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despair, looked at his watch, and said, “We must now give them up”
when at that instant - . But what then befell will require a separate chapter.
The Critic. As Mannering replaced his watch, he heard a distant and hollow sound “It is a carriage for certain
- no, it is but the sound of the wind among the leafless trees. Do come to the window, Mr. Pleydell.” The counsellor, who, with his large silk handkerchief in his hand, was expatiating away to Julia upon some subject which he thought was interesting, obeyed, however, the summons, first wrapping the håndkerchief round his neck by way of precaution against the cold air. The sound of wheels became very perceptible, and Pleydell, as if he had reserved all his curiosity till that moment, ran out to the hall. The Colonel rung for Barnes to desire that the persons who came in the carriage might be shown into a separate room, being altogether uncertain whom it might contain. It stopped, however, at the door, before his purpose could be fully explained. A moment after, Mr. Pleydell called out, “Here's our Liddesdale friend, I protest, with a strapping young fellow of the same calibre.” His voice arrested Dinmont, who recognized him with equal surprise and pleasure. “Odd, if it's your honour, we'll a’be as right and tight as thack and rape can make us.
But while the farmer stopped to make his bow, Bertram, dizzied with the sudden glare of light, and bewildered with the circumstances of his situation, almost unconsciously entered the open door of the parlour, and confronted the Colonel, who was just advancing towards it. The strong light of the apartment left no doubt of his identity, and he himself was as much con
* When a farmer's crop is got safely into the barn-yard, it is said to be made fast with thack and rape Anglicé, straw and rope.
founded with the appearance of those to whom he so unexpectedly presented himself, as they were by the sight of so utterly unlooked-for an object. It must be remembered that each individual present had their own peculiar reasons for looking with terror upon what seemed at first sight a spectral apparition. Mannering saw before him the man whom he supposed he had killed in India; Julia beheld her lover in a most peculiar and hazardous situation; and Lucy Bertram at once knew the person who had fired upon young Hazlewood. Bertram, who interpreted the fixed and motionless astonishment of the Colonel into displeasure at his intrusion, hastened to say that it was involuntary, since he had been hurried hither without even knowing whither he was to be transported.
“Mr. Brown, I believe!” said Colonel Mannering.
“Yes, Sir,” replied the young man modestly, but with firmness, “the same you knew in India; and who ventures to hope, that what you did then know of him is not such as should prevent his requesting you would favour him with your attestation to his character, as a gentleman and map of honour.” “Mr. Brown - I have been seldom
so much surprised Certainly, Sir, in whatever passed between us, you have a right to command my favourable testimony.”
At this critical moment entered the counsellor and Dinmont. The former beheld, to his astonishment, the Colonel but just recovering from his first surprise, Lucy Bertram ready to faint with terror, and Miss Mannering in an agony of doubt and apprehension, which she in vain endeavoured to disguise or suppress. “What is the meaning of all this?” said he; “has this young fellow brought the Gorgon's head in his hand? let me look at him. By Heaven!” he muttered to himself, “the very image of old Ellangowan! Yes, the same manly form and handsome features, but with a world of more intelligence in the face Yes!
the witch has kept her word.” Then instantly passing to Lucy, “Look at that man, Miss Bertram, my dear; have you never seen any one like him?"
Lucy had only ventured one glance at this object of terror, by which, however, from his remarkable height and appearance,
she at once recognized the supposed assassio of young Hazlewood; a conviction which excluded, of course, the more favourable association of ideas which might have occurred on a closer view. “Don't ask me about him, Sir,” said she, turning away her eyes; “send him away, for Heaven's sake! we shall all be murdered!”
“Murdered! where's the poker?" said the advocate in some alarm; “but nonsense? we are three men besides the servants, and there is honest Liddesdale worth half-a-dozen to boot have the major vis upon our side - however, here, my friend Dandie · Davie what do they call you? - keep between that fellow and us for the protection of the ladies.”
“Lord! Mr. Pleydell,” said the astonished farmer, “that's Captain Brown; d'ye no ken the captain?”
“Nay, if he's a friend of yours, we may be safe enough," answered Pleydell; “but keep near him.”
All this passed with such rapidity, that it was over before the Dominie had recovered himself from a fit of absence, shut the book which he had been studying in a corner, and advancing to obtain a sight of the strangers, exclaimed at once, upon behulding Bertram, “If the grave can give up the dead, that is my
dear and honoured master!”
“We're right after all, by Heaven! I was sure I was right," said the lawyer; “he is the very image of his father.
Come, Colonel, what do you think of, that you do not bid your guest welcome? I think - I believe I trust we're right - never saw such a likeness! But patience Dominie, say not a word.
Sit down, young gentleman.”
“I beg pardon, Sir; if I am, as I understand, in Colonel Mannering's house, I should wish first to know if my accidental appearance here gives offence, or if I am welcome?”
Mannering instantly made an effort. “ Welcome? most certainly, especially if you can point out how I can serve you. I believe I may have some wrongs to repair towards you — I have often suspected so; but your sudden and unexpected appearance, connected with painful recollections, prevented my saying at
first, as I now say, that whatever has procured me the honour of this visit, it is an acceptable one.”
Bertram bowed with an air of distant, yet civil acknowledgment, to the grave courtesy of Mannering.
“Julia, my love, you had better retire. Mr. Brown, you will excuse my daughter; there are circumstances which I perceive rush upon her recollection.”
Miss Mannering rose and retired accordingly; yet, as she passed Bertram, could not suppress the words, “Infatuated! a second time!” but so pronounced as to be heard by him alone. Miss Bertram accompanied her friend, much surprised, but without venturing a second glance at the object of her terror. Some mistake she saw there was, and was unwilling to increase it by denouncing the stranger as an assassin. He was known, she saw, to the Colonel, and received as a gentleman; certainly he either was not the person she suspected, or Hazlewood was right in supposing the shot accidental.
The remaining part of the company would have formed no bad group for a skilful painter. Each was too much embarrassed with his own sensations to observe those of the others. Bertram most unexpectedly found himself in the house of one, whom he was alternately disposed to dislike as his personal enemy, and to respect as the father of Julia; Mannering was struggling between his high sense of courtesy and hospitality, his joy at finding himself relieved from the guilt of having shed life in a private quarrel, and the former feelings of dislike and prejudice, which revived in his haughty mind at the sight of the object against whom he had entertained them; Sampson, supporting his shaking limbs by leaning on the back of a chair, fised his eyes upon Bertram, with a staring expression of nervous anxiety which convulsed his whole visage; Dinmont, enveloped in his loose shaggy greatcoat, and resembling a huge bear erect upon his binder legs, stared on the whole scene with great round eyes that witnessed his amazement.
The counsellor alone was in his element, shrewd, prompt, and active; he already calculated the prospect of brilliant success in a strange, eventful, and mysterious law-suit, and no young
monarch, flushed with hopes, and at the head of a gallant army, could experience more glee when taking the field on his first campaign. He bustled about with great energy, and took the arrangement of the whole explanation upon himself.
“Come, come, gentlemen, sit down; this is all in my province: you must let me arrange it for you. Sit down, my dear Colonel, and let me manage; sit down, Mr. Brown, aut quocunque alio nomine vocaris Dominie, take your seat draw in your chair, honest Liddesdale.”
“I dinna ken, Mr. Pleydell," said Dinmont, looking at his dreadnought-coat, then at the handsome furniture of the room, “I had maybe better gang some gate else, and leave ye till your cracks - I'm no just that weel put on."
The Colonel, who by this time recognized Dandie, immediately went up and bid him heartily welcome; assuring him, that from what he had seen of him in Edinburgh, he was sure his rough coat and thick-soled boots would honour a royal drawing-room.
“Na, na, Colonel, we're just plain up-the-country folk; but pae doubt I would fain hear o'ony pleasure that was gaun to happen the Captain, and I'm sure a' will gae right if Mr. Pleydell will take his bit job in hand.”
“You 're right, Dandie spoke like a Hieland * oracle and now be silent. Well, you are all seated at last; take a glass of wine till I begin my catechism methodically. And now,” turning to Bertram, “my dear boy, do you know who or what
In spite of his perplexity, the catechumen could not help laughing at this commencement, and answered, “Indeed, Sir, I formerly thought I did; but I own late circumstances have made me somewhat uncertain."
“Then tell us what you formerly thought yourself.” “Why, I was in the habit of thinking and calling myself
* It may not be unnecessary to tell southern readers, that the mountainous country in the south-western borders of Scotland, is called HYeland, though totally different from the much more mountainous and more extensive districts of the north, usually accepted Hielands.