and savage features were still flushed, and his eye still reeled under the influence of the strong potation which had proved the immediate cause of his seizure. But the sleep, though short, which Mac-Guffog had allowed him, and still more a sense of the peril of his situation, had restored to him the full use of his faculties. The worthy judge, and the no less estimable captive, looked at each other steadily for a long time without speaking. Glossin apparently recognized his prisoner, but seemed at a loss how to proceed with his investigation. At length he broke silence. “Soh, Captain, this is you? - you have been a stranger on this coast for some years.”
“Stranger?” replied the other; “strange enough, I think for hold me der deyvil, if I been ever here before.”
“That won't pass, Mr. Captain.” “That must pass, Mr. Justice
- sapperment!” “And who will you be pleased to call yourself, then, for the present,” said Glossin, “just until I shall bring some other folks to refresh your memory, concerning who you are, or at least who you
have been?” “What bin I?-donner and blitzen! I bin Jans Japson, from Cuxhaven what sall Ich bin?”
Glossin took from a case which was in the apartment a pair of small pocket pistols, which he loaded with ostentatious care. “You may retire,” said he to his clerk, “and carry the people with you, Scrow - but wait in the lobby within call.”
The clerk would have offered some remonstrance to his patron on the danger of remaining alone with such a desperate character, although ironed beyond the possibility of active exertion, but Glossin waved him off impatiently. When he had left the room, the Justice took two short turns through the apartment, then drew his chair opposite to the prisoner, so as to confront him fully, placed the pistols before him in readiness, and said in a steady voice, “You are Dirk Hatteraick of Flushing, are you not?”
The prisoner turned his eye instinctively to the door, as if he apprehended some one was listening. Glossin rose, opened the