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for tea or brandy frae the Borough-town, when Dirk of war crowded all sail to pursue, but she had stood Hatteraick used to come quietly into the bay ?” too close upon the cape, so that they were obliged
“ Mrs Bertram, you know nothing of these mat to wear the vessel for fear of going ashore, and to ters. Do you think it becomes a magistrate to let make a large tack back into the bay, in order to rehis own house be made a receptacle for smuggled cover sea-room enough to double the headland. goods ? Frank Kennedy will show you the penal “ They'll lose her, by - !- cargo and lugger, ties in the act, and ye ken yoursell they used to one or both,” said Kennedy. “ I must gallop away put their run goods into the Auld Place of Ellan- to the Point of Warroch (this was the headland so gowan, up by there."
often mentioned), and make them a signal where “ Oh, dear, Mr Bertram, and what the waur she has drifted to on the other side. Good-by for an were the wa's and the vault o' the auld castle for hour, Ellangowan-get out the gallon punch-bowl, having a whin kegs o' brandy in them at an orra and plenty of lemons. I'll stand for the French time I am sure ye were not obliged to ken ony article by the time I come back, and we'll drink thing about it;—and what the waur was the King the young Laird's health in a bowl that would swim that the lairds here got a soup o' drink, and the the Collector's yawl." So saying, he mounted his ladies their drap o' tea, at a reasonable rate!--it's horse and galloped off. a shame to them to pit such taxes on them !-and About a mile from the house, and upon the verge was na I much the better of these Flanders head of the woods, which, as we have said, covered a and pinners, that Dirk Hatteraick sent me a' the promontory terininating in the cape called the Point way from Antwerp? It will be lang or the King of Warroch, Kennedy met young Harry Bertram, sends me onything, or Frank Kennedy either.- attended by his tutor, Dominie Sampson. He had And then ye would quarrel with these gipsies too! often promised the child a ride upon his galloway; I expect every day to hear the barn-yard's in a and, from singing, dancing, and playing Punch for low."
his amusement, was a particular favourite. He no “ I tell you once more, my dear, you don't un sooner came scampering up the path, than the boy derstand these things—and there's Frank Kennedy loudly claimed his promise; and Kennedy, who saw coming galloping up the avenue.”
no risk in indulging him, and wished to tease the “ Aweel, aweel, Ellangowan,” said the lady, rais- Dominie, in whose visage he read a remonstrance, ing her voice as the Laird left the room," wish caught up Harry from the ground, placed him ye may understand them yoursell, that's a'!" before him, and continued his route; Sampson's
From this nuptial dialogue the Laird joyfully “ Peradventure, Master Kennedy”. -being lost escaped to meet his faithful friend, Mr Kennedy, in the clatter of his horse's feet. The pedagogue who arrived in high spirits. “ For the love of life, hesitated a moment whether he should go after Ellangowan,” he said, “get up to the castle ! you'll them; but Kennedy being a person in full confisee that old fox Dirk Hatteraick, and his Majesty's dence of the family, and with whom he himself had hounds in full cry after him.” So saying, he flung no delight in associating, “ being that he was adhis horse's bridle to a boy, and ran up the ascent dicted unto profane and scurrilous jests,” he conto the old castle, followed by the Laird, and indeed tinued his own walk at his own pace, till he reached by several others of the family, alarmed by the the Place of Ellangowan. sound of guns from the sea, now distinctly heard. The spectators from the ruined walls of the cas.
On gaining that part of the ruins which com tle were still watching the sloop of war, which at manded the most extensive outlook, they saw a lug- length, but not without the loss of considerable time, ger, with all her canvass crowded, standing across recovered sea-room enough to weather the Point the bay, closely pursued by a sloop of war, that kept of Warroch, and was lost to their sight behind that firing upon the chase from her bows, which the wooded promontory. Some time afterwards the dislugger returned with her stern-chasers. “ They're charges of several cannon were heard at a distance, but at long bowls yet,” cried Kennedy, in great ex and, after an interval, a still louder explosion, as of ultation, “ but they will be closer by and by. a vessel blown up, and a cloud of smoke rose above D-n him, he's starting his cargo ! I see the good | the trees, and mingled with the blue sky. All then Nantz pitching overboard, keg after keg!- that's separated on their different occasions, auguring vaa d-d ungenteel thing of Mr Hatteraick, as I riously upon the fate of the smuggler, but the mashall let him know by and by:- Now, now! they've jority insisting that her capture was inevitable, if got the wind of him !- that's it, that's it!-- Hark she had not already gone to the bottom. to him! hark to him! Now, my dogs! now, my “ It is near our dinner-time, my dear,” said Mrs dogs !-hark to Ranger, hark !"
Bertram to her husband; “ will it be lang before “I think," said the old gardener to one of the Mr Kennedy comes back ?" maids," the gauger's fie;" by which word the com “ I expect him every moment, my dear," said mon people express those violent spirits which they the Laird; “ perhaps he is bringing some of the think a presage of death.
officers of the sloop with him." Meantime the chase continued. The lugger, be “ My stars, Mr Bertram! why did not ye tell ing piloted with great ability, and using every nau me this before, that we might have had the large tical shift to make her escape, had now reached, and round table ?-and then, they're a' tired o' saut was about to double, the headland which formed meat, and, to tell you the plain truth, a rump o' the extreme point of land on the left side of the beef is the best part of your dinner, and then I bay, when a ball having hit the yard in the slings, wad have put on another gown, and ye wadna have the main-sail fell upon the deck. The consequence been the waur o'a clean neckcloth yoursell — But of this accident appeared inevitable, but could not ye delight in surprising and hurrying one-I am be seen by the spectators; for the vessel, which had sure I am no to haud out for ever against this sort just doubled the headland, lost steerage, and fell of going on - But when folk's missed, then they out of their sight behind the promontory. The sloop are mo.ned."
« Pshaw! psliaw! deuce take the beef, and the only there was Dominie Sampson, gaun ramgown, and table, and the neckcloth !-- we shall do pauging about, like mad, seeking for them.” all very well.- Where's the Dominie, John!-(to All was now bustle at Ellangowan. The Laird a servant who was busy about the table) — where's and his servants, male and female, hastened to the the Dominie and little Harry ?"
wood of Warroch. The tenants and cottagers in “ Mr Sampson's been at hame these twa hours the neighbourhood lent their assistance, partly out and mair, but I dinna think Mr Harry cam hame of zeal, partly from curiosity. Boats were manned wi' him."
to search the sea-shore, which, on the other side of “ Not come hame wi' him?” said the lady; “ de- the Point, rose into high and indented rocks. Á sire Mr Sampson to step this way directly." vague suspicion was entertained, though too horri
" Mr Sampson,” said she, upon his entrance, “is ble to be expressed, that the child might have fallen it not the most extraordinary thing in this world from one of these cliffs. wide, that you, that have free up-putting - bed, The evening had begun to close when the parties board, and washing — and twelve pounds sterling entered the wood, and dispersed different ways in a-year, just to look after that boy, should let him quest of the boy and his companion. The darkenout of your sight for twa or three hours ?”
ing of the atmosphere, and the hoarse sighs of the Sampson made a bow of humble acknowledge- November wind through the naked trees, the rustment at each pause which the angry lady made in ling of the withered leaves which strewed the glades, her enumeration of the advantages of his situation, the repeated halloos of the different rties, which in order to give more weight to her remonstrance, often drew them together in expectation of meeting and then, in words which we will not do liim the the objects of their search, gave a cast of dismal injustice to imitate, told how Mr Francis Kennedy sublimity to the scene. " had assumed spontaneously the charge of Master At length, after a minute and fruitless investiHarry, in despite of his remonstrances in the con- gation through the wood, the searchers began to trary."
draw together into one body, and to compare notes. " I am very little obliged to Mr Francis Kennedy The agony of the father grew beyond concealment, for his pains," said the lady peevishly. “ Suppose yet it scarcely equalled the anguish of the tutor. he lets the boy drop from his horse, and lames 6 Would to God I had died for him!” the affectionhim! or suppose one of the cannons comes ashore ate creature repeated, in notes of the deepest disand kills him!-or suppose
tress. Those who were less interested, rushed into " Or suppose, my dear,” said Ellangowan,“ what a tumultuary discussion of chances and possibilities. is much more likely than anything else, that Each gave his opinion, and each was alternately have gone aboard the sloop or the prize, and are swayed by that of the others. Some thought the to come round the Point with the tide ?”
objects of their search had gone aboard the sloop; And then they may be drowned,” said the lady. some, that they had gone to a village at three miles' “Verily,” said Sampson, “ I thought Mr Ken- distance; some whispered they might have been on nedy had returned an hour since-Of a surety I board the lugger, a few planks and beams of which deemed I heard his horse's feet.”
the tide now drifted ashore. “ That,” said John, with a broad grin,
At this instant a shout was heard from the beach, Grizzel chasing the humble-cowl out of the close." so loud, so shrill, so piercing, so different from every
Sampson coloured up to the eyes--not at the sound which the woods that day had rung to, that implied taunt, which he would never have disco- nobody hesitated a moment to believe that it convered, or resented if he had, but at some idea which veyed tidings, and tidings of dreadful import. All crossed bis own mind. “ I have been in an error, hurried to the place, and, venturing without scruple he said; “ of a surety I should have tarried for the upon paths which at another time they would have babe.”' So saying, he snatched his bone-headed shuddered to look at, descended towards a cleft of cane and hat, and hurried away towards Warroch- the rock, where one boat's crew was already landed. wood, faster than he was ever known to walk be “ Here, sirs !- here !- this way, for God's sake! fore, or after.
this way! this way!" was the reiterated cry.The Laird lingered some time, debating the point Ellangowan broke through the throng which had with the lady. At length, he saw the sloop of war already assembled at the fatal spot, and beheld the again make her appearance; but, without approach- object of their terror. It was the dead body of ing the shore, she stood away to the westward with Kennedy. At first sight he seemed to have perished all her sails set, and was soon out of sight. The by a fall from the rocks, which rose above the spot lady's state of timorous and fretful apprehension on which he lay, in a perpendicular precipice of a was so habitual, that her fears went for nothing hundred feet above the beach. The corpse was with her lord and master; but an appearance of lying half in, half out of the water; the advancing disturbance and anxiety among the servants now tide, raising the arm and stirring the clothes, had excited his alarm, especially when he was called given it at some distance the appearance of motion, out of the room, and told in private that Mr Ken so that those who first discovered the body thought nedy's horse had come to the stable door alone, that life remained. But every spark had been long with the saddle turned round below its belly, and extinguished. the reins of the bridle broken; and that a farmer “My bairn! my bairn !" cried the distracted fahad informed them in passing, that there was a ther, " where can he be?” — A dozen mouths wero smuggling lugger burning like a furnace on the opened to communicate hopes which no one felt. other side of the Point of Warroch, and that, though some one at length mentioned the gipsies! In he had come through the wood, he had seen or a moment Ellangowan had reascended the cliffs, heard nothing of Kennedy or the young Laird, flung himself upon the first horse he met, and rode
furiously to the huts at Derncleugh. All was there 1 A cow without horns.
dark and desolate; and, as he dismounted to make
more minute search, he stumbled over fragments of furniture which had been thrown out of the cot
CHAPTER X. tages, and the broken wood and thatch which had
But see, his face is black, and full of blood; been pulled down by his orders. At that moment His eye-balls farther out than when he lived, the prophecy, or anathema, of Meg Merrilies, fell Staring full ghastly like a strangled man;
His hair upreard, his nostrils stretch'd with struggling, heavy on his mind. “ You have stripped the thatch
His hands abroad display'd, as one that gasp'd from seven cottages, ----see that the roof-tree of your Aad tugg'd for life, and was by strength subdued. own house stand the surer!”
Henry IV. Part First. “ Restore,” he cried, “ restore my bairn! bring Tue Sheriff-depute of the county arrived at me back my son, and all shall be forgot and for Ellangowan next morning by daybreak. To this given !” As he uttered these words in a sort of provincial magistrate the law of Scotland assigns frenzy, his eye caught a glimmering of light in one judicial powers of considerable extent, and the task of the dismantled cottages-it was that in which of inquiring into all crimes committed within his Meg Merrilies formerly resided. The light, which jurisdiction, the apprehension and commitment of seemed to proceed from fire, glimmered not only suspected persons, and so forth. through the window, but also through the rafters
The gentleman who held the office in the shire of the hut where the roofing had been torn off. of at the time of this catastrophe, was well
He flew to the place; the entrance was bolted: born and well educated; and, though somewhat despair gave the miserable father the strength of pedantic and professional in his habits, he enjoyed ten men ; he rushed against the door with such general respect as an active and intelligent magisviolence, that it gave way before the momentum of trate. His first employment was to examine all his weight and force. The cottage was empty, but witnesses whose evidence could throw light upon bore marks of recent habitation: there was fire on this mysterious event, and make up the written the hearth, a kettle, and some preparation for food. report, procès verbal, or precognition, as it is techAs he eagerly gazed around for something that nically called, which the practice of Scotland has might confirm his hope that his child yet lived, al- substituted for a coroner's inquest. Under the though in the power of those strange people, a man Sheriff's minute and skilful inquiry, many circumentered the hut.
stances appeared which seemed incompatible with It was his old gardener. “O sir!” said the old the original opinion that Kennedy had accidentally man, “ such a night as this I trusted never to live fallen from the cliffs. We shall briefly detail some to see !-ye maun come to the Place directly!” of these.
“ Is my boy found ? is he alive? have ye found The body had been deposited in a neighbouring Harry Bertram ?— Andrew, have ye found Harry fisher-hut, but without altering the condition in Bertram ?”
which it was found. This was the first object of the “ No, sir; but”
Sheriff's examination. Though fearfully crushed “ Then he is kidnapped! I am sure of it, Andrew and mangled by the fall from such a height, the - as sure as that I tread upon earth! She has corpse was found to exhibit a deep cut in the head, stolen him—and I will never stir from this place which, in the opinion of a skilful surgeon, must have till I have tidings of my bairn!”.
been inflicted by a broadsword, or cutlass. The ex“0, but ye maun come hame, sir! ye maun come perience of this gentleman discovered other suspihame!- We have sent for the Sheriff, and we'll cious indications. The face was much blackened, the set a watch here a' night, in case the gipsies return; eyes distorted, and the veins of the neck swelled. but you — ye maun come hame, sir, for my | A coloured handkerchief, which the unfortunate lady's in the dead-thraw.”.
man had worn round his neck, did not present the Bertram turned a stupified and unmeaning eye usual appearance, but was much loosened, and the on the messenger who uttered this calamitous news; knot displaced and dragged extremely tight: the and, repeating the words, " in the dead-thraw!" folds were also compressed, as if it had been used as if he could not comprehend their meaning, suf as a means of grappling the deceased, and dragging fered the old man to drag him towards his horse, him perhaps to the precipice. During the ride home, he only said, “ Wife and On the other hand, poor Kennedy's purse was bairn, baith—mother and son, baith—Sair, sair to found untouched; and, what seemed yet more exabide !"
traordinary, the pistols which he usually carried It is needless to dwell upon the new scene of when about to encounter any hazardous adventure, agony which awaited him. The news of Kennedys were found in his pockets loaded. This appeared fate had been eagerly and incautiously communi- particularly strange, for he was known and dreaded cated at Ellangowan, with the gratuitous addition, by the contraband traders as a man equally fearless that, doubtless, “ he had drawn the young Laird and dexterous in the use of his weapons, of which over the craig with him, though the tide had swept he had given many signal proofs. The Sheriff away the child's body -- he was light, puir thing, inquired, whether Kennedy was not in the pracand would flee farther into the surf.”
tice of carrying any other arms! Most of Mr Mrs Bertram heard the tidings; she was far ad- Bertram's servants recollected that he generally vanced in her pregnancy; she fell into the pains of had a couteau de chasse, or short hanger, but none premature labour, and, ere Ellangowan had reco such was found upon the dead body; nor could vered his agitated faculties, so as to comprehend those who had seen him on the morning of the fatal the full distress of his situation, he was the father day, take it upon them to assert whether he then of a female infant, and a widower.
carried that weapon or not.
The corpse afforded no other indicia respecting
that now mentioned, pretty much the same duty as a Co
the fate of Kennedy; for, though the clothes were on the other, the belt and sheath, which appeared much displaced, and the limbs dreadfully fractured, to have been hidden with more leisurely care and the one seemed the probable, the other the cer- precaution. tain, consequences of such a fall. The hands of the The magistrate caused the foot-prints which deceased were clenched fast, and full of turf and marked this spot to be carefully measured and exearth; but this also seemed equivocal.
amined. Some corresponded to the foot of the unThe magistrate then proceeded to the place where happy victim; some were larger, some less; indithe corpse was first discovered, and made those who cating that at least four or five men had been busy had found it give, upon the spot, a particular and around him. Above all, here, and here only, were detailed account of the manner in which it was ly- observed the vestiges of a child's foot; and as it ing. A large fragment of the rock appeared to have could be seen nowhere else, and the hard horseaccompanied, or followed, the fall of the victim from track which traversed the wood of Warroch was the cliff above. It was of so solid and compact a sub- contiguous to the spot, it was natural to think that stance, that it had fallen, without any great diminu- the boy might have escaped in that direction dution by splintering, so that the Sheriff was enabled, ring the confusion. But as he was never heard of, first to estimate the weight by measurement, and the Sheriff, who made a careful entry of all these then to calculate, from the appearance of the frag- memoranda, did not suppress his opinion that the ment, what portion of it had been bedded into the deceased had met with foul play, and that the eliff from which it had descended. This was easily murderers, whoever they were, had possessed themdetected, by the raw appearance of the stone where selves of the person of the child Harry Bertram. it had not been exposed to the atmosphere. They Every exertion was now made to discover the then ascended the cliff, and surveyed the place from criminals. Suspicion hesitated between the smugwhence the stony fragment had fallen. It seemed glers and the gipsies. The fate of Dirk Hatteraick's plain, from the appearance of the bed, that the vessel was certain. Two men from the opposite mere weight of one man standing upon the pro- side of Warroch Bay (so the inlet on the southern jecting part of the fragment, supposing it in its side of the Point of Warroch is called) had seen, original situation, could not have destroyed its ba- though at a great distance, the lugger drive eastlance, and precipitated it, with himself, from the ward, after doubling the headland, and, as they cliff. At the same time, it appeared to have lain judged from her manœuvres, in a disabled state. 50 loose, that the use of a lever, or the combined Shortly after, they perceived that she grounded, strength of three or four men, might easily have smoked, and, finally, took fire. She was, as one hurled it from its position. The short turf about of them expressed himself, in a light low (bright the brink of the precipice was much trampled, as if flame) when they observed a king's ship, with her stamped by the heels of men in a mortal struggle, colours up, heave in sight from behind the cape. or in the act of some violent exertion. Traces of The guns of the burning vessel discharged themthe same kind, less visibly marked, guided the sa- selves as the fire reached them; and they saw her, at gacious investigator to the verge of the copsewood, length, blow up with a great explosion. The sloop which in that place crept high up the bank towards of war kept aloof for her own safety; and, after the top of the precipice.
hovering till the other exploded, stood away southWith patience and perseverance, they traced ward under a press of sail
. The Sheriff anxiously these marks into the thickest part of the copse, a interrogated these men whether any boats had left route which no person would have voluntarily adop- the vessel. They could not say— they had seen ted, unless for the purpose of concealment. llere none—but they might have put off in such a dithey found plain vestiges of violence and struggling, rection as placed the burning vessel, and the thick from space to space. Small boughs were torn down, smoke which floated landward from it, between as if grasped by some resisting wretch who was their course and the witnesses' observation. dragged forcibly along; the ground, where in the That the ship destroyed was Dirk Hatteraick's, least degree soft or marshy, showed the print of no one doubted. His lugger was well known on many feet; there were vestiges also, which might the coast, and had been expected just at this time. be those of human blood. At any rate, it was cer A letter from the commander of the king's sloop, tain that several persons must have forced their to whom the Sheriff made application, put the passage among the oaks, hazels, and underwood, matter beyond doubt; he sent also an extract from with which they were mingled; and in some places his log-book of the transactions of the day, which appeared traces, as if a sack full of grain, a dead intimated their being on the outlook for a smug. body, or something of that heavy and solid descrip- gling lugger, Dirk Hatteraick master, upon the tion, had been dragged along the ground. In one information and requisition of Francis Kennedy, of part of the thicket there was a small swamp, the his Majesty's excise service; and that Kennedy elay of which was whitish, being probably mixed was to be upon the outlook on the shore, in case with marl. The back of Kennedy's coat appeared Hatteraick, who was known to be a desperate felbesmeared with stains of the same colour.
low, and had been repeatedly outlawed, should atAt length, about a quarter of a mile from the tempt to run his sloop aground. About nine o'clock brink of the fatal precipice, the traces conducted A. M. they discovered a sail, which answered the them to a small open space of ground, very much description of Hatteraick's vessel, chased her, and trampled, and plainly stained with blood, although after repeated signals to her to show colours and withered leaves had been strewed upon the spot, bring-to, fired upon her. The chase then showed and other means hastily taken to efface the marks, Hamburgh colours, and returned the fire; and a which seemed obviously to have been derived from running fight was maintained for three hours, when, a desperate affray. On one side of this patch of just as the lugger was doubling the Point of Waropen ground was found the sufferer's naked hanger, roch, they observed that the main-yard was shot in which seemed to have been thrown into the thicket; the slings, and that the vessel was disabled. It wils
not in the power of the man-of-war's men for some description, and appearance of the individuals betime to profit by this circumstance, owing to their longing to the ship's company, and offer a reward having kept too much in shore for doubling the for the apprehension of them, or any one of them; headland. After two tacks, they accomplished this, extending also to any person, not the actual murand observed the chase on fire, and apparently derer, who should give evidence tending to convict deserted. The fire having reached some casks of those who had murthered Francis Kennedy. spirits, which were placed on the deck, with other Another opinion, which was also plausibly supcombustibles, probably on purpose, burnt with such ported, went to charge this horrid crime upon the fury, that no boats durst approach the vessel, es late tenants of Derncleugh. They were known to pecially as her shotted guns were discharging, one have resented highly the conduct of the Laird of after another, by the heat. The captain had no Ellangowan towards them, and to have used threatdoubt whatever that the crew had set the vessel ening expressions, which every one supposed them on fire, and escaped in their boats. After watch- capable of carrying into effect. The kidnapping the ing the conflagration till the ship blew up, his Ma- child was a crime much more consistent with their jesty's sloop, the Shark, stood towards the Isle of habits than with those of smugglers, and his temMan, with the purpose of intercepting the retreat porary guardian might have fallen in an attempt of the smugglers, who, though they might conceal to protect him. Besides, it was remembered that themselves in the woods for a day or two, would Kennedy had been an active agent, two or three probably take the first opportunity of endeavour days before, in the forcible expulsion of these people ing to make for this asylum. But they never saw from Derncleugh, and that harsh and menacing more of them than is above narrated.
language had been exchanged between him and Such was the account given by William Prit some of the Egyptian patriarchs on that memorable chard, master and commander of his Majesty's occasion. sloop of war Shark, who concluded by regretting The Sheriff received also the depositions of the deeply that he had not had the happiness to fall in unfortunate father and his servant, concerning what with the scoundrels who had had the impudence to had passed at their meeting the caravan of gipsies fire on his Majesty's flag, and with an assurance, as they left the estate of Elangowan. The speech that, should he meet Mr Dirk Hatteraick in any of Meg Merrilies seemed particularly suspicious. future cruise, he would not fail to bring him into There was, as the magistrate observed in his law port under his stern, to answer whatever might be language, damnum minatum-a damage, or evil alleged against him.
turn, threatened, and malum secutum-an evil of As, therefore, it seemed tolerably certain that the very kind predicted, shortly afterwards follow. the men on board the lugger had escaped, the death ing. A young woman, who had been gathering of Kennedy, if he fell in with them in the woods, nuts in Warroch wood upon the fatal day, was also when irritated by the loss of their vessel, and by strongly of opinion, though she declined to make the share he had in it, was easily to be accounted positive oath, that she had seen Meg Merrilies, at for. And it was not improbable, that to such bru- least a woman of her remarkable size and appeartal tempers, rendered desperate by their own cir- ance, start suddenly out of a thicket-she said she cumstances, even the murder of the child, against had called to her by name, but, as the figure turned whose father, as having become suddenly active in from her, and made no answer, she was uncertain the prosecution of smugglers, Hatteraick was known if it were the gipsy, or her wraith, and was afraid to have uttered deep threats, would not appear a to go nearer to one who was always reckoned, in very heinous crime.
the vulgar phrase, no canny. This vague story reAgainst this hypothesis it was urged, that a crew ceived some corroboration from the circumstance of fifteen or twenty men could not have lain hidden of a fire being that evening found in the gipsy's upon the coast when so close a search took place deserted cottage. To this fact Elangowan and his immediately after the destruction of their vessel; gardener bore evidence. Yet it seemed extravagant or, at least, that if they had hid themselves in the to suppose, that, had this woman been accessory woods, their boats must have been seen on the to such a dreadful crime, she would have returned beech; that in such precarious circumstances, that very evening on which it was committed, to and when all retreat must have seemed difficult, if the place, of all others, where she was most likely not impossible, it was not to be thought that they to be sought after. would have all united to commit a useless murder, Meg Merrilies was, however, apprehended and for the mere sake of revenge. Those who held this examined. She denied strongly having been either opinion supposed, either that the boats of the lug- at Derncleugh or in the wood of Warroch upon the ger had stood out to sea without being observed by day of Kennedy's death; and several of her tribe those who were intent upon gazing at the burning made oath in her behalf, that she had never quitted vessel, and so gained safe distance before the sloop their encampment, which was in a glen about ten got round the headland; or else, that, the boats miles distant from Ellangowan. Their oaths were being staved or destroyed by the fire of the Shark | indeed little to be trusted to ;—but what other eviduring the chase, the crew had obstinately deter- dence could be had in the circumstances? There mined to perish with the vessel.
What gave some was one remarkable fact, and only one, which arose countenance to this supposed act of desperation from her examination. Her arm appeared to be was, that neither Dirk Hatteraick nor any of his slightly wounded by the cut of a sharp weapon, sailors, all well-known men in the fair-trade, were and was tied up with a handkerchief of Harry Ber. again seen upon that coast, or heard of in the Isle tram’s. But the chief of the horde acknowledged of Man, where strict inquiry was made. On the he had “corrected hier” that day with his whinger other hand, only one dead body, apparently that of -she herself, and others, gave the same account a seaman killed by a cannon-shot, drifted ashore. of her hurt; and, for the handkerchief, the quantity So all that could be done was to register the names, of linen stolen from Ellangowan during the last