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account of my particular respect for your family, which has so high a stake in it; indeed, so very high a stake, that, as Mr. Featherhead is turning old now, and as there's a talk, since his last stroke, of his taking the Chiltern Hundreds, it might be worth your while to look about you. I speak as a friend, Mr. Hazlewood, and as one who understands the roll; and if in going over it together"
“I beg pardon, Sir, but I have no views in which your assistance could be useful."
“O very well-perhaps you are right-it's quite time enough, and I love to see a young gentleman cautious. But I was talking of your wound - I think I have got a clue to that business -I think I have and if I don't bring the fellow to condigo punishment!”
“I beg your pardon, Sir, once more; but your zeal outruns my wishes. I have every reason to think the wound was accidental
certainly it was not premeditated. Against ingratitude and premeditated treachery, should you find any one guilty of them, my resentment will be as warm as your own." This was Hazlewood's answer.
Another rebuff, thought Glossin; I must try him upon the other tack. “Right, Sir; very nobly said! I would have no more mercy on an ungrateful man than I would on a woodcock – And now we talk of sport, (this was a sort of diverting of the conversation which Glossin had learned from his former patron,) I see you often carry a gun, and I hope you will be soon able to take the field again. I observe you confine yourself always to your own side of the Hazleshaws-burn. I hope, my dear Sir, you will make no scruple of following your game to the Ellangowan bank: I believe it is rather the best exposure of the two for woodcocks, although both are capital.”
As this offer only excited a cold and constrained bow, Glossin was obliged to remain silent, and was presently afterwards somewhat relieved by the entrance of Colonel Mannering.
“I have detained you some time, I fear, Sir,” said he, addressing Glossin;“ I wished to prevail upon Miss Bertram to see you, as, in my opinion, her objections ought to give way to the Guy Mannering
necessity of hearing in her own person what is stated to be of importance that she should know. But I find that circumstances of recent occurrence, and not easily to be forgotten, have rendered her so utterly repugnant to a personal interview with Mr. Glossin, that it would be cruelty to insist upon it: and she has deputed me to receive his commands, or proposal, or, in short, whatever he may wish to say to her.”
“Hem, hem! I am sorry, Sir - I am very sorry, Colonel Mannering, that Miss Bertram should suppose that any prejudice, in short — or idea that any thing on my part”
“Sir,” said the inflexible Colonel, “where no accusation is made, excuses or explanations are unnecessary. Have you any objection to communicate to me, as Miss Bertram's temporary guardian, the circumstances which you conceive to interest her?"
“None, Colonel Mannering; she could not choose a more respectable friend, or one with whom I, in particular, would more anxiously wish to communicate frankly.”
“Have the goodness to speak to the point, Sir, if you please."
“Why, Sir, it is not so easy all at once — but Mr. Hazlewood need not leave the room, -I mean so well to Miss Bertram, that I could wish the whole world to hear my part of the conference."
“My friend Mr. Charles Hazlewood will not probably be anxious, Mr. Glossin, to listen to what cannot concern him – and now, when he has left us alone, let me pray you to be short and explicit in what you have to say. I am a soldier, Sir, somewhat impatient of forms and introductions." So saying, he drew himself up in his chair, and waited for Mr. Glossin's communication.
“Be pleased to look at that letter,” said Glossin, putting Protocol's epistle into Mannering's hand, as the shortest way of stating his business.
The Colonel read it, and returned it, after penciling the name of the writer in his memorandum-book. “This, Sir, does not seem to require much discussion - I will see that Miss Bertram's interest is attended to."
“But, Sir, – bat, Colonel Mannering," added Glossin, “there is another matter which no one can explain bat myself.
this Mrs. Margaret Bertram, to my certain knowledge, made a general settlement of her affairs in Miss Lucy Bertram's favour while she lived with my old friend, Mr. Bertram, at Ellangowan. The Dominie that was the name by which my deceased friend always called that very respectable man Mr. Sampson - he and I witnessed the deed. And she had full power at that time to make such a settlement, for she was in fee of the estate of Singleside even then, although it was liferented by an elder sister. It was a whimsical settlement of old Singleside's, Sir; he pitted the two cats his daughters against each other, ha, ha, ha."
“Well, Sir,” said Mannering, without the slightest smile of sympathy, “but to the purpose. You say that this lady had power to settle her estate on Miss Bertram, and that she did so?”
“Even so, Colonel,” replied Glossin. “I think I should understand the law — I have followed it for many years, and though I have given it up to retire upon a handsome competence, I did not throw
away that knowledge which is pronounced better than house and land, and which I take to be the knowledge of the law, since, as our common rhyme has it,
'Tis most excellent,
To win the land that's gone and spent. No, no, I love the smack of the whip - I have a little, a very little law yet, at the service of my friends."
Glossin ran on in this manner, thinking he had made a favourable impression on Mannering. The Colonel indeed reflected that this might be a most important crisis for Miss Bertram's interest, and resolved that his strong inclination to throw Glossin out at window, or at door, should not interfere with it. He put a strong curb on his temper, and resolved to listen with patience at least, if without complacency. He therefore let Mr. Glossin get to the end of his self-congratulations, and then asked him if he knew where the deed was?
“I know that is, I think - I believe I can recover it - In such cases custodiers have sometimes made a charge.”
“We won't differ as to that, Sir," said the Colonel, taking out his pocket-book.
“But, my dear Sir, you take me so very short - I said some persons might make such a claim - I mean for payment of the expenses of the deed, trouble in the affair, &c. But I, for my own part, only wish Miss Bertram and her friends to be satisfied that I am acting towards her with honour. There 's the paper, Sir! It would have been a satisfaction to me to have delivered it into Miss Bertram's own hands, and to have wished her joy of the prospects which it opens. But since her prejudices on the subject are invincible, it only remains for me to transmit her my best wishes through you, Colonel Mannering, and to express that I shall willingly give my testimony in support of that deed when I shall be called upon. I have the honour to wish you a good morning, Sir.”
This parting speech was so well got up, and had so much the tone of conscious integrity unjustly suspected, that even Colonel Mannering was staggered in his bad opinion. He followed him two or three steps, and took leave of him with more politeness (though still cold and formal) than he had paid during his visit. Glossin left the house half pleased with the impression he had made, half mortified by the stern caution and proud reluctance with which he had been received. “Colonel Mannering might have had more politeness,” he said to himself — “it is not every man that can bring a good chance of £400 a-year to a penniless girl. Singleside must be up to £400 a-year now - there's Reilageganbeg, Gillifidget, Loverless, Liealone, and the Spinster's Knowe good £400 a-year. Some people might have made their own of it in my place and yet, to own the truth, after mach consideration, I don't see how that is possible.”
Glossin was no sooner mounted and gone, than the Colonel despatched a groom for Mr. Mac-Morlan, and putting the deed into his hand, requested to know if it was likely to be available to his friend Lucy Bertram. Mac-Morlan perused it with eyes that sparkled with delight, snapped his fingers repeatedly, and at length exclaimed, “Available! - it's as tight as a glove — naebody could make better wark than Glossin, when he didna let down a steek on purpose. But (his countenance falling) the auld b~, that I should say so, might alter at pleasure!”
“Ah! And how shall we know whether she has done so ?”
“Somebody must attend on Miss Bertram's part, when the repositories of the deceased are opened."
“Can you go?” said the Colonel.
“I fear I cannot,” replied Mac-Morlan, “I must attend a jury trial before our court.”
“Then I will go myself,” said the Colonel, “I'll set out to-morrow. Sampson shall go with me he is witness to this settlement. But I shall want a legal adviser?”
“The gentleman that was lately Sheriff of this county is high in reputation as a barrister; I will give you a card of introduction to him.”
“What I like about you, Mr. Mac-Morlan," said the Colonel, “is, that you always come straight to the point. Let me have it instantly shall we tell Miss Lucy her chance of becoming an heiress?"
“Surely, because you must have some powers from her, which I will instantly draw out. Besides, I will be caution for her prudence, and that she will consider it only in the light of a chance.”
Mac-Morlan judged well. It could not be discerned from Miss Bertram's manner, that she founded exulting hopes upon the prospect thus unexpectedly opening before her. She did indeed, in the course of the evening, ask Mr. Mac-Morlan, as if by accident, what might be the annual income of the Hazlewood property; but shall we therefore aver for certain that she was considering whether an heiress of four hundred a-year might be a suitable match for the young Laird ?
CHAPTER XXXVI. Give me a cup of sack, to make mine eyes look red – For I must speak in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses' vein.
Henry IV. Part 1. MANNERING, with Sampson for his companion, lost no time in his journey to Edinburgh. They travelled in the Colonel's postchariot, who, knowing his companion's habits of abstraction, did not choose to lose him out of his own sight, far less to trust